"That's it?" Teyla asked, looking at a photo of the reliquary with obvious skepticism.
"That's it. Doesn't look look like much, does it?"
She shook her head. "And Il Papa touches it and he will cure my," she dropped her eyes, "difficulty?"
Ronon nodded, putting his hand on her shoulder. "It cures everything. Fixed my hung-up nut, even."
She lifted her eyebrow. "Really." With a huge sigh, she straightened her shoulders. "Very well. You'll be there?"
"And perhaps afterward we might...meditate again?"
"Oh, yeah." Ronon grinned.
"This is gonna be tough," John said, pacing back and forth in the sacristy.
"What, why? Just treat her like any other supplicant." Rodney was losing patience. Also, he was sore from being bent over the hard seat of the confessional last night for the ass-pounding John had given him, so he kind of wanted to get Teyla taken care of so John could give him a little healing of his own.
John yanked at his hair as he continued pacing. "I can't. It's Teyla. I've had, you know, a thing, for her flying, and the stick-fighting—" John's eyes were going glassy. Rodney had to nip this one in the bud.
"Stop it. Just—she's a nun, John. Think of her in her wimple and habit staring down at you all stern-faced with a ruler in her hand—"
John whimpered and clutched his groin.
"Oh, um. Yeah, no, that was stupid of me." Because now Rodney had the image stuck in his own head, and he wasn't even into the flying thing; he was frankly not fond of heights. But Teyla standing over him in starched white linen, a frown on her face as she fondled her rosary—?
There was a knock at the door.
"Come in," Rodney said hoarsely with a glance at John, who was busy throwing on his vestments. Rodney was grateful for the concealment of his own robe.
"Rodney, what a pleasant surprise. You will be joining us?" Teyla asked, offering to crush his forehead. Rodney took it with good grace, thinking the pain would cool his ardor. Ronon trailed inside and gave Rodney a friendly thump on the arm.
"Ow. Yes, um. John offered to help me with some bruising I received...from a lab accident," he added hastily, hoping his hood would hide his blush. But the bruises on his knees really could use the Tiberius reliquary. Unfortunately, they'd barely had time to even tidy up last night before General O'Neill had shown up for Compline.
Teyla nodded, then turned toward John, who settled his mitre on his head. "Most Holy Father."
"Sister." He offered his hand, and she bent to kiss his ring.
John swallowed so hard Rodney could hear it from where he was standing.
"There's a problem," John blurted, then winced.
"Problem?" Ronon stepped up beside Teyla and crossed his arms.
So that's how it is, Rodney thought.
John nodded nervously. "Just—there's something I have to explain about the chest. Something that wasn't so much a problem with Ronon, not that you aren't hot, Ronon, because, man! But you know, we did you in a group and I was pretty tired that day, and now Teyla with the wimple—"
"I think you'd better let me explain, John," Rodney said, taking his arm and pulling him to the side. Teyla and Ronon stepped back and waited with their hands buried in their sleeves.
Rodney pointed to the reliquary and said calmly, "Ancient technology isn't always what it's cracked up to be."
"No kidding," John muttered.
"Hush. The point being, St. Tiberius, whoever he was—really a saint? Ancient crackpot? Mad scientist? He made the healing instrument with a strange caveat, which is unless John is incredibly focused and keeps the healing power under control, it also has a side effect. An inspirational, carnal side-effect that tends to spread," Rodney stressed as Teyla's eyes widened and Ronon started to smirk. "We discovered this little fact when we first opened it in a crypt within the catacombs beneath the Vatican and ended up giving each other—"
"Uh, which is neither here nor there. But you should know the risk going in, Teyla, that John might, er, accidentally trigger, ah—"
Ronon was grinning outright now, and Teyla's teeth suddenly looked very sharp. "A spontaneous group orgy?" she said.
"Sister!" John said, putting his hand on his chest. Rodney did the same, following it up with the sign of the cross and feeling like a total hypocrite, because that word, in her mouth, did not sound like such a bad idea.
"I'm down with that," Ronon said, looking at Teyla for approval.
"And I, as well," Teyla said, lacing her fingers together piously. "The saints willing."
"Oh, well," John said, "if that's the case, I can grant us all dispensation—"
"Holy Father! It's my immortal ass I'm worried about, thank you very much. I can barely keep up with you—" Rodney pointed at John.
John gave a dirty chuckle and yanked Rodney into a kiss, tongue-first. "Rodney," he said when he released him, panting and aching and so hard his robe was getting a complex, "that's what the Tiberius chest is for."
"Oh. Good point."
"So, we're good?" Ronon asked. He pulled his robe off. Underneath he was wearing a linen V-neck shirt and brown slacks. His cross was the heavy golden one his parishioners had obtained for him from Jerusalem, and it glittered against the skin of his chest.
Teyla had removed her wimple but hesitated about removing her habit.
John touched her hand awkwardly. "You don't need to undress. This isn't like a doctor's office."
She bit her lip. "But my problem—it is of a womanly nature."
John gave Rodney a frantic look, but Rodney was already shaking his head and backing away.
"What, exactly..." John said, "Never mind—"
But Teyla was already responding, "I have horrible pain during my periods. Loathsome, terrible pain, like someone shoving dull pokers through my abdomen, repeatedly, over days."
Rodney shuddered, and Ronon and John both said in unison, "That sucks!"
Teyla looked at them narrowly, but John nodded with complete sincerity. "That bites, totally. We gotta fix that." Ronon curved his arm around Teyla's shoulders and gave her a sympathetic head nudge.
