Title:  Touchstone

Author:  Angelee

Fandom:  The Sentinel/ Stargate Atlantis

Pairing:  Rodney/John

Rating:  Adult

Summary:  You are my life, my love, my heart, my soul, my touchstone.

Beta:  By my sister Anna.  All remaining errors are mine-with apologies.








“Rodney, sweetheart?”


Rodney turned his head to the side slightly.  Catching the endearment, but to occupied from having a completely clear head.  No medicines clogging the overly smart brain cells.




“Rodney?”  A voice beckoned softly.  A fragrance of vanilla wafted across his nose.  Making his head tilt to the side in search of more, but still occupied with work.




“Save the work you’ve done, sweetheart and close the computer.  You’re suppose to be resting.”


Rodney raised a hand.  “I know.  I know, but I’ve never seen things so clearly.  I’ve got answers to millions of questions that have been plaguing me for sometime.  Give me a second.” A warm body came up behind him.  Offering warmth and comfort. He leaned into it.


 “Later. You need to eat something and rest.  Your tummy is growling again.”






Rodney signed softly.  Doing as he was bid.  When it was done he turned.  “Are Guides suppose to be so bossy?”


John smiled at him, running a finger down Rodney’s nose.  “Are when their Sentinels don’t know what’s good for him.  Do you think you can handle a sandwich?”


“What kind?”


“I think it’s some sort of ham.”


Rodney buried his nose in John’s neck, sniffing happily.  “God, you smell so good.”


John chuckled softly.  “Glad you think so, but do you want to eat before you get too involved with what you’re doing there?” he asked, running his hands up and down the still to thin back.


“Hmm, not hungry.  Wanna sniff.”


“Eat first.”


“Bossy, much?”


John cupped Rodney’s face in his hands.  “Where you’re concerned bossy lots.”


“Are all Guides like this?”


“Like what?”


“Possessive. Bossy.  Not letting their Sentinels finish their very important work?”  Rodney asked curiously.  Loving the feeling of the warm hands on his face.  The enticing smell of vanilla that covered him like a fragrant blanket.  Offering comfort and safety.


“Don’t know.  Never been a Guide before and I haven’t been around any either.  Does it bother you?”


“No, not really.”


“Cool.  Let see how much of that sandwich you can eat,” John told him, tugging Rodney off the chair in the infirmary he’d been sitting on and over toward the bed.


“I can eat here in the chair,” Rodney complained, but went willingly.


“I want to feed you.  Make sure you eat.”


“I can feed myself?  I’ve been doing it for a long time.” Rodney watched in dismay as John’s eyes went from green to hazel with hurt.   “I…I…”


John fingered the bed cover off the bed they’d been sharing for the past two days.  “You what?”   he whispered softly.


“I’ll let you feed me.”




Rodney moved closer to his Guide, laying his head against his shoulder.  “If it puts the green back in your eyes, I’ll drink a glass of lemonade for you, even.”


John unable to refuse the overwhelming vulnerability of his Sentinel, pulled him closer.  Enfolded him within his protective embrace.  “That won’t be necessary.  I can hardly be a cool Guide to a Sentinel when said Sentinel keels over dead from lemon poisoning.”


He maneuvered them onto the bed, refusing to release him.  Their heads resting against one another as John carefully fed Rodney the sandwich.  It was quite a feat to.  Rodney paled considerable when he saw the tray of food.  Pushing his nose into John’s neck, wanting to refuse as his stomach did sickening flips.    But not wanting to hurt his Guide again, he would try.  Hoping he wasn’t going to be sick all over their bed.


John cuddling his Sentinel releasing scent to stabilize him.  Knowing if he tried to feed him first thing, Rodney would be very, very sick and then he’d never get him to eat.  He waited, then waited a little more.  There, there it was.  John smiled inwardly.  There it was.  A soft, quiet purring against his neck.  Then and only then did he start feeding his too thin Sentinel.


From the door of the infirmary Dr Carson Beckett watched, wiping at the tears clouding his blue eyes.  “I’ve never seen anything so gentle, so loving in all my days.”


Simon Banks standing next to him, bit the cigar in his mouth.  He never seemed to have a chance to light the damn things.  “That’s nothing.  They’re still very new to the bonding thing.  As John discovers the power he has over his Sentinel, he’ll exhort it indiscriminately.”


“For good I hope?”


Simon turned to him and smiled.  “Rodney may not think so, but yes.”


They watched as John kissed the top of the Sentinel’s head, praising him for finishing the sandwich.  Watching as Rodney seemed to glow under the praise.  John smiled at him offering a tiny bowl of blue jello, wiggling it enticingly under the Sentinel’s nose.


Rodney turned his face into John’s neck once again.  “Rodney never turns down blue Jello,” Carson said worriedly.


“Watch,” Simon told him nibbling on the tip of his cigar.


John arched his eyebrows at him.  Whispering words the two doctors couldn’t hear.  Rodney shook his head, turning it further into the Guide’s neck, whispering something back.


John took a spoon resting at the ready nearby.  Taking a tiny amount of Jello onto it, whispered again to his Sentinel.  After a long moment Rodney raised his head.  John kissed his nose, offering the spoon. 


