John wasn't entirely sure how they'd ended up here. He remembered each step clearly, and every moment of his night so far was pretty vivid, but on an existential level, things had gotten too weird for him in the Pegasus galaxy.
He lay on red silk pillows in a room shaped like the top half of an egg and built from the same off-white stucco that covered most of the village, with slotted windows around the top that showed off the thickness of the underlying stone. Richly colored rugs overlapped on the floor and hung on the walls, along which candles in niches flickered, reaching toward the shadowed ceiling. Everything was arranged with sensuality in mind; when John lifted his head to look around, he saw shallow copper bowls, one holding water, another what looked like oil; under them, low fires burned, keeping the contents warm. A jug and small cups sat on one of the low wooden tables around the bed--more a nest of massed pillows and spreads, really, that rose only slightly from the floor.
On opposite sides of the room, fireplaces were built into the walls. The small fires they held seemed to give off a spicy scent and their heat was raising a sheen on John's skin. His entirely naked skin.
He tested the silken ropes holding his wrists again but they were as snug and unyielding as they'd been for the last half hour. His ankles were just as hopeless. For a few moments of high comedy he struggled in a spasm of frustration, before giving up with a sigh, glad no one could see him. He wasn't sure he liked where this was going; he was getting too comfortable. Every time he moved his skin rubbed against the silk and sent a twitch to his dick. Some part of him wanted to just give in to the rhythm of the flickering flames.
Their hosts had sated him with dinner and a few cups of wine, the feast carried out on floor cushions, with lulling and exotic music playing in the background by hidden musicians. The meal had been finger foods--tiny bowls and plates, salty bits and sweet, light puff pastries and round olive-like fruits, and some drippy stuff on toast that he hadn't wanted to stop eating. Ronon and Rodney had attacked the spread, while Teyla had plucked delicately from the dishes around her. After the indulgence and the graceful speeches, they'd been feeling optimistic about their trade hopes and more contented than usual, going by everyone's expressions, and then they'd been led away separately for rituals that sounded perfectly harmless.
They'd been gentle with him, but his handlers had been big guys and his yells apparently hadn't been heard by the members of his team. Once he'd been restrained on the pillows, a pair of beautiful young things--one male, one female, both he hoped to god of a decent age--had come in and washed and oiled him with a light touch. He'd set his lips into silence and glared resentfully at the tasseled bed canopy that hung above him from floor posts.
And then the kids had left, and the fire had crackled in the silence, and time had passed and was still passing. He was being tortured by silk and boredom. John was supposed to be trained to withstand this as much as anything, but...well, if he was honest and why shouldn't he be, it wasn't that bad and he wasn't afraid for himself. But he was worried about the others.
Just when he was about to give his bonds another try, Rodney wandered in.
"Thank god," John said in a growl, suddenly bursting with impatience again, its rush mixed with relief. "I was starting to wonder if we were *all* being sacrificed to Kong." He held his head off the pillow, eyeing Rodney. "What the hell are you wearing, and oh, by the way, you mind *untying* me?"
Rodney looked down at himself and stroked fingertips over his robe. It was a deep red, like blood, like the pillows, lined from neck to waist with gold clasps, only one closed. Scattered around, widely spaced and in no pattern, were golden emblems like Chinese seals. His pajama-like trousers were black, and he was barefoot. When he neared John could see highlights of gold glittering powder on his neck, jaw, and chest. His pupils were dilated and his eyelids heavy.
"Oh crap," John groaned, letting his head fall back. "Please tell me they didn't slip you a mickey."
"Nice room." Rodney circled the bed, examining the walls, maybe counting the candles, while John lay on the bed with his eyes closed and counted to ten, trying to remember the Ancient equivalents. It occurred to him that he was battling the universe and the universe was winning, a thought that made him feel almost resigned to events.
"Could you untie me?" John said in his mildest, politest voice when he'd reached ten.
"Oh, sure." But Rodney didn't immediately appear in John's range of vision. He could hear Rodney moving somewhere behind him, picking things up and putting them down. Finally he rounded the bed and looked down at John. His expression was absent, as if his mind was back in the Milky Way. "Wait. I just remembered. I'm supposed to not untie you."
"No," John said evenly. "You're supposed to untie me."
Rodney cocked his head and smiled like a happy spaniel. "I don't think so. And you know how I'm right about things."
At least he hadn't said *always* right. John thought about bringing up the Dorandan solar system, but reluctance held his tongue. This wasn't a debate about professional judgment, and he didn't want to risk throwing Rodney into a tailspin in his condition.
"Yes. And sometimes *I'm* right. Like now."
"I feel good. Really, really good." Robe giving him a flowing movement, Rodney sank onto the edge of the cushions near John's hip. He picked up a jug, sniffed it, then poured himself a cup of a dark substance. "This isn't coffee," he said in disappointment after a sip, and then promptly drank the rest of it.
"I can get you coffee," John said cunningly. "If you untie me."
Rodney turned his head to study him. The motion made him sway toward John a little. Then again, it might have been deliberate, since he was humming softly to some interior music.
