Title: 5 Times Jeannie was Jealous or The McKay Guide to Family: You Might as Well Panic
Rating: T – cause I use a few bad words
Spoilers: Lots for "The Shrine" and a few for "Miller's Crossing"
Disclaimer: I don't own the wondrous SGA. (But I wish I did; if I did, it would never be cancelled. MGM bastards…) I also don't own The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. (and I suppose I'm being canon by referencing it. :D) anything else that is recognizable (but that I totally forgot to mention) also don't belong to me.
A/N: SO: the Shrine totally and completely inspired me. I literally started 5 fics the same night it came on. But, I didn't start them until midnight, so I was too tired to finish them. Then my laptop TOTALLY flipped out. (no joke, I got The Blue Screen of Death and everything…) luckily I save my fics to jump drives for that very same reason (because I tend to break computers somehow; seriously, it's like magic… or a curse) but I now can only work on them in the wee hours of the morning on me mum's lappy. Which is why I'm posting this at seven in the morning, when I've had NO SLEEP. Sigh… This little baby was NOT meant to be this long, by the grace of god! It was gonna be small and drabble-y. then it ended up being 10 pages. :P so… enjoy it! And if ya like it, you might wanna keep an eye out, I've got four more of these babies waiting to be hatched. Also, some of the lines are supposed to be taken from the episode it's self but I don't remember it word for word, and I can't turn the TV and watch the recording or I'll wake the dragon known as my mother. ;) so sorry if they're off... again: enjoy!
5 Times Jeannie was Jealous
The McKay Guide to Family: You Might as Well Panic
5 Times Jeannie was Jealous
"The Family - That dear octopus from whose tentacles we never quite escape, nor,
in our inmost hearts, ever quite wish to."
Jeannie had never been jealous about her brother before. She had never had to compete for any affection from him (not that he gave any). Not once in her life had she had the urge to be possessive about Meredith Rodney McKay.
And then she came to the Pegasus Galaxy and met John Sheppard.
In all her years as a little sister, she's never had to compete for that unconditional sibling love; that presence that is just there from birth. And now, here, in this goddamn Pegasus Galaxy, 5 times over she'd been so jealous for her brother's love that she had wanted to wring someone's neck. (Preferably someone with a lazy grin, crazy hair, and with the words 'Lieutenant Colonel' before their name.)
It first struck her when she watched that video. Being beamed onto an alien planet in a different galaxy in true Star Trek fashion, and being greeted by two aliens (that served as teammates and good friends to her own brother) had somehow not been nearly as shocking as that video.
It wasn't the words so much (at least, in the beginning it hadn't.) that got to her; it was the eyes. That glint in his eyes that was so full of pain. Pain, Jeannie was sure, Mer didn't know the cause of. He probably couldn't even remember why forgetting everything was so hurtful for him. Knowledge was what he lived for. Everything Mer had known, learned, and discovered was so very important to him. And now it was gone.
Then he started calling for John.
Where's John? Where's John? Where's John?
Over and over again.
John. John! JOHN!
Every time those four letters came out of his mouth it drove that pang of jealousy even deeper into her soul. She was ashamed of herself. The friendship they shared was special, and it was something Meredith had never had the benefit of experiencing, but she couldn't hold it inside herself as she turned accusing eyes on Sheppard.
She can see hurt, guilt, and sorrow pass through his eyes before he covers them with a polite layer of apology. She barely hears the words being spoken over the rushing of envy in her ears.
That is until she watches an unparalleled sorrow on Sheppard's face, in his eyes, even in his easy-going posture (that isn't so easy-going anymore), and she hears Woolsey mention her brother's untimely demise.
And later, when she watches the rest of that video; when she see's that naked worry and fear in John's expression as he bolts into the room (obviously just coming out of the shower) the pangs of guilt and jealousy are only worsened as she listens to the soft crooning of the older man comforting the younger, and watches him clutch the lost Meredith in an embrace that was sure to embarrass both of them at any other time.
The second time that rush of envy fills her, is after she's had her talk with Ronon. He had taken her into the cafeteria to tell her about this 'shrine', and she plans to confront Dr. Keller about it after she visits Meredith again. She contemplates telling him about this place, but decides he won't remember it anyway.
