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Title: The Richness of the Rain
Author: esteefee
Pairing: John/Rodney
Rating: NC-17
Categories: Established Relationship, H/C
Words: 2,227
Warnings: None, I don't think; lemme know.
Beta: em_kellesvig
Summary: A training mission goes FUBAR, and John finds comfort in an unexpected place.

For em_kellesvig, my fraternal brain-twin and co-conspirator. Thank you for your brilliance, your editing, and all the shared glee. This Fest has been a romp, thanks to you.

The Richness of the Rain

by esteefee

John has no clear memory of getting from the infirmary to his quarters, but the next thing he knows, he's in his bathroom trying to muster the energy to unbutton his mud-stiffened uniform shirt. The mud is a weird grayish-blue, so thick it's still wet in places, and he's cold and shivering, so stripping would be good, it would be great, because then he could possibly get under a hot shower, which would mean he'd be one step closer to collapsing into bed. But he can't seem to lift his hands from the edges of the sink, and he stands there, staring into his reddened eyes and trying not to see the flash of Hines's twisted, fury-filled face as he turned his P-90 on his own crew.

Jesus Christ.

The door swooshes open in the other room and John hears familiar footsteps, the sound jerking him into motion finally so when Rodney steps in behind him, John has succeeded in getting the top button undone. He drops his hands again and doesn't meet Rodney's eyes in the mirror, but manages to say, "Hey. I thought you were busy fixing the...thing. The DHD memory buffer thing."

"Ah, that. I've left it to Radek," Rodney says, which makes no sense, because the last he'd told John it was far too complicated to leave in Zelenka's hands, which was why John had to cancel their mission today and ended up joining Lorne on what were supposed to be simple training maneuvers.

"Oh," John says. He does meet Rodney's eyes then, because there's no way it's a coincidence that Rodney stopped by just now. And as grateful as John is to see him, it kind of sucks, because it means Rodney must know that three of John's men are in the infirmary recovering from friendly fire, that at least part of the deep rust still staining John's shirt is their blood, and that Corporal Hines is right now locked down in isolation in full restraints having gone completely batshit Section Eight, cause unknown.

John is hoping for alien influence, something in the Pegasus water, something Carson can cure, but thinks it's more likely full blown battlefield psychosis. Who knows what caused it—any number of the things John has seen since coming to this galaxy could be enough to push a guy over the edge, but for whatever reason, it's John's fault because he didn't see it coming, and John is four men down, and he can't afford to lose good men or women, not terrific ones like Hines, and not in front of a whole troop of fresh kids just off the Daedalus

"Come on, you idiot," Rodney says, and he unlocks John's fingers from where they've found edges of the sink again and turns John to face him. Then Rodney starts to unbutton John's shirt.

"I can undress myself, McKay," John says hoarsely.

"Oh, yes, and I can see you're doing a terrific job of that," Rodney replies, a little sharply, and tries to bat away John's fumbling fingers.

John holds him off, grasping Rodney's wrists and staring at him mutely.

"John," Rodney says, unwontedly gentle.

God, John is tired. He's so tired. After evacuating the wounded and the trainees, it had taken him and Lorne over six hours to hunt Hines down with stunners, and the whole time, John was almost sick with fear that the crazed marine would kill his XO, because Lorne, goddamn him, refused to let John do it alone.

They'd trudged, up to their balls in that thick, gray mud, through a stark wasteland populated by twisted trees and bizarre reptiles that the xenobiologists had assured them weren't dangerous—very—and the entire time, John just wanted to get them all safe and come home to Rodney's hands, warm on his face—

Beckett to Sheppard.

"Here. 'M here." John shivers, the mud sapping the heat from his skin.

I've found the cause, Colonel. Appears the corporal was exposed to some sort of plant neurotoxin—ingested, quite probably—the byproducts of which would have acted very similarly to phencyclidine or PCP for short.

"What?" John's slow to understand. "PCP?"

His body was breaking down the neurotoxin and, as a result, poisoning his bloodstream with the equivalent of PCP. Fascinating, really.

"Yeah, fascinating. He going to be okay?

Oh, aye. I'm keeping a close eye on the lad.

"Thanks, Carson," John says, his voice hoarse. "Please inform Major Lorne. Sheppard out." He relaxes suddenly, closing his eyes and leaning against the sink.

Rodney tugs John's radio from his ear.

