sholio: sun on winter trees (Sheppard moody)
Sholio ([personal profile] sholio) wrote2010-09-07 02:06 pm

SGA fic: untitled Sheppard-Caldwell ficlet for Tridget

[ profile] tridget guessed my story correctly in the Genficathon, so I offered a ficlet of her choice, and she asked for:

"...a scene between Sheppard and Caldwell - something gen - and while they are not exactly buddies I'd like to see a scene that captures a little of the positive aspects of that relationship."

Hopefully this suits! Search & Rescue tag, gen, untitled, ~1300 words.

Recovering from surgery, John knew from experience, would have sucked even if he hadn't spent the time between injury and surgery shot up on painkillers and running around a Wraith cruiser. On the other hand, it hadn't exactly helped.

Now he was tired, sore, bleary and achy, perhaps with a side order of pissiness to go along with it, or so Ronon had told him. ("You're being an ass, Sheppard. I'll come back and visit again when you're less of a dick," Ronon had said, though not in a particularly resentful way. "You're spending too much time around McKay!" John had yelled after him, which, in retrospect, probably proved Ronon's point.)

He did make an effort not to be a jerk to Teyla, because she was recovering from having a baby, and John really did not want to get into a pissing match about that, especially not while she was still walking funny and looking like she hadn't slept in days. Besides, he was so happy to have her back that, frankly, he could have done nothing but sit and stare at her for hours. (Unfortunately she caught him in the act; he blamed it on the painkillers.)

And then there was the baby: tiny and fragile and awesome and terrifying. John tried to act cool in its presence, like he saw miniscule newborn babies every day of the week and twice on Thursdays, but he thought Teyla probably saw through his act when she told him, "It is a baby, John, not a live bomb," and put it into his arms without warning.

It. He. Torren. It — he — even had a name, and as John stared at the baby with a mix of terror and awe, he realized all over again that there was a tiny little person in there. And Torren was going to have opinions, and girlfriends (or boyfriends), and John would teach him how to shoot a gun and hold his little hands on the stick of a Piper Cub like his Uncle Gary did when he was a kid, and — oh damn, his facade of cool had totally crumbled into a doofy mess, he could just feel it.

Of course, that was when Caldwell strolled into the infirmary. "Colonel Sheppard," Caldwell said dryly, and John almost made the terrible mistake of saluting, remembering just in time that, woops, baby.

"At ease," Caldwell said, looking like he was trying not to smile, the bastard. Teyla swooped in gracefully to rescue Torren, and then made an equally graceful retreat.

"Cute baby," John said, trying to muster the tattered shreds of his cool.

"Most of them are," Caldwell said. "It's in the factory specs."

"So do you have any, uh —" John tried to stop in mid-question, because not only was it none of his business, but he was really way more comfortable knowing nothing at all about Caldwell's personal life. Damn painkillers.

"No, we never did," Caldwell said, leaving John thinking, We? He'd never suspected the existence of a Mrs. Caldwell. "My sister has three, though," Caldwell added, leaning a hip on the empty bed next to John's. "And two grandkids. Girls."

"Congratulations," John said on autopilot, in horror that the pictures were going to come out any minute.

But Caldwell turned to business. "Anyway, I wanted to let you know that we're shipping out at 0600 tomorrow. I think we've got all the Atlantis-to-Earth transfers, but I emailed you the passenger roster so you can check. I know things are a little chaotic right now."

John nodded. That was putting it mildly; things were an absolute mess, with himself and Lorne both in the infirmary, Teyla officially off duty and Carter grounded on Earth. Woolsey wouldn't be here until the Daedalus had made a full round trip, and in the meantime, Rodney was running the city, with a certain amount of input from Teyla, Jennifer, Teldy and anyone else he could snag to help him. And, from all accounts, he wasn't doing a bad job, which John thought should probably not be as much of a surprise as it was. He and Rodney had shared city-running duties during the gap in leadership before Carter's appointment, and apparently neither of them were as bad at it as everyone had always seemed to expect they'd be. Yeah, no one ever thought I'd make captain, either.

"We can delay the launch if we need to," Caldwell added. "If you need me here for another week or two, I mean."

And they'd be burning up US military dollars for every day that the Daedalus sat on the Atlantis docks, which Caldwell would have to answer for, once he was back in the Milky Way. But he was offering. And, to his own surprise, John found that he was both flattered and tempted by the offer, rather than annoyed. It didn't feel like a power grab, not anymore. Caldwell was just making himself available if he was needed.

