Fandom: Stargate Atlantis
Stargate Atlantis and all related items do not belong to me; only the story is mine. No copyright infringement intended.
Show Me How Tight You Can Cuddle
This is part of the wee!John ‘verse, which started with Five Ancient Devices Rodney McKay Wishes He’d Never Discovered (number three) and continues in Just an Ordinary Day, Christmas with the Millers, Nap Time, and Maybe (both snippets in same post)
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Carson Becket has always been an ordinary sort of man. He grew up in a too-small house with four brothers and three sisters and was raised to believe that it was good manners to open doors for women, respect his elders and never to swear in front of his family. Not that he swears often and when he does, he thinks it’s bloody well called for. Because he’s pretty sure that the 'not swearing rule’ is subjugated by the very existence of Wraith.
For all that Carson loves his job, he misses his family. It’s not like he saw them often when he was back on earth, anyway, because Meigle is tiny wee village in Perthshire that happens to be nowhere near much of anything, let alone Colorado Springs. But that doesn’t stop him from missing them. He misses Eilidh’s love of music and James’ need to be useful (even if it means getting in the way) and all the little things about the rest of his family that he never used to notice. But mostly he misses his favourite little niece. He knows it’s not right that he has a favourite niece or nephew, but he figures that with there being 27 of them, he’s allowed to pick one now and again. And Heather’s his little miracle. Well, she’s everyone’s little miracle. Born too early and she’ll never know the gift of sight.
When Heather was one, she learned how to talk in full sentences, perhaps because moving around wasn’t something she’d ever been inclined to try and, whilst she was slow to toddle and slow to walk, her mouth never failed her. She’d inherited a hint of her father’s Glaswegian accent in the same way that Carson had inherited his father’s hint of Aberdonian and Carson loved to listen to the lilt at the end of her sentences, almost musical in the way that his own never was and never will be. He sometimes hears his voice alongside Sheppard’s lazy drawl, or Elizabeth’s concise tones and wonders if he really sounds as gruff as he thinks he does.
Carson misses a lot about home, misses the sights and sounds and, well, not so much the smells, because he comes from a rural town, but even that is distinct and it’s what he’s known his whole life. But most of all, he thinks he misses Heather, arms tight around his neck, rocking them from side to side and whispering in his ear, “Show me how tight you can cuddle.”
When John reaches the infirmary, the lights are low and there’s a gentle hum in the back of his head. Atlantis is content and happy and that makes John very happy, because Atlantis sings to him in moments like this. He shuffles on his feet and scurries into the room, trying not to wake Katie, who’s sleeping in the corner (she fell on her head yesterday, but Rodney had said it didn’t really matter, because the plants had already turned her brain to mush – John doesn’t say anything, but thinks that if plants can do cool stuff like that, then maybe Atlantis could fire plants at the Wraith).
He knows what he’s looking for, because Atlantis is always good and tells him where everything is kept; a gentle nudge this way and a whisper to turnduckhidefind just when he needs it. This time, it’s really important, because John’s on a mission for Atlantis. Something she has is sad and broken and it’s John’s job to fix it and she always tells him where and how. He runs, quietly, into the open doorway and stands on his tiptoes, his fingertips holding onto the desk, and grins when he sees a mop of brown hair on the desk.
He whispers, “Thank you, ‘Lantis,” even though he could have found the man himself; Carson snores. John thought there was a fighter jet coming the first time he heard it and he cried for at least two minutes when Rodney told him it wasn’t. John thinks that fighter jets are pretty cool.
He looks behind him, just to make sure that Rodney doesn’t know he’s awake and not in his bed, where he should be. When everything stays quiet (Rodney’s very noisy), John smiles and runs over to the other side of the room, dragging the chair to the desk next to Carson’s. He’s trying to be quiet, but the jet noises stop and there’s a splutter of sound (like the engine failed, John thinks) and suddenly he’s faced with a sleepy, disoriented doctor.
When the chair is finally next to the man, John climbs up onto it and turns around, sitting down with a satisfying whoosh until his feet are folded under him. There’s a phantom ache in his knees that make him frown (an image of playing football, but like he’s tall, flashing through his mind).
“Wh-What do you think you’re doing here, wee man! It’s the middle of the night, for goodness sakes!”
“I was ‘wake.”
“Well, that’s all good an well, but it’s hardly the point, John. You can’t just-”
“Hid ye’ wish!” John says, giggling and covering his mouth and it takes Carson a moment to understand him. When he does, the man breaks into a smile and starts to chuckle. (John’s always loved the sound and timbre of Carson’s voice. It reminds him of sleepy mornings and safety in rainstorms, of a warm embrace and, sometimes, it reminds him of pulling up from a precipice he never really remembers ever seeing; a place where everything went wrong and he was so sad he doesn’t know how it ever went away, but then there were stars and Rodney was there. Somehow he thinks he could hear a lifetime he isn’t sure he knows in the changing tones of the man’s words.)
“We’ll make a Scotsman out of you yet,” Carson says. “Now, really, it’s bed time.”
“Jus’ a minute.” Without really knowing why he’s doing it, or why it’s important, he frowns and asks, “Cawson. What’s a cudduw?”
“A what?” Carson frowns, then smiles slowly. “You mean a cuddle?”
“It’s a hug. A tight hug.”
The man nods. “For friends.”
“Okay.” He stands on his chair, leaving Carson still more than a little perplexed as to why the boy woke up in the middle of the night, traipsed all the way to the infirmary and felt the need to ask him what a cuddle was. “Come hee.”
“I wan’ a cudduw.”
Carson smiles and leans forward, pulling the boy into a hug and smiling. When John starts to hold on tight, he can feel his friend squeezing back and then he hears a whispered, “Show me how tight you can cuddle” and John grins and squeezes as tight as he can.
Somewhere, in the back of his head, he hears Atlantis singing again.
I had planned to bring Rodney into the infirmary at the end, there, demanding to know what John thought he was doing, but this one? It wasn’t really about Rodney, so I decided to leave it here.
What John’s trying to say when he says “Hid ye’ wish!” is “Haud yer wheesht!”, which basically means be quiet! I think it loosely translates to ‘hold your tongue’.
Meigle is pronounced ‘mee-gul’
Eilidh is pronounced ‘ay-lay’
NB Here follows a bit of my inner accent!geek ;p
For those of you curious as to why I always say Carson has a hint of Aberdonian (from Aberdeen, in case I’m confusing some people!) in his accent, it’s because of the fact that he doesn’t make the sound ‘ah’, which isn’t a sound often used in the American Accent (I asked a few friends whilst I was over there for Camp America to say Aaron, Arron, and Erin and they all sounded the same, when they’re actually three completely different sounds).
A good example is in Sateda when Rodney gets shot in the arse with an arrow. Carson pronounces this ‘eh-row’ rather than ‘ah-row’ and the use of the sound ‘eh’ instead of ‘ah’ is something very distinctly used in Aberdeenshire, a place where even a lot of Scots need a translator handy! I adore the accent, personally, and rarely have trouble following it, but then I’m vaguely obsessed with accents!
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On to the next snippet, Sniffles
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