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ring of fire (nails driven through the steel)

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I keep a close watch on this heart of mine
I keep my eyes wide open all the time.
I keep the ends out for the tie that binds
Because you're mine, I walk the line
I Walk the Line - Johnny Cash

"I was told Atlantis would honour tickets from AirAncien after the takeover," Rodney says, elbows out, rocking on his heels. He is taking up too much space, slowing the queue, and talking too loudly. He likes the feeling of power that comes from anger; it suits him, he thinks. The woman behind the counter looks pissed. But she's not half as pissed as he is. "Business class!" he shouts, waving the envelope from his travel agent. "Economy!" He gestures violently at the boarding pass the woman had tried to give him.Four counters down, a group of men in grey maintenance uniforms with the AA logo on the back have been carefully attaching the new Atlantis Air arrivals/departures board to the wall. Rodney doesn't mind the grumbles from the people behind him — he was there first — but when the men turn, en masse, to watch, he feels their gaze like a prickle on his skin. That's another familiar feeling. Like a choke-chain, it's hard to ignore, even after all the years in therapy.

"Please," he says, quieter. "Wouldn't you rather inflict me on other rich assholes than these poor slobs?" He jerks his head at the shuffling herd behind him.

The magic word works; he gets a good enough seat to Vancouver. He tells the story to Jeannie twice, once in the airport car park and once over dinner (the censored version, for his nieces), and then he forgets the incident.

Forgets, until he returns to work and finds, in the middle of his stack of call-back notices, one that says John from Colorado called, giving a home number in the San Francisco area and a work number with Atlantis Air after it in parentheses.

Rodney nearly throws up his two-donut breakfast for old times' sake.

He puts the slip in his wallet and tries not to think about it for three days before he gives up. He can't lie, not even to himself.

He calls the work number at three on Friday afternoon, figuring it will be easy to make excuses about having plans and things to do, if he needs to get off the phone fast.

The phone rings ten times before it's picked up. An accented, deeply sexy female voice answers, and Rodney's finger is right on the push-down button.

He wonders if he's been black-listed, if she'll hang up on him if he says his name. Finally, in a rush, he blurts out, "My name's Rodney and I'm calling for John."

He feels about twelve. Twelve was not a good year for him. Twelve was when he realised he was going to be betrayed by his body yet again and have to go through puberty and menstruation and breasts, just like a girl. The only good thing about twelve was John.

The woman must be pressing the phone against her chest; he can hear a thumping like a heartbeat and her voice shouting, followed by muffled banging and cursing.

And then: "Hey, Rodney," John says, and Rodney says, "I have to see you right now."

And it turns out that they're only about ten minutes away from each other. Ten minutes and ten years.

Well, I know I had it coming, I know I can't be free
but those people keep a movin'
and that's what tortures me…
Folsom Prison Blues - Johnny Cash

Traffic is terrible, the evening rush hour starting early. The airport access exit that John told him to take comes before the long-term car park, which is only a small mercy: he is driving right under the tyres of incoming planes. Rodney follows the chain-link canyon to the checkpoint, where his name is indeed on the list. This earns him a fluorescent orange card to display and a baffling set of directions."Just look for the As, man," the guard says finally, steepling his hands like the Village People. "The As."

Rodney gets lost amongst the hangars and sheds and warehouses, predictably, but right before he needs to get out and kick something he sees the logo painted on a corrugated metal wall. The two As lean together, supporting some kind of bizarre sun symbol. Which, after all these years in California, doesn't surprise him.

The door reads Atlantis Air Technical Operations, and Rodney opens it and goes through without letting himself consciously think.

Inside is a chaos of people and huge chunks of airplanes. There's a steel desk to the right of the door, and a tired-looking woman with hair that's a monument to AquaNet looks up at him.

"Um," he says, and tugs at the hem of his windcheater. "I'm looking for John?"

"Of course," she says, blinking and folding her hands on the desktop. "John Meredith?"

