Scenes from a Vacation

by The Grrrl

Title: Scenes from a Vacation

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: John and Rodney, on vacation. It's not as easy as it looks.

***

"Vacation?" Carter asks. "You, Rodney? Really?"

John leans in the doorway and watches.

"Yes, vacation, really," Rodney says with a huff. He doesn't look up from the naquadah generator he's helping Carter hook up to a piece of alien technology.

"No, really, vacation?" Carter is grinning.

"What, am I speaking in a foreign language? Yes, vacation. I am going on vacation. Tomorrow. Va-ca-tion."

"Sorry, it just--you don't seem like the vacation sort."

Rodney deflates. "They made us, okay? With the wraith threat gone and all those ZPMs in place, the general kind of insisted it was time that we, well--took some time."

John bristles at Carter's sympathetic look.

"Where you heading off to?"

"Florida," John answers, strolling into the lab.

"Oh?" says Carter. "Neat."

"Yes, for some reason Sheppard has chosen the lovely state of Florida as our destination." Rodney gives John a baffled look.

"You're going too, Sheppard?"

John gives her a easy smile while Rodney seems to be suddenly fascinated by the readout on the monitor. "Yeah, I figured I'd tag along. Make sure Rodney doesn't get into any trouble."

Carter laughs. "Good luck with that."

"Oh, very funny." Rodney steps back from the generator. "There, it's done--now, think you'll be able to carry on without my input while I'm away?"

***

It's a long wait at the airport. John frustrated and Rodney is very, very, very frustrated.

"There's got to be, what, forty million people here today?" Rodney shouts over the dull roar of the crowd. "Where could they all be going?"

John dodges a family of four loaded down with carry-on luggage, intent on making their gate on time. "Everywhere?"

"Did you hear that announcement? I didn't hear it. Was that about our flight?"

"I don't think we're boarding yet." John looks around for the flight display and reads it twice with a sinking feeling. "Great. Flight's delayed anyway."

"Why couldn't we just have driven somewhere instead?"

"Because this was where I wanted to go."

"Why?" Rodney is petulant now, as if after the wraith and the replicators and Genii and everything else, he facing defeat at the hands of Denver International Airport.

"You'll see when we get there." John steers Rodney out of the main thoroughfare. "Hey, look a food court."

Rodney perks up. "Where?"

John plies Rodney with pizza and egg rolls and coffee until its time to board. During take-off Rodney has a white-knuckled grip on the arms of his seat and John rolls his eyes, even though it makes him nervous too, having to trust the controls to someone else in this clumsy old piece of technology that is a 757. He wishes for a puddlejumper.

Once they're in flight Rodney calms down enough to pull out his laptop but he falls asleep shortly afterward, sitting up with his head lolling to one side. He looks so comfortable that John has to get a pillow from the flight attendant so he can tuck it under Rodney's cheek. Rodney's eyes flutter open, and he frowns, sleepy and disoriented.

"Don't want to hear you complaining about a stiff neck," John grumbles, closing Rodney's laptop.

Rodney mumbles, hugs the computer to his chest and nestles into the pillow, eyes falling shut again.

John wants to kiss the corner of his mouth where it twists downward. He settles for a surreptitious brush of a finger against Rodney's cheek.

***

The clerk doesn't blink when John pays him in cash. "Thank you, sir," he says while counting it. "Just sign right here. And it's the third cottage on the left, number 16."

Warm, humid air engulfs them as they make their way to the cottage. Rodney spots two men in the courtyard holding hands as they walk. He stares, eyes growing big and John wonders what Rodney's reaction would be if John held his.

It's a ridiculous thought.

The cottage is surprisingly elegant. John's previous visits to the Keys have always been pretty low-rent, but this time he has the money to splurge. An air-conditioned, roomy cottage with a king-sized bed and a view of the beach. There's a fruit basket on the table and a bottle of champagne in the fridge. Rodney checks it all out: the bed linens, the bathroom, the desk drawers, the Jacuzzi, the grapes. He's grinning the entire time and John watches until he's grinning himself. "Nice, huh?"

"Real nice." Rodney comes to a halt in the middle of the room and beams at John and yeah, John wants a piece of that.

He reaches up to take off an earpiece that isn't there.

Because he's on vacation. An entire week with Rodney. No wraith, no equipment malfunctions, no ill-timed radio calls. Just Rodney and the sea and the sky and the bars and other happy vacationers holding hands in the courtyard.

John's terrified.

Rodney kicks his shoes off and dives face-first into the bed. "I heartily approve." He rolls over, spreads his arms wide and wiggles his feet. "Jeeze, this bed is huge. I might lose you during the night."

"I'll leave a trail of breadcrumbs." Nine nights in a row, together in the same bed.

"What do you want to try out first, the Jacuzzi or the shower?"

John makes a show of thinking it over. "How about the bed? Being that you're there already." He crawls over to Rodney, pushes his shirt up and licks his chest. It's salty with sweat and he licks again, tongue sliding over a hard pink nipple.

"Bed's good," Rodney says in breathy voice. "We definitely should try out the bed."

John on familiar ground now. He kisses his way down to Rodney's belly. "What else do we have here?" He puts his hand over Rodney's rapidly growing erection. "Maybe I should try this out, you think?"

"You should, you absolutely should," Rodney says, as if John has the best ideas ever.

John unfastens Rodney's pants and tugs them down. Rodney props himself up to watch, his face a mixture of awe and surprise, as if he just realized at that very moment, sex is going to happen. Not that John is complaining, he loves the look of wonder in Rodney's eyes, the way Rodney will touch his hair as if he can't believe he's getting away with it.

John still feels that way himself, sometimes.

He reaches past the waistband of Rodney's boxers and frees Rodney's cock. Warm and heavy, it surges to full hardness in his hand. Rodney makes a happy noise and tugs John up for a kiss and his mouth tastes sweetly of grapes. His hands sneak under John's shirt, they're hot and rough as they slide over John's skin.

