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“You need a ride home again?” Rodney asked John, trying to sound neutral. He mostly sounded genuinely annoyed. John’s ridiculous sports car was in the shop for the third straight week, because despite the fact that John trusted Rodney to master ancient alien technology to save their lives on a daily basis, he wouldn’t let Rodney touch his car.

Rodney could have fixed it in forty seconds, because that’s how long it’d taken to get under the hood and rearrange a few parts so it wouldn’t start.

He only did it so he could drive John home, but it hadn’t worked. And John’s mechanic apparently knew his client wouldn’t have the time to check under the hood himself, and was just charging him out the ass.

John smirked at him, then glanced across the cafeteria to where Cameron Mitchell was standing in line. “Thanks for the offer,” he said. “I’ll let you know.”

Rodney schooled his face so the jealousy and frustration wouldn’t show. He silently followed John through the serving line, distracting himself by harassing the cafeteria employees on food safety standards.

John rolled his eyes and laughed. “You’re going to get zested to death, Rodney, and have no one to blame but yourself.”

He didn’t stick around for Rodney’s response, heading off with his food for Mitchell’s table. Rodney glowered at the nearest cafeteria worker, grabbed two cupcakes for his tray, and followed John.

Mitchell’s table was full, seats taken by John, Sam Carter, and the massive Teal’c. Rodney had to put his tray on the corner, steal a chair from an adjacent table, then wedge himself in between Teal’c’s giant elbow and John.

“You staying on base this evening?” John asked Mitchell, casually.

“Yep,” Carter answered for him, while Mitchell scowled.

“You know, I don’t even know why I pay rent at my place,” Mitchell said. “I don’t get to live there.”

“Why aren’t you going home?” Rodney asked.

Mitchell never really went home. He was always on base. It was annoying as hell. John wouldn’t go home with Mitchell, too worried about appearances. For some deluded reason, he thought it was safer to conspicuously flirt with his boyfriend on base, in front of thousands of military personnel. To sleep with his boyfriend in base quarters, on furniture belonging to the same government that would like to prosecute him for it.

John could be a giant moron.

Starting with his taste in men – Mitchell – and pretty much all associated behaviors.

“We’re on stand-by for the archaeological team,” Carter said, without any resentment. “In case they need back up.”

“If Jackson angers Wikki-wok the God of the Volcano,” Mitchell explained, sounding entirely serious.

“Wikki-wok?” John said. Rodney watched him steal French fries off Mitchell’s plate.

“I don’t know.” Mitchell shrugged. “There is a volcano, and that sounds like something he’d do.”

“And Vala is there,” Carter added. “She has a tendency to create havoc in new and unexpected ways.”

“Indeed,” Teal’c said. “I did not wish to accompany them on this endeavor because she declared her intentions to do so.”

Mitchell almost dropped his glass. “She did?” He huffed. “Well, I won’t be sleeping tonight. Good to know.”

“Why did he even bring her along?” Rodney demanded.

He didn’t like Vala. She was noisy and crazy and had used her evil powers of observation normally reserved for robbing people blind to figure out Rodney had a raging crush on John and, as a result, spent most of her interactions with him either tormenting or extorting him. He liked when she was gone and he liked when she was focusing her attentions on making other people miserable.

Except when she managed to be gone and still screw up his life.

While the rest of SG-1 discussed Daniel Jackson’s questionable sexual relationship, Rodney watched John continue to help himself to various portions of Mitchell’s dinner, and had uncharitably critical thoughts about John’s romantic and dietary choices. If he wanted fries and Mac and cheese, he should have gotten his own instead of poaching from Mitchell’s plate like a googly-eyed teen.

It was really enough when John stuck his finger in the frosting of Mitchell’s cupcake and started licking it off.

Mitchell noticed, too, and presumably had the same reaction as Rodney.

He started eating faster, scraping his plate clean and smacking John’s hand away from his dessert.

“Since we’re going to get called to go rescue Jackson and Vala,” he said, “Probably at four in the morning –”

“Yep,” interrupted Carter.

