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I Gave My Heart to Know Such Things

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They’re on Earth for a month. It’s days of debriefings, a promotion for John, and then new personnel selection -- for department expansion, and… replacement.

New mission statements and new standing orders are drawn up. It’s a new lease on everything they ever made promises on.

The Air Force does them a solid after the second week and puts them up in a hotel. Rodney suspects that has a lot to do with Elizabeth, and he for one is absolutely in favor of throwing one’s authority around if it means getting away from scratchy sheets on too narrow bunks.

John visits with Ford’s cousin. He had tried to see Aiden’s grandparents, but the cousin had intervened. She is angry and bitter and John can’t blame her. His excuses are weak and he can’t muster the confidence to really set her at ease. He doesn’t even have to close his eyes to bring up the stark madness in Ford’s face as he defied them all to flee in a jumper.

She asks him if Aiden has misplaced his faith in John, and John’s pretty sure the answer is yes.

There’s a letter waiting for him at the front desk when he gets back to their hotel. It’s a room number, a time, and the initials ‘R.M.’ John takes a moment to frown at it, because the number is too high for the block of rooms he knows they have. This is a suite. But a flick of his wrist tells him he has two hours before… whatever?

John tucks the note into his breast pocket and takes the elevator, still wrapped up in his own thoughts from the day. Of his briefing that morning with Landry and O’Neill, of the stack of personnel files waiting for him to look over tomorrow since he’s going to keep his command, of Ford’s cousin's baleful glare. It’s only when he’s back in his own room that it dawns on him.

“Oh,” he sputters. Rodney wants to have sex tonight.

----- 0 ----- 0 ----- 0 ------ 0 ----- 0 ----- 0 -----

With limited resources at his disposal, John’s done his best to look nice without making it seem like he tried too hard to do so: black jeans, black button down, navy blue sports coat. He showered and shaved, did the best he could with his hair. He wants to look like Peter Lawford from Ocean’s Eleven but suspects he looks more like a guido Sinatra hired to look intimidating on set.

This will be the first time he and Rodney have really been alone-alone since leaving Atlantis, and even those brief encounters had only been more hand holding in stolen moments between repairs, reports and the other sundry prep for the trip back to Earth. He’s got the little note out again, skimming the tasteful numbers marking the doors.

Once he finds the one he’s looking for, he glances at his watch. He’s four minutes early. Should-- should he knock? Should he wait the four minutes? Aren’t doms strict about orders being obeyed and being early would be disobedience? Unless that’s what he should do because then he’s being ‘naughty’ and needs to be punished? He shuffles from foot to foot, uncertain. Insecure? Or just nervous. How about all of the above for $500, Alex.

He mutters under his breath, “This is ridiculous,” and just knocks.

Whatever John was expecting, it wasn’t Rodney McKay in a Green Lantern shirt with a spoon half-hanging out of his mouth. He glances out into the hall, looking left then right, before grabbing John by the arm and hauling him in.

“McKay?” John asks a lot with a name, but pauses just over the threshold to take in the room. This is still Colorado Springs and this is hardly the Plaza Hotel, but this is still much nicer than what he’s got downstairs, what any of them have. It’s a living room, an office area, a small kitchenette and what he assumes is a proper bedroom beyond a closed door. It’s all creamy white and sandy beige with soft blue accents. Brushed metal fixtures. John has two full beds and a window that looks down into the parking lot. “What is-- why do you…?”

Rodney takes the spoon out of his mouth and John can see the pint of ice cream palmed in the other hand. “Room upgrade on General O’Neill’s authorization.”

“General O’Neill?”

“Yes.” Rodney shovels another spoonful of ice cream into his mouth and avoids direct eye contact.

“Does he know he authorized an upgrade?”

“He will? I mean, once he sees the bill, I imagine.”

John rubs at his eyes, drawing the other man's name out like an accusation. “Rodney.”

“I saved the world! I saved two worlds! I deserve a king sized bed, a bathtub with bubble jets and complimentary cable television, at the very least.” He clatters the half-empty carton onto a side table before dusting his hands, cheerfully indifferent to his own audacity.

John narrows his eyes a bit, bracing his hands on his hips. He takes in a breath and holds it for a long moment, letting it go with a resigned sigh and shake of his head.

This is nothing at all what he was expecting, and yet, is exactly everything it should be.

