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SGA RPF: Queen Of Hearts - tranquility... best achieved in chaos
SGA RPF: Queen Of Hearts
Title: Queen Of Hearts
Rating: PG
Category: Joe/Torri. Rpf (real person fic).
Disclaimer: Fiction.
Summary: They just fall together like a series of accidents.
Author’s Note: Without ceruleantides, none of this would be.
For: anr, who never fails to give me prompts even though she knows I’ll only manage to write a small fraction of them.


“Pick a card, any card
You’ll say. I love this trick –
The tease and tyranny of choice –
The dove’s tail tender
On your fine and hidden fingers,
And the thumb I’m under.”
-- Elizabeth Garrett, ‘Tyranny of Choice'


There are things he hopes he never has to justify - to Torri, to his wife, to himself - because straight lines have a lot more give than he realized. That’s not to say he doesn’t understand the reality, but it’s not a relationship by any normal definition. There is no commitment, no expectation.

They just fall together like a series of accidents.


He knows she's not immune from his ability to charm and erase his way backward to safety.

"Remember that time?" he'll say, and he always has something in his back pocket. The one from the craft service table, morning rehearsal at the park, that event last week with the safety pin holding up the strap on her dress, and she'll remember, and she'll smile a special smile meant just for him.

They watch the season finale episode at his place, just the two of them with a half bottle of wine until Jason and Rachel show up. Then a bottle becomes three and suddenly they are a bit drunk, laughing and loud over the state of Ronon’s hair in the explosion scene. Rachel is reenacting the moment with full blown overacting panache when Katherine and the boys walk in.

They exchange warm greetings from the couch – for which he’s grateful as his hand is god only knows where up the back of Torri’s shirt – and Katherine takes the boys upstairs to get ready for bed. There is silence as Torri digs the cork out from her top and chucks it at him.

“Remember that time?” he says, tries to break the moment.

He catches Jason’s shake of the head. “Too soon, bro.”


Four months after she leaves, he ends up at her door with a weekend to spare. He doesn’t call ahead, although he’s starting to have misgivings on that front now, and starts worrying how he’ll be received. Minutes go by, and finally doubt gets the better of him.

By the time he makes it to the car, he catches her walking around the corner, Sedge already straining at the leash toward him. Torri’s hair is tied up loosely, but he can tell it’s longer; she’d always wanted to grow it out on the show, he remembers fondly.

“Hey,” she says, and lets Sedge off the line. A ball of hairy dog bounds into him and the sound of Torri’s laugh makes him grin.

“Hey,” he says in return. He had planned to say more – apologize, for one – but the thoughts are suddenly elusive.

She smiles, rolls her eyes slightly as she leads him in the house. “Took you long enough.”


He doesn’t really remember how long it’s been since they’ve been in the same city, much less the same room together, but it doesn’t take him long to find her at the bar with a smile, a beer and a large crowd. He hates conventions and idly wonders if this is why.

Torri glances up, sees him at the doorway despite the lighting and the crowd (it's a shift in her expression, a softening at the edges of her eyes that he’s missed); she beckons him over with a little wave.

He crosses to the bar, slides into the space she creates beside her when the autograph-toting fans move on to Amanda, Claudia and Ben who are trying to remain inconspicuous in a corner booth. Torri raises her glass to him, drinks to out-of-town conventions, and without thinking, his hand slides up her leg to the bare skin at her knee.

“Hollywood’s watching,” she says, although no one really is; seven seats across one edge occupied by Atlantis cast, and fans more or less filling the rest. He looks past her to check the crowd, and she leans closer, all heat and tactile contact as his hand slips higher to rest on her thigh.

“And then we lose,” David says, turning to them and looking for agreement in some ongoing conversation.

“Or win,” Jason counters.

David shrugs. “Does it really matter?” He orders another round of drinks as the music kicks up behind them.

Jason grins at him over Torri’s shoulder. “To winning!”

She drinks to that, and Joe presses his lips very briefly to her neck when she swallows.


