After All the Roads of My Life by Kazbaby
[Reviews - 1] Printer
Category: General
Genres: Alternate Universe, Angst, Character Study, Drama, Missing Scene/Episode-Related, Team
Rated: All Ages
Warnings: Character Death
Series: None
Summary: Fives ways Cameron Mitchell lives his life. (Continuum!fic)

- Text Size +
Story Notes:
I haven't had a movie affect me so damn hard and fast as Continuum in a long time and this was written within a day or so of watching it. (I've just been slow to finish the edits.) Thank you so much to Ivorygates for beta'ing this and giving me a freaking aneurysm (I really do appreciate it with all my heart, doll) and for poking me to finish the edits. All other mistakes are my own.
v.

Pulling the truck close to the front porch, Cam leaves the ignition running and goes to help Sassy down the steps. She's bigger than he ever remembers seeing her, but nowadays it's not too hard for his memory to be tricked on occasion. Her balance is off so he takes one elbow and helps her to the passenger side.

She laughs and jokes around with him, saying how much Everett appreciates him being nearby and that he promised to buy Cam a bottle of his favorite drink when he gets back stateside. They promised Everett that he'd be home before now, but even with his old memories fading, Cam knows the military's promises don't always come true and doesn't contradict her since she's military wife and is deciding to make the best of things for the moment. No need to bring a little one in the world while being all upset.

When Sassy was six months pregnant, she and Everett (it's taken Cam over forty years to get used to the idea of calling them by their given names; he misses calling them 'momma' and 'daddy'), sat him down in the parlor. They're holding hands and at first he's worried that something's gone wrong with the baby, with him, he's too old to go finding a way to fix things this time even if he could. But they grin and Everett gives him a glass of his 'company drink' and Cam relaxes.

He notices her squeeze Everett's hand more tightly and the younger man clears his throat and goes into a speech about how much Cam has been a part of his, the entire family's lives, for as long as he can remember and says that they've decided on a name for the baby. His name. Cam ducks his head, both humbled and proud that they'd consider him for the honor of their child bearing his name. It doesn’t matter that he’s known what the child’s name would be, what was frightening was the fact that he was the source of it. Lying in bed later that night, his mind spun and spun around that one idea and doggedly refused to think that maybe he hadn’t fixed things after all if he’d now come full circle.

After the fact, Cam realizes that the words he's spoken were those of a story told to him over and over as a little boy.

When Cam and Sassy arrive at the hospital, Sassy is rushed to the maternity ward and Cam is left in the hall. All of the excitement has got his heart racing and one of the nurses shows him to a row of chairs and he mutters he is too damn old for excitement when she walks away. An hour passes and he's finally permitted to go to her room. He stays with her for hours, talking about her and Everett's plans for little Cameron Mitchell. Years have passed, well over seventy, the memories of his childhood have slipped from vague to fading and it does his heart good to know that his parents wanted to give him the world.

Sassy's contractions start to come more frequently and they rush her to delivery. No one notices him standing in a corner of the hospital room but when the time comes Cam knows somehow, probably from some stray conversation had with Sam (god he misses her, all of them, hopefully not for much longer, he's tired), that he needs to leave before the baby comes (his memory isn't what it used to be and he can't remember exactly why, but then he never did have the head for physics she did) and slips out the door to Sassy's room. Resting against the wall, he listens to the screams and the shouts of encouragement until there's a moment of silence.

"Welcome to the world, Cameron," Cam whispers with a smile. A baby's cry echoes through the suddenly empty halls outside Sassy's door.



iv.

Cam lies in the bunk offered by one of the crewmen -- Johansen; he thinks the guy’s name is -- while the man is on watch. Big fellow, head full of gray hair, puppy-dog eyes that made one ignore the fact that they could be bench pressed in a second.

He likes most of the crew, but the person he can’t stop staring at when he’s in the same room - which is kind of embarrassing - is the captain of the Achilles, Elias Mitchell. His grandfather, his family. He and Ash had sat on the floor in front of their grandmother and listened to stories of him. Adventures out on the ocean. Out running U-boats and stopping enemy spies.

