Pairing/Charecter(s): Ancient!John, Rodney, sentient!Atlantis; McShep slash
Warnings/Spoliers: #9.5 in the Ancient!John 'verse (falls after "Socors" but before the next installment); contains vauge spoilers for "The Storm, Part III" and "Intruder"
Disclaimer: All characters, situations, quotes et al are properties of their respective owners and I am merely using them under Title 17 of the US Code, § 107, aka the Fair Use Doctrine, without intents to infringe upon or defame anyone's legal rights.
Summary: Because heaven forfend Atlantis call Rodney by his Terran name.
An Ancient!John Drabble
/It'll only be for a little while, carissima, I promise./
/We don't want you to go,/ Atlantis pouts, causing all the electronics in the room – including the Terrans' – to hum anxiously.
Iohannes ignores the curious looks of the nearby Expedition members and runs his hands along the nearest wall placatingly. Well, in all truth, the original members had pretty much learned to ignore his pastor-related antics by now; it's only the new ones, the ones that had come with Everett and Caldwell, who are looking at him curiously. It's all vaguely annoying and really not helping his case at the moment. /I know, carissima. I don't want to go either./
/Then why are you going?/
/Because I have to, 'Lantis. The Terran praetor wants a full debriefing by the Expedition's senior staff and that, bizarrely enough, includes me./
/Do you all have to go?/ she sniffs, stopping her trick with the humming and deciding to play with the water ballast systems instead. /Can't your custodia stay? He knows us./
/For the thousandth time, he's not-/
/What are we supposed to call him then?/ Atlantis snaps, no longer sounding like a lost child, but rather a petulant teenager and proving once more to Iohannes that if the city wanted to be concerned about anyone's mental health, it should be her own.
/His name, perhaps?/
/It's not Alteran./
/Because heaven forfend you use his Terran one,/ he sighs before tapping his earwig. "Hey, Rodney?"
Distractedly the scientist answers, "Yeah?"
Iohannes can hear lab-sounds in the background, and has to restrain himself from sighing again. He, Elizabeta, Carson, and Rodney are all scheduled to gate to Terra in less than half-an-hour. At this rate, they'll be lucky to get off-world before tonight. By which point the city will not doubt have created some catastrophe that must be dealt with right away that in no way, shape, or form could be traced back to her. "What's your middle name?"
"Rodney is my middle name. Why?" he asks suspiciously.
"'Lantis is asking."
"Oh." There's a beat. "Why does the city want to know my middle name?"
"'Cause Rodney doesn't translate into Alteran and she refuses to use Terran words. I've learned it's best to humour her when it comes to things like this if I want to maintain my sanity."
"John," Rodney says, the sound of a door opening and closing carrying over the radio, "you spent ten thousand years in hooked up to a cathedra. You don't have any sanity left."
Had not Iohannes been standing on the far side of the Control Room, apart from most the Terrans but still close enough to be overheard, he would have replied of course not, I'm dating you aren't I? But Iohannes is, and could only frown at the missed opportunity, settling on the far less likely to cause Rodney to blush, "Be that as it may, I'd like to maintain the illusion. So give me a name or I let 'Lantis choose."
"Okay. But you've got to promise not to tell anyone."
"Fine," Rodney huffs, then voice muffled as if he's trying desperately not to be overheard, "my first name's Meredith."
Iohannes blinks. "What's wrong with-?"
"It's- Look, I'll explain later. I've got to finish this mess before we leave. Just promise not to tell anyone but Atlantis, okay?"
The line goes dead.
With a sigh he turns his attention back to the city. /You're the one who hacked their translation software. What does Meredith come out to?/
/Moreducus,/ Atlantis muses, running it over her non-existent tongue. /Moreducus Custodia... It's a good, solid Alteran name, even if it's missing a few pieces. It works though. We approve./
/I'm thrilled. I really am. But you know Rodney can't stay here either, regardless of whatever name you choose to call him by./
She huffs, which is progress compared to her earlier sulking, /What about the medicus?/
/Carson has to go too. All the senior staff has to go, 'Lantis; I've told you this already./
/But you'll be back?/
/Yes. Soon. I promise./
/And you won't do anything to get yourself killed?/
/I'll do my best./
/We don't know what we'd do without you, pastor./
/I know, carissima. Me neither./