No copyright infringement is intended or should be inferred. No money was made from the writing or posting of any content on this fan site.

chelle's site is maintained by chelle.

Looking Glass


Title: Looking Glass

Author: chelle

Author's email:

Author's URL:

Fandom: Atlantis

Archive: Ask first

Rating: PG13

AN: Thank you to Grrrl for the criticism and to Rachel Sabotini for the encouragement.

Warm. Rodney shifted a little. Warm was good.

Sucking. Sucking was good too. He shifted his hips, hoping to encourage the sucking.

Nimble hands moving over his chest, brushing his nipples, pulling him toward wakefulness.

"John," he murmured, opening his eyes.


John gazed down at Rodney's still form. Seeing Rodney so still was unnerving. Rodney wasn't meant to be still. When he'd been hit by the Wraith stunner, his eyes had spoken volumes even if his hands and mouth had been stilled.

"Still no change?" John asked when Carson came to stand beside him.

Carson shook his head. "Afraid not."

It was the ritual they had enacted every morning for the last two weeks. It had grown shorter. Carson no longer went into the details of Rodney's condition, because John already knew them. Rodney was in a coma-like state, but there was plenty of brain activity, a plethora of brain activity in fact, and every reason to believe that Rodney would eventually pull out of it, just as the Rinthra had said he would.

The Rinthra were the ones who had put Rodney into this state. It was their idea of a thank you, a reward for Rodney's help in repairing the Ancient outpost on their planet. They called it a learning trance and claimed that Rodney would awaken as soon as he had learned what he needed to.

Rodney already knew a helluva lot and John didn't think he needed to be put into a trance to learn more. He'd told the Rinthra that, in no uncertain terms, but by then it had been too late.

Part of him wanted to explain it to them again, with a P-90.

Taking a step closer to the bed, he rested his hand on top of Rodney's, stroking the back of it with his thumb. "Look, Rodney," John said conversationally, "I know how much you like learning new stuff, but I think it's time you woke up."

John knew Carson had stepped back, fading into the background. That was part of their ritual, too.

"There's talk of giving Kavanagh your job."

No response. If that didn’t rile Rodney, John didn't know what would. He had already tried begging, pleading, cajoling, promising to let Rodney win at chess. Nothing worked. Rodney never so much as batted an eyelash.

John looked down at his hand and Rodney's. He tended to forget how solid Rodney was, that he had broad shoulders and strong arms. Big hands. John traced Rodney's forearm with his fingers. Rodney had been lying in this bed for two weeks, but it still felt pretty solid. He moved his fingers to Rodney's wrist and then back up to the inside of his elbow.

Rodney made a small, barely audible noise.

John froze. "Carson."

Carson was standing on the other side of the bed in seconds.

"He made a noise," John said, staring at Rodney's face, willing him to make another sound.

"What kind of noise?" Carson asked, checking the various monitors.

"It was kind of a sigh."

"Was there a cause? Did you say something? Do something?"

John felt himself flush. He looked down at the bed where his hand still rested on Rodney's forearm. "I was touching his arm."

Carson's hands curled around the railing on the other side of the bed. "Try it again."

John slid his hand up Rodney's arm, feeling hair and skin. Rodney had a small mole on the inside of his arm just above his elbow, and John brushed it with his fingertips. Reaching the sleeve of the scrubs they had dressed Rodney in, John began to lower his hand.

Rodney made another sound and John looked at Carson, who nodded. "Keep going."

John moved his hand back up Rodney's arm, wondering if he should try touching Rodney in other places.

"Try his stomach," Carson suggested, answering John's unasked question.

John slipped his hand beneath Rodney's shirt and then realized that maybe Carson had meant through his shirt.

"Don't stop," Carson said. "If he's responding to physical stimulus, let's give him some more to respond to."

John didn't bother asking why Carson wasn't providing physical stimulus, too. He simply moved his hand over Rodney's belly. Rodney's skin was warm and soft, and the hair felt kind of nice. He moved his hand in slow circles.

