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Dead People

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The last time there had been spooky happenings on Atlantis it had all come down to the Lantean whales trying to communicate a warning about an imminent coronal mass ejection from the sun that would destroy all life on the planet. Weird ghostly figures racing about, a man covered in radiation burns... nose bleeds all round. Everyone had seen them, felt it, and everyone was spooked at first. Rodney had stood on the bridge of the Daedalus with John Sheppard and watched the potentially game-changing ejection hurtle towards the planet, deflected only by the ZPM-enhanced shield protecting the ship. His only fear at the time was the shield collapsing before the coronal ejection had fully dissipated. Once it was over and the planet was safe from being engulfed in a radioactive fire storm that would have wiped out every living creature, everything settled back down to normal - or as close to normal as it could get in an alien city in another galaxy.

The nose bleeds, headaches, and images of ghostly Ancients stopped as the flagisallus swam away.

Now this event had a scientific explanation, most people scoffed the idea of the supernatural once more. Rodney had to admit he was disappointed more than most when he proved the recent ghost sightings were a mass hallucination from the mildly telepathic flagisallus. Of course he had his doubts at the time but not for the same reason as all the others. His came from wondering if the thin veil between the natural and supernatural worlds had shredded completely for Rodney believed in ghosts, and ghouls, and things that went bump in the night.

The fact that the Wraith were very real merely gave stronger credence to that belief, for were they not dark creatures of myth and legend, sucking the life from a human with a touch? Fortunately they only sucked out the life force rather the soul of the person, and no doubt Rodney would come across other creatures from nightmares and myths as they explored Pegasus.

His doubts around the event had faded quickly, pointing to a natural rather than supernatural phenomena because no one had been able to interact with the ghostly forms.

Not even him.

He had always been sensitive to the supernatural, able to see and converse with ghosts since childhood, and the few that wandered the hallways of Atlantis had completely blanked the new ghostly figures. Rodney had tried asking the friendlier ones about it but they looked at him as if he was insane and moved away. Most of them had disliked him when they were alive and merely tolerated him now as he was the only one who seemed to be able to speak with them. Usually they only hung around for a short while after their deaths anyway, often gruesome at the hands of the Wraith, or from exploding tumors, or other laboratory accidents and acts of stupidity on their part. They faded away once Rodney had explained what had happened to them and promised to do a few things to ease their minds. To give them closure.

For a city as large as Atlantis, one that had survived a hundred year siege, Atlantis was strangely devoid of old ghosts, the Ancients. He had been hoping to meet some, but he suspected they had moved on thousands of years ago by either reaching Ascension or helped to go into the light by the Ascended.

"You know he has the hots for you," Brendan Gall whispered, indicating towards Sheppard.

Rodney rolled his eyes. "Shouldn't you have gone into the light by now?"

"I will when I see my name on the paper you publish on my work."

"Your work? You contributed one small point, and considering you got the idea from me you can hardly say it was all your own work," he whispered back harshly, but they both knew Gall's name would be on the list of contributors, so he couldn't understand why Gall was still hanging around. Even Carson had moved on after Rodney promised to look after his 'wee turtles', appearing just one last time to say goodbye out on the pier.

Except Carson had come back inside a clone of himself, courtesy of Michael's experimentation. Rodney treated him like the real Carson because he had Carson's soul, and that meant more than any bag of skin and bone.

He sighed and surreptitiously watched John, wishing Brendan's words were true because John was everything he had ever wanted in a partner. Not just good looking and smart, but a best friend too, and just as geeky and nerdy as Rodney. Maybe more so if that was possible.

Rodney was never quite sure how it happened but almost a year after he broke up with Jennifer he found himself out on his balcony overlooking the city having the life kissed out him by John, and in a good way rather than in the Wraith-sucking kind of way. Somehow they managed to stumble back to the bed leaving a trail of clothes behind them, and afterwards, fully sated and far happier than he had felt in a long time, Rodney rolled his eyes when Brendan appeared beside the bed.

"I told you he had the hots for you," he stated triumphantly. "Finally the geek gets the hot guy!"

Rodney started rolling his eyes but stopped when he felt John shift uncomfortably beside him, glancing across to notice John staring straight at Brendan Gall.

"John?" He was taking a big gamble asking. "Are you seeing what I'm seeing?"

John bit his lower lip nervously as he looked back at Rodney.

"I see dead people," John stated softly.

Rodney smiled and relaxed, flicking his glance towards Brendan, who was laughing as he faded away forever now he had found his closure.

"So do I."