The thing with John becomes, well, a thing with John.
He takes to showing up at Rodney's place randomly, today like a whirlwind, through the door before Rodney manages even a perfunctory "come in," hands busy, clothes flying off. Well, Rodney's at least. John sprawls onto a chair, and Rodney is left standing there, naked and wondering how it is that John doesn't have so much as his shirt untucked. John smiles up at him lazily, and Rodney is about to ask "am I amusing you" when John beats him to the punch, "Touch yourself." John's legs are casually spread, and he runs his hand idly along the inseam of his jeans. God, Rodney feels that, like John is touching him, and his dick jerks to life. He reaches for himself, and John swirls his hand more languidly over worn denim. Just that sound could make Rodney hard. He rubs the head of his dick with his thumb, and John watches intently, eyes dark, all pupil. Work and self-consciousness and who's paying who—Rodney forgets about all of that. Forgets everything but John.
"Yeah, yeah, come on," John urges softly.
Rodney pushes into his fist, hips working eagerly, and then John is up like a shot, pulling his shirt over his head, going down on his knees. He runs his palm deliberately up Rodney's thigh and pushes away Rodney's hand, and then Rodney is thrusting all the more eagerly, once, twice, three times, before coming in John's hot, welcoming mouth.
The next visit, John is no less bossy, although he is more maddeningly intent on taking his time. Rodney begins to wonder if it's possible for a prostitute to have too much imagination, because, dear God, John has a vision. He opens Rodney's notebook and bends Rodney over his desk, fixing a throw pillow beneath his hips.
Rodney can't exactly say "yes" when he has his ass up in the air. "You have some weird fixation, don't you?"
John settles into Rodney's office chair and rolls over behind him. The familiar clatter of the casters vibrates all down Rodney's spine. He thrusts against the pillow, already moaning, and he hasn't even been touched yet.
"Mmm." John kisses one cheek and then the other, his breath warm against Rodney's skin. "It's a really nice ass." He strokes his thumb along the crease. "So, explain to me what you're working on."
Rodney blinks. "What?"
John brushes his lips lightly along the curve of Rodney's ass. "I won't stop until you do." Then John's hands are spreading him apart, and John's tongue is even hotter than his breath.
"Fuck!" Rodney grabs for the edge of the desk, gripping until his knuckles turn white.
"Talk," John instructs, and goes back to eating him out.
Rodney startles into an explanation of the Hodge Conjecture. John makes noises like he's really enjoying what he's doing, and Rodney keeps on babbling, although after a while, a short while, he has no idea what any of it means.
Sometimes, it's all simple seduction. John comes sauntering in, smiling that smile, and he takes Rodney's face in his hands. As they kiss, Rodney realizes with a start that he's missed him.
John loses his clothes on the way to the bedroom, leaving the erotic version of a breadcrumb trail in his wake, so beautifully unselfconscious in his nakedness that Rodney has to swallow around a lump in his throat. In the doorway, John looks back over his shoulder. "You coming?"
Rodney stumbles after him, and John lies down on the bed, spreads his legs. He doesn't say "fuck me," but then, he doesn't have to. Rodney kicks off his pants, nearly tripping over them in his hurry to get to John. Rodney kisses John's neck, and gets him ready, and when Rodney moves inside him, John sucks in his breath sharply and then lets out a little sigh, as if he doesn't do this all the time, as if there's only the two of them.
Naturally, Rodney notices when John stops charging him for their evenings together. He's just not sure what to make of it. Are they dating? Or does John simply have no head for business?
Rodney gets his answer when John calls to ask, "Hey, you want to come over tonight? Maybe watch a movie or something? I have Bladerunner." He adds in a tone just a little too consciously casual, "When was the last time you got out?"
Rodney stutters through "yeah, sure, sounds good," and John gives him the address, and when Rodney shows up at his door that night, ringing the doorbell, he feels vaguely like he's doing something wrong.
John appears in the doorway, the usual black T-shirt and jeans, hair as messy as ever, his typically sleepy expression, but still, there's something different. Rodney just can't quite put his finger on it. John pushes the door open wider, and Rodney follows him inside.
He nods, and John goes to fetch it from the kitchen. Rodney drifts around the living room, perusing the bookshelves. Aeronautical engineering textbooks and back issues of Scientific American, and when John returns, Rodney greets him with an accusatory glare of you've been holding out on me.
John hands over the beer and shrugs. "Things didn't exactly work out like I'd planned. Maybe I'll tell you about it sometime."
That's almost like a commitment, at least what passes for it between the two of them, and Rodney nervously swigs his beer. John avoids Rodney's gaze, and there's none of his usual effortless mastery, no take your clothes off or I'm going to go down on you now, okay? Rodney is pretty sure he's the only client, current or former, that John has ever invited into his home.
"So, um," Rodney clears his throat, "Bladerunner?"
"Oh. Yeah. Right."
They settle onto the sofa, but Rodney can't relax, not sure how close to sit or whether it's okay to touch. Things have never been awkward between them before. John fishes out the remote control from beneath a cushion and starts the movie. Rodney does his best to pay attention, but John is a warm, good-smelling distraction, restlessly shifting positions, the play of muscle beneath his clothes more interesting than anything on screen.
They're maybe halfway through the film when John thinks to offer, "Hey, I could make popcorn. You know, if you want."
Rodney nods, mostly just to have something to do. "Sure. That would be—good."
John goes, comes back with a big bowl, unpauses the movie. A moment later, though, he sighs. "I'm—not very good at this."
Rodney turns to look, and John's expression is uncharacteristically tense, and suddenly, Rodney gets it. John is on uncertain ground here, not playing a role or putting on a show or doing a job. Just…being John.
Rodney snatches away the popcorn bowl. "Well, you can share the snacks for a start."
John relaxes into a grin. "I can do that."
By the time the movie is over, it's started to go dark outside. They measure each other in the dim light from the TV screen, and then John reaches for Rodney, and they're kissing. Soft and lazy and easy. They have time.
John stands and leads Rodney by the hand down the hall. His bedroom is spare—white walls, tidily made bed, bare floor. They take off their clothes and climb beneath the covers, and the sex is rather touchingly vanilla. They kiss, and John smiles at Rodney, and they rub off against each other.
"If you're here in the morning, I'll make pancakes," John murmurs sleepily when they're done, his leg draped across Rodney's.
"I like pancakes," Rodney says after some consideration.
For him, that's quite a declaration.