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Author's email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Author's URL: http://chelle.slashcity.org/
Archive: Ask first
Rating: NC 17
Notes: Written for the Casa McShep community on LJ.
Summary: Rodney thinks they're in a rut.
Still breathing hard, John pressed a kiss to Rodney's chest and slid from the bed, heading for the bathroom. He'd learned the hard way that too much lube where it was now could get a little unpleasant if left over night.
He wiped himself down, including the come smearing his chest. John had no idea why Rodney liked to run his fingers through John's come, but it was kind of sweet. Dropping the cloth into the laundry pile, he took out a second one and ran it under warm water.
Kneeling next to Rodney, he wrapped the cloth around Rodney's softening cock, cleaning away the lube and semen left behind from really nice sex. He took special care with the head, which tended to be sensitive for a while after Rodney had come.
Rodney made a small humming sound and John smiled at him before tossing the cloth to the floor and gathering the blankets from the foot of the bed. Pulling them up, he settled in next to Rodney, resting his head on Rodney's shoulder. Rodney's arms tightened around him and John snuggled a little closer. This was definitely the best way to end the day.
"Do you think we're in a rut?"
John thought about opening his eyes. Maybe looking at Rodney would make it clearer what he was talking about, but he'd just gotten settled. "What kind of rut?"
"A sex rut."
John opened his eyes and lifted himself up onto one elbow so he could look down at Rodney's face, Not that he could see much of it with just the moonlight coming in the window for light. "You think we're in a sex rut."
"For the last six weeks, we've had sex two to three times a week," Rodney said.
So the frequency wasn't where it had been when they'd first gotten together or even when they'd first moved in together. Human beings in their forties didn't have nightly - and for a while there daily- sex for extended periods of time. Some tapering off was normal. Plus, John was under a lot of pressure. He had stress, damn it. "Isn't that more often than most couples?" John asked. Seemed to him Nancy had complained they'd fallen below the national average at one point. John hadn't really preferred Letterman to sex with Nancy. Not all the time anyway.
And they didn't get Letterman in Pegasus.
"Yes, but we're doing the same things. There's no variety. Either we have a sixty-nine or I top you. Even that's in the same position."
John liked being on his back. That way he could watch Rodney. He liked watching Rodney. And he liked sixty-nines. Sixty-nines were fun. He'd thought Rodney liked them, too. "You think our sex life is boring."
"I didn't say that."
"It's what you meant."
"It is not what I meant. I miss the..." Rodney paused clearly searching for the right word. "The creativity we used to have, that's all."
"Creativity." John had always figured there was a finite amount of creativity possible when it came to sex. "You want more creativity."
Rodney nodded. "Not every night, of course, and not always at night. I can't remember the last time we had sex when the sun was still up." Wrapping a hand around the back of John's neck, Rodney tugged him downward. John resisted for a moment then gave in, allowing himself to be pulled into a kiss. "Don't get the wrong idea here," Rodney said. "I'm not unhappy. I love having sex with you."
"Even when it's boring."
"I knew I shouldn't have said anything. Nothing good ever comes of reading 'Dear Abbey.'"
"Dear Abbey doesn't give sex advice, and we don't get newspapers in Pegasus."
"I internalized it when I was young."
"Uh-huh," John said, slightly mollified. He leaned in to kiss him again, before settling back against Rodney. Creativity and variety, he could do that. He was a creative guy.
Creative sex. What would Rodney consider creative sex? BDSM was the obvious answer, but Rodney hated pain. He'd said more than once that he didn't get how people could mix sex with pain. I ask you, how does stinging pain make for a good orgasm?
Plus, the last thing John wanted to do to Rodney's ass was mark it. John preferred Rodney's ass just the way it was-- pale and pleasantly plump.
Role playing was creative. They could pretend to be someone else for a while, that might work. John could be the handsome prince in distress and Rodney could be the brave knight that saved him. Grimacing at the thought of Rodney in armor, let alone on a horse, John decided Rodney could be the brave wizard that saved him.
That could work.
Except suggesting it to Rodney was likely to result in gales of laughter and snide comments about John's Harry Potter collection.
Maybe if John was a struggling student and Rodney was the professor willing to give him an 'A' in exchange for John bending over his desk.
"You're falling behind again." Ronon's voice cut into his thoughts.
"Sorry," John said, putting on a little more speed.
