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Title: ninety miles an hour with a map on the dash and a fork in the road coming fast
Fandoms: Pacific Rim & Sons of Anarchy
Series: All I Ever was
Pairing: Jax (Raleigh)/Opie Winston
Warnings: Umm, too much exposition, Chuck being Chuck, and no real plot??
Word Count: 5391
Disclaimer: If I owned this, Chuck would have lived.
Summary: Chuck survives Pitfall and learns some surprising things about Raleigh's history. Now with pep talks, panic, and some philosophy.


Chuck isn’t expecting to wake up.

Not after that last fight at the Breach, taking blow after blow until Striker Eureka was too damaged to continue. The ranger had looked over at Pentecost and seen his own expression mirrored on the Marshal's face, the determination to clear Gipsy Danger's way at any cost. Chuck didn’t even regret it. Fighting Kaiju was all he knew and the Aussie always figured that he'd go out in a blaze of glory with his father at his side.

Only now Chuck's mucked it up. Somehow he's still alive because there's no way the afterlife involves the kind of nausea that’s charging through his gut right now. He's about to blow chunks if he isn't careful, the ranger fighting back a wave of bile even as a dozen other pains make themselves known one by one.

Chuck isn't dead and that means they must have won. If the has-been had failed at closing the Breach then there wouldn't have been any survivors to fish the Aussie from the sea. Class Six Kaiju would have slaughtered everyone.

I guess Pentecost was right. We canceled the apocalypse and now the fight is done.

The thought is strangely terrifying. Chuck is the best at killing Kaiju – he made damn sure of that – but those skills don’t exactly translate to civilian life. The Aussie was raised a ranger. He doesn't know how to deal with normal people and the one time his father made him get a real job, he was fired in a week. Chuck twitches violently at the memory of that fast food hellhole: the grease, the customers, and the damn uniform.

“Easy, kid. You're all right,” a familiar voice says. The Aussie can't quite place it but the words are comforting.

As is the hand that Chuck now realizes is holding onto his. He's never held anyone's hand, not that he remembers, and his first instinct is to pull away. But even tensing hurts and the longer that he fails to move, the more the ranger has to admit that the touch is kind of nice. He imagines it's the sort of thing his mother would have done if she were still alive. She would have held his hand and stroked his hair like he was young again.

“You must have been having some nightmare, huh?” the voice murmurs as fingers rub across his palm. “I hope that means you're waking up because your dad is worried sick. He keeps shouting at the doctors when they tell him there's no change. But I know he's glad you're still alive. You two may have had your issues, but he would be gutted if you died.”

The longer this man talks, the more familiar he seems. However, Chuck doesn't realize who the voice belongs to until he hears a bitter chuckle and the sound triggers a flash of memory.

Raleigh Becket is sitting at the Aussie’s bedside. Raleigh Becket is holding his hand and ain’t that a kick in the head?

Sure Chuck had acknowledged that the other ranger before their final drop – the has-been wasn't entirely useless after all – but that didn’t make them friends. Acquaintances, maybe, with a certain grudging respect held on both sides. So why the hell is Raleigh sitting with him now?

Curiosity finally drives Chuck to open his eyes, though the question on his tongue dissolves into a cough. By the time he's finished gasping, Raleigh is practically wrapped around him, propping the Aussie up against his chest while a large hand strokes his back. At that point, it seems silly to question the bloke's presence. If Raleigh wants to hang around, Chuck will take the company.

So instead of interrogating the older man like he'd planned, the Aussie simply asks, “We won then, yeah?”

“Yeah, Hansen. We won,” Raleigh tells him quietly. “The Breach is closed and the Kaiju are gone, at least for now.”

“I hope you burned the bastards.”

“Gipsy did. I rode her through the Breach and then we wiped the Kaiju clean. I hear the victory celebrations lasted for three days.”

“You hear?”

“You and me were stuck in medical,” the Yank says. “I didn't even wake up until the party was long over. But you should be on the fast track to getting discharged now that you're up as well.”

That answers Chuck’s question. Raleigh is probably sitting with him out of boredom and he’s surprised at how much that realization stings. However, the blond still hasn't left or even called a nurse in so he can't hate the Aussie’s company that much and Chuck is honestly too tired to get proper angry now.

“It's not like I'm in a hurry, mate,” he mutters. “No one's gonna need me when the PPDC disbands.”

