Note1: Written for a challenge by Sky on mcshepslash (Aug. 22/06): "Preferably a first-time story. The team finds a primitive civilization that has a ZPM.... They have no use for the ZPM(s), but for whatever reason do not necessarily want to part with it. Except maybe the leader, son of the leader, or whoever agrees to part with it if Rodney will spend a night with him."

Note2: Completed in April 2008 and published in summer 2009 in Undercurrents 1 by Ashton Press.

The Green-Eyed Monster

By Orithain and Rina

Written: April 2008

Posted to the web: March 2011

Disclaimers: We only wish they were ours. Sadly, this is as close as weíre going to get, or the show would still be on the air, and it wouldnít be a family show. ;)

"Oh my god, Simpson was right; look at these readings!" Rodney exclaimed the moment they exited the gate on a world that looked like something out of a pastoral fairy tale: all green, green grass; bright blue sky and fluffy white clouds. Almost skipping in place, he waved his scanner under his teammatesí noses though the motion was too quick for them to get more than a blurred glimpse of the off-the-scale graph.

"If you burst into show tunes, Iím going to shoot you," John warned him, trying to hide his amusement at the scientistís obvious excitement.

"Not even your nonexistent sense of humor is going to ruin my mood today, Colonel," Rodney smirked. "These people have one, possibly more than one, ZPM, and they seem open to trading with us."

"Youíd better keep your mouth shut so they stay that way," Ronon commented from behind them.

"The Telmarans have always been very welcoming to traders," Teyla said diplomatically. "I am sure we will not have any trouble."

John eyed her wryly, remembering their first meeting with the Genii, but he let it slide since he could see three people coming toward them, presumably the welcoming committee.

"Hmm, pretty," Rodney murmured under his breath as the trio drew closer, proving to be composed of a fit, older man with pale blond hair and green eyes, a tall young man with messy dark hair and hazel eyes and a young woman with blue eyes, plenty of curves and just as much blond hair.

John rolled his eyes. "Is any blond woman safe from you?" he muttered, stepping forward to greet the new arrivals.

"Who says I was talking about the blond?" Rodney muttered, earning a chuckle from Ronon and a pat on the shoulder from Teyla. John, however, whipped his head around so fast that for a moment he thought heíd pulled a muscle. He was still staring at Rodney when Teyla stepped forward and bowed slightly to the natives.

"It is good to see you again, Teyla Emmagan of Athos," the older man greeted her. "And it is well that you have brought us new friends."

"It is good to see you as well, Risor of Telmar. I would like to present Col. John Sheppard, Dr. Rodney McKay, and Ronon Dex."

"Be welcome," Risor intoned in a formal tone before smiling more naturally as his daughter took hold of Sheppardís arm and his son moved to McKayís side.

"And do you have a name?" Rodney asked the young man though he rolled his eyes at the way John immediately began charming the woman.

"Tanor. It is a very great pleasure to meet you, Dr. Rodney McKay. It is always good to make new friends."

"I have to agree, Tanor," Rodney answered, giving him a bright smile. "Itís wonderful to be met with smiles and not arrows." He glanced over to where Ronon and Teyla were walking with the village leader, then at John, who was with the girl, though he didnít look too happy about that, something that struck Rodney as strange.

"We have found that it is very difficult to trade with people after shooting them with arrows," Tanor observed wryly.

Rodney nodded vigorously at that. "Itís a shame more people donít think that wayóquite amazing too."

"I will be pleased to show you how hospitable we can be. Once the trading is over," Tanor amended.

"Yes, of course, the trading, wouldnít want to miss out on that trading," Rodney agreed, trying not to sound too desperate, without much success if Tanorís smile was any indication.

"There is something in particular you wish to trade for?"

"Well," Rodney glanced at John, who was glaring at him, "I suppose we should wait until we see what your people have to offer and what we can give in return."

"That is most reasonable of you. And afterward, I would be pleased to grow better acquainted with you."

"Ióumóof course, once things are settled, Iíd be glad to."

Tanor smiled. "I shall look forward to it. I hope our people will become friends."

"You seem very friendly," John said, more than a faint growl in his tone as he shifted away from the pretty blond girl.

"People being friendly has never been a problem before for you, Colonel," Rodney noted, frowning at the other man.

"Iím turning over a new leaf," John snapped, trying to maneuver between Rodney and Tanor, only to have Tanor shift to McKayís other side and take the scientistís arm.

"Well, turn it back over; I liked the other side better!" Rodney snapped before smiling at Tanor. "Iím hoping this trade session involves food."

"The feast is being prepared," the blond put in, frowning at John and moving away from his side, her displeasure clear.

"This is my sister Tianna," Tanor introduced.

"Nice to meet you, Tianna," Rodney smiled before glancing at John again, perplexed at his lack of interest in her.

"It is my honor." With another glare at John, Tianna nodded to her brother and Rodney, then moved to Rononís side, sliding her arm through the Satedanís.

"Shouldnít you be taking readings, Rodney?" John asked, his eyes narrowed.

Rodney sighed and shook his head. "They arenít going to have changed from the last time I looked at them; we just need to wait and see what they show us."

John glared at him. "Try to keep your mind on the job, McKay." Not waiting for a reply, he stomped past to join Teyla and Risor.

Frowning, Rodney shook his head and looked over at Tanor, who appeared amused. "Sorry, he normally isnít the surly one."

Tanor looked at him in surprise, then smiled. "Iím sure all will be well. But for now, letís enjoy the feast and getting to know each other."

"And the trading," Rodney reminded him.

"We will not forget it. It will give us even more reason to celebrate."

Rodney nodded and went to rub his hands together, forgetting for a moment that Tanor had linked their arms, but he recovered by patting the younger manís arm. "I certainly hope so."

"There is something in particular you want." It wasnít a question.

"Yes, if you have it, there is one thing we want," Rodney admitted.

"What is it? I may know if it something we can trade."

"Oh, what the hell," Rodney muttered before giving a brief description of a ZPM.

"The stone of the Ancestors?" Tanorís eyes widened.

"You really have one?" Rodneyís eyes mirrored Tanorís. "I mean, from the power readings, it seemed probable, but you have it and know where it isótell me you know where it is!" he begged, clutching Tanorís arm.

"Of course. As leader of our people, it is my fatherís responsibility to keep all the relics of the Ancestors. The thing you speak of is in our home."

"Would I be able to see it? Examine it? I promise I wonít do anything to it."

Tanor shrugged. "I donít see why not, but I must ask my father first."

"Of course, of course!" Rodney smiled brightly, trying to be encouraging.

"Do you wish me to speak to him now?" Tanor was surprised by Rodneyís obvious interest in the old, useless object.

"I would love it if you would!" Rodneyís eyes were shining with anticipation.

"Very well." Tanor let go of Rodneyís arm and quickened his pace. He drew his father away from Teyla and the colonel, and the two Telmarans held a low-voiced conversation. After a few moments, they parted company again, Risor moving back to Teylaís side while his son rejoined Rodney.

"My father said that we can go see the stone before beginning the trading if you wish."

Rodney nodded eagerly, catching Tanorís arm as he did so. "Letís go; Iíd really love to see it."

Tanor simply nodded and drew Rodney aside, starting off in another direction.

"Hey!" John tightened his grip on his P90, staring after Rodney and the young Telmaran.

"Colonel, Dr. McKay is in no danger, I assure you," Teyla said, placing a restraining hand on his arm.

"Tanor is going to show him the stone of the Ancestors," Risor assured him.

John watched the two men disappear around a corner, his eyes narrowed. "It seems the tradingís already started."

The other man nodded proudly and watched his son and the newcomer go into the building.

Inside, Tanor went to one corner of the main room and opened a chest, withdrawing a cloth-wrapped bundle, which he set on a table.

Rodney reached for his scanner, and he gave a small whimper of excitement when the power readings again shot off the scale. "Do you mindóis it a problem if I touch it?" he asked.

"No, but you cannot take it," Tanor warned, trying not to smile at Rodneyís expression. "I regret to say that there is only one acceptable trade for an artifact of the Ancestors."

Rodney paused in the act of lifting the covering from the ZPM. "What is that?" he asked cautiously.

"It is an ancient rite," Tanor said almost apologetically, "going back to before we had so many trading partners, when we needed to ensure the survival of our people. It has been allowed to lapse except with regard to things of the Ancestors."

"It doesnít involve blood or torture, does it?"

"Quite the opposite," Tanor exclaimed, horrified. "No, it is just that I had hoped for it to happen at our pleasure, not as part of a trade."

"Hoped for what to happen?" Rodney asked, frowning in confusion.

"You must share yourself with one of our people, most usually a member of the leaderís family. At least it is no longer necessary that it be a female you choose."

Rodney stared at Tanor, then blinked, glancing back at the ZPM before looking away again. "You mean to get the ZPM one of us has to sleep with a member of your family?"

Tanor nodded. "I had hoped you would not find the idea objectionable."

"Me?" Rodney chuckled at that.

"Yes." Tanor moved a little closer.

Rodneyís laughter grew, and he reached up a hand to wipe his eyes. "Iím sorry, itís just that Iím not usually the team member who finds themselves in this situation."

"If you prefer Tianna," Tanor started hesitantly.

"No!" Rodney reached out and caught Tanorís arm. "No, it isnít you; itís the fact that normally..." He shook his head and smiled. "I find you very attractive." And no, he wasnít going to even entertain the thought of who the young man reminded him of.

"I am glad. As I said, I had hoped you would wish to share my bed even before we discussed a trade."

Rodney nodded and quirked a smile. "I would have agreed even without the ZPM."

"Then perhaps we should go speak to my father so we can begin our Ďtradeí."

"And Iíll let my team know weíll be staying the night." Rodney glanced back at the ZPM again before covering it up and walking with Tanor out of the building.

"Father, Rodney wishes to trade for the stone of the Ancestors," Tanor said, beaming at the elder Telmaran.

Risorís expression changed from serious to a broad smile. "In the traditional manner?"

"Yes, in the traditional manner," Rodney answered before Tanor could speak.

"Rodney? Is there something I need to know?" John asked sharply.

Rodney rolled his eyes and returned Johnís gaze. "Donít worry, John; you donít have to marry anyone."

"What exactly is this Ďtraditional mannerí?" John asked.

"Nothing I donít want to do."


"It is nothing harmful, Colonel," Risor said hastily. "It is simply an old custom of my people that brings us closer together with our trading partners."

"Closer..." Johnís eyes widened. "I didnít sign on to be a pimp!"

"I donít recall asking you for permission, Colonel," Rodney growled.

"You..." John snapped his mouth shut, his eyes stormy. "I wasnít aware weíd reached this level," he said angrily, biting back words that would offend their hosts.

"What level is it that weíre talking about?"

"Perhaps this might be a conversation for a more private place," Teyla interjected quickly.

John gave Rodney a look of angry contempt. "I donít have anything to discuss."

"Then there isnít anything to discuss," Rodney snapped back, anger covering the momentary hurt in his eyes before he turned away. "Tanor, as I said, I would be happy to participate in your tradition with you."

"We are pleased and honored," Risor said, all of them working to smooth over the discomfort caused by Sheppardís anger. The colonel snapped a few words to Ronon and left the group, heading back toward the gate at a rapid pace.

"Well, thereís someone who takes his countryís military line too seriously," Rodney sighed, for the moment balancing the loss of the colonelís friendship against the ZPM before deciding that if John thought that little of him, then it wasnít much of a loss at all. "Teyla, I hope you and Ronon have a pleasant evening; Iím sure Tanor and I will." He turned to smile at the young man and held out his hand.

Beaming, Tanor laced his fingers through Rodneyís. "I look forward to this night and hope you will visit us often again," he murmured, drawing Rodney toward one of the cottages.

Rodney gave a small chuckle and nodded. "I just hope you say that come morning."

"I am sure I will." Tanor spared a single glance toward the ring of the Ancestors and smiled smugly.

"Rodney," Teyla greeted him the next morning. "You are looking well today."

"Yes," he grinned, smiling up at Tanor, who was beside him. "Iím feeling well too."