He's saved from making stupid fish faces at her because John, in his baggy grey overalls, is barrelling down on him, grinning like a madman. Rodney attempts to say hi but it's swept away in a hug so fierce that he swears his feet leave the ground.

Put me down put me down put me down he says, his face full of hair. John gives him one more bone-popping crush and then steps back.

"God damn," John says, and slaps Rodney on the shoulder. "I knew it was you when I heard you bitching. You're still an asshole. Look at you."

"Look at you," Rodney whips back. "What is it with the hair?" There are other things he wants to say, a universe of questions, but he recognises that John's smile is a shade too manic and his eyes are too bright. He lets his eyes shift to the woman and back, and John practically jumps.

"Elizabeth, this is Rodney McKay. Rodney, Elizabeth Weir, the head of TechOps. Rodney — " and John pauses, as if suddenly realising he doesn't know how to introduce Rodney. Elizabeth crosses her arms and gives him a maternal stare, and John puts his hand back on Rodney's shoulder.

"We grew up together," Rodney says, very seriously. "Practically brothers, in a touching made-for-HBO kind of way."

"That's true," John says. "Everyone thought we were brothers."

"Oh yes," Elizabeth says, nodding diplomatically. "I can see the resemblance."

They both say Hey at the same time, and John calls Jinx. It's stupid and juvenile, but it gives Rodney a chance to gain his footing as John and Elizabeth show him around, at least until they start introducing him to the people on John's team. Rodney finds this too weird to be hilarious: John is a supervisor? (It says so, right on his nametag.) Seriously, he's in charge of making sure airplanes don't drop from the sky like hailstones? Airplanes Rodney has flown on? He can almost feel a retroactive panic attack coming on.

Rodney meets a kid who radiates apple-pie wholesomeness and calls John sir (it makes John's eyebrows twitch). There's a man-giant in leather and battered safety gear who looks like a metal shop poster child, but it's obvious that he follows John's orders. The woman with the sexy voice who'd answered the phone turns out to be the most intimidating stick welder Rodney's ever met. (Not that he can say he knows many.)

John shows Rodney the gear box he's working on and tries to explain the beauty of friction stir welding, and Rodney ignores all the words and enjoys watching John geek out. It loosens something in him, to see John happy and challenged. It makes him feel a little less guilty.

Elizabeth gently suggests refreshments, and John stops mid-ramble. They are interrupted on their way to the break room when someone named Caldwell calls for John on the PA. John grimaces, makes his apologies, and lopes outside.

"John's a real asset," Elizabeth tells him, opening a door and waving Rodney in. She pours him a cup of coffee from an all-day pot. "He was the first employee AirAncien had from the PIA. He got a lot of hassle from the former head of maintenance, and now he has to prove himself over again to the Atlantis management." She gives him a bright look. "But we've got a fantastic record now with the CDC IEP. Ford, Dex, Emmagan — John's turned these kids around."

"What?" Rodney says. "I work in computers. Your acronyms mean nothing to me."

"Have a pretzel," Elizabeth says, holding out a bag with sudden obvious awkwardness. She bites her lip. "I think you'll have to talk to John, I shouldn't — "

"Which cat did you let out of the bag?" John says, knocking on the open door and then snagging a handful of pretzels.

"We were talking about the inmate employability programme," Elizabeth says, and this is one thing that hasn't changed about John. He would have driven any good math teacher crazy, because he skips from problem to solution without ever showing the equations that flash through his head. He's calculating now. Rodney does the same, of course — it's why he never said anything when John appeared with the money to carry them through another day. He knew, and John knew, and talking about the process would only be redundant.

Rodney feels his posture straighten and his chin go up, and John squares off at him. What passes between them is unspoken, but he hears it anyway.

John would never say, you ran off on me; but of course that's what Rodney did.

When he broke down and called Jeannie, when he got in her car, so sick and wanting to die, he'd left John with a few cassette tapes. Clothes even Goodwill wouldn't want. Stolen library books.

John won't say it, but Rodney knows the worst of it is that he left John alone. And what had he thought, that John would be better off, that his life would improve?

