July 22nd, 2007


Marry-Go-Round (R)

Title: Marry-Go-Round
Author: ComputerGoddess47
Author URL: http://goddess47.livejournal.com/
Date: July 22, 2007
Pairing: McKay/Sheppard
Rating: R
Spoiler: Sunday, specifically; set late season 3 so anything prior to Sunday is fair game...
Warning: Sap mostly
Summary: Rodney thinks it's time he got married. While Katie Brown is the obvious candidate.....
Archive: Area 52, anyone else, ask

Author's Note: Thanks to Tove for the beta. She begged so nicely for a followup that she has bred an evil plot bunny. When that sees daylight it will be so totally her fault.


"Marry me?"

Lieutenant Colonel John Sheppard had been in the middle of a swallow of coffee which promptly went down the wrong way. He coughed his way to breathing again and swallowed experimentally. "Geez, Rodney, you just can't say things like that," John wheezed. "Besides, shouldn't we be dating first or something?"

Rodney rolled his eyes and said faintly apologetically, "Sorry. I was trying it out to see how it sounded. Didn't realize I said that out loud."

John coughed a couple more times to get things working properly again. "What are you talking about?" he demanded.

"Well, I was thinking I really would like to get married some day and I said that to Katie but then I told her that I didn't mean her, not specifically, but married in general but then in thinking about it maybe I do want to marry her because if I don't marry someone soon then maybe something will happen and I won't get to have kids to pass my genius on to but the look on her face now that I think about it meant that maybe she was interested so I thought that maybe I'd try it again and see what happened," Rodney said with one breath.

John had to work hard to parse that through. "Okay, you think maybe you want to marry Katie Brown?" John asked. "You in love with her?" There's a problem... for me, anyway....

"Dunno," Rodney answered. "But I think I should spend more time with her to find out."

John looks down at his coffee to compose himself. A deep breath once his own emotions are under control, he looked up at Rodney and offered, "You probably should do that, then."

"Okay, then," Rodney hummed happily, "I'll try that." Rodney finished his lunch and went off to the biology labs.

John sat for a long time watching the direction Rodney had walked off. Damn....

When John came in for dinner, he saw Teyla and Ronon sitting in their usual spot but no Rodney. Scanning the dining hall further, he saw Rodney and Katie sitting at a table for two off to one side. Taking his meal to join his team mates, John nodded, "Evening."

"What's with McKay?" Ronon asked. Teyla raised an eyebrow to indicate she was as clueless as Ronon.

"Rodney's trying to decide if he wants to marry Katie Brown. Wants to pass on his genius to kids or something like that," John explained as casually as he could.

"Have not Rodney and Doctor Brown dated before?" Teyla pointed out. "It did not work well that time, if I am not mistaken."

"Well, since... since Carson died, I think Rodney's thinking more about what could happen to any of us at any time. It's kinda freaked him out and maybe he's just reacting to that," John gave them what explanation he could. "He thought he'd see what would happen if he tried again."

Teyla looked at John with knowing eyes and he couldn't hold her gaze. Not that John had ever talked to Teyla, but he knew she saw things that others didn't. He didn't even want to think what she or Ronon suspected – he didn't even let himself think about it too much.

"I hope things work out for the best," Teyla replied calmly.

John shrugged. "It will be interesting," he told her.

They had a mission the next day and while walking to the village John heard himself asking Rodney, "So, how'd dinner go? Saw you and Katie eating together last night."

Rodney grinned, "It went exceptionally well. I thought it would be better if I didn't say anything about getting married for a bit and to see if I really do like her and if she might be interested. So I apologized for not getting to eat lunch with her.... on that day... and...well, we just talked about things." The report was casual but John knew Rodney was pleased with himself.

"So, when are you getting together again?" John inquired.

"When we get back. I'm to call and see what meal is next and then we.." Rodney stopped, looking at the device in his hand. "Colonel, major energy reading in that direction." He pointed off to the left of the trail they were following.

"Teyla! Ronon!" John called. "Rodney's found something off that way." He indicated the direction.

Ronon studied the terrain and said, "Okay, let's back up a bit, there was a break in the hill back a ways and it should make it easier to go in that direction rather than trying to cut through the undergrowth here." Ronon came back to them and indicated where he thought they should go.