Rodney whimpered. It was definitely a whimper this time.

John moved his hand in a larger circle, touching part of Rodney's chest. "Come on, Rodney, wake up," he said, just loudly enough for Rodney to hopefully hear. He made another circle, his fingers brushing the edge of a nipple. "I need you to wake up." John moved his fingers back to Rodney's nipple, rubbed it lightly, felt it harden. It was an intimate place to touch, but John didn't care. He'd touch Rodney's dick if he had to.

Rodney made another sound, closer to a moan this time, and John moved his fingers to Rodney's other nipple, ignoring Carson's presence entirely.

There was movement beneath Rodney's eyelids. John glanced at Carson, who smiled encouragingly. He'd seen it too.

"John." Rodney's voice was barely audible.

Relief, stunning, blissful relief, filled him, and John smiled broadly. "Rodney."

"Welcome back," Carson said, and Rodney turned to look at him.

His brow furrowed. "I’m in the infirmary?"

John nodded.

"You've been unconscious for the last two weeks," Carson explained.

"I--" Something seemed to fade from Rodney's eyes and his questioning tone was replaced with resignation. "Of course I have."

John wanted to know what the last two weeks had been like for Rodney, but now wasn’t the time to ask. "I’m glad you're back," he said warmly. Realizing that his hand was still under Rodney's shirt, he withdrew it as casually as he could. "Zelenka will be, too. Apparently he's ready to nominate you for sainthood."

Rodney smiled a little. "I told him being in charge is no fun."

"He believes you now. I told him he just needed to be ruder."

Rodney nodded slightly. "You have to be blunt."

John had nothing to say to that; he just kept smiling at Rodney.

"I'm going to be blunt and chase you out of here, Major," Carson said. "I need to examine Rodney."

"I'll go tell Elizabeth the good news." Unable to resist one last touch, he squeezed Rodney's hand. "I'll be back in a little while."


Rodney was back at work in less than 24 hours. Carson couldn't find anything wrong with him, and a bored Rodney was an irritating Rodney. On the surface everything was fine, but there was something different about him, something John couldn't quite place.

It was during lunch in the mess about a week after Rodney woke up that it hit him. Rodney was quieter. Ford was trying to explain cartoons, specifically Bugs Bunny, to Teyla, who was finding the concept of a cross-dressing rabbit difficult to grasp. It was precisely the kind of conversation that Rodney would normally be all over with his pointed sarcasm, but all he did was listen, smile a little, and eat his lunch.

It made John wonder, again, what exactly Rodney had learned during his two week sojourn in Neverland. No matter how curious he became, John couldn't quite bring himself to ask. Rodney had shied away every time he had tried to bring it up, and something in Rodney's manner suggested that pushing would simply push Rodney away, so he kept his questions to himself.


John rested his head against the wall behind him and took a deep breath, letting it out slowly. Rodney would get him out of here.

"How are you doing, Major?" Teyla asked in his ear.

John pressed the button on his radio. "Fine. Where's McKay?"

"He is speaking with Dr. Zelenka about having some more equipment sent from Atlantis. He has ordered everyone to turn in for the evening."

They couldn't rescue him if they didn't sleep. John knew that, and he told himself he wasn't being abandoned, that they'd get him out of here alive. Besides, Rodney wouldn’t let him die. "Sleep well, Teyla."

"I shall try, Major. Dr. McKay will be back soon."

John nodded again. Maybe he should sleep himself, it wasn't as though his room wasn't dark. He'd turned off the light on his P-90 to conserve energy, not that he really needed to conserve, but looking at four stone walls was depressing. He had plenty of food and water, but occupying a room with his own piss was less than pleasant. He took in another breath, not as deep this time. Maybe now was the time to take up meditation. Clear his mind, chant "ohm," he could do that.

"John." That was another thing that had changed since Rodney's sojourn in Neverland. He had started calling John by his first name. John doubted that Rodney even realized he was doing it.

"Hey, Rodney."

"How are you holding up?"

"I'm bored."

"We could play Prime, Not Prime."

