[identity profile] sgasesa-admin.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] sga_santa
Title: Knockin' Me Sideways
Author: [livejournal.com profile] popkin16
Recipient: [livejournal.com profile] fawkesielady_ed
Pairing: Rodney McKay/John Sheppard
Rating: NC-17
Disclaimer: The characters nor the show belong to me. Copyright infringement is not intended.
Author's Notes: Fawksie, I hit on several of your likes – I hope you like the fic! Big thanks to my beta – you know who you are. This would not be anything like it is, if not for you. Any mistakes are my own. The title was chosen while listening to the song "Sideways" by Citizen Cope.
Summary: How was this his life? He'd managed to not only sleep with his new boss, but also the absent, eldest son of the Sheppard family.

---

Rodney scowled. He scowled at the happy, laughing people; at the bright sunlight hurting his eyes; at the pleasant, helpful waiter who just wanted to make sure he had everything he could want. He regretted leaving his hotel room, could kick himself for ever entertaining the foolish idea that a vacation would help him relax. Honestly, what was he thinking? He hated tourist towns, and here he was staying in one. Really, he blamed Jeannie. A vacation was supposed to be the time for doing something fun, and for Rodney that was staying at home, in his pajamas, eating cheetos on the couch. His little sister had argued against being a hermit, however, and so here Rodney found himself, eating alone at a restaurant full of happy people, when he could be home having a Star Wars marathon (as originally planned).

He knew his sister meant well, but she never seemed to realize that what she found to be a good time wasn't exactly what Rodney thought was a good time. He'd never been able to get that across to her, and normally it wasn't a problem, but Rodney had a good many sick days accumulated and he'd mistakenly mentioned that to Jeannie. She'd pushed and nagged until he'd given, unable to withstand against a determined Jeannie.

"Check, please." Rodney told his waiter, and was soon out the door and heading back to his hotel room. The streets were full of people out celebrating the holidays. Though Rodney never took much notice of holidays, he had to admit he enjoyed the lights that came with Christmas and the snowfall back home reminded him of his childhood. Rodney made room on the sidewalk for a passing couple, the man carrying their sleeping child. It put him closer to the building, and he glanced over to find it was a bar. Deciding some alcohol wouldn't be amiss, he made the split second decision to stop there and get a drink, maybe take a look around at any singles looking for a good time. As fun as watching something on Netflix would be, having a little companionship would be even better.

The bar was packed, the warmth generated by so many people almost too much when added to the heat from outside. Rodney took a seat at the bar, draping his bag over his lap - he wouldn't risk setting it aside, not with so many people around. Rodney examined the bar as he waited for his Molson's, on the lookout for anybody who might be willing to spend a short amount of time with a forty year old workaholic. The bar was filled with young people, depressingly so. The chances of one of them finding Rodney attractive enough was slim to none. Of the people closer to Rodney's age, there were more men than women - not that it mattered to Rodney. One in particular stood out - a man of similar build to Rodney, with glasses resting on the bridge of his nose, blond hair charmingly ruffled. He looked nerdy and kind of cute - someone that wasn't completely out of Rodney's league.

Rodney watched him for a bit, sipping at his Molson's when the bartender finally got around to bringing it to him. The man was reading a book intently, ignoring the noise and crowd around him. Rodney debated whether to get up and go talk to him or just buy a drink for him and have a waiter deliver it, when someone spoke from beside him, opposite the direction of his gaze.

"Not sure you have a chance with him," Rodney heard, and he turned. A ridiculously attractive man was looking at him, head resting in the palm of one hand, arm bent, elbow resting on the bartop. His green eyes glimmered like he was laughing at Rodney and his full lips were curled in a teasing smile. Rodney was unsure if the man was trying to laugh with Rodney or at him. Either way, Rodney turned his much used scowl on him, crossing his arms over his chest defensively.

"You don't know that," Rodney said.

"He hasn't looked at anybody the entire time he's been here," The man said.

"So? Maybe he just needs encouragement."

"Why waste your time on someone you need to encourage when there are people actually waiting to be noticed?" The man countered. He held out one hand to Rodney and added, "I'm John."

Rodney hesitantly took John's hand, giving it a brief, firm shake. "Rodney."

Rodney wasn't sure if John was including himself amongst those waiting to be noticed. Rodney would hardly think so, since John was astonishingly good looking, even if his hair looked like it'd never seen a comb and his ears could be found on any fictional elf. He seemed flatteringly focused on Rodney, body twisted so it faced him, looking interested and friendly. Rodney felt a flush start at his face and work its way down his neck. Rodney was sure it wasn't a good look for him, but John didn't seem to notice.

"What are you here for?" John asked. Rodney grimaced - he hated small talk.

"Vacation," He answered shortly. "My sister made me."

John snorted, eyes filled with amusement.

"You haven't met my sister!" Rodney complained. "She's a menace."

"I'm sure if she forced you to go she had a good reason," John offered.

Rodney scowled. "I like working."

"Workaholic, eh?" John smiled at him, again, and if he kept doing that Rodney was going to follow him home. Rodney glanced down at his mostly empty beer bottle – surely the alcohol had gone to his head faster than anticipated if he was entertaining thoughts like that. Still, he shouldn't let the rest go to waste. Rodney slammed back what was left in the bottom, setting it carefully on the bartop with exaggerated care.

"What about you?" Rodney asked, licking his lips. John's eyes lingered, and Rodney's heartbeat sped up. He deliberately licked his lips again. John met his eyes, pupils dilated, and licked his own lips in response. Rodney's gaze caught on the shine of that full lower lip, looking wet and tempting. Rodney found himself leaning forward without thinking, gaze moving between John's eyes and his lips. Rodney stopped only when John's hand pressed against his chest, holding him back. He swallowed, jerked back, and felt the warmth flush of his face deepen, this time from embarrassment. He was terrible at reading people, maybe John hadn't meant - hadn't felt -

"Hey, hey," John said quickly, reaching out and snagging Rodney's sleeve. "I just meant - not here. Someplace private."

