A Great (Dis)Trust
Author's Notes: Post-Trinity AU. Deathfic. A bit
My answer to all those fics that show everyone treating Rodney with
conscious and often vicious cruelty, and then he immediately forgives
them when they suddenly realize they are soooo sorry, and "They'll
never do it again," and, um, there's a crisis they need him to solve.
(Reminds me of Ezrafics in M7.)
On the other hand, I *love* some of those stories. So.
Disclaimers: As before, as always, not mine. Just borrowed.
A Great (Dis)Trust
Slowly he stopped trying. It really was gradual. He finally accepted
that he was still needed, but emphatically not wanted. Elizabeth had
replaced him on John's team with a rotation of scientists, giving them
all some planetary experience. He was still nominally in charge of
Sciences, but he left details for Zalenka on the computer and working
in silent exile himself. Without the check-ins and check-ups of the
Team, he faded even from Carson's radar. John had apparently
completely cut him off. One last try, and he gave in, gave up.
Inevitably the morning came when no orders were left on Zalenka's
machine. He radioed Elizabeth and never even bothered to try Rodney
himself. Between the two of them, they decided that Rodney was
sulking, and Elizabeth told Zalenka to take over until Rodney
reappeared. Later, at lunch, she complained bitterly to John about
Rodney's "continuing arrogant behavior," neglecting to realize that
this was actually the first time she'd even thought about him in
weeks. The City was running smoothly, after all. John just rolled his
eyes and didn't even bother to ask for further information about the
once "best friend" he hadn't seen in the fortnight since the other
man's ill-advised attempt to apologize once again.
No one cared. No one came. Alone, ill, abandoned, Rodney slid
inexorably toward a death that could have been prevented easily if
anyone had made any little effort. Fortunately for him, he lost
consciousness early on.
Carson, who might have thought to check on him, was taking a long
awaited mini-vacation, relaxing and spending time with the Athosian
healers. Upon his return, the only thing he heard was that Rodney was
continuing to "act badly." He shook his head, wondering that the other
man could be "Such an ass."
Eventually, of course, a system here and there began to fail.
Elizabeth angrily decided Rodney had sulked long enough, and that it
was time for him to get back to work. Furious that he refused to
answer his radio, she sent John break into the room.
When Carson was called, it was far too late and had been for days.
The autopsy showed that he had died of complications from his
hypoglycemia, but Carson, unofficially, believed he had died of a
broken heart. A picture of his former Team, in happier days, had been
found on the bed near his lax hand.
His report was blunt. If anyone had made an effort to find out why
Rodney hadn't left any messages, even the second day, he could have
been saved. But no one checked. No one cared. No one had spared him
even the slightest benefit of a doubt, despite everything he had done
Inevitably, even more systems began to fail, and it finally dawned on
them all that Rodney had indeed been every bit the genius he claimed
to be. John might have the strongest gene, but it was Rodney who had
somehow intuitively known the City, and it had been he who had kept
many systems running, and new ideas that would worked flowing.
Slowly, the City began to shut down. In failing Rodney so
spectacularly, they'd failed themselves. They had proven unworthy of
the great dream that was Atlantis.
In happier times, Rodney had once let slip that he would like to be
buried on shore in view of Atlantis, a place he had then thought of as
Home. Though his fellow travelers had failed him, the City never had,
and so he was buried as he had wished.
Epilogue: Most of the Atlantians returned to Earth, although a few,
including Carson, stayed with the Athosians. Ronon chose to go Earth.
Zalenka left the SGC, took a quiet teaching position in his home
country, and had Rodney's papers published slowly over the years as
they were declassified. John retired and disappeared into the remote
Northwest, near the Canadian border. There was some talk of putting
Elizabeth on trial for her part in the death of one of her people, in
light of the fact that she knew he had medical issues and yet made no
effort to find him when he didn't "show up for work," but nothing came
of it. She stayed in Colorado and worked as a translator, but never
again took up a more demanding position.