Fandom: Stargate Atlantis
Pairing: John Sheppard/Rodney McKay
Prompt: Elements -Water 2/5
Word Count: 500
A/N: Written for stagesoflove. Sorry it’s so late, major computer issues. Spoilers for Rising. Follows Earth in the Balance
The jump through the Stargate looks like you're walking through a vertical pool of water, but it feels like stepping into the cold unknown.
They've tried to prepare them for this -- especially those who have never made the leap offworld -- but really, like orgasms, it's really only explicable once you've experienced it. Descriptions don't quite do it justice.
Even at the last second, as he's about to cross over, John has second thoughts. It's the look on Rodney's face that pushes him through. He's only known Rodney a relatively short while, but already the thought of never again having that enthusiastic presence in his life is unbearable.
"Unbearable" is a word some would use to describe Rodney himself, but John has never found this to be true. Difficult, yes, but well worth it. Like an artichoke, it takes effort to get past the abrasive parts, and find the soft, hidden heart of the man.
John doesn't know what he's expected, but it definitely wasn't this. Atlantis is cool blues, and calm greens that soothe nerves frazzled from such a long journey Clearly an Ancient equivalent of Frank LLoyd Wright had a major hand in the design. Somehow, that makes it both disturbingly alien, and reassuringly familiar.
It seems like no time at all that everyone has scattered into a controlled chaos, exploring their surroundings, and powering up the city. It kind of feels like the first day of camp, or the seasonal unveiling of a home by the sea. John almost expects to find "Bunk Five was here" scratched into a wall someplace hidden.
The thought makes him grin. Sure, Colonel Sumner already has it in for him --so much for making a fresh start in this place, light years from Afghanistan, and all of its ghosts. Yes, there are bound to be things he'll miss from Earth. They could bring so few non-necessities, and he's sure they've forgotten something vitally important. But none of that matters, when he has Rodney's excitement to buoy him up, and a new community of smart, brave, and really cool people in which to grow..
John can feel when it changes, even before Rodney's near panicked words tell them to stop what they're doing. Their grand adventure has turned to shit in the space of a moment. The thought of all that water pressing in on them leadens his limbs, but he doesn't let it show. He can panic on the inside.
It isn't until afterwards, when they're all safely looking at the ocean below, that
it dawns on him: Rodney may have acted like he was this close to losing it, but his actions never faltered. John always knew Rodney was smart, but until now it had been an abstract thing, not something of practical value, like being a crack shot, or being able to safely fly through enemy fire. John discovers what it truly means to be evenly matched.
When they steal a moment's privacy, the pressure of weight and water surrounding John comes from Rodney's brilliant mouth.