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DVD Commentary, Cleave (2/3)

DVD Commentary for Cleave in three parts.

Part 1 can be found here.



They didn't have it solved, just sort of...worked around. The genetic equivalent of allergy shots, only they were for Rodney and not the people actually allergic to him. They all still needed gloves and to avoid skin to skin contact, or something like sharing a cup of coffee, but they didn't have to worry that Rodney might kill them by being in the same room.

It was a mixed blessing. Rodney still sat away from the ATAs when eating; didn't anyone realize how much spit left the mouth when simply speaking?

Things Rodney learned/thought of while accidentally watching an episode of CSI:

1. The concept of scientists that Hollywood has cooked up is so wrong it makes Rodney's hair hurt.
2. Seriously contemplating a hair tie shortage.
3. My god, do we really spit that much?
4. Where on earth the writers got the idea that geeks aren't hot for it ALL THE FREAKING TIME.


When Sheppard showed for their evening round of chess, Rodney breathed a deep sigh of relief. He hadn't been sure. Their conversation in the hallway had left Rodney feeling raw, bursting under his skin with something he couldn't quite define.

Rodney is slower to catch the clue, he's far too worried about killing people in general to really figure out why killing this person is specific makes him all achy inside.

They skipped the masks; the small amount of exposure that would give Sheppard wasn't something they needed to worry about anymore.

"How's the head?" Sheppard made the first move.

"Good. Extremely intelligent," Rodney added for good measure.

Then came the awkward silence.

Only Rodney couldn't leave it at that. "So what would you have done if Carson hadn't had his little breakthrough that morning?"

He could never, ever leave it alone. He once sent a classmate off crying and he couldn't figure out why, later Rodney decided that he never really wanted to know again, lest he have to sit through another half hour of sniffling about a combination of subjects including yogart, someone's parakeet and their English paper.

That said, sometimes he doesn't understand why other people do things. Rodney asks why all the time.


Sheppard carefully moved a piece around. "Exactly the same thing. There wasn't anyone any closer."

There was no actual decision in getting to Rodney, it just happened.

"And die of anaphylaxis while you're at it?" Rodney pressed, not actually angry, but strangely flattered.

"I told you, I was prepared." Sheppard continued to study the board intently. "No one was going to die."

"It's not a pleasant experience," Rodney noted, almost absently, staring at the top of Sheppard's head so that when Sheppard did finally look up, their eyes met.

"You really think I'd let you die because I might spend a few minutes having a hard time breathing?"

Actually, yes possibly. I see Rodney's reactions about other people and what they will go through to save his own life as a conditioned response.

Rodney grimaced, of course not. "I'm sorry.... I don't know what I thought."

He does a little, but he's a little ashamed. He knows what his first impulses would have been. That's not to say he wouldn't, in the end, risk his own life without prompting, he already has in canon, he's just got very realistic first responses to danger.

They stared at each other for a long moment before Sheppard admitted, "I might've done it even without being prepared."

"Oh." Rodney swallowed roughly. His fingers twitched.

I did this a lot and I'm not sure how successful I was, this aborted movement type thing. The want to reach out and then remembering that you can't. I also wanted to convey a sense that despite Rodney quelling his own urges he doesn't actually know why he wants to reach out or even the sort of reaching out he wants to do.

"Your move," Sheppard said, eyes still firmly on Rodney.

Oooooo. Subtext. I told you about this earlier. I love conversations where characters are ostensibly saying one thing but are really having a whole 'nother conversation. They're just so yummy because you get the chance to say things with no concrete meanings and your characters body language become extra layers. Then again, you could be like me and utterly unsubtle about the whole thing.

"I--" His fingers tapped restlessly on the table and his heart hammered madly. "I--concede." He tipped his kind over gently. "I'm very tired and I think I should get some sleep." He stood abruptly and faked a yawn that wasn't anywhere near natural and waited patiently.

"Okay, Rodney." Sheppard stood quickly. "Get some sleep."

******

They didn't play chess the next night. Of course, Sheppard was off-world, but little details like that didn't seem to work their way through the uncomfortable feeling in Rodney's chest.

Ah the heart, it never listens to reason.

The team came back early the second day after having missed two check-ins and Rodney was just about ready to set something on fire with his eyes. All four of them looked dirty, bruised, and tired. Ronon had a patch of blood on his pants, Teyla had a long scratch down her arm, Zelenka's face had half a dozen really small ones, and Sheppard--Sheppard was limping slowly, holding his side and doing his best to resemble a walking bruise.

Okay, I like making people sore. It's a thing. Okay? And making John all ouchie and bruised? It's just-- yeah. Sorry. I want to make people give him massages and rub in ointments. I want him to look tired and limpy and needing a nap.

