Category: Established relationship
Summary: Dangerous when cold, too
"Gentlemen, have a seat."
Rodney and John exchanged a glance before they sat down opposite Elizabeth.
"What's this all about?" John asked.
"We've had a complaint from... Horan," she said, checking the name on her notepad.
"Who's Horan?" John asked. But Rodney averted his eyes.
"He's the owner of the smokehouse in the village," he said softly.
"Yes, and he complained about a mess left in his woodshed," Elizabeth said. "Would either of you care to explain it?" John and Rodney exchanged another look.
"Mess?" John asked innocently.
"Let's see: there was a water bucket with a bit of something called 'ebola' left lying on the ground, a bale of hay was opened and scattered on the ground as well... oh, and nearly an entire cord of wood was spilled out of its bin!"
"That was Ford's fault!" Rodney declared.
"Yeah, why wasn't he hauled in for this?" John demanded.
"I was given to understand that this was your doing," Elizabeth said. Rodney and John exchanged another look. "Did you or did you not lure Lieutenant Ford to the shed so you two could dump a load of peach pulp...uh, ebola on him?"
"Is that what he told you?" Rodney gasped.
"Are you suggesting that he dumped it on himself?" Elizabeth challenged.
"Why that lowdown, sneaky, scrawny-assed--! And after we... were so nice to him!"
Both Elizabeth and Rodney raised their eyebrows at John's outburst.
"Fix it," she demanded. "And do not take Lieutenant Ford with you."
"This is not negotiable," Elizabeth said as she rose and left them gaping.
"Well, she didn't say we couldn't take anyone else," John said. He rose and quickly headed for the jumper bay, grabbing a few idle Marines as he went. He was gone before Elizabeth had a chance to gainsay him. With three men helping them, it took only about twenty minutes to re-stack the cord and clean up the shed. On the flight back, John and Rodney grumbled about the unfairness of having to clean up after Aiden.
"So he's back at base--."
"Where it's not raining," John added.
"...Where it's not raining," Rodney amended with an odd look at John. "Of course it's raining back at base! But he's indoors."
"Which is why--."
"No matter; Aiden's warm and dry and probably wearing one of those hideous tee shirts and listening to awful music," Rodney griped.
"And sated; he's probably very sated," John said. "He had sex how many times yesterday?"
"I don't know." Rodney smirked. "The poor thing might not have the strength to do any heavy lifting."
"...Or he might be well rested and up for some more action," John mused. "Oh, to be twenty-five again..."
"He doesn't deserve you."
"He doesn't deserve you, either," John agreed. "He can just fuck himself today."
John nodded. Rodney nodded as well, but then he frowned.
"Wait a minute," Rodney said. "We spent the better part of yesterday afternoon and evening servicing that impertinent whelp--who we were supposed to be punishing, by the way."
"It's your fault. You were the one who decided to fantasize about licking him clean."
"You licked him first!"
"I know a good idea when I hear one," John shouted back. He glanced over his shoulder at the doors to the rear compartment where the others were and lowered his voice. "Look, could we change the topic? This line of thought is bound to have consequences," he said with a meaningful glance at his lap.
"I can think of a great consequence," Rodney said. "Tonight, the impertinent whelp will be servicing us." But his plans were aborted by a message from Elizabeth, who asked them to hasten their return to base.
"What's going on?" John demanded.
"The research team we sent through the gate this morning has not reported in. I'm getting very worried," she said.
"You want us to go in after them?"
"I've already got Lieutenant Ford prepping a rescue force. They'll be ready to ship out as soon as you can get here."
"We'll be there in five," John replied. When he reached base, Aiden's handpicked team was ready. Teyla was pulling on a parka and Rodney eyed her suspiciously.
"Ready to move out, sir," Aiden said crisply as soon as John stepped out of the jumper.
"What's with the jackets?" Rodney asked.
"It's cold where we're going," Aiden replied. "I've got your gear packed and ready to go," he said, pointing to two packs on the floor.
"Wait! I'm going to need to change into my thermal underwear," Rodney complained. Aiden shot John a look.
"People's lives are at stake," Aiden said. "We don't have time for you to go looking for long johns."
"I won't be of much help to anyone if my ass is freezing off," Rodney snapped back.
