Lost in the Woods - 5/6

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: August 2008
Beta: Susan
Word Count: 4.807

Elizabeth walked into the infirmary. "How are they, Carson?"

"Sleeping, as you see," Carson replied quietly.

"Are they going to be alright?"

"Luckily, they have only scratches from branches and bushes..."

"Well, their clothes were pretty ruined."

"...and they are dehydrated, as well as exhausted..."

"But why? They´ve only been missing for one night. How could this possibly have happened in one night? Did they say anything?"

"Not one word. They were only conscious for a short time after Teyla and Ford brought them here."

"What about the things Rodney had in his bag?"

"I need some time to analyze them. There is also the strange material we found in their hair and on their clothes. It looked like pollen."

"I hope you find something," Elizabeth sighed. "It´s not good that the main scientist and the ranking officer went missing without an explanation."

"I understand," Carson soothed her, "but at the moment..."

"Ah..." Rodney groaned and turned around in his bed. "Oh... oh please John... more... please..."

Elizabeth and Carson stared at him but Rodney turned mute. His hands were pulling the blanket closer around his body. His legs were pounding the mattress.

"W...What... did he say?" Elizabeth stammered, bewildered.

"Ermh... something like... John," Carson helped her out. "Elizabeth... there is something else. Something I have to tell you. The bruises on Rodney´s body...."


"They are mostly... hickeys."

"They´re what?"


"Are you sure?" she murmured, eyes widening.


"But how did he....?"

"As far as we know there was only one other person around."

"That is not... possible. No, no, no. John would never..." Resolutely, she shook her head. "We know next to nothing so far. It could be they ran into other people, a forest beauty most likely. It could be they encountered the Wraith. It could be they were abused. It could be they..."

"...were making out," Carson threw in brutally.


"Just think about it. The Major is much more exhausted than Rodney. He´s in such a bad shape that he had to have been doing some extreme exercise in a short time."

"But... this... is..."

"...improbable but not impossible. It´s an option. We know almost nothing about the planet of the Frenas, and this forest is a complete mystery."

She gave the two sleeping men a suspicious look. "Teyla and Ford mentioned that they were acting strangely before they fainted, and also that the major claimed they were lost in there for five days."

"A difference in the passage of time? That could be one explanation for some things."

"We have to speak with the Frenas. I´ll send Teyla back to try again. Her old friends are being too secretive in this matter. It´s almost like it´s classified." Elizabeth approached the beds and bent down to take a closer look. Sheppard and McKay continued sleeping. Their motionless faces had picked up some color. Rodney started mumbling in his sleep again. This time it was only a slur.

Bemused, she stepped back. "Well, for the moment..."

"They´re gonna be alright," Carson assured. "Let´s give them time."


The following day, Elizabeth was sitting in her office, frittering away precious time by musing about John and Rodney. She missed their company. She missed their advice. She missed their friendship. Unhappy, she seized John´s birthday present to her. I never appreciated this sufficiently...

Teyla´s arrival interrupted her thoughts. "Hello, Elizabeth!"

Elizabeth´s face lit up. "Good, you´re back. Were you successful?" At least she´s here again. I´ve never needed her more.

"Yes, but it was not easy. This forest is a sacred place. I had to promise to tell as few people as necessary. I also had to threaten them that we would come back to search those woods with many of our men if they were not willing to cooperate."

"I understand. So?" Gently, she put the earthenware pot back on the exclusive spot on her desk.

"Something is out there."

"Well, we already figured that, didn´t we? But what is it?"

"They do not know."

Elizabeth was completely mystified. "What are you saying?"

"That they do not know. Everything that is known about those woods are just... rumors... bedtime stories for little children. Nobody knows anything for certain."

"Well... tell me those stories."

"Some say evil itself lives in the forest. Many Frenas hide there when the Wraith come. The choice is being captured by the Wraith, or going into the woods. Some say the woods are worse, but many take their chances."

Elizabeth listened with growing concern. "That sounds... dreadful."

"Only a few have ever come back. They could not or would not tell what had happened to them. Some say you only find what you take with you. Others say the woods are filled with ghosts, the ghosts of people who lost themselves forever. This forest is just as much a reason for the small population on this planet as are the Wraith."

"I see."

"I am as surprised as you are. I always thought it was just a myth that this forest is jinxed. If I had known how serious..."

