[identity profile] sgasesa-admin.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] sga_santa
Title: No Rest For The Winged
Author: [livejournal.com profile] bluflamingo
Recipient: [livejournal.com profile] mandykaysfic
Pairing: Laura Cadman/Katie Brown, Ronon Dex/Evan Lorne, Dusty Mehra/OFC
Rating: Teen
Disclaimer: Not mine!
Summary: Four times that having wings was more of a hindrance than a help, and one time it was awesome

No Rest For The Winged

Despite having wings, flyers don't belong in trees

As far as Laura was concerned, the only good thing about Lorne being injured was that his team wasn't available to accompany a botany field trip to study trees on another world.

Well, to be strictly accurate, the best thing was that her team got tapped to go instead. Five days on a world cleared as safe - Laura's team was a precaution, and free labor - flying patrols in glorious blue skies, stretching her wings on the warm thermals that Atlantis didn't get. Plus, she had a totally legitimate excuse to drop in on her girlfriend whenever she wanted. Laura had to force herself not to think about that too often, because her feathers ruffled and fluffed up with pleasure every time she did. Even Major Teldy had started to roll her eyes.

Laura and Dusty Mehra took to the skies as soon as their boots hit the ground on the other side of the gate. The sun felt amazing on Laura's wings; Dusty felt the same, from the whoop of joy she gave, making Laura laugh. Down below, Dr Bell, the only flyer scientist on the mission, watched them with something like longing on his face. Laura reminded herself to get him in the air when she could.

She and Dusty flew a simple patrol pattern over the area the scientists had mapped out, so familiar that Laura could do it in her sleep. It still took them most of the morning, pushing out to eye the wider area, and when they swung back towards base camp, it was quiet.

Teldy sent them both to check on the scientists after a break. Laura pushed a little ahead of Dusty, squinting against the sun for Katie's red hair. She was up a tree, of course, because one of the features of this planet was ferns that grew in the upper branches of trees.

Laura slowed, spiraled down until she was nearly level with Katie, who was watching her descent with a warm smile. "Discover any more magical healing plants?" Laura asked, when she was close enough not to shout.

"Day's young." Katie reached out, just short of being able to catch Laura's hand. "C'mere, I want to show you something."

Laura forgot for a moment, that she was down among the leafy part of trees. She beat her wings just enough to close the distance to Katie, remembered a moment too late why this was a bad idea - because she was tangling with the branches and leaves, wings working over-time to free her and keep her in the air.

Katie made a sharp noise of alarm, the tree shivering as Laura fought to pull herself clear. Somewhere close, Dusty shouted, "Wait, don't -"

And then both Laura and Katie were falling, hitting the ground hard enough to rattle Laura's brain in her head, even with her wings taking some of the speed out of the fall. It didn't help that Katie landed mostly on top of her, her knee in Laura's stomach.

There was a moment of deep silence as everyone caught their breath.

Then: "You know what?" Katie said from somewhere by Laura's shoulder. "I can just show you later."

*

A flyer on a balcony is colder than two in a bed

When Ronon opened the door to his and Evan's room, the first thing he noticed was the cool night chill where it should be warm. Evan didn't sleep well in the cold, even with two pairs of wings keeping them warm, but the lack of immediate response to Ronon's entrance suggested Evan either wasn't awake or wasn't home.

If he'd decided to go night flying while injured, Ronon was setting Keller on him - her sad, disappointed expression was the only thing that worked on John, and Evan was far more susceptible than John could ever be.

It turned out not to be necessary. When Ronon went to close the balcony door, he found Evan standing in the far corner, wings drawn close around himself, head down in sleep.

Ronon hesitated for a moment, one hand still on the doorframe as he consciously willed his wings not to rise up into the protective position they wanted to assume. Evan looked far more weary than could be accounted for even by injury, but the cold couldn't be doing him any good.

"Evan," he said softly, staying well back. "Wake up, it's time to go to bed."

Evan groaned, shifting his feet as he seemed to take a moment to figure out what was happening. His wings unfurled a little, enough to show he was still wearing the sling on his left arm, broken in three places on a bad mission. "Time is it?"

"Bit before dinner." Ronon stepped closer, resting one hand on the side of Evan's neck. His skin was chilled. "What are you doing out here?"

"Sleeping." Evan shifted again, his feathers shifting in something like embarrassment.

"I got that. Why?"

"Can't sleep on my stomach." Evan twitched the fingers of his injured arm. "And you know sleeping on your wings doesn't work."

