Chapter Rated: R
Word Count: 3,612
Disclaimer: This plot/story is ©2021-2022 by Dream Howler. This story is the sole property of its author, and may not be copied, in whole or in part, or posted on any other website without the written permission of the author. As for the characters that are in this story, they are the property of their creators and are only being borrowed for my enjoyment. I am not receiving money for writing this story, and I have no money for any lawyers to take should they decide to sue me.
Author Notes: Keria and her podcasts have spawned many ideas. My brain decided world-building was best a week before the deadline. lol Special thanks to a very old GeoCities page for the new inspiration behind my Spirit Guides. I found them after I had given the main characters animals, but the fact that they matched up to their animals so well, I am pleased. You can see the page via the Wayback Machine at: https://web.archive.org/web/20021016124306/http://www.geocities.com/RainForest/4076/index1.html
Canon Notes: Anything you don’t see hasn’t happened.
John Sheppard – Alpha Prime Sentinel
Rodney McKay – Alpha Shaman Guide
Vilkas – Canadian Wolf
Orion – Canadian Lynx
Evan Lorne – Sentinel
Ronon Dex – Guide
Koko – Kodiak Bear
Yuri – Polar Bear
Steve McGarrett – Alpha Sentinel
Tony DiNozzo – Alpha Guide
Hokulani – African Cheetah
Guido – African Leopard
Civilian Leader: Dr. Miko Kusanagi
CMO Guide Dr. Aleena Cole
Rodney woke up the next morning with his mind filled with emotions he was sure were not his own. The fondness and admiration that were the closest to him were probably John’s feelings, but the tons of others he felt just couldn’t be quantified. He groaned and opened his eyes to find John staring down at him.
Rodney, I think we need to get you to the Center, fast.” His voice was filled with concern.
“I’m online, aren’t I?” Rodney asked, already knowing the answer, but hoping he was wrong. He was too old to come online. What did that mean for him? The last person to come online at his age had been a Shaman, and Rodney wasn’t ready to take care of an entire tribe yet.
John nodded. “I was sure sometime after the chair incident that you were close to coming online. I started feeling little bits of your emotions projecting at me. I am surprised no one mentioned it to you.”
Rodney snorted. “I would have probably called them a liar and told them to get out of my face. They were probably scared to do so.”
John laughed. “That sounds like you. Rodney, you are projecting all over the place. We need to get you to the center. Get dressed, and I will call down for a car rental.”
Rodney nodded and got up to get a quick shower and got dressed, mentally working on not projecting his emotions. He wasn’t sure if it was working, but he hoped that it was. John had breezed by and gotten a quick shower after informing him that the car was waiting downstairs and quickly combed his hair. John wrapped an arm around Rodney and led him downstairs, giving Rodney a chance to shelter in his emotions instead of feeling everyone else’s. It made Rodney realize pretty quickly that only a compatible Sentinel could do this for a Guide.
‘Is John my Sentinel? Is that why I came online?’ Rodney thought.
Getting into the car and to the local center took little time at all, even with the busy traffic of Vegas. Approaching the building, however, they noticed an abnormal amount of people waiting in the lobby, and Rodney wasn’t sure what was going on.
‘Had many people come online last night? Could that explain why he was online? No, they probably wouldn’t be hanging out in the lobby if they were newly online.’ thought Rodney.
Rodney and John walked up the walkway, and suddenly, Rodney felt like he was safe. Rodney had dozens of minds sheltering him all at once. It was a blessing, and though he wasn’t sure what was going on, his budding shields finally had time to rest and build correctly. A Guide behind the desk led them to a bonding suite and told them to take their time. John and Rodney looked at each other with a puzzled expression.
“Take our time with what?” they both asked at the same time.
“Why bonding to our newest Shaman, of course! We all felt him come online last night. We were just waiting for him to come into the center to register. We didn’t expect you to come in unbonded, though, so we wanted to give you a good place to shelter and bond at the same time!”
“Wait, you want us to bond now? We barely know each other! I mean, I like him a lot, but what if we aren’t compatible?” Rodney said excitedly, his hands waving in the air as he exclaimed in alarm.
“Of course, you are compatible! Sentinels can’t shelter a Guide that isn’t theirs! He has been doing it since last night! You just didn’t notice! Now, I will leave you alone. Take your time. We will be here if you need anything. We will set some food out shortly in case you want some food first before you bond.”
John and Rodney watched the Guide leave, and Rodney turned to John. “Did you know that I was your Guide?”
John shrugged. “I suspected that we may be compatible. I liked you, quirks and all, and some of your quirks would scare a regular person away.”
