Summary: A companion to Planet of the Dinosaurs - somewhat like a DVD commentary, sans-DVD.
Categories: Stargate: Atlantis > Companion Characters: Acastus Kolya
Genres: Character Study
Warnings: Adult Themes
Chapters: 2 Completed: No
Word count: 7722 Read: 25214
Published: 22/01/06 Updated: 10/06/06
1. Part One by Penumbris
2. Part Two by Penumbris
After much deliberation, I have, on behalf of the Gestalt, decided to put together what I'm calling a companion to PotD. This is a use of the word 'companion' in much the same way as it is used in Doctor Who - namely, to describe something that follows the main entity around and agrees with it a lot. Oh, and gets the odd meaningful line but little else. Though there will be no Daleks at any time, sorry. What there will be is... thoughts, I suppose, accompanied by bits of quotes, maybe even the odd insight. Maybe. I will merely be re-reading it (again!) and noting things down as I go.
So let's get started, with that seemingly simple line that sparked a shocking set of events into life, and created the fic that I may be dangerously obsessed with...
McKay is sitting slumped against the wall, his knees drawn up into his chest, his forehead all but touching them.
Oh, that poor man has no idea what's in store... *g* At one point, there was going to be a proper introduction to this, detailing what happened prior to Rodney and Kolya being captured by the Wraith. Exactly what happened remains a mystery to this day, though we do know that there was a confrontation between Kolya's squad and Sheppard's team on a planet now named as Raikora - a confrontation that was broken up by a Wraith attack in which just Rodney and Kolya were captured. The assumption is that coming after them was impossible - maybe the hiveship escaped, or something - and both were more or less written off as dead by their returning teammates.
And here's another point straight away - pay attention to how Kolya addresses Rodney as things progress. The man is very careful about how he uses peoples' names, choosing which and when for maximum effect. It's something I didn't notice him doing at first, but now am very aware of.
Rodney: "There is [no way out of here.] Not unless you magically have a small army up your sleeve. Or a sonic screwdriver, for that matter."
*smirks* References to the sonic screwdriver come up a number of times, this being the first. On the surface... I guess you could say it's just an innocent, fannish remark. It has, however, taken on other connotations...
Rodney: "What would you do if I managed to get us out of here? Fight them with your death glare and garrotte them with your bootlace?"
Ah, here we go, the first of many, MANY references to footwear. Kolya is quite right - Rodney IS very fond of using said items in his plans. Though the sheer volume of references really gets me at times! This has become a very, very long-running joke.
The death glare itself is a very old reference from the earliest SGA RP days – it was one of the first defining characteristics my Kolya muse took on.
The commander smiles. Things are looking up. He lays a hand on McKay's shoulder, in genuine - though still mildly intimidating - congratulation.
Heh. The shoulder-thing. That's one of Kolya's little gestures, particularly where Rodney is concerned. You can trace it back to canon - namely to that gobsmackingly wonderful scene in The Storm, just before the infamous knife-drawing incident. Usually, if Kolya's got his hand on someone's shoulder, it's his way of re-enforcing the power-dynamic, of providing an inescapable grounding in reality that leaves no room for mental - or physical - escape. Where Rodney is concerned, there's added layers because of the whole connection to what happened in The Storm. This particular moment is interesting, therefore, because for the first time, the gesture is not simply out of a need to intimidate the good doctor. Of course, here, that is still partly the point. But not entirely.
Rodney: "Do you touch everyone you hate?"
Oh, oh, the ironic foreshadowing!
And now we come to Rodney and Kolya vs The Wraith. When we came to write this bit, I was suddenly struck by a realisation that Kolya might never have met one before, so I decided to play that up and say that he hadn't - hence his internal reference to this being not a problem but a challenge.
You may also note that, from the very beginning, Kolya follows Rodney around like a bodyguard. There is a lot behind this, part of which becomes evident later on. Some of it is out of simple awareness that he's the better fighter of the two, and therefore ought to be defending Rodney because he's more able. But in reality it runs a lot deeper. Kolya at this point is still trying to deal with what happened to him on Atlantis and on Dagan, and is struggling with the realisation that people who go on missions with him tend to die. A lot of Genii got killed on Atlantis - please, don't get us started on THAT again! - and a number more were lost on Dagan (though seriously, man, you should have SEARCHED Sheppard-et-al properly before leaving them ALONE AND UNGUARDED in that bloody pit! Er. Sorry.) As a result, Kolya is desperate to prove that he is capable of keeping people alive, and when put in a fairly intense situation with Rodney, decides that this is his big chance. It gets much, much worse once they reach the Planet.
Back on his feet, Kolya barely has time to register what's going on before the barrel of the second Wraith's stunner smashes into his shoulder.
Yes, this would be THAT shoulder, i.e. the one Sheppard shot in The Eye. Though Kolya didn't really mention it again after this early point in the story, I know for a fact that he was in lingering pain for much of the time on the Planet. Why he chose not to mention it remains a mystery to me.
Kolya: "How long do the effects of this weapon last? Because if I end up having to carry you..."
Look! More foreshadowing! Lord knows how we managed to get so much of it in without actually planning anything!
...the shock of looking out of that window. Kolya has never actually been in space before, never looked down and seen a whole world circle below.
This was something else I realised needed to be said - when you live in a bunker your entire life, space travel is not a natural pastime! And Kolya really had a little Moment the first time he looked out of a window.
It's the same look he got when he stepped into the light from the shaft, facing Kolya and agreeing to come along. It's Rodney's really brave face.
Awww. I love that look. It makes me want to hug him.
Fortunately, there's only two Wraith, who look rather surprised to see a Human scientist storming in and struggling to duck and roll and crawl and everything he's been taught behind minimal cover, all at once, whilst screaming something that sounds somewhat akin to ‘AAAAAAHH!’
*smirk* Ah yes. This would be the first appearance of the Rodney McKay Battle Cry. It, too, has become a loooooooong running joke, and amuses me to no end.
Rodney: "Oh. Wonderful. We're so totally screwed. If I recall correctly - and I usually do - we're in orbit above Jurassic Park."
And that would be the line that changed this from a random little RP into Planet of the Dinosaurs. To this day, we don’t know why it happened – it was never planned. Rodney merely decided it would be that particular world.
Rodney: "Right. Well, you kill all the Wraith and I'll just hotwire [the Wraith dart.] Don't worry, I did this all the time in my delinquent youth."
It’s hard to pick out favourite examples of Rodney snarking, but this has to be one of them. It’s just such a lovely image.
…and, oh yes, the dart. Since we wrote this, we’ve seen one up close (in The Lost Boys,) so how both Kolya and Rodney manage to get into the cockpit is a little beyond me. Possibly the dart they steal is the family-size model.
…then suddenly there's an odd feeling of vertigo, something like Gate travel, and they rematerialise chest-deep in water, just in time to see the dart crash spectacularly.
A lot of this was unexpected. That was way beyond unexpected. For a moment, Kolya doesn't speak, and then finally he asks, quite blankly, "What did you do?"
Not only do I love this plan, but I have always liked the way Kolya reacted to it. I can completely see the Look that no doubt accompanied his question. One of the things I always find easiest when writing the good commander is the different tones of voice he uses – you can tell a lot from how he says something.
Kolya goes oddly blank as Rodney starts eating [the powerbar] - certainly a lot blanker than he is normally capable of. Yes. He can do denial too.
And THIS would be the first deliberate hint of UST – which means this part was most likely written shortly after I started writing Special. Though I should mention that, at this point, we really were still just RP-ing, with absolutely no plan whatsoever, and had no idea if things would ever become properly slashy.
Rodney: "Which is all the more reason to give me the stunner, because you can be all gung-ho and ninja it to death."
There are several times when Rodney manages to connect the words ‘Kolya’ and ‘ninja.’ This also amuses us greatly. And I do like the idea of the verb ‘to ninja.’
IN-JOKE ALERT: The boy Rodney mentions in his remarks about being sent on camp, Emett, is named after David Hewlett’s character in (the abysmal but amusing) Boa vs Python.
Kolya: "The Genii do not practice cannibalism of any kind."
This is included in Kolya’s top ten list of ‘Things I Never Expected To Say.’ Or it would be, if he had one.
Furthermore, there was a lovely remark in Coup d’Etat (which this story is set before and therefore which doesn’t apply, but nevertheless) about rumours that Cowan was killing off the Manarians (the guys in The Storm who sell out the Atlanteans to the Genii) in order to eat them. This amused us greatly. And we would like to repeat, for the record, that the Genii do not practice cannibalism of any kind.
…heh. Now Rodney makes a remark about not jinxing them by saying everything will be all right, and he mentions being sure that "the ceiling isn’t going to accidentally fall on your head." Most ironically, during a difficult moment in Part Two, this is something he’s worried might actually happen.
Rodney: "Well at least neither of us is a blond virgin, because otherwise the consequences wouldn't bear thinking about."
Note to the reader: Yes, Rodney really did just say that. And yes, it is important not to be drinking when this reply comes through, because otherwise you are at risk of choking.
Ah! Now we finally meet the first of the Little Bastards – the small dinosaurs which are responsible for SO much of the trouble that takes place. They’re about waist-high, and look a lot like mini-velociraptors. And they are MEAN.
Also? I adore the way Rodney hides behind Kolya when they’re talking about the first of the Little Bastards. It’s so very… foreshadowy. Is that a word? It is now.
Rodney: "I do know what you're doing, you do realise, don't you? Because I'm not stupid. Not at all."
Kolya: "And what am I doing?"
Rodney: "Just... don't. Really. Kate and I were only discussing this the other day."
This exchange gets interrupted by The Return Of The Little Bastard, but they do continue it later – which I was always very pleased about. What Rodney is referring to, of course, is that he thinks Kolya is trying to Stockholm him. The term is not one Kolya knows, of course, though he is aware of the syndrome itself and calls it by the Genii term instead.
I have a lot of very strong opinions about the Kolya/Rodney dynamic and the concept of Stockholm Syndrome, and I’m not going to start soapboxing about it here. Suffice it to say that, in this fic, at least, Rodney is mistaken. Kolya is not trying to Stockholm him. And if you wanted to make a case for either of them being Stockholmed, I think it would have to be the other way around, though my muse will most likely kill me for saying that.
If anyone’s really interested, do poke me sometime and I’ll get the soapbox out.
I’m always amused by the way Rodney initially doesn’t want to kill the Little Bastard that keeps attacking them – an opinion he certainly changes by the end of his time on the Planet!
The discussion they have over this issue – which becomes one of their (albeit lesser) Heated Exchanges – is also interesting, because it culminates in Kolya doing what Rodney asks, and is the first time he truly makes a concession for the good doctor.
Also, this moment is one of the few where the two of them become truly dichotomic, with Rodney acting very absolutist and Kolya (naturally) acting consequentialist. As a philosopher, this makes me Happy.
Rodney: "But I thought you were more of a cat person than a dog one."
Their little conversation about pets amused me, too. Though I have to disagree with Rodney – Kolya isn’t a cat person. He doesn’t really like the idea of something that won’t do what he tells it.
Kolya: "I have spent my life living in an underground bunker. We do not keep animals below the surface."
Rodney: "No, I know. But it would have been good for you. Having something warm and alive. Something that cares and you can stroke."
There. Are. No. Words.
Smirking a little, Kolya claps him on the shoulder. "Doctor, you sound almost... concerned."
