danceswithgary: (Default)
[personal profile] danceswithgary
Title: Conversion Rate
Author: [personal profile] danceswithgary
Pairing: Rodney McKay/John Sheppard
Rating: R
Warnings: None
Spoilers: 2.08 Conversion
Word Count: 1420
Archive: Fine, just let me know
Summary: When John enters his quarters, the first thing he does is lower the lights, needing the safety of a darkened den.

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"To be perfectly honest, Colonel, I'm still reluctant to…."

afraid, slow, weak, no threat

"I'm fine, Doc. You said yourself that it's just a matter of time before the last of this stuff clears up and there's no chance I'll infect anyone else. I just want to get out of here, take a shower, maybe get something to eat?"

hide, groom, feed, wait

"Ronon and I will be happy to see Colonel Sheppard to his quarters, Doctor Beckett. Dr. McKay would also be here, but I understand there was an emergency with one of the sensor arrays."

wary, small, fast, caution, mistake not mate

"Really, Teyla. It's not necessary."

"We're coming with you, Sheppard."

no fear, strong, hunter, danger

"Okay, okay, let's just get out of here. Right, Doc?"

"Aye, you've made your point. You still need to check in with me every six hours, and I'll expect you back here first thing in the morning. And Colonel, I want you to promise you'll call immediately if you notice anything out of the ordinary."

"Cross my heart."

"Off you go, then."

free, stay slow, keep smiling

"Dr. McKay? Yes, Ronon and I are with Colonel Sheppard right now. I believe he left his radio in his quarters."

"Yeah, I think it's by my bed."

"Yes. I understand. An hour? Very well, I will relay your message."

"So what'd Rodney want?"

need, hunger, mine, keep smiling

"Dr. McKay apologized for the delay and asked me to tell you that he will bring dinner to your quarters in approximately an hour."

"Perfect. I'm not really feeling up to hitting the mess hall today."

calm, keep smiling

"Running tomorrow morning, Sheppard? See if you can still beat me?"

"Yeah, big guy. It'll feel good to stretch my legs."


"Please call us if you need anything, Colonel."

"I will. Catch you both later."

hide, wait


When John enters his quarters, the first thing he does is lower the lights, needing the safety of a darkened den. No longer needed to protect him from the sharp-edged colors wrong, hurts that slice behind his eyes, he drops his sunglasses to his desk with a sigh of relief. Running shoes, sweats, and t-shirt are next, the worn fabric catching against rough scales he doesn't want to admit freak, hide still exist.

John remembers the first day after Ellia's attack, the adrenaline rush of strength and speed, no fear where should have been terror, and he wishes he'd been able to keep that hazy 'seven days of codeine no freaking' shield in place. It had vanished too quickly under repeated blows as his mind and body betrayed him, and John knows it will never return.

He can still smell the infirmary on himself, a nauseating blend of antiseptic and old blood, layers of sweat and dead skin wrong, sick, rotting half-molted remnants of his transformation. It's taken too long to reverse and he shies away from thinking what will happen next, afraid he'll remain freak half-done. So much changed, and he's finding it hard to trust his perceptions of sight and sound. He hears things, glimpses strange shapes and colors at the edges, uncertain if it's someone something else's memory, hallucination or real.

The lights in the bathroom blind him when he walks inside, but he leaves them on so that he's not tempted to open his eyes, to look in the mirror, to verify the changes guessed at by touch, hinted at with glimpses with bisected vision split between human and bug. Water mutes the world, and he sinks to the slick tile and huddles, hiding freak from his scaled reality.

His mind won't stop spinning even under the cold rain that soothes the bone-deep burning, and he thinks of Rodney and remembers Teyla mistake, wrong with a surge of guilt. Aggression and need seething through his veins that first day had flashed into something too raw to be labeled desire, yet still a betrayal. At the same time, John is thankful Rodney hadn't been in Teyla's place, because bite, claim, mate John suspects he would have infected him, every reason to resist banished in an instant of release and regret.

"Sheppard? What the hell?"

Muscles stiff with cold, John jerks at Rodney's unexpected shout and tips over, arms and legs splaying awkwardly across the tile. He groans and flails, exposed hide, freak, but then warm hands and rough toweling invade the icy shower.

"Sorry, sorry. I didn't mean to…I waited, but you've been in here for…. Are you insane? That water was freezing!"

"I'm. F-Fine."

"Of course you are. Your teeth always chatter like that and your lips are supposed to match your new color palette. Dead of Winter, right? Uh, that didn't come out right. I mean…I…sorry."

Eyes still screwed shut against the cutting blaze of merciless lights, John fumbles his way upright, shakes inside the protective ring of Rodney's arms.

"Come on, let's take this someplace warmer, you idiot. I should call Beckett…."


