So it turned out, Rodney discovered, that Radek Zelenka was a sex god.
Yes, exactly; it was impossible. The man looked like an intelligent mouse, and aside from a genius for statistical mechanics and distilled spirits, you wouldn't have thought he had any talents at all. It was all spectacularly unlikely. But upon reflection, it made perfect sense. If you had his gift, it only stood to reason that you'd keep it under wraps; otherwise you'd get no peace at all.
The way the truth came out was that the Ancients' exhalations had been a little less heavy on the CO2 than humans', and the city's life-support system couldn't cope with the excess. A simple solution like, oh, windows that opened would have solved the problem in thirty seconds, but barring that, they had several days without sleep trying to fix the air filtration system before everyone could get even dopier than usual and then die of hypercapnia.
At the end, when they could all breathe easy again, literally, Rodney was feeling full of fellow feeling, not to mention so exhausted he could barely see straight, and so in the manner of lab rats everywhere, he offered Radek a hasty hand in the labs after midnight.
And Radek said no.
"A sorry waste of the body's capacity for pleasure," he called it. "Prosaic. Mechanical. Utterly lacking in imagination." And then he went off into some things with too many consonants which Rodney took on faith were words, though for all any of them knew, Radek just went around mumbling nonsense sounds to give himself international cachet.
"I'm terribly sorry," Rodney snapped. "Should I have brought your father some goats and asked his permission to court you?"
"You misunderstand, as usual," Radek said. "I am happy to add a physical dimension to a relationship with a colleague, even one so goatless as yourself. What I will not do is reduce the pure physical poetry of sex to an inelegant adolescent groping."
Rodney was almost sure that evaluated down to a yes, which left him feeling more cheerful. "I suppose this is more of your 'Communist thugs may have destroyed my country, but they couldn't crush the human spirit' shtick."
"It is good for getting girls," Radek said gravely. "Come to my quarters tomorrow after dinner. Leave your livestock at home."
He'd been half afraid that Radek's uncrushable human spirit would manifest itself in filling his quarters with candles and flowers and other romantic claptrap, but, thank heaven, it was a perfectly normal room. Neater than Rodney's and without the bizarre stage dressing that Sheppard called decor. The floor was entirely uncluttered; Radek's clothing and books all fit precisely under his bed, as though the bed formed a boundary and anything outside it would be eaten by monsters. If he did any more boasting about being a refugee, Rodney was going to throw up.
He offered Rodney a drink, but it was a normal bottle of dark pretentious Eurobeer.
Rodney finally recognized all this mental dithering for what it was: nervousness. He knew exactly how to do lab-rat sex. He knew reasonably well how to do your conventional date situation. This kind of thing he had no idea about. But he was certainly not going to tell Radek that. "Nice, ah, place you have here," he hazarded.
Radek smiled a smile with some mockery in it, and kissed him on the mouth.
Which, yes. Kissing, kissing was good; Rodney had missed kissing. Radek was tentative, or possibly experimental -- for whatever reason, it was a slow, shallow kiss with only fleeting tongue, and it seemed only fair to respond in the same vein. Rodney hadn't stood up for half an hour dry-kissing someone since about grade nine, but it felt really good.
Until Rodney remembered what adults missed about making out. It wasn't just nostalgia; it was that by the time tongues got involved, it was shocking, intimate, unmistakably sexual, and he made an embarrassing noise and reared his head back, breathing a lot harder than he should have been.
Radek looked suspiciously red-lipped and vacant-eyed himself, but his eyes crinkled the way they did, like he was Yoda or Santa Claus or something. "Good," he said. "You're beginning to understand."
The smugness filled Rodney with justified rage, but Radek distracted him.
He got hungrier after a while, of course, went afield to cover necks and faces; Radek took his glasses off and gave Rodney a weak-eyed smile and Rodney didn't make the usual crack about defective genes because it seemed better to kiss some more. When Radek pulled his shirt off, it left his hair in such a disgraceful mess that Rodney took off his own without even thinking of the usual list of ways in which his time was too valuable to waste lifting weights.
There wasn't a mark on Radek's chest where the burn had been. Rodney looked quite thoroughly. Radek's face softened when he saw the direction of Rodney's gaze, and he put his hand on the same spot on Rodney's chest for a moment, before dropping it to give his cock a knowing press through his pants. Rodney caught his breath. So they were on to the openly carnal part of the evening, were they? About time.
Things went more smoothly once they'd gotten rid of the rest of their clothes.
