Surprise, it’s not an icon! I started writing this when you posted your wish list … which was only about what, seven weeks ago? At least it’s forty-seven times longer than the last thing I posted …
Length: ~ 4800 words
Many thanks to thegrrrl2002 for all her help and encouragement, and to spela for blitzkrieg beta! *hearts*
It Takes Two
Rodney fairly bounced down the corridor, stealth not being an issue when he had scored so magnificently that he was actually hoping to run into somebody, anybody really, to witness the occasion.
His elation vanished when the second thing he saw after Norina opened the door to her room (the first having been her décolletage) was a very familiar Lieutenant Colonel.
To be fair, said individual looked every bit as stunned as Rodney felt.
They’d all been invited to the new settlement to see how the generous, if not quite voluntary donors of their new space-ship were faring on what they’d named New Taranis. While they weren’t the most imaginative people, those that had survived were mostly skilled and had managed to make a new home in the culled towns of one of the planet Lorne’s team had found to be safe and quite deserted.
Elizabeth had already left, the scientists staying behind for another day to help with the setting up of a few new systems, accompanied by a skeleton military crew because they had become rather cautious.
Over-cautious in this case, an opinion Rodney had voiced repeatedly in the vicinity of Atlantis’ military commander, who had cheerfully ignored him, winked at Norina and generally been under his heels.
It had taken a crisis requiring some sort of physical derring-do and involving saving little children from a ravenous bugblatter beast or something equally Sheppardesque, to get rid of him. Then Norina, who’d previously shown an alarming tendency to pick up more of the colonel’s brand of “humour” than of Rodney’s wisdom, had invited Rodney to come to her rooms later that night. The hot blonde from another planet had asked him out, had actually made a date with him!
At least Rodney had thought so at the time.
“You! She. What … he?”
Norina smiled (she did that a lot), pulled Rodney inside and closed the door.
“I’m so glad you could both make it. Please, take a seat, help yourself to same magini.”
Her quarters were sparsely furnished, just two large, padded benches, chairs, shelves and a table covered with food and drink. At least Sheppard would be useful as Rodney’s personal food-taster.
As Norina turned to light some quaint candle-lamp-contraption framing the window, Rodney hissed “What are you doing here?” in Sheppard’s general direction, to which the accused replied in an equally bad stage whisper that he might as well ask Rodney the same question.
Rodney didn’t know if either or both of them had misunderstood something, or if Norina had taken him seriously when he’d quipped they’d “all” come to dinner to her place (he’d been stressed). He veered between wanting to voice his outrage and fearing he’d made an ass of himself, imagining she really wanted to “study under him”.
At least Rodney hadn’t brought flowers. He wondered if the bright yellow flora on the sideboard had come from Sheppard but couldn’t imagine the man traipsing through a field, let alone finding a florist.
Then again, Sheppard had surprised him before.
“How do you like our new settlement?” Norina’s hair shimmered and her eyes seemed huge, liquid and dark, although you could never tell - in this light even Sheppard’s looked dark.
Rodney tried to stop staring. He wasn’t good at small talk at the best of times, and Sheppard tended to be either silent or spout some nonsense about tea and carnivals, so it seemed like the evening was going to go from bad to worse
Norina blithely continued, “We have decided to call it Taranis City.”
Rodney bit down an acerbic “How very original” and instead said, “Fine, fine, you did … it looks … very nice.”
Then he absent-mindedly started on the hors d’oeuvres. He did feel a little peckish after all.
There was food bland enough to appeal to Rodney, and drink bland enough that neither of them noticed its potency, so it didn’t take long before they fell into their previous bantering. This time though, Norina was more than a little encouraging when he flirted with her.
Her encouragement soon became so pronounced that Rodney couldn’t help – oh, who was he kidding, he gleefully pounced at the chance – to send a triumphant look at Sheppard.
The man had the gall to look unimpressed, raise an eyebrow, and remain firmly ensconced in his seat.
Norina must have felt Rodney’s attention waver, for she doubled her efforts. He hardly noticed where she was gently manoeuvring him until they ended up on the couch-like piece of furniture, rather too close to the angular shape of his rival.