“That doesn't mean you're useless,” Raleigh replies a little sharply. He must have heard the hopelessness that Chuck couldn't quite hold back. “You're what, twenty? And we both know that you're a genius. This is your chance to live the life you've always wanted. Go be an engineer or a lawyer or even a beach bum if you want to. You've more than earned a break.”

The older man makes it sound so easy. Like Chuck could just remake his life in a few seconds and be happy instantly.

“What do you plan to do then?” he bites out angrily. “If you've got life all figured out, what's your brand new plan?”

“Honestly, no idea,” the blond says and Chuck can feel him shrug. “I doubt the PPDC will disband completely if Mako has any say. But I'm thinking that I might prefer to go back into construction. There's a lot of rebuilding to be done.”

“And it's just that simple?” the Aussie asks. “Switch to a brand new life and leave the old behind? Should we expect a postcard or are you just gonna run?”

Raleigh doesn't answer and Chuck starts kicking himself internally. Sure there's some truth to the accusation but he doesn't want the bloke to leave. He doesn't want the other man to disappear and that's his second unexpected revelation for the day.

But while the Aussie is still reeling - holy shit, is he my friend? - Raleigh is busy thinking and eventually he chuckles bitterly.

“You know, you weren't wrong, kid, when you said that I'm a coward. I've always been a runner. That's just what I do,” the Yank says with a sigh. “So take it from someone who's had to reinvent his future half a dozen times; changing's not the hard part. Life won’t overwhelm you as long as there are people you can count on, people who will listen and support you when your world is crashing down. No, it's losing them that wrecks you and it’s not as though your father plans on leaving so I know that you'll do fine. Hell, if you want, I'll stick around until you get things figured out. I've had a lot of practice helping Prospects find their feet.”

“What the fuck is a Prospect?” Chuck snarls, not ready to deal with Raleigh's offer yet. But the Yank just laughs.

“Someday when I'm drunk, remind me to tell you what I did before the Kaiju showed their ugly mugs.”

“You were in Alaska, weren't you? You and Yancy hunting moose or some other woodsman shit,” the Aussie answers. He's read everything about the Beckets – he may have been a touch obsessed when he was younger – and there wasn't anything in their history that should make Raleigh sound so off.

“That was the official story,” the blond tells him with another bitter laugh. “But just because the PPDC said something in the old days didn’t make it true. You really think I managed to discharge myself right after Knifehead? That's what my record says but I sure as hell didn't sign anything before waking up in Juneau three weeks later. They cut me loose while I was in a coma and by the time I woke up, I wasn't a ranger anymore. So yeah, Hansen, the official story of Raleigh Becket is pretty much just bullshit through and through.”

“What the fuck? Seriously? Why didn't you fight back?”

“I told you, I'm a runner. And after Yancy died, I didn't have the energy.” Raleigh sighs and shrugs again, like he hasn’t just turned Chuck's assumptions upside-down. “Honestly, I figured I deserved it. Not like I could pilot anymore.”

“Bloody hell,” the Aussie murmurs. “So why did you even come back then? You could have told Pentecost to go fuck himself instead.”

“He asked me where I'd rather die,” the Yank replies. Raleigh doesn't seem to realize that's not a normal question and fucking hell, since when is Chuck the more well-adjusted guy? He's still gaping even as the older man continues, “I figured Raleigh Becket would rather fight and die a hero than as a sad sack on the wall.”

“Uh, mate, aren't you Raleigh Becket?” Chuck asks carefully.

“Well, it ain't the name that I was born with. But he came with Yancy and the Jaegers so he wasn't all that bad. It was nice to have a brother of my own.”

“Don't take this the wrong way, Becket, but you've got some serious issues.”

“Yeah, you're probably right,” Raleigh laughs and at least he doesn't sound so serious anymore. “Tell you what; I'll make you a deal. When we both get out of here, you buy me some serious whiskey and I'll tell you all about the guy I used to be.”

“You know I'm going to hold you to that?”

“Dude, I'm counting on it,” the blond says with a grin. “And no cheating either. Mako has enough to do without getting pestered for what's slipped through the drift. She doesn't know the whole story anyway.”

Chuck mumbles an agreement, still too thrown to be insulted that Raleigh thinks he'd cheat.

“All right, good. I suppose I'd better call a nurse then. You've got a lot of people who'll be glad to know that you're awake.”

