[identity profile] sgasesa-admin.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] sga_santa
Title: Don't Need You To Light Up My World
Author: [livejournal.com profile] reddwarfer
Recipient: [livejournal.com profile] busaikko
Pairing: John Sheppard/Rodney McKay, amicable past John/Sheppard/Richard Woolsey
Rating: G
Disclaimer: SGA does not belong to me.
Author's Notes: I was quite pleased to receive this request. I enjoyed the opportunity to subvert a few tropes as well as write Rodney and John in a way I hadn't before. Here's hoping you enjoy it. Many thanks to my beta.
Summary: Post-Conversion AU: When John's forced to leave Atlantis, Rodney's there to make sure he's not alone.

---

The light began filtering into the room, looking strange now that his curtains were gone. John had been unable to sleep, and had lain awake for hours staring at the pre-dawn sky. Perhaps it had been unwise to take them down the evening before, but he had been more restless than ever with sick anticipation.

His room, always sparse, felt cavernous now that everything was packed. It amazed him how little he owned after four years that he could fit it all in a few boxes and his military duffel. Some of that, he supposed, was due to his condition. No point in keeping things he couldn't use anymore.

An email ping from his tablet distracted him from his descent into self pity and he got up to to go get it. The stylus Rodney had custom made for him had fallen to the floor sometime during the night. It had a stupid ZPM mini-figurine at the top with a tiny painted-on Post-it that said 'Find Me!' in hideously minuscule font. He'd been so proud when he'd given it to John, bouncing on his feet and explaining the extremely difficult process it'd taken to make it. And how Zelenka helped, just barely. John closed his eyes for a moment, trying not to think of everything everyone he'd miss. When he opened them again, he took a deep breath and looked down at the tablet to see who'd sent him a message.

It was from Richard. John hesitated only a moment before poking the read icon.

John,

It would please me if you would join me for breakfast in my room. I'd like a chance to speak with you before you leave.

I know you're already awake.

Yours,
Richard.


He tapped his stylus against the desk a few times before he set it down and grabbed his boots. John no longer had the taste for leaving things unfinished.

Richard's room had changed little since the last time he'd been in there. The was a new painting on the wall-a gift from Flora that John thought was infinitely nicer than the one Harmony had made of Rodney-and Satedan chess set that he'd had Ronon procure for him for Richard's last birthday. Which had been a month after they'd broken up; but John hadn't known what to do with it and had given it to Richard, regardless.

"Thank you for coming," Richard said, arms spread in greeting. "I know it can't be easy."

John sighed. "It's fine. I don't blame you."

There was a tight nod, and then, "I appreciate that. It's hard not to blame myself. Failure has never sat well with me."

"No point in beating up yourself over it," John said, because he didn't want their last-possibly-conversation to be rehashing the same old shit. "You said something about breakfast?"

"Yes!" Richard smiled at him and led him over to the small kitchenette area. The table had two plates, filled with fruits, breads, nuts, and other things John found easy to digest. He gave a grateful smile and sat down. "Let's eat."

"So," John said, chewing slowly. "You wanted to talk?"

Richard gave a half-smile, but the air between them was tense, awkward. "I'm going to miss our chess games."

With a slight laugh, John agreed. "Yeah. Me too. I'd avoid playing against Rodney. He's unbearable when he loses. Not that he's much better when he wins."

At that, Richard gave him a look, but John ignored it. Talking to his ex about someone he kinda-sorta liked was weird and he didn't want to know what the look was about, so he pretended he hadn't seen it.

"You do know that you don't have to go the Retreat," Richard said, placing his hand on top of John's. He tried his best not to flinch away from the touch. "You'll be cut-off from home with no family or friends. At least-"

John scoffed, and cut him off. "Yeah, well, all my family is here, on Atlantis. The people back on Earth don't count. They haven't for years. There's nothing there'd I'd miss. Well, except for college football, and processed foods. But I can't eat stuff like that, now, anyhow and Rodney transferred my Flutie tape onto my tablet." John was babbling, now. Great. He really didn't want the last thing he and Richard shared to be a floor show of John's emotional instability.

"John," Richard said, his voice viciously kind, with pity in his gaze, a look that John had never seen before, even with the way his body looked these days. "I just want you to be as happy as you can be."

