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Title: Cinaedus

Author: chelle

Author's email:

Author's URL:

Fandom: Atlantis

Archive: Ask first

Pairing: John/Rodney

Rating: NC 17

AN: An aliens make them do it fic written for Rivier's birthday. Thank you to Grrrl for the beta.

"I like this place," Rodney said, waving the leg of a bird that tasted a lot like turkey at John before taking a bite.

John smiled at him. Rodney liked any planet where they served good food.

"I am glad you find our planet pleasing," Duwnor said.

All around them people were feasting. The Idjahn had asked Sheppard's team to stay for a festival. Since it didn't seem to be anything like a Genii harvest festival, John had agreed. "What happens after dinner?" he asked, anticipating music, maybe some dancing.

"The ritual," said the Emsadar, drawing John's attention. He smiled in a way that made John's eyes narrow. John had been smiled at like that before. "Following dinner we will choose the cinaedus. The cinaedus is the focal point of the ritual, the supplicant whose gift to the Ancestors will bring favor on us all."

John nodded and smiled his "you're not crazy" smile. Then he noticed Rodney was making his religion face and glared at him.

"What does the ritual involve?" Teyla asked.

"It is depicted on the temple wall. I will show you if you have finished eating."

"Sure," John said. "That would be great."

The temple was filled with torches. Rodney nudged John, pointing up at the various chimneys which funneled smoke from the building.

"Our best artists have recorded every ritual," Duwnor said. John was glad he'd chosen to accompany them as well. The Emsadar was not winning John over. "Not every ritual is here, of course. There have been too many."

Looking at the wall, John swallowed. The wall was covered with depictions of men and women, bound and naked, engaged in various sexual acts, sometimes with only one person, but mostly with groups, always with one person clearly at the center. "They're very…"

"You rape people as part of your ritual," Rodney said, turning to glare at the Emsadar.

"Serving in the ritual is an honor," he answered. "The cinaedus is always willing."

"If they're so honored, why are they bound?" It was a good question. John had been about to ask it himself, but Ronon had beaten him to it.

"So that they may experience the most pleasure possible. Being bound relieves them of the need to do anything but feel," Duwnor said.

"I don't know. I always found pleasuring my partner to be part of the pleasure," John said.

Rodney nodded emphatically. "Exactly."

"Our ritual was given to us directly by the Ancestors," the Emsadar said.

"I'm sure it was," John answered, turning away from the wall.

"I can't believe we're staying for this," Rodney muttered.

"They've got the highest level of technology we've found other than the Genii," John answered out of the side of his mouth. "And it's not like we're going to participate."

"It's barbaric."

John agreed, but he wasn't willing to alienate the Idjahn, not yet. The Emsadar was at the front of the temple, chanting and doing something else John couldn't quite make out. He wouldn't be surprised if it involved tea leaves.

After a few minutes, the chanting stopped and he came down off of the altar, robes billowing as he made his way down the center aisle. He stopped in front of John's team. "The Ancestors have spoken, Colonel Sheppard. You are to be our cinaedus."

He should have seen it coming. He'd known what those looks meant. Now they were in a building with one exit, surrounded by natives, and Ronon's gun was already in his hand.

"No," Rodney said, stepping between John and the Emsadar. "He's married and we're monogamous so being in your ritual would be a violation of our culture and the Colonel's vows."

John nodded vigorously. It would be a violation all right.

The Emsadar frowned and moved closer to Rodney. Teyla placed a restraining hand on Ronon's arm. "Why didn't you mention your marriage to Colonel Sheppard earlier?" the Emsadar asked.

Rodney opened his mouth, but John cut in before he could speak. Rodney had almost talked John out of this mess; he didn't want Rodney to talk him back in again by telling the Emsadar his assumptions were wrong. "It's a private thing. Other cultures don't always approve."

Rodney nodded and took a step back, sliding his arm around John's waist. "Not everyone appreciates our big gay love so we keep it to ourselves until we're sure people won't hate us."

The Emsadar frowned. "Gay?"

"It's slang, a colloquial term for men who prefer to be with other men." John paused, then added "sexually" in case his meaning wasn't clear.