"McKay? Will that work?" John asked.

"How should I know?" Rodney replied quickly. "All I know is that way, but a big spike."

"Teyla? Anything we should be watching out for?" John asked.

"I have not been here and the database indicated a reasonably large population. We selected it because there was an indication of edible fruits that we hoped to be able to trade for. Nothing else was helpful," she recounted.

That was what he had remembered from the mission briefing. I love playing planet-roulette, John thought to himself, not for the first time. "Okay, then. No reason not to check it out. Ronon, you first," John directed.

They retraced their path a short distance and followed Ronon into the break he had seen. Rodney kept getting more excited as they walked. "These are amazing readings. There has to be a major energy source to cause this!" he exclaimed.

"Careful, Rodney," John cautioned. "Don't wander off on me." He winced at how that sounded. Luckily Rodney didn't really hear it.

"We're getting closer," Rodney said, sweeping his detector around.

They came up on a rise over a hill and stopped. A ruined city lay below them. There were no signs of movement.

"Culled, I would guess," Teyla offered. She looked down to the silent city. "Not recently, I think."

"I think you're right," John agreed. "But that doesn't mean no one is home. First sign of Wraith we get out of here. Careful."

"Yes, yes, yes," Rodney agreed absently. He was focused on the reading. "This is the place."

It took a couple of hours of searching, amazingly enough without being disturbed by anything larger than what would have been a squirrel on Earth, before they found it.

"A ZedPM!" Rodney breathed. "Not fully charged, but about half." He had gotten his computer out when they found it and his fingers danced on the keyboard. "Add this to the one we have and the things we can do..." Rodney's voice trailed off in wonder.

"Pack it up and let's get out of here before anyone shows up to take it away from us," John ordered. He remembered Dagan much too clearly to want to waste time here. They could protect it better once they were back on Atlantis.

That night an impromptu party broke out in the labs. Having a second ZPM would let them power up another section of the city and the scientists were excitedly listing all the new projects they wanted to start. Stashed food came out of hiding along with alcohol. Zelenka produced some of the vodka he had made from the purple potatoes from D3R-479. After all they had been through there was nothing unusual about purple vodka.

Being the ‘guest of honor' Rodney had been roundly toasted and had more than his share of the vodka. John had stopped drinking a while ago, but Rodney was now pretty drunk. John figured Rodney had earned it, but kept an eye on his scientist. When the party started to wind down, John took Rodney by the arm and said, "Okay, Mr. ZPM, time to get some sleep. You're going to feel awful in the morning as it is," John coaxed.

"I feel fine," Rodney protested gaily.

"Now, you do," John soothed. "Tomorrow, you're going to have a hell of a hangover. Trust me."

Rodney stopped and looked John in the eye and said solemnly, "I always trust you, John."

John's heart clenched. Oh, Rodney.... "Come on, you need some sleep," John told the swaying man.

Rodney looked back and agreed cheerily, "Ok, if you say so."

John steered Rodney down the corridors back to Rodney's room. The door opened and Rodney stumbled slightly, tripping over his own feet. John put both his arms around Rodney to stop him from falling. He caught Rodney and they ended up facing each other with John's arms around the other man.

This is so bad... John barely had time to think. Before he realized what was happening, Rodney was kissing him. Oh.....

Rodney's arms snaked around John and pulled them tightly together. John could feel how hard Rodney was, an echo of his own arousal. Fuck... John started to pull back but Rodney's hand had wormed its way down John's pants and a warm, firm hand suddenly had hold of him. It started moving and John had just enough to drink that he didn't want to control himself. He didn't want to hold back. He maneuvered Rodney to the bed and they fell on it, entwined in each other.

"Rodney, don't..." John started. Don't stop..... Without further thought, John's hand worked its way into Rodney's pants and he took hold of Rodney. Steel encased in silk, John was lost in feeling and touch. From nowhere his own orgasm hit and he arched into Rodney's body. That seemed to trigger Rodney's release and John's hand was covered in Rodney's come. They lay panting on the bed. John moved to kiss Rodney some more but realized that the other man had fallen asleep. Or passed out, John wasn't quite sure which.

