Notes: Mathematical formula is from MathWorldóA Wolfram Web Resource. http://mathworld.wolfram.com/LobachevskysFormula.html--and I can honestly say that this is the first time Iíve ever had to look up non-Euclidean geometry formulas for a sex scene!

The World According to Rover VIII
Duet Redux

Orithain and Rina

September 2005

Disclaimers: We only wish they were ours. Sadly, this is as close as weíre going to get.

Hearing John come into what was once again his room, at least for official purposes, Rodney looked over his shoulder and smiled. "Youíd better make plans for two nights from now; I have a date."

John stopped in his tracks, staring at Rodney in disbelief. "You have a what?!"

"A date for dinner, not a ĎI want to get you in bedí date," Rodney laughed, getting up and walking over to wrap his arms around Johnís waist. "Oh, come on, itís another of Elizabethís Ďget to know your new staffí things, nothing to get all caveman over."

John growled, his arms tightening around Rodney. "I suppose stamping Ďclaimedí across your forehead would be out of the question?"

"Iím not a library book! Besides, itís with Dr. Brown; Iím sure you know who she isóbotanist, red hair, always seems to be smiling? So not my type."

"Gee, brainy, lean, smiling, no, not your type at all." If anything, Johnís scowl deepened. "Keep in mind that itís my smile you like, and I donít share."

"Soft science, John!" Rodney reminded him, making a face. "So show me that smile, and Iíll show you how much I like it."

Laughing at Rodneyís reaction to botany, John loosened his grip on Rodneyís waist finally. "Iím glad you donít consider math squishy."

"Nope." Rodney smirked and ran a hand down Johnís chest. "Math is hot. You talking about math is incendiary. Us fucking while you talk about math is off the scale."

"So if I tell you that Iím planning to recite part of my doctoral thesis to you tonight..."

"I say Iíll get the lube." Rodney shifted his grip to Johnís crotch and squeezed.

"God!" John shuddered and thrust into Rodneyís hand. When he caught his breath, he began describing theorems of non-Euclidean geometry.

"Hmmm," Rodney murmured lazily, pressing his hand against the hardening flesh under his palm, "that last equation sounded wrong to me, you sure itís right?"

"Of course itís right!" John exclaimed around a moan. "Youíre just thinking three-dimensionally."

"So how many dimensions should I be thinking in?" Rodney asked the question as he undid Johnís belt and zipper and slid his hand under the fabric to stroke the warm flesh beneath it.

"At leastóoh fuck!--at least six," John panted, his fingers kneading Rodneyís ass.

Rodney paused, causing John to groan as he considered the equation in that context, then nodded. "That makes sense then; continue."

"Given a point P and a line AB, draw the perpendicular through P and call it PC. Let PD be any other line from P which meets CB in D. In a hyperbolic geometry, as D moves off to infinity along CB, then the line PD approaches the limiting line PE, which is said to be parallel to CB at P. The angle CPE which PE makes with PC is then called the angle of parallelism for perpendicular distance x," John whispered Lobachevskyís formula in Rodneyís ear, licking the curves as he spoke.

"Kiddie stuff," Rodney panted, starting to work Johnís fatigues down over his hips.

John snorted and began explaining his thesis while working a hand down the back of Rodneyís pants.

"Mmm, better." Rodney reached behind him to catch Johnís hand and drew it back out as he sank to his knees, mouthing Johnís groin.

Whimpering, John managed to gasp out his main point and attempted to support it while his brain was shutting down.

Rodney nodded, rubbing his stubbled cheeks against Johnís erection, then licking his way up the reddened length. "Very good points, Iíd have given you your doctorate for that even without the sex."

"Fuck the doctorate, fuck me!" John nearly wailed.

In one movement, Rodney stood and spun them both around, pushing John toward the bed, and he threw off his own clothes. John was tearing at his own garments even before he landed on the bed, and despite nearly breaking his neck when he tried to wrench his pants off before removing his boots, he managed to get naked and onto the bed in short order.

"John," Rodney gasped, grabbing the lube and giving the colonel a cursory stretching, getting Johnís legs over his shoulders so that he could push forward, burying himself fully, then holding still, panting.

"Oh fuck oh Rodney oh fuck," John babbled, stiffening with the initial sharp burn of entry and slowly relaxing when Rodney gave him a moment to adjust. "God, thatís good," he gritted out, grabbing his knees and pulling them back to his chest to open himself even more to Rodneyís possession.