"Is it believed that they are happier than other men?" Duwnor asked, frowning.

"Possibly. I don’t know where it came from."

"But we're happy," Rodney said, squeezing John and pulling him a little off balance. "We're very happy."

"Then we shall be honored to share in your happiness," Duwnor said.

"Share?" John asked, his eyebrows rising along with his voice.

"It is rare for the cinaedus to be part of a bonded couple, but according to tradition those rituals have been some of our most moving."

"Most moving?" Rodney's voice rose even higher than John's had.

"Yes," Duwnor said, with a smile. "Colonel Sheppard shall be our supplicant and you, his beloved, shall make love to him."

"Oh," Rodney said.

Which was John's thought exactly.

"I am so sorry," Rodney whispered. "Really, really sorry."

"It's okay." John tried to sound like he meant it. It wasn't as though they couldn't have shot their way out, but John wasn't willing to have that on his conscience. Not when it could be easily avoided by having sex.

With a friend.

A male friend.

John had to be earning big karma points for this one. They both did.

"I think the Emsadar rigged it just so he could get his grubby hands on you," Rodney said.

John thought so, too. "You stopped that."

"I did, but…" Rodney sat back on his heels, as naked as John was. John kept his eyes firmly fixed above Rodney's waist. Rodney was doing the same. Of course Rodney had the advantage of not being chained to the platform whereas John was pretty much on display. Years of shared locker rooms had stripped John of his modesty, or so he'd thought. But right now he'd give just about anything to be able to place his hands in front of his cock.

"It's okay," John said again, resisting the urge to tug at his chains. He'd already done it enough times that his wrists and ankles were starting to bruise. He should probably be grateful for the mattress between him and the stone, but he wasn't. "Just tell me what to expect."

"The ritual begins at moonrise and we're expected to… that is I'm expected to, um, pleasure you until the moon sets."

"Which is when?" At least it would only be Rodney and not a group of strangers, because while being at the center of group sex was a nice fantasy, it wasn't something he wanted to experience, especially not with a bunch of aliens and a creepy priest. Oddly, John wasn't feeling all that grateful for that either.

"Five hours."

"Five hours." Five hours of sex with Rodney while tied to a bed. It wasn't the worst thing that had ever happened to John, but it was probably going to end up in the top five. It would probably be in Rodney's top five, too, right after nearly overdosing on Wraith enzyme. Or maybe blowing up a solar system. He wondered which was worse for Rodney--being forced into sex with John, nearly dying, or destroying a solar system.

"I have a plan. Duwnor only said I have to pleasure you. He didn't say how." Rodney sounded confident, and John found that reassuring, a little. "I think I can probably keep it to touching, maybe fellatio, and not have to do anything, um, penetrative," he whispered.

Nothing penetrative would be good. Although he wasn’t sure how he felt about Rodney having to blow him. That might move this ahead of the solar system on the list. "Sounds like a plan. I'd appreciate avoiding the--"

"Yes, yes me too," Rodney said nodding. A gong sounded, cutting off whatever else Rodney had been about to say. "That's the signal. We're supposed to start now."

John swallowed. The pattern of lights prevented him from seeing the crowd he knew was there. He was grateful for that. Knowing was bad enough.

"Okay," Rodney said, "I'm just going to--" He pointed at John's hand then trailed his fingers across John's palm, so lightly it almost tickled.

"What are you doing?"

Rodney shot him a 'get with the program' glare. "Touching you, giving you pleasure. It feels good, right?"

"Right." Clever Rodney. "It feels really good. You know how much I love having my hands touched."

Brushing John's palm again, Rodney said, "I do know." He slipped his fingers in between John's, tracing the skin there. It was a weird place to be touched, but he kind of liked it. Or he might have if he hadn't been chained to the bed in front of a crowd and if it had been a woman touching him instead of Rodney.

Rodney shifted his attention to John's wrist, gently rubbing the area around the chains. Curling his hand around John's arm, Rodney stroked his forearm. It was a nice touch, kind of soothing, and John closed his eyes. Rodney was a really smart guy and John should have known he'd come up with something.