But, when she approaches the door, there is a marine posted outside.
"I'm sorry ma'am," Ma'am? I'm only 31. "No one's allowed in the room at this time."
Glaring up at the marine in a true McKay fashion, she uses her best Rodney based You're-Dumb,-Listen-To-What-I-Say-Or-Die-Painfully voice to intimidate him, "That's my brother in there."
"I know, ma'am, but I have strict orders not to let anyone in. I'm sorry."
"Orders? From who?" her tone is rude, she knows, but she can't help it. She'll come by and apologize later.
"I'm sorry, ma'am, can't tell you that either."
"Oh, well, thanks. A lot of good you are. You know what? Can I get your phone number? I'm thinking of hosting a party soon, and I need a bouncer, and since that seems to be the only thing your meager brain can handle, maybe I can give you a ring, hmm?" yeah, definitely gotta swing by later.
But the guard is unaffected, only smiling bemusedly down at her. (He must spend a lot of time around Mer.) She walks away in a huff, already knowing where she will be going next.
Sneaking into the observation room, (even though there's no guard here) she's not sure why she's doing it. Obviously there was some reason she wasn't able to see her own brother. There can't have been an emergency, she would have been contacted, and if not Ronon would have.
Really one of the last things she expected to see was John sitting next to him comfortably, talking about nothing important. John spoke about this and that (hot nurse, gross food), but with the look on Meredith's face, you'd think he was explaining the meaning of life.
"…so I was telling her about that time on P4X-783, and by the time I was half-way through, she was practically drooling all over me. I bet I could get you a pity date with one of her friends…"
It's a joke she's sure, at any other time, would have elicited a sarcastic remark and a friendly rebuke. Now it resulted in a twitch of the hand, as if he was restraining himself. No sarcasm followed the remark, only a soft "P4X-783?"
"Yeah," John continues, hardly any pause to show that the lack of reaction had thrown him, "quaint little planet, or so we thought. It was me, you, Teyla, and Ronon, and we were there to trade for some food, ya know, regular mission…"
From the tone he's using, she can tell it's the same one he used to seduce the nurse. It's enticing, and lovely, and entirely charming. He could talk you into walking off a cliff with that voice. She's not sure what he's trying to get Mer to do, but it makes her pull up a chair, in the shadows of the observation room, for hours, listening in on their stories, memories, and everything private that neither of the men would ever want her or anyone else to know.
She's sure John has also noticed the way Meredith keeps calling him 'John' as much as possible. It makes things sound oddly formal, and contrasts with the way Sheppard keeps using "Buddy" and "Pal". Both of them know it's his way of making sure he remembers John.
But he doesn't need to repeat it to know it. It's something ingrained into his soul now. That sibling love that Jeannie shared with him, but deeper, so much deeper then that. Somehow in their 5 years together they'd become more siblings than she had in all 31 of hers.
Jealousy comes back with that thought. Worse, twice over, and so much more painful now. Now that she can see all that Meredith (Rodney; this is Rodney, not Meredith anymore…) feels. That trust, faith, devotion, and most of all: love, all directed at one person, it shouldn't even be possible. But somehow, if anyone would be able to trust whole-heartedly and with no shadow of a doubt, it would be Mer. (Rodney…)
But the fact that that sibling trust is lost on her stings more than anything else.
It even stings more than her eyes do when she watches the way John pets down Rodney's wild hair, once he's fallen asleep; the way he pulls the blanket up to his shoulders; or the way his eyes are shining (the way she's sure her's are too); or the way those eyes are reflecting that same love and loyalty and devotion as Rodney's.
The third time her chest aches with the horrible weight of jealousy is hours later. She's resigned herself to seeing her brother again, more out of obligation than any sense of necessity. (Because really: she'd give anything to be anywhere other than here.) The marine from earlier is much more lenient in letting her in, now that there are no heart-to-hearts that involve his CO going on.