See! See! It’s the shoulder-thing again! He does it all the time and often I only notice afterwards!
Rodney: "And there's a reason why I shouldn't be concerned when I'm not sure if I'm better sitting on a rock waiting for the local populace to gnaw my leg off or walk around with the psychopath?"
Good at putting things bluntly, the doctor is. Though Kolya resents being called a psychopath and would like me to point out that this is wholly unfair. Yes.
Kolya: "You could be with someone a lot worse. At least I'm not harbouring a desire to shoot you on sight."
Now this line, at first, seems to be a perfectly normal part of Kolya’s argument, but it is actually very telling if you know what to look for. He’s saying that Rodney could be with someone worse – but if you reverse the focus of this line, you get a glimpse of what Kolya is thinking; namely, that no matter how tricky Rodney is making things for him, he could be with someone a lot worse. (This would be Sheppard, of course, and is a thought that Kolya doesn’t truly engage with until much later.)
McKay folds his arms across his chest, nostrils flaring. Then he realises he's showing Kolya his arms and... crap, that's not a nice memory.
Kolya resorts to the glare again, noting that something new has just flickered in Rodney's eyes, and wondering if it is something he can use.
Old. Married. Couple. I love the way they end up glaring at each other half of the time.
Kolya: "You have no choice. Both of us still needs the other, and both of us are going to have to live with that."
Key word, here? ‘Needs.’ Watch his behaviour over time and you can see it reflect a change to ‘wants.’
Rodney: "And you couldn't have lied about something like this to make me feel better?"
Kolya: "Are you asking me to start lying to you?"
Rodney: "I was merely pointing out that if you do lie, things like that are good to lie about, but only if you can do it convincingly and you'd have to be good to fool me and you won't manage it now, will you?"
Kolya: "How do you know I haven't been doing it the whole time?"
This is one of my favourite exchanges ever. The idea of Rodney practically asking Kolya to lie to him is just… Yes. And Kolya’s last line is very telling if you know how things turn out at the end of this part.
Rodney: "Look, I know I'm rather unique but you could at least attempt to find some common ground between us. I know you've never heard of Stockholm but you must be aware of the concept..."
Kolya: "Stockholm? No, I am not familiar with the term. Though I am sure you will be more than willing to explain it."
Rodney: "It's fairly simple. It all has to do with not ISOLATING and intimidating people but getting them to have the same goals as you. Motivation? Ever heard of that?"
Kolya: "Of course. As far as I am aware, you and I do have the same goals - namely, to get off this planet alive. If that is not enough motivation for you, I suggest you tell me what is."
Rodney: "...You didn't think that it might help if I'm not half-wishing you would get eaten anyway?" ….. "…you should try to be charming and not look as though you'd like to see me dead as soon as I stop being useful. It's... You're doing this all wrong."
This would be Stockholm Part Two. Rodney is, of course, lying about what the term means, because he’s well aware that Kolya hasn’t heard it – and well aware that Kolya will, however, know it by another name. The most interesting thing here is not that Kolya really isn’t trying to Stockholm Rodney, but that Rodney is almost asking him to.
Kolya: "Do all your plans involve footwear, Doctor?"
Best. Line. Ever. I nearly died when he came out with this.
Kolya rolls his eyes resignedly, sits down on a nearby log, and is shortly offering one of his boots to McKay. Again.
McKay nods a thanks, then shakes his head. "I can't believe I'm doing this. Really. Aren't we supposed to precipitate it or something..?" then, shrugging, he dunks it. And swirls it. And swirls it some more, and tips it up and... oh maybe he should have taken the laces out but it's too late now. So he laces it up well, fills it one last time, and drops a tablet in. And stares at it. "You realise it takes several hours?"
And Kolya gives him a glare that would most likely cause spontaneous combustion under the wrong conditions.
Not only is all of this such an amusing image, but I’m always struck by how very strongly Kolya reacts to the whole footwear-plan-thing. I think he’s under the impression that being Mr Scary Genii Guy is difficult when you have no boots on.
…Hell, he’s going to kill me for saying that, too.
McKay's hands go to the floor on either side of him, and he's suddenly absolutely still. Whatever it is is sitting on his outstretched legs, sharp, clawed hands near his face... sniffing, its tail swishing menacingly from side to side.
Kolya watches it... and watches it... and watches it... and ok, yes, he's deliberately stalling, most likely out of some kind of malice. But after a moment, he's got the stunner pointed at the creature and, once he's sure of the aim, he fires, catching the target in the back.
McKay YOWLS as the creature instinctively digs its claws into his legs, its front ones scraping at his chest. Rodney tries to shove it off, clearly in a lot of pain, but the beast is fairly heavy and he doesn't seem entirely with it. "Kolya! Kolya! Oh my GOD I'm going to DIE! Help!"
This would be the point at which the plot really gets going, because most of what happens later is defined by Rodney being so badly injured. This, also, seems to be where matters turned into the Rodney McKay Whump-a-Thon.
I do love the way his first response is to yell for Kolya, though, and the way Kolya immediately rushes to his rescue without hesitation. You can tell a lot from how the commander acts when relying on pure instinct. In fact, the whole of what happens whilst Kolya is trying to deal with Rodney’s injuries is noteworthy because it is about the only time before reaching the Gate that both of them are utterly honest – probably because neither is diverting concentration power to anything but the problem in hand.
Kolya knows he needs to do something about the wounds, and quickly - and finds himself wishing once more, but for a very different reason, that he still had his knife. That's when his eye catches something on the side of McKay's lower leg - something the Wraith most likely missed, due to it being hidden by the doctor's now-removed boot. It's a short combat knife - and Kolya goes for it at once.
Now this is one of the few points where we had to actually confer over how Kolya was going to deal with all this, and it rapidly became clear that some sort of blade was needed. So we came up with the idea that Rodney had, in fact, been armed with an albeit small blade the whole time, and not mentioning it – which is not exactly hard to explain. After past events, he really doesn’t want Kolya armed with any kind of knife again.
Kolya, of course, was much happier from this point in, despite everything else. The man has a worrying knife fixation.
Rodney: "My pants.... have sentimental value."
Again, another line that should not be read whilst attempting to ingest anything, to avoid risk of choking.
Kolya: "Because, contrary to popular opinion, I do not just leave people to die. We are both going to get out of this, even if I have to carry you all the way to the gate myself."
Herein begins Kolya’s self-appointed quest to get Rodney McKay off the Planet, no matter what. As I noted before, he spends most of this little trip set on keeping the man alive, but after Rodney gets injured, Kolya only ends up more determined. A lot of deaths still weigh heavy on his shoulders and he made it very clear – especially to me – that he was going to keep Rodney alive no matter what.
This proved a lot more challenging than he first expected.
Kolya almost rolls his eyes at this, not commenting. "I doubt we can just stay here," he says. "More of these creatures will likely turn up. No... we need to be... off the ground..." And now, he's looking at one of the multi-branched trees nearby...
Exactly whose idea the tree was is now lost in the mists of time, but it fell to me to have Kolya start it all off. The tree practically became a character in its own right – they spend ages up there, and a lot happens whilst they do.
I can see it very clearly in my mind, too – it’s a rather nice tree, actually; very green and tall with the sort of branches designed for climbing. And it, too, sparked a lot of very long-running jokes.
IN-JOKE ALERT: Rodney: "I neglected to bring my orienteering gear and helicopter. Did you?"
This is a reference to the movie Die Hard, which we watched shortly before writing this scene. The reasons for watching it were threefold – one, because Bruce Willis looks really, really good running around with guns, two, because Alan Rickman is in it playing a bad guy with a shockingly delicious accent, and three, because I had just discovered, to my delight, that Robert Davi is also in it. His character isn’t around for long, but he plays a rather bad-ass FBI agent whose best scene involves him half-hanging out of a helicopter with a very large gun, shooting at people. Naturally, after watching this, Kolya went off on a long ramble in my head about how he wanted a helicopter, which Rodney was well-aware of in meta. Hence the remark.
And I should just say this without needing to quote… the scene where they climb the tree? Kills me. In so many ways.
Rodney: "Thanks for the ego-stroking but it really isn't the time or the location."
*smirk* Rodney talks about ego-stroking rather a lot.
IN-JOKE ALERT: Down below, there are... what might count as happy happy eating noises - if you're a dinosaur. Kolya continues to stay very still, not wanting to have to find out the hard way if these creatures can climb trees...
‘Happy happy eating noises’ is a particularly old reference that popped up in a very early SGA RP, and it made its way into our little corner of the fandom zeitgeist.
Kolya: "Relax, Doctor."
It is a sad but true fact that Kolya simply should not be allowed to tell people to relax. This becomes increasingly evident over time.
"Sleep, Doctor," Kolya says to him. "We're going to be up here for a while."
"Don't... want to..." headshake, "fall..."
Kolya considers this for a moment. "You only have two options," he says. "Either we both shift position so I can hold onto you, or... I could tie you to the tree." And it takes a lot to be able to deliver that line so very levelly.
I’m afraid this little idea was entirely my fault. In defence of both myself and my dear Genii, I must insist that it was, in fact, a good idea – no matter what Rodney may tell you.
Rodney: "Why are you here? Where's Colonel Sheppard? Where's Colonel Carter? Aren't you evil?"
Kolya: "Yes. Undeniably so."
Another of my all-time favourite quotes. I don’t know what I love more – Rodney asking Kolya if he’s evil, or Kolya flat-out saying yes.
Rodney: "I used to like the evil people best."
*happy happy foreshadowing noises*
And the dreams? To this day I have no idea if they mean anything. They’re certainly weird, though!
Kolya keeps a hand on the doctor's shoulder, trying to give him some grounding in reality.
...He does it all the time! Dear God, the man’s got a shoulder-fixation!
Rodney: "...'ere am I?"
Kolya: "Up a tree on the Planet of the Dinosaurs."
Rodney: "Oh. Wake me when it's normal then."
This about sums it all up, really! Again, another of my favourite quotes. That tree was just magical for getting good lines out of them.
Rodney: "Look. If we die... I'm sorry I wasn't flying better. I'm an astrophysicist. I'm supposed to be behind a desk. And... you're less of a bastard sometimes and you really should consider getting a weasel, maybe, they like it underground..."
This left me Dead From Cute.
At this point, of course, we meet the Very Big Dinosaur (yes, yes, we know Kolya is also not allowed to name things) – which, thankfully, does not try to eat them. We’d had several incidents with smaller dinosaurs, so thought it might be interesting to bring in something much larger. The Very Big Dinosaur is basically a diplodocus, and is the only dinosaur they meet that doesn’t want to eat them.
Kolya: "It hasn't bitten you in half, yet. Things could be worse."
I’m always excessively amused by the fact that whenever Kolya talks about getting eaten by dinosaurs, he always assumes they’ll go for Rodney and not him. Whether this is denial, self-confidence, or some kind of psychological tactic, I’ve never been sure.
Rodney: "I'm... going to go into hypoglycaemic shock, if I haven't already. I might... say things I don't mean."
Kolya has to force himself not to take advantage of this, because getting off the planet alive is more important than interrogating a half-delirious Rodney whilst up a tree. No, really, it is.
It would have been unnaturally amusing, though.
Kolya: "If you want conversation, make it. Unless you want me to tell you about interrogation tactics..."
Rodney: "Fine. Do you ever play good cop?"
