Pairing: Aiden Ford/Rodney McKay
Summary: Atlantis was important, but Rodney had needs, too.
For deani_bean, who needs smoochies today.
The city was finally quiet. Earthlings and Athosians, refugees all, settled down in temporary quarters to spend their first night in their new home. Aiden slipped out of his quarters and strode down the corridor. If there was ever a time for him to take advantage of his rank, this was it. None of the Marines patrolling the area batted an eyelash as he walked by and nodded in their direction. Aiden kept moving, waiting till they were out of sight before doubling back. He went to Rodney's door and knocked softly. It opened and Aiden quickly placed a hand over his mouth and slid into the room. He shut the door and locked it before removing his hand. Rodney pulled him into his arms and held on for dear life.
"I was going to go to you," he whispered.
"That would have been a mistake," Aiden replied. They held each other for a minute. Rodney finally pulled away slightly and cupped his cheeks. Aiden managed a weak smile as Rodney closely examined his face.
"I've been worried sick about you," he declared. "When I heard what had happened on that planet; and you came back looking so pale and haunted and they wanted to hold that ridiculous party, as if everything was all right when clearly--."
"Shh, shh, shh," Aiden said as he pulled him close again. He buried his face in Rodney's throat and listened to his heartbeat as he inhaled the scent that had come to mean safety and home and security. He rested his head on Rodney's shoulder, a smile forming on his lips as he felt Rodney inventorying his body with his hands and lips.
Rodney kissed his shoulder and as much of his neck as he could reach before he grew impatient and raised Aiden's face to his. That's when he saw the tears in Aiden's eyes and it broke his heart. He drew him over to the bed they laid down together. Neither man spoke. Aiden nested his head on Rodney's chest and they held hands till Aiden fell asleep. Rodney stayed awake to watch over him, the man he loved.
They were no longer just friends, but they weren't quite lovers. Aiden said they were "dating," but even he was aware that they'd become more to each other the moment they walked through the gate. They were all they had now, and they'd already spent most their time in the Pegasus Galaxy on different planets. Rodney was determined to keep Aiden close and safe. He gently kissed Aiden's brow. Aiden stirred and checked his watch. He swore and started to rise.
"Can't you stay the night?"
"Too risky," Aiden replied. "I probably shouldn't have stayed this long."
"It was nice."
"It was nice," Aiden said with a smile. He leaned in to kiss Rodney, and they spent several more minutes kissing before Aiden gently extricated himself and rose to leave. He said goodbye and waited at the door till he was certain that the corridor was clear. Then he slipped out of the room and disappeared. Rodney sat up and stared at the door.
Three days later Elizabeth announced her decision to organize three teams to search for a functional ZPM and other essential supplies. John Sheppard was put in charge of one team; he chose Aiden and the leader of the Athosian clan, Teyla Emmagan, to join him. It was an odd choice; either of them might have led one of the other teams, but John needed Teyla's knowledge of the planets in the Pegasus Galaxy and Aiden's experience going through the gate. Rodney had needs of his own; he fought back his fears and raised his hand to catch Elizabeth's attention.
"You do realize that finding a ZPM isn't going to be as simple as an Easter egg hunt," he said. "You'll need to take along technical equipment to help you identify and locate energy signatures and then if you locate something you have to find out if it is in fact a ZPM, determine how much power it has, and whether it's appropriate for our use. Then you'll have to--."
"I'll take him, too," John said.
"Oh. I don't know if--"
"No, no, it's all right, Elizabeth," Rodney interrupted. "I want to be a part of the team," he said firmly. Across the table, Aiden smiled.