Children Fic AU
Looking for Home
Why can’t I ever think of a decent title?
By Leesa Perrie and Grey Lupous (maybe you can come up with a title!!)
Carson was just finishing up his latest article on his research when the phone in his office rang. He sighed at the interruption as he answered it.
“Hi, Carson? It’s Sam Carter. Sorry I haven’t been in touch recently.”
“Sam,” he said with a smile, leaning back in his chair. “Nice to hear from you, and it’s not like I’ve not been much good at keeping in touch either. So, what can I do for you?”
“That obvious, eh?” Sam replied wryly.
“Sorry, but we’ve got a bit of a problem here and I think you might be just to person to help.”
“Well, I might be able to, though I have some research due for the NID later this week, plus some for a pharmaceutical company, not to mention my own work…”
“It’s not related to your work.”
“Oh.” That caught is attention. Sam Carter rarely rang for reasons not work related, not that they weren’t friends outside of work, but being a lead agent for the CIA was time consuming, especially when you were a woman doing a ‘man’s job’ in the eyes of some of the higher ups.
“You see, there’s this 12 year old foster kid that’s caused a bit of a problem. Seems he decided to try and impress his newest set of foster parents with his intellect in the hopes that he wouldn’t get moved on again, and so for his sixth grade science fair he built a model of a nuclear bomb.”
“Och, I can imagine that didn’t go down well.”
“No. The school Principal panicked and contacted the authorities, who passed it onto the local CIA team, who then called me in for my expertise in that area.”
“So, what’s going to happen to the boy?”
“Well, that’s the thing. I interviewed him and am certain that it wasn’t anything more than a showing off of his abilities. He’s not linked to any teen terrorist group or anything like that, which I personally thought was unlikely anyway.” Carson could almost hear the eye roll that accompanied that comment. “He’s a problem kid. Not exactly a lost cause, but he’s been moved around the system an awful lot in the last three years, and there’s not exactly a queue of people waiting to take him on. And with his intelligence combined with an apparent lack of common sense…”
“You think he could get himself into even more trouble.”
“Yes. Look, I know it’s a lot to ask, but you’ve taken in several so called lost causes, so I was wondering…”
“If I’d take in another one?”
“Well, I do have a spare room now that Laura has gone to college. She did say that I could use it to give another kid a chance and that she’d use the spare room in the basement during breaks…but I had been thinking that another girl about the place would be good for Teyla. Still…”
“I can send you his file to look at.”
“Right, fine, I’ll take a look at it and let you know. Where is the lad staying at the moment?”
Sam laughed a little ruefully. “He’s staying with Jack and me, but I think Jack’s going to strangle him before too long.”
“Ah, well, the sooner you get the file to me the sooner I can decide…”
“I’ll send it by courier, should be with you tomorrow,” Sam said quickly, and Carson couldn’t help but grin at the slight desperation in Sam’s voice.
“What’s the lad’s name?”
“Oh, sorry. It’s Meredith Rodney McKay, but he goes by Rodney.”
“Aye, can’t blame him for that.”
“So, how are things with you?”
“Oh, you know, the usual…”
They talked for another half hour about before Carson reluctantly said goodbye and turned his attention back to his research paper.
The file on one Meredith Rodney McKay was impressive by its size, though Carson knew that was a bad sign. Rodney had been in the system about three years and yet his file was the size of someone who had been in it for much, much longer.
It didn’t surprise him to find the boy had been passed from pillar to post, never staying in one place more than a month or two, not even the group homes.
He started at the beginning, appalled by what he read.
“Julia Susan McKay, nee Hilliard (32), and Edward John McKay (35) along with their daughter, Jean Kelly McKay (4) are missing as of May 24th 2005, and are presumed to have taken new identities and/or to have moved into Mexico to avoid bad gambling debts and unpaid loans. They left their son, Meredith Rodney McKay (9) behind. He was discovered by a neighbouring tenant in the hallway close to his family’s apartment. The police were contacted, who then contacted Child Services, and Meredith was found a temporary place at a local group home.”
Carson closed his eyes, trying to imagine the fear and pain that Rodney must have felt at being abandoned so cruelly by his parents. He knew he couldn’t truly imagine it, but he had a fair idea that the lad would have been terrified, alone, confused and hurting. How could parents do such a thing to their child? He didn’t know, but then he didn’t know how a parent could hurt or neglect a child either and it happened all too often he knew.
Flicking through the following reports, it was clear that Rodney had some serious social problems, which were a larger part of his being moved from place to place. His fostering never lasted long, and he was soon labelled as ‘difficult’ and ‘problematic’. Through all the moves, only four had been to foster parents, the rest being between group homes. The most recent placement, before Sam, of course, had been to a couple who had believed that they could manage him; only they couldn’t, and the science fair project had been the final straw for them.
It was also clear that Rodney was a gifted child, a genius even, and that was part of the problem. He should have been at least two grades higher by now, but with all the moving about, he had ended up being kept at his age level and the kid was bored. The school reports showed that he rarely seemed to pay attention in class, was rude to the teachers and pupils and yet he scored top marks in science, math, Spanish, English (split into composition etc??) and computing, but middling to poor grades in other subjects.
It was also mentioned that he was often bullied at school, rarely made friends and that those friendships didn’t tend to last very long.
Outside of school, he was loud, obnoxious, arrogant and rude. Carson read between the lines and figured that Rodney clearly didn’t filter what he said, which made him blunt and yes, seem rude and insensitive at times. Definitely very little social skills, but underneath he suspected the kid was lonely and scared. Much of his behaviour smacked of a defensive barrier, keeping people at arm’s reach so that he didn’t get hurt. Of course, he couldn’t be sure of that without meeting Rodney, but his instincts were usually right when it came to kids.
So, did he take this boy on?
His mind wandered back over the other kids he’d fostered, and in most cases, adopted over the last few years.
The first had been Brendan Gall, aged 14 and full of rebellion and anger at the world. He’d run away the first night and been picked up two days later. When he’d returned, he’d stood before Carson looking defiant, waiting for censure and punishment.
But Carson had merely sighed and said, “Aye, you had me worried, lad. I feared something bad had happened to you. You’ll be hungry I imagine.”
It had thrown Brendan for a loop, that was for sure. He’d run away once more, but after that, Brendan had started to trust him. Now, he was all grown up and married to a local lass, with a child of his own on its way and studying for a Masters in Physics.
Two years after Brendan, he taken in Laura Louise Cadman, aged 13 and a real handful. Every bit as rebellious as Brendan had been when he’d arrived, though she didn’t run away like he had to Carson’s relief. She was bright, but full of hatred, though he knew that hatred was really at herself. She blamed herself for her father’s death in a car accident on his way to pick her up from a police precinct, where she’d been taken after being caught shoplifting. It had taken time to get to the root of her problems, but he’d slowly won her over and helped her to get past it and not hate herself, or the world.
Now she was in her first year at college, studying performance arts. She loved to dance and sing and act.