Rodney nodded, unsteadily. "Sure. Sure, somewhere private." John smiled at him again, and it made Rodney relax. It seemed he hadn't been reading the other man wrong, and anticipation made his palms sweat. They paid their own tabs, and John followed Rodney out. He could almost feel John's gaze on his back, and it made him feel jittery. God, it'd been so long since he'd last gotten laid - he really needed this, needed to feel the intimacy of another person's body against his. While waiting at the curb for a cab, John put his hand on Rodney's back, and slid it down until it rested just above the swell of his ass. Rodney shivered and leaned closer. He wanted to run his hands over John's body, taste his lips, rub his nipples, swallow his cock down until John came.

Rodney's breathing sped up.

When a cab finally pulled up, they climbed in, settling in side by side in the middle of the backseat. Rodney absent-mindedly counted the number of times his shoulder brushed John's, stopping only when he realized what he was doing and felt foolish. This is a one night stand, he told himself sternly. Having a little sex would be very good, and this way there's no messy relationship expectations to go with it. There's no reason at all to act thirteen year old girl with her first crush. He glanced at John, watching the light play over his face as the cab drove past brightly lit businesses. It was hard to believe that just minutes ago he was sitting at a bar, wishing for a little company but feeling like it was far more likely he'd be heading home alone. Now he was in a cab with John, who was probably the prettiest man Rodney had ever had the pleasure of conversing with.

Rodney would have to remember to send Jeannie a thank you card or something. This was turning out better than he'd expected.
The cab pulled up to the hotel and John paid him quickly. The lobby was mostly empty and John moved fast, barely pausing to offer the woman behind the check-in desk a nod of acknowledgement. Rodney followed, feeling like he might explode from the excitement, and stood far too close in the elevator than was probably recommended. John even smelled good, his cologne light and pleasant. Rodney wanted to bury his face in John's neck and get a good whiff.

When the elevator dinged and the doors opened, John stepped out with Rodney close on his heels. There were only two doors on this floor, and John stopped at the one farthest from the elevator. He smoothly unlocked the door and pushed it open, gesturing for Rodney to step in first. Rodney had time for a quick glance around - this was clearly one of expensive suite rooms, which was kind of surprising given the lazy vibe Rodney got from John - when he was being swung around and shoved against the door. John’s hands were on his shoulders and Rodney clutched at his upper arms, legs going embarrassingly weak. John kissed him, hard, and Rodney kissed back, open and wet. John pressed the length of his body against Rodney's, and Rodney rocked his hips against John's as best he could, pinned as he was against the door. Breathing heavily, the kisses slowed, turned to nuzzling. Rodney couldn't seem to keep his mouth far from John's, which John honestly didn't seem to mind.

"Bed," John breathed, and Rodney couldn't stop the eager noise he made. John laughed and brushed his mouth against Rodney's, lips still wet from the messy kissing. He rolled his hips against Rodney's once, causing them both to moan, and then he pulled Rodney along through the living room, keeping Rodney close. They didn't bother turning on any of the lights, so Rodney stumbled as they went, but John's movements were confident and never slowed. John pushed Rodney gently toward the bed.

"Strip," John ordered, and though Rodney usually balked at being told what to do, in this case it was in his best interests to listen. Rodney hurriedly yanked his shirts over his head, knowing it would make his hair go fluffy, but unable to care. He fumbled with his pants a little, but was soon standing naked, watching John look him over. They were breathing heavily again as they took each other in. John was lean, and through the light coming in from the window he could see John was hairy. His cock was full and red, with a slight left lean, his balls round, and Rodney took a step toward him, mesmerized. John’s cock was as pretty as the rest of him and Rodney really, really wanted to touch him.
"Let's get on the bed," John murmured, and Rodney nodded mutely. He barely noticed as John ushered him toward the bed, too busy focusing on the slide of skin against skin. The back of Rodney's knees hit the bed, and he scrambled backward, eyes locked with John's as he followed Rodney down, hovering over him, looking predatory. Rodney swallowed.

"Oh," he breathed as John settled himself on Rodney's thighs. John reached out and gripped Rodney's cock, wrapping his big, warm hand around him and stroked. Rodney moaned, fighting to keep his eyes open, his gaze focused, so he could fully enjoy the of that hand on his cock. Rodney was already beginning to leak - he'd always been one to do that; he loved sex when wet and messy. He watched as the head of his cock appeared, watched John swipe the pre-cum over the head with a quick motion. It'd been so long since Rodney had gotten laid, everything felt so good, and he didn't want to miss a minute of it in case he had to go without for a while.

Rodney's hips were jerking from the sensations now, his breath shaky, and he couldn't stop the movement of his hands. He reached out, resting his hands on John’s thighs and sliding his hands up, feeling the firm muscle. Rodney scratched lightly at John’s inner thighs, making him groan, and then John was leaning down, kissing him. Rodney eagerly licked into John's mouth, making little mmm noises as he tasted the beer from the bar, felt the heat of his mouth, the press of his tongue. They broke apart with a quiet sound, and John carefully stretched out on top of Rodney. John shifted his hips, then tilted his head back, eyelashes fluttering, as their cocks slid together. He swallowed heavily, and Rodney leaned forward to press a kiss to John's chin. He rocked his hips, pleased when John followed suit, and they settled into an easy rhythm.

John couldn’t seem to stop sucking on his skin, concentrating on his collarbones. Rodney followed the line of John’s spine down to the dip of his lower back, sliding his hands to the side to briefly touch John’s hips, those hips that could move so smoothly, created a sweet slide of pleasure as they moved. John pressed a kiss to the soft spot below his ear where his jawbone ended.

