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Title: Bacchanalian Circuit
Author name: Icarus
Author email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sub Category: Humor
Summary: Rodney has a few... hmm, esoteric... fantasies about Sheppard tucked away in his normally sacrosanct mind. It's perfectly natural, understandable, to be expected even. Then the real Sheppard shows up to ruin them.
DISCLAIMER: This story is just written for fun. The characters and universe contained in this story are Copyright MGM, Showtime, Gekko, Double Secret. What belongs to me are the words. Copyright © 2007 All rights reserved. Only the original ideas contained within the works on this nonprofit web site are the property of their authors, and please do not copy these stories to any other website or archive or print without permission of the author. Ask, guys. I'm easy to reach and usually generous.
Author notes: Written for the
John batted one of the airplane mobiles away from his face. This one had tiny versions of the Convair XFY-1 Pogo, an unpredictable piece of crap used as an example in flight school of how a pilot was only as good as his aircraft. Which was just so fitting. "Let me get this straight, pardon the inappropriate term. I have to run a gauntlet of your sexual fantasies to get out of here?"
"Actually, it's gantlet." Rodney corrected him from the overstuffed brown couch. It was missing one leg and listed to the side as Rodney squirmed. A white board behind him was covered in obscure mathematical jokes and an empty coffee pot sat on a hot plate off to the left. Glowing elephant prints ran along the ground towards a door under a marquee that flashed Girls! Girls! Girls! Then there were the mobiles of experimental aircraft. John figured those, and the marquee, were drawn from his own mind. Rodney laced his fingers over his knee. "You throw down a gauntlet. You run a gantlet. People get it wrong all the time."
John skipped the linguistics lesson, glaring at Rodney. "How many fantasies are we talking about?"
Rodney started to sweat. "Um. A few?"
John had known it was a bad idea from the get-go. Colonel Carter had seen fit to relax Elizabeth's restrictions on experimenting with non-lethal alien technology and, well, John didn't want to undercut his new boss. Also, he didn't want to explain that he and Rodney were the main reasons for the rules.
So it was just like the old days when Rodney peered into his office holding up two metal circlets with flashing colored lights, a gleeful grin on his face. "You know, I think I found the Ancients' version of a holodeck."
A stack of paperwork filled John's in-box. He had just been contemplating the fact that even SGC forms didn't apply to Atlantis situations. He eagerly shoved away from his desk. "Get me out of here."
It was a blast, even if they did get dragged along for each other's fantasies. Rodney's dream of being a guest on a late night talk show discussing his Nobel prize—and since when did blonde co-eds ask breathless questions about physics?— had been indescribably boring. But John livened it up by heckling him from the audience, and then got him back with his fantasy of being a test pilot. Flying the SR-71 Blackbird, the fastest aircraft in the world. Rodney had wiggled away so fast it looked like he had six legs.
Of course, it wasn't really a holodeck. The Ancients had never been that much fun.
Rodney clearly resented the fact that John was the first one to figure out it was actually some kind of an experiment. But hey. Mobiles of experimental aircraft? A perfect replica of Rodney's T.A. lounge from an experimental new program at Northwestern? Rodney just missed the obvious. Which made the next part, with the flashing Girls! Girls! Girls! marquee John had last seen in Frankfort before shipping out to Kandahar, even more obvious. Which could have been interesting, except....
"Chaya," John had said aloud, quiet and hopeful.
The voice that answered sounded like the computer from Star Trek. "Subject is unavailable."
"Carter?" Rodney offered next.
"Subject is unavailable."
They looked around Rodney's T.A. lounge in confusion.
"Perhaps a control on the experiment?" Rodney suggested. John tipped his head at him. "I don't know! What would I know about an experiment from 10,000 years ago?"
"It's probably just as well. There some things that a guy just doesn't want to share," John said, trying to be philosophical about his disappointment.
"It figures you're still having fantasies about Ms. Ancient."
"I only wish I could have shown her what corporeal sex is like, that's all. A little refresher."
Rodney snorted and looked around. "Hmph. If Ancient science is anything like Earth science, this is nothing more than a prurient excuse for grad students to watch people have sex."
"Yeah, well, I'm just grateful I don't have to watch you do my new boss, that's all I can say." John squelched a frightening thread of curiosity about Rodney, because, no. "Guess this part of the fantasy machine is going nowhere if both parties have to be in the experiment."
Then Rodney gave him a decidedly guilty sideways glance. And swallowed.
John knew that swallow. It was Rodney's yes-I-did-initialize-the-self-destruct-on-the-Wraith-cruiser-with-you-still-on-board-please-don't-hurt-me! swallow.
"Uh. I may have had some, small—relatively minor, really—stray thoughts, um...." Rodney said, his gaze flicking around the room as if looking for an escape, hands together in a gesture that made him seem like a squirrel. There was only one door, the one with the flashing marquee over it. "Just random thoughts that come to mind, you know how it is. Under pressure."
Thinking off! and off, damn it! at the experiment didn't shut it down. It just made the elephant tracks, which John recognized from childhood trips to the zoo, flash brighter for a moment. Leading the way as they had from one scene to the next.
"It's an experiment. That means it has a starting point and an ending point," Rodney said. "Like a walk through the zoo."
"That might be too ... zoo-like. We could just wait till we're rescued," John suggested in a doubtful tone as he slumped into a chair. A small cloud of dust rose up around him. You couldn't fault the virtual environment's attention to detail.
The problem with that was, they hadn't told anyone what they were doing, a guilty holdover from when Elizabeth had forbidden them from "fooling around with Ancient technology" ever again. They'd been pretty sure one of the original crew would have objected (and spoiled their fun). John rubbed the back of his head.
They sat there staring at the floor a moment. The elephant tracks pulsed with their indecision.
