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Title: Bargaining With The Natives
Author: squidgiepdx
Recipient: icarusancalion
Words: 5,550
Pairing: Pre-Slash that eventually turns McKay/Sheppard.
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: Not mine - belongs to Universal, blah blah blah.
Author's Notes: I want to seriously thank my own beta elf for helping me flesh out the ideas that popped into my head. I'm nothing without you, sweetie!
Summary: Set early in S1, Elizabeth gets John and his team to investigate trade with two worlds.


When John checks his email before bed, he finds a senior staff meeting had been scheduled for the next morning. Guesses about the hastily scheduled meeting comprise most of the chatter during breakfast in the Mess, where John's keeping himself busy until it's time to report.

John spots Rodney leaving a lab as he walks towards Elizabeth's office. "Hey, McKay, wait up!"

"Sheppard," Rodney replies as John catches up to him. "Any idea what this meeting's about?"

John shakes his head. "Not really." He puts his hand on Rodney's shoulder, pulling back when Rodney shoots him a curious look. John's not sure when he and McKay had started flirting, or if Rodney is actually even flirting back. The one thing he's sure of is that it means long, cold showers in the locker room after missions, and solo play in his quarters after dark.

"After you," he says, mentally opening the doors and stepping to one side to let Rodney to enter the conference room first. Sure, it's a nice gesture - but it also affords him a good view of the scientist's backside.

"Okay..." Rodney says, darting a curious glance at John before crossing the threshold.

John grins as he follows Rodney in, looking up to see Teyla watching him. 'What?' he mouths.

Teyla closes her eyes and shakes her head with a smile; she's used to his antics. She'd questioned John about his crush soon after she'd joined his off-world team. He denied it at first, but Teyla finally got him to come clean over a bottle of Ruus wine as they set up their tents for the Athosian harvest festival (while Rodney and Aiden gathered dinner from a selection of grilled meat and vegetables).

"You are sure that he does not reciprocate your feelings, John?"

Taking another swig from the jug before passing it back, John sighed. "Doesn't matter..."

Teyla cocked her head curiously. "And does not the fact that Elizabeth rescinded Earth's 'Do not ask, Do not tell' provisions for all those in Atlantis make you feel secure?"

"I'm more worried about losing my best friend over a stupid crush."

The prospect still haunts him, even as he watches Teyla resigned expression. He takes his seat at the table, as all eyes turn to Dr. Weir when she stands next to a monitor showing the stars in the Pegasus galaxy. "So, I've been going through the database of planets the Ancients catalogued-"

"ZedPMs?" Rodney interject.

"A new alpha site?" Sergeant Bates asks.

"Neither," she replies. "We have to start reaching out to our neighbors. Our supplies won't last forever, and we're going to need trading partners. I've come up with a preliminary list, and I hope Teyla can fill us in on the ones she knows about."

Elizabeth punches in a command and circles surround several stars, with a gate address displayed next to each. "Teyla?"

Rising from her chair, Teyla studies the star map before detailing what she knows about the highlighted worlds. "This is Sateda, which was recently culled out of existence." Seeing John's curious look, she explains, "The Wraith do not take kindly to worlds with warriors and organized resistance. Since the loss of the population, the planet has been scavenged many, many times, leaving little of value and no possibility of trade."

Pointing to a different spot on the map, she says, "This one is actually two worlds now. Half of the population moved to the small moon that orbits the planet-"

"Small moon?" Beckett asks.

"Yes. It is a smaller version of the planet and very habitable. Two factions had argued for decades over how best to avoid the Wraith, with some finally deciding to move to the moon with their planet's second Stargate. The majority of the people wanted to maintain their simple way of life, while a minority thought they could best the Wraith with technology."

She points to a third system, but before she can speak, Sheppard says, "Wait a minute." He looks over to Rodney, who seems to know what he's thinking.

"What do you mean, best the Wraith with technology?" Rodney asks.

"The Admeteuusians broke away from the Admeteions about fifty of your years ago," she says, "leaving address RX4-P57 for the old world, and taking RX4-P58 for the new settlement. Both groups are, shall we say, hostile to outsiders as a rule - mostly to combat cullings, but also to discourage other worlds from trying to commandeer their lands. The Admeteuusians - the ones on the moon - have protected their Stargate with some sort of...device."

"Device?" Rodney asks. "How would you know that?"

