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A Left-Handed Relationship


Title: A Left-Handed Relationship

Author: chelle

Author's email:

Author's URL:

Fandom: Atlantis

Archive: Ask first

Pairing: John/Rodney

Rating: NC 17

Notes: Originally written for the Duet Press Surfacing zines. Thank you to Grrrl for her help with this fic. If I recall correctly, part of it may have been written from her couch.

Summary: John's best relationship has always been with his right hand.

John Sheppard had always considered the relationship he had with his right hand the best one in his life. Until now.

Now it was broken and useless and it hurt like a bitch, even with the pain killers Beckett had given him.

He'd tossed his book aside after trying for the third time to turn the page with his left hand. Rolling his head back, he stared up at the ceiling. Sometimes life just sucked, and it seemed horribly unfair that the big ways life sucked were somehow easier to deal with than the little ways.

A knock on his door made him shift into a more comfortable position on the bed and call, "Come in."

The door slid open and Rodney took a single step into the room, a laptop tucked under his arm. He looked around quickly, almost furtively, before saying, "I thought you could use some entertainment."

Entertainment would be good. "What did you bring?"



Rodney came closer, placing the laptop on the bed. "There are some TV shows, too."

"I thought you only watched Jeopardy."

"And Star Trek."

John had to smile at that. "Anything other than the original series?"

"There are some Next Gen episodes on there, and all of Deep Space Nine."

"All of it? Weren't there like seven seasons or something?"

"Encryption algorithm," Rodney answered smugly.

"So, you want to watch with me?" John asked, sliding over on the bed.

Rodney smiled broadly. "Sure."

Sitting on the edge of the bed, Rodney opened the laptop and began moving the mouse around. "I put shortcuts to the files on the desktop and set it so that the decryption program will kick in as soon as you choose the file you want, opening it and then playing it."

"Thank you."

"You're welcome." Rodney looked over his shoulder at John. "What do you want to watch?"

"Put on DS9. I've got time, and I missed a bunch of the middle episodes."

Rodney clicked and the premiere of DS9 came up on the screen. He was still sitting on the edge of the bed and John patted the space beside him, immediately regretting it when pain went shooting through his broken hand. "You can sit up here, you know. I don't bite."

Rodney sat next to him, his shoulder warm against John's.

They watched the first three episodes before Rodney declared that he had to go and stood.

"Thanks for this," John said looking up at him.

"You're welcome." Rodney hesitated for a moment. "There's, uh, porn too."

"Really?" John hadn't dared bring any with him, but he should have known that if anyone could figure out how to smuggle porn into Atlantis it would be Rodney.

Rodney nodded. "The file's labeled."

"Cool. Thanks."

"Well, um, have a good night."

"Good night, Rodney."


Having access to porn was good, John thought as he watched the blonde with clearly real breasts shift onto her knees. Having access to porn and a non-functional right hand was bad. He should have thought of that before he started the movie.

He'd assumed his left hand would be able to do the job. After all, he had porn to help it along. But it just wasn't cutting it.

He glared at his hand and his dick. You'd think he could get one of them to work.

A knock made him look up, a bolt of adrenaline shooting through him. Closing the laptop, he stood and began to fight with his pants. "Just a minute," he called. Apparently, his left hand wasn't any better at tucking his dick in than it had been at getting him off.

Having tugged the zipper about the three-quarters of the way up, he pulled his shirt down and yelled, "Come in."

Rodney stepped into the room and John breathed a sigh of relief. He'd been afraid it was Elizabeth.

"Thought I should come by and see how you were feeling, since you weren't at lunch."

"Teyla brought me some lunch," John said, shifting in what he hoped wasn't an obvious manner as his erection rubbed uncomfortably against his pants.

"That was nice of her."

"It was, especially since I'm not really laid up or anything."

That probably would have been the end of the conversation, except the laptop moaned. They both looked at it. "I found the porn," John said.

"So I hear."

"You have good taste. I mean, it's, you know, good."

Rodney nodded. "I like it when the women are enjoying themselves, but for real, not in an over the top fake way. Although I don't like it to be too real, like the amateur stuff. I just don't get that. If I'm paying for a film, I want production values."

"Production values are good," John agreed, because what else could he say.

The laptop moaned again.

"So which one are you watching?"


"That's a good one," Rodney said.

"It'd be better if..." John said, holding up his hand.

"You can't?"

John shook his head. "My left just doesn't seem to be as coordinated."


Rodney was probably able to use both hands. That figured.

"Do you want some help?"

It took John at least a minute and a half to process what Rodney had said.

While he was processing Rodney flushed and turned away. "Sorry. That was a stupid thing to say."

"No, wait." It wasn't like John had never swapped a quick jerk off before, even if he had been fifteen the last time. "I'm, um, pretty uncomfortable, so if you..."

"Sure, sure, I can help," Rodney said, turning back around.


They stared at one another until the laptop moaned again. It was clearly getting ready to come. "If you open it, you can watch, unless you have some sort of listening kink," Rodney said.

"No, um…" Leaning over, John opened the laptop. The blonde was now between two men and John found himself staring at the cock moving in and out of her mouth. He had to admit the production values were good. Even the close-ups didn't feel sleazy.

Rodney moved so he was standing next to John, his eyes on the screen. "This is a good scene."

