Summary: Not supplied
Confusion reigned in the aftermath of "The Storm". That was how Major John Sheppard viewed the events of the last few days. It had been a twisting, turning, roller coaster of events that had challenged every one; physically, mentally and emotionally. Finally, however, everything was winding down and his people were back where they belonged. Already they were starting the repairs that would bring at least a semblance of order to the city and the mainland.
A flash of grief hit John, thoughts of his fallen men running through his mind; not everyone was where they belonged. Grim satisfaction followed at memories of the defeated enemy. Too many thoughts were racing through a mind exhausted and sad.
" I need some sleep," John said out loud, running his hand wearily through his tousled hair.
Elizabeth Weir glanced at him with a tired smile. " You deserve some down time Major. Actually I won't be far behind. I think I'll check on Rodney then head to my own quarters."
"Yeah, I'll go with you. His arm didn't look too bad but knowing McKay, he' ll need to rant and rave about the pain, agony and some abstract connection between arm wounds and brain tumors. Not to mention explanations on why he' ll need extra rations while he heals!!" John's tone was mildly affectionate but the truth was, he felt an almost overwhelming need to see the scientist. He told himself that he hated seeing a teammate, especially a civilian, injured. However, deep down he was pretty sure that was a load of crap.
Deciding that this was not the time for introspection, (and trying to ignore the memory of the icy fear he'd felt knowing that Rodney was in danger), he headed for the infirmary.
"Hey Doc, has McKay driven you insane yet?" he asked with a smile; a smile that faded at Dr. Beckett's confused stare.
"Rodney? He hasn't been in! Was he hurt? I mean, usually he's the first in line for anything worse than a paper cut!!"
Without missing a beat, John turned and ran through the halls. Thoughts of sleep vanished in a rush of adrenaline. He didn't question the knowledge, but trusted in his instincts that Rodney McKay needed him.
Reaching the scientists room in record time he didn't wait for a response or invitation. He used the ancient gene to open the door and he rushed inside.
"Oh my God!" was all John could think.
Of all the horrific scenarios that had passed through John Sheppards tired mind, the one that met his eyes actually stunned him to silence. Rodney McKay was calm, cool and apparently collected. In fact he was calmly and coolly packing up his belongings. All of them. He moved gingerly, using only one arm and when he turned toward the door John could see that his skin was chalky and his eyes were glazed.
"Oh, Major, of course it would be you. Well, yes I uh am almost ready. Yes j-just a few more minutes."
"Ready for what Rodney?" asked John quietly. He had been in enough battles to recognize the sight of a man ready to break. "Hell," he admitted to himself, "I've seen that look in the mirror a few times."
"Well ready to go, of course. I didn't know how much time you'd give me so I wanted to be ready. Now. Where is the..Oh yes, there. No, I'll leave it for Zalenka.." McKays voice trailed off into silence.
"Rodney! Go where?" John questioned patiently. While half of his mind waited for the answer, the rest of him hoped like hell that Dr. Beckett was on the way. Rodney was looking far too pale and shocky.
"Well, wherever you send me, I guess. I guess I can't go home so maybe..well, do I have to come up with all the answers?" Rodney suddenly paled further and began to sway.
Lightning fast, John was at his side easing him down to the couch. "Easy, Rodney, easy. My God McKay, you're burning up. Let me call Dr. Beckett, okay?"
"No, no I 'm fine..don't want to be any more trouble." His voice broke and he turned his head away form the concerned major. "Look, if you could just leave me alone for a few minutes I'll finish my packing."
"Rodney, I'm not leaving you alone" began John. He stopped as McKays shoulder slumped in an air of defeat.
"I know you can't trust me but really I don't think even I can screw up packing." He replied softly.
"All right, what the HELL is going on!?" John growled in frustration. He grabbed the scientist by the shoulder, needing to see him. He was trying to comprehend this McKay, so different from the teammate he had grown to know and..love? Well, why not admit it, at least to himself. He had deep feelings for this annoying, cock-sure and abrasive genius. To see him subdued and defeated was very disconcerting.
