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Feather [userpic]
Slip of the Tongue part 2

The entries were mostly small-- thumbnail sketches of important events in John's life. Even here, with his own thoughts, John was closed off and reserved, almost like he couldn't even admit to himself who he really was.

April 2nd, 1984 -- Asked Mary to the prom.

April 9th, 1984-- Kissed Scott after practice. What the hell am I thinking? That I'd rather go to the prom with Scott, maybe?

May 23rd, 1984-- I'm going to fly! I've decided.

May 24th, 1984-- Told friends I wouldn't be going on to college with them. Avoided S's eyes.

June 5th, 1984-- Prom okay. Got laid, finally. Wasn't as good as I'd hoped. I think I really fucked it up.

There were brief entries throughout college, mostly things involving grades and frat parties with the occasional crush thrown in-- both male and female.

June 6th, 1988-- Can I do this? Join the military? Can I hide who I am? Tried to talk to dad about it but the words wouldn't come out. He would never forgive me.

A gradual picture emerged, a picture of a man with an intense love of what he did, and the sacrifices he'd made to be able to do it-- a man who went against his nature to fit into the society of his choosing. John listed his graduation day, his first solo flight, his first command, the day he married, and the day he divorced, even a little blurb about the doomed Afghanistan mission. Every now and then there were little glimpses of the things he'd kept suppressed, probably even from himself. Mark Sprague joined the unit today. Haven't seen him since flight school. Can't think about that too much.

The thing that got Rodney was the bleakness of it all, almost like John was living on the edge of life instead of in it, like he was a parched man subsisting on sips of water in the middle of a desert. Rodney turned another page. To his surprise, this one had more than stark sentences. He read what John wrote about being asked to go to Atlantis, how he'd weighed the pros and cons, and how there really weren't many cons at all. He couldn't help but smile when he read, There is a brilliant scientist going named McKay. Sumner thinks he's an egotistical ass and that he'll be a liability, but I have a feeling he'll save our butts on more than one occasion. I'm glad he's on our side. Huh, seems like I've made up my mind about going, doesn't it?

Suddenly, the diary filled up-- words flowing across the page. John wrote about the horror he felt at the Wraith and killing Sumner, made detailed descriptions of Atlantis, their allies, the team, how he felt responsible for losing Ford and silly things like his internal gloating joy at beating Rodney at chess for the first time.

It was like John had come alive as soon as he stepped through the gate back at the SGC.

Something else emerged, too. How he cared for the members of his team, how he considered them family, how he felt more at home here than he'd ever felt back on Earth.

And more specifically, how much Rodney meant to him.

Rodney continued reading, and discovered the deep connection John felt with Chaya. A funny pang started in his gut at reading the passionate words.

The entry about Norina was confusing enough for him to reread several times. It started out seeming that John was jealous of him, but ended up seeming as if John was actually jealous of Norina. The pang, without Rodney even noticing, changed to something else-- something warm and glowing, like the faintest flicker of an ember waiting flare into life.

Rodney closed the journal and stared at the wall, trying to absorb it all. John knew one of his secrets, and now he knew all of John's. He stood up and walked out of his quarters.

John sat stretched out on his bed, not reading his book. His gut was still clenched as tightly now as it had been when he'd left his journal on Rodney's bed earlier in the day. He felt naked, like an insect suddenly exposed to bright sunlight, and he had to fight the urge to creep away into the protective dark. He'd started toward Rodney's quarters dozens of times during the day, intent on getting his journal back, but had stopped himself every time. As far as he'd been able to see, there wasn't really any other option. The door chimed and his gut convulsed, nervous energy tingling up and down his spine. He got up and passed his hand over the control crystal.

Rodney was standing there, holding his journal carefully in his hands, treating it like it was the most delicate instrument imaginable. John reached for it instinctively and Rodney placed it gently in his hands, then looked up at him. "You didn't have to do that," he said softly.

"Yes, I did," John answered, his throat tight, his voice sounding almost like a croak.

"Can I come in?"

John nodded and stepped aside. Rodney stood in the center of the room awkwardly. John watched him for a moment, then moved to his desk, opened his CD case, took out the unlabeled DVD, and silently offered it to Rodney.

Rodney waved it away and sat heavily on the edge of John's bed. He laughed ruefully, scrubbing his hands over his face. "It all seems so stupid now."

John tossed the DVD onto his desk and sat in the chair, turning it to face Rodney. He rested his elbows on his knees, clasped his hands, and looked at him. "I'm really sorry," he started earnestly, a wonderful relief washing through him. Maybe this was going to be okay after all.

Rodney waved his hand dismissively. "I may have overreacted," he admitted.

John shook his head. "No, I don't think so. If I'd thought it through, I'd never have done it." He shook his head wryly. "I wasn't thinking of anything beyond getting my rocks off."

Rodney snorted and rubbed his forehead, trying to sooth a growing headache. He dropped his hand and looked into John's eyes, searching. "You know you're safe with me, right?" he said softly, gesturing toward the journal.

"Yes," John answered, just as softly. "I do."

They sat quietly for a moment, then Rodney said, "I was . . . I was thinking that maybe we could play some chess tonight, after dinner."