"Remember that time you told me we couldn't take the jumper and we hiked fourteen miles and when we got there, you said I needed the exercise?"
"That was very mean of me," John said, assuming a contrite and mature tone, the same one he'd used when he was eight and apologizing for breaking the garage door, and when he was nineteen and explaining to Sue why he'd stood her up, and countless times before and since.
"Very!" John's agreement seemed to make Rodney even more indignant at the memory. A tiny frown appeared. "I'm fitter than I've ever been."
"Amazingly fit." It was no lie--Rodney's fitness level was pretty amazing, considering how often he avoided PT.
"And supple." A sly smile tipped up one side of Rodney's mouth.
"I'm...sure you are," John agreed cautiously.
"You're supple too." Rodney's tone made a great show of generosity.
"Thank you." Proud of himself for keeping his own tone so remarkably civil, John said, "Rodney, I need you to untie me now. Teyla and Ronon may need our help."
"Oh no." Rodney waved a hand, sloshing his second cupful of dark stuff on his robe. "They're fine. They're...um. Doing something."
John decided not to ask. "You don't say."
Rodney frowned again. "I do." He set his cup down and hitched a leg further onto the bed, facing John. "Before I forget, there's a ceremonial thing we have to do." Having said this, he seemed to zone out, and ran a fingertip along John's skin from left collarbone to nipple. "Mmm."
"Ceremony?" John prompted, though he wasn't sure he wanted to hear it.
"I need to harmonize with you."
Is that what they're calling it now, John thought. "Well, you know me. Always up for a sing-a-long. What say we untie me first, though."
"You," Rodney said dismissively, "have a one-track mind, Colonel." He blinked, went somewhere in his head, then came back. "John."
"And I'm tied to it," John muttered. He could hear the whistle of his doom rounding the bend.
Rodney pulled himself fully on the bed, floundering a bit in his robe before settling cross-legged. "We should keep you in a bed all the time. For the good of Atlantis."
"That's a pretty personal remark. But one I'm willing to ignore if you untie me."
Instead, Rodney ignored his. "Diplomatic negotiations would go much better. We could just drop visitors off at your quarters in the evening, pick them up in the morning, and sign the treaty over breakfast."
"I have a few objections to that plan."
"Women, men, those octopus things from Dowhas Minas--everyone finds you attractive, don't they," Rodney mused.
"I find you incredibly attractive." He paused, a flash of shy nervousness crossing his face, but John didn't know how to respond. "But you knew that."
"Actually, I didn't." Despite himself, John lowered his tone to a quieter and gentler one.
"Oh? Huh." Rodney appeared to drift off on the current of his thoughts again, tracing one of John's ribs as he did. Then he unknotted his legs and tipped forward in a billow of silk, draping his weight across John to kiss him. He was warm, incredibly warm, shyness gone now, and his tongue glutted John's mouth and tasted of fruit, like soft baked apple, something alien but familiar too. He didn't stop when John tried to speak and pull away, just slid a hand under his head and held him still, fucking him lazily but hungrily with his tongue.
When Rodney drew back at last, he flicked the point of his tongue along his lower lip as if tasting for John. He was flushed and looked more stoned than before. John tried again to say something but only a whisper made it, no words forming, just the thought of a name.
Rodney licked his neck and his ear, bit his jaw, kissed his shoulders. He rubbed his cheek against John's chest, and chewed his nipples, which shouldn't have been brilliant but was. As John's breath turned fast and ragged, Rodney gave his belly a miss and went straight for his dick, sucking it in and proving his tongue's agility again. John twisted a cry loose and swallowed several others, an ache building in his throat.
"Mmm." Rodney was humming again, a happy sound. Pleasure pulsed to a heavier beat in the head of John's dick and he felt his balls tighten, everything in him drawing close in the first contraction of release, and then Rodney pulled off.
"Son of a bitch," John said, releasing the words of a gust of breath, eyes closing. A slither of silk teased his ankles as their bonds were undone. Breath catching, John had a moment of hope and waited for the cuffs to follow, but they didn't.
He opened his eyes to see Rodney pushing his robe aside, its clasp still fastened, and undoing his trousers. An instinct he hadn't given in to in years made him draw his legs up as Rodney leaned over and dragged his fingers through a bowl of oil. John watched him slick himself up, Rodney's hips pushing him forward into his own hand, his mouth a slit of rough breath, his chin lifted and his eyes nearly shut. And then Rodney shuddered and pushed John's legs back with a grip under his knees and nudged forward, dick pressing and seeking until he hit the right spot, and then knocking in, oil making the entry so close to painless that what pain there was turned inside out and became a sharp, shattery edge of pleasure.
Rodney fucked him relentlessly, self-absorbed, need written in the lines of his body. His breath came in quickening little gasps and his thumbs tightened in the hollowed backs of John's knees.
