Notes: Oh my god, weíre up to 30 stories in this series. We certainly never expected this when we started, any more than we expected a sentient cart to take over our lives, but here we are, and thereís Rover spinning in excitement. ;) Thanks for continuing to read.
"Have you checked your mail?" Rodney demanded the moment he walked into Johnís office, Rover waving what looked like a piece of parchment as he rolled in behind him.
"No, I havenít had time; urgent stuff usually comes by email." John looked from Rodney to Rover and back again, then dug through his in basket until he found a folded piece of the same kind of paper, sealed with a blob of wax... and where someone got wax, he had no idea.
Opening it, he read the brief message, his eyes widening. "Holy shit, theyíre really going to do it. Good for them!"
"Yes, yes, good for them, but three weeks! We have to find a present in three weeks!"
"Oh. Oh crap!" John groaned as that aspect hit him. "Weíre going to have to go back to that damn bazaar planet, arenít we?"
"The one where we found the mirror?" Rodney groaned. "Wonderful."
"Weíll try to avoid UA tech this time," John said with a sigh. "I was thinking more along the lines of a nice sculpture or rug."
"That sounds good because unless Paul wants a cart, Iím not trying to make them something."
John snickered. "Could you imagine their faces if you gave them a baby cart? A new one," he added hastily when Rover whacked his shin.
"We wouldnít give away one of your babies, Rover," Rodney chuckled. "And if we donít find anything at the ren faire mall, I may just do that."
"You know, Paul let it slip that he was on the fencing team in college," John mused. "Iíll bet somewhere in this galaxy is a good sword maker. We could get each of them something."
"A rug for Elizabeth and a sword for Paul?" Rodney asked. "That could work."
"See, I have a lot of good ideas."
"Yes, you do," Rodney chuckled as Rover patted John on the thigh. "So, when are we doing this?"
"Tomorrowís downtime for the team, so how Ďbout then? Can you get free of the lab?"
Rodney thought about it for a moment, then nodded. "I should be able to."
"Great, then Iíll let Elizabeth know weíre going off-world."
"Just not where! Tell Sgt. Bryan that if someone has to know."
John nodded. "He needs to know in case something goes wrong, but Iím sure heíll keep it quiet. And I think weíll take a jumper. Itíll be easier to hide what we buy if itís inside, and thatíll give us a chance to get the gifts from the jumper bay to our quarters without Elizabeth seeing them."
Rover banged against Johnís desk, and Rodney chuckled. "Heíll scout the way and make sure itís clear."
"I was counting on it. You know, some of the others might want to join us. We canít be the only ones with this problem."
"Well, we canít take all of Atlantis with us!" Rodney protested.
"Hell no! Hmm, come to think of it, Radekíll probably do a sketch for them, and if Bryanís on duty, he canít be shopping. And thereís no way Iím listening to you and Cadman go at it all day, so I guess itís just the three of us after all."
"I donít go at anything with Cadman," Rodney huffed.
"The two of you are like siblings, bratty, argumentative, teenage siblings."
"Oh, that is so not funny, Colonel!"
"I think itís hilarious most of the time, but not all day." John was amused to note that Rover hadnít tried to pinch him for the comment, and he hoped Rodney didnít realize that the cart agreed.
Rodney crossed his arms over his chest and gave a huff of exasperation.
"But I love you anyway." John gave Rodney the puppy dog eyes, making Rodney groan.
"I hate you."
"No, you donít; you love me," John replied with a grin, pulling Rodney into a hug.
"Ió" Rover poked Rodney in the leg, and he sighed. "Fine, I love you; happy now?"
"Yup." John beamed at him. "Even if we are going shopping tomorrow." He made a face. "Not exactly my dream date."
Rodney shuddered even as he nodded in agreement. "I was a fan of Ďgift certificates are your friendí on Earth."
"Scarves, socks and ties," John said. "Occasionally perfume if I knew her really well. Thatís the sum of my gift list."
"And I got your grandfatherís ring; Iím honored." For once there was no sarcasm in Rodneyís voice.
"Youíre special," John corrected, leaning in to kiss him lightly.
Rodney flushed slightly but grinned. "Be that as it may, thatís not getting you in my pants until tonight, so go get your work done."
John groaned. "I hate evaluations."
"Rover will help you." The cart clacked his pincers in agreement.
"I donít think saying they all need a good pinch is going to go over well with the Pentagon," John laughed.
The derisive motion Rover made had Rodney chuckling. "I donít think he agrees with you."
"Well, I have to admit that in some cases I think it might help, but the brass wouldnít approve." John patted the cart. "Weíll just have to dream."
"And Iíll put it in Kavanaghís evaluation," Rodney promised, stroking Roverís sensor array, his fingers brushing against Johnís.
John laughed. "Which means weíll have to listen to him bitch and moan again, you know."
"That would mean I actually listened to him at all."
"No one listens to him, but itís impossible to avoid hearing him. He must be due to head back to Earth again; heís been here for months this time."
"Sad to say it, but I think he likes being on Cadmanís team. Iíve seen him sitting with Matthews and Harrison at meals from time to time. Cadman even joins them when OíNeillís not around."
John stared. "Is it improving him any?"
"How the hell would I know? Ask Cadman!"
"He still reports to you, Rodney," John pointed out. "Is he any less annoying?"
