Rodney woke with a splitting headache, a sore ass, and a feeling of dread settling into his bones. He wasn't in his own bed but on some sort of platform in a hut, his very male, very naked team leader wrapped around him like an octopus, both of them tangled up in a heap of blankets. Rodney would have laughed if the situation hadn't been so fucked up. He'd had sex. With Sheppard. No, John. They'd gotten horribly drunk on that wine-like stuff the natives had given them and then...
Rodney wasn't quite sure about the particulars. His head hurt too much, and his memory of the previous night was hazy at best. There'd been kissing. And groping. And at one point John must have fucked him, if the twinge in his ass was anything to go by. What else had happened? Rodney just couldn't remember.
Shit, he'd had sex with John. Something he'd avoided at all costs for the last couple of years. Something he had promised himself would never happen because it would only lead to heartache and pain, and the kind of shift in their relationship Rodney just couldn't take. He'd rather have John's friendship, his camaraderie, than be his fuck-buddy. If he couldn't have the man's heart, he'd rather not have his body, either. That sort of thing never ended well.
Rodney wanted to escape, to get away from John and the awkward morning after, away from the inevitable conversation where John would let him know it was a one time, emotions-free thing. Rodney didn't want to hear it.
Unfortunately, getting away from John without waking him was going to be difficult. Rodney knew many soldiers slept lightly in the field, though Rodney had never noticed John having that sort of problem when they shared a tent. Rodney had always been able to come and go without waking John, but this time, when he desperately needed an unnoticed escape...well, Rodney had never had any sort of luck.
But he had to try. Rodney shifted, trying to roll away from John. John's grip on him tightened and then went slack. Rodney froze and held his breath, hoping John hadn't woken up. When there was no more movement, Rodney slid even farther away. He was balanced on the edge of the mattress now - one slight movement and he'd be off the bed, free.
He slid his leg so it hung over the bed, so that he wouldn't land face first. Slowly, carefully, Rodney slipped free.
"Where'd you think you're going?"
John's voice was deep and roughened from sleep, and more sexy than it had any right to be. It was ridiculous. And unfair. Rodney hung his head and sighed.
"My head is killing me, Sheppard, and I need to piss,” he lied. “Do I need permission for that nowadays? I didn't want to disturb your beauty sleep. Sue me for caring. Now go back to sleep and leave me alone so I can find a painkiller."
Rodney forced himself to not turn around and look at Sheppard. He knew what he'd look like all sleep-warm and tousled, this un-tamable hair sticking up every which way. He'd seen him countless times on overnight off-world missions. Of course Rodney never allowed himself to look too long or too hard, partly in fear of getting caught, partly because the longing in his chest was especially hard to deal with, with John so close.
Bracing himself for all kinds of unpleasantness or awkwardness, Rodney pulled all of his protective shields tightly around himself, another acerbic, sarcastic remark on the tip of his tongue. He needed to keep the upper hand in this if he wanted to escape with his sanity intact.
"Christ, Rodney, what crawled up your ass and died? I was just worried about you." Angry now. And hurt.
"Well, thank you for your concern, Colonel, but I think the only thing I've had up my ass lately was your cock."
"You weren't exactly objecting last night," John snapped, sounding more angry than hurt now. Good. Rodney preferred John mad to hurt, especially when Rodney was the cause.
"Yeah, well," Rodney began, before realizing he had nothing more to say. He stood and began to throw on his discarded clothes.
"So that's it then? You're just going to leave?" John asked. Rodney still couldn't bring himself to look at the other man, to take in his rumpled appearance. If he did, he'd likely say something he'd regret - like beg John to just give him a chance.
"What else is there to say? Last night...happened. We were drunk. We did things we might not ordinarily do." Rodney finished buttoning up his BDU's and grabbed his pack before sitting down. He always kept a spare set of socks - he hated putting on old socks.
"Would you just look at me for a moment?" John asked, sounding tired. Rodney clenched his jaw and turned, bracing himself for what he was going to see. Rodney's heart started to pound when he got a good look at John, and not just because he looked attractive and touchable. He looked...despondent.
"John, listen..." Rodney started without knowing what he really wanted to say. The look on Sheppard's face threw him off kilter. What was going on in that guy's head? It'd just been a night of drunken sex, hadn't it? John had no right to look at him like this. Like he'd done something wrong. Like Rodney somehow was to blame when clearly they both were at fault for losing control like that. Especially on an off- world mission, regardless of the fact that the Kelenhi were their friends and long-time trading partners.
