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The Author is Evil

Evil Textually Rendered?


March 15th, 2007

Fic: Breathless (PG) @ 12:10 am

Title: Breathless
Author: SGAtlantisLight
Characters: McKay, Sheppard, Beckett, Halling, Jinto, Lorne, Everett, Kavanagh, Dex, Weir, Corrigan, Emmagan
Relationships: McKay/Sheppard
Rating: PG for this part, but series as a whole is NC-17
Warnings: Somewhat of a cliffhanger, sexual discussions
Spoilers: None
Summary: Part 23 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: I own them! I also own the Eiffel Tower, Mount Fuji, and the entirety of the moon Phobos.
Author's Note: Quick glance-through by the #lantsfic crew. Thanks, guys!



Carson settled onto the floor next to the low table and accepted the cup that Jinto handed him. "Thank you, son."

Jinto settled next to his father and picked up his own cup, drinking it quickly.

Carson chuckled. "What's your hurry?"

"Wex just got a new bow and we are going to try it out."

"You know to be careful, my son," Halling said. "A bow is not a toy."

"Yes, father," Jinto answered. "We will be careful."

"Very well. You may go."

Carson smiled as the young man scurried out. Halling shook his head in amusement and sipped his tea. "The young are so anxious to grow up. They do not appreciate the pleasures of youth."

"Aye, that seems universal. Always rushing toward tomorrow." Carson closed his eyes and inhaled the steam from the Athosian tea. "How's Mirial?"

"She has made many friends and seems to be doing well. She is visiting one even now."

"That's good to hear."

"How is your research going?" Halling asked.

"I've got enough blood samples, I think, though I wouldn't mind getting a sample of Mirial's as well, since her appearance is rather distinct."

Halling nodded. "It indicates her bloodlines are different?"

"It might, but it's hard to say. Blond hair and blue eyes are both what we call recessive traits-- they can lay dormant in a bloodline for many generations and then just appear in a child. But given how few of the Palani have the lighter colouring, it's a fair indicator we may be looking at a different line."

"Your knowledge always astounds me. Earth must be a wondrous place."

"Oh, you know more about genetics-- the study of bloodlines and inheritance-- than you think you do. You use it to breed livestock and hybridise crops."

Halling considered this and nodded. "I suppose you are right." They fell into a companionable silence, both enjoying their tea. As Carson set his empty cup down, Halling spoke again, timidly. "I... I wished to ask you something, Doctor Beckett. Something about Doctor McKay and M-, er, Doctor Sheppard."

"Oh, aye? What's on your mind?"

Halling swirled the small amount of tea left in his cup around, eyes intent on it. "When we heard of their... marriage... we were... unsure how to interpret what this meant. We concluded that it was a... a sort of brotherhood bond, as some of our warriors will take with each other."

"Blood brothers," Carson said. "That's what we'd call that."

"Ah. So you understand the concept. Good."

"But we wouldn't use the word 'marriage' for such an arrangement."

Halling nodded, giving Carson a rueful grin. "We have learned that."

"So was that your question?"

"No. It is more that we are trying to understand. Surely there can be no children born of such a union, even with your people's great power."

"No. There can't be, though sometimes couples like John and Rodney would seek a woman willing to carry a child for one of them, which they would raise as their own."

Halling mulled this for a moment. "So... why would they seek such an arrangement? Has Doctor McKay... forced this on Major Sheppard somehow?"

Carson looked at him, horrified. "No! Of course not. John entered into the marriage voluntarily. It's a partnership of equals."

"But Major... er, Doctor Sheppard..." Halling shook his head and fell silent.

"What? It's obviously troubling you, so ask."

Halling sighed. "He submits himself to Doctor McKay. He is subordinate to him in their work, correct?"

"Yes."

"And he also submits sexually. I have seen it."

Carson felt his face heating up with the blush he knew was appearing there. "Ye've seen it?"

