The prisoner was complaining as the guards escorted him to his cell. This wasn't unusual. What was unusual was that he wasn't protesting his innocence, or complaining about his treatment at the hands of the guards. He was whining about his delicate health.
"I'm prone to respiratory infections when I'm stressed, and this doesn't seem like a very congenial environment. Is there any way that I could be put into a cell with a bigger window? Do those even exist? Or maybe I could get a humidifier?"
One of the guards murmured something that silenced the prisoner. For a moment, at least.
"Oh, this is so incredibly typical," he said when the guard began to unlock the cell. "My first day in prison, and my roommate is Conan. Can't you put me somewhere where I'm a little less likely to be beaten to a pulp?"
Ronon thought about reassuring the new guy, and then he thought about smiling at him menacingly. In the end, he just lay in his bed and ignored him. The new guy was pushed--fairly gently--into the cell, and the door slid shut behind him.
"Uh, hi," the new guy said. "My name's Rodney McKay. Doctor. McKay. But you can call me Rodney."
"Ronon," Ronon said.
Rodney waited expectantly for a moment before he continued, "Right. Um, look, I don't know how things work in here exactly, but, uh--"
"Don't," Ronon said. This wasn't his first cellmate, and he was tired of men assuming that he wanted to rape them or accept sex for favors or take their cigarettes, books, etc., etc. for the black market.
Rodney's mouth snapped shut.
"You're on the top bunk," Ronon said--unnecessarily, to his mind, since he was lying on the bottom bunk, but it didn't hurt to make these things clear.
"Okay," Rodney said. There was a long pause. "I guess I'll just...go to bed, then." He clambered up to the top bunk a bit awkwardly. There were rustling noises that soon gave way to silence, that in turn gave way to whistling snores that Ronon tuned out with the ease of long practice.
Rodney stopped dead in his tracks, and Ronon had to pull up short in order to not trip over him. "Lemon chicken," Rodney said in the tone of voice most people used for the words "genital herpes." He raised his voice to talk to the guard serving dinner. "Is this the only item on the menu that contains citrus?"
There was a grumbling sound from the people behind them in line who were close enough to hear Rodney's words. "This is what we've got," the guard--McElwee--said. "You can eat it, or you can not eat."
Rodney's face turned red. "Look, I'm really incredibly allergic to citrus. Anaphylactic shock would set in immediately, and my windpipe would begin to close within fifteen seconds. So when I ask if the lemon chicken is the only thing on the menu that contains lemon, I'm not exactly doing it out of idle curiosity."
His voice was shrill enough by the last few words that Ronon was beginning to get a headache, no doubt in response to the fact that McElwee's face was looking increasingly stubborn and self-righteous as Rodney went on. Ronon grimaced and leaned over Rodney's shoulder. "If you go to see the doctor, he'll give you a card that says you've got food allergies, and then the guards have to tell you what's in stuff. I'm pretty sure the rice and peas are okay, though."
Rodney looked up at him with startled eyes, and then requested the rice and peas. He hovered at Ronon's elbow while Ronon got the same, plus some chicken, and sat across from him when Ronon sat down. "Thanks," he said quietly when both their plates were nearly clean, and Ronon shrugged in response.
Two days later, and Rodney was still complaining. The really sick thing was that Ronon was starting to find it almost amusing.
"Also, what is up with these cells? Isn't it a bit anachronistic to still have the whole bars and chains and toilets with no seats thing?"
"We don't have chains," Ronon pointed out. He wasn't surprised when Rodney waved aside his comment and continued on without pause:
"Not to mention the draconian policy that only allows you to check out two books from the library at a time. Admittedly, none of the books is especially worth reading, and their physics texts in particular are laughable, but--"
"They've got some good fiction," Ronon said, and then added, "Austen. Melville. Eliot." Ronon read mysteries and the occasional sociology book, but it was funny making Rodney's eyes bug out like that.
"You're looking...almost cheerful," Rodney said in surprise.
Ronon grunted. "Showers today."
Rodney's face brightened, and Ronon was feeling so good that he let himself smile back.
