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Title: Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
Author: sholio
Recipient: argosy
Pairing: McKay/Keller
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 33,000 *koff*
Warning: Contains some relatively mild horror-movie-esque imagery and creepiness
Spoilers: Set post-Enemy at the Gate, potential spoilers for all aired episodes.
Disclaimer: Not mine, do not own.
Author's Notes: Thank you to astridv for the excellent (and fast!) beta.

Summary: John is dealing with his teammates' love lives just like any other emotional issue: by ignoring the situation and hoping it goes away. But when a mission gone wrong traps John, Rodney and Jennifer a thousand feet beneath New Lantea's ocean -- injured and out of touch with Atlantis, with the clock running down and a mysterious enemy in pursuit -- they're either going to have to work out their differences ... or die trying.

( Devil and the Deep Blue Sea )


( 78 comments — Leave a comment )
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Dec. 14th, 2009 03:15 am (UTC)
What a fun and scary and sweet story!

I loved your Keller-voice. She sounded dead-on, and Sheppard's rationale for freaking out on McKay and Keller made a lot of sense. Great mixture of action and pathos. Nicely done!

And I loved how you brought Teyla and Ronon into the ending. So sweet!

Jan. 25th, 2010 09:51 am (UTC)
Thank you very much! :)

I'm really happy that the character voices worked; it was a bit of a different story for me and I'm glad that you liked it!
Dec. 14th, 2009 03:40 am (UTC)
This is friggin AMAZING. So richly characterized, such excellent violence and treatment. And zombies! And undersea labs of doom! And adorable emo getting in the way!

Oh man, I love this story.
Jan. 25th, 2010 09:52 am (UTC)
Thank you for the wonderful response! I'm very happy that you liked it. :D
Dec. 14th, 2009 06:18 am (UTC)
I was almost going to give this a pass as the pairing is not my cup of tea, but I'm very glad I didn't. Very entertaining, great characterization and fun plot.
Jan. 25th, 2010 09:53 am (UTC)
Thank you for taking a chance on it! I was a bit nervous about the reception that this story would get, and I'm very happy that you liked it. :)
Dec. 14th, 2009 12:19 pm (UTC)
The best thing about sga_santa: I get a present, even if I'm not the recipient. :) ♥
Jan. 25th, 2010 09:52 am (UTC)
Hee! :D
Dec. 14th, 2009 09:11 pm (UTC)
The best and most likable Jennifer I've read yet and perhaps the first time I've actually bought her caring about Rodney. Not to mention the evil undersea lab of doom and spore-controlled zombies! I think you got Sheppard nailed when it came to his character too.

Thank you for such an enjoyable story and one that let me like a pairing I avoid normally because few authors can convince me it's a good idea.

I recommended this over on my DW account.
Jan. 25th, 2010 09:54 am (UTC)
Oh, look at me here, answering feedback LATE. As I already said, I really appreciated the rec more than words can say, and I'm glad that this story seems to have found an audience despite being a bit of an experiment for me. Thank you again for taking a chance on it!
Dec. 14th, 2009 09:53 pm (UTC)
I enjoyed this a lot. The plot was nicely creepy and you handled the relationships really well.
Jan. 25th, 2010 09:55 am (UTC)
Thank you very much! I was nervous about how the relationships would turn out, so I'm delighted that it worked out. :)
Dec. 14th, 2009 11:05 pm (UTC)
I think this is a rare gem that I hope others will read and really appreciate. I thought this was a realistic, plausible, and mature look of what happens when members of a team, who have depended on each other for so much, start to have lives outside that of their unit’s relationship. This is more an exploration of John and Rodney’s relationship than of Rodney and Jennifer’s yet, I felt immersed in the troubles and confusion that comes when families units grow and change.

I loved this look at John and his lack of people skills and inexperience in knowing how to deal with this type of change. I thought it adorable, yet sad when he had no idea how to interact with his best friend when it felt to him that he was losing his family. This story stuck a chord with me as I feel after EATG that John was the only one left alone and made me wonder how he’d react as the rest of his team got domesticated .

Everything spot on, from the miscommunications to the wonderful conversation between John and Jennifer toward the end. I love the ‘understatement of the century’ when it came to John’s confession. Add in the wonderful action, banter, tension and h./c..this hit all my buttons. A plotty action adv fic, underscoring a wonderful exploration of John and his extended family. I plan on reccing this on my LJ.

Thank you so much for this treat!
Dec. 17th, 2009 08:28 pm (UTC)
And thank you for reccing it hon cos it led me to read one of the best SGA fics I have read in some time. :)
(no subject) - sholio - Jan. 25th, 2010 10:06 am (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 15th, 2009 02:21 am (UTC)
That was a total blast :D I loved the exploration of Sheppard feeling left out and awkward around all the changes. And loved even more that he opened up to Jennifer, and that Jennifer helped to clear things up for him in return. It was realistic as well as sympathetic, I felt, without being overly angsty and also without making light of what he was feeling.

And great action. Loved the brain coral and zombies. I adore stories where people are trapped and have to escape the alien entities out to get them. Very intense stuff :D
Feb. 11th, 2010 07:34 am (UTC)
Thank you very much! I'm really glad that you enjoyed it; I love throwing the characters into mortal peril, and doing so with extra bonus emotional exploration is just the icing on the cake. :D
Dec. 15th, 2009 03:36 am (UTC)
Eeee! Imagine my delight when I saw the story and word count this morning. :D Thank you so much! This was just lovely, and I adore John here. The action was incredible -- and creepy! Omigosh, Rodney having to cut his hand -- yikes! And you've dealt with mature grownup emotions wonderfully in the frame of a fantastic adventure story. I really wish I was better at leaving comments, but just know that I could not love this more.

