Time in a Bottle (Stargate Atlantis story)

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Title: Time In A Bottle
Author(s): Astolat
Date(s): October 24, 2005
Length: ~14,361 words
Genre: slash fanfiction,
Fandom: Stargate Atlantis
External Links: Time in A Bottle (Intimations)

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Time in a Bottle is a classic McShep story from 2005 by Astolat. It was an excellent pimping tool, since its setting (inside a virtual reality) allows the story to be relatively self-contained, making it an excellent "starter" story for new Stargate Atlantis. (All you really need to know is that one guy is a pilot and the other is a scientist.)

It sparked three pieces of fanart: one by Ceares, one by Crysothemis, and one by mutecornett.

Reactions and Reviews

I love the way you take kernels from the show and turn them into these fully-formed ideas with heart and emotion and power. There were so many great moments in this - the bit where John realizes this is Rodney's idea of paradise, John ripping the VE apart when he thinks Rodney has died, the slow coming together (taking turns touching one another, God), John trying to drown himself, and this:
"Yes," Rodney said, soft soft soft, and John fumbled a hand out and touched him, and Rodney's face was wet. "Yes, it's brilliant, it's real—" and John was breathing hard, harsh low sobbing breaths that couldn't make it all the way into crying; because what did it fucking matter, what use was any of it, and then Rodney was kissing him, stroking him, pulling his head in close, and John clutched at him desperately, skin-hungry, and didn't stop, didn't even think about stopping.
right here? Killed me in the best possible way. And let's not forget the ending, just the right amount of awww and cute, and yet always perfectly them. Wonderful, absolutely wonderful.[1]
So what if John and Rodney were stuck together alone in a Virtual Reality, together forever in the worst way possible? The way astolat shows us how John and Rodney deal with the prospect of eternity is fascinating. [2]
Shalott is a fabulous writer and does her usual stellar job with this story. Her ability to create a virtual world for Rodney and John to inhabit is nothing less than amazing. I LOVE this story with all its incredible rich detail and spot-on characterisation. Nothing is rushed or forced and I thoroughly enjoyed this slow, sensous first-time story in this fascinating reality that John and Rodney create for themselves. [3]


  1. comment from lamardeuse, accessed February 7, 2012
  2. from Merelyn at Massive SGA Recs Set, July 25, 2007
  3. Madrigal's Stargate Atlantis Recs, Archived version (2006)