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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation

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a bit of this, a bit of that, some things over there
children of dune - leto 1
It is cold. This is not helping the lungs. Also, the smokers now look at me mockingly and remind me, no, I can't smoke, and I keep wanting to walk over and breathe in the second hand to get a buzz which is BAD IDEA but God.

OTOH, it is very cold, so i am feeling the warmth of self-satisfaction that they all have to go outside and I can stay inside.

Honestly, of all the ways I thought I'd quit? Not so much this way.

Also, I got very awesome email this morning. It's like, I think lj drama is finally on a hiatus? Not so much.

Random Plotbunnies of Doom

1.) Still tempted toward writing The Bondage That Went Horribly, Horribly Wrong. And by tempted, I mean, wrote it, but no idea what to do with it. It can only go bad melodramatic places. That makes me happy, as I am in a bad melodramatic place. I blame eleveninches for not writing John/Kolya yet. I also blame society.

2.) McKay and Mrs. Miller AU - Rod got on my nerves a lot. There is a very real part of me that wants to follow him back to his AU, where Sheppard is a secret anorexic kleptomaniac who refuses to have sex with people who aren't Enlightened, Ascended, or In a Higher Realm of Existence (huh, like canon, strange), and Rod is going through a transitional self-mutilation phase to express his pain at being so very popular yet God, so alone in a crowd, and also, he keeps accidentally having really bad sex with really hot people. A part of me wants him to have been a cheerleader in college. It kind of scares me that I can see him with pom-poms.

Oh please, like half of you weren't slowly filleting him in your heads! I spent the entire episode wanting to tell Rodney DO NOT TRUST THE FREAKY SLICK GUY HE IS DARKNESS AND PROBABLY EATS BABIES. You know you like it.

3.) Eventually, I am going to write something that isn't crack. I just--the ones I want to work on, like Strangerverse, is depressing--no, seriously, I have to brace myself before I start, because that is like misery universe and after, I need chocolate and porn like no one's business because everyeone is so unhappy and not really getting better and seriously, what was I thinking?

4.) I'm tempted toward that what fandom would I be meme, except I think I'm that fandom that people never want to talk about, becuase the canon was alwasy fucked up and everyone hated each other. I am not a ball of happy consistency here.

5.) Below, scene from Teacher's Pet. Fairly self-contained, so I may end up leaving it alone and making the new one set after miss_porcupine and svmadelyn's next ones. This one's heavily mixed with miss_porcupine's Lorne povs, which is of the awesome. Set sometime after Jarhead. Tag for Teacher's Pet here.

There's a sad truth in the fact that Rodney likes watching John work out with Teyla. Not that he's stopped mocking John, but he tries to curb himself with the younger version since he watched John bring down a seventeen year old apprentice and smile up at Rodney with guileless eyes, asking if Rodney wanted a round.

Very John Sheppard, Rodney thinks, watching John and Teyla separate, exchange a touch of foreheads, and Teyla walk away as John goes back to exercises.

"He's getting better."

Teyla, wiping her face with a towel, nods slowly, eyes flickering back to watch. "He is learning very fast." Picking up a bottle of water, she calls a sharp command and John's back straightens abruptly as he moves through a turn. "Colonel Sheppard was never properly trained in hand to hand combat, so there were many--unpleasant habits to break." John doesn't have those habits now, she doesn't say, but the implication is clear, and so is her pride in him. Rodney takes a second to bask a little at the memory of John assembling a model naqada generator in the lab two days ago under Rodney's watchful eye, proving his thorough grounding in the practical principles of alien hybrid engineering. John has something intriguingly quirky in how he pulls things together, flashes of a talent to think around corners that makes Rodney set him more and more complex problems, just to see how he deals with them.

The solutions never fail in originality. Or, in the case of the night of the plasma flooding, heart stopping terror.

Teyla glances at his face, then turns to John. "I must speak to Dr. McKay before he takes you for the afternoon," she says to John. "Complete three repetitions, then cool down and you may go to lunch."

John nods, not looking at them, and Teyla leads Rodney out of the room, door closing behind them.

Rodney watches Teyla's eyes flicker to look back, and he finds himself doing the same thing, the thin body moving quickly through the complex exercises without a flaw, the combined efforts of Teyla and Ronon grounding John in the culture of the Pegasus galaxy the way that no other Atlantean could be. He's joined the children's hunting parties on the mainland, learned the customs of the Athosian people like he learned to assemble chip sets and program a computer, could read Ancient and Satedan scripts, and identify sixteen different variations of throwing knives on sight.

