"Situational hypothermic homosexuality," Rodney says with such utter sincerity that John has a terrible, terrible feeling that on their last trip to earth, Rodney spent far too much time on google. It's not his fault, really. The lab assistants had been idiots.
Rolling over in his sleeping bag, John stares at Rodney, up on one elbow and looking disturbingly awake for two in the morning and remarkably cheerful considering they're trapped on a glacier for the foreseeable future--or at least until Ronon and Teyla come back with a rescue jumper.
"What?" Because honestly, what the hell is the standard response to that?
Rodney smiles, like he does whenever anyone asks him a question that he created the answer for, and therefore is utterly, unbelievably right no matter what he says. "To prevent freezing," he says, and he's *unzipping his sleeping bag*. John clutches his bag closer, locking a hand around the inner zipper. "Death by cold. No one wants that."
"Are you high?" John says suspiciously. That wood they'd used earlier had smelled suspiciously spicy.
Rodney frowns, sitting up entirely, and John takes a second to consider the fact that they're, yes, in a tent, and yes, there isn't a single Ancient piece of equipment in said tent. John suppose its his own fault, really. He knows what Rodney's like when he gets bored.
"I'm trying to prevent our deaths," Rodney says calmly, and damned if he isn't unfastening his parka. "A tragic loss to the universe on my part and I'm sure you have some kind of place in the grand scheme of things that might be unfulfilled if you slowly froze to death."
John scoots a little closer to the tent wall. "We have an ancient heater, sleeping bags, winter gear, and Teyla and Ronon here by morning. We aren't going to die."
"Your nose could freeze off," Rodney says, eyes huge, and John watches his hands slide under the sleeping bag. There's a chance he's unfastening his pants.
"Sex isn't going to prevent my nose--okay, wait. I'm not even discussing this." Next time, John promises himself that Rodney's laptop stays with them. Rodney could be playing solitaire right now while John sleeps, virtue intact, but no. No, they lost that sucker over a cliff and John's never felt so betrayed by nature in his life.
…and suddenly, Rodney's got the zipper half-down on John's sleeping bag, because he's thinking about *weather*. "Rodney!"
"Fine," Rodney says, without even bothering to stop the unzipping. John watches in shock as Rodney slides inside beside him, crowding him to the edge, before Rodney rolls over, grinning smugly. "We'll cuddle."
The thing is, it's not like John's not familiar with Rodney getting bored. Katie Brown, after all, had come directly after they'd gotten a ZPM and were on post-horrifying-disaster meltdown--it really isn't that big a stretch to be aware that leaving Rodney unoccupied for more than a second leads to disasters like, say, oh, making out with Carson (and hey, if John maybe sort of kind of told Atlantis to turn off Carson's plumbing after that, that's no one's business but John's, really) and blowing up some parts of solar systems. Basically, John's learned to arm himself with a deck of cards, a Gameboy, or reliving linear algebra to keep Rodney from wandering off to make out with inappropriate people or end galaxies.
But the thing is, John usually manages to avoid being the center of that attention if he can help it. One, it gives him horrifying flashbacks to his first (and only) experience in the high school play, and it also it gets weirdly--comfortable. And by comfortable, John means addictive The last time Rodney caught him off guard, John was doing things like wandering around quoting Hawking and trying to solve Millennium problems *in ballpoint pen* for *weeks* to get it back (Rodney never had noticed that John had solved two, the bastard) and withdrawal had been a bitch.
You, John thinks directly at Rodney's broad back, are not my drug free zone. John had watched a lot of after-school specials as a teenager.
"Colonel?" Rodney says, so blatantly and cloyingly innocent that John thinks that when they get back, he's having a long talk with Rodney's coffee supplier about the merits of decaf Folgers. "You seem tense." Rolling over, Rodney looks at him with the dewy sweetness of the *darkest creatures of hell*. "Would you like a back rub?"
John debates the merits of strangulation with his own shoelaces before plastering himself against the back of the sleeping bag. "No. I'm good. But if I'm keeping you awake? You can go back to your sleeping bag." Over there. Blessed feet away.
"Colonel," Rodney says patiently, and John realizes there's a leg sliding between his, while Rodney's hands are suddenly, inexplicably unbuttoning his parka, "you really need to rest. We have a difficult day tomorrow, avoiding death." Somehow--John has no idea how this is happening to him, he could swear that Rodney being this close, he'd see him coming--Rodney gets a hand under his shirt and sliding around to the small of his back.
But Rodney just--just snuggles in, his head on John's shoulder, knee slotted between his legs, and closes his eyes, settling warm and heavy on John's chest and against his side. He smells vaguely of the snow they fell down in, the powerbars for dinner, and evil. Pure, unadulterated evil.
John has never hated his life more.
