Title: Crossing the Line
Fandoms: Stargate Atlantis/ The Sentinel
Pairing: John/Rodney, (slash) Blair/Jim (preslash)
Summary: How do you protect your planet against impossible odd?
Beta: By my sister Anna. All remaining errors are mine, with apologies.
Note: Takes place in the Littlest Guide universe. After Blue-Tinted World and For Me. We’re taking a little trip. Are you your bags packed? Don’t forget your toothbrush. (o:
Crossing the Line
Jim smiled at Blair. “God, you just don’t give up,” he replied, gently pushing his Guide’s curly hair off his forehead.
“Not when it comes to my Sentinel. You are my life, Jim. I want you well and happy in all things. Including being happy about being a Sentinel. It is what you were born to do. It is what and who you are.”
The Guide shook his head. “No buts. You. Were. Meant. To. Be. A. Sentinel.”
Jim sighed unhappily. “I don’t want it. I never did.”
“I know that, but you’re going to do great things.”
“I’m going to be right by your side, doing great things with you.”
Jim chuckled. “Modest much?”
Blair smiled at him. “Oh, yeah.” He kissed his Sentinel gently. “I love you with my heart and soul. To the end of time and beyond.”
Jim sighed again, happily this time. “That’s the one bright thing out of this whole fucking mess.”
“It’s not a mess. You just think being a Sentinel is the worst thing that could happen to you. It’ll grow on you.”
“Are you sure about that? Might not. Might be like a bad fungus infection.”
Blair ran his hands up and down Jim’s broad back. “I’m right. Just watch.”
“Alright then. I guess I’ll just have to take your word for it.”
“Good. Wanna fool around?”
Before Jim could respond. “Am I interrupting anything?”
Two head turned quickly toward the cave door. “Steven!” The Sentinel/Guide pair exclaimed together.
Steven smiled at them. “In the flesh.”
“How did you get here?” Blair asked, quickly getting to his feet.
“Daniel. He helped me focus everything I had in me to get here.”
“Can you go back?”
Steven glared at Jim. “Not without you, asshole,” he hissed.
Jim looked at him in surprise. “Dang. What crawled up your butt and died?”
If anything Steven’s glare deepened. “What, you think it was easy getting here? I’ve got a fucking headache and I think I’m gonna throw up.”
“You shouldn’t have come.”
“Yeah, and I love you too.”
Jim sighed, reverting to his fifteen year old state. “That’s not what I mean and you fucking well know it.”
Steven’s eyes filled with tears. “You could at least be a little happy to see me. I missed you something fierce.”
“Oh, God-Steven. I missed you too. But what if we can’t get back home?”
“That’s not an answer.”
Steven hit Jim on the arm, hard. “It fucking well is to me.”
“Ow! Boy, are you in a bad mood or what? And why are you always hitting me?’
“Because you’re an asshole.”
Jim rubbed his arm, smiling at his brother. “I missed this?”
Steven chuckled. “Me too.” He turned to look at Blair. “Hot damn, but you grow up pretty.”
Blair blushed a bright pink. “Thank you. I missed you, Steven.”
Steven rushed to Blair, pulling him into a tight hug. “You too, baby brother. I missed you more than I could ever tell you.”
Blair kissed the top of his head. “You just did, big brother. You just did.”
Jim looked on for a moment, his eyes filling with tears. Desperately needing a hug. Not quite sure how to ask for one. Blair as if sensing it, pulled him into one. Jim wrapped his arms around the two of them, holding on as if his life depended on it.
After a long moment they reluctantly pulled apart. “I’m so glad Daniel figured out how to get me here,” Steven replied, wiping at his eyes.
Jim sighed unhappily. “I wish he hadn’t.”
Steven glared at him-again. “Shut the fuck up.”
“It’s just that…”
“I said, shut up.”
Suddenly the air around them seemed to blur and fuzz. “What was that?” Blair asked, blinking. Shifting to his normal state. Jim quickly gathered him in his arms.
“Don’t know, but I think we’re about to find out,” Steven replied as everything seemed to get fuzzier and blurrier, then nothing.
They popped in to the sounds of warning sirens and screaming people. “Hot damn, but what a rush,” Steven said shaking his head as if to clear it. “Where the fuck are we?”
