Kind of Blue
Warnings (highlight to view): sexual situations
For Zoë Rayne
“Seriously, I’m loving this planet,” John said as he collapsed onto the bed.
“Mm-hmm,” Rodney replied, regarding him with folded arms from the doorway.
John didn’t let Rodney’s sour mood detract from his golden glow. Because really, what wasn’t to love? Good food, friendly people, and an established trading partnership, so no need for any long, drawn-out diplomatic bullshit. Considering he’d gone on a mission where he got turned into a bug, he wasn’t going to complain about getting a cushy assignment for a change. The Melthians were at about an Enlightenment level of civilization, and fascinated with technology and gadgets. On their last visit here his team had gotten a lifetime supply of root vegetables out of two videocameras and a home theater system with a fifty inch projection screen TV.
And this bed was huge. For once they could actually fuck without worrying about which one of them was going to fall on the floor.
John poked his head up when he realized Rodney was still standing by the door. “What are you doing way over there?”
“I have my own quarters down the hall,” Rodney said, hooking a thumb sideways. “So I suppose I’ll say good night.”
“If this is about the Countess’ daughter…” John said slowly.
“Don’t be ridiculous,” Rodney snapped. “After all, it’s not as though you were encouraging her.”
John sighed. “Look, what I call being friendly you call flirting. This is not a new topic.”
“Wrong,” Rodney said peevishly. “What you call breathing I call flirting.”
“Rodney, is this really worth denying both of us spectacular sex in—” he stretched out his arms “—this ginormous round bed?”
Rodney blinked, momentarily distracted by acres of mattress. “My God, it is round, isn’t it?”
John nodded. “All it needs is a mirror on the ceiling and a supply of glow-in-the-dark condoms.” The tension in Rodney’s shoulders eased a little, and John knew victory was in sight. “C’mon,” he wheedled. “How often do we get this kind of opportunity?” He trotted out one of his more innocuous smiles, the trust me, I’m harmless one he used on first contacts.
“Oh, don’t think you’re going to charm me with that dopey grin of yours,” Rodney huffed.
John’s smile faded. Obviously, this would require some finesse.
After some quick strategizing, he sat up and began stripping off his vest and belt, then draped them over the nearby chair. Then he skinned out of his t-shirt.
Rodney glanced behind him at the open doorway. “What are you doing?”
John raised his eyebrows. “Getting ready for bed. Since I’m not getting laid tonight, I might as well get some sleep.”
Rodney’s mouth worked soundlessly, and John bit his tongue to keep from laughing. “But we—but we weren’t—”
“Weren’t what?” John asked innocently, taking a couple of steps toward Rodney. “I offered you spectacular sex and you turned me down. Aren’t we done?”
“Well, I—” Rodney paused for a moment, then glared at him. “You’re just trying to get around me.”
John shrugged, enjoying the way Rodney’s eyes darted to his bare shoulders. “Maybe I am trying to…hustle things along a little.” He popped the button on his pants; Rodney’s eyes bugged out. “If we play this game every time you get in a snit, it’s going to seriously cut down on the naked portion of the evening.” He slid his zipper down, and nearly crowed when he saw Rodney’s gaze follow the movement. “In or out, Rodney,” John told him. “Make up your mind.”
Rodney glared at him for another moment, then unfolded his arms and shoved the door closed.
“That’s good,” John murmured, smile returning. This time it was the you have pleased me and now you’re going to get a fabulous blow job smile; Rodney had seen that one a few times, so he ought to recognize it. “Wouldn’t want anybody watching, now, would we?”
“You might,” Rodney shot back, as John’s palms flattened against the door, bracketing Rodney’s head. “I’ll bet you’d love to put on a show for all your admirers…”
John considered getting pissed off over that, because it wasn’t the first time Rodney had implied something along that line, and it was about time John set him straight. He thought about pointing out that if all he’d wanted was an admirer, he sure as hell wouldn’t have taken up with a loudmouthed genius with a case of permanent PMS. But instead, he slid his lips along the path of Rodney’s jugular, felt Rodney suck in a breath. “You one of my admirers? Hm?” When Rodney didn’t respond, he followed up with his tongue. “You want a show?”
“You’d like that, wouldn’t you?” Rodney panted, shoving off the door, wide hands suddenly closing around John’s biceps and pushing him backward. “You’d like me at your feet, worshiping you like all the others.”