Rodney took a breath. "Honestly? I don't want my life in Zelenka's hands again. The likelihood of his just randomly mashing on a keyboard and killing us both in the process is altogether too high."
They waited a little longer anyway.
Finally John pushed himself out of the chair. "I hate waiting."
The area went dark, the T.A. lounge fading around them as they passed through the doorway. The door arch vanished even before they crossed the threshold, the flashing marquee hovering in midair above them a moment longer, like the Cheshire cat's grin. Then it dissolved into wisps of light, and they were surrounded briefly by blue sky.
The blue resolved into the surface of a tiled swimming pool. Or rather, tiled Roman bath. Rodney recognized this fantasy. He was stretched out on his side on a chaise lounge, one leg folded over the other. A large platter of delicacies rested on the ground beside him, the purple and white Senator's robe slipping off his shoulder. He shoved it back up. The virtual environment was a little more detailed than his own imagination, even filling the air with humidity.
When Rodney considered the possible fantasies John might end up seeing, this one topped his list of worst-case scenarios. He could feel the heat of his blush as a bedraggled John was dragged in between two centurions. Clad in nothing but a loincloth. His arms tied in front.
One of the centurions saluted. "We have the Gaulish prisoner, Senator."
John swiveled to take in the rippling surface of the empty bath and the high domed structure, sardonic eyes returning to scope out Rodney in his chaise. "This is pretty detailed for a stray thought, Rodney."
Then the centurion to the right toppled forward with a grunt. Rodney only caught the end of John's roll as he swept the man's legs. John jumped the blade of the other soldier—it sliced the air—dove for his throat with his elbow, connecting with a thunk of flesh. As that one went down with a gurgling noise, John leapt on the first soldier, who'd made the mistake of getting back up, slamming the man's head to the tile floor. Twice. A blade clattered loose. The centurion's grip went slack and the man under John fell still. The other soldier rolled around on the ground, hands still clutching his throat. John calmly gripped the sword between his knees and sawed at his bonds.
He cut free. It took all of three minutes; five minutes, tops.
Breathing hard, John said, "Your guards suck at hand to hand." He crouched, giving a rather enticing view under that loincloth. He turned with the sword in a cautious circle. "Are there any more?"
"No, and in their defense, they've never had to fight before." Rodney's fantasy life didn't take into account the fact that John was a Lt. Colonel who'd dropped out of Air Force Special Operations Command, not to mention a combat veteran.
John straightened. And then his shoulders hunched on a laugh as he took another look around. His smile spread. "Nice digs, Rodney. I think I saw this set in Debbie Does Rome."
"That's Debbie Does Dallas, you moron, and no doubt your sex life is distressingly vanilla." The best defense was a good offense. Rodney raised his chin, even as his eyes skipped around John's body to take in detail his fantasies never provided. A rounder ass than he'd expected. The pulse of muscle on the back of his thigh. A surprisingly long torso, almost out of balance with his legs. Those still very attractive hazel eyes that shone with the certain light that men got when the subject was sex.
"Vanilla? What—you mean boring?" John said, his confusion proving Rodney's point. "I've never had any complaints."
"You may pick up some handy tips while you're in here."
"Sure. Next time I want to seduce Cleopatra, I'll keep this in mind."
It was worse than having someone go through his porn collection. At least then he wouldn't have to take responsibility for the production values.
John set down the sword and dusted off his hands on his thighs, looking away from Rodney as he took in his skimpy outfit. Such as it was. "So. Where to?"
Rodney gave a disgusted snort and twitched the robe back onto his shoulder. "You mean which fantasy of mine you can shoot down next? I have no idea. This should have faded already."
Their eyes met as they both understood in the same moment.
Rodney had thought, okay hoped, that he'd gotten off the hook when John derailed this sex game, although a niggling doubt had remained in the back of his mind. He'd already picked up on the internal rules of this virtual environment, the same way he always had an instinctive feel for Ancient tech, and he'd known better. All the career fantasies they had played out to the end.
"You said I've never taken out the guards."
"This wasn't the script," John said, lips parted as he looked up at the ceiling.
"Oh." Rodney thought he might hyperventilate, that's what happened to him in moments of heightened stress, and extreme embarrassment definitely counted as stress. "We, um. We should—we should wait for Zelenka to find us."
John gave him a hooded glance. Then nodded. "I think that's a good idea."
John made an unnecessary splash as he dove into the pool, stroking at high speed. He kicked the back of the wall and flipped over to do a backstroke on the return. Rodney thumbed his way through the finger food.
It was hard to tell night from day because the light remained constant. Rodney's fantasy took place in daylight. But they used Rodney's upper draping robe as a sheet and took turns napping, curled on the too-small lounge.
They polished off the last of the finger foods, John daringly swallowing what Rodney had decided were pickled peacock tongues. The face he made told Rodney he'd been wise not to try them.
John sat on the edge of the pool and paddled his feet in the water. Rodney cleaned his nails.
Finally, John jerked around to Rodney. "Okay. How bad can it be?"
But John had obviously made his decision because the scene rippled as if the whole world were made of water. Rodney found himself laying on the lounge again as the centurions dragged in John. "We have the Gaulish prisoner, Senator."
John asked, "Gaulish?"
Rodney said, "What? You look French."
Then the shorter guard stripped off John's loincloth in one sharp motion, and John said, "Whoa. Steady there."
He rocked backward in their arms, bare feet trying to push away, although not breaking their grip. Rodney wondered if this was like the Borg, and the centurions could adjust for what happened the last time. He hoped not.
"What's in this fantasy?" John asked, voice rising in desperation. "Tell me now."
Rodney said from behind his hand, "Double penetration. From the front and behind."
"Jesus," John said as one centurion lined up behind him, forcing John to his knees. The other lifted the leather skirt of his uniform, exposing a very large, very hard, shaved cock. Porn star quality.
