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Knitted Goods | G | ~1,300 words | for cliche_bingo square: Relative values: Families

So, a while back, artemisiabrisol were spending an evening watching Murder, She Wrote (as we're wont to do) and the air shimmered. You know - where you're watching something totally innocent and suddenly reality warps and it abrupty becomes John/Rodney AU?

Only this time was not like all the other times, because this is Jessica Fletcher. Jessica Fletcher does not get re-arranged - you re-arrange the universe around her. So we started thinking about how Rodney-like the obstinate chin-tilt was, how sharp the blue eyes, how utterly self-assured the superior "bitch, please" face, and of course Jessica Fletcher has positively dozens of nieces and nephews, right?

...yeah. Pretty much.

For reference's sake, I have included a visual aid below the story, which is utter, utter fluff and (*facepalm*) probably going to be part of a series, because I have decided that John Sheppard likes murder mysteries, and there will doubtless be a trip to DC because Jessica, she gets around, and she still talks to Jeannie on the phone, and Jeannie loves to complain about her brother, oh god. ^.^

Betaed by artemisiabrisol, who is at least as much to blame for this as I am.



When it happens, it's just one of those weird things that happens when you're friends with Rodney McKay - random, bizarre, and the kind of thing you note, mock, and then carry on as though it's never happened. John walks into Rodney's quarters without knocking one day and finds Rodney sitting on his bed wearing a cardigan sweater with whales on it.

He stops, blinks, stares for long enough that Rodney looks up at him with puzzlement, as though he's just realised John was there. No wonder - he's got two laptops on the bed in front of him, and seems to have been using them both simultaneously.

"What?" Rodney asks, blinking his way back up into non-physics reality with everybody else. Sometimes this takes a minute.

"Um." John swallows back what he thinks is a laugh. He's not really sure how to react. "Nice sweater?"

Again, it takes Rodney a second to catch up, and then he flushes pink almost hilariously fast. His hand comes up to pluck uncertainly at the collar even as his chin lifts defiantly. "It's cold, okay?"

And yeah, fair enough. Apparently New Lantea's climate isn't quite as temperate as Lantea was - every three years or so, the planet drops into a winter so deep that the city's environmental controls are having difficulty keeping up. It's not below-zero cold, but it's chilly and John's been sleeping with two blankets, his sleeping bag, and an emergency blanket filched from the jumpers. He can see a similar arrangement folded at the foot of Rodney's bed. And although it's a little chilly in Rodney's room right now, usually he defaults to the orange fleece John remembers him wearing in Antarctica. John has a weird, mildly embarrassing affection for that fleece that Rodney is never going to find out about.

"Uh huh," John answers. Rodney is still nervously picking at the sweater. It looks well-worn, with threadbare patches at the elbows and a coffee stain on the hem, zippered up the front. There are two whales mirror-imaged in dark blue on the front, on either side of the zipper, and there are fish patterned on the shoulders. It's thick and warm-looking and comfortable and nothing like anything John would have imagined, in a million years, that Rodney McKay would be caught dead wearing. Well, thinks John, to be fair, most people don't come in here without knocking, and the whole team but Rodney was supposed to be on the mainland until tomorrow. He's caught Rodney out. But instead of apologizing, he quirks a grin and observes: "Homey."

Rodney scowls at him. "I'm cold," he repeats, and when John just keeps smirking, he adds, crossing his arms over his chest, "my great aunt made it for me when I went away to school, okay? It's warm and soft and I was cold. Like you don't have any ridiculous comfort habits, Colonel Mickey Mouse Sweatshirt."

John doesn't really have any response to that. He likes Disneyland, damn it.

He sinks down onto Rodney's bed, peering over Rodney's shoulder at the laptop screens to hide the fact that he's tucking his stocking feet under the pile of blankets at the foot of the bed, because all this talking about the cold has made him cold. He leans closer to Rodney, who despite his protestations of chilliness is still radiating heat like a furnace as usual, and Rodney never minds when he invades his personal space. Rodney still seems to be working on the environmental systems, trying to figure out a way to crank up the heat without draining undue power from the ZPM. "Didn't know you had a great aunt," John murmurs, and Rodney stiffens next to him. Rodney always gets so weird when you ask about anything personal, even weirder than John. But after second that seems to be him deciding whether John is still making fun of him or not, he relaxes.

