blue flamingos

Tied Up, Sticking Around

Fandom: Stargate Atlantis

Category/Rated: Slash/ NC-17

Year/Length: 2007/ ~12500 words

Pairing: McKay/Lorne

Spoilers: None

Disclaimer: No, I don't own them, for which I should think they're profoundly grateful.

Summary: Things don't exactly work out how he was expecting when Rodney gets dragged to an art exhibition (Earth-based AU)

Author's Notes: Thanks to my wonderful beta, for doing a wonderful job on this in a very few days.

Feedback: Yes please. Even if it's bad. Especially if it's bad.


"Rodney," John said in a tone that even Rodney recognized meant he'd pretty much hit the limits of his patience. "Please bear in mind that I say this with all available whatever, but if you don't get your ass moving, I will shoot you in the leg and leave you on this street to bleed to death. Slowly."

"Would that mean I wouldn't have to keep wearing this thing?" Rodney asked, tugging at his bow-tie in the reflective store window. There were, he'd found, many men who could dress in a tux and a bow-tie and look good. Unfortunately, he was one of the few who looked like they were being slowly strangled. It didn't help that his best friend looked easily twice as hot as he'd ever hope to look, and probably more so to the eye of anyone who hadn't realized after one disastrous date that they'd be much better off as friends. "Also, 'all available whatever'? Like it'd kill you to actually express a feeling? What happened to the season of goodwill?"

"Leave that damn thing alone, or I'll express a whole lot of feelings about exactly what happens to people who can't accept that something looks perfectly fine!" He reached up and slapped Rodney's hands sharply away from the tie, then completely belied his own words by untying and retying the thing.

"I don't see why you're dragging me along to this anyway," Rodney grumbled. It wasn't like he didn't have a stack of articles to review (for values of review that included explaining in no uncertain terms why their authors should have considered careers in the soft sciences if that was the best physics they could come up with), which he could do on his couch, in his warm apartment, while wearing sweatpants and drinking the expensive imported beer John had brought as a thanks-for-letting-me-crash-here-while-I-psyche-myself-up-for-Christmas-with-my-brother present.

"Because," John said, avoiding Rodney's eye and tugging the tie into place a little more firmly than Rodney thought was strictly necessary, "Evan's my friend, and I promised I'd go, and it wouldn't kill you to go to something social more than twice a year. Plus," he added, giving Rodney the sly grin that always came before a bad joke – a decade of friendship made a person very predictable, "It's Christmas."

"It's actually still nearly a week till Christmas, which isn't even a holiday that either of us likes, and if you think that's going to make me any more likely to –"

John held up both hands like he could physically block Rodney's voice from reaching him. "Tell me what I need to do to make you come to this thing without complaining, and be at least moderately polite to Evan while we're there."

Rodney paused, giving the question serious thought. What did he want from John that might make the experience bearable? Other than possibly for Jeannie to cancel her Christmas vacation at an overly pricey ski resort so Rodney wouldn't have to spend the holiday on his own (having refused John's not-all-that-selfless offer to cancel on his brother)... "I want a cat for Christmas," he said, pleased when John blinked in obvious surprise.

"A cat?"

"Yes. Small, furry, independent but happy to sit on your lap, never answer back... a cat."

"For Christmas?"

"Again, yes. Which, as I just mentioned, is still nearly a week away, giving you ample time to get your hands on a feline."

"And if I promise this, you'll behave at the thing? And be polite to Evan? Maybe even wait until you've met him before deciding he's as unworthy of your time as everyone else you know?"

"I will put the kind of effort into being polite to your friend that I put into being polite to people with a lot of money that they ought to be giving to me for my research," Rodney promised solemnly, trusting that John would understand exactly how much effort that really was. "Though, I'm getting a little curious about this guy now. It's not like you usually care how I treat your friends. What, is he an ex who broke your heart? The new love of your life?"

John glared at Rodney over his shoulder and started walking, forcing Rodney to do a quick jog to catch him up. "Yeah, Rodney, he's secretly the love of my life who I've never mentioned to you despite speaking to you nearly every week since we graduated college."

"There's no need to be like that, I was just showing some concern." They walked a few feet in silence, but Rodney could feel John waiting for him to ask. "Seriously – why are you so set on me meeting this guy?"

John grinned the little private grin he used when he knew something good that he wasn't quite ready to share. "You'll see," he said, and Rodney seriously contemplated whether he couldn't put up with an empty house for Christmas after all.


Evan knew, intellectually, that there was no reason for him to be so nervous – there wasn't even any chance of being shot at, unless one of the invited guests *really* disliked the art work – but that didn't actually do anything for the unpleasant sick feeling in the pit of his stomach. At least Laura'd learned her lesson when it came to plying him with alcohol to help him relax (don't), though that didn't stop her from circulating back into his orbit every time he managed to get away from another guest who wanted to tell him how brilliant and talented he was.

"Evan, how's it going?" Wearing a long green dress with a slit that was barely legal, she was attracting more attention than most of the pictures, though in fairness, she was using it to talk people into buying things they almost certainly wouldn't have bought otherwise. Like six of Evan's twelve paintings, though that might have had more to do with her wanting her spare room back than any altruistic desire to help his career.

"Fantastic," he said with as much fake-sincerity as he could manage. "Can't think what else I'd rather be doing with my Friday night."

"Poor baby," Laura said with a laugh. "It must be such a hardship to stand here looking pretty while people tell you how amazing they think you are. Thank God I don't have to suffer through this terrible experience."

"Right, and you're absolutely hating having half the people here hit on you while telling you how impressed they are with the success of the gallery since you took it over." Not that they didn't have a point.

Laura shrugged modestly and sipped her champagne, surveying the crowd. Evan would admit, under duress, that, as gallery events went, in his fairly wide ranging experience, it actually wasn't too bad: most of the guests seemed genuine in their praise, and a fair number of them were friends of the various artists and thus actually rooted in the real world. Either that or he'd had too much Christmas cheer and goodwill.

"You wouldn't like to do me a favor would you?" he asked Laura.

"Not particularly, but don't let that stop you asking."

"I saw Sheppard come in nearly an hour ago, but I keep getting accosted by your guests when I try to find him. Could you track him down and tell him I'm in the blue room?"

"I thought you said he was just a friend," Laura said, raising an eyebrow.

Evan rolled his eyes in return. "It's either there or your office if I want five minutes in peace. I haven't seen him in a year. And I won't now either unless you help me out and go get him."

"What, using my psychic powers to determine what he looks like?"

"Because that wasn't you I saw hanging off his arm thirty seconds after he walked in the door?" Evan asked dryly, and Laura shrugged. "Do me this one favor and I'll make nice with the dean of the art school for at least half an hour."

Laura tilted her head to one side, considering, then nodded. "Forty-five minutes and it's a deal. And you talk her into buying something for her new office."

Dean Weir didn't buy anything without giving it at least a month's consideration, but Evan figured the effort would count for something. "Deal."

They shook on it, and Laura ran a hand through her hair, resettling it across her bare shoulders. "Back into the throng. The things I do for you."

"I'm humbled by your selfless generosity," Evan told her retreating back, and fled before anyone could notice he was alone and corner him again.

