Summary: Atlantis sings for them, only a few hear her when she does.
John wandered through the halls silently, he had been searching for Rodney for hours before he finally gave in and asked the City to point him in the right direction.
He never had gotten around to telling others that Atlantis was Sentient, that he could hear her all the time when he was in the City, even the Jumpers had her voice in them, quieter, calling him to return.
The first time he'd herad her he had thought, perhaps, he had finally gone mad, but he had fallen asleep to her sad, longing song; she'd called for an answer she couldn't get until finally after the Storm and almost losing Atlantis all together John had sung a small tune, nowhere as beautiful as Atlantis' but he had answered.
The bright, joyful response he had gotten was worth thinking himself insane. That night he hadn't been able to sleep, Atlantis had sung her joyous song so loudly and John was surprised no one else could hear it.
She had sang a sorrowful tune when John had headed with his team toward the Gate the first time after he had answered her. She'd sang a song the bade him to stay, to come home and John was going to have to find a way to reassure her that he would come back.
John had started to sing to Atlantis whenever he was alone and sometimes Rodney caught him, the Scientist never asked and John didn't know how to explain. But sometimes, when John was sure Rodney was nearing his limit of wakefulness, John would hear Rodney humming, when he was practically falling asleep at his desk John would hear the mumbled words to children's songs, not all of them form Earth; children seemed to love Rodney for some reason most people didn't understand, the man himself included, John had a theory it was because Rodney didn't coddle them.
Rodney had sang infront of his scientists once, they had looked at the man like he had lost his mind until Rodney had snapped at them, 'What I can't sing to calm myself?!' the man had growled and John had heard a calming tune in answer from Atlantis.
Atlantis liked Rodney, so did John, she was sad that Rodney couldn't hear her songs, the ones he sang never seemed to corrispond with hers like John's did.
Eventually it had become a habit for Rodney and his scientists to sing while they worked, when Samantha Carter had come to work with them while they were on Earth after the Wraith attack she'd been shocked and had made a rather rude comment to Rodney.
She had been unable to access anything she tried, even if it had been previously accessed by someone else and had accused Rodney of sabatoging her, she hadn't been able to step a single foot on Atlantis since.
John had tried to convince Atlantis to allow Carter back but Atlantis had responded by playing the song Rodney had whispered after he had returned to his room after Carter had yelled at him. John was perfectly happy that Atlantis was keeping her from Rodney after hearing the little hiccups that had been present as Rodney sang his mumbled song, trying not to cry and let her words hurt him.
Now John had to explain to General O'Neill why exactly she wasn't allowed back and that meant telling him that Atlantis sang and he wandered if he was going to be believed, but first he wanted to check in on Rodney.
Doctor Daniel Jackson had wanted to see some of the database while they were here and John knew that the two had a history of not getting along.
Atlantis' song was usually a good indicator of how Rodney was fairing, when she wasn't trying to perk up John's moods and, although she was singing a lighthearted and soft tune; John would have called it a lullaby but it was too upbeat and fast paced for that. John still wanted to make sure Rodney was okay. He wondered what he was going to do if Jackson managed to hurt Rodney feelings and got kicked of the City.(A/n I really wanted to say 'got voted off the Island')
John entered the lab and felt a smile cross his face as he saw Rodney bent over a tablet working on whatever. Jackson seemed to be busy translating something from another tablet but John didn't care about him, not really.
Rodney was more relaxed than John had seen him in a long time and he had a look of intense concentration on his face that slowly slipped off as Atlantis' song changed from the fast paced, soft song into something more soothing, calmer and quieter and John watched as Rodney slowly leaned forward to rest his arms and head on the table in front of him and blink his eyes slowly, between one blink and the next Rodney was asleep.
John smiled and walked over to shift Rodney into a gentler position before making his way to Jackson and motioning him to exit. He glared at the man when he had opened his mouth to protest and the tablet he'd been working at went dark and Jackson couldn't get it back on.
"You can come back later, when Rodney wakes up." John told him.
"But... I could lose what I was working on and Rodney shouldn't have gone to sleep." Jackson was almost angry as John pushed him out into the hall.
John knew from experience that Atlantis would keep playing the lullaby in the lab Rodney was in and he could hear the song in the hall change from the gentle background music that was Atlantis' default to a loud, angry reverberation, the same one she had played as Carter had stormed off of the City and wasn't allowed back.
"Doctor Jackson, your work will still be there." John tod him as he closed the lab and placed a sign on it, the sign read, 'Sleeping Scientist, enter only in emergencies.'
Most of the members of the Atlantis Mission knew that Rodney was the only one to get the sign put up but the general term made it seem less singlitory and put Rodney at ease. And they were all of the understanding that an appeased and at ease Rodney was more likely to save them next time there was a crisis.
