sgasesa_admin (sgasesa_admin) wrote in sga_santa,

Fic: This Never Would Have Happened To Gilligan (McKay/Sheppard, PG)

Title: This Never Would Have Happened To Gilligan.
Author: reddwarfer
Recipient: pollitt
Pairing: Rodney McKay/ John Sheppard
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: I neither own nor profit from anything related to the Stargate franchise.
Author's Notes: This was not the first idea I had, or even the fourth, but I think it was the best. I sincerely hope you enjoy reading this as much as I have writing this. Completing this story would have been impossible without both my dearest friend and my beloved beta-reader. Thanks to the mods for being patient, understanding, and just plain awesome.
Summary: While some answers are just beyond John's reach, others are always by his side.

John wakes to Rodney elbowing his way out of bed. "Hey," he mumbles, tightening his grip on Rodney's waist. "Go back to sleep."

"As much as I'd love to do just that," Rodney says with a huff, still tugging at John's resistant arm, "Radek needs me in the lab. Malfunction of some sort."

"But it's still dark out," John says, finally letting Rodney go. He glances at their window and then to the clock on the wall. It's 0422, which is way too early to get up after going to sleep less than four hours ago.

Rodney mutters about the arbitrary nature of assigning significance to the amount of daylight produced by the computer program on their fake windows and shoves his feet into his shoes without bothering to put on socks. "Just go back to sleep, John," he says. "With any luck, you'll be yelling at me for my cold toes within twenty minutes."

"Sure," John agrees, even though he knows the chances of Rodney coming back to bed are pretty much close to nil. "Later, Rodney."

"Later," Rodney echoes, and leans over to kiss John on the corner of his mouth. He's out the door soon after and it takes John less than two minutes to determine that he's not going to be able to fall back asleep.

He's dressed and the room cleaned-bed made with Rodney's clothes inside the hamper instead of every where but-in less than ten minutes. He walks over to the handmade wall calendar and crosses out another day. He doesn't need to count to know that it's been three years, two months, and nineteen days since he and everyone else woke up in this strange compound with only the barest memories and no idea how they'd gotten there or what they were supposed to do.

Not much has changed since then. They still only have the barest of memories and they still have no idea how they ended up here, but now they have a purpose. Well, at least they have their routines, at any rate. And no one's snapped yet, so John counts it all as a win.

When he steps out in the corridor, it's not long before he finds Lorne, who looks just as exhausted as John feels. "Problems?"

"Nah," Lorne waves away his concern. "Just ended up helping Parrish do some emergency transplanting when the weather controls stopped working in Greenhouse One."

John sighs. The weather controls have been off for months and no one has any idea why. "We'll figure it out." Maybe. "At least today's supposed to be down-time."

"Thank god," Lorne says awkwardly around a yawn. "Maybe we'll see you around later if we don't spend the day sleeping."

John watches as Lorne heads toward the living quarters and fervently wishes he were still in his. The Compound isn't very large, two floors underground and one floor above, but it requires constant maintenance. There are so few of them here, which means everyone's effort is required. Time off is strictly regulated, yet still susceptible to getting canceled without warning.

"You're up early." John turns and finds Teyla standing a nearby doorway. "I thought Sam made it clear that today was a rest-day. You and Rodney should still be in bed." Her tone is a mixture of chiding and curiosity.

"You know Rodney," John says easily. "I swear he and Radek have a pact to work every rest-day possible."

Laughing, Teyla nods. "Yes, that does sound very much like them."

"Speaking of being up early," John says, giving Teyla a look.

"I decided that it would be nice to have a meal that isn't already prepared. I was about to head to the kitchen," Teyla answers brightly.

John forces a smile on his face. It's not that the gesture isn't nice, but Teyla's cooking comes in two varieties: undercooked and burnt. "Sounds great. I'll walk you there."

However terrible Teyla's cooking normally is, the mere idea of a home-cooked meal makes John's stomach growl. When they realized there was no leaving the Compound, they'd searched the entire building. There were two rooms dedicated to food storage containing prepackaged foods, some basic non-perishable ingredients, and all the MREs anyone could ever want. After three years of them, John could never have one again and be exceedingly happy.

When they get to the kitchen, Teyla busies herself with making what looks like some sort of pastry. John just sits on a chair and watches, knowing an offer of help would be refused.

"Sam was mentioning she thought we are close to a breakthrough," Teyla mentions conversationally after a while.

