Foretold

by The Grrrl

Title: Foretold

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: What if John had taken the Seer's hand? What would he have seen?

Notes: Spoilers for Season 4 up to 408, "The Seer".

--clothes strewn carelessly on the floor. A pair of combat boots. A pillow, half-covered by the trailing edge of a bed sheet and then--Rodney. Stretched out naked on the bed, ass high and round and pale, sloping down to a broad stretch of back, damp skin gleaming. There's a low chuckle and Rodney is kissing-- oh god it's him, he's in bed with Rodney, under Rodney, grinning stupidly as Rodney nuzzles his neck--

John jerked his hand away and the vision abruptly vanished. He was back in the infirmary, surrounded by blinking lights and beeping monitors. Disoriented, he stared down at Davos, mouth open but unable to speak.

Davos' smile was not unkind. "I see more than just terrible events."

***

John was good at compartmentalizing. He'd done it all his life, so putting aside the vision--prophecy--of him and Rodney in bed was easy, at least as long as the immediate crisis lasted. Having a wraith in the city, especially that particular wraith, made it even easier. Everyone was twitchy and tense as Rodney worked on the virus code, Radek kept an eye on the long range sensors and Woolsey irritated Carter along with everyone else within hearing range. When the moment came, John sat in the control chair and they waited for the wraith to blow up the city but then they didn't, they blew each other up instead.

And it was over. Everything changed.

Post-crisis, the city was quiet. Too quiet. No off-world trips for his team while Rodney worked on the virus code. Nothing to distract him from the thoughts in his head, thoughts of Rodney's naked back, the sweat on his own brow, they way he had grinned and tilted his head back to let Rodney at his neck. One tantalizing post-coital glimpse, and he kept going over it in his mind, again and again, wondering how they got there, marveling at how comfortable they looked together. Happy. Content. Like he and Rodney belong there, in bed together. Like they did such things all the time.

He wondered how far in the future he had seen.

It wasn't the first time John had imagined Rodney naked. He'd sometimes let himself think about it late at night. It wasn't right, but still he had wondered what it would be like to suck Rodney's cock, even though Rodney was his teammate, someone he was responsible for. Someone who had never given a single indication of being anything other than straight.

John was careful to go about his days like any other day, checking on Rodney's progress in the lab, meeting him for dinner in the mess, laughing and joking like nothing had changed. Like he wasn't wondering what Rodney's naked skin felt like, pressed up against his. Because nothing had changed. He was still the military leader of the base, and what Davos had showed him could never come to pass.

But one thing was certain--Rodney was never ever going to find out about the vision.

***

"Okay. I've had enough." Rodney leaned back from his desk and regarded John through narrowed eyes. "What is it?"

John jerked his head up. "What?"

"What's wrong?"

"Nothing's wrong, Rodney." John canted his hip and leaned against the table in an especially casual manner. "I just thought I'd stop by to see how the override was coming along."

"It's coming along just fine. Almost finished, just like I told you this morning."

John nodded thoughtfully. "That's good. Nice work, Rodney."

"Of course it is. But that's besides the point. You've been acting all weird lately. I mean, even for you." Rodney closed his laptop and rose from his chair, finger wagging. "There's something going on. Tell me."

"There's nothing going on, Rodney." John rolled his eyes for good measure.

Rodney froze in mid-finger wag. "I'm going to die, aren't I?"

"What?"

"You're keeping something from me, I can always tell when you are, you get all shifty-eyed and squirrely. If you're not telling me, it means it's something I can't do anything about, so it must be really bad--oh my god, I never healed from that ascension machine, did I?" Rodney placed his hand on his chest, as if making sure his heart was still beating. "What has Keller told you?"

"Jeeze, Rodney, listen to me, you are not dying." John sighed. Rodney was still staring with a stricken expression, clearly not believing him.

"Oh, my god." Rodney's eyes widened. "You're dying."

"No," John insisted. "I'm fine. You're fine. Everybody is fine."

Rodney moved closer. "Then what is it?"

John took an involuntary step back. "What's what?"

"You've been hovering around me, with that --look on your face. There is something on your mind." Rodney crossed his arms over his chest, chin thrust forward. "'Fess up. What's going on?"

"Don't you have work to do?" John asked, waving a hand at Rodney's computer.

"Not until you tell me what's going on. I can't function effectively without full knowledge of a situation."

"Rodney." John sighed, closing his eyes. When he opened them again Rodney was still standing in front of him in all his stubborn and single-minded glory. John relented. "It was just a thing with the Seer, that's all. He showed me a vision."

"Oh." Rodney's eyebrows rose. "Really? Of what?"

John shrugged. "You and me."

"You and me?" Rodney frowned and sat on the edge of his desk. Then his head jerked up. "Wait--you and me? Were we captured by the Wraith?"

"No, not captured by the wraith--"

"About to have the life sucked out of us? Is that why you've been acting so freaky? Or no, no, no, oh my god, it was the replicators, wasn't it?"

"Rodney," John said sharply.

Rodney's shoulders slumped, forlorn and resigned. "How much longer do we have?"

"For god's sake, Rodney, it was just us, okay? You and me together, here in the city. In your room. Safe."

"Oh." Rodney brightened. "Cool. What were we doing?"

John shrugged, fingering the hem of his shirt. He liked this particular shirt. It was black. And very soft. "Stuff."

