?

Log in

Minion of the Universe

Previous Entry Share Next Entry
07:43 pm: Fic: In the Zone, SGA fusion, R
Title: In the Zone
Author: Littera Abactor
Fandom: SGA (fusionish)
Rating: R
Pairing: Multiple
A/N: This is for svmadelyn's 13 Challenge. I guess you could call this Chapter 1/?, but it's complete as it stands. Unbeta-read; I mean, it's a 48-hour challenge, so we have to make these sacrifices in the name of speed, right?


Teyla screamed from somewhere behind him - "Down, Colonel, down!" - and John threw himself down even though he knew it was too late. You don't hear the one that has your name on it, they always said, but that was a lie: he could hear it whistling, almost screaming, and he saw a bright flash of light just before the whole world went dark.

He woke up to pain and weakness and the same screaming and a different kind of light, and then it all made sense. He forced his gummy eyes open. They focused, reluctantly, on someone he didn't know. She was washing his arm.

John grabbed her. "Your baby's going to die in a fire," he said. "Get back to your quarters, your baby's going to die in a fire."

She screamed and dropped the cloth she'd been using. "John - Colonel Sheppard, I mean. Um. I, um, let me get Dr. Beckett."

He could feel her shaking, but he wouldn't, couldn't let go of her arm. "Her name is Elaine and she's fourteen months old and the babysitter is sick and your quarters are going to catch on fire. Go, go home, go now."

She stared at him, eyes wide, and then tapped on her radio. "Emergency, emergency, emergency. Go to corridor 2-R and check the status of the baby and teenager in 2-R214." She toggled the radio back off - and it looked different, John noticed, a little bigger but somehow sleeker - and then shook herself and reached for the radio again. "Also, Dr. Beckett to Infirmary 2. Stat."

Beckett burst in a few minutes later, already calling, "Carla, did something happen to -" and then his eyes focused on John. "John. My god, my god, I - welcome back, John, welcome back. Let me, let me check you over."

Beckett's hair had some gray in it that John didn't remember, and oh fuck. "How long?" he asked.

Beckett looked up at him for a second, and then his eyes slid to the side. "Don't even try it," John said, and damn, his throat hurt.

"A bit," Beckett said.

"How long, Carson?"

Beckett said, quietly, and the medical authority was back in his voice, "John. You've been unconscious for quite a while. Lie there and let me check your vitals and then I'll tell you." He ruined it by turning his eyes back on John's face like he'd seen a miracle.

And then he raised his hand to open John's - John looked down - his hospital gown, and his hand brushed John's chest, and --

The woman is walking down some street carrying a string bag of vegetables - vegetables, hell, it's all cabbage, four cabbages. She stops at a corner - a corner with a funny-looking traffic light - and an old man calls out from a park bench, "How are you then, Mrs. Beckett?"

"Good morning to you, Mr. Soames," she says, smiling; her face is crinkled and kind, but John suspects the smile is forced. "I'm quite all right."

"Still no word, then?"

"No word, but he said it'd be a while. Carson is fine," she said firmly. "Carson is fine."


"Your mother," John told Beckett, kind of laughing because it was funny, kind of not because every part of him was starting to hurt, "what the hell does she do with all that cabbage?" And Beckett dropped the stethoscope and said something in a language John didn't speak.

~

Beckett ordered any number of scans - they'd really upped the Ancient tech in the infirmary since John's last visit here. The last visit he remembered, anyway. And he'd touched a few more people, and every time it was like getting kicked in the head by someone else's life.

In between the visions, John slept, constantly exhausted, but it wasn't very restful; people kept poking him to make sure he could still wake up. He tried to focus, tried to find out what the hell was going on, but he had a feeling he'd know if it really mattered, and he was so damn tired.

And then Beckett came to see John in the little room where he'd woken up - and what the hell? The infirmary didn't have rooms - and said, very gently, "John, we need to talk."

