Rodney McKay was pissed. There was absolutely no denying it. Nor could he deny the fact that the reason he was pissed was John Sheppard. But, honestly, that was nothing new. In fact, the only thing that came close to competing with the Air Force officer in the entire Rodney McKay pissiness arena was the group of Vo-tech dropouts on his staff that had somehow managed to convince the SGC that they were indeed smart enough to obtain a PhD when they were barely capable of tying their own shoes. Well, aside from the Wraith… and the Asurian… and, of course, the Genii, but none of those were there right now. The person who was there was one (supposed) Dr. Dwight Reinker, anthropologist, who was at that moment squatted down to re-secure the Velcro on his sneakers. Sneakers!
“Most people wear boots in the field, Dwight,” Rodney observed snippily without slowing as he stalked past the man and on toward the gate.
“The ones they issued me were too big,” the scientist defended, pushing back to a stand with a grunt. He swiped at a side part of pale blond hair that the man was in absolute denial over if he thought it was anything except the beginnings of a comb over. “I didn’t want to get a blister.”
“Don’t worry about it,” Sheppard comforted when he caught up. “He’s just in a bad mood.”
Dwight readjusted his glasses to better see the quickly retreating back ahead of him on the trail. “Is it because the village shaman wanted the two of you to have sex?”
“That might have something to do with it,” the colonel winced at the bluntness of the anthropologist’s conclusion.
Rodney turned on him then, walking back the short distance with his finger pointing angrily. “No, Dwight, it has to do with the fact that we brought you along to better understand these people so that we could get our hands on that shield adaptor device they worship and all you did was make matters worse.”
The scientist backed away from the wrath of his supervisor at about the same time the anger transferred to the colonel. “And you.” The finger jabbed forcefully into the black field vest. “You turned him down so fast you’d think I had leprosy.”
“So, what? You wanted to blow me in the middle of the village square?” Sheppard’s logic just had Rodney turning redder before he turned again and walked fast enough that he passed Teyla and Ronon. John just shook his head before telling Reinker, “Seriously, there’s no pleasing the guy.”
The Dadinki people evidently placed a great deal of importance on the hierarchical roles of individuals in their society. So much so, that when Lorne, whose team made first contact, had admitted he wasn’t the highest-ranking officer on Atlantis, the Chief had immediately stopped negotiations with him. That’s when Sheppard’s team had been called in and the anthropologist was sent along by Elizabeth just to make sure things went well.
Chief Tombo, feeling he had been tricked by Major Lorne, demanded proof of Sheppard’s rank. Unsure of how exactly to do that, the Chief had provided an example… he simple motioned to one of the women in his court and she instantly dropped to her knees, lifted his loincloths and went to work on Tombo’s “totem pole”. Needless to say, the Atlanteans had been a tad surprised by the act of supplication and were a tad more than alarmed when Tombo told Sheppard he expected to see the same respect paid to him by a member of his team, quickly suggesting Teyla.
Completely caught off guard, the colonel had turned to Reinker, desperate for a way to get out of the predicament without insulting the chief. Thinking quickly on his feet, the anthropologist told him, “Teyla is a dignitary among her own people. It would be perceived an as insult to have her perform such an act.”
Seemingly satisfied with the justification, the chief had then suggested McKay. John didn’t even hesitate before he shook his head vehemently. “Absolutely not. Look, this just isn’t our way. Okay?”
That was when the village shaman stepped in and told them that unless someone showed the proper respect to their supposed leader, she believed there was no one of equal rank with their chief to speak in the negotiations.
“So, would you be expected to do what that other woman just did to your Chief,” Sheppard had demanded of the holy woman. “Or any of those guys with the feathers back there, would they have to do it?”
“These are my advisors,” Tombo had told him, as if that explained everything before resting a hand on the woman’s shoulder. “And Keelay is my most trusted,”
“Well, then, that’s what they are.” John waved an arm to encompass the entire team. “And McKay is my most trusted….whatever.” And he had hoped that would put an end to that discussion.