Rodney swallowed heavily, but took it.  His eyes never leaving his Guide’s face.  Smiling happily at the praise John lavished on him when he opened his mouth to accept more.


“I’ve never seen anything like it,” Carson told Simon in awe as John got Rodney to finish the whole cup and drink some milk as well.


“The Sentinel lives for his Guide.  Sometimes quite literally.  Without the Guide a Sentinel will die.”


“How did Rodney do it for all those years alone and Guideless?”


“Sheer will power.  He wanted to live.   Perhaps something in him was telling him to wait, his Guide was coming.  What he had to endure would have killed a lesser Sentinel.”


Carson smiled at Simon.  Be careful, Dr. Banks or people will actually think you like Rodney.”


Simon glared at him.  “I’ll deny it.”


“How many boxed of Hershey’s with Almonds did you bring him?”


Simon looked at his feet.  “Two duffle bags,” he whispered grudgingly.


“What’s that?  Didn’t quite here that.”


“Two duffle bags, damn you,” Simon hissed, not wanting to disturb the Sentinel/Guide pairing.


Carson’s smile turned smug.  “That’s what I thought.”


Simon glared at him before turning back to the pair on the bed.  They watched Rodney reach for the first button on John’s shirt.  Silently asking for permission before carefully opening it.  He whispered something softly to his Guide who lay back against the bed and gathered his Sentinel to him, rubbing his back gently.


Rodney’s head lay on John’s chest.  Listening to what Carson would assume was the beating of his heart.  Slowly his blue eyes closed, unable to fight the calming effect of his Guide.


John smiled up at the ceiling, still running his hands soothingly over Rodney’s back. Minutes later his eyes closed as well.






Carson contemplated the Sentinel/Guide pairing on the bed.  “What does the Guide get out of all of this?”


“What do you mean?”


“Well, the Sentinel get the calming, stabilizing effect the Guide gives him.  What does the Guide get?”


Simon walked into Carson’s office slowly.  “You saw it?”


Carson sat at his desk.  “Saw what?”


“The Sentinel can not live without the Guide.  The Guide lives for the Sentinel.”


“That doesn’t seem fair.  Quite selfish actually.”


“Ask them if they think there’s anything unfair or selfish about it.  All of them, every last one of them will tell you no.”


Carson picked up a pen.  “But…”


Simon shook his head.  “No buts, Carson.  I would give everything I owe to have what those two out there have.   Even now as new as they are to bonding. Everything.  I’ve seen Guides practically kill to get to their Sentinel.  I’ve seen a little boy, no older than three, take on adults for the sake of his chosen Sentinel.  And anyone be damned if they stood in his way.  There’s nothing a Guide won’t do for his Sentinel and I mean nothing.”


“The life of a Sentinel isn’t easy, is it?” Carson said thoughtfully.


“No.  Not with the zones and sensory spikes it can be damn hard for them.  I think the Guides were created to make life easier for them.  A love of a Guide for his Sentinel is all consuming.  And I mean ALL consuming.”


“And the Sentinel?”


“The same.  The Sentinel would walk on glass barefooted for his Guide.”


Carson smiled at Simon.  “Rodney?”


Simon chuckled.  “Rodney too.  You just haven’t seen it yet.  The bond is way to new.”






“What happens when one dies?  What happens to the one that remains?”


Simon smile vanished.  “They die within seconds of the other.”


Carson gasped.  “There’s no way to prevent it?”


Carson, there’s one crucial thing you need to know about the bond.”


“What’s that?”


Simon took out another cigar from his pocket.  “Once given it can not be retracted, given away or replaced.  The pairing will fight tooth and nail to stay with whom they’ve bonded with even if it means death.  Without the other there is no life, not for them, once the bonding is set and solid.” 


“I’ve never heard of such a thing.”


“It is common in Sentinel/Guide pairings.  From the youngest like Jim Ellison and Blair Sandburg.  To the oldest like John and Rodney.  But still there’s a lot we don’t know about Guides and Sentinels.  As in life anything is possible.”


“And still knowing this you would want what they have.”


Simon pushed his glasses further up his nose.  “In a heartbeat.  So where can a person get a good cup of coffee around here?”


Carson rose from his chair, going toward a small table set up with a coffee maker and condiments.  “Good being the operative word-here, huh?”  Taking out a key he opened a bottom drawer and pulled out a small bag.  “Been saving it.  Chocolate Hazelnut.”


Simon gave him a huge smile.  “Nice.”


They didn’t talk while Carson made the coffee.  When he handed Simon the mug.  “Has there been much research done on the Sentinel/Guide pairing?”


Simon took an appreciative sniff of the coffee.  “Extensively.”


Carson sat at his desk with his own mug.  “Do they know what draws a Sentinel to a Guide or a Guide to a Sentinel for that matter?”


“Sort of.  It has to do the pheromones.  The Guide gives a scent that is irresistible to the Sentinel.”


“Can a Sentinel be attracted to more than one Guide?”


“Attracted to-yes.  Bonded no. The pheromones will draw them, but there is only one scent they can bond to.” Simon took a sip of his coffee.  “Hmm, this is good stuff.”


“Have John and Rodney bonded yet?”


“No.  You’ll know when John has initiated the bonding scent.  Right now he’s releasing a scent to entice, calm and center.”


