Like A Long, Slow Nervous Breakdown

by Speranza

Author's Notes: Thanks to Giddy, Res, Shalott and Terri for beta on this.

For a moment, John was sure they were going to crash to the floor, but somehow McKay held on to him and twisted and John found himself shoved up against the wall so hard that he banged the back of his head. Ow, Jesus, motherfucker! though okay: nice not to be falling. McKay was sort of hard up against him and panting hot breath into his face, those useful hands tugging John's t-shirt out of his pants. McKay's mouth was suddenly soft on his, smothering any protest he might make, while his hands--his hands--

"You are not," John gasped, twisting his mouth away, "who I would have chosen," and he inhaled sharply, because Christ, Jesus, yes, "for a fuckbuddy. Just so we're--"

"Oh, please. Like choice is the operative--" McKay bit off the words and tightened his sweet, sweet hands on John's cock. "Do you think you're my type?"

John bucked as McKay did something amazing with the hard press of his thumb. "No."

"No," McKay repeated, sounding almost kind. "No, you're not nearly blonde enough to--" and John leaned in blindly and took McKay's mouth again.

To be fair, the first time it happened, he had a head wound. It was on MX6-809, and the Bellista had surrounded them with such stealth that they'd been captured before they'd known which way was up. John had assumed (wrongly) that those were guns the Bellista were carrying, and so he was totally unprepared for the energy blast that a) fused his P-90 into a lump of molten plastic and b) caused Lance Corporal Cragan to jerk violently and start bleeding from the eyes.

McKay went white and said, in a horrified voice, "Oh. Oh, my God," before moving swiftly to Cragan's side, reaching him just as blood began to pour from his mouth. And you had to give it to McKay, John thought, because he went without even looking to see if the guys with the guns that made your brain hemorrhage were okay with that. John froze as the muzzles of the Bellista's terrible weapons locked onto McKay, who had grabbed Cragan's crumpling body and was awkwardly trying to lay him down instead of letting him crash to the ground like a corpse. But Cragan was dead already; John could see that. McKay didn't seem to notice, and John stood silently as McKay kneeled in the dirt and frantically waved his hands over Cragan's body, apparently trying to think of some quick and easy cure for massive internal bleeding.

McKay didn't look up long enough to see that every energy blaster was aimed at him, that the Bellista were tensed and high-strung and ready to fire. But, at the edge of his peripheral vision, Teyla was melting away, backwards, into the trees; she had noticed, and was taking advantage of McKay's inadvertent diversion. For a moment, John felt exquisitely torn between the man in front of him, vainly working to save the dead, and the woman behind him, moving with such slow grace it was like she was shimmering away--and then there was a sharp click from one of the Bellista's weapons and he had to choose.

"Wait," John said, and took two quick steps toward McKay. "Stop!" and McKay looked up, startled, just as the guns swung away from him and toward John. For a moment, John thought his own brain was about to be fried by an energy blast, but the Bellista decided to bash it in the old fashioned way. He saw the first blow coming, but couldn't get his hands up in time, and felt the wetness of the blood running down his face, into his eyes, before he even registered pain. The second blow (the weapon, used as a blunt instrument, felt like an iron bar) knocked him down in the dirt, and then there was a boot and another swift downward rushing arc of--

"Seven minutes, McKay."

"Don't you think I know that?!"

"Six minutes and fifty-five seconds--"

"You know, if this Air Force thing doesn't work out for you, you could have a great career as a speaking clock--"

"Six minutes and fifty seconds. And look, you don't have to impress me. I'm pretty impressed. So just, you know, feel free to save our lives sooner rather than later--"

"Wait, there, give me that! No, that! That, you asshole; that! that! look where I'm--"

"I got it, I got it, where do you--wait, move your hand--move--"

"Hold it! There! Right there!"

"I'm holding it! Six minutes and thirty-five--"

"Christ, will you just shut the fuck up?"

McKay's hands were shoving John's pants down his hips, working his cock, jerking and jerking, and John let his head thunk back against the wall and grabbed hold of McKay's shoulders to steady himself. "See," John panted, staring up at the ceiling, "the thing is," and oh, fuck, fuck, yes, and he was pushing his dick in and out of McKay's hands, "the thing is--"

"Busy now," McKay said.

