The gate was less than a two-minute flight from the settlement and Sheppard was doing everything in his power to cut the trip down to a minute and a half, otherwise the Satedan was going to bleed out on the floor of the Jumper before they ever got him to the infirmary.
“Ronon, look at me,” Teyla was calling from his side as Rodney fought to stop the blood flowing from the wound nestled in the crook where neck curved into shoulder. The same spot where John could still feel the bite of Rodney’s teeth on his own skin. “Ronon?” Teyla cupped the injured man’s face with her own blood-smeared hands, turning it so he could see her.
“Melena?” the warrior slurred and Sheppard glanced back at the name to see him try to lift a hand to Teyla’s face in kind, only to have it fall back limply.
“Ronon, listen to me!” Teyla’s order had Ronon focusing on his teammate’s face and her voice softened slightly but all of the worry remained. “Stay here. Stay with us.”
“Goddammit!” Rodney cursed from Ronon’s opposite before trying to snap impatient fingers slick with blood. “Teyla give me another bandage. Son of bitch, it won’t stop bleeding; they must have nicked an artery.” Evidently Teyla wasn’t moving fast enough to suit McKay because he barked, “Now would be good.”
“You do not need to yell, Rodney,” she challenged.
“Apparently I do.” There was an annoyed sigh and he added, “Open the damn thing; I can’t let up on the pressure here.”
“Rodney,” Sheppard called, trying to calm the scientist but the agitated man ignored him as he continued his rant.
“But, clearly, I’m supposed to do everything around here. I guess that’s what makes me so goddamn important.”
“Rodney,” John called again.
“Why I’m so fucking irreplaceable that people step in front of guns to keep me alive.”
“What?” he yelled back.
“It wasn’t your fault,” John told him evenly.
When the shooting had started, the team had scattered. Sheppard and Teyla had ended up behind a wagon parked on the dirt curb while Ronon had grabbed Rodney and pulled him into an alleyway on the opposite side of the street. John had Teyla’s sidearm while she fired her P90, but seeing as Ronon didn’t carry Earth weapons, the only thing he could have offered Rodney was one of his many knives. Sheppard wasn’t even sure he’d trust Rodney to cut a piece of fruit with one of those, much less defend himself, so he was depending on the Satedan to keep McKay alive.
He was a good choice, as it turned out. Ronon recognized his responsibility as well as Sheppard had and the man was nothing if not thorough in meeting his assigned tasks. So that when John had glanced over at the other half of his team and saw the armed figure moving across the roof above them, he’d fired and missed, his bullet ricocheting off the railing and drawing the shooters attention. It also drew Rodney’s attention who yelled a warning back at John. And for a split second, John could see McKay and the man on the roof make eye contact.
Sheppard fired again, only to realize that the slide on his gun had locked back indicating his magazine was empty and that’s when he had yelled something himself. He wasn’t sure what… No!… Rodney!… Look out!… the words really weren’t important. What was important was the fact that the gun swung to point right at McKay and John watched, helpless to do anything else, as Ronon tackled the scientist to the ground and John felt that single shot from the roof ring through him the same as if he had been the one in the cross fire.
Teyla had heard his warning, too, and took the shooter out with a spray of ammo. But John didn’t see the man fall. He was watching as his two teammates lay still on the ground in the alley.
“Get up,” he mumbled under his breath. “Get up, get up, get up.” Because this was not going to happen like this. This was not going to end before it had ever had a chance to begin. When there was no movement, he slammed another clip home and darted across the street.
“McKay? Ronon?” He kept his gun trained on the rooflines as he backed his way cautiously toward the men. The alley was dark, shadowed between two buildings and in sharp contrast to the glare of the bright sun he was staring up into. Toward the back of the alley, Sheppard could just make out the murky shape of the two men when he dared to look away from the threat above.
“Rodney?” And if his voice cracked a little on that name it was just because he was so fucking pissed at the moment he was having trouble forming words at all.
“Sheppard, I think Ronon’s hit.”
