Disclaimer: BtVS and AtS belong to Joss Whedon, 20th Century Fox, Mutant Enemy, ect., and the Stargate franchise belongs to MGM.
I’ve been debating this for the last three days. I have to say I’m glad to be able to do it. My K2P series doesn’t leave a lot of room for Lorne, so I had this idea drop on my head…
Set between season 2 and 3 of AtS. About twenty months before the beginning of SGA.
It was warm in L.A. and wet… it had been the worse few months John Sheppard could remember. With an irritated look around he was glad to find relief from the torrent rain.
Caritas. It sounded familiar in some vague way, but he couldn’t recall where from.
Relieved he took the stairs down into a bright orange and purple club. He paused, some of the patrons didn’t exactly look… well, normal. There was a few that looked like they were wearing cheeks and brow ridge implants, others had makeup on and contacts.
“What can I get ya?” the bartender asked.
“Uh,” he tried to stop staring at the others.
“Never been in here?” one of the normal looking ones said from the next stool.
“No,” he shrugged and turned towards the bar grateful for the lack of mirrors. He didn’t want to see how bad he looked. “Just visiting for a few days. I got caught in the storm. Lucky I found this place.”
The guy smiled wistfully and shared a look at the bartender. “If you found Caritas you were meant to,” the bartender told him setting a mug of amber before him.
John frowned at his words but took the beer. He took a sip before staring into the foam as though it held the secrets of the universe.
A voice on his other side suddenly spoke, “a Sea Breeze, sunshine, please.”
“How’s it going?” the bartender asked.
“Oh you know the normal,” the voice said airily, “relationships, dark spells, the occasional virgin sacrifice.”
“And you,” the voice said.
He looked up. Only to come face-to-face with a green skinned, horned, red-eyed guy in a very loud orange suit. It took a moment before he was able to blank his expression.
The guy laughed, “Don’t feel bad, first-timers never quite know what they’re getting into.” He studied John for a long moment, “You are absolutely humming with possibilities.” He leaned against the bar as his Sea Breeze was set down, “I’m Lorne, Caritas is my humble establishment.”
“John,” he introduced. “I saw this place when the rain picked up.”
Lorne smiled knowingly, “I’m sure you’re here for more than just to get out of the storm.” He gestured to the stage where a woman was singing, badly, to a karaoke song. “I think you should give it a try.”
John laughed and turned back towards his drink. “I think you’ve got the wrong guy.”
“You wouldn’t be here if you weren’t meant to be,” he said sagely before drifting away.
For the next three hours John listened to the rain and to the singers the came and went. He wasn’t sure how many beers he’d had at the end of that time, but he was more relaxed than he had felt in several years. He didn’t notice the time or the sudden lack of patrons.
It started out simply enough he’d had the song stuck in his head from the days before… so he hummed. Then the lyrics spilled forth quietly as he continued.
Don't know that I will but until I can find me
A girl who'll stay and won't play games behind me
Lorne looked up from turning off the equipment.
I'll be what I am
A solitary man
A solitary man
“Okay, okay,” he walked forward to stop John. “I hear ya.”
John blinked up at him in confusion, “what?”
“You aren’t at a crossroads,” the loud man sat down. “You’re a couple years away from the big decisions, the ones that will change everything.”
John snorted thinking of his record, “I think those have already come.”
“No,” Lorne shook his head, “but they will come. And when they do, flipping a coin may seem easiest, to just leave it up to fate… but you’ve got to take the step John. You’ll have to make the decision to be the man you can be or settle for the shadow of that man.”
His alcohol infused system didn’t make sense of that.
Lorne sighed, “Just remember this, because when the moment comes… you’ll know it. It won’t be subtle. It will be the most unsettling secret to ever be revealed. If you take it, there will be a lot in your future, things that even I can’t see. If you decide to stay… it’s not your role to sit back and let things happen.”
He smiled widely his red-eyes looking less menacing as he said, “remember…”
Several Months Later
Major John Sheppard sat on a grassy knoll as he tried to make heads or tails of the proposition he’d been given by the military.
‘Atlantis,’ he thought. ‘I’d be crossing the universe to a galaxy ancient ancestors abandoned ten thousand years ago.’
But leaving Earth… The chance they’d die by some unknown element. The fact was once they went they would be trapped. He stared at the coin in his hand it was silvery, faded, older than him. He’d picked it up at some point during his travels, a woman’s profile on one side, a indistinguishable creature on the other. He flipped the coin.
“Heads go,” he flipped it again, “tails stay.”
He continued to flip the coin, never once looking at the result. Then he stood as an image, a dreamlike remembrance came back. He knew what he had to do; he knew what his decision was. This was the day that had been waiting for him, the one a bright colored hallucination had warned him about.
And he remembered that voice, the tone that was both teasing and sympathetic as he explained, “Remember… evil triumphs when good men do nothing… and whether you believe it or not John, you are a good man…”
A/N: Yes plot bunnies ate my brain and this got typed up. This is in response to the Andy Hallett/Lorne challenge.