Title: When You Kiss Me
Author: Keira Marcos
Banner Art: FanArts Series
Series: What Might Have Been
Series Order: 4
Warning: Slash, attempted sexual assault, violence, secondary relationships, snarky personal assistants, and a puppy
Categories: Slash, Established Relationship, Alternate Universe, Contemporary
Summary: House hunting and a series of problems at the SGC test the relationship between John and Rodney in ways neither of them considered. Trust, love, lust, and loyalty have allowed them to build a strong relationship—what happens if one of those things appears to be damaged?
Disclaimer: No copyright infringement intended, seriously. I don’t own them. I don’t pretend to. This is just for fun. Don’t sue me—it would be a waste of your money. But, hey, these words are mine so don’t steal them and say they are yours.
– – – –
“It’s nearly an hour from the base.” Rodney frowned and shot the realtor a look that John had learned to interpret as ‘oh-you’re-fired-for-wasting-my-time’. “I admit it’s nice and pretty close to what we are looking for but it is simply too far from work for both of us.”
It wasn’t perfect. McKay expected perfect.
The realtor gave a tight smile. She’d shown them every house that had even come close to their demands and John figured she was on her last nerve but when one house shopped with a billionaire one-made allowances. He watched her temper disappear and he was sure she was reminding herself of the big fat commission she was going to earn if she found Rodney the perfect house.
“There is one more property currently on the market but I’ve hesitated to show it to you because of it’s condition. It hasn’t been lived in for several years but was only recently put on the market. The owner is from out of town and inherited the property. It’s just twenty minutes from the base and is quite secluded. Ten acres of land. No immediate neighbors. There is no pool but there is certainly enough room for one to be put in.”
“Then let’s take a look,” John offered Rodney a glare when he started to disagree. They were going to look. He was very tired of house shopping. He was two months tired of house shopping.
– – – –
It wasn’t remotely perfect. It was huge, sprawling, with too much character to be perfect. They stood in front of it staring for a few minutes before the realtor prodded them in the front door. The ground floor was almost one wide-open space with a large kitchen sectioned off by a waist high counter. Double doors led to a large deck and there was definitely enough room behind it for a pool before the tree line started. McKay stared for a minute and then asked to see the rest.
The second floor had ten huge bedrooms and two full baths. The third floor was basically one huge master bedroom with an in suite bathroom so hedonistic that John was oddly embarrassed to be in there with the realtor present. The shower would easily fit ten people and had built in benches. The tub was sunken into the floor and he figured he could fit all of SG1 in there comfortably. Again, Rodney stared and then asked to see the basement.
The basement turned out to be two separate floors beneath the house finished but no walls. Walls could be put in. They both walked to the space where he knew they’d install the safe room and his secure office and exchanged looks. Yes, this imperfect house was probably going to be it.
“Of course there is a medium sized guest house to the north of the main house. The former owner used it for an office.” Realtor paused on the stairs. “I realize the walls need to be painted and the place is so dusty but I believe it has a lot of potential.”
Back upstairs, John mapped up where to put the big TV and the grand piano while Rodney went to check out the guesthouse. He came back in without realtor and John frowned. “You didn’t kill her did you?”
Rodney smirked. “I was tempted. You know I hate cheerful people. Well, where did you want to put the TV?”
John laughed. “Over there.”
He nodded. “Yes, I agree. Tell me about the land and the house. Is it a security nightmare?”
“No. We can fence the whole thing and set up proximity alerts that will overlook small animals and pick up human sized targets. The guest house could easily house a security team right?”
“Eight big bedrooms.” Rodney walked to the doors and looked out on the deck. “This could be home, right? For us?”
John stared a moment. “It’s huge, but we’ll need room for the security team and the three stooges. Yeah, for us.”
“I mean we can keep base quarters. It’s just good sense to have a place to crash in case the day goes long but I think a home for us would be nice.”
“I think it would be perfect,” John admitted. “We should get some dogs, too.”
Rodney frowned. “For security?”
“No, for me. I’d like a couple of huskies.” John grinned when he wrinkled his nose. “I’m serious. The land is good for it; they do well in cold weather. They are very trainable. They are intensely loyal animals and they are gentle with their owners. They’d probably even like your mutant alien cat-thing.”
“Huh.” Rodney looked around the first floor and then nodded. “Okay. I’m going to tell the woman she just earned herself a fat commission.”
“We can put a pool table over there.”
“Yes. Yes.” Rodney waved him off as he walked out the front door.
Two hours later, they were back in the mountain and John was in his office. Quark was holding court in one corner with a very attentive Dr. Samantha Carter. Rodney had been irritated to learn two things about his cat: he preferred John’s office and he liked Sam the best. He’d taken neither situation with the grace a full-grown man should, but everyone had ignored him.
Major General Jack O’Neill was sprawled in a chair in front of John’s desk manfully complaining about paperwork, bureaucracy, and the Pentagon. The Stargate program had been “out” for exactly a month and they were all paying for it in spades. Between a scramble to publish papers (scientists), the implosion of the IOA, and the American military basically giving everyone but Canada and Great Britain the finger when it came to access to actual technology, things were tense. Everyone was snarky, low on sleep, and starting to wonder why they ever liked each other.
John and Rodney had become the poster gay couple for the Pentagon and they were forced out of the mountain just as often as the General and his brilliant and beautiful wife were. After all they were all intergalactic heroes (damnit) and that meant they had to be all smiley and shiny in public. Rodney had started referring to the press as the “Neo-Wraith” and it had stuck with everyone.
“Rodney has to be in DC this afternoon and then we’ll be in New York for the dinner,” John grimaced. “A reporter camped outside my father’s house yesterday and tried to interview him about me and Rodney.”
Jack laughed. “Did he get a face full of gun?”
“Yes, he did,” John smirked. “38 Smith and Wesson no less.” He leaned back in his chair and rocked a few seconds. “We bought a house today. McKay is downstairs calling movers, painters, security people, employment agencies, and God knows what else.”
“Good, I could tell living on the base was starting to wear him thin,” Sam said from the corner. She rubbed her face against Quark’s. “Jack…”
“No. Come on, sweet heart, we’re barely home.” He looked at her and sighed.
John figured that O’Neill was losing the cat battle in very careful stages. “You can’t have Rodney’s cat-thing – he prefers it over me when it’s sleep time.”
