Disclaimer – I own none of the Stargate franchise.

WARNING - Spoilers for series four and five, and explicit sexual content.

Dedicated to all the gals at the Sheppard/Teyla thread on Gateworld. I hope you all like this foray into the world of… ahem, on with the story… ;-)

Pretend

Teyla was nervous. Very nervous. Her hands shook slightly as she slipped on her sandals, and she had to take a deep, calming breath as she stood up.

What were they thinking? This was ridiculous. There was absolutely no way they would be able to do this. An hour, in the middle of the day with only two Kelurans present – it had been fine. Uncomfortable… tense… but fine. But for an entire evening with half the Keluran court watching their every move?

How had they got themselves into this situation?

"Hi, nice to meet you. I'm Lieutenant Colonel John Sheppard, this is Ronon Dex, Rodney McKay and –"

"You have a woman with you!"

"Well, yeah –"

"Guards!"

"What the – okay, easy! What the hell's going on here?"

"You are unfamiliar with our ways – unmarried women are not allowed to venture out of doors in Kelura. Take her away!"

"Now hold on a sec – she – she's not unmarried!"

"She is not? Where is her husband?"

"She's… er, Teyla's my wife. I'm her husband."

"Really? Why do you allow two other men to stand between you?"

"Where we come from that doesn't matter. But I'll stand next to her if it will make you feel better. Just… no taking her anywhere, okay?"

Teyla shook her head at the memory. So much had happened since then that it was hard to believe it had only been this morning. Kelura had seemed like a sleepy peaceful town at first, perched on top of a cliff and surrounded by dense forest. But it had become apparent that the town was not sleepy in the slightest – the Kelurans were a race far more technologically developed than most in the Pegasus galaxy. But in spite of this advancement they had what John had referred to as a 'medieval' attitude towards women.

Teyla sighed. She understood why John had done what he had – she was even grateful. They hadn't even realised Chief Ivon and his entourage were armed until they had guns pointing at their heads. However, she was not happy about being here this evening.

They would have left straight away, after that first rather tense encounter. But the guns being pointed at them had piqued Rodney's (and Ronon's) interest straight away, and after an hour in the company of Chief Ivon it was apparent that this was a people they could gain much from. Particularly in the way of medicines – they had taken back some samples to Atlantis and Dr Keller had been very excited.

Excited enough for Mr Woolsey to have ordered John and Teyla to accept the Chief's invitation to the Thanksgiving Banquet, happening that evening.

It seemed that once a woman was married she was perfectly acceptable, and as a 'married couple' she and John would be honoured guests.

Teyla smoothed down the front of her dress – a simple Athosian full-length tunic made of a deep red material – and pushed aside the curtain she had been changing behind.

The Thanksgiving Banquet was obviously of great importance to the Kelurans, and when he had invited them Chief Ivon had explained it in some detail to John and Teyla. The men and women got ready separately, and then sat next to their spouse during the meal. Only married couples were allowed to attend, and there were many complicated rules about serving and eating that Ivon had assured them would be lax for their part, as they did not know their customs.

One thing was clear though – the 'Thanksgiving' referred to love and marriage, and that is what had Teyla so nervous. All eyes would be on her and John as outsiders, and if they did not act convincingly as husband and wife the alliance between Atlantis and Kelura would be in jeopardy – and their lives would most probably be as well.

"That is a beautiful dress, Teyla," said the woman standing next to Teyla. Her name was Oflian, and she was Chief Ivon's wife.

Teyla smiled at her, trying to hide any feelings of nervousness. "Thank you, Oflian," she said. "You look very lovely."

And she did. Oflian was a petit woman, over a foot shorter than Teyla, and her bright blonde hair was streaked with grey. She had sparkling blue eyes and wore an elegant, fitted dress of the same colour.

Oflian smiled up at her. "It is time for us to go through," she said. "We must wait for our husbands to find us. Then we may enter the banqueting hall. You and Colonel Sheppard shall be sitting opposite myself and Ivon."

Sitting opposite the Chief and his wife – how could this get more complicated? She hid her worries behind another wide smile as they left the preparation chamber. They stepped out into the fragrant night air of the courtyard. Warm orange light spilled out through the tall windows of the banqueting hall opposite, falling over the women assembled there. They all wore dresses similar to Oflian's though none were as grand. They stood in small groups, talking quietly together, and a sense of excitement rippled though the air.

Oflian smiled warmly at Teyla, and she allowed herself to relax a little. It was only a banquet, after all. She and John were fully capable of eating a meal together and acting affectionately enough to pass as husband and wife. They certainly knew each other well enough. Half the personnel on Atlantis already thought there was something between the two of them, contrary to what those who really knew them said.

They could do this.

There was a sudden hush as a large door in one corner of the courtyard opened and the men emerged, but the women soon started to talk again, and craned their necks looking for their husbands.

Teyla looked as well and had no trouble picking John out of the crowd, as he was the only man not wearing a tunic. She smiled to herself, remembering their briefing earlier that day, after Woolsey had told them to go to the banquet.

"What should I wear?" Asked John.

Rodney and Ronon both snorted with laughter at John's question, but he just sent a disparaging look in their direction and turned back to Woolsey.

"They said it's a formal banquet – do you want me to wear my dress uniform or will a suit be ok?"

Woolsey blinked at him. "You're really asking me for style tips?"

John rolled his eyes and glanced at Teyla, who was trying not to smile. He shrugged. "I'll just wear a suit then," he said.

Teyla nodded. "I'm sure that will be fine," she said. She loved the way he looked in his dress uniform, but she knew that he was not very comfortable when he wore it.

Now, watching him wind his way in between the other women in the courtyard, looking for her, Teyla couldn't help thinking that he had made the right choice. He wore a dark grey suit, a white shirt and a dark grey tie, and though the colours were plain the effect among all the bright colours that the others were wearing was striking, and she noticed that he was getting a few appreciative looks from some of the women he passed. Hopefully their husbands did not.

Teyla wanted to attract John's attention but she knew it wasn't the Keluran custom, so instead she stood still and kept watching him. He really did look good – it wouldn't be too difficult to act as though she was attracted to him. Teyla smiled again at the thought.

Just as she did, John looked in her direction. She saw him do a small double take, and then watched as his eyes travelled slowly down her body, taking in what she was wearing. When his gaze reached somewhere around her knees he seemed to snap out of it, and made his way over to her, looking a little nervous.

He stopped just in front of her. "Hi."

Teyla gave him a small smile. "Hello, John," she replied.

"You look… really nice," he said.

Teyla's smile widened. "Thank you," she said. "So do you."

They smiled at each other, and Teyla began to feel nervous again. What were they thinking? This was never going to work.

Yes, it will.

No it won't.

"I give thanks for you, Oflian," came a voice from Teyla's left. She looked over and saw that Chief Ivon had appeared and was standing in front of his wife, who was beaming at him.

