Title: Discretion - It's Not As Easy As You'd Think, 5/5
Pairing: John Sheppard/Rodney McKay
Fandom: Stargate: Atlantis
Feedback/Concrit: darkhavens @ slashverse.com
Disclaimer: Not mine, never will be. No harm, no foul, no money made.
Summary: Rodney just can't resist touching the goodies.
Notes: Written for stagesoflove 2006, Round 3, 'Five Rooms', room #5 - The Infirmary, aka 'The Time When They Held Hands For Three Days'.
#1 - The Gate Room, aka 'The ZPM Affair', #2 - The Mess Hall, aka 'The Cookie Incident', #3 - The Ancient Armoury, aka 'The Secret of the Slippery Stuff', #4 - The Sauna, aka 'The Day McKay and The Colonel Got Hot and Sweaty In Public'.
ETA: Thanks to kitty_poker1 for the ultre-fast last minute read-through. :D
Special note: Thank you to everyone who has left fb to the previous parts. I will be answering it, I promise, I just have to stop chasing my tail first. Thank you!
The Infirmary, aka 'The Time When They Held Hands For Three Days'
The mission is supposed to be an easy one - a planet Teyla has visited relatively recently, before Atlantis rose again.
They're greeted with open arms and smiles of welcome, loaded platters of meat and fruit and jugs of rich red wine, with sticky sweets to follow.
And after they're stuffed to the gills, replete and groaning, they're entertained by pretty dancers - boys and girls in loose pants and flowing sashes, shirts slashed to tantalise with flashes of rib and shadowed curves of spine.
The sun has set and both moons are hanging low in the sky before the elders come to usher them away to the temple halls.
The rest of the team don't need McKay to tell them that the buildings are of Ancient origin, but he tells them anyway - goes into details, and scientific flurries, scurrying from one dust-shrouded pillar to the next. And then he touches one.
The scream is one of shock, not pain, but the Colonel doesn't stop to quantify the difference - he simply lunges.
The second his fingers interlock with Rodney's outstretched digits they both drop like rocks and the pillar goes dark. The elders are loudly apologetic, offering stretcher-bearers - their healthiest young, as hostages - to transport the tightly joined pair back to the Stargate. Teyla lets them help.
The scene in the 'gate room is chaotic. Carson tries to pry the men apart, and manages eventually, with the help of three stone-faced marines. The screams are heartbreaking, the separated hands outstretched and shaking, clenching rhythmically.
Teyla intervenes before they reach the infirmary, convincing Carson that the stress of separation is too much, that Ancient business is at work here, and should be minded.
For three days, they lie in close quarters, hands clasped in silent comfort and connection. Physical contact with one causes reaction in the other - Carson's test results are indecipherable.
Elizabeth works unceasingly to translate the writings on the pillars - it's a slow job. It comes together in tiny fragments, a snippet here, a loaded word or phrase there. The meaning isn't really something that she wants to share, at least not without their permission.
At the end of three days, as Elizabeth is finally decoding the secret of their union, they blink themselves awake.
Nurse Hogan is the only one there to hear, from behind the curtains kept closed for discretion's sake.
"Colonel… John? Are you…?"
"Yeah. Wow. Can you still feel…?"
There's a shared sigh and then a snowstorm of rustling, and Lisa misses something murmured as they move.
"…amn idiots, the both of us. Are we the only ones who didn’t know?"
The Colonel's chuckle sends ripples down her spine and Lisa wonders how it feels to be the one it's meant for.
"Dammit, Rodney, you kissed me! In front of a roomful of marines! How the hell did I miss the significance of that?"
"Forget the kiss, I saved you a cookie! A good cookie! How did I not know I was in love with y…?"
Lisa doesn't know whether the cut-off is a choke of realisation or a kiss, but she doesn't worry. This little tale is not for sharing, it's hers to treasure.
She knows now - she knew before they did - and that's enough to keep her warm on cold nights.