When Rodney reached John's shoulder he switched sides and began slowly caressing John's other arm, working his way down to John's hand. He slid his fingers in between John's, brushing the skin there. John definitely liked it, even if it was weird. "Oooh," he said, "that feels so good."

Rodney looked up at him, biting his lower lip to keep from laughing.

John grinned, glad that his porn voice had amused Rodney at least a little. This couldn't be easy on him either, although he looked more focused than nervous. But that was Rodney, once he had a plan the nervousness tended to fade. Mostly.

Rodney touched the space between John's fingers again before trailing his fingers across John's palm.

A few more caresses and Rodney abandoned his hands, going to stand at the base of the bed. Lifting his head, John gave him a puzzled frown.

Rodney ran a single finger up the underside of John's foot, causing John to jerk his foot away, or try to. The chains around his ankles didn't allow him much freedom of movement. "Sorry," Rodney said, "I forgot you were ticklish." Taking hold of John's foot with both hands, he pressed with his thumbs.

This time John's groan was genuine.

What Rodney lacked in finesse, he made up in thoroughness and by the time Rodney gently lowered John's other foot to the bed, John was almost fully relaxed, the wonderful pressure of Rodney's big hands having spread up his legs to his spine. If it hadn't been for the chains and his awareness of the crowd, he might've fallen asleep.

Rodney switched his attention to John's ankle, moving his fingers over and around it, and then slowly, almost imperceptibly, to his calf. He wasn't digging in now, just touching. It was a nice touch, firm enough not to be ticklish, yet oddly gentle, almost comforting. John wasn't really surprised. Rodney could be remarkably petty about small things, like getting his share of the coffee, but when it came to the things that mattered, he was more caring than most people realized. John had known that before, but now he had proof. Very physical proof.

Closing his eyes, he let himself drift along on Rodney's touch. It wasn't as though he could stop it, and there wasn't any point in resisting when Rodney wasn't doing anything that hurt him.

Rodney made his way slowly up John's body, touching the outside of his thighs, his hips, stomach and sides, avoiding any places that might be overtly sexual.

When Rodney reached his neck, John arched his head back, exposing more his skin for Rodney to touch. And when Rodney stroked the other side of his neck with the back of his hand, John made a small, pleased sound.

That's when he realized he was hard.

He opened his eyes. Rodney was on his knees, one leg between John's, resting his weight on one hand while he stroked John with the other. His cock was jutting down between his legs. Erect.

John drew in a shaky breath, his eyes meeting Rodney's.

Rodney didn't say a word; he simply brought his fingers up across John's cheek, tracing the contours of John's face, his eyebrows, his nose, the edge of his lips.

Then he moved away, sitting back on his heels and sliding his hand down John's chest. He brushed John's nipples almost casually, as though he didn't really mean it.

Rodney's hand was getting closer to his cock, and John found himself holding his breath, staring at Rodney, who was looking back at him.

Rodney touched him and John groaned. There was a large, warm hand curled around his cock, Rodney's hand, and it was stroking him slowly, moving carefully up and down. Rodney was touching his cock. He rubbed just the right spot on the back with his thumb, sending sparks of pleasure through John.

There wasn't any denying how good it felt, but John knew it was wrong. Rodney shouldn't be touching him like this, wouldn't be if the Emsadar hadn't forced them. He closed his eyes, thinking maybe it would help if he pretended he was somewhere else. But Rodney couldn't do that, and that John could seemed horribly unfair, so he opened them again.

Rodney had switched his attention to John's cock, was watching himself slowly and steadily jack John off. John wanted to reach out, to take Rodney's free hand in his, to somehow touch back, because the connection between them felt all wrong, one-sided and out of balance and wrong.

None of which stopped the pleasure Rodney was creating with his strokes. John had reached the point where every movement of Rodney's hand was taking him closer. He couldn't stop it.

He lifted his hips when he came, pushing his cock through Rodney's fist. The pleasure was intense, almost blinding, but he kept his eyes open, watching as Rodney lifted his gaze from John's cock to his face.

