Free to Be

by Kass

Written for the Kids challenge at Fan Flashworks.Thanks to Sheafrotherdon for looking it over!

"Thank you, John," Teyla said warmly, looking down at the shockingly pink CD which was now in Torren's hand.

At least it was shrinkwrapped, Rodney thought, as the baby promptly drooled on it.

"I know he's too young for it now," John said, "but--"

Rodney rolled his eyes. "But you wanted to expose him to some of the clich├ęs of Earth culture."

"You can ignore him," John said to Teyla conspiratorially. Ronon snickered.

"I'm right here!" Rodney huffed. "Also, I don't know how recently you've listened to that thing, but it's ridiculously dated now."

John raised an eyebrow. "Really."

"The gender roles?" Rodney was building up a head of steam. "Please. I'd like to think we've moved beyond a world where girls want to be cocktail waitresses and boys are shamed for wanting dolls."

Too late he realized that Teyla and Ronon looked amused and John looked triumphant.

"I don't know, Rodney," John said breezily, "when was the last time you listened to it?"

"Jeannie was really into it," Rodney protested. "I couldn't forget those songs now if I tried."

"Uh-huh," Ronon said, sounding so dubious that Rodney reached over and whacked him in the bicep, which he promply regretted having done. It made his knuckles hurt, and Ronon looked as though he hadn't even noticed.

Teyla bent her face into Torren's neck, shaking slightly. Rodney was worried until he heard the muffled giggling.

"I don't know why I put up with any of you," Rodney groused.

John leaned over, resting a hand on Rodney's arm. "Because I'm pretty, and you're an engineer?" he murmured, right into the shell of Rodney's ear. Unbidden, the snip of song rose up in Rodney's mind: When we grow up, Diana Ross sang in his memory, will I be pretty, will you be an engineer?

John was pretty. Especially when his eyes were closed and his cheekbones were hollowed and he was sucking Rodney's cock, which was the context in which Rodney had called him pretty, just last night. Rodney could feel his cheeks pinking at the memory.

And he really didn't want Ronon and Teyla to see him remembering that. He did his best to scowl. "I didn't need that earworm."

John shrugged, looking unrepentant. "Sorry."

"I look forward to this experience of your childhood culture," Teyla said brightly, beaming at both of them.

"Is it going to make your people seem less weird?" Ronon asked.

John looked as though he were really considering that for a moment. "Probably not," he admitted.

"Think I'll skip it, then." Ronon stood and picked up Teyla's lunch tray along with his own.

"It's not for you anyway," Rodney pointed out. "It's for him."

All of their eyes turned to Torren, who was now gumming the cd with infant enthusiasm.

"...maybe I'll get you the mp3s," John offered.

"That might be a good idea," Teyla agreed.

The End