John grinned at the General. “Well, he snores. So, I’m sure the cat suffers for it.” He stood and stretched. “Come along, Quark. It’s time to go see what Rodney is doing. If we’re lucky, he’s abusing some poor engineer. You know you love that.”
The thirty pound cat jumped down from Sam’s lap, went to the door, and started batting the doorknob with one paw. The animal could actually open doors by himself. It was so damn creepy. What was worse? The thing heeled like a dog and could push buttons in the elevator. He just couldn’t reach the button for the floor Rodney was on.
Everyone on the base had an opinion about the cat—some favorable and some not so much. He’d been gratified but somewhat horrified when an exobiologist had tried to get a blood sample from the animal. John, much to his never ending embarrassment, had to send out a strongly worded memo about that—outlawing experimentation on Rodney’s cat-thing in perpetuity.
They made their way down to the lab with little incident and Quark darted ahead as soon as he heard Rodney’s voice. That, happened to be shortly after they exited the elevator because McKay was most definitely yelling.
“Thank you, Dr. Simpson, for that stellar insight into the inner workings of the black hole that is your brain!” The woman sniffed and Rodney turned on his heel. “Absolutely not! Do not cry. There is absolutely no crying in science. Crying is for people who work at MIT; feel sorry for them, pity them but do not act like them.”
She took a long breath and glared at McKay in utter silence. Rodney glared right back and Radek cleared his throat.
“Perhaps we should stop for the day.”
“Perhaps Dr. Simpson should go back to school and get a degree in something she would excel at… like secondary education.”
“Perhaps you should go back to undergrad and get a degree in something that will make you act like a human being.”
“You get exactly what you deserve from me, Simpson. If you want a job where you aren’t expected to be the very best you can be than please go elsewhere. There are ten thousand people who would take your place in an instant. Your work for the past week has been absolute garbage. Your calculations are incomplete and the coding for the re-charge program you designed is riddled with redundancies and bad code.” Rodney tossed his dry erase marker aside and walked to his computer. “I’ve seen better work out of you when you could barely fucking stand and hadn’t slept or eaten in three days. I don’t know what’s wrong with you but I expect you to fix it and come back in here with a better work product.”
“Or?” she demanded.
Rodney looked at her then, serious. “Or don’t come back. We don’t have time for mistakes like this. We can’t afford to have anyone on this staff that isn’t pulling their own weight. Take a week off and reset your brain. Come back in here with solutions, not more problems.”
Radek sort of deflated when she left.
John found himself closing the door. “So, huh, what’s wrong with her?”
Both scientists groaned a little and Rodney finally looked at him. “Radek dumped her.”
“I didn’t dump her!” Radek rubbed his face with both hands. “I just stopped sleeping with her. We weren’t serious, Rodney. It was her idea not to be serious and now she’s all—” He waved his hands around. “Women. I should find a man.”
Rodney patted him. “You’re too straight.”
Radek sighed. “Yes. Yes. It’s a problem for me. Women are so soft and perfect. I can not help it.”
John laughed. “So why did you stop sleeping with her?”
The Czech looked guilty for a second and then shrugged off. “I got bored. She’s very… what’s the word, Rodney?”
“Vanilla,” Rodney supplied as he unhooked his laptop. “Lights off kind of girl.”
“Oh.” John shrugged. “Well, you know, plenty of other girl fish in the sea. Maybe you’ll find a less-boring one next time around.”
“Yes, I will not fuck anyone I have to work with again.” Radek went back to his computer and started working. “It’s not good. Not good at all.”
Rodney patted him, again. “Just next time at least pick a woman who will give you a blowjob. A man can put with a lot if blowjobs are involved.”
John opened the door for Rodney and looked at the cat that had hopped up on a lab counter and was sprawled beside Radek. “Coming, cat?”
Quark looked up once and then lay back down.
Radek rubbed him. “I will bring him home later.”
“Thanks,” John responded dryly. “Watch the biology department.” Out in the hall they started towards the elevator. “Did you find movers?”
“I’ve sent a couple of companies to security for vetting. They’ll let me know who’d they prefer we use. So, that might take a few days depending on how much I harass them. Did you talk to Matt?”
“Yes, he flew an X-302 today. He told me to tell you that you are and I quote ‘a fucking god among men’.” John laughed. “He’s definitely joined the ranks of men who have gotten a hard-on in the X-302.”
“Did it make you hard?”
John chuckled as he slid his ID card through the electronic lock of their quarters. “Hell, yes. It was the best fucking ride of my life until I sat down in a Jumper.”
“Wait until you sit in the 400 series,” Rodney said with a small smile. “I think it could be orgasmic. At least for gene carriers. It’ll be like the 302 and a Jumper fucked and had a baby just for you.”
John laughed at the analogy. “Freak.” He dropped back on their bed. “Happy about the house?”
“Very. I’m really excited. We need to think about the security team at some point. I assumed you’d want to do all the hiring for that.”
“I’d prefer it,” John admitted as he watched Rodney move around the room – picking up clothes and dropping them in a basket near the door. “I look forward to not having to share showers.”
“Yeah.” Rodney frowned. “Seriously. I’d forgotten how much I hated communal showers.”
“I realize this hasn’t been easy for you living on the base.”
“It is easier at least with you here. I don’t feel pressured to stay all night in the lab. I don’t get calls in the middle of the night from scientists unless there is a genuine emergency. It was never like that before. At times, I worked over a hundred hours a week. I’d go days and barely get four hours of sleep – and frankly very few people noticed until I nearly died. No one meant it, but they would have used me up until there was nothing left of me. Sam has Jack as a buffer. I had nothing.” Rodney frowned as he said it. “And I guess I was too blind to it all to protect myself. I certainly couldn’t shut it off.”
“Now you have me.” John patted the bed. “Come here, baby, and focus all of your genius on me for a while. We have two hours before we have to beam to Washington.”
Rodney laughed. “Your father called me today, you know.”
Rodney dropped on the bed beside him and snuggled close. “Yeah, he said hi. He didn’t have time for two phone calls and he had a question for me.”
“Well you know he’s been moving things around and got himself a posting in craft and aviation development?”
“Yeah. He was pretty excited.”
“Well, some jackass on his staff tried to sell him a load of bullshit. He figured it was bullshit but didn’t know exactly why. He sent me the report and the plans for the plane – and I gave him all the details he needed to tell them why it was utter bullshit.”
