Mar. 8th, 2008 10:06 am
Warnings: Slash, language, crack
Disclaimer: Not mine!
Beta(s): Lovely wife mgbutterfly, and ferret_kitty
Summary: John is channeling King Kong. Rodney does his best to resist being shoved into Fay Wray's role. Wacky hijinks ensue.
Author's Note: So, John is hairy, right? And Rodney? He screams like a girl. No, seriously, that's my whole explanation for this fic. Blame ccmom and amnesiajane for encouraging me when I brought the idea up. Oh, and any summaries? Would pretty much be love.
V31-RR5 is hell.
Not literally of course, but close enough. The planet is humid as fuck, absolutely covered in thick, verdant growing things, and populated by pissy natives in loin cloths armed with blow-darts. Rodney had hated it upon walking through the 'gate, and his feelings hadn't improved in the time that they'd been poisoned, bound, gagged, and shoved in a prison hut that smelled like rotten eggs and mushrooms.
Rodney mumbles around the gag in his mouth, because even though he knows he can't talk its still habit to try. John mumbles something back. If Rodney is reading the other man's body language and eye roll properly the rejoinder was probably something bitingly sarcastic. Before Rodney can defend himself with a zinger of his own he realizes Teyla is glaring at them, and he lets the retort die in his throat.
They're all sitting bound to the walls of a circular hut. Ronon is busy trying to do some kind of insane contortion that makes Rodney wince just looking at it. Teyla is sitting serenely and probably meditating her chains loose. John is making a valiant attempt to look both nonchalant and threatening at the same time, but only managing to look kind of constipated. Rodney is wondering if the itching down his spine is from sweat or if he managed to rub up against some kind of poisonous plant in their earlier trek through the jungle.
There's also the distinct possibility that the itching is a side effect of the blow-dart he took to the neck earlier. Rodney says as much to the room at large, which earns him another glare from Teyla and what was most likely intended to be scorn from John. Rodney frowns, John frowns back, and they're all glowering at each other by the time the village elder finally steps into the hut.
It's hard to feel threatened by a man that is either extremely wizened by age or else somehow distantly related to Major Lorne. Rodney is feeling more freaked out than terrified when the mostly naked man thumps the butt of his big stick down on the floor and demands, "Who leads you?"
John makes an affirmative sound at the same time that Rodney launches into a spiel about how really, none of them are in charge as such, though they like to let John think he is. It comes out as a garbled series of grunts and for a long second the old guy stares at Rodney with his cataract covered eyes.
John growls something that Rodney is almost certain is his name, and the village elder thumps his stick on the floor again before snapping his fingers and waving two much larger, no more clothed, natives into the hut. The old guy says, "Take him," pointing at John, and then everyone is yelling around their gags.
Rodney watches them drag John out of the hut, and John catches his eye right before he's through the door, mumbles something. They've been in enough of these situations that Rodney can guess what John is saying, and Rodney scowls at him. Because this? This is not okay.
They don't bring John back. Rodney figures it probably has something to do with the cacophony of screams and crashes that start shortly after the natives drag John off. Rodney imagines John beating all of their captors to a pulp before running off to the 'gate for reinforcements, and settles into feeling pleasantly smug while waiting for rescue.
The smell of smoke is less reassuring, and Rodney spends a stretch thinking that they're going to be burnt alive inside their little hut which is both one of the worst ways to die he can imagine—right up there with being eaten alive by piranhas or having your skin flayed off—and aggravates his allergies.
Rodney ends up spending hours blinking against the tears pricking at the corners of his eyes, trying to ignore the way his eyeballs feel itchy. Things get worse once the tickle in his throat starts, and he looses track of time trying to cough around a gag.
By the time Rodney finally gets his breathing under control, slumped almost to the floor, he's wondering where the hell John is. Sheppard should have been back with reinforcements by now, and Rodney thinks bitter, bitter thoughts about his growing abandonment issues.
Teyla mumbles something that sounds concerned, and Rodney grunts back something that he hopes sounds less miserable than he feels. God. He hates gags.
It takes some time but Rodney manages to get himself leveraged back up the wall. He blinks across at Ronon, who has managed to get one leg through the circle of his arms and is, with a look of intense concentration, attempting to bend over far enough to—actually, Rodney's not sure what he's trying to do. It looks painful. But also amusing.
Their captors leave them alone for a long time, and the situation slides into what Rodney likes to think of as the brain-numbingly-boring phase. It's not his least favorite part of the kidnapping experience but it's close, and is usually followed by the imminent-torture or running-for-our-lives phases. Rodney hates both of those.
When they finally get visitors, two teenagers who look indistinguishable from each other to him, Rodney attempts to demand some answer. One of the kids cuffs him in the side of the head, and Rodney protests as best he can, which is still pretty well, even considering the gag. Rodney has had a lot of practice protesting.
The natives roll their eyes in unison, crossing the room to Teyla and removing her gag. Rodney protests again, and is ignored as the kids carefully feed Teyla from the plate of food they brought with them. Rodney would make more of a fuss about not being fed first, but he's pretty sure that the majority of things on the tray are actually fried slugs or possibly fish eyeballs.
Teyla eats without a complaint, waits until the kids are reaching for her gag again to say, "What have you done with Colonel Sheppard?"
The kids exchange a look, all nerves and tension and Rodney feels his outlook on the whole situation brighten. He knows the look of people who have gotten their asses kicked, and these kids are wearing it like pros. Rodney hums, the closest to gloating that he can manage right now and Ronon—tangled now into some kind of pretzel shape—echoes the sound.
