Lost in the Woods - 2/6

Author: Daniela
Fandom: Stargate: Atlantis
Pairing: John Sheppard/Rodney McKay
Rating: R
Category: Romance, Humor, Mystery
Series/Sequel: Yes
Summary: One day they get literally lost.
Warning: Slash, M/M, Spoiler for Season 1
Disclaimer: No one of Stargate: Atlantis belongs to me.
Least of all Major John Sheppard. Damn.
Feedback: Yes, please. Every word opens a new gate.
Email: daniforblue@yahoo.de
Released: September 2005
Beta: Anomaly
Word Count: 2.981

Silently, Rodney followed Sheppard through a thick jumble of mossy grounds and tangled branches. Nature isn´t quite the fitting term for this jungle of hell. This mess of sprawled weeds, wild bushes and creepy trees. Their path had become so bumpy he had a serious problem keeping up with the Major. But he did. Despite hunger and thirst and all the sweat covering his face, a burning anger kept him going. Sheppard was so going to pay for this. Leading me here, seducing me, jerking me off and then... nothing. It pained him physically to keep his mouth shut for this long but he wouldn´t give the Major the pleasure of seeing him give in. Steadily the air became stickier, but still no sound of any bird was heard. No living creature had passed their way so far. No bee, no butterfly, no snake or lizard, and fortunately for Sheppard no bug either. The apparent nonexistence of any life beyond theirs was somehow scarier than the cries Rodney had heard by night. He didn´t know how much time had passed since sunrise because his watch had stopped. Another strange thing, right? He didn´t know when, but time had lost any meaning anyway.

Sheppard led them straight on; apparently still convinced that keeping to a straight line was the only way to solve any problem.

Doesn´t he see the wood for the trees? Rodney snorted. He didn´t know what was wrong with this forest but he had already figured out that nothing here was straight. There was no wind rustling through the leaves. The trees were looking strange, some of them were so crooked they almost touched the sick-looking greenish ground. Some of them even appeared as if...
Suddenly horrified, he stopped. "I won´t go any further! I´m downright exhausted and it´s no use, anyway!"

Sheppard didn´t turn but continued fighting the branches in his way.

"Damn it, Major! I stay right here!!" Rodney yelled, fearful.

There. Finally, he had the leader´s attention. Sheppard came right back to him. "You do as I say, McKay."

"What for? You have no idea where are we going."

"I don´t have time to argue with you."

"I´m not arguing. Keep going and just leave me here."

"I´ll drag you out of here if I have to." Sheppard grabbed his arm and started moving.

"Let me go!" Rodney tried to fight him off.

Mercilessly, Sheppard dragged him forward.

"Violence is your true nature, right?" Rodney panted in a low voice. "Why am I surprised? After all every soldier is also a killer." The second the words were out of his mouth he regretted them but it was too late.

The Major´s hand dropped from his arm. His eyes narrowed. Sheppard looked at him like he never had before, green eyes hard and cold.

Shit! Rodney froze, anxious.

Sheppard just turned around and walked away.

For a few seconds, Rodney stood still, watching the slanting trees around him. They appeared to bow down to him. They seemed to be...smiling. Dear God! He began to run. "Major!"

Uncaring, Sheppard vanished through a stand of bushes.

Breathlessly, Rodney followed him and suddenly banged right into him. "Ouch!"

Sheppard didn´t move, nor did he make a sound while he was busy observing the area.

Just now, Rodney noticed they had reached a small clearing. A band of water cut through wild, messy grass, glittering in the deepest blue. A green oasis, warmed by the rays of the sun and enclosed by a ring of high trees. After hours of walking through a jungle it almost looked like paradise.

"Water!" Exhilarated, Rodney ran over to the stream to kneel down and satisfy his thirst. Greedily, he drank the fresh liquid and after a while he sensed Sheppard had joined him. Feeling awkward, Rodney didn´t dare look at him. Again, he wished he could take his cruel insult back. Instead, he surveyed the high and even trees. Their branches were loaded with fruit in different colors. "Food!" Quickly on his feet again, he walked through the knee-deep water to the other side straight to the source for stilling his hunger.

"Where are you going?" Sheppard called after him.

