"So what are your plans for the day?" John asked, putting his empty coffee cup on the tray in front of him and leaning back in his chair.
Rodney glanced at him and then went back to his eggs. He took two more bites and washed them down with coffee before answering, "I have some reports to review, and there's some information I want to try and track down in the database."
"A quiet day, then. No pressing projects?"
Frowning slightly, Rodney drained his coffee mug. "No. Why?"
"I thought I'd check out that art gallery Garfield and his team found the other day. Want to come along?"
Rodney wasn't very keen on art. Music he got. Mozart, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, even Mahler and Stravinsky, they made sense, but the visual arts had always eluded him. John was smiling at him, his inviting, "come get into trouble with me" smile. Rodney wasn't very good at saying no to that smile. "All right."
John grinned. "Cool."
It didn't take them long to get rid of their dishes and tell Weir where they were going. Then they were walking down long empty corridors that should have been dusty but weren't. "I didn't know you were an art aficionado."
"There are a lot of things you don't know about me." The words were accompanied by a flirtatious grin. Rodney could resist the grin, because John grinned at everyone like that. He'd realized early on that for John Sheppard flirting came as naturally as breathing, and so Rodney didn't take John's flirtations seriously. It was just who he was.
"And even more I don't want to know."
"I feel so rejected," John said, his lower lip protruding in a fake pout.
"You should." The gallery was on their right and when they stopped in front of it the door slid obediently open. John entered first, with Rodney half a step behind him.
The room was large with vaulted ceilings. It wasn't all that different from galleries and museums on Earth, except for the windows. They were set at odd angles in patterns that were just shy of symmetrical. Rodney suspected the placement allowed in the perfect amount of light at different times of day, and he made a mental note to return here in the evening to see what the lighting was like then.
John moved toward one of the walls and Rodney followed him. The painting on the wall was, unsurprisingly, abstract. Lines and circles appeared to be placed at random, creating no discernable pattern. It reminded him of that artist who had made paintings with string dipped in paint. Rodney was of the opinion that if a kindergartner could paint it, it wasn't art.
He moved on. There were abstract statues, and abstract mobiles. He was staring at one comprised of several rings that moved in rather interesting spirals when John came up beside him. "That's kind of neat," John said.
"Mmmm," Rodney agreed absently. There was something about the pattern of the rings' motion…
John nudged him with his elbow. "There's some stuff over here that you can actually make out what it is."
Rodney followed him, only to be faced with a bronze sculpture of a goat. "I went to the Guggenheim once, in grad school. They were showing an exhibit that this woman I was dating insisted we see. It was all sculptures made of canvas and filled with foam. One of the sculptures was a four foot high piece of chocolate cake."
"Are you saying that this goat is as pointless as the cake?"
"Art really isn't your thing, is it?"
"No. Artists though, I like artists."
Nodding, Rodney grinned. "Precisely."
John grinned back and started toward the far side of the room. Rodney followed. They stopped in front of a portrait of a man with a large mustache. "Interesting lighting," John said, tilting his head to the side.
"Very evocative," Rodney agreed.
"It makes a statement, especially the moustache."
"The whole human condition is contained in that moustache."
John began to laugh, but stopped when the wall next to the painting slid open. Giving Rodney a sideways glance, he moved toward it. "Garfield's report didn't mention another room."
"No, it didn't." Rodney went to stand beside him, peering inside. It appeared to be another art gallery. "Only one of their team members had the gene. Maybe she didn't come near the door."
"Let's check it out."
Somehow, Rodney had known John was going to say that. They stepped inside and the door slid shut behind them. Rodney didn't turn to look at it. He was too busy staring at the sculpture in front of him. It was large and it wasn't abstract.
"That's… interesting," John said.
Rodney had to agree with him. It was certainly interesting. He walked slowly around the sculpture, trying to count the sexual acts in which the myriad bodies were engaged.
"We found their secret room."
Rodney looked from the sculpture to John, who was looking at the sculpture. His eyes slid below John's waist just long enough to determine that the art was having the same effect on John that it was having on him. "What?"
"Their secret room. Museums on Earth used to have secret rooms were they kept all of the really good art."
"You mean the porn."
"Like I said, the really good art."
Rodney smiled at him and turned to look at the art lining the walls. Unlike the stuff in the outer room, none of this art was remotely abstract. The first painting he looked at had a woman on her knees with her lover's dick in her mouth. His hands were in her hair and his head was thrown back. It didn't take a critic to get the point. Even Rodney's penis got the point.