Rodney sits quietly in his chair (something so completely out-of-character, it puts her into an entirely new level of concern.) looking aimlessly at walls. It's almost as if he hasn't noticed her at first, but she knows that isn't true. Mer always had acute senses, somehow wired onto an uncanny level of paranoia. (Which always made sneaking up on him difficult.) She can tell by the way he twitches his right hand in her direction that he's entirely too aware of her presence. She's not sure why the thought the he was ignoring her stings so much, but it does. Nearly as much as the guilt and the jealousy that had been piled up on her lately.
"Hey, Mer." The smile she's pasted on her face (for who's benefit, she'll never know) makes her glad he hasn't turned to look at her. She's pretty sure that even in this state, Meredith would be ranting and raving about how horrible she was at bedside manner. "How ya feelin'?"
The question seems too Sheppard-ian to her, but it manages to finally get his attention. He turns his head to her, and the complete lack of recognition in his eyes as he gives her a once over makes her eyes sting and her heart hurt in an all new way.
"Who are you?" the question comes out in a struggled way, as if Rodney was just too damn stubborn (even now, in this condition) to admit that he doesn't know something.
She's struck silent for a minute. She frets about the thought that his memory lapse has advanced so badly in such a short amount of time before she realizes that it hasn't really gotten any worse. She realizes now that when Keller was 'preparing' Rodney, she had really been feeding him necessary information for the impending conversation. So even now, when she had taken the Red Eye to a completely different galaxy (and was missing her daughter's ballet recital for it), she was still being shielded from what was really going on? Did that make any sense? It may have been first class, but that doesn't mean the jet lag isn't a bitch; and with the time zone issues, she thinks she at least deserves some of the action. (Even though she really, truly doesn't want it, and anything they're doing to make this go away is completely and utterly appreciated and encouraged.)
"My name's Jeannie," it comes out as a hoarse imitation of a normal human beings voice, but she swallows and presses on, "and I'm your little sister." The smile she's pasted on now is even worse than the one before it. She's pretty sure the sight of it can make a person go blind.
But Rodney only furrows his eyebrows and frowns some, trying to work out the complexities of this whole 'sister' thing.
"You're my sister…" he repeats quietly. The slow halting way he says it, and the childish tone make her hurt even more.
"Yeah. And… Do you know who you are?" she's not sure why she asks, but she just really needs to know. Maybe she'll feel better if he can't remember himself too. (Maybe she won't feel like the horrible sibling she'd accused Meredith of being only a few years earlier. But really, how horrible can a guy be if he's saving the galaxy (two of them, mind you) and thus you and your family too?)
"I'm…" he pauses, and the look on his face makes her feel guilty (again…) for making him suffer through the experience of not knowing who you are. She can't imagine that sort of confusion, and it must be a thousand times worse for Meredith: a man with such a large ego and awareness of self that she's pretty sure it could power Atlantis for more than 10,000 years if it could be manufactured into a power source.
"I'm…" the look gets worse. He takes a deep breath and swallows before he says again "I am…"
this time his voice is more strained, and she's pretty sure he's gonna pop a vein.
She moves forward slightly to put a hand on his shoulder, but he pulls away, just a flinch, but enough for her to know she shouldn't touch him. She opens her mouth to talk, but right then the entrance to the isolation room (where he's been permanently station, "to avoid all the traffic of visitors in the infirmary" she's been told; the thought makes her laugh before the implications really settle in.) slides open with that whisk of air that sounds almost as if the city itself is sighing. The thought, in all its Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy glory, had brought a smile to her face on her first arrival to Atlantis and a long conversation between John and Meredith about the similarities between the Wraith and the Vogon.
Both McKay's (present and former) look over at the sound, and neither are surprised to find one Lieutenant Colonel with two trays of food enter the room.
"John." Rodney greets him immediately. (And this is most definitely Rodney.) No pause for thought, or hesitancy; Just straight, simple, and faithfully 'John'
When he responds with a customary "Hey, Buddy," and a heart-warming smile at both of them, it does little more than intensify the pang of jealousy.
It really isn't right; it's not like she's the only one that's been forgotten. But she's family, damn it, real, honest to God, flesh and blood family! Shouldn't she be the one he remembers on his death bed? Or at least Madison.
