She would have loved you, loving me.
She had a voice as fine --
I love you more for such a kiss,
And here is mine, is mine.
-- Mark Van Doren
She had a voice as fine --
I love you more for such a kiss,
And here is mine, is mine.
-- Mark Van Doren
Three random factoids about this fic:
1. If you watch the season one finale, the scene with McKay dozing off only to wake to Weir's voice does really exist -- and he does make a little grunting noise as he stands, too.
2. John Sheppard's Air Force serial number in this is the first eight digits of Pi.
3. Sheppard's moonshine recipe really does work; I used to make it in my dorm room at university and sell it to my neighbours. My personal recipe was one can of frozen juice-concentrate (grape or apple; I preferred apple), a cup and a half of sugar, and a packet (or two) of yeast. Combine in a 2-litre bottle, top off with warm water, and shake until mixed; tape or rubber-band a balloon around the top in place of a cap and let sit in a cool, dry place. The balloon will inflat with gas; it's best to let it stand at least two weeks or until the balloon deflates completely, but that can take a month. Cap it and immediately chill it to kill the yeast; generally it's a good idea to decant it, because sediment tends to form on the bottom. Try not to go blind.
I can pinpoint when I started shipping Weir/McKay. It was "Before I Sleep" in the second half of the first season; the way McKay interacted both with the older Elizabeth and the younger seemed strikingly affectionate to me, and his civility towards Weir came into sharp focus. He does treat her differently in the first three seasons than almost everyone else -- more respectful, more inclined to target someone else as the cause of Weir's hesitation to support him, rather than target Weir herself. It's clear in a number of episodes -- Tao of Rodney perhaps best -- that they have a unique relationship, whether you think it's sexual or otherwise. He wrote her a book, people.
I don't like Elizabeth Weir as a character, but she's tiny and pretty and obviously exerts some influence over him. Besides, it would fuck Sheppard up so much, which is always a good reason for doing anything. I know that Sheppard/McKay practically punches you in the face when you watch the show, and yet I feel like it would be entirely IC for McKay and Weir would have dirty secretive sex because she misses her boyfriend and, well, in McKay's case, it's sex, who would say no? I'm not sure how well I conveyed their relationship, but I wanted it to be about Weir finding comfort, because she's the Leader and she needs a place where she doesn't have to be.
But of course the Sheppard/McKay does punch one in the face. As I began to develop the idea that Weir and Sheppard work in tandem to manage McKay, that they're a triad, it seemed natural that with Weir dead the boys would pull together and because of Weir's death they would form something more.
When I started work on the story I was going to structure it with occasional interludes between Heightmeyer and McKay, but then I forgot and honestly they weren't that enlightening to begin with. The only one that remains in the story was converted into a conversation between McKay and Zelenka, because I can't resist having someone ask McKay what he did in his downtime and then opening a new scene with him remarking that he's just taken part in a revenge fuck.
These are the other two:
McKay tries to come to terms with having a one-night stand with Weir:
"So, is it, should I talk to you about sex?"
"You can talk to me about whatever you want, Rodney."
"No, I mean, clearly this process has some kind of goal -- "
"You're thinking like a scientist."
"I AM a scientist. And besides, why am I doing it if there's no goal?"
"What do you see as the goal of therapy, Rodney?"
"I don't know. Not being a total neurotic, that would be sort of cool."
"I could set goals for you, but I don't think that's what you want. I think you need to set your own. So let's work on that, and if you want we can talk about sex, too. Okay?"
"It's just, I had some, and I'm worried that I'm not more fucked up about it."
"Because of the kind of sex, or because you had sex?"
"I just...I don't know what's normal very often, and don't tell me normal is an artificial construct, I figured that one out for myself, but there are ways people generally act around each other and since I spend most of my time with numbers I don't really know what that is very well. So what I want to know is, people who -- have sex, in a situation where you're not emotionally attached, when it's sort of, of blowing off steam, is it okay not to be fucked up about that?"
"Rodney, you're a smart man and you're very self-aware when you want to be. I'm going to ask you to try not to be worried when you find yourself not emotionally traumatised by something. If you really have examined your feelings, and you find that you're okay with something, give yourself permission to be okay with it."
"What I want is for other people to be okay with it."
"You're seeking reassurance?"
"Do you want to talk about what happened a few days ago?"
"What -- you know?"
"Dr. Weir shouts loudly. And I get the mission reports, suitably censored. Enough to know what went on."
"Oh. Well. I destroyed a couple of planets. Uninhabited."
"Something to be glad of?"
"Grateful for, I think."
