Warnings: canon character death
A/N:Written for primevalathon for ssw_loved using the prompt "Matt shares about his father's death with Becker."
Matt talks with the head of the retirement home, fills out a couple forms, most of them with false data and brings Emily back to the ARC. Her hand rests warm and consolingly on his arm when he says goodbye but he doesn’t take her up on the comfort her gaze offers. His father’s warning about her still rings in his ears.
Having done everything, he walks out into the parking space to his car and finds that he doesn’t want to go home. He doesn’t want to return to the empty glass bubble he lives in, that most of the time feels so wrong because it’s nothing like home. That he specifically bought because it was nothing like home, thinking he wanted to escape the memories of crowded underground caverns. But seeing so much sky at once is unsettling especially today.
Matt sits in his car for the longest time with no idea where to drive to until the passenger door is opened and Becker climbs inside.
“I had a horrible night and a even worse morning. Let’s go to the pub.” Forced out of his daze, Matt turns his head to look at Becker and Becker frowns at him: “Matt, are you crying?”
His hand reaches up to his cheek and feels the tear tracks there. He never even noticed that he was crying.
“I’m fine.” Matt answers but Becker’s look clearly tells him that he doesn’t believe him.
“Yeah, that’s what it looks like.” Becker mutters sarcastically.
“Let it go.” Matt said with finality in his voice that actually seemed to work because Becker got out of the car and closed the door behind him. Matt exhaled in relief and startled when Becker opened the door on his side and told him “shove over.”
“Matt, I’m not letting you drive like this. Shove over.” Later, Matt would blame it on the commandeering tone in Becker’s voice and his own bemused state but Matt did exactly as he was told to and climbed into the passenger seat.
They drove in silence, Matt huddled against the door, and ignored Becker who kept throwing him short looks in-between. He only half noticed that Becker wasn’t driving him home but to what Matt assumed was Becker’s flat.
“I’ll make some tea.” Becker said after leaving Matt on the couch. Becker’s flat was very different from the anonymous glass bubble Matt lived it: a couple posters for movies and Matt felt the ghost of a smile on his face when he saw a Star Wars poster that had been manipulated so that it now showed Abby as Leia, Jenny and Sarah as scantily clad slave girls, Lester as Darth Vader, Cutter as Obi-Wan, Danny as Luke, Connor as Han and Becker as Chewbacca. Else there were lots of photos showing what Matt assumed was Becker’s rather large family, other soldiers with their arms around Becker’s shoulder with the only thing changing was Becker’s age and the background, most were made in England but some seemed to be from Afghanistan, yes, Matt had read Becker’s file, there were even photos with members from the ARC, taken in pubs and other non-work related places: Danny grinning while holding up a pint, Abby with a newborn giraffe in her arms and a proud smile on her face, Sarah with her face painted like a cat and growling, Lester in a Hawaii shirt, Khakis and sun glasses standing in front of a grill, Connor trying to blow out the candles on his birthday cake while surrounded by imperial stormtroopers, Jenny in a swimsuit on a surfboard, Jess blowing him a kiss, even one of Matt himself in front of a card board Mount Everest, rolling his eyes after they had closed an anomaly that had opened in an exhibition about famous mountain climbers.
From his place on the couch Matt could see colourful pictures stuck to Becker’s fridge, one proclaiming that Becker was the best uncle in the world in bright orange and yellow fingerpaint.
Suddenly Matt felt deeply jealous of Becker, of his perfect, normal life with all his family and friends. Why did he have all this while Matt was stranded centuries from home, caught with a mission that required of him to be suspicious about everyone and now without the one person that had known the truth that he had been able to talk with. He wanted this life, too, family and friends and a flat filled with tokens of good memories.
“Here.” Becker pressed a mug into his hand and sat down next to him. To avoid talking Matt took a sip, the tea was stronger and with more milk that he usually liked it but it was relaxing and helped to calm the resentment he felt within against Becker.
“I guess that was a present from Connor?” Matt asked, gesturing towards the Star Wars poster.
“Yep, Danny argued the whole night that he should have been Han.” Becker smiled at the memory but Matt knew that his distraction tactic had failed when Becker turned to him.
“Matt...” He said but before he could continue Matt told him hastily. “My father died.”
“I’m sorry.” Becker’s hand felt warm and comfortable on Matt’s shoulder. “Do you have any other family?” Matt shook his head. He emptied his mug and stood up.
“I should really go. Thanks for the tea.” But Becker caught his arm before he had even taken two steps towards the door.
“I don’t think you should be alone tonight.” Becker said firmly but softly. His hand slid down Matt’s arm until their hands touched and Becker tugged him back to the couch.
“You were close.” It wasn’t a question but Matt still nodded. He opened his mouth but hesitated, catching Becker’s eyes.
“I know that there are things you can’t or don’t want to tell me, “Becker said quietly, “but you don’t have to lie to me. I’m not going to use your grief to emotionally blackmail you into telling me the truth.”
Startled, Matt realised that Becker trusted him, not just with his life but with everything even though Matt had never done anything to be worthy of that trust.
“It was always only me and my father.” Matt said eventually, staring at his empty tea mug. “He liked plants, orchids especially. We used to live underground, not a good place for plants but my father always managed to make them flourish.”
“Is that why you live in that aquarium?” Matt had never given it a thought but it made sense.
“Probably.” He was silent for a moment before he continued. “My father was the only one...I’m a long way from home and...”The tears came again and his body was shaking although he tried to repress the sobs he felt building in his throat.
"Matt..."Becker said softly and Matt found himself pulled into a rough hug. He hadn't had contact like in years, this since his mother had died, and for a moment he tried to push Becker away, tried to let him go. He felt brittle like he'd crack apart if he stopped and let himself miss the things that were gone.
When Matt finally stopped shaking and there were no more tears, he felt hollow. It seemed logical after crying out years of pain all in one go, what else could be left inside? All he'd had to fill him with was the bitter ache of every loss they had suffered, of his mission that had send him away from home and kept him from making this time his new one. Still, there was a sense of peace that came with being surrounded by warm arms and having Becker’s breath tickling his neck.
Feeling lighter than he could ever remember, Matt lifted his face to look at Becker. He felt like the arms holding him were the only thing keeping him from floating away like a helium balloon. Matt was starting to feel like a fool for having let go his guard in front of someone, and the thought of fleeing was looking very good.
Becker knew him too well. As soon as Matt got too uncomfortable, he let go .Becker looked him in the eyes and his hands settled on Matt's neck and jaw, surrounding him with warmth. Matt found that he didn’t care about his mission, he just wanted this moment to last. Fear was crawling back into his mind, fear that he wasn’t as detached as he had thought. He had thought that if he kept it at a couple handjobs in the ARC showers, without kissing, without ever following Becker home he could keep himself from caring. Only he now realised that it wasn’t that simple. He found that he wanted to return Becker’s trust, to tell him the truth about himself.
Becker kissed him while Matt was still arguing with himself. He tasted like tea and gun powder and hope.
Maybe this could be home after all.