Title: Secrets
Author: Keira Marcos
Pairing: Sheppard/McKay
Challenge: Unspoken (McSheplets LJ)
Rating: R (for language/adult themes)
Spoilers: None
Word Count: 1,400 (Completed)
Summary: “We definitely didn’t bring enough beer for this conversation.”


* * * * –

“Did you ever get everything you thought you wanted only to…” Rodney sighed. “Not want it at all.”

John laughed softly and leaned back on his hands. “I’m not giving my third beer, McKay, so give it up.”

“Some friend you are.”

“Yeah,” John sighed. “Some friend.” He frowned and rubbed his feet against the pier. He’d had many friends in his life and then there had been others—less than friends but more than just strangers. McKay was his friend, his best friend if anyone wanted to put a fine point on it. He knew what Rodney was getting at and John figured he deserved a real answer. “Sometimes, yeah. I mean, I was pretty damn sure I wanted Nancy. A beautiful, intelligent woman that my Dad actually liked? I figured I’d hit the mother lode with that. John Sheppard wins at life.”

Rodney chuckled. “Not so much?”

“No,” John agreed. “Not so much. She didn’t really want me. She wanted to be the wife of an Air Force pilot. She wanted a man in dress uniform, a chest full of medals, and an easy smile on her arm. It was politics for her and when I didn’t meet her expectations—when I couldn’t meet her expectations—the marriage was over.”

“Well, you had all of that, right? Dress uniform, lots of medals for being stupidly brave, and a smile that all the girls giggle over. What more did she want?”

“All the little things she didn’t say—control over our future, perfect children that attended only the best schools, a political posting for me that would take me out of the sky within a few years.” John shrugged. “When she basically arranged for me to be offered a position that would ground me for life—I refused it and requested a posting overseas.”

“And your marriage was over?”

“Just like that.” John shrugged. “I was in Afghanistan before the ink dried on the divorce papers. Nancy didn’t want me. She wanted the man she thought she could mold me into.”

“You see that happening between me and Keller, right?”

John’s eyes widened briefly and he opened his last beer. “Love is a risk, McKay. Going through the gate, picking up a gun, staying on Atlantis—those are all risks that we recognize for what they are but really, love is the BIG risk. It’s dangerous and probably stupid to fall in love out here.”

“She’s beautiful and smart.”

“Yes,” John agreed.


John chuckled. “Very. First time I saw her I couldn’t figure out how someone let her get all the way out here pretending to be a doctor when it was obvious to me that she should still be in undergrad.”

“Ass,” Rodney muttered.

“Well, I’m not saying you could have fathered her or anything but geez—you do realize that we were both hitting puberty when she was born. I have comic books older than her.” John finished off his beer and sprawled on his back, lifting one leg to take pressure off his back. “Probably even some socks.”

Rodney snickered and then sighed as he lay down beside him. “Okay, yeah, the only thing we have in common to talk about is Atlantis and all the fucked up things that happen here. Music, movies, TV shows, and books… it’s as if we speak different languages and there is no one to translate. She doesn’t even watch Dr. Who. It’s stupid, huh?”

“Yeah, but if you want her…”

“I thought I did. Then I tried to imagine how things would be for us ten years down the road, twenty years down the road.” He stared up at the sky in front of him. “She’s what I always told myself I wanted but there are things that I’ve obviously never told myself.”

“Like what?”

“Like the fact that my favorite day of the week is Wednesday because that’s the day you come to the lab and let me use you shamelessly for your Ancient gene when we both know that mine works 99% of the time. My second favorite day is Saturday because that’s when we scrounge up beer and sit on this stupid pier.”

John turned his head and looked at Rodney. “Wednesdays do it for me to, McKay.” He turned on his side and propped he head up on one hand. “So what did you see in your life ten years from now?”

“Her, a couple of kids that I could barely tolerate, a stupid job on Earth, a minivan, a house that I hated, a yard I had to pay someone to mow, and if I was lucky an email or two from you a month.”

“Email is my weakness. It’s too close to writing reports.”


“And at twenty years?”

“Sullen teen aged children, a bitter ex-wife, a tenured job at some stupid university that I never wanted, no you.” Rodney sighed. “No you because I wouldn’t have been around to keep you from doing something stupid. Once a year visiting some empty grave at Arlington with your name on it. Twenty years of regret sitting on me, draining the fucking life out of me like a hungry Wraith.”

