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Fic: Two Simple Rules (McKay/Sheppard, R)

Title: Two Simple Rules
Author: thebiggest_lie
Recipient: saffronhouse
Pairing: John/Rodney
Rating: R
Word Count: 2,440 words
Disclaimer: I do not own the characters or any aspect of Stargate Atlantis, nor do I gain any profit from this.
Author's Notes: Thank you so much to prlrocks for giving this a look over for me, and all of her wonderful suggestions.
Summary: Stuck in a cave on a Wraith infested planet with one person injured; there’s nothing left to do but talk.


The Jumper was gone. John couldn’t give it much more thought than that as he made the slow trek to one of the outlying caves on MX-237. He gritted his teeth as the whoosh of the Stargate engaging permeated through the sound of the Wraith darts, now adding ‘alone on a Wraith infested planet with no back up’ to his long list of things that had gone wrong that week. Rodney was near dead weight against him, occasionally muttering something, but otherwise no help.

“Come on Rodney,” John said, heaving him along while still trying to keep a grip on his gun. If he needed it, he could grab Rodney’s sidearm easily enough. He only hoped they wouldn’t.

He didn’t know how long it took before they reached the cave, the sense of relief at finding a source of shelter and a place to hide only slipping vaguely passed the parts of his mind that were going over all the reasons they probably wouldn’t make it through the night. John smiled a little when he thought about what Rodney would say if he were awake. The panicked words and exclamations of certain death that would fill the now quiet air.

He gave himself ten seconds to catch his breath, before he was ripping open Rodney’s vest, finding whatever wound had left his hands and side covered in blood. Shrapnel wound, just below his rib cage; possibly far down enough to miss his liver and his kidney.

John ripped his jacket off, pushing it against the wound with one hand, while pulling out a bandage with another. He couldn’t waste much water cleaning it; didn’t know how long they would be there, or if there were any water sources near by. He had to believe they would come back for them though. His team wouldn’t leave them behind; not after all they had been through.

“Rodney!” John said, patting his cheek, looking for any sign of life. Behind his eyelids Rodney’s eyes were moving rapidly. John didn’t know what that meant. If Rodney had been sleeping all this time…but then, John couldn’t imagine Rodney sleeping through a chance to complain.

He let out a frustrated sigh, leaning back against the cave wall, and pulling Rodney against him, head in his lap. Now that the adrenaline was fading, worry was rolling over him in waves; not for himself but for Rodney. He cursed himself for never bothering to learn more than very basic first aid, for replacing parts of his field kit with ammo he always considered so much more necessary. They couldn’t risk a fire, no matter how much John thought Rodney needed to be as warm as possible. Luckily the night wasn’t too cold.

He couldn’t lose Rodney; not to this, and not now after everything they had been through, all of the things he had left unsaid. With one hand, pressed against Rodney’s wound, and the other with gun at the ready, John prepared himself for a long night of keeping watch.


Rodney stayed silent while John approached him, losing layer after layer of clothing as he reached the bed, and John was so thankful in that moment that Rodney knew him, understood him. He didn’t know if he could do this if Rodney spoke, if they acknowledged what was about to happen.

John’s knees hit the bed, and he crawled forward, shivering a little as cold hands found his chest. Lips met his, impossibly soft and slow; too good to believe for a first kiss.


John didn’t know how long it had been before Rodney started to wake. He couldn’t see much from their hiding place, only the occasional sounds of a Wraith Dart flying by to signal that they weren’t safe.

Rodney’s eyes opened suddenly, as if waking from a bad dream. He let out a pained sound as he tried to sit up, pulling at the wound. John braced his hand against Rodney’s shoulder, making him stay down.

“Rodney, hey, look at me Rodney; you’re fine.”

It took a moment for Rodney’s eyes to find John in the near dark, but once he did his breathing seemed to steady, if only slightly. “Sheppard? Where the hell are we? Why do I feel like someone ripped out my insides? The last thing I remember was running out of the building, then nothing.”

“We’re uh, we’re in a cave,” John said somewhat sheepishly. “You were injured when the building exploded, but don’t worry; help’s on the way.”

