[identity profile] sgasesa-admin.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] sga_santa
Title: However Improbable
Author: [livejournal.com profile] sarka
Recipient:[livejournal.com profile] ldyanne
Pairing: McShep
Rating: NC-17 to be safe.
Disclaimer: SGA Characters don't belong to me. BBC Sherlock settings don't belong to me either. Both of these facts make me very sad.

Author's Notes: With gratitude to the usual suspects for the advice, the assistance and the encouragement. Thanks to S for the beta, and thanks to [livejournal.com profile] ldyanne herself for letting me write a strange fusion fic! I had a blast writing this, and I hope you like it! Also thanks to the moderators for giving me an extension when I cut my palm open and couldn't really type for three days while all my fingers were taped together. I'm a klutz.

Summary: For Detective Chief Inspector John Sheppard, a tough case and the oncoming Christmas season mean that he's got a box full of cold cases he's been ordered to show to New Scotland Yard's go-to consulting detective, Dr. Rodney McKay. Of course, working with McKay would be a lot easier if it weren't for that whole kissing thing John's trying to forget about.

Fusion with BBC's Sherlock - be warned that characters may occasionally sound British.


Because John is the unluckiest bastard in all of existence, Ronon is the one to answer the door. John had been hoping that Rodney would come to the door himself, but maybe that was too much to ask - Rodney can probably tell who's knocking by the sound, come to think of it.

"Er," John starts, brilliantly, when Ronon doesn't say anything. Ronon is terrifying when he talks, but he's even scarier like this, looking down his nose at John like he's an insect under glass, waiting to be dissected.

"Been awhile, Detective Chief Inspector," Ronon finally rumbles. He hasn't moved away from the door.

"Case created one hell of a mountain of paperwork," John offers, knowing it's weak. He's eaten, he's slept, he's gone down to the pub with the guys to see the match, he's done laundry and cooked and cleaned. He's even shopped for Christmas presents. He's been busy, sure, but he could've fit this in somewhere - if he'd been inclined to.

"Hrm," Ronon says. "And now you come knocking, with case files, and want to see Himself."

It's not a question, probably because the answer is glaringly obvious, but John still tries to pass it off with a shrug.

Ronon looks disgusted. "Well," he finally says, stepping out of the doorway, "can't stop you from coming in, can I? And Himself, he'll be eager to see your case files, considering he spent yesterday solving a minor jewel theft and has been lounging about in his pyjamas ever since, complaining about his miserable existence."

"Er," John says. "Thanks." He takes the final step up into the hallway, letting the door close behind him.

Ronon snorts. "Don't thank me yet," he says, and disappears down the hall to his office.


"Well, look who's here," Rodney sneers when John comes through the living room door, box of case files held in front of him, like an offering or maybe a shield. "I see you've decided to grace us lowly hobbyists with your presence, DCI Sheppard - or has your Superintendent just decided to whore you out to get me to have a look at your cold cases?"

"I thought you might want to have a look," he explains, not telling Rodney that Elizabeth had sighed, rolled her eyes and grabbed the box off her desk, all but shoving it into his hands and frogmarching him out of her office to get him to come here. John had intended to wait it out and hope that nothing spectacularly unsolvable happened before he felt up to facing Rodney again, but the women in his life had not been having it - and John knows better than to get Teyla seriously angry, he really does.

"It's what's accumulated as unsolved since we closed the case," he adds, knowing it's not much of an enticement, because a lot of these will be far too easy for Rodney to bother with, but it's the thought that counts, isn't it? Even if it was Elizabeth doing the thinking.

"My, you people are inept," Rodney says, swinging himself up to sit on the sofa, where he'd been lying when John came in. "How long has it been since we closed the case, again? You'd think it was six months, with that stack of cold cases."

Rodney has had input on dozens of John's cases, but between the two of them, now, there really is only the one case that counts. They'd solved it, but Teyla is on restricted duty still, and John sometimes wakes up, dreaming of young people lost in the woods, and then, of course, there had been the other thing. The other thing.

The reason John hasn't seen Rodney for... "Three weeks," he says, heavily. "It's been three weeks, and I've spent all of them writing reports."

