And comfort. These I tend to come back to get my comfort and Sheppard/McKay fix.
Second Skin, Skintight, Flesh Wounds, and Posture by toft_froggy
1.) The first two stories seem to (assuming that later stories after the second two don't contradict this) cover all the interesting interpersonal ground of working out the what, who, and get the relationship on some kind of even track. They don't cover the same territory each time, but each one opens more and gives comfortable resolution without being too perfect. It's *awesome*. Redoing the same issue over and over gets boring; toft totally explored a *lot* of potential issues (gay, military-and-gay, crossdressing-military-gay, relationship with friend, relationship with teammate, relationship with situational subordinate, hidden-relationship, God, this is looking disturbingly like my del.icio.us tag system) and resolves the resolvable and leaves the rest acknowledged but also with the potential of being worked on. Or I could be misinterpreting.
2.) John is very hot in a skirt. Or eyeliner. Or both. Something about that works for me (I blame Smallville. I think everyone who came out of Smallville fandom can look back and put their finger on the kinks that fandom built where we did not have a kink before).
3.) I loved that both John and Rodney's issues were legitimate ones, and both recognized the other's as legitimate, even if not always understandable. I like they fight. I like Rodney's very much in love but not martyring himself, is willing to push, knows when he *can* and succeed, and John knows the same things with Rodney.
4.) I think lauding about the way she set it up is because it was just done so smoothly and perfectly that something I could never have believed before (outside the occasional John in eyeliner fantasy) just clicked from the first word.
5.) It's insanely hot. The *making out* is insanely hot. The process of John dressing up is insanely hot. The single lines of what John sees when he looks at himself, that he sees when Rodney looks at him, just--guh.
6.) Then he said, totally casually, “So, have you been avoiding me because we had sex or because I saw you dressed like Xena?”
That is totally the part where I started and went--God. Rodney would totally say that.
7.) The sex is hot too. Skintight broke records on that one. The entire story is very slow, thorough foreplay, but that last bit in the hotel--yeah. That's good times.
8.) I like John's conflict in himself, which has to do with self-image in some ways, but more to do with what he thinks people see in him. A lot of the story, especially the first, had a bewildered undercurrent, John and not really getting why Rodney wants him, and his utter shock at the end when he realizes Rodney wants him, period, and the accessories that come along are a part of him and therefore wanted, too.
9.) “If you were into being covered in maple syrup and wearing a diaper I’d still want to have sex with you.”
Seriously the most memorable line in fanfic. Mostly because I was assaulted by visions of Rodney on earth, staring thoughtfully at the diaper aisle with John's underwear measurements and taking *notes* or something.
10.) I mentioned the sex, right? Good. It cannot be mentioned enough.
11.) Posture! With the corset! And the I love you! And the corset! And the entire incredibly hot sexiness of lacing into a corset. There are reasons that romance novels tend to center in a time women wore corsets. Lace up or unlacing is *hot*. I would give a lot for John to have gone back and gotten dressed and left the corset on for Rodney to find that night and unlace him from. Of course, he might have unromantically fainted or something wearing that, but it's fiction and lets go with John has remarkable lung capacity or something. Or good at holding his breath.
12.) Flesh Wounds - I really--can't describe that one with much other than wow. Getting a direct Rodney view was fantastic.
In conclusion--I should make brownies today.