Disclaimer: Nope. Don't own anything of any of it.
Aiden Ford sighed wearily; it had been an incredibly long day, one with no sight of ending anytime soon.
In the last fifteen hours he had managed to record messages from every one on Atlantis, and now, he was down to two.
One, he had no way of recording. Not yet at any rate since his commanding officer had yet to return and the other…
The other he was slightly intimidated by. An entire hour of tape. What had Rodney put on there? And did he really want to know?
When Dr. Weir had asked him to film every one saying goodbye he'd embraced the project. It gave him something to do other then point and shoot; a rarity in the days since their arrival on Atlantis.
And in truth, there weren’t many days that went by any longer where he was required to do anything other then kill. Granted every time so far had been for a reason, normally saving some one’s life, including his own more then just occasionally.
Still though, it was wearing him down.
And now, listening to the others saying good bye to their love one, listening to Weir speak to the families of those who hadn't made it this far. It had eaten at him almost as much as killing once had.
Once upon a time, every shot he had taken had hurt him, not physically, but there had always been a little part of him that he felt slipping away.
And these days, it didn’t seem to hurt any longer, instead almost appeared to make him just a little more numb to it all.
Ford was frightened that one day he wouldn't feel himself lose another piece of that wide eyed by he'd been so long ago.
He was terrified that soon nothing would be left but the numbness, a pervasive cold that replaced everything.
Some days he awoke with a certainty that one day he would come to the realization that there was nothing left of the man he had been, just a monster that he had become.
Sitting down he leaned forwards and popped McKay's tape in.
An hour. What had the doctor said that took up that much time? Knowing McKay, he'd probably been rambling for most of it. Oh, well. Time to edit.
Hoping for the best, Aiden visibly grimaced as he pushed play, ready for the onslaught. He watched the doctor speak for several minutes in silence before he snorted.
"Gold," he said, shaking his head in wry amusement.
Forty five minutes later his head was down on the desk, only one eye open as he watched the doctor ramble on, and on, and on.
And then it caught his attention.
McKay said "his sister".
Ford didn't have to ability to move his head from it's resting place. In fact he was almost certain that his head had become glued to the cold metal. Just hopefully not with spit. He hadn't done that since high school, okay, maybe it had been two weeks ago during one of Kavanagh's many lectures.
Aiden watched as McKay spoke to the sister that he rarely spoke of with a passing interest; it was strange. McKay never talked about his sister in a sentence any longer then three minutes and now, here the scientist was. Rambling.
Ford listened as McKay finished the speaking to his sister and then started making his way back to leadership. Suddenly there was a black screen and the lieutenant sent a little prayer of thanks that the video was over.
His finger was an inch away from the rewind video when the scientist suddenly came into view.
Aiden looked confused for a moment and then realized what McKay had done. What the lieutenant had thought to be then end of the tape had actually been Rodney rewinding some to put in something.
It seemed to be an afterthought; Rodney hadn’t even realized that he’d left the camcorder lens covered until after he’d turned the device on.
To Ford, the older man looked visibly stressed.
His mouth was turned more downwards then normal and McKay looked... worried, a strange grimace that he normally only saw fleetingly on the other man's face and then only when something really, really bad was about to happen.
"This... this may never be seen, but I have to say it." McKay took a deep breath and visibly steeled himself. "This is to the only other person than my sister that I have ever cared for," a sad little smile flitted over his face and he sighed, "Buffy, you'll never know how sorry I am for leaving."
Aiden’s brown eyes widened at the remark.
Wait a minute there.
A girl named Buffy.
It was like dating a girl named Candy or Cherry. He didn’t even score with girls that had names like that. How did the scientist manage too?
“It’s entirely my fault. I was supposed to take responsibility, but when I found out… I freaked out. Actually freaked out is a bit of an understatement, the idiots I was working with thought I was having a breakdown after I received the call. I couldn’t handle it. And because of that, I wasn’t there when you needed me most. The responsibility is a heavy burden that I will have to live with for the remainder of my incredibly short life, all two, well, actually thirteen days now, left of it.”
“Oh, my God,” Aiden whispered.
He leaned forwards, watching transfixed as McKay quietly regarded the camcorder. Possibilities began to flit through his mind.
McKay had actually dated some one.
Some one named Buffy.
And he’d left her, probably right before he got sent to Antarctica. Ford didn’t remember any one with a name like that on that base.
Alright, McKay had a torrid affair... with a younger woman.... wait he had said responsibility...
Aiden’s eyes widened.
She was pregnant!
A look of puzzlement and disbelief from the idea that Rodney had ever dated anyone, much less some one with a name like Buffy, warred with a look of utter horror at the thought of one Rodney McKay ever procreating.
Ford rubbed his eyes with the heels of his hands, attempting to dislodge to visuals that had started accompanying these thoughts.
Briefly he wondered if it were possible to go blind from the pictures that his imagination was providing.
The possibilities kept coming, each one wilder then the last until McKay spoke again.
"If I hadn't forced you to go to that school, if I hadn't talked to that idiot of a principal into letting you stay, you never would have been there, and you never would have set the gym on fire."
Maybe Aiden had been wrong; no babies. Apparently there was some sort of pyromaniac instead. Ford didn't know which one was worse. Rodney with children or the thought that he had been involved with some one who burned down federal buildings. "I'm sorry, but I thought you could handle it. I was so sure. And in the end I only destroyed our relationship. You'll never know how painful it was to have had your mother close the door on my face. You'll never know the agony that I experienced leaving you again after having only just found you. Joyce certainly didn't want to be found. Hank had said she wanted a new start. I didn't know it was going to make you fall off the end of the world though. You know it took me two years. Not one, but two, count them two," McKay held his hand up to the camcorder and waved two raised fingers at the lens, "years to find you. It's funny, but I still remember you as the little girl with pig-tails in your hair who used to threaten me if I wouldn't pay attention to you. I can't even imagine you as the woman you must be today. It was all of my fault. I should have been there when you needed me. But I wasn't. The McKay curse, our family dynamics have always left more then a little to be desired."
He was silent for a moment longer and then he sighed, slumping in his chair, and for a moment Ford thought he seemed smaller then he was, as though something had broken inside of him as he had spoke to the mysterious woman.
"And you'll never know any of this because you'll never see this. Ford, I want you cut this out. I'm an idiot." One hand began to reach forwards when Rodney suddenly stopped glared at him through the camcorder. "And if you ever tell any one I called myself anything other then a genius, I'll make sure you never have a hot shower again." The scientist leaned forwards and the screen went black.
Ford watched the empty screen for several moments until he finally leaned back, a thoughtful expression on his face.
"Huh," was all he said as he wondered just what the Hell that had been about.