"I'm exhausted," John said, following Rodney into the apartment. "We don't have anything planned for the rest of the day, do we?"
"No, we don't. And I told you not to stay up so late."
Rodney helped John out of his coat and hung it in the hall closet.
"I'm gonna get changed." John headed for the bedroom, shoulders slumped.
The idiot had been so hopeful that his admittedly heart-felt statement – which he spent all night revising and editing – would somehow save the day and keep Ethan Handler out of prison. Rodney was continually surprised by the amount of optimism John displayed, especially when it was completely unwarranted.
Rodney shed his suit jacket and kicked off his shoes before wandering into the kitchen. While John got changed he made them each an Irish coffee. Normally he didn't care to dilute the strength of his caffeine with so much sweetness, but on occasion it offered the right amount of warm comfort. And John needed the comfort.
When John re-appeared he was wearing flannel lounge pants and one of Rodney's old Hammond Memorial Hospital t-shirts, and Wilson was draped over his shoulder.
"Hey." He hooked his chin over Rodney's shoulder, and Wilson licked Rodney's ear. "That looks good."
"Of course it does."
Rodney handed John one of the two mugs and nudged him towards the living room. They settled in their usual position, stretched out on the couch with John propped up against Rodney's chest and Wilson curled up on John's lap, loudly purring; he'd been John's constant companion ever since John had rescued him from the animal hospital.
They sat in comfortable silence for a little while, sipping their coffees, before Rodney started talking.
"There was no way for him to avoid jail time, John. You know that."
John sighed. "He was desperate. Desperate people do things they wouldn't normally do."
Like take the pediatric office hostage at gun point. Rodney understood, he really did. The medical community had failed that man and his son. Rodney didn't have any children of his own, but he could imagine how he might feel if something happened to Torren. Or his niece, Madison. Adults were supposed to protect kids, that was their job. And little Kyle Handler had nearly died because every doctor that examined him didn't look deep enough.
But John had been on the receiving end of that gun, and that was something Rodney couldn't forgive. Any one of John's other patients, or the nurses, could've been hurt or killed, and there was no excuse for putting people through something like that.
"It's just six months," Rodney pointed out. "If he hadn't been such an upstanding citizen before that, it would've been worse. The judge was really moved by your statement, too. That was definitely a contributing factor."
"I just feel like I could've done more."
"You did plenty, stop beating yourself up about it."
"Did you see the look on his face when he said goodbye to Kyle?" John dropped his head back on Rodney's shoulder. "That was rough."
"At least they got to say goodbye."
And yeah, even Rodney found that pretty heart-breaking. Well, it wasn’t like he was made of stone. A little boy crying over his dad would move anyone. And Rodney supposed if not for Ethan's act of desperation, his son wouldn't have been there in the first place. Kyle had nearly died before Rodney found a definitive diagnosis and treatment plan.
John lapsed back into silence, a solid weight against Rodney’s chest. Being in court had brought everything back from that terrible day, for both of them. Rodney remembered all too well how terrified he’d been, seeing John on the security cameras with that gun in his face. The pressure to make a diagnosis had never been so overwhelming.
There had never been such personal stakes attached to doing his job and doing it right.
But it was over and done with now, and Rodney tried to let it go. Everyone had survived, Kyle had gotten better, and justice was being served. All that was left to do was get John’s mind off things.
Rodney set his cup down on the coffee table and wrapped both arms around John, his hands slipping up under the t-shirt. He rubbed his fingers through the hair on John’s belly and poked at his bellybutton, eliciting a huffed laugh.
“How are you always so warm?” John asked. He let out a sigh and the last of the tension bled out of his shoulders. “You make me lizard happy.”
Rodney paused, hands splayed across John’s stomach. “What?”
“You know. Like how a lizard must feel when it finds that perfect warm rock to sun itself on.”
“You’re such a weirdo,” Rodney said affectionately.
John turned his head and kissed Rodney on the jaw. Rodney responded with a kiss on the lips, and what started soft and sweet quickly turned into something much more heated. John’s mug of coffee was narrowly saved from dumping all over the couch. In the process Wilson was unseated; he stalked off with a disgruntled noise and a swish of his tail.
John straddled Rodney, removing both their shirts in turn. He ran his hands over Rodney’s chest, paying extra attention to Rodney’s responsive nipples. He knew every sensitive zone, knew how to lightly touch without tickling, and kissed like he was the one about to be carted off to prison.
Rodney pulled him down so they were chest to chest and John immediately melted against him, all loose-limbed and heavy.
“Thanks,” John murmured, his breath hot against Rodney’s neck.
“For what? We haven’t got to the good stuff yet.” They were getting there, though. Rodney was lazily rotating his hips, getting just enough groin-to-groin contact with John to get his cock interested.
John huffed out another laugh. “Jerk.”
“So what are you thanking me for?”
“For being my rock.”
There was no reason that should’ve made Rodney’s breath catch in his throat, but it did. He pressed a kiss into the springy, cowlicked mess that was John’s hair.
“Now let’s get to the fucking,” John said, grinding down hard and sending little burst of electricity up Rodney’s spine. “And maybe I’ll thank you again.”
“Oh, you will,” Rodney promised.
He was a man of his word.