This was another of those moments where both Kolya and I were VERY surprised at how Rodney chose to respond. As a conversation-killer, the interrogation-tactics-remark really didn’t work this time!
Also, as a little Achronism teaser… you will eventually get to see Kolya play good-cop. We promise.
Kolya: “Interrogation is not an arena for personal challenge. It is an art."
I nearly killed him for this.
Kolya doesn't say anything else, but smirks slightly. Idly, he takes out the small combat knife, running the edge of a finger down the blade, as if thinking. Or, possibly, as if trying to wind Rodney up.
He does this a lot, and it gets scary at times. Scarier still when I catch myself doing it.
*smirks* The ‘conversation’ they have in the morning (whilst up the tree) is also noteworthy as the first time they truly end up in Capslock City, though we never called it that. It’s bad enough when they go into bold and italics. Capslock is BAD news. They tend to be particularly vindictive when in capslock.
Also, this would be the point where both of them start arguing as to how the other views their humanity – in a moral as opposed to biological sense. It’s a fair discussion on its own but it takes on a remarkably amusing connotation when you know what happens right near the start of Part Two!
And the conversation they have whilst Kolya is holding Rodney out of the tree (deja-vu city!) also strikes me because in it, what both of them are saying boils down to this: Rodney wants to be noticed, and Kolya wants to be respected as a person. Ironically, both of them really do get their wish in Part Two.
Kolya: "Did it ever occur to you, Doctor, that I did notice you? That you were always the one I wanted alive?"
This is a very fair point. Watch Storm, Eye and Brotherhood. Rodney is always last on Kolya’s hit-list. Can’t imagine why… *g*
And oh dear, now he's really into Meaningful Conversation Territory.
*broad smirk* Heh. This is the first appearance of Meaningful Conversation Territory – before this, Kolya has internally mentioned meaningful conversation, and even the realm of meaningful conversation, but this is the first time it becomes a fully-capitalised ‘location.’ It’s a metaphor he really over-develops from here on in, and is another thing that amuses me to no end. It also highlights his increasing tendency to over-capitalise things. The man thinks in capital letters.
McKay eats his [powerbar], with none of the usual relish he shows. It's the last of his food and... frankly, the idea of eating Puff the Magic Dinosaur is not that appealing.
Whilst this reference to Puff the Magic Dinosaur is not technically an in-joke, it has most certainly become one!
"What if it catches you by surprise? We're both dead then." But Rodney looks suddenly... grateful. He smiles, weakly, but it soon turns into that smirk he normally wears. "Both doomed then."
Never mind dinosaurs, it's the smile that catches Kolya by surprise - and he almost seems to return it. "Not yet," he replies, confident.
Once again – DEAD. FROM. CUTE! This is the first time we get anything close to a genuine smile from Kolya.
The Attack of the Little Bastards scene was the last one we wrote before what I can only call the Summer Hiatus – i.e. the period from late May to early October when this RP-fic didn’t progress. Yes, we really wrote nothing in that time.
The scene itself is the penultimate dinosaur attack of the fic, and is the only one where they get swarmed. It offered a nice opportunity for Kolya to beat lots of things up and thereby make himself feel better, not to mention allowed for the inclusion of fried dinosaur in the great scheme of things.
And the part where Rodney once again utilises footwear, this time as a defensive weapon? Cracks me up every time. The man is so undeniably delightful.
The Fried Dinosaur scene – the first bit we wrote after finally picking this up again – was the first one not written in IRC. Up until this point, we had used IRC as our RP medium, but when we started up again, our IRC server was down and we were forced into AIM instead. One night of RP-ing in an AIM chat room, with its hideous restrictions on word limits – I had to write most of Kolya’s posts in Notepad and then copy-paste them across, almost line-by-line – was all we needed to move into Gmail. And that, I can tell you, was a brilliant decision. Now we no longer need to both be online in order to write posts – we just bounce it back and forth via Gmail, replying whenever is convenient. Some nights still involve high-speed replying, and other times we’ll only get one reply each, if that. The time I got ill in November saw us go about five days without a reply, until Rodney practically came to beat me up himself in order to get things moving.
This would also be the point at which the previous one-paragraph-each method died out, because we have so much more room in Gmail, and can write much longer replies. Though it makes editing much more tricky, it allowed us to develop the story much more fluidly – not to mention increased the word-count by a fair margin!
As for the Fried Dinosaur scene itself – oh, this one hurt to write. And Kolya gets quite shockingly honest at several points.
Kolya: "…and be glad that you are not John Sheppard - because if you were, one of us would most likely be dead by now."
Note that Kolya doesn’t merely say ‘he would be dead by now.’ This is because deep, deep, deep, deep, DEEP down, he has some acceptance that the colonel is hardly a pushover. Exactly what would have happened had it been Sheppard and Kolya instead of Rodney… now that I just can’t face thinking about.
Kolya: "I should have left Sheppard in that hole and just taken you home with me."
No matter how many times I yell this at the screen whilst watching Brotherhood… he never does.
All of a sudden, Kolya leans much closer to Rodney, the bloodstained knife still in one hand, and says, "Alarming, isn't it, when the lines start to blur? When you realise that life isn't as black and white as you thought?"
Oh. Now. I could write a lot on that quote alone, and not all of it would be about Kolya, believe me.
Rodney: "You have even more issues than I do. My psychiatrist back home would have a field day with you."
Kolya: "How interesting. Believe me, Doctor... given the chance, I could have quite a field day with your psychiatrist, too."
I’ve never forgiven him for that line. And it’s another of those that you can take several ways, none of them good.
Rodney: "[My psychiatrist] would love you. All anger and aggression and symbolic weaponry. You're a textbook case."
Kolya: "In my experience, most people who seem like textbook cases rarely turn out to be."
For the record, Kolya is not talking about himself, but Rodney – who despite seeming like a textbook case at first glance has quickly turned out to be nothing of the sort. Most people are easy for Kolya to read and the fact that Rodney isn’t makes him extremely interesting. It’s kinda like what would happen if a telepath met someone whose mind couldn’t be read – refreshing, in a way, though disconcerting at the same time.
It strikes the commander, suddenly, that their conversations are so incredibly odd. One moment, there's deeply open hostility, and the next, they're back to what seems like a casual discussion on the Human condition. Of course, it isn't really anything of the sort, at least not to Kolya. To him, it's the only workable way to duel with Rodney - a verbal battle, as opposed to the physical ones that he prefers. Sometimes, adapting to an opponent's style is the best way to face them.
Kolya tends to see life as a long series of battles, because his own life revolves around them so often. This becomes more evident in Part Two, when we get to see him in a more ‘normal’ setting. But Kolya doesn’t like a duel that he knows he can win easily – what would be the point? That’s why he engages in these ‘verbal duels’ with Rodney; because it’s challenging, in the way that any kind of physical fight would not be.
Rodney: "Is it [the dinosaur meat] still pink? Was it even pink to begin with? I don't want food poisoning."
Kolya: "It was red to begin with. Now... it is less so. But then, the preparation of dinosaur meat is not something I'm familiar with."
Food poisoning. Now that would just be the final nail in the coffin. And if the commander can keep Rodney McKay alive and up a tree all night, stop small, vicious dinosaurs from eating them, and butcher one such dinosaur with a very inadequate knife, then, damn it, he is not going to let matters get any worse.
Kolya was very adamant about this in my head. Food poisoning would have been the final straw.
Rodney: "What does [the fried dinosaur] taste like?"
No matter where you are in the great tapestry of the universe, some things never change.
There was simply no way this response could be avoided.
Rodney: "Interesting is just one step short of 'special'."
Nodding in thanks, Kolya nevertheless has a sudden, very odd flicker in his eye - though it quickly disappears. "Yes. It is."
This is not so much an in-joke but a personal in-reference to my own fic Special - which marks not only the first time I wrote this pairing, but the first time I wrote NC-17 as well. You should go read it. It has knives and chains and walls and angst and I really will get the next part finished eventually.
And then... it's back to How To Carry Your Scientist.
Your Scientist now comes with handy Scrabbling Feet action, Muffled Protest sounds, authentic weight and Grappling Hands.
This… just kills me all over.
Kolya is about to say something - something vague and offhand and probably very silence-inducing - but then, matters take a slightly unexpected turn. The, for want of a better word, 'path' that they've been following suddenly opens out, into a large, rounded clearing. Flickering sunlight casts hazy shadows on the ground, giving the place a strange and almost ironic beauty.
And all of it pales in comparison before what lies in that clearing - a great grey ring, with steps leading to it, those eternally alien symbols carved all over.
The Stargate - real, magnificent, and more welcome than anything else has ever seemed before.
The whole scene at the Stargate has to rank as one of my favourite things I’ve ever been involved in writing. This initial moment, when they first find it, is extremely clear in my mind, as is exactly how Kolya looks when he at last realises that the whole ordeal is almost over – and that expression? Is nothing short of reverence. You can tell from his initial behaviour, before the final… um… incident… that this is what he’s feeling.
It’s a fascinating moment, actually, because up until this point, arguments aside, Rodney and Kolya have been allies. It is here that, for a moment, they become enemies again – albeit briefly, because of how things turn out.
And it would have been interesting – though much less fun – to see what would have happened if they’d just gone through the gate without incident – because this is where Rodney really accepts that he’s been a prisoner the whole time, and Kolya accepts that he’s not happy with that fact.
The final Attack of the Little Bastard… was entirely my fault. Or, rather, Kolya’s. He insisted that it needed to happen, but only later on did I realise why.
Of everything that happens on the Planet… there is perhaps no event more plot-critical than this. So much of what follows hinges on it… and at the time, I wrote it on a whim.
This scares me in more ways than one.
Finally, stunner slung over his back again, [Kolya] goes over to where Rodney is curled in a shaking heap, hesitating at least once before he kneels at the doctor's side, a hand on his shoulder - nothing like the way he usually makes that particular gesture.
He's not used to this, not at all. Normally, people break down in front of him because he made them, and that's a good thing in those circumstances. This... oh, this is something different.
I love this whole scene – how could I not?! – but this initial moment is… special, and absolutely critical in Kolya’s character development. It is the point at which he finally lets his guard down – something he only does because he knows Rodney is unlikely to notice, but which makes him realise that he can let his guard down.
Their slow movement towards finally hugging completely breaks my heart every time. It was the moment in which Kolya finally made The Big Decision, though it took several more posts before he would enact it. It was also when he admitted a lot of things to me, at least, which helped a great deal.
Slowly, he starts to move, to get up - and then he hesitates. And watching Acastus Kolya really hesitate like that is fairly alarming without even taking context into account. Watching him hesitate twice would probably cause a large number of his subordinates to run for cover.
This is a different situation altogether, and he finally knows it. Quite suddenly, he rolls Rodney briskly but very, very carefully onto his back, leaning down to plant a quick, desperate kiss on his lips.
These are perhaps the two most important paragraphs I have ever written about Kolya. For one, they mark the first time in forty thousand words that the man uses his own first name. This, I realised, is more relevant than it first seemed. He has always thought of himself so much as a soldier, and rarely used his first name because no one else did. At this point, though, I think he finally realised he could be something other than just his job description.
Also, of course, that kiss defined the direction the story was to head off in. It took some time before he would let me hit the ‘send’ button, though, and we went over every word far too many times.
Of all the things [Rodney]'s ever expected, that probably rates as the least. Oh, apart from that time with the cauliflower cheese.
