A/N: Okay, so initially I wasn't going to do a Wash memorial fic because there's so many but I've been encouraged to write one, so I will. This is one big memorial dedicated to her, through the eyes of the different characters whose lives she touched. The title is taken from the song "My Immortal" by Evanescence. I thought it fit well with the theme. If you guys haven't heard this song, it's another awesome one that I recommend wholeheartedly. Please review. Pretty please?
It was at exactly noon when they buried her in a plain, black box with her name etched into the top. The interior was lined with a soft, white cloth. There was nothing remarkable about the casket, which was exactly what she would have wanted. She was never the type of person to want everyone fussing over her.
The entire colony came from their houses and out to memorial field to witness the burial. A half dozen soldiers bore the casket to the grave and lowered it into the ground as the chaplain said a prayer over the spot. The people she had come to know and love crowded close, threw flowers into the hole in the ground, wept quietly. Her commander stood stoically to one side, face faltering as the wooden box slowly disappeared from sight. Her friends—her brothers, stood fully at attention, blinking tears from their eyes. The Shannon family, who she had come to admire and adore, displayed a wide range of emotions—gratitude to her written on the faces and in the hearts of the parents, guilt plaguing the face of the son, tears streaming down the face of their eldest daughter, and a solemn sadness hanging over their youngest—a sadness that was so out of place on such an innocent face. It was twelve ten when the grave began to be filled in. By twelve twenty it was fully covered, a headstone hewn into grey rock placed over the top. By twelve thirty, most of the crowd had dispersed. Life still had to move on. But for some—the ones who knew her best—life would never be the same. They stood, stock still and reflectively silent, around the gravesite that bore her name.
Those had been her last words to the woman before she had gone off and stared down death, winning and losing at the same time. Elisabeth Shannon batted a tear from her eye. She had hardly known Alicia Washington. Alicia Washington had hardly known her. Their conversations had usually been in the clinic, while she had been stitching the lieutenant up. They could have been good friends. They should have been good friends. But they weren't. They were only acquaintances, because both thought they would have more time to get to know each other. And yet, even if they barely knew each other, Wash had sacrificed her life—the only thing she had left—to save the Shannon family. So Elisabeth Shannon resolved to think of her as a best friend, because she knew that they would have been best friends had they just had more time. They both had the same ideals—to defend that which they loved and believed in. She may not have known Lieutenant Washington very well in life, but she felt close to her now more than ever. And so her last words before leaving the gravesite seemed fitting. "Good bye, friend."
Lieutenant Washington was a nice lady…
Zoe Shannon didn't know much about life or death. She had witnessed both—she had seen a baby dinosaur hatch, and she had seen dinosaurs die. She had heard the stories of her mother helping women in 2149 give birth to babies. She had seen people lying sick in the streets of Chicago and she had known they were going to die. But she had never dwelled on it much. She was only six years old. But now, someone was dead. Someone who she had known directly. And that put things into an entirely different perspective. She had known Alicia Washington was a brave soldier, a solid sentinel that saw everything in Terra Nova, even when the Commander didn't. She knew that Washington was a great outdoorswoman, that she knew how to build a fire and that she wasn't afraid to eat bugs. But she didn't know that Alicia Washington would die for her.
Zoe was too young to feel guilty about it, but she was aware. She was aware of what had transpired, much more aware than anyone would have suspected. She was aware of the effect Washington's death had on her family. She was aware of how guilty her parents felt, how sad her sister felt, how grief-stricken and angry her brother felt. She was most aware of how sad Commander Taylor felt. She knew he had loved her, perhaps more than he himself knew. Zoe was observant, and she was sure of a lot of things. But she wasn't sure what to say to Washington now. So before leaving, she didn't say anything. She just waved a sad, silent good bye to the headstone.