He''d gotten to his feet before he'd made a conscious decision to even do so. "Yeah. I'll get right to work on that." John bit out. "I'll see you later...actually, I guess I won't."

Richard said nothing but walked him to the door, stopping him before he stepped out, just to turn him and place a warm kiss on his cheek. "I'll miss you."

Nodding, John turned and sped down the hall, otherwise he'd turn back and beg to stay, but he had too much pride to waste on futility.

It shouldn't have surprised him to find Ronon, Rodney, and Teyla waiting at their customary table in the mess, but it did, nonetheless.

"Come on, come on, sit down. I thought I was going to have to go and get you," Rodney said, waving him over. Ronon snorted, and Rodney confessed, "Fine. I'd have probably just yelled at you over the intercom or tried to get He-Man over here to go for me. But, the point is, you're late, so sit."

John sat, eyebrow raised, and asked, "How can I be late for a date I didn't know I had?"

"If anyone could find a way, it'd be you," Rodney said, with a hint of accusation. Teyla nudged his arm and Rodney sent a somewhat, if insincere, apologetic expression his way.

"Well, not that this isn't nice, but I should go and-" John tried, but Rodney cut him off by grabbing his arm to keep him in his seat and said, "Not a chance, Colonel. Your stuff's already packed in the Jumper. We're going to have one last team breakfast and you're going to smile and pretend you're not pissed as hell at the fucking bureaucrats at the IOC."

Teyla then placed her hand on his and said, smiling, "Surely not the 'last' team breakfast. We will keep in touch." Her smile nearly took the sting out of knowing that even if it wasn't their last, there wouldn't be another in a long while. "The Retreat allows for visitors."

John did his level best to not dwell on the IOC and being forced to leave his home for what he thought were mostly stupid reasons. The Retreat was his best chance at a vaguely normal existence if he couldn't have the one he wanted on Atlantis.

"All right," Rodney said, stiffly getting to his feet as soon as they were finished eating. "Time to get going. Unless there's anything else you need to do before you go? Anyone else you want to say goodbye to?"

"Nope," John said, and followed his team down to the Jumper Bay. "Let's go."


**



When he walked up the ramp, he noticed there were considerably more boxes and supplies than just the ones he'd packed. John didn't know what it could mean, but pretended not to notice so he wouldn't have to ask.

"I know we said we'd not talk about everything," Rodney said, slumped in the co-pilot seat, "but this is so incredibly moronic. Are you sure you don't want me to simply hack into this IOC guy's life, cause a minor-or not so minor-scandal and have him fired, sent to prison, and executed for crimes against the Crown?"

Teyla sighed. "Rodney, no matter how you present it, it continues to be a terrible idea."

"Yeah," Ronon agreed, and Rodney stared at him, expression utterly betrayed, until Ronon continued with, "I just wanted to shoot him. He's dead? Problem solved."

Teyla nudged Ronon with her elbow, but did a poor job of stifling a smile. "Perhaps this is a path John was meant to take. I know that it is not easy, leaving Atlantis and being forced to live away from everyone you know and love, but a journey such as this can sometimes bring untold good fortune."

John knew Teyla's heart was in the right place, but somehow her words fell flat. Teyla still had the choice to stay on Atlantis, after her original danger had passed. John hadn't much of a choice at all. It was either the Retreat or Earth. Even though the Retreat was created for people in John's situation, someone exiled from their own people due to mutations or illness, John wasn't exactly looking forward to living in a Pegasus commune; it was just the thought of being someone's test subject on Earth was less appealing, so here he was.

Rodney ignored all of them and continued ranting. "Yeah, sure, you've changed a bit since they sent you out here the first time. But it's mostly superficial, now! And who hasn't had their DNA altered by one thing or another in this galaxy? It's practically a requirement. And, look, you're no longer a rampaging, instinct-driven half-man-insect, hell-bent on killing everything in sight, so I don't see the problem."

Muffled laughter-Ronon-and a repressive sigh-Teyla-met that little rant of Rodney's and John sort of wanted to bang his head against the HUD panel.