"Stuff? What kind of stuff?"

"Just--stuff." John looked at his watch and pushed away from the table he was leaning against. "Oh hey, look at the time, I have to run, I--"

"No, no, no way, you can't leave it there. " Rodney was on his feet again, this time scrambling to stand between John and the door, eyes intense and insistent. "What were we doing?"

"Fine. You really want to know?" John demanded. Rodney could never let a damn thing go, could he? "We were in bed together."

Rodney blinked. "We? As in you and me?"

"Yes." John nodded, oddly relieved to have it out in the open.

"And we were-- we were--" Rodney waved a hand between John and himself, then raised his eyebrows questioningly. "We were what?"

"Naked." John's face grew warm at the memory, the curve of Rodney's ass, the expanse of his back, the way he smiled and laughed, as if sharing some intimate joke.

Rodney looked off to one side. "So you saw us actually doing, you know," he took a breath and turned back to John. "What exactly were we doing?"

"What do you think we were doing?" John snapped.

"I don't know," Rodney said. "Did we look like, I mean, did it seem like we wanted to be..."

"We looked happy, Rodney. We were sweaty and naked and we looked happy, like we just finished doing something that made us...happy. Okay?"

Rodney nodded slowly, and was still nodding when John pushed past him and out the door.

***

"I'm glad that guy's gone," Ronon said. He threw down his fork and picked up the pork chop with his fingers. "I didn't like him."

"Who?" John asked, putting his tray on the table and sitting next to him. "Davos?"

"Davos was a good man," Telya admonished. She nodded a greeting to John.

"Nah. Not him. He was kind of cool." Ronon licked his fingers. "I'm talking about the bald guy. Wooly?"

"Woolsey," Rodney said. He was seated directly across from John but remained steadfastly focused on his food.

"Woolsey. What kind of name is that anyway?" Ronon said.

John buttered his roll. He watched Rodney for a moment, trying to gage his mood, but Rodney did not look up from his plate. "Ah, Woolsey's not so bad."

Ronon gave him a look.

"Okay, so maybe he is," John conceded. "But he was only doing his job."

"Well, he'd just better stay on earth and do his job from there," Ronon said. "It's never good when he comes around." He bit into his pork chop.

"That's the way things are when it comes to earth politics," John said, watching Rodney push food around on his plate. "People always interfering from a distance."

"It is like that on many worlds here, also." Teyla scooped up a spoonful of red jello, examining it dubiously before dropping it back into the cup.

"You going to finish that?" Ronon asked.

Teyla slid the cup toward him. "Please."

Ronon grabbed the cup. "Hey, how come so many of those guys don't have any hair?"

"Who?" John asked.

"Ellis. Caldwell. And that Wooly guy." Ronon cocked his head to one side and eyed John critically. "Yours should be going soon, right?"

"Hey," John said, indignant. His hand automatically went to his head, and he frowned. Maybe Ronon had a point.

Ronon grinned, enormously pleased with himself.

"You don't joke about things like that," John told him, fighting back a grin himself. He turned to Rodney, expecting a similar outburst. Rodney was always defensive when it came to hair.

But Rodney was merely staring down at his plate.

Ronon glanced at John, then nudged Rodney with an elbow. "Hey, McKay, how goes the override?"

Rodney pushed his chair away from the table. "Fine. It's fine. Okay, maybe not fine, but I'm making progress and hey, I should--" He stood abruptly, staring at a point just over John's left shoulder. "I should go and work on it some more." He grabbed his tray and hurried off.

"What's up with him?" Ronon asked.

John shrugged, his heart sinking. "You know Rodney. Could be anything."

Ronon grunted in agreement.

John contemplated Rodney's empty seat. That whole 'happy together' part didn't seem to be coming anytime soon. Davos was obviously mistaken in this particular vision, no matter how good his record was.

***

He barely saw Rodney at all for the next five days, too busy organizing evacuations of settlements in the replicators' path, and Rodney presumably was huddled in the lab, working with his team. They passed each other in the corridors, Rodney nodding a brusque greeting before hurrying off again. At briefings he chose the seat furthest from John and sat on the edge of it, body tense, sending worried glances John's way, as if John might suddenly ambush him and drag him off to bed.

Which might not be such a bad idea. Then they wouldn't have this thing hanging over their heads. Maybe that was what it would take to get the image out of his mind, of Rodney naked and stretched out over him like he belonged there. Drag Rodney into his room, strip him naked and make moan and writhe and come. Fulfill the prophecy.

And maybe a fantasy or two while he was at it.

But John was pretty sure that particular plan of action wouldn't result in a contented, laughing Rodney.

Or maybe it would. Maybe Rodney needed a push. Maybe John could show him how good it could be between them.

Or maybe John was just going insane.

He wished he had never taken Davos' hand.

***

"So, that's it?" Carter asked, watching the data scroll past.

"Yes. Well, almost."

"Almost?" John prompted.

"Almost," Rodney said, frowning at the screen. "See, the problem is, they are designed to evolve, so once I overwrote the initial wraith virus code, they inoculated themselves against similar viruses. So we need an entirely new approach for getting that code," he pointed at the screen, "into their database."

"And can our Wraith friend offer any advice on uploading?" Carter asked.

"I don't know. I mean, maybe he's still holding back something, but it's possible he's as stumped as I am. It's hard to tell."

"I'd be happy to talk with him," John added. "You know, Ronon would too."