In fact, it caused quite a stir among the villagers and a dismissal until the next day so that they could determine the best way for these strangers to show the importance of their leader without having to go against what the Dadinki perceived as their apparently ultraconservative morals.
Rodney wasn’t the least bit happy about having to wait yet another day to get his hands on his new toy… er, his latest technological discovery… and his mood was pretty damn obvious to anyone in the control room when the team walked back through the gate.
“So,” Elizabeth greeted as the physicist headed up the stairs several feet ahead of everyone else, “I take it negotiations didn’t go as well as you had hoped.”
“No,” McKay answered shortly, “they didn’t.”
“We ran into a few… complications.” John told her when he reached the top of the stairs where she waited. “Uncomfortable complications.”
Sheppard’s explanation had Rodney wheeling around. “Would it have killed you to at least think about it before you said no.”
“Rodney…” John sighed in exasperation that the man was still obsessing about the topic.
“It’s just the principle of the thing. I mean, my God, you at least paused to consider the idea with Teyla and then came up with a good excuse. But for me it’s just an automatic answer of not just no, but hell no. Do you have any idea how that makes me look in their eyes?”
“I told them you were my most trusted advisor.”
“Yes, and they immediately started murmuring in shock, which I don’t blame them for doing. Because why would they believe that if I’m obviously so repulsive to you that you wouldn’t even consider having sex with me?”
“Sex?” Elizabeth asked in alarm.
Dr. Reinker stepped in academically. “Yes, it’s actually quite fascinating how the Dadinki believe that in order to show true respect for a leader, members of the tribe must be willing…”
“Thank you, Doctor,” Elizabeth cut him off before he could go into the details. “I think I understand now.”
Ronon walked past, slapping Rodney hard on the shoulder. “Cheer up, McKay. No one even thought to suggest me. And you came in second after Teyla.”
“A close second.”
The sincere nod of Sheppard’s head to match his somber tone only infuriated Rodney more. “Don’t patronize me, you sanctimonious son of a bitch. Just because those National Geographic rejects felt you were important enough to have someone ‘salute the little colonel’ in public doesn’t mean you have the right to demean me by suggesting Teyla would do a better job of it than I would.”
“McKay, are you even listening to the words coming out of your mouth?” John asked in frustration.
Heading back toward the door, the scientist called over his shoulder, “I’ll be in my lab, staring at the spot where the shield adaptor is not sitting.”
Only it didn’t work out that way for McKay. After five minutes of sulking, he noticed Radek working on a small device they had found in one of the abandoned labs and quickly confiscated it as his own. The Czech had tried to reclaim his project, but experiencing the mood Rodney was in was enough to have Radek backing off and running the Jumper diagnostics a week early instead.
The device worked… sort of. After six hours of tweaking… uh, studying it, he still had no idea what it did, but it had managed to redirect his annoyance from Sheppard to its blinking shell so that was something of an improvement. At least it seemed to be until Rodney realized how late it was and that he had not only missed dinner but the kitchen was locked. There was always food available. In a city full of researchers and military on late night shifts, there were always snacks out for people burning the midnight oil. But it never failed that they always ran out of chocolate caramel pudding cups before he got there. And seeing as he knew where they kept them and overriding the security locks on the doors was a simple matter…
“McKay, if you would just eat dinner when everyone else does, this wouldn’t be a problem.”
Rodney crossed his arms as he stood between the two marines that were on patrol duty that night and had caught him breaking into the storeroom. Sheppard stood in a matching stance opposite him… although it was a little harder to pull of looming in sweats and a t-shirt. “Scientific advancement doesn’t have a nine-to-five job, Colonel.”
“No, evidently it has a nine-to-two-a.m. job. But that still doesn’t give you permission to break into the pantry any time you want.”
“So you’re going to throw me in the brig over a pudding cup?”
