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Fic + Art: Remember When

SGA - Savor
Title: Remember When
Author: danceswithgary
Pairing: Rodney McKay/John Sheppard
Rating: G
Warnings: None
Spoilers: None
Word Count: 2250
Archive: Fine, just let me know
Summary: John tells a story about two men, a chair, and an orange fleece jacket. Set in the Screen Savor 'verse, but may be read as standalone.


Remember When



Teyla waited until the other volunteers stored the last of the boxes inside the second bedroom and only her team remained before presenting her housewarming gift. With a smile, she waved away all protests that she needn't have gone to the trouble. The Athosians had long held the tradition of gifting new householders, and she was pleased that she had the opportunity to carry it over to two of her dearest friends.

The package was small - no greater than Rodney's smallest laptop - and carefully swaddled in a piece of blue cloth that Teyla thought matched both Rodney's eyes and the sky John loved. She had briefly considered requesting a larger size but, from personal experience, she'd known that the smaller a valued item the more likely it would survive relocation.

"Teyla, it's…it's…." Rodney's inarticulate murmur as John tugged the cloth free brought a pleased smile to Teyla's face. John's delighted grin was confirmation that she'd chosen well.

Curious, Ronon leaned over Teyla's shoulder and asked, "Who'd you get to paint it? Lorne?"

Teyla smiled and nodded. "Yes, Evan was quite happy to work with the photograph I supplied, after secrecy was no longer required to protect John's position. He is now working on another of Kanaan and Torren."

"Have to see if he'll do one for me and Jennifer," Ronon rumbled. "You take good pictures with that camera McKay gave you."

"You really do, Teyla. It's from that night on the beach when we caught those fish. Right?" John glanced up from the small canvas in Rodney's hands; his eyes alight with the memory.

Clearing his throat, Rodney looked up and answered haltingly, "Yes…it is. I remember…thank you, Teyla. And thank Lorne for me…us, too."

Stepping forward to touch foreheads with each of her teammates in turn, Teyla murmured, "It was my pleasure, Rodney, John. I hope this represents the first of many such remembrances of your lives together."





During the first year on their new homeworld, the Athosians had discovered small fish with spawning habits similar to smelt. In the years that followed, the villagers celebrated the ocean's bounty with a communal supper before gathering around small fires along the beach to wait for the moonlit fishing to begin. Teyla had taken advantage of the occasion to negotiate some much-needed team downtime, claiming her people would appreciate some assistance and that Atlantis would reap a portion of the catch.

Bellies full of tuttleroot soup and tava bean sweetcakes, her team appropriated the furthermost firepit, settling down on either a log or a blanket spread on the rough-edged shingle. Rodney immediately began complaining about splashing about in wet sneakers and cold water.

"That's what the fire's for, McKay." Ronon tossed a pebble in Rodney's direction, laughing at the resulting squawk. "Run doesn't last long anyway."

The answering elevation of Rodney's chin was no surprise to Teyla. "Just remember that I'm willing to help catch, but I'm not cleaning them. I already spent the day working while certain others I could name were playing the wrong kind of football with children."

"Hey! They like American football!" John protested from his sprawl at Rodney's feet.

Teyla intervened with a smile. "Your improvements to the smokers were much appreciated, Rodney."

"Yes, well, I have been known to enjoy a kipper or two for breakfast in the past," Rodney admitted with a huff. "I'm looking forward to sampling a Pegasus version."

"I am certain we will return with enough for more than a few meals," Teyla assured him. She turned her attention to the small pack slung over her shoulder. "I should return your camera. Thank you for allowing me to take some additional photographs of the village and my friends. You will email them to me as before?"

Rodney raised a hand in refusal. "No, no, keep it. It's…I actually bought that one as a gift for you after I saw how much you liked using it the last time we were here. I know you don't get to visit as often as you like and…." He broke off with a shrug, color rising in his cheeks as John patted his leg in approval.

"I do not know what to say." Teyla felt a catch in her throat at Rodney's thoughtfulness and she left her log to walk around the fire to his side, narrowly avoiding stepping on John along the way.

