Hold Hands and Try To Look Sincere

Author: Minervacat
Fandom: Stargate: Atlantis
Pairing: McKay/Sheppard
Rating: NC-17
Summary: In which aliens make them do it (except when they don't), Ford almost accidentally buys a time-share, and Rodney lives in denial.

On P71-XP9, it turned out that the god of choice was a fertility god, or a sex god, or some kind of god who would necessitate a huge statue with a huge dick. John was still figuring out that the natives wanted him to sacrifice semen to said god before they'd even talk about trading when McKay said, "Oh, for fuck's sake," and dropped to his knees. McKay got John's pants open before John could say anything about how he wasn't particularly fond of performing for an audience.

He could see the high priest nodding - like John getting blown was the answer to "How do we achieve world peace?" - and it had been a really long time since his dick was acquainted with anybody's hand but his own.

So he shrugged and smiled politely at the priest while his cock was hardening happily in McKay's hand, and then McKay worked John's cock free of his boxers and slurped it down like giving head was going out of style. John said, "Jesus, Rodney," and braced himself against the altar and came.

Rodney stood up, reached past John for a bowl and spat a mouthful of come into it, while John stood there with his dick hanging out of his pants, breathing like he'd just run a marathon. "Right," Rodney said. "Now, about those supplies," and the high priest grabbed McKay's arm and led him out of the temple, babbling happily, with Teyla close on their heels.

John did up his pants and took his P-90 back from Ford and said, "That was weird."

"I heard it happened to SG-1 all the time." Ford shrugged.

Not the alien thing, John wanted to say. The Rodney-giving-me-a-blowjob thing, and possibly the me-enjoying-it-outside-of-a-sense-of-duty-to-the-team thing. But he didn't, and Ford didn't say anything else, so John just kept his mouth shut.

Later, John ran into McKay in the hallway outside the mess. McKay was leaving and John was coming, and he said, feeling stupid, "Look, McKay, today, I know, it's not like - anyway, just, thanks."

McKay stared at him for a long, quiet moment, and said, "Major, I was only doing what was necessary to help the team and Atlantis. Don't think this means I like you." He stomped off down the hall towards his lab, shouting for that Czech scientist with the long name, and John ate dinner with Ford and one of the botanists. When he jerked off that night - tight grip and hard strokes - he tried very hard not to think of Rodney's mouth on his cock.

When he came, stars behind his eyelids, Rodney's face was all he could see.


Three weeks later, John was starting to feel like a particularly demented official government taste-tester - every time they sat down for a meal with prospective trading partners, John had to taste each and every course and tell McKay if there was noticeable citrus in it. So far they'd narrowly avoided at least five episodes of anaphylactic shock, suffered through one unbearably long meal where Rodney complained at length about not being able to eat some kind of fish dish because it was covered in the Pegasus Galaxy's version of lemon juice, and one accidental allergic reaction in the middle of the mess back on Atlantis because McKay had been eating off John's plate without thinking aboutit.

John didn't usually let his girlfriends eat off his plate; he wasn't sure why he let McKay do it, except that the time he'd tried to take his bright purple almost French fries away from Rodney, Rodney had tried to stab him in the hand with a fork. None of John's girlfriends had ever tried to stab him with a fork.

On the other hand, none of John's girlfriends had blown him in public for the good of an intergalactic mission, either, so Rodney still came out ahead of all of them. Even that red head in Germany who could do the most amazing things with her tongue.

Not that Rodney was John's girlfriend. Or boyfriend. Or anything at all. If John was thinking about Rodney in the same category as his ex-girlfriends (and two ex-boyfriends), it was merely a coincidence. John couldn't help it if sometimes his brain equated blow jobs with romantic entanglement, could he?

John spent 10 minutes determining that the ceremonial meal on P11-XR5 contained no citrus whatsoever and the remainder of the meal drinking a lot of something that tasted like it might have been fermented in the bottom of a goat pen. It tasted like shit, but apparently it was a.) the prized export of P11-XR5 and b.) highly alcoholic. By the end of the meal, John was listing distinctly toward Rodney on his right, Rodney's shoulder warm and comfortable against his. It might have bothered John but Rodney was leaning back and talking expansively in a way that might have suggested that he was drunk.

John wouldn't have suggested anything like that, because of course they all knew better than to get drunk on an official mission, but when three of the native men suggested going down to the P11-XR5 equivalent of a bar after dinner, neither John nor Rodney said they'd rather have a good night's sleep and see you in the morning, thanks.

After two hours at the dingy bar equivalent and four more glasses of the goat pen wine later, they were stumbling back to their provided quarters. Through the blurry haze of wine, John was almost certain that Rodney had grown at least one extra hand during dinner, because otherwise he couldn't account for every place he was being groped as they walked.

They fell through the door of the hut and Rodney said, "I swear, there was an aphrodisiac in that meal somewhere," as he tried to shove his hand down the front of John's pants without unbuttoning them first.

John tried to say, "If we were really poisoned every time you thought we'd been poisoned, we would be dead by now, plus you smell like a distillery, not a whorehouse" but he had dropped to his knees and his mouth was full of Rodney's cock, so instead he just mumbled.

Rodney fisted a hand in John's hair and said, "Oh, God, fuck, do that again." John hummed and ran his tongue over the sensitive spot just underneath the head of Rodney's dick, and Rodney shuddered and pulled too hard on his hair and came in John's mouth.

"John," Rodney said, and shoved John over onto his back, unfastening John's pants with one hand and crawling up John's body to kiss him, hot and wet and dirty. Rodney's hand stroked a little too hard and a little too fast and felt fantastically, amazingly good. John lasted approximately two minutes before he spilled all over Rodney's hand and his own shirt, groaning happily into Rodney's mouth.

They lay panting on the floor, the silence in the room broken when Rodney said, "Seriously, an aphrodisiac, I really don't like you that much."

"Shut up, Rodney," John said, and Rodney did, and John thought, I'll worry about this in the morning.

In the morning, Rodney was asleep with his head on John's chest and one heavy arm slung across John's stomach. It made John feel a little queasy, but in a good way, which made him feel a little queasier, in a bad way, and his twisting stomach was not just a goat pen wine hangover talking. Just because they'd traded blowjobs under alien duress didn't mean anything. Of course not.

Just try telling his brain that; his mind was already hanging Rodney's photo up on the walls of his mind, next to the picture of Greta the German and Kelsey the Academy Girlfriend.