The blue room was theoretically closed off for the duration of the reception, but Evan wasn't surprised to see a shadow in the far corner when he ducked through the curtain. It had been one of Laura's new additions to the gallery when she'd taken over, housing a different controversial or splashy exhibition every few months, each one guaranteed to draw publicity for the gallery. The current series of photographs was no exception: between the complaints that they were borderline pornographic, even though they mostly didn't show any skin that wouldn't be on display in the swimming pool, and the complaints that they showed what the papers liked to refer to as "deviant material", they'd had enough publicity to keep the gallery in business just from curious newspaper readers, even without allowing for the subjects being in more positions with more toys and restraints and props than Evan would have thought any one photographer could dream up.

It was his favorite of Laura's exhibits so far.

"You're not supposed to be in here," he said.

The shadow started and turned, resolving into a guy who couldn't be much older than Sheppard despite his already receding hair, his bow tie loosened and his hands in his pockets, looking more flustered than could really be accounted for by Evan's surprise appearance.

Evan smiled, knowing the guy wouldn't be able to see it with the light behind him – plenty of people came to look at the photos, and plenty of them got as much if not more than they'd bargained for, but there was a certain kind of flustered that only came from people who were picking out the things they'd done.

"Yes, I know, but really, if she doesn't want people wandering around her gallery, there's a reason locks were invented. And doors, for that matter." He waved at the blue brocade curtain. "Anyway, you're hardly one to talk, since you're not supposed to be in here any more than I am."

Evan tried to remember if he'd seen the guy with anyone and couldn't, though he was pretty sure he'd have remembered him: there weren't many guys at the reception who looked that good in their tuxes, even fewer who looked that good with the top buttons of their shirts open, showing a hint of skin... "I know the director," he said, taking a couple of steps into the room, which was small enough that the steps brought him close enough to touch the man. If he wanted to.

"How nice that must be for you. I suppose you were dragged along to this thing the same as me, a mistake that I won't be making again." The determined tilt of his head was kind of hot, if Evan ignored the tone of voice, and he was almost tempted to let the guy keep going.

Letting him inadvertently insult Evan, though, which seemed pretty much inevitable at this point, probably wouldn't be the best lead up to trying to find out if he was single, so he offered up his most charming smile. "Actually, I would have been here anyway. Some of my paintings are being exhibited in the main hall."

The guy had the grace to flush, though he didn't look as ashamed as Evan would have expected. "I'm sure they're lovely. I'm not a big fan of art, to be honest. Too – subjective for my tastes."

"Subjective." That was probably the nicest insult Evan had ever heard about what he did, though that wasn't saying much – there wasn't much of a market for fantasy cityscapes. "But not these?"

The guy looked up at the photo of a gagged and blindfolded woman arching back into the man behind her, his arm disappearing out of the shot, though its destination was obvious. "They're not exactly what I think of when I think of art."

Him and everyone else. "Okay, well, in the interests of full disclosure, I should probably mention that I know the guy who took these as well."

"Please tell me it's not you," the guy said, but his eyes when he turned to Evan were lit with interest. "Because, honestly, I promised my friend I'd be polite at this thing, and I really don't think he'll include insulting the guy who displays kinky soft porn in a public gallery under that definition." He paused for breath and seemed to realize Evan hadn't answered the first question. "It's not you, is it?"

Evan took pity on him. "No, it's not." He hesitated – Darren had agreed to keep the names of any models whose faces weren't in the photos confidential, for which Evan was grateful – he wasn't sure his reputation, such as it was, could take that. On the other hand, it really didn't seem like this guy was interested enough in the art world to spread it around. "But I'd keep anything negative you have to say about number twelve to yourself."

"Why would I –" He cut himself off, looking between Evan and the photo. Black and white like the rest of the series, it was pretty much the most vanilla of the lot, showing two guys kissing as one looped a scarf around the bed post, drawing his partner's hands up with it, the angle of his body obscuring the bound guy's – Evan's – face. "Oh. Oh, that's you."

He looked back at Evan, and the flicker of interest had ramped up tenfold, which was both incredibly flattering and a little depressing (so much for Laura's theory that artists got all the guys). Though Evan was pretty sure he could get past the depressing part of it. He held out his hand. "Evan Lorne."

"Dr Rodney McKay." Rodney shook his hand firmly. "So, do you..."

"Come here often?" Evan suggested with a grin, pleased when Rodney glared at him then laughed. "Do much naked modeling?" Rodney nodded and Evan fished a card from his pocket. "Only for friends."

Rodney took the card and turned it over, studying the text with more attention than Evan thought was really necessary. He didn't seem inclined to hand over his own card, so Evan figured it was time for a strategic exit – again. Hopefully, it would come across as smooth and leaving him wanting more, rather than cutting and running just in case. "Nice to meet you, Dr McKay. Enjoy the photos."

Of course, his exit would have gone a lot better if he hadn't turned round to find Sheppard leaning in the doorway and watching them with obvious glee and a hint of the look he used to get when he'd done something flashy and improbable in a plane.

"Evan. Laura said you were hiding in here, I didn't realize you were with someone." His eyes slid away to Rodney. "Though this does explain why I couldn't find Rodney."

Evan shook his head, wishing for the floor to swallow him up. As humiliating as it was to have just hit on a guy who was apparently taken, it was even worse to have just hit on a guy who was apparently taken by a friend. Although – "You could have mentioned that you were with someone when you were getting turned on by my photo and taking my card," he said over his shoulder to Rodney, who blinked and looked around blankly.

"What? Taken by who?" He finally seemed to register that Sheppard was there. "Him? Seriously? Please, we'd kill each other within the week."

Just when Evan had thought things couldn't get any worse, there was Sheppard, slumped in the doorway rather than leaning in it, laughing helplessly. "Your face," he gasped. "Actually, both your faces."

Rodney huffed. "Like it would kill you to actually, you know, mention your friends to each other, then these kinds of things wouldn't happen. Also, you could have *said* that your friend Evan was one of the artists, particularly if you wanted me to be polite to him."

Sheppard got himself under control. "I was planning on introducing you to each other. How was I to know you'd wander off into a dark back-room together?"

And that really was as much embarrassment as Evan was interested in taking for the rest of the evening. "I've got a key to the back door to this place. I say we sneak out, hit the coffee shop on the corner and start over. Pretend the last twenty minutes never happened."

"Sounds like a plan." Sheppard looked between Evan and Rodney and nodded slightly at something Rodney, still standing behind Evan, must have done. While the glee had faded a bit, the self-satisfied pleasure hadn't, and Evan suspected Sheppard's presence with Rodney at the exhibition wasn't solely about having promised to provide moral support. "I'll go check the coast is clear."

The curtain swung into place behind him, leaving Evan and Rodney in the dimly lit room. "So," Rodney said, moving to stand in front of Evan. "Before he comes back and mocks us any more, you seem like a nice guy, nude modeling and art notwithstanding, so here's my card and if you want to have dinner on Monday, that'd be good. And I'd really prefer it if we didn't include this exchange in the twenty minutes we're going to pretend never happened, though wiping the rest out seems like an eminently sensible plan."

Evan accepted the card, sliding it into the inside pocket of his jacket and wondering when he'd become the kind of person who thought having his day job mocked was a turn-on. "I like the way you think."


"I was thinking about going to a movie tomorrow," John offered idly on Sunday evening, over the accounts for his flying school, the one that had, in ways Rodney would never really understand, come out of flying tourists around the wide open spaces he'd moved to after the Air Force decided his skill in a plane didn't outweigh his tendency to get caught fucking guys.

"Anything in particular?" he asked.