But now in retrospect, John thinks maybe he should have guessed something like this just might be coming.
"Have you ever had a gay experimental phase, Colonel?" Rodney asks, one day, as John sits down to eat his plain Athosian pea and carrot soup. It's tastier when John doesn't look directly at it.
John looks up in time to see Zelenka being pushed three spaces over by the strength of Rodney's foot. When Zelenka doesn't take the hint, Rodney spears him with a look that could and did fell lab assistants and junior marines alike at fifty paces. John measured once. "You have an experiment running. Go away now."
Zelenka opens his mouth, and Rodney flicks a spoon at him, pea soup splashing bright red across his uniform top. This is why John never looks directly at the soup. "Also, go change your uniform. Colonel?"
John pushes his bowl away and picks up his bread helplessly; it's either that or make a break for it, and from what he can tell, he may not get away. "What?"
"In college," Rodney says between bites. "Before you sold your soul and rotted your brain with the military."
John thinks he was just complimented on his intelligence, but he has to squint. A lot. "That's kind of personal, isn't it?"
Rodney snorts. "If you're ashamed of your 'experimental' years, Sheppard--"
"I'm not--I'm not ashamed of them," John says hotly, catching the small smile a second too late in what he'd just admitted. "And that's not any of your business." Rodney's mouth opens in what will be a brilliant refutation--or possibly, another spoonful of red pea soup--and thinks as fast as he can. "Look at the time. I have to go running with Ronon and grunt."
Rodney's eyes narrow. "Colonel--"
"Have a good lunch!"
John had thought he'd got away clean--later, there'd been exploding power conduits and some not-alien invaders--but now that he's thinking, maybe he underestimated Rodney.
"I was thinking, Colonel," Rodney says, warm breath tickling the hollow of John's throat. It feels good, in that way that can only lead to personal humiliation and some really really strange masturbation fantasies.
John stares bitterly at the roof of the tent. "No. You're *sleeping*." He's not sure how his hand ended up inside Rodney's parka, stroking slow lines up and down his shirt, but he's pretty sure dark powers were involved. Or frostbite. Something that causes fevers and hallucinations and with any luck, sudden, inexplicable unconsciousness.
"No, I'm awake." Rodney nails an elbow above John's shoulder, looking down at him fondly--a look John has seen turned in pastry, pudding, and various Ancient tech. John fights the urge to smile stupidly; that path leads to the dark side and way too many hours trying to relive his master's thesis, and in all honestly, John got away from higher education for a *reason*. "I'm not getting any younger," and John stares up at him in slowly dawning horror. Oh my God no. "If I'm doomed to live out a short, violent, brutish life in this godforsaken galaxy, I'd like some kind of guarantee of regular sex to offset the terror-filled days." Rodney looks down on him encouragingly. "With you," he clarifies, in case John can't see what direction this funeral train is going.
John honestly has no idea what to say to that, but Rodney seems okay with that--a pause, a tilt of his head, and Rodney mouth brushes his, slow and warm and more careful than he'd thought Rodney would be. John's vaguely aware of Rodney's hand cupping his face, callused fingertips pressing into his skin, stroking over his cheekbone and ear, threading into his hair, and it's not *fair* on a variety of levels.
The problem is, John's not sure what those levels are. There's a tongue gently pressing against his lips and a hand on his hip and Rodney's warmer than John ever could have imagined, and he'd been pretty damned warm before. John surfaces with his hand sliding inside Rodney's shirt, running his nails slowly down Rodney's back, and right, *hypothermic homosexuality*.
"Rodney," John breathes, which is a mistake, because Rodney's tongue is *right there*, licking the word from John's lips, and he's never been kissed quite like this, Rodney's hands far from compromising places, *asking* with his body the way he'd never ask in any other way, and John can almost hear the please in the skim of fingers beneath his parka.
Asking, and John doesn't know how to say that his gay experimental phase had been fairly short and not terribly satisfactory. "Rodney," he says again, prying his hand from hot, smooth skin, turning his head to draw a sharp breath. "Bad idea."
"Great idea," Rodney says, but he draws back, warm breath against the side of his neck. The hand on his hip shifts to his waist, gentle and still. "I am a genius."
"And I'm not your convenient space heater," John says, a little too sharply, and he regrets it the second he says it as Rodney draws back. He's cold in all the places Rodney touched, even after he zips his parka up, and somehow, despite the close quarters, inches of sleeping bag open up between them.
Rodney's eyes narrow. "You're not this difficult with Ancient priestesses," Rodney says sulkily, staring at John in betrayal.
John smiles pleasantly and pretends Rodney's speaking Ancient. It controls the homicidal urges. Almost. "I'm going to sleep."