For a while after that, John remembered things only in flashes. He was being dragged by the arms up a dirt road. He was in a dank, cavernous space, which he knew from the chill on his skin before he opened his eyes in the dim light. He was shoved into a smaller room, and tied up in a chair, and then there were three or four men standing around him, their faces grim and smeared with dirt. But the Bellista weren't carrying their blasters; they were just brandishing blunt instruments, already stained with blood. John wanted to ask them about McKay, but knew that drawing attention to him was a bad thing. McKay wasn't important: McKay was just some civilian nobody who knew nothing. He was team leader, and the acting military commander of Atlantis. John slouched back in his chair and lifted his chin defiantly.

They asked him what his name was, and he told them, and gave them his rank and serial number as a kind of bonus. Then they asked what he and his team were doing on MX6-809. "Exploring," John replied, with a shrug. "Looking for allies against the Wraith. Trading partners." At this, the Bellista exchanged sharp glances and asked him what exactly he had to trade. "I'll show you mine if you show me yours," John replied lazily, and this earned him a smack in the face. The interview went downhill from there, with the Bellista demanding to know from precisely where John's team hailed, and what kind of weapons they had, and what technology, and what supplies, and John said, "I won't tell you," and "Sorry, folks," and "That's classified," until they hit him so hard that they knocked the chair over.

McKay and Zelenka and Grodin all leaned forward to study the display of the converter's technical specifications, and Grodin shook his head and said, "It's broken," just as McKay said, "I can fix it," and Zelenka said, "Is workable," and then McKay and Zelenka were elbow deep in the guts of the thing, pulling out wires and components, and Dr. Grodin was looking at them helplessly and saying, "But even if you get it working, who's going to fit it back into the core?" and John said, grimly, "Let me worry about that." Zelenka's head jerked up worriedly, and Grodin protested, "But the radiation will--" but McKay said, without even looking up, "You don't get it. If he doesn't, we're all dead anyway."

McKay was on top of him, and the bed smelled like semen and spilled coffee; Jesus, McKay could change his sheets every once in a while. "I want to fuck you," McKay whispered, his mouth brushing John's stubbled cheek. "Let me fuck you, John; Jesus, please--"

"No," John said, even as McKay's strong, sweaty hands pushed up under his shirt and slid gently up his rib cage, making him shiver. "No," John repeated, but McKay had bent down to gently lick and kiss the bruised hollow of his solar plexus, moaning a little when John helplessly stroked his soft, sandy hair. "No," John said, as McKay's mouth drifted downward over his belly and bypassed his aching cock to trace a cool stripe over a pale, jutting hip. And then McKay pulled back, tightened his hands on John's hips, and nudged him to turn over, and John hesitated for a moment and then rolled over for him. Because McKay spent a lot of time on his knees, sucking John's cock with a kind of religious devotion, and John figured he maybe owed him for that.

"No," John said breathlessly, but he was already bracing himself on his forearms and lifting his ass. "Rodney, I--I can't," but McKay's hands were strong on him, rubbing his hips, gripping them tightly and tipping them up and slowly pushing in. John held his breath and closed his eyes tight, and for a moment, it was excruciating, the pressure, the solid force that was going to break him. His lungs broke and his breath rushed out of him, and then he was sucking for air, trying to breathe through the--and suddenly, he wasn't gasping, he was panting, and McKay was moaning steadily behind him and oh yes, fuck yes, fuck yes yes yes, yes, and they were moving together in a hard, steady rhythm, and panting in time, and it was perfect, Jesus, each jolt, each thrust; God, he'd needed a good fucking. "Rodney. Rodney--"

Rodney McKay was bent over him when he opened his eyes, and he knew instantly that he was in a bad way; McKay had no poker face at all. "Hey," McKay said nervously, voice wavering a little. "You're awake. Are you--" and then McKay snapped his mouth shut, and John knew he must be in a really bad way if even "Are you okay?" was a tactless question. He blinked slowly, tried to lift his head, and was rocked by nausea and a sharp blast of pain; helplessly, he let his head fall back, and braced for impact with the floor, but his head landed on something relatively soft--McKay's thigh, he realized a moment later. McKay's square hands were carefully guiding his head, tilting his face, and John became conscious of the fact that the sickeningly-sweet smell in the air was blood, and that he had a pretty spectacular head wound. McKay had been trying to staunch the bleeding with some sort of makeshift bandage.

