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Choices and Clichés

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John thought the situation would have been funny in a bad sci-fi porn movie kinda way, if Teyla hadn't looked as serious as always. The woman had serious down to a fine art, with her level gaze and unsmiling mouth. Rodney, of course, was the first one to offer an opinion. A highly agitated vocal opinion.

"They want what? Oh, no, no way. You must have misunderstood. See, this is why we should all be involved in these negotiations."

Teyla noticeably bridled at Rodney's accusation of her incompetence, and John leaped into the conversation before they got sidetracked. "Can you give more detail?"

"No, Major. They merely said that they wished to observe our normal practices."

Accustomed to making command decisions, John considered the situation quickly. No weapons, no supplies, no sign of sympathizers among the aliens, no way to escape and a long return trip scouting around the treacherous marshes to the puddle jumper, when they could easily be recaptured ... "Fine. McKay and I'll do it. Tell them we need a comfortable surface and we're ready any time they are."

The looks of disbelief on the faces around him were almost worth this whole fiasco. Of course, he'd expected Rodney to be shocked, but not quite so open-mouthed in his disbelief that he was momentarily struck dumb. And Ford may occasionally disagree with his choices, but Ford was a good little soldier who normally hid that fact. Teyla just looked befuddled. "I thought heterosexuality was the norm among your people?"

"Homosexuality's pretty normal too," John said casually, as if announcing that he was ignoring one of the highest military precepts wasn't any kind of a supreme concern for him.

"Major ... " Ford dared to put a hand on his shoulder. "Major ... you don't have to do this. I can ... "

"Look, people," John sighed, to make sure he had their attention. Soldiers responded well to commands, but he'd learned that a quiet kind of exasperation was more effective when civilians were involved. "It's the logical choice. They know Teyla isn't one of our people, so she doesn't really count. Besides, anyone carrying a handy condom?" He looked at Ford and Rodney, who both seemed too much in shock to answer. "I'd rather not deal with the problem of a baby, if you don't mind." He squeezed Ford's shoulder in return. "And if there is going to be any kind of fall-out from this, I want to keep military involvement limited. There's no reason to risk your career."

"Oh so thank you, I'm the one who won't suffer any kind of consequence, is that what you're saying? Yes, let's have Rodney be the last choice."

"Would you rather have been the first choice?"

"No! I would rather not do it at all. I am accustomed to exhibiting my brilliance, not my sex life."

Ford and Teyla stayed quiet, realizing that this conversation needed to happen between John and Rodney. John appreciated the way they were obviously biting their tongues not to interfere, even as he gave command mode a try. "Rodney, it needs to happen, it needs to happen soon, and then we need to get the hell off this planet. Do you understand?"

"I wasn't the one who wanted to drag us through this hell hole in the first place. I wanted to turn back when we hit the swamp. But did anyone listen to me?" Rodney glared at Teyla, who stared back steadily. "I don't see why I have to suffer the consequences."

"Fine, will it make you happier if you're on top?" This experience was almost one that John could cherish, purely for the number of times he'd made Rodney gape in dumbfounded amazement. Not that it took long for the talkative scientist to recover his voice.

"I don't see why we assume you should be on top, even if such a thing was going to happen."

"It's agreed then. We'll go to the ceremonial mating chamber or wherever this is going to happen, and I'll give you a blowjob. You can have a nice orgasm and we can leave. Or is an orgasm too much consequence for you to save your comrades' lives?"