John hums Folsom Prison Blues under his breath.

"Oh my God," Rodney says, his eyes widening in horror. "You were making license plates! Wearing orange!"

"Jail's not as bad as people say," John says, letting his shoulders slump into casual cool as he leans back against the wall. Rodney gives him a moment and, yes, John hooks a thumb in a belt loop and cants his hips.

"You are such a poser," he says, and turns to Elizabeth. "He used to like the Bangles, though."

"Oh, so did I," she says, and he can just see her walking like an Egyptian.

John holds the hardened glare a few more seconds, but Rodney catches him eyeing Elizabeth's hair, and he just knows that John's having the same mental image. John makes his Alfred E. Neuman face, and then skies are blue again.

"Prison saved my life," John says, and Rodney thinks, what? "There are good dentists in prison," he adds thoughtfully, as if this isn't a non-sequitor. "Got my GED and my certification. Read War and Peace twice." He looks at Rodney and raises an eyebrow significantly.

"What is this, computer dating 101? I went to university. In my spare time, I designed graphical user interfaces, which I'm sure you don't understand, in my friend Miko's parent's garage until it made more sense to quit school and make money hand over fist. We now employ thirty people. I was on the cover of a magazine. Well. A trade journal."

"Cool," John says, and Rodney hides his flush in the coffee mug.

"Go on home," Elizabeth says, and John glances up at the wall clock. "I'll punch you out." Leaving, she gives John a pat on the shoulder and a no-nonsense stare.

Outside in the lowering sunlight, John stretches and twists. He's in black jeans now, with a black t-shirt. He's still as thin as a teenager, all sharp angles: sharp elbows and knees, sharp chin and nose, even the same ridiculous sharp ears. Rodney's filled out, as Jeannie puts it, but he likes being solid. He likes being anchored in his body now.

"So, dinner?" John says brightly. "Um. Eat out? Or we could go to my place and order in pizza. Um." He looks out over the patch of bay showing between the metal buildings. "I live on the beach. Does that work for you?"

Love is a burning thing
And it makes a fiery ring
Bound by wild desire
I fell into a ring of fire
Ring of Fire - Johnny Cash

It turns out that Rodney does live nearby, for a certain quantity of nearby (and he refuses to think about the fact that all this time he's been so close, and unknowing), and John draws Rodney a map in case he loses John's car on the way. Rodney wishes that he could, because John drives a crappy blue Chevy Nova which seems to be held together with bumper stickers. There is just enough traffic that he reads each sticker three times over. When they finally pull up in front of John's apartment the pizza delivery guy is waiting outside, and John is out of his car and already paying before Rodney even has his doors locked.

Rodney expects it to be dismal: after all, he'd always lived in dismal places with John. But the building is more quaint than old, and John's second floor apartment has high ceilings and charm. From the table at the end of John's balcony they can see the ocean while they eat. John's drinking coke, Rodney has beer; they talk about their jobs and Super Nintendo versus Genesis and whether the whole Stargate film was completely improbable (Rodney) or worth it for the explosions (John). The conversation fades out when John brings up football, and for a while they simply lean back and digest.

It's so normal, so absolutely perfect, that Rodney hates to break the mood. But he doesn't want to taint this new beginning with lies, even (especially) those of omission.

"So," he says, and John stops idly scratching his knee and looks at Rodney with suddenly wary eyes. "I was pregnant." John's face slackens with the shock as if he'd been punched; he hadn't expected that, which floods Rodney with warmth. He loves how John has always seemed to skate so easily over the cognitive dissonance of what Rodney was, as if he only saw who Rodney was.

"We never — " he starts, and then sucks in a breath as if to pull the words back. "You were so sick."

"Anaemia. Depression. Morning sickness."

"Christ," John says, and shoves away from the table. He stands, makes a meaningless gesture in the air, and practically runs inside. Rodney isn't hungry anymore, and he doubts that when John's finished throwing up he'll want more. He puts the leftovers in the kitchen and washes the dishes. The toilet flushes twice; he's looking at the pictures of John's co-workers on the mantelpiece when John emerges.