"Picking an apple," Rodney replied coolly, secretly relieved Sheppard was talking to him.

"Watch out for snakes!" Sheppard laughed.

"This isn´t paradise, Major," Rodney quipped back while he examined the strange trees. Where are the bees which pollinate your blossoms? He had never seen a tree with so many fruit in so many colors. Red like apples. From the corners of his eyes he could see Sheppard followed his path through the creek. Blue like plums.

The Major sank down to get rid of his boots.

Green and orange.

Sheppard unbuttoned his pants.

Yellow like peaches. Something small, long and pink. "Here is a fruit I have never seen before."

"We can name it later," Sheppard joked dryly. "Be careful."

Rodney didn´t pay any mind to the pink licorice-shaped things, but picked a red fruit to take a careful bite. It didn´t taste like an apple, but it was delicious.

Sheppard shoved his pants down.

Rodney blinked, puzzled. "What are you doing?"

"Cleaning my clothes. I´m pretty messed up thanks to you."

"Oh." Rodney lowered his eyes and took another bite of the juicy fruit.

"What did you think I was doing, McKay?"

Hands full with fruit of every kind, Rodney dropped to the ground and leaned against the colorful tree. "I wasn´t thinking anything."

Sheppard rubbed the crotch of his pants with water. "Really?"

"Yes. Really," he snapped at him.

"So you are alright?"

"Yes. This is fun for me. My feet hurt like hell and I see no end to any of this any time soon."

Sheppard looked at his pants and smiled ruefully. "Me neither."

The third fruit of a different color vanished into Rodney´s mouth. Mmm. Tasty.

"Ease up. Don´t be so greedy. You´ll have lots of time to eat all these trees empty."

Seeing Sheppard displaying his cleaned pants on the sun-gifted grass, Rodney felt puzzled again. "What do you intend to do next?"

"My intention right now is to strip you down and fuck you blue, Rodney."

He gulped and looked away. His face became hot and, randomly, he stuffed his mouth with more fruit. He didn´t mean that. He´s just joking. He´s playing me for a fool.

"I intend to stay here for a while," Sheppard continued in a completely different tone. "It´s useless to move on. We´re completely lost."

Rodney just blinked, stunned.

"What are you thinking?"

"Well, hearing that from you can only mean it must be serious."

"It is. Don´t you remember how small the area of this forest appeared before we entered?"

"Yes, it seemed pretty small."

"Exactly. Naturally, you can´t get lost in such a small area; if you keep a straight line..."

Rodney snorted.

... you get to the other end eventually. Just as simple as that."

"But that is not what has happened here."

"No. Something is definitely wrong with this forest." Casually, Sheppard shoved his blue shorts over his ass.

For a split second, Rodney stared at his exposed backside and then... he squeezed his eyes shut. His mouth became dry. I won´t look. I won´t look. Cheerful whistling floated to his ears. How on earth can he be in this good temper right now? It´s not that we are in a happy place. Slowly, he opened his eyes just a little bit, peeking.

Covered by a black shirt only, Sheppard kneeled at the edge of the stream, washing his shorts. Finished, he laid them next to the pants to dry. "Still having fun, Rodney?"

"What?" he murmured with his eyes closed again.

"I know you are looking." Sheppard stood up and strolled over to him.

Rodney sensed it with every hair of his body. Full frontal nudity. Full frontal nudity. "Don´t flatter yourself, Major."

"Do you know how I know? Simply because you are way too still, Rodney McKay. That´s a slight giveaway."

Rodney pressed his lips together.

"Why don´t you freshen up too? You´ll feel much better afterwards."

He kept silent.

"Are you afraid of me?" Sheppard teased, amused.

"Your behavior is ridiculous, Major," Rodney spat and jumped up. The remains of the fruit fell to the ground.

"That´s possible," Sheppard laughed. "The whole trip is ridiculous, isn´t it?"

"Mmpf. I don´t have time to clean up. I´m still hungry. I need more to eat." Rodney didn´t catch one glimpse of bare flesh while he climbed up the tree.

Sheppard splashed through the water. "Fine. Suit yourself. You don´t know what you´re missing."

