Author: Rose Wilde-Irish
Fandom: Stargate: Atlantis
Word count: 5,398
Rareathon Assignment: skandrae, who requested Dex/Zelenka, and something offworld.
Spoilers: Vague through season 2, including Inferno.
Summary: "Lorne's team could go, and Ronon wasn't on the team when we made the treaty, so he can serve as a guide," Colonel Sheppard offered.
Rodney glanced at Radek, who felt his insides grow cold at the look. Radek started to shake his head, but Rodney was already continuing. "Radek. You have to. You're the only one I'd trust not to screw things up monumentally."
Notes: Thanks to kyrdwyn, pierson, lapislaz and spubba for assistance and beta duty.
"We had that," Dex said. Radek noted that he kept his expression stoic as everyone turned to stare at him, varying expressions of shock and disbelief coloring their features. "On Sateda," he added, but now Radek spotted a slight smile lurking at the corners of his mouth.
"You had a working version of a space ship." Rodney's voice was laced with scorn, but Dex nodded.
"Ship, yes. Working, not so much. That information was lost when the Ancestors departed."
Radek smothered his own grin as Rodney's mouth worked soundlessly. He closed it, took a deep breath, and spoke. "And you think this can help how?" he asked.
Dex shrugged. "It's an actual ship, looks just like the Orion. Might still be in good enough shape to be of some use."
Rodney leaned back, a look of utter disbelief on his face. "Your people had a space ship built by the Ancients, and you're just mentioning this now."
Radek leaned away from Dex as the large man's eyes flashed and he suppressed a shiver. "My people are scattered across several planets and number a few handfuls, McKay. My world is in rubble, and the museum where the ship's located is probably buried under a ton of it."
Radek twitched, feeling the urge to ask questions war with his sense of self-preservation. And froze, pinned by the mesmerizing gaze of Ronon Dex. "What?" Dex asked, voice soft.
Radek blinked and swallowed against his suddenly tight throat. "I...museum?" he managed. Again he saw the almost-smile at the corners of Dex's mouth.
"Museum," Dex said. "We had 'em."
"Your world was pretty advanced, wasn't it?" Elizabeth's voice was filled with compassion. His gaze flickered to her and he shrugged.
"Point is, we had the ship. On display. We could go, see if we could dig it out."
"Yes," Rodney said, "Even if it's not a functional version of the ship, we could probably pull enough information to give us the push we need to fix the Orion's hyperdrive, maybe even create some schematics from ship's systems-"
"Rodney," Elizabeth interrupted, "you can't go."
He whirled, staring at her. "What do you mean-"
"You, John, and Teyla are needed on Nanidia. It's the terms of the treaty-"
"And we have to go through eleven days of fasting and ritual and all the other fun stuff we agreed to," Colonel Sheppard cut in. "This will have to wait."
"It can't wait! We have Hive ships-"
"I'm open to suggestions for an alternate team," Elizabeth said, volume cutting Rodney's protest off. He studied her, and Radek could almost hear his mental gears grinding.
"Lorne's team could go, and Ronon wasn't on the team when we made the treaty, so he can serve as a guide," Colonel Sheppard offered. "For the scientific end of things-"
"I'll assign those spots, thank you," Rodney said, shooting the Colonel a look. "You'll need geologists...Francks and Johnson. And assuming you can actually reach the ship..." He glanced at Radek, who felt his insides grow cold at the look. Radek started to shake his head, but Rodney was already continuing. "Radek. You have to. You're the only one I'd trust not to screw things up monumentally. Besides," he said, and Radek gritted his teeth at the cavalier tone, "it's unlikely that the Wraith will return to - uh..." He faltered, giving Dex a stricken look. Dex gazed coolly back.
Elizabeth cleared her throat. "Rodney has a point," she said. "However poorly phrased it was. Radek, we really do need you there."
Radek looked around the room, noting that every eye was now on him. He inhaled, frowning, but nodded.
