Title: Younger Son
Characters: John Sheppard, Sam Winchester, others
Category: Gen, Crossover, Crack
Spoilers: Pilot episodes for both shows, but that's about it.
Summary: McKay told him not to go in that room, but John Sheppard is at least half cat, with the same curiosity problem. Meanwhile, there's something in Sammy Winchester's closet.
Word Count: 2228
Disclaimer: Pretty sure they're not mine.
Author's Note: For kajahryujin, and cadencecascade, and everyone else who enabled me. This little prompt thing has mutated, but ShepnSam is not going to be a 'verse. THERE WILL BE NO 'VERSE.
McKay told him not to go in that room. He told him more than once, probably, but John couldn't remember for sure. There had been something about abnormal readings and sciency crap and Zelenka hanging at his elbow with those enormous eyes, nodding along, very serious, all Don't go in that room, it's a very bad idea.
But c'mon. It was just a dinky little closet thing. A cute dinky little closet thing with some kind of engravings on the wall, not a transport, John was sure, not remotely like that. And it called to him, he was positive. And sometimes you just had to check out the closet, you know? So he did.
And that was when he realized that McKay and Zelenka probably knew what they were talking about, after all.
Noises were coming from the closet. Sammy sat straight up in bed, staring with wide eyes. He'd been so excited about having his own room in the new place, even though it was small and they would probably move away in a few weeks, so he would have to enjoy it while he could. But now there were noises coming from the closet.
He sat still, petrified, listening to the thumps and bangs and muffled curses. Ever since he'd found out that monsters were real last year, he'd been kinda nervous and twitchy, waiting for his first encounter with a real live monster. Dad and Dean looked out for him, he knew that, they would never let anything hurt him, but now he had his own room and there was something in the closet and it was big and it sounded annoyed and he was all alone in his own room.
Sam drew a deep breath and yelled. "DEEEEEAAAAAAANN!"
He paused for a second, then yelled again. "DAAAAAAAAAAAD!"
John sprawled on his back on the cool tile floor, his feet still inside the closet thingy. He blinked, wondering why he wasn't covered with random clothes and other junk. Hadn't he been in a closet full of clothes and other junk? He was pretty sure there'd been a sock on his ear. Atlantis hummed around him in polite disagreement.
Zelenka was bending over him, turning his head from side to side like a small, curious Czech bird. "You appear to have survived somehow," he informed John solemnly, his Eastern European accent making it sound like some kind of miracle from Jesus.
John managed to raise his head off the floor, though the rest of his body remained where it was as if pasted. Through his tilting, unreliable vision, he saw McKay busily doing scan-like things around the closet place at John's feet, very carefully not going inside. "What happened?"
"As usual, you activated something, and something bad happened." McKay paused long enough to give him a good glare. "Major Dumbass." Then he went back to his science stuff.
"Rodney cut the power and we pulled you out," Zelenka said. "It was all very exciting."
John let his head fall back on the floor. "Did I go somewhere?"
Zelenka's forehead wrinkled in concern. "I do not believe so. We could not hear what was going on, but your signal on the Life Signs Detector didn't move."
John grinned fuzzily. "Knew it wasn't a transport."
Sammy stared skeptically at the thing in his father's hand. "A gun?"
Dad nodded and nudged it toward him again, waiting for his son to take it. "It's a .45. Good action, not too much recoil. You get some practice in, and that thing in the closet won't be a problem at all."
Dean shifted uncomfortably where he sat on the other side of the table, pretending to read the comics section. "Maybe I could sleep in Sammy's room for awhile. You know, just trade off until we figure this out."
Dad frowned at him, but he didn't seem upset. Just firm. "He'll have to learn to fight his own battles someday. Might as well be now."
"I could sleep outside the door?"
Sam scowled at him. "I'm not a little kid, Dean. I know what's going on."
Dean looked at him in that wide-eyed, skeptical way that meant he hadn't really heard a single word his brother had said, all in one ear and out the other. It always made Sam mad. He knew all the family secrets now, he knew what was out there, and he was old enough to help. But Dean still acted like he ought to be duct-taped in bubble wrap and stuck on a high shelf.
He sighed and grabbed the gun. "I can do it! Stop treating me like a baby."
Dad patted his shoulder. His hand was heavy and warm, pressing down without meaning to. "I know you can do it, dude. We'll start target practice this afternoon, okay?"
Sammy nodded quickly, and wouldn't look Dean in the eye.
The closet thingy was off-limits now, which sucked because John was a hundred percent sure that it wasn't dangerous, really, just weird. Well, ninety-five percent sure. But that was plenty.
"C'mon," he grumbled to anyone who would listen, "I'm pretty sure I discovered the Holodeck. Don't you want to check out the Holodeck?"
"This is your brilliant theory?" McKay took two seconds off from scarfing his pudding snack to scowl at him across the table. "It's lacking."
"But I didn't go anywhere. Yet I definitely experienced something. It's not dangerous."
"Oh yeah? Then how come you were woozy and out of it for, like, the rest of the day? That machine did something to you, whatever it was. Took something from you."
Teyla sat down beside them with a tray and daintily tucked into her salad, already nodding sweetly. "It is forbidden, for all, but particularly for you. You should find something else to occupy your time."
John frowned belligerently at McKay's dessert and his apparent relish in devouring it, then blinked and looked at his own tray, where there was a distinct lack of pudding cup. "Hey, isn't that my—"
"Don't do it!" McKay interjected, gesturing forcefully with his spoon. "Dr. Weir will eat you. She'll eat you for breakfast. Possibly with a light sprinkling of cinnamon." He waved a hand in the direction of John's hair, as if that somehow explained this bizarre prediction. "Besides the fact that it might be dangerous, it's so completely non-essential that it's not even funny. At this point we really ought to be worrying more about food."
