Pairing: Rodney/Katie, shades of Rodney/Teyla.
Rating: NC-17 for thematic elements.
The request was for:
Things I'd like:* McKay-centristic fics, McWeir, action and adventure, and hurt/comfort are my favourites. I also like McKay/Teyla, Weir/Daniel, friendship stories between McKay and any other member of the expedition, teamy fics - I'd love a holiday-themed fic or one that fits into the Christmas spirit.
Spoilers: Duet and any other episode with Katie Brown; season four up to the sees-the-future guy.
Summary: Rodney gets trapped while offworld, and he’s left no option but to mull over the relationship situation he’s found himself in.
Author's Note: Compared to some Earth-borne cultures, the Athosians are fairly tame. :)
House of Patience, City of Telsco-Dreyy, the planet named Hkiy
Rodney McKay couldn’t sit down any longer. For one thing, the stools were too uncomfortable and unpadded. For another, his legs were crying out to pace from one end of this library room to the other and back again.
Teyla had suggested that he wait here, while the rest of the team made their case before the Judiciary.
The people here inhabited a narrow swath of land in a glacially-slow subduction zone between sheer mountains. Like Japan back on Earth, that resulted in the inability to dig anywhere without turning up bits of history from past centuries and millennia; here, the artifacts tended to be tossed into the lightweight “concrete” that was used to construct buildings such as this House. For all of this century and most of the previous one, the Idreyy had been enthused with archeophilia, documenting and writing down everything they found in their walls…that was what filled the pages of all the books in this room.
And then, while Rodney was standing up, the earthquake happened.
* * *
He was stuck here.
Pinned to the floor.
And not likely to be getting up anytime soon.
No point in a wimpy “Help!” He’d specifically asked for a room that was nice and quiet, not too close to anybody else (it grew tiring both in Atlantis and here, always tripping over people in the closeness and confined space).
Rodney sighed and just let himself look at the contents of the collapsed wall right in front of him. What at first glance had looked like pebbles and shells, revealed themselves to be coins and potsherds. With them were animal bones covered in a variant of the local script, and mummified human hands.
What was it Jeanie had always said? Ah. Yes. ‘When you can’t go anywhere, reflection helps pass the time til you can.’ Granted she was talking about the wait between contractions to deliver Madison.
Another sigh. The options were woefully limited, he knew. For once, he wished he knew something of archeology – it would’ve provided a good alternative to reflection. He was far from being a fan of introspection, as the depths of his own mind scared him…though he hadn’t a clue why that hunter-crystal hadn’t gone for much beyond the surface fears; My brain terrifies aliens too?
To distract himself, Rodney looked around and found some finger bones that were either used for dice games or diviniation. He wasn’t sure how much time passed: he couldn’t bring his arms up to his head, so his watch wasn’t doing any good.
Looking at the inscribed finger bones, Rodney found himself thinking about women: puzzling and at times inscrutable. And none were more so than Katie and Teyla. ‘I have discussed this with her,’ Teyla had told him about Katie, ‘and we have settled things,’ though neither of them would tell Rodney what the ‘things’ were that’d been settled.
He winced as more of his legs started to fall asleep. “Oh this is just terrific,” Rodney grumbled.
‘Teyla needs you for this,’ Katie had said a little under a year ago. It was weird to him, but he was eventually convinced…just enough to do it. Growing up, he’d thought Americans were odd, and Canadiens were bizarre. Teyla’s explanation (telling him the belief behind the practice Katie’d okayed) had struck Rodney as ranking up with the euchrist in plausibility.
At least the cullings add an element of practicality to the Athosian tradition. One father (always Athosian) to raise and teach the child, one father (never Athosian) to actually take part in the conception, and both of them to be there in support of the mother.
‘How does Katie see it?’ he’d asked himself over and over, over the past months. Does or did she convince herself that once I do the deed with Teyla, me and Katie will be nothing more than godparents to Teyla’s kids? Is that what she wants? (I know she told her how her dad was a Baptist bigamist, but is she really willing to go down that road? Even with me? Especially with me?)
Is being a godparent what I want out of it?
And now he was getting to the places he really never wanted to go.
For that matter, what do I want?
The answer was plain enough: Katie.
Yet Teyla remained in the equation, as stubbornly refusing to leave as she could be pig-headed in real life.
But Katie comes first.
As irritating as Jeanie could be, at times, (and really, wasn’t did that come with the job of being a sister?), she did have a valid point: Katie was the only woman willing to put up with all of my ‘quirks and eccentricities’ as some of the less-gifted called them. And about Teyla – would she put up with his quirks (team-time aside) ?
No, fighting to keep his mind from turning fevered and going down that dark alley.
More time passed as the various factions in his mind fought it out. And what won was the realization that, if he was going to be involved, he had to trust her. Trust Katie.
Yeah, Rodney decided. If they’re okay with it – and I’m still going to get them to let me in on the it – then I shouldn’t worry. I’m with Katie … and if Teyla needs our help, she’s got it. “Feels a bit better,” he admitted.
“Rodney?” Katie called out somewhere out of sight.
He could hear rubble being moved. “Here!” he hollered. “I’m over here!”
“You were right.”
Katie and Teyla chuckled. Rodney’s blood ran cold, then he relaxed, comforted by how the two women were searching for him together, working together.
Soon enough, they were pulling rubble off of the slab of plate wood that was pinning Rodney. “Are you okay, Rodney?” Katie asked.
“I’m fine,” he assured her. “I don’t think I’m bleeding anywhere, and nothing feels like its broken.”
“Your voice sounds good,” Teyla said.
“Yeah, haven’t been thirsty yet…but I am hungry.”
Katie pulled a loaf of bread out of her rucksack, tearing off a piece for Rodney, who ate it gratefully from her fingers.
Finally the plate wood was able to be lifted up and flipped aside by the two working pairs of hands.
“I’m glad to see both of you,” Rodney said.
Katie quietly beamed, and Teyla nodded.
As they helped him to his feet, he asked, “And what about…?”
“I, Ronon, and Colonel Sheppard were unable to sway them,” Teyla said. “In fact, when they rendered their decision, John had an outburst which amended the ruling.”
“Now we are banned from ever returning here. The six of us, and everyone else of Atlantis, and all Athosians.”
Great going, Sheppard; this place is their ancestral home, the place they try to visit at least once in their lifetimes. “I’m sorry to hear -”
“I have become convinced that into every church, a little Luther must fall.”
“Think you mean ‘rain’.”
Katie agreed: “She got it right, Rodney.”
“Oh.” Standing upright, one arm around Katie’s shoulders and one arm around Teyla’s shoulders – for support since his legs were still alternating between tingly and numb – he looked from Katie to Teyla and back to Katie, “Could we talk? I think we need to talk.”
“I mean the three of us.”
Katie looked at Teyla, who nodded. “Sure,” Katie said again.
“Gladly,” Teyla agreed.
“Good,” Rodney said. “Because I’ve got something I need to get off my chest.”
Teyla frowned. “I will never get used to that expression.”
Author’s note: If you think the Athosian solution to marriage and childbearing is odd, do some reading on the Bari of South America, or the Na of China. They're pretty cool.