Malcolm had to admit—he hadn't liked Wash much in life. She had been cold with him. They hadn't gotten along very well and they had done their best to keep out of each other's way for the most part. But he had to admit that Alicia Washington would always have his respect for what she did, throughout her life and especially in the final moments before her death. She had done everything he was too afraid to do. She had faced down the Phoenix Group, faced down Lucas Taylor himself. And she had kept her dignity. He, on the other hand, had watched them murder McCormick, his lab assistant and he immediately bent to their will, doing his best to sabotage them but too afraid to outright confront them. Alicia Washington may not have been the most pleasant person he had ever knwon, but she would always hold a place in his heart as one of the most respectable. "Farewell, brave soul," he said, backing away from the gravesite. He refused to turn his back on her until he was out of the cemetery.
Josh looked on at the gravesite sadly. He hadn't said anything to Washington before she had gone off, and he regretted it now. He had somehow assumed she would figure a way out, like she seemed to do all the time. It didn't register that the next time he saw her would be at a wake. At her wake. Had he known, he would have said something—anything. He would thank her for her service to Terra Nova, for everything she was about to do for him, his parents, and his sisters. He would apologize for the stupid things he had done, the trouble he had caused. But he hadn't said anything. And the next time he heard her name, she was already gone—shot through the head. Knowing he had to go, he decided to say something—anything—to her, hoping she'd get his message from wherever she was now. "I'm sorry," he whispered, turning to go. He was sorry for betraying the colony and providing meds to the Sixers. He was sorry that he wasn't able to help out more, that he was more of a burden than anything. He was sorry that he didn't try to stop her like his father did. But most of all, he was sorry that he never got a chance to say good bye.
Skye stared, dumbstruck. It was a blur. She had been in the colony, she had seen it happen, and she had been powerless to stop it. She should have been able to stop it. She should have intervened—Lucas would have listened to her. She had persuaded him to release Josh. She could have done it for Washington too, but she had been too scared. So she had seen, from a vantage point on a roof, how her self-professed "brother" gunned down her surrogate mother in cold blood, point blank. And it never would have happened if Skye hadn't taken those equations from Lucas, hadn't taken them to the Eye and had them factored. She should have taken the notes to the Commander, and to Lieutenant Washington herself. They would have gotten her ill mother out of there, and then perhaps she wouldn't be standing at Wash's gravesite now. All she could think was that she deserved to be in the ground more than Washington did. "This is my fault," she said softly to the headstone. "Please forgive me…" and then she, too, left, wiping tears from her eyes with the back of her hand.
Mark Reynolds wasn't normally a terribly emotional guy. He had feelings, like everyone else, but his tough childhood and his service in the military had taught him how to mask his emotions. But he was crying shamelessly now. Alicia Washington had been a mentor, role model, and sister to him. She had taken him under her wing, showed him how to be an effective soldier. She had instilled her values into him, held him to the highest expectations, made him feel useful. She had given him advice when he needed it and she had talked to him when he was feeling upset. And he hadn't been there for her in her final moments. He had been forced into hiding and he had been sabotaging their enemies. He had thought that they'd see each other soon, that she'd rib him playfully about not being home for weeks. Instead, when that rhino had pulled up bearing Maddy—who was quite arguably his world—and her family, he had assumed Wash would be on board as well. Instead, it was only sad news, making the reunion with Maddy bittersweet. Alicia Washington had just died to give him that one moment of holding Maddy Shannon in his arms. Pointing that gun at Lucas Taylor had given him immense satisfaction, and it took a lot of restraint not to shoot him through the face. He had to remind himself that Wash would not have wanted him to do that, that she would have been disappointed that he had stooped to that level. She had gone down, peacefully defiant. He had to honor that memory.