"How's Elaine?" John had been worrying about that. It was still so vivid; the girl on the couch, moaning and crying, holding her stomach, almost unconscious, and the smoke and the heat and the baby screaming from the back room.

"She's fine," Beckett said. "Security got there just as the fire started. The sitter had appendicitis, but she's going to be fine, too." He looked uncomfortable. "Now, I'm sure you're wondering what happened."

"Actually, I've got a pretty good idea. I got hit during that last mission, I was hurt, I've been out for a while - years, right? - and now I'm having freaky visions."

"Uh, right." Beckett smiled at him a little shakily, so not everything had changed; he still appreciated having someone else break the bad news.

"How many years?" John asked, trying to sound like it didn't matter.

"Seven, John. You've been unconscious seven years. We tried - we tried so many things to bring you back, and we thought they were working, but -" He broke off. "Well, obviously they were working, just not quite, not quite as I'd expected." So that wasn't the whole story; John could see in his eyes that there was still bad news to break.

"Seriously, Carson, just tell me."

"I think - I think you may be having these, er, episodes, the episodes that occur when, er, upon contact with other people - I think some of the Ancient tech we tried, er." Beckett took a deep breath. "Your brain scans are strange, John. You've got intense activity in parts of the brain that usually see only minimal use, including one area that is generally - well, almost a dead zone. I suspect that the Ancient tech may have repaired your brain by re-routing around damaged neural sectors, and in the process, it may have activated this dead zone. And so you're having episodes."

John raised a shaky hand to his face. "The stuff I've seen. Is it - am I crazy? Or am I just, just seeing the future?"

"It's all been true. What you've told us, that's been true." Beckett looked hideously uncomfortable already, and John could tell he wasn't going to say anything using the words "psychic" or "clairvoyant" or "seeing the future."

"Great." John took a deep breath and tried to focus. "So. What now?"

Beckett brightened. "Now there are some people who are quite eager to see you." He rose and opened the door and before John could stop him, he was ushering in -

Teyla. She was still beautiful, Christ. But older, now; soft lines on her face, her hair cut short and close to her head. She was wearing looser clothes, too - a sweater over some kind of leather dress.

Ronon. His hair was shorter and tamer, and he was wearing jeans and a turtleneck shirt. It was hallucinatory; he looked like a grad student from some campus back east. But he still moved with the same intense grace, and his eyes still snapped to John and stayed there.

Elizabeth. Older, definitely older; seven years had changed her quite a bit more than the others. There was a lot of gray in her hair, now, and a lot more lines on her face. Tears in her eyes, too, and John didn't think he could stand to see anyone cry, so he jerked his eyes to the last person walking into the room.

Rodney. And Rodney - Rodney hadn't changed, not that much. Less hair. A little more weight, especially around his waist. But he was still wearing science team blue and still carrying a cup of coffee, and John wanted to hug him.

Of course, he couldn't; getting out of bed was quite the production these days.

"John," Elizabeth said, and her voice broke. "John, god, we've been - we thought - and she was crying, and Rodney was pushing her out of the way, pushing her behind him. Which meant Rodney had changed, changed quite a lot, to pick up on John's discomfort and try to fix it.

"John," Teyla said, just the single word.

Ronon stepped forward. "Colonel," he said. "Welcome back."

"Jesus, John" Rodney said. "You look like shit."

~

The visits over the next few days were agonizing. Rodney came first and oftenest and stayed longest, talking about his work, and about how he hadn't been off-world in forever, and about how they were still rounding up all the idiots of earth specially to send them to Atlantis ("And I tell them - 'you know, we have the Wraith, we don't need a plague of idiots,' but they think I'm kidding. Kidding!"). He mentioned a few of the changes - Lorne was military commander, now, Ronon in charge of Atlantis internal security ("They call him the Sheriff, now. Well, the military guys call him sir, but we call him the Sheriff.") - but he wouldn't talk about them much at all. When John asked, Rodney said only, "They'll be by."