I possibly need to look into this need.


Rodney hurried down the stairs, "What the hell happened?"

"Native rock slide," Sheppard muttered.

Sheppard has a way with words doesn't he? And by that I mean, he drove his English teacher insane.

"What?"

"They threw rocks at us," Ronon clarified.

I am overly proud of this joke. Native rock slide. Tee hee.

Teyla rolled her neck. "It was very unexpected."

"It was insanity," Radek threw in.

I'm really proud of these two bits of dialogue too. I just. I hear the voices in them and since I am so horribly bad at remembering that other people exist in my stories, it's really important to me that they sound like these characters and not just generic people, spouting generic lines that could have been said by anyone.

Rodney gaped. "They stoned you?" He reached out, touching Sheppard's shoulder briefly. He wanted to ask 'What did you do?' only it never got out because Sheppard just looked so tired and hurt. "Are bleeding internally?" He asked instead.

Another line I love. Because how else would Rodney express concern than ask if you're going to die a slow painful death? No really? Tell me?

He never got an answer because Teyla grabbed an arm around Sheppard and dragged him away, looking wide-eyed and terrified. What? Sheppard was still looking at him, only his expression was slowly starting to melt into 'oh crap' also. His eyes darted down to Rodney's hands.

There were other tentative plans to have Rodney make a mistake and accidentally touch someone. One involved someone random, not John and the other involved him and John accidentally kissing in the heat of the... er... not!touch. They both got scrapped because there's only so many times you can relive this scene.


Fuck. He wasn't wearing gloves. Shoving them as far into his pockets as he could manage, Rodney stalked off too angry to spit.

Quietly angry Rodney is an interesting entity. It's scarier in my book. And he's quiet here because he doesn't quite know why he's so angry. Yes he doesn't relish the thought of killing his friend and he hates feeling stupid, but there's more to it and he knows it. He's mute with the inability to articulate it.

******

"I’m so sorry."

ZOMG RODNEY APPOLGISED IT MUST BE LOVE. *koff* No seriously, it's a big deal that he's apologizing.

Sheppard was pale and half asleep in the gurney. "Hey, no biggie."

Thank you John Sheppard for totally undermining Rodney's big moment. You suck.

"Carson, I think he has brain damage." Rodney shuffled away from both of them, using Ronon has a human gene shield.

I have this image. I am possibly not proud of this image. Of Rodney hiding behind Ronon, peeking out from under his elbow.

"He's fine," Carson said, "and he's right; we've managed to reduce the reaction drastically. He had nearly half an hour before it became acute."

"You know, I'd expect more worry from a doctor about things like respiratory distress." Rodney frowned, clenching his now-latex-covered hands inside his pockets.

*I'm just amused that the person who doesn't do the pocket thing, is now doing it constantly. At least he's not breaking regs.</font>

"I'm fine," Sheppard said again. "Really. I just want to sleep it off."

"Fine," Rodney huffed, leaving the room.

I keep having him walk away. I like this image and it means many things to me. If I could articulate them, I'd let you know. Promise.

******

Rodney paced outside of Sheppard's door for a bit, not really sure why he was there. The chess board was tucked under his arm, digging softly into his ribs.

"Is this some sort of new exercise regimen?"

Rodney jumped, spun, and nearly lost the board to the ground. Sheppard was leaning casually against his open doorway. He also looked tired enough to drop into sleep right there on the spot. There was a bruise peeking out from under the collar of his shirt and another only half-hidden by his short sleeves.

See. John bruised. It's so pretty.

"Because if it is," Sheppard went on, "I'm going to have to ask it happen somewhere I can't hear the loud clonking footsteps."

"I do not clonk!" Rodney said indignantly.

Oh sweety, you do. You're that guy who tries to be quiet and instead wakes an entire island nation by breathing. This feels a little at odds with your ability to play with little wires under high pressure.

Sheppard raised an eyebrow.

"I don't!"

"Don't get me wrong, I applaud the effort; anything that gets a good hustle from my team is something I'm going to approve of." Sheppard pushed off the door jamb with a small wince. "But it's sort of keeping me up."

In other words, if you're going to chicken out, please don't do it so that I can hear. Also? I might just have thought about jerking off to the memory of cleaning your head wound and that's sort of freaking me out.

Rodney grimaced, watching Sheppard limp slowly back into his room and sighed, getting ready to go.

"You coming in or what?" Sheppard was already putting on his coat and covering up.

Automatically Rodney stepped in far enough to let the door close behind him. "I uh...I thought maybe...." He held up the board, as if it hadn't been obvious before.

"Not afraid you're going to kill me?" Sheppard tossed over his shoulder, sounding angry. He was turned away, rummaging through his closet.

