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SGA Fic: What Happens in the Clubhouse

Title: What Happens in the Clubhouse
Pairing: John/Rodney
Rating: PG-13
Word count: ~6,000
Summary: “Right, yes, because traveling through the eleven miles of forest between here and the ‘gate will be a piece of cake when we’re roughly the size of dwarves, with all the strength of a bundle of sticks!”
A/N: Um, yeah. So this is cracky kid!fic with a side of cheese, because I couldn't help myself. Enjoy. Extra special thanks go to devildoll for the wonderful beta and encouragement, and also the title :) This fic just didn't want to be named at all.






What Happens in the Clubhouse


John’s head felt huge, thick, and he blinked open his eyes to see wide blue ones peering down at him, pale-lashed and impossibly big, set over a very distinctly sloped nose and a very familiar scowling mouth. The face surrounding it was plump and soft-edged, though, and John felt a budding panic pound his heart that was only slightly banked when the boy – the boy who looked exactly like Rodney – opened his mouth and spat, “God, you’re like an oversexed dog.”

The hissed inflection pitched the voice deeper, momentarily belying the just about five-year-old frame that housed it, until he yelped louder, face mottled red, “Larry the Goat Boy has more restraint than you! And we had to keep him practically leashed when he spotted the herd!”

There was a squeaked, “Hey!” and John shifted on his back, head turning to see a stick-thin, straggly-haired kid huddled in the corner of the small hut, undershirt hanging off sharp shoulders, BDUs held up by a fist twisted in the material at his waist.

“Dr. Ashburn?” John ventured warily.

Larry sent him a weak wave.

Then John struggled up into a sitting position, shouting, “What the hell is going on?” and two things happened simultaneously.

One, a nut-brown, entirely-naked-but-for-a-strategically-placed-
flap-of-leather boy dropped down from the rafters to crouch in front of John, a knife clamped between his teeth, dreadlocks spilling down half his back. And two.

Two, John realized his own voice was about two octaves too high.

*

On off-world missions, things went wrong more often than right, and things usually went wrong because a) Ronon ate something he shouldn’t have, b) Rodney insulted the natives’ feelings with his complete inability to shut up, c) someone took strong exception to John’s innate friendliness, or d) a combination of any of the above.

The odds of all three happening at once were surprisingly, or not so surprisingly, good. Add to that one zoologist, Dr. Lawrence Ashburn, who had a strictly platonic, if disturbing, love for goats – and hadn’t bringing the scientist along to a world that apparently worshipped almost-goats been the best idea John’d ever had? – and they were just really extremely lucky Teyla was with them. Somewhere. Hopefully not pint-sized, too.

“Okay,” John said, then winced. It would take a while to get used to the squeaky edge to his voice.

“Okay? Okay?” Rodney shouted, waving his arms. “We’re five years old, Majo—”

“Lieutenant Colonel,” John automatically corrected, then instantly regretted it.

Rodney was seriously pissed. He narrowed his eyes and spat, “Johnny.”

Hot anger licked through John’s smaller frame – Johnny was the most annoying incarnation of his name ever, and Rodney knew it, and sure it usually ticked him off when McKay taunted him, but sort of in an indulgent, “you asshole,” kind of way, since John gave as good as he got, but the sudden compulsion to scream out, “I hate you,” and “poopy head,” scared the crap out of him. He took a deep breath. “All right. I think we’re a little more volatile like this—”

“You think?” Rodney snapped, hands clenched into tiny fists, pale eyes watery, mouth an unhappy, quivering, lopsided line. “I’m going to cry, Colonel. Cry! I never cry! This is all your fault!”

And then Larry said, “Oh my god, I just picked my nose and ate it,” staring in comical horror at his index finger, and Ronon froze mid-pick with a finger up his own nose and narrowed his dark eyes.

“What?” he growled.

Which set John and Rodney off laughing, high-pitched infectious giggles that eventually set Larry off, too, and Ronon was watching them bemusedly, still more than half naked, and John laughed until the catch in his throat spilled out as a sob.

*

Crying, of course, just made everything worse.

He snuffled into Rodney’s jacket and swiped at his blurry eyes with strangely tiny fingers, and Rodney was gasping wetly in his ear, hands clenching the front of his T-shirt, sticky cheek mashing John’s hair, and in the background he could hear Larry just bawling and seriously. Seriously. John wanted to kill himself.

“This is so very wrong,” Rodney said, voice thick with tears. “I want my mom. I don’t even like my mom.”

“I want Teyla,” Ronon grumbled, managing to sound heartbroken and really, really disgruntled, and John looked up to see him sitting cross-legged in the middle of the room, eyes reddened but dry, chewing on a ratty lock of hair.

“We need to get out of here,” John said, nodding, head still half-buried in the jacket that was swimming on Rodney’s small body.

Rodney’s fingers tightened, then released the material of John’s shirt, and he pushed the other boy away with the flat of his palms, a sneer on his blotchy face. “Right, yes, because traveling through the eleven miles of forest between here and the ‘gate will be a piece of cake when we’re roughly the size of dwarves, with all the strength of a bundle of sticks!”

John blinked at him. “What?”

“We may have our minds, Colonel,” Rodney huffed impatiently, “but when I was five I had naptimes and short bursts of energy and something killed that goat they were so adamant Larry had ‘desecrated’ and I honestly have no desire at all to go traipsing through the woods and risk getting mauled by whatever passes for a bear in this galaxy.”

“Providing Teyla’s still here and normal-sized, I don’t think we’ll have any problems,” John pointed out reasonably, even though he was squirming inside. It’d take a while to hike back through the wilderness, and it got dark in there, even during the day.

