A Little Bit Crazy

by The Grrrl

Title: A Little Bit Crazy

Author: The Grrrl

Author's email: thegrrrl2002@gmail.com

Author's URL: http://thegrrrl2002.slashcity.org/

Archive: Ask first.

Fandom: Stargate Atlantis

Pairing: Sheppard/McKay

Summary: Back on Earth after the events of Siege III, and John's feeling a little...unsettled. (Contains Siege spoilers)

Notes: Thank you to chelle for the beta and the encouragement, and to the_moonmoth for the listening, and the encouraging, too. PS: A great big Thank You to Wychwood for the lovely cover art!

Aiden mentioned you in that tape message he sent. He said you were a good man; that he trusted you with his life. You tell me, Colonel -- was that trust misplaced?

Ford's cousin Lara is pretty. She pours coffee into delicate china cups for him but John can't taste it, can't swallow although he pretends to simply because he needs to do something with his hands. While she speaks politely and respectfully, under the carefully controlled exterior John knows there is anger and fear. Someone she loves is gone, and she has questions, plenty of questions, none of which John can answer. So instead, John holds the framed picture of Ford in his dress uniform and stares at a young, stern Lieutenant Ford. He looks proud, looks like he is ready to take on the world. Ford hadn't known at that point that he would have to take on an entire galaxy.

John can't tell Lara that, of course. He can't tell her that her little cousin is billions of light years from home, that he has been transformed by alien life-sucking creatures into something else entirely. He isn't Lieutenant Ford anymore. He isn't Aiden. This new person had given John a cold, hard stare before taking a jumper and leaving through the gate. "You're trying to change me back," he had said, as if John were the enemy now.

John imagines what it would be like to tell her such a crazy story; it would be the ramblings of an insane man. Instead he says, "I want you to understand -- as far as I'm concerned, he's still alive."

She will never really understand.

***

The rest of the afternoon is spent sprawled on the motel room bed, with its shiny polyester bedspread and lifeless pillows. John half-watches a basketball game on TV, but he doesn't follow the action. His mind wanders and drifts off to unwelcome places just before he dozes.

He dreams of Wraith darts in the Earth sky.

"Rodney--" He wakes in cold sweat and panics before he realizes it was just a dream, that the darts aren't really there. Still, he has to climb out of bed and look out the window just to make sure.

The night sky is quiet. Cloudy, no stars visible.

He wonders what the folks back on Atlantis are doing.

He's not hungry but he gets a late dinner at a local diner anyway, watching the tables full of arguing families as he pushes his food around in his plate. Afterward he drives aimlessly, tooling around in his green rented Chrysler LeBaron. He's tired but wide awake. He needs--he needs something. He keeps driving. Having visited the city a few times before, long ago, he is familiar with the neighborhoods. He finds himself driving past Max's Place, telling himself he was simply curious whether it was still there after all these years.

It is still there, announcing it's presence with the same old blue and white sign on a shabby yellow brick facade. It hasn't changed on the inside, either. Dark paneling on the walls, air redolent with stale beer and cigarettes. John thinks of the bright, open spaces in Atlantis, it's soaring towers, and how it smells of the sea. He has to remind himself to breathe.

He slides onto a barstool, leans on the sticky bar and orders a beer from an indifferent bartender before leaning back and watching another game. A hockey game this time, on a fancy widescreen TV. That much at least, is new.

It doesn't take long.

"Hi."

John turns and smiles at the young man. "Hello."

John still knows how to work the smile. He's not the freshfaced kid he once was, but apparently he hasn't aged too badly, because the man settles onto the stool next to him and buys him a beer.

"Thanks," John says.

The man motions to the TV. "Good game, huh?"

John nods. "Sure." He has no idea who is playing.

They make idle talk, about nothing, and there's mutual looking over. This man is a little too blonde but well built, handsome enough although in the dim light, who can be sure? John doesn't need the light know there is a hand on his thigh, though. A small frisson of excitement and John gets hard, enjoying the fact that it's a different sort of excitement than the about-to-die kind that he's gotten all too used to. John stretches, nudges the man--Jim? Or was it Joe? --saying, "Excuse me, but I just need to visit the little boys room." He knows the right tone of voice, how to give a little smirk in order to make it an invitation.

Halfway there John glances over his shoulder--Jim/Joe is already sliding off his seat and following him. He's caught up with John by the time he reaches the door.