“Uh, Norina, maybe we should … maybe … could … Sheppard. You look tired!”
“Aw Rodney, I didn’t know you cared.”
“What? Of course, of course I do. Doesn’t he look tired, Norina?”
A genius really ought to have his plans go right more often than Rodney did, but sadly the woman who had a moment ago been practically hanging from his lips now transferred her attentions to the guy that kept occupying Rodney’s.
With an audible sigh and crossed arms, Rodney had to watch as Norina moved her hand up Sheppard’s arm, let it rest on his shoulders for far too long, leaned much too closely into the Colonel’s face and asked in far too low a voice if he was feeling alright.
Worse yet, Sheppard answered so quietly he couldn’t hear a word, but Norina’s delighted chuckle made the hair in Rodney’s neck stand on end. He felt like bolting – except he couldn’t leave now, not when Sheppard wasn’t going to.
His dark glares and occasional clucking didn’t distract the handsome couple, so Rodney stuffed himself with more snacks and reflected bitterly that he felt right at home in this situation, except usually he’d have taken a Palm or notebook with him to keep occupied. He missed Sam.
After a few more glasses of the bubbly, he’d really had enough of that bastard Sheppard’s sly way of getting all the women, and the stupidity and general evilness of all those dumb bl- … those beautiful aliens who always led him on and made out with the Colonel.
Rodney jumped up, wobbled and sat down again. Rethinking his strategy, he leaned suavely towards the busy couple, coughed delicately and let his fingers glide up Norina’s elegant backside, her skin exposed down to the dimples above her buttocks.
She actually mmmh-ed at that, so he did it again, with the satisfying result that Norina turned towards him, her butt smoothly sliding into the space between the two men.
Norina murmured, “Was there something you wanted?” She didn’t seem to expect a reply.
When she pressed her soft breasts against him, Rodney even managed to forget they weren’t alone, that she was still half-sitting on Sheppard, that her right hand was still doing who-knew-what in Sheppard’s lap, while her left snaked around Rodney’s head and held him in place as she kissed him.
Her lips felt cool and wet. Norina tasted of lipstick and drink and knew how to use her tongue. Rodney felt dizzy and excited, felt his erection grow, felt the smooth skin of her bare shoulders, felt another pair of hands brush his –
His lips pressed against her cheek, Rodney’s eyes flew open and stared straight into Sheppard’s. Sheppard, who was still sitting close to them, who still looked cool and here to stay, whose Adam’s apple alone betrayed some emotion.
Rodney couldn’t look away from Sheppard’s neck, but that was fine because it meant he didn’t have to look him in the face.
Norina took over, again, raising her arm to pull down the dark head and kiss Sheppard while not letting go of Rodney.
This wouldn’t do. It wasn’t good, not good at all. Rodney had managed to forget to be nervous, first due to surprise, then due to familiarity, but he was ready to throw in the towel, a bitter taste in his mouth.
Rodney slipped out of Norina’s grasp, but as he got up to leave, Norina and Sheppard stood up as well.
“I’ll be going then.” Rodney managed a sickly cheery laugh. “Past my bedtime and all, you know.”
Sheppard said “Wait up, Rodney,” at the same time as Norina cried, “Oh, don’t go!”
Surprised by their combined vehemence, Rodney stopped in his tracks. It was all very flattering and rather confusing.
“Please stay, Rodney. I’ve been looking forward to having you both. Having you both here tonight.”
And there it was. Norina seriously seemed to expect them to both … stay. To both be with her.
“You and John have made your attraction to me very clear, and since you seem so much more open to, well, to physicality than my people ...“
After Rodney had shaken his head for a bit and was able to focus on Norina’s words again, she revealed that she had heard “all about the liberated life-style of the new occupants of Atlantis”.
He couldn’t repress a bitter laugh at that, but managed to turn it into a hiccup.
Then he couldn’t stop hiccupping, so Sheppard started pounding on Rodney’s back with quite unnecessary force until Norina put a manicured hand on either man’s arm. Who’d have thought there was a market for manicures in Pegasus? If Taranis sported beauty salons, maybe Sheppard had indeed found a florist on their new home world.