"You've got five minutes," John said, pulling on a sweater he found on top of his pack. He picked up his parka and gloves and headed for the steps. "I want a word with Liz before we go." He went to speak with Elizabeth while Rodney went to his quarters to change. Not surprisingly, the team had to wait for Rodney to return.
"Move your ass, McKay," John snapped, impatient to get going. Rodney gave him a dirty look and followed Teyla through the gate.
"Snow!" one of the soldiers exclaimed on the other side. He and his companions spread out under Aiden's command and scanned the area even before the gate closed behind Rodney and John.
"We're securing the perimeter," he reported. "No sign of them but there are faint tracks leading that way."
"Leave three men here to secure the gate. The rest of us will go see where that trail leads."
"Yes, sir." Aiden turned and barked an order. John and Rodney exchanged a glance but were all business when he turned back.
"Lead the way, lieutenant," John said with a sweeping gesture. Aiden nodded crisply and took off with Teyla at his side. The three remaining Marines went next and John and Rodney brought up the rear.
"I hate snow!" Rodney griped as he trudged through the ten inch-deep powder.
"Now, Rodney, is that any way for a Canadian to talk?" John teased.
"Why do you think I left Canada?"
"...To go to Colorado Springs, Siberia and Antarctica? I can't imagine."
"And now you know why I hate snow."
The group ahead of them came to a stop about fifty feet from the base of a steep mountain. John moved to the front to speak with Aiden, who was scanning the mountain with a pair of binoculars.
"What's up, lieutenant?"
Aiden handed him the binoculars and pointed at the mountain's base.
"What the hell is that?"
"Looks like a collapsed building, sir. I'm guessing there was an avalanche."
"I hope our people aren't inside."
"I bet they are, sir. It stands to reason," Aiden said as he cautiously advanced. John pulled out his life signs detector and it registered a eleven people, four of them some distance ahead of his position.
“Good call, lieutenant,” John acknowledged.
"If they were caught in a storm and didn't think they could make it back to the gate they might have taken shelter there to wait it out," Aiden replied.
"And then an avalanche hit," John nodded. "All right, listen up!" he said turning to the others. "Proceed with caution. McKay, Teyla--I want you two to return to the gate. Neither of you was trained for this kind of operation. When you get there send two men back and contact base. Give them an update; tell them to have a medical team standing by to receive casualties."
"Yes, major," Teyla replied.
"We're going in," Aiden said, having ascertained that it was safe to approach the building. John nodded and Aiden and his men took up shovels and sounding equipment.
"John, I'd like to stay and help if I can," Rodney said as he watched Aiden's team converge on the wreckage.
"You can help me by staying out of harm's way," John said as he pulled out his own shovel.
"If you have more hands digging you stand a better chance of getting them out alive," Rodney insisted. John gave him a stern look but he quickly relented. "Some of those men in there are from my unit, major."
"All right, but you do nothing without express orders from me or Ford. And if we tell you to go, you go."
They went over to the building and joined in the digging. They quickly unearthed two members of the away team, one of whom was badly injured. John contacted Teyla, who radioed base to send through a medical evacuation unit. Rodney was assigned the task of tending to the wounded until the medics arrived. They found a third man uninjured, but trapped under fallen debris and the team's focus narrowed to a search for the remaining member of the team. They worked in shifts, a few men resting while the others dug and moved debris in the area where John had found his life sign.
"I'm going to freeze to death," Rodney announced when Aiden sat down beside him during a brief break.
"I'm going to freeze to death and be buried in ice, only to be discovered 5,000 years from now and prominently featured in an episode of this God-forsaken planet's equivalent of the Discovery Channel."
"You know, that's something I've always wondered about," Aiden mused aloud. "Thanks to the Goa'uld and the Ancients, humans populate thousands of planets in several galaxies. How come ours is the only one that has television?"
"Perhaps some of them were too busy trying to survive in weather like this to create a medium for watching reruns of Star Trek," Rodney deadpanned.
"Yeah," Aiden smiled. "And they probably couldn't get the rights to air it, anyway. There's no NFL or college football to broadcast, either."
"...And no beauty salons to create the insipid "helmet hair" absolutely essential to a TV news anchor," Rodney said with a hint of a smirk.
"...No Hollywood and no music industry, no inane reality shows."
"No reality shows at all," Rodney mused. "Perhaps that's a better barometer of civilization than the existence of television."
