|04:25 pm - SGA Fic: Gayworld (McKay/Sheppard PG-13)|
Fandom, Pairing: SGA, McKay/Sheppard
Word Count: ~14,000
Notes: For erda_3. Apologies for dreadful lateness. Beta by yolsaffbridge. Takes place during season 4 (when I actually started writing it); Teyla's pregnancy is a minor plot point. There are no other spoilers largely because I haven't even seen most of season 5. (Yes, yes, I saw "The Shrine".)
"God," Rodney moaned. "This is simultaneously my best dream and my worst nightmare."
"Why?" asked Sheppard. "Afraid you're going to get hit on by a guy?"
"I didn't even think of that! Do you really think I'll get propositioned?"
"Sure, Rodney," said Sheppard seriously. "You've got an awfully pretty mouth."
( read whole text at my site )
The massive stone fortress stood on a hill, surrounded by soldiers' tents in perfect neat rows. Rodney sighed heavily as he and Sheppard trudged up from the jumper in the meadow below for the second time that day.
"And then there were two," said Rodney. "I hate going on diplomatic missions alone. I'm not a diplomat."
"You want to go back and radio Ronon?" Sheppard offered, pointing his thumb backward. "These guys would totally love him. He'd come, too. I'm pretty sure a broken leg is the kind of injury he can just walk off in like a day."
"No thanks. I don't want to get in Keller's bad books. She's the Ebenezer Scrooge of morphine drips. Anyway he'd be just useless as us. It's Teyla we need. Why'd you cave so quickly? We could have kept her! The Kalenna want our technology more than we want their training techniques or whatever. We should have put our foot down. She goes, we go."
"Hey, I would've if she'd let me," said Sheppard. "She didn't think it was worth making a big deal over. I kinda see her point. She's not going to be pregnant forever."
"No, she'll be a mom, and what will they think of that? 'Warriors do not attend PTA meetings here,'" Rodney imitated Commander Ayal with a far goofier voice than he actually possessed. "Teyla's too nice. We didn't have to respect their stupid beliefs."
"We could have made them train with her, but we couldn't have made them like it. You saw the way they looked at her. If she doesn't want to spend a week defending her decisions to complete strangers, she's got that right."
The guard at the city gate remembered them, which was understandable: they'd breezed in like rock stars with their crazy clothes and aura of scandal. As the guard made a great show of raising the portcullis and offering to help them with their guns (uh, no thanks, guy), Rodney expected him to ask for their autographs.
"Did you see off your, your, um..." He mimed a pregnant belly, then shook his head, grinning nervously. "How'd that happen, anyway?"
"The usual way, I imagine," said Sheppard.
"You mean she--" The guard suppressed a laugh. "No way!"
"What do you..." Rodney glanced at Sheppard, who frowned, but said nothing. "Oh my God, this place is even more backward than I thought! Do people here not know about sex?"
"Of course we do," said the guard, "but there's a little thing called kya-nde-ki, you know."
"Kya-nde-ki?" The guard searched their faces for recognition. "No babies in the battlefield? Warrior men and warrior women can't just go around having sex with each other! It would be... unclean!"
"What, seriously?" cried Rodney. "You forbid sex? That's--that's barbaric!"
"Now, now," said Sheppard. "Lots of perfectly good militaries have restrictions on sex."
"Name one," said Rodney.
Sheppard sent him an "oh, please" look, to which Rodney responded with a "no, seriously" look, and Sheppard drawled deliberately, "The armed forces of the United States of America."
"What? No, they--oh, what, that 'don't ask, don't tell' thing? Pff. Nobody pays attention to that."
"Really," said Sheppard.
"Anyway, this is different; this counts for everyone! We're going to be surrounded by soldiers with no sexual outlet. They're probably all super violent creepy weirdos. No offense."
"Lack of sex doesn't drive you crazy, Rodney. I don't care what you tell girls."
Rodney pointed at John dramatically, as though he were a horror movie monster. "You're one of them!" He turned back toward the portcullis. "That's it. I'm going with Teyla."
