kageygirl

Atlantis slash

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Atlantis kageygirl

Finding His Place

Title: Finding His Place

Author: kageygirl

E-mail: kageygirl@gmail.com

URL: http://www.kageygirl.com

Feedback: LiveJournal

Archive: Ask first.

Fandom: Stargate Atlantis

Pairing: McKay/Sheppard

Rating: G

Spoilers: "Rising."

Beta: With thanks to Leah and wickdzoot for the beta (though I kept tinkering, so anything goofy was me, I'm sure).

Summary: Given how utterly and completely his life had changed in the last day or so, Rodney wasn't sure he was ready for that much more uncertainty.

A/N: Written for the sga_flashfic "First Night" Challenge.

Yes, yes—with Major Sheppard's team finally returned, safe and relatively sound, Elizabeth had ordered him out of the control room to get some rest, but he couldn't do that until—

"Where's my stuff?" Rodney asked aloud, mostly to himself. Partly to anyone who might have moved his bag from the corner where he'd dropped it—how many hours ago?

"I had an airman take it to your quarters."

Rodney started at the voice behind him, turning to face Major Sheppard. He'd just crossed the bridge from Elizabeth's new office, apparently, and was lounging against the wall, still smudged and rumpled from the rescue mission. Though, come to think of it, he'd been rumpled before the mission, too.

"You did?" He frowned at Sheppard. "When did you have time to do that?"

"While you were dialing all those gate addresses."

"Oh." Rodney started to turn away, then looked back at Sheppard. He'd been able to bury himself in work before, but since Elizabeth's pointed dismissal, he couldn't ignore his growing sense of unease. "Wait—where are my quarters?"

"Not far. I figured you'd want to be nearby, in case something happens, so I had your name put on one of the closer rooms cleared by the security teams." Sheppard tipped himself away from the wall. "Come on, I'll show you. I'm heading that way anyway."

Rodney shook his head, but Sheppard didn't stop. Rodney had to follow him down the steps to the gateroom floor. "Really, Major, I don't need an escort. If you'd just tell me—"

"I'm not your escort, McKay. I'm under the same orders you are—sleep, shower, change." Sheppard raised his eyebrows. "Though not necessarily in that order. I suspect that part's open to interpretation."

Sheppard kept walking, forcing Rodney to walk with him, if only to find out where his room actually was. Funny, he'd been staring at power control schematics and diagrams for hours, trying to interface their systems with the Atlantean ones, but he hadn't really had a chance to just look around the city since it had risen from the depths.

The strange angles of Ancient architecture fractured the sunlight pouring in through the windows. The ubiquitous military packing crates and cargo containers hastily stashed along the hallways only emphasized how alien the place really was.

But Rodney couldn't think about that now. Being intimidated was—counterproductive. He needed to stay detached. Objective. Scientific.

He focused on Sheppard instead. The major had been calm but cautious since their arrival, but now there was an added weight to his movements.

Rodney realized, of course, exactly who hadn't returned to Atlantis with the others.

When he noticed Rodney studying him, Sheppard ducked his head and smirked. "That was a good idea, earlier, with the Puddle Jumper. Thanks."

Rodney blinked. He'd grown accustomed to the Air Force treating him merely as a resource. "Once we found out the gate was in orbit, it only made sense that the Ancients would have some means of accessing it. They built the gate system, after all."

"Still, I'm glad you made the connection." Sheppard nodded at him. "If you get any more good ideas like that, something you need me for, let me know, okay?"

Sheppard smiled, and Rodney honestly couldn't tell whether the major was sincere or not. He decided to act as though he were. "Given what we've encountered so far, I'm sure that gene of yours will come in handy, Major."

"Happy to be of service," Sheppard said, eyebrow raised, and Rodney had no idea what to make of that. Sheppard stopped in front of a door, pulling something off the stained-glass panel—god, it was a Post-it note. The incongruity of it was astonishing. "There you go. Safe and sound."

Rodney crossed his arms and narrowed his eyes at Sheppard. "I thought you weren't escorting me, Major."

"I'm not—officially. Doesn't mean I can't see you home safely on my own time." Sheppard smiled again, wryly, though it seemed to be directed at himself.

Rodney ignored the odd feeling of… camaraderie, reminding himself that Sheppard was actually the ranking military officer, with Sumner gone. Not that he'd known the colonel well, but he'd had a fairly good idea of what to expect from the man, given his prior experience with the hard-assed military stereotype.

But, Sheppard? Sheppard was an unknown quantity. Sheppard was defying his expectations, and given how utterly and completely his life had changed in the last day or so, Rodney wasn't sure he was ready for that much more uncertainty.

Then again, at least the major wasn't boring him yet. "In that case, thank you, Major." He gave Sheppard a quick smile. "Good night."

"Night, McKay." Sheppard jerked a thumb over his shoulder. "If you need me, I'm right down the hall."

"What—in case I find ten-thousand-year-old bedbugs?" Rodney asked skeptically, then realized that yes, they were in a whole new galaxy, and who really knew what they were going to find? And now the prospect of being alone in an empty room in an alien city was borderline alarming.

Sheppard nodded seriously, so seriously that Rodney knew the major had to be toying with him. "Or if you need a bedtime story, check for monsters under the bed…"

Rodney rolled his eyes. "That won't be necessary, thank you," he said, turning away and hitting the door control. He stepped inside, glancing back to see Sheppard still standing in the hallway, looking him over.

He smirked at Rodney again just before the doors closed, and Rodney glared at him in annoyance.

Annoyance was painfully familiar.

Though Sheppard's apparent determination to keep Rodney supplied with that bit of dubious nostalgia was strangely comforting.

Rodney took a deep breath and looked around his quarters. Nothing jumped out at him—except that he'd need a lamp. And a power outlet. Possibly a desk.

And, come morning, Rodney would find something to test Sheppard's offer of assistance.

Just in case he'd meant it.