Don’t ask. We don’t know.
As for the final moments – now, they were in my head a long time before I actually wrote them. I had an amazingly clear image of Kolya coming back through the gate carrying Rodney, and of exactly what he said.
And that last line? So, so right.
Here ends Part One, of both the fic, and the companion. But don’t worry… both will return soon!
- Shadow Side (aka The Tall One)
Well, following the unexpected interest several people showed in my companion to Part One of PotD, I decided to go ahead and write a continuation for Part Two, a.k.a. The Geneva Convention, a.k.a. The Behemoth Part That Would Not End.
Again, I hope you enjoy (as opposed to fear) the weird thoughts I’ve collected here! (And yes, I know that rhymes.) As before, most of this will be a) me rambling about writing Kolya, b) me highlighting some of the best stuff Rodney has said/done/both, and c) assorted facts/in-jokes/etc that I hope you’ll find interesting.
Planet Of The Dinosaurs: A Companion - Part Two [69% New Footage!]
Before I get started with the read-through, quotes, and bizarre insight-y bits, I ought to take a moment to explain a bit about PotD that I should really have included in the first part of the companion, but didn’t because I didn’t expect much interest.
PotD started out as, and mostly remains, an RP between the primary SGA muses of its two writers. I (the weirdly-named entity who goes by Shadow Side) write Kolya, whilst my co-writer Davechicken writes Rodney. Whenever we need other characters, the person writing them is generally dictated by who they’re interacting with - if someone’s talking to Kolya, then Davechicken will write them, and if someone’s talking to Rodney, I’ll write them. If there’s someone interacting with both of them, it gets trickier, and we tend to share responsibility, although one of us will be more responsible for the third character than the other. Jerran, for example, who pops up several times in Part Two, is an OC of my own devising, and I mostly wrote him, (but not entirely.)
When we first started RP-ing, as I said in Part One of the companion, everything was completely spontaneous - save, of course, for the odd little technical point that we needed to work out. (Like, say, Rodney having that combat knife.) As time has passed and things have got more complex, we have needed to plot ahead, although we never do this in too much detail and most of what happens remains very spontaneous - leading to completely unexpected turns of events, such as a number of the things that happen during the Last Night (but more on that later!)
The style of Part Two often strikes me as being really quite different from Part One, because most of Part One was written very much in RP-format: short responses, brief paragraphs, point-of-view quickly bouncing from one character to the other. Now that we write in Gmail, and responses are longer, there’s a lot more insight in between the action, and we got a chance to really develop things in a way that the traditional RP-medium might have denied us.
But look at me, I’m rambling again. This would be a good time to stop with the backstory and get to the action. So let’s head back to the Genii homeworld and pick up on the story, beginning with THAT hospital-room scene…
It is some hours later and deep within the Genii bunker, Kolya stands in a small room, staring out of the window - which, of course, looks over the internal layout of the bunker city itself, all grey and clunking and alive.
The first paragraph is always a good place to start, I guess. When I wrote it, I didn’t know for sure that it would be the beginning of Part Two, but it works well enough as an ‘establishing shot’ so we stuck with it. I have always loved those panoramic views of the inside of the bunker that we get to see in the show from time to time, which is why this is not the only fic I’ve been involved with that opens on that very view. I’ve been known to sit and stare at screenshots of it - you’d be amazed at how much you can spot if you do that!
Rodney: “No, not the jif lemon...”
*dead* This amused us greatly. There have been some very amusing discussions in meta on the question of Rodney’s nightmares.
Sometimes there’s a reason why ‘deny’ rhymes with ‘Genii.’
Kolya nearly killed me for this, but I find it hopelessly amusing.
And I should say at this point - the entire first half of the hospital room scene was particularly challenging to write, from my point of view, at least - because I simply could not get Kolya to say what he wanted to say. It was deeply alarming - as Rodney himself notes at one point - and certainly hindered matters somewhat. Although I have to say, I do like the idea of Kolya being quite so badly lost for words. It has a nice irony to it.
Kolya: “I don’t know yet. I need to have a... conversation with Cowan.”
It’s strange, the way Kolya says the word ‘conversation.’ In fact, it sounds rather like polite conversing with his leader is currently a long way off his mental radar.
*eg* I have never written any character who could use the word ‘conversation’ quite so diversely as Kolya. Depending on his tone of voice, it can mean anything from ‘polite chat’ to ‘violent shouting match with added weaponry.’
Over the course of this part, evidence of the full spectrum of Conversation, Kolya-style, will come to light!
...dear God, please tell me I’m not wearing a hospital gown, [Rodney] thinks…
I was acutely aware of Rodney’s hospital fetish all the way through writing this scene, although thankfully Kolya doesn’t find out about it until much later.
It’s clear what’s happened. Being on that planet for so long has driven him crazy. Yes. That must be it. Well. Possibly...
Kolya spends rather a long time blaming various things - mostly his own internal mental states - on the Planet, considering his time there to have had a damaging effect on his psyche. This is true in some cases, but a lot of the time it is another case of that rhyming Genii/deny connection!
Kolya: “When we were in that clearing, I felt something that I haven’t experienced for a long time... I wanted to help you, to prove to you that you weren’t alone. I saved your life, damn it, but only then did I realise how much you had saved mine as well.”
Ah, honesty. I do so love it when I can really get Kolya to be honest - but this, I think, was spontaneous. And, of course, I cannot help liking that last line.
Rodney: “Okay.” More needed. “So we’ve worked out you have empathy. And anger. Lots of that. Jealousy, too, and compassion. My god,” Rodney says, smacking his mouth in mocked shock, overdone. “You’re actually human.”
Then, annoyed, Rodney leans over, grabs him by the shirt, yanks him over (with more strength than many credit him for) and kisses Kolya, roughly. See how he likes being pulled around...
*g* Whilst we were RP-ing this scene, I made an LJ entry about how the post-Planet antics were no less angsty - and then, literally moments later, THIS reply came through. I’m pretty sure I actually waved my arms around in joy. I certainly ended up grinning like an idiot for ages - and I then went back to add an extra bit to the LJ post I’d just made. It read, simply, “EDIT: *SMIRK*”
It summed things up quite nicely, I felt!
So. Yes. I adore this bit. I adore the way Rodney suddenly snaps and kisses Kolya, and I loved the way Kolya reacted in my head. He really was quite genuinely surprised!
But kissing [Kolya] doesn’t seem to explain much of anything either. Apart from a) Kolya apparently (but not necessarily) really does like kissing him, b) Rodney probably needs a shave, c) that thing with the hospital kink is getting worse and he’ll never be able to look Carson in the eye again, d) kissing men isn’t all that much different from kissing women and, e) ...damn. He might be the tiniest bit gay.
We do so love Rodney’s lists, especially this one. Particularly point e). Of course. There have been rather a lot of jokes and references to do with Rodney’s list-making - even more so because said activity is a habit shared by both Davechicken and myself.
Possibly we should start a List Makers Anonymous. If nothing else, we could invite Rodney to it… *eg*
Oh, and that’s another thing - watch out for certain words that have a tendency to recur. At this point, Kolya’s favourite was ‘unexpected.’
He and I both thought it very appropriate.
Kolya: “Cowan is not going to release you to an enemy of the Genii on a whim,” he begins. “He might, however, consider a tactical release to someone with whom we have some semblance of an alliance... even if that alliance does not yet exist.”
Ah yes. Kolya’s cunning plan. This idea had been bouncing around for a while, so it was nice to see it finally get aired. (It was one I considered originally for the final part of Special - I will finish it, oh God I WILL finish it! - but decided to use here instead. The alternative, darker plan fits better with the tone of Special, which features a slightly darker version of Kolya.) With this plan finally decided upon, the Geneva Convention was truly born.
It is, of course, an extraordinarily difficult plan for Kolya to consider, let alone actually suggest - given that it involves a truce with people he has come to hate intensely. One of the things I was trying hard to do here in Part Two was show Kolya moving from reluctant to open acceptance of the plan he comes up with - one that he formulates because it is the only way to make his relationship with Rodney viable.
And this slow change of opinion was something I used to highlight the personality shift Kolya goes through - despite his fairly regular insistences that no such shift takes place. Considering what he goes through, the emotions he experiences, the events which occur, I doubt anyone could avoid changing somewhat - and his feelings about the treaty negotiations allowed me to highlight this from time to time. It was interesting, because this was of course written over many weeks, and I was able to watch Kolya undergo this character development practically in real-time.
Rodney: “So.” Pause. Breath. Another pause. Oh look, oxygen...
This offhand little comment amuses me intensely, and caused much merriment when I managed to quote it back to Davechicken (who wrote it) in a conversation one day.
“Right. That... that would be a good plan. Seeing Cowan.” Rodney bites his lip again, trying to... ah, that one. The one who looked oddly familiar... twice over.
No doubt other DS9 fans had a similar reaction upon seeing their beloved Chief O’Brien become the evil leader of a militaristic society living in a giant secret hidden underground bunker! We have a tendency to use “Chief O’Cowan” as a blanket term, now, and my recent DS9 re-watch-athon was punctuated with regular shouts of “Bashir! Don’t you realise the man is evil?!”
Now. Possibly I should talk for a moment about the first scene between Kolya and Cowan - notable because we actually see almost none of it, and also notable because I wrote all of it myself (which is, of course, odd in an RP-based fic.) The second major scene with Cowan, later on, is shown in full, and Cowan was then written by Davechicken. This first time, however, I wrote what little we see of him - partly for ease, and partly because I needed to get this bit of the plot sorted out, whilst Rodney still had no say in it.
This scene is one that was in my mind for a while before it was written, and is one that still pops up as a difficult point from time to time. It is difficult because Kolya refused flat-out to tell me what went on between him and Cowan - and that is something he very rarely does. Though the man can be frighteningly difficult to get anything out of, we have this unspoken agreement that ‘current events,’ if you will, are something I get to know about, even if not all of it ends up on the page. (Sometimes, for example, he will tell me things but does not want them made public, and though I never reveal them they help me understand his motivations. Plus, I like making semi-opaque, teaser-ish hints, and possibly even eventually trying to write fic about them. That, I must point out, is where Prelude In A - the Backstory Fic - came from!)
Yet to this day, I do not know exactly what happened in that room - beyond what is obvious in the fic itself. Kolya goes in, shuts the door, and they start conversing. It eventually gets heated - but who’s surprised, really? - and then Kolya pops out, grabs a guard, drags him inside, shuts the door again, talks for a moment, and then shoots the guard in the leg.
I know he was making a point. He told me that much from the very beginning. I do not, however, know what the point was, or why it required bloodshed. I also do not know why it - and any accompanying words - were enough to not only make Cowan do what Kolya wanted, but also convinced Cowan not to do something about the whole shooting-of-subordinates thing.
What I can tell you is that that look Kolya has at the end of this scene - his ‘got you’ look - is entirely genuine, and very, very important.
I live in hope that he will eventually tell me what really happened - if nothing else, because it might be relevant in Part Four. Oh. You may not know about Part Four yet. *eg* But. Gotta finish Part Three first…
The duel doesn’t last particularly long - mostly because a combination of stress, recent events, and some rather odd Genii drugs he’s still got in his system from his own brief stay in the infirmary, make Kolya go all-out - more so than usual.
Eventually, having put another person in the infirmary - that’s two in less than an hour - the commander decides enough is enough.
