Disclaimer: SGA and its characters definitely do not belong to me.
Summary: "I don't know," John said. It had seemed easier before he had actually seen the camcorder on the desk.
"I don't know," John said. It had seemed easier before he had actually seen the camcorder on the desk. Now his stomach was tight and his hands were cold, and he was so far from being in the mood that he might as well be on the other side of the city.
Instead, he was stuck in Ronon's room with three teammates and a video camera staring at him.
"It's not that big a deal," Rodney said, crossing his arms. Ronon said nothing, but looked deeply unimpressed.
Teyla glared them both down, before turning and extending her hand to John. "If you are unsure, we will not turn it on. We have done perfectly well up until now without it."
John felt some of the tension slip out of his body. But - he had wanted to do this for Teyla, and he hated letting her down.
"Maybe you guys could start without me and I could - uh, join in later," John said, and tried not to wince at how weak that sounded.
"You want to watch, Sheppard?" Ronon said. But it wasn't a jab, it was an invitation, and Teyla's eyes went hot, and Rodney uncrossed his arms, and suddenly this was something other than John chickening out of Teyla's fantasy.
"Yeah," John said, swallowing hard, heat churning down through him, "I want to watch."
Back during their first year on Atlantis, they had spent an early mission wandering around a field covered with Ancient ruins, while Rodney and Dr. Truka, the anthropologist whom they had brought along, poked at the walls, took pictures, and bickered endlessly.
When Teyla had asked Dr. Truka if she could see the digital camera that he had been using, he had handed it over with a smile. Teyla always got on well the anthropology department because she was almost supernaturally patient when it came to answering their questions about the Athosians, the Ancients, and the Pegasus galaxy in general.
Rodney, never one to miss an opportunity to stick his foot in his mouth, walked over and immediately launched into an explanation of the nature of cameras and photography.
Teyla blinked at him, and because she was more polite than John would ever be, let Rodney finish his sentence before breaking in to say, "Thank you, Dr. McKay, but I have seen cameras before. Many times, actually."
"Oh, um - really?" Rodney said, unable to hide his surprise. Teyla looked like she couldn't decide whether to laugh in his face or smack him. John cracked up, but quietly, because he hadn't forgotten Teyla pwning him with the laser lighter - he had a limited claim to smugness, here.
Teyla shot him a wry look - she probably hadn't forgotten the lighter incident either - and then turned back to Rodney. "Yes, there are several worlds that manufacture cameras and other audiovisual devices. They are, however, rare and expensive." She looked down at the camera, her expression turning wistful. "It is not - practical to trade for them."
John thought of the Athosian camp, how easily everything had to be packed up, the importance of functionality because you had to carry everything you owned, and the mud that tended to get everywhere during the winter season. John had a sudden fierce wish that he'd brought a camera with him from Earth, just for Teyla, as impossible as that was considering the ATA gene didn't give him any precognitive powers.
Rodney was clearly thinking along the same lines, because he said, "Look - why don't you borrow that one for a while? Take photos of all of your family, and friends or whoever, and you can put them on your laptop and print them out."
"Or you could borrow the physics department's camera," Dr. Truka said, looking at Rodney pointedly.
Rodney glared at him, but Teyla spoke first. "I would very much appreciate it if I could use this device for a short time once we are back in Atlantis. As long as it would not inconvenience anyone, of course." She sounded calm enough, but her eyes were shining and she looked as excited as John had ever seen her.
John raised his eyebrows at Dr. Truka, who sighed and said, "Sure, you can borrow it."
Teyla full-out grinned.
John turned on the camcorder and hit the button to begin recording. He left the camera in its position on the desk, but he kept a hand on top of it.
Teyla smiled at him, and then threw back her head and laughed as Ronon swept her up into his arms to carry her over to the bed. Rodney stood awkwardly next to the bed for a moment, glancing at John and then the camera with his mouth turned down. But the next second he was yelping and flailing as Teyla and Ronon yanked him down onto the bed with them.
It was weird watching them from across the room, getting the full view of every kiss and touch, Rodney's hand sliding down Ronon's back and the press of Teyla's thigh between Rodney's legs. John had seen them have sex before of course, but usually as a participant, or at least from the angle of the same bed; he'd woken up a few times to catch the others mid-groan or thrust, tilted his head on the pillow to get a better view until they'd dragged him in too.
