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Perambulation of the Atlanteans


Title: Perambulation of the Atlanteans

Author: chelle

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Fandom: Atlantis

Archive: Ask first

Pairing: John/Rodney

Rating: PG

AN: I went to see March of the Penguins. As you can see, John and Rodney went with me.

"Penguins," Rodney said, sinking deeper in his chair. "We haven't been to a movie in more than a year and they send us a film about penguins."

"You are not going to complain during the entire movie," John answered sinking further in his chair too, because there was no way Rodney was ever going to out-slouch him.

"I might."

"Let me repeat, 'you are not going to complain during the entire movie.'"

Rodney sniffed and tilted his chin.

John grinned smugly.

The room went dark and the Warner logo appeared on the screen.

Rodney leaned toward him. "Why are they showing us previews? It's not like we can go to the movies next Friday."


"It's the previews."

John glared at him, but it didn't seem to have any effect. He chose to believe it was because they were sitting in the dark.

"Ice Age 2? It's not even coming out until next year."

John ignored him, and it seemed to work. Rodney remained quiet during the opening credits, but as the penguins started their march Rodney leaned in again and whispered, "That would be you."


"The penguin sliding on its stomach, that would be you, too lazy to walk."

"That's not laziness; it's a careful conservation of energy."


John wanted to retort, movie or no movie, but he couldn't think of a response to 'uh-huh' that didn't make him sound ten. So he settled on ignoring Rodney instead. After all, it had worked during the credits.

This time it worked until the penguins arrived at their breeding ground.

"Honking? Who chooses their mate based on honking?"

"People who sleep with you," John replied.

"I can't help it if women are attracted to my obviously superior intelligence." Before John could answer, Rodney added, "Now that doesn't make any sense."

On the screen two penguins were gently rubbing one another with their heads and beaks. "It's a mating ground."

"Exactly. They should be mating, not wasting time with foreplay."

"Wasting time? That explains a lot about your love life."

Rodney gave him a look which John could barely make out in the dim light of the theater. He didn't need to see it to know that it was Rodney's 'you're an idiot' look. "It's how many degrees below freezing? They shouldn't be wasting energy like that. They should do what they need to do and then get back to huddling together."

"Sex is a kind of huddling. Besides some things are worth getting a little cold for," John said, deliberately smug.

"You're one of those people," Rodney replied in his superior tone, the one with which he usually responded to John's smug tone.

"What people?" John asked.

"People who think that sex is the best thing ever."

"You mean a guy. Yes, I am one of those."

Somewhere along the line they had forgotten to whisper, and John looked up to find Elizabeth glaring at them. He gave her his best, "I'm sorry" smile, and she turned back around. John leaned into Rodney. "Behave yourself," he whispered.

"Oh, please, I'm Canadian. We have impeccable manners," Rodney whispered back.

This time it was Teyla, seated beside Dr. Weir, who turned to glare at them. Not even Rodney could withstand Teyla's glare and he was silent for the next several minutes.

The penguins kept looking at their eggs, which John had to admit was strangely entertaining. Although he'd never tell Rodney, he'd shared Rodney's opinion of the film choice. Would it have killed them to have sent the last Star Wars film? Or maybe Batman Begins? Two of the penguins began to move toward each other, bellies bumping as they tried to transfer the egg from one penguin to the other without letting the egg touch the ice for too long. Unfortunately, the egg froze.

"That would be you," John whispered, leaning into Rodney.


"You'd get impatient and drop the egg."

"Like you'd be a model of patience, Mr. Let Me Fly the Jumper Into the Hive Ship."

John crossed his arms, pressing his shoulder into Rodney's in the process. "I know how to be patient. I put up with you, don't I?"

"Only because you recognize my genius."

"Or maybe I just feel sorry for you."

Rodney snorted.

This time both Teyla and Elizabeth glared at them. Teyla's glare was clearly saying "I am going to beat your ass with sticks tomorrow." "Sorry," he mouthed. Teyla and Elizabeth seemed unimpressed, but at least they turned around.

