It was all Cadman's fault.
If she hadn't bent Katie over her arm -- his arm -- and kissed the breath out of her as though he were one of those swashbuckling, bare-chested Fabios on the covers of the romance novels Jeannie used to read, then Katie wouldn't have gotten the ridiculous impression that Rodney was accustomed to sweeping women off their feet.
Now, whenever they managed to find some time for a date, and when, by some miracle, the date didn't get interrupted before the good part by some engineering or botanical emergency (seriously, who would have thought as many morons sprayed themselves in the face with alien spores as singed their benchmates with overloading Ancient gadgets?) -- whenever they were making out on his bed, she would lie back, stretch her arms out over her head and leave him to… ravish her, or whatever.
That usually ended up with him fumbling and asking a hundred times if she liked what he was doing until she took his hands and moved them where she wanted them. And then, finally, they'd get to the really good part.
People weren't pieces of machinery. They weren't subatomic particles or Ancient doohickies with corresponding database entries. He couldn't figure Katie out with the same objective precision he liked in his daily work.
He wanted to give her what she wanted. He just didn't know what that was.
"Rodney," Katie said over eggs and hash browns in the mess hall.
Rodney paused with his sausage-laden fork still in his mouth. Oh, crap. This was the part where she'd tell him that they weren't going to work out, and that she really liked him, but there was just something missing. He took some consolation in the fact that she was going to let him down gently instead of screaming and throwing his quantum mechanics textbook at his head (Sarah Smith, fourth year of his first Ph.D.; he'd had the triangle-shaped bruise on his arm for weeks). But still. They hadn't even made it a month.
"Rodney?" Katie asked. "Are you okay?"
He started to talk, bit the fork, and pulled it gingerly out of his mouth and this time even remembered to swallow the sausage before attempting to speak again. "Yes?"
She gave him a concerned look. "Are you sure?"
All right, he would say it first. "I really like you, Katie. Like, a lot. I know the sex could be better. I can do better, but I… well, I understand if you want to see other people."
Except she looked confused. "What?"
Now he was confused. "What?"
"You want to see other people?"
"No, I -- I was making it easier for you to break up with me."
Katie reached out to cover his hand with hers. "Rodney, I'm not breaking up with you. Unless--" She pulled back a bit. "Do you want to break up?"
"No! I -- no, definitely not, no."
"Oh. That's good."
They looked at each other.
"So… What were you going to say?"
"Oh." A pretty flush spread across her cheeks. "I was going to ask you… How do you feel about rape fantasy?"
He blinked at her. "I'm sorry?"
She tucked a lock of hair behind one ear but held his gaze as she elaborated. "I'd like you to hold me down. I'll fight you, and you'll win." She smiled. "Then I'll be at your mercy and you can have your wicked way with me."
Huh. That's what he thought she'd meant. "You want me to -- what, attack you?"
"Only a little," she murmured. "Is that okay?"
It sounded… He imagined them wrestling for dominance on the bed until she gave in beneath him, her back arching as he thrust into her again and again. "Yeah." That sounded really okay. "I -- You really want that?"
Her eyes were bright and clear and serious as she met his gaze. "I do."
Huh. Who would've thought. And hey, he'd always fantasized about having a kinky girlfriend (other than Caroline Dutton, first year of his second Ph.D., who'd had a thing about his nipples and kept nagging him to let her pierce them, which, no). He wondered what it was about this that got Katie hot.
"You like to be hurt?" He wasn't sure he could get into pain, but he would try, for her.
"It's not that," she said gently. "It's more like -- sometimes I like to lie back and let someone else take control. And I like being held down or tied up. A lot." The blush was back.
"You want me to tie you up?" He glanced across the room to the table where Teyla and Sheppard were sitting, as though they could hear him. This might have been the weirdest conversation he'd ever had in the mess hall, and that was counting the time his teammate turned into a bug.
She sighed. "No headboards on Atlantis. I guess we could try something else, but maybe not on our first time?"
"So you just want me to, um, dominate you."
"That's right," Katie said.