And then Elizabeth came with forms for him to sign. "We want to keep you here, John, but the military wants to take you back to earth. You can probably get more specialized medical care there, I feel I should tell you." And John pictured it - all the crowds of earth, the streets where it was impossible to walk without touching people, all the stories he'd see and hear, the freak he'd be if anyone found out - and signed the papers without hesitation. Suddenly, he was John Sheppard, Lt. Col. (ret), with a pension and quarters somewhere on Atlantis that he might see someday, and not a hell of a lot to do.

And then Teyla and Ronon came, together, and John recognized their walks and stance only too well: they were entering a potentially dangerous situation, guarding each other's sixes. They sat tensely in chairs next to John's bed, spoke intensely, short and to the point. "You have a son," Teyla said. "I bore him nine months to the day after the mission to P33-717." John remembered that, and it felt like a lifetime ago and last night at the same time: the mission had been abortive - two hours on a newly Wraith-killed, empty planet - and John had returned wanting to kill something. Anything. He and Teyla had sparred with the sticks, then fought hand to hand, and then fucked on the floor of the gym.

"We're married," Ronon said.

John stared at him. Ronon held up his right hand, which had a carved wooden ring around the third finger. "We were told there was no chance you would return." He shrugged, winced, and visibly shook himself into a slightly more relaxed position.

John remembered Ronon, too - kissing him in corridors and jerking each other off in hidden corners of Atlantis, the desperation and intensity of each time making the next one inevitable.

"Congratulations," John said, helplessly, and his voice broke, and he hated himself. But, Jesus, why had they bothered to keep him alive, why had he come back? His life was finished and over and done - his child belonged to someone else, Teyla and Ronon married, Lorne the military commander of Atlantis now and doing a great job, and anyway, John was a civilian now. Nothing to do, nothing to fly, no one who needed him - what the fuck was he doing here?

He squeezed his eyes shut and thought hard about nothing at all, and pretended he didn't notice when Teyla and Ronon left.

~end~

Note: Don't recognize the fusion? Lost, confused, out of sorts, depressed? I suggest you read the intro to this. (And, hey, while you're there, read the story, too.)

Tags: , ,

Comments

[User Picture]
From:basingstoke
Date:April 15th, 2006 02:45 am (UTC)
(Link)
Ow. Nice. And ow.
[User Picture]
From:littera_abactor
Date:April 15th, 2006 04:28 am (UTC)
(Link)
It will not be ouchy, I swear. I am happy endings girl. But, yeah, I wasn't quite aware of how much of a downer the opening of Dead Zone is if a) you know and love the characters already and b) it isn't followed up with wacky psychic hijinks.

So my next mission is: wacky psychic hijinks.
[User Picture]
From:abbylee
Date:April 15th, 2006 02:46 am (UTC)
(Link)
Well, damn, that was depressing. But god, I love Rodney.
[User Picture]
From:littera_abactor
Date:April 15th, 2006 04:30 am (UTC)
(Link)
Um. Yeah. Upon reflection, the opening of Dead Zone is kind of a downer. But he gets better!

And Rodney is always love, of course.
[User Picture]
From:fanofall
Date:April 15th, 2006 02:52 am (UTC)
(Link)
I love it SO MUCH. And, honestly, doesn't the premise of Dead Zone make so much more sense when you can blame it on the Ancients and their crazy toys?
[User Picture]
From:littera_abactor
Date:April 15th, 2006 04:32 am (UTC)
(Link)
Thank you. And, yeah, it really, really does. God bless those Ancients. I love 'em. I mean, I mostly fear them, but I also love them.

[User Picture]
From:fanofall
Date:April 16th, 2009 05:00 am (UTC)
(Link)
I came and reread this serendipitously three years to the day after I read it the first time. God, I still love this.

Edited at 2009-04-16 05:03 am (UTC)
[User Picture]
From:dine
Date:April 15th, 2006 02:55 am (UTC)
(Link)
oh wow - and boy, OW. this is wonderful - there's so much still to be disclosed about what's happened in those 7 years for everyone, and it ended in such a hurty place, but I'm massively curious about what'll happen next (my vote for more if you're so inspired)
[User Picture]
From:littera_abactor
Date:April 15th, 2006 04:35 am (UTC)
(Link)
Thank you!

