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Stargate Universe: Mathboy (Fanfiction)

Mathboy

Series: Destiny's Faces (Masterlist)
Snippet: Eli missed having someone he could talk to, unfortunately, he had nobody.

Pairing: Eli/Chloe (not really), Chloe/Matt (hinted)
Rating:
PG
Spoiler:
Everything up until Justice, especially Time – but all the spoilers are just telling about Eli’s family and not really about the things that happen in the show itself.
Setting:
Season 1 -- early, I’d say directly after Light

Author’s notes: This one came to me while I was at work, doing everything but work. Half an hour later, I had written it down. Three hours later, I got home, read through it and gave it the finishing touches -- and here it is. The shortest piece of fanfiction I wrote in forever. Originally, this was the first of the Destiny’s Faces series.
Feedback: Can’t breathe without it.
Beta: Thanks to HealingMirth for putting up with my grammar and for helping me to get Eli (and Rush) just right. To sheneya for reading through it again.
Disclaimer: I’m not making money with this fanfic. The tv-show Stargate Universe and the characters appearing within it belong to their producers and creators. Any similarities to living or dead persons are purely coincidental and not intended.

Destiny's Faces Masterlist



What he missed most, except for his mother of course, were his computer games. He could spend hours with them, caught in front of the screen with a bag of chips and Coke until his mother dragged him back into reality.

Eli admitted that his life hadn’t been perfect. He couldn’t keep a job, had dropped out of MIT and hadn’t had a girlfriend or real life friends he spent time with. There had only been him and his mother and the house in which they lived. His life had been his games, his gaming buddies and the peaceful nights in front of the television with his mom and the trips in a borrowed car to drive her to the doctor, work or the supermarket. It hadn’t been much but it had been enough. Maybe he hadn’t been happy but he hadn’t craved more, either.

And now, everything was different because he’d managed to win a game that no one else could beat.

Prometheus had been relatively new when Eli had started to play. It offered spaceships, aliens and mathematical puzzles, all things Eli liked. It had taken weeks but he’d done it.

If he’d known that the Air Force would stand in front of his door to mess with his life the next day, maybe he wouldn’t have.

Maybe.

He turned the small button on the remote control and the KINO floated over to him, when he turned the button the other way, the small camera flew off and with a skillful touch of the control it floated exactly over Rush’s head, capturing what the scientist was looking at for Eli.

Eli turned the music coming from the iPod up a notch. Chloe had lent hers to him, before she’d gone with Matt somewhere to do things which Eli didn’t want to imagine.

“Another time, okay?“ Chloe had asked impatiently, already looking at Matt who was waiting for her a few steps down the corridor, “We’ll explore the lower levels tomorrow.“ She’d given him the iPod. “In case you get bored,“ she’d said as Matt had put an arm around her hips, guiding her away from Eli.

Eli let the KINO do a furious loop and then placed it directly next to Rush’s ear. The scientist let loose a tortured sigh. “Would you mind terribly not doing that?“

Eli shut off the music and put the headphones on the floor beside his body. Then, he extended his legs in front of himself to find a more comfortable position. “I’m not doing anything.“

“Besides grating on my nerves.“

“You wanted me to come here,“ Eli answered.

Rush turned around to face him, hitting his head on the KINO, and grabbed the ball in his fist angrily. “That’s where you’re wrong, Colonel Young sent you here. I don’t need help … and I certainly don’t need your precious little toys.“

He threw the KINO Eli’s way, the young man caught the device and brushed over its surface with his index finger. “He doesn’t mean it that way. Don’t listen to him.“ The words were meant as a joke but Rush only crossed his arms and pulled up his shoulders, an impatient shimmer in his dark, tired eyes.

Eli got up and slid the remote control into his trouser pocket. “I’m just learning to fly them. They’re useful.“

“You’re wasting your time, those things are toys and nothing more.“ He turned back to the controls. “Why did the colonel send down a damn child to help me?“

Eli didn’t know whether Rush had spoken deliberately loud enough so that he heard him or whether he did it by mistake but he decided to answer him either way. Rush was demeaning him to a child pretty regularly now, and he was getting tired of it. “Because I can calculate a lot faster than you … and I’m able to create far more complex equations … and I’m not a child, I’m twenty-five, I studied at MIT.“

“You dropped out,“ Rush answered with a laugh.

“Not because I wasn’t qualified enough.“

“No,“ Rush nodded, turning back around to face him, “but because you’ve got no discipline. Just like a child.“

Eli narrowed his eyes. He wasn’t the type of guy who would look for an argument.

“Nobody knows these controls as well as I do.“

But every guy could reach his breaking point.

“Because you don’t let anyone near it!“ Eli yelled. “Really, what’s your problem? You don’t accept help, you’re a real jerk -- to everyone --, you don’t know the words ‘please’ or ‘thanks’ or -“

“I’m trying to save our lives. Maybe you’ve got the time to stray through the ship, to make jokes and to ridicule our situation. I can’t spend my time sitting around to play with KINOs or to build flying boards.“

“Hover boards,“ Eli said softly.

“What?“ Rush asked.

Eli shrugged. “I call them hover boards. Like the ones in Back to the Future.“

Rush was looking at him as if he’d grown a third head.