"I always win."

"True," Rodney conceded. John could almost hear him thinking, searching for a way to keep John entertained. "If you were stuck on a deserted island what book would you take with you?"

"The Complete Works of William Shakespeare," John answered without hesitation.

"Really?" Rodney asked. John could hear him tinkering with something in the background.

"It'd take me years to figure out what he was saying."

"I'd take Robinson Crusoe. That way I could get some pointers."

Leave it to Rodney to be practical about literature. "You wouldn't take a book on boat building?"

"That would be cheating."

John smiled. "What album would you take?"

"John Coltrane, A Love Supreme."

He hadn't realized that Rodney was a jazz fan, but he wasn't really surprised. Complexity and improvisation were two of Rodney's favorite things. "I'd take Kiss."

Rodney laughed.

"Meatloaf," John suggested, adding when Rodney laughed again, "Reo Speedwagon."

"Why don't you just go for Sweet and get it over with?"

John hadn't thought of Sweet in years, because that was seriously bad music. "Love is Like Oxygen?"

"Ballroom Blitz. It'd be perfect for reading Shakespeare to."

"My older brother had that album," John said. "He played it all the time. That, and ACDC's Back in Black."

"My sympathies."

John snorted. "Let me guess, you listened to Coltrane even as a kid."

"Nah, Louis Armstrong, The Hot Fives and Sevens. Have you ever heard those albums?"


"I have them on my laptop. I'll play them for you sometime."

"Sounds good." It did sound good. John liked the idea of spending an evening with Rodney listening to jazz and to Rodney talking about jazz. "So what movie would you take?"

"Star Wars."

"Me too. We could watch it together on your laptop."

"When we're alone on our deserted island."

"If I could choose someone to be trapped on a deserted island with, it would be you."

John felt Rodney go still. Even though he didn't even know where Rodney was, he knew Rodney had stopped working. "Really?"

"Sure, because if anyone could get us unstranded it would be you. Plus, you'd bring Star Wars, and Coltrane."

"And you could kill and prepare dinner while I was trying to get us off of the island."

"Sure, I could do that." Not that John had ever been hunting or even fishing. "Rodney? Can I ask you something?"

"Fire away."

"What did you learn when you were in the trance the Rinthra put you in?"

Rodney didn't answer right away, and John wasn't certain he was going to. "I didn't learn anything. I got to experience what it would be like if my life was different."

"How was it different?"

"I wasn't alone."

"Rodney, you're not alone now."

There was silence for a moment, and then Rodney answered, "No, I’m not."


Rodney got him out a few hours later. Then he did something he'd never done before, he hugged John. It was a brief hug, but it felt really good, even if they did both stink.

Carson had declared John fit to shower and sleep in his own bed, ordering Rodney, who hadn't slept the entire time John had been trapped, to do the same.

That had been 12 hours earlier. John had slept and showered twice, and, once again fit for human company, he was standing in line in the mess hall. The Athosians had found berries on the mainland. They were small, but plump, perfect for muffins.

On impulse, he grabbed two and poured two cups of coffee, adding sugar to both and cream to one. Tray in hand, he headed to Rodney's quarters.

He knocked lightly, letting himself in when there wasn't any answer. Rodney was asleep on his side, facing away from the door. John moved toward the bed, intending to leave the coffee and muffin on the stand next to Rodney's bed. Rodney turned onto his back as John approached. "John?" He sounded sleepy and muddled.

John raised the tray. "I brought breakfast."

"Oh, okay. Let me just--" Rodney pointed at the bathroom door.

John nodded and Rodney rose from the bed. He was wearing boxers and his morning erection was pushing against them. John averted his eyes. The door closed and John wondered if Rodney's erection would go away when he pissed or if Rodney would have to jerk off in the shower.

Pushing that thought firmly from his mind, John went out onto Rodney's balcony. It was a nice morning, a little chilly, but nice. Sitting, he dangled his feet over the edge and began pulling the paper off of his muffin.

