Title: I'm Here

Characters: Mark/Maddy, Jim

Rating: Teen

Disclaimers: I do not own anyone/anything from the forum Terra Nova. Fox owns Terra Nova and its characters. There is no copyright infringement intended. I do not make any profit/money or take any credit.

Summary: She couldn't let him be alone, not tonight

Timeline: Bylaw

A/N: I totally adored this, we got a better idea of Mark and I must say I was disappointed when I found out the killer, he was cute and I was hoping he would be around longer *pouts*. Anyway, this little bunny thought this up and demanded it to be written.

Oh – this is going to be part of a series titled 'Comfort'. They were originally going to be put under one title but due to some of the ideas being multi-chaptered, it was better to do them all separately.

I'm Here

Maddy Shannon huffed as she turned her in bed, staring up at the ceiling. She turned her head to look at the clock to see that only three minutes had passed since she looked. She looked back at the ceiling and sighed sadly.

Mark Reynolds.

He was the reason why she couldn't get much sleep now. She kept remembering that haunted lost look in his eyes. Those eyes that were normally bright blue from happiness were a dark grey colour. She bit her bottom lip as she tried to deal with her feelings.

He had lost a friend to murder. She couldn't quite wrap her head around that, especially since Foster died because he had been involved with a married woman. And the husband, who killed Foster, had been banished to the wildness with nothing but a gun to protect himself.

She understood that Taylor had a big decision to make and he didn't make it lightly, but that didn't ease the heaviness in her stomach. She sat up in her bed, wishing she could go and see Mark but she had a feeling he would be at the bar with his friends, mourning the loss.

Her ears pricked when she heard her father's voice before she looked at her clock again before frowning. He had been acting weird lately and she wanted to know if he knew how Mark was. She just needed to know that Mark was coping with the loss.

Climbing out of bed, she crossed the bedroom, opening the door and stepping in to see her father seeing off her brother, obviously allowing Josh to have the job at the bar after all.

"Dad," she walked over to him. Jim turned, smiling when he saw his daughter standing behind in dressed in a pair of red and white flannel pants and a red sleep top.

"Hey sweetie, I didn't wake you, did I?" he asked, concerned. She shook her head as she sighed, moving over to the counter.

"I couldn't sleep," she admitted. "I kept thinking about the banishment…and Mark." She ran a hand through her hair. "I understand where Mark is coming from, if it had been you or mom or Josh or, god forbids, Zoe. I'd want justice too but I…" she shook her head.

"Maddy," Jim reached over, taking her hands into his. She looked up at him. "I have a confession." Maddy's looked at him confused. "It turned out that Milner had lied about being the one to kill Foster. He thought it was his wife who killed Foster but it wasn't either of them."

"Who…who was it?" she whispered, her heart pounding in her chest. Jim winced. "Dad." He briefly grinned at the tone of her voice; it was similar to his wife when she wanted answers.

"It was Curran, another soldier. Apparently he owned a lot of money to Foster and he killed Foster to get out of the debt," he explained. Maddy stared at him before she tugged her hands out of his, running a hand through her hair.

"I need to go," she made her way over to bedroom, pulling on her boots and grabbing her jacket while Jim frowned, bewildered.

"Go? Go where?" he asked. Maddy sighed as she looked at her father.

"Do you trust me?" she asked.

"Maddy…" he drew out but she just stared at him and he sighed. "You know I trust you." Maddy nodded.

"I need you to take me to Mark's house." Jim stared at his daughter.


Mark sat on his couch in the dark, there was a tumbler glass filled with dark amber liquid sitting on the coffee table. He just stared at it, not sure where to go from here. He wasn't a big drinker, he didn't mind having a drink or two at the weekend but he didn't drink as much as his buddies did and he didn't gamble. He preferred to have his money.

He sighed, running his hands through his hair roughly before he stood up, unable to sit down. He had lost a good friend, believing he had been murdered because he had gotten involved with a married woman only to find out that another good friend of theirs, someone they trusted, had been the killer.

