Title: The Opposite of Fear
Warning: None, really, although mild spoilers for all fandoms represented.
Notes: kerravonsen purchased a fic from me during the help_japan auction, and requested a multi-fandom series of double drabbles inspired by the same quotation. It's finally done! Thank you to my betas, axzanier and feliciakw.
"The opposite of fear was faith--believing not that the fear was irrational, but that the opposite truth was greater."
Not This Time (The Sentinel)
Jim stepped back, hand twitching away from Blair's shoulder.
Blair turned carefully to face him. “It's not going to be like last time,” he said. “We know things now. You know yourself, now. It's going to be different.”
Jim seemed frozen, staring through him. “You can't know that. I haven't dreamed anything. Shouldn't I be dreaming about her?”
“Maybe you have, and just don't recognize it.” Blair stepped towards Jim, reaching out. “What have you been dreaming about lately? It might be more subtle, after... after the temple.”
Jim backed away again, shaking his head. “Nothing. At least, nothing that I remember.” His breathing deepened as he focused inward, and Blair eased forward. Jim's head snapped up, and he growled. “You should leave, Sandburg.”
Blair drew a breath through gritted teeth. “Man, do you seriously think that's a good idea?”
Jim sighed, shoulders slumping. “No. But you can't stay here. I--”
“Oh, for....” Blair stepped forward. Put both hands on Jim's shoulders. “I trust you, Jim, okay? Listen to me: I trust you.”
Jim swallowed. Tried to--and couldn't--speak. But he let Blair's hands stay where they were, and didn't step back again.
A Practical Definition (Stargate SG-1)
“What is this thing the Tau'ri call 'faith'?”
Jack O'Neill blinked. And here he had been hoping for some quiet camaraderie. “Uh...” The monuments carved with crosses or Stars of David were not helping. “Daniel could explain it better.”
Teal'c did that thing where he radiated disbelief without moving a muscle. “This is a soldier's burial ground. Daniel Jackson is a scholar. Why should he know this thing better than the warriors whose tombs are marked for it?”
Jack blew out a breath. “You want to know... what, exactly?”
“The Tau'ri do not force men into battle because it is the will of their god.” The acid in Teal'c voice could have eaten through tempered steel. “What is faith if not obedience?”
Jack swallowed centuries of human history and groped for an answer that would make sense in context. “When you let us out of Apophis' prison. That took faith.”
After a small silence, Teal'c said, “Faith, then, is how you hear your own heart against orders, or tradition, or your own better judgment.”
Jack shook his head. “Bigger than that--it's how you act on your heart. How you recognize something more important than fear, and run after it.”
No Previous Data (Bones)
"No, Bones, don't touch that! Don't move, don't breathe!"
Brennan froze, gloved hands millimeters from the torso of the decomposing body. As badly as she wanted to know why, the panic in Booth's voice kept her utterly still. She didn't even take a breath.
Footsteps scuffed through the duff behind her. Booth's hands lightly touched her shoulders. "Okay, Bones," he said, sounding breathless himself. "Lift your hands slowly and stand in place. Don't move your feet."
She did precisely as he asked, itching to turn and look at him.
"Step very softly." He counted to ten, pacing them backwards together. At about three meters, Brennan felt him exhale and his arms wrapped suddenly around her.
She turned to look up at him. "You're trembling."
He blew out a long, shaky breath. "I didn't think you would stop in time.”
"Booth, you never yell at me without a good reason."
“There's something buried in the corpse. We used to see that in Iraq. Touch the body..." He mimed an explosion with one hand; the other still gripped her tightly. “Wait. You have that much faith in me?"
She would not have chosen that word, and yet.... "Yes, I do," she said.
Different Strokes (Numb3rs)
“It's just...” Charlie kicked a stone into the CalSci pond, startling a koi feeding near the surface. Ripples from the stone and from the flip of the fish's tail clashed and spread. “I thought Don was more rational than that.”
Larry clucked disapprovingly. “Don't take your frustrations out on the fish, Charles, please. They're not the ones attending temple without consulting you.”
Charlie shoved his hands deep into his pockets and frowned. “Why does he need all that mumbo-jumbo? Why can't beauty, and science, and-and doing good deeds be enough? He's a good man.”
“Better than most,” Larry agreed, settling cross-legged on the grass. The koi swam lazily through the dark water, tracing invisible patterns. “Perhaps Don feels he could be better still. Nature, though full of wonder, is hardly a direct model for the sort of morality an FBI agent needs.”
Charlie flopped down beside him and sighed.
The sun warmed their heads and shoulders for a long moment. Larry prodded his friend. “What are you afraid of? That you'll lose him?”
Charlie shuddered. “No, I'm afraid I already have.”
Larry rested a gentle hand on his shoulder. “Don't forget, Charles, that faith is hardly more irrational than fear.”
The One I Sought So Earnestly (Doctor Who/Stargate SG-1)
“Colonel O'Neill.” His cellmate's voice tugged Jack out of a haze of pain. When the world blinked into focus, the man sat cross-legged beside him, looking down past that ridiculous chin and stupid frayed bow tie.
The Doctor grinned, displaying a newly shattered tooth in his bruised mouth. “You keep silence brilliantly,” he observed.
“Be even easier if you'd shut up,” Jack retorted.
The Doctor laughed, then put a hand to his jaw. “And you can break it. Even more admirable.”
They were both in pain after days of questioning. That he could still laugh. . . . “Takes one to know one,” Jack said.
“Well, it certainly takes practice.”
The Doctor prodded his broken tooth with his tongue. “Which was hardest, for you?”
How could he choose, even if old habits allowed him to specify one particular secret? Perhaps he could compromise. “To know when I was allowed to speak.”
When he looked back up, the Doctor eyed Jack appraisingly. “That's always the hardest part,” he agreed. “Finding a person who can be trusted to keep one's secrets.”
“Sometimes there isn't one,” Jack reminded him.
“And sometimes he's right under one's nose.” The Doctor smiled again and patted Jack's shoulder.