Title: Withdrawal
Date Posted: 31 January 2008
Author: Van Donovan
Rating: PG
Characters: Avon, Vila
Pairing: Avon/Vila
Word count: 400
Warnings: Post-Rumors of Death, pre-Terminal
Notes: Written for the "Warren Zevon" challenge for b7friday. Story inspired by "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead" though I don't know the actual album or song at all. :) ---

After Anna, things were supposed to change for Vila.

Putting her to rest at last was supposed to free Avon from the grip she still held on him. He had helped readily to put together that cave for Avon. He had supported that crazy torture plan and attack on Shrinker so that Avon could get the justice he needed. Avon had thought Anna was dead, but guilt over her demise kept a hold on him so tight that he had nothing left to share with Vila. Killing her killer was supposed to change everything.

In a way, it did, but not at all how Vila had envisioned. Now, to kill Anna’s killer Avon could only look to himself. Now, instead of feeling guilt at failing Anna, Avon harbored her distrust and betrayal. Now, instead of giving even a small sliver of himself to Vila he was pulling further away, protecting himself.

Knowing why he was doing it didn’t make it any easier to deal with. Waking up in the middle of the night and finding himself still alone in Avon’s cabin only made Vila feel like he was keeping Avon out of his own sanctuary.

Pulling on a pair of trousers, Vila sleepily padded out of the cabin and onto the flight deck. He found Avon where he knew he would be, seated on a couch, hunched over Orac. That they were searching for something was obvious, but Vila never asked what—or who; in many ways, he already knew, but getting Avon to admit it wasn’t a game he wanted to play.

“Come to bed,” Vila said, as firmly as he could; sometimes Avon liked to be ordered. “Whatever it is can wait until morning to be found.” Sighing as Avon didn’t reply, Vila stepped closer to make his presence more known. “C’mon, Avon. This is the third night in a row. You’ve got to get some sleep.”

“I will sleep when I am dead,” Avon replied without looking up.

“That might not be very long, rate you’re going.”

“Orac, continue,” Avon said, effectively dismissing Vila.

As Orac began relaying information again, Vila dishearteningly headed back to the crew quarters, wondering if things would be any better once Avon found and righted this new wrong he was chasing. An optimistic man by nature, something in Vila still doubted, but he would try again tomorrow.

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