Carson took a sip of his own mug.  “You’re right this is good.  So Rodney could still bond with another Guide?”


“Possibly, but highly unlikely.”


“How do you know?”


Simon smiled at him.  “Educated guess.”




“John has already claimed Rodney.  He will kill anyone who tries to take his Sentinel.  Or threaten him in any way.  Guides are protective, extremely so.”


Carson took another sip of coffee.  “And Sentinels are needy little suckers.”


Simon smiled.  “Remembered that did you?”




“They need the comfort and love the Guide offers unconditionally.  It offsets the horrors of having zones or a sensory spike.”


“Can you explain sensory spike and zone to me? I’d like to be ready in case Rodney ever goes through it.”


Simon fingered the edge of his mug.  “There’s no in case involved here.  Rodney will have them.  There’s nothing you or I can do to prevent them.  I saw Sentinel go into shock after suffering a sensory spike when his hearing was heightened to a level that would have floored me and you.  He heard a lady arguing with her husband sixty miles away. It was like being at a concert with two hundred speakers all set on high. Poor Sentinel was screaming in agony. It took his Guide two hours to bring him out of it.”


“Oh, Lordly,” Carson replied, with a shaky breath.  “That’s sounds awful for the poor laddie.”


“Yes, it was.  But Sentinels are invaluable in so many areas.  They’ve save millions of lives worldwide every year.  They can sense earthquakes before they happen.  Hear tornados building hours before there’s any sign of them, allowing us to get the people in their destructive path out.  Not to mention sensing tsunamis building, ready to wipe out whole cities.  Every single Sentinel is priceless as is their touchstone the Guide.”


“Rodney will be invaluable here in the Pegasus Galaxy in our fight against the Wraith.”


“Yes.  He could come in very handy in a strange new world.”


Carson placed his mug on the desk.  “Do you honestly think Rodney is up to the challenge of being a Sentinel in new galaxy?”


“Yes.  He may not think so.  But he will rise to the challenge as has every Sentinel I’ve ever come across.”


“You love your Sentinels don’t you?”


Simon gave him a small smile.   “Yeah as well as every Guide I’ve ever come into contact with.  They’re a special breed of people.  From the youngest to the oldest.”


“What are Rodney and John’s chances of making it as a bonded pair?”


“Strong.  Very, very strong.  John is already showing the classic signs of a Guide and Rodney is responding.”


Carson contemplated the man who sat across from him for a second before asking.  “What one word would you use to describe the Sentinel/Guide relationship?”






John woke slowly to the gentle purring coming from the man resting comfortably against his chest.  Feeling contentment of the likes he’s never felt before.  Happy, too.  He was so happy he felt like he was floating.


He ran his hands over Rodney’s back.  Still not liking how thin he was.  He could practically count the vertebrae in his spine.


He vowed to get Rodney to eat a little more when he woke.  Maybe he could offer him an MRI.  He’d heard from one of the scientist named Zelenka that Rodney loved them.


Maybe after they ate Rodney would like to go for a small walk to the south pier.  It was beautiful there.  Maybe he could take his Sentinel there first.  The fresh air might do wonders for Rodney’s appetite or lack there of.


A soft moan brought John’s attention to the living, breathing person he’d been thinking of.  “Rodney, sweetheart?”


Rodney rubbed his face against John’s chest.  “Hmm?”


“Would you like to go for a walk to the south pier before I get you to eat some more?”


Rodney looked up.  “More food?”


“Yeah, you’re too skinny.”


“I’m not skinny, I’m…. Okay, I’m kinda on the thin side.”


“Yeah, skinny.”


Rodney smiled at him.  “Conceded.”


John kissed his nose.  “Good boy.”


Rodney rolled his eyes.  “That’s good Sentinel to you.  Thank you very much.”


John sat up taking his Sentinel with him.  “Whatever.  Afterwards wanna eat in the cafeteria?”


“If I must.”


John pulled Rodney into his arms, kissing the top of his head before gently pushing him away.  “You must.  Don’t forget your shoes.”


Rodney rolled his eyes again.  “Yes, mom.”


“Guide.  Your Guide.”


“Like I’m likely to forget that.”




They walked slowly around the pier.  Rodney enjoying the crispy clear salt water air.  Enjoying how it tickled his senses.  He’d hadn’t enjoyed anything in a long time as much he did the walk with his Guide. 


They talk about anything and everything.  Enjoying each other’s company.  Much to Rodney’s surprise he realized that he really, really liked John.  And not for just the fact that John held his life in his very capable hands.


They roamed around the pier for awhile before heading in when John declare it to cold for the Sentinel to be out any longer.


In the cafeteria John found them a spot near the window.  With a gentle tweak to Rodney’s nose went in search of food.


Rodney sighed happily.  He really liked that he finally had someone that care if he lived or died.  John liked him.  Which gave Rodney a warm happy glow.


Suddenly Rodney saw movement out of the window.  Without realizing it he sent his sight out to see what it was.  Not realizing what he was doing or the potential danger he was in.  He zoomed in on it. He saw sparking flashes of light coming off the water and then nothing.


John gathering salad fixing for his Sentinel didn’t notice that Rodney had gone still and eerily silent. 