"Get back here," said John, grabbing him by the shoulder. "You're not here to get laid."
"Of course not, but it was always a possible side benefit."
"It's five days, Rodney. It's not like you're getting so much at home."
"How would you know?"
"Three reasons: Wednesday Game Night; Friday Night Golf; Die Hard Saturdays. Add in work and meals and I just don't think you have the time."
"Yeah? That says just as much about you as it does about me."
"I'm willing to take the hit to bring you down."
Rodney took some time to sulk quietly, and Sheppard pointedly ignored him, chatting with the guard about the Kalenna training regimen, which sounded horrible. Hours and hours a day of pure exercise. Rodney was there primarily as a technology expert, helping them repair and create new weapons and efficiently capitalize on the spare parts they'd captured from the Wraith. Sheppard had asked him to join the training at least part of the time--"You know, show the proper soldier-scientist spirit. If nothing else think of it as a personal favor to me"--Rodney had agreed, for no reason he could fathom except that he must have been high on coffee and puzzle-solving endorphins at the time.
A big group of soldiers were relaxing in the courtyard as they passed through. The short-haired blonde who'd caught Rodney's eye earlier was there, talking to another extraordinarily hot woman--willowy sun-bronzed body, cropped jacket closed tight over petite breasts, abs of steel, long black hair and bright green eyes. Rodney whimpered and grabbed John's arm. "Look! Look at the hot."
"Do you mind?" John shook him off.
But Rodney no longer had any intention of keeping his despair to himself. "I can't believe I'm trapped on the planet of the celibates!"
The guard laughed. "I never said we were celibate!"
"What do you--" Rodney broke off, speechless, as Not Carter leaned forward and locked lips with the raven-haired beauty. Green Eyes ran her hand through Not Carter's short hair, caramel lips eagerly sucking pink ones. Rodney swallowed. Okay, this--this was not appropriate for the workplace. This was porn! It was porn without the crass, badly-lit, gravity-and-credulity-defying-plastic-surgery quality. These women were real and beautiful and hanging all over each other and attacking each other's mouths and generally looking like they were two seconds away from stripping down right here in the middle of the courtyard, and damn, was it getting hot in here, out here?
Hazily, as if from a long way away, came John's cheerful voice: "Look at it this way, Rodney. I don't think you'd've had a shot with her anyway."
When the girls had finished kissing and Rodney could blink again, he became aware all at once that they were surrounded by muscled soldier-flesh, male and female, in various states of undress, and in various states of--not sex exactly, but lust. Hormones. Pairs of men and women--or rather, pairs of men and pairs of women--were petting each other affectionately, brushing knees and elbows, kissing open-mouthed.
"Oh my God," said Rodney. "It's so..."
"Spartan?" Sheppard suggested delicately.
In the corner of the yard two young men wrestled, puppy-like, and then fell into a heap, hands slipping inside uniforms. Watching it made Rodney feel weird, so he shifted his gaze back to the girls, who were now stroking each other's hands and whispering to each other, faces close, smiling.
One time when he was eleven Rodney had waited in line for hours to get his commemorative Leafs puck signed by Darryl Sittler and when he finally got to the head of the line, and there was just a flimsy card table between him and Darryl, he'd been struck with all kinds of weird thoughts: I could punch him, or I could touch his hair. Of course, he couldn't really. Even when they were only a few feet apart, there was still an invisible wall separating the child from the demigod. Rodney didn't really want to punch Darryl Sittler in the face, but knowing that he wouldn't, couldn't, even when it was physically possible for him to do so, was somehow intensely frustrating.
This was like that, but a hundred times worse. On the one hand, the girls were putting on a pretty excellent show, and he appreciated that, he did. But they were right here, so close, and so tantalizing, but so forbidden. Hitting on girls that were clearly into each other would be considered rude on any world. On this world... Well, he hadn't asked what the punishment was for heterosexual fraternizing, but the guard had been so shocked by the idea that it had to be something bad.
"God," Rodney repeated. "This is simultaneously my best dream and my worst nightmare."
"Why?" asked Sheppard. "Afraid you're going to get hit on by a guy?"