Teyla starts, "We do not mean you any—" The kids slide the gag back into her mouth before she can finish and she makes an impatient sound.
The kids are already moving on to Ronon. They stand in front of the Satedan for a long time, heads cocked to the side. Rodney can't really blame them for that because he's pretty sure that would be his response when faced with the tangle Ronon has made of himself as well. Finally one of them shrugs and reaches out to remove the gag.
Ronon keeps trying to bite them, between snapping out threats. It's a testament to how frightening Ronon really is that even all tangled up he still manages to have their captors almost wetting themselves with fear. Unfortunately, after Ronon finishes telling them about how he's going to rip them limb from limb, the kids don't actually look motivated to let him go free.
Rodney waits impatiently for his turn, bouncing against his bonds. His stomach has been growling for what seems like a small eternity, and at this point even broiled pig guts are starting to seem like a viable food option. Rodney tells himself that he's going to keep his mouth shut and eat as much as he can before they take the food away. It's a good plan and he fully intends to follow it.
The minute they take the gag out of his mouth Rodney is shouting. He's got a lot to shout about.
Surprisingly, the kids stand there and take it for a while. Rodney figures they were probably temporarily caught off guard, but around the time he starts railing against the smell of mushrooms and how nothing on the tray of food had better resemble anything like mountain oysters they get a hold of themselves.
Rodney gets stuffed with food, still ranting even as they push food into his mouth. Talking while eating had been one of the first things Rodney learned how to do, after all. The kids get sloppy, and by the time they shove his gag back in Rodney's got a smear of something sugary caught in the corner of his mouth.
The kids shake their heads, heading for the door, and Rodney calls something crude after them. They ignore him and Rodney grumbles to himself, wallowing in his irritation until people start screaming again. Rodney exchanges a look with the rest of the team, and someone slams into the side of their hut with a gurgling scream.
Ronon shrugs with his shoulders and the one knee beside them, and Teyla expression settles on worry.
Rodney decides that these are some of the most neglectful jailers they've ever had. They're completely ignored for hours on end, fed by silent teenagers—never the same pair twice—and the screams start after every single time they're fed.
At first Rodney had assumed that perhaps these people had a monster problem. It wouldn't be the first time that had happened off-world. Rodney still has the dragon's tooth from 92X-320 somewhere, and the scars from when the giant hyena thing on 030-MM1 had backhanded him into a rock. But unless it's a monster with a very strict time table, Rodney doesn't think that theory is really holding water anymore.
He'd gone through several other options; maybe it was some kind of stupid sport, an angry neighboring village, domestic disputes. He'd tried telling Teyla and Ronon about it, but they weren't as good at translating his garbled speech as John was, and mostly they just stared at him blankly. Rodney had given up on getting their input.
They get fed three times before what seems like the entire village floods into the hut. Rodney makes a face, because the natives aren't exactly the best smelling people he's ever met, and they're crammed in tight as sardines. Rodney can't see Ronon and Teyla anymore, and that's a like splash of ice water down his spine.
Rodney pushes up as high as he can manage against his bonds, trying to get a glimpse of his teammates, when the wizened elder from before steps forward. The man is still barely clothed, and he hobbles towards Rodney, one long, gnarled finger extended.
Rodney shrinks away from the man with pale eyes and a grizzled beard. The elder rasps, "This one," before stepping back. Rodney has time to think that this is probably not a good thing, and then two huge, burly men are stepping out of the crowd. He sinks down against the wall, trying to make himself smaller.
Usually it's a relief to have shackles opened, but this time Rodney is only getting a sick feeling of panic. He jumps at the touch of the men's rough hands around his arms, yanking him to his feet. Rodney can hear Teyla, trying to make herself heard around her gag.
The crowd closes around Rodney, unfamiliar bodies pressing up against him, unfriendly and unwelcome hands pushing and shoving at him. Rodney pleads, "Wait, don't do this, just let me stay in there," and even though he knows none of the words make it out, he's sure that the gist of it must survive.
The natives ignore his protests, moving him forward by the sheer force of their numbers. Rodney thrashes, inelegant struggles that don't actually help him at all.
Outside the hut it's almost pitch black, no moon or stars visible in the sky. There are a few torches lit around the village, burning angry red, spitting orange and yellow sparks down to the ground. The smoke smells greasy, and Rodney yanks against the strong hands wrapped around his arms.
Rodney is panicking, and he knows it, but can't seem to stop himself. John might have been able to escape whatever these psychos had planned, but Rodney isn't John. He yells around the gag, drops to his knees because dead weight is harder to carry and they just keep dragging him.
They drag Rodney away from the torches and their light, out beyond the edges of the village. Rodney's heart is hammering in his chest, fear sharp and sour burning in the back of his throat. The natives are eerily, completely, silent behind and around him, and formless mass in the dark, oppressive even though he can't see them.
Rodney doesn't see the huge rock he runs into, the impact of it against his thighs and hips is an unpleasant surprise. Rodney curses, harsh sounds that don't make any sense, and the natives are pulling on him, yanking him up onto the gigantic flat stone.
The stone is still warm from the sun, and for a second Rodney finds himself sprawled face down on it. He sucks in desperate breaths through his nose, his heart racing, aware of unfamiliar hands on his body. When they flip him onto his back his head cracks against the stone, and Rodney curses again, trying to punch and kick out at them.
