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A DVD Commentary on my fic "A Little Bit Crazy"

Posted on 31-Dec-05 at 1:27.
mood: contemplativecontemplative
Blame dvswraatins. She asked for author commentaries, and I just can't resist her, adorable thing that she is. I'm sure the following will be boring and trite and will expose my incredibly simple-minded approach to writing fics. But actually? It was more fun than I thought it would be. In an 'oh look, it's my navel!' navel-gazing sort of way.



The working title for this fic was "The John Story" (so imaginative, I know) and the subtitle, "Alienation". I was interested in exploring how strange it must feel for John (and Rodney) to be back on Earth. Especially after the long siege, and the weeks of waiting for the attack before that. So much desperation and craziness, and then it was over. They stepped through the gate and were back on earth in a heartbeat. Earth hadn't changed, but they had. It's also, obviously, a first time fic, John and Rodney getting together after all the trauma they've been through.

A Little Bit Crazy

***

The one of the inspirations for this fic was John's flashback scene in "Intruder", talking to Ford's cousin, Lara. It really stuck me--John looked so out of place in his civvies and drinking coffee (or tea) in a nice cup, in someone's nice, normal living room. He looked so damn weary. I felt for him. I liked Ford's cousin a great deal. She was being respectful, but I could imagine her frustration--she didn't know where Ford had gone, or what had happened to him, it was all classified and there was a person sitting right there in front of who knew exactly what happened but was unable to tell her. I liked that actions on Atlantis had repercussions back on Earth.

So, I began the fic at that moment.

I started the fic in present tense, wrote a page or two, then switched it all to past tense, then decided I really wanted present tense for the distance and coolness, so I switched back again. It was really irritating. I hate when I do that.



Aiden mentioned you in that tape message he sent. He said you were a good man; that he trusted you with his life. You tell me, Colonel -- was that trust misplaced?

Ford's cousin Lara is pretty. She pours coffee into delicate china cups for him but John can't taste it, can't swallow although he pretends to simply because he needs to do something with his hands. While she speaks politely and respectfully, under the carefully controlled exterior John knows there is anger and fear. Someone she loves is gone, and she has questions, plenty of questions, none of which John can answer. So instead, John holds the framed picture of Ford in his dress uniform and stares at a young, stern Lieutenant Ford. He looks proud, looks like he is ready to take on the world. Ford hadn't known at that point that he would have to take on an entire galaxy.

John can't tell Lara that, of course. He can't tell her that her little cousin is billions of light years from home, that he has been transformed by alien life-sucking creatures into something else entirely. He isn't Lieutenant Ford anymore. He isn't Aiden. This new person had given John a cold, hard stare before taking a jumper and leaving through the gate. "You're trying to change me back," he had said, as if John were the enemy now.

John imagines what it would be like to tell her such a crazy story; it would be the ramblings of an insane man. Instead he says, "I want you to understand -- as far as I'm concerned, he's still alive."

She will never really understand.

I wanted to emphasize again that John has seen things and done things in the past year that he never dreamed of. He didn't even know that the Stargate program existed until he sat in that chair (okay, until after they explained everything to him, which is a scene I would have loved to have watched. And if anyone wanted to write that fic, I would shower them with kisses. Honest.)

***

This scene below? I must have edited a billion times. It took me quite some time before I was happy with it. I wanted hints of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, where he can't stop thinking about what happened--it haunts him in his dreams. And it wasn't until I was doing the final touches on the fic that it occurred to me he should call out to Rodney when he wakes.

The rest of the afternoon is spent sprawled on the motel room bed, with its shiny polyester bedspread and lifeless pillows. John half-watches a basketball game on TV, but he doesn't follow the action. His mind wanders and drifts off to unwelcome places just before he dozes.

He dreams of Wraith darts in the Earth sky.

"Rodney--" He wakes in cold sweat and panics before he realizes it was just a dream, that the darts aren't really there. Still, he has to climb out of bed and look out the window just to make sure.

The night sky is quiet. Cloudy, no stars visible.

He wonders what the folks back on Atlantis are doing.

He's not hungry but he gets a late dinner at a local diner anyway, watching the tables full of arguing families as he pushes his food around in his plate. Afterward he drives aimlessly, tooling around in his green rented Chrysler LeBaron. He's tired but wide awake. He needs--he needs something. He keeps driving. Having visited the city a few times before, long ago, he is familiar with the neighborhoods. He finds himself driving past Max's Place, telling himself he was simply curious whether it was still there after all these years.

So, a bit of a coincidence that John knows the neighborhood. *g* But maybe he was stationed there at some point. You never know.

It is still there, announcing it's presence with the same old blue and white sign on a shabby yellow brick facade. It hasn't changed on the inside, either. Dark paneling on the walls, air redolent with stale beer and cigarettes. John thinks of the bright, open spaces in Atlantis, it's soaring towers, and how it smells of the sea. He has to remind himself to breathe.

He slides onto a barstool, leans on the sticky bar and orders a beer from an indifferent bartender before leaning back and watching another game. A hockey game this time, on a fancy widescreen TV. That much at least, is new.

It doesn't take long.

"Hi."

John turns and smiles at the young man. "Hello."

John still knows how to work the smile. He's not the freshfaced kid he once was, but apparently he hasn't aged too badly, because the man settles onto the stool next to him and buys him a beer.

I have this thing for John having quick meaningless sex with strangers. He strikes me as the type who craves intimacy, yet is terrified of it. And has no idea how to reach out and achieve it. As opposed to Rodney, who maybe wants it but has enough other things in his life that he doesn't really think about it, except in an abstract way. And since Rodney doesn't have any filters when it comes to dealing with people, his relationships with people around him are intimate, in a sense. He shares freely what's on his mind, while John stays closed off and hidden to those around him. John would only be honest and open with a single, special someone.

"Thanks," John says.

The man motions to the TV. "Good game, huh?"

John nods. "Sure." He has no idea who is playing.

They make idle talk, about nothing, and there's mutual looking over. This man is a little too blonde but well built, handsome enough although in the dim light, who can be sure? John doesn't need the light know there is a hand on his thigh, though. A small frisson of excitement and John gets hard, enjoying the fact that it's a different sort of excitement than the about-to-die kind that he's gotten all too used to. John stretches, nudges the man--Jim? Or was it Joe? --saying, "Excuse me, but I just need to visit the little boys room." He knows the right tone of voice, how to give a little smirk in order to make it an invitation.

Halfway there John glances over his shoulder--Jim/Joe is already sliding off his seat and following him. He's caught up with John by the time he reaches the door.

John unfastens his pants and backs into a stall. Jim/Joe follows, sinking down onto his knees as John pulls his cock out. The sudden heat and wetness around his cock startles him--it's been way too long since someone, anyone has touched him like this. John closes his eyes and leans against the wall, attempting to shut down and lose himself in the sensation. But the bathroom smells of piss and disinfectant, the edge of the toilet is digging into his shin, and even though Jim/Joe has a great mouth and apparently no gag reflex, he's also is making weird little grunting noises which are annoying and completely take him out of the moment. A flushing toilet whooshes in the next stall over and John jumps, his eyes flying open.

Jim/Joe pats him on the hip and continues enthusiastically.

John leans back again, takes a deep breath and forces himself to relax and enjoy it. He tries stretching his arms up over his head, holding the top edge of the divider and thinks only of how hard his cock is and how good it feels to have a mouth on it. He watches Jim/Joe's head bob up and down, eyes the blonde hair and a moment later sees short brown hair in its place. He pretends the hand at the base of his cock is big and square with short nails, the exact same hands that he has seen waving and pointing as they deftly work Ancient technology. Closing his eyes, John can pretend that there's a wry mouth on his cock and blue eyes staring up at him under thick lashes.

Gripping the wall tightly, John comes. It's brief and sharp, not exactly satisfying and when it's over he opens his eyes to find a strange man standing in front of him, too close, way too close and it's not the right person at all. John pulls his pants back up, tucks and zips. "Listen," he says. "I'm sorry, but I have to--"

John wants to say that there are alien creatures that suck the life out of you out there, that he shot his own commanding officer, he killed sixty people he didn't even know simply by pushing a button and that he flew a little spaceship with a nuke stashed in it because that was the only thing left that he could do.

"--I have to go, okay? I really have to."

He slips past Jim/Joe, who watches him with a disgusted look and shrugs. "Yeah, sure, man. Whatever."

John's pretty sure he hears muttered curses behind him.

In the end, I was pleased with how the scene turned out, despite the multiple edits and continual tweaking. I think (or rather, hope) that it shows how John has changed, that he can't do the things he used to, along with still being haunted by the events on Atlantis. He tries to reach out but anonymous sex has lost its appeal, he needs something more. And again, Rodney is on his mind. John's kept those feelings locked down tight but after everything that's happened, the lock sort of got broken. It's a theme I visited in "His Place in the Universe", and I hesitated to write this fic because of the possible similarities to that one. But chelle encouraged me to go ahead and write it anyway. She's smart that way.

***

Back at the motel, John showers for a long time. Then, since it's an awful bed and he can't hear the ocean, he gives up on sleep and heads to the airport.

He gets the red-eye flight out, snagging a first class seat because he has that smile and the agent is young and pretty and eager to help Lieutenant Colonel Sheppard get back to base.

I included the bit about the flight agent to stress that John is using his charm once again, and that so far in the fic, no one is saying what they mean, especially John. Not sure if it was particularly effective.

There's a layover, and another stop and changing flights, so by time he hits Colorado Springs it's evening, air crisp and cool. He hasn't slept, he hasn't changed his clothes in 24 hours. He spent his time on the flight with his eyes closed, because on the first half of the trip the woman in the seat next to him had the look of someone who would be all to happy to chat and on the other flight he was exhausted and wanted to sleep but couldn't and he's really tired of everything that's going on inside his head.

OMG, terrible paragraph, why did I write that? Couldn't I come up with better glue to connect the scenes?

He rents another car, and drives to an apartment complex on the east side of the town.

A door opens. "You look like hell."

"Nice to see you too, Rodney."

"You've been gone for days. Did you tell Elizabeth you're back in town? She was wondering when you'd return."

