daylight_darknight: (Earth Sunrise)
[personal profile] daylight_darknight
Not really happy with this one but I've been nitpicking at it for several days and it is driving me insane. If I don't post it, I'll never be able to get on with the three other unfinished Legends of Tomorrow fic I'm trying to write.

Title: Dead Sons and Lost Lovers
Characters: Rip, Kendra
Rating/Warnings: G
Genre: Angst, Friendship, Humour
Word Count: 2000
Spoilers: Set mid season 1
Summary: Rip rants about the team's latest antics and Kendra makes some pointed observations.

“And if that wasn't enough, after knocking out half the temple's priests, stealing the Emperor's trident and his best liquor, then they decide to set the place on fire.” Rip's voice grew with exasperation as he spoke. “Quantum driver,” he added as he reached a hand out of the crawlspace. He was currently lying on his back deep in the bowels of the Waverider's control systems, surrounded by pulsing blue circuits and twisted wires hanging down above his head.

A tool was slapped into his open palm. He pulled his arm back inside the crawlspace and began using the driver to reset the circuits in front of him.

“I'm surprised the whole place didn't burn to the ground,” he said continuing his tirade.

“I thought they did that as a distraction so the rest of us could escape,” came Kendra's slightly muffled voice.

Rip snorted. “True, but the fire was a little on the excessive side, and don't think I don't know whose idea that was. I'm sure Mr. Rory had a brilliant time setting all those tapestries alight. I don't think 2117 will ever be the same again.” He passed the driver out and felt Kendra take it back. “Could you...” He didn't need to finish his sentence before the exact tool he needed was placed in his hand. “Thanks.” He pulled his hand back in and began reconnecting several of the wires overhead. “And why Mr. Snart had to steal that trident I'll never understand.”

“You have to admit it did come in handy,” said Kendra.

“Yes,” Rip admitted reluctantly. “It would have been much harder for Sara to defeat the Emperor's golem without it, but if they hadn't stolen it, the Emperor might never have sent it after us in the first place or his ten most elite warriors. I'm going to need...”

A micro welder was passed to him.

“Neither the trident nor the ambrosia liquor...” Rip continued.

“Which was really good,” Kendra interrupted.

Rip sighed. “...which was admittedly quite excellent, were what we were there to retrieve. We were supposed to be acquiring the Emperor's chronicles of the twenty-first century so we could search through it for mentions of Savage.”

“We did manage to get it eventually.”

“And half its pages were burnt but that's not the point.”

“Then what is the point?” asked Kendra in an amused tone.

“The point is that the three of them should have been more careful. The effect this will have on the timeline is bad enough, but they were lucky to get out alive, and if what those three did wasn't enough, afterwards Martin, Jax, and Ray had to insist on going back into the burning temple to rescue all the slaves.”

“The slaves did need rescuing,” Kendra pointed out.

“They could have gotten themselves killed!” Rip snapped, his irritation making his voice rise in pitch as well as volume.

Kendra laughed, a quiet amused chuckle. “Jonas is really lucky to have you as a father.”

All of Rip's thoughts came tumbling to a halt, the sudden mention of his son leaving him dumfounded. In fact, the shock was so great he failed to notice exactly what he was doing, which is how he managed to connect the wrong wire to the wrong circuit and cause an overload. The explosion was small, relatively speaking, but the fact both it and Rip were confined to the small area of the crawlspace meant he got the full impact. Sparks rained down from above his head and Rip cried out as the heat and light hit sending a stab of pain through his eyes.

“Bloody hell!”

“Oh, my God. Rip!”

His eyes screwed tightly shut, Rip felt hands pull him out of the crawlspace, and then prop him up into a seated position.

“Rip? Are you ok? Rip?”

He slowly opened his eyes; then he blinked several times, rubbed his eyes, and opened them again. His eyes stung and the world was fuzzy and full of spots, but he could see. What he currently saw was Kendra's somewhat blurry face anxiously peering down as she knelt beside him.

He cleared his throat. “I'm alright,” he assured her as he rubbed his eyes again.

“I'm so sorry,” said Kendra wincing sheepishly. “I guess bringing up something like that when you were neck deep in live wires was a bad idea.”

“It's fine. It's fine,” Rip insisted. He closed his eyes for a moment and then blinked a few more times. His eyes still stung, but his vision was getting better, the bright spots fading away. He made a note to have himself checked over by Gideon later just in case.

“Why...” He shook his head. Between the explosion and the mention of his son, he felt a bit rattled. “Did you really mean...”

“I wasn't joking,” Kendra said. “I think Jonas is a lucky kid to have a father like you.”

Rip searched her face for any hint of sarcasm but she was being completely sincere.

He frowned. “But why...” Had he missed something? He couldn't see the connection between their previous conversation and her unexpected reference to his son.

Kendra looked sympathetically at him. “Your paternal side is showing,” she said.

“My what?”

Kendra laughed again. “Trust me,” she said. “I'm a parent too, was a parent, sort of, technically. Anyway, I can tell.”