He imagined himself in one of those leather daddy getups, wearing a police cap and a harness with straps criss-crossed across his chest, a riding crop in his hand. Dropping his voice and leaning forward, he asked, "You don't need me to, like, be naked except for a pair of combat boots, do you?"
She laughed. "No, Rodney. Although I think your boots and your vest are very sexy when you go off-world."
He may have blushed a little. "Okay. So how do we do this?"
"I'd like some ground rules," she said, voice soft. "There are some things I like, and some things I don't. Okay?" At his nod, she went on: "You can subdue me, hold me down, and say whatever you want. I like having my wrists held over my head. It's okay if I bruise. You can slap me, but not hard. Don't throw me, choke me, gag me, scratch me, bite me, or bang my head against anything. Once you have me, anything we've done so far is fair game."
"Huh," he said. "You've really thought this out."
She smiled shyly. "I've done this before, and I really enjoy it. I'd like to try it with you."
"That's -- wow." He smiled back.
"We'll need a safeword," she told him. "If you do something that makes me uncomfortable, I'll say it and you'll stop. The same goes for you."
He nodded and tried to think of a term that would stop him cold no matter what he and Katie were doing. Radek, Cadman, lemon chicken…
"How about…" Her mouth quirked. "Rodneyana villosa?"
The thought of cactus needles in private places should certainly do it. "If you can remember that in the, ah, throes of passion," he said. "I don't want to hurt you."
"I know you don't." She leaned across the table, and the quick kiss she dropped on his cheek quelled the faint butterfly stirrings in his gut. When she sat back, she asked, "Is there anything you want to add?"
"Besides wondering if you have a copy of Rape Play for Dummies?"
"For geniuses the likes of which the Pegasus Galaxy has never seen, you mean," she teased.
He considered for a moment, then admitted, "I don't know." He never liked saying it, but something about Katie made it easier.
"That's okay. Just ask or stop if you're uncomfortable or have a question. I want you to enjoy it too."
"Right. I guess we're doing this?"
Katie gave him a brilliant smile, and he felt a familiar flash of affection for her crooked teeth. "Thanks, Rodney."
No one had ever thanked him for promising to pretend to force them to have sex before. "You're welcome?"
Radek's sudden voice in his ear made him jump about six inches off his chair and rattle the glasses on the table. When he was done having a heart attack and flapping a hand at his radio to show an alarmed-looking Katie what had happened, he found out he had to go to Lab Two to chew out Langstrom and Burke, or Angstrom and Turk, or whoever, for burning a hole through their bench, the floor, and then the floor beneath that, because they'd been playing with two of the chemicals on the shelf clearly labeled "Do Not Mix, Will Eat Through Atlantis Straight Down to the Ocean."
He excused himself, but not before making plans for that evening.
Katie's room, nine p.m. Taking a break from making out, facing each other on her bed. They were going to do this. Katie was going to let him, as the villains always put it in the movies, have his way with her.
"Are you ready, Rodney?"
"Yes," he said.
"Okay," she said.
He looked at her. She looked at him.
"Go on," she encouraged him, nudging his leg with her bare foot.
"I, ah. What should I do first?"
"Here." Katie ducked her head, and when she looked back up at him, her eyes were wide with what looked like fear. She scrambled backwards on the bed away from him.
It came by instinct, then; the chase, the desire to catch and to have. He reached for her before she could get away, but she eluded his grasp and stood on the other side of the bed, watching him, breathing hard.
They faced each other again. He feinted to the right; she moved left, then stopped. He lunged left, then, and kept going around the foot of the bed towards her. Blocked by the wall, she tried to go over the bed to escape. She squeaked when he managed to grab hold of her ankle.
She was lying face-down; he straddled her, knees tight at her hips, and tugged her shirt free of her pants. She squirmed beneath him and moaned, "No."
He quickly pulled out the hand he'd started to slide under her shirt. "Sorry, I'm sorry. I thought that's what you wanted."
She stopped struggling and turned beneath him so they could look at each other. "Rodney, it's okay. We have the safeword, remember? When I say 'no,' it's part of the scene."
"Right. Um." He flailed a little.