But, no. Caldwell had duties elsewhere. It wasn't his job to clean up messes they'd created in the Pegasus Galaxy, no matter how often he got tapped for it.

"We'll be all right," John said. "Michael's on the run, if not actually dead — not that we'd be that lucky. The Replicators are out of the picture and the Wraith don't seem to be anywhere nearby. And I trust Teldy to handle things if we get a crisis out of the blue." Actually, he wasn't entirely sure about Teldy — the oak leaf on her uniform was still shiny, and she hadn't been tested in an actual combat situation yet, at least not in Pegasus. But she'd earned that oak leaf somehow, and from what little he'd seen of her so far, she was level-headed and competent.

Besides, John was temporarily out of commission, but he wasn't dead, missing or in a coma. Teldy had been sending several-times-daily status reports to both him and Lorne, and John knew she'd come to him if she ran into anything she didn't feel comfortable handling without her CO's input.

Caldwell nodded. "I thought you'd say that, but I figured it was worth asking."

"Thanks," John said, and he hoped Caldwell could tell that he actually meant it, that it wasn't just mouthing off.

Caldwell smiled slightly. "Also, that stunt you pulled on the Wraith ship, getting Teyla back? Officially you ought to be on report, and I will deny to my dying day that I ever said this, Sheppard — but that was some damned good work."

"You're only saying that because it didn't fail messily."

"Well, yes, of course." Caldwell's smile grew a little broader and more genuine. "But you pulled it off. I don't know if it was luck or that stubborn streak of yours —"

"Stubborn, mostly," John said, "and also, I have a damn fine team, sir."

"Yes, Colonel, you do." Caldwell saluted him, and Sheppard pulled himself together and executed the best salute that he could manage while flat on his back in a hospital bed.

"Get some sleep, Sheppard."

"You too, sir," John said, and as Caldwell walked away, the thought crossed his mind that a hell of a lot could change in three years.

skeddy_kat: (Default)

[personal profile] skeddy_kat 2010-09-08 12:46 am (UTC)(link)
I like this very much. I'm a sucker for Caldwell not turning out to be a total asshole and treating John with respect. Also John's thoughts on Torren were adorable and sounded just like him.
zing_och: Grace Choi from the Outsiders comic (Default)

[personal profile] zing_och 2010-09-08 06:52 am (UTC)(link)
I like this a lot - a nice view of John there! He's such a dork. *g*
lastscorpion: (Default)

[personal profile] lastscorpion 2010-09-09 03:46 am (UTC)(link)
Aww! I loved this! What a fine portrayal of these guys!

in the meantime, Rodney was running the city made me giggle uncontrollably. I'm not 100% sure why. :-D

[identity profile] 2010-09-07 10:31 pm (UTC)(link)
Ah, very nice. I love the relationship you've written here between Caldwell and Sheppard. Certainly not buddies, but definitely a mutual respect for each other - as well they should have after three years in and out of Pegasus crises (perfect last line!). Thanks for sharing!
ext_1981: (SGA-Sheppard rain)

[identity profile] 2010-09-08 09:10 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you! I'm glad you liked it; they aren't really friends, but there is a deep respect there, I think.

[identity profile] 2010-09-07 10:47 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh well done! Enjoyed reading! Thought you did an excellent job of Caldwell and John, while not being close friends, were friendly and respectfull toward each other. Thanks for sharing your story with us!
ext_1981: (Sheppard-leafgold)

[identity profile] 2010-09-08 09:10 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you! I'm very happy that you liked it. :)
ext_2027: (Default)

[identity profile] 2010-09-07 11:30 pm (UTC)(link)
"Congratulations," John said on autopilot, in horror that the pictures were going to come out any minute.

:D What a mental image *g*

This was great, I really enjoyed it... not just the exchange between Sheppard and Caldwell but all the little background stuff, too - Teyla's baby, Rodney and the others running the city... this ficlet put me in a happy SGA mindset.

and John almost made the terrible mistake of saluting, remembering just in time that, woops, baby.

Hee :)
ext_1981: (Sheppard moody)

[identity profile] 2010-09-08 09:18 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you! I'm glad you liked the little stuff too -- while the Sheppard/Caldwell aspect was the reason I wrote it, I also really enjoyed thinking about the post-Search & Rescue state of Atlantis, and figuring out how everyone was dealing with the many things that happened in the episode (and Rodney would have to be running Atlantis; he's the only one left!).

