Young: "I know it was you."

Rush: "Sorry?"

Young: "The Files were not corrupted; the Keno kept recording until you came into the room… so let's hear it, let's hear how you lie your way out of this one."

Rush: "I heard the shot. I went to investigate and then I found him."

Young: "And then you decided to frame me for murder."

Rush: "That's a bit melodramatic…nah, I knew there wouldn't be any real evidence against you. The idea was to create just enough doubt to get you to step aside."

Young: "I see. That was the idea."

Rush: "Well you're the wrong man for the job Colonel. I'm sorry to be the one to have to say it, but I think you know it's true."

Young: "Do I?"

Rush: "You don't believe in the mission. You resigned your position as SG leader because you didn't want to make the hard decisions; the life and death decisions. Well that makes you a liability. I'm not proud of what I did, but I did it for the benefit of everyone on board."

Young: "The end justifies the means."

Rush: "Yeah, something like that."

(pause for fisticuffs and mutual headbuttery)

Young: "Are we done?"

Rush: "We'll NEVER be done."

- SGU "Justice"

(O)

Twenty Years Later…

"Oh for the love of God Rush, just make a damn move already!" Colonel Young yelled, his patience with Rush already worn thin for the day.

"I'm thinking" Rush bit back at him, "I know that is a foreign concept to you…"

Young let that one slip by; after all it wasn't every decade that Nicholas Rush lost a chess match. He's probably trying to find a way to cheat me out of this win, Young thought, "Just surrender already Rush" he growled, "Just accept that I've finally beaten you; even if it did take me twenty years to do it."

Rush's frown became even more pronounced as it turned into a scowl either of concentration or just simple consternation. It must be a Monday. Things always go to shit on a Monday.

"Damn it you cranky old bastard just concede already!" Young yelled in frustration.

"I'm no older or crankier than you are, Colonel" Rush said, the calm evenness of his tone angering Young even further, just as he knew it would. "And as for the legality of my parentage that is none of your business and never was."

"You know Rush, there are some days I feel like I could just straggle you and put us both out of our misery."

"You've had plenty of opportunities Colonel."

"Yeah, well maybe next time I'll follow thru!"

"You don't have the guts" Rush stated looking him strait in the eye.

"Oh no?" Young replied haughtily, "Because I seem to recall differently."

"Oh you could kill me easily enough and never regret it" Rush informed him, "but you'd never do it. Kill me and you'll die alone in a cold spaceship that even after all these years, you still can't run without me."

Young clenched his fists. Why the Hell was Rush always right? Damn him.

(O)

Colonel Young paused to lean against the bulkhead and catch his breath after tackling the stairs. A few seconds were all he needed; he wasn't infirm yet by God! He just walked more slowly these days and the long empty corridors only seemed to get longer and emptier as the years wore on and his anger with Rush didn't help. How long had they been doing this? He wondered, he didn't even know what year this would be back on Earth and it had been so long since he had seen another human face other than Rush's that all the other faces had begun to fade away from his memory.

That's why he came here as often as he could. He'd walk down the corridors of the cryostasis compartments and gaze at each face in turn to remind himself that his life wasn't always like this and that all this had a purpose, even if it didn't always feel that way. He just hoped all his sacrifices would be worth it in the end.

He visited with Tamara first, her cool blond beauty unchanged from the first day he saw her back on Icarus base, much too beautiful to be wasted on the army he'd thought. She should be in Paris being sought after by every painter in the city or in ancient Greece being carved into a marble likeness of Athena, the goddess of wisdom. God I'm getting maudlin in my old age, Young thought, as he tried to shake the wave of self-pitying sadness out of his head. Best to move on from TJ I'd say.

He'd taken to saluting Greer and Scott in turn as he passed by their stasis pods, as if the years had reversed their positions somehow making them the commanding officers and him the soldier, just living day by day, carrying out his orders to the best of his ability. He passed by each and every person in turn spending as much time looking at each as he cared too.

He always saved Eli for last. Eli who had quite nearly sacrificed his own life to save Young from definitely having to sacrifice his by staying awake with a pod he could never hope to fix. Thankfully for all of them, Eli DID fix that stasis pod. He'd said it was actually pretty once he set his mind to it (once he'd realized that Rush had hidden ALL the kinos and his computer that is) and he'd done it in time to keep them all from drifting across the intergalactic void for centuries.

Sometimes he wished Eli hadn't bothered.

(O)

"Ow!" Young clenched his fists as the pain doubled.

"Do you want me to stop, Colonel?" Rush asked, not in the least intending too.

"Of course not! …Ooof….but you could be a little gentler. I am an old man now you know."

"Believe me I'm well aware of that. We're neither of us as young as we used to be."

"Oh, just stop your yapping and press harder would you!"

Rush shrugged and redoubled his efforts, "Harder it is then."

"Gaaaah!... Oh for fucks sake Rush! You're killing me!"

"You said harder, I went for harder." Rush replied, as he ground his heel into the Colonel's aching back.

"Would it kill you to cut your toenails once and awhile?"

"Possibly."

"We'll see how you like when I slice into your back with my toenails the next time you pull a muscle."

"I don't seem to have the problems you have in that department, Colonel" Rush bragged, "I do yoga."

"What does that prove? I've been doing the same damn yoga with you for the last ten damn years!"

"Mmm, yes," Rush admitted, "But I do it properly."

"Lotalotawork" Young muttered into the uncaring floor.