Title: Andromeda
Author: Alania Black
Fandom/Genre: Stargate Atlantis
Relationship(s): Rodney McKay/John Sheppard
Content Rating: R
Warnings: Explicit sex, BDSM, canon-typical violence
Summary: Trapped further from home than most of the planet could imagine, with an ancient enemy waking and feeding across the galaxy, the it was expected that Sentinels would awaken among the members of the Atlantis mission. But after everything he has experienced, John Sheppard never expected to come online in Atlantis.

Guides only come online when there is a compatible Sentinel nearby that they can bond with. So, when Rodney McKay felt his Guide abilities start to emerge, he knew there was a Sentinel somewhere on the city for him – but he never expected that Sentinel would be John Sheppard.

Together, the two of them have to come to terms with their newly forming relationship, a ravenous enemy and mysteries that will take them into the heart of the Andromeda galaxy.


Chapter Two

Rodney ran his hands over his Sentinel’s back carefully, mapping out the terrain with curious fingers under the pretence of washing his back. He poured a little more shower gel onto his palm, rubbed them together under the shower to foam it up. He rubbed the foam over John’s shoulders and down his sides this time, working his muscles firmly as he moved his hands downwards.

His hands finally moved onto John’s ass, massaging in smooth, firm circles. John leaned forward against the shower wall and groaned as Rodney worked his ass for a few more minutes, before sinking to his knees and working down his firm thighs, lingering momentarily on the backs of John’s knees, then further down to his calves. He moved carefully around the bruises on John’s left calf where he had caught it on their last mission, and finished on the smooth lines of his feet. He stood up and took the shower head, directing the stream of water to pound over the warmed up muscles and wash away the soap suds to expose the long, smooth lines of John’s naked back.

He returned the shower head to the holder and leaned forward to kiss his Sentinel’s back. John groaned and turned around, showing off his thick erection. He smiled at Rodney with bright eyes, reaching up to cup his Guide’s cheek. Rodney nuzzled into his hand and closed his eyes. John tugged him forward and buried his face in Rodney’s neck, kissing his mating bite and nuzzling into his neck.

He dropped his hand down between them and took both of their erections in one hand. He stroked slowly over them both, working them gently and slowly. Rodney moaned sweetly and rubbed his cheek over John’s. John sighed and nuzzled him back, speeding his strokes slightly and encouraging Rodney to thrust smoothly into his hand. He worked them both over carefully but quickly, keeping his touch just firm enough to bring them pleasure. Rodney whined as a gentle orgasm was dragged out of him by John’s insistent hand. John groaned and panted against Rodney’s mark as the smell and feel of Rodney’s orgasm pulled his own out of him.

They slumped together against the walls for a few moments, before washing away the evidence of their activities, closing off the shower and drying each other off. Tired but content, they went to bed and curled up together in sleep.

* * * * *

The standard procedure when dealing with a feral Sentinel on earth is to sedate them and transport them to the nearest Sentinel Centre. They always had isolation rooms on site that a Sentinel could be housed in until they were able to break out of the state.

On Atlantis, they did not have a Sentinel centre. Their Sentinel presence was limited to five lower-level Sentinels who all had Guides, and many of the things that they would have on Earth to protect and shelter them had to be sacrificed on Atlantis. It wasn’t something Rodney had thought about much until he’d come online and realised there was no Guide centre, no safe shelter he could retreat to that blocked the empathic reach of the people around him.

He desperately wished they had done something when he was watching John pace, furious and twitching, across the floor of the cell they had housed a Wraith in. It was the only place in the whole city that was capable of holding a feral Sentinel. But it burned in his gut and galled him beyond belief that they were keeping his Sentinel in a prison. The lingering scent of Wraith in the cell was probably just making his feral state worse.

He had redirected every single member of his department to building a safe Sentinel space. Radek was in charge of the walls and flooring, working with one of the biologists who were examining the city’s almost organic structure to make the walls in the room they had selected thicker and softer. Miko was in charge of shielding the room for John’s senses. She had her minions working on setting up an air filtration that would cycle out any smells from outside and would keep the air inside the room fresh and clean. Other minions were working on the sounds – redirecting some of the people in nearby rooms for the time being, re-directing electrical systems around the room instead of across it. One of her staff were liaising with Radek’s team to sound-proof the walls.

