lantean_drift (lantean_drift) wrote,

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Under the Surface by Lantean Drift

Title: Under the Surface
Author: lantean_drift
Pairing: McShep
Rating: NC-17ish
Word count: 2,800 (just over).

Summary: A missing scene from Submersion – John finally gets Rodney to talk to him. Here be angst as well as slash.
Contains spoilers for Tao of Rodney, Sunday and Submersion.

Beta: The amazing bluespirit_star. Friend, beta and supplier of images of Joe Flanigan in denim cut-offs. Wonderful, wonderful lady.
Authors notes: This came from watching Submersion and finding Rodney to be quite sharp at the beginning of the episode – I figured John must have sorted him out somewhere along the line.
Disclaimer: They’re not mine, I don’t own them, I just play. Please don’t sue me, I broke my favourite coffee cup today and, quite frankly, life is hard enough…

“McKay, come with me.”

John didn’t bother to wait for a reply, he just grabbed McKay by the arm, turning him round and shoving him out of the door. They’d spent hours crammed in the ‘Jumper to get here and Rodney had done little but moan – okay, so the conditions weren’t ideal but everyone else had dealt with them with fragile patience…except maybe Ronon, who’d snapped once or twice and sighed loudly no less than twelve times. John had counted.
But that wasn’t the point; the point was that McKay was distracted and defensive and John was through with just putting up with it. It had been a while since that ancient machine had given Rodney all sorts of ‘super powers’ and taken him on a journey that taught him more than any of them could’ve imagined. He had learned so much about himself and his place in the team and, though John didn’t dare say it aloud, Rodney had mellowed a little because of it. He’d relaxed his barriers enough to admit that the team meant as much to him as he did to them. Okay, so it was only the slightest change but it had been there.
Until Carson died.
The moment they had sent that coffin back through the ‘gate Rodney had once again slammed the barriers up and gone back to being the unbearably short-tempered and distant Doctor McKay.
He’d also gone back to calling John ‘Colonel’ all the time.
John understood why Rodney was doing it; he just didn’t like it. He also knew he was the only one that could do anything about it.

John followed Rodney out into the corridor. There was only one way to deal with McKay when he was like this – and that was head on.

“Stop it,” he hissed, bodily pushing Rodney down the hall, god, they hadn’t even touched for days and John welcomed even the briefest contact between them.

“Stop what, Colonel? In case you hadn’t noticed I was trying to get this damn place up and running so that we could get some work done.”

“I noticed you being an ass, I noticed you bitching at everyone that crosses your path. I also noticed you being insensitive on a level I’ve not even witnessed in you for a long time – that’s what I noticed and I think the rest of them noticed it too.”

John stopped to swing his head – and his gun – into an empty room, it looked pretty much the same as all the rooms in this place, dark green, flecks of faded gold and an abundance of technology.

“Get in here,” he pulled Rodney into the room and the door slid closed behind them.

“No need to man-handle me, I’m perfectly capable of walking through a door when I want to. Although, I should point out that I don’t want to, not right now, right now I should be back in the control room getting the basic systems back online.”

“I heard you the first time, work and power systems and only the mighty McKay can see to them. Well, tough. If you want a team left at the end of this little expedition I suggest we have a talk.”

John ran a critical eye over the rumpled and suddenly wilting form before him.

“I don’t,” Rodney paused and sighed so wearily that John felt his anger ebbing away. “I don’t have time to hang out and chat, Colonel, there’s too much to do.”

There was no bite in his words this time, no impatience, and for the first time that day John felt like he was talking to Rodney rather than the image he’d been so obnoxiously projecting.

“Rodney,” John took a step towards him, but it went unseen as Rodney rubbed tiredly at his eyes, “I get it, okay, I do,” John continued, “I know you’re still hurting – we all are, but this has to stop. You’re snapping at Teyla, you won’t even look at me and you’re picking fights with Ronon for god’s sake. You’ve terrorised all of your team, even Radek’s avoiding you and that poor bastard, Graydon, now feels like he’s here by mistake. You can’t go - ”

“Please, spare me the speech, okay? I’m an insensitive idiot, but then we knew that.”

“Insensitive, yes, sometimes. An idiot?” John gave a half shrug and tried to smile, “not so much.”

“C’mon Rodney,” John stepped further in and laid a careful hand on Rodney’s arm, “we’re a team, we look after each other. Ronon’s happy to bitch at you because he knows that’s what you need, Teyla’s endless patience is all she can give you but I could really help you - if you’d just, shit, I don’t know, looking at me would be a start.” John really hadn’t got a clue what he was trying to say but he knew he had to try. “Look, you’re the only one who blames you. We’ve been through this, it was not your fault.”

“I should have gone fishing,” Rodney spoke from under his hand.

