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14 February 2007 @ 07:21 pm
Fic: Weird As It Isn't (PG)  
Title: Weird As It Isn't
Author: R. Tom Mato
Rating: PG
Series: Not So Imaginary
Warnings: um..slash?
Notes: The end. Except for the epilogue. Which I haven't even started. I was hoping this part would work out and I think it did. I hope y'all like it.


It was a week after the last Daedalus visit, on what the inhabitants of Atlantis had decided was Valentine's Day (though they were probably off by a couple days, give or take). Couples were exchanging presents ordered from Earth and a few departments were having get-togethers because it was of like mind that any opportunity to celebrate pretty much anything was taken happily. John had his own tradition (three years going!) with his team. It consisted mainly of the chocolate they had picked out of catalogs and ordered and them lounging around in Rodney's room trying it all. The excuse was that they were showing Ronon and Teyla new things, but seriously, *chocolate.*

Ronon had asked for a chocolate orange once and Rodney had all but physically smacked him with the catalog. John had ordered one secretly and when it came in had told Ronon to eat it in his quarters and to brush his teeth before he saw Rodney next because, scarily enough, he would *smell* it and they'd both be in trouble.

It was the height of his Valentine's Day and he was happy for it. In fact, he'd just been on his way to find Rodney to make sure he hadn't been stealing from their team stash when said scientist found him and thrust a startlingly pink, heart-shaped box in his hands without so much as a hello.

"You'll note that I took out the ones you don't like," Rodney stated proudly, gesturing to the box. "I knew you wouldn't mind because you give them to me anyway. I replaced them with the little round ones I usually trade you."

John stared at the box of chocolates as Rodney spoke, his mind taking a moment to realize that his best friend had just given him candy. Valentine's candy. In a *heart-shaped box.* He hoped his face wasn't as warm as it felt. They'd never given each other anything on Valentine's Day before. It was a team thing, getting all different kinds trading the chocolates back and forth. That was completely different from actually *giving.* It was pink!

"I just thought it was a good idea," Rodney continued, shrugging but not losing his smile. "And, to me at least, you've been giving me chocolate for the last few years and until now I've been unable to reciprocate. To you it's been decades and that's even worse. It's a good thing there's no interest on this sort of thing."

Now John was sure he was blushing. The reason *why* he had given Rodney chocolate surfaced fresh in his mind. He had to swallow past the lump in his throat before he could reply. "Thanks." The word was strained in the effort it took to keep his voice from wavering. He felt six and emotional and needy again.

Rodney's smile slipped a little and he stared at him uncertainly. "You *do* still like those ones, don't you? I mean, you had no traumatic incidents that send you into catatonia at the mention of chocolate in the last year?"

"What? No!"

"So you like them?"

John held the box of chocolates a little closer in case Rodney decided to take them back. "Yes."

"A little reassurance would be nice. Would it be so hard to say 'thank you, Rodney'?"

The other man's smile returned as something even smugger, if that was at all possible. It made John want to say something to send Rodney into a rant, anything to get that knowing-but-not look off of his face. No words came but an idea did, and later, John still wouldn't know what had made him think it was a good one. Perhaps part of him believed he could laugh it off afterwards.

He leaned forward, pressing his lips against Rodney's too firmly, too ungracefully to be anything to take seriously. He lingered a moment, selfishly, and pulled back. He did *not* lick his lips. "Thank you, Rodney," he parroted, his flippant tone ruined by the high pitch his voice took.

Rodney was staring at him and hey, John did manage to get the smugness off his face. "That was..."

"A thank you," John insisted.

"Thank you?"

"For the chocolates."

"Chocolates." Rodney gave a dazed little nod and hadn't looked away. It was making him nervous.

"I'll see you after dinner, right? Everything ready?"

The change in topic gave Rodney something else to grasp and John could see him returning to normal. "Of course it is. Ronon's been bugging me all day, asking if they all came in."

"Great!" John grinned and started down the hallway to the transporter. He felt like a run. "I'll see you then."

"All right," Rodney replied, voice echoing after him.

He walked quickly all the way to the transporter, checking that the hallway outside his room was empty before doing a half-walk half-jog and thinking the door open early so he wouldn't have to even slow down. He wasn't freaking out; Rodney wouldn't take this any further than the teasing he'd meant it to be. The box he set on his desk, lifting the lid off to see that it was indeed filled with the ones he liked so much. It was almost comical looking, with some of the square choclates sitting unevenly in the round holes that had contained the ones he really would have just given to Rodney. Sitting on the edge of his bed, John shook his head and quickly exchanged his boots for his sneakers.

