fly

continuation of that au where john unintentionally time-travels

The weight of the future rests heavy on him like water in his bones, the knowledge of what happened despite his best efforts. The knowledge of what could still happen. He stands on the southwest pier sometimes, when he feels like he’s drowning, and watches the water until the peace of it flows into him and he can breathe again.

He once asks Heightmeyer who he is. She asks him who he thinks he is, but that’s not the same question. What he wants to know is if he’s the person who wasn’t able to keep Atlantis safe, or merely the memory of him. Do those deaths (and he can name them all) rest on him, or on someone else? But he can’t come up with a way to say that without sounding schizophrenic, so he tells her, “A soldier,” and then realizes that it’s the wrong answer. He should have said ‘pilot’, because that’s still what he is in this version of things. Except he isn’t.

Not really.

“That’s a ‘what’,” she informs him, sounding either amused or pitying—he still can’t tell with her. “Don’t tell me what you do, but who you are.”

There’ s a difference? he wants to say, but doesn’t. The way she looks at him makes him feel like she won’t hear anything he says. Instead he puts on a wry grin. “‘Know thyself’, and all that?” Her smile’s no more real than his, and he spends the rest of the session telling her lies because the people he could trust with the truth don’t exist anymore. (Or never really existed, although whenever he considers that possibility, it hurts to breathe.)

She takes extensive notes. He pretends he doesn’t notice.


*

note to self: stop writing John all emo. also, stop watching batman cartoons instead of writing. at this rate, you're never going to get anything finished, and that's just depressing.
how did I miss this? I love time-travel as a plot device, but find it really hard to write.
It really, really is. Which is why I've only written two bits of this story, neither of which involved much plot. But I'm going to be rewatching the first season soon, so I'm hoping that will get this and a couple other stories rolling again.

The really tricky part, I think, is figuring out how all the character and relationship development will change due to John being different, and how that affects the course of things. At some point I think I'm going to have to chart it all out. >_O