"Twice! It isn't just that he takes Doctor McKay into himself as a woman would, but that he... he kneels on his hands and knees and submits to being mounted like an animal."

Carson tried very hard not to think of John in that position. "Did you have any reason to think he wasn't enjoying himself?"

Halling looked disturbed. "No. He seems... very content. But it is... I do not understand why he would seek out such a relationship. Teyla has said he entered this marriage in order to return to Atlantis, so I thought perhaps he... he was submitting in order to stay in Doctor McKay's good graces, though that seems very... out of character, I admit."

Carson considered his words carefully. "All right. First, I'd like to point out that you only have two incidences to go by. While it may be that what you've seen is their preferred position and roles, it's likely they take turns, switch roles, and enjoy other positions. Second, as you say, it would be extremely out of character for Rodney to force such a thing and likewise uncharacteristic for John to allow himself to be forced. I think you can rest easy on that issue. Third, as to why two men would seek a relationship that can't produce children, keep in mind we come from a world full to bursting with people. Many couples-- what you would see as normal man-and-woman couples-- choose to not have children. Marriage is more about seeking companionship and love-- a soulmate-- than about an ideal parent for your children. It happens sometimes that you find your other half in a person of the same sex. Does that make sense?"

Halling's forehead scrunched in concentration and he shook his head. "I must give this some thought. Perhaps I will understand in time."

"I'm sure you will." Carson grinned. "It does take a wee bit of getting used to, even for those of us from Earth."

***

Rodney leaned back in his seat and sighed contentedly. As far as missions went, this was pretty easy and he was willing to let it stay that way. He'd had good sex before leaving Atlantis, and now good food and a tolerable local brew that wasn't too strong, but left him feeling pleasantly buzzed, topped off the day.

John grabbed a fruit out of the bowl set in the center of the table and stood. "Going to visit the facilities." The facilities, such as they were, were outside and some distance away.

"Hurry back. And no flirting with the locals."

John paused in taking a bite out of the fruit and gave Rodney a surprised look. "I don't flirt!"

Rodney snorted. "Yeah, right."

"I don't!" John turned to Lorne.

Lorne raised his hands. "So not getting involved in this."

John gave Rodney a glare, then shrugged. "Okay, whatever." He took a bite of the fruit and turned and swaggered out.

Rodney watched his receding ass and sighed.

"Eyes, McKay," Lorne said under his breath.

Rodney looked back to the table. "Yeah, yeah."

Lorne picked up his glass. "I'm getting another. Want any, McKay?"

"Better not."

"Yeah, okay."

***

"So the model works but the equation is really ugly, which makes me think I'm missing a more elegant solution," Kavanagh said.

"I don't understand why that matters. If it works, why fix it?" Everett asked, pausing outside the transporter to let Kavanagh catch up.

"Because there's a rule of thumb among scientists that the more beautiful the solution, the more likely it is to be true."

"Sounds rather like mumbo-jumbo to me."

The door to the transporter opened. Ronon Dex and Elizabeth Weir stepped out. "... not much beyond survival?" Weir was saying.

Ronon nodded. "Yeah. Pretty much."

"Well, I'm not sure how useful they'd be as allies, then. I hate hesitating to contact them just to avoid feeling we should be offering them help, but..." Her voice faded as they walked away.

"Liam!" Everett's voice snapped.

Kavanagh blinked and focused on him. "Huh?"

Everett shook his head. "Are you coming?"

"Oh, yeah, sure."

"You're hopeless, you know that."

Kavanagh snorted. "I'm sorry. I tend to do that when faced with sex on legs!"

The doors shut before the two men could see the surprised look exchanged between a couple of female scientists. "Kavanagh has the hots for Weir?!" one said to the other.

"Wow. That's crazy," the other one said. "Though I suppose it might explain their antagonism early on-- sexual tension."

"But she's with Lorne, isn't she?"

"Yeah. Poor man. He doesn't stand a chance."

***

"Wonder what the hell's taking John so long," Rodney said.

