Title: We Hold Onto Hope or We Fall
Characters: Maddy, Alicia, Jim, Mark, Elisabeth, Josh, Zoe, Taylor with Maddy/Mark
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: Maddy is just tired, so tired…and she needs to get away before she suffocates. Someone is there to lend an ear.
Timeline: In between Bylaw and Nightfall. Brief spoilers for both Bylaw & Nightfall (not too much for last one)
A/N: November Prompt - Crystalkei – who wanted angst. It was originally going to go off in a different direction but then this idea came and I felt it worked out better.
Warning: ANGST! This is a lot more angsty than 'Hold Me' so I'm hoping this will keep Crystalkei happy.
This is part of my 'Comfort' Series (The reason why they're not under one title).
Chapter 1: Tired
Maddy Shannon sighed from where she sitting on the edge of the cliff, overlooking the ocean before her. Her legs was pulled up to her chest, her arms wrapped around them as she rested her chin on her right knee, tears continuing to trickle down her cheeks.
She didn't think her heart could take much more of this. She was just tired, so tired. Terra Nova was supposed to be a fresh start but it felt like everything they were supposed to leave in the future had made its way through the fracture, following them.
She tilted her head back, allowing the rain to hide her tears, just allowing the clean rain to try and cleanse her. She knew it wouldn't help but it didn't hurt to try, to pretend that the rain could wash everything away and give her something new to look forward to.
She dropped her head back down, brown eyes looking at the Pteranodon flying above the ocean. They would occasionally call to each other before they darted back into the forest, leaving her alone.
She brought her head down, resting her forehead on her knees, biting her bottom lip as she tried to control her sobs. She had cried too much but it felt as if there was a never-ending wave inside of her, just waiting to break through.
"Maddy," she heard a familiar voice break into her thoughts and she lifted her, turning to face the person. As she did, she thought back to how she got to this situation in the first place.
There was a knock at the door, startling the three members of the Shannon family. Josh frowned as he looked at the clock to see it was close to 6pm before he got up from his place on the couch.
Maddy and Zoe slowly followed him as he opened the door. Maddy recognised the soldier instantly, as he had been the one who had originally been arranged to look after them during the attack of Malcolmus Pterosauri, until Mark had switched the duty with him, saying there had been a mix-up.
"…Jenkins, right?" Josh asked, unsurely. Jenkins nodded.
"Yes, I am here to inform you that your parents are currently stuck in Outpost 4 at the moment. There is a situation and they are unable to leave," he told them. Josh's hand tightened on the handle as Maddy felt Zoe's hands clung to the bottom of her dress.
"When you say situation…" Josh started, his voice low and Jenkins sighed.
"They are in danger. Commander Taylor is taking some of the men with him to get your parents back, your father assures us that he and your mother are alright," Jenkins told them.
"What about the others?" Maddy spoke up and Josh turned around, startled while Jenkins looked at her. "I know my parents didn't go out there alone," she looked at Jenkins with a knowing look and he nodded.
"Some of them are badly hurt," he admitted before his radio squawked. "I have to go. Someone will be along to update you on your family." He took a step back to answer the radio before walking off quickly.
Josh sighed as he closed the door, resting his forehead against the cool metal.
"Will mommy and daddy be alright?" Zoe spoke up from beside her sister. Maddy gave her a smile as she knelt down, her hands on Zoe's shoulders.
"Mommy and daddy will be just fine," she assured her. Zoe eyed her critically for a moment then nodded; walking over to the table she could finish colouring.
"Yeah, they'll be fine," Josh muttered and Maddy turned around to glare at her brother.
"Josh, I'm trying to stop her from being scared," she hissed at her brother and he looked at her with an incredulous look.
"Maddy, our parents are in danger, again," he pointed out and Maddy scoffed, crossing her arms as she felt her grip on her temper slowly loosening. It didn't help that she feared for her parents and Josh's attitude wasn't helping.
"You were in danger once and our parents had to go out and save you and your friends," Maddy informed her brother in a scathing tone. Josh's eyes widen at her tone. "It's their jobs. We may not like it but they were bound to be in danger at one point or another. It's not their fault."
Josh stepped forward when he heard her voice break as she tried to hold on to her tears.