Rodney's cock was really leaking now, easing the way, and each slide of John's cock against Rodney's made him shiver. John's cock was warm, smooth, and Rodney spread his legs even more, allowing him to settle against Rodney even more firmly, his body a welcome weight pressing Rodney down into the bed. Rodney felt the slide of John's cock against the bundle of nerves underneath his cockhead. Rodney couldn't stop the sounds coming out of his mouth, though he tried. John seemed to like them, moaning whenever Rodney did.

Rodney didn’t want this moment to end, didn’t want John to pull away just yet, but he could feel his orgasm building. He sped up his thrusts, ruining the rhythm he and John had created. Rodney tightened his grip on John's arms, tilted his head back, and when John began to bite at his exposed neck, Rodney came. "John," he breathed, tensed, breath caught in his throat, and come dotting his stomach. The thought of some of it landing on John made his cock give another jerk, another spurt. Rodney went limp.

He met John's eyes, feeling relaxed and pliant. "Come on me," he said drowsily, and delighted in the widening of John's eyes. "C'mon, John. Lemme feel it."

John came with a hitched breath, eyes wide and unseeing. His cock jerked, slickness mingling with Rodney's on their stomachs. Rodney really liked watching that.

"Fuuuck," he sighed, collapsing slowly to the side.

"Mmm," Rodney said, flinging one leg over John's. "I'm all wet now."

John shivered. "Stop talking."

Rodney chuckled. Dirty talk was apparently a thing. The bed dipped and rolled as John left, coming back moments later with at washcloth. He wiped them down haphazardly, and then climbed back onto the bed, settled in close, and threw his arm over Rodney's chest and pressed his face against Rodney's upper arm. He quickly settled into a doze. Rodney took the opportunity to run his fingers through that spiky hair, surprised when he felt no hint of gel or hair product.

"'s nice," John mumbled. Rodney felt his own eyes begin to droop, the sleepy, warm presence beside him having a soporific effect.

"Yeah." Rodney said. "This is."

~*~*~*

Though Rodney was going to miss the possibility of sex, he was more than glad to be back home and returning to work. He had several delicate projects in the works, and he didn't trust his minions to leave them alone. Radek was handy to have a second, and a very good temporary leader, but Rodney didn't trust him to hold back the tide of stupidity that plagued the labs. So it was with much anticipation that Rodney entered his lab, feeling refreshed, his body relaxed. He was surprised to discover his team gathered around Radek's designated table, speaking in low voices. Rodney felt a scowl form.

"You people are here to work, not gossip," He snapped. "You can babble all you want on break, but when you're on the clock, you work." His people scattered immediately, Miko mumbling a shy "Welcome back," Myers nodding a hello. He approached Radek's desk to get updates on progress while he was gone, but was startled when gestured him to look at his computer screen. When Rodney did as bid, he was surprised to find Radek had his e-mail open. Rodney opened his mouth to ask, but Radek anticipated his question, already answering before he could get the words out.

"E-mail from the new boss," Radek said. Rodney closed his mouth with a snap, startled.

"New -?"

"Yes, yes," Radek said, pushing his glasses further up his nose. "Things happened while you were away having much needed alone time. People were fired, new ones brought in - it has all been a source of much speculation." He waved his hands toward the other people in the room. SI was a pretty stable company, and sweeping changes were unheard of.

"Who?" Rodney demanded to know. "Who was fired?" Depending on who was let go, Rodney's life was about to become more difficult. Though Rodney had little to do with the Board of Directors - and rightly so, given his...disposition - he knew that for some of them it came down to how much money it would cost to run the project, and the projected revenue the final product would gain them. The last thing he needed was more greedy people telling him he couldn't advance science because there was no monetary gain from it.

Radek patted his arm sympathetically. "Woolsey was not let go so much as finally retiring..."

Rodney groaned and pinched the bridge of his nose. As head of the R&D department, he had a weekly meeting with one of the higher ups to report progress and propose new projects. Richard Woolsey had been more of a manager than anything, but Rodney had a good thing going with the older man. If Rodney had already approved the project, then it was merely a formality getting Woolsey's approval. Woolsey hadn't been a scientist at all, had barely understood what it was Rodney and his people were doing, but he had trusted Rodney to know how to do his job. There had been mutual respect, and now he was gone - and Rodney would have to rebuild that respect and trust of judgment, made all the harder by his appalling lack of ability in interpersonal relationships.

"Fuck," Rodney swore, and sighed. Any leftover lassitude from his vacation was gone now. He'd have to meet this new manager, get a feel for the man, and probably give a summary of all the work they were currently doing. Rodney had no doubt Woolsey kept detailed records, but jumping through hoops was part of corporate life, it seems.

“I guess I should…” Rodney said, pointing toward the door. Radek nodded, making a shooing motion with his hands.

“Go,” He said. “Charm the man who is in charge.”

Rodney snorted. “Yeah, right. This is me we’re talking about.”

Radek sighed dramatically. “We are doomed.”

“Hey!” Rodney said, offended. Radek rolled his eyes.

“Just go, Rodney. Get it over with. And remember!” Radek called after him, “Be polite!”

Rodney waved dismissively over his shoulder on his way out the door.

~*~*~*

When Rodney stepped into his new boss' office, the walls were still bare, the desk empty of personal touches. Rodney wondered if the new guy was going to be the type to clutter his desk with sentimental things, or if he was the type that preferred to keep their desk almost clinically clean, devoid of anything not related to work.

With nothing to look at to pass the time while waiting for the man to arrive, Rodney settled into one of the guest seats in front of the large, ornate desk. The blinds were open, letting in slanting rays of light. Rodney could see a sliver of blue sky through the blinds, the top of the building from across the street. This high above street level, with the piles of snow and iced over roads out of sight, it looked like a beautiful day. Rodney sighed. He almost missed the warmth of his vacation, except Rodney didn't like the heat any more than he liked the cold. Why couldn't he live and work someplace with moderate temperatures?