"Did you hear that?" John sighs. "My guy was on PCP. He didn't even know it."

"Mmm-hmm. He probably ate some bad berries. I wouldn't put it past the Ancients to have terraformed something ridiculous like that. They really did have the wackiest ideas when it came to recreation." Rodney squeezes John's arm, and John is so fucking grateful.

"Uh-huh. What a wild bunch." He opens his eyes and follows the sharp slant of Rodney's cheek to the quirk of his lips. He wants to kiss him, but John's mouth probably tastes like the ass end of the swamp right now.

Rodney smirks as if he knows exactly what John is thinking, and reaches again for John's shirt. This time John doesn't stop him—doesn't want to, can't even imagine what he was thinking earlier—and Rodney makes quick work of the buttons stiff with mud on John's BDU shirt, finally pushing it off John's shoulders with a grimace of disgust.

John raises his arms obediently when Rodney next shoves up his black T-shirt, and then shivers at the warmth of Rodney's palms on his shoulders, at Rodney's fingertips brushing his naked chest.

Stepping back, John ducks his head and kicks off his boots and socks so he can get out of his pants.

"I'll just call a hazmat team in on these," Rodney says wryly, bending and grabbing John's discarded clothes while John turns and waves his hand over the shower sensor. The hiss of clean, hot water is as welcome as rain on parched desert, and John takes a deep breath of the humid air. He hears Rodney undressing behind him and smiles to himself. If anything can turn this day around, it's Rodney in his shower, as unlikely as that thought was just a few weeks ago.

John ducks his head into one of the sprays and drinks some water, washing the taste of the planet out of his mouth. He feels Rodney's hands slide up his shoulders and turns.

"Hey," John says, on his way back to human again. "Thanks." He leans his forehead against Rodney's. "Thanks a lot."

"For what?" Rodney says airily. "This is just payback for last night's snack."

Oh, yeah. John might've raided the pantry for Rodney 'round about hour twelve of his sixteen hour coding session.

But this is different somehow, and John can't put his finger on it, so he just tilts his head and kisses Rodney, tries to thank him mouth to mouth, pushing him back until he can press Rodney up against the shower wall and kiss him properly.

John kisses Rodney for what feels like hours, until the thin lines of Rodney's mouth have been shaped into something new, pink and puffy and smiling between kisses as if he can't help it. It makes John feel a little uneasy, because this isn't the McKay he knows—this compliant, almost-silent man in his arms. The only sounds Rodney makes are small, happy moans and sighs, and he isn't asking for anything—say, giving John precise instructions on how to kiss properly or telling him to stop already and move on to something else.

But John isn't complaining, because he needs this, this comforting ease—Rodney's hands sliding around John's shoulders, holding him trustingly tight.

"You have the most disgusting mud caked on your back," Rodney mutters against John's lips, and John chuckles. Well, it was nice while it lasted. He lets go, lets Rodney pull away, and Rodney comes back with a bar of soap, pushes John back against the wall, and starts soaping John down. It feels so amazing that John's dick, only half-hard despite all the kissing, finally gets with the program.

"Oh-ho," Rodney says, and, "Thought you were too tired," he adds slyly, which is just plain insulting.

"Never that tired," John drawls.

Rodney just rolls his eyes, his cheeks pink from the heat of the shower, and starts soaping all the mud from John's cock and balls—gently, which John is grateful for, because the stuff is gritty and thick and not at all fun to trudge around with lodged in his shorts, he can attest. Rodney's hands are so damned skilled, though, that John just leans against the wall, spreads his legs a little, and groans. He's turned on now, hot for it, and shivers a little at the feeling of being held so gently in Rodney's hands, feeling delicate fingers stretching the skin of John's balls and seeking out the mud, swirling around down below, underneath—

"Fuck. Rodney," John says breathlessly.

Rodney just grins, his hair fluffed up in horns from the moisture of the shower, and the bar of soap goes back, sliding around, and his other hand grips John's cock now, and he starts stroking in earnest, stroking fast, done with teasing.

"Yeah, yeah, Rodney," John says. He watches Rodney's face, his intent eyes, and feels his body swaying to Rodney's rhythm, his heart beating a little faster with each stroke, as if he's coming back to life.

Rodney's grip tightens on John's cock, and John moans, tilting his head back, getting close now, so close, and when Rodney pushes the bar of soap hard in that sweet spot behind his balls, John just gives it up, coming, the water pattering clean over his lips.