Rodney flinched, his head whipping back as a Dart flew overhead. “Colonel,” Rodney said, a little too calmly for John’s taste. Usually by now Rodney would have a full on rant going, injured or not. “What was the number one rule when I agreed to let you come on this mission?”

John rolled his eyes. “Don’t touch anything?” The tightness in his chest eased a little with the familiarity of Rodney’s statement.

“Fine,” Rodney said testily. “What was rule number two then?”

“Uhhh, don’t get you killed?”

“Don’t get me killed! Is it really that hard for you to follow two simple rules?”

“Hey!” John protested, fighting to keep the smile off his face, even if Rodney probably couldn‘t tell either way. “It’s not my fault. I saved your life. A little gratitude would be nice.”

“Oh yes, thanks ever so much. Now we get to die the slow way.”

Rodney grunted a little as he tried to push himself into a sitting up position. John’s hands moved instantly under Rodney’s arms, positioning him against the cave wall, their arms touching. He needed to keep Rodney close; just in case.

“We’re not going to die. The team knows we’re here, and we have our locaters. We just have to wait a little while.”

“This is exactly what I wanted to do with my day. Sit in a small cave, bleeding to death with Colonel death wish.”

“Could be worse. You could be stuck here alone,” John offered, with a glare.

Rodney didn’t say anything to that and for a moment, the near silence enveloped the cave again. John wasn’t the kind of guy who was easily scared, but he had to admit there was something creepy about the quiet and the threat that loomed just outside.

“How’s your side?” John asked, after a while. He could just make out the pained look on Rodney’s face in the light from the moons and too bright stars that shone into the cave opening.

“I can’t tell,” Rodney replied. John didn’t miss the fear in his voice. “I can’t see anything and it feels, I don’t know.”

John bit his lip, feeling his way down Rodney’s arm to the bandage. “Can you feel this?” he asked, as he pushed down a little.

Rodney let out a low hiss. “Yes, but it’s starting to feel…John, my arm is numb.”

“Alright, just, let’s lay you down, okay?” John moved to his knees, taking off his jacket for a makeshift pillow. Once Rodney was settled he did the only thing he could think to do, massaging Rodney’s arm, slow and steady. “Maybe it just fell asleep,” John offered.

“Maybe,” Rodney said quietly.

“You’re going to be fine,” John reiterated, and he didn’t know who he was trying to convince. He hated that he couldn’t do anything, was just stuck here watching his best friend in pain. “I think we need to move further in.”

“What, are you crazy? Who knows what could be in there!”

“True, but we do know what’s out there, and if what’s out there sees us in here, we’re dead anyway. Now, come on.”


John let his hands wander, beneath the blanket, down Rodney’s leg, until cold skin turned warm beneath his touch. Their lips never parted, kiss after kiss as if making up for lost time. John reveled in the feel of Rodney against his hip, hard and wanting. He let Rodney take control, push him to his side, and then Rodney was on top of him, surrounding him and for a second John could believe there was nothing else in the world but this.


“I left a simulation running.”

“What?” John turned around from where he was keeping point in front of Rodney.

“Back on Atlantis. I thought we’d be back by the end of the day, so I just left them going. The results are probably worthless now.”

John swallowed, just the thought of home, of how far it seemed even with the Stargate in sight. “I’m sure someone took care of it.”

“Yeah,” Rodney snorted. “Ruined it more than likely.”

“Well, if it was going to be ruined anyway,” John shrugged.

He moved closer to Rodney. Now with the light of morning coming through, he could make out his wound better. It looked deep and was still bleeding enough that he had used up the last of their bandages changing it just an hour before.

“Hungry?” John asked.

“Well, that’s a stupid question,” Rodney bit out, and yeah okay, maybe it was.

John took out one of the power bars he had in his pack; well aware that Rodney’s pack was lost somewhere in the explosion. “Sit up a little.”

John helped Rodney maneuver himself against his side again, unwrapping the bar and handing it to him, only taking a quarter of the bar for himself. Despite the pain he was in, Rodney ate his food fast, and drank the little bit of water John offered him even faster.

“Talking to me again? Or is it just this bout of moral peril that’s making you such a conversationalist all of a sudden?”