"No. Whatever's on. You got any suggestions?" There was something in John's voice when he asked, and when Rodney looked up, John was staring intently at his accounts, the corners of his mouth twitching.

"You're like a seven year old child," Rodney told him, but he was actually relieved – he felt like he'd been waiting for John to bring the subject up all weekend, and he'd never been very good at waiting.

"What?" John asked innocently. "I know *you* only leave the lab when someone forces you to, but you work with people who have lives, it's not beyond the realm of possibility that someone's mentioned something good."

Rodney glared at him. "Like that's what you really meant."

John held the innocent look for a few more seconds, then gave it up with a laugh. "I'm just saying, all that grumbling about going, and now you've got a date."

A date. It made them sound like they were in high school, which was even worse when Rodney remembered that Evan had picked him up by smiling nicely and pointing out a photo of him naked and tied up. And wasn't that an image straight out of the best kind of fantasy, Evan spread out under him, bound and hard and begging.

John made a strangled sound. "Should I leave you alone?" he asked.

"In the sense of not continuing this conversation, absolutely," Rodney agreed, ignoring the flicker of arousal in the pit of his stomach.

"Gladly, if you're going to look like that. I don't need to know that much about your sex life." John paused. "Or Evan's, come to that."

"Right. Because you never slept with him before you got kicked out of the Air Force," Rodney scoffed, and John blushed slightly, which could only mean one thing. Not that Rodney was jealous or anything.

"Hey," John said a few minutes later, just as Rodney was starting to relax. "Since you were only polite to him cos you're hot for him, you didn't really keep up our deal."

"Our deal was that I be polite to him. I was polite to him even before I knew who he was. I actually went *beyond* our deal," Rodney said firmly. "Also – hot for him?"

"Like there's a better way of describing the look on your face," John said, looking back down at his paperwork. After a moment, he said, "Or the look on his face," and Rodney vaguely remembered John muttering something yesterday about meeting a friend before he'd disappeared for a couple of hours. Rodney'd been too engrossed in a flash of inspiration for his article to pay much attention, but of course John would have been going to see Evan so he could interfere in Rodney's love life.

Then he registered what John had just said, and stopped caring about John's tendency to try and match make, even if it was just occurring to him that John had probably only dragged him along to the gallery for that reason in the first place.


Evan sometimes thought that there was a lot to be said for sleeping with someone when you first met them. Okay, it didn't often lead to long term relationships, but it got rid of all the sexual tension early on, and then when you actually went on a first date, you could relax, secure in the knowledge that you already knew what the other guy was like in bed.

Not that he really thought that Rodney would be bad in bed. He had the kind of confidence in himself that Evan liked in a partner, the kind that led to being pushed down and held down and fucked until he couldn't see straight. That, and broad, mobile hands, describing arcs and lines in the air as he talked about physics that Evan could barely keep up with.

Though that probably had something to do with how distracted he kept getting, imagining Rodney's hands on him instead of on the stem of his wine glass and the long, thin handle of his fork. It didn't help that the way Rodney was currently licking tiramisu from his fork was having an effect on Evan that he was sure wasn't appropriate for a public place, even a public place on a Monday evening, with a heavy table cloth to cover his lap.

"Hello? Earth to Evan?" Rodney's hand waved a little closer to Evan's nose than he was entirely comfortable with, and Evan blinked, realizing that he'd been staring.


"You know, you can just say if I'm boring you," Rodney said, going back to his dessert, like that was going to help Evan keep any attention on what the man was saying. "I won't be offended. Well, I will be offended, but honestly, my job involves incredibly complex physics, I wouldn't really expect you to understand it. You do make a living painting pictures, after all."

"Okay, I don't get you," Evan said, making a valiant effort to provide conversation. Just because Rodney thought he was a dumb artist, he didn't have to live up to it. "You've known Sheppard since college, you must know the Air Force doesn't take people who are as stupid as you seem to think I am. Or do you just think he's some freak anomaly?"

Which had come out a little more harshly than he'd intended, but wasn't any less true for that being the case. He could handle the mild mocking about art and modeling, because he was used to those, but the implication that he didn't have two brain cells to rub together just because he wasn't working for some top level physics lab stung.

Rodney had the grace to look down at his nearly empty plate. "Sorry. I don't mean – it's just that I can't really imagine you as a pilot." He scraped his fork through the mess of cream and chocolate garnish. "John told me what happened to you, I'd rather not... Not think about that."

It was a weirdly sweet thing to say, Evan thought, which was a sure sign that he was in way over his head, not that that was exactly news. He didn't like to think about what had happened to him either, crashing out of the Air Force in a plane he hadn't even been flying, months in the hospital followed by months of physio just to be told that he had the choice between honorable discharge with disability or a desk job, because the injuries to his leg would never heal well enough for him to go back into combat.

"Fine," he said, and had to clear his throat because his voice sounded like he'd been gargling with sand. "Just – I have a degree, you know. And a masters."

"In what?" Rodney asked dubiously, and Evan took great pleasure in smiling and saying, "Engineering, with a minor in physics."


It turned out that Evan could actually keep up with most of what Rodney was saying, once Rodney figured out what he already knew and worked forwards from there. He even seemed interested in it, particularly when Rodney started talking about wormhole theory – apparently flyboys, even discharged flyboys, were the same everywhere, given that his face lit up exactly like John's at the thought of space travel.

It took the waiter's pointed throat clearing for Rodney to realize, jerking back in surprise, just how close together he and Evan were sitting, and he didn't even remember moving his chair round. "What?"

The waiter looked pointedly round the restaurant, which, huh, had apparently emptied without either of them noticing, and probably some time ago, since the Christmas tree lights had been turned off and most of the chairs stacked on the tables. "I can recommend a coffee shop that stays open late, if you gentlemen would like to continue your discussion," the waiter offered.

"Ah, yes. Thank you." Rodney reached for his wallet. "Do you have the check?"

Evan laughed, and Rodney shifted in his seat. As though it wasn't bad enough that he looked the way he looked and was actually moderately smart, at least compared to people who weren't Rodney, that he smelled of wood shavings and faintly of paint, and that Rodney had been seeing that photograph every time he blinked, the man had to have *that* laugh, low and amused and sounding like he was wrapped around his lover under silk sheets.

"We already paid it, Doc," Evan said, and Rodney blinked, momentarily lost. "The check?"

"Right, the check, of course. We did?" The waiter nodded eagerly. "Oh. Well then, we should –"

Evan stood up and started to shrug into his jacket. "We should go, so these nice people can go home instead of listening to you talk about wormhole theory."

"Plenty of people would pay good money to listen to me talk about wormhole theory," Rodney protested, but he stood up anyway. This was a nice restaurant, and hadn't even made a fuss about his citrus allergy, so he wasn't inclined to get himself black-listed from it by over-staying his welcome any more than he obviously already had.

"I'm sure they would," Evan said, smiling. "But probably not when they've spent their evening serving food and want to go home." He rested his hand in the small of Rodney's back and pushed him gently towards the door, smiling over his shoulder at the waiter. "Sorry, we lost track of time. Thanks."

The restaurant door closed behind them, followed a moment later by the snick of a lock being turned, and Evan took his hand away.

"So," Rodney said, feeling more awkward than he had all evening. He wasn't ready for the evening to come to an end, but everything he had planned to come next required more privacy than a coffee shop would offer. "My, er, my car's this way."

Evan looked in the direction he gestured and nodded. "Mine too."

