by Kass

Written in 38 minutes for the Amnesty challenge (and the old 38 Minutes challenge) at sga_flashfic at the end of 2007.
Inspired by this manip that Isagel made, which makes me go guh, and also by this photo that Lamardeuse showed me ages ago.
Many thanks to Lamardeuse and Sihaya Black for the beta!

Rodney was looking for socks when he found them.

The mission on AR3-Q56 had been uneventful except for the part where they got stuck in the mud, and they'd returned to Atlantis with their boots squelching and the slimy feeling of chalky alien mud between their toes. Rodney had not enjoyed that one bit, and he'd made enough of a fuss about it that Carter had given them an hour to return to their quarters and change before the debriefing. Sheppard's quarters were closer to the gate room than his, so he'd toed off his disgusting boots in the doorway, followed Sheppard in, and gone to dig for a pair of plain white tube socks while Sheppard was in the john.

Tucked in with the neat balls of socks -- balls! what was it with the military, that people learned to make their socks into little ballistic missiles? Cadman had done the same thing to his socks, during the brief period when she'd been inhabiting his body -- was something strange and black that Rodney didn't at first recognize. Of course he needed a closer look.

They were black and padded, with snug elastic bands, and as he realized what they had to be his breath caught in his throat. Rodney lifted one out of the drawer, holding it up by one elastic strap, and swallowed hard. That was how Sheppard found him when he stepped out of the bathroom, his trousers cuffed up to mid-calf and his feet pink and clean.

"What are...these?" It took some work to keep his voice level, and Rodney was proud that he more-or-less managed it.

"Kneepads," Sheppard said, as though it were obvious. Which it kind of was, but that still didn't answer the question of what they were doing there.

"A recent acquisition?"

"Nah, I've had 'em in my gear since we got here." Rodney's face must have betrayed something, because Sheppard said, "What? I thought there might be skateboarding!"

"You brought kneepads to the Pegasus galaxy because you were expecting skateboarding." Surely Sheppard had to hear the ridiculousness inherent in those words.

Sheppard shrugged one shoulder. "I figured if people in Pegasus weren't already skateboarding, I could teach them how."

Rodney barked out a laugh, despite himself. "Tell me you haven't tried to teach Ronon."

"Actually," Sheppard said, conspiratorially, leaning in a little, "I tried...but I don't think he was that interested. He didn't seem to think it was any more compelling than golf."

"Hm, yes, his loss," Rodney said, and -- realizing he was still holding the pads in one hand -- dropped them like the proverbial hot potato. "I should, ah, wash up," and he made a hasty escape to the bathroom. Where he washed his feet clean, and then stared at himself in the mirror, hoping his momentary kinky fantasy wasn't actually showing on his face. It was just -- Sheppard on his knees had been one of Rodney's favorite masturbation fantasies for more than three years now. Seeing the kneepads had just thrown him for a loop, was all.

When he emerged, Sheppard was standing by the window, looking out, though he turned to look at Rodney right away. "Was there something wrong with my having kneepads?"

"Oh, no, no, not at all," Rodney said hastily, aware that he was dangerously close to babbling but trying hard not to let his mouth run away with him. "You know, come to think of it, I should probably head back to my quarters and-- " jerk off immediately "--get my own socks, I didn't mean to trouble you, I'll see you at the briefing."

"No problem," Sheppard said conversationally, and Rodney knew in that instant that he was in big trouble. Sheppard had figured him out; had seen through his façade; knew what he was after. Damn it, after he'd managed to keep it a secret all this time! Sheppard walked toward him. Feeling cornered, Rodney straightened his shoulders and waited.

"But if there was something you wanted...?" Sheppard let his words trail off, and by now he was standing too close to Rodney -- close enough that Rodney could smell his aftershave, could almost feel the heat coming off of his body, and oh God he was lost. "Just say so."

"Wanted," Rodney repeated stupidly.

