Well…this certainly isn't the nicest thing I've ever written, but I'm happy with how it turned out. It's basically a lot of Liam angst, in the form of his inner thoughts exposed, as seen by others.
The rating is PG-13 for some swearing. Mostly a few minor words, and one not so nice.
DISCLAIMER: I own absolutely nothing, not even the words, only the order in which they were placed.
The title, "Dark," was chosen for several reasons. First of all, the obvious part, the mood/nature of the story and the setting are both along those lines. But also, I myself was in a particularly dark mood (probably what prompted this depressing plot) when I wrote this last night, and I actually wrote it in the dark. Seriously, this thing was written between 10pm last night and 2am this morning while I was sitting at the beach with only the starlight to go by (the moon was behind the trees) and the city lights that were about 3km away (my eyes are gonna pay for it, but what are you gonna do?). Which meant I wasn't exactly able to read what I was writing, making this story unique for me because I couldn't go back and re-work what I had, and so I just wrote continuously. And aside from the odd word, I didn't change it when I typed it out today because I wanted to keep this story as raw as it was when I first put it on paper. And that's enough about the title. All errors are mine.
I'd say this takes place at the end of Season 3, almost into the fourth.
Copyright Jamie Zimmerman, 2003
Liam Kincaid sat at the bar, brooding. Every once in awhile he got into one of these moods, but tonight it was particularly bad. The bartender had long since given up attempting to make conversation, he just left him to his quiet contemplation, which had spanned hours at this point.
Colin would have been tempted at this point to kick the idler out, but when said idler not only lived above the bar, but was best friends with his boss and the Café's owner, one was willing to overlook this person. And so Liam sat, not speaking a word to anyone, his posture and demeanour a deterrent for anyone who may have otherwise approached him.
The bartender actually wished his boss were here right now. He had come to like the young man before him, and thought he could use a friend right now. But no such luck. Augur had finally been able to take that vacation he had been whining about for the last few months, and had threatened, quite literally, the jobs of his employees if they called him away for anything less than a disaster. And even then, only if the Café was reduced to rubble. He only hoped Liam knew how to deal on his own.
Colin sighed in relief when he saw who had just walked through the entrance. He didn't think she was as close to Liam as Augur was, but he knew her to be a good friend nonetheless.
As Renee Palmer walked into the Flat Planet Café, her eyes immediately locked onto the form of her fellow Resistance fighter and good friend, sitting alone at the far corner of the bar. She caught the eye of the bartender…Colin, his name was…and he just nodded in Liam's direction, shrugging. Renee got the hint.
"Hey, you lose track of the time or something?" she asked as she walked up to the brooding figure. Liam didn't so much as shift his eyes off the opposite wall in acknowledgement.
"Earth to Liam, you were supposed to meet me at St. Michaels over an hour…. Liam!" She waved a hand in front of his face.
Liam started. He looked around, briefly confused, before settling his gaze on the woman beside him. "Renee, hey," he said, obviously trying to sound normal. But she caught his quiet, dejected tone. "Am I late for our meeting? I must have lost track of time."
Renee sighed. "Yeah," was her response, but it was less sarcastic and more out of a desire to not get into it.
Shrugging, Liam took a sip from the drink, barely-touched, he'd been brooding over for the last hour. "Sorry."
Renee shook her head. This wasn't what she'd had in mind when she agreed to meet him earlier. But, despite everything, she sat down on the stool beside him, turned so she could face him, using her left elbow on the counter to prop her head up. She looked at him, her expression serious and just the bit concerned. "What's up?"
Liam continued to stare at the far wall as he spoke, his tone indifferent - his attempt to mask his true feelings. "Nothing's up," he began, just a little too brightly. "Nothing's down…nothing changes. Everything is just…the same."
Great, Renee thought. To deal with a brooding Liam was one thing. But to deal with a brooding, philosophical Liam was an entirely different set of equations.
She knew better than to try to talk about it with him. Instead, she just sat there, ordered a drink, and offered him her silent companionship. There were a few things she could take this time to think about herself, although she was no where near prepared to go as in-depth about them as Liam was apparently willing to do.
Sometime later, neither knew how long but Renee would guess a half hour at the least, Liam suddenly sighed and sat up. He gulped the last of the drink in front of him, the same one he'd had when she'd arrived.
Without looking at her, he stated, "I need to go somewhere quiet and think. It's getting too crowded in here."
Instinctively knowing he wasn't talking about his apartment upstairs, despite its extensive sound-proofing, Renee stood up as he did. "You want me to come with you?"
He turned to her, shrugged noncommittally, and started for the exit.
Renee took that as a yes and followed after him.
The ride to the D.C. shuttle garage was met with silence, as was the relatively short flight, with one exception.
"Where are we going?" Renee asked, sitting in one of the shuttle's passenger seats as the craft left the garage.
"Somewhere quiet," he said softly, calmly, as he concentrated on piloting the craft. "Peaceful."