"Because they have warned us not to attempt to contact them for our own safety; it seems their gate is inaccessible by anyone but their own people. It is said to be deep underground, plunged into the ocean, or tethered to their world while it hangs in space."

"Yeah, but if it's in either water or space-" John protests.

"Then it is still protected by a shield, Major. They have been very effective in protecting themselves from the Wraith. They are not as good at farming or producing textiles, however, so my people continue to trade with them, but only when they come to us." She turns her attention to the other circle, "The Admeteions - those who stayed on the home planet - are a very simple civilization, not unlike my people. They have found inventive methods for dealing with those who would come through their Ring uninvited."

"Inventive in what way?" Elizabeth asks, frowning.

"I have never been there, but the Admeteuusians say that the gate has been fortified using natural means."

"Natural how?" John wonders aloud.

"I am afraid I do not know," she confesses. "But I do know," she says, raising her voice above the grumbling her answer generates, "that they are said to be particularly dangerous. The Admeteuusians have reported losing several people who tried to return to the planet."

"Don't you think that's probably a myth?" Rodney asks.

"I do not believe so, Doctor McKay," Teyla replies.

"So," Elizabeth says, "this is actually promising." She steeples her fingers, deep in thought.

"Promising?" Rodney asks, looking puzzled.

Teyla cocks her head consideringly. "I believe I see, Elizabeth," she agrees as she retakes her seat.

John shakes his head. "I'm sorry - am I missing something? How is this promising?"

"You see," Elizabeth starts with a grin, "the Admeteuusians do not have everything they need for themselves, so they need some trade."

"Yes, but that's what we're looking for," John protests.

Carson finally speaks up, "Unless they're looking for things like medicine."

"Unlikely," Rodney says. "If they're advanced enough to relocate a Stargate and develop shield technology, they're probably capable of making whatever medications they need."

"True," Elizabeth says. "But we have some things to offer. And perhaps one of the things we can bargain for is the use of their Stargate."

"But you said-" Rodney starts, pointing to Teyla.

"No, Rodney," Elizabeth says. "If we can gain their trust, we can take a jumper from their moon to the planet. And since they don't do much trading, they may have bountiful supplies that we can trade for."

"What, so we land, give them an olive branch, then they beat us to death with rocks and sticks?" Bates asks.

"No, no, no," Rodney says, pointing to John. "They have a shield that extends out the back. We found it on that planet... Which one was it, Sheppard? The one we went to with Abrams and Gall..."

Rodney trails off, thinking about the two scientists who didn't make it back. "Sorry," he says, suddenly very interested in the table.

John breaks the silence, saying, "Yeah - that might come in handy..."

Elizabeth sits up straighter. "So it's settled... Now we just have to get in touch with the Admeteuusians. Any suggestions?" she asks Teyla.


Six weeks later, Halling contacts Atlantis to say that a group of Admeteuusians has shown up on the planet Truos' popular market day. Teyla, Sheppard, and Weir take the jumper to greet the traders.

John sets the jumper down near Halling's overnight site and by the time he lowers the back hatch, the Admeteuusian delegation is on their feet pointing weapons at the Athosians. An exceedingly tall man yells gruffly,"What is the meaning of this?" He adds with surprise, "Teyla Emmagan?" upon her exit from the jumper.

"Justoran of Admeteuusia," Teyla says, her hands outstretched as she approaches him. "These are my colleagues - they are Tau'ri from a far distant planet called Earth. They have recently settled in the city of the Ancestors, and mean you no harm."

The leader nods in acceptance, waving at his people to stand down. Teyla gestures to the Atlanteans. "Justoran, this is Doctor Elizabeth Weir, the leader of the expedition, and Major John Sheppard, her military commander." After introductions everyone takes a seat, with Teyla and Elizabeth flanking Justoran.

"To what do I owe this unexpected pleasure?" Justoran asks, watching each of the newcomers in turn.

Elizabeth clears her throat, saying, "I understand from Teyla that you are interested in trading. We are new to Pegasus, and are looking for trading partners."

The Admeteuusians glance at each other, before Justoran smiles at Elizabeth. "I am hopeful that we can come a satisfactory agreement," Justoran says. "We have a great many things not often found in Pegasus..."