Rodney rose to meet her, and they touched foreheads as he whispered, "Say nothing. Just enjoy it."

"Thank you, Rodney." She nodded and backed away to her seat, smiling downward when John added, "You did good, buddy."

"Well, I must say it's definitely chillier out here now that the sun's going down." Rodney scrubbed his hands along his arms before nudging John with a foot. "I guess I'd better bite the bullet and put my damn fleece on. Hand me that pack, would you?"

John sat up with a groan and relinquished the backpack he'd been using as a pillow. Teyla wondered at the scowl on Rodney's face as he rummaged through the pack and pulled out a bright orange jacket she'd never seen before. She was even more puzzled when Rodney grumbled, "Good thing no one will be able to see it once it's dark."

"Is something wrong?" Teyla asked with a frown, concerned by Rodney's sharper-than-usual temper.

Rodney yanked the maligned piece of clothing over his head without unzipping it first, leaving his hair in a state of dishevelment usually exclusively John's. Still grumbling in irritation, he returned to his log, swatting John's hands away when John reached up to restore the fine soft strands to their normal tidiness.

"Rodney?" Teyla patiently waited for her answer, the familiar byplay having coaxed a smile to her face.

"I deliberately left this behind when I packed for the first trip to Atlantis," Rodney huffed as he dropped the pack next to John. "However, it seems that the last time we went back for IOA reviews, 'Stickyfingers' Sheppard stole it out of the closet in my apartment." His eyes narrowed as he watched John pull a jacket from his own backpack to slip on.

"I didn't steal it. I was being thoughtful and I packed it for you." Teyla chuckled when John ducked his head to hide his grin as he admitted, "In my duffel."

"Fine, you didn't steal it." It was clear to Teyla that although he'd granted John that skirmish, Rodney wasn't ready to concede the battle. She exchanged an amused glance with Ronon and settled in to wait out the bickering. "However, you did force me to bring it for tonight."

John's raised eyebrows made his opinion clear. "Forced you?"

Rodney crossed his arms as he ranted back, "Well, what would you call it when all my other jackets mysteriously vanished after you appropriated that black fleece you're now wearing…."

"Hey, you gave it to me because I was cold after mine got chewed on by that goat…rabbit…thing." John tugged on the sleeves of Rodney's former jacket and positioned the collar so that the shirt underneath was visible. Teyla had to admit to herself that the contrast was pleasing to the eye and John had chosen well 'borrowing' Rodney's clothing.

Rodney was not ready to agree, continuing as if he hadn't been interrupted. "…leaving me the choice of courting hypothermia or wearing this thing. Well?"

"I'd call it being sensible?" John looked up from the blanket he was rearranging, obviously as puzzled as Teyla by Rodney's reaction over something as simple as a choice of jacket.

Rodney's lips thinned as he searched for a reply, then he finally muttered, "Try infuriating." His shoulders hunched inward, as if to protect himself, and Teyla found it hard not to ask why.

Ronon didn't share the same scruples. "Why so upset, McKay? Keeps you warm, right?"

"It keeps me quite warm, thank you, and it was also a very shrewd purchase when you consider how easily someone could end up lost out in the ice and snow of Antarctica." Rodney's tone was still defensive, but a little calmer as he expanded on his agreement. "High visibility was an important factor to consider along with loft and weight, hence the orange which otherwise would never have entered my possession considering its association with one of the banes of my existence."

Ronon grunted and tossed another branch on the fire. "So what's the problem?"

"Yeah. Spill, buddy. What's got you wound up so tight?" John settled back on the blanket to look up at Rodney's face. He reached out to touch Rodney's knee in what Teyla believed a mute apology for crossing over a line he hadn't thought important.

Rodney huffed once before explaining, "Obviously someone like you or Ronon has never been the butt of jokes like, 'Question: How can you tell the difference between a traffic cone and McKay?' Answer: The traffic cone manages to tell you where to go in less than two hundred words.' That was just one of many. I'd already dealt with enough of that juvenile humor as a fourteen-year-old college student and I didn't see the need to provide the opportunity for more on Atlantis." His voice had lowered to a mumble during his confession and he avoided making eye contact with any of his team.