"What?" There was a new danger. He imagined himself rebuffing one of the men here, or attempting to. He couldn't imagine he'd be really successful in fending them off if they were really determined. All the soldiers here unnerved him in the same way Ronon had unnerved him for the first six to ten months he'd known him. Sure, the women here worked out just as hard as the men, and any one of them could undoubtedly take Rodney in fair hand-to-hand combat, but their power was hidden in a slender, pleasing package. The men were just huge. Their ability to crush you was just out there, visible for all to see. Rodney felt them milling all around him like jackals, and he was suddenly afraid--illogically, maybe, but viscerally. It was like high school all over again.
"I didn't even think of that!" Rodney moaned. "Do you really think I'll get propositioned?"
"Sure, Rodney," said Sheppard seriously. "You've got an awfully pretty mouth."
"Have I?" Rodney touched his lip, his fears momentarily forgotten in a careful consideration of this interesting possibility. "Really? No. You're messing with me. I do?"
"How would I know?" Sheppard leaned back and glanced downward appraisingly, clearly fighting back the telltale smile of Yes, Absolutely, So Messing With You. "Good ass, though."
"Oh, God, you're right!" Maybe Sheppard was teasing, but he'd hit on the honest truth. At that moment, Rodney cursed the gods for his objectively fantastic ass. He might have been safe from the clutches of the roving gay barbarians, who probably didn't find pudgy pale scientists particularly attractive as a rule, if not for its pleasing shapely grabbability.
"Relax, Rodney," said Sheppard, shifting his gun, and sounding annoyed now. Rodney hoped Sheppard wouldn't get so fed up he left him. He didn't want to be alone with these guys, who were looking more predatory with every passing moment. "Just say no."
"They'll think I'm straight!"
"You are straight."
"Shhh!" Rodney waved his arms urgently, and stepped toward him--ostensibly for secretive huddling purposes, although really it made him feel safer to have Sheppard close at hand. "Not so loud! You want them to know that? They're going to stone us or something!"
"I think it's okay to be straight as long as you don't act on it."
"But I want to," said Rodney. Not Carter and her girlfriend were kissing again, just short kisses now, in between brushing hair out of each other's eyes and fluttering their lashes at each other.
"That I can't help you with," said Sheppard.
Rodney was so focused on the girls that he didn't notice the hulking barbarian approaching until he was practically in Rodney's face, leering down at him. "You the guests? Soldier Jerol, first class. I'm to help you with your sleeping arrangements."
Rodney found himself acting on a plan before it had fully formed in his mind. He yanked Sheppard's hand to his chest and patted it clumsily. "We're together!"
Jerol didn't bat an eye. "Right. Let me check if we have a joined pair tent available for you. Back with you in a minute."
"What the hell was that?" Sheppard hissed, pulling his hand away.
"Sorry. I thought he was making a pass at me."
Sheppard hit him upside the head.
"Come on, 'sleeping arrangements'? Tell me you didn't think he was going to suggest 'in my pants'!" Rodney defended himself. "Anyway, you've got to agree, it's just good policy."
"Sleeping in his pants?"
"Pretending to be a couple. Listen, hear me out!" Rodney cut Sheppard off before he had a chance to say anything, because the idea was unfolding, and he was delighted by its newness and perfection. He explained hurriedly, "See, the men won't bother us because we're taken, and the women won't suspect us because we're supposedly gay. We'll fly in under their radar!" Rodney illustrated flying-under-the-radar with a complicated hand gesture, which amazingly didn't seem to convince Sheppard, so he repeated it for good measure.
Sheppard fixed Rodney with his patented your-plan-is-nutty-and-so-are-you stare, but before he could open his mouth, Rodney threw an arm around his waist, because Jerol had popped his head out from the main entrance to the fortress and was giving them a "just another minute" gesture. Rodney smiled broadly. Sheppard stood, stiff and motionless, in Rodney's embrace. When Jerol disappeared back inside, Rodney let him go, and Sheppard stepped away, releasing a deep breath, as if being so close to Rodney had caused him physical pain.