"No."

A beat passes. "Do you plan on telling her?"

Sometimes being with Rodney is like having a Band-Aid yanked off.

John is back in the land of the familiar, back with the one who is blunt and doesn't let him get away with anything. All that bluntness and honesty scares him, yet he's drawn to it. Plus, here is someone who understands exactly what he went through, who shared the experience with him.

And yet it warms John to see that along with the surprise and exasperation on Rodney's face there's something brighter. Rodney just might be glad to see him. So John slouches against the doorframe, and with a strained casualness asks, "Listen, do you think I can crash here tonight?"

Rodney does a double take, then waves him in. "Really? Yes, yes, of course. As long as you don't mind the sofa bed. It's comfortable, actually."

Relief washes over John. "Thanks. I'm getting a little tired of the motel thing."

As he enters Rodney's apartment the knot in his stomach--the knot he didn't even realize was there, that's how used to it he is--starts to unwind. Rodney's apartment is comfortable. It's littered with books, newspapers and scientific journals. Worn furniture, pillows tossed everywhere, and the quiet disarray is soothing.

Rodney tosses a cell phone at him. "Call Elizabeth, so she'll stop calling me. And did you eat dinner yet? I was going to order Chinese." Rodney waves a menu at him. "Good stuff, no MSG."

John reaches for the menu, but Rodney holds it out of reach. "Call," he demands, pointing at the phone in John's hand. "And next time you go wandering about the U.S., leave your cell phone on."

See, John, there actually are people who worry about you, you big dope.

The cell phone seems quaintly archaic--John has to *dial*, for god's sake, but he makes the call. It's quick, no big news. Elizabeth asks how the visit went, and John gives a noncommittal answer. She sounds distracted, and John imagines that dealing with the brass at the SGC must be troubling her. She informs him that the Daedalus is due to arrive in the next couple of days.

I wanted to make some nod to the relationship angst we saw Elizabeth dealing with in "Intruder".

After the call, he decides he's starving, and they order a ridiculous amount of food. He showers in Rodney's bathroom, surrounded by Rodney's things, and by the time he's dressed again, the food has arrived. Wontons, egg rolls, mu shoo pork, egg foo young, fried rice, all eaten with mustard hot enough to make his eyes water.

This next bit with them watching TV on the sofa bed--I wanted them to do something utterly mundane and Earthly, something John has surely done a million times before but now it's very surreal to him. I wanted him to connect with Rodney on some level, to be physically close to him and address the longing John feels. And also sneak a line in there that would indicate that Rodney has had sexual experiences with another man, because that would make it even scarier for John by removing one of the barriers to a relationship with him. This was one of the first scenes I had in my head when I thought up this story.

And Rodney would be a terror with a TV remote, wouldn't he?


John is relaxed and full and maybe even a little content by the time they leave the table. He gathers up the little white boxes and puts them in the fridge while Rodney pulls open the sofa and makes up the bed. They grab one more beer and stretch out on the mattress together, side by side, under a worn, fuzzy blue blanket to watch TV. Or, at least, John tries to watch TV, since Rodney is the consummate channel changer.

"Hold it, what was that?" he asks for the third time.

"What?" Rodney asks. "What was what?"

"That thing on the other channel."

"Which channel?"

"Never mind, You're already five channels past it," John tells him.

"I can go back. But you said you didn't care what we watched."

"I don't. Watch whatever you like." This earns John an annoyed glare, and it's comforting. Normal, somehow.

Rodney goes back to changing the channels--a baseball game, an old show in black and white, a sitcom featuring harsh burst of canned laughter, an earnest commercial touting an investment plan. John stops watching the TV and watches Rodney instead. Rodney looks relaxed, leaning back against his pillows, a beer cradled in his hand, a slight frown as he works the remote. His lips quirk downward when he sees something odd, but then he shakes his head and moves on.

Rodney is so solid, so reassuringly there, that John wants to reach out and touch him. He's always wanted to. Especially since John has heard those rumors, the ones about Rodney in Russia and the very male Russian scientist, and how people there do all sorts of things during those cold, dark winters.

It's entirely possible that Rodney would want John to touch him. It's both exhilarating and terrifying.

John imagines reaching out and wrapping his hand around Rodney's wrist. He would take the remote from him, pluck the beer from his hand and set it down carefully on the side table. Rodney would watch with big blue eyes and then smile, because he'd want it, he'd want John--

Oh god, the things they would do together. John's sure that sex with Rodney would be as exciting and exasperating as everything else with Rodney. But there would be no barriers, no social niceties. He would get the full force of Rodney and John's not sure he's strong enough to weather the storm.

John turns back to the TV. Channel guide, people way too happy to be shopping in a grocery store, a movie preview, a detective explaining how he came to suspect his suspect.

After a few minutes John randomly asks, "Hey, what was that?"

This time Rodney is ready for him. He stops short, backs up a few channels, and stares at the QVC channel. "Pots and pans. You want to watch someone try to sell us pots and pans?" Rodney's voice reflects his incredulity.

"Maybe I do." Three beers and John is feeling loopy. Plus, he's in bed with Rodney. They're sharing a blanket, no less. "Oh, now, look at that saucepan. That's one hell of a saucepan."

He looks to Rodney, and Rodney is looking at him as if he's insane. John laughs, thinking that maybe this time he really is, because they all almost died in a ten thousand year old city (that can fly, must not ever forget it's a *flying city*) and here someone wants to sell them an aluminum-clad saucepan. Because that really would have helped, in that last moment when he was sliding into the pilot's seat of the jumper, the Genii and Rodney-rigged nuclear bomb behind him and he didn't want to die, he really, really didn't.

I go back to the bomb-in-the-jumper thing from Siege II a couple of times in this fic because that look on John's face when he was flying up to the hive ship was heart-wrenching. Almost as heart-wrenching as Rodney's expression when he realized just what John was doing. It was such a desperate moment, and I can see John thinking back on it with a mixture of wonder and horror.

His laughter turns odd and hiccupy. When Rodney touches his shoulder he doesn't look up. Instead, gripping his beer tightly, he asks, "Okay, maybe you can change the channel now." His voice is high and reedy and not quite steady.

"Are you okay?"

"Are you going to change the channel? I'm not really interested in the saucepan."

Rodney changes the channel. "Fine. Do the manly stoic thing. Me? Not so fine. I spent past two days interviewing replacements for the science team. Gaul, Dumas, Grodin--they were good, you know? I selected them initially to be on the expedition, and now I have to pick their replacements." His voice wavers.

I did not want to ignore the fact that Rodney suffered, too. I think more members of the science team were lost in that year than the military. Plus this was Rodney's first experience of going off-world and being part of a team.

So, they're both suffering, but Rodney deals with it differently. And maybe a little better.

"They knew the risks when they signed on, Rodney."

Rodney throws down the remote in disgust. "What, is that from some sort of random military platitude generator? That doesn't help. That doesn't mean anything. It doesn't change the fact that they are dead."

John meets Rodney's gaze, and the pain is right there, all over his face. "It means," John says evenly, "that you're not responsible for their deaths."

"Okay. Okay." It's a challenge, not a concession. "When you tell yourself that, do you believe it?"

John sees Ford again, and the jumper disappearing through the gate. "Sometimes."

"Sometimes? What kind of answer is that?"

"Rodney, you're a real pain in the ass, you know that?"

"Yes," Rodney says, as if John just told him the sky is blue.

The burst of anger fades, and with a heavy sigh John finishes his beer. Rodney picks up the remote and changes the channel.

"I went to see Ford's family yesterday," John says.

I see this as a big moment for John, done so casually, but even this little bit of sharing is hard for him.

Rodney hits the mute button. "How did it go?" he asks in a gentle tone.

"It sucked." John closes his eyes, weary beyond reason.

"I'm sorry."

John nods.

"Hey, you want to go to sleep? I'll--"

"No, no--" John opens his eyes to find Rodney about to climb out of bed. "I'm awake. Come on, Rodney, we've been on channel sixty-three for almost a whole minute. You're slacking off here."

"Oh." Rodney settles back in against the pillows. "Right." With a sideways look through his lashes at John, he points the remote and changes the channel.

I'm not ashamed to admit that I have to include something about Rodney's lashes in every fic.

***

Just before he wakes, John dreams of brightly colored bursts in the earth sky, dart ships hitting a force field that isn't there.

I waffled on including this sentence. It started to feel melodramatic after reading over the fic a million or so times. But I wanted a reminder that this crap is staying with him.
***

John's aware of Rodney's eyes on him throughout the morning, as they drink coffee and eat scrambled eggs and toast. He doesn't know why, and wonders if Rodney thinks he's in a fragile state or something. Which is ridiculous. He's fine.

"Listen, I don't need to work today," Rodney tells him. "How about a movie or something?"

So, is Rodney trying to take care of John, in his own Rodney way, or does he just want to go see a movie? Or does he just want to spend time with John? Chelle asked me at one point how Rodney feels about John, if he already had strong feelings for him, and I had to think about that for a while. But then I decided that Rodney had a big ole crush on John, and had for a long, long time. So maybe it's a combination of wanting to spend time with John on Earth, and wanting to take care of him, because last night? That was a little freaky when John got upset.

But of course, John thinks he's just fine. He doesn't need to be with Rodney. He just needs a place to stay
.

"A movie?"

Rodney waves a piece of toast. "Yes, a movie, moving pictures, a form of entertainment, you remember those, don't you?" He stuffs the toast into his mouth.

"Sure, sounds good. Anything good playing?"

"We'll find out," Rodney says through a mouthful of food. "Good. I hate going to movies alone."

It's good thing the matinee is almost empty, because Rodney talks during almost the entire movie, picking apart the plot and the acting and pointing out almost every pretty woman on screen. John should find it irritating but he doesn't. Instead he argues with Rodney, contradicting him whenever possible, just to see the reaction. When the lights go up at the end, the two other people in the theater glare them at, but John rolls his eyes and smiles, as if to say Rodney is his burden to bear, too.

"That was fun. Wasn't that fun? I missed seeing movies in a real theater and all." Rodney is practically bouncing out of the movie house. "Hey," he says, pointing to a storefront across the street. "Let's get ice cream."