So, yeah, it sucked just a bit that two years after his semi-successful gene therapy from the Ella incident some new asshole was in charge of things back on Earth, and they suddenly decided that John wasn't the man to be in charge, anymore. The fact that they wanted John to return to Earth for 'observation and reassessment' at Area 51 was the just icing on the cake from hell. Then, to top it off, Richard deciding that he couldn't defend John's position on Atlantis and keep dating him due to the conflict of interest was like salting the wound after being skinned. There had been some dark days for John these last few months, but Rodney, despite being a giant pain in the ass, had always been on John's side, even if he did it in the most annoying way possible. "Thanks for the support, buddy."

"You certainly have a way with words," Teyla chimed in; it didn't sound like a compliment.

Preening, Rodney straightened in his seat. "I always thought I had a gift. Mind you, I took a few creative writing courses in college. They force humanities on you, even if you're studying really important things."

"Are we gonna sit in the Jumper Bay talking all day or are we gonna go?" Ronon asked, and John's stomach clenched at the idea of actually leaving Atlantis for the last time.

John swallowed over the lump in his throat and gave a terse nod. "Yep. Let's get this show on the road."

He let Rodney handle the business of talking with the Gate tech and signaling their departure. John wasn't entirely sure he could force the words out of his mouth. He was glad that the Marines had listened to his last orders to not give him a passing of colors ceremony at the loss of his command. Each man under his command had, in their own way over the last few weeks, given John their own goodbyes; whether by salute or going away gift, and he was glad he hadn't had to face anyone except his team on the way out, this morning.

When they exited the Gate onto Darcosta, otherwise known as M6S-322, the sun shown brightly, despite a number of clouds. John kind of hated that it looked like a nice day. Rain would have better suited his mood.

They landed the Jumper in the open field about halfway between the Gate and the Retreat, and John had to force himself out of his chair and out the back hatch.

"John," Teyla said, curling her fingers around his shoulders. She leaned in and greeted him traditionally. "It will be all right, you will see. Things are not as dire as you think. I have faith that you will be allowed to come back, given time."

His throat felt dry as he tried to swallow. "Thanks, Teyla."

As soon as she let him go, Ronon had him in a brief but painful hug. "I'll keep your home safe until you can come back and do it yourself."

John gave a pained grin. "Thanks, buddy."

"Yes, yes, painful and bittersweet goodbyes have been ticked off the checklist," Rodney said, sounding artificially bored. John pretended it didn't hurt when Rodney hadn't offered a goodbye of his own. "Let's get a move on."


**



They walked in silence for the rest of the way to the entrance of the Retreat and John was grateful he didn't need to make small talk. Ronon and Teyla bracketed him, their shoulders brushing with every step and Rodney sped slightly ahead, face staring down at his tablet instead of where he was walking.

"It's good that you could make it," a soft-spoken woman said as she materialized in front of them. "My name is Vattile. I assume that you are the John Sheppard Teyla has told us all about."

"Howdy," John said, giving a slight wave. That she barely glanced at his oddly colored skin or the claws on his hands settled something in him that he hadn't even realized had been bothering him. He felt a little lighter, all of a sudden.

Vattile smiled. "Welcome to the Retreat. I hope you find rest here. Everyone will welcome you, fear not about your acceptance."

Believing her, John nodded, "Good. Glad to hear it."

"It is good to see you again, Teyla," Vattile said, nodding towards her, "and you as well, Ronon of Sateda. I am glad to hear you are free of the Wraith." Ronon gave here a quick smile. "And you must be Dr. McKay." Rodney looked surprised to be addressed, but pleased. Teyla must have filled her in more thoroughly than he'd originally assumed.

"I will show you to your assigned living area and then leave you to get settled. Tomorrow, we can discuss how you'll contribute to the community."

"I'll be staying with him," Rodney said, and John stared at him in stunned silence. "So I hope there's room for two."

John grabbed Rodney's good arm and tugged him close. "You can't do that. You'd hate it here, with nothing Ancient to study or minions to boss around. You're going back to Atlantis. I'll be fine, Rodney."

With a quick jerk, Rodney tugged his arm out of John's grip. "I am staying. It's not as if I've been all that much help with this," Rodney waved his partially mangled left hand in John's face. "I already gave my notice and gave Zelenka three years worth of instructions to follow. There's no way I'm abandoning you here to your own devices. I shudder to think of you without a keeper of some sort."