Dropping back against the bed, he gave in to the need to close his eyes. Rodney had just watched him come. Rodney had made him come. He felt Rodney let go of his cock, and then Rodney's hand stroked across his stomach, slick with fluid.

"I'm sorry," Rodney said quietly, so close John could feel Rodney's breath on his ear. "We aren't supposed to stop."

"Okay," John said. It came out hoarser than he'd expected.

Rodney pressed his lips to the side of John's neck and John tilted his head instinctively. Rodney tasted him thoroughly, dragging it out, sucking lightly on tiny sections of John's skin. By the time he was done with just one side, John was semi-hard.

He traced the outer edge of John's ear with his tongue and John's entire body jerked.

"Sorry," Rodney murmured, "sorry."

"It's okay," John whispered. He wanted to reach out, wanted to reassure, because Rodney shouldn't have to apologize for something that wasn't his fault. "My ears are a little sensitive, that's all."

Rodney drew away from John's ear, shifting his attention to John's collarbone, leaving John torn between disappointment and relief. Not that either feeling lasted for long. Rodney was as careful with his mouth as he had been with his hands. Every touch of his lips to John's skin was deliberate and oddly respectful--Rodney trying to make this as easy on John as he could.

Which didn't stop Rodney from nibbling playfully on John's side and making him laugh. He wondered briefly what the silent crowd thought of that.

Rodney made his way all the way to John's feet, avoiding John's cock, his nipples, his inner thighs, just as he had earlier. But he didn't hesitate to take John's little toe into his mouth. He looked up at John with John's toe between his lips and John laughed again because it was without a doubt one of the silliest things he'd ever seen.

"Hey," Rodney protested, letting go.

"Sorry," John said, smiling insincerely, enjoying the small bit of normalcy in the midst of the craziness.

Rodney bit his instep. It was a gentle bite, but John jerked his foot back in surprise, scraping his ankle against the metal cuff around his leg.

Taking hold of his foot, Rodney stilled it, rubbing his fingers up inside the cuff. It didn't really help, but John appreciated the thought. "How much longer?" John asked softly.

"I don't know. They took my watch." He put John's foot back on the bed. "How are your hands feeling?"


"Ah, well, I should fix that then." Rodney walked around the side of the bed, giving John a full view of his bobbing cock. He still didn't know what to think about the fact that touching him had made Rodney hard. It should have, right? Because it was sex. And Rodney was a normal guy, aroused by physical contact, just like John had been. It was good that Rodney was turned on, because that meant John wasn't a freak for getting turned on when Rodney touched him.

As arguments went, it lacked something. He wasn't sure what.

Rodney sat on the edge of the bed and began caressing John's hand again, just like he had before, with easy touches. It felt surprisingly nice and John decided that he could try to sort out what all of it meant later. Rodney's back was slightly curved, revealing a wide stretch of smooth-looking skin. John wanted to touch him, wanted to run his hand over all that skin. Wanting to touch the naked person who was touching him, that was normal. It didn't mean anything.

They were human; they responded to touch. That's all.

Sliding from the bed, Rodney knelt next to it. He was rubbing his fingers across John's palm, another erogenous zone John hadn't even known he had. Parting his lips, he moved them down over John's ring finger. John made an odd, strangled sound as he watched his finger slide into Rodney's mouth.

Rodney sucked. It was a finger, not a cock, and the suction shouldn't feel anywhere near as good as it did. Rodney's tongue was soft, contrasting with his lightly scraping teeth.

John groaned. Rodney moved on to the next finger without looking at him.

One finger after another, Rodney caressed him. John had no idea how he could feel it in his cock, but he was.

Letting go, Rodney rose to his feet and walked around to the other side of the bed. Kneeling beside the bed, he gave John's other hand the same treatment, sucking each finger, scraping lightly with his teeth, doing all kinds of things that shouldn't have been erotic but were.

Rodney kissed John's palm, then his wrist, slowly working his way up the inside of John's arm with light suction and teasing kisses. The inside of his elbow wasn't an erogenous zone. John was sure of that, but when Rodney sucked on the skin there John groaned.