"There is one possibility," Rodney said, turning to Carter. "The nanovirus. The one that infected and killed several members of my science team the first year we were here."

"What?" John said. "You've got to be kidding me. You want to reactivate those?"

"No. What, you think I'm crazy?" Rodney glared at John and it was almost comforting. "No. I want to access the lab again, see if there's anything we missed when we transferred the data from those computers. Maybe there's subroutine in their programming we can use here."

"That system isn't linked to the main database?" Carter asked.

Rodney shook his head. "No, the lab was entirely isolated. And while we pulled all the data we could find, we know more about the architecture of the ancient systems now and maybe there was something we missed."

"You, Rodney?" John couldn't help asking. "Maybe you missed something? Wow."

"It's been known to happen," Rodney said pointedly. He didn't look up and a chill ran through John's body. Rodney sounded so damn angry and John knew it had nothing to do with nanites and replicators and programming. "Anyway, it's been sealed off, but it's safe, all the nanoviruses permanently deactivated and most likely degraded by now."

"All right," Carter said. "Sheppard, you and Rodney check out the labs first thing in the morning, see what you can find."

Rodney straightened abruptly. "Actually, I was thinking more like Radek and I should go, it's perfectly safe now, not necessary to have military personnel--"

"Rodney," Carter said. "Radek needs to work on the sensors tomorrow morning. I can't spare him. It's you and Sheppard." She flashed a quick, puzzled glance at John.

John shrugged, pretending he had no idea what was wrong with Rodney. "We're on it, Colonel," he assured her.

Carter nodded. "Thank you."

Then she left and John was alone with Rodney in the lab for the first time in a week.

Rodney frowned and tapped his keyboard. John took at step back. "Eight hundred hours, okay?" he asked, intent on making a quick getaway before he ended up smacking Rodney on the head or apologizing to him or something equally ridiculous.

"See, what I don't get," Rodney said conversationally. "Is that we have to sleep together simply because an old man thinks we should."

John halted. "Rodney," he sighed, hanging his head in defeat. He did not want to have this conversation, but still, it was better than Rodney avoiding him.

"I can't get past the fact we need to have sex to fulfill a prophecy."

"Don't you have that backwards?" John asked. "Isn't it more like we decided to sleep together and Davos caught a glimpse of it and then shared with me?"

"Well, what made us decide that?" Rodney spun around in his chair and stared at John. "Davos showing you that vision? Can't you see the contradiction there? I have my own free will. I choose who I sleep with and when."

"Fine," John said, unable to get past the scornful sneer on Rodney's face. "You do that. Because you know what? I don't want to sleep with you anyway."

"Of course not--you're straight. You don't sleep with guys."

John cocked his head and stared at Rodney.

Rodney's face fell. "What? Oh, don't tell me--"

"Yes, Rodney."

"Really?" No longer scornful, Rodney looked John over in a way that was almost speculative. "Oh. I didn't know that."

It was definitely an interesting look, warming John right down to his toes. "Listen--"

Rodney shook his head. "No, no, I just don't--don't you see, this seeing into the future thing is all wrong. It goes against everything I know to be true. I mean, I'm an open-minded kind of guy, and it's not like sex with you would be such a horrible thing--"

"Gee, thanks." John folded his arms over his chest and glared.

"But am I doing it because we're predestined or because it's my own free will?"

"Hey, I haven't said I'm willing to do it."

"But apparently we do." Rodney rubbed his forehead. "Because Davos' visions always come true, which means at some point we would have chosen to sleep together without being manipulated into it. Damn it, I'm getting a headache. I hate this."

"Listen Rodney," John said, hating how guilty he was beginning to feel about the whole thing. "Let's just stop thinking about it and get on with our lives."

"How the hell am I supposed to stop thinking about it? About you? About--" Rodney waved his hand. "You know. Sex. Especially now that--you. With guys."

Rodney's cheeks were turning pink. It was a good color for him.

"Well, you're going to have to find a way to not think about it," John insisted.

Rodney rose from his chair. "Is it something you had thought about before? Did you think of me that way? I mean, have you been looking at me and thinking 'hey, I want a piece of that'?"

The conversation was going all wrong and Rodney didn't need to know how close he was to the truth. John scrambled to find something to say, anything to deflect Rodney's all too apt line of reasoning and the only thing he could manage was, "Damn it, Rodney, this isn't the time or place for this kind of discussion. What you need to do right now is focus on the nanite programming and deactivate that attack code." He made it an order and to his ears it sounded unreasonably cruel--after all he was the one who told Rodney about the vision in the first place, when Rodney had plenty of things already on his mind.

"Right, right." Rodney nodded and all at once the fire went out of him. Tired and dejected, he pulled his chair over and sat back down in it. "Stop talking and let me work then, okay?"

John left the lab, feeling like an absolute jerk.

***

John hesitated at the laboratory door. Rodney was still in there, as he had been that morning, head bent over his computer, the nape of his neck exposed.

If he and Rodney were dating, if they were an item the way they were in his vision, John could walk right over there and press his lips to the pale skin, nuzzle at the hair line, and it maybe it would tickle a bit and Rodney would squirm--

"Hey, McKay," Ronon called out, abruptly reminding John of his presence.

"What?" Rodney said, twisting to peer over his shoulder.

"Jaws. Come on, watch it with us."

