Title: My Wish For You
Author: Keira Marcos
Banner Art: FanArts Series
Series: What Might Have Been
Series Order: 8
Summary: John and Rodney adjust to Sebastian in their family while the situation at the SGC becomes dangerous for gene carriers, the NID takes a very nasty turn, and the world welcomes to the Phoenix.
Warnings: Explicit language and sex, secondary relationships, and a field trip into outer space for one very snarky kid
Categories: Slash, Established Relationship, Alternate Universe, Contemporary, some Crossover (I borrowed some characters from Numb3rs).
Disclaimer: No copyright infringement intended, seriously. I don’t own them. I don’t pretend to. This is just for fun. Don’t sue me—it would be a waste of your money. But, hey, these words are mine so don’t steal them and say they are yours.
– – – –
“Okay, spread your legs a little.” John rested his chin on McKay’s shoulder and let his hands drift down to his hips. “Good.”
“If this is how you conduct target practice with your men… I’m really beginning to understand why they like you so much.” Rodney sucked in a breath when John laughed softly in his ear. “Seriously, you’re going to have to back off or I’m just going to jump right to the part where I talk you into sex.”
“Remember, it’s all geometry.” John drifted to his side and ran one hand down the length of Rodney’s outstretched arm. “The gun is just an extension of your hand.”
“No, a gun is an extension of your hand not mine.” Rodney glared down at the target. “And this was much more interesting on the island.”
“Yeah, well I’m not going to go the grocery store to buy you coconuts to massacre on the gun range.”
“They were good practice… like little heads… I spent most of the time picturing they were Maybourne. It was therapeutic,” Rodney muttered, and then forced himself to take the stance John had taught him. “How often do I have to do this anyway?”
“Daily until you’re a better shot—and once a week thereafter.”
“It’s not really fair.”
“You shouldn’t have picked up a gun in this house,” John responded carefully. He only stared when Rodney’s gaze jerked to his. “You were going to use my gun, Mer. Don’t think I’ll ever let that go.”
Rodney focused on the target again. “How many times do I have to apologize for that?”
“I’ve forgiven, Rodney, but I’m not going to ever forget.”
“Okay.” He understood. “It was much easier to hold this thing when I was drunk.”
“I know.” John shifted behind him again. “Now, take your first shot – and remember when you pick up a weapon you have to be prepared to use it. You have to be prepared to kill with it.”
– – – –
It was obviously a potential problem. Sebastian stared at Quark and the cat-thing was doing his best to intimidate the child into life-long obedience. The kid crossed his arms and glared. “You know, I’m not above pretending to be allergic to you.”
Quark shot the kid a look that clearly said he wasn’t worried and then swiped out a paw to smack at his naked toes.
“That’s right. Sniffles, puffy eyes, and begging for allergy medicine every time you come into the room. I’m their kid, you know. You’re just a cat-thing that’s probably not alien.”
Quark strolled along the side of the bed and sat down beside Sebastian stared him right in the eye.
“We can agree to get along. I’ll sneak you bacon from the table, not let the dogs chase you all over the house, and let you hide under my bed when company comes over. OR we can draw a line in the sand and see who comes out on top.” Sebastian lifted an eyebrow.
Quark smacked him on the arm, claws carefully withdrawn, and crawled into his lap.
“Okay then.” Sebastian hesitantly petted the cat’s head. “You realize you weigh a ton, right?”
Quark rolled over on his back and smacked him again for the insult.
Twenty minutes later, he was trudging down the steps dodging Zuri who had immediately decided that it was her duty to follow him around the house, and pulling on a t-shirt that proudly stated that ‘I’d rather be a smartass than a dumbass’. He figured he’d never get to wear it out of the house but the fun was watching his Dads glare at each other trying to determine which one of them bought it so they could be either be irate or defensive.
It took two seconds for them to decide appropriate roles for the discussion.
“It’s not like it’s not true,” Rodney leaned against the counter and sipped from his coffee cup. “Who’d want to be a dumbass?”
John rolled his eyes and checked his watch. “Don’t burn my pop tarts. You can’t wear that shirt to the mountain so if you expect to go with me to work….”
Sebastian sighed. “Breakfast first?”
– – – –
“Nervous?” John asked.
“Well, no not really. I mean… Granddad is his boss right?”
John chuckled. “Yeah, technically.”
“Are you nervous?” Sebastian asked.
John frowned. “Why?”
“Dad, this is the first time you’ve been back to work in the mountain, since the Wraith feeding stuff got put on TV. I heard you guys talking this morning. Rice Crispies don’t snap, crackle, and pop that loud.”
John pulled his SUV into his assigned parking spot in the underground garage and nodded. “Okay, so maybe a little. Also, all in all I’ve been out of the loop for about two months between the forced off planet vacation and then the lecture tour. There will be new faces, a lot of people who joined the program just to help search for me.”
“It’s cool. I mean you’ve had it rough. Kidnapping, torture on TV, marriage proposals and warrior bonding rings on Larry King, and a kid just dropping out of thin air and into your lap.” He grinned and lifted an eye brow. “So, I think people will probably cut you some slack.”
– – – –
Sebastian had thought his father was a relaxed person, but the moment they’d entered the mountain he realized he’d only ever seen one side of him. He’d met twenty people before they even got near his Dad’s office. Filing away faces and names was easy to do, he’d memorized rank insignia. After he’d gotten a computer he went online and, learned what all the ribbons meant because he hated to appear ignorant of a subject. The women smiled at him more, and the men looked him in the eye when introduced. He wondered what they thought of him—if they all thought he looked like his father.
“Sebastian, this is Lt. Harold Simmons—he’s my executive officer. His number is in your phone to call for emergencies. If I’m in the mountain, it’s his job to know exactly where I am. Harold, this is my son Sebastian.”
Harold offered a hand in greeting and a warm smile. “Sebastian. It’s a pleasure.”
“Sir.” He raised one eyebrow. “So, you’re like the Air Force version of Sean?”
Harold nodded. “Yes, I actually coordinate with Mr. Taylor on a regular basis concerning schedules.”
John shifted through the messages in his in-box. “Is the General in?”
“Yes, he just returned from visiting his wife in the infirmary.”
“How are the babies?”
“Quite good, a little underweight but we were told to expect that because there were two. I heard she named the little girl Meredith and the boy Jacob.”
John smirked. “Yeah, I told McKay. He’s torn between being flattered and being horrified.” He picked up several files. “I’ll want personnel files on all new bodies in the building, no exceptions. Are there any teams off-world?”
“No, sir. Colonel Mitchell made sure everyone would be on hand for your return to work today.”
“Good. Assembly at 1100 hours in the main gym. Sparring at 1300 hours—all the new people front and center.”
“Yes, sir.” He stepped back from his desk. “Coffee? Soda?”
“No, I’m thoroughly caffeinated. Water would be good. Two bottles.” He shot Sebastian a look. “You had two cokes with breakfast. Don’t think I didn’t notice. One caffeine addict in my house is enough.”
“Two.” Sebastian raised an eyebrow. “Sean practically main-lines coffee.”
John pushed into his office and pointed to a chair. “Sit and give me thirty to get caught up on today’s schedule.”