John's answering grin lit up the room. "You're on."

"Good," Rodney said, standing up and making his way to the door.

"Are we okay?"

"We will be," Rodney said. He turned to face John. "I missed you," he confessed, then walked out before John could answer.

Rodney walked slowly back to his room, stumbled to his bed, and collapsed, face-first, completely exhausted yet somehow exhilarated, too. A deep sense of relief had taken hold of him. He'd meant it when he said he'd missed John-- missed his wit and smile, brilliance and ingenuity, and his friendship most of all. His mind raced, trying to make sense of everything he'd read, everything he now knew. One thing was certain. John had placed a great deal of trust in him, opened himself fully, and Rodney was a little stunned by the intensity of that. He set his alarm to wake him in an hour. He needed a quick nap, but there was no way he was missing their chess date.

Exhaustion took over and he slept, peacefully for the first time in weeks, and so deeply that the alarm jarred him out of bed. He sat up blinking, then hit the off button and rubbed his hands over his face. He felt the two-day growth of stubble and stood up, stripping his clothes off as he made his way into the shower. The strong spray helped wake him up the rest of the way. He scrubbed down quickly, then stood at the sink with a towel around his waist and shaved, humming under his breath, his eyes more alive than they'd been since the whole thing started.

Rodney quickly dressed and left for the mess hall, his hair still slightly damp, chessboard tucked underneath one arm. He walked in to find John sitting with Ronon and Teyla. It was meatloaf, tonight, and Rodney took a double serving, suddenly famished. He turned uncertainly, wanting to join his team but painfully aware of how he'd been avoiding all of them, not just John.

John was watching him.

Rodney cocked an eyebrow and tilted his head just a little, asking.

John grinned and waved him over, scooting his chair over a little to make more room.

"Rodney," Teyla said warmly. "It has been a while since you have joined us for a meal."

"I know," Rodney said, feeling a rush of shame. "I've been busy." He sat down next to John and put the folded chessboard on the table.

"Are you two playing tonight?" Teyla asked, indicating the board.

"Yeah," John said happily.

"Good," Teyla said, nodding approvingly, and took another bite of her mashed potatoes.

"Aren't you afraid Sheppard will kick your ass again?" Ronon asked, his eyes sparkling.

Rodney puffed up and said disdainfully, "I'll have you know that we are very evenly matched."

"Yeah," Ronon said. "That's why he beats you two to one, right?"

Rodney felt the last of the underlying tension bleed away at the teasing. He'd been afraid the rest of his team would hold his conspicuous absence against him. "He doesn't beat me that often," he protested, scooping up a forkful of meatloaf and shoveling it into his mouth.

"Right," Ronon drawled, and suddenly everything was back to normal.

There was the usual banter and teasing during the meal, then Teyla stood up and smiled. "It's good to spend time with you again, Doctor McKay," she said, waited for Ronon to stand, and they walked out together.

John smiled at him and kind of shrugged. Rodney felt guilty again at having isolated himself, then started setting up the chessboard. He grabbed a black and white piece, put his hands behind his back to shuffle them around, then held his fists out for John to choose.

"Nah," John said. "You get white."

Rodney looked at him, deeply suspicious. "You'll let me go first? You aren't going to let me win in some lame attempt to make things up to me, are you?"

John looked at him with his usual, casual easiness and slouched back in his chair. "Have you ever known me to throw a competition?"

"No," Rodney admitted, and put the pieces back on the board, rotating it so that the white pieces were lined up on his side. He made his first move.

Thirty-six moves later he knew he was in trouble. At forty-five moves he studied the board for several minutes, looking for a way out, an escape, a way to salvage the battle. Finally, he reached out and tipped over his king. John's answering smile, and the fact that he'd beaten Rodney so soundly-- hadn't pulled any punches and had pummeled him into submission, made Rodney happier than he'd been in a very long time.

It took a while. They were careful around each other at first, censored what they said, and how they said it, but gradually they were back where they had been. Only not really. Things had changed. They were closer than ever, better friends, more intimate with each other. They both felt like they had someone they could actually be themselves with.

They were both in Rodney's quarters, stretched out on his bed, watching a movie on the laptop. John felt Rodney grow soft and heavy next to him, heard his breathing deepening, and then Rodney's head fell onto his shoulder. John smiled and kept watching until he felt his own eyes drooping. It had been a rough few days, and it was catching up to him. He really should get up and go to his own quarters. He managed to order his arms to shut the laptop down and move it to the bedside table. The halls of Atlantis tended to get cold and clammy at night, and he was so warm and comfortable right where he was. He sighed and thought about leaving again, then fell asleep before he could make his move.

He woke up to find sunlight streaming in through the windows and Rodney's face a few inches from his own, looking down at him. "Hey," he croaked, embarrassed at having fallen asleep, not sure of the reaction he'd get.

Rodney smiled. "Hey. We need to get up."

John nodded and Rodney rolled away and onto his feet, staggering toward the bathroom. John took a moment to stretch, then grimaced. They'd both slept in their clothes. He hated doing that. His pants were bunched uncomfortably around his hips and thighs and his t-shirt was twisted. He stood up and tugged at his clothes until they were arranged more comfortably, then waited impatiently for Rodney to come out, pacing the room to lose his morning erection. As soon as he heard Rodney finish he started toward the door, and they passed, brushing closely. It was an intimate-morning kind of thing, and the easiness of it wasn't lost on John.
He walked back to the main room to find Rodney yawning and rubbing his eyes, trying to wake up, looking rumpled and bed-warm.

