There are more questions than answers (clockstopper) wrote,
There are more questions than answers

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Man it feels like I haven't written these two in a long time (threesomefics not withstanding). This one's a little sappy, but I like it. Also I think I'm gonna go to sleep after this. Man, today was exhausting and tomorrow promises to be the same. Just happy I got some writing done in the meantime.

Title: The Important Thing
Author: Clockstopper
Fandom: SGA
Rating: PG-13
Prompt: Better late than never
Warnings: Spoilers for 3x10 The Return, but it's a future!fic so not much to warn about
Disclaimer: I own nothing. SGA and all it's characters belong to someone else.
Summary: Rodney glares at his back, but says nothing because it’s clear John knows about his pathetic stalker tendencies.

He stands there in front of the door.

He’s going to knock, any second now he’s going to knock and John’s going to answer the door, probably give him that charming ‘glad you could stop by, hope you don’t stay too long, not that I’ll tell you that’ smile.

Colorado’s surprisingly cold for this late in the year. It’s summer, technically, in most parts of the world. Area 51 and Nevada being a few of the places that seemed to have gotten the memo.

Rodney’s never really liked warm whether, too much sun for him to ever enjoy it. He did grow up in Canada after all and did most of his schooling in colder climates. Colorado really is nothing.

He wonders how John can stand it though, the cold. John’s not a man to be shut in with a cup of cocoa and a roaring fire. John likes the sun, likes the way it feels on his skin. Likes beaches and surfing and skateboarding until he falls down and makes something bleed. Likes to be a beach bum, sitting there in his oddly colored lawn chair with his big aviator glasses that Rodney loves and hates at the same time.

Rodney knows this. John’s dragged him to Tahoe and Lake Havasu enough times to know that John’s all for the warm weather.

It’s just another way they’re different.

There are more ways, many more ways and Rodney knows that. Has taken that into consideration and it’s the reason he’s not knocking on the door right now even though the weather has to be reaching some really low levels.

Another being that when John opens the door, he’s going to have to hobble, maybe walk with crunches or a cane or something and Rodney doesn’t like how it makes his heart twist in really funny ways to see John hurt.

He thought it would happen less as they got older, but it only got worse because old bones break more easily, take a long time to heal and John’s started to let the pain show more and more with every passing year.

Rodney can’t blame him. He hit forty-five four months ago and for John that had to be some kind of milestone. One he probably thought he’d never reach.

They’d only been back on Earth for a year, not long enough to form any attachments really and Rodney’s learned not to think about that too much because he’s still very much in love with a floating city and all its wonders.

He had thought, after making it past the eight year mark, that they’d be in Atlantis until the rest of their days. But then, they weren’t and Rodney’s can’t even clearly remember why anymore.

His psychiatrist, who has total SGC clearance, but is balding and male and not nearly as nice and experienced as Kate when it comes to these things, says that it’s things like that that worry him. That Rodney should be able to remember the details of the most painful experience of his life.

At which point Rodney had yelled at him if he had even ever experienced loss like Rodney had and had stormed out of his office.

But everyone’s alive. Everyone’s safe and it took five months to convince all of them that this hadn’t been a temporary thing, that they weren’t going to have to race off and save the day and then came the depression.

Elizabeth had really been in and out of mental institutions, mostly for stress related problems before leaving the SGC entirely to live out her life in outer Mongolia or something. Rodney’s not entirely sure on the details, but she sends emails, her smiling face in all of them surrounded by kids or wild animals or diplomats so Rodney guesses she’s happy.

Carson works for the SGC, which is still running and sending people through the gate in a top secret manner. He says he likes the quiet but hates being under a mountain. Something about not entirely trusting the whole cave in really not a problem line that General Landry gives him every once in awhile.

Radek went back to the Czech Republic. He sends Rodney emails from time to time about the various projects he’s doing. Rodney doesn’t know how he could go from the greatest job in the history with the most awesome toys ever to working with science that they proved wrong that first time through the wormhole.

He says it’s comforting, being normal and not having the secret, but Rodney suspects he just misses his home and people who speak his language and had been willing to take anything. He teaches too, from what Rodney has heard and Rodney never got that, but Radek says it’s fulfilling.

