The announcement was sure to be in the morning’s paper. That’s what John thought as he finished drying his hair with his towel before he wrapped it around his waist. If he remembered her well (and he thought he did), she wouldn’t wait. She had to know he’d be watching for it.
The last time he’d seen Jamie, she’d paraded the ring in front of him like it was some sort of trophy she’d won. Never mind that he’d offered her one once, because he had “taken too long”, and she’d given him that flat look “God, John. The way you act sometimes, I wonder if it’s just me, or if you’re this way all of the time.”
“What way?” he’d asked, watching helplessly as her clothing filled her suitcase.
“Dispassionate isn’t quite the word. It’s almost like you’re gay.”
“You’re leaving me because you think I’m gay?” He’d asked it slowly, hoping she’d realize how ridiculous it sounded.
She shook her head. “I’m leaving you because you don’t really care. Not really. I mean you’re a great friend, but as a boyfriend, you really, really suck.” Jamie had hefted the suitcase up. “I’ll be back in a week for the cat.”
And now she was marrying some guy who had a lot of money (surprise, surprise), who happened to “adore her” (yeah, John was sure he said that), and John was left checking the paper anxiously each Sunday waiting to see their names in the paper.
He had to be some kind of masochist.
With only the towel wrapped around him, he wandered into the hall, heart drumming in his ears. Absently he heard the door click behind him, but he couldn’t concentrate on that because she’d made the front page.
John stared. The front page.
Apparently Phillip (funny nose and family heritage sure to be full of inbreeding) had made some good investments, and the article discussed how he and his future wife were going to buy castles in England or something.
John shot back to attention when he heard footsteps coming down the hall. He turned to open his door, but it resisted him. John rammed into the door with his body, but it still remained firmly closed.
The guy appeared in the hallway, nose firmly stuck in a letter. John heard him mutter, “I give him two years before his theory is shut down.” He got out his keys and started to unlock his door, seemingly oblivious that there was a halfway naked man standing just down the hall.
John closed his eyes, crossed his fingers, and cursed his door. He regretted having ever agreed to take the apartment with the lock that sometimes gave people trouble. He hadn’t realized “trouble” would someday mean “getting locked outside of your apartment in only a towel”.
The other man was almost in his door when he noticed his paper on the ground. Bending down to pick it up, he looked over and saw John standing there in a towel. With an amused smirk, the guy straightened back up. “Having fun?”
“I got locked out,” John said lamely, putting the newspaper in front of the towel like it made some kind of difference.
The guy nodded towards his apartment. “You can use my phone.”
John saw no better option, so he very carefully made his way over. “Thanks.” The man’s eyes still glittered with amusement.
The apartment was full of models and books. Lots of books. In fact the books spilled off the tables onto the floor and some where lying face down on the couch and the desk. John was surprised he didn’t have to move one off the phone.
He made the quick call, watching the other guy watch him with that damn smirk still on his face. He finished the call and hung up the phone. “Do you mind if I hide out in here until they come?”
“Make yourself at home.” The other guy paused. “Do you usually get your paper naked?”
“Odd.” The other man pondered John’s answer for a minute. “So you just happened to get out of the shower when the sudden urge to see if your favorite team won the game hit you?”
“Actually I forgot. Did Seattle beat Denver?”
“I wouldn’t know. I buy the paper to line my birdcage.” He pulled out the sports section and tossed it to John. “You know, I don’t think I’ve met you before.”
“Rodney McKay, but you can call me Dr. Rodney McKay.” He laughed at his almost joke, moved a few books so that he could sit down. That was when John noticed like ten diplomas hanging on the wall behind the couch.
John thought about sitting down until he thought about his towel riding up his leg and decided standing was a better idea. “What was the letter about?” John asked to make conversation.
“Oh, there’s this idiot over where I work who came up with this theory that wormholes could exist if…” He stopped and waved his hand. “Anyhow, it’s completely flawed, but the science community seems to think he’s God’s latest gift to physics.” Rodney snorted. “Wormholes. I hope they put that theory on his grave, so that people can mock him when he’s proven wrong.”