The panic becomes nearly debilitating when they yank one of his arms out to the side and wrap a rope around his wrist so tightly that it bites into his skin. Rodney jerks, surprise and pain running like fire along his nerves, but his arm doesn't budge.
Rodney is picturing human sacrifices, someone ripping his ribcage open and tearing out his heart, or slitting his throat and letting him bleed out. He twists, adrenaline making him ignore the pain in his shoulder as he pulls against the rope holding him down.
There are dozens of hands on his chest and legs, holding him down, and still he thrashes. They get his other hand tied and Rodney closes his eyes against the rush of blind panic. He barely feels the around his ankles over his boots, but it's enough to know they're there.
The hands slide off of him, leaving behind phantoms of warmth and panic. Rodney can still hear the natives breathing all around him, and he waits, his mind cycling through increasingly worrisome possibilities for what they have planned for him.
The touch of cold metal against Rodney's cheek has him locking up his body tight. He can hear his own breath whistling out through his nose, his eyes burning from trying to see the blade pressed against his skin. The knife jerks and twists and the gag is suddenly loose.
Rodney yanks his head to the side, spitting out the gag and sucking in desperate breathes through his mouth. He waits for the knife to strike again, for the hot flood of his own blood across his skin, but it doesn't come. Eventually he swallows, his throat dry enough that the sound clicks.
There's nothing. Rodney isn't even sure he can still hear the natives. He makes himself hold his breath, straining his ears, and still doesn't hear anything. He blinks out into the blackness, and clears his throat before snapping, "Oh, this is just great. What, am I being left out here to die of exposure? I demand you let me off this thing right now."
Surprisingly enough, this does not prompt the natives to come back and release him. Rodney curses. Loudly.
There's a rustle off to his left, and Rodney tenses up, says carefully, "Hello? Look, big scary monster or whatever the hell you are, you really, really don't want to eat me. I don't know what I taste like but I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be anything good. I'd probably give you indigestion."
Rodney can hear something moving towards him, crushing the undergrowth with each step. His heart lodges itself somewhere in his throat and he makes himself breath through the terror. Rodney leans his head back, tugging uselessly at the ropes around his wrists, "Sheppard, you asshole! I know you're out here somewhere, now you come stop this thing from eating me right now!"
There's a part of Rodney that actually expects John to burst in with a Jumper, P-90 and cocky grin. Weirder things have happened, and so he holds his breath, waiting. But there's nothing. No explosions, no Marines, no angry teammates rushing into his rescue.
Instead, there's a brush of touch along the inside of his wrist, something warm and wet. Rodney winces, jerks, trying to twist his body away as far as he can manage. His spine aches with the strain, branches crack near his head and Rodney closes his eyes to wait for the worst.
Something warm and rough, bristly, brushes up against Rodney's neck. There's a low rumble he more feels than hears, and then a long drag of warm and wet across his jaw and oh God something is licking him. Rodney blurts, cursing himself for wasting what are potentially his last words on something so pointless, "I'm not a virgin, you know, it's not fair to kill me like this."
There's another rumble, and branches crunching as the thing moves. Rodney babbles, "I cannot believe this is happening to me. Honestly? I am so not the damsel in distress on this team. Sheppard loves chick flicks, you know that? I caught him crying during Steel Magnolias. And Ronon is a cuddler. Oh, I know he doesn't look it, but sit on a couch with him one time. He's like a big puppy! And—" Rodney cuts himself off, because really, Teyla is so much more hardcore than he'll ever be.
Rodney's pretty sure that the pleading, "Please don't," he finally finishes with isn't the strongest argument for sparing his life that he could come up with, but it's all he can force through his tight throat. There's another lick, this time against his palm, and Rodney jerks just as the ropes around that wrist come loose.
Euphoria explodes in his chest. Rodney twists his whole body, reaching for his other wrist, clumsy fingers scrambling at the ropes, imaging claws or teeth tearing into the back of his neck at any second. His hands are shaking, but finally, finally, the knot comes loose under his fingers.
Rodney is breathless, adrenaline burning along his nerves, bending himself in half to reach for the ropes around his ankles and a hand slides up the underside of his calf. Rodney freezes, listening to the soft rasp of rope being untied, feeling another person's—and it must be a person, because there's no way that's anything but a human hand pulling at his pants leg—warmth against his legs.
Rodney clears his throat, and then manages, "Um?"
There's no answer, but a half second later he's being pulled off the stone, strong hands closed around his arms. Rodney overbalances in the dark, and his rescuer steadies him, warm arms around Rodney's back, Rodney's face pressed up against the man's throat.
It probably says something about how much time they spend together that Rodney recognizes John's smell. Relief is making him too lightheaded and giddy to think too much about it. Rodney pulls back, trying to squint hard enough to see John's face in the dark, saying, "Jesus, Sheppard, you couldn't have, oh, I don't know, said something? There was some animal thing licking—"
Rodney cuts himself off, reaching out carefully and finding John's jaw after a few failed attempts. John's stubble is prickly against his skin, and Rodney blinks, "Why were you licking me?"
John answers by grunting and grabbing Rodney by the arm. John yanks on him hard enough that Rodney stumbles, wondering where the hell they're going. At least he doesn't have to worry about being stealthy. John is making roughly the same amount of noise as a bulldozer.
After a moment Rodney gives up on twisting out of John's hold, settles for grousing, "I hope we're going back to the village. They've still got Ronon and Teyla, you know. We were expecting you to be back with reinforcements. What the hell have you been doing out here?"