"You look terrible," Rodney says. "Sit. Do you want anything?"

John shakes his head. He settles into the far end of the sofa, knees pulled up and his arms wrapped around them.

"I'm so sorry," Rodney says, hopelessness making the words come out sharp and angry. "I couldn't stand the thought of you knowing. Of having to tell you. I wanted to die. Disappear. I have a sister — stepsister — I only met her once or twice, but I looked her up. In the library. I called her, and she drove down to get me. That day. From Nevada. Non-stop." He shuts his mouth, holding back the babble.

I'm not a girl, he'd said on the library steps where he'd asked her to meet him, looking down at her, hugging himself into his jacket. I'm a boy, I swear. Jeannie'd stared up at him, her mouth the same unhappy tilt as his own. Fine. God. I always wanted an older brother.

She'd been his voice for the next six months, standing between him and the doctors and the lawyers and strangers with prurient eyes. She was a genius; she'd made the name McKay mean something in top-secret research circles, and she made it clear that he was entitled to use her reputation. She fed him computers and Casio keyboards and calculus, and after the baby was adopted away (and where, he didn't ever want to know) she used the McKay privilege and her government connections to get him into school and onto hormones. He still feels sorry about dropping out, for her sake, but she sends him challenging contracts anyway.

"I thought you were dead," John says. He looks so tired, his eyes old, his hair drying in ridges where he must have run wet fingers through. "I thought. I thought." He's not really looking at Rodney. He's staring past him, out the balcony door at the sky purpling over the ocean. "I've got the virus," he says. "Christ. I thought I'd killed you."

That is so much worse than Rodney could have imagined this conversation going that he moves instantaneously. He has his arms around the hard curled-up ball of John and rocks him, saying stupid things. It takes a while for the sharp points of John's shoulders to drop, and several long breaths later John's hand comes up and covers Rodney's. His fingers move over Rodney's, exploring, touching each blunt-cut nail, rubbing the hair on each knuckle. He turns Rodney's hand over and traces the lines.

"I tried not to think about you," Rodney says, very very fast. "I wanted to find you, after. I looked. I did. I had to have therapy, you know." With his free hand he gestured at the changes only John would know to see. "They told me to put it behind me. To move on. And it was easier. To be a coward."

"Hey," John says. "I don't think it was ever easy for you. I think you were brave. Are brave." He's touching higher, stroking the hair on Rodney's arm so that it curls upright, offended. "There wasn't a John Sheppard to find, anyway. I was arrested on my fake I.D., so my name kind of changed. It was the only thing of yours I still had, so I kept it."

Rodney snorts, and John finally looks up at him. "I lost the name as soon as Jeannie got custody."

"How uncool," John says. "I got a reject name. I should've gone with Bond."

"You are such a smartass," Rodney says. He moves one hand to John's cheek, tilts his head, catches John's eye and kisses him. It could go one of two ways, he thinks: if it's weird he'll call it closure, and if it's not. . . if it's not, he wants John to see who he is now.

The way it goes is that John uncoils under the kiss. They kiss slowly, mouth against mouth, careful with each other, and John comes out of his huddle. His hands stretch up, mapping arms and shoulders and taking broad handfuls of Rodney's back. Gaining forward momentum, he nudges Rodney back, until Rodney is lying on the sofa with John over him, holding him, kissing him like a benediction.

John ducks his head down, burying his face in Rodney's neck, and he's shaking. Rodney holds him, but he's got one pointy knee in his hip and John's bracing a foot on the floor, and it's just not comfortable. He needs to give John comfort; and even though John'd probably shave his head before admitting it, comfort is what John needs.

"Bedroom," he says against the back of John's neck. He pushes. "Up."

John won't meet his eyes, not in the corridor, not in the bedroom. Rodney takes off his shoes and socks, watching out of the corner of his eye as John mirrors him. He undoes his belt, coils it and sets it on his shoes, and then crosses his arms to pull his shirt over his head in one smooth motion. When he tugs his wrists free of the cuffs, John's there, right there, reaching up to comb through his ruffled hair.

