Two Weeks

by The Grrrl and mmmchelle

Title:Two Weeks

Authors: The Grrrl, mmmchelle

Authors' emails: thegrrrl2002@gmail.com, mmmchelle@gmail.com

Authors' URLs: http://thegrrrl2002.slashcity.org/, http://chelle.slashcity.org

Archive: Ask first.

Fandom: Stargate Atlantis

Pairing: Sheppard/McKay

Rating: NC-17

Summary: What would you do with your last two weeks?

Author's notes: Beware of spoilers! This story begins after the end of 1.16 "The Brotherhood" and contains spoilers for 1.16 "The Brotherhood," 1.17 "Letters from Pegasus," 1.18 "The Gift," and 1.19 "The Siege Part 1." It will also make more sense if you've seen those episodes. We would like to thank wickdzoot for her comments, support, and invaluable assistance over the last few weeks as we were writing this, and Kylie for her insightful beta. Any remaining errors are ours.

"Two weeks," John said, looking into his glass. The ale was darker than he preferred, but it was all they had, and after the fourth glass, he'd stopped caring about the taste. It was late. He and Rodney had gone over every scrap of the sensor data together before going to John's quarters and opening the ale.

"Less than."

John studied Rodney's profile. He'd been pretty upset by the loss of the ZPM, even before they'd heard about the hive ships. Now he looked devastated and guilty, and Rodney couldn't have known that telling Allina they'd only just arrived in this galaxy a few months ago would result in her taking the ZPM away. "If you could do anything you wanted with your last two weeks, what would it be?"

Rodney glanced at him sharply—well, sharply for a guy who had matched John drink for drink. "Have lots and lots of sex."

John smiled because it was just like Rodney to turn around and act like a guy when you expected him to act like a scientist. "Not come up with a general theory of everything?"

"Grand unification theory, yeah, that too." Rodney leaned his head back against the couch. "What about you?"

John took a drink. "I'd probably go for the sex."

Rodney looked at him sidelong. "Kirk."

That still stung a little. "Yeah, but Kirk wasn't a member of Mensa."

The corner of Rodney's mouth twitched. "Neither are you."

No, he wasn't, but that wasn't really the point, was it? "But I could be."

Rodney snorted and took a swallow of ale.

John regarded him thoughtfully. Even though they'd been practically living in one another's pockets for months, he still didn't feel as if he knew Rodney. "When you were a kid, what did you dream of doing?"

This time Rodney's smile was regretful. "Playing Carnegie Hall."

"Really?" John tired to wrap his mind around the image of Rodney on a stage while people in tuxes and ball gowns watched.

Rodney took another drink. "Really."

John considered that. "What did you play?"

Rodney raised his free hand and wiggled his fingers. "Piano. I was technically proficient, but I lacked soul."

"You've got plenty of soul." It was true. Rodney was practically the James Brown of physics—which might make Zelenka Chuck Berry. Clearly, John hadn't had enough to drink.

"What did you want to do?"

"Fly." It suddenly seemed unfair that he'd gotten what he wanted but Rodney hadn't.

"Anything else?"

"Be an NFL quarterback."

Rodney's smile changed into something that wasn't quite a smirk. "You're so predictable."

"I am not."

Rodney gave him a look that clearly said, 'if you say so' in a disbelieving tone.

"I'm not." He wasn't. Rodney didn't know John anywhere near as well as he thought he did. "We could have it, you know."

Rodney glanced at him. "What?"

"The sex."

Rodney snorted again. "Maybe you could."

"You could too."

One corner of Rodney's mouth went down in that sarcastic smile that John found annoying and bizarrely charming at the same time. "Right. Because women are just falling all over me."

"Allina did."

Rodney's sarcastic smile got more sarcastic. "And look how that turned out."

Okay, maybe that wasn't the best example. "You were cute, you know."

Rodney rolled his head to the side and looked at John through narrowed eyes.

John leaned forward slightly. "You were."

"Uh-huh." Having clearly decided that John was either nuts or drunk or both, Rodney turned his head back.

John waited until Rodney had taken a drink of his beer and then said casually, "I wasn't talking about women. I was talking about me."

The beer went flying from Rodney's mouth and Rodney sat bolt upright. He wiped the back of his mouth with his hand. "You were not."

John nodded seriously. "I was."

Rodney stared at him as if he'd just confessed…well, almost anything. "You want to spend the last two weeks of your life having sex with me?"

John shrugged, elaborately casual. "Why not?"

Rodney's eyes widened. "Why not?"

"Exactly. Why not?"

Rodney's mouth opened and closed. He shifted, but he was still staring at John. "You're certifiable, you know that."

"It'd be fun. Besides, I've never done it with a member of Mensa before." He grinned, trying for charming and hoping he didn't get annoying by mistake. Unlike Rodney he didn't have the knack for being both at the same time. "All that brain power, applied to something interesting…" He let his voice trail off meaningfully. All that brain power, focused on him—he'd been having vague thoughts about it for weeks, thoughts he hadn't let become less vague, but now…now he didn't have anything to lose. Neither of them did.

Rodney was still staring. "You do guys."

"Not often, but, yeah, I've been known to cross to the other side on occasion."

After a moment, Rodney blinked. "I haven't."

John tilted his head quizzically. He'd assumed that Rodney swung his way at least some of the time. It wasn't the first time he'd indulged in wishful thinking. "Really?"

"Yes, really. What is it with you and this really business?"

"I could teach you," John offered, doing his best not to salivate at the thought of blowing Rodney's mind when he blew other things.

"You could," Rodney said slowly.

"And you like learning new things," John added.

Rodney nodded grudgingly. "I do."

Pressing his advantage, John leaned close and whispered, "I give great head."

Rodney turned to look at him, and John almost heard his synapses crackling. Rodney gave him a level, slightly wide-eyed look. John forced himself to remain quiet while Rodney studied him for a moment. He wasn't sure, but he was hoping that the fact that Rodney swallowed hard meant something good.

At last Rodney said, "Yeah, okay."

***

"Cool," John said, leaning back in his chair with a grin.

Rodney could scarcely believe his own voice when he said it. He could scarcely believe their entire conversation. He'd just agreed to sex—sex with John. It must have been the beer. Or maybe it had been the sense of impending disaster, a disaster he had helped to create. Sex with John. Why the hell not? It wasn't like he was going to get any from anyone else during what were likely to be the last two weeks of his life.

The way John's face lit up startled him, though. It was such a happy grin, a genuine one, not cocky or smirky or anything like that. Just happy anticipation. John really wanted to have sex with him. Because John had sex with guys.

And he, Rodney, was a guy.

The strange thing was, his cock was definitely intrigued by John's whispered boast. The thought of John's mouth on his cock shouldn't have made his breath catch, truly, it shouldn't have. He must really be getting desperate, although it wasn't as if John wasn't good-looking: rumpled hair, dark eyes, wide, mobile mouth, the kind of mouth that could stretch into a face-splitting grin, or slide into a one-sided smirk, or wrap around his—

Yeah, his dick, John's mouth. Okay, he could do this.

He drained the last of his ale, and set the glass on the table with a thud. "Okay," he repeated. "Sex. You and me."

"Stop looking so surprised, Rodney. Believe me, I'll show you a great time." One last swallow of ale and John bounced out of his chair, pulling his shirt over his head. He emerged with hair even more rumpled. Rodney's breath caught—chest, naked skin, nipples, all that hair, and nipples, two dark nipples…that was a man's chest, all right.

"I'm not surprised, Major. I'm merely—actually—it's all rather unexpected." Rodney hadn't expected John's lean, wiry torso to look so good, so…touchable. And he hadn't expected his cock to be thickening at the sight of it.

"Unexpected. Isn't that the definition of surprised?"

"What, all of a sudden you're Mr. Funk and Wagnall?"

John frowned at him. "Yes, Rodney, I am. Now come here." He held his hand out. Rodney took it, and John's warm hand firmly clasped his. He allowed John to tug him out of the chair. "You're really okay with this, right?" John asked as he led Rodney to his bed.

John's bed. It looked like it always did, with sheets neatly smoothed and tucked in around the sides, pillow at the head, plumped and resting on the folded-over edge of the blanket. Innocent. Only not so much, anymore. Rodney blinked. "Yes, I'm all right with this, of course I'm all right with this. I said okay, didn't I?"