“Tempting as that may be, I kind of need you for the mission tomorrow. So, no, I’ll just put you under house arrest tonight.” He motioned a hand, in effect beckoning Rodney forward and dismissing the marines. “I’ll take it from here, guys. Come on, McKay, you’re going home.”
Rodney shrugged out of the grip John had on his arm as soon as the two guards were out of sight. “This is ridiculous. All I wanted was something to eat and it turns into the heist of the century.”
“Rodney, you have a stash of pudding in your room. Just eat that.”
“That’s for emergencies,” he defended.
“Yeah, pudding emergencies are a big problem around here. Enough to pull me out of bed to come bail your ass out of jail.”
“You didn’t have to come.”
“Yes, I did.” Sheppard yawned broadly before continuing. “We’ve had food stores going missing and when unknown persons are messing with the food supply, that’s a high-level security risk. Someone could take out the majority of the expedition by poisoning our food. If I’d known it was you, I could have just kicked your ass instead of doubling patrols in the area.”
“Oh,” Rodney answered slightly abashed by his actions now that he understood the misunderstanding they had caused.
“Yeah, oh.” Sheppard triggered the door open to McKay’s quarters and pushed the man inside, not even waiting for the door to slide closed behind him before he went and collapsed on the bed and wrapped his arm around a pillow.
Rodney’s back straightened in outrage at the act. “And just what do you think you’re doing in my bed, Colonel?”
John didn’t even look up, just mumbled into the pillow. “It’s Thursday, McKay. We always sleep in your bed on Thursdays. Although, officially, I suppose it’s Friday now.”
“Oh, absolutely not.” Digging in his closet, he emerged with a container of pudding. Butterscotch, but it would do in a bind. “I’m grateful for you keeping me from doing hard time over a midnight snack but if you think you’re getting any after what you pulled today, you are sadly mistaken.” In a huff, he used his foot to swipe John’s neatly folded expedition uniform from off his desk chair and into a heap on the floor before sitting and beginning to eat.
“Rodney,” John sighed, thinking the lights down. “It’s late. Really late. So late that it’s technically early. And you need sleep. I need sleep. Just come to bed already.”
Raising the light level again, McKay shook his head. “Nope. I’m pissed at you; I’m not sleeping with you.”
“You’re always pissed at me for some reason or another,” Sheppard justified as he shifted on the bed and lowered the lights again. “Besides, I already turned around all the pictures of your cat so it’s not looking at us.”
The lights blazed brightly. “So sorry you went to all that trouble, Colonel. But maybe you should have thought about the fact that it was Thursday before you announced how grotesque you find me in front of an alien society.”
“Dammit, McKay, this is crazy. You can’t even use the urinals in a public restroom and you expect me to believe you would have given me a blowjob in front of our team and the entire Dadinki tribe?”
“Maybe,” he defended around a mouthful of pudding.
“Fine. The next alien civilization that demands we have sex in public will get the show of their lives. Is that good enough? Now come to bed.”
“I noticed. I also noticed you didn’t even offer me any, you stingy bastard.”
“You don’t deserve pudding. And you sure the hell don’t deserve to be sleeping in my bed every Thursday night.”
John cracked his eyes to look at him then, and Rodney suddenly felt a little ridiculous about the way he was acting. “You’re right, McKay, I don’t. But after three months, I’ve gotten kind of used to it.”
Rodney swallowed the next to last bite of pudding, then decided to swallow his pride, as well. Scraping the last of the butterscotch from the container, he moved to sit on the edge of the bed and fed it to John. Sheppard took it, gave him a faint smile, and tugged at his arm. “I want more.”
“There’s another in my pack in the closet.”
“That’s not what I meant.” A fistful of shirt had Rodney bending down to have his lower lip sucked clean of any butterscotch residue that might remain. “That’s better.”
Another kiss had Rodney sighing in a combination of resignation and contentment. “Is this how you handle all your disagreements?” The lights dimmed again and this time McKay didn’t argue with the decision, just kicked his shoes off and slid closer into bed.
