Notes: Thanks to my beta, Tina! Also, come join my Falling Skies community on Livejournal: tvfallingskies!
Disclaimers: Falling Skies and all related characters are property of people who are not me.
"I'm sorry," Ben said.
Hal knew his brother. He knew there was something in the way he apologized. Oh Ben certainly meant it, that much Hal knew, but what came after that was a complete shock. So much so that Hal didn't even have time to defend himself. Hal tried to get out of Ben's grasp but he knew it was impossible. His brother's strength had grown exponentially since being harnessed.
He opened his eyes and saw Karen standing in front of him. After a few seconds her image started to blur and that's when Hal realized that he had been betrayed by two people he loved dearly. Two people he would have given his life for. As he lost consciousness, Hal wasn't so certain Ben wasn't going to kill him. When Hal finally did wake up he was in a warm bed with his dad and Dr. Glass standing on either side of him. His head and his throat were killing him and it took him a minute to remember what happened. When he did he felt sick to his stomach. The two realized what was happening and gave him something to throw up in.
Once he did that, a cup with a straw was placed in front of him and he gratefully drank some of the water despite the fact that it was hard to swallow. Hal was finally able to take a breath and look up at his dad. When he spoke his voice was raspy. "Ben and Karen... they're gone. I tried to..."
"We know, Hal," dad replied. "The important question right now is: are you feeling all right?"
Hal wanted to scream at his dad that he wasn't because of what Ben and Karen did to him. They lied and they tried to kill him. It didn't matter that Ben didn't succeed because the point was he tried to. He was tired and sore and didn't feel as though he were breathing all that well.
"Hal?" He looked over at Anne. "Are you all right? Are you breathing okay?"
"Yeah," he rasped. "Are you sure?"
Hal nodded. "Just tired and my head hurts."
"That's to be expected," Anne replied. "Why don't you get some rest?"
Hal settled into bed and pretended to drift off to sleep. He could still hear Anne and his dad talking just outside the door. "Is he really going to be okay?"
"He will. His larynx is most likely bruised which is why his voice is hoarse. I'm more concerned about his mental state; about the fact that Ben did this to him and Karen just stood there and watched."
"I know. Me too." He heard his dad take a deep breath and Hal could swear he was on the verge of crying. "Those damn Skitters have torn my family apart. I can barely hold it together, Anne. I don't know..."
"Hey, you're not alone, okay? None of you are. I'm right here."
Hal decided he wasn't going to show how much this affected him. He was going to help get them to South Carolina if it was the last thing he did. If anything, so his dad could rest from all this shit. So Matt could run around and be a kid. So that maybe he could just forget every last damn thing that happened since the Skitters came to Earth.