Tangling a hand in Johnís hair, Rodney pulled him up for a kiss, the angle allowing him to rub against his prostate when he started to thrustówhich he did harder and faster with each thrust.

John whimpered into the kiss, the sound rising to a sharp whine each time Rodney touched the sensitive gland. He squirmed, wanting to move but unable to in his current position. All he could do was clench his ass around Rodneyís cock and pray for him to fuck him harder.

"Oh yeah, so fucking tight," Rodney gasped, slamming into John, moving his arms under Johnís legs to open him more to his thrusts.

John threw his head back, eyes closed and mouth open as he panted for air, his hands clawing at the sheets under him as he tried to find something to hang on to as he came apart. Whining as he tried to hold on as long as it took, Rodney drove forward, his expression strained as he watched John writhe under him. No matter how much John wanted it to go on forever, his orgasm eventually ebbed, and he half-opened passion-dazed hazel to stare muzzily up at Rodney. "Wanna feel you come in me," he whispered, licking his lips.

Rodney nodded, holding on until John recovered somewhat, slowing his thrusts a little until he saw the spark ignite in Johnís eyes. He gave a slow smile then and let go, circling his hips in small, quick circles until he groaned and arched forward, shuddering as he came.

"Oh yeah," John breathed, finding nearly as much pleasure in Rodneyís climax as his own.

"So," Rodney murmured as he eased Johnís legs to the mattress and rolled to his side beside him, his hand on Johnís stomach, "still think itís a real date with Dr. Brown?"

John smiled lazily. "Hell no, you donít have the energy to cheat on me."

Rodney had to laugh at that. "Thatís what I get for being in love with a slutówho needs your damn mandatory PT drills."

John smirked at him. "I like helping you get in shape."

"You like getting me any way you can."

"That too," John agreed easily.

"Of course, what youíve gotten me now is hungry."

Hearing that, Rover rolled forward and bumped the bed, offering a pair of MREs to them.

John chuckled and patted Rover as he took one. "Thanks, Rover." He eyed Rodney. "And youíre always hungry."

"Not always!" Rodney protested, poking him in the side.

"That wasnít a complaint. I know I keep you on the go." John squirmed away with a grunt of protest.

"In more ways than one." Rodney rubbed the place where heíd poked, then patted Rover before sitting up and ripping open the MRE.

"Good thing we both enjoy most of them." John sat up as well, just holding his for a moment while smiling at McKayís enthusiasm. "Iíll never understand how you can like these things.

Rodney shrugged and swallowed his mouthful of what was supposed to be sweet and sour chicken. "Itís food. I learned early if it didnít kill me, it was good."

"You are a very weird man, but youíre mine, so thatís okay too."

"Thatís not what you said when I invited you to come to Montreal with me to get smoked meat, poutine and a beavertail. It wouldnít have taken all day in Ottawa, and the drive there isnít that long."

John rolled his eyes. "Only you would want to drive all over North America for food."

"I flew to Ottawa, John, and you could have too."

"I had a meeting!" John shook his head. Truth be told, heíd much rather have gone with Rodney.

"Oh boo hoo, youíre turning into a bureaucrat; is that why youíre having so many people head down to that planet tomorrow? You want to delegate more to people?"

"No, Iíd just kind of like to keep us all alive." John took a bite of his MRE, too tired to go get anything else and knowing he needed to eat something.

Rodney nodded, already finishing the main part of his meal and moving on to the supposed bread that was packaged with it. "I always appreciate that. Hopefully itíll be routine; I mean Carsonís coming along, and you know how he gets, plus thereís the whole Radek will kick your ass if you let anything happen to him."

"And the minor detail that I really prefer you alive and in one piece," John added dryly. "Tomorrow shouldnít be anything out of the ordinary, or I wouldnít let Carson come along. Heís not exactly field personnel."

"Lack of experience; Iíll freely admit I wasnít either in the beginning, but Iím now a seasoned pro."

"True. But I donít think Carson will ever get there, for the same reason that he hates using the gene. He thinks too much about what might go wrong. Actually, so do you but not when it counts."

Rodney snorted. "And you tell me I give you back-handed compliments."

"Youíre the only person I trust to save the galaxy on a regular basis."

"And I feel the same about you, dear. You going to finish that?"

Chuckling, John handed the MRE over. "You planning to work that off again? ĎCause if so, Iím definitely going to be walking funny tomorrow."

