Title: Affirmations Of Life
Author: Doctor V
Pairing: Carson/Rodney
Rating: R? NC-17? (I'm horrible with ratings.)
Summary: Reaction sets in, commence with the sexual healing. Bit of a PWP. Perhaps a bit angsty.
Spoilers: Thirty-Eight Minutes
Warnings: Sex. And the beginning (and possibly other parts) might not entirely jive with what happened in the episode because I wrote it from memory.
Comments: Written because Rodney was quite stressed out by the whole semi-imminent doom thing, and Carson seemed pretty worried too. And I wanted to write sex.
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When Dr. Beckett finishes bringing Major Sheppard back to life, he finds Rodney looking on anxiously and realizes his work isn't finished yet. He leaves his patient in the capable hands of his assistants -- they know what to do and he trusts them to do it -- and makes his way toward Rodney.

"He'll be fine." Beckett assures him.

Rodney's eyes follow Sheppard as he's taken away to the infirmary, and he nods. "Mm, I know." He answers, noncommittal.

"Rodney," Carson says, touching the man's arm and pretending he doesn't notice that Rodney flinches a little, nerves still on edge, "he'll be fine. He'll be a little tired for a while, and have a monster hickey, but that's all."

Rodney nods again but says nothing. That Rodney is quiet gives Carson all the information he needs and he gently takes the man's arm and leads him away from the 'Jumper, the Jumper Bay, and the physical reminders of the past thirty-eight minutes.

The memories themselves follow them as Carson takes Rodney to his room. He isn't sure if it might not be better if he took Rodney to his own room, but Carson's is closer so he just hopes that Rodney has spent enough time there for it to be comfortingly familiar. Rodney, for his part, voices no protest.

When they get inside, Carson locks the door behind them and then pushes Rodney down to sit on the edge of his bed. Carson sits next to him and takes Rodney's hand in both of his. "You did good, Rodney." He tells the man quietly, rubbing one hand over Rodney's while the other simply holds it tight. "I know it looked bad for a while, but everyone made it, even Major Sheppard. You figured it out, with a little help, and you got everyone home safely."

Rodney leans against him, resting his head on Carson's shoulder. He's shaking a little as he begins talking, slowly at first and then spilling out of him in a more subdued version of his usual rapid manner of speaking. He tells Carson how afraid he was, that he wouldn't be fast enough or smart enough to fix the 'Jumper before the deadline (and they both wince a little at the unfortunate use of "deadline"). How after Sheppard snapped him out of that first panic attack he tried to bottle it all up, ignore the crushing weight of knowing he was the only one capable of saving them, of knowing he held the lives of the entire crew (as well as himself) in his hands...and the depressing uncertainty of his own abilities. He admits he felt a little guilty that some of his fear was that he would never see Carson again, when he should've been focusing entirely on the problem, and that hearing Carson over the radio brought him some measure of comfort. And as Carson slips one hand from Rodney's and moves it behind the man to reach up and gently stroke his head, Rodney whispers that hearing Major Sheppard screaming, after the salt water fiasco, was one of the most horrible sounds he'd ever heard and for a moment he'd been sure the man was going to die. He'd felt a wriggle of selfish, ridiculous fear at the idea of spending his last moments trapped in the 'Jumper with a dead body.

At one point he had almost given up, but Lieutenant Ford had subtly reminded him that there were people counting on him and he had been unable to let them down, no matter how futile it seemed.

Pressing his face against Carson's neck, Rodney tells him how much it meant to see him waiting there for their return, even if he was technically there to take care of Sheppard. Carson threads their fingers together, his hand on top of Rodney's, and leans his cheek against the top of Rodney's hair while he pets the short strands with his other hand. They're sitting knee to knee, thigh to thigh, butt to butt, and Carson kisses Rodney's temple, letting the silence flow around them in the wake of Rodney's soul-baring.

They sit there like that for a while, silent and nearly still, before Rodney tilts his head up to kiss Carson's jaw. His eyes are closed and he blindly searches for Carson's mouth with his, trailing kisses along the way. Their lips meet and Rodney opens his mouth to sigh, giving Carson the opportunity to slip his tongue inside his mouth. The sigh becomes a moan as Carson cups the back of Rodney's head and deepens the kiss.

It is as much to reassure Carson as it is to reassure Rodney.

