Characters: Ancient!John Sheppard, Rodney McKay, Aiden Ford, Sora
Pairings: John/Rodney, John/OFC (past)
Summary: The Genii left one of their own behind after the Storm
Series: drabble #12 of ??? in the Ancient!John 'verse. Part of Locality.
Notes: I tried to avoid writing this one by defragmenting my computer, but the urge to drabble remained after I finished, so....But, yeah, you can obviously tell where I'm up to in my rewatch by this one. And, also, you get more explicit sexual situations on cable TV, so if that's what you're looking for, well, it's not here.
An Ancient!John Drabble
"'Do keep ever present in your thoughts, my friend, that an illusion can kill you if you believe in it.'
'And the real thing can kill you whether you believe in it or not.'"
RA Salvatore Servant of the Shard
27 January, 2005 - Atlantis, Lantea, Pegasus
"So, tell me, how do a nice people like the Genii turn into a bunch of fascist idiots bent on using atomic bombs to solve all their goals? Fascist is the correct term, isn't it?" he asks, looking away from the figure standing straight-backed and thin-lipped in the centre of the brig to glance sidelong at the Marines they've posted around the room now that they've brought everyone back from Manaria in the wake of the Storm.
"I'd think so, sir," Ford tells him.
"That's good. I never was one for history," he explains to Sora, circling the cage, "but I am genuinely curious about how that came about."
Sora sakes her head haughtily and raises her chin chill further. With her red curls and self-defeating pride, Iohannes is vaguely reminded of Nicolaa – but only vaguely. For all her pride, Nicolaa de Luera Pastor had had a certain innocence to her, a certain wide-eyed wonder that all those years at war had never taken from her until a Wraith dart crashed into the tower she was working in and stolen all the light in her eyes away. This woman, unlike the one Iohannes once loved, has never been anything but a soldier.
Perhaps that's being disingenuous to the Genii. His people had only fought the Wraith for three generations before returning to Terra. The Genii had spent millennia fighting them in whatever way they could. Perhaps it was only to be expected that such a war would strip all but the barest vestiges of humanity from them. Perhaps the wonder was not in their brutality, but in that they were able to commit anything other than atrocities at all.
"I mean, the Genii I remember were nice folks. Collation of seven planets – well, I say seven. Six, technically, and a small moon. Lots of railroads. Pretty good tavabean soup."
Sora's eyes widen. "How do you know these things?"
"See," he says, stopping his circling, "the way I see it, it's like this: your people think you're dead and, even if they don't, they're not going to do anything to try to get you back, so I'm gonna let you in on a little secret."
"Sir?" Ford asks, concerned. "I thought you said-"
"I know what I said, Lieutenant. I don't think we have to worry about her telling the Wraith," or starting some sort of religious war in his name. "I think the only thing we have to worry about with Sora here is keeping her from killing herself with the cutlery off her dinner tray before we can get any useful information out of her."
"If you're sure, sir."
Iohannes isn't at all, but he figures it's the best way they have of getting the information they need about the Genii and their intentions. Nothing quite says I'm willing to tell you everything you want to know as I'm suffering an existential crisis brought about by the uprooting of all my religious ideas. It's a tried-and-true Alteran interrogation tactic.
It's also the only idea he has at the moment, but he doesn't tell Ford that. Instead he just jumps right on in and says, "Now, like I was saying, the Genii I remember were pretty decent. Granted that was ten thousand years ago, people change, but still. I'm very disappointed."
"Disappointed?" she huffs. "What right have you to judge us? You who are not even of this galaxy? Who have taken from us what is rightfully ours?"
So he tells her.
Sora doesn't believe him, not at first, but even she's hard-pressed to argue with the fount of evidence he can present her with. But she does give him the information he wants.
Even before the Storm, they'd been busy people, but in the wake of it their responsibilities seemed to have tripled, so it's almost two weeks after their first fumbling teenage make-out session that Iohannes is able to get Rodney alone long enough for a second one. Which is positively criminal because, well, so are the things Rodney can do with his mouth. And if that's what he's like when they're just kissing, Iohannes knows that the sex is going to be mind-blowing.
Pun so deliberately intended.
But, anyway, he and Rodney finally have an hour where neither of them are needed elsewhere and are using it to the best of their abilities when his comm goes off from somewhere on the floor.
"Sheppard," he snaps into the radio when he's finally able to locate it, half hidden underneath his discarded jacket.
"Sorry to wake you, sir," the gate tech responds, obviously thinking that that had been the reason he'd delayed so long in answering, "but it's the prisoner."
"What about her?"
Iohannes immediately starts reaching for his boots. "How?"
"She killed herself, sir."
"I'll be right there."
Rodney, not having been privy to half of the conversation, groans, C'mon, seriously?" when he hears this last. "Is it just me, or is the universe conspiring to cockblock us? 'Cause this is just getting ridiculous. What is it this time?"
"Sora managed to kill herself."
The Terran blanches. "God. That's horrible."
"Yeah, I've a feeling that that may have been one of the reasons."
"What? 'Cause you told her you were an Ancient?"
Iohannes barely pauses to shrug before pulling on his uniform jacket.
"You can't control what the people of this galaxy believe about the Ancients. And, if the way she went after Teyla is any indication, chances are she was seriously fucked-up in the head long before we ever got our hands on her. You can't blame yourself."
Someone has to take responsibility, he doesn't say, though maybe he should. Instead he pauses for one final, too-quick kiss and heads for the door.