Length: Approx 13,000 words.
Author's notes: Beta thanks to fairestcat and lierdumoa (whom I apologize to for posting this without hearing from you on that last thing, but OMG I HAVE NO NAILS LEFT), eternal gratitude because oh god, I wrote this while SO SICK and the keystrokes I missed were abominable. Also thanks for general cheering go to seperis.
The sheer amount of B.S. that had to be seeded into this fic to make the plot work boggles the mind. No really it does and it frightens me and I should never be allowed to write a paper ever again.
As always, if something was missed I first wouldn't be surprised and second would be happy to correct it.
Summary: "On the plus side, we're apparently in the Ritz of prison cells."
Rodney wakes to pleasure, gentle waves that roll over him, making him tingle and gasp. It's baseless and decentralized at first, dry and shuddering from one end of his body to another. Slowly, something coalesces in his groin, sharp and aching but still oddly tender. His muscles tighten, whipcord tight until finally his fingers and toes curl and one last mind bogglingly pleasurable wave washes over him and he gasps loudly, only peripherally aware of another voice, a groan of surprise joining his.
When it's over, he trembles violently, unable to catch his breath. The sound of another raspy pant reaches his ears and Rodney closes his eyes tightly, unable to face whoever just watched him-- he shifts around, surprised to feel the absence of, well, anything. No wetness, no stickiness, just sweat and sore muscles and the lack of motivation to stand. Possibly it relates to the still uncontrollable trembling wracking his frame.
Taking stock, Rodney wiggles around some more, happy to find himself once again in control of his body. He pushes up against the soft floor, noting its vague give against his hands. He squeezes into a corner; glad the same material that coats the floors is also on the wall. His back is already starting to pull in uncomfortable ways.
His eyes are still tightly shut as he works to control his breathing further, so the tentative, "Rodney?" nearly gives him a heart attack.
His eyes snap open even as he gasps in shock, hand automatically going to his chest, palm pressing flatly against his sternum as if to calm the stuttering of its rhythm with external force. He sees Colonel Sheppard slumped forward, arms in a loose circle around his bent knees.
Sheppard looks as shaken as Rodney feels, hands clenched tightly in front of him, hair sweaty and matted, skin unusually flushed. Rodney's breath catches slightly, the picture oddly intimate -- something one should be invited to see, not stumble upon, half drunk with remembered pleasure.
"So," Rodney sighs, head falling back against the soft wall, "let's never speak of this again?"
Sheppard actually smiles a crooked smile and nods. "Anyone asks, there was horrible torture to endure."
"Possibly even a 90210 marathon level of pain."
The conversation ends and Rodney isn't too inclined to help it start again. He's tired and aching and he feels like he's been awake for thirty six hours straight and there's no coffee in his near future.
They spend an hour or so in cooperative quiet. Rodney attempting to create a mental wall between them, he wants to be alone and imagines the molecules thickening before his eyes.
Food arrives through a slot in the door. The trays are made of something similar to the covering on the walls and floor. They're firm and don't buckle under the weight of the food, but any hope of using one of them as blunt instruments dies a quick death. Even with Sheppard's most expert swing, it probably wouldn't do more than stun and not for very long.
The food itself is fairly appetizing; white meat of some sort, a vegetable like stew and some fruit. He watches Sheppard take a sample from each and then nod in his direction before he digs in. It's mostly a hollow gesture, because there's every possibility that Sheppard won't be able to taste the citrus he is looking for, but the gesture is not lost on Rodney. The act of eating -- after long drawn out seconds where Rodney waits for his throat to close -- and drinking clear cool liquid takes up time in a blissful sort of way. When he's done, Rodney finds he cares enough to look around.
The room is uniform gray and squinting at the far corner makes him a little dizzy. Curiously he wanders over to find a semi partition hiding a toilet and sink and shower. There are various dispensers that give out various multi colored substances. From their locations and smells and textures, Rodney deduces which are soaps, shampoos, hand creams and the like.
