Part: 3 - Side Effects
Disclaimer: If it were mine, there would be no Keller.
Warnings: Angst, Established Relationship, Humor
Summary: The plan was foolproof, or wasn't it?.
Wordcount: ~3300 (part 3)
Beta: koryou and zannabq you are the best *huggs*
A/N: I know it’s been ages since I last updated the story. I have no excuse for that, only that I got hit by the longest writers block in the known history. I was not able to write anything.
I’m still not sure if I’m fully recovered, but at least I can assure you that the story is finished. In the end it’s 5 chapters instead of the 3 I promised in the beginning. But all 5 are done (the last two are just with the betas right now). So if the internet doesn’t get destroyed, the last chapters should be online within a week.
I hope that you’ll still want to read this little story.
Rodney paced back and forth in the little room. His hands were in constant motion, as well as his mouth. “I can’t believe the nerve of these people” seemed to be his latest mantra.
John was sitting in one of the chairs in his usual sprawl, giving the impression of someone who had no care in the world, but deep inside of him he felt furious. “I tell you what I can’t believe Rodney, I can’t believe that this simple mission went downhill so fast.” This had turned into the worst nightmare ever. Sure the ill advised mission that ended with him awakening the Wraith was even worse from a more global point of view but John could without any doubt say that his day sucked.
After Arya’s revelation that the marriage could not be broken – because the ‘joining had been consummated’ or some similar crap – and Rodney’s less than stellar outburst that they had had sex hell had broken loose. It seemed that everybody wanted to say – or shout – something at the same time and John had been very much tempted to just take a P-90 and shoot until everybody shut up. Unfortunately weapons had not been allowed inside the temple.
After a few moments of absolute chaos Elizabeth and Arya had somehow agreed to take the discussions to another room, with less people involved. Less people still meant that most of all senior staff from Atlantis, plus Caldwell, had been present for the next round of madness.
John had been furious and had demanded again and again that this stupid joining should be broken ASAP, but Arya had declined. Of course this had not really sat well with John and he had made his anger well known to everyone. He knew that this was nothing his friends and colleagues would have expected of him, usually he would charm and smile almost all tricky situations away, but god damn it, this was a serious fuck-up situation. Rodney with his angry and flabbergasted babbling had not helped much either.
And so after only a few minutes into the discussion he and Rodney had been pushed out of the room to let other people decide about their future. John’s finger had really itched for a nice grenade, still did in fact. He ran his fingers through his hair instead. “This is the worst day ever.”
Rodney stopped his pacing and agreed. “I was against this plan from the beginning. Messing with religious rituals can never end well. It’s not as if similar things hadn’t happened before. Really, the natives of the Pegasus Galaxy are dimwitted backwater morons.”
John held up his right hand and ruthlessly interrupted Rodney’s too well known rant: “Oh no Rodney, it’s not the fault of the natives. This time there is only one to blame. And that’s you!” John’s voice was cold with anger.
“Me? What? Huh?” Rodney looked flabbergasted.
Maybe – if it would have been a different time and a different place – John would have thought that Rodney looked cute being so bewildered, but not today. Today the only thing John could feel was the betrayal. “Yes you. We have a rule Rodney, no sex on the away missions. But no, you had to have a go on the nice bed in the honeymoon suite. And now we are in deep shit.”
Rodney puffed out his cheeks. “Wait a second. It’s not as if I had to “force” you!” His waving hands showing the quotation marks in the air. “If I remember correctly you were not only quite willing but also eager! So don’t try to put the blame on me!” The bewilderment faded away and slowly anger showed in Rodney’s voice too. “Besides I think we have far bigger problems at hand.”
“Such as you outing us in front of everyone? Seriously Rodney, why can’t you ever keep your mouth shut? We may have been able to disguise this as an error in the ritual or something. But no, you had to announce that little tidbit of information to everyone and their uncle!”
“This was hardly my fault,” puffed McKay. “Arya took me by surprise.”
“Oh, it’s never your fault now is it? You and your big mouth have managed to screw up more missions than I can count, but it’s not your fault.” John could clearly see the hurt flashing over Rodney’s face, but he was too caught up in his own anger and misery to be able to stop his accusations or take back some of the words.