For a moment, John was struck by the strangeness of the situation. He was discussing porn with Rodney. Sure he'd talked about porn before, but never with Rodney. It wasn't that they didn't do guy stuff. It was just that, well, they didn't do guy stuff.

One of the men groaned. It was clear from the way his body arched and the expression on his face that he was coming, but his cock stayed where it was. "No money shot?" John asked.

"I never saw the point in it. Why make movies for straight men and then show them other men coming? It doesn't make sense."

"So the viewer knows they aren't faking it."

"Why would I care if they're faking it, as long as it looks believable?"

"Good point," John conceded.

"I always thought so."

The other two participants finished and then the men each kissed the blonde. "Kissing?" John said, turning to look at Rodney.

"What's wrong with kissing?"

"Nothing. I like kissing," John said, looking back at the screen. "You don't usually see it afterwards."

"I miss kissing."

John missed kissing, too, but he figured mentioning it would just remind Rodney of ascended women. The scene shifted. It was apparently morning and the three of them were ready for round two.

"Maybe we should sit," Rodney said.

"Oh, sure." John shifted the laptop so they could lean against the headboard like they had the previous night.

They settled onto the bed and John was enjoying watching one of the men kiss the woman while the other slid his hands up her sides to her breasts when Rodney reached over and rested his hand on John's crotch. John jumped and Rodney pulled his hand away.

"Sorry, I thought you wanted…" Rodney said.

John glanced at him. Rodney's eyes were fixed on the screen. "Sorry," John answered. "You surprised me." Reaching over, he took Rodney's hand and pressed it back to his crotch. "Please."

Rodney squeezed him in answer, and John closed his eyes. He really wanted to be touched. Feeling Rodney lowering his zipper, he kept his eyes closed drawing in a breath when Rodney's hand curled around him.

A long stroke and John rested his head against the wall, savoring the feeling of a hand that wasn't his on his cock. The touch was good, the touch was perfect, not too light or too slow. Opening his eyes, he looked at the screen. One of the men was on his knees, performing cunnilingus while the woman sucked on the other man's cock. The hand on his cock matched the rhythm of her mouth, and John could almost pretend…

Glancing down at his lap, John found himself unable to look back at the screen. That was Rodney's hand on him. Rodney's big, pale, warm hand. The head of his cock disappeared from view as Rodney's hand slid up his length, rubbing the underside in just the right way. Then it went down again.

There was pre-come glistening on the end of his cock and John was pretty sure there'd be actual come soon, because Rodney's hand was doing all the right things.

Rodney was doing all the right things.

John could feel the pleasure coiling inside him and he groaned softly. Rodney stroked a little faster and the pleasure coiled tighter. The woman on the screen moaned loudly and John looked up just in time to see a cock entering her ass.

He came hard, head and shoulders pushing into the wall as his hips lifted, seeking more of Rodney's hand.

Still breathing hard, he glanced at Rodney, who was looking at the screen. Rodney had let him go, but he hadn't tried to dry his hand and it was still wet with John's come. For some reason, that struck John as hot, really hot. He lowered his gaze to Rodney's crotch. Rodney was hard, but John had figured he would be.

Nudging Rodney with his elbow, he said, "Unzip."

Rodney turned toward him. "What?"

"Unzip. I can't do anything for you if you don't."

"Oh, you don't…" Rodney said, his gaze shifting away from John's face.

"Rodney," John said in his command voice. The fact that it was the one tone Rodney always responded to suddenly seemed kind of hot, too, and John pushed that thought firmly aside.

He shifted his eyes away as Rodney lowered his zipper.

When he looked Rodney's cock was pushing against the front of his boxers, almost poking through the space in the front. Sliding his fingers into the slot, he gently extracted Rodney's cock, ignoring Rodney's small moan. Rodney's cock was thick and solid, and John found himself looking at the gentle slope of the head like he'd never seen a cock before. Swallowing, he started to stroke.

Then he realized that his left hand wasn't any more coordinated on Rodney's cock than it had been on his own. John had to do something for him, because otherwise it wasn't equal, and if it wasn't equal then, well, it wasn't equal. His hands might not be useful, but he still had a mouth. It couldn't be that hard.

Leaning down, he closed his mouth around the head of Rodney's cock.

"Oh, God," Rodney said, surprise and lust making his voice higher than usual.

John sucked.

"Oh, God," Rodney said again.

John would have smiled if his mouth hadn't been occupied. Sliding his mouth a little lower, he molded his tongue to the curve of Rodney's cock. It was smooth and tasted surprisingly good. He kept sliding until the head of Rodney's cock brushed the back of his throat, then he slowly drew back. When he reached the head, he licked it lightly before lowering his mouth again, sucking the whole way.

Rodney groaned, low and deep; it was a lot sexier than the sounds coming from the laptop.

Wrapping his hand around the base of Rodney's cock, John began moving his hand and mouth together. After a few passes up and down the length of Rodney's cock, John found himself getting lost in the rhythm of it, in the intimate smell and the feel of Rodney's skin on his lips and tongue.

He was pulled out of his trance by Rodney saying, "I'm… I'm…" and tugging on his shoulder.

Releasing him, John moved his hand, stroking quickly, his hand sliding surprisingly easily over Rodney's wet length. Rodney came with a groan, fluid coming out of his cock in small spurts that John couldn't look away from. Suddenly, money shots made sense to him. He wasn't about to explain it to Rodney, however.