OK. I must now say, in Kolya’s defence, that he is NOT normally this bad, and does not regularly make a habit of sending a long line of his own people to the infirmary. He was under a lot of STRESS, damnit, and his reaction is completely understandable for a man of his mindset.
What?! Stop looking at us like that!
A moment’s pause, then Rodney reluctantly nods. He doesn’t have much choice in the situation, as he can see. No real bargaining material, as he knows the Genii as a people won’t shy from somewhat dubious - or, at least, forceful - methods of persuasion. Though he doubts, somehow, that Kolya would be the one to attempt it this time.
Oh. It would have been very, VERY interesting to see what would have happened if the negotiations had broken down, and Rodney’s planned release never came to pass.
Very interesting indeed.
Rodney: “Well, are you going to kiss me again or do I try my hand at the guard detail? Not literally... well, maybe, I don’t know if I’m in to that kind of thing. Not that I didn’t have an interesting college experience, but it wasn’t interesting like that...”
I would LOVE to see what would’ve happened if Rodney had tried hitting on the guards. Their expressions alone would have been priceless! Although it must be said, if Kolya ever found out, said guards might have run into difficulty shortly afterwards…
This is why Kolya has just risked almost everything he believes in - to finally be with someone who actually seems to want him back.
Ladies and gentlemen… welcome to The Crux Of The Matter.
Enough said, I think. Back to the kissing…
Then [Kolya] realises he’s thinking about trees from a somewhat different angle - namely, what two people can do against them - and decides it might be wise to pull his thoughts back to the present.
At this point, just as things really are about to get interesting, there’s a heavy clunk from the corner of the room, and the door swings slowly open. A single Genii soldier walks in, freezing with an expression of complete and utter shock as he sees what’s going on.
Kolya doesn’t even think, as his instincts kick-in shockingly fast. He swings around, drawing his gun from its holster as he moves, pointing the weapon straight at the intruder.
And then he fires.
*headdesk* In our defence, we would like to re-iterate the whole under-a-lot-of-stress thing. And the not-normally-this-bad thing. And…
OK, OK, he shoots a lot of people! We know! But he always has a reason. *nods* Really.
(This probably isn’t the best time to tell you how much I enjoyed writing this particular tag, is it?)
The man reels as the bullet smashes into his leg, clutching just above his knee and struggling to stand.
Ironically, I learned just a few weeks ago (in the beloved 24) that this is a very GOOD place to shoot someone. This only adds to the alarming truth that my muse really does know more than he lets on, even to me.
Kolya: “Something really ought to be done about the discipline in this place. I’m... sorry about that.”
Rodney: “The part where he came in or the part where you shot him? Do you normally do that to people who don’t knock?”
Both very good questions, it must be said!
And Rodney appears to have lost the ability to talk properly again. “If you’re in difficulty, I could... I could convince E- Doctor Weir and Colonel Sheppard to... I don’t know, let you stay or something. If you wanted to.”
Even if it would be... really, really weird. And really, really difficult. And would freak a hell of a lot of people out if Rodney came back with Him asking if he could keep him.
Rodney’s offer stops him right in his tracks, though, causing a sudden disconnection between Kolya and reality that takes a few seconds to pass. Did the doctor actually just offer him political asylum?!
I utterly, utterly adore this exchange, particularly the second paragraph, and the way Kolya reacted to it in my head! The idea of Kolya seeking political asylum on Atlantis is…
Oh God. No. NO MORE FIC BUNNIES!
Rodney: “It... well, I know a lot of people won’t be very happy with me, even if I am still alive... But we could... see.”
Which is Rodney speak for, -the fuck? And, -hwah? And, -yey! All at once. Although this is less obvious.
Rodney-speak constantly amuses us… but I must say, this is one of my favourites. If nothing else, it was pleasingly positive.
“I want to talk to you,” [Kolya] insists. “I just... fear driving you away.”
There. He said it. And as he does, that image comes to mind again - the Atlantis control room, windows battered by such a brutal storm... everything that happened. Everything he did. It might be helpful if he could claim it was all desperation, last resorts, plumbing the depths of possibility to achieve a result. But it wasn’t. That is who he is, and every time he tries to say something, it links back to memories of that day.
Now this is an absolutely critical point, especially during the first half of Part Two. It was one of the things I remained acutely aware of - and, though the effect is a little lesser now, am still acutely aware of. And particularly at this point in the story, much of how Kolya behaves around Rodney is affected by what happened on Atlantis - after all, how do you build up a genuine relationship with someone who, within moments of first meeting, you had tortured? The hardest thing for me, as a writer, to convey in this situation is more or less what is laid out in that second paragraph - notably, that Kolya does not regret what he did, because when it comes to his job, he does not have those kinds of regrets. But at the same time, he has extraordinary difficulty with the whole issue, because he has reached the state where he would not hurt Rodney and yet is very, very aware that he already has.
It’s odd, and it’s something I was trying to work through whilst writing a number of Kolya’s responses in the first half of this part. It’s one of the reasons why he is sometimes slightly more restrained - and nigh-on hesitant - during a lot of their interactions. Given what happened, Kolya decided it would be wise not to push too much - and why, if you watch carefully, you can see him gradually work up to things as opposed to leaping in at the deep end (which he’s happier to do later on.) Because this relationship, more than anything else, he did NOT want to wreck through his habit of being a little… over-enthusiastic.
Rodney’s been sitting with absolutely nothing to occupy him but a pad and a pen that he brow-beat out of one of his guards after the tedium simply got too much. And the guards were convinced no harm would fall upon them for opening the door. The pad, however, is considerably worse for wear by the time Kolya arrives. Half-finished strings of letters and numbers, doodled spirals and notes litter the page, and there’s a fair number of balled up pieces in one corner. Possibly, if one looked, one might see the remains of a list on a few.
*g* Ah yes, dear Rodney’s lists. This is a long, LONG running joke - but to this day, the contents of these lists have not been revealed.
This, of course, is the beginning of what I always think of as ‘section two’ of this part - given that the way we wrote Part Two basically makes it fall into four large sections, which themselves divide further into component scenes. The first two sections cover (roughly) the first three days on Geneva, which deals with the establishment of the relationship, and the setting-up of the negotiations with Atlantis - and it is this ‘section two’ which contains some of my favourite scenes.
The corridor outside is much like the room was - cool, dim and quiet. As soon as Rodney moves to follow Kolya, one of the guards immediately tries to give him a Look.
“I’ll bring him back,” Kolya promises, with more than a slight smirk.
*eg* At this point, we weren’t sure if Rodney would be returning to The Grey Room - and as such, I am even more amused by the fact that Kolya does not, in fact, ever bring Rodney back. But I do love the idea of the guards standing there for hours, watching the door to an empty cell.
…ah yes, the Training Room Scene. Definitely one of my all-time favourites, not least because it was the first time I got to actually show Kolya duelling. (Something I have done a great deal since then!) It also allowed me to start building up the circle of people Kolya (still) has in his life, beginning with Rokal and Valtain. I really love those two - Valtain especially, as Rokal is a bit of a bastard. But then, he does spend rather a lot of time around Kolya, so it’s kinda understandable!
These two, like some of the other Genii OCs I have come up with in the course of writing various things, are actually not technically OCs (original characters) but OCCs (original canon characters) in that they are based on two guys from the show, but virtually everything about them is my own creation.
Go watch Brotherhood, and in Kolya’s first scene, you’ll see he’s been fighting a pair of young Genii soldiers - the two guys he kicks out so he can talk to Pranos about Dagan. Those two guys are Rokal and Valtain, Rokal being the taller one and Valtain being the one who starts out on the floor.
Rodney is not entirely a stranger to this mode of fighting - he’s seen Teyla and the colonel in practice before. Oh, and Gabrielle and Xena, but that doesn’t count because television fights are nothing like real life.
This, of course, was another one of those “you just said/thought WHAT?!” moments which dear Rodney has a tendency to provoke. And incidentally, this was written before the ‘Conan and Xena’ line popped up in Epiphany.
Rodney: “Are you insane? I saw what you did to those two, and I’ve only just been stuck back together again from the last time!”
Kolya: “I wouldn’t be quite so... vigorous in your case.”
This quote speaks for itself, really.
Rodney: “I... haven’t ever done this before.”
*headshake* The more you look at this scene, the more you realise it’s jammed full of double-entendres, many of them entirely non-deliberate (I think.) It’s another reason why I like this bit so much.
And Kolya... understands. He remembers what it was like, back during his own training, when he couldn’t do the things he now takes for granted. How could he ever forget the first time he was put in a room with someone and ordered to get information from them? That was... an experience, and it got him a Reputation overnight.
DO NOT ASK. Really. I will fic it when the man finally decides to tell me what actually happened. I know a little of it, but not much, and so far he seems intent on keeping things that way.
But then, Kolya’s seen [Rodney] under... torture. Under duress. Under a dinosaur, and under the sheets. But not with the dinosaur under the sheets. Of course.
I really did like this! Though we would like to second the part where there was absolutely NO dinosaur sex.
He’s still feeling small-animal-in-the-headlights lightheaded and shaky, this whole situation one he’d never really anticipated. Really, if he didn’t know better, Rodney would swear blind Kolya was, in fact, a Klingon. A thought which amuses him so much he attempts his best cocky-in-the-face-of-danger-because-I-can’t-run-away face.
Dead. Dead-ity dead dead dead. Really. This response totally killed me, and I was only sorry that Kolya, of course, didn’t actually get it.
Also, for those of you out there who have somehow failed to embrace the Star Trek love, “q’pla” is Klingon for “success,” and is used in many different ways, though predominately as either a) a greeting, b) a farewell, or c) a battle-cry.
Well. Makes a change from “AAAAAAAAAA!”
Possibly tormenting an evil, murderous, stick-wielding, gun-waving, Potentia-stealing, cool-coat-wearing, rather... rakishly interesting and amorous Genii in a big, dark room on his home planet was not the best idea Rodney McKay ever had. That or it was a really good idea. Really. Really good.
Best. Response. EVER. I adored this so much that I fangirled Davechicken for it in an LJ post. It is without a doubt the most wonderfully apt description of Kolya the world has ever seen.
IN-JOKE ALERT: Because Rodney is beginning to think if he gets any more tightly wound, he’ll be bouncing off the walls. Again.
“Bouncing Off The Walls” is a song by Sugarcult that we are somewhat fond of - its main lyric being “I’m bouncing off the walls again.”
Suggesting an introduction to knives would be a really bad idea right now. Yes, Acastus, it WOULD. And he appears to be having an internal, first-name-terms discussion with himself. Which is not normal.
*smirk* Patience, my friends. Oh yes.
Also, I was very much amused by how, around this point, Kolya started a) internally talking to himself, and b) using his own first name. It was one of those little things that progressed throughout Part Two, and which I found oddly interesting the more I noticed him doing it. I should say that whilst it took him nine months of living in my head to get to this point, it took at least a year before he’d consent to being on first-name terms with me.
Rodney: “Help! Help! I’m allergic to Genii! I demand that someone reads my rights! Or brings me a pillow, at the very least. Because my back is really rather delicate and I need special support for it...”
Allergic to Genii?! HAH!
(See, it is responses like THESE that bring a little joy into my life.)
For the moment, [Rodney is] perfectly happy to let the other man set the pace. Content to lie back under the onslaught, to revel in being the focus of such attention. Because, it is nice. Attention. Attention without having to fight even for recognition. This isn’t forced, isn’t something happening because there is no choice.