But no, instead the only thing he can truly remember is the Captain Kirk impersonator that greets him with a bowl of blue jell-o and a cup of chocolate milk. (A mixture of the worst kind, but a mixture she's sure neither has often enough; and Rodney doesn't complain, so long as the only familiar thing in this galaxy, let alone this room, is offering to stay. Hell, he'd probably eat a lemon for that.)
When Rodney struggles with her name again, she politely excuses herself from the room, and heads for the door, but it doesn't stop her from over hearing the whispered conversation behind her.
"John, I think I upset her."
"It's okay, buddy, don't you worry about it. I'm sure she'll be fine."
"She's important, isn't she?" it's not really a question, more a confirmation.
"More important than anything, Rodney. She's your family."
There's a pause, and right before the door sigh's shut behind her, she hears Rodney's reply:
"You're important too. Your family too." And this time it's most definitely not a question.
The door blocks John's reply, and she's not sure if she's grateful for that or not.
Because he was. Really and truly, John had become Rodney's family; one that was as strong, if not stronger than their 'flesh and blood' one.
She was ashamed that the tear of jealousy had become so familiar.
The next time jealousy invaded her senses was mercifully much later. (But still much sooner than she would prefer) Arriving at that shrine had given her some hope. If there really, truly was a place here, who's to say whether it works or not?
Rodney had forgone the assistance of both herself and Keller, with a simple, quiet, and completely lost "John?" that really shouldn't have been audible to anyone without super hearing. But, an instant later, there John is, standing next to him, his hand rested comfortably on the same shoulder she had tried to console hours earlier, and not even a blink accompanies its presence. She tries to ignore the ever present pang in her chest and stomach, instead concentrating on helping Keller into her backpack as John guides Rodney out of the 'jumper by the elbow.
The entire walk there, Rodney stays glued to John's side, and she's sure no force on any world could separate those two. When they reach the cave, everyone's too enthralled by the prospect of getting Rodney back (of getting Meredith back too.) to notice a cringing astrophysicist.
"I wanna leave." And comments of the like echo through the cave, and before I can even turn, I can hear John talking to Rodney.
"Hey look, Rodney, look at the waterfalls, aren't they cool?" His voice is winded and desperate, and at any other time she's sure it would have earned a lecture and a murderous glare, but somewhere along the lines Sheppard has resorted to treating Rodney more and more like a child, and that worries Jeannie more than anything.
John's distraction is rejected with a sound rebuttal, and too soon (after getting too close to that goddamn shrine.) cries of pain are echoing throughout the cave. Even racing to his side, John is there (still standing sentry next to him) before she can manage to get close. Rodney is leaning heavily on him, and even in the throes of immense pain (a goddamn creature was moving around in his head, for Christ's sakes) he flinches away from her, further into John's grasp. Jeannie again stops herself just before making contact with him. But the jealousy doesn't last long; soon enough Meredith (and this time it truly is Meredith, but, she realizes, it's Rodney too.) is standing on his own lecturing everyone about things he doesn't approve of. (She wonders if it would be faster if he would just list the things he thinks they did do right; and she's know it would be, but there's no chance in hell of her making him stop talking now, it's not just because her eyes are shinging either, but more because of those damn hazel ones that seem to have taken up guard next to the familiar blue ones that are now familiar again after so long.)
And when (too soon again) Keller is declaring that they do brain surgery, right here, right now, she again wishes she could tell her brother to just shut the hell up when he pulls her to the side.
"Jeannie," he starts. And she recognizes that tone. It's the tone he used when he was in high school, when he would ditch classes then ask her to pick up the phone when the school called about his 'unverified absence' so their parents wouldn't know (not that they would have paid much attention anyways); it was that tone he had used when he was going off to college and had asked her to give their parents the classic 'I'm running away from home' note (except that it wasn't classic in anyway, and he had come back every two weeks to make sure that Jeannie was doing okay.); it was the tone he had used when he had asked her to stop crying at their father's funeral; it was his 'I need a favor, and you're probably not going to like it' tone. She hated that tone.
"I know that…" he trails off, and she doesn't have to follow his gaze to know he's looking at Sheppard, who stands only a few feet away. He seems to steel himself and looks back at her, straightening his shoulders and raising his chin. "I know that Sheppard will want to be in on the surgery, but… you can't let him. You can't Jeannie."