"And I you, Ivon," she replied. Ivon stepped forward and placed a lingering kiss on her cheek, caressing her shoulders with his hands as he did so. Teyla looked round the courtyard and saw that all the couples were greeting each other in a similar manner; with words of thanksgiving and a kiss.

She looked back at John, who had also noticed the kisses, suddenly feeling very nervous again. It would be small things like this that gave them away.

Suddenly John was stepping towards her, and his hands were on her shoulders. Teyla leant forwards into him as his head moved past hers and she waited for the feel of him kissing her cheek, but instead heard his voice, whispering in her ear.

"Don't look so worried," he said, his hands tightening their grip. "It'll be okay."

Teyla nodded. He was right – even if she thought everything would go wrong, and she did, she couldn't look like she thought that.

John head shifted back and he placed a chaste kiss on her cheek. Instead of stepping back, though, he leant forward to once again whisper in her ear.

"Just pretend that you're in love with me."

And then he was stepping back, and Teyla was left blinking in surprise, and feeling a little cold as his hands dropped from her shoulders. He gave her what Rodney described as his 'charm smile' – the one he had used on her on Athos all those years ago – and jauntily offered her his arm.

Teyla rolled her eyes but smiled widely, and stepped up next to him, threading her arm through his. He smiled down at her and she leant into him, allowing herself to relax for the first time that evening. They could do this.

Chief Ivon and Oflian led the way into the banqueting chamber, and the latter gestured for John and Teyla to follow. They glanced at each other one last time before squaring their shoulders and entering the large hall. Teyla tried not to focus on how much it felt like going into battle.

The banqueting chamber was a long, low-ceilinged room. Dozens of stained-glass lamps hung from the walls, casting a warm glow over the two long tables. Food was already laid out on platters in the middle of the tables, and a large empty plate, a large goblet, and a set of cutlery were set out every few feet. In front of each plate was a large rectangular stool, slightly turned up at the ends, just large enough for two people to sit on side by side.

Thanks to Ivon's explanation of the feast that afternoon, Teyla knew that she and John were expected to share the chair and all the eating utensils.

The two of them followed Ivon and Oflian to the table furthest from the door, and stood awkwardly behind the chair the couple directed them to. The Chief and his wife moved round the table and stopped behind the chair directly opposite them, smiling benevolently. A hush fell over the hall, and Ivon waved a hand. The room was filled with the sound of chairs scraping against the stone floor, and looking round Teyla saw that the men were pulling out the chairs and helping their wives sit down, with much smiling and affectionate touches.

John extracted his arm from Teyla's and quickly pulled out the chair. He looked up at Teyla, eyebrows raised, and she gave him a small smile and sat down. He sat down next to her, and she was pleased to find that the chair – bench, really – was big enough for the two of them to comfortably sit side by side. She had been worried that would be practically in his lap.

Teyla looked round the hall again once they had sat down, and saw the couples were settling down comfortably, their arms wrapped round each other's shoulders and waists, or holding each other's hands. None were just sitting side by side like her and John.

Teyla jumped slightly as she felt John's hand on her back. She looked round at him, and he gave her a small smile before bringing his hand to rest lightly at her waist, his other hand on the table. Teyla rested her elbows on the table, and placed on of her hands lightly on top of John's, his words ringing in her ears.

Just pretend that you're in love with me.

John smiled at her again before looking away at Ivon, who was still standing, one hand resting lightly on Oflian's shoulder.

"Welcome my friends, to the Banquet of Thanksgiving!" The Chief began. There was a loud cheer from everyone present. Teyla was glad John didn't laugh – he had been making jokes about pilgrims and turkeys all day, but seemed to have got it out of his system.

"We have with us this evening our new friends, Colonel John Sheppard and his wife Teyla," continued the Chief. All eyes in the room turned on them, and John's hand tightened at her waist. Teyla gripped his other hand tighter in turn and forced herself to smile widely. "Please join me in welcoming them!"

There was applause. John raised his hand from under hers to wave and Teyla nodded politely. John placed his hand back on top of hers.

"And now, without further ado, let the feast begin!"

There was another loud cheer as the Chief sat down. All the men in the room picked up the large goblets in front of them – which were filled with some kind of sweet wine – and lifted them to their wives' lips for them to drink from. John was watching the Chief do this until Teyla subtly elbowed him in the ribs.

"Oh, right," John said, letting go of her hand again to reach forward for their own goblet. Teyla removed her hands from the table and folded them on her lap.

John picked up their goblet and held it up to Teyla's lips. She really didn't want any of this wine, but they had to go along with the traditions of the banquet. She took a small sip of the wine – which wasn't unpleasant but very sweet – and John put the goblet back down. He smiled at her.

"So, you hungry?" He said.

Teyla nodded and looked down the table to see what there was to eat. However, her eye was drawn to the couples rather than the food. The Banquet of Thanksgiving was held annually on Kelura, and she knew that marriage and love was what was being celebrated, but even so she had not expected this.

They were, as her friends from Earth would put it, all over each other.

The couples were embracing and smiling at each other as they helped themselves to the food in front of them. Many wives were now sitting on their husband's laps, feeding them or just talking together. Some were not paying any attention whatsoever to the food, and were completely lost in one another. Teyla pulled her eyes away from one such couple and watched as Oflian spooned vegetables onto the plate in front of her, smiling as Ivon nuzzled his nose against her ear, his hands running over her body.

John's hand tightened on Teyla's waist and she looked up at him, once again wondering how in the world she and John were to act convincing enough to fool these people. He looked down at her, his eyes wide. Obviously, the same thought had occurred to him.

Slowly, he relaxed his grip on her and withdrew his arm from around her back, bringing his hand to rest on the table between them. Teyla sat ramrod straight beside him, feeling the awkwardness of the situation between them as though it were a living thing. Just to have something to do, she decided to get them some food. The spoon Oflian had used for the vegetables was lying on the platter – Oflian had abandoned it for… other things.

Keeping her eyes on the food, Teyla spooned some of the vegetables onto her and John's plate. John picked up a utensil that looked like a fork and speared one of the pieces. As he brought it to his mouth, though, Teyla shot out a hand to stop him.

John jumped slightly as Teyla's fingers gripped his wrist, and he looked at her, confused. Teyla let go of him and felt herself beginning to blush. "I… believe we are meant to feed one another," she said quietly. Oflian had mentioned something about it earlier, and though she and John weren't going to be quite so… affectionate… as the Kelurans, they had to adhere to the basic traditions of the feast.

John stared at her in silence for a moment, and then nodded. "Oh – yeah. Right." He started to lower the fork, but Teyla reached out to stop him again. She took the fork from his hand, her fingers brushing over his as she did so. His hand dropped to the table as he continued to stare at her, his lips slightly parted in surprise. Glad that her dark skin made her embarrassment less obvious to the Kelurans, Teyla raised the food to John's mouth.