Soldiers carrying dangerous looking weapons came scrambling from all over the place. Making Jim pull Blair protectively closer, growling menacingly.
“Steven. Jim. Blair. What are you doing here?”
Three very surprised heads popped up at the very familiar voice. “Simon?” They all said at the same time.
They watched Simon walk through the men holding guns as if it didn’t bother him one bit. “Hurt them and you will answer to me,” He warned with a loud bellow. Easily cutting through the loud voices and sirens. “They’re kids, damn you.”
“Don’t know. First we were in the blue tinted world, everything fuzzed and here we are.”
Simon smiled at them, cupping the side of Blair’s face with one hand and touching the other two on the arm. “You guys alright?”
“Fine,” Jim replied looking around this very strange place. “Where are we?”
Steven’s eyes widened. “Atlantis. Cool.”
Simon chuckled softly. Almost nothing fazed Steven.
Suddenly the sirens stopped, making Jim breathe a sigh of relief. “Finally. They were starting to get on my nerves.”
“Like that’s so hard,” Steven scoffed.
Before Jim could come up with a proper comeback. “Ronnie,” Blair squealed happily. Trying to get free of his Sentinel’s arm. He glared at Jim. “Let go. Ronnie.”
Jim looked over to where his little Guide was pointing. Letting the squirming Blair free. Watching everyone and everything warily as Blair raced to the man coming down the stairs. Launching himself into the waiting arms.
“Squirt? What are you doing here?”
Blair shrugged his little shoulders. “No-no.”
“Hmm,” Rodney replied. Looking over at Steven and Jim who were walking over toward him at a calmer pace, followed closely by Simon. “Steven? Jim?”
“Hey, Rodney,” Steven replied, giving him a mischievous look. “How’s the smarts?”
“Better now that I’ve got me a Guide,” Rodney replied, looking over at the man who’d come down the stairs with him and was now watching quietly. Eyebrows draw almost into a straight line.
A tiny hand caressed his check. “Ronnie gots Guide?”
Rodney moved his face to the gentle caress. Not noticing John’s eyebrows drawing in even tighter. “Yeah.”
“That’s cool,” Steven said, noticing what Rodney didn’t. Smiling to himself. This was going to be fun he thought to himself noticing the thunderclouds coming together over Jim’s head as well.
“Yeah, after so long,” Rodney replied, chuckling softly when Blair began to lay kiss after sloppy kiss all over his face.
“I miss you,” Blair told, continuing his assault against the willing Sentinel. “berry much.”
“I missed you to.” Rodney pulled, Blair closer with a happy sigh. “You wouldn’t believe how much.”
Steven couldn’t stop from outright smiling when both Rodney’s Guide and Jim began to growl. Neither Blair nor Rodney noticing. To lost in their happy reunion. When the growling became louder Steven strolled over to them and casually hit them on the arm. First one then the other. Hard.
“Knock it off. Stupid Sentinel. Stupid Guide. Scare Blair and I’ll tan both your hides.”
Twin. ‘Ows’ echoed in the Gate room.
John rubbed his arm glaring at Stephen who calmly returned the look. “Why’d you hit me?”
“Because Blair and Rodney are friends and you’re not going to interfere with their reunion.”
“I heard that Rodney hated kids.”
Stephen looked over at Rodney and Blair happily cuddling and exchanging happy kisses. “Nobody hates Blair. It’s like an unwritten rule or something.”
“Rodney’s cuddling my Guide,” Jim growled, eyes turning cold. “I don’t like it.”
Steven rolled his eyes. “Oh, brother.”
“Well he is and I don’t.”
“Whose Guide is he?”
Some of the coldness left Jim’s eyes. “Mine.”
Steven crossed his arms, calming looking at his now uncomfortable brother. “Well then?”
“Rodney’s touching Blair.”
Steven gave him a look. “And? What I remember is Blair bouncing over to him.” Jim mumbled something. “What?”
“I said nobody should be touching him. He’s mine.”
Steven hit Jim again. “Oh, grow up, asshole. Besides Blair can cuddle whoever the fuck he wants, when he wants.” For emphasis Steven hit him again
“Ow! God-damn it, Steven,” Jim complained, rubbing his arm.
“They’ve been friends since they met at the
Jim glared at him, but his eyes became calmer.
