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Titles: 5 things John never wanted Rodney to know about his past and why Rodney does.
Author: Lilas
Spoiler for Trinity (206)
Characters/Parings: Sheppard, McKay, McShep
Summary: The title says it all.
Note: This was a challenge from Hila. It was also given to me in September, which doesn’t bode well for my Secret Santa deadline… That’s going to have to be written over break or else it’ll never get done *meeps*.
Note 2.0: If the first part reminds you a little too much of a certain character in Grey’s Anatomy, well, that’s because, seriously? Seriously.

John can’t remember his first time. He’s pretty sure it was with Callie from biology class, but if you try to find out the details from him, he’ll smile that smile and discreetly change the topic. He was 16 and the guys from the football team were having a party at one of the parentless houses. Callie had been there looking hot and exotic as always and John had had a bit too much to drink, what with the beer pong, and the cup flips, and the tequila double-dare shots. His only consolation after that night was in the morning, when Callie had poked him awake and asked him if he knew how they had ended up in the same bed with parts of her hurting where she shouldn’t be and with a spent condom on John’s flaccid dick.


Rodney found out because, as was the case in high school, John was incapable of keeping his big mouth shut during sex after he’s had too much to drink. They’d stumbled to the room the Algians had assigned them, laughing and pawning at each other’s clothes, mouths kissing and missing and when they’d fallen on the bed John had started laughing and saying he hoped this didn’t turn out like that time with Callie. Rodney had asked and John had told. There was no consolation in the morning. Rodney hadn’t been that drunk, and John remembered every excruciating detail.

John had always been a cat person as a child. He loved how they curled up on his stomach and purred like an F-16 motor. Until the age of twelve, there had always been cats in his house. His mother loved them with a passion and his father loved to indulge her. But then his mother died and every cat reminded him of her and his shattered childhood and he began to hate their soft fur, their loud purr and everything they represented in his mind.


When he went to visit his sister on his next leave, Rodney got himself a cat and somehow convinced the SGC to let him take it back with him. It was neutered and it was going to stay in the city, so seriously, what kind of ecological catastrophe could this cat possibly cause except maybe make Kavanaugh miserable with allergies (which he counted as a plus).

It took Rodney three weeks to realize John had been avoiding his quarters and that every time ‘Lanty was around, John would leave abruptly. It took Rodney another two weeks to pry the story out of John. The next day the cat had a new room with the biologists who cooed and pampered him to death. And if John went there for the occasional visit, no one needed to know that sometimes, he liked to be reminded of his mother.

John had never been the type to have friends. He’d had buddies, people to hang out with, people to play ball with, people who saw him as the cool kid to invite to a party. All he’d been missing to complete his high school persona had been the lazy cigarette dangling from his mouth, wisps of smoke curling in the breeze (John’s never smoked a day in his life. Flying was too important to risk his health over, and his father would have killed him). It wasn’t until he got to Atlantis that John discovered what it felt like to have friends, to have people you could trust with your life. It wasn’t until John had met Rodney that he understood what he’d been missing.


It was supposed to have been an uneventful mission, something as far from the normal missions in the Pegasus Galaxy as possible, something to get the team going again after the catastrophe in Doranda. Rodney and he were still working on the fall-out that particular disaster had caused and John had needed a simple mission to prove to himself that he could still trust his team; that he could still trust Rodney.

So of course there was an earthquake while they were in the ruins. And because this was Pegasus, the structure began to collapse while John was shouting for everyone to get out. For once Rodney followed his command immediately and ran for the exit leaving both shiny minerals and equipments behind. John actually thought they had a chance as he watched Rodney running ahead of him, but then he felt the tremor, and he saw the wall crashing down and shouted for Rodney to run faster even as he pushed him forward. But before he could think about it, a hand wrapped around his flask vest and he felt himself lose his balance, pitching forward and pain radiating from the back of his head before darkness claimed him.

He came to with a tap on his cheek and a panicked voice yelling something over him. He blinked his eyes open to see Rodney’s face swim into focus and feel Rodney’s hand on his neck, feeling his pulse. As the blur around his vision lifted, he noticed something odd about Rodney’s posture and fought Rodney’s hands as he pushed himself on his elbows. The scientist’s legs were pinned under rubble and his arm was at a funny angle.

Gathering his wits, John stood on wobbly legs and took over, talking to Ronon and Carson, telling them their condition as Rodney sat quietly on the floor breathing through his mouth, not saying a word, following his orders. It was strange. It was unnatural. It was wrong. He sat back down next to Rodney and put a hand on his arm, bringing his focus on him.

