Title: Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

Author: Amireal

Author's URL:

Beta(s): Juls! Who isn't even on this list! You are not only the bestest live beta person ever, but I credit you with some of the more awesome one liners. Which ones I'll never tell!!

Date: December 6, 2004

Warnings: Slash? Erm… nonsensical conversations? Nothing too horrible in here that I can think of. If you spot something you think should be warned, please let me know.

Pairings: Sheppard/Mckay

Disclaimer: I am Rodney Mckay. You just don't know it. Seriously folks. Would I live with my sister if I DID own them?

Summary: Do you remember in college how you'd stay up for 36 hours straight and have conversations that seemed really deep at the time? Yeah well, this fic is nothing like that. But it is.

Ok I give, it's a cliché but its not.

Author's Notes: Despite having thanked a beta reader, it should be noted that I wrote this fic while very, very sick. Very sick.

Um, yay feedback?

Archive: Sure, just let me know where.

So, Sheppard is really getting tired of being held at spear point for his own good, let alone in a dark cave at the edge of a village run by sadistic native elders. Or council members. Or medicine men. Or whatever over ambitious title the locals have given themselves. What he hates is waking up just as another member of his team is thrown in, unconscious and obviously the worse for wear.

Mckay lands awkwardly at his feet, like a puppet whose strings have been cut. His limbs sprawl in every direction and his face is pressed inelegantly against the hard floor.

Sheppard looks up at the bland cave ceiling and releases a put upon sigh before crawling to his fallen teammate and doing what he can to make him comfortable.

In his unconsciousness Mckay moans a little as his arms and legs are rearranged and twitches just slightly as Sheppard balls his own jacket up under his head. After, Sheppard does a quick search for injuries. He notes nothing more than some heavy bruising and some cuts and scrapes. He shifts back to his previous position, propped against the wall, knees in the air with his arms braced on top of them and his head bowed between.

Sheppard spares a few moments of worry about things like internal bleeding and such, but he can't do much about it anyway, so he lets that thought drift back behind all of the others.

The entrance to their prison is nothing more than slats of wood covering a low opening. The strips of light they let through tell him not much more than time passes and that there was always a guard nearby.

The sunlight gashes across Mckay's torso at hard angles, if he tilts his head at just the right angle, they almost look like giant claw swipes made by some ancient alien cat they'd yet to encounter. The dust in the air swirls through the beaming shafts, creating the illusion of steam coming from open wounds on Mckay's body.

Sheppard shivers and let his head drop again.

According to his watch, it's forty-five minutes later that Mckay first twitches. The swatches of sunlight have inched up Mckay's body and now make a small patch of his face glow. It also tells Sheppard that the other man is sweating. Not a good sign, especially when he has no water and doesn't know when or if any will be forthcoming from their jailers.

Sheppard doesn't bother to stand; he just crawls across the pebble ridden ground and stations himself near Mckay's head. Lightly tapping him on the cheek he ventures calling to him. "Mckay?" He doesn't do more than whisper, remembering what its like to wake up like this, he feels a bit sorry. "Rodney? Come on, time to wake up."

Mckay shudders again and lets out a moan. Not the pitiful, high pitched moan that he's become accustomed to relating to Mckay. A deeper moan, from the back of his throat comes forth.

Sheppard quickly sticks two fingers down into the fleshy part of Mckay's neck just under his jaw. The pulse is thready and fast and it makes Sheppard entirely unhappy. Mckay's head turns into the touch and a quiet keening sound escapes lax parted lips.

Sheppard decides panting probably isn't a good sign either. "Rodney, I need you to wake up now." The inflection in his voice holds a sternness, similar to the type he uses when he is sick of Mckay's arguing and just wants him to do what he's told for once in his damn life.


"Unless that was a new way of saying, 'I'm fine.' I'm gonna need more than that from you Rodney." Sheppard leans across his torso and grabs the nearest shoulder and shakes it gently. The shoulder moves under his hand, it shifts under the smooth material of Rodney's shirt. "That's it Rodney, let me hear that nasal voice of yours."

"…not nasal, you under enunciating twit…"

He smiles, stupidly happy at the insult. "That's it Rodney, show me those hazel beauties that drive the ladies wild."

Mckay rolls over so that his stomach rests against Sheppard's knees, the slight softness and radiating warmth reminds him of a warm slept in Sunday bed. He shakes the shoulder again.

"Stop that, your making my bruises hurt." Mckay's voice sounds stronger and a little more annoyed.

Sheppard wraps an arm around Mckay's chest and pulls him upright. "Come on Rodney, join me in the east wing of our humble abode." He helps Mckay scoot to the far wall, the one with the best view of the door.