And Rodney? He rather likes being chosen. Though that’s probably the understatement of the year.
…the whole evil ninja almost-Matrix without the coat thing that is so very black and pretty…
Another of Rodney’s utterly wonderful descriptions. And didn’t I tell you, back in the companion to Part One, that Rodney has a thing for referring to Kolya as a ninja?
‘Cause he does.
IN-JOKE ALERT: OK. Well. Maybe not so much an in-joke as an in-reference. But Kolya’s room number, 1603, is entirely deliberate - it’s actually a date. 16th March. The day we first started RP-ing this behemoth fic!
I thought it was appropriate - if nothing else, because I have an inexplicable obsession with dates. Plus, I often slip number-references into my writing.
Ah yes, and now we come to Kolya’s quarters. This was the first time I’d had reason to write about his room, but I rapidly had a VERY clear idea of what it looks like. The room itself is fairly big and more or less square, with the entrance in the bottom left-hand corner, and the bathroom door in the top right-hand corner. The furthest wall is the one covered in weapons, (some of which are REALLY cool) and the bed is against the right-hand wall.
I am extremely fond of that room. But then, I may be biased. And it is the sort of place that, up until now, Kolya really has only used for things like sleeping and writing reports.
Now. Yes. This bit just after they arrive at Kolya’s room, when Rodney runs off and Kolya is left alone for a moment. This was… well. I knew exactly what he wanted to say to Rodney, but I could not get him to actually say it - and I had been trying, on and off, for a while. Eventually, I decided the only thing to do was make him think it through, hence this unexpectedly long rambling, deep in his head.
It helped, actually. Both of us. And if nothing else, it is excruciatingly honest.
[Rodney] laughs. It’s the laugh of a person who just found out that cheese is, in fact, flammable and purple.
Weirdest. Description. EVER.
Enough said. Just… huh?!
Right. Now. Of all the scenes we’ve written so far (and at the time of writing this, we are about 50k into Part Three) there are five that I adore beyond all reason. The first is the conclusion of Part One, and the last… well. Just wait till Part Three, and I will say no more for now. (You’ll know it when you see it. Oh HELL yes.)
The other three are all in Part Two - and they are the Training Room (dude! FLOOR!) the Last Night (commentary still to come, oh yes…) and this scene - the First Night In Kolya’s Room. (What? I capitalise things a lot, too!) Of those three, I think this has to be my favourite - it’s the sort of scene you look back on and think yes, that actually WORKED.
If nothing else, I find it unbelievably sexy. But. You guessed that already, right? And it’s scenes like this which are exactly why I completely advocate co-writing fic by RP-ing it. It makes everything so dynamic, on the spot, reactive, which can only come from having two brains working on the same thing.
Plus, you get surprised more often. As this scene proved to me!
Rodney: “I take it now would be a bad time to discuss what side of the bed you prefer?”
Because that question makes about as much sense as everything else.
“This side,” Kolya half-growls, not moving. They are, naturally, lying right down the middle of the bed, so the remark is either very vague, or very... demanding.
In his defence, Kolya does sleep down the middle of the bed when he’s alone.
In the meantime, [Kolya] concentrates on not needing to breathe, in order to prolong [the kiss] for as long as possible, to drag it out until the moment they finally break apart - because that sound, as both of them finally draw sudden, eager breath, is really quite something.
OK. Um. I don’t know exactly why Kolya is so obsessed with listening to people breathe, but he really is. And I’m fairly confident it’s about more than just being able to read elements of their emotional state from it.
Rodney: “I’m here, aren’t I?”
This is something that Rodney either says or thinks several times over the course of this part, and I always wonder who needs to hear it more - him or Kolya.
And then [Kolya] pulls back, long enough to allow himself to reach over and retrieve something from his bedside table - something metallic, which glints in the low lighting; though which is not, in fact, bladed.
Rocking back onto Rodney, Kolya makes eye-contact once more, a pair of handcuffs now curled around one palm.
Now, this bit alone could cause one to raise a number of questions, which might themselves provoke some interesting remarks. But if nothing else, one needs to ask perhaps the most important of all - why the HELL has Kolya got a pair of handcuffs on his bedside table. No, really. Why?
Put it down as a plot point and leave it at that. Otherwise, we end up in Scary Question Land, which is, I assure you, worse than Meaningful Conversation Territory.
(Somewhat relatedly, this was one of those deep-breath-before-sending tags.)
Kolya: “You need to let go.”
Rodney: “What? Let go of what? I don’t have go of anything to let!”
I really, really loved this response. It was so very… apt.
Rodney: “Am I doing this wrong? I didn’t know you could do chained to a bed wrongly.”
There. Are. No. Words.
Oh yes. The knife. At the time, I wondered if leaving the knife out of the picture was a good idea.
It was. No, really. Trust me. All will be revealed. Eventually.
[Kolya] kisses Rodney at once, again resorting to the nigh-on bruising intensity that he so often favours; free hand snaking down the doctor’s chest somewhat faster than before. But then he decides that, first, he ought to give some sort of response.
So he pulls back and looks Rodney in the eye, a smirk crossing his face. “As you wish.”
OK. I HAVE to say something about this bit - namely, exactly why Kolya says that. On the one hand, yes, it is an in-joke: it refers, of course, to The Princess Bride, where we learn that when Westley says “as you wish,” what he means is, “I love you.” Considering the next steps this part of our story is to take, I think it was a pleasingly apt closing line.
It also came heavy with a touch of irony - there’s ALWAYS room for irony! - in that, of course, “as you wish” is not the traditional style of wording for the person - *ahem* - on top. But at the same time, it served as a nice way to remind you, the reader, about how the power dynamic between these two has changed; that Kolya, now, is not going to do anything against Rodney’s wishes. And considering how this scene had played out, I wanted to (subtly) make that clear.
Amazing what a little stick to stick combat can do for a man.
Ah yes. Jerran. I am extremely fond of Jerran. He’s one of my Genii OCs - an actual OC this time, with no connection to any random background guys in canon. At the time, he got created because we needed someone who Rodney could work with in order to prevent him going stir-crazy, and it made sense for the person working with him to be someone that Kolya picked very carefully.
In the end, however, I got very fond of Jerran, and he started getting backstory of his own - more than I expected! - some of which I revealed in Prelude In A, and more of which (plus, for plot reasons, some of the stuff from Prelude again) will be revealed in Part Four.
But. He is rather sweet, and actually braver than you might first think.
Kolya: “Excellent. Come with me.”
Jerran: “Yes... er... where exactly are we going?”
Kolya: “To retrieve the doctor.”
Jerran: “And he would be..?”
Kolya: “Now? Most likely in my shower.”
Jerran’s expression at this point was utterly, utterly priceless.
Now we come to the scene with Cowan, and the only one we chose to show in full. For this part, Davechicken wrote all of Cowan’s sections, given that Rodney was not around.
“No one was permanently injured,” [Kolya] states, flatly.
This quote also speaks for itself, I think.
Kolya: “I know my responsibilities, and my loyalties, and neither have been sacrificed in the face of any of this.”
Questioning Kolya’s loyalties is a very bad idea indeed. He considers his duty to his people to be of utter importance, and wanted it made very clear that his feelings for Rodney were entirely compatible with that.
And now they’re reaching the crux of the whole matter, which presents Kolya with one of the most difficult decisions he can face - complete honesty, or an insufficient but defensive half-truth. Ordinarily, the latter would win out. No need to tell people what they don’t need - or deserve - to know.
But this is a very unusual situation indeed, and Kolya knows that he really needs to explain himself this time, awkward though such a thing may be.
“Compromised?” he repeats - his tone just the safe side of dangerous. “I am not compromised. You think this is frivolous, that I am acting on a whim? I am not. I am merely trying to reconcile my unwavering loyalties to the Genii with the fact that I am in love with Rodney McKay.”
This whole conversation was exceptionally tricky to write - given that by this point Kolya really, really does not like Cowan, and also because he knows full-well that his recent actions have been somewhat questionable. But it was this bit that was crucial - and Kolya really was not happy about telling Cowan about his true feelings before he told Rodney. Given that he has great reservations about ever letting on about how he feels, you can see how this situation was even more awkward.
Oh. Now. After Cowan, we had to deal with Athos. Of all the Genii I have written who aren’t Kolya, there is none who has made more of an impact than Athos. He, of course, is the father of Idos, who died on the Atlantis mission, and is only mentioned that one time in canon. Absolutely nothing more is ever revealed about him - so far, at least!
Athos is someone I’ve gone on to write about a lot, given that I wanted to work out exactly what he meant to Kolya, and how they were connected - and this formed the basis of one of my own fics, Prelude In A.
This scene, however, was the first time he made an appearance, so it was ironic that I was not the one writing him! Davechicken and I worked out enough of his backstory beforehand, and then launched into this - definitely one of the most difficult scenes we’ve ever had to RP!
I won’t ramble on about Athos too much here, especially because I wasn’t the one writing him - though, for my one Shameless Self-Promotion of this part of the companion, I will recommend that you read Prelude In A if you want the whole story as I eventually envisaged it. I should point out, however, that I am madly, madly fond of Athos, even though he is a complete and utter bastard - far more so than Kolya.
And oh. Before anyone asks, no, his surname is not canon. We wanted him to have one - and we needed it for our other co-written fic (coming soon!) - so we decided on Leontis. Which I like a lot.
Of course, as this was Athos’ first appearance, we had to build up pointers to his backstory from scratch - given that no one else knew our version of it at this point! The first clue - aside from all the obvious evidence that these two are well-acquainted but no longer close - is in their greeting. Anyone who can call Kolya by his first name is worth watching, because there aren’t many who ever get to!
Though now his thoughts aren’t so much on form and precision as they are on beating Athos Leontis squarely into the floor and leaving him there.
So nice to know he has his priorities straight.
And oh... the irony in that sentence is almost too much.
This is another Clue. Though from here on in, they get a bit more obvious. Read: a LOT more obvious. God, this part was painful to write!
“He was my son,” [Athos] says again, as though it will help. “He was all I had left of her. And now they’re both gone, and you are too.”
In order for Idos to be Athos’ son, there of course needed to be a woman somewhere along the line - and so I came up with Merre (she gets named a little later on.) Merre was another Genii soldier, who met Athos when they were both still fairly young. They got married and had Idos, and all was good and shiny and bunker-shaped sparkles. Unfortunately, in order for the rest of Athos and Kolya’s backstory to work, there needed to be a reason why Merre was no longer around - and from what little I knew of her, it was clear that it wasn’t simply a case of their marriage falling apart. I soon realised that Merre must be dead, and came up with the idea that she’d been killed on an offworld mission when Idos was little.
Though that was painful, in a way, because she and Athos were so very happy together, and though I haven’t yet written Merre in anything but the very past tense, I know that she was really something special.
Kolya stands in almost-shocked silence whilst Athos storms off, still trying to make himself calm down and stop yelling. He isn’t the sort to cry - but if he was, there’s no doubt that he would be by now.
Now THIS was a scary moment. In a year and a half of writing him, this is the closest he’s ever come to breaking down on me.
Rodney: “I haven’t caused trouble, have I?”
Kolya: “No. But there have been... developments.”
Oh. So that’s how he’s putting it? His boss thinks he’s lost his mind and his ex-best friend tried to cave his head in with a stick and then promptly had an emotional breakdown.
