Previous parts are available at the link below.
The Best Things in Life Are Free
High School AU
Rated: R (overall)
Pairing: Sheppard/McKay (eventually) (*sigh* And in this part, I am compelled to confess, McKay/Cadman and John/Teyla. And I have no idea why the difference first vs. last names.)
The Best Things in Life Are Free
Rodney walked into his house without attracting any attention and went quickly down the hall to his room. He locked the door and threw himself on his bed.
Radek was right. John was a jerk. Just, instead of being an unfeeling, asshole, macho jerk, he was an invasive, inquisitive, judgmental jerk. And he was still hot.
And what was worse was that it didn't change how Rodney felt about him. He could easily -- easily -- close his eyes and see John working on physics concepts that were only just barely beyond him, frustrated frown between his eyes, and tension riding between his shoulder blades. He could see John coming out of Top Gun, genuinely happy, genuinely excited, light gleaming behind usually opaque eyes, that extra spring in his step, and a smile that he couldn't suppress.
It wasn't fair, Rodney thought, his hand sliding over the front of his pants. Being mad at John should turn him off, not on. He pressed down harder and yanked at the button with his other hand. He got his pants open and slid his hand into his boxers, thinking of John's fingers spaced perfectly on a football. John's fingers would space perfectly on him, too, and that thought was just starting to get interesting when Rodney realized something was hitting the roof.
There was a good chance his parents would never notice, but there was just as good a chance that they would and if the noise woke Jeannie up, they'd never hear the end of it. Rodney hopped off the bed and did his pants back up, swearing a little when he had to zip up his jeans. It was entirely possible John had the right idea with the button flies.
When he was dressed again, Rodney climbed out his window and onto the roof, and nearly got strafed with a handful of small rocks.
"Hey, stop that!" he called.
"Sorry," John called back from his own house. He made a strange gesture and waved his fist near his ear. "Call me!" He knelt down and disappeared back into his own house.
"What?" Rodney asked, but there was no one left to hear him. He sighed irritably and crawled back into his room. He had recently reassembled the old telephone in his room, which had ended up buried under several of his other projects and some laundry. He dug it out and dialed John's number.
"Hey," John said, picking it up halfway through the first ring. He sounded a little breathless. "I didn't want to piss your parents off by calling too late."
"They probably wouldn't notice," Rodney said shortly, opening up his pants again to give himself some room.
"Yeah, I -- look." John took a breath deep enough to be audible through the phone. "I wasn't trying to be a jerk tonight."
"Just comes naturally, eh?" Rodney asked, tucking his free hand into his pants and putting pressure on his still-present erection. That felt a little better and he settled back to wait for John's response.
"Yeah, some days," John said, and they were both quiet for a moment. "Look, I -- that thing about my parents? I've never actually told anyone that before. I mean, not that it's a big secret or anything, I just -- I never wanted to. You know?"
"It's not really a macho football star thing to talk about at lunch," Rodney offered.
"Or ever," John said. "I, uh, when I said...what I did. Ford? He takes my lunch tray and does all those stupid errands because he wants to be like me. Mitch thinks that hanging around me will help him pick up girls. Ronon just wants someone to follow -- someone who isn't intimidated by him. But Rodney, you gave me a thousand dollars -- that's a lot of money -- to give you all that, and every time I try, you won't take it, and I don't know what you want from me."
"Why do I have to want something from you like it's a great big terrible thing?" Rodney asked. "Maybe I just like hanging out with you."
John was quiet for a minute. "Because you think I'm attractive?" he asked, his voice cracking a little on the last word.
"Yeah," Rodney said, his heart pounding in his throat. This conversation was quickly coming up on the 4th Grade Glue Incident as the most embarrassing situation of Rodney's life. He wasn't about to admit the truth and he couldn't lie for shit, so he went with option three -- mock the stupid person. "Because I have so much patience and goodwill that I let pretty people hang around and look good in my presence.
"Okay, so if you asked my father? He'd probably tell you that sociological studies have indicated that other people are more apt to spend time among other of the same general level of attractiveness or some crap like that." He rolled his eyes at John, who couldn't see him and said, "At least you can do math." He licked his lips, waiting to see if John was going to push the matter and his cock softened against his palm and he slid his hand out of his pants. Possible abject humiliation was never sexy.