"Mission tomorrow," Rodney explained around the corn bread that accompanied Johnís ersatz stew. "Might miss a meal then so Iím making up for it now."

John rolled his eyes. "Iím sure Carson will let you eat, Rodney."

"I didnít mean Carson; youíve got us working with Lt. Cadman, and I hear sheís a taskmaster."

"Excuse me? You ignore a colonel, but youíre worried about a lieutenant?"

Rodney looked at John as if he were crazy. "Exactly!"

"Unbelievable." John absently reached over and petted Rover when he bumped the bed for attention.

"Why? I have ways of getting you in a good mood again if I disobey an order that Iím not using on her, and honestly, I think Carsonís afraid of her."

"I think that has something to do with the fact that she looks at him like she wants to eat him, although come to think of it, I donít think heís actually noticed that," John snorted. "And damn right youíre not using those ways on her!"

"You really could have Maj. Lorne paired with us," Rodney yawned, smiling when Rover grabbed his empty packets and took them away then settled in his corner for the night.

"You need to learn to play well with others."

"I havenít so far; whatís the point?"

John couldnít resist, not that he really tried. "Every officer needs a good trophy wife."

Rodney aimed a half-hearted kick at Johnís leg. "Donít make me sic my cart on you, Colonel."

"Donít make me enlist the cityís help in chaining you to the bed," John shot back, grinning.

"You do that, then I canít go on the mission, and itíll be Cadman and Carson alone, and Radek will kill you, and then Iíll have to kill him, then Carson will kill me, and Elizabeth will be left without any senior staff."

John blinked. "Were you a serial killer in a past life?"

"What?"

"Only you, Rodney, could go from kinky sex to half the population dead." John shook his head in disbelief.

"It could happen!" Rodney said defensively. "Radekís vicious, you said that yourself!"

"Well, Iím not planning to replace you with Carson, so itís a moot point. You can protect him from Cadman and save us all from the wrath of Radek."

"What would you all do without me?" Rodney yawned and leaned against Johnís side as he spoke.

John shuddered. "I never plan to find out." He pulled Rodney closer.

"Didnít mean it that way, idiot." Rodney sighed and curled to the side, wrapping his arm around Johnís waist. "Wish we didnít have to move."

"As far as I know, we donít, at least not till morning." John shifted so that they were leaning against the heaped pillows, and he sighed contentedly. "This is good."

Rodney sighed again and forced himself to sit up. "John, this is my room, not ours, remember?"

"I donít care," John said sulkily. "Iím off duty, and itís no oneís damn business where I sleep."

"No, it isnít, but Caldwell will make it his business if he finds out. I keep insane hours, so people can find excuses for me coming out of your quarters at all hours. You coming out of mine in the morning, thatís harder to sell." Rodney leaned over and kissed the pout off Johnís face. "Come on, Iíll get cleaned up too, and weíll both head home."

"This really sucks," John grumbled. He knew he was acting childishly, but he figured he was entitled. "We risk our necks on a damn near daily basis, but we have to hide our private lives because some idiot thinks I canít fire a gun if I like to fuck another guy?"

"Only until the new people settle in," Rodney promised, squeezing Johnís hand. "Once the two of us save everyone a few times, theyíll realize there are things that are more important than whoís fucking who."

"Good point. And then you can stop spending time here." John gestured at the room. "It feels weird being in our quarters without you."

"Iím not arguing that fact! Plus thereís the fact you kept all the good pillows," Rodney grumbled, finally climbing off the bed and stretching. "So, shower here before the trip back?"

"Yeah, otherwise you know weíll run into someone we shouldnít while we smell like sex. And then I can make you all sweaty and smelly again once we get home." John grinned, his annoyance passing as he watched Rodney stretch.

"Oh damn." Rodney grinned, watching John watch him. "I hate it when you do that." As he spoke, he backed into the bathroom, thinking on the shower as he did so.

"Yeah, I noticed." John snorted as he stood up and stretched as well, never taking his eyes off Rodney. A moment later he was following his scientist toward the shower.

"It is not a date," Rodney protested again, though it was clear Lt. Cadman wasnít listening to him as she went on and on about how Dr. Brown was looking forward to their dinner together. Carson wasnít helping in the least, what with his ĎYou have a date, with a womaní comment, and Rodney was tempted to fake a twisted ankle and leave the doctor here with Cadman while he went back to the jumper.

