blue flamingos

Five back-stories of minor characters no-one ever told

Fandom: Stargate Atlantis/Stargate SG1

Category/Rated: Gen & Slash, PG

Year/Length: 2009/ ~1395 words

Pairing: Teldy/Other

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.

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1.

Carolyn Lam didn't want to be a doctor when she was growing up. She wanted to be an astronaut, and walk on the moon. Didn't matter that the last person to do that did it before she was even born. Didn't matter that no woman ever did. Didn't matter that, by the time she was old enough to start reading about it, NASA had stopped talking about sending anyone else to the moon.

None of it mattered. Carolyn's mom had a recording of the first moon landing, which she'd play sometimes, when Carolyn's dad was supposed to have come home and hadn't. "See, Caro? If we can put a man on the moon, we can do anything."

"I'm going to be the first woman to walk on the moon," she told her science teacher when she was twelve. He didn't laugh, which, to Carolyn, made him wonderful.

When she turned sixteen, she decided she wanted nothing more to do with her father, after he didn't make it home for birthday. She dropped AP Physics for AP Biology, tore up the paperwork she had about getting into the Air Force, and decided she was going to be a doctor instead.

She never regrets it. She'd rather be the woman saving the lives of the people exploring the galaxy than the woman sitting at a computer in a bunker somewhere, waiting for a mission that'll never come.

 

2.

Anne Teldy applied to UC Berkeley because it had a reputation for being liberal. Lots of other reasons as well, like the way that women were in the majority, and that it was on the other side of the country to her family, and that some of its most famous alumni were women. And that she could do ROTC there, which would make her parents happy, or as happy as they could be when she was going to college, instead of enlisting.

She didn't really expect to get in, and couldn't stop smiling when the acceptance letter came.

Berkeley wasn't like anywhere she'd ever been. She ended up living in an all-female hall, which was just really strange after growing up the only girl, with four brothers. What was even stranger was that she fit there, with women who wanted to talk about ideas and the world, the future and their futures, and what it would mean to be a woman at the end of the century. Not about boys, or clothes, or make-up, all the things Anne didn't really care about.

She slept with four different women, that first year, told her friends, and no-one cared. Didn't tell her parents, but they were on the other side of the country, didn't have to know.

Six months into her sophomore year, she went on a date with Maxine King. They were still going on dates two years later, and no-one said the world girlfriend, but it was implied. Maxine found the paperwork confirming Anne's acceptance into the marine corps one evening while Anne was at the library, wasting her time trying to find a book that had been mis-shelved.

"You should write them soon," Maxine said when Anne got home. "Let them know you're not going."

"I am going, though," Anne said, mystified.

She thought, later, after Maxine left in a cloud of tears and screaming injunctions for Anne not to follow her, that maybe someone should have said the word girlfriend, then they might have talked it out some time in the last two years, how being a marine was what Anne wanted, more than anything else. More than Maxine, in the end.

 

3.

Katie Brown took her first tae kwon do class in college, because her best friend wanted to go but not on her own. Katie figured she'd give it a couple of weeks, until Sarah got to know some people and then stop going.

When Sarah gave it up for ballroom dancing, after three weeks, Katie kept going back. They were learning simple, basic stuff, balance and holds and nothing dangerous, not really, but she felt five inches taller every time she walked out of the class. Taller, and stronger; not tougher, not like she was going to be taking on any attackers any time soon, but strong, like every time she went back, a little bit more steel was added to her spine, or iron to her core or something. Something that made her start asking questions in labs, made her accept a couple of dates, and then turn both of them down when they asked for another, because she knew right then that she wasn't interested and there was no point in pretending she was. No need to pretend she was.

She kept it up through college, through her PhD. Took it up again when she got her first job. Took some exams, got her black belt. Kept going back, helping the new students. It still felt like getting a tiny bit more inner strength at every class after ten years.

When the Air Force recruiters turned up at her office, asked her if she'd sign a confidentiality agreement and listen to a proposal, she said yes. Five years after that, when Dr Weir asked her to go to Atlantis as the head of the botany department, she said yes to that as well, and made sure to meet all the female marines on the Daedalus ride out, all the people who'd been born with what she was still developing.

 

4.

Laura Cadman got recruited to the SGC the day she graduated OCS, a man and a woman in uniform pulling her aside and asking if she'd be interested in a job where she got to be on the ground, at the front of the fight, not in back sending reports. It sounded too good to be true, but Laura said yes anyway. Like hell was she going to get shuttled off into something boring because she was a girl, and if these people wanted her right out of college, they had to want her for something good.

In her first year with SG17, they got taken captive five times, put on trial for witchcraft twice and thrown in a river to nearly drown three times. They won the 'most visits to the infirmary' stakes three months in a row, got told off twice for setting off too many explosions off world, and ended up married to farm animals an unprecedented twelve times.

Laura loved every second of it.

 

5.

Amelia Banks decided when she was eighteen that she was going to do something amazing with her life. Something more than getting her degree and getting a mid-level office job, or teaching kickboxing, which her mom suggested every time she mentioned she was taking a class. Her mom asked if Amelia missed her (which she did) and if she missed home (which she didn't, except for sometimes when she wished she didn't have to cook dinner, or forgot to buy washing powder when she needed to do laundry). Amelia didn't say that, once she graduated, she wasn't going back home to live. She loved her mom, loved that being alone had made the two of them so close, but her hometown was tiny, and no-one was going to look for her there for anything other than getting married and having kids.

She withdrew her application to join the army two days before the closing date for that round, not sure she was making the right decision even while she made the phone call. Soldiers got to travel, went to places where people needed help and tried to make their lives better. Amelia just wasn't sure that she wanted the amazing thing she did with her life to be with a gun in her hands.

A week later, she went to a talk about volunteering with the Peace Corps.

Five years later, when she gets accepted for a job with such a vague job description that she knows it has to be something classified, and hopefully really good, she's not sure if it's the five months she spent setting up computer networks in Armenia for the Peace Corps, or the fact that she was already in the army's database somewhere that gets her the job.

She doesn't really care which it was, because Atlantis is pretty much the most amazing thing in history.


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