Pairing: Sheppard/Jackson, Sheppard/McKay
Spoilers: Pegasus Project (SG-1)
Summary: John compares scientists.
“So,” John asks, rocking on his heels a little. “Been dead lately?”
Jackson laughs. “No. You?”
“Well, yeah, but only for a minute,” John replies, and Jackson laughs again, like John’s joking. He isn’t, but it also isn’t a big deal, so he smiles genially in return. “So, you think McKay’ll be okay?”
“You afraid Cam will use the lemon on him?” Jackson asks, sounding amused.
“Nah,” John replies. “Rodney’d shoot him first.” Jackson starts to smile, then abruptly frowns and makes a questioning face. John smiles. He smiles more when Jackson shrugs and walks away.
The idea is to not get hit with Teyla’s sticks while Vala is watching. John’s doing pretty well until Jackson bounces in. He’s distracted for just a second, and then Teyla whacks him in the knee and he’s not just hit, he’s down.
“Hey, Teyla, Colonel,” Jackson says. “Mind if I try?”
Teyla raises her eyebrows at John and he shrugs. “Fine by me.” He offers Jackson his bantos rods, and joins Vala against the wall.
Jackson is attentive to Teyla’s instructions. His eyes are focused, watching her for openings and learning her movements. John thinks Jackson would probably make pretty good military backup, which is completely unlike their scientist. Rodney’s getting better, but he’ll never be Rambo. Jackson looks like he could pull if off, if he had to.
So why would John rather take Rodney than anyone else? It probably says something about John that he’d prefer brains and sarcasm over brains and brawn, but he’s never been one for too much introspection. It’s enough that Rodney’s the one who makes John feel like they’ll always figure out a way to come home-- and Jackson, smart as he is, doesn’t.
Besides, Rodney’s only died once, and he was smart enough to come back right away. Fully clothed.
That night at dinner, Elizabeth and John sit with Jackson and Vala. Elizabeth and Jackson are talking about the problems with translating Ancient texts into English. They keep giggling. A grown man should not giggle. Unless they’re drunk. Or suffering from severe blood loss.
Rodney never giggles. Chortles, yes, but not giggles. Like a schoolgirl. And only when there’s a good reason, like when John does math on the whiteboard, or when John steals the last pudding cup for him. Rodney’s sensible, and for all Jackson’s the golden child of SG-1, he’s kind of flaky when he gets involved with his research.
John and Vala chat, and she invites herself to his quarters for a nightcap, not that John has anything to drink. They sit on the balcony near his room and drink crappy coffee and she tells him about SG-1 and their adventures. She has a very interesting take on things, often far more interesting than the official reports John’s read.
It’s late, or possibly early, when Jackson shows up and sends Vala off to bed. Then he sits in her chair, which she’d not-so-surreptitiously moved closer to John’s throughout the evening. John can feel Jackson’s body heat and smell his weird sandalwood-y body powder shit.
“So, Vala’s something,” Jackson says.
John nods. “Yup. Definitely something. Hell of a girl. Woman.” He shrugs. “Whatever.”
Jackson laughs. “Very PC, Colonel Sheppard.”
“I’m a very PC guy, Dr. Jackson.”
There’s kind of a lot of silence then, and it’s not comfortable. Or noisy, the way ‘silence’ with John’s usual scientist is. But it’s not uncomfortable, either, and eventually John just shrugs and goes to bed.
Jackson and Vala are still there the next day, hunting through the database, and John gets called in to try out his supergene in unlocking some Ancient password-protected files. Amazingly, it works. Jackson makes happy humming sounds and Vala looks bored, so John offers a tour of the piers.
Oddly, it’s Jackson who agrees to come with him, citing the need for a break. They end up jogging around the southern piers. Jackson gives John a weird sort of smirky grin before he goes back to work. Nothing at all like Rodney.
And, see, the thing is that everyone knows that Rodney and John just fit together. They balance each other out, keep the other from doing anything (too) stupid (usually), play together and fight to let off steam.
So why is it Daniel Jackson with whom John finds himself wanting to get really, non-platonically sweaty?
The Daedalus returns, planning a layover of a few days for some repairs and to do a thorough check of the systems. John and Daniel have dinner together, and they don’t talk about anything important at all. John invites Daniel over to talk sports, weapons training, whatever. Daniel arrives with a bottle of wine, which they drain over the course of the evening.
There’s a fair amount of laughter, shared stories, and possibly more necking than John’s engaged in since he was sixteen and in the back of his dad’s convertible. Christ, Daniel’s got a tongue for more than languages. Still, they don’t really get anywhere further before John’s grinning and claiming an early day (truthfully, he’s got a meeting at 0530), and waving an awkward goodbye.
He flops back onto his bed with a sigh. Why the hell did he do that? It’s not like Daniel’s going to turn him in, not if half the stories about him and General O’Neill are true. Daniel’s not the type to tease, which means John just sent a sure thing away.
Sometimes, he thinks, taking his erection in hand, life is just too complicated for thought.
The next evening, John was waiting for Daniel to show up. This time, he was gonna be smart about it. He’d showered, traded some of his coffee stash for another bottle of wine, put on some music-- the whole shebang.
Which is why it was pretty startling to have Rodney burst in instead of Daniel.
“I saw Jackson on the way,” Rodney said, “and I told him I had to talk to you. I mean, really, we’re best friends and he’s Daniel Jackson.” Rodney’s pacing with hand waving and air quotes. “I mean, I know he’s only here temporarily and he’s, well, utterly hot in that pretty boy, personal trainer, chess club way, but come on! John! I thought we were friends.”
Rodney’s frowning in that disappointed-in-your-IQ, please-notice-me way he has. “We are!” John replies. “What has that got to do with Daniel?”
“Really, John? Are we really? We’re... friends, right? Best friends? Much better friends that you and Jackson.” Rodney’s looking at John, all intensity and blue eyes and hope.
“Of course, Rodney. We’re best friends, you and me. What--" and that’s as far as he gets, before Rodney McKay is kissing the living daylights out of him. Of course, being Rodney, he can’t do anything quietly.
It’s all blah blah blah something about “you'd bruise your hips on his scrawny ass”, as Rodney’s hands slide under the back of his shirt and drag over his ribs. And blah blah “but he couldn't give a blowjob to save his life” as Rodney’s lips place feathery kisses down John’s jugular. blah blah blah “oh, yeah, and I can hold you down so you can't get away, look at me, John, I'm solid” breathed into John’s ear.
And, oh, God, why does he never, ever see this coming?
John waves lackadaisically as SG-1 is beamed up to the Daedalus. Jackson grins his smirky grin in return as he’s whisked away.
“So, what exactly did you say to him, to keep him from showing up last night?” John asks Rodney.
“Hmm? Oh, I told him you get off on being punished for cheating on me. He didn't even disbelieve me for a second." Rodney looks up. "So. Have you been a bad boy?" he asks hopefully.
And, really, who could resist that hopeful Rodney look? John grins.