|Ordering Beer In Seventeen Languages
MX3-P47 is a sunny, dry planet with fields that look suspiciously full of grape vines. The natives are nice enough, but they don't speak anything even resembling English, and John doesn't know how he's supposed to lead an exploratory trading team if he can't communicate with the people he's trying to trade with, except maybe in shoddy sign language. He says so while Teyla's making nice with the leaders, maybe a little louder than he should, and Rodney turns to him and hisses, "Colonel, for once, it is my turn to tell you to please shut up and let us get on with this. And consider yourself lucky that the rest of the galaxy speaks a language that is etymologically easy for the 'gate to translate into English, because if we had tried to trade with the Genii in German, it is possible that things would have been even worse and thank you very much, but I would not like to add an intergalactic Hitler to my list of current problems."
So John shuts up and sits patiently outside with Ronon, not saying anything in any language, while Teyla and McKay make small talk in what sounds suspiciously like French. John thinks that if he'd wanted to go to the French countryside and bargain with irritatingly superior natives, he'd just have quit the Air Force and bought a vineyard.
The longer he sits in the hot sun, covered in dust, the more he thinks that moving to France and buying a vineyard is the best idea he's ever had. He tilts his head a little, looking at Ronon leaning back with his eyes closed and his face turned up to the sun. Maybe he's been sitting there a little too long, no shade, because he starts wondering if Ronon would want to come back to Earth with him and help him run the vineyard, because Ronon seems like the kind of guy who might be good at that.
Yeah, he's clearly been sitting in the sun for way too long, because Ronon, in a vineyard, in the south of France is not actually something that he actively wants to be thinking about. John bets he'd stomp the shit out of those grapes, though, which is an amusing thought at the very least.
Thankfully that's when Teyla and McKay emerge from the meetings with the leaders, all of them squinting against the sun and smiling and talking animatedly in ... yeah, still French. Even in another language, Rodney talks with his hands, and the natives are all looking at him in this way that tells John that either they think McKay is completely insane, or else his French is really, really bad.
John's willing to put money - or whatever they're trading for, which he hopes is wine - on the fact that McKay's French is really, really bad.
John stands up and stretches. McKay is still talking, and John is finding that the more Rodney talks - whether it's in English or sloppy French or over-caffeinated physicist - the more he wants to watch Rodney talk. When McKay talks, he's so concentrated on what he's saying that he hardly sees anything else. And sure, John's a little weirded out by his fascination with a bossy, out-of-shape scientist, but he likes McKay, despite all his bad points, and it isn't like John hasn't had guys, before.
Plus, John keeps thinking, if McKay's mouth is that focused when he's just talking, think about what he could do with it on John's cock. And McKay blowing John, maybe pressed up against a wall in the jumper bay, is a much better fantasy than Ronon squashing grapes with his toes, in any galaxy.
Teyla bows to the leaders, and McKay sticks his hand out to shake, except that the leaders just stare at it like he's crazy and he speaks bad French, and John fights down a smirk. McKay drops his hand and steps back, says "Merci beaucoup," and turns away.
"Didn't know you spoke French, McKay," John says.
McKay looks at him like he's an even bigger moron than usual. "I'm Canadian, Colonel. You do remember that? And you do remember that we have an entire province where the residents speak French? Well, really, Québécois, but varying dialects of the language are really not the point at the moment - the point being, I am Canadian, I learned to speak French as a child. In school."
John stares straight at Rodney.
McKay looks at him fondly, or at least as fondly as McKay looks at anybody who doesn't have coffee immediately on their person, and then smacks him in the head. "What, you thought a penguin taught me to speak French in Antarctica? We can come back in two weeks for the wine. And the grapes. They want medical supplies, but it's not anything we can't afford to give up. They were nice - if kind of drunk." He hiccups a little. "It's really good wine, too."
McKay stomps off towards the hill where they left the jumper, Teyla and Ronon in his wake, and John is left staring after him. McKay turns around, and his pants stretch across his ass; John's mouth goes dry. "Are you coming?"
