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Prompt #4 Orange

Title: No blue without Yellow
by scarlettandblue
Rating: PG (apart from one line that is probably 15)
Rodney and John

Vincent Van Gogh once said:
There is no blue without yellow and without orange.

Oh yeah, and I guess you could call this part 2...

Disclaimer: I Don't own them, and I'm not doing this to make money, so please don't sue me.

The randomness of raindrops is a song that entices the soul.”
John woke with a start. He could still feel the imprint of a voice like a blank space in his head, the last line of whatever it was soft and sibilant, a whisper and then nothing. His room was bathed in gentle yellow this time. The colour of sunrise at fifty thousand feet.

It had been happening since their talk on the balcony.

Since Rodney has shut down the final phase of Atlantis’ full operational systems, until they were sure it was safe, until Rodney was sure it was safe for John. Since then everything on Atlantis had been just slightly out of whack.

But it wasn’t menacing. John didn’t feel like he was being stalked in a creepy way. It was more like the whole place needed a tune up and the city recognised that John was the star mechanic. Except of course that was proof everything had taken a jump to the left. The city must have picked up a fatal error in it’s metaphor circuits or something, because everyone knows that Rodney is the star mechanic and John, John is the racing driver.

John risked a shower. The hot water was on the fritz again, according to the Mess Chief last night. But John had no problem. And if Atlantis wanted to turn his shower into a tropical cloud burst, water falling from jets he’d never even noticed before, a restful pattern of grey green leaves cycling over the walls and the scent of something heady and tropical in the air that wasn’t just his papaya and coconut milk shower gel, John had no problem with that either.

But judging by the slightly harried and rumpled look of some people he passed on his way to the Commissary for breakfast seemed to be sporting, people who looked like they hadn't had time to rinse their hair before the water turned icy cold, John figured it was time to get the city back on track.


“I’m not sure, okay!”

Everyone paused, it was like they had all breathed in at the exact same moment and then just stopped, maybe they had, it wasn’t often that McKay would admit anything less than absolute certainty. Especially not at a full Command meeting.

“You have reached some conclusions though, you have been studying it for nearly a week.” Woolsey was as smooth and diplomatic as ever, no suggestion of impatience.

“I…” Rodney looked uncomfortable.

“We have established protocol. We have checked routine, sub-routine. We create virtual environment and run full system without problem.” Zelenka said. The man looked unusually sympathetic as he continued, “But we have no way to test effect on inhabitant’s of Atlantis further, except to turn it on again.”

“And the benefits of this system?“ Woolsey leaned forward towards McKay.

But it was John who answered, “The city becomes fully capable. All systems can function independently but co-ordinate to form a network. The full safety protocol takes effect, the city itself defends us. And the secondary power generation system comes on-line. Atlantis literally becomes it’s own power-source. Kinetic energy from friction, the water moving against the submerged structure, air moving across the city above the water line, rain, especially rain, charges the systems. It generates enough energy to run the whole city. There is zero depletion of the ZPMs.”

“That would be..”
Woolsey doesn’t get to finish because McKay cuts him off saying, “Yes yes astounding, I know, but don’t forget it also turned Colonel Sheppard into a zombie.”

“Is anecdote, not fact.”

“Now Laddie, there is no medical evidence that any harm was caused, in fact...“


Everyone spoke at once, but Rodney met John’s eyes, as if his was the only comment he’d heard.

“You know that’s not what happened.” John tried not to give voice to the little flicker of betrayal that had sprung to life. He had pretty much laid himself wide open for Rodney that day and he thought they’d understood each other.

“I know, but still…” There was a faint blush on Rodney’s cheek but he held John’s gaze and continued, “It distracted you, you know it did. And it only takes a second’s distraction, and our lives are dangerous enough as it is without you… without something…”

“That’s the whole point, McKay this makes us safer. The city, all the people who live here are totally safe. The stuff out there is still dangerous, but here, in the city, in our home, we can be safe.”