“Only with certain people,” John told him as he pushed the jacket off of Rodney’s shoulders and started untucking the shirt underneath.
“Oh, certain people.” The shirt joined the jacket on the floor by the bed as John set to work on the belt.
“Certain person. Singular. One and only.”
Rodney took over removing his pants so John could better concentrate on sucking and nipping his way along McKay’s shoulder, across his collarbone, and up to his neck. “As in the one and only Dr. Rodney McKay, physicist extraordinaire?” The flick of tongue in the hollow of his throat had Rodney’s fingers scrambling to the drawstrings on Sheppard’s sweats.
“As in the one and only Dr. Rodney McKay, my most trusted advisor.” John grinned and lifted his hips from the bed so that the consultant in question could peel the pants off to add to the growing pile on the floor.
“You’re such a smart ass,” Rodney lamented, his fingers tracing teasingly along the inner thigh of one of the newly exposed legs. “You didn’t have to say no so fast, you know.”
“Yeah, I did.” Sheppard sucked in a breath, his head falling back on the pillow as the wandering hand dipped lower. “If you actually think I could let you touch me like this in front of all those people and not want to return the favor, not to mention babble a lot of shit no one but you should hear, you’re flat out nuts.”
“I could maintain a purely professional decorum during the whole event.” Rodney assured him, although his hand was doing everything except behaving professionally at the moment.
“Don’t want… professional… Christ… from you.” John’s pant quickly melted into a groan. “Oh, God, do that again.”
“Your wish is my command.” With a smug smile, Rodney was more than happy to comply.
* * * *
As far as John was concerned, the only bad part about staying at Rodney’s place on Thursday nights was having to get up and leave on Friday mornings. In fact, that was the worst part of every night he spent with McKay. Whether it was Mondays and Tuesdays and Saturdays at his room, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sunday’s at McKay’s, and whoever’s quarters was closest on Fridays, although the entire schedule was subject to change depending on if they had a mission that day or not and if one of both of them ended up in the infirmary. And what did it say that they had fallen into a predictable, if slightly convoluted, routine of where they slept after only three months? What did it say that there was no question they would sleep together every night after only three months? For that matter, what did it say that he remembered it had been three months since he had made the mistake of a lifetime?
It said the same thing that he felt every time he had to crawl out of a bed still warm with Rodney, get dressed, and sneak back to his place when all he wanted to do was stay right where he was, wrapped in sheets and arms and legs and a feeling of utter contentment that he hadn’t allowed himself to feel in God only knew how long. It said he was in so damn deep that he doubted he would ever be able to come up for air and, quite honestly, he didn’t care if he ever did.
When the Chief had suggested Teyla give him a blowjob the day before, everyone could see the threat of ‘agree to it and die a painful death’ in his Athosian teammate’s expression. But Sheppard had also caught sight of something meant only for him– the glimmer of annoyance in McKay’s eyes. A part of him had had a momentary feeling of self-satisfaction that Rodney was jealous over the fact Teyla had the slightest chance of doing such a thing. It was the same part that had him turning instantly hard and was screaming, oh, hell, yes! when Tombo had then recommended Rodney perform the deed. Because Rodney, on his knees, doing that, right there… dear God, that took fucking hot to a whole new level. It also took revealing way too much to way too many people to a whole new level, and as much of a risk taker that Sheppard was, this was not something he was willing to chance. So, the practical side, the side that made him crawl out of the tangle of limbs every Friday morning and check the life signs detector before he left, that part had him adamantly refusing to let the Chief even think he would consider such a proposition.
He had had a pretty good idea of how McKay would respond, too. And he’d been right. Rodney made no secret of his opinion of the whole Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy of the United States Military… in private. He might be filled with righteous indignation and voice his ire when they were alone, but he knew what was at stake just as well as John, which meant he would be the one sneaking out of Sheppard’s room this time tomorrow.
