Title: Wake Me Up Inside
Fandom: Stargate Atlantis/Stargate SG-1
Relationships: John Sheppard/Evan Lorne, Carson Beckett/Radek Zelenka, Rodney McKay/Ronon Dex (eventually), Markham/Stackhouse
Genre: ShapeShifter (Mythological Creatures and regular animals), Angst, Alternate Reality
Rating: MA (more for the future chapters)
Warnings: Flashbacks/dreams of past verbal, psychological and physical child abuse, angst, m/m sex, explicit language, violence, explicit sex, brief mentions of past torture and kidnapping
Word Count: 5,668/ 35,000 (This update is 2, 782)
Once the door to John’s office closed, John offered Ronon the chair in front of his desk.
“Do you mind me being blunt, Ronon?”
“It has come to my attention that some of my Marines have become quite good at kicking your ass lately. A couple of them have come to me to express their concern for your well-being.”
Ronon raised his eyebrow in question.
“Apparently, you’ve been a lot more distracted than usual. Is there a reason?”
“Would you care to further explain?” John knew that at times that getting information from Ronon can be very similar to pulling teeth.
“I’ve been experiencing some of the symptoms that some of the other Atlanteans have been experiencing.”
John raised his eyebrow at Ronon.
“Muscle aches. Headaches.”
“Have you gone to see Carson about these issues?”
“No. They have only been occasionally bad enough to mildly distract me. Besides, when I was on the run from the Wraith, I couldn’t let the pain bother me. I couldn’t acknowledge it.”
“It’s enough that at least four of my Marines have come to me to ask about you.”
“I’m sorry. Do you want me to not do the training anymore with them?”
“Yes. We should put the training on hold for a few days. I would like you to go to the infirmary and have Carson check you out. He can at least take a blood sample to see what is going on. He should have previous samples to compare the results to the current one.”
“Yes, John. Anything else?” Even through Ronon did not want to go, he knew that he wouldn’t disobey John.
“If you are indeed changing into a shifter animal, it could be very beneficial. I didn’t mention it in the meeting but I want the shifters to have some military training with their shifter animal.”
“So they would be able to fight in either form?”
“Yes. I also want the training for both the scientists and military personnel. I don’t know how Mr. Woolsey would respond to it but Atlantis already is a target and all of her inhabitants have a target on their back. I want everyone prepared for the worst.” John commented.
“Understandable. You might want to talk with Teyla as well about training in shifter animal. She would know of some other forms of fighting that could be very useful.”
“True. Maybe we could set-up a couple of different training sessions with you, Teyla and myself. People will be exhausted by the end but they would know more about the various styles of fighting, especially those that are strongly used in the Pegasus Galaxy. I do not want another situation like with the fucking Genii. If it is within my power, I will not fucking let that happen again.” John vehemently stated.
Shortly after Major Lorne was turned into a hellhound, his gate team went on a mission to visit the Genii for a trade agreement. Things went to hell in a handbasket because Chief Cowen discovered the scent of a Phoenix and a Griffin on Major Lorne and imprisons SGA-2. Due to the scents being the strongest on Major Lorne, he was viciously interrogated and tortured by Chief Cowen. Major Lorne thought he was going to die due to the torture. In the end, thanks to his adopted daughter, SGA-2 was rescued by SGA-1 and some extra military personnel. Since then, John has been fearful whenever any of the gate teams go off-world to investigate the planets and try to establish new trade agreements. He knows that they need to keep the missions going because they need supplies for Atlantis and her inhabitants.
“I understand and I agree. Our military people and scientists are just as vulnerable out in the field, especially with more of the mythological creatures appearing in our shifter population. It seems like Atlantis is choosing the stronger and sometimes rarer mythological creatures, which also make them most sought after.”
After a few minutes of quiet, John said, “Why don’t you go to Carson and have him check you out? If you are indeed changing, then I want you to take it easy with the next couple of days. You can join us tomorrow when we go through the west tower but I don’t want you to be fighting with my military personnel.”
“Is there anything else?”
“Nope. Just let me know if you need anything.”
“Will do.” Ronon rose and gently nodded his head before striding out the door.
When Ronon arrived at the infirmary, he noticed that a handful of military and scientists were on the various beds. Ronon believes that more and more people are becoming part of the ever-growing shifter population.
When Carson was done helping a patient, Ronon went up to him.
“Excuse me, Dr. Beckett? Do you have a few minutes? I would like you to examine me.”
“Yes, I do. John radioed me about his concerns about you and warned me that you will be by shortly. Why didn’t you come to me before now, Ronon? You shouldn’t be suffering by yourself.”