Not at the moment, John thinks, and they follow McKay back to the jumper, and home.
It isn't until they're back in the jumper, where Ronon is proving that he can only say impossibly filthy things about other people's mothers in whatever the Pegasus Galaxy's version of French is called, that Rodney's brain drops back into gear - from thinking winewinewinewinewine to thinking about all the other stuff he knows that doesn't involve a really nice dry white. "Hey," he says, punching Sheppard in the arm. "You speak Farsi! You read Arabic! You can order a beer in seventeen different languages! You don't speak French?"
Sheppard glares at him, which Rodney knows means how the hell do you know that? He shrugs. "Personnel files."
"Yeah," Sheppard growls. "The confidential ones. I was mostly stationed in the Middle East, McKay, not Paris. There wasn't a lot of use for me to learn French."
"The American education system is woefully inadequate when it comes to teaching foreign languages," Rodney says. "You think that everyone should speak English, and your bastardized, grammatically incorrect version of English at that."
"You say 'eh' without irony," Sheppard snaps back, and then twists around to look at Ronon. "Hey," he says. "Tell me how to say 'your mother sleeps with small black and white birds' again, would you?"
Rodney turns back to watch the event horizon materialize in the 'gate. He thinks he feels Sheppard's eyes on him, but by the time he looks back, Sheppard's staring straight ahead, completely focused on flying.
It was a perfectly normal mission - which made it a once in a lifetime occurrence - and it was a perfectly normal debriefing - also once in a lifetime, except for the part where Elizabeth had gotten misty-eyed over "a real merlot, in this galaxy, I can't even imagine it" and John had averted his eyes because she seemed to be enjoying the thought a little more than he wanted to know about. But McKay takes off from the conference room like a shot afterwards, heading straight for his lab, which is completely, totally normal, and that makes John feel a little less off balance.
Like maybe a normal mission, without being shot at or kidnapped or threatened with nuclear weapons, is something that John could get used to, if McKay was going to act like it was just like the missions where he almost died, or John almost died.
And like none of them had spoken a foreign language while not almost dying. Or looked really, really sexy speaking aforementioned foreign language.
John's trying to decide whether Elizabeth making sex faces over the thought of merlot or McKay looking sexy while speaking French is the more disturbing mental picture, and he maybe isn't looking where he was going, which wouldn't have been a problem, on a normal day. On a normal day, McKay would have already been in the transporter by now, and John wouldn't have walked smack into his back.
But apparently, normal doesn't equal normal in the Pegasus Galaxy, and John already knew that, and he kind of likes it that way - nobody's normal, nothing ever goes as planned. Something always blindsides him, whether it's Rodney speaking French or Rodney sucking John's dick or Rodney stopping in the middle of a hallway to talk to himself. No matter how well John prepares, he's always surprised.
So here he is, pressed up against McKay's back, while McKay stands perfectly still in the middle of a hallway, muttering to himself in a language that was part English, part French and part scientist, apparently not having noticed John at all.
John doesn't get the drop on McKay very often; he isn't going to miss a chance when he had one. He leans forward, puts his mouth against McKay's ear, and breathes, "Voulez-vous coucher avec moi?"
McKay leaps about a mile into the air, drops his datapad on the floor with a great crash, and stares at John like John's just grown a second head, or maybe declared that he was leaving Atlantis to live with the Wraith permanently. "I knew you spoke French," he hisses, eyes wild. "No one who speaks Farsi could not speak French; Farsi is so much more complicated, clearly you're an undiscovered genius at learning languages, have you tried to make sense of any of the Ancient databases yet?"
"McKay," John says. "I don't speak French."
"I just heard you," McKay says. "And you're lucky no one else was standing in this hallway, because do you know what you just said to me?"
John takes a step closer. McKay's frozen in place, eyes wild and shoulders tense like he might take off running any minute. Except it's McKay, so ... no. "So what's the answer?"
"To my question." John takes another step, and Rodney doesn't move away. He licks his lips, though, and John thinks a really filthy thought about that tongue on his ass and steps even closer.
"Uh," Rodney says. "Yes?" John takes one more step, and backs Rodney up against the wall. Not touching, just ... leaning there. John puts one hand up against wall and leans in.
"Is that a definite yes, or are you answering a question with a question?"
"Yes," Rodney says, and his eyes don't get any less wild, but suddenly he moves, and the next thing John knows, he's being dragged down the hall by his sleeve, shoved into a transporter, and just before Rodney slams against John and punches buttons frantically over John's shoulder, he says, again, "Yes."
The door to the transporter opens on the other end, and Sheppard's the one shoving this time, pushing Rodney out into the hallway and stumbling out behind him. Rodney thinks, oh, God, I wish I had a glass of wine or something, before John backs Rodney up against the door of John's quarters, which opens obligingly and lets them through.
As soon as it closes, Sheppard backs Rodney up against the other side of the door, shoves a thigh between Rodney's legs, and kisses him. By the time Rodney gets a hand free - and oh God he dropped his datapad in the hall before the transporter and left it there - and winds it into Sheppard's stupid, stupid hair, which is soft against his palm, Rodney's brain is just starting to catch up with his body. Which means he doesn't actually push Sheppard off him, because Sheppard is warm and really, really sexy and also seems to want him, and Rodney has never been one to look gift horses in their mouths, but, "Colonel," he says, pulling his mouth away from the kiss. "Sheppard. Colonel."
"John," Sheppard says, mouth very close to Rodney's ear. His voice goes straight to Rodney's dick, which is happily getting steadily harder, and John grinds his thigh down roughly against Rodney's cock. "My name is John, Rodney, please don't call me Colonel while I'm doing this. That just hits kinks I don't want to think about having." Then he tugs on Rodney's earlobe with his teeth, very gently, and Rodney forgets for a minute what he was going to say.
"I didn't know," Rodney tries again, running his free hand up under John's shirt at the same time, across his flat nipples, which gets him a really appreciative growl and the feel of flesh tightening under his fingers, before John kisses him again, hard.
John pulls away, panting, his hands tight on Rodney's hips. "I swear to God, Rodney, if you say you didn't know I spoke French one more time, I am going to shove you out into the hallway and leave you there," John says. His pupils are dilated wide, and he looks drunk and happy and good enough to eat.
"I was going to say I didn't know you slept with men, Colonel," Rodney snaps, but there's no real bite in his voice. John's left thumb is rubbing little circles underneath the waistband of his pants, and he's kind of ... distracted by it.
"Yeah, well, I don't speak French, either," John says, and bites Rodney's neck, and after that, Rodney stops talking. John runs his hand across Rodney's stomach, fingers warm through the thin cotton of his t-shirt, and slides it down to unbutton Rodney's pants at the same time he's mouthing his way down Rodney's neck. Rodney tilts his head back to give John better access, head thumping against the door, and grabs John's ass, pulling him even closer in.
John growls a noise of appreciation against Rodney's neck, and bites down hard on the muscle at the curve of Rodney's shoulder. Rodney shudders.
There are a lot of things that Rodney wonders about, great mysteries of the universe and unsolved problems in physics and math, but when it comes to pressing questions, like did I know John Sheppard felt this way about me, or about men, or about anybody, none of them seem to have anything to do with the situation at hand.
"Shirt," he says, tugging at the hem of John's. John pulls his hand from where it's twisted in the belt loops of Rodney's now-gaping pants, pulls his mouth away from Rodney's neck and grins at Rodney. Rodney feels well-kissed and disheveled. John looks it.
"Yeah," John says, "Okay."
It's been so long since Rodney's had sex with anyone that he'd almost forgotten the occasionally hilarious pre-intercourse getting-all-your-clothes-off dance; in Atlantis, it's even worse. John is still kissing him, fingers making short work of Rodney's vest and t-shirt, but trying to back towards the bed while Rodney's pants are sliding towards his ankles isn't easy.