Rodney has a sudden, vivid memory of an evening spent with the team and Elizabeth on the west pier, John stretched out on blankets between them as they taught him the names of the stars in four languages, the stories behind each one.

Rodney's faintly aware that normal children aren't raised like this, that probably they *shouldn't be*, but John's John, and God, does this explain why the adult Sheppard looked monumentally bored so much of the time, if this is the level of activity required to keep him occupied.

Not being completely stupid, they go down the hall, just in case John convinces Atlantis that this is a conversation he has to hear. Again. "He grows very fast," she says, which is so obvious that Rodney wonders why on earth she bothered saying it. "He is becoming frustrated with the changes in his body." She glances back down the hall, frowning. "Elizabeth came to speak to me this morning," Teyla says slowly. "The Marines wish to extend their mornings--"

"No." Rodney leans back into the wall.

"I understand the importance of his continued attendance in the labs," Teyla says, but she's lying, and Rodney *knows* it. "However, on Atlantis he--"

"He's not a grunt," Rodney says testily, crossing his arms. "He's a *military commander*. His primary function isn't supposed to be the guy that shoots everything in sight; we just let him get away with it." Watching Teyla's face, Rodney sighs. "They get him two hours in the mornings and Lorne has him for an hour every other night. I'll throw in every other Saturday morning, but--"

"Rodney." Teyla pauses, towel twisting between her fingers. "He grows too fast."

Rodney waits, wondering where this is going. With a frown, Teyla tosses the towel aside. "He grows *too fast*. What I teach him today, he must relearn tomorrow, when his body has changed. There are few days that he does not find the changes--unsettling. I believe that Dr. Beckett was clear on the problems inherent in such rapid muscle growth--he must spend more time learning his body and what it can do."

What she isn't saying--Carson's worry about John's first serious growth spurt. In what passes for Sheppard's chronological development, they're closing fast on puberty, where boys can gain up to a foot in a year. At John's rapid speed of development, six to twelve inches in a matter of *weeks*.

Rodney doesn't even pretend he knows shit about biology beyond the basics, but Carson's worry's been contagious.


"I understand your concerns. But he is--" she looks at him curiously. "What worries you? That in being his instructors, his--military will not respect him once he has returned to his correct age? I do not think you need to worry."

Explaining would be impossible. Pushing off the wall, Rodney shakes his head, looking over her shoulder to watch John emerge from the practice room.


Teyla turns around quickly, a smile curving her mouth. "How are you feeling?"

John shrugs, bag loose over one shoulder. He's too thin, Rodney thinks, like his height stretches him too much, bones too visible beneath thin skin. But he glows with energy, making Rodney tired just looking at him. God. He leans easily into Teyla, and Rodney's surprised to see he's almost to her shoulder, going up on his toes to touch his forehead to hers as easily as an Athosian would.

"Food, now," John says, and Rodney thinks, not so different than the adult after all.

"Come on," Rodney says, and Teyla smiles again before leaving them. John bounces up on his toes, and Rodney thinks longingly of the coffee in his lab. "Lab first. I want to check on a simulation."

John sighs but nods gamely, falling into step beside him, and Rodney, glancing down, notices that the track pants have lost at least an inch in length. Ancient washing machines, apparently, are not immune to the power of shrinkage. It could be a universal force. "What's Zelenka doing?"

"Working," Rodney says repressively, because Zelenka takes John's presence as permission for scientists' recess, where the two of them will spend hours staring at the specs of the puddlejumpers and Zelenka make noises about adding a dematerialization beam to the system while John unabashedly asks for more weapons and naqada-core torpedoes. "Very busy. Doing important things."

"You have him overseeing the desalinization tanks again, don't you?"

Rodney stares down at John. "Would you like to learn the thrilling mechanics of waste disposal? I can arrange a field trip. Anytime. I. Want."

The difference between childhood and adulthood right here--John backs down. Just a little. "Fine. You don't have to get cranky." Skipping ahead, John turns slightly to watch Rodney with narrowed eyes, filled with the darkness of prepubescent boys everywhere. "Something on your mind?"

Rodney tries not to stare at John's too-short hair. "I was just--do you like the Marines? I mean, the entire running and jumping over stupid obstacles and crawling through mud--and really, what's the point of that anyway? Never mind," he says quickly, when it looks like John might answer. "I was just wondering."