He didn't know what to believe in. He walked over to a wall and punched it, once, twice before he stopped, breathing raggedly as he rested his forehead against the wall, his hands clenched in tight fists by his side.

With a heavy sigh, he turned around, pressing his back against the wall and he slid down till he was sitting on the floor. He ran his unhurt hand through his hair, his eyes landing on the hurt hand. He could faintly see the cuts on his knuckles in the faint glow from the street lamps filtering through the windows.

There was a knock at the door and he ignored it, wanting whoever it was to go away. He didn't want to see anyone right now. The knocking persisted and he got up, stalking over to the door and flung it open, ready to shout at whomever it was at his door only to meet the stern gaze of Maddy Shannon.

"Maddy?" he asked, confused, feeling his anger fading at the sight of her. She was the one person who could calm him and it scared him sometimes.

"Mark," she greeted before she turned, waving. He looked up to see Jim Shannon was in the rover. He waved back, giving Mark a look of warning, before driving off.

"Where is he going? What are you doing here?" Mark asked, looking down at Maddy, who turned to face him. She was silent for a moment before she sighed.

"Dad told me." The words rocked Mark's world once more and he stumbled backward, wanting to get away from reality. Maddy followed him in, closing the door behind her before reaching over and switching on the light.

"Go home," he ordered her, not looking at her. Maddy scoffed as she moved in front of him, ducking her head so she could look into his eyes.

"Mark, you're may be courting me but you don't have the right to tell me what to do," she informed him.

"Maddy," he sighed; tilting his head back to stare at the ceiling, it was better than looking into those eyes of hers. Sometimes she just frustrated the hell out of him, especially when it came to her stubbornness.

The last time she had gotten stubborn, it led to them being held semi-hostage by Commander Taylor who had been affected by a virus leading to memory loss.

"No," she told him and he was startled to hear tears in her voice. He looked at her, his heart clenching when he saw tears in her eyes.

"Don't cry," he whispered, a hand reaching out to brush away a tear. She laughed, the heels of her hands wiping away her tears roughly before she glared at him.

"I'm crying for you, you idiot," she informed him without heat. "Dad told me that it was another soldier who…" she trailed off, her eyes darting to the side, unable to say the word 'murder'. She steeled herself, looking at Mark. "I thought you shouldn't be alone tonight."

"I'm fine," he told her, shortly, not really wanting to deal with the fact she was crying for him. Maddy scoffed, her eyes darting over to the coffee table where the alcohol sat.

"Yeah, I can see that," she told him, looking at him with a disbelieving glare and he flushed, stepping away from her.

"I don't need anything," he informed her. Maddy threw her hands out at her sides in frustration.

"And if it was me?" she demanded. He turned around to face her. "If it was me who lost someone, would you leave me alone?" Mark's lips parted and closed for a few moments before he sighed, bowing his head. If it had been her, he would have made sure she wouldn't have left his sight.

Maddy sighed as she moved closer, a hand on his arm and he looked at her. "Mark, you're always there when I need you. Tonight, just let me be there for you. You need me." Mark stared at her for a long moment before he sighed.

"I guess I should…since you came all the way over here in your pyjamas," he told her, a soft smirk curling his lips as he took in her appearance. She flushed, looking down at herself before she looked up at him, shrugging.

"You needed me; I just grabbed my boots and jacket. Then again, I was trying to get out of the house before dad could stop me," she admitted.

"Just how did you get him to drop you off here?" Mark asked, knowing that Jim was still warming up to him.

"I asked him if he trusted me," she told him simply, her hand sliding down to his wrist and her thumb rubbing over the back of his hand. Mark stared at her, not quite getting how that led to Jim driving her over to his house before he decided to give up. "Mark!" her cry startled him before he felt his hand being yanked up and he groaned inwardly. "You're hurt!"