Behind him, the door opened, and Rodney turned, already rising from his chair. He froze halfway up, however, when he caught sight of a familiar pair of hands and messy, tousled hair. For a brief moment Rodney entertained the idea of ducking underneath John's desk, but it was too stupid an idea to follow through, and anyway, Rodney still couldn’t seem to move. He watched as John said something to his secretary, back still to Rodney, and then the man took a step back, gently closing the door.

Rodney had to give him credit - when he turned and spotted Rodney, his stride barely faltered. John’s eyebrow shot up, his eyes full of surprise, and he seemed unsure of whether to offer his hand to shake in greeting or not. Rodney felt a flush creeping from his cheeks and down his neck as he took in John. He looked just as good in a suit and tie as he did in jeans and a t-shirt, damn him. The cut of his suit was very complimentary, as was the smile now curling his lips.

"Rodney," John greeted, looking flatteringly pleased. "It's nice to see you again."

Rodney shifted from foot to foot. "Likewise." What exactly was the social protocol for one-night stand turned boss? Do they mention it? Pretend it never happened? Rodney began to sweat.

"Gotta say I didn't expect to see you here," John commented as he took his seat, looking completely at ease as Rodney plopped down like his ass and the seat were magnetically attracted.

"You? You didn't expect to see me?" Rodney said incredulously. He waved his hands. "You were - and I - surfer! You looked like a surfer. Or...or a...I don't know. A slacker of some kind. A hot one."

John interrupted Rodney's sputtering with a laugh. "Thanks, McKay. Always nice to receive compliments."

Rodney flushed. This was not at all how he was expecting this meeting to go. How was he supposed to remain professional when he knew what John's cock looked like? He rubbed his forehead with one hand and sighed. Damage control, that's what was needed. He leaned forward, meeting John's eyes squarely.

"Look, can we start over?" At John's nod, Rodney continued. "I'm Doctor Rodney McKay. I head up the R&D department here at Sheppard Industries."

John's lips twitched. "It’s nice to meet you, Doctor McKay. I'm John Sheppard."

Rodney felt his eyes widen. "Sheppard?"

"Mmhmm."

How was this his life? He'd managed to not only sleep with his new boss, but also the absent, eldest son of the Sheppard family. Rodney was employed by John's father. 'Shit' didn't even begin to cover it. Somewhere out there, the universe was laughing at him. Gathering his composure around him, Rodney straightened in his seat and smoothed down his lab coat. He was a successful scientist with a reputation for being an asshole; he was not some harlequin romance figure, ready to swoon at the sight of a handsome face. He would not swoon at the remembrance of what he and Sheppard had done just this weekend.

"If you'd like, I can give you a summation of the current projects in progress, as well as any developing ideas," Rodney offered.

"Sounds good," John said, and slumped in his seat, eyes fixed on Rodney's face. Rodney swallowed, but began. John listened attentively, occasionally nodding or interrupting to ask a clarifying question. He was, Rodney was surprised to learn, actually able to follow the basic science behind the ideas. Having an appreciative, understanding audience made Rodney more enthusiastic. When Rodney realized how distracted he'd become, he yanked his hands down into his lap, embarrassed by the flapping about they'd been doing. The flow of words that'd been pouring out of his mouth slowed and then stuttered to a halt; the sudden silence in the room seemed awkward.

"Well," Sheppard said finally. "Sounds like you and your people are doing good work."

"Yes," Rodney nodded. "Er, sir. Yes, sir." Rodney added. He winced. He’d never called anyone sir in his life, except sarcastically.
John rolled his eyes. "You don't have to call me sir, Rodney. John is fine. Mr. Sheppard if you're feeling formal."

"Uh, yes." Rodney responded. God, why he was he so awkward? Did he have to look a fool in front of his boss? John picked up a pen and began fiddling with it. Rodney would leave - probably should, in fact - but John's eyes would flick up to look at him, effectively pinning him in place. Was it wrong, Rodney wondered, that he wanted to blow John in his office? Rodney eyed the big desk. It would certainly support their weight if one of them were to be shoved down -

"Well!" Rodney said loudly, standing abruptly. He banged his knee on the desk, a loud thump, and he grimaced. His cheeks felt like they were on fire. "My people are waiting for me. I should get back to them, you know how it is. Can't leave them alone for too long or something will explode." Rodney laughed, the noise sharp and fake sounding in the large room. John blinked at him, clearly startled, and Rodney waited only for the barest of acknowledgement from John before he was limping for the door, feeling a great deal of gratitude that he'd worn his long lab coat to the meeting.

Rodneywasn’t sure he could have made a more graceless exit.

~*~*~*

John hated paperwork with a surprising amount of fervor for a military man. In an effort to avoid completing that part of his responsibilities, he would wander down to the labs – no doubt to avoid angry phone calls from his family, Rodney thought uncharitably.

He has been completely professional so far. Rodney was kind of disappointed by this, to be honest, because John was hot and Rodney had seen him naked - surely that deserved some kind of reaction? But John was friendly with him and everybody else, leaning becomingly against things when talking to the other scientists; it wasn't just Rodney who was afforded a tantalizing view of that body. Granted, John did spend a lot of time at Rodney's desk, asking questions about what he was doing and sometimes correcting mistakes on the whiteboards. Rodney would never forget the first time John did that - he'd gaped at a smirking, smug John for nearly a full minute, and had felt a rush of lust so strong he'd had to excuse himself to the bathroom.

The problem, Rodney mused morosely, was that John was interesting and fun and Rodney liked him. Things would be so much easier if Rodney simply felt unrequited lust for his boss, but John had to go and be dorky and geeky and fit in with Rodney’s people. He’d successfully carried on a conversation with Peterson about Dungeons and Dragons, made Doctor Who references, and once he had even written a little ASCII coding. Smart, geeky, and hot, it was like Rodney’s fantasies come to life.

And he couldn’t touch.

