Hello, kids. So here it is my farewell to Stargate Atlantis. Not sure if it's forever or not, but my life has gotten pretty crazy. Sewing my life away for the upcoming Denver Comic Con, not to mention working behind the scenes at DCC. I'm hoping to get close to Karl Urban, at least to say HI! Hi! hi. and not go all fangirl on that scrumptiousness. Anyways… here ya go at looong last. The non-awaited, alternate history for John Sheppard.
Chapter One: 38 Years Ago: A Brief History (Cúlra)
When I first met Patrick Sheppard, he was on the verge of divorce. He was sitting in a beautiful park, looking as though his entire world had been taken from him. He told me once that I was the saddest person he knew, but on that day, I had never seen such sorrow. With the pending divorce, his wife had told him he would never see his son. What a horrible thing for a father to hear!
I informed Patrick that he would find the strength and reclaim what was his. I know it was a bold move, but I couldn't see someone suffer like that. But when I saw those blue, blue eyes brightened, I knew I had struck a cord. I never thought I would see him again until a well-meaning friend took me to a party.
When I Descended, I never thought I would have friend, much less multiple friends. I never thought I would find love. Then it came in a package in the form of Patrick, and his beautiful little boy, David. While I know I won't be long on this earth, I have decided my time spent here will be the most important. Patrick has asked me to marry him. Of course I said yes. But will the others intervene?
From the journals of Kaylin Sheppard, neé Caoilfhionn, O'Braion Clan. Contributed by Dr. John K. Sheppard; translated by Dr. Daniel Jackson
Against his father's wishes, Patrick Sheppard left the family business. The Sheppards started from nothing, and built the most reliable rail shipping network in the states. On a trip across the country, Patrick saw a need. There were people who still lived without proper electricity and he would bring it to them.
Diana Kincaid was a force to be reckoned with; it was one of the reasons he liked her. Smart, very beautiful, and very rich. Without her, Patrick would have never gotten as far as he had in business. There was no doubt Diana had a head for business. In fact, she made a better business partner than a wife.
The Kincaid name went a little further than the Sheppard name in society circles. More doors opened for Patrick and his crazy ideas of powering the outside world. Diana had no use for children. Her main objective was money. Get it, keep it, get more. Their marriage was a business transaction; if Patrick were honest with himself, he'd admit it was a good arrangement. Diana Kincaid was strictly business, born and bred for success. And in two years, they created Sheppard Utilities and Power.
When their company was stable enough for expansion, Patrick negotiated for a family. Much to Diana's disappointment, many of her friends and family agreed it was a good idea, though she still believed a child would be a hindrance.
Patrick's life came to mean something after their son, David, was born. But Diana wanted nothing to do with the child. Little David spent more time in Patrick's office than the nursery, and Patrick wouldn't have it any other way. He raised his son as best he could with a little help from his own mother, and every woman that worked at the office.
Patrick Sheppard had always tried to protect his family; he knew being a father meant protector. He didn't realize he'd have to protect the boy from his own mother.
When he was two, David visited his mother's office. With a bright smile, he walked to her desk with a small box in his hands. "Happy 'versary."
Diana calmly set a gin-filled crystal tumbler on the desk. Opening the box, she fondled the diamond earrings inside. The boy dimpled, raising his arms to be picked up. With a sigh, she obliged him, and marched out of her office.
As soon as they got to Patrick's office, David squirmed out of her arms. "Did it!" he announced.
"Good job, sport," his father said, smiling at Diana.
"To what do I owe the pleasure?"
"Thank you for the earrings. They're beautiful." She frowned as she clasped her hands loosely in front of her. "Let's have lunch today. We'll talk."
When Patrick arrived at the restaurant, he saw another man sitting with his wife. Dread curled around his heart; he knew the man was a lawyer.
After two hours of civilized negotiation, Patrick Sheppard found himself homeless. Worse, he would be without his son. Walking around Central Park, he finally sat on a bench. Seemingly hours later, he found his way out of his fugue.
"Have you come back?"
Starting, Patrick turned to the voice. "I guess. Bad day."
The woman next to him smiled sadly. "I know what you mean. Can I help?"
Patrick found himself unable to resist speaking to her. He told her his life story, about his business, about David.
The woman pinned him in place with a furious glare. "You will go back to your wife, and you will demand custody of your son. It doesn't matter the price."
"But she wants most of my business –"
"It doesn't matter. None of it matters. Children are too important to lose over pettiness." She rose, holding out her hand. "You will get your son back." Her green eyes intensified as he took her hand, and the air seemed to stir.
Rising, he looked into her eyes and knew David would be back with him, without a doubt. Nodding, he walked away with renewed purpose. Looking back over his shoulder, he found no one. The woman had disappeared.
Nearly a year later, Patrick Sheppard was thirty-four, divorced, and bored.
It was the party of the century: His mother and father's fiftieth anniversary. He hated these kinds of parties; the brown-nosing, ass-kissing, hand out with a fake smile, kind of parties he had attended all his life. Navigating the crowd with a civil, polite smile, Patrick sipped his champagne.
