Small Primes and Square Roots

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Title: Small Primes and Square Roots
Author(s): Livia Penn
Date(s): 21 September 2005
Genre: slash fanfiction
Fandom: Stargate Atlantis
External Links: Small Primes and Square Roots (LiveJournal)

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Small Primes and Square Roots is a Stargate Atlantis Sheppard/McKay story by Livia Penn.

Summary: "I hope you picked someone really intelligent, otherwise it seems like it would be kind of a waste. Of incubation time, if nothing else."

Reactions and Reviews


Next up on the comfort stories list is a genre that I never thought I'd get into: kid!fic. It's always been on the "it's okay" genre list, but it held no big attraction for me. But the daughter in this is wonderful -- she's bright, she's outspoken, and she stomps around like a little hellion at times, all of it very pre-teen like. And the Rodney in this is great, all bluster and no, but his affection for his daughter shining through all of that. It's no wonder that John -- poor lonely, emotionally shattered John -- falls in love with him the night they first meet. [1]
AUs are a good introduction to a fandom, because they don't rely too heavily on canon knowledge, but still give the reader a grounding in the characters. This is possibly the most adorable AU in the whole fandom. [2]


My favorite kid!fic ever. Actually, one of the five or so kid!fics I've ever managed to finish -- one of my favorite aspects of slash fic is that it's not strange if the guys *don't* have a kid.

In his twenties, John Sheppard is on leave when he bumps into Jeannie McKay, who asks him an awful lot of questions about the quality of his genes and then asks him for a favor (hint: little swimmers are involved). Ten years later he comes back to town to find Jeannie has died in a car accident and that Rodney was the one who ended up taking care of Jeannie's daughter, Sara. Rodney agrees to take John to dinner so that John can spend some with Sara and from there you have one of the best letter-romances ever (primarily because there's very little romance involved).

Looking back over this review, it's hard to say why I like this story so much. It has a kid. I hate kids. It has letters (well, e-mails). I hate letter fic. It has long distance romance. I ha-- well, you get the point. However, all of these things that usually annoy me are just done so well here that I can't even get frustrated. Sara's a great character, managing to be both a realistic teenager and the product of Rodney's upbringing without being at all irritating (a miracle, obviously). The e-mails are well-written and snarky and sound so much like Rodney and John that you forget you're reading a letter. Even the long-distance bit works, because the e-mails are so satisfying. Just a sweet, funny, brilliant story.[3]
Featuring my favorite kid in any kidfic AU, this one has a heartbreaking John as well as the dorkiest/most amazing proposition at the end of almost any McShep fic. [4]


  1. Rec50; WebCite, 2006
  2. cupidsbow's Primer for Reading SGA Fanfic (when you haven't seen a single episode of the show), June 22, 2006
  3. jane_elliot in epic_recs: Small Primes and Square Roots by Livia Penn (R), 28 November 2007 (Accessed 06 March 2015)
  4. from Merelyn at Massive SGA Recs Set, July 25, 2007