blue flamingos

5 Ways John Sheppard Ended Up With Cam Mitchell's Job

Fandom: Stargate Atlantis

Category/Rated: Slash, PG

Year/Length: 2007/ ~2132words

Pairing: Cam/John and implied John/Rodney

Spoilers: minor spoilers for SG-1 The Road Not Taken

Disclaimer: No, I don't own them, for which I should think they're profoundly grateful.

Author's Notes: Originally posted at [info]sg1_five_things

Feedback: Yes please. Even if it's bad. Especially if it's bad.


1: 302 pilot

John's CO calls him in when he gets back from a three day leave, and John tells himself firmly that there's no way anyone saw him. None. Doesn't stop him giving the sharpest salute he's done in months, though, like that's going to help.

It turns out not to matter, because he hasn't been caught doing something he shouldn't, he's been picked out to do something that even his CO doesn't really seem to know much about. What he does know comes down to experimental aircraft and, "it's an honour, Sheppard, to be asked," which, John doesn't know about that, but they had him at experimental aircraft.

Of course, they'd have had him even faster than that if they'd said spaceships.

John loves the F302s with a passion, once he gets used to flying *without gravity*, which will never stop being cool. Never stop being difficult to deal with either, and by the time they're rolling out the X302s, the programmes lost more pilots than it's retained, to accidents and transfers and plain inability to deal with it.

John sticks it out though, and gets put on Colonel Mitchell's team, providing flight support to SG-1, to literally save the world from alien invasion. He can't imagine doing anything else.

2: Blue Team Leader

When Mitchell gets tagged for promotion and a position as Blue Team Leader, no-one on the 302 programme is surprised. Nor are they all that surprised when John's one of the pilots picked to join his team.

They're a little more surprised when John gets promoted to Major and named second-in-command, but not by all that much. John thinks they'd be even less surprised if they knew he and Mitchell were sleeping together, but Mitchell gets very serious and, "you know I had nothing to do with the decision," when John says that, so he stops.

What surprises everyone, in the end, is that Mitchell spins out on his bike on the way to ship out as SG-1's back-up in the final fight against the Goa-uld. Broken leg, broken arm, someone says, and John shudders at the thought; weeks of physio, and no guarantee of being able to fly again at the end of it.

Going down in Antarctica, after less than a week as Blue Team Leader, his last thought is that a couple of broken limbs sound like a pretty good deal right now.

3: SG-1 pre-Atlantis: permanent outsider

John sits in the chair, buried under tonnes of ice in Antarctica, and, despite the doctor's exclamations, nothing happens. He shrugs, figures he'll go back to flying helicopters and pretend he doesn't know anything about this. It looks kind of cool, but he can't see them needing a pilot in Atlantis: they probably don't even have gliders, never mind planes.

General O'Neill, though, has other ideas, and John's not really sure how it happens, but two weeks later, he's being welcomed to the SGC by General Landry, and shown what a stargate looks like.

He spends the first month rotating through different teams, listening to the buzz of gossip about Atlantis and waiting for someone to decide they want him full-time. It's not a new feeling.

Three days before the Atlantis expedition is scheduled to leave, he looks up from his mission report at a guy lounging in his doorway, half-smiling and playing with his hat.

"So," the guy – Colonel – says. "I hear you're looking for a team, and I just found out the one I was joining doesn't exist anymore, so..." He grins. "You want to be on my team?"

John's not sure he wants to be on anyone's team, but he doesn't think Landry will go for that, so he shrugs and says, "Sure."

Except the Colonel's – Mitchell's – team turns out to be SG-1, who all come back in the end; John and Mitchell spend a lot of time being the bemused, confused outsiders. That's OK, though, gives them something to bond over. Or just an excuse to get drunk enough to fall into bed together. Whatever.

4: SG-1 post Atlantis: team leader

Weir begs and pleads, and John thinks O'Neill probably does too, but apparently even the combined forces of the two of them aren't enough, so the Daedalus beams up her and Rodney and Carson, and John's left wondering if anyone will write.

"Major Sheppard," Landry says from behind him, then waits for John to turn round. "You might be interested to know we've found a position for you at the SGC."

John's had years of practise looking blank in front of COs, so it's easy enough not to let his surprise – his disappointment – show. It's not enough that they're not letting him go back, he was at least consoling himself with the prospect of being able to fly again on Earth.

"Colonel Mitchell was intended to take over leadership of SG-1, but it appears he's reconsidered his decision. We're offering it to you instead." Landry waits, like he's expecting John's eternal gratitude, then when he doesn't get it, continues. "You'll be able to pick your own team, of course, we've already put together a short list of names..."

He carries on, but John stops listening. He says yes in the end anyway.

It's probably the stupidest thing he's ever done.

5: Well, technically it's Lorne's job...

John knows about the stargate programme, which he shouldn't, because he trained with Cam Mitchell years ago, and when he happens to be passing through Colorado Springs, he looks him up and finds him wheelchair bound and bitter, saying things he shouldn't be saying to anyone.

John's not even sure he believes him, until he's at the airport for his flight back to the base and three men in suits come up to him, mutter, "this way please, sir," and drag him off to a car with tinted windows.

Two days later, he's being offered a job he's pretty sure he never wanted, and being told in no uncertain terms what his answer will be.

SG-1's got a space to fill, cos their third member just got on the wrong side of an Ori Prior, so John gets stuck with them, or they get stuck with him. Hammond makes it clear that Lorne's senior, in terms of experience and time with the team, but Lorne doesn't seem all that bothered, so they kind of share the job. John thinks maybe Lorne doesn't mind having someone else take some of the responsibility for the decisions that come with being the elite gate team.

John gets friendly, sort of, with a couple of the scientists back on the base, and it turns out McKay knew Sam Carter, who knew Mitchell, so John press-gangs him into helping John stop Mitchell from drinking himself to death. It kind of works, at least in so far as they talk Mitchell into getting a haircut, which actually seems to do him some good, to McKay's disbelief and John's private amusement.

A year into John's time with the programme, they fall foul of a different Prior, and John gets tagged to take over leadership of the team. Hammond tells him to pick a fourth member by the end of the week, and looks like he regrets it when John brings him the paperwork for McKay.

John doesn't care; he likes having someone on his side.

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