Four Kisses That Didn't Happen, and One That Did
Warnings (highlight to view): sexual situations
Rodney thinks about it, sometimes, even though he knows it’s ridiculous from either perspective. Typically, the scenario resembles the plot of a bad porno, without the bawm-chicka-bawm-bawm music: Sheppard will lure him into the hangar on some pretext, then black the windows of the puddlejumper, shove him into a chair and proceed to blow him into next week. Or he’ll ambush Rodney in the lab one night when he’s half-asleep, push him against a wall and fuck him fast and hard.
Rodney knows it’s gone too far when his fantasies turn to kissing, because he has postulated a simple theory: either Sheppard puts none of himself or all of himself into each kiss he gives, and Rodney’s not sure he wants to find out which corollary would be proven if Sheppard ever kisses him. But some nights when he’s feeling alone enough and frightened enough, he thinks about having all of Sheppard, in that short span of time defined by the soft press of their mouths.
“I was fifteen, and she was eighteen.”
A low whistle of appreciation from Ford gets Rodney’s attention; until now, he’s been doing his damnedest to ignore their sophomoric reminiscences.
“Brilliant, shy, had no idea how beautiful she was. None of the guys her age would give her the time of day because she was too smart for them.” A dry, self-deprecating chuckle. “But I was sure I could convince her she was a goddess.”
“And did you?” Teyla’s voice.
When Sheppard doesn’t answer right away, Rodney looks up from the Brotherhood text that Allina has given him and meets Sheppard’s frank, hazel gaze. It’s like a caress, like falling slowly and helplessly toward a sun.
“Not for long enough,” Sheppard says, turning back toward his teammates with a cocky grin, “but yeah. I think I did.”
The first time Rodney sees Sheppard after Sheppard miraculously doesn’t vaporize himself into his component atoms, he thinks about it. Seriously, honestly thinks about it, because he thought he’d never see him again, and in that brief moment between terror and recognition, he understands that if he lives and Sheppard doesn’t, he’ll have regrets. Real, honest to God regrets, and the fact that he can’t remember ever having any regrets before this leaves him feeling shaken and small, because it’s not like he hasn’t had the opportunity for a whole boatload of them.
And the first time Rodney sees him is semi-perfect; he runs into him right outside of Sheppard’s quarters, and so all he has to do is back Sheppard through his open door and kiss him. Sheppard will be startled at first, and then maybe he’ll groan and his mouth will soften and he’ll shove at Rodney a little, because he was scared, too, and he needs this, needs to be reminded he’s alive, he’s real, he’s here, and Rodney might not be too good at relationships but he can give him this, and maybe Sheppard – John, he’ll call him John – will –
“Rodney? Rodney, you okay?”
Rodney blinks and stares and gapes and Jesus, talk about wasting probably the most potentially romantic moment of his life, because Sheppard – definitely Sheppard, not John – is staring at him like he’s in need of some form of horse tranquilizer.
“I’m – I’m just – very glad to see you,” Rodney says simply, and maybe it’s not everything he hoped, but Sheppard smiles and looks self-consciously at the wall and says, “Yeah, I’m kinda glad to be seen,” and at least Rodney is able to give him that.
“Goddammit!” Rodney watches the Ancient crystal fall from his numb fingers and shatter into a million pieces on the floor and Jesus, he’s so sick of this, he knows he screwed up but he can fix almost everything and he doesn’t have the first clue of how to fix this, and it’s driving him crazier than he could have imagined. And considering everything in the Pegasus galaxy has been conspiring to drive him crazy pretty much from day one, this is quite a statement.
“Calm down, Rodney,” Sheppard says coolly, and that’s just like him, isn’t it, he’s cool, he’s always cool, and Rodney would give his left nut to find out what it takes to make John Sheppard hot.
And yes, okay, he now has conclusive proof that he’s gone round the bend, because suddenly he realizes he’s got his hands wrapped around Sheppard’s biceps and he’s standing close enough to smell Sheppard’s after shave, which isn’t Aqua Velva but is something clean and strangely sweet. Sheppard’s eyes are round and puzzled and after weeks of avoidance and indifference even this feels like flying apart, like stepping off the edge of the universe into another reality where time equals the sound of Sheppard’s soft, even breathing.
“I – I’m sorry,” Rodney whispers, because he doesn’t want this to go on, but he doesn’t know how to end it, and he’s never wished to be anyone but himself before this, and he should hate Sheppard for that but he doesn’t, he can’t.
“I know you are,” Sheppard says, almost as quietly, and then he’s taking a step forward and his fingers are closing around Rodney’s arms and holy Christ, his mouth really is more beautiful the closer you get –
“Then please,” Rodney murmurs, and now he can feel the soft puff of Sheppard’s breath. Sheppard’s mouth curls into a smile, the first one Rodney's seen in what feels like forever, and he murmurs back, “Please what, Rodney?”
Rodney might have growled then, he’s not sure; he suspects it might have been much less sexy than that. But whatever it is, it’s enough to make Sheppard’s eyes darken. Sheppard – John, John – John leans forward and –
– Radek walks into the lab and they jump apart like two guilty teenagers.
“Okay,” Rodney concedes. “It’s a possibility.”
John lifts an eyebrow and Rodney can tell he thinks he’s won.
“Possible as in theory-of-relativity possible or birds-evolved-from-dinosaurs possible?” John asks.
“Possible as in this-planet-will-fall-into-the-sun-in-the-next-five-minutes possible,” Rodney answers, grinning evilly.
John’s eyes widen, then narrow, and the next thing Rodney knows he’s flat on his back on the mattress with an obviously horny John Sheppard leaning over him.
Rodney’s not complaining.
“You promised,” John whines, lips brushing against Rodney’s before pulling away.
Rodney tries to feel guilty, but he really doesn’t. “I don’t remember promising anything,” he sniffs. He tests John’s hold on his wrists and finds it to be quite strong, and wow, yes, that’s a big turn-on right there.
“You want me to put out the word you’re a welsher?” John murmurs, going for Rodney’s earlobe this time.
“You want me to walk down the hall to the mess with a huge boner in my shorts just so you can have coffee in bed at the crack of dawn?” Rodney demands, feigning outrage because he’d do just about anything for John and the bastard knows it.
John’s smile goes crooked, and Rodney goes from aroused to desperate in about half a second. “Huge, huh?” he drawls, one hand releasing Rodney’s wrist to slide down Rodney’s body to the waistband of his pajamas. Seizing the opportunity, Rodney wraps his free hand around the back of John’s head and pulls him down roughly. John opens for him immediately, just like he did the first time, just like he’s done every time they’ve kissed since, which has been as often as they can manage it in between certain-death situations and crises of intergalactic proportions.
He doesn’t have John all the time, but in that short span of time defined by the press of their mouths, he has all of John, and that’s enough. That’s more than enough, more than he ever hoped to receive.
More than he ever hoped to give.
“Okay,” Rodney gasps when John finally lets him breathe, “you’ll get your damned coffee.”
“Later,” John growls, leaning in to give Rodney another perfect moment.
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