It was extremely weird to see Radek naked; Rodney's previous experience with co-workers hadn't involved any real nudity, which allowed both parties to walk away feeling that they hadn't added anything of significance to their picture of each other. Whereas here was Radek, not just soft-eyed with arousal and soft-mouthed with kissing but naked, totally vulnerable, in a way that Rodney knew he wouldn't be able to keep from seeing every time he looked at him in the labs.
Radek was thin but reasonably well built. Rodney couldn't fathom why he wouldn't get a haircut, but aside from that, he wasn't bad looking in his own scruffy way. And skin, so much skin -- he'd missed that, without even knowing it, the way it felt when they lay down together and their bodies flared up everywhere they touched, shivered to life; he'd had orgasms that hadn't set off as much pleasure as this simple touch, and he grabbed whatever of Radek he could, a hip with one hand and the back of his neck with the other, trying mindlessly to get closer, until Radek pressed him onto his back, the better to completely and utterly deprive him of brain cells.
Because here we come back to the strange but undeniable fact we began with: Radek Zelenka was a sex god. He knew things no human being could possibly know. He was dangerous.
It was partly a matter of pacing. In the state Rodney was in, ten minutes of kissing and rubbing would have done it for him, and that was pretty much what he was expecting. But Radek put his tongue in Rodney's ear and used his fingers to tug on one of Rodney's nipples, and it was like he had all the time in the world to play Rodney's body any way he wanted to.
He did things everybody liked, but he also discovered the strange, eccentric things that probably only Rodney liked -- fingernails gently on the outsides of his arms, thumbs dug into that spot just inside the hip. "Where," Rodney gasped as Radek ran his lips very softly down the plane from collarbone to nipple, over and over, and even Rodney hadn't known he liked that. "Where the hell did you learn to do this?"
"Graduate school," Radek said, settling on an elbow and continuing the same move with the pads of four fingers, and against all odds that was even better. "There was a Frenchwoman there, an older woman, Marie-Laure --"
"And she taught you the sensual arts? How art-house-cinema of you."
Radek frowned. "No. I learned from her a few things, but they were specific to a woman's body, you understand, though if you were a woman I could show you a remarkable trick with this --" He held up his hand and pointed at the web between thumb and forefinger. "I am reliably informed that it would blow your mind. But, no, it was more the spirit of the connoisseur. If a graduate assistant were possessed by Marie-Laure, then ever after it was as though we spread her mindfulness to everyone we touched, whether we intended to or not."
"You're telling me you believe this is communicable?"
Radek gave a sudden smile. "Yes, exactly!" And then apparently he decided all questions had been answered except ones that could be answered by going back to the crazy yet sexy list, which Rodney heartily approved of.
He straddled Rodney's chest and made circles around Rodney's nipple with the tip of his cock, which was hot to feel and absolutely heartstoppingly hot to watch. He rolled Rodney onto his stomach and rubbed his rough face into the small of Rodney's back and the undercurve of his ass. And then he shoved Rodney up onto his knees and rimmed him until he'd forgotten how disgusting that was, how unsanitary, how undignified the position was, everything but the endless minutes of almost-enough pleasure of Radek's wet mouth and the satisfied, hungry noises he was making.
And Rodney descended out of all human articulateness and into mere noises, and then up out of the noises into the sort of words he never said, like, "Please. Please, fuck, fuck, just -- Radek. Please."
And Radek chuckled and said, "Not yet."
When Radek turned him over, Rodney would have kissed him, seriously, even knowing what he'd just been doing with that mouth, but Radek rubbed his thumb over Rodney's mouth and between his lips instead, and Rodney said, "Yes -- please --" because right at that moment he wanted Radek's cock in his mouth as if that were going to get him off.
"Yes, all right," Radek said, and bent to take Rodney's cock in his own mouth, and Rodney tried to say that wasn't what he'd meant, but already he was coming, each pulse shaking him from head to foot, and when awareness came back he was embarrassed to discover that what was coming out of his mouth was, "Thank you."
You could wreck the very best blowjob by pulling off too soon, and here, too, Radek proved himself a sex god, hanging on until Rodney signaled him off with a hand that didn't quite want to work right. When he came up to lie beside Rodney, he was almost smiling.
This time Rodney did kiss him, because he deserved it.
By the time he was done with the kind of kiss Radek deserved, his brain was mostly back online and his limbs were under his control again. He sat back and looked at Radek, who looked back in peaceable, nearsighted contentment.
"I will not ask if you liked that."
