Whatever, I Mean, Okay, Whatever
Fear Stalks the Land!
[fic snippet][Stargate Atlantis] Folsom Prison Blues? 
earlwyn: (sga || flyboy)
Signed up for Team Peace on [community profile] mcshep_match. Sign ups still currently open here. (And peeking at the sign up lists, several of you seem to be my new competitors. Hi, other team! *waggles fingers*) I'm just jumping head-first into this whole fandom partcipation thing lately. Whew.

I've also started to do the thing where I want to write everything but what I'm suppose to be writing. But this time it's totally worth it, I swear; it makes up for my lack of attention span, oh yes. As I pitched it to [profile] shutterbug_12:

earlwyn: i have 1000 words of an sga au that is not my big bang
earlwyn: nor the thing about rodney being a genie
earlwyn: which i will totally write, btw
shutterbug_12: that was my next question
earlwyn: it's john and rodney in STATESVILLE
shutterbug_12: I don't know this Statesville place.
earlwyn: joliet state prison?
shutterbug_12: Not ringing any bells.
earlwyn: like, the scariest maximum security prison in the us?
shutterbug_12: Nope, but I believe you.
earlwyn: whatev. john and rodney meet in prison. it's going to be awesome.

In the end, they send him up to Statesville: the end of the line buried in Middle America. John stares straight ahead through the pop of flashbulbs, the shouts of national journalists and out-stretched microphones of local news reporters swarming the steps of the courthouse as the armed guard escorts him to the car for the long drive upstate. Dave trails behind, deflecting requests for interviews and baring his teeth around legal terms, shark white smile for the cameras. Words get tossed around: "Appeal," Dave says, and, "Exculpatory evidence," Dave says, and eventually, "No more comments," Dave says, and John keeps walking, hand at his elbow and chains clinking between his knees; he ignores them all.

It's not that he doesn't appreciate Dave's help. John hadn't planned to ask but Dave offered when news of the arrest came down the pipe. Their dad hasn't spoken to John for the last half-year, and Nancy had the divorce papers finalized sometime between the back of a cop car and county. Dave's the only one who stood by him these past six weeks, even with what it means for Dave's future bid on the Senate and the Sheppard reputation at large on the national-scale. Maybe even internationally; John thinks he caught the hint of a crisp British accent and a BCC logo floating somewhere down the street.

The officer cups the crown of John's head as he tucks him into the car and the slam of the door cuts out the sound of the milling, curious crowd. Dave lingers on the sidewalk, standing out in the pressed blue suit and lacquered hair with briefcase clenched in hand and the polished granite of the courthouse scoring out the sun. He meets John's eyes and John nods; Dave dips his chin in return: message received and understood. Dave will keep going, try to get John out even though they both know the verdict is iron-clad, almost impossible to overturn.

And for John, this is as far as he goes. He thinks about sending Dave a postcard from Joliet as the car pulls away from the curb.

Prison in some ways reminds John of his time in the Air Force. Not the company or the atmosphere, because there is nothing here John could claim made him feel proud, but it's easy to lose himself in the machine of routine, break down to parts smaller than his sum and simply do: walk, sit, sleep, eat, shit. The Air Force provided good training in turning unbearable ordeals into survivable situations.

They keep him in confinement for the first four days. It makes a kind of natural sense -- the guards don't know him and he doesn't know them, so likes wolves in the jungle they're going to show him through brute demand who is top dog and who isn't -- and John's never been a particularly social person. He really doesn't mind that much. Plus, his next-door-neighbor fills any entertainment craving he might feel.

From what little John has caught, the guy's relatively new here just like John but unlike in that he seems to have made lifelong enemies of everyman within shouting distance of Cell Block B. The other convicts shout slurs at him through the bars and the guy -- McKay, the others call -- shouts right back, usually louder and longer. Some of the things he says are pretty funny too, if anatomically improbable. The guards don't stop it; McKay seems to have ingratiated himself to them as well as the other inmates . So all night and the hours at which the guys aren't allowed out into the yard or the cafeteria or out on work duties John listens to a two-way threat embargo. McKay's curses sound more creative but the other guys' promises sound more painful.

John gets his first glimpse of McKay the second morning before breakfast: broad shoulders and strong-looking arms and a jaw set in derision even when the mouth is pressed in a thin line. John's not allowed to eat in the cafeteria yet -- the guards will bring his food later, when the men are out in the yard -- and his stomach twists with envy as he watches bodies traipse past. He leans his forearms against the crossbar and tries to forget how it's been over 36 hours since he ate the sandwich Dave bought from a vending machine.

It gives a particularly loud rumble as McKay stomps out of his cell, and suddenly John finds himself a focal point of blue eyes exacting like crosshairs. That sharp focus makes him nervous, which makes him angry, and he gives his most insolent smirk in return, the kind that offers everything and promises never to deliver at the same time. McKay blinks and his mouth curves up at the corner in a befuddled and -- weirdly -- shy smile, and then the guard is shoving him between the shoulders, saying, "Fuckin' move. You aren't being paid to flirt."

McKay snaps his head around and scowls at the guard. "I am not flirting! And you aren't paying me, period," and the guard smiles, hard and mean. "I know," he says and shoves McKay again, gets him moving even as McKay huffs and grumbles about police brutality.

John watches them disappear down the walk and shakes his head. It looks like he just made a new friend.

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