Don thinks I live in an ivory tower, a protective bubble. That I don’t know, or understand, what he deals with on a daily basis. I know all right. I’ve done the math. What the hell does he think I did for the NSA, budget analysis? Threat Matrices, risk analyses, so many different formulas and equations, that all boil down to one thing: How many people are going to die. Is it something I’m proud of, knowing that my math was used to kill people? No, but it also probably saved a lot of lives. At least, I hope so. Either way, I have to live with it.
Can I tell him any of this? No. He wouldn’t believe me anyway. His image of me is firmly entrenched in the pain-in-the-ass-tag-along little brother of years ago. Even though he utilizes my skills now, he doesn’t really see me as a mature, capable man. And yes, I do realize that I occasionally forget what day it is or that I forget to pay the bills, but that doesn’t mean I’m not an adult. I grew up a long time ago. I had to.
I may live in my head a little too much at times, but it’s my defense mechanism. Sometimes, what’s out there really is too much for me to handle. After some of the things I’ve seen, I need to retreat. I’m stronger than anyone will give me credit for, just some days…not so much.
When Don got shot was one of those times. It was my math that put him and his team in that situation. I had a personal, vested interest in the outcome and it turned into a disaster. Hell yes, I ran away. But I came back, because I couldn’t let him down. I don’t ever want to let him down again.
Don thinks I live in an ivory tower. Sometimes I do, but not near as much as he thinks.
Warnings/Spoilers: Vague references to UP, Vector, and Structural Corruption.
Authorís Note: Originally written for , but I went a little too much over the word limit. Un-betaed. Any and all mistakes are mine.
Written: October 3, 2007