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The Author is Evil

Evil Textually Rendered?


June 12th, 2006

Fic: Perception (PG-13) @ 01:33 am


Title: Perception
Author: SGAtlantisLight
Characters: McKay, Sheppard, Heightmeyer, Lorne, Beckett, Emmagan, Weir
Relationships: McKay/Sheppard, Lorne/Weir
Rating: PG-13 for this part, but series as a whole is NC-17
Warnings: A bit of language
Spoilers: References to events (some somewhat different in this AU) in Epiphany
Summary: Part 19 of the Unified Theory series-- an AU where Everett was never drained by the Wraith and kept his position as military commander of Atlantis.
Disclaimer: The characters, the setting, etc. are NOT mine, even if I wish they were.
Author's Notes: Beta and useful comments provided by [info]mice1900, but mistakes are entirely mine.



"Okay, so Doctor Weir translated the text as being a welcome and a warning that you couldn't leave once you'd crossed the threshold," Heightmeyer said, watching Rodney gently. "What happened next?"

"Well, the major went through first, of course, followed by me..."

***

Rodney spent the next half hour pacing as he and Lorne waited for Elizabeth, Carson, and Teyla to come through the threshold.

"Are we ready?" he snapped as Carson checked Teyla over for injury from the time dilation field.

"He's waited six months, he can wait another ten minutes," Carson answered, and then turned back to Teyla. "Make a fist for me, love. Excellent. Other hand. Lovely."

"She said she was fine. Let's go!"

"I have a meeting with Colonel Everett in the morning," Lorne said.

"So, that gives us almost five years in here. Don't think it'll take that long," Rodney said, and then stomped out into the early morning dew.

Lorne shrugged. "Just trying to hurry people along, McKay."

"I'd think the fact that Doctor Sheppard has been abandoned for six months might be reason enough," Rodney snapped as he studied the readings on his scanner. "This way. Hopefully the energy readings correspond to any settlements there might be..."

It took several hours for them to hike to the location of the energy signature. They arrived in a small village, unnaturally still. A large central table was covered with dishes, food half-eaten dotted the plates.

Carson and Teyla moved to investigate the remains on the table. "I'm no forensics expert," Carson said, "but given that there's no mold, I'd guess whatever happened to them, it's been less than two days. Three at the most."

"This bread is very dry," Teyla observed. "It has been at least a day."

"So, somewhere between a day and three days ago, they all apparently left the table and disappeared?" Elizabeth asked.

"Ascended," Rodney spat. "Just like the inscription said-- they were here to ascend and they did." He sank down onto a bench. "And they took John with them."


***

"It was just as if they'd stopped in the middle of what they were doing and disappeared, like those stories my grandmamma used to tell about what the rapture would be like." Rodney shuddered. "I just knew we were too late."

"And how did you feel?"

Rodney gave her his best "Are you stupid?" look. "Awful. I kept thinking if we just could have shaved a minute or two off, it might have been different."

***

"Hey, Doc," Lorne said, pointing to a house behind Rodney, "there's smoke coming from that chimney."

Rodney spun, taking in the sight. It wasn't much, but more than he expected after at least a day. Heart in his throat, he walked to the door and opened it, too fearful to knock first.

The house was only one room. A few feet from the door was a bed. In it, a woman lay sleeping, her arms wrapped possessively around another.

A familiar shock of black hair was all that was visible of the other person.

Rodney turned and silently walked away.


***

"I told you, I didn't sleep with her," John said.

Rodney gave his husband an incredulous look.

"Okay, yes, I slept with her, but I didn't sleep with her," John said, running his hands through hair messier than normal.

"And I should believe that why?" Rodney asked.

"Because I'm your husband, goddammit!" John answered, clenching his hands-- anger and frustration clearly visible on his face.

"Okay, let's all calm down here for a moment," Heightmeyer interrupted. "John, let's go back a moment and pick up your perspective. The villagers defeated The Beast with your help and were starting to ascend. Then what happened?"

"Teer asked me to come with them," John said, taking a sudden interest in his hands.

"Bitch!" Rodney muttered under his breath.

"Rodney, please," Heightmeyer said.

"I'm sorry, but she knew he was a married man. She had no place--"

"Please. Let's allow John to tell his side." Rodney nodded reluctantly. "Thank you. John?"

"Okay. Yeah. Well, anyway, I told her I couldn't-- that I wasn't ready and that I was still waiting..."

***

His hands closed around hers, which were already taking on a strange lightness. "I can't. I have to know."

"I understand, John," she answered.

For a moment the light seemed to swirl around her and he was almost pulled into it, memories of Chaya dancing along his skin, then it faded and she was once again only Teer.