He hesitated for a moment but then, his eyes never leaving hers, opened his mouth over the fork and pulled the vegetable piece into his mouth with his teeth. Teyla quickly lowered the fork back to their plate, looking down at her hands.

"Is everything alright?"

Teyla's head snapped back up at the sound of Ivon's voice. Oflian was now sitting sideways with her legs over his lap, and the two of them had their arms wrapped round each other. They were both looking at Teyla and John with worried expressions, and Teyla realised that her and John's discomfort was blatantly obvious in the way they were sitting so stiffly, barely looking at one another.

Quickly, she shifted closer to John on their seat, smiling widely. "Yes, everything is fine," she said.

Oflian smiled back, but Ivon narrowed his eyes at her and John. Teyla rested her head on John's shoulder and kept smiling, though she knew it must be starting to look a little strained. Luckily, Oflian chose that moment to start whispering something in her husband's ear, and Ivon was distracted from his scrutiny.

Teyla breathed a small sigh of relief, and lifted her head so she could look at John. To her surprise, she saw that he was staring straight ahead at the wall behind Ivon and Oflian, his jaw clenched. His hand was gripping the edge of the table.

"John?" Teyla said quietly, not wanting to attract Ivon's attention again. She turned towards him, and John sucked in a breath and gripped the table harder. Teyla looked down at his hand again and for the first time noticed her own hand. When she had shifted closer to John to fool Ivon her hand had fallen – completely subconsciously – onto John's thigh. Very high up on John's thigh. And when she had turned to him just now, her hand had slid up further still. In fact, her hand was so high that it was no longer on his leg…

Teyla's gave an "oh!" of surprise, and embarrassment, and mortification, and whipped her hand away. She placed her hand on the table, near the plate, feeling her face heat up with shame.

"John, I –"

"Don't." He spoke so quietly she almost didn't hear him. His hand let go of the table and gripped her arm, just below her elbow, as he spoke, his eyes wide and staring into hers. Teyla understood – if she started apologising for touching him, their secret would be out.

She bit her lip and gave him what she hoped was an apologetic look. John looked away, down at her hand on the table.

His grip on her arm loosened but he didn't take his hand away completely. He raised his hand so that only his fingertips were touching her arm and, agonisingly slowly, slid them down her arm. Teyla's breath caught in her throat as she watched the descent, as she felt his fingernails graze against her skin, leaving a trail of sensitised hairs behind them. He got to her hand and covered it with his own.

Teyla swallowed and looked at John – and saw a smug, satisfied smirk hovering around his lips. Her jaw dropped.

He was… playing with her.

Teyla squared her shoulders. Fine. What was that Earth expression? Ah yes –

Two can play that game

Smiling to herself, Teyla picked up the fork in her left hand and speared some more vegetables. She gently removed her right hand from under John's and turned slightly towards him. John was staring straight ahead again, but the smile he wore made it clear to Teyla that he was paying attention to her every move.

She rested her wrist on his shoulder and stroked the side of his neck with her fingers. John jumped slightly and looked at her, one eyebrow raised. She smiled at him. "Are you hungry, darling?" She asked in a low voice.

John's other eyebrow joined his first as Teyla raised the fork she held up to his lips. John's eyes were sparkling, and that and his smirk told Teyla that John did not mind this strange turn of events in the slightest.

"You know, honey, I really am," he replied, his smile widening. He leant forward and plucked one of the vegetable pieces off the end of the fork, once again just using his teeth. His arm slid back round her waist and he took the fork from her as he chewed. His eyes never left hers.

Teyla's fingers didn't stop moving on the back of John's neck, burrowing under the collar of his shirt to get at the bare skin. He swallowed.

"You must be hungry too," he said. Teyla realised he was holding the fork for her to eat, and quirked an eyebrow at him. She nodded in response, and he raised the fork to her lips.

Giving him one last look, Teyla closed her eyes and opened her mouth. She leant forward and closed her lips over the food on the fork and far more of the fork than was necessary. Then, her lips closed, she slowly sat back, sliding her lips up the fork and taking the vegetables into her mouth as she went. She opened her eyes as she chewed, and saw that John was frozen in place, staring at her with a dazed expression on his face. She took her time chewing and then swallowing, and drew a lazy circle on the back of his neck before withdrawing her hand.

"Delicious," she said. John's hand tightened round her waist.

His smirk soon returned and his eyes bored into hers; Teyla looked back, enjoying the opportunity. It wasn't often that John let his guard down, and she was going to make the most of the moment. Thinking of it now, she couldn't remember the last time the two of them had been alone together. She had missed spending time with him.

Of course, they had never before spent their time together in this way.

"You know," said John slowly, his smirk still firmly in place, "I think I want to try some of that." He nodded his head towards a plate to his right, his eyes never leaving hers.

Teyla raised an eyebrow and pursed her lips slightly, wondering what he was up to. "Why don't you?" She replied calmly.

John's smirk widened and Teyla knew he was definitely up to something. "I'm pretty sure the tradition is the wife gets the food from the middle of the table," he said.

Teyla looked at the plate he'd been referring to. It was just out of her reach, on the other side of John, and she would have to… ah. So that's what he was smirking about. She would have to reach over him to get at it.

She looked back at John, who sat back slightly and shrugged. "Sorry, but that's the rule," he said. He was still smirking.

Teyla stared at him in silence for a moment, before smiling sweetly. "Alright," she said, shifting a little closer to him. John's hand slid down from her waist to rest lightly on her hip as she drew closer.

Raising an eyebrow at him in a silent challenge, Teyla put her hand back on John's thigh. His jaw clenched but other than that he didn't react. Teyla gave him another smile and turned her attention to the food. Well, apparently anyway.

Teyla's right hand was on John and she reached for the plate with her left, causing her body to turn slightly towards John as she did so. On the plate was some kind of flat bread – she picked up a piece and started to sit back. Her hand slid further up John's leg and she turned her body even more into John's, their chests coming into contact just as she looked at him again. His face was tense and his eyes narrowed; they were a dark, stormy green as he stared at her. Teyla was pretty sure he had stopped breathing.

She paused, and didn't sit back properly. Instead she cocked her head to one side and smiled again. "Is this what you wanted, John?" She asked quietly. John's eyes widened slightly, and then Teyla held up the piece of bread she had retrieved.

John cleared his throat. "Er, yeah," he said, his voice slightly higher than usual. "Thanks."

"My pleasure," Teyla responded in a low voice. She settled back into her place at John's side, slid her hand down his leg and onto her lap. It was only then that she realised John's hand was still at her hip, and gripping her side rather hard. She shifted slightly and he lessened his grip, but started to move his thumb, drawing tight circles on her back. The rough fabric of Teyla's dress brushed against her skin and suddenly it felt like every nerve in her body was concentrated under his hand.