"Three weeks, and how many cases are in there?" Rodney says, derisively.

"Thirteen," John says. "But it's December. People go nuts in December; you'd think it was the full moon for a month."

Rodney huffs. "Don't be ridiculous. There's no scientific proof that people behave any weirder on nights the moon is full than any other time in the lunar calendar." He gets up and yanks the box out of John's hands without so much as a by-your-leave.

John lets go, and Rodney takes the box over to the coffee table, getting the stack out and starting to sort through the folders at lightning speed. His hands don't falter as he talks. "December, on the other hand, has a statistically significant higher incidence rate of... incidents. This most likely bears a causal relationship with the number of holidays in the month. Lord knows I'd take drastic measures, too, to avoid spending time with my extended family at Christmas."

He keeps running through the case files for a minute in silence, while John digests that, before looking up at him in annoyance. "Well?" he says. "What are you waiting for? Go make me some tea."

John blinks, and then, for lack of a better rejoinder, stomps into the kitchen to put the kettle on.

At least Rodney's consistent.


"You're fidgeting," Rodney half-murmurs out of nowhere, in the middle of looking at an x-ray through a magnifying glass. He solved seven cases on the first pass, one of which he laughed at for a while, before penning his opinions gleefully in the margins of the file written by the investigating officer.

One of his notes had included the word "troglodyte." John thinks he's going to need to buy Sergeant Bates a few drinks.

"What?" John says. "I'm not fidgeting."

Rodney puts down the magnifying glass and gives him a flat stare. "You. Are. Fidgeting," he says, delivering each word with finality that he usually reserves for pointing out other people's idiocies.

"The chair is uncomfortable," John hedges, and Rodney snorts.

"Have it your way," he says, and then adds, "I could really go for a biscuit. Ronon bought Jaffa cakes this morning."

There's a long silence while John tries to pretend he doesn't know what Rodney means, before giving it up as a lost cause and trudging back to the kitchen.

"Get me more tea, while you're in there," Rodney shouts after him, and John sighs and turns the kettle on again.


They've settled into something a little more like their usual give and take once Rodney finally finds a case worth talking about - a potentially interesting art heist that took place during a party, making the suspect pool huge - and John has to try hard, now that Rodney has warmed up a little, to not fall prey to any... incriminating... lines of thought.

He tries not to think about how he knows that Rodney's acerbic mouth goes soft and slack when he's being kissed, or about how Rodney's constantly moving hands had settled into stillness at John's back, or about how warm Rodney had been under John's hands, about how eagerly he'd kissed back. John tries to not think about any of that, and he should have had enough practice, considering that's what he's been trying for the three weeks he's been avoiding 221B Baker Street, except Rodney finally throws down the file he's going through.

"Sheppard? Earth to Sheppard? Are you even listening to me?"

"Sorry," John says. "I zoned out there a bit - I haven't had a lot of-"

"Oh no, oh no, I'm not having it!" Rodney shouts.

"-sleep," John finishes lamely. It's the truth, but it's because when he hasn't been plagued by nightmares, he's been dreaming like a teenager with a crush, and with the object of his affections sitting opposite him looking flatly unhappy, John isn't sure where to take his excuses next. He really should've waited longer, given himself more time to forget.

"You utter bastard," Rodney screeches on. His voice has gone up half an octave and his eyes are sparkling. "You have no right; you have no right to fucking do this. I've been quiet, I haven't called, I haven't emailed, I haven't bugged you for cases, I haven't demanded your opinion on my cases, in short, I've done everything to let you ignore what happened."

John winces, because Rodney's right, but he's not sure where Rodney is going with this - he hasn't called or emailed either, or demanded assistance with the damned paperwork, and if it wasn't for Elizabeth and Teyla ganging up on him, he wouldn't be here.

"I understand that it was a spur of the moment thing... heightened emotions do lend themselves to irrational decisions, and you're not immune to them! But then there's not a word, not a single, fucking word for three weeks, while you, I don't know, freak out about the fact that you kissed a man, or freaked out about the fact that you kissed me, and then you have the audacity to come in here, like nothing's happened, when something clearly did!"

