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Title: Rebel Without a Barbie
Author: esteefee
Pairing: Jennifer/John, past Jennifer/Rodney
Categories: Het, First Time, Post-series, H/C
Rating: PG
Words: 5,420
Summary: It's lemon chicken for Jennifer!
A/N: This is really more a rebellion for me, I think.


Rebel Without a Barbie

by esteefee



It was weird, Jennifer thought, how she could try to do everything right, but when the music stopped and the dancers left the floor, she still ended up eating in the Atlantis mess hall alone with everyone giving her the stink eye and her boyfriend a gazillion light years away.

Only that was a lie; she hadn't done everything right. She hadn't even tried as hard as she could have, because when it came down to it her true colors had shown. The same little girl that had hidden in the garage dissecting frogs while all her friends were playing with Barbie's Dream House had raised her formaldehyde-stinky hand and said, hang on a dang second. I'm thinking here.

And Jennifer had thought a little too hard. That was always her problem.

So now, no boyfriend. No Dream House. Just a bunch of scientists giving her evil looks, as if anyone could ever get Rodney McKay to do a darn thing he didn't make up his mind to do. And really, she shouldn't be wishing hemorrhoids on Dr. Melvin, no matter how many times he elbowed by her in the supply room or said nasty things about her under his breath in the chow line.

"Is this seat taken?" a lazy voice said.

Jennifer looked up to see the last person in the world she expected to have talking to her. "N-no, uh, Colonel. Obviously," she said a little sarcastically, waving at the empty table around her.

He raised his eyebrows before he set down his tray.

"You sure you want to do that? Conspire with the enemy and all?" she couldn't help blurting, and then bit her lip. And she wasn't imagining it; people were staring at both of them now, probably waiting for him to pistol-whip her. Did they still do that? Or maybe the colonel would just stun her and use some jumpers to draw and quarter her.

"Oh, I think my rep can handle it." He started shuffling things off his tray, starting with a plate of dark purple tubers she was really fond of herself. She looked down at her mess of grayish string beans and wondered why the tubers hadn't appeared when she was at the serving table.

"So, how's it going?" Sheppard asked easily. Maybe he was spying for Rodney; she didn't think the colonel was the type to play games like that, but then Rodney had been his best friend.

"I'm doing great!" she said brightly.

"Yeah, I can see that, " he gave her a half-smile, "from the way you were staring at your beans like you wanted to kill 'em." He frowned at her plate. "Well, deader, anyway."

A laugh escaped her. "Seriously, Colonel, why are you—" being nice to me?

He gave her a questioning look.

"You're not mad at me?" she leaned in and whispered.

John's expression froze. "Uh. Look, that's none of my business—"

"What?"

He waved his fork awkwardly. "You know, that. You and McKay. Whatever." Sheppard ducked his head and took a hasty bite of the purple stuff, a big enough one that his cheeks puffed out. She almost giggled at the sight.

"You're saying you haven't talked to Rodney about me? At all?" She couldn't believe that. Everybody was talking about it, even though they knew nothing about what had happened.

John shook his head and chewed.

Jenn put down her knife and fork and rested her elbows on the table. "And he didn't send you, like, a twenty-page email detailing exactly what a horrible person I am? In eight-point font?"

John shrugged then swallowed, washing it down with a sip of water. "Oh, I'm not saying that. I just didn't read it. Like I said—none of my business. Told him that." John's eyebrows scrunched up and he finally met her eye. "We have to work together, right?"

"Right," she said, almost giddy with relief. She liked John; always had, even if as his doctor she hadn't approved of the way he'd ignored her medical advice on one serious occasion. She'd liked him even more the better she got to know him as Rodney's friend. But this—this made her look at him with new eyes.

One of her biggest fears in coming back with Atlantis was John and his whole team resenting her for Rodney's decision to stay on Earth to pursue his new position as Chief Scientific Declassification Specialist—now that the IOC had decided to move forward with that effort. But it seemed the colonel didn't hold her responsible; or, if he did, he was willing to at least pretend he didn't, which was all right mighty fine with Jenn.

The folks around seemed to get over the novelty of the two of them eating peaceably with no fireworks, and started ignoring them. And so they finished their dinner talking about other things—the new infirmary equipment Lorne's team had found in the lab near what used to be the East pier but now was the North pier, except everyone insisted on still calling the East pier regardless this new planet's poles, which led to John confessing he relied almost exclusively on the angle of the sun or instrumental navigation for his sense of direction.

"So I take it you're voting for the new cardinal directions," she said, hiding her smile behind her coffee cup, and whoa, dinner had somehow turned into dessert over coffee.

"Yep." He leaned back and sipped his own coffee, then looked at his watch. "Crap. Gotta go. Have to watch Torren tonight." He gathered up his tray and then stood looking at her, suddenly awkward.

"So, uh—"

She started to wave him off, but then her brain caught up a second later, because she didn't want to end this. Or, at least, she didn't want this to be the only time she got to do this, which made her realize how damned lonely she'd been for relaxing company, and not even since she and Rodney had called it quits.

Since before then, and wasn't that a sad, sad thing to realize?

"So, I'll—see you tomorrow?" she said, and he grinned, then freed one hand enough to salute her sketchily before he loped off.

She caught herself watching, and had to look away.