That's it. Just, 'you can't let him do that'. Like it would be that simple.
"Do whatever you have to, but just, don't let him do that to himself."
Self-sacrificing had never been a term she would use to describe her brother. (After all, even when he would visit on the weekends in his college days, it was only really when he had no homework, needed his clothes washed, or needed food that wasn't made of starch and powdered milk. The TV dinners they lived off of seemed more appetizing apparently.) But lately, (as in the last few years) the 'altruistic streak' Rodney is so fond of criticizing in the Colonel (seriously, not an e-mail goes by…) has spread to Rodney, infecting him and altering him, changing him to the whims of Rodney's own heart.
It was disconcerting really.
"I don't know how I can stop him if he tries, Mer." She almost slips up; almost calls him 'Rodney'. And that would just be wrong. Because Rodney isn't her brother, Rodney is theirbrother; his brother.
"Just… try." That desperate look in his eye, the one that says he'd give his life for this (the one she'd never really seen before the incident with the nanites) has her agreeing in a breathless voice with a simple "okay."
The pain of jealousy at her brother's protectiveness is not what stops her from being able to keep Sheppard away from that surgery.
It's the protectiveness that radiates from Sheppard's very being that has her trailing off before she has even finished her protest to his presence; It's that twinkle of betrayal that starts in his eye, and the determined set of his jaw; but most of all it's the tan hand of a Colonel wrapped firmly around the paler one of her unconscious older brother that really makes her realize she has no say in it.
And the pang of jealousy is only over powered by the sting of her eyes as she listens to the crude power tools cut into the mind of her brother.
The last time she feels jealousy is minutes before she's to be beamed to the Deadulus.
She'd spent her entire last day by Rodney's side. It had been three days since he had woken in the infirmary next to her. (And the imminent "Where's Sheppard?" hadn't come long after his awakening.) He had been released to light duty, and set free to roam Atlantis.
Sheppard, of course, had set up a similar shadow act. Along with him was Teyla, Ronon, and even at times, Radek, but Sheppard was the one that didn't leave his side. They ate together, worked together (on entirely different things), hell, she's pretty sure they went to the bathroom at the same time. (Which is both amusing and disturbing.)
So when it was just an hour's time before Jeannie was scheduled to be "Beam me up, Scotty"-ed, it was a surprise that the Colonel abruptly got up and left the room. She had initially thought it was to give them 'quality sibling time', but when she took a seat in his previously occupied stool and turned on his laptop (she just wanted to play Minesweeper, really, absolutely no snooping.) she happened to glance at an e-mail from one "JKeller" asking him to meet her in the observation room above the isolation room.
It ended with a cryptic:
It's about Rodney, Colonel. There's something I think you should see.
Jeannie was practically running there herself. The words were just as terrifying as they would be, had they been spoken, but the thought that it hadn't been serious enough to warrant an immediate verbal warning calmed her a little.
She also excused herself from Meredith's (because he was Meredith now too.) company, only minutes after John did, and she's sure he suspects something, but she doesn't really care.
She manages to sneak into the observation room right as Jennifer is leaving, so John doesn't notice her leaving. She's greatly ashamed of herself for spying on something that could be a personal moment for Sheppard, but it passes with the that that she deserved to know just as much as the next guy.
She stays in the shadows of the room, half hidden behind a pillar, and is struck by the similarity of what she was doing only a number of hours earlier. She really has become disgraceful these last few days.
She watches as John stares at a still frame of her brother on a monitor. He sits perfectly still for a minute before he pulls his hand up and clicks something and her brother is set into his constant motion.
She can barely read the date, but it is clearly before Mer had become too badly affected. He speaks coherently, even though he's far too jovial to be himself. He simply smiles at the camera for a minute (with his usual twitches of course) and Jeannie assumes Keller isn't recording this video. Then Rodney begins speaking, that same smile on his face, not plastered on, but normal; happy:
"Hi, John. I, uh… I'm not exactly sure what to say. In my other video I made quite a scene. Told Keller I loved her. Ya shoulda seen her face… guess that was kinda sudden, huh?" He looks sheepish, but in no way remorseful. He still has a smirk on his face, and Jeannie can see Sheppard's cheeks rise, and his eyes squint with a smile of his own.