She was a parent, or at least, a past her was, and she'd lost her son too. Rip tended to forget that, his own grief so overwhelming he failed to see it in others. He wondered which was worse: losing a child you can barely remember or losing a child you can never forget.

“I still don't see where you're going with this,” he said.

“The reason you're so angry,” Kendra explained, “the reason you're so frustrated and complain all the time is because you worry.”

Rip snorted. “Of course, I worry. Have you seen how this team operates? There's a lot to worry about.” With all the team did, he often spent more time worrying about them than about Savage.

“That's not exactly what I meant,” said Kendra slowly shaking her head. “It's like when your kid goes and does something dangerous, they play with something they shouldn't or wander off...”

A memory flashed through Rip's mind: six-year-old Jonas wandering off while they were in a busy marketplace. He recalled how frantically his heart had beat when he'd realized the boy had managed to vanish from his sight and the breathless relief mixed with irrational anger when he'd found him again.

“And you want to yell at them for scaring you to death,” he finished for her, finally starting to understand what she was getting at.

“Exactly,” said Kendra. “You worry because you care about the team and you don't want anything to happen to them. Don't deny it. I've seen how you act whenever someone is hurt. You're always the first one rushing over to help.”

Rip fidgeted where he sat starting to feel rather uncomfortable with the direction this conversation was taking. “Well, yes. I care,” he said dismissively. “I'm their captain. A good captain cares about their crew.”

Kendra pursed her lips. “I was thinking more in terms of friends rather than crew.” She tilted her head to the side gazing thoughtfully at him. “You tend to do that, don't you?”

“Do what?”

“Distance yourself.”

“I don't know what you're talking about,” said Rip wondering if he could somehow escape back into the crawlspace.

“It's always captain and crew with you, not teammates or friends,” said Kendra. “You even spend most of your downtime alone. You rarely join us when we take a break or have a chance to do something fun or even when we eat together.”

“Well, I am rather busy searching for Savage,” said Rip which was true. That was what he was supposed to be doing not making friends. That's what he had to do to complete the mission, to save his family.

“I don't think that's the only reason." Kendra leaned back crossing her arms over her chest, the thoughtful look still on her face. “It's like you're deliberately keeping yourself detached. Is this some British thing or something the Time Masters trained into you?

Letting out a groan, Rip rubbed both hands across his face. “Honestly, I don't know which to be more insulted by.”

Kendra gave him a lopsided smile. “You know what I think?”

“No, please enlighten me,” said Rip with obvious sarcasm.

“I think you don't want to get too close because you're afraid of losing someone else.”

“Like Carter, you mean?” That death did weigh on Rip. Though he'd barely had a chance to get to know the man, he'd still been a member of the team. Both he and Kendra had lost the one they loved as well as their sons. It was strange how he only now realized that.

Kendra gazed levelly at him unfazed by the mention of Carter. “I meant like your family,” she said. “You're afraid if you get too close you'll have to go through that loss all over again.”

Rip could only stare at her, the touch of that loss echoing hollowly in his chest.

“And I get it. I do,” Kendra continued. “I was pretty scared when I first got together with Ray. I'm still scared. I don't want to lose him too, but I realized that there are worse things than losing someone you love.”

Rip found it impossible to imagine something worse than losing his family, but he asked anyway. “Like what?”

“Like never having them in the first place.”

Her words hung heavy in the air and Rip couldn't find anything to say to them. He turned away casting his gaze to the ground.

“We all hope you'll get your family back,” said Kendra. “But maybe until then you could join us more often, spend some time with us outside of the mission.”

He shook his head. “I don't think that's such a good idea.”

Kendra gave him another sympathetic smile. “I think it's a little late to worry about becoming too attached. Like I said, I've seen how you try to protect everyone, take care of everyone just like I'm sure you did with Jonas. As much as you might not like it, I'm pretty sure you're stuck with us now.”

Had he really become so attached, Rip wondered. A Time Master worked alone but now he had a team and their lives were becoming increasingly interwoven with his. Was that a good thing or a bad thing? Already, the thought of losing any of them stung more than he was willing to admit even to himself.

Gideon's voice came from above breaking the moment of reflection. “I'm sorry to interrupt," the A.I said.

Rip cleared his throat wishing he could clear his head just as easily. “It's fine, Gideon,” he said. “What is it?”

“It appears that Ms. Lance, Mr. Snart, and Mr. Rory are attempting to commandeer the jumpship.”

“What!” Rip exclaimed.

“They mentioned something about trying to obtain more of the ambrosia liquor.”

Rip let out a groan. “Well, it seems we'll have the chance to test your theory, Ms. Sauders,” he said as he pushed himself to his feet. “Because I'm pretty sure I'll be killing some of our teammates in the near future.”

With the sound of Kendra's laughter dying behind him, Rip raced towards the jumpship trying to shake the feeling that the words she'd spoken had been a bit too close to the truth.
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