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October 2009
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Feather [userpic]
SGA fic: A Slip of the Tongue

I loved January's pic. It's drawn instead of a photo, and that got me thinking about the whole porn vs erotica debate and then I remembered that Rodney has made a confession about porn, soooo, I offer up a first time fic. There are minor spoilers for Rising, Trinity, No Man's Land, and The Game. Episode tag for Misbegotten. I wrote a certain, erm, sports scene with thegrrrl2002 in mind. *g*

About 12770 words.

Thanks to carron and catspaw_sgjd for looking it over. And a special thanks to carron for getting me unstuck and handing me a major plot point. :)

Ronon plopped his tray down across the table from John, folded himself into the chair, nodded once, and started attacking his stack of pancakes and bacon. That was one of John's favorite things about Ronon. He understood the whole need-coffee-to-wake-up-before-conversation thing. John took another sip and contemplated that. There weren't many on Atlantis who got it on a visceral level like Ronon did. Most people politely left him alone, but he could practically see them bouncing on their feet, waiting for him to wake up. Ronon got it, though.

Ronon swallowed what he'd been chewing. He looked up and caught John's eye. He stabbed another bite of pancakes, lifted it to his mouth, and said, "So. What's porn?"

The sip John had just taken went down the wrong way and he coughed and sputtered, some of the coffee going up his nose, his face turning red -- from the choking, not the question, he told himself as he gasped for air. Ronon, he decided, was a masterful opponent. He'd obviously lulled John into complacency, waiting until he was nice and relaxed before striking the stunning blow. "What?" John coughed.

"Porn. What is it?"

Yep, John had heard that right after all. He reached for the glass of water, gulping it down. He set the glass carefully on the table, considering his answer.

Ronon studied him for a moment, his intense eyes missing nothing. "McKay mentioned it on the hive ship while we were cocooned."

John looked at him with disbelief. "Rodney mentioned porn when he thought he was going to die?" John's mind reeled. Whenever Rodney thought he was going to die around him, he didn't mention porn. He talked about impossibly convoluted theories he had, and worried about things like who'd tell his family and the fact that he hadn't updated his will in a month, but porn? Never mentioned once.

Ronon shrugged. "He was trying to figure out what happened, and he said something about downloading spyware when he downloaded porn."

John sat back in his chair, his mind extrapolating how Rodney's thought process had gone from being trapped on a hive ship to downloading porn.

Okay. In theory, everyone knew that pretty much every guy watched porn, but it was one thing to assume that, and quite another to know that.

Ronon was looking at him expectantly, with a twinkle in his eye. He obviously had a pretty good idea what porn was. He just wanted John to say it. John cleared his throat. "Porn is . . . " Oh God. "Porn is a form of movie."

Ronon gestured for John to continue while he loaded his fork again.

John leaned forward and lowered his voice. "They're erotic movies."

Ronon nodded and swallowed his food. "What's in them?"


John decided it was too early for anything but honesty, which was probably exactly what Ronon had in mind while planning this little caper. "You can find pretty much anything you'd be interested in."

"Like what?"

John groaned inside his head. He really wasn't up for listing kinks, then explaining them. He decided to go for vague. "Anything from plain sex to tying your partner up to groups to . . . " No way was he going into watersports, fisting, enemas, scat, nor anything else hardcore. Not right now and probably not ever. "To lesbians," he finished lamely.

"Lesbians?" Ronon looked at him with a speculative gleam in his eye.

John felt a rush of relief and pride, because, even though he hadn't even finished his first cup of coffee, he'd managed to strike on something that would allow him to sidestep the whole watersports thing, and yeah, okay, lesbians were pretty much a given, but he'd take this victory with relish.

"We call it erotica," Ronon said casually, before chugging some juice.

"We tend to think of erotica as more artsy," John supplied helpfully.

Ronon's eyebrow quirked up at that. "Explicit?" he asked, just a little too casually.

"Oh yeah."

Ronon nodded and concentrated on his food for a minute. John felt it was safe enough to drink his coffee again, which was obviously muddy thinking, because Ronon looked up and said, "You got any?"