"And your reliquary can help?"
"Oh, sure. It's great for stuff like that."
"Then let us try."
John nodded, his throat working again as he appeared to be focusing. He stepped up to the reliquary, gesturing her closer, and laid his hand on the lid. The chest began to brighten, and it outlined his hand and arm with a glow. He set his jaw and opened it.
Incandescent light burst forth, and Rodney felt himself grow warm and loose, the ache in his knees from last night's confession immediately dissipating. He smiled as he watched John reach out with his other hand and lay his palm on Teyla's abdomen.
Teyla gasped and threw her head back, almost losing her balance, but Ronon was there behind her suddenly, supporting her.
John didn't appear to be doing so well. His temples were starting to bead with sweat, and Rodney went over to him and stood by his side—hopefully not close enough to be a temptation, but he wanted to be there if John suddenly went weak in the knees.
"Oh, I feel it," Teyla said suddenly. "So warm. It is working." She licked her lips, and Rodney suddenly wanted out of his robe which, loose as it was, seemed too confining.
Teyla rolled her head back against Ronon's shoulder and swayed in place.
"Oh, holy crap," John said.
"Ah. I see," Teyla said, a sultry smile on her lips. She reached for the buttons of her habit and began to remove it.
"Oh, God," John turned to look helplessly at Rodney, who turned away as well, but Ronon appeared to have his eyes glued to the action. Rodney saw John's eyes shifting over then darting back, and he couldn't help peeking himself, because, well, breasts! He would never, ever give up a chance to look at breasts, especially the hope of looking at Teyla's breasts, voluntarily revealed, and God knew he was going to hell for sure, but not for a long time, he hoped.
Finally, one of his peeks showed her removing the final barrier, a plain chemise thing, and her glorious breasts were presented to their view; they were full and round and perfectly proportioned to her body, with medium-sized nipples begging to be—
Oh. A third, unexpected nipple appeared as she dropped her chemise. It was smaller than the others and located on her ribcage, but obviously a nipple nonetheless, and another sign of her holiness.
Feeling the effects of the box, Rodney was tempted to reach out and touch it, to stroke it and see if it responded the same as any other nipple of God's creation. He was clenching his fist against the rapturous haze when John spoke.
"Teyla, you're beautiful." John's voice was hushed and awed.
"You're so perfect," Ronon said. Rodney looked over and saw Ronon was kneeling, his hands lifted as if in supplication.
Teyla smiled down at Ronon, then at John's crinkled face, then at Rodney, then at the glowing reliquary, which flashed blue under John's hands, as if picking up John's awe and Rodney's want and Ronon's love and desire and reflecting it back at them all times a thousand, because in the next instant Rodney groaned and went down to his just-healed knees.
"Sorry, sorry," John gasped and reached for Rodney, pulling him into a kiss. The light from the reliquary enveloped them, and the next thing Rodney saw was Ronon worshipping Teyla's breasts with his lips, his thumb stroking over her third nipple while John shrugged off his robe and vestments, his mitre going flying.
We're doomed, Rodney thought with delight.
"Come here, John," Teyla said, and John crawled over to her.
"Give me your blessing," she said with a wicked grin, and John groaned and kissed her, then nuzzled her breasts. Rodney was contemplating being jealous when Ronon tackled him to the tile floor and started tearing off his robe.
"See? I knew it would get violent," Rodney muttered, but then Ronon started sucking his cock and he lost the will to complain.
The power of the reliquary was such that things grew a little hazy after that. He remembered having a chance to learn that Teyla's third nipple was responsive, but not so much as her clit to the flat of his tongue; that Ronon laughed somewhat high-pitched when John thumbed his perineum, but spread his legs and begged him not to stop; that there was perhaps nothing better on God's Earth than being part of a Sheppard and Ronon and Teyla daisy-chain, his cock rolling inside John's ass while John kissed Teyla and played with her breasts, Ronon fucked her, and Rodney finally got to kiss the Bishop Monk and learn, though he didn't talk much, he sure had a smart mouth.
Thanks to St. Tiberius' magic, Rodney wasn't even sore afterward, just deeply contented and very sticky, but the robe hid that pretty well. They all dressed in silence and gave each other somewhat sheepish looks as John closed the box and placed it back in the vault.
"Well," Rodney said, pulling his hood up, "mission tomorrow. M8L-455. Or, if the MALP is to be believed, the 7th Voyage of Sinbad."
"That the one with the golden monkey?"
"No, it's the one with the cyclops."
"I thought they were the same one?"
"No, they—huh. Never mind. The point is, we need our strength. We'd better get some rest." Rodney brushed down his robe and felt someone adjusting his collar; he looked over to see Teyla giving him a gentle smile.
"All right, then," John said. "Sleep now; monkeys tomorrow."
"Or cyclops," Ronon said with relish, ruffling John's hair until he smacked him away.
"Until tomorrow. And thank you, Most Holy Father," Teyla said, her wimple in place, face serene. John offered his hand with smirk, and she kissed his ring, lingering with a small tongue flick that made John close his eyes.
He cleared his throat. "Yeah. No problem. Happy to serve."
"Anytime, right?" Ronon gave him a mocking grin.
"Right." John made for the door a little too fast, and Rodney hurried after him. "Those two are gonna kill me," John said under his breath.
"We should only be so blessed," Rodney returned, and caught John's goofy smile.