torch, flambeau@strangeplaces.net
January 12, 2006

Disclaimer: no one was hurt in the writing of this story. Written for darkseaglass. Beta by elynross and Mary Crawford. Do not archive without permission.

In decision

No one was hurt. No one had so much as a bruise, not even McKay, although he complained all the way to the stargate, all the way in the jumper, all the way from the jumper bay, and then, more or less sotto voce, all the way through the debriefing, about peril and guns and near-death experiences and the effects of stress and terror on the nervous system. Towards the end, as John explained in quiet, flat-voiced non-detail the reasons they would not, ever, go back to MX7-391, McKay's voice trailed off into the occasional grumble, like he was finished and it was all done with, no one was holding a gun to his head any more and it was just another day and could he go get some more coffee now, please. Teyla had few words to add, Ronon even fewer, Elizabeth agreed with their assessment and dismissed them, and John went back to the jumper to look for his sunglasses. His face felt stripped bare, bones straining against the skin.

The sunglasses lay in a corner of the jumper, one earpiece twisted slightly askew. Not impossible to salvage, but he couldn't wear them as they were. John put them in his pocket and took a back way out of the jumper bay and out onto a solitary balcony where the sun almost blinded him. It was mid-afternoon, Atlantis standard time. No one was hurt. John stared at the sea and checked that every part of himself was in place and locked down tight. He'd brought his team back, no one was hurt, it was the middle of the afternoon, and it was just another day.

The sea lay empty, uneventful, and blameless.

John turned on his heel, and the balcony door opened before he could touch it. He went the straightest route he could think of towards his quarters, and people who slowed down to talk to him took a second look and kept walking. In his room, he left his sunglasses, and took a few more necessary things.

No one was hurt. The city was quiet around him, at peace. John went on, not very far, and came to a halt. He stared at McKay's door until it trembled before him and slid open.

McKay was just coming out of the shower. He was wrapped in a towel and water was dripping from his hair and running down his neck and chest. He wasn't hurt. John went closer.

"Colonel? Please tell me you're not here about a sudden emergency." McKay's voice was light, but his eyes met John's and turned suddenly serious. "What's wrong? What—"

John took him by the shoulders and kissed him. He tasted like water and coffee and soap. He tensed under John's hands, and his lips moved, not kissing, trying to speak. He pulled back. "What—"

"No," John said, and put his hand on the back of McKay's neck and tilted his head and kissed him. McKay tensed even more, and then he trembled a little, just like the door had. John licked at the corner of his mouth, right where it was shifting its curve from what to yes, licked his temple, where the water had washed away every taste of metal and sweat and fear. He bit McKay's throat, just a little, and again, and McKay's fingers dug into his shoulders.

"We could lie down," McKay said, very fast, as if he expected to be cut off again. "On the bed. Which is over there. I mean, unless you, unless this is—"

"Yes," John said. He kissed McKay again, and McKay's mouth worked against his, tongue twisting as if trying to push words and meaning directly into John. John aimed them for the bed, and a few silencing kisses later, they were there and he could press McKay down into the mess of sheets and blankets, settle on top of him and pin him down and kiss every soft, unbruised inch of his skin. Shoulders, almost dry now, smoothly rounded, and the solid line of biceps, which he bit, too, with a very carefully judged amount of pressure.

McKay drew breath to speak, and John reached up and put a hand over his mouth and licked his nipples until he started making sounds against John's fingers that had no consonants in them. John nodded and moved on, licking and biting every part of this body that was unhurt and here, trying to be gentle against the deep, relentless pressure of knowledge inside him.

He peeled the towel back, and licked McKay's cock to get the taste of him. There was that little shudder again, and John settled in, long slow strokes of his tongue as he dug into his pocket and managed to slick up his fingers one-handed. The towel would probably never be the same, but then, neither would he.

At the first touch of John's lube-chilled fingers, McKay tensed up again. "Uh, listen," he said.

John deep-throated him, and pushed the first finger in while McKay's choked cry still hung in the air.

The second finger was easy, and John went back to licking, light and easy, with his focus on his hand, working his fingers in and out with precise, efficient thrusts. He lifted his head to say, "Breathe."

"Oh, God," McKay said, but he was breathing, and John moved, pushing up to his knees and unzipping his pants, shoving the bunched-up towel under McKay's hips, slicking himself up with steady hands. "Listen—"

John shifted McKay's hips the way he wanted them, pushed forward, pressed inside.

McKay was still breathing.

John thrust, and thrust again, and then all precision left him. He held on to McKay's shoulders, and McKay's hands were on him now, and all he wanted was in and deeper and more. McKay was making those sounds again, the ones that weren't words.

John had a word. He fought against it, and then McKay shuddered, and kept shuddering, straining against him and moaning, and John lost the fight, was lost. "Yours," he hissed, slamming in harder. "Yours, yours, yours, fuck, yours." He struggled for breath, one hand gripping the side of McKay's face, fingertips pressing right where the barrel of a gun wasn't pressing any more, right where a shot hadn't taken out skin and bone and brain matter and life. "Yours, damn it, damn you, I'm yours, I can't—"

McKay keened, and his body clenched and arched hard into John's. He flushed when he came, neck and chest, and his mouth went slack. John caught the shudder from him, and everything was hot and tight and perfect, and no one was hurt. And when he came, it was nothing at all like having his brains blown out.

He came down awkwardly on McKay's chest, nose mashed against the breastbone. He could feel McKay breathing, each breath slow and deep and a little unsteady, like his own. His clothes dug into him in uncomfortable places, and probably into McKay in even more uncomfortable places.

He still had his boots on.

McKay drew another breath, deeper and with more intent behind it, the kind of breath that meant speech. John thought about lifting a hand to stop it, but he couldn't make himself move.

McKay let his breath out again, slowly, in silence. His right hand came up and touched John's face, fingers light but firm, and then curved around the side of his neck, fingertips resting against the vertebrae, thumb pressing securely just behind John's ear.

John closed his eyes and slept.

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