Title: Sunrises and Sunsets
Fandom: Stargate Atlantis
Characters: John Sheppard/Rodney McKay
Warnings: Canon-Level Violence
Challenge/Prompt: Fluff Bingo Challenge 2019/ Sunrise
Word Count: 1958
Author’s Notes: Fluff Bingo is a short story challenge from the Just Write! server on Discord. Some entries are available on AO3.
Summary: John is exhausted and just needs to sleep.
It had been an exhausting 48 hours for John Sheppard. Twelve hours standing guard with Ronon and five of his teams while Teyla led the Athosians and Gorneans in their harvest. Mostly there to scare off the wild animals that come to feast on the leftovers. But occasionally there are raiding parties that want to steal instead of work.
But they got through it and renewed their trade agreement, so not only did they now have enough food to not rely on the shipments from Earth this year, but they were now guaranteed their own seed come the next year. Buy in share on seed made them equal partners with full rights to the harvest shares on nine worlds.
John was exceedingly pleased with that little achievement. Doubly so since it was Rodney that had negotiated the agreement. He had redesigned their power system while Doc Maddoc worked with David Parish to build new irrigation systems. Harvest this year was the largest Gornea had ever seen, and it should triple by next year.
Unfortunately, his twelve-hour shift was immediately followed by six hours of helping wraith survivors relocate on P2Y-181. But at least there were survivors, and the artisans among the people of the unpronounceable name had been able to save most of their apprentices. Sad that they judged life based on who had the best chance to retain and pass on the knowledge of their people, but that’s life and survival in the Pegasus Galaxy.
He was able to shower, change, and get a meal when he got the callout for two of their allies who were claiming summer rights to the same world. Four hours of negotiation later ended abruptly with Genii kidnapping two of their treaty negotiators. That took five exciting hours of tracking them down and reminding the Genii that Atlantis can hold a grudge.
He was lucky that he had time to get a medical check before he received an urgent demand for his presence on P4M-019. Where he stood outside a tent for three hours with the Chieftain of the ruling tribe listening to childbirth, oh joy. That culminated with the presentation of the first son. And, according to Ronon, where John and Rodney were made honorary godfathers of the newborn. Apparently, John was blood brother to the chief through combat. Which the way John remembered it was more accidentally getting shoved between the chief and a rival tribe during a barroom brawl. No clue why Rodney was given the honor, but Ronon just smirked when asked.
Two hours back at Atlantis, cleaning up, trying not to fall asleep in his breakfast and he decided to turn in. Of course, the universe was laughing at him because Daedalus arrived two days early…with General O’Neill on board. And, wouldn’t you just know that it would happen when Lorne was leading the teams on Gornea for their twelve-hour shift. He pulled it together and got people organized to offload supplies, in process new personnel, and ensure the mess was ready for the influx. Luckily the Chief and Lorne had their people trained and eventually he was, delicately, directed to handle the General and their visitors. So, he took the hint and got out of everyone’s hair.
Unfortunately, that meant trying to sit still in meetings and pay attention. And, yes, O’Neill had some fantastic news to share. Wonderful, relieving, slightly scary, and a bit intimidating. The meeting recessed after a couple hours when Gornea started sending through the first wave of their portion of the harvest. That was all hands on deck to shift the bushels. John was able to send a replacement for Lorne with the understanding that he would be back for another full shift later in the harvest.
The second session of meetings was interrupted by a rescue mission. O’Neill and Jackson took the opportunity to come along in the jumper. They stood back and laughed as Rodney had to take custody of his three scientists who were diapered and dressed as toddlers. If one will act as a child, then one must be treated as a child until they grow up and can act like an adult. John had to work really hard not to laugh at the disgruntled men who were delicately walking down the path to the jumper. O’Neill didn’t hide his amusement near as much. Though Jackson assured them that the men would be punished for their behavior. Jackson was then schooled that only children would believe that punishment was an answer. He should take the time to learn from the Honorable McKay, who takes the education of his people to heart and is always willing to point out to them how they can improve.
By the time they returned the current shipments of supplies and food were stored, and Lorne had organized the staff meetings wherein they announced that Mr. Woolsey would be returning to Earth to take over Stargate Command. John and Rodney would step up to split the leadership of Atlantis between them. And, finally, oh yeah, DADT had been repealed.
So now, finally, John was asleep. Blessedly, wonderfully asleep. The sound of a drawer closing woke him. “What?”
Rodney whispered, “It’s just me. Needed something. Go back to sleep.”
“OK.” John faded off.
How long passed, he wasn’t sure, but whispering voices woke him. “Who’s there?”
“Just me, Shep.”
“Yeah, getting something for McKay. Go back to sleep.”
“Alright.” He turned over and went back to sleep.
“He’s my superior officer. I can’t do that, no matter what McKay wants.” Wait, was that Lorne’s voice.
