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Title: Tears of a Child
Author: ldyanne
Pairing: John/Rodney
Categories: schmoop
Warnings: none
Words: 1500ish
Summary:  John Sheppard had faced the worst that the Pegasus Galaxy had to throw at him – he'd fought the Wraith and the Genii, been chased off more worlds than he could count, been pursued by an Ancient priestess – but the thing that struck true fear into his heart was the tears that ran down the cheeks of his daughter.
A/N: this hasn't been betad yet because I wanted to post before the deadline. If you see anything let me know, and I will update it.



John Sheppard had faced the worst that the Pegasus Galaxy had to throw at him – he'd fought the Wraith and the Genii, been chased off more worlds than he could count, been pursued by an Ancient priestess – but the thing that struck true fear into his heart was the tears that ran down the cheeks of his daughter.

She'd been crying for awhile now and didn't seem ready to give either of them a break anytime soon.  
"I know, Molly, baby.  Help me out here, tell me what's wrong?"

Rodney claimed that their child was a genius; maybe she would prove it and talk at two months old.  John was a little disappointed when she just kept crying fat little tears, her face a picture of misery.

He went through Rodney's checklist that he'd left for just this occasion:
Feeding - he'd fed her and burped her.  Their daughter burped like a champion.
Changing:  He'd changed her smelly diaper (that was enough to make him cry).
He'd given her a bath and changed her into a fresh, sweet-smelling onesie.  Nothing had worked to stem the tide of her tears and now they were accompanied by sniffling little sobs like her heart was breaking.

He paced the room, bouncing her a little in his arms.  He didn't know what to do.  Rodney was the one who was good with their daughter.  Despite the fact that he claimed to be terrible with kids, he adored Molly.  As long as there were no dangerous experiments going on, he took her to the lab in a little harness on his chest.  All of the scientists loved and doted on her.

"What am I going to do with you?"  John asked Molly.  He moved her to his shoulder, rubbing her back in small, gentle circles.  All too soon he had a sodden shoulder and his daughter was still crying.

"Daddy will be back any time now," John whispered to her.  But he knew that was a lie.  Rodney was off-world on M7G-677.  The kids' shield needed regular maintenance to keep working properly.  Normally Rodney sent whichever one of his minions that needed the off-world experience – the place was almost as safe as Atlantis and the kids would give whoever went hell without actually hurting them.  It was great field experience.  But this time Rodney went himself.  He said that John needed some time to bond with their daughter.  He wasn't expected back for two days.

"You can't force it," Rodney had told him patiently when John had asked exactly how he was supposed to bond with their daughter.  "She can tell when you're tense.  You just need to be yourself.  She'll know when you're comfortable with her."

John didn't know how to be himself.  He was usually good with kids.  But that was other people's kids, he could give them back when they were wet or stinky or hungry or when they kept crying.  He despaired of ever bonding with Molly.  

The room was about to close in on him.

"Alright," he wrapped Molly in a blanket and draped her over his shoulder, "maybe we just need a change of scenery."  He was headed for the door when he realized that he needed to put on shoes and pants himself.

Finally they were both ready and John headed for the door.  He swung Molly's bag with all of her necessary supplies over his shoulder on a whim.  Unexpected things happened in Atlantis sometimes.  He needed to be ready for whatever might come up.

John hesitated at the transporter unsure where to go.  He decided on the control room.  If there was any word from Rodney, they'd be the first to hear it.  Although there wasn't going to be any word from Rodney.  M7G-677 was one of the safest places in the Galaxy.  Rodney would be home in two days and they'd go back to their routine with Rodney taking over the care of their daughter.

Except John didn't want that.  He loved Molly as much as Rodney did.  He didn't tell Rodney, but John was jealous of the fact that Rodney could always get Molly to stop crying.  She would coo and kick her feet when she saw Rodney and her first smiles were all for Rodney.  John wanted to be part of that, he did, he just couldn't seem to figure it out.

The transporter door opened for them and John tapped the map that would take them to the control room.

It was quiet in the control room.  It was the middle of the night for the majority of the city.  There were only a few necessary people in the control center of the city.  John could see the lights of Mr. Woolsey's office were on.  He nodded to the tech on duty and headed toward Woolsey's office, rearranging Molly so she was tucked into the curve of his arm.

Richard Woolsey looked up as John sauntered in.
"You're up late," Mr. Woolsey observed.  He smiled at John, no doubt finding John's disheveled appearance – hair sticking up more than usual, sodden t-shirt and rumpled pants, amusing.