Dr. Beckett came up to them to see what all the fuss was about. “Are these the Sentinel/Guide pairings you were talking about?” he asked Simon.
“Yes. We need to find out why they’re here, but I want Blair and Rodney to have a little time for their reunion.”
“They became friends at the Center. Time was Rodney was showing Blair the joys of Quantum Physics. And Blair was showing him the thrilling aspects of coloring inside the lines.”
“Yup.” Simon smiled. “Blair actually seemed to understand what Rodney was telling him about all that Quantum crap. You should have seen the look on his little face. All concentration and understanding. Even asking questions that had Rodney stumped. Then Rodney smart, all grow-up. Knowing everything about everything, on the floor coloring in one of Blair’s dozens and dozens of coloring books, happily sharing crayons. When they had to go their separate ways it just about broke Rodney’s heart. Blair made it things easier for Rodney. Being a Sentinel with no Guide and all.”
“I didn’t even know they knew each other?”
Simon took out his cigar. “Not many people do.”
“What about his Sentinel?”
Simon looked at Jim. Still not looking happy, but better as Steven quietly talked into his ear.
“He tolerates Rodney, because of Blair, but only just.”
“Are Sentinels that possessive with their Guides?”
“The can be. But look at John.”
They both turned to the new Guide. Whose green eyes were almost visibly throwing sparks.
Simon nibbled on the end of his cigar. “Hmm, hum. Now watch Steven.”
Steven no longer talking to Jim walked over to John. They watched as he punched him in the arm again. John flinched, finally breaking his eyes away from Rodney and Blair to glare angrily at Steven. Still angry, the sparks eased, then vanished.
“Steven is not one to tolerate disharmony amongst his pairings. Even if he needs to knock them around some to get them to see sense.”
“He’s adopted Rodney and John?”
“Would seem so.”
“You berry skinny,” a small voice said sadly, plaintively.
“I know. I haven’t been feeling well, but I’m getting better thanks to John. Speaking of John- wanna meet my Guide?”
Blair nodded enthusiastically. “Yuppers.”
“He’s a beautiful child,”
“Yes, he is. All curly hair and big blue eyes. He’s so full of life and happiness. Smartest little thing you ever did see too.”
“Do you think that’s what drew Rodney to him-the smart part?”
“Maybe. I think it’s more the fact that Blair could ease his pain somewhat.”
They watched as Rodney carried Blair over to where his Guide stood. “John, I’d like you to meet Blair Jacob Sandburg Ellison. On of my closest and dearest friends.”
Blair offered a tiny hand. “Hallo,” He said shy.
“Watch John. This should be very
interesting,” Simon whispered to
John’s took Blair’s hand in his. “Hello, Blair Jacob Sandburg Ellison. My name is John Sheppard. I’m very pleased to meet you.”
Blair giggled happily, offering his free hand to the other Guide. Giving a clear indication he wanted John’s arms.
John without even thinking about it, pulled the little Guide to him. Smiling when he was given a sloppy kiss on the cheek.
“No one, but no one has ever been able to stand against
Blair’s charm,” Simon told
“What did I do to deserve a kiss?” John asked, perplexed.
Blair gave him a brilliant smile. “You Rodney’s Guide,” he replied, wrapping his arms around John’s neck.
“Yeah, I am.”
“I glad. Ronnie be so sad and lonely wiff no Guide,” Blair turned to look at Rodney his big blue eyes glistening with unshed tears. “I ‘fraid he die wiff no one to luvs him.”
“I’m okay, Blair. I’m much better,” Rodney consoled the little boy.
“You too skinny.”
“See I told you,” John told his Sentinel softly.
Rodney rubbed an escaping tear from the little Guide’s face with his thumb. “I’m eating. Truly I am. I’ll gain the weight back. You can help me if you want. I got a lot of jello and candy.”
Blair frowned at him. “Jello? Candy? Dat not good for you.”
Rodney smiled at him. “I do eat other stuff, Blair.” The little Guide looked at him skeptically. “Really, I do. You can ask John.”
Big blue eyes turned to Rodney’s Guide. “Truth?”
John nodded. “Truth.”
Apparently satisfied Blair smiled. “You’s gots funny hair.”
John rolled his eyes. “Geez, even babies have opinions about my hair. Ow! You hit me.”
Blair nodded as John careful not to drop the little Guide rubbed his nose. “I hits. No call baby. I no baby.”