John cradles Rodney's cock in his hand, hungry and eager for it. He loves cock, and he loves Rodney's especially and he wants it right now. With one last kiss he pushes back and strips his shirt off. "Get undressed," he says.

Rodney hurries to obey as John digs through the luggage, he knows he packed plenty of lube and yes, there it is. He slips out of his pants and underwear then climbs back on the bed, pushing Rodney down onto his back and then he's straddling Rodney's hips.

"Like this," he says, rubbing his ass over Rodney's cock.

"Yes, please," Rodney says, oddly polite as if John just offered cream for his coffee. He takes the lube and pats John's hip. "Up."

John gasps when Rodney's slick fingers push inside. "Rodney," he says, shoving down onto Rodney's hand, clenching his muscles around Rodney's fingers and then forcing them to relax. "That's good."

"No, it's not, wait--"

"Now, Rodney." John rises up on his knees but Rodney grabs his hip, keeping him place.

"I like this part," Rodney insists. He wiggles his fingers around.

"Oh." Surprised, John eases back down. "I didn't know."

Rodney sits up and kisses John's neck, then nips it. "Well, now you do, so let me do this."

Two fingers pushing in and John melts into it with a groan, thighs clasped around Rodney's hips, cock pushing against Rodney's stomach.

"You get all--I don't know," Rodney continues. "There's something kind of cool about it, okay?"

"I'm good with it." John presses his face against Rodney's and grins.

Rodney takes his time, finger fucking and kissing and nuzzling and licking until John is shaking and breathless and only then does Rodney decide it's time to allow John down onto his cock.

John's entire body is buzzing with electricity and when Rodney is tucked deep inside he can hardly speak, he's stretched and full and it's just about perfect and then Rodney thrusts up. John moans, so very fucked, good and hot and dirty, while Rodney squirms beneath him, all broken words and sweaty palms sliding over John's thighs.

"You're so--so warm," Rodney pants, then looks confused as if that wasn't what he meant to say at all.

Rodney gets thoroughly kissed for his confusion, then John sits back and gets down to business, a hand on Rodney's chest for support while strokes himself and rocks down in counterpoint to Rodney's thrusts. Rodney is watching him, eyes wide and intense and John wonders what he sees and he can't stop watching Rodney watching him and when Rodney wraps his big Rodney hand around his cock John gives up and comes and comes.

"Oh god," Rodney pants, thrusts growing erratic. "I can feel that, I can feel you coming."

John reaches down to kiss him and Rodney grabs his shoulders and moans into his mouth. He comes with a jerk of his hips and John keeps on kissing, stealing Rodney's breath as he shudders and whimpers his way down. Rodney lets out a final strangled gasp as his cock softens and slips out.

"So." John noses Rodney's cheek. "The bed's pretty good, huh?"

"I approve," Rodney says in a weak voice.

John licks Rodney's cheek and eases away, crawling across the endless bed. He finds the bathroom full of big fluffy towels and grabs one, cleans himself off and then tosses it to Rodney, who is still lying limp on the bed, arms spread wide.

It's an appealing sight, and there's certainly plenty of room on the bed for John to join him but despite the sex, he's restless. Retrieving his boxers from the floor, he tells Rodney, "Think I'll go for a walk. Check the place out."

Rodney nods. "Perimeter check?"

"Something like that," John says with a shrug.

"I'll be here. Maybe I'll unpack. After I shower." He yawns, and John's pretty sure Rodney's heading for a nap.

"I'll wake you in time for dinner." John finishes getting dressed and slips out the door. When he returns an hour later, Rodney is still in the same position and snoring softly.

***

There are topless women sunning themselves by the pool and, on the way to the bar, Rodney almost walks into a hanging plant trying not to stare at them. Then the bowl of peanuts at the bar distracts him completely.

"Hiya," John says to the bartender. Rodney snatches up the bowl of peanuts as if he hasn't eaten in weeks.

"Hi, I'm Brian," Brian the bartender says with a smile. He has great big dimples and far too many perfectly shaped white teeth. He's as decorative as the lush flowering gardens surrounding the courtyard.

His friendliness seems to startle Rodney. "Um, I'm Rodney?" he says, a handful of peanuts halfway to his mouth.

"What can I get for you, blue-eyes?"

Rodney stares and takes a moment to find his voice. "What's that drink, the one with the coconut, and the rum?"

"Pina colada?"

With a snap of his fingers Rodney says, "That's it. That doesn't have any citrus in it, does it?"

Brian the bartender nods his head. "Normally it does, but I'll make you up a special one. Because you're allergic, right?"

"How did you know?" Rodney looks astonished

"It's in your registration, Rodney."

"Oh wow." Rodney gazes adoringly at Brian. "I really like this place."

"We aim to please." Brian pats Rodney's arm. "Wouldn't want anything happening to you now, would we? How about I put a little mango in it instead?"

"I love mango."

"Mango pina colada coming right up."

"Hello? Excuse me?" John says with a wave of his hand. "I'll have a beer please. Whatever's on tap."

Brian looks at John as if seeing him for the first time. "Gotcha." He gives Rodney's arm a squeeze. "Can I get you more peanuts?"

"Yes please." As Brian the bartender turns away, Rodney whispers, "Brian is very nice."

"Sure he is," John mutters. "You know, those highlights are so not real."

"What? You mean his hair?"

"He has too many teeth, too. Did you notice that? Like he's an alien or something."

But Rodney isn't listening anymore, he's staring over John's shoulder.

John glances over and sees there are two men making out in the pool.

"So, this place--um, is this place." Rodney looks as if he's carefully searching for the right words. It's an unusual look for him. "Is this like a place for gay people?"

"I believe the term is 'gay friendly'. Most of the guest houses around here are." John waves a hand as if it were a total coincidence they ended up in one of them.

"Oh."

"What?" Avoiding Rodney's eyes, John plucks the half-empty bowl of peanuts from Rodney's hands

"It just seems kind of odd--you don't seem to be a 'gay lifestyle' sort of guy."

"Gay lifestyle?"

"Yes, I read up on these things," Rodney says. "And you don't ping that way. I didn't know you were gay until you kissed me. And even then I was a little confused."