Rodney was silent a long moment, considering the question. "Somewhat," he finally said. "He seems to be more open to listening to others than he was."
"Huh. I may have to put Cadman up for promotion."
"And have her out-rank Jack Jr.? Jaffa will throw a fit."
John burst into laughter. "She already does," he pointed out. "Sheís a first lieutenant, and heís a second."
"Semantics," Rodney sniffed, waving a hand in the air, the motion echoed by Rover with a pincer.
A raised eyebrow was Johnís only comment on that blithe dismissal of the rank structure of the US armed forces. "On that note, I think Iíll go deal with my work before we have a mutiny. Iíll meet you for dinner."
Glad of the fact that the Daedalus was gone, Rodney leaned in and brushed a kiss over Johnís lips. "Have a good day polishing your weapons, dear; I know Iíll have fun flogging my minions."
"You are a very scary man!"
"Kill me now," John groaned as he dropped into a seat opposite Rodney that evening.
"What cretin did what now?"
"The entire population of this city can talk about nothing but what to get Elizabeth and Paul for their wedding," John groaned. "Itís like living on the Home Shopping Network!"
"Ah, that." Rodney nodded in commiseration. "Half my staff actually wants to go off-world, and the rest has given up on their work to design gewgaws as gifts."
"Letís hope the Wraith donít attack because no one would notice for the great shopping frenzy!"
"Well, they might get killed in the mobs rushing around."
"Or run over by a cart. I made the mistake of getting between Loki and the jumper bay." John shuddered. "Iím lucky to be alive."
Rodneyís eyes widened, and Rover scooted closer to them. "Should I examine you for singe marks?"
"That should probably wait till weíre in private," John replied, finally smiling. "I think we can take it as given that the carts are planning to give them gifts too."
"What do you think?" Rodney chuckled. "Or to be more precise, who do you think had Loki running that errand that almost had tire-tracks on your ass?"
"Well, I suppose it could be Lindstrom or Bates, but Iím voting that Lokiís doing it for himself."
"Exactly." Rodney beamed like a proud parent.
"We might end up with a few tagalongs tomorrow then."
"They may have to give Rover a shopping list."
John laughed. "Weíd better make sure to bring plenty of trade goods."
Rodney took a drink and nodded. "And make sure that they know you arenít one of them."
"You really are nuts," John chuckled, shaking his head slightly. "No oneís after my ass."
Rodney only stared at him.
"Whatever. I think Iíll be safe with you and Rover there to guard me."
Rover banged against the table, and Rodney petted him. "Exactly. Now eat, Colonel; I feel an urge to have you walking funny tomorrow."
There was a moment of hesitation, and then John started eating faster. "Iím going to hold you to that," he said between bites.
"Actually," Rodney smirked, "Iím the one whoís going to be doing the holding."
John shivered. "We could always eat later, you know."
"Nope, you need your energy."
"Have I mentioned lately that youíre bossy?"
"And this is a problem?"
"No, not really." John grinned. "I was just hoping to distract you so we could move on to the sex part of the evening."
Rodney chuckled and pointed at his own half-full plate. "You donít want me passing out in the middle of things, do you?"
"Well, not from hunger."
"Iím going to faint from doing you?"
"Itís something to aim for."
Rodney snorted and went back to eating.
"Hey, everyone needs a goal."
"Well, feel free to give it a try when we have a few days off." Rodney paused and chuckled then. "We need a honeymoon."
John stopped eating as he considered that. "You know, youíre right. Once Elizabeth and Paul are back on duty, Iíll talk to her about some downtime for our team and us getting a couple of days away from Atlantis. If they could survive without us for over a month when we went to Earth, they can give us a week for ourselves."
"On our island?"
"Exactly. You, me, Rover, a jumper, sun, sand, surf, and seashells."
That comment caused Rover to whirl in a circle and Rodney to chuckle. "That sounds perfect to me as long as I have time to stock up on the sun screen."
"You can bring a vat," John laughed. "As long as thereís at least as much lube."
"Maybe Iíll make a batch mentholated," Rodney mused.
John almost choked on a bite of his stew. "That would be... interesting."
"Have I mentioned that I love your mind?"
Rodney preened. "Yes, but feel free to continue the adulation."
John snorted. "Letís not get carried away. I love you; Iím not about to worship you."
"Good slaves are so hard to find," Rodney sighed.
John raised an eyebrow, and Rover banged Rodneyís shin.
"Ow!" Rodney protested. "Iím feeling the love from both of you!"
"Love you can have, but you can forget about slaves." Rover bobbed up and down in agreement.
Rodney sighed and jutted out his lower lip in a pout. "You two never let me have any fun.
John gawked at him. "You have got to be kidding!"
It was the expression that finally did Rodney in, and he collapsed back in his chair, howling with laughter.
"Oh very funny. Just for that, you can pick Elizabethís gift."
"Do you really want her to hate us?"
John laughed. "Okay, maybe that wasnít one of my better ideas."
Rodney only grinned.
"You can sooth my fevered brow while Iím negotiating for a good price then."
"In your dreams!"
"It was worth a try," John chuckled. "How Ďbout you get me fevered instead?"
"In the mess hall?" Lisa Lindstrom asked as she sat down next to Rodney. "Should I take notes?"