The whole concept of zombie coral was brilliant. Who knew I was going to get a zombie story when I made my request? ♥ The writing was absolutely vivid, and every character was fantastic. I'm especially thrilled you acknowledged Jennifer's growth. I suspect I know who wrote this, but whether I'm right or wrong, I am *thrilled* that my story was written by someone with obvious respect and love for *all* the characters (especially certain hard-done-by ones). :D

In conclusion, yay!!
Feb. 11th, 2010 07:38 am (UTC)
So, obviously, I suck at replying to feedback like a big sucking thing. :D

But I'm absolutely delighted that you liked it! I was so happy when I opened up my assignment email and saw that I'd been assigned to you (as well as what your request was), because the story you'd written for me in sticksandsnark last year was SO ABSOLUTELY WHAT I WANTED that I figured this one was going to be a cakewalk! :D Though admittedly I was not expecting to exceed the minimum word count by quite that much. I had a ton of fun writing this, though, and your squeeful rec over at your journal (as well as this comment) really made my day, though of course I couldn't say so at the time! Thanks for the great prompt; I had a blast!

ETA: Though admittedly there were times during the writing process when I found myself thinking "... I am giving argosy zombies for Christmas; I don't know if this is appropriate, somehow." XD

Edited at 2010-02-11 07:39 am (UTC)
(no subject) - argosy - Feb. 13th, 2010 12:41 am (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 15th, 2009 05:22 am (UTC)
What a fantastic, original idea: BRAIN coral! Ha! I had images from Pirates of the Caribbean - the crew all turned into coral and barnacles and crabs. And it proves that the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies thing wasn't a fluke: you CAN add zombies to good literature. Which, of course, this was. I have always had a small soft spot for Rodney and Jennifer. It was only Keller's heavy overuse at the loss of other characters that used to pee me off. But you wrote them just as I imagine them- Geek Love. Packaging it all with a loverly ribbon of Sheppard whumpage wrapped around it just made it even more awesome. Kudos!
Feb. 11th, 2010 07:40 am (UTC)
Thank you very much! With the emotional territory I was exploring, I felt like I was taking a bit of a chance writing this, and I'm really delighted that people seemed to like it. (I did find myself wondering as I wrote it whether or not zombies are really appropriate in a Christmas story, but they really wanted to be in there for some reason. *g*)
Dec. 15th, 2009 10:49 am (UTC)
this is the kind of story i wish they had done in the actutal series. It made the rodney/keller realy come alive without being pushy. I also loved the emotions shown by John and the others reaction to it.

I hope there are more stories like this.
Feb. 11th, 2010 07:41 am (UTC)
Thank you very much! I'm really glad you liked it. :)
Dec. 15th, 2009 04:17 pm (UTC)
While I still don't enjoy the pairing, I wanted to say that I read the story because of recs from the flist and really enjoyed it!
Very well done, cool concept with the coral, and like the poster above, I think it would have made a great episode.
Thanks for writing!!!
Feb. 11th, 2010 07:41 am (UTC)
Thank you! I'm glad you liked it, especially if the pairing isn't normally your cup of tea. :)
Dec. 15th, 2009 07:23 pm (UTC)
This is a story I would normally skip, being het and all, but I'm glad I did. I came here from a rec and totally loved the story. We need more stories with mature views over the relationship of the characters, being respectful and true to each. Very well done. Jennifer isn't normally done and this is an excellent portrayal of her.
Feb. 11th, 2010 08:14 am (UTC)
Thank you very much; I'm glad you took a chance on the story and enjoyed it! :)
Dec. 15th, 2009 07:38 pm (UTC)
Excellent story! I could read this over and over again. I thought you handled the characterizations of all three really well. It was fascinating to look at how the changing dynamics affected John and his struggle to deal with it was so true to his character. After five years on Atlantis, of course the characters are going to change and their circumstances will shift, they'll get into and out of relationships, and have lives outside of the core team. Everyone's reactions to that situations felt very real. I've never really thought much about McKay and Keller's relationship - it was just kind of there, in the episodes. This story really gave that relationship some depth and I finally clicked on why they are together. They are alike in alot of ways, and them being with each other makes sense here. I wish we could have seen something like this in an actual episode!

The brain coral was great! I love the whole idea of the underwater research station, and the not-really-sentient life pursuing them. Zombies! Freakishly awesome. Thank you for this story!!
Feb. 11th, 2010 08:38 am (UTC)
Thank you very much! I'm especially glad that the story made you see McKay and Keller's relationship in a new light -- one of the things I really love about fanfic is getting to work through the characters and their relationships in my own head, and figure out what makes them tick. Thank you very much for the feedback!
Dec. 16th, 2009 09:10 pm (UTC)
Fantastic! I do so enjoy a well written McKeller (well I tend to enjoy a well written anything). I really loved how none of these three crazy kids have enough social grace to know how to handle life, but they still managed to muddle through and fix their problems anyway. While having adventures even.
And I must say. You're alien lifeform, both freaked me out and amazed me. Great idea.
Feb. 11th, 2010 08:39 am (UTC)
Thank you very much! I'm glad you liked it -- and yeah, they can really be a sad, emotionally stunted bunch of people sometimes, can't they. *g*
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