Adult Ed

by Kass

Written for the Continuing Education challenge at SGA Flashfic. Thanks to Sihaya Black for beta!

Rodney's in a good mood. It's not every night he leaves work early to get laid. In fact, it's usually only once a week -- Sundays, when he and John have long had a standing chess date; these days, the gamesmanship tends to take a new and arguably far more exciting form -- but he just managed to wrap up a set of simulations three days faster than expected. Which means he's about to double the frequency of their sex life. In fact, assuming he doesn't work late tomorrow or Saturday, either, this week they'll be quadrupling it.

Which means they have options! "Get laid" suggests a certain passivity, and that's the last thing Rodney intends. He's been contemplating walking in the door and offering John a blowjob right off the bat. Or maybe offering to fuck him? Rodney can't decide. They both sound so appealing.

He's occupied with these happy lines of mental inquiry as he walks up to John's door and with a few taps to his tablet convinces the city to open John's door for him.

The last thing he expects to find is John watching something on his laptop with his hand down his pants.

John freezes. "Rodney!" His voice sounds strangled.

"Um. Hi," Rodney manages. His dick presses against the seam of his trousers, eager, though his arousal is mitigated somewhat by the expression of embarrassment on John's face.

The laptop moans.

Atlantis slides John's door shut, Rodney standing just inside.

John yanks his hand out of his trousers, slams the laptop shut, and goes all tight-lipped and distant. Suddenly Rodney has the feeling that he might not be getting laid tonight, after all.

"I got the simulations done," Rodney babbles -- stating the obvious; not a great sign, but John looks annoyed, which makes him nervous. "I thought we might..." He waves a hand.

John stands up and walks over to the far wall, leaning against it with his arms crossed over his chest. "You could have knocked," he says evenly.

Rodney doesn't see what the big deal is (he walked in on John masturbating; so what?) but it's obvious that John's not happy to see him.

"I wasn't expecting you tonight," John adds.

Rodney's arousal disappears altogether.

"I should -- I just remembered -- I may not have calibrated the sensors entirely correctly," Rodney says, and beats a hasty retreat.

The whole thing is so bizarrely deflating that he doesn't even go back to his room and jerk off. Instead he returns to the lab and pokes at code until three in the morning, which is completely not satisfying, and then he goes to sleep on the cot in the corner which they usually reserve for emergencies.

A hand is shaking his shoulder, which he does his best to ignore.

"Rodney," Zelenka says quietly. Then, more insistently, "Rodney!"

"Go 'way," Rodney mutters into his pillow and tries to roll over, though there's a wall right next to him. Which is strange, because he's pretty sure that's not where the wall is supposed to be.

"It is 7:30," Zelenka informs him. "Others will be here soon."

Slowly reality begins to penetrate. Zelenka is not mysteriously in Rodney's bedroom; Rodney is in the lab. Rodney slept in the lab.

Oh. That's right. He slept in the lab because John decided he'd rather watch porn by himself than have actual sex. It's as inexplicable now as it was when it happened. Rodney opens his eyes and glares.

"Coffee," Zelenka suggests, and Rodney nods and pushes himself up from the cot, wincing as his spine protests.

Rodney heads directly to the mess hall for decent coffee. Which turns out to be a tactical error, because John and Teyla and Ronon are having breakfast there together, and once Rodney spots them (and vice versa) there's nothing for it but to join them.

"Planning to grow a beard, McKay?" Ronon asks, grinning, after Rodney sits down.

"No, I just -- haven't shaved yet this morning," Rodney says irritably.

Teyla, who knows him far too well, gives him a look. "Why were you sleeping in the lab? Is there a crisis afoot of which we should be aware?"

Rodney studiously doesn't look at John, so he isn't sure whether John is avoiding looking back. "Just working on some upgrades to one of our databases," he lies.

"Ah," Teyla says. He has the feeling she doesn't believe him.

Today is going to be awesome, he can tell.

