The Hardest Habit, (PG)

Title: The Hardest Habit
Author: goddess47
Rating: PG, for swears
Warnings/Spoilers: None, really
Pairing: McKay/Sheppard, reference to McKay/Keller
Length: 800 words
Summary: For the mcsheplets Challenge #57: Just In Time

John couldn't say "Go get the girl" again….

It's Katie all over again. Rodney waving a small velvet box around, babbling something John doesn't hear over the blood rushing in his ears.

"You gonna…." John points to the box.

Rodney looks earnest and smiles. But it's not quite the happy Rodney-smile that John thought it should have been.

"Well, I'm going to…" Rodney points to the door. "Go."

As the door slides closed behind Rodney, John's brain stops. Rodney's going to propose to Keller. He didn't think it had gotten that far, he should have been paying more attention.

Not giving himself time to think, John moves. A hall, a transporter, breaking into a run and he's seeing Rodney reach to knock on Keller's door.

"Don't do it," John's mouth calls, as his brain echoes, What the fuck are you doing, Sheppard? John's momentum carries him closer before he stops.

Rodney hesitates and looks at him. "John?"

"I….." The words won't come out. He looks down at his feet.

"Why shouldn't I do it?" Rodney asks softly. He moves close enough for John to feel the heat radiating from Rodney's body.

"I… I don't want you to," John blurts out.

Rodney looks at him, incredulous. "Now? You do this now? As I'm about to propose?" Rodney all but shouts.

John winces but nods.

The silence goes on for what feels like an eternity. John sighs and looks down at his feet again, he can't look any longer at Rodney's stricken face, knowing he's made a mistake.

"I'm… sorry," he mumbles to his feet. "I didn't mean to…." Another deep breath. "Sorry."

John turns and walks away. He keeps on walking, not paying attention to where he's going. Intellectually, he knows better than to stray off the known paths but today he doesn't care. He finds a sheltered balcony not too far above the water line and sits and stares at the ocean.

It's Ronon who comes looking for him some time after dark.

"You missed dinner," Ronon informs him. "And Lorne is looking for you." He tosses John a communicator.

"Anything wrong?" John asks sharply.

"Nah," Ronon answers. "You were supposed to be in a meeting or something."

Right. He and Lorne were looking to see how they were going to shuffle a couple of gate teams since one of the new recruits they had put on SGA-8 had broken an ankle on his first mission and a scientist on SGA-12 had come down with something resembling the chicken pox and Keller'd… Keller. John drops his head to his knees and breathes deliberately.

"You okay?" Ronon asks.

I suspect not. "Yeah," John grits out. He climbs to his feet and stretches to work out the kinks that had developed. "Time to get back."

They walk back in silence. Ronon goes off to his room and John swings by the mess hall and picks up coffee and a couple of sandwiches. He's not really hungry but knows he needs to have some distraction before he goes to bed and tries to sleep.

Only, when he opens his door, Rodney is there. In his room.

"Where have you been?" Rodney demands. "You can't just say and… and then go off and…." He waves his hands pointing at John. "You!"

Wearily, John drops the sandwiches and coffee on the desk and moves to the bathroom. He stands in the doorway for a moment and says softly, "I'm sorry."

John takes his time, hoping that Rodney will leave, but really, he knows better. Rodney looks up as he steps out of the bathroom.

"I think, maybe, we need to sit for this," Rodney suggests tentatively from his perch on the edge of the bed.

John sits in the chair for the desk, opposite Rodney. "I am sorry," John offers.

"Yeah, figured that out," Rodney grumbles. "Honestly, that was like… the best or the worst timing of… whatever…. that I've ever seen." He kind of crumples into himself. "I went in there and…." He glances at John and then away, "I was still going to do it. But the words wouldn't come out." Rodney rubs a hand over his eyes, "I'm pretty sure I broke up with her."

"Jeez, Rodney," John doesn't know what else to say at this point.

A small laugh. "You know, this is the first time I got to give the it's not you, it's me speech. I'm usually on the receiving end of that," Rodney recounts.