"You figured it out after the blowjob, though."

Rodney smiles proudly. "I did, didn't I?"

John had been scared to death that first time, fingers clumsy, his mouth dry as he fumbled with Rodney's pants. Just this once, he had told himself. He shakes his head. It was weeks before he stopped telling himself that. "Yes, you certainly did, with your big genius brain."

Rodney looks back out over the courtyard, watches the two men splash around in the pool and then nudges John with his thigh, jerking his chin toward the topless women. "Do you think they're lesbians?" he asks in a stage whisper.

"I don't know, why don't you ask them?"

Rodney seems to seriously consider it and John is thankful when Brian of the many teeth returns with their drinks and two more bowls of peanuts.

***

That first morning John wakes to find that he and Rodney are huddled close together but not touching along one edge of the bed, as if they are still confined to their narrow Atlantis beds. Bemused, John gazes out over the untouched expanse of cool crisp sheets and then stretches one arm out into it.

Beside him Rodney grunts and shifts position. His knee hits John's leg and John can feel him jerk awake.

"Huh."

John rolls to face him. "Hi."

Rodney blinks, face half-hidden by the fluffy pillow. "Hi?"

"Vacation," John reminds him.

"I knew that." Rodney says it a little too quickly.

"Sure you did."

John understands Rodney's confusion. Spending an entire night together is a rarity for them, and those times in the past when they did slip up and sleep through a night together, the following morning was one of muttered cursing and frantic fumbling for clothes.

"Florida," Rodney confirms, as if it's some kind of test.

"Uh huh."

Rodney falls silent and John wonders if he's going back to sleep. John has no idea what time it is, but he's wide-awake. He could go out for a run before the full heat of the day hits, but the bed very is comfortable and it's got Rodney in it and he came all this way to be on vacation so that he wouldn't have to go jumping out of bed before he was ready. Over the low drone of the air conditioner he can hear distant voices and the clatter of plates outside, the breakfast buffet is being served and John could do with a couple of pancakes or maybe an omelet and maybe this whole vacation thing was really stupid idea.

He sighs.

Then notices that Rodney isn't asleep. He's moving, inching closer until his body bumps up against John's.

Okay, maybe not such a bad idea.

John leans into Rodney encouragingly and rests a hand on his chest, playing with the curly hairs tickling his fingertips.

Rodney slips his hand into John's boxers. "So, uh, you want to?"

"Yeah," John says, relieved. "I mean, if you want."

He reaches for Rodney's cock and gets his answer--it's hard and eager and wide-awake. Yes, Rodney wants. Apparently a lot. John slips his own boxers off, helps Rodney with his and then Rodney's on top of him, all bed warm and happy as he rubs his cock against John's stomach. John hooks his legs around Rodney's and his cock slides into a warm, cozy space against Rodney's hip.

"Oh, good morning," Rodney murmurs.

John chuckles and hugs Rodney close, his hands clasped in the center of Rodney's back. This is something different--comfortable, almost lazy sex and John heartily approves--a slow rub to completion with his mouth on Rodney's neck, tasting Rodney's skin and when he comes it's slow and sweet and almost soothing.

Afterward, Rodney slides off, leaving John's belly wet with sweat and come. "Wow. Sex," he says in a reverent voice. "Vacation sex."

"Yeah." John nods, peaceful and relaxed. "And you know what comes next? Vacation breakfast."

Rodney grins at him, eyes bright. "Have I mentioned how much I like this place?"

***

Fists full of brochures, Rodney meanders down the crowded sidewalk, simultaneously reading and checking out the local scenery. He holds up a glossy fold-out and grins happily. "Miniature golf."

"You've got to be kidding."

"What? It's real golf." He waves the brochure in front of John's face. "See, there are golf balls and golf clubs."

John grabs Rodney wrist and holds it steady. "And a loop-the-loop," he reads.

"I love those."

Rodney is looking a little too innocent so John snatches the brochure from his hand and whaps his arm with it. "Very funny. And we are not playing miniature golf. "

"You're just sulky because you can't get anyone back in the city to play with you."

"Am not." John wants to point out he was a colonel in the air force and he does not sulk. Then something in the brochure catches his eye. "Hey, look, they have regular golf, too."

"I did not come all the way to Florida to sweat on a golf course."

"Unless it's a miniature one."

"Exactly."

"Would you just--here, give me those." John swipes a handful of brochures from Rodney's pocket. Rodney backs away, bumping into a pretty blonde in a short dress, loaded down with shopping bags.

"Sorry, sorry, all his fault, really," Rodney says, pointing to John.

She simply laughs and shakes her head. "That's quite all right." She gives Rodney the once-over and smiles before continuing down the street.

Rodney watches appreciatively before turning back to John. "I like it here. Have I mentioned that yet?"

John scowls in the woman's general direction, and maybe at the woman's long slim legs in particular. "Getting that much sun isn't good for you."

"Still, there's something to be said for it." Rodney says in a longing tone.

Unfolding a brochure with a snap of his wrist, John says, "How about parasailing?"

"I thought we were on vacation in order to take a break from abject terror?"

"Come on, Rodney, it would be fun," John says.

Rodney looks at the picture in the brochure, then fixes John with a steely-eyed stare. Head cocked to one side in his best Rodney manner, he intones "No, it would not be 'fun'," his voice dripping with disdain.

John enjoys it so much that his retort is a long time coming and then he notices the store window behind Rodney and is distracted entirely.

"What?" Rodney asks, turning around to see what has captured John's attention. "Oh for god's sake. Come on, John." He takes John by the elbow.

"What?" John shakes free. "I think we need to go in here."

"You really need another black shirt? I don't think so." Rodney puts a hand on the small of John's back and guides him away from the storefront.

"I don't have one like that."

"Yes, you do, you have a thousand like that. You're wearing one of them right now."

"But that one was different. Didn't you notice the collar? And the way the buttons go?"

Rodney holds up another brochure. "How about snorkeling? I can do snorkeling."

