Disclaimer: Stargate: Atlantis and all related items do not belong to me, only the stories and their related original ideas and characters are mine. No copyright infringement intended.
Characters/Pairings: Rodney, Elizabeth and four year old John Sheppard
Feedback: Is a gift. It’s nice to give :)
Notes: This is another wee!John snippet. It all started with this five things (number three) and I couldn’t resist writing more!
“You stop it!”
“You ‘top it!”
“Oh, my God, I’m arguing with a shrimp.” Rodney takes a deep breath and closes his eyes, trying very hard to ignore the small fist attempting to pummel his leg. “I thought you were past tantrums,” he says, eyeing the child balefully.
“Go…sit in the corner and do your homework,” he finishes and the boy crosses his arms and pouts. “No, don’t do that. It’s not going to work this time. You might think you’re cute, but… oh, fine! But you better not try to fly it again!” John grins at him and he glares. “And you better be quiet.”
He starts walking, feeling the gentle tug of John’s small fist on his trousers as he trots to keep up. Passing through the halls with the boy is always taxing on Rodney’s patience. Despite the fact that John’s been a child for nearly two years now, the spectacle hasn’t worn off. People are determined to coo and grin and talk baby talk, for crying out loud, and it’s almost more than he can stand. So, yes, he copes by walking so fast that the boy has to almost run to keep up. He finds glaring useful, as well. It works. Mostly.
They enter the ‘Jumper bay at high speed (well, high speed for John’s little legs) and the entire room seems to brighten instantly. Passing Major Lorne, who grins and waves at his ex-CO, John crows gleefully and runs full pelt towards the nearest ‘Jumper, the door lowering for him.
“Stop! Stop running and get back here!”
John stops instantly and, when Rodney catches up, he can see a fearful look on the boy’s face. Sighing, he lowers onto his haunches.
“What did I tell you?” he asks, trying not to sound too stern.
“I won’ make if fly,” John says, sniffing.
“Oh, don’t cry. I wasn’t shouting.”
“Okay, I did, but you might hurt yourself.”
“Not when you wif me.”
Rodney shifts and averts his eyes from the penetrating four-year-old gaze. “Yes, well, it’s very nice that you trust me, but stop running off, okay?”
Suddenly John’s eyes widen and he looks up at the ceiling of the ‘Jumper. "'Pace ‘hip," he says, pointing up and grinning.
Rodney rolls his eyes. "What? You had a falling out with the letter 's' this morning, as well?"
"Wodney," John says and somehow that tone transgressed to his four years old self as well. "'Pace ‘hip."
"Yes, yes, the puddle jumper is very pretty. Now, go annoy Major Lorne."
He opens his mouth to respond when his earpiece chirps.
He holds one finger up to silence John. “Yes. What?”
“We need you in the Control tower,” Elizabeth’s voice is stressed and Rodney suddenly tenses.
“I’m on my way.”
Obviously sensing the atmosphere, John grips onto his legs vice-like and, rather than thinking of trying to pass him off to someone along the way, Rodney scoops him up and runs out the door after Lorne. He’s puffing slightly by the time they get there, but John seems perfectly content, so Rodney just shifts him to one side and reaches out for the nearest laptop with his free hand.
“Do we have any idea what it is?” he asks Radek, who shakes his head. John’s tapping his shoulder and he huffs out an irritated, “What?”
"Seeeee!” John says, pointing to the screen “'Pace ‘hip!"
Rodney frowns and looks at the boy again, before glancing at the screen. “That’s what you meant?”
“How did you know?”
Elizabeth interrupts. “Rodney, what-”
He holds up a finger to stop her and waits for John’s reply. The boy shrugs. “’Lantis told me.”
“Did she tell you if it was a good space ship, or a bad space ship?”
John frowns and looks like he’s thinking. “Nope.”
“Right, of course, because that would be too useful.” He lowers the boy to the floor and points to Elizabeth’s office. “Go do your homework.”
“I help you.”
“That is helping me.” He hands over John’s datapad, which he’s started carrying with him, and ushers the boy towards Elizabeth’s office. “Go on.”
* * * *
“Wodney,” John says tugging on the bottom of his shirt.
“Not now, John.”
“I’m kind of busy here,” Rodney grinds out, thinking (and not for the first time) that dealing with a four year old Sheppard isn’t that much different to dealing with a fully grown one.
“But, Wodney, ‘Lantis is makin’ funny noises.”
“What?” Giving the child his full attention, he lets Radek slide into his seat to continue further calibrating the sensors. He frowns. “What kind of funny noises?”
“S’e doesn’t like the ‘pace ‘hip.”
Rodney turns to Radek. “Wraith,” he says and the Czech nods.
“Did Atlantis tell you anything else?”
John shakes his head.
The boy sighs. “I know, I know, go do my homewo’k.”
Rodney carefully ignores the laughter around him and the boy stomping his way back into Elizabeth’s office. He has work to do and, no, he doesn’t feel the least bit guilty. Well…not much.
* * * *
“Wodney, why did you hide ‘Lantis?”
“So your space ship would go away.”
“Why did you want the ‘pace ‘hip to go ‘way?
Rodney groans, seeing Elizabeth smothering a smirk. “What?”
“Nothing,” she says, raising her hands in surrender.
“Because they were the bad guys.”
John thinks about this for a minute. “Is that why ‘Lantis didn’t like it?”
“Yes, yes. Now…go…where’s Major Lorne?” he asks Elizabeth.
John looks at him with wide, almost tearful, eyes. “You have to wo’k?”
“Yes, Wodney,” Elizabeth says, grinning. “Isn’t it playtime?”
Rodney glares at her, before looking at the boy. “It’s time you were sleeping, anyway.”
He shakes his head emphatically. “No! It ‘till ea’ly.”
Rodney sighs and turns back to Elizabeth. “We have got to get him speech therapy. He’s four, not two and he’s got a lisp already and now he’s dropping s’-"
"It's not a lisp," she corrects, "it's a rhotacism. And it's cute."
"It’s irritating. And what idiot decided it'd be a good idea to name the inability to pronounce the letter 's' a lisp and the inability to use the letter 'r' a rhotacism. Wait, I don't care."
“Wodney, check my homewo’k?”
Elizabeth frowns and takes the datapad before Rodney can. She glances at it quickly and looks at him in askance. "You taught him algebra.”
"What? He's more useful this way."
"Rodney, he's four years old!"
John reaches up and tugs her free hand. "I nealy five, Lizbet."
"Yes, he's nearly five, Elizabeth." Rodney grins, but she simply glares at him. "What? His development is astounding. He's learning at an incredible rate and, maybe if I start teaching him things he already knew how to do, it might...you know...kick start his memory and we'd... Well, yes."
"We'd get him back," she finishes softly and Rodney nods, but he's staring at the four year old currently yawning his little head off. "Rodney, you need to face facts. John might not-"
"I don't want to hear it." Rodney clears his throat. "Come on then, let's get you to Teyla's and she can put you to sleep."
"Will you wead me to seep?"
"If you can find the letter 'l' I'll think about it."
"And if you can say my name. No, wait, never m-"
"Suw fing, Mewdif."
"Why do I even bother?"
* * * *
The end…for now.
Continues in Christmas with the Millers
Also, the ‘Meredith’ thing? I’m repeating it, because I know how kids that age love to repeat things that they know will irritate an adult. I have experienced it in fact. Often!
Hope you enjoyed. Feel free to comment and let me know what you thought :)