Title: Unexpected Consequences
Series Order: 6
Banner Art: None
Word Count: 2,085
Betas: Chris King & Keira Marco
Warnings: Death of tertiary characters, attempted dub-con
Authors Note: More changed during this whole mess than his outsides. Set during “Conversion”
With the sharpening of his physical senses, John noticed that his ability to find the other ATA carriers like him was decreasing. The last time this had happened it had seriously disturbed him, but he found himself too distracted by his new abilities to really care. Food tasted better, the air smelled better and he felt great. So why worry about the loss of something so ephemeral?
Running with Ronon had always been more about keeping in shape than anything fun, but today? Well John felt like he was on top of the world and being able to out run the big guy was a blast. Then sparring with Teyla? Oh, but her body was beautiful in the light and actually defeating her was a bonus that he wouldn’t be forgetting any time soon. And her smell! Ambrosia to his nose and her taste was heaven on his tongue, with the feel of her body stirring things in him that had been quiet for a long time.
When Carson called him at just the wrong time, John was more than mildly peeved. His hormones were up, he was feeling great and Teyla smelled divine. Stalking down the hallways to medical, he tried to send out a feeler to see who was in the area. When he couldn’t get more than a faint ping off the City surrounding him, John knew that he should be upset, but he was quickly distracted by the smells and tastes of everyone around him.
Well, everyone but Rodney. He hadn’t seen his irritable scientist for most of the day and was wondering what had happened to him. Before he could go hunt him down (and wasn’t that a thought that caused his interest to perk right up), Carson demanded all of his attention. Sniffing deeply of the man before him, he could detect the tang that denoted his ATA positive status and John felt his mouth water. If Carson smelled this good, what would Rodney be like?
Thanks to Carson’s medicinal cocktail, John had a few more hours to really enjoy what his senses were telling him, but with every passing moment, he could feel the cold thoughts of the Other taking over. It was what was enjoying the smell of the ATA carriers, the scent of Teyla and bristling at the underlying anger coming off of Ronon. He still took deep breaths and tried to figure out where Rodney was hiding by scent alone, but he was being elusive.
When he finally did see him, the reaction of his body was abrupt, to the point and dangerous. Hunger. The Other felt hunger for Rodney. Both the physical hunger of looking at a potential meal and also the driving hunger for sex, to mate and reproduce itself. It took all his remaining willpower but he managed to convince Carson that he didn’t want his team to see him this way, and most specifically to keep Rodney out.
From the way Carson’s scent changed, he obviously thought that Arcturus was the cause of John’s reluctance to see his friend and he let him. There was just no way that he was going to tell the gentle Scotsman that all he wanted to do was hold Rodney down and fuck him into the floor all the while nibbling around his edges. Just no way in hell.
As more and more of his being was be subsumed by the Other, John retreated further and further into himself. Because of his augmented hearing, he was able to keep track of what was going on with himself and no one sounded like they had found an answer. He kept his eyes closed because it kept the curious away and the light was too bright. The senses that had been fun to play with were now becoming a hindrance.
On one of the rare times that he was alone, John took the time to carefully explore the changes that were happening to his appearance. The scales covering his hands, arms and face were horrifying in to the extreme and catching a glimpse of his own eyes caused a full body flinch. He looked like a bug. After that, he pulled the covers over his head and hid from everyone. The Other approved of this, wanting to have a degree of safety until the transformation was complete.
Waking up to find that his Carson and his team had found a way to maybe, possibly cure him was cool. What wasn’t cool was that the Other was just barely restrained and the chemical cocktail they had shot him up with to do it would likely wear off very quickly as he moved around. And Rodney was now in range and there was no way in hell that he would let the insect that was trying to take him over get to the other man. So he said nothing to Rodney. When the other man reached out to him with words and deed, John resolutely ignored him and pulled the hood of the cloak he had been given up and over his head. It broke what was left of his human heart to do so, but he knew of no other way to keep Rodney safe.
Embryonic stem cells from Iratus bug eggs? Could Carson have picked anything else more disgusting to have him go get? The cave smelled in ways that were drawing the Other to the surface far more quickly than the med team had predicted. John fought his new urges, trying to stay in charge long enough to get the eggs back to the team and not go off all over Rodney.
He managed to stay together long enough to get the cup full of weirdly interesting smelling eggs back out of the cave and over to Carson. Then the Other reared up and took control. After that, all he remembered were flashes of hunger, lust, pain, insanity, itching, and oddly enough, boredom.