The towels and wash clothes pop out of the wall like some super large tissue dispenser. Through trial and error, he discovers they are only allowed two of each, and in order to get a fresh one he has to stuff the old one into what looks like a garbage can. Except that it makes a loud *whooshing* noise when the cover closes.
Rodney leans against the wall, a few feet from Sheppard. "On the plus side, we're apparently in the Ritz of prison cells."
From the floor, Sheppard nods in a reasonable sort of way, which annoys Rodney to no end.
Feeling fidgety, Rodney paces, because pacing is what he does when he needs to think and there are no computers around to play with. He doesn't know when it starts, just suddenly his knees buckle as he's taken by surprise when a rolling wave of something passes through him and makes jelly of his spine. He lands on his knees and slumps forward onto his hands.
"Rodney?" Sheppard gasps from his spot on the floor.
It takes two tries to focus on him, because the first time the sensation doubles back so astonishingly quickly Rodney gasps loudly. When he finally focuses, he sees Sheppard on his side, legs curled up towards his chest. He's hitting at the floor with an open palm, hips shifting suggestively.
Rodney closes his eyes tightly, because he really doesn't want to invade Sheppard's privacy and because he can't concentrate on anything but the building sensations inside his own body, but most of all because Sheppard with his head thrown back, mouth wide open and gasping, is not an image he needs at this very moment.
It's a dry pleasure that heaves through him; it's missing something he can't define. He figures out what unexpectedly. The waves come quicker and quicker and soon his arms can't support him anymore and he's stuck writhing on the floor, breathless and incoherent. There's a brief moment of clarity when he realizes he isn't hard, then the pleasure runs over again and the thought is gone. His muscles shake and shudder and all of it finally -- *finally* -- bubbles over and he nearly whimpers as the white hot screaming orgasm -- which he now recognizes is what happened earlier as well -- shatters over him.
When it's all over but the quivering, Rodney takes the time to feel violated. He's pretty sure you're supposed to agree in some manner or another before you experience something that devastating.
Sheppard actually crawls over to him, placing a sweaty, shaking hand on his shoulder. "You ok?" Even his voice sounds unsettled.
"No." Rodney feels the word in his mouth, over enunciating and possibly putting about eight million different thoughts and feelings into it.
Rodney can feel Sheppard collapse beside him, breathing heavily. Their backs touch after an especially deep breath and Rodney jumps, still feeling over sensitized in ways he can't describe. "You?" He asks out of some left over sense of obligation ground into him when he was a child and possibly a bit of understanding, as he is the only other person who can possibly understand.
"I feel like a commercial for date rape," Sheppard's rough voice says and Rodney can hear the attempt to sound okay with it.
Rodney figures they can be manly men about it later, after he stops feeling quite so -- something.
Eventually they pick themselves up off the floor and take turns splashing water on their faces and using the toilet. Rodney takes a moment to reflect on the fact that he no longer looks upon figuring out an alien toilet as anything stranger than a European one.
Sheppard attempts to institute some layers of normalcy, prodding Rodney to investigate their surroundings more thoroughly. They look for seams in the wall, the floor, the drains. Anything they can use to their advantage.
In the end, they have nothing.
"So, do you think they're going to uh… you know…" Sheppard studiously does not look at Rodney as he speaks.
Rodney really desperately doesn't want to have this conversation. "Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me?"
Sheppard laughs nervously. "So basically we're screwed?"
It happens once more before the lights lower for what Rodney assumes is their rest period. They shake and whine and muffle themselves in their arms until Rodney is sure he's going to have bruises in the morning. Like the previous times it all ends in a bone meltingly, spine chillingly dry orgasm.
He shivers into the darkness, feeling listless.
"Rodney?" Sheppard calls through the darkness. "You ok?"
"No," Rodney calls back. "You?"
While he sleeps, he remembers. The planet was Rodney's type of place, all long glossy lines running at right angles to each other. Order placed firmly within a beauty that spoke directly to him.
Teyla and Ronon looked tense and bored and Rodney had done a little dance, a part of him glad to have switched places with them. Missions rarely call for him to run the show these days; it had been nice to flex the muscles.