"If you canít keep Bates entertained on your own, itís your problem," Rodney sniffed before downing the rest of his coffee.
She laughed at him. "Have more coffee, Rodney. Youíre still asleep if you believe that."
"Oh, thatís right; you have your psycho cart to do that for you." He smirked when Rover moved closer to protect him from Lokiís pincers.
"Ignore him, baby; I know youíre not psycho," Lisa said, reaching down to pat Loki.
"Flame throwers," John said.
Lisa grinned. "Everyone needs a hobby."
"One that didnít melt sections of walls would be preferable," Rodney snorted, looking up as Carson and Ciora joined them.
"Discussing Lokiís little accident again, are we?" Carson asked as he sat, patting Ciora when she handed him his tray.
Rover scooted over to nudge Ciora before moving back between Loki and Rodney, clearly not trusting the other cart near Rodney.
"You have to admit it was memorable," John pointed out, remembering the multi-colored flames from the chemical fire.
"The pattern was very pretty," Lisa said, patting Loki again. "But Rodneyís right, no more melting walls." If a cart could look shame-faced, Loki did.
"If any more Wraith get in the city, you can torch them," Rodney offered.
Loki spun excitedly, making everyone laugh.
"So, what do we have to trade?" Rodney asked, watching John power up the jumper and Rover settle into his Ďseatí.
"Carson and the botanists have several Earth plants that are useful in healing and first aid, and thereís an herbal tea that the Athosians like that may be popular. If they go over well, we may trade cuttings for bigger things later on."
"Sounds good," Rodney nodded as they took off. "Just not any people."
"No, Elizabeth frowns on that sort of thing," John agreed as he sent the jumper through the gate. "Just remember weíre there for wedding presents, not Ancient artifacts."
"Thereís always time for Ancient artifacts," Rodney sniffed once they had emerged from the gate and were flying toward the town. "Imagine what they would say if we gave them a ZPM for a wedding gift."
"Iím pretty sure theyíd call you an Indian giver."
"They could still have it; it would just be put to better use than sitting on a shelf in their living room!"
"Uh huh. Weíll stick to getting something thatís actually for them."
Rover bobbed up and down, nodding his agreement.
Rodney chuckled and reached back to stroke the cartís sensor array. "Fine, fine, no ZPMs, just wedding presents."
"Well, if we happen to find one, weíll get that too but not as a present." John reached over to curl a hand around the nape of Rodneyís neck and drew him closer for a quick kiss.
"Watch where youíre flying," Rodney retorted though he was grinning as he said it.
"Quit backseat driving," John laughed, landing the jumper in a clearing outside the city where the cloak, which had been active since before they came through the gate, would keep it from being seen.
"I will when you learn to keep your eyes on the road." As he spoke, Rodney got up and reached for one of the packs of trade goods while Rover gathered several more.
"But youíre prettier."
"Remind me to shoot you for saying that."
"You want me to think youíre ugly? Hey!" John yelped a protest when Rover pinched him.
"You know what I meant!"
"Precision in all things, Dr. McKay."
"Tell me that you did not just say that to me."
John laughed, enjoying Rodneyís sputtering. "Yeah, I did."
Rodney was quiet for a moment as they walked, though he was watching John intently, making John look over at him questioningly.
"I was just thinking."
"About what?" John wondered if he should have brought more armament.
"Nothing." Rodney tried for his best innocent face.
"Youíre making me very nervous," John warned.
"I am? Good." Humming under his breath, Rodney led the way to the bazaar, Rover rolling along at his side, John glaring after him.
"One snicker and Iím sleeping in the other room tonight!" John grumbled. "What are you plotting, Rodney?"
"Plotting? Why on earth would you think I was plotting something, Colonel?"
"Innocence does not become you," John said, growing more suspicious by the second.
"Oh, just shush and look for a rugóand a sword!"
Still eyeing Rodney narrowly, John nodded. "Right, wedding presents. And if we leave here with crazy people chasing us with spears or guns, you are so going to pay."
Rodney pouted at that. "You have no faith at all in me, do you?"
"I have complete faith in your ability to find trouble."
Rodney scowled at that. "Comments of that type will have you sleeping on the sofa. Alone!"
"But if Iím alone on the couch, I canít suck you off and hear all those little whines you make that drive me crazy and get me so hard I think Iím going to burst."
"No, but I can play with myself and make all those noises and listen to you curse and groan because you canít touch."
John burst into laughter. "And I call that round a draw."
"A very good idea, and I hope neither of us has to resort to that this evening."
"I donít think we ever have, so I doubt weíll start now."
Rodney chuckled at that and nodded before skipping ahead a step when Rover nudged him from behind. "I think he wants to get shopping."
"I think youíre right. Now letís just hope we find what we want quickly. I really donít want to spend the whole day shopping." John looked around. "Do we just pick a direction?"
"Rover seems to want to go that way," Rodney commented, pointing to the left where the cart was rolling ahead of them, his sensor lights flashing.
"Far be it for me to argue with Rover," John laughed. "Especially when he seems to have a goal."
"I think weíre letting him pick the gifts; heíll do better anyway," Rodney commented, glancing around them at the items on display as they followed the cart through the bazaar.
"Good point. Besides, theyíre from all three of us anyhow. This way we all have a part in getting them; Rover picks them, and we pay for and carry them." John grinned.