John snorts despite himself. "Yeah, well, we've been hearing that or something like it for over two years now."

"You do want to discover the truth, do you not?"

Getting to his feet, John shoves his hands in his pockets, says angrily, "Of course, I do. It's just...we don't know much more than when we woke up here. There's that weird machine in Lab Four that not even Rodney or Radek understand and there are those two doors with the weird language that won't open. Even when we tried blasting them!"

"I did not mean to upset you," Teyla says calmly, setting aside the bowl she was stirring. "Maybe we will discover the answers when we are meant to and not before."

"I'm not upset," John denies immediately, then relents at Teyla's skeptical expression. "Not really. I just wish those doors would open."

"Actually, that was part of the reason Sam was excited," Teyla says then. "We originally thought the floor plans had labeled the two doors as upstairs and downstairs, respectively, but Sam thinks a more accurate translation is ascend and descend."

"Doesn't that mean the same thing, in the end?" John asks, not getting the big deal over a slight mistranslation.

"She thinks it may mean something else. The words ascend and descend are verbs. Upstairs and downstairs are nouns. She thinks the difference is important, vital. I do believe she intends to discuss it at tomorrow's meeting."

He grimaces. These meetings are generally an exercise in mind-numbing torture. Even worse is how much Rodney hates them, and makes everyone aware of said fact. "That's...great."

Teyla looks thoughtfully at John. "Even the smallest successes should be celebrated."

John sighs. "You're right. I just...thought we'd have figured out this by now. Who we are...why we're here. Where, here is, exactly... It's all basic stuff and we don't know any of it. The database is censored, the building is all but locked down, and all we know is that maybe the words on the two mystery doors are verbs, not nouns."

"If you feel this much frustration, perhaps you should consider joining me for meditation. I know Ronon finds it helpful."

"Ronon uses it to nap." John shakes his head, feeling a bit restless. "I think I'll go find Rodney."

"I hope to see you at breakfast. Make sure Rodney and Radek come, too. They don't mind their health enough."

"Sure thing," John agrees readily and makes his escape. All these conversations do is make him antsy and there aren't many outlets in the Compound.


John finds Rodney in Lab One with Radek, arguing over the readouts on the computers.

"You just have to-" Rodney says, tugging the screen closer to him.

Radek pulls it back. "Wrong. You're forgetting about-"

"I didn't forget. It's just not important," Rodney disagrees, continuing the computer-screen tug-of-war.

Eyes rolling, Radek sighs. "That is not true. It is important."

"No, no, no," Rodney counters, adding, "you do realize I'm much, much smarter than you."

"You do not know this," Radek says with the annoyance of someone being forced to repeat themselves endlessly. "Maybe before I was your boss and smarter than you."

"No," Rodney says thoughtfully. "My gut tells me that I'm smarter than you. Much smarter. Also, if anyone was the boss, it was me. I see myself as a grand leader of men. I probably had lackeys by the dozens. Yes, that's what my gut tells me."

"If by gut you mean ego," Radek mutters under his breath. Louder, he says,"Here. See? This is the problem."

Rodney straightens up, steals the screen back, and nods excitedly. "What we need to do is-"

"Yes!" Radek agrees, annoyance forgotten in the excitement of progress. "Yes, this is it."

"Hey," John says, knowing there just won't be a good time to interrupt any time soon. "Problem solved?"

"Yes, yes," Rodney says, pauses, "Well, not exactly, but soon enough. Oh, was it longer than twenty minutes?"

"Only by three hours," John lies, watching Rodney's eyes widen, glance at the clock, then back at John with keen irritation. "Kidding. Teyla's making breakfast. She wants you two there."

"Oh, look," Rodney says, getting to his feet. "Much needed maintenance in Lab Three. Must be going. Compound could explode."

"You obviously need my help," Radek says, following on Rodney's heels. " The sacrifices we must make to save everyone..."

John laughs. Those lucky bastards. "You two better be there or you'll wish the Compound would explode."

"Yeah, yeah, sure," Rodney calls as he disappears with Radek down the hall. "We'll just have to suffer with MREs."

"Problem?" Ronon asks from behind him, and John does his very best to act like he isn't about to jump out of his skin.

"Teyla's making breakfast," John answers with a grin.

Ronon stares over John's shoulder. "Maybe those two need a guard."