John looked down at his hands, stained red with dried blood he didn’t wipe off fast enough.

“Never mind,” Rodney added when John didn’t say anything.

“What do you want me to say?” John asked, hating the emotion that was so apparent in his voice. Hating Rodney for bringing this up when there was so much else they needed to worry about. John didn’t have time for this. He needed to be thinking about finding them water, and keeping his gun at the ready, and listening for any sign of rescue or attack. He didn’t have it in him to discuss things better left alone even at the best of moments.

“I don’t care what you do or don’t say, just; I want my friend back, John.”

“I am your friend.”

“Great way to act like it! You haven’t spoken to me in over a week. Do you do this with everyone you sleep with or just the ones you don’t want to do it with again?”

John stood up fast, his heart racing and fists clenched at his sides. “I can’t do this with you Rodney.”

“Can’t do what? Talk about it? Or everything else?”

“It was a mistake,” John said, looking away, knowing the last thing he needed was for Rodney to see his face.

“Fine, Colonel. I can accept that. Next time, don’t be such a child about it and give me the silent treatment.” Rodney’s voice was cold, colder than John had ever heard it.

“I’m sorry, Rodney. I just can’t.”


“John” Rodney gasped, low and soft, and John couldn’t do anything else but hold on as Rodney moved inside him. Rodney was letting out a litany of words, phrases passing by so quickly and quietly that John couldn’t seem to understand a single word. There was only Rodney beneath his finger tips. It wasn’t until after that John had understood what Rodney had said when he came. “Finally.”


“Tell me why. I deserve that much, don’t I?”

“You’re team.”


“You’re a guy.”

Rodney laughed bitterly, and John had to bite back the surge of anger at the sound. “Your stupid Country with your stupid regulations? Or maybe you’re just so fucking clueless you can’t admit to liking to screw men.”

“I could lose Atlantis; I could lose everything.”

“So, you’d rather lose me.” It wasn’t a question.

John bit his lip, his eyes turning on Rodney. “I’m here, aren’t I?” John moved closer to Rodney, sitting down next to him. Every part of him wanted to reach out and touch, to feel that Rodney was still there, still alive and okay. Instead he let out a frustrated sound and pounded his fist against the wall. “Don‘t you get it? If I lose Atlantis, I lose you.”

Rodney’s blue eyes turned on him, impossibly wide. “So, that’s it then? That’s the only reason?” John nodded. “Well, it’s a shitty reason.”

“Excuse me?”

“John, I’m the head scientist on a secret base in another Galaxy. What makes you think I can’t keep my mouth shut?”

John blinked, rubbing his knuckles that were starting to swell. “It’s not you I’m worried about.”

Rodney let out a sound of pain as he shifted and suddenly their entire situation rushed back to the forefront of John’s mind. They were in a cave, in the middle of nowhere, alone. He tightened his grip on his gun and let his hand find Rodney’s injury to study the tightness of the bandage and how badly it was bleeding.

“I should’ve got you out in time.”

Rodney shook his head. “It’s not your fault.”

“If I wasn’t ignoring you, I would’ve been with you. I would’ve gotten you out in time.”

Rodney waved a hand dismissively. “I probably would have told you to back off anyway. Remember rule number one?”

“No touching,” John smiled lightly. “We’re going to get out of here,” he added after a pause.

“And if we don’t?”

“If we don’t I’ll give you a nice hand job before we succumb to thirst and hunger.”

Rodney’s laugh rang out, and John couldn’t help but grin back at him.

“I know it’s dangerous,” Rodney said sobering. “But I want this. I want you.”

“Okay,” John whispered with a nod, his eyes meeting Rodney’s.

“Okay as in…?”

“Okay as in we’ll figure it out when we get out of here.”

Rodney’s hand found his and John couldn’t help but lean over and kiss his sweaty forehead. “Now stop distracting me. I’m supposed to be making sure I don’t break rule number two.”


John woke suddenly, confused for a moment about where he was, until he felt the body against his and the memories of that night came rushing back. He made sure Rodney’s breath was still deep, and carefully untangled their limbs, slipping on his jeans and shirt. Just as he turned to leave, a hand reached out and grabbed his.

