John Sheppard stuck his head into the infirmary and looked around, then came in. "Carson, I need your help."
"I know well enough to ask with what before agreeing to that," Carson said mildly.
"Itís Rodneyís birthday next week."
"And I want to have a surprise party for him, and youíve known him the longest, so you know what he likes, and I thought you and Radek could help me set it up."
Carson chuckled. "What does Rodney like? Food, you, Rover, and lording how smart he is over everyone else, and Radek and I would love to help with the preparations."
"Great! Any ideas who to invite? Iíd invite everyone, but I donít want a lot of people to refuse and him to find that out. I know the command staff would come, but who else?"
"Honestly, Iíd say any of the original staff, except perhaps Dr. Kavanagh, plus Col. Davis. Is there anyone else ye can think of?"
John grinned. "Cadman."
"Och, are ye trying to give Radek high blood pressure, man?"
Laughing, John said, "Sorry, Carson, but she got to like him when she was stuck in his head. Theyíre sort of friends now. Iím sure you can convince Radek that youíre only interested in him."
Carson narrowed his eyes. "And then weíll be inviting Dr. Brown as well?"
John gritted his teeth. "Fine." It wasnít as if heíd be far from Rodneyís side that evening. Only their friends would be there.
"Or not," Carson chuckled. "So then, when were ye planning on having this extravaganza?"
"On his birthday. Itís a week from tomorrow."
"I hope yeíve talked to Elizabeth about curtailing any missions..."
"I wanted to talk to you first to make sure you didnít think it would be a problemóno weird birthday traumas or anything. Sheís my next stop."
Carson nodded. "No. I know Rodney and his family were never what yeíd call close, but I donít recall any traumas; as a matter of fact, I seem to remember several of us knocking back quite a few in Antarctica when we were there."
"Great!" John beamed his happy grin at Carson. "So Iíll go talk to Elizabeth, and you get Radek and tell him whatís up. Rodney wonít be suspicious of you pulling Radek out of the lab."
"Is there a theme for this party, or is that what I need to discuss with Radek?"
John shrugged helplessly. "Thatís why I was hoping for a bit more on the list of what he likes. Weíre not decorating the room with pictures of me and Rover."
"Perhaps some of Col. Carter?"
John actually growled at Carson, making Ciora dart out between them.
"If ye think heíd look twice at her, youíre daft, man. All I can suggest for a theme is coffee."
"Hey, that would work. Iced mochaccino, chocolate cake with mocha icing, a bag of coffee as a gift... Carson, youíre a genius!"
"Aye, thatís why Iím here."
"You sounded like Rodney for a moment there."
"Och, thereís no need to insult me!"
John laughed. "I happen to be rather fond of Rodney."
"Really, lad? Iíd never noticed." Carson chuckled and saved the report heíd been working on, then stood. "Iíll speak to Radek and weíll toss around a few ideas, oh, and Iíd add Lt. Lindstrom to your list as well."
John nodded then smiled wryly. "You think I should be worried that aside from us, everyone we think of is an attractive woman?"
"Radek has assured me that enjoying looking at attractive women is only natural, so no, ye neednít be concerned."
"Of course it is. I actually meant that all of Rodneyís friends except for you and Radek seem to be attractive women. I wonder if heíd wear a ring," John mused.
"That depends on where you want him to wear it," Carson chuckled.
"Why, Carson! Weíre have a bad effect on your mind," John laughed.
Carson shook his head. "Ye have, all of ye! Not that itís such a horrible thing."
"Kinda fun, isnít it?"
"Why do I think ye were an instigator in primary school?" Carson sighed. "And to answer your question, yes, I think Rodney would like a ring if it came from ye."
"Well, that solves the present issue for me. Now I just need to go see Elizabeth. Iíll catch up with you later to see what you and Radek have decided, all right?"
"Aye, you do that, son; Iím sure heíll have come up with quite a few ideas. I canít say Rodney will like them all though."
"Just remind him that itís for his birthday, and itís probably the first time anyoneís ever thrown Rodney a party, so be nice!" Shaking his head, John turned to leave so he could talk to Elizabeth.
"Dr. Zelenka," Carson called, after keying his headset. "I need to see ye when ye have a free moment."
Surprised by the call, Radek finished up what he was doing and went down to the infirmary to see what had caused the unusual summons. "Carson?"
Carson reached out for Radekís hand and leaned in to kiss him. "We have a mission, love."
Radek shuddered. "I hate going off world," he grumbled. "Why us?"
The aggrieved expression made Carson chuckle, and he had to kiss Radek again. "Donít worry, love; this assignment will keep us here. John is planning a birthday party for Rodney, and heíd like our help with it."
"Ah, thatís different." Radek moved aside as Reza rolled past to settle beside Ciora. "So when is this party to be?"
"Next week, and weíd thought of using coffee as a theme; how does that sound to ye?" Carson smiled as the two carts leaned against each other, the rasping of their housings against each other almost a sigh.
"Perfect for Rodney. Is John going to jump out of the cake?"
"If I were a betting man, Iíd take odds that he would if we suggested it. Of course then everyone would have to leave, and what would be the point of having them there in the first place?"
"Good point. We can suggest it to John for after they go back to their room." Radek nodded. "I think Rodney would like it if we did something with the carts, with Rover leading. A short parade around the room perhaps?" Reza whirred her wheels excitedly at that.
Carson choked out a laugh at the image that comment brought to mind, especially when Ciora picked up on the thought and wheeled around the infirmary. "Weíd have to decorate them, you know," he commented. "John could bring Rover down for that, and Iím sure Lt. Lindstrom would bring Loki and Lt. Stackhouse his Lunchmeat."
Radek shook his head. "That young man is very odd! And just so long as Reza doesnít end up pink again!" Picking up that thought, Reza darted behind Radek for protection.
"I wilnae argue that point, not in the least. Now then, weíll have to come up with something to give Rodney ourselves..."
"A bit difficult on short notice," Radek sighed. "Itís somewhat difficult to go to the store from here." He frowned. "I have no ideas... unless... I could try to do a drawing of him with John and Rover. It has been some time since I sketched, but I think I could manage it."
"Really?" Carsonís eyebrows rose as he studied Radek. "Iím sure heíd think that was lovely. Perhaps I could speak to Teyla and see if one of the Athosians could make a frame for it."
"There, we have a gift," Radek said with satisfaction. "Now we simply need to organize a party while keeping Rodney from finding out."
"Ye do work with him, love," Carson mused. "Who better to keep him busy?"
Radek groaned. "You get party planning, and I get more of Rodney? I hope youíre planning to reward me for this."
"Oh, I believe I could come up with something to take away the sting of yer torturous assignment."
"I certainly hope so!" Radek wrapped his arms around Carsonís waist and moved closer. "Itís going to be very painful."
"Well then, Iíll have to make verra, verra sure yer taken care of at all other times."
"An excellent plan. I knew there was a reason I love you." Radek smiled widely.
"Just one reason?"
"The one that I happen to be thinking of at this moment." Radek kissed him lightly.
Carson chuckled at that and leaned back to look down at the other man. "Well, Iíll plan something special for ye to make up fer your trauma."
"My hero." Radek let go and sat down on the edge of Carsonís desk. "Since my main part will be keeping Rodney out of the way, youíre going to need some help setting up. Iíve seen Johnís idea of decorating," he laughed. "Iíd suggest Lt. Lindstrom. She has good taste, and she wonít drive John crazy or hit on you." The last was said with a dark glower as he thought of Lt. Cadman even though she hadnít been more than friendly since realizing that he and Carson were a couple.
Carson nodded at the suggestion and reached out to pat Radekís leg. "Aye, she would probably be a help, though Ciora might have to keep her Loki in line."
Radek chuckled. "Good luck to you. Heís nearly as bad as Rover!"
"Ciora can handle him," Carson repeated, smiling fondly at his cart.
"Of course she can. She got that imperturbability from you." Radek hugged him.
"Well, someone has to calm all ye excitable types down," Carson gently teased.
"Iíll remind you of that in bed tonight."
"After I reward ye for yer arduous task."
"Is it bedtime yet?"
"Och, yer as bad as the colonel, Radek!"
"Can I help it if Iím in love with a really hot man?"
Carson only shook his head but tugged Radek in for a kiss.
Arms around Carsonís waist, Radek licked his lips a little while later. "Iím very lucky that you donít seem to realize just how attractive you are."
"The only one Iím wanting to consider me attractive is ye, ye daft bugger," Carson laughed, watching Radekís tongue slide over his lips.
"For which I am most grateful. Something that I will demonstrate tonight. But for now, I need to get back to the lab, and you need to get Lt. Lindstromís help."
"The things we do for Rodney," Carson sighed, though he didnít look too upset. "And remember, donít be too late tonight, or I might be asleep when ye get back!"
Radek paused in the doorway, Reza at his heels. "Then I would just have to wake you up."
Annalisa Lindstrom arrived in the infirmary a few minutes after Radek had left, a curious expression on her face. "The colonel said you wanted to see me, Dr. Beckett?"
"Ahh, Lieutenant." Carson smiled as Ciora rolled over to Loki and tapped him on the sensor array with an arm, plainly telling him to behave. "I was wondering if you have any party-planning experience."
Torn between laughing as Loki rolled over a tube and blatted at Ciora and shaking her head, Lisa left the carts to themselves as she smiled curiously at Carson. "Party planning? Well, Iíve thrown a few in my time. Why?"
