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Fic: Caught in the Gravitational Pull of Onderon (McKay/Sheppard, R)

Title: Caught in the Gravitational Pull of Onderon.
Author: reddwarfer
Recipient: skitz_phenom
Pairing: Rodney McKay/John Sheppard
Rating: R
Disclaimer: I neither own nor profit from SGA.
Author's Notes: This is set post EATG, but doesn't take into account SGU info. skitz_phenom, I hope you enjoy reading this as I did writing it. Many thanks to my beta team and the wonderful and patient mods.
Summary: Rodney is sure of only two things when Jeannie decides to come back to Atlantis for a short research project: the city is not big enough for both of them and he's grateful for his accrued vacation time.

-o-

"She's coming...here?" Rodney asked, surprised.

Woolsey raised an eyebrow. "That piece of information has been this meeting's topic of discussion for the last twenty minutes."

Waving a hand at the silent rebuke for his attention drifting during yet another hours long discussion on the new and annoying ways they had to fill out paperwork and potential crop yields on their new, new planet base in the Pegasus Galaxy, Rodney focused on the salient point. "But why? And if she had to come, why didn't she do it months ago when we were, I don't know, on Earth?"

There was a sharp kick to his shin which he reacted to in a mature and adult fashion: he scowled in John's direction and kicked him back. Harder.

Before John could retaliate, Woolsey cleared his throat, expression warring between disapproval and amusement. He settled on something that just looked vaguely constipated and said, "Mrs. Miller was invited to come at her leisure after that incident a few years back as an apology, I believe. And she has provided invaluable aid to you in your projects."

Rodney wanted to deny it, but he had a feeling that any disparaging marks would be caught on camera and sent to Jeannie via anonymous emails just to get him in trouble. He settled on an eye roll and quiet scoff.

"And if it weren't for your initiative," Woolsey pressed on, with a significant look of reproach in his direction, "the lab which she plans on working in wouldn't have been discovered."

Sharing a quick look with Zelenka, he plastered on a bland expression. The truth was, after the not-quite-like-a-leaf-kissing-a-pond landing, they had about thirty minutes of reprieve before Woolsey started making noise about contacting some high ranking muckity-muck about god only knew what and Rodney could see the soul-sucking meetings and endless red tape a mile away.

He and Zelenka had shared a look then, too, and came to a mutual decision, absconding with the remainder of the grain alcohol and getting roaringly drunk in one of the seldom used science labs. He woke the next morning with a hangover to rival the one he got after he spent the first week in Siberia resolutely inebriated and found himself in a different seldom-used lab. The first thing he'd focused on was an orange traffic cone near the door with a battered, red sign sticking out of the top of it reading "STOP" in familiar, white block letters with "hammer time" scrawled underneath in thick, black marker in messy script.

There had been a pink tutu wrapped around the base.

Computer printouts of the layout of Atlantis littered the floor of most of the room. Pieces of at least three chess sets (two traditional sets and one apparently made from Simpsons characters) with Post-it notes sticking to each were placed at various intervals on top. There was a legend propped up in the corner on a broken white board dictating who each chess piece and specific Post-it colour combination was.

Zelenka had woken up a few minutes later-mostly because Rodney had nudged him in the side with his foot-and they tried to piece together what the hell they'd been up to the previous night.

Apparently, it was a one-way ticket out of dull meetings as they had a proposal to finally do a top-to-bottom evaluation and search of the entirety of Atlantis. They'd lived on her for the last five years and yet had only ever explored about thirty percent of her. Having minor-and not so minor, but gut-wrenchingly major-crises every other week on top of the regular schedule, field trips to hostile planets, and more pressing research needs would do that.

He never could recall where the traffic cone, stop sign, and tutu came from. And if Zelenka did, he wasn't telling.

It really wasn't important, anyhow. The important thing was that he had less than twenty-four hours before his sister descended upon Atlantis and made his life miserable for the weeks to come. Grimacing, he tried to avoid thinking of her previous visits, all painful in some manner or another.

