Pairing/Charecter(s): Ancient!John; background John/Rodney,
Warnings/Spoliers: this drabble can takes place, chronologically, anywhere after "Liberator" in the Ancient!John 'verse, though in my head it falls somewhere in the whole "Dei et Viri'/"Socii"/unnamed sequel arc
Disclaimer: Title 17 of the US Code, § 107, aka the Fair Use Doctrine.
Summary: Janus wasn't really a bad person. He just wasn't a good one either.
Notes: This was to be the intro to the next story in the series, but I couldn't make it transition well, so it gets its own drabble. Most of it was written (while tearing uncontrollably) following watching Hunger on thurs... but then RL intervened and I couldn't get it cleaned up until today. I'm not sure where it came from, or how, or what for, but... enjoy.
An Ancient!John Story
"My whole life has conspired to bring me to this place, and I can't despise my whole life."
Tony Kushner Angels In America
Iohannes loves his father.
It's somewhat ridiculous for him to even think for a number of reasons, the first of which is that Father has more likely than not been dead for the better part of ten millennia and rest of which are that the man who fathered him is not, was not, and never will be worthy of the love and attention Iohannes gave him.
But Iohannes loves his father. In the active, present tense.
Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that Father was never exactly around while he was growing up, and so this – this future; this After he's woken to, ten thousand years and more after he went into the cathedra, which is both so similar and so different to what came Before that he's still not certain what to make of it – seems like nothing more than another of his long absences. He's been out of stasis for eighteen months now, which is surely long enough for it to sink it that he is the last Alteran in existence, that Father will never walk out of his lab one day and, not realizing all the days and weeks that have passed, and start rambling about his latest invention and how it will surely help them to defeat the Wraith this time.
Such a thing would be just like Father too and, would not the years involved prohibit such a thing, Iohannes could almost bring himself to believe it: That Father's not dead – that he isn't buried in some forgotten tomb on Terra, so long dead that the cities made out of his bones are dust themselves now, - just working. And, when he emerges, he'll have some device that will allow them to destroy the monsters their people had so unwittingly released onto this galaxy without destroying the lives they'd seeded throughout it, and then...
He is a fool, he knows, to wish for such things. Father is dead and never coming back – not with help, not with anything. And, even if he were to, it would never be in the way Iohannes wants. No, he'd be all the hard lines and sharp words that have been blunted by ten thousand years of dreaming, more interested in what he can build and create than anything that lives and breathes, and, in those rare moments when he chooses to pay attention to his fellow man, it would only be for as long as it takes to seduce and sleep with a new conquest.
But Iohannes loves him.
He knows the Terrans do not understand. Rodney in particular, for all he salivates over Father's research, gets moderately enraged whenever he goes into too much detail on Father's parenting techniques. Granted, Iohannes would be the first to admit that Father was a truly terrible father, but that does not mean that he wasn't a good person.
As Father was fond of saying, The hardest thing in life is doing what is right rather than what you wish to be right. If sacrificing his son's happiness was the best way to see the Wraith defeated, well, who is Iohannes to complain?
(He's more than aware there's a logical fallacy in there somewhere. He is what Father made him, which means he's incapable of hating Father the way he probably deserves to be hated. Iohannes knows that he can be vindictive and emotionally distant, bitter and judgemental, vengeful and – as Rodney would put it – self-sacrificing to a fault, and that these things are probably to be frowned upon, but he is what he is, and, irregardless, these so-called faults have kept him alive while the rest of his race faltered.)
The thing about Father, however, is how much of him Iohannes sees in Rodney. He'd be a liar to say they don't share the same mania, the same genius... And he'd be a greater liar still to say that he's not aware that he's managed them both the same way, bringing them both food when they need it, dragging them to bed when they've forgotten it; serving as their conscience when they've been swept up by the heady possibilities of their ideas. He's even started to bring Rodney offerings of mathematical proofs like he used to with Father – not that he'd have been overly impressed by a solution to the Riemann Hypothesis in base ten maths, or even a general theory of Diophantine equations in the same, – though that had been a fairly unconscious thing on his part.
But still. Iohannes loves his father. He loves Rodney too, for what he'll admit are, on some level, many of the same reasons. He just wishes to he knew a way to be certain that he loves Rodney for, well, Rodney, not not for what he sees of Father in him.
It's absurd, Iohannes knows. For all their outward similarities, Rodney and Father are two very different people. Father is – was; past tense, never to be present again – forty percent ego, forty-five percent ability, and fifteen percent a deep and startling morality that had it's origins somewhere in the bloodstained planet of Asuras. And Rodney...
Rodney's half genius, half bravado, and one hundred percent human. Which is to say, stubborn and brave and emotive and irrational and excitable and everything that his people were not.
More than that, though, Iohannes thinks his amator can actually end the war. Not just Rodney, but Carson and Elizabeta and all the Terrans who've come to live on Atlantis. They're strong in a way that his people, a moribund race even before they'd come to this galaxy, never were.
Iohannes thinks of telling Rodney this sometimes.
He never does.