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The Devil's Workshop

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John is careful. He's always been careful, you have to be when you're in the military and you don't want to be kicked out. He's managed okay with women, even thought - for the first little while - Nancy would work.

No, being gay, that's tough. But having a thing for guys' hands... that's excruciating. It's just that men are always doing things with their hands, and it's hard not to stare. He'd learned to take apart, clean, and reassemble his gun blindfolded not because it was something a good soldier did (though it helped him out that it was) but that he would get hard if his eyes strayed for even a moment away from his own hands.

He's mostly gotten over Rodney's hands these days. Took six years, a wedding, and his own private Irish wake for his desperate crush, but the fires for Rodney's extremely competent, always-busy hands have been banked into something almost fond. It helps that Rodney and Jennifer are still in newlywed mode and John doesn't see them much. He misses Rodney, but he's found ways to fill the hours.

Teyla needs a babysitter fairly often, and he finds he enjoys Torren's company. It soothes some long-burning desire in him. He trades babysitting for bantos sparring, and now he has enough time to practice that he's actually learning some things. He runs with Ronon, does some target practice with him - it's good to know that Ronon's aim is only exceptional with his own gun. Ronon is only slightly above average with a 9mm. John's careful not to look at anything but Ronon's stance or the back of his head when he shoots. He's learned his lesson: don't open a can of worms with your teammates.

He plays chess with Zelenka once in a while, and he took Lorne up on an invitation to the poker game once. He judiciously broke even and went home and jerked off hard after; so many hands holding cards, drumming the table, or throwing chips. He could hardly walk straight on the way back to his quarters.

Once a week, he stops by Woolsey's apartment. It's a full apartment, a little further out than John's or most of the expedition's. John's not sure yet what that says about Woolsey, but he hopes it's that Woolsey has big dreams for the city and her future inhabitants.

They smoke cigars and drink - sometimes brandy (John's favorite) and sometimes wine (Woolsey's). John's thinking of getting a really expensive bottle of tequila someday and doing shots. He would really like to watch Woolsey's hands lift the shot glass and pour it down his throat. He's not sure, but John might even finally do something if his inhibitions are lowered just a bit. The brandy and wine are too casual; they're purely for enjoyment, no more.

Woolsey's writing letters when John shows up. That's his favorite. John would rather spend the whole evening watching Woolsey write letters than drinking and smoking and shooting the shit. He'd rather watch Woolsey's hands glide the fountain pen across the paper gracefully, his fingers gripping the pen lightly, just enough pressure to ensure a smooth line, not so much that it leaves blotches on the stationery. He has beautiful penmanship, too, neat and handsome, but not overly flourishy.

He comes in and the door swooshes shut behind him. Woolsey doesn't even look up, just says, "I'll be done in a moment," and continues to write.

"No hurry," John says, moving into the room and sitting on the couch, watching Woolsey's letter writing as nonchalantly as possible. He presses the heel of his hand discreetly against his dick, not sure if he's really trying to get his raging hard-on under control or give himself some release so he won't spend the next two hours helplessly watching Woolsey's hands and wishing he could just go masturbate somewhere.

Woolsey finishes writing and folds the parchment like paper in thirds, pulling out a wax stick and seal. John's watched him put wax on letters before, but only twice - once on a letter to his sister and once on a letter to a bigwig somewhere - someone at the IOC probably, or maybe even the President. Rumor has it they're friends - maybe they're pen pals.

Woolsey holds a lighter to the wax and carefully lets several drops fall on the paper. He grips the stamp delicately and plunges it into the puddle of red wax, rocking the seal back and forth. John swallows hard and pushes into his hand, keeping his whimper behind his teeth as he watches Woolsey's hands straighten the desk, all the detritus of his letter writing swept into the top drawer.

John takes a deep breath and stands, hoisting the bottle of expensive red wine. "Time to put the work away and relax," he says, handing it over. He watches helplessly as Woolsey uncorks the wine and sets it aside to breathe, then clips two cigars perfectly, his hands sure and precise. He hands one to John and leads the way to the balcony, holding the door open for John and gesturing for John to precede him.

Woolsey offers John the lighter and he sucks on his cigar, taking his time getting the burn on the tobacco started. The smell calms his nerves and he turns to look out over the city, a beautiful inside view into her heart, and waits for Woolsey to get his own Cuban started. He stands in the dark, watching Woolsey's face lit by the cherry, and when his hands drop, John finds, for once, his gaze doesn't follow.