Rodney had eventually worked out that John wanted to pretend it had never happened and become friendly colleagues. He spent a week moping after he figured it out, mourning the loss of hot sex with someone Rodney actually got along with. He was therefore somewhat disgruntled when Radek invited John along to their weekly after-work drink and felt downright upset when John agreed.
"What's your problem?" Radek asked, annoyed. "You like John, why do you not want him to come along?"

"I didn't say anything!" Rodney protested.

"Bah," Radek said. "You don't have to. You look like someone took the last doughnut."

Rodney grumbled. It wasn't that he didn't want John along - spending more time with John wouldn't exactly be a hardship. Rodney was beginning to suspect he liked John too much – he hadn’t become this pathetic when it was Sam Carter. He’d never noticed things about her, not like he did John. Like the way one side of John’s mouth would curl up before the other side when he smiled, or the way his eyes would get bright when he walked into a debate taking place in the labs.

Now they were going to a bar, where other people would be, which meant he'd have to watch John get picked up; it was inevitable. The man was just too attractive to be let on his own. And Rodney rarely got picked up in bars these days, which made the whole thing worse. Rodney didn't want John to think he was undesired, especially not on top of John's apparent lack of interest in him now.

Dating his boss would be amazingly complicated at best, and a disaster most likely, but Rodney couldn’t help but want him.

~*~*~*

They took their seats at a table that was out of the way, off to the back of the bar. It provided the best view of the room, which is what they were looking for. They didn't do this often, but when they did go to the bar it was more to unwind, to watch people chat and attempt to flirt, get drunk and stumble – and very rarely, to try and pick someone up themselves. Mostly they discussed their projects, argued over who was on the right track and who was way out in left field with their ideas. Rodney looked forward to these nights; though most people pissed him off with their limitless stupidity, he liked these people, and some days going straight home to an empty apartment was...lonely.

Not that Rodney would ever say any of that.

Rodney scowled when a waitress wasted no time approaching their table, eyes locked on John. This would be by far the quickest they've ever gotten served, and all because of their newest addition to their little group. John smiled, bright and friendly, slumped in his chair and looked relaxed. She barely spared the rest of them a glance, taking down their orders without looking away from John.

"And what can I get you?” She purred, putting one hand on John's arm.

"Budweiser, please,” He responded politely, and she winked.

"Right away, handsome," She said, and swished away.

Rodney snorted. It caught John's attention, and Rodney defiantly met those inquiring green eyes.

"Budweiser?" Rodney asked, making a face.

"Hey," John protested. "I don't make fun of your beverage choices."

"My choices are of high quality," Rodney sniffed. "Yours is fit only to be dumped down a drain."

John rolled his eyes, though his smile never wavered. He seemed completely unbothered by Rodney's snark, damn him. Radek and Carson broke in then, swiftly changing the subject to safer topics. Rodney tuned them out, completely uninterested in Carson's research - that's what the brief reports he received from the man were for. Rodney watched the people at the bar, watched as people were picked up and shot down. Beside him, Radek's arm bumped his, and Rodney moved it without glancing over. There were a couple attractive men at the bar; Rodney could buy one of them a drink. He’d feel more enthusiastic if he wasn’t hyper-aware of John’s presence so close by; it made focusing on the men at the bar difficult. Rodney would almost swear he could smell John’s cologne…

Before Rodney could force his mind to focus on the men at the bar, their waitress cut off his line of sight, hips swaying as she moved this way, tray balanced on one hand.

"Here you go," She said cheerfully, setting the majority of the drinks in the center of the table for them to sort out. John's, however, she handed right to him, with a smile and another wink. "My number," she pointlessly explained when John turned the napkin over to find numbers scrawled across it. As if he couldn't figure it out for himself, Rodney thought grumpily.

"Thanks," John drawled, quirking his lips at her. Looking pleased, she backed away with one last reminder to let her know if anyone needed anything. Rodney shook his head.

"You are lucky man," Radek sighed enviously. He pushed his glasses up with his finger, watching the waitress walk away.

John shrugged, rubbing the back of his neck with one hand. "I don't invite it," He demurred.

"You don't have to," Carson replied.

John met Rodney's eyes, looking uncomfortable. Unsure of what to say, how to react, Rodney looked down at the table, taking in the scratches and burns from its various years of use. Rodney had known this would be awkward and he resented John a little from taking his weekly night of relaxation and making it tense and uncomfortable. Rodney played with the condensation on his bottle, drawing designs with the tip of his finger. He sighed.

Once again Radek and Carson beat back the awkward atmosphere with conversation and humor, engaging John while Rodney sat silently. Rodney lost track of the conversation, focusing on John’s presence at the table, wishing he had the courage to do something – strike up a conversation with him or ignore him and approach the people he had scoped out at the bar. Something, anything, rather than simply sitting here.

John leaned close then, his arm brushing Rodney’s, and he could feel John’s warmth, his gaze on Rodney’s face. He fought not to lean into it – John had issues about personal space, Rodney had noticed, and he tried to respect that. He met John’s eyes, purposely kept his breathing steady, and raised an imperious eyebrow.

“Yes?”

“You alright?” John asked.

Rodney furrowed his brow. “Yes, of course. Don’t be stupid.”

“You’re weirdly quiet tonight.”

Rodney raised his chin. “I have a lot on my mind. I’m working on several projects, you know, big projects. I have a big brain.” Rodney added. John nodded seriously, though his lips twitched.

“Yes, I know.”

Rodney tilted his chin higher, feeling his cheeks heat up. There was a long pause as John and Rodney looked at each other.

“How’re your projects going?” John asked finally, and though the question seemed to be aimed at the table at large, his eyes were on Rodney. It was the perfect topic of conversation, since the one area Rodney always had confidence was his work. He felt himself relaxing as he began to relate the simulations he’d run, the experiments conducted, and the proving of his hypothesis. John nodded in all the right places, and for the first time since Rodney had reunited with John in his office, Rodney felt completely at ease in his presence. The two of them may be able to reach some manner of professional friendliness with John.