John choked again, just managing to keep it out of his nose this time.

John walked to his office, deep in thought. He hadn't smuggled any porn in because he'd been paranoid about it being found and he'd been on pretty shaky ground at the time. But if anyone on the expedition could hide computer files, it would be Rodney. It seemed pretty likely he'd tucked a few away here and there. Why hadn't he thought of it before? Rodney would probably share, and John's fantasies were getting stale.

It was high time for some new material.

Now, how to approach McKay?

John sat at his cluttered desk and stared into space. A frontal attack? Or would stealth be better? Sometimes it was best to catch Rodney off guard. Of course, Rodney might stonewall him if he did that. John sighed and picked up a pencil, then started thrumming it against the desktop. Probably the best thing would be a combination attack. Start with disarming stealth, then bring it up. A bribe would probably help. What was the worst that could happen? Rodney would call him a pervert and send him packing. John's mouth twitched into a smile. It was worth the risk.

He put a call into the kitchen and used all the charm at his disposal to make a special request, then waited impatiently for the next few hours until he could stop in, pick up his bribe, and make his way to Rodney's labs. He stopped in the door and watched for a moment, taking in the sight of Rodney and Zelenka at the whiteboard, poring over an intricate equation, arguing about several sub equations, completely absorbed in their work. He walked over to the lab bench and put down his offerings, then cleared his throat. When that didn't get a response, he said loudly, "Hey guys," and waved his hand over the carafe of coffee, urging the smell toward them. Rodney's head snapped around and John grinned. "I talked the kitchen staff into making donuts. Want one?" He uncovered the tray with a flourish, revealing the prize-- fresh donuts drizzled with chocolate.

"Where'd you get those?" Rodney asked, leaving Radek at the board, moving like his feet had their own will. "I've been asking for donuts for months now."

John shrugged casually. "I asked and they made them."

"That's just not right," Rodney grumbled, then picked one up reverently and took a bite, a look of ecstasy coming over his face. "God. They're still warm."

John poured fresh coffee and handed it over, then filled the mug Zelenka held out hopefully and motioned him toward the donuts, too. He asked what they were working on, and between mouthfuls Rodney told him they were working on the math models they needed to understand before they could build their own ZPMs. Very cool.

Zelenka sneaked another donut then mumbled something about having another project he needed to work on, which suited John fine. A little privacy was better for the next phase of his plan. "I was talking with Ronon this morning," he said, taking in the blissed-out look on Rodney's face as he took another bite. "He said you talked about stuff on the hive ship."

Rodney frowned. "What stuff?"

John picked up his own donut and took a bite. He shrugged, not making eye contact, then said, "Just stuff. Like, he mentioned that you downloaded porn. Asked me what it was." He raised his eyes to look at Rodney.

The reaction wasn't at all what he expected. He thought that maybe there would be a little embarrassment, some bravado, maybe a smirk, or even a lofty admission.

Rodney had turned beet red, his mouth full of half-chewed donut, frozen like a deer caught in headlights.

John felt his heart thumping in his rib cage. He'd obviously played this badly. He tried to salvage any hopes of getting his hands on Rodney's stash. "I'm not surprised," he said as casually as he could. "I'd be more surprised if you'd never done that."

Rodney sputtered and coughed, grabbing for a paper towel to cover his mouth.

"Not much internet access here in the Pegasus galaxy," John continued, forging ahead despite his gut telling him it was a lost cause. "I wondered if you'd brought any with you?"

Rodney regained his composure, drew himself up sharply and said coolly, "No, Colonel. I don't have ready access to porn. In fact, I'm way to busy to indulge myself that way. I spend all my time trying to keep us alive. Or have we been living in different universes?"

John took a swallow of coffee, his heart sinking. Rodney seemed really pissed, and he didn't know why. He was also lying through his teeth. "It's no big deal," John said. "I just thought maybe you'd share."

"There is nothing to share!" Rodney practically shouted. "Now, if you'll excuse me. Go bother someone else! I've got work to do." Then he turned back to the whiteboard, picked up a marker, and stiffly ignored John until he left.

