Disclaimer: I wouldn't be suffering Retail at Christmas time if I actually owned Atlantis... well I wouldn't be living on Earth if I owned Atlantis... I'd have a piece of property that had an ocean view 360 degrees around
Raiting: PG13 (for language)
Character(s)/Pairing(s): Rodney McKay (Rodney/everyone, almost)
Notes: This is a companion piece to Skin. My Beta, Bluejbird (on LJ) had requested that I write Rodney's take on his needs. Also, it was written as a response to one of my prompts on my Big Damn Table (which can also be found on my LJ). So here it is. It hasn't been Beta read though, so there are mistakes through out - but nothing serious. Hope you enjoy it.

Prompt – 037: Sound

Rodney had a chart for everyone in Atlantis and how suitable they were for relationships. Not just with himself but with everyone else as well. He'd gotten bored one night, muttering to himself in his empty room, and sat down to write it. He even updated it when new information became available – little details about likes and dislikes, new personnel in the city, lost personnel.

He'd actually come to realize that the men out numbered the women almost five to one in Atlantis. That made heterosexual pairings for everyone almost impossible. Unless the women were willing to take on more than one partner, which was decidedly something he did not want to think about. On a practical level, he could understand some people's stubbornness when it came to keeping heterosexual pairings the norm, but on a more personal one, Rodney didn't understand why people would be willing to miss out on half the possible fun they could be having.

Matching other people up hadn't been as difficult as he had originally thought it would be. Most people thought he was oblivious to his surroundings and the people therein. But the truth was, was that Rodney was able to retain almost every detail of the conversations that took place around him – if not consciously than subconsciously. He'd gotten a funny look from Simpson when he had begun clearing away his day old coffee cups because it made her skin crawl to see day old coffee. He'd actually heard her whispering that comment to one of the other scientist, though Rodney could not for the life of him remember the other man's name.

Remembering the small details and extrapolating from them was actually very simple. He was able to match up everyone with at least three other people – even Kavanagh – by the time he was done.

What had been difficult was matching himself with other people. He had a good idea of what the other people were looking for but had been forced to sit back and examine his own wants and actual needs in detail. The list he came up with for himself was really rather limited.

Almost all of his staff was off the list because he was their boss. And those that hadn't been removed for that reason were taken off because of their chosen fields of study and lacking intelligence. Rodney was aware enough to know he would constantly mock any of the soft sciences and that his vastly superior intelligence would be intimidating.

The Marines – male or female – were off because he was almost a hundred percent sure they would snap him like a twig. And again with the intimidating brain power. He didn't want some pretty thing to hang off his arm, but he also didn't want someone who could and probably would sell him off in pieces to the highest bidder.

Though Sergeant Maggie Mary – and what a poor woman to have had parents that cruel – had been on his list for a while. Until she all but announced herself to be a man-hating lesbian that would castrate any man who so much as thought about her in a sexual light.

Teyla got knocked off because Rodney knew she would beat him to a bloody pulp for even thinking about her like that.

Elizabeth was off because she was his boss, and he would never compromise her like that. It would be unfair. She had a hard enough time letting him and his team through the 'gate as it was. He wouldn't make that choice more difficult for her. Though he did respect her training and her intelligence – for a soft science student.

What he was left with was a list of things he both wanted and needed in a partner.

His wants were wilted down to the absolute essentials. And his needs were prioritized by what he couldn't live without and what he could find in friendships with other people. No one got everything they wanted, but they did get lucky sometimes.

His partner, Rodney had decided, had to be reasonably intelligent – at least compared to his own genius. Because Rodney did not want to bored to tears, or at least ranting, because of lacking conversation. He didn't want to have to constantly explain himself either. But he didn't mind having to explain some of the time. He had after all suffered teaching at a university, lecturing had sort of ingrained itself. He wanted someone he could banter with, exchange witty – if snarky – comments with.

They had to have a sense of humour. Rodney had discovered fairly quickly that people with an odd sense of humour – or the patience of a saint – could handle him for longer periods of time. He liked to joke and most of the time people didn't seem to get his jokes – not even the really bad ones.

They absolutely could not have any serious social expectations of him. He was socially awkward and almost interpersonally stunted as most geniuses were. And that was never going to change.

They had to be willing to listen to him. It was one of the most important things Rodney had on his list. The one thing that would never be removed, no matter how desperate he got.

If someone where willing to listen to him, really listen to him, than it meant they actually cared. Because Rodney needed the attention. Not the constantly taking care of him kind, but the kind that… Well the kind that meant they observed and remembered little details.

He wanted someone who wouldn't have to be reminded of his allergies, but would just know. He wanted someone who could remember his favourite foods. Someone who would go down to the labs and bring him back home when it was late – not to bitch and complain because he forgot about the time, but because they knew he had forgotten about the time and that he needed to sleep. He wanted someone who would let him rant because they knew it was one of his few outlets for anger and frustration and stress. He wanted someone who would understand that his pessimistic outlook wasn't really all that cynical but a need to list the odds so that the impossible things wouldn't happen.

He still couldn't fully articulate what exactly he had meant when he had listed the trait on his chart. Only that he would know it when he found it. He wanted the attention, he wanted someone who was willing to give that kind of attention – offering it freely, not having it forced from them because of his loud complaints and dooms-day babbling.

The persons who fit the description he was looking for was woefully short. Elizabeth had been on the list, but had gotten crossed off. Teyla had been there, but had also gotten removed. Ronon had a big question mark next to his name because Rodney still hadn't decided if he was mourning for his lost mate, or was just that uninterested in sex and intimate relationships.

Radek had been on the list, but had been later removed because he had such a serious crush on Elizabeth (Actually, Rodney thought that given just a little shove they would become Atlantis' newest secret couple). Carson had been on the list for a while and a serious possibility until Laura Cadman had gotten stuck in his head! Sergeant Maggie Mary had been taken off for her man-hating ways.

Colonel Sheppard was on the list, and Rodney still couldn't really decide where the man fit in, because he gave off the impression of being straight, but there was something that pinged – just faintly – on Rodney's gay-dar. But Sheppard was also the leader of his off-world team, tied with him for leadership of Atlantis if something ever happened to Elizabeth, and military – even if he went to the military's version of finishing school.

After Sheppard, Rodney was left with a blinking 'Other' slot for random aliens they met up with in Pegasus or for the new arrivals off the Daedalus.

Rodney sighed down at the list of people next to his name. He had other names to add to his growing chart. The Daedalus had just sent over the data burst with the listing and files of all the new personnel arriving in a few short days. There were new possibilities presented in the unknown personnel. But Rodney would really much rather have stuck with the known and familiar of the original Expedition members.