She stopped Teyla with a wave of her hand. "It´s not your fault. Let´s concentrate on what we can do now."

"How are Major Sheppard and Dr. McKay?"

"Still asleep."

"It has been twenty-four hours."

"I know." Elizabeth moved her hands restlessly over her desk. "Carson said we can´t do anything else at the moment. We can only wait."

Teyla put her hands on Elizabeth´s. "They will wake up."


One day later they did. It happened to both of them at the same time. Strange indeed. Disoriented, they blinked a few times, clutching their blankets. The nurse called Dr. Beckett, who left his microscope and rushed over. "Hey, lads. How are you feeling?"

"What happened?" Rodney squeaked, with bulging eyes. Sheppard just looked perfectly stunned.

"Don´t you know?" Carson checked their IVs.

"No, I don´t," Rodney snapped.

"Rodney," Sheppard said softly.

"What?" Rodney huffed. "Carson just asked me..."

"Right. But answer a little nicer."

"I wasn´t..." Rodney shot back.


Carson watched the two men bicker back and forth until Rodney went silent first - sulking.

Sheppard´s face was a grimace of confusion and fear. "We were... offworld," he stated firmly. "On the planet of the... Frenas... and then... well... afterwards..." His firm tone faded off, "...I don´t know."

Never before Carson had seen those green eyes looking this way. He had expected the confusion, but not the fear.

"There was a forest!" Rodney blurted, and fell silent again.

"And?" Carson pressed him kindly.


"Not uncommon for a forest," Sheppard interjected sarcastically. "I remember now. You led us in there."

"Me? You´re the leader," Rodney fired back.

"But you said something about... about..." Sheppard couldn´t finish.

"...bad trees..." Rodney murmured, while his eyes widened in terror.

"Bad trees," Sheppard repeated, disbelieving. "You´re kidding, right?"

"That´s all I can remember," Rodney spat angrily.

"No further memory? Either of you?" Carson asked, slightly frustrated.

They shook their heads in mutual denial.

"Don´t you know what happened to us?" Sheppard asked, irritated, scratching his elbow.

"We know very little. You were missing for about twelve hours in a forest we know nothing about. Ford and Teyla found you the next morning. They spoke briefly to you. They said you were acting weird. Minutes later you fainted, just like that. When you arrived here, you were still unconscious."

"Only twelve hours," Sheppard said. "How can we be in this condition after only twelve hours? Well, I understand that McKay is... but me..."

"HEY!" Rodney yelled, offended.

"Are we hurt?" Sheppard asked, ignoring him completely.

"Not seriously," Carson replied cautiously.

"How long were we sleeping?" Sheppard scratched his other elbow.

"Two days." Carson observed the heavy scratching, concerned. What is he...?

"Two days!" Sheppard shouted, bewildered, scratching his upper arm.

"I´m starving," Rodney whined loudly.

Carson sent the nurse to get something to eat. "We found something in Rodney´s bag."

"What was it?" Sheppard moved his hands all over his body, scratching fiercely.

"Fruit, mushrooms, berries," Carson said matter-of-factly. "Does it itch that badly, Major?"

"What?" At once, Sheppard stopped scratching. "No. Just... a little bit."

"I have some medicine," he offered professionally.

Sheppard shook his head. "I´m okay." He clutched the blanket with both hands. A muscle in his cheek twitched. "Couldn´t the Frenas tell you anything?"

"We´ve already asked them, but they are extremely secretive about those woods. At first they denied us any information. Teyla had to go back to have more words with them."

"And?" Sheppard´s hands were on the move again.

"Ask Elizabeth," Carson replied, because Elizabeth had ordered him not to tell them himself.

"I´m hungry," Rodney complained once more.

"Pull yourself together," Sheppard scolded him, scratching his right leg under the blanket. "You behave..."

"Stop dressing me down!" Rodney glared at him. "I had enough of that in the woods."

"Did you? I thought you didn´t remember?" Sheppard attacked him while he scratched his skin uncontrollably.

"I don´t. I just... just know you did," Rodney argued illogically.

