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Solitary Man

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The first person who fucked John on Atlantis was a short, broad Marine sergeant who got off on the fact that John was a dishonorably discharged queer zoomie. It was hard and fast and painful, given John’s aching hip and sorely underused ass, and it was perfect. The guy walked away quickly afterwards, zipping up and still breathing heavy, leaving John shaking against the wall and feeling like he was bleeding.

Feeling like he was alive.

Atlantis gave a shudder under his hands, disturbed and cranky. John told Her to shut up and leave him alone. She always did, at least for a while, but the price was usually something breaking like the sewage or the grounding stations or the transporters. McKay tore his hair out trying to connect the dots, but he couldn’t, because short of talking to Her himself, there was no way McKay could figure out the real problem. Instead he sent teams to fix the results of what amounted to John’s bad relationship skills.

John pulled up his pants. He liked being fucked by men, being used by them; unlike making love to a woman, the hard core pounding men gave him felt like the punishment he deserved. Orgasm was a guilty icing on the cake, a way to feel everything so deeply he couldn’t escape it. It made him human again, and it hurt, but then being alive hurt. He was used to it.

He stumbled out of the section of the city the sergeant had dragged him, still none too stable on his legs without the cane much less after having his ass pounded by a damn Marine. He managed until Lorne ran him down. Literally. They collided around a corner and John stumbled into the wall.

“Sheppard,” Lorne said, grabbing by his upper arm.

“Lorne.” Sheppard yanked himself away with a snarl.

“Had your fun?” Lorne crossed his arms, the life signs detector in one hand.

John slouched in a move that had sent superior officers into conniptions. Lorne didn’t even twitch.

“Don’t know what you mean, Colonel. Out for a little walk.”

“Out for a little fuck, more like. I know Sgt. Rameriz.”

John stilled himself, seeking out a weak spot. He gave Lorne a long, thorough inspection. “I just bet you do.”

Most officers would have clocked him for that, but Lorne shook his head as if dealing with a kindergartner, his face pinched. “I know why McKay brought you here. He’s not going to react well to you whoring around.”

John blinked. What the fuck? “I really don’t know what you mean, Colonel. I’m here for lightswitch duty.”

“I’m just saying, watch your back, and don’t get invested. You’re not really important to him.”

“Lorne, I’m not important to anyone.” John smirked, because it was true.

Lorne gave him a look full of pity, which pissed John off and ruined the afterglow. Lorne raised his hands in a conciliatory gesture, although his expression turned fierce. “I know McKay, I know he never shows his cards. But I also know he’s been slightly obsessed with that light-bird version of you that came through a quantum rift, and he’s never recovered from Hedy. Let me be clear about this: I’m not his friend, and I think you’re nothing but trouble, but I’ve got the safety of this base to think of and our continued existence hangs on McKay doing his job. Keep your fucking pants on, Sheppard, and stop betting your socks. I’m not going to pull your sorry ass out of the fire, and if you cause trouble or distract McKay, I’ll find a way to get rid of you.” Lorne turned and marched off, tucking the life signs detector back into his jacket pocket.

John had already learned that “betting your socks” was Atlantis slang for betting what you couldn’t afford to lose. He wondered what Lorne meant by that, because as far as John knew, he had already lost everything.

He also wondered who the hell Hedy was.