John is angry. Not that I blame him one bit. It's awfully hard to work around this sort of kink in a relationship.

"Deathly," Rodney answered truthfully. "Every second of every day." And wow that actually feel good to say. It had been eating at him slowly since he'd first figured out what was wrong.

And that's what it comes down to folks. He's afraid, he's terrified actually. And now that he's said it he's a relieved... and more afraid. Men.

"Rodney." Sheppard sighed, his shoulders rolling.

"I can't think about it really," Rodney went on, words tumbling out of his mouth uncontrollably, like some sort of volatile experiment gone horribly wrong. "It's too scary and I have enough scary where I am, thank you very much, without thinking that I'd killed--" He choked. "That I'd killed--" He didn't have the words and that was enough to make him even more unsettled than he had already been feeling.

I like people not being able to say things, the idea of saying them therefore solidifying them, making them real. The act of saying some things is terrifying. The act of talking about Sheppard dieing makes that possibility too real.

"Rodney." Sheppard was there, right next to him, looking concerned and Rodney just couldn't take that. He was fucking Typhoid Mary in this situation and Sheppard should be far away, not coming to his room every night trying to make him feel better. What the hell was wrong with him?

"I couldn't live with it," Rodney said. "You have to stop coming closer." He took a step back as Sheppard took a step forward. "No really, you have to stop, because I couldn't live with it if you--if I--" Choked; he was choked and out of words.

So I talked about how I was the queen of hammer over your head subtext. Here's another example. Rodney's dialogue here is just a fun little glimpse into his own head. Since coming to Atlantis he has watched many people die and he hasn't really been all that close to most of them. Since Peter? He's probably alternated between not thinking about and thinking constantly about what it would be like if someone he was close with were to be ripped away.

"You know, you actually touch me...kind of a lot," Sheppard said, staying, thank God, where he was.

And bam he lays it out. Scariest sentence he's ever had to utter since he admitted to his dad, that yes, he was responsible for those skids marks.

Rodney had one horrified moment where he imagined Sheppard needing to be dragged to the infirmary numerous times because Rodney had been careless.

"I mean." Sheppard shrugged. "Before the whole thing."

Rodney glared, heart calming down slowly. "Past imperfect. Look it up."

My beta asked if this was a subtle dig at her. Yes. Yes it was.

"I bet you had classmates who plotted your death," Sheppard said, sitting gingerly on the bed.

Actually she asked me around here. *blinks* Is there something about me that screams long drawn out plots that will never be traced back to me and are insanely clever. *looks shifty*

"So?" Didn't everyone?

Head hanging limply, Sheppard sighed. "So I think I missed it. Which is pretty disconcerting."

And John is just trumping himself one after another. This is now the bravest sentence he's ever uttered. Did I have him sitting down for this? Well there was a reason.

Disconcerting. Yeah this is John Sheppard Master of the English language again. What he really means is that he may have attempted sex with someone tall and leggy and then possibly got some porn and then later had a small nervous breakdown that did not involve throwing up his dinner. Oh yeah, Ronon actually begged off from running with him during this time.


"Missed plotting my death?"

Sheppard looked up, eyes narrow. "Yes, actually, now that you mention it."

Mmm. Banter.

"Wait." Rodney shook his head. "What?"

"I," Sheppard said, drawing the vowel out, "missed," he went on, slowly pronouncing the word, "you."

Jeez. Rodney makes him say it. And don't think he won't pay for that later. Like later not in this fic. Where there's lots of sex and John, in the guise of straight!boy turned queer asks "Can I just... touch?" all innocent and doe eyed, his hair rakish and messy from hours of making out and Rodney's brain will short circuit because who would turn that down? An hour later as John is just making it to his dick, Rodney won't be able to figure out if he's just been tricked or he's the luckiest man in the galaxy. Two galaxies.*

"Oh."

"Oh." Sheppard nodded. "I thought that maybe you...."

And Sheppard is crushed a little because he worked up all this courage and all he gets is an "oh". Possibly a horrified "oh." That's like... the worst thing to happen to someone coming out.

"I?" Rodney needed to sit down, before he fell down. With the sudden release of tension he hadn't known he'd been carrying, his legs felt like day old Jell-o.

Rodney gets a clue and it all makes sense and yet he didn't see it coming at all. He's been so preoccupied with the being deadly thing, this snuck in under the radar.

"Yeah, sorry."

"No!" Rodney yelled and then he really did sit, the nearest chair hitting the backs of his thighs hard. "I--that is--miss--" He couldn't finish mostly because he wasn't sure what he'd missed at all. He didn't think you could miss something you'd never actually had.