Dex shot him a look he couldn't quite interpret. "Don't worry, Zelenka. I'll keep you safe." Radek stared back, unsure of what to say and unwilling to dwell on some of the images that sentence conjured up. He could see humor color Dex's gaze, masking a glint of something Radek wasn't sure he should examine too closely. "McKay would be impossible otherwise."
Radek tried to smile. He fought back panic at the thought of the offworld mission, attempted to stuff the inappropriate images back into his subconscious, and sank back into his seat, not listening to the rest of the meeting.
Radek walked back to his packs as the Marines and the geologists entered the Jumper. He fumbled at the ties, looking everything over one more time before tying them back with numb fingers, starting to pace again. He stopped to nod at Major Lorne when he entered the Jumper bay.
"Got everything, Doc?" Lorne asked, and Radek tried to give him a nervous smile.
"I think so," he said, as Dr. Parrish entered, stumbling a little under the weight of his packs. "David?" Radek asked, puzzled.
"You missed that meeting," Lorne told him. "David is interested in the effects of the destruction of Sateda on the local flora, so he's tagging along."
"I'll do some help excavating, too, if it's needed," David offered. "But it's not every day that you get to see the kind of effect catastrophic destruction has on the local plant life. You can't exactly plan for-" He yelped as Lorne stepped on his foot before turning a moment later, easy smile on his face.
"Ronon," Lorne greeted. "Is that all you're bringing?"
"Don't have a lot," Dex pointed out, voice rumbling. He turned to Parrish. "You can, you know," he said.
David turned to Dex with a puzzled expression. "Can what?" he asked.
"Plan for the Wraith to destroy worlds on a regular basis." He turned and entered the Jumper, leaving the three of them staring after him. Radek inhaled deeply as Dex walked away, staring after him as the other two exchanged a look and entered the Jumper. After a moment, he followed them.
He started checking systems automatically, wanting to distract himself. When Major Lorne indicated that he should get seated, he dropped stiffly but quickly into his seat. Dex, in the chair beside Lorne, turned and glanced at him. "You okay?" he asked. Radek could read nothing in the big warrior's expression, but he nodded tightly.
He spent the flight through the gate concentrating on sitting still, trying to keep his breathing steady. There would be a lot of work waiting for him, he knew, if they were able to determine where the museum once stood. He went over the ideas he and Rodney had come up with to pinpoint the location, assuming the destruction made it impossible for Dex to identify landmarks, but he was unable lose himself in the work. Shifting, he glanced forward, noting the tense lines of Dex as he leaned forward, looking out the window. Radek followed his gaze, keeping back an involuntary noise by force of will as he saw the devastation of Dex's world. He glanced at Dex, noting the flickering of a muscle in his jaw and the absolute lack of motion otherwise.
Sitting back in his seat, Radek breathed in deep to center himself, and began again to review ways to pinpoint the museum.
"You're sure it's down here?" Lorne asked Dex again, and Radek bit back a grin. He could see that the Major had been spending entirely too much time with Rodney in the way he pushed.
"I'm sure," was all Dex said, but Radek saw the twitch his cheek gave.
"Major, there is very little flora this deep in the city," or what was the city, Radek thought. "Perhaps you should take Dr. Parrish to where there's more for him to study. Closer to the gate, for example."
Lorne stood for a moment, mouth thinning as he considered. "I would like to keep a watch on the gate while we're here," he said finally. "Keep your radios on."
"We're through!" Johnson's voice was muffled but distinct. "There isn't a lot of structural damage this deep. It's mostly on the surface...this definitely looks like Specialist Dex's museum."
"You see? We will be busy here, and someone keeping watch is a good idea. We will keep someone on the surface so that the signal cannot be lost, and stay in contact. Check-ins every hour as discussed." Frowning, Lorne finally nodded, turning to issue additional commands to his men before making his way to the Jumper.
Dex gave Radek a hooded look that made his pulse quicken. "Thanks."
Radek lifted a corner of his mouth upwards. "No problem. Working with Rodney, you get used to deflecting, to stopping problems before he starts them. It's not only a good idea, it's necessary."
