Dec. 3rd, 2008 05:43 pm
Fandom: SGA/SG1 (Watchmen)
Characters: Ensemble (John/Rodney)
Warnings: Spoilers for Watchmen, language
Disclaimer: Not mine!
Summary: Life continues. Always.
Author's Note: Um. So. It's like a Watchmen AU? Complete with lots of spoilers. And it probably won't make much sense if you haven't read Watchmen/don't have any knowledge of it. Also? I am insane.
The first time Rodney sees Lace n' Leather, the world isn't ending. In fact, they're both at the failed first—and only—meeting of what Rodney will always think of in his mind as the Super Friends. Rodney's trying to decide which of his arguments to use for de-bunking Isis' supposed limitless font of knowledge when someone slouches against the wall beside him and says, vowels slow and lazy, "You know, I've always wondered what possessed you to choose a whale as your crime-fighting alter-ego."
Rodney blinks, shaking himself and twisting to look to the side. The mask still doesn't move nearly as easily as it should. He'll have to make yet more changes to the design. Later. For now, Rodney just frowns at the man standing beside him, doing his best to sound dismissive when he replies, "Hello, I'm Orca Two. It's not like I came up with it all on my own."
Lace N' Leather—and Rodney hates himself just a little bit for knowing the man on sight, and hates the newspapers for their constant coverage of the vigilantes—shrugs, taking a quick drink of his punch. He says, lips shiny with liquid, "Seems like a shitty excuse to hold on to the stupid costume to me," and lolls his head to the side to blink insolently at Rodney.
The evening has already been a bust, a complete waste of Rodney's time, and relentlessly stupid to boot. And now he's being insulted for no good reason. Rodney can feel the heat flooding his cheeks. His voice comes out sharp and tight, "At least I'm not running around in my mother's hand-me-downs."
There's something deeply satisfying about the shade of red the tips of Leather N' Lace's ears turn. Rodney smiles, and it feels ugly, but he can't really be assed to care right now. Leather N' Lace jerks away from the wall, shoulders squaring up, and for a long second Rodney thinks they're actually going to fight, right here, and wow, won't the government love that.
That's when fucking Doctor Atom shows up out of nowhere, in that seriously disconcerting way of his and a bright golden flash. Rodney is still cursing and blinking away spots when he hears Leather N' Lace laugh at something Doctor Atom said, and Rodney contents himself with sulking until the pair of them move off.
Later, Rodney sees Leather N' Lace talking with the Colonel outside the building, and watches for a moment, until Leather N' Lace Number One comes running up and freaks out all over the place. Then Rodney shakes his head and goes back to Pequod, resolutely not even considering what Mister Lace N' Leather's opinion might have been on the airship.
The second time Rodney sees Lace N' Leather—John Sheppard, now, and maybe someday Rodney will get used to that—while the world is ending, neither of them realize how close to the end they are. Even with as bad as things are, as bad as things have been, there's not even the shadow of a thought in Rodney's mind about it actually ending. There's no expectation for it at all. Just like there's no expectation that, somehow, his chance meeting with John is going to end up with John staying over at his place.
John doesn't want to talk about what happened with Doctor Atom—Daniel, goddamnit, Daniel, he's human just like the rest of them, for all that he doesn't look it anymore. Rodney supposes he doesn't really blame John. He wouldn't want to talk about it either.
It's odd having another person in the house. For a long time it's been just Rodney, and his gadgets and machines. He's kept them up over the years, even if he no longer has any use for them. Orca is a chapter of his life he closed a long time ago. Thinking about it barely hurts at all anymore.
Still. There's another person in the house now, moving things in the kitchen, and wanting a tour of all Rodney's toys. There hasn't really been anyone interested in that since Todd, and even he had been, well...crazy feels like a cruel way to think about an ex-partner.
That probably doesn't make it less true.
It's hard for Rodney to fit this new dynamic between he and John in with the way they had first met, but in the end, he has so many more important things to think about. And John looks good when he's not running around draped in black silk and tight leather pants.
There are a lot of very good reasons for them not to go to bed together. Not least that Rodney is pretty sure that Daniel could take him apart on a molecular level with a blink. John's been with Daniel since he was nothing but a kid, and Rodney knows that this is just desperate reaching out for any kind of stability.
Maybe Rodney needs a little stability himself.
Maybe it's just been too long since he was around another person.
The third time Rodney sees John after the world ends, John is coming out of their shitty, run-down motel bathroom, toweling his hair dry. Rodney feels frozen inside, and he wonders if a hot shower might help, but he doesn't see how anything could ever come close to taking away the Antarctic chill that's settled below his ribs.
John drops the towel to the ground. His hair is shockingly blond, the color wrong, bleached and unnatural. It clashes with his skin, with the dark hair still on his chest, arms, stomach, crotch. Rodney looks away, reminded too soon of Sam, brilliant and beautiful as she ever was, explaining what she did, calling it salvation.
John says, "Hey," reaching out and resting a hand on Rodney's shoulder. Rodney can't bring himself to do anything more than lean into the touch. His mouth tastes like ashes, and his hands won't uncurl from the helpless fists they've been in for what feels like forever.
For a long moment there is silence in their room, while they stay perfectly still, like they're frozen. Then John is shifting, clearing his throat and saying, "Look, about this false identity you came up with. I'm not going to be called Laurie. I was thinking maybe Joe."
Rodney closes his eyes, just for a second. He thinks about Todd, frozen and dead out in the snow somewhere. He thinks about Daniel, gone to god knows where, abandoning them to their mess. He thinks about Sam, beautiful and terrible.
Rodney finally manages to make himself look up. John is watching him, dark eyes concerned, and Rodney takes some queer comfort in the fact that he can recognize some of Jack O'Neill's features in John's face. Rodney shakes his head, feeling his mouth quirk up in the corner. He says, "Call me Dan."
John smiles, and squeezes Rodney's shoulder.
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