"If it falls out tomorrow I'm blaming you," he says, and grabs a handful of the hem of John's shirt, tugging up impatiently. John looks down; he's looking down and looking at Rodney. Rodney doesn't need to hide his chest; he likes his chest; but he feels the awareness that this is the first time John's seen him without a shirt. It feels significant. It feels ridiculous that John's the one being shy, now. He has John's shirt pulled off halfway before John helps out, and then he backs John up to the bed and makes him lie down so that he can stretch out alongside him.

He's weirdly okay about John looking at him; all of him. He's had a few lovers since the change, but he usually is sharp about directing them away from the scars and back to the fun things, like nipples. Admittedly, John's fairly entranced by his nipples. Rodney could never let him touch them, before, but now there's flat muscle (more-or-less) underneath and a pleasing covering of chest hair. John touches him everywhere, with a look like wonder.

Rodney touches John back, but it's hard. He doesn't want it to feel like pity. There's a bad burn scar across his stomach, and another on the back of his shoulder. He has a tattoo of a transforming robot on his bicep that he refuses to explain; and really, there simply can't be a good explanation for it.

At some point, Rodney gets his arm under John's head. There is kissing, lazy and slow, and then there is touching, and then John slumps lax and heavy against him, his breath humid against Rodney's chest.

Rodney looks at John, looks at the ceiling, and wonders why he thinks it is so funny that John's fallen asleep on him when he. . .well, he'd been planning on getting laid.

He waits until he thinks John won't wake up before getting out of bed. He throws the cotton blanket over John and wanders down to his car for his stuff. With his laptop on the kitchen table and the spiral cord of John's telephone stretched nearly straight, he checks with his project leaders and arranges meetings for the next week. Shutting the computer down, he dials his doctor at home. In between the grumbles — you had better be dying this time, God damn it — Beckett is sympathetic and helpful, promising to leave information for Rodney (at the reception desk, during office hours, you do know what office hours are, don't you?). Before ringing off, he says, I'm sorry, Rodney.

It's late enough by now for Rodney to actually feel sleepy, so he rummages in John's bathroom for a spare toothbrush. He finds one and doesn't think twice about opening it; John fell asleep on him. Rodney is owed a toothbrush. He washes his face and uses John's towel. In the bedroom, he takes off his trousers and, after a moment of indecision, leaves his briefs on but removes his dick, because he figures he can make himself at home. John fell asleep. Rodney is owed.

He puts the light out and crawls under the blanket with John, who generates a remarkable amount of heat. He kisses John good night. John doesn't move at all. But when Rodney wakes up, John's hair is in his face, John's head is on his shoulder, and John's hand is curled over his heart.

It's sweet and domestic and not a little unnerving. Rodney eases out of bed again, looking for coffee. There is no coffee, which is simply wrong. Rodney grabs John's newspaper and goes back to bed with the crossword for distraction, because when it is this quiet he can't help but think — and there are things he doesn't want to think about. He'd felt awkward being introduced around John's workplace; as if he should have somehow justified his presence, or his absence. But he'd been welcomed for John's sake, and it's unnerving to realise now that they must consider him the prodigal, home to meet the family; or the dysfunctional equivalent, anyway. He's fairly sure he didn't make a good first impression; he rarely does.

The room faces southeast and bright sunlight pours through the blinds. Rodney shouldn't feel as cold as he does. He pulls over more of the blanket and tucks it around his feet as he uncaps the pen and tries to remember who the son of Poseidon and Medusa was. He's halfway through the downs when he feels the bed shift, and he looks down to see John blinking up at him, frown lines between his eyebrows. Rodney's had his own years when no amount of sleep takes the edge off the tiredness; he knows that look.

"If it isn't Sleeping Beauty," he says, and John makes a half-hearted grab for the newspaper. "Oh, no. I was left to fend for myself. You owe me," he says, and pokes John in the shoulder.

