Author: Shay (TheWickedQuill, untold_story, jracklesfan77)
Genre: Angst, General
Type/Status: Ficlet, Complete
Disclaimer: I don’t own anything. I just have fun playing with it all.
Summary: It was the very thing he’d warned the others about.
“Family isn’t an option. Not for us.”
He’d said those words to Max and Logan, back when they’d rescued Charlie and Case from Manticore’s clutches. He’d meant them, too. Caring was dangerous, a luxury they didn’t have, being fugitives and all. The fiasco with Tinga and her husband and child was still fresh. Attachment had left her open and vulnerable and the love she shared with her family was used as a weapon against her. Zack knew he was right and his gut had never steered him wrong, regardless of what his siblings may have thought.
Too bad he hadn’t listened to his gut the last time he’d been in Seattle. He’d ignored the strange unsettled feeling, the unidentifiable reason for the heaviness of heart.
“I’m pregnant, Zack.”
He’d suggested that Tinga let Charlie and Case go, that to stay with them could only mean an unpleasant end for them all. It had resulted in that, anyway, having been too late to circumvent the plans Lydecker had laid when he insinuated himself into Case’s life all those months ago. Tinga had turned herself in to save her child and had lost her life in the process.
He’d been right about the dangers. Sometimes he hated being right.
“What are we going to do?”
It was the very thing he’d warned the others about. He had fallen prey to it, as well. Gotten in too deep, tangled in a mess that could have – should have – been avoided. He’d managed to distance himself for so long, partly due to her inability to see him as anything other than a brother figure and partly because he knew he wouldn’t have been able to hold back if given the chance to be with her.
So much for the steely, self control for which he’d been known. They’d messed up and now the question was could he take his own advice? Distance himself from attachment? Turn his back on the one woman he truly cared about and the child she now carried – his son or daughter?
He would never forget the look of betrayal that contorted her features, the hurt that flashed in her wide, dark eyes as he spoke his apology and turned from her.
She hadn’t understood that he wasn’t apologizing for loving her, for their current predicament. He was trying to say sorry for not understanding the depth of feeling Tinga shared with her family, the instincts that called her home to keep them safe. Now, though, now he understood. And he was so very sorry.
He sank down beside her on the worn, grey couch and drew her close, ignoring her feeble attempts to pull away.
“We’re gonna be okay, Maxie.”
Family hadn’t been an option.