Chapter Four

Elizabeth rubbed her cheek against the soft material of Rodney's shirt – she was surprised how soft, he must know a thing or two about fabrics. Whatever it was, it was a very nice feeling to wake up to. He was very nice to wake up to. He was lying on his back with her on her side snuggled up against him, one arm draped across his chest with one of his arms wrapped around her waist.

There was an insistent humming in her ear that sounded suspiciously like Kavanagh's voice calling her name. Couldn't be Kavanagh, she gave him too much credit to barge into her room – she was sure even he had more good manners then that. She rubbed her cheek contentedly against Rodney's chest, as if she could burrow into him.

"DOCTOR WIER!" Kavanagh called again, tentatively poking Elizabeth's head. With a start, Elizabeth well and truly woke up to realise that insistent humming was indeed Kavanagh, he was in her room like he had a right to be there.

She bolted up and glowered at the arrogant, petulant scientist who had done nothing but cause her trouble. Christ, no wonder Rodney had decked him, this man had the manners of a Neanderthal. At least the Neanderthals could claim being intellectually undeveloped ; Kavanagh had no such excuse. "What the hell are you doing here?" she asked him coolly.

"You didn't report as usual," Kavanagh said petulantly. "I thought I should come and get you. You didn't answer when I knocked."

Elizabeth glanced over to her clock. It was seven, an hour after she'd said she'd be up for duty. But that still gave Kavanagh no right to come into her room like this. She was his goddamn superior, and the idea of anyone in her room without her permission – let alone a man – gave her the creeps.

Rodney stirred. "Liz, what's up?" he asked. He opened his eyes to see Kavanagh standing above him, looking very judgemental. "Jesus Christ, what the hell are you doing here?" he demanded.

"I could ask you the same thing," Kavanagh retorted primly.

"You wouldn't have to if you respected Liz's personal space," Rodney snarked. He could not believe the audacity of the man. "Get out."

Kavanagh crossed his hands over his chest and looked even more judgemental. "I don't answer to you," he said.

"Yes you do," Rodney reminded him. "Get out."

"Rodney," Elizabeth chided him gently, reminding him without saying a word that she was both their superiors and she needed him to let her handle this if she was to save any face from Kavanagh's rude interruption. Not that she needed to be on the defensive, but a mark of a good leader was how they handled it when they were put on the defensive, deserved or not. She looked Kavanagh squarely in the eye. "Out," she ordered him. "Stay in the hall. I'll be there in five minutes."

Kavanagh left. Elizabeth was furious. How dare he barge into her room like that! "Want me to take care of it?" Rodney asked slyly. He was already thinking of what he could get Kavanagh to do. He'd always thought Kavanagh was a low-down, rotten creep, but he'd never thought the man would barge in like this. A thought occurred to him. "Has he ever done this before?" he asked. Because if he had. Rodney was definitely take care of him. Off the balcony. Into the cold waters of Atlantis.

"No," Elizabeth said. "I think he wants to catch us out, now that he knows we're together."

"Because catching us in bed – after he barged into your room – is just such an uncommon occurred for a couple?" Rodney asked with trademark sarcasm. "Please let me deal with him. I'll be much more effective then any diplomacy."

"Until it gets around that I let you get into a fight with him," Elizabeth countered. "Please, Rodney, you have to respect my authority more then ever now." He looked a little sullen but kept his peace. He had promised her – and himself – that he would never put her in a position where people could say she was favouring him, and he wouldn't start now.

Elizabeth quickly got dressed and met Kavanagh out in the hall. At least he was still there, instead of having run off to tell God knew who God knew what. "How dare you!" she fired at him.

"How dare I make sure our Governor is alright?" Kavanagh asked sarcastically.

"You had no right to invade my privacy like that!" Elizabeth said. "You could have knocked louder. We have an intercom system you could have used. But no, you had to barge in in the hope you would catch us out."

"Do you have anything to hide?" Kavanagh asked.

"Oh, because two people in a relationship sleeping together is so uncommon," Elizabeth said sarcastically, parroting Rodney's words. "You crossed a line, Kavanagh. A very big one. If you invade my privacy – or Rodney's – again over your pathetic attempt to undermine us, there will be trouble. Remember, you answer to both of us. Understood?"

Kavanagh nodded. He didn't like the way Elizabeth was looking at him, like she was capable of murder. He went off muttering something about favouritism, but Elizabeth was confident that was the last they would hear from him for a while.

She went back to bed and slid under the covers. She really needed to be reporting for duty – now she was later then ever – but Kavanagh's invasion of her personal space had rattled her more then she cared to admit, and she wanted to feel Rodney's arms around her.

