sgasesa_admin (sgasesa_admin) wrote in sga_santa,

Fic: Growing Pains (McKay/Sheppard, PG)

Title: Growing Pains
Author: frith_in_thorns
Recipient: propinquitine
Pairing: McKay/Sheppard
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: Stargate belongs to MGM etc, not me.
Notes: So I was tryig to write something much more serious than this, but it wouldn't stay that way. I just went with it in the end. I do hope that you find it at least acceptable! If not, I'll write you something better after Christmas. Promise.
Summary: "Sheppard, your plants are attempting to impregnate the Gate controls. I don't want to find little green wormholes skipping down the hallways any time soon."


Radek found Rodney pouring the remnants of the coffee jug into the clay dish on his desk, which currently contained a quantity of earth and a tiny green spike. "What are you doing?" he asked, with not a small amount of surprise.

"I've heard used coffee grounds are good for plants," Rodney said, in a slightly embarrassed sort of way. "It helps them grow."

Radek peered closer at the plant. It didn't appear to have changed at all in the days that it had been in Rodney's care. It had been a tiny green spike when he had first seen it, too. "Perhaps that is its natural size?" he suggested, carefully.

"Don't be ridiculous. What would be the point of something this size? Anyway, Sheppard's is growing."

"I noticed," Radek said dryly. It was getting rather hard not to notice that.

"Precisely," Rodney said, as if he had just succeeded in proving a major point. "And Teyla's. And Ronon's. Trust me to get the one that doesn't work properly."

"It is a plant, not a machine."

"I'm perfectly aware of that."

"And you should not be jealous of Colonel Sheppard. I am sure he would give you one of the offshoots of his plant, if you ask."

Rodney glared, and ostentatiously pressed some of the coffee grounds closer to the pitifully sized stem with his thumb. "He says his grows because it likes his guitar. I bet he's playing his guitar to it right now."

And Radek realised something. "You aren't jealous of the colonel because his plant is growing, are you? You are jealous of the plant!"

Rodney's glare deepened, and he grabbed the pot and bustled out of the room.


It started when they were given plants by the locals on P3N-479, as thanks for Rodney fixing their irrigation pump. They weren't really anything special to look at, just four tiny green shoots protruding from four earth-filled clay dishes.

At first, anyway.


With Woolsey currently attending a 'briefing summit' - whatever the hell that was - on Earth, John was temporarily in command of Atlantis. That was the only reason why nothing had been done yet to eradicate John's increasingly-out-of-control-and-growing family of weeds. They seemed to be able to grow on no sort of substrate at all from tiny airborne seeds. Rodney made a point of stepping on the two he encountered in the corridor, while holding his plant pot up in the air, well away from their potentially corrupting influence.

John's quarters were full of them. Rodney refused to let his own pot get within several feet of the door, let alone inside. It spent its nights alone in his own room, with the door firmly shut. If it had been possible, he would have hermetically sealed it in.

It was terribly unfair that John's mutant green-blue plant things were well on their way to taking over the city, and his wouldn't even come up with one single tiny leaf or bud. Not that he would want his to behave in such an uncivilised way, of course. He'd like it to be like Teyla's, with the slender leaves with their silvery sheen, and the tiny pink flowers nestled in clusters. He'd even settle for the rather spiky thing that Ronon had.

When he reached the Gateroom, he wasn't altogether surprised to see a couple of broad bluish leaves peeking out from behind a console. "How long has that thing been growing there?" he demanded.

Chuck's eyes were immediately drawn to the clay pot, and Rodney felt his cheeks redden slightly. So maybe it wasn't entirely befitting for the head of science to be carrying a stubborn bit of native scenery around with him all day, but what else was he supposed to do with the thing? He was determined that Sheppard's vegetable army wasn't going to get at it.

Speaking of which... "I only got on shift an hour ago," Chuck told him. "It was there then."

Wide flowers were pressed in a somewhat lascivious way against the buttons on the console. Rodney glared at them, and then tapped his headset. "Sheppard, your plants are attempting to impregnate the Gate controls. I don't want to find little green wormholes skipping down the hallways any time soon."

John's reply came after a slight pause. "McKay, there's nothing I can do!"

"You need to learn to control it!"

"McKay, it's a plant! I know you can buy books to teach you how to train a dog, but I think this is a slightly different situation."

Rodney huffed, and noticed that Chuck was unsuccessfully trying to smother a grin. "Well, you'd better come up with something very soon. I'm fed up with this."


The plants had gone straight to the botanists, so that they could check that they were safe. Rodney had been very, very insistent on that point, citing so many Earth species which could kill you if you just touched them that even John had started anxiously examining the skin n his fingertips when he thought that Rodney wouldn't notice.

As far as Rodney was concerned at that point, the botanists could keep the plants. They weren't interesting, in the way that technology was. They wouldn't light up and whistle when you touched them, no matter what genes you had. They just sat there. And were green.

Then Teyla had removed hers to her quarters, and for some reason Ronon and John had copied her. Well, Rodney wasn't going to be left out. If the rest of his team could grow useless things in pots, then so could he.

Except, apparently, he couldn't. His stubbornly refused to do anything at all. He had even got Parrish to do a tiny biopsy of it, to confirm that it actually was alive, and not just some imitation.