Sebastian dropped into a chair and pulled out his Kindle. He allowed himself to be quickly drawn in the Eragon and didn’t notice when the door beside him opened.
“Yeah,” he nodded and then looked up. “Hi.”
“Hi.” The man offered his hand. “Lt. General Jack O’Neill. I’d tell you that you can call me Jack but your dad would never allow it. So we can stick with General O’Neill in front of him at least.”
Sebastian grinned. “I got that lecture in the car, sir. And congratulations on your promotion. I watched a replay of it this morning on TV. Is the President nice or does he just act like it?”
Jack grinned. “He’s an interesting man. What are you reading?”
“Good book. Book two is better.”
“I have Eldest, too. I’m behind on my fiction reading list which sucks because I can’t start the Harry Potter series until I finish this and Lord of the Rings.” He closed the ebook reader and shoved it into his backpack. “Dad says I shouldn’t even be reading Eragon until after I’ve read Lord of the Rings and the Dragonriders of Pern.”
“Yeah, but I want to watch the Eragon movie and I have rules about watching movies before I read the books that they come from.” He glanced at his father who was watching the exchange with amusement. “You can let someone ruin a movie for you—but nothing should ruin the end of a book.”
Jack smiled. “You get tired of your Dads you can come live with me and my wife.”
“And your two babies?”
Jack chuckled. “Yeah. Christ. They’ll be the death of me.” He strolled to John’s desk and sat down in a chair in front of him. “I’ve got some disturbing news and some news that will make your head explode. Which do you want first?”
“Disturbing news—Maybourne retired and was immediately appointed to the head of NID.”
John frowned because he figured that should be the ‘head exploding’ news. “That is…” He glanced towards Sebastian. “Yes, very disturbing.”
“Is that the jerk-off who released the Wraith tape?” Sebastian asked.
Jack snorted and then laughed. “Wow.”
“Sebastian.” John pressed his lips together to keep from smiling. “Language. Where did you hear that?”
“Jerk-off? I learned that in the first grade. The Wraith thing? I heard you and Dad talking about it this morning. His voice carries when he’s pissed.”
“It sure does.” Jack agreed with a laugh. “I’ve had this facility to go to Situation Red just because he lost his temper in the lab.”
“So, what’s the head-exploding news? Because frankly—the Maybourne thing may do it.”
“Maybourne as expressed interest in getting…” Jack sighed. “Sebastian why don’t you go ask Lt. Simmons to get me a cup of coffee?”
John watched him leave and then raised an eyebrow. “Can you come by the house and teach us that because he didn’t even snark back?”
“It’s a Sheppard trait—he knows when to seek cover.” Jack sighed. “Listen, I’m about to say something really fucked up.”
“Sebastian’s DNA results that Keller sent back to the SGC for Lam was filtered down to the genetics department. There the information was passed onto NID. Maybourne has requested a full review of your genome and is trying to compel the State Department…” Jack colored. “Damn it, John, they want sperm from me, you, Major Lorne, and Matthew.”
“Look, you produced a child who has a gene that is as fucking pure as yours. Lam and Keller are handling the blood work on the twins personally and they’ve promised to destroy the results. We know… look Sam and I weren’t trying to have kids. It was the last thing on our plate and we were pretty sure she was close to menopause. Then, she’s pregnant and it’s twins. Which do not run in either of our families, by the way.”
“You’re saying someone slipped your wife fertility drugs.”
“We didn’t think so at first and frankly neither one of us wanted to say it out loud. Lam found the evidence in her hair samples. At least three times in the past ten months Sam was slipped a drug called clomid instead of the birth control shot she was supposed to be getting. We’re still trying to figure out how that happened.”
“And the FBI tried to keep Sebastian from me; the state of California buried his mother’s will, and sold off all of her stuff in an effort to…” He swallowed. “So, the babies—they have the gene.”
“Oh yeah.” Jack grimaced. “Meredith and Jacob have it in spades. Probably stronger than my own, maybe because Sam had the gene therapy years ago? God knows. They aren’t as strong as yours but it’s pretty close.”
“Do you think maybe it was NID all along hiding Sebastian and not the FBI?”
“Could be. Frankly, with your temper and your father’s connections—the Feds tread very carefully with your family these days.” Jack cleared his throat. “Guess we should be lucky the kid isn’t in puberty or they would have taken him and you would have never even known he existed.”
“You have to know sir, that I’ll gut them all before I’ll let them… I will not fork over my fucking DNA for them to breed gene carriers.”
“Yeah, that pretty much sums up my response to Maybourne this morning. He threatened to go to the President and apparently he has the backing of Senator Kinsey on the Senate Arm’s Committee.”
“I’ll make Keller fix it so I shoot blanks for the rest of my life first. We found more than one device on Atlantis for male contraception. And the for the record, I fathered Sebastian before the bug thing. Christ… do they have any idea what that might…”
“Oh, they are very interested in what the bug did to you all of a sudden. It’s no secret around here that you’re unnaturally strong and fast. I think Maybourne might have gotten a hold of information he shouldn’t have.”
“Even if we did agree… it’s useless. They would be children and they can’t fight the war we have coming.”
“They could if they used Go’uld technology to accelerate growth.”
John’s mouth tightened into a thin line. “Why don’t you and I visit the armory. I understand you’re a superior shot with a sniper rifle. Between the two of us we could take out half of them before they even knew what was going on.”
“If it comes down to it,” Jack murmured. “That’s exactly what we’ll do. I won’t let Maybourne get anywhere near my kids. We didn’t plan on them but they are here now and frankly the thought of losing another child has me practically homicidal.” He paused. “You had the gun talk, right?”
John closed his eyes. “Jesus. No.” He’d been too busy having the gun talk with McKay. Guilt pooled in his gut.
“John. Have the gun talk. You have entirely too much artillery in your house just to trust how smart he is.”
“Yeah, agreed.” John frowned. “Do I teach him how to handle weapons or threaten him with torture if he even looks at one?”
“Teach him. Don’t let him be ignorant of something that is in his own home. That was my mistake. I didn’t teach Charlie to respect guns; I just told him to never touch it… and God what eight year old listens to that?”
“Yeah, well, I really don’t give a fuck if John is getting bad…” Rodney pushed open the door and all but shoved Sebastian in ahead him. “Who the fuck did it, Jack?”
“We don’t know.”
“Well, I’m going to go fucking find out.” Rodney turned and looked at Sebastian. “I need to ask you a very personal question. So for the next thirty seconds you have to be a very grown up person and think like a scientist. Can you handle that?”
“Are you ejaculating when you masturbate?”
Sebastian’s mouth dropped open and he flushed. “What? Come on, Dad!”
“Scientists do not whine.”
He huffed a breath. “No.”
“Good, that is exactly the answer I expect you to give when anyone asks. And if anyone but me or your Dad asks you such a personal question—I expect you to yell pedophile and run. I don’t care who they are. Then you come tell your dad so he can kill them very hard.”
“Okay, I can handle that.”
“Good.” Rodney shot John a look. “I’m going to go find the asshole who reported his status to the NID and then I’m going to rip every single person on my staff a new asshole and see who else shakes loose. I’ll be downstairs if you need me.”
“Can I go?” Sebastian asked.
“No.” Rodney walked to the door. “I’m going to use language that I’d prefer you never hear.”
