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It goes like this:

The guards have you by the arms, one on each side. Your team is somewhere behind you, all three of them chained together. You can hear Ronon struggling against his manacles; Teyla is probably glaring at him and trying to find a way to work one of the hair pins she keeps on her into her hand. Rodney has finally fallen silent, which seems like a terrible sign to you.

The queen- or the high priestess or whoever she is- is standing in front of you. She decided long ago that she didn't like your attitude; now she's jawing on and on about how she's going to make an example of you. You wish she would go ahead and do it; your head is pounding from where the guards took turns on you, and you're looking forward to passing out at the nearest opportunity.

It burns when the guard shoves the needle into your arm and injects you with whatever it is that's supposed to make you behave. You've listened to just enough of the standard evil villain monologue to know what's coming next; all she has to do is speak your name, and you're all hers.

She smirks at you, savoring the moment, her mouth opening to form the words; but before she can, one of the guards screams, and you both startle.

In that instant, the second between the two halves of your life, Rodney shouts, "John, look at me!" and your head snaps around, automatic, your eyes finding him immediately. Your whole body leans toward him without your mind's permission, like a plant to the sun.

Then there's an explosion, close enough that the room shakes. Someone or something knocks you out.

There's nothing for a long time.

You wake up in the infirmary, and you can already tell that Carson hasn't given you the good drugs, because most of you hurts. Ronon's sleeping in the chair beside your bed, his head resting against the wall and his mouth wide open, but he's alert in an instant at your groan. He's really happy that you're awake; he kind of looks like he wants to give you a bear hug, but thankfully he restrains himself.

Teyla's close at hand, too; she comes over and strokes your hair, but you're just out of it enough to enjoy it. For a minute, it's all happy reunion, but suddenly you stop and look around. "Where's Rodney?"

Ronon and Teyla exchange a look over your head, and your stomach drops.

"Doctor McKay is fine," Teyla says, but it doesn't sound like she means it.

You're laid up and insufficiently medicated through the night and into the next day; no matter how hard you flirt at the nurses, they won't turn you loose or up your dosage. You still don't see Rodney.


Before he'll let you go, Carson sits you down in his office. He looks worried, enough that you start to get worried. You want to crack a joke to break up the tension, ask him if you've contracted brain worms or been knocked up by alien spores or something; but it occurs to you that neither of those things are out of the realm of possibility here, and it doesn't seem funny anymore.

You can't understand half of what Carson is saying, and the other half of it sounds like total bullshit, but the bottom line is pretty fucking clear.

When he lets you go, you leave your radio behind and run around the city until you can't stand up anymore.


It doesn't surprise you when Rodney avoids you entirely for the next few days. You don't blame him. You're not sure how you're supposed to be reacting to all of this; you can't really react at all until Rodney does. You just have to wait and know he will, eventually, because he just couldn't let something like this go.

When he finally makes his move, it's almost midnight. You're just about to get ready for bed, but you get up and answer the door anyway. You know that something's up as soon as he walks in. He's got his shoulders back and a determined look on his face.

"Hey, buddy," you say, because you don't really like the look of it. "Is something the-"

"Don't talk," he says, and your voice stops working immediately. "I don't want to hear anything coming out of your mouth but breathing." You look at him, frowning, unsure where he's going with this. He takes a deep breath. "Strip."

Your eyes fly open, but your hands move without you. You tug your t-shirt over your head and toss it away; your fingers hesitate on your fly, but you can't stop them. You push your boxers down with your pants, suddenly anxious to get this over with, and kick them both off.

Rodney stares at you with naked want in his eyes. "Get on your knees," he says quietly. You fold up like somebody just cut your strings; you stare up at him wide-eyed, but you can't read his face at all.

"Jesus Christ, look at you," Rodney breathes, and you can tell you're blushing all the way up to your ears. "If I told you to get hard, I wonder if you could." You can feel heat rising to your face as he flicks his eyes up and down your body. "Guess I won't need to."

It sort of shocks you to realize that, yeah, you're hard already, and that's deeply fucked up. Rodney doesn't give you much time to consider that, though. "Crawl onto the bed," he tells you, and you're moving, hand over hand, crossing the miles and miles of floor that stretch between you and it.

Your whole body is shivering when you finally climb up onto the mattress. When he tells you to get on your hands and knees, it's a relief; you bury your face in the pillow and try to pretend you're somewhere else. A voice in your head keeps screaming to run, go, get out of here as fast as you fucking can. But you just don't, even though you could- he hasn't told you not to protest or push him away or just turn around and punch him in the face.

He doesn't have to, now does he?

You can hear him behind you, the rasp of his zipper, the sharp click of a bottle opening. The bed dips as he climbs up behind you, giving you plenty of warning, but you still jump when he curls his hand around your hip. Slick fingers probe at you; his movements are clinical, impersonal as he prepares you, opening you up carefully.

He tosses the bottle away and gets right in behind you, pushing your knees farther apart. He pushes into you all at once, one long thrust that leaves you gasping. "Relax," he tells you, from between his teeth, and just like that it's easier. He makes an approving noise, deep in his throat, as he rocks back and slams into you again.

He doesn't bother easing into it; he just holds you down and sets a pounding rhythm, fucking you into the mattress. You're still shaking and your heart is racing and you're afraid of what he might do to you, of all the things that are worse than this that he might have up his sleeve. You're scared of all the things he could make you do; he could point you like a gun and pull your trigger, and you'd have to live with whatever he wanted for you.

