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Disclaimer: Not Mine. Never has been, never will be.

AN: Fanfic100 Challenge # 15/100 "Blue"



He’s pretty sure that this is ten times worse than the day he buried his mother. For one, they’d never gotten on well and by the time she’d gone to her grave he’d basically detested her for not being the kind of mother he and Jeannie deserved. Secondly, this time it was a mother burying her son.

John had offered to come, but they’d both known that it wouldn’t be appropriate. One stranger bringing a much-loved son home was enough. But Rodney was still grateful that John had asked. He had wanted to say yes, because then there would be someone there; someone to stand behind him when he had to lie through his teeth to a woman who deserved to know the truth. But he knew he had to do this alone.

John’s last words to him before he boarded the plane had been a simple “it wasn’t your fault” and Rodney knew he was trying to say that he didn’t have to take Carson home as some sort of penance. It hardly mattered, because it was Rodney’s duty and honour to do it anyways, even if John’s reason was closer to the truth.

When the plane touched down in Glasgow it was sleeting rain outside and Rodney knew it was typical for February, but some part of him wanted to believe it was because the heavens were weeping too. It was the least Carson deserved.

The SCG had arranged everything, and so Rodney just stood dumbly nearby and oversaw the moving of the coffin into the hearse and tried not to recite the speech he’d written in his head on the flight over one last time. He just slid into the waiting car and pretended the reason he was shaking was just the cold weather.

They got to the funeral home much sooner than he was ready for. And despite the pouring rain it looked like half of Scotland was waiting outside. Rodney’s stomach clenched in a way it hadn’t done since his first dissertational defence and progressed instantly to nausea when he laid eyes on Eileen Beckett. Carson had shown him enough pictures of his mother – his sweet, kind, wonderful mother – that Rodney would have recognized her anywhere.

It took more courage to open the car door than he ever thought he had. And then, just as suddenly as lightning striking, Mrs. Beckett enveloped him in a bone crushing embrace and it was all Rodney could do not to just break down right there on the sidewalk.

“Thank ye for bringing him home.”

Rodney had absolutely no idea how to respond to that that didn’t involve confessing his sins. But there were people all around him and they were sad and welcoming at the same time and Rodney felt home. And God, he didn’t deserve any of it.

There was visitation that afternoon, but Rodney couldn’t bring himself to be around that many people and so he fled before he was cornered and asked to stay. He locked himself in his hotel room and pretended he wasn’t barricading himself against the world. It was knocking on the door that woke him, some sixteen hours later. He was firstly shocked he had slept so long – finally – and secondly surprised anyone would be knocking on his hotel room door.

He really shouldn’t have been so surprised. He’d said a grand total of five words to Mrs. Beckett the day before and she deserved about 50,000 more. Probably a million; every word penance for Rodney’s mistakes, but neither of them had the time.

He told her every word he was allowed to say and some they hadn’t told him otherwise. And she listened and she cried and when he was done she thanked him, and Rodney fought back tears and confessions with all the strength he had.

“I’ve brought something for ye. A gift, of sorts. I’d like ye to wear it tomorrow. I – I think it might be good. For ye.” Rodney knew where she was headed before her fingers finished unwrapping the parcel and blue wool spilled out. He’d seen the McKay tartan before; Jeannie had once been obsessed with their Scottish ancestry and he remembered making more than one crass comment about men who wear skirts. He’d made the same comments to Carson. God, wasn’t he living to regret those.

“It’s tradition, lad. Twill be a Scottish funeral and all. Would ye?”

Right, because Rodney was going to say no to a grieving mother who was about to bury the son he had killed. He took the kilt and thanked her and managed not to break down until after he’d closed the door behind her.

***

The next morning, after he’s showered and shaved, he wraps the length of blue plaid around his waist and remembers Carson.

That afternoon when they play Loch Lomond as Rodney watches Carson’s brothers carry the casket out of the church, he sings softly under his breath and thinks, maybe, he understands the Scots more than he thought.

“For you’ll take the high road,
And I’ll take the low road,
And I’ll be in Scotland afore ye.”
-Loch Lomond


Well, I think this is my last submission for FanFic100, and I only got to 30 stories. Still, not bad. But I've jumped fandoms now, and my love of SGA is well..pretty much toast, so I think it's time to quit. No one's reading this stuff anyways, right?

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