Disclaimer – I own none of the Stargate franchise, or the Back to the Future one for that matter...
I started writing this just after Quarantine aired, and then completely forgot it existed until the other day when I was reading The Journal by DevineM and there was a little bit about Rodney and Katie and I was like 'oh yeeeeah…' So here it is. I hope you like it.
I'd like to state for the record that I love Back to the Future.
SPOILERS for Quarantine, and for Back to the Future, I guess…
Team Movie Night
The door to Rodney's quarters slid open and he stepped inside. The lights came on and he caught sight of himself in the mirror – he looked shell-shocked. Sad. Rodney scowled and turned the lights back off. He had no right to be sad – he had brought this on himself. His stupid indecision and fear of commitment had just cost him the longest and healthiest relationship of his life, and not only that – she had left.
She had actually left. He really hadn't expected that.
Rodney flopped down onto his bed and lay on his back, staring at the dark ceiling. Katie had been conducting important research and had loved her job, but she had packed up and gone back to Earth. He had hurt her that much.
"You're… you're leaving? Really?"
"Yes, I'm leaving. Tomorrow." Katie's eyes were sad but resolute, and she met Rodney's gaze unflinchingly. Rodney was the one who looked away, staring down at the steel table-top as he tapped his knuckles against it nervously.
"I didn't mean to – I can't believe you're leaving," he said quietly.
Katie sighed. "I miss Earth," she said. "I have for a long time. I love Atlantis and I'm glad I came here, but it's not the place for me anymore."
Rodney looked up then, and felt the sadness bloom inside him. He wanted her to stay, but knew he had no right to ask her to. And he shouldn't anyway. He didn't want to restart his relationship with Katie – somehow it wasn't right between them. But he also didn't want her to not be a part of his life in any way.
"Will… will you stay in touch?" He asked nervously.
Katie gave him a small smile. "I'll try," she said.
"I'm so sorry."
Katie nodded. "I know. So am I."
She had left the next morning – less than twelve hours ago – and Rodney had thought of nothing else all day. He had been trying to take his mind off of it, throwing himself into his work, but the city had been annoyingly functional all day and there'd been no fires for him to put out. He'd tried to work on his research but hadn't been able to concentrate properly. He'd been short with anyone that spoke to him – even more so than usual – and just plain frustrated by everyone he'd come into contact with. Everyone on Atlantis was disgustingly cheerful, and so Rodney had tried to avoid everyone. He had had plans for lunch with Sheppard but had cancelled, pretending there was an experiment he was overseeing. He'd barely been able to force down a sandwich in his lab, and now it was dinnertime and the thought of eating was nauseating.
Rodney wondered if there was something seriously wrong with him, but then decided if there was he deserved that too. He lay completely still as his room got darker and darker, hoping that he'd maybe fall asleep and escape his miserable thoughts. An hour produced no such effect.
Suddenly, Rodney's door chimes sounded. He lifted his head off his pillow and peered through the darkness at the door, debating whether or not to go and answer it. The thought of company was not appealing, and so he dropped his head back down and resolved to ignore it.
The chimes sounded again and this time Rodney heard Sheppard's voice calling over the top. "I know you're in there McKay – open up!"
Rodney groaned. Great. A visit from Sheppard was all he needed right now.
Rolling his eyes, Rodney swung his legs out of bed and strode over to his door. His glare was firmly in place before the door was open, but his 'what do you want?' died on his lips when he saw that it wasn't only Sheppard standing in his doorway. Ronon and Teyla were with him as well, both with an impressive amount of junk food in their arms. Sheppard was holding a cardboard box, and Rodney could see the tops of various bottles sticking out of it.
Sheppard smiled brightly as Rodney gaped. "'Bout time McKay, you know how heavy this stuff is?" And without waiting for an answer he shouldered his way past Rodney and into his quarters.
"What do – ?" Rodney began indignantly as Ronon also pushed past him. Teyla gave Rodney a small smile as she took a step towards him, and he stepped aside to let her in as well, though he wasn't happy about it. The doors slid shut and Rodney turned to look at the intruders, turning on the lights as he did so. Teyla placed the food she'd been holding on his coffee table and went to take a seat on his sofa. Ronon had dumped his food half on the table and half on the floor, and was already sitting on the carpet tearing open a huge bag of crisps. Sheppard was standing by Rodney's desk, where he'd placed the box he'd been carrying next to Rodney's laptop, and was busily taking out various bottles of alcohol and soft drinks, napkins and plastic cups.
Sheppard started to turn on the laptop and Rodney finally found his voice. "Okay, what the hell is going on?" He demanded.
Three pairs of eyes turned on him, all blinking innocently. "What do you mean, Rodney?" Teyla asked, her voice matching her eyes. Rodney narrowed his eyes suspiciously, not believing her tone or her eyes one iota.
"I mean what is all this?" Rodney said, waving his hand at all the food littering his room.