To his horror, Rodney flinched away. Fear was in his eyes; eyes filled with unshed tears. Just as unexpectedly Rodney whispered, "You can hit me if you want to. I know I deserve it." As John struggled to comprehend what was being said the first tears fell from Rodneys eyes and John was lost. The need to comfort and protect outweighed the desire to understand and he gently, slowly enfolded the shaking man in his arms. The soft tremors gave way to racking sobs. John could barely make out disjointed explanations and broken apologies as they tumbled from McKays lips.
John held his feverish teammate and rocked him back and forth, murmuring quiet words of comfort. The tears were almost enough to break his own control. Finally Rodney quieted, but even after the cathartic release he refused to meet Johns eyes.
"Listen to me Rodney and for Gods sake look at me," stated John firmly. When McKay lifted his red-rimmed eyes to meet Johns the guilt and grief in them stunned John. He gathered his wits and carefully said, "Rodney you are not being sent away. We need you here. I need you. I don't know why you think you deserve to be punished but no one NO ONE is angry with you. You did the best you could in a terrible situation and in the end you came through for us like you always do." Johns words as well as the arms that continued to hold him eventually got through to the distraught man. John saw that he had Rodneys full attention he continued. "You did good Rodney and I'm proud of you. Don't beat yourself up because you aren't perfect. Now let me call Carson. You have a high fever and you're probably in shock, your wounds may be infected. Please Rodney, let me call Carson."
Somewhat more composed, Rodney looked down and whispered, "You wouldn't have told them anything and I tried I really tried but it hurt and I couldn't think. I gave them lies but they knew and they kept hurting me and I knew I was letting you I mean everyone down but.."
Seeing that Rodney was upsetting himself all over again, John patiently began again. " You did fine Rodney, you're completely untrained in this area and you did the best you could."
The.. the worst part was" " What was the worst part, Rodney" John rubbed Rodney's back in a comforting manner. "I..I thought that I had gotten you killed and I really couldn't imagine how I could survive that." responded Rodney. Touched, John reached for Rodneys face and gently turned it so that he could see him clearly. What he saw him made him gasp in surprise. Love. It was so clearly stated in those eyes. Eyes now closing in shame and despair.
Needing to break through the pain eating away at his friend, John once again acted on instinct and brought his lips toward Rodneys. He had just enough time to pray that his instincts weren't completely insane before their lips met and all thoughts dissipated into thin air.
Senses spinning and mind reeling, John Sheppard leaned back and stared at Rodney McKay. How could a simple meeting of lips be so overwhelming? Most of his recent encounters had lacked something..something important. "All right," he admitted to himself testily. " Most of the encounters throughout my life have lacked something."
John had always felt that he had something missing. Some ability to connect intimately with another person. "Hell, I spent my last night on Earth alone flipping coins," he remembered glumly. " I hear my people talking about huge parties, family BB-Qs and intimate moments with loved ones; the kind of events that create lifetime memories. What is wrong with me that I sat alone..what kind of pathetic memory is that?" John realized that while he loved getting to know people and genuinely cared for many of them, he always held a part of himself separate. His very ability to charm, distracted people from realizing that while he had learned their life story..his own story was left unopened. In relationships, when push came to shove, John left rather than reveal his innermost self.
He realized that he had been staring at Rodney in shocked surprise for several minutes. As he focused he was pleased to see the same stunned look on Rodneys face.
"You..ah you, well you kissed me!! Hmm, yes ..you did what?" sputtered Rodney "Very articulate Dr. McKay," teased John. He was pleased to see a small answering smile on his teammates face. Mesmerized, he leaned forward again, eyes asking. He shivered in delight as he received an answer to his silent question. Rodney swayed closer and lips once again met tenderly. John used the tip of his tongue to explore and Rodney mouth opened to him. Soon their tongues were mated in an intimate dance. This might have continued had John not suddenly remembered that Rodney was not trembling solely from passion.
"Rodney, let's get your arm looked at and that fever down, then we can spend some time talking, okay? I mean you have got to feel like absolute crap," murmured John. He was gratified to see the look of reluctance on Rodneys face as they moved slightly apart.