[identity profile] 2010-09-08 12:16 am (UTC)(link)
I really love this and the characterization of Sheppard, especially.
ext_1981: (Sheppard moody)

[identity profile] 2010-09-08 09:18 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you very much!

[identity profile] 2010-09-08 01:01 am (UTC)(link)
This is a great moment between these two, and the little side details are perfect.
ext_1981: (SGA-Sheppard rain)

[identity profile] 2010-09-08 09:19 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you; I'm very glad you enjoyed it!

[identity profile] 2010-09-08 01:08 am (UTC)(link)
Oh, this is wonderful! Loved the 'oh my goodness it's a baby' reaction John had to Torren. Between John being John and the drugs, I think that's a real reaction. The little pieces of back story to the events post S&R are woven so seamlessly with the great moment between Caldwell and John.
ext_1981: (Sheppard moody)

[identity profile] 2010-09-08 09:20 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you very much! I enjoyed thinking about where they all would be post-Search & Rescue; there was so much in that episode to deal with, including the question of who the heck is running the city since John's in the infirmary and Sam's been removed from command.

[identity profile] 2010-09-08 01:13 am (UTC)(link)
What a lovely ficlet! Completely in character for both - mutual respect between officers with a little awkwardness thrown in.
ext_1981: (SGA-Sheppard rain)

[identity profile] 2010-09-08 09:20 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you! Yep, mutual respect + awkwardness is exactly what I was going for there.

[identity profile] 2010-09-08 02:14 am (UTC)(link)
The description of John's cool cracking while holding Torren made me laugh and go "aww" simultaneously.
ext_1981: (SGA-Sheppard rain)

[identity profile] 2010-09-08 09:21 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you! John + baby will never fail to make me smile.

[identity profile] 2010-09-08 02:14 am (UTC)(link)
baby is feeding so I'll just say what a sweet one shot and leave it at that.
ext_1981: (Woolsey baby)

[identity profile] 2010-09-08 09:21 pm (UTC)(link)
Awwww, thanks! :) (Baby!)

[identity profile] 2010-09-08 02:21 am (UTC)(link)
I like this very much. I adore the relationship that Caldwell and Sheppard developed over the years, and this is a nice view of that.
ext_1981: (SGA-Sheppard rain)

[identity profile] 2010-09-08 09:23 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you! I'm glad you liked it.

[identity profile] 2010-09-08 03:07 am (UTC)(link)
"Hopefully this suits!"

This suits wonderfully well! When I made the request, I only had a vague idea about the relationship between Caldwell and Sheppard but I really wanted to see the possibility explored in a positive way. When I read you're story, my thought was "that's it!" It was so right for who the characters are and the circumstances they have been through. It was perfect that they knew enough about each other in one way to have that level of professional trust and respect, but not enough in another for Sheppard to know if Caldwell had kids or not. Every backstory detail was a treat, too. John and the baby was priceless. Ronon calling John on his attitude made me LOL! Thank you. This was delightful.
ext_1981: (Sheppard moody)

[identity profile] 2010-09-08 09:25 pm (UTC)(link)
Yay! I'm so glad you liked it. :D My biggest struggle with this story was figuring out what the actual story was going to be -- what else was going on while John and Caldwell had their little talk? But then I thought about setting it post-S&R, and getting to explore some of the fallout from that episode, which was fun. Anyway, I hope it was worth the wait. :D

[identity profile] 2010-09-08 03:17 am (UTC)(link)
Very excellent. I love what you showed, here - mutual respect without being over the top or understated, and John's various reactions, especially to Torren.
ext_1981: (Sheppard moody)

[identity profile] 2010-09-08 09:25 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you; I'm glad you liked it! John + baby will never fail to be adorable. :D

[identity profile] 2010-09-08 05:55 am (UTC)(link)
Very well done!

Loved this little snippet of a episode tag. Well written and in character.

Thank you!
ext_1981: (SGA-Sheppard rain)

[identity profile] 2010-09-08 09:26 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you very much!

[identity profile] 2010-09-08 06:37 am (UTC)(link)
Loved it. You have such a way with Shep and Caldwell. I remember thinking that in Killing Frost. Anyway, really enjoyed it!
ext_1981: (Sheppard moody)

[identity profile] 2010-09-08 09:28 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you! Yeah, I've always liked writing Caldwell, and I like his mutual-but-wary respect with John. I'm glad you enjoyed!
ext_2496: (pic#)

[identity profile] 2010-09-08 11:33 am (UTC)(link)
I hope I'm not damning with faint praise, but it's great to see Caldwell as an actual human being! John has come to respect him, and vice-versa.