He started to protest. "Wait, you can't--"

"I will remain, for a short while," she interrupted. "I know now that I can go at any time."

"You shouldn't wait for me," he said. "I don't know that I can ever ascend, or that I'd ever want to."

She smiled. "You have the capacity. I sense it in you. All will be decided soon."


***

"Oh, please!" Rodney said. "You have the capacity?"

"I thought you were the one who was so sure you'd lost me to ascension," John said.

Rodney waved his hand. "Merely a momentary panic."

Heightmeyer cleared her throat and gave Rodney a pointed look.

Rodney huffed and motioned to John. "Sorry. You were saying?"

"Well," John shrugged. "It's not like either of us had had much experience with what to do in that situation. She treated a couple scrapes and a few cuts and bruises I got from the last encounter with The Beast, we finished eating, and then we both started trying to clean up, till she said to just forget it, that it wouldn't matter soon."

"Still trying to talk you into ascending with her?" Rodney asked.

John sighed. "So, we did the whole meditation thing and I fell asleep in the middle of it and so we went to bed."

Rodney twitched.

"Geez, Rodney. I went to bed in my bed and she went to bed in hers, in different houses and everything, okay?"

"Right. Okay," Rodney said. "And then what?"

***

John had gone for his usual morning run the next day, feeling somewhat skittish at the strange silence. Teer had prepared breakfast when he got back and they had eaten together quietly. She seemed to be waiting for something from him. Her serene stillness left him nonplussed and he had shut himself in his house for most of the day.

That evening, driven by hunger and boredom and loneliness, he had emerged and apologised to her for ignoring her. She had merely smiled and assured him that it was all right.

He'd eaten dinner without really tasting it, watching her, seeing the distance in her eyes.

"You know whether or not they come for me, don't you?" he asked.

She met his eyes. "Not fully, no. I have seen things in the past, but events surrounding those coming to us from the outside are continually in flux in a way that they are not with those from within. I don't really know why."

"Including me?" he asked.

"You were the one constant," she answered. "You were always the one."

"Tell me what you've seen."

She stood from the table and offered him her hand. "Come. I can show you."

Her house was small and cozy, much like his own. There were few furnishings, so they both sat on the bed. She picked up a hand-made book from the bedside table and set it in his lap, opening it to a childish drawing. "This was the first vision I recorded, when I was six," she said.

The scrawled figure of a man had dark, scribbled hair and eyes painted green. He was holding the hand of a woman and the two were overpainted in yellow whorls.

"That's me?" he asked.

She nodded. "It is."

He turned the page to take in the sight of a group of five people, frowning in a field of flowers, childish teardrops flowing in great fountains. Their clothes were painted dark grey, with uncertain triangles of colour. The one with the brown hair, blue eyes and blue triangles featured the greatest stream of tears.

"I ascended and left him in your vision," he said.

She nodded. "You did."

He flipped the page. The next one was better drawn. In it, John and the five other figures stood together and waved as a group of people disappeared into whorls of yellow.

The next page once again featured an even more recognisable John once again ascending with Teer. Once again there was a saddened group in Atlantis uniforms in the next shot. There were only four.

"He's not here," he said, surprised.

"No. He's not."

John flipped the page. Here he was once again waving goodbye to Teer and her people as they ascended. This time, he was alone. The next page featured him with four other figures. Rodney was once again absent and he was crying.

Shakily, John began turning pages. Here he was once again alone, bidding farewell to Teer and her people.

The next page was divided into sections and showed him alone, growing old, until at last as a stooped old man, he disappeared into splashes of yellow paint.

He swallowed, almost fearing to see what was next, and turned the page. It was much like the one two pages before-- John waving as Teer ascended. The page after, however, was more horrific. Once again, panels showed him growing older, but the final panel featured a splash of red where his head should be, his service pistol next to one outflung hand.

"After that one, I decided I couldn't leave you alone," Teer said quietly.

"Yeah," he answered, a cold knot tightening in his stomach. "Thanks."

The next page featured him and Teer waving farewell to her people. He breathed a sigh of relief when he turned the page to see himself reunited with Rodney as they bid Teer goodbye.

"How many more?" he asked.

"Many," she answered.

"How many with Rodney?"

She was silent for a moment. "That is the last."

Frantically, he began turning pages. John ascending with the whole village, John waiting with Teer, John ascending with Teer, John reuniting with four Atlanteans-- Rodney notable in his absence-- as they watched Teer or sometimes her whole village ascend... Page after page after page, each growing more sure, more detailed. He, Lorne, Teyla, Carson, Elizabeth were all recognisable. Finally, he came to the second to last drawing-- he and Teer bidding farewell to her village.