"Rodney," John said quietly. "I'm offering. Don't leave me hanging, here."

This was too good to be true. That didn't stop Rodney from jumping on it the way a starving man jumped on the offer of a full meal.

It didn't take much to close the distance between them, and in the next heartbeat they were kissing, hard and hungry and with no finesse. After a few minutes Rodney pulled back for a breath and then slowed it down, and when John followed suit the kiss got easy and languid and unbelievably hot. John steered them toward the wall; Rodney let himself be moved until he could lean there, trapped between the wall and John's firm body.

When John licked a path along his jaw toward his ear, Rodney felt the words bursting out of him. "I just -- you have to promise you won't take this the wrong way, I'm, oh my God, over the moon here, I can't believe this is --"

"Breathe," John reminded him, and then bit at his neck.

"Kind of -- difficult, with -- you doing that," Rodney muttered, but he gulped in air anyway.

"There was something you wanted?" John pulled back and the look in his eyes was enough to make Rodney even harder.

"The kneepads," Rodney managed. "I got this mental image --" His face flushed and he couldn't make the rest of the words come out, but he gestured awkwardly toward the floor.

John stepped away and Rodney almost panicked, until he saw John open the drawer and lift out the pads. He stepped first one foot and then the other through the elastic bands, then drew them up tight. He had to cuff his BDUs a little higher to get them on, and once they were on they looked a little ridiculous -- they drew the eye to his knees, which looked big and overarticulated.

But then he walked back over and sank down in front of Rodney, and Rodney let out the breath he hadn't even realized he'd been holding.

"I've thought about this," John said as he unfastened and unzipped Rodney's trousers and pushed them out of the way.

"Oh God," Rodney said weakly, and then stuffed a hand in his mouth to muffle his shout when he felt John's tongue.

"Relax, I'm not going to bite you," John said, grinning, and he took Rodney in.

Rodney's head thunked back against the wall. "Oh fuck," he said. "Oh. I -- ohh," he moaned as John did something incredible with his tongue, one hand cupping Rodney's balls.

John pulled off of him with a wet slurp. "Look down," he advised, and Rodney -- unable to resist -- complied. Oh jesus fuck: John's dark lashes against his cheeks, which were stained pink with embarrassment or excitement, and the sight of Rodney's own erection disappearing into John's mouth --

"I had no idea," Rodney babbled. "I never thought you'd -- I mean, I'm not exactly -- " John shifted the rhythm of his sucking and Rodney's voice broke. "Oh, God, you're beautiful," he said fervently, unable to keep from thrusting minutely forward.

But John didn't seem to mind the thrusting. John welcomed him eagerly, and Rodney closed his eyes, because watching this was way too likely to make him come too soon. When the fingers that had been rubbing his balls disappeared he looked down again, ready to complain until he saw the hand shoved fast down the front of John's trousers. Holy fuck, John was getting off on sucking him, John was --

"Oh, fuck," Rodney said, coming so hard he saw stars.

Some moments later Rodney slid down the wall until he was sitting on the floor, his legs splayed as far as he could get them without hitching his pants back up. John sat between his spread legs, pulling the kneepads off and tossing them into the corner.

"Did you," Rodney asked, gesturing vaguely at John's groin.

"I think I'd better change before the briefing," John said, with a rueful smile.

"The briefing!" Rodney leapt to his feet, stumbling a little because of his pushed-down trousers. He had completely forgotten. "How late are we? Oh my God! Are we going to walk in there looking like --"

"Relax, McKay," John said, standing up and getting right in Rodney's personal space. The quick kiss turned into a slightly longer one, nervous energy transmuting into something that felt stable, even lasting. "I'm going to take a quick shower," John said when they broke. "We have plenty of time."

"Okay," Rodney said. "I'll, ah --"

John grinned. "Feel free to dig around," he said, jerking his head toward the chest of drawers. "Grab yourself some clean socks. You never know what else you might find."

The End