Pairing/Charecter(s): Rodney; John/Rodney
Warnings/Spoliers: during part 2 of "Fradator" Ancient!John 'verse
Disclaimer: Title 17 of the US Code, § 107, aka the Fair Use Doctrine.
Summary: John Sheppard is an Ancient
Notes: I wrote this bit for part 2 of "Fradator," decided it didn't fit, and liked it too much to delete without posting.
God, how did we get to 40?
An Ancient!John Drabble
"But in life, a tragedy is not one long scream. It includes everything that led up to it. Hour after trivial hour, day after day, year after year, and then the sudden moment: the knife stab, the shell-burst, the plummet of the car from the bridge."
Margaret Atwood The Blind Assassin.
The thing's this:
John Sheppard doesn't exist.
Well, he does, for a given value of existence, but for the most part everything that is John Sheppard is an invention of the Ancient known as Iohannes Ianideus Licinus Pastor. Granted, there's a significant overlap between the two, but whereas John Sheppard is the remarkable lieutenant colonel from California who solved the Riemann Hypothesis in his barracks at Bagram Airfield between flying air support as part of Operation Enduring Freedom (per the SGC's press release on the subject), Iohannes Pastor is the impossibly brilliant legatus who solved Earth's greatest unsolved mathematical problem because he was bored during his IOA deposition and thought doing so might help out a friend.
So there are obvious differences.
Anyway, the important thing in all of this, Rodney's found, isn't remembering that John Sheppard doesn't exist. It's really a non-issue, if a little confusing at times. John is simply everything Iohannes would be if he were human. Same cookies, different collectable tin as it were.
No, the really important thing is remembering that John Sheppard is an Ancient, and that the Ancients were really fucked up people. Granted, Ancients Rodney's met have been arrogant, condescending bastards with about as much follow-through as the average grade four baseball team (he'd even go so far as to call John's mother a Class A bitch), but John's just as screwed up as they are, if only in a different manner. The way John's so causally cavalier, so purposefully self-effacing, as if at some point he'd determined that he'd lose everything if he ever were to give too much of himself away? No one gets that way without having a thoroughly unpleasant childhood.
Rodney can't think of a more thoroughly unpleasant childhood than growing up during the height of the Wraith siege of Atlantis, with news coming in daily of all the ways the Ancients were loosing the war.