Retrograde (and sequels) by ltlj
I can see the blinking of, what, comfort? Yes. Yes this is.
Comfort fic isn't, to me, always fluffy. Mostly, it's stuff I re-read for the feeling of complete warmth, hope, genuine feeling throughout, stuff I walk out of feeling better about the world in general. What makes Retrograde special to me is it's high action and characterization both, and now that I know how each story ends, it's not nerve-jangling oh god, will they be okay and more God, this is good.
I'll use my number system on what I loved about it.
1.) Daniel. Best hostage ever. A hostage who would probably chain himself to a naqada generator to avoid being traded back. I just rolled over and giggled every time he spoke. And the later line about Rodney de facto comparing Daniel to a vampire due to him being an Ascendant? Deep, deep love.
2.) Jack and John. A lot of the story was a compare/contrast in some ways between them; they're a *lot* alike, John just hasn't grown into and owned his own weird idiosyncracies yet. They're *funny*, and I love how Jack figures out what's going on so quickly with context--with teh destruction of the village, the pictures, the simple things like announcment of a volleyball game between the Marines and Archeology. I love how perceptive he is, and how incredibly *dumb* he can play and the Trust *knows* it but is scared to call him on it.
John's just--everything I can see in the character in different episodes, but all at once. I love how edged he is, running basically on adrenaline and sheer terror and anger, and I love how he tries to temper that and can't quite do it.
3.) The worldbuilding. everything was in the details, short and seemingly random. The point about the volleyball game was a big one--I loved that and now want someone to write about Atlantis' intermural sports competitions every Saturday afternoon. I love that picture of him and Dr. Weir together that gives it the family feeling, like all those times you're at parties and someone is like, must have a picture of you and Mom together! or, you and your sisters, etc. The feeling of daily life there was so real throughout, it made the entire story that much more powerful now after the takeover. The comment in Recover about trade partners. Hallling et al in on meetings and using Atlantis' aerials and a laptop to make plans for moving back to the mainland. The kids from Childhood's End making an appearance. The Nones. Hands up, who wants ltlj to write how Atlantis met the Nones? I know it's mentioned, but I still want to see it a *lot*. It was a wonderful show not tell through most of it, emphasizing the closeness through the characters' actions.
4.) God, love Cameron. So much. His enthusiasm and his curiosity and his genuine desire to assist however he can. I loved how he was introduced in this universe, as a part of SG1 added on, not replaceing Jack yet, but in training to do so. I love how he's still *learning* to be part of that close team.
5.) I love Sam's reaction when she finds out Rodney's part of a gate team--the gate team, equivalent in every way ot SG-1, and not because she doesn't think he can do it, either. I loved Sam period through this. I loved, loved, loved her and Rodney sniping at each other throughout, and I loved loved loved the genuine--friendship? yes, friendship, liking, respect between them.
6.) Loved Rodney's plan like woah. Just blinked and kept blinking, thinking, God, take me now, smart stuff. That? Was an excellent plan. It played to his canon talents--his brilliance, his quick thinking, his ability to be practical, and God. Making an auxiliary control room then blowing up a lab to cover for it. Sheer genius. This is someone who has been in the field for three years, learned how to think fast and work with the materials he's given, improvise when necessary. Awesome.
7.) Huge fan of the Nones. I like the Nones. I want some Nones of my own.
8.) With the addtion of Common Ground, the mid-twenties Wraith Worshippers were just that much more creepy. Cause now we know how they stay that age.
9.) Elizabeth, being commanding. Bates, being himself but also Atlantean if that makes sense.
10.) Every second of Movie Night. I can see that easily, in an isolated place, a way for everyone to get together at least once a week and just hang out, decompress, watch movies. I love John's lack of personal space with his team, with the completely platonic falling asleep on top of Teyla and Rodney. And I can totally imagine Teyla and Rodney gently shifting John onto a pillow and curling up around him, and how safe and comforting that was for them all. I love Elizabeth falling asleep there, too, all of them surrounded by their Atlantean family. It was and still is one of my favorite fics in the series just for warmth.
