SGA: The Hero Thing (PG-13), McKay/Sheppard.
Note: Written for and in answer to a prompt from lavvyan.
"Come on, come on," Rodney muttered. "This is where you come up with a crazy plan to save the day. This isn't the kind of situation that requires my brilliance--this needs explosions and guns and...and you're not understanding a single thing I'm saying, are you?"
John grinned at him dopily. "You're hot when you talk fast."
"You think I'm hot? No, no, no, we need to--" Rodney dropped his head into his hands and counted to ten. "Colonel, we have to get out of here," he said. "These people are going to kill us."
"People are always trying to kill us," John told him earnestly, reaching out to give Rodney a pat on the cheek. Then he grinned. "Hey, want to arm wrestle?"
"What the hell did they give you," Rodney muttered. He grabbed John's wrists and pulled the other man towards him. "You have to listen, okay, we're in trouble here..."
"You're never happy anymore," John said, pouting. "I like it when you're happy. All glowy and smiley. Like that time I pushed you off the balcony. Those were good times."
"You are so high," Rodney told him. "Okay, okay, obviously we're going to have to wait for Teyla and Ronon to come rescue us."
"Oh, I don't think that will work," John told him. He grinned and tried to wiggle out of Rodney's grip.
Rodney released him, but only so he could cross his arms. "And why not?" he demanded.
"Because they said they're going to sacrifice me in three hours, before sunset. That's why they drugged me, so I wouldn't care." John smiled at him, pleased. "And it totally works, because I so don't."
"What?" Rodney snapped, paling. "I thought they drugged you to interrogate you. Why didn't you tell me this before?"
"It didn't seem important," John said, with a shrug. "Can we talk about something else? This is depressing."
"No!" Rodney snapped. "We need to stay focused." Rodney started pacing, and looked at the locked door to their cell. It was stone and three inches thick, because despite their predilection for human sacrifice, the Risison were a little more sophisticated than the usual huts and spears variety. "Oh, god. Okay, okay, don't...don't panic."
"I'm not panicking," John told him. "Don't worry, Rodney, they promised they were going to let you leave."
"Before or after they kill you in honor of their sun god?" Rodney snapped.
"After," John admitted easily. "And it's a moon god. Very nasty guy--needs fresh blood every other year or apparently he'll go on strike."
"Do you have anything we can use?" Rodney asked. "Any hidden weapons? Anything like that?"
John frowned. "No, they took my gun, the bastards." John's mood switched again, and he suddenly smiled brightly. "But it's okay, they said I wouldn't need it anymore anyway."
Rodney grabbed John by the arm and led him to the wall beside the door, before shoving him in the corner. "Just stay there, okay?" he said. "I'm going to think of something."
John nodded. "You're always thinking," he said.
"Yes, that's right," Rodney said. "So do as you're told."
"Okay," John said brightly.
Rodney narrowed his eyes at him. "Really?"
"Sure, Rodney," John said.
"Well, ah, good," Rodney said, and nodded, and started pacing again. "When they come to get us, we'll just have to try and take them. Can you fight?"
"Why?" John asked. "They've been really nice to us, and I don't want to be rude."
"They're going to kill you," Rodney snapped.
"Yes, but it's a great honor," John said. "They don't choose just anyone, gotta be worthy, they said. They told me I was blessed."
"Wonderful," Rodney said. "You've completely lost your mind." Rodney took a deep breath. "Alright, that's fine, this is fine, I'll just have to...you know, take them out on my own. I've watched you do it enough, how hard can it be?"
"It's not very hard at all," John told him encouragingly. "If you get them in the throat, they'll drop like a stone."
"I'll keep that in mind," Rodney told him.
Rodney heard footsteps approaching and motioned for John to be quiet, which only kind of worked, because John seemed to find his hand motions really funny and was trying not to laugh. Rodney rolled his eyes, and leaned up against the wall beside John while he waited for the door to open.
The lock turned, and then one of the Risisons were just strolling right in, holding a tray of what was probably supposed to be their last meal. He lunged on instinct, jumping him from behind and wrapping his arms around the guy's throat.
The tray clattered to the floor, and they both followed it down. As Rodney tightened his grip, he heard John say encouragingly, "Way to go, Rodney!"
The man he was holding struggled in his grip but quickly fell limp, unconscious, and Rodney let him go. He started to rise to his feet, but another Risson appeared in the doorway, looking startled. Rodney saw him reach for his gun, and quickly lunged forward, grabbing the unconscious man's weapon.
He aimed and fired, not taking the time to think, and the guard was gripped in a purple light from the blast. He stood there convulsing for a moment, before his eyes rolled back in his head and fell straight to the floor.
"Wow," John said. "That was cool. Can I have one?"
