A/N: My response to Penelope the Perky Penguin's challenge. My word count goes a little over. I've had this idea bouncing around for a while and the challenge gave me the push to put it down on paper. War at Home is written and performed by Josh Groban.

War at Home

Fallen brother he's a fallen husband
He's about to be woken in his hospital bed
He doesn't want to rest
He just wants to run
And he's tired of being told that he's the lucky one

Evan blinked as the harsh lights of the infirmary stung his bleary eyes. He felt every bone and muscle in his body protested with the slightest movement. It was going to be a long recovery, both emotionally and physically. The physical scars may heal but the emotional ones would never fully heal. He wanted to throttle the visitors who said he was lucky to be alive. Lucky was the last thing the Major felt. Too many good people had lost their lives in the culling. Every time Lorne closed his eyes, he could see the Wraith drain the life from the members of his team while he lay on the ground helpless and unable to move. His head moved slightly to watch the light bounce off the platinum band on his finger. Evan wanted out of the prison that was his bed and he wanted it now as the feeling to avenge all the fallen burned his gut.

Caped crusader she's newborn leader
But you should see her when her daughter's on the phone
And she wipes the tears away
And she laces up because there's still hell to pay
And it sure feels like hell today

Jennifer watched as her husband struggled in his bed. They had underestimated the severity of the attack and the casualties quickly piled up, leaving her the de facto leader of the base and making decisions that she never imagined that she would have to make. The physician even surprised herself with how natural it felt to step up to the leadership role. It had been three months since the attack and she still jumped at any loud sound. Her only salvation is visiting her husband daily and getting to talk to their daughter every other day when they check in with the SGC. The five year old had been sent to Earth when they realized they would not be able to fight the Wraith off before they got to the city. It made the mother cry every time the child talked about how much fun she was having with her Uncle Rodney and Cousin Chrissy. The innocent child had no idea of the suffering going on or that her uncle and cousin were not of this universe and how they were the only survivors of an attack very much like the one they had survived.

And she says
You see these hands they're bruised and brown
They're yours alone
Hold on love we're still going down
Hold on love we're still fighting at home
The war at home

"Hey," Jennifer reached out for Evan's hands. The scars where still visible, but slowly fading each day.

"Hey, yourself," the man managed a slight smile. Evan wished he could be a better husband and father instead of being in this bed almost twenty-four hours a day. He gave Jennifer's hands the strongest squeeze his weakened hands would allow. "How's our little princess?" the father wanted nothing more than to hug his daughter, but he knew it was best to have her on Earth as Atlantis was rebuilt.

Sadness filled Jennifer's eyes, "She is enjoying her vacation with Rodney and Chrissy." She knew both of them wanted nothing more than to hold their daughter, but knew that the child was safe and that was the only thing that mattered.

He always felt a pang of jealousy when Jennifer mentioned Rodney. The one their daughter with was not the one originally from this universe, no one knew what happened to the original and when this Rodney showed up almost three years ago he took over the original's job. It never sat right with him that he had formed a friendship with Jennifer especially since this Rodney had lost his Jennifer in the attack that bought him and his daughter to their world. "Those two must be giving Rodney a run for his money?" Evan tried to smile. Since day one, the two girls were inseparable.

Jennifer laughed, "Making him do all the girly stuff. Steph and Chrissy are catching up for lost time. They've missed each other. Knowing that she is happy is the only thing that makes this bearable." Her eyes glistened with tears as she kissed her husband's hand. "I miss her so much."

"Me too," his heart ached to see his daughter. Evan did not get to talk to her as much as his wife and he would give anything to hear her voice at this moment.

Innocence behind his broken expression
He's a child of mercy he's our unlearned lesson
And he's trying to wake up
From this wilderness his world has now become
He's reaching out to those he's running from

Rodney watched as the two young girls took turns pushing each other on the swings. The unshed tears stayed hidden at the corner of his eyes as the girls laughed, having not a care in the world. Neither would know the suffering on the worlds they came from. He wished he could know the innocence the children felt, but he had seen too much to ever feel that way again. When he came to this world he had hoped to save it from the same fate that his Atlantis family met, but his words fell on deaf ears. An unlearned lesson.


"Uncle Rodney."

The man was yanked from his dark thoughts by the two children. His lips crept to a half smile as he looked at the pair of smiling faces in front of him. "What is it?"

"Tag. You're it!" The girls said in unison as they tapped his knees and ran from him.

And he says
You see these hands they're bruised and brown
They're yours alone
Hold on love we're still going down
Hold on love we're still fighting at home
The war at home

"Get back here. Both of you," he laughed as he tried to run after them, but his stiff knee kept Rodney from moving too fast. The slow man stopped and put his hands over his eyes and shivered as he felt the cool metal of his wedding band on his face. Rodney looked at his hands and saw the blood and bruises he had when he first came to this world. The blood belonged to his wife from when she died in his arms. A memory that would haunt him forever.

Rodney did not see the children coming and they both tackled to him to the ground, laughing as only two mischievous children could.

"That is not how you play tag, Daddy," Chrissy sat on her father's chest.

"We weren't playing hide and seek, Uncle Rodney," Stephanie had herself planted on his stomach.

It was true that laughter was the best medicine. "Oh, I'm sorry. I got the two confused," he joined in the laughter. There were days where Rodney wished he had perished with everyone else, but it only took a hug from Chrissy to realize why he was still here. It was a constant battle he faced alone...one he chose to fight alone.

And it's one step forward and two steps back
This is all who are marching
one step forward two steps back
This is young and old
one step forward two steps back
Through the void of silence
You are not alone

"You're being silly, Daddy," Chrissy stuck her tongue at her father.

"When can I talk to Mommy again? Will I be able to talk to Daddy this time?" Stephanie frowned.

"We are going today. I don't know if you can. It depends on how he is feeling. I know you miss them, Steph," Rodney did not want to make any promises of when she would be able to see her parents again.

You see these hands their million strong
They are yours now
Hold on love we're all going down

Rodney had a hand on each of the girls' shoulder as Stephanie talked to her parents.

"I miss you, Daddy. Are you okay? Why can't I talk to you every time I talk to Mommy?" Stephanie looked up at her uncle and shrugged his hand off her shoulder so she could hold the man's hand.

"I'm okay, Steph. I miss you too," Evan's heart was breaking and soaring at the same time. "Are you behaving?" He tried to hide the pain in his voice.

"Of course I am. You know I'm always a good girl. When can I see you and Mommy?"

The male Lorne gripped the female Lorne's hand, holding back the tears, "Hopefully soon. I love you, baby girl. Don't forget that."

"I love you and Mommy too. You take care of Mommy, okay," Stephanie urged her father.

"I will," Evan gave his wife a sad smile, a few tears spilled fort. There had to be and easier way to do this. They may have won the battle, but the war was far from over.