Notes: This is just a one-off stand alone I wrote for Ange. Spoilers through S3.
Radek wiggled his toes inside his boots and pushed his glasses further up his nose. He was fidgety and jumpy and nervous, and he wasn't sure if it was the eleven cups of coffee-substitute he'd had before lunch or the fact that he and Rodney were shut off from the rest of Atlantis because McKay, in an astounding display of megalomania, had, quite possibly, released another nano-virus. Or something like it. Radek wasn't sure, since he wasn't experiencing any hallucinations and he felt just fine, but Atlantis, apparently, didn't want them out of the lab just yet. They'd tried radioing the control room, but they couldn't get a response. The life signs detectors worked, however, and it looked like things were progressing apace outside.
That information wasn't reassuring, though, when he was shut in a room with Rodney, who was pacing and muttering under his breath and constantly fiddling with things, when he'd admitted to Radek he had no idea what the room's purpose was.
"They'll send someone for us after we've been missing a while, McKay. Perhaps another hour."
"Another hour? Are you insane already? We don't know what this lab is unleashing on us! We could be dead in thirty seconds! Four minutes - "
"Forty years!" Radek interrupted. "Rodney, the point is that we don't know. I, for one, feel fine, aside from mild anxiety, which is actually just a constant state of being on Atlantis." Rodney frowned deeper at him, but didn't comment. "I think we should make an effort to remain calm." At Rodney's exasperated snort, he held up his hand. "Cooler heads will prevail, Rodney."
"What do you suggest we do to keep ourselves busy, Dr. Zelenka," Rodney asked, his voice venomous. "We could ruminate on all the different ways we could die. We could talk about all the chances we never took, and how spectacularly fucked up this situation is, or we could, as you suggest, calm down. What do you think, Radek? Yoga? A bit of tai chi? Maybe so-"
"If you continue to speak," Radek could feel his grip on his own self-control slipping, "you will use up all of the oxygen."
"Oh, shit, we're running out of air? Oh, God, no, I can't." He grabbed at his neck. "Radek, I can't breathe."
Radek wished, suddenly, and just for a split second before he realized how very untrue it was, that he would die, if only to save himself from Rodney's hysterical babbling.
"Rodney," Radek spoke. He lay a hand on Rodney's solid shoulder. "Rodney, breathe. There is plenty of oxygen in the room, and there will still be plenty when we are found. This is a promise."
"You can't make a promise like that," Rodney challenged, and dammit, it was true.
"Trust me," he said, and he squeezed Rodney's shoulder.
Rodney frowned, but he slid down the wall to the floor and said nothing further for nearly five minutes. Radek considered it a small blessing, to receive even that much silence.
"What is it that you regret the most, McKay?"
Radek could practically hear Rodney's eyes roll. "Dying in an airless room would be pretty regrettable," he said.
"Okay, what, other than the situation we are in right now, causes you regret?"
"So much," Rodney said, sounding for all the world as though he'd given up. "I regret the way Carson, you know. I regret so much with Jeannie. I regret leaving my cat with that neighbor of mine. She wasn't very nice to me, although she was nice enough to him. I regret..." Rodney trailed off, wiping at his face with his hands. "I don't know. Everything. Why am I telling you this?"
"I just asked, Rodney. Was only question."
"Well, Dr. Zelenka, what do you regret?" Rodney looked at him with defiance in his eyes, as though he thought this exercise would be difficult for him.
And it was, Radek supposed, but only in the way that all things like this were difficult for him to begin. "My marriage," he said. It was always easier to go about things like this chronologically. "My relationship with my brother-in-law. Would be easier if he were not moron, but it is true that I am not terribly forgiving of that shortcoming. I did not study for an exam, once, and rec-"
"You didn't think to tell me you were married?"
Radek waved his hand as if it was of little consequence. "Yes, Rodney, I was married once. We were very young, when I was working on my first degree. It was obvious mistake."
Rodney made a curious sound in his throat. "How long had you known her?"
"All my life, I suppose. Since I was about three. Her grandmother lived in the same building as my family. We saw one another very rarely, so we thought it was grand idea, getting married. She did not know that even then I was married to my work, and I did not know she was terrible cook." He smiled. "I would not have left her for the cooking, though. It was the man in her bed that I found one afternoon, coming home early, that is what did it."
"How long were you married?"