"And, one final matter of importance," Woolsey said with grim amusement. "It has been promised to Mrs. Miller that you not be allowed to interfere with her research or projects."

"What?" Rodney looked up with a start, frown on his face. "I know she's been jealous of me in the past, but that's taking it too far."

Beside him, John gave a rather unconvincing cough. Ignoring that for the moment, Rodney narrowed his eyes at Woolsey. "Interfere meaning what?"

"Meaning, you're not allowed to enter the research laboratory she's going to use barring emergency," Woolsey said, then added quickly. "And I would be the one to determine what constitutes an emergency. You're also not to hack into the file servers to read and/or correct her notes and help or hinder her progress in any way."

Before he could tell everyone exactly what he thought of this ridiculous plan, John gripped him tightly on the arm-ow-and hustled him from the room.

"None of that, now," John said, expression mild. It was a vast improvement from the brooding, just-below the surface anger John had been hiding-poorly-during their brief and miserable sojourn to San Francisco Bay. "Though," he added, giving Rodney a look. "I am surprised she didn't mention it to you the last time you spoke."

"Well," Rodney began, hoping he didn't look as sheepish as he felt. "I've not really spoken to her lately."

"Why?" John's voice held a touch of reproach. Which was, quite frankly, really annoying. "When was the last time?"

"I saw her about two weeks after we set down. Jennifer wanted to see...oh, crap. Jennifer." Rodney stared at John, horror prickling at his skin. "Gotta go."

Ignoring John calling after him, Rodney made his way straight to the infirmary. If he nipped everything in the bud, perhaps he could save himself an hours long lecture of how he wasn't getting any younger and how did he screw up his relationship with a successful woman this time.

"Hey, Rodney," Jennifer greeted him with a smile. "What's up?"

"Do you have a minute?" The urgency that led him to seek Jennifer out sort of petered out into a vague sense of nausea and hesitance on how to proceed. He took a few moments to gather his thoughts and followed her into her office.

"What is it?" Jennifer asked, concern on her face. "Something wrong?"

It was right then that Rodney felt supremely grateful that they separated on good terms and were still friends. "So, Jeannie's coming tomorrow."

"Yep," Jennifer said, nodding.

"Wait, what, you knew?" Rodney asked, laying aside his favour for the moment. "When did you know?"

Jennifer gave him that cute, surprised expression she got sometimes. "At least two months. You didn't know? Have you been ignoring your emails again?"

"Nevermind that," Rodney said, deciding he didn't want to get into it after all. "Anyhow, she's coming and I haven't told her that you aren't...that we're...you know...not together...anymore. You didn't tell her, did you?"

"Nope," Jennifer said with a grin that meant she knew he was in for it and thought it was funny. "What about it?"

"Do you suppose you could," Rodney began, " because you know she'll blame me even if our split was mutual, do you suppose you could tell her you cheated on me?"

"What?" Jennifer's face was blank as she looked at him, but it wasn't a no, so Rodney pressed, "Actually, maybe it'd be better if it happened more than once. She'd probably expect us to work it out if it was just the once. So, three or four of the soldiers? What do you think? Maybe it'd be better if they were women. So, it's a sexuality and a numbers thing," Rodney mused to himself.

"You do know my oath to do no harm isn't applicable in situations like this," Jennifer said mildly.

Rodney looked up, saw her expression, and said, "Leaving, leaving," and when he was at the door, he yelled over his shoulder. "Lesbians. Four of them. Thanks."

He ignored her yelling at his back that she wouldn't do it. Maybe she'd have pity on him after she slept on it.

~**~


Sadly, as he learned the next day at lunch, she hadn't. Rodney sat at lunch with John, Teyla, and Ronon, ignoring the glowering from four tables over where Jeannie and Jennifer took turns giving him the stink-eye as he tried to eat his ham and cheese sandwich.

"Whatcha do this time, McKay," Ronon asked with a smirk on his face.

Rodney paid close attention to the slightly plastic appearance of the orange cheese sticking out of the corner of his bread. "I have no idea what you're talking about."