Rodney stirred awake, blinking slowly and wincing in the sunlight, and shot to a sitting position when he realized where he was and who he was lying on. He grabbed at his head - if Rodney wasn't at least half as hungover as John, he was still pretty miserable right now - and said, "Ah. Major. No reason to mention last night in the official reports, right?"

John said, "What happens on alien planets stays on alien planets, McKay."


Negotiating with the Caridians on PT6-435, McKay was making the face that John liked to think of as his "I would find chewing my own face off more preferable to sitting here listening to you morons" face. Not that John made a habit of cataloging facial expressions - for one thing, McKay had way too many pissed off faces to bother naming them, and for another, John hadn't named this face himself. Bates had, in a staff meeting that went too long; he'd leaned over and whispered to John, "You ever get the feeling that McKay would rather chew his own face off than sit here for another minute?"

John only had names for one other of McKay's faces; the one Rodney made just before he came, which John privately named the face he hoped nobody else on Atlantis was seeing on a regular basis.

John had one ear on the conversation Teyla was having with the woman who was in charge - ritual intended to foster trust, etcetera - and one eye on Rodney's face. He was about to jerk his head at Ford, so Ford could get McKay out of there before McKay said anything really unforgivable, except that before he could, Teyla turned to him and said, "That won't be a problem, will it, Major Sheppard?"

"Traditional ritual?" John said. "Sure, no problem at all." It can't be worse than P71-XP9, he thought to himself. Which wasn't really so bad, when he measured it against being shot at, stabbed, or having the life sucked out of his chest by space vampires, since he got a blowjob out of it and his dignity was only wounded a little.

McKay's hand clamped down on his elbow then, his fingers digging hard into the tender spot just above the joint, and McKay hissed, "Ritual of trust means inappropriate public nudity, Major."

"Shut up, McKay," John said under his breath. "Shut up and behave, okay?"

"Don't say I didn't warn you," McKay grumbled, letting go of John's elbow. John resisted the urge to rub at the sore spot on his arm. It wasn't like every civilization in the Pegasus Galaxy had asked somebody to take their clothes off; just one (or two, or six) of them. This one could be one of those non-naked civilizations.

The joke turned out to be on John; mark up PT6-435 as Planet Number Seven on which someone on an exploratory team had been forced to get naked just to secure another friendly trading partner. Standing in the middle of the room he was apparently supposed to share with Rodney - it was clearly their version of a honeymoon suite - he wondered briefly if the fresh pear-like fruits they were going to get out of this would be worth it.

"I don't know why they thought you and I were best suited to be matched up." Rodney was grousing from his position face down on the enormous, gigantic, sprawling, only-one-of-them-in-the-room bed. "I don't even like you."

"You keep saying that, McKay," John said. "Methinks the lady doth protest too much."

"Oh, like you've ever read Hamlet," McKay said. "Plus you got it wrong. It's ‘the lady doth protest too much, methinks.'"

"Look," John said. "McKay, can you fake it?" Rodney rolled over onto his back and gaped at him like John was the one acting stupid, here.

John wasn't going to bully Mckay into anything; if McKay wanted to blame it all on outside factors, John could carry on like that. After all, he hadn't come to another galaxy intending to end up in bed with, well, anyone at all, male or female or alien - but he liked Rodney's temper and bad moods and brains and incredibly fuckable mouth. John could roll with those punches just as well as anybody, especially if orgasms were involved, and he'd come to terms with his gay freak-out fifteen years ago in the backseat of a Camaro outside a bar two miles from Travis. Blowjobs were blowjobs, no matter whose mouth was involved.

And sometimes guys were just easier; more work keeping it a secret, sure, but less work involving anniversaries or flowers or chocolate. They had a bunch of life-sucking space vampires after them, John was all for getting his rocks off in the easiest place possible.

If John had to wait for aliens to force them into it because Rodney didn't like him, it wasn't like John wasn't already intimately acquainted with his own hand. More loss for Rodney, he thought.

He repeated himself. "McKay. Can you fake it?"

Rodney fixed John with another grouchy look; John might have to name this one, too. The "are you dumber than a monkey?" look. With Rodney lying on his back on the bed, John could see that Rodney's cock was already hard, a thick outline against his pants. "I don't like you, Major, but you are undeniably attractive. I suppose I can manage to suffer through one more encounter with you, if we have to."

Like Rodney ever really worried about being rude; John shoved down an inappropriate snort of laughter. "You really want those pears?" he said casually, stripping off his jacket and vest and moving slowly toward Rodney. John stopped at the edge of the mattress and pulled his t-shirt over his head; when he looked down at Rodney, Rodney's eyes were hazy, and John couldn't tell if that wide-eyed desire was for him, or for the fruit.

"Yes," Rodney said faintly, eyes sliding up John's chest.

"Well," John said. "Then we got to fake it." He leaned over, put one knee on the bed beside Rodney's chest, and slid his fingers under the edge of Rodney's shirt. Rodney shuddered under the trace of John's fingers, and John transferred more of his weight onto the bed and shoved Rodney's shirt up, revealing a wide stripe of pale stomach. He slid his hand further under Rodney's shirt, twisted Rodney's nipple under his fingers and pushed his knee between Rodney's thighs, easing them wider, pressing a thigh against Rodney's dick - maybe pressing a little harder than he should have, except that Rodney twitched underneath John's legs, shoving up hot hard strong against John's thigh.

John dropped his head to Rodney's neck, one hand resting against Rodney's chest, and licked a line up the edge of Rodney's jaw. He pressed his mouth against Rodney's ear and murmured, "We've got to stop meeting like this, McKay."

Rodney grabbed John's ass with one hand and pulled John down to his body. "I really don't like you that much, Colonel." Except that they weren't drunk this time, they weren't standing in a temple with a statue with an enormous dick, this was just a courtesy to their hosts that they didn't really have to indulge in, and they were still here.

John thought, Well, whatever McKay's got to tell himself, it still ends in orgasms for both of us.


Four straight missions since PT6-435, and no sex. John told himself that it was noticeably less complicated this way, and it was, really, but sometimes he caught himself staring at McKay, remembering what he looked like naked and spread out underneath John with his mouth open in pleasure, at the most inopportune times.

Plus - John's right hand (and sometimes his left, just for variation) was nice and he'd had a seriously long term relationship with it, but it was nothing compared to Rodney's mouth.

Rodney's mouth, which was currently spewing light-speed something-or-other about what looked to John like an Ancient outpost that the people of Fedana were using to store cans of alien peaches. John said, "McKay," and Rodney shut up just like that. John wasn't a fan of Heightmeyer and her head shrinking, but don't tell him that Pavlov wasn't on to something.