"You seem nervous."

"I'm fine. A slight bit tipsy, though," Rodney explained with a weak laugh. There, that was the explanation right there, why he was agreeing to sex with John.

John's hand slid to Rodney's shoulder, his fingers touching Rodney's neck. Rodney rested his hand on John's shoulder—his naked shoulder—all warm skin and hard muscle. John gazed at his face searchingly, and Rodney thought that John might kiss him. He didn't know how he felt about that, because John was a guy, and that would be kind of weird. But when John merely squeezed his shoulder and sat on the bed, Rodney felt strangely disappointed.

"It's just sex," John said, his voice diffident. "Sex. That's all. We don't have to do anything complicated. Here, sit." He patted the bed, and Rodney sat.

"Oh, so now you're saying you have to keep things simple just for me? Really, I think I can handle complicated." Maybe he wanted complicated—not that he was sure exactly what John meant by "complicated." He could handle complicated. He was all about complicated. And why did John have to take his shirt off like that? He wondered whether he should take his own shirt off.

"Rodney, shut up." John spoke affectionately. Then he knelt on the floor, his hands on Rodney's thighs, pushing his legs apart.

"Oh. Shutting up now." John's hands slid under his shirt, over his belly and across his chest, rough, callused fingers rubbing against his skin and it was surprisingly nice. Rodney felt himself relaxing under his touch. When John unfastened his trousers, though, the room suddenly became warm, very warm and Rodney wasn't relaxed at all anymore. John, kneeling between his legs, looking so—so John, he supposed, focused and serious with his lower lip caught between his teeth and Rodney swore that he actually looked hungry, maybe even horny. John looking at him, hungry and horny. Then it all got weird, really weird, because John slid his hand into Rodney's briefs, and found his dick. His very hard dick. What the hell was his dick thinking?

Of course his dick didn't think. It just reacted—reacted to John.

Weird.

He must be drunker than he thought.

He stared down. His dick was out of his pants now, cradled in John's hands. "Whoa, nice," John said, regarding it thoughtfully. He stroked it, running his thumb over the tip.

Rodney shuddered and gasped at the sensation. "Really? You think my dick is—oh—"

Warm and wet, John's mouth covered his dick, with a just a scrape of teeth. John's. Mouth. Rodney stared down at the dark, spiky hair, because oh, definitely weird, but good, oh so good. When John sucked hard, Rodney felt the pleasure drawing up from his toes, and then John did something obscenely good with his tongue.

"Oh god—oh god, you are good at this, aren't you?" Rodney touched the top of John's head. Thick, stiff hair, and he liked the feel of it, burying his fingers, being careful not to push or hold John's head down, because that would be rude.

John chuckled and hummed deep in his throat and Rodney moaned again. He had no idea John's—anyone's—mouth could feel this good, and he was supposed to be the smart one.

John kept sucking and sliding his mouth up and down, until the room tilted crazily and Rodney gasped for breath. Sliding forward on the bed, until his hips were barely on the edge, his hands sought John's shoulders, fingers clutching and he was moaning, oh god, moaning John's name over and over, shamelessly. A small part of his brain knew that this was nuts, that Major John Sheppard should not be blowing his brains out. Major John Sheppard, who marched around on other planets all geared up with his big gun and smug hair like he was king of the world, who flirted mercilessly with every damn woman they came upon, who could do all sorts of fun and sexy things with numbers. Christ, who knew he could do even better things with his mouth?

He couldn't keep his hips still, and so good, so good, his insides twisting up until he was about to break and he couldn't breathe, his heart must have stopped, the entire universe must have stopped and oh—oh god—

—everything broke apart and he came, cock straining into John's mouth. Somehow his hand had gotten tangled up with John's hand, and he squeezed hard, their fingers entwined as he whimpered and gasped his way through it.

"Oh, god, oh god, please—" he finally moaned, and John gentled his mouth, but held onto him during the aftershocks.

Okay, yes, point made—John gave great head.

Rodney fell back onto the bed and stared up at the oddly patterned Ancient ceiling, dazed. "Oh wow," he said, and realized he sounded suspiciously like John when he said it. Jeeze, they were rubbing off on each other, weren't they?

"Good, huh?" John flopped down on the bed next to him. "Told you so." He patted Rodney's chest, then cupped the side of Rodney's neck, thumb tracing the edge of his jaw. He looked exceedingly pleased with himself, and Rodney decided he had every right to be. Not that one good blow job made up for months of annoying smugness, but it certainly went a long way.

"Yes, good. Very good." He wondered how John got to be so good at it. He must have practiced. A lot. "You're very good."

"I'm good at a lot of things," John told him with a smile.

Rodney breathed in sharply. "Oh. Really?"

"Yes, Rodney, really."

Rodney propped himself up on his elbows. He had to stop saying "really." Really, he did. "I, um—" He waved a hand at John's crotch, fascinated by the bulge there. "Can I do something for you there?"

"Whatever you want to." John sat up, ducking his head and unzipping his pants.

Rodney stared, heart skipping a beat. Maybe he needed more ale. Or maybe he'd had too much already, and oh, look, there was John's very erect dick. He'd seen naked men before, but never quite like this, sitting up against a pillow, pants pushed down, knees drawn up, legs spread, hard and horny and waiting to be touched.

It was strangely appealing.

"Do you, uh—" Rodney crawled forward, kicking his shoes off.

He lost track of his thoughts as he touched John's chest, running his fingertips across the muscle. John's chest was hairy and flat, with hard, pointy nipples. When Rodney rubbed them, John made a low noise in his throat, so Rodney rubbed them again before tracing the trail of dark hair down the center of his stomach, down to a bush of pubic hair with a hard red cock poking out. It was silky and smooth to the touch, the skin stretched tight, a heavy, thick weight in his hand, surprisingly hot. Rodney squeezed, and to his absolute fascination, John gasped, his hips jerking forward. "Do you have lotion or anything?" Rodney asked, because he wanted to make this good.

"Yes, I do," John said, looking pleased. "I have some stuff, right here." He reached across to a bedside table, his body pressing against Rodney's chest. He was solid, Rodney thought, despite being so skinny. He wrapped an arm around John's waist, pressing a cheek against the side of his neck. John smelled good, warm and alive and somehow right.

John found what he was reaching for, relaxing against Rodney for a moment before shifting back to his original position. "Here, use this," he said, pushing a small bottle of mineral oil into Rodney's hand.

Bingo. A palmful of oil and John's cock was smooth and slick, Rodney's hand gliding easily along it. He started with a slow, steady rhythm, interrupting it occasionally to rub his palm over the broad head. And John—John groaned for him, closed his eyes and groaned as if he were in pain. Rodney watched as his face took on a blissful expression. It was a look Rodney had never seen before on John's face, not even when flying the jumper, and Rodney couldn't stop looking. But then John opened his eyes. Rodney was caught. He was caught staring at John looking so naked and exposed. His face grew hot, embarrassed at witnessing such an intimate moment, but when he finally wrenched his eyes away, he found himself staring at John's cock as it slid through his very own fist. John's narrow hips moved steadily, pushing his cock through Rodney's fist, so Rodney thought maybe he should stare at John's chest instead, and watch the flush rise up toward his throat. Back arched, head lolling back, exposing the fine line of his jaw—John was a pretty man, Rodney thought. He was prettier than Allina, in his own way, with the beard stubble and muscled chest and shiny, greased cock.

"Rodney," John moaned, dragging out the sound of Rodney's name, making it sound bizarrely worshipful. Rodney shifted closer, and somehow his free arm found its way around John's shoulders, and he could smell it, the sex and the sweat and the wanting.

John twisted and clung to Rodney, hips stuttering as he cried out. His cock stiffened further in Rodney's hands. It grew wet and Rodney held on as John's body jerked, his cock slipping easily through Rodney's hand. Rodney was startled by it all even though he shouldn't have been, because really, what had he expected? The whole point was to make John come, and that was exactly what he had done. What he hadn't expected was for it to be such a thrill—John's body shaking against his, come spattering them both, moans sending shivers down his spine.

Finally, John relaxed, leaning against him, head on his shoulder, panting. "Nice," he said, with a tipsy little laugh. He hugged Rodney, hard, then fell back against the pillow. "Thank you."

