Summary: When John and Rodney meet while hiding out at a pair of weddings, John gets more than he bargains for....
Author Notes: Kass -- I know you asked for Team-flavored McShep, but this went to the pre-series AU place on me, so it's sadly lacking in Teyla and Ronon. Having said that, there are other characters, situations and dialogue in here you will recognize from the series, and I freely admit to borrowing them. Oh yeah, I rearranged some canon pairings, too.
Many thanks to my beta readers M. and she-who-shall-remain-anonymous; any mistakes left are mine, since I couldn't stop tinkering.
This was ridiculous -- he was a grown man, and technically, even though he would never admit it, he was hiding in the bathroom because his drunk sister had decided he should be dating his even more drunk coworker. Said coworker was hot, but she wasn't even a real scientist, and since he considered even medicine to be one step above voodoo, there was no way he could date her. And really, who still called herself Katie at the age of thirty?
So he was locked into the last stall, sitting sideways on the commode, wedged length-wise between the side walls and hoping Jeannie would get tired of waiting, or that Kaleb would drag her back to the reception. He'd counted every dark fleck he could see in the floor tiles, and had begun to formulate equations for a prediction model based on the average number of flecks per tile; he was curious about whether it would work on the ceiling tiles.
He was interrupted when the door opened and a voice called out, "Is there a Meredith McKay in here?" Rodney held his breath, and didn't let it out until he heard the voice say, "Nope, no Meredith McKay in here." He heard Jeannie protest, and the voice answering back, and then the door thumped closed, and the voice said, "It's safe to come out now."
He stayed where he was, not wanting to deal with whoever Jeannie had sent in after him. He heard water splashing in a sink, then paper towels being pulled from the dispenser. There was silence for a few seconds, and then whoever it was started to rattle the stall doors and call his name.
Rodney heaved a sigh, and gave into the inevitable: he climbed off the toilet, and yanked the door open before the voice could get to the end of the row. "My name is Rodney. And I don't need you to tell me how unfair I'm being to Katie Brown -- I get enough of that from Jeannie." He looked the guy over, but couldn't place him -- he knew he wasn't good with people, and especially with names, but he was pretty sure he would've remembered this guy. The hair alone would have made him stand out -- thick, brown and gravity-defying, when most people Rodney knew were either military men who wore regulation buzz cuts or scientists who couldn't even be bothered to use a comb -- but it was more than that; this guy was seriously hot, in that rumpled, pouty kind of way Rodney had only ever seen on twinks in gay bars and models in Calvin Klein ads.
"Uh...who's Katie Brown?"
"She's a botanist." When this didn't seem to clear up Hair-do's confusion, Rodney elaborated. "I'm one of the world's leading astrophysicists; I do real science, and botany is just a bunch of mumbo-jumbo crap that anyone can do -- it's not like you have to be intelligent to grow plants."
"So let me get this straight -- this Katie Brown person is a botanist and Jeannie thinks you're being unfair to her?"
"My sister thinks I should marry her because, and I quote 'It's not like you're going to do any better, Mer.' Like that's a reason to resign myself to a lifetime of conversations about ferns and potting soil?"
"Why don't you just tell her you're gay?"
"Oh, I don't know -- maybe because I'm not?" Hair-do's left eyebrow went up, and Rodney could feel himself blushing. It didn't help that he smirked when Rodney conceded, "Okay, fine, I might be bisexual."
"I dunno...not many straight men would wear a pinstripe velvet tux to someone else's wedding."
Rodney turned toward the mirror above the sink, and looked at himself. "Oh. I thought it was very..." He ran his hands over the front, pushing against the nap of the fabric. He looked up when he heard a snort, and met the other guy's gaze in the mirror. "Look, Hair-do, it's not like you're the arbiter of taste -- you're wearing an ascot and spats!"
"I'm the best man -- it's not like I got to choose what I'm wearing. And my name is John, not Hair-do."
"Oh, well...I suppose you have a point about the tie; it's not as if brides are known for picking the most attractive clothing for the wedding party. I mean even Elizabeth dressed people in the most god-awful shade of puce, and really, who looks good in that color? I don't know what Sumner was thinking, letting her pick that color." He took a breath, and looked back at his jacket for a second before he met John's eyes again. "At least mine is black, and...do you really think it's bad?"
John rolled his eyes. "I never said it was bad. I said a straight man wouldn't wear it."
"Oh. Well, I do have excellent taste, and--"
"So, Rodney, you wanna...?" John twitched his head toward the stalls.