It took time for him to get back to something close to normal on the inside and even longer on the outside. Molting was now something that he could talk knowledgably about in ways that no one would ever want to believe. And there was stuff coming off with the sloughed skin that was never, ever to be talked about. With the return of his humanity came the return of knowledge of what he had done while he was… less than himself.
While all of this was going on, he avoided everyone. His room became his haven. A haven that at first, didn’t respond to his requests in any way. It felt like he was a barely tolerated visitor to a place that his mind insisted was home. Several weeks and a few pounds of scaly blue skin later, the City began to notice him again as something other than a potential hazard.
John didn’t leave his newly agreeable room until Carson gave him the all clear, and even then, he waited a few more days to allow the last bits of oddness to fade. The blue skin had fallen off after a few weeks, but his eyes were still too yellow for almost a month after that. And for what he was planning on doing, he needed to look, to be as human as possible.
His sense of Atlantis was still muted when John chose to go back out and rejoin the rest of humanity. But it was more than past time and he needed to start interacting with people beyond the personnel of the medical department. Everyone he meet looked at him with curiosity and when all he did was look back, most of his people shrugged and moved on. A few seemed nervous, but after what he had put the Expedition through, he wasn’t surprised. He had seriously freaked everyone out in ways that would take a long time to recover from.
Time to go start his little corner of recovery then. Ronon was the easiest to approach and apologize to for his behavior. Teyla was more problematic in that he had pushed into areas that every honorable man knew to avoid like the plague. Thankfully she had taken his words, silences and apology as he had intended. While there had never really been a chance of anything between them, there had been a level of comfort. He was very thankful that his actions hadn’t destroyed that.
Elizabeth was both easier than Teyla and harder. He respected her in ways that he had respected few if any of his CO’s and to know that he had frightened her was intolerable. His apology to her was both public and private. The public one was to help do damage control for what his transformation had screwed up and private to try and allay any final fears. Thankfully both were accepted.
Caldwell, Lorne, Carson, Radek. The list of people he had to take the time to touch base with and apologize to was longer than he really wanted to think about. He did take the time to go over the changes Caldwell had instituted with Lorne and Caldwell, and he had to agree that some of them had merit, even if they hadn’t been ones that he would have thought of. But he made it through.
All that left was Rodney. The one person who was the hardest to approach, to talk to and to apologize to. Because there was so much to say that was going to change things between them. While hunting down the others, John had taken the time to try to find his scientist to no avail. He knew that his sense of the other gene holders was still on hiatus and that was beginning to worry him a bit. But no matter what happened, if the sense never came back, he could learn to live with it. As long as he made it right with Rodney.
It took all day to run the Canadian down and finally he did it in one of the most unused and isolated areas of the City that had been cleared for work. It wasn’t the best of area’s to hold the discussion but he would take what he could get. Clearing his throat to get Rodney’s attention, John tried too…
“Are you going to apologize to me too, Colonel? Or should we go have a scene at the transporter?” Vicious biting sarcasm flew over the other man’s shoulder as he continued to work on his project.
Wincing at the barb, John shook his head. “Yeah, I am here to apologize. And maybe explain why I acted like an asshole.”
Rodney set his tools down and turned to face him. “I honestly expected the assholelike behavior. It was in line with every other meeting we had had over the prior weeks. What is pissing me right off is that I know that you wanted nothing to do with me while you were you. When you were a bug, you really wanted me. To the point that Carson banned me from the infirmary while you were regaining some version of your humanity. So now I need to know what the fuck John?”
Dropping to his knees, John stared at his scientist. The Other had wanted him, had let him know that there was more than spite to his refusal to see him. So taking his courage in his hands, he leaned forward and kissed the other man with everything in him. It took more time than he really wanted think about before he felt Rodney’s mouth soften under his and kiss him back. Breaking the kiss, John stared into Rodney’s eyes. “You are everything to me. I couldn’t let what I was becoming touch you. If it had, if I had hurt you, I would never, ever have been able to forgive myself.”
Comprehension and forgiveness bloomed in the depths of Rodney’s gaze. “You are such a moron. But it looks like you are going to be my moron. Don’t think that this means that I won’t make your life a living hell if you try this shit again.”
John closed his eyes in relief. Forgiven. The one person on this crazy, slightly homicidal City that embodied all that was home to him had forgiven him. It was more than he had any right to expect. “It’s a given that we are both going to be paying for being an asshole at one point or another. This time, it is my turn.”