Stargate Atlantis: Fanfic: Heartstrings

  • Jan. 29th, 2019 at 6:10 PM
Title: Heartstrings
Fandom: Stargate Atlantis
Rating: G
Word Count: 975
Prompt: Challenge 252 - Key
Summary: Rodney never knows what to get John for his birthday. And now that they're back in Pegasus, that makes it even harder.
Content Notes: None

Buying presents for John seemed impossible. Sure, now that they were back in Pegasus, they had stocked up on what they needed. Daedalus shipments came every other month to bring not just new supplies, but new personnel as well. And while Rodney was pretty regular with requisitioning anything he thought they might need, John was one that didn't need anything. He'd come to Atlantis with barely more than the clothes on his back, and he was happy with just that. When he and Rodney had moved in together, it had taken all of two trips to get John settled into their new quarters.

The first birthday after they'd moved in, Rodney had wracked his brain to try and figure out what he could get John. Though John had loved the new gun Rodney'd built for him, Rodney knew it was just a tool. He'd felt guilty about it, and vowed to do better the next year.

Before he knew it, that next year flew by. And though John was happy with just having Rodney at his side when they went to bed at night, Rodney had more than a few sleepless nights trying to figure out what he could get him.

"Hey McKay," Chuck called as Rodney and the team were heading to medical for a checkup after their latest off-world mission. "Reminder I'm going to send off the reqs at 15:00 hours for the next Daedalus run."

Rodney panicked. He'd not made a decision yet. Carson commented on his elevated blood pressure during the physical, saying, "This is high, even for you, Rodney."

"I've got something I need to deal with," he replied.

Physicals completed, the team walked to Woolsey's office for a debriefing. Rodney listened to the banter between Teyla and John, but his thoughts went back to waiting in the infirmary with John at his side. John had been humming something, and suddenly an idea came into focus. As the team walked into Woolsey's office, Rodney excused himself. He did a quick search on a datapad, and then showed Chuck what he wanted to be added to the requisition.

He just hoped that he was right.

~*~*~

The box was much larger than Rodney expected it to be, though hiding it in Atlantis was no problem. There were still labs that were unused, and with the gene therapy, he was able to hide things, locking them away later. He usually didn't have to worry about John; it was Ronon that often scavenged, especially around his birthday. Still, he wanted John's present to be a surprise, so he locked the lab, and forgot about it until six weeks later.

After a small celebration in the Mess, John and Rodney headed to their quarters. John was happy, their bellies full from dinner and John just a bit loose after opening a bottle of Scotch that Woolsey had given him. Rodney walked John into their quarters, but John stopped mid-step and pointed at the big box that sat in the middle of the room, unadorned except for the oversized red bow with tendrils that dropped over the front and back.

Rodney guided John to the sofa. "I hope you like it," he whispered as they sat down.

"Rodney," John said. "You didn't have to get me anything." He leaned over and kissed Rodney. "I got you," he said as he pulled back.

Rodney immediately missed the closeness, but pushed John a bit forward with one hand and gestured with the other. "I wanted to. You deserve everything, John."

John kissed him again before pulling the top off the enormous box. Inside was a black guitar case. John's face immediately lit up with a smile, and Rodney knew that he'd gotten this year's gift right. John pulled the case out and set it on his lap, then opened it to find a black guitar, with a pearl-white tracing around the outside. Though Rodney knew nothing about guitars, he knew that John liked Johnny Cash. And luckily for Rodney, there was a model made to look like Cash's guitar - and that was the one on which he'd settled. John took the instrument out of the case and put it on his lap, then gently strummed his fingers over the strings.

John's smile brightened.

After a few minutes, Rodney sat back as John lightly strummed the guitar. Whatever it was was a tune John knew, and though it wasn't classical, Rodney liked it. He found his fingers dancing along his thighs as if playing the piano to accompany John on guitar. It didn't take long for John to catch him playing, either.

"Here," John said, then handed the guitar to Rodney.

"No, no," he said. "I don't know anything about guitar. Just piano."

"Well, I'm gonna teach you," John replied. He let go of the guitar once it was safely in Rodney's hands, then scooted behind him. John leaned forward and held Rodney so close, Rodney could feel the heat of him plastered against his back. Then John put his left hand over Rodney's and guided his other hand lightly over the strings, rewarded by a melodious sound. They continued, John changing Rodney's fingering to change the song's key, as John hummed along.

"It's beautiful," Rodney said as he kept strumming, enjoying the vibration of John's chest against his back. "What is it?"

John moved their fingers back, his hum becoming words as Rodney's fingers coaxed out the tune.

"When you're all alone and blue
No one to tell your troubles to
Remember me, I'm the one who loves you"

As the final words left his lips, John leaned forward and dropped a kiss against Rodney's ear. So careful as he could, Rodney put the guitar down, stood, kissed John, and then took him to bed to try and show him just how much he cared.


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