The Hardest Thing About Writing Slashy Smut is the Pronoun Confusion
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Wordclaim50 fic: Nothing That Can Wash You Away John/Rodney fic Rated R 
18th-Feb-2006 11:30 pm
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Title: Nothing That Can Wash You Away
Author: Clockstopper
Rating: R for some bad words and smutty mentionings
Fandom and Pairing: SGA John/Rodney
Claim and Prompt: Epiphany Word: Smooth
Warnings: A few Spoilers for Grace Under Pressure and Trinity, but I think that's pretty much it. And I don't know if this should be in the warning section, but it's a little schoompy and a tad bit angsty and there's almost character death... just almost
Notes: I realized that I had to do some wordclaim50 stuff and I really wanted to do another SGA fic. And I was listening to music and not doing much of anything and this popped up. ENJOY

“I love you.” Rodney says.

It’s not exactly the hearts and flowers confession that people long to hear, but this is Dr. Rodney McKay and really John wasn’t expecting much more. He knows that Rodney loves him, has known for a long time, but it’s nice to hear.

Nothing that Can Wash You Away:

“You could have died.”

They’re the first words that John hears Rodney say clearly. He’s been babbling for the past hour, going from yelling to screaming to whispering to just plain muttering and John wasn’t sure he’d actually heard half of the things that had come out of his mouth in the past hour. Of course that’s really par for the course when it comes to deciphering Rodney. John even tends to block out big chunks of the conversation just because.

“You could have died.”

John’s not sure what Rodney’s getting out of repeating the words. It’s not the first time that John could have died since they’ve come to the Pegasus galaxy and really it’s not going to be the last. John suddenly feels the intense urge to remind Rodney of this, but thinks better of it when he looks up into Rodney’s eyes.

Something about the scattered look in them, like Rodney’s just figured out the last piece to some great puzzle that he’s been trying to piece together for years. John decides to just let him come to whatever conclusions he’s going to come to on his own.

“You could have died.”

He repeats it again only this time there’s some sort of hurt and anguish in his voice that it makes John want to get off of the small narrow bed that Atlantis infirmary has provided and wrap his arms around Rodney as tight as he can.

And John really doesn’t want to remind Rodney that he was right there with John and that he could have almost died as well. Rodney still hasn’t seemed to grasp that which is weird considering it’s usually the first thing he grasps onto usually.

But so far he hasn’t drawn any attention to the big head wound he’s sporting that’s stopped bleeding as profusely as it had been and is now just sluggishly trickling blood. Rodney’s whole being seems to be focused on John who’s currently lying in a hospital bed with wires and tubes coming out of various places.

Carson said he was okay. That it was just another brush and John’s not so sure he likes the fact that almost getting killed is just a brush in Carson’s book. Whether that has anything to do with it really being a brush or Carson being so weary of the Pegasus galaxy that another one of John’s near death experiences just doesn’t rate too high for him, John doesn’t know. It’s still a little unsettling.

“You could have seriously been dead right now.” Rodney says.

“Yeah, I know, you’ve kind of already said that. And I think you know being in a hospital bed kind of clued me in.” John says.

“No but you don’t understand.” Rodney says shaking his head profusely and he’s starts to wring his hands.

Rodney plays with his hands entirely too much. If John hadn’t been in a hospital bed and had he not only hours before been on death’s door for what feels like the millionth time in the two years that he’s been in Atlantis, he would have gotten some very wrong ideas about Rodney and his hands. He was still kind of getting them as he watched Rodney, all nervous and worried and John wanted nothing more than to ask why.

“What don’t I understand?” John asked.

“All those other times. All those other… suicide missions… I was never there. I didn’t have to see it.” Rodney said.

Which, for the most part, was true. If you were counting only the ugly meetings with death. Sometimes they’d just be in terrible danger and there was always a big possibility that things would turn out okay.

“We’ve been that close before, Rodney. What about the me turning into a Wraith incident.” John says.

“That was totally different.”

John raises an eyebrow at him.


“You weren’t… I mean you were close to death and all but… there was always a way.”

