Genre: Est. relationship, romance,
Word Count: 887
Summary: Rodney hates not knowing everything, and even simple questions can lead to big truths.
Note: A (slightly late) Christmas present for mornincamper. I used the prompt she left me for Christmas in her birthday fic so she got something wholly from my imagination. Lucky her. Sorry it took so long, the ending was giving me fits. ::glares at ending:: Joy and love to you! ♥
The first thing Rodney did upon learning (through Ronon no less) about John’s ex-wife and his not-so-humble family abode, was to track John down and call him a moron. Not a particularly new reaction, but made all the more effective by the accompanying, slightly hurt accusation about how they were supposed to be…best friends or whatever this new thing was between them…and how could John keep this from him and was their whole friendship - relationship - built on lies and secrets.
Annoying as all that was the worst was yet to come. John made a flippant remark about being a man of mystery, and the next stage in The Punishment, as John had come to secretly think of it, began immediately. Rodney ignored him. But not just ignored him, no, something as mundane as mere avoidance was well beneath Rodney’s vast and varied abilities. He stuck to his normal rhythms and routines, including staff meeting and missions; he just pretended that John wasn’t actually there.
And although Sheppard was trained to withstand many forms of torture, it turned out that the Air Force had sadly neglected to prepare him for life without Rodney. He broke quickly and without shame. Which is how he found himself being interrogated by the expedition’s Chief Science Officer all through dinner and through the hallways to his room on such exciting topics as his favorite equation and his favorite body part (and boy did that last one require some heavy editing while walking down the very public hallways of Atlantis.)
Rodney seemed to be following every boring ‘get-to-know-you list ever created in his sudden attempt to know everything about one Lt. Colonel John Sheppard. John had hoped that the pointless questions would end at the door to his quarters, but Rodney just barreled in and continued his questions with no sign of nakedness in either of their futures.
“Who’s your favorite fictional character? The first girl you ever kissed? First boy? What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?” Rodney fired question after question in rapid fire, almost not waiting for an answer before moving on to the next one.
After the first hundred or so, John began answering by rote; barely processing the question before spewing out his answers, occasionally surprising himself with his answers.
“Blue.” John said unthinkingly. There was no new question immediately following his answer, and John looked up hopefully at the silence. Unfortunately, Rodney did not look ready to move on to the naked portion of the evening. His face was a thundercloud and John could practically feel the waves of irritation radiating off of Rodney’s body.
“Blue? Are you sure? I can’t help but notice your answers are getting progressively more generic as we go on.” Rodney sounded annoyed, but John could still hear the layer of hurt under it. So he considered the mindless answer for a split second before nodding firmly.
“Yeah, blue. It’s a nice color.”
“It’s a nice color,” Rodney echoed, voice heavy with the level of disdain usually reserved for his more useless staff members and nurses who had the gall to suggest he might switch to decaf.
Which of course made John smile wider, throwing in just enough smug to make Rodney’s face go a shade of red that didn’t normally occur in nature. “Yeah, I like blue.”
“Kindergarteners like blue. If you were going to be stupid about it you could have least gone with black; that’s the obvious choice,” Rodney huffed, apparently mortally offended at John’s choice of colors. But John was a scholar of Rodney subtext, and he could still see the hurt and – worse – disappointment in the accusing glare being leveled at him. It gave him the overwhelming, if slightly ridiculous, urge to explain his choice in favorite colors.
John thought of the clear inviting blue of the sky: freedom, joy, home. The deep limitless blue of the Lantean Ocean: wonder, power, fear. The steel blue glow of Atlantis and watery shimmer of an active gate: adventure, alien, belonging. Then he stared into Rodney’s eyes, not meeting his gaze, but studying their color: home, belonging, freedom, joy, wonder, fear. He thought of the way just looking at Rodney made him feel soft and warm, how Rodney lit him up brighter than any piece of Ancient tech John’d ever laid hands on, the way Rodney’s uncertain smile left a low tingle in his belly. There was no word for that color, it was all just Rodney.
John pulled his gaze back and found Rodney’s indignation had faded to puzzlement. John imagined he could see his own actions being absorbed into Rodney’s store of knowledge, watch as the new tidbit tried to fit itself into the file labeled ‘Lieutenant Colonel John Sheppard.’ It was tempting to just sit back and watch; to let Rodney’s not-inconsiderable mind work out what he was too afraid to say.
“Oh!” Rodney let out suddenly, blushing in a way that made John contemplate the merits of pink as a favorite color, and then stepped closer. “Blue is nice. But, um…” And then Rodney, brave, sweet Rodney, stepped in closer, so close that John could feel the heat of him stretching between their bodies, and searched John’s eyes the way John had searched Rodney’s just moments before and said, “I like hazel.”
The complete list of my Stargate Atlantis fiction can be found here.
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