1. He almost walks past the angel without noticing, distracted by the figs he’s eating and the need to step carefully; street-cleaners are a long way in the future. But he happens to turn his head at just the right moment to see an older man across the street startle, and to catch a glimpse of power and glory and wings.
Then he blinks and the street is again void of anything more spectacular than sweaty humanity, although his curiosity would have him abandon his figs and slip after the man now stumbling away from him toward what’s either the center or edge of town (the narrowness of the winding streets would baffle even the keenest sense of direction).
But even as the figs fall from his grasp, there comes a shout and the rumble of a sudden camel stampede. By the time he remembers the possibility of something more (or less) than human, he’s in another part of the city, convincing a couple of guardsmen of his harmlessness.
2. He prefers the twentieth and twenty-first centuries to the twenty-second, but mostly because of aesthetics. The majority of the century was spent rehashing and exaggerating the fashions and fads of the previous one hundred and fifty years, with an inexplicable fondness for avocado green, burnt orange, and purple. Fifteen minutes in the wrong place and decade, and you’re guaranteed an instantaneous migraine.
Unfortunately, there’s a doohickey made for only a couple of years after 2183 that can be retrofitted for the TARDIS, and the next closest equivalent can be found only in a determined and perpetual war zone. (He’d tried for a cease-fire once, and wound up needing to repair more than just the doohickey .)
This is why he winds up at a garage-sale equivalent in 2193, the year good taste made a comeback, digging somewhat frantically through a bioplas box full of biolube-streaked widgets with something akin to frustration. He’s so intent on the contents of the box that he doesn’t even pause when someone speaks to him.
“What do you seek?” the (male-ish) being asks, tone incurious.
“A B-Niner Twin Hook Space/Time converter,” he says, then sighs and stops to wipe his hands off on his coat. “But there aren’t any.”
“Are you certain?”
And even as he opens his mouth to protest that yes, he’s certain, he’s always certain, and besides, he’s dug out the box five times and found nothing worth tuppence, the being reaches a very human-looking hand into the box and produces exactly what was looked for, in factory-new condition. Which is received with the kind of awe usually reserved for pieces of fine art (and some that look like used tissues; as has already been established, human aesthetics are often inexplicable).
“How did you— Where—?” He can’t decide how to finish the question, too distracted by the perfection of what he’s been handed. But when he finally looks up, there’s no one there except a little old cat-lady sorting out baby clothes.
(The doohickey lasts practically forever, unlike its jury-rigged predecessors—another thing that would be inexplicable, if he ever noticed.)
5 People that Fell in Love with Carrot
1. His mother
She's a princess only by courtesy: her father was a miller and her husband was born in exile. No crowns for them or thrones or robes made from the pelts of small, ferocious, furry animals. They live out of a cart, except when someone offers them a bed in exchange for labor. It's a hard life, but better than the one she left behind; she doesn't regret saying 'yes' to the sober-eyed young man who'd mended all the fences in town and sleeps always with sword in hand. There's kindness between them, at least, and affection, which is more than she had before.
A child is worth the price of all this, she tells herself, no matter how much she dreads giving birth. (She's sat in on too many births-turned-deaths, known too many parents and children who despised each other--been one such child.) And it is, once the pain is over and her husband smiles at her like she's given him the world.
But oh, she did not expect the way her son would feel in her arms, or the odd flip of her stomach the first time he yawns. The dull ache of her heart when she hands him back to his father. He will be great someday--she knows it, sure as sunrise or springtime.
2. Minty Rocksmacker
Love, she will realize later, is a flexible concept and easily confused with infatuation. It is his otherness that fascinates her, not his good temper or encyclopedic knowledge of the mine and its inhabitants. He is tall and clean-shaven and—despite the previous fact—definitely male, and nothing like any of the other dwarves her age in any of the ways that matter to her now. He attends to her, as though she is some rich vein to be carefully mined, a treasure still being found. It makes her giddy even when she’s not around him, or as close to it as a dwarf can manage.
