15 March 2008 @ 05:50 pm
After the Storm (Stargate Atlantis)  
Title: After the Storm
Authors: sarcasticchick ([info]sarcastic_jo) & Lilith ([info]lilithilien)
Fandom: Stargate Atlantis
Summary: Nearly dying makes you do things you wouldn't otherwise. (Tag for season 1 episode "The Eye".)
Rated: NC-17
Disclaimer: Not ours. Pity.
Note: The first of a series of tags we wrote ages ago, before other fandoms ate our brains, explaining how we see the genesis of McKay and Sheppard's relationship. Pulled out, dusted off, and finally posted for the [info]ides_of_march smutfest's "First Time" prompt.

After the Storm

The 'gate whooshed shut as the last refugee returned to the city. Mountains of gear were spread around the Gateroom, recalling their arrival just six months before, and John wondered whether this mayhem was going to be a regular part of life on Atlantis. "You say these things happen every 20 years, right?"

Elizabeth turned to him. "That's what they tell us."

"How far in advance can we book days off?"

Not amused, she gave him one of her "I'm far too tired for your jokes, Major" looks. McKay should have been more amused, but he was fidgeting with his bandage, looking a little less steady than normal. John knew that look well, a combination of battle fatigue and just plain shock. Hell, maybe a little PTSD, too; Elizabeth hadn't told him everything that'd happened while Kolya was there, but she'd said enough for him to know they'd done something bad enough to scare McKay into spilling his plan for Atlantis. And he knew from experience that this was the kind of thing you might need to talk about -- not that he ever had, but there'd been plenty of airmen who'd sought him out after a hot run. So he offered.

"Hey, buddy, why don't you let me take a look at that. I've got a first aid kit in my quarters."

McKay glanced at his arm; John caught the reserved sigh and knew he had won a small victory. Why the hypochondriac had such a distrust for the medical field he wasn't quite sure. For all his bitching and moaning, McKay kept things close to the vest when it came to anything personal. Suited John just fine, he wasn't one to go on about feelings, but hell, he didn't even know what that "M." stood for on McKay's official documents.

"Come on, quarters are this way. I'd have thought your big brain would have remembered." John teased and pointed towards the hallway, leading the strangely quiet scientist through the mess of gear and people. In fact, it wasn't until they were in John's room that McKay spoke at all.

"Your room's small … I didn't think it'd be this small."

Was this really the first time he'd had McKay in his quarters? For all they'd hung out together, it was always in the lab, the TV room, the mess hall …

"Yeah, well, it's better than the barracks at McMurdo. Make yourself at home," he said, gesturing to the made up bed -- it wouldn't pass muster in an inspection, but he didn't figure McKay would bother about that.

The scientist was still standing when he'd rescued the first aid kit from under the sink and come back to his room. He'd moved a few steps closer to the bed, though. Shellshock, had to be. Or else a really deep affection for Johnny Cash, from the way he was studying the poster.

"You really brought this all the way from Earth, Major?"

"Nope, street vendor on MX3-642 was running a special on Jimmy Cash misprints." John paused, waiting for McKay to move, laugh, mock his intellect, but he wasn't exactly forthcoming with the scathing remarks. "This would be easier if you had a seat, maybe took off that jacket ..."

That earned him an eyeroll. And McKay moved, finally. "I know you're tired, Major, but there's no need to speak like you're walking Kavanagh through basic physics. Of course the jacket has to come off. Come on, let's get this done, shall we?"

John watched McKay struggle with the jacket, motions jerky and lacking the typical grace of finely honed motor skills, until he felt the need to intervene before Atlantis' best scientist was lost to an aneurysm. No way was that jacket coming off taped as it was. He nabbed his survival knife from his desk and took Rodney's arm and would have started cutting but for the stillness and the wide eyes fixated on the blade.

So the knife was a bad idea. "Pretty sure there's scissors in the kit."

The relief that flooded the scientist's features made John tighten his grip protectively on his injured arm. Dropping the knife, but not his hold on McKay, he rummaged through wound dressings and antiseptic wipes until he found the flat scissors lying on the bottom of the kit. It just took a few snips then to cut through the bandage Rodney had inexpertly wrapped over his jacket. A few snips to reveal the jagged tear in the tan cloth, and the jagged skin underneath …

John fought to hold onto his composure, when every nerve in his body was telling him to go after Kolya and kill him for what he'd done. Trying to take his city was bad enough; doing this to one of his team was unforgivable. He must've given something away, because McKay peered up at him sharply.

"It's not as bad as it looks."

And that was so out of character for McKay that John got even madder.

"It looks like you did a crap job of cleaning it. You've got to take your jacket off."

Rodney grudgingly shrugged off the bloody garment and let it fall to the side of the bed. He stared at it as John carefully dabbed the wound with an antiseptic wipe. Normally the man complained about sunscreen stinging his skin, but now he was strangely silent. At last John had had enough. "Are you going to tell me what happened or am I going to have to hunt down Kolya and ask him?"

