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Title: Stepping Through
Author: esteefee
Pairing: John/Rodney
Rating: G
Categories: ER, DADT repeal
Words: 709
Warnings: none
Summary: John sleeps over.

Stepping Through

By esteefee

Rodney's mind was a highly trained tool of incalculable processing power; only, perhaps, not so much just upon waking, which was why it took him an inordinate amount of time to realize, blinking his eyes and yawning into his bedcovers, that something fundamental was different.

Specifically, the dark-haired, fuzzy lump beside him was John. John was still here.

Rodney blinked some more; the lack of coffee made data retrieval a little problematic, but after a moment the previous day's events came back to him, and he remembered the morning's data burst and the surprise announcement that wasn't very much of one, but still heralded a change in United States military regulations. A series of tedious, top level staff meetings ensued, and then the drafting of Atlantis-wide announcements, followed by more staff meetings—all banal but utterly necessary—under Woolsey's careful eye and Sheppard's controlled expression.

There had been zero time at all for Rodney to consider how the change would affect him personally. It was bureaucracy, paperwork, plain and simple, too long in coming, and anyway, he'd long since resigned himself to never having what other people had, hadn't he?

And yet here John was, lying beside him, dark brown tufts of hair peeking above Rodney's comforter. John had spent the night instead of giving Rodney a rueful kiss goodbye and using the life signs detector by the door, then taking the next available opportunity to skulk out like a criminal. A criminal he most assuredly was not.

A snuffling sound came from beneath the comforter, and then John's arms stretched out above his head and his face appeared, endearingly bleary-eyed before he rubbed the heels of his hands over them and gave Rodney a surprisingly sharp look, keen and a little bit wary.

"Hey," John said.

"Hey, um. Hi."

John nodded, as if satisfied with something, and then sat up and gave Rodney a quick, glancing kiss, somewhat abashed, one hand curving over Rodney's shoulder.

"Sorry," John said.

"What? Why are you—?"

John ducked his head and shrugged, then slid out the other side of the bed and padded off to the bathroom, leaving Rodney's question unanswered.

Evidence said whatever Sheppard felt guilty over, it was most likely either inconsequential, or world-shattering and entirely not his fault. On the rare occasions when Sheppard really did screw up badly, he usually didn't bother apologizing and tried to make amends in other ways.

So, Rodney was going with: something inconsequential. John had spent the night, which meant extricating himself without being seen would take trickier timing than usual—

Hang on just a second. There was no reason not to be seen. They could both just show themselves walking out together. Together. That, perhaps, was even John's intent.

Not so inconsequential after all.

Rodney got up and barged into the bathroom, where John had apparently finished his business and was occupied washing his face.

After taking a much-needed piss, Rodney joined him at the sink and nudged John aside to wash his hands.

"So." Rodney grabbed up his toothbrush, and his next words were a little garbled. "Are you certain about this?" He peered at John in the mirror.

John's shoulders relaxed, and he smiled a little. "Yeah. I mean we don't have to make a big deal or anything, but yeah. You?"

"I'm a little worried about your career—"

John let out a snort.

"—But if you don't mind, then I don't." Rodney spat and rinsed, then leaned a hip against the sink.

John swiped a thumb over Rodney's chin, that same smile on his face. Then he bent his head for a kiss. He tasted like Rodney's toothpaste and like morning. Rodney had never tasted John like this before.

"C'mon," John said. "Let's get some breakfast."

So they got dressed, pants and boots, and then paused at the door. Rodney looked over at the LSD and then at John's face. John wasn't looking at the LSD; he was staring at the doorway, head set back on his shoulders as if gearing up for a mission. On impulse, Rodney moved closer until they were elbow-to-elbow, hip-to-hip.

John cocked him a grin and swiped a hand over the crystal.

They stepped through the doors.



( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 2nd, 2013 12:45 am (UTC)
No, not a big deal, an enormous deal. *smishes boys*
Dec. 2nd, 2013 12:49 am (UTC)
YIS. <3 <3 <3 thanks, mel.
Dec. 2nd, 2013 01:07 am (UTC)
Awwww, oh this is so lovely! Everyone should get to have the opportunity to walk out together.

I also loved the observation that John was either worrying about something inconsequential or something earth-shattering that wasn't his fault. John Sheppard in a nutshell, ladies and gentlemen.
Dec. 2nd, 2013 03:13 am (UTC)
<3 everyone should. I just watched Bridegroom. What a heartbreaking film. And what a contrast between the two families' reactions when the couple came out.
Dec. 2nd, 2013 01:14 am (UTC)
Oh my heart! I love this, sweet boys and earth-shattering stuff! Being seen together, finally, omg I am all flaily!
Dec. 2nd, 2013 03:13 am (UTC)
<3 <3 <3
Dec. 2nd, 2013 03:05 am (UTC)
He tasted like Rodney's toothpaste and like morning. Rodney had never tasted John like this before.