Sensing her mood, Rodney's automatically wrapped his arms around her. "I hope you gave him what-for," he said. He nuzzled the side of her neck. God, she was nice to wake up to. And she wasn't flinching from his touch, either. She'd been uncomfortable when he'd tried to spoon her last night – had said so outright, which had to be a good thing, as least she was being honest with him about her boundaries – but she seemed to be responding better to him this morning. He hoped so. He didn't know how much more patience he would have for her anxiety whenever he was behind her, where she couldn't see him.

She turned on her back so he could kiss her. "I think he's a little scared of both of us now," she said. He began tracing her collarbone with his fingers while he was planting small kisses all over her face. "Mmmmm… that's nice." She glanced over at the clock and saw it was now 7:20. "Rodney… we really need to get up."

Rodney began trailing kisses down her neck. She shivered. It was so tempting to let Atlantis run itself for a day. "Don't want to," he murmured. "Happy to stay in bed with you all day."

For a minute, she catered to his wishes by kissing him. Spending the night in his arms had done her the world of good because she felt so much more comfortable with him now, comfortable enough to close her eyes while he ran his fingers along her body. "Rodney," she murmured, half-admonishing, half-purring, "we…have…to…get…up. Can't let people think we're slacking off."

Reluctantly Rodney stopped kissing her. He liked the way she was responding to him, and it made him want to kiss her more. "Tonight?" he asked hopefully.

She smiled at him. "Tonight," she agreed.

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He was in an excellent mood all day, until he managed to overhear Kavanagh talking – about him and Elizabeth. He4 snuck up behind the scientist. "They were totally going for it," Kavanagh said, embellishing grossly on what he'd seen. "No regard for propriety. You wouldn't believe what a screamer she is. Or how… flexible."

There was uproarious laughter which died down abruptly when Kavanagh's audience realised Rodney was glaring at them with a murderous look. Kavanagh spun around to see Rodney looking at him with a particularly lethal glare. "Doctor McKay," Kavanagh said nervously, wondering exactly how much Rodney had heard. He looked jacked off enough to have heard every word.

"Doctor Kavanagh," Rodney said through gritted teeth. "May I see you for a moment in the hall?"

Kavanagh reluctantly followed Rodney into the quiet of the hall – where there were no witnesses. Grabbing Kavanagh by the shoulder, Rodney slammed him into the wall. "If I hear you talking about us, and especially Elizabeth, again, I will throw you off the balcony," he growled. "Is that understood?"

"You don't scare me," Kavanagh bluffed, although he was shaking.

"You should be scared," Rodney said. "If you do anything to undermine her authority like that again, I will make sure it's the last thing you do." And he meant it a hundred percent.

"You can't threaten me like this," Kavanagh protested.

"Yeah? Go tell Elizabeth what you said and she can decide what to do with you. Or, better yet, what to let me do you with." Rodney looked like he would relish following whatever orders Elizabeth came up with.

Kavanagh thought about it for an entire second, and decided that being pinned against a wall and have threats made against him by Rodney McKay was the lightest he was going to be let off – and he suspected that was only because Rodney was making quite the effort to respect Elizabeth's authority. But right now, there was a dangerous gleam in Rodney's eyes. He had not only disrespected Rodney's respected superior officer, he had disrespected his girlfriend, which was a far worse thing to do. "OK," he gulped.

Rodney let him go. "In the meantime," he said, "I've been looking for someone to recalibrate the human waste reclamation system."

Kavanagh paled. It had been a job that none of the scientists had relished, that had been put off and put off and allowed to get bigger and bigger because really, no-one wanted to be knee-high in human waste. "You can't make me do that!" he protested.

Rodney grimaced. "Fine. Go and tell Elizabeth you called her a whore."

"Fine," Kavanagh muttered, decided Rodney was enjoying his position as Head Scientist far too much. There were some days when he seriously thought coming to Atlantis was a bad idea.

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"What did you say to Kavanagh, he absolutely glowered to me before but didn't say anything. I thought you'd put the fear of God into him."

"Don't believe in God," Rodney reminded her. They were in her room. He'd entered to see her standing in front of the mirror combing out her hair and he'd taken the comb off her to do it himself. He continued even after the job was done because it was obvious the sensation was quite soothing to her. "I overheard him saying some stuff about you, I told him if I heard it again I'd throw him off the balcony. Then I made him recalibrate the human waste reclamation system."

Elizabeth gasped. "You didn't," she said.

"That, or repeat what he'd said to you," Rodney added smugly. "He's a coward, when it comes down to it. He'd rather be knee-high it shit then admit he called you a whore." That, he decided, was a good metaphor for Kavanagh himself.

"He didn't?" she asked.

"Those weren't his exact words, no, but that was the sentiment," Rodney admitted. He hadn't meant to tell Elizabeth such upsetting news but she had a way of getting the truth out of him. "Look, you don't need to worry, he's in a minority of people who think that, and except for him, I think the rest of that minority just wants a good gossip. Once people see us together for more then a few days they'll accept us as part of the scenery and get on with it."

