Real life has been draining enough that I've largely reverted to fandom lurking even more than previously. (which is saying something, because previous levels of activity were not setting the bar very high.) And I've been reading a lot of really self-indulgent stuff that, for me, includes a lot of fanfic of the Sentinels & Guides Are Known AUs
Of course, there's no escaping rabid plot-bunnies when reading that much of a single topic area, at least not for me.
And thus I have a plot-bunny for a Stargate Atlantis fanfic set in the type of Sentinels & Guides are known and have various legal protections AU.
The idea starts with the standard trope of:
Rodney McKay is a Sentinel who doesn't think he should need a Guide and John Sheppard is a Guide who's been hiding his status in order to maintain his military position
However, it turns out that McKay is right, that he doesn't really need a Sentinel because:
1. he's very careful (and vocal) about policing his own allergies
2. the things he works on are so massive or so infintesimal that not even he could see them with physical senses anyway, so there's no need to push his senses since he's dealing with galaxies and electrons
3. his sense of "protect the tribe" is on just as massive a scale as his science, so he's determined to ensure that humanity survives on different planets and has the capabilities to protect themselves etc, and he's not interested in protecting any particular individual
Second however, is that Radek Zelenka didn't pass his background check to get onto the Atlantis expedition. He's from the Czech Republic and was part of the protests in the 1980s. Obviously this can't stand since McKay wants Radek on the expedition, and thus McKay declares that Zelenka is his Guide and thus has to come on the expedition regardless of the failed background check.
Everyone knows that McKay is lying, except that there's just this shadow of a doubt, because McKay and Radek really do work together extremely well, they're both super smart and can pass any of the variety of standardized tests to weed out fake pairings, and it's really a bit taboo to question a sentinel about the appropriateness of their guide as a guide. So, everyone *strongly suspects* it's a lie, but McKay is officially down as a bonded sentinel and Zelenka is officially down as a bonded guide.
Then along comes Sheppard, joining the expedition at the last minute, and unaware of all the unofficial versions of the official files.
So, of course, Sheppard and McKay are excellent matches for each other. But, and this is the thing, they're all adults. Not only are they all adults, but they're also completely disconnected from Earth for some time. So McKay joins Sheppard's SGA-1, and Sheppard starts hanging out more in the labs, and everyone side-eyes all three of them for a bit but mostly get distracted by trying to stay alive and generally running for their lives.
And then they get back in contact with Earth.
I'm not entirely sure what happens at that point, but I think maybe people from Earth (Blair and Jim maybe?) come in a delegation to make sure everything is okay and deal with all the psychological trauma that must have been experienced and are just kind of boggled by how well everyone is doing and how poorly any of this is going to fit into any sort of template report.
("You can't just declare that you have a sentinel-guide bond to every single person you want to make sure stays on the expedition, Rodney!"
"Why not? It's true!"
"It's not true!"
"But you can't prove it's not!")