PTX-429 has one of the most advanced cultures they've found since setting foot in the Pegasus Galaxy. There is indoor plumbing with hot and cold running water, a personal transportation device powered by oxygen, and culinary masteries that would make any earthbound gastronome cry.
Sadly, it also has King Yance and his consort. His very hairy, very burly, very clearly male consort, Striev.
And even that wouldn't be a real problem. After all, Rodney is from Canada. He does know more than his fair share of homosexuals and bisexuals. In fact, his former roommate was more interested in boys than girls. But that's neither here nor there. The real problem started when Rodney slipped on the ice.
Again, Rodney slipping on the ice in and of itself wasn't the actual problem. The actual problem was that Sheppard was the one to catch him. And instead of just grabbing him by the arm or sleeve or anything remotely acceptable, Sheppard caught Rodney in a practical bear hug. (Of course, Rodney admits, some of the blame for this falls on him. He did fall rather on top of Sheppard, but usually Sheppard can still catch him in a more manly and assertive way. Really, Sheppard must have woken up on the wrong side of the bed.)
Realistically, even this wouldn't have been such a terrible faux pas. They easily could have placed the blame for Sheppard practically groping him less on Sheppard and more on the weather conditions. But then Sheppard had played right in to the native people's assumptions and been almost clingy the entire rest of the way to the palace. (And in this, Rodney had none of the blame. If Sheppard would just put on a little weight maybe he wouldn't treat Rodney as his personal body-heater every cold planet they come to.)
But even this could have been perceived as nothing but sharing body-temperature. After all, on M3T-012 none of the natives would consider leaving their quarters without a personal body slave. Sadly, Sheppard had to be his usual cocky self and act without even considering the consequences.
When King Yance had looked at Rodney and John with a gleam in his eye and asked how long they had been together, John hadn't denied it instantly. No, of course not. Instead he'd laughed. And so had Ronon and Teyla, following in their wake. And while Rodney was still building up a righteous head of indignation, Sheppard had told Yance that they were newlyweds, snorting and giggling through the whole tale of their supposed wedding that Yance had coerced out of him.
Sheppard isn't giggling anymore.
"And that was the first time I laid eyes on him," King Yance says, laying a whole lot more than just eyes on Consort Striev. They're both reclined on a sort of half-divan, half-easy chair, which would look rather comical if it weren't for the fact that Rodney is currently in a rather similar position with Sheppard.
"That's… nice," Sheppard says, shifting again. And that's it. That's enough. More than enough, really.
"The next time we have to share a chair, you get to sit on the bottom," Rodney whispers, pinching Sheppard on the side. Only Sheppard must be some kind of super-human or something because the pinch? Doesn't seem to affect him at all.
"I'll keep that in mind," Sheppard says into Rodney's neck. "The next time we end up in crazy boy-love world and are forced to share a seat, you get to sit on top."
"Oh, don't be so glib," Rodney says, shifting a little himself so Sheppard's elbow is no longer in his stomach. "You know what I meant."
"McKay," Sheppard growls, voice low. "I'll have you remember you were the one who decided the seating arrangements. Something about your ass and my dick, am I right?"
Rodney flushes, happy that from his position Sheppard can't see. After all, it's one thing being open-minded about homosexuality, it's quite another to sit on a grown man's lap, especially when said grown man doesn't wear underwear. (What? It's not like Rodney was looking or anything. It's just that he remembers that one time one PX7-125 where the natives had believed the team's pants were a sign of plague. And when they'd been stripped… well, it wasn't like Rodney had stared at Sheppard or anything, but it was right there. Kind of hard to avoid when your team leader is completely unclothed belly-button down.)
And then Sheppard's speaking again, voice growing a little more irritated. "And if you wouldn't have gotten started, we wouldn't be in this predicament in the first place."
"Me?" Rodney says, practically stuttering with incoherent rage. "What, are you saying I'm the one to blame for this… this…" Rodney gestures at himself and Sheppard and throws in a broad gesture encompassing the room in general for good measure.
"Yeah. I am," Sheppard says, shifting again.