John didn’t lean against a wall in absolute relief at hearing McKay’s voice, not like he wanted to, because he had responsibilities of his own to take care. Rodney was alive; he needed to keep him that way. And he needed to take care of his injured man, his injured friend.
“What about you? Are you hurt?” He scanned the roofs for any indication that other shooters might have been up there. Rodney was alive and he was going to keep him that way. End of story.
“I don’t… don’t think so.” He laughed nervously. “Ronon’s a heavy guy.”
“Teyla!” Sheppard shouted over the sound of gunfire on the street, “Get over here!” As soon as she was moving toward them, he called back over his shoulder. “Don’t worry, McKay, I’m getting us out of here. All of us.”
A sound behind him had John pivoting around and blinking against the darkness, but there was no one there. A rodent probably, scouring for food in the debris between the two buildings. Not a threat, so he turned his gun back up to where the potential of one still remained.
“He was going to shoot me,” Rodney observed quietly, his voice almost muffled. “But I think he shot Ronon instead.”
Rodney was alive, but at what price? Sheppard sucked in a breath, almost afraid to ask the next question. “Is Ronon… is he alive?”
“He’s breathing. I can feel it.” Rodney’s voice was closer now, and John’s foot backed into what he assumed was one of the men’s legs.
Teyla jogged into the alley and Sheppard ordered her to cover the rooftops as he squatted down and discovered that Rodney was trapped under Ronon. Shit. With an effort, he rolled the Satedan over and the large man let out a groan. Good sign, very good sign. Groaning meant he was alive and alive was very good. But when McKay sat up, a dark smear running along the side of his face and John reached out to feel the tacky wetness on the man’s chest, he decided his assessment wasn’t as good as he had hoped.
He hadn’t realized he had fisted up a wad of Rodney’s blood-soaked shirt until he felt a shaking hand close over his own. “Sheppard?”
John let his hand slip from beneath McKay’s and he pushed his nine millimeter into it instead. Rodney was alive; he needed to keep him that way. He needed to keep all of them that way. And that meant he needed to get Ronon to Atlantis ASAP. “Teyla, cover them.”
“Where are you going?” she asked as he reached over and retrieved Ronon’s gun from the ground.
“I’m going for the Jumper. I’ll be right back.”
“Sheppard, wait.” Rodney started to stand to go with him and John shook his head.
“Take care of Ronon. I’ll be right back.” And he had started to run and hadn’t stopped until he reached the ship, not bothering to keep count of the men that fell along the way.
The drone he had fired from the Jumper pretty much cleared the streets of any more assailants, as well as leveling the Town Hall that Sheppard hoped was still where that prick of a Chancellor was hiding out. They had loaded Ronon and the pilot was now doing his best to set a speed record with the Jumper.
“It’s not your fault, McKay,” John repeated.
Rodney just snorted. “Fly faster, Sheppard.”
He was dialing as soon as the gate was in sight and calling to Atlantis as soon as the wormhole burst to life. “Atlantis, this is Sheppard. Request emergency medical support upon our arrival.”
“They’ll be standing by, Colonel,” Elizabeth promised.
His simple response had the expedition leader asking in worry, “John?”
“It’s Ronon. He’s been shot.” He took a deep breath before admitting, “It’s bad.”
“Bring him home. We’ll be waiting.”
Sheppard took one final look over his shoulder, saw Teyla doing everything in her power to keep Ronon’s attention, saw Rodney doing everything in his to keep Ronon from bleeding to death, then he saw the silver blue of the event horizon envelop the ship to be replaced by the control room and the medical team scrambling to meet them in the hangar.
With the surgical team assembling, not to mention the emergency medical team still working on Ronon, visitors were suddenly banned from the infirmary. Sheppard, McKay and Teyla stood outside the doors, all looking a little shell-shocked. Elizabeth placed a hand on John’s arm and he blinked to see it.
“He’s in good hands,” she assured and he nodded dumbly. But it was enough for him to remember that he still had two other team members and that they seemed to be worse off than he was.
“They’re obviously not going to let us in there for a while,” he told them. “Why don’t the two of you go and get cleaned up? I’ll stick around until he’s out of surgery and give you a call if there’s any news.”