*thinks*

I really am inspired. Suddenly I can see how the next installment will go. It's just - I don't do works in progress, because I know me and my odds of finishing anything. So I'm trying to figure out if it's a good idea to do more even if I never actually finish it.
[User Picture]
From:norah
Date:April 15th, 2006 03:02 am (UTC)
(Link)
Oh my god, more please! Can Rodney comfort him? Badly and eventually sexually? Yes, I also 'ship Bruce/Johnny, in case you wondered...

*mwah*

I miss you. Dates in May forthcoming shortly - there is some uncertainty, but I will let you know as soon as I do.
[User Picture]
From:littera_abactor
Date:April 15th, 2006 04:41 am (UTC)
(Link)
Well, naturally there will be Rodney comfort. (I also enjoy the Bruce/Johnny. DZ is one of my Any Pairing Will Do Me fandoms, at least thus far.)

*hugs fiercely*

I miss you, too. Lemme know 'bout May; so far, the month is looking fairly clear. Plus, hey - if you do any random click-browsing, can you keep an eye out for a suitable maternal gift? You're better at finding presents for my family than I am.
[User Picture]
From:norah
Date:April 15th, 2006 09:04 am (UTC)
(Link)
Yet more evidence that you and I were switched at birth! My mother was ALSO born in May. *eerie music* What has your mum liked in the past? Perhaps a CAN OF CHILI???!!

*ev0l*

*hugs tight*
[User Picture]
From:brown_betty
Date:April 15th, 2006 03:53 am (UTC)
(Link)
;sdlfjskd!! This is a beginning that definitely hooks. You tease with so many threads that one can see disappearing into the distance and I really want to know what happens to them. This is good storytelling.
[User Picture]
From:littera_abactor
Date:April 15th, 2006 04:46 am (UTC)
(Link)
Thank you! *beams*

(Oh, um, btw. I've been doing your feedback challenge pretty faithfully, but I can't find the entry where I should notify you. Still, five vid fbs and five fic fbs so far, which for me is *excellent*. And the vid ones were detailed! Many paragraphs! *is proud*)
[User Picture]
From:brown_betty
Date:April 15th, 2006 05:12 am (UTC)
(Link)
Yay! I'm glad I was inspiring. If you want to claim fic, the entry's here.
[User Picture]
From:celli
Date:April 15th, 2006 04:34 am (UTC)
(Link)
Oh wow. Oh, wow. This rocks.
[User Picture]
From:littera_abactor
Date:April 15th, 2006 04:47 am (UTC)
(Link)
Thank you!

*delighted*
[User Picture]
From:marici
Date:April 15th, 2006 05:22 am (UTC)
(Link)
Hijinks to come? Thank goodness! Also, I laugh at the Rodney-centric fandom: you've set up the threesome, I wanna see it! (OK, adding Rodney too would be great, but c'mon, John loves both of them, they both love John, this should be a no-brainer) Besides, John would be happy to give up seven years of his for the ability to see the future and save lives. He's been willing to give up every last day left for less. I only wonder -- touch prognostication is pretty useful in a cop story because you get near everything, but how's it going to work versus the Wraith? Will he be on the same channel as Teyla now? Is this only going to be useful for stuff like telling who's a scheming Genii underneath? At least he doesn't have to hide the coming apocalypse from the people around him -- they all know they're screwed. Oh, and so you have more than my distracted ravings, have you read Martha Wilson's Retrograde series yet? It's great, stars both SG1 and Atlantis people, long, plotty, and fills my bulletproof kink: every major and most minor characters were intelligent and capable.
[User Picture]
From:littera_abactor
Date:April 15th, 2006 06:08 am (UTC)
(Link)
Also, I laugh at the Rodney-centric fandom: you've set up the threesome, I wanna see it! (OK, adding Rodney too would be great, but c'mon, John loves both of them, they both love John, this should be a no-brainer)

See, that's my reasoning with DZ - a threesome is inevitable (if Johnny doesn't hook up with Bruce) - and this despite the fact that Walt didn't know Johnny before the coma. But I have a harder time picturing a threesome here. Yeah, it's partly my OTPness - I don't have one in DZ, but I do in SGA - but, also, it just doesn't seem as in character for any of the three of them to me, and it doesn't seem to have the narrative imperative that it does in DZ.