There's no answer, just John moving faster. Rodney sighs, rolls his eyes, and wonders if that's the sun brightening the horizon or if it's just his wishful thinking.
Rodney lets John drag him along for, well, for longer than he probably should. Relief had distracted him at first, and the programmed response to do what John wanted off-world had kept him agreeable after that. But the sun is creeping down through the canopy now, Rodney is tired, and John still isn't offering up any explanations.
Rodney plants his feet and stops.
John jerks at him hard a few times, but in contests of stubbornness Rodney wins every time, and they don't budge. John finally turns to look at him, head cocked to the side, expression open and confused and Rodney scowls. "Okay. First of all, where are you going? And why aren't we getting Ronon and Teyla? And, also? Where the hell are your clothes?"
It had been something of a surprise when the sun came out enough for Rodney to realize that John was trampling around through the jungle wearing nothing but briefs and combat boots. Rodney has spent the last twenty minutes coming up with various explanations for the semi-nudity, and trying very hard not to stare. It's not polite. It's also not really possible to avoid.
John's underwear is very white, out of place against his tan skin and dark hair and the jungle around them. Rodney also isn't sure what to make of the fact that John is hairy all over. Rodney had known, of course, that John was kind of hairy. But brief glances in the shower and the few times he'd seen John shirtless hadn't really given him time to absorb the whole picture.
There's hair across John's shoulders, all over his legs, and Rodney is willing to bet that he's got a hairy ass as well. Not that he's thinking about John's ass.
John is still looking at him with nothing but gentle curiosity in his expression. Rodney huffs out a sigh, "This is juvenile, Sheppard, not funny." John just keeps staring, and Rodney scowls, reaches up to try to pry John's fingers off of his arm.
That gets John's attention. John grunts in the back of his throat, tightening his hold and reaching out with his free hand to grab Rodney's wrist and pulling his hand out to the side. John's expression has slid away from curious and into determined and Rodney rolls his eyes before saying, "I'm not going any further until you tell me what's going on," and dropping to his knees.
There's a pause that feels like the entire world is suddenly drawing in a tight breath. There's a prickle down the back of Rodney's neck, all the hair on his arms suddenly standing up, and John's eyes go huge. Rodney can feel it when John's hands around his arm and wrist shake suddenly, and he sees it when John licks his lips, a flush creeping up his chest and neck.
Somehow, though, it's not until Rodney drops his eyes that he realizes what the sudden change in atmosphere is.
John's thin cotton underwear aren't really doing much of anything to conceal just how much John is liking this turn of events. Rodney is more absently impressed with reaction time—really, he just dropped to his knees a whole five seconds ago, flattering, but still—than making comparisons.
And then John makes a tight little sound in the back of his throat, hips tilting forward, and the entire situation slams home. Rodney is suddenly painfully aware that he's staring at John's cock and that John's fingers are digging into his skin hard enough to hurt and that he landed on a root or something with his right knee.
Rodney looks up again, and John is staring down at him, eyes dark, expression hungry and wanting. Rodney had been opening his mouth to explain that when he said, 'I'm not going any further until you tell me what's going on', that's what he had meant, but the way John's eyes narrow on his lips kills the words in Rodney's throat. He snaps his jaw shut.
John's fingers are there in an instant, sliding off Rodney's arm, which had been beginning to throb anyway. John's fingers curl surprisingly gently against Rodney's cheek, his thumb rubbing over the corner of Rodney's mouth.
Rodney wonders what the exact formula for explaining to your best friend who is quite possibly not in his right mind that you really weren't propositioning him when you dropped to your knees in front of him is. He really needs to know, but he's drawing a gigantic blank. Possibly this is because his brain is busy informing him that he has John's cock right there and he should just go for it. Sometimes, Rodney is surprised by how useless his brain is.
John rumbles, soft, questioning maybe, and shifts his hips again. Rodney reaches out, rests one hand against John's thigh, theoretically to push the other man away, and John's eyes flutter closed, a deep groan escaping his lips.
It's just as well that the giant lizard thing chooses that moment to launch itself at them, because Rodney's pretty sure that blowing your drugged team leader off-world is frowned upon, and he only has so much self control.
All Rodney sees is a flash of green and brown out of the corner of his eye. Unfortunately, John doesn't see anything, looking wrecked already, and so Rodney figures that makes it his responsibility to save the day. Rodney curses, shoves hard on John's thigh, and John stumbles back a few steps, eyes going wide with surprise.
Rodney doesn't have time to form even an insincere apology, because that's about when the giant lizard thing barrels full tilt into him.
The thing's scales are dry and warm, hard under Rodney's hands. Its breath smells like rot and berries, and Rodney finds himself staring down a blood red throat. He's aware of the crooked yellow teeth snapping closed less than an inch away from his eye, and he curses, flailing under the weight of the thing.
It's crushing him down into the moist earth, rough scales digging into his skin. Out of the corner of his eye he can see clawed feet scrambling at his side, realizes that the thing is trying to get its crazy hooked claws into him and then its mouth is opening again, an evil glare in its yellow reptilian eyes. Rodney tries to get his arms out from under the thing, to throw one over his face, but he's pinned staring up at his own death.
Which is when the thing starts screaming. Rodney closes his eyes against the sudden burst of blood out of the thing's mouth. Blood splatters in huge warm drops across his face and Rodney winces, feeling the thing convulse on top of him. It goes limp seconds later, heavy dead weight that crushes what air was left in Rodney's lungs out.
