popkin16 (popkin16) wrote,

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McShep Essay; or, why these two gay space idiots have captured my heart

Some time ago, I promised silvarbelle and allofspace a McShep essay. Here it is! Big thanks to jamesie_boy for being my enabler, as well as thebiggest_lie for being, well, herself. They've dealt with my crazed McShep love for some time, and never tell me to shut up.

I jumped aboard the John/Rodney ship late.

The wonderful sapphirestar_ already loved the show, and in an effort to get me to watch, she linked me to Kaneko's Intersections. I had no idea what was going on or who those people were, but I was charmed either way. I started the show, and as I've said before: I immediately fell for Rodney McKay, cuddly and warm looking in his orange fleece.

The show itself didn't grow on me until The Storm/The Eye, where John BAMF'd and Rodney was a brave little toaster. Due to Intersections and Essi's love for McShep, I went into the show already shipping it - and I asked her for a rec post - she happily obliged. That was posted in July 22nd, 2009 - one day before my birthday. It gave me a starting point, a place to discover an author I liked.

I have this method to my fandom exploration: once I have a starting point, I read everything by an author I like. Then I check out what fics they LJ memorized, and when I find an author I liked out of that list, I read all of their stuff and then raid their LJ memories. sheafrotherdon was probably one of my first favorites, which led to aesc, dogeared, and so many more.

I can't thank Essi enough for getting me started.

Despite going into the show already shipping it, John and Rodney themselves convinced me to love the ship. They have a fantastic dynamic that I can't get enough of. Stargate has so many possibilities all on its own, and you add in the possibilities that the characters themselves bring, and there's so much to write and theorize about. Joe and David have fantastic chemistry together that translates well on screen, and nothing brings out the emotion in their characters more than the other. Rodney is palpably worried about John in 38 Minutes, The Siege II, and Common Ground. John is visibly near tears during Tao of Rodney and The Shrine. Even from the beginning, they had fun together.

When something big happens, they look to each other. They support each other - John supporting Rodney in Miller's Crossing, Rodney showing John support in Outcast. They play games that turn out to have real life applications, they race cars, they talk about superheroes. They click. They argue and stumble away and work their way back toward each other. Rodney wouldn't let John go in The Last Man, and John refused to say goodbye in Miller's Crossing and The Shrine. Rodney calls for John in that same episode, despite the woman he supposedly loves standing just a few feet away. When Rodney is whale watching in Echoes, he calls John to his location so he can share his excitement - and John, military commander of Atlantis, indulges him. He shows up, he teases, and smiles at Rodney's excitement.

When events conspire to separate them, send them back to a place they don't fit in, not before Atlantis and certainly not now, they call each other. They set up a time and place to have dinner, inviting other friends along - but we actually see these two men on the phone with each other. They get jealous - Rodney in Sanctuary and Travellers, John in Tracker. They cockblock one another in Inferno, fighting over the same woman, and yet we see neither spending the night with her. They've been in each other's heads, seeing one another's dreams. John remembers Rodney's password, and knows the meaning behind it.

Both men are loners, and both found their family on Atlantis. They snark and they bicker. Rodney panics and John snaps at him. Even if you don't ship it, you have to admit that they have a deep friendship, a connection that cannot be ignored. For all that they say, what they do is more important, and what they do is support and shelter, care and worry and save each other. Mutual respect, friendship, family.

The Fandom
One of the best parts of John/Rodney is the amount of love they get, how prolific and frankly amazing the fandom is. I've heard people say they haven't seen a single episode of the show, others confess they watch the show but find it rather crappy - both say they're only in it for the fandom.

There are amazing fanvids:

Fantastic fanart by crysothemis [x], rainy_d [x], chkc [x], and gnine [x], and so many more. We have great manips. We have graphics [x] [x], wallpapers, and icons [x] [x].

Greatest Hits Rec Post
Why I Love McKay/Sheppard
Turn The Page
My Favorite Things
Solsbury Hill
Master McShep Fanfic Recommendations List
It's Only Just Begun

Comment Fests!
Skin Hunger
→ Kissing [1] & [2]
John and Rodney are Sleeping
Secret Touches
→ "How the heck did I get that bruise?" Day
sandwich / making out / bed + John and Rodney
On this day in McKay/Sheppard history . . .
Would you please get married already? Let's just quit this shilly-shallying and make it official, yeah? THANKS

Meta/Review things
Miller's Crossing
Miss you, big gay space show!
Forty Reason Why You, Too, Should Get On The SGA Train (And Ride It).
Revisiting Love: Why John and Rodney Rocked My World
→  The Shrine & McKeller/McShep
Fandoms I Have Loved: Stargate Atlantis

Links of Interest
"I love you, Doctor McKay."
Joe jokes that John's girlfriend on the show was Rodney.
David makes the same joke.
McShep Theorem
Were you looking for the story where...?
McKay/Sheppard manifesto
Giant McShep AU Masterlist
Archive of Our Own
The 'I love [this thing] about SGA!' post
SGA Big Bang

And now a little appreciation for the men behind the characters!

Joe's Message to David (the *wink*!)

Rub my belly!

It's been nearly three and a half years since I first fell in love with John Sheppard and Rodney McKay. I've loved every minute of it. They make me feel so much. They've made me laugh, made me cry. They make me smile helplessly and feel full to bursting with emotion. They've introduced me to the kindest, most generous group of people I've ever met. I've found the best fanfiction I've ever read here.

I hope I continue to love them for many years to come.
Tags: oh dear god what have i done, sga
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