Title: Meant to be a Lie Fandom: Dark Matter Characters: Two, Three, Five, Six, the Android, Devon Timeframe: Early Season 2 Summary: Six, Two, Five, and Three think about One after his death. Word Count: ~2,475 Notes: I was listening to "Good Grief" by Bastille a lot while writing this. Constructive criticism is welcome. Other stories in this fandom: Season 1 Drabbles, Season 2 AU Drabbles, It Just Is --------------- --------------- Six filled two small metal cups with whiskey. He pushed one across the table, in front of an empty seat. He lifted the other into the air, then downed it in one gulp. Once a member of the Raza, always a member of the Raza. This was not what he’d had in mind. He’d spoken to Five, on several occasions, telling her when everything hit the fan, she’d be okay. She wasn’t a criminal, she didn’t belong here. She’d…be free. To do anything she wanted. Anything but this. He’d never told him so, but he’d thought the same about One, ever since he found out his real identity. When he’d made the decision to call in the GA, to turn everyone over, he’d thought about the worst case scenario: Two, Three, and Four would escape custody. But he’d be comfy back in his old job, and One and Five would be doing whatever it was they wanted to do. Something far from the Raza. Something better than the Raza. Yet here he was, back on the Raza. And Five was too. He poured himself another shot of whiskey. Almost like nothing had changed at all. If only. Six downed the whiskey. One got his freedom alright. The ultimate freedom. And boy was he far from the Raza. - * - Two landed a final hit on the punching bag. She’d been at it too long, her knuckles were sore. She turned to grab her towel. She was dabbing her face when she saw it. The smooth black leather jacket. His jacket. She dropped the towel and renewed her assault on the punching bag. - * - The facts were simple: Jace Corso would never have paraded onto the Raza and attempted to kill a member of the crew. If not for Six, One would never have been alone and unarmed in an unsecure hotel room. If not for Six, One would still be alive. “Does it help?” Six looked up as the Android entered the mess. “Drinking whiskey,” she clarified, “does it make you feel…better?” “Not a damn bit.” Six downed another shot. The Android stared at the unclaimed whiskey cup across from Six. After an apparent moment of consideration, her hand shot out, she drank the whiskey and returned the cup to the table. After a few seconds she said, “You are correct. The drinking of whiskey has no effect on my emotional state.” “Well, you are an…” Six trailed off as the Android stared unblinkingly at him. Instead, he nodded and poured himself another shot. “That’s the thing about feelings. You can’t just turn them off.” “Why, then, do you continue to drink whiskey?” Six shrugged. “Wishful thinking?” - * - She’d brought the jacket back to her room. She didn’t know why. It’s not like he’s going to clean up his own crap at this point. She took a quick shower and when she reentered her room she saw that she’d left the jacket on her bed. Seeing it there triggered something in her. It made her think. About things that were gone. About things that didn’t matter anymore. Why the hell had she left it out? She grabbed it and started to put it in her closet. But why would she put it there? It wasn’t part of her wardrobe; it would just be in the way. She scanned her room, looking for a place for it. But there was no place for it. She balled it up, eyeing the waste bin. It’s not like he’s going to wear it again. But it was a nice jacket, it was worth something. Finally, she put it on, just so she wouldn’t have to look at it anymore. - * - Six lifted his head off the table as he heard someone enter the room. “Quality check on the whiskey?” “Damn you.” Devon looked quite taken aback. “Sorry. It was just a joke. I didn’t mean—” “I know what you meant,” Six was starting to slur his words, just a little. “You meant exactly what One meant the last time he walked in on me drinking.” “Oh. Uh…sorry.” “I had, just for a second, just for one second, stopped thinking about him.” Devon took the nearly empty bottle off the table and put it away. “It’s my damn fault. I thought he didn’t belong. I thought he wasn’t really part of the Raza crew. But he sure showed me. Once a part of the Raza, always a part of the Raza. You remember that, okay?” Devon looked down at Six with a mix of concern and pity. “Sure.” “And the crew of the Raza, they can’t survive without the crew of the Raza, you understand?” “Yeah, okay.” “You’re