unadrift: (doom)
[personal profile] unadrift
Title: Something You Don't Know
Author: [livejournal.com profile] deltacephei
Categories: McKay/Sheppard, first time, humor
Rating: PG-13
Words: 1800
Notes: This is a tag for The Lost Tribe, written for the S5 Tagathon on [livejournal.com profile] sga_episodefic.
Super-fast late night beta by [livejournal.com profile] villainny, who is just awesome like that!

It probably doesn't surprise anyone that, after he gets back from being a fractious hostage, Rodney starts yelling as soon as he sets foot in the control room.

"What the hell have you done with my city?!" is only the beginning.

As glad as John is to have Rodney back alive and kicking, he thinks it best to manfully sneak away while Rodney is busy chewing out the repair crew, and the clean-up crew, and everyone else in shouting distance.

If that also means that John can avoid crossing paths with Woolsey for a little longer, that's just an added bonus. John had pointedly not promised not to blow up the city. And keeping the explosion confined to the main tower should really be considered an achievement on John's part. But he doubts Woolsey will see it that way.

He spends the day doing damage control. The explosion has affected a number of systems, some of which aren't even close to the main tower. Power conduits have blown all over the city. John is mainly coordinating the military manpower, sending his men wherever the scientists need assistance. The work isn't strenuous, exactly, but by the end of the day his back hurts like a bitch.

When John finally calls it a night, he finds the lights burning in his quarters. He enters suspiciously and scans the room. There is no one there, and everything is exactly where he left it, except-- What the hell?

There are books and papers stacked up high on his fridge, tilting dangerously to the side. John walks over to straighten the stack and picks up the book from the top, which is titled 'High Voltage Power Distribution'. On the first page he finds the words 'property of Miko Kusanagi' written down in small handwriting. That certainly explains why the cover is so neatly wrapped in plastic foil. The paper beneath Kusanagi's textbook is one of the internal Atlantis science division publications and has the watermark classified embedded across the first page. It's titled 'Subharmonic Shield Technology: Why It Works'. No way is this one of Rodney's, not with that title. John checks, and he's right. It's Zelenka's work.

There is only one possible source for this selection of science literature John can think of. Sure enough, Rodney walks into the room unannounced that very moment, another stack of papers and books piled up in his arms with the top tucked under his chin.

"Oh, hey," Rodney says, nodding at him, and only John's quick reflexes prevent the paper tower from tumbling to the ground. They deposit the stuff on John's bed.

"What is all this?" John asks, although he really doesn't want to. He just wants to get some sleep. He picks up an issue of 'Acta Materialia' from the bed and starts leafing through it. There is text, a lot of text, and diagrams. The pictures look mostly cool, in an abstract kind of way, but they're all black and white.

"Research material," Rodney answers, almost bouncing on his feet with enthusiasm.

"Yeah, I got that." John is too tired for the required eye-rolling. "What for?"

"Oh, for all kinds of useful disciplines," Rodney says. Whether he's willfully misunderstanding or just a tad more oblivious than usual is anybody's guess. "We wouldn't want to narrow your education down too far, would we?"

John blinks. He must have heard that wrong. "My-- what?"

"Your education," Rodney repeats. "I've taken it upon myself to tutor you in the future."

Nope, John had heard right. And he had been so sure that his school days were over. "Tutor me? Tutor me?"

"Yes. Tutor you," Rodney repeats, announcing every syllable with care. He frowns at John. "I'm starting to remember why I keep forgetting how smart you really are. Because you are smart, no matter how hard you try to hide it. Zelenka told me what happened while I was--" He waves his hand, wincing, "--gone. How you saved everyone from death-by-stargate-- That was quick thinking. It was clever. Imagine the things you could do with the right kind of knowledge backing up your skills."

John stares at Rodney. This is probably the closest thing to a compliment Rodney has uttered here in Atlantis, or maybe ever. Wait a minute, this is a compliment. An actual compliment. About John's intelligence.

John wonders whether he has fallen asleep at his desk and is dreaming this up. Although there have to be a number of scenarios in his subconscious that would be more enjoyable than Rodney McKay complimenting him on his intelligence, right now John can't think of one. And he can't help the grin that spreads across his face either.

"So I brought you some material to read through," Rodney goes on. "I was thinking that the shield might be a good place to start, since it's an interesting piece of technology, and not only in the sense that it has saved our asses more often than I care to count. But without some basic knowledge on power distribution you won't get half of the things I'm going to explain to you. Of course the cloak is next on the-- What are you smiling at?"

"Nothing," John answers, smile widening.

"Are you still on pain killers?" Rodney asks suspiciously. "Because if I'm wasting my breath here talking to you--"

"I'm not high, Rodney."

"You sure look like you are."

"Not high on drugs, at least," John mutters to himself.

Rodney is frowning suspiciously again. "What was that?"

"Nothing," John answers, still smiling.

"Oh, that's it." Rodney points a finger at him. "You. Go to bed. Sleep it off. I'll come back when you're sober."