Mckay's eyes stay shut for the entire trip, only cracking open once he's been stationary for several minutes. "Your taste in real estate sucks." He mutters as he takes a wary at their surroundings. His head falls back to the rock wall as he swallows convulsively. "Wow." His voice is missing a lot of its normal bite. His hands shake just slightly and a long shiver goes through his body.

Sheppard shifts closer, offering his side as a heat source and something a little less firm than the rock walls to lean on. "Wow, what?"

"I think." Rodney's eyes crack open again before slamming shut quickly. "No, I'm pretty sure." He leans into Sheppard shifting his weight to avoid sliding down too far.

"What?" Sheppard is momentarily worried that something is seriously wrong.

"Wow…" Mckay mutters again. "I am really baked."

Sheppard blinks rapidly, his mind trying to wrap around the left turn of the statement. Really, who complains about being high on an alien planet in another galaxy? And then another thought occurs to him. "How would you know."

Mckay burrows deeper in his side before answering. "Never spent time at a private university have you?"

The head resting on his shoulder lolls back and forth. "Don't tell me you were a rule breaker Rodney Mckay" Sheppard teases.

Mckay snorts into his shoulder, "Major..." He makes an effort to lift his head a little, "have you ever seen me show a modicrum of respect for the rules?" Mckay's eyes are wide and dilated and his breathing is still a little fast.

And suddenly Sheppard can see it, all of it. A younger Rodney with longer hair and a thinner face, untouched by the stresses of other planets and galaxies, lounging back on some grungy college couch, limbs sprawled, draped over the edges. He's talking endlessly about his newest theory, or maybe some really hot girl that caught his eye earlier that day. Hands, which would normally be frenetic, talk in lazy circles.

His shirt is rucked up, it probably has words on, something smart and wordy and sarcastic. Sheppard bets Mckay would be in his boxers or pajama bottoms, something comfortable. He imagines Rodney would giggle at something that's funny only to him.

He shakes the image from his mind. "Of course not Rodney, wouldn't want to imply that you have respect for anything, now would we."

Rodney turns his body into Sheppard's, wrapping his arms tightly around him. Hands stroking lightly down his side.

"Uh, Rodney?"


"What are you doing?" Offering body heat, or even a piece of himself as a pillow isn't new. But getting felt up in the process adds a new dimension.

"I'm really, and when I say really, I'm not exaggerating, really high." Mckay says into his shoulder, nose buried deep into the fabric. "And texture grounds me."

Awkwardly he opens his arms and let's Rodney burrow deeper. He could take one for the team. But he sure as hell wasn't going to think about it. "You listen to me." He says in a bid to change the subject.

"Hmm?" Mckay doesn't bother to lift his head.

"You said you don't respect most rules, but you listen to me." Sheppard pushes, honestly curious about the answer.

Mckay rests his chin on Sheppard's shoulder, a guileless, but serious look on his face. "You occasionally show a small inkling of intelligence that I feel it's my duty to nurse along."

He shakes his head, half amused, half annoyed. "Well gee Rodney, that's very nice of you to say."

Mckay's face breaks into a wide smiles and the small pink tip of his tongue peaks out from under his teeth. "See..." Mckay nods enthusiastically. "You at least sort of understand when I'm giving a compliment."

"Mostly I think you just insult the people you like and ignore the ones you think are stupid." Sheppard says back, mostly because he's pretty sure Rodney wouldn't waste his time with stupid people.

The grin on Mckay's face gets wider. "You do get me." But then he frowns a bit. "Even if that is a gross generalization." He tilts his head to the side, "It's more that, insulting stupid people is easy, doesn't require any effort at all. People I like deserve a little personalization." His brows furrow and he burrows his face back into Sheppard's shoulder. "Wow, I am really high."

"How can you tell?"

"The walls are a really pretty shade of green." Mckay mutters, his voice a little watery.

Sheppard laughs quietly. "Well aside from the fact that they're actually a really ugly shade of brown," he shrugs, momentarily dislodging the multi-tentacle monster that is wrapped around him, "what's so wrong with that?"

"I hate green." Mckay tells his shoulder.

"Wow, Atlantis must really suck for you."

"The blues and reds make up for it." Mckay's arms tighten again as his fingers start to play some fragment of a sonata he once knew.

The nerves in his side fire randomly, causing small twitches in his muscles. He arches away, only to find himself pushed more firmly into the high as a kite Mckay. "What are you doing?" His voice jumps slightly as he reaches a particularly ticklish spot.


"On my ribs?"

"Do you see a piano in here?"

So they sit and Rodney plays the entire score to Les Miz on his side and really, it's not so uncomfortable. It could be worse, he could be alone in this dark hole, with the stupid slashes of sunlight that won't sit still.

