Everything Changes

~1600 words :: Stargate: Atlantis :: John/Rodney :: 2/15/11
When Rodney thought about kissing, it always involved things like soft breasts and flowery perfume, and definitely not John Sheppard and a slightly-used issue of Playboy John had snagged from his brother’s (not so secret) stash.


Rodney’s first kiss happened when he was fifteen. His first real kiss, anyway, the first one that didn’t involve Mom or Grandma or Great Aunt Evelyn, whose perfume always left Rodney sneezing for hours afterwards.

He’d thought a lot about kissing before that. Like, really a lot. It generally involved Cassiopeia from Battlestar Galactica, or Jaime Sommers. And sometimes Princess Leia (dressed in the gold bikini, not the bounty hunter gear) was really enthusiastic after thawing him from the carbonite. Once in a while it was his old babysitter Erin (who still came over every once in a while to watch Jeannie), or Sandy from across the street, who never wore a bra even though you could totally see her nipples through those thin sweaters she liked. And then there was that one substitute teacher they’d had for the last half of grade eight when Mrs. Murphy was out on maternity leave.

When he thought about kissing, it always involved things like soft breasts and flowery perfume, and definitely not John Sheppard and a slightly-used issue of Playboy John had snagged from his brother’s (not so secret) stash.

It was pretty safe to say the thought of kissing John had never crossed Rodney’s mind. John had worse acne than Rodney, hair that looked like it had never met a brush, and on that particular day, Jos. Louis crumbs on his lips and fingers. And unlike most of Rodney’s crushes, he wasn’t blond, not to mention distinctly lacking in the breast department.

They were supposed to be brainstorming for their science project, but Rodney’s mom was out running errands and Jeannie was at a friend’s house, so it seemed like the perfect chance to get out the Playboy. It wasn’t the first time. John had smuggled it over last summer, but even though Rodney pretty much had it memorized by now, he still got a boner just pulling it out from its hiding place under the stack of old Popular Science and Scientific American issues in the back of the closet.

Anyway, there wasn’t anything weird about looking at Playboy with another guy, even if you got a boner and your hand ended up in your pants. That was, like, a rule or something. They were looking at girls, after all. And they were both fully dressed.

Rodney’s eyes were firmly on the page and his mind was filled with thoughts of Miss February’s D-cups and how he’d maybe like to titty-fuck her (the words alone were enough to make his dick jump in his hand), when suddenly John was grabbing the front of his shirt and kissing him.

Rodney opened his mouth in surprise and John thrust his tongue in, and still half in his fantasy of titty-fucking Miss February (who now tasted chocolatey, something which Rodney didn’t find objectionable in the least), Rodney came in his pants.

If the squeaky moan was an indication, John did, too, though he kept kissing Rodney. And to be honest, Rodney was kissing him back by that point. It wasn’t bad at all, though it was getting harder and harder to pretend it was Miss February. Miss February almost certainly didn’t have patchy stubble.

When John finally sat back, his mouth was open and his cheeks were red and he definitely looked like someone who’d had sex. Sex with Rodney. Though Rodney wasn’t sure if it counted if they hadn’t touched each other’s dicks.

They wiped their hands off on napkins and zipped up their jeans and the whole time, all Rodney could think of was that he’d kissed another guy. He stuffed the Playboy back under the bed and scrambled to his feet.

“I’ll just, uh… Coke! Do you want another Coke? ‘Cause I’m pretty thirsty and I think there are enough cans in the fridge that my mom wouldn’t notice if we had two, and if she does, I can always tell her Jeannie drank them and–”

“I wanted to tell you,” John said suddenly, and Rodney stopped, door half-open already, and turned back to look at him. “For a long time, I mean. I was just worried you might…” He trailed off, shrugging.

Rodney blinked. He replayed the sentence again in his head and no, it still seemed to be missing some important pieces that would make it actually make sense. “Tell me what?”

“You know…” John stared down at the floor, twisting the hem of his t-shirt into a knot and chewing his lip. “That I like you.”

“Well, I should hope so, we’ve been friends for ten years.” Rodney frowned, still feeling as if they were having two different conversations, and it was only when John grabbed his hand and kissed him again that it all suddenly made sense. “Oh,” he said, trying not to wonder whether John’s hand was sticky from snack cakes or something else. “Right, yeah. Is that my mom? I think I heard her car in the driveway.”

He extricated his hand from John’s and wiped it on his jeans. A few minutes passed and the front door didn’t open. John said, “Must’ve been the neighbors.”

“Yeah.”

They went down to the kitchen and Rodney got a couple more Cokes out of the fridge and set them on the table, then carefully rearranged the remaining cans and pushed a jug of apple juice and a head of lettuce in front of them so it wasn’t so obvious there were only two. He could hear John behind him, the crack of the can opening and the fizz of the Coke. He moved a few more things from another shelf and stacked them in front of the lettuce, but then decided that much rearranging was even more suspicious and moved them all back. He had a boner.

“Rodney.”

“I know, I know,” Rodney said. “I’m being paranoid.”

He switched around the apple juice and the lettuce. The boner wasn’t going away.

“Rodney, I…”

He straightened up and turned around and pushed John up against the counter. John said oh and his empty Coke can clattered to the floor. It took what felt like forever to get both of their jeans undone, but it was worth it to have John’s dick rubbing against his. Rodney wasn’t thinking about Miss February this time, or about Erin or Princess Leia or anyone else. He had John’s tongue in his mouth and John’s dick in his hand and John’s skinny flat chest pressed against his.

It was over in a few minutes. Rodney washed his hands and wiped Coke off the floor while John washed his. He was still crouched down when John said, “My mom’s cancer is back.” His voice sounded weird. “We’re…there’s a specialist in Chicago. It’s too far to be going back and forth all the time and she can’t. She can’t be alone there. Someone has to be with her.”

He paused then, like he was waiting for Rodney to say something. Rodney threw the Coke can and the paper towels in the trash and tried to think of something to say that wasn’t stupid, but all he could come up with was, “Oh.”

“My dad is…he won’t even consider it. He could get another job if he wanted, but he won’t leave, and Dave just started college, so that leaves me.”

“Oh,” Rodney said again, and then, “It’s the middle of the school year.”

“I know.”

“When are you leaving?”

John shrugged. “I dunno. Soon as we get everything packed up, I guess. We already, my aunt rented us a place.”

Rodney knew better than to ask how long.

“I should probably go. Finish packing and stuff.”

John ran back upstairs for his backpack and Rodney opened the other Coke. It wasn’t that cold anymore. He wondered if John would take the Playboy with him.

When John came back down, there was an awkward moment when he thought John was going to kiss him again. He wouldn’t have minded, but John just said, “Well, see ya.”

“See ya.”

He walked John to the front door and watched him get on his bike. He stayed there until after John was down the street and around the corner, and then he went back up to his room.

The Playboy was still on the floor.

“Fuck you,” he said to Miss February. To John. He picked up the Playboy and said fuck you again louder and ripped it in half. He tore all the pages out and crumpled each one into a ball and said fuck you, fuck you, fuck you until his wastebasket was full of crumpled magazine pages.

Crumpled magazine pages he really didn’t want his mom getting curious about when she saw them in there, so he took the wastebasket downstairs and dumped everything in the trash outside. He didn’t say anything then, but he did kick the trashcan before he went back inside.

He went up to his room and threw himself down on the bed, and when his mom finally did come home, that’s where she found him. He didn’t even get up for dinner, which was enough to convince her he was telling the truth the next morning when he said he didn’t feel well.

He had no such luck the day after, but there was no awkwardness at school. There was no John.