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Title: O! now you weep, and I perceive you feel.
Author: lilyfarfalla 
Pairing: John/Rodney
Rating: R
Words: 605
Summary: That one time with Teyla notwithstanding, John thinks he’s alright at the whole comforting thing.
A/N: Instead of the “John’s heightened senses in bug-form” story I thought I would write when I first read this prompt, this one is more loosely inspired by chkc’s lovely artwork. Also, Stuart Smalley.

John knew he wasn’t exactly a font of comfort for the people of Atlantis. Certainly, he was better than Rodney who tended to bounce between “we’re all going to die!” mode and his natural portrayal of a frankly terrifying mad scientist.  John could at least project a steely-eyed determination to take out the Wraith and whoever else threatened his city. He thought that was probably good enough to provide a full night’s sleep to most folks, but it wasn’t going to cure any nightmares. 

Teyla and Woolsey, Carson and Keller—they were the ones people went to when they needed to be reassured that they would they live to see another day. Teyla tended to include an additional affirmation about being “good enough” that John pretended not to hear. (Rodney and John had once tried to introduce Ronon and Teyla to Stuart Smalley. It had not gone as expected. John tried not to think about it, because the idea of Teyla speaking into her mirror every morning was more than he could handle.)

Even within his team, John was the one who played the emotionally-unavailable card when faced with team-based pop quizzes on alien worlds (and that one time on Atlantis when they gate had been shut down for weeks and trivia night devolved into “expose secrets about your teammates” night.  John would have been more embarrassed at how loudly Lorne had guffawed when Teyla told an abbreviated version of the time John had tried to return her hug, but Rodney had followed Teyla with a story involving Lorne, Cadman, and Parrish that had the whole of their gate team turning beet red while John sat back and congratulated himself on having a really vicious boyfriend.)

Still, just because he wasn’t so great (really really bad, the voice in his head reminded him) at sick beds or desperate situations where a gun wasn’t a good answer, John generally knew when someone needed a little comforting.

Take Rodney for example. For the first five years of their friendship, John knew just when to throw in a comforting back slap or the occasional (affectionate!) cuff to the back of Rodney’s head. Racing cars and drinking beer were also reliable go-to activities when Rodney needed a bit of a lift.

And recently, John had found himself reaching out in even more ways. In public, John wasn’t demonstrative, exactly. A hand on Rodney’s shoulder when he needed something to ground him; a quick kiss to Rodney’s temple on coffee rationing days—these were enough.

When it was just the two of them though, John found he was capable of even more. Full body hugs were appropriate on days when Rodney came back to their apartment downcast about the failure of his latest attempt to create a McKay-style ZPM, and John surprised himself the first couple of times by finding how natural it felt to just hold Rodney and squeeze him tight.

Then there was the night after they came back from a clusterfuck of a mission, where Rodney had worked to rewire a protective shield on M83-C47 until his fingers were literally bleeding onto the machinery, only to finish five minutes too late to prevent the Wraith from destroying two of the largest cities on the planet. That night, John helped Rodney strip off his clothes and climb into a bed with familiar soft sheets. John kissed him all over, only stopping when Rodney let out a deep breath and the tension finally melted out of him.

So yeah. A shoulder to cry on, John was not, but he was ok with that. He’d reserve his shoulders for Rodney.

Comments

( 35 comments — Leave a comment )
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saphirablue
Jul. 2nd, 2011 06:31 am (UTC)
*awwwwwww*

Perfect!

Thank you! :)
lilyfarfalla
Jul. 4th, 2011 07:16 pm (UTC)
Yay, thank you!!
esteefee
Jul. 2nd, 2011 06:57 am (UTC)
omg, John being sensitive. AAAAUGH you killed me dead because it worked!! just right!!! oh, *John*.

and this, well, killed my stomach muscles:

Teyla speaking into her mirror every morning was more than he could handle.

left me helpless. the most improbable cultural collision--it BROKE MY BRAIN.
lilyfarfalla
Jul. 4th, 2011 07:17 pm (UTC)
Hahhaa. Oh crap, I still need to correct smiley/smalley. Don't you think Teyla would be all about positive affirmations??? I THINK SHE WOULD.
(no subject) - esteefee - Jul. 4th, 2011 07:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
cjoelle
Jul. 2nd, 2011 07:56 am (UTC)
*love*