Because this was still Doctor Rodney McKay. And yes, John remembers only too vividly the way McKay had pinned him down and thrust his crotch right in his face, the cool and demanding intonation to his voice that has dominated John’s dreams for almost a year -- but it’s still Rodney. The man who will complain about literally anything if given half a chance, who’s hubis might as well be another member on his team, and for whom ‘difficult takes a few seconds; impossible, a few minutes.’

The man he is categorically, unconditionally in love with. “Huh,” he says to the idea, a grin playing out.

Rodney’s eyebrows come together. “Hmm?” He looks Sheppard over like he’s only noticing him for the first time, his head cocking to the side. Then he looks down at himself, as if only noticing that for the first time, too. “Oh my God, why do you look-- and I’m--” John just lets him work this one out on his own, leaving his hands on his hips as he watches and wait.

“I thought I’d get away earlier,” McKay explains, hands carving out shapes between them. “Have things ready. But Jackson wants to come with Phase II, and O’Neill thought I would help talk him out of it--”


“--but it’s not like I’m involved with the Humanities,” the ‘ew’ unmistakable in his voice. “So why he thought I’d be of any use, and it’s hours after I said--”


“So I’m practically having a hypoglycemic reaction by the time I get home, which really was only about five minutes ago anyway, so the least he can do is get me a better room, even if he doesn’t know--”

“MCKAY!” John arched his eyebrow.

Rodney surges forward, both hands coming up around John’s face to pull them together. “You are so fucking sexy.” And it’s that voice, that precisely controlled pitch that makes the hairs on the back of John’s neck stand up. It’s not a compliment Rodney’s offering, it’s a stated fact.

“I wanted to have a few things ready, start everything slow and easy. A few drinks, maybe dinner. But O’Neill is too worried about his Golden Boy to care I have this waiting for me.” Rodney leaves one hand on the back of John’s head, fingers weaving into his hair. The other traces an outline down his shoulder, his arm, coming to rest on his hip. His broad palm cups to rest on the small of John’s back, deliberately bringing him in until they’re flush. John’s mouth has gone dry and he can feel his heart pounding in his temples. How can McKay do this? Turn on a dime like this?

Do this to him?

John feels light headed, his breath suddenly only allowed entrance in slips. He reaches out and sets both his hands around Rodney’s waist, as much to reciprocate as to hold on for dear life. “I don’t know how any of this works,” he says in a small voice.

“We’re not ever going to do a single thing you don’t want. I’ll--” Rodney’s own insecurity dashing across his brow. “This isn’t just-- Because I think I-- no, I know I-- And if you never want to, that’s fine, because I’d rather, with just you, than anything else in the world.” His eyes skip over John’s face, so close to his own. It’s that same aching vulnerability and fear of rejection that has long fascinated John but sadly fits only all to well against Rodney McKay.

At least this part John understands. He edges in that last few inches, letting his lips brush against Rodney’s. “I said I didn’t know how; I never said I didn’t want to learn.” Then he presses their mouths together, almost chastedly. Rodney hums in satisfaction, and it’s so much like the first time, that night in his lab. John’s even wearing another jacket and he wonders if Rodney is going to tangle him up in this one, too.

Instead Rodney spins the dial to 11, tearing into John’s kiss with his own demands. His tongue swipes into John’s mouth and again, it’s driven with purpose and presumptive intent. It’s not an invitation to participate, it’s a To Do list. He holds John against himself firmly, hands like vices that Sheppard couldn’t escape from even if he’d wanted to. And fuck, he does not want to.

Their breathing is hard and bounces off the walls in counter-tempo to the wet sounds of their greed. John tries to grind himself against Rodney, but he deliberately holds John firmly in place, denying him. A pitiful sound came up from the back of John’s throat, and Rodney has the nerve to smugly chuckle.

John pulls his head back, ready to make some sassy comment -- but Rodney says “No,” and grabs the back of John’s head to force his mouth back. He can feel Rodney’s fingers twisting in his hair and John’s stomach drops out, because this is it. This is everything he’s fantasized about and it isn’t going to end abruptly because he woke up, alone in his room, and cumming against his briefs.

Hidden, lurking deep within, a small tumbler turns over inside of John Sheppard and he gets it. He can do this. Oh, he’s going to have to learn what to expect and what’s expected, will probably rebel against it and need to be reminded, but he gets it. Gets why people want this. Because he wants it. He does something he’s rarely if ever done: John yields. He sways into Rodney’s hands, against Rodney’s frame, against Rodney’s presumptive intentions. He gives himself over because he gets it now.

