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New York Holiday (G)

Title: New York Holiday

Author: goddess47

Rating: G

Warnings/Spoilers: Minor reference to Midway

Pairing: McKay/Sheppard

Length: 700 words

Summary: For the mcsheplets Challenge #28: Earth

John and Rodney are forced to take some R&R and end up in NYC.....

Listening to the voices on the headphones, John only realized that Rodney had a death-grip on his hand when the bones started to grate. John silently gripped back, understanding the need to hold on. To not let go. To reassure.

Samantha Carter had essentially ordered them both to take some down time. John hadn't wanted to take both him and Rodney away from Atlantis at the same time because the selfish side of him wanted it too much. He had negotiated Sam's demand to take two weeks down to ten days which, when she gave in, John suspected was her goal all along. With the gate-bridge, vacations back to Earth were easier without the travel time delays and it made it easier for everyone to take a real break.

"Do you know what she's done?" Rodney demanded in John's office. "She's thrown me out of here for a.... a vacation!"

"Us. She's throwing us out of here," John drawled, waiting for the double-take.

"She has no right...." Rodney started as if John hadn't spoken but John knew the nanosecond the sound waves hit Rodney's consciousness when he suddenly went still. "Both of us?" The hope flared in his eyes. "Together?"

"Well," John temporized. "It doesn't have to be together. But it is the same time."

"Together," Rodney declared firmly and John had to grin.

"Where do you want to go?" John asked. "We can visit Jeannie if you want."

"Maybe a quick visit," Rodney allowed. "We should do some real tourist things for a change. Somewhere we've never been...." Somewhere no one would know them, he meant.

John thought for a moment. "New York?" he floated. "Then we can swing back up to see Jeannie." John paused for effect. "There's a new Apple store."

John wanted to laugh at the happiness in Rodney's face at the thought. "Sounds good!" Rodney agreed. "Haven't been there in a long time and never as a tourist." And it would be nicely anonymous.

No trip to New York was complete without a stop at the World Trade Center site. They had just missed the guided tour and rather than hang around for most of an hour for the next available tour, they had decided that the self-guided audio tour would do. Which is how they found themselves listening to the eerily calm voices on the headphone.

Without knowing the history, it now looked like any other New York building site. Nothing about the construction activity gave any indication of the horror of that day. Only the audio tour gave voices to those that died -- allowed family, friends and rescue workers to tell a few of the thousands of stories.

When the current portion of the audio ended, John reached around and pulled Rodney to him. Rodney's free arm snaked around John's waist and he put his head on John's shoulder. They held on to each other and John felt Rodney take a few deep breaths.

"Where were you?" Rodney asked quietly.

"I had just been sent to Afghanistan that summer," John reminisced. "We got to spend a lot of time in the air chasing ghosts. In the end it didn't accomplish anything concrete but at least it felt like we were doing something."

"I was in Russia. The SGC wouldn't have me back at the time so I was stuck there," Rodney recounted. He raised his head and looked at John. "I never want to feel that helpless again."

John leaned in for a brief kiss. Then hugged Rodney close.

"As awful as this was, this was something we did to ourselves," John whispered. "At least we have a chance to make sure something worse than this doesn't happen to Earth."

"Oh, that makes everything better," Rodney huffed, winding his arms more tightly about John. "No pressure."

"What would you think about going to Jeannie's tomorrow?" John suggested. It was five days earlier than they had planned. "Think she'll mind?"

Rodney drew back without letting go. "I.. I think that's a good idea. No, she won't mind."

Author's note: I was on vacation a while back and this is a powerful, moving experience -- highly recommended. Make the time if you are ever there.....


Very moving. I understand the helplessness thing. Thank you MJ.
Ah, thank you...... ::smishes you more::
Wonderful ficlet. I love how you weave sci-fi and a real event together so beautifully. :o)

I visited NY myself in March and I visited Ground Zero. It's hard to believe that it once looked so different than it does now. I'd never been to NY, so I have never seen -with my own eyes- what it looked like before. But it's still a very moving experience indeed.