“Colonel?”  A voice called urgently to him.


He turned to his right, giving a small smile.  “Heh, Lorne.  How’s it hanging?”


“Huh-Colonel, I suggest you get to your Sentinel as quick as you can.  I think he might have zoned.”


John turned toward where he’d thought he’d left his Sentinel safe.  Rodney was staring out the window.  Not blinking, not, moving, it didn’t even seem like he was breathing.




He dropped the plates of salad, not realizing it echoed through the cafeteria like a shot as he raced to his downed Sentinel.  Unaware that everyone in the cafeteria had their eyes on him.


He ran a shaking hand through his hair, not knowing what the hell to do, but knowing he had to do it damn fast.  “Oh, God, oh-god.”


Simon came up to them.  “He’s definitely zoned.  And it’s a good one. He’s barely breathing.  You’re going to have to call him back before he focuses all his senses on whatever caught his attention and he completely stops breathing.”




Simon gave him an impatient look.  “You know how.”


John was about to start yelling in frustration when. “Yeah, yeah.  I do,” he realize with a start.  “Damn, but I fucking do,” he said in wonder.


He knelt on the side of his Sentinel.  “Rodney?  Rodney, sweetheart, come back now.  Stop looking at whatever caught your attention and come back to me.  Your Guide-meaning me, is feeling hurt that you’re ignoring him for whatever the fuck is out there.   Come back.  I want your attention on me.  Come back.”


Rodney eyes cleared so quickly it stunned everyone in the room including Simon.  “John?  What happened?”


John pulled his Sentinel up out of the chair and into his arms.  “You scared the fuck out of me.  That’s what happened.”


Rodney buried his nose into John’s neck.  Sniffing the vanilla scent happily.  “There was a whale.  I saw a whale.  It was so pretty.  Then the light bouncing off the water super- whammed me and then nothing.”


John tugged Rodney’s face away from his neck with hands that were shaking violently.  “Don’t do that again.  Fuck.”


Rodney thinking he’d make John angry, his eyes filled with tears.  “I didn’t do it on purpose.  I’m sorry.”


“Oh, damn-tears.  No, sweetheart, no.  Don’t cry.  I’m not mad at you.  I was afraid.  So fucking afraid.  You were barely breathing.  You scared the shit out of me,” John replied, laying butterfly kisses all over Rodney’s face in relief.  “That’s all. I’m not mad.  I swear sweetheart.  I’d never get mad at you.  Well, I might, but it’d never last.”


Rodney felt disoriented and a little woozy, but he lifted his head slightly to better get the kisses John was so freely giving.  “I won’t do it again.”


John stopped the kisses, much to Rodney’s disappointment.  “No, I don’t want you to do that.  You wanna fucking see a whale ten miles, fifty miles-out you do it.  Be the Sentinel you were meant to be, just don’t do it without me.  That’s all I ask.  Don’t ever use your senses like that when I’m not around.  That will make me very, very pissed.”


“Okay.  Can I get more kisses?  I feel funny and they make me feel really good.”


John gave a shaky laugh.  “You sure can, sweetheart.  Want scent first?”


Rodney nodded, burying his face back against his Guide’s neck.  John held him close, tightly.  Still shaken to the core by what had happened.  He could have lost his Sentinel.  He could have lost him before they were even really and truly a Sentinel/Guide pairing.


He buried his face in Rodney’s soft hair, trying to calm his shattered nerves. 


“Are ye alright, laddie?”


John opened his eyes to look at Carson who was staring at him in concern.  “No. I almost lost my Sentinel.”


“You brought him out of the zone faster than any Guide I’ve ever seen,” Simon told him softly.   “You did good.”


John tightened his hold on Rodney, earning a tiny sound of protest from the Sentinel.  “That scared the shit out of me,” he whispered hoarsely.  “God.”


“I can imagine.   But you knew what to do and you did it.  I did tell you being a Guide wasn’t going to be easy.  Scares like this will happen to you time and time again.  Can you deal with it?”


John nuzzled Rodney’s hair with his nose.  “Hell, yeah.  I wouldn’t trade a zillion days of normal every day for one day without Rodney.”


Rodney’s head looked up.  “Really,” he said, pleased.


John smiled at him.  “Yeah, sweetheart.  Your mine and I’m not giving you up.  Not ever.”


“Truly?”  Rodney asked wistfully.  “You really want me as your Sentinel?”


John nodded.  “Truly.  You’re mine.”  He watched Rodney’s eyes fill with tears.  Watched how they gathered in the long, really long eyelashes.  Making Rodney’s eyes look even bluer.   He used his thumbs to wipe the tears from his face.  “Don’t cry now.  Or you’ll have me crying in a second,” he said hoarsely.


“Can’t help it. I’ve never had a Guide before.  I wished for one with all my heart, but it never came to be.  But I got one now, huh?”


John gave him watery smile.  “You sure do, sweetheart.  I’ll make it official once I figure out how to do the bonding scent thing.  Make sure you stay mine and no other Guide can come by and scoop you up.”


“Like anyone would,” Rodney scoffed.


“And why wouldn’t want you?  You’re smart, really, really smart.  You’ve got an ego to match which could be your only drawback.  Depending on if you think it’s cool.  Which I do.  You’re got a killer pair of blue eyes and eyelashes that would put a supermodel to shame.”


