sgasesa_admin (sgasesa_admin) wrote in sga_santa,

Fic: A Little Knowledge

Title: A Little Knowledge
Author: hyperfocused
Pairing: Sheppard/McKay
Rating: PG13
Spoilers: The Tao of Rodney
Recipient: pollitt
Author Notes: pollitt asked for "McKay/Sheppard. I am a sucker for the small things, subtle touches and actions. I like first time stories but am not opposed to established relationships (especially if it's an outside character realizing they're a couple, and/or accidentally observing them as such.) Gen is good too, especially focusing on the team or Rodney and Radek's friendship (not slash, though). I like happy endings, angst and h/c are lovely--as is just everyday, nothing to worry about, days being with friends--but in the end I want happy resolution. "


Being the Ancient version of a superhero wasn't all it was cracked up to be, Rodney thought, wishing the whole horrid affair was over, and he was back to his (very slightly) imperfect self.

True, the telekinesis was cool -- especially teasing Carson. And it finally felt like he was putting his mind to good use. But that "with great power, comes great responsibility' line was all too true. And somehow, the more he could do, the worse it felt, simply because he couldn't do everything.

He tried to turn off everyone's thoughts. The cacophony of uncensored minds was giving him a headache. "I hope my team gets picked for the next mission, I feel like a glorified janitor. " This briefing better end soon, I really have to pee." I wonder if Dr Beckett can cure my rash? Will I have to tell him how I got it?" "I'd like to shove Ronon up against that wall, wrap my legs around him and slide down..." Actually, he heard that one, or variations of it, quite a bit.

It was even worse when those thoughts concerned him. As much as he'd put across the "Everything should revolve around me" message, it was pretty god-damned freaky when it was true. And as his situation became even more dangerous, the disparate thoughts that fell his way coalesced into a stream of McKay, McKay, McKay. "He's going to be even more insufferable, now." "It's entirely his fault, being so foolhardy." "What the hell is Colonel Sheppard going to do?'

He heard that last one a lot, which puzzled him, because as far as he knew, Sheppard would be fine. Sad to lose a friend, but Rodney was sure he'd go on just the same.

He didn't know what John was thinking, exactly. Somehow he managed to cover his feelings in a way no one else on Atlantis could do. Rodney assumed he was worried for him, a bit jealous he didn't get the cool powers, but beyond that, John was a blank wall, or perhaps a clear blue sky..

He'd put a lot of time and effort into getting Rodney to learn meditation techniques. (It was all a lot of superstitious hoohah. Why the ancients had needed the trappings of religion when they were so clearly a science based society at heart was beyond him.)

Luckily, it only took the tiniest fraction of his expanded brainpower to ruminate on the problem, and extend his telepathy, breaking through the block Sheppard had placed on himself.

Perhaps Rodney should have felt guilty, intruding this way. But there wasn't time to wait while the Colonel gave permission, and Rodney had to know the truth. Knowledge was power.

When John's mind opened, right before the end, it was like a dam breaking. A wall of terror and need and confusion washed over Rodney, the only clear phrase "I never told him, and now it's too late."

Rodney heard it, as clearly as Sheppard's spoken "Yeah, like a friend loves a friend."

But he didn't have time to respond to that, because it really was too late. He didn't even know if Carson would be receptive to his message, and he regretted every time he referred to him as Witch Doctor, and meant it derogatorily. If ever he needed some non-traditional medical help, it was now.

Things got fuzzy after that. He remembered a lot of empty space, and feeling lighter than air. Insubstantial. Then there was a wrenching, and he was sprawled out on the platform where the botched ascension had taken place.

Rodney felt fine. His back was sore in the usual place, and his left knee ached a bit from where he'd banged it on the platform when Ronon placed him there so hurriedly. His allergies were acting up, and he could swear someone was wearing citrus based perfume that could potentially make him sick. So all in all, he was great.

Dr Beckett couldn't clear him fast enough for Rodney's liking, insisting on a battery of tests, "just in case." He was shocked that Rodney didn't want to stay and be coddled. "You've been through quite an experience. You ought to be resting."