I love that bit!
Dec. 2nd, 2013 03:14 am (UTC)
Thank you! <3
Dec. 2nd, 2013 05:32 am (UTC)
Very nice! I feel like John would chose to come out as a couple in an understated way like this.
Dec. 2nd, 2013 08:51 am (UTC)
me too! thanks, gaffsie. <3
Dec. 2nd, 2013 05:40 am (UTC)
A new day . . . in several ways. Satisfying sights and sounds as Rodney and John communicate through actions as well as words.
Dec. 2nd, 2013 08:51 am (UTC)
awww, yeah. <3 thx.
Dec. 5th, 2013 03:01 am (UTC)
You're welcome. Smile.
Dec. 2nd, 2013 02:42 pm (UTC)
Stepping Through fic
OMG, that was just perfect... John is so much more about actions than words, and I love how he chose to deal with the repeal of DADT, with Rodney literally by his side. So cute!
Dec. 2nd, 2013 07:00 pm (UTC)
Re: Stepping Through fic
go boys \o/ thanks my squidgie.
Dec. 3rd, 2013 09:58 am (UTC)
This is just too sweet for words, ♥! ^_^
Dec. 3rd, 2013 10:41 am (UTC)
<3 <3 <3
Dec. 5th, 2013 09:17 am (UTC)
I'm convinced even if there had been somebody on the other side of the door, the "surprised reaction" at seeing the two of them coming together out of Rodney's quarters would probably have been considerably more limited than expected.

I love how John doesn't bother with the LSD anymore but just braces himself for going through with this (and through the door ;-).

Dec. 5th, 2013 07:45 pm (UTC)
thanks. <3

and I'm not sure: this was John's career, so I imagine they had to be circumspect, regardless of what fanon wants to believe. :) DADT was not permission to be careless; any real evidence could have been used against him (and in fact was against countless people in service before the repeal.)
Dec. 6th, 2013 07:19 am (UTC)
>>DADT was not permission to be careless; any real evidence could have been used against him (and in fact was against countless people in service before the repeal.)<<

Oh, I'm aware of that and hadn't the intent to make light of the situation of real people.

Given how much time canon indicates they spend together and also sometimes at odd times (playing chess, playing "ancient sims" for years before it turned out to be real, racing play cars at night, not to mention the fact that Rodney sometimes has a tendency to go to John, disregarding of what time it is, to talk with him when he runs into difficult situations - McKay and Mrs. Miller, when he thinks his sister likes Rod more, the whole The Shrine ep etc) - I actually think that somebody passing Rodney's door and seeing the two of them coming out of Rodney's quarters early in the morning, fully clothed and perhaps even talking, would probably react way less surprised than they fear.

The reaction would probably be way more surprised and suspicious if they had made it a point in the past to *not* be seen spending a fair amount of free time together. As it is, the two of them coming out of Rodney's quarters alone isn't all that suspicious (IMHO, of course), just the time is somewhat odd. But given the circumstances of living in Atlantis (and therefore having to deal with all kinds of weirdness happening at random times plus, it's always those two who are involved in trying to solve the problem) I think the reaction of a random person seeing them would be less "Oh, they probably had sex and that's why they come out of McKays quarters this early in the morning" and possibly more like "OMG, what weird sh... is about to happen *now* that requires the military commander and the head of science confering already this early in the morning. Must be bad if we haven't been informed publicly yet. Hopefully it's something we'll survive and preferably doesn't interfer with my plans for the afternoon."

I guess real suspicion would come if they would be observed multiple times without any public weird/dangerous/interesting situation happening afterwards. That would surely raise the question of what's up with Sheppard coming out of McKays quarters early in the morning for five times in the last two weeks when nothing is happening afterwards that would have required an early meeting.

And I just noticed that I actually have *not* told you how much I like the story. Bad me. *rolls eyes at herself* The mental picture of John bracing himself to go through that door *without* checking the LSD first packs a real punch. It's a big thing, a big change, that requires a lot of courage because it's not something he does once and then it's done and over but it's something that changes things in a lasting way. With that decision he starts something he (they) have to face and the consequences and happenings resulting from that will be a wild mix of positive and negative. It's risky but he apparently considers it worthy to risk it.


Edited at 2013-12-06 07:29 am (UTC)
Dec. 6th, 2013 08:39 am (UTC)
John and Rodney play chess in the mess hall, not in anybody's quarters (you are confusing canon with fanon :). John and Rodney play with the cars in the hallways, while Teyla bounces her baby, and with the Game in a lab. They can be seen and heard without qualm. It's all very proper. Rodney comes to John's quarters when he's altered, either by an ancient device or by a parasite: he's in danger, he's upset, he's sick, he needs help. Or it's during the day, for pete's sake. :) These things are perfectly justifiable, and you will note when Rodney comes over late to talk to John re: moving forward with Arcturus John *doesn't let him inside.* They just talk in the hallway. They have boundaries in canon that you just aren't recognizing.

I have slash goggles as much as the next fangirl, but I'm perfectly capable of taking them off and seeing clearly: there is nothing of their behavior in canon that could be misconstrued per regs. If there were, it would be a much different show. :)))

( 21 comments — Leave a comment )

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