“Stay,” Rodney told him.

And for once, John listened.


( 30 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 18th, 2010 01:22 am (UTC)
Oh, so tense, I didn't take a full breath until I got to the end! Nice job.
Jan. 17th, 2011 12:04 am (UTC)
Thanks so much for reading! Glad you enjoyed it.
Dec. 18th, 2010 01:35 am (UTC)
Nicely done suspense. I let out a sigh of relief when they ended up working it out.
Dec. 18th, 2010 03:03 am (UTC)
Thank you for my story!!
I think my favorite part was their remembered lovemaking. So very tender! Of course Johncouldn't give that up.

Thank you so much for writing!
Re: Thank you for my story!! - thebiggest_lie - Jan. 17th, 2011 12:05 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - thebiggest_lie - Jan. 17th, 2011 12:05 am (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 18th, 2010 03:01 am (UTC)
Awww...my heart tightened when John refused to talk about what happened between them until Rodney made him.

So glad they worked it out in the end so that they can have some awesome lovin'! :D
Jan. 17th, 2011 12:06 am (UTC)
Thanks for reading! Glad you liked it.
Dec. 18th, 2010 07:59 am (UTC)
I love the way this is written with all the flashbacks - and that it isn't a flashback in the end. *g*
Jan. 17th, 2011 12:07 am (UTC)
Thanks! Glad it worked for you, as it took me a bit to figure out the best way to go about it. :)
Dec. 18th, 2010 08:19 am (UTC)
All sorts of bad timing at play! Thank goodness they settle things. It's also nice to have something a little grittier to read along with the cute holiday stories.
Jan. 17th, 2011 12:10 am (UTC)
Glad you liked it! I was so happy I got someone who wanted angst, as its what I prefer to write.
Dec. 18th, 2010 09:27 am (UTC)
I really liked this! The buildup of tension was really well-done, and it's nice to still have a happy ending at the end :)
Jan. 17th, 2011 12:11 am (UTC)
Thanks so much! Angst is always best with a happy ending. ^_^
Dec. 18th, 2010 01:35 pm (UTC)
Aw! that was really tense, but ultimately so sweet. I really enjoyed it.
Jan. 17th, 2011 12:11 am (UTC)
Thanks for reading and glad you enjoyed it!
Dec. 19th, 2010 09:00 am (UTC)
Aw, lovely. Nice that it was the peril that was the flashback. Very sweet.
Jan. 17th, 2011 12:11 am (UTC)
Thanks for reading!
Dec. 19th, 2010 03:17 pm (UTC)
A very nice angsty story with a sweet ending.
Jan. 17th, 2011 12:12 am (UTC)
Thanks! :D
Dec. 19th, 2010 10:36 pm (UTC)
That was cool and suspenseful. I really like how the dialogue misled the reader to believe that the intermittent scene pieces were memory when it was, in fact, post-return. Really nice.
Jan. 17th, 2011 12:12 am (UTC)
Thanks! It took me a bit to wrap my head around how to present this story, so I'm really glad to hear it worked for you.
Dec. 19th, 2010 11:59 pm (UTC)
You made my heart ache for our guys, then you made it all better. \o/
Jan. 17th, 2011 12:13 am (UTC)
Always the best way with angst! :) Thanks for reading.
Dec. 30th, 2010 04:26 am (UTC)
Oh, that was tense! I sped through the story to see what would happen next. Glad they finally talked. Enjoyed it!
Jan. 17th, 2011 12:13 am (UTC)
Thanks for reading!
Jan. 3rd, 2011 06:49 am (UTC)
It seems like 'no touching' is a rule John has a lot of trouble following both personally and professionally. :D
Jan. 17th, 2011 12:14 am (UTC)
late!comment is late! That he does! Oh, John <3

Thanks for reading. :D
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 17th, 2011 12:14 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for this review. I have the same apprehension with flashback stories so I was a little hesitant to do it here. Really happy it worked for you.
Feb. 3rd, 2011 04:54 am (UTC)
Such a sweet ending. I'm glad they worked it out.. <33
( 30 comments — Leave a comment )


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