"Fuck," John says. "Oh, man."

Rodney chuckles. "Turn around. You're tracking mud on the wall."

John doesn't want to move, but he does as asked and lets Rodney wash him down and rinse him off.

"Thanks," John says. He feels clean in more way than one. "You got a little messy yourself, there, buddy," he says, waving over the muddy blue splotches on Rodney's torso and shoulder where he must've bumped against John.

"Well?" Rodney says challengingly, his chin tilted and blue eyes bright.

John kisses the upturned corner of Rodney's lips and then takes the soap from his hand. Making a sudsy handful, he runs his palms over Rodney's strong shoulders and torso, watching the blue-gray stream down Rodney's pale skin and then disappear safely into the long slot running along the side of the floor.

"Turn around," John says, and Rodney makes a happy sound when John kisses the back of his neck then rubs the soap over his chest and stomach until he can reach Rodney's warm, hard cock.

This close, embracing Rodney from behind, he can feel Rodney's groan of pleasure echoing through his own chest.

John rubs the soap over Rodney's belly with one hand, and with the other he takes Rodney's cock in his slick, soapy grip. Nuzzling at the sensitive side of Rodney's neck, he starts to stroke him slowly.

"Oh, hell, yes," Rodney says. "Like that. Just like that."

John smiles. His mind is completely empty. The shitty day is done. It's just him and Rodney. The water beats down from above with the multiple, peppering sprays John so loves, misting them both as John strokes Rodney slowly, and then, when Rodney's hips start to move, faster, then a little faster—

John brings the bar of soap around and rubs it slowly down the cleft of Rodney's ass.

"Oh, you fucker," Rodney says.

John grins and frees one fingertip to stroke it right over Rodney's hole.

Rodney grunts and shoves his cock through John's fist, starting to come. John gentles his grip but lets Rodney set the pace, lets him fuck John's fist until he's finished. Then John just holds him until he's ready to stand on his own.

"Well, this has been an appalling waste of our water supply," Rodney says after a while, straightening and rinsing himself down.

"It was worth it, though," John says. "To get the stink off the day, I mean," he adds hastily, when Rodney looks at him, narrow-eyed.

"Hmmm," Rodney agrees.

"Thanks," John blurts again, and steps outside the sonic screen to grab a towel before he can say something embarrassing. The no-slip floor keeps him from face planting, but it's a close thing. He hadn't realized how exhausted he is. He wraps a towel around his waist and offers one to Rodney, whose hair now resembles not a devil's horns, but a horny toad. John can't help but grin when he sees it.


"Nothing," John says. "C'mere." He wraps one hand around Rodney's neck and kisses him again, going for another one of those kisses, the kind that made him whimper from tiny nibbles to his lips, made him moan from a deep thrust of tongue.

And damned if it doesn't work again. John pulls back and smiles.

Today was hell for a lot of reasons, but it was good for at least a few, too.

And in Pegasus, that was a win.


Title is from a Douglas Coupland quote: "The richness of the rain made me feel safe and protected; I have always considered the rain to be healing—a blanket—the comfort of a friend."

Dream a Little Dream Wicked Winner 2014


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 17th, 2014 02:26 am (UTC)
Oh my heart!!! as;dfasdlfkj these boys!! What good comfort, and you do it SO beautifully! ♥
Jul. 17th, 2014 04:49 am (UTC)
Thank you, my sweet! I tried to be a little subtle this time, but I'm not terribly good at subtle. :p
Jul. 17th, 2014 06:31 pm (UTC)
I had to read this twice before I could come back and leave a coherent statement. Lovely, lovely stuff here, especially with John's exhaustion and how his guilt for having potentially missed the warning signs in Hines was as thick and heavy as the mud he caked onto him. Loved Rodney knowing that John needed him just then and *how* John needed him. But the weight that comes sliding off when he realizes it wasn't his fault and that his guy is going to be okay? Oh yeah, so been there. Recognized it completely.

I loved how the realization freed John to give in to the comfort Rodney was offering--and *what* a comfort it was! ;-)
Jul. 17th, 2014 07:05 pm (UTC)
his guilt for having potentially missed the warning signs in Hines was as thick and heavy as the mud

oh, lovely. thank you! <3 you are so kind. yes, together they are the bestest comfort. ♥
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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