The discussions go well. John asks about the shielding technology (McKay had threatened him with ice-cold showers forever were he to forget). Though the reclusive people are initially reluctant to allow the use of their Stargate, Carson's idea about medicine turns out to be the key. While the Admeteuusians are quite forward with technology, the science of antibiotics on their world is still in its infancy. When Elizabeth explains about the 'miracle' drugs they've developed, all the Admeteuusians ask for is a supply of antibiotics to get their doctors started, along with a visit from Carson and some of his staff to train them in their production and use.

At the preselected time, Elizabeth tosses a flowing white robe through the wormhole - identifying them as friends and requesting that the gate be repositioned - and disconnects the wormhole. Fifteen minutes later, she gives Chuck the go-ahead to redial and bids Sheppard's team good luck before they go through.


"So what's the word?" John asks Rodney when he and Peter Grodin enter the courtyard where the jumper is parked. Carson and the medical team have already come and gone in a second jumper, after the Admeteuusians extracted a promise that Carson would visit every few months.

"These people are amazing!" Peter says, which set Rodney off.

"You know the forcefield the jumpers have-"

"Yes, but much larger than-"

"That's what they have here-"

"It's big enough to cover the entire settlement-"

"But they hardly use any power-"

"Yes, yes. Barely any power at all. I think it's some sort of-"

"That's what we need to look at next - that power source."

"Yes, but right after we check out the-"

"That's right. Maybe I could-"

"Sure, sure. I'll take the-"

"Gentlemen!" John calls, laughing. When he has their attention, he asks, "Is this something Atlantis can use?"

Rodney looks at Peter before turning back to John.

"Yes," Peter says, at the same moment Rodney declares, "Absolutely not." They both blurt, "What?!" before starting to talk simultaneously again.

John sighs before grabbing Rodney's shoulder to shake him out of it. "C'mon," he says, hiking his thumb at the small house the Admeteuusians had prepared for their stay. "Let's head inside and you can explain over some grub."

"Yeah, but Sheppard, I've got to-" Rodney protests.

"Now, McKay," John barks. At Rodney's defiant look he adds, "When was the last time you ate something, Rodney?"

Rodney frowns in thought.

"Yeah, that's what I thought," John says, pointing Rodney toward the house. "I don't want you going into hypoglycemic shock."

"But," Rodney starts, briefly quelling at John's stern glare. "Seriously, Sheppard. We just need an hour. Two - tops."

John slowly closes his eyes and lets out a sigh. "Fine..." he allows. He digs through his tac vest, pulling out a chocolate powerbar and handing it to Rodney.

"Thanks," Rodney manages through a mouthful. After he swallows, he cuts his eyes at John and suspiciously says, "Wait a minute... I thought you hated this flavor."

"Nope," John lies. To tell the truth, he doesn't just hate the chocolate ones; he despises them. If he has to eat a powerbar, he'll stick with the peanut butter ones, which are marginally the least gross. But he knows the chocolate are Rodney's favorite so he always has a couple in his vest. Realizing that Grodin has been watching the whole exchange, John asks, "You need anything?"

Peter shakes his head, smiling.

"All right," John says. "You've got two hours - checkins every 20 minutes. Then back here for the night. Deal?"

Rodney and Peter nod. "Deal," Rodney says after swallowing his last bite. They head toward the science building they've been ensconced in most of the day, while Sheppard walks up the jumper's ramp.


Later, after an elaborate feast put on by the Admeteuusians in exchange for the medicines, the team walks back to their lodgings. Due to a lack of rooms, John ends up sharing with Rodney - as is usual off-world. Except in this instance, they're sharing a bed, not a tent.

Rodney is going on about the discoveries he and Grodin made today and how some of them might be applicable on Atlantis. The scientist doesn't notice John standing in the doorway scratching his head and inwardly panicking that there's just one bed. He's been hiding his sexuality for a long time and can usually tamp it down with minimal effort. Until lately - around Rodney - anyway. He's pondering that when Rodney suddenly stops his stream of consciousness rambling and snaps his fingers in John's face. "Sheppard? What's wrong with you?"

"Nothin'," John croaks. He unholsters his sidearm and puts it on the bedside table, dumps his tac vest underneath and sits on the edge of the bed to work on his boots. With a nod to the small sofa in the corner, he says, "I'll take the couch."

Rodney, belatedly noticing the solitary bed, glances at John and then the sofa. "Whatever," he shrugs, before continuing his recitation, stopping as Sheppard opens cabinets and peers into closets. "What're you looking for?"

