Series Order: 6
Major Evan Lorne had a list of things he wanted in his life – and Rodney McKay had been at the top of it since the moment he’d set eyes on the man. So, when Rodney was in one of his moods—pacing and spewing venom out of his sexy mouth with equal speed he normally endured it with something close to amusement. Today, unfortunately, was not one of those days and that meant he was about to hurt his lover’s feelings. It pissed him off to know what was coming and not be able to stop it. With a guilty start he realized he realized he really, didn’t even want to stop it.
“Mer.” His fist tightened in the t-shirt he was unable to pull over his own goddamned head. “Can you please shut the fuck up and help me.”
“You should still be in the infirmary,” Rodney snapped as he snatched the t-shirt from Evan’s hand and slid the arm of his injured shoulder through the arm hole first. “Then you wouldn’t have to worry about wearing this stupid shirt.”
Evan gritted his teeth against the pain as Rodney worked the shirt over his head and then he shoved his good arm through the arm hole with a hiss and glared at him. It wasn’t Rodney’s fault, really, that it hurt so bad. The man responsible was dead but it did nothing to stop the fantastic bite of pain that radiated out from the sword wound. A fucking sword of all things. He’d have rather taken a bullet. He’d been shot before – it hurt way less.
“I’m the ranking officer on this base and I need to be on my feet. We’re under a terrorism threat, Caldwell would like nothing better than to come down here and take over despite what Woolsey has said on the matter, and to be frank I’m not even all that sure I trust Caldwell.”
“Oh, come on. You can’t hold the Go’uld thing against him.”
“I didn’t trust him before the snake was in his head and I don’t trust him post-snake either. He’s ambitious, has always resented Sheppard’s command here, and makes no bones about it. The whole thing pisses me off and what’s more… why the fuck did he let you and Cadman disarm that bomb when he should have had his own personnel do it?”
Rodney winced. “Let’s not discuss the bomb.”
“Oh, no you don’t.” Even grabbed his shirt when Rodney started to move away. “You’ve avoided this discussion for four fucking days, Mer, and trust me it’s overdue. You promised me you wouldn’t take stupid risks with your life anymore. You promised me that you would adhere as closely as possible to your role here on Atlantis and leave stupid heroics to the military.”
“Oh, you mean like deliberately stepping into the path of a sword?” Rodney demanded. “Was I just supposed to leave her up there with that console and hope she didn’t disconnect something vital in the ship that would have blown her and Sheppard into the next fucking galaxy? Seriously? I’m supposed to abandon a woman I happen to consider one of my closest friends and our commanding officer because it would upset you if I didn’t?” He jerked free of Evan and took a deep breath. “And for the record, there was nothing stupid about what Laura and I did that day. We had that situation under control the entire time and if either of us had thought we couldn’t do it—we would have left.”
“Failure is never in your plans,” Evan murmured quietly.
“When it concerns myself? Perhaps not… but when it concerns Sheppard and a woman he’s obviously so in love with he can’t see straight… it was the first thing I did. I calculated our odds. I calculated how long it would take Earth to find someone else who could do it and get them through the gate to here. It was a necessary risk and it’s my job around here to make sure things stay afloat. If that bomb had gone off … it would have been catastrophic and not just for the Daedalus. It could have crippled Atlantis with the EMP wave, disrupted the atmosphere of this planet…. there is no telling. I’ve never seen a bomb so fucking destructive in my life. Not even in concept.” Rodney ran one hand over his head in a move that showed just how agitated and frustrated he was. “Do you know what it was like for me when you came back through that gate?”
“No,” Rodney shook his head. “I’m going to say this. You’re obviously pissed off about the bomb so I should let you know exactly what’s been in my head for the past goddamned week. When I saw them drag you through that gate—covered in your own blood the bottom fell out of my world. For weeks after the first time we were together that first time, I convinced myself it was just sex. It was safer for me if it was just sex.”
“I never said it was just sex,” Evan protested.
Rodney snorted. “So, when you walked up to me in the cafeteria and told me if I’d like to suck your cock I could come by your quarters after 22:00 hours… that wasn’t about sex?”
Evan flushed and then laughed in spite of the situation. “I was just trying to shock you into admitting that you were attracted to me… and you have to admit that it worked very well.”
“Yeah, it did. I spent the whole day thinking about sucking your dick, didn’t get a damn thing done, and by the time arrived at your quarters fifteen hours and twenty-two minutes later the sight of you in nothing but a towel nearly made me come on the spot.” He started to pace, Rodney always thought better when he was moving. “So, I thought this was sex and I could deal with it – but you make that damn difficult.”
“I’m in love with you, Mer. I’ve loved you for years; but this getting injured thing isn’t going to go away.” He snagged Rodney’s hand when he walked by and pulled him close. “I scared the shit out of you; you scared the shit out of me…. I can’t say that makes us even but I do believe we understand how much we can hurt each other just by doing the jobs we have here on this city.”
