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Rodney's Study

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Many would call it pretentious but it was the study that Rodney has always wanted. It was the second largest room on the second floor with French doors opening out onto a balcony that overlooked the garden, but that also gave him a clear view of the sky. He had set a small but powerful telescope up on the balcony, and on nights when he couldn't work or sleep, he would sink down onto the soft couch and stare through it at the stars. Often John would join him and they would abandon the telescope and stargaze instead, pressed together from hip to shoulder.

At the right time of the year, he could even see familiar constellations, though that always brought a pang of homesickness to both of them even though they were happy in this house.

He recalled when he and John first bought the house together, how each of them had seen different yet strangely complementary things about the various rooms. Unlike when he moved home as a kid, where Jeannie and his parents had snapped up the best rooms leaving him a pathetically small room in the far corner of the house, John had given him first choice. Choosing their bedroom had been easy and he'd felt a pang of guilt at asking for this room as a study but John had simply smiled and nodded, telling him it was perfect for him. Of course, it didn't hurt that John spent a lot of time in here with him, lounging on the battered leather couch in the far corner; the one item he had brought from his old apartment.

With so much back pay at their disposal, plus the royalties from several patents and papers, Rodney had set out to make this study far different from the messy one bedroom apartment that had been his home before setting out for Atlantis. Bookcases wrapped around every wall from floor to ceiling, most of them filled with reference materials, blueprints and text books from a dozen fields. Other shelves held prototypes of his latest projects, or the occasional forgotten mug of coffee. The shelving was solid wood from sustainable forests, stained in a rich mahogany. Above each individual, wide bookcase was a pull down white board comprised of small strips that allowed it to roll up and yet become rigid when it was pull into place. He had designed it himself. It allowed Rodney plenty of space to work on equations and then hide them all away if the wrong visitor called to see him.

He had forgone a luxurious carpet to match the rich mahogany, preferring something a little more practical and ended up choosing polished wood flooring arranged in an intricate mathematical pattern. That John had recognized it immediately was still a source of great pleasure to Rodney as he'd long been convinced that there was a mathematician in John's head just screaming to get out from beneath that messy hair.

His large desk was the center piece. It was a true indulgence, built out of real mahogany and to his own specification. The large desktop surface held several secrets beneath the inlaid panels. A push of a button raised his laptop from a hidden section beneath the center panel, the opening panel forming a document stand. With the push of another button, the right-hand panel rose up to form the perfect technical drawing desk for when he wanted to work on blueprints or designs. As for the left-hand panel, the only secret there lay in the single, deep scratch from where they had desperately shoved aside a heavy lamp when their determination to christen every room in the house reached his newly completed study. Of course, the comfy old couch would have been a better place.

Rodney let his finger trail along the scratch, smiling as he let the memory flood back of ardent, bruising kisses; of hands fumbling and tearing at clothing, scattering artifacts, pens and papers in a burning desire to be naked. He remembered the pure joy as John sank into him, holding him so tight and covering his face in desperate kisses as they both moved towards a mutually exquisite climax.

Over time, they'd made memories in every room of this house, and not just of the sex variety. Each was special in its own way but there was something about this particular room that made him smile. He looked up from his research papers and glanced across the room to where John was sprawled on the couch reading Anna Karenina, having finally finished War and Peace. Perhaps he loved this room because he was rarely alone and never lonely anymore, not even when he worked.