- Character Bashing
- Explicit Sex
- Alternate Universe
- Established Relationship
- Ménage or More
Miko sighed as the door slid to behind her. It had been a long and difficult fifteen hours in the lab but she’d finally finished the first pass at the Atlantis Voice Interface Software. No doubt McKay would have notes once he’d reviewed her initial tests, but despite his reputation, Rodney was never dismissive of her skills in Programming. Although his abilities came a close second, he recognised her intuition which he was very happy to admit he didn’t have.
The programming was not all that had made the shift so difficult. With Rodney being out of the lab for the day she had also been responsible for the more immediate issues that the other scientists had. Also, there had been three new occurrences of the strange numbers and letters on both her and Rodney’s monitors, and they still had absolutely no idea what Atlantis was trying to tell them.
Finally, to cap a crappy day, Radek was off world with his team for three days and if she was honest it couldn’t have happened at a worse time. Zelenka was her wingman when it came to handling Rodney and his various moods.
The argument with Sheppard had left McKay in a really distressed and emotional state, and she had been very relieved to see Gunny Gibbs arrive at the lab. It had surprised her how quickly Rodney had capitulated to the Marine’s gentle entreaties to go with him. It was also a relief to know that her boss had at least one other person on his side.
She slipped off her shoes and wiggled her toes in the handcrafted rug in the doorway. Nisha always managed to barter for the best artworks and handicrafts, and knowing that Miko especially loved textiles, she often bought beautiful and sumptuous presents home from her off world jaunts. It seemed that even in the frightening circumstances that they found themselves, the Pegasus Galaxy’s residents had not lost the ability and will to make complex and meaningful art.
She had taken a well-deserved few hours off this afternoon to spend time with her beautiful partner, who had been off-world for two days.
“Are you coming in, or have you fallen asleep at the door,” Nisha called through from their kitchen.
“I’m on my way. My brain is taking a while to catch up with my feet.”
Her wife’s sweet laugh lifted a smile onto Miko’s mouth and she realised there was the scent of chrysanthemum tea wafting through the apartment to her very appreciative nose.
She padded through to the main living area, which was small but comfortable and just enough for the two of them. She considered that if they finally decided to act on their plans about children they would definitely need to move quarters.
Nisha was just bringing through the flat teapot and teacups that Miko had bought with her as a personal item. Also on the tray, there were several little delicacies on a plate, all of which Nisha must have bought back with her from off-planet.
“Oh, I love these little jellies,” Miko hummed in pleasure as she popped one into her mouth, savouring the mouthfeel of the sweet/sour fruit ball as it lay on her tongue and began to melt. She gracefully slid onto the cushion that was on the floor and sat cross-legged at the low table, reaching over to pour them both a cup of tea.
“Which is why I took beads and silk thread with me on the mission. Menlani loves to braid her hair with them, and she needs a good bribe to let any of her Hannke go outside the village. In fact, even though she only let me have six, her husband looked a little put out that I had even that many.” Nisha sighed as she sipped the fragrant tea.
Miko reached across and smoothed her wife’s dark thick hair. “Thank you, Koibito. I appreciate your sacrifice. I know you had plans for the silks.”
Her wife shook her head. “There are more coming. We are opening the Gate tomorrow for supplies, so I made a request as my personal allowance. Also, I hope you don’t mind, but QM Galveston said he’d tried to get a hold of you and you hadn’t replied to his emails, so I asked him for three pounds of this tea and those new strings for your Shamisen.”
“That’s wonderful, sweetheart, thank you. I’ve been so concentrated on the AVIS that I haven’t even had a chance to review my emails let alone answer them.”
Nisha smiled sweetly at her wife as she slid across the couch to sit behind her. Miko groaned as strong fingers began to knead the tight and painful muscles in her neck and shoulders. She allowed herself to wallow in the comfort of it until the knots had loosened appreciably.
“How was the rest of your visit to the Brekke?”
“It was OK, although Mulrooney is becoming a bit of a problem especially with the women we meet off world.” Nisha shuffled around to face Miko and her usually happy-go-lucky expression was as serious as Miko had ever seen it. “He walks around as if he is the King of the World. He treats all the natives we meet as stupid and uncivilized, and although he never starts anything himself, he is always quick to make comments to the other Marines. You know we don’t have a settled team yet, and the Colonel has been cycling men through AR-5 to try to find a final fit with a second soldier. Well, today there was almost a fight between one of the young men from the village and Cpl Dann because Mulrooney was all but egging him on to ‘assert himself’ .”
