The Last Mission
Category:Slash Pairings McKay/Sheppard Rating: G
Genres: Angst, Drabble, Established Relationship Warnings: Adult themes, Character death
Summary: John and Rodney return to Atlantis after fifteen years on earth.
"It's strange being back," John said to Rodney as they stepped into the room that the young sergeant had escorted them to.
Rodney looked around the bright room.
"'Would have been nice to get our old room." He sighed.
"Hey, we're here." John smiled. "For the first time in fifteen years, we're back where it all started for us."
"It was nice of General Lorne to arrange it for us," Rodney said as he moved into his lover's arms.
"Yeah," John said. He nuzzled the side of Rodney's neck. "I always knew he was a good kid, knew he would make it to the top some day. He told me he retires next month."
"You didn't want it, Colonel, remember?" Rodney pulled back and gazed into John's eyes. "You never wanted any more than what you had when you were here. You were happy to be Lieutenant Colonel John Sheppard, military leader of the Atlantis expedition."
John smiled. "I had you, and there was no way I would give that up for a military promotion." He kissed Rodney and then stepped away, moving to gaze out of the window at the blue, blue sea that surrounded the city.
"The settlement has gotten much bigger. I've been told there are quite a number of military families on the mainland now," he said.
Rodney moved behind him, slipping his arms around his lover's waist. "Atlantis is happy you're back."
"What? And you know this because..?" John placed his hands over Rodney's.
"I know this because I heard that young technician grumble about an unexplained energy spike as soon as soon as we stepped through the gate."
John smiled. "I can feel her."
"I know." Rodney gripped him tighter.
"God, it feels so weird and so natural," John said quietly.
"Its home," Rodney whispered.
"There's a big Christmas tree in the mess hall," John said suddenly. "I saw it as we were heading towards the transporter. Hey! Do you remember the year you broke the baby Jesus when we were putting out the nativity scene?"
"Oh Lord, don't I?" Rodney groaned. "Elizabeth swore I did it on purpose, called me Scrooge. Everything would have been fine if we had gone with my idea of using cotton wool and a bit of gauze, but no! You had to use a plastic Bart Simpson out of a cereal box. wrapped in the toe of an old sock as a substitute."
"Come on Rodney," John said, grinning. "Desperate times call for desperate measures. And how was I to know that Teyla would be so inquisitive?"
"What? " Rodney snorted. "The baby was bright yellow, with spiky hair and 'Ay, Caramba!' written across its chest, for God's sake! Is it any wonder that Teyla asked Elizabeth about it?"
They both chuckled, but then Rodney sighed. He rested his chin on John's shoulder.
"It's nice to know that this time we won't leave again." Rodney's voice broke a little as the words left his lips. "You know, I always thought that when we, um, died, that it would only be fair that we turned into those shiny Ancient beings, even though the tentacles are a bit of a turn-off. I mean, come on--how many times did we save the universe?"
John turned in his lover's arms. "I've died a few times, Rodney. Each time it was Carson who brought me back. Somehow, I don't think I rank very high in the Ascension ratings. How could I? I'm a soldier. I've killed more men than I choose to remember, both directly and indirectly. Hell, I woke the Wraith! How many have died and are still dying because of that? And if that wasn't enough, I also bombed a settlement of Wraith that we had turned into human beings to pieces." He smiled humorlessly. "I don't think I'm getting many brownie points for the way I've lived my life."
"You did what you had to do," Rodney said quietly. He walked over to the bed, gently pulling John with him. They both lay down together, facing each other, lying on their sides. "You always did what you had to do. It's why I love you. And besides, we all know that the damn Ancients weren't exactly perfect themselves." Gently, he traced one of the many scars that proved just how far John had been willing to go to protect his lover, his friends and the great city. It ran from his brow down across his eye to the top of his cheek. God, that had been a long, long night while they waited for news from Carson as to whether John's eye could be saved.
"I sent a letter to Carson at the nursing home," Rodney said, just as quietly. "I told him why we decided to do this. He'll blame himself you know, even though there is nothing he could do. Thank God that he won't remember what the letter said in a few days. God, he's so...