Rodney looked at him stubbornly, and John tried to glare at him, but he was having trouble because his heart wasn't in it; he really didn't want Rodney to leave him.

Vattile broke their stalemate by interrupting with, "I am sorry. Only spouses and children are allowed if you are not an Outcast of your people like John is."

"Fine," Rodney said, cutting John off before he could say a word. "We'll get married. Right here, right now.".

With a measuring stare, Vattile regarded both John and Rodney. "If that is what you wish, follow me."

John made to argue again, but Rodney sent him another glare, then followed Vattile with determination. "Rodney..." he said, but Rodney just ignored him.

Sighing, he followed, with Ronon and Teyla looking not-at-all surprised flanking him.

Vattile led them to a small, but clean building near the entrance. They passed a few doors as they walked down a narrow hallway and then she pushed open a door to a small room, with rows of benches and an altar in the middle of it.

"Place a palm on this panel. If you are compatible and clear of heart, we shall accept you both as married." She waved her arm at the altar.

"Let's do this," Rodney said, dragging John to the middle of the room under mumbled protest. Rodney put his hand on the panel immediately, but John only did so after Rodney elbowed his side, and jerked his head towards the other side, muttering, "Come on, come on, put your hand on the panel, it's not rocket science. And even it were, you could at least do the minimum."

John placed his hand on the panel and it lit up with an underwhelming glow.

"Ah, I see," Vattile said, lips quirked. "It's not a no, but not a yes." She looked up at Rodney and addressed him. "If the panel refused to glow, it would mean you're incompatible. If the panel glowed brightly, it would mean you're compatible and ready for the challenges of a long-term partnership. This indicates that while you are compatible, there are still significant misgivings.

"We ask most people to wait another year before attempting again because we do not allow a couple to try again after being denied twice. However," Vattile said, cutting of Rodney who looked ready to argue, "if you are determined to wed, you can spend the evening in the Reconciliation Room. I must ask that if you choose to do such a thing that you respect our traditions and rituals."

"Which are?" Rodney asked, circling his hand in impatience. "I'll burn sage leaves, bow six times before a gold-plated goat, whatever."

With a laugh, Vattile smiled brightly. "No! Nothing like that, Dr. McKay. You begin by preparing both tea and a small meal for one another. After you eat each other's offerings, you will exchange three truths you had not yet before. Then, you will both sit in silence for a half-hour. At that point, you may decide to leave the room. If you choose to continue with the ritual, you will share one more truth before you retire for the night. In the morning you will share a meal and one last truth. When you leave the room, you may come here and try again or refrain to attempt it at later date. Or, you may decide to not try again at all."

Without any input from his brain, John said, "Sounds easy enough."

Rodney looked at him, surprised, even though John was doing exactly what Rodney wanted. The idea of not being alone in this place was tantalizing, especially with Rodney, who John would miss the most.

"I guess I'm making tea," Rodney said, pleased. "When do we start?"

"First, please say your goodbyes to your friends. When you're finished, meet me back here."


"Do you need me to fly you back to the Gate?" John asked, as soon as they were outside again.

Teyla shook her head. "No, we will be fine. I hope you both try your best to honor this ritual. I feel that you will both be happier for it."

"No bullshitting," Ronon added, with a pointed glare at John, but ended up tugging him into one last hug. "Don't be stupid."

John looked over and saw Teyla whispering something to Rodney, who was rolling his eyes, but nodding anyhow.

"This isn't goodbye," Teyla said, once she and Rodney rejoined them. "Be well."

"You, too."

Rodney waved. "Promise you'll keep all those little weasels in the science department in check."

Ronon turned, walking backwards for a few steps, twirled his gun menacingly, and turned back around.


**



John hadn't remembered the last time he cooked, so when Vattile had led him to a small kitchenette, he looked askance at the room for a few minutes before getting to work.

It wasn't that Rodney was picky, per se-this was the guy who liked MREs and airplane food-but he couldn't exactly identify the different Pegasus goods the way he could with earth food.

He settled for making use of the pasta he found in a container on the counter and made a light cheese sauce with the ingredients they had in their cooling unit.

The tea was easy enough after years of making some when he and Teyla had their weekly meditation lessons to help control his new, quirky instincts.