John lay there for a moment longer, treasuring the warmth to remember forever. This couldn't happen again..... John untangled himself from Rodney and used the bathroom to clean up. He came back to see that Rodney hadn't moved. John took Rodney's shoes off, leaned in and pressed a kiss to Rodney's forehead. "I love you," he breathed. "Sleep." He did the hardest thing he had ever done in his entire life – he walked away from the man he loved.

It was mid-day before John saw Rodney again. Rodney was sitting by himself at a table, blearily drinking coffee and poking at some lunch.

"You okay?" John asked carefully.

Rodney dropped the fork and put his head in his hands. "Shoot me now," he growled.

John sat down opposite Rodney, "Told you to stop drinking. But do you listen? No," John carefully teased. What did Rodney remember?

Rodney groaned. He rubbed his forehead on the palms of his hands trying to deal with the headache threatening to take over his entire body. "I'm going to kill Zelenka. Him and that still are going to be the death of me yet," Rodney grumbled. "Coffee."

John grinned. "Hang in there for a minute," he replied. He took Rodney's cup for a refill and brought it back to the table. Rodney gratefully wrapped a hand around the mug. "Thanks."

"So what's on the agenda first?" John asked.

"Well, after I take a boatload of aspirin, I think there was a list of things, if I remember correctly. The end is pretty fuzzy," Rodney answered. John breathed a sigh of relief. Rodney went on with some of the things he remembered from the list, drinking the coffee and picking at the food still in front of him. By the time he was done, he was at least functional. "Don't let me do that again," Rodney told John.

"Hey! I tried to stop you. Trust me," John said.

Rodney looked at him hard for a moment and John held his breath. "Try harder next time," Rodney sighed.

Just then Katie Brown came up and stood behind Rodney. "You poor thing," she cooed. "Do you need some aspirin?" She put her hands on Rodney's shoulder and massaged the back of his neck. She leaned in and brushed a kiss on Rodney's temple.

Rodney closed his eyes with a sigh and relaxed into her. "Just keep doing that," he mumbled.

"That's my signal to leave," John put in, getting up. He couldn't watch.... A deep breath to be able to say in a normal tone, "Looks like you'll live, McKay. See you later."

Rodney didn't say anything but Katie nodded at John as he left.

Rodney spent most of the next couple of days in the labs with his new toy. John caught up with some paperwork, sparred with Teyla and worked out with Ronon. Mostly he let Ronon beat up on the new Marines, but kept his hand in. He caught sight of Rodney at a couple of meals with Katie but he couldn't watch and left as soon as he bolted down his own meal.

The nights were harder. John couldn't sleep, he'd dream of Rodney as he re-lived that night. He was so fucked... He went running to exhaust himself. He found himself sitting on a balcony after an extended run – sitting and watching the ocean helped him to not think. Thinking only made it painfully clear that only Rodney could shatter him as casually as glass falling on steel. There would be endless slivers of used-to-be-John-Sheppard that no one would be able to put back together.

"Mind if I join you?" Rodney asked from nowhere.

John started. "What are you doing up this time of night?" he asked wearily. As Rodney hesitated he relented, "Sure."

Rodney sat next to him on the floor of the balcony leaning against the wall. They sat in silence – John didn't know how long, it just felt good to be there with Rodney.

"Thanks for taking me back to my room that night," Rodney floated.

"You're welcome," John answered automatically. As soon as the words were out of his mouth, he realized the trap Rodney had laid. Fuck, fuck, fuck. Rodney wasn't a genius for nothing. He kept secrets better than John had given him credit for.

John tensed. He didn't know what to say. He closed his eyes and waited for the inevitable.

Rodney was quiet for a long time. "Why?" he asked. Rodney seemed genuinely interested in an answer.

John hung his head. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to....." he ground out. "I shouldn't have...." John ran out of words that wouldn't make things worse. He could live with Rodney mad at him, he didn't know what he would do if Rodney walked away.

"Funny, I don't really remember what happened that night, but I figured someone had to have helped me back to my room. Then there's this memory of your voice..." Rodney recounted. "Didn't know for sure what caused me to come in my pants." Rodney stopped. "Thought maybe I was dreaming."

John drew up his knees and wrapped his arms about them. He put his head on his knees in misery. "I.. " he swallowed. "We..." He couldn't say it. "I'm sorry..." was all he could think to offer.

"Was it that bad?" Rodney asked curiously.

