You’ve Written Your Own Directions (And Whistled the Rules of Change)

~2500 words :: Stargate: Atlantis :: John/Rodney :: 6/27/08
Rodney’s main criteria when browsing personals is intelligence, or at least the appearance thereof. Correct spelling and grammar, that sort of thing. As it happens, this narrows down the field considerably.

Author commentary
Podfic by rhea314


The summer after fourth grade can pretty much be summed up by two things: Star Wars and Aunt Tricia’s wedding. There’s also the usual month at the house in Tahoe, and there’s camp and swimming and other summer stuff, but there was Star Wars at the beginning and now the wedding at the end and it seems like everything in between was just filler.

Tricia is John’s youngest aunt, younger than some of his cousins even. She’s the one who taught John to skateboard and who took him and Davey to see Star Wars three times. She lets him read her comic books, all the Supermans and Batmans and Fantastic Fours and a dozen other titles she’s been collecting since she was younger than John. She plays Monopoly with him and bought him ABBA’s Arrival album for his tenth birthday and can make just about anything out of Legos.

When John was little, he used to say he wanted to be her when he grew up. He used to sneak clothes from the back of Mom’s closet, stuff she never wore anymore. This was back when Davey still looked up to him, when he’d do anything John said.

Now he looks at John like Dad does and John knows he’s remembering the way John would wobble across the room in Mom’s high heels or spin in front of the mirror to make the dress flare out. Now there’s a lock on Mom’s closet and John knows he won’t grow up to be Tricia.

He smiles and tells her congratulations, and hopes nobody notices how much he touches the slippery smooth material of her dress when he hugs her. His tie feels like it’s choking him.


Meredith peeks out the back door. “Mommy,” she calls, “I’m gonna have a snack!”

Mom looks up from her gardening, her floppy hat covering her eyes. “Okay, sweetie, but don’t spoil your dinner.”

Humming to herself, Meredith opens the fridge. She pushes cheese and lettuce and a bowl of grapes out of the way, but all that’s behind them is a carton of eggs. She eats a handful of grapes and finds the hot dogs on the next shelf, behind the milk. She takes out two hot dogs, takes a bite of one and then sets them on the counter as the refrigerator door swings shut behind her.

She unbuttons her corduroys and pushes them down to her knees. She takes one of the hot dogs, the one she didn’t take a bite of, and slips it inside her panties. It feels lumpy and not quite right, but it feels righter than it did before.


Alison is smart, pretty, fun to hang out with, and probably deserves a better boyfriend than John. She has a lock on her door to keep out her little sister and her parents are never home, but John’s still nervous when they make out on her bed after school. Her breasts are smallish, the perfect size for John’s hands.

She takes her shirt off herself, pulling it over her head half-buttoned. Her bra is white and lacy and John says, “Let me,” when she reaches back to undo it. He just wants to keep touching her like this forever, memorizing how right her body is.

He touches her and he thinks how cool it would be if they suddenly switched, like Freaky Friday or something. Or maybe he could just magically become Jodie Foster. That would be cool, too. It’s almost enough to distract him from her hand on his crotch, enough at least to get him to that place where he’s sort of outside his body, and then it’s okay that she’s touching him because it’s not him. It’s just this weird pod person where Jodie Foster is supposed to be.

When she goes downstairs later to get a couple Cokes, he doesn’t mean to look through her dresser drawers. And once he’s got the underwear drawer open, he tells himself he’ll just look, or maybe touch a little, but the next thing he knows, he’s stuffed a pink lacy bra down into the bottom of his backpack. By then he can hear Alison coming up the stairs, singing Rio off-key, and it’s too late to put it back if he wanted to.

He puts it on that night, after he’s supposed to be in bed. The band digs into his skin a little, even on the last hook, but it’ll have to do. He stuffs the cups with Kleenex and when he puts his t-shirt back on over it, it looks almost real. He keeps it on when he jerks off. With his eyes shut, he can pretend it’s someone else’s dick in her hand.


Coming home to find Teyla meditating is not necessarily a bad sign. Teyla meditates a lot. She can’t help it; her parents were hippies.

