danceswithgary: (SGA - Savor)
[personal profile] danceswithgary
Title: Tree Huggers Anonymous
Author: [personal profile] danceswithgary
Pairing: Rodney McKay/John Sheppard
Rating: PG
Warnings: None
Spoilers: None
Word Count: 1377
Summary: John was certain the 'John Sheppard Glitter Experience' would disappear forever from Rodney's hard drive if John suggested Jeannie would like a copy of 'Rodney, the Tree Hugger' for her collection. A snapshot in the Screen Savor 'verse, but it may be read standalone.

John adjusted his tac vest again and huffed in irritation at the elusive prickle between his shoulder blades. Stuck with his team on yet another mind-numbing mission, John couldn't wait to get back to Atlantis and shower off the sweat and grit, preferably with a certain someone scrubbing his itchy back. Unfortunately - as far as John was concerned - although the Ancient agrarian station had turned out to be a bust as far as a ZPM or weapons was concerned, Rodney had decided that the botanists and meteorologists might be interested in the collected data. After cleaning accumulated dirt and leaves off one of the dozen or so monitoring plinths they'd found, Rodney had hooked up his tablet to download the database, muttering and poking at the screen while a stream of Ancient scrolled by.

Sticking to their usual assignments, Teyla stayed close by Rodney while John and Ronon roamed the tree-bordered perimeter, such as it was. Although the small moon was uninhabited - the only access via puddlejumper through the space gate - John still raised his head every minute or two to check on Rodney's progress before resuming his lazy scuffing through the dense mat of fallen needles and small branches at the far side of the grassy clearing.

An odd thunk underfoot had John dropping to one knee to investigate. After a little judicious groping through the pine mulch, he located a small handheld thingamabob with a definite Ancient feel to it. A tube about six inches long with dirt embedded in the carving along one side, whatever it was didn't look dangerous to an extremely bored John. Balancing it on his palm, he cautiously poked at the Ancient tingle he always felt in that spot just above his left eyebrow, picking up a vague impression of something to do with wood.

Keying his radio, John saved himself a trip across the clearing. "Hey, Rodney, does it say anything about logging in that database?"

"What kind of logging?"

"You know, like forests and lumber."

"Wait, I think there's something…. Yes, they were studying growth factors on a variety of plants, so I suppose trees are included considering what's surrounding us. You know, I am quite busy here. Anything else or can I get back to work?"

"Nah, I'm cool. I found something I want to try out."

"What? You know the rules, John. Don't touch anything!"

John rolled his eyes at the expected squawk. "It's just a woodworking or maybe a woodcutting tool."

"Great, wonderful, just don't turn it on. My luck you'd cut something important off you. I'll look at it when I'm done."

"And when will that be?"

"Another thirty minutes, maybe more. I have to admit that it's nice not to have to finish in five minutes or die. Is that a snake, Teyla? I think it's going to strike!"

John smiled at Teyla's soothing response, which held more than a little amusement. "No need to worry, everyone. It was just a branch that was pretending to be dangerous." Rodney's outburst wasn't a big surprise since John had been privy to more than one Miller-McKay debate over healthy exercise in the fresh air and sunlight vs. happily spending too many days under artificial light. Jeannie loved camping and hiking while Rodney preferred fixing bugs in software to dealing with insects and wildlife in the great outdoors.

Even though he'd anticipated Rodney's reaction, as far as John was concerned, he was perfectly capable of testing Ancient tools. Rodney certainly had no qualms handing John a box of whatsits in the lab and asking him to check them out whenever he had time. John decided it would be just the same except it was a field test. Putting the tool back on the ground where he'd found it, he pulled out his life signs detector and used the camera function he'd discovered while fooling around one day.

John briefly considered sending the image to Rodney's tablet for his opinion, but chose to search for a suitable piece of dry wood instead. It didn't take long for him to pull a weathered log out to the clearing and balance it against some convenient boulders, making sure it was well away from the tree line and undergrowth in case the Ancients had used the tool for starting a wood fire. Satisfied that it was also offset from Rodney's and Teyla's positions across the clearing, he took another picture to capture the setup.

Glancing in Rodney's direction, John could see he was still engrossed in his work. With a quick tap to his radio, he gave the team a heads-up. "Hey, guys. I'm going to give this thing a try."

Grinning at Rodney's sputtered protests, John held the tube out at his side, aimed for the center of the wood, and thought 'on.'

Displaced air blasted John flying backward, tumbling head over heels until he landed flat on his back behind a patch of blue-leaved undergrowth. For too many long seconds he lay there gasping for breath, listening to Rodney's worried shouts getting closer.

"John! John! Can you hear me? Teyla! Ronon! See if you can find what he was touching after I told him not to! John!"

Fumbling his radio back into his ear, John tapped it on and wheezed, "I'm. Okay. Rodney."

"Of course. You're always just fine, even when you're bleeding out!" Rodney's protest echoed, strident in John's ear and muffled by a shortening distance as John winced and slowly rolled up to his feet. "Dammit, John! You standing there with a…a wooden head is bad enough! Now you're trying to end up with Pinocchio's nose too?"

Shaking his head in bewilderment at Rodney's weird objections, John staggered out of the bushes, his eyes widening in shock at size of the redwood occupying the spot he'd been standing a few minutes before. 'Oh, it's a tree grower,' he thought, suddenly very glad he hadn't been standing at the edge of a cliff when he'd turned the thing on.

Before John could let Rodney in on his discovery, Ronon appeared around the side of the enormous tree, calling back when he caught sight of John standing and still in one piece. "Take it easy, McKay. He's okay, just like he said."

John followed the sound of fervid promises that Rodney was going to fix everything and that John would be as good as new as soon as they found whatever John had touched, Teyla's voice a calm counterpoint to Rodney's panicked babble. Rounding the left side of the red-barked behemoth, John barely suppressed a laugh at the sight of Rodney desperately clutching as far as he could reach around the tree.

Rodney jerked back at Ronon's teasing, "Sheppard's going to get jealous if you don't stop fondling that tree," but John still had time to grab an incriminating photo. John was certain the 'John Sheppard Glitter Experience' would disappear forever from Rodney's hard drive if John suggested Jeannie would like a copy of 'Rodney, the Tree Hugger' for her collection.

By the time John safely stowed the life signs detector, Rodney was barreling toward him, arms waving as he sputtered, "You, you, you idiot! How many times have I told you…."

John tried to defuse the pending lecture, even as he braced for impact. "Care to introduce me to your new best friend, Mr. Sequoia?" It was harder to talk after that with Rodney squeezing the bruises John was starting to feel, but John wasn't quite ready to give up. "I didn't mean to interrupt you…."

Rodney's relieved laughter signaled success. "You are such a moron. I much prefer hugging you, even though you can be a stiff as a tree sometimes." Rodney proved his point by squeezing John even tighter before leaning in to capture a quick kiss.

John wished the kiss could have lasted longer, but it was the wrong time and place for more so he kept it light with a flip, "You know, stiff can be good." Wishing they were back at Atlantis so he could prove it, John wiggled his eyebrows, knowing it would make Rodney roll his eyes. Mission accomplished, John grinned and then licked grit from his lips, chuckling when he recognized the taste of cedar.

"You kissed the tree?"


Series Index: Series Index


Notes: Written for MULTIFANDOM HUGFEST 2012!!! (a much belated entry) and SGA Smooch.

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.

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