Disclaimer – I own nothing to do with the Stargate franchise.
No spoilers that I can think of. Please review and tell me what you think!
"Major, what is foreplay?"
John almost choked on the water he was in the process of swallowing. He could feel himself going red as he turned to face Teyla, who was standing by the window, her face the picture of innocent curiosity.
"Er, why do you ask?" He asked her, giving the act of replacing the cap on his water canteen far more concentration than it needed.
"It was something Captain Rowling said."
That had John's attention. His head snapped up and he narrowed his eyes. "What did he say?" He asked, his voice deceptively calm.
Teyla frowned slightly and sat down on the window seat, her bantos sticks across her knees. The sun was beaming through the stained glass behind her, making it difficult for John to see anything but a multi-coloured silhouette.
"Well, we were discussing our training sessions – yours and mine – and the kind of fighting I was training you in," she explained. "Captain Rowling seemed to think it involved far more contact than it does. When I explained to him the form of the fighting, he said something under his breath which I just about heard, but I do not understand."
"About foreplay?" John said weakly.
Teyla nodded. "Yes, he said – 'It's all foreplay, baby,'" she said. Pause. "He would not tell me what 'foreplay' is – in fact he seemed rather embarrassed."
John gaped at Teyla, trying to think of a way out of this conversation. Unfortunately, his mind was too busy concocting cruel and unusual punishments for Captain Rowling and his big mouth to come up with anything viable.
How could he answer her question?
"There you are, should have known I'd find you here."
John had never been so pleased to see another human being in his entire life. He almost kissed Rodney.
"Rodney! Hey! We've just finished – something wrong? Where do you need me?" John rambled, walking over to Rodney's side. Rodney looked at him in surprise and took a step back.
"Er… no, not really," he said. "I just wanted your help in the chair room and you weren't answering your radio."
John clapped him on the shoulder. "Sorry buddy," he said. "I'll come along now."
Teyla stood up. "Dr McKay, do you know what –"
"ANYway," John interrupted loudly. "We'd better be going. See you later Teyla, thanks for the session."
He grabbed Rodney by the elbow and marched him out of the gym.
Rodney managed to break out of John's grip after a dozen steps. "What the hell is going on?" He said. "What was Teyla about to say?"
Change the subject, change the subject… "So, I hear Zelenka's got a new theory about jumper avionics…"
As Rodney launched into a fierce rebuttal of Zelenka's theory, John breathed a sigh of relief. He had got out of the conversation.
But, he suddenly realised, that meant Teyla would ask someone else. That wasn't good. He didn't want Captain Rowling's theory getting around the city – but there was no was no way he was telling Teyla what foreplay was. Not a chance.
"Er, Rodney," he started, cutting off the scientist mid-rant, "can I meet you in the chair room in a few minutes? I just need to do something quickly."
Rodney rolled his eyes but assented, and John hurried off. Actually, he had two things to do.
Teyla strolled along the corridor towards her quarters, a towel around her shoulders to prevent her damp hair getting her clothes wet. She was thinking over her conversation with Major Sheppard.
She had not missed the fact that he had blushed red when she had asked her question, or how relieved he had been when Dr McKay had interrupted. Something odd was going on, and she would go and find out what as soon as she had changed her clothes and dried her hair properly.
A strange sight met her when she turned the corner which led to her quarters. Captain Rowling was on his hands and knees in the middle of the corridor, a bucket of water next to him. As Teyla approached she saw that he was scrubbing the floor – with a toothbrush.
Teyla stopped next to him. "Captain, what are you doing?" She asked.
Captain Rowling glanced up at her and then continued scrubbing. "Following orders," he mumbled.
Teyla frowned. "You were ordered to do this?" She asked. "By whom?"
"Major Sheppard," the Captain mumbled. He sat back on his heels and looked despondently down the hallway. "He ordered me to scrub the floors of all the corridors on this level."
Teyla stared at him in shock. Why would Major Sheppard do such a thing?
"And, he ordered Sergeant Hestor not to give me a new toothbrush for three days," the Captain added.
Teyla couldn't believe what she was hearing. She was going to have some choice words for Major Sheppard when she saw him again.
"I have a spare toothbrush in my quarters," Teyla told the Captain. "I will bring it out for you."
Captain Rowling grinned up at Teyla, looking very relieved. "Thank you Ma'am," he said.
Teyla nodded. "I will back in a moment," she said, and continued on to her quarters.
When she got inside, she found a folded sheet of paper in front of her door, which had obviously been slipped underneath it. She opened it up and found a note in Major Sheppard's handwriting.
noun, mutual sexual fondling prior to sexual intercourse
I told Rowling to start with the corridor outside your quarters. JS.
Teyla read the note several times. No wonder the Major had got so embarrassed. She felt her own face heat up at the memory of the conversation. She crumpled the note up and activated the controls next to the door.
Captain Rowling stopped scrubbing and sat back on his heels again, looking at her expectantly.
"I am sorry, Captain, but it appears I was mistaken about having a spare toothbrush."