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Title: False Dichotomy
Author: esteefee
Pairing: John/Rodney
Categories: FT, cracky
Rating: R
Words: 2004
Summary: Rodney's brain is stolen, leading to some interesting philosophical, if crackish, questions.
A/N: to all my friends for their patience with my whining.

False Dichotomy

by esteefee

"There was a Star Trek episode about this, you realize," Rodney said from the speaker in the wall.

"And that turned out fine," John replied as reassuringly as he could, considering he was talking to the voice of Rodney's disembodied brain, and having just left Rodney's body behind in the jumper. This whole thing was pretty much pegging John's creep-o-meter.

"Of course, I've always known it would come to this," Rodney mused. "It is my finest feature after all. Naturally some situation was bound to arise where the painful reality could no longer be ignored."

"What the hell are you talking about, McKay? Hang on a sec." John shot the kneecaps out of two Acolytes coming at him and then picked up one of their stunners and used it to put them out of their misery. "Teyla, I think I'm getting closer. Just ran into some Acolytes. I'm on the third level down, north side."

"Copy that, John. Ronon and I are on our way."

John examined the stunner—it felt Ancient in design, which wasn't surprising—this complex was what had gotten Rodney's boxers in a twist when they'd first discovered it, which had led to this whole situation to begin with.

"I just mean, the whole mind/body dichotomy. It's so unbelievably puerile, but some people place undue emphasis on, well—and let's face it, gaming theory taught me early on to play to my strengths."

Gaming theory?

"Some people seem to have all the luck, is what I'm saying, a balance of looks and—but I hardly expected to have it shoved in my face so blatantly—"

"Hold that thought," John said, and ducked as another Acolyte appeared, this time holding one of those big-ass phaser cannons. The wall John was hiding behind exploded colorfully, and he rolled across the corridor, firing his P-90 along the way. There was a satisfying yelp of pain and the shooting stopped. John snaked his arm around the wall and fired off a couple of stun blasts, but there was no return fire. The stunner was out of juice, so he discarded it.

"You're clear, Sheppard," Rodney said.

"You can see?"

"Yes. I've rerouted the cameras in that section. There are three more Acolytes heading your way."

"Any of them have those cannons?"

"Laser pistols."


"For God's sake, be careful."

John rose to his feet and retrieved the cannon from the dead Acolyte. He spared a thought for regret, but then remembered these guys had stolen Rodney's brain.

Setting his jaw, he continued down the corridor.


"So, you're saying you'd feel better if they'd kidnapped all of you."

"Well, obviously I—"

"Because that's a little weird. I'm kind of glad they returned the rest of you. If they had your body, we'd have to protect that too. At least your body is safe in the cloaked jumper."

"Yes, yes. Ever the practical one. I'm thinking deep, philosophical thoughts here. Perhaps because I'm nothing but a disembodied consciousness."

John grunted.

"I just think it would be nice if, for a change, someone showed a tiny bit of appreciation for something other than my incredibly robust brain," Rodney said wistfully. "Someone I cared about, I mean—

John stopped at a T-junction and considered his options. "Actually, your brain could use some work."

"I beg your pardon?" Rodney said, his oddly metallic voice splitting into multiple tones.

"Just saying: your brain is what got your body into this mess." John grinned to himself as he stepped into the transporter. And there, on the map, was the image he was looking for: a central hub to this installation. "Going down, guys," John said into his radio. "There's a transporter at the end of the corridor that leads to the center of the complex." With his P-90 clipped to his vest and a laser pistol in his left hand, he placed his right palm on the map.


It got messy after that. If Ronon and Teyla hadn't shown up in the nick of time, the lead Acolyte, her robe blazing red, would have shot John in the heart with her laser pistol because he didn't want to risk firing at her and hitting Rodney's brain.

Instead, Ronon's blaster enveloped her from the side with a red glow and she fell to the floor.

Meanwhile. Teyla was doing cleanup on the last of the Acolytes who were trying to charge past John's hastily-erected barricade.