Rodney stayed where he was, holding the gun. He swallowed. "Is he dead?"
John nudged the man, and he moaned. Rodney pressed his eyes closed and let out a sigh of relief. "Seriously, though," John said. "Can I have one?"
Rodney ignored him, and stuck the pistol down the back of his pants, near the small of his back. He grabbed the other guard's weapon and held it himself, fairly certain that trusting John with it at the moment would be a mistake. "We're leaving now," he said.
"We're going to miss the ceremony," John protested.
"The one where they kill you?" Rodney asked, glaring over at him.
"Yes," John said, "that one."
"I'll pass, if it's just the same to you," Rodney said, and then he grabbed John's wrist with his free hand and peeked out the door. "Okay, I need you to be quiet, alright?"
"I'm good at quiet," John confided. "I'm extremely stealthy. I've been told."
"Well you're a little more chatty at the moment than usual," Rodney hissed, "so indulge me."
John made a zipping motion across his lips, and then laughed like it was the funniest thing ever. Rodney decided they were probably doomed.
"Just try," he said, tightening his grip on John's wrist. He walked cautiously into the hallway, and then glanced back at John. "Stay behind me," Rodney told him.
"Okay," John said, and then let out what sounded suspiciously like a giggle. "I like the view here, anyway."
"God," Rodney snapped. "You're high and horny."
John smiled over at him. "They offered me a harem for my last hours," he said, "but I told them I wanted you."
"That was smart," Rodney said. "A harem wouldn't be productive to escape."
"No," John said. "I choose you."
Rodney paused. "You...choose me? Oh. Oh. Uh, well, that's not going to happen--you're drugged and we're getting out of here."
John frowned at him. "You could at least turn me down nicely."
"I'm not turning you down," Rodney said. "I'm--oh, this is ridiculous. I thought I told you to be quiet."
John glared at him, but was at least quiet, and he'd stopped with the constant smiling. Rodney pulled him down the hallway, glancing around the corners and trying to remember everything he'd ever learned while watching James Bond.
He was pretty sure they were underground, because there were no windows and it had that same closed in feel he always got whenever he was in the SGC. He was beginning to wonder if he'd have to try and find himself a hostage, or something, because that's what people always did when they needed someone to lead them out. He caught sight of a hatch before he was quite that desperate, however, and dragged John over to it.
He turned the hatch and pulled it open. He and John had been unconscious when they were brought here, but if his bruises were anything to go by, he figured he'd probably been dragged through something similar. There was a long tunnel, seemingly never-ending whether he was looking up or down, and along the far side a ladder ran up the entire length.
"We're going to have to climb," Rodney said.
"I'm too tired," John said, sounding pleading. "I don't want to climb."
Rodney looked at him, and pointed into the hatch. "Get in there right now and climb!"
John looked hurt, and was pouting again, but he snapped out a "fine" and then did as he was told. It was such a new experience for Rodney, John listening to him, that it took him a moment before he had the presence of mind to follow him through.
Despite his complaints of being tired, John seemed to have no problem making his way along. Rodney watched him a little resentfully as he seemed to gain energy the farther he went, and decided to think of it as some bizarre side effect for whatever freaky alien drugs he had running through his system.
Rodney figured they had climbed nearly twenty stories before they finally reached the top, and even John was breathing a little heavier by the time they could finally stop. Rodney climbed up beside him, trying to balance on the rungs, and opened the hatch.
Two guards spun towards them at the sound of the hatch, and both reached for their guns when they saw who was there. Rodney lifted his own and shot one, before taking aim at the other and sending him convulsing to the floor beside his friend.
"Nice shooting," John told him quietly, eyes a little clearer than they'd been in a while, and a little too focused on him. Rodney grabbed onto John's belt and shoved him out, because being that close to him was messing with his ability to think.
By the time he pulled himself out of the hatch, John had already grabbed the two stun weapons from the guards. He'd stuffed one in his empty holster and was holding the other, and Rodney decided it would probably be a waste of time to try and get him to give them up.
The hallways on this floor looked exactly like the ones he'd seen before, but there were more doors here, and more footsteps. Dodging the guards was not as easy as it had been before, and it wasn't long before an alert when off, and he heard all those footsteps he'd been tracking take off in a run.
He grabbed John's hand and pulled him through the nearest door. He checked the room, relieved to find it empty, and then he shut the door and turned the lock.
That was when he noticed the sunlight falling in diamond patterns on the door.
Rodney spun around. There was an intricate stained glass window on the other side of the room. He pulled John along with him and looked the clearer parts of glass. "We're on the ground floor," he said, smiling.
He looked around for something he could use, and his eyes focused in on a metal chair. "Stand back," he told John.
