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Joy to be Claimed, Chapter Four

Author: wild_force71
Fic Title: Joy to be Claimed
Rating: 15
Fandoms: JF/Heroes/SG1/SGA



“RJ.”

RJ.”

“Lily, don’t…”

“RJ?”

RJ recognised the soft, insistent voice, but he couldn’t figure out why he was hearing it until he opened his eyes.

Casey was flat on his back on the training mat, pinned awkwardly under him. He was watching carefully, but he didn’t seem to be scared or even concerned. Lily was hovering at his shoulder, clearly desperate to help and just as clearly unsure how to.

“RJ?” Casey said quietly, holding his gaze.

“I…” The wolf tried to scramble forward, fighting for control, and he squeezed his eyes shut, tensing. “Look away.”

Casey didn’t move. RJ was breathing too fast and he knew his student could feel it, but he didn’t dare open his eyes until the wolf was under control.

When he did Casey had tilted his gaze to the side, raising his chin. Satisfied with the show of submission, the wolf retreated and RJ stood, carefully taking several steps away from Casey.

“Are you alright?” Lily asked softly, kneeling beside him.

“Fine. I’m fine, he didn’t…RJ?”

RJ shuddered, once, and then turned to face them, deliberately wide-eyed. “Whoa. That was weird.”

“Weird?” Lily protested. “You nearly…”

“Lil,” Casey said, cutting across her. He’d propped himself up on one elbow, but he wasn’t moving any further and every time RJ tried to catch his eye, he ducked his head. “What’s wrong with the wolf?”

RJ shook his head. “I was meditating. You must have startled me.”

“You were yelling,” Lily told him. “We heard you downstairs.”

“What were you seeing?” Casey asked curiously.

“You can get up,” RJ told him. “I’m not going to jump you.”

“Yeah, the tiger’s not so sure, so I’ll just stay here, if you don’t mind.” Despite his words he sat upright, shifting to sit cross-legged.

Lily was still at his shoulder, but she pushed to her feet, eyes wide. “RJ, your hand.”

RJ looked down at his wrist; a red mark, like a burn, ringed it. “Oh,” he said. Thoughtfully, he added, “Ow.”

“Does it hurt?” Casey asked. He’d tensed up, but he was still making no attempt to move.

“No.” RJ touched it lightly. “Oh. Now it does. Quite a lot, actually.”

“The wolf’s upset about something. That’s your morpher.”

“I don’t wear my morpher anymore.”

Lily took his hand, tracing gently around the edges of the mark. “It’s exactly the same shape,” she said over her shoulder to Casey. “RJ, when was the last…”

She’d trailed off, RJ assumed, because his eyes were closed again. Or maybe the wolf was showing. He couldn’t see to tell.

“Let go, please,” he said quietly. She did, taking what sounded like two or three steps away and stumbling over the edge of the training mats, going down hard.

“Theo, stop,” Casey ordered—he was on his feet again, RJ noticed absently, wondering what he looked like if the tiger was willing to risk another showdown with the wolf. “RJ?”

“I think,” RJ said carefully, concentrating fiercely on each word, “that maybe none of you should touch me.”

“What’s wrong?” Theo asked softly.

“The wolf wants out,” Casey answered just as quietly. “Go get Lily. Carefully.”

No one spoke for several minutes; RJ patiently willed the wolf back, forcing it down as deep as he could. When he thought he had it under control he opened his eyes, turning.

The teens were grouped by the stairs, Casey in front. “Everything’s cool,” RJ promised. “Just don’t touch me yet,” he added as they started forward. “Lil, you ok?”

“Fine. I’m sorry if I…upset you? I didn’t mean…”

“It’s fine,” he assured her. “I’m fine, you’re fine, Casey’s fine, and Theo…”

“Missed everything, as usual,” Casey filled in.

“Hey! I was busy doing your job!”

“I don’t work here anymore,” Casey reminded him.

“We should all be doing our jobs,” RJ commented. “And by we all, I mean you three. Casey, you remember how?”

Lily and Theo went; Casey stayed where he was, arms folded as he studied RJ.

“You should go, too,” RJ warned him.

“Last time your wolf spirit was unbalanced, I ended up chasing you all over town during an attack,” Casey said neutrally.

“No more attacks, remember? I’m fine. You startled me out of meditation and I was off-balance. That’s all.”

“What did you see?” He took a step forward. “You saw something that upset the wolf.”

“A man,” RJ admitted. “And a battle to come.”