"Rodney," John sighs. "I am not high on painkillers."

"Clearly, you are."

They are about one-and-a-half steps away from a very grown-up 'Are!' – 'Am not!' – 'You so are!' – 'I'm not!' discussion, and John feels just too not-high to go down that road. Even with Rodney.

"What's in it for you?" he asks instead.

The change of topic throws Rodney for a loop. "What do you mean?"

"I seem to remember that tutors used to charge a pretty mean fee." Not that John had ever needed a tutor. He just seemed to remember.

"Well, for one, I'm going to have a decent assistant for the duration of our missions." Rodney catches John's glare. "Um. Or not. At the very least I will repeatedly not die in the future, when your newfound knowledge kicks in and saves the day-- only when I'm unconscious or otherwise incapable of preventing certain doom, of course."

"Of course." John nods seriously. He can't quite grasp the level of confidence Rodney puts in him. "I don't think that actually counts as a fee. So, what do you charge?"

If Rodney fixes a price, then John can choose not to pay it. Rodney will gather his collection of research materials and never bother John again. It is a nice thought to entertain, except that John isn't delusional, and therefore fully aware of the fact that Rodney will not let this go easily.

"Oh, I wouldn't know about the appropriate charge anyway," Rodney says dismissively. "I never could summon up the patience for tutoring, and it wasn't like I needed the money. I did do it once, though. Annabelle," Rodney sighs wistfully. "She was hopeless in physics. She didn't exactly pay me in the sense of--" Rodney stops, blushing. "Uh, never mind."

John is pretty sure he knows what that look means. "Rodney!" he exclaims in mock indignation. "You tutored her in exchange for sexual favors?"

"I was seventeen!" Rodney says defensively. "Everyone I knew was at least five years older than me, and while that certainly wasn't a problem for me, people weren't exactly standing in line to get physical with me! She wasn't blonde, but reasonably attractive. It was a win-win situation. At least until she wanted me to write her papers. That was the end of our business relationship."

"Because you had standards."


John tilts his head and watches Rodney closely, because he doesn't want to miss a single muscle twitch of Rodney's reaction. "I can do sexual favors," he says.

Rodney blinks. Stares. Blinks again. "I was prepared to do this just for the good of Atlantis, but if you insist."

Okay, John thinks, with Rodney's tongue hot in his mouth, and Rodney's hands tight on his arms. So that approach had kind of backfired.

Rodney pulls his mouth away. "I take it all back," he whispers. John shivers at the breath brushing across his cheek. "You're a moron. I'm a moron. I should have seen it. You could have said."

John has no idea what Rodney is talking about, but if Rodney is any good at tutoring, John is probably going to clue in at some point. In the meantime, Rodney pushes him down on the bed, shoving books and papers aside. The sharp pain from the cuts in his back makes John gasp and reflexively turn on his side. He rolls onto a book that pokes him in the ribs, which is almost as painful.

"Are you okay?" Rodney asks, concerned.

John grabs the damn book. "This is German," he complains and shoves 'Simulation elektrischer Feldverteilungen' over the edge of the bed.

"There's a translation. Somewhere. At least for the useful chapters," Rodney says and kisses him again.

It feels good. It feels fucking brilliant. If John hadn't already known that Rodney is a genius, he'd have figured it out now.

* * *

After that, they turn out to have a kind of frequent sort of exclusive thing.

Rodney insists they need to do serious lessons now, since John is actually paying him for the tutoring. In services. Regularly and enthusiastically. John doesn't want to be homeschooled by Rodney, but he has yet to find a flaw in Rodney's logic.

Now, there's a twisted case of double-sided blackmail John hasn't quite figured out yet.

So one night he bites the bullet, sighs, and turns his attention to the pile of research materials. A big, folded piece of paper, like a map, catches John's attention. He frees it from the middle of the stack on his fridge and recognizes Atlantis's city schematics.

John already knows these. Maybe 'learning' them slowly will keep Rodney off his back for a couple of days. He unfolds the plans and finds a post-it note stuck to them. It's neon pink and color-clashes painfully with the red-marked power conduits on the schematics. 'FOR REFERENCE ONLY' the post-it reads in capital letters. Smaller, beneath it, Rodney has scribbled, 'Seriously, start with something you don't know'.

John grins. He already has.

- end -

Talk Amongst Yourselves (missing scene from 5x10) // Color Me Surprised (AU-tag for 5x12)

Date: 2008-10-24 02:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bluflamingo.livejournal.com
I would have loved this just for being the only story I've found where Rodney gets on at them all for blowing up the city, but then it has John being smart, and Rodney knowing this, and how happy it makes John to get a compliment on his intelligence and... yeah, you totally made my afternoon :-)

Date: 2008-10-26 10:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] unadrift.livejournal.com
My pleasure. *g* Thank you!

Date: 2008-10-24 02:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tacittype.livejournal.com
Oh, so adorable! Homeschooling! I love that they're practically domestic before they ever even kiss. And I love that the other scientists are in on it - or that Rodney stole their stuff, which is equally amusing to me.