Rodney beats at it ineffectually, and hears grunting off the side. He doesn't think about it, he doesn't think about anything, until the lizard thing is finally rolled off of him. Rodney wheezes, rolls onto his side, ignoring the ache in his lungs and the sticky blood on his face for now.
When he looks up, some of the spots fading from his vision, John is standing over him. There's blood splattered across his left side, and he's still hard. Rodney isn't sure whether to be flattered or freaked out, and settles for trying to breathe evenly. He coughs, and just like that there's a warm hand sliding up and down his back.
That's all the warning he gets before John is pulling him into a sitting position. John's sitting beside him, and Rodney says, "You okay?" more out of habit than any expectation of getting an answer. John rumbles, and pulls again, tugging Rodney tight against his chest and burying his face against the curve of Rodney's neck.
John is rubbing at Rodney's arms, long slow strokes that Rodney assumes must be intended as comfort. He's sort of distracted by the fact that John is also rubbing off against his hip, grunting into his neck with each thrust. There's weird and there's weird and then there's this. Rodney stays still and lets John lick and suck at his skin, lets John grind against him, until he comes with a ragged cry and makes a mess in his only remaining article of clothing.
When John pulls Rodney to his feet long minutes later, Rodney goes with it. However, when John steps out of his underwear, making a face at them and tossing them aside, Rodney draws the line. He is not trekking through a jungle populated by lizards big enough to qualify as dinosaurs with a man wearing only combat boots. He refuses.
Rodney yanks the zipper down on his jacket, sliding it off his shoulders and ignoring the way John goes completely still. John watches him with the jacket, but seems more curious and interested in Rodney's forearms than upset about Rodney tying the jacket around John's waist. It makes him look kind of like he's wearing a mini-skirt from the back, but it's the best Rodney can do with present supplies.
John tugs at the sleeves when Rodney steps back, but doesn't try to take it off, so Rodney counts it as a win. In fact, John keeps one hand on the jacket, an almost fond look on his face, when he starts walking again. He's not pulling Rodney along anymore, and Rodney thinks for a half second about wandering off on his own.
If that had been an option before, it definitely got taken off the table when he discovered the giant lizards. Rodney hurries after John, falls into step beside him and says, "So, not exactly talkative today, huh? That's fine. I've been wanting to tell someone about my theory that the Ancients were actually idiots with death wishes for awhile now."
Rodney isn't actually used to getting the chance to talk without interruption very often. It's a novel experience, and he finds himself enjoying their trek through the jungle more than he probably should. He tries to convince John to either head back to the 'gate or the village every few minutes, but John continues either ignoring or not understanding him.
At some point John also decides to shove Rodney down in front of a tree, and growls when Rodney tries to stand up again. Rodney scowls at being ordered around, crosses his arms, but stays put when John wanders off into the surrounding nature.
Rodney is just thinking about how much he hates trees and grass and bushes and vines when John comes back. For a long moment Rodney can only stare, but something about the way John is beaming down at him expectantly makes him smile back. Unfortunately, this results in John dropping some kind of bloody, dead, animal into Rodney's lap.
It kind of looks like it was once a rabbit. There are definitely long fluffy ears, and a short round tail. It is, without a doubt, not a rabbit anymore. Rodney stares at its beady little black eyes and wonders what the best way to get it off his lap without touching it would be.
John makes a questioning sound, settling in beside him, pressed up close all along Rodney's side. John has his own formerly-a-rabbit, and is merrily tearing it to pieces. Rodney watches a piece of fur go flying, John's long fingers stained red as he does things that Rodney really doesn't want to think about. Rodney stares down at his rabbit and tries very hard not to think about the Peter Cottontail stories he'd had to read to Madison last time he was on Earth.
John nudges him, and Rodney looks over at him. John's mouth is stained red in one corner, and he looks worried. Rodney shrugs, because John still seems to understand body language. John frowns, looking more confused than angry.
After a moment John bends back over his rabbit, fingers busy causing wet, squishy sounds that Rodney really doesn't want to hear. John makes a triumphant sound, and Rodney looks against his better judgment. John is holding what Rodney assumes to be bunny guts proudly in one hand. Which he is offering to Rodney with a look of bright glee on his face.
Rodney looks around, on the off chance that there's a giant lizard around to save him from this, too. When he looks back John is still watching him, expression so hopeful that Rodney says, "Okay, fine, but if I get some horrible intestinal parasite I'm holding you responsible."
John just blinks and Rodney sighs, making grabbing gestures with his hand. John's smile stretches, and Rodney has time to think about how young it makes him look before John is pressing some rabbit-piece against Rodney's mouth.
Once the initial revulsion has passed Rodney is willing to admit that swallowing the thing isn't so bad. It's slimy and he can't bring himself to chew it, but mostly it just tastes kind of salty. John rumbles, still smiling, and proceeds to feed Rodney rabbit chunks until Rodney is both full and no longer having to fight his gag reflex at every bite.
Rodney is aware that John is eating as well, trading bites with him, but it still comes as a surprise when he realizes both rabbits are gone. John hums, placing one of his blood stained hands on Rodney's stomach and rubs a little circle. He looks exceedingly pleased with himself, almost smug. Rodney rolls his eyes, "Yes, yes, good job on the whole hunter thing. You're an excellent provider, I'm very impressed. Next time I'll teach you how to make fire."