John held off the guy in front with both palms grasping his hips. "Say I bite his dick off. What then?"
"We're back to square one?" Rodney said weakly. "I had to fly in an SR-71, so stop complaining!"
"You have to admit that was way cool." But then John's ability to converse was cut off. Rodney shut his eyes on John's startled look, which was not at all like the moan he'd always pictured. Although he hadn't failed to notice John was hard. He still heard the wet-slick sounds of the oil as they worked John open, and John's swallowed gasp as the one behind him sank home.
Eyes squeezed shut, Rodney tried not to think thoughts like, John is awfully quiet when he has sex and, if I worked out more would I have abs like that?
The air shifted, the humidity vanished, and the light on the other side of his hand faded. Rodney let his arm drop and looked down to find the glowing elephant tracks pulsing below him again, like a cursor patiently waiting. The comforting darkness had returned. Next to him, John was back in uniform, although Rodney couldn't help picturing....
He glared at Rodney. His mouth was in that straight line that meant he was truly pissed. "Stray thought."
"Let me rephrase what I said earlier." John said it in that clipped voice that reminded Rodney of machine gun fire and missions where John grabbed him by the tac vest and flung him forward. He always hated that. "I have to go through a gauntlet of your kinky sex fantasies to get out of here."
"Um." Rodney opted not to correct him on gauntlet this time. It seemed the wisest course.
"How many are we talking about, Rodney?"
"Are we talking about one or two 'a few,' or are we talking closer to a hundred 'a few'?"
"A dozen? Or so? No more, I swear. That was the worst one." Rodney blinked rapidly as it occurred to him that being berated under the circumstances was utterly unfair. "And let me bring to your attention that I had no way of knowing this would happen."
"At least you get to have your 'dreams come true.'" Sheppard even made the air quotes.
"Actually, you pretty thoroughly ruined that fantasy. Even acting out the script that wasn't... it."
Sheppard waved a hand back the way they'd come in a sharp angry gesture. "That's because it was nothing like me!"
Rodney countered the wave with arms spread. "Yes, well, excuse me for exercising the freedom of imagination in my usually sacrosanct mind."
"It was nothing like me at all," John repeated.
"Yes. Of course not! I know nothing about your sex life! So I could make up whatever I wanted." Rodney huffed a sigh. "At least you don't have any fantasies about me that your best friend can pick through, never mind the fact that they're supposed to be private."
John's eyes widened. His chin tucked in as he straightened till he was almost at attention. Apparently he hadn't considered that possibility.
He took a sharp breath and said, his voice still tight, "We're not meant to know this shit about each other."
Rodney's shoulders slumped in agreement. "I just hope to survive with some tiny shred of my dignity intact."
"I hate to say it, Rodney, but I doubt there's much chance of that."
They followed the elephant tracks in peaceable silence for several moments. But Rodney wasn't one who could remain quiet for long.
"I have to hand it to you though," he confessed. "You took that a lot better than I would have expected."
There was no answer.
But John had disappeared.
A roaring sound surrounded John, pressing down on him as he covered his face with his arms, elbows out against a searing light, intense after the darkness. The noise slowly separated into individual voices in a very large crowd, boards warm and firm beneath his bare feet, the light resolving to daylight. John lowered his arms, and found them chained together. He looked down. He was wearing, oh how lovely, only a leather jockstrap. Rodney was nothing if not consistent.
He stood on a raised platform at chin level for the crowd around him. And speak of the devil, Rodney was forcing his way through the crowd like he was parting the red sea, in an embroidered tunic, hose, and a puffy white shirt. His wide blue eyes gave John the patented McKay please forgive me beseeching gaze, his mouth in a crooked and sheepish yes-I-know-I-let-go-and-tossed-your-nine-iron-into-the-ocean-I'm-so-sorry slant.
"What's with all the slave stuff, Rodney?"
Rodney responded with a cringing grin.
John rolled his eyes to the sky as the auction began.
The auctioneer was a lanky Italian-looking guy in a white shirt, an oily rim around the collar. He seemed to have a permanent leer. He held up a pointer, the kind you used for presentations and said in deep voice as he pointed at John's calves, "The standard price begins at 25, but I ask you to look again.
"These are firm, muscular legs. Obviously a runner." The guy manhandled John to spin him around. "Broad back." John felt the pointer stroke down places that he was suddenly hyper-aware were bare. "And there's more curve to these cheeks than you'd expect." He was spun forward again. "The arms display wiry strength, slim, with well-defined biceps and veins in the forearms.
"Nice, broad nips."
Nips? John thought with an inward blink.
"Impressive abs. Hirsute, with the five o'clock shadow and wild hair giving him a rough-edged masculine charm." The guy continued, "Now he is a little bony at the wrists...."
"But this only serves to compliment his overall angular lines, the well-defined cheekbones..." The pointer rose to his chin, and John jolted back to not get poked in the eye. "...Pointed ears, strong chin, prominent Adam's apple. The surprisingly soft mouth." John cracked his neck, trying not to pay attention to all this. "Not to mention the truly striking hazel eyes. An altogether handsome specimen."
John shifted in discomfort, casting a quick shifty glance at Rodney, who was pinching the bridge of his nose like he had a headache that might just kill him.
Gee, Rodney. Thanks. John's eyelashes fluttered as he looked away. He struggled not to puff out his chest.
The pointer lowered to the jock strap. "We won't show you here," the guy gave a broad stage wink, "but the package promises not to disappoint."
John choked. There was an embarrassed groan from the front row that sounded an awful lot like Rodney.
"So where should we start the bidding? Thirty? Forty?"
"I offer fifty ducats," Rodney called out.
"Ducats?" John asked, giving him a funny look, both amused and weirded out.