Rodney's eyes met John's. "In case you haven't noticed, I'm working." He did not sound happy.

"Come on, you need a break," John said, trying to make it sound like an apology. "You've been at it all day. We're hitting the nanovirus lab tomorrow, so why don't you just give it a rest."

Rodney's eyes narrowed.

"Giant killer shark," Ronon added with a grin of pure glee.

John nodded and pointed to Ronon. "What he said. And we have beer."

Rodney turned back to his desk, checked the readouts scrolling over several screens and nodded. "Well, it is a pretty good movie."

"That's the spirit," John said encouragingly.

"And there's not much more I can do here at the moment." Rodney rubbed his eyes. "Sure, why not."

Ronon slapped Rodney's back and they headed for the transporter. In minutes they were in John's room. Ronon passed around the beers, then flopped in a chair as John set up the movie. When John turned back around, Rodney was perched on the edge of the couch, his eyes shadowed and dark, hands clenched around his beer bottle.

John sat beside him carefully, making sure to stay on his side of the couch.

"Chips?" he asked, offering the bag to Rodney.

Rodney shrugged and took the bag with a marked lack of enthusiasm.

John grew even more concerned. "Popcorn?" He waved a second bag.

"With the cheese?" Rodney asked.

John nodded proudly.

"Oh. I like that kind."

"I know."

Rodney hesitated, then took the bag from John. "Thanks," he said.

Relieved, John added, "We'll figure this out."

Rodney crammed a handful of popcorn into his mouth. "We?"

"Yes. We."

When Rodney nodded, his expression softening, John felt as though he had finally won a battle.

"Come on, we watching this or what?" Ronon asked.

With a click of button they were watching the movie. Ronon was suitably impressed--John knew he would be. Giant killer shark, grizzled old sea captain--although John was pretty sure that Brody had been a whole lot older the last time he had watched it.

Some time later he noticed Rodney was slumped against the back of the couch, eyes closed, mouth open. John reached over and gently removed the half-full beer bottle from where it was resting against Rodney's leg.

"Oh, this is going to be cool," Ronon said as they lowered Richard Dreyfus down in the shark cage.

Rodney's head jerked and he blinked his eyes, confused.

"Oh yeah," John told Ronon. "You're going to like this part." He flashed a grin at Rodney.

A faint grin in response, and Rodney leaned back, stretching his legs out until his foot nudged John's. Then with what could almost have been a content sigh, he closed his eyes again, hands folded over his stomach.

John eyed Rodney's foot for a moment, then turned his attention back to the gore and mayhem on the screen, his heart lighter than it had been in days.

***

"Ew," Rodney said as they entered the final corridor leading to the lab. "It still smells pretty rank down here."

"I thought it was all cleaned up?" John asked, sniffing the mildew-scented air. "Smells like the showers in my high school gym."

"Thank you for sharing that little gem of information." Rodney scowled at John, and John had to bite back a grin. "And, yes, it's been cleaned up in the nanovirus sense, but not disinfected. I'll bet there's water still coming in somewhere."

They reached the door. Rodney took a breath, then activated the door lock. John peered past Rodney's shoulder as the doors slid open, revealing an immaculate lab, empty table tops and benches and desks, scrubbed clean of any sign of the what that taken place there.

"Huh. They really cleaned the place up, didn't they?" Rodney murmured.

"You okay buddy?" John asked. They had lost good people in the nanovirus outbreak, most of them from Rodney's science team.

Rodney took a breath. "Yeah." He nodded determinedly, then entered the lab, surveying the instruments. "Let's get this over with." He pulled out his tablet, then unwound the cable. "We weren't able to access all the data storage modules last time we were here, some of them had been damaged in the storm. We've always been meaning to come back..." His voice trailed off.

"Let me guess, something always came up," John suggested.

"It's not exactly like we've had long down times between crises," Rodney said, plugging in the connector. "But, no, none of us have been particularly eager to revisit this place."

"I can understand that."

Rodney glanced up, examining John's face soberly before nodding. "I'm sure you can." He tapped a few buttons, and the console lit up. "Ah, good." He bent over the keyboard, working intently, then stepped back. "That will transfer all the data that can be accessed."

Rodney crossed the room and knelt behind another console. "Want to give me a hand with this?"

"Sure." John crouched beside Rodney and began unscrewing the bolts on the panel. He stole a glance at Rodney, who was intent on unfastening the panel, hair fluffed up in the front as if he had been running his hands over it. Rodney had actually joined them for breakfast and grinned as Ronon regaled Telya with descriptions of the movie.

Maybe Rodney was taking John's advice and getting on with his life.

John wished he could do the same.

"Sorry I conked out last night," Rodney said.

"No problem, you needed the rest. And you did have half a beer."

"Are you implying I'm a lightweight?" Rodney asked, unfastening the last bolt.

"Uh huh." John sat back on his heels as Rodney tugged at the panel.

"Am so not."

"Of course not. We just had to turn the volume up hear it over your snoring."

"I do not--damn it." Rodney pulled a screwdriver from his vest and tried to pry the panel free. "I think this one was damaged-- " He cursed again as his fingers slipped and his knuckles bashed against the frame.

"Rodney, here, let me--"

"No, no I'm fine." Rodney shook his hand, examining his reddened knuckles. "But that's going to bruise." He crawled closer to the panel, positioning the screwdriver carefully and this time the panel began to yield. "Can you get your fingers or something under that edge?" Rodney asked, indicating with a jerk of his chin.