His earnest tone made Rodney smile. "You're welcome. But I think I made a mess here—or should I say /1 made a mess."

John laughed again, and Rodney decided he liked postcoital John very much, especially when John took his come-slicked hand and wiped it on his belly, smearing it onto his own skin. "Messy is good." He tugged on Rodney's arm, until Rodney fell against him. "I like messy."

"Of course you do." Not that Rodney really cared about the splashes of come on his own shirt. He was too tired for that. He was very tired, as a matter of fact—so tired that resting his head on John's naked shoulder felt extremely comfortable. "I should go," he pointed out, still rubbing his wet hand on John's stomach.

"Not just yet," John protested sleepily, tightening his hold. "We need to have more sex."

"Okay." The sensation of John's skin against his cheek was soothing, and he didn't want to move. "We can do that. Later." And Rodney closed his eyes.

***

When Rodney opened his eyes again, the brightness of the room startled him, and not only that, his pillow seemed to be alive—alive and breathing, with hair that tickled his nose. Chest hair.

John.

Rodney propped himself up on an elbow, blinking at the light. John was asleep, looking far younger than his thirty-some-odd years—lines smoothed out, mouth relaxed and partly open. Peaceful. Rodney's face grew warm as he remembered all the touching. It wasn't exactly something he'd expected to be doing with John, but somehow John made it feel like it was a natural thing for them to do. And it had felt good. It was all very strange and different, but hell, so was being in another galaxy with creatures that wanted to suck the life out of you.

Rodney preferred this kind of strange.

He rubbed his face, yawning. Checking the clock, he realized he had only been asleep a few hours. The insistent pressure in his bladder had awakened him. He sat up, ready to slip out of the bed without waking John.

"Rodney—" John mumbled, shifting.

Oops, not careful enough. "Go back to sleep," Rodney whispered.

John opened his eyes, brows rising. "Don't go." He reached an arm out, hand curving around Rodney's wrist.

Rodney felt a rush of affection. John wanted him to stay, and it was frighteningly sweet of him. "Not going anywhere," Rodney told him. "Only to the bathroom." He rubbed John's naked chest and John smiled sleepily at him.

Christ.

"Go back to sleep," Rodney ordered, his voice rough. He got to his feet and hurried to the bathroom, because John smiling like that made his stomach hurt for no real reason.

When he returned, John was curled up under the covers, his slow, steady breathing indicating that he had fallen back to sleep. And on the floor next to the bed—those were John's pants, weren't they? Not that he had expected John to sleep with his clothes on. Of course not. That would be ridiculous. He didn't like to sleep with his clothes on, either. But without his clothes he'd be naked—naked with John. John hadn't warned him about the whole naked thing, and that wasn't really fair, was it? Springing it on him in the middle of the night like this. Not fair at all.

Damn it. Fair or not, Rodney pulled his shirt off over his head, and then, after a moment's hesitation, unzipped his pants, dropping them to the floor. He was most definitely leaving his briefs on. He turned off the light and slid under the covers, shivering. He carefully stretched out on his back along the edge of the bed, because there was no need to wake John again. He could sleep just fine in his little corner of the bed; he didn't need much room, really.

Only John did wake, just enough to acknowledge Rodney's presence by rolling up against him with a soft sigh; hard, naked body—almost naked, that is, aside from his boxers, and Rodney was pleased to have called the level of undress correctly. Rodney eased toward him, moving away from the edge. After all, he didn't want to fall out of bed during the night. When he put an arm around John's waist, a leg slid between his in response, and Rodney supposed what they were doing might actually be considered cuddling.

Odd, but nice.

He slept surprisingly soundly, and when he woke to the incessant beeping of the alarm, John was still there, pressed up against him, his face tucked into Rodney's neck. "John?" he whispered. He had no idea where John kept his alarm, the noise was growing irritating, and it was too early for it to be morning yet anyway. Morning meant meetings and panic and hive ships headed their way, not to mention certain doom.

"Mmmph." John raised his head, then crawled over Rodney, retrieving his watch from the bedside table. Rodney closed his eyes, all too aware of John's body sliding across his. Thankfully, the beeping stopped, but John made no further effort to move. His body pressed down on top of Rodney's, naked chest, naked belly, hard, hairy thighs between his, and oh—good morning to you, too—boxers really didn't conceal anything, did they?

Rodney opened his eyes to see John gazing down at him. "Hi, Rodney," he said, with a hesitant little grin that came and went in a flash.

John appeared to be downright uncertain, and that startled Rodney. He responded by wrapping his arms around John's body and hugging him close, a reaction that surprised him probably as much as it surprised John, judging by John's soft exclamation. But then John rocked his hips against Rodney's, and hello again. Rodney spread his legs and pushed up, his cock just as awake and perky as John's. It felt good, better than it should, because John wasn't a pretty, curvy blonde. But it felt better than acknowledging that it was morning, because morning and panic could certainly wait, couldn't it? Because Rodney had forgotten how wonderful it was to wake up with somebody, and it didn't matter that John was a guy. He actually liked the feeling of a whiskery cheek sliding against his, the feel of another cock pressing against his stomach, the long, muscular back flexing under his hands.

John reached down and fumbled with his shorts, pulling them down, and that seemed like such a fine idea that Rodney pulled his down too, lifting his hips and shoving against John as he did so. John somehow got things arranged so that their cocks were nestled together, and when Rodney rocked his hips, the sensitive underside of his cock rubbed against John's body, and that was very good. He clamped his hands onto John's ass and pushed. John thrust down, his arms snaking under Rodney's back and gripped around his shoulders, bracing himself. Rodney pushed again and oh god, he could come from this alone. They got a rhythm going, rocking against each other and suddenly he realized that was the whole idea. They were actually having sex. Again. He hadn't known they could make it work like this.

"Oh," he gasped. "I /1 this."

"No kidding," John said, "This is good. Very good."

John's breath was a warm burst of air against Rodney's ear, and that was somehow incredibly erotic. He could feel it in his dick. Everything John did felt just right. Rodney gripped John's ass tighter and moaned, open mouth pressed against the skin of John's neck, startled and yet turned on ever further by the sharp, salty taste. He bit down gently and John shivered, moaning wordlessly. John tasted wonderful, he sounded wonderful, everything about John was wonderful. Pulling his knees up, Rodney planted his feet on the mattress and ground himself against John. He was hot, so fucking hot, the friction was burning him up, he had to come, he needed to come, he could taste it, he was so close—

John cried out sharply, right in his ear, his body strained and then Rodney felt a rush of warmth on his stomach. He felt it as John came, felt his body convulse with pleasure. It was incredible, John having an orgasm right up against his body like that. His cock pushed against wet, slippery skin, getting soaked with John's come and finally his brain shorted out and he came in one big rush of mind-numbing pleasure, gasping John's name.

"Oh, god," he sighed, when his mind finally tracked again. "Did I mention that I liked that? Because I do. I did. I liked that. It was good. Very good. Astoundingly so." He even liked the feel of come dripping down his waist—John's come, mixed with his.

John rolled off to one side, a happy grin lighting up his face. Rodney felt a little stab of pleasure at the sight of it. "I knew we'd be good together," John said. He gazed at Rodney, then his smile faded. "I only wish it hadn't taken so long. We—" He broke off, pressing his forehead against Rodney's shoulder. When he raised his head again, the smile was back, only this time it didn't meet his eyes. "This sex thing was a damn good idea, huh? It—it clears the head, doesn't it?"

Rodney nodded, turning away from the forced smile, because he couldn't manage one himself. "Yes, that's one way of putting it. Very clear." He sat up, cool air chilling his wet stomach.

John fumbled at the table. "What time is it—crap. I have a meeting with Elizabeth. I've got to get cleaned up." He patted Rodney's chest, then turned abruptly.

Rodney watched him climb out of bed, his postcoital euphoria fading. It was morning now. And /1 had a meeting with Elizabeth. Rodney even had something to suggest. It must be the clear head. It wasn't that his data compression idea would exactly save them, but contacting Earth, letting them know what happened—that was something, at least.

***

"Hey," John said as he stepped into Rodney's lab. He glanced past Rodney to where Zelenka and Simpson were working, then back at Rodney, who had gone so far as to remove his hands from his keyboard.

