It should have been a normal mission, a walk in the park. Lorne’s team had made first-contact and had confirmed that the locals were peaceful farmers. Their religion was based around a goddess of the earth, but there didn’t appear to be any weird fertility or harvest rituals, particularly ones that would involve sacrificing strangers. They’d been quite willing to trade the almost-corn that was their principal crop for medicine. Now all Lorne’s team needed to do was deliver the medical supplies and cart a couple bushels of sorta-corn back through the gate. With Ronon laid up in the infirmary after their latest disastrous run-in with rogue Genii and Teyla visiting her people on the mainland, it seemed like the perfect opportunity for Sheppard to stretch his legs off-world. A little fresh air, good food, and Rodney-watching while he checked out the old temple just outside the main city to see if it had anything interesting, like a spare ZPM lying around. Easy. He should have known better.
Sheppard, Lorne and Parrish were examining the sorta-corn crop – well, Parrish was examining it and discussing various farming techniques with the village headman at great length, while he and Lorne looked on with varying degrees of boredom – when one of the marines assigned to McKay came running into the village full-bore, shouting for them.
"Colonel! Major Lorne! Come quickly – it’s McKay!"
Sheppard rolled his eyes – of course it was McKay because trouble and Rodney were practically synonymous – but he hurried over to the marine with relief at having something to distract him from farm talk. "Easy, Benning. What’s McKay done now?"
"Nothing, sir," Benning said. "He was scanning for energy readings, talking to one of the young ladies at the temple, when suddenly she shouted something and the guards came running. They dragged Doctor McKay up into the temple – Sarge is trying to talk to the head priestess, but he told me to fetch you and Major Lorne right away."
Sheppard had stiffened at the words "dragged Doctor McKay up into the temple", signaling for Lorne and starting towards the temple before Benning had finished speaking. In his experience with the Pegasus galaxy so far, being dragged anywhere was never good. He quickened his pace.
Sgt. Morse was in a heated discussion with one of the temple guards when Sheppard arrived on scene, although it didn’t look like he was getting anywhere. Before Sheppard could open his mouth, however, his arms were grabbed by two beefy guards who looked about twice Ronon’s size.
"Hey!" he protested, struggling even though the results were a foregone conclusion. "What the hell?"
Lorne and his team were similarly restrained, the guards ignoring their protests and Sheppard’s demands that they be set free.
"You will not be harmed, Colonel Sheppard," the Chief Priestess said as she came out of the temple and slowly descended the stairs towards them. "However, it is forbidden for off-worlders to enter our temple unless it is for sacred ritual."
"Then why did your people take McKay in there?" he demanded. "What are you going to do with him?"
The Priestess stopped in front of him, her face stern. "Doctor McKay has violated the sanctity of our temple."
He turned his head and glared at the two marines. Benning blanched and Morse said quickly, "He was in our sight at all times, sir. He never went near the temple."
Sheppard turned back to the priestess. "There! Obviously, there’s been some kind of mistake. McKay never went near the temple, so if you’ll just let him go, unharmed, we’ll just forget this ever happened."
The priestess gestured and one of the guards stepped forward, setting something down on the ground between Sheppard and the priestess. Sheppard recognized it as one of the devices the scientists used when they were tracking those elusive energy readings. "Do you deny that this belongs to Doctor McKay?"
Sheppard frowned slightly. Teyla hadn’t told them that these people had a problem with technology or they wouldn’t have brought any with them; he’d read too many SGC reports about clashes with cultures afraid of advanced technology. "Okay, so it’s McKay’s. So what?"
"Doctor McKay told one of my acolytes that he used it to view the interior of our temple," she said sharply. "He used this machine to violate our most sacred place."
"Whoa, whoa!" Sheppard said, holding up his hands in appeasement. "That’s not exactly how it works. He can’t actually see into the temple with that thing. It just sort of…." He floundered for a moment, trying to think of a way to explain it to these people. "Wait, let me show you." He pulled a life-signs reader out of his vest and held it out for her to see. "It’s like this thing. This scans for living energy, for people, and they show up as these little dots. You can’t actually see any people here, right? That device McKay was using does the same, only it looks for non living energy."
He gave her his most winning smile. "You see? No harm, no foul. So if you’ll just bring McKay back out here…"
The priestess was shaking her head. "Even if Doctor McKay did not desecrate our temple with that device," and her voice sounded doubtful that she believed that, "his presence within now has tainted it and our altar must be purified."
