Rating: PG-13 i suppose
Also available on my AO3
Rodney didn’t even like the water that much… Or the sand, or the sun, really. He could see the appeal of course, but for him it was all too hot and sticky and pointless. Yet here was because Jeannie had dragged him along and her little family vacation. H spent the whole first day looking for wifi anywhere, but to no avail. And he wasn’t so desperate yet to spend $15 for an hour of online time at the hotel. So on the second day, he covered himself in sunscreen and put on his swim trunks. A t-shirt, hideous sandals he had borrowed from Kaleb, and he trekked out into the blinding sun.
nbsp; He spent some time sulking under an umbrella while Jeannie and Kaleb built sandcastle with Madison. He tried reading some scientific papers while scribbling his commentary on the side to remember for later, but eventually even Rodney couldn’t resist the bright, warm, relaxing feeling of being away from it all. Rodney would swear it was dehydration or heat stroke, but frankly, the sand castles his sister was teaching his niece to make would never hold up. He marched over, took a bucket, kneeled in the sand and began lecturing on proper sandcastle construction. Rodney decide to ignore Jeannie’s bright smile as she and Kaleb retreated to the shade.
nbsp; Just as Rodney was teaching Madison about the benefits of a moat and how they might construct a draw-bridge, a group of people ran by and almost causing Rodney to crush his masterpiece. He narrowly avoided the disaster but he ended up falling on his back in the sand, staring up at the sky. He would’ve yelled after the surf-board carrying hooligans if he thought he could even breathe. Then someone was standing over him and Rodney thought maybe he was dead because wow, he was gorgeous. There was even a halo over his head, but some part of Rodney’s mind suggested it could just be the angle at which the man’s head was blocking the sun. The man was pulling Rodney’s hands and sitting him upright. Rodney shook his head and, okay so he was definitely alive, but he still wasn’t sure if the tall, tanned, dark-haired man in front of him wasn’t an hallucination. He then realized his maybe-hallucination was talking to him.
nbsp; “You okay, buddy?” The guy’s voice was warm and there was a hint of true concern in his voice, though his mouth was trying not to smirk.
nbsp; “Uh… yeah, yeah, I’m fine,” at which point Rodney defaulted to his usual condescending self because really the world was asking too much of him today. “No thanks to those idiots wreaking havoc on the beach.” The man only laughed though, and patted Rodney’s shoulder.
nbsp; “Yeah, sorry about that. They’re all just really excited for their first surfing lesson.”
nbsp; Rodney rolled his eyes and stood up because the height difference was getting dizzying. Sadly the man didn’t look any less gorgeous now that they were face to face. They were about the same height but the other man’s hair added a few inches.
“Of course these idiots would need lessons for standing on a board,” Rodney scoffed. He didn’t know why he couldn’t stop digging himself further into this hole. For once he actually wished he could just shut up. By this point he usually got slapped or hit or got a drink thrown in his face. He was already grimacing inwardly when the dark haired man laughed in a high, shocked sort of way, but not really offended.
nbsp; “You think you could just pick it up without any lessons? I’d like to see you try,” the man was smirking. Rodney was pretty sure even his brilliant mind couldn’t make up for his lack of balance and grace, so no he definitely didn’t think he could do better. But Rodney couldn’t tell how much of the man’s question had been irritation and how much was being playful. He hoped there was a lot more of the second option.
Rodney’s eyes swooped down to take in the man’s whole body for the first time. It probably was a bad idea because the low hanging board shorts and all that tanned skin over lean muscle was kind of distracting and Rodney forgot he’d been asked a question. When he looked back up at the man’s face, he was wearing a knowing expression with one eyebrow partly up his forehead. Rodney coughed awkwardly for a second and may have started rambling and pointing in the general direction of where Madison was hopefully still sitting.
nbsp; The other man shook his head and laughed a bit. He shot out his hand and grabbed one of Rodney’s that had been flailing about. He shook it once and said “I’m John, and I have to go teach some idiots how to surf now. You should really try it some time.”
nbsp; And with that John picked up his surf board and jogged down to the water. It wasn’t until Jeannie waltzed over with an eyebrow raised and her arms crossed that he realized he hadn’t even told John his name. Not that a guy like John would even care.
