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[ crooked little mouth ]
by kHo

Rodney had called it the bowels of Atlantis, and John had to agree.  

Rodney had been down there for the better part of two hours with Lorne and John was pretty sure Lorne was likely going batty right about now, with Rodney snapping and snarking at him.  John's pretty sure that he might be the only one in the city period that knew how to put up with Rodney when he was in 'fix-it' mode.

He paused around the corner, smiling as he heard Rodney's voice, pinched and annoyed.  "Well if you're not going to do it right--"

"Oh, come on, McKay, I'm holding a flashlight," Lorne said, and John could hear the smile in his voice.  "It's not exactly rocket science."

"Yes, well, what I'm doing?  It actually is like rocket science, and it requires a certain level of concentration, so if you can't hold that flashlight still--"

John leaned against the wall and decided to just listen for a while.

"Do you ever stop bitching?  Seriously, McKay, you're like a wind-up doll."

"Very clever."

"I thought so."

John grinned and tried to hold his snickers back.  It appeared that there was at least one other person on the base that could handle Rodney when he got like this.

"Hold it steady."

"I.  Am."

"Do you have palsy?  Is it a medical condition?  Do you not have control of your motor skills?  Because if that's the case, perhaps you shouldn't be in a vocation wherein your finger is the only thing standing between me and the Wraith."

"My finger?"

"Yes, Major, your finger!  The appendage attached to your hand, which one uses when pulling the trigger on the gun at your hip!"

"Ah, yes.  That finger.  It occurs to me, McKay.  If it's me, and my finger, that stands between you and the Wraith, perhaps you'd like to stop calling me an idiot."

John closed his eyes and bit his lip to keep from laughing out loud.  It was actually surprising that Lorne still sounded mostly amused.  At this point, anyone else besides John was usually ready to call it quits.

"I don't believe I said you were an idiot."

"It was implied."


"Yes.  It was implied by the way you roll your eyes at me and in the smirk on your face."

"Yes, well.  I'm that way with everyone."

"Yes you are."

"Yes.  I… can we get back to, ya know, doing our jobs now?"

Lorne laughed then and John felt something spark, something a little too close to jealousy for comfort.  He wasn't used to anyone but himself laughing at Rodney's more annoying quirks.

"You're lucky I find your irritability endearing, McKay. Any other guy on this base and you'd've been knocked out by now."

"You… endearing… what?"

"Yeah, you've got this cute crooked little mouth that turns down when you're annoyed.  It reminds me of my dog, when we'd spray her with water.  It's endearing."

"I remind you of your dog?!"

"A lot, actually.  She was a Pomeranian.   Made a lot of noise but really wasn't any kind of a threat to anyone."

"You're comparing me to a Pomeranian?"

"Relax McKay.  She was my Mom's dog.  I liked her."

John pushed off of the wall, ready to walk in.  Standing in the doorway John found himself pausing, watching the two of them interact.  Rodney with half a smile playing over his lips and Lorne with a huge grin.

"I suppose in your world that's a compliment."

"I've been told I've got a funny way with compliments."

"For future reference, when complimenting someone don't refer to them as four legged useless creatures.  And hold the damned flashlight straight or give it to me!"

"Dogs aren't useless.  Muffy was--"


"My Mom's dog.  I was left out of the naming process."

"Right.  Seriously, Muffy?"

"McKay?  Shut up."

"Shutting up.  I need more light down here, get closer."

John watched Lorne bend down on one knee, pressing right up against Rodney and pointing the flashlight at something Rodney was pointing at.  Another flash of something rang through him and he tamped it down with a frown.

"So, Muffy was…"

"Oh.  Muffy was a sweet dog.  She yapped a lot, always woke up the whole damned house, but she was sweet.  They say dogs have a therapeutic quality."

"For weak minded people, yes, possibly."

"You're a snuggler aren't you?  I can tell."

"I'm sorry?"

"That was me being sarcastic."

"Ah yes.  A concept with which I am not familiar."

"Sure you're not."

John slipped back in the shadows as Rodney turned to look at Lorne, berating himself for not having made his presence known.  He'd come here to relieve Lorne, not eavesdrop.

"Wait a minute.  Did you just call me sweet?"

Lorne laughed again.  "No."

Rodney shook his head.  "No, you did.  You said I reminded you of your dog and then you said your dog was sweet.  So, in essence, you're implying that I, too, am sweet."

"I said you were endearing.  I wouldn't go so far as to call you sweet."

Rodney frowned for a second, looking thoroughly confused.  "And how am I endearing?"