"Rodney..." John groans, because this is better left alone, that's how these things go.

"No! Don't 'Rodney' me, Sheppard. I've been keeping an eye on you, and you know what? You are attracted to me. I didn't notice before, because it was such a ridiculous notion, but you are, aren't you? Your eyes dilate when you look at my mouth, you keep looking at me out of the corner of your eyes, you're acting guilty when I ask you to do things - you're more likely to agree with me or do what I ask than usual, that's for sure - and you're so distracted that you're drinking tea!"

"What's wrong with drinking tea?" John asks, stung.

"You don't drink tea!" Rodney yells at him. "You drink coffee! Strong, one sugar, but you wait until it's almost tepid to start drinking! You prefer heavy, dark bitters, but you'll take London Pride because it's almost universally available; when you're tired, you drink whisky, and you take it with no ice, water on the side; you drink a lot of water because you do have a pilot's licence and you know that dehydration reduces concentration by twenty percent almost immediately, but never, and I mean never, in our four year acquaintance have I ever seen you drink tea before!"

"I drink tea," John mutters. "Sometimes."

"Oh, and don't get me started on the Jaffa cakes," Rodney continues, now on a roll, which John knows from experience is best to let run its course, for all that he doesn't like it. "You put them on a plate. And you've been sitting here, watching me work without asking me any questions for at least an hour now - and fidgeting! You bounce your knee like that when you're nervous - it's a common nervous habit - but what have you got to be nervous about? You've been here before, you've indicated that what transpired at the end of the case was an aberration - with your silence, but it did the job well enough - none of these cases are anything worth concern, and your superiors must be happy with you after closing a difficult case." Rodney's stopped shouting, and John realizes, suddenly, that this is taking a turn for dangerous territory, now - now Rodney is actually thinking about it.

"I'm just tired," he tries to protest, but he gets the sinking feeling that he's too late.

"In fact, the only thing you have to worry over is your momentary indiscretion, which I haven't mentioned or alluded to in any way, so it must be weighing on your mind." Rodney looks up, and John, despite himself, sees what he doesn't want to; Rodney, his mind working at speed, his eyes very blue and his face flush with sudden understanding, and he knows between one heartbeat and the next that if Rodney really looks at him right now, he'll know the truth in an instant.

"You're an honest man, too," Rodney goes on, his voice much lower, almost pensive, now. "With notions of chivalry, you wouldn't just up and pretend something didn't happen unless... you've somehow convinced yourself that it was a bad idea, or wrong, or something moronic like that, which frankly is very like you and I shouldn't be surprised."

"Rodney," John says, and he's only a note away from begging, because it isn't moronic; Rodney is far too brilliant to settle for someone so jaded; he needs someone interesting, someone who can keep up with him and doesn't get short with him when he goes off on tangents or wrecks a case because he's just too goddamn curious sometimes.

"And when you kissed me..." Rodney says, jolting John out of his thoughts, "it wasn't... I haven't been kissed a lot but there was no fumbling. You knew where you wanted to put your hands. You knew..." he blinks, suddenly realizing where his reasoning has left him, and John is as good as doomed, now.

"John," he says, sounding honestly astonished. "You're not just attracted to me, you fancy me! You like me. You... you've been thinking about me," he goes on, as he realizes it. "That's why you keep looking and twitching when I lick my lips."

"Rodney, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to..."

"What do you mean?" Rodney says. "This is great! You like me, I like you..." he trails off, a little unsure, before looking up to stare at John. "You think I don't deserve you," he says, sounding betrayed.

"No!" John exclaims. "No, I..."

"You're attracted to me, but you don't want to actually date me," Rodney accuses.

"Yes! No! I mean, yes! I'm... I am attracted to you, and I do want to date you, but Rodney, I'm not, I'm not exciting. I'm predictable. I'm not as smart as you; you deserve someone who can keep up with you." Rodney stares at him, and it occurs to John that they must make quite a sight. They've both stood up and are standing on either side of the sofa, Rodney a little pale around the edges, like he always goes when he starts shouting, John with his hands balled up in fists and standing at attention, like he's expecting a dressing down from a superior officer.

