Chapter 6: Zenith
(NC-17; word count: 3,290)
The sun is going down by the time the last of the guests leave. The sky is a fiery red over the fields stretching out from Cam’s house, fireflies starting to flicker in the shadows of the tree lined property. John and Ash are helping Cam move the folding chairs into the cover of the old oversized shed.
Cam catches John’s gaze, the other man having been watching him for most of the day, which isn’t out of the ordinary for either of them. But Cam is fairly certain the gazes are not lust filled and brimming with unbridled sexual tension, but more of suspicion and curiosity.
Which is never really good.
“I need to get out of these fucking shoes,” Ash declares, closing the shed door, and snapping the padlock in place.
“I second that and raise you this tie,” John says, loosening it. Cam opens his mouth to say something but snaps it closed when he realizes Ash is staring at him like he knows what he’s thinking. His brother rolls his eyes and walks away with an ill-concealed smirk.
“Yea,” Cam says instead.
John walks close to Ash as they head back towards the house, too close that Cam can’t risk talking privately without being overheard. He knows John must realize this.
“Hey Shep,” Cam starts, as they hit the back porch. John turns around without stopping and nods at him. “Can we—“
“I really need a shower,” John says to him before turning back around and heading into the house. Cam stops, stares at the space where John was and wonders, great now what.
Cam doesn’t find out what now until after he steps out of his own shower to find the house quiet. Ash is half asleep in front of the television and his parents’ bedroom door is closed (he concludes they are asleep but that is one investigation he is more than happy to decline). His own room is empty, John nowhere to be found, his suit is hung neatly on the back of his closet door and Cam picks up the sleeve in his hand and smiles.
His bedroom is softly lit, the night outside still visible. He can see a light in the distance, and as he walks closer to the window he realizes it is coming from his tree house.
“Sheppard?” He asks the empty room. He shuts his light off, closes the door, and gives a vague thought to stuffing pillows and blankets into their empty beds before he remembers he’s not fifteen and instead heads out into the night.
The moon is rising, almost full, it lights his way easily through the backyard and up to the poplar tree and the small wooden house nested in its branches. He stares up at the underside of the house and the rather haphazardly nailed planks he once used as a ladder.
“I’m going to die,” Cam says to himself as he climbs, “I fly engineered human-alien fighter jets in apocalyptic space battles and I am going to fall out of a tree and break my neck.”
“I don’t think Teal’c would be all that surprised.” Cam startles in surprise and the plank beneath his foot cracks slightly as he clings to the tree.
“Fuck Sheppard!” He shouts looking up at John’s head peering down at him through the door in the floor. John laughs and reaches a hand out and Cam takes it, climbing up as John pulls him through the floor.
“That bastard would laugh his stoic little face off if I was done in by flora.” Cam closes the latch on the door and secures it before collapsing against the aging wood.
“Indeed.” John imitates and they both laugh.
John pushes at Cam until he gets the hint to move, scooting over on his elbows and heels so John can spread the blankets he stole from the linen closet out over the floor. John collapses back against them, his shoulder and his hip bumping into Cam’s.
“Convenient.” Cam remarks, shimmying on the fleece, presumably trying to get comfortable.
“Mmm,” is all John says in response and they fall into a comfortable silence, staring up at the skylight cut into the roof, peering up through the spaces carved in the branches to watch the stars overhead.
“My dad started to build this before his accident,” Cam says suddenly, like he’s answering a question John doesn’t remember ever asking. “It was half finished and when he came back it just sat here, I’d look at it out my bedroom window and I hated it. It was just this, obvious reminder of what my dad’d never be able to do with me again.”
“But you finished it?”
“Yeah. My dad he’d…he’d ask ‘today we gonna finish that damn tree house?’ And I’d always say, ‘maybe tomorrow’ only I was never really planning on it. I thought he was just trying to make me feel better, but I wasn’t really the one that needed it.”
“So one day I come outside and Ash is in the tree house trying to nail one part of the wall up. Have you ever seen a four year old trying to use a hammer?” Cam asks and John turns to look at him and he’s smiling fondly, it’s a good look, John thinks.