It’s the puffy, red eyes, and the way she sounds so resigned when she says, “Mer, we need to talk.” That’s when Meredith notices the duffle bag on the couch. “I know about Mark. And I know he’s not the first.”

It shouldn’t hurt, because Meredith’s the one who fucked it up. It shouldn’t hurt like this, but it’s not like she wanted this to happen. She was going to meet Teyla’s parents. They were going to make a road trip of it, enjoy their last summer of being students.

“I’m not going to be your little experiment.” Teyla takes a deep breath. “I can’t do this… I can’t just sit around until you finally admit you’re straight.”

“That’s not it.”

“Then what is it?” Teyla pleads. Meredith looks away. “Just tell me and I-”

“I don’t know,” Meredith says miserably. She doesn’t even like men. “I don’t know.”


Nancy always says she chose her name as a sort of fuck you to everyone who called her a nancy boy growing up. Maybe that’s why she’s the first girlfriend Jodie’s had in nearly fifteen years. Or the first girlfriend she’s had ever, depending on how you count these things.

Jodie’s fuck you is the Christmas card she sends after they move in together, one of those photo postcards so that even if Mom throws it away, she’ll have to live with the Horrible Shame of the mailman knowing she has a Lesbian Daughter. After Jodie’s dropped it in the mail (along with one to Dave, addressed to Mr. and Mrs. David Sheppard in case he’s traded in the old wife for a new model again), she wishes she’d thought to add “formerly known as John” to the signature, just so the mailman gets the full effect.

She gets the call a few weeks later, two days before her thirtieth birthday. The first two messages on the machine are for Nancy, and Jodie’s sorting through the mail, only half paying attention when suddenly there’s Dad saying, “John,” and “I received your card,” and “your mother lost her battle with cancer on the seventeenth.” There’s a long pause after that and then, “I hope you’re happy,” just before he hangs up.

The machine moves on to the next message, but she just crawls into bed, still fully dressed, and pulls the covers over her head. It’s not the fact that the funeral must have already happened, or that she didn’t even know her mom was “battling” in the first place. It’s that she was supposed to be better than them.

She’s still curled up tense and headachy and unable to cry when Nancy gets home.


It’s meeting Gretchen at Pride (or rather, sleeping with her that night) that makes it click. She’s the girl Rodney’s always wanted, with the cock he’s always wanted to have.

He starts seeking out T-girls after that. Sometimes he feels skeevy about it. He’ll surf XTube or one of those sites with shemale or ladyboy in the name, and it’ll get him hard like nothing else. He’ll watch a video of a girl stroking her hard cock and his boxers’ll be soaking wet before he even touches himself.

The thing is, he’s just not attracted to men. He’s attracted to women, and he’s dated a lot of women with cunts, but no matter how much he’s in love, it always ends with him wanting cock. It always ends up with him hurting people.


Craigslist is the last place Jodie expects to meet someone. Well, anyone decent, anyway. A look through the ads for T-girls turns up mostly trolls and guys with shemale fetishes. But Nancy badgers her into placing an ad, just as she’d badgered her into signing up for OkCupid and Adult FriendFinder, both of which resulted in a couple okay-sounding guys among the creeps, but none of them had gone anywhere beyond the first date.

True, she hasn’t had much better luck the old-fashioned way, either. She and Nancy lasted for a little over two years before Nancy finally said, “I love you, Jodie, but if I’d wanted someone this emotionally unavailable, I’d be straight.”

Then there was Ronon, who was not only the best fuck Jodie’d ever had, hands down, but also drop-dead gorgeous and tall enough to make her feel feminine. He didn’t think a football game or an afternoon at the shooting range was a weird date, either. Unfortunately he was also a grad student at Berkeley, and had moved back to Hawaii after graduation. They still kept in touch, but neither of them wanted a long-distance relationship.

And the less said of clubs, the better. She had more than enough of that scene when she was still pretending to be a guy, so Craigslist it is.

She’s not sure the ad will actually attract anyone. She plays down the fact that she really, really wants to get laid (troll bait for sure) with a vague statement about possibly looking for something long-term, and she focuses more on her likes and dislikes than her looks, which, if she’s honest with herself, kind of scream tranny.

