Ever Present (drabble #12)

The Ancient!John 'verse: Ever Present (drabble 12 of ????)
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.

Ever Present
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?"

"She's dead."

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.

  • Current Mood: cranky
  • Current Music: Songza - Female Indie Pop Singers Playlist
For all her pride, Nicolaa de Luera Pastor had had a certain innocence to her, a certain wide-eyed wonder...

That sounds like Rodney to me :P I think John has a type. At least, I like to believe he has a type, and that he's not (in some weird way) trying to replace Nicolaa with Rodney.

ALSO, IT'S NICE TO GET AN ANSWER ABOUT SORA. We never did learn what happened to her :\ I figured they just sent her back to the Genii eventually.
I think there's a scene they cut from "The Siege" where they trade her back for the nukes, but, like I said, it was cut, so it's not canon.

And as for Rodney and Nicolaa... god, no. No replacing of anyone. God. I feel kinda dirty for even writing something that might make it seem that way. (If anything, I worry I make it sound like John's trying to replace his father with Rodney, and that creeps me out even more.)
Oh, I've never heard of that before. That makes sense, kind of. It's hard to believe the Genii would trade a nuke for one of their own (since they would view her capture as her duty), but in combination with the opportunity to test their nukes at no risk to themselves....

Your description of her struck me as similar to Rodney, and then I started to think...10,000 years have passed, but John was asleep for those, so to him it may seem like not much time has passed since her death. But I feel greatly relieved that there's no "Rodney replacing a character" anywhere in the fic. I could also see where the idea that "Rodney replaces John's father", but that's gross. No, I'm very relieved that John just loves Rodney :)
Yeah. That think about Sora may or may not be true, but I dimly recall reading it somewhere. Gateworld, I think.

But, if it helps any, I invision Nicolaa as... well (and this after several attempts at explaining it), more like Daniel than Rodney. Also, as far as their relationship goes, I see it as having ended by the time turned 25. Which is about 10 years before he went into stasis.
*nod* You'd think somebody would have asked TPTB that question at a convention or something.

That does help counteract the thought that Rodney is a replacement. And it certainly helps that the relationship ended 10 years before he went into stasis, which is plenty of time to mourn and recover from a lost love.
While Rodney's definately not a replacement, Nicolaa was definately his first love. Only love, really, before Rodney.

God, now I'm going to have to write the fic for this. At this rate, I'm never going to finish "Legati," let alone S2, before I ship!!!!!
*nod* Poor John, to lose his first love in that manner.

Hahaha, I'm sorry you feel you have to write fic for this :P Damn the muses! And you can definitely get Legati done before you ship! I believe you can do it.
True... I want to get thru "The Return" before I ship, which is just half a season or so, but at the rate I'm going...

Teach me to bite off more than I can chew.

And, no, a Nicolaa-related fic has been rolling around my head for a while actually. just never made it to, er, paper
You just need to be hit with a huge burst of motivation and inspiration?

When you bite off more than you can chew, you just have to shove a large chunk to the side and bite off little pieces from it.

Ooo, I'd be interested to read that :P Though I'll probably be nervous, because John/Other makes me :\ (I'm so protective of my OTP). But it'd be nice to meet Nicolaa, so to speak.
John/Other makes me really nervous too, which is my huge impediment in writing it, but I figure at least a general sketch of the character is needed, if I'm going to keep inisisting how important she was to him.

And the problem isn't inspiration - I *know* what I want, but knowing and writing are entirely different things. Sometimes, I think if I'd a machine that could download these stories, fully formed, from my brai... well, it would be amazing.
Hmm. Do you have a scene in mind for the ficlet of Nicolaa? Because you could always write a scene that focuses on her that's also light on the John/Nicolaa. IDK.

I've often had the same thought. How amazing would it be if we could get a fic idea, and it would appear fully formed in Word?
IDK. I'm torn between a flashback, John actually telling someone about her (which has its own problems, given John's atitude towards feelins, or maybe just bringing it up in causal conversation.

Oh, god, this may have given me an idea just now. No guarentees it will work, but...
Hmm. Nobody would do it with quite the spirit that she does, but I could see John getting drunk with Ronon.
No. It'd be more like...he'd notice John had been even quieter than normal or something, and then they'd get drunk and John would just kind of...talk.
The anniversary of her death has already gone by, right? Maybe her birthday or...something. Something that reminds John of her, so he gets quiet, and he's not talking to Rodney, so Ronon gets him drunk and just listens (and maybe asks simple, pointed questions or something IDK).