Just to give herself something else to concentrate on, Teyla started to break apart the bread she had just picked up. She didn't want John to see how such a simple touch could have such an effect on her.

He was not going to win this.

"So, Oflian tells me that you have a son."

John's hand froze on her back, and Teyla's head snapped up. Ivon and Oflian were sitting side by side again, but still very wrapped up in one another. At the moment though, both were staring at John.

Teyla dropped the bread she was holding. She had mentioned Tagan in passing to Oflian, without even thinking about it, and now… oh no. Now John not only had to pretend to be her husband, but Tagan's father as well.

Teyla glanced up at John, but he was staring back at Ivon and Oflian. She was just about to say something to cover the awkward silence, but then John cleared his throat. "Yeah, Tagan," he said. "He's nine months old."

Oflian smiled. "They are so adorable at that age, aren't they?" She said.

John smiled back at her. "Tagan is," he said. "But then he looks just like his Mom." John's hand tightened a little on Teyla's back, and she allowed herself to relax; even smile. It was not the first time that John had said how much Tagan looked like her.

"Children are a blessing," said Ivon. Then he smiled. "Though I remember our first Thanksgiving Feast after Umin was born – it was a blessing to have time to ourselves."

Teyla smiled, remembering that she had been thinking largely the same thing just a few minutes before – that she had missed spending time alone with John. Since Tagan had been born it just hadn't happened. But Ivon and Oflian were married – she and John, they were just pretending. They were just friends.

John chuckled at what Ivon had said. "Yeah, Tagan's definitely turned our lives upside down," he said, glancing at Teyla and smiling. "But I love it. He's…" John's voice trailed off and he shrugged a little, the way he did when he just didn't know how to articulate what he was feeling. Teyla had become an expert in this silent language of John's, though, and knew exactly what he'd been trying to say. Nothing warmed her heart so much as the sight of John with her son, and now to hear him talk about him...

Teyla leant into John and placed a lingering kiss on his cheek. He tensed a little and turned to face her, and silently Teyla tried to tell him that this wasn't a part of the game they were playing or the parts they were portraying – this was her. Just her, telling him how grateful she was to have him in her life. She couldn't say what she wanted to – not here, with Ivon and Oflian watching them, but she hoped he understood.

John's hand shifted to the left to wrap round her waist again, and he smiled at her, and she knew that he did.

Teyla glanced back at Ivon and Oflian and saw the couple were smiling at them indulgently, before turning back to one another and resuming their meal. She allowed her gaze to sweep up the table, taking in the sight of the other married couples. None of them were paying her and John any attention – none of them were paying attention to anything but their partner.

"It's going okay."

Teyla jumped slightly at the sound of John's voice right next to her ear – she hadn't felt him move. Letting her hair fall over the side of her face to shield her from Ivon and Oflian's eyes should they look her way, Teyla turned her head to whisper in John's ear.

"Yes, but the banquet is far from over," she said. "We must keep up the pretence."

She felt rather than heard John laugh. "Well, you can try and keep up…" He said suggestively. He leant back and she did the same, looking into his laughing eyes, a little surprised that he would refer to what they had been doing so blatantly.

She recovered quickly though, and raised an eyebrow at him. "Do you want any of this bread?" She asked him. "After all the trouble I went through to get it?"

John smirked. "I do," he said. "I really do."

Smiling, Teyla picked up a piece of the torn bread and lifted it to John's lips. He was still smirking as he pulled the bread into his mouth, his bottom lip dragging along Teyla's fingertips. Teyla bit the inside of her lip and hoped that John didn't notice, and kept looking at him. He quirked an eyebrow at her and kept smirking as he chewed.

The next little while was spent feeding each other. Their cutlery lay ignored on the table and they used their hands, each becoming increasingly daring as they did so. Lips lingered over knuckles and tongues swirled round fingertips, both of them fighting to keep their reactions under control. Teyla collected more food from the middle of the table, always choosing the dishes on John's right so that she would have to reach over him. The platters on her left held a kind of sticky cake that was going fast, but she completely ignored it. John didn't complain.

Teyla picked up a particularly sticky piece of fruit and, without giving John any warning, turned in her chair and swung her legs up over his lap. Instinctively, John reached out and placed his arm over her legs to hold her in place, though the look he gave her indicated his surprise. He quickly schooled his features into a nonchalant expression.

"Comfortable?" He asked her.

Teyla shifted closer to John and slipped one arm round his back, under his jacket. Her hand ran down the length of his side and she saw John swallow, his expression slipping again.

Teyla blinked innocently at him. "Very comfortable," she said.

John's hand was still on Teyla's leg, and he flattened his palm against the outside of her thigh, and squeezed gently. Teyla smiled and lifted up the fruit for him to eat. He leant forward and took the fruit into his mouth, his lips closing over her fingertips. His tongue followed, sweeping over the stickiness left from the fruit. At the same moment, his hand began to move on her leg. His fingers clenched through the fabric of her skirt, and he drew a small circle. Teyla gasped, the dual feeling of his tongue on her fingers and his hand on her leg getting past her defences.

John gave her a smug smile and released her fingers from her mouth. Teyla's hand dropped back to the tabletop, and she narrowed her eyes at him, not liking the smile one bit. His hand drew another circle on her leg, and she tensed. What he was doing felt unbelievably good, but she couldn't let him get to her. She needed to get to him.

Smiling back at him, Teyla raked her fingernails up John's side, to just under his chest, and then back again. John tensed immediately and the smile vanished.

He drew another circle. She raked again. Teyla gave up trying to keep what he was doing to her from her expression – her face was flushed and her lips slightly parted – but then John wasn't hiding anything from her either. His eyes were almost black and so close to hers, their foreheads almost touching as their hands kept moving.

As much as she enjoyed this simple touching, Teyla wanted more. Knowing that that was impossible and probably inadvisable, she would settle for the upper hand again. Her hand travelled back down John's side, and this time kept going until she reached the top of John's trousers. She slid her hand under the hem, seized his shirt, and pulled. His shirt came untucked, and before John could do so much as widen his eyes at her action, Teyla's hand made its way underneath the fabric and onto his bare skin.

John jumped and Teyla gave him a triumphant smile as she flattened her hand around his side, just under his ribs. John leant back slightly and for a moment Teyla thought he was going to say something, but instead he drew one more circle on her leg, and his hand was suddenly, somehow, under her skirt.

Teyla sucked in a breath and looked down. Her eyes widened as she realised that John had been planning this manoeuvre for a while – every time he had drawn a circle on her leg, he had been drawing her skirt up inch by inch. Her long skirt was now bunched up above John's hand, which was halfway up her thigh. Her legs were bare as they lay across John's lap.

