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Week 6: Pariah // Never Make Them Cry

Title: Never Make Them Cry
Author: stella_pegasi
Genre(s): Angst, Humor
Rating: PG
Character/Pairing: Rodney McKay, and a pissed-off team…
Spoilers: None
Warnings: Very minor language.
Het/Slash/Gen: Gen
Word count: 2,222
Disclaimer: I do not own them, I would have treated them better.
Summary: When will Rodney learn to think before he speaks?
Prompt Week Six: Pariah





NEVER MAKE THEM CRY

By stella_pegasi

Teyla and Ronon exited the stargate first, striding across the gate room floor, obviously angry. Sheppard exited the gate behind them, his left hand gripping McKay's upper arm, his right hand gripping his P-90 as if he was contemplating firing it.

McKay sputtered, "What…what the hell is wrong with you people? I didn't mean…"

Sheppard released Rodney's arm, grimacing, "That's your problem, McKay…you never mean it."

Sheppard headed up the stairs toward Elizabeth's office without saying another word to McKay. Teyla and Ronon left the gate room without glancing back. McKay stood alone in the middle of the gate room floor, looking dejected.

Rodney spent the remainder of the afternoon in his lab, alone, only venturing out for dinner. As he walked into the mess hall, all heads turned toward him, and the normal chatter became whispers. He picked up a tray and went through the food line quietly, not complaining once.

Sheppard, Ronon, Teyla, and Carson Beckett were sitting at a table on the outside patio. Looking up as Rodney approached them, Ronon flashed a disgusted look at McKay, then picked up his tray and left. Rodney sat down to silence.

He sighed deeply, "Look; I'm sorry."

Teyla rose, picking up her tray as well, "Dr. McKay; your apologies will not suffice this time." She spun from the table and walked off.

His face a mask of confusion, Rodney lamented, "I said I was sorry. What the hell else do you people want from me?"

Sheppard frowned, looking as if he was going to reply, then stood, grabbing his tray and walked away, leaving Beckett alone with McKay.

"Carson, why are they so angry with me? It was an innocent comment, I didn't mean for it to cause such…"

"Pain…Rodney? Yes, I doubt you meant to cause pain, but the fact remains that once again, you spoke without thinking about the consequences. This time Rodney; I believe it will be awhile before anyone is willing to forgive you." With a sorrowful expression, Carson picked up his food and departed, leaving Rodney alone once more.

The next morning, McKay entered the conference room for the daily science briefing to find all the department heads already in their chairs. An unusual occurrence; on most mornings, he spent the first few minutes complaining about the stragglers, who despised the 0600 hours meeting time. This morning, however, the science department heads gave their reports quickly with no caustic comments or complaints and left as soon as the last report was given.

Radek Zelenka was attempting to sneak out before McKay noticed, but stopped when Rodney called to him, "Radek, what's wrong with everyone?"

"What is wrong, Rodney; you really do not know what is wrong? Ty, jsi vyvrhele; provedete tyto děti plakat. Vzali jste jejich dětství... nejste hezký člověk. You are pariah, that is what is wrong." Radek thew up his hands and rushed away, leaving Rodney standing in the conference room door.

The day did not improve. The scientists were ignoring him, he was certain that a couple of Marines growled at him when they passed in the hall, and his team had disappeared after the morning meeting. The meeting had been brief; Elizabeth hadn't spoken to him, rushing through the reports. Later, he overheard that Elizabeth, Sheppard, and Dr. Heightmeyer had gated off Atlantis; where they went, no one was willing to tell him.

It was nearly 1900 hours when Elizabeth's voice, over his COM, interrupted the oppressive silence in the main physics lab. He was surrounded by people but not one word had been spoken.

"Dr. McKay, please come to my office."

"Elizabeth, I'm in the middle of a calculation, can't this wait?" He really wasn't; he simply didn't want to listen to Elizabeth's lecture, which he was certain she was going to give.

Her voice was stern, "No, Rodney; this cannot wait, hit the save button on your computer. I expect you in my office immediately."

Reluctantly, McKay stood up, deciding he might as well face the wrath of Weir.

As he approached Weir's office, his heart sank; this was going to be worse than he expected. Elizabeth was not alone; Colonel Sheppard, Teyla, Ronon, Beckett, and Dr. Heightmeyer were there as well.

Nervously, he asked after he entered the office, "You wanted to see me?"

Sheppard glowered at the scientist, "Sit down, McKay," pointing to a chair in front of Weir's desk. From the look on the colonel's face, McKay decided it was in his best interest to comply.

Elizabeth stared at him for a few seconds before she spoke. "Rodney, since we arrived on Atlantis, we have made every effort to find allies; allies who could either provide food for trade or allies who could assist in fighting the Wraith. The Perani have proven to be one of our strongest allies, often sharing their bountiful harvest and insisting on nothing in return. They, like Teyla and Ronon's people, have suffered greatly at the hands of the Wraith, but they have maintained a positive attitude in the face of such adversity."

