Warnings: Non-main Character Death
Spoilers: McKay and Mrs. Miller, The Tao of Rodney
Characters/Pairing: John Sheppard, Elizabeth Weir, Teyla Emmagen, Ronon Dex, Jeannie McKay, and Rodney McKay, none
Disclaimers: Nope. I wish.
Notes: You'll either cry, laugh your butt off, or roll your eyes. Or possibly a combination thereof. Dedicated to beloved kittypets everywhere.
Summary: When Rodney gets a message from home about a death that hits him harder than some might expect, his team rallies around him and helps him see that life goes on.
Rodney finally made his public appearance at almost noon. He was dressed in a somber black suit, not his usual style, but appropriate for the occasion.
Jeanie was also dressed for the occasion in a black dress and she gave him a brief hug, but didn't linger knowing it was only likely to set him off again.
Instead she smoothed his lapel and gave him a squeeze on his shoulder.
“Where . . .” he asked looking around.
“They'll be meeting us at the cemetery,” she said. He seemed a little surprised to find out they'd be coming at all, but then it faded and he smiled slightly. He didn't deserve friends like them.
Then he nodded and went to retrieve the box that held the remains of his beloved friend of over a decade.
They arrived with two minutes to spare before the small ceremony began and Rodney blinked in surprise.
Teyla wore a dress that Rodney had only seen once before when the Athosian had said goodbye to her old friend in Atlantis. It seemed a little bright for the occasion, but he knew what it meant and was touched by the gesture.
Ronon was wearing his dark leathers and Sheppard was in his formal dress blues—another shock for the physicist but mostly because he wasn't aware Sheppard had brought them along.
They joined the group—which only consisted of Rodney and Jeanie actually. No one said anything about the tiny ivory casket that sat next to the open hole in the ground. Not that Ronon and Teyla would have necessarily known it was odd, and Sheppard certainly had more tact than that, but Rodney appreciated it anyway.
Frankly he'd been surprised by all the trouble Jeanie had gone to, but she'd simply told him that as loyal and loving a friend as Trixie deserved a proper memorial.
He hadn't replied because he probably would have started crying.
The service was short and sweet. Jeanie offered a touching eulogy for the departed feline and then added a daisy to the arrangement already on the casket. Teyla offered a nod of respect and said something that sounded like a prayer of some sort in the old Athosian language. Sheppard came to attention and offered a crisp salute.
Ronon surprised them all when he dropped to one knee and in the same smooth motion drew a blade concealed under his long duster at his waist, stabbing it into the ground. He bowed his head and said something in a guttural language, then withdrew the blade and stood, finishing the gesture with a deep bow, the handle of his knife clasped between his hands in front of his face.
Jeanie blinked and met Sheppard's gaze. He jerked his head towards the cars and she nodded. She, Teyla, and Ronon left then while Sheppard came to stand by his best friend.
“You guys didn't have to come,” Rodney said softly.
“Yes, Rodney, we did,” Sheppard said just as softly. “I didn't know Trixie. But it's obvious she meant a lot to you. And anyone that likes you as much as Jeanie says she did definitely deserves our respect.”
Rodney snorted something that might have been a laugh.
There was nothing else to say right now so Sheppard just clapped him gently on the shoulder. “Jeanie's taking Ronon and Teyla back to her house. I'll be at the car. Take whatever time you need.”
Then he left and it was just Rodney and Trixie.
He didn't speak for he didn't know how long. A lump was obstructing his throat and if he'd tried nothing would have come out anyway.
Finally he managed to work past it.
He had so many things he would have liked to say, but there was only one thing he could think of. He hoped she'd understand.
Of course she would, he chided himself. Like her namesake, Trixie had always seemed to understand him. She was a cat and she exhibited all the normal traits of the species, but somehow . . . somehow she was more than that.
She hadn't let him get away with the condescending genius act, unlike most humans he encountered, but then with her he hadn't had to. He'd felt stupid at first talking to her, but he wasn't the kind of person who could not talk for very long and she had actually seemed to listen so he kept it up.
For years she listened to him. And she'd responded.
When he was sad she'd curl up in his lap and demand he pet her as if to say that there were more important things than whatever silly human concern was bothering him—like attending to her.
When he was frustrated with the failings of humanity—be it his coworkers' or his own—she'd give him that no-nonsense look and start cleaning herself, agreeing that humans were stupid. When his tirade wound down she'd snuggle up to him and remind him that despite all that they were still worth keeping around. After all, who else would give her treats?
She distracted him with her antics chasing strings and feathers and catnip filled mice that she would not so subtly flick onto the keyboard when he worked too hard. She was always underfoot, twining around his ankles and sleeping curled up on the pillow next to him, purring noisily to remind him that he wasn't alone in this life.
And now she was gone.
“Thank you, Trixie,” he said softly. “For everything. Goodbye, my friend.”
He laid the rose on the casket and then turned and walked away.