He flashes to later, when there was screaming and arguing and one small scientist crouching on the floor, unmoving. Rodney doesn't know if she's dead yet.
Suddenly, treason and betrayal and intellectual privacy were bandied about above their heads along with words like assault and prison.
He tosses and turns, a burning pain working its way into his back, dead center. It gets sharper and clearer until his entire body feels like flames are licking at his skin. He screams into wakefulness, hoarse and panting.
Falling back to the floor, he decides he just might like waking up the other way better.
Looking across the room, he sees Sheppard as a dark shadow moving silently to him, Rodney waves him off before he's halfway there, but Sheppard persists anyway. Rodney struggles into a sitting position, his thigh is stiff and his back *hurts*.
Reaching behind to scratch at it, he freezes just as Sheppard sits next to him. "I think I…" Rodney starts before twisting around and pulling the back of his shirt up. "Is there something there?"
"Hold on," Sheppard says sounding like he just woke up. "I'm still adjusting to the darkness."
Rodney can feel agile hands settled on his sides, pushing the material of his shirt up and then resting lightly. Two points of heat on his sweat cooling skin. He can feel the goose bumps start to rise even before Sheppard takes one hand and slowly traces down Rodney's spine, gently feeling each bump. Rodney shivers when the hand stops about three inches below his shoulder blades and rest there.
"There's a bump just under the skin." Sheppard says. "It's hard to tell, but I think I feel a scar, I'm going to have to look once they turn the lights back up to be sure."
Swallowing harshly Rodney nods. "Great, I knew it would come to this. I'm now officially part of the experiment instead of running it."
Rodney lets go of his shirt and it slides back down his body and stretches unevenly -- Sheppard hasn't moved his hands. He's about to say something scathing and deeply cutting when he realizes why. Clawing up from the base of his spine is a sensation he remembers quite clearly.
Behind him Sheppard gasps, fingers tightening on Rodney's skin, but Rodney is too caught up in his own rolling wave of pleasure to care. He arches back, head colliding with Sheppard's shoulder, they both fall back further, until Sheppard hits the wall, leaving them with approximately a forty five degree incline.
Sheppard's legs curl upward, cradling Rodney's body in heat. This time the steadily building feelings are less overwhelming. The feeling of disconnect, like a live wire jumping around, flailing in the air is missing. Together they moan, heads thrown back, moving restlessly, hips shifting suggestively.
Rodney loses any train of thought he might have with the next cresting wave of sensation rattling through his bones and making every muscle clench. Around him, Sheppard holds firmly, fingers digging into his arms, breath hot in his ear.
Tension spirals inside his body, hot and tight and he can feel himself clench tightly, breath stopping in his chest. He's dizzy and flushed and his skin feels tight and tingly and his thighs twitch spasmodically as it all finally tumbles over again. He gasps for air, sucking in great lungfulls as his body relaxes for the first time in what feels like hours.
Rodney can feel Sheppard's chest behind him heaving even as Rodney sinks into the softening muscles.
"Rodney?" Sheppard croaks.
Rodney can feel Sheppard's muscles getting ready to say more, the chest expanding behind him, taking in breath to speak. Before more words can be uttered, he just shakes his head. "No. Not ok," he shifts enough to give Sheppard an innocent look, "but comfortable."
He gets a shove for his trouble, which is pretty much what he was looking for. Rodney rolls to his side, shaking too hard to sit up, he curls into himself slightly and looks up at Sheppard who looks like that shove took the last energy out of him.
Breakfast is served soon after. It's similar to their last meal and Rodney takes comfort in knowing he won't have to spend another tense five minutes waiting.
They eat in silence and then wash up in silence. Rodney emerges from their semi private bathroom and sits down next to Sheppard. "I should look at your back."
Sheppard looks up startled before something registers in his eyes. "Yeah, sure."
Instead of waiting for Rodney to slide the shirt up, Sheppard just slips it over his head, leaving it still wrapped around his arms and sitting in his lap.
Rodney sees it instantly in the light. A small reddened bump between the third and fourth vertebrae. He traces it with his fingers ignoring the tense muscles surrounding it.