Cam laughs. He wonders if the stories were born tonight or if dear old grandpa was the inspiration that led him here. What came first, the chicken or the egg? He laughs more loudly, rolling in the swinging, sagging bunk with belly laughs until there’s tears in his eyes. When he gets himself under control he wipes his face with the sleeve of his sweater and notices Johansen's Sea Chest, the lid half-open - the top stuck up because Johansen stuffed his gear into it in a hurry - at his feet. A canvas strap is sticking out and Cam can just see a gunbutt tucked neatly inside its holster.

He stares at it, doesn’t take his eyes from it no matter how much his bunk sways as the boat cuts swiftly through the water to the nearest harbor. Cam thinks of home, his family, his team and how they’d died because a wannabe god tried to upgrade. Tonight he killed a god. He stares at the gunbutt. The ship dips down and it shifts and he can see more of it.

Tomorrow they’ll be anchored somewhere so that the Gate can finish its journey. The god-killer has done his duty. Time to rest. He continues to stare.



iii.

Cam lies in the bunk offered by one of the crewmen -- Johansen; he thinks the guy’s name is -- while the man is on watch. Big fellow, head full of gray hair, puppy-dog eyes that made one ignore the fact that they could be bench pressed in a second.

He likes most of the crew, but the person he can’t stop staring at when he’s in the same room - which is kind of embarrassing - is the captain of the Achilles, Elias Mitchell. His grandfather, his family. He and Ash had sat on the floor in front of their grandmother and listened to stories of him. Adventures out on the ocean. Out running U-boats and stopping enemy spies.

Cam laughs. He wonders if the stories were born tonight or if dear old grandpa was the inspiration that led him here. What came first, the chicken or the egg? He laughs more loudly, rolling in the swinging, sagging bunk with belly laughs until there’s tears in his eyes. When he gets himself under control he wipes his face with the sleeve of his sweater and notices Johansen's Sea Chest, the lid half-open - the top stuck up because Johansen stuffed his gear into it in a hurry - at his feet. A canvas strap is sticking out and Cam can just see a gunbutt tucked neatly inside its holster.

He stares at it, doesn’t take his eyes from it no matter how much his bunk sways as the boat cuts swiftly through the water to the nearest harbor. Cam thinks of home, his family, his team and how they’d died because a wannabe god tried to upgrade. Tonight he killed a god. He stares at the gunbutt. The ship dips down and it shifts and he can see more of it.

Tomorrow they’ll be anchored somewhere so that the Gate can finish its journey. The god-killer has done his duty. Time to rest. He continues to stare. A voice drifting down the hall, through the open door, breaks his reverie. Captain Mitchell. It’s so strange to think that this man is the same person his Gran’ma spoke of with such love and pride. She’d never told them of how Captain Mitchell was lost but once Cam's daddy had mentioned that Captain Mitchell been lost at sea when he was twelve, bad storm caught everyone by surprise, bad enough that even the Achilles couldn’t handle it. Daddy'd smiled sadly when he'd said she’d been one of the toughest around so she and gran’pa more than likely went down fighting the winds every step of the way.

The old stories continue to bounce around in his head as Cam listens to the timbre of Captain Mitchell’s voice and hears him talk about how they'll explain the dead men in the cargo hold and the hole in the side of the ship before the captain moves off to inform the other crewmen. Cam knows the war is coming, all adversaries haven’t quite revealed themselves just yet, but that doesn't mean the other side hasn’t already started playing dirty and he thinks that maybe that Captain Mitchell is smart enough a man to know this and use it if he has to.

Grand adventures with terrible danger … and enemy spies, Gran'ma had said.

Sitting up in the bunk, Cam swings his legs over the side and tries to remember when those stories were supposed to have happened but dammit he can’t. He thinks - maybe - it was before the war. That could be now or any time up until Pearl Harbor. And just how often would there be German spies fucking around with a ship like this anyway? Couldn’t possibly be that many accounts of it.