“God, that hurt. You got a hard punch for a …huh…”
“Little kid,” Steven suggested from the sidelines.
“Yeah, little kid.”
“Cursing will get you the same reaction. So I’d watch your mouth. Jim’s earned Blair’s wrath a time or two for cussing.”
Jim came up to them, taking Blair from John’s arms. “The only one he lets get away with cussing is Steven,” he replied, kissing his little Guide’s forehead gently. “Beats me why.”
“Because I am the Protector, oh-Great Watchman.”
“That’s a matter of opinion.”
“How did you get here?” Simon asked again.
Jim looked at him. “Don’t know. We just kinda like popped in.” Suddenly his eyes filled with anguish. “Dad? Simon, what about Dad?”
“He’s fine. I talked to him this morning. Worried out of his mind over the three of you. Saying that Daniel had figured a way to get Steven to the spirit plane.”
“Can we call him? Tell him we’re okay?”
“I think so,” Simon replied, looking over at Elizabeth Weir who’d been watching the byplay silently. No longer worried about a threat to Atlantis.
She nodded. “It can be arranged. We can also send them home as well.”
Rodney shook his head. “We can’t do that yet. We don’t know why they’re here.” He sort of froze when he noticed everyone’s eyes on him. John put a hand on his arm to steady him. “What I mean to say is there may be a reason why they were sent here.”
“The Powers That Be,” Steven replied for Rodney.
“What?” the head of Atlantis asked the boy with bright, blue eyes, full of happy mischief.
“The Powers That Be. The ones that lead us in the direction we need to be. We were sent here for a reason. We just need to find out why? I’m Steven Ellison, by the way. That rude fellow over there with his nose buried in his little Guide’s hair is my brother Jim. And the cute little fellow in his arms is Blair.”
The solemn acknowledgement earned her a brilliant smile. “Nice to meet you too.”
The group followed quietly as
“Hum?” Simon said thoughtfully.
“It’s not a good thing that they’re here is it?”
“Don’t get me wrong, they’re good kids and all, but no-it’s not a good thing that they’re here.”
Simon turned to look at her. “Children they may be, but Jim and Blair are the most powerful Sentinel/Guide pairing I’ve ever encountered in my life. The most powerful in recorded history and getting stronger.”
“Steven is their Protector. It hasn’t truly been revealed what he can do,” His eyes became distant. “But I think by the time it’s all said and done we’re going to find out exactly how powerfully they all are.”
Rodney sighed unhappily. “What Steven?”
Steven smiled at him. “So suspicious,” he told him, blue eyes twinkling merrily. Feet swinging on the medical bed.
“Well it’s not like I know you or anything. But hey, I know you.”
Steven chuckled softly. “Yeah huh?”
“I’m just waiting for you to do a zinger on me.”
Steven put a hand over his heart. “You wound me. Besides what makes you think I’m going to insult you?”
Rodney rolled his eyes. “Hey, I know how you treat Sentinels. You chew them up and spit them out without a thought or care.”
Steven tilted his head to the side as he contemplated Rodney. “That how you see me?”
“Hell, yeah. I’ve seen it with my own blue eyes.”
Steven chuckled. “What, you think I’m gonna do that to you?”
Rodney nodded emphatically. “I know so. You like Guides better.”
“Sure about that?”
Rodney looked at the boy staring at him intently. “W…well, not to sure, but pretty sure,” he replied uncertainly.
Steven nodded. “Ah.”
“You mean you don’t like Guides better than Sentinels?”
Steven patted the spot next to him on the bed. “Sit.” Rodney looked at the spot then at Steven apprehensively. Making him smile. “I’m not going to hurt you.”
“All I’ve got is your word on that.”
Steven’s smile deepened. He patted the spot again. “Sit. I swear I’m not going to hurt you, Rodney. Besides your Guide’s right there and if I messed you up Blair’ll have my nuts.”
“Is that anyway for a teenager to talk?” Rodney asked, sitting next to him.
“What’s wrong with the way I talk?”
“You’ve got a gutter mouth.”
Rodney sighed softly. “And nothing. I’m just saying you got a gutter mouth.”
“Okay. So are you doing better or do I have to kick your Guide’s butt?”
Rodney looked at Steven in surprise. “You’d do that?”