Everyone, Military and Civilian alike, knew that kind of behaviour was completely unacceptable to Sheppard and McKay, and before that to Jack O’Neill. Miko knew that if word of it got back to him then the Colonel would be on the men involved like lightning and they wouldn’t like his form of retribution. ‘Last on the Mats’ was Sheppard’s favourite punishment, where the men involved had hand-to-hand practice, with the Colonel taking a lead role in each fight. He was always the last left standing no matter how many men he was disciplining and no one had ever beaten him – except for Teyla and Ronan of course. Sheppard kept them in reserve for particularly heinous behaviours.
“It was so bad that both I and Dr. Smythe – you know, the botanist who’s been trying to get cuttings of that sweet potato variant they grow? Well, we both decided to at least mention it in our reports, hoping that either Dr. McKay or the Colonel would pick it up because we both are unwilling to challenge Mulrooney directly.” Nisha continued, popping a pale pink jelly into her mouth, licking her sticky fingertips with great relish. Miko thought it was probably the most arousing thing she had ever seen.
Miko nodded. It was a far better way to get things done than up-fronting the Marines. While most of them were bright and sensible, there were still the odd few who were bull-headed and belligerent and it seemed that Mulrooney was a dangerous combination of the two.
“Well after I got back to our quarters, there was a note from Dr. Weir, asking me to come to meet with her immediately.” There was a deep frown line between her wife’s eyes that Miko just wanted to kiss away, but she was also a little concerned at the story and wanted to hear Elizabeth’s rationale for being involved.
Nisha chewed on her bottom lip. “She asked me if Dr. McKay had ‘put me up’ to making the complaint, and warned me that there was an ongoing investigation which involved him. She also told me that if you complained about Dr. McKay’s behaviour towards you, that I should come to her immediately and that it would be investigated confidentially. However, she didn’t ask me anything about my complaint about the LtCpl.”
That was a worrying statement. “Rodney may be bombastic and rude, but he is never abusive, nor does he ever encourage anyone to complain on his behalf – he is more than capable of doing it for himself.” Miko pressed a soft kiss to Nisha’s brow. “If you feel at all personally threatened by Mulrooney or any other of the soldiers passing through AR-5, then we will go together to the Colonel and make him listen. If he is passing off the concerns of the science team to Dr. Weir instead of Rodney, then we will also involve him too.”
“I must admit,” Nisha said worriedly, “That I am beginning to feel that if he thought I might cause trouble for him, he might do something to mitigate the threat.
Miko’s gut went cold. “And do you feel that is the case?”
Her wife gave a shake of her head. “I couched my report in the vaguest terms and didn’t mention him by name. In fact, we both just mentioned that there had been some mild disagreements between the Marines and the villagers, so I’m not sure where Weir got the idea I might have been put up to something. But I will definitely be wary.”
Tamping down the worry that was souring the sweets and tea, Miko crawled up into Nisha’s lap. She loved her wife’s soft skin and slightly overweight frame. She was soft in all the right places, with big, full breasts that made Miko’s mouth water. She nuzzled at the peak she could see forming through Nisha’s khaki t-shirt and was gratified to see it harden. Her wife had the best nipples – dark as chocolate and, once hardened with arousal, as big and luscious as ripe raspberries.
“I thought you were tired,” Nisha murmured, her voice husky.
“Never too tired for you, Itoshī anata. The jellies may be lovely, but you offer me something more succulent and twice as sweet.”
Gibbs & Tony’s Quarters
Rodney woke slowly, his body feeling liquid and loose. There was something soft tickling his belly and he reached a heavy hand to try to flick it away. All that got him was a soft chuckle in his ear, and he cracked a slightly gritty eye to see what was going on.
LJ was lying next to him, his head propped on his arm and a gentle smile on his lips. His eyes were dancing with humour and it made Rodney feel warm inside that he was the recipient of such a look. However, he was distracted, as once again there was a tickle on his belly. He turned his head and looked down over his chest, to where the white sheet was tented over a large bump.
“Whaa…?” he asked, almost wincing as he looked back up to Jethro’s grinning face. OK, his most intelligent question it was not, but he’d just woken up, damn it!
A slight tug on his leg had him looking back down to see the gorgeous green eyes of Tony DiNozzo looking back at him, while his nose was sifting through Rodney’s pubic hair.
Rodney went from zero to hard in less than a second, his cock tapping Tony between the eyes as it came to attention. Before he could make any comment, the head was sucked between Tony’s lush lips and Rodney felt a hot tongue swirl around his foreskin. His attempt at a manly moan came out more like a teenaged squeal as Tony began to work just the tip of his cock. Rodney felt like there were flashes of electricity buzzing down his slit and into his balls, and there was an almost impossible surge of arousal that told him he was going to come quickly – and come hard.