Apparently Rodney had taken a moment too long because the look on Sheppard's face became completely closed off, like shutters had been closed. "Don't bother, McKay, I get it. You wanna pretend it never happened. Fine. We can do that." He gave Rodney a false, insincere smile that hurt to look at, and pulled the blanket around himself more tightly. It made him look vulnerable somehow and Rodney had to swallow hard.
"What?" Rodney snapped, unable to help himself. Sheppard was getting under his skin in all new, torturous ways. "You'd rather we don't forget about it? That we keep this up back home? So you can come scratch an itch? Make me your dirty little secret? Because let's face it, DADT or no, being with me will just limit your chances of getting any, elsewhere."
Sheppard stared at Rodney, hurt and bewilderment written all over his face. "What the hell are you talking about? Fuck it, Rodney you know I'm bad with words but I told you..."
A memory flashed through Rodney. John, holding him, thrusting into him, making him whole. John, nuzzling his chin, kissing his neck, breathing 'love you' into his skin as they both tumbled over the edge. Rodney took a deep, shuddery breath. It couldn't be... "That doesn't mean anything, right? Everyone knows declarations of love right after an orgasm are nothing to take serious. It's just hormones. You were drunk and high on endorphins..." Rodney stammered. He felt helpless and out of his depth.
John closed his eyes, taking a deep breath as though reaching for more patience. When he opened his eyes, he looked calmer, though exasperated.
"Rodney, we both know that I'm not good with, uh, talking. So does it seem all that likely that I'd say...that...without meaning it?"
Rodney had to concede that he had a valid point. It wasn't like John to just say 'I love you', though Rodney still thought that post- orgasm was a terrible time to say it. Still, perhaps the physical stimulation was distracting enough for him to say words he normally couldn't bring himself to say...
Rodney wasn't sure what to do with the small burn of hope in his chest. He wanted this badly, but it also seemed too good to be true. Rodney knew all about the risks they were taking - he'd gone over them often enough in his head. Rodney thought their potential relationship was more than worth any risk.
"I had better not be hallucinating," Rodney muttered, dropping his socks and climbing back onto the bed, closer to John.
"Hopefully no mist people," John murmured, face brightening the closer Rodney got.
"No lingering drunken state of mind," Rodney threw out, his remaining worry. John ducked his head, grinning.
"I wasn't as drunk as you seem to think I was," John confessed. "You were pretty lit, though."
"I don't remember much," Rodney admitted. He tilted his head and grinned slyly. "Clearly this means we should go for a repeat performance. To, uh, remind me."
John smiled and his face lit up, small laugh lines appearing around his eyes. "Hm, I think that can be arranged." He reached out and gently cupped Rodney's neck and Rodney expected to get pulled closer. But instead John studied him, an almost tender look on his face. "How's your head?"
"Still hurts. But, you know, sex releases endorphins and that actually helps against a headache, so that's a stupid excuse and-" This time John did pull him closer while claiming Rodney's mouth in a thorough kiss. It was hot and messy, and had Rodney panting and moaning in no time at all. John seemed to possess some serious Ninja skills in bed because it only took seconds before he had himself detangled from the blankets and was covering Rodney's body with his. Rodney arched his back, rubbing himself against John in an unmistakable way. Why had he thought putting his clothes back on was a good idea?
"Hey, wait." John lifted himself off of Rodney slightly and looked him in the eyes. "You're probably still sore from last night. Wanna fuck me this time?"
Rodney shivered at the thought of sliding into John, of making him feel good, listening to his moans. On the other hand, John had fucked Rodney and he had no clear memory of it, and that hardly seemed fair. Rodney wanted something to go with the soreness.
"Next time, after you refresh my memory," Rodney promised fervently, leaning over to nip at John's bottom lip. "I'll fuck you so hard."
"Yeah," John moaned, eyes half lidded.
"But for now..." Rodney said, slipping his shirt over his head as he climbed off the bed. He quickly undid the buttons to his pants, and when he bent over to shove them down, he made sure his back was to John, presenting him with a good look at Rodney's ass. It made his face flush with embarrassment, but the choked noise John made in response was worth it.
He turned around and settled back on the bed, one hand sliding down to curl around his half-hard cock. He hummed with pleasure as he rubbed his thumb over the head and flicked a glance at John, who was flushed, pupils dilated. His eyes were locked on Rodney's hand.
"Where’s the lube?" Rodney asked, and his cock twitched at the sight of John's hungry look.
"Already got it," John replied, reaching over to grab it from where it had been carelessly tossed at the foot of the bed, nearly lost among the blankets.
"Make it good," Rodney ordered, his eagerness making it come out breathy. The warm, gentle kiss John laid on the jut of his hip bone promised he would.
And he did.