About two years after Laura, he took on his third child, John Edward Sheppard, aged 11. John had been a challenge in different ways to Brendan and Laura. He appeared at first glance to be easy-going and friendly, though he did have a smart mouth that got him into trouble at times. Carson smiled, John was still a cheeky little bugger at times even now, but it was more endearing these days and far better for not being tinged by distrust.
A distrust that was understandable, as the foster parents before Carson had both been physically abusive to the kids in their care, the mother actually being worse than the father in this case for once. John had protected the younger children as much as he could, putting himself in the line of fire, so as to speak, and taking the brunt of the beatings. Fortunately a teacher at John’s school had alerted the authorities and the foster parents had been brought up on charges of child abuse.
Carson wasn’t sure, but he suspected that John had had a rough time in some of his other placements as well. Even now, John had a tendency to hold things back, though his eyes often gave his feelings away. It wasn’t so much what was said that counted with John as what he did.
Then, not quite a year later, Teyla Emmagan had been orphaned by a terrible house fire. Carson had been good friends with her parents and had loved their two children almost as if they were his own and had been devastated himself at the loss of all but Teyla. Not as devastated as the girl herself, of course, who had returned home from a friend’s house to see her own in smoking ruins and to be told that her little brother, Jinto, and her parents were dead.
Shell-shocked and grief stricken, Carson had taken her in, having been named by her parents in their will as the legal guardian of their children should they die. It had been a truly awful time for all of them, but Laura had taken Teyla under her wing, and John had tried to help as well, in his own not-good-with-emotions way.
They’d got through it, and Teyla was now a calm influence in their household.
The following year, he’d been approached by the local Child Services about a 13 year old lad called Ronon Dex. He hadn’t been thinking of taking on another child for at least a year, but having heard about Ronon’s case, he’d changed his mind.
Ronon was tall for his age and strong. Orphaned by a car crash and with no one willing to take him in, not even his mother’s sister, he’d ended up in care. Sullen and withdrawn, he’d been labelled as having a violent temper. Certainly he had anger management problems, not knowing how to control it and lashing out instead. Yet Carson had soon realised that Ronon tended to hurt those who were bullying others, and whilst hitting wasn’t the answer, it was a sign that the lad wasn’t all bad.
John and Teyla had bonded with Ronon amazingly easily, and Carson had to admit that they as much as he had helped Ronon to find other ways to deal with his anger. He still hit out from time to time, but it was getting better.
When Laura had left, she’d wanted him to take on someone else even though he thought Ronon needed more time to settle first. Still, she’d been insistent, saying that she only wished there were enough people like him to take in all the so-called lost causes, and he’d agreed to think about it.
Now, he had to decide. Could Rodney fit in here? His abrasive manner and rudeness could set Ronon off, which would be a problem. But maybe he was selling Ronon short.
Rubbing his forehead, he looked back at the file on his desk.
It would work out. He always worried when bringing another child into the mix and it always worked out in the end.
He picked up the phone and dialled. While he waited to be connected, he looked out of his office window and tried not to worry he was making a mistake. His instincts were telling him that he wasn’t, and in the end he’d learned to listen to them. At least where kids were concerned.
“Hi, Sam. I’ll do it.”
The weather was hot and he was miserable. Nothing new there. Well, the miserable bit. The weather had been nicely cool in Washington State, but it was hot down here in California, the sunshine state. Or wait, was that another state? Who cared.
He hated the sun and the heat.
He hated being moved from one state to another without any say in the matter.
He hated the woman who was driving him down, with her incessant prattle about how if he behaved himself he might just have found himself a permanent home. Yeah, right. Like that was going to happen.
He hated the gut-wrenching fear of starting again, somewhere new.
He hated his life, period.
Scrunching down in his seat, he pulled the boonie hat that Sam had given him down, trying to shade his face as much as he could.
He hated the hat too, but at least it helped protect his too pale skin, a little.
Crap, would this woman ever shut up? What was she whittling on about now? He really couldn’t bring himself to care.
Well, it wasn’t like anyone cared to listen to him, so why should he waste his time listening to others?
The car came to a stop, to his surprise, and he looked out onto a farm, with rolling fields of vines. Oh yeah, they’d said it was rural.
Bugs and germs and the outdoors.
He hated the place already and he hadn’t even left the car.
Sighing, he got out and grabbed his bag before following Chatty Cathy to the farmstead.
Off to one side he could see three horses in a paddock and two boys and a girl as well. Three of them. Teens at a guess, and that one…he was huge.
And he, Rodney McKay, at the tender age of twelve, was so very dead.
After all, only the no hopers came here and what was the betting that the big kid was one of those who bullied smaller kids? The other two were probably his friends and would gang up on him too.
He wanted to go home.
Best to forget about that. His parents had been behind on the rent, his father had gambling debts, they were in debt to loan sharks and so they had decided to pack up their apartment when he was at school one day and leave it all behind, taking his 4 year old sister, Jeannie, with them, but abandoning their 9 year old ‘pain in the ass’ son. He’d come home to find the place deserted.
That had sucked big time.
It hadn’t been a good home, but it had been home, and he’d loved his little sister more than anything in his life. She’d been the only light in his dark world, and he missed her bitterly even now.
He’d been passed from home to home, on and on until his last placement with foster parents where he’d had that great idea that wasn’t so great to try and impress them and make them want him to stay because he was a genius. Yeah, that had worked so well, hadn’t it? Grilled by the CIA and then stuck in a house with Sam, who was at least smart, but she was always so busy and didn’t really want him around, and Jack, who’d quickly grown to resent him being around. They hadn’t wanted him, no one ever did in the end, not even his parents had.
Except the guy here had wanted him. He had no idea why, and that scared him.
Why would this stranger agree to take him on? Maybe the guy just want some free labour. Yeah, that might be it.
But then why did he take on the lost causes?
He looked up into the smiling face of a man, who was holding out his hand.
He blinked but didn’t move to shake it.
Unfazed, the man merely dropped his hand.
“I’m Carson Beckett. Welcome to Three Hills Vineyard.”
“Hi,” he said weakly, wishing fervently he was somewhere else, while idling noting the man’s Scottish accent.
“Come in now. The sooner we get the paperwork done the sooner you can settle in.”
He dropped his bag near the fireplace, vaguely listening as the irritating woman rattled off information to this Beck-whatever-his-surname-was, and wandered around the room, coming back to the fire and looking at the photos of kids on the mantelpiece.
Smiling, happy kids.
He frowned. This was supposed to be a home that took in the impossible kids, the ones no one wanted. Why would they be smiling? Was this guy some sort of miracle worker? Like he believed in miracles, not.
Movement distracted him from his thoughts as an orange cat entered the room, approaching him cautiously and sniffing his leg. Clearly deciding he wasn’t a threat, the cat started to rub against him.
Slowly, he knelt down and stroked the soft fur, listening to the deep and throaty purrs that started a few moments later.
