Written For: 30_kisses, for the prompt 'Red'.
Notes: The prompt is used is a somewhat abstract way in this story, but I'm sure you'll be able to see the link if you think about it. This is an AU. Don't own Atlantis or any of the characters. Title is inspired by JMS. Slight crossover into SG-1.
EDIT: This story has now been beta-ed to an inch of it's life. I've hit it, beaten it and sent it to at least three people. I hope the mistakes are now all gone. :D
Summary: This time it takes John one week and three days to track Rodney down.
This time, when Rodney leaves, it takes John one week and three days to track down Rodney. He even hears John coming, which is a first.
So when John slinks into the room, tense and ready to strike, Rodney is sitting sullenly on the bed, staring at him. John looks startled for a moment, surprised that Rodney is awake, before he quickly recovers and adopts his normal smirk.
“You ready to come back yet?” He asks, stuffing his hands into his pockets and looking relaxed, as if he doesn't care about Rodney's answer. He doesn't bother to apologise for the argument, for the harsh words. The fact that he's tracked Rodney down is his apology and after a moment's hesitation, Rodney sighs in defeat, standing up and nodding.
It's a ritual almost, Rodney storming out after some argument that more often than not started out of something tiny. He runs, sometimes crossing whole states, sometimes even crossing countries; before John tracks him down and brings him home.
It's nothing like the first time Rodney left, driving for hours before stopping at a motel and collapsing on the cheap bed, tears burning at his eyes. He wakes later, to find a heavy presence on his legs. Sharp eyes glinting in the near dark.
John leans forward, his arms shifting up and being placed either side of Rodney's head, who can do nothing but stare up, his voice silenced for once. They stare at each other, as if for the first time. If Rodney was the type of man prone flights of fancy he would have thought that the universe itself was holding its breath to see what John would do. A smile creeps along John's face, teeth glinting.
It's hot and fast, John kissing every scrap of bare skin he could find while Rodney gasps under him, his hands roaming John's body. Frantic kisses almost, ones that Rodney tries to return, unable to believe his good fortune at getting a second chance. Somewhere along the line he hears the quiet whisper of 'come home' but he's too caught up in the moment to answer. Then John is slipping down Rodney's body, hands holding his hips firmly in place and the next second a warm mouth engulfed him and he twitches, hands flying down to the cheap and itchy sheet, gripping it hard.
John starts to slowly slide his mouth up and down Rodney's dick, humming as he does so and sending vibrations throughout Rodney. It feels good, so good, and Rodney twitches again, harder this time, thrusting himself forward into John's mouth and forcing him to take him in deeper.
One of John's hands squeezes at Rodney's skin, as if in warning and its all too much, Rodney throwing his head back and hitting the thin pillow. Even the uncomfortable bed can't distract Rodney from the sheer sensations he can feel in his body and he forces one of his hands to let go of the sheet, moving to John's hair and gripping it.
Then he is coming, right in John's mouth and it's so damn good that Rodney thinks he may have lost a couple of IQ points, along with most of his brain cells. He whispers back, the words catching in his throat as John starts to pepper kisses up towards his neck. I'm sorry, I'll come home, I love you. He can't even remember what the fight was about now, or whose fault it was.
That was then. Now its different and the make up sex doesn't happen till they get home. Even then, it doesn't feel like make up sex, just normal sex.
They head out of the motel in silence, the single backpack slung over Rodney's shoulder. He was clever this time, leaving his car behind and using cash to buy the bus ticket that took him away from John. Removing most of the trail, making it harder for John to find him.
John responds by only bringing his motorcycle.
Rodney hates that thing. It's noisy and dangerous and makes Rodney feel as if he's about to fall off it and die a painful death.
He gets on it anyway.
For a couple of weeks, everything is perfect. The sex is great and hot, the days are full and busy. John does what ever an ex-military pilot does during the day and Rodney terrorises his staff, counting how many he can make cry. They share dinner together, talking and laughing.
Then everything goes straight to hell.
Rodney comes home one night to find his carefully sorted work lying all over his study, paper spilling out of their respective folders. John is slouched in his normal chair, his novel on the table in front of him.
Rodney just has time to shake his head at John's pitiful attempts to read it before he notices the mess of his study.
“What the hell did you do to my work?” He all but screams, advancing on John.
