Pairings: John/Rodney, Cadman/Carson
Summary: After Rodney gets strung out on speed to save his and John's lives, Cadman has some unexpected advice — and chocolate.
Better Than Chocolate
"Jesus, Rodney, I have absolutely no idea--"
"Shut up! Shut-up-shut-up-shut-up while I try to fix this before we die horribly in vacuum."
The jumper continues to spin slowly, diagonally on its axis, momentum carrying it ever further and further away from the spacegate. From the access panel, Rodney curses, once, and then reaches out a hand.
"Pass me the speed."
"Rodney, are you sure that--"
"PASS ME THE SPEED BEFORE I FUCK SOMETHING UP AND WE BOTH DIE."
John hesitates for a moment, long enough for Rodney's head to whip round and stare at him, the bloodshot eyes and snarling mouth not really Rodney, before he throws the plastic bottle of amphetamines over. Rodney snatches it from the air in a downward motion. The remaining pills in the bottle make only a tiny shaking noise and Rodney fishes two pills out, unbuckling the belt of his BDUs.
"Um, Rodney?" John peers over.
"Amphetamines have at least a twenty five per cent higher rate of absorption in the body when taken rectally. So unless you want to help out here, Colonel, shut up and let me get back to stuffing this one up my ass, because since it took us three days to get off that godforsaken hellhole of a planet we only have two more left in the bottle and if I fall asleep we both die. Did I mention that?"
John swallows, pokes at the remains of his MRE and fishes out the unused moist towelette. "Your need for this is way greater than mine."
* * *
Rodney's solution involves one more pill, a screwdriver, an arc welder and possibly a bootlace, and then the jumper is heading back on autopilot towards the spacegate, and John is holding Rodney in his arms to stop the shakes that are making Rodney's teeth chatter.
"Rodney, buddy, I'm gonna lay you down on the floor, okay?"
Rodney's response is a barely verbal noise that at least sounds like agreement. John lays him down, and then the spasms kick in. John straddles him, pinning Rodney's legs down with his knees and Rodney's arms over his head, and he looks down to see--
"Jesus, McKay, are you getting off on this?"
Rodney's eyes widen and he breathes deeply. "Yeah," he says, his voice shaking, "and please don't stop, because my heart rate is about to send me into cardiac arrest and this is the only thing that's helping me calm down right now."
John doesn't really know what to say about that, for more reasons than he can count. "Okay. You just keep doing whatever you're doing to not have a heart attack, and Carson'll be there when we land in Atlantis, all right?"
"Yeah," Rodney says, closing his eyes. "Yeah."
John notes that Rodney's cock has started to twitch. "Do you need--do you need me to get you off? Endorphins and stuff?"
"Just--" Rodney takes a deep, shuddering breath. "Yes. Just tell me to come."
"How will that--"
"Just tell me." Rodney's voice is low and desperate.
"Come." John puts all the command voice he has into it, and Rodney is jerking below him, not in any convulsions above the waist, and slowly a wet spot spreads across Rodney's crotch.
"I am totally not okay with this happening like this," Rodney says, slowly and breathily, "but thank you for saving my life. And if you tell anybody--"
"Relax, Rodney, I'm not gonna ask and you're not gonna tell."
* * *
Carson's finished waving the Medical Tricorder over him in Sickbay -- and it's probably best that he doesn't get to name stuff, because he'd be sued into the next millennium for intellectual property violations when the Stargate program got declassified. Sheppard --ÊJohn --Êis up with Elizabeth doing the debrief, and Rodney is under strict instructions to stay where he is until Carson fixes him up with stuff for the detox. So he's lying there, eyes closed, so far from sleep that it's not even funny, and--
"Hey, Rodney." It's Laura damn Cadman.
Rodney doesn't open his eyes, partly because he doesn't want to see Cadman seeing him like this, and partly because when he does, his heart starts to race with the additional sensory input. And speaking of additional sensory input, just knowing Cadman is there makes his mind race off down the alleys that he thought he'd blocked off, the retained memories left in his brain of Cadman, naked, in the shower, soaping her wet body, sliding her fingers up to-- "Hi, Laura."
"Having some speed fun in the puddlejumper, I hear?" Laura snaps into view when he opens his eyes. She's in civvies -- or what pass for civvies on Atlantis -- and holding an enormous bar of Cadbury's chocolate. "I brought you something."
"Oh my God, how did you even find that here?" Rodney reaches out, making grabby-hand gestures.
"Well, you know, coercion, bribery, the promise that you'd fix the atmospheric controls in the room where I caught its former owner having sex, that kind of thing." Cadman hands it over and Rodney tears into the purple foil. The aroma of cheap milk chocolate rips out, not the godawful plastic that the Americans insist is chocolate, but the stuff that the Brits brought to Canada and got an entire nation hooked on, its scent tinted only slightly with hazelnuts.