Raleigh isn't kidding. Barely a minute after he presses the call button, Chuck's room has turned into a madhouse. There are three doctors jabbering on about his recovery to half a dozen different nurses and that's before his father bursts through the door at a dead sprint. Herc doesn't say anything; he just pulls his son into a hug and for the second time since waking up, Chuck lets himself be manhandled. The Aussie's always known that his old man cares about him even though they're both shit at showing feelings, but it's nice to know that he hadn't been forgotten while recovering. In fact, Chuck might even return the hug, though he'll swear to the death that he did not such thing at all.

Anyway, by the time Herc, Mako, and most of Striker's ground crew have been kicked out by the doctors, Raleigh has managed to slip off into parts unknown. In fact, the tricky bastard must get himself discharged almost immediately because Chuck doesn't see him again for three more days. The Aussie isn't sure whether the other man is actually avoiding him or not since his doctors forbid all visitors but family after that first mad rush.

However, even if Raleigh is busy kicking himself for over-sharing, Chuck hasn't managed to forget about that conversation. For all his faults, the has-been ain't a liar and the Aussie wants to know if he really had good reason for his runner. He wants to solve this mystery and find out what put that look in Raleigh Becket's eyes.

So when he and his dad have finished awkwardly not talking about all the things they've never said, Chuck asks the old man, “Was Becket really dumped by the PPDC after Knifehead?”

“Where did you hear that?” Herc sounds startled but not guilty, something Chuck hadn’t even realized he was worried about ‘til now.

“That's what Becket told me. Is it true?”

“Shit, son. It's possible,” his father says, rubbing a hand across his face. “I always thought there was something off about his discharge but I never had the proof. I do know that Raleigh's CO didn’t like him; Anton used to say that a no-good punk like that didn't deserve to be a ranger. So I wouldn't be surprised if he’d dropped Raleigh when he had the chance. Technically the Beckets did defy their orders and we'd never lost half a team before. Not like that.”

“That's bullshit,” Chuck exclaims. “He should have argued. He might at least have gotten benefits.”

“If I had to guess, Raleigh didn't think that he deserved them after Yancy,” Herc tells his son before sighing heavily. “I should have tried harder to find him when he disappeared; maybe the idiot wouldn't be so skinny now.”

“Not your fault the has-been ran,” Chuck replies, though his heart's not in it anymore. It's possible that he might have judged the other man a bit too harshly. The Aussie isn't sure what he would have done if he'd lost both his father and the PPDC at once. It's not like Chuck has any other family or even a life outside the corps.

Although... “Do you know where Becket came from? I'm pretty sure Yancy wasn't his real brother given what he said.”

“Honestly? I've never even heard a rumor about that,” Herc says. “But the PR team was pretty vicious in the early days. Rangers were like rock stars and a lot of the PPDC's donations came from selling folks an image. I could see them white-washing Raleigh's past if they thought it necessary and I haven't looked through his records since becoming acting Marshal.”

There's a long pause before Herc adds, “I'm not going to either. Whatever mistakes the man has made, he's redeemed himself by now.”

“Hey! I wasn't asking!” Chuck retorts with a scowl. “I wouldn't go behind his back.” Not without good reason anyway.

---

The Aussie is released with a clean bill of a health a few days later and he searches Raleigh out immediately. When he finally finds him, the Yank is sitting in the mess hall, picking at his food like usual, and Chuck is about to get his attention when someone else calls out his name.

“Becket! You have a visitor!”

It's one of the Marshal's aides – Herc's aides now – and Chuck really should know the woman's name. Raleigh knows her name since he responds with, “Really, Susan? I didn't think... do you know who?”

“Sorry. The Marshal just told me to come get you.”

“Weird. Well, I guess we better go.”

Chuck might have crossed the line from listening to eavesdropping. And he's definitely acting a bit stalkerish by following after Raleigh when the other man leaves the hall. But he ignores Mako's frown and the weird looks his ground crew gives him. If the Yank wants Chuck gone then he can say it; the Aussie is way too curious to let this go right now. No one in the Shatterdome gets visitors and especially not Raleigh Becket, he of the secret past and dead not-relatives.

If the blond does notice Chuck, he doesn't seem to mind. He lets the Aussie trail him to the Shatterdome's main waiting room, the one Pentecost always stuck reporters in to cool their heels a bit. Susan leaves Raleigh at the door and Chuck is wondering if he should say something when Herc walks out of the room.

“Hey, Marshal, what's going on?” Raleigh asks.