"Sorry about . . . " John said, waving toward the bed.

Rodney rolled his eyes and yawned again. "Not a problem," he said groggily. "I'll see you in the briefing?"

John checked his watch. They had an hour before the meeting started. "Yeah," he said, making his way to the door. "Guess I'd better shower and change."

Rodney mumbled his agreement, and John left, feeling more awake and alive than he felt most afternoons, let alone mornings.

"C'mon, Rodney," John coaxed. "This is fun."

"For you, maybe," Rodney grumbled. He planted his feet like John had shown him earlier. "Why are we doing this again?"

"Because it's good to get out of the lab and breathe fresh air every now and then," John said. "Now hold the club like I showed you. And keep your eye on the ball."

Rodney sighed melodramatically and adjusted his hands on the golf club. He rested the club on the ground near the tee, took a deep breath, and jerked the club up and over his shoulder before swinging it down like he planned on bludgeoning the ball to death, completely missing it in the process.

"You've got to do it smooth, Rodney," John said, then swung at his own ball to demonstrate. "A smooth swing up," he paused at the pinnacle of the arch, "Then a smooth swing down," and he swung the club down, connecting with the ball with a sharp crack. The ball sailed out over the gentle ocean swells. "See?" He looked up to find Rodney watching him. The sun must be brighter than he thought here, probably reflecting off the water, because Rodney's face was looking a little pink. That was no excuse, though. Rodney was going to hit the damned ball once before he walked off the platform, or die trying. "Now you try," John said, trying to sound encouraging.

Rodney sighed, placed his feet carefully again, gripped the club, shifted his feet, twisted his hands a few times, then hiked the club up over his shoulders again.

"Stop!" John shouted. "Just stop!"

Rodney froze in mid swing, club poised over his head, and looked at John. "Does this mean you give up?" he asked hopefully.

"No," John said grimly. He leaned his own club against the wall and strode over to stand behind Rodney. "Your movements are too jerky." He stepped up close and put his arms around Rodney, using his own hands to adjust Rodney's grip. It was a nice day, and the afternoon sun had warmed Rodney's body. His scent filled John's nostrils as he leaned close. John got the sudden urge to bury his face in Rodney's hair and breathe him in. He froze for a split second before taking control of his impulses and continued with the instructions. He snugged up close to Rodney's back, feeling the heat of his body, the curve of his ass-- the way it fit against his crotch. God. He took firm control of himself first, and then the club, swinging it up, twisting his body, feeling Rodney follow his lead. He almost faltered, almost, but followed through, twisting them both back down and around, thankfully hearing the sharp crack as the club connected with the ball. He let go and stepped back, feeling a little shaky. "Think you can do that on your own?" he asked, grateful that Rodney couldn't see him and that his voice hadn't wavered.

Rodney flashed him a grin over his shoulder, then bent down to put another ball on the tee. John definitely didn't notice how his pants stretched over his ass, how the material outlined the perfect slope and curve of it. He barely had enough presence of mind to move out of the way before Rodney assumed the position, shuffled his feet to find a comfortable stance, and started his swing. John watched him twist his body, raise the club, then swing smoothly down-- and miss the ball.

"This sucks!" Rodney shouted, and made to hurl the club into the ocean.

"Don't even think about it!" John yelled, stopping Rodney before he could throw the club away. "That was pretty good. Try it again, but this time, keep your eye on the ball." He stepped around quickly before Rodney bent over again-- his swing had been close enough to make the ball fall off the tee, anyway.

It took three more tries, but finally, thank God, Rodney managed a smooth swing, and the club sent the golf ball flying out into the sea. Rodney's triumphant grin made the sunlight seem dim.

John was absolutely not noticing how Rodney's shirt was riding up exposing flashes of belly. He squashed what he'd been feeling and grinned back then grabbed his own club. They set up an easy banter, Rodney still missing most of the balls, until he finally hit three in a row.

"Okay, I've had enough fun," Rodney announced firmly. "I'm leaving this on a positive note. Besides, I'm hungry, and they're serving turkey tonight." He added in a wheedling tone, "You like turkey, right?"

He looked so hopeful that John laughed, and took the club out of Rodney's hands. "You know I do. Okay, let's call it a day."

"Thank God," Rodney muttered, not quite underneath his breath, and impatiently helped John pack up the gear and haul it back to his quarters.

It was later that night and John was alone in his quarters. He was trying to read, but couldn't concentrate. He felt antsy, irritable, frustrated.

Okay, fine. Horny

He felt horny. It had been a while-- actually, he hadn't jerked off since Rodney had caught him. It was high time. He gaze drifted over to his desk, and the DVD he'd tossed there. It was still where he left it, a thin layer of dust marring the shiny surface. He put his book down and rolled off the bed, then sat at his desk, picked up the DVD, carefully wiped it off, and put it in the drive. Should he look for something new or watch the original one again? Seeing as he'd only lasted about five minutes of that one, he decided to play it again, see if maybe he could drag it out this time.

