Brat Farrar (bratfarrar) wrote,
Brat Farrar

fic: Miscommunication [sga]

Itsy-bitsy SGA ficlet: Miscommunication, in which having a language downloaded into your head absolutely isn't the same as learning it from birth.

John and the Dragon: In which there is a dragon and John climbs up a hill.
Sometime later, he thinks to wonder why he’s climbing the mountain at all.

There’s a dragon, that little part of him helpfully supplies, except that’s ridiculous, even for Pegasus. Villagers in trouble, it tries, but that doesn’t make any sense either, not when he’s been climbing for so long. Unless the village is actually above him instead of below, as he’s been thinking (it’s not), there’s no reason for the dragon to bother them. And certainly no reason for John to be climbing the mountain entirely by himself: if ever there was excuse for taking a puddle jumper for a spin, this is it.

Well, yes, the knowledgeable part of him admits. But—

But what, he prompts, and refuses to consider the possibility that he’s finally gone mad. If (when) he does have a psychotic breakdown, he’ll wind up shooting precious ammo at imaginary Wraith (or Kolya, because that bastard’s still out there somewhere), not having arguments with himself while partway up a mountainside.

This began as a prompt ficlet for kryadydragon way back when, and will be finished as soon as I figure out how to get John from point A to points C and E, and just why he needs to go there.

And the Wind Blows Stronger: In which the nights are very long and empty, and John keeps Teyla company.
Rodney, soon after her people . . . soon after, tells her all the stories he can remember of villages and colonies disappearing, turning into ghost towns. He means nothing by it, except perhaps clumsy concern, but only John’s perfectly timed “Rodney!” keeps Teyla from doing something she would regret a moment later.

“We’re here to watch a movie, remember?” John continues, an overflowing bowl of popcorn (the sweet and salty kind, because it’s Teyla’s favorite, he says, although it’s his favorite too) cradled to his chest like a baby. And that’s enough to draw Rodney’s focus away from Teyla, so that she may watch the movie in peace—or as much as is possible with her teammates squabbling beside her: Rodney indignant, John amused, Ronon irritated that they won’t shut up.

Although there’s really no reason for him to care, given that the story is one told is explosions rather than words, the few brief conversations serving only as clumsy and incomplete explanations for why it is necessary to blow up so many buildings and vehicles. It’s not the movie they’d agreed on, but it’s more distracting than that one would have been, so Teyla eats her popcorn in silence, drawing the evening’s easy comradery around her like a warm blanket.

I'm kind of nervous about this one, because it could so easily turn into an angst-wallow, and that's not at all what I want it to be. Also, the whole things is probably completely unrealistic, so maybe I'll wind up just letting it sit as bits and pieces.

Now the Fight is O'er, Now the Battle's Won: Which is the lone SG-1 story! And answers the question of what happened to old!Cam in Continuum.
He stumbles out into a warehouse smelling of heat and distantly of sand, and collapses, weeping, heedless of who might be watching. He’s lost them: beautiful, brilliant Sam, who had reached the end of her strength and continued on anyway; Daniel, cynic and idealist and genius—and friend; Teal’c, whose quiet strength he’d missed so much during the past (future) year, like a mountain when it’s suddenly gone.

The floor runs wet before his tears run dry.

Eventually, though, he pulls himself together, because he’s a Mitchell, and they’ve never been much for crying over spilled milk. Particularly when there’s a chance to keep it from being spilled in the first place. So he gets up, brushes the sand off his knees, and starts wracking his memory for what should be going on in 1929. And for what bits of Arabic he still possesses. He’s in Egypt, unless the timeline has been messed with yet again.

Dunno why I want to write this story so much, but I really really do, even though it's been years since I've watched any SG-1.

Wherever I Am: In which John has a shadow that just won't leave him alone, and things go a bit differently than in "Doppleganger".
or maybe it goes like this: In the space of his own head, with his own face staring at him, twisted, predatory, almost lustful. For one reality-rending moment, John wants nothing more than to claw his eyes out, to shred the skin off until no dark reflection of himself remains. But this, this he’s dealt with before. He’s faced down his shadow, and this is his world, his, no matter what his alien doppelganger might think. This is a trap, all right, but it’s not set for John.

This one starts in one version of canon, slides into another, and needs to be pulled to pieces and rewritten. But I desperately love the ending, so it'll probably happen eventually.

Someone Else's Shadow: Which examines the fungibility of Rodney & John.
“What do you mean, what happened to you? I already told you, I don’t know. You just appeared in my kitchen.” Soaked to the skin (or rather, from the skin out, which still defied rational explanation), with tattoos, too young, every motion making clear that he was and was not John Sheppard. Maybe Rodney was going crazy.