John rumbles, his eyes narrowing, and that's all the warning Rodney gets before he's got a lapful of John. John licks at his mouth, and it should be gross, and kind of is. It's not exactly a kiss, at least as Rodney has ever known kissing, but it's surprisingly sweet and almost frighteningly hungry at the same time.
Rodney reaches out, careful, gets his hands on John's face, fingers sliding back into his hair, and holds him in place long enough to drag things into a real kiss. John shudders against him, moans into Rodney's mouth, and tugs at Rodney's shirt.
John doesn't try to get the shirt off, just shoves the fabric up high enough that he can rub his cock against Rodney's bare stomach. John is all grunts and tightening muscles, his hands digging into Rodney's shoulders, his eyes squeezed shut. Rodney rubs a hand up and down John's back, trying to remember exactly how it came to this.
John comes against his stomach and manages to pretty much ruin Rodney's shirt. Rodney thinks about taking it off, but enough sunlight is coming through the canopy that he'd be burned to a crisp within minutes, and so he discards the idea.
Besides, John seems content to curl up on him, rumbling deep and contented in his chest. Rodney's pretty sure he hasn't crossed any lines here, that he's not using or abusing the other man in any way. After all, he's still hard in his BDUs, and the kisses had been John's idea.
When John finally stirs, rocking to his feet and stretching with a chorus of cracks that make Rodney wince, Rodney tells himself to stop thinking about it. They can worry about John's descent into being a gay caveman once they're all safely not in a jungle full of giant lizards anymore.
Rodney lets John pull him up, not without its own pops and snaps. John holds onto his wrist for a long moment, expression soft and Rodney smiles awkwardly back. Rodney isn't sure what to make of it when John puts his hand over the ridiculous come stain he left on Rodney's shirt and rumbles, but he's glad when the other man finally turns and starts walking again.
In fact, they spend most of the day walking. And walking. And walking some more. John stops once more for a rabbit-and-rub-off-break, but other than that, it's just the walking. Rodney's feet hurt and his legs are burning and he's a sweaty mess but they keep walking.
He doesn't really start complaining, which is still completely useless, until the sun starts to sink. He's struck with unpleasant memories from the early morning dark, tripping over roots and constant fear of twisting an ankle. It's more than enough motivation for him to reach out, tug on John's arm, and say, "Okay, seriously, we need to stop soon. I need to sleep."
John looks down at Rodney's hand, and does his little rumbling thing again before continuing on without any sign of sudden comprehension. Rodney sighs, and keeps up a constant litany of how they should really, really be finding someplace to curl up and sleep that goes mostly ignored.
Twilight has settled gray around them, the entire world cast in shadow, when John finally stops and changes direction. Rodney stares after his retreating back for a long moment and then rolls his eyes and follows. For all he knows they've been walking around in circles all day and John just spotted his discarded underwear in the distance. It wouldn't exactly be a surprise, knowing John's sense of direction.
But five minutes later they're standing in front of a cave and John is bouncing on the balls of his feet, drawing Rodney in with impatient hands. Rodney lets himself be led inside and squints against the darkness. There are no angry animal noises coming from anywhere and the ground appears to be more dirt than stone. Rodney figures he's probably slept in worse places.
Rodney says, "You know how I promised you a fire earlier? I'm thinking now is the perfect time for one." He turns, making to find some wood that might be dry enough to use as kindling, and John catches his arm, puts himself bodily between Rodney and the entrance of the cave and rumbles. Well. So much for a fire.
Rodney sighs, crosses his arms, "Okay fine, be that way. I'm going to sleep. Try to be more sane in the morning." He gropes a hand out, looking for the wall in the near-darkness, dragging his fingers across the cool stone and lowering himself to the floor.
It isn't as soft as Rodney had been hoping, and he winces, twisting around in a futile attempt to find some position that at least vaguely resembles comfortable. John is standing over him, Rodney can hear him breathing and Rodney finally settles, sprawled on his stomach with his arms under his head.
John makes a hoarse sound above him. Rodney has time to register that the other man has dropped his jacket beside Rodney's head, and then there's a warm solid weight settling across his back. Rodney starts to twist, trying to dislodge John on instinct and the other man rumbles, pushes down hard on his shoulders.
Rodney curses, his chin knocking into the floor. Rodney gets one hand flat on the ground and tries to leverage himself up again. John's thighs close around Rodney's hips, his hands squeezing hard on Rodney's shoulders and shoving down. When John spreads out over him, chest flattened against Rodney's back, Rodney heaves a sigh and gives up.
Rodney is tired and grouchy and can guess where this is going from the press of John's cock against his ass. He probably should protest more, but they've already been through this three times and Rodney doesn't actually seem to be required to participate. Rodney resettles his arms, letting his cheek rest against his forearm, and John grunts into his ear.
John is already into it, hips shoving against Rodney's ass, licking at the skin behind Rodney's ear. John is kneading at his shoulders, which is surprisingly nice. Rodney closes his eyes and pretends he's asleep, and ignores the way John is sucking on his neck, grunting and groaning with each twist of his hips.
It doesn't take very long. All in all Rodney isn't very impressed with John's skills in the bedroom, but then again, he doesn't appear to be at his best right now. For all the guttural grunting that goes on with the humping, John comes with a soft whimper, his face buried against Rodney's throat.
John is heavy and limp over him, and Rodney tries to shift him off. It doesn't work so well. John makes a protesting sound, nuzzling into the space between Rodney's shoulder blades. John is very warm, still moving his thumbs in absent circles on Rodney's skin.