John moved closer and reached for his knife.

"No no no, god, who are you, Ronon?" Rodney asked, incredulous. "Not to mention that the way things are going you'll end up chopping my hand off. I have another screwdriver in my vest."

"Oh." Pretty sure that Rodney wouldn't have complained if he had been Ronon, John sheathed his knife and reached around Rodney's arm to pull on the velcro flap of Rodney's vest pocket. Rodney ducked his head, watching and when John felt warm breath on the back of his hand he faltered for a moment.

"The other pocket," Rodney said.

His voice was quiet and tight with something John couldn't quite recognize but made his hopes soar. Smoothing the flap back down with his fingers, John leaned against Rodney as he reached for the pocket on the other side of the vest. "Sorry," he said, his lips inches from slope of Rodney's cheek.

He wanted to press his lips to it, which was a terrible thought and he tried not to think of how it would feel because most likely Rodney would freak out irreparably and it would ruin everything they've managed to get settled between them.

Rodney grunted an acknowledgment. "Today," he said, but his voice lacked his usual snap.

John slipped his fingers into Rodney's warm pocket and withdrew the screwdriver. "Got it."

Rodney had tiny lines around his eyes, as if from squinting too much in the sun, or maybe they were laugh lines, from smiling. John was pretty sure he could make Rodney smile. Make him really smile.

"Um, the panel?"

"Right." John pulled his hand away from Rodney's chest and inserted the screwdriver into gap between the panel and the frame.

It took some pulling and more cursing from Rodney but then without warning the panel broke free, sending Rodney falling back against John.

"Whoa, buddy," John patted Rodney's back as he righted himself.

And then he couldn't remove his hand. Rodney's back was broad, and when he spread his fingers out he only could span the back of one shoulder.

Rodney glanced over his shoulder, one hand resting against the console. "John?" He didn't move, and it was entirely possible he was leaning back into John's touch and seriously, it must be due to John's vivid imagination because Rodney wouldn't be doing that, Rodney should be getting up and moving away from him but Rodney just held very still.

--Rodney, stretched out over him in bed, holding him down, pressing him against the mattress, smiling down at him. So much naked skin touching his and he'd bet that Rodney's skin was warm, very warm to the touch--

"What were we like?" Rodney asked. "In your vision, what did we do?"

Unable to meet Rodney's eyes, John stared down at his hand, curved now over the top of Rodney's shoulder. "I thought we weren't going to talk about this."

"Tell me, John--what were we doing?" Rodney's voice was low and urgent.

John thought about the way Rodney had laughed, rich with happiness and contentment. "We were naked."

Which might at any other time warrant a 'well duh' response from Rodney, but he only nodded thoughtfully.

"Did we kiss?"

Rodney's lips, moving over the line of his jaw, brushing his cheek before moving to his lips.

"Yes." If John spread his fingers a little further he could reach the edge of Rodney's shirt collar.

"Touch? We were touching each other, right?"

John glanced up and met Rodney's eyes, which was probably a mistake because they were astonishingly blue and intense and he found himself saying, "You were on top of me. So yeah. Touching."

His fingertips reached past the collar and onto Rodney's neck. Warm to the touch, and Rodney didn't move away, he just swallowed and blinked, eyes going vague and John knew Rodney was picturing it in his mind.

"Right," Rodney suddenly said, all business as he pulled away. "Let's get this storage module out of here."

Heart sinking, John withdrew his hand. He watched Rodney fumble with the connectors, removing them from the device. "Can you try and get the other panel off? There's one more, over there." Rodney indicated the other side of the lab with a jerk of his chin.

"Sure." Feeling dismissed, John rose to his feet and looked for the other console.

Rodney glanced up. "You'll probably need this. To loosen." He held the screwdriver out, but when John went to take it Rodney didn't let go. "Do you think about it?"

"Yeah," John admitted quietly. "I do." Before Rodney could say anything else John pulled the screwdriver from Rodney's hand and headed for the other console.

This one was undamaged, and John was able to release it by simply unfastening the bolts. "Should I disconnect these wires?" he called out, only to find that Rodney was standing beside him, slipping the small device he had removed from the other console into his vest.

"Yes, the ones on the side first, that's it."

John began unfastening the connectors, acutely aware of Rodney's presence beside him.

"Good, just like that. I'll, um," Rodney said after a moment. "Check on the other system." A brief hesitation, and then he patted John on the shoulder with a quick, gentle hand.

Touching. That was interesting. John took his time removing the connections, watching Rodney out of the corner of his eye as he flipped switches and muttered himself, opening access panels and examining glowing screens. At one point Rodney shook his head in disgust.

"I'm not getting anything new from these," he said. "Although maybe Radek can. Don't tell him I said that, okay?"

"What," John said. "That he understands the architecture of ancient systems better than you do?"

"No," Rodney insisted.

"That's what you said."

"No, I did not."

John grinned and released the final connector. "Got this one." He rose to his feet, waving the device at Rodney.

"Good. That should be it," Rodney said. He slammed a panel shut and gathered up the wires around him. "We're out of here."

John nodded and brought the device to Rodney. "I hope Radek can find something useful in it."

Rodney grunted. "Right." Then with a sideways glance he asked, "You going off-world later? For the evacuation of M2G-009?"