Rodney takes in a sharp breath through his nose, his eyes snapping open to look at Sheppard. But John is still just soft and pliant against him, still held in place to be kissed. The surrender. There. He knew it. God, Rodney feels drunk off it. He pulls his mouth away to heatedly whisper into his ear, “Very good, John.” He can feel the shiver ripple down the man’s entire body.

Pushing them apart, Rodney holds John at arm’s length and gives him a quick appraisal. He looks pretty wrecked, but in that delightful way Rodney could very easily get used to.

“If you need something to stop, say ‘stop’. We’ll work out more details later, but for tonight -- if you need it, say ‘stop’ and I will.”

John nods slowly, knowing he isn’t meant to speak quite yet. Not sure he could, really.

“Good. Now,” Rodney’s chin coming up. “Take off your clothes. You don’t have to be pretty about it, not yet. We’ll get there. But be quick.” He punctuates the last bit with a snap of his fingers.

That’s… a lot for John to try and unpack all at once. Not yet? Get there? Naked? And there’s that word ‘pretty’ again. It is a word John is wholly unfamiliar with in the context of anything to do with himself and it makes his perception of the world tilt just that little bit left of center. His fingers reach for the buttons of his shirt while he casts a look around the room. They’re still technically in the foyer, not even in the hotel room proper.

“Don’t worry about where you are, just do what I told you to do.” Rodney can see another shiver run the length of John’s frame and yes, he has to empirically conclude: his dominating voice must be awesome. He bounces on the balls of his feet, hands coming together behind him self-satisfied.

John undoes the buttons of his shirt before shrugging out of his coat, then said shirt, leaving him in the black undershirt and jeans while he toes off his shoes. Rodney makes his happy dessert-and-math-and-being-obeyed hum. When John hesitates again, Rodney motions arrogantly about him. “John, I’m not going to tell you a second time.” He places a finger under John's chin, lifting it slightly in emphasis.

John swallows and makes a very subtle nod of acknowledgement.

“Good.” Rodney says, bouncing again on his toes before turning towards the living room.

Was he supposed to follow? He wasn’t sure, but knew if he was, he was supposed to do it naked. He makes quick work shucking out of the rest, flexing his bare toes against the tile as he kicks away his socks. John looked up then, saw Rodney turn towards him -- and stopped. Because he’s naked and Rodney isn’t. Because he’s incredibly turned on by being called “pretty” and maybe he shouldn’t be. Because he’s in a hotel in Colorado on Earth and not dead a thousand times over on some alien planet because of space vampires and about to have sex with the Chief Science Officer of his space-base and maybe McKay is right about that Kirk thing. Because he thinks Rodney tried to confess he feels the same about him the way he feels about Rodney, but neither of them have actually said the words yet. So is this just a very elaborate Friends with Benefits? Because he feels too much, way too much, if that’s the case.

Rodney turns to find John looking lost and not a little vulnerable. And naked. So deliciously naked. But -- right, right, he reminds himself. Newbie. “John,” his said firmly but encouragingly. “Come here.” He held his out, offering it for John to take.

John takes his steps carefully, and Rodney is privately having an aneurysm because no one should look that good just walking, but he takes his hand. Their fingers twist together, Rodney squeezing gently.

He moves them to the couch and draws John down into his lap to straddle him. It’s a little awkward because John doesn’t know how to fold himself down like this; he’s too much leg to be elegant about it and too nervous to possess even happenstance grace. But Rodney is patient in a way John has quite literally never seen from him before. Rodney is constantly impatient about everything: people thinking too slow, tech not doing what he wants, food. But right now, he seems to have all the time in the world for John to figure it out.

Rodney asks, “Good?” His hands are already busy at John’s waist, his thumbs drawing lazy circles just inside his pubic hair distractingly.

“Yes?” John shrugs with one shoulder. Rodney's cargo pants are soft enough against his ass, but it still only underscores just how very naked, very exposed he feels in comparison. He rests his arms across the man’s shoulders, hands loose behind his neck. He’s having a hard time making eye contact.

“John,” Rodney says softly, catching John’s shifting attention with his steady gaze. “Just do as I tell you. Nothing more, and nothing less. I promise -- it’s a lot of fun. Disobey, and you’ll be appropriately punished.” He takes a measure of John before grinning. “Though even punishments can be fun, so I suspect you’ll push that button a time or two to get what you really want.”

