Yesterday, got the fortress floors and flooring and I feel like this crazy rabbit lady in a serious way, what with the fact that I carried around my camera for the nice Home Depot man to see what I was talking about when I said I needed flooring and speaking in *measurements* and saying clever things like, "Where do I go for all things wood?" and the nice Home Depot man realized that yes, I was serious, I wanted to buy *wood things*.
*sighs* So yeah. The fortress will have easy-to-clean floors after today.
In other news--oh, whatever, there *is* no other news.
So while reading comments on A Touch of Your Hand, I noted how many people were genuinely hit by that line about John selling himself for a ZPM.
The problem with me here is that it took me a *while* to let it sink in that a sex-for-ZPM trade--as opposed to sex-for-survival or sex-for-alien-sex-pollen--would have completely different connotations. I mean, my problem. This is part of the reason this is one of those stories I always wanted to write and just couldn't--I mean, I'm a *fangirl*. I write porn for any old reason aliens can supply, so why would this particular circumstance make me uncomfortable? I wrote alien sex pollen for God's sake. And drunk sex. And no one reacted weirdly after. They were just fine. It feels vaguely hypocritical to take it to that place.
Which argues either I've been in fandom way too long or I really need to get out more. So I sketched this out. It's not a story--I'm just not a good enough writer to get across what it should be.
Because at first, it would seem ridiculously easy and simple--they want to have sex with John and hope to get pregnant? It wouldn't see like *anything*. John would be amused and Elizabeth would be relieved and Rodney would be like, FINALLY YOUR WEIRD THING FOR ALIENS IS USEFUL and Ronon and Teyla would kind of shrug.
And they're getting ready to go to the planet, and John's weirdly quiet, because it's sinking in--he's having sex for a ZPM. Maybe fathering a kid he'll never see. And Rodney is picking up something is *wrong* but not what. And he's uneasy, because something in him is feeling weird about this and he's not sure *why*. So they all go to the planet and led to this beautiful house where the Leader or whoever is waiting and John's beginning to be genuinely freaked out because this is hitting him--he's selling his *body*, sex, for a ZPM, and Rodney's picking up his jitters and Teyla and Ronon are like, we can *stop*, but John of course won't.
So he's led off to do his thing and Rodney's finally getting what's bothering him--that of all they've ever done, they've never actually *whored out someone* before, sold someone like this before, and he was raised on Earth and no matter how long they've been in this galaxy, this is something that they just don't do. That sex shouldn't be like this.
And Rodney stops himself all night from just breaking in and calling it off and taking John home, because this is freaking him out, too. Teyla and Ronon don't quite understand and he sends them off to patrol or something, so they'll stop being so confused in his general direction, and in the morning, John comes out.
And it's not like they *beat* him; he's a valuable trade commodity and Rodney feels himself start to shiver when he realizes how he just thought of his team leader. But John's bruised in all these places behind his eyes and Rodney can't think of anything to say, just reaches to touch his shoulder and John--flinches from him. Just for a second, completely involuntary, looks *surprised* when he does it.
And they stand there for a while, then Ronon and Teyla come back and *know* something is off, but Rodney stops them before they can ask any questions, just sends them down to get the ZPM and they all go to the gate. And when they come back through, Elizabeth's *excited* and Rodney shoves Zelenka toward Ronon holding the ZPM and tells him to install it, which is *weird*, and Zelenka kind of stares at him in shock. And John's just like always but something's so wrong that Elizabeth's starting to look worried and Rodney's not sure John's even in the room except in body, so he makes some stupid excuse and thinks maybe he's handling this badly, too, because he's shaking and he's not sure why.
So he follows John to his quarters and he realizes John doesn't know he's *there* and it scares him when John just *strips* right there, still locked up inside himself, and Rodney wonders if he was like this all night, while Rodney paced away the night waiting for him. And then John goes to shower and Rodney picks up his clothes and throws them out of teh room with this idea of incinerating them later or something. And when John comes out, Rodney finally says his name and John snaps back in the room and he knows John's horrified that he's there, but someone's got to be, and he can't think of anyone else to call; Teyla and Ronon wouldn't get it, and Elizabeth's their leader and John would never want her to see this, and so he just starts *talking*, no idea what he's saying or offering but eventually, John's dressed and they're in the jumper and flying the skies of the planet.
And he *keeps talking* so John doesn't have to, and eventually, John makes him take a flying lesson, lets John teach him all this amazingly complex piloting crap that Rodney's usually terrible at but he sits there and just does it, because he gets John needs this. And after a while, they achieve orbit and Rodney's practicing with the menus of the jumper and he realizes that John fell asleep, and he doesn't know why he's relieved, but it feels like maybe John will be okay. Or better than he was.
So eventually, they go back to Atlantis and he wakes John up and John doesn't flinch when he touches him, and they go to the briefing where John's just like always, and they talk about the ZPM and new functions but Rodney rushes Zelenka through it and he sees Elizabeth reach out ot John as he leaves and John smoothly avoids her hand and waits until he and Elizabeth are alone and says that they will never, ever do that again, not even an option. And Elizabeth's not sure why, and Rodney makes it about how he's Canadian and they just don't do this, and he really doesn't know what crappy excuses he's giving, as long as it deflects from John but she finally agrees and he feels like he can breathe again, and he goes back to his quarters and John's there and they watch terrible sci-fi channel movies that Rodney's never admitted to anyone else he brought along and John falls asleep again with his head on Rodney's shoulder. They never talk about what happened, or that John might have a child he'll never see on another world.
And later, much later, there is desert porn, and Rodney wakes up realizing that it has to mean something, because he knows he's the only person John's touched, wanted to touch, since that day.
If I wrote it, it would be like that.