A bang against the hull makes him jerk in the sound’s direction and he runs a hand over his face as he lets the minor adrenaline jump settle down.

Laughter turns his attention back to the open doorway, to the sounds of the crew trying to wear away the edges of their fear with a few drinks and tales of what they’d have done if things had gone horribly wrong with Cam’s planned ambush. The crewmen had looked at him with a mixture of awe and distrust when they’d pushed each other in order to make their way to the hold as the last of the smell of gunpowder drifted out of the gaping hole in the side of the ship and listened to his story of how he’d been hired by the same people that had contracted the Achilles’ services to transport their cargo, but he was to act with the utmost secrecy in order to lure any potential threats into a false sense of security. As he looked around the room at the tired faces of the men he’d been traveling and working with for weeks Cam had given them his best ‘aw shucks’ look and humbly apologized for deceiving them all.

Cam jumps down onto the steel deck and grabs his coat from the hook beside him, needing to walk around and move. He’d been living on a constant stream of adrenaline from the moment he first set foot on the ship, listening for the tell-tale sound of a locking chevron. He'd had everything prepared before the day was out.

He passes by the door leading to the galley; several men are crowded around the table; three others are standing, one of them is Captain Mitchell. Cam gives him a glance before continuing up the ladder and makes his way to the bow. The air is frigid blowing in his face, but it helps to clear his head as he stares out into the dark. He doesn’t look up to the stars any more, not if he can help it. But tonight of all nights, he can’t resist and he finally looks upward.

Mission’s done, guys, time to go home.

“What’yer plans?” a voice asks and Cam turns and faces the captain.

Shrugging his shoulders, he says, “Once the cargo is turned over, my job is done. I can go home.”

Nodding his head, Captain Mitchell closes the distance between them and leans against the rail, looking down at the water. “And where might that be?”

Cam laughs, gazing off in the distance. The wind is biting more fiercely and he tells himself that's the reason his eyes are tearing. Sniffing loudly, he turns his back to the other man and quickly wipes his face. “Hadn’t really thought of that. I’ve – been away from the States for a very long time. Been in Egypt – working,” he answers. He nods in the direction of the hold, and knows that Captain Mitchell understands.

“No lady friend waiting on you? Family to go to?”

Facing the captain, Cam gives his head a little shake and looks him in the eye. “No. Family’s been gone for ten years now.”

The captain’s shoulders slump slightly. “Sorry to hear that. Takes a lot out of a man to lose loved ones. Take it you’ll be needin’ work soon then, an’ a place to bed down.”

“Yeah. I’ll manage though, always do.” He chuckles unconvincingly.

“Cameron, I don’t know you but I asked my men about you. Seems, despite the reasons that brought you aboard my ship, you’re an honest man, good worker, and from what I hear tell, you’re not afraid to lend a hand when needed. If you’re willing to accept it, I’d like to ask you to stay on the Achilles and work for me. Could always use a good man like I heard about tonight.”

Straightening to his full height, Cam restrains himself immediately accepting the offer. Sam’s constant warnings in the back of his head are sounding off like a klaxon, but he thinks this time he can ignore her – just a little.

“It’s a good ship, good crew to work with. I’d like to keep working on her,” he says.

“Then it’s settled, though I do have one condition; don’t be putting any more holes in my girl, she’s sensitive.”

Giving Captain Mitchell a quirky grin, he nods. “Aye, Captain.”

“Getting’ a bit nippy out here, what say we get you a cup of coffee to warm you up, I've got some brandy that'll make it decent, and we can talk about how you’re going to take your leave back home with me and mine. Hilda would skin me alive if I left you out in the cold after what you did here.”

“Sir, you really can’t say anything to her about this.”

“Oh, don’t worry yourself. I hadn’t planned on tellin’ her anything more that you saved this ship tonight. She’ll mother you to death, but her peach cobbler is well worth it."



ii.

He keeps to himself for the rest of the trip into port, making conversation only when necessary. It’s the way he’s done it for the past ten years. Captain Mitchell watches him; Cam knows he’s trying to figure him out, but the less he says the better once he’s spun his tale to the crew’s satisfaction. There are so many things that could go wrong with him here.

