“If winning isn’t everything, why do they keep score?”

Daedalus , Communal gym.

Original Departure date + 27.5 weeks

A gloved hand slams into his face and John stumbles back straight in to a solid body. He’s grasped tight and held as the marine in front of him pummels his chest with blow after blow. John lashes out backwards with his feet knocking the marine holding him to the ground, as the marine falls he drives his weight back winding him. The arms around him loosen and rolling John regains his feet.

He drops and shoulder rolls leaping back to his feet behind the remaining marine. In the split second it earns him he delivers a double fisted blow on to the marine’s shoulder close to the spine.

“Out” Lorne shouts from the sidelines as the marine staggers and nodding he exits the circle of men surrounding the sparring group. “One opponent still down and stunned, the other disabled. How do you finish the fight?” Lorne asks stepping between the two men before the marine can regain his feet.

“A kick across the jaw. If he stays down.” John replies eyeing the marine on the ground.

“Chief, you can take over here” Lorne orders without looking away from John.

“Not a bad fight, you under maneuver but you started to get into it at the end.” Lorne motions for John to follow him out of the gym. “ You’re under trained in hand to hand, but then that’s not surprising. I don’t believe in having a weak link, John, and with your skill set you are going to be in my front line for exploration and defense. Ask for volunteers but if needs be remind them that you have a rank and I will enforce your orders.” John stops and stares at Lorne’s back for a moment until the man turns.

“Rank is rank and I don’t give a toss what your previous CO’s opinions may have been. My command, my rules” John continues to look at him with a slight frown. “They’ll get the message quick enough Major. Besides we Air Force folk will have to stick together in this sea of flatfoots. “ He finishes with a laugh and shaking his head he walks off leaving John standing in the middle of the hall.

Daedalus , Communal gym.

Original Departure date + 27.7 weeks

“Look sir, you have to start the fight in the mood you usually finish them in. You wait until the other guy has got half a dozen good blows in and then, when you feel like he might just kill you, you start fighting back. I can see why you fight like that but you need to train yourself out of it.” Sargent Stackhouse softly comments from his crouch next to the fallen Major.

“Kinda not that easy.” John sighs rolling to his feet, he exhales sharply “Ok, lets try this again shall we?”


Daedalus , Infirmary.

Original Departure date + 28.5 weeks


“Ow, you don’t have to poke me that hard, I can feel your pissed with me” Carson frowns at the hurt tone before pressing on John’s ribs for a third time. John flinches and slides across the bed looking at Carson all hurt. Carson pulls the latex glove off his left hand and after taking a calming breath he rests his hand on John’s shoulder and lightly tugs the slim man back towards him

Not pissed, m’ worried for you Carson projects a tendril of care, affection, love with the message and smiles when John relaxes slightly and lets himself be pulled back towards the poking and prodding.

I still don’t think you need to poke me that hard! Carson laughs softly quickly stopping when John glances around them and reaches up to knock Carson’s hand off his shoulder.

“Sorry, lad” at John’s look he adds “ I think at least one of these is broken”

“Really? Or was that just a…” John asks in a near whisper wafting one hand in the air slightly.

“I really do think it’s broken. And I really am sorry” Carson says motioning for one of the nurses to bring him a treatment trolley

“That’s Ok Doc’ It takes more than some overly rough handling to upset me” John smiles brightly as the nurse arrives.

“Aye, well, I’m afraid you’ll have to stop picking fights you can’t win for a few weeks, these ribs need some time to fix themselves.” Carson stabs John with a painkiller and passes him his shirt back.

“No support?”

“Nope, It can cause problems with breathing and that can lead to pneumonia. Also sometimes it can cause the broken end of the rib to shift and damage the lung, especially when you cough to clear your lungs because you can’t breath deeply.” At John’s slightly horrified look Carson chuckles and adds, “It’s pretty rare for that to happen. Especially without the support bandage.” John dumps his t-shirt on the bed and carefully pulls his jacket on.

“They always wrapped my ribs in the past.” He shrugs, winces and shifts uncomfortably “It’s not about winning you know.” He says slipping off the bed. Carson looks at him hard.

“Come with me”

Daedalus , Enlisted off-duty room.


Carson leans through the door and seeing the room is empty walks in, towing John behind him. He pulls John across the room and flips the dart scoreboard over so the back is showing.

“If winning isn’t everything, why are they keeping score?” he says sadly.