If Rodney had been able to get words past the knot in his stomach and the lump in his throat he would have admitted that the spirit was willing but his flesh was weakening quickly. However, his emotions had swerved at break-neck speed from guilt and grief to fear and then hope and .. But he refused to even think the word that leapt briefly to his mind.
Just then the door opened and Carson Beckett strode in followed by Elizabeth Weir. Concern radiated from both as they took in the disheveled room and even more disheveled scientist. Ignoring the red -rimmed eyes, Carson stepped forward and said calmly, " Well then Rodney, I hear you've had a bit of trouble. Let's take a look shall we?" Quickly and efficiently McKays shirt was removed and gasps of shock ran through the small room as the extent of the wounds became visible.
Not one or two wounds as John had expected but seven or eight jagged cuts. Although not incredibly deep they looked red and swollen; the heat radiating from them seemed almost visible. "Ach, what a mess boyo. Let's get you cleaned up. No stay put, I brought my kit with me.. you may as well stay right here where you can be comfortable. We'll start with a shot for the pain then a round of antibiotics. We'll clean and dress the wounds once the medicine kicks in." Rodney attempted to sit up and away from Sheppard but John was having none of that. He held on tightly and put his hand in Rodneys uninjured one. "I'm not going anywhere...hold on as tightly as you need to Rodney," whispered John.
"My God Rodney this must hurt like the dickens. Why on earth did you wait to see me? Damned foolish of you. Ach, no- no sit still, almost done," muttered Beckett peevishly. While he was working, Elizabeth took in the half packed bags. She opened her mouth but closed it again when John gave a small shake of his head.
Rodney again tried to move away from John and once again was stopped by the determined major. Carson and Elizabeth shared a raised eyebrow as they watched the exchange. It had not escaped their notice that the clasped hands and hesitant glances continued even after the Doctor finished his ministrations. "Well, boyo, keep the arm clean and dry; I'll check it tomorrow to see if we'll need stitches. Here are a few pain pills," Carson hesitated. "Maybe it'd be best to move you to the infirmary; I hate the thought of you being alone all night."
Johns eyes narrowed at the patently false expression of innocence on the Doctors face. He glanced at Elizabeth only to find her intently looking at some artifact as if it were the most important thing in the world. He wasn't sure but he thought she was biting her lip. "I'll be staying to keep watch on Rodney..no need to move him away from me.. uh, I mean here." John ground out.
"Well then, that'll do won't it. How kind of you Major. Rodney, I'll see you in the morning; call me if the fever spikes back up." With a gentle pat to Rodneys back Dr. Beckett left. Elizabeth paused a moment simply looking at Rodney then gave him a quick kiss on the cheek. "We'll talk later when you're up to it Rodney. For now rest and heal. From all of us on Atlantis thank you." Rodneys eyes began to blink rapidly and Elizabeth knew it was time to leave.
Just like that Rodney and John were alone. "Do ..do you think she meant that?" questioned Rodney in a shaky voice.
"Yes Rodney, it's like I've been telling you. You did good babe. Now let's get you to bed and in the morning you'll feel much more like yourself." replied John. " Oh yes, more like myself. Well, won't that be fun," grumbled Rodney, even as he allowed himself to be moved.
"Now what is that supposed to mean?" asked John rolling his eyes.
"It means what happens tomorrow when I'm not poor pathetic Rodney, needing protection? It means what happens in the next few days when I'm recovered enough to explain to you in EXCRUCIATING detail why you are never ..no really.. never to call me babe. It means what."
"Whoa Rodney!!" interrupted John. fighting a smile "Calm down! Let's start with the recovery and go from there OK? Here, under the covers, yes there you go. Sleep now Rodney. I won't leave you, rest now." John gently ran his fingertips along Rodneys cheek and forehead. He was relieved to feel that the skin was already somewhat cooler to the touch.