"He has us trained well," Rodney muttered before shaking his head and smiling when Rover waved a pincer at them.
"Was that ever in any doubt?"
They hastened their steps to catch up with the cart, who was waiting at a stall, the wide-eyed proprietor staring at him nervously. John took in the weapons, an acquisitive light appearing in his eyes. Several knives and swords were on display, not flashy as the hilts were all fairly simple, but the quality showed to anyone who knew weapons.
Rodney took out his scanner and ran it over the swords and knives, hrmming to himself until John elbowed him in the side. "What? Oh, yes, theyíre good stuff material-wiseóyou can try them out; just donít cut any bits and pieces off."
"I think I can manage to avoid that," John said dryly, picking up a sword to test the balance after a frankly covetous look at a knife.
"You would like to see the knife as well?" the crafter asked, lifting it and offering it to John.
"Here for presents, Colonel," Rodney reminded him.
"No, thank you, weíre only interested in a sword today," John said, consciously keeping himself from reaching for the knife."
The crafter looked momentarily disappointed but rallied. "Of course, it is one of my best pieces."
"Of course it is," John murmured, but in fact, the sword was of excellent workmanship. He ran through several positions, nodding. "What do you think, Rodney?"
"Looks great," Rodney murmured before realizing John was talking about the sword. "Veryóvery nice balance."
That settled, John started bargaining in earnest, eventually gaining the sword for a trade that left both the craftsman and him smiling. "Weíll definitely be back for other items in future," John said in parting, pleased with his purchase.
"Well, that was relatively easy. Where to next, Rover?" Rodney said brightly.
Clearly knowing exactly where he was going, the cart veered off into an alley between stalls, and the two men followed. "You get the feeling he paid a lot more attention than we did when we were here before?" John observed conversationally.
"Yes," Rodney mused as they followed Rover down a series of aisles. "Heís our own personal shopper."
John chuckled. "Heís a true Renaissance cart."
Rover spun in a circle, scattering shoppers, and Rodney snickered at the sight. "And he never lets us forget it."
"I think he dreams up new things on a daily basis just to keep surprising us."
Rodney chuckled as Rover bobbed up and down before scooting over to another stall and levitating so he could scan the wares on display. "Well, as you do the same thing, Iím not going to complain."
"I enjoy surprising you." John stole a quick kiss, making Rodney smile.
"You do that every day, Colonel. Now stop distracting me so we can look at rugs or weavings or whatever these are."
"Um..." John peered at the textiles Rover was inspecting. "I have no idea, but do we really care? Whatever they are, Elizabeth would love them."
"My wares are only the finest tapestries!" The vendor, a tall, slender man, assured them as he ran a hand over a rich gold, green and burgundy weave.
"Of course they are," Rodney said uneasily, stepping back from the manís enthusiasm.
Ignoring the expensive tapestry the vendor was trying to draw to John and Rodneyís attention, Rover reached out with a pincer to grasp Johnís pants and pull him over to look at a far simpler hanging done in warm earth tones. The deep russets, ambers, olives and browns wove a deceptively simple pattern.
"This one, Rover?" John leaned in to look at it more closely. "Pretty. What do you think, Rodney?"
After glancing at it, Rodney nodded. "Looks good to me, though you two need to buy it. I, umm, need to use the facilities."
Knowing that Rodney was armed, John nodded. "Weíll meet you at that food vendorís stall at the end of the alley," he said with a nod in that direction, indicating one theyíd eaten from and enjoyed in the past.
"Iíll be there," Rodney promised, raising a hand in a quick wave as he ducked away, hustling back to the sword maker, a man with a mission. The transaction didnít take too long, and he was smiling broadly as he walked to the stall, spotting John and Rodney waiting for him.
"What? You didnít get me anything to eat?" he demanded.
"And then listen to you complain that you wanted something else? Weíll both get something now."
Rodney snickered at that, not denying the accusation. "Fine, fine, letís order!"
"After you. Iíve learned not to get between you and food," John chuckled, stepping up to the stall at Rodneyís side.
"Youíre a genius," Rodney sniffed, stepping up to the stall and examining the items for sale.
"Thatís how I keep up with you." John grinned at him before ordering his own food, knowing that Rodney would take a while to decide.
"Hrmm..." Rodney hemmed and hawed, looking at the choices, then stole a bit of Johnís meat pie when it was delivered. "Not bad... Iíll have the stew."
"So stop eating mine then!" John shifted it to the other hand, away from Rodney, well aware that otherwise Rodney would just keep picking at it until his own food arrived.
"Not feeling the love here, Colonel," Rodney huffed before ordering the same thing John had.
"I thought you were going to have the stew? Though this is easier to eat while weíre wandering around. Then again, we got what we came for; do we need to stay for anything else?"
"What? Iím not allowed to change my mind?" Rodney sniffed. "And as far as I can see, weíre doneóunless Rover has any ideas?" He looked down at the cart as he spoke, but Rover showed no desire to head off anywhere else.
"Youíre allowed to change your mind about anything except me," John chuckled. "You know, we could find an inn and rent a room for a few hours. No oneís expecting us back for a while."
"Rent a room for a few hours?" Rodneyís voice pitched higher as he stared at John. "Like some kind ofóof secret liaison?"
