Title: Five times someone wished they had never heard about the Stargate project
Author: Shenandoah Risu
: SGU, Five Things, Friendship
Rating: Gen
Status: complete
Season/ Spoilers: Season 1/ up to "Sabotage"
Archive: please ask me first
Disclaimer: I don't own SGU. I wouldn't know what to do with it. Now, Young... Young I'd know what to do with... ;-)

Five times someone wished they had never heard about the Stargate project

Eli Wallace

"That's it. We're done."

Destiny had jumped into FTL travel mode and was leaving the galaxy. He had been afraid of this moment but now that it was here he was eerily calm. And empty. There was no panic, no fear, no despair, just an endless void that paralyzed him and blocked any other coherent thought. He sat down, staring blindly ahead.

And he wished he had never heard about the Stargate project.

He barely noticed helping Matt set up a camp, gathering firewood with Chloe and sharing their stunned silence. It was by sheer dumb luck that he looked at the Gate remote when Destiny's gate address reappeared just over a day later. He didn't register the frantic activity that followed, dialing the address, stepping through and arriving back on the Destiny, the confusing welcome and returning Rush's glasses.

Then suddenly he found himself enveloped in a fierce bear hug, and when he realized it was Greer he screamed like a little girl. Suddenly his world shifted, and everything seemed real again. They were back. Greer was there, too. Everything would be all right.

Ronald Greer

Greer hated small enclosed spaces. He had spent way too much time hidden in closets or locked in sheds, trapped by his father's wrath or trying to get away from it. He hated his old man his entire childhood, frustrated and angry at the constant outbursts, never understanding what he'd done to deserve it.

He knew too well what he'd done to be thrown into the brig at Icarus Base – slugging a colonel was a sure fire way to get a court martial. He would face the charges, he deserved it. But being stuck in the tiny concrete cell with no way out was getting to him. Utter screaming panic rose in his chest, he tried to calm himself, tried to stand still, tried to imagine he was somewhere else. To make matters worse the loud rumbles started, and Greer knew exactly what they were: the base was under attack, and he wasn't there to help defend it. He would die in this grey box.

And he wished he had never heard about the Stargate project.

Then he heard the key in the lock and Colonel Young opened the door. He explained the situation to him, handed him his gear and sent him on his way to his battle station.

"Yes, sir," he responded, and he'd never been happier to see anybody in his entire life. He might still die in the attack, but Young hadn't forgotten about him. He swore he would do all he could to repay the debt to his commanding officer. Duty-bound loyalty suddenly became something much bigger and intensely personal. It was another reason to fight. Another chance to live.

Everett Young

It was one crisis after another. That in and of itself wasn't that much of an issue – Young was a problem solver by nature; strategy and planning were some of his particularly well developed talents, but being stranded on the Destiny had brought him to the end of his rope – and far beyond. It was a frightening place to be, and he had seen himself become a man he could not respect. He'd watched himself fall apart with a curious detachment, and every so often it would all come crashing down on him and he was horrified at the things he had done, the things that had happened to the people under his command, his complete inability to do anything to alleviate the pain and suffering of the people he was sworn to protect. He was not used to not having a way out, to feeling helpless to the point of simply giving up.

And he wished he had never heard about the Stargate project.

"Hey," a soft voice interrupted his bleak thoughts. He looked up and saw TJ standing at the door, and his guilt over her finally made the tears well up in his eyes. She quickly touched the panel to close the door and sat down next to him, taking his hand.

"We'll be okay," she whispered and placed his hand on her belly. Just then the baby kicked and Young let out a sound between a laugh and a sob. She pulled him down into her lap and held him – held her whole little family, dysfunctional though as it might be.

And he fell asleep like that, and there were no nightmares.

Tamara Johansen

Her feelings about the father of her baby were conflicted at best, and even though she loved her unborn child more than she'd ever loved anything or anyone before she couldn't help but mourn the terrible life the little one would lead. She realized that her tremendous mood swings were partially to blame on the hormonal changes in her body, but it didn't help much, and as far as she knew nobody else on board shared her predicament.

She should be back on Earth, going to school and preparing for the birth, doing everything she could to ensure a trouble-free pregnancy. But instead, here she was, with no way out.

And she wished she had never heard about the Stargate project.

Looking up at a sudden noise she saw that Hunter Riley had fallen, barely hanging on to a bed. She rushed to his side, helping him up, but he waved her off, claiming he'd just had a dizzy spell, as he put it.

"Didn't I tell you to stay put for the rest of the day?" she scolded him gently.

"Yeah, I know." He had the good grace to look utterly contrite. "But you seemed like you needed a hug, and heaven knows I got nothing else to give for everything you do."

Pale and shaky as he was, TJ had to admit that he was a terrific hugger, even if she had to hold him upright half of the way. And her heart just went out to him, and to all her friends, and once again their need gave her purpose and strength to carry on.

Hunter Riley

He vaguely remembered the accident, being flung against the corridor wall in the explosion, Adam Brody's terrified scream in his ears on the suit comm. He lost track of time, on how long he was out, swimming up to consciousness for brief periods of time as if through a pool of molasses. And every time Riley came to there was pain – his head buzzed and throbbed as if it was about to blow up, his chest felt as if it was clamped into a vise and every breath hurt like he was stabbed with a thousand pitch forks.

As a kid Riley had almost been crushed by a tractor whose brakes had given out, and he well remembered the panic and the pain. It was nothing compared to what he felt now.

And he wished he had never heard about the Stargate project.

Occasionally he was aware of voices, monologues of what seemed to be foreign poetry, poorly written instruction manuals, scientific texts that he didn't comprehend and a truly awful bit of literature about a team of explorers and extreme wormholes, or something like that.

"… and then BOOM! POW! KABLOOIE! The whole frigging thing just blows up!"

Eli's voice.

"What?" he muttered groggily.

"Oh my god, you're awake. TJ, he's awake! Hey – somebody! Anybody!"

He opened his eyes and saw Eli leaning over him, eyes big as saucers.

"What blew up?"

Eli gestured wildly, indicating a massive catastrophe. "The Death Star! The missile hit the ventilation shaft, and – BOOM! What? You've never seen Star Wars?"

And Riley smiled, at that, and reached up with his hand, and Eli grabbed it, crying and laughing at the same time. "Welcome back, man! And thanks for making me the winner of the bet."

"What bet?"

"Oh, who would be on watch when you woke up."

Riley smiled. Perhaps this world of pain wasn't so bad after all.

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Note: This story was first published on the LJ Community sg1_five_things on June 21, 2010