Going for ice cream with Rodney is no simple affair. He asks to taste at least twenty of the forty one flavors, then demands that John taste them too, and next thing John knows he's deep into a critical analysis of vanilla fudge almond vs. praline vs. pistachio with toasted almonds--not pistachios, but almonds--which Rodney thinks is wrong, wrong, wrong.

John finds himself agreeing.

I'm glad they think so, because toasted almonds do NOT belong in pistachio ice cream.

I wrote that bit about the movies and ice cream because I wanted to show Rodney being just so Rodney, irksome and bouncy and intent, because his behavior is unique and familiar to John. Being with Rodney is like being home for him only he hasn't quite figured that out yet.

After they finish with the ice cream, the coffee shop is next.

"Coffee. The big one. The biggest one you have," Rodney tells the girl behind the counter. He pulls out his wallet. "And whatever he's having."

"Chai tea latte. Skim milk, please. What?" he asks at Rodney's bemused look.

"Chai tea?"

The pretty girl behind the counter smiles.

"I like Chai tea," John explains to both of them.

"So do I," the girl says.

Rodney shakes his head in dismay.

I wanted John to have a less-than-manly drink. I don't know if Chai tea is unmanly, but I don't know any guys who drink it, so I went with it.

John decides it was a good idea to come here. To visit Rodney. Rodney being so very Rodney has become a universal constant in his life, and he doesn't have very many of those. Flying, maybe. And not always following orders.

I was afraid the above paragraph was stating the obvious. Telling, not showing. But I decided in the end to keep it.

And now, Rodney. Who pours sugar into his coffee, stirs, examines the cinnamon shaker, then the vanilla powder. He sniffs the vanilla, contemplates it, then taps a dash of it into his coffee and stirs again. John finds himself staring at Rodney's hands as they work, the way he cradles the plastic lid of the coffee cup, the way he grips the thin wooden stirrer.

"Excuse me--sir?"

John spins around. "Huh?"

"Your tea?"

"Oh, right. Thank you." He takes the cup with an embarrassed smile.

She smirks and glances at Rodney before moving on to make the next drink.

She is so on to them. John had obviously been giving Rodney that yearning stare that we've seen a few times this season.

They find a table outside, and they sit beside each other, facing the street. The cars passing by are too noisy for John. He misses the low hum of a puddlejumper.

"I can't believe you drink that stuff," Rodney says, pointing to John's cup. "What's it like?"

John takes the lid off, and sips at the foam. "I don't know, it just tastes good. It's tea. And it's spicy."

Still, Rodney's expression is dubious, so John slides the cup toward him. "Try it."

Picking up the cup, Rodney swirls the liquid inside, then sniffs it. "Smells good."

"Careful, it's hot," John feels compelled to warn.

"Hmm." Rodney slurps loudly, and after a thoughtful pause, swallows.

John rolls his eyes as Rodney repeats the action: slurp, pause, swallow. It's a big production, but something about makes John want to smile, for real this time. He can always rely on Rodney to thoroughly interrogate a new food item. "Well?" he asks.

"It's okay," Rodney nods. "Not bad. Kind of sweet." He slides the cup back to John.

"Just like me," John says.

"Oh, please. I'm going to pretend I didn't hear that." Rodney leans back and jerks his head toward the coffee shop window. "Now she was sweet. And hot. Very hot."

I needed to turn the subject to sex and dating. It was hard for me to figure out how to get John to make the first move, because it was very important for him to do so, to reach out, even if it's just for some friendly sex (or so he thinks). When it comes to the two of them getting together, I can easily see Rodney taking the chance and making the first move, since he's a bit impulsive, and not the sort to hold back. I can see all kinds of "aliens made them do it/under the influence" inspired first moves from John. But under "normal" circumstances, I don't see John as the one to casually instigate a relationship. It takes something to push him out of his comfort zone of keeping a safe distance from everyone.

John makes a non-committal noise, trying his best to ignore the prickle of irritation.

"But she was young enough to be my daughter, wasn't she?" Rodney sighs.

"She certainly was." John can't help but wonder when the last time Rodney got laid. Because really, if anyone deserved to have some really good sex, it would be Rodney. Feeling guilty, John asks, "Hey, I'm not cramping your style or anything, am I?"

Rodney frowns at him. "In what sense?"

Of course Rodney wouldn't make this easy for him. "I mean, if you wanted to, you know," John waves a hand in the general direction of the street, "go out and get laid or something, don't think you have to spend time with me."

"What? Where? " Rodney squints out at the busy street, as if expecting to see a storefront with a "Get Fucked Here" sign. " Oh, you mean like go out on a date with someone?" He draws himself up. "And how do you know I haven't already?"

Rodney's kind of cute when he's indignant.

"Have you?" John asks. Rodney's indignant glare embarrasses him. He realizes he knows nothing of Rodney's life here on Earth.

Rodney slumps back in his chair. "Well, I haven't." He shrugs. "Didn't have the time to plan one. Me and dating--we really don't get along so well."

"Oh. Sorry."

"It's okay. This?" Rodney motions between them with his hands. "This is kind of nice."

"It is nice," John agrees, and he means it. Just hanging out, sharing coffee and ice cream and movies with Rodney. And Rodney being his usual weird, annoyingly appealing self.

I didn't realize until someone made the comment on this fic that John and Rodney pretty much were on a date already. I hadn't thought of that, but it's true.

Rodney is looking at him. "There were times when I didn't think we'd ever make it back. Ever."

"You're always were such a pessimist, Rodney."

"I prefer 'realist'. Come on, tell me there weren't times when you thought it was all over. Like, say, when you were about to commit suicide?"

Apparently John isn't the only one who can't stop thinking about it.

John shifts uncomfortably, fingers tapping on his cup. He doesn't want to think about that, not here in the bright earth sunlight and mundane cars passing in front of them. "Let's not go there, all right?"

I really wanted a juxtaposition here between their dark, desperate struggle to survive, and doing something utterly normal like sitting quietly outside drinking coffee with cars passing by.

Rodney's face falls. "Right. I'm sorry. That was stupid of me." He thinks for a moment. "Okay, how about when the wraith darts were making a spectacular light display by slamming into our shields? "

John shook his head. "Nope. I knew we'd figure something out. And by we, I mean, *you*," he tries to joke.

But Rodney doesn't go for it. Instead he stares at John, and he won't let up, he keeps on staring, and John can't look away. The intensity of Rodney's gaze leaves him stripped down and naked.

"All right, all right," John finally admits, "I was scared too, okay? Is that what you wanted to know?"

"Yes, I did. At least now I know you're, you know, human." Rodney stares down at his cup.

Again John has an honest moment, as compared to his interactions with people in the beginning of the fic. And he goes on to admit to his discomfort with being back on earth.

"It's weird being back on Earth," John says in a quiet voice.

"In what way?"

John drinks more of his tea. Sadly, the foam is beginning to collapse. "I don't feel like I belong." It sounds silly, now that he's said it out loud.

"Really?" Rodney seems taken aback. "Huh."

"I mean, not like here here," John clarifies. "I guess I miss Atlantis."

"Oh. Oh," Rodney seems relieved. "Yes, I do, too. I'm ready to go back." He drops his voice and leans close when a woman sits down at the table next them. "With the--you know, the thing they brought us, the city must be lighting up like crazy." His face lights up, too.

"Yeah, earth's a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live here." John says it loud enough for the woman next to them to hear.

She gives him a suspicious look, then gets up and moves to another, presumably safer, table.

Rodney grins at him delightedly.

I wanted to end this scene on a lighter note, now that John's managed to admit to the things that were bothering him. It's not a huge epiphany in any sense, but just some sharing between them, something to make John feel connected to Rodney. It's getting easier for John to be like that with Rodney. And I liked the feel of the last line--Rodney and John share a great big secret. Which makes them smile at each other. It's a bonding thing.*g*

***

They walk for a while, looking in store windows, talking about nothing in particular, just like all the other people on the street. Then it is time to head home.

"Oh, come on, Mr. SUV, you have to have this space?" Rodney says, staring in the rear view mirror. "I'll pull out when I'm damn good and ready to pull out." He puts on his seat belt, and waits as John puts his on.

When he finally does pull out, he swings wide, and John winces as he hears honking behind them. "Remind me to never let you fly a jumper again."

I couldn't resist Rodney being a bad driver. He just would be, you know?

"What? As long as there aren't any other jumpers in the sky, driving irresponsibly," he glares out the window at a small blue car, "I'm fine."

"I'll keep that in mind. Clear the skies when Rodney McKay is in the pilot's seat."

"Yes, thank you."

Rodney falls quiet, and John watches the trees go past. Some time later, Rodney speaks again.

"So, did you get laid?"

Rodney has so much tact. He's yanking at that Band-Aid again.

John's head whips around. "What?"

Rodney is resolutely staring out at the street. "I'm merely inquiring -- since you've been back on Earth, have you gotten laid?"

"Sort of."

"Sort of?" Rodney is watching him now, and not the road.

"Rodney," John says sharply, pointing at the road. "Can you please watch where you're going?"

"Watching." Rodney turns his attention back to driving.

John decides he owes Rodney an answer. "Sort of, as in, it wasn't very good."

"Really? I thought any sex was good sex."

"Yeah, well, usually."

"At this point for me, bad would be good. Anything would be good."

Rodney sounds mournful, really, really mournful so John opens his mouth and says it, says it as awkward and stupid and clumsy as can be. "How about I blow you, then?"

I agonized over this scene a great deal. I wasn't sure I bought John making this offer, out of the blue, and I'm still not sure about it. Except that maybe John can't resist Rodney looking mournful.

Earlier, I had a different scene in mind, where John swoops in and kisses Rodney, but I couldn't make that work at all. By the time I had filled in the other scenes, the tone of the fic had changed and it just didn't work.

The car comes to a screeching halt as Rodney almost drives through a red light. "What?" he asks, wide-eyed and astonished.