"Maddy," he held out a hand but Maddy brushed it off.
"I'm fine. We just need to stay calm for Zoe," she told him. Josh stared at her for a moment longer then he nodded, looking over at the youngest member and giving her a bright smile. Zoe just watched the two of them with dark eyes then gave Josh a smile.
Maddy watched as Josh moved over to Zoe's side, kneeling down so he could help her with the colouring in. She bit her bottom lip, trying to stop the tears from escaping. She was beginning to feel like she suffocating and she wasn't sure if she would be able to keep herself calm.
She longed to go into the bedroom, to pull the covers over her head and cry like everything inside of her screamed to do but she couldn't. She needed to stay calm for Zoe and she needed to keep up the pretence that everything was going to be just fine, that their parents were going to come home to them in one piece.
But each time, it was getting harder to keep up the façade and she wasn't sure how much strength she had left to lie to everyone. She had to remind herself that it was for Zoe; Zoe is what matters but sometimes, that little voice slips up and tells her she needs to scream before she breaks.
She's never like to think herself as fragile, not after everything but she doesn't think she is unbreakable tonight. They had only buried a soldier, a friend of Mark, not that long ago after losing him to murder. She didn't think she could take if they had lost anyone else, that they had to bury someone else so soon
Frustration building up inside of her, she decides to pace, needing to move, anything to stop her mind from overthinking but if anything, it made everything worse. She could hear the clicks of the pens as they were pressed against the papers, the scribbles as they coloured in.
She could feel her heart thumping in her chest, her lungs clenching to the point she thinks she might pass out from the lack of air she must be getting. Her hands goes to her hair, running through the dark strands and she can feel them shaking.
She nibbles her lower lip, twisting her fingers together to stop her hands from shaking, her breaths start to come out a little jerky and she knows she is slowly losing it. If she doesn't get news that her parents are alive and well soon or if she doesn't get out of her brother and sister's hearings, she was going to scream and cry.
The urge to grab something and just throw it was overwhelming that she was beginning to scare herself. She cannot show violence, she was not a violent person by nature so the temptation was deeply unsettling.
She took in a deep breath, closing her eyes as she willed herself to calm down. She spared a look over at her siblings to see Zoe was looking at her with concern. Maddy forces herself to give Zoe a small reassuring smile. Zoe seemed to believe it, turning back to her drawing.
Maddy felt the smile fade from her face despite trying her hardest to keep it up. It was her job to stay positive, to stay hopeful and upbeat, and to be the one that everyone turned to when they needed to be assured that everything was going to be alright.
That Maddy was slowly slipping away, like sand slipped through fingers.
Maddy came out of her thoughts, looking up when she saw Josh standing up, his face twisting into a scowl as he headed into his bedroom.
Alarm and annoyance raced through her. Was he really going to do what she thought he would? Was he really going to leave them again? She was beginning to be tired of the one who everyone turned to when they needed someone to look after Zoe.
Zoe wasn't just her sister, she was Josh's sister. She was Jim and Elisabeth's daughter. Surely one of them could at least make the effort to stay behind for once?
"What are you doing?" Maddy quickly crossed the space between the kitchen counter and Josh's bedroom.
"I'm going out," Josh grabbed his jacket. Maddy was already shaking her head.
"No," Maddy stood in front of him and he stared at his sister, confused.
"What? Move out of the way, Maddy," he ordered but she shook her head.
"No, every time mom or dad is in danger, you always go out for a walk. Well, not this time. You can stay here and look after Zoe," she told him, grabbing her own jacket from the pegs next to the door. "I'm going to for a walk. Just…stay here with Zoe for once."
Josh watched as Maddy pulled on her jacket, opening the door and stepping out into the pouring rain. He opened his mouth to say something but she closed the door before he had the chance.
Maddy tighten the jacket around her before she started walking. She didn't have a destination in mind but she just needed to get away. She felt like she was being suffocated and she hated it.
She knew it was irrational to be angry at her parents for being in danger, that they didn't deliberately seek it out. It just came to them. But each time they were in danger, a part of her just slowly died. She was tired of being scared for that day they would get a knock on the door and someone telling them that her parents were gone, that they were never coming back.