Eventually Rodney's fingers slow and they transition back to stroking, the pads of his fingers carefully tracing the shirt under his jacket, following the seems and floating over the smooth fabric.

"Major?" Rodney's voice has taken on a serious quality, with a little bit of rawness mixed in.

"Yes Rodney?" Sheppard's head feels a bit heavy, ever since Rodney's fingers rested into a repeating pattern he's been on the teetering on the edge of sleep.

The fingers stop moving and dig into his shirt. "I've been thinking about something really important that I need to discuss with you Major."

Sheppard sighs, letting his eyes resume their half open slant. "Rodney, you're not going to die," he reassures, "so can the last minute instructions and messages."

"What are you talking about?" Rodney shifts around so that he's hanging onto Sheppard's front, an ear pressed lightly against his chest. He peers up into his eyes looking irritated and loopy.

"Uh, nevermind." Sheppard quickly retracts.

Rodney nods his head in large swooping motions. "As I was saying," he pauses waiting for Sheppard to interrupt, when he doesn't, he goes on, "I was thinking about something really important and I've come to a decision."

Sheppard reaches out to steady the still bobbing head, fingers finding surprisingly soft hair. "Ok Rodney." He vaguely flashes to some similar conversations he's had over the years in dark, smoky bars at the end of the night.

Rodney leans into his hand and looks thoughtfully at him. "I think we should break up." He says with utmost sincerity.

Sheppard blinks furiously, surprised. He clears his throat. "I wasn't aware we were dating."

"You wouldn't be." Rodney frowns, shaking his head sadly. "It's mostly in my head." He shifts back to Sheppard's shoulder, eyes closed, head turned to the wall. "But I've decided to break it off anyway."

On second though, this is nothing like those late night conversations.

He shifts uncomfortably when he feel's something sharp and wet on his shoulder. He turns his head and sees Rodney gnawing on his shoulder. "Hey, hey. No biting." Rodney let's go with a final chomp. He winces and rolls his shoulder checking for damage. "After all, we did just break up."

Rodney giggles and bops the wet part of his shirt with his nose.

Sheppard decides that the giggle is far too disturbing to dwell on, so he moves to the slightly less disturbing subject. "So..." He flails, unsure how, or if he should, address the subject with someone who is obviously impaired, "How long have we been seeing each other?" Oh yeah, that sounds natural. "I hope whatever you've got isn't contagious." He mutters the last bit to himself.

"I'm high Major." Rodney grumps.

He remembers that whispering during cuddling was non conducive to secret keeping. "I sure hope you are. So, uh dating?" He wonders when that became the neutral subject.

"Math." Rodney mutters.

"MATH?" Oh yes, Rodney is definitely high.

"Well…" Rodney starts as he awkwardly shifts around to face him. Of course that leaves him practically in Sheppard's lap, arms still tightly wound around his waste, head almost cradled in his elbow. "I was all prepared for you to be your typical sloping brow, slow witted American military flunky."

"Hey!" He objects.

Rodney plows on, regardless. "Good with a weapon, I'll grant you, but nothing special. And then," he casts an accusing glare at Sheppard, going so far as to untangle one of his hands to poke him solidly in the chest, "you have the nerve to get… mathy… on me."

Sheppard blinks in confusion and decides Rodney should come with a geek to English dictionary. "Mathy?"

"Damn." Rodney winces. "The Buffy part of my brain is taking over. Crap, this always happens when I'm high."

"Wait, now you're Buffy?"

"Not Buffy." Rodney is shaking his head furiously, causing it to bump Sheppard's stomach several times. "More of Giles, really. Brilliant and hot and yet everyone is blind to my better qualities."

"I thought he had quite a fan following."

"I mean in the show." Rodney favors him with his best 'you idiot' look.

"Riiiight." Sheppard remembers that conversations like these, where one person is so high he's flying, not 'break up' conversations, don't often follow any sort of linear pattern.

"Anyway." Rodney focuses briefly. "That's not the point."

Of course it isn't. But Sheppard can't decide which he'd rather talk about, Rodney's apparent but heretofore unknown knowledge of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or their fictitious relationship and subsequent breakup.

Rodney's eyes narrow and his lips purse, his face takes on the over seriousness of the really drunk or really high. "So, I'm breaking up with you. Because you're mathy."

Sheppard frowns. "I thought that's why we were dating in the first place." He asks before he realizes.

"So?" Rodney looks confused, not following what one has to do with the other.

"Nevermind." Sheppard says, remembering that the conversation was just to the left of insane.

"So you," Rodney pokes him in the chest, "have to stop being mathy."

Purely for arguments sake he says, "We're going to assume that I don't now what 'being mathy' means." Because even though he's talking to a lunatic on acid, he feels he should be the one to have a better understanding of all the concepts involved.