"He asked Keller to pretend she cheated on him with four lesbians for Jeannie's benefit when he finally came clean to her about the break up," John supplied helpfully, mainly because he was an asshole and still bitter that Rodney had beaten him twice at chess last night.

Rodney looked up to find that Teyla had joined in on the glowering rota.

"That was not a mature way to handle the situation, Dr. McKay." Teyla gave him another frown before taking a bite of her meal. Rodney winced. She only brought out the Dr. McKay these days if she was really impressed and stroking his ego or really disappointed in him and channeling her inner kindergarten teacher. He doubted it was the former. He also suspected that things could only get worse the longer he and Jeannie stayed on the same planet.

"That's it," Rodney said, getting to his feet. He looked down at John, who was smirking at him. "We're going on vacation, Sheppard. Get packed. I'll let you know what we're doing when I figure it out."

"Is that so," John asked in that voice that generally meant unpleasantness for whomever currently had them hostage.

Rolling his eyes, Rodney asked, "Sheppard, would you be willing to spend the oh-so-valuable time you'd normally spend working on melanoma and a sports-related injury on vacation with me until it's safe for me to be on Atlantis again?"

"What's in it for me?"

Rodney looked at him. "Whatever you want. I'm desperate and not ashamed to admit it."

John gave him a searching look. "There had better be beer, and you're not allowed to bring anything even closely resembling work with you."

"Huh," Rodney said, surprised.

John raised an eyebrow at him and commented, "That can't be too difficult for you, McKay."

"Oh, no, it's not that," Rodney said, waving a hand at him. "I just thought you'd require a bigger bribe."

John got to his feet and grabbed his tray. "That's not the bribe, Rodney. Those are prerequisites."

"Fair enough," Rodney said, shrugging. "It's fine as long as the bribe doesn't require me to run around Atlantis wearing nothing but a cowboy hat and black stilettos. I don't have the ankles for it."

"There's a story there," John said, smiling in a way that meant John would soon know said story and would bring it up when it could cause maximum embarrassment.

Rodney had done his level best to forget the incident, but like bad pennies and that moron Kavanagh, it kept turning up at unexpected moments.

~**~


Four hours later, Rodney had come to the conclusion that planning a vacation required, well, planning for it. He couldn't even foist the chore of figuring out what to do on someone else. The last person on base who used a local travel agent ended up on a backwater planet during monsoon season and had to spend most of her vacation in the infirmary fighting a flu which caused hallucinations of dancing fruit.

There were any number of planets in the Pegasus Galaxy, and after he narrowed down the field to ones which had Stargates, no Wraith, and hadn't been involved in some sort of violent revolution within the last two years, he was still down to forty possibilities. He further narrowed his search by eliminating the planets where the visits ended in more than a twenty minute stay in the infirmary, and then again removing the places where John had offended someone by not sleeping with them.

Rodney took a moment to marvel, yet again, that in the last five years he'd actually had more sex than Sheppard-a fact he learned in a discussion they had when he and John got plastered on the pier a month after landing Earthside, which they both silently and mutually agreed to pretend was lost to the haze of too much bad beer and cheese fries. It was improbable facts like those that kept him happy and from killing people on a regular basis.

On the other hand, the sex Rodney did have wasn't all that great. He couldn't help that he preferred getting manhandled a bit...one of the reasons he tended to have crushes on unattainable people in the military. He let his thoughts drift to Sam Carter for a moment before he reminded himself that he was way, way over her and he wouldn't even consider her again unless she admitted that he was smarter and she begged a bit. (That was a total lie, but he preferred his fantasies to not be completely depressing).

Unfortunately, this little tidbit came out in the same drunken conversation as John's apparent lack of sex life, which was why he was eager to pretend the talk never happened. Especially after he had the dubious pleasure of explaining why he ended up dating the people he did. John had looked him askance after he mentioned it and said, Katie Brown in a voice that mortified him even to remember.

