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28 January 2007 @ 02:56 am
Best Buddies, SGA RPS, Joe/David, G  
Title: Best Buddies
Author: valderys
Fandom: SGA RPS
Pairing: Joe/David
Rating: G, pre-slash
Spoilers: DHs other projects, 3x17 Sunday, casting decisions for next season
Notes: Written for the picfor1000 challenge. A story in exactly a thousand words? Harder than it looks.
Summary: The business is always like this, but David still has a hard time dealing. So does Joe.

“Jesus, Joe. You do this to yourself by choice?”

David’s voice is a deepening whine. Joe cocks an eyebrow and pauses at the top of the hill. He breathes steadily in the chilly air, and looks over short tussocky grass and the dark green of conifers into the valley below.

“Hey, it’s your choice too,” he says, “You go running with Jane, don’t you?”

“Yes, but that’s different. It might have escaped your attention, but Jane is a girl. A wonderful, marvellous, patient girl, who puts up with my moaning, and – not incidentally – goes easy on me.”

Joe grins and lifts his heel onto the grass at the side of the trail. If they’re going to wait long enough for David to get his breath back then he needs to keep stretching. He’s not as young as he was. But then, are any of them?

“Hey, talk to me,” says David, his hand a sudden warmth on Joe’s elbow. “I thought that was what this was all about. Getting me out in the fresh air, getting me to open up.”

“Yeah,” says Joe, cautiously, “It was Torri’s idea.”

“Great, marvellous, fantastic – do I look like the kind of person who won’t talk about his feelings until he’s however many miles away from civilization? In fact, do I look like the kind of man who can’t talk about his feelings at all. I do, all the time! I emote! I express!”

David waves his arms for emphasis, and Joe thinks, just like McKay – and he’s about to say so, teasing, when David bounces on his toes, which completely ruins the effect. Joe shuts his mouth. He knew this was a bad idea, but at least it keeps Torri off his back.

“She’s trying to be supportive. While she still can.”

It’s too abrupt, but Joe’s finding this harder than he thought. He imagined they could just run, and they’d be too tired for talking. It would be a comfortable kind of manly closeness. And then he could tell Torri that David was fine, and then they can just get on with things.

“Look, I don’t know why you think I need supporting anyway. It’s Paul that’s leaving. Not me! McKay is just fine. Just dandy. I get postcards, dammit! Hundreds of them. McKay won’t be going anywhere.”

David’s face is getting red. He won’t look Joe in the eye. Joe feels that tug he gets when David lets him see something – anything – of his real self. He’s all sarcastic angles, and professional enthusiasm most of the time. Joe hates the ache he gets in his chest when David’s like this, hates it and loves it too – because this is Paul’s job, normally. Talking him down. Cheering him up. Joe’s not sure if he’s up to it, but he wants to be. He wants to be everything Paul is, wants it badly enough that he’s teased David into coming for this run, for formless, unknowable reasons. He’s blaming Torri, but that’s just for show.

He puts an uncertain hand on David’s shoulder and David stills. Joe can feel the heat radiating from David’s skin. He wants to fold him up and pull him close. They’re both actors – touchy-feely by profession and inclination, all air-kisses and breezy charm – but David and Joe have never been this way. He could be hefted into the air by Jason, or throw Rachel squealing into an armchair. But this… He and David don’t touch. It’s just the way of it. McKay and Sheppard do – head-smacks and tugs on the tac vest. A poke or two for reassurance. But right now, Joe doesn’t know what to do. David and Joe don’t have that. He wishes they did. He wonders what Paul would try.

“Hey, we should keep going. You’ll stiffen up,” says Joe.

He’s no good at this. Torri would kick his ass. The writer’s pick up on all sorts of things and it’s not just Sheppard who has a hard time… dealing. Joe already has a best friend on set. Jason drags him into all sorts of trouble, takes him skate-boarding and roller-blading. Joe, in turn, wants to take Jason surfing, skiing, even jet-boating – all the things his contract forbids him to indulge. Joe and Jason are buddies. He’s being greedy.

Paul would know what to say.

David’s pulse is slowing, under his palm. Joe shivers in the breeze that’s cooling his body, and watches David’s ridiculously long lashes blink at him.

“It’s so stupid,” says David, “Paul will be fine. The business is always like this.”

Joe nods, his throat closed.

“I’m going to miss him,” says David, frowning.

It could be any one of us, Joe wants to say, except he knows that’s not true. They always go for the most expendable. Stargate isn’t the kind of franchise that kills off its stars. Not its stars.