"Oh, no, buddy," John says as he clamps a hand on Ronon's shoulder. "I'm not going there alone."

"Whatever," Ronon says, rolling his eyes. "Ready for our run?"

"Yeah," John answers. Their run is two parts exercise and one part guard duty. It takes them through every corridor of the bottom floor, up the north stairs, through every corridor of the second floor, up to the top floor.

"Perimeter check?" Ronon asks after they wind their way through the halls and past the greenhouses.

John nods and follows him outside. "Yeah, we skipped it the last two days."

The shield wasn't discovered until three months after they arrived in the Compound, which coincided with the time John gave up pretenses and moved into Rodney's room. Two days after that, Rodney found a way to both fix and enable the shield. John allows himself to claim a little credit for both the orgasms and the sleep he made Rodney endure which led to that success.

After the shield went up, the previously inaccessible top floor, greenhouses, and front door opened up for them. There was an initial burst of excitement which was quickly dashed when they realized that the shield extended out about twenty feet from the building and there was no going beyond it.

The database, which according to Rodney, Radek, and Sam is heavily censored, indicates the atmosphere outside the shield is inhospitable.

"Everything looks good," John says to Ronon, taking in the haze beyond the shield. There are no storms, no shadows, no nothing.

Ronon shrugs. "Too bad. Wouldn't mind getting target practice again."

They're not sure what the shadows are, exactly, but when they come, an alarm sounds in the Compound and everyone who can fire an energy weapon straight gets to come to the surface and fire at them til the shadows disappear and the alarms subside. John's not sure why the energy pulses can pass through the shield but they can't, and Rodney's never given a satisfactory answer.

"They'll be back soon enough, buddy," John says, because nothing's ever quiet there for long. If it's not the shadows, it's a storm or it's a generator or something to cause everyone sleepless nights and far too much stress for eight people trapped in a three floor building to handle.

"Yeah," Ronon says, grins with teeth. "And I'll make 'em regret it."


Despite a great deal of bitching, John drags Rodney away from Lab Three and off to breakfast. Radek follows, and John senses it's because he knows Rodney will find a way to make him pay if he doesn't. They have a strange hive-mind relationship. John can't think of a time when they've actually completed more than fifty percent of their own sentences in each other's company. Moreover, they have a pack-like tendency not only when it comes to work, but also in escaping unwanted home-cooked meals, long boring meetings, and hour-long meditation sessions. Conversely, neither of them will allow the other to avoid something if the other has to attend.

It's rather hilarious, actually.

Neither Rodney nor Radek share in John's amusement on the occasions when he feels their odd ways become mock-worthy-which is constantly-and tend to give him dual evil-eyes, which tend to just make John laugh harder.

"I hate you," Radek says vehemently as he trails after them. "One day, I will force you to work in the Greenhouses while I get to work on the machine."

"Keep dreaming," Rodney replies. "You're just bitter that you can't cope without me."

Breakfast isn't nearly as bad as John was expecting. He's just grateful they still have enough stores of sugar left that he can salvage the paste-like porridge Teyla serves. The rock-like pastries lie untouched in front of him. Rodney grumbles about it under his breath, but eats two servings anyhow.

"Where's Lorne and Mr. Botany?" Rodney asks after he finishes, looking around the room as if it were possible for him to miss two of their eight in a medium-sized room.

John snorts. "Lorne and Parrish are sacked out. Weather controls were acting up again and they had to move some things to another greenhouse."

"Again?" Rodney says, absently groping for the tablet John made him leave behind in the lab. "I swear someone is going into the system after me and mucking up the works."

Radek actually nods thoughtfully. "There've been many times I have wondered if something was deliberately sabotaging systems. It is odd to have so much trouble with maintenance when there's no record of anyone changing the code."

"Well, who knows if what we read in the database is accurate anyhow," Rodney bites out suspiciously. "So much of it is inaccessible. What's to say that what we're allowed to see is the truth and not some deliberate attempt to mess with us."

John gets to his feet. "Oh, no. Not this again," he says, glaring at a disgruntled-looking Rodney. "We're gonna clean up here, and then we're off for the rest of the day."

For a moment, Rodney looks as if he's going to argue, but his shoulders slump and he actually looks tired. "Yeah," Rodney says, gathering up their dishes. "That sounds...uh...really nice. Maybe we can...finish that chess game. From last time."