"Look, I said I was sorry, what more can I…" McKay stopped, as Sheppard interrupted.

"Quiet, let her finish, McKay," the colonel said tersely.

Weir nodded to Dr. Heightmeyer, who began speaking, "Dr. McKay, apparently many, many years ago, the adults on Perani decided to find a way to make the Wraith threat less frightening to their children. They invented a kind, caring character called "Sanctus" who would watch over the children. He would protect those taken by the Wraith, both adult and child, and keep them safe."

"Yeah, yeah, I know all that." McKay's snarky tone brought another stern look from Sheppard.

Weir picked up the story, "Rodney; as they approached adulthood, the Perani children were told that Sanctus was not real, just an imaginary saint to keep their fear in check. It was the one gift that the Perani thought they could give their children, the gift of as peaceful a childhood as they could provide."

Teyla spoke quietly, "Dr. McKay; my people were more direct with our young. Athos had no such imaginary saint to protect our children; I believe in many ways that the Perani may have been wiser in allowing their children to have hope. The Athosian children have only reality to deal with their fears."

McKay was huffy, "Well, it's a myth and there shouldn't be myths about the Wraith."

Heightmeyer smiled pensively, "Rodney, that is your opinion and you are entitled to it; but you are not entitled to destroy the culture of another world."

Rodney stood up, "I don't understand why I am being treated like this; I misspoke, that's all. Even Radek called me a pariah; I am not a pariah."

Sheppard scoffed, "Yeah, McKay, you are."

Turning toward Sheppard, McKay fired back, "I am not."

Sheppard took a step toward McKay, "You're not, huh. We attend a feast, a feast given in our honor, and the children presented a play about Sanctus, who you promptly referred to as a myth and told them there was no such thing. The kids were crying hysterically, McKay, there was no comforting them. You took away their only source of comfort regarding the Wraith. That definitely makes you a pariah in my book."

"I don't understand why they got so upset, why did they believe what I said over what their parents said to them…shouldn't they be the ones they listen to? "

Heightmeyer said softly, "Doctor, Atlantis, you, the colonel, Teyla and Ronon, the soldiers and scientists who have visited the planet, helping them rebuild after cullings are heroes to these children, heroes just like Sanctus. They believed in you; therefore, they believed you. Now the children and the adults are devastated."

Weir added, "Devastated and unsure of whether they want to continue their relationship with us. I don't have to tell you that almost all of our fresh vegetables and some fresh meat come from Perani, which makes them one of our most valuable allies. More importantly, as the colonel has pointed out to me on more than one occasion, having friends within the Pegasus galaxy is very important. We need to repair the damage we have done."

McKay sat back down soundly, "Yeah, well, how do you expect to do that? If you want me to go back, grovel, and tell the kids I was joking, I will. I don't think it will do any good now. I told you I was sorry."