Only he wanted to be more comfortable. He stood back up, unplugged the laptop, carried to his bed, shucked his clothes, made sure there was some lotion nearby, then settled back against the pillows with the computer balanced on his lap. He found the file, clicked on it, and got comfortable.

Kissing, again.

His cock started to thicken and he groaned. This wasn't going to work, either. The laptop was settled over his thighs, and he wouldn't be able to spread them. He hit pause, then looked around, deciding to put the computer on his bedside table and lie on his side. Once things were arranged, he reached over and hit play again.

He watched the two men, watched them kiss and get naked, crawl onto the bed, obviously enjoying themselves, touching and caressing.

He reached for the lotion when the rimming started and used slow, light strokes, trying to draw it out.

The guy being rimmed had a heart-shaped ass.

Just like Rodney.

That's all it took. That one thought had John coming blindingly hard, splattering his chest and belly.

He rolled onto his back with a gasp, jerking as his sensitive cock shifted in his hand. The realization crashed through him. He didn't just want to be with some guy.

He wanted to be with Rodney.

John had some serious thinking to do. He wanted Rodney-- wanted to see him naked, wanted to kiss him, wanted to, oh God, rim him, and have him rim back. He wanted to see if Rodney's nipples stayed pointed when his shirt was off, or if it was just that the material chafed. He wanted to find out if Rodney's lips were as clever as he thought they'd be. He wanted to feel Rodney's hands on him, his fingers in him. He wanted to see if Rodney's ass really did snug into his groin like it did when they were practicing golf.

What he didn't want to do, was fuck up the friendship.

He and Rodney were pretty solid now, and John didn't want to jeopardize that, ever.

It wasn't just that Rodney was the only guy he was positive was gay here in Atlantis, either. Rodney was the person he sought out, the one person he preferred to spend time with, the one person he felt he could be himself with. Would Rodney see it that way, though? It was just too damned convenient-- John decides he's gay, Rodney's gay-- kismet. Right?

But it wasn't like that at all.

John was still trying to decide what to do, how to approach it, or even if it should be approached at all, when it happened. He and Rodney were sparring, working with the sticks, alone in the workout room. Rodney was getting better, blocking more then he let John through. John feigned right, and Rodney blocked his attack with a sharp crack of sticks. Rodney grinned, and John grinned back. He stepped back, balanced lightly on the balls of his feet, then swept the sticks down, trying to take Rodney's legs out from underneath him. He had too much momentum behind him and couldn't recover fast enough. Rodney surprised the hell out of him, sidestepping and moving behind him quickly, snugging his own sticks underneath John's chin, and twisted, taking him down to the mat. Rodney gave a triumphant shout and they ended up with John flat on his back, Rodney straddling him, sticks pressing against John's throat-- not enough pressure to cut off his air, but enough to keep him down. Rodney's eyes were intense, burning into him, all his attention focused on John.

Even though the sticks weren't interfering, John found it hard to breathe. Rodney was using his weight to hold John down, his ass pressing into John's groin. Without even thinking about it, John let the sticks fall away and raised his hand to cup Rodney's cheek.

Rodney's eyes got huge and his breath stuttered in his throat. He let his pressure on the sticks ease up.

John seized the opportunity and grabbed Rodney's upper arms, rolling them, using his weight to tumble Rodney to the mat and over onto his back. The sticks Rodney still held went skittering away across the floor. John stretched out on top of him, using his body to keep Rodney down, capturing one of Rodney's hands and pinning it to the floor above Rodney's head.

Their faces were scant inches apart, both of them breathing harshly. John felt his blood zinging through his veins. The zing became a surge of lust when Rodney lifted his free hand and mimicked John's gesture, cupping John's cheek. With a groan, John started to lower his head, his mind focused on one thing-- Rodney's lips and how they would feel, what they would taste like, how Rodney would respond. The fact that Rodney was raising his head, reaching for the kiss, wasn't lost on him.

Their lips were just brushing when the door whooshed open.

John didn't roll off, didn't scramble to his feet, didn't do anything to look guilty, just jerked his head up and glared at the doorway, instinctively resenting the intrusion and the fact that Rodney's hand had fallen away from his face. Ronon and Teyla came in, deep in their own conversation. They stopped short when they saw the two men stretched out on the ground.

"I see he's got you on your back again, McKay," Ronon snorted.

John narrowed his eyes. Was that subtext in Ronon's voice?

Then he realized what he'd been doing, and that they'd almost been caught, and spent the next three seconds trying to decide if he should panic or not.

"I believe you have him pinned, Colonel," Teyla observed slyly, a subtle smirk on her lips.

John decided to panic later and rolled off Rodney and onto his feet. He offered Rodney a hand up, leaning back for counter-balance to help pull Rodney onto his feet, then said casually to the intruders, "Rodney's getting better. I was the one on my back there for a minute."

