Summary: Apocalyptic/tragedy fic, Zelenka/Heightmeyer. This wasn't happening to her...
A/N: Betaread by Ellex and Fanwoman. I really owe them for the amount of fic they've gone over recently. :)
He wasn't gone.
He couldn't be gone.
He'd only gone away briefly; he'd said he would be back.
He'd promised, he'd even looked back at her as he walked away, like he was reluctant to leave her, but he hadn't kissed her goodbye. She wasn't sure now if that'd been because of embarrassment at the public scene it would have caused, or if he'd meant to come back, to be able to do it later.
Or maybe he hadn't wanted to worry her... to admit what he was doing was dangerous, that he was quite possibly going to his death. He'd been so flippant about the task; it was necessary, buying them all time, but he had spared the details and told her not to worry.
The words ring around her head and she feels faint. She can't focus and she doesn’t really want to focus on them, either; she doesn't want to let them sink in. If she understood fully, she'd probably know it's hopeless. She wants to wait for him, to see him run round the corner and fling himself into her arms. She knows it's pointless, pretending he didn't go, risking his life, but he could still come back. They can't know for sure; she doesn't trust the words of the man in front of her. He looks completely earnest as he repeats it, but she won't believe it.
She'll wait. He'll come back. He’ll do exactly what she imagines he would, even though she knows that he'd never do that; he's far too private a person for that. She knows that from experience, and not the same way she knows about everyone else’s quirks. He never came to her; he avoided her. She'd always had to go to him. But finally, he'd come to her, not as a patient, but perhaps as a friend. As someone who didn't want to be confined by her rules, who wanted to approach her on his own terms; to be able to be more to her than everyone else could be.
She'd wait, but they won't let her stay. They've given up trying to convince her, just like they've written off Radek as dead. They don't have any proof, but then they don't need it. The Wraith are all around the city by now, and if he isn't already dead, he might well soon be.
It's just that she hopes, maybe, he'll come back. He wasn't one for breaking a promise, except you can't break it if what you've promised is no longer possible; or if you're dead.
She'd wait, but she's being pulled away onto the last Jumper. She may never know now, and she's not sure which is better – to know it's hopeless or to forever cling to the possibilities. What if he was taken aboard a ship; what if he managed to escape; what if he might come back one day?
She's not usually one for such fantasies; she often has to quell the rising panic they bring in her patients. She knows what hope can do; it's a double-edged sword. You need it, but you can't depend on it. You have to know where and when to apply it. It's part of her job to know that, to determine that for the benefit of others. But she's oddly clueless in trying to use that knowledge on herself. It's like a wound she can't reach, and there is no one else to help her tend to it. Not even him; not anymore.