And that's just… "How? In what way was I the one to lead the natives to believe that we…" Rodney gestures again, this time a little more obscenely.
Sheppard looks at him, just looks, for a few seconds.
Rodney feels his face heating up again, but this time it's with rage. He's about to tell Sheppard exactly where he can stick his belief that any of this was Rodney's fault when he hears a loud clap.
He swivels back to face Yance and Striev, who are looking at them with a mixture of barely concealed amusement and growing passion. It's not a look Rodney likes.
"I can see you have a wish for—" Yance wiggles his eyebrow in a way that's positively obscene—"sleeping arrangements. We should not have kept you so long with tales of our own romance."
Striev is nodding, manhandling Yance closer to himself. "Yance is correct. We should not have talked so extensively of our own hand fasting ceremony. That is enough to enflame the passions of anyone."
"If you follow us, we shall lead you to your room," Yance says, almost hopping from the lounger-thing. Striev follows in his wake. Rodney tries not to notice the way their pants are tented out.
"Yeah, Sheppard," Ronon says, voice laden with mirth. "To your room." He raises his eyebrow, mouth twitching with suppressed laughter.
"Ronon," Teyla says, hitting him on the shoulder. And yes, thank god for Teyla and her obviously superior wisdom.
Then Teyla continues. "It is impolite to tease them. After all, they are newlyweds."
Rodney's never cared much for Teyla. Really, what type of person fights with sticks.
Sheppard maneuvers himself upright, managing to hit Rodney's solar plexus and only missing his groin by a scant inch. He turns to face Rodney, face vacillating between a smirk and a grimace. "Coming, Rodney?"
"Fine, fine, we're going," Rodney shoves himself into a mostly upright position, but Sheppard's still standing there, either waiting for him or attempting to shake Yance and Striev. "After you," Rodney says, gesturing uneasily.
(And yes, thank you, his unease has everything to do with the strange natives attempting to give him and Sheppard a honeymoon they'll never forget, and nothing at all to do with the fact that he's currently half-hard. After all, many people are turned on by sitting on lounges. Otherwise what would they make the things for?)
Sheppard just gives him another one of those looks and then he's walking through the door, body moving with the grace of a predator.
Rodney's about to follow him into the corridor when he's stopped by Ronon's voice. "Do we have to have the talk, McKay?"
"Enough, already. Sheppard and I are not going to have sex. And, anyway, if we were going to have sex, I certainly know what goes where." (And okay, yes, maybe it's a little different between two men, but things can't change that much, can they?)
"I believe there is a saying among your people," Teyla says, mouth hovering around a smile. "Something about protesting too much?"
Rodney just groans and walks through the door. If he doesn't leave now he'll be putting up with their quips all night.
Rodney's worried at first that he won't be able to find the room, but he soon discovers his worry is for naught. The room is easy enough to place with Sheppard standing in the doorway.
Rodney walks up behind him and pokes him in the back. "Sometime today might be nice."
But as soon as Rodney gets a good glimpse of the room he starts to understand Sheppard's reluctance to enter it. There are cuffs. And whips. And something that must be the Pegasus Galaxy's equivalent to a vibrator (and Rodney's not sure whether to be more concerned about the thing's sheer size or the fact that it seems to be breathing).
Rodney walks into the room and gingerly sits on another lounge-like thing, this one a little bigger. It is the only thing remotely bed-like in the room, and it's actually quite a bit more comfortable than the one in the other room. Rodney pats the lounge, saying, "It seems the natives have tied our hands again. We'll have to share."
Sheppard's eyebrows shoot up and Rodney replays what he said. "The—the lounge-thing," he says, waving his hands. "To sleep."
"Right," Sheppard says, and he's walking over to Rodney, pushing him a little.
"What?" Rodney says, irritated.
"Don't you remember? I'm on bottom this time." Sheppard pulls Rodney up, and that's nice of him, really. But then Rodney's left standing there with the realization that shortly he's going to be lying on top of Sheppard. (It wouldn't be such an issue if (a) Rodney didn't always sleep facedown and (b) Sheppard's latest statement hadn't made Rodney's pants a little tighter. Not that there's any reason for that, really. Hearing Sheppard's going to be on bottom shouldn't have any affect at all on Rodney's pants. Or their contents.)
