...But What of a Gentleman? [sga]

A long, long time ago, kristen999 asked for "five times John Sheppard misunderstood the rule 'proper conduct befitting an officer'." This is sort of that. Or at least the closest I could get to work.


Sometimes John's father would run through fields with him, or spin in circles until they fell down, or laugh a little too loudly at knock-knock jokes. Sometimes he wouldn't. Sometimes he'd just say hush, or frown a little when John tugged at his sleeve, or tell John to go find his mother. And John would, and the two of them would sneak off together, but he wondered why his father seemed almost to be two different people.

He never actually asked, though, and eventually he grew old enough to understand the meaning of a uniform. But that small, hurt, questioning why didn't ever quite go away.


For a while he used it as an excuse to not do things he wasn't interested in anyway--getting trashed in a bar was never his idea of fun, no matter who it was with--but eventually it occurred to him that his father, if no one else, would probably consider even that disrespect for what the uniform meant, so he learned the art of ducking out the back room of a bar once everyone else was too drunk to notice, and tried to find a better set of people to hang out with.


He didn't complain. He didn't ever complain, or show his wounds, or ever let on how many blisters the seams rubbed raw where no one could see. His childhood hero had worn armor, and so did he--though cut from cloth instead of beaten out of metal. And perhaps his tongue grew a little sharp in compensation, and perhaps his back bent a little beneath the weight, but he couldn't let anyone see how ill the thing fit. (Or perhaps: how ill he fit it.)


It probably wasn't exactly kosher to flip a coin on the choice of whether or not to volunteer for a jaunt to an alien city in another galaxy, but he couldn't decide on his own--had felt almost paralyzed by both alternatives, so that he sat for a very long moment without even breathing, until his body took over to avoid suffocation. And although his childhood faith had nearly died with his mother, he still remembered the custom the Israelites had had of casting lots when the decision was beyond them.


Well. He shot his commanding officer. After that, what worse could he do? (Besides betray his entire world, or abandon the people whose safety now depended on him; what worse, indeed.)
I enjoyed this very much! I love how you worked from childhood to the beginning of the series. I really liked the explanation to go with the coin toss, it adds a depth to his decision that makes me smile. I think my favorite one was the armor. This is how I see the character to a tee. :)
Thank you! If you've glanced even cursorily through my LJ, you've probably noticed that John is my favorite by a long shot--certainly the one with the most thoroughly-developed backstory. The idea of armor comes up a couple times, thanks to his childhood admiration of Sir Gawain and his mother's choice of bedtime stories.
Summer is a busier work time for me, so I haven't been able to poke around your journal too much yet--but it's definitely on my list of things to do this weekend. So you'll probably be hearing more from me as soon as I can find the time for reading. I'm trying to make writing a priority for now, as I'm not really back into the habit yet after being away from it for so long. It feels SO good to be back at it again, even it's not as much time as I'd like to spend on it. :)
Oh, I definitely understand about busyness! (I work at a school, so summertime is "there's no students around! We can do all our behind-the-scenes projects now!" time.)

I, too, am getting back into the writing game, and it does seem like a pretty major requirement is to cut back on your reading. From personal experience, at any rate.