Dex smiled, and Radek felt his throat constrict. "Smart. I like it." Radek managed a weak smile in return, knowing this mission was going to be the death of him, one way or another. "Let's go," Dex said.
Radek grabbed up his pack, filled with tools, and made his way towards the opening. Before he could scramble through, he was unceremoniously yanked back. "What-" he began, glaring at Dex.
"I go first. You follow, moving exactly how I say. Knowing someone made it down there doesn't make it safe." From his tone, Radek knew he'd just lost some points with the Satedan. He sighed and nodded. At the nod, Dex turned and swarmed into the remainder of the building. Taking one last deep breath of the pine-scented air, Radek followed, more cautiously this time. Once inside he switched on his light, letting its beam wash across the wreck of the hallway. Waiting for the all-clear, he watched Dex move, a lithe and intricate dance across a passageway strewn with wreckage.
"Keep to the right, and it should be safe. Watch for holes and debris," Dex said, something rough in his voice making Radek look a little closer. He seemed the same calm, immovable force he'd always been, the disapproval of a moment before gone. Instead there seemed to be an underlying hint of something vulnerable about him, standing in the rubble of his world. "Zelenka," Dex called, breaking him out of his reverie.
"Ano," he said, softly, and started picking his way across. Clouds of dust kicked up by his passage tickled his throat, and he held back a cough.
Before long, they were in the next room, surprisingly intact despite some damage here and there. Walking over to a wall where the ropes for the display had fallen down, Dex stroked the graceful-looking text inscribed on the wall, sadness coloring his eyes.
Radek held his breath, not wanting to break the spell. Finally Dex's head lowered a little, and he sighed. "Come on," he said, voice rougher than ever, and Radek hurried to him. He opened his mouth to speak, and closed it again when he glanced at Dex, whose eyes were now dark and brooding. He tried to find something to say, some words of comfort, but could think of nothing in the face of the destruction surrounding them.
He settled for keeping pace with the long-legged stride Dex set, ignoring how the fast pace made his legs burn.
They caught up with Francks and Johnson, who were squatting by a pillar, murmuring to themselves and pointing to various spots on the pillar. "Safe?" Radek asked, getting a vague glance and a pair of nods before they bent forward again. Giving Dex a brief smile, he followed as they took more corridors, going deeper into the building. They entered a doorway and Radek halted, breath whooshing out of his lungs as he stared at the huge expanse of ship in the immense bay they had entered. He turned back, glancing at the ordinary-looking door, and then moved to the edge of the railing, staring. Bits of wreckage and ceiling littered the floor and the top of the ship, but the ship itself looked mostly intact.
"Zelenka," Dex's quiet voice , and he turned. "Edge of the ramp might not be the most secure place to be." He scrambled back, so fast he hit the wall with a light thump, and Dex's mouth quirked upwards. "This way," he said, and they made their way down what once must've been a very large queue. Radek glanced at the wide steps and the space between the ship and the wall, littered with oddly normal-looking ropes and poles, some knocked over, and imagined the place filled with the movement and sounds of people, students and parents and children alternately excited and bored. All gone, drained; their desiccated husks littering many of the streets above. He shuddered and looked back at Dex, waiting patiently at the foot of the stairs.
Clearing his throat, he walked beside him. "So where exactly were the engine rooms?" he asked, stepping over the ropes and making his way to the openings of the ship, large and obviously not part of the original design.
"Not sure," Dex said. "Been a long time since I was here. Seems...smaller, somehow." Radek glanced at him, trying to picture the child Dex on a school trip, walking into the spaceship the Ancients had left behind when they'd abandoned this galaxy for his own. He wondered if the abandonment had colored the people of this world, or if the giant ship and other marvels had left awe instead.
Dex was studying the ship, more of the flowing script painting its walls. "This way," he said, and moved, swift and sure through the ship's hallways. Radek followed, keeping pace for a while, but slowing as part of the design caught his eye and tugged at something in his memory. He turned and studied the layout of the room, moving over to consoles once roped off, and brushed off a layer of dust.