He groaned again when Rodney slid his mouth along John's collarbone and when he sucked one of John's nipples into his mouth.

He held his breath when Rodney kissed his way down John's chest and across his stomach. When Rodney's lips touched the inside of his thigh, he let that breath out in a gasp.

John didn't want to feel like this. Didn't want to feel pleasured and aroused. Didn't want to feel Rodney's lips and Rodney's breath on intimate places.

Something like this shouldn't be forced. It shouldn't be coerced. This was wrong. John knew that. His body didn’t seem to care. He wanted to tell Rodney to stop being so damned good at it.

Rodney traced one of John's balls with his tongue. John wanted to reach down, to pat Rodney's shoulders, hair, something, but when he tried to move his hand all he managed to do was scrape his wrist on the metal cuff. "Damn it."

Rodney looked up at him.

"Cuff," John said, turning his head toward his wrist.

Apparently that made sense, because Rodney nodded. Then he took John's ball into his mouth and sucked, carefully, lightly. John made strangled sounds because it felt so damn good and he wasn't supposed to be enjoying this, but he couldn’t help it.

His other ball received the same gentle treatment as the first, then Rodney licked the back of his cock from base to tip. Rodney wrapped his hand around the base of John's cock, holding him steady, and then licked the head, his tongue practically dancing over John's skin, touching and teasing.

John's chains allowed just enough movement for him to be able to grip the mattress. He gripped it tight, knuckles turning white as he stared down at Rodney, watching as Rodney caressed him like a lover. Soft suction grew slowly stronger as Rodney moved up and down John's shaft, pulling pleasure straight through John and concentrating it at the base of his cock, where it was building and building.

He was going to come. He couldn't stop it, but he didn’t want it like this, with people watching and Rodney unable to say 'no.'

His stomach muscles contracted hard when he came, pulling his head and shoulders from the bed, his cuffed wrists the only thing holding him back as the pleasure that had been building at the base of his cock let go in one big wave.

The soft tug created by Rodney's swallowing made it even better, pulling the pleasure back to his cock and then letting it go again, like some kind of backwash.

He was panting when Rodney finally let him go, lying back against the bed, eyes closed, head turned to the side. Rodney crawled upwards, stretching out above him, and John could feel Rodney's cock brushing his hip as Rodney held himself over John's body. "You okay?" Rodney whispered.

Looking up at him, John nodded. "Yeah. You?"

"I'm fine."

He didn't like fine. He looked strained. John wanted to wrap his arms around Rodney's shoulders and pull Rodney down against him. "I'm a little cold."

Rodney did exactly as John had hoped he would, lowering himself so that his body was pressed fully against John's. "Better?"

"Yeah." He could feel Rodney's erection trapped between their bodies. "How much longer?"

"I don't know," Rodney said. "Not much, I don't think."

The temptation to tell Rodney to move, to rub himself against John's skin, or place his cock in John's hand or John's mouth was surprisingly strong. It seemed wrong that Rodney had given him so much pleasure and John had done nothing in return. But then everything about this situation was wrong. "Think they'll complain if we just stay like this?"

"I don't care if they complain or not. They've gotten what they asked for. Damn perverts."

The idea of Rodney calling someone else a pervert was kind of funny, but John didn’t laugh. He just pressed his cheek to Rodney's and waited for it to be over.


As missions went, it hadn't been a bad one. Everyone was home in one piece. No injuries, no deaths. Not even any psychological trauma, not really.

He'd had sex with Rodney.

Coerced sex, but it wasn't violent; it wasn't a violation. Hell, they'd even laughed a little.

And John had come really, really hard. Twice.

So there was absolutely no reason for him to be lying in bed staring at his ceiling. He wondered what Rodney was doing, if he was staring at the ceiling. If he was freaking out over the fact that he'd had another guy's cock in his mouth. John's cock, which Rodney had sucked really well. So well that John was getting hard just thinking about it.

He couldn't think about this. Rodney sucking him off was one of those things John had to push way back into the corner of his mind. Way back. Way, way back, because remembering it wouldn't do either of them any good.