"A blanket."

The pair do a quick search of the room, but come up empty. "Guess you'll have to go without. Or you could just bunk with me," Rodney offers, pointing to the gigantic bed. "There's plenty of room."

John's glad he's wearing BDUs that are rather forgiving in the crotch area, because he's instantly half hard. "Yeah, I guess," he says, shuffling to the bed. Rodney climbs into bed and turns to continue the recitation of his day, so John angles his hips to hide his erection as he climbs in under the top blanket. It's a bit scratchy, like an Athosian blanket (it probably is Athosian, from what Teyla's told them). John rolls to face Rodney where he's propped up on his elbow, still talking. John's pleased to see that Rodney got under both the blanket and two thin sheets. While he trusts himself awake, he's not so sure about his control while asleep, and he's glad for the extra layers between them. He's nodding and saying 'uh-huh' in the right places, but actually focusing on the the dim light dancing off Rodney's lips. He's studying them so intently that he misses Rodney saying whatever he's now waiting for a reply to. "I'm sorry - what?"

"I asked you to hit the light switch," Rodney says. John looks around for it, but Rodney impatiently huffs, "Nevermind" and comes directly at him. John freezes at the unexpected weight of one Rodney McKay draped across him to reach the switch on John's side of the bed. Worse, he's instantly rock hard again at the sensation of Rodney's belly hair rubbing against his own. He takes a deep breath and doesn't let it out until Rodney's safely on his own side of the bed. "Seriously - You feeling alright, Sheppard?" Rodney asks, obviously unaware of John's state.

John tries to smile reassuringly, and says, "Sure!" His voice squeaks like he's just hit puberty. He clears his throat and tries again. "G'night, Rodney."

Rodney looks at John askance and says, "'night, Sheppard," before plumping his pillow and turning to face the wall.

The room is dark and nearly silent as Rodney's breathing evens out into sleep. But every nerve in John's body is on fire from having Rodney so close, and it's deep in the night before he finally falls into slumber. His last thought before sleep overtakes him makes him sigh, "Three more days of this..."


John awakens just as dawn lightens the room, happy to find that he didn't wrap himself around Rodney during the night. Rodney, on the other hand, has turned in his sleep to face John, and wrapped a hand around John's elbow. John carefully slides out of the bed, out of his grasp. Rodney snuffles quietly as he pulls his hand under the covers. John gets dressed quickly and walks outside to find Teyla practicing fighting moves in the courtyard. He joins her, hoping to work off some frustration.

The four day off-world session is a complete success, with Rodney and Peter Grodin learning from the Admeteuusians implementations and helping their scientists in areas that needed improvement. While John manages to relax a little and enjoy the nights spent listening to Rodney's enthusiastic reports on the new things he's found and learned, he can't wait to get back to Atlantis. He's desperate to sleep in his own bed, hidden away from the rest of the world with his memories of Rodney to get him through the dark, lonely nights.

When it's time to head back to Atlantis, Rodney dials the gate, but instead of the all clear, they get Elizabeth saying scratchily, "Atlantis Base to Major Sheppard," followed by a series of sneezes.

"Sheppard here," John replies. "Elizabeth? Are you okay?"

"We're under quarantine, Major. Is it vital that you return to Atlantis right now?" she asks through her sniffles.

"No," John says. "What's going on?" When she doesn't immediately respond, John uses his code phrase. "Elizabeth, did you get the flowers that I left on your desk?"

"They're beautiful, John," she replies with the correct countersign, and John sighs in relief - Atlantis hasn't been compromised. She goes on to explain, "Lieutenant Ford's team brought back some refugees, one with a highly contagious form of influenza. Biro's working on a fix, but I don't think you should come back yet."

"Biro?" Rodney asks John, then keys his radio. "Why Biro?"

"Because not only did this thing spread fast, but it seems to be hitting gene carriers particularly hard. Carson's out of commission for the moment, I'm afraid."

John catches Rodney looking at his arm where Carson gave him the gene therapy shot weeks before. "How bad is it?" John asks, watching Rodney's adams apple bob with an intense swallow.

"We haven't lost anyone," Weir replies, "but I'd rather you not come back. At least not until we have this under control. Is that a problem, Major?"

