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[ a different day ]
The thing is, John knows Elizabeth and Carson are lying. He was teasing when he asked if they still had longing, if they still had urges, but it wasn´t a tease. It wasn´t a joke. If he´d known then what he knew now, he
Okay, he would have still said it, because that´s what he does. He jokes. He teases.
But he wouldn´t have meant it. It would have been a cover.
Because the potion wasn´t just like a high. It wasn´t just something that made you not think clearly. It didn´t just make you not care about your responsibilities. It got under your skin. It warped your brain. It made you want.
Want to help. Want to please. Want to touch. Want to be loved.
And John hasn´t felt that in a long time, that yearning to be loved. That need to be accepted. He´d given up that feeling a long time ago. He´d thought he was over it, he´d thought that the physical, emotional, need, want, pull, to be accepted, to be wanted, to be loved, was buried under harsh words and death and black marks.
The potion´s effects wore off, and he was inoculated, and he could think straight again. He could see the good and the bad, could judge for himself again. He could control himself, could reign himself in.
But it didn´t make him stop wanting. Didn´t make him stop needing.
Because it wasn´t like being drunk, wasn´t like being high, not really. Because it had the same effects, the altered perception, the fuzzy feeling of euphoria, the impaired ability to think rationality, but it didn´t diminish the memory. He knew full well that Elizabeth still felt what Lucius´ coat felt like under her fingers, still felt what it was like to be smiled at by him. That Carson felt the same.
Because John did. John remembered everything. John remembered everything in crystal clear detail, right down to that spark and lightening bolt of pure unadulterated pleasure when Rodney´s smile lit up the room when John had done a handstand.
And he´s so pissed at him, he´s so angry at Rodney he can feel his whole body shake with it. Vibrate with rage because that was a violation. That was a breaking of trust. And it was minor, it was so small, the things that Rodney had gotten him to do. Nothing really. A handstand. Folding clothes. Cleaning his room. So tiny in comparison to the things that Lucius did with the same powers, but.
Because John still wants it. He still wants that smile. That pleasure wrinkle at the side of the eye, the way the skin crinkles. He can still feel the way his chest had swelled with pride and love when Rodney had grinned at him, like a kid meeting Santa Clause. Like the kid he never got to be, the kid that got the bike he wanted for Christmas, the kid who got a Valentine´s card from the girl he´d always had a crush on.
So he knows what Carson is feeling. He knows what Ronon is feeling. He knows what Teyla and Elizabeth are feeling. That letdown that none of this was real. That none of this counted. That these feelings they´d felt were worthless, but still real. They were still real, god damnit, and Rodney didn´t even know that. How could he?
And when he sees Rodney he wants to shove him up against the wall and yell at him. Scream at him. Wail on him and say how dare you. How dare you take advantage of me. How dare you use this against me, how dare you do this to me. How dare you.
He doesn´t though, because when he thinks about it he gets hard. When he thinks about it he sees how it will go in his head. How he´ll grab Rodney by the shirt and slam him against the wall, how the words will stick in his throat. How he won´t be able to help himself. How he´ll want to yell, want to scream, but all he´ll do is fall into his eyes.
He doesn´t do it because he´s afraid he´ll kiss him, because he wants to now. Every time he sees him. He wants to feel Rodney´s lips under his. He wants to hear the way Rodney´s breath will catch when he presses his knee up against him. Feel how hard Rodney is against his thigh. Feel what it´s like to rub up against that warm body and hear the noises he knows Rodney will make.
Because the potion´s worn off but the effects haven´t. They´re muted, they´re fading, but they´re there, right there, in the back of his head. In his fingertips. In his gut. They´re right there, stuck in his throat.
So he shuts down. Speaks when spoken to. Trades barbs with everyone, makes jokes, plays it light and carefree, because everyone wants to pretend it´s the same old shit. Same shit, different day, and he can play that too. He can pretend ignorance, he can feign disinterest. He can even pretend that his anger at Rodney stops at the annoyance of being made into a fool.
He knows though. He knows that´s not what it is. That he´s not even mad at Rodney, but at himself.
Because he´s pretty sure it´s not just the potion. He´s pretty sure the potion broke open a dam in him that was always there, because none of this is a surprise. The only thing that´s surprising is that it´s not.
And he also knows that one day he´s going to snap. He´s going to snap and he´s going to yell at Rodney, and he´s going to talk about betrayal and taking advantage of a friendship, and he´s not going to mean a god damned word, because all he´s going to want to do is slam him up against the wall and kiss him until neither of them can breathe anymore.
So he´ll bide his time until he can control that urge.
In the meantime, it´s the same shit.
It´s just a different day.