"There's too much to do, especially now that I'm only extraordinarily brilliant, not
meta-human." But he didn't have work goals in mind. He and John were going to have words. They'd both held back far too long. Rodney, because he didn't think John felt the way he did, and John because he was apparently an idiot.

John was waiting outside his door when Rodney got there, just as Rodney had requested.

"Are you all right?" John asked. "I was -- we were all concerned."

"I'm back to my old self."

'Well, good. That's all anyone can ask for."

"No, John, it's not. You could ask for anything you wanted, if you weren't afraid you might get it. You, my friend, are a coward." Rodney told him. "A brave, stupid, ridiculously intelligent coward who never plays it safe, except when it comes to your feelings."

"What the hell are you talking about, McKay? That doesn't even make sense."

"Why didn't you tell me?" Rodney didn't bother responding to John's complaint. John knew exactly what he meant.

"Tell you what? What's the point of telling you anything, when you could read minds?"

"I've only been able to do that for a few days. You've known for..." Something in John's eyes, and back to normal or not, Rodney got a flash of just how long it had been. "Oh my God. You've been in love with me for a year. More than a year."

"I don't know what you're talking about."

"Hello, former mind reader, here. Not to mention, constant genius."

"But I never said anything. I never even let myself think about it. Much"

"Except you thought about it all the time, didn't you?"


"So why didn't you ever say anything? And don't tell me it's because of the no fraternization rules. You break rules all the time, when it suits you."

"No, Rodney, I don't. I bend the rules when it would be dangerous not to. Sometimes it's necessary to save lives. I couldn't be the military leader of Atlantis if I tossed the rules out the window."

"You'd still be Atlantis' best hope. It has nothing to do with rules or titles."

"I can't, Rodney. I'm sorry. I want to, but I can't."

"No, you just won't." Rodney sighed. "I suddenly find myself tired. I'd like you to go, now." He didn't look up as John protested, waiting until the door slid shut behind him.

Rodney tried to pretend he was still the same, but it was hard. Everyone looked at him like he was about to spill their great secret, or demonstrate some weird ability that somehow hadn't faded. Sure, they all acted like they were relieved he was okay, offering him coffee and chocolate and "Glad you're sticking with us, Dr McKay", but at the same time, he was sure they would never look at him the same way again. If anything could breed paranoia, it was the memory that he had intimate knowledge of each and everyone of them.

John avoided him completely, except when they were working, or where it would have looked weird. It hurt, but Rodney wanted to believe John would get over himself before too long. Now that Rodney knew the truth, he was damn well going to benefit from it.

It was a few nights later when Rodney heard the knock at his door, followed quickly by the whoosh as it opened for John without Rodney's say so. He was wide awake.

"I don't suppose there's any point in saying I was sleeping, is there?"

"I'm sorry. I'll leave you alone." John backed out of the doorway.

"Wait. What did you want?"

"I've been meditating on it awhile, and I think you're right."

"That's nothing new. What am I right about this time?"

"What you said about how I'm scared to give myself what I need. What we both need."

"And?" It was all well and good for John to say it. He had to want to fix it, too.

"I need you to help me release my burden."

"Is that what the kids are calling it these days?"

"Very funny. No, I'm serious. I'm tired of hiding out. I want it all, with you. Not just sex. If it was just fucking, we would have done that already." John told him, moving closer into Rodney's personal space. Then they were kissing, and Rodney finally believed him.

"You know, you're right. Together I think we could reach a higher plane."

"Yeah?" John began to undress.

"Yeah. " Rodney fumbled open his own clothes. Perhaps it was because he'd almost left his body, but he felt incredibly unused to his body. Or maybe it was just nerves.

"It might take a while." John beamed like he wouldn't mind repeated lessons.

"We can work through it. It'll be worth it." Rodney sat on the too-small, utilitarian bed. and pulled John down on top of him. "Now, first, visualize yourself on a king-sized orthopedic bed with 600 threadcount Egyptian cotton sheets...."
Tags: genre: slash, pairing: mckay/sheppard

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