John looks around the jumper, getting nods from Rodney, Teyla, and Peter. "That's fine, Atlantis. Just keep us in the loop. Sheppard out." Turning to Rodney, John asks, "You up for a couple more nights on the road?" Rodney nods.

"What road is that?" Teyla asks.

John laughs before saying, "It's just an expression. Hopefully we don't overstay our welcome here..."


The team explain the situation to the Admeteuusians, who immediately offer to let them stay as long as they need.

"You know," John says that night at dinner. "This might be a good time to head over to the other planet. Maybe do some recon." When the team voices their agreement, John adds, "So that settles it. We'll head over in the morning."

John and Rodney stay up late, talking about Atlantis and what they miss from Earth. (For Rodney, it's his sister and mindless television. For John, it's pulling 7 gees doing pinwheel turns in an F-35 fighter jet.) The pair finally fall asleep, face to face this time, and Rodney again reaches out in his sleep. When John wakes up, he realizes his fingers are twined with Rodney's. This time he smiles and goes back to sleep instead of retreating.

With at least two more days of virus-induced exile, John makes sure they have provisions and camping gear to get them through at least 72 hours. They cloak as soon as they're through the Admeteuusian shield. "Can't be too careful," he says as he sets course for the planet.

"You find the energy signature of the Stargate yet, Rodney?" John asks as they approach the planet's surface.

"Few more seconds," Rodney responds. A gold circle appears on John's heads-up display. "Should be there. About 20 kilometers to the west."

"Okay. Recon, then we go meet the natives. Sound good?" John asks rhetorically.

They fly over the stargate, which is hard to spot due to the overgrown trees and plants surrounding it. Then they fly to the nearest settlement, ten miles away. "We should be alone," John says as he turns the jumper back toward the gate. He does one more flyover to make sure, then lands just outside the treeline and lowers the back gate.

"Seriously?" Rodney demands. "You couldn't at least put us in the shade?"

"That would put us at a disadvantage, Doctor McKay," Teyla explains. "People travel at the treeline in the noonday sun, and would stumble upon the ship even if it was cloaked."

"Besides, you've got your homemade sunscreen, right Rodney?" Peter Grodin digs.

"You make your own sunscreen, McKay?" John asks, incredulous.

Rubbing some into his cheeks and neck, Rodney offers the tin to his teammates. "SPF 100. Want to try it?"

John dips his finger into the white gel and sniffs it. "Not bad," he says, wiping it off onto Rodney's ear.

"What the-" Rodney sputters, batting John's hand away. "Sheppard!"

"You missed a spot," John says, smiling. "C'mon. Let's go check this place out."

The trip to the gate takes a few minutes. And though they've seen plenty of gates on plenty of planets, this one, John thinks, has to be the most inventively defended.

"Huh," Rodney says, taking in the scene. "So they've got giant redwoods just outside the splash zone, so if you fly in at speed, you hit them before you get anywhere at all." That was evidenced by the remains of at least three different vessels at the base of the trees - one Wraith ship, and two of unknown origin. Looking down, he says, "And a pit surrounding the whole thing with - what are those? Spears?"

"Yeah," John says, pointing out what's left of someone who came through the gate, fell into the pit, and then got impaled. "Nasty way to go."

"Yes, but very effective," Teyla adds as she peers at the carnage below. "I am beginning to agree with what the Admeteuusians said about these people. They certainly do seem to want to be left alone." She examines the area, finding several boards and a rudimentary pulley system near the DHD. "Though it would appear that they utilize these materials, so they have used the gate in the recent past."

Peter, having seen (and smelled) the decaying bodies from the side of the pit, asks, "Are you sure we should try and contact these people, Major?"

John considers it, then shrugs. "Can't hurt to try," he says, turning to go back to the jumper.


"'Can't hurt to try', he says," Rodney shouts. "I'm sure these people would beg to differ, Sheppard!"

"What?" John calls. Though he can easily imagine what Rodney is saying, it's hard to hear over the rocks, boards, and metal objects being hurled against the forcefield and the metal sides of the jumper. Whenever the crowd seems to calm down, John or Teyla tries to address them, only to have them renew their attack with even greater vigor.

After nearly 90 minutes of absolutely no progress, John admits defeat. "That's it, I'm done. Let's get the hell outta here." He heads to the pilots seat, calling, "Let's get that hatch up, Rodney, and go find someplace peaceful to settle down for the next two days."