Then he thought about John doing the manhandling for a few moments before he locked that firmly in a box he'd contemplate the next time he got himself imprisoned in a cell he couldn't break out of instead of panicking that he was going to die (again).

There were four planets left on his list and two of them had yet to invent indoor plumbing.

In the end, all he managed to finagle was a cabin on a partially abandoned moon of a formerly popular Resort planet named Kweabachka-which made him snort every time he heard it pronounced-and the low price he paid for it was because there was a strike going into its sixth month. The owner, a guy named Frahnk, explained in excruciatingly boring detail about the labour dispute that started with the cooks, then moved to the help, then to the maintenance staff, and now was on to the shuttle crew. Every time one set of staff were appeased, another was out with picket signs.

As a consequence, only one of the planet's three moons was getting any business. The moon Rodney had settled on was one of those crazy adventurist things where you got a cabin in the woods, caught your own food, and basically lived with nature until you went home or got eaten. Rodney hated nature. John, of course, would love it.

The only saving grace was the fact that it did, indeed, having working plumbing. That and Rodney only had to fork out a sixth of what it normally cost because they'd be taking the Puddlejumper and wouldn't require transport.

He couldn't actually believe he was considering this. Rodney's last long-term exposure to nature was with the Eager Beavers, and he had filed that mentally under Disaster Comma Unmitigated. Still, he also had an entire childhood exposed to Jeannie when she wasn't happy with him and that was worse.

John had taken one look at the plans and said, "Cool," before disappearing to pack for the both of them. "I'm only doing this so you can't sneak in a tablet or three, McKay," he'd said, and since Rodney hated packing, he left him to it and spent the rest of his time scurrying amongst the labs he was still allowed in, avoiding his sister, Jennifer, and Teyla, hoping against hope he wasn't going to end up coming down with some obscure Pegasus disease (again) or get attacked by a heretofore unknown angry inhabitant of the moon (again) or run into a surprise Wraith stronghold (again cubed).

~**~


"So," Rodney said, bouncing slightly on his feet and feeling unexpectedly anxious all of a sudden. "You ready?"

"Yep," John said, grinning. "Hey, relax, we're gonna have a good time. I'll even de-bone all the fish I'm gonna catch."

"Sounds like a deal," Rodney said, deciding if John was this happy about the prospect of being man on the mountain for a few weeks, he could try not to hate every minute of it.

John tucked his hands in his pockets and said, "So."

"Back to that, are we?" Rodney said for lack of anything better. And then John ducked his head down and gave him a quick kiss on the lips. Rodney tried not to be embarrassed when, as he leaned further towards John, he tried to pull back. Luckily, John kissed him again, a little more thoroughly this time, lusher, wetter, and hotter than any of the fantasies he'd ever had about this. Rodney gripped John's biceps as he tasted every inch of John's mouth and moaned a little at how lightheaded this kiss was making him feel. When John pulled back a second time, Rodney let him, a bit out of breath, but smiling.

"So," he said, and hooked his thumb toward the rear hatch. "You ready?"

John's face was attractively flushed as he nodded. "Yeah."

Maybe Rodney wouldn't leave the cabin long enough to hate the nature surrounding it. If that was the case, he wouldn't complain.

~**~


"So, welcome to Dxun," Rodney commented, flourishing his arm toward the expanse below as John piloted toward where the flat landing area was supposedly located-if it hadn't already been taken over by the flora. The real name of the moon was Grepter Corporation Commercial and Recreational Vacation Industry Planetoid Three-and these people wondered why the folks who worked there were constantly on strike.

It was lush, green, and probably housed enough bugs and allergens to keep Benadryl in business for a millennia.

John quirked an eyebrow at him and looked ridiculously attractive as he did. "Not Endor?"

"Technically, Endor was the name of the gas giant the forest moon orbited," Rodney replied absently as he focused on trying not to lean over and kiss him again. "And, lord, I hope not. I hate ewoks."

"You're such a geek, McKay," John said with a laugh.

Rodney turned to him and grinned. "Said the man who got the reference in the first place. Admit it, you spend your time reading all the EU books and trolling Wookieepedia."