"Zelenka!" There was more than a hint of irritation in Dex's voice this time, and Radek hurried into the next room. "This it?" Dex asked, and Radek looked around, assessing. Finally he nodded.
"It could be, yes," he said, dropping his pack and considering where to start. He glanced up at Dex to see a strangely satisfied smile curling on his face, eyes half-lidded like a cat's. Radek grinned and shrugged, bending down to his work.
"-amazing concentration of minerals and ores you must've had, to create the building facades you did," Francks said, gesturing with his fork. "Truly amazing."
Dex nodded, expression outwardly neutral, but after a few days of working beside him, Radek could sense his restlessness. Johnson cleared his throat and turned to Radek. "Any luck with the ship?" he asked.
"Yes," Radek said. "We've narrowed down the systems and there might even be some salvageable parts. I can't access the database at all; if it wasn't wiped on purpose, something managed to do it for them, but there's enough actual parts that I have a good idea-"
"Incoming wormhole! Radio silence, three clicks will mean Wraith. Get under cover!" Lorne's voice was tight but calm, and Radek spared a half second to panic before grabbing as much of their dinner as he could and spiriting it away. They'd discussed the possibility of a Wraith flyby before leaving Atlantis; because of that, their camp was as hidden as it was possible to make. They'd taken to eating out under the stars when possible, though, and now they had to scramble.
Three clicks came from the radio as Radek pushed the dishes under cover, turning to grab the radio and stopping as he realized he had no idea where to go. Panic gripped him as he turned, searching. "Zelenka!" Dex called, and he turned towards the voice, breath knocked out of him as Dex scooped him up and dragged him along. The sound of a Wraith Dart froze his blood as Dex pushed him into a cubbyhole of wreckage that had been pointed out to him days ago, then crowded in beside him.
There was barely enough room for the both of them, and Radek could feel his heart pound as the noise of the Dart grew closer, shivering against Dex's still form. He could feel a whimper start to form at the back of his throat and shuddered again, world spinning as dozens of painful deaths started parading across his mind.
Dex's finger, warm and solid, pressed against his lips, demanding silence. His eyes were calm and warm as Radek met them, his bulk shielding Radek from the outside and helping to hold back his panic. Radek leaned in, pressing against that bulk, seeking assurance.
Dex moved, something in his eyes shifting and going somewhat more remote as Radek pushed close and then froze, his panicked thoughts finally processing the hardness that nudged against his stomach. He blinked, feeling his mouth fall open against Dex's finger, and felt the man take a deeper breath.
Thoughts slowing, Radek watched Dex, silent and barely moving. He tried to concentrate on slowing his heart from racing. Dex's scent, stronger here than on Atlantis, wafted over him. He struggled to keep his breathing even as he felt his own cock harden, and he looked away. They waited, listening to the sound of the Dart grow softer in the distance.
"We need to go back," Francks said, a nasal whine setting Radek's teeth on edge.
"No, we don't," Lorne said, calm but firm. "The Dart left. There was no sign that they spotted us, or anything else. The most likely scenario is that they were doing a semi-regular flyover to see if anyone had returned. They didn't find anything, so they left. Dr. Zelenka," he said, turning to Radek, "have you finished what you need to do here?"
Radek shook his head, frowning. "Not quite. What I have will help speed discovery along, but it isn't the same as salvaging the useable parts, and there is still a lot I could learn."
Lorne leaned back, expression calm, but his lips thinned and his eyes were troubled. Radek could feel the breeze move the air, warm and carrying dust from the wreckage of the city, blowing across what had been their dining area. He held back a shiver and straightened.
"We stay," the Major said, and Francks turned and stalked away, muttering angrily. He nodded to Sgt. Miller, who turned and followed Francks. "We keep paired up." He looked Radek directly in the eye, then turned to do the same to Parrish and Johnson. "I don't want any of you going anywhere, and that includes to the latrine, without an escort. We'll set up a rotating shift watch tonight. And if the order comes to go, go. Leave everything behind, drop what you're doing and go. Dr. Zelenka." He gazed directly into Radek's eyes. "I mean it. I don't care if you've got the answer to our hyperdrive problems. Drop it and go. We can replace or relearn technology. But we can't replace you."
