It had become a tradition. After every mission, once everyone was examined and debriefed, Sheppard's team gathered together in Rodney's room. They had all branched out through Atlantis now and had bigger quarters. Rodney's wasn't the biggest, it was basically the most centrally located of the four and it was the messiest. So he didn't care if people spilled drinks or crumbs or added to the mess, which made it more relaxing.
The last mission had been rough. Teyla had injured her shoulder, Ford had a distinct limp and Sheppard had taken a hit to the head that had made him disoriented for a period. Beckett had intended to keep him in the infirmary but his teammates had rescued him. Rodney, who had escaped even a scratch, had offered to keep watch over Sheppard overnight. Which the major had agreed to with the intention of sneaking back to his own quarters later. What he didn't know was that Rodney had no intention of letting him out of his sight. Or out of his room.
Right now, however, they were all strategically sprawled about the main room. Everyone had insisted Sheppard take the couch. He was supposed to be on bed rest after all. And eventually he had ended up as he was now, his head cushioned on a pillow in Teyla's lap, her slim fingers soothing his brow.
Rodney watched them and imagined his own fingers smoothing the warm skin. But for not he settled for watching Teyla do it, knowing that she and Sheppard were nothing more than friends.
"Another round, Dr. Mckay?" Ford asked, holding up a bottle of Athosian wine. They had all imbibed of a few, with the exception of major Sheppard who was not allowed alcohol and who had pouted about it for over an hour.
"I'm good," Rodney replied, gesturing to the few swallows that remained in his glass. "I've got an idea," he countered.
Sheppard opened his eyes and moaned. "That can't be good." There was a teasing light in his green-hazel eyes however.
Rodney mock-glared at him. In the past six months they had become good friends. All of them really. A team in every sense of the word. "Since we're all tired and half snockered, it's the perfect time to find out embarrassing stuff about each other."
"Not sex stuff, right?" Ford shuddered as he asked.
"No. I have no interest in your sex kinks, Lt," Rodney shot back. "I was thinking more along the lines of most embarrassing job ever."
Teyla frowned, but her fingers never still there movements in Sheppard's hair. "What do you mean by job?"
John explained. "It's doing something to get paid so you can buy things. Sometimes it's neccessity stuff. Sometimes you do a part time gig for a car or something cool."
"God..I remember what I did to get the car I wanted," Ford groaned.
"Do tell," Rodney prompted. He shifted into a more comfortable position in his chair and waited.
Ford made a face. "Okay..I can't believe I'm telling you this..but I worked as a Chicken at the local Cluck a Duck fast food place."
Sheppard snorted with laughter then grimaced and pressed a hand to his temple. "Ow. Let me guess...yellow, feathered, suit?"
"You got it." Ford sighed. "It was the most embarrassing thing ever."
"I'm not sure I understand," Teyla interjected.
Ford explained. "I had to wear a suit that made me look like a big chicken and stand in front of the joint clucking and trying to lure people inside to eat."
Frown lines appeared in Teyla's forehead. "That sounds..strange."
"Wish I could have seen that," Rodney stated. The image was highly amusing. "How old were you?"
"Eighteen and desperate." Ford started laughing at the memory. "Worst part of it was when one of my friends found out. I was working at the store on the other end of town on purpose, so no one would know. But my friends cousin happened to pop in and told my friend and that was that. Everyone showed up with cameras."
Sheppard laughed, more quietly this time. "If we ever make it back to Earth, you are so going to show us pictures." That said, Sheppard looked at Rodney. "Okay...your turn. What did you do?"
Rodney was ready for this. "I worked at a flower shop, making arrangements. And I sucked at it."
"I just..I can't picture you playing with flowers," Sheppard confessed.
"Me either." Rodney sighed. It had been very embarrassing, mainly because not only had he sucked at making the arrangements, but he was pretty much allergic to everything in the store. "My aunt gave me the job because she knew I wanted to buy this amazing telescope. But it cost six hundred dollars and I was broke. So she told me she would buy me the telescope if I would work in her store for the two weeks she was on vacation. The other two people who worked for her weren't going to be there either. One had just had a baby and the other got arrested. Or something. So I did it and I sucked at it and I couldn't breathe or see half the time." Rodney shuddered at the memory. Although compared to what Ford had done in the name of money, his experience was rather more tragic than embarrassing.