“I have no idea how the hell he got in the tree house in the first place. But uh…we built it together, my dad telling us what to do.”
“So…a ten and four year old built this place?” John clarifies. “Should I have updated my will before we climbed up here?”
“Its fine,” Cam says, bouncing in place to prove it, the floorboards squeak and John looks at him speculatively. The moonlight through the leaves casts shadows over Cam’s face that move when the wind blows through the branches, obscuring his features and catching in his irises. John stretches his neck forward slightly and captures Cam’s lips against his own.
He can feel Cam’s smile against his lips as he kisses him, his teeth nipping at John’s bottom lip and his tongue pushing into John’s parted mouth. John pulls away a few inches.
“What’s that for?” Cam asks, his eyes a little out of focus.
“We could die here,” John tells him and Cam huffs out a laugh.
“We could, it’s a possibility. So we should…” and John reaches a hand out to cup Cam’s face and pulls him forward again.
Cam rolls over, his hip digging into the floor uncomfortably as he inches forward until he’s pressed against the length of John’s side leaning over him. When his hand moves insistently between John’s legs to cup the warm weight of him through his jeans John’s back arches up off the floor. He bites at Cam’s lip with a groan, his tongue moving sloppily along Cam’s mouth.
John’s hand is gripping at Cam’s shirt, the other palming him through his jeans with no real pressure, too focused on Cam’s hand sliding over his heated skin to grip at his cock, hard in his undone jeans.
“Fuck Cam,” he hisses against Cam’s lips, he can feel Cam’s hips stutter soft into his palm like he doesn’t know he’s doing it, moving without thought as he bites at John’s jaw and jerks him slow and hard.
“Cam,” he says, but he means to say faster, but then Cam bites his neck, hard and his hand speeds up, and John closes his eyes as he comes.
Cam wipes his hand on the outside of John’s boxers as he pulls it free and John reaches at Cam’s fly but Cam grabs his hand to stop him.
“Don’t,” he whispers, lying back against the blankets, pulling John’s arm around him and using his bicep to cushion his head. “Not yet,” Cam tells him, before John can ask. John just nods his head a few times and Cam tilts his own back to bite softly at the underside of John’s chin and the side of his neck.
“When I was a kid I used to pretend this was my spaceship,” Cam says into the silence.
“Yeah? That why the…décor?” John asks. Cam smiles and nods, tilting his head to look at the scraps of metal secured to the wall in fake panels, the wires connected to nothing hanging from the ceiling and disappearing into old computer parts.
“My dad bought me a telescope when I was eleven. I used to sit up here and look at the stars and wish so badly I could be there. I named them all myself, couldn’t ever read a star chart to save my life.”
“Pfft,” John laughs, his body vibrating beneath Cam’s. Cam punches him lightly in the abdomen.
“I wonder which ones we’ve been to,” Cam says, staring up at the sky through the roof.
“That one,” John says, pointing.
“Really?” Cam asks, wondering how John can tell.
“No idea,” John sighs, curling his arm and sweeping Cam closer to him.
“Hey Sheppard?” Cam asks; his voice is sort of soft and cautious like he’s hoping John might not answer him.
“Mm?” He asks, bumping his head softly into Cam’s.
“I know I’m not supposed to ask…” Cam starts and John’s mouth quirks up in a grin.
“I think that ship has left the hangar Cameron.”
“I like when you call me Cameron,” Cam teases.
“Yeah? What about sir?” John asks, ducking his head and biting at the tip of Cam’s ear.
“We are so not going there, Sheppard,” Cam says, John huffs out a laugh, breath hot in Cam’s ear, and Cam lets out a low groan. He smirks and makes a point of panting a little harder and Cam turns his neck to let John suck the skin below his jaw.
What’d you want to know?” John asks, and Cam closes his eyes and breathes, licking over his lips as John starts biting harder.
“Fuck if I know,” Cam says. John’s hand is starting to creep towards his cock, half hard in the track pants he pulled on after his shower. John’s hand slides beneath the waistband, curling over his thigh before his hand stops and Cam realizes he’s laughing against his neck.
