cupidsbow (cupidsbow) wrote,

Slash fic: Balance by cupidsbow

So, you see, I was considering the sound of a baby's heartbeat, the way you do, and kinda went...
"Growf," said Rodney, licking John's stomach.

"Oh, shut up," said John, but his voice came out breathy and not really irritated and his hand inched its way into the hair at the nape of Rodney's neck, pulling Rodney towards the popped-out swirl of his navel.

...on norah's LJ. And then I was IMing with vegetariansushi and somehow found myself promising to write her John/Rodney mpreg, because we'd both read rageprufrock's latest (which is fabulous).

And then, see... Something went tragically, tragically wrong, and instead I wrote this. Which is neither mpreg, nor sexy in any remote way, nor even funny, and also? Not actually a story, but more a scene which really belongs to something longer, which I'll probably never write. Plus, I haven't seen the first episode of season two, which it relates to, so it may well be kinda AU by now.

And. Um. I have nothing more to say for myself, really. Except, vegetariansushi? I hope it breaks you.

In a good way.

Aaaaaaand I'm shutting up now.

Title: Balance
Author: cupidsbow
Fandom: SGA
Pairing: McKay/Sheppard
Rating: M
Disclaimer: Not mine. Just borrowed. I promise to return them the way I found them.


They had barely made it three steps out of the command centre before Rodney began to yell. Frankly, John was surprised he'd managed to restrain himself even that long, as he'd clearly been bursting with rage from the moment he'd set eyes on John.

"Do you have a death wish?" Rodney demanded, hands flying in furious arcs as they walked along the corridor towards the transporter. "You do, don't you? My god! You just—"

"I don't have a death wish," John interjected, voice low and reasonable, trying to keep the situation from escalating into something that could be heard from space. Not that the situation was anything close to reasonable, because John had, after all, just tried to commit suicide, and he could barely comprehend it himself, if he let his thoughts linger on it for more than a second, because he'd never before today understood how someone could do that: go into a situation which had no out at all, not even for someone like John who believed in his own innate ability to transcend bad luck.

The two marines posted outside the command centre doors were staring as he and Rodney strode along the corridor, and John couldn't really blame them. Rodney looked like he was about to rupture something: his face red, breath harsh, voice strident, deep triangles of sweat staining the armpits of his shirt.

Rodney made a zooming motion with one hand, "—you just flew off with a nuclear weapon when I would have fixed it—"

"There wasn't time!" said John, not liking where this was going at all, because the last thing he needed was a conversation about his motivations.

It was all still too close, he could still feel it. That crystal-clear moment in the chair...

"—in another few second, maybe less, if you'd just been sane and waited—" Rodney ranted, as they stepped into the transporter. He jabbed the panel with such force it pinged in protest.

John felt like protesting too, because when the transporter engaged it felt like more than just the familiar swirl of Antlantean energy was pulling him apart...

...light shining down on him as the chair's energy buoyed him up, filling his head with Atlantis, all the city's systems laid out before him, waiting for his commands. He ran through the options, one after another, as Rodney cursed in the shadows behind him. Shield; energy; distance weapons... insufficient. Close-quarter weapons; sinking the city; nanobots... insufficient. Biological agents; concealment; self-destruct... insufficient...

When they rematerialized, John felt jarred, and he almost stumbled into Rodney trying to regain his balance.

"What the fuck were you thinking?" Rodney demanded, as they stepped out into a deserted corridor, nowhere near John's quarters. Rodney's finger prodded painfully into John's chest and he was so close John could smell the rank, stale evidence of his fear.

"That it had to be done," said John. "It's my job, McKay. It's really not that big a deal."

Rodney stared at him, mouth moving with half-spoken sounds of outrage.

John couldn't face that look, and he figured if there was ever a day he'd used up his courage quota this was it, so he gave Rodney a little push and side-stepped into the transporter and pressed the control for the stop nearest his quarters. Once in the familiar corridor, he only just managed to hold back from a sprint. Three steps from his door, his mind slid against Atlantis with an easy familiarity, thinking, Open and then, not letting himself shake until the door was safely closed behind him, Lock, lock, lock. The siren call of Atlantis's want and need and the usual buoyant sense of shared pleasure washed through him, and with a shuddering breath, one hand braced against the door, he let go, unclenched, lost connection with here and now, and then he was back there... back then...

...the chair a welcoming pressure against the back of his thighs as he ran through all the options, one after the other, Rodney somewhere in the shadows behind him: Unviable; unviable; systems depleted... Atlantis just as helpless before the Wraith as John's people were... and the conclusion was obvious, unavoidable. If the window of offensive opportunity was allowed to close, if they didn't destroy the Wraith before they arrived at Atlantis, there was only one way this day was going to end. Oh, they'd fight. They'd throw everything they had at the enemy. They'd do everything there was to do. And they'd fail. And no matter how the details fell out, it would still end the same way: with John and Rodney quiet and desperate in a dark place, John's gun in one hand, Rodney's shoulder beneath the other, and Rodney's voice, desperate in the darkness, saying, "Please, John! Please. Don't let them get me."

And that was unacceptable. Just not something that was ever going to happen. Because all his life John had watched with well-concealed envy as other people clicked into friendships, clicked into intimacy, and he'd never had that. Never even come close. And of all the astonishing marvels the Pegasus galaxy had offered up to him, this thing with Rodney, this instant click of rapport, was the most astonishing of all. And he couldn't, wouldn't, fucking refused to follow the road that led to that dark place, with his gun in one hand and Rodney's breath close against his face, begging him, "John, please!" in a broken voice.

And that was the moment. Right there. Clear and bright, the way John had always supposed an epiphany to be. The moment John realized he'd give everything he had to make sure that he never had to hold his own gun to Rodney's head...

"John?" Rodney called, his voice slightly flat through the intercom, pulling John back to the here and now.

"John?" Rodney said (Rodney never called him John, never before today), "are you okay?"

John lost his balance again, staggered away from the door, the floor pitching beneath his feet.

He didn't make it to the bathroom before he began throwing up.

* * *

On to the the sequel, Brace
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