The nurse was back. Seeing the two men shouting at each other, she stopped in her tracks and threw a nervous look at Carson. He waved her forward encouragingly, glad that he didn´t have to change the subject. He watched them eat. Rodney was digging in with a neediness that was disturbing. The major, on the other hand, picked at his food spiritlessly and ate almost nothing. Soon he started to use his fork for scratching any decent body part. It didn´t take long until he started scratching a not so decent body part. The nurse gaped. Carson sent her away, determined to have a serious word with the pilot. Elizabeth´s arrival interrupted him. Sheppard stopped the scratching at once. Rodney continued digging in.

"I´m glad to have you back. Both of you," Elizabeth cheered, truly relieved.

"We scared you a little, did we?" John winked at her.

"Yes, you did," she confessed frankly. "How are you?"

"I thought you were here to tell us," John quipped, while he squeezed the fork in his fist until the knuckles turned white. "We can´t remember much." He glanced, disgruntled, at Rodney.

Elizabeth gave a nervous laugh. "Don´t you? That´s inconvenient because I can´t tell you much either."

"What about Teyla?" He forked lines in the blanket, going up and down.

"Teyla... well..." Elizabeth shrugged, helpless, and updated them quickly.

The fork vanished under the blanket. "So... we´re still lost, aren´t we?"

"Nonsense. You´re here, safe and sound. Your memory will come back in time." Her eyes widened while she watched him moving his hands under the blanket, scratching... whatever.

"Elizabeth is right," Carson interfered, dumbstruck by seeing Sheppard taking care of the most intimate part itching. "In a few days I will be finished analyzing the stuff you brought along and we´ll know more."

"Ah..." Sheppard clearly had lost interest in the matter.

Rodney, who hadn´t said a word the whole time, smashed his empty plate on the floor and yelled: "I´M HUNGRY!!!"

"Shut up!" Sheppard attacked him. "I need to concentrate!"


"Come here and I´ll stuff your mouth."


"Been there. Done that."

A mix of horror and amusement swept over Carson and Elizabeth. Never before they had been witness to such grotesque behavior. At last, Carson ordered that they be separated, to keep them from fighting and disrupting the infirmary.


Two days later, John and Rodney were released from the infirmary. Their shockingly obsessive behavior had ceased within a few hours. The tests Carson had put them through had showed no results so far. It seemed they were past their strange adventure. It was as if they never had been lost, and they could go back to living as they had before.

The same night, John started dreaming. Images of luscious grass, stimulating water and endless walking, mixed up with blurry visions of entangled bodies, groaning and whispering, haunted him. He startled from his sleep, overheated and disoriented, with a pulsing hard-on. He jerked off, but stayed unsatisfied afterwards all the same.

The same dream came back the next night, and the next. It was not a nightmare in the normal sense, but it had the same effect. He couldn´t find any rest. He was afraid to go to sleep; he was unable to function adequately by day. He was desperate for a chance to get laid. Not even in his youth had he experienced this forceful urge to find someone. Never in his life had he felt so lonely and unloved.


Elizabeth was in her quarters, working late; there were a couple of reports she couldn´t delay to reading. The buzzer of her door went off.

"Who is it?"

"It´s me, John. Can I come in?"

"Of course."

The doors slid open. John shuffled in. "I´m glad to see I´m not the only one, who´s still awake."

"What can I do for you?"

"I need to talk to you."

She offered him a seat. "You look awful."

He dropped into the chair. "Yeah, no surprise. I feel awful. I don´t think I can go offworld in the morning."

She fetched another chair and sat down next to him. "What is it, John?"

"Well, first of all, I can´t sleep."

"Ask Carson for a sleeping pill."

"That´s not all." He pulled the sleeves of his shirt up.

She gasped at the sight of his clawed arms.

"I did that myself."


"I feel them crawling under my skin." He looked at her. "Bugs." His eyes were a sickly color. He was frightened. "It drives me crazy."

She took his hand in hers and felt him shaking. "I´m here for you. We´ll fix this." The reports were forgotten. Her ranking officer, a man she trusted, a man she called her friend, was in need. In the morning, she canceled all deferrable missions offworld to give John all the time he needed to get well again.


The conference room was unusually hot. The air seemed to have vanished from it for good. John was barely able to follow Elizabeth´s instructions. His mind drifted while he spied on his companions one by one, finally lingering on Rodney McKay. The scientist was staring at his desktop. His eyes were utterly dull, almost lifeless, and he licked his lips constantly. His full, distinctive lips. Passionate, sweet lips, made to be kissed. Confused, John tore his eyes away. What is the matter with me? Since when...