"Nobody can keep up with me," Rodney finally says. He looks a little sad about that, but not in the way he sometimes does, when he goes full on "nobody can understand me, woe-is-me" hysteric. "Most people don't even try," he goes on.

"There must be..." John starts.

"You, in fact, do better than most," Rodney says. "A lot better."

"I... what?"

"And you keep me in check, for the most part, which I've come to recognize is important, though I'm not entirely sure why."

John is lost for words. This is both better and worse than what he was expecting, and he's never been good at reacting to other people's feelings; something he has in common with Rodney.

He's not really very good at his own feelings, either.

"Elizabeth gave you the box, didn't she? She sent you to see me? You didn't come because you wanted to, did you?" Rodney asks.

"She gave me the files and told me to go consult you," John admits.

"You'd have weeded out four of those cases if you had been going through them," Rodney says. He sounds a little sad. "Listen, I'm just going to go to the kitchen, and you can gather up the papers and get out of here. Tell Elizabeth you tried, or something, tell her I am so emotionally stunted that I had no idea what you were trying to do - she should buy that - and since you don't want anything to happen, you can just keep passing it off. Let me just retreat with dignity before you go, all right? You can still come to me with cases, we can just ignore the elephant in the room, like I'm assuming you've been doing and..."

John can't take it anymore. Rodney isn't supposed to sound like that, and he's especially not supposed to sound like that because John is a coward.

He catches Rodney's elbow as he's turning around, and Rodney yelps when John pulls him back, his eyes wide with surprise. "John, please let me..." he starts, but he doesn't get any further because John's kissing him, and the rest of the sentence gets lost.

Rodney holds back, this time, stays still and waits, and John cards a hand through the hair at the nape of Rodney's neck, wraps his other arm around his waist and pulls him in, licks into Rodney's mouth and refuses to let go until Rodney is responding.

"You utter idiot," Rodney breathes when John finally has to come up for air. "Making me deduce your feelings for me. There're better ways to declare intent, you know."

John, who didn't intend to declare anything, hides his face in Rodney's shoulder, because yes, he is an utter idiot, obviously. "I'm not a master of deductive reasoning," he points out, and Rodney laughs. John likes the way he can feel Rodney's chest shaking under his cheekbone.

"John," Rodney says, "I've been obvious for weeks. You didn't need to be, you just needed to pay attention."

"I'll keep it in mind for the future," John says, raising his head.

"Yes," Rodney says, leaning in for a short kiss. "I think you should pay attention to me in bed now."

"That," John says, tightening his hold on Rodney's waist, "is an excellent idea."


John is a veteran of lust, of fast, dirty encounters, of rushing headlong towards pleasure, disregarding everything that stands in the way. He's used to first times having a certain level of desperation to them, remembers clothes torn and buttons missing and barely making it to bed - and sometimes settling for the floor or the sofa, or once, the stairs.

Rodney, it seems, has other ideas, and John somehow falls in line without thinking. Rodney lets John catch him up against the side of the living room door and kiss him breathless, and he allows John's hand at the small of his back as they walk up the stairs, but he makes no attempt at tearing John's shirt off, pulls away and leads John through the apartment by the hand, the warmth of his palm against John's strangely exciting. He looks back and smiles when John moves behind him on the stairs, leans into John's touch but doesn't stop and let John press him up against the peeling wallpaper, doesn't use the opportunity to lean down to kiss him.

They're still wearing all their clothes when Rodney opens his bedroom door, and he laughs when John presses up against him again, making them stumble through into the bedroom, and Rodney braces himself, takes John's weight and holds him up, kissing back with a slow dedication that means John's knees are very grateful for the support.

"Hang on, let me lock the door," Rodney says, smiling against his lips, stepping back, and John is confused for the seconds it takes Rodney to throw the lock, and to toggle the light switch next to the door, until the room is bathed in soft lamplight.

Rodney looks over to find John still standing where Rodney left him, and huffs out a short, amused breath. "John," he says, his voice suddenly low and intent, pulling a string somewhere at the bottom of John's spine that he didn't know was there to be pulled. "Get on the bed."