"Bite me," John says, and stretches, hands against the wall and back arching with a pop. He kicks, one two, and the blanket disappears over the end of the bed. "You're still here." He puts his hand on Rodney's knee, as if making sure.

"Su casa, mi casa," Rodney says, and puts the newspaper on the nightstand. He skootches down, propping his head on his hand. "I used your phone, but mostly for local calls. I'm recharging my computer in your kitchen, and I took one of your toothbrushes. I was going to drink up your coffee, but you seem to have beaten me to it."

"Wow," John says, yawning and displaying all his lovely prison dental work. "I am such a generous host when I'm dead to the world." He pokes Rodney's stomach, thoughtfully. "Computers, huh?"

"Smarter than nine-tenths of the people you'll ever meet," Rodney says, trying to evade the poke and not roll off the bed. He jabs John back, on the scar that slants over his shoulder. "Welding, huh?"

John grins. "That's actually from a barbeque mishap. This one — " he rubs his stomach — "was from welding."

"I get that you're good at what you do," Rodney says, walking his fingers along the scar. "But I thought you wanted to be a pilot." He detours, circling around John's navel.

John wiggles and tries to slap Rodney's hand away. "Never even flown in a plane," he says, grabbing Rodney's hand and trapping it between his thighs.

"Never?" Rodney says. "What, they don't give you free tickets?"

"No place I ever wanted to go," John says lazily. Rodney thinks about the desert sky over Jeannie's house when they lived outside Area 51, about Vancouver bedecked in baskets of flowers. He thinks about the time he took Jeannie's children to Cape Canaveral to see the shuttle launch, and about the six months he spent living in Meyrin, the Alpine capital of computer geekdom.

"Never," he repeats stupidly, and John sighs.

"Don't get me started on nevers," John says, and his tone says that he is not joking anymore. "Or somedays," John adds, as Rodney opens his mouth. "A lot of things are never going to happen someday. I don't need anyone to make me regret that."

"I'm selfish," Rodney says, sliding his hand up. He rubs the heel of his hand over the front of John's boxers and smiles when John's dick swells. "I promise I won't try and drive, but I can't be a bystander."

"Great," John says, shifting and pushing into the touch. "Just what I wanted, a backseat driver."

"Not today, I left my dick for that at home," Rodney says, and John rolls on top of him, arching so that their chests rub together as he kisses Rodney.

"You're giving me beard burn," John says, pulling back and licking his lips.

"I could shave," Rodney says quickly, before he realises John's not annoyed, he's having him on. John looks happy and he licks his way down Rodney's throat.

"Sure, Rodney, you could shave," he says, and does something with his tongue that makes a huge sandpapery noise on Rodney's chin. "Oh, ow." His hips are moving slowly down against Rodney, a lazy grind.

"My stubble's turning you on. That's beyond kinky and into weird."

"You're turning me on," John says, and kisses Rodney again. "It turns me on to see you in a body that we both think is sexy." He slides one hand down, rests it for a moment over Rodney's stomach, and then runs his fingers under the elastic band of Rodney's briefs. "Can I?"

"I don't — " Rodney blurts out, and John shuts him up with his mouth and his fingers.

"You've always been kind of genitally challenged," he says, while Rodney is gasping with that wonderful rare pleasure of letting himself be touched. He lets John blow him and before he can coordinate enough muscles to reciprocate John rubs himself off against Rodney's leg. They both lay there, stupid with afterglow, for a few breathless minutes, and then John kisses him hard one more time and rolls off the bed.

John takes the first shower and then makes breakfast while Rodney takes his. He tells Rodney to borrow any clothes he needs, so Rodney digs out a large-looking pair of cut-off sweatpants and a Welders Like It Hot t-shirt. The pants turn out to be very snug around his hips, but he's packing and when he looks in the mirror he likes what he sees.

When he goes into the kitchen to make vague useless helping-out gestures, John ogles him, nearly filleting his hand with a grapefruit knife. Pleased, Rodney doesn't complain about the grapefruit, or the seven-grain toast, or even, God help him, the bran flakes. The weird herbal tea, on the other hand, is well worthy of his scorn. John sips and smirks, and sips.