Lorne looked at him and suddenly John felt his hands fisting at his sides, because there was an unmistakable look on his face and somehow John had gone and lost his mind because it was giving him the urge to walk over there and knock him out.

"You don't get complimented much, do you McKay," Lorne said, his voice lowering.

Rodney shook his head, looking lost.  "Not really, no.  And… and I've never been called endearing."

"Maybe I just have a weird definition of the word endearing."

Rodney laughed, and shook his head.  "Yes, well.  Back to the task at hand."

Lorne shifted closer and John's fists tightened.  "Yes."

Lorne's hand landed in the middle of Rodney's back and Rodney tensed.  "Uh.  Major?"


Rodney looked at him, his eyes a little wide.  "You're… touching me."

Lorne's grin was wide and easy, and if Rodney wasn't getting this he was an idiot.  John could tell standing from here what this was.

"Would you rather I fall over?"

Rodney swallowed so hard John could see it from all the way across the room, and if he concentrated hard enough he could hear it.  "Uh.  No?"

Lorne slid closer still and Rodney's eyes widened even more.  "I really do find you kind of endearing, ya know."

Rodney's grip on the screwdriver loosened and it clanged to the ground.  "Really?"

Lorne reached out and John had to hand it to him, there was no hesitation.  His hand curled around Rodney's chin, his thumb running along the bottom of Rodney's mouth.  "The way your mouth sort of turns down, this crooked line.  It's kind of irresistible."

Rodney swallowed again.  "Major?"

John's fists tightened even more, his knuckles white, because Rodney's voice had never sounded like that when he used to call John that and that thought was disturbing John more than it should have.

"You're really kind of the most oblivious man I've ever met, you know that McKay?"

Rodney's laugh was short and nervous.  "Are you… Major, are you hitting on me?"

Lorne nodded and shifted closer, his hand still gripping Rodney's chin.  "I am.  And it's not the first time."

Rodney's hands went flailing ineffectually.  "But… you're military!  Don't you guys beat up guys who hit on other guys?"

Lorne's smile was sweet and affectionate and it made John's stomach lurch.  "It's don't ask, don't tell.  And trust me, Rodney.  There are plenty of gay men in the US Military."

Rodney pointed at him.  "And you… you're--"

"Obviously," Lorne said, tongue darting out to lick at his lips.

"Uh, I'm sorry, no, no Major, no, it's not obvious, because I've never before thought that you were… you know… that you liked men, and--"

"Then maybe, to clear up the confusion, I should just kiss you."

Rodney's mouth closed quickly and he blinked.  "You.  Me?"

"Seriously.  The most oblivious man I've ever met."

Rodney's eyes darted down to Lorne's lips and John swallowed back the scream he felt crawling up the back of his throat.  

"Couldn't you get in trouble?"

"I'm not exactly planning on broadcasting it, McKay.  Are you?"

Rodney shook his head.  "No."

Lorne's mouth was centimeters away from Rodney's as he smiled.  "And if I kiss you, you're not going to go running off to Colonel Sheppard claiming sexual harassment?"

Rodney frowned.  "I somehow doubt the Colonel would believe me."

"Why is that?"

"That someone as… attractive as you would sexually harass me?  He'd laugh at me."

"I'm pretty sure you're wrong about that, but that's a discussion for another day."

Rodney nodded, looking impatient.  "So.  Are you going to kiss me or not?"

Lorne laughed.  "From disbelieving to impatient.  You really are a confusing little man, McKay."

"It's just… I really do need to repair this generator, and… and I need to get back upstairs, and I just… I mean, if you're going to kiss me you should probably--"

Lorne didn't let him finish, just darted forward and kissed him, his hand slipping to the back of Rodney's head and threading through his hair, his other hand coming up to grab Rodney's shirt and pull him forward.

John felt himself flushing as he realized he was already hard, listening to Rodney whimpering into Lorne's mouth.

When Lorne pulled back Rodney whispered no and Lorne laughed, taking off his jacket.  "Not going anywhere, McKay, just getting comfortable."

"Oh,"  Rodney said, nodding slowly as his eyes opened.  "Okay."

Lorne's jacket was only half off before Rodney was kissing him again, pulling him forward and off balance, Lorne pitching on top of Rodney and laughing into his mouth.  He caught them with an outstretched arm and grinned down at Rodney.  "So do you want to get a concussion, or would you like to slow down for a second?"

Rodney blinked and nodded, unthreading his fingers from Lorne's jacket and squatting on his knees, looking at him.  "I'm sorry.  It's just… been a while."