He flailed with his hand, getting it caught in the sheet, and was surprised when it was caught by Jethro.
“Just enjoy it – no one can do this like Tony.”
He tried to say that he wasn’t going to have time to enjoy it – that the pleasure was so intense that he was going to come only seconds after getting hard, but there wasn’t even time for the thought to leave his language centres and get to his mouth. His orgasm hit hard and had him curling almost painfully over Tony’s head, his stomach and thigh muscles in complete spasm as pleasure poured from his cock and balls and made him shake uncontrollably.
Once the main spasm was over, Rodney flopped back on the bed, as limp as a noodle, and was treated to a gentle caress from Jethro, and then a come flavoured kiss from Tony, which was accompanied by a deep and happy sigh from the younger man.
Rodney cleared his throat. “Can I… should I…” he murmured, not sure why a man he thought held him in contempt would do something so wonderful for him, but wanting to reciprocate anyway.
“Too late, Rodney. When you came, you were so fucking hot; I came like a horny teen.”
McKay looked from the too-too-green eyes to the one man he – strangely – felt he understood in their weird little sextet. Jethro’s gaze was filled with affection that had a bubble of emotion swell in Rodney’s chest. He’d never had that kind of unconditional love before, and he wasn’t sure what he’d done to deserve it.
“Morning,” Jethro murmured, kissing Rodney again with that strange sweetness. All he could do was kiss back and hope it all made sense eventually because, for the Earth’s most intelligent man, he was feeling pretty stupid.
“Can I come and play in your lab today, please,” Tony said as he stretched out, the sheet falling from his perfectly proportioned and golden-skinned body. Rodney really wanted to flick the corner of the sheet over his own less than perfect belly, but a swirl of fingers over the soft skin there told him that Jethro had guessed how he was feeling and had decided to distract him.
Tony’s question finally caught up with Rodney’s post-blowjob brain and he leaned up on his elbows.
“Why do you want to come to the lab with me?” He felt more than a little unsure. After all, only yesterday he would have had to be blind to see how his reactions to John’s treatment were being perceived by Jack, Daniel, and Tony.
“Well, I want to spend some time with you. I realised yesterday that I don’t know you at all, Rodney and that I’d done something the Bossman there would have Gibbs-slapped me for, back in the day.”
He frowned, unsure what Tony was getting at.
“I assumed; I put too much stock in other peoples opinions and I made decisions based on incomplete data,” Tony said, counting each misdemeanour on an upheld finger. “All in all, I treated you badly, Rodney and I’d like to make it up to you. Ah, ah, ahh…” he barrelled on as Rodney opened his mouth to demure. “…I thought I’d make a start with being your willing ascended slave for the day. I know you were making some noises about wanting to see if there were any differences between the three J’s super-gene, and the ascended psionic signature you detected in Daniel and me.”
Now, that was an exciting option, one Rodney was happy to accept.
“Thank you,” he said with a smile. “I do need to keep working on the Interface. Atlantis is desperately trying to tell me something – every time I look at my screen there is some new symbol there, but while the simulations are running there are several experiments we can try, which I can analyse against the base data from John’s super-gene and my mouse-gene. I’m not sure what we’ll find but it could be a very interesting exercise.”
He looked over the other man, this time not keeping his appreciation to himself. If Tony was willing to hold out a hand, he was very happy to take it. Tony just grinned back at him, obviously pleased his olive-branch had been accepted.
“After breakfast…” Jethro interrupted their mutual appreciation society, much to Rodney’s chagrin.
“Well coffee, at least…” he tried, hoping to head off the mother-henning he could see on the horizon.
“Nope,” Jethro said forcefully. “A least some fruit, toast and that oatmeal you like as well as coffee. And I’ll expect you both back here for lunch by 1400.”
Although he felt a little aggrieved at being dictated to, Rodney couldn’t help but be warmed by the obvious concern Jethro was showing him. He shrugged his shoulders in a little show of not caring, but he could tell Jethro wasn’t taken in at all.
“Shower?” Tony suggested as he got up from the bed, his cock already half hard. He really was heart-stoppingly beautiful, and despite his cataclysmic orgasm only minutes before, Rodney’s cock was already getting with the programme.
McKay looked over at Gibbs, well aware that the other man hadn’t come yet, and sure that Tony’s offer was intended to give the Gunny some one-on-one time with his husband, in order to do something about that. So Rodney was shocked when Gibbs smirked at him and using a gentle finger against his chin, tipped Rodney’s head towards Tony. Rodney looked up at DiNozzo to find that Tony was holding a hand out to each of them.
“Huh! Shower… why yes, I could definitely do a shower…” Rodney babbled, his mouth already watering at the sight of Tony’s cock.