Not content with laying hands on him, the woman proceeded to press herself against Rodney, which in turn pushed him against Sheppard, who for some inexplicable reason didn’t move away.
Rodney might have squealed when he felt a hand slide under his shirt, but that was only from surprise. Norina managed to raise one eyebrow even higher.
”It’s just … I’m a scientist! Okay, so are you, but, but your’re a woman and not from Earth. There, scientists aren’t used to being naked around each other. Other men,” Rodney faltered, then rounded on Sheppard. “We don’t even share showers like you soldiers are wont to.”
“Don’t worry, Rodney.” Sheppard’s voice was oddly soft. “We don’t have to –“
Norina cut him off by sticking her tongue into Rodney’s mouth. Strictly speaking, that should not have silenced Sheppard, but Rodney didn’t have enough blood left in his brain to think about that at the moment.
Sheppard had recovered quickly and put on the polite-yet-clueless face he used when visiting high ranking natives, but didn’t meet Rodney’s eyes as he came up for air.
Norina wrapped one hand around Sheppard’s wrist, put the other firmly on Rodney’s back and managed to herd them into her bedroom. Rodney shot Sheppard a look, but Sheppard’s face was unreadable; he looked disconcertingly serious.
Norina’s wriggled out of her silky underskirt with one practiced motion and slid onto the high bed, pulling both men with her. Her dress fell apart, its dark-burgundy fabric slit up to her hipbone at the front and back, showing long pale legs and a thatch of light curls.
As she undid the buttons at the front of dress, Rodney’s hand moved over Norina’s cool skin, his brain idling yet wondering why she wasn’t even flushed when he was sweating profusely. Her breasts were large and heavy above her trim waist, which looked even smaller under Sheppard’s hand.
As Rodney glanced up at his face, Sheppard’s tongue flicked out, one of the man’s nervous ticks Rodney hadn’t even realised he was familiar with. It left his lower lip shining.
Rodney’s breath hitched.
A moment later, Norina’s voice penetrated his daze. Fingering the fly of his pants, she murmured, “Take these off.”
Watching Sheppard undress out of the corner of his eyes, Rodney slowly got out off his clothes. He heard someone speak but there seemed no need to answer. A minute or ten passed; there was movement and the sound of slick skin, murmured words, soft hands and insistent fingers.
With a jolt Rodney felt them wrap around his half-hard erection and gently pull. Norina’s long nails scraped against his balls as she positioned him. When he knelt behind her, she tilted her head and started sucking his cock.
He saw that Sheppard was moving into her, moving in and out of her, his black pubes briefly touching her lighter ones, and while her lips (the exact same colour as her dress that fanned around her pale body) were doing marvellous things to Rodney, he couldn’t tear his eyes from the spot where Sheppard’s cock came into view every other second.
Norina slung her legs around Sheppard’s waist and back, pulling him tighter into her. Her arms around Rodney’s hips forced him forward in turn, which left the men staring at each other from too short a distance.
They nearly cracked their heads when Norina’s movement caused them to perform a fast-forward version of the traditional Athosian greeting. Rodney lifted his arm to brace for impact, as Sheppard’s faster reflexes placed his hand against Rodney’s shoulder.
Rodney saw Sheppard’s pupils getting larger, watched his slightly opened lips for too long, then tried to look away and down onto Norina’s mouth wrapped around his dick, but that made his head rest on Sheppard’s shoulder, whose breath hitched at the contact,
They were staring at each other, unable to avoid looking anymore, and then one of them mumbled “Fuck it” and their lips met, and it all was right again, the current running in a perfect circle, heat spreading through Rodney’s body and warming Sheppard’s lean cheeks.
Rodney felt John's heart thump wildly under his palm when he let himself touch him, felt the sound travel up through his arm until his own heartbeat had the same rhythm. He slid his hand further upwards, curving around John’s long throat, thumb resting below his Adam’s apple, fingers spread over John’s flushed neck and jaw and then John’s hand tightened on Rodney’s shoulders as he jerked and shuddered and came hard.