"Now wait a minute!" Sheppard said angrily. "Your people were the ones who took him into your temple, so it’s not Rodney’s fault!" She stared at him coldly and he grit his teeth. "Fine. What does this purification involve?"
"The altar must be sanctified again through the spilling of the offender’s vital essences. Once that is done, you and your people will be allowed to leave."
That didn’t sound good. At all. "And by ‘vital essences’ you mean?"
"His seed," the priestess said simply. "His body must be pierced and filled as he is stirred to pleasure, and his seed then spilled – "
"On the altar; yeah, I got that part." He thought of Rodney being raped by one of those huge guards who’d dragged him off and felt a cold and murderous darkness rising behind his eyes. He barely recognized his own voice as he growled, "And if we refuse?"
"Then his throat will be slit and his blood used in the purification ritual." She must have seen the barely-leashed fury behind Sheppard’s eyes because she blanched slightly and took a step back. "As you are his leader, you are permitted to perform the ritual on him, should you choose, but if you fail to spill his seed, both your lives are forfeit."
"Colonel!" Lorne said sharply. "You can’t risk that. One of us can…"
Sheppard shook his head. "McKay’s on my team; he’s my responsibility." He saw by the way Lorne’s eyes slid to his own scientist, Parrish, that he understood even before he reluctantly nodded agreement. Sheppard shrugged out of his vest and unfastened his thigh holster, handing both to Lorne. "Go back to the gate and stand guard. If we’re not there in an hour, go back to Atlantis and bring reinforcements."
Lorne nodded, then Sheppard turned back to the priestess. "Okay, I’ll do it. Take me to McKay. Now."
Despite the priestess’ words, Sheppard was unprepared to find Rodney chained down on a low altar, naked except for a wisp of loincloth. He was struggling against his bindings, babbling a mile a minute at the woman who was trying to paint some kind of design on his chest, terror so plainly written on his face that something wrenched inside of Sheppard. Ignoring the priestess and her followers, he strode toward the altar.
Rodney turned his head and a look of relief flooded his face. "Colonel! Thank god!"
Sheppard stopped a hand’s length away from the altar, resisting the urge to move closer, to touch the bare skin before him. He’d seen McKay naked before – decontaminating in the infirmary showers, on the occasional overnight mission – but somehow this was different. This was…naked with intent, Rodney displayed for the prurient eyes of the priests and priestesses. People who had no right to see Rodney like this. He involuntarily reached for his gun and, encountering empty air instead of his holster, he clenched his fist.
He cleared his throat. "How’re you doing, buddy?"
"Just fine except for the part where I’m chained to an altar," Rodney snapped. "Why aren’t you getting me loose?" His gaze flicked down to Sheppard’s leg, obviously taking in his weaponless state, and widened. "Oh God! They’re going to kill me, aren’t they?"
Sheppard couldn’t help reaching out then, laying a comforting hand on Rodney’s arm. "Rodney, calm down. They’re not going to kill you. That would be the good news."
Rodney stopped struggling but glared at him. "And the bad news?"
"You have to perform a sort of weird alien ceremony."
Rodney took that in for a moment. "And by weird alien ceremony, you mean a sex ritual?"
"And by sex ritual, I mean you have to get fucked and come all over the altar."
Reluctance coloring his voice, Sheppard said, "Or they’ll kill you."
Rodney groaned and closed his eyes. "Oh God! I am so, so screwed. And not in a good way."
"Hey, it’ll be okay," Sheppard reassured him, squeezing his arm. "I got them to agree that I would be the only one to touch you."
"And the gang of Roman-orgy extras?" he asked, jerking his head in the direction of the priests and priestesses hovering along the walls of the temple set.
Sheppard turned his head and glared at the chief priestess. She waved her hand and all but one attendants and one guard left, then she looked coolly at Sheppard. "There must be witnesses to the ritual."
Rodney groaned and thumped his head against the altar. "Hey!" Sheppard reached out involuntarily to stop him. "Don’t do that! You’ll damage something important. You can’t afford to lose brain cells, even if you’re the smartest man in two galaxies." He caressed Rodney’s cheek, trying to reassure him, to divert his attention from their spectators.
It worked. Rodney’s eyes widened with what looked like hope and disbelief evenly mixed. "Colonel?"
"I think under the circumstances, you can call me ‘John’." He leaned forward to brush a kiss over Rodney’s lip but Rodney jerked his head away, his eyes still wide and doubtful.
"Wait, wait. This is a leave-no-man-behind thing, isn’t it? A – a pity fuck, right?" Rodney’s mouth set in that stubborn way that drove Sheppard nuts, even if it was pretty hot. "Well, thanks, Colonel, but I’ll take my chances."
