John's body did everything it was supposed to do and more; it had gotten him through basic training and active duty and even kept him and, on a few occasions, his friends alive. He was good with that. He just didn't get why such a serviceable bit of machinery had to come in this package. John really didn't like the way he looked.

Normally he avoided the mirror but it had been the kind of day that made him want to stare in revulsion at himself. Every now and then he just needed to wallow in self-pity and dislike. To that end, after his shift, he went to Rodney's room and undressed himself in front of the full length mirror. Rodney wasn't off yet so he wouldn't be around to tell John that he was hot. It hurt sometimes. He'd trusted Rodney with his life and his heart. He'd even trusted Rodney with his body. So it felt a little like betrayal whenever Rodney lied like that to him. He really wanted to believe Rodney wouldn't lie but he was looking at himself right now and he didn't see a single thing that was hot.

He was sure Rodney knew how he felt about his body and he knew Rodney didn't like it. He knew Rodney was just trying to help when he said it over and over, when he kissed him and held him and loved him. He'd even found John a few times like this and done everything he could to make it better. As much as Rodney's words hurt sometimes John still kind of liked that Rodney cared enough to try to fix it. The two feelings shouldn't exist together like that but that didn't stop them. He was kind of hoping that Rodney would get off at his normal time so he would find John today. Today he needed to hate being lied to and he needed Rodney to try to fix it.

His eyes passed over his features, chronicling every irregularity and matching it to the checklist in his mind. Then, like an answered prayer, the door whooshed open as Rodney walked in and dumped his armful on his desk.

"You won't believe the crap Zelenka's trying to get me to agree to. You know he wants me to sign off on the Botanist's newest attempt to open that greenhouse that got sealed after the pollen incident? He actually thinks-"

Rodney cut himself off at the look on John's face, standing naked in front of the mirror. He sighed then breathed in and let it out slowly, "John."

John's eyes lifted to meet Rodney's in the mirror. He looked a little embarrassed, a little sad, a little defiant, and a lot miserable.

Rodney walked over to wrap his arms around John's waist, "you know how hot you are?"

John tensed and dropped his eyes, Rodney had known he would but still liked to hope that maybe one day he wouldn't.

"What is it this time?"

John's voice was soft, "you know."

It was true. Rodney knew every part of John's body that he was self-conscious about. Rodney lifted his hand to comb through John's hair and down around his ears.

"If everything about you were normal, if nothing stood out and you looked just like everyone else, then I wouldn't want your body so much. I'd still want you, of course, because it's this I want," Rodney tapped John's head, "and this," Rodney put his hand over John's heart, "but you wouldn't be so special to me."

John was torn between a blush and an angry glare, "special is just another word for weird."

Rodney's reminded of the reason John's never went through with joining MENSA. The reason he didn't go through with a lot of things. John didn't like being unique. He didn't want to stand out. He always felt like he stuck out in the worst way. John never felt normal so all he wanted was to fit in and Rodney couldn't convince him that he did. Rodney sighed again. This was enough. It was time for a different approach. He knew it would make John more uncomfortable before it fixed anything but he was going to do it anyway.

Rodney maneuvered John over to sit on the bed. He turned them so they faced each other then took John's head in his hands and kissed him very softly.

"Do you trust me?"

John nodded.

"And you love me?"

John gave a fleeting smile and nodded again.

"And you're mine?"

Rodney knows John still feels weird about this phrase, he feels like he's being referred to as a possession even when Rodney's tried to explain that's not the way it's meant. But in this case, if Rodney can get John to agree, it might help to think of it that way.

John's jaw clenches defensively, "you're mine, too."

Rodney smiles. John needs to be sure that he's not giving himself up without getting something in return.

"Yes."

Rodney leans in and kisses John, gently drawing John into the kiss then letting him take it over.

"Yes, I'm all yours, too."

John doesn't verbally give in but he nods.

This time, when Rodney kisses him, he takes over and makes John give in.

"John."

John ducks his head shyly.

"Say it, John." Rodney asks softly.

"I'm yours." John whispers.

Rodney smiles and kisses him again, this time meeting John in the middle.

He gently pushes John so he's lying on the bed and swings his leg over to straddle John's thighs. John reaches out to grab Rodney's shirt but Rodney intercepts John's hand.

"Not yet."

John looks confused and Rodney twines his fingers with the ones he's holding. Rodney leans forward but moves out of the way when John leans up to meet the kiss, instead he presses his lips to John's nose. He knows John thinks it looks big and pointy.

"This," Rodney says firmly, "is mine. I get very protective of things that are mine and don't like people thinking bad things about them."

Rodney reaches his other hand up to comb through John's mop of hair. He knows John hates how he has too many cowlicks and it never does what he wants it to. He tugs gently, "this is mine, too. Sometimes I hate to admit it but I like it, ok? I really like it."

He moves to John's ear, licking around the edge then biting on the soft lobe.

"These are mine." Then he leans in to whisper so softly it's barely a puff of air, "I think they're adorable."