“Well, I’m dead, aren’t I? Your version of me, I mean.” He wrapped his fingers around the flashing ball, so that the lights were nothing more than a faint glow around his knuckles. Rodney stared at him mutely, tongue weighed down with too many things unsaid. “It’s pretty obvious,” John added into the silence. “You obviously know and trust me, or you would have gone yelling for the police the instant you found me. But you’re here, in the middle of nowhere, and the team is back in Atlantis, and there no way I would let you go like that. Not if our relationship was anything like the one I have with my Rodney.”

This story exists pretty much entirely in reaction to a story in which canon!Rodney falls into a reality where John & Rodney are lovers and have kids, and is convinced that he should make a pass at canon!John when he gets home. And a handful of other stories I stumbled upon with similar plots, back when I was still actively reading SGA fanfic. I'm not sure it'll ever make it past the fragmentary stage, but if it does, it definitely will stay under f-lock.

Falls the Night: In which Sumner doesn't die, but remembers all the times he did.
When he was sixteen, he spent seven months in a sanatorium, unable to tell possibility from truth, trying to claw his way back out of the future and into the present. He’d done it, eventually, and the doctors there had made sure he wouldn’t have to do it a second time—something for which he is still profoundly grateful. After a week in observation, he’d returned to his regular life with an ink-covered back and a head full of memories that might never happen.

This is one of those, one he hadn’t thought could come true. But he can hear the hitch in the breathing of the woman standing at his shoulder and knows what she would have said in reply if he’d spoken as he’d meant to. Knows as well why he’d had the eerie feeling of having already met her when she first introduced herself.

If he’d figured that out sooner, they probably wouldn’t be standing next to each other, waiting to be eaten.

Really, I just want to write this story so I can include this exchange at the end:
“I expected to die with my boots on.”

“You still could, sir.”

“That’s the sort of feel-good bullshit I expect from someone like Ford—you of all people should know better, Major.”

“I meant, I could go get them for you if you’d like, sir. I’m sure Dr. Beckett wouldn’t notice.”

Inebriate of Air: In which there is a flying city and an alien!civilization. Just like that.
They come out above a purple plain, under a cloudless pale blue sky. If not for the color of the grass, it could be a prairie from back on Earth, and John half-expects to see bison. There aren’t any, but every now and then John glimpses a patch of grass moving against the steady winds, evidence of some smaller animal’s passage.

Rodney starts getting antsy when where’s still no power signals after twenty minutes of flying, but John just says, “Keep your shirt on, McKay,” and asks the jumper to go faster, because he thinks he sees something on the horizon, a tiny freckle against the blank sky.

Golly, I started this one a long time ago.

Like Birds That Fly: In which John's recovery from turning blue doesn't go quite as expected.
Technically, he’s still off duty, but he gets up while the world’s still dark, as he does every morning, and makes his bed before walking his unofficial rounds. A couple of feathers—mere fragments of feathers, really—fall to the floor when he shakes out the sheets, which is a little odd, since his pillow’s foam (and he still finds that vaguely irritating—feathers are quieter), but not unheard of. The occasional, inexplicable feather has been showing up around him for years now, so he merely sticks the largest of this most recent batch in his pocket before leaving the room.

When he’d first arrived in Atlantis, half-spooked, half-charmed by her whisper and the only one hearing it, light had followed him wherever he went—as if he were a king and must be announced. Now, though, the hallways stay dark as he walks through them, even as he drags his fingers along the walls and talks quiet nonsense to his city.

Oh, but I do love the idea of this story. I just need to figure out what it's about.

Things Already Seen: In which John's life now apparently functions like a video game.
No time, beats against the back of John’s brain, no time no time no time. It sings to him, so that each motion he makes, each step and hand signal and jerk of the head runs together into some intricate dance he learns as he goes along. He goes lightly on his toes, hope still imbuing him with a grace not his own, and the Wraith never see him until after he's gone.

(To his men—and they are almost his, will be after this—if he but knew it, he moves like some being out of an old tale, ready to call down lightning and fire and flood, should it be necessary. Or to offer his own heart, if they asked it of him.)

He has scrimped and scrabbled for the moments that he now doles out like dull pennies, beats out with each breath like a metronome. They will be enough for him to do what must be done.

If I can manage to finish only one story on this list, it will be this one, even if I have to throw away all the others to do it.

Boojum: In which John plays Faust. Kinda.
The woman (ball of energy) in front of (around, beside) him would be frowning if she had a body with which to frown. She’s trying to project the image of a body, to twist the surrounding nothing into a particular something. For a moment John ‘sees’ sand, which is swiftly followed by snow. But he ignores both, and the world settles back into a belligerent shade of gray. It matches John’s mood, although there really ought to be some red somewhere, considering how much bleeding he’d done.

