azombiewrites: (Lost in Space)
[personal profile] azombiewrites
Title: Lost in Emotion
Fandom: Lost in Space
Genre: Sci-Fi, Hurt/Comfort, Angst.
Rating: PG
Main Characters: Don West and Judy Robinson.
Secondary Characters: John Robinson, Maureen Robinson, Will Robinson, Penny Robinson, Doctor Smith and the Robot.
Disclaimer: Based on the characters created by Irwin Allen.
Challenge: Written for [ profile] 10_hurt_comfort.
Prompt: #1 Emotion
Author's Notes: Set after season 3.
Chapter Word Count: 2,875
Status: Complete

Summary: Dragged down into a deep hole by the black dog of depression, Don West struggles to maintain a facade of his former self, but when Doctor Smith causes more harm and injury, West loses control, his facade crumbling in front of everyone.

Lost in Emotion

Chapter Four

Torn from her sleep, her daughter’s scream, the Robot’s warnings waking her in an instant, Maureen struggled to her feet, stumbling as she fought her way through the flap of material that was the tent’s door. Already dressed, ready for anything . . . ready in case Don . . . her frantic gaze searched for her daughter. Judy found, her daughter was running from the camp. Frowning, Maureen looked past her daughter’s silhouette and saw another figure disappearing into the darkness. Don. Oh, God . . . no. Her worst fear realized Maureen stepped forward. She hesitated, unsure what to do next. Time to think, she remembered . . .


Rapid eye movements, she searched the immediate area for her husband. When she found him, her breath stuck in her throat, chest becoming tight with fear, nausea a heavy weight in her stomach. She ran toward John, her shoulders sagging with relief when he moved. Falling to her knees at his side, she gripped his shoulders, helping him to sit upright. Her eyes widened with shock at the sight of blood, a small rivulet running down his neck, disappearing beneath the turtleneck collar of his shirt.


“He hit me,” said John, reaching up, tips of his fingers gently probing the injury behind his ear, fingers coming away wet with blood.

“Oh, John--”


They turned together, Maureen’s arms around her husband’s shoulders. Will and Penny – still dressed – ran toward them, the robot following close. Arms still waving, the Robot’s voice continued its verbal warning. Doctor Smith, nowhere in sight, was obviously sleeping through the noise. Maureen was grateful, not wanting Doctor Smith to be aware of the emotional turmoil tearing through the camp’s inhabitants. They were about to lose one of their own and she wasn’t sure of Smith’s reaction toward the threat of a life almost lost.

“We have to go after him,” said John.

“What happened?” said Penny, her expression full of fear, a reminder that she was still young.

“Major West attacked Professor Robinson,” said the Robot, warnings now silent, arms still.

Will shook his head, “Don wouldn’t do that.”

“The Robot’s right,” said John. “We have to find Don before he . . .”

“Judy went after him,” said Maureen, standing and helping her husband keep his balance as he rose to his full height.

“Judy won’t be able to stop him on her own. Words can’t help him, not now, not when he’s become so desperate.”

Maureen nodded in agreement, “What do you want us to do?”

“We’re all going to have to search for him,” said John, stepping away from his wife, testing his balance.

“All of us?”

“Yes. Everyone will take a radio. If you find him, radio me. I’ll be using the jet pack. I’ll be able to get to him quicker that way.”

“John,” said Maureen. “We can’t send Will and Penny. If Don . . . I won’t allow it.”

She couldn’t send her two youngest out there to search for a man who wanted to take his own life. If they found him alive, any attempt to stop him failing . . . . if they found him too late . . . it would destroy them, she was certain. Too young to recover from such a traumatic event, she didn’t want her children to become victims of suicide.

No. She wouldn’t do it.

Penny stepped closer, her shoulders straight, “I want to help Don.”

“Me too,” said Will, moving with his sister.

“I’d feel terrible if I just stayed here waiting,” said Penny, tears springing to her eyes. “If I just did nothing . . . I would never forgive myself.”

“Maureen,” said John, hands on her upper arms, turning her to face him. “I know you want to protect them, but we can’t. They’re old enough to understand. They’ve shown a maturity I would never have expected under the circumstances. We have to let them help. With all of us searching, we have a better chance of finding Don before it’s too late.”

She hesitated, about to say no but her thoughts drifted, finding and focusing on Don. He was out there alone . . . alone with his thoughts, his emotions . . . desperate to end his pain. Maureen looked at her children. Penny wore a look of determination, an expression of confidence. Will . . . she knew her son so well. If they ordered him to stay at the camp . . . it would do no good. Will would leave as soon as he had opportunity, going out on his own to search for a man Will considered a brother. She was so proud of them. Knowing her husband was right Maureen nodded. They had to find Don and they had to find him quickly.

“Right then,” said John. “Everyone grab a radio and flashlight. If you find him, don’t approach him, not unless you think . . . call me and I’ll come straight to you. The same goes for you Robot. Does everyone understand? Not just my orders but what could happen if we’re too late.”

