One down... Author:tetsubinatu) Fandom: Stargate Atlantis Title: One down... Prompt: Schmoop Bingo: looking at the stars Medium: ficlet ~ 545 words Rating: PG Warnings: I've not written much in this fandom before. It's as schmoopy as I could make it, OK? Summary: Rodney has achieved his life's ambition
"Good to have you back," Sheppard admitted, passing Rodney a beer. Rodney had known that he would find him out here on the pier. The waves hissed softly against the city's underbelly far below, a sound that he hadn't known he'd missed until he heard it again just now.
"Radek says you managed not to kill yourselves while I was away," Rodney said. "I'm surprised. Pleased, but surprised."
He sat down next to Sheppard and took a swig from the bottle. Molson Dry; not bad. Beside him Sheppard stretched, rolling his shoulders, loose and lazy, then raised his own bottle to his lips.
The lights of Atlantis glinted on the dark sea and above them the stars moved through their set dance. Rodney hadn't looked up once in the weeks that he had spent on Earth; it had never occurred to him to seek the once-familiar constellations through the light-haze of Washington, Toronto or Oslo. Now the well-known constellations of Pegasus swung above him and he lay back on the pier to watch them high above.
Sheppard snagged his forgotten beer and Rodney didn't even care: he'd been drinking champagne the whole time on earth - a beer with Kaleb one night and a bottle of red with Sam another, but mainly champagne. It was good to be home.
"What next?" Sheppard asked.
"Hmmmm?" Rodney had thought that 'next' would probably involve a bit more beer than it seemed he was actually going to get, then a good night's sleep on his own prescription mattress before it was back to the lab as usual.
"You've achieved your life's ambition," Sheppard said. "A Nobel. So what next?"
There was an award in his dufflebag, some extra money in his bank account. He'd been feted in three countries. Rodney considered the stars.
"Don't know really," he said.
Teyla had told him the legend of that serpentine constellation right above them: it represented a wedding procession, she'd said, with the twin stars at the top being the bride and groom.
"Someone to love," he said abruptly.
Sheppard turned to look at him, his eyes reflecting the light. "Yeah," he agreed slowly before turning back to the empty sea and sky before them.
From somewhere in the city the wind brought them the sound of laughter and the clink of glass. Rodney could smell steak barbequing until the wind shifted again, isolating them on the pier.
The breeze over the water was cool in the warm night. Sheppard drank his beer while Rodney contemplated the stars from his supine position. "I don't suppose I could interest you in a Nobel Prize-winning physicist with poor social skills?" he proffered, eventually. "A lifetime of embarrassment and devotion on offer here."
Sheppard choked on his beer. Rodney looked up at him, silhouetted against the paler sky and the stars. "No?" he said quietly. "I'll keep looking then. Plenty of women out there would appreciate a Nobel Prize Winner. Good genetics, plenty of money..."
After a minute Sheppard lay down beside him and slipped a cold, bony hand into his. "Yeah, OK," he said.
Rodney's heart skipped a beat. "Oh good," he said. "Jeannie owes me twenty bucks."
Sheppard grinned and squeezed his hand. Rodney could feel the heat of him warming his side. He turned to look and found John looking back, his lips slightly parted.
"Really? Yeah?" he asked, still uncertain.
"Oh yeah," John said, low and dirty.
Ten minutes later the pier was empty, a single half-empty bottle of beer bearing witness to the night.