The Otherside of Tomorrow Part 2
Rating: PG (Gen)
Disclaimer: I own nothing, I profit from nothing, however if I did... SGA would have become space pirates, BSG would have not sucked in the end and SPN... would involve less shirts and more hurt.
Summary: The world ended - sorta. Free humanity is on the run from the Ori, and these are the missing scenes (i.e. demands) of Here Tomorrow.
Spoilers: Yes. But only for season 4 of SPN and all of SGA.
AN: These new/missing scenes will not run in chronological order, because I have a rough idea of where I want to get to, and might want to hop around in the timeline. I'll try not to confuse you too much but no promises
Chapter 3 – New Scene, Mitchell discovers something... interesting.
The halls of Atlantis were quiet and still, the soft oppressive silence of space seeping through the corridors and rooms. Alpha shift was well underway, so most people – civilian and military – were busy with something, even if it was just catching up on some sleep. Mitchell fought a yawn as he ambled down a wide hall, rubbing his face, grimacing at the stubble on his jaw.
The joy of finding Atlantis, or Atlantis finding them, was already fading in the harsh light of the reality of surviving on the run. Food was short and the crops planted on the planet a few light-years away were still a good few weeks away from bearing fruit. Mitchell tapped his face firmly, struggling to wake up, and shook himself.
Following the curve of the hall, Cameron slowed as he approached an open doorway, the soft murmur of voices audible but indistinct. Fighting yet another yawn, feeling his jaw creak as he lost the fight, Cameron quietly stopped and leant against the smooth blue doorframe. The room, usually damn noisy and riotous was a study in contented industry – silent industry. Six children of various ages were scattered in a semi circle around the only adult in the room. A seventh kid was kicking happily away inside a makeshift papoose, which was hanging from a handy overhead hook.
"Sweetheart, that's from the cleaning pile, not the grease. You're on grease." Narrow blue eyes framed by an array of messy red hair stared at Cameron as the little girl handed over the part and picked up another from the right pile. The room smelled like a workshop, the sharp tang of grease and oil unexpected in a 'nursery'. There were a few more kids with the Fleet but anyone old enough to work had a shift and a job. Even if it was scullery duty, stores work or laundry. These kids, all younger than eight, weren't expected to work unless absolutely necessary. So instead someone got the 'easy' shift of babysitting them.
Yeah, right, Cam thought. Easy my butt. Seven kids under eight who had already watched everything 'age' appropriate on Atlantis's server a hundred times and were cooped up indoors the whole day. Five of the children were orphans, either having been rescued on their own or their parents had not survived their injuries from the First Attack. If the settlement on the planet became permanent, they would probably be moved down there, but until the Senior Officers were certain that the Ori wouldn't find their bolt hole, all civilians not working the farms stayed on Atlantis.
Normally one of the mothers stayed with these children, or someone who had pissed Jack off, but occasionally a random adult got the 'easy' shift when fresh hands were needed elsewhere. In all honesty, Cameron had fully expected to find a riot in full swing. Dean Winchester did not appear to be a ... kid-type of guy.
"Dude, dude, you've got more grease in there than an oil slick. Good job."
McKay was going to flip his lid if he saw all his 'precious' spare parts littered about the nursery in neat, ordered piles with a bunch of kids pawing them. Granted they appeared to be doing a good job in ... cleaning or greasing them. Either way McKay wouldn't care. Winchester definitely had a death wish.
"Michael, you touch me with that greasy little paw, and I'll break your fingers."
A round of giggles from the collective mini-minions made Cameron smile too, and he laughed, "Nice, Winchester. Threatening children with bodily harm." Another chorus of giggles, and one fierce look directed at him by the cute little redhead and Mitchell stepped into the room. Winchester twisted around from his seat on the floor, and said, "Colonel."
Nodding in reply, Cameron closed the distance between them and sank to his haunches. The little guy sitting next to Winchester huddled closer to Dean, his very greasy hands clutched in the baggy material of Winchester's jeans. "You guys having fun?"
Two of the kids nodded, while the rest just stared back at him, and Mitchell smiled at the kids even as he said to Winchester, "Does McKay know about this... child labour?"
