lizziec: (Trapper and Hawkeye)
[personal profile] lizziec
Title: Hearing Without Listening
Author: [livejournal.com profile] trappermcintyre
Rating: T to be safe (I'm pretty sure it's lower than that, but I've never really rated fic before...)
Genre: General, with some angst
Summary: This conversation was not going as Lee had imagined it would. Spoilers for the miniseries.

Why don't you talk to me, Lee?

Almost a plea. Lee had been working for years to compartmentalise his dealings with his father as much as possible. There had been so much pain that he’d learned to wall it off so that it didn’t hurt him so much, and he’d been largely successful. After Zak’s death, Lee’s relationship with the Commander went from terse and strained to largely non-existent.

You know, all the things you talked to me about the last time we were together... at the funeral, they still ring in my ears after two years.

The funeral. Memories almost hazy from the emotional strain of the day. Supporting his mother who had all but collapsed when the news of the crash came through and could barely stand at the funeral through a combination of grief and the alcohol she was using to try to deaden the desolation she was feeling over the loss of her youngest child.

The only memories of the day that stood out sharply were the ones where his own grief had joined with his frustration at seeing the man he held responsible for Zak’s death being consoled and supported had overwhelmed his careful control and for once he’d told his father exactly what he was thinking. He remembered his satisfaction at seeing the old man visibly hurt by the barbs he’d thrown. Now his father was telling him that they’d stuck.

Good.

Zak had a choice. You both did.

Some choice. The choice between trying to earn some approval from their absent father or feeling like they’d lost him completely. Whenever the Commander had seen them, on those rare occasions that he wasn’t too taken up with fleet business, he’d drummed in to them that to be a real man they should be in the fleet. That a man isn't a man until he wears the wings of a Viper pilot. Zak had always chased his father’s approval harder, maybe felt the loss of his father figure more... Lee wasn’t sure. He just knew that Zak should never have been in that cockpit, and that without his daddy’s interference he wouldn’t have been.

That's not fair, son.

Blindsided. This wasn’t the way this confrontation had gone in all the times Lee had run through it in his head. Ever since the funeral he’d spent hours mapping out what he would say to his father if he were in the same room with him again. He’d expected anger, a shouting match. His father had a temper. All of the things that he had in his mind to say were almost designed to provoke it.

When he’d been given his orders to report to Galactica he’d hardly known what to think. In the long flight to Galactica he’d thought about almost except for what he’d say to the Old Man once he was finally in the same room again. The trip was routine, he only needed half his brain to fly, and the other half wandered over possible scenarios, but when he was finally on Galactica he’d changed his mind. He’d keep his father in his compartment in his brain. He’d be professional and do the job he was told to do and get the frak out of there before he said something that they’d both regret.

Then his father had pushed him and it had all come out.

But he’d never anticipated this reaction. He sounded almost sad.

And that pushed Lee right up to the edge. He could feel the walls around his worst thoughts about his father’s involvement with Zak’s death crumbling.

That's an exaggeration. I did nothing for him that I wouldn't have done for anyone else.

Denial. His father was denying culpability again. He wasn’t listening, he never listened. He as good as told Zak to go into the service, to be a flier, to be a man and then when he’d nearly fallen at the first hurdle, nearly failed to even get in to the academy the famous William Adama had pulled all the strings, made use of all the connections he had to get his brother, his sweet, funny brother with no feeling for flight in to flight school and that had killed him and here his father was, denying that his actions had had consequences.

The walls fell. The words came tumbling out almost before he could stop them.

That'll be all, Captain.

Dismissal. His father had pushed until he’d said everything he’d wanted to say and now it was out there, but it didn’t feel as good as he’d always felt it would. He’d regretted saying the words almost as soon as they were out. Not because he felt they were untrue but because the act of expressing them had left him feeling the same raw grief and anger that he’d experienced after Zak’s death and then carefully boxed and channelled in to whatever he was supposed to be doing at a given time, becoming an excellent pilot and officer in spite of himself and his lack of enthusiasm for the job he found himself in.

In his mind saying the words "you killed him" always made him feel better. In his mind he made his father understand what he’d done and made him suffer too, but now he realised that he was hurting at least as badly as he wanted his father to.

Now his father, who had used a professional occasion to push him to speak to him as a family member blurred the lines again and was dismissing him as a commander would a subordinate.

Nothing left in his mind now but grief and rage, but his training took over. Take the dismissal as he would from another officer. Get through the ceremony, get away from Galactica, finish his stint in the Colonial Fleet Reserves and he’d never need to speak to his father again.

The words were out. It was time to move on.

Date: 30 June 2011 05:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kag523.livejournal.com
Oh goodness, the pain in this! *hugs you super tight* I love your internal voice for Lee - so angry and bitter - along with the snapshots from the funeral. Gah! So lovely. I want you to keep going... write more. (And yes, yes, I realize that this is because I want MORE FIC WRITERS here! Hee hee! But I still do!)

