02 Jul 2006
In the aftermath of Arcturus, Rodney deals with John's loss of trust. Then John has to deal with the loss of Rodney. *not a deathfic!!!*
Updated: 22 Jun 2006; Published: 16 Dec 2005
Okay, I know I said I was planning to read this ages ago, but I haven't had enough time up until now. So, I've just started, and OMFG. SO AWESOME! Words cannot describe how amazingly perfect John's voice is, I repeatedly found myself having moments of OH MY GAWD! THAT IS SO HIM! And you have such an amazing take on their post-Doranda relationship, where John is completely clueless about how much Rodney is hurting, because really that just screams Sheppard to me: that weird combination of selfishness to his own emotions and the inability to imagine that people would care what he thinks about them. And I loved how you were able to make me laugh at Sheppard's internal monologue, then yank the rug out from under me with Rodney's blatant hurt tugging at my heartstrings! And I loved Elizabeth's entire exchange with John, defending Rodney, because I think it shows that strong friendship she shares with Rodney, which was pretty much forgotten last season. This line in particular really got me: "Unfortunately, he has spent most of his life trying to prove the truth of these statements to everyone from his father to General Hammond." I mean, how awesome is that one line can show such a deep connection, how she just *gets* him, and it contrasts so beautifully with the way John doesn't anymore. Gah! I'm sorry, terribly long review, but I'm so excited to read more of this, plus I'm running on 2 hours sleep and a lot of caffeine, so...yeah. I'll try to keep my reviews shorter for upcoming chapters. ;P
Author's Response: You responded ELEVEN times. I am awed by your dedication and incredibly humbled and flattered as well. I'm not sure if I can do justice to your zeal, but I'll try. So... I'm really glad you like this chapter. I wrote it pretty quickly and with no idea where I was going and I have to admit I'm not as pleased with it now as I was then. So I'm glad to hear it's still doing the job of reeling people in. I'm really happy you caught the juxtaposition of Elizabeth's understanding of Rodney and John'd lack since I was trying to go with the opposite of the way the episode Trinity did.
Okay, I completely forgot in the last chapter to comment on how much I loved this line: "But Rodney was the reason John hadn’t thrown in the towel in the first month of this crazy assignment and gone to raise goat-like things on the mainland." Because seriously, that shows such a connection, but it's not a mushy line at all, it's very *Sheppard* and thus very touching.
This line: "He was doing it again now, likening Rodney to the center of his universe" and that part with John holing up in an empty lab and just crying because he's heartbroken is so hard to read, and it made me want to shake him and scream "You did this to yourself, idiot!" and then hold him and cry with him. So sad! :( I loved Rodney's sudden protectiveness of his "new team", and how that instant feeling of belonging was good, but not *as good* as what he had with Sheppard. That perfectly sets the stage for events to come, I can tell! Plus I loved how warmly they recieved him, and his response to their acceptance is "I could squish you like bugs." So very, very Rodney. And the line: "Elizabeth very calmly did not throw her paperweight at his head" made me giggle! I can just picture her taking out her frustration in very entertaining ways. Plus her ultimatum to Sheppard made me want to hug her. And Sheppard finally confronting McKay, but going about it all wrong, was just gut-wrenching. These lines really stood out: "John was just soaking in the Rodney vibes. He hadn’t felt this in three days and he was like a junkie with a fix. God he had missed his best friend." “No Rodney you have to listen to me. I need you with me. I can’t do this without you!” Gah! I both hate you and love you for putting John through this. What can I say, it's a very complex emotion for a beautifully complex story. And bugger, I've left another long review. I think short reviews for this fic are a lost cause...
Author's Response: It's okay! I love long reviews. It lets me know that people are really affected by the story. Have I mentioned that I love that you have favorite lines? That's always so cool. Elizabeth is my eye of the hurricane for this fic. She reins in the insanity as best she can while John and Rodney create havoc around her. I have John having very complex emotions for Rodney that are probably very off canon, but that's the way my muse wanted it. Rodney's a little more canon I think, but I couldn't have the both of them be crazy or there wouldn't be any story. :)
Aw, those poor doctors! (Not really, because it's funny, and go Rodney for becoming a Geek Icon.) I loved Teyla's little 'talk' with John, and the mission with Kavanaugh was classic! I love the sequence of events: "Then the tree stump had tried to eat Kavanaugh...Then it started to rain...At which point he started to laugh and then a tree fell on him." What a hoot! And I loved John's little shower fantasy moment and the angst it brought forth, and this line was so perfect: "Oh well. He had always known Heaven was beyond him and Purgatory was for underachievers anyway." Poor, poor John, and the fact that Rodney's missing him too is just so sad. I really want to see Elizabeth give in to her impulse and lock the two of them in a room together, so they can work things out and have hot make-up sex. ;) And I loved Rodney's 'realization' at the end.