John panics--he's going about this all wrong, it's too sudden and blatant. He's not any good at making the passes; he's always the one fielding them. Remembering to use the smile, he calms himself and tries again. "A blow job. I've been told I'm pretty good at them. What do you say, we go back to your place and have a little fun?"

I think this paragraph is the only reason why the above offer works--John really is bad at making the first move, because he's never had to. He's not sure he knows how to. And that feels in-character to me. As does Rodney's response, which is a bit that I am pleased with. It deflates John's attempt at charming and cool. Because Rodney doesn't let him get away with anything.

Rodney is staring at John as if he's never seen him before. "Um, wow," he says in a breathy voice. Then he adds, "Does that line always work for you?"

Only Rodney could mix awe and sarcasm like that. "No, not always," John answers.

The light changes to green. Rodney nods, and focuses all his attention on driving. But John can see that his mind is working. "I thought you liked girls," Rodney finally blurts out.

"I like them, too," John assures him.

"Oh, oh, oh. So why-- "

"Rodney, do you want to talk this to death, or do you want to do it?" So close, and now he's terrified Rodney will say no.

This "talk it to death" line doesn't work here, does it? It was left over from an earlier version of the scene, and feels out of place to me now. Rodney isn't talking about it a whole lot. But maybe to John, that is a lot of talking. ::shrugs::

Rodney closes his mouth as he pulls into the parking lot of his apartment complex. "Yes, yes, I want to do it."

John tries for slow and lazy when he gets out of the car, but he's already hard and feeling a little frantic. Rodney really needs this, Rodney has been through a lot, and he wants to help Rodney out. They break into a trot simultaneously about halfway to Rodney's door, and by the time they're inside, door safely shut, Rodney is flushed and panting and John suspects he's a bit flushed, too.

"Um," Rodney says with a little-boy grin. "We're going to do this, aren't we?"

"Yes, Rodney, we are." John smiles, because Rodney's excitement is wonderful and refreshing. And because he finally gets to have Rodney, and do something for Rodney at the same time. A win-win situation. His favorite kind.

John manages to still convince himself he's only doing this for Rodney.

He comes up to Rodney and puts a hand on Rodney's chest, palm flat against broad muscle, then slides it down the soft cotton of his tee-shirt, down over ribs and belly and onto his belt buckle. Rodney stares at John's hand, as if he can hardly believe it's there. Touching John's arm, he strokes it gently with his fingertips and asks, "You really want this?"

As if this was some sort of pity fuck.

Huh. I'm still up in the air on that. I didn't want to go all 'poor Rodney' in this, but I wanted some wonder and delight on Rodney's side of it, and it lead very nicely into the next bit, which I really liked.

"Yes, Rodney," John says, meeting Rodney's eyes. "I want this. I've always wanted this." He's pretty sure it’s the first time since coming back to Earth that he's spoken a plain truth, and it feels like stepping off the edge of a cliff.

It's not really the first honest thing he said, of course, but I think it's the first time he really thought about the need to be honest.

But his landing is soft--right onto the unmade sofa bed that Rodney pulls him down on to. John rolls and kneels between Rodney's thighs, hand on Rodney's crotch. He fondles Rodney's erect cock through his jeans, stroking it firmly while Rodney squirms beneath him. It's so good to touch him, to squeeze him, and John wants it so badly he can taste it. Bending down, he rubs his face against rough denim and hard cock. He presses his mouth over it, wetting the fabric and Rodney lets out a loud moan.

John is surprised to hear so much noise.

Sex with Rodney isn't going to be what he expected.

"Here, oh, god, John, let me--" Rodney unbuckles his belt and John licks his fingers, them sucks Rodney's thumb into his mouth. It tastes like coffee and sugar and when he sucks hard Rodney says, "Oh god" again in an astonished voice, looking at John as if he's never seen anything so remarkable in his entire life.

John gives him a little grin and lets the finger slide wetly from his mouth. He focuses on unfastening Rodney's jeans, because he wants that cock in his mouth right now and Rodney clearly wants that too, because he's helping, shoving his pants and briefs down past his hips, exposing a riot of brown curls, and then his cock, thick and red and ready to be sucked.

Before John can do anything, Rodney puts a hand on his shoulder. "Wait, wait, wait," he says. "Take your clothes off."

Rodney doesn't go for half-measures, he wants it all. And who wouldn't want a naked John? But really, I wanted to keep with the whole 'stripped naked' theme here.

"What?"

Rodney stares him down, panting. "If we're going to have sex I want us to be naked during it. "

John hesitates, because he hadn't planned that, this was supposed to just be cock sucking, but then again they're alone and on a big bed and they can get naked, no one there to stop them. "All right."

He pulls his shirt off, then hops off the bed to remove the rest of his clothes. When he's done, he goes to climb back onto the bed, but his dogtags swing against his chest so he straightens and pulls them off, too, tossing them onto his piled clothes. "Okay?" he asks, and his mouth goes dry, because Rodney's naked too, big and solid and broad and naked.

And I finally remembered the damn dog tags. I never see them on the show, so I always forget about them. Completely. I swear John is not wearing any. We see his damn undies all the time, but not the tags.

"Okay," Rodney says, eyes huge.

Returning to his space between Rodney's thighs--it didn't take him long to decide that it was *his* space-- and Rodney's cock is stiff and pointing straight at him. John wraps his hand around it, smooth, hard cock, it feels so good and he's hungry, he wants and needs more than ever. He slides down and presses his face into the crease where hip meets thigh and mouths warm skin, crinkly hair tickling his nose. The smell and the taste of Rodney is gut-wrenchingly good, it's pure sex and Rodney's long, low moan is the hottest thing John has ever heard.

John licks up the side of Rodney's cock and then sucks it down, big fat cock filling his mouth. Rodney's hips move, his knees draw up and he spreads his legs wide. John can slip his arms under Rodney's thighs and hold him while he moves his mouth, slides it up and down, sucking hard, pressing his tongue along the underside. Going down too enthusiastically, John chokes, his eyes watering and it makes him a little wild, grinding his hips into the mattress, hard cock seeking friction and pleasure while he sucks Rodney hard and fast. The taste of precome on his tongue, all the noise--the whimpering and the moaning, Rodney moaning his name--it is like weathering a storm, it's making John crazy. A shove of powerful hips and Rodney's cock pushes against the back of John's throat, but this time John doesn't gag, he holds Rodney right there.

"Sorry, sorry," Rodney gasps, as he pulls back. John lets him, then wraps his hand around the base of Rodney's cock, and pushes his tongue over and around the head. With a pained noise Rodney jerks and comes, a hot flood of liquid filling John's mouth and John sucks and sucks mindlessly until Rodney pulls himself away.

I'm sure it comes as no surprise that I really like the idea of John really liking cock. I think he blows Rodney in each of my damn fics. Yes, I'm a terribly self-indulgent writer.

John whimpers at the loss. He pulls himself up on his knees, sits back and starts to jerk himself off, hand whipping along his cock, with the taste of Rodney's come in his mouth and Rodney sprawled out in front of him, naked and satiated and John can't stand it anymore, he has to come, he has to--

"No, no, no, no." Rodney sits up and grabs his wrist, stopping him.

Again, Rodney is not letting John get away with anything. And I like the idea of John being self-contained during sex, because again, he's really not good with the whole "reaching out" thing.

"Rodney, please--"

Rodney kisses him. John freezes in place, because Rodney's wide mouth is on his, Rodney's tongue is slipping past his lips and tasting him.

I could have done the kissing thing better. ::sighs:: Not happy with that.

He grabs Rodney's head in both his hands and kisses him back, fiercely. Somehow he ends up on his back, Rodney top of him, heavy body pressing John into the mattress and John can't stop kissing him. There's so much skin, John is so *naked*, he can feel every inch of Rodney touching him, can feel his heart beat and his muscles tense and his breath shudder. The wetness from Rodney's cock dribbles onto his stomach and he moans into Rodney's mouth, wrapping his arms around Rodney's waist as his cock rubs against slick skin.

I love the idea of John losing it when Rodney lies on top of him. It's been a long time since he was able to have sex like this, to be naked and touching and pushed down into the mattress so it makes him a little crazy. I gave a lot of thought to how John was going to come in this scene. I thought maybe Rodney should blow him, but then I decided I wanted something more intimate, with face to face contact, and kissing, and full body rubs. I needed to close any remaining distance between them.

Rodney kisses until John's lips feel bruised, then with a hand in John's hair, holds his head back and goes for his throat, kissing and nipping at his skin. When he bites the side of John's neck, John cries out and shoves his hips up hard.

"Oh, god, John--" His hand slides down and squeezes John's cock.

"Do that, Rodney, fuck, Rodney, touch me, please," John is babbling, mind-bending pleasure loosening his tongue and once he starts he can't stop, he goes on with disconnected words and stuttering expletives while holding Rodney tightly against him, Rodney's fist still wrapped around his cock. John pushes into it faster and faster, fingers digging into Rodney's back. When he comes, he arches up off the bed from the sheer force of it and it shakes him to his very core.

And here Mr. Quiet and Reserved can't stop talking about what he needs. Rodney totally undoes him.

He falls back down onto the bed, a little stunned, still shaking from the aftershocks. Rodney's head rests on his check, hand still on John's cock, and there's a smear of wetness between them. John recovers gradually, his mind reluctantly coming back on-line.

Uneasiness creeps in. The friendly little blowjob got out of hand. This wasn't what John had intended, he had given everything away and he should have known Rodney would make him crazy. It's what Rodney does. He's contemplating making an escape into the shower when Rodney finally moves, raising his head and kissing John sleepily.

Ah, post-coital panic. There had to be some. I didn't want to be trite, but I didn't want some great, messy sex to cure all evils, either.

"Wow," he murmurs.

"Yeah," John says, only it sounds more like a question.

Rodney reaches for his discarded tee-shirt, wipes his hand, then cleans off John's stomach. "That was great. That was really, really great."

"Not too bad," John nods, cautiously.

But Rodney seems utterly delighted. "I know I said even bad sex would be good, but sex this good? Is great. More than great. It's amazing. Right? Am I right here?" He waits for an answer, beaming down at John.

Rodney, of course, is entirely "Yay, sex!"