"Good." Rodney nodded, wondering how to phrase what he wanted to say. It wasn't something he usually bothered about, but then, his dates usually occurred after he'd had sex with the other person, so there wasn't any question over whether they'd be going home together. "So we should, um..."

"Right," Evan agreed, and fell into step for the walk across the parking lot, too short, unfortunately, for Rodney to have got any further towards making a decision when they reached his car.

"Well," he offered, feeling like even more of an idiot than he had in that one art appreciation class he'd taken when he'd been forced to take a non-science elective as an undergrad, something it didn't seem like an opportune moment to mention.

"Yeah." Evan grinned awkwardly. "Thanks for..."

"No, you too," Rodney babbled, far from sure he was making sense. But Evan was close enough for Rodney to feel his body heat and no-one could be expected to be coherent when they were that close to someone that hot.

"I should-" Evan started, and Rodney abruptly decided that this was quite clearly ridiculous – the guy had been tied up and photographed naked, he was hardly likely to think Rodney was being too forward – and leaned in to wrap a hand round the back of Evan's neck and pull him in for a kiss.

Evan made a startled noise which suggested that the inability to see these things coming, like a love of space travel, was something common to all Air Force officers, or at least to the admittedly small sample Rodney had access to, and then he got with the program, kissing back enthusiastically, tasting of the coffee he'd had at the restaurant because he was not, as Rodney had feared was possible, the kind of hippy artist who liked strange herbal teas and oh, God, what was Rodney doing thinking about herbal tea, of all things, when a hot guy was kissing him and possibly trying to do inappropriate things to his ears.

He got a firm hold of his wandering mind, and pushed Evan back against his car so he could press his leg between Evan's and feel his cock start to harden as Rodney shoved his hands under Evan's shirt and up until he could run them over Evan's chest, making Evan groan, his hands dropping to squeeze Rodney's ass through pants that were suddenly uncomfortably tight.

He tweaked Evan's nipple, feeling it harden under his fingertips, and Evan pushed his hips into Rodney, hot and hard even through layers of clothes, more than enough to fire up the low burn of arousal Rodney had been feeling all evening, and he moaned into the kiss.

Evan dragged his mouth away, his breath coming unevenly, his eyes slightly unfocused, and Rodney couldn't help staring, couldn't quite believe that he'd caused that. "I really," Evan said, his voice low, "Really want to blow you right now."

It wasn't like Rodney really needed any help to get more turned on, his hands on warm skin, the length of his body pressed against Evan's, but that didn't seem to matter to his body. "Not here," he muttered, distantly aware that it really wasn't all *that* late. "I want to see you."

"Yeah." Evan tilted his head for another kiss, long and lush. "Your apartment's near here, right?"

"Yeah," Rodney agreed, then remembered. "Yeah, but John's still staying with me." Evan made a face that mirrored Rodney's thoughts on that. "Your place."

Evan made another face, and Rodney braced himself for hearing... well, he wasn't exactly sure, but something bad. "Can't. Staying with Laura."


"Laura. The gallery director. My landlord kicked me out and December's not a good time to be house hunting..." He trailed off into another kiss, rubbing his thigh slowly against Rodney's cock, which really didn't do a lot for his higher thinking skills.

"We could get a hotel room," Rodney suggested when they broke the kiss, Evan ducking his head to nuzzle at Rodney's neck. "I don't think I'm flexible enough to have sex in the back of a car any more, especially my car –"

"Stop talking," Evan hissed, and then there were hands on his arms, shoving him round and back against the car, and Rodney let out a surprised, "Hey –" before he realized Evan wasn't pressed up against him any more; was, in fact, sinking to his knees, oh, God, in a parking lot, where anyone could walk by, and he wasn't down there to tie his shoe lace, he was reaching for the zipper on Rodney's pants.

"What are you doing?"

Evan looked up at him through his eyelashes with a sly grin that was really just ridiculously sexy. "If you don't know, I'm not sure you should have been looking at those photos."

"I didn't mean what are you doing?," Rodney said stupidly, "I meant – I meant, what are you *doing*?"

Evan eased the zipper the rest of the way down and slid his hand into Rodney's boxers, freeing his cock. "I'm giving you a blow job," he said, and closed his mouth round Rodney's cock before Rodney could protest any further.

Not that he was particularly inclined to, with Evan on his knees, looking up at him, his hands tight on Rodney's hips, his mouth warm and wet, sucking slowly on Rodney's dick, his tongue flicking out to touch Rodney's balls, sending a shudder down his spine, and he had no idea what this would look like to someone passing by, how it could possibly look like anything but what it was, which was to say incredibly hot, incredibly inappropriate public sex, except he didn't care if the cops came by, if the entire staff of his *lab* came by, because he'd never been particularly into public sex, but apparently he wasn't too old to change because this was the hottest thing he'd even been involved in, even with the door handle digging into the small of his back, and Evan did something *amazing* with his tongue and the head of Rodney's cock and Rodney was coming before he could even warn Evan.

Who didn't seem to mind, judging from the way he kept sucking gently at Rodney's cock until Rodney pushed him away. Or the way he sat back on his heels, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand and giving Rodney an incredibly self-satisfied grin.

Rodney leaned a little more firmly against the car, his knees suddenly weak, a little surprised that he was still mostly upright. "You look pretty pleased with yourself," he offered, impressed that he only sounded a little breathless.

Evan shrugged. "Fairly, yeah."

"Are you planning to spend the rest of the evening kneeling on what probably isn't a particularly clean bit of concrete, or do you think you could, you know, get up here and let me reciprocate?" Rodney asked. Not that he was offering anything that involved him getting on his knees down there, but he'd had more than a few compliments to his hand technique before.

Evan's shrug was a little diffident this time, and he glanced down and away. "No need," he said to the floor.

"What?" Rodney said, before his brain caught up, then, "Oh. Oh, you already..." He realized abruptly that his pants were still unzipped, his cock hanging out for any passerby to see, and hastily zipped up. "Well, and? What, you think I'm going to be offended that you think I'm so hot that blowing me made you come in your pants? Get up here."

Evan's laugh was a little shaky, but he got to his feet and moved in close enough for Rodney to agree that yes, it would probably be a good thing if... Lucy? Lauren?... was asleep when Evan got home. If she was anything like John, that probably wasn't likely. "I wouldn't exactly put it that way," Evan said wryly, but he let Rodney pull him in and kiss him anyway, so Rodney figured he hadn't been that far off the mark.

"So," he said eventually, finally noticing that it really wasn't especially warm now he wasn't so turned on he wouldn't have noticed if it had been snowing. "You want to come over tomorrow? Try that in a bed, maybe even let me do something for you?"

Evan rested his head on Rodney's shoulder, his arms loosely round Rodney's waist so it was something like a hug, which was possibly the weirdest part of the whole evening. "Not if Sheppard's staying with you. No offense, but he used to be my team leader..."

"No, I completely agree. Potential audiences of strangers are one thing, definite audiences of my best friend I can do without." Which had sounded less weird in his head. "He's leaving for his brother's tomorrow. You could come over in the evening. I mean, unless you're going away for Christmas."

Evan shook his head. "Staying here. My folks are going on a cruise." He rubbed his nose against Rodney's neck and Rodney shivered a little. It was cold. "I can't tomorrow though. Promised Laura I'd go with her to meet a donor out of town."

"It's the day before Christmas Eve," Rodney protested. Not that he particularly cared, but he'd gotten used to everything shutting down in the week before Christmas.