Norina was flushed, her stomach and chest still heaving. She let Rodney’s hard cock slip out of her mouth, grabbed his hand and wordlessly put it on her mound. His fingers slid into her, the walls of her vagina silky and engorged, fitting snug around him, soft pressure and irresistible suction drawing him in.
Rodney’s middle and index fingers glided between her folds, down the sides of her vagina, touching nerves along the way which made Norina’s breath hitch. Rodney stroked back and forth, tentative yet turned on. He felt the tender flesh twitch, felt the wetness spread from inside her, making the rough skin smooth like liquid satin, and when his finger caught where her folds met, she clenched around him.
Rodney got up and gently pushed an unresisting Sheppard aside. He resolutely did not look at the other man as he entered Norina, who was wide open and wet and fluttering, smooth muscles happily clamping down on Rodney’s erection.
Sheppard had dropped onto the bed next to her, and as Norina turned her head to kiss him and reached out to stroke him through his aftershocks, Rodney felt annoyance and anger so sharp that he thrust harder and faster, uncharacteristically brutal even as a tiny voice at the far back of his mind tsk-ed at him for wanting their attention.
Rodney must have closed his eyes, because he didn’t notice Sheppard stroking Norina’s clit until his long fingers touched Rodney’s cock.
It was a matter of grim satisfaction to Rodney that she came just as hard and nearly at the same time as he did (though Sheppard might later claim Rodney was just reaping what he had sown and that it had been Norina’s second orgasm anyway).
Spent, drained, feeling even emptier than usual after an orgasm, Rodney pulled out of her, then sat down heavily.
“’Mmm here, Rodney.”
Norina trailed her fingers up his back and pulled him down to her side. Then she turned, drawing Rodney’s arm across her and with a sobering jolt he felt the brush of coarse hair against the back of his hand. The next time she moved, his knuckles were pressed against John’s chest, and he could feel his heartbeat, felt it vibrating down his fingers and up his arm until his hair seemed to stand on end.
He had to get out.
He only meant to catch his breath, anticipating embarrassment and awkward manoeuvring and wanting to avoid it. Of course he ended up falling asleep.
When Rodney woke up, the bright white light of the local suns glared through the window, and Norina was nowhere to be seen. Sheppard though was still next to him, looking somehow larger naked than when dressed, which was puzzling, much like the man himself.
Norina must have covered them up before leaving; the blanket smelled of her perfume and made Rodney feel like an intruder. He tried to get up quietly, but stealth never really worked for him. One yellow eye (yellow? what had Norina put in their drinks last night?) blearily blinked at him as Sheppard woke and slowly stretched his limbs. As the dark hair on his shin strafed Rodney’s naked hip, Rodney flinched.
John went very still.
What did you say to a colleague, a friend, whom you’d seen close up and personal, or at least very naked and having mostly-straight sex? Not to mention him having seen you in turn. Surely John … surely the Colonel had to have more experience at that kind of thing?
Perhaps he hadn’t.
Rodney cleared his throat before he could get out an unsteady “Good morning, Colonel” and didn’t look up when Sheppard handed him his pants. As mornings after went, this one shot right to the top of Rodney’s Worst-Ever list.
The Chancellor gave them a formal farewell, Norina standing next to him and smiling as if nothing had happened. They shook hands, she looked them in the face no less or more direct than the day before, perhaps with even more lift to her brows, and that was the end of it.
They had to walk all the way back to the gate, which would have had Rodney bitching at Sheppard under normal circumstances, but they weren’t alone and he couldn’t risk letting something slip in front of Miller and Taghizade. The fact that he couldn’t rant at his heart’s content when he felt he had more than usual to talk about made him feel like a kettle on the boil. He only kept the lid on because of a faint niggling of guilt, for which there was no reason at all of course, and a less successfully suppressed feeling of embarrassment.
He’d have given anything (well, a lot) to know how Sheppard felt, but the guy was on point and hadn’t even looked at him for the last hour. Funny what a difference that made.