"Food," answered Ronon simply. Rodney glared at him, and could have sworn the Satedan looked like he was going to laugh.
"This," Sheppard said, cutting in before Rodney could respond to Ronon, "is Team Movie Night."
Rodney stared at Sheppard. "What? Since when do we have a Team Movie Night?" He asked.
Sheppard smirked. "Since today."
Rodney rolled his eyes. "Look, I'm really not in the mood for this…"
"Well tough luck, buddy, because Team Movie Night is mandatory," said Sheppard, turning back to Rodney's laptop.
Rodney ran a hand through his hair and cast around for the right thing to say. Sheppard was in one of his weird moods, and it was next to useless talking to him when he was like this. And it looked like Ronon and Teyla were perfectly happy with his little scheme as well, judging by their smug smiles.
Rodney shook his head. "I'm not doing this," he said firmly. "Just get out. Now."
Sheppard looked back at him, his smirk gone. "You want us to go?" He asked. He sounded hurt, though Rodney knew he was just faking it. He glared at him.
"After we brought all this food up here?" Sheppard persisted. "You know, Teyla shouldn't be doing any heavy lifting and she walked all the way here carrying all that popcorn…"
Rodney heard Ronon snigger and saw that Teyla was struggling to hide a smile, and begrudgingly allowed that Sheppard was at least pretty good at keeping a straight face. But he was so through playing with this now.
"I –" He began, but Sheppard cut him off.
"We're staying Rodney," he said firmly. "So are you. So just sit down and eat some chips."
Rodney glared at Sheppard in silence for a moment and then looked over at the sofa. Teyla gave him a smile and patted the space beside her, and Ronon raised his eyebrows expectantly. Rodney turned his glare on Sheppard one last time and then walked over to the sofa. He stepped over Ronon's legs and sat down, grumbling under his breath the entire way.
"Right," said Sheppard, turning back to the desk, "I'll put the movie on and then we can sort out drinks."
Rodney rolled his eyes. "What are we watching?" He asked sulkily.
Sheppard just grinned at him over his shoulder and took a DVD out of the cardboard box. As soon as Rodney noticed the case he started to stand up again. "Oh no way!" He said loudly. He fully intended to walk out of his quarters, but Teyla pulled on his arm and Ronon pushed his stomach and he fell back down onto the sofa.
Sheppard chuckled. "Nicely done," he said to them, before lifting his eyes to meet Rodney. "I told them you'd try to escape."
Rodney's glare became, if possible, even darker. "I am not watching Back to the Future!" He declared.
Sheppard shrugged and put the DVD into the laptop. "Well, we are, and you're in here, so…" he said in a maddeningly cheerful voice.
"This movie is ridiculous!" Rodney said as the DVD menu came up and Sheppard pressed play. "Who builds a time machine out of a car?"
"The Ancients built one out of a Puddlejumper, and they're the same thing to them," said Sheppard, throwing cups and napkins to Ronon before walking over to the table holding several bottles under each arm.
Rodney snorted derisively. "Oh please," he said. "Those were the Ancients! You expect me to believe that a scientist in the fifties has a dream about what a flux capacitor would look like and then spends thirty years building a time machine out of a delorean?"
"Hey, some of us haven't seen the movie," said Ronon reproachfully.
"You're not missing anything," said Rodney.
"Don't listen to him, it's a great movie," Sheppard said. He sat down on the floor in front of Teyla, and placed the bottles on the carpet in front of him.
"It's started," said Teyla mildly. Rodney looked at the screen – Marty was plugging his guitar into the giant amplifier. He rolled his eyes again.
"Here you go McKay." Rodney looked down and saw that Sheppard was holding out a cup towards him, filled with an amber liquid.
"What is it?" Rodney asked.
"Doesn't matter – just drink it," said Sheppard.
Rodney thought about arguing, but then considered that getting drunk might be a smart thing to do this evening. Especially since he was being made to sit through the most scientifically unsound movie ever made.
He took the drink.
Sheppard nodded and went back to pouring drinks out. He poured the same for Ronon and himself, and then a fruit juice for Teyla, who took it with a gracious smile.
Marty ran out of Doc Brown's house and Power of Love started to play.
"This movie has an awesome soundtrack," said Sheppard.
Rodney snorted. "Are you kidding me?" He retorted. "Huey Lewis?"
Sheppard looked round at him. "What's wrong with Huey Lewis?" He asked indignantly. "Listen to the lyrics – 'You don't need money, don't take fame, don't need a credit card to ride this train'."
Rodney shook his head slowly, but Sheppard kept singing. "'It's strong and it's sudden, and it's cruel sometimes, but it might just save your life – that's the power of love'… pure poetry."
Teyla chuckled next to him while Rodney shook his head again. He knocked back his drink and then gasped at the sting of the alcohol burning its way down his throat. He expected Sheppard or Ronon to comment on his reaction, but Sheppard just refilled his cup and went back to commenting on how great Back to the Future was.
