Title: Silver Leaves
Pairing/Charecter(s): John, Rodney, Jack O'Neill, Marshall Sumner; eventual McShep
Warnings/Spoliers: Post "Blue Skies," the coffee shop story that goes AU after "48 Hours."
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: In which a man-eating plant get John promoted.
Notes: "Blue Skies" was supposed to continue on until John and Rodney learned they both work for the SGC. That didn't happen, but here's a bit that was leading to it.
A Sequel to Blue Skies
"I love the sticky leaves in spring, the blue sky – that's all it is.
It's not a matter of intellect or logic; it's loving with ones inside, with one's stomach.
One loves the first strength of one's youth."
Fyodor Dostoevsky The Brothers Karamazov
John's life is perfect for exactly the next seven days, eighteen hours, and six minutes. During this time he sleeps with Rodney five times, beats him at chess once, drinks six-and-a-half cups of the Blue Skies coffee he's made for him, and flies round trip to Area 51 for a Czech scientist whom Carter needs to consult on a piece of bulky Ancient tech John then gets to spend the rest of the evening trying to turn on.
And then he gets the order to report to General O'Neill's office.
"Never let yourself be promoted, Major," the General announces when John darkens his door, gesturing for him to help himself to a seat with an uncapped ink pen. There's a black smudge on his index finger doing it's best to blot out the trigger-pulling callus there and a pair of drug store reading glasses on the desk between a yo-yo with a tangled string and the infamous red phone. The sight, despite the circumstances, makes John grin as he slumps into the chair closest the door. "It's nothing but paperwork and meetings. I keep going back and forth on which is worse."
"Yessir," John agrees, because that is what you did when your commanding officer called you into his office a week after you started a homosexual relationship while serving in the US Air Force. Or, at least, so John would assume. It's not exactly like he's had much experience on the matter.
On impulse, he leans forward and snatches up the yo-yo. He gives a soft snort at the bright green alien head that decorates each of its faces before starting to unknot the string.
"So, you heard about what happened to SG-4 on M2X-something-or-other, right?"
"With the man-eating plant? Yeah. What about it?" As much as John didn't want this to be about his relationship with Rodney, he really didn't want this to be about a mission back to that planet either. He can deal with a lot of shit if it meant he got to go off-world, but man-eating plants are distinctly not one of them. At least, not until the scientists came up with a quick way to kill them should one of them choose to start gnawing on his leg, as had happened with Colonel Sumner on SG-4's mission there.
"The docs say Sumner's looking a medical discharge unless they can come up with some miracle cure."
"I bet he's hating that."
"Pretty much, but even he knows he can't lead a gate team from a wheelchair, so I think he's dealing. At least, as much as Marines can deal with anything."
John nods understandingly. Maybe, if he's lucky, this means the General is going to be assigning him full-time to SG-4. Maybe, if he's lucky, this has nothing to do with Rodney at all.
"The thing is, though, Sumner was slated to be the military commander of Atlantis once we actually find the gate address for the damn place."
"I can see how that might be a problem, sir."
"Good. Then you also see why I'm appointing you in his place."
John drops the yo-yo.
Jack O'Neill is the only brigadier general John's ever known to roll his eyes, and he does so now with extreme prejudice. "I'm putting you in charge of the military contingent we're planning to send to Atlantis. Technically, Doctor Weir's in charge of the whole operation, but you'll be her second-in-command and will take charge of any military situations that arise. Oh, these are for you," he adds almost as a afterthought, setting down his pen long enough to shift a couple of folders until he finds a little plastic baggie underneath one of them, inside of which are two silver oak leaves.
"I thought you said," he says slowly, trying to fight the rush of excitement that's threatening to form in his stomach despite the fact he knows – just knows – that this can't mean what he thinks it means. He's already gotten Rodney this week; he can't possibly have enough good karma left over to get this too, "never to let myself be promoted. Sir."
"Don't be a smart ass, Lieutenant Colonel."