"I drew this the day before you came to us," Teer said. "It was my last vision of you or your people."

He turned the page. He and Teer stood greeting a group of five Atlanteans. For a moment, his heart leapt, then he took in the faces-- Lorne, Teyla, Carson, Elizabeth... and Radek Zelenka.

"Oh, God!" he gasped, staring at it. "He's dead." He met her eyes. "He's dead, isn't he?"

"I don't know," she answered. "I know only what I've seen."

"No!" he gasped, shoving the book away from him. "Goddammit, no. It was a fucking little bee. Bees aren't supposed to kill people."

"I don't understand," she said, tentatively reaching out to lay a comforting hand on his shoulder.

"He's allergic," John answered, curling around the knot of misery forming in his belly. "One of the smartest men in two galaxies, killed by a goddamned fucking bee."

"I'm sorry," she whispered. "Oh, John, I'm truly sorry."

When she wrapped her arms around him, John curled into her, taking comfort in her warmth, her quiet voice, the soothing touch of her hand rubbing down his back until he sank into sleep.


***

Rodney looked at him wide-eyed. "So... you really didn't sleep with her?"

John sighed. "I really didn't, Rodney."

Rodney looked perplexed. "But... why? I mean, you were in there for over six months and you thought I was dead."

John stared at his husband. "I was only certain you were dead that last night and, well, sorry if I wasn't quite in the mood for a comfort fuck."

"Sorry. I didn't mean to imply..." Rodney's voice died and he looked away.

They sat in silence for a moment, both men hoping Heightmeyer would interrupt with some sort of mumbo-jumbo, but she didn't, instead letting the silence stretch to the breaking point.

"You waited for me," Rodney blurted out suddenly.

"Yeah."

Rodney's fingers twitched as if he were calculating some difficult equation. "You... waited for me."

John looked into Rodney's face, seeing a vulnerability he'd never really noticed before. Quietly, he reached out and took Rodney's hand. "Yeah. I waited. For you."

"Oh." Rodney's smile was fragile and uncertain as he met John's eyes. "Okay."

John took Rodney's face in his hands, leaned over and kissed him. "Let's go home."

Rodney sagged, closing his eyes and nodding. "Yeah. I like that idea. Home."

Heightmeyer stood then. "I think that would be for the best. I'll see you both next week. Until then, take care."

John smiled down at his husband as he stood and pulled Rodney to his feet. "We will, Doc. We will."


Next part

 
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From:sgafan33
Date:June 12th, 2006 06:13 am (UTC)
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Oh, thank goodness Rodney and John are back together! How could Teer not see Rodney in her visions? And what changed so Rodney could be there for John? Or were Teer's visions influenced by what she wanted?

Thanks for posting another great chapter!
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From:sgatlantislight
Date:June 12th, 2006 06:25 pm (UTC)
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Well, you have to remember, Teer was probably only 6-7 days old as far as the outside world goes, which is why the timeline was so iffy as far as what happened with those from outside. It's pretty apparent that while she and her village understood that the area within the field was a sanctuary, I don't think they knew the time flowed at a different rate. So, it was simply a matter that within that week's time, the odds of that bee being there and getting annoyed with Rodney's flailing were very high. The odds of Lorne or Teyla intervening in time to prevent him getting stung were very low. If he'd been stung, he'd still be in the infirmary when they went through for John because it would only be a couple of hours.

