danceswithgary: (John - Window)
[personal profile] danceswithgary
Title: And In All The Spaces Between
Author: [personal profile] danceswithgary
Pairing: Rodney McKay/John Sheppard
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: None
Spoilers: 4.20 The Last Man, 5.06 The Shrine, 5.09 Tracker,
Word Count: 1928
Archive: Fine, just let me know
Summary: John hadn't planned on spending his day off alone.

Click for Fullsize

His body still carrying the heat of a 10K run followed by a blisteringly hot shower, John ignored his shirt on the bed and wandered barefoot toward the window overlooking the eastern towers, the top button of his faded-soft jeans absentmindedly left undone. Rain slashed across the glass under fitful gray skies, and John shivered in a chill his subconscious insisted on despite the warmth of the temperature-controlled room. It wasn't enough to send him searching for more clothing, however, his mind too occupied in recall to pay much attention to the immediate, as he gazed out unseeingly across the weather-subdued expanse of the city.

John hadn't planned on spending his day off alone. He had to admit it was partly his own fault for not staking his claim on Rodney's time sooner, but that did nothing to soothe the burn of resentment that he'd needed to. After the first disastrous 'Sunday' that had cost them the original Carson, John and Rodney had always managed to spend at least part of their days off together. If they weren't playing games, then there were movies to watch, or trips to the mainland to explore, Rodney's complaints and comments a comfortably familiar accompaniment. That was just the way it was.

Except it wasn't this time, since it appeared that Rodney had conveniently forgotten all those days spent together. He'd decided waste his day off on some medical goodwill mission without saying a word to John. In fact, if Teyla hadn't mentioned it, when John had met her for breakfast, John wouldn't have known anything about Rodney's 'date' until after he'd gone through the gate with Jennifer Keller.

Rodney certainly hadn't mentioned any plans for the day at oh-dark-thirty, when John had gotten out of Rodney's bed to return to his own quarters. He'd just watched John get dressed and leave as usual, never saying a word about his upcoming attempt at a 'kinder, gentler Rodney McKay,' as if it wouldn't matter to John. Rodney had actually snapped when John had questioned him about the mission, as though John had no right to ask, as if John wasn't the one pretending the small bruise on his neck was a sparring injury or still feeling the small cut inside his lower lip from a clumsy kiss in the dark.

The worst part was it wasn't really such a surprise. John had been anticipating something would happen between McKay and Keller since he'd returned from his unplanned trip to the future. He'd thought he'd prepared himself for Rodney finally deciding Jennifer was the better choice, but John was finding out the hard way that he wasn't ready, that the day he'd dreaded had come too soon. All the distance that John had tried to keep between him and Rodney the past few months hadn't done John a damn bit of good, although it appeared it had worked just fine as far as Rodney was concerned.

His mind still preoccupied with regret, John didn't hear his door swish open, and he jerked and spun around at Rodney's sarcastic, "You forget how to dress yourself?"

"Rodney?" Surprised to see Rodney again so soon, John fumbled for something at least vaguely intelligent to say and failed. "You're…here." He suddenly felt exposed and crossed his arms, and then he felt stupid because Rodney had definitely seen everything before, though it had never been in broad daylight outside of a mission. "Why?"

Standing just far enough inside to let the door close behind him, Rodney mirrored his move and then frowned at John before answering. "I'm sorry. Am I interrupting something?" His tone made it quite apparent that Rodney didn't give a damn if he was. "Hot date?"

Off-balance and unprepared, John lost all his remaining cool and snapped back angrily, "Isn't that my line?"

Although Rodney's chin had elevated to a familiar stubborn level, it quickly lowered under the weight of John's counterattack. "Yes, well. While I realize that it might have appeared that way…."

"Yeah, it did." Although John could see discomfort and apology written in every line of Rodney's body, he wasn't ready to ignore what had happened. "You were voluntarily exposing yourself to sick people on your day off to impress Keller." John walked over to the bed and grabbed his t-shirt, then yanked it on without tucking it in, keeping his back turned to Rodney. "It's no secret how you feel about blondes." He rubbed the back of his neck, knowing what it revealed about his state of mind and not caring.

"It's too bad I can't claim to know as much about what or who you prefer." Rodney retorted. He was silent for a few moments, and then he continued more calmly. "I…uh…when I asked Jennifer if she'd mind if I found someone else to go instead of me, she told me she didn't need my help. Turns out Ronon volunteered after I did." Rodney's voice was quieter and closer, but John didn't turn around, even when he felt Rodney's hand settle between his shoulders, barely touching, as if Rodney wasn't sure John would allow it. "I looked for you after they left, but you were off on one of your marathons."