That he didn't see it, he admits, is mostly due to the fact that he thought Rodney was *straight*. He'd just thought the strange behavior meant that Rodney had been possessed by really awesome aliens.
"Coffee," Rodney says brightly, coming into John's office at the unnaturally early hour of seven am, bearing what could be breakfast and blessed, blessed coffee. "Have you been here all night?"
John surreptitiously tries to rub away the keyboard marks from his cheek and takes the cup Rodney offers. It has cream and sugar the way John likes it--actually, he hadn't know he liked it this way, but hey, it works--and John can actually feel his mind sliding out from beneath the fog of mile-high paperwork and moving into a place that almost resembles being awake.
"Sort of," John admits, because his boots are discarded by the door and his uniform still has spaghetti sauce stains from the mess hall last night. After another few sips, John wakes up to the fact that buttered toast--with jam! Actual jam!--is being pressed into his free hand, and he can smell sausage.
*Sausage*. "Rodney?" he says warily, noticing for the first time that Rodney somehow migrated from across the desk to right beside him. "Rodney, what--" And Rodney picks up a sausage, stuffing it into John's mouth without even *looking up*. It's very good sausage.
His question had been, when did the aliens possess you, but then there were honest to God hash browns and John eventually forgot his question or that he really cared why Rodney was feeding him breakfast from the supplies Elizabeth hid for extreme breakfast emergencies or black market acquisition of mint tea.
So now he's thinking-- "Rodney? Have you been--hitting on me?"
It's almost as stupid as it sounds, but it's Rodney, so it just might be true. John flashes back on chocolate during their tenth viewing of The Gladiator (and Rodney, for once, mentioning how John teared up when Russell Crowe died), and the lunches with non-red-pea related food and wow, okay, so maybe this isn't completely out of left field. Maybe just from the shortstop position. Then. "God. Did you deliberately trap us here?"
"Of course not!" Rodney says, sitting straight up and letting out precious, precious warm air. John can actually feel his balls burrowing for cover. "I had a great island farther south ready for isolated sex purposes, but no, you just *had* to check out their *polar zone*. My idea involved a cabana, fruit, and a lot of nudity without risk of frostbite." Rodney stares at him accusingly. "Thanks, by the way."
"Sorry," John answers automatically, then rewinds the conversation back to *island*. "Wait. Did you--"
"Anyway," Rodney says, barreling on, "yes, I've been hitting on you, and I have to admit, Colonel, even for you, this is fairly slow on the uptake." Rodney's mouth sets in a hard line that doesn't conceal his hope that John's not that incredibly stupid. "You were playing hard to get."
"I wasn't--never mind." He wasn't anything really. He just hadn't really noticed. "Um. So this is--" John make a motion between them, uncomfortably aware that Rodney's staring with wounded eyes, "--not something hypothermia related?"
"I thought it would help reinforce your masculinity to blame it on cold weather," Rodney says, and wow, that's a pretty good answer, all things considered. John bites his lip against the smile.
"Too much time in the sun," Rodney says briskly, but from here, John can see that Rodney's still hands are flattening, white-knuckled and stark against his pants. Despite himself, John feels himself relaxing a little, because well, this is Rodney, and it's actually a fairly good plan.
The silence that falls is anything but comfortable. Now they have non-hypothermia non-situational related sex hovering around them, and John suddenly wishes he'd just admitted that in college his experimental period had involved skipping communion to *work on his chemistry paper*, which honestly, up until Afghanistan, had been the closest he'd ever come to rebellion.
He still feels guilty about that communion.
Reputations, he reflects, as he unzips his parka, slowly (like on Showtime late night), are funny things. Glowy sharing with one Ascended Ancient, cuddling with one soon to be Ascended Ancient-light, and a tiny bit of search and crash on Afghanistan, and everyone thinks you are this decade's answer to James Dean. Which beats, he supposes, being voted as most likely to voluntarily wear a suit and bowtie on a daily basis. Sometimes, John has nightmares that he actually went along with his first instinct to go to law school and become a real estate attorney.
He does miss bow ties, though.
Rodney blinks. "Are you--"
"Will you keep bringing me breakfast?" John says hopefully. However Rodney's getting his supply of sausage and jam, John just wants to keep it coming. Rodney squints thoughtfully, and damned if he doesn't look a little disappointed.
"I expected at least a little more--stop looking like that, yes, breakfast continues, Jesus--I don't know. Protests." Rodney's expression lightened. "Unless you are showing an unprecedented amount of insight into our perilous situation--"
"I'm bowing to your superior arguments, yes. It's very cold, and we should, you know, share as much body heat as possible." John wonders if he should take off the parka. Parks are not sexy. But then again, neither is death. "Just. You could have mentioned it. The hitting on me thing."
