Characters: John Sheppard, Rodney McKay, Teyla Emmagen, Ronon Dex. McShep if you squint.
Summary: Post-mission confessions of SGA-1.
Spoilers: anything up to and including 4x02 Reunion.
A/N: Skimming through old sga_flashfic entries, I stumbled upon the Post-Secret challenge, which sadly was over a year ago. It gave me some interesting ideas, and I decided to run with it. So this is partly Post-Secret, and partly inspired by the beautiful fic, Postcards to Jeannie.
Uh...I think this is my first gen fic. *surprised* Tiny, tiny hint of McShep because, well, I am only human.
Jeannie sent the box. She thought it would be a nice way to show Teyla and Ronon different aspects of Earth that they might never see.
They call it Pandora’s Box. It's Heightmeyer’s idea; after every mission, make a confession and put it in. Rodney sneers and says if he wanted to confess, he’d become a Catholic. Teyla doesn’t understand why they can’t talk about their feelings. Ronon just likes the pictures. John thinks he’d be willing to give it a try.
There’s just one rule: when you put one in, you take one out.
John puts his postcard in with the others, closes his eyes, and picks one at random. He's not surprised to see Rodney's handwriting.
John shakes his head and smiles; Rodney can't ever follow directions.
Teyla wishes those closest to her were not men. It makes communication so difficult. They are each so guarded; even Rodney, who hides his true self behind bluster and big words. Ronon tells his story through movement, but it is incomplete. And John...he is as impenetrable as a Wraith fortress.
She lifts the card of two playing girls out of the box. They could be Athosian, though clearly they are from Earth.
There is more of Ronon in those simple words than anything he has said to her while sparring. Perhaps, she thinks, this is not such an odd idea after all.
Rodney wonders if there has been a response to his confession, but he pulls someone else's card instead.
He wants to say I know, hug her, have tea with her, or tell her they love her too.
He doesn't, because he thinks she already knows.
Ronon's not sure he gets the concept of postcards. Instead of mailing them from foreign places to jealous relatives, like McKay said, Dr. Heightmeyer wants them to use the postcards as a way of sharing feelings.
Ronon Dex does not share feelings.
But Sheppard wants to try it, and even McKay's doing it, so Ronon doesn't have a choice.
Ronon nods. He never thought John, a pilot, would feel that way, but he definitely understands.
Some of their confessions are simple, requiring no explanation.
Others leave questions behind.
Sometimes they get silly.
And some of them are sad.
After a mission on PLV-490, after native scientists kidnap McKay again; after McKay, sleep-deprived and starved, tells them how to find Atlantis and nearly blows up his own team; after he somehow manages to get them all home safe as only he can, Ronon finds a postcard.
He smirks, and adds something of his own.
And if that one doesn't get put back in the box later, no one seems to mind.
After Ronon's Satedan friends come to visit, Teyla can't stop thinking of her own people. She knows her choice was right, but she can't stop the doubt from seeping in through the cracks in her armor.
Her people. Teyla smiles, blinking away tears. Right now, her people need her in the gateroom.
John feels really guilty for that trick he pulled with Rodney's welcoming gift for Carter.
Well, sort of guilty. Mostly guilty, but still kind of amused. Until he finds the postcard.
Then, feeling extremely guilty, he writes a response.
Rodney picks the postcard with the Canadian flag, knowing that it's meant for him.
He reads the message, writes his reply, and puts it back in the box for the others to see.
They are fighters; they don't communicate in words, they communicate in deeds. Still, Ronon is sort of enjoying this whole postcard thing. He likes to see what Teyla has to say, or if she's going to say anything at all.
This is why they don't need words - they already know each other's minds.
They never talk about what’s in the box. It’s enough for them to know that they know what’s in the box, so that when their lives are in danger and Rodney’s the only one who can fix the Ancient device to save them all, Ronon doesn’t say, “Any time now, McKay,” but, “Come on, Rodney.” So that when Ronon’s flirting with a female Marine, John knows what an effort that is and doesn’t tease him about it. So that sometimes, instead of movie night, John and Rodney let Teyla and Ronon pick the entertainment (so long as it doesn’t involve hopping on one leg.)
But they never talk about the box. Anyone who needs to know its contents already does.