How was your afternoon?
*headshake* This would probably be funny if it wasn’t extraordinarily painful.
Hah. I just noticed something. For a fairly long time, Rodney gets Jerran’s name wrong - and calls him all sorts of amusing things - but he never gets Athos’ wrong. Not once. Which is another sign of Athos’ Importance In The Scale Of Things.
Oh. He’s just going to LOVE that…
Kolya: “I did not so much break you out as... borrow you and neglect to take you back.”
This is true… from a certain point of view.
There are three reasons for [Kolya’s] action, though only two are obvious. One, he likes doing things like this. Two, he really likes doing things like this. And three... he might just be delaying the somewhat more challenging task that crossed his mind a few minutes ago... something he said to Cowan but has not yet said to Rodney.
Now. One of the things one should remember about Kolya is that he’s very careful about what he says, and to whom. This is the result of a number of different influences - some more obvious than others - but reduces down to the belief that information is important, and that the choice of who to tell it to is also important. And given that Kolya had already had to tell The Truth to Cowan, he was adamant that he needed to tell The Truth to Rodney as well, because Rodney was far more deserving of it.
This turned out to be a surprisingly more daunting task than he first expected.
Rodney: “Don’t worry, a friend of mine in college kept a crossbow under their bed.”
Ah, the Rodney McKay Not-So-Random Remark. How we missed you!
Also? Mmmm. Crossbows.
A pause. Careful. Measured. Telling.
“What I need to say is this:”
Another pause. Shorter. Even more telling.
“...I love you.”
You know, for longer than I’d care to admit, I thought I’d messed this bit up. I would come back and re-read this scene, and wonder if I’d made this declaration of Kolya’s far too simple. It was only later on that I changed my mind on the whole matter, and decided that maybe it works better than I first thought. Because, after all, Kolya is not the type to make long and elaborate declarations, even in a case like this - and he wouldn’t ramble on, or, even worse, throw in some kind of pre-amble.
Being at peace with this scene helps a lot, too. It is, obviously, rather an important moment!
The end of this scene marks the first major ‘time-jump’ in the entire fic so far. Before, we never did more than skip over a night - but this time, we’ve moved on several weeks. This brings us into the second half of part two - which is a fair bit shorter than the first half. Like the first half, it also splits roughly in two - the first section covering the run-up to the peace deal, and the second section being mostly taken up with the Last Night. Because we like naming things, this second half of Part Two is sub-sub-titled ‘Open Windows,’ to match ‘Locked Doors,’ the sub-sub-title for the first half of Part Two.
The time-jump itself was interesting, because we were able to leap ahead and show how the relationship set-up we’d put in place had developed over time.
Though still not operating on the normal duty roster, and confined to the planet, Kolya has been fairly busy - training, duelling, and, on occasion, utilising some of his more specialised skills. He avoids mentioning these activities to Rodney - because that’s a line of conversation he wants to hold off for as long as possible - although he’s fairly sure Rodney is aware of some of it.
Of all the aspects of Kolya and Rodney’s relationship, there are more than a couple which might cause a few raised eyebrows - but the only one that really affects me anymore is this one. There is, of course, no way that Kolya would give up his role as an interrogator, because he happens to really, really like it - but the idea of him going off to (for the most part) torture people whilst calmly keeping quiet about it is… slightly scary. It doesn’t help - or perhaps it does - that Rodney almost certainly knows precisely what’s going on, and merely opts not to say anything.
We’ve been able to deal with this a little in Part Three - and also in meta - but it is something that remains foremost in my mind a lot of the time.
And NOW we get up to another Very Important Scene - the One Where Rodney Goes To See Athos. This was something Davechicken really wanted to do - and I, of course, had no objection, given that it would offer me the chance to write Athos whilst Kolya was (for the first time) out of the picture. It also gave me the chance to write a little more of Jerran, given that he was the poor soul who had to take Rodney off to find Athos in the first place, against his better judgement.
There is a lot more to Jerran’s reaction than we revealed at the time. This will become clear in Part Four (though is also mentioned, to some extent, in Prelude.)
IN-REFERENCE ALERT: OK. This is an entirely personal and very minor one, but I shall mention it nonetheless. The reason Athos is currently working in Prison Block D is a hark-back to one of my earliest pieces of fanfiction (which you will most definitely NOT be finding anywhere on the internet!) - a piece based on my favourite computer game of all time, Final Fantasy VIII. It contains, amongst a lot of other things, a series of scenes set in a building called D-District Prison, and among these scenes was one of the first ‘proper’ interrogations I ever wrote. At the time, it was also perhaps one of the most extreme moments I’d ever written.
*nostalgic headshake* It would not even come close nowadays!
The guards nod, then go into the room, and the man turns. Walks three paces. Sees the pair standing at the other end of the corridor and stops dead.
“You,” Athos Leontis growls.
Up until this point, the image we’d given of Athos was of the one not quite as bad as Kolya - the Good Cop, the one with more emotional openness, and so on. I wanted to take the opportunity, at various points during this scene, to turn that image on its head. Because Athos is just as bad as Kolya - if not worse - and can be really, really evil at times! Indeed, Athos Leontis is a perfect example of why failing to pay adequate attention to the Good Cop is a very, very dangerous idea! (By the by, he also plays an excellent Bad Cop, though less often. But you will get to see it eventually…)
Then [Rodney] looks at Athos. “Commander. I was wondering if I could speak to you in private. I have a few things to say. Just let me say them, then... well. Whatever you see fit.” It’s Rodney’s I’m Being Brave face. His jaw twitches ever so slightly.
I have enormous respect for what Rodney does in this scene. His attempts to sort out the dispute between Kolya and Athos - though notably dangerous - really were quite something, especially given that he’s already been warned about what Athos is capable of.
Although it’s possible that somewhere, deep down, [Rodney]’s breathing a sigh of relief that [Athos] was never involved with [Kolya]. And also possible that on a different, deeper, darker level he’s deeply envious. Although the situation seems unlikely to arise, wondering if Kolya would choose... this man, over him? Rodney does not like the thought of being an also-ran.
I should just say, for the record, that whilst Kolya would very much like to be back on speaking terms with Athos, he no longer wants to get together with him. His loyalty to Rodney is absolute - and it should be clear by now that Kolya takes his loyalties very seriously.
Furthermore, as far as Kolya’s concerned, Athos betrayed him twice - and whilst he could find a way to forgive him for that, said forgiveness would never go beyond re-establishing friendship.
Athos Leontis takes a long, slow breath. And then he walks back into the corridor, returning to his work. To his life. What else can he do?
It’s hard to make choices when you see only one path.
This is Athos’ last appearance in Part Two, and unless the Part Three plan changes drastically, he doesn’t appear then at all. But I promise you, there is LOTS more to come for Athos and he WILL be getting some resolution in Part Four.
In the interim, he’ll be popping up in my own fics from time to time. Because, despite it all, I still love the bastard - and having rather written him into a corner, I am now on a drive to save him a little.
Now. The scene where Kolya comes back to his room to find Rodney already there - this was also a tricky one. It was challenging because Kolya was quickly aware that something was amiss, and yet knew from experience that actually getting Rodney to tell him what was going on would not be easy. It then got more challenging because having this kind of pressured conversation is not easy when one’s instincts happen to suggest slightly less helpful paths of action!
And, of course, the more Kolya realises Athos is involved, the more desperate he gets to know precisely why.
The end of this bit was an important moment for Kolya’s character development, too - because Rodney manages to talk him out of going off to find Athos, and Kolya does manage to let the matter drop. Letting things go is definitely not easy for him.
Aaaand now we move into The Last Night, a long scene which flows from event to event, basically covering a number of ideas we’d had all at once. Most notably there were two things we considered letting them do - drink alcohol, and go outside. In the end, we got to let them do both.
The Last Night was always going to be difficult, because whilst both of them wanted the peace deal to work out, and Rodney did want to go back to Atlantis, neither wanted to be parted. This impending separation was inescapable throughout, and explains A LOT.
It’s clear what kind of liquid he means, of course. Kolya is rarely one to go for alcohol, but every now and then, it sounds like a good idea.
For the most part, Kolya does not drink alcohol, because he doesn’t like suffering any kind of impairment to his faculties. When he does drink, however, he has a tendency to lean towards the strong stuff!
Then he steps back, pacing over to the back wall of his room, where there’s a short cabinet (beside several of the weapons.) From said cabinet he withdraws a single, opaque silver bottle, fairly tall and non-descript. It sloshes as he hefts it.
“And that is called…?” Rodney asks, sitting on the end of the bed and putting his towel down at last.
“Ebiral,” replies Kolya, more conversational now he’s slightly distracted. “It is... potent.”
And that is an understatement.
IN-JOKE ALERT: *g* The Drink Of Choice for myself and Davechicken is a concoction we have - for rather complicated reasons - come to know as ‘BIR.’ It is made using a suitably large shot of black vodka, mixed with the best chocolate milk one can get hold of, and is extremely enjoyable. It bears no resemblance - save in strength! - to what Rodney and Kolya drink in this scene, but I deliberately included the word ‘BIR’ in the name of the alcohol.
Kolya: “If you end up tied to anything, it will not be a lamppost.”
Rodney: “That gets really embarrassing if you lose the key. The firemen have to come and saw off the bedposts.”
*giggle* I think we need say no more about this particular line!
Kolya: “The first time I drank this stuff, I was fifteen. I remember wondering for so long exactly how it could affect people the way it does, and eventually, a friend and I decided to find out.”
Rodney: “Were you sick? I was sick. But that was probably because people were putting things in my drink I didn’t know about. But I’m asking you aren’t I. Right.”
Kolya: “No. But I did wake up alone in a part of the bunker which I had never seen before and had absolutely no idea how to get out of.”
Rodney: “But you did have all your clothes, right? And no one drew on your face?”
Kolya: “Thankfully, I was still clothed and art-free. Unfortunately, my friend was nowhere to be seen.”
Rodney: “He was okay though, wasn’t he?”
Kolya: “He was locked in an armoury, three floors up. And no, neither of us had any idea how he got there.”
This little story from Kolya came as quite a surprise to me - until I realised what he was alluding to. Shortly afterwards, he told me a whole swathe of new backstory, though I haven’t had the chance to use most of it yet. As an aside, the friend Kolya is talking about is not Athos. No. His name was Ralec Astrar - and if you’ve read Prelude, you will know who he is.
And no, I don’t know how he got locked in that armoury, either!
Rodney: “Well as long as you stay away from dangerous chemicals - other than the drink, of course - you’re kind of guaranteed to end up doing that, passing out, throwing up or doing things you really wish you didn’t. If you find the chemicals, you end up purple for a week in interesting places. It’s like a law of alcohol, I think.”
*g* Three guesses as to which interesting places Rodney is talking about! (Purple? Purple!)
Rodney: “I think I’ll miss Jerran. He reminds me of Radek, a bit. You don’t know him. He’s Czech. And he has glasses and funny hair...” Rodney makes the gesture of Radek-shaped hair, almost spilling his drink on himself - “but that’s not why he reminds me of Jerran. Or the other way around. You’d probably like him. He doesn’t talk as much as me - well not to me anyway, and I never know what he’s saying when he speaks Czech...”
The Radek-shaped hair gesture has become another long-running joke. If there’s alcohol around, you can more or less guarantee that I’ll try to talk Davechicken into doing it at some point! (Though she tends to refuse on most occasions…)
As an aside… Radek! I love him so much. Also… Radek/Liz forever, man!