It's strange, but true, how everyone (worldwide) remembers exactly what they were doing on september 11, 2001.
It is powerful and I also remember watching that day.... and it is hard to see how different it once was....

Thank you!
Not really all that strange - I took a 60s history class in school, and one assignment was to interview someone on where they were when JFK was shot. As awful as it is to think, there are often events in each generation that are so horrifying and life-changing that everyone remembers where they were.

One person certainly doesn't compare to the disaster at the World Trade Center, but, still, people remember.

Edited at 2008-09-21 08:47 pm (UTC)
Yeah-- I guess some things are indeed so life-altering that they are etched into your brain for the rest of your life. Doesn't matter if these events are good or bad. My parents still vividly recall the day when Armstrong took a stroll on the moon. They can talk about that day as if it were yesterday.
Yeah-- I guess some things are indeed so life-altering that they are etched into your brain for the rest of your life.

Yeah. I remember seeing somewhere that that's why people get PTSD. Horrifying events tend to get etched into the brain, and it's nigh on impossible to get rid of them.

Though, thankfully, good things can get so etched as well, like Armstrong walking on the moon.
;-) Thanks!
So bittersweet. Lovely story.
Oh, thank you!
Lovely, and so real. Ground Zero is on the list of things to do while visiting family in the metro NYC area, but haven't worked up the emotional fortitude yet.

Really nicely done.
It's an odd place. If you stay away from the obvious memorial places then... it's really just a construction site... kinda odd. The tour and the storefront museum can be overwhelming... the audio tour really was amazing but the storefront museum had me near tears....

You are a mind reader. For two days I have been walking around this house, saying to my self, "I wonder if someone has ever written a '911' story with John and Rodney?" Well, now, someone has. I was thinking of them being involved in the rescue, but this is just as powerful. Maybe more so, because its seeing it through their eyes. I love your manuscripts. They sound and feel very real-to-life, like this one. BTW, I was at home when I happen to switch on CNN and saw all the graphics. I was stunned, speechless, and horrified. The only thing I remember thinking was, 'I'm so glad mom died before this happened, she'd be so scared right now.' I just saw more footage the other day (hence the Atlantis connection) and it still had the power to zap me. Not only feeling helpless, but amazed, that someone could conceive of a plan like this and not care enough about others to carry it out. Thanks for sharing this, and thanks for being my new friend.

Read you later...Kd
Well, I actually wrote this a while ago.... had it lying about when the "Earth" challenge was issued.. but I couldn't (emotionally) post it much too close to the actual date... that just didn't feel right.

And I haven't seen other stories -- that is interesting, now that you say it....

Always glad to make new friends! ::smishes you::
Wonderful and haunting. The part about Ground Zero is so true. I went to NYC in November of '02 and did some touristy things (Liberty Island was still closed) and the last leg of the trip was Ground Zero. This was before the guided tours; there were still fences full of missing persons posters and the way to see the footprint of the Twin Towers was in another building of the Trade Center complex. I was moved to tears. You captured that perfectly.
I had been going to NYC for several years (ladies Christmas shopping trips) but we never made it up the towers over the years... we were there in Dec '01 before the cleanup really started and it was so very sad.... the posters and the closed streets gave it a haunted feeling... it's very different now, no less moving but..... just different....

Thank you!
Beautifully done. I haven't been there yet, but hope be there and the Pennsylvania site someday. I was having my plumbing redone that day and the plumber came flying up to tell me to turn on the TV. His sister had called to tell him, I have a feeling that it will hit me like the Arizona did when I visited Hawaii. When I stood there looking down through the water to the rusting hull, knowing all those men were still there and watching globs of oil still ooozing up, I felt a combination of horror, anger, grief and reverence. I actually started crying and didn't notice until a lady handed me a kleenex. It was even more profound a feeling than I'd had at Gettyburg.