"We might have to do that less if you would quit eating all the pudding," John mumbled, leaning back and folding his arms over his chest.
He let it drop, didn't bring it up to the others anymore, but his mind would not let go of it so easily. In idle moments his thoughts slipped back to that bare corridor, that intriguing little room. And he couldn't help remembering that young voice on the other side of the closet door, yelling in fear.
John had never been one for kids. But hearing anyone that scared, that desperate, put a fire inside him. There was a tug in his chest, now, pulling him inexorably back.
And so, one night, when the city was asleep and breathing deeply, John went for a walk in the dark. Lights illuminated as he approached them, dim and gentle, ancient fireflies following in his wake. He didn’t think about where he was going until he got there.
He stood in the corridor, staring at the little room in sleepy bemusement. McKay had put yellow tape across the door that said “Police Line—Do Not Cross,” and really, who had thought to pack yellow police tape in their supplies? He could tell that the power was cut off from the device, though there was no conveniently open panel for him to monkey around with.
Without really thinking about it, John put his hand on the smooth wall and sort of, well, asked Atlantis to fix it for him. There was a gentle mumble, a hum of power passing under his feet, his hand, and a tiny blue indicator light inside the closet flicked on. John smiled, ducked under the tape, and stepped inside.
And crashed through a splintery door into a dusty hallway, where a young boy stood staring at him, eyes wide, shaggy brown head craning to look up at him. He looked to be about ten or eleven years old, a little chubby and awkward, but his clothes were clean and tidy, unlike their surroundings. It looked like a house back on Earth, though obviously run-down, light fixtures hanging off frayed electric cords, dirt and cobwebs everywhere, caking the carpet, painting the walls and ceiling.
John put on his most charming grin. “Hey there.”
The boy narrowed his eyes, and raised a shotgun to his shoulder to point directly at John’s chest, stance solid, firm, military. His hands did not waver.
This couldn’t possibly be the same kid John heard yelling from the other side of the closet door, could it?
It was Sam’s first haunted house. First recon, first hunt, first everything. He was almost eleven. Dad said it was training.
It might not even be haunted for real. Might be one of Dad’s exercises. But Sam had begged so hard and so long, he’d finally sighed and given in, let him come along. Dean had been going along on easy hunts for years, and it wasn’t fair, but of course Dad and Dean didn’t see it that way.
So Sammy was determined not to mess this up. Kept his hands firm on the shotgun, constantly going through the litany in his head: stand up straight, look, swing and mount, point, finger off the trigger until you’re ready. Never point the gun at something you’re not willing to shoot. Intention, then action. Be sure. Always be sure.
Dad was on the third floor, Dean on the second, and Sam was down here on the first, carefully checking every room, every hallway, opening every door. Dad had laid a hand on his shoulder before heading up the stairs, his face solemn. “Yell if you see anything. Keep your shotgun handy.”
Easy instructions. Easy recon. Sam’s hands were a little sweaty on the gun, but that was normal, right? His first hunt. Everything was fine.
The next door on the right was probably a linen closet, a little narrower than a bedroom door. Sam moved toward it, then halted as it burst with a splintered crash. A man had tumbled through it, now stood in the hallway staring at Sam, at his surroundings. Gray sweatpants and a white t-shirt, dark hair standing up on his head, stubble, well-muscled shoulders. He smiled, said something. He was dangerous.
Sammy’s gun was on his shoulder before he quite knew what he was doing, a strange ringing fading away from his ears. “Who are you? Are you a ghost?”
The man raised his hands, smile falling away. “Hey, now. Hey, kid, let’s not be hasty. I’m not gonna hurt you, swear.”
“Are you a ghost?”
He didn’t look like a ghost. This house had been abandoned for decades—surely any ghosts here would be wearing old-looking clothes, not this thoroughly modern outfit. Still, the guy looked down at himself, carefully patting his stomach with a slender hand, frowning slightly. “I don’t think so. Pretty sure I’m corporeal. And I don’t remember dying.”
“Sometimes they don’t.”
The man looked genuinely interested by that, turning his head slightly to the side. And he knew the word “corporeal.” Despite himself, Sam felt his hands starting to lower the shotgun. He shook his head and tightened his grip, then had an idea.
The guy looked startled, but did as he asked with a weird kind of solemnity, freezing in place and watching him carefully. Sammy let go of the gun with one hand and reached into his pocket for a handful of rock salt, then threw it at the stranger. It bounced off him, one small piece pinging dangerously near his eye.
He blinked and twitched his nose. “Ow.”
Sam returned his hand to the gun. “Okay, you’re not a ghost. Doesn’t mean you’re not a bad guy, though.”
“That’s true.” The man kept his hands where Sam could see them, still careful. His eyes were knowing, watching his stance, his grip on the gun. “You’re a smart kid. I promise I’m a good guy, though. Major John Sheppard, USAF.” Slowly, giving Sam plenty of time to see, he reached into his collar and pulled out a couple of dog tags, glinting in the dim light, shiny metal proof.
“Air Force?” Sam blinked. Yeah, he kinda looked the type. Slim, cocky, that faraway look in his eyes, like he was always longing for the sky.
“That’s the one.” A flash of that white grin again. “What’s your name?”
Major Sheppard nodded solemnly. “Good name.”
“Sammy?” Dean’s voice behind him, anxious, footsteps thundering down the stairs. “Sam? Something going on? I hear voices!”
Major John Sheppard’s eyes widened, and he blinked out of existence, just like that. No flashing lights, no puff of smoke, just a tiny pop of air, rushing in where he’d been. A hand on his shoulder, Dean panting in his ear. “Sammy? What was that?”
Sam blinked. “I guess it was a ghost after all.”
Art by davincis_girl