He ate slowly and he was only about a third of the way done when Rodney joined him. Evidently, Rodney had taken Weir's orders to take the day off seriously, because he was wearing jeans and a long-sleeved navy t-shirt.

Rodney sat, and John handed him his coffee. "It might be a little cold."

Rodney took a sip. "It's fine." He set down his coffee and John handed him a muffin.

"So, what's down there, do you think?" John asked, looking at the water.

"Fish, plankton, giant squid."

"Giant squid?"

"It's possible. Lewis and Schaefer found mollusks, and they're related."

"Isn't it weird how we keep finding the same types of plants and animals everywhere? You'd think we'd run into silicone based life or something," John said.

"It would be kind of cool to find a horta, not that we'd be able to communicate with it."

"You can't mind meld? Some chief science officer you are."

"We all have our limitations," Rodney replied loftily. "Fortunately for you, I have fewer than most."

"Fortunately for me," John agreed. "Thank you for getting me out, by the way."

"You're welcome."

"What else have Lewis and Schaefer found?"

For the next several minutes, John listened while Rodney explained what the oceanographers had discovered so far. Rodney had what John thought of as the Carl Sagan knack. He could easily explain complex ideas in layman's terms. It's just that for most people he couldn't be bothered. John was glad he wasn't most people, because Rodney knew a lot of cool stuff.

The muffins were gone and John swallowed the last of his now cold coffee regretfully. He liked hanging out with Rodney, but now that they'd finished eating Rodney would undoubtedly have something he had to do. He almost always did.

"Thank you for this," Rodney said.

John turned to look at him, his eyes meeting Rodney's. He was tempted to say something about how it was the least he could do. Instead, he said simply, "You're welcome."

Rodney nodded a little, his eyes still locked on John's. Then he leaned forward and their lips brushed.

John was still processing what had happened when Rodney muttered an apology and jumped to his feet.

Still feeling the fleeting touch, John followed Rodney into his quarters. Rodney was standing near the bed with his back to John. "Rodney?" John asked, stopping a foot behind him, his surprise and curiosity fading as he looked at Rodney's slumped shoulders.

"I’m sorry. I shouldn't have done that."

"It's not a problem." It wasn't. John was more concerned about Rodney than he was about the kiss. Rodney didn't run away from things, and he didn't hide, but it felt to John like he'd been doing exactly that ever since he'd woken up. "Talk to me," he added gently, hoping his tone would encourage Rodney to confide in him.

Rodney turned around. He looked lost, or like he'd lost something important. "Remember how I told you I wasn't alone? In the coma or dream or whatever it was?"

"I remember."

"I was with you. We were together. I forgot it wasn't real for a minute." Rodney gestured vaguely at the balcony. "Sorry."

Together. They'd been together. "We were lovers?"

Rodney nodded, still looking lost.

"We kissed?" John asked, regretting it as soon as he realized how stupid it sounded.

"That's generally what lovers do."

Maybe it hadn't been such a stupid question if it gave Rodney a chance to sound acerbic. "I'm just asking." John sat on the foot of the bed. He and Rodney. Rodney and him. Together. Doing the kinds of things lovers do. In bed. Out of bed.

Rodney sat next to him. "I expected you to be more upset."

John shrugged a single shoulder. "I'm in another galaxy where I travel to other planets through a wormhole, and fight space battles against life sucking aliens. Being kissed by my closest friend seems almost normal compared to that."

"Ah," Rodney said and fell silent.

John stared at the floor. He and Rodney, together. "Was it good?"

"Was what good?"

Even though he was pretty sure Rodney knew what he meant, John answered, "The sex. I assume we had some."

Rodney was looking at the floor too, and he didn't look at John when he spoke. "It was… fun."

"Fun's good."


John glanced at the side of Rodney's face. He looked awfully unhappy for a guy who was talking about good sex. Not that John could blame him, considering the circumstances. "You don't want to talk about this, do you?"


"Okay." John stood. "I should go do… something."

Rodney nodded. John squeezed his shoulder and left.