"Sure, lets do that." John turns his attention back to the brochures although he's not giving up on the shirt, not by a long shot. "Hey, we can rent sailboats. Or even better--a speedboat."

"Don't you need a license to drive those things?"

"Got one," John says.

"You have to actually steer. You can't just use your mind."

"That's what you think."

Rodney gives him a look. "How fast to they go?"

"Fast. Come on, let's make reservations." And John leads him back to the cottage.

***

John swims toward the shore with steady, even strokes. The water here is pleasant enough, clear and warm but it's also calm. Too calm for surfing. It would take a good storm to punch up the waves and John doesn't want storms. There's always kite boarding, though. Even Rodney watched with fascination when they saw boarders skim the water and then soar into the air.

Of course, Rodney's next words were "don't even think it".

Climbing out of the water and onto the beach, John swipes the water from his face, runs a hand through his hair and squints in the sun. He has drifted with the current and has to search for Rodney amid a sea of beach blankets and umbrellas.

When he spots Rodney in the distance, there's a familiar-looking guy in a tiny swimsuit sitting next to him on the blanket, rubbing sunscreen on Rodney's back.

Figures. John heads over, and when he gets close to the blanket he stops and listens, curious.

"Come on, tell me, you've done a lot of swimming in your past, right?"

"Uh, yes, as a matter of fact, I have."

"Because these shoulders are the shoulders of a swimmer."

"You think?" Rodney asks. His brow is furrowed as he looks down at his shoulders. "I thought more like the shoulders of a scientist."

"You're a scientist? What kind of science?" The guy is taking far too much time with the sunscreen. He's currently working it into the back of Rodney's neck as if it's the most important thing he's ever done.

Rodney tilts his head back and closes his eyes. "Physics. Astrophysics, to be precise. "

"Wow, you must be really smart."

"He is." John comes forward. "Very smart."

"John, there you are," Rodney says, and he's happy and smiling. "This is Sean, he's staying in the cottage across the courtyard."

"Yeah. Hi." John recognizes him now. He's seen Sean, all right. Too much of Sean. Sean doesn't seem to be interested in closing the curtains or wearing clothes and he isn't circumcised, which is all way more than John ever needed to know.

"Hiya, John." Sean either doesn't care or doesn't notice the distinct lack of enthusiasm in John's greeting. He returns his attention to Rodney's back, hands still lingering on Rodney's shoulders. "That ought to do it, but you shouldn't stay out here much longer, not with that kind of skin."

Sean himself is tanned to a golden brown and his chest is broad and muscled and totally waxed.

Rodney is nodding. "Yes, it's very sensitive. Burns--" he snaps his fingers. "Just like that."

"I can imagine." Sean is all big brown eyes and sympathy. "It definitely needs protection."

John's hands instinctively go for his P90. Which isn't there.

"Hence the homemade sunscreen. SPF 100," Rodney says proudly.

"That is totally neat."

Rodney grins up at John. "Yes, neat. Thank you."

John scowls at Rodney. Okay, so he had made fun of Rodney's sunscreen. He'd do it again, too.

"Well, anyway, you guys should stop by The Bottom Line. I'd love to see you there." Sean is still staring at Rodney. With a final pat to Rodney's back, he gets to his feet, smirks at John, and leaves.

"The Bottom Line?"

"He was totally putting the moves on you," John says. He flops down on the blanket and searches for his sunglasses.

"You think so?" Rodney stares after Sean. He looks pleased. "Really?"

"You don't see him putting sunscreen on my back, do you?"

"No, and you're going to get burned if you aren't careful. Come here." Rodney grabs a handful of the stuff and gets to work on John's shoulders. "So, The Bottom Line?"

"You don't want to go there," John says. Rodney's hands feel good on his skin and he's slightly mollified.

"Why?"

"It's...seedy."

"And you'd know about that."

"I've been there, all right?"

"Oh--it's one of those sex places, isn't it? Where guys can just go and have sex?" Rodney looks fascinated and disturbed all at the same time.

"Yes, Rodney, it is."

Rodney's hands slide away. "Just have sex, without buying the guy dinner first, or trying to be polite. What about drinks? Do you have to buy the guys drinks?"

"Sometimes. If you want. " John had never required that. He tried to avoid drinking too much in that kind of situation.

"Jeeze. I should have turned gay a long time ago. I would have had a lot more sex." Rodney sounds almost wistful.

And John has nothing to say to that. Rodney would be popular over at the Bottom Line, even though he doesn't have the kind of pretty boy looks that go over big in those circles. They'd spot his inexperience right away, and they'd all want to show him a good time, show him how it's done.

Rodney probably would have a good time. A very good time.

John puts on his sunglasses and stares out at the horizon. Maybe he'll go windsurfing by himself tomorrow. Or golfing. He's sure Rodney will find a way to keep busy if he spends a day on the golf course.

"Lean forward, let me get your back," Rodney says, interrupting John's thoughts.

"I'm fine, Rodney."

"Lean forward."

John leans.

Rodney's hands slide down on either side of his spine. "You're all freckled from the sun. Especially up here on your shoulders." He presses a quick kiss to John's shoulder, right there in front of everyone.

"Rodney."

"You have great shoulders, really. Do you play football? These are the shoulders of a football player."

John snorts.

"What? I'm working on my gay." Rodney slides his hands down John's arms. "Nice biceps, too. These are the biceps of...of...a big bicep guy."

"Very smooth, Rodney." John can't help it, he's laughing now.

***

It takes three days for Rodney to find the porn channel.

"Hey, look," Rodney says. He's sitting cross-legged on the center of the bed, remote in hand. "There's naked men on our TV."

John strolls out of the bathroom, freshly showered, running a towel over his wet hair. "Cool."

"And they are doing naked things to each other." Rodney watches intently as the camera pans down and pulls in for a close-up. "Whoa."

"What?" John pulls the towel from his head.

"Look at the size of that thing. Is that for real?"

John watches as a man with spiky brown hair-- definitely overdid it with the hair gel--eagerly licks and sucks a sizable cock. It's pretty hot.