“I’m sure some engineer in Virginia is wondering what the fuck is going on.”
Rodney laughed. “Yes, I’m sure. What do you think he’ll tell them?”
“That they have no business asking him questions because he’s a fucking four star Admiral for Christ’s sake.” John laughed at his own imitation of his father and pulled McKay closer. “Dave is bringing in four SEAL teams tomorrow.”
“Yeah. They’ll be here for four months. Then at the end of the trial period, I get my pick of them.”
“Nice.” Rodney looked over John’s face. “It’s interesting seeing you relaxed and talking about your family. It’s not something we’ve done a lot of.”
“No, but we really don’t discuss your family either.”
“Jeannie and Madison are my family. We really don’t need to discuss them as we see them practically every day.” Rodney tried to roll away.
“Whoa, don’t do that.” John pulled him close and wrapped one arm around his shoulders to anchor him. “Your mother left your father because he was abusive.”
“But she didn’t take you.”
“He wouldn’t let her and I–.” Rodney sucked in a breath and closed his eyes. “I told her that I’d stay so he’d leave her and Jeannie alone. I figured if he had me that he wouldn’t search for them. But, I couldn’t stay. I lasted six months before I made my own break for it.”
“And your mother? Why didn’t you go to her?”
“If she’d taken me in… he would have gone after her. As long as he was focused on me, my mom and Jeannie were safe. I kept him busy with the court system and lawyers – it wasn’t easy getting emancipation. I was a child genius and they are often seen as vulnerable. I had to prove both of my parents were unfit. My father – it was easy. I had a history of emergency room visits to back up the abuse claims. As for my mother, I told the court I didn’t trust her anymore because she abandoned me when she left with my sister. My mother and sister sat in the courtroom and cried while I testified. Jeannie was six.”
“Jesus, Mer.” John kissed his forehead.
“I had to do it. I had to break free of all of it. I was my father’s son. I knew I was more important to him than Jeannie or Mom. So, I sacrificed my relationship with my mother to keep them safe.”
“I understand.” John held him tighter. He did understand the need to protect the people that meant the most. That didn’t mean he wasn’t very interested in finding Scott McKay and killing him for what he’d done to Rodney.
“I didn’t see him for a few years. He took a job out of the province and Mom had come back to the US with Jeannie. Mom had never really felt like she belonged in Canada anyways.” Rodney shifted and rested his head over John’s heart. “Then one night out of the blue he’s banging on my apartment door and I answer it—dressed in a pair of shorts and smelling like sex. Smelling like a lot of sex and there’s another man in my apartment—naked and smelling like sex.”
He took a deep breath as his fingers curled into the fabric of John’s shirt. “And he looked at me like he hated my guts. The guy, a very casual friend, dressed so quickly I might have mistaken him for Superman under different circumstances.”
John laughs in spite of himself. “Mer.”
Rodney chuckled. “You’d have liked him. He was pretty, hung like a horse, and could literally fuck for hours. In fact, we had been fucking for hours. I was beautifully exhausted and very satisfied before I opened that door.”
John ran one hand down Rodney’s back. He knew what was coming. Knew it and part of him didn’t want to hear it—but he’d started the conversation. “Had a friend like that myself. Remind me to tell you about him later.”
“Deal.” Rodney unfisted his hand and ran his hand down the smooth muscled wall of John’s stomach. “He called me a faggot and I laughed at him. I mean – really just fucking laughed. I never saw that fist coming. But I don’t think I was ever prepared for the violence of my father. Never. I sort of disconnected from my body if that makes sense. I used to do it when I was a kid – sometimes if something is really fucked up, I still do it. Just disconnect. I remember the pain but it feels secondary. I remember screaming and I sort of knew it was me.”
John closed his eyes and forced his body to relax. Yeah, Scott McKay really needed killing.
“The next thing I remember is waking up in the hospital and my mother was there. Jeannie was almost twelve years old and I hadn’t seen here in nearly six years. It was devastating looking at her and knowing how much of her life I had missed.” Rodney sat up and looked at John’s face. “This is pissing you off.”
“I can’t think about someone hitting you and not be pissed off. That’s impossible. I’d like to go to France and kick that son of a bitch out of the house you bought and beat him to death.” John reached out and touched McKay’s face with gentle fingers. “Because he hurt you. He still hurts you and I can’t stand that.” He pulled Rodney back into his arms. “Tell me the rest.”
“He got five years for assault and was out on good behavior.” Rodney grimaced. “Not nearly enough if you ask me but by that time I had quite a bit of money and I bought him off. I told him if he would stay away from all of us – mom, Jeannie, and me that I would give him money. Then I told him if he refused that I’d have him killed instead. I certainly had enough money to pay off a hired killer.”
“He believed you.”
“Not at first,” Rodney admitted. “So, I hired a guy to deliver my second offer of money and that second offer came with a severe beating. So, he got on a plane with a broken arm and a wired jaw. I haven’t had any contact with him since. My financial advisor handles his stipend.”
“Two-hundred and fifty thousand a year,” Rodney murmured and winced when John cursed. “John, please. I can’t actually have the man killed. Jeannie barely remembers him and the memories she does have him are quite good. She knows he’s a bastard but I think it would break her heart a little if she knew I had him murdered.”
“I get that,” John admitted. He honestly didn’t want Rodney to become the kind of man that could have someone killed. “The beat down was inspired though. Did you get a video of it?”
Rodney laughed. “No.”
“Too bad.” John rubbed a circle against Rodney’s back and swallowed hard. “Okay, so I’m home on leave. I’d just flown a heavy combat mission, lost a couple of good friends, and decided that if I never sat in an F-16 again that I’d be totally okay with that. I was up for a placement in a Blackhawk squadron. Fuck, I wanted it so bad I could taste it. I was only four years in and just had just made officer but Nancy said it was enough. I could get a commercial license—I could fly civilian. She didn’t want her husband in the military anymore.”
“Probably not a good move on her part.”
“No.” John laughed. “She tried to make me chose between her and the Air Force. I told her she was out of her fucking mind. Then I told her to get a lawyer because our marriage was over.”
“I’ve never been good at subtle.”
“I actually like that about you. Your Dad says that your mom was a very blunt woman.”
