by Leesa Perrie
He knew he should know by now how far his team would go for him, how much they cared and would miss him when, inevitably as all people did, he died.
And yet he didn't. Doubt was always there, nibbling at his certainty until he couldn't be sure of what was true or not. Until he doubted that they really cared at all.
He couldn't help it. He wasn't really sure how he'd ended up like this, but it was who he was and not easily changed - if changeable at all. There were times he hated himself for it. After all, he'd seen their reactions to his near death by jumper, his near death by ascension and, more recently, his near death by parasite. He knew they cared. He knew it, and yet - he didn't.
He remembered thinking, not long after returning from Carson's funeral, about who would care enough to be the pallbearers at his own. Even then, he knew that his team would be there if they could be, laying him to rest and grieving for the loss of him. Even then, he'd known it and yet doubted it too.
There were times when he wondered if it was all an act. That they only pretended to care because of his genius. Because of his ability to save Atlantis and them, time and time again, with last minute fixes and brilliant ideas. Was it all a façade? Did they secretly hate him, think he was arrogant, petty and bad with people, like his own subconscious had told him once?
He knew he should know just how much they cared for him - and he did, and yet didn't, all at the same time.
And hated himself for it, because he knew that they didn't doubt him.