“Someday,” Rodney said, “someday we are going to meet a race of aliens who will desire nothing more than to feed us pizza rolls and give us each a fully-charged Zed-PM and a deep-tissue massage.”
“Not today,” John pointed out unnecessarily, plucking absentmindedly at his rough wool-like ceremonial poncho thing. “Maybe tomorrow. Today we’re blessing some corn.”
“Keapon,” corrected Ronon, reaching under his own poncho in a very indelicate fashion to scratch at his stomach. “Not corn. It tastes more like waffles.”
“Of course,” said Rodney. “Of course it does.”
“With or without syrup?” asked John, curious. Rodney gave him a look.
“Depends on the ripeness,” answered Ronon, rubbing his back against the doorframe of their dressing room like a bear scratching his back on a tree trunk.
“Cool,” said John fervently, because honestly, sometimes you just had to sit back and marvel at the wonders this galaxy held. “Do you think we get to try some, or do we just chant over it? Oh, wait… do you think there will be dancing?”
“I’m not dancing,” Ronon said firmly. “I don’t do that.”
“You’ll do pirouettes until dawn if it means we get to leave this godforsaken planet,” said Rodney sharply.
“But can’t I just beat them up until they agree to take the guard off the ‘gate?”
Rodney brightened. “Yeah, Colonel, can’t he--”
“*No.*” It just figured that Rodney would rather throw caution, diplomacy, and possible trade options out the window in order to avoid blessing some waffle-corn. “We chant, we pirouette, whatever, we go home.”
Rodney sighed dramatically. “I need a sandwich.”
John punched his shoulder gently. “That’s the spirit.”
After the Laocan priests --two elderly women and a disconcertingly cross-eyed teenage boy-- brought John, Rodney and Ronon outside again and reunited them with a newly-ponchoed Teyla, John had decided that the situation could be a whole hell of a lot worse. They hadn’t been shot at or punched or kicked even once, and watching Rodney shift and squirm under the itchy blanket was *endlessly* entertaining, and it was a clear, crisp autumn night (or what passed for autumn around here; John knew nothing about the Laocan seasons, maybe it was like this all the time, cool and sharp and smelling inexplicably like Earth’s October, simultaneously like an ending and a beginning). He tipped his head back, breathing deeply as he checked out the brilliant stars, and shot an impromptu grin at Rodney, who surprisingly shot one right back.
“Pretty night, huh?” said Rodney softly. John didn’t tease him for saying it; Rodney was washed over with moonlight and half-smiling, his blue eyes gone soft and glowy like they did sometimes, and John thought ‘pretty’ was actually a good word choice.
Teyla smiled at them as the team was arranged in a circle, around a small altar in the middle of an open field. “I am almost glad we came,” she admitted. “This does not seem at all unpleasant.”
Then, the cross-eyed Laocan priest got out the glitter and told them to prepare for the Ceremonial Improvisational Dance.
“It’s totally Teyla’s fault for saying that,” yelled Rodney later from the bathroom of their rather nice guest accommodations. “I should go down the hall and yell at her again. Oh my god, this stuff does *not come off*.”
“I don’t even care,” sighed John sleepily, toeing off his boots. “I’m too drunk. And tired from the dancing.”
Following the Ceremonial Improvisational Dance and the Holy Sprinkling of Glitter had been the Sanctified Keapon Punch (like neither corn nor waffles but beer, surprisingly sweet and startlingly intoxicating) and then the Traditional Impromptu Chanting portion of the evening, which had been John’s favorite part. After a long, awkward silence he had been the first to give it a try (“looks like corn, but it’s not, chanting sure beats getting shot”) with Rodney promptly joining in (“Keapon… I got to keapon truckin’, I got to get to your good lovin’, uh huh”) and they’d both collapsed in a fit of drunken giggles. Luckily, there were apparently no severe consequences for laughing during a keapon blessing.