Lorne shrugged. "Constipation? Or maybe he's flirting with the locals, just to spite you."

"Haha. Very funny." Rodney hit his earpiece. "McKay to Sheppard. You there?"

There was a click of the channel opening and then nothing. The two men exchanged concerned looks.

"Sheppard? Where are you?"

Just then, the door to the tavern burst open and a man stepped in, looking worried. "Major Lorne! Something has happened to one of your people. Come quickly!"

***

"'There wasn't a breath in that land of death, and I hurried, horror-driven,'" Ronon read, "'With a corpse half hid that I couldn't get rid, because of a promise given.'" He frowned. "What's that word?" he asked, pointing.

"'Sleigh,'" Corrigan answered.

Ronon's forehead creased. "Shouldn't it be slee or slie?"

Corrigan smiled. "It would seem that way, wouldn't it? I'm afraid it's one of those words I've told you about." He jotted down two words. "Perfect example of how bad English spelling is-- the first word is 'height'."

"Like Heightmeyer."

"Exactly. The second word is 'weight'."

Ronon glared at the offending pair. "That's stupid."

"I know. Anyhow, continue on. I'm not familiar with the poem, so I'm anxious to see how it fits with Doctor Kavanagh's drawing."

Ronon glanced at the picture, where a man sat grinning with flames flickering around him and above his head could be seen a life preserver with the name 'Alice May' on it. Ronon grunted. "Yeah. Me, too."

***

John was unconscious when they got to him, his face a mass of welts, his lips turning blue. "Oh, my God!" Lorne reacted as Rodney dropped beside John. He hit his radio. "Teyla, get to the gate and dial Atlantis. Tell them we need a medical team."

"He's not breathing!" Rodney reported and then dove for his backpack. "Try to open his airway and do mouth-to-mouth."

"Okay," Lorne said, stepping to the other side of John and positioning him. "What are you doing?"

"Getting my EpiPen out. He's in anaphylactic shock."

Lorne attempted a few breaths and looked up. "I'm not sure this is doing any good. It's like trying to blow into an overfull balloon."

"Keep trying," Rodney instructed as he drove the EpiPen into John's thigh. "Come on, John. Come on," he muttered, mentally counting down the seconds. "I'm the one with the allergies here." He hit his radio, massaging the injection site. "Teyla, are you to the gate yet?"

"Another ten minutes," Teyla answered. "What is happening?"

"John's had an anaphylactic reaction. We're not sure to what." He looked down at the half-eaten fruit in John's hand, picking it up. "Though it might have been something in the food. He wasn't breathing when we got here and God knows how long he's been without oxygen."

"I understand. I am hurrying."

"Hurry faster." He looked at Lorne. "Anything?"

"Maybe. I can't tell."

Rodney shakily returned the EpiPen to its case and then pulled out the other one. Lorne gave him a questioning look. "Just in case," Rodney answered. "Do you need me to spell you?" Lorne didn't really look winded, but Rodney needed to be doing something.

"Yeah," Lorne said, sitting back. "Take over."

Rodney nodded and leaned over, his hand tipping John's head back and closing off the nostrils, while the other held John's head in the proper position. His lips covered John's and he closed his eyes, willing his husband to breathe.


The poem Ronon is reading is "The Cremation of Sam McGee" by Robert Service.


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Comments

 
[User Picture Icon]
From:jade_1459
Date:March 15th, 2007 04:49 am (UTC)
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This was a great addition to the story. I've read it a few times over now (and I missed the last update, so it was a double chapter for me!), and I am really enjoying this AU. The characterizations and the way things are still the same and yet different all at once is fasinating to read!

Keep up the wonderful work on this story. I can't wait for the next chapter.

(PS - The Cremation of Sam McGee is one of my favourite Canadian poems.)
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From:sgatlantislight
Date:March 19th, 2007 03:07 am (UTC)
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Thanks! It's a fun AU to play with. Next chapter is up, BTW.
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From:seekergeek
Date:March 15th, 2007 05:20 am (UTC)
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Meep! Oh, John! And poor, confused Halling.
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From:sgatlantislight
Date:March 19th, 2007 03:08 am (UTC)
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Hee. Yeah, Halling so doesn't get it.