Post-coital Rodney is pretty damn cute. "Yes, Rodney, you are."

Rodney tosses the tee-shirt onto the floor and rubs his hand over John's chest. "Yes. I am. And you're really hairy."

"Thank you, Rodney."

Eeeew, way too many "Rodney"s in one scene. Bad, very bad.

"No, no, it's a good hairy. Very manly." Rodney kisses his chest. Then with a sly grin, "Makes up for the tea thing, hmmm, yes?"

"Would you stop with the tea?" John is surprised to find himself laughing, his anxiety vanishing. He touches Rodney's hair; it's softer than he imagined. Then he slides his fingers down the side of Rodney's neck, and over one broad, square shoulder.

Rodney takes John's hand in his. "If I had known you were gay," he says very earnestly, "I would have made a pass at you a long time ago."

"Really?"

"Um, maybe." Rodney deflates a little. "Oh, who am I kidding, I don't have that kind of courage--although sometimes? I used to suspect you were flirting with me. Seriously. You'd do the eyebrow thing. It's really flirty. No, not that eyebrow thing."

"What eyebrow thing? I'm not doing anything," John says, feigning innocence as he arches his other brow.

"No, not that one, either. That one makes you look a little," Rodney swirls a finger in the air, "insane."

Because I can beat a metaphor to death, can't I? But I like how John lightens up here. Sex with Rodney isn't a big dramatic thing, it's fun.

John scowls his best scowl; Rodney shakes his head and laughs. It's a happy laugh, and it makes John feel warm inside. He's seen Rodney scared, terrified, sad and freaked out, but now to see him naked and happy and to be able to touch him and feel him being naked and happy--that is new and wonderful. He pulls Rodney close and tucks his face into Rodney's neck, slides a leg between Rodney's leg and he's surprisingly comfortable, especially with Rodney's arms around him, stroking his back slowly.

Chelle pointed out to me that John needed to see how he affected Rodney, that he made Rodney happy, and she was absolutely right. When John finally reaches out and get what he wants, there are consequences. Namely, a happy Rodney. A good thing leads to more good things. Again, the whole connection thing.

Time passes quietly, and John dozes a bit, until a snore from Rodney wakes him. Rodney rolls away without awakening, and John quietly slips out of bed and pads into the kitchen for a glass of water. As he drinks he looks out the window. It's dark out now, and he can see his reflection in the glass--naked chest, bemused expression, hair gone completely awry. He doesn't look like a soldier. He looks like someone who just did something he shouldn't have. He looks like someone who is in way over his head.

In the original version of this fic (which only existed in my head) John got a little freaked out and told Rodney he couldn't go on with the relationship. And it took another few scenes (including more sex) for him realize that he couldn't keep away from Rodney. But once I wrote this first sex scene out, adding that bit seemed like pointless angst to me, and cliched, to boot. Despite the fact I had decided on a great sex scene which included John getting fucked in the kitchen. (yes, another one of my "things"). But in the end, I felt as though it would be out of character for John to waffle so much on being in a relationship with Rodney. He's a decisive person, at least in the field. Days of angsting and handwringing wouldn't be his thing, at least, not for the John in this fic. He's wanted this for a long time, and I don't see him as the kind of guy who would let a few rules get in his way.

"Hey."

John turns to see Rodney sitting crossed-legged on the bed, watching him. "Want some?" John offers.

"No. I just like seeing you naked in my kitchen." Rodney's voice is warm and it sends shivers up John's spine.

"It's probably a little...unsanitary," John tells him. To make his point, he rubs his ass against the cabinets.

This seemed to amuse a lot of people, and I'm really glad, because I liked it a lot. It seemed so John.

"Oh, thank you."

"You're welcome." John crosses the room back to the bed, Rodney's appreciative eyes are on him every step of the way.

"So," Rodney says. He hesitates, then continues, "are we going to do this again?"

"You mean like now? Well," John gives him a lazy smile, "I have no place else I have to be."

"Stop it," Rodney says. "I mean when we get back to Atlantis."

Again, Rodney blows past John's "I'm so charming" act and gets to the point.

John sits down next to him. "Rodney," he says gently, "I don't know. I'm not sure I'm ready for a relationship."

"John, we already have a relationship. Why do you think you came here in the first place?"

John frowns. "Rodney--"

"No, no, wait, hear me out. This would be the same thing, only with sex. It's not changing very much, only adding to it. Think about it, all those moments of gut-wrenching terror on Atlantis now can be broken up by moments of mind-blowing sex. Think of all the tension we can release that way. Heightmeyer would surely approve."

John does think about it. Thinks about Rodney's body and his surprising affection and Rodney sprawled naked on top of him after yet another narrow escape. He wonders how often he'll be able to replace the terror on Rodney's face with a look of pleasure and he wants it, he wants it all. Rodney makes it sound all so reasonable--simple, even--but John's military, and things like that just aren't for him.

Or, so he used to think. "Rodney, I don't know."

I wanted John to think seriously about Rodney's argument, because he does think Rodney is smart and is really good at everything. He trusts Rodney, and trust is a big thing for him. So if Rodney says he thinks this can work...well, maybe Rodney is right. He can build atomic bombs, after all.

"You don't have to decide right now. Seriously, I truly suck at relationships. But the way I see it, we already have a relationship, in that we know each other and seem to understand each other at some level, and since over the past year I've seen you at your worst, at your most annoying--and yes you can be truly, astoundingly irritating--yet despite that I'm still pretty crazy about you, I think we can make this work." He finishes up with a flourish of waving hands.

"Jeeze, Rodney, you're such a romantic."

Rodney nods happily. "You bring in out in me."

"Crazy about me, huh?" John runs a hand through his hair, and maybe his chest puffs up, just a little.

I was happy when I came up with the 'chest puffing up' bit, because it indicates that underneath it all, John is a bit insecure and Rodney wanting him makes him feel really good.

"And clearly, you feel the same way about me."

"Oh, do I?"

Rodney kisses him, it's slow and sweet and something John could get very used to. "Yes, you do," Rodney tells him.

It's insane to think that they could make it work, but that is exactly what John is thinking as Rodney kisses his way down his chest. After all, John is a little bit nuts. He lives in the lost City of Atlantis.

A reminder that his life is pretty crazy already, the old rules don't apply anymore.

"What do you think?" Rodney asks, nuzzling John's stomach.

"About--about what?" John leans back and gazes at the short brown hair, at the square hand resting on his hip.

I wanted to hark back to John's meaningless blowjob earlier in the fic. He's gotten what he wanted.

Rodney's mouth twists, then with a swipe of his tongue, licks John's thigh. "Us," he says patiently, looking up at John with clear blue eyes, eyes that see more than John had ever realized.

"Yes," John says.

Rodney smiles beautifully before closing his mouth around John's cock.

I had no idea this was the end of the fic until I wrote it. I had further scenes planned, but after I wrote that line, I realized, whoa, it's the end! Early on, as I had mentioned, I wanted John to be undecided on the relationship, and then have the Daedalus arrive. John would go off to train on the F11's or what ever those little fighters were, then go back to tell Rodney all about it because it was the coolest thing ever and he just *has* to share that with Rodney. Then Rodney kisses him and naughty kitchen sex happens, with Rodney jerking John off with corn oil on his hands and demanding to know if this is something John could live without, because he can't live with out, and then John would let Rodney fuck him. It would be all angsty and dramatic. And it would have been terrible.

So I worked out the scene with John saying yes to Rodney, and it felt very right. Then I figured it might be good to show them on the Daedalus, making things work between them. And that was just plain dumb and redundant. But I still didn't know how to end the fic. Then I finished writing that last scene, and saw very clearly that it was the end. Thank god. I was really starting to worry. Which is an indication that I really need to stop thinking so much and just write the darn thing and see what happens. I have to keep in mind that I don't need to have the entire fic laid out before I start writing. Even if it does feel like stepping of a cliff, to me.

On a final note, I found an outtake from an earlier version of the fic:

[John comes]

"Oh god, it's good to be in a bed during this."

"What? Where do you usually have sex?"

"Rodney...."

"No, come on seriously, tell me."

"In bathroom stalls, okay? It's not like I've really had the opportunity--"

"Oh god, you have anonymous sex with strangers, don't you?" Rodney pulls back. "I hope you used protection."

"Rodney, I don't fuck. At least, I didn't. Not with them. It was--" John tries to explain why he does it, but he can't, and he thinks maybe he's freaked Rodney out.

But Rodney is looking at him with awe. "You know, I could never quite figure out how to do that. "



As much as this amused me, and sounded nicely sad for John, it really screwed with the tone of the sex scene so I left it out. But it would have been a nice setup for the fucking later, with Mr. I Don't Fuck on the bottom.

Well, that's it, my fic commentary--I hope that wasn't too dreadfully boring!



Comments:


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miera_c
miera_c at 2005-12-31 20:02 (UTC) (Link)
Your instincts were totally right about the ending. That was the right place for the story to end.

Despite the fact I had decided on a great sex scene which included John getting fucked in the kitchen. (yes, another one of my "things").

If you should decide at some point to find a way to write that, even as a harmless little PWP, I wouldn't object. Just sayin. Not like I've read and reread that Jack/Daniel story about the pie a thousand times because it convinced me that kitchen sex was hotter than anything else ever. ;)
thegrrrl
thegrrrl2002 at 2005-12-31 20:49 (UTC) (Link)
Wow, someone read this! *g* Thank you, I'm glad the ending worked. It was one of those moments where I realized 'wow, nothing more needs to be said, does it?'. I was rather exciting.

And I can't believe you remember "Pie", OMG! I had concerns about writing the sex scene like that precisely because of that fic. But then it didn't work for the story anyway.

I think I will write it as a PWP, just because I love the idea so much. *g*
The Porn Fairy
shetiger at 2005-12-31 20:11 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, cool! I love this one so much, and it's really interesting to see where you weren't sure of some of your choices, especially since I think they work so well.

then decided I really wanted present tense for the distance and coolness, so I switched back again. It was really irritating.