Evan shrugged. "He doesn't come to the US much, it was the only appointment she could get. I'll be back Wednesday afternoon. I could come over then." He paused. "Unless you've got plans for Christmas Eve."

Rodney's plans, unless John came through on their deal, which didn't seem all that likely, included Chinese take-out from the place on his block that never closed and a marathon of Lord of the Rings DVDs, interrupted, no doubt, by calls from Jeanie and her family, and John when he was ready to kill his brother. "No, nothing much planned. I could leave a key under the mat, you could let yourself in whenever you were back."

"You'd trust me in your place?" Evan asked, sounding surprised.

"You just had my dick in your mouth," Rodney pointed out. "Plus, you've known John for years, and he's not an awful judge of character. Some of the time."

"I'm not sure if I should be insulted or touched," Evan said, lifting his head to frown at Rodney.

"Touched," Rodney said quickly. "Definitely touched." He kissed Evan again, just to make his point, the taste of his own come lingering in Evan's mouth, and they both sighed when the kiss ended. "Okay," Rodney said firmly, pushing Evan away slightly. "So, I'll see you on Wednesday. Have a good time with the donor."

Evan rolled his eyes. "Say bye to Sheppard for me," he said.

It was another twenty minutes before Rodney actually managed to get into his car and drive away.


Evan had never been so grateful for people who were only interested in the money-making side of the gallery as he was on Tuesday night, changing out of his suit and into his sweat pants at nine pm when he'd expected to be kept in the hotel bar until the early hours of the morning. When Laura had let him crash in her spare room after his landlord realized the guy who'd been coming round Evan's place for a week was the same guy who was in the paper with his nude photography exhibition, she'd come up with a long list of things he had to do in lieu of paying rent, including meeting with donors – which was just one more reason to find somewhere permanent to live as soon as possible.

He hung his shirt and jacket in the closet, then emptied out the pockets of his pants: a handful of small change, a scrap of paper with a phone number he didn't recognize, a cocktail umbrella that he couldn't for the life of him remember why he'd pocketed, and a business card. Rodney's business card, still there after he'd slipped it into the pocket of his pants on his way out to dinner the day before.

Rodney, who had his apartment back now, who ought to be home, who Evan would be spending the night with if Laura hadn't dragged him out to this...

He settled on his bed and reached for the phone, listening semi-patiently to a recorded message explaining the charges before dialing. He hadn't done this in years – kind of difficult from an Air Force base, and he hadn't gotten involved in any long distance relationships since he'd got back – but he was pretty sure he hadn't forgotten how to make it good.

"This is Dr McKay –" Of course, that relied on Rodney actually picking up the damn phone – "Leave a message and I'll get back to you when I've finished changing the future of physics."

Evan hung up before the machine could beep; there was no way he was doing this on an answer machine.

'He's kind of a workaholic,' he remembered Sheppard saying over coffee on Saturday. 'I mean, he's brilliant, but he kind of forgets to leave the lab sometimes."

He hadn't looked at the printed text on the card, only interested in the phone number and address scribbled on the back of it, but he turned it over now and studied it. The name of the company wasn't one he recognized, but that wasn't really a surprise – what he knew about the physics community of America was probably about equal to what Rodney knew about the art community.

What the hell. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, and if Rodney wasn't interested, Evan could at least remind him that maybe nine thirty was a reasonable time to think about heading home.

He was just beginning to think it was a lost cause when the ringing cut off and Rodney's harried voice said, "It's about time, Radek, just because you're swanning off to Prague for the holidays instead of staying here to further the field of astro-physics –"

"Whoa, hey, Doc, it's me," Evan said before Rodney could get any more wound up. "Er, Evan. From the –"

"I know who you are," Rodney said impatiently, then, more softly, "Hi."

"Hi. Are you in the middle of something?"

"Yes, of course I am. I'm in the lab at half past nine two days before Christmas, of course I'm in the middle of something." Rodney took a deep breath, crackling over the phone line. "But it doesn't look like Radek's going to call with the data I need, so actually I'm just sitting here staring at a blinking cursor."

"Sounds fascinating," Evan said dryly. He was tempted to ask what Rodney was in the middle of, but he'd seen how caught up talking about his work Rodney could get, and he didn't think either of them needed the distraction.

"Hmm. How was your meeting?"

"Fascinating," Evan said again. "Over; he only wants to deal with Laura, so I'm done."

There was a very brief pause, then Rodney said, "You're home already?"

"In my hotel room," Evan corrected. "Have to drop Laura at the airport on my way home, can't leave without her."

"Oh," Rodney said. "I thought maybe you were..."

"Not till tomorrow." He took a quick breath. "So, are you alone?"

"Yes, because my staff is a group of slackers who are more interested in celebrating a festival belonging to a religion most of them don't even believe in than they are in advancing the world's understanding of the galaxy."

"Good," Evan said, lowering his voice and hoping Rodney would get with the program before he had to resort to asking what Rodney was wearing, which was too cheesy for words. "So am I."

"Well, I should hope so, since you're in your hotel room. Unless you're calling to ask if you can sleep with someone you've met at the hotel –"

Evan took a deep breath and didn't snap. "That's not why I'm calling. I was thinking about tomorrow night."

"Really?" Rodney sounded calmer, and possibly pleased. "Me too. Which reminds me, actually, can you cook?"

"Can I – what?" Evan asked, momentarily lost. Just when he'd thought Rodney might be catching on. "Yeah, as long as you're not asking me to cook Christmas dinner for twelve people."

"I wasn't planning on it, no," Rodney said. "That's good to know. I mean, unless you want to go out tomorrow. Or we could order something, I'm not trying to imply that –"

"Rodney," Evan said loudly, cutting over the babble. "I know I said I was thinking about tomorrow night, but I didn't actually call to talk about dinner plans."

"Oh," Rodney said, sounding confused. "What did you call for?"

Of all the things he'd expected to end up saying, Evan hadn't planned on anything quite as embarrassing as this. "Phone sex," he muttered.

"Oh," Rodney said again. "Oh. Well, why didn't you say so?"

Evan closed his eyes and tried not to laugh. "I was trying to be subtle."

"Really? Why? Actually, never mind. Hold on a second." The phone clattered down on a hard surface. A moment later, Rodney was back. "Okay, door's locked. It never hurts to be careful, though of course our security patrol have keys to all the doors, and it's possible they'll see the light and let themselves in –"

"We don't have to do anything," Evan said, magnanimously, he thought, since Rodney's chatter was doing things to his body that a stream of thoughts about security shouldn't be able to do, especially over the phone.

"What? No, you promised me phone sex, you're not wriggling out of it. I'm very important to this company, it'll take more than some mildly embarrassing sex in the lab to get me fired." He paused. "Well? I trust you're not relying on *me* to start this off."

"No." He'd been relying on subtly segueing into it, rather than starting cold, but he was starting to learn that things didn't usually happen the way he planned around Rodney. He closed his eyes and pictured Rodney. Probably wearing pants and a shirt (he still wasn't prepared to ask), since he didn't seem like a jeans-to-work kind of guy, sitting at a lab bench, or maybe a desk – actually, a desk would be better, he didn't want Rodney falling of his lab stool when things got good. "You liked the photo, right? Of me and – the one at the gallery."

"Oh yes," Rodney said, his voice dropping low. Finally.

"Me too. A lot. I liked doing it, too."