“I think we were pretty much at our last option that time Rodney.”

“I know, but there was always the chance that Carson would come up with something. Carson wasn’t there today.”

He was right. Carson hadn’t been there. It was supposed to have been an easy mission. Something that they’d get back from in one piece and hopefully with new trading partners. Turned out that the people of that particular planet wanted nothing more than to be hostile.

John didn’t remember everything. He remembered what sounded like bullets flying and he remembered feeling a sharp pain. He’d kept his eyes open for as long as he possibly could. Watched as Ronon and Teyla fought their way to the jumper. Rodney must have been the one to drag him to the jumper, but at that point he’d lost hearing. Everything was just so loud around him.

When the made it to the jumper he saw Rodney leaning in front of him. He had been saying something, but John couldn’t hear and suddenly Rodney was gone and Teyla was in his place, her eyes solemn and tired looking and they were moving. Rodney had to have been flying.

He didn’t remember much after that.

“There was just so much… blood.” Rodney says.

“I’m fine. Carson says everything should heal up just fine.” John says.

He’s not sure if he’s trying to convince Rodney or himself.

“You… you passed out. And for three minutes you weren’t breathing and you want to know something, Colonel… those were the longest three minutes of my life.”

John felt that this whole conversation was reaching the point where it was starting to get important. No more blocking out the things that didn’t matter because at this point it all mattered.

“I can understand why.” John says.

He hears Rodney snort, muscles in his shoulders look tense even as John watches him.

“I’ve been where you are, Rodney.” John says.

It’s true. Just a few missions back Rodney was the one in the bed and John was the one standing around nervously and looking for something, anything to do. Rodney had been very cranky and sick for days after the whole puddlejumper incident and John had tried his best to comfort him without arousing suspicion.

“I don’t… I don’t do relationships very well, if you must know Colonel. In fact I’m pretty bad at them. The longest relationship I had was with my cat.” Rodney says.

John smiles encouragingly at him.

“I’m not totally good at the whole thing either.”

Rodney snorts again.

“Please. How could you not be? You’re very… charming… and smooth. Yes charming and smooth and smart and hot and a lot of other really flattering adjectives that my brain can’t think up right now.”

“Just because I’m charming doesn’t mean I’m good at relationships, McKay. I do, on various occasions, tend to fuck them up.”

“You haven’t fucked this one up.”

“Yeah, well, neither have you.” John answers honestly.

Rodney sighs and John watches as he moves to the seat next to his bed. Watches as Rodney takes his hand in his own and starts to stroke the backside. There’s a weirdly huge amount of concentration Rodney’s placing on stroking John’s hand. Like he’s trying to say everything that he can’t by stroking John’s hand.

“I guess I haven’t. I’ve come close to it though.” Rodney says.

John knows he’s thinking about Arcturus and his unfortunate solar system blowing up fiasco.

“No you haven’t.”

“But… I mean of course I…”

“No, you haven’t.” John says with conviction in his voice.

He watches as Rodney takes a deep breath and swallows. He wipes his forehead with his free hand and opens his mouth to speak, but nothing comes out. John watches as his brow furrows and he looks frustrated.

“I love you.” Rodney says.

It’s not exactly the hearts and flowers confession that people long to hear, but this is Dr. Rodney McKay and really John wasn’t expecting much more. He knows that Rodney loves him, has known for a long time, but it’s nice to hear.

But it seems that Rodney hadn’t quite figured it out yet, which is kind of comical when you think about it. Self-proclaimed smartest man in two galaxies and he couldn’t figure out that he’s in love with someone.

“I think I have for awhile. I just… I just figured it out today though. When I… I mean I just… I love you. How could I not realize something as huge as that?” Rodney asks.

He’s starting to berate himself in his head. John really thinks that’s cute. Rodney doesn’t verbally express it that often, but John can tell when he’s calling himself stupid in his head and John usually likes to be the one to tell him that he’s not stupid. It always earns him a smile and a kiss.

“Well, you’ve been busy. Anyone could have missed it.”