Apparently it had past the 'life' test. Not that he was convinced.


"You aren't still carrying it around?" John asked him at lunch, slightly incredulously. They were sitting next to each other, and the plant was on the other side of the table, as far away from John as was possible. "And I'm not going to kill it, you know. Since I seem to have greener fingers than you do, you may as well stop pretending that my proximity is fatal."

"Who's to say it isn't?" Rodney snarked. He narrowed his eyes at the lettuce on his tray. That had managed to grow.

"So you want to be spending less time in proximity to me?" He faked a hurt expression.

Rodney rolled his eyes. "I don't know if you're looking for sympathy or attention, but it's lost on me either way. I'm carrying my plant around because I'm afraid of what your weeds will do to it."

"They aren't weeds!"

Silently, Rodney pointed to the floor beneath one of the serving tables. Sure enough, there was the tell-tale splash of colour, marking yet another staked-out claim.

"Alright, so maybe they have a couple of weed-like characteristics."

"Yes, excessive reproduction, ugliness..."

"I like them!"

"No, you've developed Stockholm syndrome. I sleep in your quarters, remember? They're everywhere. Soon they'll be making ransom demands."

Teyla and Ronon, carrying their own food trays, dropped into the seats across the table. Ronon moved the clay pot out of the way first, and raised his eyebrows, grinning.

"How's your plant?" Teyla asked.

Rodney felt himself flush, again. "I don't see why everyone thinks that me having a plant is so amusing."

Ronon laughed. "It's because you don't treat it as a plant. It's your pet."

"It's not a pet!" Rodney protested.

"Has it got a name?" John asked.

"No, of course it hasn't got a name! It's a plant."

Teyla pulled the pot towards her. "It smells of coffee," she said, sounding slightly puzzled.

John grinned evilly. "McKay," he said, speaking very slowly and clearly. "Plants don't drink coffee."

"I know that! It was to see if it would help it grow!"

Teyla coughed with her hand over her mouth. Rodney stared at her suspiciously, but couldn't tell whether or not it was genuine. "Why don't you bring it to my quarters?" she suggested. "I have a mixture of composted herbs from Athos which I have been giving to my flowers. They may help yours, too."

Rodney shrugged. "Ok."


He was the one who had been the first to notice the world-domination tendencies. In fact, he had woken up in the middle of the night to find leaves against his hand which had definitely not been there before.

"John! Your plant's trying to attack me!"

"No, it isn't," came the sleepy reply. "Shut up."

"It is!"

John had completely failed to grasp the seriousness of the situation, even when Rodney had turned the lights on and made him look at the mutant vegetation that had grown at completely implausible speeds. He had simply turned them off again, Atlantis proving once again who was and would always be the favourite.

Still, Rodney was nothing if not fair. Clearly John had simply been overtired, possibly as a result of exertion. In the morning he would, of course, see the full threat apparent in the situation.

He didn't. He found it funny.


To Rodney's surprise, John and Ronon were in Teyla's quarters too when he turned up, having finished work in the labs for the day. He had just made the mistake of asking Miko whether his plant seemed like a pet to her, and so was now carrying it at arm's length, in an Oh, am I holding something? I really hadn't noticed, it's just happenstance sort of way.

"What's this?" he asked. "Gardiner's club of the Pegasus galaxy?"

Teyla's silvery-pink flowers were even more tall and even more elegant than they had been when he had last seen them, and he shot them a jealous look.

"I had an idea," she said.

"Oh?" He passed the pot into her outstretched hand, and turned to John. "You do know that Woolsey's coming back tomorrow? We can finally get rid of your weed infestation."

"You love them really, admit it."

"No, I really don't." And then, suddenly noticing Teyla - "Hey!"

She didn't stop what she was doing, which was pressing down displaced earth around one of John's seedlings. In his pot.

"We haven't tried this yet," Ronon said. "Something has to make yours grow."

"But I've been keeping it away from those ugly things!" He paused after the words left his mouth. He suddenly wondered if John had been actually offended, rather than just joking.

Teyla nodded. "But our gifts were all specific to us, and apparently there were reasons behind the choices. I thought this might be worth a try."

"So it's supposed to spontaneously burst into bloom or something?"

"Why not?" John asked. "We've seen stranger things."

Ronon grinned slyly. "Anyway, we've got a movie for while we wait and see. Parrish gave it to me."

A look of trepidation crossed John's face. "It's going to be Day of the Triffids, isn't it?"


"Can't we watch something which has, you know, effects which are even resembling.g special?"

"I think it's a great choice." Rodney opened the laptop which had been sitting on one of the tables.

"You would," John mumbled. He looked at Ronon suddenly. "Where's your gift-plant, anyway? You didn't bring it to the party."

"Nah, it's dead. Forgot to water it."

Rodney scooted back so that he was leaning against the bed to watch the movie, the solid warmth of John against his side as the other two also shuffled into nearby places to get a good view.

"I'm sorry I kept my plant safe from you," he whispered.

"No problem," John whispered back. "It was probably a good idea."

Disregarded on the floor, the tiny spike of green began to bud.
Tags: genre: slash, pairing: mckay/sheppard

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