Author: Little Red
Category: Replicarter/Fifth. Future.
Spoilers: "New Order," "Gemini." Written before "Reckoning."
Summary: This makes all the difference.
Author's Note: This was a challenge ficlet for the icon challenge, where someone gives me a usericon as a prompt. The icon was Liz's:
He awakes for the first time without fanfare. Eyes snap open and flicker with mechanical precision -- left, right, a single blink, and then come to rest on her.
He doesn't speak.
It seems wrong that he does not gasp, does not even appear to breathe, but he has not yet been programmed to do so. His eyes are still lifeless, theoretically, but look so absolutely familiar that she is momentarily stunned into stillness.
She was unprepared to see him again. She should not be -- after all, she created him from memory.
"Don't be afraid," she says. They are his words, but she is the one who remembers them. "I know the first moment of life can be frightening."
He is still, and when she brushes her hand over his forehead, he does not react to the touch. Fear and longing coil within her like pieces of herself aligned out of order, because she remembers this, remembers being beneath his hand this way, and she remembers him.
When she reaches inside him, he begins to breathe, and some vestigial memory reminds her of newborn human infants, small and weak.
He begins to ask questions, and as the communication forms in her mind she closes her eyes, for the part of her that is Samantha Carter cannot bear how long it has been since she has last been spoken to.
What am I?
You are one, and many. These words, too, are not originally her own.
Are there others like me?
You are the ninth, she says, and allows herself to smile at the final completion of the struggle across galaxies to find enough neutronium to rebuild herself her Adam.
He was weak, but she was foolish. She was built to be a companion. She was not made to survive alone.
What is our purpose? he asks, and she witholds the transfer of images of planets in ruin and populations discarded as irrelevant, of the ring she has carved out in the universe around Earth, for Samantha Carter must be left standing until last.
He does not need to know everything right away.
I will teach you, she promises.
Now he is hers where before she was his, and this makes all the difference.
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