Radek could not ignore Rodney's hand, which hovered above his own on the floor, as if he wanted to offer comfort. "Eleven months."
Rodney frowned. "I'm sorry."
"For what? You have not had relationships that ended? You have not made rash decisions? Rodney, it was a long time ago."
Rodney nodded, once, looking at him with wide eyes, as though he were someone more than just Zelenka.
Radek turned his palm up, and Rodney laced their fingers together. Radek didn't know what it meant, but for once not knowing didn't seem to matter so much.
"How long have we been in here," Rodney asked a while later.
"Twenty-five minutes," Radek answered.
"So we have thirty-five minutes before they'll expect a check-in?"
"And probably another thirty minutes before they attempt to contact us, then organize a team and try to mount a rescue attempt."
Seeing as there wasn't much to be rescued from, other than boredom, Radek smiled behind his free hand. "Yes."
"What should we do?"
Radek had several ideas. He decided to keep them to himself. "I don't know, Rodney. You could tell me of Canada."
"It's a large and fertile land full of freedom. And trees."
Radek looked at him over his glasses. "Tell me of what you miss most from Canada."
"Tim Horton's." At Radek's confused glance, he added, "donut shop. They have these amazing caramel smoothies. Well, they're hot, so the term smoothie is sort of misleading. It's like a hot cocoa, only with caramel. Oh, god."
"Food," Zelenka started incredulously. "You are away from your home for three years and you miss food?"
"It's Tim Horton's!" When Radek rolled his eyes, Rodney continued. "I suppose I miss my sister. I mean, now that we are even speaking again. Sort of. As much as you can speak to someone in another galaxy." He stroked his thumb against the back of Radek's hand. "And my cat."
Radek nodded. There was sometimes no explaining Rodney, and no understanding him. If he would miss a smoothie more than he would miss a person, that was just Rodney, and Radek would be better off not trying to make any sense of him. But Rodney was Radek's closest friend in Atlantis, and if he were being totally honest Rodney was the only person Radek would choose to be stuck with in a tiny room with a wildly uncertain future, and that meant taking some things at face value.
Like the fact that Rodney was still clasping his hand even though they were in no apparent danger.
"How much time left?"
Radek blinked. "Before what?"
"Before we need to check in," Rodney answered, apparently oblivious to the fact that he himself was wearing a fully functional watch.
"Fifteen minutes," Radek answered, although it was only a guess. He didn't want to look at his watch for fear Rodney would realize they were still holding hands and then move away, sputtering and reddish.
"I've got an idea," Rodney said.
"To get out of here?"
"No." Rodney was quiet for a long time. Radek was laying on the cool tiled floor with his eyes closed, imagining a land with freedom and trees and a donut shop in nearly every town. "Well," Rodney said, and then the air shifted and Rodney pressed lips to his, warm and soft and a bit slobbery, and Radek opened his eyes behind his glasses because it was what he always did, because he could never quite believe it, otherwise, that someone was kissing him. Rodney this close had rather uneven eyebrows (the left was a bit bushier than the right) and his eyelashes were long and fluttery and he pressed his free hand to Radek's cheek when they stopped kissing long enough to breathe. "Your skin," Rodney said, "God," and then groaned deep in his throat and kissed him again, very focused and with a bit less tongue, which meant a lot less slobber. The next time Rodney pulled away to get a bit of air, he lay down on the floor (Radek immediately missed the warm, heavy press of his body) beside him and just stared, with wide eyes, watching his hand on Radek's cheek as it drifted down to his jawline and up to his forehead and around the shell of his ear. Radek could do little more than blink and breathe shallowly through his nose, because while he'd been dreaming of something similar to this for literally years it wasn't anything at all like the real thing.
"Is this okay," Rodney asked, and Radek almost giggled, because why ever should Rodney have to ask such a thing, as if he couldn't feel the beginnings of Radek's erection against his thigh.
"Boze, ano, ano," he answered, and kissed him again, his hands suddenly coming awake and alive and sneaking beneath Rodney's uniform shirt and causing him to shiver at the touches to his belly and his back.
Rodney groaned into his mouth. "Clothes. We should - naked."
"Is brilliant idea. Floor is hard, but we can lay on clothes."
"Yes," Rodney breathed between kisses, then suddenly sat up and took off his own shirt, and then tried to take Radek's off, heedless of his arms and glasses.
