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Story [The Martian] Hard Bargain - Mark Watney, Beth Johanssen/Chris Beck | H/C-ish | One-shot

Discussion in 'Non Star Wars Fan Fiction' started by mavjade , Apr 19, 2020.

  1. mavjade

    mavjade It's so FLUFFY! Fanfic Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Sep 10, 2005
    Title: Hard Bargain
    Fandom: The Martian
    Characters: Mark Watney, Chris Beck/Beth Johanssen (Can be seen as pre-Mark/Chris/Beth (Ares3some), or just close friendship. Depends on how you want to see it.)
    Timeline: Several months after they returned to Earth.
    Notes: Written for the Mini-Games Challenge- Mira_Jade’s first line/last line challenge.

    I’m going to blame @Briannakin for getting me into The Martian as a fandom. I’d always liked the movie, but read the book because of her and I LOVED it! My muse has been grumpy, so I thought I’d try and new fandom and see how it went. This fandom is ripe for hurt/comfort and medical issues, all things that apparently inspire my muse.

    This is set in the Book version of The Martian, but you could have just watched the movie and understand it as well.

    ^ ^ ^ ^

    “Just so you know, we’re not friends now,” Mark said sarcastically as Chris handed him a protein shake as he passed and sat down on the chair beside Mark. Most of the Ares III crew and their families --except for Vogel who was back in Germany-- were gathered at Chris and Beth’s new house. They were all out in the backyard, most people holding a beer or a glass of wine, chatting amongst themselves. Mark had been sitting on the porch while most everyone else was in the yard. “You could have brought me something good. One beer won’t kill me.”

    “Kill you? No.” Chris answered. “I don’t think it would kill you, but you still shouldn’t drink one.”

    “Yeah,” Mark sighed, “I know.”

    It had been almost six months since they returned to Earth and Mark was still recovering, physically and mentally. His body was still having issues absorbing enough nutrients to maintain good health, and while he certainly looked better than when they recovered him from Mars, he was still underweight. He was also taking several medications that would not react well with alcohol. He knew this, and he knew that Chris knew as well.

    Technically Chris was no longer part of his medical team, he was just another astronaut that had been on an extended mission. But while Mark trusted NASA’s doctors, he trusted Chris more and insisted that he be kept in the loop. Any time someone at NASA wanted him for research other than the standard few vials of blood or urine, he asked Chris to accompany him because he knew Chris would have his best interests at heart. While he knew the people at NASA would never maliciously make him a lab rat, sometimes the excitement would get to them and they would forget he was a person. A person who had been through a traumatic event. No one could fully understand what he’d been through, but Chris had been the person who saw the entire aftermath and could understand the most.

    “Is this what I have to look forward to? Bossy Doctor Beck keeping tabs on me?” Mark asked.

    Chris tilted his head to the side and gave Mark a look that clearly said he knew the answer was a definite yes.

    “Yeah, okay. That’s fair.” Mark said as he took a drink of his protein shake.

    The reason the whole crew was gathered had been to help move Mark into Chris and Beth’s house. Mark had initially moved into his own apartment after he’d been released from the NASA medical center, but it quickly became apparent that wasn’t going to work. Mark had been completely alone for a year and a half on a planet that was constantly trying to kill him. Turned out, living alone now increased his anxiety and made it harder for him to reorient himself after a nightmare. All the improvements he’d made upon returning home had been going away, NASA neuroscientist said it was something about the brain remodeling. Mark didn't fully understand it, but he took their word for it. He had resisted Chris and Beth’s offer for quite some time not wanting to be the third wheel, but they convinced him they’d love nothing more than to have him with them.

    Chris turned in his chair so he could fully look at Mark, “You know I’m not trying to doctor you. It can be hard to turn off, but that’s not what I’m doing. Or at least, I don’t mean to.”

    “I know, and let’s be honest, I probably need a little minding.”

    “That’s certainly true,” Beth said, having just come up onto the porch, hearing Mark's last statement. She sat down on the arm of Mark’s chair and ran her hands through his hair.

    Mark leaned into her hand. Even now he craved touch from people he trusted. Beth had been the most physically affectionate, she always had been, but it was rare now that she didn’t touch him when she was near him. “Says the nerd who’d forget to eat when she gets into a code," Mark pointed out.

    Beth laughed, “I didn’t say I didn’t need a minder too! Chris can mind us both.”

    “Great, just what I wanted!” Chris said, rolling his eyes in a dramatic way that made it clear he was joking around.

