Spoilers: None for the episodes, but it's a future for The Best Things in Life Are Free which makes me feel like a giant wanker but...*handwaves*...yeah.
Summary: This was how it works the first night.
reccea suggested the title from the Beatles' "Here Comes the Sun". This ficlet is all her fault - inspired, bullied, beta'd, the works. *wuffs*
It's Been a Long Cold Lonely Winter
"I'm not picking you up at the airport," Rodney says over the phone.
"That's fine," John says. "Just remember to leave the key under the mat this time so I don't have to sit outside, all right?"
"I was planning to be home that time," Rodney sulks, and hangs up.
When John gets off the plane, Rodney's there, waiting, arms crossed -- to keep from hugging John -- and foot tapping impatiently -- to keep his leg from twitching.
"Took you long enough," Rodney says, slapping John on the back. "C'mon."
People keep stopping John on the concourse to say thank you and to bless him and once, a little boy asks him for his autograph. John signs the paper and folds it into a paper airplane while Rodney fidgets irritably.
"I don't know why they're so impressed," he says when they're alone again. "All you did was go shoot at things."
"You parked on the top deck?" John asked when he and his rucksack squish into the parking garage elevator with Rodney. "Didn't that involve a lot of effort?"
"Down is easier than up," Rodney says. "And you're the one with all the heavy lifting." His car is one of four on that level and the other three look like they were abandoned for sunnier locales a week ago. Their owners aren't coming back any time soon. Rodney pops the trunk with his keyfob and lets himself into the car. John dumps his bag in the trunk, slams it closed, and barely makes it into the passenger seat before Rodney has his hands on John's face, in his hair, and his tongue in John's mouth.
John breathes out slowly, Rodney's scent and taste and the feel of his skin familiar and home.
~ ~ ~
John drops his duffle in the middle of Rodney's living room floor, cups Rodney's face in his hands, and kisses him just as deep and hard and sweet as he's wanted to for months. Rodney's mouth opens under his, already talking, already pushing John down the hallway.
"Rodney," he murmurs in a voice that sounds much too broken to be his own. "I need -- "
"I know," Rodney says, dragging him into the bedroom. "I'm trying."
John gives up then and lets Rodney manhandle him onto the bed, spreading his legs automatically to keep his boots off the cover of Rodney's down comforter. "I should get in the shower," he says against Rodney's chin. "I've been on the plane forever."
Rodney stops kissing him and leans one cheek against his, with its five o'clock shadow, and gasps for a moment. John reaches around him, hands sliding under his shirt, pushing up his back. "Stop that," Rodney says, pulling away and kneeling on the floor. He unlaces John's left boot, wrestles it off, and pulls the heavy sock after it. He presses a kiss to the inside of John's ankle and John thinks maybe he doesn't need a shower that badly after all. Rodney moves around the bed and does battle with the other boot. "Yeah, okay," he grunts, getting to his feet. "Let's go." He drags John to the bathroom and lets John pull his shirt over his head. It musses Rodney's hair adorably and John spends long minutes kissing his hairline, which was maybe a little higher than it had been when John had left.
He pushes the rest of John's uniform off and it feels so, so good to be naked with Rodney. John pulls at Rodney's pants but Rodney is ahead of him, pushing pants and boxers to his ankles and then stumbling out of shoes and socks while trying not to trip on the pantlegs. John reaches in and turns on the water as he waits for Rodney to right himself. Then Rodney's naked too, and John has to touch him, even as Rodney tries to get them both into the shower. They stumble in and hit the wall -- Rodney's shower isn't actually big enough to fall down in, fortunately.
Rodney's hand fits around John's dick and John gasps hard. It isn't that he's forgotten how good this is, but the memories somehow became surreal, fantasies, things he was quite sure had been real, but had no real way to prove. He reaches for Rodney, reaches for slick skin that skates under his fingertips as Rodney strokes him. The curve of Rodney's bicep, the side of his chin, the middle of Rodney's back, his stomach, anywhere John can reach. Somewhere, Rodney gets a handful of soap and but keeps his pace.
"Rodney," John murmurs, tilting forward against Rodney's body, letting his arms keep him upright against the far wall. He slides his cheek against Rodney's temple and mouthes a kiss next to Rodney's eye. "This is going to be fast."
"It's okay," Rodney murmurs. "Take the edge off."
John catches his breath and tries to swallow but his body is sparking and thrusting at Rodney. Rodney pushes his free hand up John's chest, into the dark hair, and comes to rest over his heart. He squeezes and John comes, as if on command, panting against Rodney's temple and mouthing wordless promises never to leave again.
Rodney holds him as the water crashes over them both, stroking over John's skin with soapy hands and rubbing firmly between his pectoral muscles, under his arms, at the nape of his neck, wherever sweat might have collected and dried during the long trip.