Sitting up, he let go of Rodney's cock. Not having the slightest idea what to say, he decided to get them a towel. When he got back, the movie had been turned off and Rodney was standing next to the bed, fastening his pants. John held out the towel. "Here."

Rodney accepted it, wiping his hands and then handing it back. John was pretty sure he hadn't actually cleaned anything.

"I'll, um, see you tomorrow," Rodney said, his eyes on the door.

"Sure," John said, stepping aside. "Good-night."

"Night," Rodney said, walking past him and not looking back.

The door slid shut and John sat on the edge of his bed. Another groan came from the laptop and John clicked the program off. Then he turned the entire computer off and lay on his back, staring at the ceiling.

He'd just given a blowjob. He'd just given Rodney a blowjob.

And he'd kind of liked it.

Liked it enough that he'd gotten hard again doing it, and his damn hand was aching again. He was half-tempted to radio Rodney and ask him to come back. But he didn't. Instead he stared at the ceiling and waited to fall asleep.

It was a long wait.


He made it to breakfast the next morning just before the mess closed.

Resting the tray on his cast and balancing it with his good hand, he started toward the table where Rodney was sitting with Zelenka and one of the other scientists. Then he hesitated. He usually ate with Rodney so it might seem weird if he didn't, but he'd given Rodney a blowjob and he wasn’t sure you could just sit down to breakfast after something like that.

But then Rodney looked up at him, uncertainty in his gaze. John squared his shoulders and resumed walking.

"Hey," he said, bending over to set the edge of the tray on the table. Zelenka immediately took it from him and placed it squarely on the table. "Thanks," he said with a quick smile and sat.

"How are you feeling?" Zelenka asked.

John shrugged and picked up his fork with his left hand. "It aches sometimes, but at least it hasn't started itching yet."

Rodney frowned at him. "Didn't Beckett give you something?"

His mouth was full so John simply nodded.

"Don't tell me you aren't taking it?"

John shook his head and swallowed. "I'm taking it."


His eggs tumbled from his fork just before it reached his mouth. John stabbed one of the pieces and it split in two. Someone needed to tell the cook that there was such a thing as scrambled eggs that were too fluffy. Pushing his fork under the eggs, he tried again.

This time he managed to get it to his mouth. Well, some of it.

"Do you want help with that?" Rodney asked.

"I can feed myself."

"That's not what it looks like."

John glared at him.

Rodney held up his hands. "Fine. But when you lose weight don't blame me."

"I won't," John said his tone softer this time. It was kind of nice that Rodney wanted to help, and it wasn't that John didn't appreciate the help. Because he did. He'd even enjoyed it, and maybe wanted to be helped again.

Zelenka, Rodney, and other guy all stood to leave. "Sorry to abandon you, Colonel," Zelenka said.

He waved his fork at them. "You're working on that weird metal that was found on PJR-485 aren't you?"

"We are," Rodney said.

"Maybe I'll come by later and you can tell me about it."

"Sure," Rodney said and patted his shoulder. Then he left, leaving John alone with his left hand, a fork, and too crumbly eggs.


John went for a run, sat in on two team debriefings, and supervised target practice. Not that he really needed to supervise target practice, but it beat sitting in his office reviewing reports.

Now all that was left was to visit the labs and check in on the scientists. They didn't really need checking in on, but John liked to know what they were doing. Always know what the guys who build the bombs are up to. It was a philosophy that had served him well so far.

Plus, it was an excuse to tease Rodney.

Which is what he was going to do. He was going to tease Rodney in a completely normal, "I did not have your cock in my mouth last night" way.

The door slid open and John stepped inside. No one bothered to look up. He went straight to Rodney's bench. "So can we make cool stuff with it?" he asked, leaning over Rodney's shoulder to look at the experiment he was doing.

"Very cool stuff," Rodney answered without looking up.

"Its possible industrial applications are--" Zelenka's voice trailed off and he raised his arms in a way clearly meant to mean "a lot."


Rodney glanced over his shoulder at John. "It's a superconductor. For heat. Not many weapons applications." John's face must have fallen a little because Rodney added, "Yet."

"Well, hey, at least we found something useful." John moved so that he was resting against the bench facing Rodney. "You want to watch something later?"

A quick glance and a slight flush, then Rodney said, "Sure."

"After dinner, around 2000?"

"Sounds good." Rodney didn't look up at him and John didn't try to meet his eyes.

"Great. See you then."


The knock came promptly at 2000.

John yelled, "Come in" because it seemed less awkward than answering the door.

Rodney entered, but stopped just inside.

"I've got DS9 all ready to go," John said, hoping he didn't sound as tense as Rodney looked.

"Good, great, that's great," Rodney said but didn't move.

John turned on the file and waited. The first scene was almost over by the time Rodney sat next to him on the bed.

"I remember this one. It was good," Rodney said, leaning against the wall next to John.

John merely nodded.

Fifteen minutes into it, John had no idea what it was about. All he knew was that Rodney clearly radiated extra body heat when he was nervous, because John could feel it across the two inches that separated them.

He was also tapping his fingers against his thigh and John had to resist the urge to reach out and stop him by curling his fingers around Rodney's.

Taking a deep breath, he focused on Jadzia.