"What's a traffic cone?" asked Ronon.

The question caused John to snicker and, after a moment, Rodney joined in. After the laughter subsided, John pointed out, "See? That right there proves the joke was stupid to begin with."

Rodney's voice was noticeably lighter when he agreed with John. "Of course they were stupid jokes. Consider the sources."

Teyla was glad Rodney's anger was lifting and she applied her own balm to an old wound. "I think the color is quite flattering, Rodney. You should wear that jacket more often."

"I wanted to see you in it because it reminds me of the first time we met," John confessed, sitting up and shifting closer so he could nudge Rodney's legs with a shoulder.

Sensing a story, Ronon did some nudging of his own. "You were in that Ant-whatever place, too?"

"Yeah, flying helicopters. One day I was bringing O'Neill in and Carson fired a drone at us." John grinned up at Rodney. "I outflew it, of course, and then later on I sat in a chair."

Rodney rolled his eyes, adding, "Completely disregarding General O'Neill's orders not to touch anything."

"A chair like the one in Atlantis?" Ronon asked.

"Exactly the same. Threw me when it did its thing and I ended up looking at the ceiling. Then this obnoxious guy in an orange jacket came in and told me to think about where we were in the solar system. There was this incredible light show, which made the obnoxious guy pretty excited. Next thing I know I'm flipping a coin to decide whether to go through the gate or not."

Teyla smiled in satisfaction at the conclusion. "And we are very glad you did, John."

It quickly became apparent that Rodney wasn't as pleased with the story. "If I'm so obnoxious, why did you want me to wear this and remind you? For that matter…."

Teyla was thankful for John's quick response. She didn't want the evening to end with Rodney storming away from the fire. "Because it proves first impressions aren't always right, genius." John's next action supported his claim. He settled down in front of Rodney, nudging Rodney's legs apart in order to sit between them. "C'mon. I'm still cold and you're warm and cozy."

"John? This is not being discreet." Teyla noticed how Rodney looked around anxiously to determine if anyone outside the team was watching, and it hurt her to witness his apprehension over a simple display of affection.

"Relax. Ronon and Teyla know, remember?" John tipped his head back and smiled. "They're the ones who pointed me in the right direction."

"But the others aren't very far away. I don't like having to hide any more than you do, but all it takes is one person…." Teyla watched with interest as John shook his head at Rodney and whispered what she thought sounded like "Mer." Rodney subsided with a sigh and allowed John to relax inside the circle of his arms. "Fine. It'll be dark soon anyway, and Ronon happens to resemble a wall big enough to hide behind."

At a nod from Teyla, Ronon shifted to make sure he blocked John and Rodney from casual observation. "Better a wall than a closet," he retorted.

"Did you just make a joke about…?" Rodney sputtered in disbelief while John just chuckled.

Ronon shrugged. "Been listening to some of the Marines. They think the rule's stupid."

"Stupid or not, it could get John sent back to Earth if someone says something to a bigot in his unenlightened military and they decide to…." Rodney snapped back.

John interrupted the oft-repeated complaint with a stage-whispered, "Shhh, I'm trying to take a nap here."

As the four teammates subsided into silence, Teyla watched John sink a little deeper inside Rodney's sheltering arms, his eyes slipping closed. Rodney remained strangely quiet, as if reluctant to disturb the rare peace, his gaze seeming focused on distant memories. It struck her how unusual it was for her to see the two of them so still together outside of injury and that contentment suited the pair.

She decided to put Rodney's generous gift to good use.



Click for Full-size


Sequel: Turn the Page

Series Index: Series Index

Notes: Written for mcfleece. Icon and wallpaper are available for personal use - I only ask that you credit me so others know where they might find others to enjoy.

Standard Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters herein. The characters of Rodney McKay and John Sheppard as well as any supporting characters are the property of their creators and MGM Television/Sony Pictures Television/Associated Production Companies. Any deviation (or deviant behavior) from the originals, however, is mine.