The lab could wait for a while.
John walked into Elizabeth’s office only a few moments late for a meeting she had called by email just that morning. He wished he could have put her off, as his head was a mess and he felt he needed some time to think through the events of the last couple of days.
Ever since she had come to John’s office and told him about Callum Mulrooney’s allegations against Rodney, John had felt like a hamster on a wheel. He was no further forward in his investigations, and he was beginning to think that he’d overreacted. During their initial argument, he’d been too hyped to see it, but on reflecting on the whole clusterfuck it had been obvious from Rodney’s expression that he’d had no idea what John was talking about. Trouble was McKay had seemed to incriminate himself by trying to push John into sending the LtCpl on the dangerous mission. John really should have known better. This was his Rodney after all.
If he was being completely honest with himself – and damn it, why should anyone expect that he would be – he found it increasingly difficult to believe that Rodney would make threats when his request for a blow job to ‘relieve tension’ was apparently soundly refused by Mulrooney.
But during the interview John had done with the LtCpl, Mulrooney had seemed completely sincere, and had told his story without embellishment. Considering Rodney’s jealousy of Tony and to a certain extent the others in the Hexad, John had felt it was possible that McKay was using Mulrooney to make him jealous in return. And if he was honest, the idea of Rodney wanting someone other than John to kneel and suck him off made him want to kill – both Rodney and the other man. That green-eyed anger had begun to colour his understanding of the whole issue, much to his shame.
As it stood, he could find no substantiating evidence for Mulrooney’s accusations, and it was down to the Lieutenant’s word against McKay’s. He was hoping that during this meeting with Elizabeth they could put the whole issue to bed, and then he could start getting back into Rodney’s good books again. He was sure the other men of the Hexad would help – although Gibbs had been giving him the stink-eye all through the argument last night, so maybe he’d have more than one man to apologise to.
Elizabeth was behind her desk, her face set in a grave expression and John couldn’t help thinking that knowing her as he did, he probably wasn’t going to get the outcome he’d hoped for.
“Thank you for meeting with me, John. I was wondering where the McKay/Mulrooney investigation was up to. I hadn’t heard that you’d interviewed Rodney yet, and I was wondering if there is a problem? While I am well aware of your relationship, I had hoped that your innate professionalism would have at least brought you back here to me if the issues were too close to home.”
John was pissed that she would accuse him of favouritism. Her pretty little speech was very passive/aggressive and she had given him far less time to investigate than normal for something of this kind.
“I haven’t interviewed Rodney as there is absolutely no corroborating evidence. In fact on one of the occasions LtCpl Mulrooney spoke about, Rodney was in the infirmary after a hypoglycaemic incident. You have to admit, Elizabeth, threatening to arrange the death of a soldier if he doesn’t get to his knees for him is really not Rodney’s MO. Does Rodney make that kind of threat – yes he does. Has he ever carried them out – not at all. In fact, Dr. Zelenka tells me that sending someone through a Space Gate on foot is impossible, given the Gate fail-safe protocols.”
John had wanted to puke when Radek had put him straight. He could only blame the red haze that had appeared before his eyes when he’d thought Rodney might be cheating on him for his complete inability to be objective. It didn’t make him feel any better though.
Elizabeth’s expression was stony and a little pitying. “And if I were to tell you that Callum Mulrooney is not the only one?”
“Come on, Elizabeth. We both know Rodney better than most other people. He might be belligerent and loud, but he has self-esteem issues a mile wide. I find it difficult to believe he would try to extort sexual favours when there was a very great chance of him being shut right down. Anyway, since the rest of the Hexad appeared on Atlantis, Rodney has had all the sex he wants on tap.”
Once he started saying it, the truth of that statement hit John like a bullet. How could he have believed that Rodney would go elsewhere for sex when he had five gorgeous men in his bed? He was confused as to his own thought processes and was concerned as to how he was going to get Rodney to forgive for being such an ass.
Maybe all the sex had begun to muddle his brain.
“Since we got here nine years ago, seven of the scientists who have died on Off-World missions have been alone with Rodney at the time.” Elizabeth tapped her stylus on the desk and flipped open a file that John had not noticed.
“David Gall shot himself after being given a gun by Rodney…”
“After he’d been fed on by a Wraith,” John argued. “He chose to take his own life rather than live as a very old man. I have to say I admire him for making the decision.”
“I have depositions from two of the science staff members that Rodney had been sexually harassing Dr. Gall for several weeks before that mission, and in an overheard conversation with another scientist – Dr. McCauley, Rodney was heard to brag that he’d talked him into shooting himself as punishment for rejecting him, by telling Gall that the results of the feeding were worse than they actually were; a fact that has been corroborated by Carson. In his autopsy, he found that with close medical attention, Dr. Gall could have survived another twenty or thirty years. It is somewhat suspicious, therefore, that Dr. McCauley died three weeks after that conversation, during a firefight with the Genii, and on once again reviewing the autopsy, Carson has found that the bullet which killed him was one of our own.”