"You're not going to tell me about being tied up by another man, are you?" Rodney asked, sounding put-out.

Evan thumped his head once against the wall behind him. "I wasn't, no. But if you keep interrupting, I'm going to hang up on you and think about being tied up by another man while I take care of myself."

"Oh," Rodney said faintly, and Evan grinned. That was what he'd been hoping for. "Well, don't let me stop you."

"Stop me hanging up?" Evan asked innocently.

"Stop you carrying on."

"That's very generous of you," Evan said sincerely. He dropped his free hand to rest at the waist band of his sweat pants and closed his eyes again, carrying on as if Rodney hadn't interrupted. "Of course, that wasn't real. I don't think the other model was even gay." Not that it had mattered, since they'd both gotten hard – Evan had ended up jerking off in the men's room when Darren was done, but he didn't think Rodney needed to know that. "But it would be different with someone who was. Like you."

"Mm," Rodney said intelligently, the same low tone Evan remembered from the parking lot, had thought about in the shower that morning.

"I bet your bed's great for tying someone to," Evan said. "I bet you like to do it, too. Have someone at your mercy. Me at your mercy." He gave Rodney the space of a couple of breaths to speak, but Rodney was apparently happy for Evan to do all the talking. First time for everything. "If this is when you usually leave the lab, I'll be at your place already. On your bed, naked..."

"No," Rodney said. "Not naked. I want to undress you."

"Yeah?" Evan cupped his cock through his sweat pants, then decided he might as well save time, and lifted his hips to shove his pants and boxers down.

"Yeah. Do you – I bet you look good in jeans."

Evan thought about the worn jeans he kept in the back of his closet for days when he hadn't done laundry, and decided Rodney would probably enjoy them. "I've been told."

"I bet you have," Rodney said with a huff of laughter.

"Would you let me undress you or would you make me watch you do it?" Evan asked, not sure what he wanted the answer to be.

"I'm the one who gets to watch," Rodney said, and Evan let his eyes fall closed, imagining McKay's intense gaze on him as he lay there, turned on and waiting to be touched.

"I want to kiss you," he said, which hadn't been at all what he'd meant to say, and Rodney groaned on the other end of the line. "To touch you, feel you getting hard..." He ran his hand lightly over his own cock, already hard. "Maybe suck on you again."

"No. I want to fuck you this time." Rodney's breathing was getting unsteady. "I want to make you come."

"Okay," Evan said stupidly.

"John always buys me really hideous ties for Christmas," Rodney added, pretty much guaranteeing that Evan wouldn't be able to look Sheppard in the eye next time he saw him. "But soft. I'd wrap one round your wrists, tie it to the headboard. It's good for that kind of thing."

"On my back," Evan offered. "I want to see your face." He stroked himself a little harder, heard the shift of cloth on the line that signified Rodney doing the same thing. "I like being fingered, slowly."

"Oh God," Rodney said breathlessly. "Keep talking."

"Fingered slowly," Evan said again. "Till I'm begging, then you'd hold my hips down, fuck me so slow, so deep. You wouldn't touch me, and you wouldn't let me do it, you'd leave my hands tied, and I'd want to, I'd ask you and you wouldn't listen." Rodney groaned in his ear and Evan tightened his fist, twisting his wrist for the flash of heat it always gave him. "You'd tell me I could come, like this, without you touching me, and you'd lean down and kiss me –"

"Evan," Rodney said, and gasped, panting for breath, obviously coming, and that was all it took to send Evan over the edge, the phone slipping away from his ear as he shuddered though his orgasm, appalled at how fast he'd gotten there when it hadn't even been that long since he had sex, not counting last night.

He rejoined the real world to an unpleasantly sticky hand and Rodney's voice, tinny and faraway, saying, "Evan? Evan, you still there?"

He retrieved the phone from the blankets, nearly dropping it. "Yeah. Still here."

"Okay. Good. I thought maybe you were the kind of person to fall asleep after sex, and, well, I don't suppose this call is cheap, most hotels charge a ridiculous premium for the privilege of contacting the outside world and I don't want you running up a bill while you doze off."

"Thanks," Evan said. Compared to Rodney, he sounded like he'd spent a couple of days having sex, rather than jerking off to some unintentionally short phone sex. "Nice of you to think of me."

"Well," Rodney said, and stopped. His breath crackled over the phone briefly. "That was – very much not what I was expecting from my evening."

"In a good way?" Evan asked, though he was pretty sure he knew the answer to that one.

"In a very good way," Rodney said, which was nice to hear. "If your ideas are usually that good..." He trailed off, then cleared his throat. "If they're usually that good, I think I need to head home and get some sleep."

"Good idea," Evan said, then his brain caught up with him and he realized what Rodney meant. "A lot of sleep," he added, aiming for sexy and aware that he didn't quite make it.

"That's good advice," Rodney said, sounding like he was laughing. "So, um, see you tomorrow?"

"Yeah. Don't stay at the lab too late."

"I won't. I definitely won't." Rodney paused again, this one more hesitant. Evan could understand that – he didn't want to hang up yet either, but there wasn't really a phone version of cuddling, or if there was, he'd never figured it out, and he couldn't exactly ask about the details of Rodney's project now.

"Drive carefully," he offered.

"You too. Tomorrow, I mean."

Evan didn't bother pointing out that he'd flown in combat and could undoubtedly handle the streets of America, even right before Christmas when everyone went a little crazy. "So, good night."

"Good night." Evan heard Rodney draw a few more breaths and waited for him to say something else. Whatever he'd been thinking about, he appeared to decide not to share, and the line cut off with a click.

Evan sank back against the wall – should have stuck a pillow there, because it really wasn't that comfortable – and contemplated giving in to temptation and falling asleep. Except that his boxers were now damp, and his stomach was sticky, and the whole thing would be thoroughly unpleasant to deal with in the morning.

He pulled himself out of bed with a sigh, and headed for the shower.


Rodney had spent the day watching the clock and wondering when would be a reasonable time to leave in order to give Evan time to get to his place and get comfortable, but not enough time to get bored, and so Rodney himself wouldn't seem too eager, but also wouldn't seem like he was more interested in work than he was in the hot guy waiting in his apartment to have sex.

Simpson kicked him out at ten to seven, declaring that whatever he was worrying about, he was going to drive them all crazy and should leave while they still had a chance at retaining what little of their sanity working with Rodney had left them with.

Which was why Rodney was standing in front of his own apartment door at quarter past seven on a Wednesday evening, trying to come up with something intelligent to say to the guy waiting inside and half-wishing he'd agreed to Evan being naked in there so they could go straight to the sex without any awkward small talk. Though he supposed he might have felt compelled to make small talk anyway, and that would have been even more awkward with a naked guy in his bed.

"Get a grip," he told himself firmly, and unlocked the door.

His apartment was dark enough when he got inside that he started to wonder if he should have stayed later at the lab after all, if maybe Evan had decided Rodney always worked till nine and wouldn't show up for another hour and a half, leaving Rodney sitting there like an idiot and also ruining Rodney's plans for the start of their evening.

A sound came from the direction of his bedroom and he jumped, even more on edge. Of course, there was always the possibility that it was burglars and not Evan – wasn't under the doormat the first place most burglars looked for a spare key, and maybe they'd chosen today to rob him. He was sure he'd seen some study claiming that most burglaries took place around Christmas...