“But what will it cost us?”

And John knew that this was the real issue, Rodney still had the crazy idea in his head that somehow this is a trap, that the city has gone all Demon Seed on them.

“Trust me, Rodney. Please. This is not a bad thing.”

“I can understand that your experiences here in the Pegasus Galaxy have taught you to be cautious, Dr McKay.” Woolsey cuts into their conversation, “And to be honest I find myself more impressed by your dedication to the safety of every person on this mission often to the detriment of your own personal safety than I probably express, which is remiss of me, I fear it is something we have probably taken for granted far too easily.”

“I, uhh… Yes. But that’s.” Rodney seemed to be utterly undone by what Woolsey just said, and John finds the way he blushes to be incredibly sweet. If they hadn’t been in the small meeting room surrounded by their colleagues and their boss John might have kissed Rodney then, right on his sweet down-turned mouth and across his embarrassed blusing cheeks. But he doesn’t get the chance because Woolsey continues.

“And I believe I have the solution to the question of Colonel Sheppard‘s safety.”


John took the puddle jumper through the gate to the planet they‘d dubbed New Hawaii, Ronon and Teyla and Torren were on board, with a picnic lunch and some blankets and John’s surf board. It wasn’t as if there hadn’t been a half day mission they could have gone on. There were trade partners that would always welcome a visit from Teyla, but Woolsey had insisted they have some down time. Because when John came back through the city was going to be fully operational, and most likely he was going to be spending a lot of time being scanned by Carson and being questioned by Rodney while he communicated with the city and convinced everyone that the city definitely wasn’t trying to take over his brain.

It was only two hours later when Atlantis dialled the gate and Lorne came through on John’s radio. They wanted him back on Atlantis.

John didn’t get the chance to ask how bad it was because the message ended and the radio went dead. Maybe they had shut the gate as soon as the message was sent and acknowledged, Maybe everything had gone better than expected and they had finished early. Or maybe it was something else.

As John flew the jumper back to the gate he had the strangest feeling that had all been some kind of elaborate trick after all. That the city had been wooing him with strange poetry, and walls lighting up as he walked by, and with that strange joyful feeling he’d get every time he picked up a new piece of Ancient tech and felt that initial thrill of power as he touched something with his hand, and his mind felt the potential of it spark inside him.

As they neared the gate Ronon was preparing to dial the address when the jumper seemed to falter for a second, and then suddenly it was like John was flying a whole different machine. It was as if he’d stepped out of a Cessna and jumped into the cockpit of an F40.

The gate began to dial and John knew the jumper was picking up on what he wanted and making it happen. He knew that he could let go of the controls and just fly the thing with his mind, if he chose.

It was amazing.

John wondered what the fuck McKay had done. And even as his thoughts raced towards some inevitable conclusion where Rodney had been right. The city had set it's clever trap just so it could get its sneaky filaments and wiring into that huge genius Rodney McKay brain. Even as his hands tightened on the yoke and his mind spun several ideas on how he was going to cut McKay free, the cockpit was flooded with warm orange light and John felt bathed in comfort.

The colour was so specific to John, and to his feelings for Rodney that he had to trust that feeling. It was the colour of the fleece that McKay was practically welded to when they had been in Antarctica. It was a colour John associated with the first time they met. When McKay had cut through the almost unbearable ecstasy of John’s first encounter with Ancient tech. When he had pulled John back into himself and grounded him, with a few sharp words.

Even now, years later, the idea of Rodney telling him what to do in bed in that calm slightly pushy way was John’s secret jerk off fantasy, and the colour orange was the one thing that always made him feel safe,

And they flew through the gate and into an Atlantis they had never seen before.

Everything was shimmering. The walls were silver gilt, the windows jewel bright, and everywhere the light was the rich golden orange of sunset. John felt the peace that descended as the city welcomed him back and reported all systems were functioning and all his people were safe.