“But they haven’t. They all know don’t they. They all know that I love you before I knew that I loved you.” Rodney says.

John tries to shrug his shoulders as best as the tubes and stuff can allow and smiles at Rodney.

“Maybe. I don’t know. I don’t really pay attention to gossip.” John says.

Rodney rolls his eyes and John smiles at him again.

“It’s just… you’d think something as big as this I’d realize. I’ve never really been in love before now and I always thought that when it happened, you know really happened, I would know for sure.”

“Fireworks and that stuff.”

“Well we’re certainly explosive, Colonel.”

“You know no one’s around. It’s okay if you called me John. In fact in my totally helpless state I’d really prefer it if you did call me John.”

Rodney rolls his eyes again.

“You’re going to be milking this whole near death thing for everything it’s worth.”

“The nurses think I’m cute when I’m all wounded. They give me extra Jell-O.” John says with a smile.

Rodney frowns at that.

“You better not pull that wounded act with anybody but me, Lieutenant Colonel John Sheppard.” Rodney says, his tone serious and warning.

John just smiles at him.

“I promise to be good.”

“Yeah, well a promise like that from you really doesn’t count for much. You promise not to get yourself nearly killed…”

“I never made such a promise before.”

Rodney scowls at him.

“Well you should try and make one and then try and keep it.” Rodney grumbles.

“It’s part of the job. You know that.”

“Yeah, well… it didn’t bother me as much when I didn’t know I was in love with you. Maybe I should just pretend like I never had my little revelation.”

“Nah-uh, wouldn’t help. You’ve already had it. You’ve already said it.” John said with a smirk.

“You would think if I was going to fall in love with someone, it would be someone with a little more self-preservation then you have.” Rodney grumbles.

“Well, you can’t help who you fall in love with.”

Rodney shakes his head.

“No, I guess you can’t.” He says and he’s got that look in his eyes.

That look that John sees when Rodney’s pulling an all-nighter in the lab and John just knows that he'll forget to eat so he brings him his favorite foods from the mess hall. Rodney will look up at him, that look in his eyes and lean forward, placing a small kiss on John’s lips after looking around to make sure that there aren’t any scientists anywhere or military. Not that most would care.

It’s that look that John sees when Rodney’s been running on stimulants and coffee trying to fix something and they don’t have much time for anything but a quick dry fuck against some wall somewhere, maybe a quick handjob if Rodney’s not on a tight schedule. And right before Rodney comes, he’ll look at John, that look in his eyes, and John will feel like the only person in the whole world.

It’s that look that John sees when he and Rodney actually have time to themselves and they can take things leisure, long sweet kisses and even longer fucks on a nice bed and they’ll snuggle together afterward, Rodney stroking John’s hair and that look will linger on his face and it’ll be the last thing that John sees before he goes to sleep.

It’s that look that John knows means that Rodney loves him and he’s known that for a long time, but again it’s nice to know that Rodney realizes it.

John smiles at him and Rodney get’s up from his chair, runs his fingers through John’s hair, John thinks that despite all the cruel jokes about how unruly it is Rodney secretly loves it as much as John does, and kisses his forehead.

“Get some sleep.” He whispers.

“You going somewhere?” John whispers back.

John watches as Rodney looks at the chair and then back at John. He can almost see the hypochondriac spiel about back damage beginning to form in Rodney’s head. Rodney sighs and sits back down in the chair taking John’s hand in his own again.

Rodney tries to make himself as comfortable as possible in the chair and John smiles, eyes closing as he tries to get some rest. He just knows that Rodney’s eyes are on him, watching him and John feels a nice warm feeling spread throughout his body.

And maybe it’s not hearts and flowers, but Rodney sitting in a chair, an uncomfortable chair at that, and no complaining… that’s love. And John doesn’t need hearts and flowers anyway.

He’s got everything he needs right in the hospital room with him. And it’s enough.


19th-Feb-2006 07:57 am (UTC)
And maybe it’s not hearts and flowers, but Rodney sitting in a chair, an uncomfortable chair at that, and no complaining… that’s love.

