A picture paints a thousand words
Rodney stared long and hard at the painting found in one of the towers currently being explored on Atlantis. With all their advanced technology it had never occurred to Rodney that some of the Ancients would have still preferred to use their own skill and hand to create art, though he guessed some technology was involved in keeping the painting pristine over ten thousand years. Yet it wasn't the artistry or the technology that had him enthralled but the subject matter of two men, one most definitely naked. The naked man was probably standing but all you could see of him was firm, muscular thighs, lightly dusted in fine light brown hair, and a jutting, fully erect cock standing proud from a nest of curly hair in a deeper shade. The other man could be kneeling before him, only his head seen in profile, tilted up with an expression that could only be described as a mixture of love, awe, and lust caught between the hard cock pressed against his cheek and the standing man's hand cradling his head, as if the artist had caught him nuzzling it in the moment just before wrapping his lips around it.
Yet even that wasn't what had caught his eye so much as the handsome face of the kneeling man.
The dark messy hair looked like he had just rolled out of bed after a night of hot action between the sheets. His bowed lips were ruddy and slightly swollen as if this wasn't the first kiss or blow-job before this image was captured by the artist. Sinfully long dark eyelashes framed beautiful hazel eyes glinting gold and green in the shaft of yellow and golden light piercing the background as if slanting through the ornate window behind the Stargate.
The elfin ears and strong yet soft jaw line completed the image of someone who could be John Sheppard's doppelganger.
It was the most erotic image Rodney had ever seen, and as he had a pretty vast gay porn collection heavily encrypted on his personal laptop, he knew what he was talking about.
He squirmed a little, thankful for the baggy cargo pants that hid his physical arousal, and deciding he could always blame the rising heat in his cheeks on embarrassment rather than lust because he had no intention of ever letting his best friend know he had a major crush on him, and had felt this way since the day they first met. It was too cliche even in gay porn - the scientist and the hot military guy - though he felt his arousal rack up another notch at the very thought of the kneeling man being John and the other man being him.
"Well," John drawled from just behind him, startling Rodney so much he felt as if he had literally jumped out of his skin and yet at the same time the familiar voice simply added to his arousal. "That's interesting."
Interesting? Rodney wanted to turn and stare at him in disbelief at such a mundane word used to describe something so... so...
"So... what, Rodney?"
This time Rodney did turn in shock because he could swear he'd only thought the words rather than uttered them aloud, and yet it was entirely possible that this image had addled his brain, and for that he blamed John Sheppard for being so... so...
The kiss took him by surprise. It took both of them by surprise if he was reading John's shocked expression correctly, which was difficult under the circumstances because his brain seemed to have lost the ability to think straight, and now John had taken his breath away too with that one kiss. Only one thought remained in his head as John began to pull away, shock turning to some unreadable emotion that didn't look good, and that thought overcame any reticence or fear. He reeled John back in for a second kiss, deeper, harder, more demanding, and John gave back the same, dragging at clothing until he had Rodney's pants falling to his ankles before dropping to his knees before Rodney. his boxers were slid down and John stopped for a moment after licking from the base to the tip of Rodney's hard cock, looking up at Rodney and letting Rodney see what the artist had not captured, the look of rapture and love on John's face seen from the man standing above him. He couldn't resist cradling John's face as John nuzzled his cock just once before John wrapped his hand around the base and guided it into his mouth between red, kiss swollen lips, sucking on the head before taking him deeper.
It was all over too soon for Rodney, barely coherent as he tried to pull away before he ejaculated but John demanded every droplet, swallowing at each pulse and leaving Rodney a trembling mess, supporting him as Rodney's knees gave way until Rodney was on his knees too, tasting himself on John's tongue as they kissed languidly now. Aware that he hadn't reciprocated, he reached down to find John's pants already open and his cock softening, damp with his own release.
"You are so hot," Rodney stated in awe before he could think straight, horrified a split second later, only to hear John laugh softly, accepting the words as a compliment.
Other sounds returned, and Rodney realized the slight buzzing was voices in his discarded radio and the muffled thump was someone at the closed door. John answered, holding Rodney's eyes throughout the exchange.
"We're fine, Major. The door seems to have jammed but Rodney'll have it open any time now."
They cleaned up quickly, casting glances at each other until the silence became intolerable for Rodney and he blurted out, "Are we still friends?"
"Of course we are, Rodney."
Timidly he asked, "Can we be more than friends?"
John smiled, raising one eyebrow. "I think we already are," he replied softly, drawing Rodney in for another kiss; sweet and tender and full of promises for much more.
When they parted, Rodney glanced back at the painting that had been the catalyst for this change in their relationship. In his heart and mind the kneeling man was now his John Sheppard, and the man honored by such a devoted and loving expression from the upturned face was him, and he felt a surge of jealousy at the thought of anyone else seeing this. He didn't gain much choice as the door opened suddenly, spilling Zelenka and Major Lorne into the room.
"Huh! Nice painting," Lorne stated, and when Rodney glanced back at it, wondering how they were going to explain it, he froze for in place of the glorious image of John on his knees had been replaced a breathtaking landscape across the towers and spires of Atlantis.
Many hours later, as he lay in bed with John's head pillowed against his shoulder, he felt a need to ask, "What did you see when you looked at the painting?"
He knew it was a deeply personal question, having discovered that the painting revealed your innermost, hidden desires as yet another tool to assist with Ascension, so it was different for all who viewed it and reverted to the city view of Atlantis when there were too many conflicting desires in proximity. John was quiet for a moment before his grip tightened on Rodney.
"I saw two guys kissing passionately, and the visible one looked the spitting image of you."
In years to come the painting was left hanging where they had found it, but it was regularly visited by those seeking enlightenment. Rodney found the painting never changed for him over the years, even though his desire for John was no longer hidden but perhaps that was because the glorious image of his John on his knees was burned into his mind for all time.