Ever have that thing that you can't define? You don't know why you're grumpy until something makes you not grumpy? This is what he's feeling. He suddenly realized he missed something, only the poor dear isn't quite sure what.

They stared at each other and Rodney wasn't going to move, not only because he could still kill Sheppard with one wrong breath, but because he wasn’t really sure what was happening in the first place.

"So I figured," Sheppard finally spoke, "hey, chess. Only that made it worse."

"I want," Rodney whispered, idea only half formed, "I want to, well...I’m not sure."

God I have those days too. Do I want the vodka martini or the brownies?

More seriously, it's really hard to know what you want. To be able to articulate it or ask for it. Some days I walk around and am utterly restless because I have no idea what I want.


"Yeah. Me too," Sheppard said raising a glove covered hand and reaching out.

And he does it again. Sheppard is just spitting them out one after another. He doesn't know what he wants but he reaches out. He knows enough, he's just not sure.

Reaching out is frightening, it's actually the single scariest thing a person can do, because you're open and raw and admitting you need this person, that you need this moment where you reach.


Rodney let his hand stretch and then his arm until their fingertips grazed, heat and sensation blasting through their four layers of covering, wrenching a gasp out of both of them.

ELBOW SEX!

*koff* Sorry.

I uh... I'm a person who finds eroticism in the little things. They can't touch, they've spent weeks not touching and a little less thinking about the touching. And here it's a little forbidden so that adds to the whole thing.


Color high in Sheppard's cheeks, he lowered his eyes. "Okay so...this is probably the worst timing...ever."

I love the idea of Sheppard blushing. I just do.

"Maybe." Rodney's voice had suddenly gone rough and deep and his entire body felt tense. "Though I still say the incident with the playboy and my grandmother still beats this."

*looks guilty* Okay so, as I've been told, MANY people have variations on this story.

"You know, I don't think I really want to know." Sheppard smiled and it was like some circuit in Rodney's body had finally found on because it warmed him to the tips of his toes.

Rodney's got it finally. His brain as figured out that he likes Sheppard. Not only that, but that Sheppard makes him feel good and he likes making Sheppard feel good.

"I don't really want to know." Rodney's mouth curved up, delight dancing across his nerves. He shouldn't be happy; he should be frustrated and angry and scared.

"I want to touch you," Sheppard said so suddenly that it made Rodney's mouth dry, the words dripping from his lips like silk from skin.

Nnnnn. *author recovers* Seriously, that will never stop being hot. First because he wants sometime so simple and second because he says it.

And there was the frustration and anger and fear.

"Can I?" Sheppard asked, already standing.

"Do you want to die?" Rodney was scrambling out of his chair. "Because we already established that I don't want you to die so if--"

"Rodney," Sheppard said, voice low and frustrated, "gloves?" He waved his hand around. "We're good as long as we're careful. Just touching." He smiled nervously. "Not like I'd know what to do if--" He cut himself off.

*breathes* Okay, your read my fic, you notice some trends. One of them is straight!John. Sorry just-- *breathes* pretty.

It took Rodney a full five seconds to finish that sentence and another couple to recover from how hot that was. "You mean you haven't-- that is I'm the-- You haven't and I'm the first?"

"Maybe." Sheppard crossed his arms looking mulish.

After that I'm not sure I'd be so quick to admit to my virgin-ish status either.

Also I'm all about keeping them, you know, men. So they're not going to fall to their knees with tears in their eyes (unless someone knees them in the groin) and start talking like a 19th century suitor. They're going to continue to annoy the crap out of each other on occasion.


"Sorry!" Rodney quickly amended. "Sorry, sorry! I just...don't get hit on by hot, straight pilots everyday."

Sadly, most of us don't either. *sigh*

"Hot?" Sheppard perked up and then frowned. "Okay just so we're clear, I wouldn't be doing this just for the fun of an aborted one night stand."

John is such a romantic. Why do I say this? Because the first time we see him attempting to woo he's all "TRA LA LA! MOONLIGHT PICNIC!" It's so sweet. And while I think parts of him prefers one night stands for various reasons, when he wants to go for it, he goes for it.

He just looked so...something standing there, arms crossed, head down, shoulders tense and Rodney's heart leapt into his throat and something heavy churned in his gut. "Okay so...protracted courting. That might be fun."

"Courting?" Sheppard looked wary.

Rodney's got great word choice all the time, mostly it shows up in areas he's not as confident in. He likes knowing the technical terms, he's just not very good at integrating them into the vernacular.

Also, I like the idea of courting. It's pretty. It shows effort and thought. Can we tell I haven't been asked on a date for, oh, years.