Rodney caught up with the others as they dialled for Atlantis, Sheppard standing back, always watchful. The moment the others had gone through the event horizon, John looked at him and quietly asked, “Are we okay?”
He should have expected nothing less, but Rodney was startled. He stuttered, “Fine, we’re fine Maj- … Colonel,” but then straightened up and said, “We’re okay. Really.”
John looked at him for another long moment before he let himself relax a little. He gave Rodney a small smile and made to walk away. Something in it, the part that was less relief and more resignation, caused Rodney to momentarily lose his mind and ask, “Would you like to … maybe we should … talk. Later. John?”
He might have imagined the tips of John’s ears turning red, because John didn’t turn round, just said, “Your place at six tonight,” and stepped through the gate.
The door bell chimed at precisely eighteen-hundred hours. It made Rodney jump, even though he’d been unable to do anything but wait and pace. He hit the panel with unnecessary force and there he was, John had come and maybe he’d timed it, too, and had he always been that tall?
“Col- … John.”
Rodney tried to hide his pleasure, looking down and motioning the other man inside, nearly failing to see the slight blush in John’s cheeks.
John didn’t seem to know what to do with his hands and ended up standing at parade-rest, which would have had Rodney rolling his eyes any other time, except that he felt his own were in the way, too, his eyes and mouth and fingers sluggish, with only his heart beating frantically, and it should have been John making a move, except it couldn’t be.
“Where are my flowers then?”
John’s expression went from surprised to sheepish to bland in the blink of an eye.
“What do you mean?”
“Oh quit that, pu-leez. I saw those tulippy things in Norina’s room, no, don’t try to deny it, I don’t know how you managed, but I do know you like to play the gentleman macho or dandy highwayman or whatever you think you are.”
“So, since you went to so much trouble for a spa- … for her, where are my flowers?”
“Weeeell, Rodney, you know - I could ask you the same thing.” John’s face did that annoying roller-coaster thing again, his mobile features going up and down with the vowels and that so wasn’t irresistible at all. “Unless you insist on being the woman?”
Rodney gaped at him in entirely unladylike fashion.
A real shit-eating grin at that, which made Rodney tackle him and when they fell against the bed in a heap, undignified and uncomfortable, he didn’t let go. John’s arms held him just as tight, pressed Rodney against his chest just as firmly, and he felt something blocking his throat, except without the panic of not being able to breathe, though in a way he was still afraid, afraid that he felt such sharp happiness. So he burrowed his nose into John’s shoulder and they just breathed.
It Takes Two - Epilogue
It felt strange and familiar, scary and soothing, and Rodney neither wanted to nor could move away. He went a little cross-eyed looking at what he could see of John that close up, safe in the knowledge that he couldn’t be seen in turn, could stare as much as he wanted, face unguarded.
He inhaled unobtrusively, trying to find John’s scent under the soap’s, finding it at the nape of John’s neck, a bit of fresh sweat. It wasn’t like the smells he picked up during their adventures now that Rodney was free to take it in; without the metallic smells of blood or gunpowder (or Norina's perfume).
John shifted slightly, tried to disentangle their limbs, and Rodney felt panic rise, which he fought the only way he knew to, by attacking it head-on.
He used his greater bulk to slide John onto his back, hardly paying attention to John managing to peel him out of his shirt in the process – it kept John occupied, leaving Rodney free to trace his lips across the tanned throat, mouth the twitching Adam’s apple, drink in more of the smell of John’s skin.
Rodney hesitated at the dip of John’s throat, faced with the spread of dark hair again. The messages to and from his brain all mixed up, until he’d started unbuttoning John’s shirt and felt the lightly curled hair tickle the tips and backs of his fingers. Shucking the shirt aside, Rodney combed his hands through it, fingers spread wide, up and down John’s chest, which made John buck up underneath him but didn’t detract him enough to stop fumbling with Rodney’s pants.
“Get … get them off.”
“Mmh. Yeah.” Rodney didn’t budge, just shifted downwards, feeling John’s chest hair tickle his cheek and make his lips tingle as he brushed them over a nipple, dry and soft, tentative caresses, learning textures and shapes, getting a feel of and for the man.