The apartment next door to his parent’s had belonged to a young couple who owned a big black tomcat, called Bruiser because of his tendency to fight. When his parents chucked him out and told him not to come back for several hours, he used to sit at the end of the corridor and read a book, or write down his big ideas. Occasionally, Bruiser would turn up, cuddling next to him and demanding to be fussed with an imperious yow. A real softie with people, that cat had been, and he’d loved to hear Bruiser’s purring.
He’d been devastated when the young couple had moved out, taking their cat with them.
Of course, not as devastated a couple of months later when his parents had abandoned him so ruthlessly.
He got back to his feet, his knees protesting about the floor, and sat in the chair by the fire. The cat climbed up onto his lap and he returned to petting her.
The foster home he’d been in when he was ten had had a Persian cat; beautiful and not at all aloof. She’d won his heart quickly and easily with her affectionate ways, though you had to be careful. Sometimes she’d get fed up and if you didn’t let her go quick enough she’d claw you. But he hadn’t minded that.
Of course, it hadn’t lasted. His foster parents gave him back within six weeks.
He knew he shouldn’t get too attached. This place wasn’t permanent. Sooner or later this guy would get fed up of him, like pretty much everyone else in his life had.
Carson finished seeing to the paperwork and saw the talkative and slightly annoying Ms Biro out, turning his attention back to Rodney. He smiled when he saw the boy petting Wildcat.
“I see you’ve made a friend,” he said.
“Her name’s Wildcat. Not that she’s wild anymore, but she was a wee terror as a kitten. Got her from the local animal shelter when she was eight weeks old. Poor thing had been born feral and was terrified of people, which made her violent. But with patience she calmed down and now she’s just a big old softie.”
“Right, well, let me show you the house and then you can unpack in your room before I introduce you to everyone.”
Rodney followed him silently, glancing about nervously, as Carson showed him around the house; the dining area, kitchen, school room, office, bathroom, the basement with its games room, spare bedroom, bathroom and locked lab, that he warned Rodney to stay out of. He ended the tour upstairs in Rodney’s room.
“You can see the paddock from here,” Carson said, pointing out of the window of Rodney’s room. “Looks like they’ve managed to get all but Tipper in. She’s a bit flighty sometimes, which makes her hard to catch, but there’s a storm forecast for tonight and I don’t like to leave the horses out in it.”
Rodney just looked out the window with a look of distaste on his face at the view. Not a country lover, Carson decided. Well, that could prove to be…interesting.
“Okay, I’ll let you get settled. I’ll be in the living room when you’re done.”
Rodney just nodded, putting his bags onto the bed and disturbing a lump that had been hiding under the comforter.
“Ach,” Carson said as a grey cat emerged. “That’s Grey.” At the look of derision on Rodney’s face, he continued, “Aye, I know, not the most original name for a grey cat. Evan, who runs the vineyard for me, bought her for his daughter, but it turns out both his wife and daughter are allergic so I took her in, daft name and all.”
“You take in a lot of strays?” Rodney finally spoke.
“Aye, the horses and the cats were all strays of one sort or other.”
“And us kids,” Rodney said flatly.
“Och, you’re not strays.”
“Maybe, maybe not. Whatever, this is your home now. I’m not going to send you away.” Rodney didn’t look at all convinced. “Aye, well, I’ll guess I’ll just have to prove that to you.” Carson said, leaving Rodney, to unpack.
Another lost soul, he thought with a sigh.
He hoped that Rodney would come round. Even if not, he’d meant what he’d said. He wasn’t going to send Rodney back to the system. This was the kid’s home now, whether he knew it or not.
Rodney had unpacked, found and used the bathroom, but instead of finding Beckett he’d returned to his room, wanting to put off the meeting with the other kids here.
He found himself back at his window, looking out at the paddock and hills in the distance. Countryside. It always made him feel small somehow. All that wilderness, just waiting for him to get lost in it, to kill him in a myriad different ways. He shuddered. Too vivid an imagination, that’s what his mother had said.
Too disruptive an influence, too rude, too arrogant, too hopeless, others had said since then.
He curled his arms around his chest, hugging himself tightly.
The cat, Grey, had made herself at home on his bed again, and he rolled his eyes at that. Cats liked their comfort and his bed was soft, and with a sunbeam across it was warm as well.
He sat next to her, stroking her softly, brooding over his past and worried over his future.
His intellect, his brilliance was all that he had going for him, he knew that, had known it for a long time. It was the only reason anyone might want anything to do with him, like all those so-called friends and their ‘please help me with my homework’ and ‘let’s buddy up in the science lab’ and other similar requests. And then they’d drop him, once they’d gotten what they wanted, or if being associated with him got them bullied, or they just plain got fed up of him. Not friends, not really, but while it lasted it felt good; to be wanted. Even if they were using him and only put up with him because of his brain.
It wouldn’t be like that here, he’d already been told about the home schooling. There were three kids and him, so it wouldn’t be possible to hide him doing their homework for them, which meant he had nothing to offer them.
Which meant he couldn’t get attached to anyone, anything, because this guy would get fed up of him and send him away, promises contrary to that or no.
He picked up Grey and gently placed her outside his door, shooing her away with a quiet, “I’m sorry,” and closing the door as she strode off, tail twitching in annoyance.
Sitting back on the bed, he hugged himself again.
It wouldn’t last. It never did.
And the other kids would hate him. Bully him.
He didn’t want to meet them. Didn’t want to see polite interest turn to irritation. Didn’t want to go through the cycle again, with its various permutations that always ended up with him alone, unwanted, hurt.
Didn’t want to be here.
One day, one day he’d be old enough to not have to go through all of this. To be able to make it in this world, alone of course, but at least it would be on his terms. He hoped.
Somehow he just had to get through the next four or so years.
Carson waited another few minutes before deciding that Rodney wasn’t about to leave his room without a little encouragement.
Knocking on the closed door to Rodney’s room, he listened for an answer. When none was forthcoming, he knocked again. “Rodney, you alright in there?”
The door opened and an unhappy looking teen stood there, tense and anxious.
“Time to meet John, Ronon and Teyla, then,” Carson said, ignoring the worried swallow it caused as well as the growing dismay on the boy’s face.
“Okay,” Rodney managed to say.
Carson looked out onto the paddock. “Looks like they’ve just caught Tipper,” he said with a grin. “She’s given them a right run around it would seem. Come on, they’ll be settling her and the others in for the night.”
He led the way outside and up to the barn, ignoring the way Rodney’s nose winkled at the smells. The kid would get used to it after a while. He hoped.
Sure enough, John was carefully grooming the highly strung Tipper, a chestnut racehorse whose owners had been going to put down after a serious leg injury, but Carson had rescued and nursed back to health. She had a permanent limp and couldn’t be ridden, but was pain-free and happy, and could be a right cheeky madam when she wanted to be.