Miller was the guard on duty, which was a relief. Ronon hadn't had a chance to talk to the two newest guards yet, and a couple of the others were assholes, but Miller was pretty decent. Ronon made his way down to the second to last cubicle, only distantly aware of Rodney trailing behind him.
"This one's already occupied," Rodney pointed out when Ronon stepped inside.
"I know," Ronon said.
"Hey, Ronon," John Sheppard drawled, and Ronon shoved him against the wall and kissed him while Rodney made a quiet meeping noise behind them.
"Uh, I'll just...um..." Rodney said, and Ronon tore his mouth away from John's long enough to say:
"You can stay or go, it doesn't matter."
"Just don't take the shower stall on the right," John added. "Unless you're interested in getting some action for yourself."
Rodney made a noise in the back of his throat and then said, "I think I'll stay in here, thanks."
Ronon wasn't sure if his grunt of acknowledgment was understood as such, or if Rodney assumed that he made that noise because John had just bitten his nipple, but he really didn't care.
"Ronon," John said, grinning against his skin. "We're using all the hot water."
A quick glance at Rodney showed him shifting nervously from side to side, just inside the cubicle. "C'mere," Ronon said, and pulled him under the spray of the shower. "Here." He grabbed the soap off the shelf and dropped it into Rodney's lax hands, biting back a smile when Rodney had to fumble for it. Then he turned his attention back on John and his soft, biting mouth and wet skin.
He'd been dreaming of blowing John all week, but the cubicle was small for two people, let alone three, so he just took John's cock in his hand and pulled at it slowly and easily, the way John liked. After a few strokes, the brush of his thumb over the head was slippier and warmer than could be accounted for by the shower water, and Ronon stuck his thumb in his mouth to suck precome off it.
John's eyes were dark and dreamy looking, but his hand when he began to stroke Ronon in turn was firm and steady. They kissed again, long and deep and wet. Ronon had never asked John about it, but for himself, it was kissing that he missed the most when he was locked in his cell and getting himself off for what felt like the thousandth time since he'd been incarcerated.
John was whimpering hotly into his mouth, now, and Ronon batted John's hand away from his cock so that he could wrap his own hand around both of them. John had a thing about his hands, and he got off fast after that. Ronon stroked him through the aftershocks, and then he let go of both of them and slid his cock against John's come-streaked belly until he came, as well, and through it all they kept kissing and kissing and kissing.
Eventually, though, Ronon had to pull away, and John dropped his head to Ronon's shoulder and leaned heavily against him. "Hey," he murmured, tipping his head to the side.
Ronon followed his gaze to see Rodney, standing with his back to them, the tips of his ears and the back of his neck red with embarrassment. He pushed down the urge to apologize; Rodney'd chosen to stay, after all. Besides, he could see enough to know that part of the embarrassment was due to the fact that Rodney was hard. Ronon wondered if he'd been watching them, and shivered a little at the thought.
John looked at him curiously, but Ronon just shook his head and wrapped his arms around him in a gentle hug. "You can jerk off here," Ronon said to Rodney. "Easier clean-up than in the cell, and neither of us cares."
"Oh, God," Rodney said, but he dropped his hand to his cock and tugged at it quickly for what had to be less than a minute before he let out a soft moan and spattered his come against the wall of the shower. He stared down at his feet afterwards, face even brighter red than it had been before.
Ronon almost wanted to say something to him, but his store of comforting stock phrases mostly contained things like, "It's okay, baby," and "I've got you," neither of which he imagined Rodney would want to hear from him. Instead, he handed Rodney his towel and didn't look at him while Rodney wrapped it around his body. The not-looking was made easier by the fact that John pulled him down for another deep kiss while they waited for Rodney.
When Rodney was ready, he cleared his throat. "Um, we didn't really get a chance to meet, but my name's Rodney McKay."
"John Sheppard," John said, shaking his hand. "Come again any time." Ronon smacked him on the arm for the pun--John was the hottest boyfriend he'd ever had, but his sense of humor sucked--and John laughed in response.
Rodney ignored their byplay, though, and nodded his head. "I wouldn't be surprised if I did."