Title: Five times Rush was kind to Young
Author: Shenandoah Risu
Content Flags: Scottish Poetry
Spoilers: up to Season 1 episode 7 "Earth"
Characters: Nicholas Rush, Everett Young
Word Count: 1,084
Summary: They didn't always fight - even early on.
Author's Notes: Written for prompt set #140 at the LJ Comm sg1_five_things.
Disclaimer: I don't own SGU. I wouldn't know what to do with it. Now, Young... Young I'd know what to do with. ;-)
Thanks for reading! Feedback = Love. ;-)
Five times Rush was kind to Young
"A day off? Are you joking? There's so much work to be done!"
Rush glares at Young in utter disbelief. Young allows himself a small smile.
"Doc, they're human beings. They're exhausted. They've been through some terrible trauma. They simply need a break – they'll function much better after they've all had some time off."
"Function better? I get nothing out of them as is."
"Well - I rest my case. Okay, then. One at a time. We'll start with Brody and go in alphabetical order."
He reaches for a folder as Rush stares at him, and he accidentally knocks his pen off the desk. Young sighs and grabs his gun to help him get up but Rush quickly dives down and retrieves the pen, handing it to Young.
"Thanks, Doc," Young says, hesitation in his voice.
"One a day," Rush points a finger at him, and Young isn't quite sure whether he's talking about scientists having a day off or random acts of kindness.
"Let's try to make today better than yesterday," Young dismisses the last lunch group. He settles down on the bench and accepts the bowl Becker hands him with a smile. It quickly fades as he sees Rush entering the mess.
"You missed the meeting, Rush."
"So? I had work to do. You gonna fire me?"
"I wish it were that easy."
Rush receives a portion of protein slop and digs in but soon stops as he notices Young staring at his own bowl.
"What's the matter?" He sits down across the table from him. Young stirs his slop and doesn't answer.
Rush leans in. "What's it taste like?"
"What. Does. It. Taste. Like."
"Vanilla, I guess."
"Vanilla. Well. There is a tribal society in the Amazon where the greatest delicacy is a banana-peel based beer. The women of the tribe chew banana peels, which I imagine taste quite dreadful, and spit the juices into a large communal bowl. The juices ferment and are processed into a type of beer. I hear it is quite lovely, although one shouldn't think too hard about the way it's produced."
Rush leaves with his bowl, finishes it on his way to the door and hands it to Becker.
Young stares at his own slop, then he smiles and starts eating.
Rush hurries down the hall to the kino lab and stumbles.
He looks and sees Young sitting against the bulkhead, right leg stretched out.
"Sorry," Young says. Rush stares at him in confusion.
"What are you doing down there? People could trip and fall and hurt themselves. How about moving along?"
Young leans his head back against the wall.
Rush squats down next to him. "What's wrong?"
"Leg seized up. Have to wait until-"
"Come on." Rush grabs his jacket and begins to haul him up to his feet. Young isn't a big guy but compared to Rush's slight frame he's huge. Rush hopes there isn't a kino nearby because surely his valiant effort to get Young up off the floor must look comical as hell to the uninformed observer.
But he manages, eventually, with both of them panting hard.
"Thank you," Young manages to get out as Rush is already on his way again.
Young is grateful the service for Gorman is over. Such a nice young man, he thinks, and all for nothing. And under his command.
He sighs, watching the display of colored light that FTL travel causes on Destiny's shields.
Rush enters, and Young feels a pang of annoyance, a surge of anger and resentment.
"I want to explore the corridor past the sleeping quarters tomorrow. I need people with guns and muscles," Rush says without preamble.
Young nods. "Take Spencer and James."
Rush turns to leave, then stops.
The silence stretches on.
"How well did you know him? Gorman?"
Young shrugs. "Enough to know he was a good man, with dreams and hopes and plans for the future. He loved flying kites and he had a tabby cat named Martin at home."
Rush looks at him.
"This really tears you up, doesn't it? Losing people."
Young feels that stab of anger again. "Of course it does."
Rush comes closer.
"We've all lost people. Sometimes we're responsible, sometimes there's nothing we can do. I'm sorry Gorman died, I really am. So – maybe you should build a kite and fly it on the next breezy planet."
He gestures awkwardly at the windows and leaves.
"I might just do that," Young says quietly to the empty room.
It's Young's turn to read to Riley. The tattered copy of the latest "Wormhole X-Treme" tie-in novel doesn't make for very good reading material, but he has it right now and there isn't much else to choose from. Since Riley fell into a coma following the explosion during Telford's misguided attempt to dial Earth they've all been reading to him, in one-hour shifts. If Riley can hear anything at all he must be quite literate by now – from the adventures of Colonel Danning and his band of stalwart cohorts to inventory lists to the instruction manual for a camping stove... Riley gets it all.
"You have a good reading voice, Colonel," comes Rush's voice from the door and Young startles.
He turns and sees Rush leaning against the frame, his arms crossed, relaxed.
"What are you reading, anyway?"
Young holds up the book as Rush ambles over.
"Goodness, what drivel," he sneers, and Young grins.
"It's pretty awful, I'll hand you that."
"Well, take it with you, it's my turn now."
Young struggles to get up and Rush grabs his elbow to give him a boost.
"Thanks," Young sighs. "What are you reading, then?"
Rush just rolls his eyes and points a finger at his temple.
suath mi, a ghaoitilhean, le,
naidheachd às gach àirde: sìn orm
suath mi, a ghrèine, do
shoilise teas mo chridhe: sìn orm
suath mi, a ghealaich, mo
leigheas na do ghilead: sìn orm
suath mi, a shiantan, ur
frasan ga mo nighe: sìn orm
And Young finds himself transfixed by the sound of a language he doesn't understand, and something warm and beautiful stirs inside of him. He stays and listens, and there is peace in his heart for a little while.
Thanks for reading! A comment or feedback would be much appreciated.
Note: The poem is "The Stone" by Aonghas MacNeacail. Some of the characters may not be displayed correctly. Read the real thing (and a translation) at scottishradiance dot com or google the poem directly.