"Col. Sheppard is planning a surprise party for Dr. McKayís birthday, and heís drafted me into helping. I, in turn, would like to draft yeóif yer interested of course."
"For Dr. McKay? Of course! Loki, stop that!" Lisa interceded when she noticed that he was trying to back Ciora into a closet. Shaking her head, she turned back to the doctor. "Sorry about that, sir."
"Thatís quite all right, lass," Carson chuckled, stroking Ciora when she zipped around Loki to press against his leg. "Though Iíd keep an eye out for Reza; she might decide to come after yer boy there. But as for the party, weíll be glad for yer help in any way possible. Radek will keep Rodney busy, so he shouldnít be poking around."
Lisa snickered. "What did you have to bribe him with?"
Carson flushed. "I dinna think ye really want to know that."
"Why, Dr. Beckett!" Lisa laughed. "And you seem like such a quiet person," she giggled.
"Och, as if I donít hear enough of this from Rodney and John!" Carson groaned.
She laughed again. "Iíll be good. So tell me where and when?"
"Well, the when is easy enough, eight days from now. The where, thatís the first thing we need to decide, and since you know the city better than most, perhaps you could suggest a place? Somewhere out of the way so Rodney wouldnít know about it."
She smiled faintly at the reminder of her solitary explorations in the weeks after Peter Grodinís death. "Over in the south spoke thereís a room at the top of one of the towers. I think it must have been some sort of park or auditorium. Itís beautiful, glass walls and ceiling so that itís flooded with sunlight during the day and like being under the starry sky at night. Itís also big enough for everyone to fit inside comfortably, and there are lots of private nooks and crannies where people can talk while we have the dancing in the main room."
"That sounds perfect, though just how many people do ye think will be attending this party?" Carson asked. "We were thinking most of the original expedition and a few of the newcomers such as Lt. Cadman, Maj. Lorne and Col. Davis."
"That sounds about right. And itíll leave us plenty of room for dancing, so you and Dr. Zelenka can give us another show."
"Och, ye would bring that up," Carson laughed, though he looked pleased at the thought. "Though we were thinking about having the carts put on a display with Rover leading them."
Loki suddenly darted between them, whirring his wheels excitedly. Lisa laughed. "I think we have to now."
"Aye, I see that. Radek and I will have to choreograph something for them and have John teach it to Rover." Ciora scooted out from next to the desk and spun in place, whirling like a top.
"I think they like the idea," Lisa laughed, watching them as Loki seemed to decide that Ciora looked like she was having fun and started spinning as well.
"I think this routine will be done to circus music," Carson grinned.
"No clown paint!" Lisa chuckled. "Loki, stop please; youíre making me dizzy!" She shook her head at Carson. "Well, thatís part of the entertainment set up."
"Aye," Carson laughed as the carts settled down again, Ciora following Loki around as he explored the infirmary. "And the music and food should be relatively easy to get together. Is there anything else ye can think of?"
"Coffee, of course, drinks, balloons and streamers." She smiled wickedly. "Think we could get a party hat on him?"
"Itís possible the colonel could, though I canna vouch for how long it will stay on!"
"We just need long enough to get a picture." Lisa thought for a moment and asked, "Can we ask Laura to help, or will that lead to Dr. Zelenka ending up in the brig?"
"Now then, ye cheeky lass, heís not as bad as all that regarding heróif thereís a group there."
Lisa grinned. "I think itís sweet. And you know you like it, Dr. Beckett."
"Aye, but if ye go spreading it around, Iíll deny it."
She smiled and kissed his cheek. "Dr. Zelenkaís a very lucky man."
"Thank ye, lass," Carson smiled, patting her hand. "Now then, perhaps we should sit down with Col. Sheppard this evening and get things organized?"
"As long as Dr. Zelenka or someone will be able to keep Dr. McKay out of the way. Heís usually to be found wherever the colonel is during their off hours."
"Radek has promised to keep Rodney quite busy, at least until I let him know itís safe," Carson assured her, "and I doubt heíll come looking for us if weíre in that room ye spoke of."
"True, I donít think heís poked his nose out of the central section unless the colonel dragged him. And Iím almost positive Iím the only one whoís found that room so far." Lisa hopped up on one of the beds, making herself comfortable.
Carson nodded, then looked at her closely. "So, lass, is there anyone not on our list that yeíd care to have us invite?"
"No, I think youíve got all Dr. McKayís friends. Though maybe Bates? Heís one of the few of the original expedition team you havenít included. And heís nowhere near as bad as Kavanagh. Weíd just have to keep him and Teyla far apart."
"We could assign you to keep an eye on him," Carson mused, smiling slightly.
"No thanks! That man could annoy, well, you!"
"So yeíd rather have a brawl at Rodneyís party?"
"Of course not! But why me?" Lisa almost wailed.
Carson chuckled. "Ye suggested inviting him, didnít ye? Give the man a few shots of Hallingís moonshine and even he might relax a bit."
She groaned. "Youíre a cruel man. Fine, Iíll take Bates watch," she sighed. "But Iím going to need Hallingís product!"
"Would it help if Radek or I promised ye a dance?"
"Youíd better each promise me at least one!"
"Shall I add Rodney and Col. Sheppard to your card as well?"
"Of course!" Lisa grinned. "Dr. Weir and I are probably the only women in Atlantis whoíll be able to say we danced with all four of you."
Carson chuckled at that. "Well, I doubt many would want to."
"Are you serious? Do you ever open your eyes and look around? Lots of people would want to."
"I meant the four of us, lass."
"So did I."
"Och, worry about saving yer toes from Lt. Bates, lass, not the other part."
"Every woman, and several of the men, in Atlantis is going to be jealous of me."
"Fer dancing with Lt. Bates?" Carson teased.
Lisa shook her head. "My mother warned me about men like you."
"And what do ye mean by that?"
She just chuckled. "I think we should concentrate on this party. And Iíll decide which dance I want from each of you. A tango perhaps," she mused, grinning.
"And fer that I have to say my mum warned me of women like you!" Carson grinned and motioned her over so they could both work on his laptop.
"Why, Dr. Beckett, didnít you know? Thereís no one like me!"
"Radek, why are you following me around like a lost puppy? I understand you want to be near my genius, but you have your own work to do, and that doesnít include basking in my glory!"
Radek rolled his eyes and gritted his teeth, reminding himself that this was for a good cause. And Carsonís methods of reward didnít hurt either. Just that morning Rodney had commented, with a smirk of course, that Radek was walking funny and asked if he wanted a cushion to sit on. Radekís frown turned to a smile as he remembered the night before, how Carson had jumped him the moment he stepped into their quarters, pushed him up against the wall, and fucked him Ďtil Radek was nothing but a limp, sated puddle.
Rodney growled. "Thatís it! If you wanted me out of here, youíve succeeded!" Rodney slammed his laptop shut, and Rover scooted out from under the bench to push between him and Radek.
Startled out of his reverie, Radek blinked at him. "What are you talking about? I didnít say anything." He moved toward the door to block Rodneyís exit, knowing that the others, including Sheppard, were decorating the party room just then.
"Which is making me nervous!" Rodney snapped, glaring at him. "I want to get something to eat and go to bed, preferably with John!"
Radek shrugged. "It is a good time to break," he agreed. "I will join you for dinner."
Rodney looked at him suspiciously. "Did you and Carson break up or something?"
"Of course not! But he has his own work, and he is... somewhat unfriendly if interrupted while running an experiment."
"Ha! Youíre afraid of Carsonóyou wimp!"
"I like to keep my lover happy," Radek replied with dignity. Then he grinned. "And so would you if yours had an arsenal of needles and oversized probes!"
Rodney shuddered and made a face. "I donít need to hear about the size of Carsonís probes, thank you!"
"Jealousy will get you nowhere."
"I kissed Carson once, remember? Well, Cadman did, and heís all yours."
"Yes, he is," Radek replied smugly.
Rodney groaned. "So go see him and leave me alone!"
"Iím going to think you donít enjoy my company if you keep that up." Radek nudged him toward the door, Reza and Rover following at their heels. "And Iím hungry, so come."
"Fine, fine," Rodney sighed, "but I have to tell you I liked you better when you didnít like me"
"Youíll survive." Radek urged him toward the transporter. "Food. Now."
"Yes, yes, food now; and then Iím going to bed before you drive me insane!"
"It would not be a far trip."
Rodney growled. "But a farther one than you have."
"True, I spend time with you voluntarily."
"Because youíre afraid of your boyfriend."
"You are a very difficult man to be a friend to."
"Thank you," Rodney said as they walked out into the mess hall and joined the line for food. "Mmm, stew today; always a good choice."
"From the man who likes MREs, that doesnít mean much!" Radek snorted before inhaling appreciatively. "Though I have to admit that does smell good. They must have a new cook."
"Whatís wrong with MREs?" Rodney grumbled even as he took his tray and loaded it up with food, then handed it off to Rover.
"Nothing. If youíre a termite! They taste like freeze-dried cardboard!" Radek set his own tray on Rezaís shelf before heading toward a table next to a window.
Rodney snorted as he and Rover followed. "This from the man who comes from the land of over-boiled food."
"You donít even know how to boil food!"
"Yes, I do!" Rodney protested, dropping into his seat and taking the tray from Rover, patting him in thanks before digging into his food. "I can cook."
"Putting a frozen dinner in a microwave doesnít count."
Rodney glowered. "And are you going to tell me youíre a five star chef?"
"No, of course not. But I did take classes. My duck a líorange is wonderful." Radek smirked.