Ronon picked up the pace still more and John tried to focus on his run.
Breakfast and shower behind him, John headed for Woolsey's office and the senior staff meeting. Woolsey wanted to devise a schedule for staff reviews. Dr. Cho, the new head of social sciences, tactfully sat between Rodney and Keller, leaving John on Rodney's other side.
Rodney typed as Woolsey talked, theoretically taking notes. But John was pretty sure he was drafting the next month's lab schedule. Rodney liked drafting lab schedules; it gave him an excuse to fantasize about the discoveries he might make.
John leaned over just enough to see the screen. Yup, lab schedule.
Settling back in his chair, John watched Rodney's hands and wondered what Rodney considered creative.
Maybe dressing up. John had no doubt that Rodney would like to see him in leather pants. Rodney's comments on the topic when they'd walked past a leather shop while visiting Jeannie had left no doubt on that score. He could order a pair, pose for Rodney.
In his head, Rodney said, "work it, baby." John promptly discarded that idea.
Resting his chin on his hand, John stared at the page on which he'd written Lorne's name. Woolsey wanted a written statement of the strengths and weaknesses of each person on Atlantis with an action plan for the "next steps in their professional development." They were to start with their seconds-in-command. "Succession planning is crucial in an assignment like Atlantis," Woolsey had said.
John didn't disagree, but his job wasn't exactly one you could train someone for. Whatever training there was to get, Lorne already had.
Tapping his pencil on the desk, John reconsidered the role playing idea. He could be a novice to gay sex, needing the more experienced Rodney to guide him. Rodney'd love that. Or maybe an alien sex ritual. John could be tied to an altar. Maybe not tied. He'd been tied up too many times in real life to find bondage erotic.
Rodney could be the one on the altar. Loosely tied down and gagged, while John had to get him off using only his mouth.
John shifted in his seat. That could be fun.
This alien ritual idea had definite possibilities.
By the time lunch rolled around, John had come up with a number of rituals but he was still leaning toward the one with the gag. Rodney forced to communicate with only his eyes and his body had definite appeal. Plus, it was pretty damn creative.
John kept to a light lunch -- he had stick training with Teyla later -- only half-listening while Rodney bitched about the staff reviews. He was too busy trying to imagine how Rodney would react to his alien ritual idea.
"You haven't heard a word I said."
Rodney's tone brought him out of his daze and John smiled automatically. "Sure I have."
"Oh, really, what did I just say?"
"You were complaining about the staff reviews."
"No, I wasn't."
John frowned. "Yes, you were."
"Wasn't." Rodney stood. "Not that it matters. I have to get back. See you later."
With a pat to John's shoulder, he was gone.
John shook out his arm. He hated getting hit in the biceps. It stung. Lifting his sticks, he smiled to let Teyla know he was ready to start again. Not bothering to smile back, she struck.
Nearly an hour later, John was getting winded, but he hadn't managed to get past Teyla's defenses even once. Lowering her sticks with a nod, Teyla walked over the wall and bent to pick up a bottle of water. John followed.
"You were distracted," Teyla said.
John considered telling her why he'd been distracted. Well, maybe not the alien ritual part. Teyla was good with people, better than him and Rodney combined. Plus, she was in a long-term relationship. "Rodney thinks we're in rut." John said the words in a rush and he could feel his face heating.
Teyla nodded, which wasn't reassuring in the slightest. "It is natural to fall into a routine," she said with a sympathetic smile.
"That's what I thought, but Rodney says we're not creative anymore." John could feel his face heating even more.
"When two people first get together the relationship is, as you would put it, their top priority. Over time, the real world intrudes once again, as it should, and we forget to spend time together."
"Rodney and I are together all the time," John said, frowning. They lived together. They worked together.
"Yes, but how much of that time do you spend focused on one another?" Teyla asked. She patted his arm. "I am sure you will find a solution that pleases you both," Teyla said, then she left.
John stared after her. She had a point. He and Rodney ate at least one, usually two, meals together every day, but there were always other people around. Rodney tended to work at least part of every evening. John didn't complain, because Rodney's job was more of a passion than a job. And John wasn't above working himself in the evenings, going out to check on the night shift, reviewing reports.
Frowning, John tried to remember the last time they'd played chess or raced their cars. He couldn't.