"It was a very enjoyable night," Tanor agreed, running the back of a finger over Rodneyís cheek.

"And morning," Rodney chuckled. "As well as energetic."

Tanor grinned. "I had to make sure you would wish to visit again."

"I think you convinced me of that by the fifth time!"

Ronon glanced up from his plate, looking impressed.

"And yet you will not stay another day this time."

"Iím sorry, Tanor, but we need to return home. But we will be back." Rodney caught the young manís hand and pressed a kiss on his finger.

"I will look forward to it." Tanor turned and kissed Rodney hard, stealing his breath for a moment.

"So will I." Rodney stole a final kiss before backing away from Tanor, his hand falling to the bag hanging over his shoulder.

Watching them walk away, Tanor smiled sadly as he reached for his sisterís hand. "His Col. Sheppard will not make the same mistake twice."

"Which is a shame for both of us," she nodded, squeezing his fingers.

He smiled suddenly. "Perhaps they will all return to share their joy with us, and you and I can enjoy the other two." The siblings shared a grin.

"I understand you had a somewhat unusual visit," Elizabeth greeted Rodney when he stepped through the gate.

Rodneyís grin hadnít faded in the least during the trip through the gate. "Unusual in that we met nice natives who were happy to trade with us and actually had something we wanted in return." His grin broadened as he pulled the ZPM out of the bag.

Elizabethís eyes widened. "Is that charged?"

"Fully. You mean the colonel didnít mention it?"

"Col. Sheppard informed me that you were safe and making a trade and that he was taking some time off. He took a jumper and left the city," Elizabeth said carefully.

"Heówell, I suppose he just couldnít take not being the one the villagers were falling all over, could he," Rodney sniffed. "If youíll excuse me, Teyla and Ronon can tell you what happened; Iím going to go get this installed."

Once Rodney left, Elizabeth looked at the two remaining team members and sighed. "John was jealous?"

"Very much so," Teyla nodded. "He was not at all pleased that Rodney chose to go with Tanor."

"I donít think he knows he is thoughóSheppard, I mean," Ronon added.

Elizabeth sighed again. "Iím beginning to think Col. Caldwell called it right when he said it would take locking the two of them alone in a room for a week to make them realize and put us all out of our misery."

"It is beginning to seem the wisest path."

"Theyíre giving me a headache," Ronon agreed, making Elizabeth chuckle.

"Weíll keep that plan in reserve."

"We should warn Dr. Zelenka that Rodney may be more difficult than usual once the excitement of the new ZPM wears away," Teyla murmured.

"We could always invite Tanor to visit Atlantis," Ronon mused. "Sheppard might notice eventually that he looks like him."

Elizabethís eyebrows rose. "He looked like John?"

"Very much so, if younger," Teyla nodded. "Though I fear if we invited Tanor here, the colonel might do him bodily harm."

"I thought he was going to last night. Or finally grab McKay, but he stormed off instead. You people are weird."

"I wonít argue that point," Elizabeth sighed. "Just remind you of the American military culture that John is a part of."

"Weird," Ronon repeated. "Lifeís too short to waste time when you find someone you want."

"Very well put, Ronon," Teyla smiled.

"Yes, it was. Now, I believe we have a debriefing to attend to?"

"Should we not wait for John to return?" Teyla asked, but Elizabeth shook her head.

"Heís off sulking. It might be a while till he comes back if there isnít any emergency."

"Looks like itís just the three of us." Ronon flashed a lightning quick grin at the women.

"And we know how much you enjoy that," Elizabeth chuckled. "Perhaps we should continue this somewhere more private?" she suggested.

Teyla nodded, her smile growing as well. "Refreshments would be in order as well; this may be a lengthy discussion."

"I certainly hope so." Elizabeth slid an arm through each of theirs, and the three of them started for her quarters, Rodney and Johnís love life forgotten for the moment.

"Radek, meet me in the main power room," Rodney ordered as he exited the transporter nearest that room.

"Donít you ever sleep?" Radek grumbled from the mess hall where heíd just sat down with his breakfast and coffee.

"Not last night I didnít," Rodney replied cheerfully. "And if you want to see the lovely little toy I brought back, youíll get your ass down here!"

Radek continued muttering for formís sake as he grabbed his coffee and started out to join Rodney, but now he was curious to see what Rodney had brought back. "If this is another Ancient iPod, I will make sure you have no hot water for a week!"

"Oh, trust me, itís a lot better than that; in fact, itís so good, you have my permission to bow down and kiss my feet once you see it."

Radek snorted. "You traded for drugs?"

"Keep it up; nothingís going to spoil my mood today."

Arriving in the lab as Rodney finished speaking, Radek regarded the other scientist suspiciously. "You are uncharacteristically cheerful today."

"And all this without coffee," Rodney chuckled. "There are two reasons for that, and Iíll share one of them with you." He pointed to the ZPM on the console.

Radekís eyes widened. "Is that... It is." He smiled beatifically as he pushed past Rodney to inspect the ZPM. He paused, looking over his shoulder. "If you donít want to share other reason, shower would be good."

"What?" When Radekís eyebrows rose, Rodney glanced down at himself and flushed slightly. "Oh. No, thereís time for that later; Iím not leaving here until weíve got this installed and Iím sure everythingís running smoothly."

"Better priority," Radek agreed, hovering over the ZPM with a scanner. "Fully charged," he gloated. "With two, we will be able to activate other systems that have been left in standby."

"And not worry so much about draining our reserves," Rodney agreed as he finished initializing another power station and reached for the ZPM.

Radek shrugged. "One ZPM powered the shields, under constant pressure, and a stasis chamber for 3,333 years. Even with entire city active, I think one would last several centuries, by which time one of us would have developed process for creating or recharging. Unless we plan to use star drive, I am not worried."

"Or unless the Wraith decide to bombard us again," Rodney murmured as he settled the ZPM into place and watched it light up and lower into position. "Yes!"

"With two of three ZPMs, we can power everything," Radek said gleefully. "We can finally find out what some of the systems do."

Rodney nodded, his eyes gleaming as he imagined what they would find. "This was the best trade weíve ever made."

"I understand that Col. Sheppard disagrees," Radek said, keeping his eyes on the ZPM.

Rodneyís smile vanished as if it had never been, and his chin lifted belligerently. "Col. Sheppard can take his archaic prejudices and stick them up his ass."

Radek rolled his eyes, thinking that wasnít what either of them needed up the colonelís ass. "It seems rather unlikely that he would be prejudiced in such a way."

"You would think that, wouldnít you, but while apparently itís fine for him to Kirk his way around the Pegasus Galaxy, itís a double standard when it comes to anyone else."

"Perhaps there is some other reason," Radek suggested with most of his attention on the power flow.

"When did you turn into Heightmeyer?"

"I just think it would be bad for the rest of us if you and the colonel are no longer friends. He distracts you."

Rodney looked up from the readouts heíd been studying at that. "Excuse me! Iím not the one who stomped off in a homophobic hissy fit!"

Radek sighed and decided that it was futile for the moment. "New systems are coming online."

"Donít start too many at once," Rodney cautioned, turning his attention back to the console before him.

"I think we can afford the power now," Radek pointed out.

Rodney sighed and shook his head. "These systems havenít been used in ten thousand years, Radek; letís try to minimize the potential problems."

Radek nodded and the two scientists immersed themselves in their favorite toy, one that had batteries now.

"Welcome back, Colonel," the guard in the jumper bay said when John returned from his trip.

John nodded sharply on his way past, hoping to reach his quarters without running into anyone, but Elizabeth had left orders that she be notified when he returned, and she joined him in the corridor. He looked at her but continued in silence, refusing to speak before she did.

"Teyla, Ronon, and Rodney are back," she said by way of an opening.

His eyes darted to her. "So, we bought a ZPM with McKayís ass?"

"We didnít buy anything, John." Elizabethís tone grew firmer as she spoke. "Rodney offered to do something for the good of us all, and this is Rodney, John; do you think he would ever do anything he didnít want to, even for a ZPM?"

"One, he would sell both of us for a ZPM, never mind his ass, and two, voluntary or not, itís still sex for a commodity," John snapped.

"You seem to be the only one who has a problem with this situation, Colonel. If it had been forced, there is no way I would have condoned it, but Rodney came back here with a smile on his face, and I doubt even a ZPM would have put that there if he hadnít enjoyed his evening."

"I did not sign on to pimp for my team!"

"And just what would you have done if you had been given that offer?"

"I would have explained that our culture doesnít consider sex a trade good!"

"But if that was the only way to get the ZPM; what would you have done?"

"Found another way!"

"And if it was someone you would have been attracted to under other circumstances?"

Johnís head whipped around to glare at her. "Last I checked, Col. Carter was his ideal, and Iím pretty sure she doesnít have a dick!"

Elizabethís eyes narrowed slightly. "That is something I think you need to discuss with Rodney, but again, this is Rodney youíre talking about; if he had done something he didnít want to, Iím sure we would have heard about it by now."

John stared straight ahead. "Are we done?"

"So it seems."

"Good." John swerved down a hallway, not noticing a group of Marines whoíd been around the corner and overheard the conversation.

"For a smart guy, the colonel is a real idiot," one commented quietly while the others nodded.

"Yeah, if I didnít know better, Iíd actually think he was homophobic," a corporal said.

"Considering the way he looks at McKayís ass, I donít think thatís the case."

"I think he needs to start telling himself some things," another one snorted.

There was a general round of nodding at that. "We should get Dex to lock them in a room."

"He offered to. I heard him, Teyla and Dr. Weir talking."

"Okay, so thatís out. Any other ideas because I really donít want Sheppard ragging our asses out because heís pissed McKay did it with someone other than him."

"Maybe if someone else hits on the doc, the colonel would catch a clue. Iím sure Dr. Z would help since I know the scientists donít want McKay bitchy either."

"You offering to do it?"

"Hell no! I donít want the colonel using me for a punching bag. I meant one of the scientists could do it."

"Who? Kavanagh?" Snorts of laughter met that suggestion.

"Like I said, we could ask Dr. Z. It would have to be one of the new guys. And not anyone in the hard sciences."

"Go for it; weíre right behind you."

"Well, the colonel would be really pissed if he found out. Letís give it a couple of days and see if they finally figure it out on their own."

"Sounds good to me."

"If they donít figure it out soon and improve the colonelís mood, I think thereís going to be a mutiny," Lorne grumbled as he dropped into a seat opposite Dr. Zelenka and Dr. Beckett.

"Aye, Iíve had quite a number of Marines in the infirmary after sparring sessions with him," Carson commented.

"Ronon and Teyla are getting frustrated with the situation," Elizabeth said as she sat down next to the major. "And so is everyone else."

"Is understatement," Radek nodded. "Rodneyís mood changed for the worse once the colonel returned; I have not seen the two of them speak since then either."

"I have this desire to give them both time outs," Elizabeth said, frowning. "Theyíre acting like five-year-olds."

"I donít think five-year-olds lust after each other," Carson pointed out.

"Any chance of sending them on a mission to an empty planet and not letting them back until they get along better?" Lorne suggested.

"Iíve been searching the database for possibilities," Elizabeth admitted wryly.

Carson and Radek leaned forward. "Any luck?"

"Actually, yes. Iím thinking of having a squad of Marines bodily throw them through."

"Team mission, once the two idiots are through, Ronon and Teyla stay back," Radek suggested.

"You know, that could work. And Iíve reached the point of trying it. Tomorrow?" Elizabeth looked at Lorne for confirmation that Col. Sheppard wasnít needed for anything that day.

"Tomorrowís good for me," he answered, sounding hopeful.

"Then unless a miracle happens tonight, weíll do it. And once theyíre through, weíll let them know they canít come back till they deal with their problem."

"Just why is it necessary that we go on this mission?" Rodney asked as he stomped into the gateroom to find the others ready and waiting for him.

"Lives may depend on it," the sergeant on duty muttered under his breath.

"Itís a diplomatic mission vital to Atlantis," Elizabeth said smoothly. "Iím counting on you both."

"Hereís your pack," Ronon said cheerfully, handing a heavy pack to Rodney, who almost dropped it.

"A diplomatic meeting? This feels like Iím carrying a load of bricks!"

