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[ 2 am ]

He doesn´t even bother to open his eyes and look at the caller id. It´s 2am and there´s only one person that has the balls to call him at 2am without some kind of life or death emergency. And let´s face it, on Earth it´s not him they call.

“Let me tell you about my day,’ he says as soon as the phone is to his ear, leaning over and yanking off his shoes angrily. “It sucked. I know, I know, there are better, less crass ways to convey to you the vast horribleness of my day, and I´m a smart guy, I should come up with something better than ‘suck´. But that´s what it did, Sheppard. It sucked.’

“Well. That´s one way to answer a phone. Should I hang up and try again?’

Rodney smiles at the amused tone underneath what´s supposed to be an admonishment. “You could hang up if you want to, but my vocabulary or mood won´t get any better.’

“Right,’ Sheppard says. “Then we´ll just stick with that opening and go with it. So… define your suck.’

Rodney can just picture it. Sheppard stretching his legs out on the coffee table in front of him, one arm tucked behind his head, and if Rodney was able to ignore the vague feelings of want on Atlantis, he´s completely incapable of it now that he has nothing to worry about aside from which incompetent fool is going to spill his coffee this morning.

Their phone calls have become a nightly habit, and Rodney is fully aware of how dangerous it is to feel this needy for a phone call, but he´s also fully incapable of disengaging from his last attachment to the place he still thinks of as his.

“Define my suck,’ Rodney asks, sinking into his ratty old torn up couch, and sure it´s a mess and sure it´s ugly like puke, but the thing´s comfortable, and Rodney´s never been one to stand on ceremony. “Let´s see. Suck means Stupid Oaf # 1 has just been usurped by Stupid Oaf # 2 because at least he knows that the speed of sound is not in any way comparable to the speed of light.’


“Don´t even ask, please, really, I barely managed to not commit murder this morning, it´s better if we leave it alone.’

“Light´s faster right?’

Rodney freezes, his hand hovering right next to his ice cold beer. “Tell me you´re joking.’

Sheppard´s laugh is a thing of beauty to Rodney because it´s not perfect in any way. It´s loud, and gravely, and distinctive as anything Rodney´s ever studied, and to be honest, he´s spent much more time studying the imperfections of Sheppard´s laugh than is considered exactly healthy. “Of course I´m joking, Rodney, light´s only about 900,000 times faster. How the hell does someone get confused on that?’

“850,000 times faster, and yes, no, I don´t know how anyone who´s even remotely competent could confuse the two.’

“Actually, Rodney, if you want to be technical, it´s 871,489 times faster. 490 if you round the 7/10ths up.’

“You did that in your head, didn´t you,’ Rodney asks, and he can´t help but get hard. Sheppard´s brain has always made him hard because anyone that damn gorgeous should not be allowed to think.

“Stupid Oaf # 1 is Smalls, right? Who´s 2?’

“Oh, like I pay attention to their names,’ Rodney says, flicking his wrist and grabbing the beer, tilting it up. This, right here, this is the height of his day. This beer and this phone call. If that´s not sad enough to make a man slit their wrists, he really doesn´t know what is. “I´m doing good to remember on any given day which is number 1 and which is number 3.’

“You´re such a good boss, Rodney,’ Sheppard says, and Rodney closes his eyes to let the playful tone wash over him. It´s a side of Sheppard he didn´t get to hear that often in Atlantis and it´s maybe the only good thing that´s come of their sudden reinstatement as citizens of Earth.

“Hey, I never said I was a good boss. I´ve never claimed to have good interpersonal skills.’

Sheppard laughs again, low and rumbling, and if Rodney weren´t hard already that would´ve done it. “That´s good, ‘cause you suck at lying.’

Every night after he hangs up the phone he finishes whatever number beer he´s on at that point, pulls off his boxers, and jerks off to the memory of Sheppard´s laugh. He´s going to have to cut this phone call short because today has been a long day, an incredibly frustrating day, and he´s not going to be able to hold off that long.

“I just don´t understand why there are so many idiots,’ Rodney says, closing his eyes and running his hand down his stomach. He´s never actually touched himself with Sheppard on the phone but there´s something to be said for skirting the line. “I´m Rodney McKay! Can´t I have at least one person who´s not a complete dunce?’

“I don´t know Rodney. Maybe it´s punishment for your winning personality.’

Rodney snorts and then wishes he hadn´t, because beer doesn´t feel good coming out of one´s nose. “Then what´s your team punishment for? You gravity-defying hair?’

