No freakin' clue where this came from. Was supposed to be much longer originally, but this just wrote itself. It's the PMS, I tell you.
Many thanks to scribewraith and 0bake for their beta! :D
Disclaimer: Not mine, no money, don't sue!
Face of the Stars
They wanted to send him back, full military honours and all that bull shit.
Quietly, Rodney slid the paper back across the table.
It caught their attention; they finally realised John wasn't going anywhere: Atlantis was home.
Gunshots, energy weapons, explosions, all going off around him, Rodney doesn't even flinch anymore. His attention was completely focused on fixing the DHD.
None of this would have happened if they'd listened to him and not been there.
"We don't even need that fucking shield!" He muttered to himself, crossing wires and replacing crystals.
"Rodney!" It was John's 'hurry up and save us cos I'm running out of ammo' voice. It made Rodney's heart skip a beat.
"Talk about working under pressure!" The last crystal slotted into place and the DHD hummed back to life. "Got it!"
"Dial Atlantis, I'll cover you."
Rodney doesn't need to be told twice.
"The Daedalus just brought back the entire HMV store, I think." Rodney practically bounced into John's office. "You free tonight? As senior staff, we can finally use our power for good and get first dibs on the DVDs!"
John stopped typing and looked up from his computer to Rodney, clearly amused. "Why, Dr McKay, are you asking me out on a date?" John smirked.
"A... date?" Rodney stopped bouncing and squeaked. John only looked even more amused at his reaction. Fine, if this was how he wanted to play it. "What if I am? Asking you out on a date, that is?"
"Well," John, it seemed, didn't even have to think about it. "As long as I get to pick the movie."
"Want me to pick you up?"
Rodney rolled his eyes, making John laugh. "I'll see you at eight."
"It's a date then!" John called out as Rodney walked out of his office.
The fact that he had a date with John Sheppard only hit him later, when John kissed him goodnight and fled out of sight before Rodney could recover.
It was easy for someone in his position to say they have work to do and for it not to be a lie. Twenty-six, forty-eight, sixty-five, finally at the seventy-eighth hour, Rodney could no longer keep his eyes open.
The dreams came, as he knew they would. Always a confusing jumble of images and sound. A gunshot here, a Wraith dart there, a tap on his shoulders making him spin around –
– to find John smiling sadly at him.
Rodney wanted nothing more than to gather the dream image into his arms and never let go.
"You're killing yourself." The dream image said, reaching out to touch him.
"Maybe that's exactly what I want." Rodney replied.
Dreams, like fog, could never be touched.
It took Rodney four days before he could get John alone. It had given him time to prepare a speech: about how unfair it was to be caught completely off guard; how he generally preferred blonds, with boobs, long legs, and came in the shape of Col. Samantha Carter; and how rude it was for John to kiss and run, only to avoid him for days after.
Rodney only managed, "Did you realise – " before he saw John's eyes. The man who had stared Death in his face and taunted him was utterly terrified of what Rodney might say. For the first time, the words fled from Rodney, and instead, he let his action speaks for him.
The feeling of John melting against him in relief as they kissed was something Rodney would remember for the rest of his life.
"What the hell are we doing here? They aren't going to hand over that technology just because we asked nicely. Twice." Rodney grumbled as they walked down the path from the Stargate towards the sprawling capital city of Ikanda. The Ikandians had developed a planet wide shield generations ago that cloaked their presence from the Wraith.
"Thought you'd be dying to get your hands on something like this." John seemed surprised at Rodney's lack of interest.
"As much as I would love to learn how it works, it really isn't a priority right now. I have much more important things to do back in the lab, and the Ikandians aren't exactly a friendly bunch." Rodney had managed to perfect their city cloaking capabilities a few years ago and it had been working like a charm. There really was no need for them to be on this mission.
What Rodney didn't say was ever since stepping through the event horizon, he had been getting increasingly jittery and nervous. The last time he'd felt this way, John and Teyla were nearly blown up by a crudely made time bomb.
As though reading his mind, John gently patted him on his shoulder and murmured, "Everything's going to be fine."
Ghost of a touch on his right cheek.
Rodney was jolted out of his sleep, John's name on his lips before he caught himself. Their room was quiet except for his harsh breathing.
Empty except for him.
He rubbed face in his hands, got up and walked into the bathroom. There was no time for sleep, with all the work he had.
Splashing some water on his face in an attempt to wake up, Rodney looked into the mirror.
Rodney barely recognised himself. Not wanting to see the wreck in front of him, he closed his eyes. Only to snap them open when he felt something brushed across his cheek.
"John." He whispered. In the mirror, John's hand was on his face, caressing.
Rodney whirled around, but there was no one else in the room.
"You're killing yourself." Rodney couldn't remember ever hearing John sound so sad.
He knew he was going crazy when he answered. "Maybe that's exactly what I want."
"I told you we would've been better off watching the paint dry on Pier 4!"
"Shut up and fix the DHD!"
Rodney obeyed the latter part of the command while the rest of the team provided cover for him. Bullets and energy pulses flew above his head as he worked.
"Dial Atlantis, I'll cover you."
Being the closest to the gate, Teyla went through first. Rodney made a mad dash towards the gate and tumbled out headfirst on the other side, knowing instantly in his guts that something had gone horribly wrong 20,000 light years away on Ikanda.
When Ronon finally dragged John's still form through a minute later, Rodney's world disintegrated around him.
"You should've let it hit me." Rodney said quietly, finger slowly tracing the elegant letters carved into stone. "I wouldn't be feeling this if I was dead." The curve of the 'S' seemed to go on forever. "You'd be the one sitting here instead. Me," he shrugged. "I'd be six feet under and not feel a thing. Knowing you, you'd have probably blown the Ikandians to bits by now. Better you than me." The last stroke in the 'R' blended smoothly into the 'D'. "You've always known I'm a selfish bastard."
"Wish I could get my hands on a sarcophagus right about now. I'd revive you and kill you myself for doing this to me. Turning me into this mess, and leaving me!" Rodney knew he was talking at a headstone that would never reply, but he was beyond caring.
"I was perfectly happy in my own world, you know. But you just couldn't leave it alone and had to barge in with your charm and math, and make yourself at home in my world, make me love you.
"You taught me how to fly, showed me the stars beyond the equations. Things I had never thought possible, and now you're gone and everything..." Rodney choked. He stared at the headstone until his eyes burned. "Everything's broken and I don't know how to fix it."
Sea breeze rustling the grass beneath his feet; the setting sun casting a fiery red hue across the ocean surface. In a few minutes, the Atlantian sky would be twinkling with the stars he and John had touched over the years. John loved this spot. "I don't know if I want to fix it."
In a world that was out to get him, Rodney never thought he would ever feel safe. But right at this moment, in the arms of John Sheppard, he was invincible.
Every touch electrifying, every moan intoxicating; Rodney was drowning in it all.
"John." A gasp. Shivering in pleasure as expert fingers stroked him apart from the inside.
"John." A moan as John slowly slides into him.
"Rodney." Sweat on his brows, Rodney could feel John fighting the urge to let go. It was the sexiest thing he had ever seen. Rodney reached up and pulled John down for a kiss, letting out a moan as the change in angle caused John to brush against is prostate.
"Move." Rodney panted, mentally giving Chaya the finger.
John obeyed –
– and Rodney's world exploded.