He watched as Rodney blushed and duck his head against John’s neck in embarrassment. “Gosh.”


John chuckled.  “Hey, I got Rodney to be quiet.  And all I had to do was compliment him,” He told Carson and Simon.


“Is he alright?”


John turned his head slightly.  “Yeah, he will be.  He zoned on a whale.  How did you know, Lorne?”  he asked rubbing his hands up and down Rodney’s back.  He needed to get his Sentinel fed.  “How did you know Rodney was in trouble?”


“I read everything I could get my hands on about Sentinel and Guides.”  Lorne sighed softly.  “Wishful thinking on my part.  But I dreamed about having a Sentinel of my own anyway.”


“Thank you.  You saved my Sentinel’s life by being aware of what to look for.”


Lorne smiled.  “No problem.  I’m going to make sure that everyone on Atlantis knows.”


“Thank you.  I’d appreciate that.”  Suddenly he chuckled softly.


“What?”  Lorne asked curiously.


“He’s purring.  Means he’s content.  That’s so cool.”


Lorne returned the smile. “Yeah it is?” With a last wishful look at John and Rodney he left.


John smiled at Carson and Simon.  “I love it when he purrs.  It’s as if he’s so content it’s the only way he can show it.”


Simon returned the smile.  “Yeah, it is.  How’s he doing?”


“Better.  I think I got more freaked out by the zone than he did?  I’m going to get him something to eat in a minute,” A small grumble of discontent was heard in between the quiet purring.  “And you’re going to eat.  Only this time you’re going with me to get the food.  That way I can keep an eye on you,” John told his Sentinel.  “No more zoning on whales and scaring the shit out of your poor Guide.”


Carson smiled as Rodney seemed to melt further into John.  “I think he’s fine with that idea.”


John rocked his Sentinel gently for a moment, making sure he was ready to face the world again before.  “Rodney, sweetheart-lets get you something to eat and you haven’t said ‘hi’ to Dr Banks.”


“Simon?  Simon’s here?”  Rodney asked woozily.


“Yeah, I’ve been here for a couple of hours,” Simon replied as Rodney reluctantly peeled himself away from his Guide.  “You’ve been busy so I’ll ignore the slight, this once.”


Rodney gave him a goofy smile.  “Got me a Guide.”


Simon chuckled softly.  “I know.”


“He’s beautiful, huh?”


John groaned, rolling his eyes.  “Geez.”


“Yeah, he’s beautiful,” Simon agreed.   “You feel better?  Wanna have some dinner.”


“Why is everyone always trying to get me to eat?”


John ran his left hand over Rodney’s back.  “Because you’re at least thirty pounds underweight and it’s not a good look on you.”


Rodney looked at his Guide worriedly.  “But you still like me right?”


John smiled at him.  “Yeah.  I do.  I really, really do.”


Rodney blushed.  He looked over at Simon.  “Okay, I’ll eat.  So Dr. Banks did you bring me candy?”


Simon chuckled.  “Yeah, little boy-I brought you your damn candy.”


“How much?”


“What, not what kind just how much?”


Rodney gave him gave him an impish smile.  “Doesn’t matter as long as it’s chocolate.”


Simon shook his head.  “God, Rodney.  Get your Guide to feed you.  I’ll give you your damn candy later.  After I check you out.”


“Don’t you want to eat with us?  It’s dinnertime.”


“Yeah, alright.  Could do with a bite.  That trip through the Stargate is a bit unnerving.”


“Can be,” Rodney replied, allowing his Guide to lead him to the cafeteria serving line.  Not paying attention as John piled food onto a tray as he talked happily with Simon about things back home.


When they sat down and he looked at the tray he paled.  “Can’t eat.  Can’t eat.  Gonna be sick,” he whispered to his Guide urgently.  “Really, really can’t eat.”


John gathered the pale and trembling Sentinel to him.  “Come here.  Breathe deep.  Come on.  Bury your nose in my neck until the nausea eases.”


“Oh, God,” Rodney whispered, burying his nose against his Guide’s nose hoping to block out the smell of the icky food.  “Oh, God.”


“Easy. Easy.  Just breathe deep.  It’ll get better.” Rodney did as John requested, sniffing the vanilla scent coming off of his Guide happily.  When his Sentinel pulled away slightly.  “Better?”


Rodney nodded.  “Better.”


“Wanna try and eat now.”


Rodney moaned softly.  “No, please,” he replied, burying his face in John neck again.


John nuzzled his hair with his nose.  “Come on.  A baby tomato.  Try a baby tomato.  I heard that they’re really good.  Come on, for me.  It’d make me really happy if you’d eat a baby tomato.  For your new Guide?”  he coaxed, softly.  for me?”


Rodney sighed.  “Alright.  Alright.   No need to be a bully.”


John chuckled as he met annoyed blue eyes.  Popping the tiny cherry tomato into Rodney’s mouth.  Watching with satisfaction as his Sentinel ate it with no ill effect. 


“Not a bully.  Want you healthy.”


“I am healthy,” Rodney replied accepting another tomato from his Sentinel.


“You’re to skinny and weak from not eating right.  So I want you to eat. Get your strength up.”


