"The Physicist Bride"
by Grey Lupous
Summary: The blushing bride, he was not.
A/N: Written for the 2008 SGA Genficathon as a pinch hit for the prompt "self-sacrifice" in the humor genre. Yes, I really don't have much shame. Why do you ask?
Normally for a bride, their wedding was one of the most important and exciting days of their lives. It was an occasion to be celebrated, cherished, and remembered. However, Meredith Rodney McKay was no normal bride.
Quite possibly because when he had always envisioned his wedding day, he would be the groom.
He also generally saw himself in a tuxedo, looking debonair and dashing like a Canadian James Bond. The sky blue poofy pants, pointy shoes, and vest he was decked out in made him look more like Aladdin than a suave spy. And while he felt he had a considerable tolerance to other cultures and he personally had nothing against polygamy -- he himself was a monogamous sort of guy. He just didn't personally see the appeal to being the first male addition to an all-female harem.
However Tykk, Rodney's husband-to-be, was remarkably persuasive. As soon as he realized that McKay was particularly adept at repairing the old irrigation system in Pseudo-Agrabah, he had resorted to taking hostages.
Rodney had politely promised that he could send a team of engineers to help them fix their problems, but apparently Tykk had some trust issues and instead demanded Rodney's hand in marriage. Okay, technically he had demanded that Rodney go through a "Binding Ceremony" to swear his undying loyalty and devotion to the little desert tyrant. It was the same thing though, because all of Tykk's other Bound Companions were nubile young women. Apparently for Tykk's political rivals, having Rodney Binded to him was a far more convincing display of power than simply using him as slave labor.
Rodney, again very politely, refused the kind offer.
That was when Tykk started threatening to cut off vital anatomical parts of Rodney's teammates.
Sure, Rodney could have said no, but John Sheppard singing falsetto really wasn't much of an option for a military commander. Rodney also had the distinct impression that Ronon would really miss his fingers and toes. And Teyla -- well, come to think of it no one had threatened Teyla. The guards seemed distinctly terrified of her, which confused him, but who was he to complain?
So with such a tempting offer, how could he refuse? Ronon would keep his toes, Sheppard would keep his manhood, and Rodney would get to add another item to his list of Pegasus Galaxy traumas. It was a win-win situation, well, for everyone but him. The things he did for his team.
Bastards better be grateful.
Thankfully he was feeling a kind of numbness from the jug of "suip" his bridesmaids (and future fellow wives) had split before the ceremony. He thought it could have been some sort of bridal tradition. Or perhaps they just understood the horrors of being married -- Binded, whatever -- to the sweaty fellow across from him. With a shudder of revulsion he allowed a beefy hand to encircle his as the ceremony began.
It was okay, he could do this. He could totally take one for the team, because if their positions were reversed they would suffer this humiliation in order to preserve his general well-being, right?
Had Ronon been propositioned -- well, he probably would have reached into his hair and somehow launched a knife from each of his fingers into the men holding his teammates captive. Come to think of it, why didn't he do that to start with?
All right, Ronon was out. Rodney never liked him anyway.
But surely Teyla would be able to hold her head high and push past her personal discomfort to ensure his safety. She would calmly take Tykk's hand -- and then twist it behind his back, levering him as a hostage until all of her teammates were released. Somehow he didn't see her putting on the poofy pants.
Well if she was going to be that way, that suited Rodney just fine. Let's see how calmly efficient and kick ass she would be next time her Athosian curling iron went on the fritz. That's right; he was condemning her to frizzy hair. Served her right.
Rodney squirmed, and tried to lean as far away from his prospective husband... master... whatever the hell the correct term was -- the point was there was no way he was going to continue fixing this man's stupid ditches for the rest of his days if he couldn't put the irrigation to good use and take a bath. It was their Binding Ceremony after all, the least Tykk could do was show a little effort and not reek of body odor. Was Rodney the only one taking this day seriously?
Tykk's right-hand man opened a ridiculously large box to reveal an equally ridiculously large bracelet. Next to Rodney, wife number one echoed the action. He rolled his eyes to the vaulted stone ceiling that formed a dome over the small enclosed two-story courtyard. He gazed at the heavy, probably completely ceremonial and useless chandelier blankly. He could be back on Atlantis at this very moment tearing Simpson's latest project proposal to shreds, but no, he got to play gallant hero instead. And blushing bride. And that was strange.
So back to deconstructing why Rodney was on Team Ingrate. Ronon and Teyla were far too self-sufficient to ever even put themselves in this ridiculous situation, so he was so not going to talk to them for the rest of his life as Tykk's manwife. Meaning he was down to Sheppard.
Good old John "Never Leave a Man Behind1 " Sheppard.
1 Even if they probably deserve it because they let their pet biologist bring back a mold spore that destroyed the entire expedition's supply of coffee beans, forcing Rodney to drink Teyla's disgusting Athosian tea for an extremely long four weeks. Then had the audacity to imply that it was Rodney's fault because he accidentally reversed the airflow in all of Atlantis for a few hours trying to increase the system's efficiency by .05%. Not that he had anybody particular in mind. (MAJOR EVAN LORNE, USAF)
But yes, John Sheppard, Atlantis's very own kamikaze pilot with a hero complex the size of Manhattan. Without a doubt he would wear the Aladdin pants, put on the clunky bracelet2 , drink the sickly sweet pre-marital whiskey, and would promptly toss himself on the metaphorical grenade that was marriage in order to save Rodney from painful dismemberment and other various physical tortures. He lived for this kind of thing.