Elizabeth hastily turned her back, pretending to check a display as she fought for control of her expression. She was almost positive Ronon had added rocks to the pack... in addition to supplies for at least a week.

"I am sure everything in your pack is necessary," Teyla soothed him before looking at John. "Colonel, I believe we are ready."

John nodded shortly before walking through the gate, followed by Rodney. A moment later Elizabeth nodded to the tech and activated her radio. "John, Rodney, the senior staff of Atlantis has decided that the two of you need to deal with your issues, so weíre not letting you come back until you do. You have food and water for a week in your packs. And if you do try to come back, weíll just throw you in the brig, so you might as well enjoy the planet. Weir out."

"What?!" Rodney howled, turning and immediately dialing Atlantis, only to have the gate remain empty. "They locked out the planet! It had to be Zelenka; heís a dead man when I get back."

"They all are," John snarled. "This is not funny!"

"Understatement of the century, Colonel!"

"Sorry I canít provide someone to buy sex for you."

Rodney whirled at that and, without preamble, threw his pack at John, hitting him in the chest. "Shut the fuck up, you bigoted hypocrite! I would have expected it from Caldwell, but not you!"

"Bigoted? Because I think youíre better than whoring yourself? Well, fuck you too!"

"Whoring myself? I hate to burst your sanctimonious bubble, but I would have slept with Tanor anyway. The ZPM was a great addition, but he was one hot piece of ass." Rodney used the crude words deliberately, wanting them to pound at John the way his pack had.

John gaped at him. "But... Col. Carter?"

Rodney snorted at that. "Sheís hot too; have you never heard of the word bisexual?"

"I... You never said anything!"

"Oh yes, that just flowed so easily into our everyday conversations: ĎLook out for that wraith, John; oh, by the way, I like boys as well as girls.í And seeing how well you handled this, thank god I didnít say it." Rodney turned to look at the area around them, noting a stand of trees a short distance away, then started walking toward them.

"Fuck!" Johnís yell reverberated through the air, and he threw his pack at one of the trees so hard a branch broke.

"Almost giving me a concussion when thereís no medical attention available. Wonderful idea!"

"Whatís wrong with me?" The words were wrenched from John.

Rodney looked back over his shoulder at the question, his expression angry and wary. "Iíd give that second ZPM to know the answer to that question. I thought we were friends."

"No! Whyíd you pick him?"

"Why do you care? Apparently I was simply whoring myself out to get something for the good of us all," Rodney commented, sitting down heavily and leaning back against the tree Johnís pack had struck.

"Why do I care?" John barked out a harsh laugh. "Thatís a damn good question. I shouldnít care. Itís not as if... You know what, fuck it." John spun around and slammed his fist into a tree.

"That tree never did anything to you."

"Itís there." John slumped forward, resting his forehead against the bark. "I really, really hate Elizabeth right now."

"Well, Iím not too thrilled with any of them at all right now." As he spoke, Rodney stood and walked back to the gate to retrieve his pack and open it. "I donít believe it; he did put rocks in here!"

"I donít think I can do this."

Ignoring him, Rodney started to take the rocks out of his pack, hoping to find regular supplies beneath them.

"When we get back, Iím taking myself off the team," John said, still facing the tree. "Iíll have one of the Marines assigned to the three of you."

Rodney stilled at that, and something inside him seemed to break. "Thereís no need to do that. I should stay in the lab anyway; there are a lot of new systems on line now, and we havenít studied them all."

"And youíre still the best bet of finding Ancient technology in the field. The entire expedition shouldnít suffer for my problems." John laughed bitterly. "By all rights I should leave, but I canít do that."

"My god, John, do you hate me that much now?" Rodney asked, his voice cracking in the middle of the sentence before firming again.

"Hate you?" John finally turned around. "Iíve never hated you. Never."

"Fine, then you hate what I am. After all weíve been through, I would have thoughtóI thought..." Now it was Rodney who looked away.

"What you are? I hate that you wanted him and not me!"

Rodney whipped around so quickly he nearly gave himself whiplash. "What?"

"So there, now Iíve told. God, I never expected this. I never imagined this."

"Youíre mad because I slept with Tanor and not you?" Rodney repeated, still staring at John, his eyes wide.

"Do you want to rub salt in too? Yes!"

Rodney collapsed to the ground in the sun by his pack and started laughing, the sound gathering an almost hysterical note as it rose.

John stared at him in disbelief. "That was not one of the reactions I ever considered."

"I did want you, you asshole," Rodney shouted, the laughter vanishing as quickly as it started. "Iíve wanted you for years, but I couldnít have you, so I went with Tanor, who looked like you!"

John gawked. "You... Christ." He raked a hand through his hair.

"Yeah, exactly."

"I was a hell of a lot happier not knowing any of this," John groaned. "I didnít ask, and I sure as hell didnít tell, especially not myself."

"Well, donít worry, Colonel," Rodney sighed, "Iím not going to act on this knowledge; you can go on believing whatever you want of yourself."

"I think the last week proved that wonít work." John sank down to sit with his back braced against the tree. "So weíre back to me removing myself from the team. You donít have to worry that Iíll bother you; I donít go where Iím not wanted."

"Or where you donít want to be." Rodney stood and carried his now lighter pack to another tree to sit by it, his head leaning back against the bark and his eyes closed.

"I wish Iíd figured it out before it was too late," John said wistfully.

"Poor baby," Rodney muttered, realizing he wasnít going to be able to think or do anything with John sitting there. "Iím going for a walk." His words lacked any emotion at all as he got to his feet, shouldered his pack, and strode away from John, hoping to leave the confusing mess of his emotions there as well.

John watched him go, staring after him long after Rodney had disappeared from sight. Finally, he slumped where he sat, his eyes closing as he considered the mess heíd made of his life. He had a feeling the expression in Rodneyís eyes earlier was going to be added to the many images starring in his nightmares.

The sun had shifted several degrees across the sky before he dragged himself to his feet and began going through his pack, finding a tent at the bottom. He didnít know if McKay was going to be willing to share it with him, but at least if he got it up, someone would get use out of it.

By late afternoon, Rodney found himself at the shore of a small lake, feeling cranky, worn out, and hungry. Sitting on a rock near the waterís edge, he pulled off his shoes and socks, rolled up his pants, and stuck his feet in the water, breathing a sigh of relief at the coolness. Heíd been walking for hours, not caring where he was going, and now he wondered just how wise that had been.

"At least I donít have to listen to confessions of... whatever he was confessing," he mumbled, kicking at the water and glaring at the droplets that splashed down around him.

As the shadows lengthened, John frowned and paced around the clearing where heíd set up camp. Once again he ran through all the reasons why he shouldnít go after Rodney, including the fact that the scientist was armed and quite likely to shoot him after their earlier argument. Every passing hour made that less important to him, however, and he promised himself that if Rodney hadnít returned in the next hour, he would set out to find him.

The shadows had lengthened to dusk when Rodney finally returned to the stand of trees and sat down next to the fire John had started when the light started to go, though he kept to the opposite side of it and didnít say anything.

"Iím sorry," John offered.

"For?" Rodney asked, pulling a MRE from his pack and ripping it open.

"For not realizing, waiting too long, acting like an ass, telling you something you didnít want to know... take your pick."

"Take my pick? Fine, I will; I want to know why youíre so damn sure I didnít want to know about your sudden epiphany."

"You mean other than the fact that you canít even stand to look at me or be anywhere near me?"

"Iím not the one who was avoiding me for the past week, am I?"

"Jesus, Rodney, I was jealous, okay? And I hadnít even admitted it to myself yet!"

"Then why the hell is it so hard for you to understand that maybe I needed some time to get used to the idea?" Rodney snapped. "Iíve spent two years convincing myself to think of you as a friend and only a friend, and all of a sudden you change on me!"

John laughed harshly. "I guess Iím an even bigger fuck up than I thought."

"Why? Because the idea of wanting another man is that horrible?"

"Iím in the fucking military, in case you missed it."

"So are Wadsworth and McKeown."

"Somehow I donít think they had this much trouble," John said with a hint of his usual wry humor.

"Obviously, since theyíve been doing each other almost since we got here," Rodney snorted.

"Okay, I really didnít need to know that."

"I believe itís called selective blindness, Colonel."

John raked a hand through his hair. "Iím going for a swim. Iíll be back later."

"If you leave, you arenít going to be able to find your way back," Rodney sighed.

"Itís only about a hundred yards through the trees," John said, too weary to bother arguing about his navigational abilities or lack thereof.

"Fine, go then. Radio me if you canít find your way back." Rodney crumpled up his MRE bag and put it back in his pack.

John nodded as he left, although he would eat dirt before heíd resort to that.

Determinedly watching the fire and not Johnís exit, Rodney waited until he couldnít hear Johnís footsteps before moving, getting up and walking toward the tent, trying not to think of the colonel stripping down and walking into the pond heíd sat by earlier in the day.

Even the cool water wasnít helping, and John swam out a ways before heading back closer to the shore. He knew it was foolish to be alone in the water, but he needed this time to pull his masks back together if he hoped to salvage anything of his friendship with Rodney.

It took time, but after an hour or so, he forced himself to get out and dress again, then head back to the camp to find Rodney curled up in the tent, fast asleep and snoring. John stared at Rodney, smiling wryly, and finally shook his head and settled down on the ground nearby, using his jacket as a pillow.

The sun rose, and with it came a cacophony of birdsong that had Rodney groaning as he woke. "Shut the hell up!" he shouted.

"Ah, the dulcet tones of the wild McKay, unmistakable once heard."

"Oh, very funny," Rodney grumbled, for the moment forgetting everything that had happened the past week. "Morning people are unnatural!" There was a thrashing from the tent as he tried to cover his ears with his jacket.

John chuckled. "Without morning people, who would make coffee?"

"You made coffee?" A tousled head poked out of the tent, though the expectant expression grew more wary when Rodney remembered what had happened the day before.

"I figured Iíd better." John held a mug toward him.

Rodney took the mug and slurped down a few gulps, studying John all the while. "Were there any kind of drugs in that water you went swimming in last night?" he finally asked.

John managed a wry smile as he shrugged. "I donít want to lose you as a friend."

"Oh." Rodney drank some more as he sat in the entrance to the tent. "Did you sleep out here?"

"I thought youíd prefer it."

"Why? Itís not as if we havenít shared a tent before."

"Iíve never thought you might shoot me before."

"Even Iím above holding someone at gunpoint to have sex with them, Colonel," Rodney sniffed, coming out of the tent and sitting down on the ground.

John blinked. "I kind of expected the opposite."

"Oh please, if I or any other man ever came onto you, youíd turn tail and run so fast it wouldnít be funny. Being jealous over the abstract concept that I had sex with a man and you having sex with a man are two entirely different things."

"You know, itís incredibly arrogant, even for you, to assume that you know what I feel better than I do."

"Well, I am incredibly arrogant, or have you forgotten that fact?"

"Well, Iím not in the habit of lying to myself, so stop making assumptions."

"Oh, so are you admitting youíre straight, or are you admitting youíre gay?"

"Well, I donít think either is right. I still like women, but I like you too." John shrugged. "I guess Iíd have to go with bi if weíre looking for labels."

"You sound so thrilled about that revelation," Rodney commented, pouring himself some more coffee.

"Well, considering that youíd rather be anywhere but around me, itís not an unmixed blessing," John replied dryly.

Rodney glanced over at him, his eyes narrowed as he brought his mug to his lips to drink. "You are such an idiot," he muttered into the mug.

"And youíre supposed to be a genius? I figured that out a week ago."

"What? That I was a genius? You really are slow, Colonel!"

"You know what, Iím not the idiot; youíre the fucking idiot!"

"And why is that?!"

"Iím trying to tell you Iím in love with you, you jackass!"

"Youíre such aówhat did you say?" The mug in Rodneyís hand tilted, spilling his coffee onto the ground, but he didnít notice.

"You really think Iím going to repeat it so you can laugh?"

"Laugh at what? Why would I laugh?" Rodney hollered.

"Because you obviously donít feel the same!" John snapped.

