Summary: "We don't have your stupid Pegasus Galaxy chicken pox!"
Rating: PG (pants on, but happy touching)
Thanks: To gritkitty for beta.
Notes: Written for the splendiferous Punk, who made March a happy month indeed.
The Tagnalians herded them into a hut, completely ignoring Rodney's steady stream of complaints. "We don't have your stupid Pegasus Galaxy chicken pox! And putting us in a hut with straw walls isn't exactly the height of sanitation!"
By that time, though, the door was shut, and no one was listening. Except John.
"A dirt floor? If they want us to get sick, this is an excellent way to ensure it happens. God knows what kind of microbes are lurking in here."
John sighed and scuffed at the floor with the toe of his boot, digging a little hole. "Look, Ronon warned us this might happen. They'll never believe we're not carriers, so it's quicker to just go along with it."
"Carriers of their completely imaginary disease." Rodney sank down onto one of the low cots up against a wall of the hut.
"Rodney, I don't think it's imaginary."
"Fine, I'm sure there's some local equivalent to the common cold, but exempting Teyla and Ronon from the quarantine makes no sense. Just because they're both native to this galaxy -- their planets are hundreds of light years apart!"
"Yeah, planets with stargates and a history of interstellar trade." The light wasn't too good, but John was pretty sure Rodney had just given him the 'fine, take their side' look. He sat on the far end of Rodney's cot and tried stretching his legs out to rest on the other cot, then discovered that the hut's wall wouldn't support his weight. He gave up and pulled a piece of straw from the wall and amused himself for a few minutes by folding and unfolding it. He'd brought a book in his vest, just in case, but it was too dark to read, and the Tagnalians had confiscated Rodney's laptop.
"Why is it that the societies who make us jump through the largest number of hoops usually have the least to offer?" Rodney asked. "Is life just that unfair?"
"Maybe you should relax. Look at this like a vacation." John wasn't finding it too relaxing. He wished he'd sat on the other cot, a little further from Rodney, but there was no way to move without making it obvious. With nothing to look at and nothing to occupy him, he was hyper-aware of Rodney's body heat, the sound of his voice in the darkness, the rustle of his clothing.
"What if we do have it? Maybe we caught it on that swamp planet last week. I could be running a fever."
John touched the back of his hand to Rodney's cheek. Bad idea. "You're fine," he said brusquely.
He heard Rodney inhale, hold the breath, and let it out in a muted sigh. "Um, are you sure? Maybe you should check again. Just to be sure."
"Okay," John said, and feeling reckless, left his hand there until Rodney pressed into it. He turned his hand over, cupped Rodney's jaw, and rubbed two fingers against the slight stubble. With his thumb, he traced along Rodney's lips. They parted to say, "Ha, I knew it," and then Rodney pulled him in and kissed him. The cot creaked as they moved closer together; John slipped a hand between Rodney's legs, and Rodney moaned.
"Keep it down," John murmured. "There's a guard outside the door."
"I can be quiet," Rodney said, and when he buried his face in John's neck, it was John who made the noise.
Three days later, when they started showing symptoms of what Rodney crankily called "the Pegasus Plague," Rodney blamed the dirt floor. John thought he might be right, but he'd had too much fun in that hut to really regret it.