John stares at Rodney, and finally, when Rodney doesn't budge, does as he's told, sitting down on the edge, trying not to look like he's waiting when it's obvious that he is.

Rodney hums and catches two thumbs in the waistband of his own pyjama pants, pulling them down and off, leaving him in a t-shirt and boxers - and socks, which Rodney pulls off, not seeming to care that it's an awkward move to pull when someone's watching.

John licks his lips, wondering if he should do something similar, but Rodney stares at him, eyes dark, and he's far too intrigued by now to wreck whatever it is that Rodney's got planned.

"I haven't done this a lot," Rodney says, voice husky, and he finally moves towards John, until he's standing in between John's knees. "You'll have to tell me if I'm fucking it up."

"Okay," John agrees breathlessly, because Rodney is pulling his head back by the hair and leaning down to give him a kiss, and Rodney's busy, beautiful hands are already working on John's tie and the buttons of his shirt.

"I like that you take care of your things," Rodney mutters against John's mouth, one hand still crawling down his chest, undoing buttons. "Did you reattach the buttons yourself?"

"Rodney," John groans, and he feels Rodney's mouth curve up in a smile.

"It's an expensive shirt, it's perfectly understandable to want it to last," he says, brushing the fabric off of John's shoulders, until it's caught on his wrists. John's about to wriggle out of the cuffs when Rodney puts his hands on his shoulders, and sinks down to his knees - still in-between John's legs. John feels his mouth go dry and his heart stutter.

"Hm," Rodney says as he briskly takes John's right hand and starts undoing the cuff, pulling the fabric off him. "Calluses, not from your gun. Let me guess... golf?"

John stares at him, and Rodney smirks back, picking up his other hand and unbuttoning the cuff. "Makes sense, with your sunburn patterns, sometimes," he explains. His fingers are on John's left hand, running over the skin, and John's heart starts beating faster, because this... this, he was not expecting, when he should have. Rodney is reading him, page for page and word for word, completely focused on him like he's the most interesting person in the world.

"When did you break your wrist?" Rodney asks curiously, as he moves up John's arm, and John closes his eyes, breathes out and allows the touch.

"I was nine. I had a cape, I fell off the roof," he says.

Rodney snorts. "The cape should've made you fly, should it?" he says, and John smiles helplessly down at him.

"Always wanting to fly," Rodney sighs, his fingers stroking down over John's sternum through his undershirt. "Take this off?" he asks.

John closes his eyes before he curls his fingers into the hem and does as he's asked, knowing what Rodney is going to see and not wanting to see the look on his face when he does.

There's a long silence, and then Rodney's hands are on his sides, his fingers warm and gentle, and John feels the breath on the surrounding skin when Rodney leans in and kisses the scar. The damaged tissue is devoid of feeling, but Rodney's forehead is against his shoulder, and John wraps his arms loosely around him, holding him closer.

"Three millimetres," Rodney says quietly. It's not what John was expecting to hear.

"What?" he asks.

"Three millimetres up," Rodney says, "and the bullet would have hit a ventricle."

John tightens his arms, because Rodney seems stuck on the fact, and that will not do. "It was a long time ago," he says.

"Obviously," Rodney scoffs into John's chest, and then kisses the skin under his mouth, like he's trying to kiss the slight insult away. It works, too.

"Rodney," he starts, "can we..."

"Yes," Rodney says, leaning up and pushing John back, until John lets himself fall back onto the bed. "Oh god, yes, absolutely."

Rodney's quick, when he puts his mind to it, and he unbuckles John's belt and undoes his trousers, pulling them down along with John's pants and getting the socks while he's at it, too.

He kisses the inside of John's knee and up his leg, sometimes gentle, sometimes sharp and biting, and John moans when Rodney's tongue finds the joint between his leg and his torso, teasing so close to his cock that John wants to move, wants to thrust or beg even, but Rodney's warm hands are on his hips, holding him still, and apparently quiet.

Rodney's mouth, when he sucks down John's cock, is scorching hot and wet, Rodney's tongue doing something indecent as he sinks lower, until John is completely inside him. "Fuck," John whines, because he doesn't know what he was expecting, but Rodney's playing havoc with whatever it was, being better and sharper and more present than anything John could've imagined.