"Shut up. I like Shakespeare."
The auctioneer stuck the pointer in the air. "We have fifty ducats! Do we have fifty-five?"
Predictably, Rodney won the bidding—at an impressive hundred and fifty "ducats." John was led off the platform and down the side steps, passing resentful glances from the disappointed milling crowd. Then his chain was handed over to Rodney, John giving him a sarcastic tilt of his head. "You mind unchaining me?" He held out his wrists.
"Um. Okay. Here's the thing. There's one other part. This is the point where you're ... grateful."
Uh-oh. There was that swallow again. "Grateful."
"Really grateful." Rodney pressed gently down on John's shoulder. So John knelt, slowly, with a suspicious look up through his eyelashes. This had better not be what he thought it was.
Oh yes, Rodney fumbled with his laces at his belt line, his hands shaky.
"In front of all these people?" John said, mouth falling open, forehead rumpled, appalled.
"Oh, god yes," Rodney said breathlessly, head tipped back.
He tugged the hose down a few inches, moving with urgency. John raised his eyebrows. He was definitely hard. Thick at the head and narrower at the... he really ought not to know this.
Then the scene went fuzzy, like a bad television signal, between one wide-eyed blink and the next. John found himself standing on the elephant tracks, fully dressed. Next to a fully dressed Rodney.
Who coughed into his fist, eyes on the ground. "I never last very long with that fantasy."
"Too much informa—you know what? Never mind. This whole situation defines too much information."
Frowning, John walked a few steps ahead of Rodney, disturbed, he had to admit, by the whole slave auction thing. Granted, he could understand objectifying someone. And people in his fantasies didn't wear much either (in fact, they usually wore less). But what he really wanted to know was why Rodney felt a need to humiliate and dominate him. It bothered him a bit.
Ten feet ahead the elephant prints suddenly ended, cut off through the middle of one print. John glanced back at Rodney, who shrugged, eyebrows flicking up.
John decided to take point, though it was crazy to do so unarmed; regardless he wasn't letting Rodney go first. He found himself pressed against what felt like a bubble. For a brief moment he entertained the hope that this meant they'd found a way out.
Then he broke through, enveloped in warmth, soft air blowing his hair. It reminded him of patrols in the desert in the early evening when the heat of day rose from the ground. He felt the world spin around him and could almost picture his weapon as a loose comfort on his arm.
The air tickling his bare chest gave him the first hint that he wasn't in uniform anymore. John opened his eyes, surprised that he'd closed them. The room he stood in was draped in gold cloth, two enormous braziers flickering to either side of him in a clear fire hazard. Odd mismatched white columns, twisted like rope, rose to nowhere. There were half a dozen men in colorful silk robes straight of Lawrence of Arabia, with oversized jeweled necklaces, lounging on cushions on the other side, laughing and being served liquor in horn-shaped cups. A banquet was spread out on red cloth. Rodney stretched like a cat on the central cushion, his skin pale compared to the other men. He raised his drinking horn to John with a smirk. Oh, John recognized this scene.
"Only a total geek has fantasies based on Star Trek episodes, Rodney," John complained. He looked down at the harem pants he was wearing, which were open on both sides. To the waist. "And I can't believe you cast me in the role of the Orion slave girl."
Rodney raised a finger, sweeping the air with it as if he had a commanding point. "Ah, but only a total geek would know specifically that she was an Orion slave girl."
"At least I'm not green," John grumbled, noting that Rodney had taken some liberties with the outfit too. Not that he wanted to wear an animal skin miniskirt, mind. He shifted one of the gold armbands that clasped his biceps. He turned at the sound of cymbals. Behind him a cluster of musicians crouched on the floor.
Then Star Trek's really cheesy the-captain's-being-tempted-again music began. "Oh, you've got to be kidding me. Couldn't you come up with your own soundtrack?"
Rodney simply beamed at him.
"I'm not dancing for you." Although apparently they weren't getting out of there until he danced.
John did the Mashed Potato, figuring it would annoy Rodney.
On cue, Rodney strode from the room, his robes billowing behind him. The wind of his passage caused the torches to flicker as he passed. He was completely unsurprised to cross through the arched doorways and find John already in his bedroom, still in his Orion slave outfit, his arms chained prettily above his head. That flex really showed off his triceps.
"Sometimes I have my Orion slave taken to my rooms, for pleasing or displeasing me, it's a little fuzzy and varies quite a bit," Rodney said wiggling his hand.
His implements were spread out on the familiar four-poster bed, displayed against the red velvet bedspread. He selected a deerskin flogger, swinging the tails in a skillful figure eight, sensual and smooth, fanning the air. He watched in the full-length mirror across the room. Beautiful.
In real life of course, the tails would tangle infuriatingly. He'd owned one once and gave it up as a lost cause. But here, in his fantasy? He was always a master, unerring and accurate. He could make them caress. He could make them sting. He could correct himself mid-swing and tease John's eager bottom with the barest swish of a breeze, making him whimper and pout with frustration.
"Jesus, Rodney. What did I do to you?"
John's nasal tone interrupted his reverie. Rodney blinked up to find John watching the whip, not him, and not with his usual (well, imaginary) fascination. Rodney rifled through his mental list of John's admittedly limited repertoire of expressions, and recognized this one from all the times he was on the verge of being tortured. Stoic, chin up, eyes dilated with the fear he couldn't hide.
"What? No, this isn't—this is hot," Rodney explained.
John's gaze lifted to Rodney's face, lips parted, brows drawn together in a frown of disbelief. His eyes flicked down to the flogger and back up again. He chewed his lower lip.
"Oh, for Pete's sake." Rodney sighed heavily.