“And what do I really want?” John settles himself a little deeper into Rodney’s lap, feeling the surge of his dick against his ass, the cargo pants a barrier between them.

“I could give you some boilerplate tripe about how you want order and discipline, how much you crave to submit, you miserable little bottom -- but we both know that’s stupid and besides you’re already career military who’s disobeyed enough orders to be court martialed like six times over and I don’t see you trying to hump Landry or Caldwell, so. No,” Rodney says over the horrified look of protest on John’s face.

“What you want is someone who’s willing to let you figure it out on your own but is also there to shoulder their piece of the problem. Who’s willing to challenge you but is able to meet the challenge themselves. Who gives as good as he gets from you,” Rodney said while pulling down on John to grind up against him. “Fuck, yeah."

Nevermind that’s maybe one of the most insightful things anyone has ever said to John, let alone about John, or that it fell out of Rodney McKay’s mouth, but Rodney is working his hips for him, dragging him over the ridge of his fly and fuck, yeah. He hisses, fingers digging into the couch’s back.

“And,” John pants softly. “You think that’s all you?”

Rodney pulls John’s face down again, licking into his mouth while his other hand continues to work John’s hips. John helps, digging his knees against Rodney for leverage. “Yes,” is Rodney’s indisputable answer.

They set a steady pace, John grinding down, Rodney grinding up. John braces himself against the couch’s back while Rodney’s hands simply roam. Rodney wasn’t lying when he said he was good with them. They wander John’s back, twist a nipple hard enough he yelps, are featherlight against his ribs, play coy with the cleft of his ass. They're everywhere, all at once seemingly, and John is growing impatient. He wants more, more of Rodney, now.

“You know, this would be a lot easier if we were both naked,” John says while worrying a spot just behind Rodney’s ear.

“Would it?” Suddenly Rodney has his hands on his chest, under his knee, and in a way John could never imagine, has somehow flipped and rolled him in such a way he’s still on Rodney’s lap but now spread out horizontal. John throws his arms out for balance, but only manages to grab at the couch’s armrest. “That assumes you know what I want to do with you, John. Good, hold that. Yes.”

And Rodney spanks him. Hard. John can’t stop the startled yell that comes out of him. His hands involuntarily come back around to cover himself, but Rodney knocks them away. “I said hold the couch. Now: count,” Rodney says calmly.

“I-- one?”

Rodney’s hand comes down again and the sound rings in John’s ears.

“Two.” He can feel Rodney’s cock jerk up against his belly. The hand comes down again.

“Three.” It stings but doesn’t hurt, though the threat of it doing so lingers in the broad swipe of Rodney’s palm against his heated skin. Something about that builds its own heat inside of him, that potential withheld.

“Four.” The warmth is spreading from John’s ass to the rest of him, catching in the middle against the fever of his desire working its way up. His cock is stiff and leaking.

On “Five,” John has to bite off a moan while Rodney’s hand smooths itself over his skin.

“Do you want five more?”

“Yes,” John doesn’t even hesitate. Rodney arches a smug eyebrow but certainly obliges.

He counts off five more, but by two is already trying to rock himself away from Rodney’s hand and on three into the crook of Rodney’s bent knee. It’s a sharp pain that’s delivered by the sweat squeeze against the tip of his dick. Rodney smirks again over his head, catching the trick easy enough, but is willing to indulge if he can keep John across his lap like this.

It’s everything and more Rodney ever wanted it to be, has fantasized about while pulling himself off. John’s olive complexion is gold against his own pale Canadian offering, except where his hand has landed. There, John is a bright red and warm to the touch. He spends a few moments just caressing John when he’s done with the second set, letting the man squirm gently against him.

“One?” John’s question is naively hopeful and Rodney laughs out loud into the room, because he just knew John would be like this and Rodney likes maybe nothing more in the world than being correct.

He delivers a resounding slap, harder than any he’s given yet, and John cries out in shock. “Fuck!”

“You asked,” Rodney says smuggly, dragging his nails across the spot. John hisses and digs into the couch’s upholstery. “Come.” Rodney works his hands under him, getting him to stand. John sways just a little bit and Rodney sets a bracing hand on his back. He’ll save the lesson on sub-space for later, but yeah. Rodney loves being right.

Humming, he digs something out of his pant’s pocket while turning John towards the bedroom. He’d honestly wanted to play with him a little bit longer, but John’s ass is bright red and his eyes have a sleepy glazed look and his mouth is kiss-swollen and Rodney is done with being patient after ten months of waiting.

