torch, flambeau@strangeplaces.net
May 24, 2007

Disclaimer: by request only. Written for muj for the first kiss meme. Do not archive without permission.

Summer holiday

Rodney McKay and Charlie Eppes. Or John Sheppard and Don Eppes. Or some other combination. Whatever strikes your fancy. Please. :)

Charlie and Don go to Atlantis. Charlie's there to consult with Rodney on something to do with Wraith ships and bee swarms and the practical application of some algorithm or other to the behavior of both, blah blah whatever. Don's there because... well, no one really knows why Don is there, but he sort of blends in, especially when he's standing next to John.

* * *

"I just want to say that that's really disturbing," Rodney says, looking out the window.

Charlie leaves the whiteboard and comes up to him, uncapped pen still in his raised hand. "What?" He looks out and sees John Sheppard in a deck chair, and Don lying on the balcony floor at his feet, the sad remains of a six-pack next to them, and a spectacular sunset turning the endless sea beyond into molten gold. "Looks pretty normal to me," he says. "Except for the whole being on an alien planet thing, that's still a little strange to me."

"They haven't said a word to each other in twelve minutes," Rodney says and checks his watch. "Fourteen minutes. You can't tell me that's normal." He shoots a quick look at Charlie. "Is that normal?"

Charlie shrugs. "They might be asleep." Then he grins and rocks back on his heels. "You know, you're just the way Millie described you."

Rodney gives him a horrified look. "Millie described me? Don't tell me. No, wait, do tell me. Unless it's bad. Is it bad?"

* * *

While Charlie's busy consulting, Don spends most of his time hanging out with John Sheppard. Sheppard seems like a good guy, a bit flippant on the surface, but solid enough underneath. Don likes him. They go to the mainland and do some hiking, and there's a beach; one time they go off-world to another planet with the most amazing waterfall Don has ever seen.

* * *

"I kind of like it here," Don says, lying on his back and staring up at the sky. It's darkening as he watches, and he can see the first few stars. "It's nice. Kind of peaceful."

Sheppard snorts a little, dry amusement. "We're having a slow week."

"Yeah? So it's not all sunsets and body-surfing?" Don lifts his head to drink some more beer. "No, I know. They warned us before we came here. Hell, they started warning us before we even got to Cheyenne."

"But you still decided it was worth the risk?"

"Someone's got to keep an eye on Charlie," Don says. "When he gets really into his math thing, the city could sink underneath his feet and he wouldn't notice."

Half a beer later, Sheppard says, "Is that your brother looking out of the window over there?"

Don squints against the last of the sunlight. "Could be." He shrugs. "If he wants a beer he can come out and get it. I'm comfortable where I am. How 'bout you?" He kicks at the nearest leg of Sheppard's deck chair in friendly enquiry.

The chair collapses and dumps Sheppard on the balcony floor next to Don. "Ow. You came all the way to another galaxy to break our stuff?"

"Sorry," Don says, trying not to grin. "I didn't know the alien technology was that fragile."

"It's from Wal-Mart," Sheppard says dryly, rubbing a bruised elbow. He grins back, all the same, and then he leans over and kisses Don, fast and hard.

* * *

They stay on Atlantis for ten days; Charlie teases Don mercilessly for the last three, whenever he gets to see him. The Wraith don't attack. Rodney orders them to send new deck chairs when they get back to Earth, and maybe some more beer.

* * *

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