Rodney: “Oh god. Is this when you show me you’re actually a pan-dimensional being, or that Genii are all born in tanks? Because if so, I’d rather not know. But if it isn’t that’s fine. If it is, I don’t want to know.”
Kolya: “Rodney. We aren’t born in tanks. We’re born in beds.”
Blink. Stating the obvious. Not good. And though Kolya isn’t entirely sure what a pan-dimensional being is, he’s fairly sure he isn’t one, and so doesn’t comment.
I loved this remark of Rodney’s for so many reasons, and the idea of Kolya being confused about what a pan-dimensional being is. His point about stating the obvious is entirely true, although it was fun as a writer to get him drunk - if nothing else, but because I could finally get him to say some of the things he thinks!
OK. As they stand up to leave the room, who else remembered that Rodney has been topless throughout this entire scene?! *eg* I noticed it eventually - in time to get Davechicken to stick in a reference to Rodney putting his shirt on before they started strolling semi-drunk through the Genii bunker at night.
Which would have been quite something. Though I doubt Kolya would have complained.
Rodney: “Are all the hatchways so wonderfully hidden?”
This really does earn Rodney a Look, along with a very wry response.
Kolya: “Oh no. Some of them have great big signs saying ‘secret bunker entrance here.’” A pause, possibly for effect, possibly to keep his mind working against the alcohol. “Of course they’re hidden.”
Kolya. Being sarcastic. Anyone else worried? *g*
Kolya: “I did some very interesting combat training in a forest just like this, not far from here. Would’ve killed five men if we had live ammo at the time.”
Rodney: “I take it you don’t do that when you have visitors.”
Kolya: “Depends on the circumstances.”
Rodney: “Well. Guests who don’t know you’re actually all living secret double-lives without wearing your underwear on the outside. Although that is an interesting idea...”
Kolya: “Wearing our... what are you talking about?”
Rodney: “Clark Kent. Superman. But please promise me you will never wear brightly-coloured lycra. It never looks good.”
Kolya: “I give you my word.”
I just LOVE this exchange.
And then the path up ahead opens out again, onto a very different panorama from the one they were looking at before. This time, laid before them, is an immense field, filled with...
Well. It had to crop up sooner or later. And that pun hurts too much even to re-think.
Tava! I desperately wanted to get tava involved eventually. It was only a little later on that I realised how much Kolya had wanted to get tava involved as well!
And oh. Don’t kill me for that pun. It was HIS fault!
Rodney: “Tell me you brought more alcohol. I need to be less sober for this.”
All of a sudden, Kolya’s grinning again, shifting position a little in order to get to his pocket. After a moment, he holds up a bottle - not the one from before, but something smaller and therefore more dangerous-looking. It also happens to be green, though that fact is less obvious in the low lighting.
Kolya: “Of course I did.”
Contrary to what Rodney may try to tell you, and what Kolya may appear to imply, this stuff is NOT actually paint-stripper. It is, however, moonshine of the highest degree, and gets made in sheds on the surface when Cowan isn’t looking. Kolya has rather more of it than he’d admit to - Tyrus made it for him.
*eg* I adore the drinking game they play - especially Rodney’s yell of “Dinosaur!” at the very end. It was pleasingly underhand - and, of course, has a nice element of circularity to it.
And I should also note, rather randomly, that whilst wandering round my local market, I actually found a small, greenish bottle that is remarkably like the one Kolya has here. It sits on my desk and inspires me from time to time.
Rodney: “Well why don’t we have third arms then? Ones that come out the back.”
IN JOKE ALERT: Yes, we actually have a running joke that involves me having an invisible third arm. It’s out of phase, you see. Or, don’t see. *nods*
Kolya: “I have minions. Real ones.”
This whole conversation Kills Me Dead, but it was this remark which ended up breaking my brain when Kolya came out with it. I doubt his subordinates would take kindly to being referred to as ‘minions.’ Not that they could do much about it, though.
Rodney: “It’s very strange. If people get married out here we’ll probably have to tie them to the Atlantean Death Cows for amusement.”
IN JOKE ALERT: (yes, again!) This is a reference to one of Davechicken’s fics, Where The Wild Things Are, which includes Atlantean Death Cows. And which you should go read, ‘cause it’s very funny! And it has Ford in. And we all miss Ford. *nods*
*headshake* Do not get me started on the rolling thing! Kolya thought it was a good idea at the time, and Rodney didn’t complain. That’s usually reason enough.
The tava has yet to show any signs of bees, lemons or a terrifying mix of the two.
Bemons! We invented these one (completely sober) night. Flying bee-lemons. Now tell me you wouldn’t be scared of those…
Rodney: “What if I get you a hat and hide you in my room? I’m sure I could make people not-notice you.”
Kolya: “I am an important Genii commander. I cannot be hidden beneath a hat.”
Rodney: “It can be a big hat. But not a three-cornered one, because people would get suspicious. A really, really big hat.”
Kolya: “No hat can hide me. And besides, I would get bored. And there would be no room for my weaponry. Or my minions.”
NO. MORE. ALCOHOL. FOR. YOU. This conversation COMPLETELY broke my brain!
[Kolya] smirks, wondering idly if there’s any way he could get Jerran to invent a machine to freeze time before sunrise. Of course, Rodney would be better at it... but Kolya really doesn’t want to distract him. Especially not now.
This is something of an in-reference, as I am often declaring that what I want most is a machine to freeze time, so I can do all the things I want to get done. It seemed like an apt thing for Kolya to want, for several fairly obvious reasons.
Rodney: “Maybe some sunglasses....”
Except now Rodney has an interesting mental image. He tries hard not to laugh. Which, while you are attempting to undress someone else with your teeth when drunk, is not the easiest thing in the world.
This description on its own amuses me greatly, but there’s another level to it now. Dude. Go watch The Profiler and tell me your jaw doesn’t hit the ground every time Davi’s character puts his sunglasses on, I dare you!
And now? We get to the actual porn. Yep. We wrote over 100,000 words (across both Parts) before we actually, properly got to the actual proper NC-17 PORN. *nods*
This bit, of course, is why THIS is one of my favourite scenes ever.
Um. The bit with the yelling? Yes. That bit always hurts. Though it makes a strange kind of sense, in a way.
And you thought the angst left along with Athos.
This whole section was perhaps the most painful bit we’ve written thus far, but I always think it was worth every moment when I get up to the bit just afterwards, when they’re walking back through the forest. The relief in that moment - when Kolya finally lets himself accept that he expresses his feelings much better through actions as opposed to words - and that lovely, lovely kiss up against the tree… oh yes. I adore that moment. And all the relief Kolya expresses? I shared every second of it.
And, of course, the circularity of the tree-thing? Getting a chance to put that in was wonderful.
So now we come to the final scene of this part - the Geneva Convention itself! Though fairly short and simple, we actually got to cover a lot - starting, of course, with the Morning After.
Little more needs to be said about Mornings After. They speak for themselves!
I should add, though, that Kolya has always been adamant in my head about not liking Genii dress uniform. This surprised me at first - though we’ve never seen it in canon, I have always envisaged the Genii dress uniform to be of a similar style to their regular uniforms, except in black and silver instead of khaki and brown. This being the case, I, for one, rather like them! What’s not to like about military-style black and silver?! Kolya, however, always made it clear that he didn’t like them - and though at first he claimed that it was a simple question of taste, I eventually worked out that he associates dress uniform with the main occasion for which he tends to need it: funerals. Once I realised that, it all made more sense.
But. I still think they’re cool, even if he doesn’t. And I’m told that Rodney likes them too…
…[Kolya] realises it might be a good idea to wake Rodney up.
There are several ways he could do this. Several ways he has, in the past, done this. A number of them require rather less clothing and, alas, would be unwise right now. Then there’s the slightly more entertaining choice of yelling “Fire!” loudly, something he has only ever done once and, yes, perhaps he’d better not think about that, either, because Rodney McKay was most certainly not the recipient of said action.
OK. Don’t ask. He still hasn’t told me WHO he yelled ‘“Fire!” at, or whether it was because there was a fire, or because he was being deliberately evil. All I know is that it happened when he was fairly young.
Some of his other methods of waking Rodney up are more fun, anyway. Alas, he didn’t have time to demonstrate…
Rodney: “Can’t someone give a speech about... joining hands and the importance of holding asses or something?”
IN-JOKE ALERT: Yes. This is an in-joke. There’s a (now fairly old) short-lived TV series called Space, Above and Beyond, which follows a group of starfighter pilots during a war between Earth and Scary Aliens. By far the best scene is in the first episode, when the squad is training, and their commander is yelling at them for messing up their combat simulation. He makes them all stand in a line and grab each other’s asses so that they remember that they have to watch said asses (in a ‘protection in battle’ not a ‘staring at backsides’ kind of way.) This helps them Bond.
It must be time. And despite all the anticipation, this suddenly feels like an event that was always supposed to be in the future - something going to happen, but never actually doing so. But now it is about to happen, and that feels odd in a way even Kolya didn’t expect.
Considering how long we spent working on Part Two, this sentiment was something that I shared entirely! Actually getting up to the Geneva Convention itself was really odd, considering how long I’d been thinking about it.
Kolya turns back to Rodney, finally about to speak the words that have been on the horizon for so long.
This is another of those personal little in-references that I, for one, have a tendency towards - and one that no one but me is likely to get unless I explain it in this companion! “It’s time,” was the BBC’s tagline for the second season of 24, my favourite TV show of all time (SGA follows close behind, of course! [Along with Deep Space Nine and The West Wing.]) Since then, that two-word phrase has become synonymous in my mind with something truly important and highly-anticipated - something like the Geneva Convention itself!
*eg* I love the whole bit when they walk out to the Stargate and then over to the building on the other side - both all the stuff they think, and, of course, what Rodney does when they get there!
Though the door does open whilst they’re in mid-kiss, we considered having it open on the meeting hall itself, so everyone would see them. But in the end, that was too mean. Even for us.
The ending is something we had planned for a looooooong time. Rather than dealing in depth with all the angsty, awkward issues that obviously will arise from something like this, we decided to imply them - and cover them more in Part Three - and to go for a short, sharp, funny ending instead.
Hence, of course, the title! It was an equally long time ago that we came up with the idea that the Genii homeworld - so far unnamed in canon - should be called Geneva. Not only does this fit, name-wise, but it allows for the Geneva Convention joke - the Geneva Conventions of Earth, of course, famously covering rules for the treatment of prisoners of war. Which Rodney, technically, was - though the treatment HE got was far from anything laid down in the Geneva Convention rules!
And equally ironic - hence the final line (which was also the final line of Part One, and therefore made me happy in its circularity) - is the fact that much of Kolya’s work is somewhat unacceptable under the terms of the Geneva Convention.
All of which made me happy. As did the looks on their faces when everyone realised what they’d just signed!
And THAT, oh dedicated reader, is that! The end of Part Two, and thus the end of Part Two of the Companion. If you read all this way, I hope you enjoyed it. And for those of you waiting for Part Three of the fic, we are now up to 72k, and moving towards the big finale of this section of the plot - so although there’s a bit to go, we’re getting closer!
So I shall sign off. Thanks again for reading - and LONG LIVE GENEVA!
~ Shadow Side (a.k.a. The Tall One.)
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