In the center of the ballroom, his parents swayed across the dance floor. The guest list was tip-top; only those who truly mattered were able to attend the anniversary party of the year. If you were invited, you were obligated to attend. Or get blacklisted forever.
Veronica, Lorraine, Jeanette, Margaret, Fiona… They were all present. Stifling a yawn, Patrick made his way to the bar.
"Hey, Mister S," greeted the bartender. "The usual?"
Patrick smiled happily; at least his ex-wife had good sense to hire the kid. Tommy lived down the street, and could make a mean martini despite his only being seventeen. "Yeah, Tommy. The usual."
"At least she kept the bar, right?"
This time Patrick did laugh. He loved this bar; it had been a source of contention between them. He absently smoothed a hand along the dark wood. There was nothing worse than attending a party in your former home. "That she did. Hopefully, I'll get it back soon." Shaking himself out of his misery, Patrick grabbed the martini glass. "How's school?"
Tommy shrugged. "All right, I guess. My dad's pushing for Yale again."
"Where do you want to go?"
"Stanford," the kid said with a smile.
Taking a sip, Patrick returned his smile. Perfectly chilled as always. "Good luck with that. I've known your dad a long time. When he gets his mind set on something…" He shook his head in sympathy. "Scholarship?"
The teenager snorted. "Nah. I think that's why he wants me at Yale. Don't have to have good grades if your daddy–"
"Tom," Patrick chided quietly. "Believe me, I know how you feel. Went to Harvard when I wanted to go to Columbia. Still regret it."
Nodding sagely, Tom reached for the shaker. "I get it Mister S. Need any help at the office?"
"Actually, I do. Got a new Xerox machine. Supposed to change the way we do business, or something like that."
"Isn't that the way it always is? One day, someone is gonna make a super computer the size of a powder room instead of the ballroom." Wistfully, Tommy cleaned a glass. "Can you imagine if they get even smaller? What if you could have one in every room of your house? What if they could connect –"
"Thomas," a stern voice warned. "What have I told you about fraternizing?"
"Yes, ma'am. Sorry, ma'am. Anything else, Mister Sheppard?"
Patrick never wanted to see that gleam die again. The kid was bright, and would go places with that kind of thinking. Sighing, he turned to the voice belonging to his ex-wife. "It's fine, Diana. We're just talking shop."
"Well, do it on your own time. Thomas you've got drinks to pour." Diana walked away with a frown; he always said her face would stay that way if she kept doing that.
"Don't worry about her, Tommy. Keep thinking like that, okay? Smaller computers, and one in every room." Grabbing his second drink, he fled from the bar, leaving a dreamy bartender. I love it when people start thinking, he mused.
"Patrick Sheppard, as I live and breathe," a voice called out to him.
"Hello, Parker," he drawled with a smile he reserved only for her. Suddenly, this party just got interesting. The fiery redhead turned her own high voltage smile up a notch as he came near.
"It's been a long time," she said. With the tilt of her head, she summoned one of the waitstaff, who supplied her with a fresh drink.
"Has it? Seems to me you were the one who left for six months." With a rakish smile, he directed her to a table. "Who was it this time? Mario? Gregorio?"
Parker Finley's laughter warmed his heart. "It was Paolo. And the South of France was lovely." Her smile dimmed slightly. "Incoming."
Patrick frowned; he didn't have to turn around to know his ex had re-entered the room. Sudden drop in temperature notwithstanding, he thought savagely. Finishing his drink in one swallow, Patrick leaned over and gave Parker a quick kiss. "See ya around, lover."
"Don't be a stranger." Moving through the crowd with purpose, Patrick made for his favorite terrace.
The eastern terrace wasn't the best place in February. But any place was worth being away from Diana. Loosing his tie, Patrick took a deep cleansing breath, scrubbed his hands over his face. Tonight wasn't the time to pick up old arguments; he just wasn't up to it.
"It can't possibly be that bad," a quiet voice commented.
Patrick started, spinning around to a shadowy corner of the terrace. "Who's there?"
A woman wandered out of the shadows holding two martinis. Smiling coyly, she handed him one glass. "It's just me. I saw you earlier, and you looked like you could use another."
Chuckling, Patrick took a sip. "Well, Just Me, you're an angel." Observing the new stranger over the rim of his glass, he saw a tall but thin woman with dreamy green eyes. Patrick nearly laughed at the amount of hairspray keeping a tight reign on her short hair. The green taffeta dress she wore enhanced her pale skin. "Don't I know you?"
She turned her thoughtful gaze on him, rendering him speechless. Those eyes were old; this woman was wizened beyond her years. "Not officially. I heard you have full custody of your son."
Patrick looked away, afraid he had seen too much. Taking a deep breath, he turned back, thrusting out his hand. "Patrick Sheppard."
Smiling, she grasped his hand awkwardly, her long, thin fingers wrapping around his large hand. "Caoilfhionn O'Braion." Clearing her throat, she amended, "Kay Breen."
Letting his brow arch, Patrick chuckled. He knew a little about Gaelic names. "Well my sorrowful and fair one, shall we return to the party?"