Disclaimer: I don't own Atlantis or the Iliad.
Author's Note: This came to me when I was trying to figure out if I could fit McWeir in the folklore challenge at sgaflashfic. This ended up somewhat SWAMA, but the pairing at the end is ambiguous enough that it could be anyone. Not betaed.
Sometimes, Rodney McKay feels like his life is reminiscent of the Trojan War, a long, vain struggle against enemies who threaten the walls of Atlantis. Not many people know that McKay has an intense interest in the ancient myths. No one ever asks. Sometimes, though, he idly wonders who he is, who he might be, and if history does, in fact, repeat itself.
When he had worked at the SGC, and even after coming to Atlantis, McKay had often been Antenor. He had complained and protested, and was usually right in his advice. Frequently, he had struggled to make his point against the more popular suggestion, the more popular people. Over time, though, his friends have learned to take his advice. Mostly.
Occasionally, McKay thinks he is like Cassandra and Laocoön, and the residents of Atlantis, if they knew about the comparison, would agree. Yes, he can be doom and gloom, his pessimism biting at those who seek to find a silver lining. Unlike the doomed prophets of old, however, McKay is sometimes wrong in his predictions. It does not bother him like most people think: in the end, neither the beloved of Apollo nor his priest benefited by being right.
The man McKay thinks he most resembles is Helenus, son of King Priam and brother of Hektor. Like Helenus, he is never remembered for his brave deeds or any skill he might show in battle. The people around him only recall his great knowledge. He alone knows the secrets of the city, how to protect Atlantis from her enemies…if, indeed, it is worth protecting. At times, when he watches Dr. Beckett experiment on a sentient being or Elizabeth allowing the use of torture, he wonders if he will end up giving the Greeks the plans for the Trojan Horse. He hopes it never comes to that.
One man McKay knows he will never be is Hektor, Tamer of Horses. Hektor is the warrior, who goes bravely out to battle, leading Heroes and Amazons against the enemy, as Andromache of the white-arms waits for him within the city walls. Andromache, Princess of Troy, whose eyes ever seek her Prince, never a glance to the younger son of Priam, even when his gaze follows her through the streets.
Rodney McKay is not Hektor. The Tamer of Horses, however, is the one who does not live happily ever after, as he foolishly falls to the hand of Achilles, thinking he can single-handedly save Troy from disaster. It is Helenus who survives the fall of the Great City, becomes king of his own land, and marries Andromache, his beloved princess. McKay knows this, can see it happening again before his very eyes.
And as he looks at his friends, at his Andromache with her Hektor, that knowledge is both a comfort and a sorrow to his heart.