"Oh, come on," said Rodney, feeling annoyed, and, somewhat irrationally, hurt. "I'm thinking of you, too, you know. I may be a specialty taste for some of these guys, but you, you're like a walking pinup in this culture. Fighter, leader, prettyboy? You're going to be beating them off with sticks day and night. You know, unless you go about this with some careful planning and a little stealth, this culture could really throw your perfect Captain Kirk alien-girl bedpost-notch record."
"I don't have a--"
"What are you, homophobic?"
This seemed to throw Sheppard a little. "Wh--no! I just--"
"Whatever," said Rodney, disgusted. Sheppard was so cool, usually, that Rodney sometimes forgot he was an American. "I don't think--" But whatever Rodney didn't think escaped him as soon as he noticed the lesbians walking toward them. He threw Sheppard a desperate look. "Last chance."
"Oh, for. Give me that," Sheppard muttered, grabbing Rodney's hand. In a flash, Sheppard's body language changed from surly to friendly, and he greeted the girls with a sunny smile, swinging his and Rodney's clasped hands between them. He was really doing it! Rodney felt a surge of goodwill toward Sheppard, and he found himself squeezing his hand. It was such a natural response that it didn't occur to him for a moment to wonder whether it was something he would have normally done, or if he was just doing a good job of getting into character.
"You're the Atlantean guests, aren't you? Welcome to the city," said Not Carter. "I'm Rienn."
"Keia," said the black-haired girl.
"Enchante," Sheppard smarmed. "I'm John, and this here is Rodney." He drawled the name zealously. Rodney had to admit he was giving a surprisingly strong performance.
"Are you two--joined?" asked Rodney, trying out his new vocabulary.
The women looked at each other and smiled. "Not just yet," said Keia. "You?"
"Oh, absolutely," said John. "Just him and me, two for tea, right, sweetheart baby darling?" He reached over and briefly but firmly grabbed an ample handful of ass.
Rodney pressed his lips together, trying not to laugh. He wanted to tell John to cut it out--surely the girls would see through an act this over-the-top--but they didn't seem fazed. Then again, they didn't know Sheppard as he usually was. Rodney composed himself and managed to nod. "Yes, yes indeed, that is how it is."
Keia smiled at them indulgently. "You make a pretty pair. I hope you fight as well as you make love."
"Sure. Well, he does," said Rodney.
"Rodney's more of a lover than a fighter," said John, winking theatrically.
"I see," laughed Rienn. "Well, see you in the spar!" She waved as Keia led her off in the direction of the tents.
"Yes! We're in. We're so in," Rodney crowed when they were out of earshot. "That's how you get the girls!"
"You... act gay," said Sheppard incredulously. Just like that, he'd turned back into himself.
"That's phase one," said Rodney. "Little known fact, girls are into gay guys."
"Even the lesbians?"
"Well, obviously they're only lesbians by necessity. Why else would they be making out with each other in front of us?"
"I don't know, Rodney. I can't think of a single reason," said Sheppard.
"Now we just wait for them to let their guard down, let us in their dressing rooms, tell us their secrets," Rodney babbled happily. "If they cry on our shoulders, we've already won."
Sheppard rolled his eyes. "I bow to your obvious experience."
"I gotta hand it to you, Sheppard," said Rodney. "You were amazing. I never would have guessed that somewhere inside you there was a flamboyant homosexual dying to get out."
"Well, you know," Sheppard shrugged modestly. "I'm a pretty good actor."
Forty excruciating minutes of training was enough to convince Rodney that he was by no means a soldier-scientist, at least not by Kalenna standards. He was, in fact, just a scientist.
Rodney had always maintained that there were fundamental and important differences between running for your life and running for the sake of running; notably that the former was an activity he was perfectly willing--nay, eager--to do, given the appropriate circumstances, while the latter was a waste of time more likely to hinder than help his ability to succeed at the former. The same philosophy extended to sparring, only more so. The only person he trusted not to maim him in the all excitement of fake battle was Sheppard, but Keia made fun of him when he tried to choose John as his partner. There was no actual rule against sparring with your lover, but it was considered uncool, apparently. Sheppard didn't seem too keen on it, either. Maybe he was burning out on the gay game already.