Having tied his second bootlace, John moved from the chair to the edge of the bed, bending to kiss the slope of Rodney’s lower back, then the slant of a shoulder blade, before nuzzling lightly against the angle of stubbled jaw. It was a geometry equation that he thought he could puzzle over forever. “Hey, I’m out of here.”
Not even bothering to open his eyes, McKay groped for the arm John was using to brace himself against the mattress. “Too early,” he mumbled, “come back to bed.”
With a small grin, he kissed behind Rodney’s ear. “Can’t. I have to go by the shooting range before we go off-world today. I’m overdue for my requals by a week already.”
“Range doesn’t open for another hour at least,” Rodney argued around a loud yawn.
“I need to go back to my place and shower first.”
“Shower here. I’ll join you… in about thirty minutes.”
John snorted quietly. “And what do I do in the meantime?”
“We’ll think of something.” The sleepy waggle of eyebrows had John trapping the hand that was blindly tugging him back into bed.
“You know I want to. But you know I can’t.”
Rodney’s sigh was accompanied by an equally annoyed grumble. “Stupid Air Force.”
John squeezed the hand in his. “Hey, that’s my chosen profession you’re insulting there.”
Sheppard rolled his eyes skyward at the addendum. “Gee, thanks. Love you, too, McKay.”
For the first time, blue eyes opened and regarded him intently. “I do, you know.” McKay turned his attention to their linked hands and John couldn’t be sure if the color on Rodney’s face was a result of the early morning light casting a pink glow throughout the room or embarrassment at his admission. “Even if you won’t have sex with me in public on an alien planet.”
It wasn’t the first early morning confession of love John had ever received in his life, but it was the first that involved a reference to aliens and public exhibitionism. But that, like the man delivering it, had the odd dichotomy of seeming so wrong on the surface, but being so completely right at the heart of it. That was because it was also the first that didn’t have him wanting to backpedal his way from the room. And it was definitely the first that made his entire being hum with an emotional current that actually brought goose bumps to his flesh.
“McKay, you are such a son of a bitch.”
When he let go of Rodney’s hand, the scientist was the one trying to backpedal. “I just… you know… I didn’t mean it like… I mean, yes I did mean it, but I don’t expect you…”
John just took the panicked babbling as an opportunity to untie his boots. “This just means I’m going to be yet another day overdue on my quals.”
“What?” It took a second for Rodney to understand what he had said but that gave Sheppard time to pull his feet out of the shoes he had just put on. He didn’t plan on the rest of the outfit remaining in place much longer, either.
Crawling onto the bed to hover above the confused man, John kissed him hard. “And don’t you fucking dare try to take it back.”
An hour and a half later, he was dressed once again, following a more than invigorating shower that had them both staggering dripping wet back into the bed and snoozing until they woke with the sun shining across their air-dried, naked bodies. A situation that had John groaning when he saw the time while simultaneously fighting to control the smile that just wouldn’t seem to leave his face. Rodney was dressed, as well, bent over the twist of damp sheets on the bed and loading his pack with his typical off-world gear.
Humming ‘Ring of Fire’ happily to himself, John dropped a kiss on the nape of McKay’s neck as he passed, was rewarded with a yelp when he cheerfully goosed the physicist, before opening the front door.
“We have a mission today,” the colonel grumped loud enough that anyone passing by in the hall could hear. “Just because you decide to take up breaking and entering as a past time doesn’t mean you get to slack off on your real job, McKay.”
Rodney rolled his eyes but picked up on Sheppard’s cover story soon enough. He was a genius after all. “When my real job keeps me up all hours of the night and I need food to keep from dropping into a sugar coma, I’d hardly call it breaking and entering, Colonel.”
“Oh, really? Then what would you call it?”
“Medical intervention.” John bit his lip to keep from laughing at the way Rodney’s chin lifted defiantly even during a mock argument.
“You’ll know the real meaning of medical intervention if I have to come drag you out of your quarters for a pre-mission briefing again.” Stepping to the side of the door and out of sight of anyone in the corridor, John leaned in and kissed Rodney one last time. “See you in a few minutes,” he murmured before raising his voice once again as he left the room. “You’ve got five minutes or I’m sending an armed escort to bring your ass down to the Control Room.”
