A Mr. Toe Christmas

by The Grrrl & chelle

Title: The Schedule

Authors: chelle and the grrrl

Author's email: thegrrrl2002@gmail.com
mmmchelle@gmail.com

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

Archive: Ask first.

Fandom: Stargate Atlantis

Pairing: Sheppard/McKay

Summary: Jeannie says Rodney can bring someone special with him at holiday time.

"Meredith," Jeannie said, pulling him into the kitchen. "I'm not complaining, but when I said you could bring someone special, this wasn't exactly what I had in mind."

"What do you mean?" Rodney asked.

"Oh hey," John peered into the kitchen. "Do I smell cookies?"

Rodney perked up, the tiredness from the long trip fading quickly. He sniffed loudly. "Ooh, I think you're right."

"Yes, you do, but they're not done yet." Jeannie waved John away. "Out."

John grinned, then Madison appeared at his side. "Uncle Mer, come and help us with the tree," she insisted.

"Yeah, come on, Uncle Mer," John said as Madison took his hand. He mock-flailed as Madison tugged him back into the living room. "Wow, you're really strong. How old did you say you were?"

As Madison's laughter rang out, Rodney confided, "He doesn't have anyone to spend the holidays with."

Jeannie was looking in the direction John and Madison had gone. "It's not like I'm going to throw him out. I just wasn't expecting you to bring John, that's all."

"We can stay at a hotel if it's a problem."

"Don't be stupid, but you're going to have to share a bed," Jeannie said, turning toward the stove.

"I'm sure we'll manage. So, cookies?" Rodney said hopefully.

"Aren't you supposed to be helping with the tree?" Jeannie was opening the oven door and Rodney tried to discreetly look over her shoulder.

"Are those the gingersnaps Grandma used to make?"

"Yes." Turning, Jeannie made shooing motions at him. "Go decorate, I'll call you when they're done."

"Do you have enough milk?" Gingersnaps were best warm from the oven with really cold milk.

"Meredith."

"Going," Rodney said.

In the living room, John was helping Kaleb wrap the tree in lights. Silvery garland was draped over his shoulders and a candy cane stuck out of his shirt pocket. Madison bounced between them, red satin ornaments clutched in her hands.

"Almost done, and then you can hang them, okay?" Kaleb told her.

"Will the lights blink?"

"Of course they'll blink," Rodney said. When Kaleb glanced his way, he added, "They do, don't they? Because it's not right, otherwise."

Kaleb shook his head, laughing. "You and your sister." To John he said, "All done over there?"

John tucked the last strand into the lower branches. "All set." He backed away.

"Nice," Rodney said, giving the garland trailing from John's shoulders a quick tug. "It's a good look for you."

John nodded proudly. "There's more. What do you think, Madison, the gold for Uncle Mer?"

Madison dashed away, then came back in dragging a small cardboard box. In a moment Rodney had prickly gold garland wrapped around his neck, thanks to the combined efforts of John and his niece.

"I don't think strangling Uncle Mer is the point here," Rodney said, trying to loosen the garland. "Oh, hey, that looks nice."

Kaleb had finished plugging in the extension cords, and the tree was awash in tiny red and white lights. After a moment, a subset blinked off. And then back on, while more blinked off.

"Perfect," Rodney announced. "Am I right?"

John grinned at him.

"Can I put the ornaments on now?" Madison asked, practically bouncing on her toes.

"Garland first," Kaleb said. "Gold or silver?"

"Both," Madison answered. "Like in the song the snowman sings."

"Rudolph was my favorite cartoon when I was a kid, too," John said, unwinding the garland from around his neck.

"Let me guess, you wanted to be a dentist." Rodney said.

"How'd you know?"

Rodney began unwinding the garland from around his own neck. "I'd have thought you'd be more of a Grinch fan."

"The sleigh ride is hard to beat," John conceded. "But Bumbles bounce."

"But the Whos have all those cool toys."

"He has a point," Kaleb said to John, taking one end of the silver garland and draping it in the upper branches of the tree.

"Although," Rodney said, watching John reach around to wrap more garland around the tree, "Charlie Brown has the best music. If I'd had to listen to that song again, I'd have joined the Grinch on his quest to stop Christmas from coming."

"Rodney, does your heart need to grow?" John said, poking him in the chest.

"Yes, that's it exactly, my heart is three sizes too small."

"Thought so," John said, and poked him again. "We're going to have to do something about that."

"I am so not going to chase after a sleigh and pull it up from over a cliff," Rodney insisted. "Have you ever thought about that? It makes no sense at all."

"It's a cartoon, Rodney."