But this was like porn, like a wide-angle lens on his teammates' fucking, and it was crazy hot. John reached a hand down to undo his pants, and figured he was starting to see why Teyla thought this would be such a good idea.
Teyla made good use of her time with the anthropologists' camera by taking pictures of pretty much everyone and everything, both on Atlantis and the mainland. Rodney had no patience for posing and John was constantly trying to shuffle out of the shot, so Ford was usually her partner-in-crime when it came to seizing opportunities for photo-ops.
John got used to seeing piles of photo albums in Teyla's room, and to be ushered over to her laptop so that she could show him the latest slideshow that she and Ford had created. One of the first things he did after the Daedalus returned them to Atlantis was to bring Teyla the cameras he had brought for her from Earth - including an off-fashioned Polaroid that she took to with an instant passion, and a camcorder that made her hesitate and press her lips together.
"I think that I will wait until we find Aiden before using this one. He will enjoy using it, I think," Teyla said, and John could only nod.
Teyla's eyes moved restlessly around her quarters, and John couldn't help but look too - the albums on the floor, the photographs carefully pinned to the walls. Ford's happy face was smiling out of a lot of them, he knew.
"Sometimes I cannot remember the faces of my parents," Teyla said quietly. "I do not have any images of them that remain."
"I'm sorry," John said, but Teyla shook her head.
"It is simply that - so much has been lost to Wraith, in so many ways. More may be lost tomorrow. It is nice to imagine that some kind of memoriam can be kept safe," she said, and there was so much sadness in her voice that John had to swallow hard.
"We'll find him," was all he could think to say.
"Of course we will," Teyla said, but she didn't sound sure. She looked down at the camcorder in her lap. "Do you have any pictures of your loved ones? You have never said."
John grimaced. "I'm not so big on hauling photos around - I have some pictures, but they're mostly in storage on Earth." He shrugged, uncomfortable. "Anyway, there's not a lot about the past that I want to reminisce about, you know?"
"Ah," Teyla said, her face inscrutable; but she after that she started gifting him with photographs on the sly, leaving them in his office and on the desk in his quarters, pictures of him and Elizabeth and Rodney and later Ronon, laughing and talking and together. He didn't always say thank you, but he kept all of them, looked at them sometimes and smiled.
The camcorder, however, had only reappeared four years later when John found himself sleeping with his entire team, and it was Teyla's turn to admit to a favourite fantasy. No one was surprised, but the idea made John deeply uneasy. Part of it was habit - even with DADT gone, the thought of being taped having sex with two guys felt dangerous, and not in the fun way. He thought most of it was just some kind of weird stage fright combined with his general reticence, as he'd never much like the feeling of being on display, particularly not in the bedroom.
He'd agreed to try to Teyla's sake, but now had decided that he much preferred his position behind the camera. He definitely had the best view on Atlantis right now, no doubt about that.
Teyla was gasping, riding Ronon with excruciating slowness, every deliberate movement drawing a low groan out of each of them. Rodney was basking next to Ronon in a post-coital glow, leaning in to kiss Ronon for a few minutes and then shifting over to run his hand up Teyla's leg and sink his fingers into her, pressing up inside next to Ronon's cock.
"God," John said, the word slipping out of him, his own hand moving slickly up and down his shaft.
Teyla turned her head, still moving languorously over Ronon, watching him watching her. She said, "John, come here."
John shook his head, gasping now, but Teyla reached for him, said, "Turn the camera off, and come here. Now, John. I want - "
John's free hand was already scrabbling for the camcorder, and then Ronon started groaning and Rodney was calling, "Better hurry up, Sheppard," and then he was on the bed, Rodney's hand on his waist and Teyla's mouth pressing against his neck, Ronon clutching at them and coming, and John was there, right there with them.
Afterwards, sprawled out on the bed in a tangle of bodies, Rodney mumbled in Teyla's general direction, "Well, you got your show. Hope it's a good one."
John grinned into the pillow as Teyla answered, "Of course it is," and sounded sure, sure, sure.