“Didn't Susan tell you? You have a visitor.”

“Yeah, but who?” the Yank replies and Chuck can practically hear him roll his eyes. “If it was someone from the Ice Box, you wouldn't have bothered with this nonsense and I didn't think I knew anyone else these days. Do I?”

“You tell me,” Herc says, looking down at the papers in his hands. “This guy showed up Hong Kong and demanded to see you. Claims to be a friend. Weird name too. Introduced himself as Opie Winston but that's not...”

Raleigh gasps so sharply that even Chuck can hear it and he's through the door before the Marshal finishes.

“I guess the kid must know him,” Herc mutters before directly at his son, “Are you lurking for a reason? You know eavesdropping’s impolite.”

Chuck can feel himself flushing, annoyed at being caught. “Come on, old man, aren't you curious? I've never seen Becket look like that before.”

“You're a rotten influence, kid.”

“Hmph, you're one to talk,” he retorts hotly. “You're the one who raised me so my manners are your fault.”

“I suppose you're right,” his father says, shaking his head in disapproval. But he still waves Chuck over before cautioning, “Not a word to anyone about this. And if it gets too personal, we're both leaving. The poor bloke doesn't need any gossiping.”

That seems like a fair compromise – it's not like Chuck plans to run his mouth to anyone – but when Herc cracks the door, Raleigh and his visitor are just staring at each other. Well, Raleigh is staring. Chuck can't see his visitor, but neither man seems to be saying anything.

Honestly, Raleigh looks torn between joy and tears, his fingers twitching like he wants to reach out but isn't quite sure how. With that kind of reaction, this Opie guy must be from before he joined the rangers, from the past that the Yank was so damn mysterious about.

“Well, you're still an idiot,” Raleigh’s visitor says when the ranger just keeps gaping. “Come here, Jax.”

He finally steps forward and Chuck can't help a double-take as he pulls the blond into a hug. Raleigh isn't particularly small but this bloke looks like a bear – at least, the way they look in the pictures; the Aussie's never had a chance to see one in real life. This man is built like a brick shit-house; he's burly, hairy, and looks like he could probably strangle crocs for lunch barehanded if he really wanted to.

However, Raleigh just melts into the hug, clutching the other man's shoulders almost desperately. It's at least a minute before either of them moves and even then, the blond barely lifts his head enough to ask, “Ope, what are you doing here?”

“What do you think? I saw you on the news and I took the first plane I could scrounge,” the other man tells him. “You couldn't have written me a letter once in a while? Or just sent out a damn postcard so I knew you weren't dying in a ditch somewhere?”

The bloke sounds irritated – and with good reason – but he's still holding onto Raleigh, one hand stroking gently over the Yank's hair.

“Five years, Jax. Five years without a word. I thought you ate a bullet and then you go and save the world.”

“I did have help, you know,” Raleigh tells his friend and Chuck can't help a touch of pride even as he wonders, Jax? Seriously? That's almost as dumb as bloody Raleigh. Who the hell has been picking Becket's names?

“Did this help not think to feed you? Because you look like shit,” Opie retorts. “I know you had to run, Jax. But why didn't you come back?”

“I'm sorry. I couldn't. I couldn't deal with Charming or making you take care of my fucked up ass again,” the blond replies, the self-loathing in his voice making both Aussies wince. But Opie just levels the ranger with a look that makes him chuckle sheepishly. “Okay, yeah, I didn't really think that through. And I am sorry, you know. I should have written but the longer I waited, the harder it seemed, and I wasn't sure that you would want to hear from me.”

“See, still an idiot,” the other man sighs. “But I'm here now and I'm not leaving unless you throw me out.”

“What about Charming? And your girls?”

“Charming is safe and sound. Your mother made sure of that. She may be a bitch with an iron heart but she takes care of her own. SAMCRO even cut out the illegal shit for the most part, a bit of Kaiju smuggling but it's mostly transport now,” Opie explains and while most of that sounded like utter gibberish to Chuck, Raleigh seems relieved.

“And my girls are fine. There is this thing called the internet for us to stay in contact and they're living with their mother anyway. She got remarried a couple years ago. Nice guy. Boring as fuck,” the man continues and Raleigh chokes on a laugh. “But he makes Donna happier than I ever managed. You know what she told me when I came to say goodbye?”

“What?”

“Good luck keeping that dumb fuck out of trouble. And try to feed him something; damn fool looks like a corpse.”

