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Fic: Reflections (Gen, PG)

Title: Reflections
Author: ceitie
Recipient: ladysorka
Pairing: Gen
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: SGA and its characters don't belong to me.
Word Count: 1, 435
Author's Notes: Set during "This Mortal Coil".
Summary: "Being a clone sucks," he said. "That's the one point that most of the narratives make very clear."

---

Jeannie was lost in the department store again. Rodney had only turned away for a moment, watching the mechanical spider that was creeping across the ceiling, and when he looked back she was gone. Slipped away to hide in the clothing racks, like always, probably - but his mother was tugging at his elbow and shrieking, "Why weren't you watching her, Meredith? I told you to watch her!" and suddenly panic was rising tight in Rodney's chest.

He surged forward, running down the aisles, calling for her. "Jeannie? Jeannie, come on, that's enough, come out! You're such -" such a brat, but he couldn't say it, couldn't force it out his throat. He hurried up the jumper's ramp, yanking the access panel off and dropping it on the floor. If he could fix the jumper, he'd be able to find her so much faster, track her sub-dermal locator. But the wires were tangling together and his hands were slippery with someone else's blood, and he growled in frustration when someone tugged on his arm and said -

"McKay? McKay, wake up."

Rodney opened his eyes and looked up into Ronon's face. "Huh?"

Ronon let go of his arm and settle back on his heels into a crouch next to Rodney's seat. "You were making noise, getting kind of loud."

Rodney blinked again, and then rubbed his hand over his face, reality snapping back into place around him as the dream faded away. He was a fake version of Meredith Rodney McKay, with his fake team in a fake puddle jumper that was catching a ride on an Ancient warship, carrying them away from the remnants of the fake Atlantis. He almost wished that he could go back to the nightmare.

Ronon watched him for a moment, and then got up and sat down in the seat across from him. "Bad dream?"

Rodney sighed, twisting his back to work the kinks out. It wasn't as sore as it should have been, and he thought of the nanites scurrying through his body, wriggling their way through every cell. He thought idly of orange juice, whether the nanites would work fast enough to stave off a reaction, or if they'd already somehow cured his allergies.

"I - yes. I was dreaming," Rodney said, waving his hand dismissively. "What's going on?"

Ronon gave him a long look, and Rodney shifted his eyes away. Finally Ronon said, "We're trying to figure out what to do next."

Rodney frowned. "We're going back to Atlantis, aren't we? I thought that was our likely-to-end-badly plan?"

Sheppard's voice floated out from the back of the jumper, "Yeah, Rodney, that's the plan."

Rodney turned around his seat to see John, Teyla and Elizabeth sitting on the benches at the back of the jumper, and then Ronon nudged Rodney's shoulder with his hip as he got up from his seat and moved down the aisle to join them. Rodney heaved himself out of the chair and followed him.

He sat down next to Teyla and John, across from Ronon and Elizabeth. It was still weird to have Elizabeth back, like if they'd just kept searching the false Atlantis they would have found Carson too maybe, and Ford, all their dead and their lost given back to them. But that was just another lie, because Elizabeth was dead, had been dead for months apparently, and no one sitting in this jumper had lost her in the first place.

"We're working out how to initiate contact with the city," Elizabeth said. "They'll be suspicious of us, with good reason."

"They won't let us into Atlantis," Ronon said.

John bit his lip. "No. Not right away, anyway."

"Not ever." Ronon sounded grimly sure, and Rodney swallowed. So Ronon had come to the same conclusion as Rodney had. Teyla and John could present arguments about their physical humanity and the truth of their identities all they wanted, but Rodney knew what it would come down to for the SGC and the IOA: the five of them were the creations of the Replicators. They could never be fully trusted.

"You do not know that for certain," Teyla said, leaning forward. "If there is some way of removing the nanites from us -"

Elizabeth was shaking her head. "It doesn't matter whether Atlantis trusts us right now. The important thing is to open a line of communication so that we give them the core drive, and any information on the Replicators that we can. We can work out the rest after that's done."

"Okay," John said, "so we go to New Athos, explain what's going on, which should be fun -"

Teyla said, "No," so fiercely that they all turned to look at her. She clasped her hands together tightly but met John's stare head on. "I do not want to go to New Athos."

"Why not?" Elizabeth asked, her voice gentle, and Rodney blinked back the stinging in his eyes; he hadn't realized how much he'd missed Elizabeth's kindness.

"If we went there, they would think that we are - our other selves. I do not want to see the change in their eyes when they realize -" Teyla paused, and glared at Rodney when he opened his mouth, so he closed it before he said anything true and bitter. She continued, "I would rather that we go to one of our allies, and see if we can reach Atlantis through them. We can ask them to inform my people of our existence as well. And then if we receive word that we are welcome, perhaps we could go to New Athos."

John looked like he wanted to argue with Teyla's "if we are welcome", but he kept his mouth shut. Elizabeth said only, "All right. Which world do you think we should go to instead?"

After a few minutes of listening to the debate over the pros and cons of various planets, Rodney headed back to the cockpit. He busied himself with inconsequential tasks, and tried not to think about the odds that he would ever see Earth again, and everything that that meant. Even during their first year on Atlantis, Earth never seemed so distant a possibility as it did right now.