"Hmm. Yes. But still." Rodney frowned. "Although I do have to admit, Boris Karloff as the narrator? A stroke of genius."

John nodded in agreement. "Absolutely." He tucked the end of the garland under a branch.

"No, no," Rodney said. "It's not even. You have to move it lower."

"Meredith," Kaleb said, "Can you get the rest of the silver garland from over on the couch?"

Rodney headed toward the couch, where he sorted through boxes, stacking them on the side table. "This one? It's looking a little threadbare," he mused, examining it as he draped it over his hands.

Something tugged at his sleeve. "Uncle Mer."

"Hmmm?" Rodney gazed down to see Madison clutching his sleeve. "Yes?"

She said something unintelligible, then tugged again.

"Mr. Toe?" Rodney repeated, scowling. "Who or what is a Mr. Toe?"

"Mistletoe, you big dope." Jeannie leaned in from the kitchen. "Look up."

Rodney looked up, and sure enough, a spring of green leaves and white berries dangled from the ceiling. "You do know that stuff is poisonous, right?"

"I don't think you're supposed to eat it, Rodney," John said.

Kaleb laughed.

"All right, all right. I will bow to tradition." Rodney sighed, then crouched down. "Do your worst, kid."

Madison wrapped her arms around his neck and planted a wet kiss on his cheek. Rodney put an arm around her and held her for a moment. She felt so tiny and fragile, and it made his chest ache, just a little bit, the way she leaned against him. Then he cupped her face and kissed her forehead. "Okay?" he asked.

She grinned, and for a moment looked breathtakingly like Jeannie.

"Come on, let's get this tree decorated before I turn into a pumpkin," Rodney said, grunting as he pushed himself back up.

"By the way the gingersnaps are ready," Jeannie said from the doorway.

"Did you pour the milk?" Rodney asked, starting for the door.

Reaching out to catch Rodney's arm, John asked, "What about the tree?"

"It can wait."

"Aren't you the one who always says you should finish what you start?"

"Yes, but when I say that there aren't warm gingersnaps in the kitchen."

Letting go of Rodney's arm, John followed him toward the kitchen. Madison darted ahead of them and John said, "Look at the example you're setting."

"Consider it a lesson in prioritization," Rodney said loftily.

John laughed.

***

When Rodney returned from the bathroom, John was already lounging on the bed, leafing through a magazine. He wore a gray t-shirt and blue plaid pajama bottoms and gray socks and looked comfortably settled in. As if he belonged.

Rodney frowned. That didn't make any sense at all. There was no reason at all why John, sitting on his bed--the bed he had claimed as his during his last few visits--should look so good.

"Hey," John said, grinning up at Rodney.

"Hey," Rodney said. He draped his damp towel over the back of a chair. "Are you sure you don't mind--" He pointed to the bed. "You know."

"Sharing a bed with you, Rodney?" John's tone of voice was odd--lower and rougher than usual.

"Yes. That."

"Nope. I'm good."

"Good. Good." Rodney nodded. "But hey, if you sleep on that side, you should know that that window is kind of drafty."

John eyed the window. Then turned his gaze on Rodney. "But I have you to keep me warm, right?"

"Oh. Right. That's very funny." But suddenly Rodney could imagine what it would be like to have John pressed up against him, a leg slipping between his, arm snug around his waist. To cover his confusion, Rodney pulled back the covers and climbed into the bed.

John placed his magazine on the nightstand and then pulled back the sheet on his side of the bed. "So," he said, settling on his side, "clothespin reindeer."

"There's nothing wrong with clothespin reindeer," Rodney answered sticking out his chin a little. He still couldn't believe Jeannie had kept those ornaments, let alone hung them on her tree.

"I like the purple antlers."

"Now, you're teasing me," Rodney said.

"Nope. I really like them. They're creative." John was resting his head on his hand, and he smiled at Rodney in a way that was a little unsettling when they were lying this close in a bed.

"I was a pretty creative six-year-old," Rodney admitted.

"I'm sure you were."

"Not as creative as Jeannie." She had painted her entire reindeer sky blue, claiming she needed camouflage. Rodney had pointed out that since reindeer flew at night, sky blue wouldn't camouflage her. Jeannie had stuck out her tongue at him.

"Hey, but you made a V2 rocket out of popsicle sticks," John pointed out. "That was very cool."

"It was, wasn't it?" Rodney nodded proudly.

"Especially with the pink glitter. It was a nice touch."

Rodney huffed. "Jeannie made me do it. She insisted." Rodney had refused at first, insisting that rocketships weren't supposed to be sparkly. "She can be pretty damn relentless."

