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Fic:Not Quite a Rabbit's Foot (pg-13)

Title: Not Quite a Rabbit's Foot
Author: melagan
Pairing: John/Rodney
Rating: PG-13
Prompt: Crowd
Beta:em_kellesvig mistakes=mine
word count: ~ 1760
Summary: Set early season two, the team encounters a good luck charm – Pegasus style



This should be a piece of cake, John thought. Beautiful day, easy offworld meet and greet with proven friendlies, and some excellent eats in the near future. While the ache of Ford's absence still lingered, John couldn't be happier at how Ronon had settled in with the team. The good vibe lasted until Rodney opened his mouth.

"Hmm," Rodney looked up from his scanner and looked around at the gathering crowd. Not so much a crowd as a group of townspeople and not so much a town as a muddy village. "Hmm."

"What is it, McKay?" John asked.

"This is supposed to be a simple meet and greet. One of those, how are you doing since the last time we here things that Elizabeth likes so much, am I right?"

"Yes, Rodney," Teyla answered, arching an amused eyebrow. "As I recall, we could only get you to come with us by reminding you of their local barbeque."

John rocked up on his toes. "Closest thing to a Hawaiian luau we've run across in this galaxy. All they're missing are the grass skirts." At Ronon's interested expression, John added, "Promise to take you to one, when we get back to Earth, big guy."

Rodney scowled. "Leave it to you to bring up leggy grass-skirted dancers, Colonel, and completely miss the point."

"Which is?" John asked.

"Take a closer look at everyone here. Notice anything out of the ordinary?"

"There is something vaguely familiar…" John said, peering at the closest group.

"Yes, I see. They all have…" Teyla paused, looking to Ronon for help.

Ronon stepped up, grabbed John by his wrist where he wore the sweatband, and held it up in front of his face. "They're all like you."

"Wha…? I don’t…" John looked at the people milling around the stalls, bargaining or buying depending on the wares. That wasn't strange; they saw that kind of thing often enough. Low-tech but effective economy.

"Look closer," Rodney, insisted.

Every adult and child wore a wristband of sorts. Some it seemed were made of leather, others fabric, and others looked like a cord or ribbon wrapped securely around their wrists. And in every case, if they were not the color black, they were as close as the wearer could mimic.

"Oh." John looked sheepishly at his team. "That's really weird."

"Yes – oh. Rodney snapped. "But why?"

"What do you think it means?" Teyla asked.

"Besides weird? Maybe it's some kind of ritual," Ronon shrugged. He flashed a grin at John. "Or punishment. You can never tell with this kind of thing."

"Stop." Rodney held up his hand. "I don't want to hear it if you're about to suggest this is some kind of John Sheppard hero worship."

"Hey, what's wrong with that?" John protested. "That would be cool."

Rodney glared at John. "Teyla, would you please see if you can find out what's going on? With the colonel's luck, they'll turn out to be some kind of wannabe self-sacrificing groupies and you know how well that's likely to work out."

"I hardly think they'd involve the children in any kind of sacrifice, Rodney," Teyla said. She gave a sidelong glance in John's direction. "Although, I agree. We should find out more."

"There." Teyla pointed to a canvas structure that looked like every other one around it. The only difference John could see was a blue and white flag tied to the top of a pole near the entrance. "Halling's half-brother, Dralyn, has his wares for sale there. He'll help us."

"Knives?" Ronon asked hopefully.

"Not usually. He specializes in leather goods." She held up a hand to halt their progress. "I recommend you think about something you'd like to purchase from him before we get there. A knife sheath perhaps?"

Ronon appeared to give this thought. Rodney frowned, and John absolutely did not fantasize about long, soft, leather strips he could tie Rodney to the bed with. That would be wrong. And distracting. Besides, they didn't have that kind of relationship. They were teammates. That's all, and god, how did this day suddenly get so depressing?

As they approached the tent, the crowd parted around them. Not your usual stepping aside either. This was stepping aside with intent. The hairs rose on the back of John's neck. "Anyone else get the feeling we have an audience?"

Rodney rolled his eyes. "And why wouldn't we, Colonel Oblivious? They're all probably trying to figure out what to mimic next. Let's just hope it's not your hair. Not unless you're planning a little side project of black-market Brylcream."

"I think you're just jealous," John said. "I bet if everyone were running around with mock datapads and worshiping coffee, you'd sing a different tune."

"I don't worship coffee…I just appreciate… why am I even talking to you?" Rodney gave an exasperated sigh. "Look, let's just follow the others inside and see if Teyla found out anything, okay?"

Expecting he'd need to let his eyes adjust to the gloom, John was surprised to find the inside of the tent light and airy. Shafts of sunlight filtered through openings in the canvas and they could clearly see Dralyn's wares spread out on a long bench in front of them. Belts, sacks of various sizes, scabbards, and wrappings were on display.

"Doing a brisk trade in wrist bindings today," Dralyn said, smiling expansively. "Can I interest any of you in one?"

"We have the original right here." Rodney dragged John forward. "I don't suppose you could tell us what the attraction is?"