"Nah," John said, curious. "Lorne's team is taking care of it. Why?"

Rodney shrugged. "Just wondering."

***

John settled on his bed to read when a quick knock sounded at his door.

"Okay," Rodney said, storming into the room. "Let's do it. I can't stand this anymore."

John looked up from his golf magazine. "Hi?" It wasn't until Rodney took off his jacket off and threw it down on the chair that the meaning of his words sank in. "Wait a minute--"

"No, no, no. No 'wait a minute's, no more talking--I can't deal with this hanging over my head for another minute. Radek and his team are retrieving the data from the modules and so in the meanwhile we're going to have sex. Right now. Come on. Off with the clothes." Rodney unbuckled his belt and bent down to unlace his shoes.

"What?" John blinked in disbelief as Rodney kicked off his shoes. "Rodney?"

Grim and determined, Rodney unfastened his pants and dropped them to the floor, revealing brightly striped boxers. "I can't go on for another minute with the threat of imminent sex hanging over our heads. We do this once, fulfill the prophecy and then, like you said, we can get on with our lives."

"I don't think that's how it's supposed to work," John said, magazine slipping from his fingers and wow, Rodney had amazing thighs.

"Oh really?" Rodney threw his hands up. "So tell me, how is it supposed to work?"

John shrugged, forcing himself to raise his eyes. "I don't know." And he didn't, he didn't know at all, and it was hard enough to think with the damned vision still persistent and fresh in his mind but now with Rodney's dogged striptease--

"Don't you understand?" Rodney balanced precariously on one foot as he pulled a sock off. "We're not intended to see into the future. It's just wrong, it's all wrong. I can tell you in exquisite mathematical detail why it's wrong, or we can get naked and have sex."

"No," John said. This wasn't right. It wasn't how it was supposed to go down at all. Rodney was supposed to be smiling, damn it.

Rodney was brought up short. "No?"

John crossed his arms over his chest. "No."

"Why not?"

"Because."

"Because why?" Rodney asked, advancing on John, sock still in hand, looking very much like a man at his wit's end. "For god's sake John, give me one good reason why not. I can't work, I can't sleep and now you with the 'no', despite--despite--" He waved the sock in his hand as he spoke, then brought himself up short. "Oh. I get it," he said quietly.

"Get what?" John frowned. Rodney always made him feel like not only he had missed the train, but that he wasn't even at the right station.

Bluster completely gone, Rodney sat on John's couch and began putting his sock back on. "You don't want me. You never actually did, did you? Fine, fine, I know I'm not hot stuff or anything, but I thought there was something, especially when we were--never mind."

Crap. John scrambled from the bed, grabbing Rodney's arm to stop him. "No, Rodney. That's not true."

"So why did you have that vision?" Rodney asked, not hearing John at all, his voiced high-pitched and querulous. "This is so not fair. I'm finally on board with the whole idea, and you never really wanted to do it."

"That's not it at all." John shook Rodney's shoulder until Rodney reluctantly turned to him with sad, weary eyes. "I just don't want it to be like this. I want it to be...nice."

"Nice?" Rodney repeated, wrinkling his brow as if he had never heard the word before.

"Nice as in not something you have to endure."

"Endure?" Rodney shook his head. "No, if anything, it's the other way around. I've never done this before and it's you who is going to be enduring it because I might not be any good at it and you're all--well, look at you. You've had a lot of sex, haven't you? With guys who know how to...do things. Nicely."

"No, jeeze, no. That's where you're wrong."

"You said in the vision that you were happy, that we were happy, so that means I must have known how to do something--hey, are you sure it was me? The real me? As opposed to Rod, or some other alternate me?"

"Rodney," John sat beside him. "It was definitely you in the vision. But you don't have to do this."

"Yes, I do. According to Davos."

"Forget about Davos. You don't sleep with guys."

"See, that's what I don't understand. You're right, usually my type is a little more, uh, female? But you made me think about it, and yes, I've come to the unfortunate conclusion that I do want to do it.

"Unfortunate?"

Rodney blanched. "No--I didn't mean it like that, I meant that I wanted the prophecy to be wrong, because the whole concept is wrong. I believe in free will, that our future is not predetermined, not to mention that I thought I was straight, but now, not so much." Rodney rubbed a hand over his forehead and sighed, lost and bewildered. "I've been nothing but wrong. Especially in coming in here tonight."

John squeezed Rodney's arm. "Rodney, I'm saying that it needs to be something you want, too. Or else I don't want to do it."

"It is something I want," Rodney said without hesitation. "Believe me, John. I keep thinking about you, touching me, about the vision, about how we got there, and the happy--all of it."

Rodney looked so hopeful, with his green and white striped boxers and his thighs and the brown tee-shirt snug across his shoulders.

And the one single lone sock.

John began to grin. "Seriously?"

"Yes." Rodney rolled his eyes. "Sex. You and me. Right now. Isn't this where we were a few minutes ago? Do I have to come in and start all over again?"

John went serious, pretending to think about it. He shook his head. "No, I think we can continue on from here. As long as you promise to stop arguing with me about it."

"What?" Rodney's eyes went wide. "Me arguing? You started it, I was all ready to--oh," he said as he saw John's big grin. "You jerk."

John nodded. "Yup. And you're going to sleep with me." It was hard not to sound triumphant.

"I am," Rodney said. He sounded surprised.