"Gee, youíre a renaissance man," Rodney snorted. "Iím sure Carson appreciates your duck, whatever color it is."
"Someday, when I can make it for him, Iím sure he will." Radek took a bite of his stew and smiled. "Thatís very good!"
Seeing how Radek was wolfing down his food, Rodney dug into his as well, groaning in pleasure at the taste. "Okay, this is good."
"You can tell the difference. Iím impressed."
"Just because Iím able to enjoy all types of food doesnít mean I donít appreciate the better stuff," Rodney grumbled between bites.
"Which is why you picked me," John said, arriving behind Rodney and leaning down to kiss him before sliding into the seat next to him.
"Oh good, youíve decided to save me from the Czech leach," Rodney sighed.
"Leach?" Radek glared. "You are a very unpleasant man!"
"Would you prefer remora?"
"I would prefer that you lose the ability to speak!"
John sat back to enjoy the show, absently patting Rover.
"That would leave you with Kavanagh to talk to, and while you were doing that, perhaps Cadman would keep Carson company." Rodney grinned widely as he took another bite of his stew.
Radek threw a roll at Rodneyís head, which Rover reached up and caught when Rodney ducked. "Thanks," he laughed, taking the roll from his cart, "I needed one."
Radek sighed. "Why do I bother?"
"Slow learner," John chuckled.
Rodney snickered. "Exactly."
"I think Iím going to go find Carson." Radek stood up, snatching a roll from Rodneyís tray before handing his to Reza.
"Sure he wonít bark at you?" Rodney called as Radek stormed away, then sighed with relief as he slumped against John. "Finally! I swear, if he wasnít so head over heels with Carson, Iíd think he had a crush on me!"
John chuckled, thinking that he owed Radek big. "Itís called friendship, Rodney. Friends spend time together that does not involve working."
"I know that; itís just heís been my shadow all week! Thatís not normal."
"Youíre getting paranoid," John laughed. "Eat. I think your blood sugar must be low."
Rodney shoveled in another bite before glancing over at John. "So what have you been up to today?"
"Fitness reports," John said with disgust. "Apparently the paperwork has caught up with me."
"Ooo, very exciting. Have a good time with it?"
"About as much as watching paint dry."
Rodney chuckled. "Iím surprised you didnít give up on it and go work out with Teyla or Ronon."
John smiled wryly. "Elizabeth told them both to ignore me until she let them know that Iíd finished. That woman is sneaky!"
"Poor baby." Rodney patted his hand before squeezing it quickly. "How about I make it up to you and you help me get over the trauma of having Radek tail me all day?"
"And what did you have in mind to do that?" John leaned closer.
"Suck you until youíre hard then ride you?" Rodney suggested under his breath.
John shuddered before abruptly standing up. "Our room. Now."
"Butó" Rodney looked at his half-eaten dinner, then at Johnís expression and shrugged as he pushed his plate away and stood. "Get walking, Colonel."
"Rover, bring our meals," John said, sauntering toward the door with a smirk on his face. The cart rocked in place for a moment before gathering up the trays and following the two men as they hurried toward the transporter and privacy.
"Have I mentioned recently that I love your ideas?" John grinned over his shoulder, glad of the loose cut of the uniform pants.
"Of course you do, Iím a genius," Rodney snorted, grabbing Johnís ass when the doors closed behind them.
"Lucky me." John pulled him closer, arms going around Rodneyís ass to grope him as well.
"Lucky both of us," Rodney corrected, reaching out to hit the panel.
"I can live with that." John pushed closer before stepping back, automatically moving around Rover. "In fact, I love living with it."
"You love the almost daily sex," Rodney corrected, winking, as they hurried toward their set of rooms, his hands working at Johnís belt the moment the door closed behind them.
"That too." John grinned, pulling his shirt off over his head while Rover rolled into his corner, pushing past the bed so the sheet rustled, sounding like a sigh.
Rodney chuckled, sliding his hand inside Johnís pants and stroking his hardening cock as he mouthed his neck. "I think Roverís disgusted with us."
"I think heís bored," John said, glancing over. "You know, Rover, heís perfectly safe in Atlantis. You could go see one of the others if you wanted to."
The cart wavered, then settled back into the corner. "Rover, go on," Rodney called. "I bet Lokiís getting into something; you should stop him." At that, Rover backed up, placed their dinner trays on a table, and, after nudging them both, rolled out of the door. Rodney blinked. "Iím surprised he did that."
"Why? You know heís smart. Wouldnít you get bored if you had nothing to do but sit around all day and occasionally run some errands? Iíd bet thatís why Janus made the others less self-aware."
"Good point," Rodney murmured, still stroking Johnís cock. "Heís just never left us before; itís... strange."
"Heíll be back. In the meantime, perhaps youíd like to concentrate on something else?" Johnís hips thrust forward, pressing into Rodneyís hand.
"Slut," Rodney sighed, dropping to his knees and pulling Johnís pants down at the same time, then mouthing his balls, groaning at the supremely male taste of him.
"God yeah, when youíre the reward." John combed his fingers through Rodneyís hair, petting him while forcing himself to remain still. Rodney hummed in answer and tongued the tender skin, nuzzling the base of Johnís cock. "Fuck, Rodney, so good," John rasped, his fingers flexing on Rodneyís shoulders.
Rodney pulled back and looked up at John, his eyes dark with desire as he stroked his hands over Johnís hips and ass. "Good, John, fuck me," he rasped.
John pushed him against the wall. "Stay there." He scrabbled on the nightstand for the lube, then moved back behind Rodney, shoving his pants out of the way so he could rub his erection along the crack of Rodneyís ass.
"John..." Rodney moaned, grinding back against him and reaching back to hold him close.
"And no one else." John squeezed some of the gel onto one hand and started stroking it into Rodney, his other hand toying with the heavy sac. Rodney moaned and spread his legs, opening himself to Johnís touch, torn between pushing back against the fingers inside him and the ones teasing him.
"Youíre so fucking gorgeous like this, all mine, hot and ready," John groaned, positioning himself at Rodneyís opening but not pushing forward yet.
"Damnit, John, fuck me!" Rodney growled, twisting backwards, trying to get John inside him.
"All you had to do was ask." John pressed forward until the tight muscle yielded and let him in. He slowly sank into Rodneyís ass, groaning as the tight heat closed around him.
"Idiot," Rodney grumbled, though the words held more need than annoyance, and he groaned, pushing back and clenching down on Johnís cock.
"And Iím all yours." John slid deeper, his fingertips lightly stroking Rodneyís balls, still avoiding his cock. Rodney whimpered, twisting against John, before reaching down, grabbing his hand, and dragging it up to his shaft.
"Mmm, greedy. Nice." John bit at Rodneyís earlobe while stroking him, loving the way the scientist was shivering at his touch.
"Spoiled me," Rodney groaned, rocking between Johnís hand and cock, his eyes closed and his head leaning back against Johnís shoulder as he rode the thrusts, each one sending him nearer to his climax.
"Spoiled each other," John corrected, leaning his head against Rodneyís as he tried to make it last longer. "You feel so good." Rodney could only give a throaty hum in response as he tried to stay upright amidst the welter of sensations. Johnís free hand skimmed over Rodneyís chest, his thumb flicking over a puckered nipple before he pinched and tugged it.
"John!" Rodney gasped, convulsing at the slight, sudden pain, then spasming as he came, his come gouting over Johnís hand.
"Oh fuck yeah." John started slamming into him hard and fast, riding out the spasms of Rodneyís orgasm as he sought his own, the pleasure rising fast. He yelled out wordlessly as he tensed and came, driving deep inside Rodney one final time as he shuddered.
Rodney sighed in pleasure and staggered forward a step, catching his balance before they both fell. "I think I can deal with remora Radek for this reward."
John chuckled wearily. "You realize heís going to make you pay if you keep calling him that, right?"
"Well, thatís what he reminds me of; heís been so clingy lately!" They shuffled over to the bed together and collapsed on it, Rodney kicking futilely at his boots and pants as they did.
"I really doubt Radek clings to anyone except Carson," John snorted.
Rodney shuddered. "Iím not thinking about that."
"Whoís the wimp now?"
"Do you want to think about Carson fucking Radek, or vice versa?"
"Not particularly, no."
"So donít call me a wimp."
"But youíre cute when youíre indignant."
"Iím cute all the time!"
"True, but when you get all pouty, I just want to nibble on your lower lip."
"And this is bad how?"
Finally slipping out of Rodney, John flipped him over, grabbed hold and started nibbling.
Rodney purred and snuggled closer against Johnís body, draping himself over and around him and sighing with happiness.
John hugged him closer, deepening the kiss as he petted Rodney.
"Mmm, kay, now I can deal with Radek following me around," Rodney mumbled.
John laughed. "Iím sure heís not actually following you around. Heís much more interested in Carson."
"Thank god! Having Miko making puppy eyes at me all the time is more than enough and she knows about us!"
John growled. "That woman needs to find a man of her own."
"Hey, Iím busy trying to get Paul and Elizabeth together; you find someone for her!"
"Iím just going to tape a big Ďtakení sign to your forehead!"
"I think not! Iím not having my skin torn away because youíre jealous of Miko of all people," Rodney laughed.
John grumbled. "I guess Iíll just have to make sure you always look well fucked so itís obvious youíre not available."
"Oh damn, I hate that idea."
"Iíll remind you of that the next time you complain about sitting on your lab stool."
"Miko will get me a cushion," Rodney grinned.