"Thanks, guys," John said, and turned toward Rodney's brain.

It pulsated strangely as Rodney said, "Yes, thank you very much. And for staying in one piece yourselves. Now can you please get me out of here?"

John scratched his head. "Or should we bring your body back here instead? And reacquaint you two?"

The light around Rodney's brain flickered while he thought about it, and then he said, "The transporter device is here, yes. You have to put my body in the cabinet over there, and then I'll activate the device. We'll have one shot at this; I won't be able to control things if my consciousness is not longer inhabiting this system."

"Teyla and I should go back for Rodney's body," Ronon said. "She's good at making him walk."

"What?" Rodney sounded insulted.

"He still kinda listens," Ronon said, shrugging.

Teyla was smiling slightly.

"And if he doesn't, I'll carry him," Ronon finished.

"And I'll stick around in case any wayward Acolytes get any ideas," John said, checking his clip.

Teyla and Ronon jogged out, leaving John to watch the pretty lights.

"So," John said after spending some time rebuilding his barricade, collecting all the weapons, and piling them beside him. "You owe me some serious quatloos, buddy."

"Ha-ha, oh, ha." Rodney pulsated purple for a moment. "What was that about my brain being substandard?"

"Just if I had to pick..." John left it open-ended, grinning to himself when Rodney's brain started blinking furiously.

"You'd pick?"

"Well, you said I had to." John leaned back against the smooth glass of Rodney's container. John couldn't see inside, but somewhere in there was a genius brain, cranky and cantankerous and one hundred percent unique. "I mean, your brain's okay, fun to be around, but I hear it's got the consistency of cottage cheese."

Rodney made a frustrated noise. Because of the machine, he sounded a little bit like a vacuum cleaner with a hairball. John's smile widened.

"So, not so much fun in the sack, I'm thinking."

Dead silence.

"Oh, hey, buddy—I think Ronon and Teyla are coming back."


The transfer was easy-peasy, just like Rodney had predicted. Teyla coaxed Rodney's body into the cabinet, nudging it to walk robotically into the narrow, closet-like space. It was creepy how its eyes were open but there was apparently nobody home at all, just Rodney's lizard brain and the little blinking device keeping him alive.

Then Rodney said, "Well, here goes nothing at all," and his glass container glowed pure blue, then white, and then went dark.

A moment later he was pounding on the door telling them to let him out; he had to take a piss.


Back in Atlantis, Elizabeth chewed them out for antagonizing a civilization that was relying on Ancient technology, even though John explained it was Rodney's skill at repairing the Ancient technology that didn't so much piss them off as make them covet the heck out of his Great Brain.

Eventually, they called a truce and John promised to write up a detailed AAR to satisfy the IOA. Rodney was getting multiple MRIs and CT-scans under Beckett's careful supervision the whole time, so the dirty dog didn't have to get yelled at once.

But later he showed up in the mess looking smug and definitely recovered from his out-of-body experience. Also, he insisted on a double-entrée and dessert.

"What? I missed lunch."

"How do you know?" Ronon said. "You weren't in your body."

Rodney looked momentarily boggled, but rallied fast. "My body can tell," he said.


"I realize the experience must have been very troubling," Teyla said, "but it was also so unusual. Did you find you learned anything from it?"

Rodney flicked John a glance under his lashes. "Maybe. I'm not really much of a deep thinker."

John nearly choked on his soda.

After dinner, John made the rounds, checking in with Lorne and Fukui. All clear and quiet, which was good after the day he'd had. John started to do his own patrol and was halfway to the East Tower before he admitted to himself he was stalling.

He headed back to his quarters instead. As soon as he swiped open the door, he knew Rodney was there waiting.

"What took you so long?" Rodney didn't look up from his laptop, where he was typing furiously. John had no idea how the guy could type and talk at the same time. John always ended up typing what he was saying when he tried to do that.

"The usual," John said, unstrapping his holster and setting it on his desk. He figured he might as well get comfortable, whatever Rodney had to say. The ball was in his court.