“Dad, I’ve heard you use every curse word there is.”
“I don’t plan to limit myself to just English,” Rodney snapped over his shoulder as he stalked away.
“Oh, seriously. I should go. He might need back up or something.”
John laughed weakly. “Your butt, in the seat, and get out your iPod.”
– – – –
The genetics lab was like a tomb when he entered. He figured because he’d saved them for last and he’d left people he actually admired and respected crying and sputtering in their native languages in his wake. Radek followed him in, the Czech, was the only person on duty who had been spared and that was because he’d called Rodney at home and told him what was going on.
“Good afternoon, people, it seems that I leave for a few weeks on a forced PR tour and I come back to find that the people who were hired by me, who work for me, who report to me… are actually reporting to NID. I’ve found six so far and I’m fairly certain there is at least one more.” He walked around the lab counters. “I already have Dr. Kusanagi hacking your computers and accessing your phone records—both work, cell phone, and home. I’m going to find you so it would be best if you just saved me some time.”
“How dare you violate our privacy like that. We have rights!”
“Ah, Dr. Sejourn.” Rodney actually smiled. “The rest of you are dismissed. Get the fuck out of my lab before I fire you for staring.”
They scampered out and Radek locked the door behind them.
“How long have you worked for the SGC, Dr. Sejourn?”
“Ah, well, maybe that’s the reason. Obviously, you’ve forgotten who you work for. We should get out your contract and go over the details.”
“I’m very aware of whom I work for, Dr. McKay and I’ve always followed instructions to the letter.” He glared at McKay.
“Who do you work for?”
“The United States government.”
“You work for Stargate Command and you have passed information that was marked Top Secret out of this facility. You’ve worked with the government for a long time—you know very well that not all security clearances are made the same.” He turned then and looked at the man. “You’ve committed an act of treason and I’m going to let the higher ups deal with that. You’ve also exposed my son to a threat – and that is something I’m going to deal with. If he suffers a single second for what you’ve done, I’m going to make you pay for it. It’s normally something that I would allow my Colonel to handle for me—but in your chase, Dr. Sejourn, I’m going to make an exception.” Rodney walked away from him. “As it stands, you should probably never turn on another vehicle as long as you live—when I worked for the CIA I favored car bombs.”
He left the room and walked away quickly. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d willingly admitted that he used to be CIA to anyone but John.
Radek followed and was silent until they reached his office. “Rodney.”
Radek chuckled. “He pissed his pants.”
Rodney laughed. “Christ, they all know my history. Why do they doubt what I’m capable of?”
“Because you let the Colonel fight your battles.”
“He wasn’t always here to fight my battles.”
“Yes, but they barely remember that,” Radek responded gently. “I’ll get with Miko and we’ll figure out if there are any more reporting to NID. We will get the list to General O’Neill immediately.”
“Yeah, have her pay special attention to the medical personnel. We can’t afford for someone to get close to Sam’s babies.”
Radek snorted. “Teal’c has been sitting outside of her private room since the news came this morning. People are avoiding the hall entirely.”
Rodney nodded and sat down in his desk.
“I understand that you can say ‘motherfucking’ in ten different languages.”
He looked up and laughed as his sister entered his office. “I’ve always liked saying it in German the most. It has such… power.”
“Boy, did I.”
– – – –
Sebastian jerked only slightly at the shouted command the moment he and his father appeared in the doorway of the gym.
“This is my son, Sebastian.”
“Good afternoon Sebastian!”
His eyes widened slightly at the immediate response from every single soldier in the room. Sebastian laughed a little. “Hi.”
“Airman Wilkes,” John snapped out. “Take my son upstairs.”
“Yes, sir.” Ian broke ranks and trotted to Sebastian. “Should I stay with him?”
“Yes.” John looked once more at Sebastian and then walked to stand in front of the men. “Good morning!”
“Good morning, sir!”
He let his gaze drift from face to face in the silence that followed. “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome, sir!”
“I understand the lot of you have made our badassness known to half this galaxy.”
“No?” John questioned with a small smile. “Then just how many people in this galaxy understand our badassness?”
“They all do, sir!”
“Is that so?” He strolled across the entire length of the room and then back to the center. “At ease.” The entire room flowed into parade rest, eyes straight forward. “I’ve been told that ninety-eight percent of you have reviewed mission file SGA1-43. By the end of the day I want that to be one hundred percent. I don’t care if you’re avoiding it out of fear or out of respect for my privacy. I have no privacy left on that issue. You need to know what’s coming and out of all the information we have—nothing says it more clearly than the video evidence of a Wraith sucking the life out of someone. Understood?”
“The General and I had a long conversation this morning concerning some news we’ve received from the NID. Many of you have already heard the news. What it boils down is that they want to grow children with ATA genes based on the fact that apparently both O’Neill and I can be counted on to produce children with the gene. This makes the children the General, and I already have vulnerable to a threat. The gene carriers in this room have already been briefed on what is being demanded of them. Trust me when I tell you that there is no way in hell I’m letting the NID or anyone else on this planet use us in such a fashion. I understand three artificial gene carriers on the base have produced children with natural ATA genes. As you can imagine, this news is disturbing on many levels. As of an hour ago, we’ve pulled all ATA gene therapy research from the hands of anyone outside the SGC, sent the doses we had on hand off-world to an undisclosed location, and as of this moment all gene carriers are restricted to base for your own safety. While our space is limited—we will make room for your families during this situation so please go make any phone calls you must. Dismissed.”
– – – –
Miko Kusanagi cleared her throat. “Yes, I have discovered all of the NID… spies? The list has been forwarded to Dr. McKay, General O’Neill, and Colonel Sheppard. I broke into Area 51 and pulled all gene therapy research from their system. For the record, they have shitty security and we should work on that later. NID had extensive files on the Sheppard family, General O’Neill, and Major Evan Lorne. I took them from every single computer system I could get access to. That doesn’t mean that they don’t have the information backed up to disc or on a system not hooked up to the Internet.” She smiled then. “However, the minute they put the disc into one of their computers—work or personal—the media storage will be destroyed.”
“You put a virus in the NID mainframe?” John asked sharing a look with Rodney. He noticed that Rodney looked like a proud parent while he stared at the little Japanese scientist.
“A virus is such a simple term.” Miko raised one eyebrow. “Think of it like a plague.” She looked down at her notes. “I’ve also removed files from Senator Kinsey’s computer—none of which he had security clearance to access. Mission files for Atlantis, personnel records from the SGC, and the health records of the President. I informed the Secret Service of Kinsey’s unhealthy interest in the President’s prostate. They were not amused.”
Jack O’Neill laughed in spite of himself. “You are one scary woman, Doctor.”
“Thank you.” She put her hair up by twisting on top of her head and shoving a pencil in as she worked through her notes. “Ah, yes, Senator Kinsey also had detailed files on Sebastian Sheppard. Dating back several months, long before Colonel Sheppard was told he had a son. I thought to look because he is the Senator for California and I had heard from Dr. McKay-Miller that there was some concern that the child was hidden.”
“Did you take those files?” John asked quietly.
“Yes, of course, and in punishment, I destroyed his entire home network. None of the computers in his house will ever function again.” She pulled a disc from her computer bag and slid it across the conference table. “There are records of everything—including the NID agent who posed as the FBI and threatened the child. I got his picture and his address so you could take care of him. You know, do that thing you do.”