She gazed up at him. "That was very sexy, when you were manhandling me."
"Really. I think you should do it some more right now."
"Okay. I can -- I can do that."
He reached for the bottom button on her blouse. She sat up, and they had something like a slap-fight as she tried to keep his hands away from the fastenings and he tried to keep her limbs contained so he could get them undressed.
Okay, this wasn't going to work. He switched focus to capture her wrists. It took a minute, but he finally managed it, and pressed her down into the bed.
She made a keening noise and twisted in his grip. He tightened his hold by reflex, and she gasped.
He let go immediately. "Oh God, are you okay?"
"Rodney…" This time, she looked sort of dejected.
He sat back. "I'm not sure I can do this," he admitted.
Katie's face softened. "I know you can, Rodney."
"I don't want to hurt you."
"That's really sweet of you, but you won't. Trust me?"
She lay on her back, looking up at him with her blue eyes bright against pale skin, her shirt up above her navel, her arms still over her head of her own volition. Waiting for him. Wanting him to keep going.
That's when it hit him. He could take charge. This right here, Katie under him, was a unique opportunity to skip the "is this okay"s, toss aside all the uncertainty that usually accompanied the little time they managed to get in bed together -- not that he didn't like having sex with Katie, because, hello, sex, and also she was sweet and seemed to like him -- anyway, the point was, this time he didn't have to treat her like crystal. Was, in fact, supposed to do the opposite. She would tell him if he was being too rough. He could do anything, and with two words, she could stop him.
And she hadn't yet.
Which meant she liked this.
"Oh, wow," he breathed, staring down at her.
Her slow grin lit up her face. "Yeah?"
He couldn't help but mirror the smile. "Yeah."
She arched beneath him. "Come on, then."
It went well at first. He held her wrists in one hand and awkwardly but successfully unbuttoned the rest of her shirt with the other, and he liked the sounds she was making now that he was sure they were for show. But then he needed both hands to work open her bra, and when he let her arms go, she pushed at him again. He kept trying to get his hands under her to undo the clasp, she kept batting his hands away, and it was all fun and rape-games until he took a finger to the eye.
Katie stopped again and held a warm hand to his cheek, right beside where he was clutching his face against the sting. "Oh, Rodney, I'm sorry. Are you all right?"
He whimpered pitifully, although the pain was already mostly gone. Unfortunately, so was the mood.
Katie seemed to sense it, too; she wormed her way out from under him and sat with her hand on his knee.
"We don't have to," she said gently. "It was just an idea."
He thought about it, but he really did like the idea, and if there was anything he'd learned as a theoretical physicist working in the real world, it was that imperfection was the rule of everyday life rather than the exception, and anything that was worthwhile took practice. "No. Let's try it again, maybe next week?" Her smile crept back, and he knew this was the right decision. "But we need to do some prep first. I think we need handcuffs."
Katie perked up and nodded. "We can loop them through the leg of the bed." As she smoothed her hair down, Rodney imagined that pale wrist enclosed in restraints and shifted against a stirring of interest down below. "And I'll find some old clothes to wear that are all right to destroy. That should help you with the unbuttoning problem."
He imagined ripping her blouse open, buttons flying everywhere, while she panted his name. Yes, that could work. He swallowed.
"Anything else?" Katie asked.
Hm. "The chase, at the beginning. Is that something you really like?"
"We don't have to do that. Why?"
"It's, ah, a little too like exercise -- the unfun kind -- for my taste. Can we do something simpler?"
"Absolutely. And you," she nudged him playfully, "need to have more faith in yourself as my ravisher. But I think you got it near the end, there."
"Yes. I think I -- Yes."
"So. Handcuffs, rags, less fighting, and confidence." She checked them off on her fingers. "Do you want to try next weekend?"
He still had no idea how he'd ended up with someone who kept giving him chances like this, and who wanted him to do whatever he liked to her. He said, "It's a date."
They shook on it. Then they made out for a little while without anyone getting poked in sensitive places, Katie gave him an apologetic hand job, he brought her off twice with his fingers, and they went to bed.