John kicked off his boots and sat next to Rodney on the bed.

"I don't suppose you really meant it—what you implied back in the complex." Rodney still hadn't looked up, but his fingers stilled on the keys. John supposed that was progress of a sort.

"I meant what I said."

"Well, that's...good. That's really quite...." A hopeful smile flickered across Rodney's lips, and John almost leaned closer, but then Rodney frowned. "But, if you had to choose—"

"What? Choose what?"

"Well, obviously we're back in one piece now, happy as one, but if you had to choose between the two, my mind and my body, as it were..."

"That is the weirdest question ever. How'm I supposed to—you're one person!"

"Yes, yes, I know! But you're missing the point!" Rodney stared at him earnestly.

John always knew if he ever got involved with Rodney it would take a little bit of finesse and probably a lot of patience, but here they were and right off the bat he was confused all out of his head. "Buddy, I can't even see the point from here. How am I supposed to pick between you?"

Rodney snapped his fingers. "Okay, okay—let's say I were my brain but in a different body, and someone else's brain had my body."

"Um." John felt a migraine coming on.

"Doesn't work for you?"

"Look. I don't care about someone else's body. You think I don't get offers? Because I get offers, pal."

Rodney rolled his eyes, but he was smiling a little, softly.

"And I like your brain. Your brain, in your body. That's the combo I'm going for. What I mean is, it's a two-fer. Okay? You and you, together. I don't know how else to—mmph." Okay, John had somehow, finally, said the right thing, because Rodney was kissing him, and that was all right, that was terrific. Rodney's mouth, Rodney's body pressing against him, Rodney's brain moving Rodney's tongue just right against his.

Rodney crushing John to his skinny little mattress, and Rodney humping John against said mattress like he could rock all of Atlantis with just the power of his hips.

"Fuck yeah," John said, grabbing a handful of Rodney's ass and grinding right back.

This was the body John wanted right against his, big and solid. And the brain he wanted, too—smart and smug and sometimes stupid as hell with his dumbass questions when all John wanted was this. This, right here—Rodney muttering sappy things in John's ear and shaking and coming in his pants while John held him and tried to finish getting off against his thigh.

"No really," Rodney said later just as John was falling asleep with his arm going numb under Rodney's heavy head. "What were you attracted to first? I mean, was it my mind? My ass? What would you say is my finest feature?"

And John would never, ever tell him, but it was his big, stupid heart.


That Star Trek Episode (Spock's Brain)

That Other Star Trek Episode (the one with the quatloos)

The Great Brain


( 59 comments — Leave a comment )
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Oct. 28th, 2012 09:04 am (UTC)
Awww - Rodney's big stupid heart!!

Oct. 28th, 2012 09:15 am (UTC)
aw, yeah. neither brain nor body, but don't tell Rodney. :D
Oct. 28th, 2012 09:37 am (UTC)
Luv it. Spock's Brain is a favorite of mine. I bet Rodney is secretly delighted to relive a classic trek episode, and to have such a coveted brain.
Oct. 28th, 2012 10:14 am (UTC)
Fave of mine as well! ::fist bumps::

Well, I'd think he would be too except for the lack of sexx0rs. :D

Oct. 28th, 2012 09:41 am (UTC)
Squeee! The whole brain stealing plot is great, but what makes this even greater is the super adorable McShep, ♥! John trying to explain himself, Rodney finally getting it... by the last line my heart was melting! So sweet! And I totally agree, it's the combo, nothing else would work ^_^
Oct. 28th, 2012 10:15 am (UTC)
\o/ thanks, selenic! I had so much fun with this, John trying to make sense of Rodney's cracky!brain while shooting up the complex. :D
(no subject) - selenic76 - Oct. 28th, 2012 10:56 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - esteefee - Oct. 28th, 2012 06:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 28th, 2012 10:14 am (UTC)
What an unsettling experience that must have been! I started smiling when John entered his room and Rodney was already there, kept smiling until the very end. But oh, that last line ♥
Oct. 28th, 2012 10:20 am (UTC)
yeah, the pay-off's in the title. I'm such a tease. :D