"Should we not go back to Admeteuusia?" Teyla asks.

"Naah," John replies. "If we're gonna play hookie for a couple of days, then we're gonna play hookie." At Teyla's confused look, he clarifies, "It means we're going to go find somewhere to set down and relax 'til we get to go back to Atlantis."

"What, so the people from 'the land that time forgot' can beat us to death in our sleep?" Rodney asks.

"Don't worry, McKay," John says. "We'll find a nice little place away from everyone. We'll make sure it's deserted before we set up camp." He shakes his head when he hears Rodney mutter something about decapitations, then takes the shuttle high above the angry crowd and searches for the most remote area he can find.

John circles the planet, finding a spot in a mountainous area where they'll be left alone, but close to a flowing river and a sparkling blue lake. He sets the jumper down and steps out into the warm sunshine. "McKay, you're with me. Peter, you're with Teyla. Let's scout the area and pick up some wood for a campfire. Radio your status every fifteen. Got it?" Teyla nods, then the two teams head out to explore the area.

After an hour, John and Rodney return to the campsite, where Teyla and Grodin join them a few minutes later. "What is that?" John calls when he spots the creature dangling from Teyla's new spear.

"Teyla is an amazing spear-fisher," Grodin calls. "The lake is just on the other side of those trees and overflowing with fish. These are some of the small ones.

John says, "Cool," as he eyes the tac vest sized specimens, 'I wonder how big the big ones get?'. He slaps Rodney on the shoulder, saying, "Looks like we're having fresh fish for dinner."

Rodney wrinkles his nose. "Do you know how many species of poisonous fish there are on the Earth alone, Sheppard?"

"We're not on Earth, Buddy," John replies, making Rodney roll his eyes. "In case you hadn't noticed."

"I have eaten a great many fish on different planets, Rodney," Teyla says. "I can assure you that this one is safe. It resembles the trelapi from my homeworld." Teyla pulls a knife from her boot and puts it to the side of the fish's head, stopping her cut when she hears an audible gulp. "Would you like to assist, Doctor McKay?" she asks, wearing an evil grin.

Rodney turns away, trying to ignore the sounds and smells. John notices the slight green tinge in Rodney's complexion. He unsheathes his knife and kneels down to clean the second fish. "You know," Rodney says as he walks away, "I think maybe I'll stick to MREs..."


The first day on the planet is well spent, both relaxing and beneficial. They identify a dozen items they'd be happy to trade for, should the natives ever allow them to barter. Rodney and Teyla get into a heated discussion about taking some live fish back to Atlantis; Teyla saying that all natural resources not being used for survival by the Admeteions are fair game, while Rodney thinks it's a natural resource that they should trade for - not just take. John quells the fight by stuffing a piece of the well-cooked fish in Rodney's mouth when he next opens his mouth to argue.

Rodney looks cross until he starts to chew. "Wow... That's really good," he admits. "Maybe we could take a few." John and Teyla laugh at his sudden turnaround, and Peter just shakes his head before getting up to 'call it a night'.

"Yes, well," Rodney says. He looks at John, the flame dancing in his blue eyes. "Maybe we should hit the sack, too."

"I think I shall gaze upon the stars until I sleep," Teyla says. "Good night, Doctor McKay, Major Sheppard."

John follows Rodney into the tent and busies himself by rolling out his mat and sleeping bag, occasionally bumping into Rodney as he does the same. Rodney's arm brushes against John's, sending his memory back to the nights on Admeteuusia; the shared bed and the way Rodney's hair felt against his skin. He takes a deep breath and hurries into his sleeping bag to hide his rapidly filling cock. It takes Rodney a little longer to finish getting ready, but he soon climbs into his own sleeping bag and turns to talk, as has become their habit.

As their conversation dies down and the nighttime sounds of the wilderness envelope them, Rodney says, "You know, other than being out in nature and all that, these last few days have been pretty perfect."

"Almost," John says, his face instantly going red at the near admission of what he wants. Luckily the tent is dark, so Rodney has no chance to see the deep crimson patches on John's cheeks.

"Almost?" Rodney questions, then turns to face John. "Why almost?"

"You know," John replies.

"Obviously I don't. What, you rather be out here with someone else? Not us?" After a moment, he quietly asks, "Or just not me?"

