Spoilers: ...mild second season?
Disclaimer: They're not mine. Really.
The first time John kissed Rodney, it was kind of by accident.
Rodney was drugged up on the enzyme, nervous and twitchy and he couldn’t think straight. He was ready to jump out of his skin, pacing back and forth, and John could barely understand what he was saying, he was talking so quickly. Panicking. And John just couldn’t take it anymore, and he took Rodney by the shoulder, by the side of the neck, and kissed him.
Rodney made a soft noise into his mouth, and he kissed back.
There was a stirring in John’s groin, and it took him almost a full ten seconds to realize that he was straight, and that this was Rodney he was kissing and that was just ridiculous.
He broke the kiss and ducked away and didn’t look back.
When Ford’s men forced them apart, to separate corners of the galaxy, John tried to ignore the agonized look on Rodney’s face.
They never mentioned the kiss; after they got back to Atlantis, John didn’t even know if Rodney remembered it.
- - - -
The second time, Rodney kissed John.
John remembers the distant throb of his ribs – cracked or broken, during an escape from an unexpected group of Wraith – and he remembers the floating feeling of the painkiller dripping into his arm via the IV.
He remembers Rodney staying, after everyone left, and he remembers Rodney frowning down at him, in some kind of irritation. John had tried to make some kind of protest, because getting injured was hardly his fault, but somehow, he couldn’t summon the strength to talk.
And he remembers, just barely remembers, the soft touch of Rodney’s lips on his, and a hand ruffling through his hair, before he fell into unconsciousness.
- - - -
John hasn’t had a relationship since long before he left Earth, and sometimes he misses it. He kissed Chaya once, but that hardly counted – besides, she was an ascended being, and that would make her definitely beyond his reach.
- - - -
After John gets out of the infirmary that time, he’s nervous, incredibly nervous. And the nervousness spikes when he sees Rodney.
But Rodney makes some kind of cutting sarcastic remark about how long it took John to recover this time, and John shoots him a look, and then everything is normal between them. Somehow, oddly, John is disappointed.
- - - -
John has kissed two members of his team.
Of course, when he kissed Teyla, he was half-bug – or whole-bug, or something weird like that – so he’s not sure if it really counts. And there were absolutely no sparks there, even in the half-shrouded memories he retains from the whole event.
But still. John is pretty sure no one else from the SGC has kissed multiple members of their team, especially not in this reality. He wonders if that makes him strange, or whether it’s inappropriate or something.
But then, while he’s on a mission, he looks across a campfire at Ronon, and he snorts, because at least he’s not gonna be three for three.
- - - -
“Are you gay?” Rodney asks him suddenly.
“No,” says John, without even thinking about it. They’re alone, in John’s room, with Rodney doing his usual pace-back-and-forth-and-vehemently-argue-w
“You’re not?” Rodney asks. “Are you sure?”
“Pretty sure,” says John.
“Oh,” says Rodney, and he leaves it at that.
- - - -
“Why did you think I was gay?” John asks, almost a week and a half later, as they trudge through some particularly difficult tundra. John actually has never in his life seen ground that combined such low combat cover with such high travel difficulty. They’ve made maybe a mile in the last hour. He hopes Ronon and Teyla are having a better time of it, but they probably aren’t.
“What?” Rodney is distracted, peering intently at his scanning device, trying to shade it from the sun, which does seem ridiculously bright, even through John’s sunglasses.
“Why did you think I was gay?” John repeats.
Rodney looks up at him in disbelief. “Are you kidding?”
John shrugs. “No.”
“You kissed me.”
Oh. That. At least the sun is hot enough that a flush – even if there was one! Which there decidedly is not, because there’s not anything there to flush about! – wouldn’t be visible. “It was a momentary thing,” says John.
“A momentary thing.” Rodney’s tone is flat. “Oh, wonderful. I see. A momentary thing.”
“Don’t make a big deal out of it.” John’s heart is coming a little to quickly, and he’s not entirely sure why.
“I’m not making a big deal,” Rodney snaps. “It was a big deal.”
“You didn’t even tell me you remembered.”
“I—” and Rodney stops short. He looks at John for a moment, his jaw set, and then he steps in, pulls John towards him, and kisses him.
John freezes at the unexpectedness of the gesture, but Rodney licks at the line of his mouth, and whoa Rodney is a good kisser.
They come apart slowly, both breathing a little heavily, and then John’s earpiece emits a burst of static, and Ronon’s voice comes through. “Sheppard,” growls Ronon, “we’ve found the facility.”
John turns away from Rodney. “What’s your location?”
He can barely bring himself to look at Rodney through all the rest of the mission, and whenever Rodney tries to talk, he sidesteps him.
- - - -
That night, John curls alone in his bed, and he tries to sort out the feelings crashing through him. The way he deals with things is he names them, because as soon as they’re named they’re quantified and he can get rid of them, but somehow he can’t bring himself to name anything that’s going through his mind right now.
The best he can come up with is “confusion”, and that’s really just not useful at all.
He gets up, and goes to look for Rodney.
- - - -
“What is it, Colonel?” Rodney asks, in tired exasperation.
“I want to talk about this,” John says, leaning on the desk next to Rodney. There’s no one else in the lab (thank god).
“I don’t want to talk,” Rodney tells him. “I have work to do, and you’ve made it pretty clear that you—”
John kisses him.
Rodney grasps John’s neck and tilts his head, digging inside, and hey that’s getting way to intense way too fast. John breaks away, and Rodney crosses his arms.
“See?” snaps Rodney. “You don’t know what you want. You have no idea what you want.”
