by Kass

Written for a kiss fest at mcsmooch on lj, spring 2008.

It's some kind of festival of spring and rebirth on MQ4-311, and Teyla's eyes light up when the headwoman lists the dishes on the menu.

"The soup is one of my favorites," she murmurs to Rodney as they're making their way to their table. "And if all is as I remember it, the sweet at the end of the meal is as light as seafoam."

"Seafoam," Ronon repeats, sounding amused.

"It is very good," Teyla says serenely.

The four of them get seated with the headwoman. John smiles and bows to everyone at the table. (Rodney just nods, because bowing feels stupid.) When the anticipatory hush falls on the tent, Rodney has momentary hopes that the meal is coming out, but no -- it's ceremonial drummers. And dancers. In costumes. By the time the folk music component of the ceremony is over, Rodney's famished.

The meal, unfortunately, turns out to be basically inedible. To Rodney, anyway. Egg soup that's full of lemon juice (Rodney can smell it the moment the bowls are placed on the table), roasted birds stuffed with whole lemons, fresh greens drizzled with a lemon vinaigrette. The aroma makes his mouth water, and every bit of it is toxic.

Teyla makes his apologies for him, and the headwoman doesn't seem offended, which is a relief. But apparently every bit of food in their kitchens has been tainted with citrus, because they don't offer Rodney any alternatives. He sits there and watches everyone else eat -- making happy smacking noises, licking their fingers -- and eats a power bar morosely.

John refuses his lemon mousse, which is odd enough that Rodney gives him a sidelong look. And he drinks a lot of water. And during the ceremonial post-prandial washing of hands, he spends more time getting clean than seems entirely necessary.

Rodney ought to recognize all of these things as the signs that they are, but he's too busy feeling put-out at having to sit through a spring feast that he can't actually eat.

So when John corners him behind the festival tent, pushes him against an outbuilding and frames his face with both hands before gently licking a kiss into his mouth, Rodney's taken-aback.

John kisses like there's nothing in the universe he'd rather be doing. Rodney's body -- Rodney's heart! -- does not want to stop.

Regretfully, Rodney pulls back. "Okay, what did they put in that food?" He's breathless; how embarrassing.

"Excuse me?" John's hair is mussed and his lips are wet and Rodney really wants to kiss him again.

"This!" Rodney gestures between them. "Not exactly -- typical behavior."

"Oh," John says, and has the gall to grin. He looks insouciant and absurdly attractive and it just isn't fair. "They didn't spike the food, Rodney."

"But you --"

"You looked like you could use some cheering up," John says, shrugging one shoulder. "I figured --"

The faintest shadow passes across his features.

"I didn't figure wrong, did I?"

There's no response Rodney can offer besides kissing him back.

(500 words)

The End