Word Count: 1013
Summary: A brief history in the life of Nicholas Marcus Lorne.
Prompt: For October 12th challenge at slashing_lorne: ‘write a drabble/ficlet about Lorne's interaction with the Navy’. And ‘027: Parents’ for fanfic100.
Disclaimer: If they were mine I could die happy, as it is I’ll just have to be miserable.
The very first memory Nick Lorne could recall was riding on a ship with his father. He was a Captain in the United States Navy and so very proud of it. Nick was four at the time. Sometimes, he’s not sure whether he actually remembers it or if it’s just something he has put together from various other memories and his overly active imagination. It feels real though. He remembers the sensation of movement and how it made him ever so slightly sick. He remembers standing on deck and the tiny particles of water that sprayed across his young face. Most of all he remembers his father: tall and proud, in charge and in control of everything. He remembers wanting to be exactly like him.
His father wanted the same thing, he always had. But as he got older Nick began to become more and more doubtful. His favourite subjects at school were art and music. He was a friend to everyone. His seasickness got worse every time he was on a ship. He was obviously never going to be the man his father was.
As he got older and learnt more about the world around him, he was even more convinced that the Navy, or any branch of the armed forces, was not for him. He couldn’t understand why anyone would blindly follow orders from a government that may or may not know what it was doing. Especially when those orders were to go to distant parts of the world and kill other human beings. He was much happier with his painting. He was going to be an artist and bring more beauty into the world.
During his teenage years, he discovered another reason why he could never serve with the military. It was a reason he couldn’t use in any of the hundreds of arguments he had with his father on the subject. It was a reason he liked to pretend didn’t exist. He was smart enough to know it was undeniable though and not likely to go away.
The fall that he started college, to study Art Education and History, was when his father’s ship never came back.
His father was a military man and had prepared for that eventuality. Only days after he’d heard he was delivered a long letter in his father’s neat handwriting. It was full of nothing but disappointment and regrets that he couldn’t make his only child understand how important his work was.
A month later he joined the Air Force training program. He couldn’t go back onto a Navy ship. The memories had turned bitter and tainted with guilt. He desperately hoped this would be good enough.
His drawings and paintings were put away in some unlabelled box and stored in the attic of his mother’s house. He carelessly handed his beloved violin to a charity shop. He suppressed every part of him that told him he couldn’t do this.
With a driving purpose, he progressed well. Following orders from a corrupt Government. Going where he was sent. To kill whichever faceless group of people he was told too. His mother commented once that he didn’t seem like himself anymore. He couldn’t even remember what it was like to be himself.
Then Colonel Harris recommended him for a position at some base in Cheyenne Mountain. He went of course, blindly obedient. And suddenly his eyes were opened. This is why they did what they did. This was worth whatever personal sacrifice it required. For the first time in a long time, he was happy. On a whim, he bought some art materials and started painting again.
When he was asked to go to Atlantis, he bought himself a violin as his one personal item. Slowly, piece by piece, he was becoming the man he was always supposed to be.
The last piece slot in on a completely ordinary day. His team had no missions scheduled. Colonel’s Sheppard’s team were on base too, so he wasn’t waiting on standby to go and rescue their asses. So he volunteered for lab duty, he found if he did it periodically it made McKay less pissy.
He hung around McKay and Zelenka, getting in the way. “Nothing needs turning on today Major. Why don’t you go polish your gun or something?” McKay suggested as he literally shoved him out of the door.
As he was leaving, Doctor Kavanagh gripped his arm and dragged him towards the chemistry lab. “I could do with a grunt.”
Kavanagh worked late in to the evening, far after everyone else has gone. He pointed to one item after another in a seemingly random order, asking Lorne to turn them on, switch them off, make them change colour, turn liquid into solid or imagine the periodic table.
Despite the scientists gruff manner and sharp tongue, or possibly because of it, he found he was having a lot of fun. He let it go on, completely enthralled in watching Kavanagh. The very subtle way his eyes lit up when Nick did something right. The way his shirt rucked up to expose a pale strip of flesh when he stretched out slowly. The way he rolled his shoulders after typing furiously in the same position for too long. The way the long tendon of his neck tensed and untensed with his moods. The way he bit and sucked on his lower lip at every important conjecture.
The blood was obviously flowing away from his brain or else he would never have even contemplated what he did next. The scientist yelped in an embarrassingly high pitch as his ass was pinched. “I could turn you on too, Doctor, if you’d like.” Nick said with an answering shrug as the man turned around to face him.
Apparently Kavanagh’s claims at genius weren’t exaggerated. He quickly packed away everything he was working on and turned to the military man. “After you, Major.”
As he lay in bed next to Kavanagh, he had a sudden sense of certainty that, despite his flaws, his father would approve of who he was.