They had been working steadily for three hours now, and Rodney was pleasantly surprised at how seriously and dedicatedly his team were working on making this space safe for his Sentinel. Everyone who could help was helping – Teyla was working Lorne, the strongest of the Sentinels until today, to gather soft furnishings and blankets that John could have in the room that would not irritate his skin or contain smells that would irritate him. Bates and Cadman were helping Radek and Miko to test the room.

Teldy was in the ante-chamber with Rodney, guarding the stressed out Sentinel and, Rodney suspected, watching him. She had surfaced within moments of John being dragged bodily through the ‘Gate and had been the one to give the order to sedate him. She had then directed John towards the Wraith cage, predicting to within seconds the length of time it would take John to come round from the sedation. Rodney had taken half and hour to give orders and set up a chain of communication back to himself, then retreated to the room he was in now, watching over his Sentinel.

“Dr McKay, you haven’t eaten in five hours and your blood sugar levels have dropped. I am sending someone for food, what would you prefer?” Anne Teldy asked him softly. John growled a warning when she stepped closer to him, but she ignored him long enough to catch Rodney’s eyes.

“I’m not hungry. I don’t care.” He replied, gaze shifting past her to look at his Sentinel.

“Dr McKay,” she said. She frowned when he ignored her, still focusing on Sheppard. She stepped to the side, putting herself between them. “Rodney!” He looked at her, but he was frowning. She sighed an made her tone more gentle. “Rodney, you need to eat. When he comes out of his feral drive, he is going to need you. If you get sick, you won’t be able to support your Sentinel.”

“Fine,” he sighed, “I’m allergic to citrus.”

* * * * *

Anne sent someone off for a light meal and some water for the scientist, and paced across the floor while she waited for it to be delivered. Watching Dr McKay slowly suffer under the strain on the partial bond that he had formed in the instant Colonel Sheppard came through the Gate was making her heart ache. She wanted her Guide, but she knew that Allison was doing extremely important work helping Dr Zelenka to build a safe space for John.

She was angry at the whole situation, if she was honest. She was angry that her CO, her Alpha Sentinel, was trapped in a cage designed to hold Wraith. The cage had barriers around it that were deliberately blocking his mental gifts and slowly killing the fledgling bond he had formed with his Guide. She was angry that it had taken three hours to create a safe space for him, and was likely to take even longer.

She was angry that no one had though to create this space in three years – three long and difficult years on Atlantis, with only sporadic contact with Earth and nothing in over a year. Three years with an enemy they were barely able to fight off and Sentinels at risk of coming online every day. Those Guided Sentinels on the mission had so far not had any desperate need for a safe space, but they should have been prepared. She was angry that no one had prepared anything for them – angry that she hadn’t though of the threat she or any of the other Sentinels on the mission could have posed at any time to her Guide and her tribe and asked for this in the past.

The absently thanked the soldier that brought the meal for Dr McKay and took the plate into the room. Three of the other Sentinels on the mission were helping Dr Zelenka to get the safe room ready. The fifth Sentinel on the mission, Vega, was doubling between running the perimeter and checking up with the geeks monitoring their local solar system to make sure that their city wasn’t about to come under attack when their Pride was under threat.

All of the Sentinels on the mission already submitted to Colonel Sheppard as their Alpha – he was their commanding officer and had a presence that had drawn them in from the first day. If anyone had told her that someone on the mission was going to come online as the Pride’s Alpha, and asked her who they thought it would be, she would have immediately suggested Colonel Sheppard.

It was putting them in an incredibly difficult position now. Two of their Sentinels, including Lorne who had been their de-facto Alpha, had been on the mission with him when he had come online, and they had immediately latched onto him as their Alpha. It had come close to driving them into a feral state when Colonel Sheppard had blown, but their Guides had helped to control them enough to get them all through the Gate and home safely.

The three Sentinels who had stayed behind had connected to the well-known and trusted Alpha Sentinel within seconds of his arrival on the city. Anne couldn’t regret it, couldn’t regret having a strong Pride around her and the added closeness to her brother- and sister- Sentinels. But it was fracturing their Pack from the core with their Alpha’s mind blocked from theirs by the cage, and his feral state pushing all of their adrenaline levels. She could only hope that they could get him safe and stable soon, before one of them went feral as well.

* * * * *

“John,” Rodney said quietly, standing close to the cage and looking in at his Sentinel. “We have a safe space set up for you. It’s not too far away, just a few corridors down. There is no one between here and there and your Pack is here to back you up. We don’t want to have to sedate you again. Do you think you can stay calm enough for us to move you to the safe room?” He asked.