"Oh, you know, just a little snag ..." Rodney's forced laughter faded away, the sound so grating on John's ears that he may have applied a bit more pressure than necessary while cleaning the wound. Making light of the situation was something John simply did not want to hear at the moment. Not while cleaning the wounds of one of his. "Kolya wanted answers, had one of his lackeys play connect the hair follicles on my arm and I talked. Are you done? I've got work after they fucked with my city."

"McKay ..." John started, but revised the method of approach once he realized little was going to dent the defiance written on Rodney's face; his chin tilted higher, lips set in an immovable frown. He took care with the cleaning, taking his time and making sure the wound would not get infected, turn septic, or cause one of the hundred and one additional things Rodney's imagination could create. "You did good."

"Don't humor me, Major." Rodney's tone was testy, enough to make John's eyes narrow as he secured the clean dressing. "I broke the minute they pulled the knife out, I told them everything about the plan. If I hadn't, they'd have just left …"

"Yeah, with enough C4 to do some serious damage, and a jumper, and probably you and Elizabeth as hostages." John's anger, never completely gone, came back full force at the thought of Kolya's threats.

"Not that your ego needs stroking, your hair proves you have more than adequate self-confidence, but we both know you'd have stopped the Genii before that happened. As it was, you barely had enough time to get back to the control room before the whole place went up …"

Glad as he was that McKay's insults were back, his disconsolate tone told John that things weren't right. His fears were confirmed when Rodney added in a hollow voice, "I don't do well with torture."

Appropriate responses filtered through John's mind, quicker than lightening, things he should say, things he'd heard said before. "Who does?" "Everyone breaks." "It'll get easier."

"Neither do I." Who was he fooling, two interpretations of that line were getting a little closer to things John just didn't want to talk about -- personal torture was one thing, but to witness the by-product in someone else, and if he was honest someone Rodney, was almost too much.

"I'll have Carson add that to your allergy list," John quipped instead, inspecting his handiwork to give him something to do with his hands. A soft snort of laughter drew his attention and John could feel the corners of his eyes, stiff from salt water and rain, crinkle in response. A smile, an honest smile, first in god knew how many hours, on both their parts.

"Don't suppose there's an antihistamine for it."

It wasn't funny. It really wasn't. It was fucked up and twisted and not quite right but they were laughing all the same, laughter made louder by exhaustion, pain, stress, and relief. John wasn't sure when it stopped being funny and the laughter died, a silence spreading across the room with only their gasps for air breaking the quiet, but when it did, John could feel Rodney's breath on his lips. Their proximity to each other had never changed since John first grasped Rodney's arm, stepping close to better see the wound. And now, it should have felt awkward, John should have stepped out of Rodney's personal space, but he didn't.

One of them moved, John, Rodney, it didn't matter. The first taste was gentle, tentative, just a grace of the lips. Same couldn't be said for the second, once they both recovered from the initial fear and hesitation. The next time their lips crashed, it was with the force of the wave that had broken over Atlantis, with a passion that contained days of pent-up adrenaline and the undeniable fact that they were both still here, and very, very alive.

John pushed Rodney down onto his bed, remembering just in time his wounded arm and shifting his weight to the right side. That left him fumbling for McKay's fly with his left hand, a move that he wasn't pulling off as gracefully as he'd hoped.


He really wasn't in the mood to listen to any objections, not after that kiss had green-lighted him this far. "McKay …" he answered in a warning tone. But Rodney just flipped open his own trousers and tugged on John's hand, pressing his palm against his rapidly growing boxers. And this was why the man was a genius.

Pressing his palm against Rodney's cock just hard enough to promise more; John enjoyed thoroughly the feel of Rodney pressing back. He took a breath, sinking into the sensation -- all fire and life and silk, the cotton boxers rolling smoothly over skin as Rodney fidgeted beneath John, trying to get him to move, to give him more touch than what John was giving. This was worth it -- everything John had done earlier, the storm, the hunt, the threats, the death ... he'd have to work through it later, spend some quality time with Tolstoy, but this was the reason why. Not the palm on Rodney's cock, but ... he had his palm on Rodney's cock.

It was a hell of lot better than being dead and it definitely was preferred.

Rodney had grown quiet, watching John and waiting. Even his hips were still. Not wanting to disappoint or scare the scientist into believing John didn't want this as much as the cock in his hand led John to believe Rodney wanted it, John lowered himself (his drill sergeant would have been proud) on one (shaking) arm, curling his fingers around Rodney's cotton-clad cock and squeezed as their lips met again, restraint grounding both of them until it fled along with breath and the calm that had settled over them for a moment.