No verbal response required Will and Penny grateful of the opportunity to help, nodded in agreement. Maureen watched as the children and the Robot moved away, hoping that she had done the right thing. Body trembling with fear and worry for Don, her family she turned to her husband. When John pulled her into a tight embrace, his body saying more than words could, Maureen returned the embrace, quickly stepping away and following her children. She gave a silent prayer that it wasn’t Will or Penny who found Don.


Moonlight showed him the way, Don doubling back, making his way back toward the camp, bypassing it and moving forward. He knew they would follow him . . . try and stop him. If he took the time, created a greater distance between them, make it difficult for them to find him . . .

It felt like time had slowed; the inevitable taking too long to arrive, to become his present. Lungs struggling for breath, muscles weak with fatigue, Don finally found his weapon. A cliff stood before him, its edge sharp, straight, its length running at least a mile long.

Coming to a stop, Don paused, unsure. He stepped forward, finding the edge. Easing his upper body forward, keeping his knees bent, balance secure, Don looked over the edge. It was deep, the bottom so far below, a fall would kill.

A fall . . . a running leap . . . would end his pain.

The ache in his chest grew so painful he doubled over with the pain. Hand gripping the material of his shirt, Don rubbed his chest. He fought to take in a breath, the effort harder than it should be. He realized he shouldn’t care, death welcomed. But this way, it would be slow . . .

Don stepped back, moving quickly, giving himself plenty of room. He took a long, deep breath, taking a moment to feel . . . to think. Is this what he wanted? His hearted pounded in his chest, the rhythmic beat adding to his pain.

This was the only way.

He closed his eyes.

Don took a single step forward, and then another, quickening his pace until he was running.

And then he stopped . . . a sudden change of heart. He skidded along the ground, sliding toward the edge, falling on his side. Fear leaped into his throat, choking him. Eyes still closed, he couldn’t see what was in front of him.


Or death?

All movement stopped. His lungs the only things moving, desperately pulling in air, an attempt to settle the fear ripping through his chest

Don opened his eyes, blinking until the tears dried. He’d come so close, his right leg hanging over the edge. With care, he pushed himself away from the edge, away from death. He felt confused; death wanted, why had he changed his mind? Why hadn’t he been able to go through with it?

If he tried it a second time . . .

Crawling backward, Don kept moving, not stopping until he felt safe. The thought struck; painful against his mind . . . he didn’t want to die. He laid back, body horizontal, chest heavy with pain and anxiety and gazed up at the stars. Only moments before, he had wanted to die, wanting the pain to end and now . . . He didn’t understand, confused thoughts continuing to tumble through his mind.

The reality of his situation . . . taking that step to end his life had made it all so real and he had balked, not wanting . . . he closed his eyes and allowed himself to feel. The ache was still there, still painful, still strong. His emotions hadn’t changed, only his desire for death was gone.

In the moment, he knew he wouldn’t do it again . . . but tomorrow . . . the day after . . . what if he changed his mind again. He didn’t want to wake up each morning wondering if it would be his last. But life was already like that, facing danger every day . . . No longer fighting the emotions, instead feeling them, allowing them to exist, Don realized he felt a little bit better.

Another breath, his heart still beating, Don opened his eyes, turning his head when he heard footsteps.


Guilt flowed through him, overwhelming him. If he had gone through with it . . . Penny . . . He closed his eyes, snapping them open when he saw Penny standing at the edge, looking over, seeing Don below, his body broken . . .

Her voice was a whisper full of fear, concern, “Don?”

“I couldn’t do it,” said Don, wanting to be honest.

Penny stepped closer, her movements hesitant. Taking a deep breath, she stopped next to him, looking down at him. Her expression calm, she said, “I’m supposed to radio dad when I found you.”

“Not now,” said Don. “Please. I’m not ready to--”

“They’ll be worried.”

“Don’t tell him where I am.”

It only took her a moment to tell John that she had found Don, that Don was okay. Her father’s angry response when she wouldn’t tell him their location brought tears to her eyes. Not wanting her to get into any trouble, Don conceded, telling her to do what her father asked. Don was surprised when Penny shook her head, instead sitting down, lying beside him. She took his hand, holding it, squeezing it in support.

“When you’re ready and not before,” said Penny.

“Thank you.”

Turning his head, Don looked back to the stars.

“When you said you couldn’t do it--”

“I tried but when it came down to it,” said Don. “I didn’t want to do it.”

“I want to understand.”

She was so much like her sister: caring, understanding, able to make him feel better with a few simple words. Unable to explain what he felt, how he felt, unsure of what to say, Don stayed silent. A memory nagged at him, something he knew he should remember. Searching through recent images, Don found the reminder.

“Is your father okay?”

“Yes,” said Penny, her voice trailing off before picking up again. “Did it hurt that much?”