John didn’t think anyone besides Rodney would go to some physicist’s grave to mock him, even if the guy was completely off target about wormholes (who even thought about wormholes in the first place?). “What’s his name?”
“Phillip Donaldson,” Rodney said the name like it made his skin crawl. It did make John’s skin crawl. Rodney noticed, “Don’t tell me you’ve heard of him?”
“He’s marrying my ex,” John answered. He motioned towards the paper.
That’s when Rodney noticed the front page. He tore the picture of the guy in half. “I can’t believe this! I’m the brightest mind in the United States, Canada, no the world, and he publishes a theory right before his stocks take off.” Rodney was stepping on the shredded picture. “I hate you,” he yelled at it. “I hate you. I hate you. I hate you.”
John thought that he hated Phillip, but he had nothing on this guy. Rodney looked up. “So that’s why you locked yourself out half-naked?” John nodded.
“You should have told me. Anyone who’s decidedly not a friend of his is definitely a friend of mine.”
John gave him an unsure smile, “Good to know.”
“You should be glad you got out of that relationship.” John was about to protest what he felt was a blatant invasion into his personal life, but Rodney didn’t seem to notice and continued, “I mean, what does that say about her taste? She chooses an idiot with a funny looking nose over you. I mean, don’t take this the wrong way, but you’re very attractive.”
“Thanks, I guess.” John felt very aware of the fact he was just wearing a towel.
Rodney seemed to finally realize he’d overstepped his bounds. “Well, yeah, anyways…”
“She said she thought I was gay.” John didn’t know why he’d said it, but he had.
“Yeah, because you look like you’re gay.”
“You never know.” He wondered why he was feeling defensive over Jamie, but he didn’t find an answer before he was taken off guard by Rodney stepping closer.
John backed up, almost tripping over a book. Rodney stopped with a grin, “See, you’re not gay.”
“You don’t even know me.” Again, he wondered why he felt so strongly about this.
“I know you enough to know you aren’t gay.”
“Really?” John grabbed the other man and kissed him. It was awkward and a little clumsy, but John didn’t think it was that bad.
Rodney gave him an amused look for the fiftieth time that day. “You do realize that was really bad.”
John crossed his arms. “Like you could do better.” Rodney shrugged and pulled him over, taking John’s mouth like John was the heroine in a romance novel. John even thought he might have felt himself being tipped backwards.
His head was spinning when it was over. Rodney just laughed and disengaged himself to wander towards his kitchen. “Do you want something to drink?”
John nodded. “Something with alcohol.” He was handed a beer (a Canadian beer, John noticed), and he took down half the bottle in one go. Rodney was just leaning against a counter and watching him. The intensity of his stare made something tighten in John’s stomach.
And John had to choose that moment to remember, once again, he was just wearing a towel. Somehow the first thing that came out of his mouth was “So you wouldn’t choose him over me?”
“Considering you were gay and I was gay and Phillip was gay?”
“You’re not gay?” John wondered about the small bit of disappointment he felt, but it was stupid, he was sure.
“Oh, well yes. But I highly doubt Phillip is considering…” Yeah, right, Jamie. “But if we all were gay, and you didn’t have any terribly bad habits… well no, even if you did, I’d choose you over Phillip.”
It didn’t help, because John remembered that Rodney probably would have chosen a dog over Phillip. John finished off the beer. “How long does it take them to get to a lock?”
“You’d be surprised.”
John realized he was watching Rodney’s mouth. He reassured himself he was straight, despite the fact he’d hated how Rodney had presumed he wasn’t. But he’d liked having sex with Jamie, hadn’t he?
Rodney noticed John’s small panic attack. “Are you alright?”
John shook his head. He wasn’t alright, he was gay. It made too much sense. Too much sense that he just had ignored before, because he’d never had the dirty magazines kept under his bed because they just didn’t seem to appeal to him. Or because he’d never actively tried to get or keep any girl, unless he counted the last part of his relationship with Jamie. But maybe he just got used to her. Maybe he stayed with Jamie, because they were great friends, and it was easy.