“But she’s just a girl,” Larry said, then splayed fingers over his mouth, brown eyes widened with a mix of fear and horror. “Please don’t tell her I said that.”

“We won’t,” John assured him solemnly, because that was bound to get them all in trouble.

“I’ve got a knife,” Ronon said, brandishing the short blade.

“Yes,” John said, brows arched, “and that helps us...?”

Ronon flashed his teeth. “The walls are animal hides.”

*

If they were going to escape, they couldn’t wear what they were wearing. And while a certain small part of John thought the idea of sporting loincloths was awesome, he knew a) Rodney would never go for it, and b) he’d never, ever live it down. So he stripped to his undershirt, tearing the bottom hem off and tying it tight around his boxers to keep them up, then helped Rodney and Larry do the same.

By the time Ronon sawed through the back of the hut, they all pretty much looked hilarious. But they were ready to run, and the wall split open to reveal an empty meadow about the size of a baseball field, stretching out towards the dense forest they’d traveled through to get there.

Making no attempt at stealth, they ignored the alarmed shouts of the natives as they took off across it. It was a bad, horrible plan, but for some reason that didn’t bother John at all.

Running, John found, was a wholly different experience. His lungs might’ve been weaker, legs shaky and thinner than he’d ever remembered them being, but his joints felt nearly elastic, the jar of his bare feet slapping against the hard-packed dirt less than a hum around his knees. He was tiring way too quickly, his breathing a choppy mess, but still. He felt like laughing, like punching the air, like jumping sideways and tackling Rodney to the ground. There was absolutely no fear in his small bones, no thoughts beyond the joy of the run itself, and when they reached the end of the clearing, grass breaking into brush, his goofy grin was reflected in Rodney’s bright, shining eyes.

The sense of victory was brief, though, and Rodney’s lips fell into a scowl as he bit out, “Oh, for god’s sake, they’ve got Larry.”

John spun around and, sure enough, the villagers had Larry. And then they had Ronon, too, because the boy warrior had launched himself at the man holding Larry captive, tucked under his arm like a squirmy football, stabbing the guy in the highest point he could reach, dangerously close to his groin.

“Ouch.” John grimaced at the native’s pained shout, then rolled his eyes with a resigned sigh and tugged on Rodney’s shirt. “Come on.”

“What? We’re going back?” Rodney asked incredulously.

“Weren’t you the one harping about being alone in the woods?” John needled. “Now you want to try it without Ronon and his knife?”

“Right.” Rodney straightened up and sucked in a breath. “Excellent point. Shall we?”

John stared at him for a moment, then shook his head on a chuckle. Five-year-old Rodney with a thirty-six-year-old mouth was... just really very weird.

When they reached the village, Larry was wailing again, angry, frustrated sobs, and John felt an itch behind his eyes that he willed stoically away, because the group sob-fest had been one of the most pathetic moments of his life, one that he swore would never be repeated or talked about outside of Heightmeyer’s office, if even there.

But Ronon just punched the scientist in the arm and growled at him to shut up, and Larry’s sniffling thankfully dried up pretty fast.

And then the four of them were tossed into yet another hut – without Ronon’s knife – and Rodney obviously felt sullen sulking was the best course of action to take, and John was really too tired to argue him out of it.

*

John woke to a gentle shaking and the most beautiful sight in the world – a full-size Teyla kneeling above him.

“Colonel?” she said softly, and John let out a whoop and threw himself against her, locking his arms around her neck and pressing his face into her throat and hey. It was the closest he’d ever been to Teyla’s breasts without some sort of ass-kicking being involved. Cool.

And then suddenly Ronon roared, “Teyla!” and knocked John out of the way and Rodney was there and tugging on the sleeve of her jacket, dancing back and forth on the balls of his feet and John could’ve sworn he said something about having to go potty, and Larry was shyly looking at the floor with his hands twisted together and it was still all very, very strange.

Teyla, clearly bewildered, cupped the back of Ronon’s head and said, “The Loqui assured me your regression was only physical.”

John grinned sheepishly. “Ah, yeah, well...”

“We don’t have complete control of our emotions.” Rodney frowned. “It’s actually very annoying.”

“What happened?” Ronon asked, leaning back, hands still grasping the front of Teyla’s jacket.

“From what I could gather, it seems you were all acting like stubborn children, and might have harmed their most prized lopoar,” Teyla explained, calmly extricating Ronon’s white-knuckled fingers from her clothes. Her voice was disapproving, but John sensed she was more upset with the Loqui than with them. “They decided to test your word in more suitable, malleable forms, to ascertain if you were speaking truthfully when you denied involvement.”

“Speaking truthfully?” John echoed, brows furrowed.

“If you are having difficulties holding your emotions in check, I doubt you could lie successfully in these bodies.”

Rodney harrumphed. “So they just want to know if Larry killed their goat?”

Teyla nodded. “And if the colonel was sincere in his pursuit of the Elder’s youngest daughter.”

John made a face and almost said, ‘girls, yuck,’ and Rodney jabbed a finger at him and shouted, “I knew it!”

“Knew what?”

“That you’re an intergalactic slut,” Rodney accused hotly, and Teyla caught John around the waist with quicksilver reflexes just as he sprung from the floor, arms clamoring to beat the sneer off Rodney’s face.

He screamed, “Take it back!” throat burning and tears welling embarrassingly close to the surface.

“No!” Rodney yelled, face red and hands balled at his hips, standing just out of John’s reach. “No, I won’t, it’s true.”

“Is not,” John rasped brokenly and god. Oh god, he was crying. He was crying and it was officially the worst. Day. Ever.