Rodney's voice trailed off and he took a deep breath. "You're not the only one who made mistakes, John. I blew up a solar system, remember?"
"Five sixths," John said teasingly, then gently kissed his partner's lips. "I have no regrets, Rodney, none. This is what I want."
Rodney nodded and pulled him closer.
"Have you locked the door?" Rodney asked. He traced the scar again and pushed back a strand of snow-white hair.
"Yeah," John whispered. "It's up to Atlantis now—well, her and your technical genius. How long, do you think?"
"Not long, Colonel." The title had long-since become a kind of endearment between them. "The carbon monoxide has been increasing ever since you sealed the room. Not long now, and then the pain will stop for us both."
"You're sure, Rodney?" John asked. "Sure you want to go with me?"
Rodney gave him a soft kiss. "I couldn't live without you. This is best for both of us. I don't want to watch you suffering while the cancer consumes you." He smiled. "Close your eyes, love. I'm here."
Somewhere in the control room, a young technician laughed as one of his superiors told him wild stories about the two elderly men who had come to Atlantis for one last visit a few hours earlier.
"Those two old guys?" He grinned. "You're joking, right? They were in the first expedition with him?" He nodded towards the control room door, at the man hunched over a laptop. "That was McKay and Sheppard? God I would really like to talk to those guys--they're here for the next week, right?--I've read a few of their mission reports."
He frowned as Atlantis suddenly lost power, her lights blinking out. "What the fuck?"
A sudden noise, not unlike a low wail, emanated around the city before Atlantis' systems slowly started to come back on line, one by one.
"There's an energy surge down on the South pier--it's coming from one of the guest quarters!" The technician shouted. "Damn! What the hell?"
Suddenly he heard his boss shouting over the com link. "Colonel Waters, get to the guest quarters you assigned to Sheppard and McKay!"
The technician watched as Waters darted from the control room to the transporter, Marines in tow.
"Get this damn door open!" Waters was shouting at some poor tech, as the man with the pony tail streaked with grey reached the door to Sheppard and McKay's assigned quarters.
"The energy source is still in evidence," he said, pushing his glasses further up on the bridge of his nose with slightly shaking fingers. He watched as the door finally opened, and stepped quickly into the room after the Colonel.
"Dr. Kavanagh, what the fuck is going on?" The colonel shouted at him.
Kavanagh didn't answer him. Instead he stood still, watching the two figures of light floating serenely in the centre of the room.
"Dr McKay, Colonel Sheppard?" Kavanagh asked softly.
The balls of light took what seemed to be human form, and a familiar voice came from one of them.
"Well, this is kinda unexpected," it said.
The other form made a noise not unlike snickering. "It seems like we were higher up on that list than we thought we were, Colonel."
"Yeah. Guess so. How about that? Cool."
"We've got to go, John, they're waiting for us," the other form said, while it seemed to merge with its partner.
"Yeah, we probably should. Don't want to upset the Ancients." But the new, single form didn't move. "Damn this is... I feel fine--no pain, Rodney! Wow!" Then the figure seemed to solidify a little more, and it moved closer to Kavanagh. "Take care of them, Kavanagh. You're the last one here from the first expedition—all the rest of them are just kids, now. Take care of 'her' for us."
Kavanagh new he meant Atlantis, and he nodded and took a step back as the balls of light separated once again. Long tails of light spread out from their centre and floated throughout the room.
"Damn," he heard Sheppard say quietly again. "Nice tentacles, Rodney."
Kavanagh could visualise John Sheppard's teasing smile.
He heard another quiet chuckle and then a grousing, "Now, just how do you suppose we'll be able to have great make-up sex when we're just pure energy?"
"I'm sure you'll figure it out Rodney," was the last thing Kavanagh heard as the beings of light began drifting up, through the ceiling of the room. "You always do."
Kavanagh smiled and turned towards the door, leaving a gaping Waters and several stunned Marines behind him.