Sheppard laughs again, and Rodney let´s his mind wander, let´s himself picture Sheppard lying on the couch, his shirt rucked up so that just enough of the skin at his waist is showing, jeans loose and low slung, the line of his hip jutting out. Let´s himself think for just a second what it would be like to follow that line with his fingers, and maybe later his tongue.

“I don´t know, but I never thought the day would come that I´d wish you were still on my team. That day has come, Rodney, and that´s how I know. It´s the end of the world.’

“Gee, thanks,’ Rodney says, and it´s time to get off the phone. He knows that because he´s a little breathless and his fingers are close enough to his dick that he can feel the warmth radiating off of them.

“Seriously, it´s disturbing Rodney. These men are trained, they´re actually trained, and you are a better shot than half of them. It´s disturbing!’

His head is starting to spin from the culmination of alcohol and stress and coffee and Sheppard´s voice and If he doesn´t get off the phone soon he´s going to cross the line and he knows it. It´s bad enough that he´s let it get this far, the last thing he´s prepared to do is allow himself the memory of knowing what it feels like to touch himself with Sheppard´s voice in his ear. “You know, I´m not a half bad shot, Colonel.’

“No, you´re not, Rodney. But these guys are trained. You learned to shoot out of necessity. They learned to shoot because this is what they want to do with their lives.’

He knows it´s a bad idea before he does it, but he does it anyway. “So how did your date go?’

Sheppard groans, and it´s what he was going for, he knows it is, but he didn´t know he was so far gone that it would almost be enough in and of itself for him to come right then. Almost, but not quite.


“Define horrible.’

Sheppard laughs. “We´re just not suited to each other.’

Rodney rolls his eyes. “So of course you slept with her.’


Rodney snorts again. “I knew it.’

“Okay, well. Fine, yes. I slept with her. But that´s all you´re getting out of me. I´m not the kiss and tell type.’

“Did I ask for a blow by blow? I just said you slept with her.’

“I got a little drunk. Just a little,’ Sheppard says, and the embarrassment in his voice makes Rodney stifle a laugh. “And besides, ya know… you call me Captain Kirk, but I´ve always told you were wrong because it´s not like I´m getting any action. As it were.’

“Did you say action,’ Rodney asks, laughing again. “Wow.’

“Shut up.’

“Hey, I´m not going to judge you, Sheppard. God knows I need some… well, action as you so eloquently put it. A hasty handjob in the back of a lab by a tech that lasted for exactly one week does not make up for three years of unwanted celibacy.’

There´s a pause and it´s in that moment that Rodney realizes he´s never told Sheppard about that. It´s also in that second that he realizes the reason he never told Sheppard was because the lab tech had been a man.

“Hang on.’

“Nevermind, I´m sorry I mentioned it,’ Rodney says, covering his face and cringing. “Look I´ve had a long day and I´m--’

“No, no, not so fast, McKay. What handjob in the back of what lab?! When did this happen?’

Rodney groans. “Fine, fine, last week. Okay? It happened last week, and excuse me if I didn´t want to start a phone conversation off with ‘Guess who jerked me off, Colonel´.’

Sheppard has several distinctive laughs, and this one is definitely his evil one. “Oh, Rodney.’

Rodney feels his face flush and being embarrassed shouldn´t be even more of a turn on but somehow, like with everything, Sheppard manages to do the unlikely. “What?!’

“No, nothing, it´s just… I never took you for having a public sex fetish.’

Rodney rolls his eyes. “Okay, it´s not a fetish, it´s just what happened okay? They cornered me.’


“It was forced on me! I didn´t ask for it, they just cornered me in the back of the lab and had their way with me. I was completely innocent.’

“Cornered you, huh,’ Sheppard asks, and if Rodney´s not mistaken his voice has dipped just a bit lower. “Sounds pretty hot if you ask me.’

“Oh, I see,’ Rodney says, smirking triumphantly. “It´s you who has the public sex fetish.’

“No, I have an aggressive women fetish,’ Sheppard counters with, sounding defensive. “I´ve never felt the urge to be watched.’

Which just does wonders for Rodney´s imagination because now he´s picturing backing Sheppard into a wall and pulling down his pants, watching him struggle half-heartedly as Rodney presses into him, the stuttering gasps shuddering through his chest when Rodney starts to jerk him off.

“Though… there is something in the threat of being caught,’ Sheppard continues, and Rodney´s sure of it now. Sheppard´s tone has definitely changed, and it´s doing things to Rodney´s dick that´s making it nearly impossible for Rodney to not just shove his hand inside of his boxers.

“Yes, it´s called adrenaline,’ Rodney says in a rush, clearing his throat. “Listen, I should go.’