Maddy's hand found Mark's, and she rested her head on his chest, tears staining the material of his shirt. She normally found comfort and relief in him, but the grief was too much for her. She had always seen Wash as a strong woman, intelligent, unafraid, and admirable. Her interactions with the lieutenant had been limited at best. She had been slightly intimidated by her. When Wash met them as they cowered behind the storage containers though, she had seen something different about the woman. Her unapproachable façade had been broken, and she looked almost vulnerable as she told them the plan. Maddy was never very good at controlling emotions, and the tears had started welling the second she realized the plan did not include Wash making it out of Terra Nova alive. But she hadn't said anything. She couldn't say anything. She was too afraid. And she had wept bitterly in the back of the rhino, as soon as her dad had told them what happened. Her hand grasped Mark's tighter and she let out a strangled sob. His other hand found purchase on her lower back, hugging her closer. Eventually, she found her way out of his hug and turned her body toward the tomb, taking a deep breath. "Thank you, Lieutenant Washington," she breathed out shakily before turning to Mark, taking his hand again and preparing to leave. She stopped as he took one last look back and she heard him whisper "good bye, sister," before continuing on out of the cemetery.
Tom Boylan had known Alicia Washington for years. She had never been terribly impressed with him. He knew he was not the most likeable guy around. And he knew she regarded him as mercenary, careless and unfeeling. He knew she thought him as slippery and treacherous. He didn't care much for her either. At least not outwardly. But, as was the case with most people in the colony, she had his undying respect. And he felt some amount of loyalty to her too. He had helped her a lot with the sabotage, getting the soldiers as drunk as possible and gleaning information off of them. He hadn't been able to stop her execution, but he made sure that she was not forgotten. He would never admit it, but it was he who had exhumed her from the shallow grave they dumped her in. It was he who had taken her body to the clinic to be honored with a proper burial as soon as they finished her mission and retook the colony. And as he left the site, he raised an imaginary glass to her. "It was a good run, Lieutenant. May you find good rest."
Their entire conversation kept replaying in Jim's mind. He would never forget it. Every word she said was etched permanently into his brain, and it had been replaying itself over and over. He felt guilt and bitter remorse. He should have stopped her. He should have told her to wait, that they would escape some other time. It was unrealistic, yes, but it may have convinced her to at least rethink her plan. He tried. But he hadn't tried hard enough. He had lost a valued friend and co-worker. He thought of all the good times they had—chasing down dinosaurs, solving a murder mystery, tracking down an Azymeth thief. They had had a lot of good runs. Had they been in Chicago, she would have been one of the force's most valued officers. She was certainly one of the most valued soldiers of Terra Nova. He remembered her final message to Taylor, the one thing she knew would save them all. And he remembered watching the horrifying scene unfold, as Lucas Taylor lodged a single bullet into her forehead. She had taken that bullet for him, his family, and their home. She had taken that bullet to save others. She had done more than die in the line of duty. She had gone above what duty dictated. She died a hero. "Wash, you were one of the best, bravest people I've ever worked with. Thanks." Jim turned, locked eyes with Commander Taylor for a brief moment, and then left, leaving the colony's leader alone in the cemetery.
Commander Nathaniel Taylor normally prided himself on his ability to emotionally detach himself from most situations. He had grown accustomed to seeing good men and women in his service go down. It was a sad reality of war. But he couldn't deny his sorrow now. Alicia Washington had been much more than another comrade. She had been his eyes, his ears. In the months after Ayani died, she had been his relief, too. She had taken the bottle of whiskey from his hand every night, stopping him from destroying himself with the liquor. She had spoken soft, compassionate words to him to get him through. And she was so loyal to him—always there, always ready. She stitched him up when he got himself blown apart, both physically and emotionally. She was his second-in-command, his confidant, and his best friend. And he loved her. He never admitted it to her in life, but he loved Alicia Washington. She could never replace Ayani, but he loved her in an entirely different way. She had been the glue that held his broken life together. It was she who had reminded him that he still had Lucas to live for. And even if she didn't know it, he was living for her too. He could see so much of his deceased wife in that woman—the same courage, the same ability to face down her fears, that same stoic resolution to her cause.