Rodney snorted, not mad at the assessment. “Are you sure this is what you want? I am a handful even in normal circumstances, not counting the now apparently Shaman Guide part thrown in.” Rodney put his head down and grabbed it with his hands, rubbing it with his temples. “Shaman, oh, God. I am not ready for that level of crap! I have too much of a mouth on me to be some caring, goody two shoes!”
John laughed. “Rodney, like each person, is different. Each Shaman is different. If we are going to a distant planet, in a distant galaxy, who’s saying that they need a cute and cuddly guide? Maybe they need a tough, no-nonsense Guide that can handle shit.”
“You mean you’re coming with me?” Rodney exclaimed. “You mean it?”
“Well, I can’t let my Guide go all alone, can I? We would be in a sensory collapse within days, probably because of the distance alone.”
Rodney chuckled. “True, but I had to ask. This is great! I got my wish after all, even if I had to come online to get it.”
Rodney sobered for a moment. “I don’t know how to be a Guide, John. What if they leave me behind because I need to be trained first?”
John wrapped Rodney up in a hug. “Don’t worry, I won’t let them. You might want to call the General and let him know. Didn’t you say they were leaving soon?”
Rodney nodded. “Monday night. They just wanted to give us another day to get any last-minute stuff before the mission started.”
John rustled through their bags for Rodney’s phone and handed it to him. “Better call then. We don’t even know how long it will take for us to bond, not counting how long it will take, Dr. Sandburg, to get here to train you.”
Rodney moved his hand and hit a speed dial number on his phone. “I need to speak with General O’Neill. Please tell him it’s Dr. Rodney McKay.”
Rodney waited for a few moments for the General to get on the phone, and when he did, he almost wished he hadn’t.
“Well, I guess you heard already?” O’Neill said.
“Heard what? I called to talk to you about something that happened to me.” Rodney sounded confused by the conversation.
“You haven’t heard then? Well, I hope you are sitting down then. Weir and Sumner were killed in a car accident last night. Either someone ran them off the road, or they were drunk, we don’t know yet. We have delayed the mission.”
“What! How in the hell! Why were they even together? This smells of foul play! John, did you hear? Weir and Sumner have been killed!”
John nodded. “I heard, Rodney. Might want to tell him why we called.”
“Oh, right, of course! Um, General, not to put another downer on the mission, but I apparently came online last night… as a Shaman. Luckily, I already found my Sentinel, so I just have to bond with him and get some training, and the mission can be a go again after we find out who will lead it.”
General O’Neill groaned. “So, you are who the entire world felt come online last night? Geeze McKay, don’t you do anything small?”
Rodney gulped. “The entire world felt it?”
O’Neill laughed. “Just the Sentinels and Guides. A higher level Sentinel/Guides usually get a small ping in the psionic realm when a new Sentinel or Guide comes online if they are of a certain level. I am sure the whole western seaboard felt you come online. I was just exaggerating about the entire world feeling it. Well, since the mission is already delayed, at least we can take our time choosing a new leader for the expedition.”
“Well, considering who I am bonding to, I have a suggestion or two,” Rodney said with a chuckle in his voice.
“Oh? Who is your Sentinel, McKay?” asked the General.
“Major John Sheppard.” Rodney grinned at John, who had a pleased smile on his face. It was clear that he was amused by his Guide’s antics.
“McKay, you have just made my day! Hot damn! You got a deal, McKay. Now, get done with that bonding and training and get your ass back to the mountain. Let me talk to Major Sheppard.”
John grabbed the phone from Rodney and placed a brief kiss on his cheek. “Thanks for the vote of confidence, hun.” His voice was filled with amusement and not anger, so at least Rodney didn’t feel bad for voluntolding his soon to be bonded Sentinel.
“Hello, General, it seems you haven’t been having the best of weekends.”
General O’Neill groaned. “You can say that again. I can’t believe they got themselves killed. We have a bonded pair coming in to investigate. I am almost afraid to know what they find. Regardless, delay the Monday reporting order. Just get back here as soon as you can. Since you have been voluntold to be the new CO of the military, I will need you to check over the requisitions and see if they are good, and then we need to decide on a civilian leader. I will send you a list of people from the last time the IOA was looking for candidates to McKay’s email, since it’s more secure.”
“Not a problem, General. I will look at it when Rodney is off training with Dr. Sandburg. I had always suspected I would be an Alpha Prime when I bonded. I did not understand I would have a Shaman as a bonded Guide. It will be different.”
