This takes place during and after the finale after Tom has gone to find Weaver. Just a little Hal/Ben piece – waiting, wondering… Apologies for any errors – put it down to dramatic licence!
As ever, I don't own any characters you recognise – I just get them out to play with now and again, when the aliens don't want them.
As the night dragged on, the silence was deafening. There were no sounds of children getting ready for bed – parents reading stories or saying prayers. There were no quiet conversations happening in any of the rooms…nothing. The children had gone, along with most of the adults – gone to the rendezvous point to wait for the rest of the 2nd Mass to join them after the assault on the ship over Boston. But until such time that they could leave the school to join them there was just the dark and the silence to keep them company.
Hal sat on the cold, concrete steps of the school, just as he had for the last few hours, relishing the all encompassing darkness that the night-time brought him. He was worried – hell he was beyond worried! His dad had set off hours ago, but hadn't returned yet. He didn't know whether he expected to see his father return that night, but even so, he nervously checked his watch every few minutes, thankful that the backlight was still working.
Suddenly, he felt a presence behind him. He automatically tensed, ready to spring into action at any moment. He was quite surprised when a cup appeared in front of his face, closely followed by his younger brother, who sat himself down next to Hal on the step.
"Figured you could use a drink seeing as you haven't been inside since dad left," Ben explained as he handed Hal a cup of steaming coffee.
Hal accepted the drink gratefully, wrapping his hands around it to ward off the night chill, "Thanks."
They sat for a while, quiet, listening to the new sounds that the night now brought, "Do you think Matt's alright?" Ben asked his older brother anxiously, "I hate to think of him out there somewhere, on his own…"
"I know, but he's not on his own, he's got everyone else there with him…"
"But he hasn't got his family – we've never been apart like this before."
"Well actually we have…when you were gone…" Hal stopped himself before he said too much, "Besides, we've never been under attack by aliens before – it's not something that happens every day…at least it didn't…"
Ben felt a smile tug at his lips, as he thought about how they used to perceive aliens – before they knew the truth. He absentmindedly began to stroke the back of his neck where one of the spikes was, "I'm sorry Ben – I didn't mean anything…it's just…" Hal was at a loss.
"It's ok Hal – I understand what you mean," Ben replied.
Hal sighed deeply and looked at his watch for what was most likely the hundredth time that night.
Suddenly he felt his brother tense next to him. When he glanced towards him he could see Ben rubbing his forehead. Even in the dull light of a few candles placed around the school, Hal could see the lines of pain on Ben's face, "You ok?" He asked with concern.
Ben nodded, but continued to massage his head, "Yeah, it just seems to flare up now and again…it'll pass. I think they are feeling vulnerable so they keep sending signals…think I might be picking them up…"
"God…" Hal felt, well he wasn't sure how he felt – scared, angry, helpless, anxious for his brother…all of the above! He didn't know what he could do for Ben, "Do you want some of this?" He asked his younger brother, offering his cup.
Ben took the cup from Hal and took a small sip. Nothing had tasted the same since he'd been taken, but he drank it anyway.
He noticed Hal glancing at his watch – again, "Do you think he'll be back tonight?"
"I don't know…I mean I made it back in a few hours so…" He trailed off leaving the sentence hanging.
They sat in silence, yet again as they both contemplated if and when their dad would come back to them.
Presently, a new sound met their sensitive hearing – a car engine. Coffee forgotten, both boys jumped to their feet and began making their way across the once green grass, towards the source of the noise. Soon after, the car that Tom had taken to find Weaver pulled to a stop – the aforementioned Captain tumbling out of the door, followed by an obviously injured Pope, "Ben go get Dr Glass, quickly!" Weaver barked.
Ben didn't argue. He recognised the urgency in Weavers voice and took off in a sprint towards the school.
The older man glanced quickly at Hal, the younger man feeling a shiver down his spine at the expression that crossed the Captain's face, "Sir?" He queried, his stomach tightening.
"Help me with the injured Hal," was all the man in charge said.