John looked at him; this was the first time Rodney had offered anything since Carson died. When John said ‘we’ve been through this’ what he actually meant was he’d talked as Rodney had looked at his feet or the wall or anything that wasn’t John. Then he would sigh loudly, ask if they were done and stalk off without so much as a casual touch between them.

John sighed and opened his mouth to say something.

“No, don’t bother,” Rodney snapped, “insensitive idiot, remember? It’s just…I should have gone, I promised him I would then I blew him off for no goddamn reason and if I hadn’t done that he’d still be alive. Or maybe not,” Rodney continued before John could say anything, “maybe he’d still be dead – we’d have made it back to the infirmary in time for him to get himself blown up. But I sent Houston and Watson down to that lab unsupervised, that I am definitely responsible for…”

John watched as Rodney’s face fell and he just seemed to run out of words for a moment.

“Okay,” Rodney said quietly, “I’m going to ask you something and I need you to be honest with me.”

John just raised an eyebrow – when was he anything but with Rodney?

“Yes, yes okay. So,” Rodney took an obviously fortifying breath but John could tell it hadn’t done much good. Suddenly he was terrified of what Rodney was going to ask him.

“Should I…should I go back to Earth? I mean, don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to, Atlantis is home now but - ”

Oh god, John’s head was spinning, it felt like his mind was rolling over, like the floor had suddenly begun to lurch sickeningly beneath him.

“It’s just that – Gaul, Abhrams, Grodin, Houston and Carson, god, Carson – I keep getting people killed and all of them better people than I could ever hope to be, okay so they didn’t have my intelligence but they were better at being people. I know I’m selfish but I’m not so selfish that I can keep doing this at the expense of other people’s lives.”

“No,” John finally managed to gasp, “No, you’re not going back to Earth. Not a chance. You are not to blame for their deaths, Rodney. For crying out loud, think of all the lives you’ve saved since we’ve been here, all the times you’ve pulled my ass out of the fire. Shit, how could you even think of going back to Earth?”

“I don’t want to,” Rodney said a little defensively, “I just thought that maybe I should – if that was what other people thought I should do.”

“I can guarantee you’re the only person who's come up with that insane idea.” John shook his head as if trying to dislodge the very thought. “It’s no secret,” he said carefully, “that I have no intention of returning to Earth permanently, not by my own choice any way, but if you go back I have to too and I’m really hoping you’re not going to ask me to do that.”

Rodney looked stunned and barely managed a strangled ‘what?’

“I’d go with you, okay? This thing we have, despite the fact you haven’t touched me for three days and have barely looked at me,” and oh man, was John uncomfortable with this. He steeled himself to say what needed to be said. “It’s worth more to me than the Pegasus Galaxy ever could be…and I just thought you should know, you know?”

He blew out a breath and seriously considered shooting himself in the head.

“Umm,” Rodney said eloquently.

“Yeah,” John agreed whole-heartedly.

“Shit,” Rodney took a step forward, grabbed fistfuls of John’s shirt and tac vest and whatever he could grasp hold of, and pulled John against him, pressing a solid kiss to his lips. “You bastard. Me too, I mean it means that to me too and I don’t want to be anywhere that you’re not and I hate you for reducing my brain to mush until I’m babbling like Radek after he’s ingested too much sugar. I can’t even form a coherent sentence right now and would you please kiss me again before I spontaneously combust or something.”

“You kissed me,” John pointed out helpfully.

“So completely not the point.”

John kissed him, taking his time, working pliant lips open beneath his own and dipping his tongue in to taste the sweet heat that was Rodney’s mouth. God how he’d missed this, it had only been a few days but suddenly he couldn’t understand how he’d lasted even that long without it. He wasn’t sure how he’d managed without that glorious moment when skilful hands slipped into his hair and tilted his head and he relinquished control to Rodney. Acquiesced to the tongue that invaded his mouth, yielded to the pressure of a chest bumping against his as they stumbled back against the wall.

John’s wrists were grasped in one large hand and shoved against the wall above his head. Rodney’s quick, strong fingers worked the fastening free on his vest and it fell open. Calloused fingertips immediately crept under the black fabric of his shirt and teased his nipples as Rodney’s teeth attacked his neck.

John gasped, you had to love a man who didn’t mess around, Rodney knew exactly which buttons to press and he pushed as many as he could at once. He bucked against him, rolling his body for as much contact as possible.
Rodney moaned, hot breath stinging at his neck, so he did it again and revelled in the swell of Rodney pushing back against him, eager and hard.

“Mouth,” John managed to gasp and he panted ragged breaths until Rodney lifted his head and their lips met in a tangle of desperation.

“Don’t leave,” Rodney commanded as he ran his hand from John’s chest to his back and wedged it behind his shoulder, pulling John into him even as he pushed against his body.

