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Apastron - The point in any orbit around a star that is furthest from the star.

The natives of the Pegasus galaxy had stopped amazing Rodney very early on. The Genii had proved that looks could be deceiving, that simple peasant folk could hide a militaristic society with a far more advanced level of technology, and the brutality to match. The gentle Hoffan had revealed an almost psychopathic need for revenge against the Wraith, willing to see every one of their own people die if it meant they took the Wraith with them. The Olesians had bargained with the devil, sacrificing members of their own for the simplest transgression in order to appease the ever-hungry Wraith.

Subterfuge and betrayal seemed a way of life among so many of the people met by the new Atlanteans while seeking trade and alliances. Rodney still recalled the unproved but obvious betrayal by the Manarians during the great Storm, who had sold them out to the Genii.

On cold, damp days like this, the cut on his forearm ached as if with remembered pain. At first sight, the cut had seemed deep and damaging but Carson had insisted that it was actually superficial, tearing skin but not muscle. Apparently, Kolya had not wanted to cripple him, merely hurt him. It had barely left a scar, just a thin silver line that was more noticeable if he'd spent time out in the sun, but it wasn't sunny today. It was cold and it was damp on this new planet, and Rodney felt like berating Sheppard for not choosing a better place to land than in the northern hemisphere with the planet approaching its apastron, bringing on winter.

Leaf kissing the surface of a pond? My ass, Rodney thought. He would be surprised if any of the fabled giant snakes on the mainland had survived the tsunami of that belly flop.

Disgruntled by the weather and the aches that had seeped into his bones and throbbed in this stupid cut, Rodney entered what had once been Elizabeth's office. Sam had placed her own mark on the place, removing some of the more esoteric pieces of artwork from Pegasus worlds and replacing them with reminders of home. He spotted photos adorning the desk and one shelf, recognizing images of her old team. The one of General O'Neill accepting an award from President Hayes was most telling. It stood more prominently than the others and someone less astute would have mistaken Sam's adoring look as simple hero worship for her team leader's accomplishment, and they would have failed to recognize Daniel's look of adoration too, mistaking it for similar pride and indulgence.

He felt mean enough today to want to make her face the truth, that Jack O'Neill was never going to love her back the way she loved him. O'Neill was already secretly involved with Daniel, as Rodney had discovered in the Antarctic outpost a few years ago when he caught a fractured reflection of them kissing in a mirrored piece of the architecture. Fortunately, neither had seen him at the time. Despite occasional lapses in judgment or acts of torture, Rodney did know how to keep important secrets, and he'd been around the US military long enough to know that fraternization and DADT were one secret he had to keep, if not on principle alone.

Still, it gnawed at him seeing Sam pining away for a man who would never return her affection beyond that of the deepest friendship. Not that he still retained any interest in her for himself when he was already seeing someone.

"I want to move the city," he stated without preamble.

Sam blinked. "Why?"

"It's cold and damp, and in a few more weeks it'll be snowing."

"You're a Canadian, Rodney. You're supposed to like snow."

"Snow is why I left Canada." He narrowed his eyes, suddenly realizing that he'd been blaming Sheppard for the impending doom of winter when every miserable snow event since Canada had a common denominator; Samantha Carter. She was the one who probably had him sent to Siberia, whose team had discovered the outpost in Antarctica, and who had been in command when they 'crash landed' here.

"Moving the city will expend a lot of power from the ZPM," Sam stated with the authority of someone who could figure out exactly how much energy if she'd wanted to go down that route.

"Not moving to a more temperate climate will expend power on heating and on the shield if the winter storms should be as bad as those recorded in the database."

"I'm sure the weather patterns must have changed over the past ten thousand years."

"Yes, and a new ice age is approaching as we speak."

He could tell by the twist of her lips that she wasn't certain if he was joking about the ice age, and Rodney wasn't going to confirm or deny without a direct order. He saw the moment she resigned herself to the power expenditure but he kept his triumphant smile hidden until he had left her office.