Teyla started to protest, looked down at the blood on herself and forced a smile of thanks. “I will return after I have showered.”
Rodney, however, didn’t move and Sheppard squeezed his shoulder, noting the drying red-brown stains on his own hands for the first time. “McKay?” Dazed blue eyes turned at his name and John’s stomach twisted with what he saw there. “You okay?”
“I should go wash off this blood,” Rodney answered blankly.
“Yeah, good idea,” he agreed before promising, “I’ll talk to you in a lit bit. All right?”
John watched him go then turned back to Elizabeth who crossed her arms with a tilt of her head. “You should take your own advice, Colonel.”
With a shake of his head, he sat heavily in one of the plastic chairs in the waiting area. “Someone needs to be here.”
“I’ll stay,” she offered, “Just until you clean up.”
“No offense, Elizabeth, but…”
Weir cut him off before he could continue. “John, I know I’m not a member of the team, but I’m just talking about finding a bathroom and washing your hands. I think I can fill in until you do that.”
“Okay,” he relented under her supportive smile. “I’ll be right back.”
The bathroom sink washed away all remnants of the blood from his hands and John used a paper towel to rub away the small smear on the side of his face. He studied himself closely in the mirror, turning his head this way then that to see if there was any more he hadn’t noticed on first glance. Satisfied, he leaned back and took in the whole picture and was a little shocked to see some of that same haunted look he had seen in Rodney’s face reflected back at him.
“They’re going to be fine, Sheppard,” he told himself out loud. “They’re going to patch Ronon up and he’s going to be good as new. And Teyla and Rodney weren’t hurt and neither were you. Your team’s going to be okay.”
But it had been close, so damn close. And if things had gone a little differently, Ronon would be home showering right now and Rodney would be…. He scrubbed briskly at his face as if erasing that thought entirely.
What the fuck? Seriously, what the fuck? Rodney had had close calls before. They all had. And sure, he’d been worried for McKay before, just like he was worried for Ronon. But now… now it was different. As much as he hated to admit it, it was totally different.
What the hell had he been thinking? That he could just be friends with Rodney during the day and date him on their off hours? Dating. Christ. He’d meant what he said about dating being the only word he could think of because it didn’t cut it, that was for damn sure. Rodney had told him he wanted something more complex, well, they had it now by God. He should have known better. The fact that McKay had become his best friend despite every indication from the onset that there was no way in hell the two of them should have been able to carry on a conversation much less bond should have clued him in to how wrong he could be when judging himself around the man.
With a snort John shook his head at the idiot staring back at him in the mirror. “You are so fucking clueless sometimes, it’s pathetic.”
But he’d deal with it later. Right now he needed to get back to the infirmary and he and Rodney and whatever the hell they were could be dealt with later.
Later came about five hours after he walked out of the bathroom. That’s when Teyla finally convinced him that he should head back to his quarters and get some sleep before the sun rose. John had reluctantly agreed when the Athosian swore she would call him if there was any change in Ronon’s condition. The Satedan was out of surgery and had been moved to the Atlantean equivalent on ICU and one person was allowed to sit with him at a time. Sheppard decided Teyla would be a much more pleasant face for Ronon to wake to than his own and a shower and bed were sounding better and better as the adrenaline rush he had been riding for so long finally started winding down.
John had started down the hall after saying goodbye to Teyla but was stopped by a call of his name. He turned to see Dr. Rhymes cradling her electronic pad as she trotted to catch up.
“Do you mind if I walk with you?”
“No problem,” Sheppard shrugged and then remembered what she had said about her hours in the infirmary the day before. “I thought you were working the day shift this week?”
“I was called in to assist with Ronon.” Brushing back a strand of dark hair, she gave a small smile. “My background in trauma doesn’t get as much call as it did in the ERs of Chicago, but I have a feeling your team may put it to the test.”
“So, Ronon, is he…” John was almost afraid to hear the answer so he couldn’t bring himself to finish the question.
“He lost a great deal of blood, Colonel,” she admitted, “but he was doing well in recovery considering, so that’s a very promising sign. But we’ll know more when wakes.”