She gets a half-dozen responses the first day: creep, creep, spammer, can’t spell to save his life, creep, and for variety, another creep. There are more after that, all of which continue to live down to expectations. There’s one on the third day who sounds okay, a guy around her age who teaches culinary arts at City College. The attached photo isn’t what she would have sent (he looks a little like an excited squirrel, frankly), but at least he’s honest, unlike the guy who’d expected her to believe he was David Beckham, or the one who sent photos of two completely different porn stars.

Besides, she’s more than a little curious to see if he’s as wonderful as he claims. Or as obnoxious as the five paragraphs of “my awesome, let me show you it” (accompanied by a random tangent into “why Batman is better than every other superhero ever”) suggest. She’s not ruling out the possibility of both.


Rodney’s main criteria when browsing personals is intelligence, or at least the appearance thereof. Correct spelling and grammar, that sort of thing. As it happens, this narrows down the field considerably.

So when he found a non-op girl who was not only literate, but also geeky, he may have gone a little overboard trying to impress her. He can’t help it if smart chicks who love sci-fi and comics give him a hard-on.

She’s hot, too, if the pictures she sent are anything to go by. Not beautiful, but handsome and athletic (she did mention liking football, the freak) and really very pretty when she smiles.

He tries to tone it down a little on their date; the patented Rodney McKay charm can be lethal in large doses, and the more time he spends with Jodie, the more he actually, well, wants to spend more time with her. If she knew him, she’d realize what a huge compliment that is. He also wants to bang her six ways to Sunday (which she should also take as a compliment), but he’s smart enough to keep that to himself.

Whatever he does say over dinner works, because she invites him back to her place. (The main things that stand out from the half-remembered nervous babble are rants about the evils of citrus and how Russell T. Davies is ruining Doctor Who, but if that’s what turns her on, who is he to argue?)

“So,” she says, kicking off her shoes once they’re in the door. “Just so we’re on the same page here, I’m pretty comfortable with my dick now. There was a time when all I wanted to do was lop the damn thing off-”

Rodney winces and Jodie laughs nervously, tucking her hair behind her ear. “I know, TMI, sorry. Anyway, it’s…” She takes a deep breath and the rest all comes out in a rush, “It just doesn’t seem like a big deal now that I have everything else, you know? Well, I guess you don’t, but I just. I wanted to get that out of the way. Prevent awkwardness and all.”

This is where he should tell her, but instead he just says, “I hear the best way to prevent awkwardness is with more awkwardness.”

She laughs then, genuinely this time. “So, now that I’ve gone and ruined the mood…”

“There was a mood?” He steps closer, rests his hands on her hips. She’s a little taller than him, but not by much.

She tilts her head, one corner of her mouth twitching up. “I thought there was.”

“I still want to have sex with you,” he says, and kisses her. “Like, a lot.”

“Well, then.” She pulls back and jerks her head towards the open bedroom door.

He’d like to undress her slowly, to spread her out on the bed and just look at her forever, but she’s already unbuttoning her blouse, letting it fall from her shoulders. He unbuttons his own shirt and toes out of his shoes, and by the time he’s down to just his jeans, she’s already naked.

Her tits are perfect, her small nipples hard already. Her dick’s still mostly soft, but she’s definitely a shower, long and thick, and Rodney wants it so much it hurts.

He pushes her back on the bed and reaches down and jerks her off as they kiss. Her dick feels so right in his hand.

“What do you wanna-” She moans and arches up. “I… There’s lube and condoms in the drawer.”

“God, I’d love to fuck you.” And now it’s his turn for the nervous laugh. “I’d love to fuck you, but I’m not packing hard.”

She freezes for a moment, and he finally meets her eyes. “Sorry, I know I should have said-” She kisses him quiet, reaches down and undoes the button of his fly.

“Next time.”

“Next? Oh. Oh,” he gasps as she wriggles her hand in, pushes aside his packer, “yeah, yes. Next time. Next time is good.”

“I mean,” she says. “If you-”

“Yes.

“-want.”

“Yes.” He grins. “I want.”