So true! Lovely work.
19th-Feb-2006 08:19 am (UTC)
Picky beta note: it's spelled "passed" out.
19th-Feb-2006 09:59 pm (UTC)
Hmmm... I really should read through my stuff before I post it, but then I say I'm going to do that and I never do. I'm glad you liked this story.
19th-Feb-2006 08:01 am (UTC)
And maybe it’s not hearts and flowers, but Rodney sitting in a chair, an uncomfortable chair at that, and no complaining… that’s love.

Awww.... Sweet, and brought a smile to my face, which is desperately needed. :)

Spotted a typo: John’s near death experiences just doesn’t rate to high for him.

I think that should be too, double 'o'.
19th-Feb-2006 10:00 pm (UTC)
That's like my favorite line of the whole story. Really it is because it's nlike so true and it's not just for Rodney it's for like all sorts of people. Glad it made you smile.
19th-Feb-2006 09:58 am (UTC)
Oh, now that's love all right. *sigh*

What a lovely fic. You captured their characters perfectly and then you had Rodney come to a realisation and blurt out the words after a lot of whining. So good. So good.

*feels all happy and schmoopy now*
19th-Feb-2006 10:01 pm (UTC)
I was afraid Rodney may have come out too schoompy or something. It's really hard to switch over characters some times when you're writing and you're writing different things for different fandoms at the same time. Just seemed like such a Rodney thing to just blurt it out like that.
20th-Feb-2006 12:01 am (UTC)
Trust me, Rodney was spot on. He didn't just declare his love by saying one sentence. No, in true Rodney style it takes a lot of words that come out wrong, to eventually end with the three right words. Perfect.
19th-Feb-2006 02:13 pm (UTC)
Lovely and schmoopy... you've kept them in character and given us such a tender and typically McShep scenario...

"...and I always thought that when it happened, you know really happened, I would know for sure.”... that is so Rodney *hugs*

Thanks for sharing

19th-Feb-2006 10:03 pm (UTC)
Glad you liked it. This is like only the second thing I've written for this fandom and I just love it so and the biggest thing for me is keeping everybody in character so I'm glad you think I did that.
19th-Feb-2006 02:51 pm (UTC)
Awwww! Awww, it's cute! Eeee! :D
19th-Feb-2006 10:03 pm (UTC)
Thanks for reading!
19th-Feb-2006 03:06 pm (UTC)
This is wonderful. I love the image of Rodney holding John's hand and sitting next to him through the night. Thank you for posting such a sweet piece.
19th-Feb-2006 10:06 pm (UTC)
That was actually the image that kept playing in my head as I was thinking of what I would write. I just kept seeing those uncomfortable hospital chairs and Rodney sitting in one all night and not complaining cause of how much he loves John. Thanks for reading.
19th-Feb-2006 04:37 pm (UTC)
Awwww! :D Loved Rodney's revelation heehehe Awesome job!
19th-Feb-2006 10:08 pm (UTC)
I thought it was the funniest Rodney-est way to go. Thanks for reading.
19th-Feb-2006 07:11 pm (UTC)
Love the ending especially.

Great work.
19th-Feb-2006 10:09 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I'm glad you liked it.
19th-Feb-2006 07:39 pm (UTC) - feedback
Awwww. Nice job. Sweet take on it, without going too saccharine. I liked it.
19th-Feb-2006 10:07 pm (UTC) - Re: feedback
Yeah I love fluffy schoomp as much as the next person, but when it enters the cavity inducing realm is when it's just a little too much for me. Glad I didn't go there.
(Deleted comment)
19th-Feb-2006 10:09 pm (UTC)
Good I didn't go overboard. It's nice to know that I didn't go overboard, but that it's still sweet. Thanks for reading.
20th-Feb-2006 01:46 am (UTC)
Sweet and how lovely that John knows Rodney loves him even though it's taken Rodney awhile to figure it out.
17th-May-2006 04:53 pm (UTC) - nothing that can wash you away
Aw! Sweet, and the banter was lovely.
20th-May-2006 03:44 am (UTC)
Very sweet. Thanks.
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