Cover by the awesome danceswithgary. <333 Click on the picture to leave feedback for the artist.
It took Rodney a while to figure out. So what if he noticed John's boots? So what if John only tied them all the way up when they were offworld, and so what if they hung open around Atlantis like he felt at home? Of course they did – he was at home.
It wasn't until he saw the short dress boots that Rodney realized something else might be going on. Sure, he noticed shoes – when John got a new pair of sneakers for running, the very few occasions John went barefoot. He always noticed shoes. It was a product of studiously avoiding eye contact when you were a kid.
Rodney hadn't pinned his strange fascination on the boots, though. He'd always had some sort of low-level attraction to John Sheppard in uniform. He assumed most of the Atlantis personnel did. It was always there, like that thunderous feeling before a migraine comes on. It was the dress boots that told him clear as day. Shined but not shiny, just ankle height. The ones Sheppard wore for the three weeks between the flooding in his quarters and the next shipment of supplies from the Daedalus. Those boots made Rodney want to bend John over the nearest flat surface and fuck him silly. That was the first time Rodney admitted to himself there might be something else going on, and not just about the boots.
The thing that had pushed everything right over the edge, off the goddamn cliff of "this is a really bad idea," was John's motorcycle boots. Rodney had no idea why he let John talk him into going Earthside, much less why he had consented to ride a motorcycle, but once he was sitting behind John on the huge roadhog, hands on John's waist, John's leather jacket warm from the sun, those damn boots with their scuffed heels and dusty straps... that was the end of common sense. Rodney pushed John down on the bed in the hotel, and John let him, as far from surprised as could be.
Rodney forgot all about the boots after that, focused as he was on learning the intricacies of John's body. Clothes were just something that got in the way.
It was months later, at some award presentation for a paper Rodney'd written, that Rodney remembered. John was wearing a tux; he explained to Rodney why he wasn't wearing his uniform, but Rodney wasn't listening because John was wearing his dress boots. Rodney fucked him up against the wall in the bathroom before he even got on stage to say his (admittedly disdainful) thank yous.
Maybe John thought Rodney had a thing for tuxes and leather jackets, because he never seemed to figure out what set Rodney off. He just kept doing what he was doing, being military commander of Atlantis, and wearing those damn military-issue boots. Rodney, though, Rodney wandered around half-hard for months, unable to keep himself from staring.
A few months of wasting too much valuable time and attention on Sheppard's oddly alluring boots and Rodney came up with a plan for payback. Sure, John didn't know he was doing anything, couldn't have done anything about it, even if he did. That didn't mean he shouldn't pay. Just the thought of it made Rodney smile with anticipation.
Unfortunately, it took months to get everything in order; Rodney didn't have anyone on Earth who could help him except Jeannie, and there was no way he was going to let her in on it. He took a couple of days Earthside to present another paper, special ordering the boots to be delivered to the hotel. They arrived in a long, thin box wrapped in inconspicuous brown paper and he tucked them away in a locker at the SGC, which was then padlocked within an inch of its life.
John kept wearing his military-issue boots, bringing home a new pair every couple of months, or when he completely fucked them up off world. There was the time that bear-thing ripped the heel right off one of the pitifully constructed boots, and took a chunk of John, too. He didn't wear shoes, much less boots, for a few weeks after that, making him just plain Sheppard good looking instead of Sheppard-in-fucking-boots good looking, and that made it a little easier for Rodney to take care of him for a while.
When they finally got took their two weeks Earthside, Rodney booked them separate flights but a single hotel room; if John didn't like the drive from LA to Vegas, then it was his problem, since it was his country that had the stupid regs in the first place. John didn't complain. John never complained.
Rodney answered the door before John could tap out more than three letters of his name in morse code - more out of irritation that he'd chosen Meredith as the name than anything.
"Get in here, asshole," Rodney said, pulling John in by his collar and kissing him once before slamming the door closed. He hauled John right into the bedroom, John's smirking grin making it clear he thought he knew Rodney's intentions and was right on board.
"Strip," Rodney ordered, grabbing at his own clothes before he even finished talking. He would've missed John's questioning look if he'd pulled his shirt up a half-second sooner, but he caught it just before the bright blue of his favorite t-shirt blocked John from view. He pretended that he had missed it, and by the time he was naked, so was John, and the look had been replaced with something like curiosity.
Rodney nodded to the bed and John dove onto it, bouncing the springs loudly and rolling over onto his back. He wiggled around until he got the upper half of his back resting on the pillows and the headboard behind them. His legs were a question - one knee bent, the other straight out and flat on the bed.
Rodney patted John's knee as he bent down and pulled the box out from under the bed. John's eyes were warm and amused. "You bought me roses?"
The box wasn't the right size for roses, but it wasn't the right size for much else, either. Rodney ignored the question, flipping the top off the box and pushing it toward John so he could see without moving.
"What are those?" John asked, and Rodney recognized the blandly amused voice. John used it on diplomats in Pegasus when he knew he was going to end up doing something he didn't want to do.
"Trust me," Rodney said as he climbed onto the bed, and John sighed, but nodded.
Rodney slid the thigh-high boots onto John slowly, slipping John's strangely delicate foot into the bottom and carefully smoothing down John's leg hair with one hand and using the other to zip up behind it, the rasp of the zipper loud in the hushed room. Next time, he thought, I'll shave John first.