“Yeah, she was.” John frowned at that though. “Huh. You and my dad talked about my mom?”
“So, she runs to my father and cries on him about me destroying our marriage and she accused me of sleeping with the only female pilot in my squadron. Female pilots were very rare back then. I mean, I think I’d only met two in my career at that point. Excellent pilot. Tough as hell.” John closed his eyes to block out the image of that brilliant and certainly beautiful pilot being blown out of the sky six days after his divorce was final. It wasn’t a good memory. “We’re having one hell of an argument right there in my parents living room and finally I just say it. I tell her I’m not fucking Susanne because I can barely stand to fuck a woman at all. I shout it. I’m gay.” He laughed briefly. “Fuck, it was horrible. My mother looked stunned but more like she was stunned that I was finally admitting it. Nancy burst into tears and called me a few horrible names. She practically flew out of the house at that point.”
“I’m surprised she didn’t try to get you thrown out of the Air Force.”
“She did. But she had no proof and my CO chalked it up as a bitter ex-wife trying to get even with me for divorcing her,” John chuckled. “He called me a few days after that Science Channel thing aired and told me I was a real bastard and he was pleased to see me doing so well.”
Rodney grinned. “Well, you did look great in that thing. I’ve got colleagues who think you’re made of awesome.”
“I am made of awesome.” John pressed his lips to Rodney’s forehead gently. “So are you. Genius and awesome is what Rodney McKay is made of.”
McKay snorted. “Crazy.” He cleared his throat. “So, Nancy left.”
“Yeah, and I’m alone with my parents. My mother saw it coming and tried to get my father to calm down but it was way too late for that. First, he asked me if I said it just to get Nancy to go away. As if hurting someone the way I’d obviously hurt her was more acceptable than my being gay. I told him I meant it. I told him I’d known for a while that I was gay.”
“He said that no son of his was going to be a fucking fag. And I said it was too late. He told me that I was no longer his son and to get the fuck out and not to ever come back.” John winced. “Now when I look back on it – the moment he said it he wanted to take it back. I can see it in him. The regret of that moment but I was so angry – I’d been angry for so long already. Angry at myself for getting married. Angry because I couldn’t control what I wanted. So, I saluted him, told him to go to hell and left. Two years later, he shows up on the base where I’m stationed to talk to me. I walk into my CO’s office and my dad is standing there all shiny in his dress whites. He was a Captain at that point. He looks me over and tells me that my mother is dead – that she had died six months before.”
Rodney sucked in a breath. “Fuck.”
“Yeah.” John closed his eyes. “I’m punched him right in the face and would have hit him again if my CO hadn’t interfered. I didn’t see him again until a month ago. I refused his phone calls – he tried twice to call me. I got one letter about four years after the last phone call and I didn’t open it. I just threw it away. Then shortly before I shipped out to McMurdo I got another phone call—ignored it, too.”
“You regret that.”
“Yeah.” John nodded. “I could have had my dad and brothers back along time ago. He made a mistake with me. I’m adult enough to see that. Hell, it isn’t like I haven’t made my own share of mistakes. Stubbornness is a problem in my family.”
“Yeah,” Rodney nodded. “So, do you think he has a problem with gay people and is just burying it deep so he can have a relationship with you?”
John frowned. “I really don’t know. I mean… fuck.”
“Sorry. I shouldn’t have asked that.”
“No, it’s okay. It’s a valid question. The fact is that his generation was just raised to be… a certain way and I’m sure he equates gay with being less of a man.”
Rodney snorted. “John, please, your father does not think you’re less of a man. He looks at you with so much pride that it’s ridiculous. I mean—when we watched you spar with your men I’m surprised he just didn’t fucking spontaneously combust with it. Besides he totally thinks I’m the girl in this relationship.”
John laughed. “Really? I don’t.”
“I know. If you thought I was a girl you wouldn’t fuck me.”
“Right, because girls just don’t do it for me,” John murmured as he ran one hand down to Rodney’s ass. “But, you do. You do it for me every way possible. Emotionally, physically, and mentally. I’ve never known anyone that turned me on that way before.”
“Huh.” Rodney tilted his head and looked over John’s face like he might be some piece of really interesting Ancient tech and then raised one sleek eyebrow. “In the mood to show me?”
Rodney laughed when John rolled him on his back and crawled on top. “This has potential.”
John leaned up, covered Rodney’s mouth with his own, and groaned softly as they both immediately moved to deepen the kiss. He sank down fully on top of the man beneath him and shuddered a little at the contact. “I could get lost in you. So lost and I’d never want to be found.”
“I think we should try to get lost—but we should do it naked.” Rodney wiggled both his eyebrows. “Naked and lost.”
John laughed. “You have the best ideas.”
They both scrambled to undress, throwing clothes off the bed in every direction until they were falling back together in a tangle of naked limbs and seeking mouths. Hands clutched and stroked with equal desperation.
John spread his legs and groaned as Rodney slipped between them and grasped their cocks together in one big hand. “Fuck, I could watch you do that all night.”
“Too bad we aren’t twenty—we could probably do this all night.” Rodney leaned down and kissed his mouth gently. “I don’t regret a moment of my life before I met you, John, not a single moment because all of those moments—the good and the bad brought me to this moment. This perfect moment where we’re safe and can afford to get lost in each other.”
John’s eyes darkened as they started to move together; every slide of flesh against flesh was overwhelming, breathtaking. It was in moments like this, that he finds himself falling in love with Rodney McKay all over again. It was too much, suddenly, too much pleasure, too much emotion and he came with a startled cry. Rodney’s eyes widened briefly and his smile was indulgent as he stroked them together two more times and came all over John’s stomach.
John clutched at him, his fingers digging into Rodney’s shoulders. “I never want to know a moment where I don’t have you.”
– – – –
The only thing John probably hated more than boring meetings with politicians and accountants in Washington, were the parties they were forced to attend by the government. They had waged a carefully constructed media campaign to garner public support for the Stargate program and as with all things; they attacked perception and opinion on several fronts.
John and Rodney were the guests of honor at a charity fundraiser for the AIDS Research Foundation. It was a worthy cause, one that Rodney actually donated heavily to as he’d lost a friend to the virus a long time ago. But, worthy cause or not he hated being on display and he most certainly was.
“I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of seeing you in your dress uniform.”