"What part of ĎI slept with Tanor because he looked like youí donít you understand?!"

"I am right here!"

Rodney snarled a curse under his breath and exploded into motion, moving around the fire to catch Johnís face between his hands and kiss him savagely. "There, is that what you wanted?"

John blinked at him, looking dazed. "Well, I have to admit I expected more from our first kiss."

"Well, excuse me for trying!" Rodney pushed away and went back to the other side of the fire, glowering.

"I donít get a second chance?"

"You want it, you come over here."

"I can do that." John followed him over and sank down to kneel in front of Rodney, hesitantly placing his hands on Rodneyís shoulders.

"Are you sure you want to do this?" Rodney asked, studying John closely even as his hands rose to grasp Johnís shoulders.

"I want it as much as I want to fly."

Rodney shuddered at that and leaned in to kiss John again, though this time it was slower and more exploratory, a learning experience for both of them. John relaxed with the faintest of sighs and opened his mouth, tasting Rodney.

With a groan, Rodney deepened the kiss, sliding his tongue over Johnís as he explored his mouth, his whole body tightening as Johnís flavor filled his mouth.

After a time, John pulled back panting. "Okay, that was even better than I imagined."

Rodney chuckled quietly at that. "In the whole what, three days, youíve been imagining it?"

"More like several months, when I let myself."

"Several months?" Rodney squawked.

John shrugged. "So, you see, you were wrong about it just being a quick thing."

"Yes, well, erm, yes," Rodney stuttered. "And you werenít going to ever do anything about it? Was that because of your military?"

"That was part of it. Mostly, I thought you were straight, and it was kind of pointless to risk my career for nothing."

Rodney nodded at that, his thumbs rubbing small circles on Johnís arms through his jacket. "I think I should thank Tanor for more than the ZPM."

John frowned. "Iíd rather shoot him."

"You know, itís sort of hot that you were jealousónot that I thought this at the time."

John chuckled wryly. "I wasnít really happy about it at the time either."

"That you were jealous or that it was because of me?"

"That I had a reason to be jealous because I hadnít tried."

"Oh." Rodney paused, before shaking his head. "So instead of acting like someone stole your toy, why didnít you say something? Do something?"

John shrugged almost sulkily. "I figured it was too late."


"Because you were with him."

"Just like you were with Chaya, and Teer, and should I keep going?" Rodney pointed out.

"Iíd really rather you didnít."

"Iíd really rather I didnít either."

"So how about we go back to kissing instead?"

"Good idea, Colonel, the best Iíve heard all year in fact." That said, Rodney leaned in to cover Johnís mouth with his, this time inviting Johnís tongue inside. Johnís hands slid down from Rodneyís shoulders to draw him closer, and he pressed up against Rodney, a soft moan of pleasure escaping him at the contact.

"Oh god, John," Rodney gasped, sliding his hands up under Johnís shirt to stroke his back, his fingers digging into the warm skin beneath them, to draw him closer.

John pulled his head back, meeting Rodneyís eyes. "No more Tanors, right?"

"No more Chayas and Teers," Rodney shot back.

"Sounds fair."

"Kiss on it?"

"Oh yeah." John moved closer again, angling his head for the kiss, and Rodney opened for him, sighing in pleasure as their tongues slid against each other and their bodies pressed together.

"So, uh, do we get to do other things?"

"You saying you want to fuck me?"

John made an incoherent noise and pressed against Rodney, hardening.

"I take it that was a yes?" Rodney asked wryly.

"That was a hell yes," John agreed before kissing Rodney hard, making the other man chuckle and hug him harder.

"But, uh, I think, we kind of need some things."

"Shit," Rodney muttered before lowering his head to nuzzle Johnís throat. "Well, I could blow you; Iíve been told Iím rather good at that."

John moaned.

"This might be easier with you lying down."

John caught hold of Rodneyís hands as he dropped backward, ending up flat on his back with Rodney stretched over him.

"Problem solved," Rodney murmured before kissing John again, at the same time pushing up to his knees to yank at Johnís shirt and belt.

"Thatís me, the problem solver," John said, watching Rodney look at him.

"Problem solver, lamp lighter, mine..." The last was said with a slightly questioning note.

"Mutual ownership pact works for me."

"Oh good," Rodney sighed in relief and pushed Johnís shirt up higher so that he could kiss the toned planes of Johnís stomach, making John shiver.

"Youíre wearing too many clothes."

"Excuse meówho is the one with experience in this kind of situation?"

"I know men and women are different, but Iím pretty sure we still need to get naked for sex."

"Not much for the foreplay then, are you."

"That works perfectly well when naked."

Rodney leaned in and licked at Johnís navel in reply, and John squirmed.

"Then again, maybe I should shut up and let you do whatever you want."

"Good idea," Rodney muttered before licking a path up Johnís body to drag his tongue over his nipple.

John inhaled sharply, his back arching deeply. "Really good idea."

Rodney chuckled again and rasped his teeth over the tight bud, his hips rocking down against Johnís thigh.

"Please," John groaned, his hands moving restlessly over Rodneyís back. "I want to touch you too."

"So touch me," Rodney murmured, pulling back to yank his shirt over his head, baring his torso to Johnís sight.

John groaned, running his hands over Rodneyís chest, finally touching the nipples that had so often teased him through Rodneyís shirts.

Rodney gasped at the touch and arched his back into Johnís hands, moaning as John played with him. Unable to resist, John lowered his head and licked a rigid nipple, then scraped his teeth over it, making Rodney yelp and shudder over him.

"God, John," he gasped, ducking lower to rub his face against Johnís groin.

"Right back at ya," John gasped, spreading his legs so that Rodney settled closer, nuzzling him.

"I want to taste you," he murmured before tugging at Johnís pants, baring him from the waist down.

"You think Iím going to argue with that?" John lifted his hips, helping, then settled back down.

Rodney chuckled and leaned in, closing his mouth around the top third of Johnís cock and sucking on it, moaning at the flavor which was even better then heíd imagined.

John cried out, his hips surging upward before he forced himself flat again, his hands grasping Rodneyís shoulders. "Rodney!"

In answer, Rodney took him deeper, wrapping his lips around Johnís erection and sucking, his hands grasping Johnís hips and urging him on. With another moan, John arched up, pushing deeper into Rodneyís mouth, then falling back, only to repeat the cycle again and again while Rodney moved with him, doing everything he could to bring the other man pleasure.

Moaning constantly, John writhed under Rodneyís attentions, his body tensing as he drew nearer to his climax, then jerking as he came. Rodney drank him down and continued to nurse at Johnís cock, his whole being intent on tasting him.

Shuddering, John lay under Rodney, panting for air. After a moment he reached between them to unfasten Rodneyís pants and finally curled a fist around his cock, slowly beginning to jerk him off.

"Oh, god, John," Rodney gasped, rocking forward until his head was resting on Johnís chest as his hips rocked against his grasp.

"You feel so good," John murmured, stroking faster. "I want to see you come."

Rodney whimpered and thrashed, moaning against Johnís chest as his whole body spasmed and he came, spurting come over Johnís body. John hesitated for a moment, then raised his hand to his mouth, tentatively licking it.

"You donít have to do that," Rodney whispered from where he slumped over John.

"I want to."

Rodney nodded at that and collapsed on the ground, rolling to the side so that he didnít fall on top of John. "And?"

"And I really hope one of our kidnappers put some supplies in one of the packs. And whoever said men give better blowjobs than women wasnít kidding."

"Well, in my case, of course," Rodney chuckled before turning his head to look over at John. "So, no major anxiety attacks about this?"

"No, I think I worked through all those since you met Tamar," John admitted. "Iím just glad we ended up here."

"I am too," Rodney answered, reaching over to stroke a hand over Johnís chest. "And his name wasnít Tamar." The last was added with a small smile.

"Whatever it was," John grumbled. "It doesnít matter since we wonít be seeing him again."

"What if they have another ZPM?"

John sat up abruptly, glaring down at Rodney. "What??"

"That was a joke, Colonel!" Rodney said quickly.

"It wasnít funny!" John grumbled although he did lie back down.

"Sorry." Rodney rolled over him, looking contrite. "What can I do to make it up to you?"

"A kiss might do it."

"I can do that." Rodney grinned before leaning in to brush his lips over Johnís.

"A real one."

Rodney chuckled and repeated the kiss, this time licking at Johnís mouth, and John made a soft sound of pleasure. He wrapped his arms around Rodney, pulling him closer and enjoying the sensation of Rodney over him.

Once the kiss broke, Rodney grimaced. "Not to ruin an otherwise wonderful moment, but cold, sticky semen is not my favorite thing to lie on."

John laughed. "Maybe we could go back to that lake together?" he suggested.

"Was it cold?" Rodney asked suspiciously.

"Itís a lake, Rodney, not a hot spring."

"So itís cold."

"Iíd be happy to warm you up."

"I think I could get used to that." Rodney kissed John again and carefully got up, grabbing his shirt to clean himself up before pulling up his pants.

"I donít think we need to tell them back in Atlantis that weíve worked things out yet. I think the week here would be good."

"Just how much food do we have?"

"Iím sure theyíll send more through if we say weíre running low, but we have enough MREs for the week."

"What about coffee?" Rodney asked suspiciously, though he was smiling slightly.

"Would they dare to stint your coffee ration?"

"They pushed us through a gate and locked us out of Atlantis; Iíd believe anything of them at this point."

"Yeah, but they have to let us back eventually, and no one wants to be the one who deprived you of coffee."

Rodney chuckled wryly as he held a hand out to John to help him up. "A very good point."

"I thought so." John took advantage of their proximity once he was on his feet to steal another kiss before getting his pants back on. "But letís check the packs before we go to the lake. If weíre going to get really sticky again, we might as well do it there where we can get clean again."

"I hope they packed us a change of clothes as well," Rodney commented as he turned to grab his pack and look through it.

"Iím sure they would have. Theyíll have to smell us when we get back."

Rodney snickered at that. "Can you imagine Elizabethís face?"

"Can you imagine Teylaís?"

"Oh, please, sheíll just give us one of her small smiles that lets us know weíre idiots."

"And thatís better?"

"Hrmm, good point."

"So, any clothes in there? Or we could always go clothing optional..."

"And get sunburned?" Rodney asked, shocked, before digging through the packs and nodding. "Yes, a complete change each, so I suppose weíll be doing laundry."

"So much for my sex appeal," John muttered.

"Oh please," Rodney scoffed, canting his head to the side to study Johnís long, lean body. "As if you need to be reminded of how sexy you are."

"A guy likes to hear these things." John grinned at him before striking a pose.

In answer, Rodney set down his pack and tackled John, kissing him soundly as they rolled to the ground together. John laughed when they finally came to a rest with him flat on his back and Rodney sprawled over him.

"Now thatís more the reaction I was hoping for."

"You know, you could just tell me what you want for once," Rodney chuckled.


Rodneyís smile was brighter than even the one heíd worn the first time theyíd played with the personal shield. "For that, we have to first get up, then get somewhere comfortable."

John inhaled sharply. "You, uh, you like that? You want me to?" He could feel excitement stirring deep inside him.

Rodney sighed and shook his head. "Since weíre being literal, yes, I like being fucked, and yes, I would very much like for you to be the one to do it as long as we find lube!"

"Hey, I was just trying not to make any more assumptions," John said defensively. "And, uh, Iím really not ready to try it the other way Ďround, so itís kind of one-sided," he admitted in a rush.

"Ask me if I mind," Rodney chuckled. "Not that I wouldnít like to introduce it to you the other way one day, but not until youíre ready."

John smiled slowly. "So I guess we need to check our packs. So weíll know for later," he added hastily, knowing that there was no way he was getting it up again this soon.

"After we go take that dip in the lake?" Rodney suggested.

"Definitely. We need to clean up," John said laughingly. "Weíre a mess. In a good way but still a mess."

"Well, I was trying to do that when you forced me to tackle you!"

"Ah yes, I distinctly remember twisting your arm," John snorted.

"Oh, get to the lake," Rodney half-growled.

Snickering, John started toward it, obviously intending to make the trip in the nude.

"Not like that!"