And initially I thought Rodney would be married to Teyla - I wrote that, then realized Ronon was much (so very much) closer to the Walt type than Rodney, and wrote what you see here. (So it's not just Rodney-centricness, is what I'm saying; if it had been Rodney married to Teyla, it would've been Ronon hooking up with John, I think.)

Oh, and so you have more than my distracted ravings

I didn't think they were ravings; I thought they were great. It's just, there's no way to respond to them without spoiling the story. Plus, once I tell the story, no matter how I tell it, I'm even less likely to finish it. So I found them fascinating, but I can't respond to them. Yet.

have you read Martha Wilson's Retrograde series yet? It's great, stars both SG1 and Atlantis people, long, plotty, and fills my bulletproof kink: every major and most minor characters were intelligent and capable.

Oh my lord yes. I have a deep and abiding love for her stuff, in both her fandoms. She's wonderful.
[User Picture]
From:delurker
Date:April 15th, 2006 01:57 pm (UTC)
(Link)
You had me at the third paragraph. Eee!
(Although, ouch at the end! It's a good thing this has a sequel, if only in the abstract.)
[User Picture]
From:thefourthvine
Date:April 16th, 2006 07:11 am (UTC)
(Link)
Thank you!

It's a good thing this has a sequel, if only in the abstract.

See, yeah. It's the (possibly only theoretical) sequel that makes this, well, not sad. At least, in my mind. (And the sequel isn't just theoretical at this point, as there are about 4k words in it so far. Of course, I get that far way, way more often than I get to the point of actually posting, so.)
[User Picture]
From:sp23
Date:April 15th, 2006 06:18 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I love The Dead Zone book and tv show (I don't remember if I've seen the movie, probably), and this looks to be a terrific AU using that premise.

Also: "Jesus, John" Rodney said. "You look like shit."

God, perfect Rodney voice.

Looking forward to more.
[User Picture]
From:miss_porcupine
Date:April 15th, 2006 06:53 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I didn't get the references -- my King phase didn't include the book, I missed the movie, and don't watch TV except for isolated incidents -- but read anyway because, well, you.

And it was good. It was very good. Because John's experiences are always so much about the "life sucks and then you die... except when you don't die, in which case there's a shitload of explaining to do". And if Atlantis gave him a purpose when he had none, then this... this will be good. I await more.
[User Picture]
From:auburnnothenna
Date:April 15th, 2006 09:32 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Listen, you can't leave it there like that (God, John!) or I'll hate you forever until your next fic which has to fix this. You've also reduced me to run on babbling.

I don't know if it's a compliment to your writing or a sign that I have read too much Stephen King, but I knew the fusion as soon as he said, "Your baby's going to die in a fire," he said. "Get back to your quarters, your baby's going to die in a fire."

Really well done.
[User Picture]
From:zee
Date:April 17th, 2006 06:45 am (UTC)
(Link)
Haha, yeah, I did a doubletake on the baby-in-the-fire line, too. Isn't King's baby also named Elaine? I'm enamoured of this fusion, Littera, particularly since I've been unable to find much DZ fic out there! I'm not much for the series, but the book and the concept are just so awesome. Throw in SGA and it's all sublime. Shitty for John. Happy place for us.

Hope you continue with it!
[User Picture]
From:akacat
Date:April 15th, 2006 10:07 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Very cool!

I hope Rodney gets his man.