Radek gulped and nodded, not even trying to find his voice. Lorne turned to Dex. "Ronon, he's your responsibility. Take care of him." Radek shifted his gaze from Lorne to Dex and caught the end of a single nod.
When he looked back, Lorne was walking towards Parrish. Johnson sighed and shook his head. "This is insane. We should be going home."
Radek gave him a glare. "That can be arranged. The Daedalus will be returning in two weeks."
Johnson glared back, then dusted off his pants. "I think I've had enough excitement for one night." He turned and stalked off, Sgt. Erben following.
Lorne glanced back, eyes hooded. "Ronon, take first watch. I'll take second. Stay alert."
Radek sighed. After the excitement of the evening, it was looking to be a long night.
Radek dropped onto his bedroll, grateful beyond measure to only be sharing his sleep space with Dex. If he'd had to face Francks or Johnson at the moment, he was sure he would kill them the minute they opened their mouths. He'd spent the watch alternately trying to keep up with Dex's longer legs as they patrolled the area, and trying to keep his mind occupied when they were not, caught in a kind of terror-filled half state of boredom. Now he wanted nothing more than to escape the events of the day in sleep.
A soft thump made him look up, seeing Dex settling into a seated position, bent forward and head bowed as he breathed in deep.
"Long day," Radek said, mostly to be saying something. Dex turned his head, raising his eyebrow as he looked at Radek. "Do you...I, that is..." Radek trailed off, wanting to squirm as Dex raised his eyebrow fractionally higher. "Are you all right?" he finished.
The corners of Dex's mouth curved up. "Sure," he said, and Radek shifted, turning away from the hint of amusement in those eyes.
"Good," he said. "Good night." He settled into his bedroll, trying to hide a sigh and knowing he probably failed.
Radek groaned and shifted his hips, grinding against something firm and warm. Waking, he pushed again, fighting against the restriction of the bedding. He opened his eyes and froze, blinking at the close-up view of Dex, shirtless and flat on his back. Radek had managed to plaster himself mostly against Dex, legs tangled in his bedroll. His heart beat furiously, arousal mixing with terror at the thought of Dex waking up and finding him like this. He repositioned, preparing for a slow withdrawal, and stopped as Dex shifted against him. For one moment Radek felt his heart seize before starting up again double time, and inhaling deeply, he lifted his head and looked into Dex's face, seeing the same blend of calm and mild amusement in his eyes.
"Morning," Dex said.
Radek glanced around the dark tent. "Maybe technically," he replied. "But it still feels like night." He stayed motionless, his erection still pressing against Dex's hip for a few heartbeats before shifting. "I should," he began, and stopped as he felt Dex's fingers brush against the back of his neck. A shiver chased behind the desire that rushed through him. "Dex," he said, voice more breathless than he meant it to be.
"Ronon," Dex replied, fingers tracing delicately along the planes of Radek's neck. Radek swallowed, feeling the light touch all the way down to his toes as he thought of how powerful Dex's - Ronon's hands were.
"Ronon," Radek gasped as Ronon's other hand found his hip and stroked it through the jumble of his pants and the bedroll. "What are y-we doing?"
Ronon shifted, raising himself up on his elbow as he turned, one leg making its way between Radek's as he pulled Radek closer. Something flickered in his eyes and his lips twitched. "Living," he replied, leaning in and kissing Radek lightly. Radek groaned, opening and accepting the thrust of Ronon's tongue, working to kick free the bedroll as his hands touched Ronon's skin tentatively. Ronon's moan, muffled against Radek's mouth, was all the encouragement he needed. He struggled harder against the bedding, one leg coming free faster than he meant it to and slamming against Ronon's thigh and crotch. Ronon groaned and Radek froze, breaking their kiss.
