Surrender

Dec. 22nd, 2012 12:54 pm
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[personal profile] perfidiousfate
Name: Surrender
Author: perfidiousfate
Fandom: Red vs Blue
Wordcount: 605
Summary: Five times Church gave up, and one time he didn't.



1.

When Church was a kid, there was this bike he wanted. He’d been that quiet, awkward boy hanging around the edge of the group, neither accepted nor rejected, and a bitchin’ bike seemed the fastest way to gain friends. He worked all summer before he could afford it. And when he got it, it felt like all his dreams come true. It took two days for some neighbourhood boys to steal it - he could never prove it was them.

That day, something sharp and ugly awoke deep within his chest, simmering and hot.

He didn’t try to make friends anymore.

2.

“I want to join the army,” she told him under the Texan stars and the burnt orange of the streetlights. Her hair and eyes glowed under the light and her sincerity, and the conviction of her voice would have bulldozed a dozen better men than him.

He’d begged Allison not to go. Held her so tightly they might have been one person, skin against skin and words so soft they unravelled between their lips. Public fights, the traffic drowning out their accusations. A ring tucked under his mattress, undisturbed.

He couldn’t change her mind – stopped trying. She still joined.

And –

3.

He couldn’t remember how the story went.

Under the blistering heat of the never-setting sun of the canyon, a sniper rifle he couldn’t use feeling strange and heavy in his hands, he spent hours trying to figure out what happened. He knew he joined the army at some point – why else would he be there? He must have signed up - walked up and said “I want this.”

Too bad the only concrete things he remembered were her face, her touch, and this fucking canyon with nothing to do but try to remember.

He stopped around the time Cappy died.

4.

“Church. Church!!!”

“Ugh. What do you want, Caboose.”

“I want you to...read me a bedtime story!”

“For the millionth fucking time - no, Caboose!”

“Dude, maybe you should. Caboose is really starting to piss me off.”

“Well, why don’t you read him something then, Tucker? Go right ahead.”

“I don’t want stupid Tucker to read me anything. He’ll just mess it up.”

“You heard the guy. Now go read to him, and let me sleep.”

“What – no! I am not his mother.”

“Church is blue. My mother isn’t blue. So he can’t be my mother.”

“Thanks, Caboose.”

“I used logic to solve the problem.”

“Seriously, Church, if you don’t fucking read him the story I will stab you, then Caboose, then myself.”

“Oh, come on! Fine! I give up. But you owe me big time.”

5.

When he watched Tex fly off with an alien baby and a bomb, and when he watched her ship explode, something in Church (that same thing that still simmered deep inside, that hid an engagement ring under his mattress and never mentioned it, that hovered just underneath the surface of his memories, that didn’t actually hate his teammates) – something in Church withered and died.

+ 1

There was this Freelancer named Wash. And this AI called Alpha. And there was Church. And somehow, those things combined for one crazy fucking story and it turned out Church was a computer or some bullshit.

Of course Church didn’t believe that; he was a goddamn ghost. But still. A flicker of doubt, a question: what if everything he knew - what if he - was fake? If his every memory (was a key), his every emotion (was fragmented), his every trait (was someone else’s) was simulated?

Church (Alpha) stays to face the Meta - his first real act. And he doesn’t back down.

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