I really hate when that happens. I don't like to use present tense for longer stories (as in longer than a couple thousand words), but sometimes the story just demands it. There's something about the feeling of a present tense story that doesn't carry through when you try to change it to past tense. Scorecard was like that for me. I kept trying to change it to past, but it just refused to sound right, so I went with what it wanted. :)

I included the bit about the flight agent to stress that John is using his charm once again, and that so far in the fic, no one is saying what they mean, especially John. Not sure if it was particularly effective.

I do think it was effective. I got a real strong sense of John smiling and charming his way through life all the way through the story, and this little bit was a perfect way to keep that theme going, IMNHO.

OMG, terrible paragraph, why did I write that?

I really liked that paragraph. It had a really good sense of the exhaustion, disconnection and rambly confusion that was going on in John's head through the whole process of getting from a bad place to a good place. And the idea of John being in those same clothes was very, very striking for me.

I don't know if Chai tea is unmanly, but I don't know any guys who drink it,

Hee! I know several, including my husband, but then he isn't very stereotypically masculine. I think it was a good move. :)

I wasn't sure I bought John making this offer, out of the blue, and I'm still not sure about it.

This was the only place where I had to suspend a little disbelief, but then, I'm never comfortable with blunt propositions in fic. (Even though I've written them. *g*) But I think that it works for exactly for the reasons you talked about--John's not used to this, and he's desperate, and he's trying so hard. So it did work for me, and I think it worked because it was so awkward.

I really like the idea of John really liking cock.

OMG me too. But my big one is John loving getting fucked. Ungggh.

I love the idea of John losing it when Rodney lies on top of him.

This was an incredibly powerful and hot scene. There's just so much need and (unacknowledged) love there, and the way you make him lose it is so perfect. Does crazy things to me. :)

This seemed to amuse a lot of people, and I'm really glad, because I liked it a lot.

OMG that line has to be one of my most favorite funny John moments ever!

I had no idea this was the end of the fic until I wrote it.

Isn't that weird when it happens? I'm always both pleased/excited and panicky when it happens. Panicky because I'm sure I've forgotten entire pages and pages of stuff that needs to be included in the story to make it work. But usually, it's ends exactly where it needs to end. I think yours works perfectly.

Yay! Can you tell I love this story immensely?
thegrrrl
thegrrrl2002 at 2005-12-31 21:15 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, sweetie! You're too good to me.*g*

I don't like to use present tense for longer stories (as in longer than a couple thousand words), but sometimes the story just demands it.

Exactly. I must have somehow envisioned this as a shorter story when I first started it. When I realized it was going to be longer, I was afraid present tense would get really tedious, especially with all the expository bits. But present tense has a certain feel to it, that I can't define because I'm so not a literary person, and I wanted to have that feeling.

I also had the idea I was going to use the scene at Ford's cousin's house as a flashback, and initially wrote it as a 'had had' sort of thing. I got over that idea pretty quickly.*g* I'm all about the linear story-telling, anything else makes my brain hurt.

I got a real strong sense of John smiling and charming his way through life all the way through the story, and this little bit was a perfect way to keep that theme going, IMNHO.

Thank you, I'm so glad that worked. John does act like that with so many people, but hardly ever Rodney. I like the contrast. And I liked the idea that John is at some level very much aware of what he's doing.

I'm also glad that paragraph glue worked, with John's flights. I wish I could say I planned for it to sound like that. *g* Maybe it was just me being tired and rambly because I didn't know what to put in that spot.

Hee! I know several, including my husband,

Ah ha! I've been wondering if any guys drink it. *g* He's probably very cute when he does, too. I drink them with soymilk, which makes me feel very precious when I order it.

I'm thinking it's just not your typical Air Force Pilot beverage.

This was the only place where I had to suspend a little disbelief, but then, I'm never comfortable with blunt propositions in fic.

It's a hard one, isn't it? Rodney I can see being blunt, but John, it's a stretch, I'll agree. I had a moment where I looked back at the first draft of it I thought, 'wow, this is blunt and clumsy'. Then I realized that was exactly how it was supposed to be, and played that aspect up. Which helped.

But my big one is John loving getting fucked. Ungggh.

Hee. Me too. There's just something so guh about it.

This was an incredibly powerful and hot scene.

Aw, thank you. That scene, for whatever reason, was ridiculously easy to write, once I decided how it was going to play out. I threw it all down on the page, figuring I'd go back and clean it up later. And when I went to do that, I was surprised that it didn't need much polishing at all. John's so easy sometimes. *g*

Isn't that weird when it happens? I'm always both pleased/excited and panicky when it happens.

I think it's the first time it ever happened to me. And yeah, I got all nervous and thought 'wait, is the story I meant to tell?'. I thought I needed those other scenes, silly me.

BTW, writing this commentary up was quite fun--you should think about doing it!
Coreopsis
coreopsis at 2005-12-31 20:39 (UTC) (Link)
I read this and wished we were face to face having a conversation because I wanted to say something about almost everything and by now I've forgotten half of it. *g*

I'm sure the following will be boring and trite and will expose my incredibly simple-minded approach to writing fics.
This is why I have never attempted one of these, although I have thought about it. Perhaps I could do it if I had some questions from someone else as a springboard, but left to my own devices, most of my comments would be along the lines of "well, it seemed like a good idea at the time..." *g*

OMG, terrible paragraph, why did I write that? Couldn't I come up with better glue to connect the scenes?
I'm sure it could have been better (most things can ;-), but I kind of liked that paragraph, mostly because the structure of the last sentence made me feel John's exhaustion because I've been in those situations where things just pile up on top of each other and how worn out it leaves one feeling.

And Rodney would be a terror with a TV remote, wouldn't he?
Yes, indeed. I loved that so much. *g*

I wanted John to have a less-than-manly drink.
hee. What I loved best was the little "Skim milk, please." It's just so prim and polite.

John had obviously been giving Rodney that yearning stare that we've seen a few times this season.
As I mentioned in my feedback, I love the yearning so much. I don't know why I like it best when John does it, but I do. Perhaps because yearning/longing is such a vulnerable thing to do and Rodney already has enough vulnerabilities. John does too, but he's so closed off from them sometimes that it seems like he's near invincible.

John really is bad at making the first move, because he's never had to. He's not sure he knows how to.
I can see that happening. Or at least he has made the first moves before but it has been so long that he's a different person than he was when he used to make them. If that makes any sense whatsoever. *g*

This "talk it to death" line doesn't work here, does it? It was left over from an earlier version of the scene, and feels out of place to me now. Rodney isn't talking about it a whole lot.
I actually read that as John cutting Rodney off at the pass before he can even start to talk it to death like John fully knows he will. So looking at it that way, it works just fine and kind of points at how well John knows Rodney.

I never see them on the show, so I always forget about them. Completely. I swear John is not wearing any. We see his damn undies all the time, but not the tags.
I forget to put them in stories for that same reason.

I'm sure it comes as no surprise that I really like the idea of John really liking cock. I think he blows Rodney in each of my damn fics.
And I think we've just figured out one reason I like your stories so much. *g*

And here Mr. Quiet and Reserved can't stop talking about what he needs. Rodney totally undoes him.
yum. I love that. *g*

So yeah, this was definitely not boring. ;)
thegrrrl
thegrrrl2002 at 2005-12-31 21:28 (UTC) (Link)
This is why I have never attempted one of these, although I have thought about it.

I thought I had nothing much to say, other than 'well, I thought it would be pretty if they did this', but I surprised myself. You should definitely give it a try. If nothing else, it made me think about my writing processes and how to make half-way decent choices in fics. *g*

but I kind of liked that paragraph, mostly because the structure of the last sentence made me feel John's exhaustion because I've been in those situations where things just pile up on top of each other and how worn out it leaves one feeling.

docmichelle said the same thing above, and I never thought about it that way, but you're both so right. *g* Traveling is so exhausting, and a real pain in the ass sometimes.

hee. What I loved best was the little "Skim milk, please." It's just so prim and polite.

LOL, he must be watching his girlish figure. Even though he just ate ice cream. I guess I didn't think about that. *g*

Perhaps because yearning/longing is such a vulnerable thing to do and Rodney already has enough vulnerabilities.

That's a good point. And John's yearning feels so sad sometimes, because you just don't know if he has it in him to make the approach. He keeps it all hidden away and private. Poor thing.

Or at least he has made the first moves before but it has been so long that he's a different person than he was when he used to make them.

I like that idea. It's come up before (I can't remember where) that John (Mr. Black Mark On His Records) is probably the the one who went through life-changing experiences before the "The Rising", and Rodney's the one who is going through them now. I can see a younger John being more outgoing than this more sober, battle-scarred John. It's an interesting thought.

I actually read that as John cutting Rodney off at the pass before he can even start to talk it to death like John fully knows he will.

Oooh, see, that must have been what I was thinking. You're right, Rodney would talk it to death, he'd be still talking about it as they were taking their clothes off and lubing up. *g*

And I think we've just figured out one reason I like your stories so much. *g*

Hee! It's John's mouth, I swear. So purty. It makes my mind go to all sorts of naughty places.

So yeah, this was definitely not boring. ;)

Oh, thank you! I was afraid it was more than anyone needed to know, LOL.

And really, think about doing one yourself! I'd love to read it. And just think how happy it would make danvers. *g*
merlin7
clarkangel at 2005-12-31 21:06 (UTC) (Link)
This was so incredibly cool. I feel like I love the story even more knowing what you were thinking while writing it and I think you made all the right choices.

John's dog tags. Heh..good point. Other than in 38 minutes, we never see them. And given the tight shirts he wears, we know they're not there. Interesting. Glad you wrote them in though. I think maybe he doesn't wear them on Atlantis anymore cause they're really their own..ya know...thing. But if he went back home/Earth. He would wear them as a reminder of who he is supposed to be there. So...makes perfect sense he wore them in the story. Yep.

Oh...John being fucked in the kitchen. YOU MUST DO THIS! ::sends subliminal message to you on repeat::

There was so much about this commentary that I loved.

I'll settle for making only one other comment on it rather than a gazillion. I like that you had John make the blow job offer rather than kissing Rodney. At that point it would have been WAY too intimate a thing for John to do as a FIRST MOVE. But the offer? He's done that. He'd feel it was a comfort zone type of thing. Good call.