Teyla hurriedly pulled the edge of her skirt back down. It couldn't go all the way back down since John didn't move his hand, but Teyla managed to get it to around her knees. She raised her eyes to John's face and saw that he looked highly amused. She narrowed her eyes and resumed the slow raking movements of her nails up his side. John gasped and Teyla smiled. Then John squeezed her thigh and ran his thumb over her smooth skin, and it was Teyla's turn to gasp.

Their eyes met and their foreheads drifted closer together again, and they resumed their touch battle, though Teyla was finding it increasingly difficult to keep thinking of it that way. In fact she was finding it difficult to think of anything except what John's hand was doing to her thigh. His palm lay flat but his fingers were drawing slow circles, and every time they did it felt like jolts of electricity were shooting into her core. Teyla couldn't help her eyes drifting shut for a moment, and she bit her bottom lip. John's hand suddenly shifted, sliding over the top of her thigh and down towards her inner thigh. Teyla's eyes flew back open and her free hand landed on top of John's. She wasn't sure whether she wanted to stop him or guide him towards her.

John withdrew his hand quickly and very lightly rested it a little further down from where it had been before. Teyla looked at him and saw that he seemed faintly embarrassed, and felt bad for her reaction. If either of them started to get embarrassed by this game, this show they were putting on things would become far too awkward between them. And, of course, the Kelurans might suspect the truth.

Teyla looked away from John, down at the table, and quickly seized another piece of fruit. She turned back to John and lifted it up for him, and he looked relieved as he leant forward to eat it. He bit into it, avoiding touching her fingers with his lips, obviously still a little wary. Teyla noticed that his hand on her thigh was barely touching her.

Juice spurted out from the piece of fruit, and a bead of dark red juice began to roll down John's chin. Sensing opportunity, Teyla dropped the half-eaten fruit onto the plate and cupped John's jaw in one hand, drawing him closer to her. She saw John's eyes widen before she ducked her head and closed her lips over the rivulet of juice. She felt John gasp and smiled as her tongue nipped out and licked the sweet juice off John's chin. She ran her tongue an inch up his chin, running over the slight stubble and up to his bottom lip. She pulled away before her tongue touched his lip, and leaned back. John was staring at her, frozen in shock, and she smiled again, rubbing her thumb over his cheek before pulling her hand away from his jaw.

John's eyes narrowed suddenly and the hand on her thigh ran further up. He began to draw circles with his fingers again. His hand was on top of her leg and his thumb was skimming the inside of her thigh. Teyla closed her eyes and swallowed, and prayed that he didn't lower his hand further. Or did she want him to?

All she knew is that if he did, she wouldn't be able to contain her reaction. And she wouldn't stop him either.

Teyla's free hand came up to rest on John's chest and she threaded his tie through her fingers as she kept running her hand over his side under his shirt. Her forehead fell forward and met John's, and their breath mingled as their eyes clashed once more.

Teyla struggled to regain some sense of where she was and what she was doing, but it was very hard to focus on anything but his fingers and the feel of his muscles under her hands. She wanted him, so badly, and if the look in his eyes was anything to go by, he was feeling something similar.

"Colonel? Teyla?"

And just like that, what was really going on came crashing back into Teyla's consciousness. She and John both jumped and turned to face Ivon, who had spoken. Their hands stilled on each other, but they did not break apart.

John cleared his throat. "Ye… ahem… yes?"

Ivon and Oflian smiled at them both. "It is time to leave the hall – the banquet is over," said Ivon.

Teyla looked around and saw that most of the food was gone, and over half of the couples had disappeared. She hadn't noticed any of them leaving; she had been so engrossed in John.

John was staring at Ivon. "Already?" He asked. Teyla detected a hint of disappointment in his voice and smiled slightly.

Ivon stood up and helped Oflian to her feet. "Would you follow us?" Asked Oflian, smiling widely.

Teyla looked at John and he gave her a very small smile as he withdrew his hand from under her skirt. Teyla followed suit, retracting her hand from under his shirt and jacket. She waited for John to stand up first – it was Keluran etiquette – but he stayed in his seat for a long moment, breathing deeply. He wasn't looking at her, but Teyla had a feeling she knew what was wrong with him, and had to hide a smile. She smoothed down her skirts and pretended not to notice his delay.

John squared his shoulders and got to his feet, leaning a little heavily on the table. He offered his hand to Teyla and she took it, standing up as well, and the two of them stepped out from the chair.

As soon as they were on their feet Ivon and Oflian began to walk down the length of the table, and John and Teyla were quick to follow them. More and more couples were also standing up and leaving, exiting through a large door at the side of the hall, through which Teyla guessed the next event of the celebration took place.

Ivon and Oflian waited for John and Teyla to join them at the top of the table, the Chief's arm tight round his wife's shoulders. John removed his hand from Teyla's and mimicked the older man, pulling Teyla up against his side.

Smiling wickedly, Teyla put her arm back round John's waist and slid her hand back under his shirt. John jumped and gave her a wide-eyed look of disbelief. Teyla quirked an eyebrow at him and looked away at Ivon and Oflian. The couple turned to walk away through the door.

Teyla started to follow, and a moment later John picked up his feet and started walking as well. He was shaking his head silently.

The door led onto a long, twisting corridor. There were doors on both sides, some leading into chambers, some leading outside. Ivon and Oflian were the only other couple around, and Teyla thought about asking where they were going. Instead she concentrated on tracing patterns on John's side with her nails.

Teyla smiled to herself as they followed the couple down the corridor – she had the upper hand here. Now that they were standing, walking, John couldn't get to her bare skin the way he had been able to at the table, and she felt very smug as she splayed her hand under his ribs. She felt his abdomen muscles moving with each step he took, and she skimmed her thumb up his ribs and back again.

Teyla noticed John tensing up every time she did so, and turned her smug smile on him. He narrowed his eyes back at her, and suddenly his hand, which had been resting so innocuously round her shoulders, was moving – moving down. He ran his palm down her arm and over her waist, and Teyla had to stifle a gasp as his hand skimmed down over her backside, but he didn't linger. Instead his hand ran straight back up, coming to rest in the small of her back, where his fingers started to knead into her.

Teyla's smile had faltered but she hitched it back into place.

Too late, Teyla realised just what John was actually doing. He wasn't kneading – he was digging. His hand had come to rest right where her dress tied up, and his fingers were working their way beneath the laces, to get at her bare skin in the only place he could.

Teyla gasped when he managed to do just that. One finger slipped under her dress, then another, stroking the skin at the base of her spine. Teyla clenched her hand and raked her fingernails across John's abdomen in retaliation, feeling a great sense of satisfaction in feeling him jump at her touch.

Their eyes met and clashed, and Teyla felt as though she would melt from the force of the look he gave her. Their game was going too far – it was becoming too real. She had never in all her life felt so… wanton… and knowing that it was all because of a game was just torture.

