melissas_corner: (John/Rodney)
[personal profile] melissas_corner
Author’s Notes: Written for alem who ‘won’ my ‘mad skillz’ in the Sweet Charity auction for the WGA strike fund. This has ended up being a Quarantine tag. Despite being firmly in the ‘John and Rodney are so canon’ camp and having a special place in my heart for first time stories, this one just screamed to be pre-slash.
Spoilers: Quarantine, Duet and Tao of Rodney



Rodney’s POV:

I head away from the botany lab and go in search of John with a distinct feeling of dread in the pit of my stomach. I just ended my only chance at a socially acceptable life. All in favor of…what, exactly? I don’t even know if John feels the same, or if he’d even be willing to give it a try, especially with his career on the line.

Eventually I locate John in the surprisingly empty mess hall. I pause just outside his line of sight while trying to find the words to tell my best friend that I’m not going to marry a very lovely woman because of my feelings for him. A woman who doesn’t deserve the way I ended things. I really shouldn’t have stayed away so long. I should have sucked it up and approached her sooner to ‘discuss’ things. But I couldn’t get over the fact that Radek Zelenka, of all people, ended up saving the day. I couldn’t fight the urge to make sure my city hadn’t suffered any permanent damage from Radek turning off the power. Okay, that was a bit harsh but still. Despite the fact that maybe, just maybe, he’s good for something after all, something that I would’ve been able to do without crawling through the ventilation shafts, he still could have done irreparable damage to the main systems.

Continuing on my way across the room, I rein in my frustrations over being saved by Radek and turn my thoughts back to how to tell John what I realized while being trapped with Katie.

“Hey,” I say by way of greeting, taking the seat opposite John and swiping one of his cookies while trying to be casual.

“Hey, buddy,” he responds. “So we on for that beer later?”

“Um, yeah, about that,” I falter to a stop, not exactly sure where to start.

John makes a sympathetic noise. “She turn ya down?” he asks, surreptitiously passing over his bowl of blue Jello. He knows how much I hate it when he just gives it to me.

“Not exactly,” I hedge, digging into the wiggly blue cubes with the spoon I pinched from his tray.

“Not…exactly…” he murmurs. “Last time I checked it’s either yes or no. So…?”

“Actually…” I pause to sneak a glance at his face before continuing. “I never asked.”

“You…what?” he exclaims, slumping back in his chair in surprise.

Yeah, you and me both, my friend. Surprised the hell out of me, too.

I clear my throat nervously. “I realized that Katie’s not who I really want.”

One of John’s eyebrows makes its way up his forehead. “Oh, really now? And just who is it you’re so hot for then?” he asks, pushing his mashed not-quite potatoes around his plate and stubbornly not looking at me.

“Um, well… Here’s the thing…” I blow out a breath and then suck in both cheeks. Oh, just say it, you coward! “The person I’m really interested in could get in big trouble if the feelings are returned.”

“Uh-huh.” The sound gives nothing away, and John keeps squishing the not-quite potatoes on his plate for a moment more. “What kind of trouble?”

“The ‘end of a life-long career and get sent back to Earth’ kind of trouble,” I clarify, fighting the urge to squirm in my seat.

John appears thoughtful for two beats. “So. One of my men, then?” he asks, voice carefully neutral.

I sigh deeply. “An American, yes.”

My heart starts pounding as I wait for him to respond. “So you haven’t said anything?” he finally questions, having given up on rearranging the food on his plate and taken up crumbling a piece of bread on top instead.

Has the man not been listening? “No, because I just figured it out myself.”

“Huh,” he grunts, sucking on his lower lip.

“All Katie needed was a smile, some attention and she was happy. But being trapped with her… I went to my not-so-happy place, a place I had been trying to not show her because I wanted her to really like me but you know me and tight places. Also, I’m not so sure how to broach the subject. I don’t want to risk our friendship, nor do I want to have my ass kicked, you know?”

John cocks his head as though considering that information, then I see his brows creeping up his forehead and wonder if he’s surprised that I’m admitting to not knowing something. At least he has the grace to avoid ribbing me about how nervous this is making me. “How’re you planning on ‘broaching the subject’?” he finally asks in a calm tone.

I open my mouth, start to speak, then close it. Shoulders slumping, I sigh deeply. “I got nothing,” I finally say, dejected.

John takes a furtive look around before leaning over the table and dropping his voice to say, “Come to my room tonight at 1900 and I’ll help.”

All I can do is blink at him when he throws me the patented 'John Sheppard smirk' before he picks up his tray and heads for the exit.

After John leaves the mess hall, I head back to my lab. I find I’m not able to concentrate. It’s just like when Cadman’s consciousness was inside my head. I keep making stupid mistakes and Radek keeps finding them. I just barely refrain from calling him names, again, each time he brings a new mistake to my notice.