It had actually been Ronon who had pointed out that they'd all likely be dead a hundred times over if not for Rodney's ability to work under pressure. Ronon and Teyla had some how put Rodney under 'Little Brother' status in Teyla and Ronon's world and anyone who dared to mess with McKay found himself bruised and with a little less ego. John found it quite amusing and they usually only had problems with newcomers.
"How can you be sure?" Jackson growled.
John sighed as the song got angrier and louder.
"Look, trust me, if you wake Rodney up, not only will you lose everything you've been working on but next time you leave you won't be welcomed back, just like Carter." John told him as he pushed him lightly down the hall.
"Because Rodney will lock me out." Jackson snarled.
John frowned at him and he wanted to join Atlntis' angry song, instead he told Jackson the truth, "Rodney didn't do anything, Atlantis didn't like how Carter was speaking to Rodney, she likes him and is protective."
"What?" Jackson stopped to stare at John.
Joh shrugged, "And she's well on her way to not liking you either."
"Atlantis is Sentient?" Jackson asked.
"Yeah, and she's got a soft spot for Rodney, we all do and we really don't like the way a lot of your people treat him. Why do you think they complain so much and transfer so soon after being asigned?"
"We thought they were just afraid of the Wraith and that Rodney was being really petty about, well, everything, I mean the complaints were cold showers, doors not working and lights turning on instead of off and off instead of on." Jackson shrugged.
"And Rodney knows that a good night's sleep could mean life instead of death and a happy man is less likely to get his team killed." John growled, angry that Jackson would think that Rodney would do such things, John heard a sorrowful note ring out under the angry song, an apology for what she had done and Rodney had been blamed for.
"Why are you growling at My Geek?" O'Neill asked, "Not saying he doesn't deserve it most of the time but stop."
"Jack." Jackson whined, honestly whined.
"And what the hell is with all the damn music, this is not a concert hall." O'Neill sighed.
There was a trill of joy before Atlantis remembered that she was angry and that O'Neill had sided against Rodney, ability to hear her or not Rodney trumped O'Neill apparently.
"What was that?" O'Neill appeared really confused.
John grinned a little, "That, Sir, is Atlantis, and Rodney trumps you."
"What are you on?"
"Jack, Atlantis is Sentient." Jackson was bouncing on his feet now, "You can hear her?"
"I hear music." O'Neill growled.
"That's Atlantis, she speaks in song." John said, "She's angry right now, we were talking about Rodney."
"Ahh, I can see how she'd be angry, Rodney pisses everybody off."
"Actually, Sir, she's pissed at you, Jackson, and Carter." John told him.
"Why?" O'Neill asked.
"Apparently she likes Rodney." Jackson said, and he appeared to be wondering how, if his frown was anything to go by.
"Why?" O'Neill asked again.
And the song rose in sound as Atlantis got angrier.
"Sure, go ahead."
"Rodney fixes every problem he comes across, when everyone else would just place a block on the problem and move on Rodney finds a way to fix it and make it work better, and when we are about to be blown up, Rodney manages to come up with a plan to get out of it, so yeah, I can see why Atlantis likes him, hell, that's why half the base would die for him, not that we'll ever let Rodney know that, because they know when push comes to shove it's Rodney that's going to be pulling us out of the fire when things go from bad to worse." John told them frankly, "And honestly after Atlantis played what Carter said to Rodney I whole heartedly approved her banishment."
The two of them stared at John.
"Well, he's still an arrogant bastard." O'Neill muttered.
"You never gave him a chance to show you anything else, Rodney doesn't let people in easily. He doesn't forget and that makes people believe he doesn't forgive." John shrugged, "We look after him and Atlantis has the whole hearted approvel of almost every member of this expidition to keep him as safe as he'll allow when not under crisis."
"How do you know that?" Jackson asked.
"I took a petition during our second year on Atlantis, although they thought it was for the Marines."
"Awesome, a City that wants to protect McKay." O'Neill said sarcastically.
Atlantis' song rumbled and the walls that surrounded them vibrated and John trilled at her, something he'd learned to do in order to calm her a little when he didn't have time for a song.
The walls settled and Lorne radio'd to check in with John.
"All under control and send word that Rodney is sleeping." John told him.
'Gotcha, I'll send Teyla in two hours with lunch.'
'Nope, cranky, hungry Rodney is not a good thing, ever.' Lorne reminded John.
John chuckled, "Have fun."
'I don't have to deal with politics.' John cold hear Lorne's grin.
"Don't remind me."
'Not me, sir.'
"Yeah, yeah, go find Teyla."
John couldn't help rolling his eyes as he shook his head.
John turned abck to Jackson and O'Neill, "Now do you understand?" He asked.
"Yeah, we get it, I'll get carter to apologize." O'Neill muttered.
"She still won't be allowed back." John told them, "Atlantis can read body language."
