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In a better future

Chapter Text

Rodney snores.

Usually it's not very loud and John can easily fall asleep in spite of it, but right now Rodney is coming down with something.

Which clogs up his nose and worsens the mildly annoying snuffles until he sounds as if he finally claimed his Canadian heritage and became a lumberjack with a goddamn motor saw.

John lies awake for about half an hour, debating if he shall finish up the paperwork he avoided for the past week.

But when he tries to extricate himself, Rodney clings to him and murmurs, half asleep „No, Col'nel. You're comfy."

John stays.

Chapter Text

It's Rodney's birthday, and for once everything goes as planned. John has deliberately scheduled no mission for their team for the three days leading up to Rodney's birthday to be on the safe side. There are no technical emergencies in the city and no Wraith or Replicators trying to kill them or invade Atlantis. It's perfect, and John is going to cherish every uninterrupted moment they have.

He goes on his usual morning run with Ronon while Rodney is still dead to the world. On his way back he stops by the mess hall and gets coffee in a Thermos carafe and sandwiches and Athosian honey cakes for their breakfast. After he showers he wakes Rodney with a congratulatory blow job which leaves the birthday boy nearly incoherent and flailing around like a wet noodle. But Rodney soon regains enough control over his limbs to tug John up for kisses and repaying the favour. They just make out lazily for a while after that. The breakfast in bed is a huge success, especially because they normally don't have many opportunities to indulge like that. Since coming back to Pegasus and especially since the repeal of DADT things have been more relaxed and Rodney and John have moved into family quarters together. Still, there are enough crises day to day to make spending the morning in bed together a rare and treasured event.

They both took the day off, though, and barring a life threatening city-wide crisis it's going to be awesome.

There is a little party planned this evening, just their team, senior staff and some friends from the science department and otherwise. The expedition has grown considerably since they came back to this galaxy, especially since there are now quite a few people from Pegasus residing in the City of the Ancestors. John still makes sure to know every one of his men and women by name (Rodney still can't be bothered with such mundane things as the names of his underlings when "O my God, you moron" works just as well). But even if their community is not as close-knit as it once was, John can feel the city's pleasure of having her people returned to her, milling about in her halls and populating her spires, reverberating through him. He completely agrees with the sentiment.

John has saved quite a stash of chocolate and coffee from the last Daedalus run, secured in a beautiful Athosian trunk in Teyla's quarters where Rodney is not prone to go snooping. He plans to present Rodney with it shortly before the party. For now he has a more personal gift.

It has definitely some perks, being one of Atlantis' favourite people. A few weeks ago, after a particularly rough mission, John found himself thinking longingly of a little spa he and Nancy once visited on an anniversary and the hot stone massage he got there. It was just a fleeting thought, like he thought of football games or fast cars or Ferris wheels sometimes. But apparently Atlantis had been listening, because he felt the familiar nudge at the edge of his consciousness and when he went to the nearest console she had drawn up directions to a set of rooms which were in a section of the city that had been declared safe after the initial sweep but had not been further investigated thus far. When John went to check it out with Ronon the next day he was, once again, amazed by the Ancients and their tendency to go completely overboard. It is a spa, alright, one you'd find perhaps in the most luxurious of hotels or the residence of a Saudi-Arabian oil billionaire. Rodney is going to love it.

Rodney does love it, and they take their time exploring and lounging about and also christening a few of the rooms and then unwinding again in the hot tub or on the awesome massage couches.

It's the most relaxed John has seen Rodney in weeks and he plans on making this a regular retreat for them. (Although he suspects that once more people get to know about it, the spa will be in quite high demand).

Later, after they've cleaned up and eaten a late lunch with Teyla and Ronon, they go racing their R/C cars in one of the corridors which are not so highly frequented. Still, news travel as fast as transporters on Atlantis and soon they have a captive audience of the city's children. Eventually John and Rodney relinquish their controllers to Torren and his friends. They're much too polite to outright ask but the puppy eyes make it clear they'd love to have a go at the cars.

The coffee-and-chocolate-treasure leaves Rodney actually speechless for about a minute, which is something John is not prepared for. He can however handle Rodney tackling him and kissing him silly.

John is looking forward to the party later and getting Rodney tipsy on Ruus wine and then enjoying him being affectionate in public, but for now he's got more urgent matters to attend to as they tumble into bed together.

He doesn't mind, though.

Chapter Text

"Carson?"

Carson comes out of his office at speed because John is sounding pretty desperate.

"What happened, lad?"

His thoughts jump from bullet wound to broken ribs from sparring or internal bleeding because on first glance he can't see any external injuries.

He begins to check John's vital signs while he waits for an explanation and John blinks at him for a moment before he steps back and raises his hands. "Whoa, whoa, Carson, I'm fine. It's Rodney."

Carson raises a sceptical eyebrow.

John sighs. "It's that goddamn cold. He can hardly breathe at night, and I can't sleep either. Don't you have something for his nose?"

Carson frowns "What do you mean, he can hardly breathe? Are there pauses? Wheezing? Rattling noises?"

John looks around the very open infirmary and then motions for them to go back to Carson's office.

Once there, Carson looks at him expectantly and John stuffs his hands into his pockets.

"He snores, okay? Normally it's not so bad, but I'm guessing his nose or sinuses or whatever are pretty clogged right now and it's... really loud."

He sounds like he's in pain himself but Carson has known John long enough to learn that this is standard when John is forced to speak about anything that matters to him, Rodney's wellbeing being pretty much on top of that list.

"I could recommend something, like nose spray for example but it'd be better if he came in for me to have a look at him."

John shakes his head. "No, that would be suspicious, he was here only two days ago, he'd think something's really wrong. And you know Rodney, he'd probably freak out if he knew he keeps me from sleeping and would crash out in his lab. Is there anything I can do to help?"

"Hmm, let me think. He needs to drink lots of water or tea, not only coffee. And if you could get him to take a hot bath I could give you something to put in the water."

John's eyes light up at the mention of a bath. "I can manage that."

Carson smiles at him and after searching shortly through his supplies, hands him a flask with bathing essence. "A cap full for a normal bath tub should suffice."

"Thanks, doc." John says gratefully.

"Now, lad, about your sleeping -" Carson begins and John's eyes widen in alarm.

But before either of them can say anything more, Rodney's voice comes in over the senior staff channel, sounding more nasal than usual.

"Colonel, I need you in the chair room."

John taps his headset and gives Carson an apologetic shrug, starting to walk out of the infirmary even at he speaks. “I'm on my way, Rodney.”

Carson just shakes his head and goes back to the medical files he was looking through.


After helping Rodney calibrate the settings for the desalinating tanks (and strategically placing water bottles at places which are easy to reach all over Rodney's lab) John checks Atlantis' logs for the newly discovered spa to see if there are any reservations for tonight – there aren't any yet. He reserves the evening under his name.

Then he calls up Zelenka and involves him in the plot to get Rodney out of the lab at a decent time.

It works out quite nicely and when John comes by the lab to fetch Rodney for dinner he doesn't get more than a token protest.

Rodney has to slow down because he doesn't get enough air through his nose to eat and breathe simultaneously, so their dinner is more relaxed than usual. John got a huge glass of grape juice for Rodney and it helps him swallow his dinner so he doesn't bitch about it.

After dinner, John casually mentions the idea of an evening at the spa.

“That's the best idea I've heard all day”, Rodney answers immediately, his eyes closing a little in bliss at the memory of that wonderful place.

So they get towels and clean clothes and John grabs the flask he got from Carson.

While Rodney is enjoying one of the massage couches John prepares a steaming jacuzzi with the bath essence. The fragrance is surprisingly nice (John's associations with medicine are so overwhelmingly negative he expected something smelling much more like hospital) and John gets Rodney to the jacuzzi without any effort.

He can see Rodney's shoulders loosen and hears him moan in appreciation at the relaxing power of the hot water and whatever is in that bath essence.

John grins and dives into the water to help Rodney relax even more.

When they get back to their quarters later that evening, Rodney is loose and pliant and his breathing is much easier.

For the first time in days, John can sleep.

 

Chapter Text

For John's birthday, Rodney builds him a Ferris wheel.

 

It's on the East pier and Rodney needs to really put his brilliance to work to keep it a secret from John.

 

He involves Evan because Atlantis has taken a shine to him and he is the best at convincing her that although John of course will love the Ferris wheel, he will be even happier when they keep it a surprise for him just until his birthday. The concept of celebrating birthdays or surprises in general seems quite foreign to 'Lantis, but she's willing to believe Evan that this is just a human thing.

 

What is it about her and these flyboys, anyway?


There's no one who can make her the things John can, and it just takes him a gentle “Hey honey, could you please...?” where Rodney and his whole department have been coaxing and programming and rewiring for weeks without success. Rodney has finally decided to save them all the hassle and just ask John first when he wants something done. 'Lantis is completely on board with this, practically purring in satisfaction whenever she can do something for John.


If John or Evan (or, heaven forbid, both) are gone for more than two nights in a row on a mission, 'Lantis gets mopey and nudges all gene carriers remaining in the city to tell her when they'll be back, even when she has full access to all mission briefings and schedules herself and could just look it up. Not that Rodney has pointed that out. Repeatedly. Usually around two in the morning when 'Lantis feels the absence of her most beloved the keenest, it seems. (Okay, Rodney can relate to that. Even their bed is much too empty without John, how has she got to feel?)

 

The first time General O'Neill was visiting, 'Lantis behaved like a mix between a love starved puppy and a proud toddler who wants to show daddy all the pictures she drew for him. The General took it all in stride, praising her and giving friendly pats to the walls wherever he was. The hardest part was when he was scheduled to leave and 'Lantis refused to activate the Stargate. It took a stern talking-to from John to get her to comply, and even then she only fully acquiesced after O'Neill promised to call often.

And he does, too. Every second Monday, 9 a.m. like clockwork. Unless there's an intergalactic crisis going on, then he checks in as soon as it's over. 'Lantis is very happy on these days and if the scientists are planning something difficult they usually schedule it for these Mondays, because she's the most helpful then.

 

Her personality only began to make itself known when they had two fully charged ZedPMs installed. Radek has the theory that she was in sleep mode before to preserve energy. Rodney sometimes thinks it was more to preserve the mental stability of whoever of the Ancients was the one to deal with shutting everything down after the evacuation. She probably would have cried brokenheartedly at being abandoned by her people, and who wants to have to listen to that when they're already fleeing to another galaxy?

 

Rodney doesn't mind her personality. Much.

Except when she clearly plays favorites with John or Evan when it's Rodney who just spent two sleepless nights rerouting the ventilation systems so they don't all die of suffocation, thank you very much. Just to mention a totally randomly chosen example.

She does get better about it, and Rodney knows it's mainly because John talks to her a lot about how to appreciate someone not just because they have shiny genes and are easy to interact with, but because they tirelessly do their best to make you as comfortable as possible, and also about how to show your appreciation. (He knows because he overheard John on more than one occasion.)

 

And because it's John we're talking about here, 'Lantis learns to show her gratitude in running more smoothly and cooperating with his scientists and conveniently opening doors to exciting labs instead of simply talking to him through one of the many monitors surrounding Rodney every minute. Rodney mostly finds it endearing.

 

Among other things, it has helped him to get the metallurgic manufacturing stations up and running. 'Lantis even assisted with designing the alloy they're going to use for the beams of the Ferris wheel. She also helpfully used one of Rodney's laptops to show him the gate addresses of the planets where they could find the ore they need.