John raised one eyebrow. “Then why do you bitch about coming to these things?”
“I don’t bitch.” Rodney offered a passing man an utterly fake smile. “I complain manfully.”
“Of course you do.” John checked his watch. They had two hours left and he was starving. The food would be horrible; it always was. “They’ll be seating us soon.”
“If they seat us separately again I’m going to make everyone regret it.”
John laughed. “I doubt they will this time. After all, one reason we are here is because we are a famous gay couple.” They’d both discovered that as much as the government liked to show them both off—they often found themselves seated separately at political dinners. “You realize it’s because you’re a civilian. They always sit me with a bunch of generals and my father.”
“I know. It’s still insulting.”
“I’d much rather sit with you.”
“Of course you would.”
“Dr. McKay, if you’re ready. We can move to the stage?”
John glanced at Rodney who actually blushed. “What’s up?”
The woman turned to John with a bright smile. “Dr. McKay is making his yearly donation tonight during the dinner and helping us to start a new fund raising effort.”
“Yes, very.” She smiled again. “If you’ll come as well. I know you prefer to be close.”
At least some people paid attention. “Thank you.”
“I hope tonight’s security arrangements met with your approval. We were very careful about the guest list and everyone was thoroughly vetted.”
“The Pentagon didn’t voice any complaints with your arrangements.”
“Yes, but they aren’t here.”
“I’ll let you know if I have any problems with the room or security personnel.”
Rodney touched his arm briefly before he walked to the podium and people around the room started taking seats at the tables. John positioned himself so he could see the crowd and McKay equally and wondered why this had been a secret. The man hated talking about the money he gave to charity, John knew that, but this was a little different. It was the first time he’d put himself in front of a crowd since he’d been nearly killed.
“Good evening, on behalf of the Aids Research Foundation I’m pleased to welcome you all. We are here to raise money for a cause that has touched many of us in a variety of ways. We’ve lost friends, lovers, siblings, and parents to this virus over the years. It’s only been in the last few years that we’ve started to develop drugs to effectively combat the worse of the symptoms but a cure has remained elusive.” Rodney paused and cleared his throat. “You’ll have to forgive me. It’s been a few months since I’ve spoken in public.”
Everyone in the room knew exactly when he’d last spoken in public and the crowd got very quiet.
“Tonight, I am honored to cut a check for ten million dollars to the AIDS Research Foundation. I am giving this money in honor of my mother, Julia Deacon-McKay, who lost her battle with breast cancer ten years ago. My mother was a dedicated physician, a tireless supporter of patient rights, and an amazing woman who lived and worked with HIV patients for nearly twenty years. It is my hope that a cure for this virus is within our grasp and our continued support of organizations like the AIDS Research Foundation will lead to a better standard of life for all of those infected around the world. To that end, I am challenging anyone with the means to do so to match my donation tonight. Those that do will be given the opportunity to join me and Colonel Sheppard on a tour of the newly commissioned space ship, the Orion.”
A little teeter of shock and then excitement swept through the room and at least twenty people stood up with checkbooks in hand.
Rodney slipped away from the podium and came to him. “I figure about thirty people in the room will be able to donate that much. I don’t know how many of them will actually do it.”
“You’re amazing, you know. How did you get the Pentagon to approve this?”
“It’s my ship and more importantly it’s great public relations.” He straightened John’s tie carefully, rubbed his fingers over the medals that decorated the front of his jacket.
“I’m pretty sure the government thinks the ship is theirs.”
“Whatever.” Rodney grinned. “It’s my ship. I just let them pay for it.”
– – – –
“You should get up. You have a mission briefing in an hour.”
John nodded and moved closer to him. “Yeah, I’d send SG1 but their last mission wasn’t a picnic. Even Teal’c looked like he could kill someone for looking at him wrong when he came back through the gate.”
“So, you should be getting up and taking a shower. Being in charge of the briefing doesn’t give you the right to be late for it.”
“Yep.” John slid closer and pushed on hand under the sheet that covered them. Nimble fingers slid under the waistband of Rodney’s sweats. “I think, however, that I have time for a taste of you. You’re my favorite thing to wake up to, you know.”
Rodney took a deep breath as John’s hand wrapped around his rapidly hardening cock. “John.”
He lifted away. “I’ll be gone for days. Let me give you this before I go. I want you to come for me.”
Rodney groaned, his hips lifting helplessly against John’s talented fingers. “Yeah, you can do anything you want, John. Anything.”
He started to stroke and squeeze in the way he knew drove Rodney crazy. “If we had the time… I’d turn you over, stretch your pretty ass, and bury my cock in you. Then I would fuck you long and hard.”
Rodney shuddered. “You’re a filthy bastard, Colonel.”
“You love it.”
“Yeah, I really do.”
“You love it when I fuck you, too. I know.” John clenched his teeth against Rodney’s neck. “You’re such a slut for my cock.”
Rodney groaned and tightened his fingers in the fitted sheet beneath him. “Fuck.”
“That’s right, Mer. I know. I know you’re dirty little secret.” He sped up his stroke. “I bet you fuck yourself with your fingers when you masturbate. Do you imagine it is me? Do you imagine me fucking you while my hand was wrapped around this gorgeous cock of yours?”
“John, Christ.” Rodney jerked against him. “Yes. Fuck. Yes. I used to think about you crawling into my bed and fucking me until neither of us ever wanted to move again.”
“One day soon I’m going to make you masturbate for me. I want to watch you finger fuck your ass and come from your own hand.” John pressed against his side. “It sounds so goddamned hot, Rodney. I can’t wait to watch.” He rubbed his cloth-covered cock against Rodney’s hip as he quickened his stroke. “Then, while you’re still all loose and relaxed from fucking yourself – I’m going to crawl on top of you and slide my cock into you. And I’m going to fuck you until you’re hard and make you come again. I love to make you come.”
“God, John.” Rodney curled into him and shuddered. “Please, fuck.”
“Yes, that’s it baby. Come for me.” John rocked them into the rhythm of his hand and groaned when cum splashed across his wrist.
McKay ran his lips over John’s jaw and caught his lips in a desperate kiss as he rocked through his orgasm and then relaxed on the bed. “Fuck, John.”
John laughed softly. “That was hot.”
“Yeah.” Rodney sighed. “Let me…” He pushed his hand between them and against John’s boxers and found them damp. “Huh.”