Rodney really did try forgetting about John. He specifically remembers trying not to think about him over lunch, through the rest of the afternoon, and he definitely wasn’t thinking about him over dinner, and certainly not in the shower later that night. Okay, well Rodney can’t be blamed for having such a good memory; it was a curse more than gift really. He tossed and turned that night with images of slinky hips and thin wrists and spiky hair. Sufficed to say he wasn’t too happy with himself the next morning when he woke up definitely still thinking about John and also with a definite hard-on. It was only the 3rd day of vacation and he was pretty sure he wouldn’t survive.
That day he made up an excuse for Jeannie as to why he couldn’t go to the beach, something about papers needing reading or something Rodney had already forgotten, because his stupid hotel room had a view of the beach and the source of all his problems was in plain view. Rodney licked his lips and got up from the desk conveniently (not) placed right in front of said window with the view. He paced his room a few times before checking his watch and hey, it totally wasn’t too early to get lunch. Food sounded like a good idea to Rodney 90% of the time. After a particularly delicious lunch that was relatively free from thoughts of John, he decided maybe he’d take another walk. He hadn’t really been paying much attention on the first day when he was only looking for a wifi signal.
Rodney wandered in and out of several small stores along the main street. The third one he went in was full of weird hand-made organic stuff Jeannie would probably love; he got out pretty quick. The next one was full of tea leaves, spices and herbs and Rodney was pretty sure it was a front for drug dealing. The fifth store he went in was actually pretty nice. It was bright and clean and had a variety of souvenirs for tourists as well as clothing and accessories one might need for swimming or water activities. The bell on the door rang as he answered but no staff seemed to be in the store. He looked around for a bit and was about to make his way across to the door to leave when someone came out of the backroom carrying a few boxes. All Rodney needed to see was the tanned arms and skinny wrists before he realized the world truly hated him and would stop, drop, and roll be effective right now or what was the emergency protocol for this situation. He couldn’t will any muscle of his body to move though, and John dropped the boxes and looked up.
Rodney thought John’s eyes lit up, but yeah that was probably his overactive imagination.
“Hey, it’s… you,” John spoke smoothly but clearly fishing for a name. So maybe Rodney was wrong in assuming John wanted absolutely nothing to do with him.
“Um, McKay. Dr. Rodney McKay. Well, I mean you can just call me Rodney.” Rodney frowned inwardly at himself and could feel the lopsided expression he must be wearing.
“Alright… Rodney,” John drawled slowly. The way John dragged out Rodney’s name into way more syllables than was necessary sent a chill down his spine. “So what brings you ‘round to my shop?”
Rodney sighed, of course John would own a store like this, and would happen to be working when he was the exact person Rodney was trying to avoid.
“So you teach hooligans to surf in the morning and then sell them everything they need during the day?”
John laughed. “I guess if you look at it that way.”
Rodney wasn’t sure if John laughed at all Rodney’s rude comments to avoid conflict or if he actually thought Rodney was being funny or maybe he just thought Rodney’s hardened exterior was amusing. Rodney wasn’t really sure what he was supposed to say next but he thought it would probably be best if he left John to run his errands since he clearly brought the boxes out for a reason.
“Well, uh, I better go. I was just… walking to see what’s around so…”
“Hey, why don’t I come with you? I, uh... was just about to take a break. I could show you the best place to get coffee? You look like the type who likes coffee.” John’s face had ventured over several expressions during his sentence but when he was finished he was wearing a charming smile and leaning his delicious hips against the counter. Rodney could hardly be blamed for not remembering how to say no.
And that’s how Rodney ended up sitting in a small café sipping some of the best coffee he’s ever tasted with the gorgeous John Sheppard (Rodney thinks the last name suits him perfectly for some reason... it just fits) sitting across the small table. Their knees keep bumping and John Is nodding along as Rodney describes his research and how much he hates being a professor. John laughs at the right times and feigns sympathy the next and somehow Rodney has pushed passed his nerves. It just feels so good and right to be sitting there talking to John.
nbsp; Rodney usually finds it so hard to drop his walls and let anyone in. He is far too accustomed to ridicule and teasing and proving himself. But with John it feels so easy and natural and he can’t help laughing lightly at John’s snide retorts and can’t help but notice how John takes Rodney’s side when he complains about his idiotic colleagues. Rodney doesn’t’ know how long they sit there talking, but at some point John’s phone goes off and he frowns down at it as if it has offended him. Then after a few seconds he looks back up at Rodney excitedly and biting his lip.
