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For Week #68-70: Name: Semper Gumby

Title: Semper Gumby
Author: esteefee
Category: Gen, Team, little sad!
Rating: G
Words: 827
Summary: Ford gets to name things. And marines like to play pranks.

Semper Gumby

by esteefee

It started with a joke.

Or John supposed it was payback for a crack he made once about Ford not being allowed to name things, but for some reason known only in the crazy kid's head, as soon Sciences determined that the Ancient labelmaker worked for non-ATAs, Ford grabbed it and started labeling every goddamned thing on the base.

The mess hall steaming table now said HOT STUFF in bright yellow letters. The chief cook's apron read MAD SCIENTIST. The team's deck table was RESERVED.

Ford flashed the rest of them a big grin as he disappeared out the door.

"This was a very bad idea," Rodney said, taking his tray and dropping a plate of meat-thing on top, following it up with some green stuff before following John and Teyla. "Mark my words—"

"Doom and disaster," John volunteered, and Rodney nodded vigorously, nearly tipping his tray onto their table.

"Aiden seems to be enjoying himself very much," Teyla said primly, just as Corporal Rockwell wandered out with his tray, a dazed grin on his face, the ROCKY tattooed neatly across his forehead a startling florescent orange against his dark skin.

"Huh. Didn't know it worked on skin," John said.

"Oh, yes, didn't I mention? Don't worry, it wears off after a couple of days," Rodney added when Teyla stared at them both in alarm. "It's non-toxic, too!"

"I don't believe..." Teyla started, but then Ford came running out, Airman Jimenez close on his heels. The airman's sweatshirt read USMC in bright red and he looked really, really pissed.

Ford ducked behind John.

"Oh, like I'm gonna protect you, leatherneck."

"Sir, it was an accident."

"I'll just bet."

Jimenez pulled to a stop in front of John and saluted. "Sir. Permission to treat Lieutenant Ford to a shaving cream pie."

"Supplies are already running a little low, Jimenez."

Jimenez nodded slowly and considered. "Well, how about we take him out for a flight check of the rescue harnesses at, say, two hundred feet?"

John tapped his jaw thoughtfully. "Just about low enough to still see some wave definition, but high enough to really feel the wind sway?"

"Sir, yessir," Jimenez replied, absolutely straight-faced.

Rodney looked intrigued.

"Aw, now, come on," Ford said behind John's head, and Jimenez grinned really wide, showing his back teeth.

"It's a bad idea to put off maintenance, Lieutenant, you know that."

"Yes, sir," Ford said, sounding dejected, but then there was a warm sensation at the back of John's neck, and Ford laughed. The bastard laughed. "Permission to attend to my duties."

"Ford," John growled. "What did you just do?"

"Nothing, sir." Ford headed toward the door, Jimenez following just as hasty. "I guess I'd better get going. It's a bad idea to put off maintenance."

John looked over at Teyla, who was smiling in an irritating way.

"Well?" John turned to show her his neck. "Don't tell me—it says 'Major Tightass' or something."

"I don't understand the significance of the letters, Major. What is 'A-P-C?'"

John grinned unwillingly.

"What?" Now Rodney wanted in on it. "What's it stand for?"

"It's..." Well, crap. John sighed and tugged up his collar. "Short for an 'all-purpose capsule' the marines get. It has, I don't know, aspirin and caffeine and something else—"

Rodney grinned crookedly. "So, in other words, a big pill."

John scowled.

Teyla laughed.


John thought later, after Ford was injured in the Wraith attack on Atlantis and disappeared, after the long months they'd searched for him and failed, that John would rather remember him like that—as John's bright, grinning insubordinate. As his partner in crime on long treks offworld, when McKay would go on a little too long about energy signatures or plant pollen and Ford would reach into his pocket and silently pull out a white pill and ostentatiously pop it into his mouth.

It was why John refused for so long to have Ford listed as A.W.O.L.—Aiden had been poisoned by an enemy agent during combat, and the medical team had failed to cure him before they'd lost control of him. It wasn't his fault if he was out of his mind from the drug.

That was how John justified it to himself, at least until Ford later kidnapped his team and put them on the same drug.

Ford saved him, though, in the end. He rescued John from a Wraith queen, and John couldn't square it with himself, listing Ford as A.W.O.L. again when it was all over.

So when it came down to it, he finally filled out the K.I.A. paperwork and hauled Aiden's personal effects out of storage. When he finally managed to track down the labelmaker from where it had been bogarted by the Archaeology department, he carefully labeled each box in big bold letters across the front:


And then carried them down to the gate to send them home.