"I mean, how can he even get that into his mouth? And I don't even want to think about penetration. Just--ouch." Rodney shakes his head in dismay.

"It's porn, Rodney. They're used to those kinds of things."

"I know, I know. Let me just say I'm glad yours is normal sized. "

"Why, thank you," John says. "It's so nice to be average." He throws his towel at Rodney.

Rodney catches it. "Be glad that you are, or else I would have never let you fuck me. And then we both would have missed out on a lot of fun."

John gazes down at his cock. Sure, Rodney has a point, but he likes to think that his cock is at least a little bit above average. Not that Rodney has had any other cocks for comparison. "So, I guess fisting is out, then?"

"You're kidding, right?" Rodney looks mortified. "I mean, I suppose I--"

"Yes, kidding, Rodney."

With an exasperated noise Rodney balls up the towel and throws it back at John. Then the action on the screen catches his eye again. "Oooh."

There are three men now, all of them naked with smooth skin and rippling muscles. One has his face buried in the ass of the guy giving the blowjob. John's breath catches as the man is pulled up onto his knees for a thorough tonguing, ass cheeks spread wide by strong hands.

"That looks...unsanitary." Despite his words, Rodney's cock is tenting his boxers as he watches. "Do you like that kind of thing?"

"Rimming? Sure." John shrugs, carefully noncommittal.

But he must have given something away, because Rodney turns to him, his gaze laser-sharp. "Come here."

John climbs on the bed, hungry for a taste of Rodney's ass. "I think you'll like it."

But Rodney takes hold of John's hips and turns him around, pushing him down onto on his hands and knees. John groans, surprised and delighted all over again at how physical Rodney can be.

"Like this, right?" Rodney asks and John looks over his shoulder to see Rodney actually checking the TV, making sure he's got John placed properly.

"Rodney," John says, laughing. "Yes, like this."

Rodney pushes his thighs apart and John breathes in sharply, feeling naked and exposed and Rodney doesn't touch him for a long moment, then cups John's ass and slides his thumbs down between John's cheeks.

John holds perfectly still, afraid to breathe and then soft lips press against the curve of his ass and he shivers.

"Let me know if I'm doing it right."

"Uh," John says.

Rodney traces his opening with a finger, then follows up with his lips.

John makes a helpless noise.

"You really do like this, donít you?" Rodney asks in a quiet voice. He touches his tongue to John's skin.

"Yes," John breathes.

Rodney licks again, and apparently decides, sanitary or not that it meets with his approval because he begins to lick steadily. Soon he's working his tongue all around, down over John's balls and back up again.

John twists his hands into the sheets and moans, then moans even louder when Rodney pushes his tongue inside. He catches a glimpse of the TV, and there's a guy on his back getting fucked, another man kneeling above him and pushing his cock into his mouth and John wants that, he wants Rodney's cock and he wants Rodney to keep doing that with his tongue, to keep with the sucking and the licking. He wants everything all at once and he wants it all from Rodney.

"You know, I think I like this too," Rodney says behind him, his breath gusting over wet skin. He dives in for more licking and keeps on going until John's breathe comes in tight little gasps and his cock is heavy and aching.

"Oh, oh, hold on a moment," Rodney says.

John can feel him crawl off somewhere, and waits with his head down on to his forearms and ass in the air.

"God, that looks good." Rodney's voice is appreciative. "But this will work better if you turn over."

Rodney eases John onto his back and slides lubed fingers up John's ass and sucks John's cock into his warm, wet mouth. John arches and moans, a complete sensory overload but still he reaches for Rodney. "Lemme suck--"

And it's too late, he's coming, shaking and out of control and making more noise than he should and before he's even done Rodney's cock is pressing against his lips.

John sucks it down, grabbing hold of Rodney's hips. They end up on their sides, John's spent cock still in Rodney's mouth, Rodney's fingers up his ass and John feels fantastic, worn and used and sated. He encourages Rodney to move his hips, to fuck his mouth and when Rodney comes, John sucks and swallows until there's nothing left and he presses his nose into Rodney's pubic hair and just breathes.

He's disappointed when Rodney pulls away. His lovely view of Rodney's groin is replaced by Rodney's face and his dazed expression makes John smile.

"I had no idea," Rodney says. "That is so hot."

John nods and he can't stop grinning. "I liked it."

"You certainly did." Rodney looks awfully pleased with himself. "Do it to me next?"

John wrinkles his nose. "Ew, gross."

The look on Rodney's face is perfect, and John laughs and kisses him, and keeps on kissing until Rodney finally deigns to kiss him back.

Later, Rodney is on his hands and knees and John's face is buried in his ass. At first Rodney complains that it tickles, he even laughs a little but then goes quiet and then he's not quiet at all and pretty soon it's clear to John and probably everyone else in the courtyard that Rodney likes it, too.

***

"You do know this makes me the guy in the relationship," Rodney says as he grabs a hotel postcard and a water glass.

"No, it does not," John insists. "Forget it, I'll deal with it myself."

"No, no, no, no, I'm more than happy to handle it." Rodney squares his chest and heads toward the bathroom.

John leans against the far wall, keeping the enormous bed between him and the bathroom. "It's just--you know how I feel about bugs."

"No need to explain," Rodney tells him in a lofty manner.

"It would be different if I had my P90."

Rodney hesitates by the door and looks back at John. "You're kidding, right?"

John crosses his arms. "Maybe."

"Well, we can all be thankful that you don't." Rodney gives him a worried look and pushes the bathroom door open.

John waits impatiently. A moment later Rodney reappears, holding the postcard firmly on top of the glass, which has something disgusting and large wiggling around in it. "Centipede," Rodney announces brightly.

John shudders.

"Right." Rodney slips out the door, and John wonders if the capture and release program is truly necessary. He's sure they are far from endangered. He creeps back to the bathroom, checking the tub thoroughly for any other unwanted visitors, then sits on the edge and is about the turn the water on when he hears Rodney outside chatting with a neighbor.

"....I know, kind of cool with all the legs, don't you think? Look how fast it runs."

John rolls his eyes.