John growled. "Youíre never leaving this room again without me."
Rodney chuckled. "And you say I get jealous..."
"I donít have someone following me around, offering to become my slave."
"Planet of nubile young things thinking you were a god," Rodney sing-songed.
"They did not think I was a god!"
"Then why were they bowing to you?"
"How should I know? I was too busy ignoring them and trying to calm you down to ask!"
"They were offering to propagate your children; I had every right to be upset!"
"Only if I was going to take them up on it! Which you damn well know I wouldnít!" John pouted at him.
Rodney grinned and leaned in to kiss the pout away. "I know that."
After drawing out the kiss until they were both breathless, John leaned back. "You are a rotten tease, Dr. McKay."
"It keeps you on your toes, Colonel, and donít you deny it."
"It keeps me on you, and thatís why you like it," John snorted.
"Well, I do like being on you too..."
"I wouldnít have it any other way."
"Glad to hear it, now itís late, how about we get some rest, hmm?"
"I think weíre going to have to get rid of the clothes first," John pointed out wryly. They reluctantly separated just long enough to untangle themselves from their rumpled uniforms, then settled back onto the bed, John now draped over Rodney.
The door to the other room opened, and Rover rolled inside, trundling through the connecting door to settle in his corner with a contented sigh. Rodney lifted his head and frowned. "I wonder how many stories Iím gong to hear about what he did tonight."
"Iím sure he behaved himself or we would already have gotten irate calls," John murmured, rolling to his back to wave at Rover. "Hope you had fun, boy."
"But not too much fun, Iím too young to be a grandfather," Rodney laughed, rolling as well so that he was pillowed on Johnís chest.
John started to snicker. "Can you imagine Carson or Radekís face?"
"Theyíd kill meóor try to anyway; I have faith that youíd save me from them."
"Iím glad we wonít ever have to put it to the test for that reason. I think theyíd gang up on us."
"Between that vicious little Czech and the fact that Carsonís our doctor, Iíd worry for our lives."
"With reason," John agreed laughingly, glad that the next day was Rodneyís birthday and the party. Otherwise, someone might be driven to murder.
"Hrumpf, Iím going to sleep now," Rodney grumbled, settling back against Johnís chest and resolutely closing his eyes. Chuckling, John kissed the tip of his nose before closing his own eyes, delightedly contemplating Rodneyís reaction the next night as he fell asleep.
John woke first the next morning, and the moment Rodney opened his eyes, he began singing "Happy Birthday."
"Hrmmm, youíre up before me; are we in an alternate universe?"
"Just want to make your birthday special. Donít make plans for dinner. I have something in mind."
"Chocolate-covered Col. Sheppard?" Rodney asked hopefully before he grinned and kissed John. "And thanks for the morning serenade."
"My pleasure, birthday boy." John rolled to his back and drew Rodney over him, smiling happily.
"Boy?" Rodneyís attempt at an offended look fell flat because he was grinning too widely. "I assure you, Colonel, I havenít been a boy for decades."
"Well, youíre certainly not a girl," John chuckled, running his hands over Rodney, his short nails lightly scratching the length of his spine.
"Your powers of observation astound me."
"Behave or weíll re-institute the time-honored tradition of birthday spanking." John brought his palm down on one rounded cheek in demonstration.
"Hey! Be careful!" Rodney protested, half-turning to try to look back at his ass. "I donít want to have to go see Carson because Iím injured!"
John rolled his eyes. "When have I ever injured you?"
"Well, there was that time you threw me on the ground on the planet with those weird monkey things..."
"Would you have preferred that I not push you out of the way and it landed on you and bit you?"
"No! Iíd have gotten some strange version of rabies and ended up being shot like a dog or something!"
"See, I was protecting you, not hurting you."
"Fine, fine, bad example and, no, you never hurt me, and I love you for it."
John kissed him leisurely before letting his head drop back to the pillows. "Glad to hear it. And for the record, you donít have any need to worry. Iíve never understood getting turned on by spanking."
"If you ever told me you were, Iíd sic Rover on you," Rodney laughed, kissing his chest before stretching. "So, time to get up, eh?"
"Of course!" Rodneyís tone was offended that John would think otherwise.
"And since itís your birthday, you can pick top or bottom."
"And if I said a little frottage is what I had in mind?"
"Oh damn, Iíd be so upset by that."
"I know," Rodney laughed, patting John on the head as he rolled out of bed and stretched, "you put up such a good front."
John lay back, admiring the view. "I thought you liked my back too."
"It has its assets." Rodney grinned and headed for the shower, giving Rover a pat when the cart rolled over and nudged him.
Chuckling, John got up and stretched as well before padding after Rodney, crowding him into the shower. Positioning them both under the hot spray, he wrapped his arms around Rodney and kissed him.
"Mmmm, happy birthday to me," Rodney murmured, smiling up at John and sliding his hands lower to cup his ass. Unable to resist, John dropped to his knees and closed his lips over the head of Rodneyís cock while humming ĎHappy Birthday.í Rodney gurgled and he was sure his eyes crossed as he went instantly erect. Swaying, he tangled his hands in Johnís hair and held on for what he was sure was going to be a wild ride.
John grinned around his suddenly much bigger mouthful, the hazel eyes sparkling mirthfully up at Rodney. One hand curved over Rodneyís ass, holding him close while a finger stroked along the crevice between his cheeks, and the other rose to allow a thumb to flick an already hardening nipple.
"Can we make every day my birthday?" Rodney murmured, his voice full of pleasure. Smiling, John made a soft sound of agreement, perfectly willing to spoil Rodney every morning. Rodney snickered, though the sound turned into a groan when John hummed again. "Do I get cake every day too?"
John pulled back just long enough to say, "I donít know about cake, but you can have cream whenever you want it." Then he swiped his tongue over Rodneyís cockhead in a long lick, savoring the taste of him.
"I think I can live with that, oh, for a century or two." Rodney groaned and collapsed to the floor, leaning against the shower wall, his knees no longer able to support him. John sucked harder, wanting to hear Rodney making all those sexy noises he loved.
"John, oh god, John, feels so damn..." Rodneyís words dissolved into a spate of whimpers and moans as he closed his eyes, his fingers carding through Johnís dark hair as he arched upward, then shouted as he came. John sucked eagerly until the last spasm had ebbed, then surged upward to kiss Rodney, sharing the taste with him.
"Mmmm, gimme a sec and Iíll return the favor; brainís all melty now," Rodney mumbled, grinning like a loon.
"This is good," John panted, rocking frantically against him. Giving up on trying to shift positions, Rodney worked a hand between them and began jacking John off, the strokes fast and tight as they traded hungry kisses under the falling water.
"Very, very good," John groaned against Rodneyís lips, thrusting into the tight channel of Rodneyís hand until he shuddered and came, his forehead falling to Rodneyís shoulder.
"Oh yeah," Rodney sighed, stroking Johnís back, content to sit there under the hot water foreveróa forever that ended when Rover rolled to the shower entrance and sat there, his sensor lights flashing at them. "I think someoneís telling us itís time to get out."
"Geez, what is he, the water monitor?" John turned his head sideways to peer at the cart without lifting it from its comfortable position on Rodneyís shoulder.
Rodney chuckled and nuzzled Johnís ear. "I think heís worried the drain might back up and weíll drown in here."
"Great, a neurotic cart. And donít you dare pinch me!" Johnís scowl stopped Roverís pincer mere inches from his bare ass, and he was willing to bet the cart was smirking at him. He knew Rodney was.
"Does that mean me too?" Rodney asked, pouting outrageously.
John groaned. "You want to pinch my ass?"
"Nah, I want to bite it."
Shivering, John rasped, "Mmm, sounds good to me. But I guess Roverís right. Time to get out of the shower... and go back to bed."
"We do have that little thing called workóunless the grateful staff here have declared my birthday a city-wide holiday."
"Nope, Ďfraid not, but I did enlist Radek and Elizabethís help to give you the morning off. And me too, of course, so I can say happy birthday properly."
"Then why the hell did we have to get up?" Rodney asked plaintively as he slowly got to his feet, rubbing his back as he thought the shower off.
"Because I like seeing you all wet and slippery," John admitted with a grin.
"Why do I now feel like a seal?"
"Naw, if you were going to be anything, youíd be a penguin."
"Youíre comparing me to a short, fat, oily, flightless bird?"
"I like penguins. Theyíre cute." John grinned, stroking a hand over Rodneyís back and ass after standing up too. "Just like you. You both look cuddly, but God help the person who tries it when you donít want to."
"And why is that? Or should I be worried that you know what happens when you antagonize a penguin?"
John rolled his eyes. "Iím making an assumption, based on the fact that they have beaks! Youíre such a lunatic sometimes."
"Hey! Itís my birthday, and youíre supposed to be nice to me!" Rodney poked John at the same time Rover prodded as his leg.
"I am nice to you! I got you the morning off with nothing to do but me."
Rodney snorted. "You mean you got me the morning with nothing to do but get you off."
The hazel eyes narrowed slightly as an eyebrow winged upward. "Are you going to try to tell me that you donít enjoy it?"
"Did I say that?" Rodney yelped.
"Good answer." John smiled smugly and pulled Rodney in for a kiss while reaching for a towel to dry them off.
Rodney sighed in pleasure, turning as John directed, enjoying the feeling of being taken care of and grinning when Rover headed out of the bathroom and he heard the outer door open a moment later. "I think Roverís getting us breakfast."
