Characters: Ancient!John Sheppard, Teyla Emmagen, Aiden Ford, Rodney McKay
Summary: The Athosians worship the Ancestors.
Series: drabble #9 of ??? in the Ancient!John 'verse. Part of Locality.
Notes: Another fic I didn't intend to write. Be warned, it made me tear up while writing it.
Note Bene: And this makes 4. I know, I promised, but I was genuinely working on "Legati," then popkin16 said something that gave me the solution to a problem I've been having for a while, and, well, this happened. God.
Everything We Believe In
An Ancient!John Drabble
"There are some corners of the universe which have bred the most terrible things. Things that act against everything we believe in. They must be fought."
Doctor Who "Moonbase"
1 September, 2004 - Atlantis, Lantea, Pegasus
"Teyla," John says, sliding into the seat across from her in the room the Earth-folk have designated the mess hall and interrupting the conversation she's having with Doctor Weir about the settlement her people wish to set up on the mainland. "I need you to talk to Halling for me. The others too, but mostly Halling. He's the worst."
"What is it you wish for me to speak to them about?"
The Ancestor puts his elbows on the table and leans forward in a way that suggests he wishes them to do so as well, to better give this conversation an air of privacy in the otherwise crowded room. When neither she nor Doctor Weir do, he leans still further forward and all but whispers, "They keep praying." By the tone of his voice, this is, in his opinion, one of the worst crimes that could ever be committed.
"Praying," Elizabeth repeats. She, as much as Teyla herself, seems to be having trouble determining how serious this accusation truly is.
John seems to realize this and leans back just enough to wave a hand dismissively without loosing his balance. Even a month ago Teyla would have found such an idea – an Ancestor loosing his balance, or even putting his elbows upon the table for it – absurd, but she has learned much since arriving on Atlantis and meeting the Earth-folk. And, of course, the Ancestor they call John Sheppard.
"To me," he clarifies. "And the others. The ones who Ascended."
"So you see my problem."
"Major," Teyla tries as delicately as possibly, "you must understand. For many thousands of years, the teachings of the Ancestors have been central to the identity of my people. I may be their leader, but I cannot simply regulate what they choose to believe in."
"I know. And, normally, I'd agree with you. I could care less about what other people believe, so long as what they're doing is harmless. But this isn't harmless. It's..." he appears to search for the proper word, at last deciding upon an almost hissed, "subversive."
John suddenly pulls back and, rather than sit upright in the chair, seems to slump into it. "Just talk to them, please? I've tried explaining that my people weren't gods and I'm not either, but it's not worked, and I'm starting to get this impulse to knock them all in the head whenever I catch them at it. One that's getting harder to control each time."
"I will speak with them. Perhaps I will be able to convince them to be more... discreet... with their devotions."
John beams at her. "That's all I ask. So, ladies, what did I interrupt?"