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Rusted Down

jenn (surreallis)

Stargate SG-1

Michael Shanks/Richard Dean Anderson



There's a reason he can't let go and Rick can't stop reaching out. He just doesn't want to look directly at it.

Rusted Down

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He knows at a certain point that he’s become the boy who cries wolf. He maybe should have known that it wouldn’t matter to Rick at all. That no matter how many times he called and cried his warning, Rick would just patiently follow through.

It was a joke at first, calling from across the set, from across the city, Chris giggling at his side. “Hey, Rick, is your refrigerator running?”

“Fuck you, Mike.” With a smile in his voice.

Calling from the club on a Saturday night, between girlfriends. Between a break-up and his marriage, and his libido whiskey-soaked and razor-thin. “Hey, Rick, tell this girl that I know you. She might blow me in the bathroom.” Because he isn’t recognizable enough to get his own pussy yet. Not like Rick is.

Except whatever Rick tells her puts a haunted look on her face, and she shoves his phone back at him and then takes off like the horn of the apocalypse has just blown.

“What did you say?”

“That you’re a key grip and you might want a threesome with the bartender.”

“The bartender’s a guy.”

“Yeah?” He doesn’t sound surprised.

“Oh, fuck you.” And Mike isn’t smiling.

“Don’t let your mouth write a check that your dick can’t cash,” Rick warns, and hangs up.

And Mike thinks about all those rumors about 50-something bachelors in Hollywood.


He calls from the stage of a convention once. He’s always the star attraction when it comes to Creation Cons, and his fans are snarky bitches, just like him. It suits him just fine.

“Hi, honey,” he says, in his best slash-soaked voice. Rick hates it. It hints at homophobia and stereotypes, and Mike only does it to annoy him. “Our fans want to know when we’re getting married!”

“You’re a prick,” Rick says, quietly, and Mike can actually hear his gritted teeth.

“It’s not a big deal,” Mike says, bending away from the microphone. The crowd is screaming. “It doesn’t mean anything.”

The crowd roars again, high-pitched and piercing, so he can’t hear the reply. It sounds a lot like, “Nothing to you.”

Mike grins at the crowd. “He said ‘as soon as Daniel stops keeping a girl on every planet’.”

The crowd laughs.

“Daniel’s such a slut,” Chris quips, and the crowd eagerly eats him up. It gives Mike a chance to turn away.


The line is dead.


From the control room above the stargate, they all call him with Mike’s cell phone on the last night. He has Amanda tucked under one arm, and they’re both tucked under Chris’s and it only feels like one thing is missing.

“We wish you were here,” he says, and Rick is silent a moment.

“I wish I was too.”

“We love you,” Amanda calls, her face streaked with tears. Chris can’t even do that much. He breaks down again and his arms tighten around Amanda’s neck. He sobs into her shoulder.

“I love you all too,” Rick says, and Mike hears a hitch in his breath. “I love you.”

The last is said with such softness that Mike’s whole body thrums. He suddenly wants to say it back, and it all feels so final and over, but his throat is dry and tight and he just can’t say anything.

They just stay on the phone for a while, and Rick listens to them cry.


Chris is a one-man powerhouse when it comes to partying. Mike has never been able to do anything but barely keep up, and then he’s just wrecked the next day.

In L.A. he’s doing '24'. Nice role. Nothing with Kiefer, but his character is sexy and evil and he loves that. Break out of the mold and all that.

Chris already lives there and takes him out after shooting is over. It’s shot after shot and wine in between, and Chris never parties without champagne. Mike smokes so many cigarettes that his throat gets hoarse, and he doesn’t do the random hook-ups anymore, which is ironic… because he always gets recognized now. Science Fiction fans are everywhere.

Lexa doesn’t bother to call him, and they have an understanding anyway. She’s perfect for him. They’re so alike, have so much fun…

And he needs someone to keep him in line. Or so everyone tells him.

Oh, it’s that wine that does him in. He goes from pleasantly buzzed to heavily affected and the night starts to go by in flashes: Chris’s gregarious giggle, women who all look the same, the burn and sugar of the wine on his tongue.