When he made it back to the arms lab--a sad dingy room in the basement of the main fortress--Rodney was pleased to find that Rienn was one of the two scientists on shift. He only liked her more as the day wore on. She was no Carter, of course, and he might have become disillusioned with her if she'd been the only one there, but Sabin, her colleague, made such idiotic statements and took so long to understand anything that she looked brilliant in comparison.
For gun enthusiasts, the Kalenna sadly neglected their arms program. Their main philosophy seemed to be to capture as many Wraith weapons as they could, screw with them a little bit in a completely random and asystematic manner in a wrongheaded attempt at souping them up, get bored halfway through, and start shooting stuff. No two weapons were alike, and it seemed that a complicated system of social rank had developed based on who had the best gun. "That's stupid," Rodney told Commander Ayal when he stopped by to see how things we going. "By the end of my week here you'll all have the best gun." Ayal and Rienn grinned at each other, and Rodney could see that there was going to be no problem getting permission to work in the lab full time instead of going to any more horrible training sessions.
There was a lot to do. They'd have to plan ahead and be smart about spare parts so that the guns weren't all out of commission at once. Meanwhile, some of the trial-and-error experiments had produced unexpectedly effective results, so Rodney had to look at the top few weapons in close detail before even he decided on his ideal schematic. The first day flew by, and before Rodney knew it, John had arrived to fetch him for dinner.
Rodney needn't have worried that Sheppard was sick of the game. As soon as he walked in the door John flew to Rodney's side, crying, "There's my honey bear!" He draped his arm around Rodney's shoulder and asked Rienn, "Isn't he just the dreamiest?" Rienn smiled and nodded and Rodney bit the insides of his mouth to keep from laughing.
One thing you had to say for the Kalenna: they worked hard, and they played hard. The discipline on the training field had been perfect, but dinner was as unruly as a school cafeteria, only with more nudity. There was a lot of yelling and laughing and, of course, the obligatory homoerotic caressing. The feeling of being in the middle of some weird gay orgy porno was never so strong as here, with all the beautiful people gathered in one room feeling each other up. Still, Rodney felt more comfortable than he expected. Walking into a room full of lean and fit action-hero types (which happened distressingly often these days) usually made Rodney feel somewhat self-conscious, but he didn't mind so much with John on his arm. Colonel Sheppard had never had much trouble dominating any room he entered, prettiness-wise.
Dinner was decadent and delicious: assorted roasted animals, mugs of something dark and smooth and beery, buttery-tasting mixed vegetables, bowls of fruit which Rodney mainly avoided but which were plentiful, and, to top it off, ludicrously delicate little cakes for dessert. It was nothing like any army food Rodney had ever experienced, and when he complimented it, Keia seemed surprised. "Don't your farmers feed you well?"
"We don't really have farmers, per se," said Rodney.
Keia frowned like a schoolkid with a math problem.
"We have an especially good cook right now," said Rienn. "You should see him, he's really a genius in the kitchen--"
"Rienn's friends with the help," Keia rolled her eyes. "She's obsessed with food. She's always going off for midnight snacks."
"She really is the female you," John murmured.
Keia spent most of the meal in Rienn's lap, feeding her from her plate. John and Rodney pretended to compete with them, but they clowned around. Keia fed Rienn a juicy fruit; John offered Rodney a decidedly unsexy hunk of bread. Rienn licked juice off Keia's finger; Rodney grabbed John's hand and licked the crumbs off it, both to continue the competition and because freaking John out a little was part of the fun. But John wouldn't be freaked. He just put his other hand to his heart and gasped "Oh, Dr. McKay!" in a voice much more girlish than Rodney would ever have expected to hear from his mouth.
Then Keia leaned down and kissed Rienn. The two women pressed and slurped and massaged their lips against each other for exactly thirty-nine seconds, according to the count Rodney kept in his head while he stared in a happy stupor, and then drew back and sent a pair of challenging looks across the table. Rodney turned to John for help in figuring out how they were going to get out of this one, but John had a devilish half-smile and an eyebrow raised in a challenge. Shall we?