John nodded again and the eager expression on Rodney's face made his heart beat even faster. "Because you want to."

"Yes. Although you should know--I don't know how it works between guys."

"Rodney," John said. "I'm not exactly an expert but the basic mechanics really don't change."

Rodney looked thoughtful. "Will there be kissing? You said we kissed."

John took a breath, leaned in and pressed his lips to Rodney's. It was brief touch but when he drew back, Rodney looked faintly awestruck. "I guess that means yes?"

"Yes, Rodney."

Rodney grinned proudly. "So how long have you had the hots for me? And were you planning on telling me at any time?"

And that was an area of discussion John had no intention of getting into. He kissed Rodney again, this time lingering on Rodney's lips, touching them gently with his tongue until Rodney's lips parted. Rodney's kisses were impatient yet somehow sweet and John made the most of it, pulling Rodney close, holding him tight, kissing him soundly. Rodney's hands came to rest on his shoulders, warm and heavy and John couldn't resist letting a hand casually come to rest on Rodney's bare thigh. Rodney made a small noise, breathing in sharply and John grew bolder, stroking Rodney's skin with his thumb, eventually sliding his hand up over firm muscle and soft little hairs until he reached the hem of Rodney's underwear, then slipped a finger underneath.

"Oh," Rodney breathed, pulling back and ducking his head to watch John's hand. "I like that."

"You sound so surprised," John said, nuzzling Rodney's ear.

"Well yes. And no. I mean--I don't know what I mean," Rodney rambled happily, leaning against John.

"So you're definitely sure about this?" John asked, only half in jest.

"Oh, for god's sake--" Rodney nearly climbed into John's lap, kissing him frantically, warm and large and eager and all over him. It was even better than John had hoped. Rodney wanted this, wanted him and it was hard not to smile--Rodney honestly wanted this, even though he was a guy.

John got both hands on Rodney's ass and Rodney's mouth was on his neck, hands under John's shirt, palming the small of his back and their knees bumped and the couch was no place for two large men to be making out. "Rodney," John gasped.

"Mmmm?" Rodney sucked John's earlobe.

"I have a bed."

Rodney turned to look. "Why yes, you do." He slipped from John's grasp and stood, disheveled and a little unsteady on his feet, the swell of his cock clearly visible beneath his boxers.

He looked irresistible. With one finger, John traced the ridge of Rodney's erection.

"So, yes, I guess you can say I'm sure about this," Rodney said in a rush.

John leaned forward and pressed his lips to it, mouthing Rodney's cock through the thin layer of cotton.

"Oh god." Rodney's voice was low and guttural, almost devastated and John was pretty sure it was the most astonishing thing he had ever heard.

"Take your clothes off," John said, rising to his feet.

Rodney raised his eyebrows, uncomprehending. "Oh. Right. Clothes." He pulled his shirt off over his head, emerging bare-chested and still a bit dazed, the shirt slipping from his fingers and falling onto the floor in a heap. "Okay?"

At first all John could do was stare at Rodney's naked shoulders, broad and surprisingly muscular. He touched Rodney's collarbone with a fingertip before flattening his hand on Rodney's chest, the thump of Rodney's racing heart solid and steady against his palm.

"John?" Rodney said softly.

John drew Rodney close and pressed his face against Rodney's neck, breathing him in. Then he pushed down Rodney's boxers, so he could get his hands on Rodney's naked ass, Rodney's damn ass which had begun to haunt him in his dreams which was kind of crazy but god, it felt perfect, filling his hands. He spun Rodney around to see what it looked like. It truly was perfect, just like in his vision, round and firm and smooth, his own tanned skin contrasting with Rodney's paleness, his fingers pressing into the flesh.

"Jesus," Rodney murmured, clutching John's arm. "I just--" He twisted around, mouth going crooked with surprise when John curled a hand around his cock. "On the bed?"

John kissed Rodney's shoulder. "Right. Bed."

He herded Rodney--naked Rodney toward his bed, pushing him down on it, and when Rodney laid back John slid his hands up the inside of Rodney's legs, spreading them. He closed his mouth over the head of Rodney's cock and groaned as he sucked, pressing his tongue against the hard shaft. Rodney's hips twitched and jerked and when his cock slipped from John's mouth, John reached for Rodney's waist, turning him over so he could suck and nip at Rodney's perfect ass, making Rodney yelp but John pushed Rodney down with a hand to his back, spreading Rodney's legs, licking and tasting his way down from the small of his back, skin salty on his tongue and he wanted, he wanted Rodney, he wanted everything, he needed to taste, so much need that it was like a buzzing in his head, obliterating everything else in the universe.

He slid his tongue down the cleft of Rodney's ass, hands spreading Rodney's cheeks, his tongue seeking the most intimate of places, sliding over Rodney's opening--

"Whoa--" Rodney jerked away, flipping over to glare indignantly at John.

John winced. "Um--moving a little too fast?"

"A little." Rodney drew his legs in. "Sorry, I just didn't expect your tongue. There. In my ass."

John took a breath. "Since Antarctica," he said.

"What?"

"When you explained to me how a Stargate makes a wormhole. That's how long I, you know. You." He waved a hand at Rodney, hoping it all somehow made sense because that day Rodney had made the impossible possible and John had been captivated ever since.

A look of sweet surprise. "You're kidding me."

John shook his head earnestly. "Nope." He crawled forward and kissed Rodney's knee. "And I like your thighs."

