On the first day of recording, Rodney lost it. John, who'd come looking when Rodney didn't make it down to the ballroom, found him in the upstairs bathroom having a minor freak out.
"It's all very well for you, moaned Rodney, hunched over the washbasin. He hadn't thrown up, but he was keeping it in reserve as option B. "You're the golden boy. If all this works out, I'm going to have to wear one of those horrible knitted caps."
"The fuck are you on about?" asked John, splashing cold water on his face and drying him off with a hand towel.
"My hair!" insisted Rodney. "Or the lack of it. It's either shave or wear a beanie; I'm not having a hair transplant."
"No one wants you to have a hair transplant, Rodney, me least of all. You look fine. This is just stage fright – you know you always get like this before a show."
"Promise me it'll be all right," said Rodney, clutching at John.
"Rodney," said John, "I promise." And it seemed that he wasn't just talking about the music, the recording session, the band.
"I promise," he said again and he turned Rodney around and pressed him back so he was propped against the vanity. "Here, this always used to work."
John slid to his knees and opened Rodney's jeans, nuzzling his cock, which was not in the least hard, what with the panicking. It woke up fast, though, as John licked along the shaft and lifted it to suck on his balls. "Fuck," said Rodney fervently. "Oh my god, John." And then he just concentrated on not bruising John's throat, because they might not be the main vocalists but they still had to sing back-ups.
It didn't take long, what with John moaning, sloppy and eager as he licked around the head and tongued that sensitive spot underneath. He took Rodney's cock as far in as he could and hollowed his cheeks, sucking hard. Rodney whined, thighs trembling, and he put his head back and felt the pleasure build up at the base of his spine. He came with his hands in John's hair, gasping pleas and curses and babbling John's name.
Then he hauled John up, pushed his pants down and returned the favor, because John was looking wild-eyed by then and his cock was hard and leaking. Rodney needed a folded towel under his knees, but apart from that it was very like the old days.
"Anyway," said John after they'd straightened themselves up and were making their way down to the ballroom in a pleasant haze of endorphins. "Your hair's a lot better now. You used to have a mullet."
On the last day of recording, they were all but done when Sora came in and called Teyla over. Sora, who wasn't very musically inclined, was covering general security at the front door.
Teyla listened to Sora and then followed her out, turning back at the door to say that she would not be long, and they were to wait for her.
Rodney got himself a drink of water and John wandered over to chat with Ronon.
When Teyla came back, instead of Sora she had Aiden Ford in tow. John and Rodney stared at him, speechless. Ford nodded to them. "Hi there," he said. "Been a while."
He was thinner, but he looked fit. He'd lost an eye somewhere, probably in a gang fight, and he wore a black patch over it, a narrow-brimmed black hat tilted down on that side. He'd taken a leaf out of John's book with the black jeans and shirt, and he looked hard, and dangerous, and absolutely all grown up.
"Aiden?" said John, handing his Fender off to Ronon and approaching Ford as though he was a nervous colt who might bolt. He stopped just outside Ford's personal space. "You're okay?
"Yeah, mostly, said Ford. "Ah, fuck it," and he stepped forward and grabbed John, wrapping him up in a hug, pinning his arms to his sides. John laughed and let him, and then Rodney was being hugged and Teyla was beaming.
"Aiden saw our Facebook page," she said, "and the interview."
Aiden shrugged. "Just a flying visit, can't stay."
That turned out to be because he was wanted by the governments of eight countries, after some exploits involving whaling ships and C4. He'd kicked the drugs though, and seemed happier, or at least more sure about who he was and what he wanted, and he stayed long enough to borrow Ronon's drums and record Lost Boys with them, the one track from their old album that they hadn't yet tackled, because it had always been about Aiden and the drugs, and no one had wanted to put John through that.
"Not so lost any more, or not in that way," said Aiden as he was leaving, after a lot of shoulder-clapping and a long New Athosian embrace with Teyla. He tilted his head and grinned at Rodney, then at John. "See you two got your shit together, finally. Try not to fuck it up this time."
"Yeah," said John, taking Rodney's hand and lacing their fingers together. "We're working on it." Rodney rolled his eyes.
Aiden got into the passenger seat of a black van. The windows were tinted so the other occupants weren't visible. He leaned out the window. "I'll send you a postcard," he called.
They stood on the steps for some time after the van vanished into the night, black on black. John's hand was warm in Rodney's.
"It was very good to see him again," said Teyla. "And now we will have tea."
Part 1 Part 2 Part 3
...and, as a postscript, can I say just how much I hate posting long things to LJ. Endless hassles.