"Sorry, sorry," he managed, knowing he was blushing furiously. "Are you-?"
"I'll be fine," Ronon said, rolling on his back again. "You didn't hit square."
"Thank goodness for that," he muttered, rolling away in embarrassment. Bad enough to sexually assault the man in my sleep, Radek thought. Worse that I end up physically assaulting him as well. He sighed, resolving to return to sleep and forget what had happened if he could.
Ronon pulled the bedding free from where it still tangled around his legs. One hand reached around and cupped him, stroking him through his clothes, encouraging his softening erection. "You give up too easily," came a soft rumble by his ear, and then Radek gasped as teeth and tongue worked the folds of his ear.
"Is hard not to," Radek said, "when you have the advantage of me." He pushed against the heel of Ronon's hand, wanting the friction. Ronon rolled him onto his back and began to strip him efficiently, something about the determined movements going straight to Radek's cock. When Ronon finished with Radek's clothing, he started on his own. Before Radek could do more than shift closer to help, Ronon was naked and pressing against him. The feel of Ronon's skin, the slide of his heavy cock against his own sent his brain to a stuttering stop. He lost himself in the sensations, pushing up with his hips in a rhythm instinctual and far too long out of use. Ronon grunted, matching him, and leaned down to nip sharply at Radek's neck. Radek gasped, hands clutching at Ronon's back, one between his shoulder blades and the other moving south. His fingers explored the smooth hard lines of muscle, curving into the small of his back and up again. Ronon stilled as Radek cupped his ass, fingertips trailing the cleft, and then Ronon was moving again, hard and insistent thrusts.
"God," Radek managed, "you like that."
"Like more than that," Ronon said, and even in the dark of the tent, Radek could just make out the look in his eyes. He swallowed in a mouth suddenly dry as Ronon's underlying meaning hit him.
"We would need-" Radek began, and stopped as Ronon stretched out, fumbling with something nearby. "Lube," he finished weakly, as a tube of it, and a condom, were handed to him.
He could feel the curl of the smile as Ronon kissed him again, shifting and rolling until Radek lay on top of him. "Faster this way," Ronon said, shifting underneath him and Radek shook his head, half convinced he was dreaming and would wake up hard and aching with Ronon staring at him quizzically. The whole scenario was too disconnected from his ordinary reality; men didn't make passes at him, didn't take passes from him, let alone men who looked like Ronon, who could snap him in two without breaking a sweat. Ronon was shifting underneath him, his hard cock resting between Radek and his stomach, legs separating. "Zelenka?" Ronon asked, breaking through Radek's whirling thoughts, and he smiled, shifting his weight to one side.
"Radek," he corrected, and opened the lube. He coated his fingers, leaning in to kiss Ronon's full lips, the texture of Ronon's beard brushing against his chin. Ronon groaned, one hand wrapping around the back of Radek's neck, pulling him closer, and the other stroking Radek's back, sending trails of fire racing through him and resonating in his cock. He reached down and began to tease Ronon's entrance, light touches that led to sliding a finger past the tight ring of muscle. Ronon exhaled, shifting towards Radek's touch.
"More," he said. Radek closed his eyes as the demanding tone of the single word crashed through him. He complied, hesitancy turning into firm strokes, stretching Ronon and finding his prostate. He watched as Ronon's eyes glazed and his hips arched, bearing down on Radek's touch.
The sight was intensely erotic to Radek, Ronon's moans even more so. He withdrew carefully, knowing he couldn't wait much longer. He reached for the condom and grimaced as he rolled it on, catching Ronon's expression as he finished. It was half predator, half anticipation, and he wasn't sure who reached for who first, only knew that they met in a clash of lips and tongue and teeth. He shifted, raising Ronon's legs higher as he positioned himself, pushing in and then his world narrowed to heat and tight and he hadn't gotten far before he had to stop, the sensations overwhelming. He panted, resting his head against Ronon's, feeling Ronon's harsh exhalations on his face.