Sheppard resisted the urge to smack Rodney upside the head. "Rodney, your choices are me, one of them," he jerked his head in the direction of a guard, "or getting your throat slit. I’d like to think that I’m a slightly better choice than rape or death!"
"Good point," Rodney said, then almost visibly sagged in his bonds. "It’s just that I was hoping…" He paused and tilted his chin up, unhappiness written all over his face. "I always thought there was a sort of unrelieved sexual tension thing going on between us, you know? All the flirting and…and poking and…and teasing. I guess I hoped that someday…not that you don’t have plenty of other options - "
"If you call me ‘Kirk’ again, so help me, I’ll smack you."
" – that someday we’d…you know."
Despite the circumstances, a smile tugged at Sheppard’s lips. "Yeah. I know. And for the record," he said, leaning in to murmur in Rodney’s ear, "there definitely is a tension thing going on. Not that this is how I imagined our first time," he added, pulling back so he could shed his jacket. "For one thing, bondage wasn’t involved until at least our third or fourth date. Wouldn’t want you to think I was easy or anything."
Rodney’s eyes widened. "You imagined a first time?"
Sheppard grinned at him. "Oh, yeah." He stripped off his shirt and watched as Rodney’s eyes flicked over his bare chest as he involuntarily licked his lips. "So what do you say we get this over with, then get back to Atlantis so we can work on a second time?"
Apparently struck speechless by that thought – not that Sheppard thought it would last – Rodney jerkily nodded his head.
"Good," Sheppard said, once again leaning over to kiss Rodney. "Just lie back and let me make you feel good, okay?"
Rodney nodded again, his eyes sliding shut as his mouth tried to seek out Sheppard’s again. Sheppard gave into his demand for a few long minutes, and damn, but Rodney’s mouth was hot and so talented! A brief mental image of that mouth wrapped around his cock made Sheppard moan; his cock liked that image, too, as it rapidly hardened in his pants.
He pulled back from the kiss just enough to let his mouth move downward, placing biting kisses along Rodney’s jaw, down his throat, behind his ear. Rodney gasped and moaned as he tugged futilely at his chains.
"John! God, there! No, not there, idiot, back where you were – ohhh yes!"
Sheppard bit back a moan as his cock jerked abruptly, and damn, when had Rodney’s bossiness become such a turn-on? He was never going to be able to listen to Rodney chewing out his minions without embarrassing himself after this.
Letting the litany of pleasured sounds guide him, he moved down Rodney’s neck and across this chest. As he’d imagined on those many nights when he’d thought about Rodney while jerking off, he found that Rodney’s nipples were incredibly sensitive. He nuzzled and licked and sucked, enjoying how Rodney gasped and arched under his caresses, then moved to the other nipple and repeated the whole experiment again, to corroborate his findings. He figured that Rodney would appreciate that.
Rodney was panting and swearing by the time Sheppard’s explorations reached the loin cloth. He tore it away and tossed it aside, then paused for his first good look at Rodney’s cock. It was a good length, thick and sturdy like Rodney, hard and leaking, and his mouth watered at the thought of sucking on it, feeling it hot and heavy on his tongue. Reluctantly, he had to give up that idea for the moment. Rodney seemed close, and he couldn’t risk not completing the ritual as defined.
Instead, with one kiss to the tip, he moved around to the end of the altar to stand between Rodney’s wide-spread legs. The stone slab ended just before Rodney’s knees; his legs were bent so that his ankles could be fastened to the base of the altar. Sheppard found the catch to release the chains from the shackles around Rodney’s ankles. There was a pot containing some sort of oil sitting on the step and Sheppard grabbed it, then moved back between Rodney’s legs and let his eyes travel back up his lover’s body.
Rodney’s eyes were wide with a return of his earlier fear, but as they met Sheppard’s, he relaxed so abruptly that Sheppard thought he might melt into the slab’s surface. A wave of tenderness that he’d never admit to filled Sheppard; he grasped one of Rodney’s legs and lifted it so that his foot rested on the altar, pressing a kiss against the exposed thigh, then repeated his actions with the other.
"John," Rodney murmured, his voice sounding a little choked.
"Shhh," Sheppard said soothingly, leaning forward to place a kiss on the tip of his cock again. "Let me take care of you, Rodney."