"Must run in the family." And John was smiling at him again, a warm, affectionate smile and Rodney didn't know what to say to that.

"Yes, well." Rodney rolled onto his back and stared at the ceiling. All at once the bed was way too small, or John was way too big, or something like that. "Can you get the light?"

John shifted beside him, and a moment later the light clicked off. "Good night, Rodney," John said softly.

"Good night." Rodney let out his breath and tried to relax. He was certainly tired enough to sleep. The room was dark and silent except for the sound of John breathing beside him.

Right next to him. Under the covers with him.

Close enough to touch.

"Rodney?" John said, his voice a bare whisper.

"Yes?"

"Thanks. This is nice."

"It is, isn't it?" Rodney answered, just a little smug, because this was nice, even with the weird bed thing.

"Go to sleep, Meredith," John whispered, and Rodney closed his eyes.

***

The moon was shining through the window when Rodney woke up. He didn't need to look at a clock to know that it was morning back on Atlantis, his body knew.

Sighing, he looked over at John, who was lying on his side, legs bent just enough that his knees were pressing into Rodney's thigh. John looked pretty. It was crazy that his brave, Lt. Colonel of a best friend was pretty, but he was. Rodney had stopped being jealous a long time ago. Now he just enjoyed it.

John stirred, blinked a couple of times before focusing on Rodney. "What time is it?"

"Around three, I think." It was a guess based entirely on the time difference between the two worlds.

"Hmmm." John stretched, slow and relaxed. "Hungry."

"Me, too." The minestrone Jeannie had served for dinner had been a lot better than tofurkey, but soup always left Rodney hungry a few hours later. "Want some cookies?"

"Oh, yeah. Think Jeannie would mind?"

"Of course not." Rodney grinned. "We just need to be quiet."

He slid out of bed and reached for his sweatshirt. By time he had zipped it John was out of bed and into his black fleece pullover. He stood by the door, opened it a crack and peered out in the hallway, listening. Then pulled the door open, turned to Rodney and motioned for him to go through. "All clear."

Rodney rolled his eyes. "Thank you, Colonel."

Still, he crept quietly through the hall, loathe to wake anyone. Especially Madison, who had been wound up to a ridiculous extent while decorating the tree, dancing and giggling and rattling on about presents and Santa and cookies. He eased down the stairs in the moonlight, wincing as the floorboards creaked.

"Shhh," John warned.

Rodney came to a halt. "I'm trying," he whispered.

"Just keep moving," John whispered back.

They made it to the bottom of the stairs without incident, although Rodney did have an apprehensive moment when his hand tangled in the damn evergreen garland that was wrapped around the railing.

"Nice going," John said.

"Hey, it's dangerous stuff," Rodney insisted. "Scratched my hand."

It was darker in the living room, and Rodney carefully shuffled through the archway and over to the couch, intent on reaching the lamp without tripping over any leftover boxes.

"Wait," John whispered harshly.

Rodney froze, a rush of panic surging through him out of sheer habit. "What?"

"Don't move."

"What? What? Why not?" Rodney turned, squinting into the darkness, startled to find John had crept up right behind him and was now standing very, very close.

"Mr. Toe," John whispered.

"What?" Rodney looked up. "Oh, for god's sake."

"You aren't going to violate tradition, are you, Rodney?" Even in the semi-darkness John's eyes looked like they were practically dancing. Ready to start a jig any minute in fact.

Before Rodney could answer, John leaned closer and pressed his lips to Rodney's cheek. John's lips were really soft, and his breath was warm, and he smelled good. For a brief, crazy, fraction of a second, Rodney thought about reaching out and pulling him even closer.

Then John pulled back. His lips were pink in the moonlight and they looked as soft as they'd felt. Maybe they'd feel as soft on his mouth as they'd felt on his cheek. He hadn't just thought that. "Tradition satisfied?" Rodney asked, trying to sound like John's kiss hadn't been completely disconcerting.

"Not unless you want to kiss my forehead," John said and the teasing grin was back.

"Hard as it is to believe, you are not five. Now come on."

"To the cookies," John said, making it sound like a command.

Rodney made it into the kitchen and to the light switch without stubbing his toe, which he considered a victory. He flicked it on, and the room was flooded with light. He squinted at the brightness, then spotted the cookie tin.

"Milk, yes?" he asked. "Or cider?"

John blinked his eyes, then frowned thoughtfully, scratching the back of his neck. His hair was squashed flat on one side and his shirt was on inside out.

He looked as if maybe he did need a kiss on the forehead. And a hug.

It was a ridiculous thought, of course.

"Cider," John decided. "I'll get it."