"N-No. W-Won't go b-back. S-Stay."

"I'm probably going to regret this. Becket said there was nothing wrong with you, that it would just take a little time to get rid of the…."

Lost in the strength and heat of Rodney's touch, John misplaces minutes, and then he's bundled under a sheet and blankets, muttered complaints thrumming and fizzing in the air around him. The smell of the infirmary has been muted by his time underwater, overlaid by the scent of Rodney and something other, wrong green.

"Are you hungry? I brought some meatloaf and…."

need, mate

"No. You."

John struggles free of the constraining covers, ignores Rodney's protests and drags him down to the bed still squawking, fumbles Rodney's radio from his ear and tosses it across the room.

"Sheppard! The hell?"

Eyes wide open in the dimmer light of the room, warmed muscles controlled, John carefully removes Rodney's clothing, not tearing anything despite the urgency desire that burns along his bones. Rodney quiets under John's hands, even helps with buttons and zipper, watches every move with eyes that telegraph confusion, never fear. Stripped bare, he lies quiescent, waiting, watching, hisses when John's scale-free palm skims down the center of his scarcely furred chest.

"Um, I'm not sure this is such a good idea, Sheppard."


"Okay, I'm not sure this is a good idea, John."

John shakes his head, tries not to think how his smile has changed, carefully grasps the evidence that Rodney's body doesn't agree, strokes once, and then he backs away across the room to give Rodney the space to leave if he wants.

"Oh, fuck. It is so not fair that you even look good when you're blue and…and…all alien. God, you're going to hate me later if we do this, aren't you?"

"I may be still part bug not freak, but I'm lucid, McKay."

want, empty

Crossways on the bed, Rodney props himself up on his elbows to peer through the gloom in John's direction.

"You want…I mean I thought we sort of had something going on, but I wasn't…I mean…. Come back here, please?"

John rushes the bed, arranges Rodney to make room, crawls between his legs and lowers his head to gather the heated scent of arousal, a pungent musk that wipes away the taint of the other's wrong green trespass. He shies from Rodney's hand when it approaches, accepts it within the safe zone of still-damp hair, concentrates on the smoothness, the sweet flavor of Rodney's only-human skin. Babble roughens the air in fits and starts, filled with words meaning nothing to John beyond safety and belonging, gasps when he licks slow and careful until there's a flood part of me now of salt, slick and bittersweet.

Carefully helping Rodney roll to his stomach, ignoring his complaints at movement being required, John shifts so that he has the broad expanse of Rodney's back spread before him. After smoothing his palms across the curved planes of muscle, he takes himself in hand and jerks roughly, quickly, spattering glossy heat across the pale skin, marking Rodney claim with his scent. He slides his fingers through the slick, spreading it thin, sticky as it dries.

"You know that's kind of gross. Well, I guess it's sort of hot, too. Anyway, if you're done, can we sleep for awhile? I haven't been getting much, because I was worried, and…."

John squeezes next to Rodney on his narrow bed, uses an arm and leg to anchor him.

"Yes, Rodney. We can sleep now."


Notes: Response to [community profile] mcsheplets Challenge #72: Animalistic. Icon and art available for personal use with credit.

Standard Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters herein. The characters of Rodney McKay and John Sheppard as well as any supporting characters are the property of their creators and MGM Television/Sony Pictures Television/Associated Production Companies. Any deviation (or deviant behavior) from the originals, however, is mine.

Feedback is both welcome and appreciated.

Date: 2010-05-24 12:33 am (UTC)
seekergeek: (Default)
From: [personal profile] seekergeek
I always love bug!John and this story is very pleasing!

Date: 2010-05-24 02:28 am (UTC)
xylohypha: Owl (semyaza_owl2)
From: [personal profile] xylohypha
I have a real fondness for bug!John, and this is a nice addition to the trope.

I enjoyed seeing John not quite himself again yet--and Rodney's trusting him despite it, even if he did have a few initial misgivings. I also always enjoy getting to see the two of them snuggled up together in bed. *happy*

Date: 2010-05-24 04:22 am (UTC)
bbuttercup: (Protecting Rodney)
From: [personal profile] bbuttercup
I love that John trying to get away from everyone but Rodney. Great story and lovely art; John looks so lost :o)

Conversion Rate

Date: 2010-05-24 02:43 pm (UTC)
iadorespike: (John bug text by kaaatie)
From: [personal profile] iadorespike
Wow, this hit me like a ton of bricks. Oh, John. :( Struggling...trying so hard to be himself not freak and that it's still so hard at this point is heartbreaking. I'm glad that Rodney could make it better just by being there for John.

The art is super, too. Poor John. :(

Thanks so much!



danceswithgary: (Default)


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