Title: Five things TJ and Young said to each other after Carmen's death
Author: Shenandoah Risu
Content Flags: canon character deaths
Spoilers: early Season 2
Characters: Tamara Johansen, Everett Young
Word Count: 735
Summary: A moment of understanding flows between them.
Author's Notes: Written for prompt set #116 at the LJ Comm sg1_five_things.
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. ;-)
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Five things TJ and Young said to each other after Carmen's death
His first thought is of her, as he steps through the gate back onto the Destiny. He greets his crew, relieved to see them, then turns towards the infirmary. When Scott calls him back his heart sinks and he already knows what has happened.
The way to the infirmary has never seemed so long, his feet never this heavy. He fights for every step. He's faced death in so many ways, seen so much heartbreak, but he has never known the utterly devastating pain of losing a child.
She's quiet, as she lies there, covered with a blanket. He reaches for her hand. She closes her eyes and turns her face away from him.
He searches for words but his mind is as empty as the rest of his world. And so he just holds her hand for a long time, and he says nothing.
She can't stand lying in bed anymore, can't stand the hushed conversations, the uncomfortable silences, the helpless looks, because what in the world do you say to someone whose child was shot and killed in utero?
She doesn't know either, doesn't know what to say to herself, how to deal with herself. She gets out of bed, rejecting Camile's gentle worries, and she makes her way down the hallways, drawn by a sudden inexplicable urge, all the way to the observation lounge.
The ship drops out of FTL – and there it is: the same nebula she saw on the new planet, the one that appeared when her daughter was spirited away by forces she cannot comprehend.
And under her tears, she smiles.
She notices him, out of the corner of her eye, his longing gaze, his ache for an answer. But her tears feel too good, and so she says nothing.
He joins her as she leaves the crashed shuttle. She looks at him, and he sees it all in her eyes: her contempt for what he did, her admiration for what he had to do. She's conflicted about it, he knows, but he did it for her as much as he did it for Riley. He helped end the life that wanted to be over because he couldn't help the life that never had a chance.
He wants to tell her everything, wants to confess, wants absolution. He killed a man who was like a son to him.
A moment of understanding flows between them and her features soften, as she nods, tears in her eyes.
He knows he's been forgiven. He walks away, and he says nothing.
She keeps busy, day after day. He comes to see her, bringing awkward silences with him but she knows it's his way of saying that he cares. He seems to think that she's coping better than she really does. She tries to get him to talk but he shuts her out, unwilling to add his pain to hers.
He's trying to move on, but she sees the wounded animal crawling off into a hole to either die or get better. She notices his slouched posture, his constant distraction, his lack of attention to his appearance.
She gets smashed a few times but she can't afford not being at the top of her game – people depend on her care every day. He starts to drink heavily, and she doesn't know what to do, how to confront him, how to fix him and make him better – or herself, for that matter.
She pulls herself back from the brink as she watches him get ever closer to the edge. She will have to act soon, but for now she says nothing.
She's finally putting the baby shower gifts away as he enters her room. He's cleaned up, is back on track, is making an effort to do his job again, and do it well.
She gives him a sad smile as she holds up the mobile Lisa tinkered up, and the tiny jumper Chloe stitched together. He picks up the red truck Riley made and suddenly they are holding each other, crying, the toy between them.
They pull apart a long time later. She sniffles and wipes her nose and he runs his sleeve over his eyes.
They put everything into a small crate, labeling it "For Destiny's Second Baby".
They close the lid, and they say nothing.