“Sharon… that was her name, my date. Sharon wasn´t that bad, she just wasn´t someone that I´m normally attracted to. She was pretty enough, but… she was complacent. She was too… I don´t know. Eager to please.’

Rodney blinks, trying to remember just how the hell they got back to this subject. His brain was, needless to say, not firing on all cylinders. “Ah.’

“Which came in handy when she uh, did other things, mind you, but wasn´t my favorite quality about her. She didn´t give me much choice in the matter, by the way. I said I had a nice night and I´ll call you, and then she had her hands down my pants.’

Rodney freezes, staring in horror at his hand, which is somehow shoved down his boxers before he even knew it had moved from his thigh. “Hmm,’ he says, not trusting his voice to be steady.

“I never realized that, you know? That I had a particular type. But she was just so complacent. Whatever you want. I don´t care what we have for dinner, whatever you choose is fine. I don´t care what movie we go to. She didn´t talk about herself at all, just kept asking me questions about cars. It was like she was playing by a rulebook she got out of Cosmo. How to let a guy know you´re into him. She was out of a fifties movie.’

Rodney keeps his eyes closed and tries to control his breathing. “Sounds like your type to me.’


Rodney frowns. “She sounds sweet. Your type.’

“No, no no. It wasn´t right at all. She had no opinions, Rodney. I even started baiting her. I played devil´s advocate and deliberately talked about differing points of view. She didn´t even call me on it when I contradicted myself.’

Rodney swallowed and wondered if it would be easier to keep his hand absolutely still or to take it out of his boxers. “Okay. So she was an idiot. A sweet idiot. I still say it´s your type.’

“Oh, fuck you Rodney. I like people with opinions. She was boring. I kept wishing I was eating dinner with you, and you are not who I should be thinking about while on a date with a perfectly nice girl.’

“Well if it´s any consolation I would much rather have been eating dinner with you than hunched over my computer all night long. Hell, I´d´ve much rather been talking to you on the phone while eating a frozen dinner than trapped in my lab all night with Smalls.’

“Is that who it was,’ Sheppard asks, a halting tone in his voice that makes Rodney tense up. “The lab tech from last week. Smalls?’

Rodney blinks. “No.’

“But it was a guy, right,’ Sheppard says, and still Rodney can´t read his tone.

Rodney swallows. “What makes you think that?’

“Because you called them they,’ Sheppard says. “It was, wasn´t it?’

“Isn´t it don´t ask don´t tell,’ Rodney says, his voice strained. “Because right now you´re violating that first part.’

“Rodney,’ Sheppard grates out, and Rodney can practically see him rolling his eyes. “Just answer the question.’

“Yes, okay, yes, it was a guy,’ Rodney spits out, waiting for the horror to become apparent in Sheppard´s voice. Waiting for the line to go dead. “Happy now? You´ve outed me.’

There´s a beat of silence and for a moment Rodney thinks he´s actually done it, that Sheppard´s actually hung up on him. Then he hears his breath hitch and a rustling. “Yeah, I thought so.’

“Are you done humiliating me? Because that´s just the icing on the cake that is today,’ Rodney says, swallowing.

“I wasn´t just thinking about you during dinner, Rodney,’ Sheppard says, his voice rushed and a little breathless.

Rodney frowns. “What´s that supposed to mean.’

“You have this annoying habit of never leaving my thoughts, not even when I want you to. Not even when I´m doing everything I can to get you out of them.’

Sheppard´s breathing has changed and he sounds on the verge of panic, but Rodney´s heard every single version of panic that John Sheppard is capable of and this is something different. “What are you saying?’

“Fuck Rodney, you need me to spell it out for you,’ Sheppard says, and it sounds like a whine but it´s the sexiest thing Rodney´s heard in weeks, years maybe, because it´s followed up by a gasp and it makes his dick twitch under his hand. “I couldn´t stop thinking about you. She had her mouth wrapped around me and I couldn´t get you out of my head.’

All the air escapes Rodney´s lungs at that and all he can do is close his eyes and wait for his head to stop spinning. He can hear Sheppard, suddenly small and tiny over the phonewires calling out his name, saying things like you son of a bitch and you better not have hung up on me and Jesus please, Rodney, tell me I´m not the only one, but all he can think is my god. My God.

“You were thinking of me when she was going down on you,’ he says, his tone flat despite the way his heart is pounding in his throat.

“Yes,’ Sheppard says, and how he can sound annoyed and turned on at the same time is a mystery to Rodney. “And god help me, it´s the only reason I actually got off.’

Rodney doesn´t even bother to stop himself when he starts stroking himself, just closes his eyes and pictures Sheppard, sitting in the driver´s seat of whatever he´s using for a vehicle these days while some blonde goes down on him. “You were thinking of me.’

