Title: Five Things Rodney Forgot - posted April 21, 2009
Author:  Lacey McBain
Fandom: Stargate Atlantis
Rating: PG.  Could be McKay/Sheppard pre-slash in parts.
Summary:  The title says it all.

Spoilers:  Spoilers through Season 5.6
Notes:  For

Five Things Rodney Forgot

1. Jennifer Keller

Rodney didn’t mean to, but there was a freaky space parasite in his brain and everything he knew, everything, was leaking out faster than he could plug the holes. Sure, he liked her, she was cute and she paid attention to his medical concerns, but when all was said and done, she was another Polaroid face with a name underneath, someone John coached him on when there were only shadows and quickly unraveling threads of memory.

When John was the only thing that remained.

2. Madison’s birthday

“She’s your only niece,” Jeannie yelled at him after a tense dinner with party hats and lemon cake.

“You tried to poison me with cake!”

“I can’t think of anyone who deserves it more!” Jeannie shouted back. “You forgot my daughter’s birthday, in spite of it being in your PDA, your laptop, and your cell phone. For God’s sake, Mer, I put a sticky note on your computer screen!”

“So that’s what that was about.”

Jeannie threw up her hands. “John phoned and wished her a happy birthday.”

“Of course he did. He’s just trying to show me up, you know.”


“Fine, fine. Tomorrow I’ll take her to the science museum and she can ride on the flight simulator as much as she wants.”

“And you'll apologize, and you’ll buy her a present.”

“Of course.”

“Anything she wants. Even if it’s pink and doesn’t have a battery.”

Rodney stuttered, but took one look at Jeannie’s face and decided acquiescence was his best option.

“It’ll be the best day-after-her-birthday she’s ever had,” Rodney promised, already preparing for how to convince Madison that a Wii was a much better option than a Barbie playhouse.

3. His name

He wishes he could forget that he’s a Meredith in a long, long line of Merediths. As if “Rodney” wasn’t enough of a handle for a pudgy too-smart kid to be saddled with, his parents and Jeannie had to insist on calling him by his given name—loudly and indiscriminately. As soon as he hit university and could actually do something about it, he faked his birth certificate and banished Meredith from his life forever. Meredith is dead. Long live Rodney.

4. How to defuse a nuclear bomb

“It’s the red wire,” John said, leaning over Rodney’s shoulder. “It’s always the red wire.”

“Yes, I’m sure that’s what the Popular Mechanics Guide to Bomb Defusing says, but it’s not that simple!”

“We’ve got less than two minutes.”

“I know how to tell time, Sheppard.”

“Then make the clock stop counting down, Rodney.”

“Okay, okay, shut up and let me think.” Rodney could feel the sweat pooling at the nape of his neck. It had really been too long since he’d done this. “The yellow wire’s a decoy, the blue wire’s to the timer, but it doesn’t actually connect to the detonator, the black wire’s another decoy, the green—”

“Rodney, just pick a wire and pull it, or it’s not going to matter anyway.”

He closed his fist around the red wire, felt Sheppard’s hand settle on his shoulder, and pulled.

5. The way to San Jose

“I thought you said you’d been here before.” John glared at Rodney, his lap full of GPS, map, travel guide, bottled water, a Power Bar wrapper, and no less than two cell phones.

“No, I said I’d been to the conference before. It changes location each year.” Rodney scrunched up the map and threw it out the window of their rental car.

“Seriously, I have no idea why I counted on you to find me in Pegasus. You’re crap with directions.” Sheppard shook his head and took the bottle of water from Rodney’s lap. The air conditioning had stopped half an hour out of L.A., and John wondered again why he’d let Rodney talk him into going with him to a conference of astrophysicists.

“Look, there’s a gas station. Pull in and ask for directions,” Rodney said, slapping John on the arm and pointing. The car rumbled to a stop in a cloud of dust, and John glared at Rodney through his aviator sunglasses and refused to get out of the car.

“Fine,” Rodney fumed. “I’ll do it.” He marched over to the gas jockey, and with as much dignity as he could muster with Sheppard laughing in the background, asked: “Excuse me. Do you know the way to San Jose?”


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