She leaned into him. He stopped combing. "I hope so," she admitted. She groaned as Rodney dug his fingers into her back, working at her sore muscles. Just when she was beginning to regret the hassles of the Leader of the Expedition being involved with the Head Scientist, Rodney would remind her that it was all worth it. He kissed the nape of her neck and she closed her eyes, enjoying the sensation of Rodney's fingers in her back and his lips on her neck. "Sweetheart, that feels good," she murmured.

He noticed she was keeping her eyes closed and relaxing under his touch. She'd never been so relaxed around him before, especially not when she couldn't see him. He was glad he'd insisted on spending the night with her, it seemed to have done the world of good to her ability to relax around him. He stopped massaging her back and let his hands wander down her back and tentatively under her shirt. She sighed happily which he took for permission to venture higher up her back. "Rodney…" Elizabeth whispered. He considered taking her to the bed where they'd be more comfortable then decided screw comfort, he wasn't ruining the moment just yet.

He moved one hand along her bare skin to her stomach and rested it there for a few seconds. She pushed her back against his chest, welcoming his touch. They had never been this intimate, and Rodney was petrified of getting it wrong – but then, they couldn't just dance around the issue forever, and he had always known he would have to make the first move. He took his time undoing the top button of her pants, watching for any sign of resistance. There was none. In fact, he sensed a little impatience. He certainly was taking his time. He undid the buttons on her pants to give him freer access to her and slid his hand down her pants between her legs.

For a second he waited, still, for a reaction. She was breathing more heavily, but no tenseness, no resistance. She wanted this. She wanted this! He began to touch her. "Rodney," she gasped, opening her eyes.

"Keep your eyes closed sweetheart," Rodney instructed. No sense in going halfway here. If she was open to him touching her like this, she would be open to having her eyes closed. He wanted her to relax entirely in his presence, and that would only happen when she was comfortable around him without being able to see him.

Obediently, Elizabeth closed her eyes. She sank into Rodney's hold, grateful he had his wits about him or else they'd both be on the floor by now. Oh, God, he really knew what he was doing. "Rodney…" she groaned as she began responding to his touch.

He nuzzled the side of her neck. He was afraid his next words would scare her off completely but he wanted to get it out and now felt nearly perfect – as perfect as things were going to get, given how nervous he was about stuffing things out. "Liz, I wanna go down on you," he blurted out.

Elizabeth tensed up slightly in surprise, but she made no attempt to make him stop. What he was doing felt good, right, for the first time in their relationship she felt comfortable with him sexually, and she wanted more of it. But – "I don't know if I can… return the favour," she admitted.

He kissed the side of her neck. "I'm not asking you," he said. After the last time, he didn't know if he could ever rise to the occasion for a blow job again. "I just want to make you come." He had a feeling, although he wasn't going to share it with Elizabeth, or Kate for that matter, that part of what was holding Elizabeth back was because her last two sexual experiences had been so humiliating for her – the disastrous blow job which Rodney wasn't sure he'd ever get over, and Koyla's rape. He had never been brave enough to ask her how much it had hurt, but he knew it must have, and he didn't see how that couldn't have soured her off sex. He certainly wasn't going to push her to do the deed until she was ready, but instinct told her that an orgasm would be a massive hurdle that had been jumped. "I won't expect sex after, either," he added sincerely. He applied pressure at exactly the right spot and caused her to slump against him with a groan. "You know you want it," he said, just a little smugly. He was yet to leave a woman unsatisfied. He trailed kisses along her neck and whispered, "I love you, Liz. I want to make you happy."

How could a women resist a declaration like that? It was impossible for her not to accept what Rodney was offering. He scooped her up into his arms and carried her to her bed – which something told her would be their bed soon enough. He started kissing her mouth then trailled kisses down her body. When he got to her waist, he eased her out of her pants and got to work – not that he considered it work.

Half an hour later, she was very, very happy and very, very grateful. "Thankyou," she murmured, although thankyou seemed insufficient for what Rodney had just given her. He moved up the bed and looked down at her lovingly. When she looked into her eyes, she realised how much of a hurdle the pain and humiliation she'd been associating with sex had been. But it was extremely difficult to think about pain and humiliation after your boyfriend had delivered you an earth-shattering orgasm and was now looking at you like you were a goddess, asking for nothing in return other then your love. She wondered if that had been Rodney's plan all along. If it had been, he knew her better then she knew herself.

