A week in the new Beacon Hills, and signs of scarcity were already beginning to pop up. It didn't matter that there was plenty of food for the amount of people left- it mattered that it was finite. During their second trip to the grocery store- an hour walk each way- Kali and Jennifer noticed the town was practically flipped upside-down and looted. They cleaned out the nonperishable section of the grocery store, and Kali even found some bacon that hadn't gone bad. (They both stayed far away from the fish counter.)
The next week most of their neighbors left, and Kali couldn't even walk into town anymore. Jennifer wanted to leave too- surely, soon enough the house would be too close, the roots too strong beneath them.
But Kali reminded her Deaton knew where they were- they couldn't lose contact with him, not if Jennifer wanted a shot at ending this. She knows she should tell Kali to go without her, but she can't stand the thought of being in this ghost town alone or of Kali wandering the countryside aimlessly. Instead she watches the woman closely for signs of excessive fatigue, a half baked escape plan rising in the back of her mind.
She wonders if they went away to a deserted island, if the roots would reach them still. The fear that they might is the only thing keeping her here. Jennifer grows restless as Kali grows weaker, and she's searched every house for Deaton. She doesn't find him, instead she brings back cookies and chips for Kali, pretends that's why she went out. Kali probably sees through it, but she goes along with the charade.
Jennifer never sees anyone else on her outings. She's fairly certain she and Kali, and maybe Deaton, are the only ones left so close. She half-expects to trip over his corpse when searching.
Her energy is growing, she's fairly sure it's a recent development. It's getting easier and easier to help Kali, zaps of energy passing through her fingertips. She doesn't let herself think of what could happen if she left her alone too long.
(The images haunt her nightmares more often than the countless humans she ended.)
Deaton visits again, two months after the nemeton began spreading. He hands her the purple and black dust, explaining its function efficiently and updating them before leaving the town, and most likely state.
Word had come back from across the pond- the nemeton's roots had learned how to survive in saltwater, and humans had been declared extinct. Jennifer sits in a daze, her eyes locked on the jar of black and purple, Kali's words soothing but mostly unheard.
"-need to do it soon."
Jennifer frowns and nods, "I know. Can't let it get worse, or take you."
Kali chuckles at this, slowly swinging her long leg around to straddle Jennifer, "Oh yeah?"
"Mhmm, pretty sure the silly plant won't though."
Kali cocks her head, nails scraping up Jen's arms, "You think it's sentient."
"Has to be," Jennifer murmurs. If it isn't, she's just going up against pure power that she's bonded to. If it isn't, there's no hope of her killing it, much less doing so without killing herself. If it isn't, it's just a matter of time before nothing sentient exists. The trees, she reminds herself, the trees are still alive.
Kali chases the thoughts away with a kiss, and then another, and another- until Kali isn't thinking of the nemeton at all. (Jennifer can't help but return to it, every touch is a reminder, every spark she lets flow into Kali.)