Deus Ex Machina
Rodney stored the data tagged to the ZPM away in a crystal and put it into a small box, hiding it away securely below his bed where Meredith would be able to sleep peacefully, and perhaps he would visit Kate again, he had already once or twice, just to make sure Sheppard's looks changed back from worried concern into the occasional flirty winks.
They had taken Meredith's ZPM to the isolation laboratory after he had copied her out of it and scanned it once over with the help of the Deadlaus when they were finally contacted, just to check, but there was nothing left of Meredith. Not a single line of code left; so they cleared it as safe.
The Deadalus visited the Pirian planet just a few days later, beaming on board what was left of the secret underground laboratory with the given caution for the planet's still ignorant people. The Pir had no need for help, or were to stupid to see the truth about their position, and not wanted it so they locked their adress out of the Database and never returned afterwards.
The whole thing brought good things, though. In fact so good, that his entire department had been busy for three weeks straight with what the storm and weather change in combination with the parts the Deadalus brought held in store for them. Most of the stuff from the Pirian lab was in bad shape, but good enough to serve, once probably checked through, as spares for several things that needed replacing after the happenings of the last years.
Rodney felt guilty, anyway, just a bit; not because the people of Pir or that he couldn't have repaired their defences even if he wanted to, or because he had been on the infirmary and off duty for the first few busy days after the incident, but because of Meredith. Even if she hadn't understood what she was doing, she had meant well and in the end, had trusted him to put her to sleep even after he had tried to deactivate her.
She even changed the weather for him, and if nothing else had prooven her good will, this had. At least for him, or from the point of view of the meteorology department - who had a non stop orgasm since at least three weeks, because of the readings from the fast forward climate regeneration.
It was not their former planet, not by far, but the endless blue-green ocean that spread around their Ancient city gave it some of the feeling back. The green of the light had changed into a more petrol colour after the clouds had thinned out in the last month and the air had come to a stable oxygen level with temperatures averaging between 10� C and 20� C. Even the nights had stopped being so awfully chilling and the improvement in weather had also improved the whole mood of the city's inhabitants.
They even decided to hold Teyla's baby shower outside.
It turned to a big busy party in baby pink and blue with a buffet and, typically American, BBQ. Teyla had gotten anything she could ever need for the little monster, from baby boots Kusanagi and Simpson had knitted, to a mobile with little airplanes from Sheppard and a hand built baby bed from Ronon right down to a toy box covered in hand painted butterflies from Lorne, and of course, a lot of other clich�d paraphernalia.
The Lanteans made up for the Athosian dislike of her situation as well as possible, and judging by the small honest smiles Teyla had on her face, it worked. They even started singing for her, and man, although karaoke was evil and Rodney shuddered at every little note, she loved it all the same.
Carter sat in wheelchair at one table, a bandage peeking out from below the collar of her bathrobe and a bit pale, but she smiled and talked with Dr. Keller and some idiots from geology whose names Rodney couldn't remember.
Rodney leaned against the railing on the rim of the balcony that hosted the spectacle and watched the scene with a cool beer in his hand. It was a little like their first evening on Atlantis, as Weir had hosted the welcome party; Carson's presence only strengthened that d�ja vu.
"Be honest Carson," Rodney leaned over to the doctor at his side, curiously smiling at the other man. "...You were around all the time?"
"Aye." Carson chuckled at the way the people erupted in laughter as another gift was opened, presenting a little hand sewed expedition uniform with red patches.
"How," Rodney watched him. "I mean, not that I believe in the whole Sci-fi ghost in Machine cliché thing, or anything supernatural...but, honestly, how is it working, are you ascended or something?"
Teyla thanked the Marine, who had sewn the piece in cooperation with a female anthropologist, with a touch from brow to brow, and the people cooed and ahhed some more over the perfect little imitation of a diplomat's uniform.
"Ah, not ascended." Carson quipped, a grin spreading over his face.
Rodney frowned at his friend, taking a gulp from his beer. "But what else?"
Carson smiled and turned back to his friend, one hand tracing the railing while he sighed.
"There are a lot of things out there." He said with a twinkle in his blue eyes. "You know, the universe is a big place and there a lot of things far over our heads..."