“And you call that being an adult, Eli?“ He rubbed his forehead and brushed through his brown hair. “Listen, just go -- let me work.“ He turned away, concentrating on the controls.

Eli shoved the KINO in the pocket of his worn jacket and cleared his throat. “I’m not ridiculing our situation.“

Rush just stood there and Eli swallowed. “I know how to take a situation seriously. I have since I was fourteen and I think you know that.“ He thought he saw Rush hang his head, but the angle was weird and he couldn’t tell for sure. “It’s not childish to know that an optimistic point of view can help. Or a distraction like the KINOs.“ He left the room with that and went down the corridor with quick steps. He was heading for the observation deck, but halfway there he reconsidered and turned back.

When he arrived in his quarters, he put the KINO down and dropped his body on his sleeping-bag. He stared at the ceiling and it occurred to him that he’d forgotten Chloe’s iPod. He decided to fetch it later when he’d calmed down enough to see Rush again.

He turned on his side, grimacing when the remote control dug into his hip. He pulled it from his pocket and put it beside him, then he drew an arm under his head, staring at the door.

In the area in which the castaways were living, not all the doors could be opened or closed, yet. Eli’s quarters were one of them where the door was opened permanently.

He sighed, missing his mother so bad it hurt. They argued whenever Eli cancelled a job interview or didn’t apply for the jobs which she had marked red for him in the morning newspaper, but they had always had a good relationship, even more so since his father had walked away from them without telling them goodbye.

Eli missed having someone he could talk to, unfortunately, he had nobody. Although he met the soldiers, the colonel, Rush, Chloe and Wray everyday for a briefing ... although he spent time with the other scientists ... although he liked Chloe very much ... he had nobody to turn to.

Colonel Young, TJ and Matt were nice, but they kept their relationship professional. The other civilians didn’t consider Eli part of their group, since he was much younger then them. There was also the fact that they seemed to consider him too close to Colonel Young. They denied him as one of them because the colonel showed him recognition for his work and because he asked for his advice if there were problems, sometimes even before he asked Dr. Rush for his opinion. And Chloe seemed to take their friendship for granted at the moment. Whenever Matt had no time for her, she came to Eli. And it hurt, primarily because Eli really liked Chloe, maybe even a bit more than he was supposed to.

Eli reached for the remote control and navigated the KINO over to him before he sat up, leaning against the wall. He switched on the video function. “It’s me again. Eli Wallace. At the moment, everything’s calm on Destiny and we …“

“Eli.“

Startled, he looked to the door and was surprised to see Rush. “Hi.“ He switched the KINO off, catching the falling device. Rush crossed his arms. He was silent. Eli waited for some seconds. “Did you want something?“

Rush entered, glancing at the door almost accusingly as if he wanted nothing more than to close it. Now, Eli was even more curious about what the scientist had to say.

“I wanted to -- I didn’t want to bring up your mother that way.“

Eli raised his eyebrows. Before he could answer, Rush held up a hand. “I know that you’ve been struggling since you were fourteen. I didn’t want to imply that you can’t relate to the serious situation we’re handling.“

“Okay,“ Eli said.

“I’m just -- frustrated,“ Rush continued, “I don’t understand half of what Destiny is. I’d like to explore the ship further, but Colonel Young is always assigning the soldiers for other tasks.“

“Okay,“ Eli said, again. He didn’t know how to react.

“Fact is,“ Rush said, “that I didn’t tell you the truth about Colonel Young. He wanted me to choose an assistant, but he didn’t recommend you. He wanted me to decide. I chose you.“

Eli was surprised. “O … kay.“

“Which shows that I think you’re qualified,“ Rush nodded.

Then he was silent.

“Was that something like -- a ’I’m sorry’?“ Eli asked.

“I cross lines,“ Rush answered, “I’m always getting impatient and frustrated and that results in me insulting people. That’s me. I won’t change that … or apologize for it.“

Eli raised his eyebrows. “Okay.“

Rush ducked his head for a second, as if he was embarrassed. “Could we just get back to work, now?“

Eli nodded slowly. “Fine.“ He got up and let the KINO float before he guided it out the door with the control.

When he crossed the threshold, Rush grabbed his arm. “Eli,“ he said softly, “our promise concerning your mother wasn’t a lie. She’s getting the best treatment. General O’Neill is looking out for her in person.“

“HIV’s incurable,“ Eli answered, keeping his eyes on the KINO.

Rush ducked his head. “Believe me, Eli, I know how you feel.“

Eli met his eyes. He could tell that Rush said the truth. Before he could ask, the other man turned away and headed down the corridor. “Don’t dawdle!“ he called back.

Eli sighed, rolled his eyes and followed with a smile.


END
JJ 12/09


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Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
sacredclay
Sep. 11th, 2011 02:27 pm (UTC)
Lovely! I really like how Rush made the effort to heal the bridge between Eli and him. I really feel for Eli and wondered who would ever end up as his true friend on Destiny. I hope you keep writing this one. You are truly a marvelous writer!
jolinarjackson
Sep. 12th, 2011 08:23 am (UTC)
Thanks. :)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )