The first time Rodney feels something hit the back of his neck, he shivers.
Then he stands up, shakes out his shirt about ten times, rubs at the skin over and over to erase the tickling feeling of something having hit him there, and shoots a look at John that would have sent anyone who'd ever worked as his subordinate into an immediate search for the most high quality coffee available as a peace offering.
From where he sits on the floor, John just raises an expressive eyebrow, cocks his head to the side as if to ask Something wrong?, and goes back to frowning at his own staff evaluation papers. Rodney would bet a month’s pay that not all of the pages in the pile on John’s lap are intact.
Rodney sighs loudly as he sits back down at his desk. After he'd almost gotten away with using his 'Random Praise Generator' for the last six-month report period, Elizabeth had decided that all staff evaluations would need to be filled out by hand--and she'd threatened to do a handwriting check. Privately, Rodney had told himself that he could have easily gotten around this, too, but the amount of work required wasn't really worth it. Now, locked in a room with John Sheppard and five hundred potential pieces of ammunition, Rodney isn’t so sure.
John’s seemingly random cough doesn’t cover the sound of ripping paper, and Rodney has to remind himself that the faster he finishes his work, the sooner he can get away and code erratic five-second intervals of freezing cold water into the shower in Sheppard’s room.
Hits two, three, four, and six are manfully ignored—though he does permit himself a derisive snort when number five wobbles wide and bounces off the wall two inches from Rodney’s head.
The seventh time Rodney feels something hit the back of his neck, he swears.
“Goddamnit, Sheppard! What did you do, put the tip of your knife in there?” He scrabbles at the stinging skin, searching for the inevitable welt, and comes away with the culprit, a balled-up piece of paper with what has to be a deliberate pointy edge. He holds it up triumphantly and whirls in his chair to shake it at John.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about, Rodney,” John says slowly, as if Rodney doesn’t have proof of John’s childishness right there in his hand. “I’m just trying to finish these evaluations so I can get out of here.”
“That’d go a lot faster if you didn’t keep tearing up the hard copies!”
“Oh, for…” Rodney breaks off and starts to consider his options with one hand over his eyes—he’s scratching his temple and thinking, that’s all, not covering his face or anything—when he sees movement through his fingers. John’s looking at him, but the expression on his face isn’t teasing or the exasperated affection that sometimes makes Rodney’s heart beat stupidly faster. He looks happy. Genuinely happy. A few things lock into place in Rodney’s mind, just as he sees John’s hand angle back, his arm arcing forward—and Rodney swivels his chair to catch the paper projectile a second before it pings off of his neck.
John has the temerity to grin widely even as Rodney gets up and crosses the room to stand in front of where John is sitting sprawled against the wall. Rodney crouches down between John’s casually outstretched legs, ignoring the ache in his knees (this will be worth it, he tells himself. He’s right—he knows he’s right) as he leans forward into John’s personal space a little, holding up the crumpled paper.
“Were you waiting until my hair was long enough to have pigtails to pull?” Rodney asks, watching John’s reactions to his words and proximity with the same intensity he employs on important lab experiments. All the evidence is there—tense shoulders, flared nostrils, quickened breathing, dilated pupils—and Rodney can’t believe he missed it before. John leans back a little, shakes his head almost imperceptibly, and his whole body goes tense as though he’s about to push Rodney away and get up. His balance already threatened, Rodney drops his left hand down to John’s leg, bracing himself, hot palm to warm muscle, feeling John twitch slightly at the first touch.
“I wasn’t—” John breaks off, his voice deliciously low (another positive variable). The denial just spurs Rodney’s courage. He meets John’s eyes and twists his fingers to let the ball of paper fall from between them, drawing John’s attention to it, though neither of them watch it fall.
“So you’re saying if I check this,” Rodney says, choosing his words carefully as he casually rests his right hand flat atop the folder of personnel reports on John’s lap, feeling the heat there. “I won’t find any evidence?”
John’s expression remains steady as his left hand shoots out to catch Rodney’s wrist, holding his hand firmly as John rolls his hips upward, just once. There’s no mistaking the intention, no way to misread the way John’s eyes darken further when Rodney slides his other hand up John’s leg, shifting onto one knee as he presses down in time to meet John’s upward thrust.
“No,” John says—and in this context, that’s exactly the right answer. In a flurry of hands, the two of them open John’s pants, papers sliding everywhere as John pulls Rodney off-balance. Rodney’s fingers twist around John’s cock just as their lips touch for the first time, open-mouthed and wet and staggering, like a filthy, glorious resolution of two years of platonic foreplay. It’s acceleration from zero at a speed that leaves any of Rodney’s lingering doubts behind, licked away by John’s hot tongue and the damp brush of his cock against the inside of Rodney’s wrist.
He ends up with one knee on either side of John’s left leg, solid muscle to thrust against. His arm is already cramping from the angle, but John’s hitching moans and the irregular press of his fingers against Rodney’s cockhead through his pants spur him on. He thinks John’s trying to work open his fly, but his movements are uncoordinated in the best of ways, fingers spasming half-in, half-out of Rodney’s waistband, John's other hand rough against his bicep.
When John manages to swipe his index finger across the naked head of Rodney’s cock, Rodney groans involuntarily and switches the angle of his mouth. He traces the tip of his tongue between John’s teeth and his lips even as he interrupts his stroking rhythm to trace John’s length with trailing fingers. John’s hand curls around Rodney’s jaw and holds him immobile against John’s mouth, just as the zipper on Rodney’s pants yields to John’s hand and the pressure in his pants eases, replaced by rolling, arching pleasure.
The eighth time Rodney feels something hit the back of his neck, it’s John’s hand, sliding up in the midst of an orgasm that seems to be building from every slick, hot place that they’re touching. The feeling winds tighter and tighter until he’s gasping into John’s shoulder, John’s breath grazing his ear as his body lifts up to thrust into John’s tight fist. The instant he feels John’s body tense Rodney bites down and twists his own fingers, and the answering shudder of surprise and release pulls him over the edge as well.
“Were you ever going to say anything?” Rodney demands, once his breathing has (mostly) returned to normal and his body reminds him that he just had sex on the floor. Which, yes, sex, but—the floor. He levers himself off of John to slump against the wall, peeling a half-completed staff report from his sweat-damp hand to let it flutter to the floor.
“You figured it out eventually,” John says, stretching a hand out behind him to adjust the messy folder for a few seconds before apparently giving it up as a lost cause. Rodney’s afterglow stills his retort, and they sit together in sated, companionable silence for a few more minutes until Rodney’s certain he can stand up without wobbling in an unmanly way.
He feels as though he should make at least some token objection to the concept of… of pining for someone who wasn’t unattainable after all, but all he can come up with is:
“My wrists will never be the same.”
“I promise I’ll give you ample warning, next time,” John says soothingly. Rodney ‘hmms’ as dismissively as is possible for someone who has just had a spectacular orgasm with option to repeat said occurrence. “For now, though, I’d like to get out of here and into a shower,” John adds. His voice is completely innocuous, but now Rodney knows exactly what John Sheppard sounds like when he’s aroused—and the way his voice dips slightly lower on the last word feels just like acceleration.
The ninth time Rodney feels something hit the back of his neck, he can’t find it in himself to be annoyed.