By the end, he had managed to relax enough to actually follow the ep, but when it ended he found himself at loose ends all over again. "Do you want to watch another one?" he asked when the credits ended, faster than they had before. "Or something else? Or…"

Rodney turned to face him. "We can watch another episode, or something else. Whatever you want to watch." He sounded as nervous as he looked. "I'm good with, you know, whatever."

"Right, so um…" John picked up the laptop and his hand hovered over the mouse, not sure where to move it.

"Can you actually move that thing with your left hand?" Rodney asked, reaching for the laptop.

"It takes a while," John admitted willing to let Rodney assume the problem was his lack of dexterity and not paralyzing nervousness.

"DS9 or whatever?" Rodney asked. He wasn't looking at John.

John had to choose. Why did John have to be the one to choose? Why couldn't Rodney choose? "Whatever."

"Okay, good." Rodney clicked open the file and chose a movie seemingly at random.

A minute later there was unoriginal industrial music and naked bodies on John's laptop.

He was hard before the film even started.

The star was a brunette this time, slender, with small but attractive breasts. John watched her take her clothes off and run her hands over her tits. He watched her finger herself and take out a dildo. He watched close-ups of the dildo.

And the entire time his focus was on the sound of Rodney's breathing.

Finally, he glanced to the side. Rodney looked a little flushed. Then Rodney looked to the side, his eyes wide with arousal.

John should say something, except he had no idea what.

Rodney's hand cupped his cock.

John groaned.

Together they worked his pants down around his thighs, and Rodney took him in hand. John had been trying all day not to think about this, not to want it, but he did. Rodney stroked him perfectly, his big hand moving up and down John's shaft like it had been made for it.

His hips lifted almost of their own accord, tiny thrusts that matched Rodney's stroking.

Rodney wasn't watching the movie this time, his eyes were on his hand and John's cock. John knew because that's what he was watching, too. Then Rodney leaned forward and brushed the head with his lips.

John gasped.

His gasp turned into a groan when Rodney's mouth closed around him. The part of his mind that had refused all orders not to think about what had happened had wondered if Rodney was into guys or if last night had just been an offhand offer, Rodney's mouth getting ahead of his brain. If Rodney was into guys, he didn't give blowjobs because his was as inexpert as John's had been.

And for some reason that just made it hotter.

Warm, wet mouth, sweet suction, and Rodney was doing this for John not because he wanted a bit of cock, but because he liked John. Liked him enough to suck his cock.

Stroking his good hand through Rodney's hair, John tried to hold back. But it had been so long since anyone had done this for him and he came before he wanted to, spilling helplessly. Rodney stopped sucking, stroking him through it just as he had Rodney the night before.

"Damn," John muttered, dropping his head back against the wall, breathing fast.

"Yeah," Rodney said softly.

John lifted his head. "Here." He reached for Rodney's zipper. Some interesting wiggling and a couple of curses later, Rodney's pants were down to his knees.

After trying a couple of strokes with his left hand, he gave up and took Rodney into his mouth. Rodney felt just as good as he had the night before, all hard and smooth. The rhythm came easily this time, and when Rodney climaxed John didn't let go. He held on, still sucking, swallowing Rodney's fluid even though the taste was bitter, strangely gratified when Rodney moaned his name.

Letting go, he lay on the bed on his side and closed his eyes. He should say something to Rodney because once was a fluke, but twice was something else. The problem was that John had no idea what it was and even less idea what to say.

He felt the bed shift and heard water running in the bathroom.


John opened his eyes to find Rodney standing in front of him, pants done up, holding out a glass of water. "Thanks." Sitting up, he accepted the glass.

Rodney dropped a towel onto the bed next to him. "Do you want me to turn off the computer?"

"Sure." It wasn't as though he would be watching more tonight.

After making quick work of the computer, Rodney stood next to the bed, hands clasped behind his back. "So, um, tomorrow night?"

John looked up, briefly meeting his eyes. "Sure."

"Okay. Good night." He turned and was actually at the door before John said, "Good night, Rodney."


"Shift forward a little," Rodney said, resting his hand on John's back.

John shifted and Rodney moved in behind him, one leg on either side of John. Sometimes Rodney had really good ideas, John thought as he leaned back against Rodney's chest.

Rodney resumed stroking his cock and John sighed contentedly. They'd watched an episode of DS9, something involving the Bajorans, and then John had started one of Rodney's porn films. No questions or awkward moments this time. A few minutes of watching and John had been more than ready when Rodney reached for him, although he had kind of wanted to reach for Rodney first this time.

Now there was just the easy pleasure of Rodney's hand on his cock.

Leaning against Rodney felt pretty good too. He was nice and broad. Comfortable. He had an arm wrapped securely around John's waist, his fingertips under John's shirt. That felt kind of nice too. And the cock pressing into the small of his back was a turn-on.

John closed his eyes, ignoring the movie in favor of concentrating on the feel of Rodney's hand.

Smooth, steady strokes just like John liked.

He could feel the heat of Rodney's thighs pressing against him. Dropping a hand, he rested it on Rodney's leg, enjoying the surprisingly solid feel of it.

Soft lips brushed the side of his neck, and John's breath caught.

"Is this okay?" Rodney whispered.

"Yes," John said his own voice just as soft.

Small kisses turned gradually into sucking, and John's hand moved up and down, caressing Rodney's thigh through his pants. Rodney began moving the fingers beneath the edge of John's shirt back and forth.