“Yes,” Rodney nodded. “The worst part was that I couldn’t come see you. It was so easy to give into Ronon when he came around and prodded me into the infirmary—I could have kissed that big bastard when he offered to run interference so I could sit with you.”
“He is sexy,” Evan said with a laugh. “It’s real easy to see why Keller went for him but I’d kick your ass if you kissed him.”
“I think he’d kick my ass first,” McKay sighed and rubbed his face roughly with both hands. “It’s supposed to be easier with a man you know—less of this emotional crap and more hot sex.”
“I find I’m okay with this emotional crap and the hot sex is a bonus.” He forced himself to relax when Rodney straightened away from him. “Have you finished decrypting the message Sheppard sent?”
“The computer is working it. Let’s get you looking like the very model of a modern soldier,” Rodney murmured as he unbuttoned Evan’s BDUs, tucked in the shirt, and then rebuttoned him. His hands shook a little as he buckled the belt.
“Hey.” Evan pulled him close with this good arm and rested his forehead on Rodney’s. “What’s wrong?”
“I don’t like seeing you need my help like this,” Rodney admitted. “I don’t like seeing how much you’re hurting. I much prefer you strong and invincible in my world, to be perfectly honest.”
Evan grimaced. He felt helpless – physically and emotionally and he hated that. God, he hated that. So much of this relationship with Rodney was physical—the pleasure of the attraction they shared, the cold comfort they found with each other in the dark places of the city when no one was looking. It was a necessary secret; so very necessary if he wanted to keep Rodney in his life but it was fucked up and it had created a ‘touching’ buffer with them. They rarely touched each other unless it was sexual because they didn’t want to get into the habit of offering each other physical affection – to prevent it from happening in a public situation.
“Why didn’t you tell me you’d listed me as your next of kin?” Rodney asked against the skin of his neck.
“I didn’t want to freak you out.” He rubbed a circle against the scientist’s back thoughtfully. “On any level.”
“You think I freak out easily?”
“I think… you use any excuse you can to freak out a little or a lot depending on how stressed you are.” Evan pulled away slightly and then brushed a soft kiss over the mouth he enjoyed so much. “Being out to so many people is a little disconcerting.”
“It sort of snowballed,” Rodney admitted softly.
“Yes.” He leaned in for another kiss and sighed when Rodney met him half way. Evan groaned against the thrusting, twisting tongue that invaded his mouth – his whole body tightened in response. This—a week in the infirmary—and this is what he’d missed most. Not being able to kiss this man.
Rodney pulled away. “One of us is being a cock tease.” He sucked in a breath. “You know you aren’t up for anything.”
Evan laughed softly. “I beg to differ.” He leaned in and pressed his cock against Rodney’s hip and grinned when the man’s eyes widened in disbelief. “What can I say? You really do it for me, Mer.”
“No strenuous activity for at least three days,” Rodney reminded softly. “Remember? Keller looked us both right in the eye when she said it – and we both know what she meant. No sex. Not even a hand job until you pass a third heart scan with flying colors.” He trailed one hand down the center of the major’s chest. “We can’t risk your heart taking another break. Because I have to tell you… if you had another heart episode while we were doing anything remotely sexual it would probably give me a complex and I hardly need another complex.”
Evan laughed and back away. “I hate it when you’re logical.”
“I really hate it when you aren’t breathing so I guess we’re even,” Rodney’s voice broke a little and Evan stopped laughing. “I don’t blame you for what you did. Hell, in a different circumstance I would have certainly put myself between Jennifer Keller and a gun or a sword. I don’t think I could ever face myself if I didn’t. I don’t know what that woman did to the men on this base… but it’s almost impossible to find a single one that wouldn’t go to war for her.”
“She tamed the wildest, toughest among us,” Evan said. “Jennifer looked at the one man that most of the men on this base actually fear and was brave enough to reach out and grab him. She took a man who had been practically feral and broken by circumstances none of us would have survived and made him laugh, smile, and love again. They probably all harbor some small jealousy over it. After all, if she wanted a warrior—she could have had her pick of Earth’s finest.”
Rodney nodded. “She really could have had her pick of most of the straight men on this base—soldier or not. Beautiful, brave, and smart are a pretty deadly combination. Hell, I apparently went for her myself in an alternate time line and I’ve only fucked two women in my whole life.”
“Christ, Mer.” Evan laughed softly. He went to the bed and lay down. “The message?”
“Yes.” Rodney picked up his lap top and sat down beside him on the bed they rarely shared. He frowned. “Give me a second—he sent the message in the prime number code we developed.” He was silent for a moment and then cleared his throat. “TRUST no one. Wild card on the table. SVC likely.”
Evan sat up with a frown. “TRUST? As in that organization on Earth that was fucking around with the Stargate program a few years back?”
“Yes, it appears so.” Rodney frowned. “Wild card?”
“An unknown player—my guess it could be a Trust spy—I guess our second if we count Harding. SVC?”
“Space Vampire Cult,” Rodney groaned.