Sheppard's Hand

by dossier

Notes & Warnings

Sheppard says he's forgiven him. He knows that Sheppard has seen the psych, they still do—but there was a thing.

Rodney's fairly certain he knows what the thing is; Sheppard's been staring at his hand for weeks, Sheppard's hand that lives on the end of Rodney arm.

It wasn't the ATA, that's in the blood and eventually the hands had become suffused enough that they worked after a fashion, and it isn't unusual to see Sheppard lick his palm (those palms) before the laying on of hands.

Rodney makes sure that someone cleans the consoles and jumpers after Sheppard uses them. He gets it, he does, he just doesn't want the germs, but it is difficult to watch. So innocent and so loaded with meaning and connotation, it is exactly the same thing that he does before he takes his cock in hand.

But not with Sheppard's hand.

No, he's ambidextrous enough that switching hands, changing the habits of a lifetime, to stroke himself off with his left hand works well enough. Sheppard's hand is always tucked away, under a blanket, a pillow, a thigh; but recently it had begun to creep out from underneath and lay on his thigh, his stomach. Never doing more than that—just touching. No matter what the psych said, possession is nine tenths of the law, a bird in the hand, but the hand would always be Sheppard's.

Sheppard had forgiven him, for him having the hand, the eye. Sheppard had regained his balance, and the missing limb syndrome, the legs, the hand that hadn't come home. He'd learned to cope with the lack of ATA in the hands, but there is still an... air about Sheppard.

Every one cuts Sheppard some slack for it. It's obvious that he's depressed, Jesus who wouldn't be? But lately, the gaze upon Sheppard's hand had taken on another quality. Is it longing? Is that it? That has to be it.

He knows it's screwed up, but what hadn't been screwed up for the last year? He still flinches when Sheppard's hand catches his eye. Sheppard's eye. He learned to shave entirely by touch in the shower, he drags the comb over his head in the bedroom, through what was left of his receding hairline, who fucking cares about the widening bays, the isthmus of hair that thrust out toward the vast, shiny forehead.

Sheppard covers it up pretty well, but there is an air, and it is misery. Rodney knows this intimately, has been his bosom buddy, his life companion, partners in everything from cradle to probably the grave.

Rodney puts this together, he's a genius, but this is the icky, sticky soft sciences, though he's gotten better, he has. The sign only means one thing. John doesn't have the choice, and Rodney gets it—he himself goes far out of his way to avoid touching himself with Sheppard's hand.

But what to do? How do you walk up to your best friend, the man that had literally given you human body parts, albeit unwittingly, involuntarily, but still had forgiven him, and talk about the hand?

How do you broach the subject? Rodney isn't particularly worried about the hidebound American Military; they had been, for all intents and purposes, permanently exiled to Atlantis, forever and ever after, amen. He isn't particularly concerned that Sheppard would do him physical harm, for if Sheppard had wanted to hurt him, there had been plenty of provocations in the recent past.

No, he's more concerned about the fragile, fragile relationship. They could now look at one another, even if the eyes never met, they could work together, and the team was still there, after years of horrible events, the team is still there, they are still here.

It's strange, to sit next to Sheppard on the couch to watch a movie, and he's no taller than he'd ever been, but now, when he stands up, he looms over Rodney. He'd always had a slight disadvantage in height, but those two, new, inches, makes it even worse.

Rodney snaps his fingers, Sheppard's fingers. Yeah.

~*~

Rodney makes sure to sit at Sheppard—John's left, so that Sheppard's hand is next to him, a few chaste inches between them. It is a slow migration, closing the gap, until they're pressed together, thigh to thigh, John looks towards him, a glance out of the corner of his eye, and Rodney doesn't look back at him, just smiles.

John smiles back.

~*~

The next time, Teyla begs off to spend time with Torren and Kanaan, and Ronon stays behind in the infirmary with Jennifer, and Rodney doesn't even pretend the innocent gap, just slides right down next to John, close, close, the heat from those legs, and faint grin on John's face already in place. The movie is one they've seen before, it's been a hard week, and they need the mindless ease of watching an old favorite.

The room is lit by the glow of the screen in front, and the double moons behind, and Rodney should have been exhausted, is exhausted, but the proximity to John has him awake and thrumming, because he's going to do this, and it would be all right.

There is nothing innocent in the way that Rodney slips his hand onto John's (not) thigh. He pauses there, his fingertips barely stroking the over-washed, faded denim, and he keeps his eyes trained on the screen, but the short, sharp nod in his peripheral vision, John's eyes always sought him out, gives him permission.

It wasn't the legs, they weren't—to linger on them would be making love to that which is not his, and so he lets his fingers trail up the inseam, to the warmth of John's crotch, the place where he begins again. It's awkward, there are elbows in ribs, and John gasps then chuckles. He's still soft, but the evidence is there, when John slouches down even further, to make it easier. It would be all right.

Rodney leans over, puts his lips against the delicate pointed shell of John's ear, and breathes, "I want to— I want to give you your hand."

John makes a soft sound, a moan, "Yes," and tips his head down to lean it against Rodney's.

Rodney executes a maneuver with a limberness that Teyla would've approved of, and John is sitting between his legs, head leaned back on his chest. "Have you, you know, since?"

John shakes his head, "No," he whispers.

"Really?" Rodney might have squeaked; he'd suspected, he'd guessed, but to hear it confirmed, is kind of shocking.

"Too weird."

"Yeah."

The credits begin to roll, and Rodney carefully unbuttons John's fly, all the way down, pulls John's still soft cock out through the placket of his boxers with his hand. "Is this okay, I mean, are you?"

"It's fine, I just, I've spent a lot of time this last year not thinking about it." John spread his legs apart, as far as they will go with Rodney's thighs bracketing him.

"Ah, sublimation, the catholic clergy's best friend." He carefully doesn't touch John with his own, left hand, that's not what this is about, maybe later, but now, this is about John and his cock and his hand that Rodney happened to have custody of, and reuniting the three of them. He holds up John's hand, and nods and John licks his palm, just like he'd seen John do every day for a year.

And then John takes his hand and brings it down between his legs. Rodney lets John gauge the grip, and takes the breathy instructions, with John's (not) hand clasped around Sheppard's hand, they stroke together. John's cock is long and slender and cut, and he's far rougher with himself than Rodney would ever be, long, even pulls to the top with a little half twist at the top, thumb over the wide flare.

John begins to sweat, his back hot against Rodney's front, and Rodney's nose drops forward, just behind John's ear, the sweet smell of sweat, and shampoo, and he can't see John's face, but he hears the fast pants, and the drumming of John's heart against his, as their hands speed up, and finally, finally John's hips stutter once twice, and he's coming, coming, all over his hand.

Rodney is uncomfortably hard, and John's heavy, lean body slumped against him doesn't make it any easier, but he eases up sooner than Rodney would have liked, and disappears into the bathroom with a clean shirt, reappears a few minutes later, hands washed and all tucked away.

He takes his own turn in Sheppard's bath, washes his hands and looks squarely in the mirror.

It isn't the same as jacking off, the severed nerves belong to Rodney's ganglia now, but it is as close Sheppard is ever going to get to his own right hand.

 

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Notes

Fandom: Stargate: Atlantis

Category/Rated: slash, M

Year/Length: 2008, ~1490 words

Pairing: McKay/Sheppard

Spoilers: Uhm not of canon....

Disclaimer: Not mine, no profit, only having fun.

Warning: Vaguely creepy.

Summary: Rodney has custody of Sheppard's hand.

Series: based on Patchwork, by Auburn, read that first.

Beta: [F7]

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