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"Long day," John offers as they leave the briefing room.

"Yeah," Rodney agrees. He's too tired even to banter with Sheppard, which is saying something. They walk together to the residential wing in silence.

"So, no mission tomorrow," Sheppard says, as they reach the fork in the corridor that leads to Rodney's room in one direction and Sheppard's room in the other. He's clearly not used to holding up the conversation.

"No, thank god. I'm spending the whole day in the labs." Rodney considers. "With sandwiches. There may be chocolate."

"Sounds good," John agrees.

They stand there for a minute. Rodney thinks he's missing something. "Uh, so, goodnight," he says.

Sheppard nods quickly. "Night."

Rodney goes left. Sheppard goes right.

-

Rodney takes a long, hot shower (almost falls asleep in the middle of it), eats an MRE, drinks a beer from his rapidly-dwindling supply (but, dammit, it was a long day) and promptly collapes into bed, his hair still wet, his body warm in his clean t-shirt and boxers. He closes his eyes.

-

John takes a long, hot shower (still wired on adrenaline from the mission), eats some twizzlers, drinks a big, cold glass of water (condensation beading on the outside, so cold, so cold) and promptly collapses into bed, his hair still wet, his skin still buzzing from the firefight a few hours ago.

He reaches for his cock; if he wants to sleep anytime soon, this is probably the best bet. And he has to get up early.

. . . And he was kind of turned on by Rodney, dirt smeared on his face, snapping at John while his busy hands fixed the DHD.

It's easier once he admits it to himself; he allows his mind's eye to drift back over the last few hours, Rodney's round ass in the air as he bent over the control crystals, Rodney's breath hot and heavy in John's ear, over the open radio connection, while he and Ronon kept the Wraith back. That line of grease on his forehead where he'd obviously rubbed the sweat from his face with his arm.

John gives himself a little squeeze, strokes himself harder: he imagines Rodney's ass, how it would look naked, beneath him: how it would feel to slip into Rodney's hole, slow and sweet, Rodney's smooth white back beneath his hands.

-

Rodney is almost asleep, drifting in that delicious space between consciousness and unconsciousness, when something touches him. He's sleeping on his stomach, like he always does, face burrowed in the pillow. In his befuddled state, he thinks he feels something on his back, something cold and soft rubbing at the space between his t-shirt and his boxers. He starts to wake up, half-wonders if he's dreaming, and then he feels another touch: cold fingers pulling down his boxers, something cold and wet rubbing, suddenly, over his anus.

He wakes all the way up at that, sitting up and flipping over, his boxers tangling on his thighs.

"What? Wha –" he gasps into the empty room.

His eyes adjust to the dark, but then he kind of wishes that they hadn't. Because there, in the room, are . . . some sort of machines. There are three of them, long, white, thick in the middle but tapering down to slightly rounded tips, writhing in the space above the bed.

"Oh, shit," Rodney says. Motherfucking Ancients. He has no idea if this is a security system or a cleaning service or what, so he holds still there in the dark, and holy shit, did that thing just try to fuck him in the ass?

The machines hover in front of him, and Rodney keeps not moving.

-

"Yeah," John says, out loud, getting into the fantasy. He'd have Rodney bent over something, a table in the lab maybe, or the DHD – yeah, in the middle of a forest on an alien world, just right there over the DHD, getting Rodney's pants and underwear down around his knees, getting his fingers into Rodney, getting his dick into Rodney. He's fisting his cock hard now, rough tight pressure sliding up and down, so good, so good. John palms the tip of his cock with his other hand, cups it, rubs the head with one hand while he fucks the shaft with his other fist.

. . . Rodney's strong thighs flexing and clenching, Rodney's hole tight around John as John fucks him . . .

-

Then, as if motivated by some inaudible command, the three machines start to move again, breaking the standoff, moving sinuously toward the bed. Rodney can see now that the – tentacles, might as well call 'em as he sees 'em – that the tentacles are anchored to the wall at different points, set up to surround the bed. Rodney gulps and tries to think off, but he's never been good at using the ATA gene under pressure, and also one of the things is rubbing down his chest, vibrating against his nipple.

"No way," he says out loud. "No fucking way am I coming home after a long day of offworld Wraith-craziness just to get molested by the Ancient tentacular shower attachments, no way – " But one of the shower attachments is snaking back into his boxers, wrapping around his soft dick, and it's cold but the friction is making up for it, the wetness is making up for it. Rodney groans in spite of himself, and spares a moment to wonder where the wetness is coming from, then realizes that he's still just sitting here, and that these things are all over him, and when he bothers to think about it, he's really not okay with that.