John had never doubted that he had loved Rodney, no matter how many people dismissed a young child's emotions as silly or somehow inferior to their own. That hadn't changed, and he loved the slightly more bitter, socially awkward Rodney he'd followed to Atlantis as well. What surprised him was that about a year in, after still losing Ford no matter how *hard* he'd tried to change it, he found himself becoming *attracted* to his friend. He had always wanted Rodney to kiss him when he was younger, but that was because that was how he knew people who loved each other acted then. As he grew older his knowledge had grown and he'd learned that love had categories. He hadn't really thought of it much because it hadn't lessened how he'd felt back then.

Suddenly, though, kissing wasn't where it ended. He wanted Rodney over him and in him and the combined fact that he'd never been attracted to men before in the first place and that this was his *Rodney,* for god's sake, shook something inside him violently. He'd tried to distance himself and things had just gone downhill from there. They had found and lost Ford again, the Arcturus project had him screaming into his pillow at the betrayal he felt and his own uselessness at being unable to prevent it (Rodney had never even told him), he'd been turned into a *bug,* Ford had *captured* them, and then he'd gotten himself stuck in a time-dilation field for six months.

Six months was a long time to think when you had nothing to do but wait. He knew they'd come for him (though he didn't know when) and John had pretty much given up on changing history because somehow it always ended up how it was in the stories anyway. All he could think about was Rodney. Eventually he made peace with his feelings and accepted them, but told himself he'd never act on them. Easy enough when Rodney wasn't even there.

By the time his team had come for him John had worked things out, but during the next few weeks he realized just how badly he'd damaged his friendship with Rodney. It had taken the months up to their second anniversary in Atlantis to get it even close to where they had been. Their habit for barely escaping those imminent-death situations had a hand in it, he was sure, because John could never entirely get rid of those 'what if's that hovered in the back of his mind.

He wasn't pining; he'd done that. Just having Rodney around was enough for him. They were best friends, though even that didn't feel enough to describe them. This was the happiest he'd ever be and he was so, so grateful. He stood, pulling off his uniform jacket and draping it over the chair at his desk, then opened the door and stepped out of his room.

Rodney grabbed him by the arm and dragged him back in without pausing in his stride. The door shut in a decisive manner and John saw the privacy lock go on.

"Rodney," he started, but was cut off by a sharp motion from the other man.

"Hush, I'm still thinking," Rodney told him, eyes narrowed as they stared at John. "I didn't expect to get here so quickly."

John nodded, eyeing his friend warily. He knew he shouldn't have stopped to change his shoes.

A very long, awkward moment later, Rodney nodded, taking a deep breath. "All right. I knew, from the first day we met, that we would either end up loving each other or trying to kill each other. Now we do have our off days and no matter what trouble we tend to get into off world I don't think the near-death experiences are intentional. I never could place my finger on it before, but there was something between us.

"My little adventure into your childhood answered a lot of that. You already knew me, so of course you'd get along with me. Still, there was something else I couldn't figure out but I've recently, as in just now, come up with a solution...weird as it is. So just close your eyes."

John's eyebrows shot up. "What?"

"Come on!" Rodney huffed. "I'm not going to hit you or anything. This will just be a lot easier if you're not staring at me like that."

John wanted to say that he wasn't staring 'like that,' whatever 'like that' was. The pleading look Rodney gave him had him closing his eyes, half waiting for a punch and half waiting for...something else.

He nearly jumped when he felt hands cupping his head and he had to squeeze his eyes shut to keep them from flying open. Rodney's thumbs rubbed at his temples until he relaxed, then slowly, slowly pulled him forward without any resistance and kissed him.

Part of John had been expecting this, hoping for it. One thought had dominance over all the thoughts whirling in his head and that was that this was *Rodney.* Rodney, his best friend, was *kissing* him and one of his hands was moving down John's side and curling over his hip and sending shivers up his spine. John's own hands hung restlessly at his sides, fingers twitching, and he brought them up to lie flat on Rodney's stomach. He felt the muscles contract and clutched at the material.

Rodney broke the kiss and John could feel his breath. "Too weird?"

He shook his head, leaning forward and bumping their lips together again. It shouldn't have surprised him as much as it did; this was Rodney. It wasn't weird at all.

crownglass39: thoughtcrownglass39 on February 15th, 2007 01:25 am (UTC)
This is wonderful!
This, though, is my favorite part:

Rodney's thumbs rubbed at his temples until he relaxed, then slowly, slowly pulled him forward without any resistance and kissed him.

So very nice!
melaganmelagan on February 15th, 2007 01:33 am (UTC)
I've loved every moment of this

melaganmelagan on February 15th, 2007 01:34 am (UTC)
I've loved every moment of this

Sera: mineseratonation on February 15th, 2007 01:46 am (UTC)
*flails* yay! yes yes yes! it definatly worked! just awesome! to tell the truth I was worried it would be wierd but no not at all, it was perfect!