"Wait, wait, don't move," McKay said quickly, pressing down again on his scalp, and Christ! John's head felt like it was exploding. "Oh God," McKay said in a low, sick-sounding voice, "I--Just--head wounds bleed, all the," and McKay's hand was flying through the air, circling rapidly up near his head, "you know: blood vessels," and John had to go very still to deal with the nausea, had to stop his throat up before he puked all over McKay's lap. After a few minutes of lying there with his eyes closed, John managed to relax and start breathing evenly, and it was only then that he realized that McKay's fingertips were gently skimming over his face, touching him with near-unbearable tenderness. He became aware that McKay was softly chanting, "...please don't die, please don't die, I won't make it if you die; I'm not very clever about escaping and fighting aliens and those kinds of things, so please. Major. John...God, please don't..." and as John drifted back into unconsciousness, he found himself thinking that that was maybe the nicest thing anyone had ever said to him.

McKay made a noise that sounded like pain, and then John realized he was coming--coming so hard it hurt. For a moment, John didn't know what to do, and then he crooked his arm around McKay's neck and held him tight, reaching up to press the heel of his hand against that tense, pulsating place on McKay's temple. McKay's cock jerked between them, splashing wetness on John's belly and thighs. "Easy," John murmured soothingly, and rubbed his face against McKay's. "Easy, McKay," and McKay groaned and said, "This is so not where I thought I would be at this point in my life."

The door to the gateroom on MX1-190 wouldn't open until they'd solved a series of complicated puzzles; "a stupidity quarantine," McKay called it, seeming almost to approve. But it was John who solved the first one, a Vescia Pisces, answer 2, 3, and 5. McKay glared at him and solved the next one, an insanely difficult logic problem, in an impressively short amount of time.

"Right?" McKay asked, having narrated his solution to John. "Not-Q implies not-R, so C is true, right?"

John was still trying to work it through. "Wait! I don't know! Hang on, I'm--"

"Come on, come on," McKay said, and snapped his fingers. "We're running out of time."

"You're not helping!" John said, and glared at him.

"Oh, please. Try being me for a day. 'Four minutes, McKay,'" McKay said in a high-pitched voice, and Jesus, no way was his voice that high. "'Three minutes and fifty-five seconds! Three minutes and--'"

John tried to concentrate on the proof, but he was fighting a smile. "You're an asshole," he said, getting to the end of the proof and discovering that yes, not-Q implied not-R, "--and yeah, okay: C is true."

McKay solved the next one--a cryptogram--and then John solved a Slothouber-Graatsma puzzle that he could do in his sleep, and a tricky quintic (5y4 + 2560y2 = x5 - 65536), though he had to borrow one of McKay's incredible space-pens and work the equation out on the inside of his arm. While he was recovering from this, McKay solved a geometric problem that involved dividing a square into eight acute triangles--and then the door opened, blazing with a roiling orange light so intense it was almost like flames. The marines cheered, and even Teyla was applauding, but McKay just stared meaningfully at him.

John let out a long sigh and said, "I did a year of misery," and Teyla frowned and said, "Did you say--?" and before John could explain that he meant the M(athematical) S(ciences) R(esearch) I(nstitute) at Berkeley, McKay crossed his arms and said, "At MSRI, yes; of course," and then added irritably, "Jesus, you should have said something."

"Yeah, probably," John said, and stepped into the blaze of orange light.

John drifted into and out of unconsciousness, and it took a while before he felt ready to take a stab at really being awake. He gingerly lifted his head out of McKay's lap, and saw right away that the view wasn't good: dank stone cell--check; bars on the windows--check; damp stone floor--check.

McKay was leaning back against the wall with his eyes closed, maybe asleep, but just as soon as John thought that, McKay opened his eyes. "You've got to eat something," Mckay said. The very thought of food made John gag, but McKay's tone grew insistent: "You feel sick because you haven't eaten anything. I'm not saying a twelve-course dinner, but try a little dried bread and some water, which--hey!--is all we have anyway," and John reluctantly took a hunk of bread from McKay's hand and ate it, and yeah, his stomach did seem to settle down a bit. McKay then passed him a tin cup of tepid water, and John--suddenly desperately thirsty--guzzled it down, realizing only afterwards that there had been just one cup of water for both of them.