Or maybe he had finally gone crazy, and tomorrow he would wake up, and he wouldn’t be gay, and everything would be fine.
“I’m not gay,” he told Rodney.
“Okay…” John stared at Rodney. What if denial made this worse? What if he’d been denying being gay his whole life, and now he was doomed to a series of cheap fucks to make up for years of trying to be straight?
Did he even want to have sex with men? Maybe he was asexual. John nodded. Asexual.
He looked at Rodney and tried to remember the kiss. Had he liked that? But it could have just taken him off guard. John stepped over towards him, “Kiss me again.”
“I thought you weren’t gay.” Rodney gave him that look that said he thought John might be crazy.
“I might be in denial.”
“It’s a river in Egypt.”
“That’s not funny.”
“Neither is this.” But Rodney grabbed him and kissed him, more hesitant than he had been before. John closed his eyes (oh god, he was enjoying this, wasn’t he?), and he didn’t even seem to notice when just kissing became making out on the counter.
Rodney pushed him back, “I just met you like ten minutes ago.”
John nodded. “I know.”
“You thought you were straight!”
“I know.” But then they were making out again, and Rodney had slipped his hand under John’s towel.
John gasped. “Your hand’s cold.”
“Warm heart.” Rodney pulled away. “Just a second.”
“What?” But Rodney had already disappeared into the other room. John rested his head against a cabinet and closed his eyes.
Then Rodney appeared again, “Hey would you mind doing this on the couch?”
“Do you have sex that often? Because with lines like that…” John sighed and wandered over to the couch and found the spot that Rodney had sat in before. He leaned back, but then Rodney tried to pull off his towel. “Hey!”
“Hey what?” John let it go, trying his best to not feel so… naked. “Okay then.” Rodney got to his knees, and naked was completely forgotten as Rodney licked along his partially hard cock. John sucked in his breath while Rodney did something with licking and softly blowing air over his skin, and how many times had Rodney done this?
John leaned his head against the cushion, his breathing heavy, and was Rodney using his hand too? But no, no that was good. That was very good.
Rodney sucked gently at the tip before he slid his mouth over John, and there was a brief moment where John was completely sure he was gay.
Rodney just kept on like this was as normal and enjoyable for him as having a lollipop (did people do that for practice? Was he going to have to? How was Rodney not gagging?). And John was thrusting into Rodney’s mouth, and the other man was just humming like he enjoyed it, and the humming- the humming was breaking him apart.
Then he was coming in Rodney’s mouth, and it didn’t even seem strange to Rodney. Afterwards he just got up, wiped his mouth. “Pretty good, huh?”
Who was this guy? Which, John had to admit was a pretty bad question for him to be asking, considering. Rodney smiled, “Oh, I think the guys are here to fix your door.”
John listened and groaned because he was right. But he didn’t want to move. Not to mention he didn’t want to go out and parade himself around in a towel. He’d had enough of that for one day. No, the year. “Can you go talk to them?”
“What? Oh sure.” Rodney went out into the hall, and John shut the door behind him. He found the towel on the floor and put it back on, already feeling like he needed another shower.
He was confused and not just sexually. Was this really how it worked? The whole being gay. Was it really that casual? Like guys went up to each other and said, “Yeah, sure, I’ll get you off.”
More importantly, was that a bad thing? John contemplated the whole matter until Rodney came back. “You can get in your door now.”
“Yeah, I think I’m going to go get dressed.”
“Hey, if you ever decide you want to retest this whole gay idea-”
“I’ll keep that in mind.”
“Okay then.” Rodney smiled.
“Alright.” John hesitated before he went out the door. He could already hear the television as he shut it behind him.
“Figures.” John shook his head, because he was already thinking about going back, “So definitely gay.” He stared at Rodney’s door for a moment.
He really had to be some kind of masochist.