PS would still like the epilogue :D:D
Bethybethynyc on February 15th, 2007 01:53 am (UTC)
Awwwwww so sweet!
The Future Mrs. John Crichton: war games//sgaicantfollow on February 15th, 2007 02:14 am (UTC)
I love this series, and this was a great addition. Warm and cuddly :)
Sweeneybird: DH Axesweeneybird on February 15th, 2007 02:18 am (UTC)
I love this story like a big chocolate loving... thing. And you did this perfectly, because of COURSE John loves him, but the whole kid thing could have been wicked icky, but you handled it beautifully and sweetly and did I say big BIG chocolate loving thing?
charlies_dragoncharlies_dragon on February 15th, 2007 02:37 am (UTC)
Awww! So sweet :) This is a lovely ending (but I still want the epilogue *g*). Thanks for writing it and sharing it with us all.

libra_travellerlibra_traveller on February 15th, 2007 02:46 am (UTC)
This is the part I've been waiting for forever. You did it wonderfully, and I adore it. I especially love John blushing when he got the chocolates.
adafrogadafrog on February 15th, 2007 03:53 am (UTC)
This was beautiful. Thanks.
jade_dragonessjade_dragoness on February 15th, 2007 05:05 am (UTC)
What a wonderful way to end the entire story line. Talk about coming full circle. *sighs happily* I adore this series.

I think I need to reread the entire thing again. *runs off to do so*
snowflake25snowflake25 on February 15th, 2007 05:30 am (UTC)
Oh. My heart hurts that there is only an epilogue some time in the future. I've loved this series. Thank you for writing it.
Crystalweasleysangel on February 15th, 2007 06:35 am (UTC)
awww i just love these so much i can't wait till the epiloge hehe
springwoofspringwoof on February 16th, 2007 03:47 am (UTC)
love this series. ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
you're wrapping it up in a very satisfying way,too.
Raiiningraiining on February 16th, 2007 04:26 am (UTC)
Ah, and we get the kissing for Valentine's Day!

Thank you :) What a wonderful addition to the series.
Divineway: David Happydivineway on February 16th, 2007 06:06 am (UTC)
lover'd it! Now I'm all mushy!
Tora: SGA McShep withyou weasleysangeltorakowalski on February 16th, 2007 06:57 pm (UTC)
Aw *sniffs* that was lovely. I was hoping they'd get together but couldn't see how it would work; you got it to work perfectly.
The good kind of bitchy and flippant!: mcshep - pentapus chibis minebluebrocade on February 25th, 2007 04:32 am (UTC)
Lovely! I just read the entire series. I very much enjoyed it. ♥
(Anonymous) on February 26th, 2007 05:50 am (UTC)
Waiting extremely impatiently for the epilogue. Found and read this entire series tonight. Got to say, I'm not usually a slash fan at all but you sucked me in. It was just so damn cute!
buttercuplittlebuttercup on March 3rd, 2007 05:22 pm (UTC)

That's all.
R. Tom Mato: Doubly Blessedvery_rotten on March 3rd, 2007 08:36 pm (UTC)
I got home row! Hahha.

Happy early birthday! Anything particular you wish to see that I have not written yet? >.> And I am glad to be such a bad influence via fic. ^_^

Glad you finally got to read them and liked them!
Pfützenhüpfer: ka-tetmiscellanny on March 16th, 2007 06:18 am (UTC)

That was just lovely. Thank you.
ladyra: ATL Closet Nowladyra on March 31st, 2007 02:23 am (UTC)
Loved it
I loved this series, and was so glad you kept going with it, even though it seemed as if you kept ending it. LOL.

My fave part in the whole thing, though is John shoving lemon cookies down the sink while yelling about Rodney's allergies in Capital Letters. Too perfect.

And I loved how you made it all be due to an ancient doodad. Very clever of you.
longsunday on May 27th, 2007 10:29 pm (UTC)
Okay, so. I have just consumed everything in this series ... I don't even know how I got here ... & I simply have no idea where to start giving feedback except: this? awesome. Love how the episodes are in there, how the team is in there, and everything fits into place. Kid!John pretty much smushed me into pieces. Rodney is brilliant.

& this?
John had pretty much given up on changing history because somehow it always ended up how it was in the stories anyway

may be my favourite line of all. Just. Yes.
R. Tom Matoediblewolfpeach on May 28th, 2007 06:02 am (UTC)
... I don't even know how I got here ...

Eh, the never-ending quest for fic, it takes you to the backwater journals of the internet. XD However, I am glad you saw these and enjoyed it so much.

Love how the episodes are in there, how the team is in there, and everything fits into place.

Those are my favorite types of stories of all. How the fic just blends into the current timeline and doesn't interrupt any of the episode plots. :)

may be my favourite line of all. Just. Yes.