Maybe Teyla was right. Maybe the problem wasn't really sex, or just sex. Maybe they just needed a little quality time.
That, he could do.
John dressed carefully for dinner, putting on one of Rodney's favorite shirts, a soft, white button-down, and a pair of jeans that were tight enough to draw attention, but no so tight they were inappropriate for the mess.
Rodney looked up when John entered the mess, his eyes widening. John smiled at him, nodding at Radek and Lorne when they followed Rodney's gaze to the door.
He went through the line as quickly as possible, doing his best to ignore the sergeant's appreciative smile while waiting for his mashed potatoes.
"Special occasion, sir?" Lorne asked as John took the seat next to his.
"Maybe," John answered, catching Rodney's eye and smiling slow and soft.
"You," Rodney said, as soon as the door to their quarters closed behind them, putting his hands on John's hips and pressing his lips to John's.
John returned the kiss, because Rodney kissing him all eager and wanting was pretty hard to resist. Then he pushed Rodney gently back. "Not yet. Why don't you change into something more comfortable and meet me on the balcony?"
"Naked is more comfortable."
"Not on the balcony."
"It is in bed."
"It's not even 1900 yet."
"I didn't say I wanted to sleep," Rodney said and stole another kiss.
"Go change," John said, taking hold of Rodney's shoulders and turning him toward the bedroom. Rodney went into the bedroom and John grabbed a blanket, a laptop and a couple of beers.
Spreading out the blanket where he could lean against the wall, he placed the laptop within easy reach, and waited. Rodney came out a couple of minutes later. John had expected him to put on sweats, claiming they were 'something more comfortable.' Instead Rodney was wearing a blue t-shirt just a hair shy of being too tight across the chest and a pair of jeans that did very nice things to Rodney's ass and thighs. John thought about having Rodney stand in front of him for a while.
"I saved you a seat," John said, patting the spot in front of him.
"I see that," Rodney said, sitting.
Putting his arms around Rodney, John tugged until Rodney moved back, his ass pressing nicely against John's thighs and his back resting against John's chest.
"Here," John said, handing him a beer. It was some regional brew Rodney liked. To John beer was pretty much beer.
While Rodney took a drink and made appreciative noises, John reached over and turned on the laptop's CD player. The opening bars of Brahms Piano Concerto #1 filled the air and Rodney sighed happily. Rodney had a thing for Brahms' music, something about his use of counterpoint. John had followed Rodney's explanation easily enough, but he couldn't seem to hear it in the music. That was okay, because Rodney did.
John took a drink of his beer then put it down in favor of wrapping both arms around Rodney. The sun was partway down, turning the sky a bright orange shading into red at the edges. The air was just warm enough to be comfortable and he had Rodney in his arms. Alien sex rituals could wait.
As the song wore on, John began to think this might not have been the best plan. Rodney tended to listen with the same focus he did everything else, which didn't leave much focus for John. Plus, he was pretty sure his left thigh was starting to go to sleep.
Bending his leg in an effort to keep the circulation going, John rubbed his hand back and forth over Rodney's stomach. Rodney's t-shirt was soft, but not as soft as the skin beneath. John slipped his hand under the shirt. That was better. Warm skin, some soft hair, the slight swell of Rodney's belly, this was much more interesting than some piano music, counterpoint or no.
Rodney didn't seem to mind the touching, so John slid his hand a little further up, exploring the familiar contours of Rodney's chest. It had been too long since he'd touched Rodney like this, as an end itself rather than as a prelude to something else. It was nice. He ran his fingertips slowly up the center of Rodney's chest than down again.
"You're trying to seduce me," Rodney said.
Smiling, John pressed his cheek to the side of Rodney's neck. "Maybe."
"By all means, please continue."
John moved his free hand down to Rodney's thigh, curling his fingers along the inside of Rodney's thigh and pulling it slightly to the side, parting Rodney's legs. He brushed the fingers of his free hand across the top of a nipple, keeping the contact light, a tease. Having Rodney where John could play with him was a heady feeling. John had missed it. Rodney was right. They had fallen into a rut.
Withdrawing his hand from under Rodney's shirt, John curled it around Rodney's wrist then began moving his hand up Rodney's forearm. Rodney had strong arms. His arms turned John on in ways John hadn't expected but really liked. There was surety in Rodney's arms, a guarantee of strength and resolve.
