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Feelings, nothing more

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The weeks following their reunion should have been wonderful. Instead, John spent most of that time on edge. He tried not to let things get weird between him and McKay, because he was the one with the problem, not McKay. But there were downsides to being in love, which he had to contend with every day.

***

One of those downsides, John discovered, was the inexplicable urge to talk about his feelings. The kind of feelings that were completely inappropriate, feelings which could, if discovered, lead to the break up of his team or, worse, the end of his career. And that was not going to happen, he decided, doing everything he could to quash the wayward part of himself that, for some reason, wanted to shout his love from the rooftops.

Unfortunately, that same part also had him loitering in McKay's lab when he could have been enjoying his day off.

Watching McKay from across the room, it dawned on him that he didn't have his shit together, no matter how hard he tried to pretend that he did. And it wasn't as though he'd been that kind of guy to start with. Because, he hadn't. Which was why the whole thing freaked him out on levels he couldn't even begin to express.

He didn't do feelings; he buried them down deep, so deep it was like they'd never existed. Yet, here he was pining . . ..

John couldn't believe it himself.

He still made sure he was cool about it, with brooding slouches and dark frowns. But, it was what it was: *pining*. Even he had to admit that after the ridiculous amount he'd been doing over the past few weeks.

Some days, he wondered how it had come to this in the first place: him hanging around for scraps of attention, hoping that McKay would huff in his direction or simply notice he was there. Now, as he wandered over to annoy McKay into doing just that, he just wished he knew how to stop himself.

When he slouched up against McKay's desk, McKay gave him several weird looks, a sign that McKay thought he had serious mental problems. That didn't stop McKay updating him on current projects—a process that really only required him to 'hmm' and 'ah' and not make a complete fool of himself. So, he got a little distracted watching McKay in full lecture mode.

God, McKay had beautiful eyes! Bright blue and piercing, the kind a guy could get lost in, if said guy were prone to such things. Which he categorically was not. Still, he couldn't help indulging in McKay's proximity; and despite the sudden tightness in his chest, it was easy to pretend for a moment that nothing had changed.

After a while, though, the flow of the conversation changed

McKay started probing, asking questions like *what had he been up to* and *who had he been seeing while they'd been apart*, questions that called for specific answers, instead of the monosyllabic grunting sounds he'd made so far. Which suddenly meant he had to think and pay attention, something quite frankly he hadn't been doing at all.

Once he started, that strange tight feeling crawled up from his chest into his throat, because he realized that he'd let McKay have free rein for too long—unwise in most situations, but a disaster if his aim was to avoid emotional minefields. Before he could even think about wrenching it back, McKay steered them onto dangerous ground with:

"So, you just teamed up with Weir again after I left?"

John immediately went on high alert. "Rodney, Weir was the one, who requested the assignment." He stated that firmly, appalled that they were even having this conversation. It was far too soon for this. In fact, the more he thought about it, this was not a topic he ever wanted to discuss, least of all with McKay, who had a habit of laying mines with every word. "Look, it's not like I had a choice," he added, hoping that would be enough to put the whole thing to bed.

"No, of course you didn't," McKay muttered, making him realize that was not going to happen.

Only, now McKay looked annoyed on top of bewildered. And John had no clue how any of this was his fault!

Going back to Weir had been wrong on so many levels, like trying to fit a Weir-sized peg into a McKay-shaped hole. He'd actually had nightmares about it. Even now, he could feel his face scrunching up with the weirdness of it all. But he wasn't about to remind McKay that he'd been the one who'd abandoned them, not while McKay still seemed pissed off about something.

"So," John continued warily, "are we good?" As much as he loved McKay, he'd had enough of talking about his feelings to last a lifetime. "Listen, trust me when I say none of us want to go through that again," and he waved at Teyla and Ronon as well to make sure McKay got that this was a team thing, not just him. "You do know you're kind of a hard act to follow, right?"

"Really?" McKay looked at him suspiciously, as though waiting for the punch line to some joke. "Well, I suppose it makes sense," he said when one didn't come. "After all, I am the smartest man in this galaxy. So, of course, it would be impossible for anyone else to live up to that. You know, from a security detail perspective."

When McKay turned back to his work, looking absurdly pleased with himself, John let out an amazingly goofy smile.

In the back of his mind, he'd been a bit worried about how McKay would respond to having the team back. Whether they would all just pick up where they'd left off, or whether too much time had passed and they would have to get to know each other again, to rebuild that sense of camaraderie. McKay's attitude, however, told him exactly what he needed to know: that the rapport between them hadn't died, and that everything was going to be fine. He knew he still had some work ahead of him to get the team running the way it used to. But with the way McKay kept smirking to himself, John had a feeling that he had the situation under control.

 

The End