“Hell, yeah-if he’s not treating you right.”
Rodney looked over at John who was watching him quietly from the other bed. He smiled at him, earning a brilliant grin. “He’s great. He’s kind, thoughtful, caring. Always trying to get me to eat.”
“Just as a Guide should be.”
Rodney tilted his head to the side to better look at Steven. “Really?”
“Yeah, Rodney. Guides love their Sentinels to bits.”
“I’m kinda sad that what I feel now I couldn’t have felt before. You know, when I went online.”
Steven touched Rodney’s arm. Looking over at John who was glaring again. Steven blew him a kiss. “You know what it feels like now. That should count for something.”
“It does. Stop baiting the Guide, if you please. It’s just that I’ve lost so much time and…” The words wouldn’t come.
“Yeah. He loves me, Steven. He really, really does,” Rodney’s words held deep astounding wonder. “He brings me blue jello.”
Steven chuckled looking at John curiously. Watching his green eyes become hazel. He’d been watching them intently. Not that Steven faulted him that. John Sheppard didn’t know Steven from a hole in the wall. Didn’t know that Steven would cut out his own heart before he’d ever hurt a Sentinel or a Guide. He might occasionally maim them a bit.
“What you think you don’t deserve blue jello?”
“Of course I do. I’m the smartest person in two galaxies.”
Steven rolled his eyes. “Still as modest as ever.”
“Only more sane.”
Steven rubbed the arm he still held. Watching John’s eyebrows draw together in annoyance. He blew him another kiss. “I’m glad you finally got a Guide.”
“Me too. It be nice if you’d quit picking on him though.”
“What and deprive myself of all the fun. Not on your life.”
Rodney shook his head. “Geez. You’ll have him coming over here soon and making a claim on me. Just watch as soon as we get back to our quarters he’s gonna wash the arm you’ve been touching.”
“Do you have any idea why you’re here, Steven?”
Rodney turned, folding his legs under him. “What?” he asked intently.
Steven looked over at his brother who was gently cuddling his sleeping Guide against his chest, one bed over from John. Blue eyes watching him intently. Steven knew Jim was listening.
“Jim is needed here.”
“What do you mean?”
Steven sighed softly. “You know that Jim is the greatest Sentinel the world has ever know. The Watchman. Something’s coming. Something that threatens Earth and her people. The Powers That Be sent us here to defend and protect.”
“But Steven you’re children.”
Steven looked at Rodney. A determination and courage the Sentinel had never seen before in an adult much less a child on his face. “We protect those in our charge, Rodney. Age doesn’t mean a fuck.”
“Do you know what’s coming?”
“No.” Steven looked out over the infirmary. His eyes resting on those of his quietly listening brother. Then John who’d moved closer to his Sentinel. Sitting next to him on the bed to better protect and yes-listen. Steven frowned. “There’s an uneasy feeling. And it’s getting worse. I know Jim’s feeling it, aren’t you, Jim?”
John spoke for the first time since they’d come into the infirmary. “Could it be the Wraith? Could they be making another move to find a way to Earth?”
Rodney looked at Steven expectantly. “I don’t know-it’s possible,” Steven replied, softly. “We all know about Atlantis and that there are critters trying their damnest to get through the Stargate to get to Earth. Chomp on the human race like so many happy meals. Earth is sharpening her defenses. But to get to her they have to go though the Stargate here on Atlantis.”
Rodney looked at Steven, his eyes wide. “Do you know what you’re saying?”
“Yes. The battle begins here. A battle that as things stand at the moment, Earth cannot win. I think that’s why we were sent here. Why Blair and Jim were sent to the spirit world. To get Jim ready for the battle he now faces.”
John frowned. “And you? What about you, Steven?”
“I protect the Sentinel and his Guide. I do what I have to-to keep them safe.”
“Steven,” Jim growled softly from the other bed.
“But, Steven…” Jim walked up to him, Blair sleeping peacefully in his arms.
“We all have our roles, you know that.”
“A role I never wanted to begin with.”
Steven touched his arm, then gently ran his hand over Blair’s soft curly. “A role you will fulfill anyway. Just as Blair will. Just as I will. Just as Rodney and John will.”
Jim sighed unhappily. “Yes. But I don’t have to like it.”
“No you don’t have to like it. Just do what you were meant to do, Watchman.”