Ronon quirked an eyebrow and Teyla nodded encouragingly to Rodney. John turned to him, and felt a little alarmed at how pink Rodney's face was and how far his eyes were bugging out. He had the sudden urge to get out of there. Fast. And get Rodney to leave, too, before either of them dug themselves in deeper. Yep, it was time for a tactical retreat. He grasped Rodney's shoulder firmly, giving it, he hoped, a barely noticeable shake. "I think we're done here for today. Right, McKay?" his eyes pleading.

Rodney looked a little dazed but pulled himself together. "Right. Yes. Done now. It was . . . I mean, that workout. Wow! Umm, But yeah. I think I'm done for the day," he finished lamely.

John sighed inside.

He turned back to Ronon and Teyla and smiled brightly. "Guess that means it's time for me to hit the showers. See you later," he said, and fled.

He stayed in the shower for a long time, wondering if he could just hide out there forever. What had he been thinking? Okay, he hadn't been thinking at all. He'd been reacting.

To Rodney.

And now Rodney knew.

Although, he had acted like he wanted to kiss John back.

But it wasn't at all how John thought it would pan out. He'd cowardly hoped that Rodney would make the first move, maybe after movie night or a chess marathon.

Although, since Rodney now knew, maybe it would be okay. Or maybe not. All he could really do was see how it all played out. He was starting to get water-logged. He turned off the water with a sigh and reached for a towel, drying off quickly. He slung the towel low around his hips and walked back to the main part of his quarters.

"Hey," Rodney said. "What took you so long?"

John started hard, then scowled. Rodney was sitting on the edge of his bed, lounging back on his elbows. "You know that's really rude, how you just barge in like that," John said.

Rodney ignored that and sat up. "I figured we should talk," he said by way of explanation.

John decided that maybe now would be a good time to do that panicking. "Um," he started.

"And don't even try to worm your way out of it," Rodney said perceptively.

John deflated and sat down in his desk chair sideways, facing Rodney.

"I just need to know . . . " Rodney paused uncertainly, then braced himself and continued. "I need to know. Is this just curiosity? I'm the only gay guy you know so I'm it by process of elimination?"

"No!" John denied quickly, his heart sinking. This was exactly what he'd been afraid of. "It's not that. I am curious. I do want to try. I don't know if I'll like it, but I really think I will." He took a deep breath. " I don't want to try it with just anyone. I'd like to try with you. Not because you're gay, but because you're you."

Rodney smiled, that lopsided smile that tugged at John's gut. "That's a relief, because I really don't . . . I don't think I could have . . . I don't want to be some grand experiment," he finished.

"I can't guarantee it'll be something I want to do again," John said quietly. "You need to think about that. This is uncharted territory for me and I'm not positive I'll like the terrain. Would our friendship withstand that?"

Rodney looked at him dejectedly. "I don't know," he admitted.

They sat silently for a moment, then Rodney stood up. "I don't know if I'm willing to take that risk."

John nodded sadly in understanding, a desolate feeling crashing through him. "You're probably right. Can we just forget this happened?"

Rodney swallowed. "Yeah." He pointed toward the door. "I should probably go."

John nodded and didn't watch him leave.

John was still sitting in the chair struggling with disappointment when the door opened again a minute later. His heart leapt when he looked up and saw Rodney. "You know, it's still rude for you to just come in whenever you feel like it," he said, trying to overlook the hope he felt.

Rodney ignored him and stepped close. He grabbed John's upper arm and tugged him up out of the chair. "Do you think you'll like it?"

John nodded, his heart hammering against his ribs.

Rodney kissed him, just a brushing of lips, then more firmly, fitting their lips together, slow and sweet.

John groaned and leaned into it, feeling the cloth of Rodney's shirt brush his chest. He opened his mouth and traced Rodney's with his tongue.

Rodney wrapped his arms around John, pulling him close, and opened up for him, inviting him in.

John ran a hand up Rodney's arms, then further to cup his skull. Their kiss deepened.

John was shaking with arousal, his cock hard and leaking against the material of the towel. He was surprised by how fast his erection had sprung to life. "I think I like it," he murmured against Rodney's lips, rolling his hips forward so that Rodney could feel.

"Are you going to analyze this every step of the way?" Rodney smiled. He tugged his shirt off and gasped when their chests collided.

Now John had skin to feel. Rodney had showered before coming over. His skin was warm and clean-- perfect for licking and kissing. John ran his hands over Rodney's back and leaned in to kiss him again. He felt Rodney's hands go low onto his waist, right above where the towel was precariously clinging to his hips. Rodney's thumbs slid underneath the material, caressing his hipbones.

John got harder and his kisses became a little desperate. He wanted Rodney's hand lower-- and higher. He wanted Rodney's hands all over him.

And he wanted to touch Rodney back.

The intensity of his feelings surprised him. He thought maybe he'd feel arousal, had hoped he'd feel lust-- what he hadn't expected was that he'd get both, but mixed in with tenderness and affection.

John mouthed the side of Rodney's neck and let his hands drift down to Rodney's belt line. His fingers dipped inside as he whispered, "I want to see."

Rodney nodded and stepped back, toeing off his shoes and socks before dropping his pants.

John kept his eyes glued to Rodney's face, not looking down-- he was letting the anticipation grow, like a kid who opened the specially gold-wrapped present under the Christmas tree last. He stepped up to Rodney and kissed him again, then pushed him toward the bed. Rodney stretched out stiffly, eyes sharp and watching, gauging John's reactions.