“But the Genii had weapons they had stolen from us during the siege,” John argued. “And the firefight was in such close quarters that any one of us could have been the one to fire that round.”
“And yet I have information from a member of AG-3 that Dr. McKay and Dr. McCauley were sequestered behind a wall when the fatal injury was inflicted.”
John was beginning to feel that Elizabeth had already made up her mind, and he couldn’t work out why she would want to lay blame at Rodney’s feet all these years later just because Mulrooney had made a spurious allegation.
“Then there was Peter Grodin and the Lagrange…”
“Now come on, Elizabeth. The man offered to stay. I was there. He was a hero and gave his life for all of us. To denigrate his sacrifice is beneath you.”
“We both know that people can make those kinds of decisions when they don’t feel they have another choice. Peter was openly gay and had many ‘run-ins’ with Rodney. I have several pieces of anecdotal evidence that prove that he made many threats and that his reasons for making those threats were ambiguous and unfounded. Dr. Grodin was also not the best person for the job of repairing the satellite. In fact, Rodney was the best qualified, and yet he didn’t take on the task. ”
Elizabeth was giving him a hard stare, her mouth a tight slash across her face, and John couldn’t help feeling that by arguing he wasn’t helping Rodney’s case. In any case, he wasn’t sure what he could say. Without the opportunity to cross-examine those who had given her this ‘anecdotal evidence’ he was swimming upstream against the current.
“I think you are too close to this whole investigation, John. In fact, I think we all need some distance. Therefore I’ve made a decision. When we open the Gate later today, I am going to request that a full investigation is undertaken on Earth, and Rodney will be sent through to the SGC to facilitate that.”
John was horrified. Not only was she basing her accusations on supposition and hearsay, but she was actually thinking of sending their most important asset back to Earth before he’d even been given chance to build a defence. Without Rodney, the city would certainly flounder and also… The Hexad would be no more. The whole thing smelled really bad to John, and he was beginning to get the idea that he’d been played for a fool.
“Surely Rodney has the right to rebuff the accusations and to know who is making these, frankly ludicrous allegations. Rodney has saved all our lives over and over again. I’m sure he could have filled his bed a hundred times over without having to make threats…” What he didn’t say was that Rodney was brilliant enough to also come up with a million ways to get rid of someone without them ever being found, or him being implicated. Sheppard was sure if he did that Elizabeth would find a way to accuse Rodney of that too.
“John, I know you want to believe Rodney is innocent, and truthfully, your own personal involvement with Dr. McKay makes you completely the wrong person to investigate the circumstances. That I pushed you to do so is my mistake. However, I cannot allow these kinds of charges to go unheard. If Rodney’s sexual harassment of other members of our mission has caused even one person to die, then he needs to be punished for it.”
There was something about the particular incidents Elizabeth had quoted that had John’s gut complaining. If he was right, then the people involved in her ‘evidence’ would be those who would take the greatest pleasure in lying so as to get Rodney off the city and into trouble.
“And if your proof proves to be spurious? Because I’m sure given the kind of defence lawyer Rodney will be able to afford, that people like Peter Cavanaugh and Jhoti Ghosh will quickly prove to be hostile and unreliable witnesses.”
The angry flush that flooded over Elizabeth’s cheeks told him he had hit the nail on the head.
“Those two have whole sections of their personnel records dedicated to the lies and complaints they have told, not just about Rodney but about many others, and only your requests for leniency have prevented them from being thrown back to Earth with prejudice,” he argued, wanting more than anything to get back to the apartment and to talk to Gibbs and Tony. If anyone could prove Rodney’s innocence it was those two, and John felt stupid that he had let his jealousy colour his reactions to the whole affair.
Elizabeth’s hand sliced through the air. “I am not willing to be swayed by your partisanship, John. As of right now you are no longer leading this investigation. Rodney will be sent through to the SGC as I have ordered, and General Landry will take up the reins.”
John knew that in direct relation to the way that O’Neill found Rodney merely difficult, Hank Landry hated McKay. The old General found Rodney very difficult to deal with and hated that the scientist could talk rings around him. He also detested the fact that Rodney was paid a salary commensurate with his abilities and was not limited in pay by rank or years in service as Hank was. It was a major bone of contention that would never be smoothed out while Rodney was a research and science superstar that the SGC could not afford to underpay.