"One of only two relatives aside from Jeannie I could ever stand," he admits, tugging the left cuff of the sweater down. Close up, John can see that the sleeves are a little too long, but that the fabric is stretched snug across Rodney's shoulders and chest as though it's a little too small. Blinking, John realises that Rodney's had this sweater for years, that it was probably made for him when he was still the skinny, curly-haired kid John's seen in old personnel files, and that he's grown into it. The thought makes John's mouth unexpectedly dry, and he leans away, just a little, for the sake of plausible deniability. Rodney's not the most personally observant guy in the world, but he's not an idiot. Instead, John reaches out and touches the cuff of the right sleeve, which is folded up but still covers Rodney's arm and part of his hand, like a little kid wearing Dad's clothes.

"She made it to fit my Uncle Frank, since she hadn't seen me since I was twelve," Rodney explained, a little huffily, or was it breathlessly? John could never tell. "And then she showed up in Boston and made me try it on right there in my dorm room. She took it upon herself to check up on me, since my parents were all the way on the opposite side of the continent, and apparently she'd gotten tired of hearing me complain about how cold New England was."

John smiles at the image, some middle-aged woman with Rodney's obstinate chin and busy hands zipping him up in a wool sweater with whales on it. Rodney's pink, outraged face springs really easily to mind, and John gives Rodney's arm one last pat before standing up - that's enough for today, Sheppard, he tells himself. He offers Rodney a hand up. "Well, I was coming to get you for lunch. They finally got the big brick ovens working on the mainland - the ones the Athosians helped us build last month? We brought back about a tonne of bread from the mainland, and they're making some kind of weird soup to go with it. The bread's good, though." The botanists were enormously proud of their greenhouse complex, as there are certain things that just won't grow in hydroponics and apparently ordinary brown wheat is one of them. In the city they have to hybridize with things that make it turn weird colours.

"Really?" Rodney now looks intrigued, shutting down his laptops and snapping them shut before letting John pull him to his feet. "Actual bread? Actual bread that isn't orange or purple?"

"Actual bread, with actual butter, from something closely resembling cows," John confirms, as Rodney hustles to his closet and pulls out his orange fleece, unzipping the sweater before John can stop him.

"Why don't you just wear the--" he starts, but Rodney rolls his eyes.

"Oh, please, Sheppard," he says, carefully hanging up the whale sweater in his closet and then zipping it up on the hanger before shutting the closet door. "While I'm sure it would bring the whole city joy and amusement, I'm not really in the mood to be their source of entertainment today." He pulls the fleece over his head, coming up pink-cheeked and rumpled with his hair going every which way, a sight that has John awash with weird, Rodney-esque affection for three whole seconds before he turns the smile to the floor. When he looks up again, Rodney has patted his hair back into a vaguely civilised shape and is marching towards the door. John follows after a last, amused glance at Rodney's closed closet door, trying not to think about how while it's still just as cold as it was ten minutes ago, somehow just being around Rodney makes him feel a little warmer.

Rodney never wears the sweater outside his quarters, but sometimes, after that, it makes an appearance on team nights, and when he and John watch movies alone. John's kind of touched to be included, because it's obviously a gesture of some kind, even if he makes Mr. Rogers jokes every chance he gets.

***


The Sweater

From the back (in its full glory)

Comments

( 106 comments — Leave a comment )
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siriaeve
Jul. 12th, 2009 08:31 pm (UTC)
siriaeve: krjahkgrjag chandri just wrote an sga/murder she wrote crossover
life = complete

sheafrotherdon: ahahahahahahahaahaha!!
you should totally paste this in as your comment :D

siriaeve: hahaha, maybe i will, because the fic, it is ADORABLE.


\o/
chandri
Jul. 12th, 2009 08:35 pm (UTC)
Ahaha, it was pretty much inevitable. Every time I've watched Murder, She Wrote for the past four months I've gone "Hey, I NEED TO WRITE THIS," and then we saw the sweater, and it was done.