“You have an unhealthy imagination,” John murmured. “You think you’re the only thing out here keeping me alive?”

“Yes.” Rodney glared at the sky above them. “I don’t trust anyone else to do it, John.”

John was silent for a moment and then took a deep breath. “I don’t trust anyone else to keep you safe either, Rodney. I never have and never will.” He rolled onto his back again and sucked in a breath. “Do I have to say it?”

“Only if I have to,” Rodney muttered.

“We’ve gone five years without saying it,” John reasoned.

“If I say it—I’ll probably have some other things to say.” Rodney tucked one hand under his head. “A lot of things.”

“Now, I’m curious.”

“That’s you—the curious George of the Stargate program.”

John chuckled. “Christ, McKay, I love you more than my own life.”

Rodney took a deep breath and silently called John Sheppard a giant asshole because hearing him say that was as amazing as it was horrific. “I really liked Katie Brown. She isn’t the first woman I really liked but she was the first in a long time that really liked me back.”

“She didn’t know the real you,” John responded bluntly.

“Yeah, she was clueless. I love Jennifer but the more I think about it the more I think it’s kind of like how I love Jeannie.”

“Jennifer liked you best when you forgot how mean you are and how much you really enjoy being mean.”

Rodney snorted. “Asshole.”

“Doesn’t make it any less true.”

“I love you like I love the universe,” Rodney finally said. “I look at you and I see my life’s work spread out before me and I can’t imagine wanting anything else, ever. The first time I saw you—I wanted to know your secrets, your dreams, and everything in between. When I picture my life with you twenty years down the road—we’ve got a beach house, a big stupid dog, and you spend too much time surfing and pretending you aren’t sixty fucking years old.”

“And you have a Nobel.”

“Of course I do.”

“I always wanted a big dog—maybe a golden retriever.”

“That works,” Rodney agreed.

“You can have a ridiculously big cat and a piano. I want to hear you play the piano in our beach house twenty years from now.” He reached out and snagged McKay’s hand. Carefully, he thread their fingers together. “Jesus.”

“Yeah.” McKay agreed. “We definitely didn’t bring enough beer for this conversation.”

“I like you best when you’re being vicious to someone who deserves it,” John admitted.

“I like you best when you’re laughing because I’m being vicious to someone who really deserves it.”

“That’s probably unhealthy of us.”

Rodney laughed. “I won’t tell if you won’t.”

“A secret.”

“We’ll have plenty of secrets now.”

“Yeah,” John murmured. “Is that a problem?”

“No. I get paid a lot of money to keep some pretty amazing secrets.” He rubbed his thumb over the top of John’s hand. “This one will be the most amazing.”

Keira Marcos

In my spare time, I write fanfiction and lead a cult of cock worshippers on the Internet. It's not the usual kind of hobby for a 40ish "domestic engineer" but we live in a modern world and I like fucking with people's expectations.


  1. :: Claps hands :: Oh boys, you are such big dorks. And no, Keller is not right for Rodney, she tries to put limits on him, to clip his wings. And that isn’t right. Thank you for this.


  2. *flails*

    *suffers an excess of geriatric fangirl glee*


    Awwwwwwwww! You just made my night. Seriously! I’m sitting here with a huge and sappy grin on my face. This may not be series related, but damn, I freaking love your John & Rodney, regardless of the ‘verse you’ve written for them.


    *looks small and harmless*

    *gives you my very best sweet lil ole lady smile*

    Sooooooooo, you’re far too good to never have written anything other than what you have posted here. I’m thinking that somewhere there’s gotta be more for me to wallow in…

    Do you have other fic out there to read?

    I’d try to do the whole starry-eyed, anime style pleading puppy eyes, but I figure the grey hair kind of ruins the look.


    Go ahead! Gimmee da fic! You know you wanna….

  3. I love your fanfics…I think I love everything you write actually…I especially love the McKay/Sheppard pairing…I anxiously await your next post…Your characterization is amazing…I always think that you get it perfect!!!!

  4. OMG, this is brilliant…. they’re adorkable… If I quoted back my favorite bits, I’d quote back the entire thing…

    ::smishes you::

  5. That was what I needed to tide me over till the next installment of the What Might Have Been series.Thanks and you are so made of awesome.

  6. i leave a message in your LJ ! it’s so perfect, you’re a so good writer. Thanks a lot.