John shakes his head. "No, Rodney..." When it's obvious Rodney isn't going to drop it, he says, "It's been really great - these last two days. And I wouldn't want to spend it with anyone else but you...and, you know, Teyla and Grodin."

Rodney scoots his sleeping bag closer to John's, then leans in and says, "Actually... This place isn't too bad. Maybe we could come back...just us two." Rodney's tongue darts out, slicking his lips wet.

John's face feels flushed again and his heart starts to race. "I'd like that," John quietly replies, eyes darting between Rodney's eyes and his lips.

Rodney closes the distance between them and leans in, licking his lips hungrily. John's arms come out of the constraining sleeping bag, grabbing Rodney and pulling him into a kiss. Their tongues meet, twining together as John grinds himself against Rodney through two layers of thick material while urging Rodney closer. They kiss so hard and deep that John knows he'll have bruises in the morning.

When they finally come up for air, John whispers, "Now it's perfect."

Rodney barks out a laugh, asking, "Perfect?" before punching John in the arm. John's "Owwwwww...." comes out much louder than he intends.

"Major Sheppard, are you all right?" Teyla calls.

"Just fine!" John replies. He hisses at Rodney, "What was that for?"

Pointing in Teyla's general direction, Rodney says, "That's why." He heaves a sigh, "You decide to kiss me - now - when two freaking days ago we had a bed. A nice, big, soft bed, with wonderfully thick, soundproof walls."

"I can be quiet," John says.

"Well, I can't." Rodney kisses John deeply while one hand gently tweaking a nipple, causing John to moan loudly. Coming back up, Rodney says, "Yeah, right. Looks like neither of us is capable of being quiet." He lays back down, folding his arms behind his head. He glances over at John looking at him longingly and says, "'night, Sheppard."

John groans, knowing sleep won't come easy tonight.


John is up at first light, leaving Rodney sleeping in their tent. He goes for a four-mile run, getting back just as the rest of the team is waking up. "Heya, Rodney. You know, that lake's pretty warm. Wanna go for a swim?" he asks, eyebrows bouncing suggestively.

"Are you crazy?" Rodney balks. "It's got to be-"

John cuts Rodney off, touching his arm and pouting just a tiny bit. "You sure you don't want to?"

"Ah. Yes, yes. Swim," Rodney replies. "Lead on."

Peter Grodin chimes in, "That actually sounds like a good-"

"Doctor Grodin," Teyla interrupts. "I was wondering if you could help me with some additional surveys of the lower lying areas of the camp today?"

John immediately mouths 'Thank you' at Teyla, grabbing Rodney's shoulder and pulling him towards the lake.

Over the next two days, John and Rodney spend time away from camp under the guise of doing land surveys, a flora and fauna inventory (a clueless Grodin asking, "Shouldn't you take a datapad with you, Doctor McKay?"), and finally military-style SERE training. As the pair disappear for the seventh time, Peter Grodin looks up from his work. "Wow... They're going for more training? I had no idea Major Sheppard considered training for the scientists so important. Remind me to steer clear of him once we're back on Atlantis, okay Teyla?"

Teyla just smiles knowingly, nodding at the clueless man as she thinks of another diversion to keep John and Rodney safe from prying eyes when they are safely back on Atlantis.


( 31 comments — Leave a comment )
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Dec. 16th, 2012 09:59 pm (UTC)
Mmm, sweet. Really enjoyed this story.
Jan. 3rd, 2013 06:12 pm (UTC)
Thank you! It was a little tough for me to write, but I'm glad it came out okay!
Dec. 17th, 2012 03:26 am (UTC)
This is fun! Poor John and his unending sexual frustration.
Jan. 3rd, 2013 06:12 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Oh, John - he's so much fun to torture sometimes...
Dec. 17th, 2012 03:40 am (UTC)
SGA Newsletter - December 16, 2012
User neevebrody referenced to your post from SGA Newsletter - December 16, 2012 saying: [...] : Bargaining With The Natives (McKay/Sheppard, PG) [...]
Dec. 17th, 2012 06:17 am (UTC)
Oh, YAY, I *love* flirty season one McShep! :D And Peter Grodin as part of a team! Man, I would've loved to see him on an actual team in the show.

This is Sateda

*whimpers* :'(

When John wakes up, he realizes his fingers are twined with Rodney's. This time he smiles and goes back to sleep instead of retreating.