"I--McKay, I'm sorry," John said, shocked at himself, but McKay just waved his hand and said, "It's fine; I'm not the one with the head wound." John had forgotten the head wound, though when he reached up to touch it, McKay smacked his hand away. "It's scabbing, finally; leave it alone."

"I suppose I ought to be figuring a way out of here," John said with a sigh, and McKay shot him an unreadable look and said, "Maybe just focus on getting your strength back, okay?"

"Get up!" John said roughly, grabbing McKay under the armpits and hauling him to his feet. "Now! I swear, I will leave you here if you don't get the fuck up--"

McKay's face was a grimace of pain. "I---I think I twisted my--"

"So you'll ice it. Later. Once we're home--" and then he was half-carrying, half-dragging McKay though the final mile of woods while the Athra soldiers fired after them. McKay staggered gamely along, grunting and panting, until finally they emerged into the clearing, and then suddenly he seemed to lose energy and John had to practically drag him up the ramp into the jumper, where he dumped him unceremoniously onto the floor. Once they were airborne and hurtling away, John switched over to autopilot and ran back to the rear compartment, where Teyla and Ronon had propped McKay up while Ronon mocked up a quick and dirty splint for his ankle.

McKay was pale and dirty and had a nasty cut on his face. "Don't even fucking talk to me."

"You're welcome," John said.

John paused by the door to one of the inertial propulsion chambers because he heard McKay yelling. "Don't touch that! Jesus Christ, you stupid bastard, what part of 'don't touch that' does your tiny, primitive lizard-brain fail to understand? Do I need to use smaller words, or a bigger sign, or do you only understand words when they're framed as direct orders from military command? How's this for simple: Touch that thing and we all die! Christ on a crutch, I can't believe I even have to work near you people; just stand outside and guard the--" and then he heard Sergeant Pinti's voice, low and soft and dangerous, saying, "If I didn't have to obey orders, sir, I'd bash your fucking arrogant face in," and for a moment, John just stood there, absolutely still, feeling a rage so virulent it was like a poison seeping through his system, and before he knew what he was doing, he had tapped on his radio and said, in a calm voice he didn't even recognize as his own, "Pinti? Step into the hall with your team, please," and when Pinti stepped out, he was with McEwan and Wolfe. All three of them were looking scared and defiant, and that made up his mind.

"You're gone," John said, "all three of you. Pack your stuff, you're shipping out," and when Pinti went red and opened his mouth to protest, John said, "No, really; you're out of here. The Daedelus leaves in two days," and that was the end of the conversation; the rest was paperwork.

He never told McKay. If McKay noticed, he never said anything.

John's eyes opened immediately when he heard the rusty squeal of the cell's door opening, and he tried to sit up, except McKay's hands were holding him down, fingers tightly gripping his shoulders. "Stay down," McKay hissed. "Play dead. Keep your eyes--" and John closed his eyes just as he heard the scuff of boots on the stone floor. He heard an unpleasant but familiar voice say, "Take him," but then McKay tightened his grip and said, "No; no, I'm sorry, you can't. You've already given him a concussion, and very possibly a subdural hematoma, not to mention a couple of cracked ribs and God knows how many other internal injuries, so unless you're trying to kill him--" McKay broke off for a second with a little horrified gasp, it apparently having just occurred to him that the Bellista very well might be trying to kill him, "--well, you can't," McKay blurted. "I won't let you. Besides, he's just a dumb fuck--a military guy, doesn't know anything, so I don't know what you'd want with him, anyway."