John found Rodney in the control chair. For one terrible second he was so still that John believed the horror story he had concocted for himself about what the city would do to McKay if he sat in the chair and controlled the power up of the new systems.

Then McKay opened his eyes and said, “Wow, it really does speak to you.”,

And the walls around them flushed to a deeper luminous blue, the exact shade of Rodney’s eyes, and Rodney laughed and asked John, “Did you do that?


( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 25th, 2011 06:50 pm (UTC)
oh, wow. I'm so glad you continued on to this, because I didn't know I was hoping for this and wanting this all this time, and here it is like a perfect pearl in the palm of my hand.

Everyone spoke at once, but Rodney met John’s eyes, as if his was the only comment he’d heard.

I loved how they spoke in code in the staff meeting, and oh, that orange moment just about killed me.

Thank you so for sharing this with us!
Jun. 25th, 2011 07:04 pm (UTC)
I am delighted that you enjoyed it, and that I made you happy. I must say that orange was a perfect prompt. And for me orange is always going to be that fleece before anything else. And then I found that quote and it just said something about Atlantis to me so it was inevitible...
But believe me I am sitting here grinning like a fool because you seem to have liked it so much..
Jun. 25th, 2011 10:57 pm (UTC)
Happy little sigh.
Jun. 25th, 2011 11:11 pm (UTC)
Thank you, I'm really glad you liked it
Jun. 26th, 2011 05:34 am (UTC)
Awesome :D
Jun. 26th, 2011 09:01 am (UTC)
thank you so much
and you have a pretty awesome icon there too :-)
Jun. 26th, 2011 09:21 am (UTC)
You're welcome :D I collect icons, lol :P
Jun. 26th, 2011 09:11 am (UTC)
Gorgeous little piece! :-D
Jun. 26th, 2011 10:21 am (UTC)
Ah thank you so much my dear,
and once again one of your gorgeous icons is the absolute perfect fit for this story.
Jun. 26th, 2011 09:57 am (UTC)
Wow! This is beautiful!

Thank you!
Jun. 26th, 2011 10:23 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for you lovely feed back,
I'm really glad that you liked it.
Jun. 26th, 2011 12:03 pm (UTC)
Mmm - very evocative, lovely story.
Jun. 26th, 2011 12:16 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for your kind words
I'm really glad that you liked it
Jun. 27th, 2011 12:17 am (UTC)
This is so calming and happy. Thanks!
Jun. 27th, 2011 12:29 am (UTC)
Thank you, I'm so glad you liked it.
Jun. 30th, 2011 04:52 am (UTC)
I really really love this, and I'm sorry it took me so long to comment!

I love how we jump right into the action, and the whole thing is just so poetic, and the end with the walls lighting up blue with Rodney's laughter! So wonderful.
Jun. 30th, 2011 10:39 am (UTC)
Thnk you so much, and please don't apologise, I try and stay away from everyone's stories until I've got my own done (otherwise I just spend all my time reading and never get anything done at all!!)
I'm very happy to hear that you liked it though, and I guess i knew it wasn't done with when I wrote conduit and so this part two just kind of jumped up ready to go!! (except for the part that I was lazy and spent loads of time not actually getting on with writing it so it ended up being posted at the last minute!!! Again!!!)
Jul. 1st, 2011 06:09 am (UTC)
Last minute posting is where it's at....or at least, that's what I'm anticipating for this week...
Sep. 4th, 2011 06:18 pm (UTC)
I thought I commented on this before, but apparently not! I really liked this, glad there was a part two. :-) Rodney wanting to make sure the city is safe for John. *^__^* Yay. And excellent use of prompt, too!
Sep. 5th, 2011 12:41 am (UTC)
Thank you so much, I'm really glad that you like it. When I wrote the first story with John as the conduit, it just felt like there was some more to come, and this just seemed the right place to take it.
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )

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