Summary: There are a lot of things that John wishes he could unlearn.
Fandom: Stargate: Atlantis
Word Count: 792
Rating/Warnings: R, urtication (use of stinging nettles), masochism (I would call it S&M, but there just really isn't any S), restraints, sadface
A/N: For the painplay (other) square on my kink_bingo card. I steal a warning from crysothemis: "You may want to skip this one if you're squicked by BDSM. You may want to skip this one if you're really into BDSM." I'm not even sure what this is; it's like porn, but it's not hot at all. I had notes, but they got, like, really TMI, really fast; so suffice it to say I don't actually know what nettles feel like, and I apologize in advance if I screwed it up.
There are a lot of things that John wishes he could unlearn. There are so many images he'd rather unsee; there is so much in his brain that he wishes he could just wash out.
It hasn't escaped his notice that most of it concerns himself.
As Rodney prepares, the silence in the room is oppressive. John tests the ropes around his hands, pulling at them to make sure they're secure. He actually sort of hates being bound; it's just that he's not a hundred percent sure he won't run if he isn't.
If he wants to get honest about the whole thing- which, let's face it, he really doesn't- he hates all of this. Not the pain- really, he loves the pain, which is the crux of the matter- but he hates knowing how much he needs it. He wishes fervently that he could go back to thinking that he just didn't like sex very much, that it was okay if he couldn't get off half the time.
He despises himself for getting Rodney caught up in it too, and Rodney for not letting it go. John is good at being disappointed, good at sucking it up and moving on; but Rodney just doesn't know when he should quit, clinging desperately to John like he's going to slip away if John's even the least bit dissatisfied.
It makes him feel like he's such a fucking hassle, and he hates that more than anything.
The heavy leather gloves make soft sussurations against Rodney's wrists as he pulls them on, tugging his sleeves down so that none of his skin is exposed. John knows that this is all very safe- it has to be for Rodney to consider doing it. Rodney's researched the plant obsessively, there's an epi-pen and a scarily large tub of anti-histamine ointment in the nightstand, he makes John do a patch test each and every time, he grows it himself with absolutely no pesticides- but seeing how careful Rodney is to cover himself just really doesn't inspire confidence.
And John is getting hard already.
It goes without saying that he's terrified about what all this says about him, but he's increasingly aware that this falls in the "insults to injuries" folder. As if it weren't enough he's gay and sleeping with a member of his team. As if it weren't enough that he's disobeyed orders on any number of occasions. As if it weren't enough that he shot his commanding officer. As if it weren't enough that all his allegiances belong to a galaxy that isn't even his. As if any of that weren't enough to ruin his entire life, he's a masochist on top of it.
Unfortunately, those thoughts really just make him need release more, not less.
"Deep breaths," Rodney says, and John really doesn't know who he's reminding.
Rodney doesn't whip him, not really; John isn't really sure that he could, even if- maybe especially if- John begged and pleaded. He just lets the heavy stalks fall against John's back, thudding gently against his skin over and over. For a long time, it feels soothing, weirdly like being petted; Rodney's deliberate about where he strikes, feathering down John's ass, the backs of his thighs, the thin skin of his balls. John almost- almost- forgets that it's not supposed to feel good.
The pain comes on in waves, crawling up his spine and flaring out over his skin, burning like he's been whipped long and hard. It hurts- it hurts like fucking Hell- just the way he needs it to. It gets down into pieces of him that are never quite in the right place, snapping them into position and straightening him out. And John is pretty sure he's supposed to be screaming, but he's too busy moaning and writhing instead.
In a few hours, the pain is going to just ebb out again, and John won't have anything to show for it but a couple of blisters. And for days after that, John is going to hate himself for doing this, for making Rodney do this, for not being strong enough to let it go.
But he can't stop.
Because if he's lucky, he'll get to that place where nothing matters, where he can't feel anything at all except pain and pleasure, indistinguishable from one another when he's in it. And for a while, he'll be happy and pliant and so, so calm, blessedly free of the billions of concerns and distractions that pick at him every waking second. And Rodney will stroke his hair and tell him everything's fine, there's nothing to worry about, just let it come.
And some times, these moments are the only ones that make up for the rest of them.