“All right, Steven. Alright.”
“And you’ll let me do my job without interference?”
Jim gave his brother a tight smile. “Never said that.”
“Watchman,” Steven growled softly.
Jim bowed his head, sighing again. “Yes, Steven.”
Steven touched the bowed head with his hand. “It’s going to be alright.”
Jim freed one of his hands, cupping the side of his brother’s face. “Sure of that, are you?”
“Positive.” Steven smiled at him, his blue eyes shimmering with tears. “We’re together, there’s no other way it could possibly be.”
“Damn it, Steven.”
Jim felt his own eyes fill with tears. “Together, Steven. Together.”
They started into each other’s eyes for a long moment, before Steven turned to look at Rodney and John, unashamed of the tears quietly streaming down his face. “So Rodney, how long have you and John being having sex?”
“Dad. Oh, God Dad,” Jim touched the screen with the tips of his fingers. Gently touching the image of his father’s face. He looked so tired and he was crying. Jim could swear he saw more gray hair.
“Jim, son. Are you alright? Blair, where’s Blair and Steven?”
“They’re here. They’re here, Dad. We’re okay. I’m so glad Simon could set this up. I’ve missed you so much.”
William gently caressed his son’s face from his side. “I missed you too. How did you get out of the spirit world?”
“Don’t know. We kinda went poof out of there and poofed here-on Atlantis. Steven said he thinks the Powers That Be sent us here because we’re needed.”
William’s eyes widened in alarm. “Jim…”
“I know Dad, but I need to do my Sentinel duty, even if I don’t know what that is.”
“I don’t like it, Jim. Not one little bit.”
Jim reached down and picked up Blair who was insistently pulling on his shirt. “I don’t either, but I have to do it.”
“Daddy,” Blair exclaimed happily. “Daddy. Miss you so much.”
William’s face lit up when he got a good look at his curly haired son. “Blair? I missed you too, son. Very, very much. Are you okay?”
“I fine. Ronnie here. He been sharing his blue ‘ello wiff me. It berry good. Can we have some when we goes home,” Blair asked solemnly.
William chuckled softly. “You can have all the blue jello you want.”
“That good. Knows why?”
“Cause Ronnie now dat he feels betters no wanna share ‘ellos so much.”
William could hear a muffled. ‘Hey.’ in the background. “Really?”
“Yups. He getting berry greedys. Know what elses?”
“No what elses?”
candy Simon broughts and he no wanna share. Ronnie needs to watch
William could here another indignant noise in the background as well as laughter. “I guess so. I’ll see what I can do about that.”
Blair nodded sending his curly hair into his face, making
William wish he was there to tuck it behind a small ear. “
“Yes, Son,” William replied, watching his baby son’s eyes fill with tears.
“I miss you berry, much.”
“I miss you too, William replied softly, his own eyes filling with tears. “But you know what?”
“I’m going to go there with you?”
Blair gave him a brilliant smile. “Reallys?”
William nodded. “Yes. Is Simon there? I need to talk to him.”
Blair looked over Jim’s shoulder. “Simon-Daddy wanna talk to you.”
Simon came into view. “William, it’s good to see you.”
“And you. Are they alright? Are my sons truly alright?”
Simon looked at the image of the tired worn out man looking back at him. “They’re fine. Dr. Beckett-the doctor for Atlantis checked them out. They’re fine.”
William gave a sigh of relief. “Good. Simon, I want you to get me on Atlantis. I’ll pay whatever I have to. Do whatever I have to. I need to be with my sons.”
“William, there’s something coming. Something big. You’ll be safer on Earth.”
“Safer be damned. Simon, my sons aren’t on Earth.”
“No,” The Doctor replied reluctantly. They’re not.” Knowing exactly where this was heading. Knowing neither hell nor high water was going to keep William Ellison from his sons.
Simon sighed unhappily. “Alright, William. Alright. I’ll see what I can do.”
He got a brilliant smile for his troubles. “I knew you’d see it my way. Thank you.”
“Hmm,” Simon replied gruffly. “You’d walk from Earth to the Pegasus Galaxy to get to your sons, William. And nothing is going to keep you from them. Who am I to fight against that? I know when to give up gracefully.”
William chuckled softly. “Yes. But I thank you anyway.” William frowned suddenly, trying to look through the connection as if searching for someone. “Simon?”