"Okay then," Rodney says withdrawing. "I think I've figured out the cause of the--" he stops, because really, who wants to verbalize the phrase 'strange, spine tingling, utterly unprompted orgasms'?
Sheppard slips his shirt back on and slides back to the wall. "Gee Rodney, you really live up to that genius nametag sometimes."
"No one appreciates my intellect." Rodney mumbles. "So," he says into the silence he can't stand anymore, "any ideas why?"
It takes Sheppard long seconds to answer and when he does it's slow and contemplative. "Lots of reasons. With our luck? It wasn't supposed to-- you know--" he makes an expressive and slightly lewd gesture, "Darwinism and all that, 10,000 years of separation might have changed us enough."
"Parallel evolution?" Rodney asks, intrigued.
Sheppard shrugs. "Then again, it could be the gene."
Because that thing just does nothing but cause trouble.
They play chess to pass the time, the fact that the board has to be visualized in their heads makes it that much better a distraction.
The longer they go, the tenser Rodney feels. He can see it in Sheppard as well, tight lines around his eyes and lips, his usual sprawl a tighter coil. Rodney can feel his spine tighten and fuse together.
They're waiting and they both know it.
A visitor shows up in the middle of their second game. He stands in the closed doorway with a blinking device, aims it at both of them for several seconds and then leaves.
Possibly," Sheppard suggests when he's gone, "there is someone in the Pegasus Galaxy that believes in the Geneva convention. That looked an awful lot like the exams Beckett started giving after he got his hands on the ancient scanning devices."
Rodney nods. "Complete with voodoo gleam."
With the excitement over, the foreboding is back and it only intensifies with their next meal. They eat slowly and carefully, not looking each other in the eye.
When they finally finish, Sheppard pushes his tray with his foot lazily. "Maybe if we don't return them?"
"Maybe these things have a reverse polarity?"
Sheppard winces. "Okay, point taken."
They return the trays, Sheppard going so far as to put some force into it, but the receptacle just takes it gently, absorbing the extra energy effortlessly.
The chess game continues.
"Knight to B-- oh!" Rodney gasps.
Sheppard makes a sharp choking sound and Rodney can see him curling in on himself.
Formless pleasure once again invades every nerve ending leaving Rodney choked for air and flailing. It's invasive and pervasive and he wants to recoil from it even as his back arches into the undefined sensation.
Bracing himself on the floor with one hand, Rodney closes his eyes tightly, hoping that focusing will just get it over faster.
It doesn't. All it does is make him feel dizzy and more out of control. Blindly he reaches out and finds his hand on top of Sheppard's sweaty one. Their fingers tangle urgently, holding tightly and desperately.
Then Rodney finds his face buried in Sheppard's shoulder, deep wheezing gasps breathing in the remnants of the man's aftershave and the alien soap.
They wrap around each other just as it all doubles into a white hazed rush of shuddering and sweet vague release.
When Rodney can finally think again, he's on the floor with a limp Sheppard draped over him and he feels absolutely wrecked. His fingers are resting lightly on Rodney's waist, moving restlessly.
"So," Rodney says nervously.
"You know what?" Sheppard speaks up. "New rule, moratorium on... everything for now, okay?"
That is actually-- very undescriptive. "What do you mean?"
"I don't know." John admits. Slowly he rolls off of Rodney and lands heavily next to him. "How about 'Whatever gets us through this?'"
"Right. Okay. So I wasn't the only who noticed--"
"Yes Rodney," John interrupts firmly. "And now we commence a brand of denial perfected over centuries by several religions."
"I can do that."
They recover slowly and Rodney discovers numerous strained muscles. Too much convulsing he thinks sourly. This is not what he meant when he asked for that fantasy vacation.
By now they've guessed the pattern and Sheppard is surprisingly good at time keeping so they're at least sitting once again when it hits the next time. There's no hesitation this time. Their hands and arms wrap around each other and they slide the rest of the way to the floor holding tightly.
Rodney concentrates on Sheppard's chest, it heaves under him, pressing against him in uneven waves.