John looks at him for a second, and Rodney'd probably be screwed if John had a third of Sheppard's perceptiveness. Luckily, that's apparently something he has to grow into. Thank God. "It's interesting," John says, which is code, Rodney's learned, for coolest thing ever. "They like me." John sounds faintly surprised, and Rodney has a second of anger, wondering who in the name of God made John feel anything but welcome. "Lorne says Marines and Air Force personnel aren't--um--you know." Rodney wonders if it's annoying or touching that John still thinks Rodney actually does know everything. "So it's--they said I'd make a good Marine."

"Hmm." John makes a low sound, impatient, very close to the way Ronon growls when there's food and he's not being allowed close to it. "Remember what Carson said about your development curve--"

"Muscle weakness, tendon overextension, possible tearing, blah blah blah," John drones, and Rodney thinks that if he's accomplished nothing else in the last six months, he's completely destroyed any hope that John Sheppard will ever take biology seriously. Rodney tries not to smile. "I just need to exercise a lot." John stretches unconsciously, shaking himself, reminding Rodney of a half-grown puppy, all too-long limbs and almost painful cuteness. "Teyla said that in a month or so, I'll be at my usual height and it won't be so--weird."

It probably says a lot about Atlantis, and those raising John, that he can sound so casual about the fact he's going to grow about two feet in the next month and not think how incredibly, undeniably *weird* it is. It probably says a lot about Rodney that he doesn't find it weird anymore, either.

"I just--" In the lab, Rodney nods to Simpson, watching John wander across the room to his laptop, powering up whatever Zelenka has him working on--most recently, Asgard hyperdrive design, grabbing a powerbar from his bag as he settles down, green eyes fixed on the screen. Rodney's got about three minutes before John's *gone*, lost in his own world, and coming over, he watches John for a moment. "What do you and Lorne do?"

John's head comes up sharply, something flickering behind the green eyes. "Talk."

And that's not suspicious at all. "About?"

John shrugs. "Old missions. Flying. You know. Stuff." Rodney gets a quick glance from beneath drawn brows. "Why?"

Leaning into the side of the table, Rodney watches John's eyes flicker down the screen. Hundreds of grad students, colleagues, professors, and it would be his luck to find someone worth the effort of teaching--someone he *wants* to teach--in this place, in this boy who won't be a boy much longer, won't be *John* much longer.

It's selfish, he knows, to want a little more time--just a little. Just enough to work through hyperdrives and the properties of hyperspace, show him the universe the way Rodney sees it, huge and endless and amazing, just make him *see* what he could be, except for all the ways he can't be, not if he's coming back as Sheppard.

And God, do they need Sheppard.

Leaning an elbow on the lab table, Rodney waits for John to look up. "I'm just curious."

The flickering look of disbelief on John's face is almost a slap, and a part of Rodney's mind offers up some choice derogatory terms he's used regarding the military in John's hearing.

He wonders, a little sick, if John's absorbed more than physics from him.

I don't want you to be ashamed of what you are, he wants to say. I'm not Elahara. He stops himself from hugging John and offering to build him a new gun. There's no way that's appropriate for someone who still plays with GI Joes in the botany lab. "I like the military," he says instead, lying through his teeth. John snorts softly, typing something one handed before looking up again. "You know, I've worked with them for years."

"You call them monkeys with guns," John answers dryly, but Rodney thinks there's an edge of discomfort there. "We just talk. He said that it would be easier if I could--you know. Get what my job was--is. Is going to be."

Ther'es nothing quite like age regression to fuck up your verb tenses, Rodney thinks, trying not to sigh. "I just--"

"Nothing bad," John says, too quickly, and Rodney can tell that for all he's staring at the screen, he isn't paying it any attention. "What it was like to go offworld with my--with you. And Teyla and Ronon." John's face reflects a bewildering array of emotions--confusion, pride, a little awe, discomfort above all. When you figure out you used to lead your *de facto* parents on dangerous missions on alien planets, Rodney supposes you've earned a certain amount of uncertainty on how that worked, and that gives Rodney a second of reflection, imagining them sitting around a campfire on another godforsaken pastoral world, with Teyla slapping John's hand when he tries to ignore his vegetables while Rodney quizzes him on interstellar phenomena.

Of all of them, Rodney thinks Ronon will probably adapt the best. He's never seen a difference at all. "We've had some interesting missions," Rodney says slowly. "I can pull the reports if you want to see them."

John hesitates, then shrugs, elaborately casual. "Maybe later." Looking down, he types something quickly, then gets up. "Shower? Lunch? Now?"