John came to the edge of the cage, right in front of Rodney. He looked desperately at him, eyes burning. Slowly, he nodded. Rodney swallowed and nodded back.

“You two, go clear the corridors and warn everyone that we are moving John. Teldy, Vega, move over there and give him space.”

Rodney waited until his orders had been carried out, then opened the door to the cage. Almost before it had swung open, John was launching himself out and at Rodney. Rodney caught his weight, barely, and moaned softly as he felt the Sentinel wrap around his body and mind.

Rodney didn’t want to let go, he really didn’t, and he would have been more than happy to just stay here in his Sentinel’s arms for as long as he could. But after a few moments, he could feel the frantic edge of John’s rage and fear start to come back, and John’s body was trembling against his.

He drew back, not too far, but just enough to be able to turn John and start to direct him towards the safe room. John kept a tight hold on Rodney, and growled as they got to the door of the ante-chamber. Rodney let John go first to look, maintaining his tight hold on John as his Sentinel moved forward and looked out at the corridor. He sniffed and growled, but shuffled forward when Rodney nudged him. Slowly they made their way down the corridor, taking each turn with caution. Teldy and Vega were following behind, John’s Alpha Sentinel mind more than happy to have his Pack at his back.

They almost made it, only a few doors away from the room, when a loud bang sounded from a few more doors down. John flinched and whimpered, then growled, body in a crouch and every line of his body primed to attack. Rodney was dragged behind him, forced down and sheltered by John’s body.

For a few painful seconds, Rodney was afraid they were going to have to stun John after all. But when no sound or movement came, he slowly calmed down. Rodney took the chance to tug John up and drag him quickly into the room, pushing his Sentinel inside and towards the pile of blankets and pillows. John bounced up as soon as Rodney stepped back, eyeing his Guide and the open doorway with severe distrust. Rodney swallowed as he realised that there was almost no chance he was going to be allowed to leave.

Teldy appeared in the doorway, looking inside and smiling in relief when she saw John safely in the room. She motioned Rodney out, her eyes widening in concern when John growled lowly. Rodney shook his head.

“Shut the door.” He told her softly. “Shut the door, guard the corridor, and leave us to it.”

“Rodney, I can’t leave you alone like this with him. You know what could happen.”

“He’s my Sentinel, Teldy. He would never hurt me.”

“I’m not worried about him hurting you.” She replied dryly. Rodney flushed but tilted his chin up.

“It’s fine. Please leave.”

She nodded to him, glanced over the Alpha again, and closed the door. Immediately a feeling of relief washed over the remaining members of the Pack. Lorne came and stood beside her, and together they took their place as guardians over the only entrance to the room where their Alpha was vulnerable.

* * * * *

“Sentinel.” Rodney whispered.

John shifted and rolled over in his bedroll. He ached for a moment to have his Guide in his arms, but he knew it wasn’t possible. One of the agreements they had reached, to keep an equilibrium and for everyone to be safe, was that they would sleep in separate bedrolls. Rodney was in a tent with Teyla and John was sharing with Ronon, who was on guard duty at the moment. It sounded like Teyla was out keeping them company, and Rodney was on his own.

“Sentinel, I know you can hear me.” Rodney’s voice murmured. “I’m so alone without you at my side.” A soft sigh and a rustle of blankets, Rodney rolling over. Outside, Teyla and Ronon murmured together about animal movements.

A bitten off gasp and the sudden scent of arousal – blankets being pushed aside, the slick sound of a hand sliding over skin. John groaned softly, his senses spreading out as the sound of his Guide touching himself drifted over his sensations. The feeling through the bond was strong enough that John could feel his own body react.

“I know you’re listening to this. Can you hear my heartbeat speeding up, John? I’m thinking of you here with me. can you hear my hand sliding over my cock? I’m imagining it’s your hand – it’s not as good as the way I feel when you touch me, but it’s good enough.” Slick sounds – Rodney was stroking himself. John’s hand reached down almost without his own direction, and he matched the pace of his strokes to Rodney’s. It was perfect – slow, teasing. Nothing like his Guide would touch himself normally.

“I’m thinking of that time last month. Do you remember, when you had me laid out on your bed, and you told me how to touch myself, what to do, how fast or slow to go. Do you remember, John? Do you think of the way you used that flogger on me, if I went to fast? I went too fast deliberately a few times, just to get you to hit me again. It was so delicious, the thud and sting of it. I loved the way it made my skin flush, made me shiver.”