Rodney didn't see the grins that appeared on everyone's face as Weir answered him. "Well, Rodney about that, Colonel Sheppard's had an idea. An idea that he and I, along with Dr. Heightmeyer, discussed with the elders and parents on Perani, who thought the colonel's idea was brilliant."

~~~~~~~~~~

Thirty-six hours later, Weir and Heightmeyer were waiting in the gate room, as Sheppard and a team of Marines in their dress uniforms entered. Weir smiled as they approached.

"A little overkill, colonel," she remarked, her eyes twinkling.

"Well, I think a saint deserves an honor guard, don't you?" Sheppard's eyes were twinkling as much as Weir's.

"You are enjoying this way too much, colonel," Weir replied.

"I'll enjoy this a whole lot more if it works."

Sheppard asked, "Have you heard from Teyla and Ronon?"

Heightmeyer answered, "Yes; they contacted us about fifteen minutes ago. Teyla said that everything is in place. Since this is their day of rest, many Perani have traveled to the main town to shop or enjoy a day of recreation along the river. They always have a feast and entertainment on their rest day; we were lucky that we are able to do this today."

Weir shook her head, "I'm thankful that we had the resources to pull this off. Getting that fabric alone was tough, cost Sergeant Stackhouse's team all the chocolate they had, plus a promise for more, to acquire enough material for Dr. Cramer to use. I was so relieved to discover we had a seamstress on Atlantis, and I think Radek was up all night making the wig, beard, and staff."

Sheppard laughed, "I hope someone takes a picture." Then he shook his head, "What am I saying, Radek's involved; pictures will be all over the base by nightfall." He looked gleeful.

Snickers coming from the Marine's turned their attention to the steps leading into the gate room from the transporter. Accompanied by Doctors Beckett and Zelenka, was Sanctus, aka, Doctor Rodney McKay. Sheppard was attempting to control his laughter, aided by a sharp elbow in his ribs, thrown by Weir.

"You can laugh later; this is going to be hard enough on him," she whispered, trying hard not to laugh as well.

McKay looked decidedly un-like McKay; his skin was a deep tan, his eyes rimmed in blue and black, compliments of makeup applied by Corporal Davies, who had acted in his high school plays. A straggly gray beard was attached to his face, and a matching gray wig protruded from underneath a poufy cap of shiny gold and silver fabric. He was wearing a weskit made of a deep purple brocade-like fabric, short poufy pants from the gold fabric and dyed purple tights, provided by Alyssa, a computer programmer, who was also a dancer. His shoes were covered with gold fabric; the tops adorned with small bells, taken from a Christmas wreath. His crowing glory, however, was a sweeping cape made from the dark purple fabric, and a tall golden staff adorned with a glittering gold ball.

McKay was unhappy, "Really, is this necessary?"

Sheppard grinned, "Yep; it is necessary; this is the description of Sanctus that we were given, and I must say, McKay, you look marvelous…" He couldn't control his laughter any longer and turned away, only to see that the four-man Marine 'honor guard' was in tears from laughing.

Heightmeyer was attempting not to laugh as well as she spoke to McKay, "Doctor McKay; you remember all of the details about Sanctus that we discussed. You have to make the children believe you are Sanctus and that "bad Dr. McKay" was just being mean."

"Yeah, yeah...I get it; can we just get this over with? This damn beard itches; I swear Radek made it scratchy on purpose." As McKay said that Sheppard glanced over at Radek, who was grinning, knowing full well Radek had done just that.

Sheppard looked up at the control room, chuckling at the number of Atlantis personnel who had crowded the area to catch of glimpse of Sanctus. He motioned to Chuck to dial the gate.

When they waited for the event horizon to settle, the Marines took positions surrounding "Sanctus" while Sheppard, Weir, Becket, Zelenka, and Heightmeyer stood in front, intending to enter the gate first.

As they started to walk through the gate, McKay yelled at Sheppard, "You are really enjoying this, aren't you? I am certain you are never going to allow me to forget this."

Sheppard turned, a huge mischievous grin on his face, as he replied, "Yes, I am; and yes, I’ll never let you forget this."

As Sheppard disappeared through the gate, McKay yelled, "So, who's the pariah now, Sheppard? You are!"

With a prod from one of the Marines, McKay reluctantly stepped into the event horizon to meet his fate.


The end…

Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
goddess47
Jul. 9th, 2011 07:16 pm (UTC)
Only Rodney would cause such problems from telling the truth as he saw it....

I love the solution.... "bad Dr. Mckay" indeed.... ::snicker::

Nice!
stella_pegasi
Jul. 9th, 2011 08:03 pm (UTC)
We can always count on Rodney to open mouth/insert foot! Poor Rodney.

Glad you enjoyed 'bad Dr. McKay'!
esteefee
Jul. 9th, 2011 07:26 pm (UTC)
oh, *Rodney*. it really is something he would do, and the sad thing is I could totally hear myself making such a comment myself: I remember gleefully telling my friends that when I was six. :)))

the outfit was PRICELESS. :D

(I saw how you snuck this in just under the wire! eee)



stella_pegasi
Jul. 9th, 2011 08:08 pm (UTC)
So...you suffer from the same malady of truth telling that Dr. McKay does...not such a bad trait!

Glad you liked the outfit, I wanted it to be a bit outrageous!

As for under the wire...you have no idea...I started a story for the senses prompt but changed my mind, then the pariah prompt appeared to be perfect for it...so I continued writing that story. However, that story now has a mind of its own, I chucked it for this prompt and wrote this story this morning. Sweating getting it done! Under the wire, indeed!
esteefee
Jul. 9th, 2011 08:36 pm (UTC)
heh. well, remember, there's always amnesty. :) first one is Sept. 1.
trillingstar
Jul. 9th, 2011 11:04 pm (UTC)
Oh, dear, the image of Rodney dressed up as Sanctus, prodded through the gate, off to tell a bunch of children about mean ol' McKay... it's wonderful. The colonel's idea is a winner. *g*
stella_pegasi
Jul. 10th, 2011 03:50 pm (UTC)
So glad you enjoyed...our colonel can be smart sometimes!

Thanks for commenting! Appreciate it!
titan5
Jul. 10th, 2011 12:13 am (UTC)
Yeah, Rodney certainly seems to corner the market on foot-in-mouth disease sometimes. This was bad, even for him. Love the hilarious mental picture of him dressed as Sanctus. I wish Radek could forward those pictures to us (LOL). I have to admit the idea sounds just like something John would come up with!!
stella_pegasi
Jul. 10th, 2011 03:54 pm (UTC)
Wouldn't you love to see pictures of Rodney dressed that way?!! Yep, the colonel can be a bit inventive...

Thanks...so glad you enjoyed Rodney's dilemma.
sherry57
Jul. 10th, 2011 07:50 pm (UTC)
Just back from travelling 15 hours in the last 3 days to find this wonderful story!! Excellently done hon. Thanks for sharing. This is a great interpretation of 'pariah'...Well done!!!
stella_pegasi
Jul. 15th, 2011 08:42 pm (UTC)
Thanks, so much...glad you enjoyed. Sorry for the delay in replying to your comment. I read it, I just forgot to answer.

Thanks again...you are too sweet!
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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