*beams*
(no subject) - siriaeve - Jul. 12th, 2009 08:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - chandri - Jul. 12th, 2009 09:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
chandri
Jul. 12th, 2009 09:04 pm (UTC)
Thank you! :D
dogeared
Jul. 12th, 2009 08:45 pm (UTC)
eeeeeeeeeeeee oh this is SO ADORABLE. :D :D Rodney has a comfort sweater! John has a comfort Rodney! asd;fasldfkj oh I love it \o/
chandri
Jul. 12th, 2009 09:05 pm (UTC)
Yes! *hugs* A comfort sweater with whales. And also fishes. Which he sits all hunched up inside and grumbles. It fills me with untold glee. :D
kathgrr
Jul. 12th, 2009 09:22 pm (UTC)
omg that is so cute I'm drowning in the syrup! LOL.
chandri
Jul. 13th, 2009 01:45 am (UTC)
Hee hee, exactly what I was going for! :)
mary_russell11
Jul. 12th, 2009 09:29 pm (UTC)
ahahahahaha, great story!! and the visual only made it funnier:-P
I don't know why though, but this sentence cracked me up:"John doesn't really have any response to that. He likes Disneyland, damn it."


.....guess I find John Sheppard-the-Disneyland-lover hilarious*shrugs helplessly and continues to snicker*
chandri
Jul. 13th, 2009 01:46 am (UTC)
Sure! Can't you just imagine him in the mouse-ears? Screaming on the Matterhorn? Eating churros until he was sick? :D
melagan
Jul. 12th, 2009 09:31 pm (UTC)
Crossover Brilliance!
and this

a sight that has John awash with weird, Rodney-esque affection

is just heart curlingly wonderful
chandri
Jul. 13th, 2009 01:46 am (UTC)
Heee, thank you. ^.^
skeddy_kat
Jul. 12th, 2009 09:51 pm (UTC)
You are obviously a Rodney-caliber genius - kind of like the guy who thought of combining chocolate and peanut butter! I can't wait until Rodney becomes one of her multitude of nieces/nephews accused of murder and she has to clear him.
chandri
Jul. 13th, 2009 01:47 am (UTC)
Chocolate and peanut butter! That's it exactly! \o/
sqweakie
Jul. 12th, 2009 10:02 pm (UTC)
Oh, gosh. That sweater is unreal and the mental image is making me grin. I would love to see more of this, of seeing Jessica and Rodney together. This story was so cute!
chandri
Jul. 13th, 2009 01:47 am (UTC)
There's more coming! Apparently I have no self-control. :)
tarlanx
Jul. 12th, 2009 10:15 pm (UTC)
Such a sweet and lovely story!
chandri
Jul. 13th, 2009 01:47 am (UTC)
Hee, thanks! :D
eccentricweft
Jul. 12th, 2009 10:27 pm (UTC)
This is so sweet! I love it.
chandri
Jul. 13th, 2009 01:48 am (UTC)
Thank you very much! I'm glad you enjoyed. :D
danceswithgary
Jul. 12th, 2009 10:40 pm (UTC)
Sweet. :-D
chandri
Jul. 13th, 2009 01:48 am (UTC)
Hee, thank you. ^.^
argosy
Jul. 12th, 2009 10:45 pm (UTC)
Ah, lovely! This should definitely be a series. *nods*
chandri
Jul. 13th, 2009 01:49 am (UTC)
Apparently Rodney and Jessica think so too, because I cannot get out of my head the mental image of Jessica Fletcher bearing down on John and Rodney in a room full of USAF dress uniforms. ;)
outsideth3box
Jul. 12th, 2009 11:32 pm (UTC)
My love for this, let me show you it!


♥♥♥
chandri
Jul. 13th, 2009 01:49 am (UTC)
Blinky love! Oh my! :D
malnpudl
Jul. 12th, 2009 11:43 pm (UTC)
HEEE! And AWWWW! And that's a wonderful combination, indeed. :-)
chandri
Jul. 13th, 2009 01:49 am (UTC)
I've always thought so, thank you! :)
auburnnothenna
Jul. 13th, 2009 12:24 am (UTC)
There needs to be more, more, more. Jessica Fletcher is Rodney's great aunt! Ooooooh. This makes me all nostalgic for when my dad and stepmom would be watching Murder She Wrote and I'd be reading except I'd always end up watching with.