He was not up for a theoretical explanation of inherent loving nature of sadomasochism, how the bottom was truly in control, blah blah blah, because really? In his experience, you had to try it to understand anyway. He'd been a bottom first and knew how the top had been completely dedicated to wringing pleasure out of him. He'd just found that he enjoyed being at the controls and pushing all those sexual buttons. Rodney unceremoniously tossed the flogger to the bed and crossed the room. He stretched up with a small grunt, unchaining John from the ceiling.
"I can't believe you're going to destroy this fantasy, too."
John circled a palm around one wrist, rubbing where the manacles had been, eyeing him suspiciously. "I thought we have to play by the rules."
Rodney snapped, "I told you already, this one has variations."
"Did the others have variations?"
John raised his eyebrows as he followed Rodney over to where he sat on the bed. Rodney patted his lap.
"Not ones you want to know about. But in the interest of full disclosure..." Rodney took a breath and admitted, "...sometimes you are green."
John quirked a smile at him. "I don't think green's my color."
"Actually, it's quite fetching on you."
"But don't you think it'll overwhelm my 'truly striking eyes'?" John teased.
Rodney winced, feeling his face heat. Unfortunately, he had fair skin and blushed rather easily. If this fantasy experiment didn't include automatic memory erasure he was going to insist on a signed non-disclosure agreement once they escaped. "You're already making me regret feeding your rampant vanity."
"Who kneeled for who, McKay?"
John hovered out of reach, glancing at Rodney's lap out of the corner of his eye. Clearly he understood what he was supposed to do and was just stalling. Rodney leaned up and grabbed his hips, dragging John over. Pliable if hesitant, John draped himself across Rodney's lap.
Rodney was going to have to go slow here. He stroked circles over the thin fabric covering John's firm, cool ass. Through the fabric John's skin warmed under his touch. "Although something's been bothering me," Rodney said. John looked over his shoulder, curious and wary. "I can't help but notice that you've never said a word of complaint about what the, ah, 'centurions' did."
John shot back, "And all your fantasies are strikingly gay, Rodney."
"So. Shall we both consider ourselves officially outed then?"
John said, "I was never fooled."
Rodney stroked circles around John's ass, and then moved to pull his pants down -- and John lifted up in alarm.
"Okay, okay, clothes stay on."
"That's a variation?"
"Very, very rarely."
And Rodney gave John a swat on the ass.
"We'll build up to it," Rodney said as he stroked the abused spot. Then swatted him on the other cheek. John jolted in surprise. "This would be much easier with your pants down."
John said into the bedspread, "Forget it, McKay."
Rodney gave him a few more hard slaps for mouthing off, and John squirmed in his lap.
That's when Rodney changed his mind about John spoiling his fantasies. This was far, far better, having John's genuine, unpredictable responses. Thrashing away from his hand, then unexpectedly steeling himself to take it.
He built up to stinging hard slaps until John couldn't hold still, trying to edge off his lap to get away. Rodney grabbed his shoulder and kept sending them home in an uneven pattern, switching cheeks and occasionally shifting to the sensitive back of John's thigh as John's breathing grew deeper. His fingers dug into the bedspread, gathering it towards him in his fists.
Then Rodney picked up the pace, hard, rhythmic and bruising. His teeth gritted in a smile as his hand heated up under the abuse.
Finally John said, "Augh! Enough, man!"
He rolled and pushed himself up off of Rodney's lap. But Rodney could see, had known, that John was half-hard.
"Jesus Christ," John said, turning around.
He stalked to the full-length mirror and peeled the fabric of his harem pants aside, tugged at the side slit until it showed the globe of one cheek. Bright red skin all over, finger marks fanning out. Rodney regarded him with pleasure. It was fine handiwork if he didn't say so himself.
John stared at his ass in disbelief, bent around to take in the red skin and clear handprints. He needed physical evidence of just why his ass burned. The mirror wavered in front of his eyes and became as insubstantial as a ghost or mirage, till he could walk right through it. He found himself back in uniform, standing on the elephant tracks. Although that had been no mirage. His ass still hurt.
He walked straight ahead along the elephant prints and didn't look back. Rodney could find his way on his own.
It took only a few steps before he was hit with a wave of disorientation, like he'd missed a rung on a ladder. Catching himself with his left hand, he found himself braced against a bookcase. And for once, John had a shirt on in one of Rodney's fantasies. At this point, it was a damned relief to not be chilly from his neck to his waist.
He was holding in his right hand... a feather duster. He turned it over, bewildered, wondering if Rodney did feather tickling or something.
Then he heard Rodney's voice off to the side and a little behind him. "Oh. I'd completely forgotten about this one."
John looked down, because he could feel a draught teasing the hair on his legs. And of all things, he's wearing a little girl's dress straight out of Alice In Wonderland. Only much, much shorter.
"You don't fail at variety," John said on a laugh, shaking his head. He took a look around, amusement quirking the corner of his mouth.
The room was very British-y, small and intimate. The walls were paneled in cherry wood with built-in bookcases that went almost all the way up to meet a high ceiling, which was also paneled. There was one of those attached rolling ladders you saw sometimes in bookstores. There were no windows but there was big fireplace on the right with an ornate mantle, on it a clock with an antique gold face and Roman numerals softly ticking. An oriental rug took up most of the floor. A rose-colored loveseat sat on little curled feet across from a large white wingback chair by the fireplace, with several tables and softly lit lamps around it. Paired electric lights—and wasn't it nice to be out of the Middle Ages—stuck out from wall sconces. In spaces that weren't covered in bookshelves there were old fashioned portraits, and a few mirrors, while every available space was filled with dust-gathering clutter: candles, a ship in a bottle on a long table, which John eyed with appreciation, a globe, a brass astrolabe. That could explain the feather duster.
It was definitely cozy.
John tugged uselessly at the flounced skirt, but it didn't seem to have any stretch and bounced back up.