That was enough for Renee. She trusted him. After that, she simply sat back and watched as he manipulated the kinetic controls.
It was dark where they landed, save for the glow of the moon and stars. Catching a brief glance at the shuttle's display before Liam deactivated it, Renee was able to deduce their location somewhat; they were somewhere along the eastern coast of the U.S.
Liam got up and left the shuttle without so much as a glance in her direction. Renee followed his example and stepped out onto the high grass. She watched as her companion walked a good distance away from the shuttle and sat down on a large, flat rock. She had a hunch he'd been here before.
Renee herself took the opportunity to look around. They were on elevated ground, a high cliff overlooking the sea, which she could hear crashing against the rocks below. From her vantage point, Renee conceded that the place truly was quiet, isolated; only a few dots of light in the far distance gave any notion of habitation. The rest of the land was covered by the tall grass and the sporadic stands of trees. She was amazed, as she always was, by the amount of light given off by the stars and moon when ambient lighting wasn't a factor.
She stalled a few minutes more before going over to Liam, sitting down beside him on the rock, looking out over the dark water.
He didn't say anything for several long minutes, but finally sighed. "I know its clichéd, but my life isn't fair."
Renee looked over at him. He sat cross-legged, elbows resting on his knees, head held in his hands. "Tell me."
Liam groaned in frustration and stood up, pacing in slow, deliberate steps. "I don't know what I'm doing, Renee. Not anymore. I have no control, and I can't…." He faltered and came to a stop, hanging his head.
"Can't what?" she prodded. She was still seated on the rock, hugging her knees to her chest, watching him.
He let out a short, disdainful chortle and shook his head. "I can't take it anymore. The lies, the deceit…dependence…any of it." He paused, collecting himself.
"It's driving me insane," he continued matter-of-factly, looking at her, "And there's nothing I can do about it."
Renee sighed, not surprised by his revelation. "Look Liam," she began gently, "I know what you mean. Sometimes I feel like that, too. But you have to --"
His despondent chuckle caused her to pause. He looked at her hard, shaking his head. "You understand? You know nothing, Renee!" He began pacing again. "You had parents who loved you and helped to guide you through your childhood. Hell, you had a childhood! My sole surviving parent has no idea who I am, and he takes every opportunity available to destroy me." Renee just sat there, watching.
"I have been in this fight, quite literally, my entire life. I was born into it, and I was born because of it." He stopped and stared at the ground, his breathing somewhat laboured.
"Do you know what it's like," he said in a softer tone, "To know that one slip-up, one true word about your very existence, could mean your death? Or to know that your mentor, the one being that has attempted to help you figure out who you are, the very nature of your existence, has continually exploited and manipulated you whenever it was convenient? To know that he could very well end up being the one to expose you when it finally suits his agenda? Or the fact that you have and will continue to stand by and protect him, possibly at the cost of your own life, for reasons simply beyond your comprehension? Do you?" As he had been speaking, Liam's voice had gradually risen.
He dropped his voice once more as he looked at her, saying, "To have your closest friends betray you. At least once."
Renee knew that last one was, to a point, directed at her, although she could see in his eyes that he hadn't meant it to hurt her, but was merely stating fact. She didn't say anything, believing that wasn't what he wanted. She just let him continue.
He looked away, staring out at the water a hundred feet below. "I am supposed to be the destiny of mankind, a people who scare me on a daily basis. Hell, I'm not even one of them, not completely. My damn DNA isn't even pure," he sneered, mocking himself.
"I have to fulfill this destiny, and I don't even know if I'll live or be called to sacrifice myself for it. I am told that everything I do, everything that has happened…everything done to me, is all for my role in the future, all for the Great Plan. And nobody has the courtesy to tell me what the fucking plan is!" His voice had risen yet again, and he took a deep breath to calm himself.
Renee stood up and walked over to him, intent on wrapping her arms around her friend. No suck luck.
Liam jerked away from her - comfort was the last thing he wanted - and stormed to a mere meter from the edge of the cliff. He threw his clenched fists up into the air and, more to the rest of the world than to her, shouted:
"I am the freaking saviour of the human race, and the goddamned world is out to screw me!!!"
Renee bit her lower lip and hung her head as his words echoed through the night, her own turmoil at seeing her friend's pain was palpable. As she watched him, she saw that this last tirade had appeared to drain the fight from him. She walked over to him once again, placing a hand on his shoulder.
He turned towards her, and she embraced him, wanting to comfort him. Liam held on tightly for a few long moments, allowing himself this brief respite, before pulling away. He didn't want to forget, or feel better, at the moment; to him, that would be like admitting defeat. Renee offered him a sad smile, and he nodded once before turning back.
Nothing else was said; nothing else needed to be said. Both stood facing the black water, Renee with her arms folded across her chest, and Liam with his hands behind his back. Both contemplated their own thoughts, silently, in the dark.