Because not only did Rodney shut up, but his head snapped in John's direction and his eyes dilated widely, and for a brief moment, John was utterly, utterly sure that Rodney was going to open his mouth again and say something completely and positively true and also completely and positively inappropriate and regarding their sometimes usually-when-under-alien-duress sex life.

Not that John didn't use that shut-up-for-a-minute tone of voice on Rodney every day; he did. It's habit, now, and most of the time Rodney just runs right over him anyway. But okay, this time, maybe he pitched his voice a little lower and he growled a little more than he needed to. It wasn't like John could have helped any of that - he was looking at Rodney's mouth when he said it. And Rodney, miracle of miracles, actually shut the hell up so John could think, except that now Rodney was staring at John with a ridiculous sex-glazed expression, which was a first for Rodney and not helping with the thinking part of the plan.

There was a long moment of silence, where Rodney stared at John, and Teyla and Ford stared at John, and all the members of the Fedanian delegation stared at John, and John thought, I hate this fucking galaxy so much, this was never a problem in Antarctica, and also, I'm going to have to try that voice on him when we get back to Atlantis.

"Right," John said. "Would you mind terribly if we took a look around your storage facility? We don't want to steal your peaches or anything, just a nice little tour."

The Feradian in charge nodded politely and stepped up to show John in. The rest of the team fell in behind him; Ford on the right, Teyla on the left, McKay somewhere behind him with his head bent over his scanner, searching desperately for a ZPM.

Except this time, McKay's eyes were fastened to the back of John's neck, and John wasn't one to buy into that whole "feeling somebody's else eyes on you" thing, but he was pretty sure that if they did find a ZPM on this planet, Rodney wouldn't even notice.

They didn't find a ZPM on Ferada, and by the time they made it all the way through the excruciatingly boring tour of seventeen kinds of preserved fruit - fruit: good, but tour of the many different types and colors of canned peaches, very, very bad - Rodney was back to complaining noisily about the uselessness of every planet that didn't have a ZPM freshly polished and waiting for him.

John, consequently, was back to hissing at Rodney to shut up already, and by the time he herded Rodney, Teyla, Ford, and the six crates of canned peaches back into the jumper an hour later, he was hardly thinking about sex at all.

Until Rodney had Ford pry open a crate of peaches so he could fish out a jar, and sit in the passenger seat of the jumper, eating alien peaches with his fingers, juice dripping down his chin and slicking his fingers. Rodney ate peaches straight through the entire debriefing, while Carson was giving them their post-mission check-up, and all the way back into his lab, where Elizabeth finally complained through a public channel that she could hear Rodney slurping, and he was not allowed to eat any more peaches, plus he had to share them with everyone in the city.

John spent the entire time waiting for something to happen, waiting for the peaches to make Rodney hallucinate or rip all John's clothes off or something, but nothing happened. Apparently they were just alien peaches after all.

John was surprisingly disappointed, and he sulked in his quarters with a jar of peaches the whole night. Rodney, not surprisingly, didn't show up.


Rodney called PR9-X16 the Planet of the Telemarketers. The first time the team had visited there, all four of them had been forced to sit in tiny rooms and answer endless questions about Atlantis (and Athos) and Atlantean customs (and Athosian customs) and the little they knew about Atlantean history (and Athosian history, with a heavy helping of McKay talking indistinctly about Canada).

When they went back to trade peaches for this grain that looked sort of like lima beans (but tasted a lot better), they were treated as honored guests. John wasn't sure if it was because they brought a whole crate of the Feradians' peaches with them, or because they'd suffered through four hours of intense questioning the last time they'd been there. Instead of being separated into the tiny windowless rooms of the last visit, Ford and Teyla were ushered into one lavishly decorated room, full of cushions and fruit. John and Rodney were shown into another that looked similar.

"Stay in radio contact," John said, and Ford grinned and said, "Yes, sir."

Rodney was complaing about having to sit on the floor as he lowered himself to the cushions, and John smirked to himself and tossed a grape from the table into his mouth. "Oh, yes, very coordinated, Major," Rodney snapped. "At least we're not being subjected to another round of interrogatory torture this time."

"Wasn't torture last time," John said lazily, chewing another grape slowly and flicking a third off Rodney's forehead. Rodney scowled at him. "You like gathering information, McKay, you like knowing the facts. These are your people."

"Shut up, Major," Rodney said. "I'm not answering one more question about the military history of Atlantis or Canada, you understand?"

"Like Canada has any kind of military history," John said.

"Don't make me remind you about the War of 1812," Rodney said. "We kicked your asses."

"Right," John snapped back. "Like the Canadians could ever kick our asses at anything."

Rodney said, "Except hockey," and took a breath like he was about to start ranting about Canadian hockey teams moving to Memphis and Florida and other places without ice, when the door to the room snapped open and two of the natives walked in, carrying clipboards. "Oh, for God's sakes," McKay groaned.

"Shut up, McKay," John said, and McKay did. The two telemarketers settled back on the cushions and smiled genially at them.

"Dr. McKay, Major Sheppard," the man on the right said. "I am Pindar and my companion is Lorent. Welcome, again, to our planet. You are honored guests here, and we wish to express that."

"Yes, yes," Rodney said. "Whatever you want. Thanks for having us. Can we get on with it?"

"McKay," John hissed, and Rodney turned and glared at him. "We are honored, Pindar, Lorent."

"Before we can proceed to the meal of celebration and honor, we hoped to ask you a few more questions," Lorent said.

"Oh, hell no," Rodney said, just as John said, "Sure, go ahead, we're all answers."

"Major," Rodney said. "I refuse to answer any more questions about my childhood, my personal life, or the theory of relativity. If they do not grasp it now, they are never going to grasp it, and I refuse to waste any more time on the issue."

"McKay," John said. "You will talk to anyone who will stand still about the intimate details of your allergies, your research and your sleep schedule. Answer the goddamned questions."

Rodney said, "Fine, whatever," but he also muttered something under his breath that sounded suspiciously like that scientist with the long name had been teaching him to curse in Czech. John kicked his shin as unobtrusively as possible and Rodney sneered at him.

Lorent and Pindar stared at them. "Go on," John said cheerfully. "Ask away, our lives are your lives, yadda yadda yadda."

Pindar smiled. Lorent looked down at his clipboard. "We thank you for your openness and willingness to submit to our customs."

"Oh, if there's anything Rodney's known for, it's his willingness to submit to customs," John said cheerfully. Rodney leaned forward suddenly and brought his elbow down sharply on John's kneecap. "Ow," John said. "McKay, behave."

