His Place in the Universe

by The Grrrl

Title: His Place in the Universe

Author: The Grrrl

Author's email: thegrrrl2002@gmail.com

Author's URL: http://thegrrrl2002.slashcity.org/

Archive: Ask first.

Fandom: Stargate Atlantis

Pairing: Sheppard/McKay

Summary: After the fighting is all over, John is left feeling unsettled. Post Siege III fic.

Notes: Contains spoilers for Seige III. A big "Thank you" goes to Kylie for the beta.

John was not dead.

John had been prepared to die. He had resigned himself to it. So when the fighting was all over and done with, and he found that he was still alive, it was oddly disquieting. He had been almost dead, so close to absolutely dead that he couldn't help but wonder about all those alternate universes where he did die, where the *Daedalus* arrived too late to save him. So many John Sheppards vaporizing into nothingness, so many cities destroyed. Or maybe there were John Sheppards who were rescued, only to have their city destroyed shortly afterward. He was pretty sure he could feel all those Sheppards. Every possible outcome was lurking inside of him and he didn't know how he should be feeling about being not dead. Maybe he should be dead. Maybe he got mixed up and ended up in the wrong universe. He thought about asking Rodney if that was possible, but then he decided not to, because it was a little too crazy to say out loud--although it was entirely possible that he had gone slightly crazy, in a quiet, not really noticeable kind of way. He was okay with that. He'd come to terms with the not-dead thing eventually, same as he'd eventually come to terms with losing Ford, with not being able to stop him from leaving. Ford was not-dead, too, but he was no longer Ford and there was big hollow feeling in the pit of John's stomach that had nothing to do with the chronic lack of sleep.

He was still leaning over a blast-scorched balcony, staring down at the water and contemplating not-deadness, when Elizabeth found him.

"Major? As of this minute, you are off-duty. Go and get some sleep," she said. "It's over, okay?" Her voice was gentle but firm.

"It doesn't feel like it's over. It feels like..." his voice trailed off. "It feels wrong."

She placed a hand on his shoulder. "You couldn't stop him. Nobody could."

He should have been able to stop Ford from leaving. Perhaps in another universe he had been able to do it. But he couldn't explain that to Elizabeth. He was too tired to put it into words. He simply nodded and followed her back inside, promising her that he would head straight to his quarters and into bed.

He had reached the main corridor of the living quarters when it became apparent he wasn't the only one who might have gone a bit crazy, because there was Rodney, just up ahead, standing stock still and staring at the wall. Before John could reach him, he turned sharply toward the transporter, only to stop short before reaching it. Finger raised in the air as if making a point, Rodney spun around and marched deliberately in the opposite direction.

"Rodney?" John asked, wondering if the man had gotten caught in some sort of internal infinite loop.

Rodney focused on him. "Major," he said, his face brightening in a way that made John's heart lurch.

"Your door is the third one down, in case you forgot."

Rodney frowned, then shook his head fiercely. "No, no, I think--I think I need to check on the cloaking device--what if we need to use it again? It wasn't made to have that much juice running through it." He tried to turn back to the transporter, but John caught his shoulder and held him steady.

"You checked it already, remember? And there are plenty of other jumpers in the bay for you to work from." He tried to ignore the thrill he felt simply by touching Rodney's shoulder. He should be ashamed, really, he should, but Rodney felt wonderfully firm and solid under his hand.

Rodney blinked. "Right, right, right, I did, didn't I?"

John nodded, gave Rodney's shoulder a squeeze before dropping his hand. "Come on, you should be sleeping."

Rodney didn't move. Instead, he stared at John, eyes intense. "You're not dead. I really, truly thought you were dead. Gone. Just like that." He snapped his fingers. "Gone."

John couldn't look away from the pain so evident in Rodney's face, and suddenly his throat was so tight that he could barely speak. "No. Not dead. At least--at least I don't think I am," he whispered.

Rodney leaned in. "I don't think you are, either," he said, without a hint of sarcasm.