"I miss television," Aiden sighed.
"I'm going to miss my Johnson when it freezes and falls off," Rodney complained. Aiden sighed again. He'd hoped to distract Rodney from his whining, but he'd apparently failed.
"Why do you guys always call it a Johnson? Why don't you call it a McKay?" he asked curiously.
"Who are 'you guys,' lieutenant?" Rodney shot back. "And I suppose you call yours a 'Ford'?"
"No, actually, I call mine a dick," Aiden replied.
"What difference does it make?" Rodney said exasperatedly. "It doesn't matter what you call it once it's frozen and lying on the ground."
"How the hell did you make it through four months in Antarctica?"
"You may recall that I spent none of that time out of doors, lieutenant," Rodney said. "But I suppose that as one of the 'the few' and 'the proud' you sunbathed regularly." Aiden chuckled at the remark.
"I may be one of the few and the proud, but I'm not one of the stupid," he said. One of the Marines cried out and Aiden took off before Rodney could answer. When he reached the dig site, John and the others were frantically tearing away debris.
"You hear that?" John demanded. They all froze in their movements as Aiden kneeled and peered into the hole. He couldn't see much of anything, but he distinctly heard tapping from under the pile. That inspired the workers and an all-out effort was made to clear away more of the wreckage. The last man was finally exposed, much to the joy and relief of all parties. It took a while to free him, but after nearly four hours of being buried alive, the scientist was pulled out with relatively minor injuries.
An hour later, the rescue operation was over and the rescued team was safely back on base. Aiden and John packed up their equipment and hooked up their packs. Rodney rose stiffly from the boulder on which he'd been resting.
"I've got ice in places I don't want to think about," he groaned.
"Come on, snowman," John said, wrapping an arm around Rodney's shoulders. "Let's get you back to base and thaw you out."
"He doesn't look so cold to me," Aiden teased. Rodney turned to protest and was hit squarely in the face with a snowball.
"Oh, that was harsh!" John crowed.
"Don't just stand there; throw one back!" Rodney demanded.
"Throw it yourself!" John replied.
"I'm a physicist, not a pitcher, damn it!"
"Too bad, Dr. McCoy," Aiden said as he lobbed another perfect strike.
"Rodney, just make a damned snowball and throw it," John demanded.
"I can't make a decent snowball much less throw one with sufficient velocity to--." Rodney paused to wipe a third snowball from his face.
"What were you saying, doc?" Aiden asked impishly.
"Are you going to help me out here or--." Rodney ducked and another snowball narrowly missed him and hit John in the chest.
"Oh yes, I'm going to help out," John said. He bent to grab a handful of snow.
"Good," Rodney said, jumping behind him. A snowball neatly arced over John to hit the top of Rodney's head. "Argh!" John straightened up and looked at him.
"What?" he asked just as he was hit in the back with a snowball. "That's it, lieutenant! You're going down! Come on, Rodney, make yourself useful."
"How?" He was hit again. Aiden ran past the two men, headed for the gate. John and Rodney pursued him, shouting and ineffectively throwing snowballs at the faster man.
"There you are," Teyla said, rising to her feet when Aiden reached the gate with the others hard on his heels. "I have been waiting for--. What did you do that for?" she cried looking down at the remnants of the snowball that hit her chest.
"Oops," John said with a grin that was anything but unrepentant. Rodney handed him another snowball and he tossed it, narrowly missing Aiden when he feinted behind Teyla.
"Major Sheppard!" she cried.
"Sorry... Stand still lieutenant! That's an order!"
Aiden promptly froze. John wound up and Aiden took two steps backward through the gate, pulling Teyla along with him. John swore and threw the snowball before he and Rodney went through.
"What on Earth--?"
Rodney covered his mouth when he caught sight of Elizabeth wiping snow off her face. John averted his eyes and tried to brush the evidence from his hands.
"You two overgrown juvenile delinquents! Get out of my sight before I have you spanked and sent to bed without any dinner," she said shaking her head reproachfully.
"No debrief?" John asked sweetly.
"I've already been debriefed by Ng and Fallon. Go!"
"Yes, ma'am!" John said as he grabbed Rodney's sleeve and headed out of the gate room. Elizabeth turned to Bates and they both began to laugh as soon as they were out of sight.
