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: Lorne, four-year-old John, mentions of Rodney
Spoilers: None, but it’s sort of set around season three, I guess.
Feedback: Is a gift. It’s nice to give :)
Notes: This was written ages ago, as in was about the third snippet in this ‘verse. But I forgot to finish it and, over time, remembered it as something I’d already posted. Which was wrong, but totally explains why some references to naked John, etc, weren’t understood in later snippets. So I’ve just finished it and am posting it now!
| Five Ancient Devices Rodney McKay Wishes He’d Never Discovered (number three) | Just an Ordinary Day | Christmas with the Millers | Nap Time | Maybe (same post as Nap Time) | Show Me How Tight You Can Cuddle | Sniffles | Little Troublemaker |
* * *
Major Evan Lorne has seen a lot of crazy shit since arriving in the Pegasus galaxy, but even he’s not sure if the crazy, gothic, vampire aliens, hell bent on eating everyone are less of a culture shock than his CO reverting to a three year old. He understands that things are a little weird in Pegasus and likes to think that he takes it all in his stride.
So on that day when a frazzled Rodney McKay stormed into his quarters whilst he was getting dressed, held out a scrawny, confused child and said, “Major, meet the new Colonel Sheppard. Bond, or... something. Just keep it occupied and don’t bring it back for at least seven hours!” thrust the boy into his arms and stalked out, Lorne didn’t really bat an eyelid.
“Sheppard,” he said with a nod to the child he was holding by the arm pits.
“John,” the boy responded, pointing to himself with a sticky finger and Evan had nodded, said “Okay” and they had spent the afternoon playing cops and robbers.
He’d figured, three weeks, tops, and he’d be back to 2IC duties and he and the Colonel would laugh about it over a beer.
Six weeks later, Lorne had realised that maybe, this time, things wouldn’t be quite so easy.
* * *
He takes a deep breath at the tone he’s come to realise precedes a question he really will not want to answer and says, “Yes, John.”
“Whe’s my mom and dad?”
He freezes a little, because he’s already been party to the conversation about how well John was taking things and how he seemed to realise that his parents weren’t around and suddenly things have shifted. He looks around the all-but deserted mess area and wishes Rodney would enter, but a few minutes later, he’s still alone and John’s looking at him expectantly.
“Well…what do you remember from…before Atlantis?”
John frowns a little, scrunching his face up and taking on that ‘deep in thought’ look that small children get when they’re thinking very hard. “I wememebe …space and scawy monstes, but I fink that’s just deams.”
Evan really wishes they were just dreams. “And what else?”
“Wodney, I always wemembe’ Wodney. He’s safe.”
Evan smiles. “Yeah, he’s very good at keeping us all safe. What else?”
“Teya and Wonon and…who’s Fod?”
Taking a deep breath, he answers. “Ford was your friend, but he had to go away.”
John nods. “Okay. Did Dad have to go ‘way again, too?”
Evan’s not really sure how he’s supposed to deal with this. Sheppard’s a pretty quiet guy when it comes to his personal life. He never talks about home or family and even John’s been pretty quiet about it until now. He just wishes it was Rodney John had asked.
“Did you speak to Rodney about this?” he asks, kind of hoping that the other man had laid some ground for him.
John shakes his head. “No,” he murmurs, so softly that Evan has to lean across the table. “Don’t want him to send me ‘way.”
“Why would he send you away, John?”
“He might send me back.”
“To your parents?” Evan asks and the boy nods. “He won’t. I kinda think you’ll need to shoot Rodney before he lets you go anywhere, even when you’re big. I think you’re stuck with him, shrimp.”
“Weally?” John asks and the awe in his voice makes Evan wish someone thought about him that way.
“Really. Your mom and dad…well, they kinda had to go away, too. I’m sure they’d love to have you back, but I think everyone knows Rodney looks after you the best. Even if some people had to be reminded,” he adds, more to himself than to John; the scene with Elizabeth still making him feel ill and angry and upset all at once.
“Wodney’s gonna keep me?” John asks once more, just to be sure.
“You can bet on it, scamp.”
“Okay.” John nods and Evan finds the small smile on his little face contagious.
* * *
Evan’s never really had to think much about becoming a father. He’s a favourite uncle and a dorky younger brother, a model son and he tries to be a good, polite gentleman. But having children of his own isn’t something he thought he’d have to think about.