"Get you used to the whole thing while I have a very good reason not to jump you and freak you out totally." He actually shocked himself with that one, because he hadn't really admitted to himself that was what he wanted to do yet, let alone being ready to admit it to Sheppard.

Sheppard's eyebrows sort of separated and then smooshed together in the middle of his face. "Okay...yeah. That sounds...good." Slowly he reached out until his arm was fully extended. They weren't quite close enough for only that movement to allow touch, but Sheppard wasn't doing anything else, just waiting.

Oh. He took a tentative step forward until he felt two hot spots appear on his chest and Sheppard's fingers slid around a pectoral muscle slowly. "Oh," he breathed out, shuddering slightly. When had that gotten to be a turn on?

I love this scene. I keep imaging the feel of body heat through a shirt, when it's someone you're hot for, it's just wonderful.

Slide up and around, the entire flat of Sheppard's hand just moving in lazy circles, maddeningly hot circles over Rodney's jacket, pushing in gently, tripping over a nipple. Sheppard made a small "oh" at Rodney's gasp and he did it again, another electric jolt of pleasure down Rodney's spine.

"Can I?" Rodney reached out, fingertips grazing Sheppard's stomach.

Sheppard's "yes" was low and breathy, and after that how could Rodney keep him waiting? He touched slowly, staying well away from any skin, tracing circles, outlining muscle, just like Sheppard was doing to him.

By the time the wonder of touching was starting to fade, and that was really only in comparison to when they first started, they were both breathing hard, sweat beading on their foreheads. Rodney's cock was also aching pleasantly.

Nnnn. *shakes self* Right. Foreplay and I are apparently really good friends.

"Okay," Rodney announced, "the real thing might kill me."

Sheppard swallowed and nodded, pressing forward, forcing Rodney's hand into firmer contact. "But what a way to go." He grinned and then his lips softened just slightly. "Rodney," he almost sighed, letting his hand slide to the side, resting gently on Rodney's waist.

"Colonel?" Rodney shook his head. "John?"

I hate this transition. The name transition that is. Meh.

"That's my name." Sheppard nodded, face going even softer. "I want...well I'm not sure how to get what I want...."

"You know what you want?" Rodney asked, not just to be frustrating but because he was having enough trouble figuring it out himself.

"Maybe a little." Sheppard bit his lip and the space between his eyebrows creased. "Wait...I know." He stepped back and went to his closet, pulling out a poncho.

Nope, not at all. If they could actually touch, John would spend a half hour figuring out that maybe a hug was a good place to start. Instead he's got a problem that needs a plan.

"What on earth are you doing with that there?"

"Leftover from the scavenger hunt." Sheppard--John, maybe--shrugged. "Put it on and don't forget to pull the drawstring tight around your face. Hide in it if you can."

I like to just leave little backstory hints like that laying about. I feel like I fills in the story a bit, gives it a bit of depth. Also I like to think about a bunch of scientists and military guys running around looking for the left food of a chicken or something.

The list included:
1. A knife from Ronon
2. A poncho (which were hidden for increased difficulty)
3. One of those really awesome roller pens that Rodney covets and will take off your hand if he catches you stealing.



Rodney had a pretty good idea of what Shepp--John had in mind. He slipped the light plastic over his head and snapped the sides for good measure. Gently and before Rodney could reach for it, Sheppard picked up the tip of the hood and lowered it over Rodney's head, fingers slowly pulling the drawstring tight.

*koff* Wedding imagery.

They both took shaky breaths before Rodney got the nerve to speak. "Now what?"

Reaching out, John put a hand on his shoulder and nudged him around until he was facing the window and then slowly heat coalesced at his back and he could feel John press gently against him.

Backwards hugs. Nnn. Shiny. Also I think it's very interesting that their first really intimate moment (or rather where there's more touching than just a hand, where you can they've sort of committed to the cause) is not face to face. It's sort of nicely metaphorical.

When arms wound their way around his waist and the sweet weight of John's chin on his shoulder settled, Rodney let out a quiet "oh."

I had a dream once. *glares* Shut up. I had a dream once where someone did this to me. The image and the feeling sort of stuck with me. The warm heavy weight of someone surrounding you, holding you against them. It speaks volumes to me.

"God," Sheppard said, and Rodney imagined feeling the hot moisture of exhalation on his cheek.

They stood there for long minutes, breathing and pressing and moving restlessly against each other, John's hands never still against Rodney's stomach and chest and hips. It was all muted and strange, and Rodney had to concentrate to feel it all, to get every last bit of actual sensation and his mind filled in the rest.

I really wanted to create the idea that Rodney had concentrate for his touches, that yes, they were indeed touching through many layers of fabric and that's totally different than touching skin or even through one layer of fabric.