John opened his mouth to deny it, because this had officially gone too far, but before he could get a word out the backs of his knees hit the side of the bed and the next thing he knew Rodney was pinning his wrists to the mattress and straddling him and man, who knew that would be such a turn-on?
“I think that maybe,” Rodney murmured, biting John’s left earlobe, “just for tonight—” a matching bite on the right “—you should worship me for a change.”
John opened his mouth, because he had something important to communicate to Rodney.
“Okay,” he said.
About three weeks later, Elizabeth summoned John to her office for an unscheduled meeting. When he arrived, Rodney and Lorne were already there, looking respectively pissy and embarrassed.
“I hope this is more important than what I was working on,” Rodney fumed. “Although unless it involves imminent Wraith attack, I fail to see how that could be possible.”
“Relax, Rodney,” John drawled. “You can get back to your 3-D Tetris game anytime.”
Rodney scowled at him and waved an impatient hand at Lorne. “All right, let’s get to it. Elizabeth said you found something on MG-3875?”
“Uh, yeah,” Lorne said, darting furtive glances at Elizabeth, who was looking…well, now that John was paying attention, she looked kind of embarrassed too. What the hell was going on?
Lorne fell silent, and after an awkward few seconds Elizabeth picked up the ball. “The Major was speaking with one of the traders you met on your first visit to that planet,” she said. “He, um, he apparently had acquired something from the Melthians he thought we should see.”
“Yes, and?” Rodney demanded, when silence descended again.
“The Melthians have…well, as you know they’re fascinated by our technology. Specifically by our entertainment industry.”
“I know,” John said. “We brought them the collector’s edition of The Lord of the Rings trilogy last month and they practically had us canonized.”
“Well, it turns out that’s not the only form of…filmed entertainment they enjoy,” Elizabeth said, practically squirming in her seat.
John stared at her. “Are you trying to tell me they—“ Elizabeth’s cheeks pinkened. “No. Really?”
“What?” Rodney demanded.
John’s jaw dropped. “But where would they have gotten it from? It’s not like we’ve been—”
“They’re…ah…they’re making it,” Elizabeth admitted. “The videocameras…”
“You mean the ones they claimed they wanted for cultural purposes?” John felt a smile tug at the corners of his mouth. “Well, I guess it’s a kind of cultural expression.”
“What?” Rodney blared.
“Oh, for Christ’s sake, Rodney, they’re making porn,” John sighed.
Rodney’s jaw dropped. “You’re kidding.”
“No,” Elizabeth said, her gaze still on the tabletop, “I’m afraid we’re not.”
“Elizabeth, I admit this wasn’t our original intent when we gave them the equipment, but I don’t see that there’s much we can do about it,” John said. “We can’t exactly tell them to give the stuff back to us; it’s going to give us a bad reputation.”
Lorne snorted at that; John shot him a puzzled glance, but he was already looking away. “It’s not their choice of subject matter that’s disturbing me, it’s the way in which they seem to be…choosing their performers,” Elizabeth said. “It would seem that the subjects of these films aren’t aware they’re on camera.”
Rodney made a sour face at that. “Lovely. They’re crude and sleazy.”
"And they seemed like such nice, wholesome folks," John drawled, shaking his head.
With what seemed like a great effort of will, Elizabeth raised her eyes to meet John’s, then Rodney’s.
John’s again. Then Rodney’s again.
When she returned to John for the third time, the wheels slowly turning in John’s head kicked into overdrive.
“Oh, no,” Rodney breathed.
“You got the, uh, evidence?” John asked, forcing the words up through a suddenly dry throat.
Elizabeth nodded to Lorne, who passed the disk to John without meeting his eye. Silently, John and Rodney rose as one and turned to leave.
“Uh,” John said, turning back around at the door. “Any idea how many copies are out there?”
“We’re reviewing our trade agreements now,” Elizabeth said. “Very few worlds have asked for video technology, and fewer have their own entertainment systems.”
“That doesn’t answer…”
Elizabeth twisted her hands together on the tabletop. “The Melthians are becoming very well known for their—” she made a face “—industry. It’s possible there could be quite a few.”
“Great,” John said heavily. “I always wanted to be a star.”
“You know, I would find this hugely ironic under other circumstances.”
