Title: Pegasus Galaxy's Guide to Essential Trading: Negotiations
Category: Gen, Humor
Disclaimer: I don't own Stargate Atlantis or any of its characters. No infringement is intended, no money is being made.
Spoilers: None. Set in Season 1. This is a sequel to Pegasus Galaxy's Guide to Essential Trading, but while reading that first is nice, it's not required.
Notes: Thanks to Rose Wilde Irish. :)
"You wish to trade for what?" Nalire, one of the Eryian High Council members, asked.
"Condoms," John replied, trying to look and sound as non-mortified as possible.
"And condoms are...?" inquired Mechal.
"You know... birth control. Contraceptives." John, running out of synonyms, shot Rodney, Aiden, and Teyla a "help me" glance. "Prophylactics."
The Eryians, embarrassingly, impossibly, seemed completely clueless.
"They prevent pregnancy," John explained, when it was clear that none of his teammates was going to assist him, "and help prevent diseases that can be transmitted during... The Act."
'The Act' was the "polite" euphemism that the Eryians used- not much of one, in John's opinion, because they all looked away in embarrassment when he said it.
Clearing her throat, Priana said gravely, "I'm sorry, Major Sheppard, but we are unfamiliar with your terms. How do these... condoms... work?"
John gritted his teeth. Elizabeth owed him so much sex.
"They... are these... latex... things, and they... go over the, um..." Here, he gestured down. If he thought the Eryians wouldn't be positively scandalized by even the clinical terms, maybe he wouldn't be having such a difficult time with this. As it was, the Eryians were rather Victorian in their sensibilities. It was strange- they were insatiably curious about everything new and unfamiliar, but while seeing things was perfectly all right, talking about them was taboo.
Most of the Eryians stared in confusion, but Mechal seemed to realize what John meant. In a hushed tone, Mechal said, "You mean The Blessed Rod."
John was trying very, very hard not to laugh. Rodney, meanwhile, looked like he wanted to die- either from suppressed laughter or from the enormous effort it took to keep himself from responding. (John appreciated his rare display of restraint.) Teyla appeared bemused, and Aiden began choking, then coughing, and finally had to excuse himself from the room.
"Yes," John said. "And during... The Act-" Here, more eye aversion from the Eryians. "- the condom collects the... the... secretions from... The Blessed Rod... so they don't, uh, enter the... other person."
The Eryians looked shocked. But also fascinated.
Wide-eyed, Nalire said, "Do you have one of these... condoms with you?"
John looked at Rodney. Rodney looked back. "You're the Casanova, not me," Rodney said, still unforgiving about yesterday's incident.
Frowning, John reached into his vest and took out a small foil package.
"Is that it?" Lran said, intrigued. "It's so... small."
"Actually, it's inside the wrapper," Rodney said, suddenly oh-so-helpful. Shooting a smirk at John, to the Eryians, he offered: "Perhaps you'd like a demonstration on how it works?"
Judging from John's murderous look, Rodney clearly wanted his lungs to be ripped out in the most painful way possible.
The Eryians, however, were thrilled. "A demonstration? How wonderful!"
Not missing a beat, John said, smoothly, coolly, "Of course. Dr. McKay would be more than happy to model this for you."
Rodney, snapping his head around, made a strange squawking sound. "What!"
Ignoring Rodney, John continued, "He is, after all, our scientific genius. He's the most qualified person to explain everything about the condom, including how to use it, its properties, and its effectiveness during The Act." Smiling widely at Rodney, he said, "Dr. McKay?"
"I am not going to-" Rodney began, but John stepped in front of him, cutting him off.
"That's right, you're not going to screw this up, McKay," John said softly, dangerously. "You're the one who suggested this. Don't make me order you."
Rodney glowered for a long moment. "All right, fine," he snapped. "But you owe me."
John tilted his head in concession. "One favor, within reason, with a one-month expiration date."
"Three months, and define 'within reason.'"
"Two months, and anything that doesn't involve getting back at me for this."
Rodney nodded sharply and took a deep breath. Then swallowing, he snatched the package from John's fingers and marched towards the council. Over his shoulder, he said: "You mind if we have some privacy?"
John, grateful that he wouldn't have to watch, turned towards the exit, Teyla following him. They went into the hallway, the doors shutting behind them.
Aiden was sitting on the floor against the opposite wall, his head resting on his knees.
"You okay, Ford?" John asked.
Aiden looked up, his eyes red. "Yes, sir. Where's Dr. McKay?"
Teyla answered: "He is demonstrating how to use the condom for the Eryians."
Aiden stared for several seconds, then lowered his head again, shoulders shaking in silent, hysterical laughter.
John grinned and sank down next to Aiden, patting the younger man on the back.
Perplexed and not knowing what else to do, Teyla settled herself into a chair to wait for Dr. McKay.
Twenty minutes later, the Eryians filed out of the conference room. A few looked rather dazed, but most seemed to- there was no other way to put it- glow with excitement.
John stood, as did Teyla and Aiden. The Eryians approached them.
"Major Sheppard," Priana said, her eyes alight with gratitude, "we thank you very much for what you have showed us."
"You're welcome," John said, unsure of how else to respond. "You sure you weren't... horrified or scarred in any way by the demonstration?"
"Absolutely not," Mechal said, beaming. "We were all extremely impressed."
"These condoms you have brought are most marvelous," Lran said, sounding just as awed as his fellow council members. "We think that, with Dr. McKay's help" - and here some Eryians twittered - "we can replicate them for both our people and yours."
"That is most kind of you," Teyla said.
"And not only that," Nalire added, "but we also thank you for allowing us the privilege to look upon the body of Dr. McKay."
"Er... I'm sorry?" John was sure he had misheard. Nalire could not have just said what he thought she said. But no, Aiden had begun choking again, and even Teyla looked surprised.
"We had no idea that you Lanteans were so well-endowed."
The women of the council, and even some of the men, shot admiring, speculative glances at John and Aiden.
Very rare was it that John Sheppard was left speechless. This, unfortunately, was one of those times. There just wasn't any response to give to something like that.
"Dr. McKay is so wonderfully gifted," Nalire practically gushed. "It is clear that the gods favor your kind."
Still at a loss for words, John could only stare stupidly at their shining faces. This was hell, he decided. Complete and utter hell. And if the whole situation weren't bad enough already, Rodney practically waltzed out seconds later, looking extremely self-satisfied.
Thankfully, they didn't have to endure many more pandering thank-yous from the Eryians, who were eager to begin their condom production.
As the four of them were leaving, John finally rediscovered his voice. "Rodney? About that favor? Consider it rescinded."
And McKay, that bastard, didn't even have the grace to protest. Instead, he looked even more smug, if that were possible, and began whistling.
Elizabeth was so going to pay, John thought darkly, glaring at Rodney's back.
But, at least, thanks to the new agreement he'd just forged, he could get started on payback right away...