"Why not? Just think, absolutely no interruptions."
"The possibility of the Wraith culling this place while weíre engaged in carnal acts..."
"Only you," John sighed. "Fine, weíll go back to Atlantis, lock ourselves in our rooms, and have Rover guard the door."
"Oh, fine, we can stay here and have hot, sweaty sex in the unhygienic bed," Rodney sighed though he was smiling as he spoke.
"Iíll bet I can make you forget all about the bed," John all but purred.
"Iím counting on it!"
John grinned. "Trust me."
"Now Iím filled with dread."
"And as soon as we get there, youíll be filled with me."
Rodney cleared his throat at that, and the back of his neck turned red. "So why are we standing here?"
"Because you wanted to complain about the accommodations some more. But you can do that on the wayójust not in front of the innkeeper or whatever heís called or weíll never get a roomóso we can get there sooner." John gave him a quick, hard kiss and started down the alley, firmly gripping Rodneyís arm.
"Yes, Colonel, whatever you say, Colonel," Rodney replied quickly, glancing behind them to make sure Rover was coming before hurrying his steps when he saw the cart right behind them.
"Mmm, I like the sound of that. Keep saying it, Rodney." John grinned over his shoulder at him.
Rodney shook his head, but he laughed and repeated the phrase as they entered the two-storey building.
"Mmm, and obedient too. Quick, I need a room!" John announced to the innkeeper, who gawked at him before muffling a laugh.
"Iím going to kill you," Rodney muttered under his breath even as he plastered himself against Johnís side, attempting to look obedient.
"Only with pleasure. And thatís also whatíll bring me back." John accepted the key and led Rodney upstairs, chuckling at the innkeeperís reaction to Rover when the cart floated up the stairs.
"Oh, so youíre a cat now?" Rodney asked as he ran his hand over Johnís ass, crowding up next to him as John pulled him down a short hallway.
"Iíll even purr if you keep that up."
"Keeping it up isnít the problem hereóor should I just keep saying Ďyes, Colonelí?"
"Depends whether you want me to come before I even get my pants off."
"I thought that was going to happen when you were in me."
"It is." John stopped halfway down the hall, not caring if anyone was watching, and turned to pull Rodney into his arms and kiss him. "We need to get to the room now, or itís going to happen right here."
"Then get the key out and get us in the room, Colonel," Rodney growled, rubbing against Johnís side and yanking up his shirt to stroke his stomach.
John groaned and jerked Rodney down the hall and fumbled a key into the door, finally pushing it open and jerking Rodney inside. He paused with the door open and looked at Rover. "You coming in or guarding the door from outside?"
The cart rolled back and forth before darting over the threshold and into the room, making a quick perimeter search before settling in a corner by the window.
"I think heíd rather stay with us," Rodney murmured, smiling over at the cart before shucking out of his jacket and shirt.
"I have to admit that I prefer knowing weíre all safely together," John agreed as he pulled his shirt over his head, nearly wrenched his shoes off, and shed his pants, leaving him naked within seconds.
Rodney nodded, looking distracted as he watched the swing of Johnís dog tags against his chest. "Yes, Colonel," he rasped.
"Fuck." John toppled him to the bed and crawled over him, hazel eyes hot as he stared down at Rodney.
"Yes, Colonel, whatever you say, Colonel," Rodney murmured, running his hands up Johnís back and arching up beneath him.
"Tease," John rasped, leaning down to catch an already rigid nipple between his teeth.
"Youíre absolutely right, Colonel," Rodney groaned.
"Iíd love to get that in writing," John chuckled, turning his attention to the other nipple while a hand slid into Rodneyís pants, making the other man moan and writhe beneath him. "So hot," he whispered, sliding down, nibbling a trail along Rodneyís torso while he unfastened the pants and pushed them down with his free hand.
"Yesóoh godóColonel," Rodney gasped, running his fingers through Johnís hair and shivering as the metal of his dog tags slid along his leg.
"I love the way you sound when I touch you." Johnís tongue lightly probed Rodneyís navel.
Rodneyís whole body jerked as air flowed over his now damp flesh. "Good... good thing because I love it when you touch me."
"Me too," John murmured before mouthing Rodneyís cock, then blowing lightly.
"Y-yes, Colonel," Rodney whispered, twisting his hips to try and get his erection closer to Johnís mouth. John groaned and gave them both what they wanted, sliding Rodneyís cock into his mouth and suckling.
Rodney whimpered, spreading his legs wider, one hand fisting in the sheets as John licked and sucked at his cock, but after a moment, John sat up, staring down at him. John reached over the side of the bed to grab his jacket, pulling a small packet of lube out of the pocket and squeezing it into his hand. He watched Rodneyís faced as he slowly circled his hole, teasing the sensitive flesh.
"Colonel, if you donít do something, youíre never going to hear Ďyesí again!"
"You mean something like this?" John suddenly pushed a finger into Rodney, sliding deep to stroke over his prostate.
Rodney howled, his whole body jerking. "Yes, oh fuck, yes."
Groaning his pleasure at Rodneyís responsiveness, John leaned over to tug at a nipple with his teeth before straightening up and pushing into him with no more preparation than that.
"Yes, need you, so good, always," Rodney babbled, pulling his knees back to open himself more to Johnís thrusts.