"I guess." Rodney remembered the line from his last goodbye from Carson. "But that doesn't explain how you can be here and work with the city, in the city. How I can see you?" Rodney frowned a little. "Can others see you too?"
Carson just grinned and looked at Rodney in utter amusement.
"That's not fair," Rodney sighed. "Honestly, can I scan you at least a little, just for the old times, you scanned me a lot, you know..."
"Rodney..." Carson chuckled.
Sheppard appeared out of the crowd, heading for their position with two new beers in his hands. He wore a broad, happy smile directed at Rodney and it melted Rodney little, too.
"Ah, I am sure, one day you'll figure it out..." The dead Scot said.
Carson watched Rodney swallow hard with a goofy grin on his own, before letting go of the railing to push himself off into the direction of the crowd. Carson took Rodney's bottle of beer, and Rodney was vaguely curious how he could take the bottle with being not really there and all...
"Well, see you around." Carson said setting the bottle down at the edge of the first table he came by.
"Yeah." Rodney nodded faintly and watched his friend disappear into the countless number of people as Sheppard arrived beside him.
"Here Rodney." Sheppard grinned and handed over the beer.
Rodney took it and leaned back against the railing. "Thanks."
Teyla opened another gift and lifted a couple of fluffy balls out of the pinkish wrapping package. She looked confused and one of the gate technicians gestured to explain, well, Rodney had to admit he had no clue what they could be for either.
"You know," Sheppard drawled and took a mouthful of beer. "...I think this was one of the best ideas we ever had."
Rodney nodded faintly in agreement. Teyla set the balls aside, and there was nothing more comical as Ronon's experimental poking at the fuzzy little things; she seemingly thought the same and erupted in laughter.
It was like music to their ears.
Rodney looked up into the sky, inhaling deeply, salt and water fresh in every breeze. A little more like home, complete with a few soft clouds at the horizon.
Rodney frowned. "It looks like it's going to rain."
"Hm," Sheppard looked up, too. "Nah... not really." He looked over. "You know, Keller said we shouldn't be out in the sun too much yet, with the remaining sensitivity to sunlight and all..."
Rodney looked at him questioningly and Sheppard looked innocently back out at the party, taking a sip from his beer. Sheppard had grown more daring concerning their not-thing in the last weeks, had even accepted that it, somehow, was a thing, and that being there for Rodney was indeed a better course of action than talking about team dynamics - more comfortable for Sheppard, too.
"I just thought..." He shrugged and raised an eyebrow, thousands of vivid pictures of possible ways to break all these annoying fraternisation rules oozing out of every pore. "I've got all the seasons of M.A.S.H. in my quarters..."
Rodney grinned and took another gulp from his bottle.
"Lead the way..."
And as the doors to John's rooms opened faster than they normally did, as the lights dimmed without command and the city protectively hummed around them while they did anything but watch TV, Rodney finally figured it out.
Betaed by Celctictigress (who helped me as all my other betas were too busy), test read by Woodstock (my brother, who talked me through this for endless hours and did the victory dance alongside me)and Beasty101. All remaining mistakes and plotholes are mine.
The whole thing was inspired by the last couple of seconds of the Episode "Sunday", the fact that Rodney just couldn't go out of this as easy as he did in the plot, at least not in my opinion, and my love for the name Meredith. It's just pre-slash and touches a lot of plots that run along outside of the story just like a real episode would, or at least that was what I meant it to look like. Also, I used several spoilers for the real season 4!
Titles inspired by Dr. Who, several movies and "Goodnight Elizabeth" by the "Counting crows" (mentioned through the first dream sequence).
English isn't my native language and this was by far the biggest story I ever wrote, (and posted afterwards) driving me halfway insane in the process, but my brother Woodstock grounded me and helped me through the writer's block and plotholes: This story is for you as thanks for your endless patience and the fact that you had time to talk me through the plot although you had to get ready for your university-entrance diploma at the same time.
Special thanks to newkidfan who helped me with tweaking the story.
The original BigBang page and all Fanart done for this story can be found on the link below, Copy paste without the spaces.
http://sgabigbang . talkingcorners . net