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[ by touch ]

Sometimes Rodney wakes up to the feel of John´s fingers tracing his spine, slow and deliberate, light and easy. He used to roll over and glare at him, say “what are you doing?’ and “I´m sleeping here,’ and “stop it!’ Now he just smiles and lets him do it.

He likes to try and imagine what it is that John´s drawing back there. Maybe schematics of the engines in the F32s. Maybe he´s writing his name. Writing ‘property of Lieutenant Colonel John Sheppard´ or ‘beware those who trespass, I´ve got spikey hair and I´m not afraid to use it.´

Sometimes he thinks John doesn´t even know he´s doing it. That his hands are just idly moving over whatever canvas is in front of him. Out of boredom or out of worry, his mind working over some mundane math problem or even the problems of the Pegasus galaxy, and his hands are just moving as a distraction.

Other times he knows it´s deliberate. Knows it´s possessive, or desperate, or relieved. Times when they´ve once again, as a thousand times before, almost been killed. Hurt. Maimed. Scooped up by the Wraith. Had their life sucked out. Those times John´s hands are a little more sure, a little more rough, a little more possessive.

On those nights if Rodney tries hard enough he can hear the ‘mine´ that´s contained within the fingers curved around his shoulderblade.

And on some nights, on this night, it turns into something more. Fingers sliding down his back and over his ass, digging in with just enough pressure that there´s no misinterpreting his intentions. Sliding back up and curving around his hip as he slides up closer to Rodney, his cock lining up with his ass, already hard.

Mouth lowering to his neck and lips kissing chastely at his hairline. Dry lips at first and then wet tongue. Next comes the teeth, scraping over his skin as John´s hands slide over his hip, his thumb making little circles in the sensitive skin of his underbelly.

Rodney has to fight the urge to turn now, to turn into John and reach up and grab his face, kiss his mouth and wind their tongues together, because John has to do this at his pace. John has to figure this out on his own, because it hadn´t been about this when it started. It hadn´t been about slow and tender and caring, it had been about rough and release and getting off. John had to do this on his own.

So Rodney keeps his eyes closed and breathes through his nose as John´s hand wraps around his cock, his breath heavy and hot against Rodney´s neck. There will come a time when Rodney can respond, when John will whisper his name, tell him to face him, tell him he wants to fuck him, and if it´s one of those nights, one of the nights that John is feeling out of sorts, out of his depth, disconnected and lonely and lost, he´ll beg. He say ‘please, Rodney.´ He´ll say ‘please let me fuck you.´ And Rodney, of course, will say yes.

But it´s not time for that yet, it´s not time for Rodney to let John know that he´s awake, even if they both already know. John always knows when he´s awake, and he always knows when John knows. But John pretends and Rodney pretends, and they let themselves get away with it, because John´s whispering I love yous into Rodney´s skin with his tongue like he can´t in the harsh light of day and Rodney takes this whenever he can get it.

Rodney loves this, loves waking up the feel of John behind him, solid and warm and naked and there. Loves the feel of his hands all over him, loves feeling wanted and needed and loved.

He hates it at the same time. Hates that John can´t do this during the day, that John gets lonely when Rodney is right there. Hates that John still doesn´t let himself want this, need this, that he buries it inside himself and only lets it come out when it´s okay to pretend that Rodney´s still asleep.

He thinks one day he´ll break John of that. One day, if he´s patient enough, John will realize that he´s not going anywhere, not if he can help it. One day, if he plays this right, John will realize that Rodney gets that he can´t leave anyone behind because John was always the one left behind, and that Rodney won´t do that to him. That barring any catastrophes, and lets face it, here in Pegasus those are very real and very frequent, Rodney´s here for the long haul.

But for now he´ll just lie here and take this. He´ll let John touch and caress and whisper the things he wants to say outloud but can´t yet, because that day will come. Rodney´ll make it come, he´s determined, and when Rodney´s determined, nothing stands a chance. Not even John Sheppard.

Lips on his shoulder and hand on his hip, and finally John is ready to get one step closer.

“Rodney,’ he whispers, pressing his body into Rodney´s, fingers digging into Rodney´s hip. “Rodney, wake up.’

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