"Hey," Rodney answered with an almost smile.

Painfully aware that they weren't alone, John stepped as close to Rodney's lab stool as he dared. "Teyla and I are gonna do a little reconnaissance."

Rodney nodded and crossed his arms. "Zelenka told me. Are you sure that's a good idea?"

"We'll be cloaked."

"Yeah, 'cause that always worked so well for the Klingons."

"Romulans," John corrected.

"It worked for the Romulans."

"Of course it worked for the Romulans. They developed it." John heard a snicker from the other side of the room, but when he looked over, Simpson and Zelenka both appeared to be completely focused on their work. "I should go. Teyla's waiting. I just wanted you to know."

Rodney nodded, and John turned to go. As he opened the door, Rodney called out his name, and John turned toward him. Sometimes he wished that Rodney was better at hiding his feelings, because Rodney looked like he was losing his best friend. "Be careful."

"I will." John tried to smile, but he wasn't sure he succeeded.

"Okay," Rodney said, with a hint of rawness in his voice.

John stepped through the door.

***

As soon as John finished the recording for Sumner's family, he went to Rodney's quarters. He thought about going to his own; he was certainly tired enough, and he suspected Rodney would understand, but he didn't want to be alone. The door slid open as soon as he knocked.

"I wasn't sure you were coming," Rodney said, offering him a small smile.

"Elizabeth wanted me to record a message for Sumner's family."

Rodney's face twisted in sympathy, and he tilted his head toward the bed. "Come on, sit."

John followed Rodney to the bed and sat beside him, looking at the floor. Maybe he should have gone to his own quarters. No, Rodney deserved to have someone to be with before the end. They both did. He forced a smile and turned to look at Rodney. "Ford tells me you said we were like family."

"Yeah, well, we are, albeit less dysfunctional."

John found his smile slipping into one a bit more genuine. "He also said you pontificated for an hour."

"Ford said pontificated?" Rodney's smile has becoming less forced, too.

"Not in so many syllables."

"What did you say?"

"To Sumner's family?"

"To your own."

John shook his head, and Rodney, who could be perceptive when he wanted to be, let it go. "How bad was it? The culling?"

The new subject wasn't much of an improvement over the old one. "Bad." John hoped Rodney didn't ask for details, because he didn't want to think about it. He didn't want to think about anything. He just… He wanted sex. He wanted to feel Rodney's body against his own. He wanted Rodney to understand what he wanted.

Apparently he did, because Rodney didn't ask for more details; he just gazed at John intently for a moment, then slipped to the floor in front of him. As John watched, he untied John's boots and slipped them off. His socks followed. Then Rodney rose up on his knees and pushed John's jacket from his shoulders. John helped, wiggling free and ducking his head so Rodney could pull his shirt off. Rodney reached for the button on his pants, and together, they removed them. John slid back until he was lying flat on the bed, completely naked, and Rodney, still clothed, was on his hands and knees over him. Rodney studied him closely for a moment, and for an instant John tensed, thinking that Rodney was going to kiss him, but then Rodney sat back on his knees, straddling John's hips.

Then he began to touch. Rodney had warm, broad hands with calluses in places John wasn't used to. He touched gently, soothing and arousing at the same time as he moved from shoulders to arms to chest to abdomen and back. He touched John with his mouth, too, brushing soft lips across a shoulder, teasingly licking the inside of an elbow, sucking lightly on the side of John's neck. Despite his exhaustion, or maybe because of it, John responded. Rodney's touch felt good, and John needed to feel good, needed to be touched.

Rodney worked his way lower, mouthing his way along John's hip, while taking hold of John's cock and stroking slowly.

John groaned.

Rodney licked the head of his cock. Then he looked up at John, "If I do this wrong, you'll tell me."

John cupped Rodney's cheek in his hand. "You can't do it wrong." And he couldn't because this was Rodney touching him so intimately that it took John's breath away.

"Bad blow jobs are possible. Trust me on this."

John stroked Rodney's cheekbone with his thumb. "You can't do this wrong."

Rodney looked startled, but then he smiled his little pleased smile. "You'll tell me if I can make it better. I can take constructive criticism."

John nodded, because if he didn't, he knew Rodney would spend the next twenty minutes discussing the issue.

"Okay." Rodney closed his mouth around the head of John's cock.

Rodney sucked, and the pressure was sweet. John closed his eyes. He wanted to lose himself in the sensation, to forget everything he'd seen, the people he hadn't been able to save, the people he wasn't going to be able to save. He'd done it often enough in the past—lost himself in a warm mouth.

Rodney was moving up and down in a nice, steady rhythm, and John buried his hand in Rodney's hair. He couldn't keep his eyes closed, couldn't forget, because this was Rodney, because Rodney was one of those people he might not be able to save, and because this time, he needed more than a warm mouth.

"Rodney, stop."

Rodney let go and looked up at him. There was more than a little hurt in his face, as though John was telling him he was doing it wrong. Seeing that look on Rodney's face cut more deeply than it should have. "I want to do you, too," he said gently.

The hurt vanished, and Rodney nodded before sliding from the bed. He undressed quickly. It took a little maneuvering before they were lying diagonally across Rodney's bed, cock to mouth.

Rodney really did have a nice cock, John thought as he took it in hand. He stroked it a few times, swirling his tongue over the head. Rodney smelled good—warm and comfortable. He wasn't sure when Rodney's scent had become so familiar that it was reassuring. He wasn't sure he cared. He inhaled deeply, filling himself with Rodney's scent.

He took Rodney in, took him deep, and sucked. Rodney did the same, and John groaned around the cock in his mouth. Everything about Rodney felt good—the cock in his mouth, the mouth on his cock. He drew back, sliding his mouth along Rodney's length, and again Rodney did the same. At first Rodney was a second or two behind, but after a few strokes, they found the rhythm.

Caressing Rodney, feeling Rodney caress him at the same time was oddly serene. John let everything else go, let himself feel nothing but Rodney and the shared pleasure of mouths and cocks. John wanted there to be more sharing in his life.

John had been right. Rodney couldn't do this badly. In fact he was doing it damn well, his mouth moving over John's cock, taking him deep, suction creating a sweet pleasure for John to lose himself in.

Rodney was getting close. John could feel it and he slowed his movements, dragging it out because he didn't want it to end. But the end was inevitable, and when Rodney's fluid began filling John's mouth, he swallowed and swallowed. He didn't want to lose any part of Rodney that he could have. And when John came, he felt Rodney swallowing, and that made him want to come more, for Rodney.

He let Rodney's cock slip from his mouth and rested his cheek on the bed, stroking Rodney's hip with his hand and watching Rodney's cock soften.

"We should probably get under the covers before we fall asleep," Rodney said, sounding like he didn't really want to move. He was right, but John didn't want to move either. "Come on," he said, giving John's ass a squeeze.

John acquiesced, and they settled beneath the covers with a minimum of fuss, lying side by side and staring at the ceiling. John waited for Rodney to fall asleep. Between the sex and the exhaustion, it shouldn't take long.

But it was. As long as Rodney was awake, John was awake. "You going to tell me what's bothering you?" John asked when he couldn't take it anymore, even if he wasn't sure he wanted to know what, from the laundry list of possible sources of insomnia, was the one keeping Rodney awake.

"Nothing's bothering me."

"Uh-huh."

"Nothing is bothering me," Rodney repeated.

"Then why aren't you asleep?"

"Why aren't you asleep?" Rodney countered.

"I prefer to wait until you fall asleep." Which Rodney would assume that this was some weird military thing and John was content to let him think that.

"You are so weird."

John rolled onto his side and placed one hand on the center of Rodney's abdomen. "What's wrong?"

"Other than the obvious?"

He nodded. "Other than that."

"Nothing's wrong. I was just thinking. Wondering, really, if…"

A flustered Rodney was unbelievably endearing. John figured it was because he was such an arrogant ass the rest of the time. "Wondering if?"

"We could…" Rodney hesitated. "Kiss."

John was more surprised than he should have been. "Sure," he said immediately.

Rodney turned to look at him. "Really? Because you haven't seemed like you wanted to. I thought maybe it was something you only did with women."

"I kiss men sometimes."