"Auuugh," he says, shoving the unresisting machines off of him, shuddering as he levers himself out of bed and across the room. The tentacles hover around the bed, looking almost disappointed, but don't follow him.

He stays over near the door. Eventually, the tentacles –

-

John closes his eyes tight and stutters his hips forward into his hands and comes

-

Eventually, the tentacles retract into the wall. Rodney gets himself a glass of water and drinks it, wondering what to do. It's not exactly the kind of thing he can report without becoming the laughing stock of the city, but on the other hand . . . on the other hand, his asshole is still wet from where a semi-sentient Ancient dildo came out of the wall and tried to rape him. Rodney weighs these considerations carefully.

Then he sighs, disconnects the power coming to his room, and stumbles back to his bed in the dark. He'll figure it out in the morning. He closes his eyes again, and though he doesn't expect to be able to do so, he falls asleep almost immediately.

-

John cleans up with a couple of tissues, then rolls over onto his stomach and half-smiles into his pillow. It worked: he no longer feels wired. He falls asleep almost immediately.

-

The next day, Rodney spends working in the labs as he foretold, but he can't get the whole tentacle-rape thing out of his mind for some reason. He wants to tell someone about it, but doesn't know who, or how to start – hey, Radek, some giant white tentacles came out of the wall and started rimming me last night, how was your evening? – but on the other hand, he can't keep the power to his room shut off indefinitely. He needs to charge his laptops. And maybe take a shower sometime.

He tries, clandestinely, to look the things up in the Ancient database, but beyond the problem of which search terms to select (he knows from previous experience that "sex toys" comes back from the database with a disappointing 0 hits) he's not sure what city-system they could even be tied into. Environmental controls? Maintenance? Plumbing? He just doesn't have a sub-directory for this shit.

-

As John goes about his day, doing inventory on the munitions, meeting with Ronon about training schedules, talking to Chuck about offworld security protocols, he finds himself whistling a jaunty little tune. Life is good.

-

That night, Rodney brushes his teeth, changes into his boxers and t-shirt, and stands in front of his bed for a good ten minutes.

He switched the power back on earlier so that he could take a shower and turn on the lights – watching the walls carefully as he did so – but his room hasn't tried any funny stuff for the last few hours. It turns out, though, that the power fluctuation from last night showed up on the main grid, and if it shows up twice in a row Simpson is going to be asking questions about it.

There is, of course, the fact that he was half-asleep at the time, and the fact that the Ancient technology responds to thoughts. He feels a little embarrassed, even though he's all by himself, to think that maybe he was subconsciously desiring . . . that. Something in his ass, something around his cock, something stroking and vibrating over his nipple, touch that he wanted so badly that it didn't matter where it came from. His cock stirs in his shorts, and he shifts from foot to foot, uncertain.

Because . . . it's not like he hasn't been turned on before, in this room, hasn't jerked off and stuck his fingers in his ass while sitting on that very bed. So the question is, why now?

Rodney sighs. The tentacles went away readily enough last night, when he pushed them off, so really it's not like they're going to rape his ass while he's sleeping. Nonetheless, he tucks the blankets around himself tightly, even though it's not really cold enough for that.

-

It's late when John finally gets to bed, late when he answers his last email and decides to put off the SGC reports for the morning. He imagines that most of Atlantis is already asleep; the city feels still around him.

Yawning, John crawls between his covers; soon he's asleep, too.

-

It turns out that Rodney didn't have to worry. The walls keep their tentacles to themselves all night.

-

A week later, and Rodney's starting to think that he imagined the whole thing, that it was a dream, because no part of the architecture has tried anything untoward for the past six nights. Or maybe it was something he did himself – something the maintenance crew triggered unwittingly, something caused by a power fluctuation, something brought up by Rodney's own subconscious getting, for once, uncharacteristically kinky. Whatever it was – if it even happened in the first place – it hasn't happened since, and Rodney finds that he's sleeping more and more soundly with each night that passes without sodomy by tentacle.

At 1600 he goes offworld with John and Ronon to V5K-1N7, which is new to them. Teyla, when they asked her, had never heard of it, and Ronon shrugs and says that he's never been there, either. But it's listed in the Ancient database as an outpost of some kind, so that's encouraging.

At 1730 he comes running back through the wormhole from V5K-1N7 with John and Ronon right behind him. They're all breathing heavily, Rodney's gun is actually smoking, and there's a piece of yellow gelatinous flesh-goop on Ronon's shoulder from where the thing exploded.