And there are thigh holsters, which is a problem Rodney never had on Earth. "There is no sexy way to take off a thigh holster," he tells John's neck, which is where his mouth has ended up.
John lets go of Rodney completely and steps back. "Oh, yeah?"
He makes such short work of his own, and then his vest and t-shirt and boots and pants and boxers, that Rodney thinks briefly that maybe there's some advantage to military training after all. John Sheppard is standing in the middle of his room, naked and ridiculously sexy, and Rodney's brain is never, ever going to recover from this. "Fuck," he says, and John steps forward again and it's a race to the finish line; John's hands on Rodney's holster, Rodney toeing off his boots and socks and letting his pants his floor.
"Right," Rodney says, and puts his hands back on John's warm waist and kisses him, backing them both towards the bed again. John kisses with lots of tongue and teeth, biting down on Rodney's lips and licking the pain gone again; it's really dirty and Rodney can't get enough of it. John hits the metal baseboard on the bed first, hisses into Rodney's mouth at the metal against his skin, and tumbles over backwards. He lands with his thighs spread, leaning back on his elbows - it's like porn, only John is real and right there.
Rodney shoves him backwards, sprawled out on the mattress, and slides between John's thighs. "You are really unnaturally good looking," Rodney says. "It's almost distracting." John laughs, a rumble of amusement under John's skin as Rodney mouths his way down John's chest, mapping the restless thrust of John's hips with his hands, the planes of John's muscles and bones with his tongue. When Rodney licks across the hollow of John's hip and slides his hand between John's legs to cup his balls, John's cock twitches against Rodney's cheek and John groans, low in his throat.
"Are you going to make me wait all day, Rodney?" John says.
If the whole naked-in-the-Colonel's-bed thing wasn't enough, that was invitation if Rodney ever heard one. He turns his head and traces his tongue up the vein on John's cock, sucking the head into his mouth when he reaches it. "God, Rodney," John says, and one hand comes down to fist in Rodney's hair. Rodney can and has given blowjobs that were art forms, sex raised to the levels of the masters, but this whole thing is so surreal that he's rock-hard and starting to rub himself off against the sheets, which is not the way he wants to come; he's not wasting any time on pleasantries in giving head. He lets John thrust down his throat as far as he can stand it, wraps a fist roughly around the base of John's cock and sucks like it's going out of style.
John's hips are jerking erratically, banging the head of his dick against the back of Rodney's throat, and he's groaning like somebody's torturing him, except only without the undercurrent of pain. "God, Rodney," he says again, and "yes, please, oh, fuck, yes," and then his hips stutter and he comes, shuddering, at the back of Rodney's mouth.
Rodney crawls up John's chest before he's even finished swallowing, kissing his way into John's mouth, fisting one hand into John's hair and the other curled around John's neck, and thrusting frantically against the warm, sweaty spot his hand has left on John's hip. John strokes his hands across Rodney's back, firm pressure holding Rodney against him, and kissing him back, lazily, long strokes of his tongue against Rodney's. John is murmuring something against his mouth, and it doesn't sound like any language Rodney speaks, but then he's coming, warm slick fantastic release, and Rodney doesn't care if John is speaking Farsi or Athosian or French.
Later, half asleep in his quarters, John says, "I really don't speak French, Rodney."
Rodney mumbles something into John's chest hair that might be "I don't believe you" and might be "You're a big fat liar, and also you have stupid hair," without even opening his eyes, but John doesn't care if Rodney believes him or not.
"Ta mere se couche avec les petites oiseaux noirs et blancs, Rodney," John says. Rodney pats John's chest sleepily with one hand and starts to snore.
author's notes: cspan did super-fantastic beta duty, kept telling me it should be pornier, and supplied the french for "your mother sleeps with small black and white birds". john learned his one line of french, obviously, from "lady marmalade", and rodney's joke about penguins is stolen shamelessly from the weakerthans' song "our retired explorer". no penguins or frenchmen were harmed in the making of this story. thank you, have a nice day.