Author's Response: I'm glad you like the sequence of the mission scenes. My purpose was to present these absurd situations in a very matter of fact manner to show how John just expects things to go horribly wrong without Rodney around to fix things. I was pretty proud of the Heaven line myself. I also love scenes where John and Rodney fantasize about each other. Sometimes it's more emotional than if the two of them were to have actual sex!
Poor John, he is absolutely and totally wrecked! And wow, you managed to make me actually *like* Kate in this, even while staying true to her character. Her little "Gotcha!" moment at the mention of Rodney was perfect, as was her realization that "Sheppard needed McKay, not the other way around as everyone on base assumed. It was Rodney who was the anchor in this relationship." And John's description of Rodney as his "horizon" and "failsafe" and "gravity" brought out quite a few little Aw-moments. And gawd, Sheppard is just so, so *distraught* because he's lost the *love of his life* and it just *hurts* dammit!
And Zelenka and Rodney's exchange was bittersweet. Poor Rodney at having to come to grips with all his emotions, then being the one to go to John, instead of the other way around (although in truth, he really made it quite clear that John needed to keep the hell away at all costs.) Gah! So excited, must go read next chapter!
Author's Response: Okay confession time. I HATE Kate in the show. I think she's insipid and ineffectual and I can't see her getting sent to Atlantis unless the SGC was just trying to get rid of her. So I made up my own version!*grin* 'Therapy' is one of my prouder chapters in this story. John is desperately in need of professional help and Rodney would never take the advice of someone like Kate seriously, so his little talk with Radek is my way of getting around that. It's good you're reading this when the subsequent chapters are posted. There were a few people ready to lynch my for that little cliffhanger!
OMG! (gives you squishy hugs, then beats you with a foam noodle) NO! They were so close, so sweet, then Sheppard had to go be an ASS! Grr... On the plus side, I'm loving Elizabeth for actually subjecting them to the "throw them in a room and let them beat the truth out of each other" philosophy, plus her internal monologues are just classic. And they worked it out...sort of. John was so earnest, I loved how he just gave it all up and nearly bared everything for Rodney (he misses him so much!), and Rodney really seemed to get it, but I just know there's storm clouds on the horizon...
Author's Response: My Sheppard is a bit of a slave to his emotions when it comes to Rodney, it's true. I figured by this point Jon was ready to tell Rodney every secret he had just to get McKay back in his life. But things that get broken so badly very rarely get put back together exactly the same way. *shrug* C'est la vie.
Chapter 5: stepping stones
Okay, short review, because I'm really, really getting into this and I'm becoming less patient to get to each new chapter: Is it wrong that I'm taking sadistic, gleeful delight in John being jealous of Rodney's female admirer, a la Sanctuary? Turnabout is fair play, Colonel... ;P And oh my gosh, that dream! For a second you had me, I thought it was real, but oh my gosh, so incredibly hot. And then the "yes, good boy" choking attack was positively brilliant! :D And can I just say that I really, really love Rodney's reaction to the news that Elizabeth's been captured? He's got the leader of Atlantis and his friends trapped offworld, held hostage, and yet somehow he still manages to make it about him. That is just so Rodney. ;P
Author's Response: It's not wrong, it's fun! I'm glad you liked the fantasy scene, it was really hot to write. I figured a little comedy was in order after the intensity of that scene. And that was fun to write too! Plus, it's always about Rodney. ;)
Oh, wow. I love Sheppard's twitchiness at the mention of Sophie, and his agonizing jealousy over the use of first names made me just want to bang his head against something hard and solid. They *asked* him to call them that, idiot! John has *got* to start working on verbalizing his feelings and desires, or he's really going to screw himself over. Rodney's immediate conclusion of jealousy and subsequent smirking was pure gold, and McKay's rant of completely 'inconceivable' reasons for Sheppard accompanying him on the mission ending with the fact that he was in love with him and couldn't let him out of his sight was so unbelievably cute and hilarious! And I loved how Sophie got Elizabeth out of there on her own. So much for a rescue party! I also liked how despite Sheppard's obvious envy, he was still able to think of Sophie as a capable soldier: "When he got home he was promoting Delacroix. Obviously she was a tactical genius." And OMG, Rodney in RED! My mind boggles. And apparently, so does Shep's. I loved this part: He looked around the room and then turned his gaze to the quietly freaking Colonel.“So, we’re screwed aren’t we?” I actually snorted Dr. Pepper on myself, and I totally blame you for making me do another load of laundry.
And can I just say that I regret smacking you with a foam noodle earlier, because YES! KISSIES!!! Hot kissies, I might add, with the anger and the jealousy and the sadness, and Rodney's “Don’t you fucking walk away from me! Don’t you fucking do that ever again!” that just made me want to cry! (melts into puddle of goo)
Author's Response: Someone called called them Sophibeth/Elizophie after this chapter was posted and I think that's hilarious. I have to admit I get a kick out of John's blatant jealousy yet gruging respect for Sophie. It's what I think might have happened if Ford had been cast as a girl. I know I'm not the first one to dwell on the fact that Rodney never calls Sheppard John, but I think it's a relevant plot point the show will have to address at some point. Especially with the lingering trust issues they tried to subtly sweep under the carpet in 'Michael' and 'Inferno'. And yeah, Rodney in red. *stares off dreamily into space for an hour or two*
Gah! I loved this part: "It wasn’t like he could stay in there forever...