There was a moment of silence as the Bellista considered this, and then the man with the unpleasant voice said, "Well. Perhaps we should be talking to you," and o-kay, that was enough, and John opened his eyes and pushed himself up against McKay's restraining hands, and said, "As the military commander of Atlantis, I'm authorized to negotiate with you. The good doctor, here," and God, if he was lucky, these assholes might actually think McKay was a medical doctor, what with his bullshit about subdural hematomas and internal bleeding, "isn't authorized to do shit--" and John had barely gotten to his feet when hands grabbed for him--the Bellista's hands and Jesus, McKay's hands--and for a few long, dizzying seconds, he was torn between them, the Bellista foot-soldier pulling him and McKay pulling him back. Then the Bellista raised his gun and smashed McKay hard in the face, sending him reeling, and without thinking, John punched him as hard as he could, and got a crack to the jaw and a sharp jab to the solar plexus in return. His legs gave out, and he fell to his hands and knees on the stone floor, gasping and trying not to throw up. He saw boots, and then a vicious kick to the side sent him sprawling onto his face. Through the haze of pain and the sound of his own ragged breathing, he heard the scuff of footsteps, and McKay was beside him, grabbing him, trying to turn him, before the heavy door had even clanged shut.

"God," McKay said breathlessly, helping John roll first onto his side and then into a sitting position. "Are you all right?"

"Oh, yeah," John said tiredly, like this happened all the time, which, well, yeah. McKay looked at him for a long moment, and then leaned in to kiss him. Kiss him, with no drama and no explanation, like it was just something they did--which no, no, absolutely not. The kiss was a quick thing, hardly more than a peck, just the briefest touch of McKay's mouth to his--and over so fast that McKay was already jerking away when John grabbed his rapidly-flushing face and kissed him back, and then they were kissing with clumsy urgency, and John opened his mouth, and it was all going to hell; so, what the hell.

"Just go, Rodney! Go!--Teyla," John shouted, "make this idiot--" but Teyla must not have been within the sound of his voice, and that horrible mangled thing was bearing down on them like something out of a nightmare, and he was pinned to the ground by the fucking creeper vine. McKay had dropped to his knees and was trying to free his right arm, and then suddenly McKay was bent over him, hands fumbling at John's belt, and while John appreciated the thought, this really wasn't the time to--

McKay straightened, hands gripping John's sidearm, and turned, and fired, emptying the clip. The sound of gunfire was deafening, and through the tingling, almost-silence afterwards, John watched McKay's shaking hands fumble the clip out, grab another one, and shove it in. McKay looked sweaty and a little wild-eyed, but he didn't hesitate--just reloaded and raised the weapon. McKay didn't even check to see if the creature was dead, which made John oddly proud of him; first rule was never to waste precious seconds on the enemy when you could be preparing to shoot him.

But when John managed to push himself up on his elbows, he saw that the creature was dead, or, good enough: John had no intention of taking its pulse. But it had fallen to the ground and was bleeding out, its strange, yellow blood matting its dirty white fur. McKay was still kneeling ramrod straight beside him, pistol aimed at the creature and breathing hard. John managed to get out his knife and hack himself loose, and then he fell down beside McKay on the grass.

"Nice shooting," John said.

McKay finally lowered the gun and let his arms drop. "Yeah, thanks."

"C'mon, c'mon," John muttered softly, looking through the window at the shuttle: there were fourteen people in there, four scientists, eight marines, two Athosians, and they were rapidly running out of oxygen. "You can do it," John said urgently, "so come on, McKay, get a move on--"

McKay was elbow deep in the console that controlled the shuttlebay's airlock. "Yes, yes, I'm working as fast as I can!"

Now they were banging on the glass window of the shuttle's door; John could see their flailing fists. But breaking the window wouldn't help, even if they could somehow break through triple-layered, alumino-silicate glass; there was no air in the shuttlebay either. The Orion's vacuum lock just wouldn't engage, so the bay wouldn't pressurize, so the shuttle's door wouldn't open. And now, even the Orion's airlock had broken; John had marines on standby ready to go out in pressurized suits and close the shuttlebay doors manually, but nobody was going anywhere unless McKay got that goddamned airlock open.

John glanced at his watch and swallowed hard; time to get serious. "Three minutes, McKay!" John said, letting a touch of anger enter his voice. "What the fuck are you doing?"

"Oh, the speaking clock," McKay grumbled, without looking up. "How I love the speaking clock."

"I've got fourteen people down there with no life support--"

"No pressure or anything!" McKay said through gritted teeth.

"--in a shuttle of 6,000 cubic feet, and when the CO2 levels become toxic, as they will in two minutes and forty seconds--"

McKay was frantically twisting two wires together. "Who gave you those figures, Zelenka? Because Ph.D aside, he can't add for beans."