Okay, that hadn't gone as planned. John mulled the scene over as he walked down the corridor. It didn't make any sense. Why would Rodney get so defensive about a little stress relief? A thought occurred to him and he pulled up sharply. Unless, Rodney was into some really kinky stuff. There were some things your friends just didn't need to know about you. John felt curiosity burn through him as his mind went over the possibilities. His cock twitched as flashes of positions, kinks, and combinations ran through his mind's eye. Rodney's computer was password protected. The chances of him breaking the encryption were nil. Goddamnit. He sighed morosely as he headed back to his office. Okay, no new porn. And he'd left the donuts in Rodney's lab, too.

It became almost an obsession. Most of his free time was spent thinking about Rodney's secret stash. How often did he watch? How many did he have? Did he pick favorite scenes or watch the whole movie? Was he a nighttime viewer, or did he prefer to start the day off right? Maybe that's what he did on his occasional afternoon break. John found himself looking at Rodney sharply any time he announced he was going to his quarters, looking for signs of arousal, then looking for signs of satiation when he saw him later. Hell, he'd even started jerking off to visions of Rodney sitting at his desk watching clips. The fact that he was more focused on Rodney and not what Rodney was watching was something he didn't study too closely.

At least his fantasy life had more fuel now.

It had been a few weeks, and John's obsession hadn't wavered one bit. He'd formulated several kidnaping plans for the laptop, then discarded them, because he still had the encryption problem to deal with. He considered enlisting Radek's help with that, then promptly dismissed it-- too risky, and even he probably wouldn't be able to break the code. He started moping, then realized what he was doing and forced himself to stop. It was driving him crazy.

The team was in the middle of a briefing when his big break came. Rodney had his laptop opened, enthusiastically clicking away as he told them about the latest shield tests, when Radek burst in carrying his own computer. He shoved it into Rodney's hands, babbling in Czech. Rodney's eyes grew positively huge, and he started shouting over Radek, then he leapt up, Radek's computer still in his hands, and ran out with Zelenka hot on his heels.

Everyone sat in stunned silence for a moment, then Elizabeth said, "I wonder what that was all about?"

"I'll go find out," John offered, then stood up, scooped up Rodney's computer, and made his way to the labs. He was half way there when it hit him.

He had Rodney's computer.

Rodney's unlocked computer.

In his hands.

He pulled up short, considering, then hit his earpiece. "Rodney," he drawled. "What's going on?"

"Radek just figured out part of the theory we need to build our own ZPMs," Rodney said excitedly. "Go! Away!" And he clicked off.

John took a slow, deep breath, then radioed Elizabeth to fill her in. Since the briefing was obviously a bust, he had the rest of the afternoon off.

And not much time. Rodney would be missing his laptop soon.

John stepped into the transporter, touched the pad, then stepped back out into the corridor leading to his quarters, moving quickly. He had a lot to do.

Rodney's computer was a labyrinthine entanglement of files within files and hidden folders. John almost howled in frustration as he frantically clicked, trying to find something, anything, some small morsel. He clicked on a file named Planets, then a subfile named Moons, then on a folder named Craters, where he found several .avi files. Heart thumping, he quickly copied them to a blank DVD, not bothering to open any, saving that for later. He hit the back button and found several more in a folder named Rims. By pure luck he found a few more folders with .avi's, copied those as well, then felt he was pushing his luck to try finding any more. He shut the laptop and made his way to the labs, buzzing with adrenalin.

"Oh, thank God!" Rodney said, snatching the computer from John's hands. "I just sent someone for that!" He promptly turned back to Radek, opened the case, and started tapping away at the keys.

"You're welcome," John said, then quietly left, his heart racing.

Mission accomplished.

He kept his features carefully schooled as he walked down the corridor, but guilt was crashing through him. God. He felt like dogshit. He'd just invaded Rodney's privacy, stolen from him, and after Rodney had made it clear that his porn stash was a no-fly zone, too. Once back in his quarters, he picked up the DVD and raised his arm, fully intending to break it on the edge of the desk, but his hand wouldn't come down. He just couldn't do it.

He couldn't watch, either.