"You're weird," Rodney said as John explored the curve of a biceps with his whole hand before tracing it with his fingertips.
"Yeah," John said and kissed the side of his neck.
John teased the shell of Rodney's ear with his lips and touched every part of Rodney within reach, not stopping until Rodney shifted in his arms, pressing into his touch. "Is this what you want?" John asked, cupping Rodney's cock through his jeans.
Hearing Rodney like that, voice full of want, made John shift, too, pressing his cock against Rodney. "I'm happy to stroke your cock, but it'd be right out there in the open. And we're outside." John's voice dropped a little at the end because the idea of jerking Rodney off out here was kind of appealing.
"It's not like anyone could see us."
The sun had set, the light reflecting off the water now coming from Atlantis itself. "Good point," John whispered and undid the button on Rodney's jeans. He lowered the zipper slowly, just to make Rodney squirm a little more, then reached inside.
Rodney hadn't bothered with underwear and John drew his cock out into the cool evening air. Rodney pulled in a breath and John smiled as he slid his hand along the hard length. Rodney's cock fit his hand even better than his own, thick and sturdy against his palm, but covered with a smooth skin that invited touching.
Rodney had complained once that John did this too slowly. John had tried to change, to stroke Rodney faster, but he could never seem to manage it. There was simply too much to enjoy to rush it.
Somewhere along the way Rodney had stopped complaining.
Stroking Rodney like this, out in the open, both of them still clothed, was hot and pretty darned creative, if John did say so himself.
Rodney turned, causing John to lose his grip, and pressed his lips to John's. John groaned happily. No one kissed like Rodney did when he was turned on. His tongue did positively pornographic things inside John's mouth, but his lips were tender as could be. The combination made John a little crazy and he curled his hand back around Rodney's cock, giving it a firm stroke.
He wanted to make Rodney lose it right here on the balcony.
He touched a little rougher than he usually did, a little faster. Rodney's kisses became even dirtier.
"Oh, god, stop," Rodney said, pulling away.
John must've looked as confused as he felt, because Rodney added, "I want you naked."
"Naked? Seems a little uncreative, don't you think?" John asked, but he smiled despite his best efforts to stop it.
Rising to his feet, Rodney held out a hand and John let himself be pulled up. Rodney bent down to get the laptop giving John an opportunity to ogle his ass, which John took full advantage of.
Once inside, Rodney abandoned the laptop on his desk and used his hold on John's hand to tug him into the bedroom. After turning the lights on to half strength, Rodney began undoing the buttons on John's shirt. John kept still and let him. After all, he'd had his turn.
It didn't take long before Rodney was pushing the shirt from his shoulders. Tracing John's chest with his eyes, Rodney said, "I love looking at you naked." Before John could answer, Rodney kissed him again, less dirty this time, more sweet. John didn't mind, he slid one hand around to grip Rodney's ass and the other under Rodney's shirt onto his back.
"I like looking at you naked, too," John said, when Rodney finally drew back.
"Yeah?" Rodney's eyes were still on John's chest but he the corners of his mouth turned up a single notch, giving him an almost shy look.
"Remember last week when we were late for the staff meeting and you came out of the bathroom naked, still a little damp, hands waving as you muttered. I got hard just looking at you."
"I don't mutter," Rodney said, but there wasn't any protest in it. He looked so pleased that John found himself speaking again.
"Do you have any idea how much I like your hands? Your touch makes me crazy." He kissed Rodney briefly. "I love it when you jerk me off."
Rodney was practically glowing with pleasure when his eyes met John's. Glowing with pleasure was a good look for him, a really good look. "I could touch you like you touched me earlier, with you leaning back against me. I'd touch you everywhere, jerk you off long and slow."
Swallowing, John kissed him again, taking charge of the kiss this time, using his lips to capture Rodney's, over and over again, Rodney shifted his hips and John pressed back.
"You should've said something," Rodney said when they parted, John planting kisses along the side of Rodney's neck.
"Thought you knew."
John nuzzled the space under Rodney's ear before sucking lightly on the lobe. "What don't I know? What do you like that you've never told me?" he asked, keeping his voice low and soft.
"Hands and knees. I like it when you fuck me on my hands and knees. The angle is good and--"
"And what?" John asked, pressing his lips to Rodney's temple.
"I-- I like feeling like I'm yours, there for you to enjoy."