2 Dear god, it must have been made from something with the atomic weight of Tungsten or higher. Exactly who were these people? Where the heck were they mining the raw materials for their ugly jewelry? Why the hell were they crafting horrid metal wrist adornments under a scorching sun instead of finding water for their dehydrated populace? And honestly, why couldn't they just take a simple "I think we should just be friends" like normal people?
Come to think of it, Sheppard would probably find a real, non-metaphorical grenade to toss himself on while he was at it. He was an overachiever like that.
And who exactly did John Sheppard think he was, trying to show up Rodney's heroic sacrifice? On his wedding day no less.
Well, Rodney would just marry Tykk. What did John Sheppard and his suicidal heroics think of that?
"Do you, Rawdnee Mackay, promise to serve Tykk, ill or strength, flood or drought--"
Rodney blinked, gaze refocusing on the withered old man conducting the ceremony. Man, that suip really packed a punch. He and the rest of the wives would need to find another jug to knock back after the ceremony was over, because whoo!
At this point, everything had gone silent, and the whole congregation was staring at him pointedly.
"Do you, or do you not swear a binding to this man?"
They were ingrates, all of them. Ronon and his knifey flair, Teyla and her stupid jiu-jitsu, and Sheppard and his penchant for dramatic, heroic finales. And he was going to tell them that, just as soon as--
"Oh. Right." There was a long pause before he exhaled deeply. "Yeah, whatever."
Both Tykk and the old man exchanged puzzled glances, as if trying to ascertain whether or not that qualified as his consent. After a moment's indecision, the old man shrugged and continued on. "If any man protests, he must speak now, or forever hold his peace."
"I object!" came the cry from above.
A collective gasp left the audience as every eye looked up to see a man swathed in white robes standing on the balcony, rope to the chandelier clutched in one hand. Rodney squinted as he peered across the distance, managing to make out a dark mop of unruly spikes atop the stranger's head.
Even from the distance he could see a flash of a white-toothed grin. "Happy to see me?"
Rodney thought he might have heard a "too bad", right before the room erupted into chaos. Two other patrons threw off their desert robes to reveal the rest of Team Ingrate, armed with scimtars3 and the fierce determination to abduct some Scientific Bride.
3 All right, so they had time to not only break out of their prison cell without alerting anyone to the fact, but had also decided to go on a shoplifting spree over not!Agrabah? Seriously, there was a small arsenal strapped to Ronon's body. And where did they get the robes? Did they raid a Laundromat? Was there some poor sod looking at his clothes line wondering what happened to his bed linens? Did he use bleach? If not, that was a really bad idea to wear them, because who knew what sort of germs the slob had? Most importantly, why did Rodney care? Oh, right, damn pre-marital whiskey. Stupid bridemaids. There would be no more alien bachelorette parties after this mission. That was for damn sure.
In a dramatic snit, Sheppard cut the rope holding the extremely large ornamental chandelier. He used the free end to swing across the wide expanse, knocking over several of Tykk's guards with his feet in the process. Without an anchor the chandelier creaked ominously before snapping free. Around him, the crowd shrieked and scattered into the chaos as the growing shadow overtook Rodney.
Oh, that probably was a bad thing.
He was going to move, really he was, but John Sheppard and his stupid heroic cliché leapt free of now slack rope and grabbed Rodney mid-flight. They tumbled to the ground in an awkward, painful roll, clearing the danger zone as the chandelier landed with a spectacular crash.
"Man, I've always wanted to do that!"
"What the hell do you think you're doing?"
"Hi Rodney," Sheppard grinned. "Miss me?"
"No, you stupid bed-hair ridden excuse for a--"
He didn't finish telling the Colonel off, because he chose that moment to continue being an upstaging drama queen and performed another painful barrel roll -- moments before a scimitar buried itself in the ground where Rodney's head had just been.
"Okay, that does it for me. Ready to go, Rodney?"
"For the last time no4," he spat, "you and your melodramatic heroics are ruining my special day!"
4 In all truth that sword had come alarmingly close to his head, but it was the principal of the matter at this point.
Sheppard frowned. "Um, are you okay?"
"No! I'm supposed to be rescuing you people, making a noble sacrifice for my teammates who are so damn efficient at heroics our positions would never be reversed!"
"What?" John shook his head, before sniffing experimentally. "...is that alcohol I smell?"
"Well, excuse me if I have wedding day jitters!"
Sheppard chose that moment to use his scimitar to block a fatal blow that would have taken both of them out. "Come on, Bridezilla, it's time to go!"
Rodney used an alcohol-addled kick to disarm the person trying to sneak up on them from behind. "I was prepared to marry a man -- a grotesque, sweaty, cradle-robbing pig of a man -- for you people!"
"And we really appreciate that." Sheppard knocked his opponent away, long enough to make a break into the crowd. "But right now I would really like to focus on getting back to the gate in one piece."
"Ronon can't fling knives without fingers!"
John jerked them to a stop in the doorway leading to freedom, waiting for Teyla and Ronon to work their way through the crowd to join them.
"They were going to de-Kirk you, you know!"
"Oh... you're welcome."
Perhaps Rodney had been a little hasty in his judgment. The suip made you say funny things. And he was probably light-headed because he hadn't eaten since breakfast.
"Come on, Princess Jasmine, let's blow this pop stand."
...as he was saying, ingrates, the whole lot of them.