He turned his head when he heard someone approach, and saw Elizabeth settling into the co-pilot seat next to him. "You've been very quiet, Rodney," she said.

"I've read a lot of stories about clones, watched a lot of movies about them," Rodney said, staring down at the console. "Most of them were complete trash, of course, with next to no understanding of how cloning would actually work." He grimaced and added, "Except as it applies to our lives, apparently."

Elizabeth raised her eyebrows, looking a little confused. "Go on."

"And do you know what the running theme is, in most of those stories? Well, other than the obvious identity issues?" Rodney asked.

"Enlighten me," Elizabeth said, almost but not quite amused, and it was all so familiar that Rodney deflated, the anger huffing out of him in a puff of air.

"Being a clone sucks," he said. "That's the one point that most of the narratives make very clear. I've lost - it feels like I've lost everything, but that's the worst part - it was never mine in the first place."

Rodney didn't look at Elizabeth, and they were both silent while Rodney fiddle pointlessly with the controls on the console. Then Elizabeth said slowly, "I keep thinking of my mother. What they told her. That I'm dead, or missing in action, which is nearly as good as. And no matter how hard I try, I can't believe that she wouldn't be happy to see me. For me to come home to her. Even if I explained to her exactly what I was."

"It's different with Jeannie," Rodney said, when he could speak. "She already has one difficult brother, she doesn't need a fake one too."

"Let her decide that," Elizabeth said, and she rested her hand on his shoulder for a moment before walking back into the jumper's other compartment.

Rodney wiped his face on his jacket sleeve, and then started tapping through the jumper's programs, looking for something he could use to create a recording or just send a text message to a PDA. He'd tried to make a "goodbye" message for Jeannie once, during the siege, and had never sent it. At the time he'd thought that that was really for the best, but - well, he'd been wrong. It did happen occasionally, loath as he was to admit it. Maybe he'd have more luck with a "hello" message.

Comments

( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
korilian
Dec. 21st, 2010 11:50 am (UTC)
Clone team! I need to believe the clone team is still alive and... well? Great fic. It's always a pleasure to see them.
ladysorka
Dec. 21st, 2010 12:28 pm (UTC)
I love this. It feels like it could slip right into the episode. The way it captures the clone angst using family is fantastic (oh, Rodney), and how Rodney and Ronon are the ones that immediately to twig to the fact that no, they can't go home (oh, Ronon). And Elizabeth, and her mother, that potential found that we know is just going to be lost again. I love the bittersweet of Rodney being hopeful that he can do it right by Jeannie this time when we already know he's never going to get the chance to. This is just lovely.

Thank you so much!
danceswithgary
Dec. 21st, 2010 01:11 pm (UTC)
That's always been a favorite episode for me and I like this expansion.
sexycazzy
Dec. 21st, 2010 01:38 pm (UTC)
This is awesome! Loved it.
leesa_perrie
Dec. 21st, 2010 05:24 pm (UTC)
This is wonderful!
goddess47
Dec. 21st, 2010 06:14 pm (UTC)
Nice... Yes, Rodney would understand how hard it would be do to anything as a clone. And Teyla would be hesitant to deceive her people....

I do like the idea of a 'hello' message for Jeannie.

Good job!
aqualegia
Dec. 21st, 2010 06:40 pm (UTC)
Very nicely done. It was good to see the decisions they made before contacting Atlantis.
sholio
Dec. 21st, 2010 11:03 pm (UTC)
*wibbles* Ohhh, clone team! This was really well done -- I totally feel for Rodney here.
almostnever
Dec. 21st, 2010 11:46 pm (UTC)
Wonderful vignette that fits perfectly into and adds weight to the episode. So well done.
busaikko
Dec. 21st, 2010 11:57 pm (UTC)
This is wonderful. I'm really glad to have more about the repli!team. I love Elizabeth, she's perfect.
lilyfarfalla
Dec. 22nd, 2010 01:00 am (UTC)
This is really great! I love the look insides their heads, replicators but still Team, and still very much themselves.
mific
Dec. 22nd, 2010 05:12 am (UTC)
Wonderfully done. Just the sort of expansion of "but what would it really be like?" that the series bounces lightly over, whistling, and we need fanfiction for.
omg_wtf_yeah
Dec. 24th, 2010 08:46 pm (UTC)
Very cool. I really wanted to see more of the clone team on SGA and it was disappointing how quickly and unceremoniously they were discarded. Your Rodney voice was touching and your Liz was also great - she really was the glue that held it together. Excellent.
agdrgn
Dec. 27th, 2010 04:18 am (UTC)
I've always liked the clone team and wish more could be done with them.
rabidfan
Jan. 5th, 2011 03:52 am (UTC)
Oh, Clone!Team! I love Clone!Team!
michelel72
Jan. 10th, 2011 03:17 am (UTC)
Oh, poor team!
eliyes
Feb. 23rd, 2011 01:15 am (UTC)
Very good. I like how you have Ronon physically herding Rodney around; it's so true to how the characters act (and I don't think Rodney's ever actually noticed.)
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )

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