Fandom: Stargate Atlantis
Characters/Pairings: John Sheppard/Rodney McKay
Summary: John and Rodney and the consequences of losing Atlantis
Author's Notes: A birthday fic for bibliotropic, who also provided me with some valuable notes on it. I may write more in this universe later.
John dreams of a city rising from water, spires glinting in the sun. Caresses like electricity going through his skin, and, yes, yes, he knows what he needs to do, how he can save the city. “Home, home, home,” he tells the man with the hollow eyes, “I’m going home.”
The man with the hollow eyes strokes John’s forearm. It feels good. His hollow eyes are blue, blue. He doesn’t have much hair and sometimes John teases him about it and sometimes he laughs. Sometimes John remembers his name, even. “Aren’t I going home?” he asks, suddenly afraid the man knows more than he does.
Because they got the woman with the dark hair. She was grim and triumphant and then they got her, and he shuddered with the city. And then there were voices and hands and he couldn’t feel it anymore, couldn’t touch its terror and its joy, everything was white, no movement, nothing, no. He could have hit something, but he didn‘t know what to hit. “Aren’t I?” John repeats, anxious.
The man shakes his head, but then he gathers John in for a hug, and says, “Yes. Yes, you are.” And the hug and the words are so good that John is happy again. Though they’re not as good as the city. Nothing is as good as his city.
John wakes, shivering. “Fuck, isn’t it almost spring?”
“John?” Rodney appears at the bedroom door, clutching a steaming cup of coffee.
John rolls his eyes. “Expecting someone a bit more blonde?” Rodney flinches before opening his mouth, and that tells John everything he needs to know. “Shit, Rodney. Bad night?”
“Maybe we need to up your dosage,” Rodney says, staring at his coffee cup. John wishes that the cup did have all the answers. Save both him and Rodney a lot of grief.
“I’m freezing pretty much all the time as it is,” John says: it’s an observation, not an objection. Rodney just shrugs and sips his coffee. That happens more often than John would like to admit. Rodney’s tired all the time now, thinner and easily bruised, both inside and out, all because of John.
John hates this, hates that his own weakness has somehow made Rodney lesser, when four years of near-constant warfare on Atlantis just made him more Rodney. And he hates most of all the crippling need in himself that won’t let him ask Rodney to go, to save at least one of them.
“Come here,” he says instead, patting the bed. “Help me a-me-lio-rate the side effects,” he drawls, making Rodney snort. “That’s it,” he says as Rodney sets his cup down on the bedstand and climbs into bed, “give me heat, baby.”
“You’re a moron. A moron with a really bad pick up line,” Rodney complains, but he lets John scrunch up next to him, breathing in the scent of coffee and shower gel and worry. The familiar feeling of loss eases just a bit, and John inhales deeply and relaxes.
“Light my fire, darling,” he retorts, seeing an edge of a smile on Rodney‘s face, “Say something sarcastic and biting and I’ll be yours forever, sweetiepie.”
“Well, if you insist,” John replies, and makes as if to roll over. Rodney stops him by grabbing his shoulder. Then he kisses John, all wet and sloppy. John grins at him then, and moves even closer, letting Rodney’s warmth seep into his skin.
“You jerk,” Rodney says, but then he ducks his head and laughs into John’s collarbone, sounding only a little bit desperate.