John unfastens his pants and backs into a stall. Jim/Joe follows, sinking down onto his knees as John pulls his cock out. The sudden heat and wetness around his cock startles him--it's been way too long since someone, anyone has touched him like this. John closes his eyes and leans against the wall, attempting to shut down and lose himself in the sensation. But the bathroom smells of piss and disinfectant, the edge of the toilet is digging into his shin, and even though Jim/Joe has a great mouth and apparently no gag reflex, he's also is making weird little grunting noises which are annoying and completely take him out of the moment. A flushing toilet whooshes in the next stall over and John jumps, his eyes flying open.

Jim/Joe pats him on the hip and continues enthusiastically.

John leans back again, takes a deep breath and forces himself to relax and enjoy it. He tries stretching his arms up over his head, holding the top edge of the divider and thinks only of how hard his cock is and how good it feels to have a mouth on it. He watches Jim/Joe's head bob up and down, eyes the blonde hair and a moment later sees short brown hair in its place. He pretends the hand at the base of his cock is big and square with short nails, the exact same hands that he has seen waving and pointing as they deftly work Ancient technology. Closing his eyes, John can pretend that there's a wry mouth on his cock and blue eyes staring up at him under thick lashes.

Gripping the wall tightly, John comes. It's brief and sharp, not exactly satisfying and when it's over he opens his eyes to find a strange man standing in front of him, too close, way too close and it's not the right person at all. John pulls his pants back up, tucks and zips. "Listen," he says. "I'm sorry, but I have to--"

John wants to say that there are alien creatures that suck the life out of you out there, that he shot his own commanding officer, he killed sixty people he didn't even know simply by pushing a button and that he flew a little spaceship with a nuke stashed in it because that was the only thing left that he could do.

"--I have to go, okay? I really have to."

He slips past Jim/Joe, who watches him with a disgusted look and shrugs. "Yeah, sure, man. Whatever."

John's pretty sure he hears muttered curses behind him.

***

Back at the motel, John showers for a long time. Then, since it's an awful bed and he can't hear the ocean, he gives up on sleep and heads to the airport.

He gets the red-eye flight out, snagging a first class seat because he has that smile and the agent is young and pretty and eager to help Lieutenant Colonel Sheppard get back to base.

There's a layover, and another stop and changing flights, so by time he hits Colorado Springs it's evening, air crisp and cool. He hasn't slept, he hasn't changed his clothes in 24 hours. He spent his time on the flight with his eyes closed, because on the first half of the trip the woman in the seat next to him had the look of someone who would be all to happy to chat and on the other flight he was exhausted and wanted to sleep but couldn't and he's really tired of everything that's going on inside his head.

He rents another car, and drives to an apartment complex on the east side of the town.

A door opens. "You look like hell."

"Nice to see you too, Rodney."

"You've been gone for days. Did you tell Elizabeth you're back in town? She was wondering when you'd return."

"No."

A beat passes. "Do you plan on telling her?"

Sometimes being with Rodney is like having a Band-Aid yanked off.

And yet it warms John to see that along with the surprise and exasperation on Rodney's face there's something brighter. Rodney just might be glad to see him. So John slouches against the doorframe, and with a strained casualness asks, "Listen, do you think I can crash here tonight?"

Rodney does a double take, then waves him in. "Really? Yes, yes, of course. As long as you don't mind the sofa bed. It's comfortable, actually."

Relief washes over John. "Thanks. I'm getting a little tired of the motel thing."

As he enters Rodney's apartment the knot in his stomach--the knot he didn't even realize was there, that's how used to it he is--starts to unwind. Rodney's apartment is comfortable. It's littered with books, newspapers and scientific journals. Worn furniture, pillows tossed everywhere, and the quiet disarray is soothing.

Rodney tosses a cell phone at him. "Call Elizabeth, so she'll stop calling me. And did you eat dinner yet? I was going to order Chinese." Rodney waves a menu at him. "Good stuff, no MSG."

John reaches for the menu, but Rodney holds it out of reach. "Call," he demands, pointing at the phone in John's hand. "And next time you go wandering about the U.S., leave your cell phone on."

The cell phone seems quaintly archaic--John has to *dial*, for god's sake, but he makes the call. It's quick, no big news. Elizabeth asks how the visit went, and John gives a noncommittal answer. She sounds distracted, and John imagines that dealing with the brass at the SGC must be troubling her. She informs him that the Daedalus is due to arrive in the next couple of days.

After the call, he decides he's starving, and they order a ridiculous amount of food. He showers in Rodney's bathroom, surrounded by Rodney's things, and by the time he's dressed again, the food has arrived. Wontons, egg rolls, mu shoo pork, egg foo young, fried rice, all eaten with mustard hot enough to make his eyes water.