He could only nod at her guarded optimism. “Thank you, for everything you’ve done for him.”
“Actually, I should thank you, for your help with Dr. McKay. I hope the relaxation techniques you’ve been teaching him will help him get through this, as well. I heard he was rather upset by the whole situation.”
“Relaxation techniques?” What the hell had Rodney told her?
“Yes, to help with his blood pressure. It’s kind of ironic; if you hadn’t helped him get it under control he wouldn’t have even been on the mission today.”
John stopped walking and looked at the woman in confusion. “What are you talking about?”
She seemed almost as puzzled as he was. “Rodney didn’t tell you about his blood pressure? He said he was going to talk to you about it so you could make arrangements for another scientist on your team…”
“Whoa, whoa, whoa. Why would I need another scientist on my team?” And then the light bulb went off. “You were going to ground him, weren’t you?”
“Colonel, the SGC has very specific guidelines for medical clearance of personnel, and for members of off-world teams they’re even more restrictive. Dr. McKay’s blood pressure has been borderline for a while. And you probably know as well as anyone how he never takes any down time for himself. I’ve been on him for weeks now to take a night off, take up a hobby, read a book, anything except work. I even offered to let him have the driver I ended up giving to you, but he said golf was about as exciting as watching a pendulum swing. That’s when I told him that was the whole point and if he didn’t find some way to decrease the excitement in his life I was going to have to put him on restricted duty.”
With a shake of his head, Sheppard held up a halting hand. “Wait. You gave me the driver?”
“Yes, Rodney said you enjoyed golf and since I couldn’t use it he thought you might like it. He even suggested we should set up a golf date.” She laughed shyly. “I think he thought that you might be able to convince me to let him stay on active duty status if we… spent some time together.”
“You gave me the driver?” He would have sworn McKay had given him the club.
“Yes, my father ordered it for me after I mentioned in an email home that some people golfed here. Problem was, they sent a right handed club and I’m a lefty.” She waggled the stylus for her pad in her left hand in demonstration. “And it’s a wonder the club ever made it here in the first place. I couldn’t imagine trying to return something from another galaxy.”
John had kind of tuned out the physician as he rolled the information over in his head. McKay hadn’t given him the club. And that whole conversation about sex and dating lots of women and mutual gratification and trying to ask Sheppard to do something for him and more complex than simple sex hadn’t been what Sheppard had thought it was about at all. Rodney wasn’t trying to ask John for a relationship, he was…
“That son of bitch was trying to pimp me out.”
Realizing he had spoken that last conclusion aloud, he bit his tongue. “Sorry. I, uh, I just didn’t know you were the one that gave me the club. If I had, I would have thanked you for it sooner.”
“So you like it?” She smiled in anticipation of his answer and he did his best not to disappoint her.
“It’s great. Really, great.” But, honestly, it didn’t seem as great as it had a few days ago when he thought it had come from McKay. And to think that everything that had happened between them over the past couple of days had been because John had jumped to an erroneous conclusion was the furthest thing from great he could think of.
“Wonderful. I’m just glad it didn’t go to waste. I haven’t had the heart to tell my dad that I can’t use it. Besides, it’s the thought that counts.”
“Yeah,” John agreed halfheartedly because when you’ve counted on the wrong thoughts, it made you wonder how many other things you got wrong, too.
“And, something good did come out of it, after all. I got to meet you and, hopefully, when I manage to find a set of left-handed golf clubs, I’ll finally get to see that elusive driving range you have set up.”
“Sure,” he agreed with a forced smile. “Just let me know when they come in.”
“I plan to hold you to that, Colonel. I’m not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, no matter how long it takes to finally get my hands on it… the clubs that is.” She blushed slightly and Sheppard’s smile turned awkward.
“Yeah, the clubs.”
“Well, here’s my stop.” She hitched a thumb at the door to her residence. Most of the medical staff were within a few minutes walk to the infirmary and she was no exception. Opening her door, she offered in parting, “I really do believe that Ronon’s prognosis is promising.”
“Katelin,” she corrected.
