A/N: You may have been expecting a Falling Skies update but I became distracted (as usual) with ABC's terrific new drama Last Resort. For those unfamiliar: it's about a submarine crew ordered to aggress Pakistan to suit the corrupt president's agenda. When they refuse, the US Navy turns on them and blows them up. They aren't killed, though. (Or at least not most of them) and they surface and take control of a small island with a NATO outpost. Where do we go from there? Not sure. Anyway, there is a loose Falling Skies connection: Jessy Schram is in it! And she plays a good gal for once: the wife of the second-in-command of the sub, who initially believes her husband is dead. SO what we have here is a brief little ONESHOT about everything that went through her mind when they informed her that her husband had 'died.' Read and review please. But this is just a oneshot and this will be my only foray into the Last Resort fandom for the time being. Thanks :)
What started as an ordinary night quickly devolved into the most horrific thing she could have ever imagined. Because Sam Kendal was dead. Her husband was dead. Christine Kendal was…a widow. And she didn't even need to hear what the people on her doorstep had to say. Why else would they be there? Why else would there be a bunch of black SUVs with government plates in the driveway, contrasting sharply with the little house in the little suburb that Sam had found for them? Why else would they be standing there in their dark colored suits, completely devoid of any emotion? She broke down.
Sam was dead. Gone. Like that. She would never hold him again, never feel his warmth that made her feel safe and protected, never look into those blue eyes again. Never hear him whisper 'I love you' every night before bed. She would never cuddle up on the couch with him again and watch really, really corny movies on a rainy Sunday afternoon. She would never walk the dog with him again and talk about how school was going, how securing investors for her pending business ventures was coming along. Never again would she sit down across from him at dinner, a thing of Hamburger Helper between them, and ask 'how was your day' only to have him respond jokingly 'I'd tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.'
Suddenly the warm-colored walls they'd painted together, the homey furnishings that they'd picked out together…all of it seemed so unfriendly, unwelcoming. And in those few minutes she went through every phase of grief twice over. The sobs wouldn't stop wracking her. They didn't ask to come in, they simply crossed over the threshold when she stood aside. Their polished shoes thumped on the tile in the foyer and left dark prints on the carpet she had just cleaned. The dog watched with solemn eyes and understood that something horrible had happened.
This couldn't be happening. No. It wasn't real. It wasn't true. She was dreaming. Five seconds and she would wake up on the couch, some god-awful military flick playing on the television. Sam would still be alive. She would see him soon. But five seconds later and she was still awake, still clutching the sides of her face, the warm tears spilling out of her eyes. It was real. It was true. Sam was dead.
She supposed it was inevitable. Death was ever-present, ever-threatening. She knew that there was a chance this could happen. She had known this when she agreed to marry him. And she had accepted this risk because she loved him. Never had she met a man so dedicated, so loyal, so loving as to be willing to lay his own life down for a nation of people, most of whom he had never met.
But why now? Now, when he was supposed to be coming home soon? They had agreed that after his second enlistment ended, he would apply for a desk job. They'd even played around with the idea of him leaving military life altogether. He had a college degree. He was handy. He could run a business: construction, electrical work, plumbing, carpentry. She would help him. They would move to a bigger house, start a family, adopt a second dog. He would be domesticated, commute to work, buy coffee from drive-through fast food places in the mornings. She would fix snacks afterschool, take their kids to sporting events or music lessons or ballet classes, drive a minivan, live like the suburban soccer-mom she had long dreamed of becoming if only because it was a secure, steady, predictable life.
The dream she had so carefully built—right down to picking paint colors for the walls of the house they had yet to buy—came crashing down around her. There would be no new house, no business, no commuting, no second dog, no minivans, no sporting events, no family. She wouldn't rush down to the naval pier to greet him as he came ashore, wouldn't throw herself at him, feel him lifting her easily into the air and pressing tender kisses to her cheek. She wouldn't smile at him and run her fingers against the back of his head where the hair was cropped short and prickly.