Winchester's answering smile was sharp and bright, "Nah, I'm saving it for a special occasion. What do you want, Colonel?"
The tone wasn't dismissive so much as distracted, or tired, and the pile of parts designated for cleaning and repair looked daunting. Wondering on how earth Winchester had got them to the nursery without anyone noticing, especially McKay, Cameron ruffled the hair of the nearest kid, who didn't seem too impressed with him and said, "You got the memo, right? About everyone qualifying for handgun and shotgun use."
Dean frowned, and motioned for his minions to get back to work, with a gruff, "What, am I paying you to breathe? You want candy... you work." Michael, hands still clutched on Dean's leg was the only kid not to mock groan and pick up wherever they had left off. To Mitchell, Winchester grumbled, "Didn't the General veto that?"
Cameron snorted, "Yes, until he got served space-mush for the forth night in a row. The plan is unvetoed."
"Great," Winchester muttered and then stared in horror at the greasy handprints on his jeans. "Dude! That's my last clean pair! What did I say?" The little boy, probably four, beamed brightly until he saw Mitchell smiling at him, and his little grin abruptly vanished. The kid didn't stop nervously gripping the denim material either.
Rolling his eyes, Dean shot the boy a fierce glare and turned back to Mitchell, "And this is what? Your recruitment campaign?"
Mitchell shook his head, "Nah... working my way through the rosters. I've been working flat out with Major Lorne on collaring all civilians for a quick shooting test and and a rough and ready how to session. We need gate teams and fast."
"My turn, huh?"
"Yep," Cameron smiled.
Dean though smiled back and indicated with his head at the busy little bees. "You bring a replacement with you?"
Cam opened his mouth to reply, paused and grumbled, "Ah, no. Shit." Abruptly and belatedly covering his mouth with his hand, Cameron cursed, silently this time. The children 'Ooooooo'ed and laughed, and Winchester smiled, "They essentially live on a Marine base, Colonel. I wouldn't worry too much."
Nonetheless, Cameron berated himself for cursing in front of kids, fully aware that his mother would not be impressed with him. And as usual, thoughts on his parents, their farm and unknown situation back on Earth sobered him up completely. Mitchell sighed, "I suppose I can catch you another time."
Dean shook his head, "Nope, I'm on back to back shifts for the next week. 303 overall now that we got the time. Why do you think we're prepping spare parts?"
Ah, yes. A mechanics work was never done in Combat Fleet with the constant need for repairs and refit. McKay's long lamenting rants about wear and tear and idiotic pilots who pushed their 303s too hard were only partly hyperbole. The Fleet might be short on pilots, but the 303s had been in constant use for months now – with no spare parts other than what the mechanic teams could salvage from 'dead' birds.
Before Cameron could make an alternate suggestion, Winchester shot a quick glance at the kids, mostly the boy next to him and said softly, "You guys up for a field trip? Escort duty?"
Always keen to get out of the nursery, all of the kids nodded quickly, eagerly. Cam hesitated though as a firing range was no place for a bunch of kids. Winchester though was already ahead of him, "Are O'Reilly and Manners on duty at the armoury? They won't mind watching 'em for a few minutes."
Cameron nodded. Given half a chance, both Marine Corporals would spend hours with the kids on Atlantis. And the kids loved those two big lugs with an enthusiasm that bordered the fanatical. In fact, at the mere mention of them all the kids were talking excitedly, already on their feet, eager to go.
"Hey, hey, hey... demi-minions! Form up, line up, grab your buddy," Dean ordered and instantly the kids did just that – noisily and loudly, but quickly. Dean stood stiffly, groaning and hauling Michael to his feet as well. Hoisting the toddler up onto his hip, Winchester walked over to the dangling infant and smiled, "Hey Katie, hows it hanging?"
Without warning, Dean handed Michael over to Cameron, who barely had a second to protest before he had an armful of silent kid. "Look after the Colonel, will you Mike? He needs a hug, with lots of grease."
The surprise of tiny, gentle arms wrapping around his neck, little legs tight around his chest, floored Cameron. Belatedly, he returned the hug, awkwardly patting the fragile, painfully thin back and shuddered at the sensation of soft hair tucked under his chin. "Friendly little guy..."