He waited a beat, heart sinking. He could almost feel the skepticism over the phone line and he started coming up with backup excuses, promises never to hit on John or stare at his ass, or anything.
"I swear, McKay," John said, his voice lazy again and a little relieved, "you're the only person I know who counts math as a positive personality trait."
"I bet your dad would," Rodney said immediately, just happy to be able to breathe again.
"Theory without application is just a bunch of guys sitting in a room jerking off," John quoted, the origin obvious in his deepened voice and gruff manner. "My dad tells me that all the time," he added at his normal timbre.
"Well, until we actually find a way to build a stable wormhole or the space program gets off its ass and develops a way to observe black hole behavior, all we can do is work with theoreticals," Rodney argued. His dick had twitched when John said 'jerking off' and he bit his lip against the shiver that ran up his shoulders and the back of his neck.
"Exactly," John said smugly. "Maybe instead of guessing how they work, we should be finding ways to make our own."
"Wow, do you have any idea how far away from that we are?" Rodney asked, sliding his hand back down his stomach. His palm felt good on the hollow of his hip and he let his hand rest there. "We're ten times more likely to find data or equipment from a significantly advanced culture and then who will you be calling to tell you how it works?"
"Mechanical engineers!" John said just as Rodney shouted,
There was a beat of silence and then they both started to laugh, John in light, reluctant chuckles and Rodney with an edge of hysteria. He slid his hand around his cock, holding it in a loose grip. He was getting hard again and there really might be something to what John had said.
"Okay, so they might be use- huh."
"What?" John asked immediately. "What are you thinking?"
"I've been concentrating on the theoretical side of my education but think of how much more valuable I'd be if I double-majored in theoretical astrophysics and Mech E...." Rodney idly rubbed his right hand the length of his cock and back up as he pondered the new version of his career plan.
"Rodney?" John growled into the phone as Rodney was accepting his imaginary future Nobel Prize.
Rodney jerked, his hand stuttering as he realized that he was jerking off while talking on the phone to John. He pulled his hand away and pressed it against the outside of his leg. "The idea has merit," he muttered.
"Huh," John said, and Rodney could just picture him kicking out both legs and crossing one over the other. "Looks like I was right after all."
"Gloating is so unattractive on you," Rodney said. "Don't think one little suggestion is going to gain you a mention in my Nobel Prize acceptance speech."
"Geez, McKay, you're breaking my heart," John said. "So what do Nobel Prize winners do before they, you know, actually get the award?"
"Live off grants," Rodney said airily. "Teach. Research. Theorize. Blow things up. I'll probably be recruited by NASA or the CIA, which should save me from having to teach undergrads. You never know, though. I might stop by a class once in a while to impart my wisdom."
"What?" Rodney demanded.
"You aren't even one of those undergrads yet," John pointed out. "Get through the program first."
"Hey, you asked," Rodney replied. "So what about you?"
"So what about me?" John asked.
"What's your big, top secret dream? NFL football player? President of the United States?"
John just made an amused sound. "I just want to fly."
Something fluttered in Rodney's chest when John said that. It was so perfectly content that he felt that maybe he knew everything there was to know about John just in those five words.
"Yeah," John said quietly. "Um, anyway. Are we cool?"
Rodney grinned a little at his ceiling. "You're cool," he said. "I'm -- "
"You're cool," John said. "See you tomorrow?"
"Yeah," Rodney said, breath catching in his throat. "'Night."
"'Night." John hung up and Rodney dropped the phone into its cradle and slid in free hand into his pants alongside his other hand. There wasn't much room and he finally kicked his pants and shorts off.
John's voice still lingered in his ear, soft and rough and lazy. Everything about John turned Rodney on and it was only getting worse as he got to know John better. Now the indolent accent drew out his name, the amazing eyes tracked directly to him, and even the strong, capable hands Rodney had watched in study hall now folded paper airplanes just for him and squeezed around his arm or ruffled his hair.
Rodney closed his eyes and let his hand fall into a natural pace.
That night could have gone so differently, he thought, if John had just been a little more curious. If he'd said, What's it like to be gay? Can you show me? If he'd undone the buttons of his jeans with trembling fingers, until Rodney reached over and helped him.
Rodney was a lot braver in his fantasies.