"Like you keep telling everyone, heís a smart cart." Finished drying Rodney off, John looped the towel around his shoulders and pulled him in for another kiss. "Now go get some clothes on while I dry my hair, or Iím going to jump you again, and weíll have to start all over."
"Would it matter? I mean, we supposedly have the morning off..."
"And you call me a slut." John laughed as he backed Rodney back into the bedroom and tumbled him on the rumpled bed. "Damn, you look good like that."
"And you feel good like this." Rodney pulled John on top of him and relaxed back against the mattress. "Can we just stay here like this for a decade or so?"
"I wish," John sighed. "But you know someone would come looking for us after a few hours. At least we have this morning. Radek and Elizabeth will keep anyone from disturbing us unless the city is sinking. And Carson said that anyone that tries to get past them will get a full physical. Twice."
Rodneyís eyebrows rose. "I always knew I liked that overly-romantic Scot!"
"Thatís not what you said the last time he gave you a physical."
"Well, of course not, the man has a fondness for needles that borders on obsessive, but if itís other people heís sticking them in, thatís fine with me."
"Thatís my Rodney, always thinking of others." Chuckling, John kissed him before propping his chin on crossed wrists on Rodneyís chest. "Youíre such a humanitarian."
Rodney sniffed theatrically. "The Nobel Prize I want to win is not the one for promoting peace, thank you."
"Gee, I never woulda guessed." John snickered before pressing a kiss to Rodneyís chest. "Good thing youíre good at other things. And I happen to like you in all your snarky glory."
"Love, worship, adore, adulate..."
"Much, much better," Rodney said, smiling in approval.
"Itís a burden but I bear it well," Rodney said, grinning, then craning his neck to the side when Rover rolled back into the room, bearing food and coffee.
John sat up, pulling Rodney up with him, and propped pillows behind his back before drawing Rodney against him. He sighed contentedly once Rodney was settled in front of him, back pressed to Johnís chest and their legs tangled together beneath the rumpled sheets.
"Mmm, the best way to start a day," Rodney sighed, settling comfortably against John and reaching out to rub Roverís sensor array when the cart rolled over to the bed. "Thank you both for making this my best birthday ever."
"It just gives me a goal to aim for next year since I intend to make sure that each oneís better."
"And how do you plan on doing that?" Rodney laughed before taking the mug of coffee Rover offered him and sipping at it, sighing with pleasure at the taste.
"Hey, I have a year to plan it. Telling you now would spoil the surprise." John took his own coffee and patted Rover in thanks.
Rodney chuckled and tilted his head back for a kiss. "Iím sure whatever you come up with, itíll be great."
"Of course it will. I want to see that big smile you get when I do something that surprises you." John licked a kiss over Rodneyís lips, tasting him and smiling at the ease of it all.
"Hrmmm, I think you like the fact that it gets you laid," Rodney chuckled.
"Hell yes!" John grinned, nuzzling the side of his neck, enjoying the sensation of their stubble rasping together.
"I knew it!"
"All of Atlantis knows it," John pointed out wryly.
Rodney shuddered at the memory of their city-wide broadcast. "So, do you have anything else planned for today?"
"A morning for the two of us, three," John amended hastily when Rover butted the side of the bed, "and a nice, romantic dinner in an out-of-the-way location."
"With chocolate cake?" Rodney asked, grinning.
"Of course! I even managed to track down a candle or two."
"Mmm, Iím liking this idea more and more."
"Glad to hear it. Iíd hate to mess up your birthday."
"Ha ha, Colonel, now hush, I want to eat." Rodney finished his coffee and reached for one of the muffins Rover had selected. "Mmm, my favorite, thanks, Rover," he moaned, biting into the sweet. "Youíre amazing." Rover squealed his wheels and rubbed against the bed before backing away and whirling in a circle in pleasure.
John grinned as he watched the cart. "Heís so damn cute when he does that."
"Though if I had vertigo, Iíd be losing my breakfast about now!"
"Youíre not the one spinning. Though Iíll admit I donít focus on him."
"Smart man," Rodney chuckled around a mouthful of blueberry muffin. "Iíd hate to imagine if one of the others got in on it with him."
"Itíd be something else," John agreed, trying not to snicker. One of the others? Rodney had a show from all of the others to look forward to that night.
Rodney nodded in agreement and snuggled closer, perfectly happy with his coffee, his muffin, John and Rover at his side.
"Come on, Rodney, a little walkingís not going to kill you. I found a really cool room with the most amazing view at the top of this tower. I really want you to see it."
"Hello? Whose birthday is it, and why does it include forced death marches all over the city?" Rodney grumbled. "And you promised me dinner; I donít see a basket anywhere in your hands."
"Planning, grasshopper. I brought the food earlier while you were terrorizing your scientists. And I promise youíll like it, so quit complaining and walk."
"Iíll walk if you stop comparing me to a bug!"
"I wasnít comparing you to a bug. I donít do bugs! I was comparing you to a shaolin monk."
"Lovely, so I remind you of a bald, platitude-spouting freak?"
"Caine wasnít bald," John pointed out.
"Whatever; are we going to spend our evening talking about some television show?"
"Well, itís your birthday, so if thatís what you want..." Laughing, John dodged the blow Rodney aimed at him. "No, I thought weíd enjoy dinner, maybe play some music and dance, have some fun, and when weíre ready, go back to our room and have sex till neither of us can walk."
"Mmm, perfect, though is there any reason we have to go back to our rooms for the sex?" Rodney laughed. "If this room is as great as youíre saying, why canít we just go for it there?"
John grinned. "Thatís entirely up to you. Itís your day."
"Which I could be enjoying if weíd ever get to this mystery room of yours..."
"Itís just ahead," John said, nodding toward a door in front of them.
"Oh good, Iím hungry." Rodney grinned and grabbed Johnís hand, dragging him down the hall and thinking the door open, pulling John in for a kiss the moment they were inside.
John was kissing him when all the people in the room yelled, "Surprise."
Rodney squawked and spun in Johnís grasp, flushing beet red at the sight of a good portion of the expedition all smiling, laughing and calling out congratulations. "You are so dead," he muttered, watching Rover scoot into the crowd. "Both of you!"
"Happy birthday, Rodney," John chuckled.
"Yes, happy birthday," Radek said, coming up to them and plopping a party hat on Rodneyís head before doing the same to John.
"Smile for the camera," Carson laughed, turning the stunned scientist toward Laura Cadman, who was brandishing hers and snapping pictures.
"What the hell?" Rodney grabbed the hat and pulled it off his head, spotting Elizabeth standing with Paul Davis and glaring at her. "Have you no control over your people?"
"You think I would even try with this crowd?" she laughed. "Rodney, these are all people who are strong-minded enough to call you friend."
"You planned this, didnít you?" Rodney spun on John, pointing at him accusingly.
"Of course I did. You told me that youíd never had a birthday party. Everybody needs at least one."
"You are..." Rodney pulled John in for a hard, fast kiss that had the crowd applauding, "amazing."
"Of course I am. I have to be to keep up with you."
"Enough making out, itís time to party," Chuck Bryan yelled from the other side of the room.
"What do you mean, enough making out?" Tom Lorne demanded, glaring at him. "I have plans for later tonight that definitely include making out!"
"You two do that enough as it is," Rodney laughed, reluctantly sliding the hat back on his head to rousing applause.
"Excuse me?" Tom snorted a laugh. "Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!"
"Radek! Heís impugning you and Carson!"
"Ha! We all know who the sluts of Atlantis are!" Radek yelled back, not moving out of Carsonís arms as they began to dance.
"I think he just insulted us, John," Rodney sniffed.
"Donít worry, Rodney," Laura laughed, "no one can beat you and the colonel."
"As if weíd let them even get close," John laughed back, swinging Rodney into his arms and starting to dance. "We have a reputation to uphold."
"I really didnít come to the Pegasus galaxy to be known for my sexual proclivities," Rodney sighed, before relaxing into Johnís arms and nuzzling his neck. "But itís not so bad."
"Geeks do it best!" John proclaimed.
"Hell yeah!" came the raucous answer from all corners of the room.
"Looks like youíre out of luck," Lisa Lindstrom observed overly sweetly to Bates.
"In what way?" he shot back, meeting her pale blue gaze squarely.
"In any way that involves a scientist or anyone who knows a scientist," she retorted.
"Any reason you say that?"
"You heard Ďem. Geeks are best." She grinned before tilting her head back to take a swallow of her beer.
"They only say that because none of them have Marines." He flashed her a smile.
She eyed him over her beer. "Well, I suppose you might have a point. Rodney seems very happy with the colonel, and heís not a geek. Exactly." She grinned quickly.
Bates chuckled. "Heís also Air Force." His tone said more than words what he thought of that branch of the services. "But still an okay CO."
"I think weíre pretty damn lucky to have him," she said firmly.
"Iím not arguing that at all, Lt. Lindstrom."
"You may be smarter than I gave you credit for, Lt. Bates."
"Smart enough to ask you for a dance before the geeks attack."
She leaned back against the wall for a moment, considering him. "Fortune favors the bold, Lieutenant." She put her empty bottle down and offered her hand to him.
Across the room, Rodney gasped and spun John in a tight circle. "Look, look!"
Clutching at Rodney as the sudden move made him dizzy, John asked, "What?"
"Lindstrom is dancing with Bates! Ten bucks says her cart castrates him!"
"Youíre on! I keep telling you that she likes him."
"And I keep reminding you this is Bates, though if she keeps him away from Teyla, I guess itís for the good."