"Major?" Elizabeth interrupted his thoughts, sounding concerned.


"Have you been following my report?"

"Ah... well... no," he confessed frankly.

"You don´t look very good. Are you still having trouble sleeping?"

I´m glad I confided in her. Not entirely, of course. She would be shocked to know it all. "Yes, pretty much." He caught McKay´s curious look. Quickly, the other man lowered his eyes. McKay just blushed. I wonder if he....

"Let´s postpone this meeting until tomorrow. Get some rest, Major," Elizabeth advised. "You too, Rodney. You barely said a word all morning. Do you have trouble sleeping as well?"

Rodney stumbled to his feet. His face turned crimson. "Not at all. I just... work too much."

"I see." Resolutely, Elizabeth waved them outside. "Get some rest, both of you."

John obeyed but waited for Rodney, who was still speaking with Elizabeth. Finally, he came out, looking deeply annoyed, but also tired. "What is it, Major?"

A flash hit John. McKay...down on the ground...naked...panting and squirming...

"Major?" Rodney snapped impatiently.

"Are you dreaming?"


"No weird dreams about the forest?"

"I said no," Rodney replied aggressively.

No...please no...Major...oh god...John... On impulse, John grabbed his arm. "Let´s go to bed."

"What?!" Rodney flinched back.

He dropped Rodney´s arm quickly. "Not together, McKay. Jesus!"

Rodney gaped doubtfully.

John turned and fled. Hastily, he ran to his quarters, but not to sleep. First, he was forced to take care of his pleading cock. ...John...oh John... The whisper of his name was haunting him. Tasty seed on his tongue...hot sweaty skin...pressure and release...kisses...lots of hot, steamy kisses... His cock twitched eagerly. I need to fuck. He stroked his hard-on desperately, but didn´t feel any better after he had come. The neediness stayed. He groaned in despair. I can´t go on living like this forever.

That night he started hearing noises, soft scraping noises. The bugs! He jumped out of bed and searched his quarters frantically, but found nothing. In fear, he stayed awake until he collapsed from exhaustion. In the morning his arms and legs were covered in scratches.

Rodney suffered in his own way. He couldn´t stop thinking about food. He was eating all the time; looking for food became his main interest. Everything he found ended up in his stomach, and therefore he wasn´t able to work. Besides that, the color green scared the hell out of him. He couldn´t face it. When they served spinach in the lunch room, he just freaked, running off, screaming, leaving many trembling in shock.

People started to talk about their behavior. They were scared and confused. What would happen if two of the most important men in Atlantis had went mad? What then? The gossip floated to Elizabeth, who was quick off the mark. A decision in this matter was long overdue, and now it was time to take steps. She called them to her office and ordered them to get counseling from Dr. Heightmeyer.

"I won´t do it!" Rodney declared at once. "It´s stupid. There is nothing wrong with me!"

"Your behavior is irrational."

"I´ve always been this way. Eating all the time and scared of the simplest things."

"That´s true." Sheppard smirked.

"You freaked without reason in the lunch room," Elizabeth pointed out, ignoring their silly bickering. "I think that´s enough."

Rodney grumbled heavily but stopped arguing.

"And what about you, John?" Elizabeth continued, demonstratively calm.

"What about me?"

"Are you considering to going to Dr. Heightmeyer?"

"Why? What´s wrong with me?"

"Do I have to say it? You can´t sleep. You hear things that aren´t there. You scratch yourself raw. Shall I continue?"

Maybe, I shouldn´t have confided in her. "No," he sighed. "But going to the shrink... don´t you think this will harm my reputation as the ranking officer?"

"Nobody has to know but the three of us and Kate. She is good, you know. She can help you."

John didn´t look convinced.

"You have to. Don´t you think your reputation is in much greater danger from scratching your skin off?"

"Well... okay." Uncomfortable, he stroked over his arms.

"You too, Rodney." She glared at him because his mouth was filled with another chocolate bar. "I´ll order you if I have to."

"Fine," he mumbled, in between munching.


Hours later, John dared to spill his private thoughts first. At heart he was glad Elizabeth had ordered him to, because he had become desperate. His arms and legs were covered in scratches. His cock was sore from jerking off a few times every day.

"I´m glad you came in," Kate invited him to take a seat.

John nodded and dropped in one of her comfy chairs. "I was ordered to."