It was all good, but it wasn't enough. He wanted more. Turning, John shifted onto his hip and pressed his lips to Rodney's.

Rodney groaned, then parted his lips. John pressed closer, kissing him hungrily. Rodney's response was just as heated. The change in position had removed Rodney's hand from his cock, but John didn't care. He turned more, dropping his hand to the bed next to Rodney so they could be face to face.

Pain went shooting up his arm and John sat back, lifting his broken hand from the bed. Rodney curled his hands around John's cast. "You're not supposed to put weight on it."

"I wasn't thinking."

"Here," Rodney said his voice unusually gentle, and moved until he was on his back on the bed, pulling John down on top of him.

John resisted. "Wait." He reached for Rodney's zipper with his good hand.

"Good idea." Lifting his hips, Rodney pushed his pants down and out of the way.

John immediately pressed his mouth to Rodney's. A patient kiss this time, a connection being created, or maybe deepened. John didn't know, and he didn't care as long as he could taste Rodney, could feel firm lips against his own.

Rodney's arms were around him, and he urged John down onto him. His cock brushed Rodney's and Rodney groaned. Wanting to hear that sound again, John shifted his hips. This time he was the one who groaned as his cock slid along Rodney's skin.

Fitting his hand to the back of John's neck, Rodney guided him into another kiss. Slow and heated and John shifted his hips again, rubbing against Rodney because Rodney smelled good and tasted good, and felt amazingly good.

When Rodney captured his lower lip and sucked, John bucked against him.

"I think I can come from this," John whispered between kisses.

Sliding his hands under John's shirt, Rodney began caressing his back, hands moving easily up and down. It felt far better than such a simple touch should and John shuddered.

He kept moving, rubbing and pressing, trying to get closer to Rodney. Their kisses got deeper and wilder. Then slowed again.

Rodney moved a hand to his ass and suddenly John was aware of how his ass was moving, flexing as he pushed against Rodney and then back into Rodney's possessive hand.

A deep groan and Rodney lifted his hips. He was coming. John could feel his cock pulse and his body shudder. Burying his face in the curve of Rodney's neck, he sucked lightly on the first bit of skin his mouth touched. Rodney clutched at him and shuddered again.

"Oh, fuck, Rodney," John murmured, his hips moving faster.

He came hard, hips jerking as his good hand tightened on Rodney's shoulder, and pleasure blotted everything else out.

Rodney was stroking his hair. John opened his eyes and kissed the side of Rodney's neck. Rodney's hand stilled for a moment, then stroked again. They should talk about this. John knew that.

He closed his eyes.

When he opened them Rodney was gone.


John was pretty sure Rodney had thought sneaking away was a good idea, spare them the awkward morning after. All it meant was that the awkward morning after was going to take place in a meeting. A meeting Rodney was late for.

When he arrived the only empty seat was almost directly across the table from John, and Rodney dropped into it without looking at him.

"Let's get started," Elizabeth said.

It was the bi-weekly review of the mission schedule and John was happy to let Lorne go through the list John and Rodney had created. What was weird was that Rodney didn't have much to add. Usually he had to comment even though they'd all read the schedule before the meeting and each listing contained an explanation of why the planet had been selected.

His silence was a little unsettling and Elizabeth kept shooting him sideways glances. They were almost done confirming which teams would take which missions, when Elizabeth finally said, "Are you all right, Rodney?"

"Fine, fine. Why wouldn't I be?"

His answer made her frown.

"You look tired," John said, throwing him a lifeline.

Rodney seized it, throwing John a grateful look. "Yes, of course, I was up late last night. Working. Hard."

John frowned to let him know he was overdoing it, but everyone else appeared satisfied with the answer.

"Get some sleep tonight," Elizabeth said gently, her smile making it an order.

Rodney nodded. "Of course."

They were done minutes later, and John fell into step beside Rodney as they moved into the hallway. "Can I talk to you for a minute?"

"Certainly, Colonel."

Neither of them said another word until they were inside John's office, the lock engaged behind them. His office was small compared to most of the rooms in Atlantis, but it suited John most of the time. Now he didn't know where to go. He couldn't sit behind his desk, because this was personal, not work, and he couldn't sit in the guest chair because he only had one. And Rodney was standing in the middle of the room waiting for John to do something.

Walking around him, John perched on the edge of the desk. Now that that problem was solved he just had to figure out what to say. "So could you really not sleep last night?"

"No, no, I slept like a baby. Why?"


"I was just distracted." Rodney pointed at his temple and then opened his hand, gesturing away from his head at John's wall. "In the meeting."

"Yeah." John looked down at the floor. He still hadn't met Rodney's eyes.

"Leaving was the right thing to do, right? The bed isn't very big and I didn't think you'd want… And it's, you know, a friend thing, and…" Rodney must've run out of things to say because he stopped.

"Right, sure," John said. "Friend thing." He tilted his head to the side and looked up at Rodney. "And the bed is small."

"Right, right," Rodney said, nodding, his eyes connecting with John's for just a moment.

"Later?" John asked, tensing, unsure what Rodney would say or if he should even be asking.

"Yes, yes, of course, later." He gestured at the door. "If that's all, Colonel?"

"That's all, until, um, later."

"Right, later," Rodney said and left before John could nod at him again.

Rising, John walked around his desk, dropped into his chair, and drew in a big breath. That had gone well.