The woman’s mouth tucks down at the corners, even as the gray sort of flexes against John’s thoughts, and he throws up imagined hands in surrender. If she wants a mental landscape, she’s welcome to have one, although he’ll do the decorating, thank you very much.

This one is complicated. And I'm lousing at plotting things out. Grr. I do like it, though.

I Can Do Most Anything: In which Aiden Ford chooses the red pill.
—And his hand’s wrapped around the doc’s throat, which is wrong. His job’s to protect them, protect the scientists, watchdog to their sheep, as Major Sheppard once put it, and Aiden releases the doc like he’s been burned, backs away until his back’s against the wall.

So close. He’d come so very close to killing the doc—closer than anyone in the room realizes, except perhaps Teyla, who is watching him as she might a rabid animal. Shame floods Aiden when he realizes that, strong enough to clear away the humming that had for a moment drowned out any thought, any memory of the oaths he’s sworn, of his duty.

Turn the Lights Off When You Go: In which rocks fall and everyone dies. Well. Almost everyone.
They sit in near-silence for a couple of minutes, Daniel staring down at his archaeology journal but not turning the pages, Jack watching the game without seeing any of it. He’s really listening to the sounds coming from the bathroom, almost hidden by the hiss of running water; there’s a thump that might be a fist striking tile, and something that could be sob. “He won’t do it.”

“What?” The glare from the TV reflects off Daniel’s glasses, but Jack can see that the eyes behind them are unfocused.

“He won’t slit his wrists in the shower.” A week or two earlier, maybe, but not now. If he listens really hard, Jack can hear Sheppard talking. To himself, to his ghosts—doesn’t matter. It’s all pretty much the same at this point. “So, how’s everybody doing? I heard something about Cassie having roommate problems.”

Plot! Logistics! Characterization! But I really want to read it, so it'll probably get written at some point. Unless someone else writes it for me.

With Air, With Other: In which John really isn't human either.
This one is barely even fragments, just a set of questions that keep popping up at the back of my head--why exactly was John so willing to trust Chaya? Just what is the does it mean to be Alteran instead of human? And so on.

Also, here's one that I really won't be writing at any time ever:
After the whole big mess with the Joker, Bruce takes a week or so to pull himself together. His injuries are mostly internal, insubstantial, but they’re enough to slow him down, and he can’t afford that now. Not with both sides of the law gunning for him and Gordon forced to play prosecutor.

(And justly so, as it was Batman’s failures that—

But no. Bruce failed, not Batman. Bruce was distracted, Bruce was selfish, Bruce blinked and the whole thing came tumbling down, and now people are dead who wouldn’t be otherwise. Harvey’s dead. Rachel’s dead. But Gordon’s son isn’t, and that’s something. Not enough, but something.)

And so Bruce is sitting in a uncomfortable mod armchair (he misses the giant wingbacks of his childhood), an over-priced and oh-so-stylish laptop balanced on his knees, surfing the ‘net, because it’s either that or go batshit crazy.


Alfred had tentatively suggested a night out on the town, but as they’d already agreed that Rachel’s death would serve as a catalyst for Brucie’s reformation, the suggestion had been withdrawn before Bruce had time to do more than open his mouth for a heart-sick refusal. Bruce and Brucie both are in mourning, even as Batman quietly makes plans to prevent anything like the Joker from happening ever again.

Which is why he’s currently scrolling through Gotham-related forums and message boards and online communities. Most of them are junk (one seems to contain nothing but ‘chat speak’; he spends all of forty-two seconds trying to decipher it before moving on to the next site), but a few have actual conversations going. The two most coherent are communities hosted by LiveJournal—which he tentatively takes as a good omen, or would, if he believed in such things.

Less encouraging are the names of the communities themselves: gotham_sucks and bat_in_belfry. The latter could possibly be construed as flattering, if he were one to subscribe to the theory of ‘any publicity is good publicity’, but the tone in which the members discuss his existence is . . . well. Some of them apparently need to have a talking-to from Alfred, though that’s as likely as the Joker showing up on Bruce’s doorstep selling Girl Scout cookies.

(Later, he’ll blame his actions during the next forty-eight hours on momentary derangement brought on by the mental image of the Joker in a Girl Scout uniform. At the moment, though, they seem perfectly logical.)

There’s a ‘reply’ button under every comment and anonymous commenting is enabled and the things these people have written are just wrong and this is something he can fix from the discomfort of his mod chair and—

And then it is four in the morning and Alfred is hovering over him, hollow-eyed from worry and lack of sleep.
Tags: all fiction, fanfiction, fiction fragments, miscellaneous fandoms, stargate

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