John is relaxed and full and maybe even a little content by the time they leave the table. He gathers up the little white boxes and puts them in the fridge while Rodney pulls open the sofa and makes up the bed. They grab one more beer and stretch out on the mattress together, side by side, under a worn, fuzzy blue blanket to watch TV. Or, at least, John tries to watch TV, since Rodney is the consummate channel changer.

"Hold it, what was that?" he asks for the third time.

"What?" Rodney asks. "What was what?"

"That thing on the other channel."

"Which channel?"

"Never mind, You're already five channels past it," John tells him.

"I can go back. But you said you didn't care what we watched."

"I don't. Watch whatever you like." This earns John an annoyed glare, and it's comforting. Normal, somehow.

Rodney goes back to changing the channels--a baseball game, an old show in black and white, a sitcom featuring harsh burst of canned laughter, an earnest commercial touting an investment plan. John stops watching the TV and watches Rodney instead. Rodney looks relaxed, leaning back against his pillows, a beer cradled in his hand, a slight frown as he works the remote. His lips quirk downward when he sees something odd, but then he shakes his head and moves on.

Rodney is so solid, so reassuringly there, that John wants to reach out and touch him. He's always wanted to. Especially since John has heard those rumors, the ones about Rodney in Russia and the very male Russian scientist, and how people there do all sorts of things during those cold, dark winters.

It's entirely possible that Rodney would want John to touch him. It's both exhilarating and terrifying.

John imagines reaching out and wrapping his hand around Rodney's wrist. He would take the remote from him, pluck the beer from his hand and set it down carefully on the side table. Rodney would watch with big blue eyes and then smile, because he'd want it, he'd want John--

Oh god, the things they would do together. John's sure that sex with Rodney would be as exciting and exasperating as everything else with Rodney. But there would be no barriers, no social niceties. He would get the full force of Rodney and John's not sure he's strong enough to weather the storm.

John turns back to the TV. Channel guide, people way too happy to be shopping in a grocery store, a movie preview, a detective explaining how he came to suspect his suspect.

After a few minutes John randomly asks, "Hey, what was that?"

This time Rodney is ready for him. He stops short, backs up a few channels, and stares at the QVC channel. "Pots and pans. You want to watch someone try to sell us pots and pans?" Rodney's voice reflects his incredulity.

"Maybe I do." Three beers and John is feeling loopy. Plus, he's in bed with Rodney. They're sharing a blanket, no less. "Oh, now, look at that saucepan. That's one hell of a saucepan."

He looks to Rodney, and Rodney is looking at him as if he's insane. John laughs, thinking that maybe this time he really is, because they all almost died in a ten thousand year old city (that can fly, must not ever forget it's a *flying city*) and here someone wants to sell them an aluminum-clad saucepan. Because that really would have helped, in that last moment when he was sliding into the pilot's seat of the jumper, the Genii and Rodney-rigged nuclear bomb behind him and he didn't want to die, he really, really didn't.

His laughter turns odd and hiccupy. When Rodney touches his shoulder he doesn't look up. Instead, gripping his beer tightly, he asks, "Okay, maybe you can change the channel now." His voice is high and reedy and not quite steady.

"Are you okay?"

"Are you going to change the channel? I'm not really interested in the saucepan."

Rodney changes the channel. "Fine. Do the manly stoic thing. Me? Not so fine. I spent past two days interviewing replacements for the science team. Gaul, Dumas, Grodin--they were good, you know? I selected them initially to be on the expedition, and now I have to pick their replacements." His voice wavers.

"They knew the risks when they signed on, Rodney."

Rodney throws down the remote in disgust. "What, is that from some sort of random military platitude generator? That doesn't help. That doesn't mean anything. It doesn't change the fact that they are dead."

John meets Rodney's gaze, and the pain is right there, all over his face. "It means," John says evenly, "that you're not responsible for their deaths."

"Okay. Okay." It's a challenge, not a concession. "When you tell yourself that, do you believe it?"

John sees Ford again, and the jumper disappearing through the gate. "Sometimes."

"Sometimes? What kind of answer is that?"

"Rodney, you're a real pain in the ass, you know that?"

"Yes," Rodney says, as if John just told him the sky is blue.

The burst of anger fades, and with a heavy sigh John finishes his beer. Rodney picks up the remote and changes the channel.

"I went to see Ford's family yesterday," John says.