A million and three retorts came to Rodneys mind but the soothing motion of Johns hand was the final straw on his physically and emotionally exhausted body. He drifted off to sleep to the calming drone of John's voice. " You rest babe and I'll keep watch. Won't ever leave you alone. And for the record maybe I want to be protected too and maybe I really lo.. ah.. like a certain pathetic cranky scientist." The last thing Rodney was aware of before he fell into a deep and restful sleep was the feel of Johns lips brushing his forehead,
And as John Sheppard watched over his sleeping friend he realized that his "something missing" had finally been found.
"Oh, God yes," groaned John. He was sure he'd never felt such intense pleasure. The tempo of his thrusts grew stronger..stronger and harder. "So close, babe, so close! AAH--God yes." Muscles clenched, seeking relief. "Rodney!" John cried out in completion. "Rodney" he repeated softly, lovingly as he returned from ecstasy. Consciousness returned slowly and with it came disbelief. "No, oh hell no. I did not just have a wet dream. Abso-fucking-lutely not." But eventually John forced his eyes to open and confirm his fears. He was alone in bed. Alone and apparently with the hormones of a teenager which as far as he could remember was the last time he'd actually come in his pants.
"OK, this has got to stop. Today is the day I stop waiting for Rodney McKay to 'be ready"; whatever the hell that means!" It had been just over a week since Rodneys break down. The first few days were spent helping him recover physically. The infection that had set in after his torture had not departed as rapidly as expected. Finally, though, the wounds began to heal and John had been prepared to discuss both the emotional upheaval that he had witnessed and what he hoped was the beginning of a life-long relationship. McKays response to the suggestion that they needed to talk was just short of obscene. John almost admired his teammates ability to distract, dismiss, disgruntle and distance himself. In true military fashion John had prepared a full frontal assault when Rodney finally allowed their eyes to meet. "I'm not ready yet, John. I just ..please not yet." His expressive eyes filled in what his words did not and John had simply nodded and reluctantly walked away.
That had been three days ago and John was truly wondering about the accuracy of his own memories. For Rodney McKay was back in full force. Arrogant, condescending, moody and sharp tongued. "A general pain in the ass," thought John. "Well, he did warn me that a sad needy Rodney was not the norm." However, John was also aware of the other side to his friend. The side he'd wager no one else saw. Lonely, vulnerable, a man hiding behind a confidant persona so as not to allow his true self to be seen and hurt. "Wow, that sounds familiar," thought John ruefully. "Maybe that's why we're drawn to each other. We can take care of ourselves but each of us needs to comfort and be comforted from time to time. Hell, that's assuming he is drawn to me." For while Rodney had been avoiding John, John knew his own feelings had grown stronger..more real. Proof of which was currently cooling on the Majors stomach. John had played with men in the past but had never felt close enough to any of them to actually make love to them. The fact that he wanted to be with Rodney that way made him even more confident that he had found someone with whom he could build a life.
"All right, I am an excellent strategist.. surely I can come up with a plan to seduce an innocent astrophysicist. I'll have to take it slow..can't scare him away. Wonder if he's ever been with a man? I'll have to be persuasive but not too pushy." Wrapped up in his thoughts John answered the chime to his door with a distracted "Come the hell in" before he remembered his current sticky situation.
Rodney McKay strode into the room as if he owned it. He looked quizzically at Johns blushing face and naked chest or maybe at the sight of John clutching a sheet around his waist as if it were a lifeline. "Still in bed Major?" he asked with a raised eyebrow and a smirk on his lips. " Bed..oh God, I mean yeah..ah what?" stuttered John. "Very articulate, Major Sheppard!" snorted Rodney in amusement. "Well, I'm ready.. the time is right, no time like the present, time to take the bull..or whatever.. by the horns," rattled out Rodney as he moved through the room toward John. He ended up standing next to Johns bed and a moment later, carelessly sat down on the bed and gazed thoughtfully at John.