“Yeah. I’m done too.”
“Shit. John, that is sexy.” Rodney laughed. “I don’t think I’ve ever had a man get off on getting me off.”
“Yeah, first time for everything.” John pulled him close. “Hell, sometimes I have to think of England to keep from coming when I suck your cock.”
– – – –
Rodney drug himself into the locker room that was two floors above their quarters and slid into the last stall at the back of the room. He absolutely hated showering out in the open but at least the showers were sectioned off by half-walls. It wasn’t much but it provided some illusion of privacy.
John had been off world for five days and Rodney was exhausted—exhausted because he’d let himself get caught up in a project and hadn’t gone to bed when he should have. He’d probably slept six hours in the past two days and he only had himself to blame. Well, he sort of blamed Radek who had stayed up with him.
“So, you’re the Colonel’s piece.”
His eyes widened and he half-turned to see a naked man leaning against the wall near his stall looking him over in a way that was decidedly horrifying. “Excuse me?”
“You’re McKay. Colonel Sheppard’s pet scientist.” The man grinned but it wasn’t amusement that filtered across his hard eyes. “Been here almost a week and all I’ve heard about is how brave he is and how fucking smart you are.”
“So you’re one of the SEALs?” Rodney finished rinsing off and grabbed his towel. He wrapped it around his waist and hoped he didn’t look nervous. His stomach was knotting with helpless anger. “How do you like the SGC so far?”
“I’ve been in worse places.” He moved forward and straight into the stall. “I’ve seen the way Sheppard looks at you, you know. You must be a really good fuck.”
“Look, I don’t know exactly what you think…” This could not be fucking happening to him. Not in the SGC. He’d never once thought he had to worry about a soldier in this base touching him; not even before John.
“I think that I want a sample of what Sheppard comes home to every night. I think I want a piece of you. I think you have a great ass. I bet you like to be fucked. You look the type you really gets off on having a dick in your ass.” He moved in closer.
“You can’t be this fucking stupid.” Rodney tried to get past him but the man grabbed his arm and shoved him not gently against the tile wall. He took a deep breath and tried to calm down. “Let me go.”
“Are you going to fight me? Because, I have to tell you I think that’s hot as hell.” He pressed up against him, his erect cock burned against Rodney’s thigh even with the shield of the too thin towel. “I’m twice the man Sheppard is. And I’m going to prove it to you.”
Rodney snorted. “Actually, you’re literally one third the man he is.” He pushed without success against the man’s chest. “I haven’t seen a dick that small since I was in middle school gym class.”
“Not nice.” Fingers dug into his arm, the pain was startling. “Does Sheppard get off on your smart, vicious mouth? I bet he does. I bet he finds better uses for it though. I bet you look really pretty when you’re sucking a cock. I think it’s time you show me what gets a man like John Sheppard off.”
“No. Christ, let me go before you get yourself killed, you stupid bastard.” Rodney started to struggle in earnest.
He laughed. “This is going to be fun.” He turned Rodney and pushed him face first against the wall. “For kicks, you can even call me by his name when you come.”
“No. Goddamn it.” Rodney closed his eyes as his towel was jerked away, and a cock rubbed with intent against one cheek of his ass. “You don’t want to do this.”
“Dr. McKay, Dr. Carter is looking for you.”
Rodney looked over and almost groaned with relief. “Ian. Thank you.”
Airman Ian Wilkes crossed his arms over his chest, his body stiff with fury, a 9mm clenched in his fist. “I’ll wait for you, sir.”
“I’ll make sure the doctor gets where he needs to be, Airman. Dismissed.”
Ian’s jaw tightened and his eyes darkened. “Sir, with all due respect, you aren’t in my chain of command and Dr. McKay is coming with me. Let him go before this situation becomes unmanageable.”
The SEAL smirked. “You think you can take me, kid?”
“No, but I’ve got a gun that says if things get worse in this room, that I’ll be walking out of it and you won’t.” He waved it slightly and offered a tight, angry smile. “I’d rather not shoot you—the paperwork would be a bitch and I’ve got plans for the night.”
Rodney slipped past the Navy man as soon as he backed away, grabbed all of his clothes, and without a glance in Ian’s direction walked into the main locker room. He didn’t have question as to whether or not the kid had followed him. By the time he glanced up, Ian was standing at the end of the lockers and Jimmy was standing beside him getting an earful. Both of them looked furious.
“Hey, protecting me isn’t your job anymore. So, stop looking like you did something wrong here.”
Jimmy shot McKay a look. “Yeah, you tell the Colonel that.”
“Hey, whoa, we aren’t saying shit to the Colonel.” Rodney pointed his finger at both of them. “I mean it.”
Ian shook his head. “I’m sorry, Dr. McKay, there is no fucking way that I’m not reporting this to Colonel Sheppard. In fact, I’m going to go stand in the gate room and wait for him to return. Jimmy is going to take you to your lab and stay with you the rest of the day.”
“Airman Wilkes, the last time I checked I don’t answer to you.”
“The last time I checked you were a civilian,” Ian returned evenly. “And as government contractor in this facility you are required to follow orders if and when it is deemed that your safety is an issue. Since I just walked in on you being… on a man twice your size being aggressive with you sexually… I’ve determined that a threat against your person is imminent.”
McKay’s mouth dropped open. “Ian, look, it’s hardly the first time I’ve had a man hit on me.”
“He wasn’t hitting on you, McKay, he was about to rape you. You and I both know it.” Ian turned on his heel and walked away. “Jimmy, he doesn’t leave your sight.”
“I got him.” Jimmy leaned against the locker.
– – – –
John watched the security footage in silence. Listened to every single word. Then he hit play again. He watched it five times. Not a single man in the room said a word. Finally, he stopped the .avi file on his computer and looked across his desk at Ian Wilkes who was standing so rigid in front of him that he looked as if he might shatter if someone touched him.
“Sir, there is no need…”
“Ian.” John inclined his head. “Thank you.”
He flushed. “You’re welcome, Sir.”
“I take it that Private Martinson is still with McKay?”
“You’re both off duty today. Why were you in the locker rooms this afternoon?”