stuck with us now. You’re stuck with us, or you’re dead like him.” The whiskey finally going to work, Six laughed. His actions had caused the death of the mild-mannered businessman. He wondered how long it would be before the death of the mild-mannered doctor. Probably not long. - * - Two found herself in bed, still wearing the damn jacket. Despite the extra layer, she felt chilled. Climate control must be on the fritz. She pulled her blankets closer around her, but it didn’t help. Maybe she wasn’t cold. Maybe she was…lonely. She wondered briefly if Three was still up. Of course, she couldn’t go looking for Three in the damn jacket. She’d have to take it off, which meant she’d have to figure out what to do with it, and she just wasn’t up for that crap right now. Seeking a warmer position, she curled herself tighter. Her nose dipped beneath the collar of the jacket, and she got a strong whiff of it. Leather. Aftershave. Him. His scent filled her nostrils, his image filled her mind’s eye, for a moment she could even hear his voice. For the first time since she’d seen the news report, she didn’t push him away. One. She breathed deeply. I’m…sorry. I should have been there. And… I wish you were here. I miss you. - * - Five pushed open the air vent grate and pulled herself into the room. She wondered if she was the first one to enter it since their return. How long, after one passed away on the Raza, before all their stuff was up for grabs? She thought it was unlikely that she was the first to enter. And she wasn’t there to loot. And anyway, it didn’t really count—she hadn’t used the door. Everyone knew she could get into any room through the air vents, yet no one had made any attempts to keep her out. She assumed that meant she had permission to enter everyone’s room, as long as she didn’t disturb them. That’s what this was. Just…wandering around the ship. Not that she usually lurked in people’s rooms when they weren’t there. She might’ve peeked, but she hadn’t gone into anyone’s room since she’d stolen the bullets from Three’s guns. And that had been a really good reason. So what was her really good reason this time? Well…maybe he had a plant or something. That needed to be watered. She sat in the middle of his bed as she mused. Where to start? There was a book, on the side table. She picked it up and leafed through it. The bookmark was close to the end. What bad timing. She set the book down. She opened the drawer beside the bed, expecting to find a gun, since she hadn’t found one under his pillow. There was no gun, but another book, and a few small trinkets. Maybe she wasn’t the first into his room. Or maybe…he’d felt safe enough onboard the Raza to not have a gun within reach as he slept? She continued to explore around the room. She opened a drawer full of clothes and quickly closed it—she wasn’t looking to find his underwear. But something—a flash of turquoise—caught her eye and she opened it again. She grabbed the corner of turquoise fabric and pulled it out. It was her favorite shirt of his. It matched her hair almost perfectly. She always loved it when he wore it. She’d never said anything to him because she knew it was silly, but wearing matching colors made her feel special. Like they were a team. Or maybe even family. She put the shirt on over the clothes she was already wearing. It was a really boring shirt, nothing she would usually wear, and probably made her look like a solid turquoise blob, but for the moment she didn’t care. Next stop was his computer. She’d been debating whether or not to look through his files since before she’d come into his room. She didn’t think she’d find anything too inappropriate (she probably wouldn’t have chanced it with Three’s computer) but it could be pretty private stuff. But what if he had something really cool, something he would have wanted to share with the crew? She decided it wouldn’t hurt to take a look. He’d made better use of the data hubs than she had expected. He had lots of files. Files about Derrick and Catherine Moss. Files about nanites and Dwarf Star Technologies. But most of the files were something she hadn’t expected at all. They were missing child posters. It appeared that at every port they stopped at, he’d searched though all the available missing child reports. All this time, he’d never said anything. But he’d been looking for her. Or rather, looking for someone who was looking for her. For just a moment, she imagined what it would have been like if he’d found something. She had to admit, as much as she loved