In a few minutes they were settled at the kitchen table with an open tin of cookies in front of them, along with a glass of milk and a mug of warmed apple cider. Rodney stretched his legs out, then put a foot up the empty chair across from his, only to bump John's foot, already resting there. Rodney thought maybe he should pull it away, but John didn't move his, so Rodney changed his mind and left it there, leaning against John's.

"It was really nice of Jeannie to invite me," John said through a mouthful of cookie.

Bring someone special.

"Yes," Rodney said. "It was. She's good that way."

"I should get her something."

"Hey, I already bought them a car," Rodney pointed out. "But she always likes when I take Madison off her hands for a few hours."

John brightened. "Maybe we can go sledding. Madison kept talking about it yesterday."

"Sleds don't go over 200 miles per hour. They don't even get close."

"They will if you make some of that lubricant Chevy Chase used in the National Lampoon Christmas movie."

Rodney shook his head. "I know this is going to shock you, but that movie isn't real."

"That's what you said about Back to the Future," John said, pointing his gingersnap at Rodney.

Sighing, Rodney reached for John's cider.

***

The next time Rodney woke up the sun was filtering through the curtains. Blinking against the light, he opened his eyes and discovered an arm lying across his chest.

John was pressed against his side, his leg resting between Rodney's.

Rodney turned his face to find John asleep on the edge of his pillow, his face so close that his breath was ghosting over Rodney's face.

For some reason, Rodney's bladder decided it didn't need to be emptied after all.

Opening his eyes, John said, "Hey."

"Hey," Rodney answered, his voice as soft as John's had been.

There was a quick knock on the door. "Are you two going to sleep all day?" Jeannie asked as she pushed it open.

Rodney sat up so abruptly that it made his head spin. "No--no, uh, awake, we're awake," he stammered as Jeannie poked her head in. "Right, Sheppard?"

John stretched and yawned. "Sort of. Good morning, Jeannie." He grinned lazily at her.

Jeannie beamed at him. "Good morning, lazyhead. Hey, Kaleb made pancakes. If you hurry, you can get some before Maddie eats them all."

"Oooh," John said. "Pancakes. I'm definitely awake now."

"Coffee?" Rodney asked hopefully.

"Yeah, yeah," Jeannie said with a wave of her hand. And then she was gone.

"You get an offer of pancakes and I get a 'yeah, yeah'," Rodney grumbled as he climbed out of bed.

"I'm sure there's enough for you, too." John tucked an arm under his head and watched Rodney zip up his sweatshirt. "And plenty of coffee, too."

"Hmm." Rodney nodded, distracted by the sudden urge to climb back in bed and have John draped all over him again. "Um. Did you sleep okay? You know, besides the cookies and all."

"Yeah. I did." He sat up and with a rueful expression scrubbed a hand over his head. "Sorry about--I guess I was a bit cold this morning."

"It's okay," Rodney said quickly. "Really."

"Really?"

Rodney shrugged. "Really."

John nodded. He looked sort of happy. Probably had something to do with the impending pancakes.

"Come on," Rodney said. "Breakfast awaits."

***

"Your turn, Uncle Mer," Madison said, trudging back up the hillside with John's hand in hers. With his other hand John was tugging the toboggan behind him.

Rodney had no idea why he'd agreed to this. Neither of them had packed long underwear let alone snow pants. There were large wet spots on the legs of John's jeans, but the cold didn't seem to be slowing him down.

"Come on, Rodney. We'll all go down together."

The sled didn't look big enough to carry them all, but Rodney grumbled, "All right.'

"Yay," Madison said clapping her hands together. "I'll steer and you can sit behind me."

Rodney didn't point that there wasn't a whole lot of steering in a plastic toboggan.

John placed the toboggan in position at the top of the hill and held it, "Go ahead, Maddie, climb on."

Smiling even though her cheeks were flushed from the cold, Maddie climbed onto the sled and scooted up near the front. "Sit here, Uncle Mer," she said, patting the space behind her.

"Hold it in place," John said and Rodney reached out and buried his gloved hands in the snow to keep the sled in place while John climbed on behind him. "Ready, Madison?" John asked.

"Yes," she said, hands gripping the rope.

"Ready, Rodney?"

"Yes, yes, can we go now?"

"On three," John said.

"Three," Rodney said, and used his forearms to move the sled forward. Behind him John laughed and wrapped his arms around Rodney's waist. Pulling in his hands, Rodney slid his own arms around Maddie as the sled picked up speed.

They flew down the hill to the sound of Madison shrieking in delight, reaching that pitch that only small children were capable of. It went fast, faster than Rodney thought it would and maybe one or two of those shrieks were his, but he couldn't be sure, not with John's arms wrapped tight around his waist and John's loud, braying laughter in his ear.