"Monsters?" Chuck asks, peering over the balcony at them.

"Monsters," John affirms.

-

After some more assorted running around, Rodney hits the mess hall for some late dinner to find his team already there: Ronon and Teyla eating generous helpings of the mess hall spaghetti, John picking away at a turkey sandwich. Rodney sits down next to them.

"What's new, McKay?" John asks, finally committing to a bite of sandwich.

"You know. Giant blobby yellow monsters."

"Ronon and John were just telling me of the creatures that you encountered on V5K-1N7," Teyla smiles, her hand resting on the round of her belly. "But I was not quite clear on the anatomy. How many mouths did they have, exactly?"

Rodney digs into his spaghetti while John, around a mouthful of turkey, describes the various limbs and orifices of the blob-monsters. It's nice, unwinding at the end of his day, twirling noodles with his team. Rodney is glad that this is his life now, discussing the day's monsters with Teyla, watching John and Ronon argue over the number of noses ("Sheppard, if that thing on the back wasn't a nose, what was it?" "Buddy, if you don't know, I'm not going to tell you"), absently brainstorming ways to soup up the city's hyperdrive with one corner of his mind – all of these things commonplace, all of these things still somehow miraculous for all that he does them every day.

-

After dinner, Rodney walks with Sheppard down the corridor to their residential wing, just like they always do. At the little fork in the road, they pause – just like they always do. Sheppard hesitates.

"Goodnight, Sheppard," Rodney says.

"Goodnight, Ralph," John smiles.

As Rodney walks down the empty hall to his quarters, he rubs at his stomach absently. Still a little keyed up, he thinks to himself.

It's not far from that thought to lying on his back on his bed, his boxers kicked off, rubbing his palm against one nipple while he teases his balls with the other hand. He's wary for wall-tentacles, but they don't show up, even when he starts to really get into it, so he relaxes enough to close his eyes while he squeezes his dick.

-

John spends a little time pretending to read, but it's no good; he's tired enough that his eyes are crossing as he tries to concentrate on the text. Sighing, he shoves the book face-down on the nightstand; he could always relax the old-fashioned way.

He kicks off the covers and gets a hand below the waistband of his sweatpants, too lazy to take them off. He shuffles through fantasy-material, scenes flicking before his eyes before he settles on one, the same one as last time: Rodney's ass, Rodney bent over. He imagines Rodney unbuckling his belt and undoing his fly with one hand while braced with the other hand on the lab bench in front of him; imagines Rodney starting to push ineffectually at his pants and boxers, ineffectually enough that John has to step up behind him and yank them down, rough, exposing his ass to the air.

That's doing something for him; his cock swells and leaks into his hand, and John dwells on that moment a little: Rodney wriggling his hips, trying to get the clothes off, John stepping forward, his hands impatient on Rodney's waistband, his fingers rough on Rodney's skin as he pushes the fabric down to Rodney's knees. He could cup Rodney's ass, then, could squeeze it a little – oh, god, yeah – and start to work his fingers into Rodney's asshole. One hand opening Rodney up, the other on his neck, stroking his throat. John imagines.

John pushes his sweatpants down after all, giving himself more leverage as he pushes into his fist.

-

Rodney's on the brink of coming when he feels it, and it shocks him out of the sex-haze he'd been drifting in for the past few minutes. The feel of cold, soft material against his neck – not metal, not quite plastic – is a sudden shock. He thought they weren't going to make an appearance.

But when he opens his eyes, there they are: three long, white tentacles, at least one of them already gleaming visibly with whatever lubricant they secreted. Rodney shivers in his bed and fucks up into his fist as the first one strokes his throat.

How different can it be from an Earth sex toy, he thinks. And he thinks: if they're just conforming to his own desires, how could it hurt to try? And he thinks: who's going to know?

-

Yeah, John thinks, letting a couple of fingers trail down to press behind his balls. Rodney would be laid out for him – he'd fuck into Rodney's ass, and wrap his hand around Rodney's dick – just like this, hard like this - and Rodney would have to brace both arms against the lab table to push back against the thrusts. John would fuck him, and fuck him, and fuck him, and pull roughly at his cock, and maybe Rodney's hand would slip on the table-surface, his palms slippery with sweat, and maybe Rodney would talk while he was getting fucked. Maybe Rodney would curse at him, moan at him, tell him harder, faster.

John gasps and goes faster; goes harder.