John sat on the edge of his bed and looked down at his floor, much as he had in Rodney's quarters. Rodney had dreamt about them together--for two weeks.

Dropping back onto the bed, he looked up at the ceiling. He wondered what it had been like, what Rodney had imagined. They'd had sex. They'd kissed. In Rodney's dream.

On Rodney's balcony.

It had been nice. Rodney's lips had felt nice. Full. Fuller than John would have thought, if he'd ever thought about Rodney's lips, which he hadn't.

Just like he hadn't thought about sex with Rodney.

He'd only thought about being on a deserted island with Rodney, watching Star Wars and listening to jazz.


John wasn't sure if he avoided Rodney or Rodney avoided him, but they didn't see one another for the rest of the day.

The following day they had a mission. It wasn't much of a mission, just a visit to the Lifuwn, who they traded with regularly. There wasn't any reason for Rodney to go, but there were some ruins a couple of miles from the village that fascinated Rodney. They fascinated John, too.

They weren't really ruins, more abandoned buildings. There were three of them, each shaped like a triangle, and together they formed a fourth triangle. It was weird, but neat. The buildings were clearly alien as in not made by humans, not simply on an alien planet. Unfortunately, the little writing they had found had completely eluded their linguists, and no one, not even Rodney, had been able to make heads or tails of their technology.

All of which just meant that Rodney took any opportunity he could get to study it.

John had left Teyla to handle the trading and come with Rodney to the ruins. They were currently on the ground floor of the building Rodney had designated Building One. John had long ago decided that Rodney was even worse at naming things than Ford. There was a podium in the center of the room. Rodney had managed to open an access panel and was currently sitting on his knees, poking about inside the thing. John was about to ask Rodney if he'd found anything interesting when Rodney sat back on his heels, a disgusted look on his face.

"Two weeks in a coma. Couldn't the Rinthra have taught me something useful, like what these people used for power?"

John was surprised by how much the resentment in Rodney's voice stung. It wasn't as if they'd really been lovers. Hell, John had spent those two weeks at Rodney's bedside. "You didn't like it?" he asked, because he thought Rodney had liked it, and because Rodney liking it mattered more than it should.

"Like what?" Rodney asked irritably, glancing up at him.

"Those two weeks. Us."

Rodney leaned forward, sticking his head halfway into the podium. "There was no us. It was a dream."

"I thought it was a good dream."

"It was."

"So you enjoyed it."

Once again sitting back on his heels, Rodney looked up at John. "Why don't you just tell me what you want to know?"


"Nothing," Rodney repeated. "Then why do you keep talking about it?"

"I do not keep talking about it. I only found about it yesterday," John argued.

"You are so annoying when you get like this. Why don't you just come out and say what it is you want?"

"Maybe I don't know what I want."

Rodney gazed at him for a moment. "I hadn't considered that. When you figure it out, let me know." He went back to poking at the inside of the podium.

John watched. He just wanted to know what it had been like, that's all. Why couldn't Rodney get that? John was pretty sure that if their positions were reversed Rodney would be curious. "I just want to know what it was like."

This time Rodney stood. "It was good," he said, wiping his hands on his thighs. "Aside from the whole not saying what you want thing."

"I didn't say what I wanted?"

Rodney's expression softened. "I could usually figure it out, but, no, you weren't good at saying what you wanted."

"Was it just sex? I mean, did we--" John stopped, because while he knew what he meant, he wasn't sure how to say it.

"It wasn't just sex. We spent a lot of time together. We laughed a lot." One corner of Rodney's mouth turned up in a wistful half-smile. "You can be quite silly."

John nodded. He could be silly.

"I liked that." Rodney shifted his gaze from John's face, looking first over John's shoulder and then at the floor. "It was the best relationship I've ever had, and it wasn't real. Which isn't really all that surprising, I suppose." Rodney turned back toward the podium.

John placed a hand on his shoulder, stopping him. "Rodney"

Rodney glanced up at him, and he looked so exposed, so alone, that all John could do was stare. He held his breath for a long moment, and then he leaned in. His lips had barely brushed Rodney's when his radio went off. John drew back, only half listening to Teyla.