They told her it was an airstrike from Pakistan. The Pakistani military had somehow learned the USS Colorado's coordinates and ordered an airstrike. The sub likely exploded on impact, they said. He wouldn't have felt pain. He probably wouldn't have known it was happening. That was a comfort, at least. She didn't want him to have known. She didn't want him to have been scared. Sam wasn't the type of man to worry about himself like that. No, in that situation she was certain his only thought would have been about her—he would be worrying how she would carry on without him. And that's not what she wanted. They said he died valiantly. He had been one hundred percent focused on doing his duty in that moment and that's how she preferred it: this heroic image of her husband, XO on that submarine, talking to the captain or delivering orders, doing whatever it took to make sure his country was safe.
They expressed condolences but it was so half-hearted she almost wanted to throw them out. She was tempted to. They all sat coldly around the coffee table that she and Sam had bought. Was he just another name on a list to them? Did they know? Did they know that she had furnished this room with him? That he had lifted that very coffee table out of the station wagon's trunk and into the house? Did they know that they had hosted a Super Bowl party in this very room? Did they know that he had painted the vaulted ceilings that were too high for her to reach, even on a ladder? Did they care?
She felt anger directed at these three messengers of death. This was suddenly their fault. They worked for the government. The government that had gotten her beloved Sammy killed. They had sent him out there on that sub, they had sent him to his death. They had selected her husband as second in command of the vessel. They had robbed her. It was their fault. Entirely. They should have known Pakistan would do something like that. They had to have known. Tensions had been rising steadily all the time. She read it in the Washington Post, watched it on ABC News. Her girlfriends mentioned it to her when they went out for coffee. She had been pressing along in her life pretending that tragedy couldn't strike at her. And now it had. Now these indirect murderers were sitting across from her, speaking platitudes that meant little and helped none, telling her she would never see her husband again because they couldn't even retrieve his body. The sub was blown apart, they said.
She looked up at the wooden plaque over the doorway. God bless this house. She scowled at it. God blessed this house, but He couldn't bless her with more time. Surely there had to have been something she could have done. She would gladly give anything to have him back. Anything. But she was powerless, felt powerless. There wasn't anything she could give because he had already been taken. She broke down crying again. Gone. Forever. Forever was such a long time to be apart. Christine collapsed onto the sofa and stared up at the ceiling. Why go on? Why even bother. The people stayed where they were, watching her. They seemed to be talking still, counseling her, informing her of the benefits the government would give to her, the compensation. As if money could ever replace Sam. Didn't they understand he was more than just a source of income? Didn't they understand that all the money in the world couldn't replace the love he gave to her, had for her, shared with her? She wanted to kick them out, demand they leave or she'd press charges of trespassing. She wanted them gone, wanted the solitude to cry and scream and thrash and wait to die.
And then she heard a little voice in her head—maybe it was imagined—but it was Sam. He was whispering to her. "Christine, I love you. Keep going. Live your life for both of us." She perked up a bit, looked around to find the phantom source of the voice. The three officials stared at her blankly. The woman was still talking. The dog looked to her, its brown eyes held some sort of strange glint. She felt invigorated, like hearing his voice breathed life into her again. Live your life for the both of us. I will, Sam. I promise. Sam Kendal was dead. And this was his requiem.
A/N: Dedicated to all the military families out there, especially those who have lost a loved one in the armed forces. What did you think? Five stages of grief and poor Christine went through all of them in the frame of an hour, more or less. For those of you who didn't catch the episode—SPOILER ALERT: Sam's actually still alive. The government thought he was dead after they sank the sub for questioning a direct order. And Christine does get a telephone call from her husband later that confirms he's alive. But the important thing is: she thinks he's dead right now. And she's mourning him. Was it good? Did I capture grief well? Or did it suck? Let me know in a review! Again, this is a oneshot and I don't plan to pursue any more Last Resort stuff for a while, if ever. Just a character study really. I'll be going back to the Falling Skies and Terra Nova fandoms now. Thanks and peace!