Percantator (1/1)

Title: Percantator (1/1)
Rating: R
Characters: Ancient!John/Rodney
Warnings: no. 29  in the Ancient!John 'Verse; "The Return, Parts 1 & 2;" mentions of genocide, sex.
Summary: In which there is much talking and little is resolved
Notes: "Percantator" is "questioner," my internet is still funcky, and I've all sorts of conflicted feelings about this one. much love to popkin16 for putting up with me during this.

An Ancient!John Story

"You know, this is not how I pictured our reunion going."

"It's not?" John asks wryly, swinging his legs a little as they dangle over the edge of a dusty workbench. "'Cause it seems kinda appropriate to me. Why?" He leans bodily across the table to snatch up the Rubik's Cube that had been doubling as a paperweight in the corner farthest from him. "What d'you imagine?"

Rodney levels his 'amator' the most exasperated look in his arsenal over the top of his laptop. "Don't be stupid."

"Oh, no, I'm assuming it was sex, I just want details. I for one had planned on pushing you up against the nearest convenient flat surface and getting us both off as fast as possible," he says utterly casually, the better part of his attention on solving the Rubik's Cube. "To take the edge off, y'know, before we stumbled into bed for real and had the kind of slow sex your movies insist on calling 'making love'."

Rodney chokes on his own breath. John has to know by now that he can't just 'say' things like that - but he wouldn't be John if he didn't.

"But this is nice too," he continues. "I mean, don't get me wrong, it's not sex, but I missed this."

"You missed," he manages, tone littered with disbelief, "loitering in my lab while I try to save the galaxy from the latest crisis inspired by your species' tragically genetic stupidity?"

"Yeah," John says in a way that implies that his question is too ridiculous for words and he is only answering because of the equally ridiculous amount of fondness he has for him. "I like hanging out with you."

Dryly, "You like watching me stare at a computer screen for hours."

"That's what I said."

Rodney shakes his head. "We've got to find you a hobby."

"This is my hobby."

Of course it is, Rodney thinks, manfully resisting the urge to roll his eyes by keeping them firmly planted on the lines and lines of Ancient code scrolling across his computer screen. "A better one."

"I like it."

"Of course you do," he says - or, at least, that's what he means to say. The words that tumble out of his mouth end up being, "What on Earth did you do when I wasn't here?" instead.

There's a beat. Then, "Yeah, let's not go there."

"Oh, no. You don't get to pull that card," Rodney insists, pressing the lid of his laptop closed. "Not with me. Not this time.

"I'm okay with you not talking about everything that happened before you went into stasis," he continues. "I really am. I'm okay with not knowing anything but the broadest strokes about your father and all the emotional abuse he put you through, or what happened between the two of you that made your megalomaniac of a cousin hate you so much, or a single thing about your ex-girlfriend beyond the fact that she 'existed' and apparently wanted to 'have a baby' with you. I can live with all of that. My species was still figuring out the finer mechanics of farming at the time, so its not like I have a leg to stand on insisting that you tell me every little thing about your life back then, and it's not like you've ever asked about 'my' past partners or anything, so, yeah.

"But 'this'," he gestures between them, "this is something we have to talk about."

"No, it's really not."

"Well too bad. I love you, John, but you can't just make these big, sweeping decisions about our lives and our future together without consulting me."

"I'd hardly call not wanting to talk about what happened while you were gone a 'sweeping decision'," he says dryly, still not getting it.

"It is," Rodney persists. "It is when you 'never' talk to me. About 'anything'."

John raises an eyebrow, more amused than aggrieved. "What d'you call what we're doing now?"

"Stop being an idiot! I know it's a habit and I know you think you have good reasons for it, but I actually want to have a serious conversation with you, so stow it and 'talk' to me for once."

"Fine," John crosses his arms. "What do you want to talk about?"

"How about whatever it is you don't want to talk about?"

"How about we go back to talking about sex?" he offers instead.

"Sex isn't the answer to everything."

"Then you've obviously not been trying hard enough."

"Obviously not," he bites out, "because maybe then you wouldn't have packed me off back to Earth like I was some kind of fu- some kind of tinfoiled damsel in distress."

There's a sharp intake of breath. "You know-" John begins, and there's odd tone to his voice, too hesitant for the conversation Rodney wants to have. He's angry at John- No, he's downright furious at John for doing this to him, to them, and he wants this to turn into a screaming blowout that ends with thousands of dollars of broken lab equipment and maybe deven a bloodied lip or two. It's not that he wants a fight, but they need to have it out so they can get back to what they had before this mess. It's desire for equilibrium and nothing more, and John's not helping anything because he's just being too damn 'nice' and-

"I hate you," he finds himself raging instead. It's only when his chair clatters to the floor behind him he realises he's standing, but it's a distant understanding, mostly lost to the white haze of his anger. "Do you have any idea what it was like for me back on Earth without you? Without Atlantis' song in my head? I was going out of my mind, popping pills right and left so that I could at least think straight, rather then feel like my brains were attempting to crawl out of my skull with a plastic spoon. It got so bad that I invented something to shove into my head on the off chance it would keep me from being locked in a psych ward!

"And it's all your fault! You 'know' what it's like to have everything you've ever cared about ripped from you, and you did it to me anyway. Only worse, because I had to 'live' with the fact that you and 'Lantis and Rory and this whole little crazy family we made for ourselves was still out there, but you just didn't want me anymore."