He knows many of the traps that he could walk into if he doesn’t take care and he doesn't have Sam with him to warn him against those that aren’t easily seen unless one knows where to look for them. Planning from the moment he stepped through the Gate and found himself staring out at a desert landscape. There were shouts in the distance prompting Cam to take off at a dead run and hide. He’s been hiding ever since.

But now – now there’s no reason to hide. No way, really, because once they dock in Boston, there’s going to be more questions, and with the coming war, the possibility that the authorities digging into his story and background is too high for him to risk.

Captain Mitchell orders the ship turned around; the magnitude of the repair places the Achilles and her crew too much at risk to continue across the Atlantic. When they finally dock in Lisbon for emergency repairs, Cam is just as amiable as ever, continuing with his duties to keep anyone from knowing that he has no intention of staying aboard for much longer. He gets news during dinner that someone is coming to inspect the cargo and start the official investigation of what happened three days earlier. There aren't that many other ships and it won't take much to send out word to their destinations and have him detained.

He asks around unobtrusively and finds out that one of the ships in port is leaving the next day for England.

The moon is just about to dip below the horizon when he leaves the Achilles and slips unseen aboard the Wanderluck, quickly hiding himself away. The Wanderluck is four days out and far out to sea when he goes out on deck. He takes a quick look around and makes sure that the watchman on duty is keeping on the same schedule Cam has watched him follow for the last three nights.

When he's out of sight, Cam knows it'll be at least another seven minutes before he returns and looks up at the sky, at the stars that have waited for him the last ten years and will have to wait for another seventy-seven before he can return to them.

Cam takes a deep breath, and reaches one hand into his coat and pulls out his dogtags, the first time in years he's had the strength to take them out of hiding. He grips them tight before stepping onto the railing and over the side. He slips the chain over his head, flattening them against his chest, over his heart. Slowly releasing the held breath, Cam knows this is the right thing, the only thing that he can do to make sure that time continues the way it was meant to be. Giving himself a gentle push forward, he steps out and falls into the icy cold.



i.

There isn't anything said to them once the debriefings are finished other than a brisk ’thank you for your time’, as if any of them have a choice to be there. They're left alone for hours in their rooms, each wondering when the next round will start, when they’ll get to see their friends, when they can start trying to fix things.

Discussions were held over secure lines and the consensus -- after all parties were heard -- is unanimous: SG-1 was too dangerous. Already there were whispers of how their 'skills' could be utilized by several rival agencies.

Daniel Jackson is the easiest to secure, due to his injury. He’d noticed and asked about the additional medication added to his IV and the nurse coolly answered that Dr. Frasier felt that the debriefings were causing him stress that was unbeneficial to the healing process and pressed the plunger on the syringe.

Kept on opposite sides of the building and after hours with no information or contact with one another; Colonel Mitchell and Colonel Carter's looks of relief at seeing General Landry was short-lived when two SFs walked in behind him and immediately stood on either side of the door. They each stood in shock as he explained that none of them would be permitted to assist in the recovery of the Stargate and that they were being taken to a secure location because the three of them were too much of a security risk. That their tale had been believed but that the National Security Advisor had advised the President that they could never be trusted to stop attempting to restore their own timeline - and destroy this one.

They'd tried to argue and plead their case; Mitchell broke the nose of one of the SFs as he tried to fight his way out of the room. It finally took four SFs to secure the man until he could be sedated. He'd given Carter the chance to go along quietly, but he hadn't been surprised she hadn't. Her fight had only lasted until the doctor he'd brought with him shoved the needle into her arm without even bothering to roll up the sleeve of her shirt. She was quickly placed on the gurney that had been waiting out in the narrow passageway and strapped down for transport to the waiting aircraft that already held her two companions.

