sheppard

and i in my bed again [sga]

Look! I come bearing SGA again, after many moons. This is to fill kristen999's long ago request: "five times John Sheppard wished the coin had turned heads instead of tails. (Thought of doing random coin tosses throughout John’s life, but decided that wasn’t exactly fair.)" And because I am stubborn about doing things I've said I would, no matter how long it takes me, here it is. I'd say I wasn't entirely pleased with it, but hey. It's fiction, I sat down and wrote it just now, in one go, and it's done. Right now, that's all I care about.

I should probably warn that this is a mix of canon/personal canon, which means John's family history is different, but everything else should be the same. I think. It's been a while and I didn't look anything up.

*

1.

The bed was too short, and no matter how John folded his legs or bent his back, the bed remained too short and he remained awake. But given the event he knew his dreams would replay,awake was fine by him.

He’d shot his commanding officer. Shot and killed. And yes, it had been Sumner’s last (silent) order to him, but still.

Atlantis hummed quietly at the back of his thoughts, and he wanted to be grateful for that, wanted to be awed and excited and a little in love with her, but he couldn’t keep from circling back to the thought that maybe it would have been better to stay at home.

(Except there wasn’t any home for him to have stayed at, was there?)

2.

And just like that, they were back on Earth and buried beneath a mountain, as though there had never been a city that sailed the sea. Or them in it. John in it.

He bought a white noise machine, but it didn’t help him sleep at nights.

(He didn’t dare try the ‘ocean waves’ setting; it wouldn’t be right either, but it would be less wrong, and he daren’t cry for fear of never stopping.)

3.

At some point, in the middle of some mission gone very wrong, he found himself thinking about where he’d be if he’d stayed on Earth. At the farm that would always be his grandparents’, most likely, out in the fields with his second cousin, or on the sofa watching football, legs covered in dog hair and love. He’d know how Bill liked his eggs in the morning, and where he spent his Sunday mornings. Whether he ever dreamed of having a family, as John once had, long ago.

(As John had once had, before life happened.)

4.

It wasn’t allowing Elizabeth to die that nearly broke him, but rather Rodney resurrecting (a semblance of) her; monkey’s paws were only fictional on Earth. On Atlantis, they were pretty but all too real.

5.

Someday, John knows, he will look at the stains on his soul, the ones placed there by (Atlantis) Pegasus, and they will be too dark, too deep to ever remove. And on that day, he will wish that the coin toss had gone the other way and he had stayed on Earth, where his scars were clean and self-inflicted.

But he will only wish it once before smothering the thought forever. It is dangerous to make selfish wishes that are true while living a city that can hear them, in a galaxy that is as cruel and inventive as it is beautiful.

And then he will be a different man than he now is.
Well, I did say I'd try... :P

It's all part of my NaNoWriMo preparation: get used to writing on a regular basis, clear out the mental attic currently full of various SGA stories I started but never finished (which means finally finishing them), remind my (former) audience that I exist in hopes of securing a cheering section before November arrives, etc.
Thanks!

Yeah, I'm afraid it's a bit of a downer, due to the nature of the prompt. I have a few, more cheerful, prompts left, that I'm trying to get written within the next week, so John shouldn't be stuck in regret for too long.
>> I'm afraid it's a bit of a downer, due to the nature of the prompt. <<

To me it's not so much a downer but just insightful moments. :-) I love how you can draw a full picture with just a few sentences - that's a real gift.

I expecially like no 2 - John is so heartbreakingly homesick and it ties nicely into the canon fact of John calling Atlantis their home.

No 1 reminded me immediately of The Siege 2 when John tells Everett: "There isn't a night that doesn't go by where that moment doesn't play in my head -- and every time it does ..."

But the best one is number 5 - dark-ish and somewhat creepy in the best possible way.

Yes, I really like what you've done here.
I love how you can draw a full picture with just a few sentences - that's a real gift.

Thanks! Graceful but succinct writing is something I aim for, so it's nice to hear I'm succeeding.

#5 was inevitable when I started thinking about some of the morally dubious things they wind up doing as a group, and what the long-term/cumulative effects might be to the individuals.