 

Still, even with 'Lantis' help it's not easy keeping a secret this big.

 

One day they come back from the mainland in a jumper, and John wants to fly around the East pier to get to the jumper bay, but 'Lantis, who of course is linked to all puddlejumpers, prevents the little ship from turning there.

 

“Rodney, the jumper is acting up” John tells him, with a definite edge of worry in his tone. Which is understandable because usually when a jumper doesn't do what it's supposed to it was damaged in battle or otherwise and there have been any number of tricky situations they got into because of that. That's why John has the safety of the jumpers as one of his highest priorities, and immediately tells Rodney or Radek when something's wrong.

 

Rodney looks up from his tablet and sees where they're headed. “Can you try the other way around the city?”

 

John does and shoots Rodney a questioning look when the jumper flies that way without problems. Rodney smiles enigmatically. John shrugs and lets it go.

 

A few days later Rodney is in his lab when John hails him on the radio and asks if his department has been tinkering with the transporters.

 

“What, why?”

 

“Well, I just was transported somewhere completely different from where I wanted to go. And I've tried a few times, there seem to be some destinations I just can't get through to. Could it be a malfunction? A virus? Sabotage?”

 

Rodney rubs his forehead. “I'll look into it. Which destinations gave you problems?”

 

John rattles off a few destinations, and of course they're all around the East pier. Rodney tells John he'll get back to him on that.

 

'Lantis nudges Rodney and when he looks at his tablet, she has actually opened a conversation, which she very seldom does. He finds it much easier to communicate with her like this instead of telepathically because as his gene is not as strongly expressed as John's there's usually only a very vague sense of what she means coming through, which frustrates them both. So Rodney has tried to get her to write to him instead and although she doesn't seem to quite grasp the necessity for it, she usually at least answers when he writes to her. But her initiating the conversation is something very rare.

 

JohnColonel is worried about us.

 

The names 'Lantis uses for them are usually a conglomerate of the names she hears most often used when someone is addressing a person.

 

We don't want to worry JohnColonel. Is this surprise really necessary?

 

It'll be fine, Rodney writes back, let me talk to him. John likes surprises, he just doesn't like when he doesn't know what's going on and thinks something's wrong with your systems.

 

We don't know what to tell JohnColonel when he asks why the μεταφερότα or βάρκαι are not doing what he wants. Would it not be easier to just let him see the surprise?

 

Rodney smiles. Then it wouldn't be a surprise anymore.

 

The descendants have strange customs. You will talk to him soon, McKayDoctorRodney?

 

Yes, I will, don't worry. Hey, could you take a look at these readings from the environmental probes below the East pier? Tell me if I'm missing something that's relevant to building the Ferris wheel, okay? You know, fluctuations in temperature, water currents, unusual sea life, that kind of thing.

 

We will do as you wish, McKayDoctorRodney. We do not want the descendants to come to harm while falling from your big wheel.

 

Rodney gets a sudden image of people jumping from the gondolas into the ocean because the ground is getting unstable (or something) and then he is hit by the idea that they could build a water slide, too, and okay he really has to stop now before he builds a whole amusement park.

(There's always John's birthday next year for that.)

 

Thank you, 'Lantis.

 

'Lantis quite seems to like the name they've come up with for her. Apparently the Ancients didn't give her a real name and as she sees that names are very important to them she is enjoying having one for her own as well.

 

Of course, McKayDoctorRodney.

 

That evening, Rodney and John are watching a movie together and munching on a sort of trail mix the Athosians make when Rodney remembers that there's something he wanted to tell John.

 

“Hey, I looked into the transporter systems, they're all fine.”

 

John looks at him sideways. “Yeah? Any idea why they'd spit me out somewhere else then?”

 

Rodney shoots him a glance before concentrating back on the screen. “There's a surprise for you on the East pier and we asked 'Lantis to help keeping the secret.”

 

John leans forward and pauses the movie, then turns to face Rodney completely. “What kind of surprise?”

 

Rodney is confused. “The birthday kind?”

 

John blinks at him. “But ... that's months away!

 

Rodney shrugs. “You know how things are around here, you never know when the next crisis will hit and I'd like it to be ready in time.”

 

A small smile breaks out across John's face and he leans in for a kiss. “Thanks.”

 

Then something seems to occur to him. “Wait, did you explain to 'Lantis that I need access to the East pier if we're under attack? I can't have the transporters and jumpers with only limited functions when there's a military threat.”

 

Rodney nods. “Evan explained it to her. But feel free to ask her about it later.”

 

John nods and resumes the movie.


All in all, it takes about two months to build the Ferris wheel. It could have been faster, but there are always minor and some major crises going on and of course the daily work in the labs and on missions doesn't stop either.

 

John is much better about surprises than Rodney will ever be, he has to admit. Rodney would have hacked into John's computer or wheedled 'Lantis or found ways to intimidate his scientists or any collaborating party into telling him what's going on within the first week of getting to know there's a surprise planned for him.

 

John just takes it all in stride, flying the other way around to the jumper bay, scheduling drills with his marines on the Southwest pier and asking Rodney on the radio if he's free to talk before he comes for a visit.

 

And now it's finally, finally John's birthday. The wheel has been ready for about a week, and has already been tested extensively by scientist and military personnel alike, everyone who helped to work on the project. It's beautiful, all gleaming spires and shining glass gondolas with clear and stained glass windows in turn. It fits perfectly within the city and 'Lantis is very satisfied at this exquisite addition to her pier.

 

In an honored tradition as of the last few years, there is no mission scheduled for the days leading up to the birthday and it has paid off, no one of their team is in the infirmary, everything is going well.

Rodney has organized a huge party on and around the pier. He did end up building a water slide after all, but only because they had time and resources left. Would have been a shame to waste all that.

It comes with a big web-like construction within the water where the slide ends which is for catching everyone going down it and making sure they're not drifting off into the ocean.

 

But that's all later, in the evening. Right now it's morning and John has promised to skip his customary early morning run so Rodney has a chance to set his alarm before John's and wake up the birthday boy (with a congratulatory blow job, which has become another great tradition).

 

After a very fun romp in bed they have breakfast with their team and after that they pack a lunch and Rodney lets John take him up in a jumper and fly them both out to the mainland to a beach where there are great waves for surfing.

 

They spend the day surfing (John) and lounging in the water and ogling (Rodney) respectively, which suits them both just fine.

 

Late afternoon they return to the city and Rodney goes to oversee the final touches to the party while John gets to play mini-golf with Atlantis' assorted kids. He loves interacting with the kids, he just usually doesn't have much time for it. He's the big hero of the children and Rodney knows for a fact that when asked what they want to be when they grow up at least half of the children say something along the lines of “jumper pilot” or “Colonel” or “what uncle John is”, depending on their understanding of John's line of work.

 

And then, it's finally time to reveal the big secret.

Rodney goes to fetch John, the children following behind in a respectful distance. They had to extend the surprise to the children as well because it would have been very hard to ask them to keep something this amazing a secret for weeks.

So Rodney leads John, who has closed his eyes, out onto the pier until he has the best view. Then he gently squeezes his hand and says quietly “You can open your eyes, now.”

 

John does.

 

His eyes go very round.

He turns to Rodney, mouth hanging half open in an astonished, delighted smile and gestures towards the wheel, absolutely speechless.

 

Rodney squeezes his hand again and laughs. “Yes, it's a Ferris wheel for you. Thought you'd enjoy it.”

 

John breathes “Rodney!” in an awestruck, hushed tone and wraps him in a crushing bear hug.

 

During that time the children have come out onto the pier as well and are amazed and fascinated by the Ferris wheel. There are very few children who have heard of such a thing and less than a handful who have ever seen one, usually when they're visiting relatives on earth.

 

John releases Rodney, his face flushed with excitement. “Can we go try it out?”

 

Rodney beams at him. “Of course we can. Come along, Colonel.”

 

They walk towards the wheel, the children rush forward ahead of them to see this wonder of engineering up close and even touch it reverently.

 

By the time John and Rodney catch up with the kids, they have already engaged the scientists and marines guarding the wheel in a spirited discussion about this wonder.

 

John thanks the whole team who built the wheel for this wonderful present and then they all file into the gondolas and go for a ride.

 

When the gondola with John and Rodney is at the very top, the wheel stops for a minute so they can admire the view.

 

Is the surprise to your liking, JohnColonel?  'Lantis asks via the little built-in touchscreen in the little table in the middle of the gondola.

 

John laughs. “It is absolutely marvelous. Thank you for helping Rodney on this.”

 

It is our pleasure. Do you want the wheel to start moving again?

 

“Go ahead, hon. Thank you.”


They spend the better part of the evening on the Ferris wheel, occasionally stopping for refreshments or new guests who want to congratulate John and compliment Rodney for his great work.

The children are equally fascinated by the wheel and the water slide. Their euphoric squeals and shrieks of laughter surely can be heard on the other side of the city.

Rodney is content just with John at his side, smiling softly.

 

It's a great birthday, all around.

 

Chapter Text

Elisabeth Weir is a little surprised but very excited when she reads the proposal of Dr. Jackson for an extended research project on Atlantis. She has immensely enjoyed working with him in the SGC in the past and she knows there are so many things to discover in Lantis' databases that a hundred anthropologists could spend a whole lifetime on it. Not to speak of the time it would take to study the different peoples of Pegasus.

 

She wonders what finally made General O'Neill change his mind, because in the past he was always adamant Dr. Jackson's talents were desperately needed in the Milky way. Which they undoubtedly are, but Elisabeth can't help but think of her people first, and that includes not only the personnel from Earth, but also Atlantis' inhabitants from the Pegasus galaxy and their allies. Lantis shares that sentiment completely, of course, and has often backed them up in their requisitions or even added her own in her bi-weekly talks with the General. O'Neill has a hard time saying no to her if her wishes are not completely over the top, which has worked out really fine for the expedition.

 

She puts Dr. Jackson's proposal on top of the agenda for the next senior staff meeting.

The anthropology department will be thrilled. Not to mention archaeology and linguistics.


A month later, Teyla is making her way through Atlantis with Dr. Jackson, who has been in the city for about a week now.

 

At an intersection she sees a visitor in the other corridor who just arrived today and is visibly surprised to see the archaeologist here.

 

“Danny?”

 

Dr. Jackson turns around slowly and swallows. “Jack?”

 

General O'Neill raises an eyebrow at him. “Fancy meeting you here. Especially since I distinctly remember you telling me you'd be excavating Mayan temples in Guatemala.”

 

Dr. Jackson winces slightly. “Something came up. Look, Jack, I'd love to chat, but I've got a meeting to get to and you're probably busy as well...”

 

The General nods slowly. “Right. You go to your meeting, but I look forward to hearing all about this 'Something' when we meet for lunch. 1300 hours, my quarters. See you then.”

 

Dr. Jackson sighs but agrees that he'll be there.

 

General O'Neill continues on his way with Major Lorne.

 

Dr. Jackson looks after him for a second, then shakes himself and turns back to Teyla. “So, we were talking about that tea ceremony?”

 

Teyla inclines her head and smiles. “I'd be happy to invite you to such a ceremony, Dr. Jackson.”

 


JohnColonel?

 

John looks up from War and Peace, which he's only reading because Rodney got an urgent call in the middle of them watching Dr. Who and making out and had to leave, griping about the morons the SGC sent on the latest Daedalus run. He's more than happy to talk to Lantis instead.