John grinned. “Yes, I do know.” He picked up the disc and dropped it into his pocket. “What about the reproduction stuff?”
“I found lots of information on cloning, gene splicing, in vitro fertilization, and fertility drugs.” She flushed. “I did confirm that the NID drugged Dr. Carter.” She pulled out another disc and pushed it towards O’Neill. “They had an agent in the facility and they replaced her birth control shot with fertility drugs. She was a nurse and was transferred out as soon as the pregnancy was confirmed.”
Jack took the disc, his expression stony. “John, I think it’s time you and I get in some target practice.”
“We should make sure we have the full list first, sir. My father is in Washington raising six kinds of hell on the hill. He’ll return shortly.” John stood. “I need… I need to burn off some of this anger. Rodney, would you take Sebastian with you? I’d rather he not watch me spar today. I know he was looking forward to it—so is there anything in the lab that can distract him?”
“Oh yeah, I think I can come up with something. He’s with Ronon, right?”
“Yeah, they went to the mess to grab some lunch.”
– – – –
He was half-way to the gym when he was informed that both Maybourne and Senator Kinsey were in the building. John forced himself to not retrieve a weapon as he went back upstairs to the conference room and made himself at home in a chair at the end of the table.
“Colonel Sheppard.” Maybourne tossed a folder across the table at him. “Orders from the Pentagon to surrender a sperm sample and blood.”
John stared at it for a long minute and then looked toward Jack O’Neill who was staring at both men in silence. He watched a series of vicious thoughts crawl across his CO’s face and knew that if he left his chair with the intent of behaving badly that O’Neill would be so game.
“You don’t get to say no, John.” Harry Maybourne smiled. “We’re compelling your father as well.”
“My father?” John laughed. “You are out of your fucking mind if you think you can order my father to jack off in a fucking cup for you, Maybourne.”
They all jerked and stood as an internal alarm sounded – it was a lab emergency. John shoved his radio in and activated it. “What is going on?”
“We have shots fired. I repeat, we have shots fired.”
“Where?” John left the room at a dead run. “Goddamn it, Walter, where?”
“Section 4, third floor… it’s Dr. McKay’s lab sir.”
“Medical emergency. I need a full medical team in my lab, right now!” McKay’s voice filtered over the base PA like a bolt of lightening.
– – – –
“It’s going to be okay,” Rodney whispered. “It’s over Ian and you did a great job.” He pressed into the wound and looked briefly at Sebastian who was huddled against the wall beside them. “You did so well.”
“I know.” Rodney leaned down and pressed his lips to the kid’s forehead. “Christ, I know. They’re coming and it’s going to be okay.”
Ian shook his head. “No, you don’t come back from shit… fuck.” Ian’s head rolled on the floor, blood bubbled from his mouth, and he groaned.
“No. You’re not doing this, Ian. You are not fucking doing this!”
Sebastian scooted close and slid under Ian to support his head. “Hey, come on. You promised me that we could go to the skate park and we’d show Jimmy how to get shit done.”
Ian laughed weakly. “Language. You’ve got a mouth like a Marine.”
Jennifer pressed her radio as she rushed in the room. “I need an OR prepped stat!” She dropped her bag on the floor and jerked it open. “Can you hold his head?”
Sebastian nodded. “I got it.”
Jennifer jerked open an incubation kit and quickly pushed the tube down into Ian’s throat. “Okay, okay. How many holes, Rodney?”
“One.” Rodney pressed harder as blood rushed up between his fingers. “Christ, just this one. Hurry, Jennifer.”
Jennifer looked around the room. “Those two living?”
“No, and even if they were they don’t matter,” Rodney ground out through clenched teeth.
“Okay, back up and give my guys some room to transport him.”
Rodney slid away and took Sebastian with him. They rested back against the wall, covered in Ian’s blood and that’s the first thing John saw when he entered the room.
“We’re okay,” Rodney whispered as John slid around Keller and her team to get to them. “We’re okay. It’s not ours.”
John fell to his knees and jerked them both close. “What the fuck, Rodney?”
“They beamed into the room, John. They just beamed in.” Rodney fisted his hand into Sebastian’s shirt. “I activated the jammer I’ve been working on so they couldn’t take him.”
“Good. You did good.”
“He did awesome,” Sebastian whispered. “He shot them, Daddy.” He buried his face in John’s t-shirt. “He shot them both.”
John closed his eyes in shock. “Okay, let’s get you both out of here.”
– – – –
“Okay,” Jack pressed his lips together. “John, this is going to fuck with you but we can’t do anything about that.” He pressed play on the DVD remote.
Sebastian was laughing. “No, way. Come on, you can’t bend space like that—it’s silly.”
“Oh because you’re the astrophysist in the room?” Rodney asked, arms crossed eyes bright with amusement. “Prove me wrong, Einstein.”
Sebastian sighed. “Dad, you and I both know that I’m smarter than Einstein ever was. That’s just insulting.”
“Bah, as far as I’m concerned you’re Einstein until you prove your little theory.” He tossed a dry erase marker at him and motioned to an empty board. “Go on, you know there are people on this planet that would pay millions of dollars to get as much of my time as you do.”
“We also both know that this planet is full of really dumb people.”
John laughed in despite of himself. He shook his head because he knew what was coming and it was going to be fucked up. His father and brothers were sitting at the table with him. They’d been in the mountain for an hour. There was no word on Ian’s condition. Lam had sedated Rodney, and Sebastian was in the infirmary sleeping in the hospital bed with him. Ronon was on guard duty.
He focused on the video. Ian Wilkes was sitting at Rodney’s desk, a laptop in his lap.
“How many millions?”
Rodney laughed. “Depends on how dumb they are. The assholes at Boeing paid me ten million dollars last year to show up. I got five more for staying a day.”
“You know that is ridiculous.”
“It’s pretty amazing being me, I admit.”
Rodney turned just as two flashes of light signaled the strike team that someone had fucking beamed into his mountain. John watched McKay turn and activate a machine on the counter in front of him at the same time one of the men shouted to beam up the two signals in the room—targets confirmed.
“We can’t beam out, sir. Something is wrong…”
One of them turned a gun on McKay. “What the fuck did you do?”
“You’re not taking us anywhere.”
He turned the gun and aimed it right at Sebastian. “We’re leaving, Dr. McKay. Make it happen or fatherhood will be a distant memory for Sheppard.”
Rodney and Ian moved at the same time but it was Ian who caught the bullet in the stomach. The next few seconds were like a punch in the face. Sebastian fell with Ian, his small hands clutching at the young soldier, and Rodney pulled Ian’s 9mm from his leg holster – turned and shot both men. Head shots, in quick succession before either could get another shot off.
John leaned forward a little and sucked in a breath. “Jesus, he didn’t even hesitate.”
“No,” Jack murmured. “He didn’t. Have you been teaching him, John?”
“Yeah. I didn’t give him a choice. He picked up a gun in my house with intent. So, while we were on the island before the lecture tour I made him learn to handle a gun safely… shit. I never expected that he’d have to do something like this and frankly he isn’t that good in target practice.” John watched as Rodney put aside the gun with care and then turned to help Ian.
