danceswithgary: (McShep - Bed)
[personal profile] danceswithgary
Title: Itch to Scratch
Recipient: [profile] kidenagain
Pairing: McKay/Sheppard
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: SGA characters are not mine, more's the pity.
Author's Notes: Happy Holidays!
Summary: He'd reached the point of doing a McKay and constructing a makeshift back scratcher when, thankfully, the brush from his gun cleaning kit and oldest golf magazine were saved by a chime.


John was trying to concentrate on Caldwell's reports, but he kept losing his place every time he squirmed against the back of his desk chair. For the umpteenth time, he unsuccessfully attempted to contort his arms into impossible shapes to reach the center of his back, right between his shoulder blades. Thankful he was finally out of the infirmary and no one could hear him, he growled his aggravation. "Arrggh! This itching is going to drive me bugfuck crazy!"

An instant later, John shuddered at his metaphoric misstep and resolved to never think, let alone utter those words again.

According to Carson, John was 100 percent himself again and the few stubborn patches of blue scales dotting his neck, arms, and back would eventually fall off on their own. Eventually couldn't come soon enough for John. As soon as Carson had released John from the infirmary, he'd made a beeline for his shower and scrubbed off every scabby scale in reach, not caring if they were ready to come off on their own yet. A little raw skin was a small price to pay for feeling even more like himself after spending too many days otherwise.

Too restless to sit any longer, John got up to pace around his quarters, searching for an edge to scratch against like a bear against a rough-barked tree. The stupid Ancients thwarted him yet again with their lack of corners and bathroom doors that receded completely into smooth walls. He'd reached the point of doing a McKay and constructing a makeshift back scratcher when, thankfully, the brush from his gun cleaning kit and oldest golf magazine were saved by a chime.

Glancing at his watch, John realized he'd missed lunch and guessed it was one of his teammates checking up on him. Still feeling oddly reluctant to face anyone, he tapped his comm to send whoever it was away, frowning when he hit tender skin instead of the small earpiece he'd left by his bed. With a resigned sigh, he waved the door open to find Rodney standing outside with a nearly overflowing tray of food.

"Oh, hi. We, um, thought you might be, uh.... " Rodney's greeting was uncharacteristically tentative as he shoved the tray toward John. "Here. Teyla thought you should eat something." When John failed to relieve him of his burden, Rodney took a small step forward and tried again. "Uh, Ronon did too. So here I am. With food."

Suddenly tired of his self-imposed isolation, John stepped to the side and waved Rodney toward the desk. "Mi casa es su casa." After closing the door, John turned to follow, just in time to see Rodney juggling a runaway odit fruit and a bottle of water. He couldn't resist a grin. "Nice catch."

Although Rodney smiled back, it didn't reach his eyes and it vanished when he returned his attention to the tray. "It's, I brought extra in case you, uh, didn't want to..." The mumbled explanation trailed off as he stepped back and frowned at John, blue eyes clouded with hurt. "We tried every day, but Carson insisted you didn't want us to visit you."

Looking down at his clasped hands, Rodney continued, almost too quietly for John to hear. "I can understand why you didn't want me there, but Teyla and Ronon...."

It took John a few moments, but then he stepped closer, suddenly understanding what Rodney wasn't saying about Arcturus and trust. "Hey, it wasn't...." He reached out and stilled Rodney's twisting fingers. "I didn't want anyone to see me like that. It wasn't you."

"Yeah?" Rodney smiled up at John, hurt transforming to hope.

His anger now a distant memory, John nodded and released Rodney's hands, his chest tightening as he realized how much he'd missed his warm, solid Rodney. Clearing his throat as he turned to the desk, John managed a thick, "Yeah," as he sorted the tray. "Hey, two brownies."

"I, uh, saved you mine." Rodney frowned in recall. "Although it wasn't easy keeping it away from the caveman. Oh, and I had to promise to tell you he'll be here tomorrow morning because you owe him a rematch?"

John smiled at the memory of outrunning Ronon, one of the few good things that had happened before it had all turned ugly. "Thanks, I appreciate the sacrifice." Knowing how much Rodney loved chocolate, John silently resolved to make sure Rodney got to enjoy his brownie later. Noticing something he didn't recognize, he asked, "What's this?" while holding up the beige-colored, fibrous oblong.

"I'm fairly certain that's not edible. Teyla sent it for your...." Rodney's gesture encompassed John's entire body without touching. "The Athosians use it, sort of like a loofah. With aloe." Rodney failed to make eye contact as he blushed. "I, uh, she thought that it would help after all the blue, um. To make your skin soft...softer."

Quirking an eyebrow in amusement at Rodney's revealing misstep, John gently teased, "Softer, huh?"

"It really works," Rodney assured him, his hands emphasizing his points. "Teyla gave me one after my wash sponge grew some sort of weird fungus that the botanists got all excited about and you know how sensitive my skin...." Rodney's hands drooped as his voice trailed off again.

John did remember how soft and sensitive Rodney's skin was, and John was so very tired of being alone. Rodney was here and he cared and that was enough for John feel 100 percent better.

100 percent John Sheppard.

No more hiding.

"You know, I'm not feeling hungry right now." John turned to face Rodney and reached out to squeeze his shoulder, his thumb sweeping the side of Rodney's neck until he was sure he had Rodney's full attention. He leaned in to whisper, "I have this really annoying spot I can't reach," smiling at Rodney's quiet, "Ohhh."

Backing away, John tugged his black t-shirt over his head and headed for his shower, pausing after a few steps to turn and grin back at Rodney while waggling his new sort-of-loofah.

"Want to help me scratch an itch?"


Date: 2015-01-10 05:28 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Terrific fic!

Date: 2015-09-08 11:22 am (UTC)
melagan: (Default)
From: [personal profile] melagan
This is adorable!

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