John groaned, remembering the night. Rodney sounded so perfect right now, going nice and slow. He wondered if his chest had the rising pink flush he got when he was truly aroused.

“I’m going slow for you, just like you like it. I know you used to listen to me, I know you know I like it fast. I hope you’re keeping up with me, John.”

John rolled his head on the pillow, glutting his senses on his Guide. For a moment he was so wrapped up in Rodney he could hear the soft susurrations of his skin shivering against blankets, could hear the slick sound of his hand collecting precome and smoothing it down his shaft.

John matched his movements touch for touch, his heartbeat and breathing instinctively matching his Guide’s. The feeling of his hand on his cock was tied to much to Rodney’s own movements that for a moment it seemed like he and Rodney were together, that he was touching his Guide instead of himself.

“I’m so close, John. I’m gonna come now, on my own in my bedroll.” Rodney gasped. He heard his Guide fumbling for something, the crinkle of a wrapper and the slide of cotton. Rodney had pulled out a tissue. John felt his hand instinctively speed up, and Rodney’s moved to match. They were racing each other to the finish now, John was listening to Rodney gasp, muffle his louder moans into his pillow as he stroked himself to completion. Soon he heard the soft cry Rodney let out when he felt his orgasm coming. John could hear his movements jerk as he stiffened, pleasure racing up and down his spine. Rodney’s breaths were panting and his heartbeat jumped slightly in the moments before he orgasmed. John tumbled over the edge along with his Guide, his own body so tied into his Guide’s that he wasn’t sure if he was coming because his body wanted to or because it was matching Rodney’s.

Tomorrow, he decided, he was going to tell Teyla they were swapping bunks.

* * * * *

Unlike sedation, which knocked John out so quickly that he didn’t have a chance to adapt, falling into a natural sleep was the best medicine to help him recover from his feral drive. In the cage, unable to connect mentally to his Guide and tense after waking up in a panic in a new place that smelled like Wraith, John would have found it impossible to relax.

Thankfully, after only an hour or so in the safe space, that smelled only of comfort and of his Guide, John’s tense body finally started to relax and exhaustion overwhelmed him. He refused to relax fully until Rodney lay down on the blankets with him and let him curl protectively around him. Rodney’s cheeks burned, but he was comfortable and tired, and he fell asleep soon after he felt John sleep.

It was unfortunate that Rodney did not remember clearly what would come next.

The idea of Sentinels as primitive beasts was out-dated. Modern Sentinels were acknowledged to be in control of themselves and their senses. They did not require more than a platonic and friendly bond with the Guide that came online for them, although if they were willing, then they might mate. It had been centuries since a newly online Sentinel was driven into a mating drive so hard he would fuck his Guide without consent or consideration.

Rodney was glad that John Sheppard, no matter what state he might be in, had a developed sense of human decency and justice. He was clearly in the full throes of a mating drive – his cock was rock hard, pressing into Rodney’s back side. He had his face buried in Rodney’s neck and was clenching and releasing his hip reflexively. However, he did not push for anything more, just lay there for a while as Rodney woke up.

Then he whined and rubbed against Rodney again. Rodney shifted and rolled over, meeting John’s eyes. They were clear and bright, and he was looking at Rodney like he was the centre of the universe.

“Guide.” He rumbled. Rodney nodded and grinned.

“Yes, Sentinel.”

“Want you.” He murmured. Rodney nodded, but shook his head. He unbuttoned John’s pants and tugged his cock out. He stroked the shaft once, twice; marvelling at the weight and length. He tugged his own cock out, and captured them both in the same hand.

“Like this. Fuck into my fist, we can come together like this.” Rodney said. John nodded and did as he was told, thrusting quickly and eagerly into Rodney’s hand.

A short few moments later, Rodney and John came together. John caught up their come and rubbed their combined scent into Rodney’s skin, before settling happily against his Guide.

* * * * *

“Colonel Sheppard, can you tell us what happened out there?” Dr Weir asked.

Rodney looked across at his Sentinel, seated next to him. Teyla and Ronon were sat on the other side of him; Lorne and his Guide Dr Parrish were seated opposite, with Captain Vega and her Guide Sgt Mehra sat further down. They all looked at John expectantly.

If Rodney hadn’t been there, he wouldn’t have believed that John had been in feral drive, followed by a brief mating drive, only two hours ago. Freshly showered and looking rested, John was settled back into his skin as Colonel Sheppard far more comfortably than Rodney could have expected after such a short time.