Rodney went still for a long moment. The look in his eyes was full of hurt and disbelief. Then John could almost see how his features froze into stone. “I’ve had enough of this,” was his reply.
“You have enough of what? The truth?”
Rodney’s hands were up in the air again. “Stop giving me this bullshit. I really have enough of this. I’m sick and tired of this stupid hide and seek. So I outed us. It was a mistake. So fucking what?”
John couldn’t understand that Rodney was still arguing. Even in his most annoying state he should be able to comprehend the implications of what had happened. “Does ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ ring a bell, Rodney? You did tell, boy did you tell. I could call myself lucky if I’m not shipped straight to
Rodney rolled his eyes. “Don’t be such a Drama Queen. As if this would ever happen.”
John shook his head. “Of course it would happen!
“Stop being so over-dramatic.”
“For a guy who prides himself to be the most intelligent man in two galaxies you are quite dimwitted.”
The eye roll was back. “I said stop it. I’ve put up with this crap for far too long. Following your stupid rules. No open display of affection. No sex on the missions and all the other crap. I did it because I understand the sacrifices for a career, I really do. And I can understand that some things are private and should not be pulled out into the open. But nobody will put you in a cage just because you are gay.”
“There are rules…”
“Rules that apply to earth. You really think that the brass will give a shit about what happens in Atlantis? An expedition which is under international jurisdiction? They would have a hard time to explain where your ‘crime’ has been taking place in any trial. So even if
John wanted to butt in but Rodney did not stop talking: “And if that happens, do you really believe that
“No but, as I said, they might throw you out of the air force. But will that really be so bad? I would bet all my money that
John’s brain was spinning; he could hardly follow the rapid fire of Rodney’s comments. Maybe Rodney did have a point or two but John was not going to give in so easy, he was too angry for that. “Way to show some compassion Rodney!”
“I could if there would be something worthy of sympathy,” came the very snarky return.
Just before John could reply to that, the door to the small room opened. John and Rodney both looked up to see Elizabeth and Teyla enter.
“Please tell us that this stupid situation is sorted out?” Rodney begged eagerly.
John’s hopes crumbled as both women didn’t reply directly and just sat down at the table, Teyla even waving Rodney to join them. The dark feeling in John’s stomach got worse when he thought about the reason why only those two came to them. If everything would be sorted out, wouldn’t the other people from Atlantis want to join them for some laughs? John felt himself getting more tense with every second.
Rodney sat down on one of the chairs and started to speak again. “So what is the verdict? Has Arya seen the errors of her ways and taken this stupid marriage back?”
Elizabeth and Teyla exchanged a long gaze. “We may have a situation here,” said Teyla finally.
“What?”, shouted Rodney.
“This is ridiculous!” Rodney’s hands were waving in the air.
John swallowed hard to keep the anger at bay. “But there must be a way? We only went with this ritual because Arya promised that we can bail out at the last day? We clearly stated that we don’t want to be joined, so why are we now married off?”
“According to Arya the words you spoke were not in line with your actions. The color of the holy band has changed, this shows that the joining has been consummated and blessed by their goddess,” explained
Rodney’s face got deep red, but at least this time he didn’t comment on the ‘consummated’ part.
“And with this color changing the joining is finalized. The high priestess really wanted to help, but as
“Fuck!” swore John.
Suddenly Rodney was snipping his fingers: “Wait a second. Even if we accept this bullshit, this does not mean that we are married.” His grin was wide and John allowed himself a second of relieved hope. This was Rodney’s ‘I’m a genius and just saved the day again’ grin. “Neither the Colonel nor I are citizens of this mud-hole of a planet. So they don’t have divorces, but what the hell? It’s not as if this crap is legally binding for us anyhow. So we will just forget this ever happened and not mention any of it in the reports.”
“I second that,” was John’s reply. This mission would still stir up a lot of trouble, but maybe they had a chance to sweep it under the carpet. Just announce an error in the ritual and blame Rodney’s outburst on the strange wine. Surely they could persuade
Both women exchanged a long look again.
John got worried instantly. “What is it?”
“It’s hard to explain, John.” Teyla was squirming too.
“Then start already,” Rodney shouted.