Rodney wants to point out that John is going to be stuck to his pants in the morning. John probably won't understand him anyway, and so Rodney just sighs and rolls his eyes. John is heavy, but not exactly crushing. Besides, this way if something comes after them in the middle of the night it'll get John first.
Rodney falls asleep to the feeling of John drooling all over the back of his shirt.
Ronon wakes Rodney up by poking him in the cheek. Rodney blinks, still half in a dream, and Ronon pokes him again. Rodney manages, "Wha?" aware of John's soft snores against his back and the other man's weight and warmth surrounding him.
Ronon is grinning, all teeth, "You left a trail a mile wide."
Rodney can only blink, still trying to process the fact that Ronon is kneeling in front of him with Teyla hovering over his shoulder. Teyla says, casting worried looks over her shoulder, "It is good that you have already found Colonel Sheppard. We must leave."
Rodney shifts, John slurs something and tightens his hold. Ronon smirks and Rodney finally manages enough irritation to speak, "Well get him off me, then." That gets him another smirk from Ronon, but the big man also shifts forward, wrapping one big hand around Sheppard's shoulder and pulling.
Rodney has time to be relieved, John really got heavy at some point since last night, and then the emotion is crushed. John makes a low, furious sound, and launches himself at Ronon. It's an unintentionally hilarious image; John tackling the much bigger man, Ronon's expression of surprise.
Teyla makes a surprised sound and Rodney snaps, "Jesus Christ, Sheppard, stop it!"
Unsurprisingly, Sheppard does not stop. Rodney pushes up to his knees, wincing at the aches in his bones, the cold that's creeping into his skin now that his living blanket is gone. Ronon and John are snarling at each other. Rodney is bitterly amused despite himself to find that apparently Ronon does speak caveman. Fluently.
They're also hitting each other, snarling and grappling and Rodney exchanges a look with Teyla because he is officially tired of dealing with John in this state. He is completely ready to pass the baton off to Teyla. Apparently she doesn't want it, because she says, "What is wrong with him?"
Rodney shrugs, absently watching Ronon and John roll around on the ground, "He was like this when he found me." John has a handful of Ronon's hair and is possibly trying to bite him. Ronon is in the process of choking John out, if Rodney's reading the situation properly.
Teyla huffs, impatient, "We must leave, the villagers will have no trouble following the trail you left to this place." John is kicking out, and Ronon's face is a mask of concentration. Teyla rolls her eyes, "Ronon, we must leave. Play later."
Ronon makes what might be a disappointed noise, and twists. John ends up on his back, still snarling. Ronon growls, jerks his elbow back and slams it into John's face. Rodney winces as John jerks, eyes rolling back in his head as he looses consciousness. Rodney stares down at John's slack face, "Was that really necessary?"
Ronon shrugs, rocking to his feet and dragging John along. John ends up slung over Ronon's shoulders, hairy ass in the air, and Teyla sighs, "Perhaps we should clothe him before we return home?" Rodney meets Ronon's eyes, and matches the man's smirk.
Elizabeth looks amused when they stumble through the 'gate a day later. John is sporting two nice lumps on the back of his head, and is still both mostly naked and unconscious across Ronon's shoulder. Rodney had wanted to come directly back to Atlantis but Teyla and Ronon had insisted upon getting their weapons back first.
There had been a depressing amount of running for their lives involved after their extraction mission into the village, and they come through the 'gate cursing, with arrows flying around their heads. Elizabeth had stopped in front of them, arms crossed, doing a truly admirable job of not bursting into giggles, and said, "Do I want to know?"
Rodney is a lot of things, including honest to a fault. He shakes his head, "No. No, you really don't. I'm going to shower now." He's covered in mud and more bodily fluids than he feels comfortable thinking about. Showering is his number one priority, and he marches out of the room.
One of the best things about Atlantis—besides all the scientific possibilities, of course—is the unlimited hot water. Rodney stands under the beating water until his skin goes red from the heat, and then he starts scrubbing. By the time he steps out of the stall, almost an hour later, his skin is tender and radiating warmth and he feels deliciously clean. And hungry.
Another of the best things about Atlantis is the sheer amount of not-raw food that they have. Rodney pulls on his clothes as quickly as possible, shirt sticking to his moist skin, his hair plastered to his head. Usually he'd worry about it, there are people here that he should technically be setting an example for, but he's starving and it's late. Anyone skulking around the mess hall this late is just going to have to deal with seeing him like this.
Rodney makes it almost to the mess before everything goes all to shit.
Screams and stunner fire are never a good combination, and Rodney focuses in on them immediately. Rodney still isn't sure at what point in his life he started running towards trouble instead of away from it, but it's habit by now. Rodney curses, yelling for Ronon and Teyla in his radio, and takes off.
Rodney passes the infirmary, ignoring the nurses and doctors crowded into doorway. One of them is holding a rag to their bloody face, and Rodney has just enough time to feel his stomach turn over before he's past them. Ronon is grunting into the radio and Teyla is asking for directions. Rodney snaps, impatient and breathless already, "Just follow the bodies!"
There's a trail of Marines lying in the hall, groaning and starting to stir. Rodney moves past them, pausing only to grab one of their guns, because he doesn't know if this is a Wraith, Genii, or what, but he wants a gun in any case. The Marine grunts, "Colonel Sheppard."