:::

Tuesdays were the pits. Jennifer never could get ahead of her schedule, and always ended up playing catch-up. It didn't help that shift turnover always happened on Monday evenings, which meant everyone was cranky and overly tired from the change in their circadian rhythms, and they ended up short-staffed, anyway, no matter how often Jenn juggled the rotations.

"Hey." A familiar voice made her lift her head from her patient report and give John a quick grin before holding up her hand and then completing her notes so she didn't lose her train of thought.

"There. Okay. What?"

"Ah. You're busy." John made a face.

"Yeah, pretty much out of my head. How come?"

"Because it's twenty-two hundred and you haven't poked your head in the mess yet?"

Jenn leaned back in her chair, only now realizing how much her neck ached. "God, really? Is it that late? And how did you know, anyway?"

He smirked a little. "I have a deal with Cooky. He promised to save some of that purple stuff you like. Only you didn't show up to eat it, so..." He shrugged.

Jenn tapped her pen against her lip. "It's probably all dried up and slimy by now."

"Probably."

"Be a waste, though."

John nodded like this bore some serious consideration. "Cooky doesn't save stuff for just anyone."

"No, he sure doesn't." And, in fact, Jenn was pretty sure just a few weeks ago Cooky wouldn't have spit on her if she was caught in an oil fire, so something sure had changed. "You're on."

:::

"And you say you got this how?"

Dr. Melvin stared up at her, his puffy cheek and lip making his pout even more pronounced. "Civilian training exercises."

"Zigged when you shoulda zagged, huh?" Jennifer said sympathetically.

Melvin drew himself up, and then winced. "It's ridiculous that a scientist of my stature should have to put up with this nonsense. I'm here to do research into cosmic radiation as produced by dwarf galaxies, not fight with sticks like a cave man!"

Jenn pulled a gel pack from the freezer and wrapped it in a sterile sheathe before handing it to him. "Well, your scan shows no underlying damage to your skull, Dr. Melvin."

It must be pretty damned thick, she didn't say.

:::

"Look, I know you were the one who was cutting loose during Senior Staff."

"What? No, I wasn't." It was so hard not to laugh, but she was getting better at these ridiculous conversations.

"Seriously, eight times. I counted."

"You counted my farts?"

"Aha! It was you!"

"It was not! I, Colonel, do not fart."

John gave her an overly skeptical look. "What, never? You never fart."

"Nope." She was actually digging her fingernails into her palm now, using the pain as a focus or she would bust a gut.

"Not ever."

"I have never farted in my life. Hand of God."

"Not even when you eat a mess of those purple things and drink two cups of coffee before the emergency staff meeting?"

"Oh. Uh."

"Right."

:::

They should never have let Ronon pick the movie.

"This part is great," he said, elbowing her. "Open your eyes."

"I am, I am," she said, peeking through her fingers. "Just—do they need to make the sound effects so loud?" Every crunch registered as broken, shattered bones requiring setting, possibly plates and screws; tendons and ligaments that needed suturing, muscles weeks of mending.

"Cool!" John said as Hellboy tore through the subway train after the creature, who flung passengers willy-nilly. Someone was hurled against a window and Jennifer counted at least eighty-five stitches and a definite subdural hematoma.

"Awesome," she said weakly.

"I would have employed a fragmentation grenade," Teyla said thoughtfully, and John gave her a high-five.

:::

"No way; you can't be serious!"

"The thing was at least three feet tall, and bright green. McKay said it was a 'bad color for his skin tone,' but he seemed pretty proud of it and wore it the entire time he was on-planet, thinking it was this high honor." John played with the remains of his pie. "Teyla—well, you know Teyla, she can keep a straight face with the best of 'em—did not let on they'd made up the whole ritual just for Rodney so he'd feel duly honored. Everything, from the dance of the chicken-things to the weird music to the hat. I still don't know if he ever figured it out."

Jenn couldn't stop laughing. "But he still has that hat! I've seen it!"

John chuckled and leaned back in his chair. "Awesome." He stretched a little lazily, his shirt riding up. "I guess I should get back to work."

Jenn looked at her watch. "Really? Isn't it kind of late?"

"We've got marine intake training tomorrow at the Beta Site. Gotta come up with a course." He stood up and bussed his tray.

Jennifer gathered her own garbage as well. As late as it was, there were still some folks around in the mess, including Dr. Cobb from Dr. Zelenka's team, who as usual was giving her dark looks occasionally whenever he looked up from his tablet. She knew she could dispel all of this just by dropping a note to Rodney, but a stubborn core within her resented the necessity. She'd rather just ride out the stupidity. Things seemed to be getting better lately, anyway.

And she did have her own friends, and was glad to count John and his team among them these days.

He gave her a little smirk as he playfully grabbed at her tray while they headed toward the exit.

:::

"Medical team to the Gate room. Incoming wounded."

This was not what Jennifer wanted to hear, because she knew exactly who was off-world today; more importantly, she knew who was likely to be injured in any scenario where John Sheppard was involved. Not because the man was careless, but because he was too caring.

And it was a little too concerning how hard her own heart was beating as she sped toward the Gate room, only to find John limping in, a marine shoring him up on one side, and a fierce frown on John's face.

"Where are you hurt?" she snapped out. "Any other wounded?"

"No. Just me," he said with a grimace. "And it's, well—"

Jennifer pushed the gurney over and then saw exactly where the field dressing was applying pressure. Oh, dear. She helped him on the gurney and onto his side.