He never imagined standing at the edge of her grave. He always pictured her delivering his eulogy, not the other way around. When he met the Shannons at the gate, he had assumed Wash was right behind them. It was unreasonable to assume this, of course. With Jim in such bad shape, someone would have had to cause a distraction. And he knew damn well that Wash would never delegate the task out to some other resident in order to save herself. She would commit the deed, and she would face the repercussions. He tried to go back in and save her, again a foolish thing to attempt. Terra Nova needed a leader and, like it or not, that leader was him. If he died trying to save her, the rest of the colony would die as well. So he watched in disbelief as the boy that he thought was his son, the boy who had grown up with Alicia Washington watching his back, turned on them both and shot her. He saw the defiance in her eyes when it happened. She was on her feet. She refused to submit, as was her nature. She said something to Lucas, he wondered what. And then there was a flash, a bang, and Wash was on the ground, dead by Lucas' hand. His world crashed down around him. His own son had betrayed him, his closest friend was dead, and his home was being ripped to shreds. And he didn't have an answer. In truth, he wasn't sure if he even had an answer now. His side ached, he felt the stitches in his flesh there—right where his son had stabbed him, attempting to kill him like he killed Alicia Washington. Taylor almost wished that he had died, that he wouldn't have to live without Wash. But it was a selfish wish. There were a thousand people out there who needed him, who were lost without him. He had cried when Dr. Shannon stitched him up. Not because it hurt, but because at any other point in time, it would have been Wash who would have stitched the wound, playfully teasing him about his innate ability to find danger. Not anymore. Never again. He didn't know how much time had passed, but the evening was setting in before he was ready to go. He resolved to return every day to visit her. "Night, Wash," he nodded toward the tombstone somberly, his voice cracking. "I'll…I'll see you tomorrow." He walked off, head down, lost in thoughts and fond recollections, a single tear hitting the grass below him.
He waited until everyone was gone, even the Commander. Night was falling fast when he swung down from the treetops and cautiously approached the fresh grave. He bent down, ran some of the soft soil between his fingertips. His breath hitched.
Lucas Taylor had grown up near Alicia Washington. She had been a constant presence in his life from a young age. She was his father's most trusted advisor, and a good friend to his mother. He remembered her watching over him, like a second mom, or an older sister. There was a time when he thought they were actually blood related.
And now…she was dead. And he had done it. He had pulled the trigger that ended her life. One question continued to run in his mind, from the moment he did it. It would probably continue to ring in his head until his final moment of life. Why? Why did he do it? He wasn't sure. She had helped the Shannons escape, yes. But if it had been anyone else, would he have killed them? No. In fact, he never had any intention to kill Wash either. He hated his father. He hated the man to his core. But he could never hate Wash. She had done too much for him. So why did he kill her?
It was foolish to try bluffing her. As far back as he could remember, Wash had been an excellent poker player. She knew everyone's 'tell.' She knew his. And he knew she had sensed it that night, too. It was foolish. She would never betray her friends, especially not to save her own life. She would rather die honorably than live shamefully. It was her personality. They had placed her at his feet, she had hauled herself up. It was a test. He couldn't look into her eyes, for fear he may regret what he found there—the same, disapproving look his father gave him. Only it was more intense on her, because she was so much like his mother. She had the same fire in her, the same steel will. Looking into her disapproving eyes would be looking into his mother's. So he didn't look. He just started counting, hoping that she would break and yet knowing she wouldn't. He had reached number two. He wasn't really going to pull the trigger. He was set to have her hauled away to the brig, but she opened her lips and spoke.
You know you have your father's eyes?
He pulled the trigger. And instantly regretted his choice. He still regretted it now, as he drew a single rose from his pocket and laid it lengthwise across the head of the grave. "I know I can't be forgiven, but I'm sorry anyway. Rest in peace…"
A/N: That's it. Please review. I've read a ton of Wash memorial fics and I loved most of them, but I really wanted to bring out each character's take on who this remarkable character was. Especially Lucas, because I haven't seen anything about his thoughts on actually killing her. I hope you liked it. Or loved it. But even if you hated it, you should definitely leave me a review! Thanks!