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11 April 2012 @ 06:36 am
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].

Fanfiction
Greatest Hits Rec Post
Happyfest
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!
Bellies
Hands
Skin Hunger
→ Kissing [1] & [2]
John and Rodney are Sleeping
Secret Touches
→ "How the heck did I get that bruise?" Day
Domestic
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
Doppelganger
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
Crossroads
sga_episodefic
Archive of Our Own
Wraithbait
The 'I love [this thing] about SGA!' post
mcshep_awards
SGA Big Bang
atlantisbigbang

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.
 
 
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
 
 
 
No Whimsy, Sugartaste_is_sweet on May 16th, 2012 07:50 pm (UTC)
Thank you for all the links!

And thank you as well for reminding me why I loved this show so much. Before the show started I thought I might ship McKay and Beckett, because Sheppard seemed way too cool for school (or at least the sciences). But the chemistry was so perfect right from the second episode that I couldn't believe I'd ever imagined McKay with anyone else (at least among the men; I was always disappointed that the show never went for McKay/Weir, because I also loved her character).

I prefer my relationships less contentious, I'll admit, so I liked season two and season four much less than one, three and five because John and Rodney seemed to be fighting so much. There were episodes where it seemed like the only reason to wince through the constant bickering was to be able to read the fanficiton afterwards that explained and even fixed what had gone on. When Rodney ended up kind of thrown at Jennifer I was happy that for once the geek got the beautiful and smart woman, but it was impossible to think of their relationship as anything beyond Rodney's striving for something he'd been told he should want. I loved the fic that had Rodney realizing his mistake (especially ones that didn't bash Jennifer). My personal canon is that Jennifer stays on Earth after Enemy at the Gates and back in Pegasus Rodney realizes that John is who he really wanted.

At the risk of pimping myself, may I humbly offer you a list of my fics? I haven't written very much since about 2008 so they don't get recc'ed often anymore, but I know a lot of people enjoyed them. :) You can find them all here if you're interested.

popkin16: ♦ no ships like partnershipspopkin16 on May 17th, 2012 12:53 am (UTC)
You're welcome! Thanks for reading :D

I can see the basis for McKay/Beckett, though I confess McKay/Weir eludes me. I can see Rodney having feelings for her, but I always had the impression that she liked Sheppard. I'm such an OTP type though, it's difficult for me sometimes to read fic where they're with other people.

I can't see the Rodney/Jennifer relationship lasting long-term. It's my head!canon that she stays behind on Earth as well, because the two of them have realized that their relationship just wouldn't work. Jennifer wants someone nicer, Rodney probably finds her youth exhausting, and as you said - Rodney was going for what he thought he should want. Also, he may have had Jeannie's words ringing in his head from Miller's Crossing, where she essentially says take what you can get, because you won't do any better. And then Jennifer comes along, and she's beautiful and young and she likes him, so why not? And then he ignores the problems with their relationship. velocitygrass wrote some wonderful Rodney/Jennifer meta starting with The Shrine here that made a lot of sense to me. sgamadison and I have also had a discussion about Rodney/Jennifer you might find interesting.

I've read some of your stuff before, and I know I've loved it, so thank you so much for the link ♥ I'm sorry for such a large paragraph about McKeller, I have quite a lot of thoughts and feelings about them.
No Whimsy, Sugar: Want to dive into your oceantaste_is_sweet on June 26th, 2012 04:50 pm (UTC)
Sorry it's taken me over a month to respond to this!

First off: no worries about the McKeller discussion! I happen to agree. I have no problem with the character, but the actors at the least never seemed to have any chemistry. It also was very strange--to say the least--that during "The Shrine" Rodney kept hollering for John, but said he was in love with Jennifer. My headcanon is that he thought he was in love with her because he was high from the parasite, and then later just ran with it for the reasons you said: she's pretty, smart and into him. But Rodney really loves John.

Thank you for the compliment about my stories! I'm very happy you enjoyed them. :D
popkin16: ★ your mouth is like a grenadepopkin16 on June 27th, 2012 11:01 am (UTC)
Hey, no problem :)

I think the Keller character was handled rather poorly, leading to inconsistencies and lack of information about certain aspects (such as her motivation). And as you mentioned, the actors didn't really have the chemistry the show was pushing for, not like what was felt on screen between Ronon and Keller, anyway.

But Rodney really loves John.

Yes! They told us that Rodney loves Keller, but they showed us that he loves John.

Thank you for the compliment about my stories! I'm very happy you enjoyed them. :D

You're welcome! Just being honest :) I wish I wrote like you.