As for the rest, Rodney sees people occasionally. Most went to Area 51 or the SGC and he’ll say hi when he’s there to consult. He surprises himself by who he remembers, but then he figures that he spent eight years of his life fighting space vampires and living life with them and it’s not so weird anymore.

John says Teyla and Ronon radio in once a month, give a report of the status of the Pegasus and, if John’s really good, Landry will let him talk to them.

Rodney’s not sure how he does that without feeling like punching something.

He sighs, breath showing in a puff of cold carbon monoxide in front of him and he lifts his hand. He’s really going to knock this time. He’s starting to look like a stalker, standing in front of John’s door for the good part of a half an hour and Rodney has to wonder why some of John’s more noisy neighbors haven’t called the cops yet.

He hesitates. Puts his hand down and lets out a frustrated sigh before picking up his hand again and he’s really gonna knock now, hand pulling back and he almost makes contact with the door when it opens.

John stands there, smirk on his face and Rodney looses his balance for just a second before he straightens himself.

“Oh… um… I was just about to knock.” Rodney says.

John raises an eyebrow and hobbles away from the door and Rodney had been right about the crutches.

“Sure you were.”

“I was, hence the almost falling flat on my face.”

“Hmm… which I’m sure could have been avoided by knocking thirty minutes ago.” John says.

Rodney glares at his back, but says nothing because it’s clear John knows about his pathetic stalker tendencies. He walks inside the house, a house he’s spent a lot of time in considering they live pretty far away and Rodney has to fly to get here.

He knows the layout better than his own place, a drab apartment he moved into right after coming back and has furnished with all his old stuff. It’s messy and probably a little stale considering he falls asleep at his desk most nights, but it’s a place to store all his crap.

John’s place looks lived in, comfortable and inviting and not stylish at all because John’s a guy, but it’s homey. It feels like a home.

Rodney remembers when he bought it. Remembers the wide smile on his face, telling Rodney it had been a pretty perfect place before he had dragged Rodney out of the airport and drove him to see it.

‘It’s nice.’

‘Nice? It’s amazing.’

‘I’m seeing the outside of the house, Sheppard. It’s nice.’

‘Just wait until you see the inside. It’s the best place ever.’

It had been the first time Rodney had seen John smile since Atlantis, so he indulged him. Had nodded and smiled whenever John had gotten giddy about a particular part of the house and he had even had Chinese food on the carpeted floors with John.

“So, why were you standing out in the cold for so long? You could have just knocked. I would have opened the door for you.”

“If you knew I was out there, why didn’t you say something? I was freezing out there.”

“I was just wondering how long you could stand the cold. Thought after thirty minutes that the game just wasn’t any fun anymore.”

“Glad I could be entertainment for you.” Rodney says as he flops down on the couch.

It’s a very comfortable couch, one Rodney’s sure John had bought just for it’s comfort level.

“Want something to drink?” John asks.

“No, you should sit anyway.”

John rolls his eyes, but slowly lowers himself down onto the couch.

“Yes, mother.”

“Carson said you broke it.”

“Well, doesn’t feel broken.”

“Carson said you were in so much pain that he had to knock you out with morphine.”

“Carson also lies.”

“So the morphine wasn’t real.”

“He gave it to me, but it didn’t knock me out.”

Rodney frowns.

“Carson said that you’re still on valium for your leg.”

“I think Carson needs to go back to ethics class.” John says.

He may look angry, but Rodney knows that he’s not really. He’s surprised by how easy it’s gotten to read John over the years.

“Don’t get mad at him. I practically begged.”

John cocks an eyebrow.

“Alright I blackmailed.”

“You blackmailed Carson. With what?”

“If I told you, I wouldn’t be able to hold it over his head anymore.”

John shakes his head.

“Rodney you don’t have to be…”

“What? Worried? I don’t have to be worried. Is that what you were gonna say, John?”

He sees John flinch just a bit at the sound of his name because Rodney so rarely uses it, could probably count on one hand how many times he’s used John’s first name in the nine years that they’ve known each other.

“It’s nothing.”

“You keep coming back with more breaks and bruises and cuts and… and for what? For the war against the Orii. The one I was under the impression we’d stopped a long time ago. Or the Wraith in a totally different galaxy. Of the small factions of Gou’ald still around. What are you fighting for, John?”