“You know that Arya’s people are saved from the wraith due to these mountains they are living in.”
Rodney waved dismissing: “Yes, yes… Is this going to be a boring anthropology lesson? What has this illogical soft science to do with the problem at hand? And what problem is it?” There was panic creeping into Rodney’s voice.
Rodney clearly looked impatient. “And what has this to do with us?”
“You have to understand Rodney, to keep their numbers stable, they went the way to only allow two children per couple. And since the day of the Marguessan the civilization here focuses on very tight, unbreakable couples. As the high priestess explained to you, they do not do this joining lightly as it can never be broken. And they don’t want people already in such a joining to stray to other people.” Teyla clearly felt uncomfortable saying this.
“And?” drawled John.
“And apparently there is something in the wine you drank. Something that would not have been triggered if the joining was unsuccessful. But with the situation at hand, it was activated and cannot be undone.”
“For god’s sake
A light red shimmer started around
“What?” John and Rodney shouted at the same second.
“There is something in the wine that prevents people who are bonded to ever react physically to other people again,” explained Teyla.
“They put something in the wine?” Rodney exclaimed. “What did they put in it? I’m highly allergic! Killed by wine, nothing I wanted to be said on my eulogy!”
Teyla put her hand on Rodney’s arm and said soothingly, “I’m sure there is no harm done. Any anaphylactic reaction would have shown the first time you drank that wine, wouldn’t it?”
“Who knows, could be a delayed reaction, we are not from this planet after all. Why did they put poison in the wine?”
“Rodney calm down, it’s not poison. Just something that prevents you to be attracted to someone else than the Colonel.”
Rodney puffed out his cheeks again. “And how is this hocus pocus even possible? And why would somebody even do such a thing? Oh don’t tell me, this is a gift from the Ancestors. Bunch of perverts!”
John tried very had to let the news settle in. It was rather much to process. Not only was he married to Rodney, but apparently someone also took over control of his body. Cold sweat started to form.
“We honestly don’t know Rodney. Arya and her people also do not know. As you guessed right, this has been created by the Ancients. Arya can’t explain why it works, only that it does what she claims. And for them it’s not even a big deal. Everyone knows what happens if you go to the joining ceremony and be declared a true paring. They can’t even understand that we are a bit upset about it.”
“I think ‘a bit upset’ does not even begin to explain how I feel
“So we depend on voodoo, lovely. This may take some time – a year or two.” Rodney rolled his eyes.
“Rodney, you did copy the database of the temple didn’t you? Given that this was created by Marguessan, maybe she put some notes in there?” asked
Rodney nodded, a little bit calmer now: “Yes, you are right. And as this Ancient was actually able to use an index file we might be able to find this note before the next millennium. I will make sure that the linguists start with the search immediately.”
“That’s not enough
“Oh please as if I would have gone through this stupid ritual if I had known about this,” Rodney stated matter-of-factly.
“For a guy who gets into full panic mode as soon as somebody mentions lemon in his hearing you are quite calm about this fucking nightmare!”
“Drama queen much? It’s a gimmick from the Ancients, we will find a way out, as usual. At least it’s not an exploding tumor this time.”
“Did you even understand what they did to us Rodney? They manipulated us so that we will never find another person attractive. This means we will not have sex with other people ever again, if
“And not only is this all your fucking fault, but you also don’t seem to give a damn that we are stuck on each other. What the fuck is wrong with you Rodney? Why don’t you care? I wish I would never have agreed to this stupid mission!” John shouted at the top of his lung.
There was a total silence for several seconds in the room. Elizabeth and Teyla looked rather helpless but none of them said anything. Rodney’s face was like stone, but his eyes were full of hurt. “You want to know why I don’t cry wolf? Why I don’t care that ‘my body got manipulated’? Maybe it’s because I was under the impression that we are an item? That we are exclusive? The last time I had the notion to have sex with someone else was 1 year, 7 months and 4 days ago, just do the math. But I see now that my hypothesis about our relationship was built on wrong assumptions. I always joked about you being Kirk, but I never thought that this is really who you are. Sorry to cramp your style.”
John felt as if he had been punched. “Rodney!”
But the scientist stood up and marched out of the room. “Just so you know. If
Part 4 – Reports and Consequences