Thank you! *hugs* K :>D

Date: 1 July 2011 06:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] trappermcintyre.livejournal.com
Thanks for your comment (and prodding me to write :))

For some reason I found it really easy to tap in to Lee's internal voice in this, though when I first talked about Lee going over it in his mind in [livejournal.com profile] leeadama_daily this wasn't exactly how I pictured the fic going. I think Lee's internal voice beat my muse up a bit during the writing process and the result is this fic :)

Date: 30 June 2011 09:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] anamarya.livejournal.com
I just finished reading it on ff when i got the notification about your message saying that you post it here also.

it's great. I like your Lee and the bits and pieces that you put here that were not in the mini but in some other moments in the series.

and i liked this then carefully boxed and channelled in to whatever he was supposed to be doing at a given time, becoming an excellent pilot and officer in spite of himself and his lack of enthusiasm for the job he found himself in. it seems to be very Lee at that moment in time.

Date: 1 July 2011 06:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] trappermcintyre.livejournal.com
Thank you for commenting :D

the bits and pieces that you put here that were not in the mini but in some other moments in the series.

I did think about not including them, but I didn't really feel I could leave them out because they all add to my understanding of Lee as I was writing the fic, so I'm glad you felt they worked :)

Date: 30 June 2011 11:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mserrada.livejournal.com
The mini did an good job of establishing the relationship between these two, and you really added depth to Lee's POV of that time.

I'm glad you called it on how Adama used his position and had no compunction on blurring the lines between personal and professional. He demanded Lee talk, then pulled rank rather than address Lee's charges/feelings. Not his last time doing this either.

Well done. Now, were's some more ;^)

Date: 1 July 2011 06:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] trappermcintyre.livejournal.com
Thanks for commenting :)

I'm glad you called it on how Adama used his position and had no compunction on blurring the lines between personal and professional. He demanded Lee talk, then pulled rank rather than address Lee's charges/feelings. Not his last time doing this either.

This kind of bothered me too - it always struck me as unfair to constantly be switching between father and commander, and I felt if I saw it as unfair then Lee must have too. It's like Bill's get out of talking about things that make him uncomfortable card.

Date: 1 July 2011 12:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sci-fi-shipper.livejournal.com
Nice insights into Lee's thoughts in this scene. I always felt so bad for each of them as they struggled to communicate for what seems like the first time since the funeral. Gah. Deaths like that just rip families apart.

I'm so glad you wrote something. Bravo!

Date: 1 July 2011 06:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] trappermcintyre.livejournal.com
That scene between them in the mini got me from the first time I saw it. From the awkwardness between them for the photos to the look on Lee's face when Bill dismissed him and then when we discussed the mini in [livejournal.com profile] leeadama_daily and ended up talking through that scene a bit the muse just sort of bit to fill in what was behind the looks on Lee's face in that scene.

Thank you for facilitating my muse with [livejournal.com profile] leeadama_daily posts :) (& for commenting on this one. Posting it was kind of scary :))

Date: 1 July 2011 01:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pocochina.livejournal.com
oh, ouch. This is a fantastic look into Lee's experience of that relationship. but ouch.

Now his father, who had used a professional occasion to push him to speak to him as a family member blurred the lines again and was dismissing him as a commander would a subordinate.

this, exactly. And Bill never stops doing it and I love that you have Lee know exactly what it is even though he never seems quite to stop hoping for better.
Edited Date: 1 July 2011 01:37 am (UTC)

Date: 1 July 2011 06:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] trappermcintyre.livejournal.com
I felt ouch was the only way to go in writing around that argument scene in the mini. It's so full of hurt on both sides, and Lee at that point in time was clearly so angry and bitter and sad that it felt natural to write it like that - I think it appeals to the darker part of me. I'm glad you like it :)

this, exactly. And Bill never stops doing it

It always felt quite frustrating to me - and a real abuse of the power Bill had. "Let me push you in to revealing your feelings and then shut you down because I can't deal with your actual feelings now you're talking about them"

Date: 1 July 2011 11:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] damao2010.livejournal.com
I think you did a great job at portraying Lee's emotions here. I can totally see him thinking about nothing else but the confrontation with his father while he was flying to the G. And then, avoiding it if he could. And losing his control when his father pushed the issue. But my favorite part was this:

. He’d regretted saying the words almost as soon as they were out. Not because he felt they were untrue but because the act of expressing them had left him feeling the same raw grief and anger that he’d experienced after Zak’s death and then carefully boxed and channelled in to whatever he was supposed to be doing at a given time, becoming an excellent pilot and officer in spite of himself and his lack of enthusiasm for the job he found himself in.

I think you really nailed it. And it's so sad.

Date: 10 July 2011 06:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] trappermcintyre.livejournal.com
Thanks for commenting :D

I'm glad you see it as plausible. I've always seen the subtext of that scene as sad too.

Date: 3 July 2011 03:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rirenec.livejournal.com
This is such a fantastic assessment and recreation of what could have been going through Lee's mind at this point. It's perfectly worded and not overblown either, distinct and real. Especially in describing Lee's ability to get overwrought, but then to become the soldier and reign it in. Brilliant fic.

Date: 10 July 2011 06:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] trappermcintyre.livejournal.com
It's perfectly worded and not overblown either, distinct and real.

Thank you so much for saying so. I wanted it to come across as realistic, and I don't think Lee is one for generally getting overblown so I didn't want to overstate it.

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