He dug his palms into his sockets and drooped into Teyla’s embrace and let her croons wash over him. He hiccupped gasps into her shoulder, chest constricted with misery, and it took a few minutes to register Rodney. Prickly Rodney who was suddenly soft against his side, fingers scrabbling in his hair and warm mouth high on his damp cheekbone, whispering, “Sorry, I’m sorry,” over and over again.

Instinctively, John shifted into him, shoulder curving under Rodney’s arm, making himself a small, tight ball half on Rodney’s lap. Rodney hugged him fierce and close and said more strongly, “I’m sorry, John, I didn’t mean it.”

It was easily their worst and best fight and, irrationally, John wanted to stay right where he was forever and never let go.

Several silent minutes followed and then, finally all dried out, John glanced up to see Larry staring at them with stunned wide eyes, and Teyla’s were glittering with amused affection, a sweet smile curving her lips.

Ronon, at least, wasn’t paying them any attention at all, lying bonelessly across Teyla’s thighs and biting his fingernails with disturbing intensity.

“Um.” John scrambled off Rodney and shot to his feet.

Rodney cleared his throat, following at a slower pace. “Right.”

“Can we go home now?” Larry asked, and he looked like he really, really wanted to pop his thumb in his mouth. John could totally sympathize.

*

After they were cleared of any charges – Larry kept bursting into tears and the Loqui just seemed to want to get rid of them all as quickly as possible – it took twice as long for them to hike to the ‘gate. Predictably, because that’s the way things always went with them, there was no immediate reversal for their condition. It was something the natives promised would wear off in time, and Teyla was having trouble keeping Ronon on the trail, and Larry spent half the trip hanging off her back, claiming exhaustion, and Rodney kept shoving John.

John, obviously, did not like that.

“Stop it,” he hissed, knocking a shoulder back into Rodney.

“Stop ignoring me,” Rodney snapped.

John crossed his arms over his chest, staring straight ahead as they marched after Teyla. “I’m not ignoring you. I’m walking. I’m walking next to you.”

“You’re pretending I’m not here,” Rodney complained huffily. “You always do that. You’d rather be swinging from the trees with ape-boy, but you’re too afraid of Teyla to try it, so you’re stuck walking with me—”

“Are you—are you hearing yourself right now?” he demanded incredulously, stumbling to a stop. “How old are you, McKay?”

“Apparently I’m the galaxy’s first hormonal five-year-old!” Rodney admitted loudly, arms flailing. “And you have so been ignoring me! For months!”

“I.” John opened and closed his mouth, mind frantically spinning for an answer that wouldn’t end up with more crying, because fuck. Crying.

And then Rodney’s entire face crumpled and something thick and nasty-tasting lodged itself in John’s throat, and he watched helplessly as Rodney swallowed hard and pressed his lips together, nodded curtly, and stalked away.

*

John couldn’t actually remember being five, but he was fairly sure it’d been an uncomplicated period in his life, filled with his parents’ smiles, and food, and Mookie the stuffed iguanodon that he’d carried around with him everywhere ‘til he’d hit nine.

Being five and thirty-seven at the same time was surreal, confusing, and really, really frustrating. He knew he was being childish, but he couldn’t help it. And a large part of him, the part of him that had to climb onto a stepstool to pee, really didn’t care.

Four days. Rodney had been sulking for four days.

It wasn’t anywhere near a quiet sulk, either, and before John even reached the lab he could hear Rodney’s latest could-you-be-any-more-of-a-moron? speech, interspersed with shrill shouts of, “That’s mine!” and, “Give it back!” that seemed to suggest Radek and Simpson were playing Keep Away again. They were having way too much fun with the situation, especially since Rodney was ten times more insufferable as a kid, with even less control of his mouth than usual.

John squared his shoulders, thought the doors open, then zeroed in on where Rodney was perched on a counter, a crudely altered lab coat nearly engulfing him and the borrowed Athosian clothes they’d all been forced to wear – John was admittedly enjoying the leather - and he called out, “Rodney,” garnering the attention of pretty much everybody.

Rodney huffed and tipped his chin up. “Colonel.”

“I want to talk to you,” John said, hands behind his back and feet apart.

“Fine. Talk.”

John rolled his eyes. “Not here.”

“I’m busy, Colonel. If you can’t talk to me here then it’s going to have to wait.” Rodney flicked his fingers dismissively, then sent Simpson a nasty glare and dropped down to sit on the table in front of his laptop, legs crossed underneath him.

“It can’t wait,” John bit out through clenched teeth.

“It’s going to have to!” Rodney snapped, and because Rodney was being irrationally pissy - and John apparently’d had an amazing lack of patience when he was five - he stalked over and bodily hauled Rodney off the table.

“What are you—LET GO!” Rodney yelled so loud John saw stars, but he tightened his grip on Rodney’s hand and yanked him towards the door, ignoring Radek’s suspiciously diabolical-sounding laughter, and if Rodney dug his heels in any harder there was a serious risk of the entire incident escalating into a slap-fight.

Once out in the hall, though, Rodney dropped any pretense of a struggle, nearly tripping over his feet, but then gamely hurrying up to pace John. A mutinous scowl still curved his mouth, though, and when John let go of his wrist he crossed his arms over his chest and tucked his hands into his armpits, hunching slightly into himself.

John reached over and rubbed the back of Rodney’s neck. “Come on,” he said, then jerked his head towards a transporter.

*

The clubhouse had been an accident. Honestly.

And if Rodney and John had noted the room months ago when they’d been scoping out new and larger quarters, noted the hatch in the ceiling and the way it sealed up tight, disappearing seamlessly into the surrounding expanse of blue-white if John thought hard about it, well. It was entirely a coincidence that they stumbled onto it again, armed with a rope Ronon nicked from the supply closet and Larry’s stash of homemade cookies.