Ignoring his cock, he turned onto his side and tried to sleep.

Rodney was already in the mess when John got there. Pulling in a deep breath, John took the seat across from him. "Hey," he said as he sat.

"Good morning." Rodney didn't look up as he answered.

John picked up his coffee and waited. Rodney always had something to say. After what felt like five minutes but had probably been only been thirty seconds, John said, "So what are your plans for the day?"

"There are some reports I need to review from the last data burst, and Zelenka has some stuff he wants me to go over. Nothing exciting."

So nothing like yesterday. "Typical day then."

"Pretty much." Rodney stood and picked up his tray. "I should get started."

John forced himself to look up, to say the words, because that's what a good leader would do. "Rodney, do we need to talk about anything?"

"No, no," Rodney shook his head, his gaze skittering away from John's, "not unless you…"

"No, I'm good. I mean fine."

"Right, me too. I'm fine."


"Right, so…" Rodney pointed over his shoulder.

"I'll see you later."

A quick nod and Rodney was walking away. John didn't watch him go.

Later came at a staff meeting the following afternoon. Then at a briefing two days after that. Rodney used in his hands in briefings, emphasizing his points with pointing and gestures. John didn't want to think about Rodney's hands. He didn't want to think about Rodney's mouth, either. The easiest way to avoid thinking about them was to avoid Rodney.

Fortunately for him, Rodney was doing the same thing. Tonight was a perfect example. Rodney came into the mess towards the end of dinner, took one look at where John was sitting with Ronon and Teyla and veered right to sit with Simpson and Zelenka. John watched him pour ketchup onto the not-meatloaf.

"I know that you dislike talking about your feelings, but you need to speak with him."

John looked back at Teyla. "We just need time, that's all, a little space so we can put it behind us."

"We have a mission in two days."

"And we'll be fine on the mission."

Teyla glanced at Ronon. "Either you talk to him or I tell Weir what really happened," Ronon said.

"What?" Ronon never questioned John over stuff like this; it caught John off-guard.

"You heard me."

"John," Teyla said, "avoiding this isn't helping either of you. I think you know that."

John did know that. He just wasn't ready to admit it. "I'll talk to him."


Ronon could be a real bastard, John decided. "Tonight."


John glanced at Rodney and then back at his tray, his appetite gone.

The thing with Rodney was that usually he talked and John listened. John liked it that way. It worked. It was their thing. Rodney was good at talking and John was good at listening. Of course, if Rodney talked to him and they weren't talking then Rodney hadn't had anyone to talk to about this.

But he'd said he hadn't needed to talk.

He might have said that for John's benefit, because it wasn't as though he could confide in John about the trauma caused by sucking John's cock.

Frowning, John stopped pacing. He didn't even know if Rodney had been traumatized. Maybe he was just keeping his distance because he thought that's what John needed. Rodney hadn't seemed all that upset on the planet, at least not during the actual ritual. Which hadn't been much of ritual. Weren't rituals supposed to have chanting and robes and wafers? And incense.

Rituals were supposed to smell funny. They weren't supposed to smell like Rodney.



John needed to talk to Rodney.

Straightening his shoulders, he walked out the door.

"Hi," John said when the door to Rodney's quarters slid open, lifting his hand in a half-assed wave.

Rodney frowned at him.

"Can I come in?"

Still frowning, Rodney took a step back.

John walked past him and then turned. Rodney had his arms folded defensively across his chest. "I thought we weren’t going to talk."

"Ronon and Teyla think we should." Realizing how lame that sounded, John added, "They're probably right."

"Okay. Talk." Rodney was looking directly at him, still frowning.

Talk. John could talk. He crossed his own arms. "I should probably thank you for saving me from the whole group ritual thing."

"It wasn't much of a rescue," Rodney said, his gaze shifting to a space over John's shoulder, which wasn't like Rodney at all. Even when he'd fucked up, Rodney faced things head on. And he hadn't fucked up, not this time.

"As, you know, weird as it was, it was still better than the Emsadar and his fellow ritual guys. It was you, and that was… that was okay. I know you'd rather not have had to, and I'm sorry you had to, but I'm still glad it was you."