But his eyes… they were dark and stormy, searing into her, and she knew it had gone beyond a game for John as well. The thought made Teyla's breath hitch in her throat, and her hand stilled under John's shirt, unsure. If it wasn't a game, then what was it?

"Here we are," said Oflian suddenly, cutting into Teyla's thoughts. She tore her eyes away from John's and saw that they had been led through a wide wooden door into a smallish chamber.

Ivon and Oflian were standing a couple of feet away, smiling at the two of them. Teyla forced herself to concentrate on what was being said to her and not her erratic thoughts about John.

"Your belongings are already here," said Ivon, smiling benignly. "But if you have need of anything, there are guards in the building who will assist you."

Teyla glanced at John, and saw he looked as confused as she suddenly felt. He opened his mouth to say something, but Oflian started speaking again.

"Have a pleasant night," she said, and she and Ivon started to walk back out of the door. "We will see you in the morning."

With one last set of smiles, the couple left, closing the door behind them.

The sudden silence was almost deafening to Teyla, and she felt herself grow hot with… nervousness. Embarrassment. Discomfort. Slowly, not looking at John, she extricated her hand from under his shirt and pulled her arm away, just as he did the same with his hand at her back. They took a couple of steps away from each other.

Awkwardness expanded between them and Teyla looked around the room – anywhere but at John. The room was dimly lit by a couple of covered lamps. There was a window set high into the wall opposite the door, but very little light came through it from outside. There were two large chests under the window, and a low-slung couch. A table set with a pitcher and two glasses stood nearby.

And there was a bed. A very large bed, covered in a dark, sumptuous quilt. Teyla swallowed and quickly looked away. Her and John's bags were on the floor beside the bed, next to the door.

John cleared his throat and Teyla glanced at him. He was staring at their bags, his hand rubbing the back of his neck.

"I…er… I knew this was an all-night thing but I thought it would…" He glanced at Teyla and quickly looked away again.

Teyla nodded – she hadn't expected to be suddenly left alone in a bedchamber with John either. "Yes, so did I," she said. Now she thought of it though, she realised they should have been expecting something like this. They had agreed to come to the Banquet as husband and wife, and had known they would be staying overnight. Of course they would be sharing living quarters.

But that wasn't the problem, and Teyla knew it. They had slept in the same room before – that was fine. The problem was their… game. Or non-game, as it had become. The problem was that it was taking all of her self-control to prevent herself from reaching out to John, because she had never before felt so aroused, and he was the one who had done this to her. She had known that their game had been a foolish one, but she hadn't counted on being suddenly left alone with him. In a private room with a very inviting, very large bed.

"Right, I'll take the couch," said John suddenly. He walked over to their bags and crouched down in front of them, unzipping his and beginning to rummage through it, obviously wanting to put some distance between the two of them. Teyla watched him for a moment before shaking her head. He was going about this in entirely the correct way – they had played the part in the hall, but now they were alone, and there was no need to anymore. They could just be themselves.

Of course, there had been a part of Teyla that had enjoyed pretending to be married to John, but that part of her could – and would – be kept to herself.

Teyla's eyes shifted to the door as it started to swing inwards, and for a moment she thought that someone was going to come in, but then she realised that the door had no latch to keep it closed. There was a bolt on the inside.

Teyla walked over to the door and gently pushed it shut again, and then bolted the door so that it would remain so. It would not bode well for them if any of the Kelurans walked in to find John sleeping on the couch.

Teyla turned back round and, at the exact same moment, John suddenly stood back up. Teyla's trip to the door had brought her to stand a mere foot away from where John was crouching, and when he stood up she had started to walk back to where she had been standing. She stopped mid-step as he suddenly appeared in front of her, and swayed from the sudden stop. John's hands shot out and grabbed her elbows, and she instinctively gripped his arms to steady herself.

The moment their eyes met, Teyla had a feeling she was lost. The moment their lips met, she knew it for sure.

They surged towards each other, arms tightening, hands roaming, the lengths of their bodies fusing together as their mouths met over and over again. Teyla felt as though a dam had burst inside her, and every touch, taste and feeling she had ever denied herself was clamouring to be satiated at last. She pushed John's jacket off his shoulders and he briefly let go of her to allow it to fall to the ground. As soon as his arms were free again he gripped the tops of her arms and pushed her. Her back thudded against the door and a moment later John was pressed up against her, and Teyla could only moan as his tongue finally pushed its way between her lips.

Their tongues met, duelling for dominance, and Teyla suddenly felt like her legs would give out under her. Heat pooled in her belly and she wrapped her arms tight around John's shoulders, raking her hands through his hair and dragging him closer to her. Her thigh found its way between his legs, and she pressed against him, a surge of primal triumph ripping through her at the feel of how hard he was already.

John growled in the back of his throat and broke their kiss – Teyla barely had time to realise he had before his lips were on her neck, tracing a line from her jaw down her throat to the ultra-sensitive spot just above her collarbone. She gasped and arched her back into him, and John took the opportunity to get his hands behind her to start untying her dress, his mouth still working its way across the top of her collarbone.

Teyla's hands left John's hair and she all but ripped his necktie out from under his collar before starting on the buttons of his shirt. It was hard to concentrate, with John's length still pressed up against her thigh, his mouth on her throat and his hands starting to get under the back of her dress. She managed a few of the buttons but soon decided that that method wasn't working for her. Instead she seized John's shirt in both hands and pulled it apart as hard as she could. Buttons flew in every direction and the sound of ripping fabric filled the air, followed by the low rumble of John's laughter against her throat. Teyla grinned wickedly and ran her hands over John's bare chest, as John's lips kissed their way back up her neck and met hers again.

John helped Teyla take off his shirt as their tongues resumed their sensuous battle, and then his hands were on her back again, working on her dress. Teyla had never truly appreciated the wonder of Velcro until that moment, and fervently wished that it was part of Athosian dress. She pushed the thought aside and continued her exploration of John's body, her fingernails skimming over the hair on his chest and anticipating how good it would feel against her naked body.

Her hands skimmed down to John's belt buckle and she started to work at the clasp. As soon as it was undone she released the button on John's trousers and slid her hands down under the waistband of his trousers and underwear. Deciding to give John a clue as to exactly what she wanted, her hands moved round his hips to come to rest on his buttocks. Grasping the taut muscle firmly, she pulled him closer to her. His arousal came into hard contact with her thigh, and John yelped a little, breaking their kiss once again. He lifted his head slightly and their eyes met for the first time since they had first kissed.