They hit a bump and the toboggan slid off to one side, fishtailing dangerously. "Lean," John shouted, pulling Rodney to the other side.

Rodney leaned--he couldn't do anything but, with the way John was holding on to him. "Too much," he shouted, but it was too late, they were tumbling off, the toboggan slipping out from under them as they rolled into the soft, fluffy snow.

Rodney managed to avoid landing on top of Madison, letting her slip free at the last second. He caught a glimpse of her squealing with laughter as she flopped gracelessly into a snowdrift. Then Rodney was face down in the snow, John on top of him, still holding on tight.

"Ooof", Rodney grunted. He started to push himself up, floundering in the snow as John took his sweet time getting off of him. "You okay, Madison?"

"Again," she shouted, climbing to her feet. "Again!"

Rodney groaned, then rolled onto his back. John sat up and grinned, his nose red, snow decorating the front of his jacket. "Pretty cool, huh?"

"Yeah," Rodney said, resisting the urge to reach and brush the snow from John's jacket. "It was pretty cool."

***

They'd both been soaked through by the time they'd gotten back to Jeannie's. But there was hot chocolate and hot showers, a good dinner, although Rodney still couldn't figure out who served vegetarian enchiladas for Christmas Eve dinner. Other than his sister and Kaleb.

Now he was warm and full with a glass of mulled wine in his hand and John sitting beside him on the couch as they listened while Kaleb read The Night Before Christmas to Madison.

He wasn't going to admit it to Jeannie, but there might be something to this family thing, after all.

***

Rodney was still feeling content when he slipped into bed next to John. Not quite ready to sleep, he settled onto his side facing John. John, he'd learned, pretty much always slept on his side.

"I can't believe they didn't have any toys that needed to be put together. Shouldn't she be getting a bike, a toy kitchen, something that requires a little work?" Rodney spoke quietly because the darkness and moonlight seemed to call for it. But it was Christmas Eve; he was an uncle; he shouldn't be in bed yet; he should be sitting in the living room surrounded by boxes, cursing toy manufacturers.

"Next year we'll buy her something big and complicated that will require several hours and a full toolbox to assemble, all right?"

"I'm going to hold you to that."

"Don't worry, I'm sure Madison will have something under the tree you can play with," John said with a teasing smile.

"An erector set."

John chuckled. "We got her tinker toys."

"That's right, we did." Rodney felt better just thinking about it. "I used to love tinker toys."

"Used to?"

Rodney did the grown-up thing and changed the subject. "How early do you think she'll be up?"

"Six."

"That's pretty late for Christmas morning."

"When did you get up, four?"

"Usually between four and five, although the year we got up at three I thought our father was going to strangle us."

"Us?"

"Jeannie got up, too."

"After you woke her."

"Did she tell you that? Because it's totally not true."

John chuckled again, soft and low. Rodney could see him smiling in the moonlight, and whatever else he had been about to say, vanished.

John's smile softened, changing into something Rodney didn't recognize. He stared at John's face, trying to sort it out. It wasn't as if there was anything else in the room to look at, at least nothing so close.

John's hand appeared from under the covers and Rodney watched it come closer. Then John's fingers brushed his cheek.

Rodney didn't move, kept perfectly still except for his indrawn breath.

John did it again, touched the pads of his fingers to Rodney's cheek.

The third time Rodney closed his eyes. But when John's fingers touched his lips, Rodney opened them again. Opened them and shifted, moving closer. John shifted to meet him.

Rodney's lips brushed John's.

It was a sweet, brief kiss. Yet Rodney's heart was pounding, blood roaring in his ears as he held perfectly still, nose to nose with John, waiting for what seemed like an eternity for John to react, for John to do something.

Or maybe John was waiting for him.

Finally Rodney leaned in and kissed him again, this time tilting his head to fit his mouth to John's. It must have been the right thing to do because John made a small noise in the back of his throat, curling his hand around the back of Rodney's neck and pressing his mouth against Rodney's as if it were something he had wanted for a long long time.

And maybe it was, which was pretty astonishing to consider but all Rodney knew was that they should have done this sooner, because kissing John was a wonderful thing--soft lips, scratchy chin and a sly, teasing tongue. It got even better when John pushed him down and rolled on top of him, smooth and easy, as if this were something they did every night.

Rodney ran his hands down John's lean, hard body, loving the feel of it, the way John pressed against him. It had been ages since he had done this with another guy--hell, ages since he had done this with anyone--and he had forgotten how good it felt to simply touch and feel and stroke.