“I'm guess I'm still not her favorite person, am I?” the Yank chuckles as Opie simply shrugs. “I suppose that I can't blame her. She's the one you married, but you've always been mine first.”

“First and last,” the other man agrees before meeting Raleigh's eyes. “If you're still interested.”

Wait, does that mean…? Chuck starts to wonder, his unspoken questions answered when the blond pulls his friend into a kiss. The Aussie stands there gaping – he was not expecting that – until he feels a sharp tug on his arm.

“Time to go, Chuck,” Herc says when his son glances over. “This looks personal to me.”

He can't really argue with that even though he’s still dying to know what's going on. Chuck follows his father toward the mess and then ditches Herc as soon as possible to return to the waiting room. The Aussie doesn't open the door – he’s not a total creeper – but he waits in the hallway just outside. Raleigh's conversation raised as many questions as it answered and Chuck wants the explanation that the older man had promised him.

He snaps to attention when the door finally opens, trying not to look guilty as the other two walk out. They're holding hands and Raleigh's lips are bruised from pashing, but he's pretty sure they kept their clothes on.

Fuck, I hope they kept their clothes on. That room is never sanitized.

“Hey, Hansen,” Raleigh says when he sees Chuck sitting there. “I assume you and Herc were listening. How much did you hear?”

The Yank doesn't sound surprised or angry but the Aussie curses his genes when he flushes bright red anyway.

“Just the first part,” he tells the blond. Chuck knows that he sounds guilty as fuck even though it's true and he can't help but wince when Raleigh smirks at him.

“I'm sure you did. But I suppose I promised you an explanation. So... Chuck Hansen meet Opie Winston. We grew up together.”

Opie holds out his hand and the Aussie shakes it dutifully, more stunned than anything.

“It's good to meet you,” he mumbles awkwardly, unable to shake the feeling that Raleigh is just laughing at him now.

But Opie seems to mean it when he says, “Likewise. I hear Jax might be dead if not for you.”

“Oh. Um, yeah, I guess so. Although that's kind of mutual,” Chuck stammers before his usual temperament manages to assert itself at last. “Look, mate. I'm sure you're an awesome bloke or something, but will one of you please just tell me what the hell is going on? I don't need to listen to you bloody drongos chatter on.”

There's a moment of silence and then Opie lets out a booming laugh.

“Christ, kid. You really are an asshole, aren't you? I can see why this guy likes you,” he says when he finally stops chuckling. “Are you planning on telling him everything, Jax? ‘cause we probably shouldn't do that here.”

“You know my name is Raleigh now, right?” the blond asks, obviously amused by Chuck's unsubtle curiosity. However, his boyfrie-, lov-, fuck bu- friend just shrugs.

“You'll always be Jax to me. But I'll try to remember to call you Raleigh if you want.”

“Maybe just in public,” the Yank says with a grin and Chuck honestly doesn't think he’s smiled this much the whole time that he's been here. “If you call me Jax out in the mess, you'll just confuse most everyone. Speaking of which, let's take this to my bunk. I'd rather not start too many rumors yet.”

“It's probably too late for that, mate,” Chuck tells him frankly. “Word of your visitor is bound to be all over the Shatterdome by now. And have you seen the news lately? The gossip rags have paired you with everyone from Mako to those scary women in the kitchen and the speculation about the last five years is even worse.”

“The lies don't bother me,” the other man replies. “It's the truth I'd rather keep hidden from the public eye. And at least I didn't have a countdown until the day that I turned legal. How many propositions did you get on your birthday anyway?”

Chucks flushes deeper, sputtering in indignation. He can't believe Raleigh heard about that while he was on the Wall. However, before the Aussie manages to come up with a proper retort, Opie throws an arm around his shoulders and the sudden touch throws off his train of thought.

“You poor kid,” the older man laughs. “I bet you had a thousand cougars after you. But don't worry; we'll protect you from the media this time. You've got brothers now and we watch each other's backs.”

Chuck should shove him off; he doesn't know this bloke, not really. But Opie seems to mean it – something about him shouts undying loyalty – and the thought of such support is kind of nice. No one except Herc has ever really gone to bat for Chuck before.

“Seriously, Jax. This kid is adorable. Don't let your mother meet him or we'll have bloodshed on our hands,” Opie continues. “Now, where is this bunk of yours? The sooner you tell your story, the sooner I can kick him out. We're due for a reunion after all.”

