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31 March 2010 @ 01:01 am
Sea Patrol Fan Fic: Fallout  
Title: Fallout
Author: somebodysangel/nyafangirl  
Rating: PG
Genre: Angst
Summary: It had been almost forever since he’d been able to smile without feeling guilt punch a hole in his stomach.
Notes: Have had this idea for a long time, just could never figure out how to write it. Set post-S3. Inspired by Kelly Clarkson's song Save You. Thanks to griffin_wolf  for the beta and muy awesome title.

Today had been a good day. In fact, the whole week had been pretty damn good. Buffer whistled to himself as he headed down from the bridge, the soft patter of rain echoing through the metal ship.

Five days ago, the Hammersley had finally apprehended a band of drug smugglers they’d been chasing. During the celebration that night, he’d hooked up with a gorgeous brunette, and had gone out with her twice in the days since. The relationship was fledgling, but he thought it had potential.

He smiled as he thought of the end of their date last night. Or lack thereof. She’d woken him up that morning with kisses and another round. He hadn’t been able to wipe the smile from his face all day. Even being on overnight watch while in port couldn’t dampen his mood, despite the miserable weather.

It had been a long time since he’d felt this good. More specifically, it had been almost forever since he’d been able to smile without feeling guilt punch a hole in his stomach. In fact… he checked the date on his watch. Exactly fifteen weeks ago they had discovered ET’s dead body. And three weeks ago, his killer had been brought to justice.

Buffer wasn’t naive enough to think that finding the person responsible for the death – the murder – of one of his best friends meant they would all move on instantly. And they hadn’t, not immediately. Every day the pain of remembering lessened, however, and eventually the memory of that day no longer echoed in his mind every morning.

Everyone moved on in their own way, in their own time. The crew stopped addressing 2Dads with ‘ET’ on their lips. Spider found a new crewmate to idolise. Bomber put ET’s favourite foods back on her menu.

Passing the communal corkboard outside the senior sailors’ mess, Buffer idly tapped the photo pinned there. ET and Swain, holding the fish ET had caught on their last fishing trip before the murder. Two weeks ago, Swain, Charge and Buffer had taken another trip, and this time sadness did not permeate the catch.

Though she was much more subtle than the others, Nav was moving on, too. Buffer had kept a protective eye on her, watching as she slowly worked through her grief. Recently, she’d even looked happy. She’d even stopped drinking herself into a stupor every shore leave, something that had really been worrying him. But, as always with Nav, no-one could talk her out of doing something she wanted to do. After her reaction to Swain prying a shot out of her hand, none of them had the guts to force her to stop. Now it seemed he wouldn’t have to. In fact – he stopped in his tracks, thinking hard – he was pretty sure she had ceased drinking altogether.

A metallic clanging noise drew his attention to the equipment room. He knew he wasn’t alone on the ship; aside from the seaman on watch with him in the bridge, a few sailors had chosen to return to Hammersley for the night, instead of sleeping at home. But only one of those sailors had access to the locked cabinets in the equipment room.

He strode back down the corridor, through the room and out into the driving rain. She stood on deck, neither at the bow nor the side railing; the only way to describe the place was in terms of what it was not. Her face was upturned, as if she wanted to catch the rain in her open mouth, but there was no smile.


She didn’t seem startled by his presence; merely turning her head towards him, the rest of her body motionless. Their gazes connected for a brief instant, then she looked away – but in that moment he saw an incredible despair in her eyes, one that had been absent the last few weeks.

“He loved the rain.” Her voice was listless and monotone. “When it rained on shore leave, we’d sit together under a blanket and just watch.”

At that moment, every fibre of his being wanted to hug her and tell her it would be okay, even if it was a barefaced lie. One foot slid forward, barely making a sound, yet she heard it.

“Don’t,” she said pleadingly. It was only then that he noticed the gun she held in her right hand. Her grip was casual, but he could see the firm curl of her finger on the trigger guard.

“Nav – Nikki, what are you doing?” Despite the rain pounding all around them, he saw her shoulders tense at the Navy nickname, so he spoke her given name, ignoring the foreign taste of the word on his tongue.

She didn’t respond to his question, but answered one that hadn’t even crossed his mind. “I was pregnant.”

Buffer’s jaw dropped, then quickly closed again when it threatened to fill with rain. His mind was racing, putting the puzzle pieces together, and at the same time trying to figure out how to stop her. There was no way he could just let her kill herself, yet how could he convince her not to? And if she was pregnant, why would she… wait a second. “You were pregnant?”

“I lost it.” This time she did reply, turning to face him. Though the rain dripping down her cheeks meant he couldn’t see her tears, the expression on her face told him she was crying. He’d never seen her look so lost, so haunted. Wait, no… He had seen her like this before – in the days after ET’s death. The thirst for revenge had sustained her then. This time, he would have to do.

“I’m sorry, Nikki.” Her name was easier to say this time, and he reached out an arm as he spoke, trying to comfort her without moving. “But you don’t have to do this.”

“Why shouldn’t I?” Now she raised the gun, pointing it at him for a moment before turning it to rest the barrel on her temple.

“C’mon, Nikki. You have everything to live for. I know it doesn’t seem like it now, but it will get easier. I’m not saying you’ll ever stop loving ET, but someday, you might be able to love someone else.” Afraid of what she’d do if he stopped talking, Buffer just let the words spill out without censoring them. As long as he spoke, there was still a chance she’d change her mind. “And you have us, your friends, and you have a good job.”

She shook her head slowly, gun moving in a macabre mirror of her head. “It’s not enough.”

“It could be, if you let it. You need to give yourself time, Nikki. Let me help.”

“You can’t.” The words were whispered, and he was still trying to understand them when she pulled the trigger. For a moment he thought it was the roar of thunder. Then a flash of lightning stuck and her fall was outlined in stark relief.

Instinct propelled him towards her, and although he caught her before she hit the deck, he knew he was too late. Blood mixed with water, soaking his already-drenched DPNUs. He cradled her head and stared into her eyes. Those blue-green eyes that had captured his heart the first time he looked into them, always so full of life and laughter, were now lifeless and empty.

He cries.

Current Mood: moodymoody
Current Music: Save You - Kelly Clarkson
Twizzlerfuzzy_paint on March 30th, 2010 02:16 pm (UTC)
You were right. I have no idea who these people are, but you've woven the facts of canon (what tiny little of what I know of SP) with the story so well that I have a fuzzy picture of what actually happened.

Holy angst monkeys, Batman. I kept thinking, no. She won't do it. She won't. Is it weird that I'm glad you went there? You captured Nav's despair so well that it would almost feel like a cop-out had Buffer been able to convince her otherwise.

Good job S!