Spoilers: Critical Mass
A/N: Not beta'ed. Did this for the Left Behind challenge at sga_flashfic. Enjoy.
Radek scowled as he watched the Colonel bounce up the stairs to the upper level of the control room. He didn't want to go on this mission. Seriously didn't want to go, but not for the reasons he'd given Sheppard. As the stargate engaged, his expression shifted to one of pained rememberance.
Prague, ten years ago
"I must do this, Elena. You know why."
The young woman in front of him frowned, hugging her protruding belly protectively. "I know, brother, but I don't have to like it. I will miss you."
Radek reached out to his younger sister and held her as she cried on his shoulder. He had been approached by the American military several days ago and given an offer he couldn't refuse. Money had been tight lately--they had spent a good part of their savings on the baby and it wasn't even here yet--and they had known it. What they offered...he could not refuse it. Not if he wanted his sister and her unborn child to have a secure future. To be comfortable and protected. The money would ensure that they got the best medical care and never wanted for anything.
After her husband--the lying cheat, Radek thought--had left her when he discovered she was pregnant, Radek had taken her in. He and his sister had always been close, despite the seven year age gap. He'd had reservations when she'd brought the man home, but chalked it up to being an over-protective brother. Now, however, he wishes he had listened to his instincts.
He loves his sister very much and wouldn't change the last five months for anything, but they needed the money this would bring. The Americans had said that the money would be deposited into whatever account--or accounts--he gave, but he must work where they told him to. They didn't say where--Top Secret, they'd said and you could hear the capital letters--but they said that he would be paid handsomely and doing work he loved.
There was no choice, really.
"Brother...will you at least come when the baby is born?" Elena raised blue eyes bright with unshed tears to lock with his own.
Nodding, Radek leaned down to kiss her forehead. "Yes, sister, I will. They have promised that I will be allowed to return when you near your due date, and every three months for a week after that. I insisted on that much."
She frowned. "They must need you if they gave into those requests."
Radek agreed, but didn't say anything. Instead, he held her tighter for a minute then kissed her forehead one more time. Kneeling in front of her, he caressed her swollen belly then placed a kiss there as well. "I will see you soon, little one. Be good for your mother, yes?"
He stood, grabbing his travel bag as he did so. The rest of his things were already on their way to wherever it was the Americans were shipping him. He'd been told that they would arrive and be waiting for him. Radek smiled at his sister one last time then walked out of the apartment they had shared.
He didn't look back.
Radek stepped through the event horizon and got his first look at a child since arriving in the Pegasus Galaxy nearly two years ago. He'd visited his sister before he'd left, said that he would be gone for an undetermined length of time. The money would still come--including a hefty raise, hazard pay they had said--and they would be well cared for. He'd said farewell to his nephew, the little hellion that he was, and then left for the SGC in the United States and his first trip through the stargate he'd been study for almost a decade.
He watched the children-warriors escort them to the main villiage and silently vowed to make time to visit them when the Daedaelus returned.