 

Yes, Lantis?

 

Is JackGeneral not happy to see DoctorJacksonDanny?

 

John startles at that name, because up until now Lantis called the archeologist DanielDoctorJackson. He's pretty sure Daniel won't be too happy about the change.

 

Let's talk about that in a minute, hon. Could you drop the Danny part of the name?

 

Why? Is it not part of his name? JackGeneral most frequently refers to DoctorJacksonDanny like this.

 

John smiles. Yeah, but that is private.

 

We do not understand, JohnColonel.

 

John tries to think of a way to explain to Lantis the different connotations of rang, title, name and nickname.

 

Look, it's like this. Dr. Jackson is the name we use when we are in a professional setting with him. Like working together, or meeting allies. If you call him that, it is always appropriate, no matter who is also in the room with him.

Danny is what we call a nickname or an endearment. Only very close friends or family use such names for each other and it's not considered professional. It belongs only in a private setting, like when he's relaxing with friends, not at work. So if you call him Danny in the middle of the city where everyone else can hear you, it might embarrass Dr. Jackson.

 

This seems highly illogical and unnecessarily complicated. Lantis sounds like she's pouting, but in a very discreet, Spock-like way. But we will try to conform to the traditions of the descendants. Can we call him DanielDoctorJackson?

 

Yes, that's fine, hon.

Now, what makes you think the General is not happy to see him?

 

JackGeneral was meeting DanielDoctorJackson at midday and they had a long conversation about how DanielDoctorJackson came to us. JackGeneral was very... she hesitates, then pushes the impression of a tangled ball of feelings at him, anger, exasperation, relief, surprise and grim determination being the most discernible among them.

 

John huffs a laugh, because that makes total sense if Daniel really snuck to Atlantis behind Jack's back, as he seems to have done. Of course John heard all the rumors already, and he silently salutes Daniel for that kind of unauthorized under-cover-mission well executed. The paperwork requesting his prolonged research project here was flawless. John distinctly remembers Jack's own signature on the “Approved” line. Nobody even dreamed of thinking Daniel might not have Jack's approval, because they all know how the General feels about Daniel being away from Milky Way for any length of time and if he had gotten his signature is was obviously okay.

 

The word you're looking for is upset, Lantis.

 

Thank you, JohnColonel. And then, Lantis continues, JackGeneral told DanielDoctorJackson he was in a lot of trouble and they both thought about... she obviously doesn't know the right word for that either, so she pushes the corresponding image at John. We do not understand. Please explain.

 

John blushes deeply. That is definitely way, way too much information about his superior officer and what he gets up to in his private time.

 

Lantis... he begins, and falters. He's still trying to figure out how to respond, when Rodney blusters in, once again grumbling about incompetent underlings (or still, John's not sure he ever stopped).

 

He does stop once he sees John looking uncomfortable and flustered and is next to him in a second.

 

“And what happened to you?” He demands.

 

John cringes and groans when Lantis chooses Rodney's laptop to open a conversation to him, writing the same she speaks in John's head.

 

JohnColonel was just about to explain to us why JackGeneral is upset with DanielDoctorJackson and the cultural relevance of a certain practice they're engaging in right now.

 

John flops back onto the bed with a strangled sound. “Too much information, Lantis! And NO, don't show us the live feed!”

 

Rodney looks intrigued. “What kind of practice?”

 

John sits up and gives him a scandalized look. “That's none of our business!” Then he adds with a stern look towards the ceiling “And don't you go telling or showing him either, Lantis! We need to have a serious conversation about what privacy means.”

 

Lantis sounds a little sulky there when she says, Please elaborate.

 

John takes a deep breath and runs his hands through his hair.

 

“Look. I know you monitor everything and that's completely all right. And I know you get curious about what you see. But what happens behind closed doors in private quarters only concerns the people involved in it, no one else. So you can't go and ask other people to explain it to you, because it might embarrass both the people you witnessed as well as the people you're asking to explain.”

 

But one of our main purposes is to learn everything we can. How can we do that when we can't ask for interpretations?

 

John pats the wall beside the bed consolingly. “You can ask the people involved. Preferably when they've got a free minute, not in the middle of... proceedings. Okay?”

 

Lantis sends him the equivalent of an uncertain shrug and he sighs. “All right, how about this. I'll talk to Carson and Kate, see how they feel about explaining a little more to you. They know all about confidentiality.”

 

Why can't you be the one to explain the descendants' customs to us, JohnColonel?

 

Rodney snorts at reading that. “You'd get very sketchy explanations of a lot of customs, Lantis.”

 

John shoves him but has to concede the point. We'll talk later, when Rodney's not listening, okay?

 

We look forward to it, JohnColonel. Lantis tells him only in his head and closes the conversation on the laptop.

 

They get back to Dr. Who and making out shortly after that and John very successfully distracts Rodney from thinking about Jack and Daniel or his inadequate staff.


JohnColonel? Lantis asks quietly.

 

Mhm?

 

McKayDoctorRodney is sleeping. Can we talk now?

 

Sure, hon. Just, please, don't show me any more pictures of what Jack and Daniel are doing.

 

We will refrain from showing you pictures. But could you clarify what was happening between them? Or should we ask JackGeneral?

 

John stifles a laugh at at.

No, I'll clarify. It's best if you don't alert Jack and Daniel to the fact you were watching them. Okay, so what you saw is called a spanking. It's a punishment some parents use with their children, or sometimes it's used between adults, too, as you saw. But it's really, really private. People can get embarrassed about it, so don't talk about it in public, okay?

 

We will not refer to this custom in public. Why would JackGeneral do that to DanielDoctorJackson? It seemed quite painful.

 

As far as I've understood the situation, Daniel lied to Jack and tricked him into signing his application to come here. Daniel's work back on Earth is very important and Jack doesn't want him gone for two months.

 

JackGeneral could stay as well. We like it when JackGeneral is with us and he seems most happy when DanielDoctorJackson is with him.

 

But he has work back on Earth, hon. We'll ask him in the morning how long he can stay, all right?

 

Yes, thank you, JohnColonel.

 

You're welcome, Lantis.


John is very adept at compartmentalizing, and that's just what he does the next morning when he has a meeting with Jack and Evan.

 

He concentrates on the matters at hand, which are the threat assessments of the Wraith and Ori respectively, the latest discoveries of the scientists and if they're applicable to the military situation.

 

Only when they're going into lunch break John asks the General how long he plans on staying.

 

“We made good headway this morning, I think we'll be finished by afternoon, don't you think? I'd like to get back Earthside tonight.”

 

They all feel Lantis' stab of disappointment at that.

 

The General looks up at the ceiling apologetically. “I know, Lantis. Once things get a little less hectic at the SGC I'll come visit you longer.”

 

We can access the computer at the SGC and clear your schedule for you, JackGeneral.

 

Jack laughs. “Thanks, sweetheart. If they don't stop scheduling meetings for me I might take you up on that.”

 

We noticed that a considerable amount of your time is filled with these meetings, JackGeneral. Would it not be more efficient to utilize your talents in operating technology of the Anquietas?

 

“Oh, you're very welcome to try to convince General Landry of that. I'm completely with you there, Lantis.”

 

John and Evan share a smile at Jack's nearly wistful tone.

 

We will gladly talk to LandryGeneral. Could you convey our greetings to him and request that he may call us at his convenience?

 

Jack chuckles while they're all getting ready to leave for the mess hall. “Yeah, I'll tell him.”


Jack opens the door to Daniel's office with a thought and steps in, leaning against the wall and just watching Daniel work for a while.

 

His linguist is so engrossed in his work he doesn't even notice Jack coming in. (He's also noticeably standing rather than sitting at his desk, although most of the sting has probably faded by now. Jack only hopes he left a lasting impression about what he thinks about untruthfulness and absconding to another galaxy.)

 

After a minute or so, Jack clears his throat. Daniel frowns slightly, but is still too absorbed in his translation to being able to place the sound.

 

“Dannyboy,” Jack calls softly, and when Daniel finally looks up, crooks a finger at him. “C'mere.”

 

Daniel comes to him a little cautiously and stays just out of reach of Jack's hands. “Jack.”

 

“I'm leaving in half an hour, I just wanted to make sure you'll be all right, Danny.”

 

Daniel's expression softens and he steps forward into Jack's waiting arms.

 

After a long while Jack draws back a little and smiles at his archaeologist. “Are we good?”

 

Daniel nods and smiles back at him, before he leans forward again for a kiss. The kissing goes on for quite some time, but that's why Jack came here early, so they have time to properly say goodbye.

 

At long last, Daniel rests his head on Jack's shoulder and sighs. “I wish you could stay longer.”

 

“You, me, Lantis and about half the expedition, it seems. I'll see what I can do. Lantis has offered to hack into our computers and clear my schedule.”

 

Daniel laughs at that and directs a glance at the ceiling. “Thank you, Lantis, I appreciate that.”

 

Daniel's laptop lights up with the message You're welcome, DanielDoctorJackson. JackGeneral, Chuck wanted us to alert you it is almost time.

 

Jack sighs, but steps back from Daniel reluctantly and with another kiss. “Coming, Lantis. And you behave yourself, Danny. I'll be checking in more often and only want to hear good things about you.”

 

Daniel rolls his eyes. “Yeah, Jack, and you try not to piss off too many Senators in Washington.”

 

“Cheeky, Dannyboy.”

 

They walk out to the gate room, bickering amiably on their way.

Jack thinks they'll be all right. Nevertheless he plans on coming for a visit sooner rather than later. Two months is just too long a time apart. Who knows what Danny will get up to next?


 

Chapter Text

They're on a mission to meet with potential new trading partners and although John is always on alert when they're off-world, he has a good feeling about these people. They are farmers and are known to the athosians as honest people who work hard and honour their deals. Teyla never met them in person before, but a few of the athosians have and have assured John they are great allies to have.

They are met by the village elders near the gate, who come out to great them as welcome guests. After the village leader introduces his little party and himself, Teyla does the honours for AR-1.

"Pleased to meet you. Let me introduce ourselves: Colonel John Sheppard, Dr. Rodney McKay, Ronon Dex of Sateda and I'm Teyla Emmagan of Athos," Teyla says with a smile, pointing to each member of their team in turn.

The leader of the village seems very excited. "Dr. Rodney McKay? The builder of the Great Wheel?"

Rodney looks a bit startled for a moment, but catches himself quickly. "If you're referring to the Ferris Wheel on our East pier, then yes, I designed that."

Everyone of the villagers looks in awe at Rodney and the leader positively beams at him. "We are honoured to have you and your companions within our midst, Builder Rodney McKay. Please, will you allow us to offer you all refreshments?"

Rodney quickly gets over being stunned and a smug grin spreads out across his face. "Thank you, that would be wonderful. It's great to be finally acknowledged for the genius I am."

John rolls his eyes, but can't help his fond smile. Not that Rodney needs a bigger ego, but it is the best Ferris wheel in two galaxies. And it's nice when new potential partners are awed by feats of brilliant, peaceful engineering instead of their explosives for a change. He has a feeling they'll get along splendidly.

Chapter Text

John skids to a halt in front of the door to Rodney's lab. He came as fast as he could, feeling giddy with glee.
He pauses a moment to take a breath before thinking the door open and walking in at a leisurely pace, hands in his pockets.

Rodney is arguing with Radek in front of a whiteboard, arms swinging and insults thrown left and right. But John, who is well versed in these things, sees at once it's more bickering for the fun of it than an actual crisis going on.