"Rodney," John whines, and Rodney's hands are strong and firm on his legs, holding him down so he can't thrust, can't move, can only lie there and take it, even when Rodney starts using one hand to play with his balls, rolling them around in his palm until they feel hot and heavy between John's legs, and this is already the best blowjob John has ever received, Rodney not letting up at all, not even when John's hips stutter under him, trying to move, or just do something, anything to relieve the unrelenting pressure building up in the cradle of his hips, at the base of his spine.

He'd thought of Rodney so often, in so many variations, that John would have believed he couldn't be surprised by anything Rodney might want to do, but he's never imagined Rodney would be unselfish, never considered that the focus would be so unwavering. It's heady, and when Rodney trails firm fingers down towards John's perineum, pressing hard and upwards on the bit of skin behind John's balls, something cracks and John comes, despite himself, orgasm shaking him all over, and he's panting with it, chest heaving, his eyes fluttering shut because he can't watch the way Rodney is looking at him as he swallows it all down.

When he opens his eyes again he sees Rodney watching him, eyes dark and intent. "God," he breathes, his voice breaking on the word. Rodney smiles, a little dirty, and stands up, and that's when John realizes that Rodney isn't even undressed yet, and that he's still hard - of course he is, everything they'd done had been for John.

"What," John starts but doesn't get any further when Rodney pulls the t-shirt over his head and moves to remove his boxers.

Rodney has always been built solid, even when John first met him and there was no meat on his bones. By now, he's got a little more heft, but it suits him. And he's quite broad all over, John realizes when he allows his gaze to travel down. All over.

He swallows. "What do you want?" he asks.

Rodney smirks down at him as he climbs onto the bed, settling on John's thighs, and leaning forward, to kiss him stupid. He's really unfairly good, John reflects - and a fast learner, which really should not have come as a surprise. John isn't a young man anymore, but he feels his body respond eagerly, his blood rushing in his veins, his legs heavy and tingling from his previous orgasm and he wonders if there's another go in him, yet.

"I want everything," Rodney mutters against his temple, his mouth wet on John's skin, and John shivers. "Everything, John, is that okay?"

They're not doing anything but making out and touching, but John's heart is thundering in his chest, and when he puts his hand on Rodney's face to get him to look at him, he feels Rodney's pulse pick up.

"Everything sounds good," he says, and grins helplessly when Rodney smiles down at him.


John wakes up alone, sheets tangled around his hips, the pillows next to him cold. The bed smells like Rodney, like tea and formaldehyde and cordite, like Rodney's tea tree soap that John's pretty sure actually belongs to Ronon, and he stretches out feeling the way his muscles protest in certain places.

Even that is enough to have warmth pooling in his gut, and John sits up for lack of other distractions, wondering whether to put his clothes on and leave, if that's the message being sent here, only to find a stack of clothes on the chair that does double duty as a nightstand on his side of the bed. There's flannel pyjama bottoms that he's sure he's seen Rodney wearing, a t-shirt that for all he knows could've originally come from him, since he's outfitted Rodney with plenty of generic white tees in the past, and a pair of thick woollen socks, suitable for the cold floor. His own clothes are nowhere to be seen, and John decides to take the hint.

Rodney is on the downstairs sofa, flicking through the art heist file, Ronon's laptop perched on his stomach, and he glances at John, smiles lightning-quick, and goes back to the file.

"There're breakfast things in the kitchen," he says, and John shakes his head, going through the living room. "Make me some tea!" Rodney adds, just as he's getting into the kitchen, and John grins to himself. Clearly, some things don't change.

Ronon's in the kitchen, newspaper in front of him, and he barely looks up when John comes in, obviously not surprised to see him. He waits until after John's put the kettle on to talk.

"Made a double pot of coffee this morning," he announces without looking up. "Help yourself."

"Thanks," John says. He figures this is about as clear an indicator of approval as he's likely to get from the other man.

Ronon looks up at that, a half-grin on his face, his expression sly. "I said before," he says. "Don't thank me yet."