“I’m going to call it a night,” Mitchell finished. He stuffed the entire molested cupcake in his mouth, rose, and walked stiff-leggedly out of the cafeteria.

Rodney hated him.

Sheppard focused his attention on his own plate, cleaning it with slightly less conspicuous speed. But his mouth was full and interfered with Rodney’s attempts at conversation.

“Well,” he said, lying. “I’m gonna hit the gym. I’ll be on base tonight, Sam, so let me know if you need someone to drag Vala back by the hair.”

“She likes that,” Teal’c said, flatly, and Carter nearly sprayed the table as she started laughing and choked on her water.

That left Rodney with Teal’c and Carter, two dazzling conversationalists. Rodney was kind of wedged between John’s empty, angled chair and Teal’c’s ridiculously large bicep.

It took irritatingly long for Rodney to extract himself from the dinner table. Carter wanted to talk about one her stupid R&D experiments, which was in fact stupid, so he had to tell her so. Teal’c stole his both his desserts and was too large and immune to yelling to be properly reprimanded.

By the time he got back to his quarters, the show had already begun.

John and Mitchell had gone to Mitchell’s quarters, of course. John had probably done one rep in the gym for appearances’ sake. They always went to Mitchell’s quarters if it was remotely orchestrated.

John might have had some boundary issues.

It was annoying, because it was substantially harder and more suspicious for Rodney to get access to Mitchell’s quarters than those of his team leader and best friend. Sometimes Mitchell would spontaneously stop by John’s quarters, so Rodney had installed a couple cameras there, too. Fewer, though, and poorer coverage. It wasn’t as worth the risk and John was the type of person who might someday search his room for surveillance.

Mitchell was dumb as a log and thought Rodney was occasionally assigned to fix light fixtures.

It’d taken a lot of effort, but Rodney had eight hidden cameras set up around Mitchell’s bed. He’d started with one, mostly to see if he felt bad enough about doing it to not do it again.

He hadn’t, and had needed another.

Eight provided all the angles, plus duplicates so he could zoom in with one and maintain a wider point of view on another.

John and Mitchell were already naked, which was a shame, because Rodney liked the foreplay.

He watched the men make out, idly changing cameras to find the best image. Then, Mitchell shoved John down on the bed and Rodney had to change again. Rodney hadn’t yet managed to install one on the ceiling directly over the bed, since even Mitchell would notice something new in the vast expanse of white cinderblock.

Rodney wondered how John explained the hickies Mitchell had to be leaving all over his chest to the medical staff. Mitchell managed to stay below the neck, but still. He wasn’t careful.

Mitchell spent a lot of time laving John’s nipples, which really wasn’t Rodney’s thing. He wasn’t sure it was John’s thing, either. Maybe Mitchell’s hands were working between Sheppard’s legs, but Rodney couldn’t see.

The thing about watching real people was you couldn’t pick what they did. Or how they did it. Rodney had never realized how much porn performers adjusted their bodies for the cameras.

John and Mitchell didn’t even know there were cameras, of course, and half the time Rodney was stuck looking at Mitchell’s thrusting ass with no view of where their bodies joined.

Mitchell had an okay ass. He was bigger and bulkier than John, and not as hairy. He had the parts, but Rodney had a hard time mentally separating them from the big goofy dumbass attached to be all that attracted.

John liked the big goofy dumbass, though, and that was hot.

Porn actors never kissed as much as John and Mitchell did, or touched each other like they did.

It made it impossible to go back to porn, where the actors were connected at the pelvis and nowhere else.

On screen, Mitchell had bent Sheppard’s legs up and back.

It was a slow and gentle night, it looked like.

Rodney preferred they go a little faster and harder, but he couldn’t exactly make requests. He also liked it better when John rode Mitchell, mostly because Rodney didn’t really have to look at Mitchell, then.

He used camera seven to zoom in on John’s face and angled the others to mostly eliminate Mitchell from the frames.

It was best to focus on what he liked, after all, and not dwell on why he couldn’t have it.