The Following Thursday
Not that he'd ever done anything of the sort -- his brain was far too valuable to risk for the same few hours' high he'd get from solving a good math problem -- but meeting Katie to go over the last details felt like meeting a shady dealer in a back alley to score some pot. Or crack. Or whatever it was you met dealers for in back alleys.
"I've got a pair of handcuffs," he whispered. "They're leather, so they shouldn't chafe like the ones the Marines use." They were sturdy and black, linked with a metal chain.
(It had gone something like this:
"Hey, Ronon!" Ronon stopped ambling down the corridor, and Rodney jogged to catch up to him. "Hey, buddy."
Ronon stared at him.
"Right. Um. I was wondering if I could ask you a favor?"
Ronon kept staring at him.
"Yes. See, the thing is, Katie and I… well, it's complicated, but I find myself in need of, ah… And I would have asked Sheppard, but you know how he gets twitchy whenever I bring Katie up, and besides, the ones the military use tend to be more of, um, metal manacles, not so conducive to, ah, you know, romantic, um, stuff, so… But I thought, ha! Ronon always has the" -- he gestured -- "with the leather, and somehow you've integrated yourself into what serves as Atlantis' black market, so you would probably know where I could, ah. Find some?"
Ronon's mouth was twitching. "You wanna borrow a pair of handcuffs, McKay?"
Rodney darted a glance around the (empty, thank God) corridor. "Not so loud!"
"Well, do you?"
"Yes," he hissed.
"Okay. Come by my room after dinner. You can pick the ones you want."
"Pick the -- oh, right, you would have a selection, wouldn't you."
"And bring two bags of those triangle chips. The cheese ones."
Rodney opened his mouth to protest, but then he remembered that a) this was likely his best chance of getting what he wanted without resorting to trying to sneak mail-order bondage gear past the SGC inspection crews or, shudder, Caldwell, and b) he really liked the idea of Katie in handcuffs, and he shut it again. "Fine."
"Deal." Ronon grinned and slapped him on the back. "Don't worry, McKay; you'll like it." He jogged off again.
"What are you -- no! I'm not the one who -- She's--"
"Whatever," Ronon called from around the corner.)
"Why are we whispering?" Katie asked. "We're alone in here."
"I don't know," he whispered slightly louder, although to tell the truth, he wasn't sure some of the bigger Pegasus flora couldn't understand them. The one with the pitcher plant-esque appendages looked particularly attentive. He handed the cuffs to her. "I thought you could take these with you, have them ready when I come by?"
"That sounds good," she said, tucking them into her work bag. "Dr. Lazzaro gave me an old blouse that's too stained to wear. She doesn't care what I do with it."
Rodney grinned at her, suddenly excited to try this again. "Tomorrow, then?"
She smiled back. "I'll be waiting."
"Then I'll… see you at eight."
"With cuffs on." She pecked him on the cheek and sent him off.
Rodney wiped his sweaty palms on his pants again and knocked on the door at seven fifty-nine.
"Come in," Katie called.
He swung his hand over the door release and strode inside.
Katie was sitting at the foot of her bed with her legs tucked under her, reading a book, as though there weren't a pair of handcuffs and their key and a couple of condoms beside her on the blanket. She was wearing a flower-print skirt and a pale silk button-down with a startling ink stain down the front.
"Rodney," she said warmly, standing to greet him. Then her smile faltered as she saw his expression.
"You should be careful who you invite into your room at night," he said. He'd been practicing lines in his head for the last couple of days (invoking the image of yet another guilty-looking chemist helped him get the right tone), and he was proud to find that it came out steady and maybe even threatening-sounding.
Eyes wide, Katie dropped her book and backed away until she was pressed into the corner. He advanced on her, and she raised her hands in front of her in defense.
She huddled against the wall and asked, "What -- what are you going to do to me?"
He put his hands on the wall on either side of her, boxing her in. "What do you think I'm going to do?"
She tried to duck under his arm, but all those field training sessions with Ronon in the gym paid off in a way he'd never expected; he caught her in a bear hug around the waist and chest and held her to him.