As pleasantly innocuous as the whole thing had turned out to be, John really could have done without the wool poncho. He sighed out loud as he lifted it over his head and tossed it aside, the cool air offering instant relief for his itching, overheated body. His eyes drifted shut as he ran his nails slowly over his reddened skin, around his rubbed-raw nipples down to his belly, along the waistband of his pants. He groaned softly--
--and heard the abrupt sound of something shattering. His eyes snapped open.
“Um,” said Rodney, who was no longer in the bathroom and was staring at John, eyes wide and dark. “I thought you might… some water.” With what appeared to me a great, wrenching effort Rodney lowered his eyes to the mess of water and broken pottery on the floor. Glitter clung to his lashes, which sparkled in a mesmerizing way against his cheeks.
“Uh… thanks?” John offered, rooted to the spot with his hands still resting on his sides. He was confused and muddled and still kind of buzzed, and he figured he could blame the corn-beer when he forgot to look away as Rodney gave an embarrassed huff and spun around to tug off his own poncho.
“Hypoglycemic reaction, I haven’t eaten in…” Rodney was saying, disjointed and defensive. “I’m a little tipsy, poor reflexes, you know. I always drop things when I-- it wasn’t because of…”
“What?” John said vaguely, watching the bending and twisting line of Rodney’s back, the broad line of his shoulders as he folded his poncho and uniform shirt, the stretch of his pants over his ass as he bent to arrange the garments at the bottom of the pile of furs that served as the Laocan version of a bed.
“Come on, Colonel, I know you think you’re God’s gift to everyone and their *mother* but that doesn’t mean that *I*--” He turned back around, face shifting rapidly from haughty disdain to shock. “Wait a minute.”
“What?” John blinked.
“Hey. *Hey!* You were watching *me*!”
“Nuh uh,” John protested, while actually his eyes were ardently trailing down Rodney’s flushed neck, across his collarbone, all over his chest and his nipples and then his *arms*.
He remembered, a little too late, why he never drank on missions.
“You *were*. You’re doing it right now!” Rodney pointed at John’s face, triumphant and smug. “You totally… oh.”
“Uh,” said John eloquently.
“Sheppard…” Eyes locked with John’s, looking utterly terrified, Rodney took two steps toward him. There was a crunch, and Rodney yelped.
“Ow! Owowowow*ow*,” he whimpered, hopping onto one leg and trying to get a look at the sole of his other foot.
“Broken cup,” John said helpfully, grinning as Rodney hopped and sputtered and sparkled.
Rodney glared. “This is not funny. This is *so* not funny.” The foot looked fine, though, so John kept grinning.
“It’s a little funny,” John needled. Rodney stumbled sideways and just barely kept his balance; John snorted.
“Okay,” Rodney said sharply, and suddenly he was solidly on his feet, tense, coiled like a spring. “No. No laughing.”
And John just *froze*, because he didn’t really know what Rodney was doing looking at him like that, radiating a kind of intensity that made John a little afraid. “Um, okay,” he agreed, holding his hands up reflexively, because in his experience, when someone pinned you with a stare like that it usually ended with an ass-kicking, and granted, Rodney might be a little drunk but he certainly wouldn’t--
But he then he was crossing the room, stalking closer in a steady, inevitable way that made John’s heart pound right out of his chest.
“This,” said Rodney, his eyes burning through John like hot-blue lasers, “is not…”
John was backing up, trying to keep some distance between them, but barely able to move, completely unable to look away, when he tripped over something --one of his boots, maybe-- and stumbled backward. His heels hit the edge of his pile of furs and he toppled, flailing, down onto the bedding, landing hard on his ass, his legs flying up in the most undignified way imaginable.
Rodney was still coming; John was watching him, eyes wide and mouth silent, propped up on his elbows, still scooting backwards by inches, trying to save himself from--
--from Rodney, Rodney who reached the edge of his bedding and dropped, surprisingly easily, to all fours, and *crawled*, until he was over John’s legs, over him and pinning him down without really touching him at all.
