Prompt: 086 - Choices
Word Count: 946
Summary: Kavanagh’s letter to Earth.
Spoilers: Letters From Pegasus, The Rising, Hide and Seek.
Author's Notes: For fanfic100, see my Big Damn Table. Thanks to ferret_kitty for the beta.
Dr. Kavanagh had known what he would record since they’d been told they had a chance to send messages back to Earth. It couldn’t have come at a better time either. With the Wraith about to attack, he was getting worried that he wouldn’t be able to report his concerns and help stop this foolhardy, unplanned and badly executed mission, and prevent future mistakes.
He walked in to the room where Ford was setting up the camera. His laptop was tucked under his arm, the detailed notes he’d been keeping since the beginning safely saved. He checked with the Lieutenant who would have access to this, not because he was worried about anyone’s response but he didn’t trust Weir to not wipe it if she became aware of someone speaking out against her.
The kid was far too annoyingly cheerful considering the situation they were in. But then he was just one of the grunts; he probably didn’t even understand how screwed they were. He did his best to ignore him whilst looking through his notes one last time.
He started with a general introduction, but the little puppy-like kid interrupted him again. He was obviously too squeamish to deal with the hard truths about to be presented. He gladly let him leave, continuing with his condemnation unhindered. He started by outlining the earliest mistakes. How Weir considered evacuating the base, despite no safe place to relocate to. The fact that she had very little control over the Athosian population during their time in the city, allowing the children to run around unaccompanied, causing dangerous situations. He’d gotten as far as Doctor Beckett’s testing of the ATA gene on a human subject without proper informed consent, let alone FDA approval, when he suddenly stopped.
He looked down toward the desk for the briefest moment, but when he turned back, something subtle had changed in his expression. The lines around his eyes were slightly softer and his lips weren’t pressed together quite as much. He stared at the video for a long time before speaking, as if he was struggling with himself. Eventually he started. His voice also reflected the change, more mellifluous and understated than any of his present collegues had ever heard it.
“To Major Nick Lorne, Stargate Command.”
“Hey Nick,” his voice almost broke on that alone as the tightly controlled emotions of the last year flooded back. “I’ve been assured that no-one other than the intended recipient will be allowed access to this, so I hope it doesn’t get you into any trouble.”
He paused again and looked around the room, uncertain of what to say or even what he wanted to say, completely unlike his earlier eloquence. He poured himself some water from the pitcher placed outside the lens of the camera and took a long drink.
“I really just wanted to apologise for the manner in which I left. I should have said something.” His shoulders slump as he started to speak again. “But we’d been too careless on too many occasions: it was only a matter of time before someone noticed. Then this opportunity arose, and I had to take it. It’s something that I very much wanted to do. And I knew if I saw you, if I had to explain in person, you’d break through my resolve, disregard all my carefully thought out, rational decisions and I’d end up staying just to be close to you. So I did what was best for us both. I’m sorry if I left you hurt or confused.
“I can’t really tell you where I am, although I don’t suppose it requires much imagination for someone in your position. I can’t tell you what’s been happening either, just that things haven’t gone as well as certain people expected them to…and well…let’s just say this may be the last message I ever record.” He took around sip of water; it was strange how quickly his mouth had dried out.
“I have no doubt that you’ve moved on and are happy with someone new. It’s not like you ever suffered from a lack of...opportunities.” For the first time since the recording, hell for the first time in that month, he laughed openly and genuine. “Did you ever find out if that was a roll of quarters in Major Davis’ pocket then?”
Just as quickly, he became sombre again. “I don’t want to ruin anything. And I wouldn’t blame you if you have difficulty believing anything I say but at least please believe that, more than anything, I want you to be happy.” There’s another long pause after which he looks directly into the camera. “Still if this is my last chance, I want to tell you…that…I love you. Better late than never, huh? Or maybe not.” He snorted, self-depreciatingly and looked down at his hands again.
“Take care of yourself, Nick. And forgive me if you possibly can.” By now his voice was barely a whisper and he was desperately fighting against the tears stinging the corners of his eyes. “Love…your Cal.”
Using his hands to push himself up from the chair, he walked around the desk to come and stand straight in front of the camera. He reached out, ghosting his fingers across the screen. With his eyes closed, he could pretend that it was Nick’s warm, smooth cheek that he was stroking. He allowed himself one last caress before his fingers moved over the controls and pressed the delete button.
He took his seat again and downed the rest of his water. With one deep breath, he continued his message to the General. Someone on this expedition needed to be responsible.