Genre: Team, OT4 (Established)
Season/Spoilers: Roughly Season 3-ish
Synopsis: He was missing for three days, but now he is home.
Disclaimer: I don’t own them, people with a lot of money do. I’m just borrowing them to play and making no profit from this.
John had expected some sort of response to his reappearance, but he really did not expect this. Thinking about it, he really should have known better.
It was only three days. Three days of being kidnapped, dragged, beaten, and abandoned in a supposedly secure holding cell in the middle of nowhere. Three hours to determine the cell was originally an Ancient lab of some kind. Three minutes to convince the Ancient lab to open a passage and let him escape. After that, he wasn’t quite sure how long it took him to make it back to the gate, dodging behind trees and burying himself in ditches at the slightest noise along the way.
When he found Lorne’s team, night goggles in hand, ready to start an “infiltration” mission, a.k.a. “seek and destroy” mission, he didn’t know whether to laugh, cry, or scare the crap out of them. In the end, he managed a bit of everything, stopping only when he saw three familiar faces approaching from the hill to the East. They looked tired, filthy, and beautiful.
He left the Major gabbing on about something mid-sentence, stumbling over to his team, watching the recognition hit their faces and their shoulders sag with relief. He opened his mouth to say something, anything, but no words came. Instead, he let their arms wrap around him, sank into their embrace and knew, for the first time in three days, that he was going home.
His face was buried in long hair and dreadlocks, not knowing whose arms were wrapped around him and not caring in the least. He gripped on tighter, feeling the bodies around him close in even more in response. He felt them, smelled them, swore he could even taste their sweat and worry. He finally let himself start to relax for the first time since everything began. They were safe. They were whole. They were here.
Realizing they were probably making a spectacle of themselves in front of the Marines, he slowly pulled back, looking each and every one of them in the eyes. It was Rodney who broke the silence first with a choked, “God, you look like shit.”
He huffed out a laugh, ignoring the way it made the fragile skin around his ribs pull, staring at the pale and shadowed man before him. “You’re not looking so hot yourself,” he pointed out, earning him a reluctant grin. He looked to the others, saw thin lines marring their faces that had not been there before. “None of you do,” he added, knowing more than a hint of worry was coloring his tone.
He had been taken in the dead of night on a supposedly peaceful planet, barely awake when a sweet smelling cloth was held over his nose and mouth. He remembered fighting back, remembered the others doing so as well, but it has been too dark, and he had been too drugged, to fully know what had been going on. He had seen a large figure with a rag in his hand hovering over Rodney, but had been unable to get to him before their attackers subdued him, bound him, and dragged him away. He had been taken by gate at least once, having no idea what happened to his team, to his friends. For three days, he had wondered if they were hurt, or worse, not knowing if they had survived the initial fight, yet praying they would find him.
“We are fine,” Teyla assured him, reading his mind. “We escaped and we are well,” she promised.
He looked over to Rodney, knowing he could never hide anything. “They hauled me out of there and took out as many of the bad guys as they could,” he dutifully reported.
A glance at Ronon and he confirmed their story. “McKay was drugged, but we got him and tried to go after you. They must have taken you through the gate before we got there.”
“Three days, Sheppard,” Rodney said shakily. “Three days before we found you.”
John nodded, looked to the horizon where the barest hints of light were beginning to show and wisely did not comment on how it was now nearly four. Instead, he sighed, “Let’s go home.”
The infirmary was fun, Carson finding scrapes and bruises even he did not know he had, his entire body screaming in pain from its mistreatment. Miraculously, nothing was broken, though several ribs were cracked and two fingers of his right hand were dislocated. He showered and shaved there before having each and every scrape thoroughly disinfected and six of the deeper ones were stitched back together.
Beckett saw no reason to keep him there when his own bed would be far more comfortable, and released him with a bag full of painkillers and antibiotics and threats to take it easy or he would be admitted until the stitches came out. That was followed by a gentle pat on the shoulder and a heartfelt, “Welcome home.”
His team was waiting for him just outside the curtain, along with Elizabeth. He gave her a skeleton version of a debriefing, knowing the others were listening as well, and she gave him a day and a half to turn in his official report. She then gave him a gentle hug and a sigh and he pretended not to see how wet her eyes were when she nodded and darted out the door.
He turned to the others, opening his mouth to give them a mixture of platitudes and reassurance, but was cut off by McKay ordering, “You, food, now.” His stomach growled in agreement, reminding him of how little he had eaten since he was taken, and he let the scientist lead the way to the cafeteria, Ronon and Teyla following silently behind.
He smiled in thanks as his tray was loaded with his favorites, letting Ronon grab it away from him when his injured hands started to shake ever so slightly under its weight. They led him to their usual table, Rodney on one side of him, Teyla on the other, and Ronon sitting across from him, all too close and not close enough as shoulders bumped and feet tangled together under the table.
