Words: 2,225 (of 11,492)
Pairing/Charecter(s): Ancient!John, Rodney, Sam Carter, Jack O'Neill, Daniel Jackson; John/Rodney, implicit Sam/Jack
Warnings/Spoliers: Part 3 of #10 in the Ancient!John 'verse (click here for Part 1, Part 2); takes place between "The Siege," part III, and "The Intruder," and contains spoliers for "McKay and Mrs. Miller" as well as all SG1 episodes through "Mobius." Contains mentions of homophobia
Disclaimer: All characters, situations, quotes et al are properties of their respective owners and I am merely using them under Title 17 of the US Code, § 107, aka the Fair Use Doctrine, without intents to infringe upon or defame anyone's legal rights.
Summary: "I get that this whole Terra is alone in the universe thing is important to you guys, but, really, what's the likelihood that anyone's going to interrogate me on my life history while I'm here?"
Notes: Half of this chappie was written while watching bad RomComs. The other half probably has it's source in the 8 seasons of Top Gear watched getting over my surgery, and some of what popkin16 said during a commenting marathon earlier. I had intended to get a little bit farther along on this but, Iohannes on Terra just has so many possibilities, and I think I might be going overboard on all... Oh, and we'll probably get to Jeannie and the events of "Fratres et Sorores" in the chapter after next. Hopefully. Oh, last thing: the first one who can tell why me I chose for Iohannes' fake hometown what I did will get a prize...
An Ancient!John Story
"I know it's a pain but I've got to make sure you know your cover story, so let's just go over it one more time," Colonel Carter says, grinning at him over a sheaf of papers in her lab. It, like the rest of the base, is a windowless cement square and is chock-full of what sadly qualifies as hi-tech on this planet and after six days underground Iohannes is about ready to try his hand at Ascension again if it will let him see the sky.
"John," she admonishes, sounding uncomfortably like his Matertera Catalina.
"I've already gone over this with Major Davis-"
"-and I get that this whole Terra is alone in the universe thing is important to you guys but really, what's the likelihood that anyone's going to interrogate me on my life history while I'm here?"
Colonel Carter bites her lip, ducks her head and looks for all the world like she's trying not to laugh. "Aren't you going with Rodney to Vancouver?"
"Yeah. He wants to visit his sister." John doesn't see the connection.
"And you don't think you're going to be interrogated to within an inch of your life? Consider it practice for your Fields Medal."
Iohannes sighs. If he'd realized just how important the equation was to the Terrans he'd have let them figure it out themselves, even if it's going to take him a few more weeks to finish. It's just, when he'd gotten the idea (and he still can't say how he got it; he can only assume it was somehow related to the three minutes he'd spent Ascended and the niggling in the back of his mind that makes him think there's something important about Sam he's forgetting) he couldn't stand the thought another night spent staring at the ceiling of his guest quarters and trying not to think. And trying to figure out a proof in base ten, with the limited knowledge of maths Terra has now, had seemed like a nice distraction. "Fuck the medal," he says. "If I have to go through this one more time I'm going to start believing I am Major John Sheppard, United States Air Force."
With a slight disapproving frown, "After you sign these papers," she gestures with the folder in her hand, "you will be Major John Sheppard, United States Air Force."
Snorting, "You know what I mean. Not the Air Force thing but the whole, ‘I'm John Patrick Sheppard of Sausalito, California’ part of it. And what kind of name is Patrick anyway?"
"The name of your father."
"My father's name was Ianus Ishachidus Ianitos Rector."
"Your fake father," she points out dryly.
"Yes, yes, I know. But how do you get Patrick out of Ianus?"
"Of course you didn't," Iohannes sighs, putting his elbow on the worktable and propping his chin in his fist. "Because that would just be too easy. Fine. Fire away."
"Well, we've already ascertained you know your name and your hometown. And," she adds, getting that I'm trying not to laugh look again, "that you've spent more time with Rodney than is probably healthy. So when were you born?"
"June 14, 1970," he says dully. He doesn't point out that this would make him younger than Rodney. It probably makes him younger than Colonel Carter too, which is annoying. Iohannes isn't sure why that might be, it just is, and he attributes it to the I've forgotten something important feeling he gets whenever he spends too much time around Sam.
It goes on like this for a while – there are a frightful lot of details ones needs to know to live on Terra, half of which it would probably be easier to make up on the fly and the rest of which it will never matter that they've gone to the trouble of making up because he has no plans on staying on this planet for long enough for a driving record or credit history to matter – but at last Colonel Carter hands over the enlistment papers, backdated eighteen years, and he's officially a member of the United States Air Force.
Iohannes runs a hand through his hair and breathes a sigh of relief.
"Not so fast, soldier," she says with a laugh. "I've got a few more for you to sign."
"Ah, but these are easy."
"Nothing on this planet is ever easy."
Colonel Carter rolls her eyes. "Now I know you've been spending too much time with Rodney."
"He's a good guy," Iohannes says defensively. He's getting to the point where he honestly thinks half his problems with this planet are because of Rodney – how they talk about them, how they have to hide their relationship, how he's barely seen him twice since gating here.
"He's a great scientist, possibly the best alive," she tries to correct, "but being a good scientist is a far cry from being a good person."
Iohannes has heard the story of Rodney's first visit to the SGC – it's whispered in the shadows wherever he goes, like a condemnation that cannot be shaken – and even he has to admit it doesn't paint the most flattering picture. But, "The hardest thing in life is doing what is right rather than what you wish to be right."
"Is that an Ancient proverb of some kind?"
He shrugs. It'd been something Father was fond of saying, particularly regarding some of his more extreme experiments. Like all things, it can be twisted to serve any need.