About to reply, Cadman suddenly stopped as she thought she heard something. She strained to hear, but McKay just wouldnít shut up, no matter how many times she told him to. Finally he did, and Laura Cadman felt a new level of horror as she realized what she was hearing. It was a Wraith dart!

The next moments were a frantic blur as she tried to get her charges to safety.

"Easy, love," Carson murmured when Radek heard the snapping sparks and leapt to his feet, almost jumping out of his skin as he tried to look in all directions at once. "It was just the dart."

Radek slowly subsided. "I am never leaving my lab again!" he muttered for Carsonís ears only as he frantically tried to find a way to rescue Rodney and the Marine lieutenant.

"Yer doing fine," Carson promised, rubbing Radekís back and looking up at Col. Sheppard, hoping he looked more positive than he felt.

John was trying to remain calm, but that was Rodney in there, and it was all he could do to keep from grabbing Zelenka and shaking him, demanding that he get Rodney back now.

"The life signs are steady; Rodney and the lass are both alive in there."

"Iíd rather they were alive out here," John gritted out, hovering over them until Radek wanted to scream. And he really wasnít looking forward to having to tell the colonel that he could only get one of them out.

"Colonel, yer not doing any of us any good hovering like this." Carson said firmly, patting Radekís arm before straightening and leading John a little bit away. "Radek will get them both outóit just canít be done right now."

John stared at him, his heart in his eyes. "Carson..." He looked at Radek. "Please."

Radek wished he could help his friends, but it wasnít possible. He had to explain to John that he could only get one person out, and then he had to further explain that he had no way of knowing which life sign was which. He never again wanted to see a look like the one in John Sheppardís eyes when he chose one life sign to extract, not knowing if he was leaving his lover to oblivion.

John chose. Carson wondered if he had the strength to do such a thing, but the thought only lasted a moment as Radek was extracting the signal John had chosen, and then Rodney was there in front of them, looking bewildered before collapsing. This was something Carson could handle, and he did with maximum efficiency.

Radek looked up, seeing that Sheppard looked ready to collapse as well. "He is well, Colonel. John. And we will find a way to retrieve the lieutenant as well."

"But it might have been-"

"But it was not," Radek cut him off firmly. "Now go; he will want you there when he wakes up. As will Carson so no one else has to listen to him whine!"

Rodney lay in the MRI tube trying to hold still and thanking the god he didnít believe in that Cadman couldnít hear his thoughts. This was so fucked up, and it was all Zelenkaís fault, damn it, and for that he was going to forget the damn Czechís name again!

His mind was on Rodney, alone in the infirmary while Carson ran tests on himóor perhaps alone wasnít quite the right description for his current situationóbut John needed to check on Lt. Cadmanís physical status. If she really was inside Rodneyís head, he wanted her out and back in her own body.

He glanced toward the door when Rodney walked in, followed by Carson. The fact that Rover wasnít at Rodneyís heels did not give him a good feeling about all this.

After a short and utterly frustrating session in the labóhis lab that Elizabeth had actually thrown him out ofóRodney was fuming. Bad enough that heíd once been turned into a woman, now he had one living in his head, and damnit, he would have thought a Marine lieutenant would have been less on the squishy side, but noooo, she had to keep going on and on about his Ďdateí with Dr. Brown and how she could help him with it.

It wasnít bad enough that Radek had blown up the transformer getting himóthemóout of the dart, but Cadman had the audacity to keep talking about how she could help with his date, and to top it all off he couldnít even go near John for fear of what sheíd pick up from him. Heíd seen the concern and lingering fear in Johnís eyes, and fuck it all, he couldnít even go give him a hug. Even Rover seemed nervous around him, hiding in Johnís room instead of being nearby, and damnit, but he missed that little cart almost as much as he missed being able to touch John, and thank god there was no way Cadman could read his thoughts!

John watched Rodney leave for Kate Heightmeyerís office as Elizabeth ordered, and once he was out of sight, the colonel turned on his friends. "What the hell is going on? I know heís, erm, distracting what with the conversations with the voice in his head, but you know damn well that Heightmeyer canít help with whatís happening! And this lab is where he feels safest; how could you throw him out of it?!"

Elizabeth pinched the bridge of her nose and took a deep breath. "I know youíre upset, John, but Rodney doesnít need to be here right now. No matter what he says, heís not functioning properly, and heís only going to cause problems in getting this situation resolved until he finds a way to deal with Cadman. Dr. Zelenka is more than capable of getting this fixed; we just have to give him time. Now, can you do that, or do I have to order you to stay out of here too?"