Thanks! Next chapter is up.
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From:lyonza
Date:March 15th, 2007 08:59 am (UTC)
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I also missed the last update - after reading the entires series in one day I've been eagerly anticpating the new chapters.

Love it, thanks - will offering cookies make them appear more often?
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From:sgatlantislight
Date:March 19th, 2007 03:09 am (UTC)
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Hee! Unfortunately, I've got this thing called Real Life which keep interfering. Quite annoying.

Thanks. Next chapter is up.
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From:slashpuppy
Date:March 15th, 2007 02:58 pm (UTC)

Unified Theory 23

(Link)
Wow, I love this series. I've just read it through.

Overall, I *love love love* the idea of John returning to Atlantis as Rodney's in-name-only husband. :-) It was a brilliant dodge and warm smooshy feelings ensued!

*love love love* that Rodney and John are now *together* ... squeeing ensued when I read that! And they were so lovely together. Well, lovely and *hawt*!

But, but, but ... you just made *John* allergic to something. You fiend you! And then you stopped this chapter ... *there*??? I repeat, you fiend you! :-)

So looking forward to the next chapter! :-)
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From:sgatlantislight
Date:March 19th, 2007 03:11 am (UTC)

Re: Unified Theory 23

(Link)
Hee! Well, one thing about me and cliffhangers-- I don't like to leave them hanging, even as an author, so I tend to resolve them pretty quickly. So, next chapter is up.
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From:carma_chaos
Date:March 15th, 2007 07:39 pm (UTC)
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Interesting twist to this story series. Alergic!John stories are always well done I find and this should be an interesting dimension to add to this. Hmm. I'm looking forward to how it continues.
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From:sgatlantislight
Date:March 19th, 2007 03:12 am (UTC)
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Thanks! Next chapter is up, so you didn't have to wait long.
(no subject) - (Anonymous)
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From:sgatlantislight
Date:March 19th, 2007 03:13 am (UTC)
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Yeah, see, but you don't have to wait to get one of my cliffhangers resolved, 'cause I can't wait that long. Therefore, next part is up!
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From:sapphiresfic
Date:March 16th, 2007 04:36 am (UTC)
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OMG what a cliffhanger! I so never expected that! Can't wait to see what happened to John!

Poor Halling; it's gotta be confusing for him, but hopefully he and the rest of the Athosian's will come around and accept John and Rodney's realtionship.
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From:sgatlantislight
Date:March 19th, 2007 03:14 am (UTC)
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Thanks! I've seen so many stories where the Athosians are all understanding and wise in the ways of alternative lifestyles, I thought it would be fun to go the other direction with this.

Next chapter is up, BTW.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:March 17th, 2007 07:37 pm (UTC)
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*Eep* John!

I had to grin at Kavanagh's loss of concentration when Ronon walked past and how the female scientists thought it was Elizabeth he was interested in :).

I liked Carson and Halling's conversation. I can see why it would seem odd to have a non-child bearing relationship to the Athosians, a people who always need to produce enough children to keep the population going. I was more interested in Halling's confusion over John's apparent role in things and how his submission seemed wrong in Halling's eyes- enough so that he worried about Rodney forcing things. I hope Carson has cleared some of those concerns up.

Speaking of John. I hope Rodney's epi-pen does the trick and that the medical team gets there quickly. Very nerve-wracking cliffie!

Laura.
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From:sgatlantislight
Date:March 19th, 2007 03:17 am (UTC)
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Thanks! It seems a common fandom trope that the Athosians are so much more tolerant and open-minded than us Earth folks that I thought it would interesting to do things differently in this one.

Anyhow, thanks! Next chapter is up.

The Author is Evil

Evil Textually Rendered?