“Yep, Atlantis itself will be your new Tribe. I am sure we will have the members of the expedition form around you fast once you get here. I will lose a lot of good people. I always thought the mission was a little light on the military to begin with. We have no idea what we will find out there. Make sure to check the ordinances with a fine-tooth comb. I wasn’t involved in the process before now and I have no idea what the supply lists look like. I will have Walter send you all the lists he can find.”
“Yes, sir, General. I will have Rodney help when he is able as well.”
“By the way, you might as well call me Jack. It will make discussions a little easier, seeing as how we will be working together.”
John smiled. “An honor, Jack, you must call me John in return. I look forward to puzzling out this clusterfuck with you.”
Jack groaned. “You’re telling me. Guide Tony DiNozzo gets here tomorrow, and I shudder to think about what he is going to find. I got him and his Sentinel, Steve McGarrett, on loan. There are two others on his team, but something was wrong with their security clearance right now. I am working on it, though. I am not even sure which one I will have the most trouble with, McGarrett or DiNozzo.”
“Wow, an investigative team that could only get clearance for two of the four members to know about the program? That seems bad. I hope they find something and quick. We don’t want to delay too long or for people to drop out before we have time to leave.”
“You’re telling me. Though, once they realize a Shaman is going, I doubt we will have that problem. People seem to associate them with sanctuary, even if they have McKay’s mouth. Did the transition change him any?”
John laughed. “Nope, and I am glad it didn’t. McKay, without his signature mouth, would be a waste to all idiots out in the world.”
Jack laughed. “Well, you have a point. He isn’t always on my top list of favorite people, but he knows his stuff. Stay safe, and I will see you soon.”
John noticed Rodney scrambling around the room, suddenly letting out a quick aha! Then he hurriedly scratched a note on a pad of paper and passed it to John.
John nodded. “Yes, Sir. See you soon. Oh, Rodney says that Miko Kusanagi would make an excellent civilian leader.”
Jack hmmed. “I will look at her file. Thanks for the tip.” A moment later, John was met with a dial tone.
John looked at Rodney. “You mean the little spitfire from Japan you are always talking about?”
“Yep, she will be a great leader, and it will make the Asian delegates happy in the IOA. Not that I care about that, because Miko doesn’t either. However, they are always pressuring us about having more of a presence of other nations in the Stargate program. It would solve two problems, and between the two of us, we could have someone in charge who would listen to us and who knows science. I have been looking into Weir, and she hasn’t read a single email that has to do with science or research that we plan on doing on Atlantis. The only one she read was Carson’s gene research.”
“Oh, that is something to mention to Guide DiNozzo then. Apparently, he will investigate her death since she died with a military Colonel. Though the only Guide DiNozzo that I know is from DC in NCIS, originally, and I thought Sentinel McGarrett was in Hawaii. Apparently, they recently bonded.”
“Well, that should be an interesting pairing. Anyway, they probably had it taken away from the local NCIS office to give to someone that had a higher security clearance. Their death may have been program related.”
“Yeah, though, the rest of the team couldn’t be cleared for some reason? I guess we will have to ask. Maybe they just didn’t have time, and the rest of the team will follow next week. I would imagine that the task force that McGarrett runs would have a high security clearance.”
“Yeah, that is a little strange.” Rodney’s sentence trailed off as he looked at his Sentinel. “I haven’t gone bare ever… this will be different.”
John grinned. “Well, we will never have to wear them again after this, so you may as well get used to it.”
Rodney chuckled. “True. There is that.”
John grabbed his Guide close and kissed him hungrily. “Well, I guess we should get with this bonding thing. How are your shields?”
“You have been patient with me. My shields are doing fine, since the only thoughts I can hear are yours.”
John nodded and directed them over to the queen-size bed in the room, grabbing the lube out of the bedside drawer. For some reason, they weren’t in a hurry, as they took off their clothes, so John just settled down behind Rodney. When he had settled, John opened his shields and let Rodney fully inside.
After that, John felt a warm embrace wrapped around his mind that clearly told him in feelings that though Rodney couldn’t express them yet, that he loved many things about him. It was a comfort that he felt because he had many things he already loved about Rodney. They could make this work, which was good because he had a feeling that no one else could be the perfect fit for him like Rodney had become in the last several months. They shouldn’t take long to fall in love with each other now; they were truly a couple. It was a relief to finally have all of his senses finally shielded from outside influences.
There had been several people at the center that had tried to get John to bond to imperfect matches or have a conservator, but John never needed one. Though now that he knew what one felt like, he was glad that it was something he had access to. He let out a sigh of relief and quickly prepared Rodney and slid inside him. He felt like he was at home at last. Rodney was his home, and they would start a new life together. That was all he had ever wanted, his true north.