Rodney just blinked. Hot men didn't proposition him in bathrooms, so surely John hadn't just implied what it sounded like he'd implied. He turned around, sure that John was going to start laughing at him any second; when he just raised his eyebrows and waited for Rodney to answer, Rodney began to consider that maybe, just maybe, he was serious.
"Really? Do you know how filthy public restrooms are? And the obsession with citrus death masquerading as cleaning products is criminal. And hello? Didn't you just say you're the best man? What the hell are you doing in here?"
"Rodney. It's not a hard question. Do you want a blow-job or not?"
"Well, I...these things never happen to me, and I'm not good with people, and well, I'm sure you understand. Well not understand, precisely, but. Really?"
John shrugged. "What can I say? Sarcasm makes me hot."
When he put it that way, all Rodney could do was nod, and try not to trip over his own feet as he followed John into the stall. He crowded in and swung the door shut; John pushed him back against it and dropped to his knees as he turned the lock.
"Oh, wow. That's...oh. You are really...seriously...hot, and nngh." He trailed off into a moan as John leaned in and snagged the tab of his zipper between his perfectly even teeth; he dragged his chin along the length of Rodney's already hard cock as he pulled the zipper down, then reached up to unbutton Rodney's trousers. He hooked his fingers in the waistband of Rodney's boxers and pulled them down just far enough to expose Rodney's groin, while pushing his shirt tails up and out of the way.
John didn't waste time on preliminaries -- instead he just sucked Rodney in, going down and swallowing around the head when his nose was buried in the curls at Rodney's groin. He pulled back slowly as Rodney watched, and just when Rodney thought he was going to pull away altogether, he hummed and went deep again. Rodney watched as John sucked; he was fascinated with the redness of John's mouth, and the glitter of his eyes as he looked up at Rodney through his lashes, and he was so caught up in how hot it was to see someone like John on his knees that his orgasm almost surprised him. He threw his head back against the door and muffled his shout against the rough nap of his sleeve.
He panted through the aftershocks, and when John gave his cock a final lick and stood up to press against him, he leaned in and kissed him, chasing the taste of his come from the corner of John's mouth to his lower lip and along his tongue.
"Mmm, that was...stellar."
Rodney blushed. "Well, um. Yes?"
"Relax, Rodney...I enjoyed it, too." He leaned in to kiss Rodney again, and fumbled at his waist, tugging at the buttons there. When Rodney caught on to what he was doing, he pushed John's hand away, and unzipped his fly before slipping his hand John's boxers. He stroked his fingers over the velvety soft skin of John's cock before he pulled it through the gap in the fabric. When John pushed against him, Rodney closed the fingers of one hand around his cock and pulled him closer with the other. John thrust against him, and into his hand, and the noise he made was so broken and needy and hot that Rodney hated to muffle it with a kiss.
He only pulled away when John's breathing grew uneven and shallow, because he wanted to watch when John came. John's eyes were open, the pupils blown so wide that only a slim ring of green still showed, and he was staring at Rodney's mouth. He tipped his head forward, looking down at Rodney's hand moving on him, and when he started to come, he pressed his forehead against Rodney's shoulder. Rodney stroked him through it, only stopping when John twitched as his thumb grazed the head of his cock.
They leaned against each other for a few moments, just breathing in the quiet of the stall. John tipped his head up for a kiss, then he moved away, stepping back from Rodney and turning to pull some tissue from the dispenser. He turned back to Rodney and swiped it across his stomach, cleaning most of the come away before he repeated the process on himself.
Rodney didn't say anything at all; he didn't know if he even knew what to say. 'Marry me' seemed a bit precipitous, considering that he didn't even know John's last name, but that had been damned fine blow-job, and truth be told, sex of any kind was something Rodney never seemed to get enough of. John didn't seem disposed to talk, though, so Rodney pressed his lips together and concentrated on putting himself to rights.
He pulled his trousers up, tucked in his shirt and buttoned and zipped himself up. When he looked, he saw John had just finished doing the same thing, so he opened the lock, and stepped forward to allow the door to open.
John pressed his fingers to Rodney's lips and shook his head. "Can we not talk about this?"
"I just wanted to--"
John leaned in and kissed Rodney, softly. He ended the kiss with a sigh, and said, "Please? Let's not ruin this."
Rodney swallowed against the lump in his throat, and nodded before turning to pull the door open so they could leave the stall. He crossed to the sink where he washed his hands, and patted water over his flushed cheeks. John watched him as he washed his own hands, and when they'd both finished, he leaned in again to kiss Rodney.
"This was...well, it was pretty fucking fantastic. Thank you."
"Um..." Rodney floundered for a second or two before settling on what he wanted to say. "Yeah, like I said before, stellar. And uh, thank you to you, too."
