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Title: Like Father, Like Son 
Rating: G
Character: Caldwell
Disclaimer: Not mine (except the mistakes), no harm meant.
Summary: What difference is there between the strange enemies he faces now, and the monsters that his father was obsessed with?
A/N: Inspired by Mitch Pileggi's turn as Samuel Campbell (the father of Mary Winchester) on Supernatural. What if Mary wasn't the only member of that family looking for a normal life?
Warnings: Oh look, exciting adventures in confused tenses! Open endings! Also - SGA meets Supernatural. I'm posting this now, because it's April 1st, and I can always pretend I didn't mean it. Also, crappy unoriginal title...

Like Father, Like Son

When Stephen Campbell was 18, a friend of a friend gave him the name of a guy who, he swore, could set him up with a new name, a new life - for a price.

He paid the man in loose change and crumpled $1 bills, and pretended not to notice when the man looked at him sideways after Stephen told him he wasn't doing this to escape the draft.

He left Lawrence, Kansas, with a new surname, a birth certificate and a high school diploma in that same name, broke, but with something he never thought he'd have: a future.

~

Steven Caldwell is not a man with regrets. He has risen in the Air Force on the back of staunch patriotism and dogmatic self-belief. He does not second-guess himself, and he does not dwell on might-have-beens.

Sometimes, however, his younger self looks out at the life he now leads, and laughs.

What difference is there between the strange enemies he faces now, and the monsters that his father was obsessed with?

~

He had speculated that there might be a link between, say, the Goa'uld and demons, and it wasn't until he was himself 'possessed' that he completely rejected the idea. The Goa'uld had pulled out his memories, and mocked him, mocked his stupid human superstitions, but it hadn't known about possession before it found the word in his memories. He was certain, and that made it easier for him to hold onto himself, even with the Goa'uld deep inside his head.

It was easier, too, to convince himself that what he did now was still far from the path he had rejected. He was not his father's son: he was not fighting an endless battle against an unknowable enemy, he was fighting tangible enemies in a war that could be won.

He was not one man against many, he was part of an organised fighting force. He was not fighting with antiquated weapons and superstitions, he was fighting with the most advanced technology known to man.

His younger self laughed all the harder, and asked if he really looked at the Wraith and saw 'enemy combatants'. Asked if he really wanted rid of John Sheppard because the man was unprofessional, a liability, and not because he knew Sheppard didn't understand what they faced out here.

~

When his parents were killed, he heard from a friend of a friend. He didn't go home, knowing that there would be no bodies to mourn at their graveside. Likewise when his sister died. He knew that she'd married, that there were children, but he didn't even know her married name.

He does not know the circumstances of her death, but he hopes she escaped, that her children will not carry the burden of knowledge he carries.

~

He was so certain that his new life had no ties to his old. When one of Sheppard's Marines started behaving erratically, he, like the others, believed that the cause was alien.

The marine demanded to see him: Steven, like Sheppard and Carter, thought that it must be a Goa'uld, ignorant of the fact that he'd long been free of the parasite that took him over.

The moment the creature saw him, its eyes went black.

He barely heard Sheppard say "Well, that's different," in that insufferable tone of his.

"Thought you'd escape, Stephen?" said the demon. "We killed your father and your mother and your sister. We killed your cousins and your friends. We killed your sister's man and we destroyed her family. You thought you could escape if you came all the way out into the black?"

"Colonel Caldwell -" said Carter, and he held up a hand to stop her.

"You're lying," he said to the demon.

"Why would I lie? The truth is so much sweeter." The demon laughed. "There are so many more truths I could share."

"Regna terrae, cantate Deo, psallite Domino..." The words were unfamiliar on his tongue, but the demon scowled. The old memory held true.

Carter and Sheppard stared at him.

"Exorcizamus te, omnis immundus spiritus, omnis satanica potestas..."

"You're sending me to hell? Maybe I'll take a bite out of your sister's boy while I'm there."

He almost faltered, but took a breath and pressed on, and the demon started to howl.

It's not until the demon's gone, and the Marine is gasping for breath on the cell floor, and Carter is babbling questions, and Sheppard has one hand on his sidearm, not until then that Steven realises he should have asked for his nephew's name.

~



I feel disloyal saying this about anyone but the Little Major, but Mitch Pileggi is kind of awesome.
 
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