"Oh."

John closed his eyes. Rodney was hurt that John hadn't kissed him. "Once. Well, more than once, but only one guy." John opened his eyes to find Rodney looking at him, his expression curious, yet oddly kind. "His name was Tim; we met the summer before my senior year in college. He was a grad student. We were doing research in the same lab."

"You did research? What kind of research?"

"It was for my senior thesis."

"In?"

"Chemistry."

"You were a chemistry major? What was your thesis on?"

"Rodney."

"Sorry, so you met in the lab. What was he studying, by the way?"

John sighed. Only Rodney would interrupt a story about sex to ask what the participants were majoring in. He was surprised Rodney hadn't asked for details of their experiments, the chemical ones. "Chemical engineering." He glared at Rodney in an attempt to ensure there wouldn't be any more interruptions. "We got along really well, started hanging out, catching movies together. I thought of him as my best friend. I didn't want to go home over Thanksgiving break and Tim suggested we have our own Thanksgiving together. We bought a couple of six packs and some pizza and watched football. It was fun." John took a deep breath. It had been fun.

"What happened?"

John rolled onto his back and stared at the ceiling for a moment before answering. He didn't know why he was telling Rodney this, except they might not be alive in a few days, and he could still taste Rodney on his tongue. "He kissed me. I left. I didn't know what else to do. He was a guy and I didn't, at least I thought I didn't. I stayed up all night thinking about it and the next day I went to see him." He could still see Tim's face when he'd opened the door to find John on his doorstep, surprise and hope and a little fear. "Tim wasn't like anyone else I'd ever known. I could be myself with him."

Rodney nodded. "You're very good at that, being what people expect you to be."

The insight surprised him, but John wasn't sure it should have. Rodney was smart, after all. He just generally didn't bother to pay attention to people unless he had to. "Tim didn't expect me to be anything and that was…liberating. So I decided that guy or not, I wanted to be with him."

"Sounds like you were lucky."

"Yeah, it was great for a while. We were discreet, because I was planning on joining the Air Force. In fact, I was already signed up. It's why we split. Tim didn't want to keep our relationship a secret forever. He wanted me to go to grad school, become an academic or a researcher, choose a profession where we could be together openly. I wanted to fly. When I was getting ready to leave, he told me it was him or the Air Force." John stopped because it was obvious what his choice had been.

"Do you ever regret it?" Rodney asked quietly.

"Sometimes."

Rodney rolled onto his side, looking down at John with a gentle, understanding expression that John had never seen before. John reached up, touched Rodney's cheek with his fingertips. "Kiss me."

Rodney leaned down and pressed his lips to John's. John was certain that groan hadn't come from him, just like he was certain that he wasn't really splitting down the middle. Rodney slowly deepened the kiss, and John wrapped his arms around Rodney's shoulders. John hadn't known many people he could hold onto, but he could hold onto Rodney.

And he was going to, for as long as he could.

***

The orbital platform. The elaborate object probably had defensive capabilities, only Rodney didn't know what they could be—or whether they'd be able to power it up, even if it did have defensive capabilities. It was long shot, but that was all they had right now. Every day brought the wraith closer. Gaul's files were extensive, and Rodney huddled in the corner of his lab scrolling through them, reading and rereading scans and spectral analyses, hoping for a tiny nugget of information that would somehow justify the fifteen-hour trip for a closer look.

Brendan Gaul had had a brilliant mind. And now he was gone, his brilliant mind blown away right in front of Rodney, because Rodney hadn't realized there could be a live ten-thousand-year-old Wraith on the planet with them. Rodney rubbed his burning eyes. Too much coffee, not enough sleep. His nights were filled with John now, a private oasis from the horror. Only after they made love could he sleep, and even then, only for a few hours.

Made love? No, had sex. They were having sex, and why he thought of it as lovemaking in his head, he didn't know. Too much caffeine, not enough sleep, and his mind was making mistakes and going places without him.

Or maybe not enough caffeine. He picked up his cup. Empty. The mess was so very far away. He tossed the cup down. Unable to focus on the data in front of him, all he could see was Gaul's face, Gaul's wrinkled old face. He shook his head, forcing the image out of his mind. Spectral analysis. What was that damn Lagrange Point satellite made of?

The souls of dead Atlanteans.

His brain was definitely getting weird on him.

But that was going to be their fate, wasn't it? There wasn't going to be a battle. Three hive ships, and they were defenseless. Even if they all managed to escape to the Alpha Site and destroy the city— his beautiful city—they'd all become refugees, still chased by their relentless enemy, and one by one, they'd get taken.

Rodney's chest ached. He hadn't known that sorrow could actually be physically painful.

Tired, so very tired. He laid his head down on the table, face pressed into the crook of his elbow. His eyes were still burning. He needed to rest, just for a minute. He couldn't look at the data anymore. It was useless, anyway. If only they had some power, like the ZPM that Allina had taken from him, if only—

He could still hear Gaul's anguished cry as the Wraith fed off him.

And then the Wraith fed off John, hands sinking into John's chest. John screamed in pain, eyes wide with shock and horror, and he was shriveling up, black hair turning gray—his John, John was dying, John was dead, and something inside of Rodney died too. He opened his mouth to scream, but nothing came out. He couldn't scream and he couldn't run. He could only stare as John's body fell to the ground with an awful thud.

"Rodney?"

Rodney felt a hand on his shoulder and he sat up abruptly, head spinning, vision graying out. "Huh? What?"

He blinked up at John. Asleep. He had been asleep and it was just a nightmare even though it felt so fucking real because there was John, alive—alive and not gray and not dead, looking concerned and startled and alive.

"Are you okay, Rodney?" John squeezed his shoulder, brows rising questioningly.

It had been only a dream, a nightmare but it felt so real, it could have been real, and had he really been asleep? Or was it part of his waking nightmare of a life? Rodney rose out of his chair and pulled John roughly into his arms. John's hard, wiry body pressed willingly against his. He held John tightly, so tightly that he heard the breath go out of John's chest in a rush.

"Oh, hey," John said, hand stroking the back of Rodney's neck. "It's okay."

"No, it's not," Rodney whispered harshly. It was never going to be okay. Now was all they had.

John tried to reply, but Rodney kissed him, hard, his lips pressed against warm, wide lips, and then he was in John's mouth, tasting him, John not dead and dry, but warm and alive and breathing. Rodney's arms tightened further, as if he could somehow keep John safe with his body—John, who was going to be at the front lines of the battle, and didn't he know he had to keep himself safe for Rodney?

Rodney wanted to tell John this, but John was kissing him back, hands bunching up Rodney's shirt. He couldn't imagine how he had ever thought that John didn't want to kiss him. They were such idiots—all that sex, and John had been afraid to kiss him, just as he'd been afraid to ask for it. John had thought that Rodney didn't want it because he was a guy. Christ, Rodney had sucked on his cock, hadn't he?

Rodney's cock hardened at the memory. The taste and feel of John's cock in his mouth had been amazing, silky and slick against his tongue, the smell and the taste of it—pure John. Who would have thought he liked sucking dick? He put his hands on John's ass and pulled, then stumbled backward as John surged forward. John was as hard as he was. Rodney couldn't get close enough, not even when they spun so that Rodney had John pinned against the wall.

"Listen Rodney, shhhh, not here in the lab, we'll go back to my room, okay?" John's voice was reasonable as his hands cupped Rodney's face, his eyes soft and full of concern.

But Rodney didn't want reasonable. He didn't want gentle concern, either. He wanted to be closer, he wanted more, and he wanted it now. Too much clothing, he had to feel John's skin, because maybe that would ease the pain in his chest and the lump in his throat. Pushing John's shirt up, he lifted his own so they were stomach to stomach. That was better, he could feel John's warmth soaking into his skin. He found John's mouth with his, and with his tongue in John's mouth, he rubbed his palm over the swell of John's cock. John whimpered and pushed his cock against Rodney's hand while grabbing Rodney's ass, his fingers digging in as he shoved their bodies together. Warm skin on his belly, hot kisses, the pounding of his heart in his chest, his mind sliding sideways into oblivion because somehow his pants were open and his cock was in John's hands. No more kissing, just open-mouthed moans now, and damn it, he couldn't unfasten John's pants to get at his cock. John's beautiful cock.

