A Reaper's Work is Never Finished Part ThreeFandom:
Rodney/Lorne, John/Carson, Sam/Rodney, Jack/DanielPrompt:
Grim Reaper Carson Beckett didn't know what he was getting into when he tried to kill ten-year old John Sheppard's hamster. Author's Notes:
So this is a The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy and Dead Like Me fusion with SGA, with Carson as a Grim Reaper, John and Rodney in place of Billy and Mandy and Lorne just kind of thrown in for that special Rodney/Lorne twist. Many thanks to seikaitsukimizu
for the inspiration and the title. Enjoy
Vincent gets bigger, much bigger and at two he’s babbling in sentences and following Rodney around, much to Rodney’s dismay.
“Read.” Vincent says speaking in one word sentences as he thrusts a book at Rodney.
For some reason he likes Rodney reading to him best, which kind of makes Carson question the kid’s mental stability until John starts pouting and gets that worried parent look.
It’s not something Carson says often, what with his mother possibly being on drugs when she had been pregnant with him, but it’s something Carson says jokingly when Rodney’s verbally abusing a two year old.
In actuality, Vincent is pretty bright, brighter than most kids they’ve seen and, at two, Sam’s trying to convince them to take him to a specialist.
All three of them vehemently protest to this.
Carson spends most of his days watching Vincent and doing the odd soul taking. When he can’t pawn Vincent off to someone else, Carson will take him along, but he always makes sure to leave before anything gruesome happens.
It’s probably not the best way to raise a kid, but it’s the way they’re doing things.
Evan isn’t around much. He took a job two cities away, the pain of living so close to a place he had made such a good life for himself too much to bare. There’d been a funeral, which had been nice and no one questioned Evan’s existence there.
He’s been gone for two years now, but he stops by every once in awhile. It’s still not the same, though.
“We have too many toys.” Carson says as he trips over another stuffed animal.
“We do not. We have just enough toys.”
He’s smiling widely at Vincent, eyes proud and happy and Carson’s happy for him.
They’ve made a pretty nice life here. He’s made a pretty nice life here and he knows as a grim reaper he’s not really entitled to it, but he wants to keep it. Wants to keep waking up in the morning to an overactive two year old that wants his breakfast now. Wants to keep waking up to the smell of coffee and John reading the newspaper.
He wants to keep waking up here, in this life, with John and Vincent and the occasional dinner with Rodney and phone call to Evan.
“I have to go.” Carson says looking down at his post-it note.
John smiles and waves him away.
“Have a nice time at work dear.” John jokes.
Carson knows that John knows he won’t. He kills people and there’s no way that’s ever going to be fun.
Rodney makes the announcement sometime in May.
He’s all flushed with happiness and holding Sam close as Sam shows off the ring. It’s simple and elegant and classy and John and Vince hug the both of them while Carson just smiles and nods.
It’s been four years. Carson knows this and he’d been expecting them to never get married. They’re both so busy with work and their lives outside of being a couple that most days Carson even forgets that they are a couple.
But there she is with a ring on her finger looking like she’s happy to get married to Rodney even though they fight more often than not. And Rodney looks stupidly happy as well. Like Sam’s all he’s ever wanted in life and Carson thinks maybe she is.
But he knows she isn’t.
“Rodney’s getting married.” John says after they’ve both managed to get Vince to go to sleep.
It had taken many stories all told in funny voices and a few silly songs, but they manage. Carson thinks it’s better than any other two guys would manage.
“Yeah.” Carson says.
He can see the shock in John’s face and he knows that before had been an act. He’d had to act that way because Rodney’s his friend and he’s supposed to be happy that Rodney’s found happiness.
He is the best man after all.
“I just… I can’t believe it.”
There’s doubt in his voice. Doubt and a little bit of jealousy maybe and Carson thinks maybe John’s thinking about what it would be like if Vala were still alive. If they’d be living in a house right now raising their son together and if he’d have asked her to marry him sometime after that and maybe they’d have a dog the could name Spot or something as equally boring.