Realising that fighting with Elizabeth was not going to work, he had already decided to pull the other men of the Hexad into his confidence. While it might not be best practice to talk about an ongoing investigation with those outside it, this was Rodney for fuck’s sake! He was also aware that Gibbs and Tony had been right that it was a mistake for him to be the investigating officer. He hoped that their NCIS experience, alongside Daniel’s negotiation skills, and Jack’s three stars would see Rodney staying safely on the City, at least until this whole goat rope could be smoothed out.
Before either of them could say anything else, a klaxon sounded throughout the Command Area.
Emergency in Lab 1. All medical and Det-Con units mobilize; Energy spike detected.”
Lab 1 was Rodney’s lab and John was up and running towards the transporter before the thought had even formed that his lover might be in there.
Lab 1 – Rodney’s Not-So-Secret-Lab – 30 Minutes Later
Jethro watched the surveillance footage, keeping his breathing as even as possible. He wasn’t going to panic; Tony was not dead. He knew this for a fact because Tony was an ascended being and Jethro’s experiences in the SGC before they came to Atlantis had taught him that, even if his husband was shot three times with a Zat, Tony could still come back to him.
What had him wound up, however, was that Tony hadn’t come back yet. There was no body, no clothes on the floor as would have usually accompanied ascension, as per Jack and Daniel, and absolutely no contact from Tony.
Tony, who had promised to never do this to him.
‘Together, at the end of all things.’
That had been their vow to one another, and Tony had never let him down. He had stayed faithful and constant throughout Jethro’s descent into amnesia and had forgiven Gibbs for the awful way he had treated him.
So the only answer to the question, ‘Where’s Tony?’ was that someone or something was keeping him captive.
Jethro watched the recording closely, noting that as Tony and Rodney walked into the lab they were talking as they prepared the lab for the day. For some reason, there was no audio, which was not SOP according to John, but the visual was clear and Gibbs was able to zoom in close and read their lips whenever it was possible.
They seemed to be discussing Rodney’s theories about the difference between John’s gene and the original Lanteans, and his hope that by investigating Tony and Daniel he could get a better understanding of their evolution and the development of their paranormal gifts.
That was a continuation of the discussion they’d been having at breakfast, so there was no surprise as to the subject matter. Nevertheless, Gibbs scribbled down every word on the electronic writing tablet that Rodney had found him, hoping to find a clue as to what had happened to Tony.
Once the lab worksurface was clear, Rodney began to bring out a series of small artefacts.
“LSD… Life Signs Detector,” Rodney supplied from his seat next to Gibbs. The man was shaking with reaction, and Jethro wasn’t at all surprised. Only minutes after the energy spike that had taken Tony, Dr. Weir was running into the lab, making accusations about the scientist that were completely without precedent. Jethro had ignored her waspish demands and shut her down, stating that he would watch the security footage before he would even discuss what had happened.
Gibbs reached out and spread a gentle hand across Rodney’s spine. He could feel the deep tremors as they shook his lover’s body. Gibbs knew exactly how he felt, but he wasn’t willing to give in to the fear until he’d thoroughly investigated the circumstances.
Several other gizmos were picked up and put down by Tony – some of them responding with lights and, from Rodney’s murmured reports at his side, sounds too, and then others that didn’t respond at all. The Rodney on screen was typing furiously after every experiment.
“What were you doing at that point, Dr. McKay?” Weir demanded, reaching over to stop the footage. “The look you are giving Mr. DiNozzo, right there, is positively hateful.”
Rodney’s expression was completely bemused. He looked at Jethro, and then over at Sheppard, who was standing at the other side of Gibbs, his hands tightly folded across his chest. Jethro was pleased to see that John seemed angry with Weir but not with Rodney, as the Colonel nodded in support of McKay. Maybe the tide was turning.
“He’d just made a really bad allusion to ‘Back to the Future II’ and to be honest I was disgusted that a very intelligent man like him would be taken in by all that bad science.”
John snorted and the look that passed between him and Rodney was filled with a shared emotion. It was obviously a subject they had often debated.
Gibbs gave Weir his best glare and was glad to see her flinch at the force of it. He reached across and tapped the keyboard, starting the footage once again. Only a few seconds later, Rodney moved toward the back of the lab and pulled out a drawer from a cabinet, at which point a coruscating halo of green light lit up all around Tony. A flash of gold made Gibbs dart forward to zoom in and freeze the frame. The picture showed quite clearly the outline of tentacles of light emanating from Tony’s chest.
“He tried to ascend…” Rodney breathed shakily, before tapping the keyboard again to move the footage forward frame by frame.