Even though he knew Rodney would enjoy his dinner, he still felt it oddly inadequate when he walked down to the Reconciliation Room to present it to him.

Rodney was already sitting at the table, across from a steaming cup of tea and a covered plate. "Hurry up, I'm starving. Did you know they wouldn't even let me have a snack while I slaved on your dinner?"

"Testy," John said, and set down his plate and tea in front of Rodney. "Wouldn't want you to get the vapors and faint."

"I wouldn't faint; I'd pass out from manly hunger," Rodney argued and lifted the lid, eyes lighting up as he looked down at his dinner. "This actually looks like it won't poison me. Thanks."

"Any time," John replied, dry. He sat down and lifted the lid on his meal to found a sandwich- made with the closest Pegasus equivalent to turkey and no cheese-with four different fruits cut up alongside it. "Thanks, Rodney."

In the time it took for them to eat their meal, the air in the room got tense. John remembered how little he liked talking about himself or feelings, or anything deeper than which superhero he preferred, and anxiety coursed through him.

"Well," Rodney said, pushing his plate to the side. "Since you're allergic to talking about, well, anything, I guess I'll start. I'm in love with you. Which is why I'm doing this, by the way."

John's eyes widened and he blurted out, "I don't want to have sex with you," before he could stop himself.

Rodney just looked at him like he was the craziest crazy person he'd ever met. "I don't want to have sex with you either?" he said like a question, like he was wondering why they were even talking about it at all.

Taking a deep breath, John looked down at his empty plate instead of Rodney's face. It was easy to just go along with sex when there was no chance of ever seeing the person again, but this was Rodney and this was also marriage. He couldn't be married and be with Rodney if he didn't understand. "I don't like having sex."

"I figured that out ages ago," Rodney said, drumming the three fingers on his left hand against the table. John must have looked doubtful, because Rodney hurriedly added, "Well, okay, Teyla figured it out and pushed me to rescue you from that overly friendly scientist during one of those boring festivals we went to. Point is, I already know and it isn't a problem."

"People say that," John said, because people who liked sex did, but they always changed their minds.

Rodney rolled his eyes. "I don't exactly find you sexually attractive, John."

"But?" John furrowed his brows in confusion. "You said you were in love with me?"

Annoyed, Rodney said, "No one says anything if a person wants to have sex without love - it's practically expected, but if you love someone and don't want sex, it's suddenly weird?"

"Unexpected," John said, "at the very least." And he did think it was weird, because while he knew intimately that you could love someone without wanting sex, he also knew Rodney wasn't asexual.

"Look," Rodney said, pointing at him. "I barely paid attention to any sort of wishy-washy, soft-science counseling sessions I've been forced to attend over the years, but I did figure out enough to not worry that I can't put whatever we are in a perfectly labeled, socially acceptable box."

John didn't really know how to respond, so he just said, "Okay."

"Right," Rodney said, satisfied. "I'm no Doug Gilmour, so don't worry so much."

He had no idea who Rodney was talking about, but he assumed Gilmour was both Canadian, and a bit of a slag.

"You know," Rodney said, looking thoughtfully at his left hand. "When that stupid console crushed my hand, I was so tempted to use nanites to repair the damage. But then I'd look at you, and I knew it never even crossed your mind, no matter how much worse things were for you, and that's what stopped me."

John reached across the table and placed his hand on Rodney's. "Thanks."

"If all else fails, I figured I could get a bionic one made and be like Winter Soldier, except without the mind control and amnesia."

"I figured you'd choose Tony Stark," John said, smiling. "Genius and all."

Rodney scoffed. "Too easy. Also, I don't quite have the ego for it."

"How many truths did that count as?" John asked, choosing not mention Rodney's ego for the sake of peace and not wanting the argument to last for the next ten years. Rodney shrugged, but didn't seem too concerned about keeping track. "Well, okay, here's one: I've...uh...had feelings for you for a while. I'm not doing this just because you asked, or because you're a rebound from Richard."

Rodney face scrunched up. "Who the hell is Richard? I didn't know you were dating anyone."

This time, it was John's turn to roll his eyes. "Richard Woolsey. Your former boss."

"I didn't know his name was Richard," Rodney said, lost in thought. "I thought it was Reginald. Did you know they were originally going to send Sam after what happened with Elizabeth? But they ended up sending Woolsey because they were worried me and Sam would kill each other if forced to be together in close quarters."