The music is pounding in his head, and it all seems to mean something, which is just laughable. Chris disappears on him, and it’s just suddenly all shit.

He doesn’t even realize he’s called until someone has his arm and is pulling him through the crowd. He glances and it’s Rick’s salt-and-pepper hair there, shaved close on the sides like he’s still playing O’Neill.

“What are you doing here?”

Rick slides him a wry look and shakes his head. “You called, remember?”

Mike blinks at him. “No.”

“Yeah.” It’s a resigned tone. Breathless. Like a sigh.

And then they’re out of the club and the fresh, cool night air is hitting his face and clearing his lungs of smoke. He can hear crickets. Fucking crickets.

“Where’s Judge?” Rick asks.

“Dunno.” His head feels a little light and airy. He doesn’t realize he’s leaning so much until Rick’s hand closes around his arm and then slides around his back. “Come on… this way.”

They walk unsteadily to the curb where the valet has Rick’s car. Rick shoves his head down and then pushes him into the front seat, and it feels good to just sit down in silence for a while. Rick gets in the driver’s seat and then they’re driving.

“You throw up on my leather dash board and I’ll give you a mullet in your sleep.”

Mike snorts, but waves him off, leaning his head on the car door. “Mm’ fine.”

Rick lowers the passenger window a bit, and the brine breeze just feels good. Mike’s head is spinning and he suddenly thinks that maybe he parties too much. He wants a clear head, wishes he’d never started to begin with.

He hears Rick talking, and when he glances over sees him talking on his cell phone.

“I got him,” Rick says. “Yeah. Go home. He’ll give you a call tomorrow. Night, Chris.”


Rick doesn’t talk, so Mike just leans blissfully and horribly against the car door, trying to keep his head from swiveling off his neck.


Rick’s house is cool and dark and clean.

Mike leans on the counter in the bathroom after taking a piss and stares in the mirror. His eyes are well on their way to being bloodshot. He reeks of smoke. He sheds his jacket and everything except his jeans and his T-shirt before washing his face and the sweat off his neck. The alcohol is still swirling in his mind, but his body has caught up a bit and the din has faded to a dull roar.

He wonders now why he called Rick. In Vancouver they did a fair amount of socializing, but not since he left the show. Rick’s always been the one apart from them. He’s always been close with Amanda, but Mike suspects there’s a safety there that Rick doesn’t feel with him or Chris. Now he wonders what sort of secrets Amanda’s been keeping…

Nothing sexual, because had that been it, she’d have been gone years ago.

Rick has a bottle of water waiting for him when he comes out. He sips it and sits on the guest bed and scowls when Rick turns on the light.

It goes out again.

“You’re not as young as you used to be,” Rick says. His dark eyes are shadowed.

Mike runs a troubled hand through his hair. “Is that your subtle way of telling me I need to grow up?”

Rick shrugs.

The silence grows.

“Look,” Mike says, voice soft. “Thanks for coming out there for me. I don’t know why I called you…”

Rick shrugs again and leans against the doorjamb. His shoulders fill the doorway and he folds his arms across his chest. “You just have to ask…”

“Chris gets so wild.”

“You don’t always have to follow Christopher’s lead.”

“I don’t.” It sounds a little defensive, even to his own ears. He lies back against the mattress and stretches out. The beginnings of a hangover are just starting to scratch at him behind his eyes.

Rick is silent for a while and then, “Get some sleep.”

He turns to leave, and Mike suddenly hears his own voice in the room. “Why’d you never get married?”

Rick freezes and then turns back, and there’s a look on his face that kind of makes Mike feel uneasy and regretful, but the alcoholic haze in his brain keeps interrupting the interpretation.

“I… just never met the right person.” He doesn’t smile or laugh.

Mike stares at him through heavy-lidded eyes. “Person?”

Rick’s jaw tightens and there’s a beat of silence as he thinks. “What the fuck are you really asking, Michael? Either say it or stop beating around the bush and pass out.”

The booze helps. “Are you gay?”

It’s quiet then. Like the bottom dropped out of the world.

