Summary: Those last moments will haunt me forever. He died screaming my name… SLASH
Fandom: Aliens
Pairings: Hicks/Hudson, Vasquez/Drake implied
Warnings: Slash, bad language, canon character death, spoilers
Disclaimer: Oh, come on, you know the drill. Don't make me say it – it's too depressing…
Author's Note: This one came to me after watching Aliens for the millionth time last night. Being slash-obsessed as I am, Hudson's last words caught my attention. What can I say? Beware: OOC-ness ahead…

The remote sentries had brought us a little respite, but it wouldn't last long. I was so tired. No time to rest, though. I had to keep an eye on everyone else, plan ahead – damn, this leadership stuff is harder than it looks. When I was promoted to corporal, I didn't think I'd ever have to actually take charge. We've always had Apone to organise, and occasionally we had an officer who knew his arse from his elbow. I can't believe people actually volunteer for this shit. Then again, I believe this is the first time we've been stranded on some godforsaken rock with no air support, hardly any ammo, and most of the squad wiped out. I didn't think my first command would turn out like this – three marines left including myself, a synthetic, a Company man, two civilians, and a spineless officer barely out of the academy.

The little girl's been more use than Gorman. And as for the rest…I don't trust Burke as far as I could throw him. Ripley, capable though she is, is far too emotional. Vasquez is as pissed-off as I've ever seen her – and although that could be a good thing, I think she's more likely to kill Gorman than any of the aliens. Hudson is on the verge of freaking out completely. Bishop's off trying to get the second drop-ship down here.

You know something's wrong when the most useful and stable person in your command is a ten-year-old girl.

Well, if I couldn't get sleep, nicotine would do. I wandered around, searching for a place I could get a smoke without setting off the sprinklers. Led by a faint smell of smoke, I found a small room behind Ops. It seemed I wasn't the only one in desperate need of a cigarette. Hudson was leaning against a wall, staring at nothing, cigarette held loosely in one hand.

"You okay, man?" I said. He seemed to snap out of whatever trance he'd been in.
"What? Oh…yeah. I'm okay."
"You don't look okay." He seemed to give up on even pretending to be in control.
"It's just…" He was shaking now, tough front crumbling. "I don't want to die," he admitted.
"We're not going to die," I lied, "We've just need to hold out a little longer; then Bishop can bring the drop-ship down."

I could tell he didn't believe me.

I don't know why I always end up dealing with everyone's problems. I never intended it to be like this, it just sort of happened. Cigarette break momentarily forgotten, I leant against the wall next to him. It was weird seeing him so freaked-out. Ever since I joined, he was the one cracking jokes when everyone else was stressed, and generally enjoying himself far too much. He was the one who'd taken me out to get drunk when I was promoted to corporal (Which was worth it, although being yelled at by Apone while hung over is not an experience I'd care to repeat. Something about being a disgrace to the Corps - I nearly got demoted again on the spot)

"Four more weeks," he moaned, "I was this close to getting out completely."
"We're not dead yet."
"Hard to tell," he muttered, "Maybe this is Hell."
"If it is, then the worst is over," I shrugged."I'm trying to be depressed here, and you're making it pretty damn difficult."
"Good." He just scowled, and stubbed his cigarette out against the wall. Then he sighed.

"We fucked this one up big time, didn't we?"
"True."
"We probably don't have long left,"
"It's likely."
"I don't want to die like this."
"Too bad."

He laughed bitterly and ran a hand through his hair. Although I'd never admit it, the hopelessness of our situation was getting to me too. This was the first time I'd ever been certain we weren't going to make it. It was frightening, but at the same time liberating. When death is imminent, everything else is put into perspective. You do things you wouldn't do under normal circumstances, because you know you won't have to deal with the consequences.

He kissed me. And because it seemed like a good idea at the time, I kissed him back.

There was no bed available, no time for gentleness or reassurances. Just rough, desperate sex against a wall; soft moans and stifled cries. When there's so much death around you, sometimes you need to lose yourself in feeling to know you're still alive, because if you start actually thinking you won't be able to cope.

At the time, I didn't think I'd regret it. Frankly, I didn't think I'd live long enough to regret anything. But now…those last moments will haunt me forever. He died screaming my name. I didn't expect it to hurt this much – if I'd known, I think I would have been kinder to Vasquez when we lost Drake. But it's too late for that now. We always talked about what we'd do when we finished our term of service, and we accepted that we might lose a few people along the way. But I never thought for a second that I would be the only one to survive.

Death would be better than this horrible, gnawing guilt.