Rodney hits the mute button. "How did it go?" he asks in a gentle tone.

"It sucked." John closes his eyes, weary beyond reason.

"I'm sorry."

John nods.

"Hey, you want to go to sleep? I'll--"

"No, no--" John opens his eyes to find Rodney about to climb out of bed. "I'm awake. Come on, Rodney, we've been on channel sixty-three for almost a whole minute. You're slacking off here."

"Oh." Rodney settles back in against the pillows. "Right." With a sideways look through his lashes at John, he points the remote and changes the channel.

***

Just before he wakes, John dreams of brightly colored bursts in the earth sky, dart ships hitting a force field that isn't there.

***

John's aware of Rodney's eyes on him throughout the morning, as they drink coffee and eat scrambled eggs and toast. He doesn't know why, and wonders if Rodney thinks he's in a fragile state or something. Which is ridiculous. He's fine.

"Listen, I don't need to work today," Rodney tells him. "How about a movie or something?"

"A movie?"

Rodney waves a piece of toast. "Yes, a movie, moving pictures, a form of entertainment, you remember those, don't you?" He stuffs the toast into his mouth.

"Sure, sounds good. Anything good playing?"

"We'll find out," Rodney says through a mouthful of food. "Good. I hate going to movies alone."

It's good thing the matinee is almost empty, because Rodney talks during almost the entire movie, picking apart the plot and the acting and pointing out almost every pretty woman on screen. John should find it irritating but he doesn't. Instead he argues with Rodney, contradicting him whenever possible, just to see the reaction. When the lights go up at the end, the two other people in the theater glare them at, but John rolls his eyes and smiles, as if to say Rodney is his burden to bear, too.

"That was fun. Wasn't that fun? I missed seeing movies in a real theater and all." Rodney is practically bouncing out of the movie house. "Hey," he says, pointing to a storefront across the street. "Let's get ice cream."

Going for ice cream with Rodney is no simple affair. He asks to taste at least twenty of the forty one flavors, then demands that John taste them too, and next thing John knows he's deep into a critical analysis of vanilla fudge almond vs. praline vs. pistachio with toasted almonds--not pistachios, but almonds--which Rodney thinks is wrong, wrong, wrong.

John finds himself agreeing.

After they finish with the ice cream, the coffee shop is next.

"Coffee. The big one. The biggest one you have," Rodney tells the girl behind the counter. He pulls out his wallet. "And whatever he's having."

"Chai tea latte. Skim milk, please. What?" he asks at Rodney's bemused look.

"Chai tea?"

The pretty girl behind the counter smiles.

"I like Chai tea," John explains to both of them.

"So do I," the girl says.

Rodney shakes his head in dismay.

John decides it was a good idea to come here. To visit Rodney. Rodney being so very Rodney has become a universal constant in his life, and he doesn't have very many of those. Flying, maybe. And not always following orders.

And now, Rodney. Who pours sugar into his coffee, stirs, examines the cinnamon shaker, then the vanilla powder. He sniffs the vanilla, contemplates it, then taps a dash of it into his coffee and stirs again. John finds himself staring at Rodney's hands as they work, the way he cradles the plastic lid of the coffee cup, the way he grips the thin wooden stirrer.

"Excuse me--sir?"

John spins around. "Huh?"

"Your tea?"

"Oh, right. Thank you." He takes the cup with an embarrassed smile.

She smirks and glances at Rodney before moving on to make the next drink.

They find a table outside, and they sit beside each other, facing the street. The cars passing by are too noisy for John. He misses the low hum of a puddlejumper.

"I can't believe you drink that stuff," Rodney says, pointing to John's cup. "What's it like?"

John takes the lid off, and sips at the foam. "I don't know, it just tastes good. It's tea. And it's spicy."

Still, Rodney's expression is dubious, so John slides the cup toward him. "Try it."

Picking up the cup, Rodney swirls the liquid inside, then sniffs it. "Smells good."

"Careful, it's hot," John feels compelled to warn.

"Hmm." Rodney slurps loudly, and after a thoughtful pause, swallows.

John rolls his eyes as Rodney repeats the action: slurp, pause, swallow. It's a big production, but something about makes John want to smile, for real this time. He can always rely on Rodney to thoroughly interrogate a new food item. "Well?" he asks.

"It's okay," Rodney nods. "Not bad. Kind of sweet." He slides the cup back to John.

"Just like me," John says.

"Oh, please. I'm going to pretend I didn't hear that." Rodney leans back and jerks his head toward the coffee shop window. "Now she was sweet. And hot. Very hot."

