Physics of Magic
Physics of Magic
Physics of the Spin/Songs Across the Oceans
Stargate Atlantis/Harry Potter & Stargate Atlantis/Gilmore GirlsDisclaimer
: Sony and MGM own all things Stargate Atlantis. J.K. Rowling owns all Harry Potter. CW and the Palladinos own Gilmore Girls. I'm only borrowing.Spoilers
: For Songs Across the Oceans
and Ancient Blood
, just general knowledge of Physics of the SpinNote
: I use one line from Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
. The first line, in fact. Other than that, it's all me.~~~
Rory found the Colonel on one of the disused balconies, far from the party, looking out at the clear ocean surrounding Atlantis. He looked even more tired than Rory felt, which was saying something after the grueling week-long mission to save the Athosians from Michael.
Now everyone was safe and well on their way to recovery, and the party to celebrate such a miracle was in full-swing in the mess hall. All it was missing was the hero of the day, one Lieutenant Colonel John Sheppard.
The man's utter lack of reaction told Rory than he had known she was there. "Ms. Gilmore."
His formal tone pushed at her to go away
, but she made herself step onto the balcony, and if her hands were clenched behind her back, that was nobody's business but her own. "Everyone's at the party. Rodney wanted to know where you were."
He didn't turn around. "I'm getting some air."
Rory kept moving forward until she could see John's face. He was beyond tired. Exhaustion and ill-masked pain pulled at him, and Rory felt a lump rising in her throat just looking at him. The pithy words she'd practiced on the stairs dried up, and she found the truth spilling from her lips. "I overheard the argument you had with that man, about being sorry you hadn't come for them sooner," she said. "Sirius? Rodney didn't really explain what his name was."
John didn't take his eyes off the sea.
"And..." Rory's cheeks reddened with embarrassment in admitting to eavesdropping. "I wanted to make sure you were okay."
"I'm fine," he said automatically. By this time, however, Rory knew him well enough to hear the total lie in his words.
It was hard to look at him, with his discomfort so naked on his face, so Rory turned to look out at the sea. It was restful, staring at the waves crashing on Atlantis's floats. The wind whipped the tower, sending tendrils of Rory's hair flying around her face.
It was also extraordinarily cold.
"Why are you here?" John asked after a minute.
Rory ran her finger over the balcony railing, never looking down at the dizzying emptiness below. "Ronon told me that Sirius was your godfather."
John's jaw clenched, but he didn't deny it, or explain how a man from Earth could have a godfather in the Pegasus Galaxy. "Ronon ought to keep his mouth shut."
"He also told me that you can do magic."
John pushed off the railing like a coiled spring, and Rory almost jumped out of her skin at the unexpected movement, heart in her throat. Then John stepped close to her, crowding into her personal space and Rory was suddenly reminded of how very tall the man was. "Magic isn't real," he said in a low voice, almost a growl, and Rory was coherent enough to wonder how messed up she was that his words sent a shiver down her spine. "Is it?"
"Maybe it's not," she said, mouth suddenly dry.
John didn't move. He was so close she had to tilt her head back to look him in the eye. "Then what do you want from me?" he demanded.
Rory took a deep breath. "To tell me about things that aren't real."
John put one hand on the railing by Rory's waist, then stepped a fraction closer to her so she was pressed against the railing, only a thin sheet of metal between her and the open sky. When Rory didn't try to get away, John placed his other hand on the railing, effectively trapping Rory in place. He stared at her, his brilliant green eyes alive with pain and regret and challenge. After a long minute of silence, he said, "The story ends like this. Everybody dies."
Rory fought the urge to contradict him, to tell him that he had Sirius and Sirius's little boy, and Rodney and Teyla and Ronon and everyone in Atlantis, because she could see in his eyes that he fully expected to lose them all one day.
That was something that she couldn't change, and might even be true. Rory didn't know the future.
Instead, she asked, "How did the story begin?"
John didn't speak for so long that she thought he wouldn't. Then he lifted one hand to brush a strand of hair off her cheek, his fingers icy with the cold. "Most people would start it with 'once upon a time', but this isn't the kind of story with a happy ending."
"So how would you start it?" Rory asked, voice almost a whisper.
The corner of John's eye twitched. "It would have to start with the disclaimer that Mr. and Mrs. Dursley of number four Privet Drive were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much..."