The oil in the pot was warm and Sheppard liberally coated his fingers. Rodney wordlessly bent his legs back to expose himself to his eyes. His cock gave another lurch at that, his pants now feeling painfully tight across his groin. He tried to ignore that, tried to think of other things, to ignore the urge to just slam inside and fuck until he exploded. He drew a deep breath, trying to concentrate on the task before him.
Sheppard brushed his finger over Rodney’s opening, smiling as he heard his lover’s gasp. He pushed the tip of his finger inside, nearly moaning himself at the tight warmth surrounding his finger, and carefully began sliding his finger in and out.
"John!" Rodney gasped, and Sheppard spared a look up towards Rodney’s face. His eyes were squeezed shut but he didn’t look like he was in any pain so Sheppard continued with a second finger. This got him a whimper and Rodney started rocking, trying to get more inside.
"Easy, Rodney," he cautioned.
Rodney groaned as he pushed harder, trying to force Sheppard’s fingers deeper inside. "It’s okay…it’s okay…done this…before."
Sheppard ignored the brief flash of jealousy at the thought of Rodney with anyone else; that was the past, and it wasn’t like he was a virgin, either. Rodney was his now; that was the only thing that mattered. He continued stretching and fucking Rodney with his fingers, trying to ignore the increasingly desperate moans coming from his lover.
"Fuck! Do it – John – now!"
It was hard to open his BDUs with oil-slick fingers and shaking hands, but Sheppard managed to push his pants and briefs down his thighs, then ran his oil slick hand over his dick before stepping forward again. He pressed the tip of his cock against Rodney’s hole and glanced up at Rodney’s face again.
Rodney was staring at him, face flushed and eyes dark with need. Sheppard wanted nothing more at that moment than to kiss him and kiss him, until they were both breathless, but that was impossible at this position. Next time, he promised himself.
"Ready?" he asked. Rodney nodded, and Sheppard moved his hips, slowly easing into Rodney’s body. Rodney winced slightly and Sheppard rocked backward, then pushed forward again, claiming him an inch at a time. When his hips finally rested against Rodney’s ass, he drew in a shaky breath and looked upward.
Rodney’s mouth was hanging open, he was panting and his eyes were bright but he nodded. Sheppard eased back and then slid in again, faster than before, and was rewarded with a heartfelt moan. Encouraged, Sheppard settled into a regular rhythm, sliding in and out of the tight heat encasing him. Rodney felt so good, so perfect under him, and it had been so long since he’d wanted anyone so much. No, he’d never needed anything as much as he needed this, needed Rodney. Who was rocking under him, moaning with each thrust, words tumbling out of his mouth but they made no sense because Sheppard was coming, he was coming and it was better than anything ever. Spent, he collapsed across Rodney’s body, shuddering in the aftermath.
He was barely aware that Rodney was still hard, was swearing and pulling at his bonds, begging for John to touch him, to do something, dammit! With a muttered apology, Sheppard pried himself up and slid out of Rodney’s body, trying to be careful although it was apparent that at the moment Rodney wasn’t aware of anything but his need. Remembering the last aspect of the ritual, he coaxed Rodney to roll over onto his side, then wrapped his still-slick hand around Rodney’s cock and jacked it expertly.
"Come on, Rodney," he murmured, pressing kisses along the sweat-soaked back and ass. "Come for me."
With a groan that sounded like it came all the way from his toenails, Rodney shuddered and jerked under his hands, coming in convulsive waves. Sheppard hoped that at least some of it landed on the altar although at the moment he couldn’t care less. Rodney shuddered a final time and slumped against the stone, a blissful look on his face that made Sheppard want to kiss him.
But first he wanted to get them out of here, back to Atlantis.
After bestowing a last kiss to Rodney’s belly, Sheppard hitched up his pants and turned to face the priestess. She was looking a little glazed in the face, her eyes fixed on Rodney, and Sheppard’s eyes hardened as he moved to block her view of his lover.
"We’ve done your ritual. Unchain him and let us go," he demanded.
The priestess shook herself and made a gesture at the guards, and a few moments later, Rodney had been unchained. Rodney was still looking a little dazed, something Sheppard tried not to feel too smug about, and as Sheppard handed him his clothes, Rodney gave him an uncertain look.
Sheppard might not have been good at expressing his feelings in words, but actions he could do. So he kissed Rodney, hard to show that he meant everything he’d said and done, then pulled back to murmur in Rodney’s ear, "How about you get dressed so we can blow this place? Get back to Atlantis?" He nuzzled Rodney’s neck and nipped the skin just a little. "Maybe this time you can tie me up."
The expression on Rodney’s face as he smiled at Sheppard was like the sun coming up. "I think that can be arranged."