Rondey's head tilts offering Sheppard a wonderful view up his nostrils. "109 to the 5th power?" He demands and then snuggles into Sheppard's stomach, breathing warm air in small puffs.

Momentarily distracted by the new and improved teddy bear Rodney, complete with kung fu grip, it takes Sheppard several seconds to understand what he was asked. "15,386,239,549" He spits out, very confused by the change in subject.

Rodney's entire body shudders minutely in his arms, He feels Rodney's fingers clench and unclench rhythmically against his back and as he looks down he sees his eyes are clenched shut.

"See?" Rodney's voice is small and muffled.

Well, that was certainly a new one for Sheppard. "You really like that, huh?

Rodney shifts again, his hand clawing at his shoulders as he struggles to haul himself upright, finally meeting his eyes. "More than is good for me." He says before sliding back down, looking a little worse for wear. "Which is why we're breaking up!"

"You're turned on by math?" Sheppard isn't sure if he should be amused or a little horrified. He is completely ignoring that Rodney is being turned on by him.

Rodney shrugs, "I'm a geek."

Sheppard thinks he might be getting some sort of contact high because he smirks just a bit before saying, "Betcha didn't know I made it all the way through calculus."

"High school?" Rodney looks at him, intrigued, and a little bit eager.

"College." He corrects, feeling just a bit smug.

Rodney's mouth opens and forms a round 'oh' as he takes a deep shuddering breath.

"Four semesters." Sheppard gives in to the urge to waggle four fingers in front of Rodney's face.

"Stop that." Rodney bats his fingers away.

"Ask me to integrate something," he taunts, knowing he's too amused by the whole thing, "I dare you."

"You are a goddamn tease." Rodney growls at him. "We are breaking up. You will stop being mathy," A finger pokes him in the chest again, "and I will stop carrying a P90." Rodney's finger waves in his own general direction before returning to where it had come from, with his hand and arm, wrapped around Sheppard's torso.

Rodney settles down, curling around Sheppard like a determined security blanket and its quiet until most of the conversation catches up with Sheppard. "Wait, you started carrying a P90 for me."

"To be fair, I learned how to shoot one for me." Rodney answers.

"That's demented." Sheppard says, eyeing Rodney warily, "Kinda sweet," he adds, "but demented."

"You think I don't know that? Now please, shut up, I need to concentrate."


Rodney points to the other side of the cave. "Because purple penguins carrying pink umbrellas just walked in and I'm trying not to freak out."

Sheppard could understand that, part of surviving an especially bad high was not freaking out, especially when the furniture started talking to you. Despite his better judgment, he decides that distraction is probably the lesser of two evils, "Has it occurred to you that we're not actually going out?"

"Your point?" Mckay's eyes are still staring steadily at Sheppard's chest.

"Well," Sheppard reasons, "its kind of hard to break up with someone, if you're not actually going out in the first place." Of course, it occurs to Sheppard that using any sort of logic at this point might just be pointless.

Rodney pats him consolingly on the shoulder "Give it time. We would be." He says knowingly.

He thinks that maybe Rodney is beyond the conversation at this point. But he plows on with the vague feeling that he really should keep him talking. "So this is a... preemptive breakup?"


"How very... Friends of you."

"Perfect, you're becoming less attractive by the second, keep doing that." Rodney pats him sloppily on the head. His hand slides down the side of his face, brushing finger tips along the edges and plains. "Keep reminding me of the absolute trash compactor you have in that head of yours."

Sheppard makes a grab for the straying hand and holds it still between them. "That's good. Since we're breaking up."

"Finally!" Rodney grins triumphantly, squeezing his hand. "We agree."

"I never disagreed!" Sheppard insists even as he remembers that he's not likely to win this argument. People on drugs are notorious for not caring about what anyone else has to say. "I'm all for breaking up." And he really was, because the thought of dating someone just in their head was just a little creepy. "I just don't understand how you can break up with someone you were never actually seeing in the first place."

Rodney's face looks incredibly put upon as he once again climbs up so that his face is level with Sheppard's. "Oh for gods sake..." His hands sweep up Sheppard's body leaving ghost impressions in their wake. Surprisingly strong fingers grip his neck just under his chin, which allows the soft part of Rodney's palms to cushion his face. Calloused thumbs stroke briefly across his cheek as Rodney, with the over carefulness of a drunk, descends on his face.

Their lips touch and Sheppard is too stunned to do anything but let it happen. Rodney shifts closer, pressing their torsos together. He tilts his head a fraction to the left and their lips slant together. Instinctually Sheppard reaches out to steady Rodney as he sways into the kiss. Their lips move, Rodney is intent on kissing him, while he is intent on not dying of shock. Slowly Rodney sinks into him, sucking lightly, forcing a tongue past his slack jaw.