Woo! Yes. lol That's just what I wanted to get across. I like the whole time looping on itself more than the branch universe thing, though both have their advantages.

Thanks for the feedback. Glad you liked it. ^^
Sophonisbasaphanibaal on June 19th, 2007 01:05 am (UTC)
I love every bit of this series to death, and this in particular I am so glad that you handled up to your usual high standards.

Dare one hope that the epilogue will once again be from John's mother's point of view?
R. Tom Matoediblewolfpeach on June 19th, 2007 01:41 am (UTC)
*claps hands* You may yet dare to hope, I know I am. I'm working on it from time to time, making notes of everything. I really, really want it to be from his mum's point of view, so we'll see if I manage.

:) I'm very glad you like this; I hope the last lives up to it. Thanks!
Sûlien: McShep lovesulien on July 16th, 2007 11:47 pm (UTC)
I just sat here and devoured this series in one sitting, and I'm glad I did. This is absolutely wonderful! Sorry I can't come up with anything more critical or coherent, I'm just so blissed out on all of the warm fuzzies. Thank you for sharing these stories!
green_grrl: SGA_JR_rplusjgreen_grrl on September 2nd, 2007 06:45 pm (UTC)
EEEEeeeeee!!!! I love this so damned much! Rodney's snarkastic influence on kid!John is unbelievably cute, and their grownup friendship/relationship is made of win. ♥
xanphibian on October 5th, 2007 06:27 pm (UTC)
*smiles and smiles and smiles* What a wonderful story!
iolandaiolandasblog on November 7th, 2007 08:14 pm (UTC)
Loved it
Soooo sweeeeet. Loved it that much :)
dreaming_k: shield by McKaydreaming_k on November 30th, 2007 10:50 am (UTC)
The best ever!!
hooker 13: snarky candy-coated space loveamberlynne on December 4th, 2007 03:34 am (UTC)
Oh, this whole series was just adorable beyond words. I bet John was the cutest kid *ever*. I love that it was just a little bit Calvin & Hobbes but still completely Atlantis. Very very cool!
Typo Queenvexed_wench on March 18th, 2008 06:50 pm (UTC)
I just finished this series and it is so adorable, one of my new favorite finds.
horridporridhorridporrid on May 5th, 2008 01:49 am (UTC)
What a sweet and whimsical story. :) I really enjoyed this a lot.
(Anonymous) on June 21st, 2008 11:06 pm (UTC)

What a terrific story! I've really enjoyed reading it.

X-parrot: sga mcshepxparrot on August 10th, 2008 06:13 am (UTC)
This is an adorable series! Rodney would make a fascinating imaginary friend (even if it must've freaked out John's parents, what John would know), and it's fun to see John dealing on Atlantis for all that time that Rodney didn't know. Also love that Rodney told Teyla & Ronon already, because of course, his team, who else would he talk to?
eternal_dolor: cityeternal_dolor on October 7th, 2008 04:58 am (UTC)
Truly awesome story! It was a pleasure to read
insufferable know-it-allbironic on February 18th, 2009 11:51 pm (UTC)
Just found & read this whole series - so sweet! And almost exactly the right time of year, too. :)
outsideth3box: SGA McShep Gazeoutsideth3box on April 16th, 2009 07:18 am (UTC)
I love this series.

What a sweet ending.
winterdayswinterdays on October 13th, 2009 06:44 am (UTC)
That was just so amazing and sweet. I loved it.
Kaz: NoblePaiting (Sheppard)kazbaby on February 3rd, 2011 01:01 am (UTC)
I'm torn right now. Happy that they finally kissed but sad that I've reached the end of the stories in this 'verse.

The entire thing is wonderful. ♥
All I wanted was a pony....: www.manopoly.comwanted_a_pony on February 3rd, 2011 08:22 pm (UTC)
Awwwww. :: watery sniff :: That was a lovely transition for this series--from all the becoming-befores to the finally-now-togetherness (tho' I'm sure it will take these 2 doofs quite some time to really settle into together--I think Teyla & Ronon will have occasions to be exasperated ;-). I was sort of surprised that it was Rodney who took the lead in giving John another valentine, & in kissing gently-for-real. I guess I expected John to step forward, since he'd grown up with the idea of loving Rodney after all; but of course, he would be all self-sacrificing & "noble", wouldn't he? Silly goober. They deserve each other.

Thank you very much for writing & sharing these stories. I hope you still intend to write the epilogue; I think it would be a hoot for John's parents finally meet Rodney, & of course I'd love to see John & Rodney comfortable together & enjoying each other as adults. :-D
rissabby: Hero in blueStarlight Rodneyrissabby on March 21st, 2012 10:18 pm (UTC)
Here via SGAstoryfinders.
Delightful series of stories. I don't know why I missed them back in '07, but I'm glad to have found them now.