John could only nod jerkily as he drove into Rodney, staring down into the dazed blue eyes. "Love you," he rasped, "want you."
"Yes... Colonel," Rodney whispered as they moved together.
"Rodney!" John groaned out his name as a spasm of pure pleasure rippled down his spine, his hips moving faster as it began to rush over him.
Rodney moved with him, moaning and whimpering as his cock rubbed against Johnís belly, his whole body shuddering at the fast, hard claiming. The sounds drove John on, making him want to hear more. After a moment, he forced himself to slow, not wanting this to end so quickly. He caught hold of Rodneyís hands, lacing their fingers together as he held them at the sides of Rodneyís head, and he met Rodneyís gaze as he rocked into him.
"Make me feel so much," Rodney gasped, unable to look away from that penetrating hazel gaze and the man who, at times, knew him better than he knew himself.
John nodded jerkily before licking at Rodneyís lips, tasting him while continuing to hold his gaze, swallowing Rodneyís moans and whimpers as he squirmed beneath him.
"All mine," John whispered against Rodneyís lips. "So good, so damn good."
"Better than anything I ever imagined," Rodney breathed, tightening his fingers around Johnís as they rocked together.
"And you can imagine a lot." John bit his lip as the pleasure threatened to overwhelm him. "This is better, though."
Rodney nodded jerkily, his gaze never leaving Johnís eyes. "Youóweíre better."
"The best." Johnís hips sped up, and he groaned deeply, fighting the pleasure, wanting to make it last as long as possible.
"Forever," Rodney whispered, extending his arms as he stretched upward under John, his whole body trembling.
John nodded, lowering his head to kiss Rodney as his climax washed over him. He buried himself inside his lover, gasping as he came. Rodneyís followed hard on the heels of Johnís, and he clamped down on Johnís hands, hips, and cock as he shuddered with pleasure.
John sprawled on top of the huskier man, panting as they lay tangled together. "Love you," he whispered.
"Youóyou have good ideas," Rodney gasped without he letting go of John.
"Youíre very inspirational."
Rodneyís blissed-out expression morphed into a smug smile at that. "Of course I am."
"Smug bastard," John muttered, trying not to laugh.
"Damn right. With you and Rover, I have reason to be."
"Good point." John raised his head to grin at Rodney, while Rover came over to bump the bed in agreement.
Rodney chuckled and let go of Johnís hand to stroke the cartís sensor array. "You know, I almost like this bed."
"Told you so!"
"Yes, yes, and now youíre going to rub it in my face for the next ten months."
John considered it. "Oh, much longer than that."
"But Iím your bastard."
"And donít you forget it."
"I wouldnít dream of it. And the same goes for you."
"I know, Iím owned both by you and by Rover, and as pathetic as that seems, Iím glad of it."
John beamed at him. "Good thing Ďcause neither of us is letting you go."
"Brilliant, the both of you," Rodney murmured, not letting go of Johnís hand as he continued to stroke Rover.
"We have to be to keep up with you."
Rover banged his pincer on the wooden bed frame, and Rodney had to smile. "Well, weíll have me to thank for keeping us young until our fiftieth anniversary."
"Which weíll celebrate by making each other pass out." John grinned at him while reaching down to pat Rover.
"Which will happen if we walk to the mess too quickly."
John laughed. "íCause we save all our energy for sex."
"Rover, will you pull our wheelchairs when weíre too old to walk?" Rodney chuckled.
Rover made a sound like a snort, but he bobbed up and down in agreement, making John chuckled. "Our hero."
"As always," Rodney smiled.
"Weíre all good for each other." John started to roll to the side, trying to give Rodney room to breathe."
"If you move, Iím going to elbow you," Rodney growled.
"Fine, see if I try to be nice again."
"You are being nice; youíre keeping me warm."
"Just call me Col. Blanket," John snorted.
"Thatís Col. Security Blanket, thank you," Rodney muttered.
John smiled faintly. "I can live with that."
"Youíd better because itís not changing."
"I wouldnít want it to. I like that I make you feel safe. You make me feel."
Rodney paused at that, and his lips quirked in a crooked smile. "So weíre perfect for each other."
"Which we already knew."
"Yes, but it bears repeating."
"As often as possible. Weíll nauseate people and enjoy it."
"Especially if the people include Radek."
"If you keep tormenting him, Carsonís going to start tormenting you," John chuckled.
"Then youíll just have to protect me, wonít you?"
"All that would get us would be side by side beds in the infirmary after he performed exploratory surgery on us. I think weíll have to count on Rover to save us from the wrath of Carson."
Hearing his name, Rover zipped in a quick circle, waving a pincer in answer.
"At least until the girls distract him," Rodney chuckled.
John laughed. "Fortunately, I donít think Carson would permanently maim the babiesí other grandfathers." There was a beat of silence. "Oh my God, weíre grandfathers!"
"You swore youíd never say that again!" Rodney groaned, trying to punch John in the side.
John snickered, the mock-horrified expression morphing into pure amusement. "Oh but why?"
"I agree to an assignation in this dubious place, and you respond by tormenting me? Iím feeling the love, Colonel."
"Rodney, Iím still inside you. Or I was," John corrected as his softened flesh finally slipped out of his lover. "If you donít feel it now, you never will."