Later ended up being three days and two casualties later. John wrote the letters as soon as he could, typing them with his good hand. They were the usual mix of the standard language and some personal observations. He wanted the parents to feel their sons had been among friends, that they had been respected and liked.

Thank God those with spouses and children didn't sign up for Atlantis.

Arriving back in his quarters, he kicked off his shoes and started for the bed. There was the laptop Rodney had given him, sitting on his desk, looking perfectly innocent. Picking it up, John sat on the edge of the bed and closed his eyes. He should shower, then sleep.

He didn't want to.

So he sat there, holding the laptop in his good hand, not even trying to think, until a knock on the door pulled him from his stupor. He answered with the laptop still in his hand.

"Hey," Rodney said. "I just wanted to…"

"Check up on me," John finished for him before Rodney could try to stutter out a lie. Teyla checked up on him sometimes, subtly. Elizabeth simply asked how he was. Rodney was the only one who always turned up, no matter what, but he usually had an excuse. Something John needed to know, or a question that Rodney needed an answer to. John had never called him on it.

"I worry about my friends, sue me," Rodney said actually sounding belligerent.

John chuckled and lowered his head. "Just get in here."

Rodney followed John to the bed where John opened up the laptop and hit the power button. Neither of them said anything as it booted. He'd gotten better at using his left hand on the mousepad and he easily located the next episode of DS9 before leaning back against the wall with a sigh.

Rodney leaned back next to him.

Their shoulders pressed together and by the time the episode was half over John was leaning into Rodney, letting Rodney take some of his weight. Rodney either didn't mind or didn't notice.

When the episode ended, John turned on another porn flick. He didn't even look to see which one, didn’t know if it was something they'd seen before, didn't care.

Rodney didn't say a word, but when he turned to look at John there was a question in his eyes. Not knowing the answer, or even the question, John simply cupped Rodney's erection in his hand and waited.

After a long, still moment, Rodney opened his pants and lifted his hips. John slid down next to Rodney's feet and untied his shoes, tugging each off in turn. Rodney took the hint and pushed his pants all the way down. Not bothering with Rodney's socks, John crawled forward until Rodney's cock was within reach. Then he bent down and closed his lips around it.

Sucking hungrily, he slid his mouth as far down Rodney's cock as he could get it, past the point when he would normally gag. Then he dragged his mouth slowly back to the tip before reversing direction.

Rodney's cock was filling his mouth, and his nostrils were full of Rodney's scent. John curled his hand around Rodney's bare thigh.

The rhythm wasn't easy this time. It was hard to find, hard to maintain, because all John wanted was to stay as far down Rodney's cock as he could get and suck.

"John." Rodney's voice was so quiet John barely heard him. Rodney stroked him, his big hand moving gently through John's hair. Reaching up, John took hold of Rodney's hand and guided it down to rest on Rodney's thigh, holding it there, Rodney's fingers entangled with his own.

He didn't want to feel anything but Rodney's cock, and for the next several minutes he didn't. But Rodney had two good hands, and he slid his fingers along John's cheek. John ignored him, closing his eyes and focusing on the cock in his mouth.

Rodney's hand dropped away.

Rodney came with a jerk of his hips. John rode it out, still sucking, still sliding his mouth up and down, but slower and shallower. Rodney's come was bitter on his tongue; John swallowed it all.

When Rodney's cock began to soften, he lowered his head to Rodney's thigh, letting the tip slip from between his lips.

Rodney stroked his hair again. "Come here. Please."

Tilting his head back, John looked up at Rodney and then couldn't look away. He'd expected the concern, but there was something else in Rodney's gaze, something John couldn't name.

"Please," Rodney said again.

Moving slowly, John shifted until he was even with Rodney and rested his cheek on the same pillow.

Turning onto his side, Rodney touched John's cheek. Then he stroked the side of John's neck. His fingers brushed John's lips and John lifted his face slightly. Rodney kissed him.

Kissing Rodney was just as easy as it had been the first time, and John parted his lips, asking for more. Rodney gave it to him, his hand resting on John's hip as he deepened the kiss. John wrapped his right arm around Rodney's shoulders, resting his cast on Rodney, and clutched at Rodney's upper arm with his good hand.

John focused entirely on the press of Rodney's firm lips against his, the teasing touch of his tongue, the taste John couldn't seem to get enough of.

Rodney kept kissing him, one kiss after another, until John's hips jerked, lifting towards Rodney before John could stop them. Letting go of John's hip, Rodney fumbled his pants open. He started to reach inside, and John wrapped his hand around Rodney's wrist. "Make it last," he whispered.

"Trust me."

John let go.

Shifting to the foot of the bed, Rodney removed John's shoes, then his socks, before reaching for John's waistband. John lifted his hips eagerly, pushing at his pants with his good hand.

Rodney knelt between John's legs and John sat up, lifting his arms when Rodney reached for his shirt. He wanted to be naked with Rodney, wanted Rodney to look at him, wanted Rodney to see him.

Rodney's hand ghosted over his chest, barely touching. John ignored it and reached for Rodney's shirt, pulling it up with his good hand. Rodney took the hint and tugged the shirt over his head, dropping it to the floor.

Keeping his eyes on Rodney's face, John lay back on the bed, inviting Rodney to look, to touch, to do whatever he wanted.