John crawled on and straddled Rodney's hips, the towel a welcome barrier between them. He let his gaze go lower, over Rodney's chest.

Tight, pink nipples. A smattering of chest hair. Flat planes of muscle instead of soft curves.

John reached out to touch, tracing the edge of the pectoral muscle.

Then he smiled with delight, because no breasts, but skin and muscles that quivered underneath his touch. He brushed his thumb over one of Rodney's nipples, and felt Rodney's resulting gasp deep in his own groin. He curved his fingers and raked them lightly down Rodney's torso, pleased that he could make it a continuous, smooth movement.

Rodney drew in a harsh breath when John's fingers drifted over his belly, circling his navel before moving lower.

John felt Rodney's dick nudge his ass.

He took a moment to consider how that made him feel, then decided it made him hot, knowing he was doing this, turning Rodney on, getting him to respond. There was no guesswork. Rodney's cock made his arousal obvious. He flattened his hands and let his palms ghost over Rodney's skin, moving back up to his chest and those perfect nipples again. He circled each with his thumbs and felt Rodney's cock jerk. Yep, just as he suspected. Rodney had a nipple thing. He bent down and licked, a light stroke, letting his tongue just graze the edge of the nub. Rodney's groan made his cock jump. He thought about losing the towel but decided he wasn't ready for that quite yet. Instead, he sealed his mouth over the nipple and pulled strongly, getting Rodney to arch up into the pressure and run his fingers through his hair.

Up until that point Rodney hadn't really touched him, letting him see and explore at his own pace, but now that Rodney's hands were on him it was even better.

But John wasn't quite ready for that yet. He still had some unexplored territory to cover.

With a sigh of regret, he sat back up and scooted down lower, avoiding looking at Rodney's groin. He wormed his knees between Rodney's feet, asking him to spread, then flushed with pleasure when Rodney did. He cupped his hands around Rodney's ankles, and let them run up over the hard, hairy shins, enthralled with the feel of crinkly hair and hard muscle. His hands continued up but stopped just short of the top. He lowered his head to kiss the inside of Rodney's knee, and Rodney opened for him further, spreading his legs.

John finally looked.

Rodney's cock was hard and erect, stiff and red against his belly, eagerly bobbing underneath John's gaze. John's eyes drifted lower, taking in Rodney's balls, soft and heavy and so vulnerable it made his heart ache.

"Do you want to stop?" Rodney asked softly.

John tore his eyes away and up to Rodney's face. There was a myriad of emotions showing there-- hope, fear, tenderness, need . . .

"No," John croaked. "I don't think I'll ever want to stop doing this." It was like missing pieces of a puzzle were falling into place-- pieces he'd suspected were misplaced, but hadn't been quite sure about. He was sure now. Why had he denied himself this? Nothing had ever felt so right. He touched Rodney's cock tentatively and ran a finger from the head down, following the vein until he could cup Rodney's balls, feeling their weight and warmth.

"John," Rodney said, making it sound like a caress.

"God, Rodney," John breathed.

Rodney sat up and cupped the back of John's skull, pulling him into a kiss. He sank back into the pillows, pulling John with him.

John's hands were at his waist, fumbling with the towel, wriggling and rolling his hips, trying to work the material out from underneath him so that he could toss it away. He didn't need it anymore. Finally he tugged the offending cloth out from underneath him and tossed it haphazardly, then the sensations of having his dick pressed right up against Rodney's hit him and he groaned in pleasure, burying his face in Rodney's neck, curling his hands up underneath Rodney's shoulders, holding himself close. It felt fucking perfect, like flying, better than flying. He sealed his lips to Rodney and rocked his hips, shivering at how good it all felt.

John felt Rodney's broad, warm hands stroking over his back, then smoothing over his ass before moving back up again. Rodney was rocking too, rubbing against him, moving with him. Little shocks of pleasure bolted through him with every thrust, every rub.

"Do you want to fuck me?" Rodney asked, offered, his voice low.

John's hips stood stock still. If he moved now, he'd come. He buried his face in Rodney's neck again, fighting for control, breathing harshly. He finally felt it was safe to lift his head so he did, looking into Rodney's eyes. "You'll let me?" he asked, his voice shaking with eagerness, giving him away.

"I want you to," Rodney assured him, and brushed their lips together. "But only if you want to," he added as an afterthought.

John laughed and risked pushing his hips forward. "Yeah, I want to."

"Okay, get off me," Rodney said, pushing him to the side.

John rolled off, a little confused. His breath caught in his throat when Rodney reached down to the floor, shoving his ass into John's hip. He fished around for a minute then came back up to the bed triumphantly, brandishing a tube of Surgilube. "I stole this from Carson," he said with a grin.

John almost smacked himself. Of course they'd need lube. He watched Rodney unscrew the cap then start to squirt some onto his fingers before he said, "Want me to do that for you?"

"God, yes," Rodney said, and handed the tube over.

John took the tube then watched, mesmerized, while Rodney got on his hands and knees, presenting himself. He shook himself out of his reverie and crawled between Rodney's legs, then had to remind himself to breathe, because there was Rodney's perfect ass, right there, waiting for him.