Rodney sighs and gives up. "Right. Shut down now; you're with Zelenka and the jumpers this afternoon."

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(Deleted comment)
Mostly because it's--not very me? Does that make sense? I wrote it with a focused reason in mind--in other words, a group of fics pissed me off--so it's retaliatory more than honest, and I don't like to do that. *sighs*

Oh, my love for the Teacher's Pet series is just unholy! It's awesome.

You make it all sound so real, John trying to learn and grow and become who he was while still being a kid/teenager and Rodney realizing just how many ways he's screwed this up but still not caring (much).

I adore the younger John in this series. Also I feel kind of sad for Rodney here.

I'm not going to comment on your plotbunnies, because those are quite terrifying to put it frankly...

Miss Porcupine has totally--hmm--expanded in how I"m trying to view the universe now that John's on the clock for growing up. It's kind of painful, honestly. I keep wanting to AU them to Rodney with Mini!John on earth just to relieve my feelings, but that hurts too.


I love this series, and I'm so conflicted on John's behalf; here he is, having dedicated his adult life to the military, only to be turned back into a child to be raised by people who, for some of them, have spent their adult lives disgusted by the very organization that made John Sheppard who he was.
I just... I almost want the Marines and Lorne to kidnap him and take him on a mission, and then keep him for a week on some abandoned planet just to make sure that he will still be someone THEY recognize, someone they'll trust to lead them, be in charge of them, not someone who looks down on them.
Because whatever the scientists (Rodney) says, the Marines and the Air Force personnel on Atlantis aren't just grunts--they would be the best of the best (the Marines in general already were on Earth, but here they'd have to be even better than that), and that distinction means that they deserve the respect that Sheppard gave them, and very little of the scorn that Rodney heaps upon their heads.

That's how I feel exactly. The whole thing is like a monster train wreck waiting to happen.

Kidnapping works for me. As many bad experieneces John had in the military if he isn't exposed to that stuff again, he isn't going to be himself anymore when he finally regresses. They'll have a John who isn't John and I'm pretty sure that they'll regret sheltering him.

I've written #1 for Star Wars. (and posted it, even, but...) Yeah. It's... there's no place happy to go there. Because you're too smart a person and too sophisticated a writer to be able to pull off the But More Sex Makes Everything Better, Even Rape baloney.

Re: snippet. And now I feel all horribly guilty for starting yet another story instead of working on the one(s) I have waiting. But I like the additions to what I've seen before. Rodney remembering Lorne and being mostly jealous of John's time and the rest feeling guilty that he's doing something that may not be fixable.

Rod was like the stereotype of the used car salesman. Sort of sleazy, completely full of bull shit and *really* pathetic.

And I got the scary impression that he might be the best his universe (or just his Atlantis?) had to offer in bravery, physical ability and general non-dorkness.

I really love the way you're exploring all the consequences of what's happened to John, that this isn't just cutesy crackfic. There's all the moral and practical difficulties here, and I ache for Rodney, torn between being selfish in one way and being selfish in another, ie. if he takes what he wants, to shelter and teach John the way he wants, he hurts Atlantis, and if he tries to protect Atlantis, ie. make John what he was, he hurts John, or at least colludes in making something that this new John doesn't especially want to be, or that Rodney thinks is not a good thing for him to be. So he's got all the usual issues about guilt and decisions made in the raising of a child, but at the same time he knows one possible future for John, and knows that that's the one they need, and knows that everything he does, everything they've done, is taking his John further and further away from that John. Anyway. Sorry. Rambling. But, I love this.

Yay! More teachers pet. Rodney should really just be honest about how he feels about the millitary. It's not like John couldn't tell he was lying anyway.

Well. I'm going to be a killjoy here, but as far as ways to quit smoking go? Pneumonia sucks, and I'm glad you're feeling better. But, better pneumonia than say, emphysema or Worse, if you catch my drift.

It would be kind of nice to read #1. I'm not sure why. For something different maybe.

I was very happy to see more of Teacher's Pet. :) I love all the conflicting emotions in this story.

I love the changes we're seeing in John, and everyone's responses to them.

Seriously, quitting smoking was the best thing I ever did. Not starting again when you're feeling better would only be a good thing.

#2 -- Hells yes!

#3 -- Okay, Strangerverse is sad like a sad thing, but there's always Entanglement Theory or The Rain Gods.... I'm making myself happy reading your Smallville stories. :-)

So after hearing all about your mood, I was scared to read Techaer's Pet. But it's lovely and thoughtful and just right. Yes, transition -- perfect. John is on the cusp of the growth spurt that will take him to "Sheppard" and they all need to get it right for this final leg. *bites nails*

I'm making myself happy reading your Smallville stories.