In his mind, John went starry-eyed when Rodney got a hand on him, grinned when he felt Rodney's mouth. Just like Top Gun, a forty-yard pass, and the right answer to Rodney's hardest physics problem, tied up with a big red ribbon for him.
Rodney would lick around the head first, he decided, brushing his thumb in deliberate circles in just the place. He'd watch John press his teeth into his lower lip and blink down at Rodney, his eyes going glassy and awed.
He had to loosen his hand and slow down for a moment because the more he knew John, the more details his imagination provided, the more real the possibility became.
He could imagine John's scent, the way he smelled after football practice, damp with soap but still a little warm. He'd touched the inside of John's arm and he'd bet John's inner thigh felt the same way, surprisingly smooth and taut skin pulled over bone and muscle. He'd like to lick that skin, see if it would taste any different from the rest of John, rub his cheek against it.
Rodney paused and panted, his hand squeezing rhythmically around his own cock. He could hear the ghost of John's voice, growling his name and wanted to feel John's curved lips against his own and he knew he wasn't going to last any longer. He shivered, trying to slow down but it was too late. There was a moment when the air seemed to hold still and then everything rushed through Rodney, making him shudder and groan. He felt his release spill hot over his hand and blinked away the bright spots of light at the edges of his vision.
He wiped his hand on his boxers and pulled up the covers.
If only John had just been a little more curious.
"So did you get the test back?" Rodney demanded as John walked out of Simmons' classroom.
"Geez, Rodney," John said, shifting his backpack to his other shoulder. "Impatient?"
"I put enough time into teaching you that stuff," Rodney said. "Let me see."
John held out the paper silently and Rodney snatched it away. "Ninety-seven!" he crowed. "I told you I would get you an A in physics! Tell your dad he can pay my fee in enchiladas."
John rolled his eyes. "My dad better not be paying you," he said.
"What's this 'See Me' note for?" Rodney asked, frowning as he flipped through the pages of John's work. "Did you talk to him? Is that why you were so pokey getting out of there?"
"Pokey?" John repeated.
Rodney lowered his arms and turned his face up to John's. "He still thinks you're cheating."
John heaved a sigh. He'd hoped he could deflect Rodney by picking on his odd word choice. "He wants me to come by after school and do a few problems."
"You have practice after school."
"Not if a teacher requests my presence," John sighed. "And then I get to go to practice late."
"You don't get to start if you're late the day before a game," Rodney said and John wondered when he'd picked up on that rule.
"I know," he said. "It'll be fine. Coach'll start Lorne and I'll come in during the second quarter."
"But you didn't cheat!" Rodney argued. "Simmons is a dick!"
"Hey," John said. "I'm not arguing. But I'm not telling him that, either."
"Did you tell him I was tutoring you?"
John shrugged. "Hey, there's Radek," he said, waving a casual hand at the other boy, who nearly tripped over his shoelaces.
"Hey," John said to Radek as they all stopped in front of Rodney's locker. Rodney was still looking at him in accusation, or maybe betrayal.
"Ah, hello," Radek said, still looking a little nervous. "Why is Rodney apoplectic today?"
John glanced over at Rodney who was still glaring at him, and then shrugged at Radek.
"Because this idiot," Rodney supplied, "worked his ass off learning our work with Coulomb's Law and electron fields, and now Simmons thinks he had a crib sheet and is making him skip practice to do extra problems."
"That does not seem fair," Radek said.
"Uh, maybe because it's not," Rodney spat out, finally turning to his locker. "Seriously, and they expect these jackasses to be our role models or something?"
"Well, what do you want me to do about it?" John demanded. He was plenty good at getting around rules and stuff, but he had no idea how to play this one any way but straight.
"Hey," a new voice interrupted. "Mind if I butt in a minute?"
John and Radek raised their eyebrows and glanced at each other as Laura Cadman ducked in between them and Rodney. John offered her an eloquent 'go ahead' shrug.
"Er," said Rodney.
"Hey." Laura offered him a smile. Rodney tentatively returned it, looking as though he fully expected to be skewered and roasted before the next bell rang. "Are you going to the football game tomorrow night?"
"I -- uh -- yeah," Rodney stuttered out and John suddenly felt hot and angry. Of course Rodney was going to be there. He was going to see John -- and the rest of the team -- play. And cheer. Rodney was definitely going to cheer.