For a brief moment he wondered if this was a dream.

But then Rodney was looking over his shoulder at him, asking if everything was still okay, and John grinned. Oh yeah. Things were better than okay. He dropped the tube of lube and ran his hands over Rodney's ass, taking in the texture of the skin, how the curve fit into his hand, the dark, shadowy crease, and ran his thumbs down the edges, letting them dip a little inside.

"God, John," Rodney said in a choked voice.

John used his thumbs to pull Rodney's cheeks apart, and there it was, Rodney's opening-- skin darker than that surrounding it, wrinkled and somehow even more vulnerable looking than Rodney's balls. He dipped his head forward and licked tentatively, not sure what to expect, hoping Rodney wouldn't mind.

"Oh fuck," Rodney breathed, settling down onto his elbows to open himself more.

John grinned and did it again.

It tasted like skin. Warm, inviting skin. Only the intimacy of it made it different. Rodney's answering groan had made his balls draw up, snug against his body. The knowledge that he was giving Rodney pleasure washed through him and he licked again, more sure this time, tracing the edges with his tongue, teasing the fine hairs, dipping his tongue into the center. He took his time, licking and tasting until Rodney's hole started pulsing hungrily.

His own cock jerked in response.

Then Rodney groaned and reached a hand to his own cock, or maybe his balls, because he just held still, not stroking. "Please," he asked, begged. "Please, John."

Need crashed through John. He knelt up and fumbled around for the lube, one hand still on Rodney's hip, not wanting to lose the connection. He finally found it in the folds of the blanket near his knee. He flipped the hand on Rodney's hip over and squeezed a generous dollop of lube into the palm before dropping the tube again. He dipped a finger in and knelt back, looking. There was Rodney's hole, right there, a tight little bud, twitching at him. He traced his coated finger around the edges in slow circles, feeling the texture, the heat, the arousal, then circled the other way, spiraling in until he found the center. He hooked his finger on the edge and tugged at the powerful muscle, feeling how strong it was, how it reacted to his touch, and swallowed hard at the thought of his cock squeezing into that tight space.

His finger slid in deep, much more easily than he expected. Soft and warm and smooth-- the walls of Rodney's passage didn't grip him, didn't clamp down, but seemed to envelop his finger, almost with a soft sucking sensation. That did it. He couldn't wait any longer. He pulled his finger out and used the palmful of lube to slick up, then positioned himself, feeling the head of his cock engage, but then paused. He didn't want it this way.

He wanted to see Rodney's face.

"Can you turn over?" he asked, wiping his hand off on the blanket before stroking his palms soothingly over Rodney's back. "I . . . I want to see you."

"Yeah," Rodney agreed eagerly. "Yeah. I want that too," and he collapsed down, then rolled to face John.

John looked at Rodney's face, took in Rodney's intensely turned on expression, and had to kiss him-- had to kiss him more than he had to breathe, because he'd done that, he'd made Rodney feel that way, and made Rodney look that way. His body buzzed with that knowledge as he leaned forward and caught Rodney's lips in a possessive kiss, then he straightened back up and tried to figure out how to get his cock back to Rodney's hole.

"Here," Rodney said, grabbing a pillow and shoving it underneath his hips.

John was momentarily distracted by Rodney's cock, rock hard and red, leaking, leaving shiny little trails where it connected with his belly. John swallowed then shuffled forward, running his hand up Rodney's inner thigh.

Rodney solved the problem for him by lifting one leg to John's shoulder, and there, he could see it now, that tight space. He gripped the calf draped over his shoulder and kissed it, then positioned his cock, took a deep breath, and pushed.

He closed his eyes-- he always did on initial penetration, selfishly focusing on his own sensations and perceptions at that moment. But then his eyes flew open, because as his cock popped in, Rodney shuddered, a full body quaking. The accompanying groan of pleasure assured John that he wasn't hurting Rodney, and he was suddenly overwhelmed by it all-- the look of rapture on Rodney's face, the almost too tight feel of the ring of muscle snugged at the base of his cockhead, the profound joy at the knowledge that he was doing this, that this was right, that this was something he could never deny himself again.

He felt Rodney relax. The pressure eased and he slid in, all the way, right to the root.

Oh fuck.

It must have shown on his face, because Rodney was looking at him in a funny way. "You okay?" he asked tightly, his hands twisting in the blanket, obviously fighting the urge to move.

"Yeah," John panted. Then he risked leaning forward, risked Rodney being flexible enough, and kissed him, pulling his hips back and thrusting forward again, faltering a little at the tightness of it at first, but then setting up an easy rhythm. His balls were screaming at him to fuck hard and fast, but his brain wanted a slow build, wanted to draw it out, wanted to make it last forever.

And he wanted Rodney to feel good.

No, that wasn't quite it. He wanted Rodney to feel better than good.

He reached between then and took Rodney in his hand, the first real feel of Rodney's cock, hard and stiff, sliding through his fist as he pumped his hips.

Rodney groaned and writhed beneath him, around him. "John. John!" And his voice was so urgent, desperate, that John couldn't hold back, couldn't keep control. His hips surged forward powerfully and Rodney shuddered again. And again. John felt Rodney's cock grow harder in his hands so he increased the speed of his strokes, powering them both toward the inevitable pinnacle.