the Raza, she felt a slight thrill to think about finding loving parents who missed her desperately. Of course, he hadn’t found them, and never would have. She now knew her parents had died long ago. He must have known it was a long shot, that’s why he’d never told her. He hadn’t wanted to get her hopes up. She shut down the computer and looked around the room. She spotted a small trunk against the wall and eagerly moved to it. She opened the trunk to find books. Dozens of books. Way more books than she would have thought were on the entirety of the Raza. She often found him reading, and had vaguely noted at some point that he always seemed to have a different book, but she never imagined he had this many. Where did they come from? Had Derrick Moss brought along his collection when he first boarded the Raza? Or had One been collecting them with his extra money? She sifted through them, setting aside a few that looked interesting. She’d never been fond of reading—it was so passive. She’d much rather rewire electronics that would respond to her tinkering than scan her eyes over motionless text. Still, FTL could be boring and some day they might run out of broken gadgets to fix. A sudden, loud curse from the hallway caused Five to look up. She stood and walked across the room as the cursing continued. She recognized Three’s voice. It sounded like he was trying to unlock the door. She hit the door release. Three stared at her for a moment. “What are you doing here?” “I could ask you the same thing.” Three strode passed her and started rummaging through One’s stuff. Five sat on the bed and watched him. After a few minutes she said, “He doesn’t have a stash. No cash. No green protein bars.” Three turned to Five. “Makes him kinda useless then, doesn’t it?” “I know what you’re looking for!” Three looked puzzled, which confirmed Five’s suspicion that he didn’t know what he had come here for. Five opened the drawer by the bed and extracted a square metal pendant. “Here.” She handed it to Three. He looked hard at it for several seconds before shoving it in his pocket. “Whatever.” He started to leave. “And one more thing.” Five returned to the small stack of books she had set aside. She took the top book off the stack, the one that had a black horse on the cover. Three’s fondness for Charlotte’s Web was one of the ship’s worst-kept secrets, and this book looked like it might be similar. She tossed the book to him. He caught the book and regarded it with faint disgust. “Why would I want this?” Then he left, book in hand. Five smiled at his back. "Thank you," she whispered as she gathered her new collection of books and headed back to her room. Pausing in the doorway, she took a final look around his room. "For everything." - * - Back in his own room with the door locked, Three tossed the book in the general direction of his bed and pulled the pendant out of his pocket. He spun it around, watching how the lines reflected in the light. First mission. Miners. “Are you here to help?” “Maybe.” No. Of course they weren’t there to help. They were there to kill. “The pendant, it means we’re here to help.” – Pretty Boy, almost too stupid to be for real. “No, idiot, it means we killed the help and stole the cargo.” “But why would we have kept the pendant?” “So they think we’re there to help. So they don’t put up a fight.” “You mean the pendant’s a lie?” Shoulda known then he was a fraud. “Anyway, we should help.” – Pretty Boy, getting stupider by the minute. “We’ll give them half the weapons.” – Boss Lady, ‘cause she’s in charge and everyone knows it. Attack. Defend. Somehow or another, don’t remember why, but it musta had something to do with Pretty Boy, we did help. The pendant wasn’t a lie. Still holding the pendant, Three opened his lockbox and looked at the two items already inside it. The first was a toy rocketship, which he guessed was a memento from his childhood. His childhood, which he remembered exactly nothing of. The other was a necklace, which Five had told him belonged to Sarah. Sarah, who he had only the briefest memories of, having lost all the most important ones. What would it be like, to have something in his box of memories that he actually remembered? He took the pendant that was supposed to be a lie but wasn’t, and placed it in the box. It would be a reminder of a man he knew. A man whose face was meant to be a lie. A man who first stepped onboard the Raza claiming his name was Jace Corso, but who was really Derrick Moss. A man who left the Raza going by the only name worth remembering—One.