lexark pt. deux or??? wtf even is this idk?? have a first meeting in the lexark reincarnated soulmates au you heathens:
in hindsight, their first meeting could have gone better. alicia remembers being separated from the others–remembers the boat, remembers the landing, remembers the horde of walkers that seemed to come from nowhere, remembers running because that’s all any of them could really do against that many. she remembers nick’s hand in hers and she remembers it being ripped away and she remembers him yelling that he’d find her even as they tore away from each other in a flight for their own life. every man for himself.
she remembers ducking into the sporting goods store. she remembers seeing the walker half-crushed under a display, mouth gnawing and eyes unblinking and half-rotted fingers clenching and unclenching, begging her closer, begging her come.
she remembers skipping away from it, grabbing the biggest metal bat she could find, and holding it at her shoulder as she moved toward the back of the store. she remembers squinting into the darkness because the lights don’t work anymore, of course, and the sun is setting, and wondering how she’s going to survive a night by herself when she doesn’t even know where she is.
and then she remembers footsteps, heavy and slow, a steady thunk, thunk, thunk against the wooden floor. closer, closer. closer still. she remembers her heart leaping into her throat and her breath stuttering in her chest and she remembers a figure stepping out from around a corner and she remembers swinging–swinging without looking, without caring, without purpose; the only thought in her head just survive, survive, survive.
“whoa!” a voice, a missed swing, and the kind of acrobatic back bend that leaves alicia blinking, vaguely impressed. alicia is still standing there, blank and somewhat dumbstruck, as the figure straightens, stumbles a bit, and she sees leather and blonde hair streaked with what looks like blood and blue eyes and ripped jeans and combat boots and honestly, who dresses like that? who just walks around corners without looking? who just casually imitates the fucking matrix?
“a baseball bat,” the blonde comments, quirking a brow at her. there’s a guttural, gravelly moan from the trapped walker a dozen or so yards away but the woman doesn’t even blink. she just smirks. “nice.” there’s a lilt to her voice, a certain cadence. the ease of the accent matches the smugness in the husk of her voice, matches the smirk on her face and the smell of her leather and the dirty blonde of her hair and there’s something…uncomfortably familiar about her and yet not, all at the same time.
alicia lowers the bat to her shoulder again, tries to calm her breathing. “…have we met before?”
the woman chuckles, bright eyes twinkling even in the dark. “that line usually work for you?” she asks, and alicia scowls, and then she laughs. again. the blonde sees the look on her face and her grin softens and she holds out her hand. “what’s your name, babe?”
alicia’s scowl deepens. “not ‘babe’,” she grouses. a corner of the woman’s lips tugs up just slightly and her eyes glint with amusement and damn, alicia’s known this woman for two minutes and she kind of hates her. “alicia clark.”
there’s an instant where the blonde looks momentarily stunned, as her brows lift nearly to her hairline and she blinks rapidly but then her face splits into a grin and she’s fucking laughing again.
“sorry, sorry,” the woman says, and she’s still chuckling. “elyza.” alicia reaches out with one hand to grab elyza’s and shake it–but she can barely manage to hold on for that long because she feels something tingling in her palms and it’s not unlike when your foot falls asleep. it’s pins and needles and it’s uncomfortable and alicia jerks her hand back and settles it on the bat again and she feels–well. not safe. but safer. steadier. calmer.
“…elyza lex,” the blonde finishes, after a long pause. she’s looking at alicia like maybe she felt that weird sensation too, or maybe she’s looking at her like she expects something from her, but alicia doesn’t know what and how the hell is she supposed to think with that thing groaning in the background?
alicia doesn’t say ‘it’s nice to meet you’ because really, it isn’t. she’d rather be with her family and it isn’t nice to meet someone when there’s dead people walking around trying to eat her but, you know. whatever.
“you all alone out here?” elyza asks, when it’s clear alicia isn’t going to speak on her own again.
alicia sighs, and looks away from her. she can’t hold that gaze for too long. it feels like there’s something bubbling inside her, buzzing in her veins like that time she drank too much red bull and thought she was having a damn heart attack. it’s not pleasant. elyza isn’t pleasant.
“i got separated from my family.”
“and you came here? of all places?”
alicia turns her head to glare at her–not that it does any good. elyza even looks pleased with the look on her face. she hates it. “i had to go somewhere. it’s getting dark.”
“it is dark,” and elyza jerks her head in the direction of the long glass windows at the storefront, at the pitch black that has fallen over the world. “you thought you could stay here for the night.”
“better than outside,” she says, but alicia isn’t even sure why she’s feeling defensive. she doesn’t owe elyza anything. she doesn’t have to explain herself. “you’re here.”
elyza shrugs. “good vantage point,” she says casually. “there’s only one entrance, and most of those fuckers have moved on by now.” for a moment, there’s silence between them. then, “and then what? after tonight? you gonna go looking for your people?”
alicia’s starting to wonder if everything elyza says is some kind of secret code. there’s a way her voice changes when she says certain things, like she’s saying one thing and meaning another and waiting for alicia to figure it out and she hates it. god, she hates it.
“yeah,” she affirms. “i guess.”
elyza raises a brow. “with a baseball bat?”
alicia rolls her eyes, sighs, and takes a seat on the floor where she can face the front of the store. she doesn’t look at elyza, but she can sense her moving, can feel her presence beside her before the woman slides down the wall and settles right next to her, hardly even a foot away. alicia sees the shotgun she has slung across her knees now, and her breath comes easier for the first time since she got separated from the others. a gun. she hopes elyza knows how to use it.
“i’m going to find them.”
“…with a baseball bat?” elyza’s voice is laced with amusement and alicia can feel her eyes on her, can practically sense the smirk on her face.
“yes. with a baseball bat.”
alicia turns, and elyza catches her eyes, and there’s that knowing smile again. that irritating, all-too-familiar smile. “well alright then, commander. maybe you can teach me a few things along the way.”
alicia ignores the title. what else is she supposed to do? why is this woman so damn weird? “along the way?”
“i’m coming with you.”
alicia squints at her, immediately suspicious. “why?”
“us girls gotta stick together.” elyza shrugs carelessly, but there’s nothing casual about it. it’s practiced, rehearsed, and absolutely transparent. “i’ll get you back to your people.”
“why do you care? you don’t even know me.”
elyza looks away then, tilting her head and gazing out at the windows, at the night beyond and ahead of them. “i won’t just sit back and let them kill you when i could help you.”
alicia looks at her, and she feels tired and old and just, so very done with everything. “you can’t save everyone.”
a beat. a breath. a look. “i can save you.” there’s something in her eyes, something left unspoken, something alicia feels like she’s missing–something she feels she didn’t hear, didn’t get, but somehow did–because she’s got this feeling in her heart and it’s equal parts warmth and sadness and bittersweet and aching and she doesn’t know where it’s coming from, and–
and she hates it. (she hates it, she hates it, she hates it.)