John shrugged ruefully.  "Just trying to find something to quiet her down."

Mr. Woolsey shut his computer thoughtfully.  "You know when I was a child, my mother used to tell the story that she and my father would take me for a ride in the car when I was fussy."

Privately John had trouble imagining Woolsey as a child.  He was pretty sure that Richard Woolsey had been hatched fully grown complete with a suit and tie.  Still it gave John an idea.

"You know it might be a good idea to take out a jumper and make sure everything is quiet out there."

Atlantis had a range of sensors that monitored conditions on the planet and the space around the planet constantly.  Neither of them mentioned that.

Mr. Woolsey nodded his agreement.  "If you want to leave Molly here…" he offered.

John grinned.  "Nah, I think she may need her first jumper lesson."

Mr. Woolsey turned back to his computer.  "Just be careful, Colonel.  We can't have your daughter pulled over for speeding."

"We'll be good," John promised.

As he took the stairs up to the jumper bay he realized that Molly had stopped crying.

He headed for Jumper 1, his favorite jumper.  Rodney laughed at him and told him he was being silly, anthropomorphizing the jumpers.  But John knew that Jumper 1 liked him the best.

As if to prove his point, the jumper lit up at his approach and he felt a thrum of welcome when he put a hand on the hull.

"Can you feel that?" he whispered down at Molly.  She kicked her feet at him, her eyes bright.  For a minute he forgot about the jumpers, completely caught in her gaze.  He brushed a finger down her cheek and she grasped it tightly.

"Hey, come on, you got to let go if we're going for a ride."  He tugged the finger away gently.

The rear hatch of the jumper opened.  John boarded, heading for the cockpit.  He settled in the pilot's seat.

"This is where you'll sit when you're older," he promised the child in his arms.  "You've got to be able to reach the controls before you can fly the puddle jumpers though."

She made a sound and John was positive that she'd just giggled at him.

He ran through the pre-flight checklist with her, making sure he told her how to do it twice.  And then they were lifting into the air.  The roof opening irised open and they were outside.

John took them over the water low and then turned so Molly could see the city.

"See how beautiful it is?  It's all yours."  Carson had told them that Molly had the strongest expression of the ATA gene that he had found so far.

John was afraid of what the city would let their daughter do once Molly learned what she could do, but that was a bridge they would cross when they got there.  Right now, the city shown with bright lights that twinkled like fairy light.

"You won't tell you dad I said fairy light, will you?" John asked anxiously.  "He'll never let me forget it."

Molly cooed at him and reached toward the city with one hand.

"Yeah, me, too," John agreed fondly.