Ronon was grooming Tasha, a small painted pony who had been left in a field with a tight rope around her neck that had rubbed its way into her neck, causing a wound that had gotten infected. Carson had taken her on from the local animal shelter and nursed her back to health. Tasha was surprisingly gentle, though she did have a wicked sense of humour that could make her difficult from time to time.
Teyla, meanwhile, was grooming Jayne, a dappled grey pony that had become too much work for the young girl she was bought for. Fortunately, the parents had signed her over to the animal shelter after realising that their daughter was neglecting her, not wanting to have to pay for treatment or even possibly get prosecuted, and Carson had taken her on. Jayne was calm much of the time, but could be stubborn when confronted with a situation she didn’t like. If she decided she wasn’t going down that road, or over that hill, or past that tree or even once, past that particular flower, then nothing could persuade her. He sometimes wondered if there was a mule somewhere in her ancestry.
“John, Teyla, Ronon, come and meet Rodney.”
Rodney watched as a lanky youth with a shock of black hair slid out of one of the stalls, with a wary smile on his face. The boy that Rodney was convinced would be a bully when he’d seen him out in the fields earlier came out of the neighbouring stall. He couldn’t shake the feeling he was being weighed up and found wanting by the hulk. From the third stall, a girl, small and petite with straw clinging to her hair looked him over with an intense stare before smiling brightly.
He just wanted to turn around and leave, before the bullying started. Though he supposed as long as Beckett was here he’d be safe from that.
“This is John,” Carson said, indicating the boy with the dark hair, “Ronon.” He pointed to the tall and most-likely-a-bully kid, “And Teyla.” He finished, pointing to the girl.
“Um, hi,” Rodney said weakly.
The boy, John, came forward and held out his hand. “Hi.” Rodney looked at the hand but didn’t take it. “You know, it’s polite to shake hands,” John said with a raise of his eyebrow.
“But you’ve been doing stuff with animals and haven’t washed your hands,” Rodney blurted out, mentally kicking himself for doing so.
“Okay,” John said, drawing the word out slightly. Oh yeah, the kid was not impressed, Rodney thought bitterly.
“I don’t think Rodney is used to country living,” Carson said, patting his shoulder lightly. “But I’m sure he’ll adjust.”
Right, sure, like he’d be here long enough to adjust even if he wanted to, which he didn’t. Why couldn’t he be placed somewhere with no other kids? At least then he’d only have adults to contend with.
“Maybe you could help with the grooming?” Carson suggested.
“What?” he said in surprise, dismay washing over him. “Um, no, I…no.”
“He’s scared,” the other boy, Ronon, stated with a slight curl to his lip.
“I’m not,” he said, crossing his arms in front of him and lifting his chin, trying to sound confident.
“Right.” Ronon clearly didn’t believe him. “Wuss.”
“Ronon Dex, you will apologise right now,” Carson said sternly, meeting Ronon’s defiant eyes, a silent battle of wills occurring.
“Sorry,” Ronon said after a moment, though he didn’t really sound it.
“Rodney,” Carson turned that intent look onto him, obviously expecting him to accept the apology.
“Um, okay, that’s…okay,” he stuttered out.
“I’ll introduce you to Tasha, she’s really gentle,” Teyla said, moving forward and taking him by the hand. He started at the touch, but her gentle smile settled him and she tugged him gently towards the stall she’d come out of earlier. Why was he letting himself be pulled by this slip of a girl? “It is okay to be scared,” she said.
“I’m not scared,” he stated again, though he knew no one was buying it. He was vaguely aware of the other boys going back to grooming their horses and Carson talking to one of them quietly.
Then he was in the stall and the horse was right there in front of him…and he supposed that stopping breathing wasn’t a good idea, so he took a breath.
“I was afraid of horses the first time I saw one close up,” Teyla said gently.
“Yes, but over time I learnt how to handle them, as will you.”
“Um, okay,” he wasn’t convinced.
“This is a grooming brush.” Teyla held it out to him and he suddenly realised she wanted him to groom the horse. Panic squeezed his heart and he would have backed out of the stall, but the girl took his hand again. “It’s okay, Rodney, I won’t let Tasha hurt you.”
Tentatively, he took the brush and allowed Teyla to guide his hand over Tasha’s flanks, explaining to go with the (word for direction of hair??). He found himself beginning to relax, only to jump when the horse turned her head towards him and whickered.
“Shh,” Teyla left him to continue grooming and moved closer the Tasha’s head, stroking her nose softly. “Shh, it’s okay.”
Rodney felt a hint of jealousy, that Teyla could be so confident around the horse. There was a connection there that went deeper than anything he’d known since his parents had deserted him. Even his relationships with the cats he’d known hadn’t had this level of…something.
It was stupid. He didn’t even know what he was jealous of, so why did it matter?
He continued to groom Tasha, albeit cautiously, while Teyla calmed her.
“I think she’s picking up on the oncoming storm, and maybe on your nervousness as well,” Teyla said calmly. “But she’s okay.”
“Um, yeah, Carson mentioned a storm. A rain storm?” he asked.
“Oh.” And wasn’t that just great. He’d already shown himself to be a wuss, afraid of the horses, and now there was going to be a thunder storm. It wasn’t fair, they’d really think he was pathetic when they realised he was scared of them too. It didn’t help that he knew it wasn’t entirely rational, that the chances of being hit were low, especially indoors, but he couldn’t help it. Ever since a lightning strike had discharged down a lightning rod close to him as a child - well, maybe not as close as his memory suggested, but still, close enough to frighten him - he’d been terrified of being outside in a storm, and not much better inside.
He really, really, really didn’t want to be here. He felt a hand on his arm and realised he’d stopped grooming.
“Shall I take over?”
“Um, yeah.” He let Teyla finish grooming Tasha, moving to the door of the stall and watching with a mix of nerves and longing.
“You nearly finished?” Carson asked, making him jump. He hadn’t heard the Scot come up behind him.
“Yes,” Teyla answered.
“Okay, I’m going to order pizza in for tonight. You want the usual?” Teyla’s eyes lit up at the mention of pizza and Carson laughed. “I’ll take that as a yes. What about you, Rodney? Are you alright with pizza?”
“Come on, you can come and have a look at the menu, tell me what you’d like.”
He followed Carson back to the house, glad to be away from the barn, the horses and, for now at least, the other kids.
(A bit of conversation would be good here – maybe Rodney wondering why there weren’t having showers before dinner, and Ronon responding ‘ you saying we smell’ and Rodney swallowing nervously and something like ‘no, well, not really I guess, I mean…’ and then trailing off at the glare – Carson changing the conversation?)
Ronon watched the new kid, not impressed so far with what he’d seen of him. Carson had told them to give the kid a chance, after all, he wasn’t the only one who’d had problems before coming to live here, and he was going to try. But the boy’s fear of the horses, his obvious dislike for the farm, the smells, the dirt, not to mention the way he was devouring the pizza as if he hadn’t eaten for days were not impressing him any.
And Rodney’d got a big mouth. So far he’d managed to insult all of them at least once, and he hadn’t even been here a full day yet.
