chasmas: (classify » your biggest mistake)
it's a kat! ([personal profile] chasmas) wrote2013-07-18 11:24 pm
Entry tags:

"her son"

title: her son
rating: pg-13
fandom: pacific rim
summary: rule63!herc hansen, and what that means for chuck's story--from the kaiju attack that killed his father to the final mission.
notes: totally inspired by this tumblr post.


Screaming. What Chuck remembers the most clearly is all the screaming and panic around him. He is twelve and the city was in chaos. But his mother is there, still in her uniform, grabbing him from home and driving out of the havoc like she could solve everything that was going wrong if she could just drive fast enough. She doesn't say much, but Chuck remembers her placing a hand on his knee and telling him, "I'll take care of you. I promise."

When the bombs hit and Sydney goes up in flames, Chuck asks about his dad. His mother doesn't know. When they get to the Air Force base and Hera is debriefed, he asks about his dad. His mother frowns and says, "Kaiju got him before the nukes did." Chuck is pretty sure that the face she is making means she doesn't believe the line that she's been fed.

Something changes in her, then. Hera Hansen has always been a hard woman--military, no nonsense. But her love for her husband and son are undeniable. In truth, that doesn't change. Chuck still knows that his mother loves him. But they live in barracks and she's training to pilot Jaegers. She's busy all the time. Chuck is mostly left to his own devices with the dog while she goes out and tries to save the world.

He's proud of his mum. Really, he is. She's out there kicking ass and taking names. But it'd be nice if she weren't on call all the time. If she didn't seem too busy to hear about his grades or his first kiss. As time crawls on, Chuck still knows his mother loves him, but it's like saying, "Poison ivy itches." Everyone knows it, but he can't remember ever having it, even though people say he did when he was younger.

He's fifteen when he enlists. Seventeen when he gets assigned a Jaeger alongside his mother. He's been another person's copilot, but they haven't done anything spectacular. Holding the line while other people crush the Kaiju, mostly. But when Chuck's copilot has to quit the service, they assign him to his mother's new Jaeger. Striker Eureka. She's a beautiful piece of machinery and Chuck is already half in love with her before he ever pilots her. Seeing as she's the newest model, he knows this means he's going to be out there on the front lines finally, killing the things that took his father away. Took his mother away.

The first time he Drifts with his mum, it's like a punch to the gut. They get the job done--his first kill, her fourth. But he walks away with his head full of things that aren't his. A sense of fierce protectiveness, grief, guilt, affection, and the constant thought of This isn't what I wanted for you. That one sinks its teeth into him and doesn't let go.

After the second Drift, second and fifth kill, Hera tries to talk to him. She grabs his arm, whirls him around, ready to yell if need be. Chuck isn't having any of it. "It's a little late for you to be wanting things for me! If you really cared that much, you should've been around when I made the decision to become a pilot!" he yells, not caring who hears. Part of him realizes dimly that his mother looks like she's been slapped in the face.

Drifts get easier after that. He still feels the constant guilt/love/exasperation/grief from his mother. He knows she must feel the love/desperation/sorrydidn'tmeanit/anger from him and there's a modicum of understanding. Not enough for their relationship outside of the Drift to get any easier, but enough that they get through their missions just fine.

The press has a field day with them. Chuck's one of the youngest pilot's ever. They're racking up kills faster than any other Jaeger team in history. No one seems to realize that has more to do with the Kaiju coming in quicker than it does their skills. Which isn't to say that Chuck doesn't have skills. He does, and he completely deserves the media attention he's getting. It serves his mum right if she's not getting as much of it as him. She's had her day in the spotlight, after all.

One talk show hosts asks him one night, "What's it like working with your mum? Would you rather have a different copilot?" Chuck is confused. "Well, you know what I mean, it's your mum. Little embarrassing, don't you think? And there's got to be a reason there's not as many women who are Jaeger pilots as there are men."

Realization hits Chuck over the head like a bag of bricks. Hera Hansen never really had a day in the spotlight. People like him because he's young, attractive, and happens to have a cock. He knew that, years ago, women in the military were a bit of a heated topic, but he didn't think--

He scowls at the host. "I think it's because of people like you that there aren't more Jaeger pilots who are women. My mum is an amazing person, and I would rather have her at my side than a lot of other people. So you can step right off."

When he gets back to base, he knocks on his mum's door. She's sitting on her bunk, Max asleep and drooling by her side. For a moment, Chuck just looks at her, at the worn look on her face and the hints of wrinkles that have appeared in the past few years. "I think we both fucked up," he says. He's not ready to forgive Hera for all she's done, yet. But he knows he wasn't always in the right, either. His mother smiles and for the first time in what feels like forever, Chuck hears her laugh.