"...seriously, my boyfriend has issues. Bad experience in the past."

John freezes, hand halfway to the tap, feeling like someone has just thumped him in the gut.

Boyfriend.

John sits back and runs a hand through his hair.

He's Rodney's boyfriend.

Shaking his head, John turns the water on and begins filling the tub. It's entirely possible that he is.

The cottage door swings open and Rodney strides in. "The conquering hero returns," he announces.

"Just in time to ravish the heroine," John tells him with a wry grin.

Rodney brightens. "Can I?"

"As soon as you pick out which bath fragrance you want to try out." John points to the small bottles lining the bathroom counter.

After careful sniffing and contemplation, Rodney decides that sandalwood is the best fragrance for ravishing. By then the tub is just about full so they switch on the jets, undress and slide into the warm, scented water. It feels outrageously good and John shifts around until one of the jets is working on that one tight muscle in his back.

Rodney lays back, looking entirely blissed out. "I want one. All that technology and the ancients never built any of these?"

"Maybe that little war got in the way?"

"Huh. Good point." He tugs on John's arm. "Come here, I was promised a heroine."

John makes a face, but comes along willingly. Rodney situates him between his legs, so that John is leaning back against his chest--Rodney's big broad chest-- with Rodney's arms wrapped around him.

"This is nice," Rodney says. He kisses John's neck, then flattens his hands out over John's chest and feels around until he finds John's nipples. "Correct me if I'm wrong--but this doesn't feel a heroine."

"This is as good as it gets, Rodney."

Rodney slips a hand down over John's cock. "Hmmm. Not very heroine-like at all, I'm afraid."

"Nope."

"Yet? Oddly appealing." Rodney sucks on John's neck, teeth scraping against skin. He cradles John in his arms, arms that feel strong and sturdy and John feels a little weird about it how good it feels to be held like that but then again he just made Rodney kill a bug for him so with a mental shrug he just relaxes and goes with it.

***

It's morning and John wakes up with his face pressed against Rodney's chest, his hand on Rodney's ass and Rodney's arm snug around his waist. There's warm naked skin everywhere and John only has to open his mouth to taste it and he does so, eyes closed as he nuzzles and licks down the center of Rodney's chest. When he reaches to Rodney's stomach, Rodney rolls onto his back with a sigh and John is nose to nose with Rodney's sleepy cock so he sucks it into his mouth and it's only then that Rodney wakes and spreads his legs with a happy little hum.

***

John is sitting up on the bed, bottle of beer in one hand, sports page in the other. A flash of light makes him look up and for a split second he thinks someone has beamed in from the Daedalus. A few seconds later he hears the thunder, low and rumbling. The late afternoon sky has darkened and a breeze billows the curtains.

He brings the bottle to his lips and drinks.

Then belches. Loudly.

"Nice," Rodney says, and John grins at him. Rodney's at the table with his computer, leaning back, feet propped up on a neighboring chair. Despite vigilant applications of sunscreen during the week, his nose is a pale shade of pink.

The rain starts, bringing with it a wet green scent of earth and sea.

Rodney shakes his head and turns back to the computer screen. "Elizabeth says hi," he announces. "Apparently the city is still in one piece, the ZPMs are still full of juice and everything is functioning properly."

"Without you?"

"I know, can you believe it?" Rodney looks indignant.

"I'm sure they'll screw something up before you get back."

Rodney continues reading. "She has a Genii state dinner to attend tomorrow, along with Ronon and Teyla."

"Lucky them." John sips his beer again and rearranges the pillows just right. Email from another galaxy, and it doesn't strike him as strange at all. He wonders what that says about them both.

"Hmm." Rodney starts to type. "Yes, not sorry I'm missing that."

Another rumble of thunder, and when it fades John can hear the familiar clicking of Rodney's keyboard. He leans back, the beer and his earlier swim working together to make him feel sleepy.

"Any messages for the folks back home? Rodney asks, fingers poised over the keys. "Ronon wants to know if we are having fun."

John gazes steadily at Rodney. "I'd say 'yeah'."

"Good. Because I'd say that, too." The words come out in a rush. "Especially since 'yeah' puts it in terms Ronon would understand."

He starts typing again, and continues for some time. John drinks more beer and slides down pillows, which makes reading the newspaper sort of difficult. Sitting back up again takes work though, and after mulling it over John decides to stick with the slouching.

"There. I told them about the snorkeling--those fish were cool. And that you nearly gave me a heart attack on the speedboat."

"You loved it," John says, remembering Rodney's wide grin as they bounced over the swells.

"I was hanging on for dear life. My arms still hurt. Those boats need inertial dampeners." Rodney types some more. "You know what? We should get them tee-shirts. That one with the spiny fish with the big teeth? I think Ronon would like that."

John nods, eyes falling shut. Some time later he hears the computer click shut and it sounds like it's from a great distance and then the bed dips. A heavy weight presses against his thigh and he reaches down to find Rodney's head. His fingers toy with the short, soft hair.

Rodney lets out a deep sigh. "I'm going to miss this bed."

"Let's take it back with us."

"Good idea. It will fit in your suitcase, hmm?"

"If you open a portal to another universe inside of it. Should work, right?"

"No, it will not work. Although..."

Rodney goes quiet, and John falls asleep with his hand in Rodney's hair and a smile on his lips.

***

"Come on, Rodney, you can do it," John croons into the back of Rodney's neck. He keeps his thrusts slow and long, pulling as far out as his can before sliding back into Rodney's sweet, tight ass and his legs tremble from the strain.

"No, god, I can't--you're making this up, right?" One hand on the wall, the other clutching the arm wrapped around his waist, and Rodney is quivering with tension.

"Nope." John pulls Rodney's hips back and spreads his legs further, changing the angle and on the next thrust Rodney moans out loud.

"Oh fuck, maybe yes," he says, arching against John, thrusting his ass back into John's hips. "This is insane."