After bonding, they noticed a nice hot meal was outside the bonding suite and tackled it with renewed vigor. There was also a note mentioning that the Alpha Prime Guide and Sentinel had been notified of their new bonding and were on their way to greet them. Rodney groaned loudly. “Oh, boy! I get to meet Sandburg! My life is complete. He will hate me.”
“Rodney, I can’t say that no one dislikes you, but just because you are different doesn’t mean that you are a bad person. Stop beating yourself up. You are the smartest man that I know of, and I am tired of you acting like becoming a Guide has somehow made you less than you were before.”
“It’s not that…” Rodney trailed off. “I am not normally a feeling capable guy. I hide behind a wall of indifference. I don’t want people to really know what I think of them. Normally because they can use that information to hurt me. I don’t feel bad about myself. I like myself just the way I am. I am just worried about living up to Dr. Sandburg’s expectations.”
“Rodney, if he doesn’t like you, then fuck him. You are my Guide, and I like you just the way you are. If Guides are truly made to complement a Sentinel, then you are exactly what I need. Don’t sell any part of you short to satisfy someone else’s expectation of what you should be.”
“Well said, Sentinel Sheppard.” Said an unfamiliar voice. “Excuse me, gentleman, sorry to interrupt, but we were wondering if you were ready for some company. I am Blair Sandburg, and Jim Ellison is here too, though he has let me know that he wants no part of what’s inside this room.” Sandburg chuckled.
Rodney and John looked at each other and laughed. “Give us a few minutes to get a shower and get dressed, and we will be out.”
John and Rodney hurriedly got a shower and got dressed, and moved out into the bonding suite’s living room. They didn’t realize earlier that they were given one of the larger suites that were typically reserved for bonding ruts of Sentinels. John was happy with the way he had bonded to Rodney, and it was then he realized that he had probably done most of the bonding last night without realizing it. John chuckled to himself.
Walking out into the living room, John and Rodney sat on the love seat facing the couch that Jim Ellison and Blair Sandburg were sitting on. Jim’s spirit animal was stalking the room like a caged animal, and Rodney looked around. “You know, I didn’t notice my Sprit animal anywhere.”
Blair chuckled and pointed at the top of a large bookshelf. “Oh, I am sure that he is just enjoying the view.”
Rodney looked up to find a huge Canadian Lynx lounging around on the top of the bookshelf. Its tail was flipping with annoyance. Suddenly he got an image of an annoyed emoji in his mind. “Why are you annoyed? What did I do? Did I ignore you or something? You know that being with me I will ignore you quite a bit, that’s why I like cats. They are independent.”
The lynx chuffed, hopping down from the considerable height in a graceful arch to land in front of Rodney. Rodney smiled with obvious delight. His Spirit Animal was beautiful! Rodney reached out to pet him. “Hello there, handsome.”
The lynx purred softly and rubbed his head against Rodney’s head. “So, what’s your name? Do I name you?”
The lynx sent him a question mark. “How about Orion? That okay?”
Orion purred and rubbed up against him and sat at his feet, looking at the two wolves across the room.
Rodney looked around for a moment, noticing there were two wolves and a jaguar in the room as well. “Hey John, which one’s your Spirit Animal?”
John smiled as his wolf got up from his staring contest with Blair’s wolf. He ran over to the newly named Orion. He rubbed his whole body along Orion that gave both of John and Rodney a full-body shiver.
“Woah. Did you feel that? What’s going on?”
“Your Spirit Animals are about to bond. It happens with more powerful Sentinel and Guide pairs.” said Blair.
A moment later, the pair crashed into each other in a bright flash of light and disappeared. When they appeared again, each was brighter and even shinier than they were before. John’s wolf trotted over to Rodney and rubbed up against him in greeting. John laughed at his wolf’s antics. “His name is Vilkas.”
“What kind of name is that?” Rodney asked in an annoyed voice. “Does it have some particular meaning?”
“Um, yeah, it means wolf… in Lithuanian.”
“You named a wolf, wolf… how original, Sheppard…” Rodney grumbled.
“Well, at least I didn’t name my cat after the cat in Men in Black…” John said with a laugh.
“Touché, John. We are indeed a pair.”
Rodney looked over at Blair. “So, what’s first on the agenda?”
“Building and repairing shields. It’s the most basic of tasks. While we are working, Jim will work with John on some things he needs to know. Right now, let’s get some rest, and we can get started bright and early in the morning. I think this has been a long day for both of you. With Rodney in here, he is easily shielded from the outside with the shield he has. Good night, gentleman.” Blair said, smiling indulgently.
John and Rodney agreed with them eagerly and watched them leave the room before going back to their bedroom for bed.