I'm sorry if Rodney's situation upset you...hopefully he had Spock's example to shore him up. :)
(no subject) - popkin16 - Oct. 28th, 2012 10:22 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - esteefee - Oct. 28th, 2012 10:32 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - popkin16 - Oct. 28th, 2012 10:38 am (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 28th, 2012 01:14 pm (UTC)
aw, utterly perfect'
Oct. 28th, 2012 06:03 pm (UTC)
thanks, muffin!
Oct. 28th, 2012 02:46 pm (UTC)

So lovely! And, the final line just summed it all up, for John and us. :)
Oct. 28th, 2012 06:05 pm (UTC)
it goes for me too! :))))
Oct. 28th, 2012 02:55 pm (UTC)
Awww! John's answer to Rodney's ridiculous question was just perfect. And Rodney's heart ---oh, yeah! Great story.
Oct. 28th, 2012 06:05 pm (UTC)
thanks, Tex! <3 <3 <3
Oct. 28th, 2012 03:33 pm (UTC)
LOL! Wonderful!
Oct. 28th, 2012 06:06 pm (UTC)
hee! thankee.
Oct. 28th, 2012 04:03 pm (UTC)
Awwww.... John's a softie, too!

Oct. 28th, 2012 06:06 pm (UTC)
well, he'd never admit it, but... :)))

thanks, goddess!

Edited at 2012-10-28 06:06 pm (UTC)
Oct. 28th, 2012 06:24 pm (UTC)
HAHAHAHAHAHA! Much better than the episode it's spoofing, hilarious and sweet, and now I want an SGA/POI crossover (thank you for that). ^^
Oct. 28th, 2012 07:25 pm (UTC)
hah! I'm sure Reese would just steal all of John's guns and Rodney would try to hack the Machine, getting Finch into a tizzy. :DD thanks, faith!
Oct. 28th, 2012 06:53 pm (UTC)
I love this! Excellent action, with Rodney yammering away in John's ear while he's kneecapping acolytes. And John, dealing with Rodney's tricky dichotomy question in his inimitable way: "it's a two-fer"! Great stuff.
Oct. 28th, 2012 07:26 pm (UTC)
<3 John goes straight for the heart of it. Thanks, mi!
Oct. 28th, 2012 11:54 pm (UTC)
Loved John wisecracking and teasing Rodney, all the while determinedly fighting his way to his (brain's) side...

And adored that Rodney's body still listened to Teyla, even without him on it! Hee!!
Oct. 29th, 2012 12:00 am (UTC)
heh, you caught that. \o/ thanks for the awesome comment, springwoof.
Oct. 29th, 2012 01:22 am (UTC)
I'm thinking deep, philosophical thoughts here. Perhaps because I'm nothing but a disembodied consciousness.


Oh, Rodney!

John Has his priorities on straight for sure, big ol' silly heart of Rodney!
Oct. 29th, 2012 05:38 am (UTC)
heh. hey, he's thinking thinky thoughts, here! could you keep the gunfire down?

good to see you, babe.
Oct. 29th, 2012 04:18 am (UTC)
And it is a courageous heart, too . . . thoughts of The Wizard of Oz also coming to mind (so to speak).
Oct. 29th, 2012 05:39 am (UTC)
ha! nah, he's more like the Wizard. :D at least, from the books. I never liked the movie as much.
(no subject) - fanficfan123 - Nov. 2nd, 2012 07:55 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - esteefee - Nov. 2nd, 2012 08:23 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - esteefee - Nov. 2nd, 2012 08:43 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - fanficfan123 - Nov. 10th, 2012 06:46 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - esteefee - Nov. 10th, 2012 06:57 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - fanficfan123 - Nov. 18th, 2012 05:42 am (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 29th, 2012 05:40 am (UTC)
Very nice!
Oct. 29th, 2012 05:57 am (UTC)
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( 59 comments — Leave a comment )

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