Rodney rolls his eyes, "No, he's not here right now. Are you blind?" Rodney doesn't wait for an answer, pushing back to his feet and making his tired legs work. He nearly trips over Lorne, and runs into Zelenka when the other man steps out of a lab.
Radek curses him when Rodney shoves him into the wall, and Rodney absently waves his pistol in the other man's direction as he keeps going. Rodney calls over his shoulder, "Get more security teams down here." And keeps running.
Rodney's lungs are burning, his heart hammering too fast in his chest, by the time he finally catches up to the yelling. For a half second Rodney just stares, but he's a genius and so he makes sense of the situation with admirable swiftness. Rodney waves the gun around, tempted to fire a warning shot but not comfortable shooting inside the city, and yells, "John!"
This time, Sheppard does pause. John snaps his head up, still holding the limp soldier he had been whaling on by the collar of his shirt. John is wearing the infirmary scrubs, but his expression is every bit as feral as it had been back on the planet. He focuses on Rodney with startling intensity, and then grins, dropping the poor guy he had been beating.
John ignores the gun, and Rodney's protests, to wrap his arms around Rodney and bury his face against Rodney's neck. John's fingers are curled up in Rodney's shirt, and he's rumbling, deep and content in his chest. Rodney sighs, ignores John's continued progress in crawling all over him, and reaches up to thumb his radio on.
John is rubbing his hands up and down Rodney's back when Rodney says, "I've got the, uh, situation under control here."
That's about when Ronon comes around the corner, blaster raised, and manages to shoot both of them.
When Rodney wakes up it's to the feeling of someone staring at him. He blinks his bleary eyes up at the ceiling of the infirmary, groans against the bright light, and grinds out, "Ronon is a menace." His head is pounding and his stomach is achingly empty.
There's a snort of laughter beside him and Rodney rolls his head to the side, and lets his expression sour further at what he finds waiting for him. John is lying in the bed that's beside him, looking sheepish. Rodney glares at him, "Have we progressed past Daryl Hannah levels yet? Discovered speech? Fire? The wheel?"
John makes a face, reaching one hand up to rub over the back of his neck, "Nice to see you, too, McKay."
Rodney snorts, swinging his legs over the side of the bed and stretching. His back pops, and for a half second Rodney wonders if he could convince John to do that kneading thing from the cave some more. Rodney resettles his shoulders, and looks back at John to find the man staring at him, eyes wide and fascinated. Rodney looks over his shoulder to make sure someone didn't walk up behind him, and says, "Um?"
John slides out of his bed, pads across and positions himself between Rodney's thighs without so much as a by-your-leave. John's hands ball up in the sheets on either side of Rodney's hips, and he's got his cheek pressed up against Rodney's neck. John's stubble is rough and his voice a low vibration, "It hasn't quite worn off."
Rodney clears his throat, frozen in place, "I can see that. So. Um. Remember much of your run in with the mind of prehistoric man, do you?"
John nods, it drags his stubble against Rodney's skin and Rodney tries very hard not to shiver. John rasps, "I heard you, and I came to find you. I fed you and got you shelter. I protected you. And you went to your knees." John's voice has gone so deep it's almost foreign, "You lay down at my feet. I—"
Rodney is staring at the far wall, unfocused, lost in John's warmth pressed up against his chest. John swallows, "I couldn't find you when I woke up. They tried to take you away but you're mine. I found you and you're mine."
Rodney rocks back, pushing at John's shoulders, driving him back a step and calling, "Beckett, I'm leaving." John flashes him a confused, hurt, look, and Rodney can only make himself continue by staring at the floor, "Look. You're drugged or something. And I'm not, okay? I can't do this, Sheppard. Not like this. Come find me when you're not channeling George of the Jungle anymore."
Rodney leaves without looking back.
John avoids Rodney for a week. Rodney hadn't expected any less and doesn't worry about it. He has a lot of work to do, and it's just one more mission gone to hell in the Pegasus Galaxy. Besides, after word of John's naked 'gate reentry got around, Sheppard had kind of been avoiding everyone.
Rodney is therefore somewhat surprised to step into his room after a day of arguing with Zelenka to find John pacing around his room. There isn't a lot of space, John has to turn on his heel every few steps, and he freezes in place when Rodney opens the door.
John stares, eyes dark and unreadable when he says, "I've been thinking."
Rodney stares back and then rolls his eyes and steps into his room, "I thought we agreed that you were leaving the thinking to me. It generally works out better that way, you know." John snorts, but doesn't disagree, and Rodney gestures impatiently, "Well come on, tell me already, I don't have all night."
John hesitates, puts his hands on his hips and then takes a deep breath before stepping forward. Rodney blinks, and then John is in his space, not touching him, just there. John says, voice low and deep, "I heard you, and I came to find you. I found you and you're mine."
Rodney makes himself meet John's dark eyes. Rodney clears his throat, watching the way John's jaw is twitching. He says, "Well, you did kill Thumper for me. But, uh," Rodney gestures helplessly at the space between them, "I mean, I'm not exactly picky but, uh, there are, um, you know." He flaps his hands, and half of John's mouth twitches up in a smile.
John shifts closer, one hand ghosting across Rodney's hip, "You asking for proof that I can get you off?" Rodney manages to nod, lick his lips, before John is leaning in, fitting his other hand around the back of Rodney's neck and kissing him.
Rodney smiles against John's lips, pulls back just enough to lick the corner of John's mouth. That gets him a quick flash of laughter, and a slap on the ass and Rodney realizes that hell, this thing might actually work after all.
::back to index::