"Hey, Lindstrom can handle him. And I donít think Teyla noticed us arrive, never mind Bates," John chuckled, doing a little spinning of his own so Rodney ended up facing the corner where Teyla and Ronon were dancing together.
"If you ever mention this, Iím going to deny it, but they look oddly cute together."
"Scary, isnít it?" John chuckled. "Almost as cute as you in a pointy paper hat."
Rodney glowered at him for that. "You know, I fully intend to terrorize anyone passing around copies of these pictures.
"Even me?" John gave him the puppy dog eyes.
"You pass around copies of the pictures, Iím sending Rover after you!"
"Iíll give him copies of his very own."
"Rapidly losing the birthday good mood, Colonel..."
"Well, we canít have that." John pulled Rodney close, not even making a pretense of dancing, and kissed him deeply.
Watching them, Carson chuckled and tightened his arms around Radek. "I was going to suggest we have the carts do their routine now, but I dinna think theyíd notice."
Radek chuckled. "Even they need to breathe. Get the carts ready, and Iíll signal John when they surface for air."
"All right, love." Carson leaned in for a kiss before calling Ciora to one side of the room, knowing sheíd herd the other carts along with her.
A few moments later, a waving hand caught Johnís attention, and he nodded at Radek once he realized what the scientist was trying to tell him. "Come on, lover, your friends have arranged a little show for you."
"Why does this scare me?" Rodney muttered as they moved to the side of the room.
There was a flurry behind the crowd, then a group of carts wheeled into position, all bearing brightly colored flags or batons, Rover in the lead. They came to a halt in a star formation, waiting until the music started before starting wheeling around in flashy patterns punctuated by the clacking of their pincers.
"They wanted to do something for you too," John said, a huge grin on his face as he watched the whirling carts.
"Theyíre... dancing," Rodney replied, awestruck.
"They sure are," Lisa agreed, coming up beside them. "They all got excited as soon as we mentioned the idea."
"I donít remember anything in Janusí notes saying the carts liked to dance."
"Thatís probably because he never asked them to see if they might enjoy it," Carson put in.
"Yes, I rather doubt that dancing was one of the functions he expected them to perform." Radek shook his head. "I think he underestimated them. They learn, and they grow more individual as time passes."
"I wonder just how many of the other Ancients used them," Rodney mused, smiling fondly as the carts spun in circles, their banners furling out into the air as they moved.
"I donít think they had much time to use them. His notes seem to indicate that he created them shortly before they abandoned Atlantis." Radek had a proud smile on his face as he watched Reza.
"Aye, but even if they had used them, I canna think of the Ancients letting them do this." Carsonís grin was just as proud as Radekís.
"No, I think making them part of the family is unique to us."
"The Ancientsí loss then," Lisa said firmly, grinning as Loki spun a flaming baton. "Though we may regret that. I think he likes fire."
"Lovely, Atlantis survives 10,000 years and the Wraith only to fall victim to a pyromaniac cart," Rodney snorted.
"Iíll make it clear to him that heís not allowed to play with it. But you have to admit theyíre cute."
"I hate to admit it, but I have to agree," Bates muttered.
"There may be hope for you after all, Bates," Lisa said, smiling at him.
Rodney looked away from the carts at that, his eyebrows raised.
John jabbed him with an elbow. "Behave!" he hissed.
"I didnít say anything!" Rodney grumbled before turning his gaze back to the carts as they executed a showy finale and flung their banners and batons in the air.
Thunderous applause broke out throughout the room, and Rover zipped over to Rodney, who crouched down and rubbed his sensor array while grinning widely. "That was great, it really was."
"And thatís the only staged entertainment because we knew nothing could top it," John said, also squatting to pat Rover, who whirred his wheels excitedly. In moments they were surrounded by carts as Ciora, Reza and Loki also joined the group, seeking praise from their own partners, who were enthusiastic with it, making all the carts spin happily.
"Well, nothing in public anyway," Rodney murmured in Johnís ear before laughing at the carts and slowly straightening up. "So, what does a guy have to do to get some food at his own party?"
"Head over to the buffet table and grab a plate," Lisa chuckled, stumbling slightly as Loki bumped her in his excitement. Bates steadied her, and she gave him a long look before smiling at him. "Thanks."
"Welcome," he said mildly before smiling back.
"Just follow Lunchmeat," Leo Stackhouse laughed when his cart made a beeline for the food and started claiming items for him.
Rover immediately followed and swatted the other cartís pincers away from the cake. "Good boy!" Rodney called, catching Johnís hand and going after his cart, moaning in pleasure at the sight of his favorite foods.
"Rodney," John said, his tone suddenly husky, "if you make that sound again, I promise Iím going to throw you over a table and do you right here!"
Rodney swallowed hard and avoided looking at John because that would make him harder than that tone had gotten him. "Can we kick everyone out now?"
"Only if you want them all to start laughing and offering pointers," John sighed, squirming slightly as he tried to get some give in the jeans he was suddenly regretting wearing.
"Fine," Rodney huffed, "then I suppose itíll just have to... Is that mocha icing on that cake?"
"Of course. The one thing we all agreed on immediately was that any party for you had to feature coffee in the theme."
"Mmm, I love you all for that." Rodney dragged a finger through the icing, licked it, and groaned with pleasure before offering the leftover frosting to John to try.
His eyes dark, John licked the finger clean of frosting before sucking it into his mouth and nipping gently. "Delicious," he murmured a moment later. Rodney whimpered in response, then glared when Carson clapped him on the shoulder.
"All right, no keeping the cake to yourselves, time to share, boys."
"Only the cake," John muttered, pulling Rodney close with a possessive hand on his hip.
"Thatís all we want!" Radek retorted.
"Weíll look for some vanilla ice cream for the two of you," Rodney snickered.
"Maybe some nice white bread to go with it," John mused.
"You two had better be careful or youíre going to end up wearing that cake," Paul commented as he got himself and Elizabeth drinks.
"They wouldnít dare waste my birthday food!"
"Besides itís Rodneyís birthday so they canít do anything to him."
"But itís not yours, John," Elizabeth pointed out laughingly.
"Roveríll protect me."
"Roverís too busy flirting with Reza; Iíll protect you," Rodney smirked, waiting for Radekís reaction. And he didnít have long to wait. Radek glared at him and moved between the carts, one hand coming to rest on Rezaís sensor array like a protective papa.
John snickered at the reaction before kissing Rodney. "My hero."
"Of course if I let you get cake-covered, cleaning you off would be fun too..."
"Not in here!" Carson moaned.
"You two really need to work on your sense of adventure." John snickered at the looks they both shot him.
"I have to agree with Carson and Radek," Paul put in. "Thereís only so much of my friends I want to see."
John looked from him to Elizabeth but refrained from commenting. "Donít worry, there are some sights I prefer not to share."
"Hearing it was more than enough," Carson added.
"That wasnít my fault!" Rodney yelped, shuddering at the memory and cutting a large piece of cake to console himself.
"It was an accident!"
"One that better not happen again." Taking pity on Johnís forlorn expression, Rodney offered him a bite of his cake.
John leaned forward to take it, savoring the rich chocolate and coffee flavors. "God, thatís good. Rover, make sure to save some for us for after the party."
At that Rover blocked the side of the table, keeping everyone away from the food.
"Rover," Rodney laughed, "John didnít mean all of it; let them eat."
Chuckling, John agreed. "Yes, I just want to you to save us two nice, big pieces of the cake. Thatís all we need."
Rover grabbed a cake knife with a pincer and levitated himself up to cut a good quarter of the cake, placing it on a plate and stowing it in his storage area before dropping to the floor.
"If you eat that much, youíll both be in diabetic comas," Paul laughed.
"Good boy," John said, patting Rover. "And weíll space it out. And cut it with... other things." His heated glance at Rodney made it clear what those things would be."
"And no leaving before the partyís over!" Carson said sharply.
"Iím a firm believer in anticipation making things better," John replied sweetly.
Paul smiled at that. "I have to agree with that sentiment." Elizabeth smiled, handed her wine to Lisa Lindstrom, slid her arms around Paulís neck, and kissed him. A piercing wolf whistle cut through the music, but everyone was too busy staring at Elizabeth and Paul to notice who caused it.
"Hrmmm, I may not be the only one getting some tonight," Rodney muttered into Johnís ear.
"They do make a good couple," John admitted.
"I told you!"
"Yes, Rodney," John sighed.
"I love it when you say that." Rodney leaned over and kissed John hard.
"I think Lt. Lindstrom is trying to get your attention."
"No, Iím not! Heís all yours!"
"She doesnít want me, Rodney," John said mournfully.
"A fact I should be very glad about! Sheíd probably break me like a twig, and her demon cart would run over me," Rodney huffed, causing Rover to move between him and Loki.
"See, Rover would protect you," John chuckled. "And so would I. I prefer you unbroken and unflattened."
"I feel the same way!"
"Och, here they go again," Carson mock-sighed, shaking his head.
"Would you rather we fought all the time and couldnít stand each other?" John patted Rover soothingly when the cart squealed its wheels at the comment. "Just a for-instance, Rover, itís not going to happen."
"See? Heís smart and gorgeous both," Rodney laughed when the others groaned.
"Since no one here appreciates us, I think itís time for us to dance." John drew Rodney back into his arms and began to move away from the others. Rodney grinned and shooed the others out of the way so they could get to the open area. Seeing what they were doing, Rover started helping them, bumping shins to clear a path while John laughed helplessly.