John makes a non-committal noise, trying his best to ignore the prickle of irritation.

"But she was young enough to be my daughter, wasn't she?" Rodney sighs.

"She certainly was." John can't help but wonder when the last time Rodney got laid. Because really, if anyone deserved to have some really good sex, it would be Rodney. Feeling guilty, John asks, "Hey, I'm not cramping your style or anything, am I?"

Rodney frowns at him. "In what sense?"

Of course Rodney wouldn't make this easy for him. "I mean, if you wanted to, you know," John waves a hand in the general direction of the street, "go out and get laid or something, don't think you have to spend time with me."

"What? Where? " Rodney squints out at the busy street, as if expecting to see a storefront with a "Get Fucked Here" sign. " Oh, you mean like go out on a date with someone?" He draws himself up. "And how do you know I haven't already?"

"Have you?" John asks. Rodney's indignant glare embarrasses him. He realizes he knows nothing of Rodney's life here on Earth.

Rodney slumps back in his chair. "Well, I haven't." He shrugs. "Didn't have the time to plan one. Me and dating--we really don't get along so well."

"Oh. Sorry."

"It's okay. This?" Rodney motions between them with his hands. "This is kind of nice."

"It is nice," John agrees, and he means it. Just hanging out, sharing coffee and ice cream and movies with Rodney. And Rodney being his usual weird, annoyingly appealing self.

Rodney is looking at him. "There were times when I didn't think we'd ever make it back. Ever."

"You're always were such a pessimist, Rodney."

"I prefer 'realist'. Come on, tell me there weren't times when you thought it was all over. Like, say, when you were about to commit suicide?"

John shifts uncomfortably, fingers tapping on his cup. He doesn't want to think about that, not here in the bright earth sunlight and mundane cars passing in front of them. "Let's not go there, all right?"

Rodney's face falls. "Right. I'm sorry. That was stupid of me." He thinks for a moment. "Okay, how about when the wraith darts were making a spectacular light display by slamming into our shields? "

John shook his head. "Nope. I knew we'd figure something out. And by we, I mean, *you*," he tries to joke.

But Rodney doesn't go for it. Instead he stares at John, and he won't let up, he keeps on staring, and John can't look away. The intensity of Rodney's gaze leaves him stripped down and naked.

"All right, all right," John finally admits, "I was scared too, okay? Is that what you wanted to know?"

"Yes, I did. At least now I know you're, you know, human." Rodney stares down at his cup.

"It's weird being back on Earth," John says in a quiet voice.

"In what way?"

John drinks more of his tea. Sadly, the foam is beginning to collapse. "I don't feel like I belong." It sounds silly, now that he's said it out loud.

"Really?" Rodney seems taken aback. "Huh."

"I mean, not like here here," John clarifies. "I guess I miss Atlantis."

"Oh. Oh," Rodney seems relieved. "Yes, I do, too. I'm ready to go back." He drops his voice and leans close when a woman sits down at the table next them. "With the--you know, the thing they brought us, the city must be lighting up like crazy." His face lights up, too.

"Yeah, earth's a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live here." John says it loud enough for the woman next to them to hear.

She gives him a suspicious look, then gets up and moves to another, presumably safer, table.

Rodney grins at him delightedly.

***

They walk for a while, looking in store windows, talking about nothing in particular, just like all the other people on the street. Then it is time to head home.

"Oh, come on, Mr. SUV, you have to have this space?" Rodney says, staring in the rear view mirror. "I'll pull out when I'm damn good and ready to pull out." He puts on his seat belt, and waits as John puts his on.

When he finally does pull out, he swings wide, and John winces as he hears honking behind them. "Remind me to never let you fly a jumper again."

"What? As long as there aren't any other jumpers in the sky, driving irresponsibly," he glares out the window at a small blue car, "I'm fine."

"I'll keep that in mind. Clear the skies when Rodney McKay is in the pilot's seat."

"Yes, thank you."

Rodney falls quiet, and John watches the trees go past. Some time later, Rodney speaks again.

"So, did you get laid?"

John's head whips around. "What?"

Rodney is resolutely staring out at the street. "I'm merely inquiring -- since you've been back on Earth, have you gotten laid?"

"Sort of."

"Sort of?" Rodney is watching him now, and not the road.

"Rodney," John says sharply, pointing at the road. "Can you please watch where you're going?"

"Watching." Rodney turns his attention back to driving.

John decides he owes Rodney an answer. "Sort of, as in, it wasn't very good."