“Katelin.” She started into her room and John stopped her with one last question. “About McKay’s blood pressure, you said it came back down to an acceptable level?”
“Yes. When he came back to have it checked after he took you home yesterday it was the best it’s been since I arrived. Whatever you’ve been doing to help him with it, keep up the good work.”
Now it was Sheppard’s turn to fight the embarrassment. “I’ll see what I can do.”
John said his goodnights and continued on to his room. He had debated going to McKay’s quarters and demanding to know just what the fuck the man had been thinking trying to whore him out for the scientist’s own personal gain. But he decided he was too exhausted and the day had been a little too traumatic for a late night confrontation. He’d deal with that later. Right now he just wanted to shower and sleep and try to figure out what the hell was going on with Rodney and if the whole damn thing had been one huge mistake while simultaneously worrying about Ronon’s condition. It didn’t promise to be a restful night.
But he paused when he opened his door and heard snoring. The moonlight cutting across the room revealed Rodney, wearing sweats and a t-shirt, curled on his bed asleep. If the man thought he was going to get some after the conversation John had just had with the physician, McKay had another thing coming. Because, for some reason, the thought that Rodney was just using him for sex… with the scientist himself or someone else… really pissed him off.
Sure, it wasn’t like he hadn’t done the same thing for his own personal gratification in the past. Many, many times. This was different, though. This was something he had done because he thought Rodney had asked him to take a chance, to give a little more, and because it was McKay, he had been willing to take that chance. But it ended up Rodney wasn’t asking him that at all. And just where the fuck did that leave him? He thought of waking McKay, decided it could wait until he at least showered and went to do just that. Ten minutes later, Sheppard was pulling his own t-shirt over still damp hair before sitting on the edge of the bed to shake the sleeping man awake.
But when Rodney shifted at the motion of the mattress, mumbled, “John,” in his sleep and pulled his knees up a little more, Sheppard’s hand stayed suspended in midair.
It was the first time he’d ever heard McKay say his first name and it was a damn good thing he’d never done it in the field because the affection Rodney had just put in that drowsy murmur had John’s chest aching to hear it again. He’d always assumed Rodney practiced science in his sleep. Ran calculations, reconfigured gate variables, rewired the Jumper systems in his dreams, because there was no other way he could do all the things that he did while he was awake without supplementing his workload in his sleep. And maybe he had. All this time McKay had been stressing himself to the point of nearly ending up grounded in order to keep the city running and the expedition going, but something had changed recently. Dr. Rhymes had said so. And she attributed the change to John because Rodney had done the same. So now the man was thinking of John in his sleep instead of the power fluctuations in the city. That had John wondering what else Rodney did in his sleep, and before he went to sleep, and when he woke up first thing in the morning and all the other times Sheppard wasn’t around to see for himself. Because, now, he really wanted to be there to find out.
With little thought behind the action, the hand hovering above McKay reached out and threaded fingers through light brown hair. Rodney must have come to Sheppard’s quarters right after his shower because his hair was a little wild, standing up as if he’d collapsed on the bed when it was still wet, and the stroke of John’s fingers along his scalp only made it worse. Rodney flinched awake at the contact, relaxing slightly when he saw who was behind the touch.
“Hey, how’re you doing?” John wasn’t sure why he was talking so quietly now that Rodney was awake but given the late hour and the low lights, it just seemed the right thing to do.
“Ronon?” McKay asked in sudden worry, clearing his throat against the hoarseness of his voice.
“He came through surgery fine and we’re just waiting now.”
Rodney pushed himself up as he blinked away the remnants of sleep, and looked around the room in confusion. “How long have I been here?”
“I don’t know. I just got home myself.”
Sitting up, McKay glanced at the clock and saw it was almost three in the morning. “Sorry,” he told John with a brush of hands over of his face. “I don’t know why I’m even here. I just wanted… hell, I don’t know what I wanted.”
“Don’t worry about it, McKay. Wasn’t like I was using the bed myself.”
Rodney left his hands in place, propped his arms on his knees and sighed. “I don’t… I don’t understand.”
“Don’t understand what?”
“Any of it. What happened out there today. How Ronon ended up shot when that gun was pointed at me.”