He pulled out his CD case and put the DVD in one of the sleeves, unlabeled, still feeling guilty as all hell and left again, going to the gym for a workout. Maybe some time with the punching bag would help.

Later, he walked back into his quarters, hot and sweaty. He stripped, dropping his clothes where they were and made his way into the shower, turning the water on as hot as he could stand, letting the pounding spray wash away the sweat. He lathered up, rinsed, scrubbed his head, then turned the water off. He grabbed a towel and dried off, then stepped out, toweling his hair dry. Yep, he was ignoring the CD case. It wasn't calling to him at all. Nope.

Aw shit. Who was he fooling? The DVD was singing out to him, demanding his attention. Even Teyla had mentioned that he seemed distracted. Maybe the fact that she'd had him flat on his back for the fifth time in a row might have had something to do with that.

He stood by his desk, staring at the CD case, then draped the towel around his neck and sat at the desk, naked. He flipped the case open and slipped the disc into the drive. It wasn't like Rodney would find out. He could play it cool. If there was something on the disc he didn't like, he'd just move on and not judge. He picked a file at random and clicked.

It really was footage of moon craters. John watched for a moment, scowling with disappointment, then opened another file. Yep, another crater. He squashed down the flood of disappointment and opened another one.

Then grinned.

Paydirt! At least it was if the music was anything to go by. He settled back and watched the opening credits-- a bunch of good-looking men, and waited for the women to show up. The movie started and he blinked a few times, trying to wrap his mind around what he was seeing. Two men in a room, talking, then they were moving toward one another, hands reaching, touching, unbuttoning clothes.


Surprisingly tender kissing.

The kind of kissing that made his cock ache.

He hit the stop button and breathed harshly for a moment. Gay. The movie was gay.

He'd always known deep down that he leaned that way a little, something stirring deep inside when he allowed himself to think about it.

He didn't allow himself that luxury very often. He couldn't afford to. Not if he wanted to be in the military.

It had always been there, though, just beneath the surface, bubbling up occasionally-- usually when he was caught unaware, like now.

Rodney obviously leaned that way, too.

The military side of him reached for the mouse, intent on closing the file, but he stopped. His cock wanted to watch, and he realized that he did, too. Things were different here in the Pegasus galaxy. Life was tenuous, at best, and they were far away from their command structure. Besides, they wouldn't ask, and he wouldn't tell, right?

Plus, he wanted to see.

Burning with curiosity, he hit play again and settled back to watch.

The two men slowly stripped each other, then climbed on the bed and stretched out, legs entangled, arms wrapped around each other, and kissed again.

And again.

Slow, tender kisses.

John was fully hard now, and licked his palm to ease things along, then started touching himself lightly, teasingly, wanting to draw it out. The kissing on-screen became more passionate and the men rolled so that one was on top. They were both hard, and the camera zoomed in to show the guy on the bottom slide his dick sweetly between the cheeks of the guy on top. They moved their hips, slowly humping.

John swallowed hard, excitement spiking through him. His hole started to pulse hungrily watching the dick slide over the other guy's hole, stroking and stimulating. He canted his hips forward and reached down touching himself there, feeling the smattering of fine hairs, the crinkled skin, feeling the pulsing of his own flesh. His breath hitched at how goddamn good it all felt.

The men separated and one rolled onto his stomach. The other guy covered him, back to chest, hip to groin, and slid down, licking along his spine, stroking his hands over his ribs, planting kisses on shivery spots.

John felt his stomach clench up and a tingling start deep down inside his belly.

There was no way he was going to be able to make this last.

The top guy had slithered down so that his head was even with the other guy's ass. He kissed right over the tailbone, slowly parted the other guy's cheeks, then dragged his tongue from perineum up to the small of the back.

Both the guy getting licked and John shivered.

Then the licking started in earnest.

John's arousal surged upward at a speed that was stunning. He wrapped his fist around his cockhead and pumped down, hard and slow. He thought about Rodney watching this, Rodney jerking off to it, and he came in a sudden rush, spurting between his fingers, striping his chest and the desk, stomach clenching, thighs quivering, breath caught in his throat.