“A couple of weeks of target practice on the island?” Jack asked.
“Yeah, coconuts on sticks.”
Jack’s mouth dropped open. “So, you trained your astrophysist to take headshots?”
John winced. “Not on purpose—it was just a fun target. He really wasn’t that good at it.”
“It’s an adrenlin response,” Patrick said finally. “Look, he said that the Asgard gave him some things when they fixed his heart. His reflexes are better, etc. We’ve all seen people lift cars off their children, survive falls that should not have been possible, and in the field we’ve all encountered situations that we are ourselves shouldn’t have walked out of.”
“Yeah.” John swallowed hard and let his head rest on the table for a few seconds. “We need to make that video go away.”
“This is the only copy that exists, John. I made sure of it.”
“And Ian did all of the shooting.”
“Agreed,” Jack nodded.
– – – –
John took Ronon’s place and spent an hour watching his family sleep before McKay woke. Their eyes met and all he saw was guilt and fear. He blinked at that.
“Hey.” John leaned forward and touched his face carefully. “I’m sorry I wasn’t there.”
“I’m sorry I killed two people in front of our kid,” Rodney murmured and let his fingers run through Sebastian’s hair. “We aren’t doing a very good job of keeping fucked up shit away from him.”
“It’s the hazards of us, I guess.” John swallowed hard. “But you did nothing wrong, Mer. You—Christ—I don’t know what I would have done if you hadn’t responded the way you did.”
“I couldn’t let them take him.”
“He doesn’t deserve shit like this, John. I want to kill that son of a bitch Sejourn for telling the NID about his gene.”
“He would like to get some more sleep,” Sebastian muttered. “He had a trying experience this morning and watched his scientist Dad go all Jason Bourne on a couple of government agents.”
John laughed. “Sorry, we’re assholes.”
“Yeah, it’s something to get used to.” Sebastian sighed and sat up. “But you came with cool toys so, ya know.” He rubbed his head and then slid out of the bed. “How is Ian?”
“He’s doing well. He’s out of surgery and they expect him to make a full recovery. Jennifer was apparently a super star in the OR this afternoon.”
“Good.” Rodney swallowed hard. “She’s good for that you know—it’s why she’s here. It took a lot of money to get her out of the prime job she had in Chicago, but it was worth it.” He laid back on the bed. “So, people know?”
“Yeah, but officially we’re giving the kills to Ian and the security footage has been deleted.” John moved slightly away so Sebastian could slip out of the bed and then sat down on the edge of the mattress. “Radek used that jammer thing you have to cover the entire mountain. No one beams in or out until we can figure out where they came from and how they got beaming technology.”
“They came from the Daedalus,” Sebastian said as he rummaged through his backpack. “The Daedalus is the only ship in orbit. I heard Aunt Jeannie talking about it earlier in the lab and even if someone had gotten a hold of the plans to build an Asgard transporter there are only three people on the planet who could actually build one—Dr. Zelenka, Dr. Carter, and Dad. Since they didn’t build one – it’s the Daedalus.”
John’s gaze flicked back to Rodney. “No one else could build one? Not even with plans?”
“No. No one else could. Beyond the fact that they wouldn’t have access to equipment, it would probably take years for them to generate the crystals without Asgard manufacturing units on hand. There are only two on the planet and both are in this facility.” Rodney pushed back the covers and frowned at the IV in his arm. “Get someone to take this out of me. I’m done with the infirmary portion of this day.”
– – – –
“The Daedalus is actually in the middle of extensive upgrades and most of the crew is down here.” Jack passed a report to John. “They have about twenty people up there.”
“And one of them is… an asshole.”
Jack grinned. “Yes, one of them is. Let’s go asshole hunting.”
John nodded. “I’ll get a Jumper.”
“And Ronon and Teal’c,” Jack called after him. “I’m not allowed to leave Earth without Teal’c. My wife would blow a gasket.”
John nodded. “I’ll shove yours and mine into the same room and put my brothers on the door.”
“Excellent. Let’s take Cameron, too.”
John chuckled. “I did promise him he’d get to play next time I had a field trip planned.”
– – – –
“Okay, so you’re going to stay in this room with Sam. David and Matthew will stay with you.”
“Stop talking to me like I’m the child in our situation,” Rodney muttered as he checked the buckles on John’s tac vest. “I’m the grown up genius, remember?”
“Yeah. I remember.” John glanced towards the General’s wife. She was curled up a sleep. “She looks exhausted.”
“Well, you try carrying two kids for eight months; have a c-section, and then discover that your pregnancy was part of a nefarious plot to breed Ancients.” Rodney stepped back as John clipped his P-90 to his vest and sighed. “This is a good look for you, Colonel. You look very bad ass.”
John chuckled and then looked toward Sebastian who was sitting in a chair near the two O’Neill children. “Keep Rodney out of trouble and away from guns—we wouldn’t want any more Jason Bourne incidents.”
Sebastian smirked. “I don’t know—I’m all for anyone who wants to save my ass from government agents who want to hold me hostage until I can produce sperm.”
“Language,” John and Rodney said at the same time. They both sounded very resigned.
Jack O’Neill who had been hovering in the door way laughed. “Come on, John, the other kids are ready to play.”
– – – –
Major Scott Cools met them in the cargo bay. “Colonel Caldwell is on the bridge assessing our battle readiness. We haven’t gotten word on the situation below, just that the SGC is Situation Red and we aren’t able to beam any of our crew up from the facility. We’ve retrieved ten who were outside the mountain.”
“Understood.” General O’Neill looked the man over. “Surrender your weapon, Major.”
Davies’ eyes widened briefly and then he carefully pulled out his 9mm and handed it over. Teal’c took it and shoved it into a pocket in his tac-vest.
“Ronon and Teal’c are going to help you round up the crew. All of them in the mess- no weapons. They have orders to shoot anyone that does not comply.”
The major nodded. “Yes, sir.”
– – – –
“Clear the bridge.” Jack let his gaze slide around the room. “Colonel Mitchell, escort these people down to the mess. Confiscate all weapons. Sheppard and I will be along in a few minutes with Colonel Caldwell.”
John watched the men and women leave, expressions of shock and fear on their faces. He focused on Caldwell. In the three years that John had known the man, he’d watched him go from a formal but tolerant officer to a son of a bitch who skirted the edge of insubordination so often that it had tanked his chances of promotion.
“Three hours ago someone beamed two men into the SGC and when they were unable to beam out again they took a shot at my son.” John watched for shock and really wasn’t surprised when it didn’t come. “Someone used this ship to send what we hope are rogue NID agents into the SGC with the intent of kidnapping my family. So you can imagine, Colonel Caldwell that I’m not in the best of moods.”
“You can check the records. We haven’t beamed anyone down to the surface in more than twelve hours. We did beam up ten crew members in the last thirty minutes to prepare for what we thought was a combat situation.”
“Steven.” Jack cleared his throat. “I’ve served with you for nearly twenty years. We’ve gone into battle together – fought side by side when we were both sure we were going to die. You were Charlie’s godfather for fuck’s sake.”
John flinched at the way Jack’s voice broke as he spoke his son’s name. “Sir, perhaps it would be best if you went to check on the situation in the mess?”
