blue flamingos

5 things Torren Emmagan will always remember about his mother

Fandom: Stargate Atlantis

Category/Rated: Gen, PG

Year/Length: 2009/ ~759 words

Disclaimer: No, I don't own them, for which I should think they're profoundly grateful.

Series: kind of What Happens Next verse'y. Very kind of

Feedback: Yes please. Even if it's bad. Especially if it's bad.

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1.

The first time she cut her hair short:

He was five years old, and she went out after he was in bed, kissing his forehead and telling him to be good for his father. He remembers the way her hair fell over his face, and in the morning, he woke up and it was all gone, leaving waves of red hair that ended at her chin. He stopped, wanting to cry, sort of, and then she smiled at him and pulled him into her lap. One of the curls was right by his finger and he tugged it a little. It stretched out, then bounced back, and he laughed, did it again, until his mother was laughing as well.

She never let it grow long enough to pull itself straight again, not for as long as Torren knew.

2.

The time he walked into the kitchen and saw his mother and his father kissing:

He was eight, so it probably wasn't the first time he'd seen it, just the first time he remembered. He always forgot, when they weren't standing together, how much smaller his mother was than his father, when she seemed so much more present than him. It was obvious though, when they stood so close, her head tipped right back, his tipped far down, both of them with their eyes closed. Torren tucked himself further behind the door frame, sure he shouldn't be watching, but not quite wanting to go away either, not when they looked so happy together, so loved. He felt it wash over him as well, like a warm blanket in the middle of winter when it snowed, and stayed there until his mother looked up and saw him, and pulled him close to kiss his forehead.

3.

The way her voice sounded when she shouted:

He was eleven, and he'd promised he'd go home from school by himself, because his father was working on Athos, and his mother had meetings all day with some important delegates. He'd said goodbye to little Alex, and Uncle John, and walked all on his own, and even let himself in and put his bag away. Then he'd thought about how tired his mother sometimes looked at the end of the day, and decided he'd go meet her.

He still doesn't know how he managed to miss her coming the other way, but he did, and when he got to the gate room, lots of people were rushing about, looking worried and talking about something that had happened off-world, and Torren didn't like to interrupt them. He doesn't know how he got lost either, only that, three hours later, his mother and Colonel Lorne found him huddled in a corner, out of the way, and she hugged him so tight he thought his bones would squeak, shouting, shouting, never do that, never wander off, never, never, never. Colonel Lorne looked worried that he'd get upset, but Torren knew it just meant she'd been worried. He was too old to cry in front of Colonel Lorne, but he clung back to his mother and whispered, "Sorry, sorry, sorry," into her shoulder.

4.

How happy she was when she was with Torren's uncles and aunts from Atlantis, her and his father's friends from Athos, the kids from Uncle John's class:

When they were all on Athos together, when it was warm even after the sun went down, and everyone sat by the fires and let the children drink a little bit of the grown-up drinks from their glasses. When she leaned back into his father's embrace, smiling, calling over Uncle Rodney's voice to correct something in the story he was telling, making everyone laugh. When she pulled Torren close to her when he went and sat by her and his father, even though he was too old for hugs; how safe he felt, curled up with her, listening to the real live legends of the Pegasus galaxy tell stories from before he was born, where his mother was always the hero, brilliant and compassionate and so strong.

5.

That, two days after his eighteenth birthday, she went to another planet with Uncle Rodney and Uncle Ronon and Uncle John, even though Uncle John wasn't supposed to go to other planets except for really special reasons, and that, when Torren's three uncles came back through the gate, bleeding and shaking, his mother didn't come with them, because she was brilliant and compassionate and so strong, and there was nothing she wouldn't do for her friends. Nothing she wouldn't give.


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