Notes: Many thanks to Davechicken and Kageygirl for the comments and the beta.
Colonel Carter is a pilot. He's sure of it. She's in the Air Force after all, and while he's been around the military complex long enough to know that the two aren't necessarily related, he's absolutely positive that the woman knows how to fly a plane.
She knows how to do everything else.
She'll be good at it too - she's good at everything she's ever turned her hand to. She'll handle the controls with the same surety that shines out in every situation, controlled and graceful and extremely competent. She won't be flashy - every landing will be smooth, every flight clean and simple.
She's probably a cordon bleu chef too, turning out dishes that would make a grown man weep to taste, a subtle blend of tastes and nuances that he'd spectacularly fail to appreciate.
He wouldn't know. They've never made it past the bedroom.
All he does know is that she smiles like an angel in the early morning light when she first wakes and even with morning breath she tastes like heaven. And if her eyes are slightly unfocused when she comes, and he suspects that the name that lurks behind her lips isn't his, well, McKay's never been one to fool himself.
All that matters are that her eyes are bluer than any sky under any sun and her body is fluid and lithe in a way that makes him ache, deep inside where before her there was nothing but emptiness and a desperate need to connect.
When she touches him, he thinks he may finally understand the deepest secrets of the Universe, experience what it's like for a sun to go supernova, grasp every detailed nuance of superstring theory.
When he touches her he thinks he might finally understand art.
John Sheppard is a pilot. It defines him, makes him cocky in the way that every flyboy that McKay has ever met, up to the General and beyond, has been, and more than once it makes his teeth ache with irritation and the need to snark.
He's reckless and careless and he spends his life doing a variation on loop the loop, whether he's in the air or on the ground. It doesn't surprise him when Sheppard confesses that he likes anything that goes faster than two hundred miles an hour, smiling at him in a way that suggests it's a secret when he thinks that anyone with any sense would have realised that within five minutes of meeting the man.
Sheppard smiles too often and his eyes aren't the colour of the sky. They're the colour of forest streams - green and brown and they catch the light. McKay thinks it's odd for someone who wants to spend as much time in the air as possible to remind him of the earth, but that's Sheppard. As contrary as humanly possible.
Not that he's sure that Sheppard is entirely human. There is that whole Ancient gene thing after all, not that he's jealous now that he has an artificial one of his own. Not really. Besides, there's also the fact that humans normally have a sense of their own mortality, show some restraint in what they do. Have some understanding of cause and effect that the Major seems to lack.
Flying with Sheppard isn't smooth and his hands on the controls lack subtle control; they dance and dart, making the puddle jumper seem as though it's an extension of the Major's body. And when they do barrel rolls over the surface of an alien world 'Just to see what this baby can do, McKay', he tells himself that the reason his heart is in his throat is a combination of an entirely understandable and healthy fear and the effects of gravity. It has nothing to do with the sheer whooping joy in the Major's laugh, or the way that his eyes and his face shine as he turns to look at McKay, just wanting to share the pleasure of it with someone who cannot possibly understand.
It's the same way that he looks at McKay when they fuck.
His eyes never leave McKay's face when McKay's in him, opened wide, startled and joyful. Everything the Major feels flashes through them, a dizzying flurry that has McKay squeezing his eyes tightly shut, feeling it in the pit of his stomach like a slow barrel roll. It makes everything recede for a moment until he can hear his heart beating in his ears.
Sheppard tastes of coffee and sweat and McKay himself, and McKay's name is on the Major's lips, a constant litany of 'Oh God, Rodney
' and 'Yes, like that, Rodney. God. Please. Yes.
It's muffled now against McKay's mouth as his hands move constantly over McKay's skin, stroking and twisting and pulling him closer until he thinks he'll end up sinking into Sheppard and be lost forever. When McKay rests his face against Sheppard's neck, he can feel Sheppard's heartbeat under the skin, racing frantically as Sheppard moans and lets go to twist his hands in the sheets. It's hot and heat and tight and God and Sheppard is making those sounds, high and needy and harmonic, which keep a mathematical synchronism with every move that McKay makes, each thrust, each roll of his hips.
When he closes his eyes and lets his hands slide over the slick skin beneath his he thinks he might start to understand the equations that underpin those sounds. Thinks he might, if he concentrated, but how can he be expected to concentrate when Sheppard arches up against him and comes, eyes wide and golden.
Then Sheppard is panting through a mouth that is red and slightly swollen; lips parted, teeth shining between them. But his smile is familiar, even if the cockiness is muted and blurred into something softer by his orgasm. He brushes his fingers over McKay's own lopsided mouth, tracing the smile he hates but which Sheppard seems to find irresistible. He turns his head as they pass and when he touches Sheppard's fingers with his lips again, Sheppard's smile deepens.
It's a mystery he's given up trying to understand, an equation that he'll never solve to his satisfaction. For once it doesn't drive him to distraction, wanting to break things down into their component parts to find out what makes them tick. It's enough to understand that when he touches John, John smiles.
It's enough to know that when John touches him, he soars.