"I thought we established there was nothing wrong with the way I look?" John looked back, daring him.

"Which is the problem! How can I expect to follow you to the pond and not be distracted!"

"Who said I want you to not be distracted?" John asked with a little extra wriggle in his step.

"Oh, so you want me to trip and fall and break my neck so we spend the rest of the week with me paralyzed and incontinent?!"

John burst into laughter. "Only you," he said fondly. "I think we can manage to walk a hundred yards without mortal danger."

"So says the man who once had a bug attached to his neck..." Rodney grumbled, though the effort was half-hearted at best.

John froze and looked around, suddenly wary. "They wouldnít have sent us to a world that wasnít safe," he said although he was clearly uneasy.

"I think they were trying to get us to see reason, not kill us," Rodney commented, stroking a hand over Johnís back as he caught up to him.

"Right. Of course." John took a deep breath and let it out slowly before sliding an arm around Rodneyís waist. "So, about that swim..."

"Yes, yes, off to the bone-chilling cold water that will make our balls crawl up into our throats," Rodney groused, though he was grinning as they neared the pond.

"Iíll be happy to suck them back out."

That comment caused Rodney to stare at John, wide-eyed. "Embracing your new existence with fervor, I see."

John shrugged slightly. "Iím not one to do things by half measures."

"Did you see me complaining?!"

"You have a bit of a deer in the headlights thing happening."

"Well, can you blame me?"

"I am stunning," John said with a smirk.

"And oh so modest!"

"Just keeping up with you," John grinned.

"Oh hush and get in the water, Colonel," Rodney groaned.

"I really think you can call me John now," he pointed out before executing a clean, shallow dive into the lake.

"Iím going to call you an idiot," Rodney growled, though he was grinning as he waded into the pond, not caring that the water was cold and the bottom rocky.

Surfacing several feet away, John treaded water as he eyed Rodney after pushing his hairówhich was still standing in spikes despite the soakingóout of his eyes. "And why exactly am I an idiot now?"

"Because you are," Rodney sniffed, staying back from the drop-off.

"I guess the honeymoonís over," John snorted, splashing Rodney.

"And the abuse begins," Rodney snorted, wiping the water from his face and laughing.

"Poor baby. Come on in here, and Iíll be happy to kiss it and make it better."

"Cheesy lines, Colonel?" Rodney asked even as he was wading deeper, finally swimming out to where John was treading water.

"Just going with the flow." John hooked an arm around Rodneyís waist, drawing him closer for a kiss.

Rodney started to frown at that, but the expression was wiped away when Johnís mouth closed over his, and they spent the next few minutes exploring each otherís mouths.

"I think I like this remake of The Blue Lagoon," John said suddenly.

"If you tell me that Iím Brooke Shields, I will strangle you in your sleep."

"Are you planning to have my baby?"

"Iím contemplating having sex with you why?"

"íCause Iím really hot and you want me. And Ďcause I think Iíd have to kill anyone else you contemplated having sex with."

"It should disturb me how arousing that statement is..."

"I know it disturbed me when I realized it," John admitted. "But itís just the way it is."

"Do you hear me complaining?"

"Actually, you sounded pretty smug," John said, sounding fairly smug himself.

"I thought that was normal for me?"

John laughed. "Good point. And on the list of disturbing things, letís add how turned on that makes me."

"Am I supposed to be upset about that?"

"I really hope not. Iíd hate to be the only one wandering around in a perpetual cloud of lust."

"Perpetual?" Rodney smiled as he asked that.

"It has been. Hopefully being able to do something about it now will let me concentrate on something other than you for a while."

"Well, I think we have a week to work the worst of it out of our systems."

"I hope theyíre planning to send someone with stretchers to carry us back then!" John laughed.

"Or one over-sized one."

"Much better idea!" John chuckled. "I like the way your mind works."

"Thatís because Iím a genius," Rodney snorted.

"My genius," John said very smugly.

"Yes, your genius, and youíre my flyboy."

"I like the sound of that. A lot. But Iím not tattooing it on my ass."

"Did you hear me asking you to?" Rodney snorted.

"Just making sure." John smirked at him. "Iíve learned never to make assumptions when it comes to you."

"Smart man."

"Genius, remember. Qualified for Mensa."

"For someone who doesnít want to be known as smart, you certainly manage to bring that subject up enough."

"Only to you," John pointed out with a grin.

"Thatís because you know IQ is an aphrodisiac to me."

"Of course. I have to play up my attributes."

"Oh damn, I hate it when you do that," Rodney murmured, pulling John in for a kiss.

"Yeah, Iíve noticed that," John chuckled, looping his arms around Rodneyís waist, causing the other man to sigh and relax against him.

"Come on, letís move closer to the waterfall to clean up. Thereís a nice, convenient ledge near it too," John added suggestively, waggling his eyebrows comically.

Rodney eyed him speculatively but followed as John let go and began swimming toward the waterfall. "Youíre going to keep me worn out with sex, arenít you?" he asked, not sounding as if he minded that.

"I certainly plan to try." John stood up in on the rocks near the fall, grinning at Rodney as he stretched.

"I suppose I could live with that."

"I had a feeling you could." John flung his arms wide, giving Rodney a hungry look.

"Just donít slip on that moss there," Rodney cautioned as he climbed out of the water.

"So much for my sex appeal," John laughed. "You were supposed to be overcome and jump me."

"So we can both slip on the moss and break our necks?"

"So we can have wild, outdoor sex under a waterfall. Live a little."

"You do realize weíre somewhat limited in what kinds of wild, outdoor sex we can have, right?"

"Why? Weíre both consenting adults, and we have lube."

"If you havenít noticed, weíre naked and quite a ways from our packs, so unless you have a secret stash somewhere, thereís a distinct lack of lube available."

John stared at him for a long moment. "Well, fuck!" he finally laughed.

"Not too comfortable without lube, but Iím sure I can come up with something to entertain you," Rodney promised.

"Iím sure you can too. I just canít believe I forgot the lube." John shook his head in disbelief.

"And just where were you planning on storing it?"

"I could have carried it in my hand."

Rodney smiled and pulled John in for a slow, deep kiss. "How about I show you just how many other things we can do without it?" he murmured, stroking a hand down Johnís back to caress his ass.

"Thatís my genius, always coming up with a plan to save the day." John arched into Rodneyís touch, catlike.

"Damn right. And my plan right now is to get us on the ground and your cock in my mouth."

John blinked once and dropped to the ground while the shiver of lust was still running down his spine. Rodney followed a bit more slowly, stretching himself out alongside John, kissing him again as he stroked a broad hand down his chest.

"Mmm, I could get to like this," John said happily, watching Rodney touch him.

"You mean you donít already?" Rodney asked before leaning in to drag his tongue over Johnís nipple.

"More," John gasped out, arching up off the ground, Rodney following easily, cupping Johnís erection as he sucked at his nipple. John squirmed, his eyes falling shut as Rodney drove him hard and fast. "God, so good," he panted, his legs spreading wider without conscious thought.

"Damn right," Rodney murmured, slowly twisting around so that he could kiss his way down Johnís chest, feeling the muscles clench beneath his lips.

John chuckled shakily, combing his fingers through Rodneyís hair while he squirmed under the other manís weight as Rodney moved lower, dragging the edge of his teeth over Johnís abdomen before ducking down and swallowing Johnís cock to the root.

"*Fuck*!" John wailed, his hips jerking.

Rodney pulled back enough to glance up at John, his blue eyes alight with pleasure, then took his length again, at the same time rubbing a hand over Johnís balls.

Johnís cry this time was wordless, and he jerked, rocking into Rodneyís throat and palm as the pleasure grew, the sounds driving Rodney on as well, and he swallowed, massaging Johnís length. Johnís hands moved shakily over Rodneyís shoulders and upper body, wherever John could touch, and he moaned each time he thrust into Rodneyís mouth. Trembling on the edge of climax, he forced his eyes open to meet the vivid blue of Rodneyís.

Reaching up, Rodney caught one of Johnís hands in his, twining their fingers together as he swallowed again, this tine circling a finger over the tight entrance to his body, and John yelled Rodneyís name as he toppled into orgasm, waves of intense pleasure sweeping through him while Rodney pulled back enough to be able to taste Johnís come, continuing to lick and suck at him long after the spasms ceased.

Finally John whimpered and tried to squirm away, the touch too much on his climax-sensitized flesh. "God, that was incredible," he rasped.

"You taste that way too," Rodney murmured, crawling back up Johnís body to rock against him, rubbing his erection against the hollow of Johnís hip. John wrapped his arms around Rodney, cupping his ass and drawing him closer to make it feel better for him.

Rodney groaned and rocked forward, spreading his legs slightly and reaching back to catch Johnís hand, pressing his fingers toward the crease of his ass. John hesitated briefly before his fingertips flicked over Rodneyís opening, lightly teasing the taut muscle while he caught Rodneyís mouth in a deep kiss.

"Fuck, yeah," Rodney groaned, pressing back before driving forward, the slight friction making him tense as he continued to move.

"Thatís it, wanna feel you come," John whispered as he pressed his finger into him.

Rodneyís sharp cry echoed in the small alcove, and he lunged back, taking more of Johnís finger into him, then forward, precome slicking his path as he came, pulsing wet heat over Johnís hip.

"Oh fuck, thatís so hot," John rasped, watching Rodneyís face as he came.

"Iím very glad you think so," Rodney murmured, dropping down to kiss Johnís shoulder, then rest his head there.

John chuckled faintly. "I wouldnít be here if I didnít. And Iím very glad I am here." He stroked Rodneyís back lazily, enjoying the closeness, even the stickiness between them not bothering him.

"Well, obviously Iím glad youíre here as well, even if it took a mutiny to get us here," Rodney chuckled,

"Weíre going to be hearing ĎI told you soí for weeks."

"How about we make a pact to have hot, sweaty sex every time someone says it?"

"Right in front of them?" John snickered. "I think we wonít be able to walk, but I like it!"

"No, you idiot, in private," Rodney grumbled.

"Thatís probably better. Iím not really into exhibitionism. And we still wonít be able to walk, but this is the best reason for a wheelchair that I ever heard!"

"Once we get to the lube, that is," Rodney added. "You do realize the next time we do this, I want you in me."

"You think Iím going to argue with that?" John kissed him lightly. "I like the sound of that."

"Though I really donít intend on moving any time soon."

"I really like the sound of that too." John smiled up at him, clearly perfectly content.

"Youíve become quite agreeable lately. I like it."

John snorted. "Iím always agreeable. Youíre confusing me with you." But he kissed Rodneyís chin after he said it, and he was smiling.

"Oh very funny," Rodney grumbled, though he didnít pull away.

"You know you love it."

"Actually, I do."

Johnís smile widened. "Iím glad to hear it Ďcause I feel the same way about you."

"Excellent; Iím looking forward to having you show me just how much."

"Again? I love an insatiable man!"

"I didnít mean right this moment," Rodney sighed. "We need to get cleaned up again, then get back to the camp, get dressed and eat firstóand then weíll talk about getting you inside me."

"Convenient that we have this lake right here then, isnít it?" John grinned at him before slipping off the ledge into the water. "Come on in."

"Back into the freezing water, be still my heart," Rodney groaned though he followed John back into the pond as they swam back toward the shore.

"Oh please," John snorted. "This is far from freezing. Your lips arenít even turning blue."

"Are you sure?"

"Maybe Iíd better check more closely to be sure." An arm hooked around Rodneyís waist to draw him closer as they treaded water, and John began a careful inspection of Rodneyís lips with his own.

"Okay, Iím feeling warmer again," Rodney murmured, brushing his lips against Johnís. "And also hungry."

"Iím not sure whether thatís a compliment or an insult," John chuckled. "For me or did I lose to food?"

"Did we or did we not just have sex?" Rodney demanded. "I may not be ancient yet, but Iím also not sixteen; recovery time, Colonel!"

"Well, damn. I must be losing my touch." John laughed as they began to move again, wading out of the water to make their way back to their camp. "But I guess I can come up with something for you to eat. Then again, you actually like MREs."

"If you start complaining about my lack of taste, you are not going to get laid later," Rodney grumbled, wincing as he stepped on a pebble.