And to kiss.

John kept on kissing him, slow and languid, one right after the other, and it was starting to make Rodney a little crazy. His cock pressed against John's hip, hard and needy and when he thrust up against John, John pushed him back down, and okay, that was hot. He tried not to think about the fact he was in his sister's house, with his niece down the hallway and Kaleb and Jeannie right across from them.

With one last kiss, John nuzzled Rodney's cheek, then slid off to one side. Rodney followed, leaning into him, holding on, worried that John was going to stop, and yet afraid to say anything that might break the spell.

Then John put his hand over Rodney's cock.

Rodney reached for John, pulled him into another kiss, tilting his hips, pushing himself into John's hand. John pressed back, but only for a moment. Then he reached for Rodney's t-shirt. Rodney sat up and pulled it over his head. Taking hold of John's shirt, he tugged it up. John sat up and ducked his head, raising his arms and letting Rodney pull his shirt off.

Pulling in a breath, Rodney pressed his hand to the center of John's chest, soft hair and warm skin, and he thought that maybe he could feel John's heart pounding.

Although it might have been an echo of his own.

John brushed his fingertips over Rodney's nipple.

It was crazy, the two of them half-naked in Jeannie's guest room, touching like teenagers. Shifting onto his knees, Rodney straddled John's thighs, and leaned down to press his lips to the side of John's neck.

John wrapped his arms around Rodney's waist, pressing them together, skin to skin.

Rodney sucked on John's skin, too soft to leave a mark, but still enough to taste, to draw a soft sound from John.

Stroking one hand up Rodney's back, John turned his head, seeking Rodney's lips with his own. There was nothing languid about this kiss. It turned Rodney inside-out, left him breathless and wanting.

John seemed to understand. He pushed Rodney's pajama bottoms down and Rodney eagerly helped, stripping off his boxers along with them, shifting his weight from one knee to the other as he pulled his feet free.

And then he was naked. Naked and kneeling over John, the tip of his cock brushing against John's stomach. John wrapped his fist around it and Rodney let out a strangled moan at the rush of pleasure.

"Rodney," John whispered. He let go to shove his own pajama bottoms off, wriggling awkwardly beneath Rodney, all elbows and knees.

"Hold on, wait, let me--" Rodney shifted to one side and grabbed John's knee before it did any serious damage, then helped remove John's pajamas and underwear and then John was naked too, skin gleaming white in the moonlight, dark hair and the curve of muscles creating shadows against the light and John was simply gorgeous.

John reached out, pulling Rodney down over him.

They gasped in unison at the sensation.

John was hot and hard, his chest hair rough against Rodney's skin. With a whimper John shoved up against Rodney and Rodney ground back down against him, so much wonderful friction and warmth and it was insanely good, especially when John started kissing him, kissing Rodney's neck, his chin, his cheek before finally finding his mouth.

Another rock of his hips, rougher this time, and then a loud thud as the bed slid forward and struck the wall.

They both froze. Rodney held his breath waiting for Jeanie to call out, ask what was wrong. When there was nothing but silence, Rodney let his breath out, dropped his head to John's shoulder.

John stroked his back. Too simple a touch to feel so good. "Maybe we should try something else," John whispered, laughter in his voice.

"Yeah," Rodney whispered back and rolled onto his side next to John. John followed, wrapping his hand around Rodney's cock.

Rodney bit back a groan and reached back. John's cock was smooth, skin sliding easily against Rodney's palm. Stroking slowly, Rodney looked down, watched his own hand move up and down John's length.

Then John stroked him, and Rodney lifted his eyes to find John watching him, unguarded and so open it took Rodney's breath away just to see it.

"John," Rodney breathed, and it came out sounding reverent but it wasn't such a bad thing because John's mouth curved into a sly half-smile in response. Then John let go of Rodney's cock, just for a moment, brought his hand to his mouth and licked it with a flick of a pink tongue.

"Oh," Rodney said, mesmerized.

When John went back to stroking him, it was smooth and slick and even better than before. Rodney thought maybe he should do the same for John, only he couldn't seem to gather up the coordination to do so. Instead he kissed John's wonderful mouth and pushed into John's hand, still holding John's cock in his, squeezing and running his fingers over it, because it was so hard and smooth and sort of big and it was John's; he was touching John's cock and John was touching his and it was so simple but yet maybe the best sex he had ever had.

John did something with his hand, rubbing it over the head of Rodney cock and this time Rodney moaned out loud, right into John's mouth and when John did it again the surge of pleasure washed over him, spilling out all over, it was wonderful, it was fantastic and Rodney rode it out panting against John's cheek.