Rodney knelt and resumed playing with the podium. John wished he could see his face, because he couldn’t tell anything from Rodney's back.

"They've finished trading. I told Teyla we'd meet them at the Stargate."

Rodney didn't say anything. He simply replaced the panel in the podium and stood, glancing around to make sure he'd picked up all of his equipment. John knew that's what he was doing because he'd watched him do it before. He managed to avoid looking at John.

"All set?" John asked.

Rodney nodded, and John led the way out of the building, his eyes adjusting to the bright light. They plodded along in silence, crossing the field along the same path they'd taken on their way to the buildings. John wondered if things would be less awkward if they'd actually kissed. Unfortunately, there wasn't any way to get the moment back, at least not now, but maybe later. John wanted to get the moment back. "Will you have dinner with me?"

Rodney stopped walking so John stopped too. "In the mess?"

"No, I'll get us both dinner and we can eat it in my quarters."

Rodney's gaze narrowed. "Like a date?"



As soon as we get back, John almost answered. "Tonight, around six."

"What time is it now?"

Having long ago given up on getting Rodney to look at his watch, or even wear it most of the time, John looked at his own. "Almost four."

"Better make it 6:30."

By the time they got back, helped put away the supplies, and debriefed six-thirty would leave John just enough time to shower and get the food. "Okay."

"Six thirty, then," Rodney was almost smiling, as if he wanted to smile but was trying not to. "Let's go."

If Rodney walked a little faster than usual, John didn't comment.


John put the tray full of food on the stand next to his bed and looked around. He didn't have a table, not one you could eat at anyway. They'd just have to sit on the bed and hold their plates on their laps.

Glancing in the mirror, he frowned. He needed to cut his hair. Maybe he should change his shirt. Tan wasn't really his color, and Rodney had to look at tan all of the time. Hastily unbuttoning his shirt, he pressed the panel next to his closet door and it slid open to reveal leaning stacks of shirts and pants. He wondered what Rodney's closet looked like.

There was a knock on the door. "Just a second," John called, tossing the tan shirt into the closet and grabbing a dark green shirt, an ex-girlfriend had told him dark green made his eyes stand out. He pulled it on as he walked toward the door.

Drawing in a breath, he opened the door.

"Hi," Rodney said, rubbing his hands on his pants.

"Hi." John stepped back and Rodney entered.

"I was going to try and sneak some of that wine-like stuff we traded for on P5J-832, but then I remembered that you thought it was too sweet."

"I don't have a table," John confessed.

Rodney responded as though John's answer to him hadn't been a complete non sequitur. "We can sit on the floor."

The floor, right, the floor would be better than the bed. "Okay." John went over to his bedside and picked up the tray. When he turned to look, Rodney was sitting on the floor with his back against the bed and his legs stretched out in front of him. His hair was damp. Rodney had showered. John peered at Rodney's face as he sat. And shaved. That should have made him less nervous, since it meant he wasn't the only one who had cleaned up, but it didn't.

He handed Rodney a plate.

"Tuna casserole," Rodney said, accepting the plate.


"I like tuna casserole."

John wasn't surprised. "This whole love you have for bland food is some weird Canadian thing, isn't it?"


John sat cross-legged, facing Rodney, with his plate in his lap. "I think it is. I had Mexican food in Ottawa once. I ordered mine extra spicy and it didn't even clear my sinuses."

"Food isn't supposed to clear your sinuses. That's what medicine is for."

Pausing with his fork partway to his mouth, John smiled. "Face it, Rodney, Canadians don't even know the meaning of the word spice."

"Unlike you Californians."

"Exactly." John glanced at Rodney, expecting to see him rolling his eyes. There was a hint of a smile at the corners of his mouth and affection in his gaze. John thought he should look away, but he couldn’t seem to. It was Rodney who looked away first, taking a bite of his casserole.

"Have you got anything to drink?"

"Oh, yeah, sorry." John put his plate on the floor and stood. "I thought we'd just have water if that's okay."