"I thought you weren't here." John shrugged, but not enough to dislodge Rodney's hand, which had begun to rub slow warm circles over his spine. "Wasn't much else I wanted to do." He pushed backward suggestively, and Rodney switched to both hands to knead the perennially tight muscles between John's shoulders and neck, his touch more confident. John dropped his chin to his chest with a groan of relief, the release of tension washing through him until he found it difficult to stay on his feet. Despite the distraction, feeling as if he needed to give Rodney the chance, since he'd never told Rodney what he'd revealed about Jennifer in the future, John pointed out, "You probably should have gone with them anyway. She kind of likes you."

Rodney huffed before saying, "They didn't need me along, slowing them down and trying not to touch the sick people." His hands slowed, then slid down John's back and around until John could feel Rodney's warm solid body against him, his hands sliding up under John's shirt to ruffle the line of hair bisecting his belly. When Rodney's lips gently grazed the side of his neck, over the bruise, John shivered and Rodney murmured, "You could say something, you know, not leave me wondering all the time what you want, how far to go."

When John shrugged, unable to say what he knew Rodney probably needed to hear, Rodney thunked his forehead against John's shoulder. "Damn it, John. I saw your face in the mirror right before you left. Are you really attempting to convince me that my…that me going offworld with Jennifer wouldn't have bothered you? If so, you're failing miserably."

Shrugging again, John pulled away to sit on the bed. Spreading his thighs, he leaned forward on them, clasping his hands together loosely, his arms a barrier between them. Without looking up, he said quietly, "She's what you've always dreamed of, right?"

Rodney's response was just as quiet. "You've never asked me what I want, only assumed." Taking a seat next to John, Rodney mimicked his pose, shrugging. "I'm just as guilty, too afraid you'd walk away, I suppose. Being able to spend some time with you every now and then was better than nothing, even if I do hate sleeping alone. Lately, it seems like it's been getting tougher to manage even those few hours, and I guess maybe I thought with Jennifer…."

Feeling more than a little guilty that he'd been the reason Rodney had been struggling, John nodded. "She'd be easier. No more hiding."

"That's certainly part of it, but not all. I'm not necessarily looking for easy, and I can handle having to keep everything under wraps." Rodney sighed and slumped a little more. "It's just…I want to share my life with someone who's willing to try to make it work, to make a promise to be with me and only me whenever it's possible for as long as possible."

Since he'd expected Rodney to call it quits, it took a few moments for John to summon a halting answer to Rodney's unspoken question. "You know…I can't, even if…I want…."

"Do I?" Rodney interrupted John's denial, frustration vibrating in every syllable. "Yes, there are your government's ridiculous rules to consider, but it's not as if I'm asking for a public announcement, to exchange rings, or even some sort of a ceremony. I want a promise that I'll trust you to keep, that when those rules finally change, there will be more. Plain and simple."

John wanted to believe Rodney, believe what he was asking for was possible, but it was still hard for him to dismiss the alternate Rodney's relationship with Jennifer Keller. "Simple."

"It can be." Rodney nudged John's shoulder with his. "I'm just asking for a little bit more than we already have now and a promise that we'll have a future together. And some talking. Talking would be helpful for avoiding mistakes…like the one I almost made today."

John lifted his head and smiled ruefully at Rodney. "I don't know. That could be a deal-breaker right there." When Rodney's eyes narrowed and he frowned instead of laughing, John realized he was screwing it up and his chest hurt when he thought about Rodney walking out of the room believing John didn't care enough to try. Taking a deep breath, he fumbled for Rodney's hand and held it palm up, then looked down at it while he traced Rodney's lifeline with a stupidly shaky finger. "I don't know if you remember back…it was when you had that thing in your head…that night on the pier."

"I'll admit everything's pretty fuzzy from then." Rodney gently squeezed John's finger. "I think I called you…'Arthur'?"

John's chuckle was a little weak, but at least he managed one before nodding and confessing, "And I sort of made you…a promise."

"Wait. Wait, I…." Rodney reached out and tipped John's chin up until John had no choice but to look at him. "You said something when I…you said…" Rodney's smile lit up his face as he suddenly remembered. "…I was stuck with you."

"I meant it." John tipped toward Rodney and brushed a kiss across his crooked smile. With that one memory back in place, it was surprisingly easy for John to say, "Still do, even though I can't stay the night and wake up with you. Yet."

"Me, too. I mean, I promise too." Rodney laughed and then kissed John back, lingering soft and warm for a few moments before pulling back to say, "We have the rest of the day. Any plans?"

Looking out the window, John noticed that the rain had stopped and the sky had cleared, but he wasn't interested in golf or any other outside activity. "You need to eat, so lunch and then back here?" John's face warmed as he thought about Rodney spread across his bed, pale skin tinted golden in the sunlight, about touching Rodney slowly, tasting him everywhere. "We could…we could take our time. I won't even mind if you slow me down."