He took them up, out into the darkness of space.  By the time they got there, Molly was asleep in his arms.  For the first time, John really felt like he was holding his daughter.

~~~~~

"Did you miss me?" Rodney called out as he entered their quarters.  It was dark and quiet.

He'd been a little disappointed that John and Molly hadn't met him in the control room, but he'd gotten the maintenance to the shield done in record time and was home a day early. They wouldn't be expecting him to be home yet.

Finding no one waiting for him in the living room, he went to the bed room where he found his boyfriend and their daughter asleep, the windows darkened to keep out the morning sun.  Rodney hadn't even known the windows would do that.

The two of them looked so comfortable, sleepy and warm that he kicked off his shoes and slid in behind John.

John stirred, turning a little so he could press a sleepy kiss to Rodney's lips.

"Home early?" he mumbled.

"I couldn't stay away.  You two do okay?"

John nodded.  "She's going to be a pilot you know."

Rodney snorted, feeling the warmth of the bed and the darkness of the room work to pull him into sleep.  "Of course, she's your daughter, isn't she?"

John laced their fingers together, his breathing falling into a regular rhythm.  "She's our daughter," he whispered as he fell back into sleep.

Comments

( 27 comments — Leave a comment )
altyronsmaker
Aug. 18th, 2012 05:58 pm (UTC)
OH. my heart, she quakes with this! She's OUR daughter. Damned right, John.
ldyanne
Aug. 18th, 2012 08:34 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
em_kellesvig
Aug. 18th, 2012 07:58 pm (UTC)
Oh, so sweet! John and Molly bonding over the jumpers! Yep, John, you need to be yourself -- a pilot and a dad. Lovely!
ldyanne
Aug. 18th, 2012 08:35 pm (UTC)
Little Molly doesn't really have a chance with John and Rodney as parents. I kind of see her growing up as a skateboarding astrophysicist who flies puddle jumpers in her spare time.
rabidfan
Aug. 18th, 2012 08:27 pm (UTC)
Cute! I noticed that the name shifted back and forth from Molly to Maggie and back, tho. You might need to pick one?? ::grins::
ldyanne
Aug. 18th, 2012 08:36 pm (UTC)
Glad you liked it. Thanks for the heads up on the name I thought I'd done a find and replace before I posted, but obviously that didn't work as well as I thought it did! All fixed now.
esteefee
Aug. 18th, 2012 08:41 pm (UTC)
He was pretty sure that Richard Woolsey had been hatched fully grown complete with a suit and tie.

hee! no, I think he was wee Ricky Woosley in suit and tie. :)) slowly evolving into the larger bureaucratic version.

loved John bonding over the jumpers with Molly. He ran through the pre-flight checklist with her, making sure he told her how to do it twice. :DD cute! this reminded me of John with Torren John for some reason.

and the ending was very sweet!

ldyanne
Aug. 18th, 2012 08:52 pm (UTC)
hee! no, I think he was wee Ricky Woosley in suit and tie. :)) Oh, now I have this whole image of wee Ricky Woosley and his little briefcase that he used to carry his art supplies to school in. It also has those thick lined pads that you used in grade school to learn to write (do they still use those) in there and a set of pencils all sharpened and arranged neatly in the pocket.

this reminded me of John with Torren John for some reason. I'm pretty sure John taught Torren John how to fly that Wraith Dart.

Glad you liked the fic!
esteefee
Aug. 18th, 2012 10:46 pm (UTC)
I bet Ricky had a pencil case!
sarahj2222
Aug. 19th, 2012 04:15 am (UTC)
This is lovely..Thanks...
ldyanne
Aug. 19th, 2012 04:56 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
popkin16
Aug. 19th, 2012 09:08 am (UTC)
This was adorable! John and his kid would definitely bond over the puddlejumpers XD I love that Molly stops crying as soon as John relaxes with her :)
ldyanne
Aug. 19th, 2012 04:57 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I love John and Rodney with kids, it's one of my favorite things.
aqualegia
Aug. 19th, 2012 12:38 pm (UTC)
Very cute; our daughter - I loved it!
ldyanne
Aug. 19th, 2012 04:57 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
spikespet7
Aug. 19th, 2012 08:56 pm (UTC)
AWWWWWW! This was so lovely and so John finding out he's a good Daddy too.


Kimber
ldyanne
Aug. 30th, 2012 02:37 am (UTC)
Thank you! I just love John as a parent. It's one of my favorite things to read.
neevebrody
Aug. 20th, 2012 03:17 am (UTC)
Loved this from beginning to end... but that last line, just lovely. Well, of course, they'd bond over the 'jumper ride... it was John being himself and comfortable and I love that Molly sensed that. This was just what I needed before turning in tonight.

Oh, and I totally agree with John about Woolsey. ;)

Edited at 2012-08-20 03:18 am (UTC)
ldyanne
Aug. 30th, 2012 02:37 am (UTC)
Thank you! John as a parent is one of my favorite things, so I love to write it.
kensieg
Aug. 20th, 2012 10:57 am (UTC)
awwww!
ldyanne
Aug. 30th, 2012 02:38 am (UTC)
*g* Thank you!
lazy_8s
Aug. 21st, 2012 02:40 am (UTC)

Much love for this! Glad that John tried the old crying remedy, taking the little one for a "drive". :)
ldyanne
Aug. 30th, 2012 02:40 am (UTC)
Thank you! Love John as a parent. I knew he would be a good parent, he just had to find out for himself.
danceswithgary
Aug. 23rd, 2012 07:00 pm (UTC)
So very sweet! :-D
ldyanne
Aug. 30th, 2012 02:40 am (UTC)
Thank you!
selenic76
Aug. 28th, 2012 05:56 am (UTC)
Very sweet ^_^ Thoughtful too, I love how you describe John's feelings on being a father, and how he finds his own way to connect with Molly.

Thanks for sharing!

Edited at 2012-08-28 05:59 am (UTC)
ldyanne
Aug. 30th, 2012 02:41 am (UTC)
Thank you! John as a parent is one of my favorite things. I love when I get the chance to write it.
( 27 comments — Leave a comment )

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