“You must leave now,” Radek orders, slamming the lid of my laptop closed, narrowly missing my fingers.

“Who died and made you boss?” I yell back, lifting the lid and resuming my work.

“If you don’t leave now we all will die and then you will be boss of no one!” he snaps back, once again shutting my laptop, only this time I’m not quite fast enough and he manages to catch a couple of my fingers.

“Ow!” I exclaim, shaking the sting out of my hand while glaring daggers at him.

“I don’t know what is bothering you, and I don’t care. All I know is you are making stupid errors just like before when Cadman was in your head. I for one do not wish to die because you are distracted!” he tells me. “Just go! Now!” he stresses, picking up my laptop, shoving it into my arms and then pushing me in the direction of the door.

I soon find myself standing on the outside of my lab, clutching my laptop and gaping at the door. Still not real sure how Radek managed to get me out and then lock the door behind me.

With nothing else to occupy my time for the next, a quick glance at my watch, four hours, I head to my quarters hoping I’ll be able to get something done in private but knowing deep down that it’s probably an exercise in futility.

At 1900 on the dot, I sweep my hand over the door chime crystal at John’s door. Waiting nervously for him to answer, I rock back on my heels and shove my hands deep in my pockets to keep from wringing them and announcing my nervousness to whomever happens to pass by.

When he finally opens the door I can only stare in shock. Lieutenant Colonel John Sheppard has answered his door wearing nothing but a pair of sleep pants that are just barely hanging on his hips. My gaze is snagged, and held, by his broad, hairy chest.

“Right on time,” he confirms a smile in his voice.

“Of course,” I reply absent-mindedly, still staring at the expanse of his naked chest.

Suddenly his hand appears in my field of vision, snapping in a very good imitation of me. “I’m up here, big boy,” he says, breaking into my thoughts with a pretty damn good Mae West impersonation.

Slowly I raise my eyes to his face and find the smile he usually reserves for alien priestesses and princesses being aimed my way. That somewhat shy, almost dorky-looking innocent smile that makes it all the way to those chipper hazel eyes that look straight at me from under the typically-disheveled mass of his hair. I’ve been wondering what his hair feels like between my fingers, and… no, wait. Focus, Rodney. Back on task here. Swallowing hard and blinking rapidly, I try to get my brain back on track. Damn, no wonder they fall all over themselves when he smiles at them. The man should be registered as a lethal weapon.

“Come in,” he invites, stepping back so I can pass. Of course he doesn’t step back far enough and I end up brushing my back against his chest on my way past him. The solid bulk of him at my back sends a shiver coursing down my spine, especially when I feel what I suspect is an erection slide against my butt. A little… no, a lot – startled, I move like a scalded cat, clearing him fast. Embarrassment makes me wonder if he’s mocking me somehow.

Once fully inside the room, I turn to face him, not quite believing what I think I just felt. “Colonel?” I question, gaping at him.

He tilts his head, a frown marring his features. “You’ve been calling me John up till now.”

“Um,” I stammer, fighting the panicked urge to flee but knowing that this needs to be said sooner rather than later.

“Problem?” he asks. Nervousness must be contagious because he’s suddenly looking like he wishes he was somewhere else.

Chewing thoughtfully on my right thumbnail, I do my best to keep my gaze fixed on his face and away from where his dog tags are resting in the mat of hair on his chest. “You said you were gonna help me figure out how to tell one of your men that I have feelings for him,” I finally respond. I think I see his nipples amid the dark forest of curls, and with me just looking out of the corner of my eye I can’t help but wonder if they’re hard.

“And I am,” he says as if he really believes that he’s helping me here.

“Oh, really?” I demand, backing up a step. “Are you really saying that I should invite him to my quarters and then answer the door wearing nothing but a pair of sleep pants?”

John shrugs. “Why not? It works for me.”

“In case you haven’t noticed, Colonel, I’m not you,” I huff. How dare he insinuate I start a relationship by showing how unfit I really am?

He lifts his palms in surrender, as though trying to placate me. “I know you’re not me, Rodney. But I don’t see why…”

“Really? Look at me,” I interrupt crossly, spreading my arms wide.

“I am looking, Rodney,” he whispers so low I’m positive I didn’t hear him right.

I forge on ahead, trying to explain a concept that must seem as foreign to him as most of the technology in Atlantis. I mean, honestly, for all that the man has what I’ve grudgingly admitted is an above average intelligence, sometimes I don’t know how he manages to get dressed in the morning. “Somehow I don’t think that’d be a good way to get this guy. I’m not exactly most people’s type. Especially not some muscle-bound military type.”

