Pairing/characters: Rodney McKay/John Sheppard
Word Count: Approx 650
Prompt Weekend Challenge 'Everybody Sing' – Cats: Memory
Disclaimer This is a work of fiction and is for entertainment purposes only. I do not own the characters of Stargate Atlantis, neither am I profiting financially from this story.
Written for both the Weekend Challenge 'Everybody Sing' and for 'The Promise' square of my March Bingo Card at 1_million_words
It's so easy to leave me
All alone with my memory
Of my days in the sun
If you touch me
You'll understand what happiness is
Look, a new day has begun
It was midnight when Rodney finally managed to escape from the lab. It wasn’t very often he ventured outside but he needed some peace and quiet, some time to process everything that had happened since they’d landed on the new planet.
They’d managed to get most of the major repairs done so the main city systems were more or less up and running. Having caught a few hours sleep himself Radek had finally persuaded Rodney to leave the lab and get some rest, but Rodney wasn’t quite ready for sleep.
He sat down on the edge of the pier, dangling his legs over the side and just enjoying the tranquillity of the summer night and the gentle summer breeze. This far out there wasn’t a sound from the City. Atlantis’ two visible moons lit up the sky, reflecting their silvery light in the barely moving ocean which lapped gently around the foundations of the pier.
Rodney didn’t know how long he’d been sitting there when he heard footsteps coming up behind him. He didn’t need to turn to know who it was.
“Hey,” John said softly as he dropped to sit beside him, handing him a beer. “Why aren’t you asleep? Radek said he banished you to bed hours ago.”
“Wasn’t ready for sleep, too much going on up here,” he gestured to his head. “Too many thoughts and memories spinning around. We’ve lost so much this past year.” He broke off, taking a long drink.
“Yeah. We’ve lost a lot of people since we came here.” John said regretfully, looking down at his hands. “Elizabeth...” He broke off as his voice wobbled.
“Elizabeth would want us to go on, John.” Rodney said firmly. “She gave her life to ensure our safety, so that we could save Atlantis. She had faith in us John; to regret what happened would be to cheapen her sacrifice.” He finished softly, laying his hand on top of John’s and squeezing it gently.
They sat in companionable silence for a few minutes before Rodney worked up the courage to ask the question on his mind.
“Did you...did you love Elizabeth?” He hadn’t been sure; it was always difficult to read John.
John looked up in surprise.
“I was fond of her. I guess I loved her in the way a friend loves another friend.” He said slowly with a weak smile. “I wasn’t in love with her though, not with her.” He finished quietly, looking down at their still clasped hands.
“John?” Rodney questioned with a frown.
John turned his hand over slowly, linking his fingers with Rodney’s. He still didn’t look up.
“John what are you saying?” Rodney asked a little more urgently.
John turned to him, eyes shining in the moonlight. He tightened his fingers on Rodney’s hand, his breathing unsteady.
Rodney was one step ahead of him. He cupped his free hand around John’s neck, pulling him forward into a gentle kiss. To his relief John opened up to him immediately, he let Rodney take the lead but was definitely a willing participant in the kiss.
They made out under the cover of darkness, slowly and tentatively, too exhausted for anything more. Eventually John dropped his head onto Rodney’s shoulder.
“John,” Rodney said softly. “Hey, the sun’s rising. It’s a new day, a new start. Maybe it’s time we took this back to my quarters.”
“Why your quarters?” The muffled question came from Rodney’s shoulder.
“Because I have the bigger bed, you still have that child sized atrocity in your room.” Rodney replied. “That’s if you want to. If you really want this.” He continued a little hesitantly.
John lifted his head, looking steadily at Rodney.
“Rodney, I do want this.” He replied determinedly. “I promise. I’ve wanted this for a long time. I’ve just been too scared that you didn’t want it as well.”
“So why now?” Rodney asked, softening the question with a gentle kiss.
“Because next time it could be one of us and life’s too short. I don’t want one of us to die without knowing what we could have had.” John replied, his voice rough.
“Hey, we’re still here. It’s okay, we’ve got time.” Rodney pulled John into his arms, holding on tightly and letting John cling to him for a few minutes. Allowing himself to finally relax and let happiness and contentment wash over him.
“Come on John. We’ve both got the day off.” He whispered into John’s ear. “Let’s make the most of it.”