Mainly, they let Larry hang out with them because, when he wasn’t busy crying or talking everybody to death about Athosian livestock, he was kinda cool. And Ronon seemed to enjoy teaching him how to make knives out of spoons and throwing stars out of can lids, and how to fall into a roll without getting hurt and, in turn, Larry was happily showing Ronon how to play Slapjack and War and the barebones computer game of Pegasus Knights: The Spires of Atlantis [Facing Their Fiercest Enemy Yet, Lieutenant Colonel George Peppard and His Band of Vigilantes are the Galaxy’s Last Hope] that Dr. Vogel’d programmed in his spare time.

The rope was gone when John and Rodney entered the main chamber, but John whistled the first nine notes of the Imperial March and Ronon’s head popped into view, wordlessly snaking the knotted length of hemp down for them to climb.

Ronon and Larry were playing PK – “Take that, Steve!” - in the rectangle of sunlight spilling from the single pane of glass that ran the entire length of the… well. It was mostly a cubby, a small storage space, the window like an afterthought to save the use of lights during the day.

Rodney crawled into the front corner opposite and folded his knees up close to his chin, turning his face away from John.

*

It took them just about two days to settle into the upset rhythm their appearances caused. Two days for John’s men to start sir, yes sir-ing him again with almost-straight faces, two days before the botanists stopped blatantly risking their lives with offers to give Rodney piggyback rides, two days for the four of them to realize how wonderfully effective their wide-eyed pleas now were when dealing with the commissary staff.

John could live with the extra pudding. He couldn’t live with Rodney hating his guts.

Not that Rodney actually hated his guts, though, since he still deigned to talk to him and eat with him and hang out in the clubhouse with him, but still. He was totally pouting and pretending to like Larry better and that was just, despite Larry’s agreed coolness, very wrong.

Squeezing up into the space next to Rodney, John knocked their shoulders together.

Rodney slanted him a scowl. “What?”

John bent close to him and said in a hush, “I don’t ignore you.”

“You don’t…?” Rodney pulled a face. “You do.”

Rodney was as solid a form at five as he was at thirty-six, stocky legs and thick fingers and rounded shoulders, expressive baby fat dimpling the back of his hands, elbows, knees. John had always been thin and bony, a product of an abnormally fast metabolism and more energy than his parents ever knew what to do with.

He jabbed Rodney with a sharp elbow and Rodney gave him a look and then he snapped, “Stop fidgeting,” and a hand flew out to press down on John’s bouncing leg.

“I don’t ignore you,” John repeated, and it was very, very important for Rodney to understand that, because he was this close to climbing into his lap and burying his head in Rodney’s neck and whispering it against his skin.

Rodney cocked his head at him, eyes clear and wide and slightly questioning, but he just nodded, “Okay,” then splayed his fingers against the thick glass, dark, backlit by the bright afternoon sun, so so small, and... John was getting used to the differences.

John was getting used to touching Rodney, too, and that had Bad Idea stamped all over it. But he curled into his side, knuckles brushing the coarse, outside seam of Rodney’s pants, and Rodney exhaled nosily and shifted his weight so they were holding each other up.

*

Carson had given them a clean bill of health, but grounded them just the same. Which John couldn’t really argue with, since he couldn’t reach the puddlejumper controls, and his aim was wildly off due to the extreme drop in height, not to mention the fact that he couldn’t even lift a P-90.

Rodney and Larry had their work – Larry wasn’t normally much off-world anyway - and Ronon had… whatever the hell he did when on Atlantis. John suspected it had a lot to do with bugging Teyla.

And John had paperwork. Mountains of paperwork, since he usually just ignored it and he didn’t think he’d gone over anyone’s mission reports since Christmas five months previous. He probably would’ve still been avoiding them, too, if he hadn’t been summarily banned from the labs for baiting Rodney one too many times.

After a week stuck at his desk, he was beyond bored and half of Team-7’s scientific reports had gone the way of paper airplanes – John was getting pretty good at maximizing flight time – and he was thinking really hard about pancakes. He thought about pancakes a lot, actually, and he had to wonder if that was a byproduct of being five, or if Rodney was just rubbing off on him.

When his radio crackled to life, he sent a silent Hallelujah heavenward for the interruption, and was on his feet before Elizabeth finished, “Colonel, could you report to the infirmary?” And by the time he hit the hallway he was running because he’d know Rodney’s scream anywhere, even if the texture of his voice was too high and too thin.

He slammed into a transporter, then antsy feet had him skidding to a stop at the open infirmary doors, breath coming in harsh pants. Carson’s broad back and Elizabeth’s slim profile loomed ahead of him, and Rodney was perched on the edge of a cot, white-faced, clutching a bandaged hand protectively to his chest.

“What happened?” John demanded, climbing up next to Rodney and pushing close, peering into pain-rimmed irises. Rodney was mostly quiet, and a quiet, hurt Rodney was never a good thing.

“There was an incident in the labs, John,” Elizabeth said calmly. She held a hand in the air, hovering uncertainly over Rodney’s shoulder. Finally, she just leaned in and squeezed, and Rodney let out a shaky breath.

“Just a wee burn,” Carson explained. “I’m afraid his skin’s much more delicate in this state, though, and it’s not a pretty sight. If you could get him to relax, Colonel, it’d be appreciated.”

“Sedative?” John asked, then whispered, “All right?” into Rodney’s ear, noting his barely perceptible nod, teeth biting across his lower lip.

Carson sighed. “Just something mild for the pain. Should make him sleepy, but he’s a bit too wound up right now. I’m sure he’s fighting it, and lord knows he’s a stubborn bastard.”