"Well, regardless, I think you won´t regret it." She slid into the chair opposite him and gave him time to feel more comfortable, letting a few minutes pass in waiting.

John shifted in his seat. "I don´t feel good."

"Right now?"

"I mean - never."

"I understand. Can you describe those feelings more precisely?"

"At night I... have these freakish dreams which make it impossible to find peace."

"Give me an example."

"Ah...grass...trees...walking...bugs...biting me..." His hands moved restlessly.

"How do you feel after you´ve had one of those dreams?"

He didn´t look at her but at his clawed arms. "Uh... disturbed... fearful... confused... restless... horny..." He felt his ears burn. "Damn. I shouldn´t be here. This..."

"Lust is a normal sensation, Major," Kate soothed him. "Nothing to be ashamed of."

"It´s not like that. It´s just... I... I can´t... I mean... I´m not able to feel... satisfied... ever."

"I see. Does the lust have a particular source?"

"I don´t understand."

"Is someone you know the source of this lust?"

"Well - I don´t think so - no." ...oh John...

Kate didn´t force him to say more on this matter, but continued to dig elsewhere. "You said you feel fear as well. Fear of what?"

"The bugs."

"What about them?"

"They are everywhere."

"Do you see them?"

"No, but I hear them. And I feel them crawling under my skin."

"Is that the reason for your constant scratching?"

"Yes." He smiled sadly. "I´m going crazy, right? I know the bugs are not real. It´s like in the woods."

"What is?"

"The bugs are just here." He pointed at his head. "Rodney already told me..."

"So you do remember?"

"Some things. Images. Words. Moments."

"That´s good. It means that the memories slowly emerging. In time more and more memories will come to the surface and you will be able to deal with the events in the woods. It means the dreams and the scratching will stop eventually."

"I hope so."


The dreams turned into flashbacks that pursued him every day. Confusing images of heat and bugs and Rodney McKay. ...pinned to the ground...his cock...sucking...coming...shouting names...tasty seed... Agonized, John stayed often in his quarters and avoided seeing people. He certainly wanted to avoid running into Rodney.

He didn´t have to. He wouldn´t be in much danger of bumping into the scientist. Rodney also stayed in his quarters most of the time, eating. Zelenka tried to get him to work by provoking Rodney, claiming he would fix the current problems himself. It didn´t work. Rodney scared him off by mumbling confusing stuff about tree devils and nasty bodies. It was past time for him to talk to Kate.

Rodney didn´t sit down; he was pacing around like a caged animal.

Kate didn´t bother telling him to sit down. "Tell me about the trip?"

"The woods?" Rodney snorted. "Well... ah... I don´t remember... much."

"What do you remember?"

"It was the strangest trip of my life."

"Strange in what way?"

Come here...that´s it...ah...oh yes...oh Rodney...

"Dr. McKay?"

"Oh... sorry. I had... ah... it´s nothing."

Kate suspected he had experienced a flashback, but asked her question once more. "Strange in what way?"

"It feels like being to heaven and hell at the same time."

"Anything else?"

"I have these dreams. Lots of them."

Kate wasn´t surprised. She had expected this. "What are they about?"

"I can´t tell you. I can´t tell anyone."

"Why not?"

"It´s stupid."

"What is?"

"It´s always the same dream. Big trees with green eyes. They keep staring at me."

"How do they make you feel?"


"Just hungry?"

"...and... excited."


"I feel their eyes. I feel dirty. I´m running to the water to clean myself. But the water is dangerous. All the fish in there are biting me."

"Did the biting hurt?"

"Not much. It´s rather like... love bites." He blushed deeply and turned his face away.

Kate gave him a few moments to calm down, but then she tried a shot in the dark. "Do those dreams concern Major Sheppard as well? After all, he was there with you."

"No. Never. He´s not part of this. I´m looking for food... always looking... but no matter how much I eat I never feel... satisfied..." At last, Rodney dropped into his seat. "I feel so alone." He laughed bitterly. "Lost without any woods around."

"Sometimes it´s necessary to lose yourself to find yourself," Kate advised him cryptically.

Rodney took a bite of his chocolate bar. "In the woods I felt safer than I do now." He swallowed hastily. "Though, it was not safe. Not at all."

"But he was there, right?"

"Who?" Rodney munched.

"Major Sheppard."