This was bad, John realized, because he really wanted to touch Rodney again. It was unnerving , in a long list of unnerving things, to see Rodney so worn and tired instead of wired and manic, on the verge of some amazing breakthrough. John noticed that dark circles shadowed Rodney's eyes, beard stubble darkened his face. His expression was dazed and he looked like he needed to be touched almost as much as John needed to touch him. "Rodney, come on," John said, with a growing sense of desperation.

"Ford," Rodney blurted out. "I'm sorry, I couldn't stop him from leaving. The controls--I can't access them from the main console." He looked miserable, hands spread as if asking for forgiveness.

"I couldn't stop him, either. I tried," John shrugged helplessly. "I didn't know what else to do." He felt a shameful flicker of relief that it hadn't been Rodney, and he hated himself for it. Losing Ford was bad enough, but if he had lost Rodney, he might have lost himself, too.

And that was wrong. Very, very wrong.

"What do you think is going to happen to him?" Rodney was asking.

John had no idea. "We're going to find him, that's what's going to happen to him," The words rang hollow in his ears. "Now, why don't we both get some sleep."

Rodney nodded absently. "Right. Sleep. I think I still know how to do that." He looked up the hallway, then back down the other side, seemingly lost.

"This way." John motioned to Rodney's door, and as Rodney started toward it, John followed, all the way into Rodney's room. He needed to make sure Rodney would actually sleep, that he wouldn't wander off again. As the door slid shut behind them, Rodney made a beeline to the laptop on his desk and opened it, hunching down over the keyboard.

"What the hell are you doing?" John asked.

"I should check the status of the shields. It's possible they were damaged back when we powered them up during that storm--it wasn't exactly a controlled--"

"Rodney," John interrupted, gently closing the computer, giving Rodney time to pull his hands away.

Rodney straightened. "I know, I know--sleep. But let me just check with Radek first." He reached up to activate his radio.

"Rodney," John repeated. "Stop it." He batted away Rodney's hand, and then, while holding Rodney's head steady with one hand, he removed Rodney's earpiece with the other.

"No, no," Rodney protested. "I have to--"

"You have to sleep." John tossed the radio onto Rodney's desk. "They'll find you if they need you."

Rodney fell silent, and John realized one hand was still cupping Rodney's head. He felt the bristles of Rodney's beard as he smoothed his thumb over Rodney's jaw. This was playing with fire, but he couldn't stop. He wished Rodney would step away, out of his reach, and maybe in other universes Rodney did back away and shut him down, but in this one, Rodney simply closed his eyes and leaned into John's touch.

Utterly defeated, John continued caressing Rodney's cheek. When Rodney opened his eyes again, he watched John's face for a long moment. John felt exposed, as if Rodney could see everything inside of him but no longer had the strength to hide it.

"Oh," Rodney said. He leaned in and pressed his lips against John's.

John could have backed away. He should have, but he let Rodney kiss him. His heart pounded in his chest as he savored the warmth and closeness of Rodney's body. It was everything John had ever feared. And it was everything he had wanted for a long, long time.

"Is this okay?" Rodney asked as he curled a hand around the back of John's neck. "Is it? Can we do this?" Without waiting for an answer, he kissed John again, rougher this time, whiskers scratching at John's chin.

"Rodney," John said softly, sliding his fingers through Rodney's hair. It was surprisingly fine and soft to the touch. John wrapped an arm around Rodney's waist, pulling him close for another kiss, parting his lips at the flick of Rodney's tongue.

Maybe Rodney had wanted it for a while, too--John thought maybe this was the case because of the way Rodney clung to him, making a small, desperate noise as he gripped John's shoulder. John gave up all hope off pulling back and held him tight, pressing his body up against Rodney's, leaning against him, getting lost in the taste and feel of him. A different kind of hope entirely began to bloom in John's chest, the kind that made the future seem brighter than he thought it should be.

Rodney leaned heavily against him, then broke off the kiss to nuzzle at John's ear. "Can we do this in bed?" he asked, almost plaintive.

"Bed." All at once John felt as though his legs could no longer hold him up. "Now that's a really, really good idea."