If only he could get a handle on his lust.

~*~*~*

“Rodney, I need your reports on my desk at the end of the day,” John said sternly, standing next to Rodney’s desk. Rodney waited to finish the line he was typing before pausing long enough to reach over and grab a handful of folders.

“These are the reports already submitted to me,” Rodney said. “I’ll send the rest up later.” Their fingers brushed as John reached out to take the report. It felt deliberate to Rodney, though he told himself firmly that kind of thinking was just wishful thinking and not true at all.

“You bring them to me,” John said. Rodney turned to look at him incredulously.

“I have far too much –“

“It’s your job to submit the reports to me,” John said. “What if I have questions about these ones?” He held up the stack Rodney had handed to him, eyebrow raised. Rodney sighed, long suffering.

“Fine, I’ll be sure to bring the reports up to you before I leave.”

John grinned, smacking Rodney’s back. “Thanks, Rodney.”

“I live to please.”

“Oh?” John asked, voice lowering. Their eyes met his and the moment drew out. Rodney’s heart began to pound, his hands became sweaty, and he suddenly felt like John was standing too close, the room too quiet. He swallowed heavily, wished heartily they were alone so he could lean forward and press a kiss to John’s jaw. The moment seemed to linger on until John took a sudden step back, putting distance between them. The noise level of the room climbed back to normal and Rodney could breathe easier.

“I’ll be in my office,” John said quickly, and leaves, his long legs carrying him out the door and down the corridor.

Rodney swallowed, shifted in his seat. That was the closest they had come to even obliquely acknowledging the carnal knowledge they had of each other. It made Rodney feel light-headed and hard. It appeared he wasn’t the only one who had moments of intense awareness. Rodney was pleased to know that, but it was disheartening to know that though John must be feeling those moments, he was having more success moving past them and remaining professional.

Rodney should really try to forget and concentrate on their growing friendship; in fact, he was going to make an effort to from this point on.

~*~*~*

Easier said than done, naturally.

Especially when John hung out in Rodney’s lab every day, leaning on the desk and smiling at Rodney, hair a mess, the line of his waist and hips a pleasant distraction.

~*~*~*

“Have you seen the episode ‘Scat! Darn Catwoman’?” Rodney asked, typing with one hand as he took a drink from his coffee.

John cocked his head. “Which one is that?”

“The one where Catwoman uses a drug to put a spell on Batman, making him fall in love with her. He ends up doing all sorts of evil things for her.” Rodney paused, glancing up from his computer to stare off into space. “Kind of a turn on actually.”

John snorted, shaking his head. “You would like that.”

Rodney shot John an unrepentant grin. The idea of a beautiful woman doing his bidding was a nice fantasy, Rodney had to admit. Especially if she were dressed as Julie Newmar was. Rodney sighed wistfully, pausing his typing.

“Julie Newmar in a cat outfit…”

John’s brow furrowed. “Eartha Kitt was Catwoman.”

Rodney smiled smugly, holding up a finger. “Not until season three.”

John blinked, looking surprised. “Really?”

“Yeah. You didn’t know that?”

John shook his head, leaning his hip against the edge of Rodney’s desk. He looked vaguely amused at Rodney’s geekery, and only the knowledge that John was a closeted geek kept Rodney from being offended. He really couldn’t hold John’s lack of knowledge against him – he’d spent most of his adult life in the military, after all, where being a geek was something people mocked others for; John had a lot of time to make up for.

“I’ll lend you my DVDs if you want,” Rodney offered. “Nobody should miss Julie Newmar, not if you call yourself a Batman fan.”

“I was more of an Evel Knievel fan growing up,” John confessed, and Rodney grimaced.

“Evel Knievel is not a superhero,” Rodney said, wrinkling his nose.

“Didn’t say he was,” John said comfortably. “Just that I was a fan.”

“More a fan of his than Batman’s,” Rodney said, looking disgruntled. John rolled his eyes.

“So? Doesn’t mean I don’t like Batman. Evel Knievel was just my childhood hero.”

Rodney looked as though John had just peed on his floor. “Your childhood hero was a man famous for jumping over things! Batman’s greatest weapon was his brilliant mind. He saved lives with technology he built.”

“Evel was cool.”

“And Batman wasn’t?” Rodney asked, offended.

“Sure.” John shrugged, grinning.

Rodney sighed.

~*~*~*

John borrowed the Batman DVDs and returned them within a week. He agreed that Julie Newmar was something not to be missed, with made Rodney feel smug for an entire day. They discussed Red Dawn and Doctor Who, argued over who was the best Doctor or hottest Catwoman, and generally drove Radek and Carson up the wall. John had become a regular at any gatherings between the three in the short time he’d been with their division. The more Rodney got to know him, the more he enjoyed John’s company, looked forward to seeing him and having discussions on any manner of topics.

They’d even created their own game.

“Mr. Freeze. No! King Tut.”

“Wrong on both,” Rodney said, grinning. He shook his finger at John. “Otto Preminger was Mr. Freeze; Victor Buono was King Tut. The character you’re looking for is Egghead.”

“Egghead! Right.” John said, snapping his fingers and pointing at Rodney. Rodney’s grin widened; that was his move.

“You go this time,” Rodney offered.

“Cliff Robertson.”

“Oh, hmm. I know this one – played the cowboy, right?”

“Mm.”

The sudden appearance of the head of the building’s security – a calm, professional man named Lorne, perpetually shadowed by a hulking dreadlocked man Rodney was secretly a little sacred of – distracted John, and Rodney waited patiently while they talked, tapping his fingers against his thigh. He accidentally met the eyes of the behemoth, who smiled at him in a teethed bared kind of way. Rodney gulped, inched toward John, and pretended not to notice the large gun on the caveman’s hip.