Silence followed. Apparently, Sheppard had given up. Rodney sighed, relieved. He embraced the gnarly bole and let himself drift. Why is this happening to me? Why did I become a member of his team? Why did I make such a stupid decision... His head became strangely light. Confused, he wiped the sweat of his forehead. Certainly too much sun. I always said my complexion... A hand touched his neck and shrieking, he jerked around. There was no one. A shudder ran down his spine and his head hurt. The inanimate tree started whispering. Rodney got goose bumps. No, it wasn´t the sound of the wind brushing the leaves... it was clearly... talking. Rodney yelped in panic and slid down the tree, scratching and bruising himself on the way. One branch hit his face, hard. Rodney yelped again and ran towards the stream - right into the arms of Sheppard. Naked Sheppard, Rodney realized a second too late. "Major..."

"I´m glad you decided to come around finally."

"No, it´s... not...," he stammered, frightened and breathless. "There is... something... someone... up in the trees... it touched me."

Sheppard frowned. "You´re talking nonsense. We are alone here. Completely alone."

"No. We have to flee," he gasped, while desperate feelings seized him. His heart began racing, his body became tremendously hot. "They´ll kill us. The tree devils...," he babbled incoherently. "Green... deadly..."

"Rodney!" Sheppard shook him hard. "Get hold of yourself!"

"I..." Sheppard´s face warped to the sides, the ground wavered. Rodney´s mind lost focus and slid into darkness. He fell deeper and deeper. Blackness. Stillness. Nothingness. Peace.

"Rodney!!!" Sheppard shouted once more. The scientist´s eyes rolled back into his head and his body became limp in his arms. Confused, John held him for a moment before he lowered him carefully down to the ground. Rodney was unconscious but his breathing and heartbeat were steady, he realized, relieved. The smell which came out of Rodney´s mouth was somehow familiar. Alcohol. Rodney was simply smashed. "I told you not to eat all those fruit, didn´t I?" John sighed, while he bedded Rodney´s head carefully on his uniform jacket.

His head hurt terribly. In pain, Rodney groaned and was awake in a heartbeat. At first, he didn´t know where he was. The twilight around him told him night was coming. Above him, he noticed a mass of branches and leaves. Trees. The forest. Shit. I thought that was only one of those dreams. Slowly, he pushed himself up and took a look around. Besides him lay a pile of wood ready to be set on fire. The stream close by ran smoothly and peacefully. On the other side, he saw Sheppard walking to him.

"Hey McKay, back to reality?"

Rodney grimaced. At least, he´s dressed. "What the hell happened?"

"You fainted." Sheppard smirked, gloating.

Oh no. Not that again. "But... why... what?"

"Don´t you remember?"

"Just... the tree... fruit and..." Rodney swallowed... you naked.

"Simply, you were drunk as a skunk and lost it."

"What?! I never..."

"I think it´s the fruit. I tasted just one."

"Oh." Rodney felt dumbstruck.

Sheppard sat down beside him. "It´s not your fault. You couldn´t have known."

Rodney nodded, embarrassed.

"How do you feel now?"

"Bad. My head hurts a lot. I´m not used to drinking a lot of alcohol. Also, I´m not used to walking until the end of time."

"Me neither," Sheppard entrusted, smirking. "I´m a pilot, not a foot soldier."

"Is there anything else to eat besides those fruit from hell?" Rodney asked, concerned.

"Oh yes, I discovered a bunch of berries back there. Also I ate the small licorice-looking things we don´t have a name for. They smelled different from the others so I dared to eat them. Do you want me to bring you some?"

"No, thanks. I´m not very hungry." He rubbed his burning eyes.

"I don´t believe you. You are always hungry."

"Stop taking care of me."

"I see!" Sheppard sighed deeply. "Rodney, if I did or said anything wrong, I´m sorry. It was never my intention to hurt you."

"Just to fuck me blue, right?"

"That wasn´t a threat. I would never hurt you - ever. I´m sorry you got the wrong idea."

"I´m sorry too. I didn´t mean to say those cruel things to you."

Sheppard shrugged. "But you are right. Every soldier is somehow also a killer. He has to be."