And Sheppard thinks he really should have guessed that Rodney would know how to kiss, scarily competent at just about everything else. He could even be charming, in his own abrasive way. Rodney's tongue is pushing and stroking and Sheppard is getting lightheaded from lack of oxygen. He gently pushes Rodney away, who graciously backs down, but not before getting in one last push pull and small nibble on his lower lip.

"There. We're dating." Rodney slurs.

In his shock, he still registered the elevated pulse and dilated eyes, but that could be the drug. He closes his eyes and rests his head on the rock wall, trying to collect himself. So he's completely shocked when he feels the sting of Rodney's hand on his cheek. He opens his eyes in surprise.

"You hussy." Rodney giggles. "There. Now we've broken up." It's said with mock seriousness.

He realizes that Rodney, in the course of the kiss that he will not think about, has managed to perch on one of his thighs. A knee on either side forces his legs far enough apart for Rodney to rest comfortably. Sheppard realizes that Rodney is still pressed close, their chests touching slightly with every deep breath. Rodney's head rests on his should and his arms are clamped tightly around him.

Amorous Rodney resembles a cross between an octopus and a c-clamp.

Rodney is nuzzling behind his ear and it's really throwing him off his game. "R-Rodney." Damnit, he's stuttering. "We broke up, remember?" He's throwing the twisted, unlogic back at Rodney, hoping it works its way through whatever fog has taken up residence.

"Don't wanna." Rodney's husky voice is in his ear causing goose bumps and small shivers.

"Rodney?" He needs to distract him, move his focus, because even if he'd ever consider saying yes, he'd never take advantage of someone this off their gourd. "Why aren't you coming down yet?"

"Hrmm?" Rodney's voice comes somewhere from his neck as just before he feels a remarkably lithe tongue start to flutter at his skin.

His eyes roll back and he mentally curses Rodney's proficiency in just about everything. "Why aren't you-" his eyes cross as Rodney hits an especially sensitive spot, "-coming down off your high?"

Rodney let's go of his neck and looks thoughtful. "Any number of reasons, I have no idea what they gave me and in what dose… but if I had to hazard a guess… somewhere along the line my hypoglycemia kicked in, leaving me with such low blood sugar that there's nothing to combat whatever is in my system." He shrugs. "I'm not a doctor. But I could really use a brownie."

Sheppard, for some reason finds that hilarious. The laughter bubbles up from deep in his stomach and makes his chest and jaw ache. Rodney joins him, collapsing on top of him, holding his sides until the laughter fades into those giggles that frighten Sheppard so much and then finally into quiet hiccups.

He rubs Rodney's back, hoping that monotonous motion will relax him and stop him from attacking his neck again. He thinks its working right up until Rodney's back stiffens under his hands and he pulls into himself, curling into a fetal position.

"Wow… New sensation." Rodney mutters through clenched teeth.

"What?" And he's paying very close attention now because Rodney has somehow removed just about every part of himself from Sheppard while still being in his lap.

"Um… nothing." Rodney rocks himself slowly.

Sheppard touches Rodney's shoulder, surprised to feel minute twitches as his hand closes around it. "Rodney, if something's wrong, you have to tell me."

"Major, what's wrong with me, you don't want to know." Rodney says as he tries to move further away from him.

He's confused for about three seconds before a light bulb pops on in his head. He shouldn't be surprised. High is often associated with happy and happy goes hand in hand with… well, with what he's pretty sure Rodney is feeling. "Margaret Thatcher naked on a cold day." He suggests.

"WHAT?" Rodney looks at him like he's gone insane.

"Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine in making out on a beach?" He tries again.


"While Yoda watches?"

Rodney turns to face him. "Major, what in the hell are you talking about?" Rodney is unnaturally flushed and there's a fresh sheen of sweat on his brow, but at least he's not entirely focused on himself.

"I'm trying to distract you from your," He finds he has to force his eyes to stay on Rodney's face, "dilemma." He watches Rodney stare at him as his eyes widen in comprehension and a slow flush passes over his face, pinking it more than it already was. "Baseball and Mom's apple pie?" He suggests.

Rodney opens his mouth and starts to speak, but obviously thinks better of it. His jaw flaps for a few seconds before he finally lets out a strangled. "Thank you." Before resuming his former, fetal position.

"Captain Kirk without the corset?" Sheppard offers as a new and singularly unappealing image.

Rodney stops moving, makes a pained sound and then resumes his rocking motion. "If you want to help," he grinds out, "stop with the geek trivia."

Sheppard stops, momentarily surprised, before smirking at the new information. "You are one kinky bastard Rodney."

"Not where I come from." Rodney suddenly clamps one hand onto his ankle, fingers stroking at the edge of his pant leg frantically.