Sheppard fell in step beside him as Rodney head towards the Chair Room, and he bit back on a retort, rubbing at his aching arm.

"Have you taken a break since we landed here?"

He shot an irritated glance towards Sheppard. "If there were any brains between those pointy ears then--"

"Again with the ears, Rodney. Is there some fetish you're not talking about?"

"What?! When have I...?" he spluttered, before narrowing his eyes at the smirk lifting Sheppard's lips. "Oh yes, insult the genius whose going to figure out a way to move this city to warmer climes."


"It may have escaped your notice while you were crashing us into the ocean--"

"Hey! Any landing you can walk away from is a good landing."

"--that this wasn't exactly the best spot to pick for a summer vacation, or any other vacation for that matter." He rubbed harder at the aching scar, and squawked when Sheppard body blocked him into the transporter, depositing them just along from their quarters. Grabbing him by the front of his jacket, Sheppard manhandled him along the corridor and into Rodney's quarters.

As soon as the door closed behind them, he pushed Rodney up against the wall and kissed him hard and deep, refusing to back down or pull away before Rodney, displaying that stubborn streak that Rodney had learned was an equal to his own. With that realization, all the fight left Rodney, and he slumped backwards, letting John deepen the kiss from brutal to affectionate. The hands gripping Rodney's biceps released their tight grip, one hand sliding up to cradle the back of his head as John's lips slid to the side, nuzzling at Rodney's jaw and throat before sucking carefully on the sensitive skin just beneath his ear.

John pulled back only a fraction, resting his forehead against Rodney's in a gesture that was far more intimate than any Athosian greeting, if only for the hands that cradled and caressed him tenderly. With equal care, John helped to strip off the jacket and t-shirt before walking him backwards to the bed and pressing him down to sit on its edge. Rodney couldn't help but feel awed as John knelt before him, watching the agile fingers untie the laces and ease off his boots and socks before John looked up with a impish glint in his eye.

Ear fetish indeed, he thought, but couldn't resist caressing one with the pad of his finger from the lobe to one Elvish tip.

He swallowed hard as John opened Rodney's pants and drew his already half-hard cock from the the restricting material of his boxers. He moaned deeply when John dipped down and lapped at the stiffening cock before taking in the head, tongue swirling around and over the sensitive slit, sending the most amazing sensations rippling through him, re-energizing his tired body. Those clever fingers wrapped around the exposed shaft and Rodney curled over his lover as hands and tongue and lips worked their magic, drawing him swiftly to completion. Then they were kissing again, and he was tasting the bitterness of his own come in John's mouth, savoring the sharpness in contrast to the sugar-sweetness of John's mouth.

Eventually, Rodney pulled back, sated and relaxed for the first time in days, and he waved a hand in the general direction of his lover's groin. "Your turn," he breathed, only to gain a lazy, wry smile in response that held a touch of a grimace.

"Already had that in hand...literally." John looked up at him critically, "Hope you've got a spare pair of pants I can borrow."

Rodney snorted, knowing his pants would hang off of John's narrower hips and less generous ass, but he only had to make it twenty feet down the corridor. Still, Rodney loved the mental image of John wearing his pants and grinned, knowing he could look forward to the reality later.

Once cleaned up and both fully naked, John spooned around Rodney's back in the narrow bed and drew the covers over them both. Rodney fell asleep to the warmth of John's breath against the nape of his neck, to John's hot body wrapped tightly around him, and to John's strong fingers gently massaging the ache from his arm.


Three days later, Rodney stood on the edge overlooking the chasm carved through one of the buildings by a meteor hit. Morbidly, he wondered if there was still blood splatter from where Radek had taken a hit through the leg from a micro-meteor; he and John had been trying to find a way to conserve ZPM power while they were stranded between stars after the Replicator attack.

He tilted his head up and smiled as warm sunlight caressed his face. Strong arms wrapped around his waist, and the warm lips nuzzling the fine hairs at the nape of his neck eased any remaining aches from his tired body.