"Look, I'm not getting any younger or any closer to a Nobel Prize sitting here," Rodney said, pulling a Power Bar out of his pocket. "Ask us the question so we can eat and I can go home."

With only Rodney's crankiness as a prelude, Pindar said, "When was the first time you had sexual relations with a woman?"

Rodney choked on the bite of PowerBar he'd just taken. John pounded him hard on the back and tried to ignore the fact that the tips of his ears were burning. "Okay," Rodney said. "I did not see that one coming."

Pindar and Lorent sat patiently, as they had the time before, waiting for an answer. Rodney was shoving the rest of his PowerBar into his mouth as fast as he could, as though filling up his mouth was an excuse for not answering the question. "Ah," John said. "I was ... 14. 14 years old."

Lorent made a note on the clipboard. Pindar looked serene. Rodney swallowed audibly and said, "14, Major?" He sounded a little strangled.

John shrugged. She'd been a senior in the high school when he was a freshman, and he still didn't know why she'd asked him out, slept with him, or still sent him letters when he was stateside even though he was happily bisexual by the time he was 16 and she was married, but he wasn't going to look a gift fuck in the mouth. She'd been sweet and he'd been glad to get it out of the way, and the next year had mostly been about blowing - and being blown by - Jimmy who lived next door, so he was happy to have something to compare the whole fooling around with a guy thing to.

"Dr. McKay?"

"I was 21, okay?" Rodney said snappishly. "But I was ABD on my first doctorate by then, so I'd been busy." John knew that Rodney said that for him; Pindar and Lorent and most of the people in this galaxy wouldn't know ABD if it bit them on the ass, and somehow it was kind of hot that Rodney was a virgin for so long. Not really surprising, but kind of hot. John wondered who it was that finally saw through the McKay arrogance and gave it a go.

"Our thanks," Pindar said, and Lorent consulted the clipboard again. "Ah. Yes. When was the last time you had sexual relations with a woman?"

John figured getting all glowy with Chaya didn't count, and he was surprised that he actually had to count back to figure it out; Jenny, right after the court martial, right before she left him for her boss and he left for Antarctica. "4 years," John said. "Give or take a lunar cycle or two."

Rodney practically leapt to give his answer. "Nine months, two weeks, and four days." John did the math in his head; just before they left for Atlantis. Like, the night before they walked through the wormhole. He wondered if it was Colonel Carter, but Rodney seemed like the kind of guy who would have kissed and told about that, and John had heard nothing.

"Our thanks," Lorent said. John was starting to get tired of that line.

The clipboard was consulted again; Pindar looked up at them and smiled radiantly, as though this was the most fun he'd had in weeks, and put his head together with Lorent's, considering the clipboard quietly. Maybe it was, John didn't know - he was getting the feeling that the Planet of the Telemarketers didn't get a lot of return visitors. Even if Lorent and Pindar did get return visitors, they probably fled screaming at the first question of the second interview.

John thought of Ford and Teyla; they hadn't checked in, but that didn't mean they weren't getting the fifth degree about their sex lives. He tapped his radio and said, "Lieutenant. Everything okay over there?"

Ford's voice reverberated in John's ear. "We're fine, sir. Just answering a couple of questions about Big Macs and tacos. You guys okay?"

"Fine," John said. "Just fine. Give a shout when you're ready to go, okay?"

"Will do," Ford said, and John's radio clicked off.

Rodney said, "Ford and Teyla aren't suffering these indignities."

"Apparently you look like an interesting sex stories kind of guy, McKay," John said, and Pindar cleared his throat. John looked over at him and waited.

"Our thanks for your patience," Pindar said. "We appreciate your assistance in our survey of sexual behaviors of the Ancestors." John almost pointed out that they weren't the Ancestors, not really, but he'd just talked to Rodney about losing his virginity at 14, and he wasn't really feeling the need to say anything more than he had to.

Lorent said, "When was the first time you had sexual relations with a man?"

"Ah," John said.

"Um," Rodney said.

Lorent and Pindar leaned forward expectantly. "Well," John said. "They asked, but I guess they're not going to tell?"

Rodney said, "For fuck's sake." John cocked an eyebrow at him. "What do they mean?" he hissed at John. "Blowjobs? Anal sex? I mean, for telemarketers, they're not very specific, you know?"

"Why don't you ask them?" John said, and Rodney blanched visibly. "Or not." He turned his head towards Lorent and Pindar. "Clarify that for us?"

"Ah," Lorent said. "Sexual relations. Penetration."

"Right," John said. "Got your answer, McKay?"

"24," Rodney said, looking miserable.

"I was 17," John said. "First time I did anything with a guy, though, I was 15." Rodney stares at him. "What? I was an adventurous kid."

"Adventurous means falling out of trees and stealing golf carts," Rodney said. "Jesus Christ. Was there anything left for you to do by the time you were 20?"

"I didn't have a threesome until I was 25," John offered.

"Ha!" Rodney crowed, sounding a little triumphant. "I was 23."

"Making up for lost time, huh?" John snapped. It's not like this was a contest or anything. Even if it was, he'd bet he'd still have slept with more people than Rodney.

"Shut up, Major. We can't all be sexual prodigies." Rodney stared at him while Pindar makes copious notes. Rodney wasn't much for tact most of the time, but he managed when he has to - he didn't tell anybody who wasn't there how fast John came back on the planet of the sacrificial blowjobs, for one - and John guessed that even Rodney's insatiable curiosity lost to his manners sometimes.

"Two girls or two guys?" John asked, because now he's curious, and Lorent and Pindar were still there, sitting quietly on the other side of the table with their heads bent over the stupid goddamned clipboard full of questions, but John only had eyes for Rodney and he was, honestly, pretty much thinking with his dick at that point.

"Two girls," Rodney said. "You?"

"Yeah, the same," John said. "It was okay, I like women fine, I like women a lot, don't get me wrong, but a couple of months later one of the girls came back with her new boyfriend, and that was better."

"Yeah?" Rodney said, and his voice had gone sort of strained and almost breathy. "How'd that work?"

John leaned in close to Rodney. "I fucked her, and he fucked me." If John had thought Rodney was looking wide-eyed and turned on before this, he hadn't even been close.

"Yeah?" Rodney said. Lorent - or maybe it was Pindar, John wasn't exactly paying attention to their interrogators anymore - cleared his throat. Rodney whipped his head around and spared them a brief glance before pinning John down under a completely inscrutable gaze. "Look," he said in the direction of the telemarketers. "Why don't the Major and I just ... talk, and you can figure out our answers from there?"