Apparently he wanted to kiss, because he followed John down, stretching out over him, his entire body pressing into John's. John groaned and lifted his mouth to Rodney's.

He could feel Rodney's thick thighs between his legs, and Rodney's groin pressing into his, giving his cock something warm to push against. Rodney's own cock was solid between them.

He'd made Rodney hard again.

Rodney kissed his neck and John tilted his head back, trying to keep down the whimper forming in his throat.

When Rodney's mouth reached his nipple the whimper escaped. John had no idea why. His nipples weren't that sensitive.

Rodney was stroking the side of John's hip and thigh, and he raised his mouth from John's chest to his lips. John wrapped both arms and one leg around him, kissing him hungrily, pulling Rodney down on top of him, until they were pressed as tightly together as John could get them.

He slid his good hand down Rodney's back, feeling him, then cupped Rodney's ass. It was firm and soft and solid all at once. Some crazy Rodney thing no doubt.

Rodney kept moving one of his hands up and down John's side, caressing as much of John as he could. Relaxing a little, John eased his grip enough that Rodney could slide a hand between them. But Rodney took advantage of his relaxation and rolled them onto their sides where he could touch more easily. John watched Rodney touch him, his hand flat against John's stomach.

He watched Rodney slide his hand up over John's hip, then back up to his chest, watched his own chest hair curl around Rodney's thick fingers.

He watched Rodney wrap his hand around John's cock.

He watched Rodney stroke him.

But it wasn't enough and after a few strokes he was reaching for Rodney, touching Rodney's cock with his good hand, trying to match Rodney's rhythm, making frustrated noises when he failed.

Taking John's hand in his Rodney removed it from his cock, then wrapped it around both of their shafts at once. Fingers not quite linked, Rodney guided John's hand with his, finding the rhythm. John rested his forehead on Rodney's collarbone and stared down at their hands and their cocks.

Every pull of their hands was taking him closer. He didn't want to come yet, didn’t want it to stop, but he didn’t know how to tell Rodney that. Rodney's touch felt so good. Eyes falling closed, he stopped resisting and gave into the sensation of Rodney's cock against his and joined hands stroking him.

John came, and Rodney moved John's hand away, holding John's cock in his solid grip, touching him just enough to keep John going, to make him shudder harder.

When he opened his eyes, Rodney was stroking himself. "I have to," he said, voice tight.

"Please," John whispered back, reaching down to cup Rodney's balls in his hand, cradling them while Rodney brought himself off with a hand covered in John's come.

Rodney's whole body jerked when he came, and John kissed wherever he could reach, a shoulder, the base of Rodney's neck.

Spots of Rodney's fluid on his chest, John wrapped an arm around Rodney's broad back and pressed as close as he could get, lifting one leg and draping it over Rodney's hip before closing his eyes.

He was on his back when he opened them, squinting through the dark at Rodney who was standing next to the bed pulling on his shirt.

"Sorry, I didn't mean to wake you," Rodney whispered.

Still half-asleep John frowned at him.

Rodney patted his shoulder. "See you in the morning."

John stared at the door long after it had closed behind him.


Over the next few weeks their pattern became a ritual. Star Trek, followed by porn, followed by sex.

Really good sex.

Sixty-nines and more of the rubbing, and lots of kissing. John was pretty sure no one would believe him if he told them how well Rodney kissed.

Good sex, good kissing, there really wasn't any reason for John to be out of sorts, but he was.

He stared across the gate room at where Rodney was hunched over a console, tinkering. John wanted to squeeze his shoulders, loosen them, make them unhunch. Instead he turned and left.

Going into his quarters, he dropped onto his big new bed, the bed Rodney hadn't yet seen, and waited. Maybe that was the problem. He was spending all his time waiting. Waiting while teams went out without him, wasting his time on busy work that took twice as long as it should.

Waiting, waiting, waiting.

For Godot.

For his hand to heal.

For Rodney to get bored and come play with him.


John sighed.

A knock on the door made him sit up. "Come in."

"Hey," Rodney said, smiling as he entered. It was a smile that said "I'm about to have sex." John knew it well.


"New bed." Rodney asked stopping next to it.


"Can I have one?" Rodney asked.

"Depends on how good you are at bribing the ranking military officer."

"I'm sure I can find something he might want," Rodney said, going to get the laptop and bringing it to the bed.

John leaned against the back wall while Rodney booted the system and started DS9. Then Rodney sat next to him, their shoulders not brushing.

Eventually they were going to run out of DS9 episodes. They were already repeating the porn movies. Not that that was really a problem. Wondering vaguely which one they'd watch tonight, he edged closer to Rodney.


"I like the bed," Rodney said, resting on his back and staring up at the ceiling.

John had to admit that it had been nice to have room to move around. "Yeah." Rolling onto his side, he rested his hand on Rodney's stomach, sex having left him less out of sorts.

Patting his hand, Rodney rolled to the side and stood. He went into the bathroom, then came out, chest now free of fluids, and began dressing. John wanted to point out that he had a big bed now.

Instead, he watched Rodney dress and forced himself to smile when Rodney patted his shoulder.

Then he stared at the ceiling, cradling his broken hand, all of his out-of-sortsness returning.


As good as all the sex with Rodney was John missed jerking off, especially in the shower. It was a decent way to start the day, have an orgasm, take care of his morning erection. Of course if Rodney would just stay, he wouldn't find himself with a morning erection and no way to take care of it. They'd shower together and there would be touching, maybe some nice rubbing.