"--they're all going to die, McKay, so right now would be a really great time to show me what kind of utterly fantastic super-genius you are. Much better than Zelenka--believe me, I know it. So let's see you pull out all the stops, McKay. Come on, impress me. Make me grovel--"

"This kinkiness is unbecoming," McKay said.

John had just one last shot at this, and so he channeled his old training instructor from Lackland, a guy he'd hated for four of the six weeks of basic but had come to love almost beyond reason. "Goddamn it, McKay, I'm not kidding, here! You're great when it's your own ass on the line, so how about using some of that brain power to help someone else for a change? Get that fucking airlock open, or I swear to God--"

"Hello, are you still talking? Jesus Christ, you should be on the radio. I'm close! Believe me, I'm close---it's not my fault that the sensors burned out! I've had to bypass the entire automated activation system and re-route the controls to something mechanical, something that we can physically open, because this whole Star Trek door-of-the-future thing is cool until the sensors go blooey, and then seriously, you appreciate having a good, old-fashioned doorknob. This is a very complicated piece of technology, Colonel, and it's not all going to be up and--There!--okay, wait, try it now," McKay said.

John swallowed and turned away from the window; he tried to make his mouth work, but couldn't. Rodney popped up from behind the console, looking a little sweaty and kind of irritated. "I said, try it now: what the hell are you waiting for?" and it was McKay who was supposed to have no poker face, but his own was for shit, because Rodney knew right away that it was too late.

"Rodney," John said in a cracked voice, and he got Rodney by the wrists and tried to drag him away, stop him looking at the shuttle, the single smear of blood on its window, the sprawl of bodies piled up by the door-- but Rodney shoved him away and pushed past him and pressed himself up against the window, palms sweaty against the glass. "Oh. Oh."

"Rodney," John said with soft, rapid-fire urgency, "you did good; this wasn't your fault. C'mon," he said, knotting his fingers in Rodney's shirt and tugging gently, like he could physically pull McKay away from the horror of this. "We're gonna go get a drink, we're gonna get you a drink, Rodney," and when Rodney finally rolled away from the window, his face was a grey mask of shock, like he'd just aged ten years.

John had lost teammates before--here and in Afghanistan--but never after having done as well as Rodney McKay had done tonight; he'd been so damn close. He gripped Rodney's biceps in his hand, fixed him with his eye, and said, with as much authority as he could muster, "Sometimes you lose, Rodney, okay? Are you hearing me? You don't win every time, you just don't, not in this line of work; welcome to my line of work, Rodney--" but Rodney just looked away, lips pressed together, and waved a dismissive hand that said: yes, yes, of course; what else could you possibly say?

Still, John made Rodney come to his room and poured him a glass of the whisky he kept for those very, very bad days; days like this. Rodney took just a few sips, then sat down at the edge of John's bed with his shoulders slumped, the half-empty glass hanging from his hands. "Rodney," John said in a low voice, and when Rodney looked up, John shot him a meaningful look and drained his own whiskey by way of example. Rodney was still looking at him when John lowered the glass, and then Rodney sighed, raised his glass, and drank it down, shuddering and wincing at the taste--and John was standing over him when he finished, and taking the glass from his hand, and putting it down on the nightstand, and then John put one knee between Rodney's thighs and pushed him down onto his back on the bed.

He only had a glimpse of Rodney's pale face, which seemed on the verge of cracking under the strain of too-huge emotions, and then John was settling on top of him, cupping his face and kissing him. "I'm sorry..." Rodney said in a wet, cracked-sounding voice, when John broke away to breathe. "I'm sorry. John, I--" and John smothered the apology on his lips, because he couldn't stand the idea that Rodney McKay was cracking first. It ought to have been him. It absolutely ought to have been him.

So he kissed him, longer and slower and deeper, working Rodney's mouth open and exploring the softness inside, teasing his tongue, kissing him until it was a rhythmic, almost hypnotic thing between them, and he could feel the precise moment when Rodney's brain disconnected, when Rodney's muscular arm slid around his neck and held him in place and the only thing that mattered was the interplay of their mouths and the wet slide of their tongues. John had done something like this once, had slept with his gunner in Afghanistan after a hellish night of fire and explosions. But of course it had been nothing like this. It had been harsh and frantic and pain-filled, and in the morning it had been awkward and embarrassing, and then things had gone mean, and Marsh had been sneering and John had socked him in the face, and then they had both put in for a transfer which was just as well: in fact, it had very possibly been the point of the exercise: to give them an excuse never to see each other again. But this here was something else, and John felt tears stinging his eyes as Rodney's arm tightened around his neck, drawing him closer, pulling him in, and John felt an ecstatic moment of gratitude as Rodney McKay kissed him into oblivion, and his own obsessively-circling brain came off the hook.