"So I guess I should say something profound. Not really much to say that you don't already know though. I'm assuming you still remember how I wanted my funeral arrangements to go from that whole 'Ascension Machine' incident." Jeannie is suddenly very interested in a story she hadn't heard tale of yet, and at the same time, never ever wants to hear about it. "And I swear that if you get it wrong I'll haunt you for the rest of your life.
"It really sucks. To lose your memory, that is. It's easy to notice the big stuff. Like my name. Who'd have thought I wouldn't remember my own name, right?" he chuckles good-naturedly, and that set off alarm bells in her head. "But really, it's the little things that drive me crazy. Yesterday, I couldn't remember if you preferred blue or orange jell-o, and I nearly ripped out my own hair. It's weird, you know? Things I hadn't realized I even knew, let alone would miss, are what's really bothering me. What kind of person am I that I can't remember my best friend's birthday, but I can remember every equation involving tangents, cosines, sines, cotangents, and any other co-'s or –gent's you can think of?" he sighs deeply.
"I know you didn't want to say good-bye, but I can't leave you without saying something. You… You are… important to me. Extremely. And, I know how that sounds, and you're probably looking for a way to avoid watching this right now, just so you can avoid that, but… I do. I really do. I remember growing up, I… used to get picked on a lot. I remember wishing I had an older brother all the time. I thought it would be like the movies, you know? But… I never got one of course. Not until a few years ago…" he pauses again, and looks like he might bolt himself. But he takes a deep breath, and continues the video.
"So, I guess that inadvertently makes you Jeannie's brother too. And Madison's uncle. So, when I'm gone, you batter take care of them, you got that? Cause again: I will totally haunt you." Whatever bravado he had gathered seems to deflate with that, and he slouches in the chair he's seated on.
"You really are a great friend, Sheppard." He smiles genuinely at the camera.
"Well, I guess all that's left to say is Good-bye." He pauses again, then takes a deep breath:
"Good-bye, Sheppard. And thanks for all the fish." One final, lingering smile before he reaches up and turns the 'record' button off. The screen freezes in a still frame of movement.
Jeannie is left tearful and breathless. This is just one more thing to add to the list of Moments She Shouldn't Have Borne Witness To when it came to these two.
Sheppard sits still and unmoving for a long time. Taking long, deep breathes that only make the tremor of his shoulders more obvious. But, after what Jeannie feels is an eternity, he lifts his head and his right hand, lifting it to his head-set before reaching out on the channel, and well before he begins to speak she already knows who he's talking to.
"Hey, McKay, I'm pretty hungry, what say you?"
She can't hear the response, but by the radiant smile on John's face she assumes it involves Salisbury steak, blue jell-o and chocolate milk, and his incompetent science staff. All in under three minutes. Must be a record.
"Sounds like a plan, Rodney. I'll see you then." The wattage of the smile never fades as he turns of the monitor, hops off the stool, and saunters his way out of the observation room.
The pangs of jealousy don't fade as she makes her way out to say good-bye to all of the new friends, old friends, and acquaintances on Atlantis. Neither do they fade when she makes her way into the mess hall and finds Sheppard and Meredith seated at 'Their Table' with bowls of jell-o and cups of chocolate milk in front of them. They don't fade when she spends her weeks on the Deadulus talking with Hermiod and Novak about boosting hyperdrive efficiency. They don't even fade when she's standing in her living room holding her daughter to her tightly, while Kaleb's arms are wrapped just as tightly around the both of them
But the feeling that all is well and right in the world now that Meredith Rodney McKay was exactly where he was supposed to be (and who he was supposed to be, for that matter.) also didn't fade, so she thinks that in the grand scheme of things, that makes up for it.
Jeannie was nor meant to be whiny or bitch-y in anyway, so if she came across that way, terribly sorry. i really like Jeannie...
so anyways, i hope you enjoyed it! R&R please! love, love, love, love, love.
PS: go sign the Save SGA petition. it's on petition spot dot com somewhere.
KEEP THE GATE OPEN!