TITLE: Wish Granted
SERIES: Colorado Springs High
SERIES #: 1.1
WARNING: Spoilers for “Fragile Balance” [SG1] & “Selfless” [BtVS]
DISCLAIMERS: SG1, Clone-Jack, and anyone you recognize belong to MGM, Gekko & others that are not Scorpio. Xander & the Scooby’s belong to Mutant Enemy & the “Grrr Argh” Monster, not poor underpaid Scorpio. The various original characters do belong to Scorpio, however, so don’t feel too bad for her.
Colorado Springs High Series
Jonathan Tyler O’Neill or “Johnny” to his so-called peers watched with barely concealed annoyance and bitter frustration as Davey Harriman and Justin Metzler drunkenly gathered up the results of their supposed study session. The two teens had a good beer buzz and jostled each other and laughed at stupid jokes as they made their way towards the door. Johnny didn’t know anything about Justin’s old man, but he knew that Davey better hope that Chief Master Sergeant Walter Harriman was out at Cheyenne tonight instead of at home waiting up for his wayward son. Sgt. Harriman, teasingly referred to as ‘Chevron Guy’ by his friends and co-workers, was the Head Stargate Technician at the SGC. It was a widely held belief that he was a good natured, generous and friendly man who was level-headed and professional to the point of being virtually unflappable. This was true – to a point. Seemingly unmoved and immune to the righteous wrath of enraged Generals and the vengeance of insane Goa’uld, Walter turned into a tough old bastard whenever he thought his youngest son was doing something that would ruin his chance to join the USAF.
“Uh…maybe I should call you two a cab.”
Davey rolled his eyes, but Justin just waved his concern off. “Nah, we’re good. Not like we’re gonna drive or nothin’. Just ridin’ our ten-speeds, man. It’s cool.”
“Uh-huh.” Johnny’s tone was skeptical, but he let it go. “You guys break any bones or get busted in any way; I’m disavowing any knowledge of where you got the beer. Capishe?”
Davey Harriman opened up the door to the wooden stairs leading from his small apartment over top of the Ferretti’s garage to the driveway where their bikes were waiting. He paused a moment and then turned back to gaze evenly at Johnny over his shoulder. “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Johnny. You gotta lighten the fuck up. You’re more wired than my old man, and that’s sayin’ something.”
Justin snorted his amused agreement and the two stomped their way down the steps. For a long moment Johnny just stood there and watched them. They joked and laughed as they got their bikes and quickly made ready to leave for their respective homes. Stepping out onto the small landing at the top of the stairs, he looked up at the distant stars and frowned. Lighten up, Davey had said. Easier said than done, unfortunately. Not to mention it was still so strange to hear. He was used to both his superiors and his subordinates despairing that he would ever take things more seriously and now he was accused of being too uptight, serious and goal oriented.
Sighing, Johnny turned back to his living room and surveyed the mess that his two fellow Colorado Springs Hockey Team teammates had left behind and grimaced. When Justin had announced that he needed to pull up his science grade or risk being kicked off of the team, Davey had suggested that the three of them get together one night and have a study session. Johnny, thinking that they’d order some Chinese takeout and help out a friend had agreed. Silly him. What had actually happened was Davey ordering up a movie on pay-per-view while Justin found his stash of beer that Lou kept him stocked with. Any attempt he had made to get the other two to actually crack a book had been met with teasing and derision. Granted, the beer had only amounted to a single six-pack and the movie was filled with lots of T&A to make up for its lack of plot, but that wasn’t the point.
Gathering up the empty bottles and the trash, Johnny carefully made his way outside and down the stairs to the trash cans on the side of the garage. Once that was taken care of, he found himself contemplating the stars once again and wondered if his older original self, Daniel, Sam and Teal’c were out there somewhere risking their lives for the sake of the planet.
And that, really, was the crux of his problem with being 15 years old. Again.
His body was de-aged, but not his mind. His body, while healthy, was small and weak. His reflexes were faster and his knees were better, but he didn’t have the muscle memory of doing the same actions again and again anymore. Hormones raged through him and he was certain he never had this many ill-timed and inappropriate hard-ons the first time around, pimples still sucked eggs and there were days when he felt like he could eat his own body weight and still be hungry. Typical teenage stuff. His mind, though…well, that was a horse of a different color. Typical teenagers didn’t spend the first several weeks of school threat assessing their fellow students, learning the entire layout of the building and all it’s exits while figuring out which spots would be best to plant the C4 in case he ever needed to blow the thing up. Well, maybe that last one was a teenage thing to do, but none of the other students at Colorado Springs High had done so with the trained eye of a USAF covert ops Colonel.
His perspective was way too skewed by his intimate knowledge of death and dying to ever be as carefree and naive as his schoolmates. The biggest challenges they had faced were the tri-county hockey championship, end of year final exams and angry parents. That kind of stuff was nothing more than petty little details compared to the god-awful nightmare inducing trauma of losing a child to a gun-shot wound to the head, getting tortured by a ruthless and vengeful Goa’uld or being trapped in an underwater submarine filled with replicators bent on your destruction. Sneaking out of your house in the middle of the night to go make out with your girlfriend just didn’t rate after sneaking off the planet through a high security military base so that you could blow up an enemy mothership located on the other side of the galaxy. Pondering the mysteries of some mindless singer with a cute face and a tight ass didn’t have any real appeal after pondering the mysteries of some alien race of advanced beings desperately trying to fight a war against seemingly unstoppable enemies.
Homer Simpson and hockey aside, he had nothing in common with any of his so-called peers. On the other hand, those that he truly considered his peers no longer saw him as one. Even those that knew that he only appeared 15 years old due to a botched cloning attempt tended to lose sight of the fact that his mind was that of a 50-some year old Air Force Colonel. He had never been one to enjoy being talked around or down to.
Looking up at the cold and uncaring stars, Johnny attempted to put a name to what he was feeling. Upset or disgruntled didn’t seem to be right, although they figured into it to varying degrees. Frustrated certainly, but that failed to cover the full scope of his situation. He was angry at the Asgard in general and Loki in particular. He was bitter that Jack had gotten their life while he was forced to do it all again. He was bored with his restrictions and impatient to get back out into the wider world and the galaxy beyond it. He was hurt by the distancing of those he considered his closest friends and confused by the swarms of seemingly mindless teens that infested his new life.
He was…trapped between two worlds, but not really a true part of either of them. He was desperately lonely for someone that could understand him and his quirks. Tired of being strung out on paranoia and hormones, he wanted to feel connected to something meaningful once again.
A dazzling speck of tiny light shot across the night sky, snagging Johnny’s attention. For a second, he tensed at the thought of an alien craft on a direct course to Earth, but then his shoulders sagged with his expelled breath at the realization that a ship would be cloaked. It was a shooting star.
A touch of whimsy twisted his lips in a half smirk even through his deepening despair. “I wish I may, I wish I might have this wish I wish tonight…” Closing his eyes, Johnny ignored the slight feeling of being watched with the assumption that it was simply Lou’s wife, Linda Ferretti looking out the window to see what he was up too. Clearing his throat, he continued, “I wish I had someone, anyone, in my life who understood exactly what I’m going through. Well…maybe not exactly since I wouldn’t wish being a cheap copy on a person, but at least someone who knew what it was like to have secrets, fight to the death and loose, not care that I booby-trap my apartment and doesn’t believe that being 15 years old means that I’m automatically an uneducated idiot. I just…wish I had a friend that really understood. That’s all I want.”