Ronon did know that. He just wasn't sure he'd ever have decided that sleeping while standing on a cold balcony was a good idea. Not that Evan looked entirely there, his eyes hazy with more than just sleep. Ronon reminded himself to ask Keller about different pain killers. "Come on." He tugged lightly on Evan's good arm, pleased when Evan followed easily. "We'll figure out something better."

Something better turned out to be both of them sleeping sitting up, cocooned by their wings, Evan's breath warm against Ronon's neck. There were definitely worse ways to end the day.

*

It's all good until someone gets a wing to the face

As far as Dusty was concerned, growing out her wings when she hit puberty was pretty much the best thing that had ever happened to her. Especially as, with a human father, her chances of being a flyer had been a little less than one in three.

Being a flyer meant some of the best, most interesting postings since she'd joined the military. It meant being able to follow her mother up into skies she barely remembered from being small enough to ride up strapped to her mom's chest. It meant being better, faster, stronger than most humans, and it also meant that, "You can touch them, if you want," combined with her smart-ass grin, got her a lot of dates.

What it did not mean was that shower sex was ever going to be a particularly successful endeavor. Not that Dusty ever let that stop her when someone suggested it.

"I swear to God -" She raised her wings high over her head, letting Freya duck in close enough to not get poked again with the sharp tip of Dusty's wing - "There is no way the Ancients were flyers. Not when they lived with such tiny showers."

Freya laughed, slightly unsteady. Dusty didn't blame her - it must be kind of freaky to be thwapped in the head with a wing-tip while going down on the wing's owner. "Records show some of them definitely were. Though I suppose it's possible that they lived in other parts of the city."

"That ought to be a priority search," Dusty grumbled, knowing there'd be no point in suggesting it. Major Lorne was the highest ranking military flyer in the city, with nowhere near enough clout to make that happen, even adding in Ronon and Teyla, the two flyers on the Colonel's team. The civilian side was even worse, though that wasn't a huge surprise; a disproportionate number of flyers went into the military, and they were massively under-represented in the academic and research community.

"Hmm." Freya nuzzled at Dusty's neck, apparently over the worst of being freaked. The warm water probably helped, or maybe that they were both naked and wet. "I'll get right on researching that. Unless you want to..."

Her hand drifted lower, and hell yeah, Dusty wanted to. She wrapped her wings around Freya's back, drawing her in close and safe.

*

Defense mechanism

Evan woke up to pain in his nose and a mouthful of feathers, which wouldn't have been ideal even if it hadn't been accompanied by Ronon tossing restlessly next to him.

The wing that had hit Evan in the face rose up. Evan took the opportunity to slide out of bed, wincing when his broken arm twinged with the movement. Although sleeping sitting up meant actually sleeping, in retrospect, it probably hadn't been a good idea right after Ronon came back from a mission. They'd been together long enough to know how to sleep without tangling their wings, or getting a wing to the face during a bad dream, but ingrained reflexes weren't always quick to respond to change.

"Ronon." Evan hesitated - Ronon was sleeping on his stomach, his face hidden, but his wings were fluttering hard enough to lift him off, with a running start, and Evan wasn't quite ready to risk another inadvertent hit. "Ronon, wake up, you're dreaming."

Ronon moaned, low in the back of his throat. To hell with injury, Evan would take a broken nose over Ronon's clear distress any day. He reached out with his good arm, but before he could make contact, or even really get close, the same wing twitched at his back. Right - fine motor control wasn't great on land, but it wasn't impossible.

Evan focused, his wing coming visible over his shoulder, and tapped Ronon firmly on the bare back of his neck. "Wake up, Specialist."

Ronon came awake with a sharp, quickly stifled noise, pushing himself up onto his knees. Evan saw the moment that awareness returned, Ronon's eyes seeking out his. Evan smiled as best he could - the pain in his nose was starting to make itself known, and he'd be lucky not to have a spectacular black eye come morning.

"Sorry," Ronon said, softly.

"You okay?" Evan knelt on the bed and stroked a hand over the edge of Ronon's wing, right where it joined his back. Ronon hmm'ed, low and content.

"Bad dream." He slid down into the bed, face turned to Evan, eyes closed. "Keep doing that."

"Not going anywhere," Evan said quietly, and carried on.

*

One for sorrow, two for joy

John had grown up expecting to be a flyer, just waiting for puberty to activate the gene - after all, both his parents were flyers, and hardly any children of two flyers grew up human. Except that he'd still been human, been normal, when he turned sixteen; was still human when Dave, four years younger, woke up one morning with the start of his wings.