“Yeah,” said Don. “It hurt that much. Still does. All I could think about was . . . I didn’t want to hurt anymore. I wanted it to stop so badly that I no longer cared if I hurt your family.”

“I’m sorry, Don.”

Don turned his head. If it weren’t for her voice, her face – so different from Judy and yet, just as beautiful – he would think he was talking to Judy, “What for?”

“I’m sorry we don’t know how to help you.”

“You’re helping now,” said Don, turning his head back, looking once more at the sky and its blanket of stars.

“Do you think you’ll try again?”

“I think I hit rock bottom today, Penny. I think I’ve got nowhere else to go but up.”

“And if you fall again?”

“Hopefully someone will be there to catch me.”

“We’ll all be there,” said Penny. She turned her head to look at him, her gaze searching his face. “We all love you, Don. We love you unconditionally. You’re a part of our family and we don’t want to lose you.”

A different kind of hurt filled him. He felt wanted, loved . . . a part of the family.

“I’m sorry, Penny. I didn’t want to put any of you through this.”

“This isn’t your fault, Don. You can’t blame yourself for something you have no control over. I’m not going to ask you to promise you won’t do this again. I know now it’s a promise you might not be able to keep.”

“When did you grow up?” said Don, smiling.

“You have to grow up quick out here.”

“You and Will. You’re both mature beyond your years. I’m sorry you had to grow up so quickly, Penny.”

“That isn’t your fault either, Don,” said Penny. “Aren’t the stars beautiful?”

He felt tired, exhausted. He closed his eyes.

“Yeah . . . beautiful.”

He could feel sleep coming for him. Unable to fight it, he let it take him.


Don awoke in a cocoon of warmth, pins and needles pounding through his limbs. His body felt heavy, laden with exhaustion. He opened his eyes, afraid of what he would see. The sight of Judy, sitting beside him, an open book in her lap, brought him comfort. He watched her, his gaze grazing on her features. She was beautiful, inside and out and she loved him. Not someone else. Him.


His voice cracked, his throat dry, his emotions pushing their way to the surface. He smiled when she jerked in surprise, dropping her book, losing her page. He was sure she wouldn’t care. The smile fell from his face when Judy glared back at him, her anger obvious.

“Don’t you ever scare me like that again,” said Judy. “If you weren’t lying there looking so . . . so . . .”

The smile returned when she leant down. She took his face in her hands, palms on each cheek. She kissed him, her touch soft, tender, full of love . . . her lips against his eyelids, forehead . . . his lips. He could feel her tears on his skin. Feel her body tremble with emotion and fear.

“I’m sorry,” said Don. “I’m so sorry.”

Judy sat back, Don missing her touch. She lay down beside him, so close to him, fingers returning to his face, brushing his cheek, “It’s okay. It’s okay.”

“I’m sorry.”

“I was so scared when you ran off,” said Judy. “I thought I would never see you again.”

“You almost didn’t.”

Judy nodded, “Penny told us what happened. Instead of . . . you’ve taken a step back toward your family.”

“I feel better.”

“You look better.”

“How long have I been asleep?”

“Almost fourteen hours,” said Judy. “You were so exhausted you didn’t even wake up when Dad and the Robot brought you back to camp.”

Her words surprised him, “Are you sure he didn’t hit me when you weren’t looking?”

Judy laughed, “I’ve missed you.”

“I still hurt, Judy,” said Don. “Emotionally, I still feel much the same.”

“I know. It’s just . . .”

He frowned, “It’s just what?”

“There was darkness around you but now,” said Judy, shaking her head. “I can see some light amongst the darkness. It’s silly, I know. It’s just . . . you seem different. Better. I know you’re not hiding anymore.”

Don smiled, the expression stretching into a yawn.

“Not ready for visitors then?”


“Your family wants to see you,” said Judy. “Will’s outside waiting. Penny wants to sit with you. Dad wants to lecture you and mom wants to mother you.”

“Not all at once, I hope,” said Don, closing his eyes, shifting his body into a more comfortable position. “Is Penny okay?”


“Your father was so angry with her when she wouldn’t tell him where I was.”

“He was worried and scared. About you and Penny.”

“When I think about . . . if I had gone through with it, it would have been Penny who found me.”

Feeling her touch on his lips, Don opened his eyes. She was so close to him, he could feel her breath against his skin, her comfort embracing him.

“Knowing what she might find, Penny still wanted to look for you,” said Judy. “Will too. You’re like a brother to them. You’re family, Don. Remember that.”

“Hard not to,” said Don, smiling, exhaustion pulling him back down.

“Go back to sleep, Don. We’ll be here when you wake up.”

The ache in his chest hadn’t diminished, its candle still burning but . . . a comforting thought overtook him . . . maybe . . . just maybe . . . he might be okay.

The End

Part One | Part Two | Part Three | Part Four

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