-

So Rodney lies back and gasps as the things grope over his body, stroking it, as one of them twists over his thighs to curl itself around his cock. He takes his hand off his dick, giving the tentacle full access. It feels amazing – a little cold, still, but pliable and flexible, and beneath the smooth surface there is something ribbed, something moving – the thing hums as it starts to vibrate, the trunk trailing down to rub across his balls.

Rodney groans, pressing his shoulders back against the bed and arching up into the touch. As he does, one of them snakes under him, teases wetly at his asshole again, not quite penetrating – but it's enough: Rodney comes, gasping, shaking, while the tentacle stroking his neck brushes lightly against his lips in imitation of a kiss.

-

John comes so hard he feels like he's coming apart.

When he comes back to himself, panting a little, his skin hot and flushed, he trails his hand up to his face. For no real reason that he can think of, he presses his fingers to his lips in imitation of a kiss.

-

After that, Rodney gets used to it. They don't show up every time he masturbates, but sometimes they do; more often, they show up when he thinks he's thinking of something else – when he's working on his laptop, taking a shower, trying to go to sleep.

Each time, he finds himself acquiescing; it's his subconscious, after all, and if his subconscious thinks he needs some stress relief, it's probably right. So he lets the tentacles caress over his body, lets them pull at his dick and vibrate over his balls. And, eventually, he gives in, turns over, and lets one of them fuck him properly, long hard strokes that rattle his teeth, that take him in just the right way. On his hands and knees, one tentacle shoved up deep inside him, one wrapped around his cock, and one trailing teasingly over his nipples, Rodney gives up sanity for a moment; he groans and shoves back against the friction, takes more of the thing inside him, and abandons himself to the sensations. Suddenly, the third tentacle slips between his lips, blunt pressure against his mouth. He groans and sucks it in eagerly, and as he comes, all he can think is more, more, more.

Each time, after it's over, he finds himself a little embarrassed; he should probably have said something to someone, somehow, though he's not sure what or who or how. But the secret of it is a little exciting, too; he never knows when he's going to come home to find the machines ready for him, waiting, hovering above the bed. He never knows when they'll wake him up with a nudge to his asshole or a flick over his nipple. He likes that he's found something in the city that's just his, his dirty little secret.

-

It happens while they're offworld, not for any particular reason. They're not drunk, or drugged, or forced to play alien strip poker, or anything. At the end of a long day of trade negotiations, the Rian assign Rodney and John to the same guest quarters – something that happens all the time – and they crawl into the same big bed, both in boxers and t-shirts – something else that happens all the time. This time, though, something must be different, because when Rodney looks over to say goodnight, John's already looking back at him, and Rodney finds himself leaning in and kissing him on the mouth. As he's moving forward, he thinks, shit, this is crazy, abort, ABORT, and when he first gets his lips against John's, he thinks, yeah, really should've aborted while I had the chance, but then John sighs and shifts towards him and then they're kissing for real.

They make out for long, lazy minutes, lying on their sides in a sweet-smelling bed on an alien planet. John shuffles a little closer, bunching the blankets between them, and gets a hand on Rodney's jaw.

Rodney pulls his mouth back a little and watches John's face. His eyelashes lay against his cheek for one long moment before he opens his eyes, and then they're sort of gazing at each other and it's a little weird, so Rodney kisses him again.

This time, John groans, low in his throat, and it's probably a fake sex-noise but it's pretty hot anyway. Their lips make soft, wet noises in the quiet room, little smacking noises that echo through Rodney's body because, holy fuck, he's kissing John Sheppard.

It gets hotter and heavier pretty fast; John's hand slides around to the back of his neck to pull him in closer, which incidentally traps Rodney's arm in the scrunched-up blankets; after a minute of squirming and shifting, though, he manages to get it free, and puts his concentration back into kissing.

When Sheppard snakes a hand down Rodney's chest to his belly, Rodney pulls his mouth back slightly to make an encouraging noise, and Sheppard drools on him kind of egregiously.

"Mmmph," Sheppard says, "Sorry." And he rubs the spittle off of Rodney's face and neck with his wrist, looking turned on and embarrassed.

"S'okay," Rodney says, and then they're just lying in bed together, too conscious of each other, John's hand on his belly suddenly feeling weird.

After a pause, John says, "Uh, do you want to . . . "

"Yeah," Rodney answers quickly. "Yeah, let's – let me." And he cups John's shoulder firmly with one hand and leans in to kiss just under his jaw, to rub his lips against John's stubble and worry his teeth on John's earlobe.