So he does what he usually does in these situations, which is wander around aimlessly, correcting the math on the whiteboards and ending up slouched against Rodney's littered desk. He's learned his lesson about touching any unidentified Ancient thingies lying around Rodney's lab when one of them turned his hair bright green a few years back. Besides, now they can just ask Lantis what an unknown object is and what it's supposed to do. The injury rate among the scientists and "light switch personnel" has dropped dramatically since the A.I. has been woken.

Rodney goes on berating Radek for a few minutes longer, until the Czech throws his hands up and stalks away, calling "Go make out with Colonel boyfriend until you're in better mood!" over his shoulder.

Rodney whirls around to see John giving him a wave and a grin.
"Hey there."

Rodney narrows his eyes at him and then frowns at his watch. "It's a little early for lunch, did you come all this way just to loiter around my lab and distract me from making scientific breakthroughs?"

John's grin grows wider and he saunters over to Rodney with a definite swing in his hips, relishing the faint blush that rises on Rodney's cheeks.

He stops before his physicists and takes Rodney's hand in his. "Have you checked the newest databurst yet?"

Rodney frowns. "No, why?"

John gracefully goes down on one knee and looks up at Rodney with a smile.
"Doctor Meredith Rodney McKay. Would you do me the honour of marrying me?"

Rodney just gapes at him. "You wanna get married?!"

John quirks an eyebrow at him. "You don't?"

"What - of course I do, don't be stupid. Why now?"

John looks extraordinarily pleased as he gets up. He takes Rodney's face into his hands and kisses him soundly and for some time.
"Thank you. The supreme court ruled that no state is allowed to make same sex marriage illegal anymore."

Rodney blinks at him. "You waited until it was legal in the whole U.S.? Has it somehow escaped your notice that I'm from Canada? We could have gotten married years ago! Like... back in 2005!"

"We weren't even together in 2005!"

"That's not the point!"

"No," John says with considerable warmth. "It's not." Then he takes Rodney by the hand and tows him to their quarters to have celebratory "we're gonna get married!" sex with him.
Rodney only protests for about half a minute, claiming important research to be done, but the smoldering look John throws over his shoulder shuts him up fast.


JohnColonel?

John looks up from his paperwork, glad to be distracted.
Yes, Lantis?

Is now a good time to ask for explanations of a personal matter?

John smiles and thinks his office door locked.
Sure, go ahead.

Ever since you and McKayDoctorRodney decided to get married he has this reoccurring fantasy we find most curious.

Then she pushes an image at him which has to be plucked straight out of Rodney's mind, complete with his feelings of both guilt and being all but incoherent with desire.
John nearly falls out of his chair, because that is him in a wedding dress!
He has to admit, fantasy!him looks stunning. It never occurred to John to try drag up until now, but apparently it's something Rodney would go absolutely wild for. Plus, he's fairly sure Rodney would never bring it up on his own, so it's a great opportunity to surprise him. Hmm, there's a thought for their honeymoon...

He is interrupted in his happy musings by Lantis.
JohnColonel? Could you please explain?

That brings him up short.
Um. This... might take a while, Lantis.

We have a lot of time, JohnColonel.

John chuckles ruefully.
Yeah, I suppose you do.


"That'sh my hushband," Rodney slurs proudly, nearly dislocating John's steadying arm around his shoulders when he tries to point to him. "Col'nel hushband."

John huffs a laugh. "Jesus, McKay, you're such a lightweight."

Evan just gives Rodney a friendly nod, even though he was at their wedding party and already knows of his CO's updated marital status. "Congratulations, doctor. He's quite a catch."

Rodney turns to John with an affectionate, sloppy grin. "Yesh, you are." Then he almost topples over when he tries to lean forward for a kiss.

John chuckles and returns them both to an upright position before he kisses Rodney, who's making very appreciative noises and starts groping John's ass clumsily.

John grins and reverts to their former plan to get them back to their quarters as soon as possible, hushing Rodney's disappointed whining with a promise they'll get right back to groping as soon as they're home.
Evan snorts and takes his leave of them, wishing them a virile wedding night, which makes John do a double take and nearly causing the newlyweds to tumble to the floor together.
Evan just smirks unrepentantly and gives John a sloppy salute before strolling off whistling, the little shit. He is so gonna do all of John's paperwork for the next month.

It doesn't take long after that, just a transporter ride and a stumble down the corridor to their quarters and then Rodney's hands are upon John with more enthusiasm than aim (not that John minds).
The Colonel walks them carefully backwards to their bedroom, divesting Rodney of his jacket and shirt on the way.

When Rodney sees they're at their bed he shoves John's chest lightly so he falls back unto the covers with a laugh and then crawls on top of him with a leer.
"Gonna have married shex now!" he crows happily.

John just lays back with his hands linked behind his head, giving Rodney a lazy grin.
"Do your worst, doctor."

It's more fumbling and falling over laughing than finesse and Rodney falls asleep before he can finish John off, but John doesn't mind. He's going to have the rest of their lives with this cranky, balding astrophysicist who never picks up his smelly socks and constantly steals John's dessert, and he's the happiest he's ever been.

Chapter Text

 

 


 

General O'Neill has been on Atlantis for about a week, and Doctor Jackson has been noticeably chipper since his arrival. John doesn't begrudge anyone to be with their partner, or to get regularly laid, so he's genuinely glad to see Daniel happy.

Besides, the General is someone who can appreciate a “big, honkin' space-gun”, as he calls them, and he loves flying, and fiddling with alien technology almost as much as John does, a true man after John's heart.

The General doesn't tell Evan and him how to do their jobs, either, which is a quality John values highly in an officer who's just visiting, no matter their rank.

Not that he'd mind giving over command to O'Neill and freeing up time for off-world-missions, which have been sadly falling behind because of the towering mountains of paperwork. Well, metaphorically towering, they switched to completely electronic paperwork about a week into their stay in Pegasus, when it was still unclear if they'd ever make contact with Earth again. There's no sense in wasting precious paper on silly forms when there's only a limited supply. And it has proven so practical they never switched back, even though they can have all the paper they want now.

While John likes his desk clean of clutter, the scientists apparently have had a hard time without lots of items to scribble their ideas on. He thinks he's seen some of the scientists cry when they opened the first crate with paper, post-it's and whiteboard markers the SGC sent through after they reestablished contact.

 

Ever since the General has been in the city, Doctor Jackson could be overheard trying to convince him that it's absolutely vital and necessary for his studies to join one of Atlantis' teams for off-world-missions. O'Neill's answers were more along the lines of “We'll see” than any straightforward answer so far. But the next mission of AR-1 seems like it could definitely benefit from an anthropologist's perspective, and so John has asked the General beforehand if he'd consider allowing Dr. Jackson to join them.

Back on Earth O'Neill would be Daniel's superior, so it's only common courtesy to ask him when he's here already. No reason to bring up the fact that Jack likes to keep his (sometimes a little reckless) partner safe, which John can understand perfectly.

 

O'Neill agrees to a briefing after which they'll see if it's necessary and prudent to enlist Doctor Jackson's expertise on this mission.

Previous contacts have brought them some insight to the society of the Fedurans already. Theirs is a matriarchal society who places great value on proper decorum and respect, especially for the elders and priestesses. They have a temple that houses an unspecified relic of the Ancestors. It is said to emit a steady glow, which, of course, has Rodney eager to get his hands on it. But only the High Priestess is allowed to touch the holy relic.

Rodney waves his hand dismissively and assures them he doesn't need to touch it to study it, as long as he's allowed entrance to the temple.

After they've gone over all the available information it's decided that Dr. Jackson will join AR-1 for this mission. They will start the next day at 1300, which is mid-morning on the planets of the Fedurans. It's decided that Teyla should be the one to lead any talks and negotiations, and all men should be mostly in the background and as respectful as they can be.

 


 

 

John should have known it looked too good to be true.

At the beginning the trade negotiations were going splendidly, High Priestess Sendra and Teyla chatting away like old friends. Doctor Jackson was talking animatedly to some villagers, who seemed a little bemused at his enthusiasm, but amiably showed him their home-spun clothes and hand-crafted furniture.

 

But when it came to visiting the temple, and having a look at the relic it all went downhill fast.

 

Rodney has got the permission to set up monitoring equipment at a safe distance to the artifact and is peacefully studying, when Doctor Jackson, apparently lost in thought, leans forward to study the writing on the bottom of the device, and mindlessly puts a hand on it.

The low, soothing humming the device has emitted so far changes its frequency abruptly and becomes a shrill warning sound. At the same time the ground starts shaking, only slightly at first, but it gets worse steadily.

The High Priestess, who has been present to monitor their studying, shoots them a cold look that promises retribution, but is too busy shepherding her people outside to safety, to do much about them right this moment.

 

John is infinitely glad that woman has the safety of her people as her highest priority, because on other planets they'd already been in chains by now.

 

That leaves them to figure out how to turn the device off again, something Rodney is already hard at work to do.

 

“An earthquake machine!” Rodney exclaims outraged. “Of all the wasteful, careless, mindbogglingly stupid things to waste a perfectly good nearly halfway full ZedPM on! This one really takes the cake!”

 

His hands are flying frantically over the consoles, trying to find a way to stop this, preferably an off-switch (as if the Ancients ever were that accommodating or, let's think, sane with their doomsday machines) barring that, a way to override this.

 

John is thinking Off! Off! Turn the fuck off you goddamn piece of alien junk! as hard as he can, keeping an eye on Rodney and another one their exit at all times.

 

Teyla has taken a wide-eyed Doctor Jackson outside already, it's just John, Rodney and Ronon left inside. John mentally gives Rodney one more minute to find a way to turn this infernal machine off before he will give the order for their evacuation (i.e. have Ronon drag a flailing and protesting Rodney outside). Thankfully, Rodney does find the off-switch, or override, or plug, or whatever it was half a minute later, crowing triumphantly.

 

“Got it! Colonel, your hand, here, now. And think off!”

 

John places his hand where Rodney indicates, once again tells the machine to turn itself off, and feels his knees go a little weak with relief as it finally, finally does.

 

It's a matter of seconds to secure the interior and drag Rodney outside (who, of course, wants to stay and study the device now the danger is over) and they meet up with Teyla and Daniel shortly after.

 

Looking around, John winces at the damage already done to the village.

A few sheds and roofs have collapsed, earthenware is broken and animals are running around scared. At least the villagers have all gathered on a free, open space, and look relatively calm. Nobody seems to be hurt.

 

Rodney is viciously stabbing at his tablet and muttering about all the research he could be conducting much more efficiently inside the temple. John walks over to Teyla, who has been keeping an eye on Doctor Jackson. The archaeologist turns towards John when he hears him come near, a quite apologetic look on his face.

 

“Colonel, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to activate the device, I just -”

 

John holds up his hand. “Doctor, I'm more interested in damage control than explanations right now. We'll discuss this in detail at the debriefing. Teyla, I think it'd be best if you spoke to High Priestess Sendra.”

 

Teyla nods, and follows John in the direction of the villagers. The High Priestess, having apparently made sure that her people are safe for the moment, comes to meet them halfway, a few of her female warriors flanking her.

She lets her very unimpressed look wander over their little expedition, and John manfully resists the urge to avert his eyes and scuff the ground with his boot. They should have brought Elisabeth along, he thinks a little hysterically, she and the High Priestess could have bonded over their exasperation with clumsy and too-nosy-for-their-own-good men.