"Oh, great," Laura said with a smile. "I'll see you there." She spared a glance at John and Radek as she turned to make her way to the cafeteria. "See you boys later."
John looked at Radek. Radek shrugged. Rodney cleared his throat.
"Well," he said, glancing between John and Radek. "Does anyone know what the cafeteria's serving for lunch? Not that it matters to me, really, since I have -- " He held up his ubiquitous brown paper bag and gestured frantically at it. "Oh, fuck it." His expression collapsed into panic. "What just happened?"
"Why are you still getting college mail?" Rodney asked as John hauled a handful of paper out of his mailbox. The brightly colored leaflets mocked him. "Aren't you going to the Air Force Academy?"
"Yeah," John mumbled, sorting the mail in one hand and trying to unlock the front door with the other. "I still need a nomination."
"But you're in, right?" Rodney pressed. "Someone will nominate you if you're a sure bet."
"Yes, Rodney," John said with a roll of his eyes. "But the other colleges don't know that. They just know that I took the SATs last spring." He dropped one stack of envelopes on the hall table and walked into the kitchen to dump the rest in the trash.
"What did you get?" Rodney asked as casually as he could manage. He'd been dying for an opening to find out how John did on standardized tests, petty as it sounded.
John spared him a glance that let Rodney know he wasn't hiding anything. "Fourteen-seventy," he said. "You?"
John raised an eyebrow expectantly.
"Oh, yes, right," Rodney said, collecting himself. "I got a fifteen-forty, notwithstanding that form of standardized testing is really -- "
"Wait, wait," John interrupted. "You got a fifteen-forty?"
"Yes," Rodney said, feeling shifty and defensive under John's disbelieving gaze.
"A fifteen-forty," John repeated. "What happened to the other sixty points? I would have thought you'd get a perfect score."
Rodney huffed and rolled his eyes. "Well, that would be a reasonable assumption," he snapped. "Unfortunately, I failed to read all the directions for the reading comprehension part -- "
"You didn't read the directions?" John burst out. "For the reading comprehension?"
"Oh, shut up," Rodney sighed. "Do you have any juice?"
"Just the liquid poison you're always screaming about," John said, opening the fridge. "Here, have a Coke. There's Cheese Doodles in the cupboard if you want some. What do you want to play, Missile Command or Space Invaders?"
"Space Invaders," Rodney called as John wandered into the living room. He found the snacks in the pantry, sitting on top of a dozen cans of soup, and was reaching for the soda John had left on the counter for him when the phone rang.
"Hey, can you get that?" John called from the other room.
"What do I look like, your receptionist?" Rodney shouted back, but he put the Cheese Doodles on the counter and picked up the receiver. "Hi, Sheppard household."
"Um. Hi." The voice on the other end of the line was uncertain and female. "This is Elizabeth Weir. I was looking for John...."
"Oh, hold on a minute," Rodney said, his stomach unexpectedly knotting up. This was his competition. This was the girl John had loved -- maybe still loved, even though he was seeing Teyla.
"Who is it?" John asked, appearing in the doorway.
Rodney remembered to cover the speaker with his palm and raised his eyebrows. "It's Elizabeth," he said, holding out the phone.
John's face went blank. "Oh," he said. "Look, can you tell her I'll call her back?"
"Are you sure?" Rodney asked. The other night, John had sounded like Elizabeth was still -- but then Rodney had never been very good at interpersonal relationships so he might as well just go with it.
John nodded and vanished back into the living room.
"Look, it's Rodney McKay. John had me answer the phone because he's a little uh, indisposed. But he'll call you back, okay?"
"Of course, sure, no problem," Elizabeth said, and it really sounded all right. "Thank you, Rodney. It's good to hear you."
"Uh, yes, um. Same to you. I mean, it's good to hear -- er, have a good afternoon," Rodney babbled and then hung up. What was he supposed to say to John's ex anyway? "I told her you were indisposed," Rodney said, taking his soda and the Cheese Doodles into the other room. He put the can on a coaster and sat the bag on the couch between himself and John.
"Great, now she'll think I was in the can," John said, shifting his joystick to the other hand and taking a handful of Cheese Doodles. He nodded at the Atari. "You can go first."