Rodney smiled his agreement as he rose to his feet, tugging John up with him. "Then a nap?"

With a nod, John wrapped his arms around Rodney to pull him close, then he whispered into the warm curve of his neck, "And we'll wake up…together."


Notes: BJ Friday prompt: Slow, lazy (although it ended up being just a promise). [community profile] mcsheplets Challenge #71 History. Icons and Artwork available for use with credit.

Standard Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters herein. The characters of Rodney McKay and John Sheppard as well as any supporting characters are the property of their creators and MGM Television/Sony Pictures Television/Associated Production Companies. Any deviation (or deviant behavior) from the originals, however, is mine.

Feedback is both welcome and appreciated.

And In All The Spaces Between

Date: 2010-05-10 05:10 pm (UTC)
iadorespike: (McShep you know-me too by blimey_icons)
From: [personal profile] iadorespike
Awwwwwwww...loved this. :)

Okay, first? Your art is absolutely gorgeous! I'm actually very envious of talented, much less multi-talented people. *eyes you* But, you share, and I really appreciate that. ;)

The story is just...Oh, Boys! Please communicate with each other! *headdesk* And then you made it better and promises were made and the sun came out. :) This is a really lovely read.

Thanks so much!

Date: 2010-05-10 08:32 pm (UTC)
antares_dw: (johnpensive)
From: [personal profile] antares_dw
This is a very nice story! And I'm glad Rodney finally made John talk and it isn't too late.

Your artwork is very lovely! I love the warm green-red-golden colouring, the way the window opens to the city and the way you merged all those screenshots and photos. And also your icons are cute!

Date: 2010-05-10 09:00 pm (UTC)
birggitt: John and Rodny are in LOVE! (John & Rodney)
From: [personal profile] birggitt
Ah, you, smart, brave Rodney! You stand up for what you feel, for what you want and made John to commit to that thing you have going one *smiles*
Fantastic story! Thank you!
Oh, and I have your art as my wallpaper right now :D

Date: 2010-05-10 11:30 pm (UTC)
erda: (Default)
From: [personal profile] erda
Sweet. I like this much better than the canon version, though it's sad they still have to hide.

Date: 2010-05-10 11:37 pm (UTC)
xylohypha: Owl (semyaza_owl2)
From: [personal profile] xylohypha
Your artwork is lovely--and this is from someone who usually skips right past the pictures in order to get to the words.

The words are fine, too. I really like this "fix" for the episode. yay for a sensible Rodney who's willing to push a bit in order to get John to say something about what he wants!

"And In All the Spaces Between" - SGA fic & art

Date: 2010-05-12 02:46 am (UTC)
wanted_a_pony: artistic black and white photo of 2 nude men, intertwined (
From: [personal profile] wanted_a_pony
Wow. You've blown me away with another outstanding fic/art combination! Y'know I've said in the past I'm a word-obsessed fan, one who (like [personal profile] xylohypha) zeros in on the fic & pays scant attention to art. Yours, tho'.... You have an uncanny talent for catching my eye & making me muse about your graphics, consider each element & try to see or construct the connections between them & the overall flow.

To begin with, as an untutored 'I knows what I likes when I sees it' viewer, technical excellence is a sine qua non for me. Incorrect proportions, unexplained awkward poses, inconsistent lighting or color tones, visible edges between elements--these sorts of things ruin the "active suspension of disbelief" I need to maintain in order to really enjoy fanart. I know I'm not going to run nose-first into those sorts of fantasy-killers in your work. I also know that clicking to magnify a graphic you've made is going to reveal all sorts of wonderful, consistent details & subtle hints. The little bruise on John's neck & the suggestion of his cut lip; Rodney's gaze at John in the mirrors, which seems both pissy & wistful; the way the curtains frame & unify different parts; how John seems to be conflating memories of Rodney's magnificent ass & the sky; even the mysterious photo near the title -- they all echo and illuminate the fic, in very non-verbal ways.

I couldn't believe the details you mentioned in reply to comments on LJ (where I first read this) & above! The number of different photos you drew from to make this manip is just incredible (what was it, "John" is actually six different photos of 2 or 3 different people?) & I can't even imagine how you matched & massaged & nudged all the bits until they blend so well. However, come to think of it, that's just the level of care with language that I admire in really good fanfic. Which you also made here, and fixed a particularly troublesome canon glitch, TYVM!

Ahah, that's it: I simply admire work that combines OCD-level attention to detail with insanely open emotional honesty & genius creativity. So, then, the reason I like your McShep combinations is actually very simple! Glad I've figured that out, finally; thanks for helping me do that. ;-)


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