“Yes Dr Weir,” John said, looking down at the pad in front of him. “We got to the village and spoke to their elders. They initially seemed quite willing to trade with us, they had traded with the Athosians before so they were willing to trust us. We had just started talking about the trade we wanted to do, when Sgt Mehra notified me that she had identified an energy signature. The leader was willing to go with us to look, and we found a ZPM. We started talking about trading for the ZPM, it wasn’t in use, so they didn’t need it and he seemed willing to give it to us.

“We were getting close to agreeing to a trade when Major Lorne came in – he had heard the Gate activate. The leader’s assistant came into the room then, with a few others. They had guns. They told us that they had been in contact with the Genii, who warned them about us. They had called the Genii. Kolya came through the Gate then, with a whole team of his people. They came in, they separated the Guides and kept them at gunpoint – they don’t understand what we can do, but they know the connection between Sentinel and Guide is important.”

The two other Sentinels in the room shifted uncomfortably, touching their Guides carefully as if to reassure themselves that they were with them and okay.

“Kolya told me that he had called the Wraith and that they were coming for us. That they had agreed, in return for giving us over, to leave the Genii planet safe. We heard the Gate re-dialling and knew the Wraith were due. I think that’s when I came online, to be honest. I had been on the cusp for a few weeks, since Rodney came online as a Guide, but this is what flipped me online. One moment I was standing there, looking at Kolya pointing a gun at me, the next second Kolya, his men and everyone with guns were dead and I was holding a knife. We moved towards the Gate, I killed those who interfered, let those who would run, run.

The Gate was released when we got it, and we knew the Wraith were due to dial in soon. We dialled out, and the Gate whooshed just as we were attacked. They were shooting at us, we shot back, and we went through the Gate as soon as we could. They were shooting after us, and I think maybe one or two followed? I was pretty out of it at this point.”

“Do we think there is a chance to go back? Retrieve the ZPM and possibly reopen negotiations for trade?” Dr Weir asked. Teyla shook her head.

“The Wraith were called to the planet, Dr Weir. When they arrived and found the people they had been promised missing… I think if we go back there we will find most of them are dead. The good news is that we don’t have to worry about retrieve the ZPM. It’s sitting in Rodney’s lab right now.”

Rodney stared at her, open mouthed for a few minutes, before whooping in glee. The meeting ended fairly quickly afterwards, and Rodney raced out to get to the ZPM.

* * * * *

“It’s amazing, John. I feel like we missed so much all along without power. The ZPM was full – full! – and we’ve already found out how to recharge the ones we have in storage that are drained. Miko estimates that we might be fully powered within two months and have ZPMs to spare.”

John smiled indulgently at his Guide, and reached out to him. He hesitated at the last moment, not sure if he had the right to touch Rodney.

Rodney glanced at him, and John dropped his hand. Rodney’s brow furrowed.

“You can touch me, John. I’m your Guide.”

“We can have a platonic bond, Rodney. I’d never want you to think you have to do anything, or give me anything like that. It’s your choice.”

“John,” Rodney sighed, “have I ever struck you as the type of person to keep quiet about something that annoyed me or that I wasn’t happy about?”

“No.” John replied, eyes narrowed suspiciously.

“No, so trust me when I say that you are ridiculously hot, smart, my best friend and my Sentinel. I would be thrilled to have you in my life and I would really, really like to be bonded fully to you.” He smiled, but then the smile dimmed. “But, if you don’t want it… if you don’t want me like that, I would be fine with a platonic bond.”

John nodded. “That’s good to know. Completely pointless, because you’re my best friend too, far too funny when you get vicious at people, and you definitely have the best ass on Atlantis. I have every intention of burying myself as deeply inside you as possible in every way, and tying you to me fully.” Rodney swallowed, John watched the movement compulsively, and smirked.

“Okay, yeah, so we’re on the same page here.”

“Yeah, definitely.” John’s gaze darted past Rodney and around the mess hall their impromptu meeting was being held in. “Wanna get out of here?” He asked softly. Rodney swallowed back a whimper and nodded.

“Hell yeah.”

* * * * *

Not every Sentinel/Guide bond worked on the principle of the Sentinel as the dominant and the Guide as the submissive. Among the mundane population, most of their numbers fell somewhere on the dominance/submission scale and Sentinels and Guides sometimes fell on the opposite ends. But John had known, long before Rodney became his Guide, that if they ever fell into bed together, Rodney would submit so sweetly to him.

