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Title: Abstain
Author(s): Resonant
Date(s): May 16, 2005
Genre: slash
Fandom: Stargate Atlantis
External Links: online here

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Abstain is a Stargate Atlantis McKay/Sheppard story by Resonant.

Reactions and Reviews

Why this must be read: This story takes that old cliche, "aliens made them do it," and wonderfully turns it on its head: aliens make them not do it. McKay and Sheppard must undergo a ritual cleansing by...not having sex. Of course, they think this will be no problem at all: "Easiest diplomatic requirement we've had," McKay confidently asserts. Thus begins a long, long night together, a long night of not having sex, when the one thing you're not supposed to think about becomes the only thing you can think about. Resonant's spare, clean style opens up every line to subtext, richly developing something more than sexual tension between McKay and Sheppard, and revealing something about the nature of collegiality and friendship between men that changes when sex is thrown into the mix, when a realization is made that changes everything: John felt a pang of something like loneliness. After tonight he was never going to be able to look at McKay the careless way he always had. His long fingers, his sturdy body, his oddly pretty eyes—this was no way to be thinking about a member of his team. But after tonight, he couldn't un-know what he knew. [1]
For Reccer's Choices, I decided to go with stories I consider to be 'comfort reading': stories that I find emotionally satisfying when read again, and again, and again. The first of these is Abstain, resonant's fun and sensual story that turns the 'Aliens Made Them Do It' cliche on its ear, so it becomes 'the one where there Aliens Make Them Not Have Sex.' The dialog snaps, the characterization is spot-on -- Rodney's over-confidence, and John's laid-back nature at the fore -- the alien culture is interesting, and the description can be hilarious. [2]

Best Two Stories That Prove That Pegasus Galaxy Grows Some Truly Excellent Aliens, Even If They Seem to Be Mostly Just Rustic-Village-Oriented on the Show Itself. Advantage AND Abstain, by Resonant, aka resonant8. Stargate: Atlantis, John Sheppard/Rodney McKay.

I actually have three reasons for recommending both of these stories, and I'm bound and determined to write them all down. Just - indulge me, okay? First. I have to acknowledge outstanding achievements in the field of alien-induced sex, and Resonant and Stargate: Atlantis have both been doing amazing things in this arena. Seriously. SGA is, like, the Fandom of Pervy Aliens, and Resonant is - you know what, I don't think I want to finish that sentence. It's better that way. Suffice to say that Res totally deserves some kind of frameable certificate, maybe even a plaque, from grateful aficionados of aliens who make humans have sex for reasons best known to themselves. (I'd certainly chip in, because wow.) Also, second, and more tragically, I know everyone who reads this LJ has already read these two stories. So I had to recommend them, because - because I had to, dammit - but I figured I'd put both of them together. Isn't this the perfect time for a re-read? And, finally, these stories prove that if cliches are fun, twisted cliches are even more fun. Because, like, in Advantage, the aliens aren't making them have sex; they're just making John, well, I guess you could say altruistic. (I'd say "subservient," but he so isn't. Because even when John Sheppard is a willing slave, he's still insubordinate. And that, people, is why I love him.) And in Abstain, the aliens specifically make them not have sex. Which of course causes them to have sex. What can we learn from this? Well, my take-home lesson is that everything leads to McKay and Sheppard getting it on, and it's one that I'm glad to have learned. [3]


  1. ^ Abstain by Resonant (NC-17): crack_van, Archived version, 2006-07-10
  2. ^ Abstain, Archived version, posted to rec50 11 January 2006.
  3. ^ rec by thefourthvine at Slashy Nominations 127: Entertaining the Aliens, August 30, 2005