"Colonel Sheppard! This is indeed an honor. When I saw Teyla, I'd hoped you would be here as well. Please, all of you, take any item you like. My gift to you in honor of your legendary bravery."

"Yes, about that, Dralyn –" Teyla began.

"She means," Rodney interrupted, "why is everyone gussied up like the Colonel's shadow?"

"Gussied…up?" Dralyn looked baffled.

"McKay means, why does everyone have a band on their wrist like Sheppard." Ronon's hand rested easy on the hilt of his gun. "It better be a good answer."

Dralyn held his hands up wide and smiled, "It is. Very good."

~*~


Rodney held a can of beer out to John and sat down next to him on the pier. The stars were brilliant in the night sky and he took a few minutes just to enjoy the view and to make sure John took a good long swallow of beer. "So," he finally said, turning to John, "how do you feel about your machismo being used for profit?"

The velocity of beer spewing out into the air was quite impressive.

"My what!?"

"Machismo, boldness, bravery in the ugly face of a wraith queen, that kind of thing." Rodney grinned into his beer can."

"Well, I admit it was disappointing to find out Dralyn played the whole thing to sell his goods. But you know, I did escape from the hive ship and I rescued Teyla and Ronon to boot," John said with a smirk.

"I saw those hive ships destroy each other. I can't figure out how anyone could have even known about it." Rodney gave John a nod. "Very clever getting them to fire on each other by the way."

"Thanks. I just wish I could have rescued Ford too."

Wordlessly, Rodney handed John another beer.

"He could have escaped in time. Maybe. We did."

"You did." Rodney leaned so that his shoulder brushed against John's. "It would explain how Dralyn and his people knew about your escape from the Wraith queen. After all, someone must have told them and we know it wasn't the crew of the Daedalus."

"I still can't believe that haggler used something like this old wristband and turned it into a …a…um…"

"Heroic symbol for profit?"

"Don't go there, Rodney, it's creepy. Almost as creepy as Neera."

"Hmm, well it is a bit like selling white cowboy hats. No one really believes wearing one is suddenly going make you a hero. It just makes other people think you're one of the good guys."

John hiccupped. "At least you didn't say Superman's tights. Thank you very much for that."

"You brain is a strange place, Sheppard." Rodney paused. "There is something else we need to think about and that's how fast gossip travels in this galaxy. We're gone from a galaxy where the Stargate is hush-hush to a galaxy where word of mouth is two steps away from any planet. We're not used to thinking on that level. Yes, I admit it, not even me."

A look of horror crossed John's face.

"The wristband mania probably won't spread."

"You're just saying that to make me feel better."

"Okay, yes. I have no idea how many people will start wearing the John Sheppard Wristband of Survival. By tomorrow, it could be everyone on every planet in Pegasus for all I know."

John sighed. "Way to help, Rodney."

"Let's talk about something else then. What did you pick out of Dralyn's basket?"

"Maybe this isn't a good time," John's voice dropped and he refused to look Rodney in the eye.

"John?"

"Okay, maybe it is time I said something. Hold out your wrist, Rodney."

Puzzled but willing to play along, Rodney did just that. John wrapped a soft narrow band of dark leather around his wrist, his fingers gentle but firm against Rodney's sensitive skin. He looped it only once letting the long ends of it hang free.

"You –"

"Yeah, me," John answered back softy. "If this thing's got any luck at all attached to it, I want you to have it too. Um, you're supposed to wrap it more times. I could help you with that."

Rodney stared the binding on his wrist. It couldn't be an accident that the ends were long enough to tie a person to a bedpost. If one had such a bed. Pieces of a puzzle began to fall into place. Looks, touches, and John's endearing smile that no one else ever saw. Rodney swallowed hard.

"Yes. I'd like you to, I mean I'd like to…" He paused, damning his fair completion as the heat rose up to his cheeks. He trusted John. He certainly trusted John to keep him safer than any luck charm possibly could. What did he have to lose? He would say this, with all the implications attached, and oh, he had no doubt John would get every implication.

Bravely, Rodney laid his bound wrist over John's and asked. "I don't suppose you took a full set of these?"

~~*~~

Comments

( 27 comments — Leave a comment )
mezzo_cammin
Mar. 10th, 2013 06:43 pm (UTC)
Ohhhh. I love it!

"This was stepping aside with intent."

I loved that line! And a little pining!John and no-longer-oblivious Rodney is a perfect touch. That the beer on the pier started that early, too, is just wonderful.

*happy sigh*
melagan
Mar. 10th, 2013 10:37 pm (UTC)
Thanks hon.

I like to think beer on the pier started early on.

About the time Rodney saved them from the power-eating entity sounds about right to me :)
danceswithgary
Mar. 10th, 2013 06:54 pm (UTC)
Wonderful! :-D
melagan
Mar. 10th, 2013 10:38 pm (UTC)
Hee, I'm pleased as peaches I was able to finally get a prompt filled
esteefee
Mar. 10th, 2013 07:47 pm (UTC)
oh, I love the exploration into how Pegasus gates affect society and culture...and the mystery and the banter and the beer on the pier. :))) so terrific.

and Halling's cousin! :D
melagan
Mar. 10th, 2013 10:41 pm (UTC)
Aw thank you.
goddess47
Mar. 10th, 2013 07:57 pm (UTC)
John leans back from his oh-so-careful knot... one that would be secure but that he could loosen in an instant...