Then it changes. One moment it's everywhere, the next it's focused where Sheppard presses firmly against him, where his hands clamp down tightly, where his breath puffs heavily onto Rodney's damp skin.
It's instinct to move then, no thought involved when his head tilts and his lips seek warm skin.
They kiss, deeply, tongues meeting and stroking, lips pressing messily against each other. Finally, they break apart; mouths open wide in simultaneous gasps of climax.
"Oh-" Sheppard lets out a breathy sound.
It ends gently, with them staring at each other with wide eyes. Then Sheppard darts forward, kissing him again, urgently, hands cupping his face gently.
They separate with a wet pop and Sheppard once again looks down at him with surprise all over his face. "Well, I didn't expect the plan to be shot to hell that quickly."
"No," Rodney says quietly, "I'm really happy with not talking about this at all while we're here."
There's clearly more to say, or rather, to not say, but John just looks down at him, rearranges their limbs and settles them in just in time for the lights to lower. Surprisingly, Rodney falls asleep pretty quickly.
He wakes a few times in the night, not used to long limbs impeding his own movement. The last time his eyes open, John is behind him, their legs tangled and a hand thrown over Rodney's waist.
There's also a familiar shock of pleasure as John strokes absently at the skin under his shirt. Hot lips kiss the back of his neck and Rodney surrenders under the rising tide, turning and pinning a surprisingly pliant John to the floor.
They kiss through most of it, deep sucking kisses that are dirty and arousing and strangely perfect and grounding. John bucks up underneath him, gasping into his mouth and curling a leg over Rodney's hip.
It's all instinctual as he grinds down, because there is no hard erection to press against, no hot, hard flesh to grind in time with. It still feels good and this time when the pleasure explodes through them, it's a little easier to recover from.
That’s not to say they don't rest against each other for long minutes regaining the feeling in their toes.
"So, how about that weather," Rodney breathes into the silence, he was never very good at heavy silences.
John snorts into his shoulder. "Well at least you didn't try for sports."
The door opens and they both scramble to their feet. This isn't part of the pattern, right about now food should be sliding through the small space that opens at the bottom of the door. Instead, there's a tall and intimidating figure in a red, streamlined suit standing in the doorway with nothing more than what looks like a glorified remote control.
"There are two guards outside," the man says, "you will follow them or I will use this," he gestures to the device, "by now you have no doubt become aware of the power the implants hold over you."
Next to him, Rodney sees John nod cautiously.
"Yeah." John says, "We've got a pretty good idea."
"My name," the man says, bowing slightly, "is Frawan. My apologies for not appearing sooner. Your arrests have caused much paperwork."
"Yeah," John nods warily, "that paperwork's a real bitch."
Frawan tips his head in acknowledgment. Apparently they've been doing this first contact thing all wrong and Star Trek really did get it right. Bureaucracy really *is* the only constant in the universe. Also, arrest?
A flash of memory, the extremely pretty and fairly brilliant young woman whom Rodney had been introduced to -- still and lifeless and surrounded by a pool of blood, they couldn't possibly think, could they?
Rodney frowns. "Do we get to know why we were arrested? Or does that sort of thing not matter in your society?" Considering the cushiness of their cell, Rodney sort of doubts it. He suspects they're about to be treated with the utmost respect and tolerance. His stomach is already cramping at the thought.
"That is why I am here," Frawan answers, "a delay of this long between processing and pronouncement is inexcusable. You may be potential criminals, but that does not afford you the lack of simple respect."
"And if we’re guilty?" John presses.
Frawan smiles a bland sort of smile. "You will have the rights to food and shelter, just as any other."
Oh, that doesn't bode well.
"If you would follow the guards?" Frawan gestures to the open doorway.
John takes Rodney by the wrist and does as he's asked, pulling Rodney along with him. The corridors are well lit and buzzing with some sort of electrical current that Rodney can't identify. For all he knows it could be the lights or the air circulation, but he can't be sure.
They're led to a large room with comfortable couches and tables and large imposing padding chairs. Up front is an older woman, long gray hair bound loosely around her head and immaculate white suit with gold trim managing to look years old and freshly new at the same time. She looks up as they enter and the air of the over-worked civil service hits Rodney square over the head. Wonderful. They are so screwed.