John looked like he wanted to say something else, but at that moment the door opened and a tall, dark-haired man came in. As soon as he saw John, he started talking, and Rodney took the chance to leave, before the situation could become more awkward. He looked over his shoulder when he reached the door, and met John's eyes in the mirror. He looked away when John winked, and the last thing he heard before the door closed was the dark-haired guy asking John what the hell he thought he was doing hiding in the bathroom when he had toasts to give....
John had watched as Rodney left the restroom, trying his best to ignore Dave, but in the end, he'd given in and followed him back to the far side of the museum, and the gallery where Nancy and everyone else had been waiting for John to show up for the traditional toasts. Nancy had cornered him later, and ordered him to spill; she pretended to be scandalized that he'd hooked up at her wedding, and he'd pretended to be sorry, and he figured that would be the end of it, but a month later, he was still thinking about the shape of Rodney's mouth and how he'd looked as he came.
He'd even gone so far as to Google both 'Meredith McKay' and 'Rodney McKay', hoping he could find out enough about him to finally stop obsessing, but what he found only piqued his curiosity. Both names came up several times, with pictures, articles, and scientific papers, but John noticed something odd -- the most recent paper was from several years prior, and no amount of searching pulled up any photos or articles more current than three years ago. It was like the man had fallen off the planet, only to resurface in black velvet at weddings. John amused himself for a few days wondering if he did funerals, too.
John supposed he was doing classified work for the government; it was the same reason his last paper dated to 2005 -- the confidentiality clause he'd signed when they won the last round of military contracts prohibited any disclosure of his work to any one other than the committee overseeing the reverse-engineering done in the labs. But even then, he'd still given interviews and gone to conferences.
He pondered the problem of the disappearing Rodney McKay for a few weeks, but a breakthrough in the labs soon took all of his attention, and he pushed all thoughts of Rodney McKay to the back of his mind.
* * *
The breakthrough at the lab had paid off, and he was accompanying the team responsible on a trip to integrate a reverse engineered power source into some kind of project the Air Force had been working on. As a Vice President, he was technically supposed to be out of the loop, but much to Dave's delight and his father's surprise, he'd ignored conventional wisdom, and become very hands-on with his division. Of course, Research and Development was a department that actually interested him, so he didn't get why his father was so surprised, but he'd stopped trying to figure the old man out a long time ago.
Most of what he did at Sheppard Industries was pretty cool (except for the paperwork, that is), but this -- this was beyond cool. He was inside a mountain, and from here, he was going to another freaking planet. He'd never been so glad that he'd let Nancy talk him out of going into the military, even if it had meant working for his father.
Upon arriving at the Mountain, they'd been briefed by a mismatched pair -- a huge guy named Teal'c and an archaeologist named Daniel Jackson -- and after an overnight stay, they'd been dressed in cammies and tac vests, and were being taken to something called the 'Gate room. When Jackson had told him what it was, and how it worked, he hadn't believed it, but part of the briefing had been video footage of the 'Gate in action, and now he couldn't wait to step through and see what was on the other side.
But first he had to get there. They'd walked down more hallways than he could count, and he'd lost track of how many lefts and rights he'd have to take to even get back to the elevators. He'd worked out that each floor had different security levels, and that their group had to be escorted everywhere, but beyond that he had no idea what type of activity was going on where. There was a pretty even mix of civilian and military personnel, and if Dr. Jackson was any kind of indicator, the civilians were all pretty sharp, and probably specialists in multiple disciplines.
It was exactly the kind of place he'd expect to see someone like Rodney McKay, but there were so many people here.... The chance of him being here, and of John seeing him, was pretty damned low.
He looked anyway.
As they came to a set of heavy blast doors, their escorts paused, and Major Lorne turned to address the group.
"This the 'Gate room; the control room is one level above. When we go in, and line up to go through the 'Gate, please remember the safety protocols we briefed you on earlier. The most important one is the splash zone -- stay behind the area marked out on the ramp, and you'll be fine."
With that, he turned and slid his I.D. Badge through the card reader and entered a code into the key pad. The doors slid open, and John followed everyone in. The 'Gate was spinning, and they could hear someone counting off locked chevrons over the PA; when the final chevron locked, the open center of the ring filled with what looked like water. A huge ripple whooshed out over the ramp leading up to the 'Gate, then settled back into the surface.
Lorne clicked his earpiece, and said, "Permission to go through, sir?" He must've gotten confirmation of some kind, because he clicked the earpiece again, and started up the ramp. John followed, and when he reached the 'Gate, he pushed his hand into what he'd been told was the edge of the event horizon. It felt weird, and he pulled his hand back.
