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The Day After

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John woke slowly, much more gradually than usual, to soft pre-dawn light, filtered rosey-gold through Atlantis’s patterned windows. He was warm and comfortable and really didn’t want to move, but he blinked up into the dimly-lit room.


“Did I wake you?” Rodney asked. “I didn’t mean to. I just couldn’t help… touching.”

His hand was resting on John’s bare hip, thumb tracing idle patterns, and the colonel grinned, covering it with his own. “Well, you’re allowed now.”

“And I wasn’t before?”

“Not legally,” said John. “I’m an honest man now.”

“Don’t know about that,” Rodney teased. “But you are my husband. Doctor and Colonel McKay-Sheppard.”

“Sheppard-McKay,” corrected John, automatically. “And I like the sound of that first part. Husband. Hopefully, I won’t be so bad at it this time.”

“We’ll both be equally terrible, I’m sure,” Rodney said. “It’s not like I don’t know what an emotionally-stifled romantic idiot you are. And honestly, Sheppard, as if I’d divorce you, now that you’re finally, legally mine.”

“Yours,” John repeated, smiling again, his thumb finding the wedding band on Rodney’s finger. “Yeah.”

They’d looked at half-a-dozen rings, various metals and styles, but John had liked the weight and permanence of gold, solid and unchanging – that sounded about right, for them.

“I’m serious,” said Rodney. “This is official, Sheppard. That means no more flirting with busty alien princesses—”

“When did I ever—?”

“—or hot space pirates—”

“You know I never see that sort of thing coming—”

“— or really, any flirting in general. Unless it’s with me.”

John smiled, shaking his head. “I will absolutely flirt with you,” he promised. ‘Only you. All the time. You wanna start right now?”

“Please,” Rodney scoffed. “I have you naked in my bed. It’s a little late for flirting now.”

“Oh, I don’t know,” said John. He pushed himself up onto one arm, leaning over Rodney and using his other hand to inch the blankets down toward Rodney’s hip. “How’s this working for you?”

“It’s,” Rodney said, softly. “It’s—” He lunged upward, kissing John at the same time as he rolled them over, pinning John to the mattress with knees at his hips and hands on his shoulders, “—much too slow.”

John blinked at him, looking a little dazed. “Yeah?” he managed, after a moment. “What are you gonna do about it?”

Rodney grinned, and kissed him again.