julietink (julietink) wrote,


Posted in mckay_sheppard

Words: 594
Spoilers/warnings: none
A/N: written Sept 2008 when they circulated the first proton beams in the LHC at CERN.

It was late evening, Atlantis time, as John wandered out onto the West Pier. At the end of it, a figure stood, leaning on the rail. Rodney, when John reached him, was staring out and up into the sky, a coffee mug between his hands.

"Looking for the Milky Way?" John asked.

"They’re turning the Large Hadron Collider on at CERN today," Rodney said without turning.

"In about five minutes," John agreed.

Rodney looked round at him, eyebrows raised. "Oh. That’s not — is that why you’re out here?"

"Yep," John agreed again. "Of course. Tiny things going very very fast. What’s not to be excited about?"

Rodney rolled his eyes. "Colonel, it’s a precision scientific instrument designed to answer some of the most important questions in the universe. Not some kind of super-ferris-wheel for protons."

"Aw, c’mon Rodney. They had to submit a risk assessment about how likely they were to destroy the world. You have to admit that’s pretty cool."

"Yes, well, they should have come and done it over here instead, shouldn’t they," Rodney said with a grimace. "What’s one world-destroying crisis here or there in Pegasus? Not that we ever have the time to fill out risk assessments, of course. Though I’m thinking of making the biologists start after yesterday’s little slime incident. Anyway, it’s not going to destroy the world, that’s ridiculous, and even if it were, it wouldn’t be today, it would be sometime next year."

John chose not to make the obvious crack about Rodney’s record on assessing the likelihood of destroying planets. "I know. I read the risk assessment." He gave Rodney an even smugger smile. It was even true. Well. He’d read the abstract.

Rodney snorted slightly. "I’m genuinely amazed. I thought you regarded reading any kind of paperwork as anathema. Or did you just need another break from War and Peace?"

John smirked again, and settled in to lean against the railing next to Rodney. He bumped his shoulder companionably into Rodney’s, and they stood in silence for a moment.

"I remember when they announced they were going to build it," Rodney said suddenly, gesturing at the sky. "I always thought it was the sort of thing I might end up working on. A nice safe scientific institution somewhere, although of course I didn’t really have any experience of unsafe institutions to compare it to, back then. Switzerland. Switzerland’s nice. They don’t have the Wraith in Switzerland."

He sounded faintly wistful.

"They don’t have a lot of things in Switzerland," John said. Like puddlejumpers, and Teyla and Ronon, and Atlantis itself.

"Yes, well, I — no, of course, I wouldn’t. Here is, I — " Rodney vaguely waved the hand holding his coffee mug. John knew what he meant. Atlantis; home. "And it’s not like I’m not doing vitally important research and making incredibly fascinating discoveries here. Much more likely to get my Nobel than competing with eight thousand moronic scientists for LHC time. It’s just…" he trailed off.

"Yeah," John agreed. It was odd, thinking of what might have been, if Atlantis weren’t.

Another few moments, and Rodney checked his watch.

"Well, they’ve done it by now, assuming it went to plan." He looked out at the sky again, then sighed and pushed himself off the rail. "I wish I could have seen it, but Jeannie says she’ll email me the webcast."

They turned and walked back, away from Earth. Towards their city.

"Want company when you watch it?" John offered. "I could bring popcorn."

Rodney smiled at him. "That sounds good."

PS: risk assessment really does exist (PDF link)
Tags: fic, mckay/sheppard, sga

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