John and Rodney are seated on one of the couches off to the left and he feels a strange itch in his back, sharp and sudden as it makes contact with the back of the sofa. It makes his fingers twitch wanting to take the thing apart. He sees John flinch as he settles in and it confirms that the sensation was not just in his head.
The proceedings happen just out of earshot for the most part. Someone Rodney assumes to be their lawyer spends a lot of time at the judge's table arguing with another woman, both dressed in varying shades of gray.
A loud bell rings and John tenses, one hand shooting out to clamp down on Rodney's thigh, aborting his impulse to jump out of the chair.
"The accused may present themselves," the judge pronounces and Rodney can't help but notice that suddenly everyone's words are as clear as bells. He frowns, *really* wanting to start taking things apart.
John looks at Rodney and Rodney looks back. They both shrug and stand slowly.
"This good enough?" John calls out and Rodney flinches automatically awaiting the sting of reprisal. It's pretty much become habit.
She nods, not even looking up. "The evidence presented is lacking, as well as the procedure sloppy, you are to be sent back to processing for removal of the implant. Your personal belongings will be returned to you and you will be allowed to dial any address at the circle you wish."
Rodney's frowns in confusion. It's never that simple. To his right John looks relieved but cautious as well.
"Stay calm Rodney," John mutters. "Just stay--"
"NO! HOW CAN YOU LET THEM GO?!" There's a loud noise and the sound of lots of feet running.
John pulls him to the floor and they find cover behind the large couch.
The commotion gets louder and Rodney gets tenser.
"No, get her away--"
"They have to be punished!"
More clattering and then muted explosions. So they do have weapons. Interesting. Then another sharp noise, a body hitting the floor. Another. And then--
White hot pain and John's scream echoing his own. It claws from the center of his back outward, hot pinpricks stabbing him, closing his chest in a tight painful vise. Each breath-- each movement is torture, John's screams hurt his ears, his own screams hurt his mouth and throat and lungs and it just keeps going. He can't pass out. He knows somewhere inside his pain he shouldn't be conscious anymore, but he is.
He's so very conscious.
Tears burn down his skin and each breath is like fire into his lungs. Oh god, make it stop. Make it stop. Makeitstop. Stopstopstopstopstopstopstopstopst--
Nothingness. Then mercifully, darkness.
Rodney wakes to familiar voices, though he's never heard Carson yell that loudly before. Oh god his head hurts. He feels tired and wrung out and every muscle aches in a way that threatens to hurt a lot more if he tries to move. So he settles for blinking the film out of his eyes. The colors come into focus and he's faintly puzzled to realize he's not on Atlantis.
Carson must have some sort of doctorial sixth sense because he's next to Rodney by the fifth blink, checking monitors and touching Rodney in various places. He flinches away from the first few, his skin extra sensitive but soon he falls into the rhythm; pulse, pupils, palpitation. It's oddly comforting.
"How're you feeling Rodney?" Carson asks when he's done.
"Like someone plugged my nervous system into an electrical socket?" He rasps, grumpily.
Carson nods, frowning. "Well, that's a fairly good description of what happened."
Wonderful. Rodney doesn't voice his response; he's still recovering from the first sentence. Also, he needs to ask, "Sheppard?" which just about takes the rest of it out of him.
Carson nods to his right. "Behind the curtain over there, he's already been awake once or twice."
Rodney nods. Good enough. It's time for more sleep, before he passes out.
When he wakes for the second time he feels a lot better. For one, his clothing no longer makes his skin twitch and his head feels a lot clearer. For another, John is sitting up in a nearby chair, frowning into a computer screen.
"What time z'it?" He asks, because there's a big black hole in his memory and searching it sort of hurts.
"Tomorrow," John answers putting his computer down. "Early afternoonish."
Rodney can't imagine what makes John give him such a vague answer when the time is probably right in front of him, but the usual upraised twist of lips just makes him narrow his eyes. That man will one day make an important part of his brain scream in agony and then die. He's sure of it. "I bet you're the guy who says 'Thataway' when giving directions to the driver of a car."