Something crossed Rodney's face that John couldn’t quite decipher. "Glad I could help. So if that's all?"

It wasn't all, but John didn't know what else to say. He took a step toward the door, which brought him within touching distance of Rodney, then stopped. "Are you okay with it?" he asked, resting a hand on Rodney's arm. "Really okay?" He looked directly into Rodney's eyes. "Don't say what you think I want to hear."

"For the last time, I am fine." Rodney sounded fine, or rather annoyed, which for Rodney was fine, but he shifted his gaze away from John's again.

"No, you aren't."

"Yes, I am."

"No, you're not."

"I think I am in a much better position than you are to know whether or not I am fine." Rodney lifted his chin. With his crossed arms and his legs hip width apart, he looked almost immovable.

"Look me in the eyes and say that," John said, re-crossing his own arms.

"Do you realize how idiotic that sounds?"

John simply gazed at him impassively. Rodney glared. John gazed. Finally, Rodney leaned forward until his arms bumped against John's, looked directly into John's eyes, and said, "I am fine."

"I don't believe you," he answered, leaning forward.

Turning away, Rodney lifted his hands into the air. "What do you want me to do? Find a chalkboard and write it 100 times, since that seems to be the level of this conversation."

"If you want to prove to me that you're fine, tell me how you feel."

Rodney turned back towards him. "What? No. It's none of your business."

"I can't think of anyone else whose business it would be." John lowered his arms. "Look, if we don't work this out, start acting like friends again, Ronon and Teyla are going to tell Elizabeth what happened, and then we'll have to meet with Heightmeyer. Definitely separately, and probably together. Wouldn't you rather just talk to me?"

"That's blackmail."

John shrugged.

"Don't they realize what could happen to you if word of that ritual gets out?"

"The military isn't going to court martial me for something that was coerced." John took a step toward him. "Come on, just talk to me. I miss you. This last week has been really boring. And I can't believe you're finding Carson's stories about his turtles all that exciting."

"You're the one who caught the damn things. And they're not really turtles."


"Fine, fine, I'll talk, just stop whining," Rodney said, and John smiled. "But only if you talk, too."

John's smile faded. One of the reasons he didn't talk about his emotions was that half the time he wasn't sure what he was feeling, but he couldn't very well make Rodney talk and not talk himself. That wouldn't fix things. "Yeah, okay."

Rodney accepted his agreement with a nod.

"You go first," John said.

"You really are fifteen." Rodney sat on the edge of the bed, and rested his elbows on his thighs, which gave him a convenient excuse to look at the floor. "There isn't much to say. You were there. You know what happened."

John sat beside him, his own gaze on the dull gray floor. "Yeah, but how do you feel about it?"

Rodney shrugged. "Relieved you weren't raped, at least not violently. Sorry it happened. Sorry my attempt to stop it didn't quite work out."

"We could have left before the Emsadar did his thing in the temple. You wanted to. I'm the one who decided we should stay."

"You had your reasons."

"Yeah." Although they didn't seem like very good ones now.

"How do you feel?" Rodney asked in a tone John hadn't ever heard before.


"Of course honestly."

"I… I…"

"That's what I thought," Rodney said, standing.

Reaching up, John caught his arm. "Loved. I felt loved."

Rodney looked down at him, his gaze locking on John's.

"That you would do that for me, that was…" John drew in a breath. Rodney looked as exposed as John had felt. "It wasn't just that. It was the way you did it. You were so careful. The way you touched me, the way you did everything, it was…"

"I didn't want you to be hurt," Rodney whispered.

John nodded. "And I wasn't. I really wasn't. But I was afraid you… I mean having to give another guy a blowjob, that's a helluva thing to be coerced into."

"Yeah," Rodney said, dropping onto the bed next to him. He rubbed his hands together, staring at them. "About that. I kind of… maybe a little…"

Leaning closer, John pressed his shoulder light against Rodney's. His heart was pounding; John wasn't sure why. "Maybe a little what?"

"Liked it."

Oh. "I didn't know you liked guys," John said after stumbling over the first word and having to clear his throat.