"Oh god, Rodney, this is crazy, anyone could come in," John panted. Barely listening, Rodney kissed him again. John looked at the door, then said, "Okay, just let me—oh please—" Without letting go of Rodney's cock John one-handedly unzipped his pants, and Rodney slipped his hands in—yes, there, right there, John's hard, solid cock.

Stroking and pulling, hard and fast, they worked each other's cocks. John's head thumped against the wall and Rodney went for his throat again, biting and nipping. He was going to leave marks, but who cared? All that mattered was skin and breath, John's throbbing cock in his hand, their hips shoved together, touching, stroking, rubbing. Even with that hard, solid cock in his hand, even with John straining against him, Rodney wanted to be closer. He wanted John to fuck him; he wanted John to push him against the wall and fuck him hard.

And then John squeezed him just right. Rodney gasped, his mouth open against John's skin, his balls tightening up and he was there—oh fuck, yes. He was coming, sharp pleasure shaking his body. John was chanting in his ear, "Yes, yes, yes, harder, Rodney—" and then there were no more words, just sweet, high-pitched moans as Rodney's hand became slick, John's cock pulsing in his hand.

When the buzzing in Rodney's ears finally faded, they were on the floor in a tangle. "Damn it, Rodney," John said, touching his hair, kissing his face. There was a note of fear in his voice, and Rodney couldn't understand why.

Rodney wasn't sure how his own face had gotten wet, either, or why it was impossible for him to speak. But the ache in his chest had eased, to be replaced by an ache in his arms from holding John so tight.

***

John rubbed his eyes and stared at the screen in front of him. He had been reviewing the city's layout with Ford and Bates, looking for the most defensible positions. He'd sent them to bed about an hour earlier, but here he was, still at it.

He couldn't think clearly. He could barely see clearly. It was time to stop.

Standing, he stretched and looked at his empty coffee mug. For some reason, coffee made him think of Rodney. He picked up his mug and went in search of him.

Rodney was exactly where John had known he'd be—in his lab, seated at his laptop. He gave John the barest of glances when he walked in before immediately returning to his tinkering. John stepped behind him and peered over his shoulder.

"Still working on the satellite?" The last time John had come in when Rodney had been working on the satellite, they'd had sex against the wall—desperate sex. Rodney had practically climbed inside his skin. He hadn't asked Rodney why, because he was pretty sure he knew. It wasn't something John wanted to think about, and he pushed the thought aside.

Rodney nodded. "There's some coffee over there." He tilted his head toward a corner table that held two large carafes, along with what he assumed were sugar packets.

John reached past Rodney, set his mug on the lab bench, and placed both hands on Rodney's shoulders. "It's time to go to bed," he said, squeezing. Rodney's muscles were so tight John was surprised they didn't ache. Rodney shook his head. "Yes." John squeezed again, then dug his thumbs into the tense muscles. "When was the last time you slept?"

"I had a nap after dinner."

"For how long?"

Rodney shrugged. "An hour, maybe."

"You need rest."

"There's no time."

"You can't think without sleep, Rodney." John leaned down until his mouth was close to Rodney's ear. "Real sleep."

"I can't."

John squeezed his shoulders again. "I'll help."

"You just want to have sex again."

John kissed the back of his neck. "Yes, but I also want you to sleep." He rubbed Rodney's shoulders firmly. "Besides, I need to sleep, and I'll sleep better if you're there."

Rodney didn't say anything for a long moment. Then he powered down his computer, and John followed him back to Rodney's quarters.

"Shower," John said when they stumbled inside. He placed a hand in the center of Rodney's back and guided him toward the bathroom.

Rodney looked over his shoulder at John. "Are you saying I stink?"

"I'm saying you're incredibly tense and a warm shower will help you relax."

"I thought that was what the sex was for."

"The sex will be better if you're more relaxed."

Rodney shrugged and let John guide him into the bathroom.

Once they were under the water, John maneuvered Rodney so his hands were against the wall and the warm water landed squarely in the center of his back. Then he began to stroke, sliding his hands over Rodney's back and shoulders, trying to rub out the tension and rub in some warmth. After a few strokes, he began to massage in earnest, pressing his fingers into the tense muscles and forcing them to let go. Rodney dropped his head to his chest and groaned. John smiled to himself but refrained from saying "I told you so."

When Rodney's back was as relaxed as he could get it, John reached for the soap. Lathering up his hands, he began washing Rodney, sliding soapy hands over his shoulders and down along his arms. Then he slid his hands around Rodney's waist and rubbed his way up to Rodney's chest, pausing to tease the always-hard nipples.

Rodney leaned back until his head was on John's shoulder. "Remind me to never question your plans again."

John pressed his lips to Rodney's temple. "Trust me, I will."

Placing his hands on Rodney's shoulders, John eased him forward and began washing Rodney's back. Rodney had a nice, broad back, smooth, with a small mole on his right shoulder blade. John pushed with his thumbs as he moved his open hands downward, applying pressure to the center. He stopped when he reached the small of Rodney's back and, taking hold of Rodney's shoulder with one hand, he began to rub the small of Rodney's back with the other.

Rodney groaned again.

John kissed the side of his neck and reached for the soap.

Once his hands were again fully lathered, he moved them over the curve of Rodney's ass. Rodney had a nice ass. It filled John's hands, and he liked that. But it was the space between Rodney's cheeks that tempted him. It had been a long time since he'd touched another man like this, and Rodney's ass looked like it was waiting to be caressed. The cheeks were slightly parted, and John licked his lips at the thought of touching Rodney there, of feeling his warmth, of tasting him.

John slid one hand around to Rodney's front and wrapped it around Rodney's semihard cock. He felt Rodney harden fully at his touch. With his other hand, he traced the space between Rodney's buttocks. He touched Rodney slowly, trying to move his hands in sync, letting the hand on Rodney's ass slip deeper with each caress. Finally, he touched Rodney's opening. Rodney started a little, but he didn't pull away. John ran his fingers over it, not trying for penetration, simply feeling him.

"I want to rim you," he said softly, his mouth close to Rodney's ear.

"You—?"

John was pretty sure Rodney had been going to say more, but whatever it was was lost in a groan when John rubbed the head of his cock with his thumb.

"I want to taste you," John whispered.

Rodney groaned. "I don't—"

"You don't have to do anything you don't want to. I don't expect you to reciprocate. I want to do this for you. Let me make you feel good."

Rodney leaned against him. "Anything," he said, his voice rough, and then he turned his head and brought their lips together in a kiss that somehow managed to be searing despite the flowing water and awkward position.

"Bed," John said when they parted, surprised at the roughness in his voice.

After a cursory drying with towels that they left abandoned on the floor, they fell into Rodney's bed. They pressed against one another, kissing. Rodney's warm, damp skin felt incredibly good, and John couldn't understand how he'd gone without kisses like this for so long—kisses you could just dive into and let yourself sink, kisses that were just tongue and lips and passion. Rodney had so much passion.

He slid his hands over Rodney's sides and then managed to get a hand between them to a nipple. Rodney arched at the touch, and John took advantage of the moment to begin sucking on Rodney's neck.

As good as kissing was, he had a destination, things he wanted to do. He trailed his mouth down Rodney's neck and over his collarbone. His path down Rodney's chest took him straight to a nipple, because Rodney had the most responsive nipples John had ever seen on a guy. John loved it when Rodney gasped and arched and buried his hands in John's hair. He sucked, and Rodney gasped.

He lingered there, alternating between them until Rodney began lifting his hips, trying to rub his cock against John. John slid lower, mouthing Rodney's warm skin as he went. When he reached Rodney's cock, he circled it with his hand and licked the head, teasing the slit with his tongue, making Rodney shudder. Taking just the head into his mouth, John sucked; drawing back, he slid his lips over the ridge and along the head to the tip before sliding back down again.

Rodney moaned and reached for him, sliding a hand into John's hair. But he didn't encourage John to take more of him in, he simply rested his hand on the back of John's head. It felt oddly protective.

John cupped Rodney's balls in his hand, cradling them as he sucked. After a few minutes, he released Rodney's cock and lowered his mouth to Rodney's balls. He took first one and then the other into his mouth and sucked gently. Capturing a bit of Rodney's scrotum with his lips, he sucked and rubbed it with his tongue.