Radek snorts inelegantly into his bowl. "I shall see you two tomorrow at the-" John sends him a glare that says if you mention the meeting and therefore ruin my chances to have sex, I will find ways to make you pay. "lab. After breakfast, yes?"

Rodney, who clearly isn't paying either of them much attention, waves at him tiredly. "Sure, sure. Bye, now."

When they get back to their quarters, Rodney flops on the bed face first and mumbles into the pillow. "Can the chess game wait?"

"I don't know," John says, grinning as he strips down to his boxers. "You never know how long til we get the chess board again."

Entertainment in the Compound is a bit of a joke. The third room they found was a rather pathetic rec-room. It had about one hundred books stuffed on a shelf, most of them the worst sort of bodice-rippers, a cribbage board, a dual chess and checkers set, a backgammon set, a pack of cards and an Uno deck. After a barrage of minor wars breaking out over who got what and when, Sam decided that all items were to be doled out two weeks at a time on a rotating basis. This resulted in two days of escalating fights and nearly caused a bare-knuckled brawl over whether the deck of cards ought to be paired up with the cribbage board.

Rodney turns his head enough to squint up at John blearily. "We don't actually require the board to play chess."

"But where's the fun in that?" John asks, just to watch the annoyance flit across Rodney's face. Just when he can see a rant gearing up, John holds up a hand. "I'll let it go, if you don't nap in your clothes again."

"Fine," Rodney grumbles, rolling onto his back. He kicks off his shoes, shimmies out of his pants, and wiggles out his shirt, tossing all of them wherever they land on the floor. John stares at these offending items for a moment before letting it go.

Instead, he crawls into bed next to Rodney and curls up behind him. It's nice and he'll have a better chance of sex when their nap's over than if he beats Rodney at chess, anyhow.


It's only after they've had sex twice-really, really good sex-and played one game of chess, four games of checkers, and mocked each other mercilessly for each loss that they curl up in bed, turn off the lights, and talk.

"You do realize," John says, knowing he'll probably regret bringing it up now instead of tomorrow at the last possible minute,"tomorrow's meeting day."

Rodney looks actually pained when he turns to John. "It can't actually be that time again already."

"'Fraid so, buddy." John feels a pang of sympathy for Rodney, but he feels a larger pang for himself, who has to deal with Rodney before, after, and during. "Teyla says Sam may have some news. The words are verbs, not nouns."

"How wonderful for her. She discovered how to conjugate a stupid language," Rodney says snidely, resentful any time Sam knows more than he does, or, according to Rodney, takes credit for it before he gets a chance. "I have to slave away, keeping this Compound from falling apart, and she gets to sit in Lab Five, like a princess, and never worry about breaking a nail."

John wisely refrains from reminding Rodney that along with being smart, Sam can also kick his ass. "Is that what you do all day? I thought it was more like mocking Radek and stealing stale cookies from stores."

"Hey!" Rodney looks positively indignant, which John finds far too cute than is healthy. John decides he needs to kiss him, just a little.

After a few moments, Rodney pulls back, lips wet, puffy, and says, a bit huffily, "I had a really good rant and you made me forget it."

"Good," John says a bit cheekily, and kisses Rodney again. They haven't managed sex three times in one day very often, but John's willing to give it his very best.


Meeting Day is one of the few compulsory events in the Compound. John thinks Sam's the only one who actually wants to be there. But Sam's in charge-unexplainable, like everything just feels natural-and she thinks it's important.

"All right, let's get the meeting underway."

"Oh, great, um, let's see..." Rodney doesn't lift his eyes up from his tablet, but he does manage to roll them. "I remembered that I used to be a clown and ran away from the circus, and got zapped off the ground by little grey men in a flying saucer who dumped me here for future experimentation."

"Aren't you supposed to run away to the circus?" John asks, trying not to enjoy the look of irritation on Sam's face. He's also trying not to imagine Rodney as a clown or he'll never be able to get it up again.

"I'll have you know..."Rodney begins, only to get cut off by Sam clearing her throat meaningfully.

"It's important to take this seriously, Rodney." Sam looks utterly frustrated. "Who knows if even the most innocuous memory is the key to discovering how to open those doors and return to where we came from."

"What's the point?" Rodney asks, suddenly on his feet, anger and, strangely, fear on his face. "We spend all our time trying to leave. How do we know what's out there is better? Those, those, those shadow things we don't even have a name for! Doors that lead to god-knows-what! I mean, whatever's on the other side's not even on the floor plans! And, and, and the shield! We can't even breathe the air outside without it!"