They all watched as Tony became a shimmer of gold light, but the green flash around him seemed to be preventing it from spreading as Tony’s body appeared to solidify again. He was pressing against the field and gesticulating to Rodney, who was desperately trying to reach him. Finally, Tony turned to the camera and obviously said something, but it was difficult to read with all the light flares in the camera lens.
With a sweep of a finger, Gibbs sent the timer back fifteen seconds and watched Tony’s mouth, desperate to see what he was saying.
“No… or Not Rodney,” he interpreted, concentrating hard, trying to parse each movement of those beloved lips. “Atlantis wants… Sorry, Jet… Love you.”
Then in a flash of green, he was gone – completely.
They had searched the area with every gadget they had and there was no sign of Tony, alive, ascended, or dead. Jack, Daniel, and Miko were in the Command Centre checking the security net and had found no sign of him in the city at all. Long and short-range sensors detected no ships in orbit, cloaked or otherwise, although Miko had warned them that they were only calibrated to show Tau’ri, Wraith, Ori, Replicator, Traveller and Ancient craft. Any unknown bogeys could be invisible to their sensor net.
Before they could even discuss what they had seen, Elizabeth Weir moved to lean against the lab table, her expression hard and grave. “I have seen enough. Dr. McKay, you will surrender to the security team and be kept in isolation until the Gate is opened in 90 minutes. There, your involvement in this incident and the deaths of seven other members of the expedition will be investigated and tried.”
“What! I wouldn’t… I never… How could you think that of me, Elizabeth? And you can’t send me to Earth, you need me! If we’re going to find Tony then you’ll need me. No one knows these systems like I do,” he pleaded to Elizabeth, who stared back completely unmoved.
“And… and I’m a member of the Hexad – our connection can surely be used to find where Tony is right now. I don’t believe he’s been taken off the City – the systems and fail-safes I have in place would have warned us of that. We can work together…. Right, LJ, John?”
His voice broke on the name of his lover, and Jethro was pleased to see that Sheppard stepped forward, obviously affected by the entreaty, even as his own hand slid into Rodney’s to offer him the support he’d begged for. Maybe the Colonel’s head wasn’t so firmly wedged up his ass after all.
“I’m afraid I cannot risk the other members of the Mission. Based on the evidence I have gathered, I feel you are a clear and present danger to the City population, and it is my responsibility as the leader on Atlantis to ameliorate that danger as much as is possible. If these allegations are seen to be false, then, of course, your place here may still be available, but that is dependent on the outcomes of the investigation.”
Gibbs’ gut was churning, but strangely not for Tony. Something inside him was sure that Tony was safe, at least for the moment. No, it was Weir’s insistence on getting Rodney off the City and back to Earth that was making all his BS detectors go haywire.
There was a movement in the doorway to the lab as a group of eight Marines, led by Mulrooney of AG-5 formed a security detail. They were treating Rodney like a criminal and a very dangerous one at that. He knew John had all the information about what was going on, and it was important that it be shared with Gibbs.
But at that moment it seemed John had other priorities. “Whatever happens, Dr. McKay cannot be guarded by someone who has made allegations against him,” John ordered firmly. “He will also not be held in the isolation cell. Take him to the Science conference room next door. He is unarmed and has not resisted. We cannot lock him up in the brig under those circumstances.” Then he turned to Rodney and to Gibbs, at last, the look in his eyes seemed to be one of trust and love. “Go with them, Rodney. There is at least a coffee maker in there. I’ll be along as soon as I’ve sorted this out. I know I haven’t… please just trust me? OK.”
Weir’s eyes went flinty hard. “Very well,” she accepted, “but there will be a Marine on guard outside the room until the Gate is about to be dialled, and then Dr. McKay will be taken to the Gateroom under guard.” It was obvious she was not at all happy. How the woman had become the leader of such an important mission when she was willing to overstep protocol like that, Gibbs was unsure.
There was a moment when Rodney seemed to be gearing up to rant. It was what everyone expected, after all, Rodney had an answer for everything… Didn’t he? However, while Gibbs and Tony had been working to change his mindset, they hadn’t had enough time to properly shore up his feelings about his place in the Hexad. His perceived estrangement from John and the distance between the scientist and Jack and Daniel had left him feeling isolated and alone.
His shoulders slumped and he nodded dejectedly. “Can I at least be allowed to pack some things to take with me?”
“Everything you could possibly need will be provided for you at the SGC. You won’t be allowed to take your laptop or other electronics as that would be a breach of security that I am unwilling to allow.”
By this point, John had reached Rodney’s side. “Just go with them, Rodney. There is no way you are going to be sent through to Earth. Just give us a chance to find a way to shut her down. We’ll be quick, I promise,” he murmured.