He ate what he could, fighting between the feeling of starvation and the knowledge of all the food going to waste if he overdid it. He smiled politely at everyone who stopped by the table, responding by rote when Doctor Alieson from Biometrics told him how good it was to have him back again. He pretended not to notice that his own team stayed strangely quiet, just like he pretended not to notice Ronon’s growl or Teyla’s glare when yet another party of people looked to approach the table. The Marines wisely changed their minds.
He pushed his fork into his piece of pie, filled with an odd combination of berries from the mainland and the few frozen remains from their stash from Earth, and froze. The crumbling of the pale, flaky crust into the thick, deep red sauce covering the rounded fruit made him want to gag, the memories of a pale fist tearing open as it pounded against him flooding his mind until he closed his eyes and tried to force everything away.
A hand on his arm, gentle, resting just above the stitches, and another on his shoulder by the nape of his neck made them snap back open to see the concerned faces of his friends. Ronon took his tray and stood, leaving to discard it without a word. Rodney squeezed ever so slightly and said, “Let’s get out of here.”
With Ronon leading the way and Teyla and Rodney at his sides like some sort of avenging angels, the hallways were surprisingly clear, at least by the time he got to them. He did not question where they were leading him, trusting it would be some place safe, some place quiet, some place theirs.
He was a bit surprised when they ended up outside of his own quarters, but obligingly opened the door for them, stepping through into comforting familiarity. He sighed, letting his shoulders drop and a fraction more of the tension that had been haunting him seep away. He turned to thank his team for being there, for walking him home as clichéd as that sounded, not one hundred percent certain he wanted them to leave just yet, but feeling ridiculous for even thinking of asking them to stay.
It turned out that really was not going to be an issue as they crowded through the doorway with him. He barely registered the little beep that signaled the locking mechanism before Rodney was pressed up against him, hands warm through the soft fabric of his t-shirt. The momentum nearly sent him careening in to the wall but instead of hitting metal and plaster he impacted against Ronon’s bulk, strength and muscle and so very, very whole as he caressed his back, his arms, anywhere he could reach.
Rodney’s lips had found his throat, nuzzling as he mouthed the words, “Here, safe, ours.” Teyla’s forehead pressed against his upper arm, her hands helping Rodney work John’s shirt free until their hands roamed over his skin, warm and real.
They backed off just enough to strip the fabric from him, oh so careful with the bandages and scrapes and bruises. He barely had time to feel the chilled air of the room against him before they were back, three sets of hands blending into a single caress. Lips joined fingers, mapping out scars new and old, kissing promises against him. He melted into the touch, needing it as much as they needed him, seeking out their skin even as it surrounded his own.
When Rodney reached for his belt, he was neither surprised nor objecting. Three sets of hands jumbled in the fabric, pushing and pulling until it pooled at his ankles. He knew he should have felt exposed, nearly naked while the others remained fully clothed; instead he helped kick his shoes off and let his pants and socks join his shirt on the other side of the room. This was Rodney, and Teyla, and Ronon. This was his team, yet something more. The three of them meant so much to him and, seeing them here, safe and healthy and complete, he knew he could deny them nothing.
Rodney was still kneeling in front of him, smoothing his hands up his battered thighs, pausing to whirl little thumbprints in the hair. Teyla was lowering his head to her own, kissing him sweetly, softly, as her hands roamed his chest, circling his nipples with practiced ease. Ronon took advantage of the angle, lips finding his pulse point, beard scraping just this side of ticklish along his neck and hands cupping his ass.
His head snapped up when Rodney’s tongue licked a swath up the underside of his cock, circling the head before taking it into his mouth. John looked down, biting his split lip at the image of Rodney’s lips obscenely stretched around his length. He hurt, he ached, he was exhausted, but it felt so damn good to just give into the moment, thrusting ineffectually against the hold on his hips, letting his head loll back against Ronon’s shoulder, Teyla’s lips closing around a nipple while her hand drifted down to cradle his balls.
He turned his head to the side, Ronon’s lips capturing his own, a thick, blunt finger circling his entrance. Rodney swallowed around him and it was too much, white light bursting beneath eyelids slammed tightly closed as pleasure rushed through him, every muscle tensing for the briefest of moments as he came and came and came.
He returned to himself to find himself panting, slumped against Ronon’s strength. Three sets of hands led him to the bed, guided him down to the mattress, tucked the covers around him. He reached out in protest, tender kisses silencing his complaints as his teammates stripped down and wrapped themselves around him once more.
The bed was too small for all of them to fit comfortably, the angles all wrong. Their bodies pressed against each other in new and interesting ways, weight against his bruises, tension against his cuts. It was perfect, exactly what he needed. He let his eyes drift shut, soaking in comfort and wellness and love.
“Three, Sheppard, three,” Rodney muttered against his collarbone.
Tightening his grip around his lovers, he quietly corrected, “Four.”
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