Finally their business was concluded, and with a wave of his hand, Lorne and the big guy were walking away. Rodney relaxed. He liked Lorne, even if Rodney always had the impression the man was frequently laughing at him behind that neutral mask, but Conan made Rodney nervous. He was intimidating, and Rodney felt like he was standing in the presence of a predator.

“Everything’s going well?” Rodney asked idly.

“Yes,” John replied, waving his hand dismissively. “Routine stuff.”

Rodney nodded and they walked silently for a while, making their way through the hallways to Rodney’s main lab. Just before turning the last corner and into the hallway his lab was off of, Rodney snapped his fingers in sudden realization.

“Shane.”

John beamed at him, pleased. Rodney was slightly dazzled. He bumped his shoulder against Rodney’s – a nice, brief press of warmth. “Very good.”

“My turn,” Rodney said, bouncing on his toes. “Shelley Winters.”

~*~*~*

John burst into Rodney’s office looking harried and annoyed. Pressing one finger to his lips in the classic ‘shh’ move, he slipped between the open door and the wall. Rodney raised an eyebrow and thought about asking what was going on, and then decided that perhaps it was best if he didn’t know. He went back to typing up his report on his and Radek’s analysis on the power core of their latest work in green technology, muttering all the while about environmentalists and the misuse of resources by the higher ups. Surely someone as important as Rodney should be working on real advancements, instead of being ordered to come up with ideas to calm the crazies. Really, corporations were only pushing for a green tech project so they could say they were looking into it.

“Hippies!” Rodney complained out loud, scowling. “I get enough of their ideals from my sister and her husband. They’re vegetarians. Who in their right mind buys a tofu turkey, I ask you? Even their dog wouldn’t eat it. No matter what Jeannie says, I didn’t drop the meat – well, it can hardly be called meat, really – I didn’t drop the food on the floor on purpose. It was just lucky for me, though not so much for Kaleb’s Uncle Marty, Marvin – whatever. He slipped and hurt his back. I’ve never seen so much overreaction, you’d think I’d tried to murder him via turkey.” He heard a hastily covered laugh coming from the corner. Rodney glared, but the door was between him and John, so the effort was wasted.

“One word out of you and I’ll track down whomever you’re hiding from,” Rodney threatened. All was quiet.

“Hippies,” Rodney muttered, and thought longingly of his various other projects.

“Hey, McKay,” Cadman greeted from the doorway, and Rodney threw his stress ball at her. She caught it deftly, grinning. Rodney gave her his best glare, the one that made kids cry.

“Get out.”

“Aw, c’mon. Think of the good times we’ve had together.” She winked at him, and Rodney recoiled in horror.

“There were never any good times! There was one ill-conceived double date and someone –“ Rodney narrowed his eyes pointedly, “Doesn’t know how to knock on doors before barging in.”

Cadman leaned against the doorway, eyes gleaming. “It’s not like you have anything to be ashamed of,” she said, tossing the stress ball from hand to hand.

“Please leave now,” Rodney begged, burying his face in one hand. He could almost feel the curiosity and amusement coming from behind the door. Cadman laughed and tossed the stress ball at him. It bounced off his shoulder and hit the floor, rolling away.

“Have you seen the boss?” She asked, half out of the doorway, looking back over one shoulder.

“No,” Rodney said calmly, carefully avoiding glancing anywhere but at his computer screen. He shifted, uncomfortable. Rodney had a terrible poker face and Cadman knew him pretty well. Thankfully she was in a hurry and only tossed him a quick, “Later, McKay!” and then she was gone, off to terrorize the village.

Rodney went back to typing. A few minutes pass, and then John slips out from behind the door, sending Rodney a grateful glance. Then he too was gone.

His life used to be much calmer.

~*~*~*

John didn’t really touch people, Rodney noticed. He had this way of avoiding touches and keeping distance between himself and others while keeping the person he was with from noticing his efforts. People walked away feeling like they were close to John when really he kept them at arm’s length, both physically and personally. Rodney could count the amount of information he had about John’s personal life on one hand, with fingers left over. Most of that came from common knowledge in the company: John was the eldest Sheppard son, who had left to join the Air Force. Apparently he’d been discharged – for what, Rodney didn’t know – and had come to work at SI at his father’s request. He was well-liked and much admired.

Rodney was embarrassed to admit that he didn’t notice at first, but John stood close to Rodney whenever they talked. He hovered over Rodney’s shoulder when Rodney worked, reached out to poke him when he wasn’t paying attention, smacked his shoulder when he did something John approved of. Sometimes Rodney felt like his touch lingered longer than appropriate, but he was also sure that was just his imagination.

John touched Rodney more than he did anyone else, but that was probably because once you’ve seen each other naked, it was easy to be physically intimate without being emotionally so.

~*~*~*

Not too long after the office incident, John showed up at work with a dark look on his face. Since bad moods were uncommon coming from Sheppard, people gave him space, taking care to be quiet in his presence and let him go about his business, unhindered.

He spent all day in his office, even the lunch hour, and Rodney began to worry when it looked like John wouldn’t be showing up in Rodney’s lab to drive him mad.

“What do you want?” John snapped. He didn’t bother raising his head.

“I came to see you, since you haven’t showed up for your daily distraction of my minions.” Rodney said calmly, settling into one of the two guest seats. John was behind his desk, looking disheveled – tie coming undone, hair almost flat, mouth a flat line.

“Perhaps I didn’t show up for a reason, Doctor McKay.”

Rodney blinked, taken aback. Had John ever referred to Rodney by his title? He couldn’t remember. Whatever was going on, John was upset. Rodney squared his shoulders and braced himself. He couldn’t believe he was the one initiating this type of conversation.

“Are you alright?”

“I’m fine. Don’t you have work to do?”

“Yes, of course –“

“Then why don’t you do it?” John snarled. Rodney clenched his jaw to hold back his angry words. He had done nothing to deserve being spoken to in that manner, and he refused to take it.

