A/N: This is one of the oneshots I promised. It's the culmination of a bazillion plot bunnies all simultaneously regurgitating themselves from my fingers and onto the keyboard. As I've said before, it's hard to believe that Josh was so okay with losing Kara—I think it has a lot to do with the chaos around him distracting him from the grief. But now that he's back, he's no doubt suffering a lot over it. And we hardly see any interaction between Maddy and Josh other than sibling teasing, and Josh hardly ever acknowledges Mark exists, but I suppose that somewhere, when the cameras aren't rolling, they're friends. And Maddy would no doubt want to comfort Josh in this time, so I've written a fic for that! This is long and rambly now, kinda like Maddy's rants, so I'm going to go ahead and just tell you to read and review.
PS: The lyrics are excerpts from the song "More Than a Band" by Lemonade Mouth. Why? Because Naomi Scott was in that movie, so it sort of works in a weird crossover sort of way…and I truncated the chorus because, you know, there's no actual Terra Nova band (though there should be—it'd be like prehistoric Glee!)
PPS: Sorry for the initial confusion. In my rush to upload this before heading out to lunch I accidentally uploaded the wrong document to this story. How embarrassing! But big thanks to Kris56 for bringing this to my attention. Sorry for the confusion, guys!
I can't pretend to know how you feel, but know that I'm here—know that I'm real…
Maddy eyed the closed bedroom door closely, trying to focus on what Mark was saying to her. But she couldn't. She was sitting in the living room, directly across from Josh's room, and all she could think about was her older brother's suffering. He was in there, beating himself up over Kara's death.
"Maddy?" Mark's voice carried through her thoughts.
"Yeah…what…huh?" she looked at him, trying to pretend she had heard every word.
"What's on your mind?" he asked.
"Oh come on, Maddy, I know you. You're worried about something," his eyes followed her gaze to Josh's door. "Josh…"
Maddy sighed, unable to fool him. "Yeah. He's been holed up in his room since we got back. He just can't get past losing Kara…"
Mark nodded sympathetically. "Have you tried talking to him?"
"No," she confessed. "Every time I try to go in there he just kicks me out."
"Well maybe we should both try talking to him."
"Mark, he hardly knows you. You've spoken like three times. And he already won't trust me to talk to him. What good would both of us do?"
"Maddy, I've lost people I love too. Trust me, he wants someone to talk to, he just doesn't want to ask."
"What makes you think that?"
"Well that's how I felt after my mom died. And my grandpa. And Lieutenant Washington."
"You talked to me…"
"Only after you forced me to open up."
Maddy sighed. She may have been well versed in science and math and literature, but Mark's people experience trumped hers easily. "If you really think it'll help…"
He got up and offered her his hand. "I know it'll help."
"Guess it's worth a shot then," she replied, taking his hand and allowing him to help her stand up. She rapped on Josh's door. "Josh?"
There was a long pause in the room. "What?"
"Can we come in?"
"Me and Mark," Maddy turned to look at her boyfriend.
"I guess…" Josh sighed.
Maddy opened the door slowly and stepped into the darkened room. His blinds were drawn and he was sitting in the middle of the floor, leaning against his bed. His guitar lay on the ground, surrounded in crumbled sheets of music.
"Hey," Maddy whispered quietly, kneeling beside him. "How're you holding up?" She placed a comforting hand on his shoulder and he sighed heavily.
Mark stooped beside Maddy, looking empathetically at the teenager.
"Fine," Josh muttered.
Maddy smiled wanly. "Josh, you've been holed up in this room for over two weeks. You are not fine."
Josh let out another exasperated sigh.
"We're here for you," Mark spoke up for the first time. Josh looked up, a little startled. His relationship with Mark was amiable enough, but their interaction was limited, so he was surprised at the soldier's willingness to help him out.
Maddy plopped down beside her brother. "So…do you want to talk about it?" She was mentally kicking herself for sounding like a stereotypical psychiatrist. This was a first for her—having to console her brother. Usually it was the opposite—he would comfort her when she was being bullied back in 2149. "It's totally okay if you don't."
Say what you want or don't talk at all, not gonna let you fall…
"Thanks," Josh whispered, trying to hide a tear that had gathered in the corner of his eye. He was again surprised when his sister threw an arm around him and Mark put a hand on his shoulder.
"It's not your fault…" Mark told him, reading what was on his mind.
Another world heavy sigh from Josh. "Yes, it is."
Maddy looked startled. "Josh, you know that isn't true."
He fought to keep his temper controlled. "I'm sick of hearing that, Maddy! From you, from Skye, from Mom and Dad. I brought Kara here. I was the one who convinced Mira to get her through that portal. I'm the reason she's gone! If I hadn't done all of that…she'd still be alive…" he hid his face, ashamed that he was crying in the presence of his sister and her boyfriend.
Maddy started to say something but Mark shook his head. She fell silent and for a few minutes only the soft sounds of Josh's ragged sobs filled the room. Then, Mark spoke. "Look, I know you're going to feel like it's your fault. Trust me—I've been there before. But what happened, happened. We all wish we could go back and change things, but we can't, Josh. You did what you thought was right at the time. You got her here. You can't beat yourself up for it—none of us knew it was going to happen the way it did. None of us."
Josh peered up at him. Mark's words had so perfectly echoed Skye's from the previous day and he was vaguely surprised that so many people that he knew had suffered through similarly hard choices. Maybe he wasn't so alone…
Maddy slipped her hand into her brother's and gave him a sad smile. "We all miss her, Josh. Kara was like a sister. But you need to know that no one blames you except yourself. Kara wouldn't blame you for it. She would be happy that you did so much to try to improve her life."
"But I didn't improve her life! She didn't even get to see Terra Nova, Maddy!"
"I know," Maddy told him. "But you got her out of Chicago, Josh. You put so much on the line for her. Maybe it's better she didn't have to see what happened later."
Reach for my hand 'cause it's held out for you. My shoulders are small but you can cry on them too…
"I always wonder…" Josh said, his voice a little shaky. Maddy held him a little tighter and Mark's grip on his shoulder tightened as well. "…if she…if she felt it…" his voice started to choke up and he battled hard to get the last words out. "If she knew what happened—what was going to happen. I just…I hope she didn't…" his voice seized up, overtaken by a strangled sob.
"I know everyone's saying this to you," Mark spoke up, "but Kara's in a better place now—you have to believe that. She's not stuck in a fight to survive every single day. She doesn't have to try to rebuild a life from scratch. I know it's tough, and people very rarely help, but…but you've got friends here…"
"And family," Maddy interrupted.
"And family. And we'll help you through it." He offered the grieving teen an encouraging smile.
"Thanks," Josh murmured. Between Skye's comforting words the previous afternoon and Mark and Maddy supporting him now, he began to realize he wasn't all by himself. It would be a struggle everyday, to try to get on without her, and he wasn't sure that he would ever fully forgive himself for what he had happened, but he knew one thing now: he had a lot of people here who cared for him, and that thought would be his crutch to help him get through.
A/N: So what did you think? Too cliché? I hope not. This is honestly what the course of conversations have been for me while consoling those who have lost loved ones or while being consoled myself. It's a lot of anger, self-blame, and some good friends or family who come along to relieve it. Again, this was a oneshot and a companion to "A Time for You." Please review. I like reviews.