"Really? I thought any sex was good sex."

"Yeah, well, usually."

"At this point for me, bad would be good. Anything would be good."

Rodney sounds mournful, really, really mournful so John opens his mouth and says it, says it as awkward and stupid and clumsy as can be. "How about I blow you, then?"

The car comes to a screeching halt as Rodney almost drives through a red light. "What?" he asks, wide-eyed and astonished.

John panics--he's going about this all wrong, it's too sudden and blatant. He's not any good at making the passes; he's always the one fielding them. Remembering to use the smile, he calms himself and tries again. "A blow job. I've been told I'm pretty good at them. What do you say, we go back to your place and have a little fun?"

Rodney is staring at John as if he's never seen him before. "Um, wow," he says in a breathy voice. Then he adds, "Does that line always work for you?"

Only Rodney could mix awe and sarcasm like that. "No, not always," John answers.

The light changes to green. Rodney nods, and focuses all his attention on driving. But John can see that his mind is working. "I thought you liked girls," Rodney finally blurts out.

"I like them, too," John assures him.

"Oh, oh, oh. So why-- "

"Rodney, do you want to talk this to death, or do you want to do it?" So close, and now he's terrified Rodney will say no.

Rodney closes his mouth as he pulls into the parking lot of his apartment complex. "Yes, yes, I want to do it."

John tries for slow and lazy when he gets out of the car, but he's already hard and feeling a little frantic. Rodney really needs this, Rodney has been through a lot, and he wants to help Rodney out. They break into a trot simultaneously about halfway to Rodney's door, and by the time they're inside, door safely shut, Rodney is flushed and panting and John suspects he's a bit flushed, too.

"Um," Rodney says with a little-boy grin. "We're going to do this, aren't we?"

"Yes, Rodney, we are." John smiles, because Rodney's excitement is wonderful and refreshing. And because he finally gets to have Rodney, and do something for Rodney at the same time. A win-win situation. His favorite kind.

He comes up to Rodney and puts a hand on Rodney's chest, palm flat against broad muscle, then slides it down the soft cotton of his tee-shirt, down over ribs and belly and onto his belt buckle. Rodney stares at John's hand, as if he can hardly believe it's there. Touching John's arm, he strokes it gently with his fingertips and asks, "You really want this?"

As if this was some sort of pity fuck.

"Yes, Rodney," John says, meeting Rodney's eyes. "I want this. I've always wanted this." He's pretty sure it’s the first time since coming back to Earth that he's spoken a plain truth, and it feels like stepping off the edge of a cliff.

But his landing is soft--right onto the unmade sofa bed that Rodney pulls him down on to. John rolls and kneels between Rodney's thighs, hand on Rodney's crotch. He fondles Rodney's erect cock through his jeans, stroking it firmly while Rodney squirms beneath him. It's so good to touch him, to squeeze him, and John wants it so badly he can taste it. Bending down, he rubs his face against rough denim and hard cock. He presses his mouth over it, wetting the fabric and Rodney lets out a loud moan.

John is surprised to hear so much noise.

"Here, oh, god, John, let me--" Rodney unbuckles his belt and John licks his fingers, them sucks Rodney's thumb into his mouth. It tastes like coffee and sugar and when he sucks hard Rodney says, "Oh god" again in an astonished voice, looking at John as if he's never seen anything so remarkable in his entire life.

John gives him a little grin and lets the finger slide wetly from his mouth. He focuses on unfastening Rodney's jeans, because he wants that cock in his mouth right now and Rodney clearly wants that too, because he's helping, shoving his pants and briefs down past his hips, exposing a riot of brown curls, and then his cock, thick and red and ready to be sucked.

Before John can do anything, Rodney puts a hand on his shoulder. "Wait, wait, wait," he says. "Take your clothes off."

"What?"

Rodney stares him down, panting. "If we're going to have sex I want us to be naked during it. "

John hesitates, because he hadn't planned that, this was supposed to just be cock sucking, but then again they're alone and on a big bed and they *can* get naked, no one there to stop them. "All right."

He pulls his shirt off, then hops off the bed to remove the rest of his clothes. When he's done, he goes to climb back onto the bed, but his dogtags swing against his chest so he straightens and pulls them off, too, tossing them onto his piled clothes. "Okay?" he asks, and his mouth goes dry, because Rodney's naked too, big and solid and broad and naked.

"Okay," Rodney says, eyes huge.