John was still on the bench when Rodney got to the game. Jeannie had pestered him to take her and it wasn't until he'd told his parents that he'd be coming home late -- which started McKay Family Argument #756, what was an acceptable curfew for Rodney; ultimately a moot point because neither parent was willing to stay up late and wait for him -- that he was able to slip out.
Laura Cadman, in her olive green parka, waved to him and he dawdled on the step while he scoped out the situation. Laura was sitting with Jeannette Simpson who was kind of a grumpy bitch at the best of times, and that was before Rodney had made her best friend cry. Still, Katie was nowhere to be seen, and Rodney was smarter than Jeannette, and Laura was not only hot, but waving him up, so Rodney approached with caution, ready to flee if anything explosive looked likely.
"Hi," he said, heart beating against his chest.
"Hi," Laura said, scooting over.
Rodney took the invitation and sat down.
"So do you know why John didn't start?" Jeannette asked, and it was almost pleasant.
"Simmons made him stay after school to do some problems," Rodney told them. "He missed some of practice so he couldn't start."
"Simmons creeps me out," Laura said.
"That's because he's always waiting for you to blow something up," Jeannette said. "Oh, there they go!"
Rodney looked where she was pointing. John was jogging out on the field, fastening the chinstrap of his helmet. He glanced back at Jeannette. He hadn't known she liked John. That explained why she was being nice to him.
On the field, the center snapped the ball and John ran backward, head turning in search of an open receiver. Defensive linemen closed in on him and Ronon blocked at least one and a half of them as John drew his arm back and snapped a hard, high pass to Stackhouse.
"Yeah, Sheppard!" he cheered, having picked up appropriate football stand protocol from Laura during the last game.
"Ooh, look at his shoulders," Jeannette squeaked.
Rodney stared at her. He hadn't known her voice went that high. "You know, they're mostly pads," he said.
Jeannette stared back. "Well, it's not like they're not big enough without them," she said.
Rodney blinked. John did have nice shoulders, strong and rounded from throwing passes, but big, not quite. "I guess that depends on your standards for big," he muttered. Jeannette either didn't hear him or ignored him.
John ran the next play, and would have gone down before reaching the line of scrimmage but for Ronon knocking an opposing to the ground and going after a second.
"Did you see Ronon in that play?" Jeannette sighed as John got tackled and hit the ground hard.
"Ronon?" Rodney burst out.
Jeannette scowled at him. "Yes. Ronon. Who did you think I was talking about?"
"Oh, um." Behind him, Laura was giggling. "How was I supposed to know when the only name out of your mouth was John's? Besides, aren't girls always supposed to like the quarterback best?"
"John?" Jeannette rolled her eyes. "Right, like he'd ever ask me out. Ronon at least talks to me."
Rodney opened his mouth, the words, only because I told him to on the tip of his tongue when Laura cut in.
"Hey, I want some hot chocolate," she said. "Rodney, want to come with me?"
"Sure," Rodney said, even though hot chocolate hadn't even occurred to him and it wasn't that cold. He'd rather spend time with Laura than Jeannette, anyway.
There was a bit of a fuss over the payment. Rodney finally handed over money for all three of them after shoulder checking Laura out of the way. She pushed into his side and then grabbed two of the cups to prevent retaliation.
"Oh, that's cheating," Rodney complained as he followed her back up the stands.
"That's strategic advantage," she countered.
Rodney put up a good argument but Laura held her own until Jeannette poked her in the ribs and aimed a flailing whack at Rodney's arm. He stuck his tongue out at her and settled back to drink his hot chocolate while John threw the ball out of bounds half a dozen times, winged a few wide shots, went down holding the ball once, and still managed to complete enough passes to win the game, especially after he feinted out the defense and ran thirty-seven yards for a touchdown.
Rodney and Laura scrambled down from the bleachers with the rest of the crowd, losing Jeannette to her new Ronon obsession as they made their way out to the parking lot.
Rodney recognized John's voice immediately and stopped short, turning toward the source, and causing two people to trip over him.
"There you are," he said, shouldering his way in toward John, who wasn't lacking for attention.
"Yeah," John said, flashing a completely fake smile at someone and nodding before slipping through a gap in the crowd and stepping a little away from everyone else. "Hey, I was thinking -- hi, Laura," he said with a nod.
Rodney glanced over his shoulder and smiled at Laura, who had somehow kept up with him despite his awkward progress.
"Hey," she greeted John easily.