"What's the matter?" He asks, because he doesn't really think that rubbing his pant leg is enough to get Rodney off and considering the lengths Rodney is going through to avoid contact with him, something else must have happened.

"Touch grounds me." Rodney mutters. "Dizzy."

Sheppard sighs. He studies Rodney carefully, taking in the pale skin under the flush, the rapid breathing, the small shake that takes over Rodney's entire body. He makes a decision. "Come here, Rodney."

Rodney once again favors him with a stare that implies he's grown another head, but otherwise, he doesn't move.

He sighs again and pulls Rodney to him, in the midst of Rodney's half hearted protests, Sheppard manages to settle him between his legs, back pressed against Sheppard's front. He wraps his arms firmly around Rodney's middle, pulling him tightly against him. "Still dizzy?"

Rodney shakes his head quickly, but says nothing.

"Good." He takes a deep breath, not really believe he's about to do this. "Good Rodney, now listen carefully. Do what you have to do." He feels Rodney turn his head, startled, but he's too far back to get a good look at Sheppard's face. Which, of course, was part of the plan. "Stare at the wall if you want." He goes on. "Or… not."

Rodney doesn't move for a long time, he just sits there, breathing heavily. Finally though, it proves too much and Sheppard can feel Rodney shifting around until finally he settles into a pattern of repetitive motions. His head falls back unto Sheppard's shoulder and he can see Rodney's eyes flutter under his eyelids. Rodney licks his lips and starts breathing in great open-mouthed pants.

Sheppard can feel Rodney's forearm brush against his on each downward stroke and it makes him swallow harshly.

Rodney starts to make little sounds in the back of his throat, soft 'whuffing' moans as his head lolls further to the side.

Reciting the alphabet backwards in his head, Sheppard doesn't know when Rodney's movements slow, or when in quiet desperate tones he starts to plead, "Can't… can't… too tired… too dizzy… can't."

Sheppard swallows past an incredibly dry throat and brings his lips to within a hairsbreadth of Rodney's ear. "The locus of a point which moves so that it is always equidistant from a given point is a circle." He whispers, giving it his best husky voice.

The body in his arms gasps and the movements pick up.

"The locus of a point which moves so that the ratio of its distance to a given point and a given line respectively equals 1 is a parabola." Sheppard says, never having imagined one day this would qualify as talking dirty.

Rodney shudders. "Oh god."

He wracks his brain for anything that might put up the front of requiring skill. "The speed of light can be roughly translated into 1.80 furlongs per fortnight"

This time it's a small whimper, "Everyone…:" he shudders, 'knows," his chest starts heaving, "that!" His back arches and his free hand reaches for Sheppard's and holds on for dear life. "Ohgodohgodohgod."

Rodney literally melts into him. There's some fumbling where he can't see, and Rodney's hand scrabbles at the dirt, wiping it clean.

He let's Rodney's breathing come down before talking. "Better?"

"Maybe." Rodney's voice is shaky and a little slurred. His head falls awkwardly forward and he whispers, "Dizzy. Blurred vision."

"Rodney?" He pulls the man in tighter. "Rodney talk to me. Tell me what's happening."

"Dunno." Rodney's voice is fading fast. His head snaps up suddenly, "I know what- whoah… room spinning…"

Sheppard shifts Rodney in his arms, lowering him to the ground so he can see his face, "Rodney, what is it?" He insists.

"Hypoglycemic reaction…" His voice trails off.

Sheppard knows this is not good, he's got nothing to eat or drink and short of rushing the 12 or 14 guards outside, he's not sure how to get it. "Rodney, keep talking to me." He prods, knowing that unconsciousness is the worst of all symptoms.

Rodney babbles on about anything and everything, Atlantis, his parents, piano lessons, everything under the sun.

"I loved the piano, it was something I could understand, I could manipulate it and then I was told I sucked at it. No passion she said. No art. No talent."

Sheppard isn't sure Rodney even knows he's there anymore, but he makes the appropriate sounds in the right places, urging him to go on.

"I hate this, I hate being like this, being so vulnerable to my body. I hate everyone laughing and staring and assuming that I hide in my lab and behind two flimsy excuses so I don't have to do anything dangerous." Rodney grabs at his hand. "But no one understands that if I'm not that careful, if I don't tell everyone on gods green earth… or on Atlantis then it might get dangerous or life threatening and I might be stuck alone somewhere dying and no one will have a clue why."

"That's right Rodney, babble at me." Sheppard urges.

"I know you asked Beckett how to use the push injector, when and why it would be needed, I know you carry one with you most of the time now. I don't know if it's because of me or if maybe you've realized that in a whole new universe there are literally entire worlds that could cause an allergic reaction. But the thought makes me feel safer."