"I think thatís more Ďif I didnít feel ití," Rodney corrected him with a crooked grin.
John laughed. "Donít split hairs."
"Iím a genius; itís in my nature."
"Youíre my genius, so just relax and enjoy the afterglow."
"Fine, fine, though Iím letting you know, if one bedbug bites my ass, the afterglow is over."
John rolled his eyes before flipping them over so that he was on his back with Rodney sprawled on top of him. "Better?"
"I didnít mean for you to move," Rodney pouted as he shifted around to get comfortable.
"Iím still right here," John pointed out. "Iím just protecting my favorite asset."
"Yes, well, I like yours too, so donít let it get bitten either."
"Only by you," John promised him, taking advantage of their new position to stroke the length of Rodneyís back and fondle his ass.
"Damn right it had better just be by me," Rodney snorted, nipping at Johnís earlobe, making John shiver.
"Iím a one-mad-scientist man," John chuckled, his head falling to the side to give Rodney greater access.
"Good thing; you couldnít handle two of me."
"Nope, one of youís all I need." John sighed happily. "I love my life."
"Have I mentioned that uniform looks very good on you?" Rodney asked, eyeing the well-tailored mess dress John was wearing, trying to convince himself that mauling the other man would make them late for the ceremony.
John grinned at Rodney in the mirror as he gave his tie a final adjustment and set his cap on his head. "Not yet, no, but I got the idea when your jaw dropped when you saw it. You looked like you wanted to eat me.
"And weíll get back to that idea tonight," he added as he turned to give Rodney a quick kiss.
"You live to torment me, donít you?" Rodney asked, stepping back and crouching down to study Rover, nodding in satisfaction at his gleaming appearance. "So, weíre all ready to go then."
"Then weíd better go. Since she asked me to give her away, I really donít think we should be late." John patted Rover as they made their way to the door.
"And I get to stand with Paul... the things you do for someone who sold you to Siberia..."
"I thought that was Carter?" John said, always eager to blame Rodneyís former crush for anything he could.
"No, it was Daniel and Paul," Rodney snorted.
"Of course, it couldnít be the perfect Carter," John muttered.
"Are we going to get in an argument about this right before Paul and Elizabethís wedding?" Rodney asked, his tome deceptively mild.
"Iím not arguing," John said sulkily.
"No, youíre being an insecure jerk."
"Well, excuse me for not being a fellow worshipper of Saint Samantha," John sniped, knowing he was being an idiot but unable to stop himself. He had knee jerk reactions when it came to Rodneyís crush on Sam Carter.
"And excuse me for not wanting to continue this conversation any longer," Rodney snapped. "No, donít excuse me because I donít care if you do!" He turned and stalked away, and Rover banged into Johnís shin before zipping after him.
John half raised a hand in protest before slumping unhappily where he stood. He knew it was his own fault, but he couldnít seem to get past the idea that Sam Carter was a much better match for Rodney than he was and that someday Rodney would realize it. But he wasnít going to ruin Elizabeth and Paulís day, so he pasted the superficially charming smile that he hadnít had to resort to in so long on his face and made his way to the room where the ceremony would take place.
By the time Rodney reached the room where Paul was waiting so that he wouldnít see Elizabeth before the ceremony, heíd worked himself into a state of molten anger though he attempted to put it aside, not wanting to ruin his friendsí day. Rover rocked back and forth at his side, clearly agitated, and he reached down to pat the cartís sensors though the move didnít do much to calm either of them.
"Is everyone ready?" Paul asked from where he was pacing back and forth at the far side of the room.
"Hm? Oh, I suppose they are; the place seemed pretty full."
Paul stopped in his pacing and frowned at Rodney. "Is something wrong?"
"Nothing new and nothing relating to the wedding," Rodney assured him quickly. "Iím sure itís going to be perfect."
Paul wasnít convinced, but it was his wedding day, so he decided to let it slide. "Are you sure Elizabethís ready?" he asked nervously.
Meanwhile, John had joined Elizabeth, and she took one look at him and demanded to know what was wrong.
"What could be wrong?" he laughed, giving her a smile. "Itís your wedding day, and itís going to be perfect."
"I didnít mean with the wedding; I meant with you."
"What could be wrong? Have I told you yet how beautiful you look?"
"John..." Elizabethís voice took on a tone of warning.
"Paulís a lucky man," John said, ignoring the warning until he met her eyes, and then he sighed. "Nothing new and weíll sort it out later. Donít worry about it."
"Hopefully it will be sooner than later." She smiled at him and wrapped him a warm hug.
"Iím sure it will be. You know us, we canít stay away from each other," John admitted. "Unless your soon to be husband kills me for keeping his bride from him, that is," John added with a chuckle. "I think itís time."
"Iím more than ready," Elizabeth admitted, giving a nervous smile before taking a deep breath, her expression changing to serene happiness as she rested her hand in the crook of his arm.
"Be happy, Elizabeth," John said softly, brushing a kiss across her temple before they started out.
"You know," she murmured as he opened the door to the transformed mess hall, "Just because the American government doesnít recognize gay marriages, it doesnít mean you and Rodney canít have a ceremony here." Music started, and she beamed, catching sight of Paul standing at the other end of aisle.