Okay, I was, and then oh my jeezus you RIPPED MY HEART OUT!!! Holy crap. I am wrecked. For the day. No, Madelyn's little thingie doesn't make it better. *wails*

I love seeing your Teacher's Pet posts. Except, I shouldn't be finding this fic so comforting.

My mom also had to quit smoking when she got pneumonia when I was a kid. She said it was the best and worst thing that ever happened to her. She had temporarily quit each time she was pregnant, but always started up again, but she's now been smoke free for almost 20 years.

Yay, Teacher's Pet! I am so addicted to this series. All your series, actually. Serieses? Seriesi?

And I hope you stay warm today because it is godawful cold out there.

First new Crimes Against Humanity and now new Teacher's Pet. I might yet expire from joy. *twirls*

. Hundreds of grad students, colleagues, professors, and it would be his luck to find someone worth the effort of teaching--someone he *wants* to teach--in this place, in this boy who won't be a boy much longer, won't be *John* much longer.

Ouch! OH, poor Rodney.

Ahh Teacher's Pet, the story that first bought me here to you! (and then I realised that you were the Smallville author I had loved so much so there was much joy abounding!). I love everything about this fic, the complicated love between them, the sense of family, the bittersweet air, when John's a child Rodney mourns for the adult but as he grows he'll miss his 'son'. The add into the mix the conflicting hotness of teen John and there's just a world of fun to be had! Not usually a fan of KidFic but when they are this well written whats not to love!

Hope your recovery road continues. X

He stops himself from hugging John and offering to build him a new gun.


re: #1, oh please do post it. Bondage that goes Horribly Wrong has been a pet, um, issue of mine lately, and I'd love to see what you've done with the idea.

Wow. This is the first time I've seen Teacher's Pet. I've gotten through about half of it this evening, and I'm speechless with *wow*. I typically steer clear of the crack, but there are good writers like you in this fandom who are corrupting me. It's all so emotionally *real* and therefore stunning.

Rod? Totally is NOT that slick back in the other universe. He "borrowed" that leather jacket and a LOT of hair gel from Sheppard (who is totally not a know-it-all he's just got three Ph.d's and it makes Rod nervous). Rod is actually known as "Meredith" in the other universe, and he's secretly thrilled that our guys were so willing to believe his story about being "Rod."

Either that or we have to fillet him with spoons.

I have this horrible image of Sheppard just *hating* Rod and always cutting him off mid-sentence and is always *right*, which is so mean and yet--I want to write it. Of course, in this world, Sheppard cannot coordinate colors and has terrible hair and makes me sad. Yet it amuses me. And Rod is always trying to impress him and Sheppard always blows him off to meditate because he's tryign to ascend or something.

It's very funny in my head.

There was a hilarious Professionals RPS story written years ago where one of the guys was always meditating and telling the other that "when the student is ready the teacher will come," and consequently this guy spent a lot of time peering worriedly out his front window, ready to slip out the back of the house in case his teacher ever showed up.

I can SEE Rod doing that. And Sheppard intoning things about clearing the mind of all want and attaining a state of totally balanced nothingness which Rod knows isn't attainable by Shep because shirts with patterns like that never die, and they never attain a state of nothingness.

*dies* YES.

When he gets back from Atlantis, he totally burns all of Sheppard's shirts and replaces them with black t-shirts. And Sheppard is like I CANNOT FIND INNER PEACE WEARING THE COLOR OF DEATH and is distrubed that Rod keeps tyring to make him wear his thigh holster off missions.

Yay! New Teacher's Pet Fic! Yay! Oh, I said that already :) I can so see everyone's viewpoints. Rodney and Lorne and everyone in between. And I like how Ronon doesn't really see any difference. Sheppard is Sheppard. Thanks for the great read!

Yay! for Teacher's Pet and for gawky, adolescent John! I like all the complications, physical, mental, emotional, social, that are happening, accelerated as John accelerates towards adulthood...

and Yay! for quitting smoking... Go, You! please don't backslide...your poor lungs...we worry...

Teacher's Pet! Teacher's Pet! I'm so happy to have another snippet of it. Poor Rodney is going to miss how accessible and connected John is, even as much as he must miss Sheppard. It's like getting the essence of John without all of the baggage, and it's a very compelling core, despite it being in an underage body.

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