Looks can be very deceiving. Or in this case sounds. After all, Dr. Rodney McKay and Lieutenant Colonel John Sheppard both appeared to be the very picture of self confidence.McKay was well known for his claim that he was the smartest man in two galaxies. He seemed to survive and thrive on his claims of genius and superiority among the other scientists. Rodney might not have been the most socially capable person, but he never seemed to let it bother him too much.
Sheppard on the other hand, seemed for all intents and purposes to be the perfect alpha male. He carried about him a confidence that bordered on cockiness. Charming everyone in his path, he went into unknown situations without apparent fear of consequences. John did not reveal too much emotion beyond the military stoicness, and certainly gave off the impression of general well being.
Both men appeared to be perfectly fine, comfortable in their situation and their skin. Yet that couldn’t be farther than the truth. Human beings often seem to not want to look any deeper than the surface. They don’t want to know what emotions or insecurities lie beneath. This is partially due to the disillusionment that would result from such a discovery. Atlantis sometimes seemed to be only held together by the bravado and confidence these men exuded. Everyone there trusted that as long as Sheppard appeared confident, as long as Rodney was babbling about his genius discoveries, then everything would be ok in the end. Therefore they were rarely given an opportunity to let their masks down, and their true sides show. Their insecurities and their scars.
Scars are a funny thing. Depending on the person they mean a lot of different things. One might be self conscious or embarrassed by a particularly bad scar. Pride, pain or shame might be felt at the memory of how that scar was formed. Scars might attract attention, or create an emotion in someone else. However, the scars in all these cases are physical. Sometimes readily apparent. In many cases it is the emotional, internal scars, that have the most impact, are the most important.
If John and Rodney had one thing in common, it was internal scars. Despite the instant attraction that formed when they met, years passed before either of them made a move due to the scars they held.
For all of Rodney’s apparently massive ego, he was very insecure and could never quite believe that anyone would want him. With his history of bad relationships, it wasn’t hard to see why he might be hesitant putting himself out there. Not to mention this wasn’t just any relationship. This was John Sheppard, his best friend, who you would have to be blind not to be attracted to. He would never risk their friendship for the ludicrous notion of something more. And he wasn’t the only one being help back.
It wasn’t that John didn’t know how attractive he was. He knew that people appreciated his looks and his charm. Yet all too often he felt that that was the only reason they wanted him. He was tired of shallow relationships based only on lust. For too long, he had wanted to make a move on McKay, but felt all too clearly that all he had to offer were his looks. Why else would this brilliant, sarcastic man want him?
So, neither made their move, until finally pushed to the limit by too many close calls, they realized that if they didn’t try now they would never get a second chance. Which is where they were at now. Rodney self-conscious, knowing that he wasn’t much physically and not wanting to lose what might be his only chance, and John comfortable with his appeal but terrified to show the emotions and scars that lay beneath. The first step was the hardest. Trusting that the other person would not make fun of them, would understand them. Then realizing that the mutual love they had, could over come any obstacles, even their own insecurities, as long as they let it.