With a tiny nod to his lover, and a desperately brave smile towards Gibbs, Rodney began to move towards the seven Marines, Mulrooney having stepped to the side, although his P90 still dangled from the clip on his tac vest. Gibbs took note how the Lieutenant smirked as McKay passed him, but luckily Rodney didn’t seem to notice.
Before the group of soldiers could close around him, Miko straightened her shoulders and quickly trotted over to take her place at his side.
“Dr. Kusanagi, your presence is not required,” Weir snapped, her temper obviously high from the hectic spots of red that graced her cheeks.
“I do not care what you wish, Dr. Weir. I will accompany my friend and esteemed colleague, and make sure he is treated with the respect he deserves, as a valued and heroic citizen of this City.” She stared with a flinty gaze at the Marines who towered around her. “And you will have to shoot me to stop me.”
As they reached the doorway Miko turned with her hand outstretched to John, her gaze challenging. “You will give me an earwig so I may contact you if there is any impropriety while we are under the care of this security team,” she demanded.
John complied immediately, commandeering Mulrooney’s radio with a click of his fingers.
Miko placed the earpiece in her ear and waved imperiously. “We may go.”
“Hoo-rah!” Jethro chanted, not quite under his breath, getting an obvious reaction by the Marines at the door as each of them gave him a nod before they turned to lead the two scientists away.
“Is this a private party, or can anyone join in?”
Jack’s deadpan delivery was never more welcome, as both he and Daniel met the group before they’d left the lab. They split as Daniel joined the group who were leaving, while Jack sauntered across the lab in that inimitable way he had; part predator, part clown.
“Mind explaining to me why our preeminent scientist has just been led away surrounded by armed Marines…”
Whatever she’d thought, Elizabeth Weir wasn’t going to get rid of Rodney that easily.
The flash of light had temporarily blinded him, but when his ‘sight’ returned, Tony wasn’t really sure what it was he was actually ‘seeing’. Bright streams of gold ran around him in a linear configuration, while bright green and blue beads of light ran along them in semi-rhythmic pulses. The background hum was strangely comforting but he couldn’t make out any specific sounds that he recognised in its cadence.
There was a similar feel to ascension, in that his mind and body seemed part of something greater. However, while his ascended consciousness always felt unlimited, this state of being was more constrained somehow. All the unspoken questions that were rushing through his mind were answered by streams of input, some visual, some aural and some strangely enough sensual. There was a soft touch to his mind that came and went, while the more analytical responses were harsher and less fully formed. He wasn’t sure how the fuck he knew that, but he did know it and with complete surety.
One thing he did know was that he was no long corporeal and the thought both scared and enthralled him. His mind had been opened by ascension to the point where new experiences were welcomed, but for one thing.
Jethro wasn’t with him.
He’d promised faithfully not to leave his lover behind again, but it seemed through forces he had no control over, that once again he was somewhere his husband was not.
The words echoed around him, decaying in volume each time they were repeated back.
“Your amor primus will understand… stand….st…” the whisper promised.
“Atlantis,” Tony guessed and was rewarded with a pleased ‘hum’ in his mind. “Sweetheart, it’s so good to meet you, but where am I? You know the other members of the Hexad will be worried about me.”
“I needed you here, filii mea. Soon my Rodney will give sound to our voices, but I was afraid that it would come too late… late…la…”
A cold fear gripped Tony. “Why, what danger is so imminent. Is it the Wraith?”
The pulses of data, for that’s what they were, he realised, moved faster along their information highways and he got a distinct impression that the City was pissed
“No, not the damned ones. Their time is nearly over. The danger comes from within my boundaries and is directed at praedixi meum Hexad… ad…” she explained.
My foretold Hexad, his mind provided and the thought made him go cold. Who would want to target them when the power they could provide both to the City and eventually to Earth was all that was holding back the Wraith?
“But more specifically, they mean to remove my brilliant Rodney, whose mind has already moved to the next stage of human evolution, even outstripping those Lantean proditores factos… those traitors who left me alone and ailing, many millennia ago. They mean to hold him captive on Earth and to use him as collateral to achieve their aims…ims…”
Tony’s horror turned to rage. There was only one person on the City who had the power to plot and plan against Rodney in that way. “Elizabeth Weir.”
The City’s agreement rang loud in his mind, but while he could come up with any number of motivations for Weir to target Rodney, Tony still wasn’t sure exactly what Atlantis expected him to do.
“You understand their minds in a way I do not, and until I can speak to them with my own voice, I will need both your knowledge and your imagination to make sure my Hexad Warriors and Scholars are, as you would say, ahead of the game… ame…”
“Lead on, Atlantis, regina mia.” He smiled at the pleasure he felt from her at the appellation. “We have work to do.”