Even after his recent orgasm, John found his body reacting to Rodneys presence. Now, Sheppard was a professional soldier, not easily flustered. Yet, he found that all he could do was stare helplessly at Rodney; no sentence, coherent or otherwise, came to mind. In that moment he realized that all his careful, methodical plans had just been banished to the McKay zone. "Is there a reason you can't get out of bed, John? Do you have a fever; you um seem rather ..hot." Rodney proceeded to run his fingers slowly across Johns forehead; trailing them down his cheek. The soft fingertips brushed over Johns lips and he was abruptly as hard as iron. "Flustered is a good look for you, babe," grinned Rodney. To John's horror the endearment he had teased Rodney with actually made his dick twitch and grow harder. He suspected from McKay's evil smirk that his arousal was not hidden well at all. He also suspected that he might have overestimated the innocence of this particular scientist.
"Hmmm, how interesting," murmured Rodney. "You are a bit warm; let me help. He proceeded to slowly peel the sheet away from Johns body. "I am not blushing, I am not blushing." John hoped that repeating this mantra would make it true. Rodney continued his gentle mapping of his teammates body. Throat, chest, nipples, stomach, nothing was left untouched. Finally his hands clasped Johns hips and he lowered himself over the shocked Major. Looking directly into Johns eyes he began, " I'm not a heart and flowers kind of guy, John so let me get this out of the way. It meant more than I can say that you took care of me when I was hurt, hell, I damn well love you for it. But I am who I am if you'll forgive the Popeye channeling. I will love you and take care of you and on rare occasion let you take care of me. I will not become some helpless wifey in distress. I'll undoubtedly piss you off on a regular basis but on the plus side as a scientist I've accumulated an extensive list of ways to bring a man to orgasm so it's probably a fair trade off. Oh yes, you can declare your undying love now." He looked at John expectantly.
John looked at Rodney in helpless amazement and finally decided to give in to the inevitable. " Ah well, slow and steady is over rated," he sighed and mentally said good-bye to his plans for controlling the situation. Out loud he merely responded obediently, "I love you Rodney..now about this orgasm thing.." And his innocent scientist became a blur of tongue and teeth and lips and oh my God who knew toes could do that!! Eventually Rodneys hard cock was pressing against Johns recently stretched ass. Their breath mingled in quick pants, eyes locked in passion and love. "I love you, John," whispered Rodney and he pushed firmly into Johns body "Shh, it's ok just let it happen..no no breathe babe breathe." The first shock of pain eased and John manages a shaky "Well this is different." "Oh God, I'm in.. I'm in you .John. So tight -so good" groaned Rodney. "So damn hot, so damn beautiful. "
Rodney began to thrust in earnest. "Been a long time for you babe? You're so tight.." he froze, finally taking in Johns blushes. Realizing that all the groans were not from pleasure. "Shit, please tell me that you actually did plan to do this!" " Well eventually!! I figured it'd take me at least six months to get you to agree to sleep with me!" ground out John. "Now no freaking Rodney. Apparently a pissy in control Dr. McKay turns me on beyond belief. I love you I want you now for Gods sake move and lets get to the orgasm part!" With that said John cautiously clenched his internal muscles. "It's good Rodney, it's you so it's good. Love you"
"GOD" moaned Rodney, fighting for control. "All right Major, if you're sure, let's get to the rest of lesson one!" Rodney resumed thrusting into Johns body, angling to reach the prostate on every stroke. His eyes never left Johns face. "So many things I want to show you, want to be with you always. You gonna come for me babe? Oh yeah God" The words were the final straw for John and he arched up, crying out loudly, eyes rolling back in his head as he came. His response threw Rodney head first into his own orgasm. "John" he cried out as he filled his new lover with his seed.
Breathing evened out and hands lazily caressed cooling flesh. John felt himself slipping into sleep when a horrible thought crossed his mind. "OUCH," yelped Rodney. "What the hell- you pinched me!" "Sorry, thought I might be dreaming again." "You know, I bruise really easily..and why pinch me if you think you're asleep?! And what do you mean 'again'?" Rodney stopped abruptly at John's sleepy answer. " Now I know it's real. Go to sleep Rodney, love you." He curled into Rodneys embrace and continued softly, "You'll stay tonight, right?" "Stay forever John, promise. I love you.but really- I do bruise easily.." They fell asleep in each others arms. And two people who had never believed in 'happily ever afters' found the one they needed most.