John gave her a look that could have scorched metal before storming out of the lab to go work his frustrations off in the gym. Radek looked up from his work to stare after the retreating colonel before looking over at Carson and Elizabeth. He knew that if they didnít find a way to solve this and something happened to Rodney, they would probably lose Sheppard as well. "I work better without anyone looking over my shoulder," he snapped.

"Good luck, love," Carson said quietly, walking out of the lab with Elizabeth, a worried expression on his face.

Seeing John and not being able to say anything to him had hurt, but having Rover back away from him had been almost as bad, and Rodney was very glad that Cadman said she was tired because it gave him an excuse to flee before he said something that got John in trouble. Even with the extra consciousness in his brain, his room had never felt so empty, and he didnít even bother to kick off his boots before falling into bed and falling asleep.

John looked up in surprise when he heard someone at the door, and he thought it open, even more surprised when he found Carson entering his room. But that was nothing to his reaction to what Carson had to tell him.

"He asked you to do what?!"

Alarmed by Johnís tone, Rover scooted forward from his corner, where heíd been whirring forlornly, and John reached down to pat him comfortingly.

"He asked me to go with him on his date with Dr. Brown." Carson sighed heavily and leaned against Johnís desk, looking tired. "Though I dinna think it was Rodney doing the asking, or I hope it wasnae as he was acting oddly even for him."

"I am starting to really hate Lt. Cadman," John gritted out, his fist clenched at his side. "And I donít give a shit about Ďdonít ask, donít tellí; she and I are going to have a conversation about keeping her nose out of other peopleís lives once this is all over." He gradually forced himself to calm, reminding himself that despite this insanity with Cadman, Rodney was his and they both knew it.

Taking a deep breath and forcing a shadow of his usual cocky grin, he added, "Though you may want to have a chat with her too or Radek may do something violent."

"Surely ye canna mean that sheís interested in me!" Carson looked surprised at the revelation. "Iím sure sheís a lovely lass, but Iím quite happy with Radek!"

John rolled his eyes, laughing and grateful for the distraction. "Carson, I thought Rodney was oblivious to people, but youíre far worse than he is. Cadmanís been making eyes at you since she got here."

"Well, Iíve certainly never done anything to give her the idea that Iím interested in her!" Carson huffed. "Have I?" The last was asked in a more plaintive tone.

"No, but you havenít done anything to discourage her either, and sheís been making her interest quite clear," John said gently, amused by Carsonís reaction.

"Oh dear." Carson wrung his hands together, visibly upset at the notion. "Perhaps I should beg off from this meal tomorrow."

"Youíre not leaving Rodney alone with Brown with a crazy, matchmaking woman in his head!"

The colonelís near shriek returned Carsonís attention to the other manís situation. "Aye," he sighed, "you are right at that. Iíll try to contain the lieutenant. I do wish Rover would come with me; heíd likely be more effective."

John glanced down at Rover, who was pressed so tightly against his leg that he was practically sharing skin, and shrugged. "Not going to happen, Iím afraid. Heís totally freaked by not-Rodney."

Carson nodded, leaning down to pat the cart as well. "Itís a shame though; Iíd imagine Rodney would feel better with at least one of you around."

"So would we," John muttered. "But I donít think it would help to have Cadman freaking out about him. Or us. Iíve gotta tell you, Carson, Iíve pretty much had it with trying to hide our relationship. If we could be in the open, people wouldnít be trying to fix either of us up with others. I think itís time to be a little more honest with the new members of my team. They should know me well enough by now not to care who Iím sleeping with. And not to run to send the news back to the higher ups."

"Iíll not argue that point, John." Carson straightened up again and patted John on the shoulder. "And Iíll do my best to keep an eye on Rodney for the both of you, though I believe Iím going to have Radek with me as often as possible!"

"Iím sure Radek will be in favor of that." John sighed. "Thanks, Carson. And tell Radek Iím sorry for barking at him earlier."

"Iíll do that, lad," Carson promised. "Weíre all concerned, and heíll forgive you that just as Iíll forgive him doing the same to myself and Elizabeth."

John smiled wryly. "Heís spending too much time around Rodney. Heís picking up bad habits."

"Having done the same myself at times, I think thatís a commonality all scientists share." Carson patted his hand, making a face when he realized the gesture was one that Cadman had used with Rodneyís body on him.

