Foul Pleasure

~ Um. Crackfic. Crackity crack crack.

The first clue they had that something was amiss was when they walked through the gate into the Atlantis control room and Ronon ran up the short ramp and stabbed John in the leg.

John screamed -- then stopped suddenly and looked down at his leg. Rodney looked, and didn't see any blood. Apparently it hadn't hurt -- which might have had something to do with the fact Ronon was one foot tall and looked like a Chucky doll.

On closer inspection it even looked like his hands and face were plastic.

Ronon scowled at Rodney, and Rodney took a step backwards, closer to John -- behind him, really.

"Sorry, Colonel, Dr. McKay," Weir said, as she approached them. "He's been a little... extra grumpy since he's been confined to Atlantis. Hopefully Dr. Beckett will release him to active duty in a few more days."

She glanced down at Ronon as though the fact he was a doll didn't bother her in the slightest. Rodney tried to remember if anything had been awry when he and Colonel Sheppard had left Atlantis that morning. Anything to account for a small, plastic version of their resident neanderthal.

He wasn't coming up with anything, but they'd been gone for several hours. Rodney nodded to himself. "I'm sure he'll... um... be himself when he's... back to being himself."

Weir gave a slow nod, giving him a brief, slightly confused look. Then she just gestured towards the conference room. "Dr. Beckett wants you to report for your post-mission check-up. Unless there's anything urgent we need to know about I'll be waiting for your reports."

Rodney and John exchanged a brief look. John said, "Not a thing that's urgent. Just your typical quiet farming village that likes to party like it's 1999 when visitors show up."

"Given that it's the year 2006 and the world didn't end--" Rodney began, but he stopped when John glared.

"You know what I mean."

Rodney shrugged. "I'm not saying it isn't a good song. I'm just saying the reference is inaccurate." He followed John away from the gate, and away from Ronon, who was being held back by a Marine -- who seemed to be having a little trouble, but who didn't, Rodney noted, seem at all taken aback to be hanging onto a pissed off doll version of Ronon.

Rodney gave Weir a nod to let her know they'd be right back, and wondered why she was smiling so indulgently. It was her 'isn't that cute' face, which Rodney was pretty sure he had never, ever seen directed at himself.

He waited until they were away from the control room and down the first hallway, before he asked, "So. Ronon? Anything strike you as... unusual?"

"You mean the fact he attacked my leg with a knife, or the fact his knife was made of plastic?"

Rodney shot him a dark look, and John grinned.

"You probably mean the fact he's a foot tall and his dreadlocks are made of yarn."

"That, yes. He wasn't a doll when we left, right?"

"Not so far as I know. Last I heard he was sick in bed with a cold."

"Huh." Rodney thought about it. "Maybe it's a symptom. He did say it was a Satedan cold, and not one of our normal, wimpy Earth colds."

"He didn't say wimpy."

"Not out loud, no. But you could hear him thinking it."

"Maybe someone will explain while we're in the infirmary." John shrugged, like the fact one of his team wasn't human wasn't really a huge concern. Rodney didn't blame him -- he'd read all the classified reports from the SGC, before they'd ever come to Atlantis. There was probably even a valid biological explanation for it, even if from the point of view of real science, it was absurd.

"I hope no one decides we need another tetanus shot, or whatever that thing was, last time. My arm is still sore."

John waggled his eyebrows. "Maybe you should ask Carson to give you your shots in the ass."

Rodney frowned. "I'll have you know that when I drop my pants for Carson, a needle is the <i>last</i> thing I want in his hand."

"But he could kiss it and make it better."

"What are you, gay? I thought you liked girls. What's with you thinking about Carson and I having sex?"

John rolled his eyes. "Yes, I like girls, but that doesn't mean I'm going to pass up the chance to tease you. I figure, if I get you thinking about sex with Carson, right before we go into the infirmary and he's giving us our checkups..." He stopped, and waggled his eyebrows again.

"Oh my god! That is the most... cruel, evil, horrible-- I am going to tell the next alien princess all about your genital herpes."

John laughed, and Rodney decided there was only one way to properly respond. He hit John in the arm -- not as hard as he could, but hard enough to make him notice.

Ow!" John rubbed his arm. "It's a good thing we're already going to the infirmary." He pouted, and Rodney rolled his eyes. He noticed Dr. Satva walking past them with a small grin on her face -- looked a lot like the indulgent smile Weir had.