"It's nothing," he tried to tug his hand out of her grip but she just tightened, her brown eyes sliding around him to see the hole in the wall before they made their way up to his. He lowered his eyes, ashamed and she sighed sadly before leading him into the kitchen.

"Where's the first aid kit?" she asked. He pointed to the sink with his good hand, sitting down at the table knowing that she wasn't going to let him go until she's cleaned him. She nodded, moving over and kneeling in front of the cupboard under the sink.

She stood up a few moments later with the green box and set it down on the table. She sat down across from him, taking his wounded his hand into hers, her other hand deftly opening the box and pulling out a wipe. "Did it help?" she asked, dabbing at the cuts with the wipe. He hissed as it stung.

"Did what help?" he asked. She looked at him before nudging her head in the direction of the wall.

"Punching the wall, did it help?" her eyes slid back down to his knuckles.

"…No," he admitted and she hummed, nodding as she pulled out the wrap. "I know it was stupid." Maddy shook her head.

"When you're angry, it's better to let it out than keep it in," she told him, carefully wrapping the bandage before she gave him a soft smile. "Dad told me that when I was angry a few years ago."

"You punched something?" he asked, not quite seeing his soft hearted girl hitting anything. She blushed.

"I…I threw a vase across the room," she admitted, taping the last part of the bandage. "There you go." She pressed a kiss to the back of his hand. "All done." Mark stared at the back of his hand before he looked at her.

"Why did you throw a vase across the room?" he asked.

"Oh no," she wagged her finger at him. "Tonight is about you, not me," she reminded him as she stood up, packing up the first aid box. Mark's hand curled around her wrist, stopping her movements.

"Maddy," he gently encouraged but she shook her head.

"No, Mark," she told him firmly. "Trust me it's not something you want to hear about tonight. Let's just get through tonight without you having the need to punch another wall." She tugged her wrist out of his grasp.

"You're stubborn," he informed her. Maddy grinned as she took the box.

"Tell me something I don't know. Beside, you can't talk," she reminded him, putting the box back into its place under the sink. Mark just felt an amused smile curl his lips. She could always make him feel better; it was one of the things he liked about her.

He came out of his thoughts when he felt a hand on his shoulder. He looked up to see she was standing next to him and he stood up before eying her jacket.

"Are you planning on staying tonight or is your dad coming back to pick you up?" Maddy flushed, removing her jacket and he took it from her.

"He's going by the hospital. Zoe is there with my mom waiting for an egg to hatch," she explained before she sighed. "I have a feeling we're going to have a pet by tonight."

"What kind?" he hung the jacket over the chair before leading her into the living room.

"Ankylosaurus," she told him as they both sat down on the couch. "Malcolm found one that was un-hatched and brought it back to the lab where they found it had a defect. Mom did surgery on it through the egg and they're waiting for it to hatch."

"Maddy, they can grow…" Mark started hesitantly and Maddy nodded, wide eyes.

"Really big?" she asked and nodded. "Yeah, I know. I think we'll probably keep it until we can find its mother, if we can."

"And if you can't?" he asked, settling back on the couch, waiting as she curled her legs underneath her as she rested her side against the couch. She bit her bottom lip.

"We can't keep it, it would cause havoc upon the colony…but at the same time, we wouldn't be able to let it go because it wouldn't be able to survive in the wild," she told him before she groaned, shrugging. "I'm sure we'll figure something out." He smirked as she bit her bottom lip again.

"I'm sure you will," he assured her. Maddy leaned forward, picking up the glass that held the alcohol, she had never tried any before but she was curious about it. But at the same, she wanted to see if Mark needed it tonight.

"So…what is this?" she held the glass close to her chest, peering at it curiously.

"Scotch," Mark told her. "Foster gave to me. It's was a favourite drink of his." Maddy nodded and he watched as she lifted the glass closer to her face and understood where she was going. "Maddy, you don't want to do that," he warned her. Maddy looked at him.