Returning to his space between Rodney's thighs--it didn't take him long to decide that it was *his* space-- and Rodney's cock is stiff and pointing straight at him. John wraps his hand around it, smooth, hard cock, it feels so good and he's hungry, he wants and needs more than ever. He slides down and presses his face into the crease where hip meets thigh and mouths warm skin, crinkly hair tickling his nose. The smell and the taste of Rodney is gut-wrenchingly good, it's pure sex and Rodney's long, low moan is the hottest thing John has ever heard.

John licks up the side of Rodney's cock and then sucks it down, big fat cock filling his mouth. Rodney's hips move, his knees draw up and he spreads his legs wide. John can slip his arms under Rodney's thighs and hold him while he moves his mouth, slides it up and down, sucking hard, pressing his tongue along the underside. Going down too enthusiastically, John chokes, his eyes watering and it makes him a little wild, grinding his hips into the mattress, hard cock seeking friction and pleasure while he sucks Rodney hard and fast. The taste of precome on his tongue, all the noise--the whimpering and the moaning, Rodney moaning his name--it is like weathering a storm, it's making John crazy. A shove of powerful hips and Rodney's cock pushes against the back of John's throat, but this time John doesn't gag, he holds Rodney right there.

"Sorry, sorry," Rodney gasps, as he pulls back. John lets him, then wraps his hand around the base of Rodney's cock, and pushes his tongue over and around the head. With a pained noise Rodney jerks and comes, a hot flood of liquid filling John's mouth and John sucks and sucks mindlessly until Rodney pulls himself away.

John whimpers at the loss. He pulls himself up on his knees, sits back and starts to jerk himself off, hand whipping along his cock, with the taste of Rodney's come in his mouth and Rodney sprawled out in front of him, naked and satiated and John can't stand it anymore, he has to come, he has to--

"No, no, no, no." Rodney sits up and grabs his wrist, stopping him.

"Rodney, please--"

Rodney kisses him. John freezes in place, because Rodney's wide mouth is on his, Rodney's tongue is slipping past his lips and tasting him.

He grabs Rodney's head in both his hands and kisses him back, fiercely. Somehow he ends up on his back, Rodney top of him, heavy body pressing John into the mattress and John can't stop kissing him. There's so much skin, John is so *naked*, he can feel every inch of Rodney touching him, can feel his heart beat and his muscles tense and his breath shudder. The wetness from Rodney's cock dribbles onto his stomach and he moans into Rodney's mouth, wrapping his arms around Rodney's waist as his cock rubs against slick skin.

Rodney kisses until John's lips feel bruised, then with a hand in John's hair, holds his head back and goes for his throat, kissing and nipping at his skin. When he bites the side of John's neck, John cries out and shoves his hips up hard.

"Oh, god, John--" His hand slides down and squeezes John's cock.

"Do that, Rodney, fuck, Rodney, touch me, please," John is babbling, mind-bending pleasure loosening his tongue and once he starts he can't stop, he goes on with disconnected words and stuttering expletives while holding Rodney tightly against him, Rodney's fist still wrapped around his cock. John pushes into it faster and faster, fingers digging into Rodney's back. When he comes, he arches up off the bed from the sheer force of it and it shakes him to his very core.

He falls back down onto the bed, a little stunned, still shaking from the aftershocks. Rodney's head rests on his check, hand still on John's cock, and there's a smear of wetness between them. John recovers gradually, his mind reluctantly coming back on-line.

Uneasiness creeps in. The friendly little blowjob got out of hand. This wasn't what John had intended, he had given everything away and he should have known Rodney would make him crazy. It's what Rodney does. He's contemplating making an escape into the shower when Rodney finally moves, raising his head and kissing John sleepily.

"Wow," he murmurs.

"Yeah," John says, only it sounds more like a question.

Rodney reaches for his discarded tee-shirt, wipes his hand, then cleans off John's stomach. "That was great. That was really, really great."

"Not too bad," John nods, cautiously.

But Rodney seems utterly delighted. "I know I said even bad sex would be good, but sex this good? Is great. More than great. It's amazing. Right? Am I right here?" He waits for an answer, beaming down at John.

Post-coital Rodney is pretty damn cute. "Yes, Rodney, you are."

Rodney tosses the tee-shirt onto the floor and rubs his hand over John's chest. "Yes. I am. And you're really hairy."

"Thank you, Rodney."

"No, no, it's a good hairy. Very manly." Rodney kisses his chest. Then with a sly grin, "Makes up for the tea thing, hmmm, yes?"