There was a slight flush on John's neck which told Rodney he was right. "Ha."

"You're worse than I am," John argued. And Rodney had a sudden epiphany of the sheer number of drinking games he knew about any and all things Star Wars, Star Trek, and Doctor Who. Most of them included nudity.

Rodney snorted, shifting in his seat a bit. "Tell me that again in Shyriiwook, eh?"

With a shake of his head, John muttered, "Roooarrgh ur roo," under his breath and Rodney laughed so hard his side ached.

"Stop it," John said with a pout that was ruined by his lips curling up despite himself.

Shaking his head, Rodney huffed out. "I don't know what's funnier: the line or the fact you mispronounced it."

At that, John laughed his dorky, horrid donkey laugh and nearly crashed the jumper.

The landing pad hadn't been subsumed by the plant life, and Rodney decided that in itself was a minor miracle. As it was, they were going to have to trek out to their cabin by foot, carrying all their luggage. Apparently, naturist retreats in the woods didn't believe in bellhops. And they'd probably be on strike if they did, Rodney thought as he disdainfully eyed the overgrown trail they needed to take.

Twenty minutes later, Rodney decided all his hatred towards hiking in the woods was well-founded, and he cursed the fact that his desire to get into John's pants led him to tripping over tree roots. Then he remembered that he decided on this before getting into John's pants was an option and was deeply ashamed that he hadn't thought to do this for boyfriend points in the first place.

"Having fun?" John asked, smile on his face as he neatly stepped over another branch. He sounded happy and Rodney guessed that was something.

He tried to pretend he wasn't panting and out of breath. "Oh, yes. I thought to myself the other day, what could possibly be more entertaining than discussing why Administrative Form Four-Eight-Six is being replaced by Administrative Form Two-Five-Three-B, and then it came to me! Hiking! In the woods! On a trail that's only a trail because the map says it is."

"Quit bitching," John replied with a laugh. "We've hiked way more than this during a fair share of missions."

"Last time we hiked this much, we were escorting that brat Harmony, and do I need to remind you how that went?"

"Yeah, you almost got betrothed to a thirteen year old," John said, sniggering.

Rodney scowled at him. "She had the hots for you until she got to know you better. You're just jealous I was better at saving everyone's ass than you were."

"Hey, hey," John said, grinning. "I won't take away from the dashing hero you were as long as you invite me to the wedding."

"Shut up and keep walking, Colonel," Rodney grumped. "Or I might have to remember all the planets you almost got betrothed on and dump you on one."

~**~


"This isn't as bad as I thought it would be," Rodney commented as he took a bit of the fish John cooked for dinner.

John grinned. "Yeah, it was a good idea, Rodney. I would have thought we'd be at that place Dr. Grayson went. With the pampering and hot stone massages."

Rodney wouldn't admit that the only reason why they didn't go there was that they were booked full three months in advance. "I thought we'd enjoy this more," Rodney lied.

The cabin hadn't been as bad as Rodney had feared. It just needed a quick once-over with a broom, and the sheets needed changing. Their cabin was on the lake, which was good because they wouldn't need to hike all over creation to get to it, but bad because as soon as the sun had set, a fog-cloud of bugs decided that they needed to make friends with any bit of skin not covered.

John, against Rodney's cynical predictions, caught four fish while Rodney cleaned up enough so he could breathe without coughing.

"So, what now?" John asked, leaning back in his chair. Rodney had spent the last five minutes contemplating John's lips while he was too busy eating to notice.

"What do you mean, what now?" Rodney asked, dragging his eyes up to John's face.

John looked around the room. "This is your vacation, buddy. I'm just along for the ride. And the favour to be named later that you owe me."