"Yeah, okay," Sheppard says faintly. He starts rubbing his hand up and down on Rodney's belly, dipping a little lower each time. Rodney wiggles his hips toward John encouragingly, trying to get his cock into John's hand. John doesn't take the hint at first, just stroking his hand on Rodney's navel, but he gets there eventually, palming Rodney over his boxers. His strokes are too light – tentative – but Rodney goes with it, nuzzling at John's neck and rubbing his hands down John's sides.

"Augh!" John squirms and jerks suddenly, then flushes. "Uh, ticklish," he says.

"Sorry," Rodney says, then bites his lip and goes for broke, pushing John's boxers down off of his hips. When Rodney reaches for it, John's hot, slick cock fits itself nicely into his palm.

"Yeah, Rodney, like that," John moans in that nasal little whine of his. Rodney likes it. He squeezes a little harder, and John gasps and shuffles closer, tangling their legs together. John gets Rodney's shorts far enough out of the way to free his cock, then lines them up together, presses his dick against Rodney's and wraps his long fingers around the both of them.

"Unnnngh," Rodney says intelligently. "Yeah. Jesus."

Sheppard gives him a weird look that he can't interpret and leans forward to kiss him again. They rub and thrust against each other, tongues and cocks sliding together deliciously, and the momentum starts to build again. Rodney's got a hand around the back of John's neck, holding his mouth in place, and John's got a hand cupping the curve of Rodney's ass, kneading and squeezing.

John pulls his mouth back, then, breathing hard. "I want to fuck you," he says ardently, his palm rubbing hot against the curve of Rodney's cheek, fingers dipping into the cleft. "Can I fuck you? You've got such a perfect fucking ass."

"Yeah, yeah," Rodney gasps out, then, "Uh, no."

John stills. "No?"

"I mean, yes to the idea, but, uh," Rodney's face heats up, blush staining his cheeks. "The Rian fed us that spicy food for lunch, and . . . "

"Oh," John says. He got fucked while in that state, one time; there had been shit everywhere. Not the sexiest experience of his life.

"We can do that some other time," Rodney assures him quickly, still blushing. "And I can blow you. Here, let me blow you." And Rodney squirms down the bed to get his head between John's thighs.

John doesn't object, but Rodney reconsiders once he gets there, pausing comically with his mouth poised over John's dick.

"Yes?" John asks finally.

Rodney looks up at him and presses his lips together. "Uh, do we have condoms?"

John nods quickly. "In the med kit," he says.

Rodney arches an eyebrow. "Really?"

"Yeah, Keller's pretty awesome."

"Okay," Rodney says, then levers himself out of bed, half-tripping on his boxers before kicking them off irritably. His cock bounces uncomfortably as he walks, and he knows he's not presenting the prettiest picture as he goes to one knee next to his backpack and bends over to dig in the front compartment. Eventually he finds the strip of condoms and gets back to the bed.

"So, yeah – uh, c'mere," Rodney says. John shuffles obligingly closer, his dick hard and red, his breath coming fast. Rodney rolls the condom down and gives John a couple of quick strokes with his hand.

He shimmies down the bed again, getting his mouth on the tip, taking John into his mouth and starting to suck. John's hips stutter forward a little, and Rodney almost gags, but manages to suppress it, his eyes watering. He wraps a hand around the base of John's dick to help himself out, then applies himself in earnest. The condom tastes gross and his jaw starts to ache almost immediately. John's really quiet, making the occasional grunt, his hand coming down to stroke tentatively through Rodney's hair. Rodney is probably in love with him.

John takes a long time to come, making those half-stifled little noises and jerking into Rodney's mouth. When he's done, Rodney gets rid of the condom and crawls back up to kiss him.

"Uh," John says. "My turn?"

"Yeah, okay," Rodney breathes. It's unutterably weird, watching his team leader, watching his best friend brace his palms against Rodney's thighs and stroke a condom over Rodney's dick and bend his head to suck. Rodney wants to touch him, but isn't sure what's appropriate, so he just rests one palm on Sheppard's shoulder – still clothed with his t-shirt – and strokes gently, squeezing the muscle there.

Sheppard rubs the flat of his tongue against the tip of Rodney's cock, goes down a little further to apply some suction, then back up to lip at the tip again. It's a little too loose and a little too messy for Rodney's taste, but it's a mouth on his dick, hot and enthusiastic, so after a while the tension builds up and Rodney lets it go, comes with an aborted little thrust against the roof of John's mouth.

