An Unlikely Guide

Title: An Unlikely Guide
Author: Ladyholder
Series Order: 1
Banner Art: None
Pairings: McKay/Sheppard
Word Count: 1,210
Rating: G
Betas: None
Warnings: None
Authors Note: There was just no way that he was a Guide. Really.

Rodney knew that he was not what everyone thought of when they found out he was a Guide. He was rude, abrasive, loud, hyper-active, had no patience for stupidity, and he had no problems telling anyone that they were a moron. Thus he was the complete opposite of the serene, calm, soothing and all around nice image of a Guide. Add in the expectation of a Guide to be an oasis of calm with the ability to center everyone around them during a crisis, and well Rodney really knew that wasn’t him.

On top of what could kindly be called personality quirks, was his choice of professions. He wasn’t a teacher, priest, counselor, medical doctor or some other soft science idiot, he was a theoretical astrophysicist with a dash of applied mathematics. Add another doctorate in mechanical engineer and you had a most unGuide-like Guide. And neither of his chosen professions presented many opportunities to meet unbonded Sentinels on a day to day basis.

When he had taken the contract with the US Government and been assigned to Area 51 on the StarGate project the opportunities to meet unbonded Sentinels had dropped even further. On the other hand, his real obsessions were amply served thanks to all the new information and equipment he had access to. Wrapped up in the twin gods of physics and engineering, Rodney retreated even further from day to day interactions with humanity as a whole. And when he did bother to interact with the people around him, he paid only the barest lip service to common civility let alone the “norms” expected of a Guide. After all, why should he bother? The last Sentinel he had run into at Area 51 had taken one look at him and refused to be in the same room as him.

So if he was lonely, he buried those feelings in his work. If he needed companionship, well that was why he had the cat (and the cat really was better company than people anyway). If he could feel his shields getting thin and brittle, well a little judicious use of sarcasm and scorn and people left him alone. So he was fine. Really. Plus he got more work done when there was no one bothering him.

By the time he got the call to go to the SGC and help fix a problem with the ‘Gate, Rodney was ready. He knew that he had figured out most of the ‘Gate’s secrets in the theoretical and now he was going to be able to wow people in the practical. But the situation at the SGC wasn’t what he had been lead to believe it was. Yes, there was a man caught in the ‘Gate buffer, and yes, Rodney had given what he thought were accurate answers on how long his pattern was viable. What he hadn’t been told was that his boss had an axe to grind with the SGC and SG-1 and was using Rodney to do it. And then it all backfired spectacularly and Rodney was left holding the bag.

The bag in this case was the collective ire of the SGC that included a trip to Siberia where the Russian government needed help in starting their own naquadah generator program. So off Rodney went having learned several valuable lessons at the hands of SG1. One: Sentinels, even those based out of the SGC still couldn’t stand to be in the same room as him. Two: His shields had grown thinner than he had ever thought they would and he needed to work to get them back up to full strength. And three: Well three could be summed up using three words – Major Samantha Carter.

Getting abjectly humiliated really wasn’t anything new at this stage in Rodney’s life, so he shoved that unpleasant event aside and dealt with it. What was harder to deal with as the fact that he had been wrong. So very wrong. And in this case, his being wrong had almost cost a good man his life. So that stung deeply. After mentally reviewing his new assignment and the reasons behind it, Rodney decided the whole thing just reinforced his decision to stop giving a shit about people as a whole.

Over the next few years, nothing really made a big enough impression to make him want to modify his behavior. Oh there was that one trip back to the SGC to help save the world, but then he was sent right back to Siberia, so obviously that didn’t count all that much. And none of his co-workers or nominal superiors in Siberia knew or cared that he was a Guide. No one asked how his shields were, no one touched him and no Sentinels came to ask him to be theirs. Rodney knew that he the Russians tolerated him solely for his knowledge of naquadah generators and his ability to interface them into Earth side tech.

But thanks to those painful lessons learned at the collective hands of the SGC, Area 51 and the Russians, Rodney knew he was better off now. His shields were now at full strength, and they no longer got as thin as they had before Russia. He had stopped yearning for what he would never have, a Sentinel, and began avoiding them as much as they had avoided him. And while he was still a theoretical astrophysicist, he no longer worked solely in the realm of the theoretical. He was using his ability to translate vague ideas into the hands on and practical, which was more satisfying than he had known.

Siberia, the SGC, Area 51, Antarctica, they all followed the same pattern. Even though he was invariably introduced as being a Guide, eventually people forgot that he was one and all they remembered was his genius, his personality and his ego. He stopped trying to impress people with his looks, or charm and began relying on his brain. People as a whole were no longer important, only the science was.

And then one day….Rodney felt a tingle along his nerves, a brush against his shields. There was an unbonded Sentinel in the area. Glancing up from his tablet computer, he looked around the Antarctic outpost trying to spot the unknown person. Spying General O’Neill, Rodney promptly dismissed him as the source of the tingle. O’Neill was bonded to Jackson and had been for years. Shaking off the feeling he let Carson escape from the Chair and headed into the briefing that Jackson had called.

So he was as surprised as the rest when Carson came running in to say that someone new had sat in the Chair and that it had responded to him. And seeing it was being lit by a shaggy headed flyboy was an even bigger surprise. Grabbing hold of his scattered wits, Rodney snapped out the first question that popped in his head. And the flyboy did as he was told.

Five minutes later, when they were introduced properly, Rodney got the biggest shock of all. Because when the shaggy headed Major shook his hand Rodney felt the physic equivalent of a bomb go off. The Major was the unbonded Sentinel he had felt earlier, and Rodney was his Guide.


2. The Unwilling Sentinel


  1. I love, love, love this. Rodney is just, so Rodney. LOL

  2. Yep, still love it. Snarky, snarling, woobly Rodney guide. What could be better?

  3. Yeah i see now why this was an inspiration for Keira and her Sentinels, it’s fantastic.

  4. What a delightful story! You’ve done such a wonderful job of depicting the complexities of Rodney’s character.

  5. ooh I’m so glad I went looking to see if you had updates and found your blog!


  6. I’m glad you linked to your blog from Different Roads for now I can read through the SGA stuff you’ve written. I like how Rodney is still Rodney and like how honest and brutal he is about himself. Now off to read the other stories in this series.

    • Thank you. Just because he is a Guide does not mean that he is going to be all fluffy and nice. Far from it, really.

      And that is why I wrote him as still being an asshole.


  7. You’ve really captured the evolution of rodney’s voice & roll here; regardless of the addition of he being a guide. My heart ached a bit as he was shuffled off to Siberia in here. (and while he is definitely painted the jerk in that episode I got so tired of Sam Carter being painted as the most brilliant bestest at everything science and soldier on show. They ruined her IMO).

    Wonderful set-up and ‘getting-to-know-Rodney.’ Oh, and he’s right, cats are better than humans some times.

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