"Not you," Rodney whispered softly. He shouldn´t have said that. The sudden gleam in Sheppard´s eyes set him on fire, rather than the waiting wood. Quickly, he turned onto his stomach and realized the soft pillow he was resting on was Sheppard´s jacket. Rodney´s blood rushed to his groin. Jesus. What is this? He´s not even my type. He´s military. A soldier. A killer. No man for me, he tried to convince himself.

"Do you want me to ease your aching muscles?" Sheppard mumbled huskily.

Oh yes please. One muscle in particular. "No," he denied fiercely.

"Why not?"

He´s pouting. That´s really... the super-hero pouts because I won´t let him... "Because...," he cleared his throat but couldn´t find anything to say. His tongue was glued to the roof of his mouth while his hard-on longed for Sheppard´s touch. Rodney felt in heaven and hell at the same time.

"Didn´t you enjoy my doings this morning? I´m always open to constructive criticism," Sheppard said teasingly.

"Stop it, Major! Haven´t you have enough fun by embarrassing me this morning?"

Surprised, Sheppard raised an eyebrow. "Me? Embarrassing you? As far as I remember I was the one who couldn´t stop himself from coming right in his pants like a green school boy."

"Whatever," Rodney answered quietly. "I don´t want you..."

"Fine!" Sheppard barked and changed his mind. "I´m not that desperate, McKay. Give me back my jacket."

Deadly silence followed. Rodney gulped soundlessly while he handed over his convenient pillow. Shit. Why is this happening? Why don´t I just let him take me? I always wanted to have him. Secretly, he peeked and saw Sheppard had lighted the fire and laid down on the other side.

That´s that, Rodney mused bitterly while he was looking up at the first blinking stars. Well, my own fault. The fire gave enough heat to keep him warm but still Rodney felt not warm enough. He longed to share with Sheppard like they did last night. He longed for his touch. Sighing, he turned on his side and watched the Major´s back. Strong but not quite straight. An amused smile lightened his expression slightly. Who would have thought... him and me... no one... ever... Eventually, he drifted off to sleep.

Dark scary night. Once more, he was startled awake by the strange cries. Someone without hope and love screamed endlessly, but somehow it sounded also... soulless. He stared into the darkness and was shocked to see misty greenish lights roaming here and there. They were beautiful. They were hypnotizing. Cold fear gripped his heart. Forgetting about his pride, he stole over to Sheppard and snuggled against his back. In fear, he squeezed his eyes shut. Don´t look at them. Don´t.

Sheppard turned and hugged him.

Surprised, Rodney held his breath. The embrace wasn´t as tight as last night but still wonderful, warm and comforting. Breathing slowly out again, he found himself able to relax and ignore the suffering cries of faceless victims. They are green, a voice deep inside of him whispered. He snuggled closer to Sheppard and shut his mind. Lights and cries and coldness were banned. Only the pretty face of Sheppard stayed behind. Drifting with his happy thoughts, sleep took him by the hand and led him safely to the next rise of morning light.

When the sun drove away the cold of the night, Rodney awoke perfectly rested. The pounding in his head had stopped but a nasty taste in his mouth had remained and reminded him of his unpleasant experience yesterday. A thing in the trees had touched him. Rodney snorted. Utter nonsense. I´m a scientist. There are no such things as tree devils. Right, but there are the Wraith. Shivering, he stared at the blue, cloudless sky which promised the arrival of a very hot day. Great. I´m sticky enough from yesterday´s heat. Considering this, he removed himself from Sheppard´s arm.

The Major didn´t wake up but turned on the other side, mumbling something unclear.

For a little while, he watched Sheppard sleeping. Finally, he put his attention on the glittering stream. Stretching his aching body, Rodney marched along the river bed. Water to still his thirst and make the taste go away. Water to clean up. At a place he could be alone with no Sheppard seeing him naked, he stopped. This was far enough. He knelt down and rinsed his mouth first before he drank in hasty gulps. The freshening up of his body came next. His clothes fell to the ground quickly, and just now he realized how desperate he had been to clean himself. Smiling, he splashed through the water, feeling like a little kid again. He even didn´t care anymore if Sheppard was secretly watching him.

But Sheppard was still sleeping, in all innocence, while other eyes - wooden eyes - were watching Rodney closely and with growing interest.

John Sheppard/Rodney McKay