“Things happen,” Sheppard offered philosophically. “And not all of them make sense.” He touched a thumb to a smudge of purple bruise on Rodney’s jaw, felt the prickle of stubble, and the way the man was grinding his teeth in frustration.
But it had Rodney looking up at him in confusion. “Like what I’m doing here in your room? What the hell we’re doing?” He rubbed the heels of hands against his eyes in frustration. “Because that doesn’t make any sense at all, and yet I didn’t want to be anywhere else.” Rodney threw up exasperated arms. “I don’t even know what I’m doing, what we’re doing. I mean, do you, Sheppard? Do you have any idea what’s we’re doing?”
When he had walked into his room a few minutes earlier, John had been asking himself the same question. But now, seeing McKay like this, shaken and scared and in need of something more, he realized that he knew the answer. Because more was something it ended up he could do. And it had taken Rodney to not only let him find that out but to have John wanting to do it. McKay had said he was asking him for something more complex, and even if this wasn’t exactly what he had been asking for, it’s what he should have been asking for. And making a wrong assumption had ended up being the best mistake Sheppard had ever made in his life.
Gift horses, they were sneaky animals.
With a firm tug, John pulled at Rodney’s arm. “Yeah, I do know what we’re doing. We’re sleeping.”
“What?” But his protest was overridden by his exhaustion and Sheppard’s insistent grip on his arm.
“We’re sleeping, McKay. You and me.”
Making room on the bed, John maneuvered Rodney down until he could wrap both arms around him from behind and draw the other man’s back snug against his chest.
“Yeah, sleeping,” he confirmed. Then he nuzzled in behind McKay’s ear and closed his eyes to concentrate on the steady beat of Rodney’s heart under his hand. As much as he knew Rodney needed this, John thought he might need it more, because he felt the knots that had taken up permanent residence in his neck loosen with each thud against his palm. Rodney was alive and he had stayed that way. And hopefully he’d stay that way for a long, long time. Because John was starting to get some idea of how he wanted to spend that time, and this was a pretty damn amazing way to start it.
After a few minutes Rodney mumbled, “So we’re really dating?”
“No, tonight we’re really sleeping,” John corrected with a yawn.
“And in the morning we’ll go back to dating?”
“I don’t think dating is complex enough of a word to cover what we’re doing, McKay.”
“So what is a complex enough word for it?”
“I’ll let you know when I come up with one.”
“How long will that take, do you think?”
“A while, I’m figuring. Years. Maybe even the rest of my life.”
John’s smile against his neck had Rodney flexing his hand so that their fingers intertwined. “Take your time,” he yawned, before finally falling silent.
These complexities, John decided as he drifted off himself, might be simpler than he had originally thought.
“John, this is Teyla. Do you copy?”
“Yeah, I copy,” John mumbled into a soft head of hair that tickled at his nose. Raising a hand to scratch at the nuisance, he let it come to rest on a patch of warm flesh when it had completed its task, then shifted compliantly when an arm tightened around his waist.
“John, do you read me?”
The radio. Teyla was calling him on the radio. Reluctantly he lifted the hand again, the act gaining him a protesting snuffle against his chest as he tapped at his ear. “Go ahead, Teyla,” he yawned, absently running his other hand along a length of t-shirt covered back.
“John, answer your radio.”
The forceful order had him opening his eyes and squinting against the sunlight spilling through the windows, and he reached up to his earpiece again only to remember he had taken it out and switched on the handheld so he could hear if Teyla called. Stretching toward the night table where he had left the com device, he then remembered what the resistance was that was keeping him from reaching it. Rodney was sprawled across his chest, one arm tucked under his unused pillow, the other securely wrapped around John.
Doing his best to reach the radio without waking McKay, he managed to use his fingertips to drag it close enough to get a firm grasp on it. “I’m here, Teyla.” He spoke just above a whisper and slid up as carefully as possible to prop into a partial sit.
Wincing when Rodney grumbled something incoherent in his sleep at the disturbance, John hoped like hell he’d pulled his finger from the transmit button before Teyla had heard anything. But a few soothing strokes of his fingers along the hairline of McKay’s neck had the man settling back into a happy doze against his stomach.