Sheppard squeezes Rodney's hand, "Not flimsy excuses Rodney." His mind catches up with all of the information Rodney is throwing at him.

"I hate this. Hate, hate, hate. My body shutting down around me and you sitting here watching, it never gets old, this part. Not in 6th grade, not in high school, not in college. It was after High School I started to tell everyone who would listen and most who wouldn't." Rodney pauses to take a few shallow breaths. "Dhid you khnow that being allergic to a common food gets you disinvited to a lhot of partiesh before you have the chance to get invhited? Oh yeah, good friends whill alwahys make the effort, but you can prhobably guessh how good I am at mahking friendsh."

Sheppard worries as Rodney's speech starts to slur even more.

"Sorry Mahjor… I don't know how much…mhore.."

"Rodney!" He's leans over Rodney, forcing his eyes open, whispering in his ear, begging him to keep talking.

There's a loud noise outside and then a scuffle, he recognizes Ford's voice calling him. "In here Lieutenant!" He yells before turning back to Rodney. "Come on Rodney hold on, Calvary's coming."

Ford and Teyla burst in and through the door Sheppard can see several more men from Atlantis cleaning up what remains of their enemies.

"Our packs! Have you found them?" He barks at Ford.

Ford looks at them, Rodney on the floor, nearing unconsciousness and calls out. "Sergeant, bring their things!"

Long seconds later, both packs are offered to him, he grabs at Rodney's and starts going through it. "Rodney? Rodney! Do you have anything with you that will help?" When Rodney doesn't respond, he smacks at his face. "Rodney!"

"Glucagon… shot…" Rodney whispers. "Shide… pohcket."

He tears through the pack, hand closing around a syringe shaped object, he's triumphant at first until her realizes it's the epinephrine shot, he tosses it and keeps looking.

"Hey… impohrtant." Rodney objects.

"Sorry Rodney, not now." He finds another syringe shaped object, he smiles broadly when he sees that it's a prepackaged shot with the right label. "Any place special, Rodney?"

Rodney rolls slightly on his side.

"Right." He rips the package open and readies the stopper. He reaches for the edge of Rodney's pants and pulls just enough to get some flesh and plunges.

The walk back to the gate is slow and Rodney spends most of it with an arm slung around Sheppard's neck, leaning heavily on him. His brow is furrowed and a small sliver of his tongue is sticking out of his mouth, showing intense concentration. Surprisingly, he doesn't talk.

Beckett takes one looks at them on the other side of the wormhole and practically shoves Rodney onto a gurney. "Major!" Beckett calls to him. "Follow us and tell me exactly what happened."

So Sheppard finds himself repeating the entire experience to Beckett, glossing over only the smallest of details, of which he's fairly sure Rodney would not want broadcast.

Ok. Maybe he glossed over more than the smallest of details. But Beckett didn't really need to know that Rodney had felt the need to break up with him. Among… other things.

After Beckett is sure that Rodney's not going to die he turns to Sheppard, sitting him down. He finds out that after his capture the rest of his team ran. The natives used blow darts filled with some sort of drug to subdue them. Luckily, Rodney was the only one caught before the rest could make it back and send for reinforcements.

After some time, he gets the full physical, is pronounced healthy, but tired.

"Go sleep it off Major." He's told.

He's glad to oblige, but before he goes, he wanders over to Rodney's bed, checking on him for himself. His color is better and he looks like he's slipped into a natural sleep. Satisfied, Sheppard limps off to his own bed.

Late the next day he's called to the infirmary.

"Major." Beckett looks a little worn around the edges. "Can you do me a favor?"

Sheppard sees Rodney eyeing both of them warily from the bed. He shrugs indifferently. "As long as it doesn't involve sitting in a dark cave for an unspecified period of time, I'm your man."

Beckett leans in closer, a conspiratorial air around him, "Despite the surprising lack of complaints, I sense that my patient over there would like to leave and convalesce in the comfort of his own bed. And seeing as how he really doesn't need to much more than to sleep and eat regular meals, I can't find it in my heart to object."

Sheppard senses a large exception coming up. "And?"

"Normally I'd simply send him on his way and make sure someone watched him eat three times a day. But with the addition of the drug in his system it's not as simple. He's been lucid for well over 12 hours, but I'd rather someone stick around him for another day or so.' Beckett looks at him meaningfully. "From what you've told me, you have a fairly good grasp on the symptoms of hypoglycemia and know to use a needle in an emergency. And since you too are on prescribed rest… I thought it would be ideal…"

Sheppard tilts his head and furrows his brows. "And keeping Mckay company is restful?"

"Major." Beckett implores.

Sheppard smiles. "Sure. Why not." He really doesn't mind, Rodney at his worst is still entertaining. He casts a surreptitious look in his direction, judging from his slow movements and dark circles, Rodney's not going to want to do much more than sleep anyway.