Carson’s too busy thinking otherwise he would have noticed John’s shift in position. He would have noticed John pulling him close, tugging his face until they were facing each other and he would have noticed that John was going to kiss him before he did.
He blames it on shock mostly. Blames John kissing him on shock and him not moving away on shock. He blames kissing John back on the desperation of losing what he has to something that could never happen.
He pulls back as John tugs him down and he looks down at John, lips red and wet and swollen and he knows he can’t do this. He shouldn’t do this because he’s dead, technically anyway, and getting involved like this is bad.
“I can’t.” Carson says.
“Why not?” John says a bit petulantly.
“Because… I’m… you deserve better.”
“I want you.”
It’s seriously messed up because Carson used to baby sit him
and he’s old enough to be John’s grandfather
and the more he thinks about it the more he’s certain that this can’t happen.
“John… I’m… I’m not real.”
“Of course you’re real. Why… why would you say that? You think you’re not real? You think this is not real? Damn it Carson we’re practically raising a kid together and you think that’s not real?”
“No, John. I’m… I’m helping you. We’re not raising a kid together. It’s just you and your son and I’m here as the baby sitter. Like always.” Carson says.
John glares at him, pushes him off and scrambles off of the couch until he’s standing.
“You’re not raising him? How could you say that? You’re here more than I am. You’re the one who took him to his first haircut. You’re the one that cleaned his first wound. You’re the one that cooks him breakfast in the morning and sings him to sleep at night. How could you say that you’re not raising him?”
John’s yelling by the end and Carson thinks he might wake Vince up if he keeps doing that.
“I’m not.” Carson says.
He doesn’t wait for John to respond. He can’t because he doesn’t want to see John’s face, heartbroken and frustrated and their have been many people in John’s life that have caused that face.
Carson just never knew he would be one of them.
Jack gives him a two year old the next day.
“Jack, that’s a little bit cruel.” Elizabeth says.
She fidgets with her post-it, a ninety-three year old woman who’s supposed to pass out at her great-granddaughters birthday party and never wake up and that’s what Elizabeth will tell him when she gets done with her job.
“Hey, I don’t make these up.” Jack says.
“Right of course you don’t.” Daniel says.
Jack glares at him and Carson guesses it’s because Daniel knows for a fact that Jack does make out who gives the assignments.
“Well, I pick them out of a hat.”
Carson doesn’t care what his reasoning is. He had done his job. Had taken the soul of a little kid who proceeded to get hit by a car and he had watched as the little boy’s parents had cried and yelled and been totally smashed to bits.
“Perhaps you could choose more carefully.” Teyla says.
Something about the unreadable look on Jack’s face makes Carson think that Jack thinks he’s chosen just fine.
“Look, I don’t decide who lives and who dies. That’s from the higher ups. And I don’t always know when someone’s a kid or an old lady. You are all just supposed to do your jobs.”
The girls and Daniel glare at him like he’s the Grinch and Carson just sighs.
“It doesn’t matter.”
He finds himself at Evan’s.
Evan who works nonstop and collapses on his couch so he lets Carson take the bed. Carson’s not sure how they never noticed this before on their many visits to see Evan or the phone calls, but he’s making Rodney look like a slouch when it comes to working and Carson thinks if he doesn’t stop soon, he’s going to work himself into an early grave.
“I’m fine Carson. Stop acting like a doctor.” Evan says one night over beers.
“You’re bloody well not fine. You keep going at life like this and I’m going to be taking your soul one of these days.”
“I’m pretty healthy.”
“Maybe physically you’re in good condition, but this amount of stress isn’t good for anyone. And emotionally it can be very draining.”
“You just never stopped being a doctor. Even with the whole grim reaper thing.”
He takes another swig of his beer and Carson politely puts his back on the coffee table under a coaster.
“So I bet you heard Rodney’s getting married.”