"I shot him!" a young, sandy-haired marine blurted out. Jenn recognized him from his arrival exam, but couldn't remember his name. He'd been awfully nervous, though, asking her tons of questions about aliens and Pegasus and the Wraith.

"You sure did, Deacon," John said through gritted teeth. "And don't think we're not gonna have a little talk about that."

"Yes, sir. I mean, no, sir!"

John groaned, and Jennifer nodded to Corpsman Dhawan to start pushing him down to the infirmary.

Considering the location of the wound—the meatiest part of the gluteus—John was very lucky. However, as her corpsman started cutting off John's BDUs and prepping him for surgery, she realized she was going to have to ask someone else to do the procedure.

Call her weak, but she just couldn't make herself do surgery on John's ass.

She gave a few instructions and then called over Ella Watanabe to fill her in. It was the end of Jenn's shift, anyway, which made for a good excuse, but she allowed herself to go over to talk to John before he was put under. She stood at the head of his bed and bent low enough for him to see her.

"I'm going to want to hear the whole, tragic tale, you know," she said. She could tell Dhawan had already given him the sedative she'd ordered, because he blinked lazily at her and smirked.

"Saved a whole school-ful of little kids," he slurred. "Bitty ones." His hand dropped off the bed to demonstrate.

She picked it up and set it next to his shoulder, giving it a small pat. "Uh-huh. You're a big damned hero." Down below, she saw them swabbing down the affected area with betadine, but his other ass cheek was smooth and round and unblemished, and Jenn blushed hard and remonstrated with herself, forcing her gaze back to his face.

John was blinking at her, an outraged grin starting on his face. He started to open his mouth, but she put her fingers over his lips. "Don't you dare," she said.

His grin widened, breaking free of her fingers.

Oh, God, she thought. I'm so screwed.

:::

Jennifer checked in on him after John was out of surgery, but he zonked out right after he came up from the anesthesia. He always took to general well, which was fortunate, since he was under so damned often. She did some catch-up on her records and then wandered out, feeling at loose ends. It made her realize how much time she'd been spending with the colonel lately. She really should check in with Miko—look in on her bonsai garden. Or radio Zelenka and see if he wanted to work on their Atlantis clay studio project. Their kiln was almost finished.

Instead of calling him, though, she was feeling restless enough to take a pass through the labs, starting with central Lab 4.

It was a mistake. She was no more than three steps in when she realized the place was deserted except for the unpleasant Dr. Cobb.

"What are you doing here?" he said, his voice unpleasantly nasal. Possible deviated septum, Jenn thought absently.

"I'm looking for Radek," she said lightly. "Seen him around?"

"No idea—not that I'd tell you. You'd probably drive him off, too, and then where would we be?" Cobb sniffed.

Jenn crossed her arms. "Excuse me?" Honestly, the nerve.

Cobb spun his chair around to face her fully. "You heard me quite clearly, Doctor. Think about it the first time we have a crisis and people die because we lack Dr. McKay's genius. He might be too hard to take as a boyfriend, but he is a superb scientist."

"You act like you have a single clue why Rodney chose not to come back to Atlantis," Jenn's voice was shaking, she was so angry, "but it wasn't because of me, I'll tell you that much." She'd promised herself—oh, she'd made all sorts of promises for her own sake, and for Rodney's, that she wouldn't say a single word about any of it, but then she wasn't expecting some asshole to come right out and accuse her of robbing Atlantis of Rodney's genius simply because she couldn't deal with him.

"I don't need to know anything; it was plain as day you couldn't handle him."

And that almost sounded jealous, if Jenn wasn't going crazy. It made her smile a little grimly, and she was about to respond when she heard Radek say, his voice icy and heavily accented with anger, "Your speculation is both inappropriate and scientifically unsound, Dr. Cobb."

Cobb froze and turned toward the door.

Radek came in and stood over him. "Dr. McKay chose another position over Atlantis. Dr. Keller is not to blame for his actions. And you, sir, are on notice."

"Yes, Dr. Zelenka," Cobb said.

"You are done for the day, I think."

Cobb shut down hastily and scuttled out. Radek turned to Jennifer, his eyes a soft blue behind his lenses.

"Thanks." Jennifer's cheeks were still hot with anger.

"The man is troglodyte."

"I haven't measured his cranium, but I think you might be right, yeah."

"And you are all right?"

"Oh, me? I'm just super. I'm just a big, whopping pariah, but what else is new?" And now she was a whining pariah, to boot. "Sorry, Radek. I don't mean to put you between us—"

"Nebuď hloupá. You are not—you are my friend as well, yes? And with Rodney not here, people forget too easily what an otravný člověk he is."

Jennifer grinned. "I'll take your words for it." She paused, then added delicately, "did he, um, explain why we...didn't work out?"

Radek pulled off his glasses and started polishing them a little too vigorously. "He had many words, but no reasonable explanation. This is often his way when it comes to people and their entanglements." Radek smiled at her, a sweet smile. "But you, I think, understand much better."

Jenn shrugged, and Radek's smile widened.

"So. Our kiln—we are close to finishing, ano?"

:::

"I heard there was a rumpus." John was on his side facing her, playing cards spread out on the blanket between them.

"A rumpus?"

"Yeah, a rumpus, a ruckus, some fish and chips."

Jenn smiled helplessly in spite of her discomfort. "It was nothing."