----- 0 ----- 0 ----- 0 ------ 0 ----- 0 ----- 0 -----

The room is dark and Rodney has prepped him and now he’s naked too and is laying out on his king sized bed looking at John where he left him at its foot.

His snap ends in a crook of his finger, beckoning John.

John’s mouth plays out a dark, seductive smirk, eyes casting up through his lashes. He sets himself to crawling up Rodney’s body.

Aneurysm! An aneurysm! Rodney has to fight to keep his composure. John cage's himself around Rodney, leaning down to kiss him. Rodney’s hands come up to guide him into a straddle, but there’s no cargo pants in the way this time to stop the inevitable.

“Remember,” Rodney pants after the first short thrust in. “If you want to stop, you just say--”

John drops his weight, forcing Rodney all the way at once and holy shit that hurts but holy fuck in an amazing way and John throws his head back in a lush growl and Rodney is actually convinced now he’s already experienced an aneurysm and this is just the last endorphin rush of his eminent demise.

John feels the sting of Rodney’s spanking each time he comes down against the man’s thighs, and Rodney can feel the heat of his work as a distinct temperature difference that drives him just that little bit more insane. His fingers dig bruises into John’s hips as he thrusts up, hesitation dispensed with.

“Back home -- oh God,” Rodney says, holding deep inside for a moment. “I’ll rig a hook over the bed, clip your hands over head.”

“Oh God,” John moans at the image. “Yes. Please?”

Rodney sneers, fucking up into him again. “I told you you’d beg,” and John can only whimper because he’s so hard, and Rodney is hitting that spot up inside of him and he hasn’t yet dared trying to touch himself.

“You can take it a little longer, John,” Rodney dismisses as if reading his mind. His knees hitch up higher, heels digging into the mattress. Rodney’s back arches as he drives himself in deep. “Fuck, you are so good, John. So good.”

“Rodney, Rodney please.” John has his hands braced on Rodney’s chest and at this point he’s practically seeing stars because if he doesn’t touch himself right now he’s pretty sure he’s going to die.

It’s the begging. God, it’s the begging. “Oh God, oh God, oh God,” Rodney repeats like a mantra, coiling up against John as he starts to come deep inside him. He braces one hand on John’s back, and wraps his other firmly around John’s cock, using some twisting motion that easily undoes him. John’s orgasm leaves him inarticulate, just broken sounds and heavy pants and there’s Rodney the whole time, whispering against his temple “I love you. Thank you. I love you.”

----- 0 ----- 0 ----- 0 ------ 0 ----- 0 ----- 0 -----

John stands over the gate room, giving Major Lorne one last nod before his team moves through on their first off-world mission.

“Did you have the chance to remind him again of your promotion?” Teyla teases, coming up to the railing.

“I figured once at our briefing yesterday was good enough. But I reserve the right for the debrief after,” John says with a lopsided grin, hands pushing his jacket back to find his hips.

She just shakes her head, smirk tugging at her mouth.

Rodney inserts himself between them with a speculative hum, eyes down on a tablet. “Look, Sheppard, your new pilots are apparently driving Radek insane with flight time requests, and while I personally find it hilarious watching him slowly go mad--” He looked up, fingers splaying around his head in delighted imitation of Zelenka’s hair. “I actually need him long-term. So, get on that?” He clucks a wink at Sheppard and lands a soft-punch against his shoulder, turning to hum at Teyla before taking the stairs down two at a time.

They both watch him go. "Well, he seems to be in a surprisingly good mood." Teyla says, folding her arms and turning back to share the joke with John. Instead, she turns to find John biting his lips together, color high in his cheeks, with a heated line of sight on McKay's... backside?

Her eyebrow spikes high. “Colonel Sheppard?”

“Uh!” He jerked his attention to her, and never has Teyla seen such a guilty expression on a grown man. “I should, uh.” He threw his thumb over his shoulder ineffectively.

“John!” she rushed his name in the hushed octave of conspiratorial scandal.

“What?” His hands came up to bat away at her accusations, but his wide eyed expression is confession enough for her. He swallowed, worrying his bottom lip with his teeth. Then....

Well. Then he just shrugged, hands casting themselves to his sides while cutting a wry what-you-gonna-do grin. He pumped his eyebrows, rocking back on his heel as he turned away. "Catch you later?"

Turning to brace herself against the railing, Teyla grinned out over the gateroom. "Finally."