John grinned. "Donít worry, Doc, Iím sure Radek will protect you. And yeah, I guess it is. Good thing some of us have ways of improving your humor."

"And once weíve managed to separate Rodney and Lt. Cadman, Iím sure youíll use yours on him; just not in my infirmary, please!"

That caused a burst of laughter. "No worries, Carson, Iíd rather not have an audience while weíre making up for lost time. Weíll be safely in our quarters with Rover guarding the door. And Iíll shoot anyone who interrupts us!"

"Aye, and just remember, Iíll be giving you a different kind of shot if ye give any more audio shows either!"

John shuddered, flushing with embarrassment. "I donít think youíd get the chance. Iím pretty sure Rodney would shoot me if that happened."

"I doubt that, though Iím sure I would be treating ye for bruises when he set Rover on ye," Carson chuckled. "And on that happy thought, I believe Iíll be off to check on Radek and try to force him to bed."

"I donít think it usually takes much convincing," John tried to joke, growing morose again as he contemplated his solitary bed.

Carson winced at his unintentional reminder of the situation. "Hopefully just for tonight, John," he said gently. "Tomorrow youíll have yer old Rodney back, and heíll be as irritating as ever."

"Promise?" John asked wistfully, knowing Carson could do nothing of the kind. He sighed. "Go on and drag Radek out of the lab since we both know heíll stay there all night if you donít. Rover and I will keep each other company tonight."

"Try to get some rest, son," Carson advised, patting Rover and Johnís shoulder before slipping out of the room. "I have a feeling weíre all going to need it."

Cadmanís constant talking was making Rodneyís head ache, and he had the nagging suspicion that sheíd done more with his body the night before than take it out for a run, but she wasnít saying, and he had no idea of what it was.

Right now she was busy critiquing every item in his closetónot that there were manyóin preparation for their Ďdateí, and every time he tried to explain it wasnít what she thought, she only became more firmly rooted in the belief that he really, really liked Katie Brown.

All Rodney wanted was John, Rover and peace and quiet for ten minutes; what he got was none of the above.

John stared down at smoking mice, his heart in his mouth. Though he tried to pass it off as a joke, the thought that the burned, crispy critters in front of him could have been Rodney had his stomach churning with nausea. And in his defense, Zelenka didnít look much better.

Trying to distract himself, John went in search of Ronon to invite him to join his team.

Rodney lay in the infirmary, Cadman for once quiet as they listened to Carsonís explanation for the seizures. He swallowed hard and tried not to give in to the panic that threatened. He didnít want Cadman in his head, but he didnít want her dead either, and right now the only other alternative was him vanishingónot a very attractive one.

The worst part of this was he couldnít concentrate long enough to help fix the problemóthe blow-up with Radek in the lab the day before had proved that. But then Cadman asked for him to take her letter through the gate to her parents, and it all fell into place.

John and Radek both watched in outrage as ĎRodneyí kissed Carson, the appalled expression on his face a moment later not really helping. Both men vowed to set the lieutenant straight as soon as they had her back where she belonged. And a moment later, she and Rodney both collapsed to the floor, thankfully in separate bodies.

A short time later the two victims awoke in the infirmary, once again two separate people. After making sure they were both all right, everyone left, ostensibly to give them some privacy, but John returned only moments later. Ignoring Cadmanís surprised expression and abortive, "Sir?" he moved straight to Rodneyís side and perched on the edge of the bed. "Rodney?" he asked, taking the scientistís hand in his.

"John," Rodney sighed, opening his eyes and smiling before blinking and darting a glance over at Cadman. "Colonel, should youódonít you..." Even as he was trying to salvage the situation, his fingers tightened around Johnís, and his bed trembled as Rover pressed up against it, shaking the frame.

John just shook his head and chuckled softly as Rover suddenly rose into the air so that his sensors were level with Rodneyís face before settling back to the floor with a satisfied huff of air. Still grinning, John turned to look at Cadman, whose wide eyes were fixed on their hands. "Lieutenant!"

He waited for her eyes to jerk to his before he said very slowly and very clearly, "Stop trying to fix Dr. McKay up with dates, or Iíll bust you down to private. Is that understood?"

"But sir, he..." Laura began before realizing Col. Sheppard was serious. "Yes sir, no setting up Dr. McKay on dates, sir!" she snapped, bracing as much as possible in her bed.