"Not the way I hear it. Doc Z. told me that Cobb guy was in your face." John dropped a two of spades on the eight of spades. Damn it, she didn't have any twos at all. She pulled two cards from the deck.

"You realize this game is pointless with only two players."

"Ronon and Teyla are stopping by soon."

"Cool! Although Teyla will probably kick all our asses."

"So what did Cobb have to say?"

"Just some stupid stuff—I guess what everyone's been thinking, that it's my fault Rodney didn't come back." Jenn ducked her head over her cards and let her hair hang around her face. She knew what John had been up to lately, but it wasn't like he could hit the entire Expedition with sticks.

John grunted. "Zelenka set him straight though, right?"

Laughing a little bitterly, Jenn threw her head back, meeting John's frown. "Radek slapped him down pretty good, but he doesn't know the truth either. Not that it matters."

"No, I don't guess it does. Either way, Rodney's not here."

"Right," Jenn said, defeated.

"But, the way I figure it, the man has earned himself a break. That's what I told my guys." John's eyes were locked on hers, and for once he didn't have a smirk on his face. "Sure, at first I figured we were screwed, but Doc Z. and Dr. Armstrong make a damned good tag team. And Rodney put in five years almost getting killed here." John shrugged and looked down at his cards. "You can bet he didn't sign up for that originally. He signed on for the science. And now he gets to do that twenty-four seven. He's saved our asses plenty already." John bobbed his head and studied his cards.

"Well, tell Dr. Cobb that."

"I think I will." John flashed her a grin, and she smiled back.

"That really is why, you know," she found herself whispering, and John looked up from playing a card to give her an eyebrow. She put down her hand, giving up the pretense, and wrapped her arms around her knees. "Everyone thinks it was the other way around, and maybe a little bit it was a chicken-and-egg thing, but I think he'd already made up his mind and our big fight just made it easier for him."

John winced and rubbed at his jaw.

Jenn hurried to explain, "He'd already gotten the offer and was already mentioning it, and I kept thinking he was joking, I mean he had to be kidding, right? Give up Atlantis? I thought he was just lording it over all those other guys they hadn't even considered for the position, de Grasse and Kierson and Liehman and, jeez, they didn't even ask Colonel Carter. So, it was just him being Rodney. But then we were having this stupid argument about nothing, about where to spend our last vacation before Atlantis left for here, and he wasn't taking it seriously."

John was looking a little wild-eyed, and Jenn knew this was wrong, she knew John didn't want to be in the middle of this, didn't want to hear any of it, but she couldn't stop now. It was like the past two and half months' worth of words were demanding their escape, and she leaned forward and tried her damnedest to keep her voice low. "I kept trying to get him interested in our trip, you know? But he was so blasé and it was driving me crazy, and then he said, well, what if we didn't go back? What if we stayed?" She leaned back. "I just—I suddenly realized he really meant it. All those hints—I finally realized they were hints, and no, no, no. Give up Atlantis? This is my home."

In the little silence after, Jenn felt relieved to have finally told, but also sick, because John looked distinctly uncomfortable, but he reached out and patted her clenched fist, saying, "Hell, I get that. You think I don't get it?" his voice breaking up oddly. And she felt instantly better, because of course he would. John loved this city, these people. Heck, he'd crashed a jumper through the tower to save her once, and he hadn't even known her back then.

He got it.

"I'm sorry. I know you didn't want to be put in the middle."

He grimaced a smile, and shrugged. "Guess you've been holding onto that."

She blew out her breath. "You have no idea."

"Okay. Well, you're done though, right?" he said hopefully, hamming it up.

Jenn laughed a little. "Yeah. You're safe for now." God, she could hug him.

He mock grumbled a little as he settled back, and then he gave a wince of real pain that she caught, and a quick check of his chart showed he was way past due for his meds.

"They'll make me sleepy," he complained.

"So? You got something better to do?"

"Put you in hock?" He smiled up at her with the deck of cards and, boy, she was in trouble, because that smile was getting to her pretty good. Only, if something happened between them and it got back to Rodney, he would blow his stack for sure.

On the other hand, it wasn't like there was a gigantic pool of candidates for a girl to dip into here on Atlantis, especially since she tended to go for men these days. And Rodney could hardly bitch when he had a whole planet to choose from.

John might fight it though. Call up the best friend code or some such nonsense.

On the third hand—and Jenn smiled to herself while she doled out his meds and started dealing a fresh hand of cards—she'd always been told she had an exceptional rack. She'd caught John looking, too, once or twice.

No guy code could stand up to that.

:::

"Wake up, sleepy head." Jenn pulled the privacy curtain around to shield John's bed.

"Huh?" John rubbed his eyes and stared up at her. His hair, usually a complete haystack, was smashed down, all except for some stubborn tufts near the crown of his head. Jennifer tried hard not to laugh. Laughing at patients was generally considered poor form, at least directly to their faces. They did tend to be fair game in the staff room, although the stories that got passed around sometimes made Jenn feel uncomfortable.

Speaking of uncomfortable—"It's time to change your dressing," Jenn said, pushing the supply cart closer to the bed. She didn't meet John's eyes as she prepped her tray and pulled on a pair of sterile gloves.

"Uh, shouldn't Doc Watanabe do that?"

"Ella was on the late shift, but I can call Dr. Biro if you'd prefer?"