"I hadn't thought that far ahead," Rodney admitted. He'd been focused on getting away from Jeannie's well-meaning but ultimately depressing opinions on how Rodney was buggering up his life. And, if he was honest, it wasn't just Jeannie he had wanted to get away from. Connecting with Earth opened Atlantis to a whole new level of bureaucratic meddling. Sometimes, he preferred it when they hadn't had enough juice to open the wormhole to Earth. They might have had to go on endless trade missions to planets whose inhabitants were less than thrilled about their presence, but at least he didn't have to fill out sixteen different forms in triplicate every time he needed a new dry erase marker for the white board. "And it's your vacation, too. Feel free to contribute at any time. I did the hard part. And I'm paying for it."

John shrugged. "We can play it by ear. I'm just looking forward to three weeks of no paperwork, no meetings, and no Marines."

The latest bunch of Marines sent to them had found themselves in six diplomatic incident nightmares in just under three weeks, which broke a record that hadn't needed breaking.

Rodney's new scientists were just as annoying, only their fuck-ups had to do with four separate incidents in the biology labs. It seemed the decontamination showers were running for eight days straight. "Stop talking about work or I won't want to go back."

"Say that to me after two days without using a computer and I'll believe you," John said, then corrected, "Or, I'll doubt you less."

Somehow, even with the kiss they shared before leaving, Rodney was surprised to find himself making out with John on the couch after dinner.

"Do you want to," John said, breathing heavily, "I dunno. Talk about this?" He waved his hand between them in case Rodney thought he was referring to fuel propulsion or local aquatic wildlife.

Rodney looked at him aghast. Talking was a terrible idea. For one, they both sucked at that part. And two, he couldn't imagine a more awkward moment in the making than he and John trying to talk to each other about feelings without a translator or really good drugs. "No, no. No talking. More kissing."

"You've got the best ideas," John said, and pushed him down on the couch and kissed him again.

~**~


"I knew this would happen," Rodney groused, staring up at the entrance of the very deep ditch he found himself in. John's knee was digging into his back and there were still bits of dirt tumbling down on their heads at random intervals.

"You knew we were going to fall in a very large hole in the ground while searching for kindling for the fire?" John asked, dubious.

Rodney struggled to move to a less uncomfortable position. "I knew that anything to do with me and the woods could only end in tragedy. I'm going to die in a ditch on this moon with a terrible name, which doesn't even have park ranger services because they're also on strike, and we haven't even had sex yet."

"We could probably fit that in before you croak, if that's what you're worried about," John said easily.

Eyes wide, Rodney stared at John. "Outside?"

"Yes, Rodney," John said, rolling his eyes, "that is where this ditch is located."

"Well," Rodney said, thinking maybe they should, but then he decided against it. "No. I can't have sex if I think someone could see me."

"No one is here but us. All the locals are on strike," John argued fairly. "Who's gonna see you?"

Just then, a squirrel-like creature knocked a small stone down on his head as it peered down at them.

"I guess," John said, sounding disappointed. He got to his feet, then, and helped Rodney stand up. "It doesn't matter because we're not going to die here."

Rodney very kindly didn't point out that John carrying a grappling hook in the backpack he'd been sporting every time the left the cabin was born from the same skepticism in smooth sailing that Rodney had. He still planned on getting laid one of these days, after all, and experience taught him that saying I told you so, even obliquely, tended to work against that goal.

Still, by the time they got out of the ditch, gathered the fire wood they still needed, cleaned up so as not to be carrying half the dirt in the forest on them, and ate; they both only had enough energy to flop listlessly on the bed. Rodney was forced to nudge John a little less than gently twice to get him to pull the blankets over them.

~**~


It occurred to Rodney mid-day five that he and John had never spent this many hours in each other's presence without a crisis or two for company. There had always been work and missions and other people. They didn't even have a television or video games as a buffer. It was horrible situations like that that led to heartfelt discussions of families and failed relationships.

"So, that's why I hadn't talked to my dad for fifteen years. And then he was dead," John said, morose. Rodney handed him another beer. "What about yours?"

Rodney opened another for himself. "This conversation needs more alcohol."

"Yeah," John agreed, and then stared stupidly at the unopened beer in his hand. "So?"

"It all started with the piano," Rodney began, and shifted so he could rest his head on John's shoulder.

