Series: All That Glitters
Pairing(s): John/Teyla, Beckett/other
Rating: PG-13 (T+)
Warnings: None for Contact, violence, adult situations, and discussions of rape and abuse in later chapters.
Disclaimer: Stargate Atlantis, its characters and all related entities are the property of MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, Gekko Productions and The SciFi Channel. This story was written for entertainment purposes only. No copyright infringement is intended. The original characters, situations, and story are the property of the author(s).
Chapter One of All That Glitters:
John Sheppard limped gingerly away from the infirmary.
His knee still hurt like hell, but doing what FELT like pulling your knee out of its socket would do that to you.
It was Rodney's fault. Usually he blamed it on Rodney when it wasn't really his fault, but this time it was.
Rodney, in his never ending pursuit of more things to poke at and plug in, had forgotten to warn him about the big holes in the ground he had made in the process. And John had walked backwards right into one, catching his foot on a root on the way down and had jerked his knee almost out of it's socket.
Even Beckett had made a tiny gasp when he pulled back his pant leg and saw the already swelling appendage, not to mention the multitude of scratches, bruises, and cuts on various body parts.
Rodney was very smartly avoiding him.
If John could walk faster and still maintain a manly "I feel no pain" look, he would be sprinting to the lab to kick his scientist ass.
But the manly look was already looking threadbare after about a hundred feet.
Goddamn, it hurts.
John quickly gave a pained smile to a passing group of soldiers and leaned against the wall.
I need a chair.
Beckett, his brow knotted in doctoral worry, had offered John a ride to his room in a wheel chair but he had declined, taking a spare crutch instead.
I'm an frickin' idiot.
Thankfully, there was an empty room, which had been dubbed the Art Room, because of the many artistically inclined Atlantis members who would frequent the room. It wasn't surprising that they did, the room boasted a wall of delicate windows that displayed the ocean quietly lapping beautifully. A ledge ran along the whole room, which provided suitable seating for the frequent informal meetings/parties that happened after everyone was off duty and needed to relax.
John hobbled his way to the ledge near the windows, gently lowering himself into a sitting position, his tender leg hanging limply, the other tucked up near his chin.
God, was he tired.
I feel old.
He mused silently for on moment on that thought. He was not old. But he wasn't young. All right, well he was, relatively. But relative to what? Years? Experience? Life choices?
"Oh, sorry, didn't know anyone was in here!"
Sheppard jumped at the sound of another voice and almost lost his balance, planting his bad leg on the floor for stability.
Which instantly made him feel sick to his stomach as pain ripped through his leg into his chest. He groaned and clenched the ledge's edge, closing his eyes in a mental struggle not to let it get him.
John, get a hold of your self! It doesn't hurt that...oh, god, no, it does.
The voice came closer and it's presumed owner laid their hand against his shoulder gently.
"Major Sheppard, are you alright? Should I get Scotland?"
He squinted his eyes open to see the maker of that comment about the good doctor Beckett.
The speaker was a young archaeologist, one of Dr. Jackson's personal recommendations for the trip. She was well known around the base for many reasons, not all of them good.
One of the youngest people to travel to Atlantis, she liked to stir up trouble as her temper matched the subtle red of her curly hair. She was known to exact revenge on any soldier daring enough to try to tell her to hurry it up on any off world missions.
He had never actually met her, there was little need to, but he heard enough from Rodney who frequently mumbled things about the "stupid poet lesbian chick who thinks she can steal my stuff for 'research'".
Teyla had said things of a kinder vein, commenting once that she was very willing to hear about Teyla's people and had invested a lot of time into finding out about their music, culture, and more.
He did remember reading her name on a New York Time's book list once, long before Atlantis. She was apparently a slightly famous poet and had written a few books, one of which had done well enough that John had flipped through it on occasion in his local library.
"I'm fine," he managed.
I'm not fine. Shut up. I am. No, you aren't.
She raised an eyebrow, as she sat across from him on the ledge, "Really? Sure I don't need to get Scotland?"
"Do you really call him that?"
"What? To his face?"
John leaned back, letting the pain flow away, "Yeah."
"We get along. I lived near where he's from for about a year. We talked. We like each other. I can get away with it, so I call him that and he pretends to be offended," she grinned, lifting an afore unseen acoustic guitar unto her lap.
"Do you play?" He motioned towards the guitar.
She shook her head, strumming the strings ever so gently, "No. Not really. It was a death gift from my horribly morbid boyfriend/best friend."
He wasn't sure which part of that sentence to ask about first. The fact that she had a boyfriend when all he had heard was the growled "stupid lesbian" from Rodney or that he had died.
"Oh," was the best he could come up with.
She grinned, "I'm not a lesbian."