If ever there had been a look designed to make Teyla melt, it was the look of utter want that John gave her now. His eyes were so dark they were practically black, and a delicious shiver worked its way from the top of Teyla's head to the tips of her toes – a shiver that John could hardly fail to notice. He gave her a slow predatory smile and took a step back, pulling her with him away from the door. Teyla felt the cool air of the room hit the bare skin of her back and realised that John had actually managed the ties at the back of her dress surprisingly well. His eyes still on hers and the smile still in place, John's hands slid along her shoulder blades and grasped the edges of her dress. Slowly, deliberately, he pulled them apart.

Teyla felt like she was frozen – she could only stand and stare into John's eyes as he pushed her dress down over her shoulders. Cool air rushed to meet her heated skin, and she shivered again, though not from the cold. Her hands slid out from under John's trousers and came to rest against his hips. She held on tight, feeling that if she let go she would lose the ability to stand. John's hands were lightly skimming over her skin after the rough fabric he was pushing away, and Teyla gasped as they slid over the tops of her breasts, though to her disappointment he didn't linger. Teyla ached for him to touch her and she leant forward slightly, but he just smiled at her again and moved his hands to his arms. They slid down, still guiding her dress, and when he got to her wrists he grasped them and lifted her hands away from his hips. Teyla was left naked to her hips, where her dress settled. John fingers tangled up with Teyla's and, finally, he looked away from her eyes. Teyla watched him as his gaze swept over her body, and saw him swallow. She heard him growl again, and suddenly she was back against the door and John's lips were on her breast.

Teyla gasped again and her hips bucked against John's as his mouth closed over the peak of her breast, his tongue drawing a circle around the hardened nipple. He let go of her hands and brought one hand up to cup her other breast, and he stroked his thumb over her other nipple. Teyla's hands tangled in John's hair, urging him closer to her, and her dress fell from her hips and pooled around her feet.

"Jo-ohn!"

Teyla felt John smile against her breast as she gasped out his name, and he moved across to her other breast, kissing his way over to the swell of flesh, and Teyla tugged on his hair. She was so ready for him, and didn't know how much longer she could stand this torture.

"John…"

John stood up straight and his lips grazed against Teyla's ear as he chuckled again. He pressed his torso up against her and her breasts flattened against his chest as his hands travelled down her body. One hand on her backside brought her leg up around her waist before skimming round and up the inside of her thigh. Teyla bit her lip as his fingers pushed past the hem of her soaking panties. She moaned helplessly as he stroked her soft folds and when he pushed one finger inside her she cried out, digging her fingernails into his shoulders. John's tongue flicked out and nipped at her earlobe before his lips latched onto the skin just below her ear, sucking gently. He slipped another finger into her and Teyla cried out again. It would be so, so easy for her to just let go… but she didn't want to, not like this. Not the first time.

She shook her head frantically. "No, John… I…" She gasped and struggled to get the words out. She placed her hands on either side of John's face and pulled his head back so she could look at him. "I… I want… you…"

John rested his forehead against hers and smiled at her, an evil glint in his eye that Teyla knew she had to get rid of quickly. She moved one hand down to the fly of his trousers, pulled down the zipper and slipped her hand inside, firmly grasping him through the fabric of his boxers.

John groaned and all trace of amusement left his face. He withdrew his fingers from inside her and grabbed hold of her wrist, dragging her hand away. Teyla cupped the back of his head with her free hand and pulled him to her, plunging her tongue into his eager mouth. He pressed her into the door again, hungrily meeting her tongue with his own, and then he was urging her other leg round his waist and she was in his arms. Teyla wrapped her legs tightly around John's hips as he stumbled slightly, moving them towards the bed, his hands tight on her backside and hers tangled in his hair. She kicked off her sandals as he carried her.

John knelt one knee on the edge of the bed and fell forward, laying Teyla across the bed and lowering himself over her, his lips never leaving hers, their tongues still devouring each other. John had his palms flat on the mattress either side of Teyla, holding himself up, and Teyla's hands roamed down his body towards his trousers again. She broke their kiss to look him in the eye. "Off," she said.

It was a testament to how desperate they both were by this point that John didn't even bother with a cocky smile at Teyla's demand. Quickly he scrambled to his feet and started tugging at the waistband of his trousers, pushing them down. Teyla raised herself on her elbows and watched him as he stepped out of his trousers and then kicked off his shoes. His erection was straining against the fabric of his boxers, and Teyla felt her belly coil tightly in anticipation. She got to her knees and pushed down her panties, throwing them away just as John's boxers hit the floor.

For a split second they were still, just staring at each other, naked and ready for the other. Then their arms reached out at the same moment, their bodies fused together, Teyla was on her back again, John lowered himself over her and without any further preamble slid into her.

Teyla gasped and she stared into John's eyes as he did the same. They stayed that way for a long moment, and Teyla's fingernails slid up John's back, coming to rest on his shoulders as she revelled in the feel of him inside her at last. It felt so unbelievably right, and so good… like he filled every space inside of her. John let out a long breath, his eyes intense, silently asking if she was alright. Teyla tightened her grip on his shoulders and rocked her hips against his. John's eyes closed and he cursed under his breath, before drawing half out of Teyla and thrusting into her again.

They found their rhythm quickly, and Teyla knew that this wasn't going to last long for her or for John. Not this time – they were both too wound up after hours of teasing caresses and years of waiting. She could feel her body tightening, her release so close. She met John thrust for thrust, her moans matching his heavy gasps. She was so close. John pulled away, almost entirely out of her and lifted her leg up higher, almost up to his shoulder. One more thrust was all it took, the new angle sending Teyla spinning over the edge. She came hard, crying out John's name as he thrust into her one more time, and he too cried out as he froze inside her, his hands tightening on her legs as he climaxed.

Teyla came down from her high slowly, feeling slightly disorientated. It was entirely possible that she had blacked out. It was a few minutes before she could think properly, and when she finally opened her eyes she found John had drawn out of her and was collapsed face down on the bed next to her, his shoulder and one leg on hers and one arm flung across her stomach. His face was turned towards her and he was watching her from under heavy eyelids. He was still breathing quite heavily, and Teyla realised that she was as well.

John took a deep breath. "Woah," he said weakly.

Teyla managed a small smile. "Quite," she replied.

They stared at each other in silence. Teyla started to feel uncomfortable – what should she say? She didn't regret what had just happened, and she didn't believe that John did either. It had been a long time coming, and she knew that he had wanted her just as much as she had wanted him. Regardless of regrets though, they were now faced with a new reality – a reality in which they had been intimate, had firmly established themselves as more than friends. What do they do now? Was it a one off thing? Would they continue as though nothing had happened?

Questions chased themselves around Teyla's head, and she could not answer any of them, and she could see that John was also struggling with the ramifications of their actions as well. He swallowed, still staring at her, and then broke eye contact and pushed himself up, away from her. He sat on the edge of the bed and reached down for his boxer shorts. He pulled them on and stood up, his back to Teyla and his shoulders tensed. Teyla sat up and gathered the quilt to her, wrapping it over her torso and the tops of her legs.