Releasing Rodney, he drew in a deep breath. He loved the way Rodney smelled here. It was like Rodney concentrate—just add water, and get one brilliant, sarcastic bastard with gentle hands and a passionate mouth.

Pressing a kiss on the base of Rodney's cock, John slid his hands under Rodney's thighs and pushed them apart and back. The movement tilted Rodney's hips and spread his cheeks, exposing him to John's gaze. There was a smattering of brown hair around the shadowed hole. John licked a path from Rodney's entrance to his balls. Then he did it again, and again. Rodney squirmed. John focused his attention on Rodney's entrance, licking it with the flat of his tongue and then lightly tracing the edge with the tip.

"Oh, god," Rodney muttered.

John continued to circle his tongue around the entrance in a delicate caress. It was Rodney's half-spoken "please" that made him push his tongue just inside. Rodney gasped, and John, encouraged, pushed deeper, until he couldn't go any farther, and then he drew his tongue back to the edge of Rodney's opening and did it again.

"John."

He loved it when Rodney said his name like that, pleasure deepening his voice, desire giving it an edge. It didn't matter that the position strained his neck. All that mattered was Rodney saying his name like that. He closed a hand around Rodney's cock and began to stroke in time to the movements of his tongue.

Rodney came apart.

John didn't need to see it. He could feel it in Rodney's trembling thighs and twitching cock, the tiny, uncoordinated movements of his hips. He could hear it in Rodney's panting breaths and whispered pleadings.

Caught up in Rodney's pleasure, John didn't even notice that he was moving his hips, rubbing his cock against the sheets.

When Rodney came, John felt it with his tongue. Rodney's muscles contracted around him, and his cock pulsed in John's hand. John kept fucking him, kept stroking him, trying to make it last.

When he was sure Rodney had shuddered through the last spasm, John lifted his head and shifted back onto his knees. Rodney stared at him, breathing hard and looking thoroughly debauched.

John might have appreciated the sight more if his own cock hadn't been achingly hard. He wrapped his free around the base of his cock and then let go of Rodney's. There was come on his fingers, and he rubbed it over the head of his cock.

"John," Rodney whispered.

His eyes on Rodney's face, John began to stroke. He needed this. He couldn't wait for Rodney. He needed it now, needed to come, needed to ease the pressure in his cock, before it spread. Before it reached his chest and made it hard to breathe.

Rodney's come eased the sliding of his hand, but not enough. He ran his hand through the fluid on Rodney's chest and then brought it to his cock. He used both hands for a couple of strokes, until the fluid was mostly on his cock. Then he tightened his grip and began to stroke faster.

Rodney sat up, one leg still on either side of John. He cupped the side of John's neck in his hand and looked down. "Beautiful," he said softly. He lifted his eyes to John's face. "You're beautiful."

John knew that Rodney didn't know men didn't say stuff like that to each other. He also knew that Rodney wouldn't have cared if he had known. Dropping his gaze, he tried to figure out what was beautiful about his hand and his cock. But Rodney caressed John's face with his thumb, rubbing it over John's lips. John opened his mouth and Rodney pushed his thumb inside, sliding it over John's lips and tongue. He repeated the movement a couple of times and then moved his thumb away, replacing it with his mouth. Rodney's kiss was slow and sweet and sensual. It made him groan, and it made him ache. He hadn't known he could ache this much, or have it feel so sweet.

"I want to watch you come," Rodney whispered when they parted.

The intensity of Rodney's gaze stripped him bare. John closed his eyes only to open them. He had to see Rodney.

John came, because Rodney wanted him to and because he needed it to end—the ache, the pressure. Rodney watched him the whole time. John could feel the heat from his eyes and the hand on his neck, grounding him. It was the first time in John's life that he wanted to be grounded.

His fluid landed on Rodney, on his chest and stomach, even his cock. When it was over, Rodney lay back on the bed and tugged John down with him. John ended up on top of him, Rodney's arms tight around him.

"That was the most erotic experience I have ever had," Rodney said quietly.

"Which part?" John asked.

"All of it. God, John, all of it."

There was something in Rodney's voice, a vulnerability that made John lift his head and kiss him. The kissing became nuzzling, and the nuzzling eased into sleepy rubbing and then into sleep.

***

"It could work," Zelenka said, nodding.

Rodney nodded, too. "It could."

"Or it could not."

"Of course." Still, Rodney felt a glimmer of excitement, because this could do it. This could save them all.

Or not.

"All of the evidence," Zelenka said, tapping a finger on the edge of the computer screen, "the way these conduits are built, point to the satellite needing less power than, say, the chair defense system does."

"Which means it may be less effective than the chair system."

Zelenka pulled his glasses off, sat back and rubbed his eyes. "Right about now? Any weapons system is better than no weapons system."

"It would all be much better if you could build that ZedPM for me."

Zelenka slid his glasses back on. "You're a very funny man, Rodney. Very funny."

Rodney glanced at his watch. "The meeting is in three hours. Why don't you try and catch some sleep beforehand?"

"I trust you will do the same?"

"Something like that."

***

Naked skin pressed against his, heat and movement and need, all tangled up in the sheets. He didn't need sleep, he needed this. He needed John, kissing him, touching him, holding him. Hard thigh between his, slick cock building friction against his palm, lips and tongue and his world was coming to an end so why sleep?

He had had every intention of telling John about their plan when he found him pacing out on the balcony. But somehow they were in John's room before he could form the words, and then they were naked, and it wasn't the time for talking, at least not about plans and satellites and dangerous missions.

Rodney pulled John's head up from his chest. "Fuck me," he said.

"What?" John stared in surprise. "Are you sure—do you really mean that?" John's expression went from surprised to intent. And, Rodney thought with surprise, maybe a little scared, too.

"Yes, I mean it. I said it, didn't I?" He spoke more sharply than he intended, but John didn't seem to notice, he just kept staring at Rodney's face, as if he had never seen Rodney before. "John?"

"Okay. Okay." John sat up, looking Rodney over. "Wow. Um, yeah, we can do that." Rodney kissed John's thigh, then pushed over to kiss his cock, brushing his lips over the smooth, taut skin. John's hands went to his hair in a gentle caress. "But not if you keep putting your mouth on my dick."

Rodney kissed his stomach, then pulled himself up to kiss John's lips, nibbling, then sucking on his lower lip before finding John's tongue and licking it. "You've done it before, right?" Rodney asked.

"Not a whole lot. But I remember the details. It might hurt a little, and not everyone likes it. It might not feel good." He cocked his head to one side, frowning. "You really want me to do this?"

"Remember how crazy it made me when you licked me?"

John closed his eyes. "Yes, I do."

It had been incredible—no one had ever touched him like that. And now they had less than three hours, and Rodney needed more. "Well, then—just—please, John, I need you to do this." It struck him that maybe John didn't want to. Maybe John wasn't into that kind of thing himself.

But to his relief, John nodded. "Yeah, I think maybe I need to, too. It's just that—" he hesitated, then leaned down and kissed Rodney, until Rodney's lips felt bruised. "Okay," he said when he released Rodney's mouth. "Let's do this." He reached for the mineral oil.

It startled Rodney to realize he had first used it on John less than two weeks ago, when they started this whole insane sex thing almost on a lark—a crazy, tipsy lark. It seemed like a lifetime ago. It was hard to believe he had only known the sensation of John's naked body in his arms for two weeks. Now, he wasn't sure he could live without it. Fear bloomed deep in his gut, before he could stop it.

"Turn over—lie on your stomach," John told him. Rodney obeyed, stretching out on the bed, cheek resting on his forearm. John cupped his ass and squeezed. "I need to use my fingers to stretch you out first, okay?"

"Okay," Rodney said. He shivered as drops of oil oozed down between his cheeks. "John, tell me you're not going to do anything stupid and crazy when the Wraith come."

"Rodney, we're having sex here." John's voice had gone cool, and maybe a little dangerous.

"We're going to need you when we leave the city. You're going to have to keep us safe. I can't do it. Ford and Bates can't do it alone—oh, god—" It suddenly got hard to focus, because John's fingers were sliding over his opening, slippery as hell and just circling around the edge.

"I'll do what I have to do. End of discussion."