"Well, that was most likely what you were thinking about. It seems to be the flashing neon sign above my head around here. Were you?"
Sheppard shifted as a bit, "No…okay, yes."
"I'm not. I'm an equal opportunity employer."
She paused, waiting to see if he got it.
John didn't take the obvious bait, "So, bi."
She sighed in defeat, "Most people don't get it."
"What can I say, I'm smart," He quipped.
She grinned and fiddled with the strings, attempting to tune the instrument. They sat in relative silence for a few minutes, in a comfortable, but slightly awkward, silence; John sinking into the pain of his knee, watching her drifting into the concentration of tuning.
You should say something.
"I'm John. Maj. John Sheppard."
She looked up, "I know."
Well, that totally worked. Nice conversation starter there.
She grinned, "I'm Aries Marten. Civilian. Archeologist. Writer."
"I know," He grinned back at her.
She laughed and John did as well until his leg protested. He rubbed it gently.
"So what did ya' do to it?" She gestured towards his knee, her brow furrowed in concern.
John winced, "Rodney."
Aries leaned back and sarcastically said "Ah. Wonder Boy."
John lifted an eyebrow, "You too really don't like each other do you?"
"Why? Does he say stuff about me?" Her green eyes gleamed with a light that screamed wheels turning and evil plans being concocted in her head.
He nodded, "Things along the line of 'stupid lesbian chick stealing my stuff'"
Aries rolled her eyes, "Sounds like McKay. I swear, the minute that man learned I would not kiss random women for his entertainment even when two sheets to the wind, we've butted heads."
"You have my attention!" John laughed.
She waved her hands in a no big deal motion, "Atlantis was not our first meeting. I don't know why Daniel though we would work well together."
She nodded, "Yeah. That genius decided to bring Rodney along with us while checking some Ancient ruins that where giving off some energy signals and thirty minutes late, McKay had insulted me twice, looked at my boobs quite a few times, and made me want to castrate him every second since. I almost killed Daniel as well…but I would've lost my eye candy then."
He wasn't sure whether to laugh or ponder Dr. Jackson being eye candy. Probably better not the latter.
Aries laughed as he puzzled that out.
"Well, I'll give you the comments about McKay. Though I'll leave Dr. Jackson's eye candy-ness up to a more informed party," he conceded.
She put her hand up as if offering to be a part of that party.
John laughed and realized they had settled easily into a friendship after a fifteen minute conversation. That had not happened in a long time. Especially with a girl. Women on Atlantis either weren't interested or were only interested in getting him into bed. Which he didn't mind, until two days later when the emptiness of those nights settled in.
The only women he actually felt close to weren't those kind of women. Both Teyla and Weir were equals. Friends.
There was that unspoken "thing" with Teyla. He wasn't sure if it was attraction or the fact that Teyla seemed more like his wife (not that he actually knew what that would be like) than his comrade, which in itself was a weird way to look at their relationship.
And Weir, well, he had no damn clue what their relationship was. Frustrating. Yes, that was a good word.
"Maj. Sheppard? What are you doing here?"
He and Aries turned to look at Dr. Beckett who was heading across the large room towards them, looking as fierce as the usually kind doctor could manage.
He stopped when he saw Aries and blinked, "Oh. She's distracting you."
"I am not! Blaming me as always, Scotland."
Beckett turned to John, "I thought I told you to go to your room and sleep."
Sheppard shrugged, "I made it this far and got stuck."
Beckett shook his head, "I'll go get that wheel chair."
He walked away before Sheppard could protest.
Aries bit her lip, "Sorry to keep you. I should've made you go away."
"No. It's fine. I couldn't make it that far anyway," He grinned, "Besides, now I know who to blame for McKay's offhanded 'stupid lesbian' comments."
Aries laughed and gently pushed his shoulder in mock anger. John pushed her back as one of Beckett's nurses entered the room with a wheelchair.
"Your throne's arrived!" said the nurse brightly.
"Well, this is me," John said, as he limped his way over to the chair with Aries assistance.
"See ya round, space cowboy!" she yelled as he was wheeled away.
John mused on the way back to his room. He carefully undressed and fell into his bed. As the pain medication the nurse had given to him sailed him into sweet painless oblivion, he mused about red haired poets and warrior girls.
I wanted to explore John's more inner feelings and I felt they were best explore with a sort of different character playing of him. Besides the fact that I needed a strong female character to interact on a strictly non-romantic level with John. I want to portray some of the more human, day to day aspects of Atlantis rather than missions. How to all affected them leaving Earth and everything behind.
I'm working up to a mission and the some character development. Wait for it. The second part is called Becoming Undone.
Update 04/04/05: fixed a few typos that probably no one noticed but me. Next chapter to be up probably tomorrow.