Ronon sent the kid glares and what John referred to as his ‘feral smiles’ whenever Carson wasn’t looking, and he was pleased to see Rodney’s nervousness increase every time he did so. Maybe he’d get the message and keep his mouth shut.
Rodney was glad to escape to his room after food. The others had gone down to the basement, the kids to the games room and Carson to some other room, but he really didn’t want to go with them. Ronon had kept shooting him looks that promised him pain in the future and he really didn’t want to be anywhere near him right now, or ever really. Not with people and certainly never, ever alone.
He was scared. Terrified in fact. Teyla seemed okay and Beckett hadn’t been pleased with Ronon in the barn, so maybe he was okay too. At least for now, until he alienated both of them as he usually did. He couldn’t work out John, but was sure the kid wasn’t any more impressed with him than Ronon was, and he clearly wasn’t at all impressed with him. Probably was working out how to bully him without Beckett finding out even now. Maybe John would be in on it, maybe even Teyla, for all that she had seemed okay.
It was early but still getting dark due to the clouds that were gathering. The cats had both disappeared earlier, sensing the coming storm and no doubt finding somewhere to hide it out.
He wished there was a lock on his bedroom door as that might make him feel safer. He was probably safe enough for now, Ronon and the others being downstairs, but it only took for one of them to come upstairs on some pretext…like Ronon…and who knew what might happen.
Surely he wouldn’t do anything that Carson might find out about? Hopefully it would just be intimidation, like the not-at-all-friendly smiles, and not physical.
It usually happened on the first or second night. When he was in the group homes, the main bully would turn up, barge into his room and scare him, sometimes even get physical and threaten worse if he told anyone.
He paced his room nervously, beginning to think he should have gone downstairs with them as at least he wouldn’t be alone…but he just wanted whatever it was to be over. The threats, the posturing… Once he showed himself to be a coward they’d leave him alone for a bit, before they started taking stuff; any allowance he might be given, any books or toys or gadgets that they could ‘borrow’. Of course, the humiliations would start too; (list some stuff??).
Eventually they’d get him to do their homework, help them cheat at tests, design their science projects… But at least if he did what they wanted they didn’t tend to hurt him. Sure, do stuff to embarrass him, try and make him cry, but they didn’t tend to hit him if he didn’t say no or make them mad. At least, not often.
He heard the first sound of thunder in the distance. They probably wouldn’t have heard it in the basement. He’d noted that the house and the barn had lightning conductors, which was sensible as the buildings were amongst the tallest things in this valley and the hills were a good couple of miles off he reckoned.
Pulling the comforter off the bed, he made a sort of nest between a chest of drawers and a closet, there being a gap between them big enough for him to hunker down in on top of the comforter, which he did. The storm might not come this way and then at least he wouldn’t have that scaring the crap out of him as well.
But it didn’t stay in the distance, getting closer and louder. He huddled down, trying to keep himself calm, telling himself not to be stupid, he was perfectly safe inside and trying not to hyperventilate. He hoped no one saw him like this, it was embarrassing.
He was embarrassing.
The sound of the storm drew John’s attention at last, loud enough to be heard over the music that’d put on in the games room while he tried to kick Ronon’s butt playing air hockey, and failed.
Teyla looked up from her X-Box as Carson came into the room from his lab.
“Sounds like it’s getting wild out there,” Carson said. “I think I’ll check on the horses, make sure they’re not too freaked out.”
“I’ll come with you,” Teyla said, rising gracefully.
“Thanks. I’m glad the covered walkway between the side door and the barn is complete, it’s pelting down out there.”
“You might need another,” Ronon said, getting up.
“Aye, maybe, if you don’t mind.”
Ronon just shrugged and headed for the stairs.
“Want me to come too?” John asked.
“No, I think it’d be better if you stayed here. I wouldn’t want Rodney to be on his own if he needed something.”
“Okay.” He supposed that made sense, Rodney being new and all that. “You want me to check on him? Some kids don’t like thunderstorms.”
“Aye, if you don’t mind. He’s probably fine, but best to make sure.”
“Yeah, no probs.”
He made his way to what had been Laura’s room before Rodney came, knocking briefly. Hearing no reply, he opened the door a little and glanced in. No sign of the kid, which worried him a little. He’d heard how Brendan had run away his first night, and this would be a hell of a night to be outside alone.
Slipping inside, he noticed the window was closed, so Rodney hadn’t gone out that way. Looking around it took him a moment to see the huddled form against the wall, crammed between two pieces of furniture.
“Hey, you okay?” he said, moving to crouch before the boy.
“Go away.” The kid sounded terrified.
“Nope, not doing that,” he replied, sinking down to lean against the chest of drawers, so that he was near to Rodney but not blocking him in. “S’okay, you know, to be scared. There was this kid at one of my foster homes who was scared stiff of thunderstorms.”
“I shouldn’t be. It’s not rational. I know what thunder and lightning are. Lightning forms in strong up-and-down air currents inside tall cumulonimbus clouds as the water droplets and ice crystals inside collide with each other. Then the positive and negative charges start to separate, with the negative going down to the bottom and the positive staying in the middle and upper cloud. Positive charges start building up on the ground as well and when the differences in the charges is big enough a flow of electricity is released which lights up with a flash when the positive charge from the ground leaps up to meet the downward negative one. Our eyes make us think that the lightning comes down when in fact it’s the positive charge going up. Did you know it all takes place in less than a millionth of a second? The thunder is caused by the really, really hot lightning, like 30,000 plus degrees, heating the air and making it expand instantly, sending out a shockwave. That’s what we hear as thunder. If it’s close, you just hear one sharp crack but if it’s in the distance it sounds like a roll because the sound echoes and reflects off things like hills and building and that. I know all of this but I’m still scared.”
Damn, the kid knew his science, and wasn’t afraid to share his knowledge. All of it. Not that he was going to let the science distract him. “Yeah, but that’s the thing, fear isn’t rational most of the time.”
“Just go away.”
“No, already told you, I’m not doing that.”
John shrugged. “Maybe I know how much it sucks to be scared.” A roll of thunder made Rodney jump and hunch up even more.
“You should be laughing at me.”
“Because that’s what other kids do.”
“Maybe I’m not like them,” he suggested.
“Oh, right, sure you’re not,” Rodney said disbelievingly. “I won’t fall for it. You don’t care, you’re just trying to fool me so you can laugh at me later when I realise you don’t really care and tell me that you think I’m pathetic.” John tried to interrupt, but it seemed Rodney had worked himself into some sort of frenzy. “It’s not fair, I never wanted to come here with it’s horses and fields and hills and, and space and outdoors. And Ronon hates me and he’s going to bully me like all the other bigger boys do and maybe you’ll help him ‘cos he’s your friend and, and it’s just not fair! What did I do to deserve this? And why the hell am I telling you this stuff anyway, it’s not like you’ll care and, and, and I shouldn’t be saying this stuff to you…”
“Hey, hey, calm down there,” he finally managed to say, stopping the litany. “Ronon isn’t going to bully you, none of us are. We’re not like that.”