“Nothing! It was like this when I got home!” John answers and Rodney can feel like lip curling up in a disbelieving sneer. He doesn't give John time to explain, to lie his way out of this and instead launches out on a rant. John's eyes narrow in response and before Rodney really knows what is going on, they have descended into one of their screaming matches, yelling hurtful things that if remembered, will cut deep in the morning.
Rodney storms out of the house with only his wallet. The blinding anger is still there and he walks fast, feeling it rise with each passing moment that John doesn't catch up with him.
It's only too easy for Rodney to use cash to buy a bus ticket, anywhere as long as it's away from John. He makes his way north from California, not really caring where he went as long as he kept moving so he wouldn't have to think about what is behind him. When night falls he finds the first cheap motel. He locks the door and puts on Bach, working late into the night.
John doesn't come.
Rodney tells himself he doesn't care. Each night he grows more and more angry at John, at his attitude, his voice, his hair. After a week, he honestly thinks he might hate John.
When she knocks on his door, Rodney thinks he might have died and gone to heaven. She is everything he looks for in a woman.
Lt. Colonel Carter soon makes it clear that she is interested in nothing more than his brains and offers him a job.
He takes it at once, because he knows that not even he is able to date someone out of spite. The end result will be the same though, away from John and everything that can remind him of that. So he gets in the sleek government car with her, even though he doesn't know what the job will full be.
When he finds out, he stops speaking for a whole four minutes.
The next few weeks pass in a blur for him, working hard trying to catch up on all the amazing work that he now knows about, as well as trying to wrap his head around the fact that aliens really existed.
Every time he allows himself to slow down and think about John, something new crops up, demanding his attention. He sometimes sees couples on the very rare times he leaves the base. Envy builds up inside of him, with the ever present anger. Fear as well.
He's almost happy in his limbo, when he's not thinking of John. Or thinking of not thinking of him. Then comes the bombshell – a chance to get away from John forever.
The name calls to him, teasing him with its untold wonders. All he has to do is sign the contract and he never needs to worry about John again.
The single sheet of paper sits quietly to the right of his laptop, the empty line at the bottom of the page waiting for his signature. He puts off the decision for as long as he can, focusing on the laptop and all the work it contained.
Finally however, he runs out of time and is told he has to give an answer by the end of the day. The little Czech guy walks past the open door of his office a few times before shaking his head and entering, sitting down in the seat opposite Rodney and staring at him.
“What?” Rodney finds himself snapped, absurdly grateful for any reprise from having to make the choice. The man gives an over the top sigh and pulls his glasses off, cleaning them.
“There is talk of you leading the scientists McKay,” he starts then pauses as if waiting for Rodney to either confirm or deny. Rodney remains mute though and he carries on. “Many of us are here because we have no family or loved ones that keep us here. It is fate of many scientists. We chose to leave them, to leave the memory...” he trails off again, his eyes moist and Rodney feels an unexpected stab of pity for the man in front of him even if he still didn't know where this was going.
“You were going to be approached over a year ago, did you know?” The man says suddenly, staring at his glasses as if they were the most fascinating thing in the world. Rodney feels his mouth go dry, because he didn't know and now that he does, he wants to know why.
“They decided against it because they felt your... partner was too important in your life, more important that your science. They thought you would pine over him before changing your mind to come and that he, in turn, would stumble on something he wasn't supposed to. The military men were very unconformable at the thought of having to deal with him.” Bright eyes flash up to look at Rodney. “You are angry at him, yes? Very angry. They push you onwards and you cannot think logically like a scientist about him. That is a terrible way to end something McKay.”
Rodney sits immobile in his chair for a long time after the man left, eyes staring sightlessly ahead. Maybe he was over reacting in not listening to John or believing him.
The contract remains on his desk, taunting him with all the scientific development it will bring, with him at the forefront.
An hour later he walks out of Cheyenne Mountain and doesn't look back.
The 'thanks but no thanks' letter is probably sitting on the General's desk by now and Rodney smiles humourlessly as he imagines the response it will bring. It's not the first time he's acted against expectations, but it is rare.
He climbs into the car he had rented, smirking at the irony of renting a car for a month when he knew full well he was planning to go to Antarctica, to study the outpost before the mission left for Atlantis. It's as if his subconscious knew something he didn't. After a tiny pause, allowing himself a single thought of regret at the wonders he is leaving behind, Rodney turns the key in the ignition and starts the car.