"Would you stop with the tea?" John is surprised to find himself laughing, his anxiety vanishing. He touches Rodney's hair; it's softer than he imagined. Then he slides his fingers down the side of Rodney's neck, and over one broad, square shoulder.

Rodney takes John's hand in his. "If I had known you were gay," he says very earnestly, "I would have made a pass at you a long time ago."

"Really?"

"Um, maybe." Rodney deflates a little. "Oh, who am I kidding, I don't have that kind of courage--although sometimes? I used to suspect you were flirting with me. Seriously. You'd do the eyebrow thing. It's really flirty. No, not that eyebrow thing."

"What eyebrow thing? I'm not doing anything," John says, feigning innocence as he arches his other brow.

"No, not that one, either. That one makes you look a little," Rodney swirls a finger in the air, "insane."

John scowls his best scowl; Rodney shakes his head and laughs. It's a happy laugh, and it makes John feel warm inside. He's seen Rodney scared, terrified, sad and freaked out, but now to see him naked and happy and to be able to touch him and feel him being naked and happy--that is new and wonderful. He pulls Rodney close and tucks his face into Rodney's neck, slides a leg between Rodney's leg and he's surprisingly comfortable, especially with Rodney's arms around him, stroking his back slowly.

Time passes quietly, and John dozes a bit, until a snore from Rodney wakes him. Rodney rolls away without awakening, and John quietly slips out of bed and pads into the kitchen for a glass of water. As he drinks he looks out the window. It's dark out now, and he can see his reflection in the glass--naked chest, bemused expression, hair gone completely awry. He doesn't look like a soldier. He looks like someone who just did something he shouldn't have. He looks like someone who is in way over his head.

"Hey."

John turns to see Rodney sitting crossed-legged on the bed, watching him. "Want some?" John offers.

"No. I just like seeing you naked in my kitchen." Rodney's voice is warm and it sends shivers up John's spine.

"It's probably a little...unsanitary," John tells him. To make his point, he rubs his ass against the cabinets.

"Oh, thank you."

"You're welcome." John crosses the room back to the bed, Rodney's appreciative eyes are on him every step of the way.

"So," Rodney says. He hesitates, then continues, "are we going to do this again?"

"You mean like now? Well," John gives him a lazy smile, "I have no place else I have to be."

"Stop it," Rodney says. "I mean when we get back to Atlantis."

John sits down next to him. "Rodney," he says gently, "I don't know. I'm not sure I'm ready for a relationship."

"John, we already have a relationship. Why do you think you came here in the first place?"

John frowns. "Rodney--"

"No, no, wait, hear me out. This would be the same thing, only with sex. It's not changing very much, only adding to it. Think about it, all those moments of gut-wrenching terror on Atlantis now can be broken up by moments of mind-blowing sex. Think of all the tension we can release that way. Heightmeyer would surely approve."

John does think about it. Thinks about Rodney's body and his surprising affection and Rodney sprawled naked on top of him after yet another narrow escape. He wonders how often he'll be able to replace the terror on Rodney's face with a look of pleasure and he wants it, he wants it all. Rodney makes it sound all so reasonable--simple, even--but John's military, and things like that just aren't for him.

Or, so he used to think. "Rodney, I don't know."

"You don't have to decide right now. Seriously, I truly suck at relationships. But the way I see it, we already have a relationship, in that we know each other and seem to understand each other at some level, and since over the past year I've seen you at your worst, at your most annoying--and yes you can be truly, astoundingly irritating--yet despite that I'm still pretty crazy about you, I think we can make this work." He finishes up with a flourish of waving hands.

"Jeeze, Rodney, you're such a romantic."

Rodney nods happily. "You bring in out in me."

"Crazy about me, huh?" John runs a hand through his hair, and maybe his chest puffs up, just a little.

"And clearly, you feel the same way about me."

"Oh, do I?"

Rodney kisses him, it's slow and sweet and something John could get very used to. "Yes, you do," Rodney tells him.

It's insane to think that they could make it work, but that is exactly what John is thinking as Rodney kisses his way down his chest. After all, John is a little bit nuts. He lives in the lost City of Atlantis.

"What do you think?" Rodney asks, nuzzling John's stomach.

"About--about what?" John leans back and gazes at the short brown hair, at the square hand resting on his hip.

Rodney's mouth twists, then with a swipe of his tongue, licks John's thigh. "Us," he says patiently, looking up at John with clear blue eyes, eyes that see more than John had ever realized.

"Yes," John says.

Rodney smiles beautifully before closing his mouth around John's cock.

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