"He´s here, too," Rodney replied, ridiculously stubborn.

"But he is not close to you. Not as close as you wish he would be. Not as close as in the woods."

"Oh God..." He threw his candy bar to the ground and ran around in circles. "I think I don´t want to talk about this anymore."

"Major Sheppard´s eyes are green."

"Yes." Rodney´s voice broke and he sobbed. "I know."


At the same time, Elizabeth was called to the infirmary. "I was told you have some news for me, Carson?"

"Yes, I´m finished analyzing the findings and can tell you quite a lot." He shuffled through his notes. "The unknown fruit are all comparable to alcohol, and two forms of material were found in the pollen: hallucinogens and pheromones..."

"That sounds alarming..."

"There´s more. The pink licorice-shaped fruit is infused with testosterone and the mushrooms are able to stimulate someone´s appetite beyond all bearing." He gave her a stern look. "Considering the amount of drugs Major Sheppard and Rodney were exposed to, I don´t wonder anymore why they are behaving that strangely. The question that remains, what else is in those woods and how did it infect them?"

Elizabeth sniggered but stopped quickly. "Sorry, that was inappropriate."

"That´s alright, Elizabeth. In a way it´s funny, isn´t it? Our ranking officer and our genius seduced by nature."

She pulled a straight face. "Anything else?"

"The water from Rodney´s bottle is no good. It doesn´t sate, but intensifies thirst."

"No wonder they were in bad shape. They could have died in there."

"Yes, they were lucky. Might be they saved each other from going completely mad."

"The testosterone? Did they eat the pink licorice?"

"Only Sheppard. I found a great deal of testosterone in his blood. Fortunately only slight traces of the other drugs in Rodney´s and the major´s blood."

"Oh." She looked him straight in the eye. "It seems you may be right."

"Right about what?"

"John... and Rodney." She couldn´t say it out loud. The thought of those particular men doing it in the woods was too inconceivable to imagine, even for her.

Carson didn´t pursue the matter, but hid a smile. He wasn´t as surprised as she was. He always had suspected that Rodney had a thing for the major, and vice versa. Their strange adventure had only released their smoldering feelings. It was about time. In the end, a bad thing had wrought something good. Well, not yet. John and Rodney had to remember first.

"Do you think they remember?"

"Not yet. But they will - eventually."


Carson was right again. A flood of memories took hold of John and Rodney. Piece by piece, the truth revealed itself, and they couldn´t deny it anymore. Certainly, they could continue to avoid each other.

John was back to talking, back to therapy. He didn´t care anymore if it would ruin his reputation. He wanted to be free of this. He needed to feel good again, even if it meant sharing the most explicit secrets.

"I think this is exactly what has happened," Kate stated.

"McKay and me - having sex?"

"Is the thought so awful?"

"...ah... uh... no... yes... I don´t know," he stammered, embarrassed. "It´s just... my duty is to protect the people who are under my command not to... take them."

"Maybe Dr. McKay doesn´t see it that way."

He snorted. "Right. You don´t know how..."

"That´s not the point. You can´t know how he feels until you talk to him."

"No way. He doesn´t remember anyway."

"Says who?"



"I knew he was lying," John crowed unexpectedly. For the first time in weeks his eyes were sparkling brightly.

"I didn´t say that," she corrected carefully.

"No, but I know he is."

"So - will you talk to him?"

"You think that´s really a good idea?"

"I´m positive." She looked at his arms. "It´s necessary."

A few hours later, she had the other unhappy man mauling her lovely chair. "You do remember, don´t you? You knew for days what had happened to you," Kate confronted him, straightforward.

"I do - and I´m scared."


"It´s just too much."

"What is?"

"Loving him."

She hid her surprise. Neither man had ever mentioned love. This problem was going deeper than she had imagined: right to the heart. "It could be worse."

"You think!?"

"Yes." Gently, she stole the chocolate bar from his hand.

In the meantime, the man Rodney was scared of lay on his soiled bed. This has to stop. Jerking off like a needy teen. I´m old enough to do what I want. And I want him, don´t I? John snorted. Rodney McKay of all people. I want to fuck him. I want to hear my name from his lips when he comes. I want to be with him. He stroked over his sore arms. I need to be with him. The scratches had deepened alarmingly. There is no other way out of this. Not alone, anyway. Only together will we have a chance.

John Sheppard/Rodney McKay