He was thrilled to find out he was right: once they were in the bedroom, every hint of abrasiveness and irritability in Rodney bled away, and all that was left behind was his intense focus and eager to please attitude. They needed to negotiate boundaries and limits, work out Rodney’s pain threshold and preferred kinks. Normally John would never touch a submissive before he’d gone through all of that.

But he couldn’t imagine waiting longer for his Guide. He knew Rodney and trusted him, this wasn’t a one night stand with someone so eager to please a dominant and so scared to annoy him that they would hide it if things went too far. John trusted Rodney implicitly, as odd as that was for him to have suddenly found at this time in his life.

Even so, when he finally got Rodney into bed, he kept things as vanilla and easy as possible. Rodney was no virgin, and neither was he, so they came together quite easily and Rodney opened so sweetly for John when he fucked into him.

The feeling of Rodney’s skin giving beneath his teeth when he bit into his neck, putting a mating bite above his collar for everyone to see, was so darkly satisfying John came there and then. He stroked Rodney off, staying buried in his ass and sucking and nipping at the shallow wound on Rodney’s neck.

* * * * *

Rodney frowned at the screen in front of him, both unsurprised and annoyed by what he was reading. He copied out the information that was most vital to him and sent it across to Dr Weir, asking her to translate it for him as a priority. Normally he would go the linguists, but with this he thought it was important to keep the information closed down as much as possible.

He sighed and sat back, glancing around the lab. With the shields in place from his Sentinel, he was once again in the main lab and no longer suffering the effects of their overwhelming emotions. It was oddly nice to be surrounded by his team again, as much as they could sometimes annoy him. Atlantis had changed his life on that front – for so long he was alone, always the person who was too intelligent, too annoying. His parents had barely tolerated him in their household and their preference of his sister meant that they couldn’t connect on that level either. And even at the SGC, where he should have been surrounded by peers, he was disliked.

But Miko and Radek were peers and, he thought, friends. They were steadfast and solid and Rodney truly hadn’t appreciated that until he could feel the bleed of their emotions and realised the depth of their regard and affection for him. He couldn’t even be irritated that they were watching him right now with concern, little flicks in his direction every few minutes when they thought he wasn’t looking.

“Alright, out with it. Why are you staring at me?”

Radek moved closer and looked at him. “How are you feeling, Rodney?” He asked quietly, glancing around the other scientists in the lab to make sure they weren’t listening.

“Fine. I feel fine. Why?”

“Not dizzy, or nauseated? Tired?”

“No. Radek, what’s going on?”

“Rodney, I brought you coffee and a sandwich four hours ago, because it was lunchtime and you hadn’t eaten. You drank the coffee.”

Rodney looked at his desk. The sandwich was still there.

“I… haven’t eaten since breakfast.” He said, stunned. Radek nodded.

“It’s been ten hours.”

Rodney nodded, thanked him, and promptly headed to the infirmary. He wasn’t surprised that John was there when he arrived, waiting for him.

“Well laddie, I can safely say there’s nothing wrong with you. You’re healthier than you’ve ever been in your life, and you look about five years younger. I wouldn’t suggest trying to have some citrus, just in case, but I think a lot of the problems you’ve had are either gone or less serious.”

“is this normal? For a new bond?”

“I’ve seen it happen. It’s more typical with Alpha pairs than normal pairs. Your bond with John is encouraging your body to make sure you can keep up with him on a physical level. I would suggest you start running, or some other form of exercise. Your metabolism has improved and you should find it easier to work out.”

Rodney made a face at him, but nodded reluctantly. From the look John had shot him, he didn’t think his Sentinel would give him the chance to avoid it anyway.

* * * * *

“Rodney,” Dr Weir said, “I finished the translation. You were right.”

“I thought as much. Should we tell the senior staff?” Rodney asked. She nodded.

“Yes, I think so. We will need to brief them fully before we make any decisions.”

They got together a few hours later, Dr Weir had delayed a mission on the schedule so the could meet. John and Dr Beckett joined her. Rodney took the lead and started off the meeting.

“As you all know, John had some difficulties when he first came online. He needed a safe space for a Sentinel. Radek and Miko spent several hours creating the space – they had to design and retrofit half a dozen things to make the room perfect. It got me thinking, and when the ZPM was fitted I got a lot more access to the system. I went looking for answers.”

“Answers to what?” John asked.