John and Rodney must have done okay running the city after Elizabeth. I'm not surprised Rodney can do it again (with help).
ext_1981: (Sheppard moody)

[identity profile] 2010-09-08 09:30 pm (UTC)(link)
*laughs* No, the praise is fine! Thank you!

As I was figuring out what everyone was doing post-S&R, I was a little startled to realize that Rodney would have to be running the city; there's no one else to do it! And now I think that's a story that really needs to be told.
ext_24338: (Caldwell)

[identity profile] 2010-09-08 12:41 pm (UTC)(link)
but he thought Teyla probably saw through his act when she told him, "It is a baby, John, not a live bomb," and put it into his arms without warning.


And then Caldwell being human, Rodney running the city (with help) and not being bad at it, and Torren and...!! Love it!!
ext_1981: (Woolsey baby)

[identity profile] 2010-09-08 09:29 pm (UTC)(link)
Hee! John + baby will never not be adorable!

Now that I've realized Rodney, by the process of elimination, would have to be the person running Atlantis in the immediate post-S&R period, I think I want to write more about that ...
saphirablue: (Jumper)

[personal profile] saphirablue 2010-09-08 05:36 pm (UTC)(link)
Awesome story!

I love the scene with John holding Torren and almost melting into a puddle of goo because of it! :) I also like that he keeps thinking about Torrens future and what he's going to learn Torren.

The Caldwell and John scene was great. I love that John realises that Caldwell isn't after his job anymore and that Caldwell manages to show to John that he isn't after John's job any more.

Thank you very much for this fic! :)
ext_1981: (Sheppard moody)

[identity profile] 2010-09-08 09:31 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you! I'm glad you liked it; and yeah, there is really no way that John + baby isn't going to be the most adorable thing ever. :D

[identity profile] 2010-09-08 11:06 pm (UTC)(link)
Loved this. Could totally hear their voices in my head saying those lines (I love Caldwell's line about the factory specs! :lol:) which to me is the ultimate litmus test of a writer having nailed the characters. :D
ext_1981: (Sheppard moody)

[identity profile] 2010-09-09 03:54 am (UTC)(link)
Thank you so much! (Caldwell does have a sense of humor! It's just well hidden!)

[identity profile] 2010-09-09 05:54 am (UTC)(link)
oh that's great! I always liked Caldwell, I thought he brought an interesting dynamic to the show. Especially after they got that damned snake out of his head ;)

Wonderful ficlet, Loved John's thoughts about Torren. LOL!! True bachelor ;)
ext_1981: (Sheppard moody)

[identity profile] 2010-09-09 05:57 am (UTC)(link)
Thank you! I always liked Caldwell too (just because he doesn't always get along with the main characters doesn't make him a bad guy!). And John + baby is always fun. :D

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[identity profile] 2010-09-11 07:36 pm (UTC)(link)
*breaks out into a fit of giddiness* Oh, I've been wanting to read a fic like this since forever. I love Cadwell but most people don't bother looking at his character and just make him the villain or ass in their fics. Thank you so much for writing this. It was wonderfully done and as always, your characterization was spot on.
ext_1981: (Sheppard moody)

[identity profile] 2010-09-11 08:36 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you so much! I've always liked Caldwell, and I enjoy writing his interactions with Sheppard. :D
ext_975: photo of a woof (Default)

[identity profile] 2010-10-27 11:22 am (UTC)(link)
just lovely! you got the characters so right and their voices perfectly. I really enjoyed your depiction of Caldwell, with his dry wit and his almost-unwilling respect of Sheppard and his willingness to help out. I liked the part where John realized that it was willingness to help out, and not a power grab. I also loved your backstory: Tiny Torren! Rodney running the city! Teldy in charge of the military! Makes me want to read the other half of the story--the one about Rodney and Teldy and their various adventures In Charge before the advent of Woolsey....
ext_1981: (Sheppard moody)

[identity profile] 2010-10-30 02:45 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you! :) Yeah, the thought hadn't really occurred to me until writing this that nearly the entire Atlantis command structure was out of commission for a while there, with the exception of Rodney! So he must have been running the city more or less by himself. At least in the interim period in season four, between Elizabeth's death and Carter's arrival, it would have been John *and* Rodney (probably with some help from Teyla as well).

Loved it!

(Anonymous) 2012-03-16 10:18 pm (UTC)(link)
Loved the story.

I think that their relationship did go far during the series. I could just see that happening.

And I loved the scene with John and Torren - priceless.