John turned back to face Teyla, and she met his eyes calmly. She was trying very hard to not feel hurt by his reaction – she knew that he just didn't know what to say. And neither did she. That was fine… but she was starting to realise that if John did start to talk or even act like he regretted what had just happened she would be very upset.

And she couldn't deal with it tonight.

John swallowed again. "So… I think that maybe…" His voice trailed off, and Teyla looked away.

"Maybe we should just get some sleep," she said quietly. She lifted her eyes back to John, and saw that he was watching her closely.

"Yeah, I guess," he said. He glanced at the couch on the other side of the room.

Teyla rolled her eyes and crawled out from under the quilt. She slid under it properly and lay out on the bed, and then looked up at John expectantly. He looked like he didn't quite know what to do.

"I think we've passed the point where we would be reluctant to share a bed," Teyla said firmly.

John's eyebrows shot up, but he didn't say anything as he climbed back onto the bed. He stretched out next to her under the quilt. Teyla's body reacted immediately to his proximity, and she silently cursed herself for being so susceptible to him even in a situation like the one they found themselves in. She felt very warm, and lifted her arms out to rest them on top of the quilt. She didn't realise until her hand brushed his arm that John had done the same thing.

Her nerve endings were electrified by the sudden touch, and Teyla jumped. She felt John do the same next to her. She risked a glance at him and saw that he was looking back at her. There eyes met and his visibly darkened. Teyla swallowed.

"Teyla –"

Teyla's heart leapt into her throat. "Don't John," she whispered. "Don't tell me you regret it."

John's jaw clenched and he sat up. Teyla felt tears start to form in the corner of her eyes and quickly turned her head away, not wanting John to see. Not wanting to watch John get up an leave.

Teyla suddenly felt John's breath on her neck and caught sight of his arm as he pressed his hand down into the mattress at her side. She looked back at him and saw he was now looming over her, his hands propping him up.

"I don't regret it," he said firmly.

Teyla sat up under him, raked her hands into his hair, and pulled his mouth down to meet hers. John's arms buckled slightly but he responded eagerly to the kiss, his lips opening under hers and his tongue delving into the recesses of her mouth. They moaned together, and Teyla pushed John onto his back, rolling on top of him as the kiss continued. John's hands came to rest on the sides of Teyla's face and he brushed his fingers through her hair as he gently pulled back from the kiss.

"So," he said, his eyes shining with amusement. "I'm guessing you regret it then."

"Shut up John," Teyla answered, running her hands over his chest.

John's smile faded. "Yes Ma'am," he said gruffly, pulling her in for another kiss.

XXXXXXXX

Sun streamed through the high window and hit the wall above the bed. Teyla lay awake, staring up at the particles dancing in the beam of light, and smiled to herself as John's hand slid up her stomach and came to rest between he breasts.

She turned to look at him – he was lying on his side facing her, his eyes still closed, but his growing smile gave away his wakefulness. Teyla seized his hand and laced their fingers together.

"Good morning," she said quietly.

John's eyes fluttered open and he gazed at her silently for a moment. "Hey," he said eventually, smiling again.

They stared at each other for a few moments, and then John propped his head up on his hand. "That was pretty… incredible," he said.

Teyla smiled. She had lost count of the times they had made love – needless to say it had been many hours before they had gone to sleep. Last night had awoken a buried longing in them both, and they had taken advantage of being able to feed their desire.

"It was a long time coming," said Teyla.

John smiled wider. "Yeah," he said. He squeezed her hand. "And that was some pretty impressive foreplay beforehand…"

Teyla laughed. "Yes," she agreed. "I do not think I will ever be able to eat next to you again."

John grinned and opened his mouth to answer, but was interrupted by a knock on the door. Teyla's eyes widened and she and John stared at each other for a moment before both sitting up hurriedly.

"Er – just a minute!" John called out as he stared around for his boxer shorts, which had been discarded again not long after he'd put them back on the night before. Teyla also stood up, wrapping the quilt firmly round herself. John found his boxers and pulled them on, and then a t-shirt which he pulled out of his bag on the floor.

"Teyla? John?" It was Oflian.

Teyla looked at the trail of clothes on the floor. Her dress was in front of the door, along with John's shirt and tie. John raised his eyebrows at Teyla as he unbolted the door and kicked their clothes aside to pull it open.

Oflian smiled widely at him when he opened the door. "Good morning," she said brightly.

"Good morning," John replied, as Teyla called out the same thing. Oflian looked past John to the sight of Teyla dressed in a quilt, and looked highly amused. Teyla blushed.

"The Thanksgiving breakfast is almost over," Oflian said, looking back at John. "Ivon and I thought you might like something to eat before you leave."

John ran a hand through his hair and looked round at Teyla, who took a step forward. "Forgive us, we had no idea it was so late –" She began, but Oflian waved a hand dismissively.

"Don't worry – I quite understand," she said, and the twinkle in her eye clearly said that she did. Teyla blushed again and she saw John looking a little red as well.

"The Thanksgiving Banquet is a celebration of our love for one another," Oflian said with a smile. Then she winked. "And the special gillinea cakes can bring out certain… urges."

Teyla's jaw dropped.

Oflian grinned. "We are in the hall, when you are ready." And with that she turned on her heel and walked away.

John closed the door and pulled the bolt across. He turned round and rested his back against the dark wood, his eyes wide as they met Teyla's.

"Well."

Teyla fought the desire to laugh – the Kelurans put an aphrodisiac in their food… no wonder the couples were acting the way they had last night.

John looked thoughtful. "I wasn't paying much attention to the food last night but… I don't remember eating any cake," he said.

Teyla lost the battle and a chuckle escaped her lips. "We didn't," she said.

John grinned and pushed away from the door, walking over to her. He wrapped his arms round her and pulled her to him, and he kissed her briefly. "So, breakfast?" He asked. "Oh wait, I forgot – you never want to eat with me again."

"I suppose I could make an exception this once," said Teyla, smiling up at him.

"Well good, because we've still got a show to put on," John said.

Teyla nodded. "True," she said.

John grinned again. "Yeah, so you have to keep pretending you love me," he said.

Teyla didn't smile back. "Alright," she said simply.

John's grin faded and his arms tightened round her back. Teyla's heart was hammering against her chest as though it was trying to escape, and her breath caught in her throat, her mind beginning to race – had that been stupid? Maybe she should have made a joke. Had she just ruined everything?

Then John smiled, and Teyla let out a relieved breath. He rested his forehead against hers and shrugged. "It wasn't that hard to pretend for me," he said.

A smile bloomed on Teyla's face. "Yes, I too found it very easy…"

John leant in and captured her lips with his again, and Teyla wrapped her hands around his neck, glad that if they were late for breakfast they would at least be able to blame it on the gillinea cakes.

The End