The Ancient!John 'verse: Drabble # I Don't Even KnowCharacters: Rodney McKay, Sam CarterPairings: John Sheppard/Rodney McKay, Sam Carter/Jack O'NeillSummary: Rodney and Sam have a conversationSeries: Part the Ancient!John 'verse, a part of Locality.
Notes: I liked this as a start for "Vir," part 6. And then I didn't. But thought you might like to see it anyway.
20 July, 2007 – Atlantis, Nova Loegria, Pegasus
“The sun sets alarmingly early on this planet,” Sam says, looking out over the city skyline to the ocean beyond.
“The solar day is only twenty-one hours and sixteen minutes long.”
“Seriously? God,” she says after a moment’s pause, “that’s going to make it hell to figure out the duty schedules. What are you guys doing about the clocks?”
“The best idea we’ve had so far is to divide the day up into twenty-five hours of fifty-one minutes each and then tack on an extra minute to the final hour of the day. It’s not perfect, but it’s better than Durand’s idiotic excuse for an idea. He wanted to put everyone on a twenty-four hour rotation,” Rodney explains, not too exhausted to give the idea the derision it deserves, “that is, sync our clocks up with the SGC. Noon there would be noon here, regardless of what time of day it actually might be, and so on. His said that with sleeping pills and thick enough curtains, we’d all adjust to the schedule eventually.”
“That’s a bit… wow.”
“Yes, well, his first degree’s in computer science. Daylight means almost nothing to those people.”
Sam turns away from the view, giving him a bright, teasing smile that would have had his stomach doing flip-flops back when they first met. But that was a long time ago and they’re both married now to men they love dearly. Sam even has a son, Jacob Daniel, who’s a year, eighteen months by this point. How the times have changed. “Says the astrophysicist,” she laughs.
“Look who’s talking,” he counters, gesturing out at the beautiful, if premature, sunset. “I don’t see you lining up for one of the labs in the sublevels, where you’ll never see the light of day unless a drone accidentally punches a hole in the ceiling during a firefight.”
“I’m a full-bird colonel now. It means I get the fancy corner offices with the oceanfront views. Besides,” she says somewhat wistfully, “I spent ten years under Cheyenne Mountain. I think I deserve a window or two.”
Rodney’s not entirely sure what the proper response to this is and is rather surprised to find himself saying, “Thank you.”
The question appears to startle Sam as much as it does him. “Thank you?” Thank you for what?”
Good question, he doesn’t say, somehow managing to come up with, “Thank you for taking this job,” and finding himself genuinely meaning it. “I know it must have been hard, leaving your family behind, even if it did come with a bump in rank.”
There’s something tight about her smile – tight, but open and honest as well, and Rodney thinks he enjoys being her friend far more than he ever enjoyed his ridiculous infatuation with her. “It was a hard choice to make, but it was time to move on. There wasn’t much more I could do at the SGC unless General Landry retired, but even then they’d never have let an O-6 have that command. So it was either this or Area 51, and, to be honest, I wasn’t quite ready to stop going through the Stargate yet. Besides, Jack has clearance, so there’s no reason he and Jake can’t visit.” Sam considers this statement. “We might actually see more of each other this way.”
“Still, thank you. I know we might not seem the most grateful, but I’ll be nice to have some who actually knows what they’re doing in the position.”
“That might be the nicest thing you’ve ever said to me, McKay.”
Pointing a finger at her sharply, “Don’t get used to it. Just because-“ he stops abruptly, bringing his finger to the Device beneath his right ear. “This is McKay.”
Evan’s voice comes in loud and clear over the comm line. “Hey, Pops. I’m with Icarus. We’re still in the infirmary-“
Evan continues despite the interruption, “-and you should probably get down here. You’ll probably want to bring Colonel Carter – and Doctor Morris, if you see her.”
“What do we need an anthropologist for?”
Rodney frowns, lowering his hand as the line disconnects.
“It doubles as a radio?”
“It’s also a Wi-Fi hotspot,” he says distractedly. “And Evan wants us in the isolation room.”
“Is John alright?”
“I’ve no idea.”