Pairing/Charecter(s): Daniel Jackson, Richard Woolsey; background John/Rodney
Warnings/Spoliers: this takes place somewhat after "Legati" in the Ancient!John 'verse, directly at the end of the SG1 episode "Prototype"
Disclaimer: Title 17 of the US Code, § 107, aka the Fair Use Doctrine.
Summary: Woolsey is actually one of the good guys, hard as that is to believe sometimes
Notes: As the summary may suggest, my Great SyFy rewatch has sorta convinced me that Woolsey is actually one of the good guys, even when he doesn't seem like it - which is a lot of the time in his appearances in SG1 and early on in SGA. But, anyway, I was rewatching "Prototype" this morning, then dropped everything at the end, wrote a rough draft of this, and came back later and finished it up. Because, to understand one life, you have to swallow the whole world, and my greatest problem when writing has always been one of scale. Ie, keeping it small.
So we get another very SG1 Ancient!John drabble.
An Ancient!John Drabble
"Would the world ever have been made if its maker had been afraid of making trouble? Making life means making trouble. There's only one way of escaping trouble; and that's killing things. Cowards, you notice, are always shrieking to have troublesome people killed."
Bernard Shaw Pygmalion
Daniel cannot remember being more tired in his life than he does now, as Richard Woolsey tries to engage him in conversation as he waits for the elevator to arrive.
Correction: he can remember being more physically tired than he has now, after particularly long or difficult missions, but he's never been so mentally tired as he is now. Oh, in his heart of hearts he'd known that there had been no way that a being like Khalek could ever have been anything but evil, especially when the goa'uld's genetic memories he carried were Anubis', but he'd still wanted to be wrong.
And now Khalek was dead, along with any chance they currently had of fighting the Ori.
"Look," he sighs, "for what it's worth, I understand how you felt and why you took the position you did."
Woolsey looks surprised – indeed, almost hopeful – at this. "It almost sounds like your might find it in yourself to forgive me."
"No." There's no way he can ever forgive Woolsey for the death of all those men, not when they could have so easily been prevented. But, "That doesn't mean we don't all want what you're looking for. And the answers are still out there."
"But you were right about the risks."
Daniel smiles ruefully at him before stepping through the now-open elevator doors. It's a lesson they've all had to learn at the SGC – balancing the risks against the gains, not always beings sure if the gains are ever enough justify all that they risked, all that they've lost – but, God, how he wishes they didn't have to. "For what it's worth, I wish I'd been wrong."
"So do I," Woolsey says as the doors start to close. Before they can, however, his hand darts in between them, and the doors open again. "On that note, I feel it's my duty to warn you."
"Warn me about what?"
"There will be certain fractions within the IOA that are going to see this as further proof that it is dangerous to allow an Ancient to be in charge of Atlantis' military contingent."
Daniel can feel his eyes widen comically at this. "What? Colonel Sheppard? Why would they think that?" From all accounts, John Sheppard is the only reason Atlantis and it's human inhabitants are alive several times over. If he's dangerous to anyone at all, it's only to himself, given that his heroics tend towards the self-sacrificing more than any Earthling's would.
"Well, Doctor Lam said that Khalek's DNA was much closer to the human form of the Ancients prior to their Ascension, and we know from the testimony of several Expedition members – including Colonel Sheppard himself – that Sheppard is capable of Ascending."
"And they'll take this incident as evidence that, should he choose to do so, he could easily overcome any defence we might throw at him," Daniel, now very familiar with how politicians' minds worked, finished for him. "Which I suppose begs the question why they think Sheppard's a threat in the first place. Or why you're telling me this."
"You, Doctor Jackson, are Earth's foremost authority on Ascension and the Ancients. If anyone can convince them otherwise, you're the person to do it."
"Okay, that explains the why me bit, but not why parts of the IOA would want him gone – or why you are so keen to keep him."
"I consider myself a pragmatic man, Doctor Jackson. Despite not always playing by our rules, Colonel Sheppard has given us access to and helped us understand an unprecedented amount of advanced alien technology."
And, suddenly, he understands. "You don't want them to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs."
Woolsey doesn't look at him when he replies, just removes his glasses and polishes them on a cloth he pulls out of his jacket pocket. "I think today has shown us all which side would come out ahead in that confrontation, should it come to that. All I am trying to do is make sure my superiors don't start upon a course of action that would be against Earth's best interests."
Daniel doesn't know whether to be disgusted or applaud Woolsey's pragmatism. As it is, it's all he can do to keep from sounding too put off when he responds, "I'll see what I can do."