John laughed. "After the watching the way you to worked together on the Midway Station, I'm not surprised."


**



"All right," Rodney said, getting up from the table after they'd talked for a few more hours. "I think we've talked enough about feelings. We both care about each other, and we both know that I won't wake up one morning and decide to hump your leg. So, let's consider it a done deal and go to bed."

John nodded. There was only the one bed in the room, but Rodney seemingly had no problem stripping down to his undershirt and boxers and crawling in on the left. John did the same, but his nerves jangled as he got into the bed. His skin was a patchwork of white skin and blue scales, and he rarely let anyone see him without his uniform. John reminded himself that this was Rodney, the person he trusted more than anyone else, and his heart settled as much as it could.

He flattened the wrinkles in the blanket with his hand, taking care not to prick the fabric with his claws. "I like kissing," he said before he could lose his nerve.

Rodney reached over and held his hand. "What else?"

"What do you mean?" John asked, because they'd already had the 'no sex' talk.

"It's not just kissing you want," Rodney explained, showing his genius in a surprising way. "So what else do you need?"

John hated how stupid he felt even talking about this. "Physical closeness."

"Okay, so you want some kissing and manly snuggling," Rodney said, moving closer. "I can do that."

"Have you ever kissed a man before?" John asked, because the last thing he needed was Rodney to rear back in disgust from him if they tried it.

"Yes," Rodney said, but immediately added at John's doubtful expression. "To be honest, I was extremely drunk at the time and didn't realize it until later, but I also didn't go on a rampage, or spend the rest of the morning crying tears of repressed homosexual shame in the shower."

Rodney didn't let him ask any more questions, and simply leaned in and kissed him rather chastely on the mouth, keeping at it for a few minutes. John responded in kind, and couldn't help the surge of relief he felt when he noticed Rodney wasn't hard. After, he pulled John down toward the pillows and let John rest his head on Rodney's chest as they embraced. "It's my job to worry, you know. If you keep this up, I'll have a mid-life crisis and then where will you be? It'll be okay. We'll stick things out here, and eventually those jerks back on Earth will wise up and we'll both go home."

Despite hearing time and time again to not lose faith, this was the first time John actually allowed himself tohope. Tomorrow, they'd eat breakfast, share one last truth-John was going to admit to preferring Nightwing to Robin-and then they'd place their hands on the panel and watch it light up brightly. They'd settle into the community and find ways to prevent boredom and refuse to give back the Jumper. Teyla and Ronon would visit and bring them coffee and chocolate and eventually they'd bring news they could go back home. He believed. "You keep telling me you're always right. Guess I'd better listen this time."

**

Date: 2012-12-22 09:06 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] popkin16
I love this ♥ I like the idea of a Retreat for people in the Pegasus Galaxy - with all the weird stuff that happens, you'd think there'd have to be one! I like your take on John and Rodney's relationship - this part really rang true to me: "No one says anything if a person wants to have sex without love - it's practically expected, but if you love someone and don't want sex, it's suddenly weird?"

I also quoted this part to my friend, because it made me laugh out loud: "To be honest, I was extremely drunk at the time and didn't realize it until later, but I also didn't go on a rampage, or spend the rest of the morning crying tears of repressed homosexual shame in the shower."

I think this is a very sweet relationship, and I'm really glad the boys have found each other ♥ They'll definitely make it work, and John will most definitely make it back to Atlantis :D

Date: 2012-12-22 11:55 am (UTC)
tarlanx: (McShep - Xmas2007 anim)
From: [personal profile] tarlanx
Enjoyed this story very much :)

Date: 2012-12-22 12:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] saffronhouse.livejournal.com
this is really lovely! complex and deeply sweet. plus: "who's Richard?" hee!

Date: 2012-12-22 06:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scarlettandblue.livejournal.com
Another gorgeous story Santa, love this version of John and Rodney, both different and yet really very much the same. Thank you!

Date: 2012-12-22 10:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] starbuckssue.livejournal.com
Lovely story. I'' glad Rodney decided to stay and that they ended up together.

