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Eleven peeks at Torren John

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(1 day)

The first time Torren breathes air in Atlantis, there is a small blip recorded on the sensors. Dr. Kusanagi, the only one in Phys./Eng. I watching a pertinent monitor at the time, files it away as the City reacting to the relief and happiness felt by the Colonel and Dr. McKay.

 

(4 weeks)

The first time Torren flies in a Jumper, he is four weeks old, and while Dr. Keller is firm that his infant eyes can't actually see that far yet, John insists that he spends the flight to New New Athos wide-eyed, gaping at the stars.

 

(2 years)

The first time Torren walks through the Stargate, he is two years, three months and fourteen days old and has just learned how to keep balance. Kanaan has never liked using his Gift since Torren's birth, but he has made the effort for his son's sake. It has kept the little boy from forgetting his mother's touch until they could see her and her team again. There were never any certainties that the City of the Ancestors would return, but Kanaan has retained faith, and now his son is walking into Teyla's arms on his own two feet, wobbly from excitement but steady.

 

(3 years)

The first time Torren meets Todd the Wraith, there are ten of Uncle John's guards around. Uncle John is holding Torren's hand, and Torren's parents and Uncle Ronon are watching both he and Todd very carefully.

They stare at each other for a long time. Then, to Kanaan's immense horror, Torren smiles.

 

(7 years old)

The first time Torren saves Atlantis, he steers a smoke bomb straight into a group of Traveler-folk invaders. Uncle John feels guilty for weeks afterward, but Kanaan and Teyla are proud, and so are Aunt Amelia and Uncles Ronon and Rodney, once they get over the shock.

None of the adults would have come near enough in time, but no one, not even Larrin, had expected an attack to originate from a playing child.

 

(12 years old)

The second time Torren solves a lengthy mathematical equation Uncle Rodney mutters “About time” while eyeing Uncle John with suspicion. Uncle John hasn't helped him, not this time and not the time before, and Torren feels vindicated when Uncle John kicks Uncle Rodney under the table.

“On Earth, he wouldn't be learning this stuff for two years yet,” Uncle John reminds Uncle Rodney, and Torren feels better even though Uncle Rodney mumbles something about Madison. School on Atlantis is hard, but he's learning things that nobody else does, so it's also awesome.

 

(14 years old)

The first time Torren kisses a boy, Menan of the Genii punches him in the face. He stumbles backward, equally from surprise and from the effect of the blow, and holds a hand to his bleeding nose. “You could have said no,” he says very, very quietly, then walks back toward the camp.

He wishes he had asked before leaning in. It's years before he talks to Menan again.

 

(15 years old)

The first time Torren attempts kissing a girl, she averts her face so that he misses her mouth and his lips land quite clumsily on her cheek. “I like you, Torren John,” Nurrin says while he blushes red from embarrasment, “But I cannot, not while one who is a friend to us both would be hurt, and a first love should not have to be a secret thing.”

 

(19 years old)

The tenth time Torren visits Earth, he gets lost trying to navigate the city of Uncle John's birth on his own. He tries to retrace his steps for half an hour, comparing houses and stores and people to ones he's passed before, speaks to friendly-looking natives a time or two. In the end he gives up and reaches into his backpack for his phone. He resolves to never let Ronon find out about it, but supposes Melena can have a good laugh when he tells her about it later on.

 

(21 years old)

The first time he beats Uncle John at bantos, the old warhorse laughs. The first time he beats his father, the time he draws even with Ronon, he can barely contain himself, he is so proud.

The day he beats Teyla Emmagan, he endures her forehead to his temple and struggles not to let her see him cry.

 

(28 years old)

The third time Athos is Culled since the Athosians encountered the Atlantis expedition, Torren flies one of Todd's darts into the errant Hive and downloads all four hundred and seventy-five prisoners onto the embedded storage crystal. He replaces the data with a virus Todd and Uncle Rodney wrote and leaves before the Queen notices his presence.

As he takes his people through the Stargate, the Hive and all the other darts self-destruct.

 

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