John's head eventually moved--tilted, from what Rodney could feel--but he still gasped in surprise when he felt the careful movement of a kiss against his shoulder. Then another and another, slowly moving across his back, Rodney's fingers dug between John's lacing them together and then tugging him closer, hoping to get more sensation, more feeling, more--something.

*sigh* First kiss. So sweet. Its' desperate because it's not what they want. Not by half. There's also this small thread of John here, who's kind of nervous and this first kiss is so different than all the rest-- and yet it's not.

John's gasp shuddered against him and the sudden flurry of movements, uncontrolled and then gone, made Rodney groan and reach back with his free hand, guiding John's hips back against his, snug and sweet. He could feel the temperature difference, the extra firmness, and John's slowly cracking restraint.

John was not really prepared for that. On some level he was relieved they couldn't touch so that he didn't have to deal with it yet. He figured this way, by the time they got there, they'd either have driven each other insane and broken up or it wouldn't seem like such a big deal anymore.

But here he is, totally unprepared for being that turned on and he flails and he doesn't quite know what to do.


"Rodney," John panted into his neck, nuzzling carefully. The heat blazed through all the layers and into Rodney's over-sensitized skin.

"John." His voice was almost gone, caught in the back of his throat. He staggered a few feet to the left, taking John along with him until he could brace one arm against the wall. "Yes. Please." Permission, practically begging him to do what he wanted, what Rodney thought of bitterly as a mockery of what they really wanted.

Rodney asks. He'll do it for Rodney, he'll do anything for Rodney right here and Rodney asks him to go on, actually it's more like he's asking not to stop and for him, John doesn't.

Behind him, John melted against him, arms holding tight, shaking slightly until it morphed into a slowly moving sway. John's choked moans heavy in his ear, he could feel hips slowly swaying into his body, long hard drags against clothing that left them both shuddering with want.

Rodney rocked with him, his cock rubbing against a seam inside his pants, the sweet friction only ramping him up further, making him forget all the things he wasn't supposed to do.

He made a sound, a half choked moan, when John's thrusts got rougher, needier. Rodney wound his own hand down between himself and the wall and pressed and rubbed and panted in time.

Suddenly, John stopped and Rodney stood there twitching a little at the sudden change. "What?" he asked, only his voice was so deep he barely recognized it.

"Nothing," John said quietly. "I just--" He moved, the hand that been holding Rodney's hip steady made slow progress towards the front of his pants. "I just want you to--"

"Oh--please," Rodney gasped, feeling the slow crawl of heat towards his cock. "I mean, you don't have to." Because John was new to this--and oh, he shuddered remembering that--and he didn't want to freak him out. "I mean, you don't have to but I--oh. Yes." It was a sigh.

*glazed look* Huh? What? Oh right. Commentary. John is trying so hard here. I wanted to make sure that he showed as nervous and a little guilty that he was getting this great, wonderful place to rub off on and poor Rodney was stuck with his own hand.

Also, in order to get the courage to try it, he totally dared himself.


John stroked tentatively, palm running up and then down, feeling out the shape and weight. "This good?"

Rodney nodded frantically. "Just, here--" He adjusted the hand. "Just need a place to thrust."

Shuddering violently, John made a half choked noise. "God, okay yeah," he said and started moving again. Quick half thrusts that pushed Rodney into John's hand; perfect little thrusts that just tingled up his spine and melted his brain a little with each one.

Endless pleasure, because it was all dulled just a bit by the layers of fabric between them until it was one long, hazy, pleasurable ride. Hot panting just outside his ear, heat grinding between their bodies, John's cock burning through their clothing till Rodney could feel every ridge.

A quiet litany of babble reached Rodney's ears: John's voice, low and rough, repeating things over and over again, Rodney's name slowly becoming the predominant feature. John's movements got a little bit harsher, a little stronger, a little shorter until finally he froze for a long second and then clamped both arms around Rodney so tightly Rodney imagined he could feel John's orgasm.

Rodney wanted to come, he wanted to come so badly his eyes were crossing with the thought, but he let John's breathing come back without complaint.

"Hey," John rasped finally, "you?"

"No." He tried not to whine, but God, he really needed to come; he ached all over and his cock was so hard it almost hurt. "Please?"

"Yeah, come here," John's hand snaked back into position, only better; the heel of his hand was a perfect place for Rodney to nudge at with his cock, but now John added in some counter movement and it made Rodney slump against the wall it was so good. "I've got you," John said. "Come on, I've got you."

So. Hot. *glazes*

Rodney pushed harder and faster, and felt the tension crawl up his back and finally explode into white hot sparks behind his eyelids and then fade out slowly into a haze of un-fucking-believably good orgasm.

They both sank to the ground together, which was good because Rodney's legs weren't going to hold him up much longer.