John glanced over at Rodney. "So..did you get the telescope?"
Rodney winced. "I did but only because of Old Lady Pruitt. She took pity on me and when she came in to buy some roses. She took over and everything ran smoothly and she let me take all the credit for it. Only I had to do her a favor in return."
"And what was the favor?" Ford's eyes gleamed in anticipation.
"I had to....um...massage her feet for two weeks." Rodney mumbled his reply but could tell everyone heard him. He did become alarmed a bit when Sheppard kept moaning between peals of laughter. In fact, Rodney got up and went over to him when his laughter turned into coughing. He helped Teyla sit Sheppard up. "You okay?" Rodney asked, his eyes locked on the major's suddenly pale face."
John winced then nodded, carefully. "I'm fine. Really. At ease," he ordered his teammates, as they crowded in around him. "I just need some water."
Ford was on it. "Here, sir."
"Shep or John, remember?" Sheppard replied, as he accepted the glass.
"Drink up, John," Rodney ordered him, tilting the glass to help. They had all agreed to be informal when together like this. Made the atmosphere more relaxing.
Teyla was rubbing Sheppard's back to soothe him. She took the empty glass when he was done then rearranged the pillow on her lap so he could lay back down but be sitting up a bit more.
John smiled at her. "Thanks but you don't have to play pillow for me."
"I do not mind," Teyla insisted.
"Lay down before you fall down," Rodney interjected, as he pressed Sheppard back until he was reclining again.
John made a face at him. "I was sitting, Rodney. I wasn't going to fall down."
Rodney shrugged. "Whatever." He then returned to his chair. "So...Sheppard, your turn. Most embarrassing job." To Rodney's surprise, a flush stained the major's cheeks.
"You know...I can't really think of anything," John countered, and it was a blatant lie and they all knew it.
"Come on, sir..uh..John. Nothing can beat out dressing up like a chicken," Ford prompted.
Sheppard grinned and conceded defeat. But his voice was barely a whisper as he blurted out, "I worked as a model."
Teyla was frowning again. "What is a model?"
"A model?" Ford crowed in delight. "Like with portfolios and walking the walk on the cat walk and stuff?"
"What is a model?" Teyla repeated.
Rodney took pity on her. "It's a job where pretty people get paid to stand around a look pretty while they have their picture taken," he explained. And he was smiling as he did so, with interesting images dancing in his head.
Teyla knew what pictures were. Ford had shown her his camera and explained how it worked. She smiled down at Sheppard. "What is embarrassing about that? You are very pretty, John."
"God." Sheppard turned crimson and clapped his hands to his face to cover it.
"So details," Rodney persisted. "When and where and why?"
John sighed and lowered his hands. He was still flushed pink though. "I did it in college. I had to pay for my own expenses since the scholarship only covered so much and my father refused to help since I was going against what he wanted. Anyway...one of my professors was married to a photographer who was canvasing for new...faces...on campus one day and she picked me to do some work for her. I laughed it off until she told me how much I could make for just a few hours of standing around and having my picture taken. So...I did it."
Rodney nodded. "Any runway work?"
"Yeah and print ads and catalogues and stuff." He glared at the scientist. And don't you dare even THINK about trying to find any of that stuff. You hear me, Rodney? I will rip you to shreds if any of it ever shows up here in Atlantis."
"Now how would I manage that?" Rodney countered, an innocent expression on his face. "I can't get internet connection from here."
John glared at him. "You're very...creative." It was a backhanded compliment.
Rodney accepted it. "That's not really embarrassing, John. I mean...Teyla is right. You're very pretty --"
"Come over here and say that," John growled.
