"You're not really going to eat all of that, are you?" John said to Rodney, keeping his voice diplomatically low so the Nida wouldn't overhear. He couldn't look away from the heaping mess on the other man's plate, which could have passed for the tragic morning aftereffects of a bar crawl followed by a late-night visit to a seedy diner.
"It's like poutine," Rodney said dreamily, shoving another spoonful in his mouth and working his jaw around it.
"And you think that *excuses* it?" John was damn hungry, and more than a little pissed off at the Nida for offering nothing other than this. He'd balanced his own plate on his thigh and was trying to figure out a discreet way to make its contents disappear. It didn't do to offend your hosts' cuisine. Once on P3X-811 they'd been chased from the city by a mob of angry chefs because Rodney insulted their dessert offering. ("It tasted like dung topped with cherry flambé. Was I just supposed to remain silent?")
"Your jejune palate never fails to amaze me," Rodney said around a mouthful of the stuff. "Ronon likes it." His tone was approving as he nodded across the fire at their teammate.
"Which just proves my case."
"Which was what again?"
"You are enjoying the gnith?" the Nida's chief representative asked, smiling at John.
"It's...extraordinary." John smiled back, ignoring the derisive sound that Rodney made. He sometimes thought that Rodney's level of respect for people at any given moment corresponded to how tactful they were being. The more tactful, the lower his regard. Rodney thought everyone should say what they thought, unvarnished. "It would save so much time," he was prone to complaining. "Good manners are just an elaborate charade that postpones real discussion."
It was almost too bad John didn't talk to his father any more; he would have brought Rodney home to visit in a heartbeat just to watch that epic contest between taciturn passive-aggression and aggressive bluntness.
"Can we trade for this, do you think?" Rodney asked John later, when they'd retired to their guest quarters. He'd brought a bowl of leftovers with him, saturating the air of the common room with the smell. Teyla had already fled to her chamber. Ronon was eyeing the bowl sullenly, obviously kicking himself for not thinking to get more.
"Get that away from me!" John said, exasperation cresting as Rodney gestured the bowl toward him. Rodney kept chewing and swallowing, unmoved.
"I'm going to bed," Ronon said, and did.
"Don't leave that bowl out here," John warned by way of a good-night, and went to his own room. Rodney followed him in.
"You got the best room," he observed, looking around.
John grabbed the bowl of gnith, ignoring Rodney's "Hey! What--" and threw it out the window. It clattered on the cobblestones below. Somewhere, an animal made a barking sound. He turned around to see Rodney staring at him with a bemused look.
"That was uncalled for."
"You brought that *stuff* into my room, Rodney!"
"Yes. Remind me never to bring you any Ming vases or small pets."
John lowered his head and gave him a smoldering stare that didn't feel entirely nice from the inside, but promised fun. He saw Rodney respond to this, his throat giving a bob, always a good sign. "Go brush your teeth."
Rodney's lips twitched sardonically. "Should I burn my clothes?"
"I think taking them off will do."
"Generous," Rodney said, and John was.
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