Feedback is both welcome and appreciated.



Comments

( 48 Danced — Dance with Me )
spazlady2002
Dec. 26th, 2009 01:13 am (UTC)
very nice. Thank you for this lovely pic and fic!! It was very sweet. Thanks for sharing. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.
danceswithgary
Dec. 26th, 2009 01:46 am (UTC)
Thanks for letting me know you liked it and Happy Holidays to you too!
michelel72
Dec. 26th, 2009 01:59 am (UTC)
This is sweet. I like that John and Rodney have very different associations for the fleece and that they resolve them so gently.
danceswithgary
Dec. 26th, 2009 02:49 pm (UTC)
Good thing John knew how to 'handle' Rodney's escalating crankiness and defused the bad memories. :-D Glad you enjoyed and thanks!
sunnyd_lite
Dec. 26th, 2009 02:01 am (UTC)
Fun -- love McKay carefully NOT packing the orange fleece! Course love the snuggling more
danceswithgary
Dec. 26th, 2009 02:50 pm (UTC)
Snuggling makes everything better. :-D Glad you liked it and thanks!
chris_king_2005
Dec. 26th, 2009 02:07 am (UTC)
Oh, that's lovely - both the pic and the story that goes with it.

danceswithgary
Dec. 26th, 2009 02:50 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much for letting me know you liked it! :-D
d_odyssey
Dec. 26th, 2009 02:44 am (UTC)
Sweet story to go with the beautiful picture. Love how Rodney softened up while telling the story, how John snuggled into Rodney and Ronon and Teyla getting the story out and protecting the boys. Well done.
danceswithgary
Dec. 26th, 2009 02:54 pm (UTC)
I liked exploring the different ways they all 'remembered' and internalized certain events. Glad you enjoyed and thanks!
ailurophile6
Dec. 26th, 2009 03:19 am (UTC)
that was very sweet, and the picture is gorgeous :)
danceswithgary
Dec. 26th, 2009 02:52 pm (UTC)
So glad you liked them! *twirls* Thanks!
silver_cyanne
Dec. 26th, 2009 04:29 am (UTC)
Aww, this is nice and warm and cozy, love the boys and the team love too.
danceswithgary
Dec. 26th, 2009 02:56 pm (UTC)
Ending up warm and cozy was the way to go - glad you enjoyed! Thanks!
elayna88
Dec. 26th, 2009 04:39 am (UTC)
Aw...that was so sweet! It makes me smile.
danceswithgary
Dec. 26th, 2009 02:54 pm (UTC)
Glad I could make you smile. Thanks!
adafrog
Dec. 26th, 2009 05:49 am (UTC)
Great story, thanks.
danceswithgary
Dec. 26th, 2009 02:50 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much for letting me know you liked it! :-D
outsideth3box
Dec. 26th, 2009 05:58 am (UTC)
The picture is beautiful. And the story, I love when Teyla and Ronon look out for their teammates and give them peace and safety in which to relax.

