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Chapter Data

Posted February 4, 2006

Fan Fiction: Uncle John

4: Correspondence

Buffy Summers had never been what anyone would call a computer whiz. She was capable of using a word processing program to type up a report, or conducting limited research on the internet, but that was about the extent of her skills. Still, the time she spent in front of that "dread machine" every evening had rapidly become one of the best parts of her day.

Back when the Gang had all lived in the same town, there had been no need for email addresses or any other means of keeping track of each other online. Now that they were scattered over several continents, however, it had become a necessity. Even Giles had been persuaded to get an email account of his own, though half the time Andrew was the one who checked it.

Buffy heard from Witchy_Willow at least three times a week, vivid little messages full of anecdotes of tropical life, relationship woes, and information about new slayers she'd found that might be inappropriate for the Council's permanent files but which she figured Buffy ought to know anyway. Arrr_Xander wrote a little less often, but his endless supply of jokes and fascinating tales about the people and creatures he encountered in his trek through rural Africa always made her smile. When Dawn was at her university in Rome, messages from Watchful_Umad appeared regularly as well, mostly full of meaningless rambling but still reassuring to a protective big sister. Of all Buffy's contacts, however, Uncle_JS was the one whose messages she looked forward to the most.

Lt. Colonel John Sheppard was a recent addition to her life, a younger brother of her Mom's that she hadn't known about until she'd found Joyce Summers' strongbox in L.A. several months ago. Despite their late start, however, she often felt as though she'd known him for years. Part of that was probably how much Dawn apparently took after the Sheppards in looks; she'd have known Uncle John for family even if she hadn't already known of their relationship when she met him. Part of it was his sense of humor, too, which reminded her of a more adult Xander. But the largest part of the connection she felt with him, oddly enough, was because of his job. When he spoke of the men and women he commanded, looked after, and/or protected, she was sharply reminded of her time playing General in Sunnydale and of her current job as Training Manager for most of the newly activated Slayers worldwide.

He even had his own Scooby Gang backing him up. Though of course he didn't call them that; they were his 'team'. His messages were always full of news about them, funny non-classified things they'd done or said that he thought she and Dawn might get a kick out of.

There was the brilliant Dr. Rodney McKay, who seemed to fill a Willow-ish role except for the lack of magic and a much more snarky disposition. Buffy was already plotting a way to have them meet the next time her Uncle John and his friends were back in the States. Not that she'd understand a word of what Willow and Rodney had to say to each other, but it would be fun to watch. He and John seemed to be at verbal odds a lot of the time, but they also trusted each other as much as she and Wills had in the early days; the story her uncle had told her about throwing him off a balcony to test a piece of technology he'd been working on had been very funny, but had also been a good illustration of the connection between them.

Then there was Teyla Emmagan, a local woman who stayed at the installation as a sort of native guide and liaison. In every respect except the command of the team, she seemed to fit Buffy's role in their group; John had gleefully reported that she could kick his ass six ways to Sunday and had long made it her business to defy the local baddies. There didn't seem to be any romance brewing between the two of them, but he respected her a great deal, and it carried over into the way he talked about her.

John's relationship with the base's leading scientist and diplomat, on the other hand, came across as both more familiar and more fraught with tension. He and this Elizabeth Weir seemed to butt heads a lot on issues of security, but the way he spoke about her in all other respects came across as way too warm for a mere working relationship. In lieu of any romantic drama of her own, Buffy was getting a kick out of projecting it into her uncle's life.

There were others, too, that he mentioned less often, like the base's Scottish doctor and the funny little scientist that cursed in Czech. And now it looked like there was going to be another member of their little group: a guy named Ronon they'd apparently rescued from a group of terrorists.

"Dear Buffy," he wrote,

"I told Rodney what you said about the computer virus that tried to date your friend. He feels a little better now about not being able to deactivate the one on our transport sooner; we might have nearly lost some people to malfunctions, but at least he wasn't embarrassed romantically. (Personally, though, I think he was a little jealous; he hasn't been on a date in well over a year, and even a virtual woman is starting to sound good to him about now).

"I know what you mean about your friend Faith. I've got a friend right now who's gone a little nuts since some of the local terrorists caught him and got him hooked on a nasty drug. He ran away from base, got a real God complex; he's determined to get rid of all the bad guys on his own, but he won't stop using and he won't take advice from any of us or even come home. I just hope he ends up back with us in the end, like Faith with you guys, before something else terrible happens to him.

"We ran into him the other day, on a patrol away from base. He'd been hunting those terrorists; McKay got a chance to talk to him a little, but being Rodney, he just made things worse. In the end, Ford ran off again.

"We did manage to rescue someone else, though. Big guy named Ronon Dex. He's a man of few words, but he's tougher than Teyla, has more military experience than half the guys on base, and possesses the ability to intimidate Rodney into silence. I'm thinking I may have to get him to stick around awhile.

"Anyway, I'd better get back to my official reports. I hope things are going good for you, wherever you are this week. It sounds like Dawn's doing well in her studies, but you haven't said much about the correspondence course you were taking. College not as fun as you remember it being?

"Talk to you later,

"Love, Uncle John."

Buffy smiled, hit REPLY, and began typing a message of her own.


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