"Good, good. Come here." Rodney held onto John's arms and pulled him down onto the bed, watching him carefully, as if he couldn't quite believe John was going along with it.

"Wait," John said.

Rodney's face fell.

"No, no, I just--shoes," John added quickly. "Let me get my shoes off."

Rodney nodded, looking relieved, and began unlacing his boots as John reached for his. When his shoes were gone, John stretched out on the bed, tugging Rodney down alongside. Slow, intent kisses, and he marveled at how bodies fit together--Rodney's thigh tucked between his legs, his leg hooked over Rodney's hip, a hand on Rodney's ass as they kissed. Clever mouth, warm hard body--Rodney was wonderful in his arms, better than John had ever imaged.

"This feels really good," John said, which might have been stating the obvious.

But Rodney merely gazed at him happily. "It does, doesn't it? I never thought you were--that we could do this. That you would want to do this. With me." He gave a little laugh. "It's so weird--it wasn't so long ago I thought you were gone forever, and now we're here making out--it's weird, isn't it?"

John shook his head. "Not so weird."

Rodney grinned and kissed him again. John relaxed into his touch. With more kisses, his crazy, whirling thoughts began to slow down. The kisses slowed to a gentle nuzzling of lips against lips. It felt good to be in bed. John's body grew heavy and sluggish, and the way Rodney smelled--a little sweaty, so determinedly human and alive--soothed John. The world began to fade, and when John blinked his eyes open, he couldn't focus. Rodney's face was a soft blur, smiling sleepily at him.

"You'll be here when I wake up?" Rodney asked. "Please?"

"I'll be here," John mumbled thickly. He didn't think he could leave. There was too much here for him.

Rodney tucked his face against John's neck, sighing with contentment. John's eyes fluttered shut again, and he let sleep take him.

He woke sometime later to a warm, wet sensation on his stomach--Rodney, kissing and licking his stomach. John was sure that this was the best way to wake up, ever. Even more wonderful was Rodney pushing John's shirt up to rub a rough cheek over his skin, much like a cat. The sensation was incredibly erotic, and when Rodney raised his head to meet John's eyes, he looked rumpled and sleepy, yet there was a hunger in his eyes that caused a sharp prickle of excitement deep inside of John.

"Oh," John said, still muzzy with sleep, but not so much that he didn't know what Rodney wanted. He reached for the fastening of his trousers, fingers fumbling with the buttons until Rodney pushed his hand away.

"Let me, okay?" Rodney's voice was rough and low.

"Okay. Yeah." John lay back, closing his eyes again. By the time Rodney pushed his pants down he was half-hard, then, oh god, warm and wet on his cock. Rodney was sucking on his cock and John was pretty sure he had never felt anything so perfect in his entire life. He realized that Rodney knew exactly what he was doing, and that Rodney really liked doing what he was doing. He sucked fervently, with an occasional hum of contentment. "You wanted this, you really wanted this," John murmured. Rodney wanted *him*.

"Mmm huh." Rodney let John's cock slide from his mouth.

John shivered at the cool air on his wet skin. He looked down to see Rodney staring at his cock as if fascinated, stroking it with his fingers before tilting it and pushing John's legs apart in order to lean in and lick his balls. "Oh, god," John gasped.

"What, too much?" Rodney asked, worry creasing his brow. "Too rough?"

"No, no, no, no," John babbled. "Good. Very good. Suck them--please--I like that."

John caught a quick, crooked grin as Rodney bent his head and did as requested. It was intense, all warm pressure, a little rough in just the right way. John whimpered, petting Rodney's shoulders in encouragement, because nobody had done this for him in ages, and he was so damn grateful.

When Rodney finally moved up to lick the head of John's cock again, John was beyond words, reduced to moaning and clutching at the sheets. He lifted his hips eagerly and Rodney sucked him all the way in, engulfing him completely. That was all it took. John came all in a rush. He couldn't even warn Rodney, but Rodney seemed good with it, sucking and swallowing until the sensation, the mouth sliding hard along his length, became unbearably intense and John had to pull away.