"Okay." Rodney got up and knelt down beside the couch, face to face with the major. "You're very pretty, John. Beautiful in fact." Rodney watched, in delight, as what he knew had to be a full body blush made it's way up to Sheppard's cheeks.
Ford was laughing. "No more calling me *pretty boy*, sir," he countered.
Sheppard turned his glare on the Lt. "Hey..it was just that once when you got blasted. And you were worried about your face, Ford. Don't even bother to deny it." But as he spoke, John was smiling. But it faded as a jaw cracking yawn caught him off guard.
Rodney was on his feet and pulling Sheppard to his. "Bed for you. It's late." He looked at the others. "Lock the door on your way out." It was a subtle hint for them to leave . Or maybe not so subtle.
"Goodnight, Rodney. John." Teyla was formal as ever in her farewells. She touched a hand to Sheppard's face then nodded to ROdney before leading Ford out.
"Night all!" Ford called over his shoulder. Then he and Teyla were gone.
Rodney was guiding Sheppard into his bedroom. The covers were already back since ROdney hadn't bothered to make the bed this morning. He pushed Sheppard down and reached for the hem of his tee shirt.
John slapped his hand away. "What are you doing?"
"Getting you ready for bed. Duh." Rodney knew Sheppard was tired, but he was being really dense tonight.
"I'm not staying." John made to stand up but Rodney's hand on his chest pressed him down into the pillows.
Rodney glared at Sheppard. "I gave Carson my word."
John glared back. "I can't stay. How would it look?"
"Who cares." Rodney rolled his eyes and decided to go to work on getting John's pants off first. And he did so with familiar eased, helped along when Sheppard raised his hips off the bed. Rodney decided to let John keep his boxers and tee shirt on. After all he really did need to sleep. No fooling around for them tonight. But that didn't mean they couldn't cuddle and kiss. So Rodney stripped down to his own boxers and tee and climbed into bed. He then gathered John into his arms and kissed him. They lazily bumped tongues, no one fighting for control. It wasn't about that between them anymore. Rodney had one hand in John's soft hair and he pulled back and looked his fill of the beautiful face. "So how come you never told me about the modeling thing?"
"Why would I?" John rolled his eyes at Rodney. "I'm military. Can you imagine what hell I would have suffered if anyone found out about that?"
Rodney could imagine. "I am going to find all your pictures some day," he warned.
John grinned. "You can try."
"Did you have a porfolio?"
"How do you know so much about modeling stuff?" John countered.
Rodney smirked. "That's for me to know and you to never find out. So...did you?" He wasn't about to let John distract him.
Sheppard sighed. "Yeah. It's locked away with a friend. A good friend who cannot be bribed. Ever. In any way."
"We'll see about that." Rodney shifted Sheppard, making them both more comfortable. "Turn the lights off," he ordered, and smiled when John thought the room dark. "Now go to sleep."
They fell into warm silence until John hissed, "Get your hand off my ass!"
Rodney clamped his fingers tighter around the curved muscle inside John's boxers. "No. It's mine."
"I can't sleep if you..uh..do...that!" John cursed and hissed then moaned.
"Go to sleep." Rodney was smiling as he spoke. "You're used to falling asleep with my cock inside you, I'm sure you can adjust to my finger." Rodney could feel the heat of John's blush through both their shirts. But then it was his turn to moan when sharp teeth clamped on one nipple through his tee shirt. "Ow." Rodney sighed. "Okay...you win." He slid his finger out but kept his hand clamped on Sheppard's sweet behind. "Now...go to sleep. Pretty baby."
John growled. "I am so going to make you pay for that in the morning, Rodney," he promised.
Rodney couldn't wait. "Sweet dreams," he whispered against Sheppard's hair.
"Sweet dreams...jerk." John replied.
Rodney let his eyes close but he didn't drift off himself until he felt John's body relax against his and his breathing change. Rodney then shifted back just enough to study John's face in the shadowy darkness. "My pretty baby," he said softly. Then he let sleep claim him.
Summary: McShep and Ford and Teyla discuss their most embarrassing jobs. Just a silly bit of fic.