"What, 'end of discussion'? It's not the end, the end of—" Then John's finger was inside of him and he was gasping, oh god, he didn't expect it to feel so big. His muscles tried to resist the intrusion, and he tensed up, clenching his fists. Maybe he had made a mistake. Maybe he didn't want this at all.

"Sssh, just relax. I'm sorry, that was a little quick." John stroked Rodney's back with his free hand and kissed Rodney's neck. "I'll slow down."

"Don't," Rodney said. He lifted his head and met John's lips for a kiss. "I'm fine." And he was, his body relaxing already, the intrusion feeling not quite so weird anymore. "Keep going."

John moved his finger, and the stroking sensation inside of him began to feel oddly pleasant, even though it felt like John was reaching up into his gut. He sighed, spreading his legs. "Better?" John asked.

Rodney nodded. "Much."

John kissed him again, then crawled back to settle in by Rodney's legs, his finger twisting about inside, causing all sorts of curious sensations. A moment later John told him, "Second finger now. Just so you know."

Maybe it was the warning, but it didn't feel as startling as the first one, although it burned a little. It was a tight fit, and Rodney breathed deeply, trying to relax.

"Here, turn on your side."

Rodney let John maneuver him onto his side. It was weird, very weird, to be doing it with something stuck up your ass. It was sort of uncomfortable while managing to be kind of tingly, too. Then a warm mouth covered his soft dick, and everything fell into place. He moaned, lifting his knee and pushing into John's mouth. Suddenly it was good, very good. John grunted contentedly as Rodney's dick hardened, pushing his fingers further in. It still felt tight and burning and then—

"Oh, god, oh god," Rodney stuttered, amazed at the pleasure. "What—oh god, that's good. Keep doing that."

John hummed deep in his throat and moved his fingers again, searing pleasure right straight into his dick. He looked down his body and watched, lifting his leg so that he could see John's mouth on him, see John's arm snaked between his legs, muscles flexing as he worked his fingers, in and out. He wanted John to devour him, to consume him completely.

It was all so much, so new, so many sensations—he didn't realize he was about to come until his body clenched and he shot into John's mouth, groaning breathlessly, his ass clamping down on John's fingers, and he felt it /1.

He whimpered when John removed his fingers, but then John tugged on his hips, lifting him. "Come on, up on your knees, Rodney. I'm going to fuck you, right now." John's voice was rough, in a way Rodney had never heard before. Although he was dazed and sated, he pushed himself up, a shivery thrill running down his spine. His ass was in the air and his face was in the mattress, and he wanted it—wanted John's cock so badly he couldn't stand it anymore.

He wasn't sure how the hell things had gotten this way, and he didn't care. A sharp snap of a cap as John opened the oil bottle. A moment later, something hard and blunt pushed against his hole. He was so relaxed that John slid in easily, maybe a little too quickly, and he had to bite his wrist so that he wouldn't cry out.

"Are you okay? Is this all right?" John asked. "I'm not hurting you, am I?"

Rodney blew out his breath, slowly. "No, it's good." Rough hands on his waist, holding him in place. John's thighs pressed against the inside of his thighs, and with all that pressure, he felt full and tight. It hurt a little, but even that was easing, and when John started to thrust, short, steady strokes, it faded completely. "It's good," he repeated.

"Oh my god," John moaned. "Rodney, you can't imagine how good—oh god."

John's voice trailed off, and Rodney listened to his ragged breathing. The force of John's thrusts sent him rocking forward on his knees. Faster now, and it was a completely new sensation for him, to be used just for someone else's pleasure, and he loved it, loved the way John's fingers were now digging into his hips, cock thrusting into him, friction making his anus burn. Hard and fast, and his body wasn't his own anymore, it belonged to John—all of him belonged to John.

John's body shook hard, and his cock pulsed. Rodney could feel it inside of him, he could feel John's body straining as he came, moaning, pouring himself into Rodney

"Oh man. Rodney." Panting, John slumped onto Rodney's back, hands sliding up to grasp his shoulders. "Rodney, you are so—so amazing."

Rodney wasn't sure what he had done other than just hang in there while John fucked him, but he loved the tone of John's voice, the awe and the wonder in it. However, right now he definitely needed John's cock to be out of his ass. "John," he said, with a shove of his hips, "think you can, uh—"

"Oh, oh, oh, yeah, let me just—" Then the pressure was gone, and John tumbled down to lie beside him. "I can't believe you let me do that," he said.

Rodney leaned against John's damp, sweaty body and frowned. "Why is that so hard to believe?" He eyed John curiously, not knowing what to make of John's words.

"Not everyone would be that open to—putting themselves in a vulnerable position like that especially if you've never been with guys before, but god, Rodney, you're not like everyone, you're so you, and that's—I'm—you know." Flustered and perplexed, John frowned back at Rodney before hooking an arm around his neck and bringing him in for a kiss, a slow, profound kiss, and Rodney thought maybe he did know, even though he wished he didn't. Not now.

Afterward he rested his head on John's chest, listening to his heartbeat as John stroked his side, hand running over his shoulders, ribs, and waist. It was soothing, and Rodney was exhausted, but he couldn't seem to close his eyes. He stared instead at John's chest, at damp skin and black hair. He placed his hand over it, crushing the hair flat, and waited.

Eventually, John reached for his watch. "Damn it. Meeting's in little over an hour." With a deep breath, he asked, "Want to shower now, or maybe try and sleep first?"

Rodney shook his head. "No," he whispered. There'd be plenty of time for him to sleep on the jumper, assuming Weir approved his suggestion.

"No? No to sleeping, or no to showering?"

Rodney reached up and licked John's throat, tasting the salt of his sweat—sweat that was on his skin now. "Neither. I can't sleep. And I don't—" Rodney swallowed. "I don't want to shower this off."

"Oh." John held him tightly. He didn't say anything more.

And they waited.

***

Part of John wanted to be angry, but they had very little time left, and anger was a futile emotion. Besides, he wasn't really angry; he was afraid. John didn't like being afraid. Fear made him edgy. Anger was easier.

They were out of time.

Rodney and Zelenka were shaking hands when John walked into the supply room, saying good-bye. John felt his throat tighten. Zelenka turned away from Rodney and glanced up at John, giving him the barest nod as he passed.

John waited until he heard the door slide shut, and then he took a step toward Rodney.

"I'm sorry," Rodney said, turning to look at the rows of storage containers.

"I'm not angry." John was almost glad Rodney hadn't told him about the mission to repair the satellite because then he would've lain in his bed, holding Rodney, thinking that he might never see him again. Instead he'd lain there, holding Rodney, trying to imagine how he was going to keep Rodney alive. He stepped closer. "Remember what you said to me, about being needed?"

Rodney turned his head to the side, looked at him sharply. "I do. I didn't think you were listening."

John tried for a grin, knew he didn't make it. "I was a little distracted." He reached out, rested a hand on Rodney's arm, because he needed to touch. "You're needed too. If we're going to survive, we'll need your knowledge, your expertise, your ability to think on your feet. Don't—" He stopped because his throat had closed up.

Rodney reached for him and pulled him close. John wrapped his arms around Rodney's waist and buried his face in Rodney's neck. Rodney didn't offer any words of comfort, no whispered reassurances. Because what was there to say? "I don't want to die?" John knew that. Rodney didn't want to die. He didn't want to die. He didn't want to be a hero either. He didn't want either of them to be a hero.

John tightened his hold and breathed Rodney in. He had to say something. "I think…" His voice started to give out so he stopped, took a deep breath and started again. "I think we'd be good together. You know, for real."

"Yeah," Rodney whispered, "yeah, I think so too."

A final squeeze and John forced himself to let go, because if he didn't do it now, he never would. Rodney couldn't fix the satellite, couldn't save them all, with John clinging to him.

Rodney leaned in and kissed him. Kisses weren't supposed to be sweet and desperate at the same time. But as usual, no one had bothered to tell Rodney that, or if they had, he hadn't bothered to listen.

He watched Rodney walk away, and Rodney was almost to the door when the need to say something overwhelmed John. "Rodney."

Rodney stopped and turned to look at him.

It was on the tip of John's tongue, but "So long," was all that came out.

Rodney gave him a quick nod. Then the door slid open, and he was gone.

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