Six beers each later, and they were both too maudlin and drunk to have sex, and Rodney felt reaffirmed in his theory that talking about feelings was not conducive to anything other than misery. Still, it was nice to flop drunkenly next to John on the bed and sleep after it was all over. Even if John did leave a river's worth of drool on his shoulder.

~**~


"I'm guessing this just isn't your week," John said with a touch of laughter.

Rodney glared at him, arms across his chest, and tried to fight the urge to scratch. "I don't even have words, Colonel."

"Calling me by my rank while I'm giving you a bath," John replied, as he poured the lumpy mixture down Rodney's back. "Kinky."

"Don't I wish," Rodney muttered. He didn't know how he ended up covered in this moon's equivalent of poison ivy, but he decided it was John's fault and he needed to pay for being rash-free.

"It only lasts a day," John said reasonably and rubbed the oatmeal bath mixture into his skin. Rodney had the uncomfortable position of being turned on because John's fingers were lingering over his wet skin and unable to enjoy being turned on because he itched everywhere.

"And how would you know that, Johnny Canuck?" Rodney asked petulantly, then scowled when he noticed the expression on John's face. "Oh, god, you don't even know who that is. This is going to end up being another one of those discussions wherein I'm forced to disabuse you of the notion that everything anyone needs to know about Canada can be learned by watching Strange Brew."

"Not just Strange Brew," John argued, grinning wildly. "There's also Flashpoint."

"You only watch Flashpoint because you want to nail Hugh Dillon," Rodney argued. "That doesn't even count. Why are we even talking about this?"

John was still blushing when he answered, "Oh, right, the rash thing. There was a page about it in the handbook."

"There was a handbook?" Rodney asked, incredulous. He hadn't remembered seeing anything like it and he was even more surprised that John had read it.

"Yeah," John nodded to the room behind his shoulder. "It was on the counter. Mentioned avoiding the plants with red leaves."

"And you didn't think to, I dunno, warn me about it," Rodney asked peevishly. They could be having sex right now instead of making sure Rodney didn't scratch until his skin bled.

John gave him a look. "I did. More than once. Your attention must have been elsewhere."

"Meh." Rodney didn't want to admit there had been at least four or five conversations with John he totally spaced because either they were sitting across from each other and he was too busy staring at John's mouth or they were out in the woods and he was too busy staring at John's ass.

Instead of saying anything, he let John continue washing him and tried not to sulk.

~**~



"That's it," Rodney declared, hands on his hips in adamant refusal to leave the cabin. "I'm not leaving the cabin 'til we've had sex."

"Oh?" John asked, eyebrow raised. "Are you asking or telling?"

Rodney faltered for a moment, then he stood his ground. "We've been here for two weeks, and every time we leave the cabin, something happens to prevent us from having sex after we go to bed at night. Ditches, rashes, those rabid porcupine things that chased us up a tree, tree roots, a sudden downpour that stranded us in a cave full of bat shit and probably bats-but I'm trying not to think of that too much. It's like something's dooming me to celibacy just when I find out sex is back on the horizon for me."

"Yeah," John said, nodding earnestly. "There's a malevolent forest sprite whose sole purpose in life is to make sure you're never gonna get laid again. Bummer."

"Shut up and get naked," Rodney ordered as he tried to subtly block the exit.

John raised an eyebrow at him. "This makes the guy who tried to pick me up at a bar in San Fran by grabbing my ass and puking on my shoes seem romantic."

"So, that's a no, then?" Rodney asked, disappointed. Shoulders slumped, Rodney sighed dramatically. "Fine, we can probably have sex some other time. Maybe after the Ents hiding in amongst the trees have broken both my ankles with their constantly moving roots."

"You're ridiculous, you know that?" John said. "Let's catch breakfast."

Rodney had just turned to leave when John came up behind him and pushed him against the door. "Huh..."

"But then again," John said, tongue flicking out against his ear. "Maybe you're right."

"I'm," Rodney said, trying not to lose focus as John's hands trailed down his chest and unbuttoned the top of his pants. "I'm always right."

