Rating: er, PG-15?
Warnings: right before part 3 of "Ascensiones" in the AJ 'Verse
Summary: If we only die once I wanna die with you.
Notes: This was to be the start of part 3, but I decided I got too off track. Here is the first half of what it would ahve been.
An Ancient!John Drabble
"I had a dream the other night / About how we only get one life / Woke me up right after two / Stayed awake and stared at you / So I wouldn't lose my mind."
18 March, 2007 / IXX Mai. a.f.c. I – Atlantis, Lantea, Pegasus
Atlantis is happy.
Iohannes can feel it radiating outwards from her every surface, like an aura of gentle euphoria that can no more be escaped than it can be denied. It is in her essence, in her music, and, most notably, in the songs she sings. Gone are the sombre requiems, the mournful laments, and the disconsolate elegies that have so often filled her days since the Exodus (First and Second). Even her lullabies, which all too often have taken a forlorn turn at memories of children long since departed, have brightened lately.
The reason for all this cheer is not hard to find. The city has always loved pastores; they feed her ego and flatter her sensibilities. She has always loved Rodney as well, having sensed something within him the moment he stepped through the porta that she could not help but adore. Now that he is pastor, she couldn't be happier, even if his method of arriving at the agnomen may have left something to be desired.
Her unabashed joy at having Moreducus Ignius Custodia become Moreducus Ignius Pastor is even starting to win Iohannes over, though his initial feelings on the matter were decidedly mixed:
On one hand, Rodney as pastor is something he's wanted from the beginning. At first, it had been the simple desire to have one of the Terrans, who were still so new and strange to him, come to know (and understand, and love) Atlantis as he had. But as the years went on and they came to mean so much to each other, had it transformed into a yearning for Rodney to take his proper place in the family they've created out of a millennia-old urbs-navis, a newly sentient linter, and a Terran heres five hundred generations removed from the connection they'd claimed.
So, yes, Iohannes is more than a little thrilled that Rodney is finally pastor. The thing he has a problem with is the way he'd gone about it – which is to say, with untried technology jammed into his head instead of safe, sane nanoids like every other pastor has used for the better part of the last sixty-four million years. He could have gotten hurt - he could have died – and Rodney doesn't seem to see the problem with that. Neither of them does. They seem to have forgotten that Rodney is mortal, which means he only gets one life to risk pulling stupid stunts better left to people who are actually replaceable. That if he dies, Iohannes will lose him forever.
(Iohannes doesn't want to know what will become of him if Rodney dies before he manages to Descend. It will be bad enough watching everyone else he cares about grow old without him – die without him. But the thought of Rodney dying sets his blood on fire, a white-hot anger that he doesn't like to examine too closely for fear of what exactly he'll find.)
But Rodney's not dead. He's very much alive, his body curled into Iohannes' side in the darkness of their shared bedroom. There are books to read, movies to watch, paperwork to fill out, but Iohannes can't think of a better use for his time than to lie beside his sponsus through the night, counting his heartbeats and measuring the rise and fall of his breath. The books and movies and paperwork can keep, but every second that passes grows closer to the inevitable moment when Rodney will be gone forever. Iohannes wants to share as many of those seconds as possible before the end. However far away that may be.
Iohannes closes his eyes. It's not sleep, but it will do for now.