Ian flushed. “I was… sir… a few men on the base look at Dr. McKay a lot more than they should and Jimmy and I like to make sure that don’t more than look, okay. He’s attractive and smart and really funny and dedicated to his job and brave even though he doesn’t admit it and you know he does that charity stuff and… well he’s yours and when you’re not around…” He sighed. “It just feels like it’s my job to make sure no one fucks with him, sir.”
John glanced at O’Neill who was still in a state of shock and then met his brother’s gaze who was probably going to fucking explode any minute. “Ian, I appreciate your dedication to Dr. McKay. It’s nice to know that when I’m not here that there are people who will look out for him.”
“I don’t have a crush on him or anything. He’s too mean for that,” Ian finally said. “I’m serious, sir. I don’t.”
John laughed in spite of the situation and let his head drop for a few seconds. “Okay, I believe you. Why don’t you join Jimmy on McKay-sitting and I’ll relieve you both as soon as I’m calm enough, because I don’t want him to see me like this.”
Jack waited until the kid was out of the office. “Two things—one, that kid does so have a crush on McKay and two, you don’t honestly think you’re going to be calm enough to leave this room any time in the next goddamned year do you?”
John’s jaw tightened. “He’s a good man and he’s had a crush on McKay since Chicago. We’re both aware of it – it’s safe for him to think about Rodney because then he doesn’t have to deal with having to think about someone that he might be able to pursue. Ian is so entrenched in the closet that it could be years before he stumbles his way out. As for me calming down enough to leave this room… no… I don’t think it’s going to happen any time soon.” He punched his intercom. “Sergeant Killian. Recall all off-duty personnel and assemble in the main gym. I want every man and woman in uniform that works in this mountain standing in front of me within in the hour. No excuses accepted. SG15 is scheduled for a mission off world, it’s cancelled. Let them know. And, Tim, make sure the SEAL teams are front and center.”
“Main gym, sir, should they be prepared for sparring?”
“Yes and inform the infirmary that things are going to be a little on the rough side today.”
John closed the connection and turned to his brother. “Tell me about him.”
“Lt. Steven Nelson. Six years in. Purple Heart. Two citations for bravery. Two black marks for failure to follow orders. He’s here because he has the gene. One of the few SEALS we’ve found with it.” David stood and started to pace. “He’s good in a fight; dedicated to his team and vicious in hand to hand. Until I saw you in the gym, I would have said that Nelson was the best fighter I’d ever seen in action. He’s a big son of a bitch but his size has never slowed him down.”
“Anything in his jacket about something like this?” Jack O’Neill asked softly.
David jerked as if one of them had hit him. “No. God, I would never knowingly bring a man like this into a place full of civilian scientists. Hell, I would never knowingly allow a fuck like that to stay in my Navy much less give him an opportunity like this no matter his DNA.”
“Contact Dad; because I want charges filed against him. I want him court marshaled in the fastest, quietest manner possible. With the project declassified… the Pentagon is very concerned with the image of the SGC and I don’t want any of those fucks to bury this and Nelson not get everything that is coming to him.”
“Yeah. I’ll take care of it.”
“When I finish with him today you have about an hour to get him off my base or I’m going to kill him. Clear?”
“Crystal.” David stood. “I’ll see you in the gym then.”
“I don’t blame you for this, Dave.”
David turned and looked at his brother with hard eyes. “I blame me. I brought a predator into your base and if Rodney had gotten hurt today… goddamn it… John.”
“I know, but he didn’t and that’s what you and I are going to hold onto because if we start thinking about what could have happened in that shower today there is a Navy SEAL on this base that will leave in a body bag.”
– – – –
“I tried to delete the security footage but it had already been copied.” Rodney glared at Sam. “Ian Wilkes can work pretty fast when he wants to.”
Sam frowned. “Rodney, why on Earth would you want to cover for this man? He almost hurt you. He would have hurt you if Ian hadn’t walked in.”
“How do you think John is going to react when he sees it, Sam? Seriously? Don’t you think his body count when it comes to me is high enough?”
“He’s not going to kill him,” Sam murmured. “It would be nice if he did—but John isn’t the kind of man who loses his temper and kills people. He’s pretty cold blooded about it. He might make that guy wish he was dead but that isn’t the same thing at all. Besides, it isn’t like that jerk-off doesn’t need to get dead.”
“You’re not helping!”
“Well, pacing a hole into my lab isn’t helping either. Seriously, Rodney, I’m sure Jack will handle this and everything will be fine. We can’t have a man like this on the base. What if it had been one of the other civilians? I mean, what if it had been Radek in there or David Parrish? Poor Parrish can barely look people in the eye as it is.”
“You’re right.” Rodney stopped moving and fell into one of the desk chairs near him. “It could have been anyone. I was just convenient.”
“You said he said some things about Sheppard?”
“Yeah.” Rodney pointed towards his laptop. “I snagged the security footage. Use the headphones please I don’t want to hear it again.”
Sam grabbed the headphones, slapped them on her head, and hit play without another word. When it was over, she pulled off the headphones and turned to stare at him. “Rodney.”
“It’s okay, Sam.”
“No, it’s not!” Sam jerked off her lab coat. “I’ll be… you stay here.”
– – – –
Sam entered Sheppard’s office absolutely furious and took in her husband with a swift hard look that had him coming up out of his chair. “What the hell are you going to do about this, Jack?”
Jack shared a glance with John and went to his wife. “We’re going to handle this, Sam. He’ll be off the base by the afternoon, okay.”
“No, it’s not okay.” She slapped his hand when he tried to touch her. “It’s not fucking okay. I watched the security footage, Jack. I watched it and I want – I want.” She took a deep breath. “John has kicked the shit out of every single man on this base and has a reputation for being absolutely vicious when it comes to Rodney. If someone on this base would do something like this to McKay… and after what happened with Dr. Brown… I want more than this asshole being tossed off this base. I want him broken and wishing he was dead. I want him to pay for it and I want every soldier on this base to fucking know why!”
She shoved her finger in her husband’s chest, blue eyes bright with anger. “I recruit some of the brightest people on this fucking planet, Jack. I bring them here… seduce them with wormhole travel and space ships and supernovas and stargates and ancient cultures living out history in the goddamned stars, but if you can’t keep them safe from your own men I won’t do it anymore.”
Jack stared for a moment, stunned, and then very carefully reached out for his wife again. She didn’t fight him, but her posture was stiff and furious as he brought her close.