“That’s why you use you wily Guide tactics on me?  Knowing I can’t refuse you?”


John offered a tiny piece of what he thought was chicken.  “Yes.”


“Hmm,” Rodney grumbled softly, taking it.  “Not fair.”


John gathered his Sentinel into his arms pulling him close.  “Yes, it is. I want you well.”


“Okay.  No need to get rough.  I’ll eat.  I promise.”


John pulled Rodney closer deciding to give him a break before offering more food. The Sentinel sighed softly as he dug his nose deeper into his Guide’s neck.  Losing himself in the comfort and love being freely offered, he closed his eyes.


John looked up at movement near the table.  Finding a small congregation of Atlantis personal.  Silently they laid item after item on the table.  Not saying a word just placing things on it.  By the time the last one had left they’d collected quite a pile of blue jello, donuts, muffins, candy and even packets of coffee.


John felt his eyes fill with tears.  As if sensing it Rodney murmured softly in his sleep.  The Guide soothed him with his hands and a gentle release of scent.


Lorne came up with a tray that must have held at least twenty containers of jello cups.  “For Rodney.  From the kitchen staff.  The chocolate brownie is from me.  To try and make him better.”


John fought back the tears.  “Lorne, I don’t know what to say,” he said hoarsely.


Lorne smiled at him.  You don’t have to say anything. Just take care of him.”


“I will.  With everything in me, I swear I will.”


Lorne nodded before, walking off.


John turned to Simon.  “I…”


“It’s the same everywhere.  I’ve seen a city rise up to protect a threatened Sentinel/Guide pairing. Hiding them to keep them together.  I wouldn’t expect for Atlantis to be any different.”


“B…but why?”


Simon looked at the Sentinel cradled close in his Guide’s arms.  “A Sentinel is not a myth, he’s very real.  What he can do-and he can do some amazing, incredible, mind boggling things. Things in this day an age of internet and world wide news, is clearly seen. A superman in his abilities, but still very, very human.  It is the fact that he is so very human and to an extent extremely fragile. It draws people to them.  Creates the need to protect and nurture a very special breed of human.”


“You love your Sentinels don’t you?”  John asked softly.


“Yes, my Guides as well.  They are a very special breed as well.”


John smiled, murmuring softly to his Sentinel when he moved restless in his arms.  “Why? because we have a major nurturing problem when it comes to their Sentinel.”


Simon sighed softly as he thought about it.  “I suppose that’s part of it.  But the Guide can and does give his all to his Sentinel.  Can control him or her when no one else can.  Can love them when they can accept no one else’s.  And then loves them with every fiber in their being.  Back on earth there’s a little tyke named Blair Sandburg. Cutest little thing you ever did see.  All big blue eyes and curly hair.  First time I saw him, or it might have been the second.  Well, anyway-his face was covered in chocolate.  Demanding he could help a Sentinel in trouble.  It didn’t matter to him that he was only three and his mom was dead set against it.  Not even his soon to be Sentinel wanted the bond.  Saying he was way to little.  Well, Blair took them all on.  Forced Jim to accept his help.”


“What happened?”


“Blair bonded him.  They have the strongest bond I’ve ever seen and it’ll only get stronger as they get older.  They love each other very much.”


John kissed the top of his Sentinel’s head.  “Maybe I’ll meet them one day.”




“Do you think Rodney and I can have that strong a bond?”


Simon nodded.  “Hell, yeah.  It’s very possible.  What do you feel toward Rodney right now?”


“Protective.  Very, very protective.  I want to hold him close and never let anything hurt him, ever again.  I… feel love.  So much love it feels like it’s bursting at the seams just screaming to get out.”


Simon smiled.  “You sound surprised.”


“I am.  I’d never met Rodney McKay before.  I’d heard of him and the rumors weren’t all that good.  Then two days ago Rodney stuck his nose in my neck.  A total stranger and all I wanted to do was wrap my arms around him and let him.  Hold on to him and never let go.”


“I want to ask you a personal question.  Don’t answer if you think it evades your privacy to much.  Do you love Rodney?”


“Very much.  So much it hurts.”


Simon nodded.  “That will be your life from now on.”




“All the love you can handle and then some.”


John kissed the top of Rodney’s head.  “Do you think he’ll love me back?”




“You sound so sure.”


Simon smiled at him again.  “That’s because I am.  He already loves you.”


“How can you tell?”


“He listened to you when he zoned.  You brought him out faster than any other Guide I’ve ever seen. Rodney trusts you. He responds to you quickly and he doesn’t want to see you hurt.  He lets you feed him when all he feels like doing is puking.  He’s purring so loudly right now even I can hear him.  He loves you and that love will go a long way in helping you keep him safe.  Very important.  Especially in Rodney’s case.”


“I hope so.”


“It will.  It’ll get stronger once you bond him.”


John sighed unhappily.  “I don’t know how to do that.  If I did I would have already done it.  I want him to be mine in every sense of the word.”


“I’m going to let you in on a little secret.”


John nodded eagerly.  “Okay.”


“All you have to do so is wish it.”


“Wish it?  I’ve been wishing it and nothing fucking happens,” John replied unhappily.


“How badly do you want it?”