They part, briefly, to catch their breaths and also catch each others eyes. A look passes between them, an understanding, and then they dive in again, desperate and needy. Rodney slides an arm around Carson's waist and rests his hand on his hip, while their entwined fingers separate to allow them more opportunities to touch. Carson turns till he's almost facing Rodney and slips his newly freed hand to the small of Rodney's back, slowly leaning the man back to lie on the bed. Rodney goes willingly, too focused on slipping his hands under Carson's shirt and at his skin to worry about who's on top.

They exchange another look and it is unanimously decided that they are both wearing too much clothing. Shirts are removed and disposed of without too much fuss, but their pants prove a bit more complicated. Carson is straddling Rodney's thighs and quite comfortable there, but after some fumbling they manage to help each other shove their pants down. It is then that the subject of shoes comes up and Rodney groans in frustration at the necessity of taking care of such a small, mundane roadblock.

Finally naked, they exchange a slightly sheepish look at the brief awkwardness the shoes presented, before melting back together, lips seeking and finding each other as their limbs tangle. Carson raises himself up a little, swiping his tongue over Rodney's lips before leaning down to briefly suck at his jaw. Using lips and tongue, saliva and suction, occasionally breathing over damp skin just to see goosebumps rise, Carson slowly makes his way downward, over Rodney's throat, shoulder, collarbone, until he reaches his chest. Pausing to rest his ear over Rodney's heart, Carson's hand glides up to cover the pulse in Rodney's neck. Usually Rodney teases him when he does this, sometimes asking if this is a new medical procedure for checking a person's pulse, sometimes suggesting he try it next time Rodney comes in for a check-up.

Now, Rodney is silent, respecting Carson's need to reassure himself that Rodney's heart is beating as it should be, and reassures himself that he's really there by stroking Carson's back. They lay there together for a moment, just feeling each other; Carson's eyes are closed as his whole world narrows down to the beat of Rodney's heart, breathing in the smell of him, feeling his skin beneath him. He opens his mouth to dart his tongue out, tasting Rodney's sweat. He needs only one more thing, and he lifts himself up to look down at Rodney's face. Rodney looks back up at him, a small smile on his face, and Carson lowers himself back onto the man, whispering "I love you" into his ear.

Rodney says nothing, but his hand moves down to cup Carson's butt while his other hand nudges Carson's head to turn enough that they can kiss. This is Rodney's declaration of love, about the only thing about the man that is nonverbal, and Carson understands his inability to put voice to the words. He wonders if Rodney will ever be able to say them, but doesn't press and is quite content to let Rodney just show him.

As Carson shifts slightly, their groins meet and they gasp into each others mouths. Lips seal together tighter as they begin a steady rocking motion that provides delicious friction in just the right places. Hands slide over sweat-slicked skin, stroking and rubbing erogenous zones they've learned in their short time together. Legs twine together as they surge against each other, gasping and moaning.

Carson breaks off the kiss, though Rodney lifts his head to capture Carson's lips in a series of smaller kisses. Bending his head, he fastens his lips to Rodney's chest, right where he knows his heart to be, and sucks at the skin. Rodney arches toward his mouth, groaning, and squeezes Carson's rear, pressing him closer. He looks down just in time to see Carson release his hold on Rodney's chest, licking his lips as he examines the hickey he's created. Unable to stand the sight of those reddened lips so far from his own, Rodney lifts a hand to cup the back of Carson's head and urge him back up till they're face to face.

Just as he's leaning in to capture Rodney's mouth again, Carson could swear he saw his lips move to silently form the words "love you." Looking at Rodney for confirmation, he finds it in the man's inability to meet his eyes, a blush stealing over his cheeks.

Accepting this small victory and believing in positive reinforcement, Carson places a hand on Rodney's cheek as they resume their lip lock. Reaching his other hand between them, Carson grips their erections and increases their pace as he strokes firmly.

Rodney gasps, body arching up as his orgasm hits him. Carson follows soon after, staring at his face as he comes, Rodney's name on his lips.

Reveling in the afterglow, lips and hands brush lazily over skin. Rodney is alive and not floating dead in space with the remains of a 'Jumper, and Carson has Rodney back safe and sound and so very, very his. Scooting down a little, Carson again rests his head against Rodney's chest, right over his heart and the darkened skin marking it as Carson's.

As a doctor, Carson is well acquainted with heartbeats, though he likes to think he knows Rodney's just a bit better. The pulse under his ear is steady and healthy, and Carson closes his eyes with contentment as it lulls him to sleep.