They're not in the field, so he and John don't have to actually work together -- a small mercy, because that would really not go well if they weren't speaking, which apparently they mostly aren't. This, Rodney reflects morosely, is why workplace romance is generally frowned-on.

By midafternoon he almost wishes for a crisis, because at least that would distract him.

He can't stop turning last night over in his mind, like code that won't compile. Why did John shut down like that? Was he embarrassed that Rodney saw him jerking off? (That hardly makes sense, given what they’ve been doing together.) Does he think they're supposed to be saving themselves for each other? (That sounds far too weird; Rodney rejects it as soon as the thought crosses his mind.)

Or -- wait: was John's other hand on the keyboard? Now Rodney can't remember. It's possible John was typing with his right hand and jerking off with his left. Was he IM'ing with someone? Once the thought occurs to Rodney, it's like a mental splinter. Omnipresent and annoying and a little bit painful, and he can't stop poking at it even though he knows he isn't making things any better.

God. Who would John be IM'ing with? ('With whom would John be IM'ing,' corrects the voice in his mind that sounds disturbingly like Jeannie, and he crumples up a piece of paper and throws it away with more vehemence than is warranted.) Rodney's not sure there's anyone in the city who doesn't have at least a little bit of a crush on John Sheppard. Or maybe it's some kind of anonymous thing. Rodney's not sure if that would make him feel better, or worse.

By nightfall it's obvious to Rodney that he has to confront John, because he's not going to get any sleep if they haven't hashed this out. This time the walk to John's quarters is far too short, because Rodney has no idea what he's going to say when the door opens.

This time Rodney knocks.

The door opens and John's standing there. His face doesn't betray anything, which makes Rodney feel even more nervous and talkative than before.

"Okay, look," Rodney says, "there's nothing wrong with -- I mean, so I walked in on you, it's not as though--"

"Jesus, not with the door open," John says, stepping out of his way so Rodney can come in.

"There wasn't anybody in the hall," Rodney protests, but he's glad to be invited in, at least. Though once he's inside, he's not sure quite what to do with himself. He winds up perching on one of the chairs next to the bed, because it's just not that big a room. John's laptop, he notes, is nowhere to be seen.

Maybe he should try a different tack. "I'm sorry I interrupted you."

John blows out a breath. "It's fine."

"It's not fine, or you wouldn't have been avoiding me all day!"

"I haven't been avoiding you," John protests, crossing the room to sit stiffly on the edge of the bed.

There's a pause. Rodney is casting about for something, anything, to say which might make this weirdness go away. He's about to open his mouth and ask whether John was on IM with somebody (better to know than not to know, right? might as well ask, rip the bandaid right off) when John opens his mouth.

"I ordered some dvds," John says finally.

"Okay," Rodney says, because what else is he going to say?

"I thought maybe you would want --" John stops. "I'm not very--"

Rodney can't stand it. "Very what? Communicative? Comprehensible? Sane?"

"Creative," John snaps.

Rodney blinks.

"I was going to surprise you." John's face is red but at least he's meeting Rodney's eyes now, which is an improvement. "Sunday night. I thought you might want"

Understanding is beginning to dawn. "Thats what this is about? You ordered porn dvds because you wanted, what, new techniques?" A thought occurs to him and he can't help feeling horrified. "Oh my God, isn't that dangerous?"

John shoots him a murderous look. "Yes, Rodney, I ordered gay porn dvds under my full name, using my own credit card, to be shipped to my box at the SGC and delivered here on the Daedalus, and I made sure to cc General Landry on the order slip just to be on the safe side."

Right. Of course John didn't. "Okay, sorry, I just --" Rodney pauses to regroup. "You think you're not creative enough?" How long has John been carrying that piece of baggage around?

John shrugs uncomfortably. "I'm kind of a...meat and potatoes guy."

"I'm not even sure I know what that means," Rodney says. "What, you think I'm looking for sushi? Ostrich eggs? Tava bean soufflé?"

That last one gets John's eyes smiling, even if the rest of his face doesn't follow suit.