He kisses John's cheeks and jaw then down his neck, poking his tongue out to swipe at a few small scars left from John's youth, when he'd had a bad case of physically and psychologically painful acne.

"These are mine. They remind me that you're human, that you were young once and got through it about as well as I did. It makes me feel close to you."

He keeps one hand interlocked with John's but moves down to his shoulders. He runs his hand along them then leans in to nibble on the muscle there. John thinks they're too narrow.

"These are mine. I think they're just the right width."

Rodney continues, running his hand through John's chest hair now, "This is mine. I like all your hair. It's fun and manly." He sees John give a small amused smile at that and returns it before moving on.

He nuzzles the area around John's waist, where John's age is just beginning to show. He's in the best shape of his life but nothing can stop the slight build up there, the slow softening that Rodney is all too familiar with.

"This is mine. It makes you more comfortable to lie on."

He gives a small kiss to John's navel, sneaking a peek downward. He's pleased to see John must actually be listening because he's still mostly soft.

When he licks up John's shaft John gives a startled jerk and leans up to get a better view but Rodney just smirks cheekily and moves on. He kisses his way down John's legs, tugging gently on the hair there to remind John of his earlier words. He blows on John's toes and they twitch in the rush of air. He trails a finger down one, then another.

"These are mine. They might be a little crooked but I think it's endearing."

He doesn't look up to see John's incredulous look, he just continues to run his finger over the point of the toe and back along the bottom. He smiles when John jerks his foot back as Rodney reaches the arch. He switches sides and begins to work his way back up the other leg, giving it the same treatment as the other.

When he gets to the hip he moves over to the hand he's still holding. He breaks their hands apart and holds John's fingers up to his face, looking closely. The nail is cut short so it wont get in the way, but also so John wont bite at them, and his fingers are calloused and, despite being long, they're kind of blunt. John thinks they're ugly. Rodney pops each finger into his mouth one at a time, drawing them slowly out and flicking his tongue at the tip as they leave. This earns him a smoldering look from John, a few breathy moans, and a few stuttering thrusts of John's pelvis against him where he's moved back to straddling him.

"These are mine. They do amazing things. They can be so careful and so strong. They hold the trigger on the gun while you're saving my life and they can make me feel better than anyone else's ever could. I think they're wonderful."

Rodney unfolded himself from his place above John and stood up. When John made to move as well Rodney reached out to press his palm into John's chest and push him back again. He stayed this time. Rodney lifted his shirt and rid himself of his pants, undressing normally. When he turned back to straddle John again he was pleased to note that John was watching him hungrily, a bit pensive still but that only meant that maybe John would be taking this to heart, and he was finally mostly hard. Rodney locked his hand with John's again then leaned forward, close enough that his lips almost grazed John's as he spoke. John didn't move to meet the kiss this time; he looked at Rodney expectantly, waiting for what he would say next.

"These," Rodney kissed John gently, "are mine. It's probably true that any girl would love to have such amazingly pouty lips but these are not girly. They belong to the man I love and I think they're perfect on him." Then Rodney leaned in to kiss him again. This time they stayed locked together. Rodney's hand trailed back down John's chest and stomach until it curled around his cock and stroked gently.

"You're mine. I think you're perfect. You're everything I want and right now I want you to take me."

John whined low in his throat and moved his free hand to pull Rodney back in. They rocked together for a long moment, rolling their hips in counter point and kissing deeply, until Rodney reached out with his other hand to the nightstand. He pulled back and pressed the lube into John's hand.

John made to shift their positions but Rodney held him down, "like this. I want to see you, so beautiful beneath me, and I want you to see what you do to me."

John gave another deep, rumbling moan and rocked up against Rodney once more before uncapping the bottle. He slicked his fingers reached between Rodney's legs, rubbing up from behind his balls to the wrinkled skin of his hole then pushing in. He watched Rodney with a look of half concentration as he focused on what his fingers were doing and half bewilderment at this evening's events. What they were doing right now wasn't all that unusual so Rodney gave into one final optimistic thought that maybe he'd gotten through to him a little before he gave into the feeling of John's fingers doing one of the things they did best.

~*~

John wasn't a late sleeper so, even with the events of last night, he found himself awake at dawn. He got slowly out of bed, careful not to wake Rodney, and went into the bathroom to relieve himself, shower, and brush his teeth.

When he made his way back into the room, naked still, the full length mirror caught his eye and he turned to face his reflection. He wrinkled his nose at what he saw, turning his head to see his ears. Then he stopped. These things, the person he was looking at in the mirror, belonged to Rodney. It was no longer his place to put them down; he had to trust Rodney's assessment of them.

It wasn't that simple, of course. John didn't like what he saw, regardless of what his mind was telling him about it, but he did think that Rodney had made one point very clear last night. John was his. And John had always made an effort to respect things that belonged to Rodney.

John smiled to himself, running a hand over his stomach, and decided to wake Rodney up in the best way possible.