“Why there wasn’t already a Sentinel-safe space. Why there are no Sentinels or Guides here in Pegasus, when there are so many across our Galaxy. Since we opened the Stargate and found out about the other races, it was widely accepted that Sentinels and Guides existed among us from the start. The Ancients had Sentinel/Guide abilities and so far all of the people we have in the programme who are Sentinel or Guide have the ATA gene, either active or latent. I thought, if the Ancients really were Sentinels and Guides, they would have somewhere safe to go to.”

“I take it that’s not what you found?” Dr Beckett asked.

“No. It’s not. I found nothing in the database at all about Sentinels or Guides initially. I finally found that there were references to Gifted Ones, and the description matches up.” Rodney took a mouthful of coffee. “They had no facilities set up here for Gifted Ones because they were not Ancients. Dr Weir translated the research I found and confirms my fears.

“Sentinels and Guides descend from another galaxy in the local group. The Ancients went travelling for research on ways to ascend and found the Gifted Ones as primitive humanoids, living on a planet in that galaxy. They took them home and artificially forced their societal development until they were at a level that was compatible with the Ancients. Then they intermarried with – bred with, I should say –this society. It worked to an extent, some Ancients developed the Gift. But it didn’t do the things they wanted – they weren’t able to ascend any further.

“When they went to Earth, they took the Gifted ones with them. I wasn’t sure why at first but now I think I know. There is a lot of talk about the life force the Wraith take, but it’s more than that. The connection between a Guide and Sentinel is more than just life, it is soul and spirit and the energy that moves through everything. And that is what the Wraith take. But the Gifted ones used theirs by bonding, and it couldn’t be taken from them. The Gifted ones were able to beat the Wraith because they could not be fed on and could use their gits to defeat the Wraith. So they took them to the Milky Way when they left, leaving Pegasus with the scourge of the Wraith and no way to protect themselves.

“As you know, the genetic legacy was spread from Earth by the Goa’uld and the people of the Milky Way also had the legacy.”

“Wait,” John said, “are you telling me that the Ancients knew that the Gifted ones were their best weapon against the Wraith, and they instead decided to give up and take them away from Pegasus where they could actually do some good?”

“Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying.” Rodney looked down at his notes. “And more than that.”

They all looked at him expectantly and he swallowed.

“The Andromeda galaxy, it’s the parent galaxy of this local group. The planet that the Gifted ones came from is there, I have the co-ordinates for it.”

“Rodney, are you saying you want to go looking for the planet that Sentinels and Guides came from?” John asked incredulously. Rodney nodded.

“It’s our legacy, John, our birth right. But more importantly – if the Ancients found a primitive people there with the Gift when they weren’t looking for a way to defeat the Wraith, think about what we might find. We could find something that could destroy the Wraith – a fighting edge in this war.”

John looked at him with shining, hungry eyes. Rodney flushed.

“So what do you think we should do?” He asked finally.

“At full power, with a working star drive, we can take Atlantis. With the Star drive, I think we could be there within about a week. We can search for answers, investigate the planet Guides and Sentinels come from.”

“What about… Earth?” Dr Beckett asked. They all looked at each other awkwardly. Earth had become something of a taboo subject around eight months ago, when they realised the regular trips their spaceship was taking to bring supplies and updates had stopped coming. They sent databursts when they could, so they knew the Earth Gate was still there, but they got no response and really didn’t know what had happened to the planet they left behind.

Rodney sighed. “At the moment, we don’t have enough power to dial them and to recharge our ZPMs. We have nine in storage that are empty. Miko has charged one already, she estimates approximately two months for us to be at full power, then we can charge a spare. Then, I would suggest we contact Earth and find out what is going on. I think we’d be about six months out from trying from Andromeda at that point, so long as there is nothing seriously wrong with the star drive.”

“What if they tell us to come home, or refuse to sanction this trip?” John asked. He was asking Rodney, but looking at Elizabeth. The truth was that, without the contact from Earth and with no idea when it would return, they have started to look on Atlantis more as home and they were used to being self-managing. The idea of having to answer to the IOA and Stargate Command and having their decisions and leadership undermined again was one thing were concerned about. But they had to try, they had to know what had happened to their home planet.

“I think they will sanction it. The thing is, the reason the Ancients got so excited about the Gifted ones is that the energy the Gifted ones use – the power that allows us to bond, allows us to protect ourselves from the Wraith. That is what the Ancients wanted access to – they need to become that energy so that they can ascend.”

“And the Ori are basically Ascended. You think we might find something there that will tell us more about the Ori and the Ascended.”