A/N: Semper Gumby is the unofficial motto of all U.S. military services Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) detachments. Although Aiden was more inclined to set bombs than dispose of them, it definitely suits him.


( 33 comments — Leave a comment )
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Sep. 29th, 2012 06:29 am (UTC)
It is kind of sad to consider that bouncy kid teasing Sheppard about how the stargate is painful to pass through, and then consider his ending in the show. Nicely done.
Sep. 29th, 2012 06:34 am (UTC)
I like to think he's bouncing around Pegasus slapping PUNKED tattoos on wraith foreheads.

(ps: tanx!)

Edited at 2012-09-29 06:35 am (UTC)
Sep. 29th, 2012 06:59 am (UTC)
Beautifully done. Poor Ford. Poor team.
Sep. 29th, 2012 07:16 am (UTC)
thanks, babe. Ford! <3
Sep. 29th, 2012 07:42 am (UTC)
Lovely to remember Ford as we knew him in the beginning, full of playful fun...
Sep. 29th, 2012 09:11 pm (UTC)
I love remembering him like that. Thanks woof!
Sep. 29th, 2012 08:18 am (UTC)
Ford :( I'm happy we got Ronon, for sure, but...Ford! Like an overeager puppy.
Sep. 29th, 2012 09:12 pm (UTC)
he brought the best energy. thanks, popkin!
Sep. 29th, 2012 09:50 am (UTC)
Oh Ford... That's how I'd like to remember him too, playful and smiling.

Great story, love the idea of Ford going around labeling things, and the ancient device that allows him to, in big bold letters ^_^ And all the bits of military info you've inserted are interesting, and make this feel more authentic. (Personally I can't tell an airman from a marine, and for writing purposes, especially SGA, I think I should study this... details are important.)

Thanks for sharing!
Sep. 29th, 2012 09:14 pm (UTC)
thanks, S! I wonder how long John wandered around with a tattoo on the back of his neck?
Sep. 29th, 2012 10:49 am (UTC)
SO bittersweet... loved it :)
Sep. 29th, 2012 09:14 pm (UTC)
Sep. 29th, 2012 11:07 am (UTC)
Go Ford Go!

Sep. 29th, 2012 09:14 pm (UTC)
hee! he's out there making trouble, I know it.
Sep. 29th, 2012 11:12 am (UTC)
Ford! A good fic to remember him :)
Sep. 29th, 2012 09:14 pm (UTC)
thank you!
Sep. 29th, 2012 02:01 pm (UTC)
I smiled through this whole thing - until the end, then I wanted to cry. :( Ford. *sob*

Way to tug at my heartstrings, there, missy. >.
Sep. 29th, 2012 09:16 pm (UTC)
heh. tx. I yam a big meanie. but I do love Ford so...I don't get to write him nearly often enough.
Sep. 29th, 2012 02:09 pm (UTC)
Oh, wee Ford! :( I like to think that he escaped, got clean, and found a nice place to live. Maybe a very neatly labelled village somewhere.
Sep. 29th, 2012 09:17 pm (UTC)
haha. YIS!

HUT. COMMODE. ARMORY. SHIELD GENERATOR. because you know he stole some wraith tech. <3 <3 <3

::hugs you::
Sep. 29th, 2012 02:23 pm (UTC)
Awww. So sad but so sweet.
Sep. 29th, 2012 09:17 pm (UTC)
thankee. <3
Sep. 29th, 2012 04:13 pm (UTC)
Oh, Ford. This made me miss him again. :(
Sep. 29th, 2012 09:20 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry! I miss him too...I know Aiden is still out there making trouble though!
Sep. 29th, 2012 05:14 pm (UTC)
A little sad, but lovely all the same.
Sep. 29th, 2012 09:20 pm (UTC)
thank you, sweets!
Sep. 30th, 2012 03:36 pm (UTC)
I love the idea of Ford with a label maker and love how you show his energy and fun loving spirit! Nice touch with the ending too - poor Ford, he's still very much missed, despite how much I love Ronon!
Sep. 30th, 2012 05:11 pm (UTC)
Oh, Ford. ;_; You did a wonderful job capturing his playful, non-crazy, side.

Rewatching season 1 is such a bitter-sweet experience, knowing what will happen to Ford (and everyone else).
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( 33 comments — Leave a comment )

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