Pairing/Charecter(s): Ancient!John, Rodney, Cadman; John/Rodney, pre-Carson/Cadman
Warnings/Spoliers: this takes place between "Heres" and "Dei et Viri" the Ancient!John 'verse, during the episode "Duet"
Disclaimer: Title 17 of the US Code, § 107, aka the Fair Use Doctrine.
Summary: She's trained not to notice these things.
Notes: In writing this, I realized that this is my third "Duet" tag - and my second one in this 'verse. Which is odd because, while I find the episode hysterical, it's not really a fav.
But I was trying to work on the next insallment of this 'verse - tenitively titled "Vicarii," - and Cadman has a bit of a role in it, and then "Duet" itself came up in my rewatch... and, well, this happened.
As well, while I make no promises, anyone who has a decent drabble idea for this 'verse is welcome to submit them to me. If I can think of a plot for them, I might just write them. But, again, no promises.
Oh, and on a RL note, The Airborne Toxic Event, who gives us this drabble's quote, is one of my favourite bands. The concert I went to of theirs was one of the best ever that I've seen, second only to Muse's "The Resistance" Tour.
An Ancient!John Drabble
"And I can tell you that you're all I've ever wanted dear,
Through the din of your breathing while you're sleeping here,
You wake and you ask me if I'm gonna be here forever, forever, forever."
The Airborne Toxic Event "All I Ever Wanted"
"You're up late," Colonel Sheppard says, coming up behind them in the hall.
It is late. Nearly midnight by this planet's clock, which, do to the strange nature of gate travel, is nearly a full day since Laura's consciousness had gone into Doctor McKay when he was rematerialized from the Wraith dart. The end result of which is that, with the minor exception of when she (they? he?) had been unconscious and/or incorporeal, Laura's been up for almost thirty-eight hours straight.
As tired as she is, though, she just wants McKay to go to sleep, if only so she can stop playing second-fiddle in this body.
"Mmm," McKay says, gesturing at his head. "I couldn't sleep."
"Yeah," Sheppard snorts, sliding his hands into his pockets and slouching a little. "I know what that's like."
Oh, yeah. Laura keeps forgetting that the Colonel can talk to the city. God, that must be strange – and, considering the situation she's in at the moment, that's saying something. Honestly, not only is she stuck inside someone else's body, but, sometimes, when McKay's being quieter than usual and his thoughts seem to be on autopilot, she can hear music running through the back of his mind. Music unlike anything she's ever heard before.
(McKay says it's Atlantis, and the music is some sort of harmonic representation of the algorithms or something – her words, not his – that make up the city's artificial intelligence. To tell the truth, in the two months she's been here, Laura's never really believed them when they said The Lost City of Atlantis is alive, but she gets it now. Gets it, but is still kinda creped out by it.)
McKay snorts, though whether it's because he's caught the vein of her thoughts or it's just what Sheppard's said, Laura can't tell. "Let's just say I've a better under understanding of what it must be like when Atlantis goes on about paint swatches."
/I do not go on about paint swatches./
"No. No, you don't, but 'Lantis does sometimes. Apparently."
/What would an Ancient city want with paint swatches?/
"Oh, I don't know. Why do teenage girls go to malls?"
Laura supposes he has a point there, though she must say, /Okay, now that is genuinely creepy./
"Tell me about it."
Sheppard's eyes widen a bit during this conversation, but otherwise he seems only minimally disturbed by this outburst. "Well, let's just say I've gotten a better understanding myself of how I've got to look when I'm talking to the city."
"Well..." he drawls, and for a moment he looks less like the somewhat solemn, somewhat amused CO Laura's gotten used to seeing around base and more like a real person. (It's all in the eyes. She's never noticed it before, but she's never seen one of Sheppard's smirks reach his eyes until now. Seeing him like this, she wonders how she could never have noticed this before.) "I was going to go with strange."
"Of course you were."
"Well, if it's any consolation, you get used to it after a while."
Laura can feel McKay's eyes widen at that. Hell, if she'd control of his body at the moment, she'd have been making them widen too. "What sort of consolation is that? I don't want Cadman in my head for the rest of my life. Granted, it'd probably be a very short life, as I'm bound to go off the deep end completely if this goes on much longer, but still. Not something I signed up for. And now Zelenka is finding errors in my work, and-"
One of Sheppard's hands slips out of his pockets and squeezes McKay's shoulder slightly. For a moment, it looks like he wants to do more than that, but Laura doesn't try to parse what that might be because, well, she knows it's McKay's shoulder and not hers, but it still throws her a little.
She's a Marine – oorah – and doesn't like being thrown, in any sort of manner.
(The only reason she can think for why it throws her so much is because, well, Laura's never actually seen her CO touch anyone in the entire two months she's been here, any more than she's seen any of his expressions reach his eyes before now. Until now, she's just sort of assumed it was an Ancient thing – any race that chose to Ascend, she figures, can't have been all that touchy-feely to begin with – but now she's wondering just how big a difference there really is between Sheppard's public face and the one his friends get to see.)
/Ah, Rodney,/ she drawls herself, /you have a friend./
Laura feels Rodney redden at this, but otherwise gets no answer.
Sheppard pulls back his hand as if scalded. His words, though, are gentlest she's ever heard from him. "You'll figure something out, Rodney. You always do."
"Of course I will. Talking to the smartest person in two galaxies, remember?"
The Colonel gives him a real smile for that too. "That's the spirit. But," the grin slips away, "I'd suggest trying to get some sleep first."
"Yeah. You're probably right," Rodney sighs. Then, with a hopeful lilt in his voice, "See you at breakfast?"
"Yeah, Rodney," he says, his smile returning. More softly now, just a ghost of itself really, but a real one nonetheless. "Of course."
She should've gotten it then. She really should have. But she's trained not to look – not to notice, not to ask. Not about these things, at least. So Laura doesn't see it until she's pulled her stunts with both Katie Brown and Carson and she's back in her own body, resting comfortably in the infirmary.
Because the CO of the garrison doesn't just fall asleep at the CSO's sickbed as he waits for him to wake unless the CSO is a lot more than just his CSO. Not even on a base like Atlantis.
Or maybe he would – McKay's also Sheppard's teammate and friend, and they've been through a lot together. But McKay certainly wouldn't let the CO stay asleep after he's woken up himself unless there's something more there. She doesn't need to have been in Rodney's head to know that.