Rodney cleared his throat behind him. He sat in a second wingback chair, legs crossed, his fingers folded together, chin high. And this was the first outfit that actually suited him. He wore a nineteenth century shirt with a standup collar, an embroidered vest, and a comfortable looking jacket over it all. There was a platter of crackers and cheese on the table next to him.
"You know, I normally picture you with less hair," Rodney mused, rubbing his chin.
"Mmm?" John followed his gaze and glanced down at his hairy legs. "What you see is what you get on Fantasy Island. I guess you can't change the person, just what they're wearing."
John pointed with the feather duster. "Which means I'll never be green."
"Sadly, it seems so." Rodney motioned him over, curiously confident in these surroundings. "You'll like this next part. It involves snacks."
So Rodney's big fantasy this time involved John bending over, holding the platter of cheeses, while Rodney fed them to him. John bit his fingers only once, and not as hard as he wanted to. On the other hand, John had always liked Gouda. But Rodney kept looking past John's shoulder as he fed him each morsel.
Still chewing, John said, "There's a mirror behind me, isn't there?"
"Shh. You're not supposed to know that." Rodney smiled, still looking over his shoulder.
Then John was assigned a series of tasks that were as silly as they were unreasonable. He was handed a stack of books to reshelve for Rodney. Oh. They were all on the top shelves. John would have to use the ladder. They rolled it around.
As he stuffed the books in the proper places, or near enough, John caught an eager, cheerfully bright-eyed Rodney looking up. "I'll hold the ladder for you," Rodney said.
Could he dust while he was up there? No, not the books, that upper corner where it's hard to reach. Dreadful cobwebs. John had to balance on one leg as he stretched, the skirt riding up as far as it could go. And Rodney was always right there below to "help."
"You want to get on the ladder?" John said.
"Oh, no, you're doing just fine," Rodney said.
Could he dust the baseboards? No, crouching was unladylike, so John had to bend over to do them, Rodney hovering close in the background. Supervising, he said. John was doing a great job.
"I don't know about you, but this creeps me out more than the slave auction," John said, straightening as Rodney came up behind him. He pressed John against a bookshelf, books sliding deeper.
Rodney said, his breath hot on the back of John's neck, arms braced around him, "How do you think this one normally ends?"
John rolled his eyes. "I can only guess." Then he got the point. "Don't you have any normal sex fantasies?"
Rodney ran his hand over John's—yes, ruffled—panties. After the last half hour Rodney should know them better than John did.
"Should I act shocked?" John said with a glance over his shoulder.
Rodney grinned. "Ideally."
So John reached back and grabbed his hand, stopping him.
Rodney's breath hissed through his teeth. "Shocked. Not breaking my fingers."
"Unhand me, sir," John said, insincerely, as he let go.
Then he felt the soft slide of Rodney's dick prodding against the back of his leg. Rodney kissed the back of his neck, arms slipping under and lifting the skirt.
"I thought I wasn't that kind of girl," John said.
"Fortunately for me you're very, very naughty."
John asked more seriously as Rodney began tugging the panties down, "Uh. How far does this one usually go?"
Rodney told him, "Press your legs together. Like you're trying to... prevent me." The panties were halfway down his thighs. He reached around and grabbed John's cock and started stroking, pushing himself between the tight space of John's legs.
It was hard work to keep it tight, but Rodney's chin lifted up and he audibly swallowed, just behind John's ear. He kept up that steady stroking, his hand just a little shaky. And for John, it was just on the edge of good and moving towards great—and then Rodney came, making a mess all over the books.
John glanced down and was just about to make a joke about needing to tell the maid, when the scene around them faded. Right before John was able to come.
John couldn't believe it. They were back in their uniforms at another set of elephant tracks. Rodney stood there, bent over, hands on his knees, trying to recover his breath.
Shaking his head in total frustration and disgust, John said, "You are damned selfish, you know that? Even in your head."
Rodney said, gasping, "Sorry... usually... my fantasies aren't around to complain afterward."
With a final shake of his head, John strode forward, leaving Rodney behind.
"Hey, wait up...."
He'd left Rodney in the dust by the time he noticed a change. While the surroundings were the same—featureless, dark—John just happened to step on one of the elephant prints... and it felt different. Mossy. He stepped on it again, bouncing a little, and frowned. The next footprint led him a step lower. Then lower. John caught the scent of mold, and then his foot hit what felt like bedrock. And he couldn't go a step further.
Given Rodney's last words, the scene that opened up around John was ironic. He couldn't move. Because his ankles were locked in, not just ordinary chains, but a bar that held his legs spread apart. His hands curled into fists where his wrists were clamped in manacles attached to a cold stone wall. Oh yeah, and he was stark naked, just to cap it off.
By the time Rodney showed up dressed up in some kind of monk's outfit, John's frustration had graduated to being seriously pissed.
"You'd better finish the job this time," John growled.
"Yes, the threat is so compelling with you chained to a wall."
The place was a garden-variety medieval dungeon, only so much worse, what with being chained to a wall and all.
"You've got a lot of kinks, Rodney." John rattled the manacles, to test how firmly they were attached. Yep, solid.
"Hmm, not really," Rodney said. "Just one, with various permutations on a theme."
John sighed. His butt and shoulders were cold where they pressed against stone, and he was unnerved by the way Rodney's eyes swept him from head to toe. No matter how many years John had been in the armed forces, he was never fully comfortable being naked in front of people. He struggled, but then realized that even if he broke free, there was still only one way out of this.
"Get on with it, Rodney."
"Yes," Rodney said, irritatingly cheerful.
He reached down to stroke John hard, but John could have told him that wouldn't work. Not under these conditions. John turned his face away to the wall and didn't respond. Anywhere.