nbsp; “Hey, do you want to try something fun?”
nbsp; “Umm, it depends on what you classify as fun… so probably not.”
nbsp; John laughs again and ignored Rodney’s half-hearted rejection. “Do you trust me?” Rodney was already nodding before he thought about how odd it was that yes, he really did trust John, even though he barely knew him. But Rodney felt like John might be one of the most trust-worthy people in his life right now. It was a weird feeling and Rodney blamed his hormones or something like that, but ignored the tug at his heart that told him it was something else.
nbsp; An hour later, Rodney found himself facing John in the parking lot for the beach with his arms crossed and refusing to help being the surf boards our of John’s trunk to the water because no, there was no way he was getting on one.
nbsp; “C’mon Rodney,” John drew out his name again. It made Rodney’s stomach twist uncomfortably. “You trust me?” John said with a wide, proud smile and wiggled his eyebrows. Rodney rolled his eyes and sighed.
nbsp; “You already used that on me once, I’m not that easy.” John’s eyebrows shot up and Rodney blushed and stammered ntil he grabbed a board and started walking, yelling over his shoulder for John to hurry up. John caught up quickly and was grinning. Rodney glared half-heartedly; he was a bit too preoccupied memorizing John’s smile.
“Wow Rodney, I thought any idiot could stand on a board,” John teased playfully.
“Alright, alright. Enough using my own words against me. I couldn’t be blamed for what I said. I’d just been physically maimed. Could’ve had a concussion for all I know.”
They were currently sitting on the surfboards on the beach just out of reach of the water watching the sun set. Rodney tried not to think about how this could be a scene from a terrible romcom and tried to focus on his exhausted muscles. He couldn’t find the will to complain though, with the sight of John and the pink setting sun reflecting on his skin. John had unsuccessfully tried teaching Rodney how to surf, but to no avail. Rodney almost broke his nose the one time he managed to slightly stand on his board, subsequently face-planting in the water.
“Oh c’mon, it wasn’t really that bad. You’d only been on your knees anyway… building a sandcastle,” John tried to sound condescending bought Rodney knew he was just a bit jealous.
“Hey I thought I was dead and you were some angel, so clearly I was deranged.” Rodney swallowed thickly after he’d realized what he’d let slip. The problem with it being so easy to talk to John… was that it was too easy. Things fell off his lips before he could even think about filtering them. Rodney didn’t filter much of what he said on anyway, but usually he had a bit more self-preservation than this. John hadn’t said anything back and was afraid to look over and find John running away to his car, or looking back at him horrified or something. But before Rodney could even make up his mind if he wanted to see the damage or not, there was a hand pulling his chin up. Rodney’s heart skipped and let his face be guided by John’s hand. One minute Rodney was looking into John’s stupidly amused eyes, and the next minute warm, salty lips were mashed against his own. John’s hand moved to the back of Rodney’s neck and Rodney couldn’t resist running his own hand through John’s wild hair that was still wet and felt rough with brine.
John separated their mouths and rested his forehead to Rodney’s. They were both breathing heavily trying to suck fresh air into their lungs. John laughed lightly and Rodney was slightly horrified he’d just been part of a practical joke when John whispered, “an angel eh?”
“Oh my god I hate you so much,” Rodney managed before attacking John’s mouth again with enough force to knock John backwards into the sand. Rodney straddled him and used both hands to pin John’s wrists above his head. He slowly kissed his way down from John’s mouth to his throat to his chest to his waistband. He looked and nipped at the skin as John’s breathing went ragged. Each taste was salty and perfect and was exactly how he thought John should taste. They kissed lazily for a few minutes until the dark of night brought a noticeable coldness.
“It’s getting pretty cold,” John whispered.
“Well I have a shower with conveniently hot water back in my hotel room,” Rodney whispered back in between licks and kisses.
“Sounds like a plan to me,” John said as he bucked up his hips toward Rodney’s. Rodney moaned and got up, dragging John up with him.
“Well no time to waste then,” Rodney said matter-of-factly. John laughed something that Rodney would probably define as a giggle. Rodney’s lips were sore, his other complaints long forgotten, and he had to bite his own lips as he watched John lick his own red lips. It was going to be a pretty good vacation