“Where’s Steven? He hasn’t caused a ruckus. Where’s my middle son?”
“Here Dad, right here? Sheppard was showing me around. And someone forgot to mention the connection to Earth was ready. Who could that possibly be, Jim?”
The young Sentinel had the good graces to look guilty. “I…hmm…”
“You what?” Steven asked glaring at his brother.
“You forgot to mention that we were going to get to talk to Dad? How could that escape your pea brain?”
“We hadn’t seen Dad in who knows how long, you just saw him the other day.”
Steven glared at him. “What has that got to do with anything? He’s my Dad too.”
Jim looked down guiltily. “I know. I’m sorry.”
“You better be. But don’t think the apology is going to keep you from getting your ass kick.”
“Heaven forbid,” Jim mumbled.
Steven raised an eyebrow. “What? What was that, Watchman?”
“Nothing. Hey-Steven looked-Dad.”
Steven rolled his eyes before turning to his now smiling father. “This place is so cool, Dad. They got all kinds of neat things to see and do. You should have see, Rodney took us to a room where they had this funny looking chair. Once the chair got a look at Jim it lite up brighter than our house at Christmas after Daryl done decorating. And Jim hadn’t even sat in it. It was so cool.”
“I bet,” William replied, loving Steven enthusiasm. “Don’t touch anything without permission.”
“We won’t. How’s everyone? How’s the perv and the others?”
“Michael’s fine. Everyone’s fine.”
Steven looked down at the table. “Will you tell him I’m okay and I miss him.” he asked softly.
William wished with all he heart he could reach through the connection and gather his sons to him. They were all looking at his so wistfully. Trying so hard to be brave. Managing to a point, but still they were so very young and not completely managing to hide their intense homesickness.
“I love you.”
William felt the burn of tears as they filled his eyes. He bit his lip in an effort to be brave as well. Knowing he hadn’t succeeded as his sons huddled close together as they looked at him.
“I love you, too. I love you all very, very much.”
William reached out an unsteady hand. Touching each of his sons in turn. Wishing with his whole heart it was them he was touching and not a cold screen. “I know son. I know. I’ll be there soon. Take care of each other. I’ll be there very, very soon.”
The screen went blank to the sounds of Blair crying softly into Jim neck.
“Blue ‘ello berry, berry good.”
Rodney waved his spoon around. “That’s what I’ve been telling everyone, but nobody listens.”
Blair sitting right next to Rodney in the cafeteria, turned to look at him. His face dotted with blue jello. “I listen, Ronnie.”
“You’re about the only one.
Hey, and I do to know how to share.
I do it all the time. I don’t
need to watch
Blair got another spoonful of jello, half made it into his mouth the other half hit his flannel shirt and side down into his lap. “Yups, he is. Grouch kinda reminds me of John.”
Rodney took a napkin and tried his best to clean up the little Guide. “Think so?”
“Yups, he always frowning.”
Rodney gave up as another blob of jello hit the no longer clean shirt. “That’s probably because we just bonded and he wants me to himself for a while.”
Blair nodded in understanding. “I same way when bonded to Jim at beginning.”
“Yups. Sentinel’s need lots of care. Lots of love. Kinda like puppy and kitty.”
Rodney frowned. “We’re like pets?”
“Nope. Just need lots and lots of love like puppy and kitty.”
Rodney pushed the empty container of jello away and reached for another. “I guess. Does it get easier?”
“Love for Sentinel always easy.”
Rodney thought about it for a moment. “Oh. More Jello? He looked at the empty containers. “Know who is my most favorite Sesame character?”
Blair shook his head. “Nope,” he replied solemnly. “who?”
The little Guide gave him a brilliant smile. “Yeah,” he whispered happily. “Ready?”
Rodney smiled at him. “Oh, yeah.”
Together. “One empty blue Jello container. Two. Two empty Jello containers. Three. Three empty...”
Steven sitting one table over was watching with a huge smile on his face. Rodney is such a little kid. John sitting next to him. Agreeing to give Rodney and Blair some quality time together nodded as he listened to the happy giggling and counting coming from the other table.
“Blair’s ending up with more Jello on his shirt than in his mouth.”
John looked on in awe as they opened another container. “I haven’t seen Rodney eat that much before. Even now that he’s feeling better.”