“Not funny,” Rodney rasped, and John screwed his eyes shut, and he wasn’t really sure yet what he expected but it wasn’t Rodney’s *hands*, big and open and warm, coming to rest on his skin, one on his chest and the other near his waist.
“Wha--” John’s breath caught as the hands moved, around and up, random but so careful, one sliding up his side from his hip to his underarm to just between his shoulder blades, the other carding softly through chest hair and traveling up his neck, one thumb tracing through the dip in his collarbone up over his adam’s apple and under his jaw, impossibly gentle. Then there was a mouth at his throat, first pressing lightly and then opening, sucking.
“Rodney,” he breathed, his brain and body all scrambled up as he fought like hell against a dozen different urges, shuddering with the effort of not moving, not touching. “I really don’t think--”
“So don’t,” Rodney said, biting his neck just underneath his jaw, “think.”
“Okay,” agreed John in a rush of breath as he fell back, sinking into the furs with his eyes closed, feeling hot and dizzy and *hard*. The hands on him moved as a tongue licked slowly along a tendon in his neck and he arched into the touches, panting, aching, but-- “You’re drunk,” he groaned, even as his hips were lifting off the furs and his hands were grasping at the blankets, and he could have *kicked* himself for trying to ruin this.
“So are you,” Rodney pointed out, his words muffled against John’s skin, moving one hand into John’s hair, combing his nails over his scalp. John shivered and reached up, unclenching his hands from the fur blanket to clutch at Rodney’s shoulders.
“I’m not *that* drunk,” John countered, wondering vaguely whether he should admit that or not. His grip loosened and he shifted, made to move away, but Rodney held him down with a hand on his chest.
“Well neither am I. I’m barely drunk at all,” Rodney whispered self-importantly, as if it were a contest they were having. He trailed his fingers down John’s stomach to the fly of his pants, opening the button easily with one hand in a move so fucking *smooth* that John had to open his eyes and make sure it was actually Rodney straddling him.
“So you’re not just… it’s not just because of the keapon punch?” John was pretty sure it wouldn’t make a difference, at this point, whether it was or it wasn’t, but he wanted to know anyway.
Rodney shook his head, face flushed. “It… no. Alcohol just… makes me, you know, brave,” he muttered, moving his gaze off of John to some point on the wall behind him.
“You’re always brave,” John said, simple and matter-of-fact. Rodney made a soft, surprised sound, and the hand in John’s hair tightened as Rodney leaned down and crushed their mouths together.
John surged up to meet him, hooking an arm around Rodney’s neck and holding him there in case the other man should suddenly sober up and want to stop kissing him, which would suck *so much*, because clearly Rodney should never be anywhere else but here, breathing John’s air and sucking on John’s tongue, and holding onto him hard enough to bruise--
--but still, not *enough*, and John thought he knew how to fix that, so he slid his hands off Rodney’s shoulders and down his back, grabbing his ass and pulling him insistently *closer*, sighing loudly when Rodney complied immediately and lowered himself down, his whole body slotting into place against John’s, a hand at his hip and a thigh between his legs, and slick hot *skin* pressing and sliding against him everywhere, surrounding him, Rodney’s urgent, hungry kisses stealing his breath and making his heart ache like crazy.
“You,” Rodney was murmuring between kisses, his arms tight around John, “have glitter… *everywhere*, your chest, your hair… Why… is that hot? That shouldn’t… be hot… you stupid… hot… *bastard*…”
“Sorry?” John offered, the word turning into a gasp as Rodney pulled his hips up with a surprisingly strong hand to his lower back, dragging John’s erection against his thigh. “Nngh,” John said faintly, his hands tightening reflexively on Rodney’s ass. He curled a leg up over Rodney’s hip, trying desperately for more friction. “Pants,” he suggested frantically, too turned on for sentences.
“Oh my god, right, *yes*,” Rodney panted, and kept right on kissing him as he unzipped John’s pants and tugged at them impatiently, his progress impeded by the press of their hips, the tangling of their legs. Rodney released a petulant, annoyed whine into John’s mouth and broke away violently, dragging John’s pants and boxers down and off and lunging back down so fast John almost got whiplash.
