Very mild slash. John/Rodney.
There was something about Rodney McKay. John Sheppard wasn't sure just what it
was that piqued his interest so much but it was there, had been from the first day
they'd met. It kind of made him smile on the inside when he thought about it. After
all, who would have thought a flyboy tough guy like him would find anything
remotely intriguing about a geek like Rodney.
It had started out with him finding one reason or another to hang out in Rodney's
lab when they weren't on a mission. He'd ask questions about what the science
team was up to and kidded himself that it was perfectly reasonable to do so. After
all, he was the military commander of Atlantis. It made sense for him to know what
was going on in every department in the city. Rodney didn't seem to think it odd
that somehow or other, at some stage of the day, John would turn up in his lab.
Mostly he just kept on doing whatever he was doing and prattled away at the same
time, mouth and hands going a mile a minute simultaneously. John wondered
sometimes how he did that – managed to keep his mind on whatever complex task
he was engrossed in and yet carry on a conversation about something else entirely
at the same time.
Gradually they'd graduated to eating lunch and dinner together, sometimes with the
rest of the team, sometimes alone. If they had time off from hunting Wraith or
being hunted by Wraith or one of the assorted other bad guys that populated the
Pegasus Galaxy, Rodney would turn up at John's door and they’d put on one of John's
corny horror movies or a tape of a game and eat popcorn and drink beer. Many
nights John had fallen asleep then woken up in the middle of the night and found
Rodney had crawled into his bed to sleep and left him on the couch. John never
minded that. Well, apart from the tiny inside voice that kept whispering that he
wished he had the courage to crawl in beside Rodney for the rest of the night. He
never did, of course. Rodney was straight as they come and he had no idea John swung
both ways. John had been far too good at maintaining his Captain Kirk protective
coloration for that little nugget of truth to seep through. So instead, John would curl
up back on the couch and just watch Rodney sleep, marveling at how, even in his
sleep, Rodney moved, hands twitching, lips mumbling words John couldn't make
out. In the mornings they'd do the guy thing and scratch their bellies as they
yawned and belched then they pat each other heartily on the back in thanks for a
good night and go their separate ways.
Elizabeth Weir had once commented, not exactly jokingly, that they were joined at
the hip and that was pretty accurate… except now. The one time when John had
expected to find Rodney somewhere around, looking for him, Rodney wasn't, and
that gave John a horrible sinking feeling in the pit of his gut. After all, they'd almost
lost Rodney today, not just his wonderful, brilliant mind but Rodney himself. John
needed to see him, to spend time with him, to know that the Rodney McKay he
knew and loved was back. Yet ever since Rodney had been discharged from the
infirmary after their trip to the shrine on Talus, John hadn't seen him.
"Hey," he asked casually, sauntering up to where Ronon and Teyla were eating
lunch on the balcony of the Atlantis mess hall, "you guys seen Rodney?"
Teyla gave him a sympathetic smile. "I haven't seen him at all today. Perhaps he's
in his lab?"
"Already looked there," John replied. "Radek doesn't know where he is either."
"It's unusual for you not to know where he is," Teyla observed. "You always seem to
be… how did Dr. Weir put it…?"
"Joined at the hip," John replied automatically. He shrugged as nonchalantly as he
could. "Guess he's found something new to do today."
Ronon grinned broadly then leaned forward across the table. "I saw him heading out
to the pier a little while ago," he said.
"Really?" John shoved down the little jolt of pleasure that gave him. He didn't even
have to ask which pier. He just knew it'd be the one where he'd taken Rodney before they'd taken him to the shrine. "Well, I just wanted to make sure he's
okay," he added. "You know, fit for duty and all that…"
"Sure. We know," Ronon agreed but he kept smiling that same big shit-eating grin.
"You should probably go see for yourself. Being the team leader and all."
"Yeah, I should probably do that." John nodded. "Well, um, enjoy your lunch." He
turned and walked away, trying not to break into a run, ignoring Teyla's bell-like
laughter echoing behind him.
Rodney was right where John had thought he'd be, legs dangling over the edge of
the pier, bottle of beer in his hand. He looked around as John approached and gave
him a rueful grin. "You found me," he said.
'Finally' John wanted to add but didn't. He sat down next to Rodney instead and
grabbed the beer, taking a long swig from it.
"You could have brought your own," Rodney groused good-naturedly.
"Sorry. Didn't have time," John replied. "Spent all day looking for you. You okay,
The look Rodney gave him was so full of anguish that John reached out and pulled
him into a one-armed hug. "What's up, Rodney?" he asked.
"I just made a monumental screw up," Rodney replied morosely. "Possibly the
biggest screw up I've ever made."
"Bigger than Doranda?" John asked skeptically.
Rodney snorted. "Well, not as big on an 'annihilate an entire galaxy' scale maybe,"
he said, "but on the Rodney McKay personal scale of one to ten for screwing up my
entire life, this is a fifteen."
"That bad, huh? What happened?"
"I told Jennifer I loved her."
John's heart felt like it had just dropped down into his boots and gone sailing down
into the very depths of the ocean beneath them. "You did, huh? Why is that so bad?
I mean, if you do, it's good you told her, right?"
"See, that's the problem. I do but I don't," Rodney said.
"You're gonna have to clarify that for me, buddy," John said, feeling his heart
beginning to clamber out of the depths and creep at least halfway back into his
"I love her for saving my life but then I was thinking that after all, we wouldn't have
even gone to the shrine if Ronon hadn't pushed for it so he saved my life too and I
sure as hell am not going to tell Conan I'm in love with him," Rodney explained
"That's probably a good idea." John sighed. "Okay, so you're saying you felt like you
owed her something and that made you tell her you loved her."
"No," Rodney exclaimed. "Well, kind of." He turned so he was facing John. "I did
feel that way about her when I first realized I was going to be fine but then I
remembered something." He looked down then back up at John again. "Remember
the night I completely freaked out and came to your room and you brought me out
"Sure." John would never forget that night, never forget the panic in Rodney's voice
and the perverse thrill of pleasure it gave him that it was John he'd come looking
"I also remembered another time, when it was all beginning to skitter away from
me, when whatever part of me that was left knew I was losing it all." Rodney took a
deep breath. "Jennifer was right there with me but I needed you. You were the only
one I wanted to be there for me."
"Well, we're friends," John said.
"Just friends?" Rodney asked tentatively and now John's heart was right back where
it was supposed to be.
He leaned forward and kissed the edge of Rodney's mouth. "More than friends," he
added. "If you want."
Rodney turned his head just enough to put his mouth right where John wanted it
and kissed him back. "I want," he said against John's lips.
John pulled back a little. "So what are you going to tell Keller?"
Rodney smiled that crooked grin John loved and shrugged. "That she should never
believe anything a crazy guy tells her."
"Think she'll be upset?"
"Probably. After all, I'm a prize catch." He leaned in to pull John in for a hug. "Her
loss you caught me first."
"Yeah," John whispered against the top of his head. "Her loss."