(Looks like it's working so far though. *g*)
Title: Sloth Days
Fandom: Pairing: Stargate Atlantis: Rodney McKay/John Sheppard
Concrit: darkhavens @ slashverse.com. If you spot a typo, please feel free to tell me in comments. I want you to!
Disclaimer: Not mine, never will be. No harm, no foul, no money made.
Summary: Every now and then Rodney's brain refuses to reboot.
Notes: Written for slashthedrabble challenge #142: Sloth.
When Rodney takes a holiday it's usually on sufferance, something he's ordered to do. On those occasions, his brain keeps whirring, overclocked and working on seven impossible things at once, theories and calculations churning away just below the surface.
But Rodney also takes Sloth Days, named by one of his long-forgotten room mates while he was studying for his second PhD. Sloth days are those rare days when Rodney's brain simply shuts down and refuses to reboot for twenty-four hours or so.
John likes to think he's learned most of Rodney's little quirks, but he doesn't know this one. The first he hears about it is when Rodney doesn't appear for the command staff power breakfast. When he asks why they're starting without Rodney, Elizabeth announces 'Sloth Day' like it's supposed to mean something.
John looks blank.
A strangely short and interruption-free power breakfast later, John carries Rodney's share of the tura fruit pastries and a vacuum flask of steaming black coffee back to Rodney's room. Elizabeth's description of her first experience of a Sloth Day back in Antarctica had been vivid and quite amusing, but John knew he'd never believe it until he'd seen it for himself - Rodney without his thick outer layer of 'Genius at work', without that constant buzz and twitch of vital energy.
Rodney, who is lying on his bed under a colorful Athosian blanket, fingers laced behind his head, his eyes tracking the ripples of light reflected onto the ceiling from the waves outside his window.
As John moves into his field of vision Rodney smiles, slow and lazy. "Hey."
John holds out the plate of pink puff pastries and watches, amused, as Rodney struggles to untangle his fingers and get them out from behind his head.
"Hey. So, Sloth Day?"
Rodney takes the plate, slides it onto the bedside table and promptly grabs John's fingers and tugs, bringing him flush against the edge of the bed. When he stops moving, Rodney pouts and tugs again. John holds out the flask of coffee.
"This what you're after?"
Rodney sighs like he's just been asked to solve world hunger or orchestrate world peace before lunchtime. "Lie down already, you're interrupting the show. If you stare at it long enough you can almost feel the city rocking on the waves."
John allows himself to be tugged and shoved into place, and then used as a pillow.
"You know that we can't really..."
A finger is pressed against his lips.
"Just watch. It only happens when the angles are just right, and it never lasts more than half an hour, so until then just... hush, okay?"
They lie there, pressed together from knee to shoulder, watching the ripples of light slide across the ceiling and down the wall before vanishing into the shadows in the corner.
This version of Rodney is cuddly and adorable, but also quite unnerving. When John wakes the next morning to the sound of keyboard clicks and muttered curses, he's kind of relieved.