John crosses his arms defensively, because that definitely sounded like an insult, even though it had more bitterness – quite a lot of bitterness, really – “Rodney, I want you,” John says, and he’s not entirely sure it’s true because Rodney doesn’t have curves and soft edges, but he’s loyal and intelligent and funny and they fit, and anyway they’re so far away from Earth that maybe all that stuff doesn’t matter.
And John is just so lonely sometimes.
Rodney stares at him, like some kind of animal caught in the headlights of a semi, and John rests on his elbows, on the desk. “I’m just kind of confused,” he admits, and he sees Rodney’s expression soften a little.
- - - -
“Okay, so we’re going to talk about this frankly,” says Rodney, positioning himself over John.
John’s breath comes in gasps. He can’t believe Rodney is insisting on this now, with both of them basically naked, and anyway, John’s doubts about being attracted to Rodney have been scattered to the four winds because he’s so hard.
“Rodney,” he whines, and he pulls Rodney down into another kiss, because the kissing, yes, that’s good.
“We need to set boundaries,” Rodney manages, “so you don’t—”
“Just touch me,” says John, almost an order but not quite, and now Rodney seems to understand.
And now he’s not fooling himself anymore – this is exactly what he wanted, Rodney’s hands everywhere on him. It’s disorienting, confusing, because John was always the one who touched, the one who explored, but now under Rodney’s eyes and his tongue and his fingers John feels alive, more alive than he’s felt since he first came into this galaxy, stepped into the waking dream that is his life.
Rodney touches his cock, licks just underneath the head, and John squirms suddenly, involuntarily. Rodney pauses for a moment, but John reaches down, grabs his hand, and guides it up to his entrance. Might as well go the whole way – if Rodney could make him feel like this now, imagine what the rest would be like –
“Are you sure?” Rodney’s voice is shaking. “Cause we don’t have to do this, you know that, of course.”
John nods against the pillow, because he doesn’t trust himself to speak right now.
“Okay,” says Rodney, “okay, then, do you have anything?”
“Um,” John tries to think, “lotion, in the bathroom?”
Rodney gets up, and he’s gone for what seems like a really long time but probably is only a few seconds, and then he’s back, with a triumphant, “Found it! You really shouldn’t hide these things, you know.”
“I wasn’t exactly expecting company,” says John, but the last word devolves into a gasp because Rodney’s finger is digging inside him.
Oh, that’s weird. It’s very weird, and feels distinctly wrong, but at least it doesn’t hurt. And, somehow, strangely, John can feel himself getting harder at it.
“Okay?” Rodney asks.
“Yeah,” gasps John, and then he’s being stretched more, two fingers, maybe. He spares a thought for what he looks like to Rodney, legs open, hips tilted – Rodney’s eyes are dark and he’s hard, so very hard too, just like John.
It seems like forever, such a slow, slow buildup, as Rodney gradually opens him up. John can’t ever remember being this needy before – he’s making little noises at every twist of Rodney’s fingers.
But finally, Rodney pushes him over onto his side and eases up behind him. “Tell me,” Rodney manages, “if it hurts at all, okay? Okay?”
“Yeah,” and John tosses his head back because Rodney is pushing inside him, one leg between John’s for leverage, and oh god.
When Rodney is all the way inside him, it feels like he can barely breathe, but Rodney strokes his side, irregularly, gripping a little too hard and a coil of satisfaction runs up John’s spine. He wanted Rodney to be just like this, and Rodney is, and it’s perfect, it’s just perfect.
Then Rodney starts moving, and the movement isn’t really what John likes about it, the friction is actually kind of uncomfortable, but the way Rodney just presses deeper and deeper, ruts in a tiny bit further on every stroke, oh, it’s painful it’s so erotic. Rodney half-thrusts, in just a little bit of a different way, and John jerks, a completely uncontrollable reaction, and just what the hell was that, anyway?
But then it didn’t matter, because Rodney hit whatever it was again and again, and John was just going crazy, devolving completely.
He couldn’t hold off reaching up and taking his own erection, sliding his hand along it. Rodney clearly reacts to that, his hand tightening on John’s waist, and he makes a kind of grunting noise.
Oh, and John realizes that Rodney just came and that’s just too much, it sends John over the edge, his spine shattering into a million pieces.
He slumps on the bed completely exhausted, and Rodney pulls away.
“Oh wow,” says Rodney, “are you okay?”
“Would you stop asking that,” John says, half-breathlessly.
“It’s just,” Rodney says, stroking a hand on John’s stomach like he still can’t stop touching him.
“I know.” John rolls over, lazily, and snugs into the crook of Rodney’s neck, and that’s comfortable. John didn’t used to like staying close after sex, but Rodney just seems to be breaking all the rules, so John’ll just roll with the flow, because that’s nice and easy where Rodney’s concerned.
There’s a long silence, and then, “So, are you gay?” Rodney asks. “Cause if you aren’t, I’d like to know.”
John huffs in laughter into Rodney’s neck, and he feels Rodney grin. “Shut up and go to sleep,” John mutters.
“Okay,” says Rodney, and apparently he’s a lot more accommodating after sex. John files this away for the future, cause he’s sure it’s going to come in handy. There are different rules in the Pegasus Galaxy for everything, he supposes. Rodney being one of them, and it’s good that John is finally getting around to figuring him out – and maybe he can figure out more about Rodney by letting Rodney touch him, rather than the other way around. So, it all serves the same purpose, in the end.
John falls asleep naming each of the emotions in his chest – because now, they’re really just very easy to figure out.