“You ran.”

Rodney looked at him funny. “Well of course I ran. The walls were crumbling.”

John smiled. “No, Rodney. You ran.”

Rodney was silent for a few seconds before looking at him soberly and nodding quietly. John patted his shoulder again and smiled. “2.”

Rodney smiled. “Prime.”

John never told Rodney in words (because, let’s face it, he really sucks with feelings), but in that cave, Rodney’s legs buried under rocks and John’s head pounding and bleeding, he was pretty sure Rodney saw his olive branch for what it was.

John was a military brat, and like all military brats, he moved around way too much for his own good as a kid. By the time he was ten he’d lived in nine states and three different countries. He’d had to learn four different languages and he was either behind or ahead at school. Nothing felt like home. Nothing felt safe and lasting. His parents loved one another, but after his mother’s death his father became cold, lost, distant. By the time he got his black mark and was sent to Antarctica to rot away his career, he’d forgotten what a family was supposed to be like and until Teyla had pried the words from him, he hadn’t been sure that’s what Atlantis had become.


Rodney snuck into his room during the night, stripping quietly and burrowing under the blankets, arms and legs bringing John into a tight embrace. John snuffled and turned around, returning the embrace. It’d been a shitty mission. It’d been an even shittier week. They were both tired, bruised, and emotionally raw from almost dying one too many times.

John sighed. “Don’t leave.”

“I’m not. Despite your bony figure, you’re a comfortable pillow,” Rodney replied, yawning.

John was silent for a long moment, eyes blinking in the darkness of his room, mind swirling with thoughts and images of warm cookies and roses. “You’re home,” he whispered. “Don’t leave me.”

Rodney tightened his arms in a quick embrace as his breathing evened out.

When he was younger, John kept asking Santa to bring him a little sibling for Christmas. Every year his mother would take him to the nearest mall and he’d sit on Santa’s lap and he’d tell Santa that he’d make a great brother and he really wouldn’t care about not getting a new bike or skateboard if only he could have a little brother or sister. His mother would smile and nod and put her hand over her belly with a wistful smile. At the funeral, his father said she’d been trying to get pregnant again, and that perhaps it was for the best she hadn’t since she would have left two children behind, not just one.

It wasn’t until college that John thought about kids again. He’d been toying with the idea of marriage and a family with Leslie Jonas and had been looking at rings for the past couple of months. He’d even discussed it with her. Well, sort of. Maybe. If you counted:
‘You like kids?’
‘Do you want kids?’
‘Of course, John. What girl doesn’t listen to her biological clock?’
as part of a conversation asking her about marriage.
He was set on it until the day she came into his room pale and shaking, throwing herself at him and crying on him until his shirt was soaked with tears and snot. She told him everything then, about the baby and how she couldn’t do it and that she knew he’d want her to keep it but she couldn’t and couldn’t he see that?
That night she broke up with him.


The baby had been thrust into his arms, covered in a blanket dirty with blood and mud. The mother lay dead at his feet, the branch piercing her chest and letting out oozing, cooling blood from around its width. He felt someone grab him by the arm and pull him into a run, the baby clutched to his chest protectively as Darts soared and buzzed above him. Distantly he could hear the baby crying.

When they reached Atlantis his knees buckled and he fell to the ground, his grip of the bundle never relaxing. He heard voices, felt movement around him, but everything felt cold and blurred at the edges except maybe the definite and reassuring gasps of the crying infant. He blinked and suddenly he found himself in the infirmary, blankets piled on top of him. He was wearing scrubs and an IV slowly dripped into his arm. He had no recollection of leaving the gate room and he pushed himself up on his elbows to call Carson and complain when the lack of something suddenly hit him and he gasped under the sudden awareness that the baby was missing!

He felt hands pushing him down, talking to him, calling his name, but he didn’t listen, couldn’t hear, until suddenly a bundle was thrust into his arms and as he clutched it sounds suddenly returned and everything came into sharp, sharp focus. He looked up to see Rodney’s haggard face and Carson’s worried frown. He’d feel embarrassed about the whole thing if it weren’t for the fact that the baby was there, and it was breathing and he finally, finally felt as if a part of him he didn’t even know had been missing was home.

He sighed and slumped back into the bed. He glanced up at Rodney’s worried face and before he could stop himself, he smiled, grabbed Rodney’s hand, and put it on the child’s head.


“No way.” He wrenched his hand away as if it’d been burnt. “You can’t. We can’t. I mean, look at this place! No! It’d be a nightmare. And… And kids! They hate me John. No.”