“Any news on Ronon?”
“Yes,” she informed him happily. “He is awake.”
John’s outburst had Rodney lifting his head with a semi-lucid, “Wha?”
Shushing McKay with a hand over his mouth, Sheppard asked, “What are the doctors saying?”
The muzzled man’s protest died as he listened to what Teyla was telling them, “They are running tests now, but he recognized me and knew where he was, so they say that is very promising news.”
John’s only response was to laugh cheerfully but Rodney was pulling his hand away and hissing, “Can we see him? Ask if we can see him.”
Sheppard waved a hand to silently tell him to shut up before asking, “When can we see him?”
“In about an hour they will be moving him into the main infirmary area. He will be allowed visitors then. I was planning to call Rodney then go eat some breakfast and return after he has been moved.”
“Don’t worry about contacting Rodney,” John told her with ruffle of McKay’s hair. “I’ll take care of it and we’ll meet you in the infirmary in an hour.”
“Very well. I will see you both then.”
Working to maintain a serious face, Sheppard tossed the radio aside and looked down at Rodney. “Teyla called, she said Ronon is going to be fine.”
Rodney’s grin had the one on John’s face spreading, but the kiss that McKay planted on his lips had it softening into something a little different when Rodney finally pulled away and hovered a few inches above Sheppard’s face with a mirror expression. “We have a whole hour, McKay. What should we do?”
“Lock the doors, turn off the radio, and get out of these clothes,” Rodney demanded hurriedly, already tugging at the drawstring of John’s sweats.
“Good idea,” Sheppard answered with the same eagerness as he peeled the t-shirt off the man then pulled him in for a deep kiss. They broke apart long enough for Rodney to tug John’s shirt over his head before he pushed him back into the pillows and started sucking on John’s collarbone.
“Holy fuck,” he groaned as the lips moved up his neck and went to work on his earlobe.
“Not yet.” Rodney breath on John’s ear sent a shiver all the way down to his toes. “But that’s coming.”
The slightest brush of teeth on the sensitive skin behind his ear had John gripping into Rodney’s shoulders and fighting to keep his eyes from rolling back in his head. “Hey, McKay?” he forced out as Rodney’s hands moved to his hips and he desperately needed a distraction to draw things out a little longer. “When… when did you realize… you… oh, Jesus… you were attracted to me?”
He was instantly sorry he had asked the question because it meant Rodney lifted his head and stopped doing those amazing things he was doing with his tongue. “I don’t know,” Rodney admitted thoughtfully. “I guess I’ve always been sort of infatuated with you. I just never figured you were interested in me that way.” He sat back on his heels and gave a small, amused snort even as he skimmed off John’s sweatpants and tossed them over his shoulder. “I mean, thank God you made the first move, Sheppard, because I doubt I ever would have.”
John surged up then and kissed him hard, not wanting to even consider that option. “Don’t call me Sheppard,” he ordered huskily. “Not now.”
“What should I call you? Colonel? Christ, you don’t have a kink about that do you?” The wariness on McKay’s face transmuted to contemplation as he took the time to consider the prospect. “Do you have a kink about that?”
John rolled his eyes at the hint of hopefulness that last question held and sucked on the lower lip protruding slightly in thought. “Maybe next time, Rodney, but not now.”
McKay seemed a little confused and John took advantage of it to work the man’s sweats down past his thighs. “Then what do you want me…” Evidently Rodney caught on quick because when John tugged him back down and wrapped his legs around him and lifted his hips up off the mattress, Rodney buried his face against his neck and let out a breathless, “Oh, God… John…”
“That’s better,” he gritted out, fighting to maintain control when Rodney moved against him and said his name again… and again… and again… smearing the word against the skin of his throat, his jaw, his lips.
He may have misunderstood what Rodney had asked him a few days before, but there was no misunderstanding today. He was coaxing him over the edge and John was more than happy to oblige. He had no intention of ever looking this gift horse in the mouth.
Especially when it had a mouth that made him feel like this.