Rumor ControlAuthor: Gemmi999Word Count:
Not mine. = ]Pairing:
McKay/Sheppard (kind of)Summary: Rodney told Katie Brown he was gay, and the next day everybody in Atlantis had heard.
"Perhaps it's impossible to wear an identity
without becoming what you pretend to be."
Valentine ("Ender's Game" pg. 231)
Rodney told Katie Brown he was gay, and the next day everybody in Atlantis had heard. He’d only told her because she had been pressing him about a third date, and he didn’t find her all that appealing (at least in a sexual sense), and thought that coming out would be an easy way to let her down.
But she told her friends, and they told their friends, and somebody (he thought it might have been Zelinka, but he couldn’t prove it yet) sent an email over the Atlantis Wi-Fi system announcing the news. And people believed it.
Everywhere Rodney went he was congratulated: Elizabeth pulled him aside to convey her pride, Carson stopped him to discreetly hand over a couple tubes of lubricant, Ronon told him about his warrior-partner that had been killed 9 years earlier. Everybody, it seemed, had a story to convey their acceptance of Rodney’s sexual orientation.
Which wouldn’t have been a problem if Rodney was actually gay. But he wasn’t, and he didn’t have any plans to go down that path in the immediate future. Maybe in a few years, after he’d had a child or two to ensure his genetics would continue into the next generation, but not now. Especially not on Atlantis.
But he couldn’t think of way to get himself back into the closet, so to speak, regarding his sexual orientation. If he proceeded to explain that the entire issue had been a lie to get Katie Brown off his back, not only would he become the laughing stock of the entire mission, but Katie would end up being hurt as well. And as much of a bastard as Rodney McKay was, he couldn’t do that to the scientist. So Rodney doomed himself to a lonely rest-of-Atlantis, and vowed to experiment with his left hand—he’d spent a summer when he was younger learning to be ambidextrous, and it might as well pay off now.
So he bore the remarks with stoicism; he agreed to “check out the guys” with Teyla, took the lubricant Carson handed over with a slight brush, and hugged Ronon tightly as the warrior began to cry for his fallen partner. He even managed to stammer out a “thank you” to Elizabeth for her heartfelt words and new policy regarding hate crimes. He couldn’t do anything less.
Which was why, days later, when Sheppard asked him out on a date, Rodney agreed. He hadn’t known that John was gay, and with all the congratulations and acceptance that had been given to Rodney during the previous days, he felt it only fair to pass the love on, so to speak. In a purely non-sexual way.
Rodney tried to chose his outfit with care: he didn’t want to appear too easy, but at the same time he didn’t want to play hard-to-get. He didn’t know how long Colonel Sheppard had had this crush, and it took guts to ask out somebody (especially in the tight quarters of Atlantis). Rodney didn’t want to dash his hopes in the first five-minutes of their date, but at the same time he didn’t want to lead the Colonel on either. It was a tough call to make.
In the end, he wore he uniform. There’d been an emergency of some-sort with the Jumpers, and McKay, having been naked, threw on the nearest clean outfit he could find. The emergency turned out to be John’s way to making sure Rodney showed up for their date, but the damage had already been done. The next day, circulating around Atlantis’ decks, the rumors were flying.
Carson yelled at Rodney for not dressing nicely for the Colonel, Elizabeth offered to have the Daedalus ship over any clothing or personal items Rodney currently was lacking—Teyla had even offered to have her people make him a proper outfit for dating the Colonel.
It appeared that the entire Atlantis community was more heavily invested in his future with Sheppard then Rodney was—which would only lead to problems. Especially when the two of them broke up their non-relationship, which was found to happen.
For their second date, John actually knocked on Rodney’s door while holding a single flower he’d stolen from Elizabeth’s office. Rodney answered the door, took one look at the flower, and politely asked John if he was trying to turn Rodney bedroom into hell, complete with an infestation of pollen.
For a second John looked crushed, before smiling and responding: “I should have known you’d find your way into my bedroom sooner rather then later—you are the genius.”
Rodney stammered and blushed and tried to think of a way to take back his earlier, hasty words, but couldn’t. In the end, he merely shrugged, smiled to John, and closed the door behind him without letting the flower touch the inside of his room. There might be hell to pay later, but he couldn’t’ let John take him to his bedroom. Rodney knew what would happen then, and well—he didn’t want to go in that general direction. Hopefully he could convince John that they were unsuited for one-another, and leave it at that.
To John’s delight, and Rodney’s abject misery, their second date went nearly as smashingly as their first. John had packed a picnic lunch for the pair, compete with some of Rodney’s favorite foods. They took a puddlejumper and ate at the bottom of the ocean, watching as the fish swam by. It was nice, a little isolated, but entertaining and showed that John had been paying attention to Rodney throughout all his time on Atlantis.
Clearly something needed to be done.
“John,” Rodney began nervously. “I need to tell you something,”.
John didn’t respond, instead he leaned in and captured Rodney’s face so he could press forward and steal a chaste kiss. Rodney blinked twice, then tried to pull back violently. “I’m straight,” he announced abruptly.
John blinked now, looking at Rodney in confusion. “Then why’d you agree to go out with me?”
Rodney sighed. “I couldn’t stand the thought of you being rejected. You’re my friend, I didn’t want to hurt you.”
“That doesn’t sound like you, Rodney.” John looked a the scientist.
“Okay, if you must know I said yes because I knew if I didn’t Katie Brown would find out and kill me somehow. Possibly with oranges, or lemons—either would work remarkably well.”
“Ah,” John responded before opening a bag of what passed for potato chips on Atlantis. “Chip?”
The rest of the non-date went strikingly well, and before Rodney knew it he was at his door, looking at John. “You remember what I told you earlier, right?”
John laughed. “Relax Rodney, it was only one little kiss.”
“I won’t relax, I can’t relax. I told you I was…” Rodney glanced up and down the hallway, circumspectly.
“Straight,” John nodded. “I know, but I figured I could convince you to give me a chance.”
“Give you a chance?” Rodney rose an eyebrow and sighed. “It’s not that I don’t like you, Colonel…”
John agreed. “I know.”
“So, you understand why this is our last date?”
“no,” John laughed. “I think we should continue to see each other as well a other people.”
“but I’m…” Rodney sighed. “I’m straight,”.
“I know.” John grinned. “But hey, we’re gonna be out here for at least another couple years. Give me a chance at least.”
And Rodney did—but that is another story.