After several painful minutes of nothing, John moved his hips backward so that Rodney let him go. John explained, "It's cold in here."
Rodney huffed a sigh, mouth slanting in a disappointed line. Like it was John's fault nothing was happening here. "You're supposed to come."
"Well, I kind of don't like being tied up and helpless," John said, making a face. He gave Rodney a pointed glare, eyes narrowed. "You might have noticed that on missions."
"Oh. I always thought you looked really...." Rodney trailed off, looking up before he said anything truly damning, but John got the point. "Okay, we have a problem."
"Not to give away the punchline or anything, but in this fantasy you're supposed to be an unwilling victim, forced to come."
"Yeah, see, the whole 'victim' thing doesn't do anything for me." John tried to put into the bite of his tone just how little it did for him.
Rodney studied him a moment, and then knelt down and stroked John's bare calves, the tickle of his hands running through hair. John's breath hissed through his teeth when Rodney glided his fingers along the back of his knees.
"Ticklish?" Rodney murmured.
Rodney ran his palms over John's knobby knees, less sensitive where the skin was coarse. John's eyebrows raised in self-effacing humor when Rodney found the bare patch on the inside of his thighs.
"Mmm," Rodney began. "You have nice skin. I didn't realize that, though I should have. You really don't look 40."
Rodney explored the insides of his thighs, and John clenched, but the spreader bar kept his legs apart.
"I eat my vegetables." John's voice sounded a little high to himself for that to seem completely casual. But Rodney had reached his hips.
"And plenty of frui—okay, now, just a damned minute," John complained, because Rodney had reached down and cupped both of his cheeks.
Rodney massaged them. "Mmm?"
"That's private territory," John told him through gritted teeth. They were face to face at this point.
"Ass shy?" Rodney asked.
"Pretty much everything shy," John admitted. Fortunately, Rodney had listened and was just absently stroking his sides, thumbs working their way up his chest. "Look. There's nothing you can do to make this work for me."
Rodney got to his knees, tucking his robes around him.
"Okaaay," John corrected himself, looking down and leaning away from the wall to watch as Rodney swallowed him down, head tipped sideways, eyes shut, mouth working around his cock. Then he drew back, and those clear, round blue eyes looked up at John. He dipped back down.
"Make that almost nothing."
"I'm seeing the upside to doing this in virtual reality," Rodney commented, smirking and looking very pleased with himself. They were back in uniform, walking along the elephant prints, John carrying his P-90 now, and wearing his favorite sunglasses.
"Yeah?" John said. He ran his hand through his hair, still dazed.
"No more messy clean up." Rodney held out both hands. "It's better than baby wipes."
"Oh yeah, I used to have those."
"I dated a co-ed who worked as nanny during grad school. She always had some around," Rodney continued. "They're soft, just the right amount of wetness, no chemicals to dry out tender skin—"
"They smell good," John added. It was an important point.
Rodney raised a forefinger, bobbing his head in agreement. "Nothing's topped baby wipes until now."
"My hair's not even sweaty," John noted.
"Think what this could do for quickies."
John hummed agreement, and hefted the P-90.
"So," Rodney said, eyes alight. "Better?" Relaxed and easy, John rolled his shoulders. He laughed. "Yeah. You kidding?"
"Then what's with the armaments?" Rodney waved to the gun.
"Oh." John raised the weapon to his shoulder. "At this point I'm kind of worried that your next fantasy might involve a morning star and some spears."
Rodney said, "Oh, no. I'm not a violent man. I have only a couple fantasies that involve even the slightest bit of danger—"
Fortunately, John already had his weapon raised when they stepped into the Hive ship. Not that it did him much good.
Rodney padded down the honeycomb passageways of the Hive, stepping over the unconscious body of two drones. Around him, lights flashed red in regular intervals, the siren counting down the self-destruct. Fortunately, he knew exactly where to find John.
Sure enough, John was fitfully struggling in a Wraith cocoon, only his face visible. His lips parted as he saw Rodney.
"Oh god, don't tell me you've eroticized this," John said, making a face and struggling harder to get free.
Rodney cupped John's face and kissed him, while John was helpless and trapped in the cocoon.
John's breath huffed against his face, in his ear, but he tilted into it. And then he said, breaking away, "You'd better have a plan for getting us out of here."
With a flourish, Rodney raised one of Ronon's knives and cut him free. The hard tissue of the cocoon fiber melted away around it, like the knife was heated, and then it cut as easy as spider web as the Wraith ship pooled and dissolved at their feet.
The Wraith ship drained away in a shimmer, leaving nothing but John and Rodney facing each other on the glowing elephant tracks.
"I remember that mission," John said.
"Sometimes I just, um, edit reality. Just a little bit," Rodney admitted with a blush.
John hung his head. "Yeah, I do that."
And Rodney was red-faced, somehow more embarrassed by this than any of the kinky stuff. John got that. It had hit closer to home for him, too.
He joked, "You're raising my expectations for my next rescue, you know. I'm expecting full service now."
"Yes, yes. Staggering feats of intellectual derring-do. Seduce the commanding officer. These two aren't even remotely incompatible."
John smiled at him. And then observed, "The timing of that fantasy was way too coincidental. It looks like you can control which ones appear."
"Mm. I think control might be exaggerating the case. Influence is the better term. But there does appear to be an element of suggestion."
Rodney opened his mouth to say more—but was distracted by a flashing strobe light.
"Oh, no fair. We weren't even walking this time!" Rodney was saying, as John looked around the room filled with a flashing white strobe light. He was laying flat on a table in some kind of lab, very simple, like what you'd expect for a cartoon villain.
He was wearing tights, a mask, a red, green and yellow button-down tunic, and a belt with a bat on it. And—oh great, not again—he's strapped to a table, with a cheesy laser beam moving slowly towards him. That was the source of the strobe effect. He's dressed up as fucking Robin from Batman.