He says it in a maudlin tone, introspective and sad and Carson had really thought that maybe they’d pushed past all this.
But then he remembers his life is a wacky kind of soap opera that never ceases to be crazed.
“Good for him right. Sam’s nice.”
“He’s not married to her yet.”
Evan glares at him.
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“It’s supposed to mean that there’s still time.”
“Time to what? Get rejected again.”
Carson thinks that maybe all these years later Evan shouldn’t still sound that bitter about the whole thing.
“It was a bit of a shock. I mean one of your best friends coming on to you like that. I imagine Rodney didn’t handle it that well out of shock.”
“He told you about it didn’t he.”
It’s not a question. Just a statement of fact and Carson nods because Rodney had told him about it.
“He also told me that he would have done things differently if he had had the chance.”
“Right. I see that happening. No wait, I can’t because it didn’t.”
“Well what were you expecting when you came back? You’d already gone out and gotten yourself someone else. Was he supposed to just try and steal you away.”
“You’re telling me to steal him away.”
Carson sighs because he kind of is. He doesn’t want Rodney to marry Sam. He doesn’t want them to have a marriage that fails, because it will, he can just see it.
“Well yeah. You’re not getting any younger.”
Evan smiles against his bottle and sighs.
“You’re probably right. I’m not you. I’m not going to stay the same age forever. And neither is Rodney. But I can’t… I’ve had enough with this relationship crap.”
Carson nods because he understands that feeling. He’s dead, but he seems to still have relationships.
“You love him.” Carson says.
“John loves you.”
Carson freezes, looks over at Evan who’s staring at him with that smirk still on his face like he’s known that for a long time. Like it isn’t just a recent development.
“He tell you that?” Carson asks as he picks up his drink.
He needs to be much drunker for this conversation.
“He didn’t have to. He’s been in love with you for a really long time. I think he just got it though.”
“Since I’ve been in love with Rodney.”
“What, you were dead. You’re still dead or not dead or undead or whatever it is you are. Didn’t matter to John. You gotta know he’s adored you since then.”
“Love like that and love like the kind you’re talking about are two different things.”
“You think he just asked you to move in with him because he needed help.”
Evan shakes his head and takes another drink from his beer.
“Maybe at first. He knows what he’s getting into Carson. If you’re not interested, that’s one thing. But if you are… I think maybe you should practice what you preach.”
In the end, Carson drives into the wee hours of the night and knocks on John’s door, his door.
John answers, still half asleep. A look of shock passes over his face, but it’s brief and he’s asking Carson what he’s doing there and why is he here so late. Carson notices that he’s a bit angry, but he doesn’t care.
He just pushes inside and takes John’s face in his hands and kisses him because life’s too short, at least for John and it sounds like a chick flick, but Carson would rather have whatever time John has left on Earth than to deny himself.
So he kisses and John kisses back and Carson thinks life will be good.
“He’s not keeping his little blazer on and it’s pissing Sam off.” John says as he hands Vince off to Carson.
Carson sighs and looks into Vince’s smiling face, eyes like his mother but everything else like John and he smiles back.
“Fine. I’ll deal with the little one. You deal with the big one.” Carson says pointing to Rodney.
John nods and Carson’s thankful for that. Rodney’s barfed twice already and has gone into long winded rants about how he owes it to Sam to get married. Carson’s asked twice if Sam’s pregnant to which Rodney had responded god I hope not and then had proceeded to throw up again.
“Hey buddy. You freaking out?” John asks softly.
“No, John, what in the world would ever make you think that. Only I’m marrying a woman who is admittedly probably too good for me and our relationship, in the scariest, oddest way that Freud would have a field day with, reminds me of my parents. Why would I be freaking out?”
“You could just not marry her.”
Carson raises an eyebrow because John’s been actively ignoring the fact that Rodney’s getting married to Sam since he announced the engagement. Carson thinks John thought it would never really come, but here it is and there’s a church filled with people all waiting to see Rodney get married.
And John picks now to try and talk Rodney out of it.