He washed as efficiently as he could, ignoring his cock except when necessary.

Rodney was sitting with Zelenka when John arrived in the mess. He started toward them then diverted to where Lorne was sitting with Miller. They didn't need to eat every meal together, and it probably wasn't a good idea to spend quite so much time together in public.

Someone might figure out that their friendship had acquired perks.

"Morning, sir," Miller said, and John nodded an acknowledgment as he sat.

"Good morning, sir," Lorne said.

"Good morning, Major." John tucked into his eggs, having fully mastered left-handed fork handling.

After several forkfuls he became aware of the fact that no one was speaking.

"Something wrong, sir?" Lorne asked when John looked up.

"No. Why?"

"No reason," Lorne said with a shake of his head.

"It's just the hand." John waved his broken hand in the air. "I hate being grounded."

"I hear you," Miller said.

"How was jumper five when you took her out yesterday?" She'd had some repairs and John should have asked as soon as he sat down.

He should have been able to take her up himself.

Shoving that thought aside, he focused his attention on Miller's answer.


He avoided Rodney at lunch, too, and dinner.

But when Rodney didn't show up to watch DS9, John gave in and went looking for him. Rodney was in his lab and John walked straight up to his bench. "You too busy for Star Trek tonight?"

Rodney jumped. "A little warning, Colonel."

"Sorry," John said, although he didn't feel sorry.

"No, I'm not too busy. I thought maybe you were." Rodney sounded almost hurt.

"I'm not."

"Obviously," Rodney answered tightly.


"Fine," Rodney said, snapping his laptop closed. "You want to watch Star Trek? We'll watch Star Trek."

The walk to John's quarters was silent, tense and silent.

John started up the episode then sat on his side of the bed, arms crossed, several inches between him and Rodney.

Rodney's position mirrored his. The tension didn't lessen, both of them staring silently at the screen. John didn't have the slightest idea what Sisco was doing or why. He was pretty sure Rodney didn't either.

"What the hell is wrong with you?" Rodney asked after about twenty minutes. John had known he'd break first.


"Nothing? You ignore me all day. Then you get mad at me for not coming by. And now you're sulking."

"I am not sulking."

"Of course you're not. John Sheppard would never sulk."

"No, I wouldn't. You're the one who's pissy."

"I am not pissy. I'm annoyed." Rodney glared at him. "And I'm annoyed because you're," he waved at John, "being all weird."

John was being all weird. He couldn't deny it. "I wanna fly," he said sounding sulky even to his own ears.

"Of course you do."

Rodney's agreement didn't make him feel any better. "And we're not friends."

Rodney stared at him, a series of emotions crossing his face, surprise, a flash of anger, hurt. The last was the one that stuck. "Right. Well, as your non-friend I should probably go." He rose from the bed before John could say anything else forcing John to scramble after him.

He caught Rodney's arm, stopping him. "That's not what I meant."

"It's what you said."

"Yeah, so I said it, but it's not what I meant." Rodney continued to look at him, clearly waiting for John to explain what he did mean. John took a deep breath. He really wasn't good at this stuff. "We are friends, but we aren't just friends. What we do together that's not friends. Friends don't give each other blowjobs. Well, maybe some friends do. But not us. When we do it it's not friendship."

Rodney's expression shifted into something less pained, but it was a long moment before he spoke. "What are you saying? That we're lovers?"

"Yes." John nodded vigorously. "Or we would be if you'd stop leaving all the time. Why do you think I got that big bed?"

"Because you move around a lot in your sleep."

"Is that why you never stay over?"

Rodney shook his head. "I was trying to play it cool. Not seem too, you know..."

John did know. "If I wanted cool I'd be sleeping with Ronon." Suddenly feeling a whole lot better, he smiled.

Rodney didn't smile back. "Just so we're clear. What do you want?"

Letting go of Rodney's arm, John cupped the side of his neck. "A real relationship, not this half-assed whatever that we've been doing." It felt good to finally say it, to do more than touch.

"And a real relationship means staying the night?" Rodney asked, his eyes searching John's face.

"Sometimes, when we can."

"What else? Because we should be clear about this to prevent further…"

"Idiocy?" John suggested.

Rodney huffed. "I was cool. You were the idiot."

They had both been idiots, but John wasn't about to argue the point. "What do you want?" he asked instead, because he figured in a real relationship people asked stuff like that. Plus, he wanted to know.

"You. Just…" Rodney sighed, sounding vaguely put-upon. "You."

John lifted his hand. "Broken bones and all?"

Wrapping a hand around John's cast, Rodney held it against his chest. "Idiocy and all."

Leaning into Rodney, John said, with a smile that was part invitation and part tease, "Think we can manage to have sex without the porn?"

"You said I have good taste in porn, that I was a porn connoisseur."

"Yeah, but I'm better than porn," John said, kissing him before Rodney could answer.

Rodney, being Rodney, tried anyway, before finally giving up and returning the kiss.


His cast came off a week later. The first thing John did was go to Rodney's lab and waggle his fingers at him.

The second thing he did was drag Rodney out in the jumper with him.

The third thing he did was jerk Rodney off. If the second thing and the third thing happened to take place at the same time, well, that was his secret and Rodney's.