She was still breathing hard -- he was almost certain it was part of the act -- and she was hot and strong in his arms. When she started to struggle, he impressed himself by managing to keep hold of her. He realized that she wasn't fighting very hard; just enough to make him work for it, make him manhandle her a little.
She was probably waiting for him to make the next move. He had an idea, and moved his right hand over her breast.
"No," she moaned.
He just caught himself from flinching away. She hadn't said the magic words. He held her a little tighter, remembering that she'd said she liked that, and gave her breast a gentle squeeze. "Yes," he returned, and then, because he could, he took a deep breath of her shampoo-scented hair. She always smelled good. "You've been teasing me all week, and now I'm going to have you, whether you like it or not."
He let his other hand drift lower until he felt the waistline of her panties under her skirt, and stroked her lightly through the fabric. Katie gasped, almost a sob, and pressed back against him. "Please don't," she moaned.
Despite the pretense of assault, as he held her and touched her, he felt oddly closer to her than most of the other times they'd been together. He murmured in her ear, "I'm going to tie you to the bed and do things to you until you can't remember your name anymore."
She shivered. He almost did, too.
As promised, he half-dragged her over to the bed -- she carried some of her weight while still putting up a token fight -- and wrestled her down onto it on her back until he sat astride her chest. She bucked and kicked and pushed at him, but he had good leverage this time, and he was able to take hold of each side of the blouse and rip it open. The feel and sight of the buttons popping and rolling across the mattress were just as good as he'd anticipated, and even though Katie cried out when he bared her chest and stomach, her pupils were so dilated there was hardly any blue left around them. He felt giddy.
He leaned over to grab the cuffs while she struggled to push him off and simultaneously pull the two sides of her ruined shirt back together.
"Put your hands above your head," he ordered.
"I won't," she declared, shaking her head so her hair fanned out bright across the sheet.
"You will, or I'll get out my sidearm" -- not that he'd brought anything of the sort -- "and make you. I've been field-trained to handle weapons and engage in hand-to-hand combat by the United States military. You don't stand a chance against me." Huh; that wasn't bad. He might try that sometime off-world, if he could keep his voice from shaking.
"Okay," Katie said. "Okay. Don't hurt me." She stared up at him and slowly, slowly raised her arms over her head. He watched her with his own eyes wide, gaze flicking in disbelief between her face and her hands. She was going to let him put handcuffs on her. She really did trust him. He hoped he could live up to what she wanted from him.
"Good girl," he breathed, and buckled the first cuff over her wrist. "Now move up." He lifted slightly so she could shift towards the head of the bed. He followed her on his knees as she inched backwards. "Good. Stop there." This time, instead of sitting he lay down on top of her, far enough forward that he could reach over the side, loop the cuff chain behind the leg of the bed, and fasten the other cuff around her other wrist. He dropped the key on the night table for easy access, just in case.
After a moment to brace himself, let her feel his weight, and -- he paused first, never having been so crude with Katie before -- to rub against her with a few slow, sweet thrusts, he pushed himself upright again and looked down at her. She was breathing harder and flushed a healthy pink as she followed his every move.
"Now you can forget about getting away," he said, and put his hands back on her breasts. With the shirt open, he was touching skin and the white lace of her bra. Now, when she struggled, her upper body stayed flat on the bed and the cuffs rattled against the bedframe, reminding both of them that she wasn't going anywhere.
He reached around, letting his fingers slide over her bare skin, to try and unhook her bra. She lifted up as much as she could to give him space to work, and soon he was pushing the loose fabric up over her breasts and ducking down to suck at the rosy nipples.
Katie's were actually less sensitive than his, so he didn't spend much time there. Rather, he leaned forward with his hands on either side of her head and kissed her on the mouth.
She turned her head to the side, so he had to slide one hand under her head, fingers combing through her hair, and grip her to hold her still. They kissed as sweetly as always, but this time they had to break for air much earlier than usual as she panted under him.
"You like that?" he asked, drinking in the stunning sight of her with her arms stretched over her head and her gaping shirt leaving her upper half tantalizingly half-exposed. "You like having me on top of you, holding you down, making you enjoy what I do to you? You're going to like this even more."
