denyce: (SGA: McShep)
[personal profile] denyce
Title: Senses
Author: Denyce
Fandom: Stargate Atlantis
Pairing(s): McShep
Rating: PG-13
Summary: Due to an accident Rodney is deprived of his sense of smell.
Warnings: unbeta’d
Word Count: 1461
AN: Prompt by [personal profile] brumeier: Any, Any, temporarily deprived of one of their senses, written for [community profile] comment_fic


John sighed when he looked up to see Rodney’s pout, not that he was surprised since lately it’s become Rodney’s resting face. Still he had to ask, “What?”

In misery Rodney whined, “I can’t smell anything.”

“I know” and he looked down at his plate then over to Rodney’s plate. Both were filled to the rim with steamy hot slices of turkey topped with gravy, complimented with healthy helpings of stuffing, mashed potatoes, vegetables, and a side of cranberry. It was what he’d call a typical American Thanksgiving dinner.

“Yeah well, you got to remember what Carson said, that it’s only temporary.” Shrugging he added, “At least it’s only your nose.” Taking a healthy bite, John chewed and swallowed, admitting a hearty hmm sound. Offering, “Trust me, it smells as great as it looks, but it tastes even better. Maybe you should try a bite before it gets cold?” Then he busily cut another bite.

He was almost on his third bite before Rodney took his first bite. John watched the look of distaste vanished from Rodney’s face as he chewed. John could only chuckle and shake his head pleased Rodney started to eat.

Since the accident, Rodney had been hesitant to eat, yet once he had a bite, Rodney’s appetite didn’t suffer as he’d finish whatever was on his plate. Although John had to admit, today was odd as Rodney offered no running commentary on the weirdness of eating a delicious meal without the ability to smell it. On top of that was Rodney’s usual reverence over a good meal and even more noticeable Rodney didn’t go back for seconds.

By the time they left the mess hall, it was obvious, although it was temporary; Rodney’s inability to smell was really starting to distress him.

He had already cornered and questioned Carson in detail after the accident. Carson had promised it’d fade in time, a couple of weeks the most once the damage to his olfactory healed. The truth was John was thankful that it wasn’t anything more than Rodney’s nose and being in the wrong room at the wrong time. Not that John wanted to bring it up and hear about the details of the accident – again!

Fact is he’s listened to Rodney rant on about Barker, the technician who had set off the accident, in and out of bedroom for the last three days. If Rodney had his way, Barker would be shipped back to the States. Surprisingly as it was, the last two hours were Barker free and he wanted to keep it that way.

Still Rodney’s sulking had gotten to a point that even without mentioning Barker by name; Rodney’s mood was starting to get on John’s nerves. It was only his ability to smell, it wasn’t like losing his sight, or his hearing. While they headed back to their quarters, John had hopes, to surprise Rodney with some quality alone time.

By the time they reached their quarters, inside, John reached down and clasped Rodney’s hand then he leaned in, pulling Rodney to his chest whispering seductively. “So I was thinking, dessert?”

Considering the multiple reactions he had thought Rodney might respond with, he had never considered the one Rodney went with. Abruptly Rodney let go of John’s hand and backed away shaking his head, and headed toward the door. “No, I don’t…”

John stared at him perplexed as if he had grown two heads. Rodney McKay, his Rodney McKay would never turn down some afternoon-nooky. Whatever Rodney saw on his face seemed to have an effect as Rodney looked around nervously and mumbled about not being able to smell.

At that moment John lost it and started shouting, purging everything he’d been thinking for days. “God damn it Rodney, it’s just your nose! And its temporary – it’s not like it’s your sight, or your hearing – so what if you can’t smell your food. You also can’t smell shit, literally! You can’t tell if I or Zelenka had bad breath or if someone forgot to use deodorant and stunk to high heaven. Let me tell ya, I’d call it a gift, especially around Ronon after one of his workouts. BUT no, not you, all you’ve done is, whine and complain. Let me tell you, I’m used to you complaining Rodney, its part of your charm, part of what I fell in love with. However all of this sulking, the silent treatment… Then when you’re not moping, all you do is, go on and on about not being able to smell your food – I get it! We ALL get it, you can’t smell…”

Interrupting Rodney yelled back, “It’s not the damn food! Though I do miss that, but…”

“BUT what?”

“YOU, you idiot, I can’t smell you, and it’s driving me crazy.”

John just stared at him not sure what to say.

Rodney blushed, “I didn’t even know I was aware of your scent until it wasn’t there. I got used to it, knowing you’re there even if you’re not there. Like the mornings when you leave to go running with Ronon. I’d lay there smelling your scent on the pillows and on the sheets. I know it’s crazy, but I’d like to linger in bed longer just to smell you, us.” Waving is hand up, Rodney gestured at his hair. “It doesn’t even matter if you try to mask it with all that hair gel crap – your scent is still there.” Wistfully he added, “My favorite is right after you shower. John, you have your own unique scent and … I can see you, I can touch you, but your scent isn’t there, it’s like a part of you is missing, that it’s gone, and that you’re gone, or at least a part of you is.”

John just stared at him then closed his eyes. Rodney didn’t move, but John didn’t have to see, hear or touch him to know he was there. John inhaled deeply and focused Rodney’s scent. He had never considered what Rodney had just said; what he’d feel if he couldn’t smell Rodney anymore… the thought was sobering. Blindly he reached out and grabbed Rodney clutching the man to his chest, “Rodney I’m right here; it’s me. I’m not a pod person.”

“I know. I know I’ve been driving you crazy – complaining about something that will come back in a couple of weeks…”

His nose was buried in the crook of Rodney’s neck and he inhaled, enjoying the musky scent that was all Rodney. Then he pulled back to look steadily into Rodney’s eyes, “No, no it’s not. I get it now. I’m sorry I didn’t understand…”

Rodney silenced him with a kiss and shook his head; his gaze never left John’s. “Don’t be, you didn’t… I just miss”

John nodded and started to pepper kisses over Rodney’s face and neck. And he did get it now, inhaling enjoying Rodney’s unique aroma that was all Rodney. “Until it comes back – and Rodney, it will come back – use your other senses to: hear me, look at me, touch me, know I’m right here…”

Grinning, Rodney added, “You forgot taste?”

John only shook his head, no as he leaned in to kiss Rodney. It started off slow, where he savored each small peck, tasting Rodney’s flavor, smelling his scent. With each kiss John’s senses heightened and his understanding of Rodney’s pain increased.

Suddenly he pulled away and touched his comm and quickly said, “Lorne, I’m using code 4” before taking it off. Then he announced, “Lock” and his door chimed to the response.

Rodney looked at him inquisitively, and asked, “Code 4? I’m not familiar with that one.”

John nodded. “You wouldn’t. Lorne and I came up with it. It’s off the books, a code we created.”


“For personal downtime; Rodney, the doors are locked, we have at least forty-eight hours. Lorne won’t let anyone interrupt us unless there’s an emergency.”

“We don’t need forty-eight hours…”

John chuckled, “Yes, we do.” Then more seriously as he pulled Rodney back into his embrace and stared heatedly into Rodney’s eyes, letting him see the depth of his love. “We’re going to indulge every single one of your working senses. So until you get your nose back, every part of you will know it’s me, regardless of your nose. And I’m going relish every moment and memorize everything about you Rodney. No, forty-eight hours is just a drop in the bucket, when what I really want is forty-eight years… Rodney I lo…”

The word ‘love’ was swallowed into Rodney’s mouth. John didn’t care; he planned on saying it and telling Rodney again and then over and over along with demonstrations in the next few hours – and vowed to repeat for the rest of his life.

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