“Rodney.” A groan. ”Rodney, a little help here?” John had succeeded in opening the zipper and was trying to slide down Rodney’s pants.
Rodney impatiently shoved them down with one hand, lifting his hips to get rid of John’s pants as well, which wasn’t really possible with their wearer wriggling and gliding his hands over Rodney’s arms and having the most kissable mouth in two galaxies.
Supporting himself on his elbows, Rodney took John’s face in both hands, cupping the long jawbones, stubble scraping his palms, his thumbs stroking over the narrow cheeks until a blush crept into them and John protested and tried to distract him, which wasn’t an easy task under normal circumstances and completely pointless when Rodney was busy memorising the curve of a nostril, the line of an eyebrow, the funny curl of an eyelash or the colours of John’s eyes and how they seemed to change when his pupils dilated and then he had to bend even closer and press his lips against the corner of those eyes (he’d count the lines there next time) and the corner of that mouth.
So he kissed John again, dry brush of lips, flick of tongue and scrape of teeth, wet heat opening, drowning euphorically, coming up for air to caress a heated cheek, nip at an earlobe, mouth the few smooth soft areas of this new terrain, terrifying, thrilling, sating a hunger and awakening another.
John’s arms circled Rodney, stronger than expected, and he rolled them over. Extricating himself, John toed off the fabric that was tangled around his feet without getting up, then proceeded to strip Rodney, pulling down his pants surprisingly slowly, hands gentle when he had to take off Rodney’s shoes, lingering on ankles and shins on their way back up.
Rodney impatiently pulled at his shoulders, wanting John to come up, up, up again, come closer. It was ridiculous but the cool air on his naked skin felt like a dividing wall, making John suddenly distant and a stranger, too much to take in and compute.
The yanking made John lose his balance. He toppled over, knocking the air out of Rodney, but that was good, that was fine. John was warm and heavy, heavier than expected. Rodney might freak out later on about how being pressed down by that hard weight turned him on, but now he had his hands full, sliding them down John’s back, nerves and arousal making him feel like giggling when he grabbed the firm buttocks.
“What are you laughing at?”
There was that eyebrow quirk again, so familiar and maddeningly cute, yet John looked faintly unsure and in danger of slipping away, so Rodney let his fingers slip a bit further and traced the damp sensitive skin between the lightly haired cheeks, which made John involuntarily close his eyes.
Emboldened, Rodney stroked deeper, scraping a nail over the perineum, a fingertip over the anus. John burrowed his head in Rodney’s neck, his hair thick and soft against Rodney’s skin, making it tingle. Rodney twisted his head until the dark wisps brushed over his sensitised lips. Who’d have thought that hair tickling his nose could nearly make him come with sensory overload?
Rodney didn’t feel like laughing anymore, but happier than ever.
He was dizzy with want and painfully conscious of every look or touch. With just the two of them, everything was more awkward. It shouldn’t have been, but there wasn’t the safety of doing something illicit and tantalisingly pornographic. There wasn’t the recourse of distancing oneself, keeping back a part because concentration had to be shared three ways.
There was just them, and it made Rodney’s stomach clench and John’s fingers grow unsure and their breathing was much more ragged and it was ridiculous, they’d been there, knew each other so well, inside and out, and still.
John’s laugh sounded breathless. “You know, usually people start out like this. Don’t have a threesome until they’ve become bored with each other.”
Rodney went from unsure to belligerent in a split-second. “People,” a huff, “are stupid.”
He gave John’s erection a hard stroke and his lower lip a soft bite and mumbled, “We’re not people” and John came over Rodney’s fist, gasping into Rodney’s mouth.
As the warmth spread on his belly, the answering heat inside made Rodney buck upwards. He wrapped his arms around John, arched his back, then thrust one, two more times, and with John’s weight pressed against him Rodney spent himself.
Hearing someone else’s heartbeat, uncomfortably loud in the stillness of the night, still freaked out Rodney, although less than the other day. As his hand came to rest palm-down at John’s throat, John’s pulse-point gently thumped under Rodney’s finger-tips, steady, strong and soft. He might get used to it.