David huffs, a small sigh, like an exhalation, but he doesn’t seem to be impatient. He doesn’t seem to be pissed at Joe. At his utter inability to be Paul, to be what David needs. Instead David puts a hand on Joe’s shoulder, mirroring his own, and then David reels him in, pulling him into the hug, and Joe goes, his arms wrapping themselves around David’s middle, naturally, just like he’s always imagined. And it’s peaceful, and quiet, and David is blinding heat and solid comfort, all down Joe’s side.

Maybe Joe doesn’t need to be Paul. Maybe he and David can have their own thing, whatever that turns out to be. Maybe it’s been obvious all along, and Torri really does need to kick his ass.

It’s astonishingly intimate when David begins to speak, his voice buzzing into Joe’s ear, along his skin, and it makes him smile. It makes him grin at the sheer determination of the man.

“Star-crossed!” says David, “It’s the spin-off from ADB – I could pitch it for Paul. He’s perfect for it, hell, he’s already in it, and there’s always the potential to…”

Tags: ,
lilysaid on January 28th, 2007 01:32 pm (UTC)
This was lovely and sweet and thoroughly enjoyable. :)
Valderys: Sheppard - major interestsvalderys on January 29th, 2007 12:32 pm (UTC)
A bit too sweet perhaps? I wrote a version that was a lot more angsty, but it was going way over 1000 words, so I axed it and wrote this instead. Angst is always longer than fluff, I find :)
lilysaid on January 30th, 2007 12:16 am (UTC)
A bit too sweet perhaps?

not at ALL. and hey, I'd love to see a longer version, are you kidding? when it comes to fic, the longer the better.

I mean, so long as they kiss and make up at the end. :)
Tora: SGA DH Jumper siriaevetorakowalski on January 28th, 2007 01:49 pm (UTC)
Oh, that was wonderful.
Valderys: Sheppard - major interestsvalderys on January 29th, 2007 12:34 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much!!
slashfictionfan: DH - Foolproofslashfictionfan on January 28th, 2007 01:51 pm (UTC)
Awwww... lovely... can just see David huffing and puffing with exertion and indignation.
Thanks for sharing..... is there going to be more? *waggles eyebrows cheekily* .... cos you have the pre-slash... so there's bound to be actual slash eh *g*

Valderys: Sheppard - major interestsvalderys on January 29th, 2007 12:38 pm (UTC)
There might be! I like writing RPS - I wrote loads of Lotrips at one point - obviously the temperatures down here in the special hell suit me :) *basks in the flames*
crownglass39: thoughtcrownglass39 on January 28th, 2007 02:00 pm (UTC)
This is just lovely and believable!
Valderys: Sheppard - major interestsvalderys on January 29th, 2007 12:41 pm (UTC)
Oh good! That's always the secret, if you can hit the right notes :) Thank you.
Velocitygrass: Joe/Davidvelocitygrass on January 28th, 2007 02:34 pm (UTC)
Really nice. Loved Joe wanting to help David, but being absolutely clueless as to how.

Maybe he and David can have their own thing, whatever that turns out to be.
I sure hope so.

Thank you very much for this!
Valderys: Sheppard - major interestsvalderys on January 29th, 2007 12:42 pm (UTC)
It strikes me that neither of them are very different to their characters - and getting more similar every day. (Golf, Mr Flanigan, sir? :)
mairi_mairi_ on January 28th, 2007 03:36 pm (UTC)
I love lazy sunday mornings with new fics on my flist to dawdle over. Very enjoyable, if you feel so inclined to tell us, what happens next?
Valderys: Sheppard - major interestsvalderys on January 29th, 2007 12:44 pm (UTC)
Ooh, I might, maybe. It's not worked out completely in my head yet, but I bet I'll write some more RPS at some point. There's different notes to play with here, than there is with McShep - it's interesting.
in the woods with the werewolvesemeraldsword on January 28th, 2007 04:25 pm (UTC)
I liked this, very emotional but very subtle too.
Valderys: Sheppard - major interestsvalderys on January 29th, 2007 12:46 pm (UTC)
Thank you. A high compliment indeed - since it was what I was going for :)
Xylo: xylopicxylohypha on January 29th, 2007 01:16 am (UTC)
I like this--and this bit was lovely:

David reels him in, pulling him into the hug, and Joe goes, his arms wrapping themselves around David’s middle, naturally, just like he’s always imagined.

Pre-slash? May we hope for more?
Valderys: Sheppard - major interestsvalderys on January 29th, 2007 12:51 pm (UTC)
As I've mentioned elsewhere - there will probably be some more, sometime. There would have been some more now, except for the 1000 words thing! :) I like writing constrained and to some kind of deadline though, so until there's an appropriate challenge, I may let it lie...