"Deal with your own damn hair," Rodney instructs, tilting him back against the wall and putting a bottle of shampoo in his hand before moving down to rub soap behind his knees and in the crease of his butt and thigh.
John reaches down and brushes his hand over Rodney's head. He'd forgotten how Rodney tends to look like a bedraggled cat when his hair is wet. Rodney pauses as John's hand touches him and presses a kiss at the nearest available body part -- John's thigh, just above the knee -- and then goes back to what he was doing. John scrubs shampoo through his hair and tilts his head into the spray to rinse it out.
He feels empty, wrung out, squeezed dry, but he's home and the water is hot, Rodney's hands are -- well, not gentle, exactly, but welcome, so so welcome, and he feels safe inside these walls, even if what he's doing might turn out more dangerous to his career than ducking SAMs and RPGs.
"Don't fall asleep on me," Rodney warns, catching his face and giving him a watery kiss.
"I'm not falling asleep," he says, eyes still closed, as Rodney cranks off the water. "'M just glad to be home."
There's a beat where nothing happens and then Rodney's arms are around him, thick and strong, holding him upright, holding him tight, and Rodney's fierce declaration in his ear, "I'm glad you're home, too," makes everything feel right with the world.
Too soon, Rodney drags him out of the shower and thrusts the insanely soft, insanely huge green towel designated as John's against his chest. It's nearly as long as he is tall and he manages to get it tangled around his shoulders as he rubs his hair.
"You're a mess," Rodney says, dragging it off him and swiping at the remaining water droplets on his chest and shoulders.
"You bought the damn thing," John reminds him, pushing Rodney's own towel aside and leaning forward to lick Rodney's damp neck. He reaches down and finds Rodney still half-hard, easy to arouse.
"I see you've found your second wind," Rodney says, the dry sneer ruined by the hiccup he makes when John sweeps his thumb that certain way.
"Take me to bed," he murmurs, smiling, in Rodney's ear. "Or lose me forever."
"Oh, my God," Rodney groans. "I never should have let you watch that movie. Ever. Why did we ever think that was a good idea?"
While he talks, Rodney shoves his own towel to the side and herds John back into the bedroom, across the carpet and over the obstacle course of boots and socks. He pauses at the side of the bed and kisses John with an aching gentleness, one hand on John's cheek, the other on the small of his back. They kiss until John can't stand it anymore and then he steps back and crawls onto the bed.
This was how it works the first night.
John isn't sure when they first did it or when it had become routine. In the days following his return, he likes to take control, trying to make up for all the times in the previous months when he's been helpless, unable to save everyone. If they have enough time for any sort of routine to develop, they switch off positions as easily as chores but the first night always goes like this.
"You're tight," Rodney says, twisting his fingers. "Really tight. I don't want to hurt you."
John has been gone longer than usual, months longer, and he doesn't mind a little pain. It always hurts a bit on that first night.
"I'll be okay," he says. "Just do it?" He can feel Rodney's hesitation.
"If you're sure…."
"I am," he says, bracing the side of his face against the pillows.
"I'm very concerned about this lack of self-preservation you're exhibiting," Rodney says and John can feel him pressed up in place.
"Rodney," John growls because I'm begging you to fuck me, you idiot, has too many words.
"Right," Rodney says, his voice completely different, and he pushes.
John gasps against the pillow.
Rodney doesn't say anything else but his hands start moving in broad strokes over John's hips and back until John reaches back with one hand and squeezes Rodney's wrist.
Rodney's hand stills, then pulls back and then Rodney really starts fucking him. John breathes out slowly and lets everything go. He needs this, needs Rodney on the first night. It's the secret they never tell, not even to each other.
More often than not, the pillow under John's face is damp when Rodney fucks him into the mattress. Release comes in more forms than orgasm.
John's refractory period is remarkably short when it comes to Rodney and coming home and by the time Rodney is close and reaching around his waist, John is hard and ready again. Rodney comes first and the rush of warmth and the hard grip of his hand pushes John over the edge.
Rodney always seems reluctant to dislodge himself, but he's always careful and never lingers. "Wow," he says, landing on his back. "That was. Wow."
John rolls up to his side and tucks one arm around his pillow, smiling fondly at Rodney. "So this sex thing," he says. "You think you like it?"
"Oh, shut up," Rodney orders, turning back to his own side. He reaches out and touches John's hip carefully. "I didn't hear you complaining," he says, his eyes fixed on his hand and the skin under it.
"I'm fine," John says, nudging Rodney's chin upward with his thumb.
Rodney's hand slips to the damp skin at the small of his back, his forearm resting heavily on John's waist. "Can't keep you clean for anything," he murmurs.
"Go to sleep," John says, laying his hand on Rodney's other arm. "I expect a gourmet meal when we wake up starving in the middle of the night."
"Yeah, we'll see if Dominos is still delivering," Rodney says, and then he's out like a light.
John smiles and closes his eyes. He can sleep now. He's home.