Ohhh, this gave my stomach the flip-flops. ♥

Also, clueless!Grodin is perfect. ^_^
Jan. 3rd, 2013 06:13 pm (UTC)
Thank you, sweetie! ::hugs:: And oh yes - Sateda brought a tear to my eye, but I *had* to include it... And yay for tummy flips of the good kind!!! :)
Dec. 17th, 2012 08:10 am (UTC)
Awwww lovely! Loved this! Was fun :)
Jan. 3rd, 2013 06:13 pm (UTC)
Thank you!!!
Dec. 17th, 2012 06:59 pm (UTC)
Yaay, Merry Christmas John and Rodney!

Thank you very much. I enjoyed the slow ride, and approve of the natives and their highly effective low tech solution. Every step of that was out of frying pan into the fire and then into the furnace. It seems right and plausible that the natives would be Very Unfriendly after all that.

Loved how you worked in not just Peter Grodin but also so many of our old comrades (Bates! How could I have forgotten Bates?). You did a good job of capturing the feel of season one, especially the fluidity of "the rules" that became much more set in stone later, when Atlantis reconnected with Earth. The best part is that you don't explain why Grodin's on John's team. You're right. You don't need to. Their first year was like that. Well done. I appreciate my Christmas present very much. :)
Jan. 3rd, 2013 06:14 pm (UTC)
You're very welcome - Hope you had an awesome holiday!
Dec. 17th, 2012 08:11 pm (UTC)
LOL! Poor Grodin needs to catch a clue :D Lovely story :)
Jan. 3rd, 2013 06:14 pm (UTC)
::snark:: I can totally see someone looking at Grodin in this story and going, "It's a good thing you're pretty..." :) Thank you!
Dec. 18th, 2012 04:21 am (UTC)
It was really fun seeing first season characters again! Grodin! Bates! Also liked the worldbuilding. Very clever civilizations. It's interesting to see the different ways each population uses to escape the Wraith. Enjoyed it!
Jan. 3rd, 2013 06:15 pm (UTC)
Thank you! It was fun writing Grodin - he needs some more backstory!
Dec. 18th, 2012 06:54 am (UTC)
Jan. 3rd, 2013 06:15 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
Dec. 20th, 2012 01:01 pm (UTC)
Heh, poor John. I love the "forced to share a bed" trope, and I adored that John woke up to the two of them holding hands ♥ I had to grin over oblivious!Peter, too - he's definitely got nothing to worry about back on Atlantis XD Also, Sateda! What an interesting way for the Natives to guard the 'gate; clever and effective! And, of course, an awesome!Teyla who always has the boys' backs :D
Jan. 3rd, 2013 06:16 pm (UTC)
Aah, it's so much fun torturing Sheppard sometimes... I may have to write some hurt/comfort for him next. I've never really done much in that realm, but we'll see. Thank you for all the kind words!!!
Dec. 24th, 2012 05:12 am (UTC)
Mmm, sharing a bed! One of my favorite tropes. I love Teyla running interference for John at the end, too.
Jan. 3rd, 2013 06:17 pm (UTC)
John knows Teyla's got his back... And I can just see Rodney talking to Grodin, and rolling his eyes when Grodin shows that he doesn't "get it". :) Thank you!
Dec. 31st, 2012 09:42 pm (UTC)
Very enjoyable, I love the way Teyla managed to keep Grodin from guessing the real reason for John and Rodney disappearing.
Jan. 3rd, 2013 06:18 pm (UTC)
Well, I had to keep the boys hidden away for a little bit at least! Poor Grodin, though... Thank you!
Jan. 2nd, 2013 01:08 am (UTC)
Loved this! :-D
Jan. 3rd, 2013 06:18 pm (UTC)
Thank you, sweetie!!!
Jan. 9th, 2013 11:36 pm (UTC)
Aw, Teyla's got their backs. This is sweet.
Jan. 9th, 2013 11:37 pm (UTC)
Oh yes - Teyla knows all, and protects the boys. Thank you!
Jan. 13th, 2013 11:55 am (UTC)
This is so darned cute, I love it when John pines for Rodney and Rodney is Mr Oblivious.
Jan. 14th, 2013 07:06 pm (UTC)
Thank you!!! Pining!John is one of my favorites - I need to write some more with him pining! :)
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