*

Two hours after the first of the alien ships appear over Earth, Major Davis walks through the dull corridors of the hospital, folder clasped tightly in his hand and unable to stop feeling as if he's going to vomit at any minute. He’d read the same brief that had passed over the President’s desk less than a year ago. He knew who those ships belonged to. He knew that there was no real way to stop the imminent slaughter; their only chance was the three people he was sent to retrieve.

Their doctor escorted Davis to each room, showing him personally what he had already explained in detail in his office. Two hours ago, the doctors had complied with the orders issued by the President and administered drugs to revive the three patients from the near-catatonic state they’d been maintained in for the past year, but he'd complained that what they needed of these three was impossible. It would take them months to become really functional again, and if the Security Advisor was to believed -- and he did believe, after seeing the news reports on the alien ships -- that the Government needed them to advise him on the current situation.

Jackson simply laughed the moment Davis had walked in. After he'd finally finished trying to explain what was happening, Jackson pointed to Davis and giggled, his voice slurred and barely-understandable as he said, “You can kiss your ass goodbye.” Carter hadn’t even acknowledged his presence, sitting on her bed, back against the wall; staring emptily off into the distance. The doctor apologized and explained that medications affected people differently. All Major Davis could do was shake his head sadly as he walked in the direction of the last room and thought of the waste he was leaving behind. Mitchell is his last hope.

He enters Mitchell’s room after the door is unlocked and is shocked to find the man sitting in a wheelchair. The doctor apologizes and says he should have warned Major Davis that Mr. Mitchell’s previous injuries caused exacerbated loss of muscle tone after such an extended period of enforced bed rest that with time he could regain some of the lost motor control – but…

“Ya use it or lose it,” Mitchell slurs from his chair, trembling hands rest in his lap as he tries to turn his head in Davis’ direction. “Goes for ‘verythin’."

There's an explosion off in the distance and Mitchell raises his head as the sound fades, laughing a few seconds later as the building vibrated. “Tol’ your bosses that things could be funny and true…”

Out of the corner of his eye Davis sees that the doctor is terrified as he asks, “What was that?”

Dropping his head Mitchell looks down at his legs and sighs. “Sounds like yer wakeup call to me.” He chuckles and, raising only his eyes, Mitchell asked, “Take me outside? I missed the Fourth of July show.”

Davis turns to the doctor and raises his eyebrows; both men know what that explosion and Mitchell’s answer means. Nodding in agreement, the doctor quickly excuses himself and Davis can't fault the man as he grips the handles of Mitchell’s chair and steers him in the direction of the patient outdoor recreational area.

They don't stop at the edge of the patio, Davis turns off into the grass and continues for a few more feet. He notices that Mitchell hasn't raised his head until Davis moves to stand beside him. “Help me up will ya? I’ve been laying down on the job for too long.”

Bending down, Davis helps Mitchell put his arm over his shoulder as Davis takes him by the waist and isn't surprised to see that Mitchell is able to put some weight on his legs but not much. Davis holds the man’s waist a little tighter and they both look off into the distance, the occasional explosion felt if not seen on the horizon. They watch silver flickers cross the blackening sky in the distance. Bolts of fire strike the earth, destroying everything for several city blocks with each contact, and Davis says in horror, “That’s Washington,” and thinks of his wife; probably at home, most likely alone and terrified and trying to reach him.

“There was something… something…I can’t remember…” Mitchell’s knees give a little, but Davis doesn’t let him fall.

The pillars of fire appear with more and more frequency, moving across the landscape in waves. “They’re coming closer, Colonel Mitchell.”

“I was. I was, once. Shoulda… I can’t remember. Sam. Sam knows.” Mitchell nods assuredly at his answer.

The smoke swirls black filling the horizon, soon it will too thick to even see the sun, and the bombardment creeps unerringly closer. Staring off into the distance, Mitchell almost falls as the ground shakes, but his eyes never leave the tidal wave of destruction. He asks almost idly, “Where are we, Major? They never told me.”

“Langley.” Light blooms across Mitchell's face. This time they can both feel the heat.

“Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave…” Mitchell says quietly, almost singing. “I’m sorry. You should’a let us fix it…”
You must login (register) to review.