"Don't you have drugs or something to take?" Rodney asks when John starts clearing the table. He grabs the washing up liquid and makes it clear that he's more than capable of tidying up.

"Nah," John says, leaning his butt against the counter and watching Rodney like he's better than football or airplanes or even cool SFX. "I manage okay."

Rodney splutters. "Granted, a lot of medicine is voodoo, but — it can be worth it. Take my word for it."

John shrugs. "I appreciate the concern, but you don't know what you're talking about."

Rodney rinses the sink and wrings the sponge out, hard, before setting it on the counter. He can feel his mouth slanting; he knows he looks upset and angry. "I will know what I'm talking about. Just give me a few days. I don't know how many times I have to tell you this, but I'm selfish, and that means I don't want to lose you, not once I've found you again. There are only four people I love in this world, and two of them are prepubescent girls and one is my sister, so I'm going to hold onto you tight."

John takes a deep breath, and suddenly Rodney remembers that maybe they aren't supposed to be having the relationship ground rules conversation. Maybe it's supposed to be the it's been real conversation, the so long, Rodney conversation.

"Yeah, okay," John says finally. Rodney erupts into I bare my soul to you and that's all you can say, and John just smiles, chin tucked down, eyes laughing from behind his bangs, until Rodney winds down. "Yeah, that works for me, because I love you, too, all right? Like a brother," he qualifies, as Rodney reaches out for him. "Or a lover," as he takes Rodney's hand. "Or maybe both."

"I bare my heart to you and you quote me Matt Groening." Rodney slaps John on the side of the head, and John ducks and kisses him. They're both kind of shaky, so it's slow and sweet, and promises happiness, ever after.



Obituaries for the Week of February 16, 1996

Marcia Taylor Andersson, 74, a resident of Pacifica, was called home to Jesus February 15. She was born June 18, 1922. She is survived by a sister, Patricia O'Neill; her daughter, Jennifer Andersson; and her cousins, Tom Wilson and Bernice Sparker. She was preceded in death by her parents, Richard and Sarah Andersson; and her son, Richard. A memorial fund is being established in Marcia's name for the American Heart Association. Love never ends (1 Corinthians)

LeRoy Delacroix, 54, Oakland, found peace February 14, 1996, in hospice, surrounded by his loving family. Lee was born Sept. 5, 1942, to Malcolm and Betitia (Betty) Delacroix of San Mateo. He was a graduate of Texas State University. He taught English in the Oakland Public School System, and is remembered as an inspirational drama coach. Lee is survived by his brothers and sisters-in-law: Anton and LaRee Delacroix-Lopez and Troy and Dawn Delacroix. Friends and students may call at Massey Funeral Home, Thursday 5 to 9 p.m.

John Meredith, 29, resident of Pegasus Beach, died suddenly February 14, at St. Walburga Hospital, of complications due to pneumonia. He is survived by Rodney McKay and Jeannie (McKay) Miller, and his nieces Madison and Nevada Miller. The family would like to extend their loving gratitude to John's friends and colleagues for their support. In lieu of flowers, donations are being made in his name to Prisoners with AIDS. John, we hope you're flying now.

Keiko Shimamoto, 105, Oakland, died February 13 at Westside Nursing Home. She was born Jan. 1, 1895, in Mie Prefecture, Japan, to the late Hidemasa and Tami Matsubayashi. She married the late Professor Masayoshi Shimamoto in 1920, in Nagoya City, and emigrated in 1925 with her children Sachiko (Shimamoto) Okakura and Makoto Shimamura. The family moved back to San Francisco after the war. Keiko was a receptionist at the California Cheese Board for 32 years. She was an avid tennis player and enjoyed sea kayaking. She is survived by her children, five grandchildren, twelve great-grandchildren, and four great-great-grandchildren. A memorial service will be held at the Bayside Buddhist Center, Saturday at 2 p.m.