"Rodney?" Evan's voice called. He sounded kind of sleepy – maybe the burglars had found him there, drugged him with something to make him cooperate, and Rodney should be running for help, not following the sound of his voice, except apparently Rodney's self-preservation instincts had gotten lost somewhere along the drive home, because he was pushing open the door to his bedroom and –

And he didn't, of course, have burglars at all. What he had was Evan, sitting cross-legged on his bed, barefoot in a pale blue shirt and worn jeans which, as he'd predicted, did look damn good on the man. "Is that a cat?" he asked stupidly.

Evan looked up from the ball of gray fur curled happily on his knee and grinned, bright and happy like – well, like a kid at Christmas, given the time of year. "His name is Leo."

"Leo," Rodney said doubtfully. The cat looked barely old enough to be away from its mother, never mind old enough to be named after any kind of hunting animal. "Maybe he'll grow into it."

"I'm sure he will." Evan stroked a single finger down the cat's – Leo's – back, and got a snuffling purr in response. "He's not really from me," he added. "Sheppard said you had some kind of deal, but he didn't know anyone who'd have kittens this time of year. I asked a friend of Laura's. If you don't like him, you can take him back, choose another one."

"No." Rodney finally remembered that he didn't have to stand in the doorway, and toed off his shoes, moving to sit in front of Evan on the bed and sliding Leo carefully onto his own knee. "No, he's perfect. I'm sure my niece will love him, anyway."

He leaned forward, intending to kiss Evan briefly, to say thank you, and hello, but Evan slid a hand round the back of his neck and pulled him closer, deepening the kiss and sliding his tongue into Rodney's mouth, and it really would have been rude to do anything but reciprocate, especially when Rodney had been thinking about him, getting distracted by thoughts of his mouth and his hands and, if he was honest, his ass, all day.

Evan was grinning when he broke the kiss. "You like my jeans?" he asked innocently.

Rodney rested his hand on Evan's knee, then ran it slowly up the inside seam of his jeans, rubbing the soft material between his fingers. Evan shivered. "Very nice."

"Thank you."

Leo squeaked on Rodney's knee, looking up at him with wide, tiny eyes. "Hold that thought," he told Evan, and scooped the kitten up and carried it out to the lounge, where it looked at him for a minute, then settled under the coffee table and appeared to go to sleep.

Evan was laughing at him when he went back into the bedroom, closing the door behind himself. "I thought you didn't like audiences," Rodney said.

"It's a kitten," Evan said, but he did make a visible, if only partially successful, attempt to stop laughing. "Sure you're not just worried about traumatizing it?"

"He's too young to be seeing this kind of thing," Rodney said, thus destroying his image as someone completely heartless for eternity, at least with Evan. "Not that we're doing anything to traumatize him yet."

Evan shrugged. "You wanted to undress me."

Rodney got a visceral flashback to Evan's voice, talking him to orgasm in the middle of his lab, and his voice when he spoke was rusty. "Stand up."

Evan blinked slowly and complied. Rodney noticed again that he was barefoot; somehow, it made him seem younger, though the look he was giving Rodney did a lot to dispel that image. "Come here," Rodney said, and Evan stepped right into Rodney's hand against his throat, in the open neck of his shirt.

"You look good," he said, tracing the line of Evan's throat and opening the top button of his shirt. "I noticed you when we came into the gallery, you know." He thumbed open another button and slid his hand across to rub at Evan's nipple. "You were talking to a woman, and she had her hand on your arm." Another button, and he could feel the muscles in Evan's stomach trembling slightly, like he was fighting to hold himself still. Apparently military training did have applications in real life after all. "You were smiling, but you looked like you wanted to shake her off." The last button came open, and he ran his hands up Evan's torso and over his shoulders to push the shirt away. Evan's eyes were closed, his breathing just audible in the quiet room.

"Now, as good as you admittedly do look in these jeans, I think you'd look a lot better out of them." Evan shifted slightly, his posture sliding into at-ease, complete with hands behind his back. It looked even stranger than it would have done anyway since he still had his eyes closed. "Does the Air Force train that into you with electro-shock therapy or something?" Rodney asked, momentarily distracted from the prospect of getting Evan naked. "Command tone equals proper posture?"

Evan opened his eyes to look at Rodney with confusion. "What?" He blinked, then shook his hands out. "Sorry. Yeah, force of habit."

"I wasn't complaining," Rodney assured him, filing the information away for future reference, his hands going to the button fly of Evan's jeans and taking the opportunity to grope his hardening cock. It struck him as entirely odd that he'd had two orgasms with the guy but this was the first time he'd really touched him. The shudder that ran through Evan made up for it, as did the way he pushed his cock into Rodney's hand. "Patience," Rodney said, though his own pants were starting to feel a little tight. He reminded himself that he was going to get to fuck Evan, finally, which actually didn't help as much as he might have hoped.

"Good things come to those who wait?" Evan asked, his voice tight.

"Right," Rodney agreed, and shoved his jeans down, leaving Evan wearing only blue-striped boxers, his cock clearly outlined under the material. "Much better."

Evan laughed, his hands clenching and opening at his side. "Do I get to play too?"

"Sure," Rodney said magnanimously, and pulled Evan in to kiss him, hot and sloppy, pushing his tongue into Evan's mouth, his hands on Evan's ass. Evan groaned into it, tugging at the hem of Rodney's t-shirt. "What happened to patience?" Rodney asked against his mouth.

"Used it all," Evan said breathlessly, and yanked Rodney's t-shirt over his head, taking Rodney's shirt with it. Rodney wanted to protest – he was in charge of this encounter – but Evan sank to his knees to push Rodney's pants and then his boxers down to his ankles, and Rodney's protest was cut off by Evan taking his cock into his mouth and sucking, hard.

"God," he said instead, which lacked a certain something in eloquence, but made up for it in succinctness and getting his point across. Maybe suck on you again, Evan said in his head, accompanied by a very vivid picture of Evan doing exactly that in the parking lot, of Rodney coming so hard he'd felt shaken with it.

"Stop," he said as firmly as he could, pushing at Evan's head. "Stop, or I'll come." Evan gave him a look from under his eyelashes that clearly expressed what he thought of *that* comment. "I'll come before I can fuck you," Rodney clarified and tried not to give in when Evan said, "Mm," around his cock.

"Seriously," Rodney said, employing his best my-lab-my-rules-get-me-coffee voice. Who knew ex-Air Force officers could be so attuned to a command tone and yet so resistant to following orders? "Get on the bed. I've got plans for you."

Evan gave his cock one last, long lick, then pulled his mouth off and stood up. "You should have said," he offered, raising one eyebrow.

"I just did," Rodney reminded him. "And take your boxers off."

"Yes, sir," Evan said, complying, and Rodney turned away to look in his sock drawer before Evan could get a good look at his face, because that was far hotter than it had any right to be when he listened to people saying it to him every day.

When he turned back, orange and pink striped tie in his hands, Evan had actually done as Rodney asked, and was lying, stark naked, in the middle of Rodney's bed, his hands behind his head, one leg bent at the knee. Rodney swallowed hard; he'd known Evan was good looking from first spotting him in the gallery, but that hadn't exactly prepared him for just how good Evan looked naked, his cock long and hard against his stomach, his eyes half-closed as he watched Rodney.

"You are not bringing that anyway near me," Evan said abruptly.