Everything was silent for a moment, John looking down at the wakening bundle, Rodney perched on the bed next to him. Rodney groaned, sighed, and put his hand back on the baby’s head, thick, callused fingers slowly patting a head full of dark curls.

“Okay, yes, fine. All right. You win. But don’t think you’re getting off the hook. You and I are going to have a long and painful conversation about your deeply buried issues concerning children and babies and sacrificial tendencies.”

John smiled.

Hope you enjoyed it! Blame nusuth *nods* Because blaming her saves kittens.


( 23 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 22nd, 2006 12:18 am (UTC)
Aw, these were great. Especially the cat one and the baby one.
Nov. 22nd, 2006 01:14 am (UTC)
I really really loved four, but I liked the cat one as well quite a bit.

Nov. 22nd, 2006 02:23 am (UTC)
Wow... I mean the cat broke my heart but the baby made it all better.

Nov. 22nd, 2006 03:42 am (UTC)
As long as you keep the wonderful drawing coming, you're more than welcome!
I'm glad you liked it ^___^
Nov. 22nd, 2006 04:47 am (UTC)
I liked these. :)
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 22nd, 2006 05:02 am (UTC)
Yah I know, they're have been SO many of them that it's almost nauseating. But I was asked to write it, so I did ^__^
I'm glad you liked the last scene. That one was much harder to write.
Nov. 22nd, 2006 05:52 am (UTC)
These were very nice bedtime reading. Just a bit of sadness with a lot of warm fuzzies. Perfect. ^___^
Nov. 22nd, 2006 06:03 am (UTC)
That was great! Thanks for writing and sharing it :-) .
Nov. 22nd, 2006 07:55 am (UTC)
I think 4 hurt the most and 5 made me smile the biggest.

And that's why I love 5 thing fics. Lots of emotions wrapped up in one fic.
Nov. 22nd, 2006 09:10 am (UTC)
Totally love number 4. It's so very sweet. The rest are good too :)
Nov. 22nd, 2006 12:52 pm (UTC)
Nicely done. Like the characterisation, tone and pace of each story. Made me smile - not overtly mushy but just the right blend of sentimentality and humour.

Thanks for sharing!
Nov. 22nd, 2006 02:33 pm (UTC)
Aw, wonderful! I love fics about John's backstory, but I've often had the problem that they were only about his past and Rodney wasn't involved at all, but this one combines Rodney and John's past and that makes your story just perfect :)
Nov. 22nd, 2006 02:52 pm (UTC)
These were lovely. I really like the cat and the baby. The things Rodney will sacrifice and do for John.
Nov. 22nd, 2006 10:39 pm (UTC)
These were wonderful. Thanks. :D
Nov. 24th, 2006 06:35 am (UTC)
I don't normally like fic for this pairing that involve taking in babies, but this was really good. Wow. All were hella powerful. I like it.
Nov. 24th, 2006 11:25 pm (UTC)
I loved this. Great job. Poor John, so glad he has Rodney to love him to pieces. My fave part was the running out of the cave bit.
Nov. 27th, 2006 12:43 am (UTC)
Excellent. The correlations you draw between Sheppard's past and his present, and how he's able to tell Rodney everything even when he doesn't really want to, are all wonderful.
Jan. 6th, 2007 01:22 am (UTC)
Wonderful ending! I loved all the stories, but the last one definately took the cake. I really enjoyed how you would spend the first bit fleshing out the history, and then dart to the present with Rodney. Very well done.
Mar. 30th, 2007 06:20 am (UTC)
These were amazing ^_^. I especially loved 4, but 5 was also definietly squee worthy... if one were to, you know do such things *g*. The cat one was cute too.
Mar. 30th, 2007 06:47 am (UTC)
Thank you!
Bah, let's face it. This fandom as a whole is most squeeing fandom I've ever been in (and that's saying quite a lot considering my long history with anime fandom) ^___^ So squee away!
Mar. 30th, 2007 08:42 pm (UTC)

Bah, let's face it. This fandom as a whole is most squeeing fandom I've ever been in

True enough, lol. (I was squeeing the whole time *g*).

(and that's saying quite a lot considering my long history with anime fandom)

hey, I've got one of those two... 'cept probably a bit shorter, but I know what you mean. ^_^
Apr. 7th, 2007 01:41 am (UTC)
Amazing these were! :)
Jul. 13th, 2010 09:37 am (UTC)
I absolutely love the way you portray Rodney and John's relationship here <3
( 23 comments — Leave a comment )

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