John keeps going, it takes all the control he has to keep his movements steady and god, he wants to come, he's hanging on by a thread but Rodney's almost there. He rests a cheek against Rodney's sweaty back, and when he opens his eyes he can see himself in the mirror, pressed flat against Rodney's back, hips moving as he fucks, his body lean and dark against Rodney's pale, broad torso. It's startlingly pretty and John has to look away before he loses it.

"I have to--" Rodney frees his hand from John's and reaches for his cock.

"No, no, no," John says, grabbing Rodney by the wrist. "No touching. You can do it."

"I can't."

"You can," John says through clenched teeth and he feels like he's about to lose it himself.

"Not possible."

John puts Rodney's hand against the wall. "Keep these here," he growls.

Whimpering, Rodney obeys.

"There, that's good." Now John is free to pinch Rodney's nipples, to bite the crook of his neck, to do all the things he knows Rodney loves and the problem is that he loves it all too, the sweat and the heat and the tight squeeze and fuck, he can't hold back any longer. "God damn it--"

He grabs Rodney's cock and jerks him off rapidly and then he's coming, a white hot rush and with a yelp that almost sounds like pain Rodney comes too, legs buckling and they crash against the wall in an uncoordinated mess and it's totally fantastic.

One last shudder and Rodney slips away from him, collapsing down onto the floor. It looks like a good idea so John slides down the wall to join him, his legs like Jell-O and boy is he going to pay for this tomorrow.

"You're trying to kill me, aren't you?" Rodney pants. Red-faced and dripping with sweat, he looks utterly wrecked and more beautiful than ever.

"You were almost there."

"I was, wasn't I?" Rodney gazes down at his own cock, fascinated.

John nudges him. "Not bad for an average cock, huh?"

***

"So how did you two meet?" Brian the bartender asks as he places yet another round of apple martinis--Rodney's new most favorite drink ever--in front of them.

"Ant-arctica," Rodney says, speaking with the careful enunciation of the very tipsy.

Brian looks understandably surprised.

"We were working there," John fills in. "You know, government work." He waves his hand, dismissive.

Rodney nods rapidly. "Working. Yes, we were working."

"Rodney was a vision in orange fleece."

"I was?" Rodney gazes at John as if he has said the most romantic thing ever. "And you sat down when you shouldn't have."

"I'm difficult that way."

"He lit up the room," Rodney tells Brian. "Literally. Mutant genes."

John almost chokes on his drink and Brian smiles nervously before moving on to the next customer.

"C'mon, buddy" John says, swallowing down half his drink in a single gulp. "I think we should go for a little walk." When he slides off his barstool the world spins and then rights itself again.

"Whoa," Rodney says, grabbing John's arm as he stands. "I think I'm drunk."

"Me, too," John whispers in Rodney's ear. Rodney's very pretty ear.

He likes Rodney's ears.

He leaves Brian and his glossy highlights a tip and they head toward the beach, kicking their shoes off when they get there to walk barefoot in the sand. Halfway to the water Rodney stops and stares up the night sky, swaying. It's hazy, there are not a lot of stars visible and the moon is a murky crescent hanging low over the water.

John looks up too and after a moment, waves.

"They're that way." Rodney points west.

John waves to the west.

"I'm sure everyone is waving back," Rodney tells him.

"I know they are. Come on, let's get our feet wet." John goes too far into the water, and it rises up and swirls around his knees. "Or our legs." He glances up to find that Rodney is giving him an intent look as if he has something he needs to say and doesn't quite know how to say it. "What?" John finally asks.

"You used to come here a lot, right?"

John nods. "Yeah. After my marriage ended, I came here...a few times. I needed to kind of shake it off, I guess."

"By yourself?" Rodney is digging his toes into the wet sand. "Did you come here to, um--"

"By myself. And yes I came here because I wanted to get laid."

"By guys."

"By guys." It feels like ancient history, but John can remember what it was like to be the person he was then. "I guess I was figuring things out. Had some good times. It was good to know there were other people like me."

"You mean...military?" Rodney asks.

John slaps his shoulder. "No, you big dope. Gay." Then he realizes Rodney is laughing. "Oh." He slaps Rodney again.

Rodney grins at him, his skin glowing white in the moonlight and John thinks sappy thoughts of alabaster. Rodney is big and solid and pretty and obstinate and smart and nothing at all like those other guys. He wonders what would have happened if he had met Rodney back then.

"Threesomes? Did you do any threesomes? Or more-somes?"

"Yup." John can still remember it through the haze of a few too many rum and cokes. That big guy--Juan?--fucked him fast and hard while his partner sucked his cock and at the time it had been the best thing he had ever experienced.

"Huh."

John should have expected this, now that they were away from the pressure-cooker that was Atlantis. He had no special claim on Rodney. Rodney could sleep with whomever he wanted. He deserved an opportunity to explore, just like he had, himself. "If you want to try something like that, just say so, Rodney."

Rodney's head jerks up. "Really?"

"It's vacation. Have fun. Go a little crazy. Visit the Bottom Line."

"And you wouldn't care?"

"Of course I'd care," John blurts out and god damn it, he's really drunk. He turns to leave but his feet drag in the water and he stumbles. Rodney grabs his arm and catches him before he falls.

"Seriously? I figure it's one of those things that sounds good in theory, but the reality probably falls short." Rodney gives John's arm a squeeze.

"You never know unless you give it a try."

"Maybe I don't need to know."

"Maybe you do," John insists stupidly.

"Then again, if were someone like Sam," Rodney muses.

"Rodney," John says, and he knows he's whining.

Rodney laughs, which makes John even sulkier. It's not fair that Rodney can pull his strings like that.

"See, you brought me here, to this place." Rodney slides his hand down John's arm and takes John hand in his.

"Yeah, and?" John half-heartedly tries to tug his hand away but Rodney tightens his grip.

"You brought me where we can do this." Rodney pulls their joined hands up. "I'm not just your dirty little secret. We're actually a--a thing."

"Of course we are," John says, surprised and delighted because Rodney is really really smart and thank god least one of them is. "We're a great big...thing. Come on, you didn't know that?"

