She always knows. He doesn't know how but she knows, she's there every time. Every time he's too wound up, too stressed, too sleep-deprived, too exhausted - not the times when the city is under dire threat of course - just the normal nights when he's still in the lab far too late with a to-do list as long as the distance from Earth to Atlantis and no idea how to get it all done. Long after Zelenka had left, long after even Sheppard had stuck his head in, told him to go to bed and left with a wry 'Good night, Rodney'. She knows. She comes.
Quiet as a mouse she appears at his side, a hand on his upper arm, turning him to face her, resting her forehead against his and saying his name in that gentle way. She suggests that he finishes because it's late, because he's too tired to continue, that he shuts down his computers and that he comes with her. He blusters and obfuscates, insists that's he's really very busy and that it's vitally important that he continue his work. She just says his name again, more persistent this time, her hand warm at the back of his neck. He knows what she wants, knows he'll give in eventually - he always does and it's always worth it, she's always right. He sighs her name and nods sharply, closes his computers and compliantly follows her to her quarters where the lights are dimmed and the incense burns.
No words are spoken as she lets down her hair and strips out of her clothes, her body moving in that fluid sensual way she has. Once she's naked, she kneels at his feet to remove his boots, helping him step out of them before she rises to her feet and divests him of his clothes.
A kiss, not quite-chaste, not quite-passionate and she's covering his eyes with a silk scarf. Some nights she bathes him - standing him under the hot spray of a shower, dragging a warm wet wash-cloth over him from head to toe, but not tonight. Tonight, she leads him to her bed, laying him down on his front, waiting for him to get comfortable before straddling his hips. A warm woody smell fills the air as she uncorks a bottle of oil, then rubs slick hands up and down the length of his spine.
He groans at the combination of the warming oil and her talented hands working over his back, his shoulders, his arms, his thighs, and even his head until all the tension has bled out of him. He sighs, pillows his head on his folded arms and arches his back with a series of cracks and pops. A roll of his neck elicits another crack and a moan of relief escapes him. Her hands ease him through it, rubbing and kneading tired muscles and he's relaxing, finally relaxing underneath her.
Then, and only then does she roll him over, lean forward and places a kiss to his forehead. She coats her fingers with more oil and takes his cock in hand, stroking him with a firm, steady, rhythm. He hears a pleased noise escape him, his head thumping back on the corduroy like cushion below it. His eyes slide closed and his hips start moving restlessly
She murmurs to him, comforting non-words as she strokes him and he replies with guttural sounds. His hands fist in the blankets and furs, his head tossing back and forth, his breathing coming faster and faster and his voice breaks on the second syllable of her name.
She tells him she knows, her voice warm and grounding and comforting him. Another whine escapes him, his hips bucking and she presses a kiss to his jaw before her hand continues, the movements a little harder, a little faster and he tenses and groans and comes, his orgasm coating her hand. Her smile is gentle in the half light and she uses a warm cloth to clean her hand, and then him.
'Sleep, Rodney," she says softly, pulling a fleece blanket up over him. He rolls onto his side and tucks one hand beneath his head. He watches her snuffing out the candles then lets his eyes drift closed and sleep claim him.
When he wakes up the following morning, there is a mug of hot tea and his clothes - clean and folded neatly - next to him. There's no sign of her so he takes his time to savour the drink before dressing and, after looking at the clock, making his way to the mess for breakfast, stopping by his lab and picking up his tablet on the way. Teyla, Sheppard and Ronon are already there and he joins them, plate filled high with what looks like bacon, egg and toast. Sheppard tells him he's glad he took his advice and got some sleep.
"Yes, yes," He replies, distracted already by whatever he's working on. "I slept, and the city hasn't quite fallen apart while I was gone."
"Yes," Teyla agrees. "It is nice to see you looking so,” she paused for a moment, “relaxed, Dr McKay."
And if he flushes a little pink at the emphasis she puts on the word 'relaxed', well he's got his head down and no-one would see, no-one would know. Except for her.