"Is there a party tonight?" Rodney asked.
John hesitated, glanced at Laura, and then back at Rodney, before nodding. "Yeah, it's at Lorne's house. Did you, um -- " He broke off and straightened. He smiled. "Are you going? Did you drive?"
"I barely got out of the house without Jeannie," Rodney said. "I was hoping to catch a ride with you. Did you bring your car or are you catching a ride with someone?"
"I can give you a lift," Laura said, pulling a set of keys out of her parka and waving them at Rodney.
John raised his eyebrows at Rodney and turned his palms up. He might as well have said, You're on your own, buddy for all the lack of subtlety.
"Well, you should know," Rodney stammered, fixing his gaze on a point over Laura's left shoulder. "There's going to be, you know, alcohol there. And some of the movies they play are kind of, well -- "
"Rodney, I've been to those parties before," Laura said, rolling her eyes at him. "You want a ride, come on."
Rodney glanced at John, who shrugged at him. "You can go now or you can wait for me to shower," he said, tugging at the muddy neckline of his jersey. "I've got the Nova."
Laura dangled her keys.
"I'll see you there," Rodney said hesitantly, trying the words out. He'd knew that he'd rather wait for John, but Laura really seemed interested and John really seemed...straight.
John shrugged. "Cool," he said, smacking Rodney's shoulder and turning back toward the locker room.
"Cool," Laura echoed with a dazzling smile. "Let's go."
John had never been especially fond of the post-game parties but since they were mostly in his honor, he showed up at each one and smiled and thumped people on the back and if he was lucky, the cheerleaders would show up. But his patience that night was limited and he realized that he would much rather be playing Impossible Mission with Rodney or watching a movie and mocking the bad science.
"I am so out of here," he said to himself, words lost in the noisy room, and went to look in the kitchen for Rodney.
The kitchen was empty except for Ford and a couple of guys on second-string raiding the hot wings. Since when was Rodney not where the food was?
"Crap, where'd he go?" John muttered, anxious to get out of there. He was getting claustrophobic. "Ford! Have you seen McKay anywhere?"
Ford had his mouth full, but he managed to grin and point to the living room.
"Great, thanks," John said, walking through the doorway and rolling around the corner. "Hey, look, Rodney -- whoa!"
Rodney and Laura Cadman jumped apart, Rodney snatching his hand out from beneath her shirt.
"Geez, McKay," John said, turning back quickly around the corner and pressing his back against the wall. He tried not to think about how red Rodney's mouth had been, bright and wet with kissing, and he wondered if Rodney had touched Laura's breast and if he'd felt lace or cotton or silky soft skin.
"Sorry!" Rodney called from the living room, voice high and cracked. "Sorry," John heard him saying more softly to Laura, and some ruffling of clothes. "He's my ride tonight let me just -- "
"I can give you a lift home if you want to stay," Laura said and John rolled his eyes.
"Wow, um, yeah, okay, let me just -- "
Rodney appeared around the corner, hair still mussed and mouth flushed but dry. "Ah, hi. Sorry about that," he said, rubbing self-consciously at his mouth. "You were looking for me?"
"Yeah," John said, "and found you!"
Rodney looked indignant. "All right, I admit, the room's not exactly private but we weren't really -- what did you want, anyway?"
John glanced back toward the room and leaned forward to whisper in Rodney's ear, "So are you actually attracted to Laura or is she just Katie Brown, round two?"
Rodney flushed and stuttered and finally bounced forward on his toes and whispered fiercely, "Laura is very hot! I think she just might be the hottest girl in the school, and also, it's none of your business!"
"It's going to be wind up being my business if you send her off crying to the bathroom!" John shot back.
"Oh, like you were the one who had to go in there after her! Since when do you care about my dates?"
"Since you paid me a whole fucking lot of money to care," John gritted out, metaphorical gloves off.
"Fine, what, you want to leave now?" Rodney asked, tilting his chin up. "Go ahead. I'll catch a ride with Laura! And I will be just fine! I will be wonderful! I will be fantastic!" He glanced toward the room behind him and managed to lower his voice to an echoing stage whisper. "And I am going to get all the way to second base, where I would already be if you hadn't just walked in."
"Fine," John said tightly. "I'm going to find Teyla." He raised his eyebrows at Rodney in the most significant expression he could summon.
