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[personal profile] windemere
Disclaimer: Still Not Mine. I'm really put-out, you know.

AN: So, this has a longer note than the actual story. I'm just kidding. The Gardner Award is to the Nobel what the Goldon Globes are to the Oscars. Except, unlike the GGs, no one knows what a Gardner is, unless you've won one. It is a prestigious award given out in the departments of science and math (etc) to those people, around the world, who are considered to be the biggest contributors to their fields. It comes with a cash prize of roughly $15,000 CND. Unlike the Nobel, it isn't about the money, and completely about the bragging rights. The Award is a creation of the Gardner Foundation, a rather wealthy Canadian company. The only reason I know all of this is because the eldest daughter of the company's founder grew up with my aunt. Also, they used to live down the proverbial street from us. (Read: 8 streets and about a 5 million $). Still, I figured that if Rodney is, in fact, the genius he declares himself to be, and has been changing the face of modern science for as long as he claims he has, he probably has a Gardner stashed away somewhere.

Rodney always bragged that he was going to win a Nobel. But he never told anyone about the Gardner he’d gotten at twenty-five.

Jeannie had been so proud, his parents had not. He had thought it was his greatest accomplishment since building a nuclear bomb in grade six, but unlike the nuclear bomb no one knew what a Gardner was. Still, Rodney had bragged about it for a week until his mother had told him to shut up.

He still had the certificate somewhere, stashed in some box he had long forgotten even existed in some storage room in Toronto that he had rented years before and hadn’t paid for in nearly as long. It would never see the light of day again, wherever it was. And it wasn’t something he lost any sleep over; but every now and then when things were not going right he would remember that prestigious award and feel vindicated, because he had achieved the top before anyone else he worked with.

He did not talk about his past. And until he met John Sheppard he hadn’t had any reason to. Certainly John never talked about his past, but once Rodney realized they were friends he felt compelled to talk about the life he had left behind. But it was only meaningless things he offered and not the grand tragedy that his childhood actually was. John was the first person besides his therapist who didn’t look at him with pity and Rodney thought that came more from John’s similar past then from John’s personal promise never to pity anyone who didn’t want pity.

Still, one day when they were talking about things they normally didn’t, Rodney let it slip. At first John wasn’t sure what to do with that; he had no idea what a Gardner was, though he’d known Rodney long enough to realize it was important. Rodney had a moment to regret his words before pride took over. He happily babbled on about the world’s most prestigious award next to the Nobel Prize until John clearly regretted showing any interest. John wasn’t quite sure why an award from some little company in backwater Canada that came with virtually no money could compete with the one million dollar Nobel. He was also rather surprised that despite his limited time in the academic community he had never heard of such a thing, and wondered how many other people had heard of it either. What was the point of bragging when no one knew what you were talking about?

Still, Rodney was clearly proud of the accomplishment and for that John was willing to give out a free complement even if it was ten years overdue.

“You have every right to be proud,” John said, “although I’m surprised you haven’t held it against the other scientists.”

“Well, it’s not that I haven’t thought about it. It’s just that I have to explain to most of them want it is. And that gets old after a while. Still, the next time Radek doubts my chances at getting that Nobel that he’s never going to get, I might happen to bring it up. Purely as a point of example; since the winners of the Gardner award are nearly a guaranteed a Nobel.”

“I’m sure you will,” John said.

“Just like the Oscars.”

“Right. Well I should get going Mckay. Thanks for sharing.”

Rodney decided he was never, ever going to share anything with John Sheppard again. Still, at least now he could claim bragging rights and know that at least someone would understand exactly what he was talking about. That meant larger impact; and Rodney loved larger impact.


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