John stared at her for a moment. "How come we don't have any male doctors?" His tone was plaintive, and Jenn grinned.

"Just lucky, I guess."

"Where is Carson, anyway?" John asked as he shifted over onto his stomach, punching his pillow down. He sounded nonchalant, but as she pulled the sheet and infirmary blanket down below his butt, his neck flushed a decided red under the tan.

"He's doing the Pegasus medical information exchange we agreed to participate in with the Coalition. A small group of medical professionals from around the galaxy get together to trade information. He's representing the Milky Way." As Jenn spoke, she lifted John's gown deftly, keeping her movements clinical, but she couldn't help staring a little, and not at the large dressing covering his right ass cheek. She purposefully tucked the sheet over his other buttock, leaving only the injured one exposed.

"How's your pain level?" she asked as she started to remove the dressing. This would be her first view of the suture site, and she hoped Watanabe had done a good job. It would be a shame if John ended up badly scarred.

"So-so," John replied, his voice low.

Jenn was glad to see Watanabe had removed the bullet with a minimal number of incisions, but there was still some tissue loss.

"How's it look?" John asked, his voice muffled by his pillow.

"Well, you're healing up real nice. No sign of infection. But..."

"But?" John snorted.

"Oh, please. Seriously?"

"That was a gimme."

"Right. But, you're definitely going to have a scar dimple."

"A dimple?" John craned his head around to stare at her. His face was unusually ruddy.

"Yup." She couldn't help winking at him. "It's a crying shame, really."

He swung back around hastily, and she watched, fascinated, as his ear turned red.

Jenn finished up quickly, applying the new dressing and setting his gown and bed sheet to rights.

"All done. I think we can safely sign you out today; I'll talk to Dr. Watanabe. You won't be able to sit down for another five days or so, but we'll definitely want to get you walking around as soon as possible."

"Sounds good, Doc."

Uh-oh. She was back to 'Doc' when lately he'd been calling her 'Jenn' more often than not. Jennifer pushed the cart back into place and disposed of the dirty dressing and her gloves in the hazard bin before pulling her chair up beside his bed.

"Hey, tough guy. You never did say if 'so-so' meant you needed more Tylenol or not."

John rolled up onto his side and scrubbed a hand over his impossible hair. "Nah. I'm good." The haystack was back in action, she was amused to see, almost as if it took a while to wake up.

"So. Breakfast?"

"Don't you have rounds?"

She looked at her watch. "Not for another half hour. I thought we could eat together."

"Sure," he said, but then when she started to get up, he added, "wait," his hand reaching out and stopping at the edge of his bed.

Jenn waited, looking into his green eyes. They hid a lot; he was so unlike Rodney, and maybe that was part of the appeal—his reserve. He teased her, but never harshly. His sense of humor was sometimes foul, but she liked that, too. It reminded her of her older brothers. He could also be surprisingly dry, and she knew she hadn't yet scratched his surface.

She wanted to get to know him. But looking at him now, she wasn't sure he would give her that chance.

"Are you—" he chewed the corner of his lip. "This is gonna sound stupid, Doc—" He broke off. "Breakfast, yeah, that would be good." He looked away. "Rodney would be pretty pissed if he knew—"

"Knew what?" Jenn realized she was whispering, and she asked again, trying to sound normal. "Knew what?"

John shrugged and gave a self-conscious grin. "That I'm glad you were disappointed, you know, about the dimple."

Jenn drew in a breath. She was smiling, she knew, that horrible, awful one that made her look like a chipmunk, the one her mom had tried to train her out of when she was sixteen, until she'd finally rebelled and said if someone didn't like her smile they could go lump it.

But John started smiling back, a slow smile that just got broader, until they looked like a real pair of idiots.

"Seriously, though, he's going to be pissed as hell," John said. "Heck, Ronon will be pissed—"

"Look," Jenn said, exasperated, "if everyone on the Expedition stayed away from anyone their friends had fucked, at some point there'd be no more fucking on the Expedition!"

John laughed, a loud freeing sound, and Jenn laughed with him, relieved.

"So, does that mean, um—" Jenn felt her face heat up.

"Well, yeah, uh. I guess if you—" John suddenly was looking anywhere but at her.

"But you'll have to stay off your ass," she warned him.

"You mean I'll have to lie down a lot?" And oh—he had a sexy voice, too. She hadn't known he had one of those.

"Doctor's orders," she assured him. Why did she have to sound like a squirrel when she said it? But he just stared at her like she was a steak dinner and he'd been eating hospital food for two weeks.

"C'mere, Jenn," he said, his hand inching across the gap between them to clasp her wrist, his thumb tucking under her sleeve. He tugged, and she went, thinking how unprofessional she was being, she was on shift, this was the infirmary, it wasn't sterile, but oh, oh, his lower lip caught between hers, and then his tongue slipped into her mouth sweet as anything, no uncertainty, no asking, and she'd wanted this. She'd really, really wanted this.

It wasn't right, because everyone would be so angry, as if she'd betrayed Rodney twice, but she slid her fingers into John Sheppard's impossible hair and kissed him back fiercely thinking, when had she ever done anything anyone told her to do? And what had she ever gotten not going for what someone told her she shouldn't want?

And she somehow had a feeling, as John groaned and kissed her back twice as hard, his stubble rasping her cheeks, that she was in good company.


End.




