Pairing: John Sheppard/Rodney McKay
Warnings/Content notes: (skip) Slightly meta-ish.
Spoilers: through Brain Storm
Word count: 1520
Summary: A screener of "Wormhole X-Treme! Journey to the Lost City" finds its way to the Atlantis servers and Rodney is not a happy camper.
Note: Many thanks to neevebrody for the beta!
Wormhole X-Treme! Journey to the Lost City
"Hey Dr. McKay, where did you leave your fiancé?"
The force of Rodney's glare was such that the sergeant it was directed to—at seven feet, not someone who was easily intimidated in general—took a step back. "You think this is funny? You think I have nothing better to do than to listen to the same three comments, neither of which was funny or original the first time?"
"Uh, I," the sergeant stammered.
"Oh, very intelligent. Well, you get props for choosing the one that not just makes fun of me but also jokingly makes implications that could get your commanding officer fired. Are you laughing yet?"
"I didn't mean..."
"Of course, you didn't! Now scram."
The sergeant made a u-turn and was gone in an instant. It didn't placate Rodney in the least. Ever since a screener of "Wormhole X-Treme! Journey to the Lost City" had found its way to the Atlantis servers earlier that day, everyone who'd ever said a word to him—and some who didn't—felt the need to comment if not in his presence then still in his earshot.
Not wearing your skirt today, Dr. McKay? was the first and favorite. Then there was She was far too nice to be based on McKay. And occasionally someone was either dumb or daring enough to comment on the relationship that Dr. Rhoda McKeen and Lt. Col. Joe Shephard—they hadn't even tried with his name—had on screen.
Rodney couldn't even begin to list all the physical impossibilities in that movie but that was par for the course in Hollywood. No, what he couldn't get over was the portrayal of their team. He'd chuckled over how the original series had "borrowed" SG-1, but Ronon—that was Coron—the savage beast being tamed by Shephard into a loyal foot soldier, Sheyra, the exotic, noble, tragic princess that somehow chose to fight in an outfit that was skimpier than anything you'd find in a Victoria's Secret catalogue and of course the love story between McKeen and Shephard that had made him feel literally sick the first—and only—time he'd seen it.
Rodney had been close to throwing his laptop out of the window when McKeen had suddenly lost every ounce of intelligence that she was supposed to have and stepped into a trap that a three-year-old would have spotted because she wanted to impress Shephard. Shephard, in turn, forgot about anyone on Atlantis and Earth—along with anything about strategy and the fact that he had a whole company of soldiers under his command—and mounted a single-man rescue mission that was so non-sensical, it only could have succeeded because the writer had wanted it to.
His blood was boiling at the mere thought that these caricatures were based on them somehow. The fact that even the makers of the original series were rumored to have distanced themselves from the product and that the SGC somehow had had their hands in it didn't make it one bit better. He stalked through the halls, making his way to Sheppard who had to have seen the thing by now too.
When he opened the door, John didn't look surprised to see him. "Hey," he said. "I just finished it."
"I've been done for two hours but it wasn't long enough to bleach my brain from that filth," Rodney said in disgust.
"You didn't like it?" John asked, sounding almost disappointed.
Rodney stared at him. "You did?!"
"Well, no. I mean the space battles looked kind of cool, but the plot didn't even make sense and Ronon and Teyla..." He made a face.
Rodney grimaced in sympathy. For a second he thought that the movie was actually brain damaging to some people. He sat down on Sheppard's bed. "I wonder if we can somehow forbid people from watching it, or barring that at least from talking about it because I swear—" he stopped short when he saw the screen on Sheppard's monitor, frozen to the scene in which Shephard finally got McKeen out, just before they kissed. Rodney looked at John. Then the corners of his mouth turned down in repulsion. "I can't believe you get off on that. Is that it? Given the chance you'd replace me with some long-haired blonde whose IQ drops to her bra size at the sight of you?"
Sheppard shifted from one foot to the other. "What makes you think that?" he said evasively.
"Oh, I don't know. Only the fact that I come here and find your screen set to exactly that scene, which is not the end scene. Did the program magically jump there after you finished?"
"I though it was a pretty nice scene," Sheppard said defensively.
"Hence my disgust and aforementioned accusation," Rodney countered.
"It wasn't so bad. They—"
"Wasn't so bad?! I don't even have the vocabulary to describe how bad it was! Words are failing me here. I nearly threw up when I watched it."
Now Sheppard got angry too. "Look, I get that the idea of us in a relationship is appalling to you, but it doesn't mean that the actors—"
"What?!" Rodney screeched.
Sheppard took a step back. "Maybe we should just not talk about it. You can ask Woolsey to send out a memo not to mention the movie in your presence."
"They're not us!" Rodney shouted, because it was unthinkable that John looked at those two people and saw anything of them.
"I know that, goddammit," Sheppard ground out. "Do you have to rub it in?" He rubbed his hand over his face, looking exhausted.
"You want us to be like that?!" Rodney was slowly losing his mind here, because when he'd accused John of getting off on it he'd meant it as one of Sheppard's fantasies. But apparently that wasn't bad enough.
John dropped his hand and gazed over at the screen where McKeen and Shephard stood, arms around each other, eyes locked, lips parted. "Of course not," he said quietly. "Why would I want that?"
And suddenly it clicked. Rodney looked at the screen and at John's slumped shoulders, defeat written all over his body. "Oh my god. I think I need to lie down and freak out a bit," Rodney said and let himself drop back onto John's bed.
John looked up at him. "You mean you weren't freaking out before?"
Rodney spared a glare in his direction. "When I first heard about the movie my fear had been that I would look stupid and that they'd make me a coward to make you more heroic and that it would be awkward for Jennifer and me to watch now that we're no longer together."
"You weren't a coward," John pointed out with an expression that seemed to say 'Hey, look on the bright side!'
Rodney felt too tired to even glare at him this time. "Just tell me you didn't actually ever dream about me turning stupid out of love for you."
John hesitated. "Define stupid."
Rodney turned on the bed and got into a fetal position, wishing he'd never gotten up that day.
"I don't actually want you to ever be stupid," John said, walking around the bed until Rodney could see him again. "I just... She was so in love with Shephard that—"
"Please stop talking," Rodney said, lifting his hand. He was going to have a headache.
"This is a lot worse for me, you know," John said, sitting down on the bed.
"I sincerely doubt that," Rodney said.
"Well, I'm the one being rejected here," John pointed out.
And that was the sticking point. Disregarding the way Sheppard had revealed his feelings for him, he somehow had to come to a conclusion how he felt about it. "What if I don't?" he asked.
Sheppard looked at him for a moment. "Don't reject me?"
Rodney nodded, still lying on his side on John's bed, looking up at him. He still felt nauseous at the thought of the portrayal of McKeen and Shephard, but, faced with Sheppard's reaction, he had to admit to himself that part of it was loathing because they dared to reach out for what they wanted when he had always tried to not even think about it. It was hard to keep ignoring something when it stared you in the face from your laptop screen.
John pulled his legs up to the bed and lay down mirroring Rodney's position. "I know that they acted like idiots, but they did it because they loved each other and it's a just a movie and at least they got their happy ending and nobody died, so..."
"You're right. Let's just not talk about that movie," Rodney said, putting his hand on John's.
John spread his fingers so that they could clasp their hands together.
They lay like that for a while.
"Rodney?" John asked eventually.
"When you said, 'what if I don't reject'—"
Rodney interrupted him with a kiss that wasn't nearly as well choreographed as the one on screen, but still so much better because it was real.