He finally had to gag Rodney, who wouldn't stop asking talking as John had put the first binding on one ankle. John grinned as Rodney squawked when John brought out the gag but John also noticed that Rodney's cock leaked a bit more as he tied the gag on.

Rodney lay spread eagle on the bed, blue eyes dancing in anticipation.

John touched Rodney's shoulder, to make sure John had his full attention. "Now that I've got you here, I'm going to enjoy myself..." He kissed Rodney's temple. "Just so you know..."

Rodney's groan contained both frustration and glee....
melagan
Mar. 10th, 2013 10:43 pm (UTC)
Nrughhhh. Go on, don't let me stop you.. that's a hell of an epilogue.
popkin16
Mar. 11th, 2013 12:16 pm (UTC)
Oh god, the image of Rodney spread eagle on a bed, tied down, gagged, hard and leaking...*fans self fervently*

I think I need to go step out into the cold air outside for a moment.
mckaysmonkey
Mar. 10th, 2013 08:56 pm (UTC)
You know, I can imagine something like this might actually happen with Dralyn the Athosian leather worker using a story about John to convince people to buy leather wristbands. After all, human nature isn't much different in Pegasus from Earth.

Loved pining!John finally getting what he wanted :-)
melagan
Mar. 10th, 2013 10:46 pm (UTC)
I do rather enjoy pining John.

I figure we all know someone like Dralyn. He's the cousin that even makes Halling roll his eyes. *g*
ldyanne
Mar. 10th, 2013 11:40 pm (UTC)
The first part of the story had me laughing and giggling. I love the idea that everyone is wearing John's wristband! Then we get to the pier and the story took a wonderful turn into that part of John and Rodney's relationship that's my favorite - the friends who are always there for each other. They might give each other grief, but it's done with love. The ending is just perfect!

Bravely, Rodney laid his bound wrist over John's and asked. "I don't suppose you took a full set of these?" I love BraveRodney. He's my very favorite Rodney.
melagan
Mar. 11th, 2013 12:55 am (UTC)
- the friends who are always there for each other...

Always. *happy sigh*

I admit I love BraveRodney so very much.
runpunkrun
Mar. 11th, 2013 04:14 am (UTC)
The wristband catches on! And John picks out an extra-long, multi-purpose one for Rodney. I love it.
melagan
Mar. 11th, 2013 04:25 am (UTC)
w00t!

This is one case where the ending demanded I take it there. ;)
fanficfan123
Mar. 11th, 2013 05:27 am (UTC)
Pegasus fad--fashion with a satisfying twist, for the guys and us readers as well.
melagan
Mar. 11th, 2013 11:55 am (UTC)
Thank you.I appreciate the comment :)
fanficfan123
Mar. 11th, 2013 07:57 pm (UTC)
You're very welcome.
popkin16
Mar. 11th, 2013 09:28 am (UTC)
I don't think it's possible to type the noise I made while reading this. Especially when I read John absolutely did not fantasize about long, soft, leather strips he could tie Rodney to the bed with. as well as the line: It couldn't be an accident that the ends were long enough to tie a person to a bedpost. Those two lines, plus the very last one...you really know how to get me to make inhuman noises, bb.

"If this thing's got any luck at all attached to it, I want you to have it too."

;SKFAJS;KF SO SWEET. BOYS.

*favorites*

Edited at 2013-03-11 09:29 am (UTC)
melagan
Mar. 11th, 2013 11:58 am (UTC)
*coff* yes, well, that sort of snuck itself in there. What can you do? (read goddess47's comment above. She tossed up a hot like burning epilogue.)
popkin16
Mar. 11th, 2013 12:14 pm (UTC)
FSFKAJ; An epilogue you say? Hell yeah! *rushes to read*
lazy_8s
Mar. 11th, 2013 05:44 pm (UTC)

Poor John....and he didn't even get a cent from that endorsement deal. 'giggles' The pier scene was especially awesome with John giving Rodney the leather strap. :)
melagan
Mar. 12th, 2013 12:44 am (UTC)
Not one darn penny. Somehow I think he's happy with the outcome anyway :)
trillingstar
Mar. 12th, 2013 07:43 am (UTC)
It was like Jayne finding that statue of himself! ;) Loved the premise, love the idea that Pegasus galaxy has fads and belief in items designed to bring luck & good fortune too, love John's wandering thoughts on the subjects of beds, leather, and Rodney. *happy sigh*
melagan
Mar. 12th, 2013 12:08 pm (UTC)
*grins at you* Thank you sweets.

heee Jayne/statue was priceless.
squidgiepdx
Mar. 13th, 2013 01:38 am (UTC)
Eeeeeeee!!!!! OMG, that was adorable - and very, very cute! I can't believe John actually got the leather tie - but it's perfect Rodney wants a full set!!!
melagan
Mar. 13th, 2013 01:43 am (UTC)
Poor John could not resist the temptation!
( 27 comments — Leave a comment )

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