"Oh, I am so not Robin," John said.
Rodney was in a dark cape, the full Batman outfit just a little too loose on him. He pulled down oversized levers, one after another, as he said, "I'm the brains, you're the pretty boy toy—of course you're Robin."
Then he pulled one lever entirely out, with a giant spring attached.
They stared at each other a moment.
"Cut me free!" John said, pumping his fists in the leather cuffs.
The table swung on a pivot with his motion, but John had only managed to edge himself closer to the laser.
"I survive this fantasy, right? Because this is entirely too much like our real lives!" John paused, squinting at nothing. "And I can't tell you how weird it is to say that."
"Hang on, hang on!" Rodney shouted, grabbing—of course—the Big Red Lever. Why hadn't Rodney pulled that one in the first place?
The whole machine shut down.
Rodney turned with a big grin. "And now, you can't wait to get back to my mansion, although sometimes the Batmobile is good enough—"
But John had vanished.
John woke in the infirmary, blinking slowly as he stirred.
Zelenka was holding up the circlet with the blinking colored lights. John lifted his hand to his head. The one he'd been wearing was gone.
"Ah. It didn't believe it would be this easy."
On another infirmary bed, Rodney snoozed, circlet still around his head, mouth open. Somehow, he looked very different to John now.
"Well," Keller cringed, wrinkling her nose. "I wouldn't have just yanked it off like that. I would have been more worried about brain damage. We have no idea what these things were doing to them. But..." She shrugged. "...I guess no harm, no foul."
"Ah, Colonel," Zelenka said. "You're awake."
"Yeah." John rubbed his face, sitting up. "How long have I been out?"
"We have no idea," Zelenka said. "We brought you here when you were discovered unconscious in Rodney's lab about an hour ago."
"It's only been an hour?"
"No, that's when we found you."
John snatched the circlet back from Zelenka, who really needed to develop a better grip.
Zelenka and Keller grabbed his arm, trying to stop him from putting it back on. "No, wait!"
"I left Rodney in a dicey situation back there," John said. It was mostly the truth. "I'm going back in."
Rodney stood in a dark space, alone, with no elephant prints. So those had definitely been from John's mind. The fact that they weren't there meant that John was no longer in the virtual environment. Rodney started to fret. Why had he been left behind?
Then a circuit board pattern appeared on the floor, like tiny little parallel tracks, directing him.
Ah. A symbol he could relate to.
Rodney followed it. He lifted his face to the faint touch of wind on his face. He looked up at the sound of a seagull overhead and blinked into bright light, breathing sea air.
Rodney found himself under crisp white sheets in a comfortable bed, a row of window panes off to his right overlooking an expanse of blue ocean. The room rocked with the motion of water, although it appeared from the wake outside the window that they were going at a fair clip. The cabin was lined with bookshelves with a laminated bracing board across them, to keep them from flying off, Rodney presumed. The furniture otherwise was civilized and Victorian, a small table occupying the center of the room, a pleasant if threadbare rug, and two chairs off to the sides, as if the usual occupant preferred to stand rather than sit.
Rodney sat up. He was wearing a linen nightshirt that came to his knees—nothing on underneath—with a pair of wire rim glasses on his nose.
The door to the cabin swung open wide, and Sheppard stood in the doorway, leaning both elbows on either side of the doorjamb, beaming. He was dressed in a Royal British Naval officer's uniform with his long dark hair tied back in a queue under his hat, hazel eyes more green today, sparkling.
He dropped his hand to rest his hand on his sword as he stepped in, looking around as he breathed a sigh. "Now this is more like me."
He unstrapped his sword and set it aside on one of the chairs.
"I'm wearing glasses," Rodney sniped, annoyed.
"They suit you."
"And I'm dressed like Ebenezer Scrooge." Rodney scowled.
"We can do something about that." John's smile widened as he doffed his captain's hat and stripped off his jacket. "I've always thought you'd make a good companion for a long sea voyage."
In a shirt and trousers he climbed on top of Rodney, not letting Rodney out of the nightshirt.
Rodney reached up and pulled the leather thong that held back his queue, releasing a tumble of wild, dark hair. "Now you look like a pirate."
John laughed. "I'm never the bad guy." And kicked off his boots. "We'd better make use of the time while the good weather lasts. If I remember, pretty soon we encounter a storm off of Cape Horn." He waggled his eyebrows at Rodney and lowered his voice. "You'll be in mortal peril."
"Oh no." Rodney's face fell as he got it. He'd read Two Years Before The Mast, after all. It was one John's favorite books. "I fall overboard, don't I?"
"Don't worry. I save you. Every time," John smirked.
Rodney supposed it was as close to an admission he'd ever get.
Then John added, wagging a finger. "Oh! And I like the way you cling, so be sure to do that."
"I am not Fay Wray," Rodney said, but he obligingly pulled the nightshirt over his head, feeling vulnerable doing this with presumably a full crew on board. He wondered if John had a penchant for dangerous near-public sex. He wouldn't put it past him. John sat back on his knees and untied his neckerchief, pouting as the knot proved difficult.
"Here." And Rodney managed it for him.
In short order they were gloriously nude between the sheets in broad daylight. Rodney broke free of a deep kiss and John let it trail in growling nibbles down his neck. Rodney noted absently, the thought just occurring to him, "There is no end to the fantasies, is there?"
"Mmm." John nodded against the curve of his shoulder, following it with a light nip. "I suspect that's what the Ancients learned in their study. Their subjects can't get out on their own." He nuzzled at Rodney's chest. "But don't worry. I have it on good authority that Zelenka already knows how to turn this off." He billowed the sheet over their heads. "So let's take advantage of the amenities while we can."