He was still a bit shaky when he slid his hand down to cup John's balls in his palm. They filled his hand nicely, and for a moment Rodney considered sliding down and taking one into his mouth, but John lifted his hips and sought Rodney's mouth with his own. Letting go of John's balls, Rodney moved his hand up John's length, slow and light. When John moaned a protest into Rodney's mouth, he tightened his grip and began to stroke in earnest, steady at first, then faster.

He kissed John the entire time, a little sloppy, but he wanted so damn much it was almost as if he hadn't come at all.

John gave him what he was looking for, kissing back, moving into his touch.

Pulling his mouth from Rodney's, John buried his face in Rodney's neck and came, his whole body shuddering against Rodney's.

Feeling John relax against him, Rodney let go of John's cock and wiped his hand on John's hip before wrapping his arm around John's waist and pulling him closer.

"Nice," John muttered.

"It was, wasn't it?"

"I meant you wiping your hand on my hip."

"Oh, sorry.

"It's all right," John said nuzzling closer.

Rodney let go of John long enough to find the edge of the comforter and pull it over them. Then he slid his arm back around John and closed his eyes.

***

"Uncle Mer, wake up. Santa came, Uncle Mer. Come on, get up."

The words were accompanied by a child landing on his chest.

"You, too, Uncle John. Santa came."

Rodney looked blearily at Madison who was kneeling on top of the comforter, which was on top of him. "Fine, fine, we'll get up. Just please stop using my chest as a trampoline."

"Merry Christmas, Mer, John," Jeannie said from the doorway.

"Merry Christmas," John answered, smiling and reaching out to ruffle Madison's hair. With his long, naked arm. Which lead to his naked shoulder.

Face heating, Rodney said, "Yes, yes, Merry Christmas. Feliz Navidad. Now if you'll all go away, we can--" Rodney stopped, not wanting to reveal that he was naked under the covers. They both were.

He was naked with John.

He'd had sex with John, on Christmas Eve, in his sister's guest room.

"Get dressed," Jeannie suggested with a look that said there would be a conversation later.

Rodney wondered if he could bury his face under the pillow and just go back to sleep. And wake up back in Atlantis.

"Come on, Maddie," Jeannie said. "Let your uncles get dressed."

"We'll be down in a minute, I promise," John said to Madison.

"One minute," Madison said warningly and climbed off of Rodney.

The door closed behind them, and Rodney considered pulling the pillow over his head. But John smiled at him and said, "Come on, Rodney. Santa was here." Then he kissed Rodney quickly, slid from the bed and began looking for his clothes.

Rodney couldn't help but stare--John bending over, picking up his clothes from the floor, and he was naked, and…wow.

John caught him staring and Rodney didn't what to say, except, "Nice?"

It seemed to be the right thing, because John crawled back on the bed and kissed Rodney again. "Merry Christmas," he murmured, making it a very lewd suggestion.

"Yes," Rodney said, pulling him in for another kiss.

"Not unless we want Maddie coming up here looking for us," John warned.

"Good point."

And Rodney was out of bed, hunting down his clothes, wishing there was time for a shower.

***

A wild flurry of wrapping paper and ribbon, gifts all around, Christmas carols playing in the background and Rodney clung to his coffee cup, blinking across the room at John.

Who he had had sex with. He had held John's cock in his hand, he had John's come all over him, and now he was sitting with his sister and brother-in-law and niece and they were unwrapping presents.

It was pretty amazing. And scary. And wrong. But not wrong, not the way John had kissed him and smiled at him and---

"Here you go, Uncle Mer."

Madison was in front of him, a gaily wrapped package in her hand. "Oh, thank you," he said, accepting his gift.

And maybe it was just a freak thing, John feeling warm and fuzzy about the holidays and sharing it with him, or maybe not, maybe John was just horny and Rodney was right there, literally, right there in bed with him.

"Oh, cool," John said, admiring the case of vintage Flash Gordon DVDs. "Rodney, you shouldn't have."

"Yes, well," Rodney waved a hand, because John's broad grin was making him feel warm again, and he didn't know if he should let it make him feel all warm because they probably were never going to have sex again.

Rodney set to opening his packages, thanking Jeannie and Kaleb for the music and DVDS and the "I am SO not listening" t-shirt, then found himself opening the full set of "Back to the Future" DVDs. From John, of course. Rodney glared across the room at him, but was touched and amused.

Maybe they'd watch them together.

In bed.

"Okay," Kaleb said, after what seemed like hours of unwrapping. "Who is up for some breakfast?"

"Me," John said, standing and stretching. Rodney tried not to look at the little bit of skin that was peaking out.