"What?" Rodney asked. "The tie?" He'd had a few embarrassing misinterpretations in his sex life to date, but surely a man who had a photograph of himself tied to a bed hanging in a public gallery couldn't be objecting to having his hands bound in the privacy of Rodney's own home.

"Yes, the tie," Evan said, frowning now. "It's a crime against taste, not to mention the principle of complementary colors." He paused then added quietly, "I'll be too distracted by how awful it is."

"Oh my God," Rodney said in disgust. "I finally find a use for these things and they offend your artistic soul so you can't have sex? That's the stupidest thing I've heard all week, and if you knew my staff, you'd understand just how stupid that makes it."

Evan's face was tinged faintly pink, but he held his ground. "Sorry, but it's true. You must have something slightly less offensive."

Rodney rifled through his sock drawer – how had John managed to give him so many terrible ties when Christmas only came once a year – and finally came upon a black one decorated with electric blue caffeine molecules. "This meet with your approval?" he asked, holding it up for Evan, who nodded. "So glad to hear it. Any other aesthetic comments you want to make, or can I go back to attempting to fuck you now?"

Evan glared but, unlike Rodney, he was still hard, which Rodney took to mean the art criticism portion of the evening was done. He climbed onto the bed, straddling Evan's hips and running the tie through his hands, Evan's eyes following the motion of the material. "Give me your hands," Rodney said quietly.

Evan held his hands out, his wrists already together, and Rodney hesitated, a little unnerved by how quickly he obeyed. "Do you ever say no to anything?" he asked.

"Pink and orange striped ties," Evan said immediately, then sighed. "I'm not helpless, you know, or under your spell. I do still have the power of independent thought and action."

"Fine," Rodney said, and looped the tie round Evan's wrists, pulling his arms above his head a little harder than he'd intended. Evan tugged against the material when Rodney looped it through the whorls of his headboard and nodded. Rodney wondered what his face had been like when the other model had done the same thing, if he'd looked the way he did now, and how hard the photographer had argued to put his face in the picture if he had.

"Kiss me now," Evan said, catching Rodney's eye, and Rodney was helpless to do anything but obey, his own cock hardening where it was pressed between their bodies. "Rodney," Evan groaned.

"All right, all right." Rodney found the lube on his bedside table and slicked a couple of fingers. "Okay?"

Evan nodded, his eyes dark. "Yeah. Please."

He was tight when Rodney pushed his fingers inside him, tighter than Rodney had expected, but it felt good, felt even better when he imagined the same tightness around his cock, and Evan shuddered when he crocked his finger, feeling for Evan's prostate. Slowly, he'd said, but Rodney was pretty sure slowly was going to either kill him, which would be a great loss to the physics community, or bring this whole thing to a much more rapid end, at least on Evan's part, than Rodney was hoping for. "Another one?" he asked.

"Please," Evan said, and that could count as begging, if Evan was set on following the script he'd set the night before, could at least count as maybe pleading, if not actual begging, because Rodney wanted to be inside him so badly... He slicked another finger and pushed back into Evan, fucking him slowly with his fingers, watching Evan's eyes close again and wishing he'd thought to put on a condom before he started this portion of the evening, because he wasn't sure his hands were steady enough to do it any more, and he could hardly ask Evan when he was still –

"Rodney," Evan said, his voice low and hungry. "Please, fuck me."

Which Rodney didn't need to be invited to do twice, and it was too late to wonder if he should have done things in a different order since they hadn't invented time travel at the lab yet.

"Come on, please. Rodney, I really need to..."

"All right." Rodney ran his hand along the length of Evan's body, trying to soothe, though the shiver that ran through Evan's body would seem to suggest he hadn't exactly succeeded. "We're getting there."

"Could we get there faster?" Evan asked plaintively, opening his eyes to watch Rodney wipe the lube from his hand so he could open the condom wrapper, which didn't do a lot to help steady Rodney's hands. "I could help you with that," he offered.

"No you couldn't." Rodney nodded to his bound hands as he rolled the condom down his cock, forcing himself not to linger on it, no matter how good it felt to have something touch him, even if it was only his own hand. "Unless you want me to let you loose."

Evan pulled against the material, not getting very far, and sighed in pleasure. "No. This is good."

"Very," Rodney agreed. He shifted to kneel between Evan's thighs, looking down at him, his eyes half-closed, his skin lightly tanned, the last remnants of a summer tan covering lean muscles and strong thighs.

Evan shifted under him. "I've got a photo if you just want to look," he offered with a sly smile, but there was something tight in his voice, anticipation or maybe simple desire.

"It's not as good," Rodney said. He stroked one finger over Evan's ass again, then lifted Evan's legs to rest on his own. "Ready?"

"Oh yeah," Evan breathed, then, lower, as Rodney pushed into him, "*Oh* yeah."

He was still tight, even after having Rodney's fingers in him, and Rodney had been right, of course, he felt fantastic round Rodney's cock, tight and hot and groaning low in his throat every time Rodney's cock caught his prostate. You'd hold my hips down, Rodney remembered, and he rested his hands on Evan's hips, feeling the curve of the bones under the layer of padding, tilted his body forward so more of his weight was on his hands, pressing Evan down into the mattress as he pushed deeper into Evan's body, keeping his strokes as slow as he could.

"Please," Evan said, his voice cracking. "Please, Rodney, touch me. Touch my cock."

Rodney leaned in slightly, letting the tip of Evan's cock rub across his stomach as he thrust, and Evan's whole body jerked, tightening on Rodney's cock, making both of them gasp. "How fast do you want this to be over?" Rodney asked. Evan's response consisted of far more vowels than made any sense, but Rodney definitely wasn't ready for this to be over. He shifted his weight back a fraction, just too far for Evan to brush against him, with Rodney still holding his hips down, ignoring Evan's growl of frustration.

"Please," Evan said again. "God, I want to, I need..."

"You don't need anything else." Rodney shifted slightly, changing the angle of his thrusts, and felt Evan shudder around him, his cock leaking pre-come. "Just this, you can come from this and you know it."

"Please," Evan said again, but it sounded like he was saying it without thought. "Rodney, please," and his breath caught and he pushed his upper body as far up as it would go, his hands twitching like he wanted to reach for Rodney, "please, kiss me now," and Rodney complied, sloppy with lust, his hands coming up to hold Evan's shoulders, and Evan pushed up into his body once, then again, and shuddered hard, and came, clenching around Rodney's cock, and any fantasy Rodney might have had about fucking a post-coital Evan would have to be put off because that was more than enough to send his own orgasm rocketing through him, so hard he was glad he was already draped over Evan, because there was no way his arms would have been able to hold him up.


"So," Rodney said sometime later, fumbling with the knots in the tie while Evan tried to remember how to breathe. "It's Christmas Eve tomorrow, and you already said you've got an empty apartment now Lauren's gone to her boyfriend's. So you should, you know, stay here. I have a cat now."

And Evan figured the fact that he still couldn't steady his breathing enough to reply (or tell Rodney, again, that her name was actually Laura, not Lauren) had to mean something, so it wasn't exactly a bad thing when Rodney took his silence for the agreement he was ninety percent sure he intended it to be, when he freed Evan's hands and gently rubbed away the faint ache in his wrists.

When it turned out that Sheppard's latest hideous tie, which Evan, still there on Christmas morning, got to see firsthand, was spectacularly suited to being cut in half and used to tie his ankles to the bed, he decided that ninety percent was an underestimate – he was at least a hundred and ten percent in agreement with sticking around. Preferably for as long as possible.

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