“But he’s been glaring at me and smiling, only they’re not friendly smiles, but the sort that make you feel scared…”
“Yeah, he gets like that sometimes,” he said with a sigh. “Look, I’ll talk to him, okay? Probably didn’t help with you suggesting we all smelled earlier.”
“I meant you smelt of horses, not that you, you know…”
“Yeah, kinda figured that out myself.”
There was a particularly loud clap of thunder overhead, and Rodney jumped badly and start chanting to himself, “I hate this, I hate this, I hate this…”
“So, you into any sports?”
He shrugged. “I asked if you’re into any sports? I like football.”
“No, no sports.”
“Okay. What about games? Or, I don’t know, what classes do you like at school?”
“What? Why…Oh, you’re trying to distract me.”
“Is it working?” he asked just as there another clap of thunder.
“Not really,” the kid huffed out, looking more than a little wild-eyed.
“Ah, but you’re not answering the questions,” he pointed out. “Maybe that would help.”
“Um, okay, I like…chess and some computer games… And science, math and computing.”
“I like the physics side of it most, though chemistry’s okay. Not so keen on biology, but that doesn’t stop me getting top grades.” Rodney jumped again. “Damn it, when will this blow over?”
“Don’t know. So, what do you want to do when you grow up?”
“What are you? My social worker and careers advisor all rolled into one?”
“Nope. Now, me, I’m going to be a pilot.”
“Yep. Haven’t decided yet whether to go for commercial or join the Air Force. What about you?”
“Work for NASA, maybe. Unless the CIA stake a claim.”
“Huh, why’d they be interested in you?”
“I built a model of a nuclear bomb for my science fair. They grilled me for hours, thinking I might be some sort of teen-terrorist or something equally as stupid. Then I got stuck with a temporary home with one of their agents until I came here.”
“I wish I was,” Rodney said mournfully. “The last couple, before it all went wrong, they weren’t so bad. Though I could tell they were thinking they’d taken on more than they expected. I know the signs. I think they were going to send me back into the system and I thought I could impress them with my genius.”
“Didn’t work out so well.”
“No,” Rodney said, as he jumped yet again at the thunder.
“Hmm, think I might have to start calling you Radioactive Boy,” he teased.
“Oh great, the name calling has started.” Rodney stated glumly, clearly not getting it.
“I’m only teasing, you know.”
“Maybe I’m fed up of being teased and bullied and,” Rodney sighed. “Just go away.”
“You know, there is such a thing as friendly teasing.” But the kid didn’t seem to be buying it by the look on his face. “I’m sorry.”
The thunder was above them now and the distracting thing wasn’t really working too well. He decided on another tactic.
“So,” John said, “Ever played air hockey?”
“Well then, now’s the time to learn,” he said, getting to his feet and offering Rodney his hand, but the kid just looked at him dubiously. “Come on, the table’s down in the basement. We put on some music, drown out the thunder and I teach you to play. What better distraction?”
“Okay,” Rodney said nervously, ignoring John’s outstretched hand and getting to his feet, jittering at the thunder and obviously wanting to dive back into his hiding place.
John led the way to the games room downstairs, carefully not commenting on Rodney’s fear, but watching to make sure the kid didn’t suddenly freak out on him or something. As they descended the stairs, the nasally tones of Teyla's favorite new emo band assaulted them. John had learned to tune it out, but from the unpleasant grimace on Rodney's face, it wasn't a skill the kid had acquired yet.
"Emo rock isn't your choice of music I take it?" John asked casually.
"Someone considers that *music*?" Rodney asked increduously.
"Well, Teyla does."
"Er," the terrified look returned, "I didn't mean--"
"I'm not a fan myself," John put in quickly, simultaneously wanting to kick himself for not seeing that coming, but also shake the kid a little. He was allowed to have his own opinion, and without fear of reprisal. Hopefully it wouldn't take too long for that to sink in. John crossed the distance to the stereo and popped out the CD, briefly on finding a replacement. Still needed something to drown out the thunder. "What kind of music do you like?"
To John's credit, he didn't roll his eyes and he manage to bite his tongue on the initial thought of "uber geek". "Fresh out of Bach."
John thought he caught a muttered "Plebians", but he couldn't be sure as Rodney was still hesitating on the stairs. "I've never really been into popular music."
"Got Johnny Cash." John held up his favorite CD like a holy grail. The answering grimace took a little wind out of his sails. "Okay, fine, no Cash for now. I'll convert you eventually."
"I doubt it."
He glanced over Teyla's collection of boy band and pop, bypassed Ronon's hip-hop, and went straight for Carson's collection of classic rock. He tapped the Beatles' White Album absently with one finger, but couldn't help himself. "I've always been a big Dixie Chicks man myself."
The comical way Rodney's jaw dropped and his eyes bulged out of their sockets made the teasing just that much more fun. Oh, he definitely needed to get this kid to loosen up. As Rodney nearly had a conniption fit on the stairs, John amended. "Kidding."
"Oh, thank goodness," came the breathy reply.
"Will The Beatles appease your finicky tastes?" John made sure to smile, just in case the amusement in his tone wasn't readily recognized.
"They'll do," Rodney said airily.
John cranked the system, battling <Fast Song> to be heard as he explained the rules of air hockey to a very skeptical Rodney and illustrated the gameplay with a few test shots. John Lennon company drowned out the worst of the thunder, and slowly, as the game caught his attention, Rodney started to relax.
"Air hockey is *not* Canada's favorite past time," Rodney said snippily, leaving himself open.
Without a word, John knocked the puck in the goal, smirking widely at Rodney. "Guess not."
"That is so unfair, you distracted me!"
"Yep," John said, letting the 'p' pop extra loudly.
The paranoid fear of reprisal seemed to fade with each goal, and John couldn't help but mentally pat himself on the back for distracting the kid from his fear and calming him down. Of course, finding someone he could best at air hockey was an added bonus, and he whooped as he won yet another game, ignoring the dirty look the kid threw his way.
Yep, this was fun.
(need everyone to come back after thunderstorm. Carson to suggest watching a movie upstairs. Choose something that Rodney can’t help making comments about (like Back to the Future, but I’d like to use something else for a change!). Rodney gets upset at himself ‘cos he can’t keep his mouth shut and Ronon (and occasionally John, Teyla) throw him looks/glares, so he excuses himself and goes to his room. Carson follows him and persuades him to come back.
Towards end of movie, Carson hits pause and asks who wants hot chocolate (all do) and makes it while they finish watching movie (I’m presuming it is one they have seen before (except Rodney) so Carson doesn’t mind missing bits of it).
After hot chocolate and movie, bed time. End scene with Carson checking on Rodney before going to bed and sees Grey on Rodney’s bed (maybe Wildcat too?) and Rodney fast asleep)
(scenes for Sunday – not much idea here what to do!!)
