From Tiny Acorns...
Summary: Snapshots of Rodney and John's relationship, stage by stage
Notes: Written for the lj community stagesoflove 2006, round one - Five Stages of Love [Attraction, Romance, Passion, Intimacy and Commitment]
Rodney fell in lust with Sheppard's genes before anything else. The moment that flyboy's ass lit up the chair he fell head over heels. The insane hair and elvish ears and too pretty face only added to the overall appeal. Still, Rodney might have been safe but for that smile.
John Sheppard decided he kinda liked McKay when the scientist refused to be put off by, well, anything. He'd bounce and poke, demand and wheedle, long into the night until he got exactly what he wanted. John admired that.
Of course, he also admired that heart-shaped ass and crooked mouth.
It was probably the most romantic gesture Rodney ever made, though of course he didn't realise at the time.
He wasn't given to grand displays or wild, effusive compliments. He didn't buy flowers because they made him sneeze. Chocolates were more likely to be snacked on absentmindedly than offered with a flourish and a bow.
He didn't remember anniversaries or other dates of note unless somebody put them in his planner, and reminded him.
It took six months and one late night epiphany for Rodney to recognise his words for what they were.
"You could throw me off the balcony."
When Rodney said, "Follow me, Major," John Sheppard followed, and not just for a great view of that ass, though that was always good. He followed because Rodney had the toy cupboard keys and looked like he was going to let John play with something extra fun.
He wasn't wrong.
A hangar full of toys that flew and disappeared on cue. Toys that heard his thoughts and answered eagerly with gadgets, with guns and brightly lit heads-up displays.
It was the most amazing gift John had ever got and Rodney didn't even wait for thanks.
John planned to fix that.
Rodney's passion is for knowledge and discovery. The more he knows, the more he needs to know - it's an addiction.
An answer never truly satisfies him when he can see the questions piling up behind it. Why? What? Where? When? What can I do with it? How will it react if I do this?
He can't stand back and let the others do the work, he has to be there, elbows-deep, hands-on and in the midst of it.
He's like that in bed too, hungering for knowledge and discovery, with grabby hands.
A trailing finger at the back of one knee sends John into convulsions of giggles. Rodney makes a mental note in bright green and moves on to the next patch of skin.
The application of the slightest bit of pressure to John's throat makes him twitch to get away. That mental note is underlined in red, with an addendum to reread John's sealed records.
Rodney throws his whole body into what he does, hands and lips and teeth - John's skin's elastic in the bestest ways - and ears and eyes that catalogue every sound and movement.
Within a month, he knows John's body, in and out, can read him in one glance across a room. John's not entirely sure that he's okay with that but the cold alternative fills him with gloom.
He'll adapt, that's what he does. Rodney's passion is worth it.
John's passions encompass flying and math, and he thinks he loves the math because it lets him do the flying thing.
He loves the angles, the vectors, the streamlined planes, the speed, the rush, the vastness of it all.
The day he stepped inside that first puddlejumper was the day he knew he'd found the lost extension of his soul.
He didn't realise until later that what he'd really found was Rodney.
John sits in briefings sometimes and doodles Rodney-math. He calculates the angle of the slope of Rodney's mouth and what would happen if a gentle, teasing pressure was applied. He maps the curve of Rodney's ass beneath his uniform, the gently rolling hill of Rodney's belly.
Rodney-math will take him years to figure out - the sum of parts does not equal the whole, not even close. The planes and angles come together, move apart. They shift like plate tectonics under Rodney's liquid surface, showing fragments of the most obscure equations.
One day, he thinks, he'll figure it out - plot Rodney on a nine dimensional graph for all to see. But then he knows he won't, because if they could see, they'd want to learn to fly the way he does when he's with Rodney.
Physically, the intimacy was there almost from the start, though usually neither of them was the touchy-feely type.
When John was sitting in the chair in Antarctica, following Rodney's - think this, think that - orders, or trying to, Rodney's hand would brush John's shoulder, his wrist, or knee or ankle, as he bounced around collating all available data.
When Rodney spent too many hours hunched over notes and keyboard, muttering to himself, mainlining coffee, chewing power bars, John would wander in bearing apple juice and sandwiches, and he'd nudge and lean and poke until he'd grabbed McKay's attention.
The more time they spent together, the more intimate they became. They shared their secrets and their dreams between the bouts of terror.
Their first kisses were compared in their first prison cell; first blowjobs were discussed in their second. By the end of the third month, they'd talked their way through most positions and had made a shock discovery or two about each other.
The first time they shared a blanket while awaiting rescue, Rodney faded out on John's left shoulder. His dreaming fingers practiced chords, scales and arpeggios on John's upper thigh and lower back. John didn't sleep.
The first time Rodney held John's head in his lap, pressing down to staunch the flow of blood from two deep shoulder wounds, he made John tell him why he loved to fly so much.
Rodney wasn't expecting John to talk in terms of sex, of heart-pounding desire, the reckless freefall of orgasm. He certainly wasn't expecting the cock/stick comparison, not when the cock John was describing wasn't his own.
John nuzzled into Rodney's swelling groin and chuckled softly - Rodney blamed the blood loss.
"Dammit, Rodney, you certainly pick the damnedest times. I haven't got the strength right now to fly you. Sorry."
The words came out soft and fuzzy around the edges, and before Rodney even had the chance to formulate a response, John was snoring softly in his lap. But that was fine, that was A-OK, because Rodney knew they understood each other.
For obvious reasons they couldn't exchange rings and Rodney refused John's sly suggestion of matching tattoos, no matter how well hidden they might be.
Instead, John 'lost' his dog tags at the earliest opportunity and requisitioned a new set via the Daedalus. Rodney wore a proud little smirk for weeks after, twitching a little very time they moved and caught him unaware.
Rodney thought long and hard about how to show his own commitment and settled on a simple, replaceable symbol of his love and trust.
Each time Carson replaced Rodney's pair of EpiPens, he handed one over to John.