"Radek," Ronon said, the need in it making Radek move again, pushing in fully. He paused, then pulled back, shifting his grip from Ronon's legs to his hip, one hand reaching out to encircle Ronon's hard cock. Stroking in complement to his thrusts, he watched Ronon's eyes, still fierce as Radek worked him. Ronon's gaze was locked on his own as he rocked up to meet Radek, intense and so very different from anyone Radek had known before. Radek felt his orgasm building, knew he couldn't hold out against his own body for very long. He moved faster, seeing a flash of something in Ronon's eyes as he shifted and stroked, changing angle and adding a twist to his strokes. Ronon made a noise somewhere between a growl and a cry, hot splash of his release hitting both of them. The muscles around Radek's cock tightened as Ronon came, and Radek followed a few beats later, lost in the sensations.
"Oh," Radek said, choking back a louder exclamation. He shivered as his senses overloaded, closing his eyes as everything flared too high for a split second.
When he opened them, Ronon was watching him, smiling slightly with an expression Radek couldn't quite decipher. "What?" he asked as he slid free.
Ronon somehow managed to convey a shrug without moving a muscle. "This was good," he said, one hand reaching up to stroke a strand of Radek's hair.
Radek blinked, still holding himself above Ronon. "Sex is always good," he replied.
"Not always," Ronon said, and Radek rolled beside him, arms trembling. He shifted, trying to find a comfortable spot that wasn't plastered against Ronon. Ronon grasped his jaw, tilting his head towards the larger man and meeting him in a kiss, surprisingly gentle. "You were good," he said when they parted, shifting until they were not-quite curled around each other. "Thought you might be," he added before sighing and relaxing, leaving Radek to wonder what the hell that meant.
Radek worked the last cover free, cursing in Czech as it fought him. The last three days had been a mixture of discovery and struggle, and he swore the museum personnel had added an adhesive to the covers to keep the curious from prying them loose. He had enough video footage, sketches and notes to keep the science team at home busy for quite a while, working on recreating the Ancients' hyperdrive, but for the first time, he felt as though it might not take a lifetime.
A muscle in his thigh twinged and he had a flash of memory from the previous night, on his hands and knees as Ronon's thick cock filled him, the feel of Ronon's lips and teeth working his back and neck. He shivered, his cock giving an interested twitch, then set the cover aside and began to remove the component inside, concentrating on work.
"How's it coming, Dr. Z?" Major Lorne's voice over the radio was calm. There hadn't been any more flyovers by the Wraith, but that didn't mean anyone in their party had relaxed their vigilance, keeping guard by the gate day and night.
Radek toggled his radio. "Just removing last component now, Major. Everything packed away?"
"Sealed tight. Just waiting for the two of you."
"We should not be long at all, Major."
"All right. Be careful. See you topside."
Radek reached in, lifting the component free of its housing. He placed it carefully in a case that was almost – but not quite – right for it, shifting the padding for better coverage. He closed the case and stretched, catching sight of Ronon as the Satedan watched him silently, a hint of a smile in his expression.
"All done. Do you wish a moment before...?" Radek asked, trailing off.
Ronon shook his head. "I've seen everything I need to see," he said, reaching for the case. Radek placed his hand on Ronon's, stopping him. Clearing his throat, Radek shifted.
"The last few days..." he began, and stopped.
"You want them not to have happened?" Ronon asked, and Radek couldn't read anything at all in his tone.
"No, I..." He shook his head, trying to find the words and coming up blank. Reaching up, he cupped Ronon's cheek, caressing it light and quick. Pulling his fingers away from Ronon's lips, he saw the smile there.
"Let's go. We can talk after." Ronon began walking back out of the museum.
Radek smiled. "You always say that," he said to Ronon's back. "And we never do."
Ronon shrugged, a minute lifting of his shoulders. "You complaining?" He glanced back, eyes light with merriment.
Radek grinned wider and increased his pace until he was beside Ronon. "Not really," he said.
Perhaps, he reflected, offworld missions were not so bad, after all.