John helplessly slid his hands over Rodney, grabbing his shoulder, his shirt, groping him desperately as they kissed. Rodney's arms twined around him, pulling him close, holding onto him tight. For a while, they kissed hotly, sloppily, sucking on tongues and lips--and then it wasn't enough, and they were rubbing against each other, angling for friction. Rodney pulled him down to the cell's stone floor, and then they were pushing clothes out of the way just enough to touch, to stroke an erect cock or rub it against a hot square of skin. Yeah. C'mon. Fuck. Yes, and it was over too fast, Rodney's cock jerking in John's hand, John grinding out, "oh God, f-fuck, fuck!" and splattering come on Rodney's hip. Rodney lay there, gasping, then closed his eyes as John slid down his body and began to mouth and kiss his belly, his balls, his softening cock.

John rested his head on Rodney's thigh and idly stroked and played with him. Rodney seemed to doze off, and after a while, John zipped them both up and went to sleep with his head in Rodney's lap, one arm slung tight around his midsection.

They both jerked awake at the rusty scrape of the iron door lock. "John," Rodney whispered, "for God's sake: play it my way," and Rodney's way seemed to entail John lying on the ground and moaning while Rodney bent over him and pretended to tend to him. The Bellista guard frowned, shoved Rodney aside, and bent down to look John over himself--and then suddenly, Rodney gave him a vicious kick to the shins, and then brought his tightly interlocked hands hard down on the back of his neck when he doubled over--and then John dragged him down and bashed him unconscious against the cell's cobblestone floor.

When he looked up, John saw that Rodney had already managed to get a hold of the Bellista's blaster-weapon. "Jesus, be careful with that," John hissed, because McKay was being all-too-casual with it, turning it around in his hands and not watching where the business end was pointed as he examined it. John searched the guard's body and found some kind of automatic controller, a radio, a--

"Is that a knife? Give me the knife," McKay said, snapping his fingers. John handed it over, and McKay used it to pry open the blaster's casing, He studied its workings for a couple of seconds, and then his nimble fingers were pulling apart circuits and rearranging the crystals. Then McKay put the blaster back together, and hefted it, and aimed, and John had just managed to form the words, "What the hell are you--?" when McKay muttered, "Here goes nothing," and fired a blinding blast of energy at the thick outside wall. The stone disintegrated, leaving a ragged hole, and John peered through the dust into the inky darkness, saw a tree, felt the night breeze ruffle his hair.

"Okay," McKay said, smugly raising the barrel. "I'd say--let's get a move on," and then he was grabbing John by the hand, and hauling him to his feet, and dragging him out through the hole and into the night.

"You can fuck me," McKay said in a low voice. "I mean it. I want you to," and John couldn't help but wonder if this was McKay's way of saying thank you for saving his life back on Quarna. Against that was the fact that John saved McKay's life maybe twice a week, not to mention that McKay didn't really do gratitude. Still, there had been something particularly wild and terrified in Rodney's eye when the matted-gray rodent things had gone after him, a real "take Julia!" hysteria in his voice. "Colonel!" McKay had yelled. "Colonel!" and honestly, John had done some of the best shooting of his life, blasting the last of the five creatures just as it was about to sink its teeth into McKay's leg.

Whatever McKay's motivations, John wasn't about to say no; he couldn't wait. Even the thought of fucking McKay made him shudder and sweat--it was something he fantasized about when he jerked off: pushing into him, doing him hard and fast, or sometimes slow and sweet, having Rodney moaning and panting and falling apart in his hands. And it was about time: McKay'd been doing him for almost a year, now, and while McKay still gave excruciatingly fantastic blowjobs, he had never before offered to turn over for John. But now he rolled onto his stomach, spread his legs by drawing one knee up underneath him, and braced his head on his forearms, giving John a pretty amazing view. McKay's back and shoulders were more muscular than John would have expected, and his ass was--well, Jesus. John found his throat tightening and his hands shaking as he reached for the lubricant.

