The Ultimate Badass

Aliens

Summary: Hudson hears a cry for help. Not for Hicks, or Ripley, or Vasquez. But for him. And suddenly it all makes sense. Warnings :: mentions of child abuse and murder. [ Hudson-centric :: one shot ]

Genre: Angst/Sci-Fi

Rating: Rated T

Notes: I can rate this M if it offends anyone. It is pretty dark, I guess. Also, there's one itty bitty curse word in there, but if you can handle child abuse and murder I'm sure you'll make it through the insignificant profanity just fine. This is a revised version of the original.

DISCLAIMER: I do not own Aliens or Hudson or Hicks, sadly, because Aliens is one of my favorite movies, Hudson is the funniest ultimate badass I've seen, and Hicks is Michael Biehn and, well...enough said.

When Hudson first hears the shrill cry, so young and terrified and dependable, it takes his adrenaline rushing mind a second to comprehend that it is screaming his name. The concept that somebody - anybody - is screaming for help from him of all people right now seems too ludacris after the display of herosism his previous actions have suggested.

But still, although he can not imagine that someone is asking for assistance from him, the ultimate badass - he shudders - Hudson still manages to locate the area where the voice came from and feels a sickening knot tighten in the pit of his gut when he sees Newt. Dirtied, crying, and hysterical, her wide eyes lock with his.

Somehow - he can not really remember seeing it at all - he knows that one of those repulsive face hugging creatures they had seen in those cylinder tubes earlier is about to squirm free from the table's pressure that the little girl is applying. And he knows that in about five seconds it will attach itself onto the child's face and impregnate her. But a certain emphatic feeling of familiarity washes over him and that alone is ten times more frightening than anything he could encounter here.

The image of one of the acid-blooded animals tearing through Newt's chest and bursting free sends some sort of electric shock to his brain and he acts on impulse. "Jesus Christ - kid, look out!" He shouts, surprising himself by jumping forward and roughly shoving the girl behind him as he steadies the table again with his boot, shooting the pulse rifle at the scurrying beast until he is absolutely sure it is not able to move anymore. It is shredded and will not hurt anyone.

Hudson is not expecting the sense of achievement that overwhelmes him, almost stupefying in its intensity.

It is not just the act of bravery. This one hits home.

Memories, some cherished and some gratefully forgotten all rush to the surface of his conscience all at once, and he sees flashes of life - his life.

He remembers himself as a child, with a mother so quiet it was like she was not there and a father so cruel and degrading that looking back on it now he does not see how he ever made it out of there alive. Constant criticism and bruises, only fragments of the inside of a closet and alcohol on someone's breath; it seems too far away. Another lifetime.

Don't touch me.

His eyes squeeze shut.

Don't touch her.

Repressed then but fresh now, he feels like hot coals are sizzling in his chest and it is getting harder to breathe through the spinning room; a tornado like vortex inside his head. A childhood spent hiding from his father, curling in on himself and dissapearing there, it was not until late high school that he stepped out of himself and into the world. After the gun barrel and the blood on the walls. The single prison visit to his father to tell him that he would never see him again. Even then, it felt cowardly. Once again hidden, this time behind the plexiglass with a phone in his sweaty hand . . . always hiding.

It got better after that. No closet door or glass to hide him this time - he hides behind a persona of masculinity and humor. Hudson: the one with the jokes and a big mouth. But it only suffices for awhile and he soon realizes that he seeks something else, something more.

So he joins to fight for his country. It seemed brave enough, in fact he could not think of anything else that would take more guts, and climbs the status ladder. He will eventually make it to be a Colonial Marine and in the meantime he lived on the boasting, craved it even, letting it grow like a bacteria until he could not remember who he was or the past - the pain.

The rare times that the hurt and vulnerability seeped through the cracks, he had a woman there to help him, and he only allowed her in so far before he sealed the cracks and made a joke from it. It is shameful now that he sees her without the blockades he had put around himself. She was so beautiful, so kind, so understanding, and forgiving for all the unneccesary shit he put her through. He can not believe that she stayed with him and throughout all that, still he was the one that jerked her around and ended up breaking her heart. Underneath the petty arguements, the truth was he just wanted her heart to be as broken as his was, as ugly and scarred on the inside. He hates himself for that. Maybe if he ever makes it out of here alive he will call her and apologize. Just maybe she will give him the one last chance he does not deserve.

By the time he reaches LV-426, Hudson has lost himself so deep inside that the fact that there is even something, however small, of who he truly is still hidden in the depths of denial and unspoken anger, makes him sick with a strange mixture of emotions, creating an all new one that has no name but feels suspiciously like regret.

Seeing Newt there, alone and scared, converted him back to that closet. To that darkness he tried to hide from but only found himself swallowed whole by it, sucked into the abyss. He wished someone had been brave enough to help him, to speak when they saw the bruises, or perhaps if he had been strong enough to say something . . . do something.

He did not save his mother. Whether he could not or would not was always going to be a question inside him until the second his heart stopped beating, but as of right now he refused not to save someone; refused to watch the little girl become nothing. It may have taken him thirty years to finally get here, to the point of freedom where he wanted to be brave for another person and not for himself, but the fact that Hudson was here at all, that's what truly mattered.