Yep, not only could he make Rodney's mouth hang open, he could finally stop more words coming out. Maybe there was an advantage in being stuck in a bad sci-fi porn plot.

~~~~

The ceremonial mating chamber, or whatever this place was called, wasn't as bad as John might have guessed. For one thing, they were shown in from the back and the audience was darkened, so other than the noises of people breathing, he couldn't tell how many were watching him and Rodney. Hopefully it was only a few voyeuristic elders and not the entire village. They stood in the light of two torches, on a carpet of skins and waited for a sign, which didn't seem to be forthcoming.

"Well, Major, they appear to be letting us run this show. I believe you were going to drop to your knees and get this done with?"

Rodney's snarkiness was back in full force, which was good. A mission never seemed right if Rodney wasn't whining and making scathing comments. "Oh, I think we'll need to give them a bit of a show, don't we? We don't want them to feel shortchanged." John turned to face Rodney, and slipped his arms around his waist, leaning forward, forcing Rodney to arch back.

And then John Sheppard kissed Rodney McKay, something that he'd never imagined in his wildest dreams would ever happen. It felt a little odd, kissing a man, but not too bad. A mouth was a mouth, after all. Tongue and teeth and lips. And Rodney was taller than many of the women he'd dated, so he didn't feel like he'd throw out his back from stooping. Rodney's aftershave was a nice scent, not one John recognized, but spicy and pleasant, not cloying and sweet like many women's perfume. True, when the kiss got a little harder and their faces moved, brushing against each other as their mouths repositioned, John felt the light scratch of Rodney's stubble, something he hadn't experienced.

Stubble was ... kinda sexy really. John rubbed his cheek against Rodney's another time, feeling it some more. Women always complained about stubble as being scratchy but really, stubble was just ... another interesting texture, and John liked textures. It was too bad that they hadn't taken off their boots. John was sure that the skins on the floor would feel fantastic on the soles of his feet.

"Major, what are you doing?" Rodney hissed.

"Feeling your stubble," John answered honestly, not caring to dissemble. Ford and Teyla had been kept in the prison cell, so there wasn't anyone to see this, at least no one who was going to report gory details. Rodney was unlikely to ever acknowledge that this embarrassing event had happened, much less spread it around Atlantis that John Sheppard enjoyed the feel of beard stubble.

"Why?"

"I'm curious. Don't you believe in scientific exploration?" He took Rodney's lips again, pleased that Rodney was a good kisser. Not the most amazing one-kiss-will-make-you-swoon kinda kisser, but still ... warm, sincere, sexy. Like John thought the scientist might actually be, if his massively insecure ego didn't overcompensate so much by forcing him to be arrogant and thoughtless.

He surrendered Rodney's lips, exchanging them for Rodney's neck, nipping at his Adam's apple, curious if Rodney could find some reason to justify not being scientific.

"Scientific exploration, giving the aliens the show they want ... you have quite a repertoire of excuses, don't you, Major?"

Curling his hands into the cotton weave of Rodney's t-shirt, John pulled it off and over Rodney's head. "Excuses?" he asked, before devoting his attentions to Rodney's chest.

"You didn't say there would be this much nakedness!"

"Sorry," John said lazily, yanking off his own shirt. "There, we're even." Rodney's chest wasn't a sculpted work of art. He was a man who worked in his lab, not at the weight machines. But it was interesting, to feel the flat chest, the hard little nipples, the dusting of hair. John spread his hands wide over Rodney's chest, touching everywhere, sliding his hands down to Rodney's belly. There was a gently rounded paunch, another sign of a man who worked too much, cared too much for his job, to worry about proper nutrition when he was absorbed in a problem, grabbing whatever was convenient to keep his blood levels balanced.

"I don't care if we're even! This was supposed to be ... suck, tuck and go!"

John laughed and dropped to his knees. "Suck, tuck and go?" Grinning up at Rodney, he undid the scientist's belt, then the button on the waistband, and finally inched the zipper slowly down, surprised that he wasn't nervous. This was okay, really, making love to a man. Interesting and different, and John liked interesting and different. He'd been in the military too long, where conformity was the norm, not to appreciate the chance to experience the unusual.

"You know what I mean."

"Maybe," John teased, tugging Rodney's trousers and briefs down to mid-thigh, exposing his genitals. Rodney's dick wasn't as big as his ego, but it was nicely sized and more eager than John would have expected from Rodney's hissing protestations. For all of Rodney's nervous distraction, his body was ready and willing.

The sight of Rodney's dick pointing toward his face gave John a momentary pause. Promising to give a blowjob while trapped in a cave was one thing; having reached the point of needing to open wide and take it in was something else. Something more and a little intimidating.

Still, how difficult could it be? He knew the experience well from the other side, and even a geek like Rodney couldn't be too different from him in the most important respects. Just do what he liked, make Rodney groan and spurt, and they'd be escorted out. There was a drop of precum on the tip, and he licked at it, experimentally. Bittersweet, just like he'd always heard. He rolled his tongue around the head, feeling the foreskin shift under his tongue, contemplating how to proceed, surprised to hear Rodney give a shaky noise between a moan and a groan at the subtle touch.

Perhaps a nice hard sucking on the tip to start. He always liked sucking. He followed thought with deed, taking the head fully in his mouth, pretending Rodney was a gobstopper and he wanted the center. He glanced up, noting Rodney was showing all the desired effects, his skin flushed, his breathing rapid. Only Rodney was talking too, much more than John ever did. Which only made sense really, Rodney being the chatterbox of all Atlantis. "Christ ... oh Christ ... can't believe ... that feels so good ..." The words weren't as articulate as Rodney's usual rampages, but expressive nonetheless in John's opinion.

Pleased with the good start, John bobbed his head forward, taking Rodney's dick a little further, still sucking hard but alternating with stroking his tongue around the length. John always liked tongue action, and Rodney clearly did too, his litany of enthusiasm continuing unabated. "Oh god ... so good ... there. Major ... John ..."

Smiling to himself, John flicked his teeth on Rodney's dick, the tiniest little touch to see what reaction he would provoke. Rodney bounced on his feet like a wind-up toy, his dick jerking in John's mouth. "Christ! That hurt! Okay in a good way. Don't do that again. No, I mean yes, I mean ..."

John grabbed Rodney's hips as he jerked, making sure Rodney didn't gag him. He released Rodney long enough to smirk, "Your wish is my command," before taking him back in, using it all, a fierce sucking with his whole mouth, a warm slathering with his tongue, the unexpected but quick snip of his teeth, drawing Rodney deeper and further as he became accustomed to the sensation of having the fullness in his mouth.

"I'm on top ... you said that ... who knew you could do this ... "

Curious to see what would push Rodney over the edge, John brought his hands into the action, sliding them from Rodney's hips to his dick, stroking the length that wasn't covered by his mouth, and finding the heavy sac, rolling it with his fingers and giving it a few sharp tugs. To John's gratification, that did the trick, Rodney interrupting his babbling to give a yowl, jerking himself out of John's mouth and falling to his knees, grabbing his own dick and giving it a swift stroke before his come splattered on the animal skins.

Rodney lowered his head, his whole body shaking. "People just watched that. I can't believe people watched that."

It hit John that this situation was no longer just a bizarre bad sci-fi porn film, a freaky fiasco to escape from with lives intact and dignity battered. It was Rodney, a proud, arrogant man, clearly disturbed to have been made to expose himself in the most intimate way before strangers. The mixture of emotion John felt at seeing Rodney so vulnerable surprised him, both a rush of pride that his fumbling first attempt had such a devastating impact on Rodney, mingled with embarrassment that he'd so trampled on Rodney's objections and coerced him into it with little thought beyond the more important impact on Ford and Teyla.

Dropping to his knees, John pulled Rodney into his arms, letting the scientist burrow his face into John's shoulder, hiding his emotions from their unseen audience. He stroked Rodney's short hair, felt his body's shuddering tremors. "You okay?"

"Can we go now?" The plaintive tone told John that Rodney was at the end of his rope.

John looked into the dark but no one seemed to be making any signal to release them, probably because John's own condition was unrelieved and way too apparent. "Just a moment." Curling his toes under him, he rose lithely to his feet, snapping open his uniform pants, yanking himself out, facing what he believed to be the front of the audience. Let the voyeurs get their fill so they could get out of here. Setting up a punishing pace, he stroked himself, remembering Rodney's babbled words, the taste of him, the feel of him in John's mouth. His come landed on top of Rodney's, the white splatters indistinguishable from each other, shining wetly on the brown fur.

Without asking permission, he buttoned himself up and found their t-shirts, dressing swiftly as Rodney did the same. "We want our guns and equipment now," he announced to the darkness. "We're leaving."

An individual stopped into the torchlight, the scout who'd first led them to his tribe. The scout clasped his hands in front of him and gave a choppy bow, before turning away. John and Rodney followed him. The bad sci-fi porn film was over.