He pokes Rodney's shoulder. Rodney yanks him close and hugs him so tight that John's ribs creak. They stay like that until the water swirls up around their legs again.

Rodney finally lets him go. "While this is very romantic with the moonlight and all, I'm getting wet and sandy and my pants are chafing."

"I know someplace where there's this huge bed," John says. "And you can take your pants off."

"Ooh, I think I'd like that."

John takes Rodney by the hand. "Come on."

****

"This is it, huh?" Rodney says as he slides into a seat The Bottom Line's bar.

The scary thing is that the bar hasn't really changed much at all since John's last visit some fifteen-odd years ago. Still with the Tiki decor--wall masks and painted bamboo curtains line the walls and John swears the same song is still thudding through the speakers.

Even though it's early, the place is crowded. Lots of pretty, pretty men everywhere and at least a few of them turn and look in John's direction.

"Must be the shirt," Rodney says.

John grins and adjusts the collar of his totally cool new black shirt, which just might be the best black shirt ever. Leaning over the bar to catch the attention of the bartender, he pauses to hitch his pants up but Rodney slaps his hand away and tugs them pants down again. "Hey, maybe I want to show off my pretty boyfriend."

"Rodney," John says, embarrassed.

"You have great hip bones. They're hot. Especially when one is kind of peering out like that." Rodney's cheeks are pink from the wine he had with dinner and he must be a little tipsy because he's fondling John's hip now.

"That tickles." John moves back and bumps against another patron. "Sorry."

"No problem." The guy places a hand on John's hip. "I totally agree with your boyfriend there."

John's face grows warm and he shrugs.

"So hey, where's that room?" Rodney asks as the bartender brings them their beers.

"Over in the back there." John nods in the direction of the bamboo curtains on the far side of the bar.

They get their beers, and John can see that Rodney is watching the men entering and leaving. Others are prowling around outside, looking for potential partners.

Just another night at the Bottom Line.

"Listen Rodney, go for it, okay? You want to check it out, you should do it. I'm cool with it," John says and he puts effort into making it sound convincing. Sure, they have a thing, but Rodney's curious, and he's been practicing his gay, and maybe needs to know that side of it for once and for all.

"You're so--you don't get it, do you?" Rodney grabs John and kisses him hard, one hand on John's crotch and the other on his ass. Startled, John whimpers against the rush and pushes his cock into Rodney's hand.

"What?" John says when his mouth is finally free.

"You know what? I am going for it." Rodney leads John across the floor, making a beeline for the back room. John stumbles along and then they're past the curtains and in a dark, crowded room.

Rodney stops short and stares. Men, in various stages of undress, kissing and sucking and fucking, bodies gyrating and moving, naked skin glowing under the red light. John wonders what it looks like to Rodney, whether he thinks it's dirty or desperate or just plain fun because to John it's been all those things.

"They're having sex," Rodney whispers. He looks astonished.

"Well what did you think they'd be doing?" John whispers back.

Rodney waves his hands, apparently speechless. Then he turns and slides hand to the back of John's neck, pulls him close and kisses him. "It's hot. Totally hot."

"Go on, then." John says, and his hand shakes a little as he pushes Rodney away.

Rodney grabs John's arm and kisses him again. "Idiot. I want this with you." He drags John over to a small clearing by the wall. "I turned gay for you. We have a thing."

"But you've never been with any other guys, Rodney."

"Oh, for god's sake, who cares?" Rodney's hands slide under John's shirt. "Other guys--they're not you. Maybe twenty years ago I'd be into that but now it's just you that I want. Does that work for you?"

"Yeah." John gasps. Rodney is unzipping his pants and pressing his palm against his erection. "Just you and me. That works."

Rodney's working on John's shirt now, unbuttoning it with deft hands. "I mean, granted, I was curious to see what it's like back here because it was something you had done--" He looks around, then turns back to John, his eyes wider than ever. "And it's really something else and now I'm going to have sex with you, okay?"

"Okay," And John feels a little overwhelmed and maybe he did kind of have it wrong and Rodney is right, he's idiot.

Rodney spreads John's shirt open, contemplates it for moment, then pushes it off John's shoulders and gazes admiringly. "And by the way? Don't ever even think of waxing."

John blinks. "Never crossed my mind."

Another breath-stealing kiss and Rodney sinks down onto his knees. He pulls John's pants and underwear down, exposing John's cock and then sits back on his heels and grins, rubbing his hands over John's hips and pushing the tails of the shirt away.

"Look at you," Rodney says, then leans in to suck and people are watching and John laughs because it's sort of like being on the speedboat again only wilder and more exhilarating and Rodney is his boyfriend.

And they have a pretty good thing going. Just the two of them.

***

John sits on the dresser, legs swinging as he watches Rodney trying to cram the last of his belongings into his suitcase. "I think you're going to need a separate bag for all those tee-shirts," he says.

"We'll see about that," Rodney says. He pulls the shirts out again and begins rolling them. "And don't even mention alternative dimensions."

"I wasn't going to say a word."

Rodney tucks the tightly rolled shirts into various crevasses, pushes the lid down and, with a minor struggle, manages to get the zipper zipped. "There."

John's impressed. "Good job."

"Yeah, well." Rodney pulls himself to his feet and takes one last look around. "I wish we could stay longer. I mean, I'm happy to get back, but still, this was nice. Me and you, just being...us."

His wistful tone makes John's chest hurt.

"Plus I was just starting to get good at being gay," Rodney continues.

John hops down from the dresser. He puts his hands on Rodney's shoulders and looks him squarely in the eye. "Rodney, you're a heck of a lot better at it than I am."

Rodney frowns, and John kisses him because doesn't know how to explain it. Somehow Rodney is more comfortable in his own skin even though his epiphany came late in life, or maybe Rodney never fit in, anywhere, and this place is just as good as any other.

There's a knock on their door and John pulls back. "Ready?"

As they follow the bellhop out to the cab, John slides an arm around Rodney's waist and squeezes. "We're still us, you know?"

They both wave to Sean as they cross the courtyard. When Sean waves back, John tightens his hold on Rodney and grins smugly.

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