"Christmas makes me hungry," Madison announced.

"All that gift opening is hard work," John agreed sagely, as the other adults stood.

"Mr. Toe, Uncle John," Madison said, pointing above his head.

John looked up. "Yup, that's Mr. Toe, all right," John said with a sly grin. "I guess you better come and kiss me."

Madison shook her head. "Uncle Mer has to do it."

"I do?" Rodney asked.

"Yes," Madison said, emphatic in a way only a five-year-old could be. "He's your boyfriend so you have to kiss him."

Jeannie giggled. Rodney glared at her. Crossing his arms in front of his chest, he turned his glare on Madison. "What makes you think John is my boyfriend?"

"You were hugging in bed, like Mommy and Daddy hug."

"She has a point, Rodney," John said.

"Yes, well, one hug does not a relationship make."

"Who said anything about there being just one?" John said. He was looking up at Rodney from under his lashes, and Rodney had no idea how he managed it because he was taller than Rodney. Not by a lot, but still taller. The lashes thing made him look shyly hopeful, and there wasn't any way Rodney could resist that.

"Not me," Rodney said, crossing the room in a handful of steps.

And then he was standing right in front of John, acutely aware of Jeannie's eyes on him, along with Madison and Kaleb and jeeze, maybe they could invite the whole town over to watch? But then the corners of John's eyes crinkled up and his gaze filled with warmth and affection, all of it focused directly on Rodney.

Rodney cupped the back of John's neck and kissed him on the lips, making it brief yet tender. When he pulled back John blinked, then grinned that broad happy grin, the one that did all kinds of things to Rodney's insides.

"Okay?" Rodney said, turning to Madison. Jeannie was staring wide-eyed and Kaleb was carefully adjusting the garland on the tree.

"Yes," Madison said, clearly pleased. "Breakfast now."

"Uh, good," Rodney said. "Breakfast." The others headed toward the kitchen, but he couldn't move, not just yet, because John's arm was wound around his waist, pulling him back against John's chest.

"Rodney," John murmured.

"I had to," Rodney said. "Madison made me."

John chuckled against Rodney's neck, his breath tickling Rodney's skin. "I see."

Rodney twisted around in John's arms and hugged him, hard. "So this is a real thing," he asked, quiet so as not to be overheard in the kitchen. "As opposed to a one time thing."

"You and me, that's about as real as it gets, Mer," John answered, his voice low and soft, and for some reason John calling him Mer made him feel warm inside. Just as long as John didn't make a habit of it. Letting him go with a quick kiss, John said, "Pancakes."

***

The pancakes were good, although Rodney couldn't help but think that they would've been better with bacon. Madison babbled happily, planning which presents she was going to play with first.

Rodney relaxed and enjoyed the food, and the babble, and the feel of John's knee pressing against his under the table. With a sigh, Rodney put his empty cup back on the table and wondered if he could cajole John into getting him more.

But Jeannie stood and said, "Mer, help me clean up."

There wasn't any way he could get out of it, so Rodney pushed himself from the chair and began gathering plates. Arms full, he followed Jeannie into the kitchen.

She opened the dishwasher and Rodney put the plates on the counter for ease of loading. "You should've just told me you and John were together, you know. Did you think I'd disapprove?"

"What? Of course I didn't think you'd disapprove," Rodney said, looking up from loading a plate to find Jeannie glaring at him. "You're not an idiot." Straightening, he said, "Look I didn't know we were, you know, a thing, until last night."

"How could you not know?"

Rodney felt his face flush again. Sometimes he hated being pale. "Because we weren't; we hadn't."

"You and John had sex for the first time in our guest room?"

Rodney nodded, his embarrassment shifting to annoyance when Jeannie began to laugh.

"Why is that so funny?"

"Because it is." Jeannie patted his arm, then kissed his cheek. "Now go play with Madison."

Rodney turned, then hesitated. "Thanks," he said.

Jeannie flicked water at him. "Go."

Rodney headed into the living room, where John sat on the floor with Madison, carefully building a marble run from plastic pieces, while Kaleb relaxed on the couch with his coffee cup, and the Christmas tree lights blinked happily.

Sitting cross-legged on the floor between them, Rodney observed their handiwork. "I don't think the marble is going to have enough momentum to get up that second hill."

"What's momentum?" Madison asked.

"Speed," Rodney answered absently, estimating the marbles weight at a half gram and beginning to calculate its probable speed in his head.

John grinned at him. "See Rodney, I told you there'd be something for you to play with this morning."

"We're still getting her an erector set," Rodney answered, but what he was really thinking was that this was the best Christmas he'd had in years.

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