Pairing: John Sheppard/Rodney McKay
Spoilers: through season 5
Word count: 766
Summary: It's been three days. Three days since John overheard Keller breaking up with Rodney.
Worth the wait
It's been three days. Three days since John overheard Keller breaking up with Rodney. That alone wouldn't make him anxious though. Rodney's been single before. It's not the break-up itself, it's the reason for it.
"Let's be honest," Keller had said. "You and I will never work out because ultimately the most important person in your life is John Sheppard. I'll never be able to compete with him. And I think we'll both be happier if we just admit that and get on with our lives."
She'd said more to soften the blow, telling him that she still liked him and that they could remain friends, but none of that mattered because of Rodney's reaction.
He hadn't said a word.
Not one word of protest, of correcting her that she was wrong. Even when she left telling him, "Talk to Sheppard. I think he feels the same," leaving no doubt whatsoever as to what she meant, Rodney didn't say anything.
He'd been subdued since then. Everyone chalked it up to the break-up, of course. Teyla and Ronon tried to cheer him up, each in their own way and John had carefully approached him, offering beer and understanding, but even as they sat on the pier, John could feel the distance between them.
The distance remained and John can feel the difference in their every interaction.
There's a tension, making every glance, every touch, every word they exchange so much more significant.
He's not sure what to do. He could make the first step, tell Rodney how he feels, although he'd probably be more inclined to act, just walk up to Rodney, closer and closer, leaning in until there is no doubt left as to what he wants and then letting Rodney close the gap.
But John doesn't because Rodney obviously needs time.
Even though every time he looks at John there is this sense of wonder as if he's never really seen John before. There's want there too as if he has to hold himself back from reaching out to touch John. But he does hold back. John's not sure why, but he's willing to wait for now, counting down the seconds and encounters and moments in which he thinks, that's it, this is when Rodney finally stops holding back.
One week after the break-up, John goes and finds Rodney in his lab. He doesn't want to confront Rodney. He just wants Rodney to know that he's here and waiting—for as long as Rodney will need.
"We could head out to the pier later," he says, leaning against Rodney's desk, his legs almost touching Rodney's.
"Yes," Rodney simply says.
John turns to leave him to work, but Rodney lifts his hand, reaching out to stop him, even though he doesn't actually touch John.
John waits for Rodney to speak or act, but he doesn't move, doesn't even look at John while his hand is still hovering in the air in front of John's stomach.
Eventually, Rodney's face turns up and he looks at John. Even though he doesn't open his mouth, he says so much. He says that he can't believe that this is finally happening between them. He says that in all those years they've steadily moved towards this moment, that they couldn't have ended up anywhere else. He says that he loves John in ways that are frightening but also the most natural thing in the world.
Or maybe it's what John says without speaking.
It certainly is what he feels and suddenly he understands why Rodney has been waiting. The anticipation of finally being with Rodney, the counting down of seconds made him forget about the years before and how enormous this little step they're going to take really is.
Rodney looks at him, patiently waiting for John to see what he's been seeing and thinking and when their gazes mirror their understanding they move as one, Rodney up and out of his chair, John turning to meet him.
It's movie-worthy John thinks absently, one fluid motion, orchestrated to perfection, even if they need their hands, reaching out to cup each other's faces, to guide their mouths closer and closer until their lips meet in a kiss that starts out soft but quickly spins out of control and their hands move to pull each other even closer and their bodies want nothing but to join in.
Later when they lie together on the small bed, sweaty and sated and very happy, John can only think that it was worth the wait. The week and all the years before that.