Dean nodded while he smiled at the happy baby, lifting the papoose down and draping the strap over his head. Tying the papoose in place expertly, Winchester sighed, "Regular little limpet, our Michael. The human leech. The great suckmonster."
"The kid-sized octopus!" the kids chorused along with Dean and Mitchell both felt and heard the giggle from the boy in his arms. "Kinda quiet though?" Mitchell semi-asked, settling his precious load into a more comfortable position and glancing at Winchester.
Dean was fussing over the baby, who was still happily kicking and burbling. Winchester shrugged, not returning the glance, "Eh, talking is over-rated sometimes. You ready? Mini-minions?"
Mitchell nodded, and the children echoed his movement. Two girls, hand in hand followed closely on Dean's heels as they left. The three boys, not really holding hands but clustered together trotted after them and Mitchell and Michael brought up the rear.
It was a strange parade slash patrol through the city, which thankfully garnered very few spectators. But judging by the admiring and impressed looks from the few ladies who hurried past, Cameron deemed it a fair trade off for the smirks from several guys from Logistics. By the time they reached the firing range and armoury, Michael had perked up and was watching everything with careful scrutiny. The other kids were full of energy and excitement and as O'Reilly stepped into view, the shrieks of delight nearly deafened Cameron.
All five kids charged O'Reilly, and the massive Marine dropped to his knees and swept them all into a huge hug, mock groaning at their collective weight. The shrieks reached ear bleeding levels when Manners hurried over and Mitchell winced, and stuck a finger in one ear. "Wow, we should totally weaponise that... gah!"
Katie, excited by the screams, was joining in, her little arms pumping up and down as she laughed. "Hey, hey, hey... knock it off, you banshees!" Dean yelled but it made little difference. Mitchell got Manners's attention and motioned for him to come over.
"Sir?" Manners grinned, both girls hanging off his arms like he was a living set of monkey bars.
"Corporal. Can you babysit while Winchester does his firearm test?"
Manners's grin was iridescent and O'Reilly was rolling on the floor mock wrestling with the boys, their ear-splitting shrieks of delight echoing through the room.
Shooting a look at Michael, Cameron smiled and said quietly, "You wanna go jump on Corporal O'Reilly, kiddo?" The little boy nodded and Mitchell put him down and he ran straight at the writhing pile of arms and legs. Cameron winced at the near miss as the little guy launched himself at the Marine, his legs and knees awfully close to very 'sensitive' areas.
Before the noise reached painful decibels again, Cameron motioned for Winchester to follow him into the firing range. Divested of Katie, who was once again hanging from a handy protuberance, still laughing at the excitement, Winchester followed him as directed.
The quiet of the firing range was a relief and Cameron couldn't help sighing. Ignoring Winchester's knowing smirk, Mitchell handed him safety goggles and earmuffs. "Ok, before we get stared – any experience with firearms?"
"Some," Winchester muttered, eyeing out the ear muffs with something akin to scepticism. Signing out one of the range's Berettas, Mitchell ran through a brief but thorough gun safety and handling explanation. Winchester seemed to be paying attention, but didn't look too interested. Mitchell kept talking, a steady stream about the correct stance, and watching for recoil, squeezing the trigger and not pulling. Eventually Mitchell deemed Winchester ready to take his test.
Cameron was certain that Dean had some experience with guns, and was downplaying his experience for some reason. He was probably worried about the questions that would arise and that they would be difficult ones to answer. But in all honesty, Cameron sure as hell didn't care, and most of the military people wouldn't either. The more people capable of assisting in a defence or firefight, the better.
Ammunition was in short supply, and the Marines already grumbling about having to use Wraith stunners and zats, so the firing range was reduced to using rubber bullets for practice sessions and now the qualifying tests. With the right backing the majority of the rubber bullets could be recovered and reused.
Handing Winchester the berretta, Mitchell raised an amused eyebrow as Dean confidently checked the chamber and rounds, and grimaced at the rubber bullets. "Whenever you're ready."