Paul chuckled as he watched them go, then looked at Elizabeth. "I think they have the right idea; shall we?"
She took his hand and followed him out onto the dance floor, laughing happily as Paul swung her into his arms. "Iím very glad you came to Atlantis, Paul."
"And Iím very glad you think that. Perhaps I could interest you in a walk on one of the piers after the party?"
"I could be convinced." She moved a little closer as they danced, until finally they were pressed together and her head was resting on his shoulder.
Across the room, John and Rodney were among the many watching the developing romance, and John sighed. "Youíre going to be insufferably smug about this, arenít you?"
"About what?" Rodney asked innocently though he was grinning broadly.
"You really donít do innocent well, Rodney."
Rodney snickered and hugged John closer. "Well, look over there; you may have some smugness coming as well." He nodded to where Bates and Lindstrom were dancing.
Johnís smile widened. "You think itís something about the constant life-threatening situations that makes everyone pair off?"
"Possibly, everyone deserves some comfort after what weíve been through." Rodney thought about that for a moment and made a face. "Well, except for a couple of people I can think of."
"Eww, donít make me think of Kavanagh at a party!"
"Him and Caldwell both! Hrmmm, thereís a combination, and it would get Kavanagh out of here... We could trade him for Novak."
John shuddered. "I think I may be sick! Thatís just a disgusting thought, Rodney! And I think Novak likes working with Hermiod."
"At least thatís all they do because we know heís hung up on you," Rodney teased.
"Thatís so not funny, and Iím only letting you get away with it because itís your birthday."
"Hrmmm, what else can I get away with because itís my birthday?"
"Iíll let you know when you hit your limit."
"Thank you because getting smacked on my birthday is not something I have planned."
"I keep telling you thatís not one of my kinks."
"Youíve said that about other things weíve ended up doing, so Iím taking no chances."
"Rodney, there are many things I enjoy doing to your ass. Spanking it is not one of them."
Rodney leaned in and gave John a leisurely kiss, enjoying the fact that they were around friends and didnít have to worry about appearances. When he pulled back, a flurry of motion caught his eye, and he snickered. "This might be bad; I think Cadman just asked Carson to dance."
Johnís eyes widened, and his head whipped around to stare in horror. "Oh my God, Radekís going to spontaneously combust!"
"I hope not; he has work to do tomorrow!" Rodney exclaimed, watching the scene with wide eyes. "And I think Cadman has an agenda in mind; she isnít stupid."
Watching with the same kind of fascination usually reserved for a train wreck, John muttered, "I think sheís decided that their sex life needs spicing up."
"Well, it probably does, but itís not something I need to see!"
"True. On the other hand, if Radek jumps Carson, people might finally forget about our little fiasco."
"Please jump him, Radek," Rodney pleaded quietly.
John chuckled, his eyes on the fuming Czech bulling his way through the crowd.
Radek caught hold of Carsonís arm, stopping the couple and nearly ripped Cadman out of his arms. "Find your own man!" he growled. "This one is taken!" He grabbed hold of Carsonís shoulders and seized his mouth in a possessive kiss.
"Radek, what..." Carson began before he was efficiently silenced except for the low-voiced groans he gave when Radek pulled him closer. Radekís hands slid down Carsonís back to cup his ass and rock them together while his tongue claimed every inch of Carsonís mouth.
"I didnít think Dr. Zelenka had it in him," Bates murmured, his tone almost awestruck.
"I think Carsonís going to have it in him," John muttered, watching with almost reluctant interest.
"Anyone have a camera?" Rodney asked.
Radek raised his head long enough to swear at Rodney, then he pushed Carson against a wall and went back to kissing him.
Eyebrows rising, John looked at Rodney. "I think you might live longer if you forget about the camera."
Rodney sighed. "You never let me have any fun."
"Iíll give you all the fun you can handle after the party."
"And there they go again," Lisa sighed, but she was grinning.
"That would mean they ever stopped." Laura pointed out as she joined them, laughing.
"You realize youíre probably never going to have hot water again after Dr. Zís done with you, right?" Lisa shook her head. "Heís going to make your life hell."
"Probably not, but he and Dr. Beckett looked like they needed a little goading, and I couldnít resist."
"Youíre braver than I am, Cadman!" John chuckled.
"Does that mean I get a promotion, sir?" she shot back.
"Maybe a transfer to the Daedalus!" Rodney laughed.
"It might be safer," John agreed, "but weíll just keep Radek away from her. Getting married would be helpful, Cadman. Tonight. Got any candidates?"
"Rodney?" she asked, hopefully. "It could only be a marriage of convenience, and I have seen you naked before..."
"Oh, thank you so much for reminding me of that time!" he groaned.
Now John was growling. "Down, Lieutenant!"
"Kidding, kidding!" she exclaimed. "How Ďbout you then, sir?"
"Not funny, Laura!"
"Sorry. Sheesh. Hey, how Ďbout you, Bates? Willing to help save the life of a fellow Marine?" Lisa glared and moved a little closer to Bates, making Laura grin. "Three strikes and Iím out. Sorry, Colonel, guess Iíll just have to stay single."
Laughing, Rodney glanced over at Carson and Radek again, and his eyes widened. "Oh my... Hey Zippy, get a room!" he yelled, seeing that the Czechís hands were now under Carsonís shirt.
Radek raised his head to glare at Rodney over Carsonís shoulder. "We will when you do!" he shot back, casting a dark look at Johnís hand on Rodneyís ass.
"You do realize you have Carson half naked, donít you?" Rodney snickered.
"Take it off!" Laura whooped, laughing.
"Cadman, you really have a death wish, donít you," Bates sighed.
She grinned at him. "Hell no, but have you ever noticed how tired but cheerful they are the morning after I do something like this?"
"I believe the word for you is shit-disturber."
"I prefer sex therapist."
"Canít you assign her KP or something?" Rodney whined.
"You want her to have a vendetta against us?"
"Youíre her commanding officer!"
"Rodney, do you really think that would make the slightest bit of difference to a pissed off woman?"
Laura, Lisa and Elizabeth were all laughing.
Rodney groaned. "Well, I suppose better Carson and Radek than us."
"Yes, the two of you seem to get in enough trouble on your own," Paul commented wryly.
"Itís not like we go looking for it," John protested, prompting a round of derisive snorts and laughter. Elizabeth got a faraway look on her face and began counting on her fingers, clearly making a list of all the times they had gone looking for trouble.
"Need a calculator, maíam?" Bates asked innocently.
"You I have no trouble assigning to KP!" John growled, but Bates just shook his head.
"Head of security, sir," he pointed out, making John sigh.
"Remind me why I wanted this job?"
"The perks," Rodney grinned, sliding a hand down to grab Johnís ass.
"I have clearance. I could quit, and you could keep me as a dependent spouse."
"So then who would be in charge? Paul or Lorne?"
Paul snorted out a laugh. "Thereís one other option."
"No!" John and Elizabeth both instantly snapped, appalled. "Donít even joke about that, Paul," Elizabeth continued. "That man is not going to be in charge of anything in Atlantis as long as I have anything to say about it."
"Iím sorry, Liz," he murmured, kissing the side of her head. "Forgive me."
Rodney glanced over at John and smirked.
John rolled his eyes with a sigh. "Fine, fine, you were right."
Elizabeth eyed them. "Iím fairly certain I donít want to know what that was all about."
"When youíre right, youíre right," John chuckled.
"And thatís... ninety-nine percent of the time."
"At least he no longer claims absolute infallibility," Radek said dryly as he and Carson joined the group. Radek made sure to keep himself between Carson and Cadman.
"Well, I have to let the rest of you have a smidgeon of credit, or youíd all get despondent and jump off a pier," Rodney laughed.
"Perhaps I should just push you off a pier," Radek shot back.
Carson wrapped his arms around Radekís waist and hugged him tightly. "That would land you in a cell, love, and Iíd rather have ye in our bed."
"Mmm, a wonderful thought. Happy birthday, Rodney, and good night!" Radek dragged Carson toward the door.
"And I call you a slut," Rodney laughed as he looked up at John.
"Well hell, I canít let him steal my title. Prepare to be ravished!" John leered comically at Rodney.
"Enjoy the party everyone!" Rodney called, laughing.
Watching them disappear as quickly as Carson and Radek had, Lisa laughed. "They actually lasted longer than I thought they would."
"Who won the pool?" Bates called.
"Pay up!" Elizabeth laughed.
"Thank you," Rodney murmured as they walked toward the transporter, arm in arm.
"It was my pleasure. I wanted to do this for you." John smiled crookedly.
"I know that, and thatís what makes it even more real."
"Well, I actually have something for you too when we get back to our room."
"You and Rover?" Rodney asked, glancing behind them to make sure the cart was following them, and he was, loaded down with food and gifts from their friends.
"Something you donít get every day."
"You, Rover and whipped cream?"
John chuckled. "Get your mind out of the gutter."
"But itís happy with yours there."
"True. But try to restrain yourself for a few minutes so I can give you your present."
Rodney sighed. "Fine, fine, but I expect you to lavish affection on me once youíre done with whatever."
"I love the gracious way you accept things," John chuckled, motioning Rodney to enter their quarters ahead of him. Once the two men were inside, Rover zipped past and started unloading Rodneyís presents onto the small table under the window where they usually had breakfast. He put down the first few before returning to their side to hand John a small, wrapped box.
"Hrmmm, you two ganging up on me?" Rodney asked, eyeing the box with interest.