John chokes and spits him out, but it's okay, because Rodney's done anyway. He pulls the condom off and tosses it into the trash with the other one. When he turns back, John's fishing in the sheets, locating his boxers and slipping them up his hips. Rodney's are on the floor, but he's not about to get up again to get them; instead he just shoves his legs under the blankets and lies back on his pillow.

Next to him, John gets under the covers and mirrors Rodney's position, lying on his back with his head resting squarely on the pillow.

"Uh, thanks," Rodney says eventually, not sure what else to say.

John's answering voice is hoarse. "You too."

Rodney reaches out blindly and pats Sheppard on the shoulder.

-

Lying awake in the dark with Rodney beside him, John thinks, this was better in my imagination.

-

Lying awake in the dark with John beside him, Rodney thinks, this was better when I let the wall-tentacles do me.

-

The next day is pretty much the textbook definition of awkward, especially when Rodney wakes up to realize that he's still not wearing any underwear and that John's already up and dressed.

"Uh, can you hand me my shorts?" Rodney asks. John looks at him blankly for a moment, then picks them up off the floor and tosses them to Rodney, who pulls them on under the covers.

"The Rian'll have breakfast ready soon," John says, packing up his toiletries.

"Yeah, okay," Rodney says.

-

They don't avoid each other, that week, but it's there between them, the tension of having had pretty mediocre sex together for no discernable reason. John figures he's probably in love with Rodney, and that maybe Rodney feels the same, but it's not really salient to the problem at hand, which is that he traded blowjobs with his best friend and now they're both paralyzingly mortified about the whole thing and don't know which script to follow.

More and more, John takes refuge in evenings alone in his quarters: in his mind, there are no overabundant bodily secretions, no nipples pinched too hard or offputting taste of latex. In his mind, he shoves his cock down Rodney's throat and Rodney groans for it; in his mind, he takes Rodney's cock up his ass and rides it, squirms on it, fucks himself on it. He figures it's probably a good idea to stop fantasizing about Rodney every goddamn night, but even though he tells himself he's going to stop, he can't quite bring himself to do it.

Instead, he pumps into his fist and clenches his eyes closed tight and comes, imagining all the things they didn't do.

-

Rodney figures it's probably a good idea to stop thinking about the painfully average sex he had with Sheppard offworld, but he can't bring himself to actually stop. He knows that he's not really moving past it, too, because the tentacles show up every night, now, and cover his body without the gentleness or hesitation that they showed in the past. Every night, there's cool soft wetness pressing into his ass, covering his dick and pulling hard, slipping into his mouth – into his mouth, more and more often – filling him up from every direction.

When Rodney sees the tentacles poised over the bed, he strips himself quietly and goes willingly, gets on his hands and knees and gives himself up to the writhing alien things. He doesn't even try to touch himself anymore: instead, he just lets them do what they want, lets them take him the way that they want; sometimes faster, sometimes harder, but they always take him, always give him what he doesn't know he needs. The slick white tentacles shove themselves into his ass, eager and fast; they squeeze at his dick, they vibrate over his nipples and sometimes it's almost too much. Sometimes he doesn't think he can take it anymore, but he always comes hard, sobbing as the machines hold his body up and fuck him.

-

When John opens his door, he's not too surprised to find Rodney standing there, holding his arms behind his back the way he does when he's feeling defensive.

"Listen, I want to try again," Rodney says, his face set determinedly. "I gave myself an enema."

John smiles over Rodney's shoulder at the group of zoologists passing by. They smile back nervously and walk faster.

John resists the urge to press the heel of his hand into his eye socket. Instead he says, "Okay, you'd better come in."

Rodney does, and the door closes behind him. Then Rodney reaches out awkwardly and rubs his palm on the ball of John's shoulder, slowly, like he's asking permission.

Over the last week, John's found that he can't stop thinking about it, so he says, "I can't stop thinking about it."

Something lights up in Rodney's eyes. "Me too," he says. "I can't, either."

"It wasn't all that great," John adds, cautiously.

"No."

But this is still exciting, nauseating, somehow: Rodney's body here, in front of him, solid and willing. John feels a little tingle travel through him from the spot where Rodney's hand is on his shoulder. Bracing himself with a little grimace, John steps forward into Rodney's space, gets his arm around Rodney's waist and pulls him in for a kiss.

It's hot and slow and wet; Rodney mashes his lips against John's a little too hard and John miscalculates a move, turning a sexy nip into a pinching bite, but they keep going anyway, breathing hard into each others' mouths.

"I think we can work on it," Rodney says, when they pull apart.

"Yeah," John says, and rubs his hands over Rodney's warm body. "Yeah, okay."

