Courage in the face of death was not one of his strengths but over the years in Pegasus, Rodney had learned to be a stronger person. He had faced life-sucking vampires, machines that morphed into killer robots, deadly sentient clouds, angry natives, as well as an array of inanimate objects such as bullets, pulse weapons, spears--and yes, arrows--and natural disasters like imminent death by supervolcano.
He had the courage in academia to hold his own against those who would question his theories and work, able to cast aspersions on the abilities and intellect of others with biting sarcasm. He could reduce grown men and marines to tears and had heard so many impotent death threats that they washed over him without leaving a mark. He was totally and utterly surprised on the few occasions when those threats of physical violence against his person became more real.
Some would say he had a fool's courage when it came to sex but not everyone was put off by his straightforward declarations of intent to seduce. Since his early days in academia, after he had defended his first doctorate and published several follow-up papers in highly prestigious science journals, he had noticed the science groupies. They hung around the convention centers, turned on by men with high IQs, and he wondered if he had fathered a child or two in those early days. Certainly he'd had enough offers from women eager to have his little genius babies, and men wanting to see if they could fuck his highly intelligent brains out. Of course, all that changed once he joined the Stargate program and dropped out of academia. The only people he consorted with now were those almost on his intellectual level, and they were often too full of their own genetic superiority. Sadly, he classed Sam Carter under that category, finally aware that she would never return his sexual advances except, perhaps, in an alternate universe. He was glad they had eventually become colleagues, perhaps even friends.
Others of his so-called peer group could barely be called scientists due to their dubious specialisms that seemed to imbue as much real science as a Voodoo priestess casting chicken bones. Often, the squishy science types were the ones who blindsided him these days--first Katie, then that so brief it was over in two weeks fling with Adam the Bugman, who studied the Iratus bugs that John hated so much, and of course, Jennifer. Beautiful Jennifer.
Admittedly, he thought he loved each of them and had actually considered a future with them playing a major role, until he realized they were all just a substitute for what he really wanted but was too afraid to go after. Of course, his magnificent brain had conjured up other reasons for breaking up with them, preferring to keep him in denial for as long as humanly possible.
Where he completely lacked courage was in matters of the heart.
This last thought brought him back to the present and the very real danger of dying within the next few minutes as Wraith shadows slithered through the forest around them and darts screamed overhead. The breath exploded out of him as John tackled him to the ground, landing on him awkwardly, chest to chest, but the culling beam swept passed them. Unable to catch his breath immediately, he gasped like a fish out of water until John's hand clamped over his mouth and he was ordered to be quiet.
The snapping of twigs beneath heavy boots had him freezing, and through the long grass and straggly shrubs he saw two wraith drones pass by without once looking in their direction. Once they were out of immediate danger, John pulled his hand away but the salty taste of his skin remained, too much to resist as Rodney swiped his tongue over his tingly lips. John chose that moment to look down and time stopped. Rodney saw the procession of thoughts moving through John, revealed in the crease of his forehead and the slow widening of his eyes as realization came for both of them.
Rodney blinked, and suddenly John was kissing him, capturing his mouth and swiping his tongue over Rodney's lips, demanding more, and Rodney gave in willingly to the desire burning between them. When they pulled apart, John looked just as startled as Rodney, caught by the intensity of the moment. When John moved, Rodney became aware of the hardness of John's erection pressing against his own; he smothered the groan of want and need that filled him with another hard kiss.
John pulled away first but leaned back in, whispering harshly into Rodney's ear, "We'll talk about this later."
When later came, back in the relative safety of Atlantis, there was no talking. John came to his quarters, and a moment's hesitation as the door closed and locked behind him ended when Rodney found he didn't completely lack courage for matters of the heart after all...and took that first step.