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Embracing Your Inner Self

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John sighed. He didn't want to be here, but it was one of the requirements of his psych assessment. And if he didn't go, it would fuck up his chances of flying again soon.

He walked into the door under the discreet sign. Embracing Your Inner Self

John had never thought he'd be forced to go to a glorified cuddling service. The doc had decided John was touch starved, and needed to be touched more. John would admit -- but not aloud -- that he had not been touched too often since his divorce from Nancy. The occasional 'atta boy' really wasn't the same.

The receptionist looked up as John walked in. "May I help you?"

"I have an appointment," John replied. "Sheppard."

She looked down at the screen in front of her. "John?"

John nodded. 

"Right on time," she said. She rose from the chair and said, "Follow me, please."

She led him through a door to a corridor with several rooms off of it. 

"Your consultant will be with you shortly," she said. "Please take off your shirt, shoes and socks. There is a smock on the back of the door, if you would like to use that, but it is not required. You are required to leave your pants on at all times."

"Okay." John wasn't quite sure what else to say.

"Your consultant will be with you shortly," she said. "Please make yourself comfortable."

She left the room, closing the door behind her.

The room was not stuffy but comfortably warm as John toed off his shoes and sat down on the couch to take off his socks. He decided to suck it up, and took off his shirt without putting on the smock. 

He sat back on the couch and waited.

It was longer than he thought it would be before the consultant bustled through the door. 

"Sorry, sorry, sorry, I'm late," the man babbled.

John took in the broad shoulders and a fantastic ass as the man closed the door behind himself. The man turned and John was struck by brilliant blue eyes.

"Not a problem," John replied.

The man stopped and looked at John. "You're here for..." he stuttered.

John shrugged. "I'm ready when you are," he said.

The man stared for a moment, looking closely at John. He toed off his shoes and reached down to peel off his t-shirt. The man's arms bulged, complementing the breadth of the shoulders.

Oh, John was in so much trouble here.

Hopping on one foot, the man took off his socks and threw them toward his shoes. He dropped on the couch next to John.

"How do you want to start?" The man asked.

"Umm... I don't have any preferences," John replied. "I... what's your name? I'm John." He wanted to make sure he was in the right place.

"Rodney," the man introduced himself. He held out a hand and John shook the surprisingly firm hand.

"Okay, that's a good start," Rodney said. "How about... You put your arm around me?"

That sounded slightly unsure, but John had to figure Rodney was trying to make him comfortable.

"That works, I guess," John agreed. Rodney shifted closer to John and turned so his back was closer to John's chest.

John wrapped his arm around Rodney and brought him closer, firmly against his chest.

Rodney took a deep breath and then relaxed against John. The weight felt comfortable, surprising John with how right this felt.

They sat together in silence for about five minutes before Rodney started to fidget.

"Can we..." Rodney turned to look at John. "Can we change places? Like, this isn't bad but, well, I'm not good at sitting still."

"How are you so bad at this?" John asked.

"It's my first time!" Rodney protested. "They made me come here. In fact, O'Neill... well, never mind who, locked me out of my lab until I came here."

John reluctantly removed his arm from around Rodney. "You're not the... consultant?"

"Do I look like a professional cuddler?" Rodney demanded.

Yes! "I think there's been a mix up," John reluctantly admitted. "I'm a... cuddlee myself."

Rodney stared. "But you're so good at it!"

John grinned. "Not so much," he replied. "But... I kinda liked cuddling you."

"Oh."

"Umm... maybe we can just keep doing what we're doing for a bit?" John asked.

"You'd do that?" Rodney asked softly.

John shrugged. "I'd like to try, anyway."

Rodney smile grew brilliant. 

John thought maybe he'd like try to make Rodney smile more often.