This time he does fuck Rodney – who is he to waste an enema, after all – and it's nothing like in his fantasies; in his fantasies, Rodney groans "harder," and "faster;" in his fantasies, Rodney takes it smooth and easy and can't get enough.

The Rodney in his bed keeps panting and shifting his body, keeps trying to shift his thigh to get himself open a little more; this Rodney groans "wait," and "fuck, stop for a second," and "okay, a little more now, c'mon" and for some reason it turns John on like crazy, makes him sweat and shake like he's coming apart. He braces his hands on Rodney's lovehandles and crams a little more of his dick into Rodney's ass. When Rodney reaches a hand behind himself and grabs John by the wrist, it pulls John off-balance for a second, pulls him face-down into Rodney's shoulderblades while Rodney drags John's hand onto Rodney's cock.

"Mmmmph," John says, his nose buried in Rodney's back as Rodney starts moving their hands together on his dick. Then he starts to laugh, almost involuntarily: Rodney's so pushy, so sexy, so Rodney, and so ridiculous at the same time; he can't help it.

Rodney takes John's laughing in stride, just grunts out a "Shut up, asshole," and grinds his ass back onto John's cock.

-

Rodney's forgotten what it's like to have cock inside him; it's nothing like the cool tentacles that shape themselves perfectly to his asshole, nothing like the smooth gliding wetness that he's gotten used to over the last few weeks. John's hot, burning inside him, and too big, and missing his prostate more than half the time, but there's something in the little groans he makes, in the sticky sweaty feeling of his body plastered against Rodney's, that makes up for it. Rodney wonders how he could've missed this the first time.

After the sex part, Rodney rolls John over, pressing their bodies together pointedly.

"You're kind of heavy," John protests, but Rodney just slings his thigh over John's anyway and kisses him for a while. Then John pushes him off.

"I mean it, McKay," he grins, getting them both on their sides and kissing him again.

"Mmmm," Rodney says, pushing into the kiss. A minute later, he pulls back.

"So, that was better, right?" Rodney asks. "We're getting better."

"Yeah," John says, his voice hoarse.

"I can give a better blowjob than that one last week," Rodney adds.

"Thank god," John says, poking him in the side. Rodney glowers at him until he adds, "Okay, okay, me too, I can do better too."

"Good," Rodney says, and falls, exhausted, onto his back.

-

They keep getting better at it, even though Rodney is perpetually prone to muscle cramps and John is kind of a drooler. Rodney notices that, even on nights when he's alone in his quarters, the tentacle-machines don't make an appearance; it makes him feel satisfied, somehow, to think that he's getting whatever it was that he needed on the nights he spends with John.

It's not that he forgets about the mechanical dildo wall-snakes, precisely; it's more that he's put them out of his mind, doesn't connect them to this new thing with John. So it's a bit of a shock when, a month or so after they start this thing together, the tentacles make yet another importune appearance.

They're doing it in Rodney's room for the first time; Rodney's not sure why, but they usually hang out in John's quarters. John's fucking him – they do that a lot, which suits Rodney fine and seems to be okay with John – and suddenly there's a half-familiar touch, cool and smooth, against Rodney's nipple.

"Motherfucker!" John yells in surprise, when he sees the coiling tentacles that have draped themselves liberally over their bodies. He pulls out rather abruptly, tearing the condom and leaving it in Rodney's ass as he goes. Rodney winces, and the orgasm that had been fluttering in his field of vision disappears entirely.

"Uh," Rodney says, torn between explaining the Ancient sex toys and getting the wet latex out of his anus. He eventually reaches behind him and takes care of the condom – ew – and then refocuses on John.

John's standing naked on the other side of the room, his erection flagging. Rodney feels a pang of nostalgia for the first time the tentacles showed up and he performed a similar retreat.

"McKay," John says warningly, and woah, Rodney's never heard that Lieutenant-Colonel voice while they were having sex, before. It's kind of hot. "What are those? And why aren't you more freaked out?"

"So, there's something I probably should have told you," Rodney begins, as the tentacles retreat into the wall.

-

"And you just figured you'd go ahead and use the random self-lubricating Ancient sex toys," John says, after a long silence.

Rodney shifts uncomfortably. He wishes they weren't still naked. "Well. Wouldn't you?"

John, to his credit, seems to actually consider it. "Fair."

"They haven't shown up since we started, uh, fucking," Rodney offers.

"I feel honoured," John says drily.

"Look, do you want to have sex or not? I'm getting cold."