"Mmmm. Nice." Rodney crawled up the bed and flopped down, one hand on John's ass, hugging him close. John felt as though he was floating, all light and loose-limbed, as if the tension of the last three days had finally left his body. Maybe that was all that had been holding him together.

"Very nice," he managed to mumble in agreement, his lips brushing Rodney's ear as he spoke.

Rodney sighed, warm breath tickling John's cheek. "God, you don't know how long I've wanted to do that."


"Yes, really," Rodney assured him, pulling back with a look that said he thought John was being a little dense.

John reached down between them, pressing his hand over the swell of Rodney's cock and Rodney's expression changed immediately to one of complete bliss. "Oh god. Please keep doing that."

Rodney's cock felt thick and full as John slid his fingers down the length of it. "That was kind of my intention." He could almost get his fingers around it through the loose pants. He loved the way Rodney writhed under his touch, reaching over his head to grab handfuls of pillow as he arched and pushed into John's hand. He petted Rodney through his pants, feeling the hardness, the heat, enjoying Rodney's reaction as Rodney got hotter and harder.

"Oh god, oh god," Rodney said, over and over, sounding breathless and desperate. This was a kind of desperation John could totally get behind.

John sat up, his head swimming alarmingly--god, still so tired--but he managed to get Rodney's pants and briefs down, freeing his cock. It was fully erect, an amazing thing to see--Rodney's cock, poking out from beneath his blue shirt, Rodney's naked hips, his skin pale and glowing in the dim light. He wanted Rodney completely naked, wanted to be naked with him, but god, Rodney's cock was right there and he needed to taste it.

Rodney groaned as John closed his mouth over it, sliding his lips down over the shaft, savoring the smooth, heavy weight against his tongue. It felt good in his mouth, thick and big. He sucked hard and fast. Later--because there was going to be later, he would make sure there would be a later--he'd take his time. Right now he wanted Rodney to come. He needed Rodney to come, needed to hear it, needed feel it.

Rodney pulled the pillow down over his face and moaned. John wrapped his arms around Rodney's hips, pushing Rodney's shirt up so he could see Rodney move, then let him slide deep into his mouth. He almost gagged, but it was worth it for the sheer, mindless pleasure of sucking dick.

And, even better--sucking Rodney's dick.

Rodney moaned louder, then his hips jerked and he came, hot liquid flowing into John's mouth. The taste was sharp on John's tongue, and it was a thrill to feel Rodney tremble beneath him. There were so many things he could do with Rodney, so many things he wanted to do, if Rodney would let him.

He kissed Rodney's thigh, nuzzling at the light brown hairs curling over them, then licked Rodney's stomach, before wandering down to lick Rodney's softening cock, making Rodney jerk and tremble all over again.

Finally John moved to lie beside Rodney again, propping himself up on elbow. Rodney pulled the pillow away, his face dazed and astonished. "Oh god," he said, one last time.

John found himself grinning. "Good?" he asked, because he wanted to hear Rodney say it.

"Oh yes, good, very good." He reached up and touched John's cheek. "Thank you. I needed this. I really, really needed it."

John nodded, sliding down and tucking his body close against Rodney's. "I needed--I needed it, too." What he had really needed was Rodney, not just sex. He hoped Rodney had understood that.

Rodney rolled to face him, carefully adding, "I might need it again." His expression was sober and possibly a little scared.

"I might too," John said, just as carefully. "I might need it a lot."

Rodney's eyes searched John's face. "As in all the time?"

"Uh huh. Definitely all the time." Crazy. They both were crazy to even consider it. A good kind of crazy. "It won't be easy, we'll have to be careful, but...we'll worry about that later, okay?"

He was too tired to think about they were going to manage it, but for the first time in a long time, he felt as though this was the right universe, that he had found his place. This was where he was supposed to be--in Rodney's bed, with Rodney holding him, kissing him with a startling tenderness, letting John hold him back. This was where he belonged. For just a moment, he pitied those other Johns, the ones who didn't get to have this, but then Rodney's hand slid down his chest and John forgot all about them.

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