Favorite. Sex. Scene. Ever. Seriously I think I have some really interesting kinks and this story just highlights them in pretty blue light.


"You okay there?" John's arms tightened around him briefly.

Rodney closed his eyes and breathed in John as much as he could, the air around them thick with sweat, and he fought the urge to turn and bury his face in John's shoulder. He felt--hollow. Empty. "We shouldn't do this again."

Behind him, John stiffened, any bit of relaxation instantly gone. "What?" He sounded angry. Dangerous.

"Not like this," Rodney clarified. "I can't do it like this again."

And by god I can totally understand that sentiment. Just- *flail* the mental owwies this probably brought up made me want to cuddle them both.

John relaxed. "Yeah, I see where you're coming from."

Rodney laughed, a loud bark unexpectedly burbling out from him. "God, you do don't you?"

"Yep," John snickered.

They didn't move until Rodney's knees and back genuinely complained louder than the good, bone-deep feeling of post-coital bliss could blot out. They separated slowly, Rodney peeling off the poncho and stuffing it into the clothes cleaner before realizing he was drenched with slowly drying sweat and his pants had a fun stain on the front. He tugged his shirt down and shrugged; it was good enough to get to his own room.

They stood, facing each other for long seconds.

"Take the chess set," John said, pointing at it. "I'll see you tomorrow."

Rodney smiled slowly, snagging the board, possibly holding it a little bit further toward the front than normal.

In college, Rodney perfected the art of holding stuff in front of his groin. Poor lad was probably all of 16 when he got there and was probably in a constant state of OMG LOOK AT ALL THE BOOBS.

More staring at John's soft grin and his searching eyes. "No freaking out, okay?"

"Maybe later." John nodded. "But I'll let you know first."

He will. There's some scenes I chose to not write, one of which was the whole conversation about gayness and how weird and strange this was for him and sometimes he just freaked for no reason and he couldn't explain it.

"Good," Rodney said, swallowing heavily. "I'll just uh...." He stepped close enough for the door to open. "Tomorrow."

"Yep."

The door closed between them with a quiet snick.

Ooooh. Metaphor. Door. Between them. *shuts up*

******

"It's actually not a naturally occurring phenomenon," Carson told him the next day.

"Well, yes. Tell me you haven't spent all this time just to figure out something that obvious?" Rodney asked darkly.

"I mean your body isn't producing it anymore," Carson clarified, looking a little annoyed. "I'm not sure if it ever was; I think they hadn't gotten around to anything that complex. They were probably surprised when you weren't allergic to it yourself."

See author. See author close her eyes and make shit up. See author hope no one with an actual degree will point and laugh at her in public.

Rodney sat back in his chair, frowning. "Okay, not looking a gift horse in the mouth then. So how long?"

"Well it does have tenacity. Your levels are dropping, only very slowly."

"Can we speed it up?" Rodney asked. "I'd like to get back to normal please."

translation: I want to fuck.

"I'm looking into it Rodney. I've already significantly wounded it so to speak, it doesn't have near the potency it once did." Carson sipped his tea. "Other than your little accident yesterday there haven't been any incidents. You're doing fine."

No. No he wasn't. Rodney pinched the bridge of his nose. "Carson, I am not doing fine. I would like to be doing fine, but I can't. I want to--" He bit off his sentence with a frustrated cry. "I want this over with."

translation: I want to pin John to the bed before he freaks out and runs away,

Carson looked at him patiently, pouring a cup of tea into a spare mug and sliding it across the table. "Drink."

"I don't want to cont--"

"Drink."

Nothing can't be made better with a cuppa. If it's really bad, add vodka.

Rodney took a sip. "I'm drinking. Happy?" He took another sip.

"Ecstatic." Carson took a sip of his own. "Now, tell me what's going on."

Rodney stared at his cup. "Is there lemon in this?"

Deflect! Deflect!!

"Rodney."

"Nothing is going on," he said quietly, still looking down at his cup, knowing that Carson would sink his teeth in if he had to. "That's what we decided anyway."

A muted clink and a long sigh. "Ah, Rodney. I'm sorry. I didn't know."

He didn't and he genuinely feels bad. FYI, I hate the types of teasing used in canon. Right here is where there would have been an insensitive remark that would have made my hair catch on fire. Rodney can't touch the person he wants to touch. There's nothing funny about that.

Rodney snickered. "Neither did we." He looked up, beseechingly. "So maybe you can work on speeding things up a bit? Huh?" Even to his own ears, he sounded desperate.

"I'm going as fast as I can, Rodney." Carson opened a nearby drawer and took out several boxes. "In the meantime, take these."

"What are they?" Rodney snagged them and read their names. "Antihistamines?"