“What are you insane? Do you know how much this thing is gonna cost? Not to mention the fact that this is what people do after they’ve been dating a long time. They get married and start their lives together.”
“Yeah, but I mean if you’re not happy with it…”
“I never said I wasn’t happy.”
“Yeah but it’s not everything, right. I mean… it doesn’t make you have butterflies.”
Rodney frowns and looks between John and Carson and Vince who’s playing with Carson’s tie.
“Not all of us can be you and Carson, John.” He says quietly.
John nods and closes his mouth.
Hours later, or possibly just one Carson doesn’t know for sure because he’s been trying to wrestle Vince into his suit jacket for the better portion of the time, they’re all standing up at the alter, Rodney sweating profusely and John trying to look nonchalant while Carson holds onto Vince’s shoulders to keep him from running around.
The priest starts to talk, dearly beloved and all that crap and Carson thinks this is it. This is Rodney getting married and there’s nothing that’s going to stop it. He’s going to get married and he’s going to hate every minute of it and he doesn’t even live in the same apartment as Sam now; they’re never going to make it last.
Carson hears the priest say speak now or forever hold your piece and he wants to, speak now and list all the reasons why this is bad and wrong and no good and he can feel John squirming next to him because he wants to say it too. They don’t and the priest starts to go on and that’s when it happens.
It’s like something out of a really cheesy movie, Evan running in, out of breath and in jeans and a plain white shirt. He screams wait and makes his way up to the alter and the priest and Rodney and Sam and her bridesmaids all look perplexed.
“What are you doing here? You were supposed to… I asked you to be in the wedding and you never returned my call.” Rodney says.
He’s angry and Evan tries to catch his breath.
“I… I… I know… I’m sorry.”
“Yeah well, you’re kind of ruining this right now.”
“I know.” He says.
He stands up straight and he’s in Rodney’s personal space, mouth almost right on Rodney’s and he smiles.
“That I’m not sorry about.”
He kisses Rodney right there, in front of wedding guests and Sam and everyone and Rodney gives in, starts kissing back until his hands are bunching Evan’s shirt and Evan’s holding onto the lapels of his tuxedo jacket.
It lasts a really long time and Vince yells ‘kisses’ and claps his hands and John starts to laugh that really embarrassing barking laugh of his and Carson has to laugh too because only them, only would this happen to them.
Rodney pulls away first, his face dazed and Evan’s still trying to kiss him.
“You moron.” Rodney says loudly and Vince starts to clap his hands even louder.
He pulls Evan in for another kiss, this one shorter than the last and he looks over at Sam who’s been watching it all with wide eyes.
“Sam… I’m… this isn’t going to happen.” He says.
Sam’s eyes widen.
“You think.” She says sarcastically.
“Um… yeah… well… I… I’ll pay for everything. I swear. And, um… I’m sorry.”
If it were anyone else it would sound ambivalent and forced, not real, but it’s Rodney and it sounds genuine. He’s expecting Sam to get mad, but Rodney really doesn’t allow time for that as he all but drags Evan down the aisle and out of the church.
“Well that’s not something you see every day.” John says.
“No.” Carson says looking down at his watch. He has a few minutes, but he really needs to get moving before he’s late.
“I have to get to work.” Carson mutters.
John cocks an eyebrow, completely oblivious to the commotion going on. Carson thinks Sam might be crying, but he doesn’t know for sure. It’s possible she’s just yelling hysterically.
“Now. You have to go to work now. What were going to do? Just leave in the middle of the ceremony.” John asks.
“No, more like make an excuse to take Vincent to the restroom or something. Speaking of Vince…”
“Yeah, yeah, get him out of here so he doesn’t have to see the death. Like he hasn’t gone with you on jobs before.” John says.
He watches them walk away, Vince squealing in John’s arms as he does so and Carson sighs.
He looks back at Sam, beautiful Sam in her lovely white wedding dress looking distraught and pissed as her bridesmaids try to comfort her anyway they can. He sees all the guests sitting in their chairs because they just don’t know what to do now.
