His Weakness is My Own
by pari106@hotmail.com

http://www.geocities.com/pari106/damain.html

Disclaimer: not mine; Rating: PG-13; Summary: short; Lydecker's thoughts on Zack.

Author's Note: This begins in the episode… "Cold Comfort"? I didn't actually see that
one, so the one line of dialogue in this story is probably incorrect. But you get the idea. I
hope ;) Let me know what you think.



His Weakness is My Own
by pari106

"Still angry, Zack?" I ask.

I tell him he's always been full of anger, knowing the words will only make him
angrier…but telling him anyway. Because I know anger is his weakness. I know
because his weaknesses are my own.

He is so much like myself. I think that's why he hates me so much. He's hated me ever
since before he knew the word. And he doesn't know how to stop any more than he
knows how to stop being angry.

Neither do I.

I always hated him. Because he wasn't the perfect soldier I wanted him to be. And
because he was. Because he was me all over again…the so I never had and never
wanted. I hated him…because I loved him. Loved him like a son. And a soldier does
not love. Yet he loved those kids under his command like they were his family. He still
does.

And so do I.

And I hate him for that, too. It's easier that way…to blame the loving on him. I can do it
because it all started with him. It all began the day a stout little boy…nine pounds, two
ounces, twenty-two inches with a little tuft of blonde hair on the top of his head…burst
forth into my world without so much as a whimper. It's been downhill for me ever since.

But mostly I hate him because of Max.

Because she loves him. And I hate him because he's greedy. I would give my life to
have her look up at me with the same blind adoration that she'd given Zack all her life.
But that's not enough for him; he wants more. I can see it in the way he looks at her.
Hell…I can practically smell it on him. She loves him and she hates me and I would lay
down my life for hers, soldier or no… But to Zack that means nothing. He wants her to
be *in* love with him. Nothing else will suffice. And Max wants nothing more than to
please him, but she will not love him. Not like that. She can not. Because when she
looks at him…she sees me. And she hates me for it.

Almost as much as I hate myself. I hate myself because I know she's right. I know I
made Zack the man that he is. I'm both proud and ashamed of that fact. And I know I'm
the one who pushed him and Max together with how hard I was on the both of them as
children. If only I'd known that then. I know now that I am the reason Max became
dependent on Zack. And I will be the reason when everything goes wrong. Because Max
can't stop loving any more than Zack or I can stop hating. She can't stop needing her
"big brother". She'd be lost without him. And one day she *will* be lost; he will be
gone. He won't make it. I know he won't because that's what happens to weak soldiers.
They fail. They perish. They don't survive. And Zack is weak. Weak for Max. I
know…

Because his weakness is my own.