Lorne tossed his jacket on the floor and reached forward, running his hand down Rodney's torso to his side, Rodney's eyes falling closed and his head falling back.  Lorne leaned forward and kissed Rodney's neck, scooting forward and pressing their bodies together as Rodney let out a low moan.

John's hand was covering his dick through his BDU's and he didn't even know when that had happened.

"I wanna make you come," Lorne said, voice low and commanding, some mix between a request and an order and John hated him when Rodney shuddered against him.  "Been thinking about it for a while.  Think maybe I can do that?"

Rodney's laugh was choked and his voice came out thin and breathy and it had John so hard he didn't even have to think before he was rubbing himself in slow soft circles.  "God yes."

Rodney had never been the quiet type, was pretty much the opposite of that, so it wasn't a surprise when he grunted out a curse when Lorne's hand slid down, fingers curling around the outline of his dick.

John focused on the way Rodney's mouth twisted down at the corner and shoved his hand inside his pants, because the outside just wasn't cutting it anymore, not with the way Rodney was panting, not with the way his face was contorted in painful pleasure.  He'd have to evaluate this later but for now he just gripped himself and held back an answering groan when Rodney let another one out.

Lorne kissed him again and it was hot and wet and deep and Rodney was making noises into his mouth like he was a livewire, spitting sparks down on the floor and reaching right into John's dick.   

Rodney ripped his mouth away.  "Major," he panted, and John almost came right there, right then, just from that, because Rodney used to call him that.  "Oh, God, I'm gonna--"

"Not without me you're not," Lorne said, and how he managed to pull off aroused and amused was beyond John, and then he was taking Rodney's hand in his and placing it on his dick and kissing him again as Rodney started stroking him in short jerky movements.

John's pretty sure that what finally made Rodney come was when Lorne's teeth sank into his neck, but he knows that Rodney's broken moan is what made him come.  

Lorne followed quickly behind, breathing out McKay and God, and hell yeah, and John tried to block it out but suddenly it was all he could hear.

He was back in the hall before he even knew he was moving, every single nerve ending in his body itching to walk back into that room, haul Lorne off of Rodney, and knock him so hard in the face he wouldn't be able to smile for a week.  Instead he just clenched his fists at his sides, leaned against the wall, and let himself admit that maybe his feelings for Rodney ran far deeper than he'd ever realized.

Inside the room Rodney was babbling too low for John to hear and Lorne was laughing and before he knew it John was punching the wall hard enough for the vibration to ricochet up his arm to his elbow.

"Did you--"

"Zip up."


"Zip.  Up.  Stay there."

"What if--"

"McKay!  Stay.  There."

Lorne rounded the corner, took two steps towards him, and then froze to the spot.  John tried a smile but knew it fell short by a few miles.  "Major Lorne."

Lorne's eyes widened and he sucked in a breath.  He stepped forward and lowered his voice.  "Sir."

John clenched his jaw shut so hard his teeth ground.  "Coming along good then?"

The muscle in Lorne's jaw twitched and he took another deep breath.  "Yes, sir.  As a matter of fact--"

John was in his face in two seconds flat, voice low and dangerous and the spark of fear in Lorne's eyes made it all worth it.  "You fuck him over,  I'll kill you."

Lorne's eyebrows raised.  "Sir?"

"McKay comes across as indestructible and callous and cocky, but if you've spent any time with him at all, if you know him even the slightest bit…" He broke off, finding it hard to breathe, the anger rising up and choking him.  "If you hurt him in any way…"

Lorne nods, crisp and short, like John was telling him to clean his quarters.  "Wasn't planning on that, sir."

John nodded, taking a deep breath and stepping back.  "Good."

Lorne tilted his head like he was reading John's mind and for a second John was actually afraid he could.  "I'm not gonna propose to him, Colonel, but I was planning on calling him in the morning, if that's what you're thinking," he said, his tone light but his eyes serious, and John believed him.

John tried to unclench his jaw but found it impossible.  "Just so we're understood."

"Understood, sir."

John nodded and then turned to leave.  He paused when he heard Lorne take a step towards him.  "What," he ground out, feeling like if he didn't get out of here right now, right this very second, he really was going to kill Lorne.

"I really do like him, sir," Lorne said, his voice hushed and sincere, and John had to close his eyes.  "Hurting him is my last intention."

"It better be," John said, his voice sounding wrecked even to him, and then walked briskly down the hall.

When he got to the transporter Lorne was still standing in the hallway looking at him.

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