John rolls his eyes and figures he might as well have breakfast, since that's what Rodney had offered. The fridge yields butter and marmalade, and there's a bag of bread on the counter. In fact, it's all remarkably domestic until John decides to soften up the butter a little in the microwave and gets a bit of a shock.

"Ronon," he asks, hoping his skyrocketing level of adrenaline can't be heard in his voice, "why is there a dead... bird... in your microwave?" It could be an owl. It could be a sparrow. Hell, it could be an ostrich. There's an awful lot of feathers.

"Mmmm," Ronon says, turning a page. "I don't use the microwave."

John stares, trying to parse that. He remembers the early days, when Rodney would have screaming fights with Ronon over the fridge - with Rodney doing all of the screaming and Ronon just standing there unimpressed. Looks like Ronon won.

"Right," he says. The kettle is whistling, and he's got toast and marmalade, which is fine, and coffee, which is fantastic. "I'm not thanking you for anything ever again."

Ronon is still smirking at the newspaper when John leaves with his breakfast.

Rodney is on the sofa, still on his back, and somehow typing while simultaneously reading the file, and when John puts the tea down on the sofa table, he immediately reaches for it, heedless of everything else he's doing.

"Nephew," he says, taking a long drink of scalding hot tea, and then leaning back to continue. John shrugs and eats his breakfast, waiting for an explanation, not minding the view at all. It takes about fifteen minutes for Rodney to notice that he's watching and another five for Rodney to give up trying to ignore it.

"It's the nephew, the art heist," he finally says. "Crime of opportunity - just looks well planned." He puts his teacup down - precariously on the edge of the coffee table, of course - and John moves it a little further inward, and then sits back and just watches again, because he can finally do that and he's going to enjoy the hell out of it.

It takes a further five minutes for Rodney to snap. "Why are you looking at me like..." he starts, sitting up and looking straight at John, and then he's doing that thing he does where he's looking at John, and John smirks at him, drinks his coffee and waits for Rodney to figure it out.

"Oh," Rodney says. "Uh. Oh?"

"Quite," John says, putting his coffee cup down on the table. Rodney looks surprised and flattered, and also warm and soft, and John hasn't gotten to kiss him in way too long, and he's of the opinion that whatever understanding they reached yesterday, kissing has got to be included.

He moves forward, kneeling on the side of the sofa, leaning up towards Rodney, and it's one of those kisses that he can feel everywhere, Rodney's hands in his hair and on his back, John's toes curling and the rest of the world falling away, except...

Except there is a persistent sound at the edge of John's hearing, a muffled noise that sounds an awful lot like a tinny rendering of 'Another One Bites the Dust'.

"Superintendent Weir is going to kill you for that ringtone someday," Rodney mutters against John's lips, but John can feel him smiling.

"Only if she finds out," he says, winking, and leans back to unearth the phone from the mess on the sofa table. "This is Sheppard," he answers, feeling the way Rodney's arms settle around his back.

Elizabeth is brisk and to the point, as usual. "Sheppard," she says. "I hope you made amends with McKay yesterday."

Rodney smiles at him.

"Yeah," John says, forcing it out despite his voice unexpectedly turning thick on him, too thick to fit through his throat. "Yeah, I did."

Rodney smiles wider.

"Good," Elizabeth says. "We're going to need him for this one. How fast can you pick him up in Baker Street and get to Marylebone Street?"

Rodney, listening, holds up eight fingers.

"Eight minutes, I imagine," John says into the phone, watching Rodney's fingers mime walking. "On foot."

There's a long silence on the other end of the line, and John imagines Elizabeth shaking her head in resignation. He smiles back at Rodney, squeezing his knee with his free hand.

"Well," Elizabeth says. "In that case, gentlemen, there's been a murder. And congratulations, both of you idiots. Sheppard, it was about bloody time."

She hangs up, and they look at each other, neither of them moving, even if their eight-minute countdown has started.

"Well," Rodney says.

"Crimes to solve," John adds.

Rodney smirks, leans in, and kisses him, before standing up, his dressing gown swirling around him somewhat dramatically as he strides towards the stairs. "Well, come on, then, John," he says. "We've got work to do."

Tosser, John thinks affectionately, but he follows.
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