(a snippet, not sure where to put it, possibly on the Sunday??)
Rodney heard someone playing the piano that he remembered noticing last night in the living room, and before he was aware of what he was doing, he headed towards it. Drawn for some reason he couldn’t fathom, a vague memory not quite coalescing in his mind, a feeling that this meant something to him, once, sometime in his past.
He entered the room, hanging back when he saw it was Ronon playing, but he’d been seen, a glare sent his way let him know that.
“You’re not very good,” he blurted out, wishing as soon as he’d said it that he hadn’t.
“Only been learning for a few months,” Ronon growled at him.
“Oh, okay, sorry.” He backed away and left the room, going into the kitchen where he could still hear the poorly played music. There was no one else around it seemed, and he sat at a counter, trying to work out why the music seemed so familiar.
The memory surfaced. An upright piano in a cluttered apartment, and him, really small, sitting on the lap of a woman as she played, slowly, hesitantly, the same tune he heard now. A feeling of being safe and loved washed over him, and he knew this was his grandmother, the only one who ever made him feel that way. He must have been very young as she’d died when he was four, according to his mother, and he must have tried to forget her, forget this feeling, through the years that followed. It was easier that way.
His face was wet, he realised with a shock, and he wiped his eyes, fleeing the house and into the vines, hoping they would hide him from view. Desperately, he tried to push the feelings down. He had to, he couldn’t let himself remember being loved so much, it hurt too much now that no one ever really cared.
But the tears wouldn’t stop, and he curled up on the ground, hidden a little by the vines, ignoring the part of him worrying about germs and dirt and…
This scene was originally envisioned as Carson talking to someone – maybe Sam on the phone, set maybe a couple of weeks after Rodney arriving. However, I think it would be better split up. Do part of it on the Sunday as an explanation to Rodney about how the home schooling works (the structure part) and telling him who does what and what is on offer for him (hobbies). (see further notes after scene).
The rest perhaps work into another conversation, with Sam or someone else?
“Why home school them?”
“Aye, well, I’ve had such problems with school principals and teachers before now. Trouble is, my kids are difficult and can be disruptive, and the school system tends to expel those sort of kids after a while. Even the charter school wasn’t really right for them. Anyway, I realised after a while that keeping them together for much of their schooling is actually quite beneficial. The kids that have been here longer tend to be able to temper the ones that haven’t. Brendan was a great help when John first came here, helping the kid to settle down, for example. John is now pretty good at that, I’ve seen him stop Ronon from hitting or storming out, and Teyla, bless her, has also been a calming influence in the household for some time now.”
“And if they went to school they’d be separated?”
“Aye, and then there’s no one to nurture the newer kids…or the older ones either. Being responsible for others helped Brendan and Laura, and is certainly helping John.”
“What about social life?
What do you do about that?”
“Well, Hamilton Middle School, a charter school near here, has been good enough to let them do after school activities. Ronon attends their art club, John their chess club, Teyla their debating club and Rodney’s probably joining the chess club soon if John gets his way.” Carson smiled and shook his head at that. “John seems to have taken Rodney under his wing, like a younger brother, though Rodney’s not too sure about it at the moment.
“Anyway, all but Rodney also attend Tai Kwan Do classes at the community centre, Ronon and Rodney have their piano lessons, John has his guitar lessons and Teyla her singing lessons. Oh, and they all have riding lessons. The other parents in the area who home school organise outings as well, which my kids attend, usually with myself. Not to mention special classes in the community centre from time to time.”
“And they have two tutors?”
“Aye, Elizabeth takes them for history, Spanish, English, art, PE (or is it PT in America??), geography and social classes. Bill takes them for science, math and computing, though he’s already suggested that Rodney goes to Kirkland High, another charter school, for these. I’m talking to the principal at the moment to see if we can come to an agreement. Fortunately, they’re more open to kids attending just a few classes than a normal high school might be.”
“Sounds like you have all the bases covered, Carson. I’m impressed. I have to admit, I’ve always thought home schooling was strange and not always in the interests of the children, but maybe I’m wrong.”
“All I know is that is works for my kids far better than a more normal school approach would.”
Would like to introduce sports as well…maybe John and Ronon on the local baseball team, Teyla on the local soccer team.
I like the idea of Mr Bill Lee coming for an hour each morning (9 to 10) to teach math, Elizabeth teaching them for the rest of the day except for Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, where they go to the local town’s community centre where Bill teaches them science and computing in a small class (maybe 20 at most?) of other home schooled kids who’s parents aren’t confident in these subjects. I think the kids call Bill ‘Mr Lee’ but Elizabeth prefers her first name to ‘Miss Weir’. Also, Elizabeth has a dog (hoping to call her Sholio, but I need to ask her first!) who comes to the class. Maybe a lazy old greyhound? Or a lazy old golden retriever or labrador?
Also, Rodney not happy about the horse riding, but Carson somehow gets him to agree to one lesson (as a way of getting over his ‘nervousness of the beasties’) - would need to write that lesson at some point I guess, with him getting past his nervousness enough to go back again. Would like to keep the chess bit with John, but that would need to go into a later conversation with the someone else.
Basically, the scene needs splitting however we decide between us is best. Any ideas more than welcome!! And name changes for the schools also welcome – and need a name for the local town!
Another snippet – probably early on – maybe having overheard part of a conversation with Sam on the phone about him – maybe some other reason set Rodney off? Feel free to alter as necessary if you wish.
“You don’t care about me,” Rodney accused Carson, continuing before he could interrupt. “You only took me in ‘cos Sam asked you to and now she’s keeping an eye on me ‘cos the CIA want me when I’m older even if I don’t want to work for them, though I might do but I don’t know and they aren’t going to give me a choice, are they? And you, you work for them too and that’s the only reason I’m here, because you work for them and Sam is a friend and…and you know that I’m going to be useful one day, when I’m older, or maybe even now…I don’t know what their plans are for me or what your plans are, but it’s because of my genius and nothing else. No one cares about me, only about what I can do for them and you’re the same, but you’ll get fed up of me and ask them to give me to another of their contacts ‘cos the benefits aren’t worth the hassle that I am and…
“Ach, you’ve worked yourself into quite a tizzy there.”
(and then Carson has to talk him down somehow – reassure him etc)
(Another scene sometime later – after bullying has started but before the others find out about it)
Rodney knocked on Teyla’s bedroom door.
Entering, he was surprised to see here sitting cross-legged on a chair before her desk with three candles lit in front of her.
“Er, should you being doing that? I mean, candles are a fire risk…” he blurted out.
“I am fully aware of that,” Teyla snapped at him in annoyance. “I’m being very careful. Believe me, I know the danger of fire.”
Damn. Of course she did, having lost her family to a house fire. Why couldn’t he think before he spoke sometimes?
“Sorry,” he muttered. “Carson asked me to check on you, see if you were okay, so I’ll go tell him you are.” He turned to leave.
“I am sorry,” Teyla said with a sad sigh. “I didn’t mean to snap at you. It’s just, it’s the anniversary of their deaths.”