John smiles, wide and lopsided like he's *proud* of that fact. Freak.
Carson appears right then, his super amazing doctor sense obviously pinging. He fusses in an entirely annoying manner and Rodney is too caught up in realizing they're actually *not* on Atlantis to really make that big a deal out of it.
When he's done, Carson sits down and faces the two of them, face oddly blank and grim.
"Why are you making that face? We've got weeks to live don't we?" John's looking at Rodney like he's insane, but *someone's* got to say it.
"You're not dying," Carson says, giving Rodney the eye.
"But?" Rodney presses, because damnit, he *knows* that look.
"But," Carson admits, "we can't take the implants out quite yet."
John's frown deepens and his right eyebrow bounces up and down. "Okay then, I thought this week couldn't get any worse."
"Other than that," Carson moved on obviously ignoring John, his face lightening, "you're fine, recovering nicely, free to go even as soon as you feel up to it."
"Wait," Rodney's eyes narrow "why can't they come out?"
"Oh um," Carson waffles, making strange faces, "well they appear to have… fused to--"
"FUSED?" Rodney interrupts. "Fused is *never* a good word in relation to any part of my body!"
"Aye," Carson nods, "I know that, but really, they're not endangering your health in anyway and the Jenians have handed us your remote controls and shown us the schematics and directions on how to change the frequencies. Really, you'll have nothing to fear."
"I have." Rodney seethes, "A remote. Control."
"I'm afraid doc," John adds, not looking all that pleased, "I'm gonna have to go with Rodney on this one."
Oh great. It *is* the end of the world.
Before they leave, Frawan makes a final appearance, brushing off invisible lint and looking completely put out.
"My apologies once again," He half bows, "our security has never been so lax."
"Really?" John asks, eyebrow raised. "I feel special."
"I feel criminally assaulted," Rodney snaps wearily. "What the hell happened anyway?"
Frawan folds his hands together in front of his chest. "The sister of the deceased was not satisfied with the ruling."
"So," John's eyebrows twitch, "she rigged the control for self destruct?"
Frawan nods. "I suppose you could phrase it in such a way, she was a lead researcher in our hospital and thus knew enough about the implants to do much damage in little time."
After that, Rodney and John both want out as soon as possible. They leave with a computer full of schematics and directions. Thankfully, the perimeter controls weren't damaged in any way so it's just a matter of a moving a dial and flipping a switch before they gate out. Frawan also hands them a large book about the social and physiological implications of the implant, including a brief history of its use. The soft sciences are going to have a field day, and Rodney is going to have a wonderful time imagining people staring at him.
It occurs to Rodney after the really long and painful briefing that he and John maybe should talk. Or grunt at each other. Or stare in awkward silence or something.
But his bed looks so comfortable and he's been sleeping on the floor and hospital beds for nearly a week so he decides it can wait for a while. At least long enough for him to get some sleep.
And possibly until Lorne's 'Your Remote and You' comment fades to a dull ache in the back of his head.
Rodney slides back into the rhythm of things fairly easily. First order of business is to distribute the information from the Jenians. It has wider implications than just his own predicament and Rodney needs to assign someone to work jointly with medical. Someone who understands their language and will be able to write concise reports without use of words like 'biology' or 'cellular'.
In the end he sends the project to one of the newer people and tells Zelenka to supervise. Not that he won't be taking a stab at it himself, but there needs to be someone working on it who has more than his own self interest in mind. Carson has assured both of them over and over again that the chips are dormant and that even a blast from an energy weapon won't affect them -- as long as they aren't drawing power, but that's not very comforting when faced with the prospect of living with that thing attached to his nervous system for the rest of his life..
They're both grounded for the time being, to make sure there are no long term surprises waiting for them. John even volunteers to be stunned by one of their cache of wraith weaponry just to be sure of what will happen in the field, if it should come to that.