John pulled his wrist free, but made no more to get out of the way. "Why?"
"Because I'm going to knock out the window," Rodney snapped impatiently. "Enough with asking me questions. I thought you said you were going to do as you're told."
John rolled his eyes and then jumped up to sit on the desk and watch him.
Rodney picked up the chair and looked at the window. "I can do this," he said. "I work out."
John snorted, so Rodney turned to glare at him. "I do a lot of running," he snapped, defensively.
"Yeah, for your life," John told him.
Someone started pounding on the office door, and shouting, so Rodney took a deep breath and just swung. The glass window cracked and shattered, blowing out. Rodney used the chair to knock the remaining fragments off the bottom of the window and then turned to grab John.
The door crashed open just as he pulled them both through the other side of the window, but Rodney didn't glance back as he took off running, once again firmly gripping John's hand. "We've got to get to the puddle-jumper," Rodney said. "It's not far, can you make it?"
"Easy," John said, and Rodney hated him, just a little, for that.
When Rodney finally risked a look back there was a group of guards in the distance, but closing in quick, screaming and yelling and talking about their damn moon. "It's close," Rodney said. "Through here--"
Rodney pulled them both through an outcropping off bushes into a clearing, and there was no puddle-jumper to be seen. John laughed. "Hey, do you think they took my ship for a joyride?"
"They were supposed to wait for us, it's got to be here," Rodney said. "I’m sure of it, it must be cloaked--"
The ship shimmered and appeared just as he said it, and Teyla and Ronon came running towards them. Rodney smiled. "Oh, thank god," he said, and then John was grabbing at him, pulling him off his balance, and kissing him full on the lips.
"We should do this again," he whispered, sounding breathless. "It was fun."
To their credit, neither Ronon nor Teyla said anything about the kiss the whole ride home. They didn't say anything about the way John kept groping him, either, they just both smiled their own strange smiles when he told them how John had been drugged, that he wasn't himself, and also could they maybe help pull him off?
Carson had quarantined John the moment they made it back, kicking Ronon and Teyla and himself out directly after their regular post mission exams.
Teyla had smiled at him and told him he'd been very brave, and Ronon had just watched him warily, like he was something he'd yet to figure out, and then said, "You did alright." All things considered, Rodney figured that was probably high praise.
He'd told Carson to call him the moment John was himself again. Carson had been glad to oblige, and had called him four hours ago with the good news that John had been released.
Four hours, and Rodney hadn't heard a word from him.
It was probably a bad idea to make his way to his quarters, probably almost as bad as pointing at that huge stone fortress and saying, hey, look, a civilization, let's say 'hi.' He did it anyway, though. He always did.
John answered the door on the third knock and leaned up against it without ever meeting his eyes. "Hey," he said. "Look, I meant to--"
"I know," Rodney interrupted. "I'm amazing and brilliant, and good at everything, and you're very grateful for it. This isn't news; no need to buy me flowers or anything, although a thank you would have been nice."
John smiled a little. "You were amazing," he said. "I just--I'm a little embarrassed about the whole thing, you know?"
"You mean the whole groping thing?" Rodney asked.
John's eyes shot up and he pulled Rodney inside. He waited until the doors had closed before saying, "Are you crazy?"
"You were drugged," Rodney said patiently. "You aren't responsible for your actions. If anything, I should be apologizing to you, even though I did save your life, which I'm sure more than excuses any inappropriate appreciation of said groping--"
"What?" John interrupted. "What are you talking about?"
Rodney sighed. "I liked it, okay? Aside from the whole imminent death thing, that is. It was nice."
John froze for a moment, watching him with a clear steady gaze. He was far different now than he'd been hours before, no smile in sight, no laughter or fidgeting; he was all controlled energy now, coiled together like a spring. "What was nice?" he asked.
Rodney sighed. "Look, I don't want to get into this with you," Rodney said. "I know nothing can happen--"
Rodney was cut off mid-sentence as John grabbed him again, kissing him hotly. It wasn't absent-minded like before, instead it was pure focus, the same kind of focus John got when he aimed a gun, and Rodney's knees went a little embarrassingly weak before John finally pulled back and he could catch his balance again. "Was that what was nice?" John asked.
"Um...yeah," Rodney said. "But--"
"The drugs didn't make me horny, Rodney," John said wryly. "They made me honest."
"They also made you thrilled about giving your life to a moon god," Rodney told him reasonably.
John smiled at him. "But you saved me from that," he said quietly. "Have I said thank you for that yet? Because I meant to; I'm very very grateful."
This time when John pulled him forward, Rodney went without pulling back. "Grateful is good," he said, and then John was smiling, a real smile, and Rodney decided that being the hero was a pretty sweet deal.