“Maybe it doesn’t matter to him. You ever think of that, McKay?” he snaps, crossing his arms over his chest.

What the hell does he have to be angry about? I’m the one who’s going to be rejected.

“Of course it matters it him. He’s in the fucking military! They’re all about muscles and coordination and upper body strength and all those things that I don’t have!” I give in to my frustration and snap at him.

“Just because someone’s in the military doesn’t mean they’re attracted to someone who’s all buff and shit.” He’s getting defensive now, a frown starting to mar the smirk on his face.

“This was a bad idea,” I mutter, stepping around him in order to leave, and I halt when the door doesn’t open at my approach. Turning back to face him, I roll my eyes and growl, “Very mature, Sheppard.”

“This was not a bad idea. Well, not completely,” he states just before he steps forward and grabs my face with both hands. I freeze, not quite sure what’s going on. Even as his head slowly lowers toward mine, his gaze locked on my lips, I’m having a difficult time wrapping my brain around this. He can’t possibly…

The second his lips touch mine, my thoughts derail. His lips are warm and slightly chapped but still very soft. Certainly softer than I expected. After several seconds I open my mouth to his questing tongue and slip my hands around his waist. He hums his pleasure and slides his hands down across my shoulders, his fingertips lightly tracing the curve of my spine through my shirt and down over my buttocks before squeezing each cheek. My brilliant mind is at a loss for explanation and all I know is that John Sheppard is kissing me and touching my ass and that this has to be one of the greatest things that has ever happened to me.

We stand there for several minutes, fingers tracing what skin we can reach, tongues caressing each other until our lungs demand we breathe. Oh my God, his nipples are hard. I can feel my train of thought start to shut down completely and I yank my focus back to the more complex aspects of the situation.

Pulling back, dragging in huge gulping breaths, I can’t resist running the fingers of one hand lightly down his jaw. “I think we should talk first,” I say, stepping back and out of his arms, biting back a groan at the loss of contact.

“Talk?” he repeats, blinking at me as if he has no idea what the word means. I can kind of understand his reaction. I mean, one minute we’re playing tonsil hockey and then I suddenly want to talk? Part of me is just as confused as he is, and another part of me wants to stop talking and go back to exploring his mouth.

“Yeah. Don’t know about you but I’ve never done anything like this before and,” I stammer, trying not to babble incoherently as my brain manages to kick back on. “Well, I don’t want to just jump into something. I meant what I said earlier about not wanting to ruin our friendship.”

John smirks at me as he backs me across the room until I squeak at the feel of the wall against my back. “Talking’s overrated,” he purrs before dipping his head and capturing my lips in another breath-stealing kiss.

“John,” I pant, pushing him back with my hands firmly planted on his chest. “We really need to talk first.” I want this, God I want this, but my mind refuses to stop running in a million directions at once. John just kissed me and now he’s showing every sign of wanting to throw me down and crawl on top of me and – McKay! A little focus here!

“Okay,” he finally sighs, but he still doesn’t move from where he has me pinned to the wall with his body. “I want you to fuck me stupid. Unless you want me to fuck you stupid.”

I just about swallow my tongue at his words, my mind faltering again. “John,” I try once more to get him to slow down. Once again part of me wonders why in the sweet name of all that’s scientific I would want to slow down, but my genius mind won’t rest until I’ve gotten a few more answers, to confirm that this won’t ruin our friendship. “I’ve never been with a guy before and the fact that it’s you my best friend…” I let the sentence trail off, hoping he’ll understand.

John takes a step back. The look on his face is the one from when he first sat in the chair in Antarctica, a little puzzled and confused but with a definite element of ‘hey, this is cool.’ I definitely love that look, even though he can be such a… a grunt sometimes. “You don’t want to screw this up,” he whispers, caressing my cheek with one finger.

He isn’t asking a question just simply stating a fact, but I nod my answer just the same.

“Okay, what exactly do you want to talk about?” he asks, stepping far enough back that I can actually think again. My little Radek-inflicted indignity from earlier gives a brief twinge and I start to wonder if tangling my fingers in his hair could make it feel better. Wait, Rodney, focus. Patience is a virtue, you know.

“Well, not talk per se, just more like take this really slow. Like I said, your friendship is very important to me and…I don’t get in relationships very often, and this is one I’ve been wanting for a while so I really, really want to make sure I get this right.”

He grins at me from across the room, and for a second I wonder if he’s doing something to my eyes because my peripheral vision seems to have disappeared entirely. His next words bring me right back to reality, and I swear my heart stops for a second. “As much as I want to toss you on the bed and have my wicked, wicked way with you, I respect you and swear I won’t do anything you don’t want.”

