Title: Distance, Long
Vid by bingeling
Story by dogeared
Challenge: 011 - illustrative typography
Music: "Delay" by Craig ArmstrongDownload vid here
(megaupload, 61MB, .mov)
Or watch streaming here: http://blip.tv/file/2496417Distance, Long
"Hey. I still hate it here."
"You always say that."
"Well it's still true!"
"Look, can we—just this one time, can we not
do the thing where I complain, and you gamely tell me that I've gotten everything I wanted, here? I know that's our usual modus operandi, and much as I might have hoped for a miraculous change of heart since yesterday, what with how I've suddenly realized all the myriad merits of this place, yes, yes, what was I thinking—I love it here! I hope I never have to leave this lovely concrete bunker in the desert! Although I do get pretty amazing cell reception, considering, but nothing's—"
The way it's supposed to be, he's going to say, but Sheppard interrupts him before he can, and his sharp, loud "Rodney!" makes Rodney realize just how worked up he's gotten himself. The hand that's not holding his phone is shaking, and he smoothes it over his thigh. Sheppard's voice is a lot quieter when he continues, "I know
, okay? I know. I get it."
"Yeah." Sheppard likes to put him on speakerphone, maybe because it's more like using radios, although he's not saying anything right now anyway—because they don't talk about this. Rodney hears his chair squeak, and what sounds like drawers opening and closing, and he tries to picture Sheppard in an actual office, surrounded by staplers and pen holders and motivational posters and nothing at all that lights up when he touches it, and thinking about that makes something in Rodney feel restless and wrong, makes his chest hurt like he has heartburn.
Finally, Sheppard says, "I should go—I have a briefing, a pre-mission thing. They're, uh, they're giving me a team."
Rodney's pretty sure he's not imagining the way Sheppard's voice buckles and gives a little when he says team
, and the line goes quiet again, static stretching out for two, three, four seconds, and the crackling dead air conjures the particular reverberation of a puddlejumper's engine from the co-pilot's seat, the timbre of Teyla's voice and Ronon's, Sheppard's laugh and the sly grin he has just for Rodney—all the things he's lost; everything they never even had a chance to find in the first place.
Rodney squeezes his eyes shut, clears his throat. "Carson's talking about trying to get together for dinner, all of us."
"Sure. Keep me posted. I gotta—" Sheppard says, and Rodney says, "Okay, yes, bye," and he counts two, three, four of Sheppard's slow, even, faraway breaths before he hangs up.