“I do.” Rodney agreed. “I think that Andromeda could hold the answers to all of our problems – how to defeat the Wraith, how to defeat the Ori, as well as answer our questions about our own heritage.”

* * * * *

Rodney gasped and counted softly, “nine.” John stroked his ass gently, before raising his hand and bringing it down in a hard slap. Rodney cried out this time, but drew in another breath and counted “ten”.

“Five more,” John promised, “just give me five more Rodney.”

His Guide nodded, and stilled where he was squirming on John’s lap. His cock was heavy and hard against his thigh, and twitched each time his ass was hit. John nudged his legs further apart, exposing his hole. He picked up the sanitised plug from the bedside unit and drizzled the lube over it. He turned it to get and even coating, then brought it down and teased his Guide’s hole. Rodney whimpered, but he’d been ordered not to speak except to count out his spanks, and he was always obedient in bed.

John finally pushed the plug in, making sure Rodney could feel each slow, agonising inch as it pierced into his body. Rodney enjoyed his pleasure fast, too fast. John preferred it slow and drawn out, and enjoyed making his Guide take it so slowly, until he was a strung out, quivering wreck.

They were just getting started tonight and already Rodney was shivering.

Without warning, he brought his hand down in a sharp spank, catching the base of the plug where it nestled against Rodney’s ass. Rodney shouted wordlessly, and gasped into his legs for several moments before he finally let out a tremulous “eleven”.

Twelve through fourteen were hard, sharp swats against the already pink skin of Rodney’s ass, deepening the blush there and adding to the euphoric sensations rushing through Rodney’s body.

For fifteen, he started by drawing the plug out until only the tip remained inside. He pushed it back in just as slowly, thrusting in slow, smooth moves until Rodney stiffened. He rubbed the plug against Rodney’s prostate over and over until he was sure it was firmly settled in place, then brought his hand down firmly on the middle of Rodney’s ass, getting both cheeks and the plug. Rodney cried out “fifteen”. John wasn’t surprised to feel his Guide coming as he did it.

He flipped Rodney onto the bed, leaving the plug inside him to torment him. He climbed on top of his Guide and pushed his legs wide open. He brought one of Rodney’s hands down to the base of the plug. “Fuck yourself with it, Rodney,” he ordered, “I want to watch.”

Rodney whimpered, but gamely began fucking himself with rapid, shallow thrusts. John shook his head. “Slower, much slower.” Rodney whined but did as he was told, automatically making his thrusts longer as well to compensate. John watched as he stroked himself, eyes dark and hungry as he looked at his Guide. He couldn’t see the blush over his asscheeks that were evidence of his spanking his Guide, but Rodney’s nipples were reddened and irritated from the torment John had laid on him earlier. All of his Guide’s limbs were loose and quivering and, as always, his mating bite stood out dark and bright on his throat, forever marking him as John’s.

The sight of it was the last straw and, as Rodney continued to fuck himself for John’s pleasure, John brought himself off and striped his come over Rodney’s chest and face, marking his Guide anew.

* * * * *

Six months later

Rodney sat back from the console, nodding in satisfaction as the last of the ZPMs were installed and power flowed smoothly. He checked over his data and analysed everything carefully, before stepping away from the interface and walking over to John.

John held out his arm and Rodney gamely snuggled in. all of the Sentinels and Guides in John’s Pride were already waiting in the Gateroom, and together he and Rodney headed that way.

Elizabeth waited at the console, Carson beside her. John met their eyes and nodded solemnly. Elizabeth met his eyes, and he saw the worry there, worry that no one could soothe. Either Earth had abandoned them here or something was seriously wrong on their end, but John knew whatever they faced at the other side of that wormhole, it wasn’t going to be pleasant for everyone involved.

He didn’t want to think about what could have happened to their homeworld, but he had heard a lot of stifled nightmares and fears. He had his father, and David and Matthew at home. He hated to think something might have happened to them. Rodney had his sister, and for all their rivalry as children, he still cared for her and her son. For their sake, he hoped that Earth was still a safe place. But that raised it’s own concerns – what would happen if Stargate command refused to let them take this mission to Andromeda? What if they tried to re-call the mission? John’s place was here, he knew that, he had to stop the Wraith from draining Pegasus dry, and from going to look for Earth. He didn’t want to think of what they might be forced to do if Earth tried to re-call them.

He had no idea what was coming next, but he wasn’t worried. He had his Guide by his side, and together he knew they could face everything. He breathed out, and as the blue of the wormhole washed in the corner of their eyes, he and Rodney looked only at each other.