Rodney rubbed his hands together before holding them, palm-out, to the small pit fire that John had built. There wasn't a lot of kindling to be found--dry or otherwise--but at least they had found shelter from the bitterly cold wind under an overhang. John had cleared the ground of snow and had laid down the one of the ground sheets to try to insulate them as much as possible. It wasn't working too well. The other was hanging up to give added protection from the cold air and contain some of the heat from the fire. Beside him, John had his hands out too, trying to take in some of the meager heat from the fire.
"How's that radio coming along?"
"My fingers are too cold to grip anything," Rodney whined in response. "And my ass is frozen to the ground."
"Shame," John murmured.
"Well, yes. Without a radio, we can't contact the Daedalus when she moves into range."
This was day two of their forced stay on Planet Freezing-my-ass-off, so Rodney didn't bother to mention--again--that their subcutaneous transmitters would have been knocked out by the same energy pulse that had broken the Stargate beyond Rodney's ability to repair not long after they arrived. The same pulse had sent this planet into a sudden nuclear winter for which he and Sheppard were ill-prepared. The initial survey of this planet showed one of the few planets that did not look like the forest just outside Vancouver. Instead, they had expected the equivalent of Monument Valley with dry, desert heat.
Perhaps if he'd had the right tool set on him then he might have been able to make some repairs but even his laptop was toast. The Daedalus would have a hard time locating them unless they stayed close to the Stargate, and therein lay the problem. If they moved away from the Stargate to find some place warmer to hole up until help arrived then they risked not being found at all, especially if the residual energy from the pulse was still disrupting all other signals. In fact, there was no guarantee that the radio would be of any use even if he did manage to fix it.
So here they were, huddled under an overhang overlooking the valley floor, and with the distant Stargate just in sight. At least it was no longer snowing and having failed to check-in, Atlantis would have attempted and failed to open the Stargate. They were just lucky that the Daedalus was currently in Pegasus and could be within reach of this world in just over a day. Rodney just hoped they wouldn't have to spend another night here, despite all of his fantasies of being in just this situation with John. Huddling together to conserve body heat and keep warm was nowhere near as sexy when you were literally freezing to death.
John had moved in closer again, grabbing Rodney's hands and warming them between his own.
"Damn! They're as cold as ice." Rodney could feel John's warm breath against the side of his face, not realizing he was that close--almost close enough to kiss. "You should be used to all this."
"Just because I'm Canadian, it doesn't mean I like the cold."
He was reluctant to pull his hands away even though he could feel his fingers once more. Eventually, John released his hands but instead of drawing back, he inched even closer, pulling Rodney against his chest before he leaned back against the solid rock behind them.
"Why don't you take a short break."
"I'm not used to doing... nothing."
He felt John's soft breath ghost across his cold cheek, his back feeling warm for the first time in over a day. Rodney yawned and let his eyes drift closed but woke only moments later when he felt someone shaking him.
John. John was shaking him.
"No going to sleep, Rodney."
"Wish I could sleep with you," he murmured back. "You're my best friend. So stupid to wish for more."
"Then that makes us both stupid," Rodney thought he heard John reply but he was too tired from staying awake for so long to know if he'd simply wished for those words. But he blinked slowly as he felt the press of cold lips grazing his cheek.
A flash of light in the valley made him open his eyes fully.
"Did you see that?"
John scrabbled out from behind Rodney and moved beyond the overhang with binoculars in hand. "It's the Daedalus." He began to wave and shout and, miraculously, they were spotted. "Come on." John pulled Rodney to his feet and gathered up their few supplies quickly before heading slowly down the shallow slope, tugging Rodney along with him. They were halfway towards the Stargate when the Asgard beam grabbed them.
By the time they were back in Atlantis, they were both warm and well rested, but that didn't stop Carson from fussing over them. Eventually, he let them go so long as they agreed to take one more rest day, and just to make certain, he personally accompanied Rodney to his quarters.
"Here, Rodney." Carson shoved a DVD into Rodney's hands. "I remember you saying you never got to see the end of this movie." Rodney looked down at the title--The Sixth Sense. "It's customary to say thank you."
"Oh. Eh. Yes. Thank you, Carson."
Carson smiled and patted him on the shoulder, leaving Rodney standing alone in the middle of his quarters clutching the DVD. The door chime sounded and he frowned, wondering what Carson had forgotten, but when the door slid open he found John standing on the other side.
"I was just... passing by and I thought..." John gave a pained expression and hitched a thumb over his shoulder. "I'd better go--"
"Do you want to watch a movie?" Rodney blurted out.
It took moments to set up the laptop, and another few minutes to get settled on Rodney's large bed, seated side-by-side. As the movie played on, Rodney moved closer and closer until they were bumping shoulders. He was still feeling cold so it seemed only natural when John moved his arm around his shoulder and drew him closer, but this time when John grazed Rodney's cheek with his lips, Rodney turned his face into the kiss.
Hours later, lying naked beneath the bed covers with his head pillowed against John's chest, Rodney sighed in contentment.
Finally he was warm from the outside in.