John lets out a breath he didn't know he was holding. "So, now what?"

"Well, that's my question," Rodney tosses it back to him. "This is your fault, so you have to make it better."

The knot in his stomach loosens, "Well, I have…." John gets up and looks in his mini-fridge. "Two sandwiches, a cup of cold coffee, four beers and half a package of oreos. Dinner?"

"You asking me on a date now, Sheppard?" Rodney asks cautiously.

John freezes for a nano-second and then his mouth, acting independently of his brain again, says, "Yeah."

Rodney smiles that really-happy smile John knew was looking for before. "Oh, okay then."

"Love is the hardest habit to break, and the most difficult to satisfy." - Drew Barrymore


This made me go "awwww". Yay for John finally saying something!

Took John long enough!

\0/ ! \0/!

Finally. John waas almost too late.
Oh, yea. Leave it to John to leave the most important thing in the entire *universe* to the very last minute....

Awww - great 'just in time.' :-D

Thanks so much! Glad you enjoyed it!
I like this. I like that Rodney went in and was going to propose to her anyway, because it's hard to shift tracks just like that and he had to believe he loved her to be ready to propose. I glad he broke up with her, because I'm all about John and Rodney, but I found this believable in that respect, and there's nothing here that demonizing Jennifer, it's all John's emotional retardedness and Rodney finally seeing that John could be an option.
Oh, yeah. John's needs to be hit by more than a clue bus...

Rodney always thought of John as an option, I like to think, just that Rodney would think John was totally out of his league. Not until John makes the first move will Rodney do anything about it....


This story is very sweet and I'm so happy that John proposed to Rodney just in time.
Awww.... thanks.....

Of course, John is always self-sacrificing and giving up something he wants himself for others.... but for once he gets something for himself.
I liked that Rodney was going to go through with the proposal, and couldn't so broke up with her instead.

And John's mouth acting independently of his brain so he gets what he really wants... Rodney.
Yeah, John's mouth sometimes gets him into trouble, this time it did him good deed!

poor Rodney - always on the end of the 'not you, me' speech, but who cares when he gets the gir... guy in the end?!! Lovely! Thanks!
I do see Rodney getting the "not you, it's me" speech a lot.... poor woobie....


You know, people are going to start thinking Rodney believed "to propose" is "to break up", and not what it actually means. :)
Ooohhhh.... good point! ;-) Poor Rodney!

Many thanks!
"Two sandwiches, a cup of cold coffee, four beers and half a package of oreos. Dinner?"

Sounds like a perfect dinner/date to me! Yay, John!

I enjoyed this! :o)
Well, it's a perfect guy-dinner anyway.... ;-)


The Hardest Habit

Oh, I loved this :)

"Now? You do this now? As I'm about to propose?" Rodney all but shouts.
I love how this implies that Rodney had been aware that John might be feeling something. It's not "What?!" it's the timing of it (true to the challenge :)

He waves his hands pointing at John. "You!"
I can so see this!

I may hate the fact that we need these fix-me fics, but I never get tired of reading them, because they make what he had to endure in canon so much better.

Re: The Hardest Habit

Awww.... ::blushes::

Yeah, Rodney would always think of John as out of reach and react badly to finding out at a time like this.... and then be kind of incoherent in response.....

Sigh.... if only we wrote this show.....
Excellent timing, John!
Phew, John. That was waaay too close. And it would all have been your own fault!
"This is your fault, so you have to make it better." And I'll bet that John did. ;-)

Very nice just-in-time fic, though, poor Rodney trying to go through with the proposal anyway.
I'll go with best timing ever! aww, boys *smishes them together*
Awesome! I love John stumbling over himself and apologizing and running and apologizing. It is all so authentic to who John is.

And Rodney being so incredulous -
"Now? You do this now?"
Oh boys! How I love you!

Thank you for this. It is sweet and fantastic.
That made me go into fangirl mode and it was your fault! -tries to glare but fails- Eh, wasn't really mad after all.

Good job.
Phew Great timing! Glad John stopped Rodney and glad Rodney realized he needed to be stopped!