This is *so* John, emotionnaly stunned, except when he's not, mostly because Rodney doesn't require more than those full body hug to get better (and also Rodney's very huggable, even John can't resist this :p).
lilyfarfalla
Jul. 4th, 2011 07:18 pm (UTC)
It's true, it just makes sense to give Rodney hugs. Thanks for the lovely comment my dear!
trystings
Jul. 2nd, 2011 09:46 am (UTC)
Oh, John. You are doing just great. ♥
lilyfarfalla
Jul. 4th, 2011 07:19 pm (UTC)
<3!!
stella_pegasi
Jul. 2nd, 2011 12:30 pm (UTC)
See, John is really an emotional marshmallow...just depends on who needs comforting.

Sweet!!!
lilyfarfalla
Jul. 4th, 2011 07:19 pm (UTC)
He has feelings, they just have a hard time getting out, is all.
ribbon_purple
Jul. 2nd, 2011 02:28 pm (UTC)
Awwwww

and a *hug* for you as well!
lilyfarfalla
Jul. 4th, 2011 07:19 pm (UTC)
Aww, thank you!
lazy_8s
Jul. 2nd, 2011 06:53 pm (UTC)

Gorgeous! Interesting that John tells himself that he is not the comforting type, but always seems to know how to take care of Rodney. Loved the final line. :)
lilyfarfalla
Jul. 4th, 2011 07:20 pm (UTC)
He must be learning or something....yay, thank you!
danceswithgary
Jul. 2nd, 2011 08:24 pm (UTC)
Sweet. :-D
lilyfarfalla
Jul. 4th, 2011 07:20 pm (UTC)
<3!
hoktauri
Jul. 2nd, 2011 08:37 pm (UTC)
Oh, yay! So beautiful! I really, really love this. Esp thinking of Rodney on "coffee-rationing days". :-D Ha, I can just imagine.... And John reserving all his comforting for Rodney! \o/ Just, yay.
lilyfarfalla
Jul. 4th, 2011 07:21 pm (UTC)
Awww, thank you!!! This comment is happy making.
outsideth3box
Jul. 3rd, 2011 12:47 am (UTC)
That was lovely!
lilyfarfalla
Jul. 4th, 2011 07:21 pm (UTC)
Thank you!!
ceitie
Jul. 3rd, 2011 04:02 am (UTC)
Aw, John, making the effort for Rodney, even though he knows he's bad at it.
lilyfarfalla
Jul. 4th, 2011 07:24 pm (UTC)
He is trying! (And Rodney doesn't think he's so bad, so..)
altyronsmaker
Jul. 4th, 2011 05:52 pm (UTC)
I liked this a lot. John ruminating on what parts of expression he IS good at. And that he knows he's not good at comfort in general, but he's good with Rodney, and for him, that's all that matters. :)

Nice, quiet ficlet. Perfect.
lilyfarfalla
Jul. 4th, 2011 07:25 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! I'm kind of a sucker for the quiet everyday fics for these boys, though I like the epic adventures just as well.
melagan
Jul. 4th, 2011 06:48 pm (UTC)
oh John
Yep. They understand each other and we wouldn't want it any other way.
lilyfarfalla
Jul. 4th, 2011 07:25 pm (UTC)
Re: oh John
Hahaha, "oh John" is so great. Thank you!
panisdead
Jul. 7th, 2011 09:29 pm (UTC)
Aww! I like this. Not everybody needs to be a font of emotion. :)
lilyfarfalla
Jul. 24th, 2011 05:20 am (UTC)
Thank you muchly! And seriously, it's ok to just keep your emotion-ality for a select few.
wanted_a_pony
Jul. 14th, 2011 07:24 pm (UTC)
This is quiet & lovely, & I particularly like that John starts out thinking he's no good at comforting anyone & then remembers the ways he comforts Rodney just fine. ('Coffee rationing days', OMG--John's comfort-kiss probably saved lives! ;-) It doesn't matter that you're not comfortable with feelings or hugs or getting cried on with most people, John, as long as you can bear it with the important people in your life. Thanks for writing & sharing this with us!



(NB, you've still got 'Smalley' in the A/N & 'Smiley' in the text, if it's important.)
lilyfarfalla
Jul. 24th, 2011 05:20 am (UTC)
Whoo, thanks my dear. Just changed it.

And thanks for the super lovely comment!
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