As he drives out, he can see the blonde head of Lt. Col Carter run out into the parking lot. He offers a silent thank you to the man whose name he never even got and drives down the road. This time it's his turn to hunt down John.
It takes him nine days and a couple of hurried phone calls to people he knows, but he finally tracks down John in a cheap bar.
It's dark and dank and Rodney can't help but wonder why on earth John is here of all places. Then he sees John for the first time in over a month and it's almost enough to make him turn tail and run.
John is slumped by the bar, a couple of empty beer bottles by him. He's grown a beard and Rodney stares at it, imagining the feel of rough whiskers against his skin and John's lazy drawl. Rodney takes one step away from the door and then another and another.
A red head walks up to John, her hand sliding along his thigh as she bends to whisper in his ear. Rodney freezes and suddenly realises – he was gone for nearly two whole months – what if John had moved on?
John's hand moves up to the woman's face and Rodney can feel his heart breaking even as he realises that he deserves this, he ran out on John and left him. He. Left. Him. Rodney can just hear John's voice, even though he can't make out the words. He watches as John pushes the woman gently away, sliding unsteadily from the stool – and turns.
Rodney can feel his eyes getting wider as he drinks his fill of John, taking in lean muscles and features that he missed more than he thought possible. John for his part looks stunned before his mask slips on and Rodney can't tell what he is feeling.
Rodney steps closer again, his throat dry as John watches his progress. Finally he is standing in front of John and there is nothing else that matters now. Rodney's fingers are shaking as he slowly reaches out, fearful that John would turn away and reject him. The beard feels rough under his fingers as he slowly traces the curve of John's jaw.
John doesn't move and after a beat, Rodney takes it as permission to move closer. He dips his head, lips brushing against the stubble and then he is pressing his lips against John's. Rodney puts everything he feels into the kiss, the sorrow, the regret, the lust. Under his lips John remains firm and unyielding for a terrible long moment before sighing into the kiss and relaxing.
“I looked for you,” John says softly when they finally pull apart, the rest of the bar forgotten. “I looked and I looked and I swear Rodney it was as if the world had swallowed you whole!”
Rodney doesn't know what to answer, because he suddenly remembers the male voice telling him how the military wouldn't approach him while he was seeing John. Remembers that Carter showed up knowing exactly where he was.
He thinks he has a good idea about why John couldn't find him.
“It doesn't matter,” he says at last, resting his forehead against John's. “I shouldn't have left. I'm sorry, I'm so sorry -”
Anything else he might have said is lost in a kiss, a low growl in John's throat as he presses against Rodney. The hardness he can feel against his leg is enough to make him harden in response before stepping backwards, his hand clasping John's and holding it tight.
They manage to make it outside of the bar before Rodney kisses John again, needing more of John, needing to soak up everything about him. They kiss as if they hadn't seen each other for years instead of months, Rodney rubbing up against John's pant leg as they stumble along the side walk to the hotel he booked. At this rate they won't even make it to the bed.
“Oh God, Rodney, Rodney,” John mutters between kisses, sounding so broken and Rodney can't take it much longer. He puts on a burst of speed, pulling away from John only long enough to get the room key once they enter the hotel.
He pushes John up against the wall, hands slipping under the shirt and touching every scrap of skin he can find. It's home, John is home and Rodney curses himself for not knowing that before. His hands slip away from John's torso, moving lower until he is cupping John's ass in his hands.
John gives a little growl, his head dipping to nip at Rodney's neck. Rodney arcs back, surprised at the contact even as John licks it better. It's enough to throw Rodney off balance and before he knows it John is pushing down his trousers, hands skimming over his thighs. Rodney shivers before pulling off his own shirt.
“Naked. Now,” he says, his trousers pooled around his ankles. He doesn't wait to see if John does as he is told, instead being over to pull off his shoes. When he looks up again John is standing naked in front of him. Rodney's eyes roam over the sleek body, taking in the chest hair before dipping lower to John's very erect cock.