But from John's perspective, the only reason for Rodney not to show up after 6 months of waiting was much more horrific. After all, you don't end up in the infirmary for 6 months from anaphylactic shock...
(no subject) - (Anonymous)
[User Picture Icon]
From:sgatlantislight
Date:June 12th, 2006 06:28 pm (UTC)
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Hee! Yes, I intentionally structured the chapter to keep John's non-ascension hidden for as long as possible. Glad it worked like I'd hoped.
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From:seekergeek
Date:June 12th, 2006 08:15 am (UTC)
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Good boy, John! Yes, Rodney, he waited for you.
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From:sgatlantislight
Date:June 12th, 2006 06:29 pm (UTC)
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*Grins* Gonna take a while for Rodney to really get that, I think...
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From:jo_zed_pee_em
Date:June 12th, 2006 08:27 am (UTC)
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Awww...he waited! YAY!! :) Another chapter of fabness! *Waits for more*
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From:sgatlantislight
Date:June 12th, 2006 06:30 pm (UTC)
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Thanks! Yes, he waited, 'cause he wanted his Rodney.
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From:tazzles
Date:June 12th, 2006 08:47 am (UTC)
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Oh thank god! He waited. Phew. I was worried. Interesting to see what Teer had seen.
Nicely done.
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From:sgatlantislight
Date:June 12th, 2006 06:31 pm (UTC)
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Thanks! See above for my thinking on Teer's visions.
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From:tvfiend
Date:June 12th, 2006 09:14 am (UTC)
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i got all weirdly emotional while john was flipping the pages. i seem to do that a lot when i read your stories. which is a compliment cause emotions are good things, especially when brought out by someone's story.
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From:tvfiend
Date:June 12th, 2006 09:16 am (UTC)
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oh, and i hope the next chapter is full of i-haven't-seen-you-in-six-months-fuck-me-harder smut.
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From:justabi
Date:June 12th, 2006 12:30 pm (UTC)
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Well, John, it looks like I don't have to kick your ass after all, though Teer? Watch your back. Freaking John out like that is so not cool.
[User Picture Icon]
From:sgatlantislight
Date:June 12th, 2006 06:35 pm (UTC)
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Hee! Teer was creepy in canon. I couldn't leave that out entirely.
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From:adafrog
Date:June 12th, 2006 12:59 pm (UTC)
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I love that they chose counseling. *hugs the boys*
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From:sgatlantislight
Date:June 12th, 2006 06:36 pm (UTC)
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Chose or were ordered to go by Weir or Lorne.
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From:flosspyromaniac
Date:June 12th, 2006 02:13 pm (UTC)
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Gods I was so worried for parts of this. That was just mean. There had better be make-up sex next chapter after this. I'm so glad they've sorted everything out again and that John waited. So sweet.

~Floss
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From:sgatlantislight
Date:June 12th, 2006 06:37 pm (UTC)
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Hee. Yeah, I'm mean, but it makes for interesting reading... ;>
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From:geeky_ginger
Date:June 12th, 2006 02:13 pm (UTC)
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Awwwww.....Poor Rodney and definitely Poor John! He thought Rodney was dead only to get him back but have Rodney be all pissy....rough times!

But atleast they're back together. I really love Rodney's slow realization that John waited for him....SO Rodney-ish.
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From:sgatlantislight
Date:June 12th, 2006 06:39 pm (UTC)
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Thanks! Yeah, I don't think Rodney's quite got his head wrapped around the fact that John's actually with him and not just with him, if you know what I mean...
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From:sp23
Date:June 12th, 2006 02:44 pm (UTC)
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Well, that was a much better couple's counseling session that the one she did for Rodney & Cadman. Nice to see that John didn't ascend. Although I was sure he wouldn't, but you had me going there for a bit. :)
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From:sgatlantislight
Date:June 12th, 2006 06:40 pm (UTC)
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Hee! Yeah, she's screwed up rather badly in some of those counseling sessions, hasn't she?...
From:(Anonymous)
Date:June 12th, 2006 04:38 pm (UTC)
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Phew! You had me worried for a sec at the end of last chapter, I should have known John would never leave without knowing what had happened to Rodney. Not fun to see the book of Teer's visions and how few included Rodney. I felt really bad for John thinking that that meant Rodney was dead :(.

I felt bad for Rodney too, when he thought that John had ascended only to find him with Teer, but I was also a little cross with him and his accusations. Still, I knew it was all from his insecurity, so I couldn't be too angry with him.

I loved the moment where it sunk in to Rodney's head that John had waited for *him* and I hope it's put paid to that insecurity, at least.

Laura.
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From:sgatlantislight
Date:June 12th, 2006 06:43 pm (UTC)
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I think it'll help at least, but Rodney's got a ways to go with that insecurity.
(no subject) - (Anonymous)
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From:sgatlantislight
Date:June 12th, 2006 06:44 pm (UTC)
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Thanks! I would love to have seen more of John's thought processes in Epiphany. It had such potential to get into his head more, but, alas...
(no subject) - (Anonymous) Expand
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From:krysalys
Date:June 12th, 2006 06:13 pm (UTC)

Damn

(Link)
I love how you paced this chapter, and you really came through with the heartbreak and loss that Rodney and John had felt.
And I just bet the reunion sex is gonna be long, varied in intensity, and lasting for as long as the two of them aren't paged for an emergency. *snicker*
----}-@
[User Picture Icon]
From:sgatlantislight
Date:June 12th, 2006 06:45 pm (UTC)

Re: Damn

(Link)
Mmmmmm... Could be, could be...

Thanks!
(no subject) - (Anonymous)
[User Picture Icon]
From:sgatlantislight
Date:June 12th, 2006 08:57 pm (UTC)
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Thanks! Yes, I'm evil, but y'all love me anyway... ;>

The Author is Evil

Evil Textually Rendered?