"Youíre a true connoisseur of all things culinary," John said hastily, making a mental note that they should wear their shoes on the next trip.

"Much better," Rodney snorted, making for the tent and his clothes the moment they arrived back in camp.

John chuckled. "Iíd never have pegged you as the shy type. I was enjoying the view, you know."

"Yes, well, you wouldnít like it as much if I got sun-burned and you couldnít touch, would you?"

Looking horrified, John shook his head vigorously. "Hell no! But youíre forgetting the need for a caring partner to spread soothing aloe on your tender parts," he added with a comical leer.

"Iíd rather my parts not be tender in the first place," Rodney shot back with a grin. "Iím sure my caring partner wouldnít mind spreading soothing aloe on me anyway."

"I can guarantee it," John agreed laughingly. "Any excuse to get my hands on you."

"How about we get our hands on food first, then we discuss the other?"

"I can see that Iím going to need to get used to feeding you at regular intervals if I donít want interruptions at the wrong moment." John grinned at Rodney, clearly not minding the fact in the least.

"You did that before, so it shouldnít be a problem," Rodney chuckled, squatting down beside their packs to search through the MREs their friends had packed.

"True, and now I get to reap the benefits of keeping you fueled." Johnís eyes were riveted on the Rodneyís ass as his pants stretched over the firm muscle.

"That sounds so, so wrong," Rodney snorted, shaking his head as he pulled out several foil packets and turned, frowning slightly as he caught John staring. "What?"

"You have an incredible ass," John said, swallowing hard now that Rodney had turned.

"What? Oh, yes, well, so Iíve heard." Rodneyís grin changed to a smirk at that, and John frowned, grumbling before he grabbed Rodneyís shoulder and pulled him into a possessive kiss which had Rodney chuckling once their lips broke apart.

"I like this jealous side of you now that itís directed at something other than being an ass."

"Oh, quit being so smug," John grumbled, his grouchy tone belied by the sparkle in his eyes.

"Make me," Rodney shot back. "After we get our meal ready."

John laughed. "Okay, first weíll get you fed, then Iíll make you pass out."

"For someone who has never had a homosexual encounter before today, you certainly have a lot of confidence in yourself."

This time John smirked. "Youíre the one who kept calling me Kirk."

"I believe Iím going to change that to insatiable!"

"You say that like itís a bad thing."

"Not in the least."

"Oh good." John grinned before moving over to the fire pit to get it going again. "Iíll get the coffee started. We should think about hunting tomorrow. MREs are going to get really old. Hey, trying dialing Atlantis and see if theyíll send us some real food."

"Yeah, maybe if we make kissy noises, theyíll send us something, otherwise you get to play great white hunter."

John smirked, striking a Tarzan pose. "Me provide for mate."

"Are you planning on wearing a loincloth while youíre doing it because that would really complete the setting?"

"Actually, I think Iíll stick to my uniform. Iíd really rather not become something elseís dinner."

"Probably a very good idea, Iíd like your bits and pieces to stay where they are."

"I kinda like it when my bits and pieces get closer to your bits and pieces."

"After we eat, we donít need to be passing out in the middle of things."

"The key to a happy relationship with you really is going to be keeping you fed," John laughed.

"Would you rather I pass out from manly hunger before you get laid?"

"Iíd rather you pass out from manly ecstasy after you get laid." John leaned in and kissed him, and Rodney sighed, sliding his fingers through Johnís hair and holding him into the kiss, reveling in the ability to do this. After a moment, John drew back, licking his lips and biting back a groan as he tasted Rodney on them.

"If we keep this up, weíre never going to eat."

"Anything other than each other," Rodney commented, raising a hand before John could speak. "I know, I know. Food first, and Iíll try to make the bed a little more comfortable."

"Good, Iíd hate to see either of us end up crippled. Iím going to try that great white hunger thing now so we donít use up all our MREs right away. Iíll be back soon, hopefully with dinner."

"Be careful, okay?" Rodney called after him before groaning and hiding his face in his hands. "Iím turning into a girl!"

"Hey, donít do that. Iím still working up to you fucking me, and you need to be a guy to do that."

"I meant emotionally!" Rodney yelled after him, glowering as he stood.

Johnís laughter trailed behind him as he disappeared into the jungle, and Rodney scowled after him before sighing. "I am so screwed." He paused, then grinned. "Hopefully."

"Okay, I got this rabbit-looking thing, and some root vegetables," John announced upon his return a little while later.

"I have water and a fire," Rodney shot back with a grin. "And coffee."

"My hero!" John exclaimed, making a beeline for the coffee.

"I have extreme skills," Rodney laughed before eyeing the things John was carrying. "Though they do not include making a meal of those things."

John smiled wryly. "Fortunately for both of us, I can spit a rabbit over the fire, and we can roast or boil the vegetables. Itíll be a while before itís ready though."

Rodney smirked slightly. "Whatever will we do to fill the time?"

"Play Parcheesi?" John suggested with an answering smirk.

"Or chess."

"Or with each other."

"As appealing as that sounds, I donít want to have to get up to eat."

"Damn. Well, I guess weíd better check our packs to see if someone put in a chess set."

"Or we could talkóabout thisóusóurmm, never mind, now I sound like a woman." Rodney shuddered faintly at that thought.

John chuckled briefly. "Not really much to talk about, is there? We stopped lying to ourselves, and weíre together. I donít share; I donít cheat; and I donít do short-term."

"Neither do I, and fine, if we arenít going to talk and we arenít going to have sex, what are we going to doóaside from you making dinner, of course."

"I didnít say we couldnít talk, just that we didnít need to talk," John pointed out. "Weíre pretty much limited to talking till I finish skinning and cleaning these Ďrabbitsí anyhow."

"Ugh." Rodney shuddered at the thought of it, then looked at the vegetables John had brought. "I suppose I could cut those up and put water on for them if thatís how we should cook them."

"Thatís a good idea. We can do some that way and wrap some and tuck them under the coals to roast and see which tastes better."

"Youíre a regular Julia Childe," Rodney chuckled as he began to work.

"I donít have to feed you, you know," John pointed out while skinning the rabbit-thing.

"You do if you want dessert."

"Should I go get more food for you?"

"Youíre going to stay right here!"

John chuckled. "Donít worry; I like the scenery here better."

"Very good answer, Colonel; youíre really going to enjoy your dessert."

"Oh, I know it. And so will you." John looked up at Rodney, heat clear in the hazel eyes.

"I plan on it; now get to cooking!"

John saluted him laughingly before quickly finishing up with the rabbit and setting it on a spit over the fire. "There, now we just have to wait."

"How long?" Rodney asked, waiting until John sat down beside him to shift around so he was leaning against him.

"Never having cooked one of these before, I donít know. When it looks ready." Knowing exactly what Rodney would think of that answer, John added, "Iíd guess about an hour." He slid an arm around Rodney, unconsciously smiling.

"Time to take a nap then," Rodney commented, leaning back and smiling. "We do need our energy for later."

"Just let me set the alarm on my watch. We wouldnít want dinner to burn if we fall asleep."

"Good point," Rodney chuckled, shifting to allow John to do just that before settling against him again.

"You feel good," John murmured, curling his arms around Rodney and holding him close as they both relaxed.

"Like this a hell of a lot more than yelling at each other," Rodney nodded, closing his eyes and turning his head so that his nose brushed the bare skin of Johnís throat.

"Yeah, and dessertís even better than this." John thought about that for a moment. "Maybe. This is pretty good too."

"I like this part," Rodney admitted. "Not even you can have sex twenty-four hours a day."

"And which of us was the one with the recent boyfriend?" John demanded. "Maybe we should start calling you Kirk." The chuckle showed he didnít mean to be taken seriously.

"Donít make me start naming names," Rodney threatened laughingly.

"Letís not. Youíve had a few of your own, and Iíd like to forget all of them. Or maybe go back and show them that I won," John mused.

"Yes, dear, whatever you want, dear," Rodney snickered.

"Youíre humoring me, arenít you?" John tried to glare forbiddingly, but he ended up laughing instead. "Itís true though; I did win. I got you in the end."

"You won by pouting and being rude?!" Rodney chuckled before drawing John in for a kiss to defuse his protest.

"Still worked," John said smugly when he could talk again, causing Rodney to snort.

"Iím sure that was your plan."

"Not buyiní it, huh?" John chuckled. "Well, you know what? I donít care. I still have you."

Rodney chuckled quietly at that. "Well, you havenít had me yet... And thatís going to wait for dessert."

"Tease," John said before pulling Rodney into another kiss. "Have I mentioned that I have a really big sweet tooth?"

"Proportional, is it?" Rodney teased before nipping his lower lip.

"All of me is," John assured him before moaning softly.

"Food first, Colonel."

John sighed, but the expression in his hazel eyes was still warm. "Weíre never going to get that nap if we keep talking," he pointed out, and Rodney chuckled.

"Not talking now."

Some time later the alarm on Johnís watch pulled them both out of a light doze, and they smiled at each other, neither wanting to move just yet.

"Even better than sex," John decided.

"Who are you, and what have you done with John Sheppard?" Rodney demanded, making John laugh.

"Iím the new and improved version, the one in a relationship," John said, batting his eyelashes at Rodney.

"Uh huh..." Rodney mused before giving in and kissing John on the jaw. "So, you think our meal is ready?"

When Rodney refused to be drawn by Johnís antics, the colonel grinned, kissed him in return, and got to his feet, the early evening sunlight through the leaves dappling his body interestingly as he stretched. The scent of roasting meat drew him to the fire, where he dropped into a crouch to peer at the darkened skin. "Well, the juices that are dripping are mostly clear. Iíd say we can try it."

It took Rodney a moment to answer as he was staring at John avidly, and when he finally nodded, it was a distracted motion, his gaze staying on the shadowed curve of Johnís hip.

John glanced back, and a slow grin curved his lips when he realized what Rodney was staring at. "Dinner before dessert."

Rodney blinked at that, then flushed when he realized heíd been caught staring. "I suppose I should get the vegetables," he said quickly.

"Meat and vegetables and then you can have what you were staring at," John chuckled. "And so can I."

"So serve the meat, Colonel," Rodney grinned as he carefully unwrapped the roots then found a couple of cans of beer in their pack.

John carefully removed the spit from the fire and sliced into a haunch with his knife, nodding with satisfaction when he saw the meat was a uniformly pale color. "Looks perfect," he said, cutting off a few pieces and laying them on the plates sitting ready.

"Tastes good too," Rodney mumbled around the mouthful he stole.

"So I have a future as a cook if the whole Air Force thing doesnít work out for me?"

"What? You think that I wouldnít hire you?" Rodney sniffed, taking his plate and handing John the can of beer.

"But I canít negotiate for better salary and benefits if you think youíre my only option." John took a long swallow of the beer. "Okay, Iíll deny it if you ever repeat it, but Canadian beer is better."

"So you really expect me to believe that youíre going to accept a position with the cooks rather than on my staff?"

"Constant access to coffee," John pointed out, even though he wasnít nearly the addict that Rodney was.

"Thereís better in my lab," Rodney pointed out between bites of his meal.

"Good point. And you come with fringe benefits." John was wolfing his dinner down as quickly as Rodney, both of them hungry and enjoying the fresh food.

"Plus there would be less paperwork for you if you worked for me," Rodney offered, his eyes sparkling as he teased the colonel.

"But Lorne would have a lot more, and then heíd probably shoot us both," John pointed out.

"True... And Radek would cry if you took his job over."

"Which would make his glasses fog up, and he might walk off a balcony."

"And then Lorne would really try to shoot us."

"I guess Iíd better stick to being a colonel then, huh?" John started to laugh, deciding this was one of the odder conversations he and Rodney had had, and that was saying something.

Rodney snickered and nodded. "Itís probably safer that way."

"And this way you donít get crazy and think youíre in charge," John added with a smirk.

Rodney stared at him at that, his eyebrows raised, and John stared back, equally challenging, before relaxing with a smile.

"Equals works better anyhow."

Rodney grinned at that and leaned over to brush a kiss over Johnís mouth. "I like the way weíre working together now."

