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Friends and the Scary Man

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Torren liked when Ronon came to play the best. The two of them would drag out the wooden blocks and the tiny frozen men and create vast cities and worlds throughout the maze of rooms that made up his home. He liked to hear stories about a place called Sateda that Ronon had lived in when he was a boy. It didn't exist now and sometimes Ronon would tell him about those last battles when the world was destroyed. Mama didn't like when Ronon got that look on his face and she would come sit with them and hold one of Ronon's large hands in her own as he finished the story. It was a sad story but sometimes Torren liked those the best.

John didn't like to play in the rooms, preferring to carry Torren on his shoulder to different places throughout the city where he wasn't allowed unless he had an adult with him. The best game was when they pretended to fly. John would run him up to the very tip top room in the north tower and he would hold Torren out so that he could barely see any of the city. He would hold his hands out and just... soar.

Rodney called him the child and poked him as if the was made of Jello, the icky stuff that Mama liked to feed him for dessert sometimes. The only reason Torren put up with it was because he liked to play with the computers. He could spell many words, in Athosian and English and even some in Satedan, and it was fun to type them out on the keyboard. He never told Rodney but he liked to look over the papers on his desk and see if there were new words that he could sound out. The other scientists had joked once that he might be as smart as Rodney but the man had gotten so pale that Torren didn't like to show him just how smart he was.

Jennifer always had candy. Amelia and Evan were helping him write a book about his life in Atlantis because Amelia had the prettiest handwriting of anyone he'd ever seen and Evan could draw just about anything Torren could dream up. Zelenka was teaching him to juggle. Just about everyone was Torren's friend.

All except for one person. The villain of his nightmares was Mr. Woolsey, the man who was in charge of who could stay on Atlantis and who could leave. Sometimes he would send people through the Stargate and they never came back. Sometimes he sent Mama and Ronon and John and Rodney through the Stargate but Ronon had promised him that he would always bring Mama back to him and Torren believed him because Ronon had never lied to him yet.

But Mr. Woolsey had. He'd told him once that if Torren was a good boy he would get pudding for lunch and Torren had been very good because he liked pudding (but not Jello and he wished Mama would remember that) and there hadn't been any pudding at lunch. When he had worked up the courage to ask Mr. Woolsey about it, the man had just looked at him like Rodney looked at some of the equations he wrote out on the white boards. Mama had pulled him away before Mr. Woolsey could tell him why there was no pudding.

There was also the time that Mr. Woolsey had yelled at him. It hadn't been his fault but he wasn't going to tattle on John so he said he was the one making the racket. The last thing he wanted John to have to do was go to bed early because it always made Torren angry when he was given that punishment. It was better than getting yelled at by Mr. Woolsey.

He'd burst into tears after Mr. Woolsey had stalked back into his office but Ronon had found him and pulled him into a tight hug and he'd felt better because he liked it when Ronon gave him a hug. It felt like how a Papa would hug his little boy. He didn't have a Papa although there was a man who visited from time to time who Mama said was his Papa but the man made Mama cry like Mr. Woolsey made Torren cry so he couldn't be a nice person and definitely not the kind of Papa he wanted.

One day he was going to tell Mama that he wanted Ronon to be his Papa so that she would smile all the time like she did when he visited. For now, he would be content to have him as one of his friends.