"I don't--" Rodney husked out, hips jerking faster. "I can't--"
John clenched down at the first spasm and rode out the other man's climax, trying not to get swept up in it. He wanted Rodney's hand to finish him off and as the sweet punishing rhythm eased, John rasped, "Touch me!" He thought how angry and demanding he must sound but he didn't care. He was desperate to get Rodney's attention. "Rodney!"
"Oh. Mm. Yes." Rodney settled back and slid out, letting John's legs drop. He gave a dreamy smile to John, who seethed, then scooted to the side of the bed to pour himself another cup of the local brew.
"I. Will. Kill you." It was difficult to speak.
"That's so cute," Rodney said between gulps. He lifted John's head with one hand to offer him a drink. John kept his mouth mulishly shut, breathing through his nose like a sprinter mid-race. "You should hydrate. No?"
He got rid of the cup and nuzzled at John's resolutely closed mouth. John tried to twist his hips to rub off against Rodney, who slid to the side, evading him. Resistance fading, John kissed back. Just as his interest was rousing in a different way--the sharp brim of his dick failing to crest, and sending its heat back through his body in a wave--Rodney murmured some sweet nothing into his mouth and shoved himself up.
Stunned, John watched him disappear around a bedpost. "Where the hell are you going?" He had his voice back just fine now.
"There's a washroom?" He hadn't seen much but the bed when he was being manhandled inside.
"It's nice," Rodney's voice floated back, followed by silence. John strained against it to hear, not really sure why. Rodney didn't seem inclined to pass out, but his absence made John vaguely anxious. And then his thoughts gelled and he realized his dick was still stiff and sore with need, and he cursed again.
Rodney returned smelling of spicy soap and knelt near the bed to investigate a cluster of dishes. Uncovering one, he sniffed and then scooped a finger through what looked like hummus and lifted it to his mouth. He sucked thoughtfully, indifferent to John's narrowed gaze. It was a gaze of menace. He'd practiced it often, but it was failing him now.
"And then there was that time you brought Zelenka the last of the ginger cookies," Rodney said, the grievance coming from nowhere. It took John a bewildered moment to catch up. "What was that about?" Rodney looked at him, eyes accusatory and hurt, but also strangely soft.
"I--" John honestly couldn't remember. Some grievance of his own that had pissed him off for a day or two, probably.
"I don't suppose it matters now." Rodney came back to the bed and stroked the inside of John's left thigh, which fell open further in a truly embarrassing reflex of lust. "I just want to show you that even when I have you at my mercy, I'll do nice things to you...for you. I won't hold the past against you." He rested a hand, leaf-shaped but with substance, on John's hip. "I'm not vengeful." At any other time he'd have ended by saying "unlike some people," but now he just sounded full of wistful longing for John to believe him.
"I know you're not," John said, though there was abundant historical evidence to the contrary, and this was probably the drug talking. Whatever the stuff was, it had created a kinder, more mellow monster, one who was denying John orgasm, but apparently with affection.
"Good." With visible relief, Rodney gave him a dopey smile, then climbed astride him. "I've always wanted to do this," he said, rubbing his dick against John's jaw.
"Oh, it takes me a long time to come down," Rodney said, pushing up further onto his knees and sliding his dick into John's mouth. "Oh--that's good--sometimes half an hour and by then I'm already getting hard again. I can go two, three times in an hour, though after the first hour, I usually get sore--not so many all-night marathons after I hit my late twenties. It's all downhill from there, they say--for men, at least--" He didn't stop fucking John's mouth as he talked, and there wasn't much John could do about it, which made his heels dig into the bed and his hips lift up as he frantically worked his dick against thin air. He was getting close again, pulse racing, nipples stiffening, his entire body desperate for friction.
"Oh, oh," Rodney said, jerking his hips hard against John's face and coming. John sucked on him hungrily and swallowed, a slippery wetness escaping the corner of his lips to slide along his chin.
"Fuck." Rodney gusted out a sigh and dismounted. He did some more nuzzling at John's neck and collarbone, and worked up his mouth up one arm then down to its hollow base, nose stroking soft paths across John's skin. He looked wrecked and content.
Bastard, John thought, in a fuzzy agony of feeling. He might even have said it aloud.
The third time, Rodney turned John over, pushing him onto his hands and knees when he tried to get his dick against the silky coverlets. It was an impressive display of force for a physically lazy scientist, but John wasn't overflowing with compliments or anything else. He started cursing as Rodney fucked him and didn't stop until he felt the shuddering spill inside him, and then he groaned and his dick surged painfully and he came and came and came, the pleasure so exquisite he felt tears catch blurrily in his lashes. And then Rodney rolled him back over, sucked him clean, and untied him. The quivers in John's body died away slowly.
"If you ever do that again," he said after several long minutes of relearning to breathe, and turned his head to discover Rodney asleep, a tiny smile on his face.
John could have finished his thought the next day, but Rodney woke him with oral sex, the ritual had been satisfied (Teyla and Ronon looked pretty satisfied too), and trade negotiations were successful, so John just smiled, put on his sunglasses, and led his team home. But then, he had an alien aphrodisiac in his pack and a vengeful nature, so he had something to smile about.