“It’s not that easy. I can’t… I can’t just leave.”

“Well why the hell not?” Rodney says a bit petulantly.

“Because it’s my life. This is it. I’m a soldier and they send me out and I fight and that’s it. No more jumper rides over the ocean or lazy days at the best beach in any galaxy. No waking up to the ocean or cities that light up under my fingertips. This is it.”

“You really miss Atlantis so much that you’re willing to get yourself killed.”

“I’m not going to get killed. People have been going through the gate for years, people much older than me.”

“Not people that almost lost their leg.”

That part is fuzzy to Rodney too. He remembers the war. Remembers the Wraith and he can’t believe that they accomplished something the Ancients couldn’t. That they some how managed to get the Wraith down to a manageable number and then it had just been a fight to the death.

Rodney thinks he had probably been doing something scientific and brilliant, or at least that’s what the accounts of those desperate days had said. Rodney doesn’t even really know anymore.

He’d lost contact with John for six hours. Six long hours that had gone on and felt like an entirety and wouldn’t it just be like John to find a way to break the space time continuum, but Rodney had had to focus, had to figure out a plan and he remembers Elizabeth telling him that over and over again.

He thinks he probably had come up with something, him and his team, and he remembers Radek’s disbelieving face when it had been all over. Remembers the way Ronon had hugged him for a good five minutes and the cheers and laughter and tears.

He remembers the clean up, finding all the bodies, Wraith and human alike and Carson had to work through the day and night before some had to sedate him because he wouldn’t stop, had yelled that he couldn’t stop.

He remembers finding John, barely alive and buried under bodies and he remembers the surgeries that had been needed. Remembers pacing and not being able to sleep and the shield he’d had with him, Ronon and Teyla and Elizabeth all standing with him and they had that same dazed look as well.

John wakes, he remembers that moment, John wakes and he says he feels like crap and he asks if they won and it had been cheers and laughter and maybe a few tears as well before life had started to get back to normal.

Except it hadn’t.

Except, Landry had stepped through the gate, big grin on his face as he had politely explained that he was very happy that they had won the war and that he was very happy that they’d found useful technology to use against Earth’s many and sundry bad guys, but it had cost way too much money to keep Atlantis running now that the Wraith were gone so could you please pack up your lives and leave.

He thinks he remembers Ronon strangling Landry, but that could have been wishful thinking.

“I didn’t lose it.”

“But you could have.”

“Yeah and I could have gone down in a fiery blaze in a malfunctioning puddle jumper.”

“That would never happen. I kept those jumpers running like magic.”

John smiles, maybe leans into Rodney a bit, but Rodney doesn’t push him away.

“Yes you did. You were always good at fixing things around the place.”

“We have to get over it John.”

“Your new shrink tell you that. I thought you said you yelled at him.”

Rodney snorts, reaches out to John and John’s right there, despite protesting that he never would be, that he’d think twice about it, John’s right there. Like he needs to be grabbed and Rodney wants to grab him and hold on tight.

And he thinks John might let him this time.

“Yes, but I think, and you better get this on record because I will never say it again, he’s right about this instance.”

“How do you get over loosing your home?”

“Natural disaster victims do it all the time.”

“Wow, Rodney you don’t go for the tact at all.”

“The point is, they get over it. They remember that the most important thing is that they’re alive. Alive, you remember alive right. It’s the opposite of dead, dead, very absolutely blown up to bits dead.”

“Sometimes I feel like I’m missing.”

It’s vague, but it’s such a John thing to say. Half answers and not so whole truths and Rodney still has a bit of a problem with that because he’s so used to saying whatever whenever.

“You’re not missing. You’re right here.” Rodney says.

He’s not sure if it’s the right thing to say but then John looks up at him, softness to his eyes and something else Rodney doesn’t know the name of.

“Right, here. With you. Funny how that turned out.”

“Funny ha, ha or funny oh crap I can’t believe this is my life.”

He says it jokingly, but he thinks the hitch in his voice gives him away. Looks down at his lap and he sees John grab his hand, feels him squeeze it and he looks over at John’s face.

“Just funny.”