"Ah," Pindar said, and hesitated, like maybe this wasn't how it was done here.

Rodney flapped an impatient hand at them and said to John, "So you like bottoming?"

John shrugged. "Sure, for the right guy." Rodney made a little choking sound; what, Rodney hadn't considered that John had gotten his experience somewhere other than one threesome? "I like fucking the right guy, too. I really, really like giving head." Rodney swallowed hard, and John trained his eyes on Rodney's throat in a deliberate message. "And maybe you don't remember, but I swallow, too."

"I taught myself to suppress my gag reflex in grad school," Rodney said. There was just a tiny ring of blue visible around his pupils, and he was staring fiercely at John's mouth. Rodney had his hands on his knees, his body turned towards John's, and he kept shifting, like he wanted to lean into John's touch - not that John's hands had ever left his P-90, because even with friendly telemarketer aliens, you never knew - but wouldn't let himself.

So John did it for him, leaned towards Rodney, slid a knee right behind Rodney's and tilted forward so their foreheads were almost touching. He could hear Rodney's breath, shallow panting, and John had no fucking idea how he ended up here, trading sex stories with Rodney McKay in another goddamned galaxy. He felt more out of control than he'd ever felt in his life, not even after Afghanistan and everything, and he didn't care at all.

He leaned in close and put his mouth up against Rodney's ear, and said in a voice pitched only for Rodney, "When I was stationed at Travis, I saw this guy for a while. On the sly. What I really like, what he helped me figure out, what I really get off on is getting finger fucked while somebody goes down on me. You want to get me going, McKay, try that." Rodney shuddered, his whole body shivering against John's, and Rodney's head dipped down and John felt Rodney's mouth against his neck, wet and warm and just a little bit of teeth, before Rodney pulled away and straightened up.

John's dick was hard as a fucking rock in his pants, and Rodney wasn't looking at him, and John really, really hated telemarketers. He wished futilely for an extragalactic Do Not Call list and stared at his hands while the silence stretched out in the room. Finally, Pindar - or Lorent, John wasn't looking at them - cleared his throat and said, "Since you have returned to our planet, you like it, yes?"

"Uh," John said, as Rodney said, "No." John kicked Rodney in the shins and Rodney leaned even further away from him. "Your planet's great," John assured their hosts, who were still wearing expressions somewhere between shock, amusement and insult.

"You would like to come back and visit?" Pindar said.

"Ah," John said. He wasn't sure how not to offend these guys; they were nice, but intergalactic lima beans were still lima beans. And intergalactic sex surveys were ... nothing he'd ever encountered before. So, you know, it wasn't likely that they were going to get shot at if they didn't come back, but allies were thin on the ground in the Pegasus Galaxy. "Sure, sometime, we might come back."

Lorent and Pindar exchanged a pleased look; John had a fleeting, terrifying thought that the next time, it might not just be a sex survey. Lorent smiled broadly at them and slapped what looked suspiciously like a condominium brochure onto the table between them; John and Rodney leaned forward at the same time, and when John's shoulder brushed against Rodney's, John was almost sure that Rodney leaned into him. They stared at the foreign alphabet and the shiny pictures, and looked back up at Lorent and Pindar, waiting expectantly.

Pindar said, "Could we interest you in investing in property on our planet, honored guests?"

John tapped his radio and said, "Ford? Teyla? Whatever you do, don't buy any time-share." Rodney was already standing up to leave. John smiled cheerfully at Pindar and Lorent and said, "Not today, thanks. You guys have been great, but we've got to get going."

Pindar and Lorent looked crestfallen. "It's just that we've got this big city of our own," John said. "We can't even use all that, so we're not really in the market for an extra place."

They made it back to Atlantis without anymore unintentionally humiliating question and answer sessions or anyone buying time share at alien condominiums (although Ford almost did, insisting that he really had the cash for it) but with the lima beans - the people of PR-116 weren't quite the hard sellers the real estate guys on Earth had been - and Rodney spent the entire trip not looking at John.

So John did the logical thing: when Rodney stomped out of the infirmary after the post-mission check-up, John cornered him before he got to the transporter down the hall.

"Did you want something, Major?" Rodney said. He stared at a spot over John's left shoulder, refusing to meet his eyes, and his hands refused to keep still. He kept tugging at the zippers on his vest, shoving his hands in and out of his pockets.

"McKay," John said, dropping his voice down low. "I thought ..." Only he didn't know what to say, because suddenly he didn't have a damn clue what he thought. They detailed their sexual histories for the nice telemarketers on PR-116, and he'd watched Rodney's face, Rodney's body and he'd thought that they were having a moment.

Or at least a sexual experience, but apparently not.

"You don't think much, do you," Rodney said.

"I think plenty," John said automatically. "I'm not dead yet, am I?"

"Only by the grace of God, if you believe in God," Rodney snapped, and turned back towards the transporter. "Seriously, did you want something?"

"McKay," John said. "Don't try and tell me you don't like me this time, because I saw the way you were looking at me back there."

"Back where?" McKay said, still staring over John's shoulders.

"On the planet of the damn telemarketers, McKay," John said, stepping closer and cutting off the quickest exit between Rodney and the transporter.

"That was scientific curiosity, Major," Rodney said, but his breathing gave him away. The closer John pressed, the more McKay's chest heaved. "I've never met anyone quite as ..." Rodney trailed off, and John wrapped his fingers around McKay's wrist, pressing his fingers to the pulse point and feeling Rodney's blood ratchet against his skin.

"Quite as what, Rodney? Sexy? Experienced?"

"I was going to say ‘exhibitionist'," Rodney replied.

"Right," John said. "Because that blowjob on the planet with the porn star gods was so my idea."

"You're the one who was talking about finger fucking in front of intergalactic telemarketers," Rodney shot back. "You're the one molesting me in the hallway where anybody could see us!"

"Hey," John said. "If you didn't keep running away from me, we wouldn't be here in the hallway." He leaned in toward Rodney and braced himself against the wall with his free hand. Rodney's dick was starting to get hard, and John thrust his thigh between Rodney's legs and rubbed against it. John pressed his mouth up against Rodney's ear and put on his best bedroom voice. "Come on, McKay, you're sober, I'm sober, quit telling me that you don't like me."

"I hate you," McKay hissed. "And my dick is a complete traitor, and if I wasn't so fond of what it could do with people who are not you, I would just get rid of it."