John closed his eyes against the burst of lust that went straight through him, making him tighten his hand on Rodney's ass and press his cock into Rodney's hip. "We're going to do that," he said, voice deeper than usual. "Tonight. Now." He kissed Rodney again, deep and heated. Rodney gave back as good as he got and for a moment John didn't know which he wanted more: to strip Rodney or kiss him. Not that the two were mutually exclusive. He could strip Rodney and then kiss him. He could kiss Rodney with his fingers in Rodney's ass.
Groaning, John pulled away from Rodney's kiss. He tugged Rodney's shirt over his head, then began pulling at Rodney's jeans, trying to get them down.
"Let me," Rodney said, stepping back. He'd worn slippers onto the balcony and he stepped out of them easily, leaving him in open jeans, his cock sticking out of them. He looked as hot as John had ever seen him.
Rodney pushed the jeans to the floor and John followed with his eyes, taking in Rodney's strong thighs and calves.
Stepping clear of his jeans, Rodney reached for John's waistband. It took him only a moment to undo it. Then he lowered John's zipper. John hadn't gone commando and his cock tented his boxers, stretching them, trying to get out, to get to Rodney.
Rodney knelt and untied each of John's shoes in turn, making John lift his feet so Rodney could pull them off along with John's socks. Then he pulled John's jeans down. John helped, wanting to be free of them, to be as naked as Rodney.
When they were off, Rodney didn't stand. Instead, he leaned in and kissed John's hipbones, first one then the other. He slid his hands up the outside of John's thighs and then down the center. Rodney kissed the top of a thigh then John's belly causing John's cock to bump against his neck.
Rodney smiled down at it, then closed his mouth around the head, sucking steadily.
"Jesus, Rodney," John said, hands landing on Rodney's shoulders as he reached for something to help him stay upright.
Rodney's mouth was a beautiful, beautiful thing and it did beautiful things to John's cock. Beautiful things that even after a couple of years together could have John coming so fast it was embarrassing.
But instead of embarrassing him, Rodney let him go with a soft kiss to the head and rose to his feet.
John kissed him, because they had time for it and John wanted to taste him again. Rodney responded by wrapping his arms around John's shoulders and pressing his body tight to John's. They parted with a series of small kisses, and Rodney turned toward the bed.
Rodney climbed onto the bed on his hands and knees, and John took a moment to enjoy the view before snagging the lube from on top of the nightstand and kneeling behind Rodney.
Rodney's ass was inviting in ways an ass shouldn't be. The fullness of it asked to be touched, pleaded for John to cup it in his hands, to lean down and rub his cheek to Rodney's cheek. And the cleft seemed to be begging to be parted. As for Rodney's round little hole, it said, "Open me. Use your fingers and your tongue to tease me open, make me yours."
It had never said that before tonight. Now just looking at it was making John want to plunge his tongue inside.
He didn't plunge. He cupped Rodney's cheeks in his hands, stroked and petted them, traced Rodney's cleft with his fingers.
He rubbed his cheek against Rodney's cheeks before turning his face and kissing it softly, before sinking his tongue in between them.
He traced Rodney's opening with the tip of his tongue, pressed just inside before pulling back, making Rodney groan. Then he did it again and again, feeling Rodney open for him.
At last he slid a slickened finger inside and it was like coming home. Just that, just the simple feel of Rodney around a part of his body that wasn't even intimate.
Rodney's ring was tight, but once inside he clung to John's finger. How had they not done this in weeks, John wondered, watching as his finger slid into Rodney.
"John," Rodney said, and John leaned down, licked the edge of Rodney's hole with his finger still inside. "Oh, god, you're trying to kill me," Rodney said.
Taking that as an invitation to add another finger, John slid two inside, feeling Rodney stretch around him.
"Death by fingering," John said. "I'd like to see DaVinci explain that one."
"If anyone could, it'd be him."
Rising up onto his knees, John kissed the small of Rodney's back. "I really want to fuck you now."
"I was beginning to think you'd never ask."
Reluctantly withdrawing his fingers, John slicked his cock then placed the head at Rodney's entrance. He pressed forward from his hips. There was an instant of resistance and then he was sliding past the tight ring of muscle into the softness inside.
He pushed in with a long slow stroke, closing his eyes at the feel of Rodney around him and listening to Rodney's quiet moan.