"That makes it sound like someone did it on purpose."
"Maybe someone did. I don't know. I mean, I'm not big on God or anything, but you have to have a certain amount of...philosophy, to be a physicist. You're rummaging around in the universe, you start to think you see signs of the universe rummaging back."
"Six uninhabited planets in the direct path of the shockwave, for one."
"Do you think you're processing it at all?"
"Yeah, I -- had a bad night, but I'm getting perspective."
"How are you doing that?"
"I sat and obsessively watched it happen over and over for a while."
"That doesn't sound like processing, Rodney."
"And I talked with someone about it. Already, I mean. Not that you're not...trained for this and everything, but..."
"It's good you have someone to talk to about it. Can I ask who?"
"I'd -- really rather not."
"Nothing you say leaves this room, you know that."
"Yeah, but this room's kind of...big. And you're in it."
"H'm. But this person you talked to, you feel you can go to them?"
"I didn't. Well, I didn't know. But, yeah. Now, I do. I have -- people I can depend on. Someone who'll talk to me about that stuff."
"Yeah, I think so."
This is not a therapy scene, it was supposed to be McKay and Weir talking about some misfortune that befell him, I don't recall what anymore.
"Who else on Atlantis would this ever happen to? Did I kick this place's puppy or something? It's always me."
"Well, sometimes it's Sheppard," she offers, grinning at him.
"You are not funny," he replies. "And also deeply lacking in sympathy, empathy, and comfort."
"Nobody likes him better than they like you," she sighs.
"I'm pretty sure that's not true."
Just never quite found a good place to put this one.
It's not that his parents hated him, it's just that his Dad was really proud of their Welsh heritage.
Elizabeth's the only one who ever got it right on the first try: Meredith, with a little roll on the R. She didn't say it often, but once or twice, and he liked the way it sounded in her mouth.
If he knew then what he knows now, he wouldn't have bothered the patience-trying two-week process of renaming himself at college, not answering when people called him Meredith, having a word with the professors in the smaller classes before they said his name for the first time.
They would have said Meredith, and he would have said no, it's Meredith, it's Welsh, you ignorant asshole. And it would have been pretty cool and made him unique in ways his giant brain obviously never would.
Nobody says Meredith now, not even Jeannie.
"Mer-edith," John calls sing-song into his earpiece, and he's taunting him because nothing makes McKay work faster than taunting. "They're going to start eating the peasants soon."
Rodney hates this planet. Grim, dour peasants and Wraith. "It's Meredith, you ignorant asshole," he snarls back, hands still working the crystals. Come on, sing for Rodney, kids. "It's Welsh."
"Well. Twll dîn pob Sais," he says, and Rodney chokes.
"What's that mean?" Ronon's voice on the radio.
"Yes, Meredith, what's that mean?" Sheppard echoes.
Rodney ignores him, slots the last crystal into place, and watches the room around him light up. "We're hot. Push the button, Frank."
There's a gratifying explosion in the distance as the planet's defence-drones come online and begin strafing Wraith darts.
"Freaks," Ronon grunts.
"Assholes to Englishmen," Rodney answers. "Old tribal battle cry."
"I like it," Ronon says, as Rodney straps the tablet to his pack and runs through the halls to where John's sitting in a control chair, looking blissed-out and comfortable. A huge fireball falls out of the sky nearby, and John jerks forward. The chair swivels, releasing him.
Mathematics and music and linguistics are all tied up in similar brain processes, which is why Rodney is as brilliant an applied Physicist as he was a technical pianist and why he can speak a lot of Russian, enough Spanish to get by in southern California, a sprinkling of Ancient, and both Greek and Latin more or less fluently. Well, Greek was the language of logic and the Romans were interestingly pragmatic, the kind of people Rodney could probably get along with.
"Googled a phrasebook, huh?" he asks John, as they made their way down the tower to see if anything was salvageable from the wreckage.
"Ab imo pectore, a bene placite," John says.
(attributed to Augustus Caesar, lit. from the bottom of the chest, from the heart.)
"Ad fundum," Rodney replies, and it's John's turn to be startled. "What? Latin's a derivative of Ancient."
(Ad fundum, said at the end of a toast, "Hear Hear!" lit. To the bottom.)
It occurs to him a split second later that maybe John said it in Latin for a reason.
Well, he thinks. Alea iacta est.
(Alea iacta est, lit. The die is cast, it has been decided, it is fated. When gambling-man Gaius Julius Caesar was forced to decide whether to cross the river Rubicon, effectively declaring civil war on his homeland and creating the seeds of the Roman Empire, he rolled the dice.)