Summary: SLASH. John/Yassen. Not just a student/mentor relationship.

AN: So I've been working on a John Rider fic for a while now, on and off (mostly off, having been stumped by my lack of Scorpia and Eagle Strike). And so, when I couldn't sleep I thought I'd write a scene or two. Plausible, right? I thought so. But then my little slash demon perked up and said, 'You know what doesn't need facts? You know what doesn't need plot? Uhuh.' And this happened instead. So, um, yeah. I apologize.

This is slash. Man on man smut. Whatever. If that's not your cup of tea/doesn't float your boat, well, you have been warned. Also, sister dear, if you're reading this – go away. Or at least have the decency to pretend you haven't read it. Please.

Also, this is Sort Of Dedicated to amitai, who was having problems with the interwebz. I'm not sure if she'll want it, but it's the thought that counts. Right?

And so, after that extremely long AN, here it is.

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The first time John meets Yassen, the boy is fifteen and tiny. He's so small that John disbelieves the stories until he catches a glimpse of the ice cold anger in his blue eyes. Still, the day of his first class, he holds the boy back afterwards.

"You shouldn't be here," he says clearly. Yassen stiffens in anger; muscles wound whipcord tight and face darkening. "Killing is not a game for children."

"I'm not a child," Yassen snaps immediately.

"Really?" John says coolly, just looking at him, watching and assessing. On a whim, he picks up a folder from his desk – copies of the advanced class notes. "Return it to me by Friday."

Yassen takes it, but doesn't open it, and glares as he leaves. John watches him go thoughtfully. There is something about the boy that makes him believe the stories, something other than the sharp cold anger.

He thinks it might be potential.

--


--

The forest around the edge of Malagosto has many dead zones where the sophisticated monitoring equipment doesn't quite reach. Some of these are natural but most of them were specifically created for privacy – or the illusion of it. John knows this spot is clear, but he checks again as they enter, just out of habit.

Yassen watches him circle the clearing. He's eighteen and has the thin wiry body of a teenager who has grown tall fast and not yet filled out. Still, he is like a viper, swift and deadly. John takes pride in knowing that he helped create this.

"What do you want from me?" Yassen says, voice tight and hands clenched into fists at his side.

John looks at him calmly. "You," he says. It's an ambiguous statement, but there's a flash of understanding in Yassen's eyes. His hands clench even tighter until the knuckles go white.

"Tell me what that means," Yassen demands. And John realizes that the tightness isn't anger, its fear. Yassen doesn't get afraid easily, but then, this is different.

"It means you and me," John says, gesturing at both of them. "It means…" he trails of, not sure what it means in any definitive way. Which is frustrating because he can see that Yassen, ever logical and rational, needs that definition. "It means companionship. Touch." He shrugs. "Sex. A partnership."

The tight expression fades, just slightly. Yassen might fear the unknown, but he will not run. Good.

John takes a step closer, until they're just inches apart and he could lean down kiss Yassen if he wanted to. "So yes or no?" he asks.

Yassen looks at him with an expression that lacks any sort of passion, but John knows the reasons and pros and cons as well as Yassen does and if this was about logic they wouldn't have gotten this far.

"Yes."

John moves with a slow fluid grace that's designed to prevent startling and slips his hand behind Yassen's head, tips it back and kisses him. Yassen is stiff and awkward under his lips, but John isn't worried, because it's unlikely that Yassen has done this before. He's been on Malagosto since he was fourteen and his relations with his classmates have never been more than cordial. So John moves slowly, pressing firmly but undemanding and, after a moment, Yassen begins to respond.

He kisses back with an uncertain hesitancy that doesn't surprise John at all. What does surprise him is how quickly the hesitancy turns to boldness and the kissing becomes not just lips but tongues and teeth. But then, Yassen has always been a quick learner.

John kisses him slowly, caressing the back of his neck and threading his fingers into Yassen's hair, before breaking away. Yassen looks at him, eyes unsure.

"Some things don't have to be rushed," he says and walks off, leaving Yassen behind him looking vaguely cheated.

--


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John spends the next few days acting completely normal and watching Yassen getting wound tighter and tighter. And the more anxious he gets, the more he falters in things that he has done a million times before.