And yay! for retired Lt.Col.s getting to stay on Atlantis.
[User Picture]
From:terrio
Date:April 16th, 2006 03:22 am (UTC)
(Link)
Oh, wow. This was wonderful and amazing and I really hope you write more.
[User Picture]
From:svmadelyn
Date:April 17th, 2006 05:02 am (UTC)
(Link)
Oh that was so cool. I feel like there's this vast conspiracy to make me want to watch Dead Zone.

*shakes fist at you!* (And yeah, I'd love to see more too.)
[User Picture]
From:miriad
Date:April 17th, 2006 07:57 am (UTC)
(Link)
Okay, see, I love that John was with Teyla- you set that up well. And the Ronon thing too. But somehow I see him ending up with Rodney, at least I want him to, because I see Rodney as the only one who could possibly get John in his current state or at least not be weirded out in the same way that I can see other people being.

Maybe it's just the McShep shipper in me but that's what I felt at the end of this.

Which is, by the way, awesome! I love it and am looking forward to the wacky psychic hijinks!
[User Picture]
From:wychwood
Date:April 17th, 2006 10:18 am (UTC)
(Link)
Oh, wow. I... seriously want more of this, now. Just - oh, John.
[User Picture]
From:ceares
Date:April 17th, 2006 02:40 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Oh this was good! Dare I hope there will be more?
[User Picture]
From:mecurtin
Date:April 17th, 2006 03:34 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Nothing to do, nothing to fly, no one who needed him

John you idiot! How can that last be true while Rodney is alive?!? *bops his brain-damaged head*
[User Picture]
From:cesperanza
Date:April 17th, 2006 08:57 pm (UTC)
(Link)
*spits coffee all over the laptop* damn you, damn you! Brilliant! Hilarious!
[User Picture]
From:delwyncole
Date:April 18th, 2006 03:43 am (UTC)
(Link)
Fabulous. I know and love The Dead Zone, so I'm sure that we'll get much fluffier things before you're done. I adored the small changes in everyone.
[User Picture]
From:sherrold
Date:April 19th, 2006 12:09 am (UTC)
(Link)
Oh, I love this! Deeply cool xover idea (as usual, one that never would have occured to me, but now I adored it) and I would love to see more! (And honestly, I almost never say that because I think it's rude to push authors, but ooh, this is such a wonderful concept!)
[User Picture]
From:lillian13
Date:April 26th, 2006 06:16 pm (UTC)
(Link)
You know, now that there's a fusion/slash challenge on mckay_sheppard, you have no excuse not to write at least one more chapter....please do! This has so much angst potential, though I could do without the serial killers!
[User Picture]
From:raveninthewind
Date:April 29th, 2006 08:07 am (UTC)
(Link)
::claps in delight::

I love this fusion! You did a great job drawing the emotions in just a few lines.
[User Picture]
From:jcalanthe
Date:July 1st, 2006 01:55 am (UTC)
(Link)
This is awesome! Poor John, I hope there's wacky psychic hijinks soon to distract him from all that's changed. There's always Rodney to comfort him. ;)
[User Picture]
From:farwing
Date:July 16th, 2006 01:06 pm (UTC)
(Link)
This is awesome! Is there more?
[User Picture]
From:zebra363
Date:July 16th, 2006 01:52 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Hi, here via norah's rec today. I've just started watching Dead Zone and really liked what you did with this. Great descriptions of everyone getting older, and nice brief John/Teyla and John/Ronon backstory.

I thought you only did funny — glad to be wrong!)
[User Picture]
From:ratcreature
Date:July 29th, 2006 10:13 am (UTC)
(Link)
I've just reread this and noticed that I didn't comment the first time. It's a great fusiion of the DZ concept with SGA, they really fit together. Even the second time it still makes me feel just as sad for poor John, especially since it stops at such a bleak point.
[User Picture]
From:loriel_eris
Date:August 13th, 2008 09:43 am (UTC)
(Link)
Oh god, poor John. *sniff* And the team so fractured! *meep*
Powered by LiveJournal.com