“Sitting right here,” Rodney hissed, and the small amount of anger in his tone loosened the band that’d been suspiciously squeezing John’s heart.

“Okay, okay,” John said placatingly, pushing him back on the bed and crawling under the covers with him, and Elizabeth tucked them in and brushed a hand across Rodney’s brow, and Rodney looked so vulnerable it wasn’t weird at all.

Rodney murmured, “Hurts,” and John said, “I know.”

*

A month went by, and it was so normal that when John woke up and he filled out his entire bed it took him ten whole minutes to remember how to walk. How to slouch and roll his hips and duck his head slyly. How to smile with half his mouth, slow and lazy.

Rodney was nearly giddy when he met him in the hall, and John wanted to hug him. Hugging Rodney wasn’t strange anymore. He hesitated, though, because he remembered how to walk and he remembered how this grown-up body wasn’t supposed to touch Rodney, and Rodney’s eyes flickered gray, as if he sensed John’s stutter.

“Colonel,” he said, bouncing on his feet, grin still giving it the old college try.

“Rodney.”

“Guess we won’t fit in the clubhouse anymore,” he joked, though there was a wealth of disappointment in his voice.

“Probably not,” John drawled, and oh thank god. He’d missed drawling. It was nearly impossible to drawl properly without the benefit of puberty. “We’ll have to find a bigger room.”

Rodney lit up like John’d just given over his coffee rations for the month, and John just shook his head and hooked a thumb over his shoulder. “Let’s go. Beckett’s gonna want to see us.”

“I feel, ah,” Rodney tilted his chin up, “good. Don’t you feel good, Colonel?”

He arched his eyebrows. “Yeah, McKay. Great.”

*

At first, John didn’t recognize Larry, because he’d been a new face to begin with, and it was hard to reconcile the lank-haired, gap-toothed kid with the – and how had he not noticed it before? – handsome, square-jawed zoologist Dr. Ashburn turned out to be.

He ducked his head at them in the infirmary, suddenly all shy, but Ronon hooked an arm around the scientist’s neck in easy camaraderie, jerking him into a headlock, his growled, “Ashburn,” surprisingly affectionate.

Rodney looked on with a bemused, lopsided smile, then bumped his shoulder into John’s and yesterday. Yesterday it would’ve been fine to do that right out in the open. Well, that still would’ve been fine, if Rodney hadn’t added a half-hug and a full-body lean.

Rodney seemed to be having trouble remembering they weren’t supposed to touch.

He pressed into John when they were sitting side-by-side in the infirmary, and afterwards he clutched his arm dangerously close to his wrist when he spotted the blue Jell-O at breakfast. And John noticed that a lot of people looked at them the exact same way they had when they’d been five – indulgent and amused – but some people frowned and narrowed their eyes, and those people were the ones John worried about.

So when Rodney grabbed his hand to pull him down into the seat next to him, John shook him off and rounded the table, ignoring Rodney’s tight-lipped scowl and Teyla’s disapproving gaze.

“Well, I’ve got that, um.” Rodney bit off his own words, and he stacked his dishes onto his tray with a clatter, nodded absently at them, then stalked away.

Teyla’s mouth was pinched, and her glare wasn’t quite a glare, but it made John squirm guiltily.

“What?” he blurted out.

“You have hurt Dr. McKay’s feelings,” she rejoined with censure.

“Look, Teyla,” John said resignedly, “we’re not five anymore. We’re not…” He trailed off, waving his fork, and Teyla cocked her head curiously.

“You have grown very close,” she said.

“Right, yes,” he agreed hastily. “It’s just not. It’s just not acceptable to be that… close,” he used her word, because that totally worked, “in public.”

Teyla nodded, brow still creased with worry. “I see. Perhaps you should explain that to him, then.”

John sighed. He was really hoping to avoid that.

*

The mission briefing had been typical. Non-hostile natives, peaceful terrain, equitable trade seemed likely. So.

“Of course,” Rodney snapped.

John blinked, sweat stinging his eyes. “What?” he slurred wearily. Rodney was a blurry smudge hovering above him, hair plastered to his skull, the hot orange-red sun glaring unforgivingly down on them.

“I said of course. Of course this would happen on our first mission back. You’re like a walking disaster magnet.”

John tried to scowl at him. “Pot. Kettle,” he managed before another wave of pain rolled angry and black over his vision, breath burning in his throat. He wasn’t sure, but he thought he may’ve been pinned to the ground by a metal pike in his side. The entire day was sort of muzzy.

“All right,” Rodney said, and wow. Wow, he sounded pretty calm.

John would’ve been impressed if he hadn’t been nearly incoherent from the fire attacking what felt like all of his internal organs.

“Breathe, Colonel,” Rodney said, suspiciously cool and completely un-Rodney-like, and John remembered Rodney had been doing an admirable job of ignoring him for days, and generally being a bastard about John’s judicious use of discretion, and John was still pretty ticked off about that. Especially given that Ronon and Larry were having way too much fun in the new clubhouse.

“I’m fine,” John panted contrarily. “This isn’t… isn’t Lamaze, McKay,” and oh god, he shouldn’t have tried a sentence because that fucking hurt.

“Oh, right, yes, you’re perfectly fine. Silly me, I should’ve known a stake through your torso wouldn’t stop you from being a complete ass,” he spat.

John groped out blindly and clasped a hand over Rodney’s thigh. “Right,” he breathed out wanly, and then the red-gold light narrowed to pinpricks and Rodney’s, “Colonel?” was faint and fuzzy and the pain faded gray, then black.

