Spoilers: Season 9 (Vanuatu), Season 16 (Half-ASS), Episodes 1-6
Ami winced as Eliza plucked a bug from her shoulder, leaving behind a pinprick of blood from fangs. Or talons. Or maybe a big stinger in its ass. She didn't know why Eliza bothered; there would be more bugs. Endless bugs. And votes. She looked forward to the votes. Right now there were too many people, and they grated.
"You're quiet," Eliza said, running her fingers down Ami's back, searching for bumps caused by sand ticks.
"Yes. And you're talking enough for the both of us," Ami said.
Eliza's hands stilled. Ami looked up, into Eliza's face, silhouetted by the sun. "I was?" Eliza asked.
Eliza smiled and settled down next to Ami. She said, "I'm trying not to talk so much."
Ami nodded. The sand burned through her shorts, against her ass. She shifted. Eliza bumped her shoulder.
"I can't believe you're here," Eliza said.
No secrets with Eliza.
"I know," Ami said.
"Are you mad at me? For betraying you? I mean, I know what you said when we were like, civilians, but we're not anymore. Are we?"
Ami shook her head. She said, "You played the game. You did the right thing. I respected you."
Eliza inhaled and put her chin on Ami's shoulder.
"I missed you," Ami added.
"You saw me like, three months ago."
"It's not the same--as here," Ami said. She looked out at the ocean. The water was startlingly blue, and the sky was endless and cloudless. She didn't even miss Vanuatu, with its cannibals and its kava and its dirty politics, compared to here. She felt she'd reached the next layer of heaven.
"Yeah," Eliza said. She pressed her cheek into Ami's shoulder and asked, "What if I betray you again?"
"It doesn't matter," Ami said.
"Yes, it does."
Ami turned her head, and met Eliza's wide eyes. She said, "It doesn't to me."
Eliza said, "We're going to need allies."
"Jonathan," Ami said.
"But he's a boy."
Eliza gasped. She said, "Oh, it just became a whole 'nother game."
"Who else?" Ami asked.
"Because he's cute, and Jonathan will team up with him in an instant. I think it's a math thing," Eliza said.
"I don't think he knows math."
Ami put her hand over her mouth.
No one noticed that first night, or the second, how Eliza slept next to Ami, how Ami's hand held hers all night. Everyone was too restless, or too busy thinking about their strategy, or their tongues, to give much though to two skinny girls. Not when there were other skinny girls who were far more willing to put out. Already Eliza had scared the men off, and Ami had Lesbian virtually stitched to her forehead. Though that did mean Amanda and Parvati paid her as much attention as possible, and Cirie hated her instantly. She wondered if the guys even noticed what the women were doing. Not even Jonathan seemed to care. A shame, almost.
It was no surprise to anyone that Eliza's name was the first one floated after Fairplay's.
It was no surprise to Ami that Eliza was there after Tribal Council, pressed into her back, trying to keep warm in the rainstorm.
Survivor was not a complicated game.
When they split the tribe in two, Eliza looked around, terrified, wide-eyed, at everything. Ami looked at nothing. Jonathan gave Ami a wink. He loved Eliza more than anything; They'd spent four hours arguing about law one afternoon. James had called them bozos for not worrying about how they sounded.
Five days later, Eliza was crying. "He's gone," she mouthed to Ami at the immunity challenge, while Eliza stood soaking wet on one platform and Ami stood on another, 20 feet away, the Pacific Ocean between them and no cameras watching. "He's gone, he's gone, he's gone."
Ami put her head down and paced the platform.
The vision of Eliza stayed in Ami's head as she cast Chet's vote. She sat on the log and surveyed her broken tribe, full of idiots and Tracy, as lean and bitter and hungry as she was.
She did the math in her head. Erik, then Tracy. Or Cirie, then Ozzy. Either way, she'd make it to the merge, and she would save Eliza, and she would have vengeance on this whole fucking game, or burn this island back into the ocean trying.