“Yes, because I’m such an insider threat! Grand theft pudding cup– I’m surprised my photo isn’t plastered all over the mail room!”
Looking back over his shoulder in preparation to yell something back at the still open door, John ran head first into Dr. Rhymes.
“Colonel!” she laughed as John grabbed her arm to keep her from falling, struggling to keep his footing when her leg slipped between his. “Whoa!”
“Crap, I’m sorry,” he apologized, looking back to see Rodney’s head poke out the door like an annoyed ground squirrel to see Sheppard with the physician… a ground squirrel that was about to turn from annoyed to rabid if John didn’t extricate himself quickly from the jumble he had found himself in when he collided with the woman.
It was no real secret that Katelin Rhymes had a crush on John Sheppard. In fact, Rodney himself had tried to use that fact to keep himself from being grounded by the physician. His plan to trade Sheppard’s sexual favors for a clean bill of health had gone slightly askew when he himself had started taking advantage of those favors instead. John had found the whole situation to be a huge win/win for him, because, hey, free golf club and regular mind-blowing sex with Rodney. What more could a guy want, right?
The down side was that since he couldn’t tell anyone about the mind-blowing sex with Rodney part of the whole deal, John was left with a pretty doctor that still thought she might have a chance. And that usually led to an irritated McKay since the scientist couldn’t take credit for the mind-blowing sex and tell Dr. Rhymes to back the fuck off already.
Finally managing to get the woman back on her feet and at arm’s length away from him, he risked one more glance toward McKay’s door. Glacier blue eye’s narrowed in a frowning face before disappearing back into the room. But at least he wasn’t on his way down the hall with his sidearm drawn, so that was something, John supposed. He still hadn’t figured out exactly how Rodney had been the one to suggest to the doctor that there was some sort of attraction between her and John, and yet Sheppard was the one being blamed for it.
Katelin continued to giggle, a dimple forming on one cheek as she brushed back her hair and tucked it behind her ear. “Good morning.”
Sheppard gave her his best friendly smile… from three feet away. “Morning.”
“So you and Dr. McKay aren’t exactly seeing eye to eye today?”
John cleared his throat at the image that suddenly came to mind of how they had not only been eye to eye but mouth to mouth and body to body under the fall of hot water a little while before. “Just a misunderstanding. Dr. McKay lost track of the time is all.”
“Well, good. I’m glad that’s all it is.” They stood awkwardly for a few seconds and John was just about to make his escape when she observed, “So, you weren’t out on the driving range this morning.”
“No. I… uh, lost track of the time, too.” At one point, when McKay had him pressed against the tiles of the shower, John thought he might have lost track of the entire time-space continuum, but no use quibbling over details. “But you evidently went?”
“Yes, I wanted to try out my new nine iron that came last week. It’s a real beauty.”
“Ah, well, those left-handed clubs are finally starting to arrive then. Maybe I’ll see you out there tomorrow,” he offered casually, without really thinking about it.
But Katelin beamed happily. “Great. It’s a date!”
“You have a date?” Dr. Reinker asked as he rounded the corner.
“A golf date,” John corrected, relieved to see the other scientist so that he could act as a buffer. Katelin, however, seemed to be a little miffed at the interruption.
Even Sheppard’s relief that was short lived because, of course, that’s when Rodney walked up behind him. “A date? You two have a date?”
The woman blushed furiously at the way McKay was grinning curiously at her and there were only a handful of people that would have noticed the stiffness of the smile, Sheppard being the foremost of those people.
“Oh, I’m sure she just meant it as a figure of speech,” John offered helpfully… and if it just happened to help him, too, then all the better. “Right?”
“Of course,” she agreed quickly then the four of them just stood staring at one another. John bouncing on his toes looking for a way out, Rodney continuing to smile, which was disturbing in and of itself, and Reinker looking somewhat confused and perhaps a bit constipated by the pained expression he seemed to be trying to hide.