Rodney went pale and looked like John had punched him. "Oh."
"Yeah." John felt a little punched himself and realized they were fighting over something entirely stupid. So what if Rodney wanted to get a little action? Good for him.
After all, John had seen Rodney's face that night in his bedroom. He knew that Rodney wanted him and John couldn't be jealous for him finding someone else. It wasn't like he could be what Rodney wanted. He reached out and squeezed Rodney's upper arm, feeling the muscle under the thin cotton. "Look," he said. "Good luck. Have fun with Laura, okay?"
"Yeah," Rodney said, nodding. "Have -- fun -- with Teyla." His voice broke on the word 'fun' and John pretended not to hear.
"Thanks," he said and started to turn away, his gut heavy with tension. He wanted to do something to fix this, something to show that he could still hold up his end of the bargain. "Hey," he said, turning back long enough to lean in, the scent of Rodney's shampoo and cologne surprising him as the tip of his nose bumped Rodney's cheek. He grabbed onto the first thing that came to mind. "Girls like it when you go slow. It's a thing."
"Okay," Rodney said, nodding. "Thanks."
"Sure." John gave him one last look and went back downstairs. He was pretty sure he'd heard Teyla say that she was going to be there. It was just a matter of tracking her down.
Luck was with him. Teyla was standing next to the drink table with a couple of her friends. She was talking and holding a drink but that didn't matter. John pushed past several of his teammates, walked right up her, took her face in his hands, and kissed her as hard as he could. She made a helpless noise against his mouth and he heard one of her friends whisper something stupid and giggly to someone else. The rest of the room had gone dead silent. He steered her away from her friends and pushed her up against the nearest wall. "You want to get out of here?" he asked breathlessly when he ran out of air and had to lift his mouth.
"Yes," she said, her voice choked up in her throat as she stared up at him.
"Good." He grabbed her hand and dragged her through the crowded room and up the basement stairs, toward the front door. The racket was back, wolf whistles and 'attaboys' churning the air as his teammates punched at his shoulders and rubbed his head and winked lewdly at Teyla.
"Is everything all right?" she asked as he pulled her outside into the chilly night air, sounds of the party dying behind them.
"Peachy," he said.
"Your face is red," she noted.
His jeans were too tight, too, he knew, but that was because he was going to get some action that night. He thought briefly of Rodney, back in the living room with Laura and wondered if he'd noticed the fuss surrounding their exit except that he didn't want to worry about Rodney anymore. Inside the car, he brushed Teyla's hair back from her face with both hands and kissed her deeply, searching her mouth with his tongue.
He didn't find what he was looking for.
"Come on," he said, drawing back and starting the car. He could feel Teyla's curious gaze on his cheek like a brand as he drove to the local makeout spot. It was fairly empty since most everyone was doing their making out -- or putting their hands up people's shirts, John though viciously -- at Lorne's house. John turned off the engine but left the radio on and pulled Teyla to him.
She made a soft sound as he crushed her mouth to his. Soft sounds weren't enough anymore. He wanted a match, for her to push back, and when he swept his tongue into her mouth, she finally responded, rocking up against him. He pressed closer and wound up with a gear shift in his thigh. He shifted closer to the back of the seat and cupped his hands around her hips. She went to him easily, straddling his lap and rubbing her whole body up against his.
Yeah, he thought wildly. Here we go.
"Maybe," she whispered against his cheek as he sucked his way down her throat, "we should move to the back seat?"
"Great idea," John said, reaching behind him for the release lever to push the front seat down. Teyla grabbed his arm and twisted and suddenly John found himself flat on his back with his wrists pinned above his head, jammed against the door. "Uh." He lifted his head as best he could and looked at Teyla, who did not look amused. "Are we playing a game?"
"Funny," she said with no humor in her voice. "I was going to ask you that very thing."
John raised his eyebrows and gave her his best hangdog expression.
"You have not called me in two weeks and you have barely spoken to me since last Saturday," she said. "You have cut lunch or left early all week and you did not even mention this party to me and now you want to act like -- " She leaned down and the tips of her breasts brushed against his chest. " -- we are closer than we have been."
