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Matt takes his hat off and wipes the sweat off his face as he watches Bob set up camp in the cool shadows on the remains of a nearby building. He's supposed to be cataloging some interesting insects that may be related to the Iratus Bug, but they're not out yet and watching Bob is more fun anyway. Spencer and Derek are off following a nearby stream to see where it goes, so he and Bob are alone for the moment. He crumples his bandana, shoves it into one of the pockets on his vest, and settles his hat back on his head. He moves into the shade to stand near Bob. "Need any help?"

Bob looks amused as he says, "I think I've got it. Don't you have bugs to look at?"

"Bugs are boring compared to you, Captain Bob."

"You better not let Dr. Grant hear you say that." Bob stands up and dusts his hands off.

"Derek has already given me the Bugs Are Cooler Than Bob talk. We've got an understanding. As long as I do my job, I can flirt as much as I want."

"Really?"

"Yep. And since the particular bugs I'm looking for won't really come out in force until after the suns go down, it's flirting time now."

Bob's mouth twitches like he wants to laugh but won't. He shakes his head and takes a long drink from his canteen, while Matt flashes him his best flirty look--which is really just staring intently with a half smile until Bob blushes and looks away. Matt never gets tired of making Bob blush. It's just so easy, which is weird considering all the naked shenanigans they've gotten up to in last couple of months...with a few breaks to recover from various injuries, a thought that makes Matt wonder, "How's your leg holding up?"

"It's fine. I wouldn't be here if it wasn't." Matt gives him a skeptical look, but Bob shakes his head and adds, "I wouldn't put you in danger."

"But you'd put yourself in danger." Bob obviously has no answer to that because they both know he would. Matt lets it go and says, "You wanna go explore the lower levels of the ruins before it gets dark?"

Bob goes inside the building and pokes around for a minute before turning back to Matt who has followed as far as the doorway. "Yeah, it seems stable enough. Just let me radio Smith first."

Matt wanders over to a corner to inspect an interesting spider web and stops listening.

***

The tunnels under the ruins turn out to be a little boring. There's no Ancient tech conveniently lying around with an instruction manual entitled Killing Wraith for Fun and Profit, and the only bit of excitement comes when Bob lets out a very manly squeak after brushing up against a cobweb. Matt doesn't even laugh at him for looking around everywhere to see if there's "a fucking big spider waiting for a chance to eat my face off", as Bob puts it.

Unsurprisingly, it's not long after that Bob says, "We might as well go back up. There's nothing down here."

"Yeah, kind of depressing how much nothing there is." Matt follows Bob back up to the surface and lets his mind wander to whether Bob will loosen up enough to share a tent with him. He probably won't with Spencer here, but Matt likes to dream.

By the time they've climbed up the last set of stairs, Bob is already unfastening his vest and as soon as they exit the ruins, he lays his P-90 aside and shoves it off. The jacket goes next and Matt marvels that Bob has kept it on this long considering how hot this planet is. Matt shrugs out of his own vest and sits down in the lengthening shade, watching the way Bob's shoulders flex under the thin cotton of his t-shirt as he moves around camp.

Just as he's drifting off into a pleasant daydream about stripping Bob out of his clothes, Matt notices movement under Bob's shirt. "What the hell is that?"

"What?" Bob looks over his shoulder and Matt sees the movement again. It's sort of a skittering motion right across Bob's spine.

"Hold still," Matt says, trying to sound soothing and calm so that Bob won't freak out. He takes a specimen jar out of his pack and moves behind Bob.

Bob starts squirming and Matt clamps a hand on the back of Bob's neck right above his collar. "What the fuck, Skiba?"

"I am dead fucking serious, Bob. Don't move," Matt says as he pulls Bob's t-shirt out of the waistband of his pants. He captures the spiky little bug in the jar and screws the attached cap on tight. "Got it!"

"What? Matt, I swear if you don't tell me what the hell's going on--" Bob turns as soon as Matt steps away and flinches back when Matt holds up the jar.

"Didn't you feel this crawling around on your back?" Bob shakes his head and takes a step back, so Matt puts it off to the side so he can study it later. Then he shoves Bob's shirt up again and examines his skin. It's unmarked except for a few freckles and a mole that's always been there. He rubs his hand over Bob's back briefly and then pulls his shirt down. "Well, I don't see anything. It probably didn't bite or sting you if you didn't feel it."

Circling back around in front of Bob, Matt peers into his eyes and starts to pry open his mouth, but Bob pushes him away. "Stop it, I'm fine. Annoyed and a little tense, but then that's what happens when I get alien bugs pulled off me."

"I know how to release your tension," Matt says with a dirty grin, but in a case of the galaxy's worst timing, Spencer and Derek come strolling out of the forest. Spencer's holding a string of fish and Derek is carrying a sample case full of plants.

"Look at all these cool plants I found for Dan," Derek says as he hurries over to show Matt. "He told me to keep a look out for anything he might be able to cultivate in his aeroponics system. These little tubers look promising and these berries-- are--they're--"

Derek stutters to a halt when Bob shifts in front of Matt so that he's standing between them. Matt is about to ask what the hell's his problem when Bob's attention turns to Spencer instead.

"What are those, trout?" Bob asks as he goes over to inspect the fish Spencer is holding up proudly.

"I don't know, but they look tasty. Cook 'em up over the fire and we're going to eat good tonight."

"I tried to stop him, but he wouldn't listen," Derek says in an undertone for Matt's ears only. They make matching 'ugh, carnivores' faces at each other and Derek shrugs. "At least there were plenty of fish in the stream and I don't think he interrupted anything important in their life cycle. I made some notes on my datapad for later."

"Yeah, we'll look at it after we do our collections." Matt forgets about the fish when he catches Bob glaring at Derek. "Does Bob seem weird to you?"

After a moment of deliberation, Derek says, "Not really. He looks like that a lot."

"Hmm." Matt walks away from Derek and Bob smiles at him before turning back to give Spencer advice on how to cook the fish.

When dinner is ready, Bob places himself between Matt and Spencer, and several times while they're eating, he reaches out and touches Matt. He brushes a hand down Matt's back or strokes his arm, like he's reassuring himself that Matt is still there. The fact that he's doing this in front of Derek and Spencer is starting to freak Matt out. It's out of character for Bob, who guards his reputation like a dragon hoarding gold, to be touching Matt this way where people can see. When Bob curves his hand around the back of Matt's neck and keeps it there until Spencer gets up to make a sweep of the perimeter, Matt says, "Hey, Bob? How are you feeling?"

Bob turns from watching Spencer disappearing into the growing darkness and rubs his fingers over the nape of Matt's neck. "I feel fine. Why?"

"Are you ready to start catching some insects?" Derek asks as he comes up behind Matt.

When he leans down next to Matt to pick up his canteen, Bob jerks Matt toward him and says, "Back off, Dr. Grant," in this scarily cold voice.

Matt struggles out of Bob's grip and jumps to his feet. "Okay, no. You are not fine, Bob."

Bob stands up and puts himself between Matt and Derek. "He touched you."

"He brushed against my shoulder. I barely even noticed. It's not a big deal." Matt instinctively keeps his voice low and even and doesn't react when Bob reaches out and puts his hands on Matt's shoulders, inspecting Matt carefully in the firelight.

"He didn't hurt you?"

"Matt? What the fuck's going on?" Derek moves toward them and Matt throws out a hand to stop him from coming closer.

Matt keeps his eyes on Bob when he says, "Derek, I want you to calmly walk away from me and Bob. Go to the other side of the clearing."

"But what--"

"Do it," Matt snaps and when Bob's eyebrows draw together in concern, he smiles and pleasantly adds, "I'm fine. I have a theory I want to test. Please trust me."

He's not sure if that last part is meant for Derek or Bob, but when Derek walks away, Bob loosens his grip and smiles slightly. "You should share my tent tonight. You'll be safer with me."

"Sure, I can do that." Matt hears Spencer return to the clearing and Derek murmuring to him, but he doesn't take his attention off Bob. "Can I look at your back again?"

"Yeah, go ahead," Bob says and waits patiently while Matt grabs his flashlight out of his pack and shines the light on Bob's back. This time there is a small red bump right next to his spine. There's no outward signs of infection or poison, no worrying red lines or even the amount of swelling you'd get from a bee sting or mosquito bite. But he still asks Bob how he's feeling as he smooths down the fabric of Bob's shirt.

"Fine. Why do you keep asking me that?"

"I'll get to that. One more question. How would you feel if Derek came back over here and put his arm around me?"

"I'd break his arm," Bob says with a casual shrug and puts both hands on Matt's chest, sliding them up to Matt's shoulders and down his arms.

That tells him what he needs to know, but morbid curiosity makes Matt push for more. "And what about Spencer? What if he came up and put his hand on my arm? Or gave me a hug?"

"I'd have to kill him. He can't have you."

"Bob--"

"You're okay, I've got you," Bob says low as he continues to pet Matt until his hand lands rather possessively on Matt's ass.

"That bug did something to you. This isn't like you." Matt hears more frantic whispering coming from the other side of the clearing, and he looks over Bob's shoulder to see Spencer striding toward them.

"Captain Bryar, what's going on here?" Spencer asks as he comes closer. He holds a hand out as if he's going to touch Matt and says, "Dr. Skiba, are you all right?"

Bob swings around, pushing Matt behind him with one hand while he shoves Spencer away with the other. "Back off, Smith. He's mine."

Spencer stumbles back a couple steps and says slowly, "Okay, sir. I think he belongs to himself, actually, but you need to stay calm so we can talk about this."

Bob doesn't relax when there's more space between Spencer and Matt like he did with Derek. He watches Spencer with narrowed eyes and when Spencer moves closer, Bob leaps at him, taking him down with a noise suspiciously like a growl. Spencer fights back but he's clearly trying not to hurt Bob even though Bob is not pulling his punches. When Matt shakes himself out of his shock to jump in and grab Bob's arm to try to pull him off, blood is dripping down Spencer's chin from a nasty gash in his bottom lip.

"What the fuck are you doing? Stop it!" Whether it's Matt's voice or his hands gripping Bob's upper arms, something seems to get through to Bob a little and he stops fighting long enough for Matt to get enough leverage to help Spencer push Bob off him. Spencer gets to his feet and spits blood on the ground at Bob's feet, and Matt is impressed by how cool he's remaining. He seems more worried than angry.

Bob shakes Matt loose and when he lunges at Spencer again, he draws the knife from his belt and has it pressed to Spencer's throat before Matt can grab him again.

"Bob!" Matt and Derek both shout at the same time, but Bob doesn't look at either one of them. He's holding very still and Matt realizes that Spencer somehow managed to draw his sidearm and has the barrel pressed against Bob's stomach.

"Spencer, it's the venom from the bug that bit him," Matt says urgently, his mind filled with horrifying images of how the next few seconds could go. "Please. He doesn't mean it."

"Yes, I realize that," Spencer says, but Matt can see in his eyes that he is prepared to shoot Bob if he has to. "If I leave you alone with him, will you be safe?"

"Yes," Matt says, with no hesitation. "I need to do blood tests, but I'll need some equipment from Atlantis. And someone with medical training would be nice."

"Got it." Spencer shifts his weight slightly and Bob's hand twitches. Spencer seems to pay no mind to the fact that the knife nicked him and there's a thin trickle of blood rolling down his throat. "Captain, I'm going to take Dr. Grant back to Atlantis and get you some help. We'll come back soon and figure out how to fix this."

Bob doesn't turn Spencer loose and Spencer's gun hand is steady, and they seem locked in a stalemate, until Matt gets an idea. He makes a distressed sound and falls to his knees, and Bob immediately lets go of Spencer to come check on Matt.

Matt glances around to see Spencer grab Derek and hustle him away toward the Gate, but he takes his time letting Bob help him to his feet. When he hears the whoosh of the Gate activating, he straightens up and steps away from Bob. Or tries to. Bob tightens his grip on Matt's arms and leans in close. Matt holds himself very still as Bob rubs his face in Matt's hair and breathes in deeply. He makes a pleased sound and switches sniffing Matt for licking his neck.

Matt is almost annoyed that, while he's trying to remain the calm and rational scientist, he's getting turned on. It's not something that he ever thought about, but faced with it, he finds Bob's aggressive possessiveness incredibly hot and he's never been one to question what turns him on, but maybe he needs to think about that sometime. But for now, he doesn't try to pull away because Bob's tongue feels amazing, but he does need to be responsible and ask, "How you feeling, buddy?"

"I'm good," Bob murmurs against Matt's skin and he starts nudging Matt back toward the tent.

"Bob--"

"What? Come on, we're alone. Whole fucking planet to ourselves. Nobody to see or hear or gossip about it later."

Matt knows he should say no, because Bob is clearly under the influence of an alien poison or venom or whatever. But he also knows that if Bob were not under any influence, and they found themselves on another planet with nobody else around, they'd be fucking like bunnies already.

***

"Ah." Matt flinches when Bob squeezes his hip painfully tight, and Bob immediately eases his grip, petting gently as he goes back to mapping Matt's torso with his tongue. "Mmm, that's better."

Bob makes an agreeable sound and slides his open mouth across Matt's ribs, pushes his nose up under his arm, and then sinks his teeth into the curve of his shoulder. Matt shudders, but it's more from pleasure than pain this time and Bob seems to recognize this because he moves his mouth to the base of Matt's neck and does it again, sucking like he's trying to drink Matt's blood. He stops short of breaking the skin, but Matt knows he's going to be covered in bruises by morning. He won't complain. He's enjoying every minute of having Bob completely focused on him, no distractions, no worries (for Bob anyway), and no interruptions. Bob's never been a particularly inconsiderate lover, but their encounters are often rushed due to circumstances beyond their control. It's fascinating to experience Bob when he can take his time, and Bob really likes to take his time. Matt feels like he's being discovered by Bob, like uncharted territory.

Matt tries to shift his hips so that he can get more friction, but Bob holds him still and whispers, "Patience" in his ear. He skims a hand up the outside of Matt's thigh and rubs his thumb across Matt's hip bone.

"Come on, you're so close." Matt doesn't mean to whine, but apparently, when Bob has the time for it, he's a fucking tease and Matt is about to come out of his skin from the frustration building inside him. "You are such a fucking tease."

"You like it," Bob laughs and finally, finally touches Matt's cock--lightly stroking from base to head with just the tips of his fingers, and it's not even close to being enough. But does he give Matt more? No, he holds Matt's hand and stretches his arm out perpendicular to his body, mouthing at Matt's wrist and licking the inside of his forearm. When he bites lightly at the inside of Matt's elbow, Matt squirms and hooks a leg over Bob's, trying to pull him closer.

"Not done yet," Bob murmurs into Matt's elbow and kisses his way up Matt's biceps. He outlines every one of Matt's tattoos with his tongue and presses a terrifyingly gentle kiss to the scar that gives the black cat such a rakish air. Matt was pretty bummed when his ink got messed up but he kind of likes it now. It reminds him of Bob and besides, how many people can say they have a scar from an alien dinosaur? When or if he ever makes it back to Earth he'll have to make up a story for how he got it, and that'll be fun. He plans on telling it differently every time.

That's if he survives long enough to make it back to Earth. As if the Pegasus galaxy wasn't dangerous enough, now Bob is trying to tease him to death by sucking on Matt's fingers when Matt yearns for him to move lower. Matt arches his hips and tries to get a hand on his cock, but Bob grabs his wrist and pins it to the ground. Matt groans, "If I can't touch mine, can I at least touch yours?"

Bob snickers and pulls Matt's wet fingers out of his mouth and wraps them around his own cock. While Matt strokes him slowly, Bob presses two fingers into Matt's mouth and says, "Matt?"

Matt smiles around Bob's fingers. He can't help but smile every time Bob calls him by his first name now, after fighting it for so long. And this time, Bob is packing a lot of meaning into one syllable. It's reverent and hopeful and questioning all at once. Matt nods his assent before Bob even asks, "Can I fuck you?"

Bob takes his fingers out of Matt's mouth and shifts to one side so he can reach down between Matt's legs. One wet finger goes in pretty smoothly so he immediately pushes in another. Matt spreads his legs wider and relaxes his muscles as much as he can when he's thrumming with the need to come. It's a tight fit, but it's not too uncomfortable so Matt moves his hips with the rhythm of Bob's fingers. Bob makes a sound deep in his throat that Matt's never heard him make before. Matt's whole body flushes with heat and need and he's almost certain he would do anything that Bob asks right now. Rational thought tries to make a comeback and he says, "We don't have a--"

Bob cuts him off with a deep kiss and when he pulls back a million years later, says, "We're both clean."

"Yeah," is all Matt can get out because Bob hooks his fingers and rubs across Matt's prostate and he reflexively arches into it with a low groan. What Bob says is true, of course. Everyone who came to Atlantis was tested thoroughly for everything imaginable and they are continually monitored now that they're here. The only risk is Bob getting a UTI, and if Bob's not worried about it, then Matt won't worry either. "Okay, but we gotta slick you up first."

Bob looks around the tent and then back down at Matt. Matt just smirks and pushes at Bob's shoulders until Bob lies down on his back. Matt slithers down and sucks Bob's cock into his mouth, getting it as wet as possible before he pulls off and raises himself up, planting his knees on either side of Bob's waist.

Bob puts his hands on Matt's hips to steady him as he grasps Bob's cock and lowers himself onto it. Bob watches him with big eyes, his teeth digging into his lower lip. It's a tighter fit than Bob's fingers were and Matt is sure it's not super comfortable for Bob either, but once Bob's all the way in, Matt takes a couple deep breaths and forces himself to relax.

Matt leans forward to get a better angle and plants his hands on the sleeping bag on either side of Bob's shoulders, digging his fingers in as he starts to move cautiously. Bob blinks and brings a hand up to his mouth, licking it before taking Matt's cock in a nice firm grip. He strokes Matt off in a counter beat to Matt's thrusts down onto Bob and the combination is too much for Matt. The orgasm that he's been barely holding at bay for way too long finally overwhelms him and he stills as he comes all over Bob's belly.

Bob watches him for a moment and then thrusts his hips up hard a couple of times and comes before Matt can pull off of him. The extra lubrication makes Bob slip out more easily and Matt straightens his legs out so he can collapse onto Bob's chest with a tired, "Holy fuck, that was amazing."

Bob grunts and wraps his arms around Matt, stroking the back of his head gently as he says, "Yeah. You're going to be really sore in the morning. Sorry."

"Don't be. It was my decision." Matt yawns and slides over to the side so he can still cuddle up to Bob without crushing him. "And it was a learning experience. Next time I'll slip some lube into my bag, just in case."

Bob huffs out a quietly amused sound and squeezes Matt gently to him. Matt vows to stay awake and keep an eye on Bob until Spencer returns, but after a few hours pass with Bob sleeping soundly and not appearing to a run a fever or be in any distress, he feels himself start to drift off. He fights it for awhile but eventually gives in.

 

***

When Matt wakes up to sunlight streaming through the open flap of the tent, Bob is gone. He stretches his arms and legs out as far as the tent allows and groans deeply as every muscle in his body protests. He lies there for a few minutes just breathing and taking stock. His ass is sore and his knees and thighs ache, and when he sits up he can see bruises blooming purple and red on his hip and shoulder and chest. He rubs his fingertips across the base of his throat and can feel the hickey Bob left there. He pushes the bruise until it hurts and then frowns. He won't be able to hide that one under his clothes. Maybe he can find some other explanation for it, something that won't get Bob in trouble.

He gets dressed slowly and crawls out of the tent to put his boots on. Bob is squatting next to a small fire where he's heating some water. He glances at Matt and then back down at the fire.

After Matt finishes tying his boots, he clears his throat and says, "I'm going for a piss. Will there be coffee soon?"

"Yeah, when you get back." Bob doesn't look at him. "Don't go too far."

"I won't." Matt is not really surprised that Bob is acting weird this morning, but he is surprised that Bob lets him wander out of sight without protesting that it's not safe.

When he comes back, Bob hands him a cup of coffee and then steps back like he's afraid to get too close. Matt lets him have his space but asks, "You okay?"

"I should be asking you that," Bob says, nodding at Matt's neck. Matt smiles and sips his coffee with a shrug. "I'm sorry I hurt you."

"You didn't." Bob snorts skeptically and Matt says, "Well, a little but I was a willing and enthusiastic participant, so no regrets."

"If you're sure," Bob says slowly, but he does move closer and sits down next to Matt. He drinks his coffee and casts little worried looks at Matt.

"Would you stop that?" Matt snaps when he's finally had enough. "I loved every minute of it. If you didn't enjoy it, then I'm sorry but it's done."

"What? No, I did. I always enjoy being with you," Bob says earnestly, his brow all crumpled with worry and Matt's irritation melts away to be replaced with a burning need to kiss him until he smiles again. "But I don't enjoy hurting you."

Matt's curiosity gets the better of him, as it so often does. "What if I said I get off on that?"

"Do you?" Bob looks a little horrified at the notion and relaxes slightly when Matt laughs and shakes his head. "Oh, so...rhetorical question? I don't know. I guess I'd try if that's what you really wanted."

Matt thinks that may actually be a declaration of love in Bobspeak, so he just reaches out and punches Bob lightly on the arm. "I wouldn't ask you do to something that made you uncomfortable, but it's sweet that you'd try."

"Yeah, sweet. That's me." Bob rolls his eyes and gets to his feet. "Guess we should break camp and be ready to go when Smith gets back."

"We can't leave yet." Bob stops and looks at Matt in surprise, so Matt explains, "I haven't actually done what we came for yet. We need those bugs for our research."

"Shit," Bob says with heartfelt resignation. "And that means waiting for nightfall again?"

Matt nods and finishes his coffee. He gets up and digs around in his pack until he finds a couple of Power bars. He tosses one to Bob and says, "Eat up. It's going to be a long day."

***

It's almost noon before Spencer returns and he's got Brendon with him instead of Derek. He has his hand on his weapon as he walks into the clearing and doesn't relax even when Bob says, "Hey, Smith. What took you so long?"

"Saporta's team came in hot five minutes after we returned. The gateroom took a couple hits from a Wraith blaster before the wormhole closed. Novarro and Suarez were pretty banged up. They'll be okay but the medical staff were a little preoccupied for a while." Spencer motions at Brendon and says, "I finally dragged Dr. Urie away and explained the situation."

Brendon sets his case down in the shade next to the tent and motions at Bob to join him. "Let's take a look, Captain Bryar."

As Bob goes over to sit where Brendon indicates, Matt casually drifts closer to Spencer, watching Bob carefully. Bob doesn't react, even when Spencer reaches out and tentatively puts a hand on Matt's arm. Spencer says, "I guess the venom or whatever worked itself out of his system?"

Matt slings his arm around Spencer's shoulder and that gets a reaction from Bob. But it looks like a normal amount of jealousy mixed with wry amusement, not like he's going to tear Spencer apart with his bare hands for daring to be close to Matt. Brendon, on the other hand, frowns hard and quickly looks down at the medical equipment he's taking out of his case. Matt whispers, "Looks like you've caught a live one."

He laughs when Spencer blushes and pushes him away, saying, "Shut up."

***

Matt doesn't mean to eavesdrop, but he can't help overhearing when Bob drops back to walk next to Spencer as they approach the gate late that night and says, "Sorry I punched you in the face and pulled a knife on you."

Spencer stares back at Bob for a moment before saying, "I stuck a nine millimeter in your gut and was fully prepared to pull the trigger, so I think we're even."

"So. Never speak of it again?" Matt can hear Bob's relief in every word.

"I fucking hope not," Spencer replies with equal relief.

Matt glances at Brendon who obviously heard the exchange and doesn't bother to hide his grin. Sometimes he really loves soldiers.

 

The end.