Oh my God, he was staying in here forever!
Elizabeth could negotiate a release with a formal apology and the knowledge to recharge ZPMs at no cost and he still was never leaving this shower. Ever." John's reaction to the kiss was So. Bloody. Perfect. The way you described the kiss was amazing, how you captured the impetuousness and sweetness of it all in one, and I could just picture it in my head beautifully. John is so absolutely lost, I don't think I've ever read anything in which John is so completely, irrevocably in love as you make him out to be here, and I just can't get enough of it! I so loved Rodney pinning John to the bed, I can just picture John's reaction, and it brought a goofy, goofy grin to my face. I so enjoyed Rodney's minor revenge on Sheppard, and his 'seduction' technique was priceless! And seriously, wow, not only was this hot, but so incredibly emotional and gut-wrenching. John is utterly, desperately, beautifully lost, and I think Rodney is finally figuring that out.
Author's Response: The whole shower thing was really popular. I put it in cause I thought it was funny, but the positive response I got was a little surprising. I'm glad it worked though. John is pretty much done in the whole love department. He's never going to be able to feel this way about anyone else were he even inclined to try. And yeah, Rodney's starting to figure out that getting exactly what he wants might bring problems he never dreamed of. I'm glad you can't get enough. It means I'm doing something right! ;)
Aah! You are an evil, evil person hell bent on killing me from an angst-induced heart attack!!! Oh, John! That *moment* where he just panicked and crumbled at the possibility of losing Rodney. The thought that he could just crack like that and lose everything is just so...ugh. I don't have words. John is just this side of going insane, and I'm really, really worried about what's going to happen to him in upcoming chapters, especially with his really scarily intense jealousy of Sophie...
Author's Response: Yeah, he might actually be a little bit on the other side of crazy, actually. I'm having a hell of a time figuring out how I'm going to resolve it, or even if I should. I made John crack that way because I think we've seen him do that in canon. The Storm/The Eye was a minor psychotic break if you ask me. Intense is a good word for it.
Ha! I knew it! Sophie and her big mouth! Grrr... Ugh, I don't even want to think about Sheppard's condition, it's too painful. I'm just hoping he'll recover enough to go kick some serious ass, saving Rodney in the process. And by the way, the morning wake up scene was so adorably delicious! :D (And if John doesn't recover enough for more fluffy, smoochy moments like that, there will be more beating with a foam noodle. You have been warned.)
Author's Response: No! Not the Nooodle of Doom! *whimpers* Actually that scene was my first attempt at anything purely fluffy and rated less than NC-17. I'm glad it seemed to work, but there might be a distinct lack of fluffiness for a while.
(makes incoherent noises of approval) Gah, words, just...they fail me. I think I'm finally tapped out. The scene where John comes back from the scary place, and then when he walks into the briefing, just...oh my gosh. It just wrung me out, and I'm left feeling a little bit like somebody's emotional laundry hanging on a clothesline. I need ass-kickery, and I need smoochies, and I need them *pronto,* please! :D
Author's Response: I am completely unsurprised that you're wrung out. This is a freaking novel and you read it all in one sitting! Seriously, we're talking 170 pages here, give or take. Go, sleep, and no more caffeine for you. I'll try to get chapter twelve out as soon as possible. :)
Sheppard and McKay are being held prisoners and Rodney lets something slip.
Updated: 05 Jul 2006; Published: 04 Jul 2006
Aw, that's priceless! (But who are they fooling, really?) ;)
Author's Response: :) thanks for reading, the story works both as a friendship story and preslash so really you can take away from it whatever you like :)
John and Rodney are ept, or is it apt?
Updated: 05 Jul 2006; Published: 05 Jul 2006
Wow, that was the best bad-awkward sex I've read. ;) Seriously, you're very ept, and this was equal measures cute and hot, just like I like it. Great job! :D
At 21 Second Lt. John Sheppard wants to try new things while he still has the chance.
Updated: 05 Jul 2006; Published: 05 Jul 2006
Oh, wow, I totally loved that. Your characterizations of Rodney and John were perfect, the sex was hot, and I just loved the connection they shared. But oddly enough, I think my favorite part was when John's coin landed on tails. I'd never thought about it that way before, that John's not so good at following orders, so he's not likely to do what coin tells him to. ;) And I just loved that Rodney was his reason to go. Thanks so much for sharing this!
Author's Response: Thank you! I'm pleased the characterizations worked for you. Writing them as twenty-somethings was trickier than I had anticipated. I hadn't thought of the coin toss in quite that way, but you're right, John can't even obey a coin. /g/