Sheppard is as good as panting now and Rodney can´t help but picture him, can´t help but think that this is what he´d sound like if Rodney touched him. Ran his tongue up over his hip bone and crushed his fingers into his sides.

“Yes, I was thinking of you, Rodney, tell me you´re with me on this… tell me you´re with me.’

“I am,’ Rodney says, and he can barely breathe, because it´s been three weeks of nightly calls and he never for one second let himself think that maybe Sheppard got just as hard as he did. “I´m with you, I just… really?’

“I wanted it to be you. I wanted it to be you I was eating dinner with, and I wanted it to be you afterwards.’

“If you´re fucking with me.’

“Every night I call you and we talk about bullshit, meaningless nothing bullshit, and every night I get hard as a rock and it´s just because it´s you. It doesn´t matter what we talk about, because every time we talk we get in some small argument, and I swear to god I don´t know when it happened but somehow that became foreplay because every god damned night I get hard. And you won´t get out of my head. Why the hell do you think I went on that date. She wasn´t my type, and I knew it.’

“Me too,’ Rodney says, and he´s barely aware the words are coming out of his mouth. He´s never been more turned on in his life than he is right now. “Every night.’

“Yeah,’ Sheppard asks, and Rodney´s sure of it. He´s absolutely, positively sure that Sheppard´s got his hand down his pants too.

“Yeah,’ he answers, and he knows he´s giving everything away in the tone of his voice, in the way he can´t catch his breath, but he´s not worried about it because Sheppard moans then and all the hairs on the back of Rodney´s neck stand up.

“I have to get off, Rodney,’ Sheppard whispers. “I have to, I can´t wait this time.’

“Then don´t,’ Rodney says, stroking a little faster, licking his lips. “I´m not.’

“Oh god,’ Sheppard says, and from the way he´s breathing Rodney can tell he´s close so he speeds up, strokes faster until his breathing is matching his. “Rodney is this really happening?’

“I think so, but you know… I might´ve hit my head on something this morning when I slipped in the shower.’

Sheppard´s laugh is breathless and more of a moan than anything and Rodney´s never heard that laugh before, but he thinks it´s his favorite. “There are so many jokes in that it´s too obvious to even comment.’

Rodney´s hand tightens in the cushions beneath and he squeezes his eyes shut tighter, tries to imagine that it´s Sheppard´s hand wrapped around his dick instead of his own. “Jesus I´m not gonna last, Sheppard, tell me you´re close.’

“I am,’ Sheppard says, and then, “fuck,’ and then he´s gasping and moaning and Rodney´s coming before he knows it, just imagining the way Sheppard´s face must look right now, the way his hands would be gripping Rodney´s shoulders if his mouth was on him.

They don´t speak for a full minute afterwards, the sounds of their breathing synchronizing and Rodney´s eyelids drooping closed, sleep rising in the near distance.

“Well,’ Sheppard says, and Rodney laughs.

“Mmm,’ Rodney answers, because it´s all he can manage.

“You know? I could´ve sworn I had better control than that.’

Rodney runs his hand up his stomach and pretends it´s Sheppard´s come on his hands. “Yes well, can I say I´m not disappointed?’

“No you don´t understand. I don´t do that on the phone. Not with someone I actually know and have to work with.’

Rodney feels a pang in his chest and finds himself frowning. “We don´t anymore. Work together that is.’


Rodney sighs. “Right.’

“I should go,’ Sheppard says, clearing his throat. “I´m falling asleep over here.’

“Yeah,’ Rodney says, nodding his head and fighting off the panic rising in his chest. “Me too.’

“And Rodney?’

“Hmm,’ Rodney answers, standing up and picking up the beer bottles he´s let go for far too long.

“Change your flight.’

Rodney freezes. “What?’

“Change your flight. Fly out early.’

Rodney tries to not hope that this means what he thinks it means. “Early.’

“A day. Two days. Before dinner. If it´s this good over the phone…’

“Oh,’ he says, feeling keeled over. He would´ve laid money down on the odds that Sheppard would pretend this never happened. “Really?’

“Yeah, Rodney, really,’ Sheppard says, and Rodney can see the slow lazy smile on his face like Sheppard´s right there in front of him. “And don´t tell Carson you´re coming early. The man´s clingier than I knew was humanly possible.’

Rodney laughed, depositing the beer bottles into his sink and trying not to feel too happy. Things like this never last for him. “Okay then. I´ll change them tomorrow and let you know.’

“Okay,’ Sheppard says in the middle of a yawn. “Night.’

“Night,’ Rodney says, but Sheppard´s already hung up.

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