eccentricweft: Icon by zinfic (rodneyinfleece)
[personal profile] eccentricweft
A bit of fluff for the McFleece challenge:

Getting Warm

Written for the McFleece challenge: McKay/Sheppard, established relationship, PG.

Summary: It was the middle of their new planet's winter, there was snow and sleet -- hey, it was like being in Antarctica again except for the whole ocean thing.


"Sheppard, you really don't have to stay out here with me!" Rodney was shouting, but John could only just hear him above the wind.

"What, I'm going to stand inside while you're out here freezing?" John yelled back. "I don't think so!"

"I have two words for you! Body. Fat."

John stifled a laugh. "Yeah, what about it?"

"I've got some, you don't!"

"Rodney, shut up and keep working!" Rodney subsided into random muttering, bent over the grounding station console. John stuck his hands under his arms and hunched his shoulders against the cold, trying to block the wind from Rodney a little without getting in his way.

The west grounding station had shut down, causing a huge power drain on the ZPM, and of course these things didn't happen on warm summer days. It was the middle of their new planet's winter, there was snow and sleet -- hey, it was like being in Antarctica again except for the whole ocean thing.

And Rodney might have a little extra padding but he was also working barehanded, and he'd been out here for twenty minutes before John arrived, so altogether John was a lot more worried about Rodney than himself. Rodney's face and hands were red with the cold, fingers so stiff he kept dropping things, and he scowled fiercely with every bout of shivering.

"Radek, get ready to watch the readings," Rodney yelled into his radio. At that moment a combination of wind and wave drove a sheet of water up over the side of the grounding station. "Son of a bitch!" Rodney screamed, throwing himself over the open console and its exposed components. John darted forward to help, but it was Rodney who caught most of the spray, ice cold seawater drenching his back and legs.

John swore, and keyed his mic. "Lorne, this is Sheppard. Have somebody bring a jacket McKay can get into, he just got soaked by a wave." John would hand over his own in a heartbeat but he knew Rodney couldn't get the damn thing on, not with those shoulders of his. "Rodney, you're gonna freeze to death! Get inside for a minute--"

"Every minute this goes on we lose another half percent of our power!" Rodney shot back. "Radek, I'm patching in the last crystal now. What've you got?"

John held his breath until Zelenka's voice came through on the emergency channel. "Power drain is slowing... slowing... levels are holding!"

Rodney sagged against the console and John took over, slamming the cover over the components and hauling Rodney away by the arm. "Zelenka, send somebody out here to monitor this thing! I'm taking McKay inside."


They made record time from the west pier to Rodney's room -- thanks to John, not Rodney, who was shivering so violently he could hardly draw breath to complain about the pace. He was worryingly clumsy, half tripping as they stepped out of the transporter and only saved from falling by John's shoulder under his arm.

Once Rodney's door was closed John started to strip him, peeling away the sodden jacket and shirt, dragging off the boots, pulling the wet BDUs down far enough that Rodney could kick them away. Then he guided Rodney into the bathroom while thinking the hot water on, and pushed him into the shower unceremoniously.

Rodney gave an inarticulate howl, which quickly morphed into a furious shout. "What the FUCK, Sheppard!" Then there was a groan of ecstasy: "Oh, oh, thank God, this is, oh wonderful, ohhhhh..." John gave a exhale of relief.

"Stay in there a few minutes, I'm getting you some dry clothes."

Rodney's voice rang from the stall. "Wouldn't you rather join me?"

"We'll fool around in the shower next time! Right now you need to warm up."

Out in Rodney's room, John threw the cold, wet pile of clothes into the closet and dug through Rodney's dresser for dry things. In the last drawer he found heavy sweatpants, wool socks, long-sleeved thermal shirt -- it had to be stuff left over from Antarctica, he never saw Rodney wear it. At the very bottom, there was an eye-searing orange fleece.

Oh God. This was it, the same orange fleece Rodney'd been wearing the day John's universe expanded beyond comprehension. And it was a close thing whether Atlantis or Rodney -- assuming you could separate the two -- had changed his life most dramatically.

John shook himself out of his brief reverie and gathered up the clothes, returning to the bathroom. "How you doing, buddy?"

"Next time we have a problem with the damn grounding stations, I'm sending Zelenka out there!"

"Good plan. C'mon out now, you'll be warmer when you're dried off."

"Why did you push me in here then?" Rodney grumbled, but the water stopped and he stepped out of the stall and took the towels John handed him. He still looked cold, but steadier, at least. John helped him into the sweats, thermal layer and the fleece and lowered him onto the toilet seat for the socks. Rodney sat hunched over, arms wrapped tightly around his middle.

"Okay. Bed now."

Out in the main room Rodney tumbled onto the bed, not bothering to crawl under the covers. John got rid of his sidearm and boots and retrieved Rodney's sleeping bag from the corner it lived in between off-world missions. It was thick and warm, flannel lined, and unzipped it covered them both generously. Rodney's eyes were closed and his breath evening out by the time John curled around him and drew the sleeping bag over their shoulders.

"Feeling warmer?" he asked quietly.

"Yeah." Rodney's voice was drowsy. After a moment he added "I mean. Thanks for this. Warming me up."

"Course." John pulled Rodney closer, the orange fleece soft under his hands. "You had this orange thing in Antarctica, remember?" he whispered. There was a sleepy hum of agreement from Rodney. "How come you don't wear it any more?"

"Haven't needed it," Rodney murmured. "I've got you."


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