The premise of the panel was:
Rodney loves John because John is sexy-handsome, lithe-and-catlike, athletic, brave, and ridiculously pretty. He's also one of the Cool Kids, so, yeah, Rodney might fall hard. But Rodney is not sexy-handsome, lithe-and-catlike, athletic, brave, nor ridiculously pretty. He's the Geek, so why is John drawn to him? Come argue your point!
My goal, as a panel leader, was to find out why John would overcome years of a military background to fall in love with a guy, specifically Rodney, who is, on the surface, obnoxious and irritating and insufferably proud. One panelist pointed out that yeah, if John was trained to follow DADT, then why on earth would he break that? It'd have to be for someone pretty special. So we came up with a list as to why Rodney is That Guy. It turned out to be a pretty LONG list, which started out pretty general, and then got more specific. I had one or two folks who wanted to list what they thought was cool about Rodney, but that list is easy; I wanted to find out what John thought was cool about Rodney, which is a different idea.
P. S. I had to write fast to keep up with all the great ideas, so a few of them got lost in translation.
Rodney is a passionate person. (Actions are passionate; John tends to be active himself.)
Rodney is brave. (Walked into that cloud to Save Everyone.)
Brave in spite of overwhelming odds – he didn’t know that what he planned to do would work.
John’s own isolation vs. Rodney’s “right out there” attitude. Rodney becomes John’s voice; their personas are opposite and this opens John up.
Rodney as butter (?) and entry point.
Rodney breaks through John’s barriers because Rodney has no barriers and acts as though John doesn’t either.
Rodney is smarter than John. This means that John doesn’t have to dumb himself down.
Rodney is simpatico with John, because they are more alike than John thinks they are.
Rodney is a fighter and brave, in spite of himself. John admires this.
Rodney surprises John all the time, like when he steps up in the face of danger.
Rodney looks reality in the eye, whatever it takes.
Rodney will pull the trigger when it needs to be pulled.
Rodney is loyal, like John is.
Rodney has a survival instance, which is good if you are on John’s team.
Rodney makes John laugh! (And there is tons of 8 year old boy bonding.)
Rodney allows John to do things for himself that he wouldn’t do normally.
Body image vs. need fulfillment. (Boy, I wish I knew what this one meant!)
Rodney’s looks, are they important to John? Survey says: No.
Rodney is funny and amusing and again, makes John laugh.
Rodney has qualities that John wants to see in himself. (Or wishes that he saw.)
Rodney is The Man. (Which, I think, takes some of the pressure off of John sometimes.)
Rodney is also an outsider, on account of his position on Atlantis. (Bosses are outsiders.)
Rodney is interesting. (And how!)
Rodney is FUN to be with. (But only if you’re John! And us.)
Rodney’s toys are cool to play with. (And yes, those “tools” too.)
Rodney is John’s permanent Play Date.
Rodney is John’s equal.
Atlantis (who never likes to be left out) provides Rodney and John with a LOT of forced intimacy.
Rodney has beautiful:
- Blue eyes
- Graceful hands
- Built shoulders
- His tummy is home to John.
Rodney is blunt and has no filter. (Which frees John from a lot of having to bullshit about things.)
Rodney is HILARIOUS.
Rodney is a kindred soul.
They see each other in each other.
Rodney is WYSIWYG.
So then the question I asked was, who fell in love first?
Survey says: John fell in love first. This is because Rodney is so jazzed to have a best friend, that he’s oblivious and slow to what is developing between them. Rodney also sees John as The Man, and you don’t fall in love with The Man, right?
(Also, this could go the other way, of course, but the “John first” voices were louder at the time.)
Then I asked, when did they fall in love? (Clarification, there’s a difference between falling in love and acting on it.)
Survey says: (Oddly) Rodney feel in love when John lit up the chair. When John told Rodney how many stargates there were in the Pegasus galaxy. There was a huge list of those times…and I can’t remember what folks said about when John fell in love with Rodney. But I like to think it was when Rodney walked into the cloud because that was the bravest thing John had ever seen.