 

Teyla steps forward with her hands outstretched, and begins an eloquent apology. John makes very sure to stay in the background and look utterly respectful. It seems like things are looking up again at least a little bit – High Priestess Sendra doesn't look so stiff anymore, the panic of the animals is slowly abating, and the children have been calmed down by their parents.

 

That is until Rodney decides now would be a good time to ask if they can finally go back to studying the relic already.

John whirls around and hisses “Rodney, shut up!” with a mixture of desperation and anger. He knows Rodney is not the best at reading the clues what is appropriate social behavior in an unfamiliar situation, but he fucking well expects him to at least follow his orders.

 

Rodney waves him off and goes right on talking in that airy and slightly condescending tone he has whenever he talks to a group of people whose intellects he considers average and therefore way below his own. (Who is he kidding, there's nothing slight about the condescension, it's plain and clear for everyone to hear.)

John sees the warriors, who had been at ease up until now, standing up straight and fingering their slingshots threateningly. He sees High Priestess Sendra's eyes narrow in annoyance and in a desperate attempt to salvage the situation, slaps a hand across Rodney's mouth and grinds out tersely, “Specialist Dex, would you please escort Doctors McKay and Jackson to the gate. We'll join you shortly”.

 

Ronon immediately steps forward with a nod, grabs a flailing McKay by the upper arm and drags him towards the gate. Doctor Jackson, still wide-eyed and mute, begins walking in the right direction immediately and quickly, without being prompted.

 

John turns deeply apologetic eyes to the High Priestess and her entourage, and while they look grim, they also don't look wrathful, so John still holds out hope they'll all make it back to the city alive and relatively unscathed.

Their chances might have been better if Rodney just for once had kept his mouth shut, like John told him to.

But no, there are some warriors escorting them to the gate, and Rodney tries to convince them that he needs to go back and study the relic some more. And when they ignore him he gets more creative in his wheedling and inevitably ends up insulting the warriors and / or their ancestry (they're too far away to hear clearly enough for John by now), and that's when the slingshots really come out, and John starts running after the three fifths of his team he sent ahead.

He just hears Teyla's resigned “We'll talk later, without the men,” and High Priestess Sendra's answer too quiet to make out, and then Teyla catches up with him, and shortly thereafter they both catch up with Ronon and the scientists, and John thanks their lucky stars the gate is just half a klick outside the village.

 


 

 

“I'm fine, Doc,” John says grimly. “It's Rodney you should have a look at.”

 

Carson turns to Rodney expectantly, who proceeds to tell him in Technicolor detail how the natives chased them with slingshots, conveniently leaving out his own part in the fiasco.

 

John balls his hands to fists, and stalks a few feet away. He's always testy when Rodney is injured, however minor. And today the injuries really are minor for a change, nothing but a few scrapes and bruises from their flight to the gate.

But usually John's anger is only directed at whoever or whatever caused harm to Rodney. There is a lot of that, too, but it's overshadowed by a considerable portion of annoyance towards Rodney himself.

 

Rodney was at the pre mission briefing, he should have known perfectly well how much value the Fedurans place on respect for the elders. Sure, it wasn't Rodney's fault the Ancient device was activated (the blame for that rests on Daniel's shoulders alone), but him insulting the elders and their ancestry in his insistence he needs to go back and study the Holy Relic (read: Totally batshit insane fucking Earthquake machine) certainly didn't help. John would go so far to say they could have salvaged the situation, were it not for Rodney's proclivity to tell everyone how much inferior they are to him. Well, at least they managed to turn off the blasted machine before the whole village was destroyed by an earthquake.

 

Still, Rodney running his mouth has gotten them into hot water on countless missions; and no amount of warning, reasoning, or even threatening seems to help.

 

John paces restlessly outside the curtain around Rodney's bed until a nurse firmly tells him to please wait in the hallway. Once there, he goes right on pacing. He delivered Daniel into the capable hands of General O'Neill when they stepped through the gate, glad that he doesn't have to deal with two recalcitrant geeks at the same time. The look Jack gave his archaeologist when he heard what had happened on the planet promised dire things to come. After what Lantis showed him a few weeks back, John has a pretty good idea of how dire things are going to get, at least for Daniel's backside.

 

Not that he has any sympathy for Dr. Jackson, who attended the same meeting as Rodney and the rest of them. In addition to the “respect the elders” warning there was also a very definite “Do NOT touch the Ancient artefacts, which are considered holy, and off limits to anyone but the High Priestess”. Seriously, geeks and their selective hearing. John is the first to admit that his marines stumble into enough trouble on their own, but at least they know how to follow orders. And that means every time, not just when it happens to coincide with their own interests or fancies.

 

Thinking about Jack and his methods for dealing with a certain disobedient scientist leads relatively straightforward to thinking about Rodney and his heart-shaped posterior, and that he was all but begging for a spanking today.

 

John gets a little sidetracked after that (as one is known to do when thinking about the finest ass in the physics department), but after a while he comes back to the matter at hand. He runs his hand through his hair and sighs, because he still doesn't know how to deal with his astrophysicist. It would be much easier if he really could turn Rodney over his knee, but obviously that's not an option.

 

McKayDoctorRodney is not opposed to the idea, Lantis tells him quietly, and John nearly walks into the nearest wall.

 

A weak What?! is all he manages.

 

McKayDoctorRodney sometimes thinks about you engaging in this custom with him, JohnColonel. The thought seems not to be upsetting, but arousing to him.

 

John's face is probably flaming red by now, and it's just as well that Rodney is coming out of the infirmary at this point, because no way in hell is he discussing his and Rodney's sex life with Lantis in the middle of the hallway.

 

John takes Rodney by the hand, and tows him to their quarters, ignoring the surprised squawk and increasingly outraged demands to explain what in hell he thinks he's doing.

 

Thank god for transporters, because it takes them only five minutes to reach their quarters.

 

John drags his husband to their bed and sits down with him.

 

Rodney is looking more apprehensive than annoyed by now. “Seriously, John, what's the matter? You're worrying me.”

 

John runs a hand through his hair again, at a loss how to start. But the thought of Rodney fantasizing about John spanking him is just too hot to let go, and so he finally blurts, “Lantis says you're into spanking.”

 

What - how did that even come up, also what has that got to do with anything, also what the hell?”

 

John can't help a smile at Rodney's familiar ranting, which is nowhere near freaking out, what he was afraid Rodney would do. “You completely disregarded your orders to treat the elders with the utmost respect, Rodney. It's not the first time either, that you running your mouth has gotten us in trouble on a mission. So while I was waiting in front of the infirmary I thought about how I could impress the importance of following orders on you, and, well.”

 

A distinct blush has risen on Rodney's cheeks while John was talking, but his eyes are sparkling with humor. “And you thought a spanking would get your point across? Whatever gave you the idea I'd let you spank me?”

 

John shrugs and smiles lazily. “I didn't plan on mentioning it until Lantis told me you might be interested. It's just been a fleeting thought so far. You know, you over my knee, your ass turning warm and red under my hand while I teach you the error of your ways...”

 

Rodney's eyes flutter and he moans helplessly. “You can't just say stuff like that when we've got the post mission debriefing to get to!”

 

Shit, John totally forgot about that. He taps his radio to the senior staff channel. “Elizabeth, this is Sheppard, do you read?”

 

“Yes, John, go ahead.”

 

“Could we postpone the debriefing to tomorrow 0900? Something's come up.”

 

“Anything you need backup with?”

 

John smiles. “No, I'll be fine, thanks.”

 

“All right, then I'll see you and Rodney tomorrow morning. I'll let the others know.”

 

“Thanks, Elizabeth. Sheppard out.”

 

Rodney shakes his head. “I can't believe you just did that.”

 

John grins at him and deliberately takes out his radio to lay it on the nightstand. “I've got more urgent matters to attend to.”

 

Just like that, Rodney is blushing again. “You're really into this?” He asks somewhat hesitantly, but still hands John his radio when he gestures for it.

 

John takes his hand and speaks seriously. “I'm really into you, and I'm really into sex with you, in every way imaginable, as long as we're both comfortable with it. I understand that doing it for real is something else entirely from fantasizing about it. But I'm game if you are.”

 

“As if there's any way I'd let you out of this now. Seriously, Sheppard, we need to work on our communication. We could have been having kinky sex for ages!”

 

John grins and leans forward for a kiss. “Like back in 2005, when we could have been married in Canada?” he teases, before he gets serious once more.

 

“Listen. If we really go through with this, it's not going to be a fun spanking this time. You endangered yourself and all of us by disobeying orders, and I'm not okay with that.”

 

Rodney waves a hand impatiently, “Yes, I understand, can we get naked already?”

 

John shakes his head. “The only thing which will get naked is your ass, McKay. And I'm serious, this is discipline, not foreplay.”

 

Rodney sighs and spreads his hands. “Ugh, fine, whatever you say. How do you want me?”

 

'A little more respectful would be nice,' John thinks, but it's not the time for teasing right now. He scoots back on the bed and pats his lap. “Over here. But before we start, tell me your safeword.”

 

“I don't need a safeword for a simple spanking! Can we just get on with it?”

 

“Rodney, I'm not laying a single finger on you until I'm sure you'll stop me if it gets too much,” John tells him sternly. “Safeword, now.”

 

“Hive ship,” Rodney mutters darkly.

 

“Thank you.” John puts a hand behind his husband's head and draws him into a kiss.

 

Rodney kisses back enthusiastically, hands roaming over John's torso until John draws away with a chuckle. “All right, that's enough of that for now. Stand up.”

 

He guides a blushing Rodney between his knees and rests his hands on his husband's hips. “Tell me why you're about to be spanked.”

 

Rodney scowls and crosses his arms. “Seriously, Sheppard?”

 

John raises an eyebrow at him, not amused. “Do I look like I'm joking?”

 

Rodney's scowl deepens. “Just because these villagers were more concerned with respect for their elders than technological advancement -”

 

John reaches around and smacks his husband firmly, which shuts him up fast. “We're not talking about the Fedurans here, we're talking about you. I don't care about the level of their technology or their peculiarities. You were briefed on all that beforehand and still chose to disregard your orders.”

 

Rodney blushes and averts his eyes, though he still looks more defiant than repentant. “All right, I disobeyed orders and endangered the team.”

 

“And yourself.”

 

Rodney rolls his eyes. “As I'm part of the team I think that is implied." That earns him another swat and he huffs impatiently. "Fine, I also endangered myself. I'm very sorry, may I please have my punishment now, Colonel?”

 

John shakes his head slightly while he begins to open Rodney's pants. “You're still not taking this serious enough for my liking, but I can work on that.”

 

Then he pulls down Rodney's pants and boxers, and turns his husband over his knee, securing Rodney against his middle with his left arm.

 

And then he has to take a deep breath and steel himself, because that is really a marvelous sight before him. He has always loved Rodney's ass, be it in BDU's, suit trousers, or (preferably) naked, but having it draped over his lap ready for a spanking has to be one of the most erotic things John has ever seen.

 

John raises his hand and brings it down with considerable force on Rodney's right buttock. Rodney moans and John watches in awe as a clear hand print forms on that lily white ass. He feels a little light headed when he raises his hand again to put a matching print on Rodney's left buttock, and then settles into a steady rhythm. It's not hard to guess where the blood from his head has rushed to, and Rodney is in a similar state, his hard-on digging into John's thigh with every smack.