He turned to the Lieutenant next to him on the ramp, and asked, "What's it feel like?"
Ford grinned, and said, "It hurts like hell, sir," before he whooped and threw himself into the wormhole.
John grimaced, and braced himself before stepping through. At first it felt as if his body was made of taffy, painlessly pulled in every direction at once, but that only lasted for a fraction of a second before he was sling-shotted forward, streaking past lights so quickly he couldn't see any individually, and then he was stumbling out onto a metal ramp similar to the one he'd just been standing on. Ford was off to one side, snickering, and John glared at him for a moment before his attention was drawn to the pair standing at the base of the ramp.
"Mr. Sheppard, welcome to the Alpha Site. I'm Colonel Marshall Sumner, and this is Dr. Elizabeth Weir, our civilian administrator."
John shook off the disorientation from the abrupt changes in sensation, and shook first Sumner's hand, and then Weir's before he introduced his staff. Near the end of the introductions, a harried looking man in a lab coat entered the 'Gate room, and crossed to Dr. Weir.
"Radek? Is he--"
He cut her off with a long string of something angry sounding -- it certainly wasn't English, but Dr. Weir obviously understood it, because her mouth thinned out into a frown, and she crossed to the technicians along the far wall. After a brief conversation, she came back, and said, "I apologize, Mr. Sheppard, but it seems our Head of Sciences is in the middle of something, and can't leave the labs; perhaps you'd like to take the tour, and meet him there instead?"
John shrugged. "Sure, why not? We were going get here eventually, so now's as good a time as any."
Sumner finished his conversation with Lorne and Ford, and gestured for John and Weir to proceed him, and they left the 'Gate room. They took what seemed like a winding route, with more left and right turns John had no chance of keeping track of; he heard someone yelling before long before they arrived at what he assumed were the labs. When the yelling abruptly cut off, Dr. Weir looked uncomfortable, but she kept up her spiel about the work being done on the base.
They turned one final corner, and John ran into what felt like a brick wall; he and whoever he crashed into went down in a tangle of limbs and papers and something with a hard, metal edge that somehow wound up underneath John. There was a buzzing tingle at the base of his skull, and an elbow was pressing painfully against his ribs, but he didn't care, because the person he'd walked into was none other than Rodney McKay.
Zelenka came forward and began to gather the scattered sheets of paper as John and Rodney untangled themselves. When they'd regained their feet, John bent to pick up the metal object; as soon as he touched it, it lit up, bathing the corridor and everyone in it in a soft blue light. The tingle from before had increased to an intense itch, and John struggled to not claw at the skin under his collar in an attempt to get at it.
"Oh my god! How did you do that?" Rodney took the object from John, and the light abruptly winked out. He tried to give it back, but John stepped back with his hands in the air and shook his head.
"Oh, never mind. Come with me." Rodney started to walk along the corridor without checking to see if John was following. When he realized he was still with the others, he reversed, hooked a hand into the front of John's tac vest, and pulled him along as he walked down the hall. The rest of the group followed along in their wake like a string of ducks.
John had stumbled a bit when Rodney initially jerked him along, and it was all he could do to keep up as Rodney practically ran down the hall. He figured he'd get the explanation of where they were going when they actually arrived, so he didn't breath asking. They passed several open doorways before they came to a blast door similar to the ones he'd seen at Cheyenne Mountain. Rodney ran his card through the slot and practically bounced as he punched in his code. As soon as the door started to slide back, he dragged John through, and pushed him toward a chair bolted to the floor in the middle of the room.
He watched as Rodney crossed to a computer console, and started punching buttons. The chair began to hum, and it lit up the room with the same glow as the metal thing, but the buzz was different this time, more like a soft whispering in his ear.
Rodney turned, and pointed at the chair. "You, sit."
"No, not until you tell me what's going on here." John planted his feet and crossed his arms.
Rodney frowned, and inanely, John noticed his mouth slanted crookedly off to one side. He was still noticing it when Rodney came around the console, and grasped John's arms as he walked him backwards toward the chair. He could hear Dr. Weir protesting that this was a bad idea, and that Radek guy was twittering in whatever language it was he spoke, but all John could focus on was how blue Rodney's eyes were.
When the back of his knees hit the edge of the seat, he lost his balance, and fell into the chair, which reclined as soon as his back touched the frame. The light intensified, and Rodney made a wordless sound of triumph.
"Rodney?" John struggled to sit up, but Rodney pressed a hand against his chest, and said,
"Think about where we are in the universe...."
* a beginning *