John couldn’t take his eyes off the grainy video playing on Rodney’s laptop. Jesus, did his ass really look that skinny? “What circumstances would those be?”
Rodney tilted his head sideways. “My, you are flexible, aren’t you?”
“Oh.” Rodney waved a hand. “The circumstances where a member of your homophobic armed forces did not discover a gay porn film featuring his commanding officer, of course.”
The moaning on the screen was getting louder; John fiddled with the track ball and turned down the volume. “So pretend he didn’t. I still don’t see the irony.”
Rodney glanced at him. “You remember our conversation before—that?”
“Oh. Yeah.” He’d tried pretty hard to forget it; leave it to Rodney to bring it up again. "What's your point?"
Rodney snorted. “Well, it looks like you got what you wanted. Soon the Pegasus galaxy will be littered with your adoring fans.”
“Jesus Christ, Rodney!” John slammed the laptop closed and shot to his feet. “What the hell do you think I am? Who the hell do you think you’ve been fucking for the last six months?”
Rodney stared up at John, eyes huge. “I—I—what are you talking—”
John loomed over him, and Rodney gripped the arms of the chair until his knuckles turned white. “I mean, what image of me is rolling around in that oversized brain of yours? Do you think I sleep around on you with every countess’ daughter and semi-Ascended chick in the galaxy?”
Rodney pursed his lips. “You have to admit they do tend to throw themselves at you with an alarming frequency.”
John threw up his hands. “Fine. Apparently I’m an exhibitionist who fucks anything that moves. This is a banner day of self-discovery for me.”
Rodney frowned and stood. “I didn’t mean—”
“Then what do you mean?” John demanded, moving swiftly into Rodney’s personal space because he couldn’t do anything else, because Rodney had pulled him like a neutron star from day one. “Because believe me, if I really was that kind of guy, I’d be having a lot more fun than I am now.”
Rodney’s mouth opened, then closed again.
“Do you think this is fun for me?” John murmured, leaning in. “You think this is my idea of entertainment, to know every time we’re together that you’re wondering about me, that you’ve got this image of me in your head that isn’t—me? I should be running as fast as I can in the other direction, but I keep coming back for more, every damned time, because I can’t help it, because I’m stuck, I’m fucking stuck like I’ve never—” John trailed off abruptly when he belatedly realized he’d just handed Rodney the gun to shoot him with, along with a couple of clips of high-powered ammo. He straightened and tensed, waiting for the blow.
“You’re—stuck?” Rodney said quietly after a long moment.
John put on his best Lieutenant-Colonel’s scowl.
“On me?” Rodney asked. He looked like somebody had just proven the moon really was made of green cheese.
Something inside John went calm and still at Rodney’s completely unguarded gee-whiz expression. “Yeah, Rodney,” he said patiently, raising a hand to Rodney’s cheek. “On you.”
“Oh. Well.” Rodney fought against the goofball grin and lost. “Why didn’t you say so from the start?”
The corner of John’s mouth jerked upwards, because there was just no fighting gravity. “I can’t imagine why. Not too bright, I guess.”
“I wouldn’t say—mmmph—”
As John wrapped his arms around Rodney’s solid back and pulled him in, he reflected that as much as they both sucked at it, they really should try to communicate with one another every once in a while. Maybe they could start with grunts and hand gestures and work their way up from there.
And then Rodney made a hand gesture on John’s ass, and John decided he liked learning new languages.
“So what are we going to do?”
“Hmmmph?” John was engaged in a high-level study of Rodney’s right nipple, and thus required a couple of seconds to process the question. “Don’t worry about that,” he said eventually. “I have a plan.”
“Yeah. You remember that episode of WKRP In Cincinnati where the sleazy photographer takes pictures of Jennifer getting changed?”
Rodney frowned for a few moments. John could tell the exact moment he’d clued in, because his eyebrows shot up and touched his receding hairline. “No. You’re not suggesting…”
“That Lorne and Elizabeth go undercover as upscale European adult entertainment moguls, make a completely fake offer the Melthians can’t refuse and get their hands on the master tape and all the copies?” John stuck out his lower lip. “Nah. Of course not.”
Rodney started shaking under him, the movement gentle at first but rapidly escalating to earthquake levels.
“Seriously,” John said. “You think Lorne could pull off a German accent?”
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