unadrift: (team)
[personal profile] unadrift
Title: What About Everything
Author: [livejournal.com profile] deltacephei
Categories: gen, humor, Woolsey, Torren
Rating: PG
Words: 1200
Notes: Missing scene for Broken Ties. Written for the Season 5 Tagathon on [livejournal.com profile] sga_episodefic.

Posted with a Happy Birthday wave to [livejournal.com profile] naye! She and [livejournal.com profile] tacittype beta'd this. [livejournal.com profile] naye is also indirectly responsible for the title: She introduced me to Carbon Leaf. Thank you, guys!



Richard stopped at the center of a junction. He looked down the corridor to the left, then to the right, then walked straight on. Torren blinked up at him accusingly.

"Look," Richard said in his most reasonable voice, "I know my way around here about as well as you do. The Ancients seem to have been fond of continuity and predictability in their architecture. Everything looks the same."

Torren was unimpressed.

"The mess must be around here somewhere," Richard said, rocking the baby a little.

They turned a corner. Everything looked far too familiar again, exactly like the five junctions before.

"I will see to it that some signs are posted."

The inarticulate noise Torren made sounded dismissive.

"Right. It's not like you're going to need any signs when you're old enough to move around on you own. You'll have grown up in Atlantis and will know its layout by heart. I wish I could say the same thing about myself," he added, sighing. "The part about the layout, not about growing up."

He peered down yet another corridor. They turned left this time. "Earth might not have flying cities or technology that responds to thought, but it is unique in its own way. One day your godfather will probably take you there-- You know what just occurred to me? I don't know if Athosians even have a concept of godparents. In many cultures on Earth the person whose name is passed on to a child takes an important role in his or her life and--"

Torren was starting to take short breaths in what seemed to be the precursor of an impressive wail.

"Shh. No crying, please." Richard swayed a little, hoping that the movement would calm Torren. "Your willingness to listen to what I have to say reminds me a lot of your godfather already. I hope it's just a phase you're going through."

Thankfully, Torren didn't cry. He grabbed for Richard's glasses instead.

"Maybe you could talk to him? Colonel Sheppard has done a good job so far, but his risk assessment skills and his priorities leave a lot to be desired, viewed from the IOA's perspective. And technically, I am the IOA here in Atlantis. At some point in the near future he's going to get into serious trouble for not following my orders, and I would hate to have him court-martialed for that. Maybe you could persuade him to try and see the bigger picture?"

Torren sneezed.

"I thought so."

The next junction was shockingly different from the others before it. One lighting panel was malfunctioning. They still didn't encounter anyone else, though. Richard wondered how he had managed to get lost in the least frequented unrestricted area of the city. It was his special kind of luck. He randomly picked a direction and walked on.

"Although," he continued his train of thought, "I'd probably have to court-martial the entire team – not that we can actually court-martial civilians or aliens. But with the way they usually back each other up, they'd all be in trouble afterwards. Your mother included. No offense."

Richard looked down and caught Torren's deep frown. "No, you're right. Obviously, no offense. It's actually a compliment. They know and trust each other to an extent I have only witnessed once before, at the SGC. It probably comes with the territory. Both teams have a knack for timing their insubordinations, too. It saved my life once, you know."

Torren started to squirm, his arms flailing a little.

"Do you want to know a secret?" Richard asked, rocking Torren lightly and retracing their steps in his head. They'd walked in a straight line, mostly. They really couldn't have gone in circles. Yet he had the strong feeling that they'd crossed this corridor before. That plant in the corner looked vaguely familiar.

"Atlantis doesn't like me."

Torren's gurgle that followed sounded disbelieving to Richard's ears.

"Really," he insisted. "It doesn't like me. If you had told me a month ago that the city itself would object to my presence here, I would have laughed at you. Well, not laughed at you. Dismissed your thoughts as those of a crazy person. But here I am, and the city doesn't like me."

The upcoming junction had another broken lighting panel. It flickered repeatedly, and just when Richard expected it to stay dark permanently, it lit up again. The panel next to it repeated the process. And then the panel next to that one.

Torren made a sound that Richard interpreted as "Ha! See?"

Richard stared down the corridor. "Yes," he admitted. "I might have to take it back. The city might not want me to get lost forever."

They followed the blinking lights for a while. Six turns later the corridors still all looked the same.

"I think Atlantis is mocking us. Another three junctions and we're going our own way again. What do you think?" Richard said to Torren, turned a corner, and walked into Doctor Keller.

"Mister Woolsey," she said and, "Oh," when she noticed Torren. "Were you talking to him?" she asked curiously.

"No," Richard said quickly. "No. Over the comm. I was talking over the comm."

"Right." Jennifer obviously didn't believe him. She also wore a so cute! expression that Richard never wanted to see aimed in his direction again.

Then she sobered. "Is there any news on Ronon?"

"We have a lead on his position. Colonel Sheppard's team is gearing up to get him out of there as we speak."

"That's good. That's great," she said, not looking nearly as optimistic as she sounded.

"We will get him back," Richard tried to reassure her.

She gave him a tight smile.

"Now, Doctor, could you point me towards the mess?"

"Ah, yes," she said, "the city can be quite confusing in the beginning. I should know. I couldn't find my quarters without a map for a week." Her smile was less forced now.

"Doctor? The mess?"

"Oh, yes. Just go down this corridor, take the transporter to the main tower, turn left, and then turn right when you reach the giant ugly plant."

"Thank you," Richard said.

"Anytime."

When the thought occurred to Richard, he had to raise his voice to reach her at the end of the corridor. "Doctor?"

She turned around.

"The transporter-- Is it safe for him?"

There it was again: that so cute! face. Doctor Keller didn't say Awww, though it must have been close. Richard gave her a little credit for that.

"It's perfectly safe," she said.

* * *

Doctor Keller's instructions turned out to be accurate, and Kanaan was indeed waiting in the mess. Richard delivered Teyla's message, bade his goodbye, and turned to go.

"Mr Woolsey," Kanaan stopped him. "Would you mind--" He gestured towards Torren who was still on Richard's arm.

"Oh," Richard said. "Of course. You want me to--" Kanaan took Torren from him, and Richard let his finger be gripped by a tiny hand for goodbye. "It was good talking to you," he said.

"Likewise," Kanaan answered after a pause, looking confused.

Richard hurried off before Kanaan could ask for an explanation.


- end -



Feed the Beast (tag for 5x02) // You Might (missing scene/AU for 5x04)

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