"I knew that was the one place youíd never find it." John grinned as he took the box. He took a deep breath and handed it over to Rodney.
"Brat," Rodney muttered, before taking the box and glancing over at John almost nervously. "If this is an engagement ring, it had better be at least two carats."
Surprised into a laugh, John sat down on the edge of the bed. "Just open it already."
Rodney licked his lips and met Johnís eyes for a long moment before beginning to unwrap the box, taking care not to rip the paper as he did so. Setting the dark blue paper aside, he weighed the small box and opened it, eyes widening as he saw the heavy gold ring, gleaming with the patina of years of wear.
"The emblem is that of the First Fighter Group," John explained. "My granddad flew with them in World War II. That was his ring."
"And youíre giving it to me?" Rodneyís voice was very soft.
"Yeah. I donít know if Iíll ever be able to give you that engagement ring you were joking about before, but I can give you this."
"John..." Rodney lifted the ring out of the box and weighed it in his hand before gauging the size and sliding it on the ring finger of his right hand. "I love you."
Johnís smile could have lit up the room. "Thatís pretty convenient since I love you too."
"Thatís me, a convenient kind of guy."
"Rodney, I love you, but Iím not an idiot. Youíre about as far from convenient as any man in the history of the universe," John snorted.
Rodney chuckled and slid his hand around Johnís neck, pulling him closer. "But you love me anyway," he murmured before kissing him. John hummed his agreement into the kiss as he twisted so that they ended up lying on the bed, bodies entwined.
"Mmmm, this is the best birthday Iíve ever had."
"Iím glad. Thatís what I wanted to do for you."
"You did, god, you did," Rodney sighed, nuzzling Johnís throat and sliding his hands under his shirt.
"Happy birthday," John murmured, drawing Rodney closer.
"Youíre going to make me work for yours." Rodney chuckled and rolled to his back, bringing John on top of him.
"Good luck," John smirked, rocking down so that their growing erections pressed together.
"Oh, I have some ideas," Rodney promised, sliding his hands down to Johnís ass and kneading the tight muscles beneath the smooth denim.
"I look forward to seeing what they are." John gasped and thrust again, squirming hungrily.
"Right now Iím looking forward to getting you in me."
John groaned as his body surged. "Far be it for me to deny the birthday boy what he wants."
"I like that attitude a lot."
"I thought you might. So how do you feel about me fucking you till you pass out?"
Rodney shook his head. "Actually Iíd rather you fuck me until you come, and then Iíll fuck you until I do, and then we can both pass out."
"That sounds like a great plan." John shuddered with growing lust and rocked again.
"Thatís because Iím a genius; now why are we talking about it and not doing it?"
"íCause you need to let go of me so I can get the lube."
"Spoilsport," Rodney grumbled, squeezing Johnís ass again before letting him go, stretching out and pulling off his clothes while he had the chance.
Turning back with the lube in hand, John stopped, his eyes raking over Rodneyís nude form. "God, I want you more every time I see you," he breathed. He dropped the container on the bed and fumbled with his jeans until he got free of them. His shirt went flying across the room, making Rover dodge, and then John was stretching out on top of Rodney, groaning with the sheer pleasure of the skin-to-skin contact.
"Mmm, and you think this is a problem for me, why?" Rodney asked, running his hands over Johnís back and hooking a leg around the ones on top of him.
"Itís a problem for me when weíre in a meeting with Elizabeth!" John chuckled.
"I really like the idea that being in a room with me gets you hard," Rodney purred, arching up under Johnís weight and nipping at his lower lip.
"Oh, I am so going to make you squirm at the next meeting," John vowed before taking Rodneyís mouth almost savagely. Rodney laughed into the kiss though the sound died away quickly to be replaced by soft, needy whines as he squirmed against John. John ground down, then pushed up again so that he could get a hand between them. One fingertip lightly trailed along Rodneyís erection, over his balls and the sensitive area behind them, and circled teasingly around his opening before the hand moved away, coming to rest lightly on Rodneyís hip.
"Oh fuck, that feels good," Rodney whispered, before whimpering when John stopped touching him. "Torture is not what I wanted for my birthday, Colonel!"
"A little anticipation makes everything better."
"A little heart attack makes everything impossible!"
"As if Iíd let you die. I plan to get decades more use out of you."
"That makes me feel so much better."
"I was sure it would." John slid his hand back over Rodneyís ass and flicked his fingers back and forth over his hole. Rodney shuddered and pulled his legs back closer to his chest while he arched his back, opening himself to John.
"So fucking gorgeous and all mine." John slid downward, and the next touch was his tongue.
"Oh yes," Rodney whispered, sucking in a deep breath and shuddering.
John didnít stop what he was doing to answer. He curled his arms around Rodneyís thighs, his thumbs pressing into the tender flesh on either side of the ring of muscle and gently pulling outward, opening Rodney so he could push his tongue inside him.
"John, oh, fuck, John," Rodney gasped, bucking toward the warm, wet probe invading him. In response, John hummed and pushed his tongue a fraction deeper before pulling back and swirling it around the hole. Rodney whimpered and closed his eyes, concentrating on the amazing sensations coursing through him. Wondering if he could make Rodney come just from this, John settled more comfortably between the widespread legs and concentrated on driving Rodney crazy.
"Remember, I want to fuck you," Rodney muttered, his voice breathy and hoarse.
John came up for air, face flushed and eyes dark with arousal. "Then I guess Iíll have to save the experiment on how long it takes you to come from rimming for another time."
Rodney whimpered and gave a full-body shiver.
John smirked. "So how do you want me?"
"I want you to fuck me so I can fuck you!" Rodney almost shrieked.
"Now, now, no need to get cranky; you said you wanted to fuck me. This is the first Iíve heard of me fucking you. And do you really think you can hold out if I do?" The smirk was growing.
"Excuse me?! Not five minutes ago, I said I wanted you to fuck me and then Iíd fuck you!"
"Oh. Well, you distracted me." John grinned and reached for the lube again, squeezing some into one hand and warming it between his palms before coating a finger and pushing it into Rodney.
Rodney hissed with pleasure and pushed back against Johnís finger, wanting more. "Always glad to do that," he rasped.
"Likewise." John added another finger, twisting them inside Rodney, then added a third.
"Good, now fuck me!"
Chuckling, John smeared the rest of the lube onto himself and pushed into Rodney.
"Mmm, much better," Rodney purred, letting go of his legs to slid his arms around Johnís shoulders and pull him in for a kiss.
"You give new meaning to the term pushy bottom," John chuckled against Rodneyís lips. He braced his hands on either side of Rodneyís head and slowly rocked back and forth.
"You love it and you know it," Rodney laughed, gasping when johnís cock hit his prostate.
"Well... yeah." John grinned and repeated the motion.
Rodney laughed again and bucked upward, his fingers digging into Johnís shoulders. "Shocking."
"Yeah, I know I hide it well." John lowered himself slightly, just enough that his belly rubbed Rodneyís erection with every stroke.
"Donít you make me come," Rodney growled, tightening down on Johnís cock as they moved together.
"Self control, lover," John chuckled, but after a moment he pushed up again, no longer touching Rodneyís dripping cock.
"Letís see you try it when Iím in you!"
"Iím planning to come before that," John pointed out. "And then see how hard I can make you come."
Rodney grinned and licked Johnís throat. "Iím looking forward to both of those."
"Me too!" John shuddered at the hot touch of Rodneyís tongue. Rodney groaned again and arched upward, rocking together with Johnís movements, wanting to feel him come. "Oh fuck. Ohfuckohfuckohfuck!" Johnís movements sped up, and he groaned as his body tightened.
"Do it, John," Rodney rasped. "Let me feel you, then Iíll be in you too."
John stared into his eyes, groaning, and then he yelled Rodneyís name as he buried himself as deep as he could go and came hard. The first second he could, Rodney flipped them both over and grabbed for the lube, slicking Johnís ass and giving it a cursory stretching before slamming inward, groaning at the tightness around him.
"Oh God, yeah," John groaned. The last spasms of his climax were still coursing through him, and the sensations only grew sharper when Rodney drove into him. "So fucking good," he whimpered.
"God, yes," Rodney whispered, driving forward a handful of times before he was coming as well, the massaging contractions around him rippling through his whole body.
Sprawled happily under Rodneyís weight, John grinned up at the ceiling. "It may be your birthday, but I think I got the present."
"You think I didnít enjoy this?"
"Oh, I know you did."
"Good answer." Rodney laughed again and kissed John leisurely, taking his time as he explored his mouth. "And thank you."
Arms looped comfortably around Rodneyís waist, John smiled warmly. "It was my pleasure."
"Both of ours." John nuzzled Rodneyís cheek.
"Exactly." Rodney kissed John again and rolled off to the side, keeping an arm around Johnís waist. He saw a glint and raised his hand to look at the ring he now wore. "And just so you know, this was the best birthday Iíve ever had."
Johnís smile brightened, and he pressed a kiss to Rodneyís shoulder. "Thatís what I wanted to give you. Happy birthday, Rodney, and many returns."
"So long as theyíre with you, theyíll be the best."
"Theyíll all be with me," John promised.
Rodney smiled and curled closer, resting his head on Johnís shoulder. "Sounds perfect."
Rover bumped the wall in his corner, and John grinned. "And with Rover too."
"Like Iíd exclude him; the three of us is perfection."
"Our own nuclear family," John chuckled.
"And you know how I like nuclear things."
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