“Fine,” Rodney said shortly. “I’ll have the weekly reports on your desk by the end of the day, Mr. Sheppard. Please excuse me, I really can’t afford to be away from my lab for long.” Rodney stood and moved swiftly for the door, lamenting the thick carpet that muffled his stomping.

“Wait,” John said, sounding almost plaintive. Rodney slowed, pausing a couple feet from the door. He turned to look at John, feeling a pang of sympathy for the man. John was his friend, one of a select few – he should at least try to keep cool when dealing with him when he was so obviously upset and stressed. Rodney slowly returned to his seat, unsure of what to expect.

“It’s my brother,” John said, looking tired and wrung out.

“Oh?” Rodney asked, holding still, like John was a wild animal and movement would catch his attention. Not an inapt metaphor, Rodney thought. John noticing he was sharing his feelings might cause the same reaction as a wild animal. Rodney had seen the painful squirming of a man forced to articulate when John was pressed to answer a question posed by someone who was unsatisfied by the surface, practiced response John normally gave.

On the other side of the desk, John shrugged. “I never wanted to work for the company, but my dad…so my brother is on my ass to make sure I’m not fucking things up.”

Rodney nodded. He could imagine. It was easy to tell that John was nothing like the other Sheppards. He could imagine how such differences would have caused strife, especially for someone as strict and uptight as the eldest Sheppard.

“My parents fought all the time,” Rodney offered. “Neither were happy with the marriage but felt they should stay for my sister and I. Their treatment of Jeannie and I was always flavored with more than a little bitterness.” Rodney’s mouth twisted. John met his eyes for the first time since Rodney sat down.

“I’m sorry,” John murmured. Rodney waved a hand dismissively.

“It’s fine. There’s no doubt Jeannie and I are messed up because of it, but at least we learned what not to do in the event of either of us procreating.”

“Small favors,” John said wryly. They sat silently for a moment, John staring at the desk and Rodney staring at John. Rodney felt a pleasant sense of camaraderie – it was nice not being the only one with the dysfunctional family. John still looked exhausted and somehow small, but the set of his shoulders seemed less tense. Rodney felt himself relaxing somewhat. Being at odds with John wasn’t pleasant.

“Hey,” Rodney said suddenly, startling John into looking at him again. “We should go out tonight.”

John’s eyes widened and he straightened up. When Rodney’s brain caught up with his mouth, his eyes went wide and he felt a warm flush heat his cheeks. He frantically waved his hands in the air between himself and John.

“I – I meant as friends, of course, we should go out and toast to crappy parents and we can invite Radek and Carson – not that they have crappy parents, they seem to have good relationships with their families - but it’ll be like our thing, just a couple days early. It’s not fun to drink alone.”

John’s mouth twitched. His green eyes looked warm and bright; Rodney felt a warmth in his chest. He really was ridiculously fond of him, it was sad, really. John didn’t get upset when Rodney yelled at him or called him names, and he understood Rodney’s jokes and was enough of a geek to talk Trek with him. It was really nice – Rodney supposed this is what having a best friend is like.

“Relax, Rodney,” John drawled, leaning back and sprawling in his chair. “I know what you meant.” He tilted his head down, peering at Rodney through his eyelashes. Rodney shifted in his seat – it’d be impossible to hide an erection when he left, and if John kept looking at him like that…well. It brought things to mind – sexy, fun things, half memory and half fantasy, and Rodney couldn’t be blamed for having a reaction.

“Could be fun,” John commented, smiling at him, and Rodney nodded.

“You can listen to Carson’s romantic woes,” Rodney said.

John laughed. “And listen to Radek talk about the lovely, virtuous Elizabeth.”

“I half expect her to walk on water, going by Radek’s comments.”

“We are all fools in love,” John murmured, meeting his eyes. Rodney swallowed and dropped his eyes. This is your boss, he reminded himself.

“Is that a quote?”

John grinned. “Yep.”

“I thought so.” Rodney tilted his head to the side. “What’s it from?”

“I know it from Pride and Prejudice,” John said.

Rodney groaned. “You have terrible taste in novels!”

John laughed. “I like a good classic now and then.”

Terrible taste,” Rodney emphasized, burying his face in his hands.

“Aw, you know you like me.” John said, reaching out to poke at the hands still covering Rodney’s face.

“Sometimes I wonder why,” Rodney sighed. He shook his head but couldn’t look at John’s amused, bright face and pretend he didn’t. He grinned back.

When John walked him to the door, he pressed his hand against Rodney’s lower back.

( Knockin' Me Sideways - Part 2 of 2 )

Date: 2012-12-16 02:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] melagan.livejournal.com
Rodney's nervous reaction to John the first time he realizes he just slept with his boss is priceless.

Date: 2013-01-07 04:42 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] popkin16
I would be a mess if it had happened to me :P

SGA Newsletter - December 16, 2012

Date: 2012-12-17 03:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] livejournal.livejournal.com
User [livejournal.com profile] neevebrody referenced to your post from SGA Newsletter - December 16, 2012 (http://sga-newsletter.livejournal.com/678623.html) saying: [...] : Knockin' Me Sideways (Part 1 of 2) (McKay/Sheppard, NC-17) [...]

Date: 2012-12-30 11:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wings128.livejournal.com
I'd just started reading this when my kids interrupted me and I was like "leave me alone! I want to keep reading!"
Thought about where I'd left Rodney in the bar the whole time I was cooking dinner and couldn't wait to get back to your story. Had to start from the beginning again....what a shame *grins*

A great story that makes me want to read more of your work :-)

Date: 2013-01-07 04:43 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] popkin16
I love when fics do that ♥ They draw you in and you want to just live in that world :D

Thank you so much, there are no words for how happy I am you enjoyed this ♥

Date: 2013-01-08 07:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wings128.livejournal.com
To me it's a sign of a truly great escape
Your welcome :-)
Hurry up and write some more *grins*

Date: 2013-01-08 07:26 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] popkin16
lol I'm working on it XD

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