neen s zoran (neensz) wrote,
neen s zoran

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Jinx (1/1)

Title: Jinx
Words: 1900
Rating: PG-13
Fandom: SG:A
Pairing: John/OMC
Summary: Post-series, the reason behind John's suicidal tendencies becomes apparent.

A/N: This fic has been lurking around on my hard drive forever, unopened, because I thought it was a backup copy of Hate (Burn Notice drabble).  Discovered the name of Hate was Hate and not Jinx when making my masterlist, so finally opened this one and TA-DAAH!  Fic for you.


The pony trap and charioteer training workshop was this weekend.  The parking lots by Big Barn and Barn 2 were roiling with owners and trainers and horses as everyone offloaded and the traps and chariots were scattered every which-way as people started hitching up, horses stamping and frisking their tails in response to the unfamiliar hubbub.  Jeremy Denks could just see the mess from where he’d banished himself to the gatehouse to avoid the turmoil.  His sisters’ workshop clients always got a little crazy, and they made him nervous.

Out of necessity, the big wrought-iron gate on the two mile long drive way was closed, to give fair warning to both horses and cars whenever someone needed in, because the some of the training was going to be taking place on the driveway.  There was nothing worse than a car on horse collision, the animal tangled in shards of gleaming metal and screaming its heart out, and not much more heartrending than the aftermath of a stupid accident that could be so easily avoided.

His younger sister, Virginia, came down to check on him while everyone was still hitching up and getting ready.  She gave him a look and a grin that said she knew exactly what he was up to, hiding down here from the clients, but didn’t say anything about it, so he was grateful.  Instead, Ginny took it on herself to remind him, again, that the usual tourists and house-explorers weren’t to be allowed in today—something he really didn’t need reminding of, as he’d been the one to set the rule about outsiders on workshop days, but he just rolled his eyes at her, hiding a fond smile, and told he that he’d remember, and didn’t mention he’d already put up the No Trespassing signs on the gate.

Suddenly, out of the blue, her face hardened and she whipped the shotgun off the wall and aimed it at him.  Jeremy fought against a flashback and asked, his traitorous voice cracking, “Gin?  What the hell?”

“Jer, don’t worry, it’s ok.  But, guy behind Jer, keep your hands where I can see them and tell me what the hell you think you’re doing, trespassing on private property.”

“Hey, lady,” a vaguely familiar voice complained, “I was just coming to ask you to open the gate so I could get in to hike, no need to go waving guns around.”

Jeremy turned around slowly and took in the dingy ballcap as the guy looked down at his well-worn hiking boots, comfortable-looking yet sturdy clothes on, and a battered ALICE pack that looked like it’d seen some hard use.  The guy took that moment to look up and Jeremy drew in a sharp breath.  The eyes were harder, and there were more lines worn into the planes of the face than he’d remembered, and the temples were grey, but he’d know that face forever.

He let out a noise like he’d been gut-punched, and took an abortive step towards Jeremy, freezing when Ginny pinned him with the shotgun again.  “Whoa, Jinx, think you can get your girl there to stop pointing her gun in my face?”

But Jeremy couldn’t move.  Bullets were whizzing past the helicopter and John’s hands were trembling so hard with blood loss that the chopper was weaving from side to side and, tilting and dipping, and one tilt caught Jeremy in a bad way, sliding him across the floor and through the open hatch before he could even grab hold of anything to keep him in the chopper, keep him with John, who needed him, and not only to put pressure on the wound that was spurting black blood from somewhere under the torso of John’s flight suit.  He slammed down on the sand, mere seconds later, the wind knocked out of him and a couple of ribs creaking alarmingly, but fortunately they’d been close enough to the ground-  A fireball over the sand dune seared his face with heat and was almost louder than the soundless roar of grief that was filling him up inside, muting everything around him.

The desert faded abruptly away, and Jeremy knew only a second or two had passed in the present.  No one’s expressions had changed, so he guessed he hadn’t been talking this time, which was an improvement.  Ginny still had the shotgun aimed at John, but he ignored it, lurching to his feet and across the gatehouse as stiffly as if it had been years since he’d last moved.  “John,” Jeremy whispered reverently, cupping his face between his palms and just staring at those so-familiar, changeable eyes.  John was staring back, eyes darting all over his face as it looked like he was trying to memorize Jeremy’s face all over again.

John dragged in a broken breath and let his head fall forward until his forehead was touching Jeremy’s, staying there long enough Jeremy figured it was actually something he’d done on purpose.  “Jinx,” John said softly, voice rough.  “You slid out and no one ever said…  They declared you KIA when they debriefed us.”

“John,” Jeremy half-sobbed.  “John, your chopper blew the fuck up.  I watched it!  I watched you die from over the dunes…” and now there was no half about it, tears were running down his face from the corners of his eyes, but he felt himself smiling.  Goddamn, he’d never been happier in his life.