“Honestly, Evan. Fine, I’ll do it.”
John was trying to decide if he should open his eyes, but the silence told him he was just dreaming. After all, Lorne and Parish wouldn’t be in his room. He gripped his pillow tight and let himself drift.
A tug on the pillow woke him. “What?”
“I need your pillow.”
“Why do you want my pillow?” John was trying to shake off the cobwebs.
“McKay told me to get it.”
“McKay wants it. Are you going to give it to me?”
“No, I’m not giving you my pillow. Tell McKay to get his own.” John hugged the pillow against him as he sat up.
“McKay already has his.”
John shook his head and brought up the lights so he could see Ronon. Ronon, who was standing in his empty room. “Where’s my stuff?”
“McKay has it.”
“What the hell is Rodney doing with my stuff?” John looked around, and it was all gone. His clothes, gear, Johnny Cash poster, even the blanket from his bed. What the fuck?
Ronon just shrugged, and then he smirked—the bastard.
“Where is he?” John stood up to grab his pants, and they were gone, along with his boots. Well if they thought that being dressed in only a t-shirt and his boxers would slow John down, they were going to get a rude awakening. Along with the entire city on calisthenics.
Ronon motioned out the door, and John followed him. Down to the transporter and then to the newest tower they had opened, top floor. He remembered Rodney droning on about this area, but he doesn’t remember why. Reaching the doorway, Ronon leaned against the wall outside the door. “Good luck.” Then he strolled away, that smirk still firmly in place.
John took a breath to get his temper under control, then signaled the door to open. The space was huge. It was like walking into a luxury high-rise penthouse on steroids. Furniture, what looked like a small kitchen unit, office space with a couple of those Ancient holographic tables that they had only seen in a couple of labs. And interspersed through all of the technology were John and Rodney’s belongings interspersed. He saw a few Athosian items as well, which told him that Teyla had lent a hand with decorations.
His temper faded as he looked at the details. On the wall behind the desk that John knew was his was a newly framed Johnny Cash poster. He moved in to look at some of the knick-knacks he had picked up both Earth-side and off planet. All of their things here, combined…it was domestic, nice. It was a home.
“Hey Conan, that you? Did you get the pillow?” Rodney called out from a room.
John walked over and leaned against the door jam, watching as Rodney finished making the bed. “Yeah, he got it.”
“There a reason we didn’t discuss moving in together?”
“Technically we’ve discussed being together many times.” Rodney lifted his chin and squared off.
“We did. But why did you suddenly have the desire to order my staff to move me while I slept in the same room?”
“Well, if you must know, you were tired, and I felt you could use the rest.”
“Rodney.” John lifted an eyebrow at him and waited him out. Sooner or later he would blow and spill.
“That stupid rule is gone, and you always say that it’s the only thing that was keeping you from being with me openly. And if you are going to be with me, then I want you to be with me from the start. I’ve waited. You kept insisting that as the military commander you couldn’t be seen dating on the city. So I’ve played the game to keep you safe. But, I’m tired of pretending, John. I want you. And I want us.”
Rodney turned toward the dark windows and motioned over a panel. The windows cleared, and John stepped forward to see the entire city stretched out around them. With the almost transparent walls, he could see in all directions. He looked out as the sun just broke over the ocean of his world.
Rodney motioned toward the sunrise. “The Athosians believe that when two lives intertwine that they should acknowledge that joining as the sun rises to give light to a new day. I want all of my sunrises and sunsets to be by your side.”
John smiled and pulled Rodney in for a kiss. When they parted, he pulled Rodney down with him onto the couch so they could watch the sunrise together. “I love you too.”
The watched in silence for several minutes before Rodney shifted a little. “Since we were going to do it anyway, I might have also made a deal with Jackson.”
John turned to Rodney puzzled and just looked at him.
Rodney shrugged. “Radek was running a pool on how long it would take until you were outed. So Jackson put down a large bet for us that I would out you before sunrise. No one else believed I would have the balls to do it.”
“And what do we get out of your cheating?”
“Enough personal space on the next Daedalus run for a California King Bed, new living room furniture, a few surfboards, and well, sixty-three people’s personal allowance space.”
“No way.” John started to grin, thinking of all the items they could order with that kind of space allotment. “If they find out you cheated, they will never forgive you.”
“Well, technically, Jackson cheated. And he’s giving us the space as a wedding present.”
John stared at Rodney a second as the sound of his heart hammered in his head. “Wedding?”
“Canada. Jeannie’s planning it. Our next leave. I could care less about that bullshit ceremony stuff. By my count, we’ve been married seventeen times. Of course, today’s the only one I really count.”
John smiled broadly again and leaned in and kissed him. “All of our sunrises and sunsets.” He pulled Rodney close and turned back to watch their first sunrise, together.