“We’re done fighting. Dai Shi’s gone, remember?”

“Not Dai Shi. Something ancient, and hungry, and…don’t touch me…”

Casey stood for a moment, hand still extending, before lowering it slowly. “Whatever it is, we’ll deal. We’re Pai Zhua masters.”

RJ glanced down at his wrist. “Yeah. I think that may be part of the problem.”



Peter was awake when Nathan got up the next morning, sketching idly. “More?” Nathan asked, leaning over the back of the couch to look.

“Morning, Nathan,” Peter said without looking up. “How’d you sleep?”

“In a bed. Which is more than you did, from the looks of you. Did you sleep at all?”

“Yes, I slept. I dreamed.” Peter put down the paper, tossing the pencil after it. “It wasn’t exactly restful.”

“What is this?” Nathan picked up the paper, studying it.

“That’s what they’re fighting.” Peter rose, pacing to the window and staring out.

“What who are fighting?”

“In the city on the sea.”

“Peter, this…” Nathan brandished the paper. “This is nothing. You were dreaming, that’s all, a nightmare…”

“My dreams come true, Nathan.”

“Not always!”

They stared at each other in silence until Nathan turned away, drawing a deep breath. “Not always,” he repeated more calmly. “Only sometimes.”

“This one will.”

“These things?” Nathan held up the picture. He was holding it by the corner, between two fingers, touching as little of it as possible. “This isn’t real. These things aren’t real.”

“Not here,” Peter agreed calmly. “But in the city on the water they are.”

“You’re scaring me,” Nathan said quietly.

“I’m sorry,” Peter said immediately. “I am. But it’s real, Nathan.”

Nathan sighed, setting the page down and flipping it so the picture was obscured. “Tell me what you dreamed.”




Thunk thunk catch. Thunk thunk catch. Thunk thunk…

“Ow!”

“Sorry, Carter.” Jack watched his ball bounce into a corner of the room.

Sam rubbed her hip, frowning. “Yes, sir.”

“News?” he asked, glancing at the folder in her hand.

“Dr Suresh is compiling a list of people with the ATA. Starting in California, for some reason.” She fiddled with a corner of the file.

“Out with it,” Jack ordered.

“Some months ago Dr Suresh sent a list of people he claimed were likely to be murder victims to the FBI. When it was investigated, several had already been killed.”

“And…” Jack circled one hand in the air.

“The same way Joe Spencer was killed.”

Jack sat forward. “Suresh?”

“Cleared, sir. He was in India when most of the deaths occurred. But sir, everyone on the list had the Meta mutation.”

Jack sat upright. “Joe wasn’t Meta.”

Carter flinched slightly. “Actually, sir…”

“Aww, you’re kidding me!”

“He never manifested. But he did have the mutation.”

“That’s supposed to be tracked!”

Sam pulled another three sheets from her folder, trying to pass them to him. “It seems that the ATA gene suppresses the Meta mutation thoroughly enough that the standard tests don’t detect it.”

“And we don’t know about it because…” He took the sheets, because she kept pushing them at him, but he didn’t bother reading them.

“The proportion of people with both the Meta and the ATA is so small, sir, we’ve never even picked this up. We’ve double checked now, and we’re sending word to Atlantis, but none of the ATA holders here have the Meta.”

“Really?” Jack snapped his fingers. “Shoot.”

“Sorry, sir. No super powers today.”

“What power did Joe have?”

“There’s no way to know, sir, since he never manifested. We can’t tell.”

Jack picked up one of the sheets, turning it upside down. “Atlantis are looking for this?”

“Dr Beckett is checking their records now that he knows what he’s looking for.” She took the paper from him, turning it the right way up.

“Makes more sense the other way,” Jack protested.

“Yes sir,” Sam muttered, sliding it back into her folder. “Here.” She scooped his ball back up, tossing it to him. “Have fun.”

“You’re tracking Suresh, right?” Jack called after her.

“We’re watching him, sir!” Sam yelled back.

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Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
rivulet027
Apr. 7th, 2009 02:46 am (UTC)
Interesting that it wasn't just Peter's dream. Loved how Lily and Casey handled RJ and poor Mohinder just can't get a break can he?
wild_force71
Apr. 7th, 2009 07:45 am (UTC)
Sorry, that was me.
(Anonymous)
Apr. 7th, 2009 07:44 am (UTC)
Don't worry, Mohinder gets to redemm himself later on. :)

And poor RJ, everyone has to be very careful around him for a while...
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )