Title: The Ceremony of Innocence is Drowned
Author: MF Luder
Keywords: slash, evil!Shep, angst, episode au, dark!fic
Disclaimer: They belong to SciFi Channel and various producers.
Archive: My LJ, Wraithbait, anywhere else, let me know.
Warnings: Alluded-to violence, dark
Summary: Sometimes, not knowing isn't an excuse. And sometimes, when you've gotten your heart's desire, you can't give it up, no matter what.
Author's Notes: Those of you who know me, know I have an absurd love for my boys being evil. And while Doppleganger was a good ep, I wanted something a bit more. This story is a shortened version of what I would have liked to have seen. Title yakked from Yeats' “The Second Coming”. I know. Terribly original.
Beta Thanks: autumndandelion said yes immediately to evil!Shep for which I very much appreciate, and siberian_skys upon whom I just hoisted the fic and said here, beta. And she did. ♥
He should have known something wasn't right. Should have seen the difference, somehow. He should have known.
But that was the beauty of the trickery; even he couldn't tell. If the man who spent the most time with the lieutenant colonel didn't realize before it became too late; if as a certifiable genius he couldn't figure it out, then there had been no hope, for any of them.
That's how Rodney consoles himself. Tells himself there was nothing to be done. That he couldn't have known.
Still, that doesn't explain his lack of action. Why he did what he did or how he turned a blind eye, even once he knew.
And it doesn't mean he shouldn't have known. Rodney has only himself to blame for that.
“McKay,” the lazy drawl whispered in his ear, out of nowhere.
Rodney jumped in his seat, nearly sending the laptop in his hands crashing to the ground. He glared at the man behind him.
“Sheppard. Must you give me a heart attack? I'll have you know, with me dead and gone, you won't get much done. Zelenka has a few attributes, but nowhere near the level of genius--”
Sheppard stood with his arms crossed, pulling his black tee taught across his chest. He wore that perpetual smirk on his face.
“Come with me.”
Was that a leer? Rodney couldn't control his racing pulse beneath Sheppard's fingertips as the other man pulled him into the corridor, laptop left still running simulations.
“Sheppard, what-?” he managed to get out before the transport doors closed behind them, and Sheppard had him backed against the wall.
Then, they were kissing.
God, it was nothing like he'd ever felt before; everything he'd fantasized and more. It was hot, wet, and dirty...and over far too soon.
Without glancing back, Sheppard yanked him from the transporter as the doors whooshed open again, dragging him down the long hallway to the colonel's quarters. Rodney felt words bubbling out of his mouth, but Sheppard turned and silenced him with a hand over his mouth. He nodded at the camera hidden at the end of the hall.
“Please, you first,” Sheppard commanded once they reached his door. “I wanted to talk to you about those jumper adaptations--”
He cut off the moment they were inside. Rodney watched as he glanced around, almost amused. He seemed to stare at the bed calculatingly.
He turned on his heel sharply, facing Rodney.
“I have a proposition.”
“A...a proposition?” Rodney asked, catching his voice.
“Mmmhmm.” Sheppard flopped onto his bed, resting his upper body on his outstretched arms, elongating his torso. Rodney swallowed. Hard. “See, there's something I need you to do.”
“And what could possibly be more important than the hundred projects I'm already doing?” Rodney responded, trying for his usual derision.
“Oh, it's something I think you're going to like a lot.”
Sheppard leaned back on his elbows. His shirt rode up, flashing a line of his lean stomach.
“Colonel, have you gone mad?” Rodney exclaimed, edging towards the door. “Feeling well? Touched any weird Ancient technology lately?”
The man on the bed gave a curt chuckle. “Nothing unusual at all. I just had an idea.”
“An idea? To what? Bate me?”
“Far from it.”
Sheppard sprung from the bed and loomed behind him, blocking Rodney's exit. He stepped in closer and suddenly all Rodney knew was Sheppard's warm, heavy, and encompassing scent.
“See, I've been doing some thinking.”
“About—about what?” Rodney gulped.
Drawing near, right into personal space and as far from “friends” as possible, the other man whispered, “You.”
“And why is that?” he breathed as a hand gripped his neck and hot air tickled his ear.
“I've seen you. Watching me. Thing is, I kinda like you, McKay. Despite your flaws. Despite your mouthiness and the way you disobey my orders. Actually, it gets me kind of hot.”
Proof of the statement was given when Sheppard bit his ear, pressing along his backside; he shivered and tried not to moan.
“And,” Sheppard continued in a deep, gravely tone of voice, “I kind of want to put that mouth to better use. And I kind of want to lay you out and fuck you. Hard.” The last word was punctuated by a sharp roll of his hips and Rodney lost the battle and moaned.
“But. There's something I need you to do. I can't trust anyone else with this, McKay. Only you.”
In the haze of lust, Rodney barely paid attention to what he was promising to do, or the possessiveness in Sheppard's voice, or the fact that it wasn't quite what he'd imagined when he'd dared let himself think about sex with his friend.
He only knew that, lying alone on Sheppard's hard mattress, completely fucked out, there wasn't much he wasn't willing to do to have that again.
Maybe he should have picked up on it when the nightmares began, or when the power continued to fluctuate in Atlantis without suitable reason.
But he wasn't even dreaming of the whales anymore. And he figured it was just the idiots down in Lab D, again.
Maybe he should have known, but all his spare time was wrapped up in Sheppard. His hands, his stupid hair, his cock...he didn't really have time for much other thought.
John hadn't been Rodney's first, exactly, but it'd been a long time since grad school and Steve Welshel, whose fingers had never been quite as long or deft.
Sometimes, it hurt.
Sometimes, John would let Rodney fuck him. But he never seemed to enjoy it so much as he was amused by it. And the treatment afterward seemed more like punishment.
Their encounters grew a little shorter, a little harder, a little more violent.
Rodney thought he shouldn't want it, that he should comment. Except, the look on John's face when he came—like it was pure euphoria—or the noises he made when he was thrusting extra deep, kept him quiet. It wasn't that he wasn't enjoying it, anyway.
In fact, what he found most frightening was just how much he needed it.
Rodney should have noticed when John stopped looking for Weir. He should have noticed when he didn't insist on a rescue mission to find Sgt. Jameson, merely said, “He's gone. It's not worth the risk.”
He should have noticed it when they brought back another one of those crystals, this time in a container, to study. Sheppard spent all his spare time simply sitting in the lab with it, and while it struck him as odd, Rodney didn't let it bother him.
Or even when he caught him trying to erase M3X-387's gate address from the computer. Confronted, however, Sheppard merely dug his toe into the ground and convincingly said he was searching for relevant information on the energy crystal and had gotten a bit turned around inside the database.
But he didn't see it. Sheppard had him constructing new weapons each week. Weapons so powerful, they made Rodney cringe. Weapons along the lines of Arcturus. And at the moment, the Wraith weren't even paying attention to them. But with visible ease, Sheppard spun a plan of beating their enemies in one blow. And the possibility of a day without worry of the Wraith or the Genii or the Replicators made Rodney a very happy man. He would build anything for John, if it meant never having to see him go on another suicide mission.
The nightmares continued for the senior staff, and even Ronon was more on edge, despite the rising body count of the Wraith.
But it wasn't until Teyla found Kate Heightmeyer dead in her bed that things began to fall apart.
Everyone else was busy fussing over Kate's body; no one noticed the piece of paper with twisted scribbles that spelled out Sheppard is not Sh~ before trailing off. Rodney noticed it, though, and quickly tucked it in his back pocket.
Gradually, he noticed the furtive looks everyone was giving each other. They were all suffering from black circles beneath their eyes and a ghostly pallor. They looked tired. Even Rodney himself was losing weight, his hair a bit more...unkempt of late.
John, on the other hand, looked the image of perfect health and vitality. If anything, he looked younger. He went on more ops by himself, came back with more Wraith kills than even Ronon, and took bigger risks.
But every night, he called to Rodney and whispered words of passion into his ear as he left marks of ownership all over his body.
And Rodney didn't want it to stop.
When Rodney finally understood, he felt the air rush out of his lungs as though he'd been dealt a crushing blow.
The power fluctuations. The slow change in personality, so small, no one noticed. The change of goals. The dreams. Kate's death. Kate's note.
Sheppard wasn't Sheppard.
When Rodney looked at it logically and chronologically, the only possible conclusion, possible source, was the crystal.
If John wasn't really himself...did that mean he was a prisoner inside his own head, ala Goa'uld? Was he dead? Or somewhere else?
The thing was...it was Sheppard. He thought the same way, did the same kinds of things, listened to the same damn music, even. The creature emulated him perfectly.
He started finding excuses when John called him. He feigned busyness that didn't exist, and got away with it for a week.
When Sheppard finally sought him out, Rodney knew he was doomed. His features were dark and Rodney had never seen him so angry.
Rodney gulped. “I do.”
Not-Sheppard stepped in closer, threatening and seeming to grow in height. He reached out and grabbed Rodney's arm with a crushing grip. Rodney squinted his eyes shut and prayed for a swift death...but nothing happened.
He opened his eyes to find the other...Sheppard, looking at him speculatively.
“And yet, you haven't told anyone. Why is that, McKay?”
Rodney said nothing, unsure himself.
John stepped in closer, snug against his front. He placed one hand along Rodney's neck, rubbing gentle, strong circles in rhythm to his pulse, in a vaguely hypnotizing manner.
“You're mine,” he whispered, with a hint of mint from his toothpaste that Rodney'd gotten used to tasting every night.
Remembering every bruise, every weapon he'd built for an end purpose he knows nothing about, and Dr. Weir left to the Replicators, he hesitated. But then he thought about one day, John staying in his bed till the morning or making a pot of coffee with that smug, alien smirk on his face and that deep voice whispering dirty, impossible things to him.
He gave in, then, just grabbed and held on, unprepared, but ready for whatever consequences would come.
And John smiled.