"You can't let it interfere," John chides after a class. He rests his hip against his desk and folds his arms. "Maybe this was a bad idea."

"No!" Yassen says, surprisingly forceful.

John raises an eyebrow.

Yassen almost, almost, flushes. "I'll concentrate."

John eyes him carefully, considering. "Good," he says eventually. "Because I wanted to do this." He steps forward quickly and kisses hard. This time, Yassen is more sure of himself, pressing eagerly forward, hands braced against John's chest and arms.

--


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Yassen's first mission is nearly a disaster. John can calculate every possible outcome and knows that they are so very lucky to both be alive and successful. A different angle, different timing and they would have failed or died. And that is not an option. But they're both alive and safe on Malagosto, so he tries to move past it.

"It's healing," John says, smearing more antiseptic on the cut. Yassen doesn't even flinch, but there is a look of awe in his eyes that tells John that he could be rubbing in salt and Yassen would let him. He doesn't really like it. "You're lucky; there are a lot of things in the Amazon that could have caused infection." He puts the cream back in the first aid kit and tucks it away under his bed that Yassen is sitting on. They should rightly have gone to the infirmary, but neither of them likes it there and John's room has everything they need.

"Good," Yassen says, and reaches up to catch John's hand. He holds it loosely to the side and stands so they're toe to toe, nose to nose. John reaches for him with his other hand, but Yassen catches that too. It's not a tight hold and he could break it easily, but he gets the idea.

"Okay," he says and Yassen lets go. John keeps his hands to his sides, as Yassen reaches up and kisses him. It's awkward, letting Yassen be the one in charge, but John does it anyway. Yassen twists them around and pushes him down so he's the one sitting on the bed. It's still warm.

Yassen is warm too, and pressed in tight against him. His mouth is hot and wet and his hands are quick and light, moving down, palming John through the rough denim fabric of his jeans.

John breaks away and looks him in the eyes. The awe is still there.

"This is not obligation," Yassen says answering the question that he didn't ask. His hands still on John's belt buckle. "This is not obligation," he repeats again, and it's words within words. John nods and smiles.

Yassen takes that as agreement because he presses in close again and kisses hard. His nimble fingers are pushing and pulling and tugging and it's not long before John's jeans are pushed down around his thighs. John closes his fingers around the sheets of the bed and doesn't make a sound.

It takes a lot more effort to stay quiet, to stay still, when Yassen stops kissing him and his mouth follows his hands down. John nearly groans as Yassen's mouth engulfs him. It's not easy and his breathing gets labored and catches in his throat again and again. Time seems to stretch into infinity as Yassen's tongue swirls wet patterns on his cock, and as the Russian's cool fingers caress his balls.

John closes his eyes and his head lolls backwards, banging against the wall softly. Yassen chuckles softly. John can't hear it, but the vibrations roll through his cock and nearly do him in.

Then the world seems to pick up speed again and John is close, close, close… He clenches his fists tight, ripping the sheets, and all his muscles tighten to the point of pain …then he comes, with a spasm and a jerk and a groan that he keeps trapped in his throat. For a moment, it's all he can do to rest, half slumped against the wall, trying to remember how to breathe.

Then he opens his eyes and looks at Yassen, who is wiping his face with a tissue and looks unbearably smug.

"Yeah," John says, voice raspy, not quite sure if it's true.

--


--

Mdina is just ahead of them. John can see the city's stone walls looming before him. It seems a fitting place for everything to end. And yet… he contemplates just turning around and walking away. But he can't. He's been in for too long and is living on borrowed time. He knows Julia Rothman is too close to uncovering him. He has to get out.

He has to.

But he pauses. Yassen stops beside him, an almost frown on his normally blank face. "Is there…?"

"No," John says, because there is nothing wrong. Not really. But he turns and kisses his partner hard, hand rising and caressing Yassen's face gently before twinning in his hair, trying to convey all the goodbyes that he's never going to be able to say.

Yassen doesn't understand. He pulls back, steps away and frowns. He focused on the mission right now. This is just a distraction.

John gives a half smile and shrugs. "Let's go," he says and walks towards Mdina, towards the end, leaving Yassen behind him.

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(blushes) Well, yeah. I can't believe I wrote that.