A/N:

Translations: "Nebuď hloupá" -- "Don't be stupid".
"otravný člověk" -- "Annoying man".

[courtesy the English to Czech translation engine, so please forgive (and correct!) inaccuracies. http://translation.babylon.com/english/to-czech/]
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Comments

( 48 comments — Leave a comment )
starry_diadem
Aug. 27th, 2011 08:12 am (UTC)
I don't really know what I think of this pairing, as I'm flailing between Do-Not-Want and My-that-was-a-good-story. You made me like Keller in this. Well, if I'm honest, you made me remember how much I liked her before those morons pushed her between John and Rodney. So well done!

And this line? This line was pure **genius**
"I would have employed a fragmentation grenade," Teyla said thoughtfully, and John gave her a high-five.

I laughed myself silly over that line.
esteefee
Aug. 27th, 2011 08:21 am (UTC)
hee! \Teyla/

that's the thing, isn't it? I really, really liked the chemistry between her and Ronon, and I was going to write a Jennifer/Ronon story, but John is the rebel to my eyes, and her and John getting together would be such a in-yer-face that it seemed more rebellious to me. so there ya go. and I ended up enjoying them. I would even write a sequel once John is functional. :)

I loved that ep when she and Ronon got trapped together, though. I just adored the two of them, and that was the Jennifer I was trying to write here.

ps: thank you, buttercup!

Edited at 2011-08-27 11:40 am (UTC)
admiralandrea
Aug. 27th, 2011 08:22 am (UTC)
This fic is made of win - never seen Rodney being the one to stay on Earth before. And yay for John sticking up for Jennifer - and Radek. I like the slow build of their relationship.

Fic that makes me like Jennifer, who I hate in canon, is very very good!
esteefee
Aug. 27th, 2011 08:27 am (UTC)
thank you, that is an HUGE compliment! \o/

and \Radek/!
gaffsie
Aug. 27th, 2011 09:21 am (UTC)
Eeeee! I love this ship, and I love your take on it! They're both such goofballs, and they make sense together (even if, deep down, I still mourn the death of Ronon/Jennifer).

I like that you had Rodney staying on earth. Considering season 5 Rodney, I could very easily see him chose that over Atlantis, with or without the blonde wife.
esteefee
Aug. 27th, 2011 11:47 am (UTC)
they really do fit together quite well. I'd forgotten what a fun character she is. ♥ Jenn!

so glad you enjoyed, kittenchop!
sherry57
Aug. 27th, 2011 10:24 am (UTC)
I started reading this with doubts, I mean Sheppard and Jennifer? But you really made it work for me hon.

Whump, humour, friendship....nice story with all of this and a nice ending with hope for happiness. Sheppard, Jennifer.....and that dimple!!

esteefee
Aug. 27th, 2011 12:20 pm (UTC)
Awww, thanks for sticking with me! I think she might even get to kiss the dimple. :))
neevebrody
Aug. 27th, 2011 11:09 am (UTC)
Here's the thing I love about this comm... it breaks me out of a mold, a rut, a rigid way of thinking to see something new. Not like the kid whose mom is getting them to try brussel sprouts, but kind of like that little girl who preferred frogs over Barbies. In this case, your writing is the extra-creamy cheese sauce for the sprouts and I kind of ate it all up without even thinking about the bad taste I thought it was going to leave in my mouth. This Jennifer felt like that rebellious, brilliant, young Dr. Keller before S5 - there were times when I could really see that face and hear that deadpan sarcasm. So very well done! (and let's face it, ANYone would be toast in the face of Sheppard's lazy smile)

Still, I missed Rodney, but it was a great twist to have him be the one who chose to remain on Earth. And I really like Radek here, too.
esteefee
Aug. 27th, 2011 12:24 pm (UTC)
eee, Brussels sprouts!

I missed Rodney too, but like John said: no blame. I figured the guy deserved a break. I can just imagine him gleeing over the whole declassification process as he brings astrophysics out of the dark ages. He has so much joy ahead of him. Not to mention a Nobel.
tli
Aug. 27th, 2011 11:34 am (UTC)
I really, really enjoyed that! Loved your Jennifer voice, and Teyla's one liner was pure genius.
esteefee
Aug. 27th, 2011 12:24 pm (UTC)
\o/ thank yous!
altyronsmaker
Aug. 27th, 2011 11:53 am (UTC)
Hmm. in the early days of S4, when Keller first became a regular, there were a few moments between her and John that I thought were rife with possibility.

this takes those possiblities and fleshes them out so perfectly. I love the movie watching, and Jenn changing John's dressing, and the fart scene. Oh goodness.

And even though I'm a little upset that Rodney could give up Atlantis (forget giving up John, but ATLANTIS? Really?) I still Loved this. :)
esteefee
Aug. 27th, 2011 12:37 pm (UTC)
I didn't realize I could see them together until I started writing them together. :)) They definitely have ironic humor going for them, and I sorta fell in love with her all over again.