Date: 2012-12-23 01:48 am (UTC)
busaikko: this icon loves this story (* icon loves story)
From: [personal profile] busaikko
Okay! I was traveling, and sleeping, and doing heroic battle with foreign wireless, but I am here now and I have a story and I love it! I have not stopped grinning from start to finish. I love how little pieces of the AU worldbuilding fall together like a puzzle: John never re-converted back, Rodney injured, Sam never in charge of Atlantis... and the Pegasus Retreat, which I'm glad was there for John, to keep him away from the clutches of evil *nods firmly* I love that John and Richard were together, and that they are still friends. Your voice for Richard was very true.

There were so many quotable lines. John thinkingHe really didn't want the last thing he and Richard shared to be a floor show of John's emotional instability because, yes. The way John and Rodney's relationship ( "...look, you're no longer a rampaging, instinct-driven half-man-insect, hell-bent on killing everything in sight, so I don't see the problem."/Rodney, despite being a giant pain in the ass, had always been on John's side, even if he did it in the most annoying way possible) is full of the same needling and joking and sarcasm that we saw in canon, as well as the same depth of feeling. Their exchange of truths and the negotiation of their relationship... so much in here that I love! "No one says anything if a person wants to have sex without love - it's practically expected, but if you love someone and don't want sex, it's suddenly weird?" This is me, still grinning madly! Thank you so much, Mystery Writer! This is awesome. ♥
Edited Date: 2012-12-23 01:49 am (UTC)

Date: 2013-01-04 12:22 am (UTC)
busaikko: this icon loves this story (* icon loves story)
From: [personal profile] busaikko
♥ ♥ ♥ I *thought* when I was reading that you must be someone who knows me very well! (( huge internet hugs )) Thank you so much for giving me just what I wanted!

SGA Newsletter - December 22, 2012

Date: 2012-12-23 04:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] livejournal.livejournal.com
User [livejournal.com profile] neevebrody referenced to your post from SGA Newsletter - December 22, 2012 (http://sga-newsletter.livejournal.com/680037.html) saying: [...] : Don't Need You To Light Up My World (McKay/Sheppard, past Sheppard/Woolsey, G) [...]

Date: 2012-12-23 03:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] that-which.livejournal.com
I second [livejournal.com profile] popkin16's favorite quotes, and I really love the matter of fact way Rodney and John dive in when they know they have to be completely honest with each other about their feelings.

Also, I have to go with Rodney here - much as I love him, Woolsey is really more of a natural Reginald.

Date: 2012-12-25 06:32 am (UTC)
ladysorka: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ladysorka
I loved how subtly you laid out the AU and how you just let the reader infer what the background was. John and Rodney's voices were excellent, and there are tons of awesomely quotable lines here. I really enjoyed this.

Date: 2012-12-27 02:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rissabby.livejournal.com
I'm happy with all these competent Rodney stories for secret Santa. Five truths is a lot of truths to tell. I hope for a happy return for them.

Date: 2013-01-01 06:04 am (UTC)
ext_442067: (adorkable)
From: [identity profile] squidgiepdx.livejournal.com
That was a really unique and interesting take on Conversion. Very cool!

Date: 2013-01-01 11:20 am (UTC)
ext_15707: (Heart McShep)
From: [identity profile] aqualegia.livejournal.com
I enjoyed this story very much.

Date: 2013-01-02 01:03 am (UTC)
danceswithgary: (Default)
From: [personal profile] danceswithgary
Lovely story of the bond between the two! :-D

Date: 2013-01-04 10:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mific.livejournal.com
Really enjoyed this - Rodney's determination to stay with John, and then gradually working it out. Also I now know who Doug Gilmore is!

Date: 2013-01-04 11:59 pm (UTC)
ext_384643: (John at gate)
From: [identity profile] sexycazzy.livejournal.com
Really really enjoyable! :) Loved it from the start to the end! *g*

Date: 2013-01-06 07:01 pm (UTC)
runpunkrun: batman looking grim in a santa hat (he knows if you've been bad or good)
From: [personal profile] runpunkrun
I really enjoyed this. It has a quiet, reflective mood -- despite John's efforts to the contrary -- and it's clear how much his team love him and how much faith they have that he'll be allowed to return home. I liked the John/Richard relationship, and the way John and Rodney negotiate their changing friendship. Wonderful story.

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