"Let's find him," Rodney said.
"Let's find him and spank him and send him to bed without any dinner," John replied with a grin. They exchanged nods and headed for Aiden's room. His locked door was no barrier to either man; they strode into Aiden's bedroom and found him preparing to undress and take a shower.
"Hey! What the--?" Aiden sputtered as John dragged him from the bathroom and into the main area of the suite.
"You've been naughty," Rodney said. "...Again."
"Again? When was I naughty the first time?" Aiden asked.
"Don't talk back," John said as he pushed Aiden into the center of the bedroom.
"What are you guys up to?"
"Didn't I just say 'don't talk back'? Didn't I just say that, Rodney?"
"You said 'don't talk back.' I clearly heard you," Rodney said as he pulled off his parka. "The kid doesn't listen."
"I wasn't talking back, I was asking a question," Aiden explained.
"And he's still talking," John said shaking his head.
"You know, there was a time when I used to like them that way... young and dumb and pretty," Rodney said, dropping his sweater and reaching for his shirt. John and Aiden began to chuckle at the amount of clothing he'd layered on.
"Hey, I'm not dumb!" Aiden said, frowning.
"Shut him up, will you?" John said as he began to peel out of his own things.
"My pleasure, John," Rodney said, hooking the back of Aiden's head in one hand and leaning in to kiss him. Aiden went willingly and John paused to watch them.
"That just looks so damned hot," he said as he continued to undress. He stripped completely before tapping Aiden on the shoulder. Aiden pulled away and John took Rodney into his arms.
"He's an undeserving whelp, remember?" He muttered into Rodney's mouth before kissing him.
"Hey, if you guys came here to insult me, you can just--." Aiden yelped when John reached out and shoved him backward onto his bed without breaking the kiss. There was nothing tentative in John or Rodney's actions; the two lovers touched and caressed with a confidence born of intimate knowledge. Aiden leaned back on his elbows to enjoy the show.
John peeled Rodney out of his remaining clothes and the two of them fell onto the bed. Aiden barely managed to dive out of their way, but they were too into each other to notice. At least that was what Aiden thought. When he idly reached down to touch himself and John abruptly shot out a hand and slapped it away.
"No!" he said firmly before he resumed kissing Rodney. Aiden's protest fell on deaf ears, however. By then Rodney and John were two deeply involved in grinding against each other to pay him any attention. Rodney wrapped his legs around John's waist to gain more leverage. John greeted the improvement with a hearty groan. Aiden shifted from his position at the foot of the bed to his desk chair so he could get a better view of the action.
Some time later, Rodney drowsily opened his eyes and looked around. Frowning, he lifted his head and looked around again before roughly nudging John, who rolled off of him with a grunt.
"We appear to have lost something," Rodney declared.
"What?" John muttered.
John lifted his head and did a quick search of the room before he rose and checked the bathroom.
"Where the hell did he go?"
"I have no idea," Rodney said as he sat up. "Where would you go if there were two guys making it in your bed?"
"Nowhere," John replied lewdly. Rodney leaned over the side of the bed and peered underneath. "If he was under there he would have been crushed to death."
"Well, then, where is he?"
John shrugged and reached for his pants.
"He'd better not be plotting something," John said.
"He'd better not have found someone else to get off with," Rodney said as he picked up his pants. "I have plans for him." The two men started to pull on their clothes, stopped, exchanged trousers and continued. They were dressed in a matter of minutes and at the door. "So where do we look?"
"I don't know. If you were young and hot and horny as hell, where would you go?"
"He could be anywhere," Rodney sighed. He hit the panel to open the door and was hit in the face with a snowball as soon as it slid aside. John opened his mouth to speak and a snowball hit him as well.
"I thought I was going to have to dump this whole chest on you two to cool you off," Aiden said with an impish grin. John looked down and saw a small cooler at Aiden's feet.
"How on Earth did you manage to get through the gate to get that?" Rodney demanded. "I'm sure Elizabeth didn't authorize--."
"Hey, chill out, doc! There are freezers on base, you know. I just--." Aiden caught sight of their expressions and slowly started to back up. "Well, you know..."
Aiden turned and started to run. John gave chase but Rodney shook his head and returned to Aiden's room, where he pulled off his clothes and got back into bed. At least one of them would have to return sometime. He would be ready.