ORIGINAL STORY: like i did yesterday by thisissirius
GENRE/RATING/PAIRING: G for genfic kisses, John/Rodney.
NOTES: Thank you to hilarytamar and up_from_ashes for their helpful and speedyquick beta!
Like I did yesterday
The wormhole opens, and John stares at the gate, blue and vivid--he's seen a few event horizons while he's been at Cheyenne Mountain, but never so close. It ripples, and it's the most beautiful thing he's seen since Antarctica.
"Major," a voice says next to him, and he turns his head; a few more people and it's his turn to go through the gate, they've practiced this and he can't be distracted by scientists who--oh, it's McKay, apparently it's not enough that he's had John's undivided attention for the last couple of months, pushing Ancient devices at him, making notes as John activates the chair.
"Yeah," he says, and suddenly there's a hand on the back of his head and McKay's pulling his head down, laying a kiss on John like it's the last thing he'll do on Earth. (It may well be; John tries not to think about what their likely survival rate is once they reach the other side of the wormhole.)
John doesn't have time to think--he just flails an arm up and pushes McKay off of him. Kind of forcefully. By his face.
And McKay stumbles back a little, one hand to his eye, and looks away from John. He flails the other hand in the direction of the gate. "It's your--go on, it's your turn."
And it is, and there are more important things to think about than just what the hell that was, and John steps up to the gate.
Later, much much later, John wanders into the room--auditorium? ballroom?--that they're using as a mess hall, and collects his MRE.
McKay is sitting at a table, plowing through his own dinner like he can't be away from the labs for a single minute, like he's bolting back into the thick of things as soon as he can. He has a little bit of bruising on one cheekbone, or maybe that's just a smudge. God knows they're all a little smudged.
John sets his meal down at an empty table, and eats looking at nothing in particular.
He spends four hours one day with Ford, talking about gate teams. They've got Sumner's notes regarding the formation of reconnaissance teams, but the situation's changed--boy, has it changed--and Ford knows more about the Atlantis roster than John does, John being in Antarctica during much of the planning stages.
They need food, they need power, they need to also carry out the mandate of the Atlantis Expedition and seek out new life and new civilizations (John's phrasing; the original is long and dry and Elizabeth has it framed in her office but John just wants to not die in Pegasus).
They settle on a core team of John, Ford, and Teyla with a rotating roster of specialists to be picked from depending on the mission. McKay's on the list.
John hovers his pencil over McKay's name. "Really?" he says.
"You said yourself we need a specialist in Ancient tech," Ford points out. "McKay's the best we've got."
"Yeah," John says, "but--"
Ford gives John a look. "Is this about that kiss thing? Because, seriously, I don't think he meant anything by it. The scientists sometimes get a little weird about the gate--there was this one time, Doctor Halpern, the night before her first mission, she--"
He breaks off. "Sorry, sir."
John rolls his eyes. "All right, then. Doctor McKay," he says, and puts a check mark next to MCKAY, R.
He finds McKay in the mess hall (well, it still might have been a gymnasium or something, but it's officially the mess hall now), and grabs a snack and the seat across from him without asking.
McKay's looking at him now like he's crazy; maybe he's expecting John to take another swing at him or something.
John just squeezes cheese onto a cracker, which as activities go is a pretty nonviolent one.
"So I'm putting together gate teams," he says, and McKay blinks and pokes at something with his fork and says, " . . . and you'd like my opinion on my staff's availability and not incidentally, their ability to hop through an obstacle course made from tires."
He points the fork and its cargo at John. "You can have Gaul but not Grodin, and if you try to poach Zelenka I'll strangle you with your own holster."
John blinks and swallows his bite of cracker. "Actually, I was wondering--are you gonna do that kissing thing every time you step through the gate? Because if that's gonna be like a team tradition, Ford might get jealous."
He watches McKay's face go from challenging to disbelieving, like a kid who's just come downstairs to find a bicycle under the Christmas tree.
" . . . no," McKay says, wide-eyed. "No, that was really just that once."
John smirks at him. "All right, then," he says. "Briefing tomorrow at 0900." He stands up to leave, and is stopped by McKay rising and holding out a hand.
"Major," McKay says, looking a little poleaxed, "thank you," and John takes his hand.
He's got a good handshake, a solid grip, and John smiles. It could be the beginning, as they say, of a beautiful friendship.
" . . . remarkable, when you think about it, Colonel," Rodney says, buckling his vest. "One hundred missions."
John looks up from retying his shoe. "Seriously?" He thinks about it. "Huh. Thought it'd be more than that."
"Are you kidding?" Rodney returns. "A hundred, that's astounding, considering the other demands on my time--the reports and the training and oh, yes: keeping the city intact. Let's not forget that."
"What are we not forgetting?" Teyla asks, coming into the gate room with Ronon and adjusting her P-90.
"How," Rodney says, smug, "in addition to keeping this city alive and also making several breakthroughs in the field of wormhole dynamics, I am about to go on my one hundreth mission."
Ronon raises his eyebrows, fake-impressed, but Teyla smiles warmly. "That is indeed a milestone," she says. "Congratulations."
"Yeah, congratulations," John says, and gestures for Chuck to dial the gate. As it whooshes into life, he continues, "And you know? What the hell. For old times' sake."
"Hm?" Rodney says, turning to him, distracted from the shimmering blue of the event horizon.
John grabs him by the vest, hauls him closer, and--to a smattering of laughter and applause from the edges of the gate room--kisses him soundly.
And John smiles, and pushes Rodney backwards through the gate.