  7. Love! McShep always makes me happy, and your McShep fills me with glee. Daw, *boys*.

  8. oh that was lovely!! your writing of john and rodney is always so wonderful. i feel that you capture their voices and it just makes me happy to read your stories! 🙂

  9. YAY, I happily prance about the room, Does this mean you are cured of the evils of Writer’s Block?!?. I was so happy when I was just goofing around and that little email popped up saying that you have updated your website. I love the way you do McShep and glad that you addressed the budding ickyness that is comming from the show with Keller and McCay. Like always, you are a great writer, and I love to read your work

  10. For the love of all that is beautiful and good in the universe. I have to say WOW. This was… this was a perfect piece of exactly what I needed today. Thank you. It was silly and romantic and funny and sweet and just… very good and uplifting while still feeling… I don’t know real in a way. That sounds crazy doesn’t it? Thank you for this it was lovely.

  11. *squeee* Oh wow!!! I’m soooo glad I decided to swing by your website tonight. Just amazing work as always – beautifully written. Just LUV <3 <3 <3

  12. Love the story. These are the guys I see, not the Rodney Jennifer wants in Brain Storm.

  13. I love how you infuse all of your stories with so many details that brings the reader up close and personal with the events in the story. It adds a such depth to your stories. The charactes’ interactions are amazing as well, the conversations flow easily and the storyline is well paced out. Brvavo!

  14. Totally in love with this!! I hated Brainstorm, really and truly!

    If I could I would slay the evil dragons of Writer’s block for you ’cause I just love your stories!!

    Hmmm. About time to re-read “What might have been” I think.

  15. The boys are so sweet and dorky.
    This is exactly how I see them together.
    Well Done.!!

  16. I was rereading this story cause I needed something wonderful. I live in the Midwest and we are having the winter from hell! I read other McShep fic but yours is my favorite. You capture the boys exactly the way they should be. I know you write other things, perhaps under another name. With your talent I would love to read it. Give us a hint. Please. Please. Please.
    Oh and Merry Christmas!!

  17. Wow *sniff* just beautiful :}

  18. This one makes me cry…If love could only be so good.

  19. Sigh! That was so beautiful 😛

  20. Yes!!!! That is what should happen. McKeller is so wrong.

  21. Sooooo sweet!!!

  22. Oh, our boyz are just so adorkable and in love!
    *huggles them*

  23. I never tire of reading this one. Or, well, ANY of your stories. 😀
    *smishes you*

  24. I’m rereading your stuff to keep from rereading Ties that bind. 🙂 And this is great, this is the best break-up between Rodney and Jennifer that I’ve read so far in any story. It’s believable, it’s really in character, I could see this in the tv-series. Hey, that would be awesome, they could make a sixth season and put you in charge of writing the script. Should be interesting! 🙂

  25. This was lovely too. I love the home Rodney and John imagine for each other with the dog and the piano. I could just see it.

  26. Why in the world i missed this fic, it’s bitter, sweet and lovely, the perfect end for a perfect stargate Atlantis.

    You know that i hate the mckeller with passion, the TPTB have managed to make me hate Jewel, it makes me angry because it’s a nice actress and I loved her in firefly, damned them.
    I saw firefly a few months ago to wash my brain of the Keller show.

  27. bawwww!!!!! I can picture 60 year old surfer john with the same smirk teaching pretty scantily clad girls how to surf and amused and slightly miffed rodney asking for help with his SPF100 and lecturing them all on the dangers of skin cancer

    this was great 🙂

  28. I think what I loved most about this, was how at ease they are with each other. The love and trust they share really shines through.

  29. Wow, I loved this. What a realistic, wrenching conversation. Only John and Rodney….

  30. Seriously, my heart is melting. Those boys! I absolutely adored this and smiled the whole time!

  31. “I like you best when you’re being vicious to someone who deserves it,” John admitted.

    “I like you best when you’re laughing because I’m being vicious to someone who really deserves it.”

    This just left me laughing! And I have a friend just like that… we just egg each other on in the most wonderfully awful ways. 😀 This just reminded me how much I love her. Thanks!

  32. This is really sugary sweet in an emotionally damaged sort of way, but I love it all the better for it.

  33. my cold dead heart warmed a little at this you have such a way with words

  34. So sweet, and definitely *them*! ❤❤❤

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