“Yes, right. Exactly,” I agree, wagging a finger in his general direction, stubbornly refusing to look at him because I know if I do I’ll lose my train of thought again and give in to letting him have his, as he put it, ‘wicked, wicked way’ with me.

Pacing his tiny room I sort through my thoughts, trying to find the best way to proceed from here but all I can come up with is the fact that I want to feel his weight pressing me into the mattress. “Wait,” I pause my pacing, my head snapping up as something he said earlier in the conversation returns to me. “Are you saying you’re not into other military types? But are actually into pudgy middle-aged balding scientists?”

“Yes, Rodney. My tastes tend toward men who don’t have rock hard abs. All I need is someone who challenges me intellectually. And blue eyes I can drown in don’t hurt, either.” His voice starts off patient, almost patronizing, but there’s a definite, and what I would almost call, sultry note in that last statement that has my eyes snapping over to his face again.

“Excuse me?” I grunt, not quite sure I’ve heard him right.

“I’ve wanted you since Antarctica,” he confirms, setting my heart to pounding and me fighting the instinct to flee once again. He wants me. Oh my God, he wants me. I can honestly say that this has never happened to me before, and in my rising panic of wondering how in the hell one is supposed to respond in these situations, my mouth comes to my rescue.

“So, have you ever done this, John? Been with a guy, I mean? ‘Cause I haven’t and while it might be great to have your first time with another virgin when you’re a teenager I’m thinking a more experienced person is kinda needed for this guy-on-guy stuff.” Not like I haven’t researched, or fantasized, but I’ve got firsthand experience of how things that might look easy on paper usually end up turning out, well… not quite so easy.

He tilts his head and crosses his arms nonchalantly, answering my question as easily as though I’d just asked him how he likes his coffee… with a ton of sugar and a drop of cream, by the way. “I haven’t been with a guy since high school but from what I hear you never forget how.” He makes it sound so casual. Like riding a bike.

“So, you are gay,” I say, continuing my pacing.

Again with the patronizing tone, though I hope he’s just trying to gently correct me. “No, Rodney, I’m bi-sexual.”

“So all those women…”

“You really want me to answer that?” he answers and I can hear the smirk. Smug bastard… I’d like to lick that smirk right off his face.

Wait… do I really want to hear this? “Not really, no. But if…”

“If we, no, since we are doing this, there will be no one else but you. Cross my heart,” he promises.

‘Cross his heart’? How long has it been since I’ve heard that? I don’t respond and start chewing on my thumbnail again. When he clears his throat, I stop mid-stride and turn to look at him, realizing my mistake too late. The naked expanse of his chest has my heart racing and my breathing quickly reaching the hyperventilating stage. Ever notice how no matter how old you are, or how often you fantasize about it, every ‘first time’ makes you feel totally inadequate? You know what, screw this. I tell my brain to sit down and shut up. Decision time, Rodney, time to put this plan in motion. “Change of plans,” I say briskly, stepping toward him. “Let’s get with the making-out so I can have time to clean up in order to leave before dawn.”

One eyebrow starts its way up his forehead. “Wouldn’t be the first time you spent all night in my room, Rodney,” he reminds me.

“Yes, yes. But that was different. You were trying to help me ascend so I wouldn’t die. Everyone knew that was the only reason I was here. But now…” I take a deep breath. “Now they’d think something else.”

“But it’s the truth.”

Does he not understand what’s at risk here? I’m dying to get in his pants just as badly as I’m dying to get a Nobel prize, but the last thing I want is for him to get sent back home. “And it could get you kicked out of the military and sent back to Earth. You’re needed here, in case you forgot.”

“You need me, Rodney?” he asks smiling that smile again. God, did I really say that? No, wait… no, he’s putting words in my mouth. Isn’t he? I do want him to stay here, but… God, I can’t think while he’s looking at me like that!

Atlantis needs you,” I huff, my nose in the air. “Sure I can turn some things on, but the city, she loves you.”

“And you, McKay?”

I can only gape at him in stunned confusion. “Me what?”

His grin widens and he reaches for me to say against my lips, “Love me,” he breathes. “Welcome back, McKay.”

So he was mocking me. A little. Teasing me like my absurdly-lost mental state was some sort of quality he found endearing. And as I taste his mouth again, and finally let my fingers thread themselves in his hair, I realize that I really don't care.

The Longest Word

(no subject)

Date: 2010-07-06 09:32 am (UTC)
noxie: friendly girl smiling (sga_cream)
From: [personal profile] noxie
I really enjoyed reading this! <3

WOW!

Date: 2010-07-06 11:13 pm (UTC)
erotha_wills: (the first naomi)
From: [personal profile] erotha_wills
Fantastic!
Characterisation is just right! :)

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