At that moment, Rodney's courage failed him. "I'm going to go get seconds," he announced, standing suddenly.
"He's shy," he heard John excuse him as he headed for the food line.
By the time he got back, Rienn and Keia had left, and Sheppard was leaning back against the wall. He wasn't acting like Rodney's Boyfriend John anymore, and there was a comforting familiarity to Plain Ordinary Sheppard that Rodney hadn't realized he missed until it returned. Sheppard didn't move when Rodney sat down next to him, just gave a little nod. He'd been sweat-shiny since Rodney first saw him, but it only now occurred to him that he must be tired after all that working out. "Hard day?" Rodney asked.
"Kinda," Sheppard admitted, which probably meant all his limbs were about to fall off.
"Poor baby." Rodney looked at him seriously and patted his shoulder. Sheppard smiled, and rolled his eyes a little, but rested his head down against Rodney, and relaxed.
Nighttime was strange. They walked shoulder-to-shoulder through the rows of tents, smiling at the other joined couples, but when they arrived at their own they dropped the act very suddenly. There were a lot of "Well"s and "Yes"s and manful coughs. Finally Rodney got into the bed, fully clothed, and scooched as far as he could to the canvas wall, and Sheppard alighted carefully on the opposite edge. They slept with their arms pressed stiffly to their sides. A third person could have easily stretched out between them on the narrow cot. Rodney woke up with a crick in his back.
Despite this minor misery, Rodney made good progress in the lab. He even managed to get the master design finished, once he banished his worthless soldier-scientist helpers to the other side of the lab to work on the menial busywork of cannibalizing nonfunctional weapons. Rienn showed up again in the afternoon, a welcome change from the morning's yahoos, and he let her help with the production of the prototype mega-gun. She was excited at first, and asked a lot of questions about the design, which seemed more intelligent than usual (that or Rodney's patience was enhanced by her low-cut top).
After a few hours of tedious tiny adjustments, though, conversation drifted. Rienn described the morning's training. Apparently John had kicked Keia's ass (Rodney puffed a little with reflected pride), and everyone, including Rienn, agreed that Keia had deserved it because of her trash-talk.
"How are things with you and Keia?" Rodney asked innocently, careful not to add, "Include detailed diagrams."
"Oh, you don't want to hear about my boring relationship."
Rodney considered protesting, but she was probably right. She probably wouldn't talk about sex anyway, just wallpaper patterns or date outfits or when and under what circumstances her lover annoyed her, and he was not sorry to miss out on that kind of talk. He sort of wished Rienn would come work for him and teach the rest of his science team her way of thinking.
"Can I ask you a question?" asked Rienn after a moment.
"Is it true about your world? Men go with women and women go with men?"
"Uh, not always, but, yeah, most of the time."
"So you and John are kind of special," said Rienn.
"Yeah," said Rodney, beginning to feel defensive. He could sense this conversation rapidly turning into a sort of fucked-up green card interview. "We are."
"How long have you been together?"
"Two years." It came out immediately and he had no idea why. He hoped that John was not being interrogated separately.
Rienn nodded slowly. "Have you ever been with a woman?"
Rodney hesitated. That was an awfully direct question for a lie-probing quiz, and Rienn didn't seem suspicious, really, just curious. "As a matter of fact, yes."
Rienn looked impressed, and asked, "Was she a warrior or a farmer?"
Huh. What did a civilian academic count as? Then again, botany. "Farmer," said Rodney, and laughed.
Rienn grinned, and then she laughed too, even though she couldn't possibly understand the joke. Maybe the idea of sleeping with a member of the farming class was just impossibly ridiculous.
Cries rang out over the courtyard. Training was finishing up.
"I wonder if you'd like to eat dinner with me again. In my tent this time, away from the crowd," Rienn suggested.
"You mean just you and me and John and Keia?"
"Yes, of course," said Rienn. "Just us four."