*

Not only had Rodney visited him a measly two times during his three week infirmary stay – which was just so wrong - he wouldn’t answer when John radioed him, and made busy humming noises whenever he passed him in the hall. It took a little over a day for that to become way past annoying, and John finally cornered him at his lab, going for his blackest smirk, and he didn’t even bother asking. Just grabbed Rodney’s arm and steered him roughly from the room, leaving a wake of gaping scientists behind them.

“Colonel, what—”

“Shut up, Rodney,” John growled, tugging him into a transport, caging Rodney up against the door as soon as it slid shut.

Rodney swallowed hard. “Destination?” he ventured, and John grinned evilly at him before stepping away and pressing a far part of the screen.

The long hall was deserted, blue lights brightening as they stepped out of the transporter. John, Rodney reluctantly trailing, took a familiar two lefts and a right before a large door slid open on Larry and Ronon, hunched over two computers, laser sounds echoing around the chamber – the new and bigger clubhouse that Radek, after laughing his ass off, had found for them.

John urged Rodney towards a bank of windows before bowing his head slightly and hissing, “You’ve been ignoring me.”

Rodney glared at him. “I think you’ve made it abundantly clear how much you don’t want me near you, Colonel.”

“Right,” John drawled – drawling still gave him a thrill, and he wondered idly when it’d become old hat again. “I’d really hoped you’d get this without me explaining it, McKay.”

“Get what?” Rodney asked warily, moving backwards minutely as John loomed closer.

John grinned, because this was the part he’d been looking forward to; the part they’d have gotten to a hell of a lot sooner if Rodney wasn’t so freaking dense. He licked his lips, then licked Rodney’s, grabbing his arms when the man startled away.

Rodney’s eyes were huge. “Colonel—”

“Hold still,” John murmured slyly, shifting forward again, mouth open on the soft curve of Rodney’s jaw.

“Ronon,” Rodney said, tearing away. “Larry.”

“That’s the point, Rodney. This is us. This is here.” John arched his brows meaningfully. What happened in the clubhouse, stayed in the clubhouse. Or, you know, their quarters. Whatever.

“Oh,” Rodney said simply, understanding blooming across his face.

John nodded, his fingers loosening on Rodney’s arms, one hand sliding up to thumb the hollow of his throat, the other mapping bare skin under Rodney’s shirt, plump line at his waist, solid softness across his back, dip at his tailbone, top curve of his truly incredible ass. He fit the same way against him when they’d been smaller, but this was different. This was different and so much better because tongues. John had always been fond of tongues. Licking was one of his top five favorite activities of all time, right after sucking.

Rodney groaned into his mouth and John smirked lightly, a quick quirk of his lips that faded when Rodney’s fingers scrambled up to twist in his hair and tug him deeper.

Vaguely, John heard Ronon gripe about “rules,” and then something hard pegged him in the thigh and he jerked back, narrowing his eyes across the room at Larry. Rodney pressed his forehead into his shoulder, and Larry whistled absently, eyes fixed on his computer screen, a rubber ball rolling harmlessly along the floor.

John thought it might’ve had something to do with the clubhouse’s “No Girls Allowed” rule, which Ronon had only grudgingly agreed to - since John was pretty sure Ronon’s Atlantis pastime of bugging Teyla, now that he was all grown up again, included a whole lot of sweaty sex, though John was not thinking about that – and Larry always took Ronon’s side.

Then Larry asked, “Want to play PK?” glancing up at them with suspiciously wide and innocent eyes, and John sighed and rubbed a hand over his forehead, but Rodney perked right up.

“Can I be Lieutenant Colonel Peppard?”

Larry shook his head. “You’re Schultz.”

“Oh, great, thank you,” Rodney muttered, “make me the insane, rogue astrophysicist who routinely blows up puddlejumpers and has no concept of personal space. Vogel should be shot for his characterizations.”

I’m the Colonel,” John said, rocking back on his heels.

“Ashburn’s the Colonel,” Ronon stated gruffly. “I’m Tina.”

John blinked at him. Okay. “So I’m... Dirk?”

“Huh. The pretty-faced conman. The intergalactic—”

“Don’t say it, McKay,” John warned.

He didn’t say it, but it was written all over his smug face, and there was still that small, very tiny part of John that wanted to kick him in the shins and pull his hair, but John figured he could just make him pay later, in infinitely more pleasant ways.


Comments

( 249 robots have taken off their pants — Take off your pants )
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svmadelyn
Mar. 4th, 2006 10:49 am (UTC)
*cackles wildly* This whole thing, hilarious. But--but this:

John made a face and almost said, 'girls, yuck,' and Rodney jabbed a finger at him and shouted, "I knew it!"

"Knew what?"

"That you're an intergalactic slut," Rodney accused hotly, and Teyla caught John around the waist with quicksilver reflexes just as he sprung from the floor, arms clamoring to beat the sneer off Rodney's face.

He screamed, "Take it back!" throat burning and tears welling embarrassingly close to the surface.

"No!" Rodney yelled, face red and hands balled at his hips, standing just out of John's reach. "No, I won't, it's true."

"Is not," John rasped brokenly and god. Oh god, he was crying. He was crying and it was officially the worst. Day. Ever.


*IS BROKEN*
skoosiepants
Mar. 4th, 2006 11:16 am (UTC)
*g* thank you! John and Rodney got dangerously fluffy in this with their little arms and noses *smooshes them*
(no subject) - pentapus - Mar. 4th, 2006 07:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
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insipid_paragon
Mar. 4th, 2006 11:37 am (UTC)
Dude. Dude.

So I might've been kinda sorta bummed and um haven't read any of your SGA fics before because I don't follow the show and I was too busy pouting and desperately selfishly wanting you to come back to Harry Potter but with that confession off my chest I have to say

This fic ROCKS. Oh my god, the laughter. I was howling. Howling. I don't know these people, because I've seen exactly one (1) episode of SGA, approximately forever ago, but...damn it. Damn it, you make me want to know them.