Hal dashed to the car to help, but found himself searching frantically for any sign of his father…there was none.
About twenty minutes later, the injured had been made comfortable in the clinic. Fortunately, there hadn't been any life threatening injuries, but that was small comfort to the two young men stood waiting by the desk – waiting and worrying about the fact that their father hadn't returned with the others.
Hal stood watching the doctor and the Captain making their rounds, stopping by each bed as they did so, "Why hasn't he said anything?" Ben asked.
Hal shrugged his shoulders, but Ben wasn't so easily put off, "You don't think…"
Hal swung round to face his brother, "No! I don't! Don't jump to conclusions…"
His anger dissipated slightly when he saw the look of raw anxiety on his already fragile brother, "I'm sure there's an explanation…"
"Boys, I need a work…" sounded out from behind them. It was only five words – but their stomachs dropped nonetheless.
Captain Weaver made his way back to the command centre, followed by Hal and Ben, not having the slightest idea of how to tell the two young men what happened to their father.
He opened the door for them, letting them in before him. He closed it behind himself, making sure that they wouldn't be disturbed.
"Boys, there is no easy way to say this…your father didn't make it back."
He watched as Hal, momentarily, gasped his surprise, and then began to nod his head as if he accepted it. Ben, on the other hand, was slowly shaking his head, "No, no, this doesn't make sense…Dad was only going to bring you back – he said so…he said so…"
Weaver looked down at his hands, "I'm sorry to say he left with them…"
"What?" Came the harmonious cry.
"What happened?" Hal demanded.
The older man looked hard at the two boys – both so different, yet totally together at this confusing time. Ben sat with his head in his hands, while Hal stood by his brothers' side with a hand on his shoulder to provide some sort of comfort to the younger boy.
"We were on our way back when we came across some sort of ship – we had to stop, we couldn't get around it – there was a skitter and one of those larger aliens …then Karen appeared in front of us…"
Hal felt his jaw drop, "Karen – Karen was there?"
"They must've known that dad knew her…" Ben mumbled, as if thinking aloud.
Weaver could see that the boys were trying to sort out in their heads what he was telling them, "Karen said…I couldn't hear her very well but…" Weaver stuttered.
Ben's head shot up, "She said something about me – didn't she?"
Hal looked from his brother to Weaver, who suddenly looked exhausted, "Captain?" he enquired.
Weaver dropped his gaze, "I heard her mention your name Ben, but I don't know what she said – I went up to your father to try to talk some sense into him, but he said that he couldn't risk losing you again," Weaver swallowed hard, "Then Karen held out her hand and he left with her…"
The silence that fell between the three people in that room was palpable. For what seemed like hours, yet were only minutes, no-one spoke, until,
"Of all the stupid, idiotic, selfish…" Hal spluttered, clearly angry, "If I'd done anything like that he'd tear me a new one! Hell he nearly did when I wanted to wear the harness so I could get Ben!"
Hal was pacing now, his anger mixing with fear and anxiety over what would happen next.
"It's all my fault…" Ben whispered.
"How can it be your fault son?" Weaver asked, clearly concerned about the two young men in front of him.
"If I hadn't got caught in the first place…" Ben began, breaking off when he felt the pounding in his head return. He dropped his head back into his hands, massaging as he did so. Hal immediately abandoned his pacing and strode over to his brother, crouching down in front of him, "Ben?"
He grimaced when he saw the pained look on his little brothers' face, "They're on the move."
Hal nodded his understanding. Weaver excused himself as he needed to round up what bit of an army he could.
Hal gave Ben a pat on the knee as he got up and resumed pacing, "Hal," a whisper broke into his thoughts, "What are we going to tell Matt?"
Hal sighed, running a hand through his tangled hair, "We'll tell him the truth – that dad has gone for a while, but he's coming back…I'll make sure of that!"
After writing this, I'm wondering if Tom's story will pan out a little like the Trojan horse story and once he gets into the ship he manages to destroy it from the inside out and rescue Karen (ok that's kind of like the opposite of the Trojan horse story, but you get what I mean!)