As afar as Rodney goes, I know. It's very hard to believe. But it's an interesting direction to speculate in. The pressure on him his *enormous* day to day. He is their miracle worker. Part of this I admit was inspired by seeing the pictures from Creation and wondering how David's health is and just wondering, well, what if this offer came at the right time, and Rodney was just *tired* and ready? Imagine him being the shaper of the future of scientific thought in the new age post-Stargate Era? That would be some heady temptation right there. He's been storing up all this stuff for five years already. Maybe he thought it was time.

hmmm. now I want to write the Rodney and John running the declassification project AU.
hoktauri
Aug. 27th, 2011 10:44 pm (UTC)
Oh, please do! I would love to see a declassification fic!!
stella_pegasi
Aug. 27th, 2011 12:51 pm (UTC)
As usual, this is written in your clever manner, witty dialog and always with surprising little twists.

But I didn't like Jennifer with Rodney...I think I don't like Jennifer with anyone...not even Ronon. Jennifer with John? Still trying to get my head around that....

However, nice work... Loved the Teyla line!
esteefee
Aug. 27th, 2011 08:41 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Stella. I see you've also branched out. We are all doing such interesting things! I'm looking forward to reading it.
ariadne83
Aug. 27th, 2011 02:17 pm (UTC)
Hahaha this is awesome! I love the moment where Jennifer can't help staring at his ass, and John catches her at it. I could picture the cheeky smile on his face so vividly :D
esteefee
Aug. 27th, 2011 08:42 pm (UTC)
hee! that was fun to write, thanks.
siriaeve
Aug. 27th, 2011 02:41 pm (UTC)
Oh, this is so great! I can really seem them here together like this, and your Jennifer is awesome \o/
esteefee
Aug. 27th, 2011 08:45 pm (UTC)
siri! thankee. I am so glad you enjoyed it, sweets. I liked being in her head. :)
crysothemis
Aug. 27th, 2011 04:30 pm (UTC)
I love this, love the way you tackle the plausibility issues head-on and how real it feels. Plus, Jennifer peeking at John's ass and John catching her. Heh.
esteefee
Aug. 27th, 2011 08:48 pm (UTC)
eee! thanks, my friend. that was way fun.

kristen999
Aug. 27th, 2011 05:18 pm (UTC)
I have a soft spot for this pairing. I felt some chemistry between these two a few times, esp in those early scenes in "The Seed." I really enjoyed the plausibility of this. The realism of the two of them stumbling from friends to something more. And you have a wonderful Jennifer voice.
esteefee
Aug. 27th, 2011 08:49 pm (UTC)
John never could help himself if one of his people was in trouble. :) And thank you for the lovely compliment, kristen!
hoktauri
Aug. 27th, 2011 10:47 pm (UTC)
I would have to agree with you--this is the only believable het-pairing I've seen for John, like, ever. I've always thought of him and Teyla as BFFs, and with Carter and Weir there was that certain level of respect and camaraderie between them that I never saw him crossing that line.

But Jen? Totes believable.
esteefee
Aug. 29th, 2011 01:00 am (UTC)
I could totally see John with Sam if they weren't in the same CoC...maybe in an a post-apocalyptic AU.

oh god, like I need another plot bunny.

but yeah, these two really worked for me!
hoktauri
Aug. 29th, 2011 01:19 am (UTC)
Plot bunny needs carrots! If anyone could make me believe that 'ship, it would be you!
teenygozer
Aug. 27th, 2011 10:32 pm (UTC)
You rebel, you! Nice selling on the pairing, it worked!
esteefee
Aug. 29th, 2011 01:00 am (UTC)
aw, thank you!
hoktauri
Aug. 27th, 2011 10:42 pm (UTC)
HAHAHAHA I LOVE THIS. Awesome! The dimple, and John catching her looking! ^__^ I was a little "meh" at first about John and Jennifer, but oh, man, it SO worked here. I like to think of this as an AU, one in which Rodney was maybe a little less inclined to heroism, since it seemed like putting his life on the line all the time is what drove him over the edge to finally stay on Earth.

Loved this line: "I would have employed a fragmentation grenade," Teyla said thoughtfully, and John gave her a high-five. I always thought of John and Teyla as total BFFs, and this moment was just perfect.

And then there was this: "Look," Jenn said, exasperated, "if everyone on the Expedition stayed away from anyone their friends had fucked, at some point there'd be no more fucking on the Expedition!" This story is full of Jen-I-wished-we'd-seen-in-the-show and this was one of my faves!

Definitely a different take on Jennifer, which is good. I feel like her character was shoehorned into season five in such a way as to prop up Rodney's "failing" masculinity, IMO, since up until season five, he and John were all up in that homoerotic subtext. This is just one direction I'd never considered. Which makes YOU the real rebel here! Congrats!
esteefee
Aug. 29th, 2011 01:40 am (UTC)
catching her looking was the most fun.

interesting thought about the 'propping up of Rodney's masculinity'...of course, I don't think it needed any propping--I don't think of masculinity and femininity in such black-and-white terms--but Brain Storm was such an *obvious* role-playing piece of ridiculousness (an axe? seriously?) that I wanted to shoot my television. Rodney was plenty of man before that. Jennifer was plenty of woman. They didn't need to stuff her in a prom dress or have him hulk through a door to get them to kiss.