She kissed him. She had never felt so relaxed in her life – and never been so preoccupied with sex. It felt like the natural conclusion, but she was afraid. It was difficult to trust her own instincts. "I really want to," she admitted. "But I'm scared." She was petrified of freaking out, of feeling a loss of control. Something told her he could e quite aggressive, and even if he tried to be passive, it would take him just one moment to lose control of himself. One moment to lose control that she would have welcomed in different circumstances but right now, all she could think about was Rodney reaching the point of no return and becoming too rough. He'd have the best intentions of course, but –

He kissed her gently. "I know," he said. He looked embarrassed and then said, "I've thought about this… and you're afraid I'm going to lose control, like when you went down on me?" She nodded. "But otherwise, you want to do it?" she nodded again, knowing that she absolutely wanted to have sex with Rodney. "I want you to restrain me," he blurted out.

She looked at him in surprise. "You want to give up control?" she asked incredulously. The idea was so foreign to her that her first instinct was to laugh. Rodney McKay, who was constantly pestering John to let him fly the puddle jumpers, who was constantly yelling at Zelenka for interfering with his work, wanted to give up control? She smothered the instinct, realising that Rodney was deadly serious and must love her to distraction if he was willing to give up that kind of control.

"I don't want to," he scoffed, as if it was the most ludicrous thing in the world that he would want to give up control – especially in a field where, like scientist, he considered himself something of a pro. "I want to make you happy, Liz. I want to make you comfortable. Tell me honestly, would it make you feel better if you were to tie my hands to the bed?"

She bit her lip. What Rodney was proposing was ridiculous. She wasn't into domination and Rodney wasn't the submissive type – he was anything but. But – she knew what he was asking was true. It would make her feel a lot better to know he wasn't able to control her. "It's terrible that I feel that way," she admitted. "I should be able to trust you."

He cupped her face gently. "It's not terrible," he said softly. "You've been through a lot and you already trust me a lot more then you did before. You kneed me in the balls, remember? You trust me enough not to feel you have to resort to that again, don't you?" Elizabeth nodded. "Then this is just something else you need to learn to trust me over. I don't think it's going to be an instant thing, Liz. I think whenever we first have sex, you're going to feel a little threatened. I understand that. That's why I'm offering. So… will you feel better if I'm restrained?"

Elizabeth felt tears pricking her eyes. Rodney was so good to her. She nodded wordlessly. Rodney kissed her, gently at first then more passionately. She responded eagerly, and welcomed his hands when they began taking her clothes off. He had never seen her naked before and she was as beautiful as he had expected her to be. "I love you," he murmured as he tried to relax completely and let her take charge. It was damn hard, and if ever got out that he let himself be tied up he'd never live it down.

He wasn't surprised that as soon as she'd gotten his shirt off she bound his wrists together with the tie from her robe and then secured them to the bedhead. As reluctant as she had been to resort to restraining him, he could see it made her feel much safer. He groaned when Elizabeth pulled down his pants and began stroking him hard. "Liz," he cried, straining against his bonds. "Oh, Liz, oh, Liz…" She got a kick out of the way he was reacting to her. She was grateful Rodney was prepared to do this for her, and even more certain then before that this was what she wanted to do.

Rodney nearly screamed when Elizabeth got on top of him. His first instinct was to grab her hips hard and grind against her. He was glad he'd thought of this because he knew if he had his hands free he'd get very aggressive. Oh, God, he'd actually forgotten the last time he'd gotten laid. Not that it really mattered when Elizabeth was on top of him. God, he wished he had the use of his hands. This was going to take a while…

Half an hour later, he was absolutely exhausted but very, very satisfied – and he knew it was more then just the release after a dry spell. "Please untie me," he begged.

For a second, Elizabeth was tempted to leave him as he was. Her heart got the better of her. He didn't look too happy and he'd done it for her in the first place. She untied him and he immediately drew her into a hug. "I know that was my idea, but I really hope I don't have to do that again, " he said ruefully.

"You didn't enjoy it?" she asked with a teasing smile on her lips.

"You know damn well I enjoyed it," he scoffed. "You just wanted to hear me say it. No… I didn't like being that passive, " he admitted. "And I couldn't get in sync with you. It didn't feel…"

"Connected?" Elizabeth asked. Rodney nodded. She knew exactly what he was talking about, she had felt it herself. "I don't think I'll need to do that again," she said. She snuggled up to him. It wasn't exactly the afterglow of fantastic sex but it was the warmth of trusting someone absolutely. Their first time may not have been earth-shattering, but it had been exactly what she had needed. They could work on earth-shattering. "I love you, Rodney," she murmured. "More then I can say. Thankyou for seeing me through this."

"I love you, too," he replied. "And it was nothing." Maybe, he thought as he drifted off to sleep with Elizabeth in his arms, love was not so much about being easy as being worth it. No matter how hard something was at the time, and dealing with Elizabeth trauma had been very hard for Rodney, now that it was over, he couldn't for the life of him remember how many times she had driven him crazy with frustration and worry. So it must have been worth it.

THE END.