torch, flambeau@strangeplaces.net
October 28, 2005

Disclaimer: afrai made me do it. Do not archive this story without permission.

No pheromones

When Rodney fell in a pond on M3R-332, no one was really surprised. Rodney was not a big fan of currently-uninhabited backwater planets, inspection tours thereof, even the ones involving supposedly high-level technology hidden somewhere in an old abandoned irrigation system, and he hadn't been paying much attention to anything, including where he was going. They dragged him out of the pond, grinned a bit at the way he was covered from head to toe in blueish-green algae, and when he wouldn't stop complaining about it, they sent him back to Atlantis to be hosed down in peace. 15 minutes later, they got Zelenka as a replacement, and the tour resumed.

When Zelenka fell in a canal a little later, Sheppard started to look for banana peels, scientists, for the use of. Ronon grabbed Zelenka by the scruff of the neck and fished him out. He was soaked, of course, but not covered in any visible algae, and claimed that the sunshine would dry his clothes in no time. They went on.

"It is all right for you to remove your hand now," Zelenka said. "I do not intend to fall in the water again."

Ronon hauled Zelenka a bit closer, bent down, and sniffed at him. "You smell good."

"Perhaps you should try falling in the water yourself," Zelenka suggested. "Only, make sure to remove your hand before you do." Ronon licked his neck. "Colonel Sheppard!"

Sheppard stopped looking for banana peels to deal with the emergency at hand. "Ronon, let go of Zelenka."

"He smells good." But an order was an order. Ronon loosened his grip very reluctantly, and Zelenka wriggled free and went very quickly to stand on the other side of Teyla. "Really good."

They went on.

"Really good," Ronon said, making a grab for Zelenka over Teyla's shoulder. Teyla hip-checked him, and he fell in a canal.

Sheppard didn't bother looking for any banana peels. He and Teyla pulled Ronon out of the water, and Ronon shook free of their hands, splashing them with water in the process, and went straight for Zelenka. "Ronon, stop." Ronon hesitated fractionally, but kept moving. Sheppard frowned. "What are we going to do with him?"

"Send him back to Atlantis," Zelenka suggested rather breathlessly. "Hose him down. Stop that! We do not know each other well enough for you to put your hand there."

"You'll know me a lot better once I do."

"I have no plans to get to know you better!" Zelenka attempted to wriggle free. "Although your smell is not entirely unpleasant."

"Maybe we should go back," Sheppard said, turned on his heel, slipped, and fell in the canal. Teyla reached down and took his hand and helped him scramble up again. Sheppard wiped the water out of his face. "You can let go of my hand now."

Teyla gave him a sharp smile. "You smell good."

"Uh, Teyla, don't—"

"Put me down, you—"

"Really good."

* * *

When Rodney stumbled out of the stargate soaking wet, no one was really surprised. Jackman went to notify Zelenka that he was needed as backup, Dr. Weir turned her back to the balcony rail to giggle privately, and Bates came stomping up to look at the way Rodney was dripping all over the floor. "You'd better go get cleaned up."

"Yes, thank you, that would never have occurred to me on my own." Rodney sniffed. "Oh, God, I smell." He started to walk.

Bates's eyes gleamed. He followed.

* * *

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