Rodney blinked, bemused. "They like you too?"

John grinned.

"You're kind of strange, you know that?"

John wasn't sure if he should be insulted, since Rodney seemed pretty delighted by his discovery, pulling John down over him on the bed, kissing him again and again, pushing his cock against John's thigh. He grasped John's shirt, struggling to remove it and John sat up to help, grabbing the collar behind his neck and pulling it off over his head with one swift move.

"Nice," Rodney said, eyeing John's chest. "Hairy."

"What?" John looked down--he wasn't that hairy, was he?

Rodney tugged him down and he fell against Rodney's chest with a thump and oh, warm naked chest mashed up against his, nice, very very nice. He mouthed Rodney's neck, sucking on his skin, nosed at his chest, his shoulder, nuzzled down to lick a nipple as Rodney squirmed beneath him, and then finally he scooted down between Rodney's legs to greet Rodney's insistent cock with a lick and a grin. "Hey," he said. "Look at that."

Rodney's cock was pretty damn good-looking, thick and long, heavily veined with hairy balls and when John sucked on it Rodney's hips rose up from the bed. "Oh god, that is so great," Rodney babbled, "you can't imagine how--oh, oh oh--"

And this was exactly how it was supposed to be. Rodney sounded happy, and more than a little desperate, hands grabbing the sheets as he sputtered broken sentences. John settled in and sucked steadily, head bobbing as he worked Rodney's silky smooth cock until Rodney was trembling and breathless, until Rodney jerked and strained and came, filling John's mouth with the sharp taste of come before finally falling back down on the bed, whimpering.

John gave Rodney's twitching cock one last kiss, then wiped his mouth and took it all in--Rodney, flat on his back, arms spread wide, red-faced and panting, a sheen of sweat on his skin.

"Okay, that?" Rodney said, pointing a finger in the air. "Was really good. Amazingly good."

John sat back, pressing the heel of his hand against his own aching cock. "Yup."

Rodney lifted his head. "You should take your pants off right now." He grinned a gleeful, dimpled grin. "I think I'm ready to face your penis."

"You sure?" John said, sliding off the bed to unzip his jeans. "I don't want to scare you or anything."

"I think I can handle it," Rodney told him.

John pushed down his pants, stepping out of them neatly. Rodney sat up, watching with rapt interest as John stripped off his boxers and then stood, naked and hard, letting Rodney look him over. Even though it felt pretty weird to be on display there was a heat in Rodney's eyes that made his cock even harder.

"Oh. That's--that is good," Rodney said, almost to himself. He reached out to John. "Come here."

John knelt on the bed.

Rodney touched his chest, then pressed his lips to John's neck as he slid a hand down to John's cock. "Penis," he said. With an arm around John's waist, he pulled John down on the bed.

"Yes," John said, laughing. "That's what it is, Rodney."

He lay back and let Rodney touch him all over, his balls, his thighs, his nipples, gasping as Rodney rubbed his thumb over the slick head of his cock. "What do you like?" Rodney asked.

"That," John said. "Touch me. Please."

And Rodney did, with his clever, clever hands, wrapping around John's cock. He shifted positions until he got one that worked, propped up on an elbow, kissing and rubbing his cheek on John's stomach as he stroked and squeezed his cock.

"Rodney," John moaned. Rodney was touching him just right, and it wasn't going to take long, not after having Rodney's cock in his mouth, not after making Rodney moan and come. He grabbed hold of Rodney's shoulder, steadying himself as he rocked up into Rodney's fist, and yes, right there, the perfect rhythm. "I'm, uh--" he gasped, trying to warn Rodney and then he was coming, in bright splashes of pleasure and Rodney stroked him through it, easing off as John came shuddering down.

"Hey, that wasn't so hard," Rodney crowed.

John snorted. "Get over here." He tugged Rodney up and Rodney came willingly, kissing John with surprising tenderness before spreading himself out over him.

"Was it nice?" Rodney asked. "You said you wanted nice. I thought it was. Very nice."

"Yes, it was nice," John said and he was pretty sure the grin on his face was big and stupid, but Rodney had just jerked him off and looked so damn happy and proud of himself that John had to hug him close and press his grin against Rodney's neck.

"And sticky," Rodney said, wiping his hand off on the edge of the bedsheet.

John nodded, hands on Rodney's back, smoothing down his sides and over onto his ass.

"So, um, I guess this fulfills the prophecy?" Rodney asked, licking John's neck.

"I don't think so," John said with a yawn. "Didn't I tell you? We were in your room in my vision. I'm sure I said so."

"Did you really?" Rodney didn't look up. "I must of, uh, forgotten about that part. Oh well."

"Uh huh." John grinned at the ceiling. "So I guess we can't just get on with our lives just yet."

"No." Rodney heaved a big, put-upon sigh, stomach pressing against John's. "We're going to have to do this again."

"Yup."

"Maybe tomorrow?" Rodney rested his head on John's chest. "I'm pretty wiped."

John toyed with Rodney's soft, fluffy hair. "Me too."

"Except that that my room gets pretty cold sometimes, so--"

John finally burst out laughing. "Rodney, you're a terrible liar."

Rodney raised his head, his eyes bright. "Oh. So, um, lots of sex in our future?"

"Now look who's a seer," John said, pulling Rodney up for a long, slow kiss.

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