He doesn’t say anything, but waits behind her as she fumbles with the lock to the hotel room. He wants to kiss her here, now, and his thoughts run with an urgency that makes it difficult to concentrate.

He steps closer and slides his hand under her shirt, strong fingers drawing circles on her lower back, her waist; the warm familiarity of her intoxicating.

The door opens inward with force and catches them both off guard. They stumble, tangle, and she’s barely turned into him when his mouth finds hers. He doesn’t try to find his voice, only manages to exhale when he pushes her against the wall. Her hands are already at his pants, deft fingers working the buttons of his jeans as he takes a moment to shut the door behind them.

His hands settle low on her hips, mouth on her neck, and all he can feel is a deep-seated longing for her that surprises him in its intensity.

Her shirt comes up and off and he starts to gently pull her away from the wall toward the bed. When she resists, he stills, confused. She grabs at his shirt, pulls him back to her with a smile. “Act two.”

He doesn’t say a word, showing her instead just how much he missed her.


Half a year later, at David’s party, she shows up as a surprise. “I’ve missed you all,” she says to everyone, and he knows she means it. She makes the rounds, and eventually he ends up with her in the kitchen sitting side by side on counter stools as they slowly drink beer and watch the party happen around them.

“How’s marriage counseling?” she asks, and he finds it almost comforting to discuss this here, with her – the wrong place, the wrong person, and somehow it feels right.

“We love each other, but we aren’t in love with each other.” He shrugs. “At least, that was the topic anyway.”

She takes a long pull from the bottle and he loves the line of her throat, the hair that brushes her cheek and settles around her shoulders. She meets his gaze, points her beer at the space between them. “You can end this, you know.”

He knows. The world is just going in the wrong direction – a different life passing him by.


It’s three months past, and two weekends of hanging around Olvera Street and her local haunt before she’s there. He doesn’t even contemplate that she may not come alone until she does and he feels sharp relief. She sees him before he puts his thoughts in order, and he thinks this is becoming a habit.

“No ring,” she says, and it surprises him that she notices so fast.

“A trial separation,” he explains, but he knows where the road is headed.

She’s drinking a margarita and he follows suit, the bite of limes nicely acidic. He has a hundred reasons, so much to say, but he’s oddly content in the moment. Her expression is open, thoughtful, and it makes him smile.

“I really needed this drink.” His comment elicits the response he expects, her laugh light and warm.

She nods, thinking, and then gives him a curious look. “So what now?”

“Remember that time?” he says, and it’s the one from those four days in London, the first day they met, that time in her trailer when she was sick, the night they danced on set, that ill-conceived prank, his confession and her patience.

His heart races at her smile.


Tags: , ,

6 whispers :: tell me a secret
anr From: anr Date: October 30th, 2010 11:18 am (UTC) (Link)

So much made of win, bb. Awesome, awesome, awesome! I think I love the party scene the most, sitting side by side, and Torri's offer. Awesome.
phrenitis From: phrenitis Date: November 2nd, 2010 05:41 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm pretty sure I think of you when I write those moments in fic. :D

Thanks hon!
icarus_abides From: icarus_abides Date: October 30th, 2010 12:00 pm (UTC) (Link)

Aw, man, I miss this guilty pleasure...
phrenitis From: phrenitis Date: November 2nd, 2010 05:41 am (UTC) (Link)
Heeeeeeeeeee! Always happy to help distract.

I'm still waiting for you to pen a Joe/Torri fic one day, you know. ;)
mylittleredgirl From: mylittleredgirl Date: October 31st, 2010 12:16 am (UTC) (Link)


The last line is just so perfect. The last scene is so perfect, actually, in its entirety. And I love that it's the Queen of Hearts. And I just... EVERYTHING! \o/

Really, this makes me crazy happy.
phrenitis From: phrenitis Date: November 2nd, 2010 05:43 am (UTC) (Link)
*loves* Glad you like it!!

I suddenly have this really strong desire to go back and write Joe/Torri before they hook up - fairly sure I can blame your fic (POST THE LAST BIT OMG) for that. ;)
6 whispers :: tell me a secret