"Me too," John agreed, setting his empty plate on the ground. "Done?"

"Yeah." Rodney murmured, setting his own plate aside. "You too?"

"With food, yeah." John stared at Rodney hungrily, a possessive gleam in his eyes.

"So, maybe we should move this to the tentóunless we need to clean up?"

"Much as I want to get to dessert, we should put the food up and clean the dishes if we donít want to attract something that might think of us as dinner," John replied reluctantly, getting to his feet, Rodney following, gathering up their dishes and taking a bag from their pack to scrape their garbage into it.

As always, they worked well together, and it was only a short time before theyíd finished and were able to go into the tent, zipping it closed behind them. John sank to his knees on top of his sleeping bag, looking up at Rodney with slightly wide eyes, a little nervous now that the time had come.

"You look like youíre about to run screaming," Rodney commented as he dropped down next to John and reached for his hand, making John shake his head.

"No, Iím not going anywhere. I want this, want you. I just donít want to mess it up." He smiled quickly. "Itís kind of important."

"Youíre worried about messing up?" Rodney asked incredulously. "Trust me, you arenít the only one."

"At least youíve done this before," John pointed out, the tips of his ears turning red, causing Rodney to kiss him again.

"Youíve done damn well so far."

"Yeah, well, Iím inspired." John slid his arms around Rodneyís waist and drew him close to deepen the kiss, Rodney opening his mouth and sliding his hands downward to cup Johnís ass. "Oh God, thatís good," John groaned into Rodneyís mouth, pressing closer while his hands moved over Rodneyís back and ass, exploring newly familiar but still exciting territory.

"Oh yeah," Rodney whispered, spreading his legs slightly to get his balance as he slid his hands up under Johnís shirt.

"Would be better without the clothes in the way," John suggested huskily, and Rodney nodded, pulling back enough to pull at Johnís shirt while John took advantage of the space now between them to grasp the hem of Rodneyís top, the two of them managing to bare the otherís chest, then coming together again in a hungry kiss, their bare skin rubbing together.

John shivered as Rodneyís tight nipples pressed into his chest, and he realized he liked the sensation just as much if not more than he ever had the feeling of soft breasts. Groaning, he drew Rodney even closer, not worrying about being too rough with him as he often did with a woman.

"Oh yeah," Rodney sighed, twisting his face to nip his way along Johnís jaw and back to his ear. "I canít wait to have you in me," he whispered.

John shuddered. "Weíd better not wait, or Iím liable to come just from thinking about it."

Rodney let go, dropping to his back on their sleeping bags, and grinned up lazily at John even as he undid his pants. "So what are you waiting on?"

The words seemed to unleash something in John, and he was all over Rodney, licking, sucking, biting, kissing. He explored every inch of skin while wrenching at his own remaining garments, and then they were naked, and it was even better than roller coasters, football and flying all rolled into one.

Rodney moaned and spread his legs, arching up beneath Johnís weight, the move dragging his cock alongside Johnís as his fingers dug into the clenched muscles of his back. John panted out a breathless, fervent curse and settled between Rodneyís legs, feeling how well they fit together.

"Fuck, tell me you remembered the lube," he suddenly exclaimed, hoping it wasnít still out in their packs.

Rodney grinned up at him though his eyes were slightly dazed, and he let go of John with one hand to fumble in the corner of the tent, coming up with the lube and handing it over. "Sure you know what to do with that?" he asked teasingly.

John gave him a wry look. "I know the basics, Rodney. Itís not that different." He conveniently ignored his earlier nerves, instead concentrating of the feeling of Rodney beneath him and how incredible it was going to be when he got inside him. A tiny frisson of pure anticipatory delight ran down his spine, and Rodney gave a crooked smile.

"Some time this century might be good."

"Is that what they call being a pushy bottom?" John wanted to know while squeezing some of the slick gel into the palm of his hand to warm it.

"Itís called wanting your lover!" Rodney shot back, reaching between them and stroking Johnís cock.

"Iímóoh fuckófamiliar with the concept," John gasped out, his hips jerking. He hurriedly coated his fingers in the lube before tracing a path from Rodneyís balls back over the silky smooth perineum and then to the tight ring of muscle.

A shudder ran through Rodneyís body, and he relaxed back on the bags, tilting his hips invitingly even as his quick, shallow breaths caused his chest to rise and fall.

"God, youíre gorgeous," John breathed, staring down at Rodney till an impatient huff reminded him of what he was doing, and he pressed a single slick digit inside the scientist, moaning softly at the tight heat of him.

Rodney opened his mouth to answer, but it was lost in his gasp as Johnís finger pressed deeper, brushing against his prostate. Liking the reaction, John did it again, watching as the pleasure washed over Rodneyís face.

"Iím going to come if you do that much more," Rodney panted, clenching down on Johnís finger.

"Isnít that kind of the point?" John teased before drawing his finger back slightly and adding another, not ready for this to end.

"With you in me!"

John laughed. "Yeah, thatís the plan," he agreed, twisting his fingers again before drawing them out of Rodney while coating his erection with more of the lube and shifting forward until the head of his cock was pressed up against Rodneyís hole. Rodney reached up, pulling him in for a devouring kiss at the same time that he arched up, causing John to slide inside him. Johnís eyes widened, and a harsh groan was ripped from his throat.

"Jesus fuck, youíre tight."

"Not quite the same after all," Rodney panted around a smile as he shifted to allow John deeper.

"No," John got out in a near whimper, pressing further into Rodney. "Better." He stared down into the bright blue of Rodneyís eyes, seeing the smugness, but it was definitely earned.

"So move," Rodney whispered before kissing John again, his tongue delving into the other manís mouth.

John moaned his agreement, his hips beginning a slow rhythm, almost tentative at first.

"Not a woman, remember?" Rodney hissed. "Hard is good.

"Yeah, well, gimme a minute, or Iím coming to come, and thisíll be all over," John retorted, biting his lower lip as he fought for control. "You feel too damn good!"

Rodney nodded, closing his eyes and taking deep breaths, though each one shifted John within him. "Gotcha. Take however long you need."

"Oh fuck it," John gasped. "Weíll go for long another time." He drew back and drove forward, fucking Rodney hard and fast, the way they both wanted it, drawing a wail from the other manís throat, and there was a moment of uncoordinated movement before Rodney caught his rhythm and moved with him. Once theyíd found their timing, John lowered his head to catch Rodneyís mouth in a hungry kiss, tasting and teasing all at once.

Rodney sucked on his tongue at the same time he clenched down on Johnís ass, each stroke sending him closer to orgasm until John groaned and came, his fingers clutching Rodneyís arms hard enough to leave bruises, Rodney crying out into his mouth and following him over seconds after, even the pain in his arms morphing to pleasure as he felt John come in him.

Breathing heavily, he stroked Johnís back as they both recovered their breath, not wanting to say anything that might ruin the moment.

"Love you," John murmured after a little while, showing no inclination to move from his boneless sprawl over Rodney.

"Umm, ditto," Rodney finally whispered, his arms tightening convulsively around John.

John smiled against Rodneyís neck. "Itís worth all the smug, I-told-you-so looks weíre going to get when we go home."

"Yes, well they wonít be wearing them long once Iím done with them," Rodney sniffed though he continued stroking Johnís back.

"No torturing our friends," John laughed. "Theyíre allowed, especially considering we might never have gotten here on our own." He raised his head finally to smile down at Rodney.

"Fine, fine," Rodney grumbled, though he was grinning. "Iíll be nice."

"Not too nice though, thatís reserved for me."

"Tell me you arenít expecting me to be nice to you all the time," Rodney begged.

John burst into laughter. "I expect you to be nice to me every night... and first thing in the morning and maybe an afternoon quickie or two."

"My god, Iím going to have to get vitamin shots from Carson!"

"At least you didnít say Viagra," John laughed. Feeling himself slip out of Rodney, he shifted to make them both more comfortable, settling himself atop Rodney with his chin resting on crossed arms on the scientistís chest.

"Oh, thatís so amusing," Rodney grumbled, though he rested his hands at the hollow of Johnís back.

John grinned. "Just sayiní. Iíd hate to think I wasnít enough to inspire you."

"Should I remind you how many times weíve had sex today?" Rodney asked incredulously, making John snicker.

"Well, I wouldnít want to take you for granted."

"And that youíre lying here on top of me, both of us naked with you having just fucked my ass?"

"So youíre saying I do inspire you."

"Youíre insane, did you know that?"

"Yup," John replied cheerfully. "Guess you must be too since you love me."

"And why does that make you happy?"

"Because I happen to love you too," John reminded him, discovering that it got easier to say with every repetition. "And it means that weíre made for each other," he added with another grin.

Rodney eyed him closely for a minute though he didnít loosen the hold he had on Johnís waist. "Are birds going to land on your shoulders and you going to start singing?"

"Have you ever heard me sing?" John snickered. "I donít want to scare you off already."

Rodney snorted out a laugh at that and pulled John in for a kiss. "You are too strange for words, Colonel. Itís a good thing I love you too."

"Because no one else could ever put up with either of us?" John laughed.

"Just what do you mean by that?" Rodney sniffed.

"That weíre meant for each other."


"I think itís the best."

Rodney grinned and stroked Johnís back. "So do I."

"Works pretty well, huh?" John grinned at him. "And so does this. Youíre comfortable."

"Iíd be much more comfortable in a bed!" Rodney grumbled.

"And when we get back to Atlantis, weíll get you one and figure out how weíre going to share because I think youíre more comfortable than a mattress, and I plan to get used to this."

"And you think Iím giving it up?"

"Naw, youíre a genius. You know a good thing when you find it."

Rodney snorted at that.

"What, Iím not a good thing?"

Rodney grinned, kissing Johnís nose. "I was just thinking about what we went through to get here."

"Ah. Yeah, that was kind of a roundabout way to do things."


"You appreciate things you have to work for more?" John offered sheepishly.

Rodney burst into laughter at that.

"Iím very appreciative," John assured him, and Rodney nearly choked with his continuing laughter.

"IóI noticed!"

"At least we donít have to worry about taking each other for granted." John grinned, still looking somewhat abashed which caused Rodney to kiss him again.

"With as many times as we nearly die, I donít think thereís any chance of that."

"Good point. So we should seize the day, for tomorrow we may die." John squirmed lazily atop Rodney, causing the other man to grab him in an attempt to hold him still.

"You cannot tell me that youíre horny already!" he exclaimed.

John burst into laughter. "No," he finally gasped out, "but the look on your face!"

Rodney growled at that. "Youíre going to be sleeping on the floor!"

"Nope, Iíll be sleeping on top of you."

"Oh really??"

John pouted, and Rodney glared at him. "I really hate that expression," he muttered before hugging John again.

"I love you."

"Uh huh..."

"And you love me too," John laughed just before kissing him.

"Iím rethinking that," Rodney muttered against his mouth, though he was grinning.

"Too late," John replied with a smirk, drawing back from the kiss. "I took out a lifetime warranty."

"What am I, a car??" Rodney protested.

"Naw, if you were a vehicle, youíd be a jet."

"Oh, of course!"

"I like jets."

"I know that!"

"Oh fine, youíre not a jet; youíre a perfect equation."

"Mmm, thatís better," Rodney sighed, squirming slightly and pulling John closer.

"So glad you approve," John replied with a hint of dryness.

"Shh, time to sleep, all that good sex wore me out."

Their combined laughter chased them into sleep.

"From being totally pissed at being here, now I donít want to go back," John sighed to Rodney as they stood next to the DHD, packs on their backs, ready to return to Atlantis.

"I know the feeling," Rodney sighed. "Though I am worried at what they did to the place."

"Iím sure they didnít sink it in your absence," John said, trying not to laugh.

"Well, if they did, Iím kicking their assesóall of them!"

"The new national sport of Atlantis?"

"Exactly," Rodney sniffed, breathing a not so silent sigh when the gate whooshed into life and Elizabethís voice came over the radio.

"Weíre ready to come home now," John said, "assuming youíre not going to raise the shield on us."

"And assuming there is a home to come back to!"

