Title: untilted drabble #13
Pairing/Charecter(s): Ancient!John, Rodney; John/Rodney
Warnings/Spoliers: this drabble takes place, chronologically, sometime after part 5 of "Advena" and before "Heres" in the Ancient!John 'verse
Disclaimer: Title 17 of the US Code, § 107, aka the Fair Use Doctrine.
Summary: Iohannes is good at dealing with bad dreams
Notes: I'm actually making fantastic progress on part 3 of "Socii," but this came to me about 1400 (exactly) in, and it had to be written. Call it a
n Easter egg Christmas present. Hopefully I'll have a real story posted for you soon.
An Ancient!John drabble
"I do rest, but it is not sleep and I do not dream. I simply remember, the memories tumbling over one another, mixing and joining and mingling till I do not know when or where or how or why, and by nightfall it is unbearable and I rise from my troubled bed to howl at the moon or pace the corridors …"
Garth Nix "Endings"
"How do you do it?" Rodney asks him one night, when they're laying on the bed in Jeannie's guest room, just holding each other, because neither of them can sleep for the dreams that continue to haunt them all this time later.
"Do what?" he asks, voice rough. He rarely, if ever, slept more than five hours at a time on Lantea; it shouldn't make a difference that Terra's days are fourteen percent shorter. But he knows that, when they finally give up all pretence and go downstairs, Jeannie's going to ask about the deep bags under their eyes, the ones that keep getting deeper every night, despite the fact there's no emergencies here to disturb their rest.
"Try to sleep?"
"No," Rodney tries to snap, though it comes out more tired and small than Iohannes thinks he intended, "I mean, wake up from a nightmare to find me having one of my own and manage to somehow keep the both of us from falling completely to pieces. It shouldn't be humanly possible."
"Well," he drawls, "I'm not human, remember?"
"We share ninety-seven percent of a genome; I'd say that's close enough when it comes to dealing with someone else's bad dreams."
Iohannes contemplates this for a long minute. Ninety-seven percent of a genome is a lot – enough, perhaps, for Father to father other children here with some Terran woman long-ago – but, he thinks, maybe not enough to explain this. "I've had a lot to lose sleep over in my life," he says at last, choosing to keep the details to a minimum, "I guess knowing how to deal with it is something that spills over to other people's nightmares."
Rodney's quiet for a long time. Then, "I don't suppose it gets easier."
He doesn't know what dream pulled his amator from sleep this time – if it was the memory of Gaul's death, or Grodin's, or the Siege, or something else entirely – but Iohannes knows it never gets easier and that his own dreams are haunted by things that happened long before he went into stasis.
He also knows this is exactly what Rodney doesn't need to hear. "Give it time," he says instead, pressing a quick kiss to his bare shoulder, and tries to make his words sound as honest as possible.