Summary: "He also left me an unborn son to whom he bequeathed what remained in the box after the nightmares fled. Hope."

Author's Note: Written for Round 1 of TSCC Last Author Standing and is now a part of my Big Damn Table of prompts that I will fill up one of these days. I tend to write more Stargate SG-1 fanfiction than anything else, so this will definitely take awhile.


It's raining. Sheets of water cascade down the glass, distorting the image of John's face as he stares out the window. I know what he's thinking. He hates the life he has to lead, the fear, the blood and the deaths… all of it. It's hard for him, but he really doesn't have a choice. He will be the leader of the resistance all too soon. It's a destiny that I'm determined to see happen. I can't bear to think of the alternative - his premature death.

"I can't do this anymore," he says, his gaze fixed on something in the darkness. I wait for him to explain, knowing deep down that I really don't have the words he needs to hear right now. All I have is my determination that he live. Words of sympathy just won't come to me.

"I want a regular life," he says. "I want to be free." He turns to me, his expression filled with grief and fatigue. "I just… I can't do this anymore."

"John. I know it's hard, but I also know that you don't have a choice..."

"A choice," he says as he turns to look at me. Anger has replaced his grief, which is good as far as I'm concerned. Anger keeps him on his toes. He glares at me for a moment, obviously trying to find the right words that will express his thoughts to me. I stand there waiting, knowing what he wants to say. We both know that we've heard it all before, but we also know that fate can't be denied.

I just wish things could be different for us.

"There is no fate but what we make for ourselves," John says, his eyes daring me to contradict him. I stand there stunned, remembering that night so long ago... the night his father saved my life. Kyle made me memorize those words, forcing me to understand that we need to keep fighting, to stay alive long enough to win the war against the machines. But there are times when I truly believe he was wrong about the future not being set. Every time we think we have the machines on the run, something else comes along.

"I have a choice mom," he says with a note of desperation in his voice. "I could walk away from all this."

"John."

"I hate this," he shouts, obviously knowing that we will never agree on this subject. It seems hopeless, even to me. But I have no choice if I am to protect him. He has to be willing to fight.

But he isn't interested in arguing anymore. He throws down the piece of paper he is holding and stalks off, leaving me with a sense of failure. There are so many things I want for my son, so many things I want to tell him. It's hard, but I know he won't understand, and that scares me.

Rain pelts against the window in the silence I am left in. Memories of Kyle swirl through my mind as I stare out into the darkness. It's been so long, but I still remember my love for him, just as I remember those words of courage and determination. There is no fate…

I notice my own reflection in the glass, the sad smile along with the cynical look in my eyes. Kyle left me with a legacy, an unborn son, and I owe it to both of them to keep the legacy alive. They believe in hope. Maybe one day I will too.