He collapsed back in the chair and milked his cock, then held it loosely, still shuddering.

He was just reaching for the towel around his neck to wipe himself down when he heard the doorlock disengage and the door whoosh open. His head snapped around and he saw Rodney enter in a glorious rage.

"You bastard!" Rodney spat, striding into the room. "How fucking dare you!"

John was still coming down from the orgasm, still shaking from its intensity, a myriad of emotions washing through him-- fury at Rodney for not knocking, embarrassment at having been caught jerking off, satiation from the orgasm, guilt from stealing the files in the first place, surprise as the knowledge that Rodney like this kind of thing was brought home to him again. He wasn't too sure how he felt about the confirmation of his own bisexuality yet. It wasn't fair, either, dammit! He was still befuddled from the orgasm. He opened his mouth to say something but nothing came out. What could he possibly say?

"Are you stupid enough to think I wouldn't find out?" Rodney shouted. "I have a keystroke logger on my machine!"

John cringed inside. Of course Rodney would have something like that. Why hadn't it occurred to him earlier?

Rodney saw what was playing on the monitor and said venomously. "So. Now you know. My sexuality was something I wanted to keep private! Congratulations, Colonel. You've discovered my secret." He spun on his heels and stormed out.

John sat there gaping, his brain slowly coming back online, then dragged the towel off his neck and started cleaning up. Great. Just fucking great. What was he going to do now?

He jerked his head around when the door whooshed open again. "Do I smell sex?" Rodney demanded, sniffing the air. Then he seemed to notice for the first time that John was sitting at his desk naked. He planted his feet, pointed his finger, and glared at John. "Since when are you gay?"

John decided to go for honesty. "Since about fifteen minutes ago."

Rodney snorted and stomped out.

Shit. John collapsed back in the chair, afterglow completely gone, replaced by a hard knot in the pit of his stomach. The thing that bothered him the most, John acknowledged to himself as he slowly reached for the towel again, wasn't the fact that he had undeniable proof he was bi, or that Rodney knew about it, or had even caught him jerking off. It was the indisputable fact that he'd damaged their friendship and Rodney's trust in him.

Just to get his rocks off.

Goddamn, he was an idiot. He just hoped he'd maybe be able to fix things. One thing was certain. It was going to take more than chocolate covered donuts to squirm his way out of this one. He just hoped he hadn't done any permanent damage, but had a sinking feeling he had.

John gave Rodney a few days to cool down, since he tended to burn hot and furious but usually didn't keep up the intensity. He walked into the lab to find Radek and Rodney, heads bent together over a laptop, talking quietly. Rodney looked up, saw it was him, scowled, then said coolly, "Been keeping busy?"

John winced. Radek looked back and forth between them uncertainly. Rodney glared at him.

Okay, no, this wasn't going well, but what did he really expect?

John turned to Radek, smiled, and said, "Can you give us a minute?"

"Yes," Radek nodded, backing away. "I was going to get lunch anyway," and he turned and fled.

Rodney scowled after him then turned his attention to John. "What do you want?"

"I came to apologize," John started.

Rodney snorted and turned his attention back to his computer, saying, "Very nice. You can leave now."

"No, Rodney," John said sincerely, reaching out then snatching his hand back when Rodney glared at it, his heart sinking. "I really mean it. I'm sorry."

"Yes, I'm sure you are. Sorry you got caught!"

"No! I mean, yes. I mean . . . " John floundered for a moment, then said. "I'm sorry I got caught. Yes. But I was feeling guilty about doing it before you found out."

"Yet you did it anyway." Rodney said, still cold and unforgiving. "Is the fact you felt guilty supposed to make it better somehow?"

John pushed ahead, gut clenching. He was terribly afraid Rodney wasn't going to forgive him. "Look, what I did was wrong. I . . ." and his voice broke a little. "I broke your trust. I knew you didn't want me to see, and I did it anyway. I'm a guy. I'm an idiot. And I'm really, really sorry."

"Fine. You're sorry. Can we just drop this now?" And Rodney turned back to his computer screen, summarily dismissing John.

John didn't know what else to do so he turned around and walked out.