"What's the problem, McKay?" John said, ignoring Rodney's protests; he was complaining, but he wasn't running away. John swiveled his hips and Rodney thrust back against him. "It's not like we haven't done it before. It's not like you don't want to do it again."

"I don't want to do it again," Rodney said, but it was a weak protest, and he rocked his hips against John's and groaned.

"You're a shitty liar, Rodney," John said.

"I am not," Rodney snapped.

"Whatever," John said, and hauled Rodney into the transporter by the front of his vest. When they stumbled out of the transporter and through the door of Rodney's quarters, John's hand was still knotted in the front of Rodney's vest and Rodney was trying to strip without dislodging John.

"Hold on, hold on, hold on," Rodney said, and shook John's hand away, shrugging his vest to the floor with one hand and unclipping John's P-90 with the other. John caught it before Rodney could drop it straight to floor, and Rodney stripped his own shirt over his head before going for John's vest. "Holster," Rodney said. "Off." John had his holster halfway off, one side unclipped and his sidearm hanging down when Rodney tried to take his own pants off before untying his boots and toppled over onto the bed, pants around his knees and dick tenting his boxers.

John sat down hard on the floor and laughed until his stomach hurt, while Rodney glared at him fiercely from the bed, his legs bent and his feet on the floor. "See," Rodney said. "This is why I didn't want to do this, you're laughing at me."

"Shut up, Rodney," John said, and crawled across the floor, tossing his holster out of the way as he went, and knelt in front of Rodney to untie his boots. He shoved Rodney's boots under the bed and managed to wrestle Rodney's pants the rest of the way off his legs, stripping his socks along the way. John nudged Rodney's thighs apart, and Rodney groaned when John ran a hand up his thigh, sliding inside his boxers to cup Rodney's balls. Rodney's cock twitched appealingly. John mouthed his way up Rodney's thigh, twisting his fingers under the waistband of Rodney's boxers and tugging them down. John worked Rodney's boxers down to his ankles and crawled a little further forward, trapping the boxers underneath his knees, and moved one hand back to Rodney's balls, rolling them in his palm and stroking two fingers behind them.

Rodney's hand came down to clamp in John's hair, tugging gently, and Rodney said, "Oh, fuck, John, Jesus." John dropped his head and buried his face in the soft skin of Rodney's hip, Rodney's cock nudging at his cheek. John turned his head and ran his tongue along the spot under the head of Rodney's dick, pressing his fingers up behind Rodney's balls. Rodney groaned and tightened his fingers in John's hair, and John opened up his throat and pulled out all the stops.

He wanted to make this last, he wanted to prove a point with Rodney, because Jesus Christ, after all the aliens and the sex rituals and the damn telemarketers, John was sure of only one thing - that this was good, this was good outside of all of those things, and if Rodney couldn't see it, Rodney was dumber than he claimed.

But Rodney was pulling at his hair and thrusting up into his throat in that careless, self-centered way that John knew guys had, and so John gave up on making it last and went straight for the deep-throating, dirty kind of blowjob, the kind you learned to give in the bars off base that nobody talked about.

He fisted one hand around the base of Rodney's cock, stroking in the opposite direction that he worked his mouth. Rodney said, "Jesus Christ, oh, God, fuck, John," and came down John's throat. John swallowed, and swallowed, and swallowed, and Rodney groaned on the bed above him. After a couple of minutes, John's knees started to hurt - he wasn't as young as he used to be - and Rodney tugged weakly at John's shoulders.

John crawled up onto the bed and onto Rodney, shoving his pants down with one hand, and Rodney pulled him down, opening his mouth under John's tongue and gripping John's waist as John thrust raggedly against the hollow of Rodney's hip. John pulled his mouth away from Rodney, leaving Rodney panting underneath him, fingers bruising against John's skin. He said, "Fuck, Rodney," and shuddered his release all over their stomachs.

John collapsed on top of Rodney and lay there until Rodney started wriggling underneath him; John slid off to one side, legs still hanging off the bed next to Rodney's, and pressed a kiss to the side of Rodney's neck. "Jesus, Rodney," he said.

"I hate you," Rodney said plaintively. "I don't even like you. How do I keep ending up here?"

John propped himself up on an elbow. "Blind luck?" he suggested.

Rodney rolled his eyes. "Get out," he said. "I have work to do."

"You like me, McKay," John said. Rodney grunted, and John shrugged and pulled up his pants and strolled back to his own quarters for a nap.


John was just the hired muscle on this trip; it was all about the botanists and some kind of pollen on P3X-925, so John and Ford went, and Rodney and Teyla stayed home. It was a return trip - no first contact, just John and Ford and Stackhouse, hanging out at the edges of a nicely sunny field, making sure no big alien bees carried off Parrish or Katie Brown or the cute brunette botanist whose name John could never remember.

The botanists spent a little over two hours doing their pollen thing; John and his team spent an hour sweeping the perimeter (they found three rabbit-like creatures that sprinted away from them, and Ford sneezed 27 times) and an hour lounging by the jumper, watching the botanists. "Hey, Parrish," John said, holding a stem of flower. "This the flower you guys are looking for?"

Parrish looked up. "No," he said. "We want the little yellow ones that look like ..."

"Like asses," Brown finished. "The little yellow ones that look like butts."

"Hey, you think McKay's allergic to these?" John asked. The flowers, spiky blue things that smelled wickedly good, were starting wilt in his hand.

Parrish rolled his eyes; not meanly, John thought, but kind of grunts and their scientists, god, and if Parrish and Markham thought nobody noticed them doing the restrained military flirting thing, Parrish was dumber than he looked. "Well, Major, if you listen to McKay, yeah, he probably is. If you listen to somebody who knows what he's talking about, no, they're fine."

"You going to take McKay flowers, sir?" Ford asked.

"Thought I would, Lieutenant," John said, and grinned.

"He's going to look at you like you're crazy, sir," Ford replied.

"That's the point, boys," John said. "Always keep the scientists on their toes." He ducked back into the jumper, flowers in his first, and thought, hey, how about a vase. One popped up on the dashboard - he was flying a damn futuristic alien VW Bug. "Has this thing got an iPod holder, too?" John asked. No answer. "Guess not." He dropped the flowers into the dashboard and headed back out into the sunshine. Parrish and Brown were handing samples over to Ford to load up into the jumper, and the other botanist was packing up their equipment. "We good to go?"

"Just a couple more minutes, Major," Parrish said.

"My flowers for McKay are wilting, Doc," John said. "Get a move on." Parrish laughed, and Brown looked at John strangely. He grinned at her, and she ducked behind Parrish.