Jack shook his head. “I appreciate the thought, John, really but I’m staying.”
“Is it money? Power?” John asked watching Caldwell’s face for sign of guilt—for any emotion at all. “Did they threaten your family? Steven, talk to us. For fuck’s sake you’re a goddamned career Air Force man and I can’t believe you just…” He paused and activated his radio. “Teal’c, please come to the bridge immediately.”
“John?” Jack asked.
“Tell me, Steven, when is the last time you’ve been in close proximity with Teal’c or the General’s wife?”
Teal’c entered the bridge, a ZAT gun already in hand. “Colonel Sheppard?”
“Teal’c, I think Colonel Caldwell has a guest,” John responded and didn’t even flinch when Caldwell’s eyes lit up like a Go’uld and he lunged. He hit the ground with a thud when Teal’c shot him.
“Jesus.” Jack sucked in a breath. “Teal’c—go down the mess and lay hands on every single person on this ship.”
Jack stared at Caldwell. “Christ, how long has been infected?”
John pulled out a pair of flex-cuffs and turned the man over gently. “I’ve been hating him for months… maybe a year. I mean I thought he was an asshole from moment one but lately he’s been a real fucker.”
Jack laughed. “He always was something of an ass.” His smile faded as he stared at his friend. “I didn’t suspect. I mean he’d become a little cold and abrupt. Stopped coming to the house for dinner. I though he was just pissed because he wanted your job and I put him on a ship instead.”
“Why did you?”
“Because the two of you have different strengths. Steven is a good man. A great officer but he’s not a soldier and I needed a man in the mountain that a couple hundred Marines would follow into hell. He’s not that man and you are. Hell, I don’t even think I’m that man any more. But, Christ, Sheppard… you’re that man in spades.”
John didn’t know what to say to that, because he would follow O’Neill into hell with a water pistol and a gut full of bad attitude. “We need to start scanning people, sir. Start with the President and work our way down. Maybourne, Kinsey… everyone at NID.”
– – – –
“So, Maybourne yes and Kinsey no.” Jack sighed. “Kinsey is just a fucktard, apparently. He’s stunned that he was working with Go’uld spies and has stepped down from the Senate Arms Committee. The President is pursuing charges against him because of the thing with Sebastian.”
“Which thing?” John asked softly.
“The kidnapping attempt. We can’t prove he hid him from you. But, you should know that every geek on the base has made it their business to make him miserable. His credit rating is in the toilet, he’s being audited by the IRS, his house…” Jack chuckled. “His house found itself in the way of an old Army satillite that should have burned up in orbit but somehow managed to have a controlled re-entry and make itself at home in the living room.”
John bit down on his lip. He was so not going to admit to being responsible for that. It would be childish. “How long on Maybourne?”
“They think about ten days before you were kidnapped. Steven has been host for probably a year or more. We won’t know until we get it out of him and he can talk to us.” Jack focused on his desk. “That man is one of my closest friends, John, and I feel like I failed him.”
“We’ll fix it for him. Zelenka is working on some ideas on extracting the snake with Keller and Lam. They’ll think of something.” John stood up. “I’d like to take Rodney and Sebastian home.”
Jack nodded. “Yeah. I think I’ll go sleep on the floor with a gun beside my wife and children.”
“Congrats by the way, they’re beautiful kids.”
“Yeah.” Jack smiled then. “Unexpected gifts.”
“I’d like to leave David with you if you don’t mind.”
“I don’t mind at all.”
– – – –
Sebastian was telling Sean all the gory details when John came down from his shower. Declan Frost, their head of security, and his second in command, Rico Morales, were staring at Rodney in utter fascination. John was pretty sure it wasn’t because he was working Mozart over look like a professional.
“Sebastian.” John raised an eyebrow.
He grinned. “Sorry. But now that I’m not all freaked out, it’s pretty cool. If I overlook the fact that some aliens tried to kidnap me for a breeding/cloning program.”
“Yeah, please overlook that fact for the rest of your life.” John grabbed a beer and took a stool beside Declan. “So, Sean, anything new?”
“I’m still fielding phone calls about the release of the Wraith feeding thing, Dr. McKay’s father, and Sebastian. They all ask the same stupid questions. And I understand they are replaying the Iris March interview tomorrow night—which is just going to make it all start up again.”
“Joy,” Rodney muttered from his seat at the piano.
“Oh.” Sean paused. “And your ex-wife called.”
John’s mouth dropped open. “Excuse me?”
“Well, actually she said she was your wife and I corrected her—she said ‘whatever’ and demanded that you give her a call. I have a phone number.” He winced as he realized Rodney had stopped playing. “I should just lose her number and tell her to fuck off if she calls again.”
“Yes, exactly that,” John confirmed. “Christ, she’s the last person on this fucking planet I ever want to talk to. Well, unless you count that guy that held me hostage in Afghanistan. I really never want to see that fucker alive again. She runs a close second.”
“Did you just compare your ex-wife to a terrorist who held you hostage in a cave for a month?” Rodney demanded.
“Yeah, but she held me hostage for a whole year.”
– – – –
“So, I heard Jonas took a position on the anthropology team on the Alpha site?” John watched Rodney prowl around their bedroom.
“Yeah, he figured it would be more comfortable for everyone and he’s actually a great asset to have off-world. Daniel is excited because you know he’s spent at the Alpha site lately and he wants to be home for a while. He’s pretty much in love with the O’Neill babies.”
“Who isn’t?” John asked. “Come here, Mer.”
“I’m not sure I can sleep.”
“Who said anything about sleep?” John questioned. “I said come here.”
Rodney smirked. “Sebastian is still awake.”
“So, go lock the door and then bring your ass to bed.” John pulled his shirt over his head.
Rodney locked the door and stripped on his way to the bed. “I think we need to get him to talk to Kate.”
“We’ll all talk to Kate,” John promised as he reached out and pulled McKay into the bed. “I want you.”
“Yeah, I can get behind that idea.”
“I thought you might.” John rolled them over and sought his mouth. The kiss was soft, exploring and then demanding by turns. When he lifted his mouth away, he let his forehead press against Rodney’s. “You think you’re hiding from me but I see it in your eyes, Mer.”
Rodney shuddered and clenched his hands on John’s back. “It’s one thing after another.”
“I know.” He brushed their mouths together. “We’ll get through this—me and you. I’m so proud of you.” John slid one hand down Rodney’s side all the way down until he could cup the back of his knee. He lifted and McKay spread beneath him beautifully, cradling John between his raised knees. “There is nothing we can’t go through. Nothing we can’t conquer as long as we’re together.”
“I was so scared they’d take him from us.”
“It’s not fair—that smart-assed kid just invaded our lives and made us love him.”
“He did invade,” John admitted. “It’s a Sheppard trait.”
“Yes. I’m so glad.”
“Me, too.” John sought his mouth again, and thrust his tongue in as lowered his body and pressed their cocks together. “I love you. I want to make you come over and over again.”
“You’re very welcome to try.”
– – – –
John shoved his feet into house shoes at the door to their bedroom and headed down the stairs. It had taken three hours but he’d finally worn McKay out and he was certain he’d stay asleep for the rest of the night.