“Well, Elizabeth did always say we’d end up old and complaining together.”

John nods.

“Well she’s always been pretty smart.”

“I want you.” Rodney blurts before he can stop himself.

John smirks.

“I’ve never been that far away, Rodney.”

“Are you kidding me? Even when you’re close, you’re far.”

“Not with you.”

Rodney’s about to protest to that, about to say that of course with him, with him the most, but then he thinks about it. Really thinks about it and he knows, just knows that John really hasn’t been that far away. Not from him or Ronon or Teyla or Elizabeth or Carson or even Radek at the end there. Rodney had just been so used to seeing him that way for everyone else that he forgot.

“I want you to quit the SGC.”

“Ha, now see that’s funny in the crap way.”

“John, I’m serious.”

“And do what, Rodney? Be your kept man. I don’t think so.”

“Oh please you have more back pay then you know what to do with. You could never be kept.”

“I like this place.” John says, his head on Rodney’s shoulder and Rodney thinks this should feel weird, but it doesn’t.

Doesn’t because they’ve been this close before, never in Atlantis, but after on the various visits Rodney’s made to John’s place since they’ve been back. A year and Rodney thinks he really should have clued in before now.

“I do too.”


“It’s better than my apartment.”

“So, what, you wanna move in? Live out the rest of our years bickering over who has to take out the trash.”

“Please, you’ll always take out the trash in a desperate attempt to be macho. There will be no arguing about that.”

“You’re just gonna uproot your life like that.”

“Not much of a life.” Rodney says a bit bitterly.

John frowns at him and Rodney’s not sure why he does it, but he leans down. Kisses John because he’s wanted to do it for such a long time and it’s better than he imagined it, better than he dreamed and John’s mouth is so warm and wet and John’s kissing him back and Rodney knows it’s not for any other reason than because John wants to.

“Not compared to what I’ll be getting.” Rodney murmurs against John’s lips.

“Sappy, and here I thought you were terrible at relationships.”

“I am so you better take this while you can.” Rodney says.

John laughs and he laughs as he kisses Rodney and this kiss is more chaste, quicker but not at all less passionate.

“There’s a catch.”

“No more off-world missions. In fact you should probably retire from the Air Force anyway. Don’t think you totally homophobic military could deal with us sharing bills and having amazing sex.”

“What makes you so confident it’ll be amazing?”

Rodney gives him the ‘are you really that stupid’ look he’s perfected to an art and John gives him a curt nod.

“Right, but what am I gonna do, Rodney.”

“You could work for the SGC as a civilian contractor.”

“Like you?”


“And what are you gonna do? You’re not gonna be able to leave the SGC.”

“Maybe I could strong arm them into giving me a job. I mean I did save a galaxy.” Rodney says.

John smiles.

“And if that doesn’t work out?”

“Look I’m the negative thinker here, okay. So start thinking positively.

“That’s my line.”

“Well use it. I don’t want to think about all that.”

“Not very Rodney thinking.”

“I don’t care. John, I’m old.”

John shakes his head.

“You’re not old, Rodney.”

“No, I’m old and I’m tired and I’ve had enough of not having this. I’m not good at denying myself at things. In fact I’m really bad at it. We’re going to make this work because I’m a genius and that’s how I do things.”

John smiles and squeezes Rodney’s hand again and Rodney hadn’t even realized that they were still holding hands. Hadn’t realized that they were actually going to do this and it doesn’t scare him nearly enough as he thinks it should.

“Nice pep talk. Really, very motivating.”

“Shut up.”

“Hmm… right.” John says as pushes Rodney down to lie on the couch and he lies out on top of him.

“I’m serious John. Took me long enough to get here.”

“Yeah, you’d think a genius like you would have been able to figure it out.”

“Shut up.” Rodney says, but he’s smiling and he’s pretty sure that John knows that he’s smiling.

“Well, the important thing is you got here.”

Rodney wraps an arm around John’s waist and just feels, John on top of him and the stillness that’s invading his body.

“Yeah, that’s the important thing.”


Tags: 10clichefics, john/rodney, sga

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    So, um, some Con pictures. Yup, that's right, Con pictures. Most are Comic Con and like three or David Hewlett close ups (there's a fourth, but I…

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