*flails* And oh god Rodney snapped, hands clenched into tiny fists, pale eyes watery, mouth an unhappy, quivering, lopsided line. “I’m going to cry, Colonel. Cry! I never cry! This is all your fault!”

And then Larry said, “Oh my god, I just picked my nose and ate it,” staring in comical horror at his index finger, and Ronon froze mid-pick with a finger up his own nose and narrowed his dark eyes.

I'm laughing again just rereading that. Oh shit. *wheeze* All the crying. And wanting Teyla even though she's just a girl (but please don't tell her I said that). Boys are awesome. But the crying, all over each other. Oh hell. *wipes tears*

And their clubhouse! Oh my god somuchcute *squee* And then and then *gasp* when they got big again and had to give up the old clubhouse but then Radek found a new one for them after laughing his ass off, and then John and Rodney...This is us. This is here.” John arched his brows meaningfully. What happened in the clubhouse, stayed in the clubhouse. Or, you know, their quarters. Whatever. Aww.

"Unbelievable" is playing on my media player right now. And oh my darling skoosie, it is so absolutely true. You are unbelievably talented, and this fic is unbelievably darling and hilarious. *hugs*
insipid_paragon
Mar. 4th, 2006 11:42 am (UTC)
Oh oh! Oh god, except I forgot this part:

John made a face and almost said, ‘girls, yuck,’ and Rodney jabbed a finger at him and shouted, “I knew it!”

“Knew what?”

“That you’re an intergalactic slut,” Rodney accused hotly, and Teyla caught John around the waist with quicksilver reflexes just as he sprung from the floor, arms clamoring to beat the sneer off Rodney’s face.

He screamed, “Take it back!” throat burning and tears welling embarrassingly close to the surface.

“No!” Rodney yelled, face red and hands balled at his hips, standing just out of John’s reach. “No, I won’t, it’s true.”

“Is not,” John rasped brokenly and god. Oh god, he was crying. He was crying and it was officially the worst. Day. Ever.

And then he's crying all over Teyla? And then he shifts to crying all over Rodney? *melts* I adore that scene. I can totally see it...Well, you know. I can see the characters my head built from your descriptions, anyway, since I don't really know what they really look like. :D Anyway, that scene's just too damn adorable. Hilarious AND adorable.

I could quote so many bits and pieces as being equally amusing/cute, but I promise, I'll stop now. I'm calm now. *sits on hands*
(no subject) - skoosiepants - Mar. 5th, 2006 10:56 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - insipid_paragon - Mar. 5th, 2006 01:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
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millefiori
Mar. 4th, 2006 11:55 am (UTC)
OMG, I love your writing so much! Your take on the characters and your deadpan-outrageous approach to comedy totally pushes my buttons. Teyla is such a sweetheart here, and savage little Ronon is adorable, and I even fell a little bit in love with Larry! Someone recently posted about liking for John/Rodney stories to include their close connection to their friends and team members, and that's something I always enjoy about your stories--the romance doesn't happen inside a bubble, and the people close to them remain close to them, and that's really neat.
skoosiepants
Mar. 5th, 2006 11:00 am (UTC)
Thank you! Glad you enjoyed it *g*
the people close to them remain close to them Yes, one of my favorite aspects of fics is the team dynamic. I love background characters... they add so much to a story :)
xanphibian
Mar. 4th, 2006 12:11 pm (UTC)
*eyes you* *licks you cautiously and backs away*

OMG LOVE.
skoosiepants
Mar. 5th, 2006 11:05 am (UTC)
*laughs* thank you!
(Deleted comment)
skoosiepants
Mar. 5th, 2006 11:06 am (UTC)
*g* thank you, hon! Ronan is always awesome. too right :) Ronon is the ultimate side-kick.
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - skoosiepants - Mar. 5th, 2006 08:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Anonymous)
Mar. 4th, 2006 12:25 pm (UTC)
Squeee!
“But she's just a girl,” Larry said, then splayed fingers over his mouth, brown eyes widened with a mix of fear and horror. “Please don't tell her I said that.”

John made a face and almost said, ‘girls, yuck,’

This was awesome and so much fun to read. I'm such a little kid myself and just reading about them indulging their little five-year old side.... :D
Have I mentioned I'd do anything so long as it guarantees you keep writing? Anything, anything at all. No seriously...
*hands skoosie a plate of cookies*
:)
~pawzzz
skoosiepants
Mar. 5th, 2006 11:07 am (UTC)
Thank you, m'dear! *hugs you* *eats cookies* Cookies will work. Maybe pancakes, too :)
abbylee
Mar. 4th, 2006 12:36 pm (UTC)
“We don’t have complete control of our emotions.” Rodney frowned. “It’s actually very annoying.”

Aww, poor Rodney. If it makes him feel any better, I don't have complete control of my emotions either while reading this story.

Also? I love Larry, and how the rest of them see him.
skoosiepants
Mar. 5th, 2006 11:08 am (UTC)
*grins* thank you! glad you enjoyed this *g*
I love Larry, and how the rest of them see him. *laughs* I have a certain fondness for him, too :)
civilbloodshed
Mar. 4th, 2006 12:47 pm (UTC)
Oh, but the kid!fic is such heart warming cheesy crack! XD!!!

John and Rodney unsuprisingly aren't so different as five-year-olds. I love them both SO so much as they are so so cute in this.

the sudden compulsion to scream out, "I hate you," and "poopy head," scared the crap out of him.

&

"We need to get out of here," John said, nodding, head still half-buried in the jacket that was swimming on Rodney’s small body.