John lunged forward, dropping his pack to the gatehouse floor and wrapping long arms around Jeremy, John’s living, breathing body plastered against Jeremy until Jeremy could feel the pulse of John’s heartbeat against his skin.  “I’m not.  I didn’t.  Wasn’t us,” John whispered brokenly to him between desperate kisses, John kissing Jeremy like he was air and John was drowning.

Jeremy kissed him back just as desperately, muttering his own garbled and half-heard explanations in tandem with John’s.

It’d been at least 20 years since he’d watched Major John Sheppard’s chopper go down over Taliban controlled territory on an unsanctioned rescue op, and for over 20 years he’d thought the man was dead.  Jeremy had managed to make it home after being traded for in a POW exchange a year later, but he’d taken his early retirement and went back home to help his sisters with the estate and their horse breeding and training programs.

About 25 years ago, when he’d been a stupid kid, he’d joined the military because he’d wanted to help people and he wanted to fly.  He ended up being an airborne medic in a rescue chopper.  A couple years after that, he’d met Captain John Sheppard, and that was that.  They’d been under DADT at the time, but that hadn’t stopped them.  They’d been young and stupid and desperately in love and had thought that they were invincible.  He’d only been with John for less than two years, roommates in the states when they could swing it and spending as much time as possible together in their off-duty time overseas, the sex usually a quiet, hurried, furtive affair in recognition of the consequences of getting caught.  A few months before they would have known each other for two years, Jeremy fell and John’s chopper went down.

Jeremy didn’t know about John, but there’d never been anyone else for him.  Not sex, god no, that was no way to live (though come to think about it, it may be over a year or so since he’d last had a partner who wasn’t his own hand).  But he’d never even come close to feeling about anyone the way he’d felt about John.

“I’m here, I’m here,” John was murmuring against his skin, his lips.  “I’m not dead, you’re not dead, we’re not married to anyone else, I’m thinking that’s cause for a celebration.”  Jeremy pulled back to just look at John, to take him in all over again, his eyes starved for the sight of him.  John’s eyes widened.  “You’re not, are you?  Fuck, Jinx, you damn well better not be, so help me,” Jeremy laughed.  He couldn’t help himself.

He pulled John close again and hooked an arm around John’s neck, pulling John’s head down and knuckling the top of John’s head, knocking the ballcap off and tousling John’s familiar, if graying, wild hair even more, pressing his laughter into the side of John’s neck.  “I’m not married, dumbass.  You were it, John.”  He sighed, and took a moment to just inhale the scent of John, alive and in front of him, before he pulled himself together and turned around to face his sister, grabbing John’s hand in his own and keeping it hostage as he faced down the baffled expression on Ginny’s face, though thankfully not the shotgun she’d already put to the side.  “Gin, this is John.  My John.  From Afghanistan.”

Gin’s face cleared in a burst of bright and ecstatic recognition and amazement.  “Oh.  My.  God!” she shrieked and took off out of the gate house, running up the hill to the barn to tell Ellen, their older sister, Jeremy figured.  He met John’s look and shrugged a little.  “So, I might have told them about you, a little, back in the day.”  John snorted at him and raised one of his expressive eyebrows at Jeremy and Jeremy scowled.  “Shut up, old man, or I’ll leave you alone with them and their army of preteens and see how long you can hold out.”

John’s expression faltered for a second and Jeremy crowed with triumph.  “Army of preteens?  Wait, no, I don’t want to know.  And what’s up with this old man shit, old man?” John laughed.

Jeremy grinned at John, still giddy with the certain knowledge that John was alive.  “Things have changed in the past 20 years, man.  Pretty sure my sisters are aiming to take over the world with adolescent, horse-mad girls.  We’ll have to catch each other up on what’s been happening,” a second shriek from up at the barn caught Jeremy’s attention, and he laughed.  The girls would be back down soon.  He hoped John was up for meeting them and the interrogation that would probably follow.

Smiling fondly up at the barn, he missed the sudden shuttered look in John’s eyes, followed by a spreading mischievous grin that shattered the walls in John’s eyes and took over John’s whole face, the expression once dubbed by Jeremy as John’s 8-year-old-devil face.  It was the face he wore when he bent the rules so far they screamed but never actually broke, and got away with shit so far beyond the pale Jeremy had only been able to shake his head and laugh in disbelief.  It was also the look John had worn when he’d first told Jeremy he loved him, and the first time they’d held hands in public (granted, it had been on the Castro in San Francisco, but still), and before all that, the first time they’d kissed, back when John had taken a chance on Jeremy without knowing if he was gonna get a punch and brig time or kissed back.  Jeremy’s sisters’ shrieking nearly covered John’s low-voiced, “Yeah, oh yeah.  We’ll definitely catch up,” and Jeremy turned back in time to catch the incandescence of John’s 8-year-old-devil grin, and he shook his head with a little smile.  Whatever John was going to get him into now, he just knew, no matter what it was, it’d be worth it.  It was John.

He would always be worth it.
Tags: fic, sg:a


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