Sam looks shocked as does everyone else at the table, even Teyla. They all dart their eyes between Rodney and John, as if they think he had secret knowledge of this just because they've been fucking since two-weeks in.

The reaction is a surprise to John, who, like Rodney, has heard Sam's lecture a hundred times if he's heard it once.

There's a moment of pity and understanding on Sam's face before her expression morphs into suspicion. "You remember something, don't you?"

John turns to Rodney, expecting to see outright refusal and is surprised to instead see a shifty, albeit defiant, look on Rodney's face. "Possibly."

"I can't believe you," Sam says, sounding angry. John feels a bit of anger, too, but it's tempered by the fact that he knows that Rodney would have said something if he thought it was important enough.

Rodney reaches over to Parrish, who is doodling on a legal pad, and tears a piece of paper from it. He swipes the pen, too, ignoring "Parrish's" indignant hey, and draws what looks like a series of dots-John's stomach clenches uncomfortably-then thrusts it down the table at Sam. "Happy now?"

She stares down at the paper, pale and thin-lipped, and blinks. "Oh," she murmurs. "I...don't believe it."

Teyla looks at her for a moment, says, "May I?" Sam nods wordlessly as Teyla pulls the paper to her. Her expression is pensive, almost frightened. Ronon doesn't bother asking, just takes it, stares, and passes it on to Lorne. He and Parrish both look at it with solemn expressions before pushing it down to Radek, who gulps, and mutters under his breath in Czech.

"Why didn't you say anything?" Sam asks Rodney, almost accusatory, as if she hasn't just outed herself as having similar memories.

Rodney snorts. "Right. And that would have gone over well. By the way, everyone, I had a dream about a giant Speak-and-Say. This is obviously the answer to all of our problems."

No one replies and John thinks it's because no one can really fault Rodney for his assumption, even if it was a wrong one.

"I think we all," Sam says after pulling herself together,"should take a piece of paper."

They all do, and in the end, they have eight pages of strange little dots, and more questions than ever.

"It means something," Sam says, a bit plaintively. And that's when Rodney's tablet starts beeping.

"Oh, oh," Rodney says, tapping out something quickly. "I don't believe it."

"What?" Radek asks, shoving into Rodney's space, and taking the tablet from Rodney's loose fingers. "Oh,"

"What?" John snaps, jumping to his feet. What is it with scientists that talk way too much and never actually say anything in the long run?

"The machine..."Rodney says. Radek nods, continues, "It is on. Working."

The tablet beeps again and both Rodney and Radek both tug at each end, until they're almost plastered against each other, using one hand each to hold it, and their other hands to type. "The doors," they say in unison, which, by the way, is creepy.

"What?" Ronon growls, standing next to John, and is probably just as wired.

Radek and Rodney turn to face each other for a moment, have some sort of weird silent conversation, and it's Rodney that answers. "They're, well, open."

"Open?" Sam asks, sounding stunned. This whole morning feels like it's stuck in fast forward. John almost feels dizzy. Over three years of nothing and now everything all at once.

"Yes," Radek confirms, and like that, everyone is out of their seats, rushing down the hallway and over to where the two doors are located. The panels next to them are lit, blinking, just waiting for someone to open them.

"We should split up, half and half," Sam says, eying the doors. "That way, we'll be able cover more ground."

"No," John says, trusting his gut, which says that's a bad idea. "we should go together."

Sam looks at him oddly, but it's Teyla who touches his arm and says, "I agree, John. This is a journey we should make together."

"A journey?" Rodney snorts. "It's probably a broom closet."

John feels a burst of happiness, not worried about what'll happen next, or what's on the other side. He turns to Rodney, smiles widely, and asks, "So, are you ready to find out?"

Rodney stares at him for a long minute, long enough for John to see the love, fear, curiosity, and a myriad of other emotions dance across his face. "Yes, John. I think I am."

"The real question is," John says, looking at each door in turn. "Up or down."

"You choose," Rodney says, and John knows that for Rodney to let someone make a decision that he could have made himself is practically a declaration of eternal devotion...or at least an eternal dedication to mutual orgasms.

John grins, swoops in and kisses him on the lips, and palms a panel. The door wooshes open, revealing a darkened room. They all smile at each other and step through.

Tags: genre: slash, pairing: mckay/sheppard

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