"That's just it, I don't. At least I never have."

"Maybe it was the whole bondage thing. That was pretty kinky." And Rodney had once said he disgusted himself sometimes.

"I hated that part," Rodney said.

"Me too," John said. "I wanted to touch you and I couldn't, and--" He stuttered to a halt, not quite believing he'd said the words. It was true. He had wanted to touch Rodney.

Rodney turned to look at him. "You wanted to touch me."

"You were naked and there was all this skin. You have a lot of skin." The corners of Rodney's lips were starting to turn up, and John added, "And you were touching me."

"I had to," Rodney said, which made it sound as though John shouldn't have wanted to touch Rodney.

"But you liked it."

"Yeah," Rodney said. He didn't shift his eyes away from John's, and John thought that was a brave thing to do. He didn't think he could admit something like that while looking directly into Rodney's eyes.

Rodney's very blue eyes.

"It would have been better if I could have touched you back." So maybe he could admit something like that, even if the words sounded a little choked.

"Maybe." Rodney sounded choked too.

<i>Two roads diverged in a wood.</i> John had no idea why he was thinking of Robert Frost, except he could see the two roads clearly, the one where he leaned forward, just a little, it wouldn't take much, and the one where he pulled back, stood, left.

He leaned forward.

Rodney did too.

Their lips bumped, which wasn't really a kiss. But then they both shifted, and it was a kiss, a tentative, shaky, very real kiss.

"Ummm," Rodney said when they parted.

"Yeah," John answered with a nod.

He didn't know which of them grinned first, but they were sitting there, grinning at one another like idiots.

Pressing a hand to Rodney's cheek, John kissed him again. It was a good kiss, lips teasingly exploring lips.

"I wanted to kiss you," Rodney said drawing back.

John rubbed a thumb across Rodney's lower lip. "I wanted to make you come."

"Oh." Rodney said it like John had just licked his cock.

"And I wanted to kiss you." He leaned in again. Less exploration this time, more passion. Wanting to be closer to Rodney, he shifted his weight forward. Rodney leaned back, taking John with him, until they were flat on the bed. John shifted to the side, his mouth still on Rodney's and slid his hand under Rodney's shirt, feeling the soft skin and smattering of hair.

"Too fast?" he asked. Because this was kind of fast.

"I've had your cock in my mouth."

It was a good point. "Not to mention my toes," John said.

Rodney grinned at him. "I knew you liked it."

"It was silly. You looked ridiculous."

"You liked it," Rodney sing-songed.

"We'll see how you feel about it when I suck your toes," John said, and Rodney's grin turned into a full-fledged smile. "You have a toe-thing, don’t you?"


"Maybe. Just so we're clear, I'm not sucking unshowered toes."

"Unshowered? Is that even a word?"

John kissed him, just to shut him up and not because it felt really, really good.

Which was the same reason he closed his mouth around Rodney's cock a little while later.

"Hey," John said, poking the semi-conscious man lying half on top of him. "Will you rub my feet again sometime?"

"Can I sleep first?"

"Sure." John thought about the upcoming foot rub. Rodney had amazing hands, strong and sure. "Will you do the hand thing again?"

"You liked the hand thing?"

John didn't think a man who liked having his toes played with was in any position to judge. "Yes."

Rodney nodded, the whiskers on his cheek scraping John's shoulder. "Next time."

"Maybe I should set the alarm."

"Do I really strike you as someone who would sleep through the chance to have sex?" Rodney asked.

"No, not really."

"Sleep, John." Rodney pressed a kiss to his jaw.

"Okay." He was nearly asleep when he felt Rodney pull away. John opened his eyes to find Rodney sitting on the edge of the bed. "What are you doing?"

"Setting the alarm."

"We could just have sex now."

Rodney looked over his shoulder at John. "Okay."

John grinned and pulled him into a kiss, simultaneously rubbing Rodney's foot with his own.

"It really is better when you can move," Rodney said.

"I know."

Chuckling, Rodney rolled onto his back, pulling John on top of him. "Just for that, you're doing all the work."

John didn't have any objections to that, none at all.