Carson gets to where Jacob Carter is standing, next to his little girl and he looks like he wants to kill Rodney. Carson’s hand brushes against his shoulder and he leans in toward Sam.
“Samantha, I am so sorry. I had no idea that…”
“No, it’s okay Carson. I mean… how could you have known.” Sam says, small smile lighting her face.
“Yes, well, that friend of yours is the biggest asshole I’ve ever met. If I ever get my hands on him…”
He doesn’t get to finish the rest. He kneels over before that, hand clutching his chest and he goes down faster than a ton of bricks, Sam flocking to him as he does and Carson winces at the shrillness over her scream.
It's a shame that things ended up this way, though Carson can't really feel too bad. This is the way he wants it, Rodney and Evan together and John needing his help with the whole single dad routine and much more.
Although... he does feel a bit bad for having to kill poor Sam's dad. Really, getting dumped for another man and loosing your father in the same day has to be a record for world's shittiest day... or at the very least runner up.
“Stop bugging me.” Rodney says.
“Oh come on Rodney. He just wants you to read to him.” Evan says.
“Well, I don’t want to. You read to him.”
“How about we do it together?”
“Read!” Vince yells pushing the book into Rodney’s hands.
Rodney gives a long suffering sigh, but there’s something in his face that says he doesn’t really mind. He leans back into the bench, into Evan’s arms and against Evan’s chest and he pulls Vince onto his lap, chin resting atop Vince’s head.
“You guys suck as parents.” Rodney says.
Carson laughs as he hands John the meat patties to grill on the barbeque. John scowls in Rodney’s general direction and throws a burger on the grill.
“Talk like that won’t get you any of my burgers, Rodney.” John yells back to him.
“Did I say you were a bad parent? I meant you two are the best parents that ever existed.”
Carson and Evan laugh at that and even John cracks a smile.
“Right. You just flatter me for my burgers.”
“If they weren’t so damn good I wouldn’t be here in this heat.”
“Stop lying, Rodney. You’re bad at it.” Evan says.
Carson stares at all of them and he can’t believe that this is his life. This house with the garden and the lawn and the barbeque and the pool in the backyard and a room that leads to a balcony.
Friends who have finally gotten it together just like he had hoped and Vince, who he takes to pre-school everyday and picks him up and listens as he starts to speak in sentences and shows Carson his finger paints.
And John… John who’s not even starting to gray and looks just as young and beautiful as ever and Carson knows it might be a bit icky, but he just doesn’t care because he has John.
And Evan and Rodney who he knows will be together for a really long time, at least until one of them dies and everything is right with the world.
It’s more than he’s ever had, even before he had died and became a reaper. Back then his mission in life had been to be the best doctor and he’d worked his ass of to get that, the respect and the title and he’d never had time for a house or a family or friends.
Never had any place his heart belonged to and now he does and all he had to do was die and spend a few years taking souls before he found it.
He sees Jack off in the distance, across the street from his new home and he makes his excuses, though he thinks they all know.
“So.” Carson says.
“So.” Jack says back.
“New job for me?"
Jack nods and hands Carson the post-it. R. Greger, 3:30 pm at Endsville.
“Not much time to get there.” Carson says.
“You better hurry.”
Jack turns to leave. Starts to walk back to his old beat up car and turns around and puts his hands in his pockets.
“This is good. Them. They’re good for you.”
“I’m violating something. I just know it.”
“If you were violating something they wouldn’t let you have it.”
Carson nods and Jack smiles.
“It’s just weird, you know. A grim reaper with friends and family. This job… it’s usually one you do alone.”
Jack cocks his head to the side and smiles. He shakes his head slightly and sighs.
“No. I guess I don’t.”
“So then we’re both probably breaking the rules.”
Jack lets out a puff of breath and cocks an eyebrow.
“I never did like following the rules.”
“Neither did I.”