&hearts very much.
danceswithgary
Dec. 26th, 2009 03:00 pm (UTC)
Warm and cozy is always better when your team is there to make sure you're safe. :-D Glad you liked it and thanks!
winter_elf
Dec. 26th, 2009 06:15 am (UTC)
Very sweet fic, and I loved the picture to go with it
danceswithgary
Dec. 26th, 2009 02:51 pm (UTC)
So glad you liked them! *twirls* Thanks!
esteefee
Dec. 26th, 2009 08:49 am (UTC)
Awwww. I'm sure John would've kicked the asses of anyone making traffic cone jokes if he'd heard about 'em. I loved that he was being sentimental, and the image is so sweet.
danceswithgary
Dec. 26th, 2009 03:02 pm (UTC)
John will definitely make sure his Rodney can wear the orange fleece 'safely' in the future - so he can keep the warm and cozy. :-D Glad you enjoyed and thanks!
aqualegia
Dec. 26th, 2009 10:39 am (UTC)
Lovely picture and a great story to go with it.
danceswithgary
Dec. 26th, 2009 02:51 pm (UTC)
So glad you liked them! *twirls* Thanks!
londonsabre
Dec. 26th, 2009 10:46 am (UTC)
Oh this was wonderful!
danceswithgary
Dec. 26th, 2009 02:51 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much for letting me know you liked it! :-D
mayachain
Dec. 26th, 2009 02:57 pm (UTC)
That is so awesome, leaving me all warmed up inside!
danceswithgary
Dec. 26th, 2009 03:03 pm (UTC)
Warmed up is perfect for the season! Thanks!
mezzo_cammin
Dec. 26th, 2009 09:45 pm (UTC)
Oh, that was just lovely! I love the idea of John snuggling in Rodney's arms, and Ronon and Teyla being protective - as always, your voices are so well done it's like seeing part of an episode! :o)
danceswithgary
Dec. 26th, 2009 10:31 pm (UTC)
'Hearing' that I've captured their voices is a thrill. Thanks so much!
gottalovev
Dec. 26th, 2009 10:31 pm (UTC)
awww, that was really sweet! I love it!
danceswithgary
Dec. 26th, 2009 10:31 pm (UTC)
So glad you enjoyed it - thanks! :-D
sexycazzy
Dec. 28th, 2009 08:30 pm (UTC)
I just loved that! :-)

Loved the bickering between John and Rodney about the orange fleece! :-)

Thank you!

Edited at 2009-12-28 08:30 pm (UTC)
danceswithgary
Dec. 28th, 2009 10:13 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much for letting me know you liked it! :-D
margec01
Dec. 31st, 2009 08:57 pm (UTC)
I really liked this. Great story and picture!
danceswithgary
Dec. 31st, 2009 09:36 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you liked the chilly night snuggling and the remembering. Thanks! *twirls*
roxymissrose
Feb. 12th, 2010 08:44 pm (UTC)
omg! I *LOVED* that!! Stop it, you!!

But the others aren't very far away. I don't like having to hide any more than you do, but all it takes is one person…." Teyla watched with interest as John shook his head at Rodney and whispered what she thought sounded like "Mer." Rodney subsided with a sigh and allowed John to relax inside the circle of his arms.

Hokey smokes! That just knocked me right over! What the heck, that was sexier than anything else I've read lately!
danceswithgary
Feb. 13th, 2010 12:36 am (UTC)
Stop what? *blinks a few times innocently*

I shall seduce you into the McShep with my warm fuzzy stories and the occasional hotness, bwahahahaha. *giggles*

Thanks!
gyri
Mar. 13th, 2010 04:49 pm (UTC)
I love the image of John sinking down into Rodney and his eyes slipping closed. Teyla's observation of the two of them so still and contented....this was lovely.
danceswithgary
Mar. 13th, 2010 05:16 pm (UTC)
They have to hide so much of themselves, it's nice when they can relax a little. Glad you liked it and thanks! :-D
mirror_mirrin
Jun. 10th, 2010 11:38 am (UTC)
John does look good in the black fleece. Another lovely manip. This is just gorgeous. John somehow manages to look bashful here.
danceswithgary
Jun. 10th, 2010 03:08 pm (UTC)
They are both handsome men in their own way. *nods* Glad you liked this and thanks!
fanomy
Jun. 25th, 2010 12:51 pm (UTC)
Good story, I love this 'verse.

Doesn't it sucks that SGA & SG1 were over before the Change in policy?
danceswithgary
Jun. 25th, 2010 12:55 pm (UTC)
It does, then again, we do have fun making our own policies. :-D Thanks!
qzee
Sep. 19th, 2010 05:29 am (UTC)
I just love Lorne's painting and the scene that explains how Teyla came across a picture that Lorne could use to base the painting on. The scene is soft, cozy and warm, like the fleece must be, and romantic as the boys probably would deny being. Very snuggly fic.
danceswithgary
Sep. 19th, 2010 07:23 pm (UTC)
The mcfleece challenge does seem to inspire snuggles. *grin* Thanks!
( 48 Danced — Dance with Me )

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