John hopefully turned up for their standing Atlantis Civilization computer game date two nights later, and sat morosely staring at the empty chair Rodney usually occupied. He waited a full half hour, then shut his computer down and left, feeling lonely and depressed.

Rodney stopped eating in the mess halls, too, opting to take a tray back to his labs or his quarters. He also stopped showing up at John's door with a chessboard underneath his arm, and didn't make it for team movie night, either.

"Is Rodney not coming?" Teyla said, sitting at her usual place, hogging the popcorn. "He is usually the first one here."

John turned to Ronon. "Did he say anything to you?"

Ronon shrugged. "I haven't talked to him for a few days."

John nodded and hit his earpiece. "McKay. Where are you? Movie's about to start."

"I won't be joining you. McKay, out." Rodney said shortly, and clicked off.

John started to get pissed. Team night was different. This wasn't about him, or the two of them, it was about all four of them. Just because Rodney had an issue with him didn't mean he could blow off the team. John looked at Teyla and Ronon and stood up. "I'll go get him," he said curtly, and stalked out the door.

John took a gamble and found Rodney in his lab. "Okay, this has got to stop," he said as soon as the door opened.

"What?" Rodney said, looking up from some technology strewn across his bench.

"This, McKay," John said, not as pissed now. Rodney looked tired-- dark smudges underneath his eyes. "You're avoiding me."

"Believe it or not, Colonel, I have important work to do. I think that takes priority over watching some dumb movie."

"Look, Rodney," John said sincerely, moving to stand closer to him. "We need to get past this. I know you've been avoiding me."

Rodney snorted. "You think this is about you?"

"Yes," John said. "You've never missed movie night until now."

"Okay," Rodney admitted, looking John in the eye. "I'll be honest. I really don't want to spend my down-time with someone I can't trust."

John winced. Okay, he deserved that, and probably a lot more. "How can I make it up to you if I never get to see you?" he asked, a little desperately. His stomach was churning. An icy finger of fear was running up his spine. He might really have fucked this up-- this improbable friendship. The best friendship he'd ever had.

Rodney looked at him sadly and smiled a wan, ironic smile. "I'm sure you can do it if you really, really try," he said softly, mirroring what John had told him after the doomed Arcturus Project.

John flinched and nodded dimly, spun around, and walked out on wooden legs. It had taken a while, but they'd gotten past Rodney blowing up most of a solar system. This was different, though. Very different. This was personal, and the two things didn't even compare.

John made his way back to the rest of his team, sat down, explained that McKay was working, and cued up the movie.

He didn't pay one bit of attention to the plot.

Rodney dragged his tired ass to his quarters, fully intent on collapsing face-down on his bed and sleeping like the dead for at least six hours. He'd been riding on a wave of righteous indignation for over a few weeks now, and it was wearing him down. The whole goddamned mess was sucking the life right out of him. He wasn't only avoiding John, he was avoiding his other friends, too. He'd reformed his protective shell, one that had gotten him through quite a few tough times, but this time the isolation was getting to him. His door slid open and he stepped across the floor to his bed, not even caring that the late afternoon sun was streaming through the windows. He pulled up short a few feet from his goal.

A small, leather-bound book lay in the middle of his bed.

Rodney drew in a sharp breath. He'd seen this particular book before. It was John's journal. He'd occasionally observed John writing in it, but the book always unobtrusively disappeared into John's pocket whenever anyone stepped near.

John had found out something intensely personal about Rodney, and now he was offering himself, his inner self to Rodney.

And not just one thing, one secret. All of it.

Rodney sat on the bed and carefully picked up the journal, fingers running over the worn leather. It must have cost John a lot to place this book here. Inside were John's yearnings and desires and foibles.

Inside was the real John. The John nobody got to see.

He wanted Rodney see, though.

Rodney's hand moved up to tap his earpiece, to tell John it wasn't necessary, that it was a nice gesture, but not needed, but then his hand stopped in mid air and fell back to the cover of the book again. It really wasn't a gesture. It was a genuine baring of the soul, in the only way John could do it.

With shaking hands, Rodney carefully opened the book to the first page and started to read.
Part 2

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