Taking hold of Rodney's hips, he pulled back just as slowly, getting another moan from Rodney. "Is this the angle you wanted?" he asked, leaning forward to kiss Rodney's back.
"Yes," Rodney said, but it was gasp that convinced John he had it right.
He kept moving with the same steady strokes, taking in every gasp and twitch Rodney made. Had Rodney not been this responsive before or had John not noticed? If he'd realized Rodney liked this so much they'd have been doing it every night.
Letting go of Rodney's hips, he moved his hands to Rodney's thighs, cupping them at the top, his fingertips brushing Rodney's balls.
Rodney groaned again.
Thinking about what Rodney had said about being there for John to enjoy, he thrust a little harder. Then harder still, using his hands on Rodney's thighs to keep Rodney where he wanted him. The idea that Rodney would just take whatever John wanted to do was intoxicating and John had to stop himself from thrusting with all his strength.
Rodney dropped to his forearms, his hands tightening in the sheets.
"Don't stop. Whatever you do, don't stop."
Rodney's voice was rough, breathless. He sounded close, and John let go of Rodney's thigh, his hand curving around Rodney's cock.
After one stroke, Rodney's hand covered his stilling it.
"Talk to me. Like you did earlier. Tell me what you're feeling," Rodney said.
Rodney knew John wasn't good at this. Hell, the first time he'd told Rodney he loved him he'd actually said, "I, you know." Now Rodney wanted him to talk when John was balls-deep inside him. The thing was John would do just about anything for Rodney. Heaven help him if Rodney ever figured that out. "Lust," John said. "Pleasure, arousal, desire." He paused for a moment. "Tenderness."
"When you push into me, what do you feel?"
Swallowing, John slowed his movements, thrusting slowly, focusing on each sensation. "The muscle at the edge, it's squeezing me, so damn tight. But then it's all soft and clingy, that softness wrapping itself around my cock. It's incredible. You, you feel incredible."
Rodney's voice was rough and John wondered if maybe that was what the rut thing had been about. Maybe with John bottoming so much Rodney had thought John didn't want him. "What do you feel?" John asked.
"You, pushing into me, opening me up. I love that moment when you first push in. I can never tell if I'm giving myself to you or your taking me, or maybe both."
"Both," John said, kissing Rodney's back as high up as he could manage without losing the angle Rodney loved so much.
"Then you hit my prostate and all I want to do is spread myself open, as open as you want me."
"Am I hitting it now?" John pushed forward slowly.
"There," Rodney gasped.
"Here?" John asked, rocking his hips just enough to move the head back and forth.
"Yes," Rodney said, only it came out more like a groan.
John kept rocking, trying to memorize the spot so he could find it again.
Rodney's hand squeezed his. "Fuck me. Rough, hard, however you want it. Just fuck me till I come."
Rodney talking like that did crazy things to John's insides and he snapped his hips forward. He did it again and again, feeling Rodney give around him, until Rodney tightened, his cock pulsing in John's hand. John kept stroking him, slowing as Rodney's orgasm eased.
Stretching himself along Rodney's back, John kissed the back of his neck and wrapped his arms around Rodney's waist. "You okay?"
"Yeah," Rodney said, sounding the best kind of wrung out.
Smiling, John kissed him again, then began to pull carefully back.
"Wait, wait. Where are you going?"
"Turn over," John said, patting Rodney's hip.
Rodney turned onto his back and John moved forward, pressing back into Rodney. "This okay?"
"Don't be stupid."
John kissed him. As hot as it was to be behind Rodney, nothing beat this, Rodney's lips beneath his, Rodney's arms and legs wrapped around him, his chest resting on Rodney's. He thrust slowly, wanting to drag it out, to hold off just a few more minutes, but he was too close.
He came hard, tucking his face into the curve of Rodney's neck as his hips jerked and his cock pulsed deep inside Rodney.
Rodney patted his back. "Now that's what I call creative."
Body still twitching with aftershocks, John began to laugh.
Tossing his apple into the air, John caught it and rubbed it on his shirt. Breakfast with his team was a good way to start the day.
"You certainly seem to be in a good mood this morning," Teyla said, smiling a little too knowingly.
"Just feeling creative, that's all," John said and took a big bite.
John wondered if tonight would be a good time to mention the alien ritual idea.