“What?” Cam asks, face flushing. “You know I really don’t like it when people touch my dick and then laugh about it.”
“No it’s—wait…does that happen often?” John asks, lifting his head. Cam scowls and John laughs again and ducks his head against Cam’s neck. “You’re not wearing underwear.”
“Is that a problem?” Cam asks and John nods his head against Cam’s neck as his fist wraps around Cam’s cock and Cam’s jaw snaps shut on a moan.
“Yes, very very offended,” John says, voice low as he moves down Cam’s body.
“I can see that…yea,” Cam nods, over and over. Cam grips the blanket beneath him as John lifts himself up to straddle him, gripping the edges of Cam’s waistband in his hands before pulling his pants down his thighs.
John’s features are thrown in stark relief, his face cut from shadow and pale in the moonlight, but Cam can see the openness in the tilt of his lip on a smirk and the focus of his eyes and his hands against his skin.
John braces himself before ducking his head to take Cam into his mouth, no pretense no teasing, like he might if he hadn’t been picturing this moment for so long (and if Cam wasn’t a good several inches larger than John’s fantasies had generously imagined).
“Oh fuck,” Cam says, and he sounds almost surprised. “I just knew…shit…you could put that backfuck talking mouth to much be-better uses.” John smirks around Cam’s dick and mhms in response and Cam’s body jerks beneath him.
“I remembered,” Cam huffs, “what I was gonna ask?” John looks up at him incredulously, quirking a brow, pulling off.
“Now?” He asks.
“Are you—“ John swirls his tongue rapidly over the head of Cam’s cock, “oooh gay?” John freezes.
“Are you?” Cam asks, breathing hard.
“You’re asking me if I’m gay…while I have a dick in my mouth? I’d say yea this is pretty gay.”
“But are you, I mean do you consider yourself?” Cam asks, propping himself up on his elbows to look down at John.
“I don’t know. I like women if that’s what you’re wondering,” John replies and Cam nods, looking like he’s thinking far too hard for someone who has John’s saliva glistening on his erection. “But I also really love cock Cam so if you’ll shut your mouth I’ll gladly open mine.”
John goes back down, swallowing Cam as far as he can before he pulls back off and Cam is making humming noises in between contented sighs, his hand falling against the hair at the back of John’s head.
“Can I ask you something?” John asks, breathing hard against the hand he has curled around Cam’s dick.
“Uh what?” Cam asks, his throat dry.
“Why didn’t you tell me about this?” John asks, raising his arm and showing Cam the tattoo practically glowing a fiery red. Cam blinks, gapes at it in confusion, not the question he was expecting. John ducks his head slightly and licks a stripe up Cam’s shaft and Cam groans letting his eyes flutter closed.
“I don’t…” Cam says, and John jerks once, “please,” Cam mutters incoherent. His hand scrabbles at John’s head in an attempt to prod him in the direction of his dick.
“You knew right?”
“Mhm, John—“ John takes Cam back into his mouth and Cam sighs.
“So how come you didn’t say anything?”
“Thought if you knew, god, you’d I don’t know…” Cam thrusts up against John’s mouth, and John grips his hip, pushing him back against the floor. “Figure out how to…I don’t know.”
Cam huffs in frustration, running a hand over his sweat slicked forehead and propping himself up with a sigh. John pulls off and kneels across Cam’s thighs, steadying himself with a palm beside Cam’s naked hip.
“I just…” Cam pants, unsure of what to say because, “I don’t know why I didn’t say anything. I was going to, back at the diner, and I just…I thought, you could try to suppress emotions, I mean I’ve seen you do it, you’re pretty good at it. But this tattoo thing, it’s not…interpretive, it is what it is.”
“No,” John says, shaking his head.
“That wasn’t a question.” When John looks up it’s to find Cam watching him.
“Your hair is getting long,” John tells him, staring at the spikes falling across Cam’s flushed skin. John moves forward, gripping Cam’s side his thumb sliding across Cam’s hip; Cam’s dick twitches beside his hand. John leans in tilting his head to press his lips against Cam’s, nipping at Cam’s bottom lip.