"Honestly," Rodney admits, shifting enough to swing one leg over John's hips--wow, good thought, very good thought--and settling with laser-guided-like precision over John's cock, "I was kind of enjoying the entire courtship experience." Large hands peel the parka back enough to get to his shirt, and John shivers a little as cool fingers trail up his throat, then move to slide slowly down his chest. "It's a lot easier to hit on someone when they aren't aware of it. More convenient." Rodney frowns briefly. "Less likely to result in head trauma, too."
John can see that. He shivers again as Rodney's hand slides beneath his shirt, settling warm and heavy on his stomach, and he reaches up, cupping his hand around the back of Rodney's neck, pulling him down into a slow, easy kiss, warm but harder this time, not asking, not exactly. Rodney's a good kisser, focused and intent, making John want to melt back into the sleeping bag and go with events as they unfold. It's not like Rodney doesn't apparently have a pretty good plan in motion here, and John likes Rodney's plans. Yes, sometimes they end in solar system destruction or drained ZPMs, but other times, they end up saving the galaxy, so on balance? Good plans. Excellent plans, even. John slips his fingers through Rodney's hair, arching a little to get pressure where he needs it most, and wondering exactly what kind of sex act they're going for here.
Rodney, being a genius, just takes that worry right off the table by going straight for John's zipper under the cover of a hickey that John will have to steal makeup from Cadman to cover later. Breath catching, he feels Rodney's fingers stroke through the soft cotton of his boxers, nails scratching just enough, and John sucks in a startled breath.
"Oh," he hears himself say, a first touch that drags out a low groan when Rodney strokes again, firmer touch, a delicate circle around the head that brings John close to begging, biting his lip against the urge to reach down and *make* Rodney get to it already. Rodney kisses him, long and deep and coaxing, but honestly, John really doesn't need all that much coaxing. "Rodney--"
"A second here?" Rodney's free hand is working on his own pants, fumbling open the fly and somewhere a button goes flying off into oblivion, but they have safety pins, so no biggie. Reaching down, John jerks his own pants and boxers enough for Rodney to press against, and cock against cock is possibly the best idea Rodney's had in his life.
"Oh fuck yes," John breathes, shifting his hips enough to draw a long groan from Rodney, a sharp bite that indicates a lot of concealer in John's future, and a shivery warmth that starts rolling down his spine, sweet and strange. He moves again, and Rodney follows along, with a huffed breath against John's throat, reaching down to take them both in one big hand.
New fucking world *order*. "Keep doing that," John grits out, the shivery feeling turning hot and fast and tight, getting a leg around Rodney's thigh in case he rethinks his hypothermia theory, because there's no way that Rodney's going *anywhere* now. "Do that--with the twist--Jesus yes, that, keep *doing that*--"
"I *am*," Rodney says, almost sounding like he could be annoyed, except for the tiny kisses sprinkled over John's face, his throat, the way Rodney leans into him, trying for all the skin contact they can get. A rough cheek brushes against his, hot tongue on his jaw, teeth quick and sharp, another kiss that makes every muscle in John's body go tight. Panting, John reaches between them, hating himself for dragging Rodney's hand away, bringing it to his mouth to lick it fast and dirty, get it wet, then shoving it back down between them, fingers entwined as they jerk off together, Rodney's cock smoothing along his palm, making him shiver again, sweat breaking out beneath the parka and shirt. "Jesus, John," Rodney pants out, thrusting harder, and John feels the graze of the head against his stomach and his own cock starts to jerk. "Almost. John. John John--"
"Fuck." Locking his leg on Rodney's thigh, John bucks up, pressure wrapped around him like a vise, and he's so close he can actually taste it, sweet and salty like Rodney's skin between his teeth, rising up so fast he can't breathe, just hold on, nails digging into the small of Rodney's back and feeling release like freefall, fast and furious and fucking *fantastic*.
He lets Rodney clean them up, being the one who prepared for the situational hypothermic homosexuality and all, shivering a little when the cloth moves over his spent cock, his stomach, before Rodney buttons him up and settles back down with him, dragging the second sleeping bag over them before snuggling back up against John's side, so easily, clicking into place in a way that John's pretty sure is going to be standard for sleeping from now on. Leaning down, he noses gently at Rodney's sweaty hair and listens to Rodney's smug, self-satisfied yawn, thinking that later, when they wake up so Rodney can convince him to have further situational sex, John may need to think of some objections, because Rodney seems to like the challenge.
With a brush of lips, John leans closer to Rodney's ear. "I put out for pancakes, too."
Rodney snorts. "Don't we all. Go to sleep. I expect a freakout when you wake up, you know. At least a little one."
John thinks about it. "For pancakes, I'll even cry for my lost heterosexuality."
Rodney makes a satisfied sound, burrowing into John's neck, and John grins before he closes his eyes.