“Oh.” As if he didn’t feel bad enough already, he remembered John saying something about this a couple of days ago but he’d not paid much attention at the time, being busy getting Steve’s math homework out of the way so he could get on with his own homework that he was in danger of getting behind with. “Is this to do with that?”
“Yes. My parents used to light candles on the anniversaries of the deaths of their parents, grandparents and other family members. So every year I do the same for them and Jinto.”
“And then what?”
“I remember them, the good and the bad times, and honour their lives.”
He noticed some albums and scrapbooks open on her bed. “Oh, you have photos?”
“Yes. Some were recovered from the house and Carson had them cleaned up, others came from family friends. Laura helped me to make scrapbooks of some of them, and I put the rest into albums.”
“Oh. That’s good. That you have photos of them.”
“Do you miss your family?”
“What?” The question caught him by surprise.
“Do you miss them?” Teyla asked again.
“No. They abandoned me. Took Jeannie and left me behind. Why would I miss them?” he answered defensively. Teyla merely looked at him, that intense stare that made him uncomfortable telling him that she wasn’t buying it. “I miss Jeannie,” he admitted.
“And your parents?”
“No. Well, maybe, sometimes. But it’s stupid, they left me behind and I hate them for that…”
“But still you miss them.”
“Sometimes, maybe. A little.”
“Carson told me it was okay to miss my family.”
“Yeah, but it’s different.”
“Yes, but I think it’s still okay for you to miss them, especially you sister.”
“I try not to think about it,” he said quietly.
“Perhaps you should. Perhaps you should light candles for them and remember. It might help you. I know it helps me.”
“I don’t have any photos and their faces are just vague memories.”
“But you can still remember things that happened, things they said.”
“I… It’s not the same, Teyla. They said bad things, argued, were always shouting at me… Jeannie, she used to come to me when they were arguing and I’d try to distract her,” he paused, looking away. “They’re not good memories.”
He nodded, knowing that she really was. “I’ll let Carson know you’re, you know, okay. You are okay, aren’t you?”
“I am fine.”
“Good, good.” He left, but instead of going to see Carson, he wandered outside, over to the paddock the horses were in.
(angst, memories, maybe the horses want to be petted – or maybe he goes somewhere else to angst over his past)
(Sometime later - Rodney being bullied into doing homework for one of the kids at the ‘social club’ – Ronon realises what is going on (how? – Jayne suggested - Rodney drops books ‘cos Ronon scares/surprises him – Ronon helps pick up books and sees Steve’s books amongst Rodney’s) – Also, don’t have to use Steve could use another name)
“Why do you let him do that?”
“You’re doing his homework for him.”
“I am not!”
“I’m not, and it’s none of your business anyway.”
Ronon shrugged. “You’re part of the family.”
“Oh, right, since when?”
“Since you came here.”
Rodney looked astonished at the statement, before hunching his shoulders defensively. “He’s not bullying me, I’m not doing his homework for him, so you can…go do something else…like play basketball or… something.”
“I could always tell his tutor, Mr Johnson, that you’re doing Steve’s homework.”
“You wouldn’t. I mean, I’m not…”
Ronon raised an eyebrow, clearly broadcasting that he wasn’t
buying it, and Rodney deflated. “What do you want?” Rodney asked sullenly. “You want me to do your homework too? Is that it?”
“But… Okay, so what do you want so you don’t tell on me?”
“You think that’s what this is about?”
“Well, what else could it be?”
Ronon really felt like hitting something…or someone. Did the kid really think that he was going to blackmail him? He looked at the hunched shoulders, the tense look - the fear, and sighed.
“I want him to stop bullying you.”
“But…” Rodney looked startled at that. “Why?”
“Because I don’t like bullies. And you’re family now.” (stunned reaction from Rodney) “Want me to hit him?”
“No, no, please. That’ll only make things worse. And Carson wouldn’t like it if he found out. I don’t want to get you into trouble.”
“Okay. Maybe John will know what to do.”
“No, he’ll think… Look, I know I’m pathetic, there’s no need to let everyone know it though.”
“You’re not pathetic.”
“Oh please, don’t tell me you don’t think that. I’ve seen how you look at me sometimes, like I’m…I’m a wuss. Well, we can’t all be big and strong like you!”
IDEAS: Rodney does a Tom Sawyer much to Carson’s consternation – either direct rip off (painting fence) or modernised with washing the car (LAST Scene?)
Bonding for R & R over disliking teyla’s music and/or: Ahaha! Survivor! Ronon thinks it's unrealistic (no danger, that's not really surviving, etc) Rodney keeps pointing out the existence of nearby civlization? Pre-bullying or at least pre-Ronon finding out about it!
Poss storyline 2 – Rodney finds carson’s lab, gets ill/hurt. Carson mad at Rod – also himself – woobie bits
Poss storyline 3 – past experiments, Michael Kenmore, kidnaps ?? Why??
Questions: Is it feasible for a second bathroom to be in the basement? Do I use PE or PT? Do I use wardrobe or closet? I’ve been told that English is split into different lessons – one being composition – do you know what the others are? What sort of social classes could Elizabeth be teaching? Have I covered the main sort of subjects at middle school? I believe that small towns run their own baseball teams and this doesn’t therefore have to be through a school, is this the same for soccer and/or other sports?
Permission: Permission to order the floating scenes for me, to find a plot, to structure it, to write missing scenes, to rewrite my bits where you think they need it. Am also willing to be flexible on things I’ve already stated about back stories, lessons, who’s doing what etc.
Plot: Definitely bullying and the others sorting it out somehow (maybe getting into trouble for how they sort it out?). Beyond that, not a clue really. I had thought about his parents turning up at some point, but can’t think of a) why and b) how they’d find him, nor what the situation with Jeannie might be, so unless you have any ideas I think I’ll leave that.
Back story for Carson: Not sure really. CIA research, got out of it, bought vineyard with consultation fees and maybe inheritance if parents are dead, but does consulting for them and other agencies, companies etc because he found retirement too boring (or something?)
Back story for Evan Lorne: Discharged from Air Force on medical grounds, maybe has a limp? Something that doesn’t stop him working as manager of the vineyard though. Kinda like the idea that John has a bit of hero worship going on with Evan – after all, he wants to be a pilot and Evan was one!
Maybe we can play a bit with who does what in the sidelines (like maybe Katie Brown in the piano teacher? Dumais the singing tutor?). Would also like to bring in Grodin, Ford and Zelenka in some form somewhere along the line – with Zelenka as a bigger part perhaps, not just sideline.
Depending on how far we take this, how many years etc, we might need to think about the CIA wanting Rodney to work for them as well – and whether he does or not.
Ages in 2008 – Brendan (21), Laura (18), John (14), Teyla (13), Ronon (14), Rodney (12).
home schooling – I asked on little_details and got TMI!!
but also some links
A/N: For those are don’t know what air hockey is, check out wikipedia: