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Rodney finally falls asleep nestled in every quilt and blanket he has been able to scavenge. People seem surprisingly willing to give him stuff tonight. If he felt slightly more human he might have angled for some coffee. Even so, he can’t get warm despite the three showers he decided weren’t too extravagant.

He’s awoken, he doesn’t know how much later, by the soft click of his door unlocking and the “schwoop” of it opening. He sits bolt upright and reaches for the P-90 he left by his bed last night. “Who’s there?”

A silence. Then, “It’s me. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to wake you.”

Rodney drops his hand from the gun, resigns himself to leaving the safety of his bed. “Major? What’s wrong? What’s happened now?”

Major Sheppard’s shadow crosses Rodney’s bedroom, but stops before he steps into the slip of moonlight illuminating the patch of carpet just beyond Rodney’s bed. Rodney squints and even in the darkness Sheppard looks awful. Untidy – honestly untidy, rather than his usual deliberately rumpled look – and haggard. “Nothing’s happened, Rodney. I just wanted to check that you were okay.”

Rodney can’t help the harsh laugh. “I’m just fine, Major. Thank you.”

The Major steps quickly through the light – there just long enough for Rodney to confirm that he does, indeed, look terrible – and kneels on Rodney’s bed. Rodney’s breath catches, he really wants to find a smart remark, but can’t. “Umm?”

Sheppard’s hands are shaking as they reach for the hem of Rodney’s t-shirt. It doesn’t occur to Rodney to complain as it’s removed – carefully, gently, Sheppard biting his lip as he tries not to jostle Rodney’s arm. The shirt is dropped to the floor. Major Sheppard’s hands reach toward Rodney, but then he stops. He leans back, away, and Rodney doesn’t want that. He reaches out and wraps his left hand around Sheppard’s bicep. Sheppard stills. Then careful fingertips are tracing the bruises on Rodney’s torso.

Sheppard seems to be making an inventory of his injuries. Stroking each bruise, touching each cut. Gently lifting Rodney’s arms to check his ribs, urging him to move forward and kneeling behind him to check his back. Sheppard’s eyes are shadowed and his breath is getting ragged. Rodney doesn’t try to stop him.

Eventually, Sheppard takes Rodney’s bandaged arm from where he’s holding it against his chest, and wraps his fingers around the forearm, his thumb ghosting almost invisibly over the heavy, white bandage Carson finally woke up enough to apply. For the first time Rodney could remember Carson hadn’t made one quip about Rodney’s hypochondria, he’d just tutted, and murmured something about “bloody Genii bastards”, and bandaged it neatly.

“There are stitches underneath,” Rodney murmurs as quiet as he can.

Sheppard nods against the back of his neck. Holding Rodney’s arm still with one hand, he slowly undresses the wound. Taking care to close the pin, folding the bandage carefully, and laying them both on the dressing table. He stares at the neat row of Carson’s stitches for a long time. Rodney tries not to fidget.

The cut was never serious. It hurt like a bitch, but it was more the huge amount of blood that had shocked him. That and the way that bastard kept punching him there to make him shut up.

“Shit.” Sheppard says at last. He drops Rodney’s arm and wraps his arms around Rodney from behind, pressing his face against Rodney’s neck. He’s breathing harsh and unevenly. He’s not crying. But he sounds as broken as if he were.

This is strange enough that even Rodney doesn’t know what to do. He can only sit still and hope he’s helping. Eventually though, Rodney can’t take doing nothing anymore. He turns around slowly and pulls Sheppard down beside him, wrapping his arms around him until Sheppard’s hands stop clenching against his back, until his breathing is quieter, more controlled. Then he pulls back and kisses Sheppard’s lips. His cheeks, his damp eyes, his ridiculous ears.

Sheppard inhales roughly. There’s an endless second before he responds, murmuring God knows what against Rodney’s skin. Half the “shhs” are from Rodney, half the “it’s okays” are from Sheppard – from John. The rest are anyone’s guess.

Eventually, Rodney pulls back. He touches John’s lips, “Okay, I know what I’m doing. What are you?” He whispers, keeping his voice low.

John’s eyes are unfocused. “I’m kissing you?”

“I thought we couldn’t do this. Isn’t it against The Rules, or something?”

John presses against him, almost trying to climb inside – and growls into his ear, “Rodney, after today I don’t give a shit about the rules.”

That makes sense; Rodney likes that. He only hopes it’s still true tomorrow. “Yeah?”


John pulls him back for another kiss. A deeper one than before. Open mouths, tongues finally getting in on the action. Rodney slides his hands under John’s loose t-shirt, strokes the tense muscles of his back, cups the back of John’s neck and ruffles the fine hairs he finds there. John’s not hard yet, and neither is Rodney. It has nothing to do with not wanting – at least not on Rodney’s part – but at the moment he is more desperate to touch and to hold than to come. Finally, John sits back, pulls off his t-shirt, and slides down Rodney’s body, peeling off Rodney’s shorts as he goes. His slender, graceful hands – hands that killed over sixty men today, a thought Rodney hasn’t totally processed yet – trail down Rodney’s legs. Touching and stroking as he did with Rodney’s torso previously.

“They… God… They didn’t hurt me there.” Rodney moans, but John shushes him. He kisses down the outside of Rodney’s right leg and up the inside of his left. He takes Rodney’s soft cock in his mouth and sucks gently until it’s hard. Then he kisses, and sucks, and licks, and does something absolutely fucking amazing with his tongue until Rodney is seeing stars and coming hard.

Rodney spreads his legs without thinking about it, and John kicks off his pants and boxers and settles down between Rodney’s thighs, kissing him again. “Top drawer,” Rodney whispers raggedly.


“Condoms and lube. Top drawer.”

John draws back. “You sure?”

“Oh God yes.”

John smiles, leans over and gets the stuff. He lays down again, slides lube-slick fingers inside Rodney. They kiss until John’s hard, then he sits back and puts the condom on, entering Rodney in one long, easy, endless slide.

They both still. They stare at each other, John’s eyes widening in what must be the mirror of Rodney’s. Rodney’s had good sex before. He’s had great sex. He’s never felt this.

“Please?” Rodney whispers and that’s all it takes to get John moving. To make him fuck Rodney, slowly, carefully, almost sweetly. Showering his face and neck and shoulders with kisses. Being exactly what Rodney didn’t know he needed tonight.

John is amazing. The muscles in his back and neck stretch with every thrust. He makes these tiny, almost soundless moans. He keeps his eyes open and can’t seem to look away from Rodney. And when he comes his mouth forms an “oh” that Rodney wants to kiss, and his eyes fall shut in bliss.

He pulls out, disposes of the condom then slumps on top of Rodney, open mouth pressed languidly to the pulse point in Rodney’s neck. “I love you.”

Rodney doesn’t think, just responds. He’s never been good at that, but after today he’ll try anything. “I love you, too.”

“So much.” John’s voice is still ragged. “God Rodney, so much. When they were taking you through the gate I didn’t think we’d be able to stop them in time.”

Rodney squeezes him, “But you did. You saved the entire city, Major.”

“No. You saved the city. I just saved you.”

Rodney smiles, “See, I find that equally important.”

That earns him a soft laugh, “Only equally?”

“I’m feeling magnanimous.”

A kiss on his collarbone. Then, uncertainly, “Do you want me to go?”

God, no! “Do you want to?”

“Not really.”

Rodney tries not to sound relieved, “Then please, don’t.”

John nods. He reaches down to pull the blanket up then notices how many there are. He raises an eyebrow, “Cold, Rodney?”


John’s eyes soften. He wraps two blankets around them, then lays beside Rodney, pulling him over so Rodney’s head is pillowed half on his chest, half on his shoulder. “I’ll keep you warm tonight, okay?”

“Mmm.” John’s skin is burning hot and some of his warmth is already seeping through into Rodney. “Sleep now, ‘kay? Been a bad day.”

John’s hand is stroking circles on his back. “All of it?”

Rodney huffs out a laugh against his shoulder, “Don’t fish for complements. And no, this bit was nice.”

“Only nice?”

John is definitely teasing him now, so Rodney bites his shoulder. Of course, he kisses it better when John protests, which ruins the effect.

He closes his eyes and curls a hand around John’s bicep. “Love you,” he says again, to see how it feels.

John strokes his hair, “Go to sleep.”


It’s light when Rodney’s woken by someone kissing his neck and shaking his shoulder. At least he hopes it’s all the same person. Even more, he hopes it’s John.


“Weir just called, she needs me in the control room. Something about flood damage. I didn’t want you to think I’d snuck out.”

“Flood damage?” Rodney moans, half sitting. “She’ll need me too.”

“No, Rodney.” John pushes him gently back, “She specifically said to let you sleep.”

“Oh,” Rodney sinks back against his pillows, wraps his arms around it, “She’ll need me eventually,” he mumbles already feeling himself slide back to sleep, “I’m very important.”

John laughs and ruffles his hair, “You certainly are,” Rodney hears him murmur before he falls asleep again.