Rodney is accused of murder. John is another suspect. And a scene with Jessica just rolling right over Landry, the way she'd do.

Not to mention how toe-curlingly adorable John and Rodney were in this. I'm all awash in Chandri-esque affection right now. Thank you!
chandri
Jul. 13th, 2009 01:51 am (UTC)
The best part would be how Jessica would eventually suss out the SGC and then talk to them politely until they cried. Because you know Jessica - no secret is safe.

And you are so welcome! :D
artemisiabrisol
Jul. 13th, 2009 12:50 am (UTC)
IT HAS BEGUN.
chandri
Jul. 13th, 2009 01:51 am (UTC)
Just so we're clear on how this is also your fault. :P
snarryfool
Jul. 13th, 2009 01:21 am (UTC)
I can't get my jaw off the floor. Also: the little bits of Yearning!John? Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.
chandri
Jul. 13th, 2009 01:51 am (UTC)
I do love me some Yearning!John. *hugs him*
chkc
Jul. 13th, 2009 01:21 am (UTC)
Awwwwwww, they are so cute!

Also, when John is telling himself "that's enough for today", is he limiting the number of times he can touch Rodney? D:
chandri
Jul. 13th, 2009 01:53 am (UTC)
I think John has an upper daily mental limit on how many times he can invade personal space/touch without giving himself away.

Poor John. :(

But Jessica will fix it! \o/

mik100
Jul. 13th, 2009 01:24 am (UTC)
you are the nerdiest nerd that ever nerded!
chandri
Jul. 13th, 2009 01:53 am (UTC)
JOIN US.
witch_in_winter
Jul. 13th, 2009 01:48 am (UTC)
What a delightful crossover...and who would of thought it working as well as it did. Smart writing my dear. Thanks for the smile and an urge to turn the Hallmark channel on and see if Rodney's great aunt is doing her thing.
chandri
Jul. 13th, 2009 01:53 am (UTC)
Fear not, for Jessica Fletcher is eternal. :D
winter_elf
Jul. 13th, 2009 03:53 am (UTC)
too cute for words!!! Love the WHALE sweater :) Oh Rodney.
chandri
Jul. 13th, 2009 06:59 pm (UTC)
The cutest Rodney that ever Rodneyed. :D
rellan
Jul. 13th, 2009 03:55 am (UTC)
*hugs this fic*

There must be Jessica Fletcher in the SGA universe. The stars are properly aligned. Nostradamus predicted it. Rodney and John would be excellent murder mystery fodder.

Fic WIN!
chandri
Jul. 13th, 2009 07:00 pm (UTC)
I happen to think there must be a Jessica Fletcher in every universe. She is an intra-universal constant. :D
michelel72
Jul. 13th, 2009 04:02 am (UTC)
Oh, how perfect! I never watched MSW myself, but some things are just universal. And, I mean, whales -- clearly it was meant to be! And, oh, pining John warming himself by sitting near Rodney and rationing invasions of space ....
chandri
Jul. 13th, 2009 07:02 pm (UTC)
Oh, you should! It's full of glee and delight and crack and moments of bitch, please. \o/
mary_alice
Jul. 13th, 2009 05:01 am (UTC)
This is totally adorable! Rodney and his secret comfort sweater, and John rationing his Rodney-touches... (Dolphin squealing!) And it never occurred to me before, but you're right -- Jessica as Rodney's great-aunt is perfect. I can't wait to see more in this universe!
chandri
Jul. 13th, 2009 07:02 pm (UTC)
So perfect! Just sprang out at us! And gods know Jessica can go pretty much wherever she wants... ;)
foolish_m0rtal
Jul. 13th, 2009 05:30 am (UTC)
VERY cute, and the sweater pictures are awesome! The end, when Rodney feels comfortable enough around Sheppard to wear the sweater shows so much in such a small ostensibly insignificant detail.

And YES, I know exactly what you mean when suddenly you're hit with a "THIS IS A MCSHEP AU" in the middle of a show or book.
chandri
Jul. 13th, 2009 07:03 pm (UTC)
It's kind of like being hit in the face with a brick.

A brick of crack.

And joy. \o/
(no subject) - foolish_m0rtal - Jul. 13th, 2009 10:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
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