He shuffled sideways to the next painting, which depicted the same couple. This time she was straddling the man, leaning forward to kiss him, so that the place where his cock entered her was fully visible. Rodney swallowed, tried to ignore his erection, and moved on.
He gave the art, especially the sculptures, the most cursory looks he could manage, painfully aware of John on the other side of the room, looking at the same kind of art. About half way around the room, he found a painting showing two men in various sexual positions. They were both muscular and attractive, and the painting was a collage of the two of them fucking. Rodney forced himself to look away. This wasn't something he needed to be looking at, not with John on the other side of the room. He was about to take a step when John said, "There's something I don't get."
Rodney turned to find John less than an arms length away, looking at the same painting Rodney was trying not to look at. "What's that?"
"A race as advanced as the Ancients, you'd think they'd show at least a few imperfect bodies in their porn." He gestured at the painting. "Look at them. They're both perfect."
Rodney nodded. "You're right."
"I know I'm right. Would it have killed them to show a hairy back now and then?"
Rodney suddenly wondered if John had a hairy back. He had a hairy chest. Rodney had seen it. "Or a softening mid-riff."
John nodded. "A mole or birthmark that's a little too big to be attractive."
"A skinny ass. Not everyone's ass is full and muscular."
"You have a nice ass." Mortified at the words that had come from his mouth, Rodney barely managed to keep from covering his mouth with his hands. "Ugly feet," he added hastily, "Lots of people have ugly feet."
"Yeah, they do," John agreed, apparently willing to let the ass remark slide by without comment. Rodney took advantage of John's generosity and moved on to the next painting. It was six women in a daisy chain, forming an almost perfect hexagon.
John followed him, standing slightly behind Rodney and near enough that Rodney could feel his body heat. "Too bad they hadn't had images like that in our geometry books," Rodney said.
"The pages would have gotten sticky."
"Probably." Rodney tried to take a deep breath, but found that his lungs wouldn't cooperate. Rapid, shallow breaths were all they were willing to do. He had no idea how John could manage to sound so unaffected.
"How would you describe my ass?" John asked, almost nonchalantly.
Rodney turned to look at John before his brain could stop him. John's eyes were wide and bright, but he wasn't smiling, or grinning, or even smirking. "What?"
"My ass." John pointed at the painting they had just been looking at. "I know it's not like those."
"Well, it's… it's…" Rodney tried to think of something to say. He should be able to think of something to say. He was good under pressure, and even when he wasn't good he could still talk.
"Nice?" John suggested.
"Yeah," Rodney answered, relieved.
"Yours is, too."
Rodney frowned. "It is?"
John nodded solemnly, even though solemn was a look he was rarely able to carry off. He was just too pretty, too playful, for solemn. That he could look solemn talking about Rodney's ass made Rodney feel valued. "It is."
Rodney had no idea what to say to that.
"I don't think we should tell anyone about this. I think we should keep it our secret."
"I'm not sure we should withhold information."
"What are they going to learn from the Ancients' porn?"
Rodney was pretty sure that the social scientists on the staff would have had an answer for that, but he didn't. "Okay."
"It can be our clubhouse," John said with a smile.
"Yeah, didn't you have one when you were a kid? A place where you and your friends would go to look at your older brother's Playboys."
"I had an older sister. Jeannie didn't read Playboy, although she did have a copy of Our Bodies, Ourselves. It was a health manual, but there were a bunch of chapters about sex, with women talking about what they did, and what they liked, what they imagined."
"The perfect book for a teenaged boy."
"Until she caught me with it." The memory of that afternoon was almost enough to get rid of the erection he'd had since stepping into the room. "What else did you and your friends do in your clubhouse?" Rodney asked, hoping to steer the conversation away from sex.
"We jerked each other off." John said it in a perfectly matter of fact tone, but there was a hint of something in his face.
Rodney connected the dots. "And this is our clubhouse?"
Rodney tried again to take a deep breath and failed. "A clubhouse, that's a good idea. We work a lot; we're under a lot of pressure. Everything is always life or death. A clubhouse, a place where we could relax, that would be good. Because relaxing, relaxing is good. It prevents heart attacks, and stro--"
Rodney stopped mid-word. "Yeah?"
John took a step closer and pressed his hand to Rodney's dick. Rodney jumped and John pulled his hand away. "Sorry. I thought--"
"No, no," Rodney said hurriedly, reaching for John's hand. "You surprised me, that's all." He pressed John's hand back against his erection. "I like clubhouses."
"Okay," John said, giving him a half smile and a gentle squeeze. "Maybe we should sit down."
Sitting down. Sitting down would be good, because then they wouldn't fall down. "Sure."