He bites into it and suddenly the speed cravings he's having are just that little bit less, but it's a little bit that makes it manageable for right now, and he looks up at Laura with a sudden realization. "When did you find this out?"
"Don't you remember?" She smiles faintly down at him. "Can't believe I didn't think about it when I was in your body."
Rodney blinks at her a couple of times, and a fuzzy memory is coming back to him. "Oh. Oh. Yeah, I do. You shut it down pretty quickly, though."
She shrugs and leans in. "Carson's the only one who knows, Rodney. It's not exactly something I care to have advertised around the place."
"Yes, yes," Rodney waves his hand, putting the chocolate down on the bedside table. "Hence the 'Anonymous' after 'Narcotics', I get it. But it's ironic, with all the pee-in-a-cup drug testing that I had to do just to hear the word 'Stargate'. That the US military, you know, got you addicted to speed."
"Yeah, well, I had some help getting un-addicted. Oh, hey, one thing that the official detox sheet doesn't tell you? Best thing for the depression is orgasms. Lots of 'em." Cadman turns her head and grins as Carson walks round the corner. "Hey, doc."
Carson stops at a safe distance, eyeing her warily. "'Doc'? Eh? Why do I get a 'doc' and not a 'sweetie' or a 'honey'? Oh, bugger, I didn't forget some anniversary, did I? Or did I leave my boxers in your quarters? Forget to put the toilet seat down?"
"I'd guess," Sheppard says from the door, "that she was trying to keep you on the down low while her CO was standing behind you, buddy."
Carson whirls and makes what's actually a pretty endearing little eep noise, like the old Mac that Rodney had given to Jeannie in the eighties.
"Relax, Carson" Sheppard says, walking over to Rodney's bed. "I seriously don't care who she sleeps with. Hey, Rodney."
Cadman wanders over and bumps shoulders with Carson, and they share a smile.
"So," Sheppard says, reaching into the pocket of his BDUs, "I brought you--"
"More chocolate!" Rodney announces, even though it's Hershey's.
"More?" Sheppard says, then spots the opened bar of Cadbury's. "Oh, right."
"Yeah, sorry, sir," Cadman says, "I got him some of the Canadian stuff."
John snorts. "Remind me to make you quartermaster sometime, if you can round up that much chocolate in Pegasus."
It's then that the warning sirens start to wail, and John shouts, "stay here, Rodney!" before barking into his earpiece, and Cadman's off at a run even as Carson's got his hand up to his earpiece and is saying, "how many?" and looking shocked before snapping, "on my way!"
It turns out to be a power conduit blowing in a corridor near the Marines' quarters, and nobody's dead, but there's too much happening for Rodney to be able to stay in the infirmary, so one of the nurses hands Rodney a bag with detox instructions, some supplies, and gets Sheppard to escort him home. Rodney doesn't forget the rest of the bar of chocolate.
Rodney's quarters, which he hasn't seen in days, are a welcome change from the infirmary, mainly because they are quiet. Sheppard sets the bag on the countertop in the little kitchen area and pulls out a piece of paper from it.
"So, it says you should tell someone if you're feeling irritable, depressed, or nauseous," he calls through to the bedroom, where Rodney is changing into pyjama bottoms and his I'm With Genius t-shirt.
"Yes, because irritability is a real change for me," Rodney says, emerging from the bedroom.
"Pass me the chocolate."
Rodney pads over to the counter and snaps off a couple of pieces from the Cadbury's bar, waving the Hershey's at John in an offering sort of way. John shakes his head and pulls his own from a pocket of his BDUs.
"Holding out on me, there?" Rodney asks around a mouthful of nutty chocolatey goodness.
"After today, you really gonna ask me that, buddy?" John says with a wry grin, leaning back on the counter.
Rodney swallows. "No. I just--I wanted to thank you. For not...you know. Spreading it all over. Not many men, especially military men, would have been so...understanding."
"Jesus, Rodney," John says, running a hand through his hair, "take off that t-shirt, because the deceptive trade practices people are gonna come after you."
"I--what?" Rodney frowns at him.
"You are so not a genius. I mean, seriously. You're a cretin. Or a moron, maybe an imbecile."
Rodney just stares as John walks over to him. John reaches out and cups Rodney's cheeks, scratchy with growing-in stubble, in his hands.
"You are such a dumbass," John says, and he leans in towards Rodney, and his lips aren't soft, they're cracked with dehydration. And they're not warm so much as pretty much the same temperature as Rodney's own lips. They're not wet, because, hello, dehydration again. But they taste quintessentially, unequivocally, uniquely of John.
It's better than chocolate.
Suddenly, Rodney thinks that he's not going to have any problem with depression during the detox.