A/n: I don't own, please don't sue.
I'd really like to blame research papers for the tardiness on this one, but I've been out for a couple of weeks. Truth is, Rush just gave me the hardest damned time of things, that little bugger. So a little bit later than intended (and probably promised), here's Rush!
1. Operas. He enjoys his iPod, yes, but sitting in a room listening to a small piece of metal does not compare to the opera going experience, with a full orchestra and high ceilings and plush chairs. He misses his tux, the champagne, getting to listen to Gloria play her violin. He had liked being the invisible one in their relationship during those events; he loved being able to watch her face light up doing what she truly loved. There had been no demands of him there, no equations to solve, no students whining about heir exams or their proofs; just him and his thoughts, just being able to watch his wife. It was the only place he really felt he had the right to brag, she had chosen him after all, some son of a shipyard worker, when she could have easily married anyone. Now, listening to Brody and Park debate something or other (he really wishes that they'd just shut up and go away) he wishes that he hadn't taken it for granted.
2. Books. He'd never had much patience for literature; he'd been on a scholarship and was therefore not really permitted to take classes outside his given field. Oh, but Gloria had loved them. All kinds of books, too. Back in their house they'd had an entire wall of books (used, old things, with cracked spines and worn covers) that she'd wanted to read before she died. She had read, every day when she'd been sick. She'd made it through ever book except one, and he carried it with him everywhere, ultimately unable to part with it. In the end, he had been too busy, trying to solve the secrets of the Stargate, too busy trying to be the genius who could solve the unsolvable to be with her when she'd left. Someday, he promised himself, he'd finish it.
3. Coffee. Not because of his caffeine problem (he refused to call it an addiction, but that was part of his problem being nice, that withdrawal) but because it was a good ice breaker. He'd never been very good at meeting people (shocker, there) or he'd never had time or they'd just been too arrogant for his liking. But when he'd made his way to Stargate Command, working with people had been a must. He and Mandy had bonded over coffee, and he'd had several enlightening conversations with the ever wonderful and quirky Samantha Carter as they sat in the mess and enjoyed a cup. Sometimes Doctor Jackson would join them, sometimes it was Rodney McKay (and he was much easier to deal with when they'd both had coffee and lots of it.) He felt disconnected from everyone without it. But then Lieutenant Johansen has a quip ready for his sluggish scientists (is she the only one not going through a withdrawal of some kind? Must be nice) and sends a little conspiratorial wink his way and suddenly, his chest feels a bit lighter and his day isn't so hard.
4. Chess. If coffee was his way of making friends (if one could call it that) chess had been way of making problems fit together. Everything seemed to be so much simpler when he was playing chess -- whatever answers were eluding him seemed to appear out of nowhere. His father -- God rest his soul -- had taught him to play when he'd been only four, told him that if a man were decent, had any sense of honor, then he played chess. The chess set he'd learned to play with had been in his family for at least a hundred years, all smooth wood and hand carved ivory pieces. He wishes it was here with him, not stuffed in some portable storage unit. He's resigned himself that it doesn't matter if he was one with him here (he's much too busy to play, after all) but then Lieutenant Scott sheepishly mentions over dinner (Chloe is there, too, and Lieutenant Johansen, because Chloe wants them all to get along) that he'd never learned to play, that his father had loved the game but died before he'd been able to teach his son how to play, and suddenly, almost before he knows what he's done, Nicholas finds himself carving little pieces out of wood. He tells himself that it's because he misses it, but deep down, he knows that Lieutenant Scott is as decent and honorable as they come, and he wants desperately to wave that white flag and prove (maybe to himself) that the young man is just lost, but deserves the happiness that he's found.
5. His Certainty. He'd been so sure, so certain of so many things in his life that he wasn't sure when he had stopped and started wondering. He'd been certain that he could make something of his life, that he was among the best and the brightest (which h had been, he'd just had to work like a dog to prove it.) He had been certain that he'd never love another woman besides his Gloria, and they'd be together for all time (which was still sort of true, he guessed.) He'd been certain that it was his destiny to unlock the secret o the Ninth Chevron (and then Eli had swooped in and done it for him.) He was certain that being on Destiny was his destiny and that was that. But then he'd been taken by the blue aliens after being left on plant by Young (he'd still managed to leave, somehow.) But then Riley had wound up in a near coma ( which he didn't have anything to do with but still agonized over.) But then Chloe had been stranded with lieutenant Scott and Eli on some planet, with no possibility of being rescued (just because they'd all been luck was no reason for him to forget that very frightening possibility.) But then Lieutenant Johansen was going to have to raise her baby on this ship, without her family (he knew it had to be hard on her, but he doubted she'd show it to anyone, even those she seemed to be friends with.) But then Camille had been stabbed with a screw driver (he knows Greer is just as shaken about that as Camille is, and can empathize with the young man.) Sitting at the control consol, still reeling in the aftermath of paranoid hallucinations brought on by a space tick, he suddenly doesn't feel so certain in dragging the poor, innocent people into his destiny.
Cripes, he was hard to do. I'm also not too surprised that I think he wound up being the longest. But there you have it folks and we are officially done! With this one. Because I decide to do a second batch. I'm working on Camille's now, and Vanessa James's as well (though I now need to totally overhaul it in light of 'Pain') and I think I'm going to also work on Riley. Any thoughts? And as always, reviews make me happy.