11.) I really love the fact this series made me ship John/Rodney/Teyla completely and I've never actively wanted to ship a threesome before. It didn't jar me in Vegas--it felt like the natural outcome of being that close that long, that of course they'd sleep together. Of course.
12.) I love in Expatriate how Cameron asks if anyone will kill him should anyone in Atlantis find out John slept with him and John being, well, not kill, no. Because yeah. Dibs was totally called a while back by Teyla and Rodney.
13.) I kind of want Cameron/John/Rodney/Teyla, and I know that it will not go that way, and also, four people, that's a lot of penises to keep track of. But dammit. I still do.
14.) I really love imagining post-Vegas, Jack wandering around the SGC trying to find someone that deal with this:
Yeah, it's a posting in another galaxy, your CO can control parts of the city with his mind, and your subordinates will include fanatically loyal native commandos and some scary-ass Marines who will frag you if you look at him the wrong way. Oh, and watch out for the scientists, they all have PTSD and they'll kill you too. -- Retrograde, conclusion.
Cause seriously. The interviews alone would be hilarious. If it's Lorne? God, I hope we get a glimpse on his reaction to finding this out.
15.) I love John in Vegas, sarcastic and prickly and intensely private, and not really believing this is something he can have.
And I could do more, but my concentration is waning.
Anyway, link to the series: Retrograde series index: Retrograde, Recovery, Movie Night, and Vegas, with standalones but related, Expatriate and Five Joint Missions, Post-Retrograde.
Geeks and Goons series by likethekoschka (cowriters Koschka and liketheriver), likethekoschka
Okay, there is no way I can do a number one here; a.) it's too long and b.) my concentation right now sucks. I loved koschka's gen series, Geeks and Goons and I adore the slash Guides group that's set after that. It's--God, it's plot and adventure and romance and it hits my OTP button hard and never lets up. It makes me happy just to know it's there. I love that it's a complete and utter romance as well, mixed with action/adventure and mortal peril and a lot of snark. I love their shared quarters and their shared lives and their weird idiosyncracies and their happiness together. I feel *good* after reading it, happy and at peace with the universe and wanting to see what whacky hijinks they have next.
And link to that one: likethekoschka
The Roads Never Lead Where They're Suppose to Go by eleveninches
A lot of this one is the fact that the very premise should not work. But it totally does.
It should not work. Rodney as not chief science officer, Sheppard the botanit--what the fuck? But it does. I totally bought it and read it and recognized the fact that it's crack except it's not crack at all. It's hysterical and lighthearted and amazing to read, every time. I love their developing not relationship, in which Rodney's has no idea whatsoever he's in a relationship with Sheppard and Sheppard practically *humps his leg* and still he does not notice! Because that is so Rodney I could cry. It's all right there! Yet he does not know. That's art. The plotline! Ridiculous! Except let's face it, we all kind of sighed and thought, yeah, that's something that could happen on Atlantis. We are only surprised that it is not yet canon. Not yet. And we also thought, the show will never do it this well. The entire strength of the story pretty much rests on the author dragging us in and forcing us to buy the entire thing and wow, did that work fantastically. I'd totally go on and on about how this is the perfect example that with a skilled enough writer, any story idea is reasonable, but I am not in the critical thinking place. I'm in the place where John skateboards through Atlantis and Rodney's very existence in John's life is the ultimate cockblock.
"--You, me, a starlit picnic," Sheppard was saying.
"Sheppard, seriously, fucking you isn't worth my life," Parrish said slowly. Parrish always sounded like he was high. "McKay would have me murdered, and no one would ever find the body. He's worked with the military for years, he knows these things."
Well, that was mostly true. Rodney really couldn't fault the man for cowering before him.
"McKay and I aren't like that," Sheppard said. "He's socially retarded or something."
"Uh-huh," Parrish said. "You're hot and all, but I like my head still connected to my neck. Why don't you try someone a little more suicidal, like a Marine?"
And the thing is? It is so true. They would never find Parrish's body, and that was before Rodney recognized his big gay crush. God. LOve this story.
Warm and fuzzy feelings everywhere. Mmm. Fuzzy.