“Wait, stop,” John laughed breathlessly, his hands on Rodney’s chest, holding him back.
“What? Why? *No*,” Rodney moaned despairingly, grabbing John’s wrists and shoving his hands out of the way. “You don’t get to do that, not *now*, you can’t--” He trailed a path of open-mouthed kisses down John’s chest and took one nipple between his lips, with gentle suction and careful teeth, and John’s vision grayed out a little.
“I, ohhh… no, Rodney, I… oh, *god*… I just meant… *your* pants,” John managed, running his bare thighs against Rodney’s irritatingly-clothed hips by way of demonstration.
“…Oh.” Rodney stopped and kneeled up, shucking off his own pants and boxers hastily, glancing at John sheepishly from under absurdly long, glittering lashes. “I thought--”
“Well don’t,” John admonished gently, kissing him hard and fierce and pulling him back down again because *yes*, that was good, that was perfect…
Until Rodney somehow got them lined them up and wrapped a big hand around both of their cocks, and it was even *better*. John held on and concentrated on keeping himself together, because a big part of his brain at that moment didn’t understand why he wasn’t bursting out of his skin and shooting in a million different directions, off into the sky somewhere. Rodney was panting and cursing and then just saying his name, *John*, over and over, into his neck, and John hugged him around the chest and kissed all the skin he could reach and groaned that he’d wanted Rodney, god, so fucking *much*, did he even know--
Rodney stilled suddenly, limbs tensing almost painfully around him before he shook apart in John’s arms, moaning long and low and gazing at John like he was the answer to everything in the universe-- and then John was coming, and everything was sharp bright light and the ridiculously beautiful blue of Rodney’s eyes.
He woke up with the sun shining warm on his back, cradled in the soft furs, reaching for the body that should have been next to him but wasn’t.
“Over here,” said Rodney, sounding wary and resigned and hopeful all at once. He sat fully dressed and cross-legged at the bottom of John’s bedding, holding a pretty woven basket full of what looked like burnt-orange ears of corn.
“Mmmm. Breakfast,” John said happily, making a grab for the basket. Rodney hefted it out of his reach. “Hey!”
“So that’s it?” demanded Rodney indignantly. “That’s how you’re going to play it, hm? ‘Sex, what sex? Where’s breakfast?’ Is everything really that blasé to you? Jesus Christ, Sheppard.”
John stared. “…I think I missed something important. Do you want to fill me in?” He prodded at his forehead experimentally. “Hey, did you notice we don’t have hangovers? How *cool* is that? Do you think they’ll teach us how to make that stuff or--”
“Would you quit changing the subject?” Rodney snapped, setting the basket aside with more violence than was necessary. “I know we were drunk, you didn’t know what you were doing, blah blah blah, I’ve heard it before, you know, but you could at least just get it out of the way so I can take a few ears of keapon and sit in a corner somewhere wondering why the *hell* I let myself--”
John grabbed him behind the neck and kissed him, hard and dirty at first, then as gently as he could manage, stroking a thumb over Rodney’s cheekbone and smiling, thinking about how he could wake up like this other mornings too, every morning maybe, if he was lucky.
“Did you also notice,” he asked softly as they broke apart, “how there’s been no memory loss?”
“Uh, yes,” Rodney said, staring at his mouth, breathing hard. “That’s another reason why, why I was worried you would--”
“Strange, though,” John continued, pulling Rodney’s shirt out from his waistband and tugging it off, “since that stuff seemed pretty strong. Maybe we’re forgetting something, and we don’t even know it.”
“Maybe,” Rodney whispered, smiling now, his arms coming up to hold John around the waist. “We don’t rendezvous with Ronon and Teyla for another hour,” he said casually, nipping at John’s ear. “We could probably do it again. For comparison.”
“Every experiment needs a control group,” John agreed enthusiastically, pulling Rodney down.
End! *goes and hides in a corner somewhere*
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