Rating: er, PG-13
Warnings: right before part 3 of "Ascensiones" in the AJ 'Verse
Summary: The secrets of the universe are his to thumb through
Notes: This was to be the second half of part 3, but I decided I got too off track.
An Ancient!John Drabble
"Physicists are made of atoms. A physicist is an attempt by an atom to understand itself."
― Michio Kaku, Parallel Worlds: A Journey Through Creation, Higher Dimensions, and the Future of the Cosmos
18 March, 2007 / IXX Mai. a.f.c. I – Atlantis, Lantea, Pegasus
"You've been watching me sleep again, haven't you?"
Rodney chooses to ignore this blatant lie. "Do I have to tell you again how creepy I find that?" he asks, drowsiness stealing most the bite from his threat. He's not awake enough to work up to real irritation yet, but give him time – and maybe a pillow not quite so comfortable as John's chest – and he'll get there soon enough. "Because I will. In great detail."
"As much fun as I'm sure that'll be, how about not?"
"You know, I'm ninety-nine and nine-tenths percent certain I told you the exact same thing about watching me sleep, and yet here we are, so obviously neither of us are getting what we want this morning."
"My eyes have been closed all night, Rodney. Promise."
He opens his own just enough to glare up at John. "Doesn't make it any less creepy."
"Unh uh. You only said the staring was creepy. You never said anything about the rest of it."
"It was implied!" Rodney insists, using the hand still on John's chest to push himself up so he can properly glower at him. "Right there in the fine print of the I do not want my Ascended fiancé watching me sleep all night because he doesn't need any, all senses are implied. Hearing, smelling, all of them."
"I like how you smell," John points out needlessly. Only the vaguest suggestion of dawn reaches them through the curtains, the light thin enough that their slightest movement in the brisk autumn wind changes his expression from a cocksure smile to the start of a frown.
"That's not the point."
"It's not?" he asks with (definitely) a frown.
"No, it's not."
"It should be."
"If the universe worked by shoulds, we'd have stumbled across a planet with a whole storeroom full of charged ZedPMs by now, discovered a sure-fire way to defeat the Wraith, and had to have knocked out the far wall to make room for all the Nobel Prizes we've won between the two of us."
"I know how the universe works, Rodney," John says glumly, and Rodney thinks that maybe that's the actual point here.
John is Ascended. Somewhere, locked inside the brain that is only a manifestation of his desire for a tangible body with all the trappings of mortality, is the knowledge of how the universe works: The nature of dark matter. The superfluous details of the universe's birth and the shape of its death. The exact method of unifying gravitation with electronuclear force and finding that final theorem, the theory of everything.
Rodney's not stupid. He's easily the smartest person in two galaxies. On his good days, he'd even go so far as to extend that qualification to the known universe. But the fact remains that he will never acquire even a tenth of the knowledge John now has, even if he devotes himself entirely to solving the unsolved problems in physics and doesn't concern himself with any of the fifty-odd crises that are happening on or around Atlantis at any given time.
So what Rodney doesn't understand is how, with the secrets of the universe his to thumb through, John to chooses to ignore all that in favour of watching him sleep. For all his genius, Rodney's nothing special. Not really. He was born on a planet of six billion people; he may be unusual, but he's by no means unique, not with odds like that.
When it all boils down to it, that's the creepy part here. He loves John, he really does, but sometimes the ferocity with which John loves him in return frightens him.
"Just don't do it anymore, okay?" he eventually sighs, rolling away to share his frustrations with the ceiling. But 'Lantis doesn't see the problem any more than John does and doesn't sympathize.
"Alright," John agrees, but that's a lie too. He gave up ten thousand years to protect Atlantis. There's no telling what he'd do for Rodney if it came down to it.
"Please tell me it's a least a reasonable hour of the day."
"Sometime during which people who are not military are likely to be up."
"Ah. Then no."