John missed at step at Elizabethís words, his eyes widening as he realized why heíd been so touchy all day and what had really been behind his argument with Rodney. "You are an amazing woman, Elizabeth," he whispered as they started forward.
From the other end of the aisle, Rodney watched them enter, and even though he struggled to hold onto his annoyance at John, the sight of him walking Elizabeth past all their friends made his stomach clench in a way that had nothing to do with anger.
Meeting Rodneyís gaze, John offered a sheepish, apologetic smile before looking forward again to smile at Paul, who didnít even see him, so intent was he on Elizabeth.
Now fully focused on John, Rodney frowned slightly, not even noticing when John handed Elizabeth over to Paul and Teyla stepped forward to begin the ceremony. As Teyla spoke the words that would join Elizabeth and Paul, Johnís eyes went to Rodney, and he found himself mouthing the responses along with Elizabeth.
Once Rodney realized what John was doing, he swallowed hard, blinking furiously before doing the same with Paulís parts, at the same time blinking what had to be a plethora of dust from his vision.
When the ceremony was over, after congratulating his friends again and wishing them every happiness, John moved to Rodneyís side, edging them back for a momentís private speech. "Iím sorry I was such an idiot," he whispered. "I just wish so much that it could be us up there..."
"I know," Rodney admitted. "I feltóit was stupid of me, Iím sorry." That babbled, he caught John and pulled him into a tight hug.
"Me too. I know youíre not going to dump me for Carter. I was just so miserable that itís not us getting married that I was acting like an ass." John hugged Rodney just as tightly, and Rover pressed against their legs, relieved that they were back to normal.
"And I wasnít helping by sniping back at you," Rodney sighed, resting his cheek against Johnís. "And, well, we couldóor I think we sort of just did..."
John nodded slightly. "I just wish we could do it publicly. Although..." he hesitated for a brief instant before continuing, "Elizabeth did suggest that we could have a ceremony here on Atlantis. I know Teyla would perform it for us if we asked."
"I like that idea," Rodney admitted, pulling back enough to look John in the eye. "A lot. In fact, it should terrify me just how much I like that idea."
"It would only terrify me if you didnít want it," John replied, the tension slowly leeching out of him.
"Not a chance." As he spoke, Rodney slid a hand up to the back of Johnís neck and pulled him in for a kiss. "Iím sorry I was an idiot."
"And Iím sorry I was insane," John replied ruefully. "Iím surprised Rover only whacked my shins once."
The cart spun in a circle and banged Johnís leg, causing Rodney to laugh. "I guess he didnít want you to feel left out."
"Hey!" John exclaimed. "You missed your chance. No retroactive bashing!"
"Do you really think he believes that?" Rodney chuckled.
"No," John grumbled, "but my shins wish he would. See, weíre together again. Rodneyís happy. No more whacking me!"
The cart spun in circle and darted toward the door before turning in a half circle and revving his wheels to hurry them along.
"Weíve been told; I think weíd better get to the party," Rodney laughed.
"Explain again exactly what weíre doing here," Ronon demanded as he surveyed the decorated mess hall.
"Weíre having a party for Paul and Elizabethís wedding," John explained patiently. "We had the showers slash bachelor parties before the ceremony, and now weíre celebrating the marriage itself."
"So they get a party before the ceremony and then another after?"
"Well, yes. Thereís usually more time between the two since engagements are often months or even a year or two long."
Ronon nodded and rubbed his chin, frowning slightly. "So long as thereís food and drinks at both, it makes sense to me."
Casting a helpless look at Rodney, John tried not to laugh. "There will be plenty to eat and drink."
"And music and horribly sappy toasts that will make me want to claw my eyes out," Rodney sighed.
"Which you will pretend to enjoy for our friends and then Iíll make it up to you afterward," John promised.
"Exactly," Rodney smirked, causing Ronon to chuckle.
"So no different from usual," Ronon decided.
"Pretty much," John agreed, pulling Rodney into a kiss when he seemed about to protest.
"Ye have him well-trained, John," Carson laughed as he and Radek joined them.
"Excuse me?!" Rodney squawked.
"Itís entirely mutual," John said, ignoring Radekís snort.
"Good answer, Colonel, and just where are Paul and Elizabeth, starting the honeymoon already?"
Johnís grin was answer enough an instant before Elizabethís voice said, "Right behind you, Rodney."
"Well, finally," he sniffed, half-turning to look at them.
"Weíre newlyweds; surely weíre allowed a moment or two for privacy," Paul laughed.
"I think thatís what the honeymoonís for," John pointed out, one hand lightly rubbing Rodneyís back.
"Unlike some people, I think we can restrain ourselves for a few hours," Elizabeth laughed.
"Whereís the fun in that?"
"Not having to listen to the rest of you laugh at us," Paul laughed, hugging Elizabeth with the arm he had around her waist.
"And here we thought youíd take over some of the entertainment duties," John said.
"Weíre happy to leave that assignment to the two of you," Paul chuckled.
"Aye," Carson commented. "John and Rodney have that aspect of life here well in hand."
"Theyíre making fun of us," John said mournfully to Rodney.
"Do we really care?"
"Not in the least," John laughed before grabbing Rodney and kissing him.
"Iím definitely glad everything is back to normal," Elizabeth laughed.
"As normal as anything gets in Atlantis," Paul corrected with a wry smile.
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