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Atonement

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Donovan paused on the threshold of Tyler's cramped room sighing when he spotted Tyler sitting on the floor with his back to the bed, a half-drunk bottle of whiskey loosely held in one lax hand. As he watched Tyler brought the bottle to his mouth and took another long pull, Adam's apple bobbing as he swallowed. He didn't even grimace at the taste which meant it wasn't the first drink this night but after the last few days Donovan couldn't blame anyone for wanting to lose themselves in a bottle. With another sigh Donovan went in and dropped down beside Tyler, holding out his hand. Tyler obliged and Donovan took a drink, grimacing because it was his first and the whisky burned all the way down his throat into his stomach.

"Guess it would be a waste of breath telling you it wasn't your fault," he stated after wiping away the traces of whiskey from his lips.

Tyler snorted derisively. "It's all my fault, from the very beginning. I should have killed the bitch when I had the chance... but I wanted to take a little personal revenge first."

Donovan bowed his head. He knew all about Diana's escape and Tyler's part in it, but this was the first time Tyler had admitted it to him openly.

"You are so drunk," Donovan stated unnecessarily, and took another swig as if to play catch up. It didn't burn so badly this time.

Elias was dead and now Kyle and Elizabeth were missing presumed dead alongside the Lizard's Leader, and Diana had taken up the slack reins to restart her attack on Earth. Nowhere was safe any longer, not even the Red Zones as her scientists had finally figured a way to neutralize the air that was toxic to them. Within days she would mount an attack to subjugate and/or process all those who had escaped into the Red Zones, including Tyler's friend Farber and his wife and kids, and Elizabeth's mother.

"I don't know how to make it right," Tyler mumbled. "I've tried but..."

"Accept help."

"Huh?"

"Stop trying to go it alone, Ham. Accept help."

"From you, Gooder?"

"Yeah. From me. From Julie, Willie, and the others."

"Why do you care so much?"

"Because I'm a Gooder, remember?"

Tyler grinned, dark eyes glassy and far from sober but at least he was no longer a maudlin drunkard, but then his expression sobered.

"You really think we can beat an alien invader with superior technology to ours?"

"Yeah... by using their technology against them."

"I wanna put things right. I wanna see her dead."

"Then stop making it a personal vendetta. Let anyone take the shot as long as it puts her down for good."

Tyler stared at him for several long seconds before smiling slightly and nodding. Donovan took the bottle from him for a third time but with no intention of handing it back. He took another small drink before putting the bottle aside.

"Let's get you to bed and we can start drawing up new plans in the morning."

Donovan rose to his feet gracefully and leaned down to help Tyler onto the bed. It felt strange pulling off Tyler's shoes, helping him lie down on the bed, and pulling the covers over him. It stirred something within him that he thought lost years ago, a tingling desire of want and need, but he was a Gooder. He was not going to take advantage of Tyler while he was drunk even though he knew Tyler wouldn't object to a male lover. Donovan had been a investigative reporter before the Lizards came and he had been very good at his job. He guessed that's what made him a decent enough fighter and leader now.

He sat by Tyler's bedside for a few hours, deep in contemplation of how they could push past this latest setback. Finally, once he was assured Tyler wasn't going to choke to death in his sleep he headed for his own bed. He'd grabbed a slightly larger room and pulled the slightly musty covers over him, wondering if he would sleep at all only to wake up to rays of sunlight slanting through the gaps in the curtains.

Donovan was drinking coffee in the kitchen of the abandoned house when Tyler finally stumbled through. He looked dreadful, like death warmed over, and Donovan couldn't resist a smirk as he pushed a fresh mug of coffee across the counter. Tyler took it with a grateful smile.

"Stop smirking."

"Stop drinking so much."

"One time."

"Then don't make a habit of it. I did some thinking... and we have our work cut out for us."

The remnants of the Resistance were scattered across the world, small pockets desperate for Intel and assistance, and Donovan knew he and Tyler were more than capable of providing both as long as they could get the Freedom Network back operational.

"If you want to atone for what happened with Diana then help me rebuild the Resistance. Help us drive them off the planet for good."

Tyler nodded. "And how do I atone for the things I've done to you?"

Donovan stared hard at Tyler for a moment and made a decision. He stalked forward and dragged Tyler into a hard kiss, letting it soften when Tyler began kissing him back.

"I guess you've already started," he replied breathlessly, and kissed Tyler again.

END