 

Soon Rodney starts squirming and humping John's leg, and that combined with the sounds he makes is almost too much for John to take. It's better than any fantasy could ever be, and John has a hard time not coming in his pants. But he determinedly thinks back to their wild chase to the gate today, and all the other opportunities Rodney ran his mouth and got them into trouble. That gives him the dedication to not put a premature end to Rodney's spanking, and do more pleasurable things with that perfect ass.

 

He has no idea how much time passes, concentrating only on Rodney's steadily reddening buttocks in front of him, and carefully gauging his reactions.

 

When Rodney's ass is a deep crimson and hot to the touch he decides to check if his husband has learned his lesson yet.

 

He gives him two medium strength smacks and pauses. “Are you going to insult anyone off world again, Rodney?”

 

Rodney groans. “Lecturing, really? Could you get any more cliché, Colonel?”

 

That earns him two considerably harder swats to the tops of his thighs, which makes him yelp and kick his legs. “Okay, okay, I'll work on not insulting new allies, satisfied?”

 

“Not with your tone, I'm not.”

 

“Jo~hn!” Rodney whines. “I'm sorry I endangered us, really I am. But you're driving me crazy here, and I can't concentrate when all I can think about is how much I want you to fuck me!”

 

John breathes in sharply. Despite what he told Rodney in the beginning, he doesn't think he'll be able to hold off much longer, and Rodney talking like that doesn't help matters any. He'll just have to leave his astrophysicist with a reminder that lasts until he's able to think rationally again. The state of Rodney's ass suggests he might not have to do that much more, but it can't hurt to make sure. (Well, actually...)

 

“All right, I'll stop the lecture,” John says, “I can concentrate better on your lesson like this, anyway.”

 

He begins a last flurry of swats, harder and faster than before, making sure to cover Rodney's buttocks completely. Rodney cries out, bucks, and moans, and John has to bite his lip to not loose his own focus.

When he's sure he covered all ground thoroughly, he finishes the spanking with two sharp swats to Rodney's sit spots.

 

Then he starts rubbing his hand over Rodney's back and murmuring reassuring words. He would have been content to keep that up for quite some time, but Rodney apparently has more urgent matters on his mind.

 

After only a few seconds Rodney heaves himself up and around, and tackles a laughing John to the bed.

 

John's laughter turns to moans when Rodney's clever fingers free his erection. Then Rodney fumbles open the lube from their nightstand, presses both their cocks together, and John comes within a handful of strokes, closely followed by Rodney.

 

They fall into an exhausted heap of tangled limbs, Rodney's head resting on John's chest, John's hand resting possessively on that marvelous ass, which is radiating heat like a miniature Naquadah generator.

 

They're both out like lights within two seconds.

 


 

 

John is woken by an indigant “Owww!” from Rodney.

 

When he blearily opens his eyes he sees the scientist's impressive glare directed at him. Rodney is laying on his side, gingerly rubbing his bottom. He must have rolled over unthinkingly, perhaps even in his sleep. After a short, exhausted nap right after the festivities, John had woken up, cleaned them up and manhandled a grumbling and half-asleep Rodney into fresh boxers and under the covers.

 

“That hurts!” Rodney accuses him.

 

John shrugs. “Warned you it would.”

 

Then he holds out an arm invitingly. It's still way too early to get up, even for a run. With a huff, Rodney lays back down carefully, mindful of his butt.

John gives him a kiss to the temple and closes his eyes. His hopes of going back to sleep immediately are squashed though at Rodney's continued grumbling under his breath and squirming to find a comfortable position.

 

“Tryin' to sleep here, buddy,” John murmurs without opening his eyes and tightens his hold on his husband.

 

“What do you think I'm trying to do?! Of all the short-sighted, crazy haired flyboys out there I had to be saddled with the only one who not only thrives on hassling me during the day but now also steals what little enough sleep I get around here at night!”

 

John grins against Rodney's face and angles his head for a kiss. “Yeah, love you too. Shut up and go to sleep.”

 

Rodney's outraged squawk is muffled by the kiss and soon he melts under John's tender ministrations. It doesn't take long for them to fall back asleep.

 


 

Chapter Text

 

 


 

 

“Jack, can't we talk about this?” Daniel asks as soon as their door closes behind them.

 

Jack rises an eyebrow at him. “I'm not sure what's there to discuss, Daniel, it's a pretty clear cut case. Not only did you disobey direct and explicit orders, you also broke our standing rule about not touching any unknown device until it's declared safe. What's the punishment for that one again?”

 

Daniel grimaces. “A paddling,” he mutters unhappily.

 

Jack nods. “And that you shall have, Dannyboy. Unless there are any extenuating circumstances I'm unaware of?”

 

Daniel shakes his head. He'd love trying to convince Jack that he doesn't need a spanking (let alone that blasted paddle), but he knows from woeful experience that Jack will only get more irate the longer he argues.

 

“All right, go fetch the paddle.”

 

Daniel sighs, and trudges over to Jack's nightstand, and gets the paddle out of the drawer. He would feel a little insulted Jack deemed it necessary to bring it along at all, but he probably doesn't have much of a leg to stand on.

 

Jack in the meantime has settled himself on the side of their bed, so Daniel only has a few steps to go on his way back. He stops next to Jack's right knee, and throws a beseeching look at the General, knowing better than to plead for leniency with words at this point.

 

Jack shakes his head and draws his archaeologist near for a kiss. Then he takes the paddle from Daniel's hand, and lays it on the bed next to him. “Let's get this over with, Danny.”

First he carefully removes Daniel's glasses, and folds them, giving them back to Daniel to lay on the nightstand together with their radios. If anything urgent comes up, Lantis can tell them.

Then he gently takes down Daniel's trousers and boxers, and then tugs at his hand until Daniel lowers himself over Jack's knee.

 

Jack doesn't waste any time, raises his hand, and brings it down with a resounding smack. Daniel jumps a little, and fists his hands in the bed spread. Jack warms him up with an efficiency born from long experience, which has Daniel squirming and cursing under his breath in under two minutes.

Then he stops momentarily. Daniel tenses, because he knows now is the part Jack will pick up the paddle and start the lecture, which he really, truly hates.

 

Sure enough, the General picks up the paddle and taps it lightly against Daniel's bottom, which makes the archaeologist flinch. Then he starts the lecture, punctuating every third word or so with smacks from the paddle.

“We've been over this, Daniel. If I remember correctly, we've revisited this particular issue on at least four different occasions in the past year alone. It kind of makes me wonder if I'm leaving enough of an impression.”

 

“You do!” Daniel yelps. “I won't touch unidentified artifacts again, Jack, really!”

 

“You'd better not, Daniel. But to help you curb your curiosity, I'm grounding you from off-city missions for the next two weeks.”

 

Daniel groans and hangs his head. Jack only decrees a grounding on top of a paddling when he's at the end of his rope. Daniel feels tears leaking from his eyes, and bites down on the bedspread as to not start outright sobbing. Disappointing his partner hurts worse than the paddling.

 

Daniel looses his sense of time after that, only being able to concentrate on the ever increasing inferno Jack lights in his nether regions, and the lecture the General emphasizes with particularly sharp swats to the tops of his thighs at prominent points. He looses his composure quickly.

 

Daniel is absolutely sure he'll not be able to stand one more smack long before Jack finally, finally stops. For a few moments he doesn't even realize the assault to his bottom has ceased. But the soothing words and calm tone register at last, together with Jack's hand, still warm, gently rubbing his back.

 

Jack gives him a few more minutes of calming down before he carefully helps him up and into a crushing embrace. Daniel shifts until his legs are taking most of his weight and holds on to Jack as if his life depends on it. He's probably getting the front of Jack's shirt all wet and snotty, but they've both had much worse on their uniforms.

 

Neither he nor Jack are in any hurry to let go, and the way Jack cradles his head and presses kisses into his hair feels really nice.

 

Jack is equally skilled in comforting his tearful and apologetic partner as he is in administering the (in his mind sorely needed) discipline, perhaps even more so. He's not ready to let go of Daniel, needing the reassurance that he's whole and uninjured as much as the closeness.

 

When Danny's grip looses most of its desperation and only quiet sniffles are left to be heard, Jack carefully scoots them back on the bed until he is leaning against the pillows at the head of the bed with the wall behind them. He helps Daniel out of his tangled trousers and pulls up the comforter around his shoulders, lest he catches a chill.

 

To Jack, the comforting after the punishment is even more sorely needed by both of them than the actual reminder of the rules. From what little he gathered from Daniel (who can write and has written whole books about the history of any number of strange artifacts, but keeps everything about his own history very close to himself) there hasn't been nearly enough comforting for Danny.

 

Jack starts softly rocking the precious bundle in his arms, humming quietly into Daniel's unruly locks. He feels the tension drain out of his archaeologist slowly. Always so professional, always in control, his sharp mind and expressive mouth going a mile a minute, Jack thinks fondly and with considerable compassion. There are so little opportunities for him to just let go, to just be quiet and be Daniel instead of Doctor Jackson. Jack works hard for their private space to be safe for Daniel to do so, if he wishes.

It's actually easier here than on earth, because people are still very much in awe of Doctor Jackson and his phenomenal accomplishments in multiple fields. They don't take him for granted and expect him to pull miracles out of thin air in the nick of time together with Sam – they seem to concentrate that sort of expectations on Doctor McKay. But the CSO has a husband who can (and does) look out for him; just as Jack does for Daniel, and equally as unnoticed most of the time, Jack is willing to bet. So Jack doesn't worry about Rodney, he's got his own scientist to concentrate on.

While Daniel becomes more relaxed he's nowhere near the exhausted state where he'll drift into sleep Jack knows from other occasions after a spanking.

There is something still eating at his partner, and he's going to get to the bottom of it.

He smooths back the bangs that have fallen into Daniel's face and holds his eyes searchingly.

“All right?”

 

Daniel shrugs, and averts his eyes.

 

“Hey. What's the matter, Danny?”

 

Daniel hides his face against Jack's shoulder, and Jack automatically goes back to tenderly carding his fingers through his hair and rocking him slowly.

 

The archaeologist mumbles something too quiet for Jack to make out, and he gently takes him by the shoulders to be able to see his face once more. “What was that?”

 

Daniel blushes. “It's the grounding,” he says almost too quiet to make out.

 

Jack cups the side of Daniel's face with his hand. “Honey, you've been grounded before, it's not the end of the world. There's plenty to occupy yourself with in the city.”

 

“Yes, but...”

 

“Mhm?”

 

Daniel absently picks at a loose thread in his sleeve. “By the time it's over it'll be almost time to leave.”

 

Oh. Jack hadn't thought of that. And sure, there are still lots of exciting planets in the Milky Way which wait to be explored, but it's not the same.

Jack isn't oblivious, and he's seen how Daniel flourishes on Atlantis. The city is like his El Dorado, like the Holy Grail or the Ark of the Covenant – a mythological artifact or place people have been trying to find for centuries. No archaeologist can say he's on the search for Atlantis and be taken seriously, but in their hearts there's a tiny shimmer of hope there is a grain of truth in the legends after all.

And now Daniel's finally here. Sure, it took some creative bending of rules and high-end obfuscations, but Daniel finally had the chance to explore the legendary city to his hearts content.

Of course he's going to be sad at the thought of having to leave.