He scooted backwards so he was sitting over her knees, stilling her occasional kicks, and worked her skirt up to her waist. With another moan, she tried to twist under him, but she was pinned in two places now. He hooked his fingers under the waistband of the matching white lace panties and drew them slowly down her thighs.
"No," she begged again. "Please, no."
He rose and knee-walked backwards to pull her underwear off her legs completely. That freed her to kick again, but he took advantage of the opening to kneel between her legs. She made a sound like a sob when she realized what she'd done.
He pressed his hands to the insides of her thighs. "You're so beautiful," he said, unsure if it was him or his doppelganger speaking, looking first at the shadowed place between her legs and then up to her face. He settled down lower only to realize he had to kneel on the floor; there was a moment of awkwardness, but then he got into position with his elbows on the bed and his face a few inches from the humid heat of her. They hadn't done much of this, but he'd been wanting to try it again. He spread her lips with his thumbs, smoothing the hair out of his way, and leaned in.
She caught her breath at the first touch of his mouth against her, and in a gratifyingly short span he had her gasping and clenching her thighs -- thankfully, his forearms served as a buffer between her legs and the sides of his head -- as he worked her to her first climax. He found that she responded less when he had two fingers in her and sucked on her clit than she did when he circled it with the wet pad of his thumb and slid his tongue in and out of her, so he stuck with the second method while her breathy noises became cries. He hummed against her, and that must have been enough, because she tensed up, fluttered and clenched around him.
He worked her through it before pulling away and wiping his face with the back of his hand. Her face was bright red, and she looked happy.
"I can tell you enjoyed that," he said, and she turned away as if ashamed. "I did too. You taste good." He wondered if she'd want to try kissing him after he'd gone down on her, or letting him rub a finger wet with her release along her lips. Maybe next time. For now, he was more than ready for the final act; he'd practically been humping the side of the bed while he brought her off.
"Now it's my turn," he went on, getting back up on the bed so she could watch him unfasten his button and zipper. "I'm going to fuck you." He was proud that his voice only cracked a little on the f-bomb. "How does that sound? Hm? Do you like it rough?"
She shook her head frantically back and forth on the pillow. She hadn't said the safeword, but this was a question he needed her help with. He tried to make it clear he was breaking 'character' when he asked quietly, "Katie?"
"Not too rough," she said.
Okay; he could do that. He found and unwrapped one of the condoms with hands that were only slightly shaky. "I'd have you put this on me yourself, but we both know you'd try to get away if I let your hands free."
His shirt was still on and his pants and boxers were down around his knees, but he didn't feel as silly as he normally would in such a situation. He lined up and slid carefully into her. A quick glance up at her face when she took in a sharp breath reassured him that she was still in this with him.
It didn't take long. She felt good, like she always did, and he didn't have to stop to ask if the angle or the speed or the force was working for her. Holding himself up with one hand on the mattress and the other stroking the side of her face, he pushed into her harder than they were used to, letting himself go in a way he hadn't felt comfortable doing before -- and she went along with him, lifting her hips to meet his, gasping each time he thrust home with a fleshy slap.
Within a few minutes, he was shuddering to a shaky stop. He stayed still in her, head low, though he felt a drop of sweat or two fall from his forehead to land on her.
When he'd mostly recovered, he lifted his head to find Katie smiling up at him with a simple, open joy he hadn't seen on her before.
"Are you okay?" he asked. "Do you want to come again? Can we do this often?"
She laughed. "Yes, no, and yes. I'm very happy."
"That's great. You were great. That was--" He felt giddy again, wordless. "Oh -- let me--" He tied off and threw out the condom, got his clothes back in order, and fumbled for the cuff key. She lifted her hands into her lap when he unlocked them and sat up. The first thing she did was reach for him where he knelt beside the bed.
"You were great, Rodney. That's exactly what I wanted." She kissed him softly, practically glowing with satisfaction.
Rodney stared up at her. "It was, wasn't it?" And he'd been able to give it to her. And with luck, he'd be able to do it again and keep getting better.
Maybe he should thank Cadman after all.