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[personal profile] eccentricweft
Goodness, I'm productive tonight. Here's another from the depths of my hard-drive. Maybe I'm finally connecting with my inner angst again? That would make me very happy!


McKay/Sheppard, established relationship, PG. Set sometime between "Michael" (late season 2) and "Sateda" (early season 3).

Summary: It's all they have.

Rodney's team spends the night on uninhabited planets several times a month -- worlds that have never known the Wraith, or known them too well. Rodney's learned not to hate camping too much, though he won't admit it.

The off-world routine is familiar now. Sheppard and Ronon put up the tents while Teyla builds the fire and digs a small sanitary trench. Rodney downloads the day's readings to his laptop and starts to run correlations.

When they're ready to eat, Rodney catches the MRE Ronon lobs in his direction and drops down cross-legged next to the fire. They pass an hour with Athosian folk tales and the current version of Rodney's Top Ten Reasons We Need a ZedPM. Sheppard leans back on his elbows with a contented half-smile. Ronon just grunts occasionally; he's still a cipher to the Atlanteans.

Rodney takes the first watch, his preference since he'll stay up late to work anyway. Around midnight he wakes John, crawls into the tent, and settles back to wait.

When Ronon joined the team, Rodney'd had high hopes that John would be willing to trust him with their secret. It's impossible for them to be together on Atlantis, not with a city-wide lifesigns detector in the control room, and staff on the graveyard shift getting bored on quiet nights. Teyla would guard their privacy, but Ford had been military, and too young to understand what forced isolation did to a person.

But Ronon is still a wild card. It's ironic, because Sateda apparently had no taboo about same-gender relationships. They've seen, though, Ronon can't act worth a damn, even when it's important. The debacle with Michael proved that. John isn't ready to trust Ronon's discretion about something he might consider trivial.

Rodney agrees, not that it matters. He knows he has to let John make the call on this.

Halfway through the night he hears John wake Ronon. They exchange a few words, voices too low to make out the words, then John crawls through the tent flap and into Rodney's arms.

Rodney wraps himself around John, hands on John's chest, pressing tiny kisses to John's neck and shoulder. John melts into him with a soft sigh, some of the tension leaving his muscles. John covers Rodney's hands with his own, rubbing the back of Rodney's wrist with his thumb. Their movements are silent and careful.

Sex is out of the question, with Teyla and Ronon less than ten feet away. But they do have a chance to hold each other for a few hours, to give each other warmth and comfort. It's a promise for the future.

It's not enough, God knows. Four hours, just a few times a month, ready to pull away from each other at the slightest sound from outside the tent.

It's not enough, but for now, it's all they have.


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