Mitchell settled his own earmuffs into place and motioned that he was ready. Dean gave him a two fingered salute and opened fire. At the other end of the range, the paper target fluttered with the rapid fire motion and in a matter of seconds, silence fell. Raising an eyebrow, Mitchell hit the switch to bring the paper towards them. Sheppard had told him late one night about the infighting that had gone on in Atlantis years ago when Engineering had set up the range. Half the scientists had wanted to design some fancy automated pulley system and the other half had wanted to set up an electronic simulation instead. In the end a handy Airforce Lieutenant and couple of enterprising Airmen had beat the squabbling Engineers to the punch. As a result Engineering refused to fix the system when it broke. So far, it hadn't broken.
As the paper wraith arrived, Cam whistled at the closely clustered hits, all centre mass. "Nice. Great. You passed. I'll add your name to the roster for Gate qualification."
Dean stared at the berretta and snorted, "Good luck with that. We done?"
"Yep, thanks for stopping by."
Winchester handed him the glasses and earmuffs and walked off, absently waving goodbye. Cam stared at the fake Wraith picture stuck on the paper target and neat little circle of hits in the middle of its chest. He couldn't quite put his finger on why Winchester's attitude and behaviour bothered him, but it did. Most men who were gun enthusiasts were happy to show off their skills. And Winchester didn't seem the common criminal type, and even a life of crime didn't guarantee any genuine ability with firearms. If Mitchell didn't know better, he'd say Winchester was hiding. Or hiding something.
Later that evening, after one all too brief a power nap, Cameron was going through the work rosters with Lorne identifying who still needed to be tested. The list of potential gate team members was encouraging, and they still had a good dozen or so people to test. "Don't forget the medical teams," Lorne muttered, as he disconsolately flipped through stacks of paper.
"Eh," Cameron sighed, "we're going to have problems with that. Lam is already on the warpath about staff shortages and Carson actually threatened to stab McKay with a needle if he tried poaching any more of his nurses for Engineering."
"Too much work, not enough hands. At least gate team duty is an adhoc shift – not a permanent roster. They can't complain..."
Mitchell interrupted Lorne with a handwave and laughed, "Oh, oh, one less shift in medical or engineering, or laundry and it means someone else has to pick it up. I'm telling you now, O'Neill is going to have to order people to release their staff if this gate team roster is going to work. Hey, make sure Sam Winchester is on your list, ok?"
Evan nodded, not looking up, and made a note on his list. "You flying CAP just now?" Cam shook his head, "Luckily not. Next Gamma shift. Is it a really such a good idea letting Ronon take Gate team potentials on a ten mile run? You know he's going to sneak some weird ambush shit into that run."
Shrugging, Lorne smirked, "It'll definitely weed out the skittish and nervous."
"And the people with weak bladders. We need people, Lorne, not rumours circulating about crazy Satedan hazing rituals," Cameron laughed. He was about to continue when he spotted Sheppard ambling past. "Hey, hey, Sheppard. Got a minute?"
Sheppard paused and did a 180, and sauntered into their cramped little office. "Shit, and I thought my office was small. Whats up?"
"Potential Gate team recruits. Hey, can you still hack McKay's work rosters?" Mitchell moved a few papers out of Sheppard's way, as John perched on the edge of the table. Sheppard shrugged, "Of course. Why? No, wait, I know. You're going to need to 'facilitate' some spare shifts. Count me in."
Mitchell beamed and tipped an imaginary hat, "Much obliged."
Lorne briefly looked up from his lists and asked, "Is there any point heading down for dinner?"
Sheppard shook his head, "Nope. Not unless you want mystery vegetables this time. Hell, Ronon didn't go back for seconds so you know it's bad." Mitchell and Lorne groaned and Sheppard grinned, "Hey, Cam. Why are there tiny handprints all over your back?"
Cam groaned, "Just because, ok? Just because."
AN: This was partly inspired by Ria Lucas's prompt for Dean to spend time with a kid. Ria, hope this came close, I know its not exactly what you wanted (but I am still going to tick it as filled, ok?) The other part inspiration for this vignette was Stormageddon, Dark Lord of All.