After the first boot was on, John reached down to touch the leather and curiosity made an encore appearance to wipe the doubt off his face. He rubbed a thumb over the smooth material a couple of times until Rodney slapped his hand away. "Hands off," Rodney snapped. John wound his hands around the cast-iron headboard instead, staring down at Rodney with an intensity that nearly melted his skin.
Rodney pulled the second boot on as painstakingly slowly as the first and backed off the bed to take a look. John's eyes were at half-mast, his hands still twisting around the headboard. John dug the stiletto heels into the bed and let his knees fall open – the shift from hesitation to interest would have made Rodney want to fuck him right there if he weren't too busy committing the image to memory in every photographic detail.
John looked down at himself too, alternating glances between the boots and various parts of Rodney - his hands, his mouth, his cock. John's heels slipped down the bed, his legs widening and hips lifting off the bed, seemingly impatient. He shifted, making his cock bob to the side, and Rodney finally snapped out of his stupor, grabbing the lube and condoms he'd stashed in the box as he crawled between John's leather-clad thighs on all fours.
He ran a hand up John's leg, trying to circle the ankle with his thumb and forefinger, and letting his fingers splay as they traveled up his calf and thigh. The material was smooth, and softer than he expected. It must have felt pretty good on the inside too; by the time he hit skin, John was shaking.
"Fuck," John said, "come on," and hooked a knee over Rodney's shoulder.
Rodney had never put a condom on so fast in his life. He could feel the stiletto pressing into his back and smell the leather right next to his face. He turned his head and put his nose against it, breathing deeply.
He poured too much lube in the cup of his hand; dragged his cock through it and coated it thoroughly before stroking a lube-coated thumb over John's hole. John threw his other leg over Rodney's arm and used it to lift his hips off the bed. "I said, come on already."
Rodney pressed in as far as John's body let him, without prep; if John gave him the go-ahead, he wasn't going to waste it. Not when John could come from being fucked if Rodney rode him hard enough.
He listened to the sound of John's breathing, pitch spiraling steadily upward, and thought he might not be able to hold on long enough - not with the shift of leather against his skin, not with the image of John fresh in his mind, debauched and still dangerous, stiletto heels digging into the bed.
Then John spoke.
They'd learned to be quiet, John from a lifetime of sneaking around and Rodney from John's torturous sense of humor - going down on Rodney on the gun range, grabbing Rodney's ass on missions, pressing in close behind Rodney as he worked - so John's soft fuck fuck fuck ratcheted Rodney's heart rate into myocardial infarction territory.
He held on long enough to watch John come, muscles frozen like coils ready to spring. His eyes rolled back and his head tilted up and his cock pulsed stripes of come that pooled on his belly until his whole body settled like a piece of paper consumed by the fire; collapsing into itself even as the flames burned on, white-hot.
Rodney waited for John to come back. He'd been close, riding the knife-edge of orgasm while he waited for John, but watching him sink back into the bed, he thought he might be happy just making John come for the rest of his life. Until John opened his eyes and slid his legs off Rodney's shoulders and down to his elbows, the zippers scratching a ribbon of heat down Rodney's arms. His heels crossed right at Rodney's lower back, and John pressed them down, like laying a pair of five-inch canes across Rodney's ass.
He slid in slow enough to burn, slow enough to make him fucking combust as he brought John's hips up to meet him, his hands on John tight enough to bruise. He was too close for more, though, and when John bore down on him, Rodney went over the edge, bowing his head, first in concentration, and then in thanks to the gods that saw fit to send John Sheppard to him.
He didn't want to look up. He wasn't quite sure how he had ever thought of this as punishment; it was clearly Rodney's reward for being patient about John's immense thick-headedness. That was over now. If John didn't get it, then either Rodney misinterpreted the change of heart a few miles back or John was being willfully stupid. Rodney took one deep breath, inhaling the scent of leather mixed with the sharp tang of come and sweat, and opened his eyes. John's body still hung from his, limp as a dishrag, but his eyes were open and following Rodney's movements. Rodney pulled out and threw the used condom in the trash, avoiding John's gaze but not unaware of it concentrated on him.
"So," John said, straightening his legs when Rodney released them, "boots, huh?"
It was a good thing Rodney was already flushed from the sex, because full-body blushing would have been embarrassing beyond endurance. "Mmm," he answered, kneeing his way out of the triangle of space outlined in leg and leather and flopping down onto the bed next to John. "You look good in them."
John nodded, bending his knees again and poking the bed with his heels. "Good to know."
Rodney kept his hands to himself, even though he wanted nothing more than to stretch his hand around John's thigh, right at the place where leather met skin. "You want help getting those off?"
"Nah," John said, throwing his legs over the side of the bed. Rodney felt his throat constrict with all the things he wanted to say, worry about John tripping and cracking his skull open warring with his prurient interest in watching him parade around in the boots. John wobbled a little when he first got up, but his natural balance seemed to extend to walking in heels, and it wasn't long before he was strutting back and forth at the end of the bed, finally turning toward Rodney and cocking a hip.
"So, I think this entitles me to a little something from you," John said, and Rodney swallowed hard. He hadn't thought his plan through terribly well. He blamed it on the boots. They were clearly eating away at his brain cells. He didn't think he could speak, not with John standing in front of him like he'd stepped right out of Rodney's fantasy, so he nodded, wondering what John could possibly want from the likes of him.
"Those old blue science shirts," John said, "the ones you don't wear anymore…"