“I should have told you,” Cam says, apologetically between hard kisses, and John nods.
“Yes, you should have.”
“Stop talking now,” John instructs and Cam nods fervently, bringing a hand up to cradle John’s head as the kiss deepens and grows desperate.
Cam uses John’s weight against his thighs to anchor himself as he reaches for the hem of John’s t-shirt and pulls it up and off, barely breaking contact between their persistent mouths. When John shifts to slide Cam’s track pants the rest of the way off, Cam offsets his balance with a deliberate push, rolling them over until Cam is poised over John.
John’s gasp of surprise turns quickly to arousal when Cam’s make very little pretense as he cups John once more through the thin layer of his cotton boxers. He’s hard again, and, “God, if this is their doing I take back all of the bad things I ever said about the Ancients.”
Cam huffs a laugh against John’s neck in agreement. He pulls his own t-shirt off and bunches it up with the rest of their discarded clothing and uses it as a makeshift pillow for John. John raises an eyebrow at him, which Cam ignores in favor of pulling Sheppard’s jeans and boxers down his thighs and over his already bare feet.
“You think this is how it’s going to be?” John asks, but he’s already spreading his legs for Cam to settle in between, wrapping his thighs around either side of Cam’s hips.
John’s heard Cam run at the mouth a mile a minute with incessant rambling; he’s seen Cam speeding behind the wheel of a car and showing off in the cockpit. So it surprises him some, when Cam fucks him slow and hard, with deliberate thrusts of his hips against John’s in long agonizing strokes.
John always has a sarcastic quip for everything, it’s one of his less charming features, and Cam has enough familiarity with his wit to feel a certain smugness at Sheppard’s complete and utter silence. John is panting hard beneath him, every thrust of his hips earning him a long drawn out moan as his eyes flutter open and closed.
Cam is leaning over John braced on his forearm, his head buried in the crook of John’s neck as he fucks him. John scratches down Cam’s back and bites at his shoulder marks he plans to revisit later. Each thrust of Cam’s hips into his sends John back until he has to reach out a hand to brace himself on the wall behind him.
The tattoo on Cam’s wrist is scorching hot, his pulse thumping beneath it. John can feel his own pulse throbbing and the distant feel of another, like an echo just beneath it, and he stares up at Cam who’s looking down at him.
“Fuck, I can feel your…” Cam pants, and John nods closing his eyes and thunking his head back against the floor.
“Cam,” John groans, “I’m really close,” he whispers, his voice a hushed rasp.
“Me too,” Cam says, nodding rapidly, his hips speeding, losing focus, his thrusts more erratic and without rhythm. John grabs Cam’s arm, slots their fingers together, watches as the tattoos touch.
There’s a small flash of golden light and the symbols bleed heat in a trickle down each wrist. Cam’s breath stops in his chest as he comes, his hips stopping, pumping into John. John’s moan is low and guttural, as he spills onto his stomach and Cam’s, his cock twitching between them.
“Jesus fucking Christ,” John shouts, when Cam pulls out and collapses against him, their hands still tangled together.
“Lord’s name…vain…not,” Cam tries with a grin, but he’s too close to whooping, or yeehawing and he doesn’t think John will ever sleep with him again if he does, so instead he buries his face in John’s neck and laughs.
“Knew those fucking Ancients were kinky bastards, what the hell was that?” John asks, wrapping an arm around Cam.
“God I love science,” Cam laughs.
“I…you,” John says, though he thinks he might have forgotten something important in the middle there. Cam raises himself up to look at John. He doesn’t say anything, and John doesn’t clarify, doesn’t think he could. Cam kisses him, and it’s soft and affectionate and it makes John flush.
“Whatever happens, after the device I mean,” Cam tries, “I mean I don’t know what it…and if I…”
“It’s okay,” John says. Cam shakes his head.
“No, I mean…I don’t know what will happen after the device shuts off or whatever, but…I mean I just want you to know that…I want…this.” Cam is propped up, looking at the hand he has against John’s chest, his thumb stroking back and forth over his ribcage.
“This is what I want.”