"Thank you," Rodney sighed, letting his free hand fall over the side of the bed so that he could pet Rover though he still didnít let go of Johnís hand.

John nodded. "I would also appreciate it if you didnít mention this," he raised their joined hands, "to Col. Caldwell or anyone outside of Atlantis, but of course, thatís not an order."

"If I have permission to speak freely, sir, itís a stupid rule, but no, I wonít say a word." She glowered at Rodney. "You could have said something though!"

"When? Between you stalking Carson and sticking your tongue down Dr. Brownís throat, I didnít have any time!"

"And for the record, Lieutenant, if you keep after Dr. Beckett, youíll find out just how diabolical a pissed off, genius Czech can be," John warned.

"Yes... sir." Cadman looked confused but obviously wasnít pressing the point.

"Do you think Carson will let me go home now?" Rodney whined.

"How Ďbout we just get you dressed and go? We donít really need to bother Carson." John looked down, about to ask Rover to get Rodney some clothes when he changed his mind. "Actually, letís just get your robe back on and get out of here while we can."

"You can deal with Carson when he comes and yells at us though." Even as he spoke, Rodney was peeling off the sensors attached to his forehead and sitting up, swinging his legs over the side of the bed.

"I think heíll be otherwise occupied." John helped Rodney get his robe on and slid a supportive arm around his shoulders while Rover hovered close behind, ready to catch Rodney if he stumbled.

Rodney chuckled then glanced over to where Cadman lay, watching them, her eyes wide. "Cadman, tell Carson he knows where to find me, and just... donít kiss him again, okay?"

Vaguely wondering if they had something against straight couples, Cadman just shrugged and nodded, watching as the two of them and the cart left hurriedly. How the hell had she missed that?

"Weíre going to our room, right?" Rodney murmured as they walked through the halls, John on one side of him and Rover on the other.

"Yes! Iíve pretty much had it with the whole separate rooms thing."

"Gotta keep you safe." It was plain that Rodney was half asleep even though he was still walking under his own power. "Donít need Caldwell kicking you out. Iíd have to go too, then the city would sink."

"But since Caldwellís not here right now, we donít need to worry about it. Weíre going home where weíre going to curl up together in our bed, and weíre both going to get a good nightís sleep."

Rodney nodded and leaned against Johnís side. "Like that idea. It was too noisy before, but too lonely."

"From now on, we stick together on missions," John vowed.

"Yeah, but Iím not sure I could take you in my head." Rodney tilted his head to the side and grinned at John.

"Thatís okay, I prefer you taking me in other parts."

Rodney groaned.

"Okay, if thatís the way you feel about it... I can take you."

"Hrmmm, that I could live withóin the morning. Right now I feel like your new buddyís punching bag."

"Ah, you heard about me inviting him to join the team, obviously."

"Umm, no, not until now."

"Oh. Well, I did. We need another soldier, and the manís incredible with weapons."

"Itís your team, but pardon me if I donít quit feel like trusting him with my life right now."

"Rodney, I donít trust anybody with your life. But I could use some backup."

ĎNow that Fordís goneí remained unsaid, and Rodney only nodded. "Not arguing that, though remind me to bring a whip and a chair next mission." He yawned and pulled his robe closer around him.

John laughed. "Iíll even let you bring a collar and a leash if you think you can get it on him!"

"Nah, Iíll save that for you."

The door to their quarters opened as they approached, and John followed Rodney inside, sighing with relief when they were finally alone together, Rover in his accustomed spot, and the door locked behind them.

"God, Iíve missed our bed," Rodney groaned, collapsing on the piece of furniture in question, not caring that he still had his robe on. "Missed you in our bed too."

"Likewise." John stopped long enough to strip and toss his clothes toward a chair, not particularly caring if they landed on it or not, and then he was curling around Rodney, nuzzling close and inhaling the familiar scent of him.

Rodney sighed and squirmed until he was pressed back against John as close as he could be. He caught the arm wrapped around his waist and slid his hand down to twine their fingers together. "Iím holding you to that being in me thing come morning."

"Iím looking forward to it."

"Mmm, good." Rodney squirmed a final time and went still, dropping into an exhausted slumber.

John lay awake for a long time, just watching him sleep. Finally he exhaled slowly and pressed a kiss to the nape of Rodneyís neck before closing his eyes and slipping into the first real sleep heíd had since this began.

END

  since 02-03-07

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