"It's fine."

John bent to pick up the empty glasses from the tray. Aware of Rodney watching him, he picked up the glasses and carried them into the bathroom for filling.

Returning, he held out one to Rodney before sitting himself. He was taking a long drink of water when Rodney said, "What kind of race likes triangles?"

John put his glass down and picked up his fork. He really wasn't that fond of tuna casserole, but he filled his fork anyway. "Maybe they have three arms."

"Or three legs."

"Three eyes."

"Three mouths."

"Three heads."

Rodney grinned. "Like an extra-demented Zaphod Beeblebrox."

"It would explain the triangle thing."

"It would," Rodney agreed with a smile and John realized that his nervousness had faded. Besides he didn't have any reason to be nervous. This was Rodney.

Who he had almost, sort of kissed--twice.

Ignoring the renewed flutter in his stomach, John shifted so that he was sitting next to Rodney, his shoulder against Rodney's. "Glad I could help."

Rodney set his empty plate aside. John had long ago stopped being surprised by the speed with which Rodney ate, even while carrying on a conversation. Rodney seemed to think that eating should be gotten out of the way as quickly as possible so that he could resume other, more important tasks.

After a couple more bites, John put his own plate aside.

"Not hungry?"

"Not that fond of tuna."

Rodney didn't say anything and silence settled over them, a little tense.

"So did we do stuff like this?" John asked, not because the silence was awkward, but because he wanted to know and because it gave them something to talk about.

"Eat while sitting on your floor?" Rodney said


"Not that I remember, but we were quiet together sometimes."

"We were?" John liked the idea of them being quiet together.

"I'd be working on my laptop, and you’d be reading, and we'd just be together, in the same space."

"Was I still reading War and Peace?"


"I'm never going to finish that damn book, am I?"

"I thought you had a schedule." Rodney was smiling at him, open affection on his face, and John couldn't look away.

"I fell behind," he admitted.

"Maybe you should've picked something a little more fun."

"Or English and droll."

Rodney nodded. "Then you wouldn't have needed a schedule."

"True. Am I really bad at saying what I want?" John asked, because looking at Rodney, at the way Rodney was smiling at him, there were a lot of things John wanted, starting with the feel of Rodney's lips on his.

"You were, and I haven't seen much evidence that you're any better at it in real life."

"So if I said I wanted to kiss you, you'd be surprised?"

"Not really."

"Why not?"

"Because you've been staring at my mouth for the last five minutes. Because you kissed me this afternoon, and then asked me on a date."

"Well when you put it like that."

Rodney chuckled and John leaned toward him. Rodney stopped chuckling just before their lips met. Rodney's lips were warm, somehow managing to be soft and firm at the same time. He tasted like tuna casserole, but John didn't care. The position was awkward, but John didn't care about that either.

Cupping the back of Rodney's neck in his hand, John deepened the kiss. Rodney made a quiet, needy sound and John kissed him harder, wanting to sooth Rodney's need, but Rodney pulled back.

"Are you?" he asked, looking uncertain and hopeful at the same time. "Do you?"

"Yes." John kissed him again, briefly, lightly. "Yes."


"Because you like Star Wars."

"Lots of people like Star Wars."

John stroked the side of Rodney's neck with his thumb, noticing how Rodney's breath caught, just a little. "And you make references to Zaphod Beeblebrox, and you're going to teach me about jazz."

"I am?"

John nodded. "You are."

"I am," Rodney agreed, and John smiled before kissing him.


Warm. Rodney shifted a little. Warm was good.

Sucking. Sucking was good too. He shifted his hips, hoping to encourage the sucking.

Nimble hands moving over his chest, brushing his nipples, pulling him toward wakefulness.

"John," he murmured, opening his eyes.

Letting go of Rodney's cock, John smiled up at him. "Good morning."

Rodney reached down and slid his hand into John's hair, caressing him. "Good morning."

John turned his head and kissed the inside of Rodney's wrist before returning to his former activity.

Closing his eyes, Rodney let reality take him.