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Summary: Honestly, it's about a fern. Sheppard/Woolsey.

Updated: 16 Sep 2009; Published: 12 Sep 2009

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Story Notes:
Written for the suspension square on my Kink Bingo card. Contains mentions of bondage and D/s. You've been warned.


Once the other furniture has been moved, there's more than enough space to set up a table for eight in the living area of Woolsey's quarters, the perfect size for a nice, semi-intimate dinner.

Woolsey sits at one end of the table, John at the other. In between them, it's date night- Rodney and Jennifer, Ronon and Amelia, Teyla and- playing the part of Kanaan, as he's so often been doing since they got to Earth- Lorne. John doesn't actually know exactly to what extent Lorne's filling in for him, nor does he think it's any of his business; but Lorne picked up dinner, so he'd get a free pass either way.

For Teyla and Ronon, this is an opportunity to experience Earth cuisine without having to deal with the Earth traffic and the Earth-related red tape. For everyone else, it's time to get reacquainted with the best cuisine America has to offer: Chinese take-out.

"New plant?" Ronon asks, cocking his head towards the corner of the sitting room; John turns to look, and very nearly has a heart attack.

"I know that pattern," Teyla says, studying the hanging basket with a critical eye. "Selan made it?"

"Doctor Redfield- the ethnographer- made it, actually," Woolsey tells her, accepting a glass of wine from Amelia. "Selan's been teaching her."

"Her work is very good," she says approvingly. "I would not have known it was not Athosian."

He preens a little. "Well, you'll certainly have to tell her, then. I'm sure she'd be very excited to hear that."

The basket is absolutely overflowing with green fronds, sprouting every which way from between its four long handles, all of which are attached to a hook; the hook hangs from a good-sized metal ring, which is itself suspended from the ceiling by a chain. The chain disappears up past the oddly-shaped Ancient acoustic tiles, up to where, John knows, it's bolted directly onto one of the ceiling joists. Overkill for a potted plant; Ronon could probably swing from the thing and not bring it down.

Okay, maybe not Ronon; John doesn't trust the bolts that much. But a full-grown man, certainly.

And John cannot believe Woolsey has a fucking houseplant on it.

"Is that one of the ones that came from M6F-456?" Lorne asks, as he ladles out the egg drop soup.

"Botany just cleared them," Woolsey informs him. "Doctor Parrish was nice enough to let me have one. I've been needing something to hang in that corner." He looks at John after he says it, giving him a pleasant smile; John realizes that he's just sitting there with his crab rangoon halfway to his mouth, just gaping openly.

"I've never walked so far to see a bunch of ferns in my entire life, and I've backpacked through Redwoods twice," Lorne reminisces, completely missing John and Woolsey's silent exchange. "Definitely worth it, though."

"Good eating on those things, once they get big," Ronon says approvingly.

John focuses wholeheartedly on his dinner. It's that or think about the fact that last night, he was hanging exactly where that freaking basket is now, his hands locked into padded black cuffs, his feet only just brushing the floor, just swaying there helplessly while Woolsey worked him over long and hard and so, so well. His arms are still sore- hell, everything is pretty sore, honestly- but it had been so worth it. All he'd been able to do was stay put and take it, let Woolsey have whatever he wanted; and when he'd finally opened John up and slid inside, the slick fabric of his suit still whispering over John's thighs, God, it was like-

"Oh!" Rodney says very suddenly; and John absolutely does not choke on his wine, which totally does not have anything to do with the fact that he definitely didn't bang his dick on the underside of the table when he completely did not jump. "Sorry," he adds, not sounding particularly apologetic, as Lorne claps John solidly on the back a couple of times. "I just realized I've eaten those before. Not the ones from M6F-456, obviously, but the ones they make up in New Brunswick." He snaps his fingers. "What are they called? The little curly ones."

"Fiddleheads," Jennifer supplies.

"That's it," he says, smiling at her like she's a puppy who's just performed a particularly clever trick. "Not bad, really. Sort of crunchy." He stops, looking at John. "Are you gonna be okay?"

"Fine," John chokes out, still coughing. "Just swallowed wrong."

Woolsey gives him a faintly evil smile.

Thankfully, nobody says a word about ferns, baskets, or interior decorating for the rest of the meal; by the time Jennifer starts making noises about catching the second half of movie night, John has mostly- mostly- calmed down.

"I think it's Slumdog Millionaire," Amelia says, offering Ronon half of the last cinnamon doughnut.

"What is it about?" Teyla asks.

"It's about this guy in India- which is, um, on the other side of the planet from here," Rodney explains, "and he goes on this show, Who Wants To Be a Millionaire, which started in England, but-" He stops. "You know, honestly? I think it might be faster just to watch it. You'd like it, though."

"We should probably head out, if we're going," Lorne says, starting to clear the empty containers from the table.

John lay a hand on his arm. "You guys go on. I'm sure we can handle this."

"Are you sure?"

"Come on, what's there to do?" he said amiably. "Besides, I've already seen it."

"So have I," Woolsey says, which is a total lie, but John has absolutely no interest in pointing that out. "I'm sure we'll manage just fine on our own."

As they say their goodbyes, John hopes it's not entirely obvious that he's rushing them; he loves his team, and all, but he's just got other things on his mind. It seems to take forever, but finally, after one more forehead bump with Teyla, they're alone.

John strides forward, taking Woolsey's face in both hands and kissing him intently. "Okay, that?" he says when he finally pulls away, pointing at the fern. "That was not funny."

Woolsey's grin is so satisfied, it's almost a smirk. "You've got to admit, the basket does look good there. Not as good as you, obviously, but I'm told I have to let you down some time."

"You are an evil, twisted man," John says, torn between indignation and arousal. "I'm afraid I like it."

"What is it they say?" he asks rhetorically. "'Look out for the quiet ones'?" He pulls back for a moment, looking at the mess on the table. "We should deal with-"

"Leave it," John growls.

"If you insist," Woolsey sighs, letting John pull him into the bedroom; once there, he turns the tables, shoving John up against the wall and pinning his wrists at his sides.

Oh yeah. John really likes it.