"You know, John, just when I've started to forget who you are, you have a tendency to go and say things like that."
"Things like what?"
"Y'know, meaning of life stuff."
Iohannes groans and lets his forehead rest on the tabletop.
"Don't worry. I promise I won't tell Daniel. If you finish this paperwork for me."
"You are a cruel, evil woman, Samantha Carter." No wonder, the thought follows unbidden, General O'Neill was willing to risk his career for you.
Colonel Carter's already laughing at this, saying something Iohannes isn't paying much attention to about whatever papers he has to fill out now, before this thought catches up with him. When it does he just about falls out of his chair, he sits up so fast. Another memory from his three-minute Ascension? Iohannes isn't sure but, if so, why of all things would he remember that?
"I know something you don't know," Iohannes says as they walk towards what he's been told is the final set of doors between him and the outside world.
Rodney snorts, "Doubtful," showing a plastic card to the soldier standing guard before passing through the last checkpoint.
Iohannes does the same, earning a sir and respectful nod in the process, and follows after, emerging into fading sunlight and a glorious expanse of open sky that makes him forget what he'd been going to say until Rodney elbows him and mouths ‘hat’.
He frowns at the hat he's carrying under one arm. Doctor Jackson has insisted on having Elizabeta, Carson, Rodney and Iohannes join him and the other members of SG-1 currently on Terra for dinner before allowing them to go on their respective leave, and apparently the place that's been chosen qualifies as fancy. Which in turn means that he'd had to get dressed up in the fanciest of the uniforms he's been presented with – the dark blue one with too many buttons and a series of coloured bars on the front that he doesn't know the meaning of but certainly can't have earned. Of course, it's also meant that Rodney's had to get dressed up as well, which is no bad thing, except that it seems to have put him in something of a foul mood.
"It's only hair, John," Rodney says after what must qualify as too long a delay, taking the hat from him and jamming it on Iohannes' head as best he can without looking at him too closely. He can only surmise it makes him look even more ridiculous than he already feels. "Come on then. Let's get this over with before they try to drag you back."
Iohannes follows blindly for a few minutes, choosing to stare up at the darkening sky all the while, before it even occurs to him to ask, "How are we getting to this place anyway?"
"Well, I was going to rent us a car for the drive up to Jeannie's but then I figured it would be easier in the long run just to buy something and keep it here for whenever we're called back next, and it's not exactly like I don't have the money for it..."
"I might have ended up buying a Lotus Elise."
He raises an eyebrow and waits for the explanation.
"Yes, right; that doesn't mean anything to you. Well, it's a car. Obviously. A roadster – convertible, 'cause I know how much you hated being underground all this last week. Can go from zero to sixty in four point seven seconds with a top speed of one hundred fifty, which I know doesn't sound like much to a guy whose go-to vehicle can go one-fourth the speed of light, but it's the fastest I could find on short notice. And, well, the colour is a bit much but, like I said, short notice and, well, yeah." He gestures at a bright yellow vehicle a few yards away from them. "I know you can't exactly drive it, but we have a week or so before we're expected at Area 51 so you'll probably have time to learn and, well, this is probably the worst car in the world to learn to drive on, but I thought you might enjoy it after you learned and, er-"
Iohannes knows nothing about cars. Truth be told he could care less about it at the moment. All he knows is that he's spent the last week in a windowless hole with descendants who thought him a saint and a murderer by turns, barely able to talk to anyone from Atlantis, let alone spend five minutes alone with Rodney and all he wants to do is kiss him because he bought this car with him in mind and, now that they're out of that forsaken cement maze with it's dozens of cameras and hundreds of disproving eyes, he can. And since he can, he does.
"John-" he tries to protest, but then Iohannes is sliding one hand around the back of Rodney's neck and slipping the other around his waist and he gives into it. A hand comes up to clutch at the front of his too-new uniform jacket, pulling him closer as Rodney tries to manoeuvre them to the car. For the life of him, Iohannes can't say how but somehow they make it and then it's Rodney pressed against the side of the car and him pressed up against Rodney, hands finding their way beneath coat jackets, trying to make up all at once all the moments like this they've missed since first hearing about the Wraith armada, and even he doesn't know how far they might've gone right there up against the car, if not for the loud and pointed cough that came some indeterminable amount of time later.
"You know," says the man who, as soon as the blood starts returning to his head, he identifies as General O'Neill, "Daniel will kill you if you're late to his dinner thing."
The speed with which Rodney pushes Iohannes away verges on the superluminal.
"I-" Rodney starts, voice an octave too high, "Er- General O'Neill, fancy seeing you here."
"Yeah, well," the praetor gestures at the truck the Elise is parked next to. "Nice car, though. New?"
"Er. Yeah. I mean-"
"You should be careful to lock it. The security cameras in this lot have been on the fritz for days now and you don't want something like that stolen."
"Er-" Rodney says again.
Jumping in before Rodney can say anything he'll be mortally embarrassed about later, Iohannes adjusts his jacket and promises the praetor, "We'll keep that in mind."
"Cool," he says, climbing into his car. "See you guys later." And, with that, he drives away, leaving Rodney still gaping.
"You know," Iohannes says after a moment, "for a descendant, General O'Neill's not that bad."
"Not that bad? Not that bad? He just-"
"Drove off. Very cool. Makes me kinda hope that Carson's right about most people with the Ancient gene being like the four-hundredth great-grandchildren of whatever kids Father had here on Terra after the Exodus. I don't think I'd mind having General O'Neill as a nephew. Which reminds me-"
Rodney slaps him on the back of his head and tells him to get in the car before he does anything else to jeopardize his new career before they're even out of the parking lot.
Continue on to Pars Quattor