Note; This story picks up shortly after where the previous story. "Domesticating Ghosts" left off.
"Been a Long Time Dry" by karrenia
John Sheppard, while no stranger to strong liquor, had never seen anyone imbibe quite at the frequency and rapidity as Methos. The man was skinny but
sinewy and given what he had seen thus far, played on that face-in-the crowd seemingly harmless every-day man façade more often than he had a right to own to.
Fascinated and disgusted he watched as the six-pack beer was opened, drained, and disposed of with a speed that was almost frightening; and yet the man showed no signs of even being a bit intoxicated.
“Does he even get drunk?” Sheppard demanded of the man sitting beside at the mess hall table.
Duncan Macleod shook his head and finished his one and only can of beer and then plunked it down on the table with a tinny sounding thud. “I can’t be entirely certain, with him its half guess and half knowing and we’ve not quite worked the exact percentage. He’s a quiet, maudlin drunk would be a fair approximation.
“Hope I’m not inconveniencing anyone!” Methos griped looking around for another six-pack and signing in resignation when now was ready to hand.
Meanwhile Ronon Dex sat with his arms folded over his chest and when he saw a conversational opening demanded. “Now, that you, are, shall we say, sufficiently recovered from your ordeal, would you mind explaining what happened during your, uh, out-of-body, experience?”
“Yes, I would mind,” Methos retorted, And I don’t expect small-minded Neathandrals like you to even begin to understand what an out-of-body experience is let alone what it felt like to experience one!”
“Watch your tongue, little man!” Ronon said in a quiet but unmistakably menacing tone of voice.
“Or you’ll cut it out?” Methos replied leaning forward from where he sat at the table and locking gazes with the big man.
“Gentlemen,” Sheppard intervened, “Now, now, we’re all friends here. There’s no reason to resort to violence. He nearly stood up and was tensed and ready to leap to prevent bloodshed at a moment’s notice.
Duncan sighed. “He doesn’t mean it. It’s just his way of launching the equivalent of conversational grenades; I suggest you let it go, Mr. Dex.”
“It’s Ronon, and I shall agree to let it go, for now.”
“Good, good,” Sheppard sighed as he sat back down in his chair.
“Well, as I was saying, I had a run-in with beings that were shall we say, there but not quite there, and don’t look at me that way, Macleod, or you either, Ryan. I’m old; it’s my privilege to wander in thought.
“Is he always like this?” Teyla asked.
Richie Ryan, who until now had simply ate his dinner in silence but listening intently to every word exchanged nodded and offered Teyla one his trade-marked grins. “Yeah, pretty much, why do you think we ply him with beer?”
“To keep him talking?”
“No, to keep him occupied.”
“I see,” she replied.
“Well, I don’t think they exist exactly on the physical level, so dragging me into their operating field was a royal burn, and don’t think that I enjoyed it, because I did not.”
“And what did they wish to discuss with you?” Sheppard demanded.
”Basically, and let me put it this way, I experienced the equivalent of my live flashing before my eyes, and I’ve been around a very, very long time.”
“I can vouch for that,” Duncan muttered.
“Okay, not that I understand everything that you experienced, Sheppard replied. “What’s the up-shot of all this.”
“The up-shot, as Dr. McKay remarked on our way back to the Gate. I need to learn how to get along in this brave new universe and I also need to learn how to be more cooperative. Not things I am entirely comfortable doing.”
“Well, good, we’ll work on it”
“If it only it were that simple,” Duncan sighed. “But it’s a start.”
“Carson will want to question him further on the nature of his visions,” Sheppard stated. “I figure, before we need to put in requistion for more beer, I suggest that there’s not time like the present.”
“Really? Typical military-mind-set, I’ll go, I just don’t have to like it.”
Dr. Carson Beckett was a decent sort and having been around Duncan MacLeod for quite some time Methos found that he did not even mind the man’s unmistakable Scottish burr. The man plied him with gentle but to the point questions: He was questioned about what he had experienced, how it felt to be engulfed in what Rodney McKay had labelled a gravametric energy field. And quite surprisingly, if he had ever before encountered what the good doctor termed the Ancients.
Methos answered as best he good under the circumstances, meanwhile the pros and cons about telling the truth, or as much of the truth as he reasonably felt comfortable with. The experience had been quite painful, like his very being was being ripped apart but the beings or Ancients or whatever they were, once he was communicating on their level, had been, well, pleasant.
And that was stuck in his craw, the most. He didn’t want pleasant, he didn’t want understanding. At the moment, as drunk as he was likely to get, Methos wanted to hit something or somone, but Carson was too far away in the spacious infirmary and he was not the target of his directionless anger anyway.
“Ancients, samicents, what do they have to do with anything?” Methos demanded.
“Everything,” Carson replied. “For starters they built this city.
“And we suspect the Gate and how it provides passage to points near and far within the Pegaus Galaxy, our own, and points beyond.”
“Well, hot damn. I’ll be buggered.” Methos exclaimed. “Are they still around. Unless I was conversing with ghosts, you think those were Ancients?”
“It’s entirely possible, but without going back to obtain hard data,” Carson sighed and then turned around and crossed back over to where Methos sat on an exmanation table and added. “It will be nearly impossible to be certain.
“Yeah, I figure,” Methos replied.
“From your responses, both verbal and non-verbal, I understand that it was quite, ah, painful,” he continued and I’m not the sort to force my paitent to undergoe something again that as you put, nearly felt like you were being torn apart.”
“No. And if you’d like I’ll make a note of that in my report. Sheppard and Dr. Weir for that matter, might object, but you let me worry about that.”
“Thanks, Doc, I mean it.” Methos sighed. “Now can I get out of here?”
“Go, go,” Dr. Beckkett waved him in the general direction of the door.