"So you've told me," John agreed, slowly stroking Rodney's cock. "Many times."

"You should," Rodney panted, grinding his ass against John's erection. "Listen. More."

"Was that two sentences or one?" John asked, because he was evil. Rodney tried to parse the question, but his brain refused to consider more than the hand on his cock and the lips on his neck.

"Huh?" Rodney managed after a few moments. John had pushed both of their trousers and boxers down enough so he could slide his cock along the crack of his ass.

"Was it that I should listen more. Or was it I should listen and then a demand for more?" John chuckled in his ear and Rodney whimpered as he thrust into John's fist and back against his cock, unsure which he wanted to feel more.

"Both." Rodney closed his eyes, rested his head against the door, and let his body move however John wanted it to.

"Hmmm." John made a noise against the side of his throat as he bit Rodney's skin and came, splashing his come all over Rodney's ass.

"Oh, god," Rodney moaned as John slicked one hand with Rodney's come and stroked him until all he could feel was the pleasure surging through every inch of him.

"Worth the wait?" John asked, hot breath against Rodney's check.

Rodney nodded, still breathing heavily. "Yeah."

"New plan," John decided after a few moments. "We should stay in for the rest of our vacation."

"No arguments here," Rodney agreed, not mentioning it was his idea in the first place and he'd been touting it since day one.

~**~


"So, we go back tomorrow," Rodney said, looking up at the ceiling in the bedroom. John was flopped on his belly and half-awake.

"Yep," John grunted out and Rodney wished he could stop worrying about Jeannie long enough to enjoy post-coital naptime like John obviously was trying to do.

"She's gonna be twice as upset that I managed to avoid her," Rodney complained.

John opened one eye to look at him and sighed. "Nah, she won't."

"You don't know what she's like," Rodney insisted. She was persistent and didn't appreciate being thwarted much. It was times like these that she reminded him of their mother.

"Rodney," John said rolling onto his back. "I should have told you before, but..."

"What?" Rodney asked, immediately suspicious. "You know something."

"Yeah, about that," John sat up and rubbed the back of his neck. "I kinda told her you and Keller split months ago."

"You what? Why?" Rodney didn't know what was worse, that he'd been worried about having to tell Jeannie about Jennifer or that John had apparently talked about his life with his sister.

"You know we've emailed each other since we met. It just came up." John got out of bed and Rodney tried to be mad long enough to not check out his naked ass and failed.

"Here," John said when he got back and tossed a letter onto the bed. "That's for you."

Rodney glared at him once more for good measure and opened the letter. "Mer, you're an idiot. I'm not upset about the break up. She was a bit young for you anyhow. We'll talk over dinner when you get back. Be sure to invite John. I hope you enjoy your vacation. Love, Jeannie. P.S. You're still a moron." He looked over at John. "Why'd you let me worry about it the whole time?"

"Well," John said taking the note and putting it on the side table. "I tried to tell you at first, but you took off at top speed to insult Jennifer. After that, I wanted you to squirm for a bit. Then, you mentioned a vacation and I figured you wouldn't leave if you knew she was okay with everything. When we got here, I forgot about it. You didn't mention anything until just now."

After thinking about it for a minute, Rodney smiled. "No problem."

"What?" And now John was looking at him distrustfully. "I'm not sure I like the expression on your face right now."

"You just admitted that you didn't say anything because you really wanted to spend your vacation with me instead."

"Yeah," John drawled out slowly, still unsure.

Rodney leaned over and kissed him. "And that's a reason I'm perfectly willing to accept."

"Good," John replied, smiling again, and tugged Rodney down into his arms, kissing him once more. "We still have some time before we need to leave."

Rodney smiled. "Yes, we do. Now shut up and come here."

end


notes: Shyriiwook is the main trade language of the Wookiees and the dialect most commonly understood by off-worlders.

"Roooarrgh ur roo" is Shyriiwook for I have a bad feeling about this.
Tags: genre: slash, pairing: mckay/sheppard
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