happy valentine's day from me to you

Here's a snippet of the story I'm trying very hard to get done this week, after failing to do so last week. Part of the problem is that I'm not quite sure what the ending is yet, so I just keep adding bits, and also I need to pull the middle part to pieces, as I'm trying to do something specific with the formatting and it currently doesn't quite work. But as this is my favorite scene (also the scene that prompted me to write the rest of it) and is also somewhat self-standing (er, that sounds wrong but I think it's what I meant to say so I'm going to leave as is), I thought I might as well share it as a Valentine's Day treat. Despite the subject matter.


“I expected to die with my boots on,” he tells the room at large, studying the backs of his withered hands, unfamiliar as a stranger’s and less useful. When he looks up, Sheppard is staring uncomfortably at the wall, as though unable to bear the sight of what his only partial success has wrought. Mack’s already lectured him about the guilt, but it’ll take a while to take properly, if it ever does. Complete failure might have been easier to accept. Might have, although apparently Sheppard rides himself harder than anyone (except, perhaps, O’Neill) ever realized.

“You still could, sir.” It’s a good attempt at nonchalance, but not enough to keep him from getting called on it.

“That’s the sort of feel-good bullshit I expect from someone like Ford—you of all people should know better, Major.” Mack’s never been one for pulling his punches, but this one doesn’t land the way he expects it to, because now Sheppard finally looks him in the eye, one corner of his mouth quirked up ever-so-slightly.

“I meant, I could go get them for you if you’d like, sir. I’m sure Dr. Beckett wouldn’t notice.”

And Mack shouldn’t laugh at that for many more reasons than one, but he can’t help it, even though the first creaking, ragged run of it makes Sheppard wince, makes Mack’s throat feel like it’s peeling apart inside like old paint and his lungs burn and he can’t stop laughing but he also can’t breathe—

Somewhere, distantly, Sheppard shouts for a doctor, but even as world goes spottily black around him, Mack thinks that there’s worse ways to go out.
Oh, I liked this! I adore looking at John through other people's eyes and this snippet does it well. :)
Oh, good! The actual story itself is kind of weird in spots, as there's some timey-wimey-ish stuff going on, but I do hope people like the whole thing, as I am inordinately fond of it (probably why it's proving so hard to tack down the ending).

And there's a fair bit more of Sheppard-through-Sumner's-eyes, though not so much as will be appearing in my magnum opus, "Things Already Seen" (featuring lots more timey-wimey stuff) if I ever get that one done either.

Why is it so hard to finish things? At least my WIP list isn't getting any longer.... Well, the fannish one, anyway.

Quote: “I meant, I could go get them for you if you’d like, sir. I’m sure Dr. Beckett wouldn’t notice.” End Quote.

It was a nice little ficlet.

Thanks for sharing. :)
Oh, if only it were just a "little ficlet". The actual thing is rather long and getting longer. With lots more of the Sumner & Sheppard show. It just keeps ... going.
Really? *perks up*

I'd be quite interested in reading more of it. From the impression, I assumed that it was a short story. It's good that it's not then, because what I read certainly looks worth reading more of. :D

Any ideas on when it'll be done? And if you need a beta, I'd be happy to work with you.
*makes face at fic*

It'll be done when it's done, I'm afraid, and no sooner. I thought I knew what shape it was going to take, but it clearly has other things in mind, so right now I'm just sort of poking at it, seeing if I can figure out what's going on. As soon as I do, it ought to pretty much write itself.

(I hope.)
I wish I could figure out how you keep the characters true to character for the circumstances in which you place them. This feels like a might have been given what we saw of Sumner and Sheppard in the series.

May your Easter season be filled with joy.
Mostly, particularly with Sheppard, I've written and thought about them for so long that I have their voices pretty well in my head by now, or at least my versions of them---it's been a while since I've watched the series so I have no idea whether anything matches up anymore. But I do try for internal consistency, so it's good to know I'm succeeding. :)

I think it helps that I know their histories as well (or rather, again, my versions of them), who they were before they arrived in Atlantis.

A joyous Easter to you as well!