Great commentary.
thegrrrl
thegrrrl2002 at 2006-01-01 19:05 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you! I'm glad it was interesting. *g* And yeah, the dogtags, Atlantis is it's own little country now, isn't it? Maybe that's why we don't see them. But they look so damn hot. ::sighs::

At that point it would have been WAY too intimate a thing for John to do as a FIRST MOVE.

Oh cool, that's a really good point. That must have been why a kiss at that point would have been so wrong. He's sticking with what he knows when he makes that offer. Very cool. *g*
κάτι τρέχει στα γύφτικα
_inbetween_ at 2005-12-31 21:13 (UTC) (Link)
You make it so hard for me to stay awake from fic. I had to read this now! You made all the right decisions, and what you explained was all THERE in the fic.
"He strikes me as the type who craves intimacy, yet is terrified of it. .. no idea how to reach out and achieve it. .. Rodney, who maybe wants it but has enough other things in his life that he doesn't really think about it, except in an abstract way."
Yes, that's them. Your John is closer to mine than anybody elses in the kingdom. Fandom. I wish I let myself reread the whole date'n'sex again, because mmmmmmh.

PS: discussing fic aspects with a test-reader or beta who understands is the most pleasurable thing, I think, and DVD commentaries kinda relive that.
thegrrrl
thegrrrl2002 at 2006-01-01 19:08 (UTC) (Link)
Mmmm...eyelashes. That's such a lovely icon.

And thank you, I'm glad this wasn't totally boring. John is such a complicated character, and sometimes I find he's too simplified in fics, and overshadowed by Rodney's personality. But while he's quiet, he's certainly not passive.
namastenancy
namastenancy at 2005-12-31 21:32 (UTC) (Link)

A little bit crazy?

HA! You and chelle are a lot crazy and the SGA fandom is better for it. The commentary was really interesting. I like how you though out each and every choice. Your work is so good that it's apparent how much thought goes into it but this type of detail really interests me. I like taking things apart and seeing how they work and you did that for me very nicely.
Plus it was great to read that story again - I tend to like stories that are more than about the sex! (not that I reject those out of hand, you understand). But this is about their vulnerable side plus the sex plus a Rodney that I can love. It's far too easy to do OverTheTop Rodney which makes you wonder why John would ever love, much less want him. This Rodney is good for John and you made that work for me. Plus - John is also easy to write as so bound up and closed that he's practically a cipher. His closed off emotions work for this story and you show them working without beating us over the head with it. Plus - the humor parts always make me a happy reader. The chai! The hair! The kitchen stuff. Rodney and the channel surfing. YEY!
thegrrrl
thegrrrl2002 at 2006-01-01 19:10 (UTC) (Link)

Re: A little bit crazy?

Aw, thank you, that's so sweet of you to say! *g* I'm glad this hit the right balance with their characterizations. It's definitely one of the things I struggled with, as I'm sure you can tell. I know what you mean about overthetop Rodney--he can be like that sometimes, but really, they're equals when it comes to the force of their personalities. John's just a little more subtle about it.
d
dvslj at 2005-12-31 21:57 (UTC) (Link)
I just can't resist her, adorable thing that she is

OMG!! I am not adorable! //smacks hand over your babbling mouth// ;-p

John looked so out of place in his civvies and drinking coffee (or tea) in a nice cup, in someone's nice, normal living room. He looked so damn weary.

That's the John I saw all the way through you fic. Great part of the episode too. It did a lot for me in terms of filling out Sheppard's character. It was odd seeing so much vulnerability.

He strikes me as the type who craves intimacy, yet is terrified of it. And has no idea how to reach out and achieve it.

That made me think of the Weir/Sheppard hug, the way John seemed so caught out, but happily surprised and then you could see he was having trouble recovering from it and getting back to business.

I go back to the bomb-in-the-jumper thing from Siege II a couple of times in this fic because that look on John's face when he was flying up to the hive ship was heart-wrenching.

He looked terrified. That's what I love about John. He does what he has to, but you can see that he's afraid. I'm glad you did re-visit it.

She is so on to them. John had obviously been giving Rodney that yearning stare that we've seen a few times this season.

It's funny because whether TPTB know or not, we totally know what yearning stare you're talking about. I imagine he leans back a little, his face only slightly towards Rodney, eyes to the side, like he's pretending not to look that way and mouth closed and he's very still.

Well, that's one of them ;-)

I was happy when I came up with the 'chest puffing up' bit, because it indicates that underneath it all, John is a bit insecure and Rodney wanting him makes him feel really good.

I really liked that bit. It showed a vulnerability to John, without having to get sappy.

As much as this amused me, and sounded nicely sad for John, it really screwed with the tone of the sex scene so I left it out

I'm glad you left it out because I think it definitely would have upset the tone of the scene, which is an otherwise great scene.

I am so glad that you did this because I seriously love this story and I really do have a lot of fun reading about how writers write. Also, it's far from boring, like really, really far. I can't imagine someone loving a story and not caring about the motivations behind it. How could that be boring?

Besides, during the time I kept a fic journal, I really did learn a lot about my own writing, so it's good for you to talk about the writing process.

No, sir, not boring at all :-)
thegrrrl
thegrrrl2002 at 2006-01-01 19:22 (UTC) (Link)
OMG!! I am not adorable!

Yes, yes you are, and there's nothing you can do about it.

That's the John I saw all the way through your fic. Great part of the episode too.

It was so striking, wasn't it? He just looked so *weird* sitting there, and so out of place. And so hurty. Pretty-hurty. It stuck with me for a long time.

That made me think of the Weir/Sheppard hug, the way John seemed so caught out,

I love the way that hug played out. It said so much about who Sheppard was in that little moment. JF is a fabulous actor, very subtle, and he makes some interesting choices. He's never boring.

I so love my geeky show. ::sighs::

It's funny because whether TPTB know or not, we totally know what yearning stare you're talking about.

It's interesting, isn't it? Makes me wonder whether it's a conscious choice or not. I'm pretty sure he doesn't look at any other character like that. There's this focus and intensity in it that makes me go all wibbly.

I'm glad you left it out because I think it definitely would have upset the tone of the scene, which is an otherwise great scene.

I'm pretty sure I wrote that snippet before I wrote any other part of that scene. As much as I liked it I just couldn't use it. Bummer.

I'm glad you enjoyed the commentary, I found out I had a lot more to say than I thought I did, so thank you for prompting me to do it! It really made me think about some of the subconscious decisions I made, and also to relive the thought processes I went through. A very interesting learning experience. You are so darn so smart, just like a smarty smart thing!

Viva La Revolución
tex at 2005-12-31 22:04 (UTC) (Link)
I always love following the process of my favorite writers. Its fascinating. I forget sometimes that these amazing fics don't just spring fully formed from your head onto the computer screen. Real, not boring at all! Thanks for sharing this.
thegrrrl
thegrrrl2002 at 2006-01-01 19:24 (UTC) (Link)
Aw, that's so sweet of you! Thank you. I don't usually do this much navel-gazing, so it was an interesting experience for me. *g*
Minx, (n.) a pert girl, (adj.) saucy; impudent
_minxy_ at 2005-12-31 22:09 (UTC) (Link)
Wow, I love these commentaries. I really really love hearing the author's thoughts on things, even if it's the 'oh God why did I write THAT?' stuff. My favorites are talking about alternatives and how things ended up the way they did. Like your ending. Loved the thoughts on the F11s and just having to go tell Rodney about it (that's a nice moment) but how that didn't work.

And, I've found that thing about writing to see where it goes instead of planning it all out... my instinct is to plan too, and every once in a while the fic hijacks my plans and goes somewhere else entirely. Crazy.
thegrrrl
thegrrrl2002 at 2006-01-01 19:27 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I'm so glad this wasn't dreadfully boring. *g*

every once in a while the fic hijacks my plans and goes somewhere else entirely. Crazy.

Isn't it? I was so convinced this fic was going to work out differently, with those other endings in mind. I suppose I should trust my instincts rather than agonize over it so much, LOL.
randommagic
randommagic at 2005-12-31 22:10 (UTC) (Link)
I loved this fic for so many reasons (but I think I was very bad and didn't comment *hangs head*), and your commentary makes it even better! It's so cool reading about how the fic came to be, and as someone who is a reader and not a writer, it's really interesting to read about the writing process. Thanks for doing it! :)
thegrrrl
thegrrrl2002 at 2006-01-01 19:29 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you! I'm so glad this was interesting for you, it felt very self-indulgent. *g* It really was fun to think about what I did and why I did it. And please, don't feel bad for not commenting! Sometimes life just gets in the way of these things.
kageygirl
kageygirl at 2005-12-31 23:53 (UTC) (Link)
I love you and this fic and your commentary, hon. I love reading people's thinky thoughts on their stories. I wish I had something more intelligent to say about it, but you've caught me full of seafood and dumb from catching up with work, so all I've got is "cool!"

He didn't even know that the Stargate program existed until he sat in that chair (okay, until after they explained everything to him, which is a scene I would have loved to have watched. And if anyone wanted to write that fic, I would shower them with kisses. Honest.)

*narrows eyes* You've said that before, which is why you're totally to blame for me having a file named "splainingthegate.txt."
thegrrrl
thegrrrl2002 at 2006-01-01 19:32 (UTC) (Link)
MMmm....seafood! Yum.

so all I've got is "cool!"

And that's very cool! *g*

you're totally to blame for me having a file named "splainingthegate.txt."

::squeals:: OMG, that's so fab! You would do such a fantabulous job with it, because I so love your dialog, and your characterizations, and now I'm all a twitter and hopeful.

::pokes you::

Done yet?
Wychwood
wychwood at 2006-01-01 01:28 (UTC) (Link)
Yay commentary! I always enjoy reading commentaries, and this is a fun one. I really liked the story, and it's so interesting to see the things you say about it :)
thegrrrl
thegrrrl2002 at 2006-01-01 19:32 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, thank you! I'm so glad it wasn't boring. *g*
You're out of adventures :(
claire at 2006-01-01 04:45 (UTC) (Link)
I love reading people's fic commentaries, and I especially enjoyed this one with you telling us what you felt worked and what didn't. I agree that you picked the perfect place for it to finish (although, like some of the others above, if you wanted to write the kitchen sex as a PWP outtake, I'd be totally on board with that).