The spiky blue flowers sat in their vase in the jumper through a mercifully short debriefing and a quick check out with Beckett, and when John ducked back into the jumper bay, he could smell their sickly sweet scent from the door of the bay.

He hadn't hauled them back to make the jumper bay smell like a florist, though, so he scooped them up and hopped a transporter up to Rodney's quarters. Rodney wasn't there, but there wasn't a door in Atlantis that wouldn't open for John when he was determined. He left the flowers in a coffee mug on Rodney's desk, and walked out whistling; he spent the rest of the day losing to Teyla at the sticks, running five miles out to the West Pier, and falling asleep in the middle of page 74 of War and Peace three separate times.

John was dozing, book on his chest, when his radio crackled to life. "Major Sheppard," Rodney said, and he sounded crankier than usual.

"What's going on, McKay? Did you have a nice pollen-free day?"

"It was above average," McKay said. "Until I got home and someone had left vicious blue flowers in my room."

"Awwww, McKay," John drawled. "You need me to come take care of those for you?"

"Since you left them here, you better," Rodney snapped, and cut the radio channel.

When John got to Rodney's quarters, the door snapped open before he could raise his hand to knock (or to think the door open himself). Rodney was glowering in the doorway, laptop open on the desk behind him, coffee mug full of flowers in his hand. "For me, McKay?" John drawled. "You shouldn't have."

"Only in this godforsaken Galaxy could you find flowers that look like your hair," Rodney said, halfway between disgusted and amused. He thrust the mug into John's hands. "Thank you for coming to collect them, now go away."

"But I brought you flowers," John said, stifling a grin. He didn't sit around thinking up ways to drive Rodney up a wall - mostly because he didn't have to. It was just that easy, and invariably hilarious. No one had ever accused John of having a highbrow sense of humor, which he considered an advantage in Pegasus Galaxy. "I don't at least get a thank you? Canadians are not as polite as I've been lead to believe."

"Major, the last time I brought anyone flowers - nearly 15 years ago - I got slapped in the face," Rodney said. "Now please go away."

The door slid shut in John's face. "Rodney, you ungrateful cad," John said to the empty hallway, and turned towards the control room and Elizabeth's office. He transferred them to one of her coffee mugs and headed back to his quarters, Rodney's mug dangling loosely from a finger. When he got back to his quarters, he slid the mug onto his desk and settled back onto the bed to finish page 74.

He was in the middle of his fourth War and Peace related nap when a familiar pounding on his door shook him most of the way awake. "Major Sheppard," Rodney said, voice impatient.

"Come on in, Rodney," John called, closing the book over a finger and thinking the door open. Rodney shoved through the doorway before the door had even slid halfway open; he was flushed, panting a little, and there was a tendon tensed in his neck. John eyed it sleepily, and Rodney paused, halfway between the door and the chair where he usually settled when he barged into John's quarters unannounced and unexpectedly. "Did you need something, McKay, or is this a social visit? Because I was really almost to the end of page 74 this time, I swear, and I can't wait to find out what happens on page 75."

"Major," Rodney said, and his eyes flashed something John couldn't read. John raised an eyebrow. Rodney stared at him, looking a little like a deer trapped in the headlights. Speechless McKay, John thought, fighting back a grin, and propped himself up on one elbow to stare back at Rodney. Worth the flowers.

He didn't have a chance to think anything else, because Rodney snapped into movement. John was pinned to the bed by Rodney, practically tackling him, trapping John's hand between the pages of his book even more firmly, and trapping the book between them. Rodney's mouth was hot and wet and open, like he wanted to eat John alive, and John opened his own beneath Rodney's without thinking.

"God," Rodney groaned against him, grinding his hips down against John's rapidly hardening dick. "Those fucking flowers." He ran his tongue over John's bottom lip, and bit down hard, and dropped his head to worry at John's ear lobe with his teeth, one hand stroking up inside John's t-shirt.

"I left them for Elizabeth," John said, wriggling underneath Rodney. Not that he was opposed to Rodney like this, hot and bothered without preamble, but he was starting to lose feeling in the hand trapped between them, and the book was poking into his ribs in an unappealing way. He dropped a hand to Rodney's hip, stroking the hollow with his thumb while he tried to pry Rodney far enough off John's chest to free himself. "Rodney. Rodney! Rodney, my hand is going to sleep, hold on, okay?"

Rodney made a disgusted noise against John's throat and tossed the book halfway across the room, almost taking John's fingers with it. "Hey," John said, stroking a hand up underneath Rodney's shirt. "Hey, come on, slow down."

Rodney popped the button on John's pants and started edging the zipper down. He heaved himself up onto one elbow, staring down at John with a lust-crazed expression, his mouth swollen and infinitely kissable. "Slow down? Who knows how long these effects will last? We have to make the most of it, Major."

John tried to say, "What effects? All I did today was pick flowers," but Rodney had gotten John's shirt shoved up and his pants shoved down - Rodney was sincerely coordinated when he was horny - and was applying himself to John's chest, and John's brain was leaking out of his head, straight into Rodney's mouth. John groaned and thrust up into Rodney's hand as it wrapped around his dick, warm and big and rough, jerking him hard, thumb pressing against the sensitive spot underneath the head. Rodney was still licking his way down John's chest, and he paused to catch one of John's nipples in his teeth, tongue wet against John's skin, and John's hands tightened against Rodney's back.

Rodney's free hand had been stroking the line of John's jaw, fingers just barely ghosting against his skin, and suddenly both Rodney's hands were gone from John's body, and John, with his t-shirt shoved up around his shoulders and his pants around his knees, felt oddly naked. Except not, so while Rodney was rooting frantically through John's nightstand - John wasn't even sure what he was looking for, but if Rodney didn't want to ask, John wasn't going to offer - John stripped his shirt over his head, kicked his pants down to the end of the bed, and pulled Rodney back down to him just as Rodney emerged from his inspection of the inside of John's nightstand with the grunt of triumph John mostly associated with engineering marvels and saving the city.

Rodney went willingly down, dropping something on the bed beside John and ground his hips, shirt off but still in his uniform pants, against John's. Rodney was pushy in bed, moaning against John's mouth and rubbing his own erection against John's thigh, and he shoved his hand back between them, palm hot against John's cock even though his boxers. He ran his thumb against the bare skin of John's hip before he tore his mouth away from John's and shimmied down John's body. Rodney hooked his hands under the waistband of the boxers and shoved them down, shifting so John could kick them off, and Rodney's hand was back on John's dick, his other hand groping for whatever he'd dropped on the bed.