When he’d started seeing Janet, all those years ago, he’d wondered what he might be getting into. Cassie had been fourteen and had shifted through phases of wanting him to treat her like a kid and trying to become the young woman she so wanted to be. Thus Evan sometimes found himself taking her to amusement parks, or more often surrounded by blushes and giggles and, generally, got a bit freaked out over the whole thing. The fact that Janet had found it hilarious really hadn’t helped.
But things have changed; he’s lost Janet, they had in fact said goodbye to their relationship a few months before he’d stood by her graveside, and Cassie’s all grown up. He’d made sure Cassie was safe, put as much college money aside as he could afford and personally driven her across three states for her first day of school, before setting one foot into the Pegasus galaxy.
So, finding himself in the bowels of Atlantis chasing after a three year old isn’t really something he’d thought he’d have to do. The fact that he keeps remembering that said three year old is his CO and, therefore, not someone he’s ever thought it was a good idea to see naked, is more than a little creepy. Creepier, in fact, than the days of his almost-step-daughter’s little crush. But John, Evan thinks, doesn’t seem to agree.
“I swear to God, you better get back here right now and put some clothes on, young man!” he calls out, wincing and muttering, “God, this is so wrong.” He sighs and continues down the corridor. “John?”
There’s a giggle and a streak of white as the naked child runs right past him so fast that Evan trips over his own feet trying to (unsuccessfully) scoop the boy up. He curses, winces and hopes the boy didn’t hear (although he knows that, grown up, Sheppard says a hell of a lot worse) and takes off after him, ignoring the laughing marines in the corridor behind him.
“How much trouble can one three year old be?” he muses incredulously.
John’s past him again before he’s realised and all Evan’s succeeded in doing is dropping the boy’s missing clothes again.
The answer is, apparently, a lot of trouble.
* * *
"19, 20. Ready or not, here I come..."
Evan keeps his voice low, knowing that he's being irrational; he isn't on candid camera and, no, the marines don't live in this part of the city. That said, he doesn't feel the need to tempt fate; he's playing Hide and Seek with his CO. This is going to be embarrassing enough for him when Sheppard grows up without having to worry video evidence.
He searches high and low, going through all the nooks and crannies of every room he can possibly think of to search and, half an hour later, is almost frantic. He’s about to notify Elizabeth on comms when John appears in front of him in a flash of blue light.
“I’m bo’ed,” the boy says, failing to notice that Evan’s a little gobsmacked at his sudden appearance. “E-van,” John tugs his trousers. “Come on, lets play something diff’went.”
John’s past him and heading for the door when his brain catches up. He turns and scoops the boy up, turning him around. “Wait a minute, how did you do that?”
“Land on my feet when I couldn’t find you anywhere.”
“I’s good at hide and seek,” he says cheekily, knowing fine well that Lorne is asking him more than that.
“John,” Evan says, a hint of warning in his tone (the one that always had his nephews ‘fessing up).
John rolls his eyes and crosses his arms, but says nothing.
“I can stand here all day, I’ve got time.”
John lets out a long-suffering sigh and says, “I’ll just get ‘Lantis to magic me away again.”
Evan looks at him for a minute, before hiking John onto one hip and tapping his comm. with his free hand. “McKay, I think you’re gonna want to see this,” he says and heads to the science labs.
* * *
Evan lets out a long breath and settles back into his chair. He lets his gaze settle on the sleeping child and groans a little, shifting and letting his spine pop back into place. He really has no idea how Rodney does this day in day out. It exhausts him just the few hours a day that he looks after John. Evan doesn’t think that Rodney realises how much respect he has for him, thinks that maybe he should say something, but then every time he starts he trips over his words and has to leave. Janet always told him he wasn’t that good at telling people when he admired them, had found it endearing and always smiled at him with a twinkle in her eyes.
He misses Janet. A lot more than he maybe should for someone who’d mutually agreed that maybe they weren’t meant to be. But he does. He misses her smiles, he misses her laughter, the frown she always gave him when he came back injured – the one that let him know she was scared that one day he might not come back at all. Ironic, really, that is should be her, the one normally tucked up safe underground in the mountain that should be the one to meet that fate. But most of all, Evan thinks that maybe he misses the possibility of ‘one day’.
Evan’s never really had to think much about becoming a father. He’d always thought that, with Janet by his side, it was just inevitable.
* * *
Yeah, okay, so I snuck in my Janet/Lorne ‘ship again. I can’t help it, I love it!
Continued in 'Replacement'