Teyla tried to reach for the popcorn packets on the table, but found it difficult to do so, being so big. Rodney handed her one of the packets while Sheppard and Ronon laughed at her, and she kicked Sheppard in the back in retaliation. Rodney watched the exchange and couldn't help a small smile as Sheppard rolled round on the floor, completely exaggerating how hard she had kicked him. Ronon started throwing bits of popcorn in the air and catching it in his mouth, and Teyla ate her way through a packet of popcorn and two packets of chips within about ten minutes. Rodney claimed one of the bags of chips as his own, alarmed by her appetite.
He was quiet at first, still annoyed at his team's invasion of his quarters, but there was only so much of Back to the Future that Rodney could watch without commenting on it. When Marty went to find Doc Brown in the past and the scientist started talking about his dream, he couldn't help complaining about the plot point. The movie wasn't exactly what one would call believable anyway, but Rodney had always felt that if Doc Brown hadn't dreamt of the flux capacitor it would have a little more credibility.
He should have known better to voice his opinion though – it was as though Sheppard had been waiting for him to criticise the movie, and the debate that followed lasted almost the entire film. Sheppard kept topping up his drink whenever it needed it, and after a while Rodney started to slur.
"…and all that complete nonshenssh about 1.21 gigawattssh of energy – not only is that just ridiculoussh, but the idea that a lightning shtrike would generate exshactly that amount of energy and not fry the car ish just –"
Rodney blinked. "What – you shtarted this!" He said indignantly.
Sheppard shrugged. "Whatever – Marty's about to sing Johnny Be Good," he said.
Rodney groaned. "This bit is so shtupid," he grumbled.
"Blasphemy!" Gasped Sheppard, and he threw a cookie at Rodney, which hit him square on the nose. Teyla chuckled, retrieved the cookie from Rodney's lap, and ate it.
Rodney gaped at Sheppard, but he had already turned round to focus on the movie again. He looked round at Teyla, who was chewing the cookie that had been flung at him, and was also watching as Marty McFly pranced across the stage playing the guitar. Ronon was stretched out on his back, his head propped up on a pillow stolen from Rodney's bed. Rodney didn't see why he needed to ruin his pillow when he had so much hair, but when he'd said this out loud Ronon had just ignored him. Well, he'd whacked him with the pillow. Then he'd ignored him.
Johnny Be Good continued, John swaying his head and mouthing along, air-guitaring at appropriate moments, making Teyla and Ronon chuckle. Rodney kept pulling faces at the sheer lameness of it all, but none of them were paying him any attention.
First they invaded his quarters. Then they made him watch one of the worst films ever made. They abused him, both physically and mentally. And now they were completely ignoring him.
Rodney scowled and downed his drink. Since Sheppard was so engrossed with the musical stylings of Marty McFly, he poured himself another one and then slumped back in his seat, staring at the laptop screen under heavy eyelids.
Stupid Team Movie Night.
Teyla wasn't surprised when Rodney's head lolled onto her shoulder – he had been getting increasingly sleepy in the last few minutes. She stretched out a leg and nudged John in the back.
John stopped singing and looked over his shoulder at her. His eyes fell on Rodney and he rolled his eyes. "Finally," he said quietly. He scrambled to his feet.
Ronon lifted his head when John stood up, and sat up when he saw Rodney was asleep. John walked over to Rodney's laptop and turned off the movie, and Ronon stood up and walked over to the sofa, where Teyla was very gently lifting Rodney's head from her shoulder.
"Let's get him into bed," said John to Ronon, who nodded and seized Rodney under the arms. John grabbed his legs and they lifted him. Rodney snorted but didn't wake up, and they made quick work of carrying him across the room and placing him on his bed. Teyla retrieved his pillow from the floor and placed it carefully under Rodney's head, and John removed his boots. Ronon covered him with his quilt and the three of them stood back, watching their sleeping teammate for a moment.
Eventually John nodded to the sofa, and they all walked over there and started to put everything they'd brought with them back in the empty box.
"I think that went pretty well," said John quietly as he removed the DVD from the laptop and shut it.
"I don't get why you chose Back to the Future," said Ronon. "He hates that movie, and the point of this was to cheer him up."
John shrugged. "You know Rodney – he's always happiest when he's complaining," he said, glancing over at the bed again. "I think it kept his mind off it, anyway."
"I think you are right," said Teyla softly. "And at least he ate something, even if it was just chips and cookies."
"Exactly," agreed John. He picked up the box and the three of them left Rodney's quarters, turning off the lights behind them.
"We are gonna watch the rest of it, right?" Said Ronon as the doors closed. "I wanna see him get back to the future."
John grinned. "Sure," he said. "We'll watch it in my quarters though. I've got the second and third parts in there too."
"There are three movies?" Said Ronon incredulously.
"Yeah," said John, turning to face him and Teyla. "You in?"
Ronon and Teyla glanced at each other, and then both nodded at John.
"We will need more chips," said Teyla.