"Hm," said Rodney. It struck him that this might be a group sex invitation. He had to imagine mixed-gender orgies were a no-no here, but maybe it wasn't as bad as two-person heterosexual sex, just like the way being in a guy-guy-girl threesome wasn't as bad as just having sex with a dude. Could Rienn and Keia be hetero-curious? And, crucially, did the present circumstances permit him to accept such an invitation on John's behalf without asking first? He suspected that there was a line between fake public displays of affection and actual "adult situations," but this invitation, if indeed it was what Rodney suspected it was, might be their only chance to score on this world. Sure, it wasn't the way either of them would have planned it, but really, it might be better, with John there. Even in his fondest fantasies, Rodney could never shake the feeling that he might not be equal to the task of pleasuring two gorgeous Amazons at once. John would take some of the pressure off.
"Well," said Rodney.
The girls might expect them to do stuff to each other. On the one hand, if he were going to be touched inappropriately by any guy, John was clearly the one he wanted in the driver's seat. He trusted John, both to treat him well, and to make it look hot for the girls. He was one of those guys who could make anything look sexy, even inherently unsexy things like eating rice or delivering a PowerPoint presentation. Nobody would ever think less of you for having someone so dripping with sex on your love resume, male or female. But even though he thought he could endure anything John threw at him--with apparent pleasure, even--he didn't know how they could possibly keep up the charade that they'd done it all a thousand times before. He couldn't see himself, for example, just reaching into John's pants and grabbing his cock like it belonged to him. He'd be all awkward and deferential. Maybe they could pretend they were one of those bondage couples and John was his dominatrix. Dominator?
"I think," said Rodney, and before he had to follow that up with whatever it was that he thought, Sheppard walked in, looking even more wiped out today than he had the day before. Rodney felt with some measure of relief that his mind was made up for him. He made a big show of going to John and brushing his damp hair from his face, and cooing, "Aww, baby. You're beat."
"No, no, I'm good to go," John insisted unconvincingly, rubbing his eye. "I'm fine. Let's go. Dinner." He clapped his hands decisively, but seemed surprised by the noise.
"We're going straight home," said Rodney. "You just look so good, I can't wait another minute. I've got to get you into bed right now and..." When he started this mission he'd never have guessed his most taxing mental gymnastics would come in making up hypothetical gay sex acts. John mouthed something. "Ohhhh... Blow. Blow you! I'll blow you," Rodney interpreted happily. "Yes. Super. Can't wait to do that. The blowing." He waved goodbye to Rienn and ushered John out the door.
"I could've gone to dinner," said John as Rodney dragged him by the hand through the rows of tents and pairs of whooping, scuffling, semi-naked warriors.
"Since when do you like socializing with the natives?"
"I don't know. I understand it's good policy to make a public appearance every now and again on a diplomatic mission."
"Don't worry. I have no actual intention of performing oral sex on you."
"I wasn't worried."
"Besides, I think that gambit regained me some of the ground I lost by wimping out on the kiss last night. Sorry about that, by the way. I almost blew our cover. Pardon the phrase."
"Whatever. It's just a game, Rodney. You don't have to kiss anyone you don't want to."
"I didn't say I didn't--I mean, I don't care," said Rodney. "I can imagine worse things than kissing you. Death, for one. Being audited. Teaching undergrad. Spending time with Zelenka socially."
"Glad I'm not a fate worse than death," said Sheppard, rolling his eyes. "You know you can stop this anytime you want. Just say the word."
"I don't want to. Do you want to?" said Rodney too hastily. Subtext: Don't leave me! God, he was pathetic. His crippling fear of abandonment extended even to fake relationships.
He wished he could be cool, like Sheppard, who even now was just shrugging and saying "I'm good," which was about the level of emotion this ridiculous situation deserved.
When they got to their little tent, they lay down side-by-side on the bed, and Rodney, eager to regain ground with John, gave him a series of increasingly complicated logic puzzles about princesses who always lied and princesses who always told the truth until his answers became incoherent and they both drifted to sleep.
( read part 2 on lj )