    “But who is going to look after him?” Mark asked seriously. He knew he wasn’t the only one with issues after their mission. They’d all been in space for a long time and that the situation haunted them all.

    Beth grinned at Mark, “You and I will, together!” She kissed Mark on the top of his head and then went over to sit on Chris’ lap. “We’ll all take care of each other.”

    ^ ^ ^ ^ ^

    They’d been living all together for several weeks and it was working out well. Mark found that he had fewer nightmares, he figured his subconscious knew he wasn’t alone in the house. And when he did have them, he would awaken to either Chris or Beth sitting beside him, a hand on his shoulder telling him he wasn’t on Mars and he wasn’t alone. They were always ready to lay down beside him or just sit and listen.

    Chris, who it turned out was a pretty good cook, made sure they were all eating healthy and managed to make the things that the NASA doctors insisted Mark eat taste much better than he ever could. As much as he had wanted to eat pizza and burgers and all the things he’d been missing while he was eating potatoes on Mars, Mark had learned that his digestive system didn’t agree with those things anymore, and NASA frowned on anything they considered to be empty calories. Mark hoped that as time went on and his body recovered, he’d be able to eat the things he loved again.

    But overall, Mark felt like he was doing pretty well compared to the very long list of things NASA was worried about after being in space for almost two and a half years and starving alone on a planet trying to kill him for a year and a half. Physically, his back was really the thing that continued to actively bother him the most.

    “Uhh…” Mark groaned half in pain and half in pleasure.

    “Too much,” Chris asked. He was sitting on the floor beside Mark who was laying on his stomach. “I can back off if you need?”

    “No. Keep going.” Between the low gravity and malnutrition, Mark was at a great risk of arthritis, which he knew was probably part of the problem, but he also put his back through quite a lot in his time on Mars. There’d been more than a few times he used the stash of Vicodin just to be able to get through the work he had to do to stay alive.

    Mark had regular appointments for massages, but sometimes he’d feel like he could barely move he was in so much pain. He didn’t want to take any more meds if he could help it, so they’d decided to try and see if Chris and Beth could help with massages at home.

    “I could just walk on your back,” Beth offered from where she was sitting at Mark’s head.

    Chris shook his head, “As tiny as you are, I think you might break him if you did that.”

    “You break him, you buy him,” Mark mumbled from where his face was buried in his pillow. He turned his head to the side to look at Beth. “And I have it on good authority that I’m worth a lot. Millions even.”

    “Well we did make quite a lot from all that overtime,” Beth answered. “Maybe we could afford to keep him!”

    Chris pushed down on either side of Mark’s spine on his lower back, “Not that much, but what we lack in money, we make up for in other things.”

    “Ughh.. “ Mark groaned at what Chris was doing, “You drive a hard bargain. I’m not sure negotiation under this duress is in my best interest.”

    Beth and Chris both chuckled, Beth reached down to run her hands through his hair. “Don’t worry,” she said, smiling at him. “We can be gentle too.”
    Briannakin and Mira_Jade like this.
  2. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 25, 2010
    Gifs for this fandom are - sadly - few and far between (I mean it's one movie based on a book sooooo....) so I might have to supplement with other gifs!

    I will gladly take the blame! And I am so happy to see you writing in this fandom because, yeah, it's soooo ripe for H/C and medical stuff! I hope it really inspires your muse!
    I love this so much! Both because it's continued torturing of Mark (and it makes total sense given what he went through both physically and mentally) and became it shows how much his crew mates still care about him. But poor Mark! If anyone deserves a beer, it's him (oh I'm getting plot bunnies!). I completely understand why he can't though.
    I mean I can't blame NASA - they spent billions to rescue him and he is a wealth of information on longer term impacts of Mars on the human body, but at the same time, leave the guy alone! But I'm glad he has Chris to accompany him!
    I just love this so much I had to quote the whole thing. Both as a potential precursor to an Ares3some verse, but also just as friends. I lived with 2 different couples and it was never really that awkward from a 3rd wheel POV. I love that Chris and Beth are just willing to be there for him.
    [face_love] I love that she just plays his hair!
    Though we didn't get much screen/page time with Chris and Beth, this fits the little we know about their personalities and develops them so well! I love it!!!!!
    I love this and makes me so happy! Mark needs pampering!!!
    Hehehehehe! I love this! The idea of Beth walking on Mark's back is adorable!

    I think Mark would use this a lot!
    Hehehehe! Yup! I love this!

    I enjoyed this so much and it even sparked a few ideas of my own! I'm really happy you read the book and began writing in this fandom! I hope you write more!!
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2020