“As I was telling John, I don’t really feel pain that much these days. I was running for my life for 7 years. I did not have the luxury to feel anything, even if I had seriously injured my foot, leg or arm. I had to keep running or the Wraith would have made mincemeat out of me.”
“I understand that but you are among friends here. We take care of our own, especially with this shifter epidemic we have going on. Please feel free to approach me from now on, if you are not feeling well.”
“I will. Thank you.”
Carson turned and led Ronon to one of the empty beds in the infirmary. Carson pulled the privacy curtain around the bed and started to examine Ronon. Despite the occasional muscle aches and headaches, he was in good shape. Carson ended up having Ronon give some blood and urine samples. He plans to analyze everything and to look for the shifter gene. He does fear that it might be different in Ronon than it is with the people from Earth.
“As far as I can tell, you seem to be fairly healthy. Do you want me to give you some pain relief medication for the headaches and muscle aches?”
“Yes. Please. I won’t need a lot but having some relief so I can actually sleep tonight would be nice.”
“Do you need a sleep aid too?” Carson doesn’t like giving out the sleep aids because he fears that his patients might get addicted to them and they do have the side effect of making the person sleep through anything, which can be dangerous on Atlantis.
“No, it’s alright. Teyla has recently given me some herbal medication to help with that.”
Carson arched his eyebrow.
“It’s only been for like two nights. Am I free to go?”
“Yes. I will let you know if I find anything. I would recommend that you take it easy and not do any of the military training.”
“Don’t worry. John has given me the next few days off. Thank you for your help, Carson.”
“Your welcome. Now get out of here.”
Ronon lightly patted Carson’s shoulder on his way out of the infirmary. Carson went about to start the analysis of Ronon’s samples before attending his next patient.
About two hours later, Rodney arrived at the infirmary with a hand rubbing his temple.
“Carson? Where are you, Carson? I need help!” Rodney grumped.
“I’m right here, Rodney. What’s the matter?” Carson knows that Rodney pushes himself very hard with all of his work and tends to ignore things like food, which can be dangerous with him due to hypoglycemia.
“I have a headache that won’t go away. I took some of those pain meds but they don’t seem to be working.”
“When was the last time you ate?”
“About an hour ago. Radek made sure that I ate dinner with him.”
“Very well. Why don’t I examine you to see if I can figure out what is going on?”
“If you must. I know most of your medical diagnosis tends to be voodoo anyway.”
Carson sighed and led Rodney to the empty hospital bed. He pulled the curtain around the bed.
“Why haven’t the sheets been changed?”
“What do you mean?” After each patient, they change the sheets and make sure that everything is clean and sterilized.
“There’s this scent. It’s somewhat faint but it’s there.”
“What does it smell like?”
Rodney breathed in and out a few times. “It smells like…..ozone….and….exotic spices. Nothing like Indian spices or the Orient. These are more….exotic or otherworldly somehow.”
As Rodney kept breathing in the scent with his eyes closed, Carson noticed that some of the stress lines were lessening around Rodney’s forehead and eyes.
“Rodney, do you mind if I examine you?”
“No, it’s alright.”
Rodney opens his eyes and sat up straighter.
Carson went about his examination but he doesn’t find any other issues with Rodney.
“Have you been sleeping lately?” Carson asked. He knows that Rodney suffers from nightmares from time to time.
“Can we go to your office?” Rodney responded softly.
“Yes, come on.” Carson turned and pulled back the curtain before heading to his office in the infirmary.
Rodney was hesitant to leave the smell that had enveloped him. It made him feel safe and protected. He knew that Carson was waiting for him so he followed Carson.
Once they were in his office, Rodney sat in the chair in front of Carson’s desk and Carson closed the door to his office so his staff would know that he’s in a meeting and not to be disturbed.
“Do you want something to drink? Tea? Coffee?”
Carson pours some water into a glass and hands it to Rodney. Carson keeps a jug of water in his refrigerator in his office.
“Are you having those nightmares again, Rodney?”
“Yes. Kind-of but not really.”
“What do you mean?”
“It starts the same as usual. I come home from a science club activity to have my father sitting in the living room, looking very annoyed and restless. I know he wants to punish me like he normally did. As he raised the baseball bat, a lion appears.”
“A lion? Like John’s lion before he was turned into a Griffin?”
“Kind of but this lion had more of a curly, extremely hairy mane. The body is lean-muscled with a tail that was long but just as powerful as it’s body. The lion stands between me and my father and growls loudly at my father. Somehow, I know or I feel that the lion would never hurt me, even though he could tear me to shreds in minutes. When it feels like a few minutes but probably only a few seconds, I put my hand on his back, near his tail. He turns his head and I see dark brown speckled with green eyes staring back at me. I feel like I should know these eyes but they just haunt me. After we stare at each other, I feel myself growing older, to be about my current age and the background melts away. We end up in a forest or sometimes in the hills and….”