 

Jack can feel Lantis' sorrow at the thought as well. And he's got to admit, there are definite perks to living here. Not only is it a definite boost to his ego to have the city light up with joy wherever he goes and keep a steady stream of a kind of satisfied humming in the back of his mind at all times, Lantis also has found him no less than five different outposts with really impressive Ancient weaponry when she realized how much of a sucker he is for “big, honkin' space guns”. This has also efficiently gotten the bigwigs off his back. And if that isn't enough, Lantis has even begun to write up his reports for him, delighted to be able to help when he was frustrated by the paperwork one day. Now he just has to read them through and sign them, and everyone is so happy for getting their concise and detailed reports on time no one dares to question how he gets them done. Perfect.

 

“Mhmm...” Jack begins, thoughtfully. “You'd really like to stay, wouldn't you? For good, I mean.”

 

Daniel looks up at him with bright, hopeful eyes. “Could we?”

 

Jack leans forward for a kiss. “I'll have to talk to General Landry. But we can certainly think about it.”

 

“Thank you!” Daniel breathes, and after that Jack quickly looses track of time.

 

 

 


 

 

Chapter Text


 

Jack, as usual, is awake before Daniel. His archaeologist has no problem working through the night if something captivates his attention. But to get him to rise in the morning takes copious amounts of coffee and considerable skill. Of course Daniel is capable of setting an alarm clock, and being at work on time, but that is one responsibility he had gladly conceded to Jack, when he started sharing not only a house but a bed with him.


And Jack has always loved a challenge.


He has gotten up early, and got in a good workout session at the gym (passing Ronon and John on a jog on his way there), showered and stopped by the mess hall to get them breakfast, and a carafe of coffee. Jack finds it ingenious of the mess to just provide Thermos carafes for the coffee addicts instead of having them come back to refill their extra large cups every half hour like they do at the SGC. Of course, Atlantis is considerably bigger then the Cheyenne Mountain complex, and the scientists undoubtedly had complained about having to break the workflow so often. Well, perhaps all except Rodney's department, because one of the first things Doctor McKay requested and got after reestablishing contact to Earth was an industrial size coffee maker for his lab.


When Jack comes back to their quarters, Daniel is still lost to the world, lying on his front wrapped around Jack's pillow.


Jack deposits the tray on the table, fills a mug with coffee and takes it over to the bed, putting it on the nightstand for now. He smiles when he sees Daniel's nose twitch at the enticing smell, and gently smooths back his archaeologist's hair to kiss his temple.


“Good morning, Dannyboy,” Jack murmurs, and chuckles at the “Mrngn” he gets back in response. Daniel before his first coffee is just adorable, in his opinion.


“Coffee?” Jack asks, and Daniel's hand unwraps from the pillow seemingly independent from the apparently still sleeping head, going on a search and rescue mission for the cup.


“Aht!” Jack grabs the wandering hand before it can knock the cup over, and scald its owner with the hot liquid. “You need to at least lean up on your elbow, Danny.”


Daniel groans, but does lean up, his eyes still closed, his free hand making impatient gestures in Jack's direction.


Jack hands him the coffee, and watches fondly as Daniel goes from sitting up, and holding a cup, but still mostly asleep, to blinking in the morning sunshine.


When Daniel has finished his coffee, Jack leans forward for a kiss, which helps to wake his archaeologist even further.


“How're you feeling?”


Daniel gives him a half-hearted glare. “Sore.”


Jack twirls his finger. “Turn over, let me look.”


Daniel blushes. “That's not necessary…”


“Danny, I want to make sure there's no bruising.”


His archaeologist sighs, but dutifully lays down on his front again. Jack carefully lowers his boxers and surveys the damage. Daniel's behind is still pink, but nothing worse. He gently rubs a hand across it.


“You'll be fine.” Probably not keen on sitting down for long stretches of time, but ultimately fine.


Daniel throws a hopeful look over his shoulder. “What you're doing would be much more effective with some aloe, Jack.”


Jack grins, and gives him an encouraging pat. “Go fetch it, then.”


Daniel grins back, and reaches over to his nightstand. Jack chuckles.


“Were you so sure you'd need it, Danny?”


“Well, you have that paddle in your nightstand, too…”


Jack leans forward for a kiss. “I know, just in case we might need it. I'm planning on keeping your opportunities for getting into trouble to a minimum for the next weeks.”


“Thanks, I guess?” Daniel stretches, and hums appreciatively when Jack begins to gently massage the aloe cream into his buttocks.


Jack doesn’t rush. They've got plenty of time before the meeting.

 


 

Daniel arrives early in the meeting room, not wanting everyone to see him wince when he sits down. There's only one other person already there, standing in front of the glass door leading to the balcony, with his back to the room. Against the morning sunshine streaming in, Daniel at first cannot discern who it is. He's a little startled to see the figure reaching behind himself, and giving his bottom the kind of rub Daniel himself is very familiar with. The muttered expletives about Air Force Colonels, and their damn hard hands identify him at once.


Daniel debates just discreetly slipping out again, but before he can, Rodney turns, and freezes up when he sees him.


“I, I, there was a... mosquito-like creature…” Rodney begins babbling, and Daniel holds up his hands soothingly.


“Relax, I'm the last person to judge you, Rodney. In fact, I think we're feeling quite similar today.” Daniel gives Rodney a rueful smile, and his own bottom a quick rub.


Rodney's eyes go very round. Then he quickly checks his watch, and motions for Daniel to follow him to the next room, asking Lantis to lock the door after them.


“Jack ... um...?” Rodney gestures helplessly, and Daniel realizes Rodney might be new to all this.


“Paddled, actually. He kind of has a thing about me touching unknown artifacts, because I might have gotten ... injured a few times that way.”


Rodney snorts. “Try maimed or killed, I read your reports.” He hesitates, but then swallows, and gets that determined look Daniel associates with Rodney being afraid, but gathering his courage anyway, for which Daniel has a whole lot of respect. “I... I can't imagine how you must feel, John only used his hand, and that was bad enough.”


Daniel spontaneously takes out the aloe cream from his pocket, and presses it into Rodney's hand. “Try this. It's great for soothing. But, um, you might want to check with John first if it's okay. And don't worry about me, I'll be fine in a day or so.”


Rodney studies the label of ingredients. “Thanks. I think there shouldn't be a problem, allergy-wise.” Then he looks up again with a mixture of trepidation, and scientific curiosity.

“So I gather this is ... um, not your first rodeo?”


Daniel grins, and leans back against the wall. “Nope, it's not. If you've got any questions, I'm happy to share.”


They spend the next twenty minutes deep in discussion, and Daniel is pleased to see Rodney relaxing gradually.


Apparently Rodney is one of the victims of the fairly common misconception “All spankings are fun spankings”, and got a little more than he bargained for. On top of that, this is a field where the differences between theoretical and practical knowledge are profound. Daniel is always happy to help, and when he can do that by sharing some of his vast experience, even better.


They stop when they hear others in the conference room, and Daniel advises Rodney to sit down carefully, before they casually walk through the door.


Jack is talking to Elizabeth, and narrows his eyes speculatively at them, but Daniel just smiles and sits down slowly.


John joins them not long after, bearing three carafes of coffee, which he deposits without fanfare in front of Daniel and Rodney respectively, and another in the middle of the table for the general populace. Mugs are already on the table, and Daniel thanks John sincerely while he pours himself a fresh coffee. Rodney is already halfway through his first mug, but comes up for a “Thanks, Colonel husband”, and a quick kiss.


John grins. “You're welcome, CSO husband.”


Then he addresses the whole room. “I asked Major Teldy to join us, I think she and her team might be our best bet at salvaging this situation.”


Daniel feels his cheeks warming up and concentrates on his coffee.


It doesn't take long for Teyla, Ronon, Carson, and Major Teldy to join them, and the debriefing begins.


John presents a neutral account of what happened on the planet of the Fedurans. Daniel and Rodney avoid each other's eyes throughout, but Daniel can feel Jack's hand squeezing his knee discreetly, and reassuringly. He throws him a grateful look.


John ends his report.

“My assessment is, that our best chance is to send an all-female team back to the Fedurans. They seemed willing to take up negotiations again, but I'd rather be on the safe side. Teyla?”


Teyla nods. “I agree with Colonel Sheppard. High Priestess Sendra told me we were welcome back. I too, would recommend a group of women for our next contact. I also think we would greatly benefit from you coming along, Doctor Weir.” She inclines her head towards their expedition leader.


A small smile plays on Elizabeth's lips. “I'd be happy to go. The High Priestess seems like a very interesting woman. Major, is your team available?”


Major Teldy nods. “We are, ma'am. I'll need a full report first to completely assess the situation, but we don't have any off-world missions scheduled for the next week.”


“All right. I'd like full reports by 1500 today by everyone who was on the mission. Thank you. Carson, did anything come up in the post-mission check-ups?”


Carson outlines the nature of their minor injuries, and concludes that all scans and blood tests have come back negative, which is always good to hear.

The debriefing is wrapped up soon, and the meeting moves on to other topics after that.


Afterwards Daniel stays behind to talk to Major Teldy in more detail about the anthropological aspects of the Feduran culture he had the opportunity to study before their hasty retreat. He thinks her team will fit right in with the warriors he had seen surrounding High Priestess Sendra.

Out of the corner of his eye he sees Rodney towing John to the empty room next door where they had talked before the meeting. A small smile appears on his face at the thought that the CSO probably can't wait to try out the aloe.

 


 

John lets himself be towed to the empty office willingly, curious to see what Rodney has in mind.

He didn't expect his husband to press a tube of aloe cream into his hand, though.

Rodney already starts fumbling with his belt, no doubt assuming John will know how to put the cream to best use.


John puts a hand on his arm to stop him. “Where did you get this?”


Rodney frowns, looking a little bewildered. “From a … friend. He said it's good for, y’know…”


John grins. “I do, actually. But I put quite some effort into making your butt sore, Rodney. I’m not gonna go and waste all that hard work.”


Rodney gapes at him, which only makes John grin wider.


“But - we - what the actual - dammit, Sheppard, we had our fun yesterday, it’s enough now!”


John crosses his arms and levels a stern look at his husband. “Did you or did you not understand me when I explained that this was a disciplinary spanking? And think very carefully now, because if your agreement was because of a misunderstanding, we’ve got some serious discussions ahead of us.”


Rodney groans, defeated. “I heard you all right, I just didn't think that far ahead.”


“Yeah, well, as long as you learned your lesson,” John teases gently, and draws Rodney near enough for a kiss.


When they come up for air some time later, John holds up the tube. “I’m confiscating this. We can keep it for when you want to try the other kind of spanking.”


Rodney scowls. “Fine. I’ll just ask Carson for something else then and put it on myself.”


John gives him an unimpressed look, but then his face relaxes and he asks in a casual drawl, “Remind me, what was your safeword again?”


“Hive ship, why do you - Sheppard!


Rodney yelps as John strikes lightning fast, bends him over his hip, and reheats his bottom but good with a brisk flurry of swats.


Rodney is breathless and reeling when Sheppard returns him to a standing position less than a minute later, and can’t help dancing in place at the fierce heat emanating from his ass.


“That - that was entirely unnecessary!” He gasps, trying to rub out some of the fire.


John shakes his head with a serious expression. “I disagree. I don’t want you taking any measures to speed up the normal recovery process, nor any pain killers. And if I find you disobeying me on this, or trying to exploit a loophole you found, I will get the paddle out. Are we clear on this?”


Rodney has no idea what the strange lurch in his stomach is, that he feels in reaction to John’s words. It’s like a mixture of thrill, apprehension, being incredibly turned on, and something else Rodney can’t quite discern. Damn, but John getting so - so - dominant is seriously hot.