"Good; don't. I don't like being forced to state the obvious." He slid his hand from Radek's shoulder up to his neck. "What I wonder is what you like after a performance like that."
Radek shrugged, tightening Rodney's hand between his neck and shoulder. "I like everything. I'm not particular."
"Hm, no, I imagine you're not." Rodney's mind was working fast under the dual influences of endorphins and competitiveness. Radek had obviously done this. Repeatedly. Some of the lucky recipients of the Zelenka treatment had probably taken the easy way, offering up a mouth or an ass to get him to a climax that probably wouldn't take too long, since this sort of thing obviously turned him on, and no wonder. Others would have tried to return the favor as given -- to seek out all the hidden places on Radek's body, wring out all the possible sensations, make him wait and then make him come.
It all sounded really good to Rodney, actually; he wouldn't mind having a chance at either of those options sometime in the future.
But Radek was breathing hard, too far along to get a lot of pleasure from a delicate touch on the back of the neck. And anyway, Rodney'd never been one to do the expected. He wanted to do better.
Radek's compact body fit comfortably into the curve of Rodney's, spoon-style, and Radek sighed back into Rodney's arms. Rodney shifted himself until he was almost on his back.
"So I think," he said into Radek's ear, "that you ought to show me some of the things you like."
Radek wasn't the least bit shy. Rodney looked down the pale length of his body as he pulled his fingertips upward along one thigh. "You see that I did to you what I like myself," he said, fingertips stroking that same spot on the inside of his hipbone, "unless it became obvious that you didn't love it as I did," and his thumb lifted one nipple from underneath, a move that had made Rodney squirm away uncomfortably. He seemed to like it, though; he went on lifting and lowering his nipple with his thumbnail, sometimes pausing to smooth over it with the pad of his thumb or pinch it, and his cock quivered slightly with the movement of his body and the rapid murmur of his breath. "Like that," he said, and let his hand fall.
Rodney brought it back up. "Keep going," he said, and took hold of Radek's cock instead.
Radek was uncircumcised, Europeans being somewhat less hygienically zealous than North Americans. His cock didn't actually look all that different, but Rodney's first stroke made him flinch.
"OK, show me, then," Rodney said.
Radek tilted his head out far enough to give Rodney a dubious look, and then shrugged -- Rodney could feel the shrug all down his body -- and dropped his hand to his cock.
Rodney swallowed, watching him thumb up the loose skin over the crown. His fingers were long, strong, skilled; even now he was moving with slow ease, but his breathing sped and caught. "Rodney," he said.
It was amazing how much this was turning him on. "Yeah, yes, anything you want." He warmed Radek's balls in his hand. "This? You like this?" Radek responded wordlessly, hiking his top leg up over Rodney's thigh to give Rodney more access so he could thumb the smooth skin behind, trace a path back over and around his hole. "Christ, I wish I could," he said into Radek's ear. "Give me half an hour."
Radek laughed breathlessly. "I would love that, Rodney, but half an hour I do not have."
Rodney licked his ear. "You're losing your syntax." He felt very pleased with himself for that, especially when the next thing that came out of Radek's mouth wasn't English at all. Radek rolled his hips, knocking Rodney's hand loose; his face was tense with pleasure, mouth open, eyes shut -- he cried out something that was all consonants, and then, "Rodney, please," and Rodney wrapped his hand around Radek's cock, following his example this time.
More consonants, and then, "Kiss me," and Rodney tongued open his mouth and ate the wail that came out, and this was what he'd expected at the start, the feel of Radek's cock pulsing in his hand, but oh, oh, so much better.
More proof of divinity: afterwards there was no awkwardness at all. Radek lay there and panted and beamed at him for a while, and then he put his glasses on and snagged their beer bottles off the floor, and conversation turned into pleasant recreational argument, and he was still wrong, wrong, wrong about the Casimir effect; they argued their way through getting dressed, and only for a few seconds did the sheen on Zelenka's lower lip distract him, and not badly enough that he couldn't stare and argue at the same time.
It was only a few days later that Rodney's presence of mind and forethought saved Ronon from the usual grisly death, the details of which were far too tedious to get into. Ronon grunted his usual thanks, and Rodney expected him to save an extra jello from dinner and be done with it.
Instead, Ronon caught Rodney in the locker room at some insane hour of the night and wordlessly made it clear that compensatory sexual favors were on offer.
"No," Rodney said, and then he understood why Radek had smiled, because it was comical the way Ronon's face fell before Rodney added, "I think we can do better than that."