Rodney's fingers tightened, then released the material of John's shirt, and he pushed the other boy away with the flat of his palms, a sneer on his blotchy face. "Right, yes, because traveling through the eleven miles of forest between here and the 'gate will be a piece of cake when we're roughly the size of dwarves, with all the strength of a bundle of sticks!"


And Ronon! *♥'s Ronon*

"I want Teyla," Ronon grumbled, managing to sound heartbroken and really, really disgruntled, and John looked up to see him sitting cross-legged in the middle of the room, eyes reddened but dry, chewing on a ratty lock of hair.

skoosiepants
Mar. 5th, 2006 11:10 am (UTC)
*grins* thank you, hon! I probably had more fun than I should've had writing this, because little J & R are just so adorable to contemplate :) And Ronon. You know I have a weakness for anything Ronon.
(Anonymous)
Mar. 4th, 2006 12:58 pm (UTC)
Oh my. Now that's brilliant. If this fic doesn't convert people to the SGA way, then I don't know what will. It's so cute and funny that I suddenly started to think that maybe snotty little kids aren't so bad after all...

This bit right here convinced me that this is an absolute gem:

John made a face and almost said, ‘girls, yuck,’ and Rodney jabbed a finger at him and shouted, “I knew it!”

“Knew what?”

“That you’re an intergalactic slut,” Rodney accused hotly, and Teyla caught John around the waist with quicksilver reflexes just as he sprung from the floor, arms clamoring to beat the sneer off Rodney’s face.

He screamed, “Take it back!” throat burning and tears welling embarrassingly close to the surface.

“No!” Rodney yelled, face red and hands balled at his hips, standing just out of John’s reach. “No, I won’t, it’s true.”

“Is not,” John rasped brokenly and god. Oh god, he was crying. He was crying and it was officially the worst. Day. Ever.

My damned maternal...feelings...or whatever, just floored me.

--rags--

skoosiepants
Mar. 5th, 2006 11:13 am (UTC)
Thank you, darling! *hugs you* I wanted to hug them all through the entire writing of this... if that makes sense.
I suddenly started to think that maybe snotty little kids aren't so bad after all *laughs* yeah, but can you honestly picture having Rodney for a kid? hee.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Mar. 5th, 2006 12:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - skoosiepants - Mar. 5th, 2006 08:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Mar. 7th, 2006 09:20 am (UTC) - Expand
not_sally
Mar. 4th, 2006 03:16 pm (UTC)
You broke me. Oh dear god I can see them crying and wanting to die about it, and it's just so cuuuuute.
Too amazing. Plus: Pegasus Knights. *is dead*
skoosiepants
Mar. 5th, 2006 11:14 am (UTC)
*grins* thank you!
Plus: Pegasus Knights. I had to restrain myself from explaining the whole game *g*
laceymcbain
Mar. 4th, 2006 04:12 pm (UTC)
what happens in the clubhouse
Aw, I have so much love for you, you have no idea! *G* This made me grin so much - the kid!fic, the Crying!! The way people treated them, and Sheppard's awareness of the touching and Rodney's total obliviousness until John LICKS him. *G*

And because I'm a serious A-Team fan (my first online fandom!), I adored the little nod to the team. Thank you so much for this. You give good fic.
skoosiepants
Mar. 5th, 2006 11:21 am (UTC)
Re: what happens in the clubhouse
*grins* thank you! Licking is always fun to write *nods*

And oh how I love the A-Team, although I was unaware there was an online fandom for it, which is just so cool :)
Re: what happens in the clubhouse - laceymcbain - Mar. 5th, 2006 11:55 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: what happens in the clubhouse - skoosiepants - Mar. 5th, 2006 08:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
of_evangeline
Mar. 4th, 2006 05:37 pm (UTC)
You are all sorts of awesome. So is this. I can't even pick which parts I love the most because I claim them all to be my lawfully wedded...things! This deserves a BASKET of muffins. *gives*
skoosiepants
Mar. 5th, 2006 11:50 am (UTC)
*blushes* thank you!
jessikast
Mar. 4th, 2006 06:03 pm (UTC)
Eee! This fic made me so happy. :-D

I loved bitty John and Rodney fighting and making up, and little Ronon was adorable.

And I liked the happy-grown-up-(mostly)-ending too.
skoosiepants
Mar. 5th, 2006 11:54 am (UTC)
*grins* thanks, hon! glad you liked it :)
shmanet_janet
Mar. 4th, 2006 06:19 pm (UTC)
*is grinning with my tongue between my teeth while rocking/bouncing in my seat because YAYE*

yaye :)

i love your brain. i love your cracky, CRACK! filled brain.
i barely ever watch SGA because i haven't the time really, but, when i do it gives me the nerdy Sci-fi enjoyment that i do so crave.

again, you are love.

*continues to grin like a mad idiot*
skoosiepants
Mar. 5th, 2006 11:55 am (UTC)
*g* thank you, my dear! I love spreading the crack :) *loves*
(Deleted comment)
skoosiepants
Mar. 5th, 2006 11:55 am (UTC)
*blushes* thank you! glad you enjoyed it, and little J & R :)
Page 1 of 9
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( 249 robots have taken off their pants — Take off your pants )

....

Stiles wanders all the way through to the back and out into the yard.

There is no Peter, no Derek, and whatever Kate is doing, she isn’t doing it now.

He stands at the edge of the tree line, hands on his hips.

It’s eerily silent: no birds, no chattering of squirrels. The world is holding its breath.

There’s a predator in the woods.

- The Sound As They broke, It Was Fearsome

....







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panic - pants to match ver. 3
skoosiepants
master of karate and friendship
pants to match

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