“Sam, trust me when I say that Nelson is not going to leave this base without getting the beating of his life in front of the entire squadron.” He tucked her head close to his neck and resisted the urge to pet her. She was vibrating with fury. “Every day is a risk around here but I’ll do everything I can to make sure the risks don’t come from our own people.”
– – – –
John leaned back against the wall and stared at the door to Rodney’s lab. Jimmy and Ian were standing silent on either side of it. “How is he?”
“Irritated with me,” Ian admitted.
“Ignoring me,” Jimmy responded dryly. “I even offered to go to Starbucks for him.”
John sighed. “Both of you can report to the main gym. I’ll be joining the squadron within the hour. When you get there, make sure they all know exactly why they are there, but go light on the details.”
“Yes, sir.” They both saluted and left.
John opened the door and wasn’t surprised when Rodney’s gaze snapped to the intrusion of his space. “I’m a little stunned that you thought you could keep this from me.”
Rodney shrugged. “It seemed like the solution at the time.”
John shut the door and locked it carefully. He’d never really lost his temper with his lover and he desperately did not want to do so today. “God, Mer, when I think about what could have happened…”
“It didn’t happen. Ian was there and nothing really happened. So, why don’t we just forget about it?”
John pinched the bridge of his nose and took a deep breath. “You’re out of your fucking mind if you think I’m going to forget what I saw on that security footage. I saw how freaked out you were, Rodney. I saw how close he got to you. He put his hands on you. He put his dick on you. I heard every single word he said.”
“I heard you were assembling all the men in the gym.”
“Another lesson in discipline then?” Rodney asked. “Or is this going to be something a little worse? Are you going to beat him to death in front of your entire squadron?”
“I’m not going to kill him.”
“I don’t know that I believe you.” Rodney turned away slightly as if the sight of John was unnerving. “Killing is easy for you, John. Too easy. And you want to kill him. I know it’s the way they trained you to be and God you must be the baddest mother fucker in a battle but right now—in this very moment you scare the hell out of me.”
John felt his knees go a little weak but he forced himself to stiffen up. “Mer, I’ve never… I’d never hurt you.”
“I know.” Rodney looked at him then. “But, it doesn’t change what you are. It doesn’t change the fact that you’re a killer. It’s your job. I just wish—I really wish that you’d never once had to kill for me.”
“Is this why you didn’t want Ian to tell me?”
“You don’t trust me.”
Rodney jerked a little. “What? No, of course, I trust you.”
“No, God, you don’t.” John closed his eyes. “I’m a killer, right? It’s what I do. It’s what I am.”
“No, Mer, you’ve made yourself perfectly clear.” John shook his head to clear it and walked to the door. “I’ve got a room full of men to teach a lesson. It’s not just about you at this point, you know. It’s about all of the civilians on this base. It’s about Dr. Brown. It’s about Radek and it’s most certainly about the General’s wife who is upstairs sitting in his lap crying.”
“I love you, Rodney. I sincerely hope that’s enough because I really don’t know what I did to make you not trust me and I don’t have the first clue on how I’m supposed to get it back.” He turned, unlocked the door, and left without another word.
– – – –
The gym was as silent as a tomb when he entered. He glanced towards Jimmy who was standing with the rest of the Marines and the younger man nodded. John walked to stand beside his brother. “Good afternoon.”
“Good afternoon, Sir!”
“What is the first rule of engagement on this base?”
“Don’t fuck with the Major General’s wife!”
John folded his arms and stared. “The Major General’s wife is upset.” He jerked his thumb over his shoulder towards the observation deck where the General and his wife were sitting. “And none of you are leaving this room until she’s satisfied.”
“What is the second rule of engagement on this base?”
“Don’t fuck with Dr. McKay, Sir!”
“Huh, and why is that?”
“You fuck with McKay; you fuck with the Colonel!”
“I’m really unhappy and what happens when I’m unhappy?”
“We get our asses kicked, Sir!”
“Soldiers, what is the universal truth?”
“Geeks will inherit the Earth!”
John smirked. “And that means?”
“We don’t fuck with the people who save our asses, Sir!”
John focused on the SEAL teams. “I was told that you were the best the Navy had to offer. I was told that I could trust you with the details of this mission and the people who dedicate themselves to it. I was misinformed.” All twenty of them stiffened and stared straight ahead. “Because one of you – can’t be trusted. One of you would be a dead man if I weren’t a very patient man. And if you think I couldn’t kill you and get away with it—you haven’t been paying attention. I could kill all twenty of you and the President would pat me on the head and tell me to behave myself over dessert and coffee. It’s come to my attention that I haven’t properly welcomed you to my base.” He smiled then—thin and feral. “Master Chief, bring the rods.”
Ronon paused. “Preference, Sir?”
“I believe today calls for a hard lesson. Bring the Sadetian wood.”
He retrieved two sets of bantos rods and brought them to the taped off sparing ring. The rods were wood, alien and as hard as industrial steel, but flexible. He handed John a set personally and set the others on the floor several feet away. John raised an eyebrow when David stepped into the ring first.
Dave offered his brother a small smile. “Just don’t break any of my bones. I’ve got a date tonight.”
“Just be thankful I didn’t ask Ronon to bring out the shock rods. They have ten thousand volts of electricity running through them.”
– – – –
Rodney sat in the observation deck, his eyes fixed on John. He was furious with himself, furious with the situation, and he didn’t know how he was ever going to repair what he’d done to them today. He barely acknowledged the flash of light in the room that signaled someone had been beamed into the room.
He jerked and turned to see Patrick Sheppard standing there. “Admiral.”
Patrick sighed and dropped into a chair beside him. “Jesus, fuck, I’m sorry.”
“It’s okay. Nothing happened.”
Patrick snorted. “I saw the security footage, McKay. I know exactly what did and didn’t happen.” He looked out into the gym and grimaced. “I see he’s in a mood.”
“He’s already kicked Dave’s ass and has worked his way through most of the SEALS without even looking at Nelson.” Rodney frowned. “I don’t get it.”
“He’s making a point,” Jack interrupted ruefully. “He’s going to show that bastard, Nelson, that he can go through twenty Navy SEALS without breaking a sweat and still kick his ass.”
“Why does the rest of the squadron have to watch this?”
“So they get the point, too,” Patrick muttered. “He doesn’t look like he’s drawing blood.”