|Dr. Tony Gates (tonygates) wrote in the100,|
@ 2015-11-14 19:46:00
The minute he heard, Tony swore his heart stopped.
It’d been nearly eight months since he’d woken up to Clarke standing over him. Eight months since Alex had given Sam the car he and Tony had been working on. Eight months since he’d set foot into County General. Eight months since he’d last seen Sarah. The ache in his heart had faded into a dull throbbing over those months, until he barely noticed anymore. He’d stopped expecting -- stopped hoping -- that anyone he knew would arrive. Tony wasn’t sure he could hope for that and still sleep at night; what sort of guy would he be if he wished for his daughter to join him in a post-apocalyptic world? She’d be miserable. Wasn’t she better off staying back in Chicago, with Sam and Alex and all her friends?
But then Beverly told him that she was there, and suddenly he didn’t care how selfish he knew he’d feel later. All that mattered was that she was there. All that mattered was seeing her, getting to hold her close again.
He was grateful that she was (generally speaking) a good kid. She’d stay put, if she was told to. Especially if she knew he was coming. She almost always listened when it came to Tony. Only recently had she really started not listening, but they were still figuring each other out now that Meg was gone. Things were different without Meg there. He couldn’t be only her friend anymore. He had to be her father, too.
Sarah looked so small sitting on the chair in Beverly’s office, small and lost, like a little girl, like she’d looked the night her mom died. Did she know? Had that happened yet?
He inhaled deeply and approached the bed, flashing a smile her way to hide the fear. “Hey, kiddo.”
Sarah looked up, her blue eyes bright and wide. “Tony? Where are we?”
How was he going to figure any of this out? Should he tell her? Or let her get settled in first? She looked so much younger than he remembered, or was that only because it’d been so long?
“Are we dead?”
Sarah’s next question snapped him out of his daze. “What? No, honey - we’re not.” At least not as far as he knew, anyway. He sat down on the edge of the bed and reached for her hand. “It’s just me here, sorry.” He was trying to be light-hearted, but he wasn’t sure how well that was working. “Listen, I…” Tony frowned. How many times had he given this speech since he’d arrived? Why was it suddenly so much more difficult? “I wish we’d watched more sci-fi movies, this might make more sense. We time-traveled. It’s 2150 now. This compound is in what used to be Virginia, but I’m not sure how much of it exists anymore.” He hesitated to give her a chance to let that sink in. “Iron Man’s here? And Batman. And --” He almost said Buffy, but he couldn’t remember if they’d ever watched any of those old episodes. “Harry Potter! Him too.”
All Sarah did was laugh. “Very funny, Tony.” She rolled her eyes. “Prove it.”
“Oh, is that how we’re doing this? Fine.” He let go of her hand and stood up. “You feelin’ okay? You can stand? You don’t feel nauseous? Dizzy?” She shook her head. “Then come on, I’ll show you around. Maybe then you’ll believe me.”
Tony was confident that he would be able to hold himself together, right up until the moment she stood. When she looked up at him, and he looked back at her, he saw her mother for a second. The next second, he reached out for her and pulled her into a hug. “I missed you so much.”
“I just saw you this morning.”
“Well, a day’s a long time.” Tony let go and slung his arm over her shoulders instead. Yeah, he could connect the dots later. For now, he was just going to enjoy this moment while it lasted.