“And what?” Carson prods gently.
“He goes off running but he keeps making sure that I follow him. It’s like he wants me to play along with him. Sometimes, I change into my animal form when we are in the hills. If I do, then we come up with our own form of tag, where I lightly touch him briefly with one of my claws before I take off for the skies and he follows, running on the ground at full speed. He usually catches up with me, regardless where my adventures may go. Once he changed into a generic male form with light brown skin and I offered him a ride through the clouds and the mountain tops. It was the most exhilarating experience ever.”
“Sounds lovely. When will you be offering these rides in real life?” Carson asked with a twinkle in his eyes.
No one was completely shocked when Rodney’s shifter animal turned out to be a variation of Y Ddraig Goch, or more commonly known as, the red dragon, specifically the Welsh red dragon. When Rodney is in his animal form, his length is about 100 feet. His leathery dark red wings spread to be about 200 feet wide. His scales on the outside of his coat are burnt red with a slight orange tinge to them. Underneath, his coloring changes to a lighter red. His tail becomes slender with a spade-like shape at the very end. The claws are sharp and can cut through things very fast. Two sharp, dark brown horns are at the top of his head with red pointy ears on either side of the two horns. When Rodney changes, everyone tends to run very far away and fast. Even though they haven’t tested it, it has been believed that Rodney could carry someone on his back, if he chose to do so. Many people have wanted to ask but knew better and didn’t.
“No. I don’t plan on giving anyone any rides, maybe if there is an emergency.”
“Will you go flying tonight?”
Sometimes, if the problems are too annoying or too hard, it is not usual to look out the windows of Atlantis to see a huge red dragon flying about. It tends to happen more during the night time, then during the day. When this happens, people tend to stay near their windows, especially the first few times it happened. Now, they know it’s Rodney letting off some steam.
“Maybe. I get some of my best ideas while I’m out there.”
“I know.” Deciding to change the subject, Carson said, “Do you know who this lion is?”
“No.” Rodney says softly. He has looked through Atlantis’ database to see if she knew who this lion was but he hasn’t had any success. Recently, he thought he might have come across something but it turned out to be a false lead. His dragon was determined to find this lion that kept entering his dreams.
“I’m sure the lion will turn up in time. Isn’t a bit weird that the animal is just a lion?”
“I thought everyone was turning into a mythological creature?”
“They are. There are plenty of felines throughout various mythologies so it’s probably from one of those.” Rodney had been researching what type of lion the shifter animal was but to no avail.
“How long have you been having these dreams?”
“Off and on for the past month or so. I don’t know exactly when they started to happen but for the past week or so, they’ve been nightly, in some form.”
“I am happy to hear that your nightmares are starting to go away and that some of your recent dreams are starting to sound adventurous and interesting. I’m beginning to wonder if it could be your mate that you are dreaming about?”
“Maybe but there is a part of me that is….afraid. I….”
“I know it takes you a while to open up to people due to your childhood. I feel that if you do find your mate that you will open up to him or her, eventually. It may take some time but if they are your mate, then they will give you space until you feel comfortable enough to talk and engage with him/her.”
“I hope so. I just don’t want them to get the wrong idea. I haven’t even dated in over 5 years. Each time I tried to ask someone out, I would get anxious and wonder if something horrible will happen. It was just easier to keep to myself and occasionally do things with my friends but even then….”
“I know, Rodney. Radek and I love the fact that you have opened up to us. We are always willing to be there for you and your mate, if you find him/her.”
“Thank you, Carson. You have been a wonderful friend throughout the years. As much grief I give Radek, I do view Radek as a friend too. It’s just sometimes his science ideas can be really out there.”
Carson doesn’t say anything, even though he knows he should defend his mate but it’s an on-going argument between the two. He just remains quiet so he doesn’t get stuck in the middle between the two.
“For now, why don’t you lay down for a little while to see if it helps with your headache? Finish the water and maybe have another glass. With all of your coffee drinking, you could be dehydrated.”
“I will. Thank you, Carson. If I’m not better, I will stop by tomorrow morning.”
“Sounds good. Sleep well, Rodney.”
Rodney gets up and leaves the infirmary to head back to his quarters. Once he takes a shower and drinks some more water, he ends up asleep on his bed. That night, he dreams about a man with light brown skin and long dark brown locks with dark green eyes.