When Rodney finds out, he's furious, because seriously who *does* that sort of thing. "You're insane," he tells John. "Absolutely insane!" He turns to glare at Carson but finds he's already looking pretty pissed. "Without medical supervision? Are you sure this thing didn't mess with your head?"
John manages to look like a great big twelve year old and completely apologetic all at once. "But it worked, right? Or rather, it didn't."
Upon copious hours of examining test and scan results Rodney and Carson both have to agree, grudgingly, that if it becomes necessary they both can return to the field in case of emergency.
Rodney is still pissed.
Mostly because they haven't found a way to safely remove his dog collar yet.
A few days later -- surprise, surprise -- an emergency comes up. John, Rodney, Teyla and Ronon suit up and ship out and get shot at and almost find amazing things and get shot at some more and get scraped and bruised and come back dirty and tired but successful.
By successful, Rodney means they're alive and so are the people they rescued.
He showers and changes and lays in bed restless and tense. His hand skims past his stomach, fingers drawing nonsense patterns, pulling up goose bumps. When he reaches under the waistband of his boxers, he's unsurprised to find himself completely soft. It's been a long day and he's tired. But he won't sleep without a little help so he grabs the lotion and makes himself comfortable. Long sweeping strokes feel wonderfully good, working the lotion into the skin, pulling little shivers out.
He gets frustrated and even tenser and eventually throws the lotion across the room instead of getting more for a *fourth* time.
A small niggling sense of something forms in the back of his brain. Oh no. Oh god no. He jumps out of bed and reaches for his own copy of the materials that were sent through from Jenia.
"The implant is only successful if it controls all of these impulses. If the prisoner can relieve his own suffering, it is of no use, or at the very least not at its most effective."
"To prevent damage in case of long term use, the device also stops sperm production so that the organ in question is not damaged."
It takes a lot of effort not to throw the computer across the room to follow the lotion.
He dresses, makes a quick stop by the lab, and finds himself standing in front of John's door. Right. Well, he meant to talk about this at some point anyway.
John's door opens quickly after he announces his presence. His eyes are wild and his hair more mussed than usual. He takes in Rodney and the remote in his hands and then Rodney once more before stepping aside to allow him entrance.
The door closes and they're kissing without preamble. Rodney finds his back pressed against the wall as John plasters himself along his front.
"Oh thank god," John whispers into his lips. "Can we do this first?" He asks reaching for the remote.
"Yes," Rodney gasps when John's teeth find his neck. "Yes, yes, *oh*," his finger flicks the button on the remote. "Yes." He says again when that first wave of pleasure rolls through him-- them.
Their knees buckle as one and they slide to the floor in a pile of hands and legs and arms. Clinging tightly through it. They gasp into each other mouths, kissing solidly. Rodney runs a hand through John's hair, then along his neck and eventually under his shirt, pressing them together.
Heat, skin and near silent sounds mix into the building sensation and it winds so tightly and so high that it ends with them clamped so forcefully together they're barely moving. Rocking in tight, hard little shoves that are perfect despite the generalized sensation until they both freeze and stop completely.
Then Rodney's shuddering so hard his eyes roll back and his extremities numb. He's sweaty and out of breath and John's hands shake as they clench at his waist.
Rodney's head droops as the last of the waves subside, making a dull thud on the floor. John follows, collapsing on his side, head pillowed on Rodney's shoulder.
"Do you have to turn that thing off?" John rasps.
"No," Rodney swallows convulsively, trying to wet his dry throat. "It's cyclical. One flick, one cycle."
"Cool." John's breath chills the sweat on Rodney's neck.
Eventually they stand unsteadily and make it to the bed. Rodney's hip throbs from where they landed, but every other part of him is so relaxed and loose he can't begin to care.
"So," Rodney can't resist asking as they settle down. "How long have you known?"
"Second night back I suspected," John answers, peeling off his pants. "You know, there's something to be said for not having to clean up the mess."
"I choose to ignore that metaphor," Rodney yawns, but keeps one wary eye on John who freezes momentarily.
"Yeah," he says eventually, flopping down bonelessly next to Rodney. "Ignorance is bliss."
Continued in part 2, here.