Contrasted to the infirmary scene where Jennifer and Ronon tried to break out *together* using the oxygen tank "like Sheriff Brody in that movie 'Jaws'"? And with 10x the chemistry? Oh, *show*. How you failed me sometimes.
hoktauri
Aug. 29th, 2011 03:32 am (UTC)
I am a total John/Rodney shipper, all the way, so that's why I was hesitant about this pairing. And I realize that perhaps I fudged my writing a bit there as I was referring to the "black-and-white" terms of TPTB, not actually my views on gender/sexuality/etc. I wouldn't have thought it needed propping at all, nor did any other character on the show. I agree with you on Brain Storm--that was the episode that lost me, even despite Bill Nye smacking Nick Foley across the face and telling him to "Man up!" I *liked* the subtext, as many of us here do, and I was mostly happy with Jennifer in season four (except that episode where she's lost in the woods with Teyla, and she's all "boo-hoo I don't know how survive in the wild" or whatever) and even most of season five, but then in the Shrine I found it completely ridiculous and implausible that she wouldn't have caught the parasite during Rodney's initial exam when they returned to Atlantis. I mean, considering all the scans required of returning off-world teams that SG-1 instated over the years b/c they were always bringing something home with them...

But I actually never liked Jennifer with Ronon either, but that may have been a problem of character depth on Ronon's part, since they never did much with him besides make him grunt about and hit things. Yeah, *show* was epically faily in season five, IMO. But as some have said, that's why we have fic...

ANYWAY. Getting off the soap box now... *__*
esteefee
Aug. 29th, 2011 05:13 am (UTC)
heh. well, you should maybe? reconsider re-watching Quarantine because there were some real moments in that when Ronon opened up about Melena with just the most sweetness, and where Jennifer talks to him about what it's like being a prodigy and growing up out of step with her peers. I thought they were kinda awesome together, at least. Plus, John and Teyla times! Teyla being brilliant! John scaling the city! I might have to screencap Quarantine, actually.

yis, Bill Nye! \o/

and you're right, Jenn *is* brilliant and totally would have caught a damned parasite GROWING IN RODNEY'S BRAIN. sheesh.
mandykaysfic
Aug. 27th, 2011 11:24 pm (UTC)
John & Jennifer??? Well, yes! I really enjoyed this. Jennifer at the movies mentally counting the stitches rang absolutely true. Thanks for a great read I'll be revisiting.
esteefee
Aug. 29th, 2011 01:42 am (UTC)
hee! I'm so glad you enjoyed that bit. I could just see her cringing and measuring hematomas. :))
enigmaticblues
Aug. 28th, 2011 01:41 pm (UTC)
Holy crap. You made me love Jennifer. You made me love Jennifer/John. Well done you! This is a story that's going to make me look at all of them in a new light.
esteefee
Aug. 29th, 2011 01:44 am (UTC)
aw, yeah! thanks, enigmatic.
scififreak
Aug. 29th, 2011 05:48 am (UTC)
This fic is pure win. I actually like Jennifer, so I wasn't afraid of reading it, but I was very interested to see how you handled the transition from Rodney/Jennifer, to Jennifer/John. You obviously did very well. I like them starting their relationship off with friendly humor and John making a point to be friends with her w/o all the baggage of picking a side.

I also like that for once Rodney is the one who chooses to stay on Earth. I mean, he has really good reasons to! I honestly can't believe any of them would choose to stay there for the long run. Living in a war zone for years makes people crazy! Five years is a long time to deal with the constant threat of death. This is the reason why the military does rotations/tours in war zones.

Oh, last thing. Promise. I LOVE that you gave an off-handed hint that Jennifer isn't totally straight. That one line filled me with glee. lol
esteefee
Aug. 29th, 2011 08:01 am (UTC)
I know, right? Jennifer is too cool to keep for just the boys. :)))

And I really dislike it when folks gossip and pick sides after a relationship ends. No one can judge how or why one does: only the participants truly understand what went on, if even they do themselves.

And (one last thing :) yeah: Rodney deserves to put down his damned sword!

oops! forgot to say thanks!

Edited at 2011-08-29 08:02 am (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
esteefee
Aug. 29th, 2011 08:03 am (UTC)
thank you! I really enjoyed writing it...

Edited at 2011-08-29 08:03 am (UTC)
schneefink
Sep. 6th, 2011 06:40 pm (UTC)
I enjoyed this. I like this pairing if done well, and your Jennifer post-breakup in Atlantis felt real :)
esteefee
Oct. 8th, 2011 09:34 pm (UTC)
thank you kindly!
michelel72
Oct. 8th, 2011 03:26 pm (UTC)
This really works well! I'm a Rodney fangirl and didn't much care for Jennifer-in-canon, so this is quite the departure for me, but you're really persuasive here. I can see the expedition's scientists being far more worshipful of Rodney in absentia, and you make a good case for why he might stay behind (however that might break my heart, sniff!). And your Jennifer is an interesting, well-rounded person. Nicely done!
esteefee
Oct. 8th, 2011 09:34 pm (UTC)
Thank you! That's a high compliment. I've been feeling lately (maybe because I just wrote my 100th SGA story yesterday? :) that the characters deserve to have lives a little more outside the box I set them in a lot of times...and if Rodney after five+ years of saving their asses decided he finally wanted some of the life he saw passing him by in Brain Storm before it was too late, well, like John says in this story, Rodney fucking well has earned it. :)
bailey1ak
May. 4th, 2012 07:10 pm (UTC)
This was so wonderful. I loved how you wrote the two, especially John. I'd love to read more from you, so I'm off now to look through your other stories. :)
esteefee
May. 4th, 2012 08:51 pm (UTC)
:) well, I don't know how you found me, but welcome! and thanks.
( 48 comments — Leave a comment )

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