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but hunter, you were human, don't forget it and go safely

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Basira catches up to Daisy approximately fifteen months after the world ends.

(Though, if Basira is being honest with herself - and she tries to be - she could have caught up months sooner. The thing about an apocalypse is it’s a nice distraction from having to kill the person you care about most in the world. Even if she made you promise that you would.)

Her nails and teeth are long and sharp, her hair coarse and bristled - not like dry human hair, but like the hair of a beast. Her eyes dart wildly around as she attacks her latest catch - the distraction that allows Basira to get as close as she is, a thin middle-aged woman with a look of defeat visible in her eyes even from a distance.

Prey that has given up, no longer fun to hunt beyond the short bloodbath at the end of it all.

And the thing is.

The thing is, Daisy looks better than Basira has seen in a long time. Her figure, rail thin from starvation all those months ago, is filled out - lean and wiry with muscle. Her eyes no longer have that look of dread and defeat in them; instead they have a wild power. This Daisy, feral and bloody as she is, looks closer to Basira’s Daisy than Daisy-after-the-buried ever did.

But this Daisy is a bit too far gone to the Hunt to be the Daisy she was partners with on the police force, just far enough to not be right.

And now, watching her - friend isn’t a strong enough word, but what else is there? - her friend growl as she attacks this woman, Basira for the first time realizes why Jon and Daisy were so dead set on Daisy not slipping back into the Hunt.

That makes her a bad friend, a bad person, doesn’t it? To not believe the true terror of the Hunt when Daisy tells her of it, to only believe it when she sees it for herself, when she knows that this brutality is going to make her have to kill her - her Daisy?

The - slaughter isn’t the right word, because all the fear has been sucked out of the victim beforehand. Whatever the word is, it’s over, and that’s when Daisy’s head turns to her.

And Daisy, she. She softens. Basira can’t be making that up. Basira Hussain is a realist, a pragmatist, and she’s not imagining this. Daisy Tonner sees her, and she softens. Her eyes lose just enough of their edge that Basira can almost imagine none of this has ever happened, that she and Daisy are still handling cases just far enough to the right of normal that they need a special touch, but without all the. Knowledge they have now. Nice and clean and easy, even though Basira now knows those times were anything but.

Daisy’s eyes dart around Basira’s body - she can tell they clock the daggers and gun on her hip, the pocket knife sticking out of her boot and the stick, strong and durable, attached to her back. She doesn’t see all of her weapons, though - Basira has a few hidden as last ditch resorts, in case she can’t overpower Daisy’s animal strength with a few shots.

She reaches for her gun. Daisy doesn’t move. She aims it. And still, Daisy stands there.

Basira wasn’t expecting this. She was expecting a fight, a - a chase. Something that would allow them each an equal chance; maybe even give Daisy leverage. Basira isn’t going to let Daisy win, but she’s also come to terms with dying to give Daisy her final lucent wish. Maybe even prefers that to the option where she forcibly makes herself well and truly alone.

But Daisy only smiles, sad and content at the same time.

So Basira readies herself - she knows once Daisy is shot the Hunt will come through truly, so this shot needs to count.

And then the world turns sideways. Every cell in Basira’s body feels like it is on fire, like they are separating from each other and from her and pulling apart, and the pain seems to last for days.

But it’s only an instance before it is right, and she is whole and the world is.

The world is right. That's the only thing she can think. The sky looks like it should and the air has lost its hum and. Everything seems normal.

Daisy is standing there. Her fingernails and teeth are still long and sharp, but not otherworldly. The smile has slipped from her face, along with the feral look. But she doesn’t look in pain. She doesn’t look depleted. As she slinks towards Basira, she just looks completely and utterly normal. Human.

“Jon must have-” Basira chokes out, her body sore from the intense pain it was just in, “Jon must have done it. Stopped what he started.”

“What do you mean?” Daisy asks, her voice raspy from disuse. Basira nearly cries at the sound of it.

“I met up with him and - Martin, Melanie, Melanie’s girlfriend, a few other survivors - a few months ago. Stayed with them a bit. Jon was planning,” Basira pauses, remembers what Jon was planning. Realises what the pain means. Daisy’s hand reaches out tentatively, touches her arm. “Jon was planning on destroying Jonah Magnus’ body. Thought it was the only way this could all end. I must still have been attached to the Eye enough to feel it.”

Daisy nods. “Does that mean-”

“That Jon’s probably dead? Yeah. Can’t imagine any way he could get close enough to Jonah to destroy him without the help of the eye. Melanie has to still be alive; she hasn’t been the Eye’s for a long time. Martin might be alright - he seemed to have lost his attachment to the Eye when the Lonely had him, and if I just made it out of that then he probably could too.”

“You know.” Daisy says, holding Basira’s hand, strong and alive and herself, “If you told me that I’d be crying over Jonathan Sim’s death when I first met him, I would have laughed. I wouldn’t have been able to imagine a world where I wasn’t the one who killed him.”

She is crying. Basira thinks she probably is too.

“Yeah, well. If we start heading towards London now, we might make it in time for the funeral.”

Daisy laughs, and there’s a feral edge to it; she’s only laughing because if she wasn’t, she’d probably be crying.

So they stand there, and Daisy laughs, and they cry, and they look at the sky and clean the blood and viscera off of themselves the best they can, and then they start walking home.