"The city is fine, Rodney," Elizabeth said soothingly. "Though I would like to know how the two of you are."

"Weíre going to need tomorrow off to look for a two-room suite," John announced.

"Oh thank God!"

"Excuse me?!" Rodney exclaimed.

"Now perhaps we can get some work done," Radek said.

"And the Marines can stop hiding," Lorne muttered.

Rodney scowled at the gate at that.

"Youíre clear to come through," Elizabeth said hastily, and the two men stepped forward, side by side.

"Well," Rodney mused, looking around the control room, "everything looks like itís in its place..."

"You thought we would suddenly turn the city upside down?" Radek asked, shaking his head.

"Who knows what all of you would get into while we were gone!"

"Rodney, be nice," John murmured.

Rodney had been poised to say something else, but he gave John a sidelong glance and nodded, causing the others to gape at him.

"We can do much better things with the time," John continued, ignoring the dropped jaws.

Radek glanced at Elizabeth and Evan and sighed. "We wanted them together, why?"

"Thatís a very good question," the major muttered, watching the two men interact. "Ah. That grin theyíre both wearing would be why."

"Why, Major, I didnít know you were such a romantic," Elizabeth chuckled.

"The colonelís happy which means I can breathe, which makes me happy," he shrugged.

"And having Rodney happy will make all of Atlantis happy," she returned.

"Should we tell them we already have a moving detail assigned?"

"No!" Radek said sharply.

"Ronon and Teyla will steer them toward the rooms we thought would work for them," Elizabeth said. "As long as they donít know weíre planning for them, theyíll be fine."

"So, when they are settled, do we all get a day off?" Radek queried, glancing at Evan.

"I think that could be arranged," she agreed, her lips quirking as she bit back a smile.

"Iím sure Teyla and Ronon would make it worth your while," Evan commented.

"They always do," she agreed in a near purr.

"Weíre going to get some sleep in an actual bed," John said, moving Rodney toward the exit.

"Night all, be good," Rodney called, his mood improved by seeing the city in one piece and by Johnís whispered comments.

"As good as you will be," Radek called after them, making Lorne stifle a snicker and Rodney groan.

"I did not need to think about the two of them!"

John chuckled. "They probably say the same thing about us."

"Like there was anything to say before this week!"

"Weíll make up for lost time," John assured him.

"We do need to find a room first..."

"Sure. Weíll dump the packs in our rooms and then go see what we can find," John replied easily. "There has to be something with more space and a balcony."

"And a nice comfortable bed," Rodney sighed.

"This is perfect," John said happily, stretched out on his back in the middle of the wonderfully two-person-sized bed that was surrounded by packs and boxes with various personal items sticking out. "Or almost perfect," he amended, raising his head to look around for Rodney. "Why arenít you on this bed with me?"

"Because Iím too tired to move," Rodney groaned from where he sat amidst the boxes. "How do we have so much stuff?"

"Weíve been here a few years," John pointed out. "Stuff accumulates. And donít think I didnít notice the Ancient stuff you tried to hide in half of these," he added.

"Itís research!" Rodney protested. "Sometimes I like being able to work on things without going to the lab."

"And thatís why you hid that one that looks suspiciously like the thing Radek was looking for last week?"

"What thing was that?" Rodney asked innocently.

John snorted. "You donít do innocent well, Rodney."

Rodney smirked. "You should know."

"I prefer you debauched. So get over here so I can debauch you."

Rodney slowly grinned at that, then dove toward the bed and John, who opened his arms to receive him and then rolled over on top of the beaming scientist.

"Hi," he said, his lips quirking in a lopsided grin.

"Hello yourself," Rodney laughed, wrapping his arms around Johnís back. "Hrmm, this seems pretty comfortable..."

John squirmed lazily, settling himself. "I think itís very comfortable."

"Thatís because youíre on top," Rodney chuckled.

"And youíre not comfortable?" John challenged with another squirm.

"I said I was comfortable!" Rodney squawked, smacking John on the ass. "Stop trying to get me going."

"Ooo, kinky," John said, squirming again, obviously not deterred by the slap. "And I like getting you going," he added with a grin.

"Really?" Rodney asked dryly. "I never would have guessed."

John snickered. "Youíre very... volatile."

"Keep it up and you arenít getting laid."

John immediately assumed a pitiful, big-eyed expression and even managed to make his outthrust lower lip quiver slightly. Rodney stared at him for a long moment, his eyes widening. "You look like one of those strange cats they have on cards," he finally sputtered.

Johnís jaw dropped, and he stared before bursting into laughter. "Not quite the reaction I was going for."

"Well, what did you expect me to do?" Rodney snickered. "You looked like a lovesick Muppet!"

"The honeymoonís definitely over if youíre comparing me to a Muppet!" John laughed.

"Well, youíre an anatomically correct one..."

"Glad to know I wonít be relegated to the Land of Misfit Toys!"

Rodneyís brow furrowed in confusion at the reference, and John frowned. "Donít tell me you never saw Rudolph?"

"Obviously not."

"I donít think I would have liked your parents," John muttered. "Fine, weíll have Christmas traditions of our own. Next year, youíre going to see all the classics you missed."

"Will the tradition include copious amounts of alcohol?" Rodney asked.

"Sure, and weíll add a few other adult traditions too," John said with a comical leer.

"I think Iím worried as to where youíre going to put mistletoe."

"Right above our bed, of course. Big velvet bows now..."

"Youíre a sick man, Colonel!"

"Why thank you, Doctor, I do try."

Rodney opened his mouth to comment on that, then sighed and pulled John in for a kiss.

"I think I like that way of ending discussions best," John decided a little later, licking his lips and tasting Rodney.

"It is easier than arguing until weíre blue in the face," Rodney admitted.

"And a hell of a lot more fun. No blue faces, no blue balls."

"And speaking of no blue balls..." Rodney arched his hips upwards, nudging Johnís and making him moan softly.

"I think we need to christen our new home," John said huskily after another kiss.

"Far be it from me to stop you from what you want to do," Rodney murmured.

"Youíre too good to me." John grinned at him before looking away almost shyly, chewing on his lower lip. "So, uh, if I wanted you to fuck me, you wouldnít have a problem with that?"

Rodney stared at him for a moment. "I know I wouldnít; I just donít want to push you into something you might not be ready for."

John smiled slightly. "I want you," he said. "I want to feel you inside me."

"Then maybe you should get off of me so we can do this right?" Rodney suggested.

"Good point." John rolled them over, carrying Rodney with him, and grinned up at the scientist who was now on top of him.

Rodney chuckled and shook his head, then leaned in to kiss John, rocking down lightly against him, making John shiver and after a moment, spread his legs, drawing his knees up to grip Rodneyís hips.

"Oh fuck," Rodney gasped. "Youíre going to have to stop that if you donít want this over before we start!"

John smirked even as his own breath caught. "I thought you were supposed to have control?" he taunted laughingly.

"Would you be in control if the formerly straight guy just offered you his ass?"

"Not if he looked like me."

"You are such an ass," Rodney snorted.

"So fuck it already."

"I donít know... You sound like you want to be alone with yourself."

"Asshole," John muttered, giving in to the impulse to stick his tongue out at Rodney, a fact Rodney immediately took advantage of as he sucked on it. John groaned and pulled Rodney even closer, his hands sliding over Rodneyís back to cup his ass.

"Okay, youíre going to have to let go of me enough so that I can get the lube," Rodney murmured, stroking hand over Johnís hip.

"Damn, I like you here," John replied, but he let his hands fall back to his sides and his knees loosen their grip. But his eyes never looked away from the bright blue of Rodneyís.

"Be back before you know Iím gone," Rodney promised, half crawling to the side of the bed to grab the lube for the bedside. Once he had it in his hand, he kissed John and settled back on his knees, an anticipatory gleam in his eyes.

"Mmm, welcome back." John raised his head to kiss Rodney deeply before lying back down, his eyes intent on Rodneyís face.

"Miss me?" Rodney asked with a grin as he stroked his hands over the inside of Johnís thighs and was rewarded with the twitching of his cock.

"Of course. I like you right here," John assured him, biting his lip as Rodney petted him.

"Hopefully youíll like where Iím going to be as well," Rodney murmured, scooting back to let his hand trail over johnís erection, then lower, rubbing his finger over the tight hole, waiting for John to relax.

"You obviously do, so Iím sure I will t-too," John replied, his breath catching at Rodneyís touch. "Fuck, that feels good."

Rodneyís breath caught in his throat, and he squeezed lube over his finger and Johnís hole, slowly pressing deeper until the tip breached his body, and John clenched down on it, a soft groan escaping him at the sensation.

"Really good," he panted.

"Gets better," Rodney promised, slowly working his finger deeper, then crooking it to rub over Johnís prostate, making him jerk and his eyes fly open to their widest.

"Jesus fuck," John nearly yelped, his hands clenching on Rodneyís arms. "More!"

"Oh my god, youíre going to be such a bottom!" Rodney laughed even as he repeated the move and shuddered at Johnís reaction.

"Christ, why didnít you tell me what I was missing?" John panted, his hips moving restlessly.

"Hello! Straight!!!"

"Not any more!"

"Well, you were!" Rodney huffed, though he was grinning as he slowly added a second finger.

"So I learnedóoh Godóbetter. Damnit, fuck me!"

"Soon, soon," Rodney soothed. "Not going to hurt you."

"Blue balls hurt too!" John growled.

"You are such a baby!"

John glared at him. "Insulting me is not going to get you my ass."

Rodney grinned. "So you want me to stop?"

"Youíre trying to drive me insane, arenít you?"

Rodney shook his head and leaned in to kiss John again. "Never." With that, he slowly pulled his hand back and slicked up his cock, taking a moment to steady himself before slowly beginning to press inside.

"Rodney." John whispered the name, staring up into Rodneyís eyes as he felt himself being filled. "So strange, so good..."

"Yeah," Rodney panted, trying to go slowly to allow John time to get used to him.

"Love it, love you."

"John," Rodney whispered before beginning to move, feeling Johnís erection drag over his stomach as he shifted over and within him.

"Yes," John rasped, rising to meet each stroke, his hands skimming over Rodneyís back, Rodney groaning at the touch and beginning to move faster, his strokes growing more sure and powerful.

"So good."

John nodded jerkily before kissing Rodney almost desperately, grounding himself in the other man, and Rodney groaned into the kiss, stroking his hip and working his other hand between them to jerk John off.

John cried out sharply and began to move more rapidly, urging Rodney on as his pleasure began to spike.

The sound of Johnís pleasure broke through the last of Rodneyís restraint, and he moved with more vigor, thrusting into the other man and stroking him, needing to feel him come apart.

"Rodney!" John stared up into Rodneyís bright blue eyes as the pleasure peaked, and he came, shuddering and clinging to the scientist, who rode out the first few contractions, then groaned as he came as well, pressing deeply into Johnís ass as he gasped for breath.

John wrapped his arms and legs tightly around Rodney, holding him close as they both relaxed and caught their breath. "I declare this room well and truly christened."

Rodney nuzzled his throat but shook his head. "Nope."

"Nope?" John repeated incredulously. "Rodney, if it gets any better than that, Iím not going to survive!"

Rodney chuckled slightly and kissed the warm, sweaty skin beneath his mouth. "Nope as in not fully christened until you do me hereóI am not letting you turn into a total bottom!"

John burst into breathless laughter. "Considering how much I like your ass, no danger of that happening."

"Just making sure!"

"As you keep pointing out, former straight guy here; I like sticking my dick into things."

"Good thing, you wouldnít want it known that the military commander was a big bottom," Rodney snickered.

John glared, but the big grin he couldnít seem to do anything about decreased its impact. "Iím burning your ĎQueer as Folkí DVDs."

"You wouldnít dare," Rodney sniffed before smirking, "you like them too much."

"I do not! And Iím not Emmett!"

Rodney sputtered before howling with laughter, and John scowled at him, making Rodney kiss him. "Yes, yes, you can be big, butch Brian Kinney."

"How Ďbout I stick to being John Sheppard instead?"

"Mmm, that works perfectly for me," Rodney murmured.

"Who else could keep up with Rodney McKay?"



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