Rick doesn’t move, and he doesn’t speak, and Mike starts to feel really, really sorry he started this at all. It doesn’t seem like a big deal nowadays, but he’s suddenly remembering trying to discuss it with Amanda and how she changed the subject and made a comment about different generations and how it just 'isn't the same'.

“Fuck,” he whispers, because he wants to apologize.

But Rick is moving now and is suddenly leaning over him, hands planted on either side of Mike’s head on the mattress, face so close that Mike can feel his warm breath, see the sparks in his dark eyes.

He suddenly can’t breathe very well, and Rick is just staring at him. Piercing.

“Are you?” Rick asks, and it throws him off balance.

What? His confusion is mixed with something surprising. Something that makes his heart beat faster and his fears come alive.

Then Rick’s lips are on his, and it isn’t hard and overwhelming, it’s soft and deliberate. His head is already spinning with his inebriation, but this just makes him spiral and drop. Rick’s mouth is warm and wet and sugary, like he’s been eating cereal or candy. His long, lean fingers curl around Mike’s chin and tilt his head a bit, just enough so their mouths are angled just so… And he tastes a hint of Rick’s tongue, feels the soft slide, and…



“What do you think?” Rick asks against his mouth, and then Rick’s lips and his touch are gone, and Mike is staring as the door shuts behind him.

His lips still burn from the contact, and he realizes with a start that his cock is hard, and all he can really do is breathe and swallow and try to keep from shaking.

He thinks… Later, as his body relaxes and the silence of the room soothes him.

He thinks that maybe he’s been a stranger in his own mind long enough. And it’s time to quiet that hidden howl.



 Left By:
dirty diana (dirty_diana)

2009-01-01 23:11:29

Fifty-something bachelors in Hollywood indeed. And Rick being just a little apart from the cast, but in that comfortable way where he's always sorta there and they're fascinated with him. Especially Michael. This is awesome.

 Left By:
llaras (llaras)

2009-01-02 01:40:51

Loved this. It was just the right amount of angst.

 Left By:
fluffyllama (Llama)

2009-01-03 12:43:00

Oh wow. Yes, this is just perfect. Love their interaction here, just love it.

 Left By:
Guest (Anonymous)

2009-01-05 09:06:11

okay, so i actually "YAYYYYYYYYYYYY"ed out loud when i saw this because, oh my god, Michael Shanks/RDA! i didn't know it existed! in fact, this is the only one i've seen, but oh, it's SO GOOD. they're just the way i'd imagine from all the convention footage and it's perfect. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR FILLING THIS VOID THAT HAS EXISTED IN MY LIFE. \o/

 Left By:
Guest (selfinduced)

2009-01-05 09:06:49

okay, so i actually "YAYYYYYYYYYYYY"ed out loud when i saw this because, oh my god, Michael Shanks/RDA! i didn't know it existed! in fact, this is the only one i've seen, but oh, it's SO GOOD. they're just the way i'd imagine from all the convention footage and it's perfect. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR FILLING THIS VOID THAT HAS EXISTED IN MY LIFE. \o/

 Left By:
Guest (green_grrl)

2009-01-07 02:43:59

<33333333333There can never be enough awesome MS/RDA. Thank you for writing this!

 Left By:
Guest (trout)

2009-01-08 18:52:29

I honestly can't believe you. You are amazing. I never in a million years would have thought of this, but you made it WORK. It's awesome. And just a *little* hot. :-)

 Left By:
Guest (Anonymous)

2009-01-23 14:33:12

Absolutely brilliant!

 Left By:
Guest (prehistoric_sea)

2009-02-06 22:22:30

Well done! Great dialogue and atmosphere

 Left By:
Guest (Anonymous)

2009-02-08 10:20:26

WOW!...atmospheric and heady stuff!Nice job!

 Left By:
Guest (charmedstrange1)

2009-05-23 00:46:02

YOU! With the SG-1 RPF! I'm only just learning of this seedy, glorious little underground. Nice to see familiar faces. *g*And this was awesome, bb. I love Michael's obliviousness and Rick's careful distance, and ESPECIALLY loved Rick's reaction to Michael's "gay" act at conventions, because THANK YOU.