"And a few other bits; the cocktail that I’d give to anyone exposed." Carson dug again and pulled out an extra EpiPen. "And this just in case, though you shouldn't need it."

Things Carson's dad taught him:
1. When all else fails, tea.
2. Always carry a rubber.
3. Snuggle. Learn it, love it, live it. Or possibly never get it again.


Rodney looked at Carson with wide eyes. "What--but I--"

"Now I’m not saying you should go and purposefully expose her, but I'm not so cruel as to think that a bit of snuggling now and then is too much to ask." Carson shoved it all in his direction. "Just let me know if you use any and send her in if the reaction doesn't calm down in a few minutes."

Rodney stood and took the items in front of him in a daze.

"Now lad, I'm going to have to ask who it is," Carson said gently.

Rodney dropped what was in his hands back onto the desk. "What?"

"I've got to know, for her safety." Carson nodded at the supplies. "Or I have to take all of that back."

Yes I had him auto assume a female. Because that's what we do unless there's lots of evidence to the contrary. I don't find it insulting, I don't find it demeaning, I find it a good way to play the odds.

Rodney sat heavily. "I can't, Carson. I can't tell you."

"I'm your doctor; it won't leave this room," Carson said carefully, a suspicious glint in his eye.

"We haven't talked about that yet!" Rodney back peddled. "I don't even know if he--" He clamped his mouth shut tightly. Damn it.

Carson blinked slowly and nodded. "If he's willing to come out at all?"

"Yes," Rodney bit out. Damn stupid conniving doctors.

"The name won't leave this room," Carson said gently, "and you'll tell him as soon as you see him. And if he doesn't understand, you don't want whatever it is you have to go much further. Trust me."

*koff*. Subtext. *looks innocent*

They stared at each other until finally Rodney slumped. Carson was right, after all. "John," he said, because using his first name was easier than his last for this. Also he was still getting used to its taste in his mouth.

"Sheppard or Stevenson?" Carson pressed.

Rodney tilted his head in exasperation.

This look. Tell me you can't imagine this look. The look that says "What, are you stupid?"

"Right." Carson nodded. "Sheppard."

******

"Carson knows!" Rodney blurted as soon as John stepped into the room.

Ah Rodney, so careful, so subtle, so much like a mac truck.

John blinked and nodded. "Carson knows a lot of things. Care to elaborate?"

"He cornered me," Rodney complained. "He plied me with tea and was nice and understanding and he got me to spill." He took a deep breath. "And then he taunted me with--" He cut himself off for a second, frowning, and deciding not to go with his original words. "With things, and then threatened to take them away if I didn't tell him who I'd share these things with." He slumped in a chair. "The man is a monster."

That MEAN MAN! Seriously! He was calm and rational and polite and everything. Poor Rodney was defenseless under the onslaught.

"Things?" John asked, looking only a little tense.

Rodney pointed at the bed. "Things in case we accidentally touch."

"And why did he give you these things?" John said, looking at each box carefully before opening one and snagging two pills.

"I accidentally let it slip that there was someone and well--" Rodney shrugged.

"That big romantic." John said, swallowing the pills. "He won't tell anyone and I'll resist looking him in the face for a little while."

John might be tense about someone else knowing, but he's also practical. He's also thinking 'ooo! Snuggles.' And then thinking 'When did that get to be so cool?'

Rodney frowned. "Are you ashamed of me?"

"No more than usual." He made a face. "God I hate the uncoated ones."

Words cannot express how much I love this line. No, really, I think about it often and how wonderfully perfect the exchange is.

…possibly I need to get out more.


"What are you doing?" Rodney asked, eyeing John curiously.

"Preventative. Just in case." John shrugged, sitting down carefully. "So would it make you feel better if I said I was freaking out a little?"

Rodney nodded slowly. "God, you're an internal freaker outer, aren't you? I'm liable to get smacked in my sleep or something before you tell me what's wrong."

John shrugged. "I've mostly got other things on my mind." He smiled shyly.

"Oh." Rodney smiled back. "Okay."

"Here." John tossed him something fabric. "Put that on."

It was a hooded sweatshirt. "We can't--I can't."

"Not that," John assured him. "I agree. We can't. But I just swallowed some sucky-tasting pills. I'm gonna get me some reward."

Reward turned out to be a careful hug. Chest to chest this time, with John's collar raised high so Rodney's nose wouldn't accidentally graze him.

Hugging. *sigh* Just, desperate clinging touch.

They parted and Rodney swallowed roughly. "So...set the board up."

They played, and if John's hand snuck out to grasp Rodney's now and then, Rodney didn't say anything.

******

Part 3
Tags: dvd commentary
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