He starts when he feels John gently cupping his face, and looking at him searchingly.


“You still with me, buddy?”


Rodney blinks. What was the question?


A small smile plays around John's lips. He takes Rodney's hand, and slowly walks them to a couch near the wall, where he sits down, and draws Rodney into his lap.


Rodney blinks again, because they don't do this. He can't remember ever sitting in John's lap, and not just because he's bigger than John.

He doesn't find the words to complain though, and instead just leans back against his husband, and drifts.

 


 

He gradually becomes aware of his surroundings again an indeterminate amount of time later. There’s a hand rubbing in firm, slow strokes over his back. John's voice is a low murmur somewhere above him. Rodney can actually feel the rumbling vibrations of John's chest better than he can make out any words. It feels like very, very slowly waking up. Little by little his senses seem to begin working again.

He becomes aware that he is sitting sideways on John's lap, his legs stretched out on the couch, his ear resting against John's chest. Which would explain how he can hear the low rumble in John's chest when he speaks.

John has one arm firmly wrapped around him, cradling him close.

The other hand is the one Rodney feels rubbing his back. It feels really good.

In fact, Rodney himself feels really good. Relaxed, and loose, and strangely calm. The background noise of the hundred and one things he worries about on a daily basis has quieted down considerably.


He sighs contentedly and burrows a little deeper into his husband’s arms.

He feels John chuckling and pressing a kiss to the top of his head.


“You back with me, buddy?”


“Mhmmm.”


“I'll take that as a maybe.” The smile is evident in John's voice.


It's nice, just sitting quietly like this.

John doesn’t seem to be in a hurry either. He just keeps on giving Rodney a very nice backrub, pressing kisses to his hair, and talking softly. Rodney is amazed at what he hears: John tells him how much he loves him, and gives him lots of praise and compliments. That’s also not something which happens on a daily basis. Sure, John does tell him he loves him sometimes (usually while they’re in bed, or when one of them was injured). And he also compliments him on his work or looks or something. But it’s seldom so concentrated.

Rodney could get used to this.

After a long while he feels all his senses and limbs working properly again. He starts to sit up, and John helps him at once.

Rodney stretches, and gives his husband a smile, and a proper kiss.


“Thanks. That was really nice.”


John smiles back. “Anytime.” Then he presses a powerbar into Rodney's hand. He is carrying them in one of his countless pockets, mostly for Rodney. Though they have also helped the team out on a number of occasions before, when a mission turned pear-shaped.


“Thanks!” Rodney munches on the powerbar happily. “I must have fallen asleep on you, sorry.”


John grins. “You weren’t sleeping.”


Rodney blinks. “I wasn’t?”


John chuckles. “Nope. Congratulation, you just had your first dip into subspace.”


That's what subspace feels like?!” Rodney demands, stunned. He read about it, of course. But he never expected it to feel so… awesome.


“Yeah, though you didn't seem to go very deep. Which is good, being that it wasn't planned and all. I'd like you in our bed the next time.”


“Next time?! We can do that again?”


John laughs, and squeezes him. “Sure we can, buddy!”

Oh, this is going to be fun.

Soon they will need to get back to their duties, but for now Rodney is happy to savour the moment.




John returns to their quarters that evening before Rodney, as usual.

But he must have been there sometime during the afternoon, as John discovers while he goes to the bedroom to change from his BDU’s into more casual wear. There is a post-it note on his pillow and he curiously picks it up.


“The safe word is Hive Ship, btw, and I’m not likely to forget, so you can stop asking every five minutes. Also, I searched our whole place - no paddle. Do you have a secret stash of toys somewhere?”


He laughs out loud. “Wouldn’t you like to know,” he mutters fondly while he goes to start a shower. He can see a bright future ahead of them, full of exploring the wonderful world of kinkiness together.

He can hardly wait.



 

Chapter Text


 

Jack walks into Daniel's office to fetch him for lunch, and does a double take. He takes a step back to look at the sign by the door, but he is indeed at the right office. There are just not usually that many people there. If the department has a meeting, they mostly use one of the meeting rooms, not Daniel's chronically too small office which is littered with artifacts and hardly has enough space to stand, let alone enough clutter free chairs to sit.

He pushes his way through the excited masses to Daniel's desk, where he finally gets a glimpse of what all the fuss is about.

“Look! They even swim!” A woman from botany (he thinks) exclaims and points to a bowl of water with a little metallic object in it, which is making its way across the water quickly, to the Oh's and Aww's of the spectators.

Upon further inspection, Jack counts no less than ten of these little devices on Daniel's desk. They are digging their way trough sugar grains, pushing little blocks around, and walking slalom around some screws.

Daniel, who has been setting up one of the things to climb up a mini-slope, looks up and smiles at Jack. “Oh, hey there. Aren't these cute? Dr. Simpson brought them along.”

Jack eyes the tiny devices suspiciously. “But what are they?”

“Miniature Origami Robots! Look, they start out as these little flat squares and then activate on their own and fold themselves into shape.”

That does nothing to reassure Jack. “And where are they from?”

“MIT released them a few weeks ago. Aww, look, it wants to climb the slope again!”

“Uhuh,” Jack answers skeptically, and grabs his archaeologist's hand, because they'll never get to lunch otherwise. “Come on, it's mystery meat casserole and purple potatoes today.”

Jack ushers Daniel in front of him, making sure to “accidentally” squish one or two of the tiny robots on his way past. They're looking suspiciously like a preform of replicators to Jack, and he will take any opportunity to decimate their numbers.

They are not Asurans, JackGeneral, Lantis tells him while they're making their way to the mess hall, sounding a little bewildered.

But they remind me of these spider-like replicators, and you know what they did to the Asgard. As you'll remember, they started out as toys, too!

These robots have no ability to self-replicate, Lantis tries to reassure him.

Aht! They're even worse then, getting humans to do the replicating for them!

“– Jack? Are you listening?” Daniel asks at this moment. Jack has no idea what his linguist has been elaborating about, and shrugs apologetically. “Sorry, I was distracted by Lantis.”

Daniel narrows his eyes at him for a moment, but Jack kisses him before he can start Tirade Number 27 (“Jack, you're never listening” – not to be confused with No. 43 “Jack, you need to pay attention at meetings” or No. 36 “Jack, I just explained that to you”).

He ends the kiss before it becomes too heated, towing his dazed archaeologist along the last few hundred meters to the mess.

He'll think about ways to get rid of these robot thingies later. Right now he'll enjoy having lunch with Daniel.


 

Chapter Text

 


 

John stumbles over Rodney's boots for the third time this week when he gets up for his morning run.

"God damn it, McKay! I told you to not leave your boots lying around!”

 

Rodney doesn't even open his eyes, he just waves his hand dismissively. He mumbles something that sounds like “do it later”. John glowers at him.

 

“If you don't put them away, and I fall over them one more time, I'm gonna throw them out. Have fun explaining how you lost them to Captain Sanchez.”

 

That wakes Rodney up fast. Captain Sanchez is in charge of the commissary, and she gets that glower when you misplace things that is seriously scary. “I was running for my life from the Wraith” is the least you should be able to offer as an excuse for losing something. “My boyfriend threw out my boots 'cause I left them lying in the middle of the floor” is definitely not going to cut it.

 

Rodney leans over the side of the bed, and collects his boots. He places them neatly against the wall, and then lays back down, and promptly goes back to sleep.

John shakes his head with a mixture between exasperation and fondness. We'll see how long that will work...

 


 

The fact is, John is way more tidy than Rodney is. Part of that is his personality, and part is military training. Rodney is a creative mind, and he knows exactly where to find what he needs in the mess that tends to build up around him. John is fine with that mess in Rodney's lab, but in their shared quarters he insists on at least a modicum of cleanliness. It has been a point of conflict on and off over the years.

 

One memorable evening, John is treated to a PowerPoint presentation on the forces of entropy and the second law of thermodynamics by Rodney, because “That is the only reason things are getting untidy”.

 

After the third slide, John has enough. “You are aware that I have a major in aeronautical engineering, right? I know what entropy is.”

 

Rodney grins. “Then you agree with me.”

 

John just shakes his head. “You are welcome to study all effects of entropy and any other physics questions in your multiple labs, but at home I expect you to put in the minimal effort to at least pick your clothes up from the floor!”

 

Rodney is quite disgruntled his brilliant plan didn't work out.

 

Now, however, there is a new element to their relationship, that opens whole new possibilities for “persuading” Rodney to take more interest in cleaning up.

 

So when John wakes up one day, and once again sees Rodney's clothes strewn around their whole bedroom, he doesn't get annoyed as he used to. Instead he grins, leans over, and murmurs in his husband's ear: “Rodney... This room better be clean by the time I get back from my run. Otherwise you're gonna be sitting on a very warm backside at breakfast.”

 

Rodney snorts, and the corner of his expressive mouth twitches, though he doesn't open his eyes. “Promises, promises,” he mumbles.

 

John chuckles, and presses a kiss behind his ear. “Just you wait, McKay.”

 


 

When John comes back, Rodney is in the shower. The room is nearly completely tidy, except one sock laying provocatively right in the middle of the floor.

 

“Like that, is it?” John grins. He throws his sweaty running clothes into the hamper, and goes to join his husband in the shower. This is gonna be fun.

 

John can move like a cat if he wants to, so it is not difficult at all to sneak up on his unsuspecting husband.

Normally he'd go for surprising Rodney by groping him somewhere intimate. But today there is an even better alternative, one that Rodney practically asked for.

 

Rodney lets out a high-pitched yelp when he discovers that being swatted stings way more on a wet butt.

He whirls around with a very indignant expression. “Hey!”

 

John smirks. “Hey yourself.” Then he twirls his finger, indicating for Rodney to turn back around again.

 

Rodney gives him a glance that is a little suspicious, but he turns around all the same.

 

John leans forward to whisper into his ear silkily, "If you didn't want a spanking, you should have cleaned up everything, McKay."

 

Then he gives Rodney a good smack on the butt which makes him lean forward and brace himself against the shower wall with a moan.

 

John takes his time between spanks, and intersperses them with lots of groping. This is definitely more on the sexy side than the disciplinary one for a spanking. Rodney's not complaining.

In fact, Rodney is driven to incoherent babbling after a few minutes of this sweet torture, which John counts as a huge success.

 

It doesn't take long after that for Rodney to come all over the shower wall with a moan. John almost follows suit just from hearing him so wanton, and uninhibited.

 

Thankfully the floors of the showers in Atlantis are not slippery, otherwise this would have been the point where they are in real danger of sliding to the floor in a graceless heap.

 

As it is, John can help Rodney sit down in a much slower, and safer fashion. He remains standing for the time being. After a few moments of getting his breath back, Rodney uses his position to both of their advantage. He turns John by the hips decisively, and proves once again how very talented his mouth is. John doesn't even last a minute.

 

Afterwards it is Rodney who helps him sit down on the shower floor as well.

 

Rodney leans against him with a satisfied sigh. “Totally worth it.”

 

John manages a half breathless laugh. “You're welcome. Though if you don't clean up that sock the minute you're towelled off, you're getting a repeat performance without the fun parts.”

 

Rodney waves a hand airily. “Yeah yeah, I got the message. No need to go all Colonel-ly on me.”

 

John opts for the most effective way of shutting Rodney up that he has found so far, and leans in for a kiss.