Beckett hands him a small package of emergency supplies and a list of things to look for and sends them on their way.

Rodney shuffles through the hallways to his room slowly and with little comment. By the time Rodney crawls into bed, still not having said a word, Sheppard is worried.

"They beat you up pretty good, didn't they?" Sheppard asks, just to see if Rodney will answer.

"I have bruises yes." Rodney says, "But most of it is basically a hangover."

Sheppard nods, it makes sense, every high has a crash and the higher you go the bigger the 'ouch'.

"You look tired." Rodney says suddenly.

Sheppard nods, "Yesterday was a breeze, spent all day on my ass in a dark cave." He slumps into a nearby chair. "Today however, meeting, meeting, briefing, meeting. Talk about exhaustion."

Rodney laughs quietly. "So… if you're tired…" He begins tentatively. "The bed's pretty big, if you need to… you know… sleep."

He's about to say 'thanks, but no thanks' when a huge, jaw cracking yawn overtakes him. So he just grins sheepishly and says, "Thanks." He slides onto the bed, opting to remain above the covers.

Rodney is on his side, facing away from Sheppard when he begins to talk. "I don't know how much of what I remember actually happened. But from all accounts, you saved my life."

"Hey, not a problem Rodney." He doesn't try to get Rodney to turn over, if its easier for him to talk like this, Sheppard isn't going to argue.

"I uh…" Rodney clears his throat. "I also think I need to thank you for my sanity."

"What do you mean?" Sheppard asks and is surprised to feel the bed dip as Rodney rolls over.

"The end is really hazy, a lot of disjointed images and feelings, but the beginning isn't." Rodney says, looking very nervous. "Most grown men wouldn't have let another grown man," he pauses briefly, struggling for the right words, "snuggle… in the name of narcotics."

Sheppard reaches out and squeezes Rodney's arm, "Hey, you were so high you were seeing dancing penguins. I'm not gonna hold anything against you."

Rodney relaxes into his pillows, looking about a hundred times better.

Sheppard squeezes Rodney's arm again, giving him a meaningful look. "Anything." He says again, emphasizing the word.

Rodney pales slightly, but shakes his head in understanding. "That's good Major."

"Call me John." He says. "After all, you've bitten my shoulder."

A wobbly smile shows up on Rodney's face. "Maybe." His response is littered with the beginnings of Rodney's typical abrasive demeanor.

Sheppard waits for the first signs of sleep to start showing on Rodney's face before speaking again. "Though, eventually, we are going to have to talk about this whole dating thing."

Rodney's eyes shoot open.

"I didn't want to go into it on the planet, what with you being so far out of your mind it might as well have been back on Atlantis, but I'm not letting you break up with me." Sheppard smiles, what he hopes is a reassuring smile. "It wouldn't be fair."

"Fair?" Rodney squeaks.

"I am not a hussy, and I resent you for calling me one." Sheppard says with mock seriousness. "So I demand the opportunity to prove to you that I'm not."

Rodney lifts himself into his elbows. "Demand, huh.?" his face is getting its color back and there's a sparkle in his eye.

"Yes." Sheppard goes on. "And you've taken great liberties with my person as well." He pokes Rodney in the chest. "I think you're the shameless hussy in this relationship."

Rodney's arms collapse under him as he falls over laughing. "I was high." He protests, small bursts of laughter falling out of him.

"And yet you still took brazen advantage of me." Sheppard raises a hand, palm out to his forehead and adopts a southern accent. "I don't know how I'll ever recover."

"I am not playing Rhett to your Scarlett, so you can just forget it." Rodney says as he inches closer to Sheppard.

"Good." Sheppard smiles as he wraps his arms around Rodney. "I'd look terrible in curtains anyway."

"Frankly, Major, I don't give a damn." Rodney whispers as he ghosts his lips over Sheppard's.

Sheppard groans, "That," he captures Rodney's lips in a quick kiss, "was horrible."

"Get used to it." Rodney mutters as he swoops in kissing Sheppard soundly.

They kiss slowly, gently. Lips exploring purposefully what had been a sloppy venture the day before. It's soft and tender for a long time, neither really having the energy for much more. Sheppard briefly uses his tongue, to delve into Rodney's mouth, slowly lapping at the other tongue, the slick slide intoxicating.

They break apart quietly, foreheads resting on one another.

"I thought I told you to call me John." Sheppard says, head butting Rodney lightly.

"And I said maybe." Rodney tosses back. "Now go to sleep before I'm forced to gag you."


"Shut up, John."

"Knew you could do it." Sheppard teases.

"Sssh. The penguins will hear you." Rodney whispers and falls asleep to Sheppard's gentle laughter.