by The Grrrl

Title: Verisimilitude

Author: The Grrrl

Author's email:

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Archive: Ask first.

Fandom: Stargate Atlantis

Pairing: Sheppard/McKay

Summary: A cushy mission in a luxury resort hotel. Why it is making Rodney so cranky?

"I still don't see why Teyla couldn't do this," Rodney whispered as they entered the lobby.

"We've been through this, Rodney," John explained. "Some of the people here might know her. And Kanaan."

"Okay, not Teyla, then. But someone. Anyone else. That new major What's-her-name," Rodney insisted, pasting on a pleasant smile as they approached the front desk. He continued under his breath, "I don't see why it has to be me. And you.”

“Because it does,” John said with finality. He greeted the man behind the front desk with a smile. “Hi there. We're here to check in?”


It was a nice place, Rodney grudgingly acknowledged. A fancy resort hotel hiding away in the Pegasus galaxy. Who would have thought? The architecture was typically castle-like, but the interior was up to date and had all the modern conveniences. It was downright luxurious, with the thick carpet and richly carved furniture. Plus, the sumptuous food. It would have been an okay mission, hell, a great mission, except for one thing--the hotel catered solely to newlyweds.

“And how long have you two been married?” the woman asked as she sipped her drink.

John grinned and slipped an arm around Rodney's waist. “Five days,” he said with a squeeze, pulling Rodney against his warm, wiry body.

“Oof,” Rodney grunted as he grabbed John's shoulder for balance. “Yes, yes, five wonderful, glorious days.”

“We just got married yesterday,” she sighed happily.

“Congratulations,” said John, nudging Rodney until he smiled and offered his congratulations.

“We met while hiking in the woods,” John told another couple. “Love at first sight.” He leaned in and pressed a kiss to Rodney's temple.

“He proposed to me, actually,” John explained to an elderly, white-haired couple. “Cooked me a fancy dinner, made a little speech and everything. How could I say no?” John laughed and clasped Rodney's hand in his.

“The canapés are delicious, here, try one.” John slipped the delicacy directly into Rodney's mouth, his fingers lingering on Rodney's lips. “Good, huh?” he asked while Rodney chewed and scowled and finally admitted that, yes, it was all right when in actuality it was very, very tasty.

Towards the end of the interminable meet and greet, Rodney excused himself, claiming to be tired from the trip, when in reality he was tired of everything, the touching and the smiling and the making nice, John's arm wrapped around his waist or John's hand on his shoulder, fingers curling around the back of his neck, so many easy, comfortable signs of affection. It was all so easy for John.

Rodney was beginning to hate this mission.

Back in their room, Rodney stalked about, eyeing the large bed covered with what seemed to be a hundred fluffy white pillows, the rich red drapes, the thick red blankets, all the trappings of a luxurious honeymoon suite, complete with a fireplace and a crackling fire.

It gave him headache. And a stomachache. He sat down at the overwhelmingly ornate desk and pulled out his laptop, determined to find the source of the energy signature so they could get the hell out of there and back to Atlantis.


It was over an hour before John came back to the room. "Find out anything yet?" he asked as he sprawled in an overstuffed chair, lazy and relaxed and as irksome as ever.

"No," Rodney snapped. "I have not."

"Nothing at all?"

"Just confirmed what we already knew." Rodney closed his laptop and leaned back, glaring at the velvet drapes. "The signature is coming from an area just past this hotel and if we go out exploring the grounds tomorrow like we planned I should be able to pinpoint it."


Rodney stole a glance at John, who was regarding him with a curious expression. "What?"

John shrugged. "You're pretty damn cranky. Just wondering why."

"Cranky? Oh, I'm cranky now?"

"Yes." John nodded at him. "You are. Crankier than usual."

"Why, thank you. I was working." Rodney waved a hand at his laptop. "We're on a mission, remember?"

"Yeah. I remember." John reached down and unlaced his boots. “What's your problem?”

“My problem?” Rodney folded his arms across his chest. “You want to know my problem?"

John watched Rodney and waited for him to continue.

“Okay, fine.” Rodney unfolded his arms with a huff. “I hate this. I hate that we are pretending to be together instead of pretending we're not together."

John's eyebrows rose, crinkling his forehead.

Rodney stood up from his chair and paced the length of the room. "I mean, fine, we have to hide who we are together, I get that, except now we're here making like we're married, although we can't fool around, because hello, off-world mission--and we have a great big bed we're supposed to sleep in because we're married and we've never spent a single night all the way through together at home. You know," he waved a hand. "The city."

"Are you saying you want to get married?" John asked, slipping his shoes off.

"What?" Rodney scowled at John. "No. Are we having the same conversation here?"

"I'd marry you." John shrugged.

"What did you say?” Obviously Rodney's hearing was going, because he thought John said--

John nodded, as if to himself. ”Yup, I'd marry you. If I could.”

“Why the hell would you do that?”

"Because I like you, Rodney." John rose up from his chair. "And I liked being married." He headed into the bathroom, pulling the door shut behind him.

"What? What did you say? You what?” Rodney yelled at the closed door. "What did they give you to drink in there? Are you crazy? Married?"

Rodney tried to imagine it, him and John, standing at some kind of altar, or maybe a judge, yes, that was far more likely-- both dressed in suits, or maybe John in uniform--no, no, that couldn't possibly--

"Married?" he asked again. Obviously, it would never work between them, even if they could do such a thing. His parents had been married and that sucked, all they did was snipe at each other when they weren't ignoring each other and Rodney's shoulders began to hunch just thinking about it, how their bitterness permeated every exchange between them. “You were joking, right?”

But then there was Jeannie and Kaleb, they way Jeannie smiled when Kaleb came through the door, the warmth and easy affection between them, the connection, the unity. Of course I told Kaleb, Jeannie had said about the the Stargate program we don't keep secrets from each other. As if she couldn't imagine it being any other way between them.

Rodney scratched his head and frowned and listened to the water running and by the time John opened the bathroom door again Rodney found himself saying, "Yes, okay, I can do that."

"Do what?" John asked.

"Marry you."

John ducked his head, grinning. "Good."

"I mean, it's a pointless discussion. Well--okay, maybe not," Rodney said, because John was still grinning as he puttered around the room, pulling out his kit and sorting through the compartments. "Oh, for god's sake--"

Rodney crossed the space between them and pulled John into a hug, because John looked so stupidly happy, and because John would marry him, willingly, even though he was cranky pretty much all the time.

With a content sigh, John wound his arms around Rodney and held on tight, nuzzling Rodney's neck, leaning his long body against Rodney's, rubbing Rodney's back and kissing just beneath his ear before sliding his lips across Rodney's cheek and onto his mouth for a sweet, leisurely kiss.

“Could happen,” John said, then kissed Rodney again, all warm lips and friendly tongue.

“You're ridiculous,” Rodney said, but he was smiling now, too. “Completely ridiculous.”

“Says you.” John tugged at the hem of Rodney shirt, then leered salaciously. “Hey, I know where there's a great big bed.”

“Oh, do you?” Rodney settled his hands on John's waist.

John pressed his hips against Rodney's. “Yup.”

“What happened to 'never on a mission'?”

“It's part of the mission, Rodney,” John explained patiently. “We have to make like it's for real. Us. Being married. In a bed. Together.”

“Ooooh.” Rodney nodded sagely. “I like the way you think, Colonel.”

And as John tugged him toward the great big bed, Rodney decided that maybe it wasn't such a bad mission, after all.

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