But what terrifies you is that something about it feels right. It pulls at you, gets down into that feeling in your chest that you can't justify, can't even put words to. You want this, you've always wanted this.

You've been waiting so long for someone to come along and make it easy.

But Rodney knows- of course Rodney knows. Rodney's so quick and so clever, and he cuts through your bullshit without thinking twice. He understands you so much better than anybody else who's ever tried- not that many people have.

Oh God, but maybe he doesn't. Maybe Rodney hasn't figured it out at all; maybe Rodney's doing this because he wants to; maybe he's just been waiting for an opportunity like this, any excuse to make you his whore.

That's not supposed to make you hotter, but, fuck. You can't moan, can't even fucking whimper; you just spread your legs wider for him.

"That's right, take it," he murmurs, like you have a choice, like you'd ever even want to do anything but lay there, pinned underneath him, as he thrusts into your body over and over.

You can tell he's getting close; he starts moving faster, his whole body leaning over yours, his hand at the back of your neck to hold you in place. Your hands are fisted in the sheets and your body's working without you, without him, pushing back for more, begging for it without words.

"Come," he says sharply, and you just do.

He's dressed and out the door before you've even caught your breath.

He forgets to say that you can talk again. You're halfway through the next morning's staff meeting before you even notice; you lean over to say something to Elizabeth, and nothing comes out of your mouth. When you glance nervously to Rodney, he looks at you like a deer in the headlights.

"A word outside, Colonel?" Rodney finally manages, and you nod mutely and follow him out.

The room is conspicuously quiet behind you, and you know that the damage is already done.

You think it's going to make him skittish, maybe even make him stop; but it doesn't, not at all. He doesn't do anything stupid or reckless- he wouldn't, not Rodney, who always triple-checks that the door is locked and looks in his shoes for spiders.

And after that, Rodney is very, very careful in public. He doesn't look into your eyes and he doesn't joke around and if he really wants or needs or intends to bully you into doing something, he writes it down and has someone else ask. He's so good at acting like he doesn't want your obedience in public that even Elizabeth thinks that you're both adjusting perfectly.

Then again, it's only because he knows he has you in private.

It might be the drugs or it might just be you- and you don't want to know, you just don't- but when he wants to take you, you let him, every single time. Sometimes he wants it hard and fast; he makes you bend over the desk or brace yourself up against the wall. Or maybe he wants it slow; he puts on Doctor Who or something, some episode you've both seen a dozen times, and makes you blow him all the way through it. Your eyes water and your throat feels scratchy, and he acts like he doesn't even remember you're there, just absentmindedly pats your hair once in a while.

One night he tells you to get on the bed and hold on to the headboard. He doesn't need to tie you up; he just tells you to keep still and you do. He hikes your knees up over his shoulders and spends a long time on you, speeding up just to slow down, keeping you on the edge for as long as possible before he finally, finally comes.

And then he just leaves, and you're just stuck there, naked and open and ready, and you've never felt more like a cheap slut in your entire life. You're furious, then you're turned on, then you're furious at yourself for being turned on, and on and on until eventually you're just exhausted and sick to your stomach. You fall asleep like that, your hands still over your head and stuck there.

It's hours before he comes back; you're so deep asleep that you don't even register when he enters the room. He takes you just like that, sliding into you while you're still sleeping, so that you wake up gasping and coming, a total shock.

Sometimes, sometimes when he's picked out some new way to use you, you look around wildly and swear that you used to have another life, something more than being Rodney's puppet. Then again, some mornings you look across the conference table and see the perfectly mild look on his face, and you wonder if it's all been some elaborate hallucination, some dream you've woken up from and lost.

You don't know which one bothers you more.

You don't know, you just don't know anymore. Still, you let it go on, and he keeps finding ways to surprise you. One morning at breakfast he leans over and says, "Don't come," and just like that, you can't think of anything else. You're hard on and off all day long; that night, Rodney makes you wait an hour before you're even allowed to beg for the privilege.

One mission, he makes you go all the way to MY9-208 with a plug up your ass, his come still inside of you. While you two are off getting energy readings, he pushes you up against a tree and works it out of you, replacing it with his cock. It's rough and fast, and just when you think he's going to bring you off, he just shoves the plug back in and leaves you like that, right back where you started from.

But nothing, nothing shocks you more than the night after M7H-293, where you both almost die several times; he calls you to his room and just holds you against him for a long time, his face pressed into your hair, until you fall asleep to the rhythm of his ragged breathing.

You don't know what it means.


It's a month and a half before the drugs wear off. You're on light switch duty with Rodney; you're tormenting him by insisting that the mysterious Ancient device that you've just pulled out of the box of mysterious Ancient devices is a flux capacitor- a joke that really never gets old, as far as you're concerned. And Rodney says, "God, shut up," and what you really want to do is laugh and say, "Fuck you."

You look down in shock when it comes out of your mouth.

Carson gives you a clean bill of health, and Elizabeth tells you and Rodney how proud she is of the way in which you conducted yourselves during the whole affair. You smile at both of them, even though it makes your face ache. You've more or less decided that your life is pretty much fucked, and it shocks you that no one seems to notice.

You're expecting something out of Rodney, now that it's over. You're expecting guilt or contrition or misplaced, defensive outrage; you're expecting him to quit the team or leave Atlantis or insist that you do the same.

But he comes to your room that night, and the next night, and the next; and when he presses you down into the bed and holds you there, he whispers, "You can't do anything but what I tell you."

You can only ever moan in response.