John sighed.  “Bad.  Really, really bad.  I’ve never wanted anything or anyone so much as I want Rodney.”


“Want him to be yours and no one elses?  Don’t want another Guide coming in here and taking him from you?”


“Yeah.  And hell no.”


“Then wish for it harder than you’ve ever wished for anything in your live.  Want it so bad you’d die if you didn’t get it.”


Suddenly Rodney’s head popped up from its resting place against Guide’s shoulder.  “John?”


“Yeah, sweetheart?”


“You…you’re bonding me?”


John smiled at the smug looking Simon.  “Yup, think so.”


“Oh.”  Rodney looked dazedly around.  “In the cafeteria?”


“Maybe not the best place, but I didn’t think it would work.”


“Oh.”  Rodney noticed the pile of food gifts on the table.  “You don’t expect me to eat all that do you?”


“Yup.  But not right now.”


“Oh, okay,” Rodney replied, weakly.


John rose from his chair.  “Let’s go back to the infirmary.”




Rodney allowed John to lead him out of the cafeteria.  Holding him close to his side as if expecting someone to come in and steal him.


“Did you know that would happen?”


“What?”  Simon asked Carson innocently.


“That-that would initiate the bond.”


“I suspected.  Now I have the fact to prove it.  The Guide has to want the bond above all else to release the bonding scent.”


“Is this going in your book?”


“Hell, yeah.  This is something that has been bothering scientist for centuries.”


“Hmm.  Should we take Rodney’s stash of food back to the infirmary?”


“Not yet.  Let’s give them a while to bond.”


Carson nodded.  “Alright.  Have you ever seen a bonding first hand?”


“Yes.  It’s an intensely personal thing.  I’m not quite sure where it’ll lead in Rodney and John’s case?”


“You mean sex?”


“It could.  Or it could lead to one of the best cuddling sessions you ever did see.”


“There aren’t any other patients in the infirmary.  Should I dismiss the staff?”


Simon nodded.  “Yeah.  That be a got idea.”


Carson looked out the door the Sentinel and Guide had walked through.  “Hope everything works out okay.”




Rodney and John walked into the infirmary.  “Where is everyone?”  he asked curiously.


John took Rodney into his arms.  “Don’t know.  Don’t care.  Come here.”


Rodney held a hand against John’s chest.  “Are you sure you want this?”


John tilted his head as he looked at his all of a sudden reluctant Sentinel.  “You don’t want to bond with me?”  he asked hurt.


“More than anything in the world.  It’s just…”


“What?” Rodney looked down at his feet unable to get the words out.  “What?”  John asked him again.


“I’m not exactly a catch?”


John drew his eyebrows together.  “What does that mean?”  he asked sharply.  Pulling the Sentinel close when he flinched.  “Sorry.  Sorry.”


“Nobody wanted me before.  I tried everything I could think of to get a Guide interested, but no one wanted me,” Rodney said so sadly it broke John’s heart.  “No one.”


John cupped his face in his hands.  “Do you ever think that maybe it was because they weren’t your Guide?  I was.”


The sadness clouding Rodney’s beautiful blue eyes lifted.  “You think so?”


John smiled at him.  “I know so, sweetheart.”


“I’m not the worst Sentinel that ever walked two galaxies?”


John kissed his forehead, then his nose.  “Far from it.”


“Oh,” Rodney replied with wonder and hope.


“Wanna bond with me, now?”


Rodney gave him a brilliant smile.  “Yes, please.”


“On the bed?” Rodney nodded, all of a sudden overcome with shyness.  Blushing a bright red.  Making John chuckle softly.  “I’m not after your virtue.  At least not yet.”  Rodney whispered something he didn’t catch.  “What?”


“I’ll give you that if you wanted?”


“You virtue?”


Rodney nodded, burying his head against John’s neck.  “Yes,” he whispered softly.


John wrapped his arms around his Sentinel.  “Are you saying…?”


“The drugs I was on to keep me sane wouldn’t allow me t…to…  I couldn’t.”




“Not yet.”


“Oh,” John replied, stunned by what Rodney had just told him.


Rodney pulled away slightly, looking at John from beneath his very long lashes. “Is that alright?”


John ran his hands up and down his back.  “More than.  It kinda shocked me a bit that you’d never had sex before.”




“Well, because you’re smart, funny and very cute.”




John smiled.  “Yeah, especially when you get all red like that.”


Rodney rolled his eyes.  “Geez.”


“Yeah, well I thought you would have gotten all types of offers from everywhere.”


“No.  Not a one.  And even if I did, it wasn’t like I could do anything about it,” Rodney said ruefully.


John cupped Rodney’s face gently in his hands.  “Let’s go someplace else.  I don’t want to bond you in the infirmary.”


“Alright,” Rodney replied softly, blushing a bright pink.


John kissed his nose.  “It’s going to be alright.  I’m not going to hurt you.”


The Sentinel sighed softly.  “I know.  It’s just…”




Rodney’s eyes filled with tears.  “This is something I never thought would happen to me.  I thought I would finally one day go into a zone, despite the drugs.  And I’d never come out of it. Very, very alone.”


John rested his forehead against Rodney’s.  “Not alone, sweetheart.  Not any more.  And I thank all the powers that be that nothing happened to you.  I’ve got you now and I’ll keep you safe.  I swear it.”