"Tutor me? Tutor me?"

Edited Date: 2008-10-24 02:46 pm (UTC)

Date: 2008-10-26 10:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] unadrift.livejournal.com
And Rodney *so* stole their materials! *g*

Date: 2008-10-24 02:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sherryillk.livejournal.com
I agree with [livejournal.com profile] bluflamingo, this fic is awesome just for the fact that it mentions how Rodney would react when he finds out that they actually did blow up the city while he was away, and is so much more awesome for the rest of it. Lovely story and a wonderful read.

Date: 2008-10-26 10:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] unadrift.livejournal.com
Hee. Thank you! And of course Rodney starts yelling. His poor city! I'd so have liked to see his reaction when he gets back.

Date: 2008-10-24 04:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gnine.livejournal.com
EEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee *deep breath* SQUUUEEeeeeee!

So cute! Oh boys! *smishes them* This was so adorable and I love how well Rodney knows John at the end! ^__^ Love! So very much love!

Date: 2008-10-26 10:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] unadrift.livejournal.com
Thank you!

Date: 2008-10-24 05:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] libra-traveller.livejournal.com
Oh so fun, I loved how John tried to get out of it, but instead got more out of it. Lovely.

Date: 2008-10-26 10:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] unadrift.livejournal.com
Thank you!

Date: 2008-10-24 06:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] erda-3.livejournal.com
Hee! That was hilarious. Plus Rodney tutoring John is inherently hot.

Date: 2008-10-26 10:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] unadrift.livejournal.com
Rodney tutoring John is inherently hot
Weirdly so. *g* Thanks!

Date: 2008-10-24 06:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gaffsie.livejournal.com
Although there have to be a number of scenarios in his subconscious that would be more enjoyable than Rodney McKay complimenting him on his intelligence, right now John can't think of one. And he can't help the grin that spreads across his face either.

Aww... It's probably true too. John is very well aware of how smart Rodney is, and he seems to want Rodney to acknowledge John's intelligence too.

I was one of the people who didn't find Rodney's comment in First Tribe amusing at all, and I'm glad you wrote a fix-it for that. :)

Date: 2008-10-27 03:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] unadrift.livejournal.com
I was one of the people who didn't find Rodney's comment in First Tribe amusing at all
Do you mean the one about Mensa in First Contact? I thought it was funny, in a sense of 'Imagine John and Jack at a Mensa meeting, surrounded by all the eggheads'. (Um, see previous story (http://deltacephei.livejournal.com/16550.html). *g*)
Because Rodney knows that John is smart. How can he not?

Date: 2008-10-24 10:03 pm (UTC)

Date: 2008-10-26 10:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] unadrift.livejournal.com
Thank you!

Date: 2008-10-24 11:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] xela-fic.livejournal.com
aw boys :) I love that they know each other so well (once they get their heads out of their asses).


Date: 2008-10-26 10:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] unadrift.livejournal.com
:-) Thank you!

Date: 2008-10-24 11:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] adafrog.livejournal.com
This is great! Loved it, thanks.

Date: 2008-10-26 10:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] unadrift.livejournal.com
My pleasure! *g*

Date: 2008-10-25 01:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] snarkydame.livejournal.com
Hee! Rodney yelling over the state of the city is spot on, as is John avoiding Woolsey.

And I love that Rodney actually compliments John on his clever tactics, rather than just focusing on the mess in the control room

Date: 2008-10-27 03:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] unadrift.livejournal.com
Hee. Thanks!

Date: 2008-10-25 04:36 am (UTC)
cyanne: (SGA  McShep J/R love text/blue heart)
From: [personal profile] cyanne
Oh this is just wonderful and so very them.

Date: 2008-10-27 03:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] unadrift.livejournal.com
Thank you! I'm happy you liked it!

Date: 2008-10-25 05:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] raincitygirl.livejournal.com
Oh man, this is just so damn cute!

Date: 2008-10-27 03:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] unadrift.livejournal.com
Thank you!

Date: 2008-10-25 06:12 pm (UTC)
ext_3572: (sga mcshep chibi)
From: [identity profile] xparrot.livejournal.com
Aww, the image of Rodney tutoring is just too cute! and for favors, no less...

Date: 2008-10-27 04:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] unadrift.livejournal.com
*g* Thank you!

Date: 2008-10-26 07:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dodificus.livejournal.com
Smaller, beneath it, Rodney has scribbled, 'Seriously, start with something you don't know'.

John grins. He already has.


Date: 2008-10-27 04:07 pm (UTC)

Date: 2008-10-30 03:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] terribilita.livejournal.com
Oh man, Rodney! Hee, I love this. :>

Date: 2008-10-31 08:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] unadrift.livejournal.com
I'm happy you did! *g*

Date: 2009-07-27 05:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gottalovev.livejournal.com
ha! got to love plans that backfire with such great results ;)

Date: 2009-08-01 11:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] unadrift.livejournal.com
*g* Thanks!
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