"Rdnph," Radek said, his head stuck in the fabric of his shirt and his voice tight with temper. Of course this had to happen to him. The one and perhaps only opportunity he had with McKay and he looked foolish, even if the blame rested entirely with Rodney, whom Radek was beginning to think was significantly less bright than he'd initially thought.
"Okay, okay, I was merely trying to help. I'm sorry. Please just - get naked?"
Radek heaved a put-upon sigh and deftly adjusted the zip of his shirt and pulled it over his head, mindful of his glasses. He set it aside, set the glasses carefully upon a shelf, and then turned his attention to his shoelaces.
"Jesus," Rodney murmured, and Radek glanced over to find him nearly entirely clothed, except for his shirt and one boot. He was gazing intently at Radek's fingers as they loosened his boot laces. "Jesus, Radek. Your fingers. Oh, god," he said, gasping. Radek was entirely unused to all of the attention Rodney was paying him. Sure, he believed he was reasonably attractive, but he'd never considered that his hands might reduce the greatest mind in two galaxies to incomplete sentences and, Radek noticed, flailing.
"Rodney," he tried to make his voice stern, even though he felt like he couldn't breathe properly with Rodney's eyes on him like that. "Please, undress." He cast a sock off to the side. "The sooner you are naked, the sooner..."
He needn't finish, because Rodney had returned his attention to his own remaining boot, throwing it aside and then standing to work on the zip of his trousers while Radek lay out the shirts and his trousers (zipper to the floor) and their earlier discarded jackets in some semblance of a pallet. It was the only thing he found he could do, short of staring at Rodney while he undressed, exposing his flushed skin to his eyes.
Rodney cleared his throat behind him and suddenly Radek felt awkward again. He remembered his wedding night and then his first night with a man, and suddenly there seemed nowhere for this to go but horribly, horribly wrong. Ivana had cried and the man (Radek couldn't remember ever getting his name - it was in the men's room of some discotheque) hadn't been able to come, and Radek was pretty sure it was because he didn't have the first clue what to do with a cock in his mouth. Radek had, since then, had opportunities to improve, of course, but he still felt the shame of that time. "Hey," Rodney said, touching his chin, "are you okay?"
Radek wasn't shy, but he was uncertain, and he knew Rodney could see as much when he finally allowed his face to be raised. But there was also so much to see in Rodney's eyes, like affection and heat, that he nodded. "Yes."
"Come here," he said, and pulled Radek to him, sharing his body heat in the cool of the room, and Radek could feel the eager press of Rodney's cock to his hip. "You are so, God, wanted you for so long," Rodney said, and Radek melted to him and raised his face for a kiss.
Rodney pulled him to the floor, to the cozy pallet, and once more settled on top of him. Radek loved it, loved the press of Rodney's bulk, loved how real it felt. He ran his palms along the smooth skin of Rodney's back, rubbed the tips of his fingers along his spine until he dipped one finger into the crease of Rodney's ass.
"Oh," Rodney gasped, and thrust his cock into the hollow of Radek's hip, and Radek smiled against Rodney's parted lips. "Again?"
Radek allowed it, and again Rodney bucked against him, and Radek became increasingly aware of the feel of Rodney's fleshy hip as it rub against his own cock. This would be so much more pleasant on a bed, and maybe with some slick, but for now it was heavenly, something other than his own hand, something Rodney, to rub against, Rodney, who gasped and sighed and shuddered each time Radek pressed the tip of his finger anywhere near the crack of his ass, who mumbled against his lips, talking non-stop even now, about how "yeah," and "oh," and "please."
It wasn't long before his cock swelled and then he was coming, and there was fluid between them and Rodney could slide that much easier as he thrust between Radek's finger and his hip, and with one final cry he let go, and it was sticky and messy and Radek loved it.
Rodney breathed into the hollow of Radek's throat, gasping, panting from exertion, and Radek rubbed slow circles against his skin.
"I. I regret one more thing," he said, raising up on his strong arms and pushing off, sitting alongside Radek and rubbing at the mess on his belly with a cast off sock.
Radek fought a rising tide of panic and began feeling about for his glasses. "Oh?"
"Yes," Rodney said, but the tone of his voice was not the tone one used when one regretted something horrible. He clasped Radek's hand, then pulled him close for a kiss. "I regret that we didn't do that years ago."
Radek smiled up at him like a fool.