“A reunion-” Chuck chokes out, his skin burning redder when the man just winks.

“Sorry, kid. No details. I wouldn't want to offend your delicate sensibilities.”

“Leave off him, Ope. He's had a lot to deal with and he's not used to teasing,” Raleigh says as the Aussie stammers, his mind running wild with all sorts of images. “And my bunk is over this way. Follow me.”

Everyone the trio meets looks at their strange procession with wide eyes, but even though Chuck can practically feel the gossip starting, he can't bring himself to care. Because he's strangely comfortable with Opie's arm around his shoulders and Raleigh Becket looking back to make sure they're following. Maybe this really is what having siblings feels like, though Chuck is determined to never speak that thought allowed.

Opie only lets the Aussie go once they've reach Raleigh's bunk. Then the two men sit down on the bed together while Chuck pulls up a chair.

“Okay, Hansen. How much do you know about biker gangs?”

“Cyclists have gangs?” he answers blankly and Opie is definitely laughing at him now.

“I guess we'll start from the beginning,” Raleigh tells him, stifling a chuckle of his own. “In the US, a lot of motorcycle riders are part of motorcycle clubs. They've got cuts and colors and most of them are totally legit despite their reputations. Sons of Anarchy was not.”

“Sons of what?”

“You wanna show him, Ope?” the blond asks and the other man stands up. He turns around and shrugs off his shirt to reveal a massive tat. It's a grinning reaper with Sons of Anarchy emblazoned around the image in a circle and all Chuck can think is, Damn, that's kind of hot.

Thankfully what he says out loud is, “You don't have a tattoo, Becket. I would have seen it in the kwoon.”

“The PPDC had my tats removed when they made me Raleigh Becket,” the Yank tells him as Opie sits back down. “But that's what I grew up with. Gun-running mostly but Charming was ours and we did whatever it took to keep control. My father was the founder and my step-dad was our leader so the life was all I knew.”

“Then why'd you leave?” Chuck asks.

“I'd like to say I grew a conscience and I never liked the violence, but that would be a lie... All right, full disclosure. No one in the corps knows the whole story, but I think you need the truth. I suppose it started with the Kaiju,” Raleigh says quietly. “The Kaiju and my fucked up family history. Right after they first appeared, my ex was having our baby and his heart wasn't right when he was born. Heart defects run in my family and all the drugs that she'd been taking didn't help. He might have survived but the most experienced doctors had all been conscripted to the coast to help with the relief efforts and we couldn't get the care he needed, not in time.”

The older man pauses for a second and Opie presses closer, wrapping an arm around his shoulders until he can speak again.

“After Abel died, I went a little off the rails. The club was having problems and Ope had just gotten out of prison so I didn't want to be a burden. Not when you and Donna were trying so hard to work things out.”

“Fat lot of good that did me.”

“Yeah, well. Hindsight,” Raleigh shrugs. “Anyway, I might have pulled myself together if I hadn't found out that Clay, my step-dad, had killed my father years before. The two of them had fought over the club's direction – and my mother – and Clay had sabotaged his bike. That's when I just lost it. I took my father's old revolver and I shot Clay in the main square. Right between the eyes. Even SAMCRO couldn't get me outta that.

“But the PPDC needed rangers and I'd been bargained down to manslaughter so they offered me a deal. If I graduated from the academy and got myself a Jaeger, then I wouldn't have to go to jail. After what I'd done, I wasn't going to get a better trade than that. I agreed to their terms and made sure to work my ass off so they wouldn’t send me back. Once I was matched to Yancy, someone in PR had a brainstorm. We always did look similar and so the Becket Boys were born.”

“Jesus Christ,” Chuck mutters. “You really weren't kidding. I may need some time to process this.”

“Take all the time you need, Hansen. I'm not going anywhere,” the Yank tells him. “Just remember the point of this whole story. If a guy like me can get this many second chances, then you don't need to worry. You're Chuck Hansen, #1 Kaiju killer, and you're gonna be just fine.”

“I suppose you're right,” the Aussie chuckles. He's surprised to realize that he actually feels better; he hasn't even thought about the future since this whole mess with Becket started and now that he is, the tinge of panic seems to have disappeared.

After all, if Raleigh can go from a criminal to a ranger to a has-been to a hero, Chuck can figure out how not to be a soldier anymore. Because the other man is right. He's Chuck fucking Hansen and he's not going to let Raleigh Becket beat him now.


End