"I-" John begins-

-but Rodney doesn't let him finish. "You know what the worst part is?" he asks instead and refuses to give John the chance to answer. "The fact that I keep 'letting' you do this to me. I'm the smartest person in two galaxies. Once the Stargate program is declassified, I'm going to have so many Nobels that we'll have to give up a wall of your library to house them all. I should be smarter than this, but I'm obviously not because you do this every time and I 'know' its going to happen and I'm 'still' surprised by it. Every. Single. Time."

John sets the Rubik's Cube down and slides off the bench. The movement puts him far closer than Rodney expected, and, huh, he must have moved at some point himself, which means he's basically been shouting in John's face for God alone knows how long. And John - who'd massacred over a hundred of his own people while Rodney was away; who's spent his whole life fighting a war that's torn him out of time and taken from him everything he once held dear, yet has not only managed to survive, but thrive; who has all the power of a thunder storm, an earthquake, an atomic bomb at his disposal - is just
'letting him do it'.

"Stop it," he snaps.

"Stop what?" John asks, and, yes, there's genuine irritation in his voice now. "You're the one yelling."

"Yes!" he exclaims, snapping his the fingers of both his hands. "That! Exactly! Why am I the only one yelling?"

"'Cause I've no idea what I'm supposed to be yelling about! The only thing I'm getting out of this conversation is that you, apparently, hate me now. What d'you want me to do? Get down on my knees and beg for you to stay? I love you, Rodney. I love you so much that I'd rather have you alive and safe and hating me than dead and loving me. 'Cause I don't regret any of it - any of the things I've done to keep you and everyone else in this city safe. I'm not going to say I did just to keep you from leaving me."

"I'm not-!" Rodney shouts. Then, catching himself, he continues at a moderately more reasonable - but still far too loud - volume, "I'm not trying to leave you."

"Then what," John yells back, confusion and resignation having given way to genuine irritation, "are you trying to do?"

"I'm trying to get you to 'talk' to me."

"About what I did while you were one Terra."



"Because I love you, you idiot! I can barely watch a movie anymore without wondering what you'd think about it, so of course I want to know things were as awful for you this last month as they were for me. I want to know everything about your life before - not in some sort of creepy anthropological way, but because I want to know about 'you' and all the things you think I wouldn't understand or would take the wrong way or just won't want to hear. I want the whole ugly history of everything that went down with you and Helia, and all the things your father said to you to make you think saving the universe is your job and yours alone. I want to know why you're terrified to ask anything more from our relationship than what we already have and all the things you keep locked away in that floppy-haired head of yours. I'm talking hopes and dreams here, and the stupid little things you want to wake me up to tell me but don't because you think I need my sleep more. I want all of it, but I'll take whatever you're comfortable talking about so long as you're actually saying something that 'matters'."

"Sex matters."


Exasperated, "Look, I get what you're asking," John says, hands coming to rest lightly on Rodney's hips, "but you know everything that matters already. Telling you about all that stuff doesn't change anything. It's not important. You're important. Sex is important. What's happening now matters But the past..." He tugs Rodney closer and presses their foreheads together. "It's just the past. It can't hurt us if we don't let it. So let's leave it dead and cremated and move on with our lives best as we can."

"I still want to know."

"Why?" he asks, and it's hard to remember that John isn't flesh and blood, that he isn't as fragile as he sounds, that he's never been anything less than the most dangerous person Rodney's ever met, if only because he holds in his hands the power to break his heart.

"'Because it's you," Rodney tells him, and that's all he intends to say, it really is, because he's pretty sure John's got the idea now, and that maybe they'll be able to really talk to each other now and keep things like the last month from happening again. Because it's best to take little steps with John, because he's uncomfortable with anything wide or grand or sweeping, and even the smallest discussion of feeling can have him running for the hills. Because he really has missed John all these weeks and want to take advantage of the fact they're alone together to actually have the sex his 'amator' has planned out so well, dead-man's programs and the rest of the universe be damned.

Instead he continues and the words, "Marry me," come tumbling out of his mouth to ruin the equilibrium they've managed to achieve.

Yeah Rodney, cos marriage is a tiny tiny step...

Love the ranting though. One can totally see where Rodney is coming from.
:D thanks bb. i'm not entirely happy with how this one went down, but I'm glad it was still enjoyable
Oh, John. Rodney wants to know you because he loves you stupidly. I can see John' side, that the past is done and unimportant, but I also see Rodney's side: your life experiences make who you are, and he wants to know more about John.

Ugh, this little fic just reminded me why I love these two so much. MY OTP ♥

yay! You liked it. like I said, I was so WORRIED about this one.

And, yes, I had to leave it there. Because that is the perfect ending....

Actually, in the original version I'd planned of this, before I decided John was going to Ascend, I'd John going back to Earth with the Expedtion, and Rodney spending like half the time there trying to convinece John to marry him, and John only agreeing in like the second before they gate from Midway back to Atlantis between "The Return" parts 1 & 2. But obviously I never got anywhere close to writing that, 'cause of how things turned out.
You had nothing to be worried about, bb. Rodney's reaction to being sent to Earth was very believable, as was John's baffled reaction to Rodney's yelling and desire to know more about John's past.

Haha, wow. Lots has changed from your original idea, though that would have been a fantastic read too XD
so much has changed from my original idea for this season that it's riddiculous. But I like the direction I've decided to take instead, even if it nearly kills me every time.

still, I'm glad you enjoyed. and thought it was believable. There are times when you stare at your own writing for so long you start to lose faith in it.

and is your icon supposed to be a hint for the next one?