He held McKay open with one hand and moved in with the other, stroking over the hole, teasing with slick fingers, circling with his thumb. McKay's skin was pale and creamy over his flexing back muscles, and he was hot inside, Christ, hot and so, so tight when John finally pushed a finger in. His blood was rushing loudly in his own ears, and he had to squeeze his eyes shut so as not to come. "Fuck!" McKay said, in a tight-sounding voice, "--come on--shove it in, already--" and yes, God, he wanted to--so much so that he was already lubed up, dick aligned and ready to push in, when some small voice in the back of his mind said, Wait. Stop. John was used to obeying his instincts, even the nutty ones, and so he held still, hands gripping McKay's hips, and tried to figure out what was-- "Come on!" McKay gasped. "Just--do it--" and John frowned down at McKay's bowed back and clenched fists and realized that McKay was tensed for pain. He dragged his thumb down the crease of McKay's ass, sense memory suddenly telling him that McKay had been too tight, and felt McKay's body closing against him.

Still McKay gasped and shoved back hard. "What are you waiting for? Fuck me, stick it in me--" but when John reached around for McKay's cock, he found it soft and small. John knew from personal experience that while he sometimes lost his erection while McKay was shoving into him, getting fucked generally made him hard; hell, sometimes just thinking about it got him hard. But McKay--

"Jesus," and suddenly John's heart was slamming angrily in his chest; he'd been anticipating pleasure, but McKay had been somewhere different. In one swift movement John grabbed him by the hip and flipped him onto his back, knocking the air out of him. McKay's eyes widened as John bore down on him.

"What the fuck are you--?" and he felt insane, like he could hurt McKay, or even himself: pain would feel good right now; or at least better than this. "Don't you ever," he threatened, and McKay's hands were grabbing at his shoulders, massaging and soothing, like he was the one who needed-- "Don't you dare leave me alone in this," John heard himself say in a terrible-sounding voice, and of course he meant sexually, in bed; that was what he meant, and that was only fair, because if you were sleeping with somebody, you had an obligation to some kind of honesty. "I mean it! I--"

"Right. No," McKay said instantly. "No, I won't, I won't ever; I swear --"

"You don't want to fuck me, McKay, you don't have to. You do this with me, or we don't--"

"Yes." McKay was staring hard at him, and rhythmically grasping his shoulders, and John felt himself calming. "Yes. I'm sorry," and the words seemed strange and wrong in his mouth, almost obscene. "Believe me, I want to," but when John looked at him, Rodney said, in a softer voice, "I want to want to. I mean--just, I'm--um--" and one of McKay's hands fluttered off John's shoulders and went to cover his eyes, "--you know, maybe a little neurotic about--you know. Letting you--" Below his hand, his face was flushing red. "I'm, uh--working on it."

John curled a hand around McKay's cock, and was gratified at the immediate response. McKay's cock was half-hard by the time John put it into his mouth, and fully hard against his tongue--hell, he liked that well enough, but then again: what man didn't? John closed his eyes and began to suck. He liked McKay's cock, liked its shape and the way it jutted out from his body; he liked remembering that Dr. McKay was a male animal, like he was. John caressed the base in his fist as he pulled back to suck the swollen cockhead. McKay began to make desperate, hysterical-sounding noises, and then John had an idea and coaxed him to turn over again.

McKay said, breathlessly, "Okay. Okay. I'm ready when--whenever you--" and then he added, defensively, "No tight-ass jokes, okay?" and John smiled against the small of McKay's back and murmured, "No, no; wouldn't dream of it," before dragging his tongue down--

McKay lurched violently, and let out a ragged-edged gasp, but John held on tight and kept working his tongue, and then McKay was taking deep, hitching breaths and falling completely to pieces, cock jerking and splattering the rumpled bedclothes beneath him, and saying, "God--oh, John--oh, John, yes."

"You know, the thing is," John said from his breathless, post-coital sprawl on McKay's bed, "the thing is: sometimes I don't even like you," and McKay looked hard at him for a moment, then snorted and tucked a pillow under his head, and John cracked a grin and said, "Right; never mind."

The End

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