|"A Wonderful Life"
||[Nov. 7th, 2006|10:45 pm]
Title: A Wonderful Life
Disclaimer: Don't own, don't sue, no money!
Notes: Fic is standalone but part of the Relationship From Scratch Series
Summary: Ever get the feeling that the life you are leading is not yours?
The code Major. We need you to tell us the code…
Evan cracks open an eye and there is the top of a small face regarding him from over the mattress. A nose appears and then a tiny bow of a mouth and finally a chin comes to rest on top of the sheet, framed with wavy brown hair.
“Dad, I think Leigh ate one of my toy soldiers.”
“Are you sure or are you convicting your brother without a fair trial?” Evan asks and watches as the thoughtful frustration crosses the face that he always thinks is so Lindsay. The expression basically says, of course I’m right, do you really need me to prove it?
“Well, it’s gone and Leigh says his stomach hurts,” the little person proclaims and Evan can’t help the grin that surfaces as he reaches across and scoops his daughter up under the arms and pulls her onto the bed, stretched across him. He thwaps her on the back of the head with one of the small decorative pillows he hates but can’t seem to accidentally lose/destroy because they always turn back up in perfect condition.
Either that or Lindsay has a whole closet full of the ugly things.
“Daaaa-ad,” his squirming bundle protests and for just a second, everything greys out when Evan thinks, I should know my daughter’s name.
Then there is pain.
The code and this all ends…
When he opens his eyes again, Lindsay is sitting on the window seat; legs stretched out and book across her lap. She’s wearing her glasses, only finally purchased six months ago when Evan made her get her eyes checked after constant headaches had been plaguing her.
He would never tell her, but the first time she’d undone her hair and shaken it out while pulling her glasses off, he’d gotten harder than he’d ever been in his life.
He wouldn’t admit it, because he’d hate for her to think he was cliché.
“Where’s Danny?” he asks and something in the back of his mind says, See, not so difficult to remember is it? and he’s not really sure what that means.
“Downstairs with Leigh,” Lindsay says, not looking up. “They’re playing with his cars. They have a whole city of toilet rolls and shoe boxes set up in the living room. You should see it.”
Evan blinks and he’s on the bottom step, a wide-plan and sunny living room stretching out before him and two children in the centre, carefully stacking cardboard. Lindsay had said they were building a city but it looks more like a castle to him.
He already sees the moat and the towers.
Danny rises from her place and comes over, a pad and paper in her hand. “Mum says she needs the code before you go out,” she says, holding the paper towards him.
Evan takes it automatically and writes a number and then stops.
“Wait,” he says. “Just wait…”
We’ll stop hurting you…
A door slams and he jerks awake. There is a crick in his neck because he has fallen asleep on the lounge again. Lindsay is always grousing at him about that because…
But she’s standing in the doorway, her arms crossed. “I wasn’t expecting you to be home,” she says and he frowns.
“Where else would I be?”
Something flitters across her face and is gone that he doesn’t recognise.
“You just… haven’t been home much.” She looks tiny in the doorway, arms wrapped around her body, hands cupping her elbows.
“I’m trying,” he says, although he’s not sure why. He can’t remember where he’s been or why he would want to be away from the fragile creature looking at him with wide eyes.
There’s a thump and a cry from upstairs and she looks toward the sound and then at him.
“Don’t worry Major, I’ll get it,” she sighs, sounding tired.
“Major?” he asks, rising from his seat and she freezes and then…
We’ll stop hurting her…
The hospital waiting room is cold and there is a chair separating him from Lindsay and he wonders how that happened.
When did they stop automatically trying to be as close to each other as possible?
The Doctor who comes to see them is still wearing scrubs and his mask is pulled down around his neck. When Lindsay stands, he sees Leigh stretched out on the chair on the other side of her, thumb stuck in his mouth, big eyes watching them.
“I’m sorry, there was too much damage to repair,” the Doctor is saying and Lindsay has gone pale and although he wants to, he knows his comfort won’t be wanted.
“She’s only twelve,” Lindsay is saying in this broken voice that makes his heart constrict.
“I’m very sorry,” the Doctor is saying. “Now, if you could just fill out this form with your code and your signature, I’ll have someone come in to make arrangements.” The Doctor is holding a clipboard out to Lindsay but she turns her head away.
“Evan, could you?” she asks in the same tiny broken voice and he takes it.
“Of course,” he says and is three numbers along before he glances up at the Doctor and sees the man watching him, something eager on his face.
Evan drops the clipboard and steps away from it, grabbing handfuls of his hair at his temple and fetching up against the far wall.
“What are you doing?” he demands. “Who are you?”
