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Wishlist 2010

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Ficlet(s)

This story is No. 2 in the series "Wishlists". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Twenty-four gifts for twenty-four people giving me twenty-four prompts. Ficlet collection. Part II. - Now Up: To The Ground! verse Christmas fluff.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Multiple Crossings > General > Ficlet Collections - Other(Moderator)FaithUnbreakableFR152440,119311736,40130 Nov 1024 Dec 10Yes

no road too winding - BtVS/SG:1/HL

A/N: Terribly sorry for any mistakes, but I am in no way capable of anything remotely resembling productive activity anymore today.
Warnings: Slight slushiness if you’re wearing those goggles. Really gen though.

Prompt: theotherwillow asked for BtVS/Highlander/Stargate, Dawn, Methos, Daniel, Aut viam inveniam aut faciam. – I will find a way or I will make one.

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no road too winding

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Adam Pierson meets Daniel Jackson long before he gets the ‘doctor’ to tag to the front of his name, at university, studying languages.

The man looks like a puppy, young and soft and eager, but there’s a mind like a steel trap behind those dewy eyes and Adam is nothing if not a sucker for contradictions so, predictably, he attaches himself to the mortal like a cheap tie and sticks.

He watches Daniel pick up dead languages, one after the other, like they’re nothing, like they are as easy to read as yesterday’s newspapers and he makes leaps, entirely intuitive, that leave the immortal dumb-struck in breathless laughter.

There are mistakes in the translations and pronunciations of dead languages, inevitably. There’s no-one alive, at least not officially, that remembers the true meaning and sound of those languages, if they were lilting or hard, edgy or smooth.

None but Adam and he bites his lip regularly to keep from snorting in contempt, from cringing at mangled words and horrible translations.

But Daniel, sweet gods, Daniel.

He takes a look at translations that have stood for a hundred years, tilts his head in that adorable way of his and says, “I think this should mean something else.”

And usually, he’s right.

It’s beautiful to watch and even more beautiful to listen to because Daniel understands languages, understands history, understands words in a way no mortal Adam has met in five thousand years ever has.

.

And then, one day, Daniel comes to him with an arm full of files and a theory. The pyramids, he says, were really landing platforms.

Bam.

Adam is left speechless and with his jaw on the floor, not because Daniel is crazy, but because he’s right. Again. It shouldn’t surprise Adam as much as it does.

Only the theory sounds utterly ridiculous and people chortle behind their hands, behind Daniel’s back, twirling fingers around their ears. He lost it, they say, poor boy. Such talent, wasted.

Every time Adam sees Daniel, the man is a bit smaller, hunched over, a bit less bright, a bit less loud. Beaten down by endless scorn and ridicule. And there is nothing Adam can do, really, because yes, Daniel is right, but some things are better left to be lost, to be forgotten.

The Uprising happened before his day, thousands of years before, but the aftershocks lasted until his time and he knows with certainty that no-one should draw attention to the gods and their ships from the sky. Not again. Never again. Adam likes the world just fine as it is.

So he tries to let Daniel down gently, to tell him to maybe lay off. Not forget about his idea, but do something else. Something that will get him back the reputation he had. To publish again.

Daniel shakes his head. “I’m right,” he says, angry that his best friend is seemingly stabbing him in the back. “I know I am. And I’m not going to stop just because no-one likes the truth.”

“Aut viam inveniam aut faciam,” Adam says, raising his beer in a toast. Daniel smiles grimly and clinks his own bottle against Adam’s, anger momentarily forgotten.

“Yes,” he says, and drinks.

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Two months later he comes home to a message on his answering machine, hasty and breathless. Daniel. “I’m okay, Adam, don’t worry about me. I think… I think I’ve found someone who believes me and I have to…”

To make his own way, Adam doesn’t need to hear him say it. He knows. Daniel, bright and eager, was always meant for bigger things. Good for him.

He just really, really hopes whoever it is that believes Dr. Jackson isn’t going to bring a bunch of vengeful gods down on their asses.

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Ten years later he’s posing as a professor instead of a student and there’s another bright and young student, her eyes even bluer than Daniel’s. She lacks the puppy eagerness, the innocence that Daniel had, but she’s just as deadly smart, just as misleadingly cute at first glance.

A bit more jaded and don’t think Adam doesn’t see the stake she carries in her bag, the crucifix around her neck, but the things she does with languages…

She already speaks ancient Babylonian when she signs up for his class and when he asks where she studied it, she blinks owlishly, says a friend of the family is a librarian and that she taught herself, thanks a lot. When she was fourteen.

She waves Latin off as child’s play, speaks Sumerian and Aramaic as if she’d been there and the very best thing, Gaelic and Welsh, too. She says her sister had a boyfriend once, who taught her some, and then another, who was a Brit, but spoke the languages anyway.

So she learned and spoke five languages by the time she was sixteen. And on and on and on and Adam wishes he knew where Daniel is, wishes he could find him, drag his ass back here and make him meet Dawn Summers because he’s pretty sure those two could make orgasms with their brains.

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He invites her to dinner one night, strictly to discuss a paper she’s working on and offer her a position as his research assistant. Usually he fills the position because he has to and then makes the poor idiots schlepp coffee and twenty-pound books, but with this girl’s mind, they might actually do something worthwhile, her and him.

She laughs when he makes a very, very obscure linguist joke and tells him about her sister, who, apparently, can’t even order coffee in Italian after having lived in the country for over two years.

“Wow. She must be proud of you.” He means it jokingly, wondering how a family that dumb could have produced a gem like Dawn, but not saying anything of the sort.

She nods, serious. “She is. I mean, it’s stupid, really. Buffy is the best at what she does. And I mean, the best. She’s like, no-one else in the world is better. Unbeaten.” Her smile is proud, too, “But she acts like what I do is so much better than what she does. Says I’m the best thing she’s done in her life.”

That sounds more like a mother than a sister but he doesn’t ask. They’re not quite that comfortable with each other yet and he really doesn’t want to scare Dawn off.

Still, “Then why are you on a different continent, if you get along so well?”

He gets the impression they have no-one else. Kids like that tend to stick to each other like glue.

She shrugs and the sad smiles turns a bit harder, a bit colder. “Because she smothers me and I plan to live my life the way I want to.”

She purses her lips and nods to herself, adorably serious and Adam can’t help but throw his head back and laugh and laugh and laugh.

“Hey!” she calls, when half the restaurant is already staring, “What’s so funny?!”

She looks torn between angry and amused. He shakes his head and reins it in as best he can. “Sorry,” he apologizes, “I just… you reminded me so much of a friend of mine, right there.”

He shakes his head, wiping at the corners of his eyes because, Jesus, this is Daniel with ovaries. She’s just… she’s perfect.

“How so?” she wants to know, suspiciously.

“Aut viam inveniam aut faciam,” he tells her.

She nods, face grim and determined. She told him, earlier, that this is her resolve face. She made it and pointed and all.

It looks scarier when she means it.

He raises his glass in toast to her, to Daniel, wherever he may be, to stubborn, beautiful, brilliant people that refuse to bow to the stupidity and ignorance of the masses.

And to getting to keep her a bit longer than he got to keep the last one.

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