Characters: Ancient!John Sheppard, Elizabeth Weir
Summary: It's raining.
Series: drabble #6 of ??? in the Ancient!John 'verse. Part of Locality.
Notes: I was working on "Socii" (I'm actually 2133 words into it). And then this happened. That's about as best an explaination I have.
Note Bene: In chronological order, this is the sixth drabble.
Nothing You Must Become
An Ancient!John Drabble
"There is really nothing you must be and there is nothing you must do. There is really nothing you must have and there is nothing you must know. There is really nothing you must become. However, it helps to understand that fire burns, and when it rains, the earth gets wet."
12 July, 2007 - Atlantis, Lantea, Pegasus
"I've never seen the rain before," John says as she approaches the doorway he's leaning against. It's a soft, gentle rain – something she'd associate with late Spring back on Earth if she hadn't been reliably informed that it's just after midwinter on Lantea, the planet they've found Atlantis on – and really nothing special. There's a certain novelty to it, what with the too blue sky of an alien world serving as the backdrop and a far-flung star poking bright beams of light through the dove grey clouds, but it's still only rain.
"Really?" Elizabeth asks, honestly surprised. "I would've thought..."
"Atlantis was submerged before my parents were even born. What little of my life I've not spent here has been in space. And, when I was able to visit other planets, we always made sure weather would be fair wherever we were visiting before passing through the porta..."
In the five days the Expedition has been on Atlantis, she thinks this is the most she's ever heard their resident Ancient say at one time, and it almost startles Elizabeth into silence, and she's not one to be easily detoured by foreign – or alien – leaders. The number of warlords and dictators she's mediated between verges on the absurd. And yet...
And yet John isn't just another warlord or dictator. He's an Ancient. A real, live Ancient, who'd been born about the same time humans had just begun to get a hand of farming and domestication of the more basic animals, when pottery had yet to be invented in the Levant and Jericho was still a small proto-city. He claims to have been little more than a common solider, abet one who can commune with Atlantis on some strange level, but still, he's an Ancient. And so, while the words come, they take longer than they otherwise might.
"And how do you like it?"
"I think it's brilliant," John says, turning slightly to flash her the widest smile she's ever seen. "I mean, it's nothing like flying, but it's kinda like, nature's done this all on it's own, y'know? Pulled the water up from the oceans, gathered them in clouds, and blown them here so it can come back down and start the process all over again. And it just happens, y'know, on every planet with the right kinda atmosphere. My people could change planets, give them the atmospheres necessary, but we never could build anything that could control the weather. Well, not well, anyway. It can almost make you see why our ancestors thought there were gods in nature."
Elizabeth looks out at the storm, pondering his words. "I can honestly say I've never thought about the rain that way."
"You think I'm being ridiculous." His words aren't accusing – they aren't said in anything short of the most charming, amused tone possible – but something in John seems to close down at this, as if he's regretting having shared anything at all and is trying to do undo whatever damage he believes this conversation has done.
"No, no," she says hastily. "Not at all. I just meant, when something's so common, like rain on Earth, that you tend to forget how miraculous it can be sometimes."
John beams at her.
"Well, as nice it would be to watch the rain all day, I actually came to see if you'd finished clearing out the rest of the rooms in tower twelve. I've got some impatient people looking forward to a hot shower and soft bed."
"I sent Ford your way with the room assignments about ten minutes ago."
"I guess I must have missed him."
"Yeah," John says distractedly, eyes flitting towards the ceiling. After a moment, he removes his black-on-grey uniform jacket and tosses it onto the nearest chair, and starts to walk out onto the rain-soaked balcony beyond.
"Wait," she says, grabbing his arm before he can pass through the doorway. "You'll get soaked, Major."
He raises his eyebrow at her curiously, telling her, "I know. 'Lantis said the same thing," and seeming genuinely puzzled as to the point of her comment.
"Then why are you going out there?" Without a jacket, no less, in the dead of Lantea's winter.
"'Cause," John says, smiling more brightly still as he shrugs of her grasp and steps backwards into the storm, "it's rain."