"Aw, Teyla, I'm sorry," he said. "I had a big test this week -- Rodney was giving me a hand studying -- and Simmons kept me after school yesterday. It's just been one of those weeks. I swear, I'll make it up to you." Even as he said it, he realized that he probably wouldn't. "Look, these parties are just beer and porn anyway. I didn't think you'd be interested. It got Rodney in trouble before and -- "
"Which is another thing," Teyla interrupted, settling herself more heavily on John's hips and -- yeah, there -- and squeezing his wrists more tightly. "I understand that Rodney is your friend and that you are attempting to keep your thicker-skulled teammates from flushing his head in the lavatory, but is it really necessary for him to trail you around everywhere?"
"Yes," John said. "It is."
Teyla's finely arched eyebrows went up, almost to her hairline. "All right," she said, releasing his wrists.
John slumped back and realized how harsh he'd sounded. "Look, Teyla -- "
"No," she said. "I understand. I should not have presumed."
John sighed and closed his eyes. He was tired and he remembered the horrible look on Rodney's face when John had said he was going off with Teyla. He hoped Rodney had his hand on Laura Cadman's breast. He hoped he'd gotten her bra off and that he'd managed to kiss his way down her stomach and maybe curl his fingers inside her panties.
Because someone deserved to have a better night than him.
Then he felt Teyla's lips on his, very soft and gentle, and then he felt her kiss both his cheeks and his chin and between his eyes.
"I'm not going to be the guy you want me to be," he said quietly, lifting his hands to run lightly up her sides.
"Shh," she whispered back and then he felt, rather than heard her, "I know," against his skin. Any other girl would have stopped, would have huddled against the door with her arms crossed over her chest. But not Teyla, and maybe he hadn't given her the credit she was due.
He ran his hands up her back, feeling warm skin under his palms and buried his fingers in her hair. She felt tiny and lithe in his grasp and he wished she were heavier as she shifted against him. He dragged both hands down her sides and spread his fingers wide, stroking the outer swells of her breasts with his thumbs. She pushed against him and he moved his hands to sweep across her nipples. They were larger than Elizabeth's had been and he'd only touched them once before -- at the party where he was taking shots out of her cleavage and thinking how hot it would be if she let him and Rodney both lick sugar and vodka off her body. He shuddered a little at the memory, wishing Rodney was there with them. He'd been half-hard before but that idea made him hot and heavy, eager and a little breathless with the danger of the idea. Rodney would absolutely go for a threesome. He liked guys and he'd be okay with John -- with John --
John gasped, opening his eyes and blinking at the roof of the car. The tan felt ceiling stared back, the same as it always was.
"What is it?" Teyla asked, lifting her head from his neck and tucking her hair behind one ear.
"Nothing," he said. "Keep doing what you're doing."
He tugged her shirt open and got one of those nipples into his mouth. She gave a hitching little whimper and he let his other hand slide up under her mini-skirt and traced two fingers under the edge of her underwear. Her hips pushed against his, urgent and rhythmic. He dragged his fingers along the warm crease of her leg and slid them into her panties to stroke across the spot he knew would make her buck against him. It worked and she bit lightly at his jaw as he slid his fingers deep inside.
She braced herself on one hand and lifted up, pressing her free hand against him. He moved his hand from her breast to his pants and undid the row of buttons. Her hand moved inside, pushing his boxers aside and wrapping her fingers around him. He gasped and arched into her grasp.
He curled his fingers inside her and she worked him hard and quick as they both raced for the end. He made her come first, but when she tightened around his fingers, he lost control and came all over her hand.
It took him longer than usual to catch his breath and when he sat up, he found her cleaning her hand with tissues from the box his father always kept in the car. He put his fingers in his mouth and tasted her but it wasn't as hot as he thought it should be.
"I should get home," she said, tucking her skirt primly around her and licking her bottom lip where she'd bitten it earlier.
"Okay," John said, buttoning his jeans up and wiping his damp fingers on the pantsleg. He turned the engine over and leaned over to kiss Teyla's shoulder. "I'm sorry," he whispered.
"I know," she said.
He felt...sated, but not satisfied. He wanted to go home and jerk off before going to bed and maybe Rodney would still be up and want to play a round of -- Rodney was probably still with Laura, John realized with a flash of frustration that made him want to smack his hand against the steering wheel.
He drove Teyla home and leaned in to kiss her mouth at the door. She turned her cheek to him instead and he knew then that he wouldn't be calling her again.