“So do you golf, Dr. Reinker?” Sheppard hated small talk but uncomfortable silences were even worse.
“No, no, I tend to break out in a rash when I’m exposed to over-fertilized landscapes.”
“I see,” was John’s very noncommittal answer, which just went to cover his thought of what the fuck?
“Well,” Katelin pointed down the hallway, even as she was already walking in that direction. “I should get to the infirmary. Besides, I’m sure you all have somewhere to be.”
“Actually,” Dwight cut in, “I was heading to the infirmary myself. I need to pick up some more antihistamines before we head into the field. The feathers in the headdresses were really starting to set off my allergies yesterday. I won’t be but a minute, Colonel.”
“No, that’s okay. Wouldn’t want you insulting the Chief by sneezing on him. We’ll just meet you at the gate when you finish.”
“Oh… then… come on and I’ll fix you right up,” Dr. Rhymes offered with poorly hidden disappointment before addressing John. “I’ll see you later, Colonel… tomorrow, if not before.”
John waved with that same neutrally friendly smile and Rodney did the same as he called, “Bye-bye,” before adding, “bitch,” under his breath.
Turning to head to the gate room, Sheppard sighed. “She’s a nice girl, Rodney. Hell, you thought she was so nice you tried to set us up.”
McKay shifted his pack irritably. “That was for purely personal gain and you know it.”
“And did you or did you not gain from that entire fiasco in more ways than one?”
The bump delivered to his shoulder had Rodney rolling his eyes at the grin on John’s face. “Yes,” he admitted reluctantly, “I gained… a lot, I suppose. But there is no way in hell you’re going golfing with her tomorrow.”
“What am I supposed to do?” John lowered his voice to a whisper even though there was no one else in close proximity. “It’s not like I can tell her I’m involved with someone when I can’t legally produce that someone and still keep my job.”
Rodney also lowered his voice, but it came across as an accusatory hiss. “Well, you’re absolutely delusional if you think you can date her during the day and sleep with me at night.”
“It’s not a date date, it’s a golf date. Purely noncontact.”
“And what if she asks for help with her swing? Are you going to cozy up behind her to show her how it’s done?”
“People don’t really do that sort of thing, McKay.”
John’s scoff was met with a disbelieving snort. “Right. And they don’t yawn and stretch their arm around their date’s shoulder either.”
With a hand on Rodney’s chest, Sheppard stopped his progression down the hall. “Look, do you want me to take you in that storeroom and fuck your brains out to prove how much you mean to me? Because, by God, I will if you keep this shit up.”
“And they say romance is dead,” McKay responded dryly.
“Fine, you don’t trust me, then come golfing with me tomorrow and run interference.”
“I don’t golf, Sheppard, you know that.”
“And I don’t screw around behind your back, you know that.”
The one thing Rodney hated more than being proven wrong was admitting it. So when McKay’s shoulders slumped and he gave a nod of defeat, John smirked triumphantly. “Tell you what, we’ll go on the mission, get you your new gizmo, and I’ll bring you dinner in the lab so you don’t have to pilfer the supply closet after hours.”
“With chocolate caramel pudding?”
“Two cups,” John promised. “One with dinner, and one for… later.”
The look of consideration on McKay’s face morphed into a wicked grin. “Deal. That is if we can convince the Chief to let us have it without having to perform an act straight out of Penthouse Forums. Just once, I wish we could go to a planet and the locals would realize they have no use for the device and we do and they’d just hand it over for a few supplies. No stealing it at gunpoint before we leave, no expecting you to act as an ATA breeder, no accusing us of lying and trying to steal their Ancient battleship when we’re saving their damn society. Just hand it over and let us go on our merry ways. But you know, wish in one hand, shit in the other…”
But when the Dadinki seemed to do just what Rodney wished, John couldn’t help but think that maybe they had gotten the handful of shit in the end.