John let go of his dick and took his hand, using it to guide Rodney to a place against the wall. Sitting, he tugged Rodney down beside him. Rodney had no idea what the painting above them depicted and he didn't care, because John was lowering his zipper.
"You sure you're okay with this?" John asked.
"I'm very okay with this," Rodney said, shifting so that he was almost on his side, with most of his weight on his hip, and reaching for the fastenings on John's pants. It was difficult to undo someone else's belt one-handed, and he had trouble getting the buckle open. Then John undid it, unbuttoned his pants, and lowered his zipper. All Rodney had to do was reach inside and take John's cock in his hand.
It was firm and smooth and warm. Rodney gently extracted it, brought it into the light where he could look at it. It was pretty, flushed a deep purple, with a perfectly circular head. Rodney wasn't surprised that John had a pretty cock. He wasn't surprised at all.
His eyes on John's cock, Rodney began to stroke. John slid easily through his hand, his warmth a pleasure on Rodney's palm.
"Rodney, Rodney, wait."
Rodney stopped moving his hand and looked up.
"This is supposed to be mutual, remember?" John said.
Not saying anything, Rodney shifted so that John could finish opening his pants, could reach inside. John's hand was cool, but Rodney knew it would heat up, just as his had. John started to stroke and Rodney didn't know where to look--at his hand on John's cock, or John's hand on his.
Resuming his own stroking, he tried to match John's rhythm, but he seemed to be about a beat behind. Then John slowed his movements and suddenly they were in sync, his hand sliding the length of John's cock at the same moment that his slid down John's. It was an odd sensation, to feel a cock in his hand that wasn't his own at the same time his cock was being stroked. Odd, but good. Very good.
A hint of fluid appeared on the end of John's cock and Rodney wondered what it would taste like. Then he wondered what John's cock would feel like beneath his tongue, what it would be like to be on his knees like the woman in the painting, with John's cock in his mouth. He groaned and John stroked him a little faster.
They were leaning into one another now, both of them panting, their movements growing faster and more careless, falling out of sync. John's lips were parted and his mouth was mere centimeters from Rodney's. Rodney closed the distance between them before he'd had time to think about it, pressed his lips to John's, and slipped his tongue inside. John responded immediately, brushing his tongue roughly against Rodney's before sucking on it and pulling another groan from Rodney.
John shifted, leaning more of his weight onto Rodney, and Rodney slid along the floor. He barely noticed, not caring what position he was in as long as he could keep kissing and touching and being touched.
He ended up on his back, with John half on top of him, the two of them pulling desperately on one another's cocks. Rodney cupped the back of John's head with his free hand, holding him in place, keeping his mouth where Rodney wanted it.
Their kisses were sloppy, no finesse, no skill, just lust and desire, and a willingness to let go, to not care about anything but how good it felt.
It felt damned good.
John was stroking him hard and fast now, and Rodney was stroking John just as urgently, wanting to get him off, wanting to be gotten. He didn't know which he wanted more. It didn't matter because he was going to get both.
The tension inside him broke, causing Rodney to break their kiss, to groan, and empty himself all over John's hand and pants. He arched to the side, trying to get closer to John as the pleasure shuddered through him.
His hand stopped moving when he started coming, but he started stroking again before his orgasm ended. He wanted John to come, wanted to see it, wanted to be the cause of it. Stopping for a moment, he gathered some of his come from John's hand and rubbed it on John's cock, using it to ease the motion of his hand.
John moaned and Rodney looked up at him. He was staring at Rodney, his eyes wide with pleasure, and something else, something Rodney was afraid to name.
He wasn't aware that he'd stopped stroking until John reached between them and covered Rodney's hand with his. With John's hand guiding him, it took only a few strokes for Rodney to bring him off. John looked incredible when he came, his head falling back and his mouth hanging open.
When he finished, he slumped against Rodney, still half on top of him, still shaking a little. Rodney was pretty sure that guys in clubhouses didn't hug, but he put an arm around John anyway.
John's breathing gradually evened out, but he didn't seem in a big hurry to move. Rodney wasn't either. "So what else do guys in clubhouses do?" he asked.
John chuckled into his shoulder. "Whatever they want, that's the whole idea of a clubhouse."
"Whatever they want," Rodney repeated.
"So if they wanted blowjobs?"
"That would be doable."
"I think I'm going to like having a clubhouse."
Another chuckle and John lifted his head. Then he kissed Rodney.
Rodney was definitely going to like having a clubhouse. He suspected he might even develop a liking for art, at least the good kind.