"God, no... it was..." John moaned and then stuttered to a halt. He had given himself completely away with that. It was amazing, glorious, what he had wanted for a long time. How did he tell his best friend that the best sex he had in years had been with him? One push would send John falling, and splintering.

It seemed to be enough for Rodney for the moment and they sat in silence. Rodney finally said, "I've apologized to Katie. Told her I wouldn't do this to her again."

John fought to maintain a measure of composure in his free fall toward misery. "You'll be happy," John replied into his knees. "Katie's a good person."

"You are pretty dense sometimes," Rodney laughed softly. "I told Katie I wouldn't lead her on anymore by asking her out on dates when there's someone else I'd really rather be with." Rodney leaned in and put a hand on the back of John's neck. "Look at me," Rodney said firmly.

John raised his head warily. Someone else? Besides Katie? "Rodney?" he whispered confused.

Rodney leaned in further and pulled John toward him. Rodney brushed his lips across John's and said, "I suspect I'm more than a little in love with you, too." He closed the gap and kissed John firmly. Oh.... John sighed into the kiss and started to kiss Rodney back.

After a bit, Rodney sat back and said, "Enough of sitting on the floor. We can find a much more comfortable bed somewhere. I want to remember this time..." Rodney scrambled up and held a hand out to John. It was a life-line he never expected. John took it gingerly and looked up at Rodney. "Come on," Rodney said, pulling John to his feet. "My room's closer."

This time it was John who stumbled going into Rodney's room. Rodney put his arms around John and said gently, "Got you." John put his arms around Rodney and placed his head on Rodney's shoulder and breathed in.

"God. Never thought...."

"Thinking is my job," Rodney interrupted him. "Come on..." He tugged John to the bed. "Naked would be better this time, I'm thinking," Rodney grinned.

Naked was even better than John could have dreamed. Rodney's hands were everywhere, coaxing John to heights he had never experienced before. When they were both sated Rodney put his head on John's shoulder and wrapped an arm across his waist. "Not moving for a week," Rodney sighed happily.

"Should clean up," John murmured into Rodney's hair. He kissed the top of Rodney's head. "Sticky," he pointed out.

"Don't care," Rodney said. "Not moving."

"Okay," John agreed. It was too much work to move anyways. He felt Rodney fumble a sheet over them and fell asleep.

John woke slowly, looking up at an unfamiliar ceiling. He was in Rodney's room. With a naked Rodney wrapped around him. Rodney was in love with him? Suddenly he didn't know what to do.

"How long?" Rodney asked sleepily.

Eternity. "A long time," John didn't pretend to misunderstand. Not now. "I think the first time I really knew how bad I had it was when I flew that Jumper to the Wraith ship. The only regret I had then was that I hadn't said anything to you about how I felt. Once we were in contact with Earth, I couldn't risk you hating me enough to leave."

Rodney propped himself up on an elbow. "You drove me crazy when you sat in that chair the very first time. I was jealous and you didn't even know what you had," Rodney told him. "Then you saved all our lives again and again, although I'd appreciate it if you don't try any more suicidal missions for a while, and you were everywhere and you're brilliant," Rodney put his fingers on John's mouth when John automatically tried to protest, "and don't try to tell me otherwise, and you're funny and... and.... Oh, hell." Rodney leaned in and kissed him.

How could you fight that? John just gave in and kissed Rodney back. John rolled himself toward Rodney and wrapped his hand around both of them and stroked. Before long John felt the warmth of Rodney's come spreading between them. A couple more strokes and John fell over the edge himself.

"I think you broke me," Rodney panted. "You have to explain to Elizabeth."

"Okay," John reached for his communicator fast enough that Rodney didn't realize what he was doing until it was too late. "Elizabeth?"

"Yes, John?"

John ignored Rodney trying to stop him. "Rodney had me up all night working on one of his doohickeys. It was a bust but there's nothing serious on the agenda today. I'm making McKay get some sleep and I need some, too," John told her.

John could hear her parsing through that and deciding that a rested Rodney McKay was always better than a cranky one. "Not a problem, take the day," she told him.


"Doohickey?" Rodney asked.

"Worked, didn't it?" John replied leaning in for a long, messy kiss.

At dinner that night, Rodney leaned in to John and said, "I think that counts as a date, now will you marry me?"