Thank you for writing this and sharing it with us.
thegrrrl
thegrrrl2002 at 2006-01-01 19:34 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you! I was afraid it would be terribly dull. But it certainly was interesting to do--I wasn't sure I saw the appeal of it at first.

And yeah, the kitchen thing--that just might happen. *g*
Luthien
luthien at 2006-01-01 05:43 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for posting this. It wasn't boring at all. 'A Little Bit Crazy' is one of my favourite John fics and all of it was really interesting. I particularly liked seeing which aspects of John and Rodney's personalities and you were trying to emphasise in specific parts of the story, and also where the story ended up leading you.

I really like the ending. It's a very intimate story: as soon as John arrives at Rodney's door, the whole thing is like one, intense, sometimes wordless, conversation between them. This story exists in *their* world, and bringing other people and events external to them into it as part of the resolution would have really changed the whole tone and atmosphere of the story, I think. Since the tone and atmosphere are amongst the factors that I really like about this story, I'm glad you followed this particular path to the ending instead of the one you had planned - though it's sort of a shame that the whole scene with bottom!John didn't happen. I really wouldn't have objected to reading that. ;-)
thegrrrl
thegrrrl2002 at 2006-01-01 19:38 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, now see, that's totally cool, because I never thought of it that way. You're right, it would have changed the tone of the story to bring anyone else into it. I'm not very good at figuring out why something in a fic works, while another type of thing won't work so this makes me very happy. *g* And give me something to think about in my future writings.

Very cool. *g*
Kath
nakedwesley at 2006-01-01 08:30 (UTC) (Link)
I love this story and it was really interesting reading your thoughts on writing it. It's also made me think about how I approach my writing too. Not boring at all!
thegrrrl
thegrrrl2002 at 2006-01-01 19:39 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, cool, thank you! I'm glad it wasn't boring! I was surprised at how much I had to say about writing the fic, LOL.
chelle
mmmchelle at 2006-01-01 15:09 (UTC) (Link)
I didn't find it boring.

I love your observations about John and Rodney and intimacy and the differences between them. They make me think.

BTW, I'm online! /g/ And now I'm going to go do work. Ugh.

Happy New Year, sweetie.
thegrrrl
thegrrrl2002 at 2006-01-01 17:44 (UTC) (Link)
Happy New Year to you too!! Yay, you're on line! Boo, you have to work!!

And now I have a picture to load up. *g*
stungunbilly
stungunbilly at 2006-01-01 20:49 (UTC) (Link)
Amen to canning the pointless days of angst at the ending. The way this ended was so joyous, because rather than torment himself John chose wisely. So often people in stories (or, hey, in real life) choose to create angst-filled drama when the opportunity for a little simple happiness is right in front of them.

I must admit to regretting the kitchen-sex scene a lot.
thegrrrl
thegrrrl2002 at 2006-01-02 14:24 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you--I think you have a point in saying that John chose wisely. He's not stupid at all, so of course he'd choose Rodney.

And that kitchen scene just might get written as an outtake. *g*
cher
sylvertongue at 2006-01-02 02:38 (UTC) (Link)
Whee! I love commentaries, especially when they're for fics I really liked in the first place. Thanks for doing this, and I think I'm now going to friend you. Hope that's okay.
thegrrrl
thegrrrl2002 at 2006-01-02 14:24 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, thank you, I'm glad this wasn't boring! And feel free to friend me, no need to ask! I'm flattered. *g*
melagan
melagan at 2006-01-02 04:10 (UTC) (Link)
I'm not ashamed to admit that I have to include something about Rodney's lashes in every fic.

Oh yes. Don’t you just want to reach out and brush a fingertip across the ends to see how soft they are? or is that just me ?

Thank you for the delightful commentary.
thegrrrl
thegrrrl2002 at 2006-01-02 14:25 (UTC) (Link)
Oh man, those eyelashes do me in every time I see them. I'm sure they are very, very soft. Nope, it's not just you. *g*
Corinna
corinna_5 at 2006-01-02 19:21 (UTC) (Link)
I just found this story, so I got to read the story and then the DVD commentary right after, which was fantastic. I really like fill-in-the-"Intruder"-blanks fic, because there's so much to play with, and I really like the way you show both Rodney and John working through what they've been through over the first season.

I also enjoyed your commentary -- I'm such a geek for process. And by the way, I think Rodney *is* talking it to death: he's asking questions, and trying to be rational about things, and John just wants to give him a blowjob and not think about it!
thegrrrl
thegrrrl2002 at 2006-01-04 15:16 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, thank you! I'm glad this was interesting. There is so much fic fodder between the end of Siege III and "Intruder", isn't there? It's a fascinating thing to explore.

I think Rodney *is* talking it to death: he's asking questions, and trying to be rational about things, and John just wants to give him a blowjob and not think about it!

That is true--John doesn't want to examine his motivations too carefully, does he? Or to realize that it might not be a good idea, after all.
Ardent
ardent_muses at 2006-01-02 21:33 (UTC) (Link)
I SO enjoyed this. I want to read it again, and maybe say more. In the meantime, I'll just say that I really liked the choices you made, and it's immensely helpful to me as a writer to read about why you made them.

And on a shallower note, I think I like all the things *you* like, so if you wanted to post some scenes based on the ideas you had to leave out *cough* kitchen *cough*, I would not mind one little bit.

Thanks for doing this!
thegrrrl
thegrrrl2002 at 2006-01-04 15:17 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you! I'm glad this wasn't utterly boring. It felt very self-indulgent.*g*

And I might have started a little fic involving that whole kitchen thing...
Sori
sori1773 at 2006-01-02 23:19 (UTC) (Link)
This was just a very cool idea. *g* I had actually *just* read this fic, maybe two days ago, and it was SO good and SO amazing and I surprised myself with how much I could totally see John having meaningless sex with strangers.

have this thing for John having quick meaningless sex with strangers. He strikes me as the type who craves intimacy, yet is terrified of it. And has no idea how to reach out and achieve it. As opposed to Rodney, who maybe wants it but has enough other things in his life that he doesn't really think about it, except in an abstract way. And since Rodney doesn't have any filters when it comes to dealing with people, his relationships with people around him are intimate, in a sense. He shares freely what's on his mind, while John stays closed off and hidden to those around him. John would only be honest and open with a single, special someone.

I'm not sure I've ever seen twp more perfect character descriptions. It sums up their entire personalities and how they interact with everyone on Atlantis. Rodney is deceiving sometimes b/c he's all bluster and mockery so it's sometimes easy to miss that he's also perhaps the most honest of all the people on Atlantis. He's obnoxious, yes, but he's not pretentious. *loves* Yay!
thegrrrl
thegrrrl2002 at 2006-01-04 15:20 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, again. *g* I'm glad John was believable in this. He's such a fascinating character, isn't he?

I think you're so right about Rodney--he could easily be unlikeable, but with the honesty and vulnerablity, it turns him around into being an incredibly appealing character instead.

And, um, the hotness doesn't hurt. *g*

I'm glad you liked it!
flaming muse
flaming_muse at 2006-01-03 15:10 (UTC) (Link)
What a fantastic commentary. I loved revisiting this story, and I found your comments extremely interesting. Thanks for doing it!

But Rodney is looking at him with awe. "You know, I could never quite figure out how to do that. "

LOL. Thank you for including that snippet. I can see why you didn't use it, but it made me laugh.
thegrrrl
thegrrrl2002 at 2006-01-04 15:21 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, thank you, I'm glad this wasn't boring!

And that snippet, yeah, I was bummed when I realized it wouldn't work. I'm glad it got a chance to see the light of day. *g*
Rose Wilde-Irish
rosewildeirish at 2006-01-04 00:50 (UTC) (Link)
This "talk it to death" line doesn't work here, does it? It was left over from an earlier version of the scene, and feels out of place to me now. Rodney isn't talking about it a whole lot. But maybe to John, that is a lot of talking. ::shrugs::

It worked for me, because we know John, and we know Rodney, and yes, Rodney would talk it to death. John, as I read this, was just derailing another half-hour of overanalyzing from Rodney.

And I finally remembered the damn dog tags. I never see them on the show, so I always forget about them. Completely. I swear John is not wearing any. We see his damn undies all the time, but not the tags.

I've discussed this...somewhere else, but what you're seeing is a thing brought on by the necessities of shooting. The actors are mic'd, usually on their chests. Dogtags would create too much noise - when they weren't clanking against the mic proper, they'd clank against each other, shift and rustle and make too much noise. Hence, the only times you'll ever really see them are scenes where John's chest is stripped, a la 38 Minutes. It's a leap of faith TPTB expect us to take, that John is wearing them all the time, though Joe rarely does.

This was fascinating to read, thanks!
thegrrrl
thegrrrl2002 at 2006-01-04 15:24 (UTC) (Link)
John, as I read this, was just derailing another half-hour of overanalyzing from Rodney.

LOL, I think you're right. He knows Rodney well enough to know what was coming.

And I never thought of that when it came to the dog tags, but it makes sense! I didn't realize they were miked--I thought they used those boom mikes or whatever. But I can see it causing problems in either situation.

Still, they look kind of hot. *g* I wish we could see them once in a while, but I guess that would make their absence more glaring.
Ridiculously Fanatic
nel_ani at 2006-01-05 14:06 (UTC) (Link)
Hee, this was fun to read. I adored the fic and it was interesting getting the thought process behind it.

One thing, though. I get you cutting out the kitchen sex and the angsting, but, you know...if you ever felt like writing kitchen sex in some other context, that wouldn't be horrible. I think I could manage to get through the ordeal. *nods*
thegrrrl
thegrrrl2002 at 2006-01-08 05:28 (UTC) (Link)
LOL, did it, as you've noticed. *g* I feel so self-indulgent.

I'm glad you enjoyed the commentary!
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