"Come on, how bad can it really be?" Maddy asked, swallowing some of the bitter liquid before her face scrunched up in disgust, her eyes watered and she coughed. Mark laughed as he took the glass away from her, placing it on the table as she covered her mouth. "God, that's disgusting!"

"It's an acquired taste," he told her. She just glared at him before groaning.

"I'll take your word for it," she informed him, grabbing the bottle of water and swallowing a few gulps just to wash the taste out of her mouth. "And I thought it was funny that Josh was sick after drinking the moonshine."

"What?" Mark looked at her, curious and she grinned.

"Remember the time he snuck OTG?" Mark nodded. "Apparently Skye and her friends were making moonshine. Josh drank some and spent the next day throwing up. He wasn't complaining about drinking the protein milk then." Mark shook his head, laughing.

"I'm betting you made sure he regretted it," Mark told her with a fond smile and she shrugged.

"He scared me so yeah, I made him pay, stupid idiot," she muttered the last part under her breath before she took a deep breath, steeling her nerves for the next conversation. "Dad told me Commander Taylor left him outside without a gun," Maddy told him, twisting her fingers together. "I…I don't want to sound like I'm defending the guy or anything…but…do you think he can…" she trailed off.

"He can survive it," Mark placed his hand over hers and she looked up at him. "We've been trained; we know what's safe to eat and how to hide." Maddy gave him a jerky nod before she shifted in, resting her head on his shoulder and sliding an arm over his stomach. Mark automatically slid his arm over her shoulder, watching her as she sighed.

He could smell the soft flowery shampoo she liked to use and it was a heady scent. He leaned in a little closer, letting it calm him down.

"Do…do you hate him?" she shifted her head to look up at him. Mark sighed.

"I don't know," he admitted. "He was a friend, Maddy. I trusted him to have my back when we went out on patrols. To find out he killed Foster…all because he owed him money? It just…" Maddy nodded.

"Do the guys gamble a lot?" Mark sighed, shrugging slightly.

"I guess," he mumbled.

"Mark," he looked down at her. "Do you gamble?" Mark stared at her before shaking her head.

"No, I was never into that scene. I actually like having money," he admitted and she nodded. "I did hang out with them when they would play cards every now and then but…maybe if I had paid more attention, I would have seen Curran…"

"Don't," she interrupted him, a hand on his cheek. "You can't do that to yourself. Curran could have come to one of you when he realised he was in debt but he didn't. He took what he thought was the easy way out instead of asking for help."

"I know that," he admitted. "But it doesn't stop me from thinking that." Maddy nodded, shifting her head down.

"I know you want to help everyone but someone people just can't be helped unless they ask for it. From what you told me, he seemed like a really nice guy, the same as Foster. I kinda wish I had gotten to know them." She looked up at him with an impish grin. "Think of all the blackmail material they could have told me."

Mark laughed, his hand drifting down to her side where he poked her gently, hitting in a ticklish spot and getting a squeal from the girl as she jerked further into his body to get away from his hand. "Mark!"

"There are no blackmail materials," he promised her. "If your brother and father can't give me anything to use against you, you can't get any to use against me." She giggled, her free hand going to interlock with Mark's, keeping him away from her ticklish spot.

"Fine," she mumbled into his chest. She smiled when she felt his chest vibrate with laugher, glad that she was getting parts of the old Mark back. This death would push him to become better at his job but he wouldn't let it get in the way of being who he was. "How do you feel?" she asked. He gave her a soft smile.

"Better now, thanks for coming," he told her and she gave him a bright smile, resting her head on his shoulder once more. He rested his head on hers, closing his eyes; feeling at peace for the first time since hearing his friend's death.

The End

And no Alicia, sorry to everyone who loved her in my other stories – don't worry, she'll be back (can't stay from her).

I might do a semi-sequel to why Maddy threw a vase. (I was originally going to put it in here but I wanted it to just to be focused on Maddy comforting Mark.)

Part of this was inspired by re-watching 'What Remains' when Mark tries to get Maddy to go back home only to tilt his head back when she refuses to do so.