Later, she will realize that her parents were right, and love—giddiness—is not a strong enough foundation to build a partnership on. But she is young now, and heartbroken (or as close to it as a dwarf can manage), and were she and Carrot (both) human, their story would likely be romantic, tragic, and very stupid.
They’re not, though, so she obeys her parents and goes to her room and locks the door and cries.
5 Things for which John Sheppard is most grateful
1. Atlantis, first and last. Both the city and the people in her: the mechanical ghost that sings him to sleep at night, the (family) friends who give a reason to get up in the morning. This is the home he hadn’t had for too many years.
2. The puddle jumpers—Oh, the puddle jumpers. They don’t have the same flash as a jet or the rush of a helicopter, but if he closes his eyes while flying one, it’s like there’s nothing around him at all but the vast expanse of sky and space and all the stars.
5 ways Batman and Sherlock Holmes might have met
1. London, 1899, the tattered newspaper informs him, which means either time-travel or a full-blown hallucination. Bruce hopes it's the latter, mostly because he knows Alfred and Lucius can deal with that. Though if he is actually when and where he appears to be....
Well. Clothes, safe storage for the suit, and then off to get instructions to a certain residence on Baker Street.
5 crossovers I'm not writing
This time he falls sideways. He’d say backward, but even the Pegasus of a thousand years ago didn’t have minotaurs and satyrs and whatever the hell those horrible creeping things are—although he’s heard stories about SG-1 and a dragon or two.
But details don’t matter at the moment because the creeping things have fangs and are currently cornering a kid while the satyrs and a lone minotaur shout approval—and the kid’s wearing plate armor and holds his sword like he knows how to use it, but still: kid. A couple years older than Jinto, maybe.
And John’s learned the hard way (and learned and learned) that situations aren’t always as they first appear, but all John’s mythology tells him satyrs and minotaurs are bad news, and the creeping things are, well, creepy. Plus: fangs, which in John’s experience is generally a bad sign.
Then the kid shifts just enough for John to see what’s emblazoned on his surcoat, and all doubts fall away, because it’s a lion and red and gold: something John fell asleep to, dreamed of a thousand times when still a boy. If the kid’s the bad guy, John doesn’t want to find out.
He knows, somehow, instinctively, like his understanding of Atlantis, that his P-90 won’t work here— wherever here is—so he throws a knife instead, hitting the eye of one of the creepy creeping things just as it’s about to strike.
In the ensuing confusion, he manages to arm himself with two short-swords than work well enough as substitute bantos-sticks—and then loses himself, as he’s done only once before, in the dance like death. Only this time it is death for those around him. No need to hold back here, and every reason not to. By the time reinforcements arrive, he’s made mince-meat of pretty much everything except the kid and is trying not to throw up from the smell of so much blood.
“Where do you come from?” The kid—King Peter—asks, but it’s a request only in phrasing, not actuality. Had John not spent far too much time on his knees in front of life-sucking aliens bent on prying open his brain, he likely would have answered without a moment’s thought. But Pegasus has taught him many hard lessons, so he holds his tongue just long enough to think first. Speak with caution, a voice at the back of his brain warns, low and grave and warm. It reminds him a bit of the way his grandfather had sounded, long and longer ago than John cares to remember, and he would dismiss it except it’s always right. But then, his grandfather was no fool.
“Atlantis,” he says instead of Earth, and waits to see how this boy-king takes it. In the last place he found himself in, Atlantis had been used as equal parts curse and warning, and he’d claimed Virginia instead, for all that he’d only been born there.
“Atlantis?” the king repeats, enough of a furrow to his brow to suggest that he’d expected some other answer. He half-glances at one of the centaurs, older and more battle-scared than the others, and most likely some form of adviser. “Was not that city lost and drowned long time ago?” John can’t tell whether the question’s meant for him, but he answers anyway. He’s found that volunteering information is often the fastest and least painful way of convincing people to trust him.
“Lost, but not drowned,” he says now, because it hadn’t been—not in his time-line.
King Peter considers this, face a transparent mask. “How far is it from here?” he asks at last, and oh how John wishes he could give an answer.