“Blair got him to eat two sandwiches, chips, a salad, some carrots and now their plowing through the jello.”
John rested his face in his hands as he continued to watch his Sentinel and Jim’s little Guide eating and happily chatting away.
“Blair has a way about him doesn’t he?”
“Yup. So does Rodney.”
John smiled as both Blair and Rodney waved their spoons around as they talked. “Probably because Rodney is a little kid at heart. Do you think they even understand what the other is talking about?”
“Hell yeah. You should hear them talking Quantum physics.”
John turned to look at Steven. “Really?”
Steven took a drink of his milk. “Yup, they were talking smart stuff back at
“Yeah. They’d have these wild conversations no one else knew could understand.”
John chuckled. “That must have been interesting.”
“Not as much as watching Rodney on the floor coloring with a little kid and snottily telling Blair he ‘already knew how to color in the lines, thank you very much’. Then asking Blair for a red crayon.”
“What did Blair do? I hear he’s got a pretty bad temper.”
Steven smiled, picking up a cookie. “Is that a raisin? God, I hope that’s a raisin and not some sort of weird bug. Do you guys get health inspections? Blair turned his head this way and that way as he looked at Rodney. Not saying a word. Then he reached over and kissed him on the nose. You should have seen the look on Rodney’s face.”
“Yeah, those are raisins. They came from earth. And then?”
“He gave him a red crayon.”
John chuckled softly. “He’s a very special little boy.”
“Yeah, he is. There was a time that Rodney was having these killer migraines, because of the meds he was on. Nothing was helping. Well Blair came in went over to Rodney. Got into bed with him. Started rubbing his forehead, singing to him real soft. You could see the pain leaving Rodney’s face.”
“Jim didn’t get mad?”
Steven smiled. “Hell, no. He climbed right into the bed and stared helping.”
“He did?” John said in astonishment.
“Yes. Jim is the Watchman. He may be a little ditsy sometime, but everyone and everything is under his care. That includes other Sentinels.”
“And you? Where do you fit in?”
Steven smiled at him. “I take care of the Guides and their Sentinels. Occasionally I may have to knock the Sentinels around a little, but that’s only cause they’re kinda on the dim side.”
Steven looked over at Rodney and Blair, now playing cars with the empty Jello containers. “Rodney is a Sentinel and will have many, many dim moments.”
Steven chuckled. “That’s not to say that he’s not smart. He is. Really, really, really smart.”
“That he is,” John replied looking at his Sentinel affectionately. Somehow Rodney sensed it, looked up. John smiled at him. Rodney returned it, blushing a bright pink.
“Seems you’re just as sappy as all the Guides over their Sentinel.”
John turned to glare at Steven. “And that’s wrong, how?” he asked defensively.
“Don’t get your knickers in a knot, Colonel. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with it.”
“Then don’t imply there is.”
Steven looked at John, blue eyes twinkling. “Implied no such thing.”
Before it could go any further. Sirens went off all over Atlantis as Elizabeth Weir came over the loud speaker. “Everyone return to your stations, we’re under attack. This is not a drill. We’re under attack. This is not a drill.”
Rodney rose quickly from his chair gathering the frightened Blair up in his arms. “No, Rodney,” Steven stopped him before he could take more than a few steps.
The Sentinel gestured with his free hand. “But,
“I know,” Steven replied coming up to them. “I know what she said, but you’re needed somewhere else,” Steven replied absently, his blue eyes glazing slightly.
Steven closed his eyes for a moment as he sought answers only he could find. After a long agonizing moment, he opened them. “Jim. Jim needs you in the chair room. The Wraith have launched a massive attack, in attempt to get to Earth. Jim is already there. So’s Rafe and Lee. Dad’s, Daniel and Michael as well.”
Steven touched his arm gently. “I know. But Jim needs you. He needs all of us. The battle for Earth will be fought here on Atlantis. You can do this, Rodney. You. Can.”
A tiny hand touched Rodney’s face. “You be okay, Ronnie. You Sentinel and berry, berry brave.”
Rodney gave a shaky breath, seeking his Guide’s eyes. The green depths held confidence and a hell of a lot of love. “Okay. Okay. I can do this. I can. Let’s go. If Atlantis falls, so does Earth and there’s no way in hell we can let that happen.”
To be continued…