John takes a step forward, a predatory gleam in his eyes, one that Rodney recognizes. It sends a chill of pleasure down his spine even as he take a few steps back, tumbling onto the bed. In a flash John is on top of him, rutting his whole body against Rodney's. He gives out a moan, his hands digging into John's shoulders as he thrusts upwards, desperate for more flesh on flesh contact. John lowers his head, his breath hot on Rodney's face before taking his mouth again, kissing deep, a clash of teeth and tongue. The stubble rubs against Rodney's chin in a way that isn't as unpleasant as he previously would have believed.
“I want to be inside you,” John whispers when they finally pull away, panting harshly. “I want to fuck you until you forgot whatever took you away from me for 52 days.” Rodney's breath hitches at this and he nods frantically, drawing John's face back for more enthusiastic kissing.
He's not aiming for slow, tender kisses and that isn't what he gives. His kisses are fast and sloppy but they are his. His hand fumbles by the bedside cabinet, yanking it open. He pushes upwards, still kissing as his hand searches inside the drawer before pulling out a small tube and dropping it on the bed.
He falls back, his head hitting the pillow as he sucks in great mouthfuls of air. John teases off the cap of the tube, squirting some of it onto his fingers and rubbing them together. Through half lidded eyes Rodney watches and thinks that Carter for all her legs and blond hair, hasn't got anything compared to John.
He starts to turn over.
“No,” John rasps, staring at Rodney in utter seriousness. “I want to see you. When...” his voice fails him but Rodney stops moving anyway, remaining on his back. He gives a little hiss as John teases in first a finger tip and then a finger. It hurts and Rodney's forgotten how much it hurts.
“Easy Rodney, easy.” A voices tells him and he tries to control his breathing as the pain slowly lessens. Above him he can see John's face flush, his mouth slightly open as he stares back down at Rodney.
“Fuck.. you're so tight. You didn't do this with anyone else, did you Rodney? Nobody else?” John asks, slipping a second finger in and stretching. Rodney hears himself give a guttural moan, shaking his head.
“No, nobody else, never anybody else,” he gasps, feeling his muscles clench around the fingers. John stilled and Rodney makes a noise of frustration, trying to move himself but John's single hand easily pins him in place.
“Same here,” John tells him, as he bends his fingers, causing Rodney to throw his head back against the pillow. Rodney knows he can't last much longer, not if Joh- John bends his fingers again, causing Rodney to give a whine.
“Ready for three?” John asks. Without waiting for an answer he half pulls the first two out, before adding a third. Very slowly he began to press in, pulling the fingers apart as he does, stretching Rodney as far as he will go. Rodney's hips twist slightly, his muscles relaxing as John pushed deeper and deeper. John bends the tips of his fingers slightly and Rodney moans in delight. A few seconds later John pulls his fingers back. They slip out of Rodney without any effort, making John smirk.
Rodney stares up at John in almost a dazed fashion. He feels empty without the feel of John inside of him, fingers at an angle.
He feels something at his entrance, pressing against him. Even though his muscles are relaxed he can't help but draw a sharp intake of breath as he feels John push against him, entering him, filling him. John's cock sinks in deeper and Rodney cries out, panting and feeling as if he is running. It feels so good though, intense and it's John, he's surrounded by John.
John pauses, half in, his head leaning on Rodney's shoulder. He's having trouble hearing anything above his own heartbeat and harsh breathing but from what he can hear, Rodney knows that John is struggling to keep his breathing even as well.
John starts to thrust, pulling in and out and it's all too much for Rodney. He cries out, feeling himself come, his whole body arching off the bed. John doesn't cry out, biting on Rodney's shoulder instead, body heaving. Rodney can feel it happening inside his body, and it just makes his orgasm stronger.
John flops against him, unable to hold himself up any longer. The sudden weight is enough to push him back against the mattress and for a while they simply lie there, a tangle of limbs and sheets. Slowly John pulls away, his limp cock slipping out and leaving Rodney feeling suddenly cold. There is a wet patch on the sheets and they are both still dirty and reeking of sex. Rodney can't bring himself to care and presses himself against John, breathing in his scent.
John seems content to lie there as well and Rodney can feel his breathing easing out, his eyelids growing heavy.
“I'm sorry,” Rodney whisperers. “I won't leave you again.” Beside him John gives a little laugh, drawing him closer and wrapping his arms protectively around Rodney.
“I'm not going to let you leave me again.”
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