John rolls his eyes, and pushes Rodney down on the bed, and kisses him.

-

So, this is his life: goopy yellow space-monsters, semi-sentient wall dildos, making out with Rodney McKay in a floating alien city on the sea. John breaks their kiss with a sort of unmanly giggle, and Rodney pulls back, looking puzzled and suspicious.

"Nothing," John says. "Just, y'know. Our lives are different from other people's."

Rodney snorts and grins at him, showing off his crooked mouth and his weird little square teeth. John lets his gaze linger on Rodney's lips; he wants to kiss him again.

Before he can, though, one of the tentacles swoops in (John thought they were gone, but, apparently not) and rubs itself against Rodney's mouth, wet and sensual. John realizes, suddenly, exactly what's going on – shit, what's been going on, and can't help the little gasp of shock that slips from his mouth. Rodney, who never misses a goddamn trick, widens his eyes comically, then shoves John off of him, scrambles up out of the bed, and stands there, naked and horny and furious, pointing at John accusingly.

"Holy shit," he yells, "It was you! You were doing it the whole time!"

John shifts among the sheets uncomfortably. "Uh, I didn't know I was," he tries.

Rodney gapes at him, opening and closing his mouth like a fish. John wants to get his arms around Rodney, pull him back to the bed, but he's not sure what the right move is when your sometime-boyfriend discovers that you've been having sex together for weeks via alien sex toys.

The alien sex toys aren't so conflicted, though, and start to wind around Rodney's torso as if to caress and cajole him back to bed. Rodney bats at them angrily.

"And will you stop that! Rodney yells.

John thinks off, off, fucking OFF at the tentacles before they can do anymore damage, like by suddenly developing a speech synthesizer and making protestations of love, or by giving Rodney a hug, or something. This is so embarrassing.

"Look, Rodney," John starts, trying to sound rational and calm. The clicks as the tentacles slide into the wall back him up. "I honestly didn't know. I would, uh," he rubs the back of his neck with his hand. "When I was, I would think about you, when I was, you know."

"Oh, excuse me," Rodney says, still acting angry even though John can see that he's less angry now, "I think that if you can use your genetic mind-control powers to sodomize me with alien tentacle machines, you can probably say 'jerking off' out loud."

John blinks. "You let them sodomize you?" Rodney hadn't mentioned that part during his explanation.

"That is so not the point," Rodney says, flushing.

"I think it's one of the points, at least," John answers reasonably. His brain is providing a picture of Rodney on his knees with one of the tentacles up his ass, and it's not nearly as off-putting as John would have liked it to be.

Rodney sighs and comes to sit next to him on the bed again: progress. John winces as Rodney scrubs his face with his hands. He pats Rodney's back tentatively.

"You okay, buddy?

Rodney looks up from his palms and rolls his eyes. "Peachy."

"I really didn't know."

"Yeah, well, I guess if I was okay about having sex with semi-sentient Ancient dildos, I can be okay about having sex with semi-sentient Ancient dildos that were under your control." This last with a put-upon sigh, like this is just par for the course in the life of Rodney McKay.

Keeping his mind firmly set to OFF this time, John reaches out himself and rubs a thumb over Rodney's mouth. Rodney watches him carefully. Not able to resist, John leans forward and replaces his fingers with his lips, sliding their mouths together in a long, lush kiss.

"Mmm," Rodney breathes against him, sliding his tongue along John's lips.

"Yeah," John says, not breaking contact with Rodney's mouth.

-
-
-

Epilogue:

It takes a few days, but eventually Rodney gets up the gumption to ask.

"So, what were you thinking about, that time when you were fucking me and the tentacles showed up?"

John glances around the forest of M4A-1H1 to makes sure that no one's listening. "Jesus, McKay, you ever hear of discretion?"

Rodney shrugs. "Teyla's home being pregnant, nobody lives on this planet, and Ronon's discreet. Plus, he's all the way over there."

"I can hear you, though," Ronon calls from his scouting position.

John buries his face in his hand.

"Don't mind me," Ronon adds.

"Thanks, buddy," Rodney calls back. Then, to John: "So?"

"So, what?" John asks, wondering whether it would be best to just kill himself, or to kill McKay first before taking his own life. Both options have their appeal.

"So, what were you thinking about?" Rodney's voice is pitched low, now, that register that he thinks is sultry but usually just sounds silly. It turns John on inexplicably.

"You were thinking about getting fucked while you fuck me, weren't you?" Rodney presses.

John spares him a glance, then a short nod.

Rodney grins, delighted. "I think we can work with that."