From pure to purely scandalous, their kiss devolved as John fought to prove just how alive he was and Rodney echoed in kind, his injured arm only slowing his ability to remove John's shirt. "Offoffoffoff," Rodney tugged and pulled at the shirt and John focused enough to sit, nearly tearing off an ear while he ripped the tee over his head. His hands fumbled awkwardly with his pants but he got them off, then his boots and then his pants completely off, followed by his boxers and socks. John made short work of Rodney's clothes as well, mindful of his injured arm, and resumed full-body contact without the hindrance of clothes.

Skin, everywhere, and if maybe they smelled riper than they should or were less energized than they'd be after eight hours of sleep, John didn't notice. All he really knew right now was that there was skin, lots of skin, lots of Rodney's skin, and it felt impossibly good. And from the way Rodney was writhing under him, grinding his hardness against John's hip, he must feel the same way. It was sloppy and sweaty and awfully rushed, just like their lives were, and John didn't think it could get any better.

And then McKay's big hand reached down, and it improved exponentially. Leave it to the scientist to put things in order, to line up the two stiff columns, to introduce a determined rhythm to his strokes … to turn even a relief fuck into an elegant solution. "McKay …" John drawled lazily, suspecting if he opened his eyes that he'd see a familiar smug smile. But he was already too far gone for that. His hand rode atop Rodney's, letting his teammate set the pace, but adding just enough pressure to make startled little gasps burst out of his mouth. These were matched and raised, the stakes pushed ever higher, until with a grunt and a final squeeze McKay folded. A few thrusts later into that big slick hand and John followed suit.

And the next thing he knew was McKay trying to shove him off, having trouble because he couldn't get enough leverage with his left arm and was trying to keep him from landing on his right. And if the pushing hadn't woken him, the diatribe would have. "… lways heard men fall asleep right after, but this is ridiculous. You'd think your brain would have enough survival instinct to hold out until you were horizontal at least. Of course your survival instincts are sorely undeveloped, we already knew that …"

"Hmmmrf?" John opened his eyes just enough to see what Rodney was going on about and rolled to the scientist's side, remembering in some corner of consciousness to be mindful of Rodney's arm. Clarity at the moment was spotty at best and Rodney's railing wasn't helping; apparently he wasn't one for silence and relaxing after an orgasm that leaves one boneless (pun not intended, John smirked to himself). Not that he wanted to cuddle, god, no. But couldn't he give a man a moment? John had to admit, whether or not exhaustion and relief were warping his sense, that had been some good sex. Good sex was ... good. And this had been good sex. Now Rodney was talking. And talking.


"What?" Rodney snapped back, diatribe interrupted and John could almost taste the irritation.

"Spoiling the moment."

John closed his eyes and settled into the quiet, shifting just a bit until he was comfortable and knew he could sleep in a matter of moments. He would wake up a mess, but he currently didn't care. Good sex. Now, sleep.

He would, except for McKay moving next to him and leaving the bed according to the shift in the mattress. John reluctantly moved, turning his head just enough to see Rodney getting dressed.

"Where you goin'?" he called sleepily.

"To my quarters, Major," and McKay sounded extremely awake, and a lot more irritated than he should after sex. Even bad sex. John's forehead wrinkled slightly. Did Rodney think that was bad sex? But his friend was going a mile a minute, not giving him a second to ponder this. "To my bed, which I haven't had more than a passing acquaintance with for the past 72 hours, and where I plan to spent the next 14 hours barring some idiot trying to blow up the pumping station while they're draining the east pier. And you'd think that'd be impossible, wouldn't you, but Kavanagh worked on it last so …"

"Rodney." John's head was beginning to hurt. He could have let him slip out quietly, but no, he had to stop him. McKay paid no attention, words still pouring out as he balanced on one foot while trying to get his boot on the other. "Rodney, sit down."

He hadn't meant it to sound like a command, but it came out that way, and McKay responded. The scientist sat heavily on the desk chair facing John. "An indiscretion like this could cost you your job, Major. Bates would like nothing less than to catch you out. And it's just not worth it."

John didn't say anything, and surprisingly, Rodney didn't either. After a few seconds had passed silently, making John wonder whether he was supposed to say something, finally McKay stood up. "I didn't think so," he said, his voice heavy with defeat. He picked the crumpled ruin of a jacket off the floor and without another word left the room.

What the fuck just happened? John was pretty sure they had some sex following two days from hell. And with sex came sleep and when he should be sleeping, John was wondering what McKay meant by what he said.

Besides, John was usually the one leaving after sex. Being on the receiving end of this turnabout thing wasn't something he was used to. At all. In fact ... actually, this worked even better for John, once he thought about it. He was in his room, had some good sex, hadn't moved, Rodney had not cuddled, in fact, left the bed before either one of them could fall asleep, and had left the room without so much a fake "I'll call you" not!promise spoken between the two of them.

John smiled and tugged at the sheets, pulling them up over his waist. Not such a bad ending after all.