"For crying out loud." Jack growled and turned to walk down the hall, Atlantis rumbling dangerously, "That's enough out of you, you big baby. And I have to explain this and how you're stuck on this boat permanately along with McKay."
Jackson laughed, loudly, "You love pissing the polititions off, an they've been trying to get Sheppard of this City for the last four years."
Atlantis' song turned worried and alarmed.
"I'm not going anywhere." John assured her, humming a few bars from a love song he remembered from long ago.
"Not if they want her to stay running apparently." O'Neill sighed, "Let's go, Danny, I'm guessing that while McKay is sleeping there's no lab work happening."
"Yeah, I got kicked out of the lab."
"That's useful." O'Neill aknowledged.
"You betcha." John grinned at his Commanding Officer, "Really useful."
"I wonder if..." O'Neill shook his head, "Nah, I'd get us all killed in a week."
"We'd probably end up returned to life in some conveluted way though." Jackson countered, "And I'd be able to learn so much, I'd probably end up staying on Base more."
"That appeals, you have no clue how much, I hate having to chase after you when you eventually end up kidnapped and almost A) Eaten, B) Sacrificed, C) Married, or D) All three." O'Neill said.
Jackson glared at the General.
"I hate to interrupt, but I don't think Atlantis wants either of you here long term." John told tham, Atlantis chirping in agreement.
"Sentient Cities." O'Neill muttered, rolling his eyes.
"I wonder if all the Ancients' Cities and outposts were or are Sentient." Jackson mused as they entered O'Neill's temporary and borrowed office.
"Wonder later, Sheppard I want a full report about Atlantis' Sentience and how you've used this to our advantage." O'Neill demanded.
Atlantis let out an indignant trill and the lights in the office cut out, leaving them in darkness.
"I think you offended her." Jackson pointed out, voce calm in their sudden darkness.
"Nah, ya think?" O'Neill asked sarcastically.
"I suggest apologizing." John offered.
"You want me to apologize to a City?" O'Neill asked, incredously.
Atlantis let out a musical huff and the room chilled several degree.
"Yes, Sir." John said.
"Fine. Fine." O'Neill let out, John was somewhat glad for the darkness as he had little desire to see his Superior officer pout, which he was moderatly sure O'Neill was doing, "Atlantis, I'm sorry."
Atlantis trilled curiously.
"Are you serious?" O'Neill asked.
The temperature dropped farther as Atlantis sang a confirmation.
"I'm sorry for implying that you you were only useful as a tool." O'Neill said admist muffled chuckles from Jackson.
The room returned to normal, the lights on a John smiled at the put upon expression O'Neill was wearing.
"Let's get started." Jackson clapped his hands togetherand Atlantis trilled excitedly.
"Sentient Cities, Danny." O'Neill muttered again.
"Yeah, it's awesome, I wonder if there is a way to record her so eveery one could hear part of her song?" Jackson wondered aloud.
"You think on that, Sheppard report."
John nodded and began, starting with the first whispers of a song, fading away right before he'd sat in the Chair in Antartica, the one that had called him to come and see the universe with them.
And in a lab where a sleeping Scientist lay and lullaby of old whispered and the memories of dances not known to him played in his dreams and Atlantis sang her son home to her from where he had drifted long before her people had fled her hall, seeking an acceptance that had never been granted to him so long ago within her halls nor the wilds of a young Earth but had been found at the very place he had begun with a people so very far from home when they'd first found her searching as he once had for a family that would love him as he had always loved her.
And Rodney McKay slept on in peace a serenity once more at home with the music he had written in another life comforting him as it had comforted a young AI(Artificial Intellegence) as she had begun to learn and grow at his hands and teaching.
Atlantis would always recognize her creator, whether he heard the songs he had given her or not, and still he gave her music and bade her to learn and grow, and he bade her to sing, so sing she did and always would even when there was none left to hear their songs.
So, I have no clue what that last part turned into except that now I have a headcanon that Rodney is the reincanated or De-acended(Whichever is more plausable in you view of the StarGate universes) soul that created Atlantis' AI, to go along with the headcanon that Atlantis sings to communicate and that only Strong Gene holders can hear her. O'Neill and Sheppard here her actual songs, both Instramental and ones with Lyrics, others hear only humming that they assume is the power that Atlantis uses to run, Lorne and Becket are two such people, others only hear faint whispers that fade in and out. Artificial Gene holders don't hear her songs but feel her intended mood when they touch the walls.
Rodney only hears her songs in his dream, and most of the songs Atlantis sings are ones he wrote for her. When he was young and still wanted to play Piano he'd play them until his instructor told his parents that he wasn't taking his lessons seriously, playing nonesense instead of his scales and Mozart and his parents had put an end to his lessons.
This was supposed to be happy Sheppard/Rodney fluff about Atlantis being their home, how did it turn into this? I have no clue. Darn it. I...I don't even know anymore.