~~~~

John found himself thinking only of their strange performance on the long tedious trek back to the puddle jumper, on the short hop back through the gate, during the cursory report they gave to Elizabeth, on the walk back to his quarters. He thought of Rodney, his dumbfounded amazement at John's half-flippant, half-commanding obedience to the aliens' demand, his incessant babble, his sudden, shocking vulnerability. The whole scene had been surreal and embarrassing, but rather hot and exciting too.

What would it be like to explore the part of himself that had enjoyed it all, that had enjoyed having Rodney dance to the tune he'd played with his mouth, to explore being with Rodney, in privacy, with no outside control? Rodney had let him run roughshod over his objections against exhibitionism ... what else might Rodney let him do?

Continuing such activity would be foolish beyond all sense. No one could know. No one would understand. Hell, he didn't understand where his thoughts were leading. Rodney was hardly his type. Sometimes John couldn't believe Rodney was anyone's type.

What had Rodney meant when he accused John of inventing excuses?

Rodney clearly was still thinking of it all too, which was rather surprising. John had expected Rodney to disappear to the lab and pretend this had never happened. But no, there was Rodney, dogging his footsteps through the corridors of Atlantis, mimicking John's report under his breath, "We had to show them some basic human practices and then we got to go, no big deal." Indignantly and much more loudly, Rodney added, "That was no big deal?"

"Would you rather I had told Elizabeth the truth?"

"Of course not! But I expected a little more ... appreciation to be displayed for my part in it. You made it sound like Teyla and Ford's role was just as important."

"Your part? You got sucked and tucked. How difficult was that? I did all the work."

"You did all the work? I was the one you manipulated in front of an alien race."

They'd reached Sheppard's room and he grabbed Rodney by the neck. "What's the real problem, Rodney, that it happened or that we both enjoyed it?" John hauled Rodney close, giving him a messy, long kiss, the kind of kiss he gave when he wanted to encourage his date toward the sack. Wide-eyed Rodney was definitely a look Sheppard was learning to appreciate. "If you ever want a repeat performance, let me know," John said casually, before opening the door and stepping into his quarters.

He headed toward his shower, needing to get rid of the sweat and the smell of the sex they'd shared, and take care of the erection that was beginning to form. He wondered how long Rodney would hold out, arrogant and proud and chaste, before succumbing to John's offer, when they would begin having random frantic moments of sex on alien planets, desperate and needing the release from the daily tension, and because it was fun and hot, just like a bad sci-fi porn film.

John Sheppard was realizing he could become rather fond of bad sci-fi porn films.