John had pretty much turned into a boneless heap of useless nerve endings, but he heaved his head up from the pillow just in time to see Rodney flip the cap on John's bottle of lube just as he settled between John's thighs and swallowed John's dick down in a move that John was pretty sure he'd remember, if he'd ever felt it before.

"You've been fucking holding out on me, McKay," John said, and he managed to keep his head held up just long enough to catch the edge of Rodney's glare. But Rodney was sucking his cock like a porn star, deep in the back of his throat, and John wasn't going to argue with that. He let his head drop back and his hips thrust up as Rodney shoved his thighs open wider with a shoulder, and John groaned. "Fuck, yes, Rodney," John said, and Rodney hummed happily around John's cock.

John was reaching one hand down to grab at something, anything, trying to keep his hips from thrusting underneath Rodney, when Rodney pushed at John's thigh with his shoulder again, bending John's leg up at the knee. "God, yes, do it," John groaned, and Rodney pressed a finger into John's ass. Not quite carefully, not quite gently, but not roughly, either, twisting up and stroking. Rodney ran his tongue underneath the head of John's cock, thrust his finger out and in again and hit that spot that made John's eyes roll back into his head. "God, Rodney, fuck, yes, please," John said, and his voice sounded broken even to his own ears, but Rodney was taking this too slow, Rodney was still holding back on him, and he didn't want to wait anymore.

Rodney chuckled against John's cock and scissored a second finger into John's ass, stretching him deliciously and stroking in and out in the same rhythm he was moving his mouth on John's cock. He hit John's prostate with every other stroke, hot wet mouth on John's cock, and John was starting to shake apart already, pleasure pooling at the base of his spine and shooting up his back and down his legs.

Rodney slipped his fingers out, and John groaned, thrusting harder up into Rodney's mouth. Rodney's slick fingers slipped across John's hip, a touch that was too gentle for the aching need John was feeling and slid between his legs again; Rodney, still careful, pushed three fingers into John's ass. John shoved down on them as Rodney pushed up, fingers pressing against John's prostate, and Rodney wrapped his other hand around the base of John's cock. John shuddered, twitched, and came so hard he saw stars behind his eyes.

Rodney was swallowing and sliding up John's body as John was still floating down from the orgasm. He kissed John, and John opened his mouth to Rodney, chasing the taste of himself out of Rodney's mouth. Rodney was heavy against John, his dick still hard in his pants and pressing hard against John's bare hip, and even as Rodney kissed John frantically, thrusting against him, Rodney worked to twist his hands between them, trying to unbutton his pants. John reached down to help him, Rodney's cock hot and hard in his hands, and when he stroked up, Rodney panted into John's mouth and pulled away to lick at John's jaw.

"Can I," Rodney said, mouth pressed against John's ear. "Can I?"

Rodney couldn't finish the question, but John knew what he meant without words. John let go of Rodney's dick, helped Rodney strip off his boots and his pants. Rodney, red-faced and panting, with his eyes dilated from lust and his cock stiff against his belly, was one of the hottest things John had ever seen, and John wanted to sprawl out on his back and watch, but Rodney looked like he was about thirty seconds from exploding, and John would be damned if Rodney came before John got fucked. So he let go of Rodney's hips and pulled his gaze away from Rodney's face and flopped over onto his stomach.

John looked back over his shoulder when he felt Rodney's gaze drag down his body, and said, "Coming?"

Rodney made a strangled noise in the back of his throat and practically leapt onto John. Rodney's dick bumped up against the back of John's thighs as Rodney hauled him up onto his hands and knees, fingers pressing into John's hips. Then Rodney surprised John by leaning over and pressing a kiss to the small of John's back, next to the bullet scar from Afghanistan. John tried to twist around again and say something, anything, but he wasn't quite sure what to say and his brain was firing at less than full capacity, so instead he let Rodney press his cock into his ass.

John wasn't 16, or even 25, anymore; even with Rodney fucking him hard, hitting John's prostate with random, ragged strokes and sending shivers of pleasure up his back, he wasn't going to come again this fast, so he just gave up trying. Rodney was curled around him, fingers clutching at John's hips and sliding up to twist at his nipples. Rodney was thrusting raggedly already, groaning against John's neck, not even words anymore, and John could feel him starting to tense up with the force of his impending orgasm.

Rodney came with a shout and bit down on John's shoulder, hard enough to leave a mark.

Rodney collapsed against John's back, forcing them both down to the bed, and he snuffled happily against the back of John's neck. John twisted, trying to turn his face to Rodney's, and Rodney's cock slid out of his ass. John felt exhausted and a little stoned, and his ass ached, in a distinctly pleasant sort of way.

He was still trapped underneath Rodney, half on the bed and half off, and he could see Rodney's profile out of the corner of his eye. Rodney's eyes were closed, and his breathing was starting to even out; Rodney looked as sated and boneless as John felt, and John was drifting off when he realized that Rodney hadn't bolted, like he had before. Rodney had an arm slung across John's chest, his leg still wedged between John's, and when John poked his shoulder, Rodney made a sleepy noise and pressed his face against John's neck.

John rolled over in the middle of the night, into a cold spot in the bed where Rodney had been earlier. There was a blue glow casting the walls, and John rolled over the other way to see Rodney hunched over John's laptop, typing furiously.

"Shit, McKay," John said, and groped on the bedside table for something to throw at Rodney when Rodney, as expected, just grunted and ignored John. The pen John had flung bounced off Rodney's shoulder and fell to the floor with a clatter. Rodney spun the chair around and gave John his best I'm-working-what-do-you-want face. "It's late," John said. "Come back to bed."

"You interrupted me for that?" Rodney said. "I hate you, Major. Very much." But his face was soft and before he turned back to the computer, he said, "In a little while, I promise."

John woke up the next morning with a crick in his back, a cramp in his left thigh, and Rodney wrapped around him, snoring against his neck.


author's notes: for cspan, who thinks everything needs more porn, on her (belated) birthday, with much, much love. honey, if you were here, i'd take my shirt off.

this one was a community effort: the queen did the heavy lifting with the ending, betaed (line-by-line and on a hard copy she mailed back to me, in some cases) two and a half drafts and fixed all my tense shifts, my unintentional repetition, and my porn; pru made me lunch and fixed my punctuation; sid said, "what if the aliens tried to sell them cleaning supplies?" and then the birthday girl herself said, "TIME SHARE." title from the proclaimers, "a land fit for zeroes". love and kisses to everybody who listened to me bitch, moan, and wail about this story over the last two months.

feedback always welcome.

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