Once he got to the living room he stopped and could only stare. Karen Reilly’s very pretty face filled up the television screen and Sebastian was sitting in the dark in the middle of the couch. The home video had obviously been taken at a birthday party.
“Come on Sebastian, give Mommy a smile.” The camera turned and centered on a toddler. Maybe three years old, John thought. “That’s my little man.” Karen laughed. “Happy Birthday to you.”
His gut clenched as he watched her sing, vibrant and beautiful. Her whole world focused on the child they shared. He didn’t know what to do in that moment wasn’t sure if he should join his son or leave him with memories that were his alone.
“She loved you.”
John jerked. “Hey, kiddo, want me to leave?”
“No, you can stay.” Sebastian cleared his throat and gripped the remote tighter. “She said that she loved you but that it was okay that you didn’t love her back.”
John slid onto the couch beside him and took a deep breath. “I did love her, Sebastian. Just not the way she deserved. If I could have changed who I am for anyone in the world it would have been her. I’d been hurting for a long time before I met her—angry and without a family. My own mother had died, my father wasn’t speaking to me and frankly I wasn’t interested in speaking to him either. I’d come within in a few inches of a medical discharge because of an injury.”
“Mom was good at making people realize the good stuff. She always made things better.”
“Is that why you are down here watching this? I thought we’d agreed to watch them together.”
“Yeah, I know.” Sebastian sighed and went back to the front of the DVD menu. “The DVDs came back from that archive company today and they were sitting with the mail. It had my name on it—so I opened it. It’s pretty cool. I was worried that some of the tapes wouldn’t last long.” He flipped through the menu. “Wanna see when I came home from the hospital?”
“Yeah, I really do.”
– – – –
“Hey.” Jimmy leaned forward a little. “You know Air Force guys are supposed to leave the dying around here to Marines.”
“Doc says I’m not dying.” Ian reached out and touched Jimmy’s shoulder hesitantly. “You look wrecked. Something wrong?”
“Besides my best friend gut shot in a hospital bed?” Jimmy asked dryly. “No, that about fucking sums it up. Jesus, Ian!”
“Better me than the kid. Who would do that?” Ian swallowed hard. “Did McKay really kill them? I didn’t imagine that part, right?”
“Oh yeah, he put bullets in them—dead center of their foreheads.” Jimmy sighed. “But, officially they are your kills. The General doesn’t want that shit in McKay’s file.”
“Yeah, not a good idea. It’s bad enough he blows up solar systems and makes volcanoes,” Ian sighed. “Yeah, okay, I can live with that. I sure would have liked to actually do the shooting part myself though. Are they both okay?”
“Yeah, mostly. I think both were a little shook up and you know how the doctors are around here. McKay’s heart gets a little elevated and he gets sedated.” Jimmy sighed. “They are so afraid he’s going to blow up his heart again.”
Ian chuckled. “Really… wouldn’t you think it would be his head?”
Jimmy snickered. “Yeah, maybe.” He leaned forward a little and took Ian’s hand. “Say, listen, I need you to promise me that you won’t die.”
“What?” Ian asked softly.
“I know it’s a lot to ask—but I figure it’s the least you owe me.” Jimmy swallowed hard. “Seriously, because the last fifteen hours have sucked years off my life and I don’t know how I’ll ever fucking get them back.”
“You do know that we probably have the most dangerous jobs on the planet, right? We go through a stargate,” Ian muttered.
“Yeah, and I don’t manage to get shot. You stay in the mountain and get shot in a lab.” Jimmy’s fingers tightened in his hand. “You know they took a kidney, right?”
Ian nodded. “Yeah. It’s going to get me a medical discharge.”
“No, I heard O’Neill fought the Pentagon over it and finally they agreed to send you to the Officer Candidate School if you’re willing. Admiral Sheppard approved that personally. When you’re done—you come back to the SGC or where ever you would like to go. Your choice of posts.”
Ian swallowed hard. “I… huh… shit. Really?”
“You took a bullet for Colonel Sheppard’s kid,” Jimmy whispered. “Trust me when I tell you that there are men in this mountain that would have lost their fucking minds if you’d been discharged against your will after something like that. Granted, you’ll have to train harder than anyone here, work harder to prove that losing a kidney didn’t slow you down else you’ll ride a desk for life.”
“Yeah.” Ian nodded. “Okay.”
“They called your parents.”
Ian grimaced. “Great.”
“Yeah, you should know that O’Neill vented a considerable amount of temper on your dad. It apparently ended with ‘Your son is a goddamned hero you shouldn’t give a fuck where he puts his dick’.”
Ian flushed. “Shit. How the hell do you know this?”
Jimmy chuckled. “I’m doing his Executive Officer.”
Ian rolled his eyes. “You whore.”
“Yeah, I knew you’d say that.” Jimmy sighed. “I could be out right now getting the best head ever and instead I’m sitting in this cold ass infirmary with you with what feels like a knife in my chest.”
Ian rubbed his thumb over the top of Jimmy’s hand. “I told you, James, I’m not up for the kinds of games you play.”
“You always bring out the name when you’re being serious with me.”
“It makes you listen.”
“I listened the first time and I get it. I’m not asking for more than your friendship—I just need you to know how I feel. Which is pretty selfish.”
“Not so much,” Ian admitted. “I feel the same way about you. I don’t let myself think about it—spend time checking out civilians and maybe trying to figure out which one I can date. But you said it yourself, you just don’t think you can be faithful and I deserve better than that.”
“I would want to be for you.”
“You can’t even go six weeks without finding someone to hook up with and I don’t want to lose my best friend because… we’re just better off as friends.”
“And if I could?”
Ian sighed. “Shut up. When do you leave for your second session at Fort Benning?”
“It was supposed to be next week but I think…”
“No way, you’re not going to screw up your chances for officer because I’m lying in this bed. You already put it off once to help search for Sheppard – if you do it again they might not let you go back and do it again. Besides, you’re half done and it would be idiotic…”
“Okay I get it. You have spent too much time with McKay you sound just like him.”
– – – –
“So, I wanted to talk to you about Ian Wilkes.”
John lifted his head. “He’s not had a set back has he?”
“No.” O’Neill shook his head and came fully into the office. “Not at all actually. The doctor’s want to keep him in bed for several weeks. Normally we’d send a soldier home for recovery of a situation like this but that’s absolutely not going to happen. I don’t trust his parents to take care of him.”
John winced. “That bad?”
“Yeah, listen, even when you and your father weren’t speaking. If you’d had an injury like Ian’s—I could have called Patrick and he would have dropped everything to come get you and take care of you. Everything. Ian’s father…” Jack shook his head. “The fucking bastard makes me want to get on a plane and visit his stupid ass and I don’t have time for that. I’ve got two Go’ulds in cells downstairs, the Apollo still hasn’t reported in, and people are looking your astrophysist like the five years he spent working for the CIA might have involved more than just computer work.”
“You know he still does work for them?” John asked softly, his mind going back to the conversation he’d had with Rodney about his time in the CIA.
“I’m aware of it on an intellectual level. I’m not informed of his projects, unless there is potential conflict with SGC goals. Rodney is very thorough on such things. Frankly, his connections in the intelligence community have served us more than once.”
John bit down on his lip. “Is it okay that I’m sort of amused that people are afraid of my astrophysist?”