He’s drawing lazy circles in her back and when she reaches under a pillow and brings out a pen and hands it to him, he’s written four numbers along the gentle slope of her shoulder blade before he stops, hand jerking a line off her back and onto the sheet below it.
He rolls off the bed, bile in his throat. “You’re not-“
She’s got a wicked aim and the plate she’s lobbed at him actually grazes his forehead on its way past before exploding on the wall behind.
“Who is she?” Lindsay spits. “Write down her number so I can call her and tell her to get her filthy claws out of my husband!”
Lindsay is shoving one of those small novelty whiteboards at him that you usually write your shopping list on and attach to the fridge but when she tries to get him to take the pen, he lets it slip from nerveless fingers.
She’s cut herself when chopping vegetables and her blood is bright in the white kitchen and he’s doodling numbers on the kitchen counter in her blood when her small hand circles his wrist and she says, “You have to stop.”
A medicinal smell assaults his nostrils and for a second Lindsay has a black eye and a ragged bottom lip like she’s bitten clean through it and she puts her hands under the faucet and throws water at his face and says “Wake-“
He’s being shaken, someone gripping his shoulders so hard there’s going to be bruises for days and he hears them say again, “Major, c’mon Lorne, help me out here!”
He cracks open his eyes and the light hurts for a few seconds. When he tries again he can keep them open although tears blur his vision until someone rubs what feels like a sleeve over his face and then there is that voice again, underlying whip-crack of command in it.
“That’s it Lorne, rise and shine buddy, we have to go.”
“Sir?” Lorne croaks and it’s weird how his voice doesn’t sound like it’s been used for days.
“Hey, there you are. C’mon now, on your feet soldier.” Lorne now recognises Sheppard’s drawl and then there’s an arm under his and he’s being manhandled upright and it’s crazy that he hadn’t realised he was prone.
“Right there,” Sheppard understands immediately and swings Lorne around so he can see Lindsay, held carefully against Ronon’s chest, the larger man nodding slightly at them before he disappears backwards in a swirl of smoke and the press of other people in Atlantean uniform.
“Lotsa time for explanations later,” A voice on his other side, sounding harried, snaps and then there’s an arm under his other side and Lorne sees that it’s McKay, looking red-faced and a little manic.
“Can you walk?” Sheppard is asking and Lorne thinks that that is the stupidest thing he’s ever heard, of course he can walk, but the whole passing out thing kind of renders the point moot.
Lorne has bruised ribs, a broken ankle and the kicker is, he doesn’t remember how he got them. He’s gotten a half-assed explanation about an old ally of the Genii having captured his team to try and extract their iris codes, having heard tales of a defensible city with weapons unimaginable, but sometimes Lorne just doesn’t want to know.
All he knows for sure is that he was stuck in the infirmary for five days while a veritable cocktail of drugs worked its way out of his system, that Lindsay had been out in three and that he hadn’t seen her.
Kate Heightmeyer is waiting at her door for him, probably having heard the hump-ka-thump of his crutches from down the corridor.
“Reporting as ordered,” he smiles, making his careful way passed her. Lorne is pretty good on crutches, having been stuck on them a time or dozen and Kate watches him swing into a chair and rest the crutches beside himself.
“Now before we begin, let me stress that we are here to talk about you. I’m not going to divulge anything to you about any of your team or the others captured.”
Lorne frowns. “I wasn’t-“
Kate is holding up a hand, smiling gently. “You won’t mean to, but you’ll get around to it. All of your team did. Except Doctor Novak.”
“You’ve seen her?” he asks before he can stop himself and Kate gives him the, see, I told you eyebrow.
“Let’s begin,” she says instead, dropping into her own chair and Lorne breathes, knowing that his hopes for a quick interview and a sane stamp on the hand have fallen by the way.
It’s another four days of Hermiod giving him the run-around and the rest of the scientists looking pained and uncomfortable whenever he’s around before Lindsay turns up in his doorway.
Lorne feels something roil through his belly when he sees her tight self-hug, elbows clasped in her hands.
“I want to…” she begins and her face tightens. He knows by the way she’s holding herself not to ask her into his room and by the small twist in her lip when he merely stands patiently and waits, weight leaning on one crutch, that she’s grateful for that small thing.
“I want to be okay, but I’m not… just yet,” she says, another small twist of her lips but this one he recognises from when she’s got a problem she thinks she should be able to solve but just can’t. “I want to ask you what you saw… but I’m not ready for that either.”
Lorne wants to ask her as well, but is pretty sure he already knows. It wasn’t always Lindsay in that other place, but he knows, just knows, that sometimes it was.
“Are we going to be okay?” he asks instead, knowing even that much is probably unfair.
“I’m not sure,” she says.