Title: Uncle John

Author: Jedi Buttercup

Rating: K+

Category: B:tVS, Stargate: Atlantis

Summary: John Sheppard finds a letter waiting for him on Earth. 500 words.

Disclaimer: The words are mine; the worlds are not. I claim nothing but the plot.

Spoilers: B:tVS post-"Chosen"; SG-A between "The Seige, Part III" (2.1) and "Intruder" (2.2)

Feedback: It's the coin of the realm.

Notes: Thirteenth entry for the August Fic-A-Day challenge.

One of the greatest things about being contact with Earth again, for most of the inhabitants of Atlantis, was the reinstated postal service. If the soldiers and scientists who inhabited the Ancient city couldn't have their loved ones with them, at least they could keep up on the (non-classified) details of each other's lives.

Newly minted Lt. Col. John Sheppard was the exception to that rule. He'd cut ties with his disapproving family a long time ago, and virtually all of them had ended up preceding him to the grave despite his despised military lifestyle. He hadn't actually wished them ill, but some selfish part of him couldn't help but feel a little justified anyway; they'd been pretty hurtful to him over the years, especially when he'd acquired the black mark on his record for disobeying orders to save his men.

At least his older sister hadn't been involved in that mess. She'd looked strangely thoughtful the last time he'd talked to her, just a couple of weeks before her lawyer had contacted him to tell him she'd died of an aneurysm. Not exactly welcoming, but more... evaluating... as though she were weighing what she could observe of him and not quite coming up with the bad-seed image she'd always seen before.

He'd avoided her funeral, and tried to put her out of his mind afterward. Joyce Summers, nee Sheppard, had been a formidable woman, a mildly gifted artist, and a successful gallery owner; he could respect her in an abstract way, but any reconciliation she might have been willing to attempt had died when she did, and he felt no obligation to weep at the tragedy of her fate.

He'd never even considered that she might have had children.

When General O'Neill handed him the envelope with the name "Buffy Summers" written above the return address, he'd stared dumb-founded at it for several seconds before opening it. Why hadn't Joyce ever told him she'd had a daughter? What had she been thinking, naming the girl Buffy? How had the girl managed to track him to Colorado? And most of all, why now?

The letter itself turned out to be one of those stiffly awkward "Just discovered I still had a living relative, would you like to meet me?" things, and at first he almost felt inclined to ignore it. But the more he thought on it over the weeks before the Daedalus' departure, the more he thought he might like to get to know her after all.

It would be nice to have someone of his own to exchange letters and videos with. A little less lonely. And heck, after months of keeping company with Rodney even a college-aged girl's work and wardrobe woes would make him feel nostalgic, he was sure.

He put in the paperwork for a day-trip off base and wrote her a quick note back. He felt a little weird signing it "Uncle John," but he was sure he'd get used to it with practice.