A sob broke free as she clenched her eyes shut, wishing desperately that her brain would stop overthinking for once. She tightened her hands into fists, her nails cutting into her palm but she didn't let go. The pain was better than feeling the overwhelming fear and anguish.
She breathed deeply, her breath coming out shuddery as a few tears slipped free, running down her cheeks. She continued down the path, barely noticing that she was the only civilians out.
Soldiers were getting into place in-case they were attacked by Sixers, if ever they got wind that Commander Taylor was off base. She briefly wondered if Mark was part of the group that had gone to get parents before she brushed the thought aside. She didn't think she could deal with the thought of him being danger, not while she still dealing with the news of her parents.
"Maddy!" she stopped when she heard his voice. She turned around to see him running over to her, worry on his face. Rain drenched his combat outfit, plastering his hair to his head. She frowned briefly when she noticed that he wasn't in his usual soldier outfit.
"Mark," she greeted. He frowned when he noticed the redness in her eyes.
"Maddy, what are you doing out here?" he stepped forward, a hand going to her shoulder.
"Why are you not in your soldier outfit?" she answered with a question. She saw Mark bit his bottom lip, an internal battle fighting within his eyes before he sighed.
"I'm part of the security duty. I'm watching the cameras for any Sixers and Dinosaurs. That's how I knew you were out here," he explained. She nodded. "Maddy?"
"I…I need to leave," she admitted, her voice barely higher than a whisper before she looked into Mark's eyes. "I can't stay here and wait for them, I just can't." Mark licked his lips.
"Where are you going to go?" he asked. She just gave him a helpless shrug.
"I don't know," she admitted with a small sob. "I…I can't stay here, Mark. I feel like I'm being suffocated." Mark stepped closer, the hand on her shoulder sliding down her back and pulling her into an embrace. Her hands went around his waist, holding onto the back of his shirt. His other hand went to the back of her head, fingers burying themselves in the wet strands.
"Maddy…" he whispered into her hair.
"I just…I don't think I can face them when they come back, if they come back," she admitted. "I feel like a part of me dies whenever one of them is in danger and I just…I need to get away, to just go somewhere where I can breathe!"
She took in a shuddering breath, trying her best not to break down in his arms. It was tempting to do so, he had that way of making her feel safe and secure in his arms, that nothing could touch her when she was there but she couldn't break down, not now.
She needed to get away, to get her thoughts in order and as much as she cared about Mark, wanted so badly to let him in, he was a distraction that she couldn't afford right now. Plus, the way he was dressed told her that he was still working and she loathed getting him into trouble because of her.
"I'm so tired, Mark." She pulled away so she could look up into his face. "I'm just so tired of pretending that I'm not breaking, that I know everything is going to be okay because I don't! Okay? I don't know that everything will be okay and I don't want to pretend that everything is going to be okay but I have to because I can't scare Zoe!"
He stared at her for a long moment before he nodded. He stepped back a bit, untangling their arms and she felt the immediate loss of his heat and security. His hands went to his neck, pulling at the cord that held his tags.
"Here," he removed his tags. She frowned when he slipped the cord over her head, allowing them to hang between her breasts over her jacket
"What?" she held the tags in her hands before she looked at him.
"They have a locator in them. This way I can find you," he explained before pulling his radio and handed it over to her. "I'll let you know when we find your parents." He placed the radio into her jacket pocket.
"Mark…" she shook her head as he moved in closer, cupping her face and placing his forehead on her.
"Just…just don't OTG, please?" he whispered and she nodded, swallowing back the urge to ask him to come with her.
"I won't," she promised, reaching up to place a kiss on his cheek before she turned and walked away, unable to stay in the colony a moment longer.
Mark watched her go, his hands tightening into fists as he resisted the urge to go after her, to drag her back. He knew she needed to get out. He had seen it too many times, especially whenever a member of her family was in danger.
She was always the one left behind, the one who they expected to smile and keep up the façade of being happy. Just once, she needed break down and he just wished that he could hold her while she did.
This was mostly inspired by Maddy looking tired when she tells Mark that she shouldn't haven't been surprised that some of the old problems followed them to Terra Nova when it was supposed to be a fresh start. I got the impression she was talking more than the murder.
And no, the angst isn't finished, not by a long shot *runs*