Rodney gave a shaky breath.  “Oh, John.”


“Shh.  Come on.  Let’s go to my room.  It’s more private and we can take the time and do this right.”


Rodney took the hand John offered, interlacing their fingers together.  “You do know what you’re doing right?”


John gave him a brilliant smile.  “Not a fucking clue.”




“Very homey,” Rodney told John as he stared at the only thing decorating the walls.  A Johnny Cash poster.


John unbuttoning his shirt.  “I’ve been busy with other things. Haven’t had time to decorate.  Actually, I’ve only been in here to shower and change.  My Sentinel has had my complete attention.”


“Ah.  Why are you taking off your clothes?  Do we have to get naked to bond?”


John tossed his pants to join his shirt.  “Don’t know, but it seems like the thing to do.”




Rodney reached for the buttons of his shirt, stopped by John’s hands.  “Let me.”


The Sentinel gave a shaky breath, but nodded.  John nuzzled Rodney’s mouth with his as he began to unbutton the shirt.  “It’s going to be okay, love.  I swear to you.  It’s going to be okay.”


Rodney nodded. “I know.  Oh, God-John.”


“Shh,” John whispered as he carefully and gently removed all of his Sentinel’s clothing and led him to the bed. “It’s alright.”


John coaxed Rodney to lay on the bed, never taking his eyes off his shaky Sentinel.  Straddling his body, he matched them part for part.


The Sentinel gasped softly.  “John.  Oh, God.” Soft skin.  So much soft skin.


“Shh, it’s alright.  Don’t zone on me. I love you, Rodney.  So much, it hurts.”


Rodney closed his eyes tightly.  The tears that had been gathering escaping any way.  His senses picking up a scent so very needed.  It eased all the ache and hurt he’d been suffering for so long.  The stronger the scent became the more it eased his hurt.  He started keening softly. Not alone.  So not alone anymore.


Hands, gentle hands urged him to bury his head against a soft neck.  Where that beautiful fragrance seemed to be the strongest.  He began keening louder as it curled and twirled around him.  Anchoring him in safety, comfort, warmth and a love he’d never, ever in his life known.  Not alone.  Love.  He felt so loved.  He belonged.   Oh, God-he belonged.


His eyes opened glistening with tears, he stared up at John in wonder.  “John.”


John gave him a brilliant smile.  “Right here, sweetheart.  Right here.”




If possible John’s smile became even more brilliant, almost glowing.  “Yours.  Are you mine?”


“Yes. Oh, yes,” Rodney whispered back reverently. Yours always.”


John touched his face with a hand that was shaking.  “My Sentinel.  My beautiful, beautiful Sentinel.”


Rodney raised a hand that wasn’t quite steady as well, cupping the side of John’s face noticing the tears streaming down it.  “My Guide.  My beautiful, beautiful Guide.  No one has come before you.  No one will come after.  My touchstone.  My life.  My heart.  My love.”


More tears glistened in the now emerald green eyes.  “My Rodney.  My Sentinel.  My life. My heart.  My love.  Mine all mine,” John whispered softly.  Turning Rodney slightly he prepared his Sentinel’s body for what was about to happen.  Blue eyes watching his face avidly, hungrily.  Never wavering.


Rodney gasped softly when his Guide slid into his as yet untouched flesh.  Moaning in a combination of pain and pleasure so good he was hard pressed to believe it.






Rodney wrapped his arms and legs around the body moving gently above and in him.  “Yours.  All yours.”  He started keeling softly in time with the gentle rhythm John had set.  The enticing scent ticking his nose.  He closed his eyes, sharpening his sense of smell, trying to take as much of it to himself as his body drew his Guide deeper.


“Good. So good,” he whispered softly.


“Rodney!  Rodney!  Rodney!”  John chanted above him.  Tears streaming down his face. “Put your arms around me.  Please.  Please. Hold me.  Hold me, closer.”


Rodney did as John pleaded. Holding tight.  Holding for all he was worth.


“John.  John,” Rodney whispered softly, kissing the tears away as best he could.  Which didn’t work to well considering his tears were mixing with those of his Guide. 


John arched his head back moaning softly as he came deep within his beautiful Sentinel.

Rodney followed moments later.


John rested his head wearily against Rodney’s breathing erratically.  His body continuing to move gently inside of Rodney’s.  His Sentinel running warm gentle hands over his back and buttocks.


“Will it always be this good,” Rodney whispered softly, into John’s sweat soaked hair.




“No?”  Rodney asked in surprise, hands stilling.


John lifted his head giving him a brilliant smile.  “It’s going to get better.  I can hardly wait for you to do this to me.”


“Really?”  Rodney said in surprise.  “Want me too?”


“Of course.  We’re going to have a relationship of equals.”


“Truly?”  Rodney’s hands resumed their caressing.


John nuzzled his Sentinel’s ear affectionately.  “Yup.  As long as you do what I tell you.”


Rodney snorted in distain.  “Right.  John?”


“Hmm?”  John met his Sentinel’s blue eyes, seeing surprise in their blue depths. “What is it?”


Rodney smiled at him.  “You’re not going to believe this.”


“What, sweetheart?”


“For the first time in a long time, I’m hungry.”