“Yeah. I already had a good laugh.”
“Okay, I’ll call Rodney and we’ll take him home with us.”
“Sir.” John frowned. “The man took a bullet for my kid. I think my guest room and a private nurse are the least of things I owe him. Besides the room is still set up with a hospital bed from when we let Jonas Quinn use the house while we were gone.”
Jack nodded. “Okay, the other option was taking him home with me.”
– – – –
“So, then Zuri chased Quark all over the house trying to get the ball back but Quark is like invincible. I don’t think he’s from Earth.” Sebastian raised an eyebrow at Ian. “Seriously, he’s not normal.”
Ian laughed. “Yeah, he was on the base for a while. He could use the elevator and stuff. Freaked people out.”
“So, how you doin’?”
“Good. The doctors did a good job putting me back together.”
“My Dads told me you’re going to hang out with me at the house while you recover.”
Ian nodded. “Yeah, I was told the same thing.”
Sebastian chuckled. “They are bossy, right?”
“Very,” Ian agreed.
“Well, you’re totally missing out on the Spanish Inquisition that is going on around this place. Everybody got scanned for Go’uld infestation, and everyone had to go through some Tok’ra truth thing. I got to watch Dad go through his because he thought I’d find it interesting. Daddy was not really amused.”
“Okay for the record is which?”
“Dad – Rodney. Daddy—John if they are in the same sentence or in the same room. But I call them both Dad when I’m talking to them. It’s weird—I can’t explain but they always know who I’m talking to.”
Ian grinned. “That’s what matters right?”
“So did you bring it?”
“Of course.” Sebastian rolled his eyes. He jumped off the edge of the bed and retrieved his back pack. “I brought you six games. Mostly sports since I figured you probably wouldn’t be in the mood to shoot shit… huh stuff. Huh, well I did bring one shooting game.” He pulled out the Nintindo DS carry bag and put it on the bed. “And a charger so you won’t kill your battery and not have a way to plug in it. Dad said you’ll get to come home with us in a few days. Sure you don’t want a laptop?” He asked as pulled out two graphic novels. “Okay, the Watchman or the Fantastic Four?”
– – – –
Steven Caldwell woke between one ragged breath and another. He reached out and found his hand firmly held in John Sheppard’s. “Christ, Sheppard, please tell me they didn’t kill your son.”
“He’s fine, Steven.” John pushed him back down into the bed carefully. “We removed the Go’uld that was in you three hours ago. You’ve been pretty fucked up since then—screaming and stuff. How long have you been infested?”
“Since before you came home from Atlantis.”
John’s eyes widened and he cleared his throat. “Well, fuck.”
“Yeah, originally the Go’uld in me was going to plant a bomb on the city and blow it up. Plans changed when he couldn’t get back to the city to do it.” Steven sucked in a breath. “The son of a bitch divorced my wife and my son hates me. I couldn’t do a fucking thing to stop it. Nothing.”
“Look, Jack is on the phone with your ex-wife as we speak and he’s explaining everything. I don’t know if it will solve anything…”
“She remarried.” Steven curled his fingers tightly around John’s hand. “I’d really like to see my son. He’s stationed on the Orion.”
“The Orion isn’t due home for another week but they are checking in, in a few days. I’ll have them send Ryan home through the gate.”
“Thank you.” Steven closed his eyes and then opened them wide.
“Recovering and bitching in the room next door. He’s really pissed off because the President wants to leave him in charge of NID.”
Caldwell chuckled. “I think he would fit in there actually—they are all, even the ones who aren’t TRUST operatives, assholes.”
“Yeah, Christ, it’s going to be a long ass debrief.” He looked down at their hands. “I always thought you were a decent looking guy, Colonel, but I don’t think McKay would appreciate you holding my hand.”
John chuckled and released him. “I’ll have you know I’m People’s Sexiest Man Alive.” He straightened up. “I should apologize to you. You were a prisoner in your own body and we never even knew it.”
“It was an old Go’uld. Thousands of years old and his control over me was absolute.” Steven’s jaw tightened. “So, not your fault.”
“The General is sick with guilt.”
“He managed to hide from Sam and Teal’c both of whom can actually sense a Go’uld in their presence.”
“Yeah, we found the suppression device on you during the strip search.” John raised one eyebrow and grinned. “You’re in a great shape for an old guy.”
“Fuck you.” Steven collapsed on the bed and closed his yes. “Shit, sorry.”
John laughed. “No worries, I’d hate to think you weren’t still you under all of this. I’ll get Keller and we’ll get a meal sent to you. O’Neill will be in soon.”
– – – –
Harry Maybourne was really bent. John lingered in the doorway while he and O’Neill talked until one of them saw him and he was motioned inside. He closed the door behind him.
“Caldwell is awake. Dr. Lam thinks he’ll be ready for a debrief within the next hour or so if you want.”
Jack nodded. “Harry was telling about an organization called the TRUST. Apparently Evers and Mills were heavily involved in it. And about fifty others. We don’t have all the names but Steven might. He was infested longer.”
“Any more snake heads?” John asked as he took a seat beside Maybourne.
“Four, and there are two symboites on the planet.” Harry grimaced. “They were brought here for McKay and the kid.”
John’s mouth dropped open. “They were going to infest my family?”
“Sons of bitches.” John forced his jaw to unclench. “I understand Sebastian—he has the gene.”
“McKay has an artificial gene and it’s stronger than some people with natural genes. That’s not the reason they wanted him though. He has a high level of access to practically everything on this planet. Friends in government positions in ten countries, access to Ancient technology… his ZPM work.” Harry Maybourne sighed. “And apparently with your kid being something of a brain trust and what they called a ‘pure gene’ carrier – he’s quite priceless.”
“They tried to kill him.”
“I think it was a if we can’t have him then we don’t want you to have him either situation. I don’t know why they didn’t take him when they first got wind of his existance. Maybe because they couldn’t control everyone in the situation and didn’t want to risk kidnapping him… California has a good system for notifying the public of a child abduction.” Harry admitted. “I fought really hard, John. Really hard to get control back when I realized what they had planned for the kid. Hell, I fought it from the beginning. But it was just too strong. The Go’uld in me informed the government of Langara about your status as the source DNA of the gene therapy and how they could take you. Sorry about that.”
“I’d say no harm done—but it wouldn’t be true,” John focused on the floor in front of him. “And the Wraith feeding thing?”
“Kinsey. The Go’uld in me didn’t see how it would be worth anything but Kinsey was seeking to undermine the program and try to convince people you’d been off-world fighting the Wraith and got caught by one. He didn’t think the SGC would declassify the entire mission file and release the whole tape. If people think we’re starting to lie to them about the Wraith threat… well.”
“Yeah.” John nodded. “McKay is working on a solution to that and a few other things.”
“Oh yeah?” Jack grinned then. “What’s he got on that super brain of his?”
“A planetary shield. He’s still figuring out power requirements. But he says he’s very close.” John frowned. “He was poisoned by the service that cleans his house…”
“Yeah, I can’t prove it but that was them as well.” Maybourne took a deep breath. “That guy Vincent, who owns the company, is a TRUST operative. Not a Go’uld just an asshole. He uses his business to get into the homes of the riches people in this country and as a result he has managed to recruit quite a few people.”