"Aren't you—" Rodney stops, waving his hand—"aren't you going to be all manly and noble and—"
"And?" Sheppard asks, eyebrow quirked.
"And, you know, offer to take the floor?" Rodney says.
And why a question like that would induce that much laughter from Sheppard is a complete mystery. Really.
Rodney spends a second judging the state of his pants, but there's no help for it. "Fine," he says, voice a grumble. "I'll take the floor."
"Don't go all noble on me now, McKay," Sheppard says. And then there's a tug, and Rodney's landing on the lounge-thing. Also, incidentally, on Sheppard.
He tries backing up, or at least scooting down, but all it really serves to do is take him from half-hard to all-the-way there, raring to go. Eventually he has to give up, just let his cock lie there, incriminating evidence against Sheppard's… against Sheppard's…
Rodney gives a little shove and gets a groan in response. "Sheppard?" Rodney asks, eyes wide.
"Jeez, McKay. Took you long enough," Sheppard says, undulating underneath him.
And it takes Rodney a second, because yes, he's receiving some very nice friction in a very susceptible place, but then— "You set me up," he says. (And if he gives a half-thrust at that, no one's there to accuse him of it anyway.)
Sheppard sort of smirks at him, but his eyes… his eyes look serious. "Sorry for damaging your manly virtue, McKay. We can stop anytime you say."
"Wait," Rodney says, pushing himself back from Sheppard, away from the tempting body and tempting sex. "Wait, wait a second. This isn't just about today."
"Rodney," Sheppard says and tries to get out from under Rodney, away.
"No, no, wait. This wasn't today. This wasn't the natives getting you hot and bothered. This wasn't a bet you made with one of the guys. This definitely wasn't the ambiance finally getting to you," Rodney says, looking around him at the surrounding sex paraphernalia. "So what was it?"
Sheppard shifts again, harder this time, but Rodney shifts with him. They end up with Sheppard on top, Rodney holding on for dear life. "Please," Sheppard says, all the fight going out of him suddenly.
"Please?" Rodney says. "Please what? Before I found out you'd been lying to me we were well on our way to a happy ending, and I have no doubt when you finally admit what it is you're hiding, we actually will achieve mutually satisfying orgasms. Now what is this all about?"
Sheppard—there's no other word for it, Sheppard blushes.
And suddenly it hits Rodney, what all of this has been. The grinding and the innuendo and, and, everything. For months now. "You like me."
"No, I don't," Sheppard says, voice sullen.
"Oh my god, you like me," Rodney says. "I couldn't figure it out at first because your idea of courting is that of a grade-schooler's but it's clear enough now. You like me."
Sheppard doesn't say anything, he just swallows hard.
"How long?" Rodney says, smile growing on his face.
"Rodney!" Sheppard says, voice a warning.
"No, I deserve to know. How long?" Rodney says.
Sheppard looks away. "Two years."
"Really?" Rodney asks, shocked. A second later he regains his composure. "Of course, I shouldn't be surprised really. After all, I have charm enough to tempt anyone. And that's not even mentioning my intelligence."
"Can we—" Sheppard says, trying to push himself away.
Rodney tugs him right back down again. "No, we most certainly cannot. You owe me an orgasm. Actually several. You owe me several orgasms."
Some of the tension leaves Sheppard at that, body slipping into the more familiar looseness Rodney's come to expect of him. "Oh, do I?" he says, mouth starting to curve upward.
"Yes, yes, you do," Rodney says, fighting back a smile. "After all, if you hadn't been such a moron and, what, ignored your feelings for these past two years, we could have been having orgasms regularly. For two years."
Sheppard's face breaks out into a full-blown smile, eyes crinkled up at the edges. "Two years, huh?"
"Yes. You have two years of orgasms to make up for. Commence." It wasn't such a huge lie, after all. And what would fudging the days hurt anything? At least Rodney got there in the end.