The female penguins left, leaving the males to sit on the eggs. Sitting on an egg for months, that took patience, not to mention fortitude. John didn't envy the female penguins either. A seventy mile walk when they were already starving, during the winter in Antarctica. He didn't think he'd survive it, but then he wasn't actually made to survive it. The penguins reached the ocean and John breathed a sigh of relief.

"Now who does that?" Rodney muttered.

The female penguins were swimming happily under the ice, evidently eating every bit of food they came across. "Penguins," John answered, getting one of those looks from Rodney. John grinned and wished he had some popcorn to pop into his mouth.

"I meant the cameramen. Do you have any idea how cold that water must be?"

"They're wearing suits."

Rodney looked at him like he had grown at least two extra heads and John's grin broadened. In his mind he tossed a piece of popcorn into his mouth.

"Really? I assumed they were skinny dipping."

"Obviously, you were wrong," John said in a mild tone.

Rodney didn't say anything. He simply crossed his arms and tilted his chin into the air.

The film returned to the male penguins, now huddled together for warmth against a winter storm.

"One hundred mile an hour winds, in Antarctica, in the winter, are they nuts?"

"They're penguins."

When Rodney glared John kept his face completely neutral, holding in his grin until Rodney had looked back at the screen.

The babies hatched and John leaned into Rodney. "Not even you can deny they're cute."

"For ugly birds."

"Come on, Rodney. They even sound cute."

"You are such a soft touch."

"And you're such a big hard ass," John whispered.

"At last someone noticed."

"Trust me, your ass is hard to miss."

"Colonel Sheppard, Dr. McKay," Elizabeth said, her voice clear and sharp, "if you do not shut up you will no longer be allowed to attend film night."

"We'll be good," John said, ignoring Rodney when he mouthed "you started it."

They were quiet for the rest of the film.

"I can't believe Elizabeth yelled at us in the middle of the movie," John said as they walked toward the mess.

"You started it."

"You couldn't even keep quiet during the credits."

"You were both rude," Teyla said from behind them. "You do not--what is the expression--bring out the best in one another."

John was offended.

"We do too," Rodney countered and John nodded in agreement.

Teyla, unfortunately, did not rise to the bait. She was a good friend, but very hard to tease.

"You want to get some coffee with us?" John asked.

Teyla shook her head. "No, thank you. I will see you in the morning." She nodded at John and smiled at Rodney, who wished her a good night.

"You are so going to get your ass kicked in the morning," Rodney pointed out unnecessarily. They entered the mess and headed straight for the coffee. "You should be grateful to have me on your team, you know."

John poured two cups of coffee. "Because of your incomparable genius."

"No, because without me there wouldn't be anyone on the team who couldn't kick your ass."

"As long as I can beat you up, my masculinity will remain intact."

Rodney smiled at him and they carried their mugs to the closest table. "The babies were cute," Rodney conceded as they sat.

"They were, but, man, that's one hell of a way to reproduce."

"Human reproduction is definitely better," Rodney agreed.

"And you don't even like foreplay."

"I didn't say that. I said I didn't see the point of it in the middle of Antarctica."

"I think it's probably even more important in the middle of Antarctica." Rodney didn't answer him, and John let him take a couple sips of his coffee, waiting until Rodney was mid-swallow, before adding, "There are gay penguins."

Rodney choked. "Excuse me." His voice was rough from the near choking induced coughing.

"Adelie penguins. Some of them are gay."

"Really? How fascinating." Rodney's tone said he wasn't fascinated, but he couldn’t hide the curiosity in his face.

John let the grin he had been fighting while Rodney choked show. "I thought so."

"I didn't know you had an interest in homosexual wildlife."

"There are a lot of things you don't know about me, Rodney."

"Apparently." Rodney sounded mildly sarcastic, but he looked puzzled, as though he couldn't decide if John was flirting with him or just teasing.

Eventually, John would enlighten him.

And then he would teach Rodney to appreciate foreplay.