No-one ever said it out loud, but John had always been certain that his parents couldn't both be biologically his, and equally certain that his father wasn't really his father. He suspected his father thought the same.

John had convinced himself that it didn't matter. He'd joined the air force, learned to fly helicopters, and told himself that it was the same, that he didn't look up when a flyer patrol went over his head and long to be with them, where he'd always thought he belonged.

Three days after Teyla gave him a battle-field transfusion, he woke up with the same winglets Dave had sprouted at thirteen. Almost all the Athosians were flyers, and of course Teyla was as well, but, as both Carson and Keller said, she shouldn't have been able to pass that to John. It didn't work that way.

John's biology didn't seem to care. He half-expected the winglets to fade out again; instead, they grew, feathers black like his hair, until he had to requisition new uniform shirts cut for flyers, and learn how to walk as his center of gravity shifted.

It took six months for him to learn to use the wings and, more importantly, to learn how to come to something like a controlled stop. He spent a good half of that time with serious bruises, and more than a few sprains. Flying using his wings was nothing like anything the air force had taught him, bruising his dignity right along with his ribs, and when he wasn't in the air, people quickly learned to keep their distance from him while he learned the control that came naturally to flyers during puberty.

It was all worth it though, when he stood next to Teyla on Atlantis' highest balcony as the sun rose on the horizon, stretched his wings wide, stepped forward into empty air - and flew, perfect and peaceful and calm, exactly where he'd always been meant to belong.

Date: 2012-12-15 03:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] clwilson2006.livejournal.com
oh wing!fic - how I adore thee.

these are all excellent but that last one. got me right in the feels.

awesome stuff!

thank you for sharing Santa!

Date: 2012-12-15 04:22 pm (UTC)
ext_384643: (John happy)
From: [identity profile] sexycazzy.livejournal.com
This is really good and like [livejournal.com profile] clwilson2006 the last one send shivers down my back! :)

Date: 2012-12-15 06:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] schneefink.livejournal.com
A great exploration of what having wings means in everyday life in very nice warm scenes. Poor John, growing up without wings :( I half expected him getting wings to be a dream.

Date: 2012-12-15 06:35 pm (UTC)
kisahawklin: Sharpened pencil writing 'kisa' (Default)
From: [personal profile] kisahawklin
This is really delightful! I've not read much wingfic (no particular reason, just hasn't crossed my path) and this is wonderful and a fascinating world, and also full of pairings I love. Great story!

SGA Newsletter - December 15, 2012

Date: 2012-12-15 09:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] livejournal.livejournal.com
User [livejournal.com profile] neevebrody referenced to your post from SGA Newsletter - December 15, 2012 (http://sga-newsletter.livejournal.com/678354.html) saying: [...] : No Rest For The Winged (Brown/Cadman, Dex/Lorne, Mehra/OFC, Teen) [...]

Date: 2012-12-15 11:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mandykaysfic.livejournal.com
Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you, Santa! I really like this a lot.

I've thought about Laura/Katie for a while, never read this pairing before, and to get them with wings, in a world of flyers and humans is great. Poor Laura - I shouldn't laugh, but I could picture it so easily.

Ronon/Evan here, and twice :) - so caring.
"Wake up, Specialist." That whole scene sticks in my mind.

There has to be a larger shower for Dusty & Freya somewhere :)

And John, growing up without wings, then to finally get them - what a fantastic way to finish.

I love my fic.

Date: 2012-12-16 12:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scarlettandblue.livejournal.com
This was sweet,
loved it Santa

Date: 2012-12-16 09:41 am (UTC)
ladysorka: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ladysorka
I love the glimpses into this world that you've given. These were all lovely. (...especially the Laura/Katie one, because Laura/Katie.)

Date: 2012-12-18 01:17 am (UTC)
runpunkrun: batman looking grim in a santa hat (he knows if you've been bad or good)
From: [personal profile] runpunkrun
Your title is making me laugh.

I enjoyed these, especially Ronon finding Lorne sleeping out on the balcony, except it said Lorne was the highest ranking officer with wings and I felt bad for John! So the last piece was a nice surprise and a happy ending.

Date: 2013-01-09 11:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] that-which.livejournal.com
Oh, nice twist - John's dad was a natural flyer and he wasn't.

I'm glad he got there in the end.

Date: 2013-03-25 05:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aquila1nz.livejournal.com
Loved this, and the way having wings works with their personalities.

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