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Matching Pieces

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John had a few theories on life that he never brought up with Rodney unless one or both of them were really drunk or heavily medicated.

It wasn’t that he believed in destiny or soulmates or other ridiculous romantic nonsense, but John did believe that two people could be uniquely perfectly suited for each other.

Like him and Rodney.

Most people seemed to think that the key to happiness was finding someone just like them, who liked the same things and thought the same way, that perfect couples never disagreed, never argued, never needed anyone else but each other.

John had already tried that. Nancy had been just like him in all the wrong ways – committed to their jobs, not the best at communicating, covering problems with a smile until they couldn’t be hidden anymore. He hadn’t been able to give Nancy what she needed, because he had never been able to tell what that was. He hadn’t known what he needed himself, let alone been able to ask for it. He had pulled away and she had let him, talking less and less, and eventually they had just been two strangers who shared a last name.

But John didn’t think it could ever get that way with Rodney.

They argued about nearly everything, even things they didn’t actually disagree on. When John pulled away, Rodney came looking for him and when Rodney got lost in his work, John went to find him. When John needed to fly, Rodney made sure his ship was in the very best condition and when Rodney needed to break the laws of science, John made sure he didn’t break himself in the process.

Rodney seemed to just know what John needed and the times he didn’t, he’d become an expert on persuading, provoking and just plain harassing John into telling him until they figured it out. And, apparently, John was exactly what Rodney needed, too. For all that he could talk endlessly, words never mattered as much to Rodney as actions and John, who’d always had trouble saying anything he felt, was more than happy to show instead of tell.

But they did agree on the really important things, like never leaving anyone behind and that the people you cared about were worth fighting for. They had a similar sense of right-and-wrong, matching stubborn streaks, and the kind of competitiveness that led to friendly arguments and epic chess matches instead of true fights.

The key to happiness, John knew, wasn’t finding someone exactly like you, it was finding your match, the mirror-image puzzle piece, who fit all your broken edges and made you feel whole.

John had never felt more complete in his life.

THE END