He'd meant to keep them both teetering on the edge for a while, but one final thrust of his hips, one devastating stroke of his hand, and Rodney was coming, spurting through his fingers and clenching around his cock, and he plummeted over himself, unable to stop it.

He stayed frozen for a minute, stunned by how good it was, until Rodney's arms came up and tugged him down, aftershocks jolting through him as the change of position rubbed the sensitive head of his cock. He collapsed gracelessly on top of Rodney and basked, breathing in the scent of sex and satisfaction.

When he finally had enough strength to turn his head he found Rodney looking at him, a question in his eyes. Rodney didn't ask if it had been okay, didn't ask if he'd want to do it again, just looked at him with that penetrating stare, trying to read the answer on his face.

John fitted himself more comfortable on top of Rodney, ignoring the sticky mess gluing their stomachs together, and kissed him, slow and sweet, putting all his feelings into the slide of lips and tongue. He rubbed his cheek against Rodney's, enjoying the rasp of beard, then smiled and said, "Will you fuck me next time?"

Rodney let out a barely perceptible sigh of relief then laughed with delight and rolled them over, pinning John to the mattress. He kissed him enthusiastically and pushed forward with his hips-- not in any way hard yet, but promising, and said, "Think you'll be ready in about an hour?"

John was surprised to feel his sleepy cock twitch with interest. "Hmmmm," he said, licking at Rodney's lips. "I might be ready in about twenty minutes."

Rodney groaned melodramatically. "You're going to wear me out, aren't you?"

"I hope not," John said. "I've got a lot of catching up to do." Then pulled Rodney's weight down on him and wrapped his arms around his back to keep him close, feeling euphorically happy and contented-- and strangely like he was finally home.


I was overwhelmingly sad when John was sitting around waiting hopelessly for Rodney to join him for their computer game and he didn't show :-(

Lovely contrast of emotions in this.

That made my heart sink, too. :-( It really highlighted how alone John would be without Rondey.

This one was a rollercoaster ride, wasn't it? *g* Thank you!

Nice story, thank you for sharing!

My pleasure! I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

Oh, I love this! I can totally understand John being terribly curious about Rodney's porn, and finally succumbing to temptation - but I also really liked that you had him realize what a breach or trust that was, and that he didn't do it lightly. Someone looking through his friend's porn collection is one of my stranger kinks - I think I just really like the intimacy of it - and the way you handled it here was wonderful.

Loved that John reciprocated by offering his journal, and how hard that was for him - god, the thought of letting anyone look through my personal journal makes my skin crawl, and John showing it to Rodney despite feeling pretty much the same about that is a brilliant way to show how much he cares. Thew journal entries were really well-written, too - that short, jerky style is just the way I can imagine a young John writing - a little embarrassed about keeping a diary, maybe, deliberately keeping it short and full of plain facts, and trying not to let himself feel anything that deeply.

Really hot sex, too, and John having such a kink for rimming was a nice touch.

I know I'd be very hard pressed to ignore temptation like that, and John, despite being lazy sometimes *g*, is a curious being. I never thought of looking at a friends porn collection as a kink, but it is, isn't it? ::adds another one to list::

I needed John to do something really heartfelt and personal, something that would let Rodney know he was dead serious about being sorry. A friend suggested the journal, and she was absolutely right-- I think most of us would feel very vulnerable and squirmy doing that. I'm so glad John came through in the entries! I was a little worried about that.

And really, can you imagine John not having a rimming kink? I can't. *g*

I'm glad you enjoyed the fic!

I almost hit the back button when I realised that John was going to get caught. Situations like this make me so uncomfortable that I almost can't bear them. I am sooo glad I didn't though as your story is fantastic.

I loved your John. He knew that what he was doing was wrong but he didn't do it lightly, his obsession drove him to it. The sharing of his journal demonstrated how very sorry he was. The implication from his journal entries that he hadn't been properly alive before Atlantis was very touching.

I enjoyed the slow pace and that they didn't end up in bed straight away. The tension in the stick fighting scene was incredible and the sex, when it eventually happened, was very hot.

Thank you :)

I'm glad you decided to stick it out! I'm much the same way-- it makes me all squirmy and uncomfortable to see people put themselves in that position. I also know what it's like to be consumed by curiosity, and liked that John feeling like that worked so well.

I liked the slow build as well. After something like that, it would take a while to gain the trust again.

Thank you for taking the journey, and letting me know you enjoyed it. :)

i really enjoyed this. i love a good bit of angst followed by happy sweet sexing. and it was believable angst too -- the invading of privacy, rodney's indignation, john's guilt and confusion. nicely done!

The angst made me all squirmy in this one, and like you, I needed them to be sweet after. I'm glad you stuck around for the ride. :) Thank you for letting me know you enjoyed it!

Thank you! This one has been up for a while, so it's wonderful to know that people are still finding it and enjoying it. :)

Wow just wow. This was a really amazing read. John and Rodney were perfect here. I really enjoyed it.

I love hearing that I got the voices right. ::beams:: I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

I really enjoyed your story. :)

I'm glad you enjoyed it! :D