“You were…the one…that said,” John tried, he really did, but he was close to over-loading on the sensation of Rodney covering him so completely.

“Don’t leave, John,” Rodney said again but this time it sounded more like a plea and John suddenly became aware of the hand behind him, cradling rather than pulling. He was aware that the weight against him was melting into him, not pushing him. Oh so aware that the mouth that, moments ago, had been smashed against his was now caressing with a tender request.

“Please don’t,” Rodney whispered and John understood and even as his mind caught up it seemed to unravel, slipping away from him like silk through cool fingertips.

“Give me my hands,” he whispered back against Rodney’s mouth and immediately John’s wrists were dropped and he lowered his hands to cradle Rodney’s face. “I’ll do my best,” he promised.

Anything more would have been a lie.

Rodney looked at him for a long moment and John could practically see him weighing his words, deciding whether it was enough. John held his breath, aware of just how crucial this moment was. Then Rodney’s eyes softened and a small smile tugged at his crooked mouth. He nodded slowly and turned his head to kiss the palm of John’s hand, causing his breath to hitch. Rodney smiled into another kiss and another and another as he traced his way to the tip of John’s finger. Then he took it gently between his teeth and John groaned as the tip disappeared into Rodney’s mouth. A gentle suction and he was in to the first knuckle, unable to take his eyes off that talented mouth. A little more and a hot tongue rolled against the calloused pads of his finger.

“Tease,” John gasped.

“Hmmm,” Rodney murmured, scraping teeth over the soft skin of John’s knuckles as he released his finger. John would have been disappointed but now Rodney was kissing him again and that could never be disappointing.

John wrapped his hands round Rodney’s head and kissed him back with an almost manic fervour, desperate to hold him there forever, his mind spinning with everything they hadn’t just said.

The kiss broke all too soon but then Rodney was on his knees, leaning forward to press a dry kiss to the fabric of John’s pants, right where he strained non-too subtly against them.

Rodney reached up and made easy work of the fastenings, peeling aside the fabric and leaning in to kiss his way along hot flesh. John made an impatient noise that he probably should be embarrassed about but he couldn’t care right now because Rodney was responding, taking the head of his cock into his mouth and teasing him deliciously.

When Rodney swallowed him whole John cried out wordlessly. His hands scrabbled over Rodney’s shoulders and up to his head but didn’t seem to be able to stay still anywhere; he just wanted to touch as much of Rodney as possible.

John knew he wouldn’t last long, not when it was hot and fast like this – Rodney knew his body inside out and used that knowledge ruthlessly. Not that John was complaining – quite the opposite, in fact.

John threw his head back as his entire body tightened and his world narrowed and centred on Rodney and nothing more. He came hard and Rodney swallowed it all before sliding up his body to kiss him back from the edge.

Their lazy kisses fell away as Rodney re-dressed John, smiling as he did so. John straightened himself, surprised at how far he’d slid down the wall. He turned Rodney around and pulled him against him, settling Rodney’s back firmly against his chest.

He hooked his head over one broad shoulder and rained feather-light kisses on every patch of skin he could reach. He ran his hands round Rodney’s waist, detouring briefly up to his chest before heading down to unfasten his pants. John shoved the restrictive fabric down to Rodney’s thighs giving him full and easy access as he took Rodney in hand. John grinned and nipped at the soft flesh of Rodney’s earlobe as he groaned and strained against John’s embrace, thrusting into the tight grip of his hand.

John let him push against him, encouraging him, whispering in his ear that Rodney should come for him. Rodney’s breath was ragged and fast as he gasped John’s name and reached his hand over his head to grasp at John’s hair, his other hand moving down to fold over John’s where it gripped his cock.

Rodney tugged on his hair and John knew he was close.

“C’mon, Rodney, let it go. I’ve got you,” John whispered right against his ear.

Rodney shouted a strangled cry as he came, then collapsed back against John, obviously trusting him to catch him and hold him upright. John obliged, of course, pulling him tight against his chest then easing the bottom of Rodney’s shirt free, he slid his hands underneath and rested his hands against warm skin, stroking his fingertips against Rodney’s torso, gentle and calming…and a little sticky.

John grinned as Rodney snorted half-heartedly and turned his head for a kiss.

“I feel better for that,” he said with that smile that John knew was reserved only for him.

“Good,” John puffed a gentle laugh against his neck and clung on for just a little bit longer. He knew in a moment they would have to go back out there and face the rest of the day. They had work they should be doing, but for just this second they were all that mattered, breathing rapidly and holding on tightly.

John sighed then kissed Rodney’s neck. He pushed gently away from the wall; there was still so much for them to do.

The End.

Tags: episode tag, mcshep fic

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