"In case you hadn't noticed, I haven't exactly been breaking out the Japanese rope techniques," Rodney says, and then hastily adds "which I only know about because I clicked on the wrong link once, I was looking for a Japanese physics paper and I made a critical search string error--"

Now John's laughing. At him, granted, but that's exactly what Rodney intended, and it feels good. It breaks the ice. It's a sign that things are starting to work again, which gives him renewed hope that he might, in fact, still have a boyfriend. Or whatever they are.

"I like you, you idiot," Rodney says.

"Even if I'm kind of boring?"

"There is nothing about you that is in any way boring," Rodney says fervently. He's thinking about the planes of John's chest, the line of hair arrowing down his abdomen, the salt-and-pepper of his sideburns which should absolutely not be as sexy as it is, and he loses the ability to sound arch because his throat is going dry with wanting. Which it always does.

John leans back on the bed, resting his weight on his elbows. "You sure?" Apparently he's taking Rodney at his word, because the tension has disappeared from his body, replaced by what Rodney's pretty sure is invitation.

"Oh, now, that is not fair," Rodney says.


"You lying there all -- " Rodney flaps a hand. "Languid like that."

"Languid," John repeats. There's a hint of challenge in his tone.

"Oh, shut up," Rodney says, and stands up, and when John doesn't look away Rodney toes off his shoes and heads toward the bed, because with any luck this conversation is over.

"You drive me crazy," Rodney murmurs into the skin of John's neck. Their limbs are tangled and they've been necking like teenagers.

"Good," John says, and pushes him over onto his back.

"I mean it," Rodney says. John's shoving Rodney's trousers down, so Rodney pauses to help him. He's expecting a blowjob, but John pulls away.

"Turn over," John says.

Rodney feels a jolt of excitement. John's going to fuck him; that is excellent news. "I like the way you think," Rodney says into John's pillow.

He hears John kicking off his boots and unzipping his trousers, the muffled sound of clothing hitting the floor, and then John's hands part his cheeks. Rodney takes a deep breath, preparing himself for John's cock, but instead he feels a tentative press of lips and tongue.

"Oh, fuck," Rodney moans, breathless already, because oh, God, he'd forgotten how good this feels. It's been a really long time, and this is far more intimate than fucking.

John holds him more firmly in place and keeps going.

It's not long before Rodney desperately wants to hump the mattress, anything to get a little friction, but he doesn't want to dislodge John, so he settles for whimpering and squirming a little.

John, apparently getting the message, pulls back and yanks his dresser drawer open. When he returns he's wearing a condom and he's slicked up and he presses slowly inside.

"You'd better be close," John grits out, "because I'm not going to last."

"You have no idea," Rodney manages, and pushes back against him, and comes.

"Fuck," John says, sounding surprised, and follows suit.

"Did you learn that from the video?"

"Learn what?" John's eyes are closed, which means Rodney can enjoy looking at him as much as he wants to.

Rodney coughs. "The, ah, rimming?"

John opens one eye and glares at him. "No."

"It was a reasonable question," Rodney protests.

"I don't think they put rimming in porn films," John points out.

"Huh," Rodney says, wondering whether that's true. "Not cinematic enough, I guess." It does lack the visual cachet of the classic money shot.

John shrugs.

But now Rodney's wondering. "Are any of them good?"

"Are any of what good?"

"The dvds you ordered."

John looks faintly annoyed. "I've only watched one of them. Half of one. I got interrupted."

Rodney tries to sound nonchalant. "We could watch them together. If you want. Since I won't be working late again this week."

John raises an eyebrow. "Oh?"

"I mean, I could always use a few new ideas," Rodney offers.

"Yeah, okay," John says, and closes his eyes again.

"I have to applaud your interest in continuing education," Rodney says loftily. That's when John raises his own head, yanks his pillow out, and whacks Rodney with it. Which probably serves Rodney right, but pretty soon they're both laughing too hard for John to say so, or for Rodney to reply.

The End