All good things must come to an end, though, and soon enough they announce that the Jaeger program is being shut down. He's furious and everyone knows it. The coastal walls are a fucking stupid plan. His mum agrees with him, but still makes him eat mat every time he gets on his soapbox. And then--then. Marshal Pentecost comes back with Raleigh Becket of all people. An ex-Jaeger pilot who was, at one time, the stuff of legends when combined with his brother. Who was, for good reason, dismissed. And this, he thinks, is who's supposed to watch his back. Watch his mum's back. Just great.

Chuck picks a fight. Hera's not going to chew him out in front of the entire mess, and he's just so angry that there's nothing else he feels like doing. But he really should've expected his angry and somewhat embarrassed mother to come and find him later. "Just what the hell was that back there?" she all but snarls at him. He snaps.

"That was me telling the truth!" His arms spread out wide and he refuses to step away, to get more space in his personal bubble. "He's a has-been and a liability! We're going to go out there and do something that hasn't worked before, might not work now, and is really fucking dangerous. But instead of sending the good teams, the Marshal is sending us with an unstable cock up who could get us killed!"

Hera stares at him. Some of the anger melts away from her face, and she sighs. "You're scared." Chuck blinks. He is, a bit, now that he thinks about it. Not that he wants to admit that. "Be scared all you want, it's a last-ditch plan and we could all die. But don't piss off the person who's going to be watching your back. That's just stupid."

She leaves. He marinates in his anger. When Gipsy Danger's test run comes and goes in a magnificent failure, he starts even more fights. With the Marshal, and then with Becket. It seems like all he can do sometimes--fighting. He's got so much in him he doesn't know how the fuck to deal with it all. Fighting's the only way to get rid of it. But Becket doesn't rise to the bait, and even though there's a number of insults on the tip of Chuck's tongue, he knows his mother would kick his ass six ways to Sunday if he actually called Miss Mori a bitch. She's not, really, and it'd be wrong to say it. And she could probably kill him with her pinky finger. But part of him still wants the fight.

He ends up getting it, just not in the way he expected. Heading out with his mum to fight two of the biggest Kaiju he's seen yet is weirdly therapeutic. Her steady presence and fond exasperation calm him down and make it easier for him to appreciate the fact that Gipsy Danger saved their asses. It makes it easier for him to accept that maybe Becket isn't as much of a has-been as he'd thought.

And then... then comes the mission. It's happening sooner than he thought it would, and Hera's not going to be there. Her arm is fractured in two places, her ribs are bruised, and she's got a minor concussion. Chuck knows there's no way she could pilot Striker Eureka in her state. But he still really, really wishes it were her instead of Pentecost who would be Drifting with him. She catches him in the hallway in front of the lift. It's almost enough to make him throw in the towel.

Chuck can't remember the last time he's seen his mother cry, but she is now. Just one or two big, fat tears rolling down her scraped cheeks. "I'm sorry," she says. Her voice sounds like she hasn't used it in months. "I should've said that earlier. When we're Drifting, it never felt like--"

"Mum," he interrupts her. He won't be able to keep it together if she keeps going. "It's alright. You don't need to say anything."

She scowls. That's infinitely more familiar and comforting. "For once in your life, Charles, shut up and listen." She takes a deep breath in, puts her good hand on the side of his face. "I am so fucking proud of you. If you never listen to anything else I say, listen to this. I am so fucking proud of you. And I love you."

That's when he loses it. He knows it must hurt her arm, but he crushes her to his armored chest and holds on tight. She gets a death grip on the back of his neck though, so it all evens out. "I love you too, mum," his whispers raggedly into her hair. This is kind of embarrassing, especially since the Marshal is right behind them. It's his mum, though, and she needs it just as much as he does. He holds on for one desperate moment, then backs off. Max gets a quick goodbye before Chuck turns without another word and walks away. If he pauses, he's not sure he'll be able to leave and do what he has to.

"Stacker!" Hera calls. Chuck stops, barely breathing. Wants to turn to see the look on her face, but isn't sure he can handle it. "That's my son you've got there. My son."

The pride in her voice makes his heart swell. Those last few steps are easy after that. Which should really have clued him into the fact that everything was going to go wrong. Suicide becomes the only viable option for the plan working. Guilt washes over Chuck in heavy waves. He knows what they have to do, he knows his mother would tell him to do it. But he can't help but feel awful about it. She's already lost her husband, and now he's making her lose a son. Just after they've finally got their shit together and everything.

"Well. My mum always says, if you've got the shot, you take it."

He hopes she heard. He hopes, prays, desperately wishes she'll be alright. Because his mum may be a hardass, she may not have been there as much as he'd have liked, but she's a badass who really deserves more than what she's getting. As the Marshal reaches for the detonation button, Chuck thinks that he's proud to have been her copilot.

Her son.

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