"Yes, because now your arm's broken, you won't be able to--" Rodney broke off as they walked into the infirmary. Not that he had any shame, really, but there were five female nurses standing just inside the doorway, and Rodney could still feel his grandmother's headsmack for saying things like 'jacking off' in mixed company.

"Ah, gentlemen, we've been expecting you." Dr. Calloway walked up, smiling. "Colonel Sheppard, if you'll come with me. Dr. McKay, Dr. Rosetti is waiting for you." He nodded towards a bed, where the tiny and imposing Italian woman was waiting.

Rodney frowned. "Where's Carson?" Maybe he was busy trying to de-dollify Ronon. Speaking of which-- "And what's up with Ronon?"

"Ronon?" Dr. Calloway looked momentarily confused. "Oh, yes. I... haven't been following his case, but I understand that he'll be fine in a few days."

"Oh, well that's something," John said. He looked mildly perturbed, but didn't pursue the matter. Rodney figured that he was holding off until the debriefing -- if Weir didn't tell them what was going on, then John would probably insist on getting an explanation, loudly.

Dr. Calloway led John to one of the beds, and Rodney took a step towards Rosetti. "Where's Carson?"

It wasn't like Carson to miss saying hello when Rodney got back from offworld, unless he was in the middle of some emergency. Maybe he was working on Ronon's case -- but that would mean he'd be right next door in the lab, and what was with not poking his head in to say hi, are you injured, give me a kiss and I'll see you later?

Rosetti was frowning at him. "He's in his office," she said, quietly. "Now, have a seat and we'll get this done quickly."

Office? That sounded weird. Rodney frowned, and glanced towards the door to Carson's office. Well, of course he could have been working on Ronon's little problem, but why wasn't he in the lab? Why wasn't he coming to see if Rodney had had anything shot off?

He sighed, and let Dr. Rosetti go through the motions of making sure his heart was still beating, and that he had all his fingers. He glanced at Carson's office every so often, hoping -- expecting -- to see Carson come out. But he didn't.

When Rosetti finally said "You're fine, Dr. McKay," he jumped off the bed and hurried over to John.

Dr. Calloway was listening to John's lungs through a stethoscope; he looked up as Rodney approached, and shook his head. "You can have him back in five minutes, Dr. McKay. I promise not to break him."

Rodney blinked, and John looked a little surprised. "As though I care if you broke him?" Rodney asked.

"Thanks a lot," John said.

But Dr. Calloway gave a tiny start, then he glanced from Rodney to John. He looked at Rodney again. "Trouble in paradise already?"

Rodney and John looked at him. "Excuse me?" Rodney asked.

Calloway looked suddenly embarrassed. "I just meant... the honeymoon. It's over? You're... or you're not actually..." He pulled the stethoscope away and stuffed it into a pocket. "You're fine, Colonel Sheppard. You can go."

John jumped off the bed and started to walk away; Rodney tugged at his sleeve "I want to check in on Carson."

John nodded and followed him. "Honeymoon?" he whispered. "What's that supposed to mean? We've been on the team together for three years, now. The honeymoon was over when we went to M4X-337."

"Oh, very funny," Rodney retorted. "It took at least two offworld missions before the shine wore off."

"For you, maybe."

Rodney just gave him a glare, then stopped at Carson's door. He knocked, but there was no answer. After a moment, he knocked again. When there was no response, Rodney opened the door and stepped in. He didn't see Carson -- which would explain why he hadn't answered, if he wasn't in here. But that didn't explain where he was.

He turned back, opening his mouth to tell John that he'd hunt Carson up after they debriefed, when one of the nurses -- Janice something, or Denise, or whatever -- came in. She walked around them, set a folder on Carson's desk, then walked around behind the desk and kicked something.

There was a slight noise, and Rodney jumped forward, thinking if Carson was sleeping on the floor, why the hell would his nurses wake him up by kicking him?

Rodney landed on the desk, half on his stomach, and stared.

On the floor, underneath the chair, was a penguin.

Denise-whatever gave a satisfied nod. "The reports from the biomed lab are on your desk, Dr. Beckett."

"Carson?" Rodney squeaked. The penguin looked up at him, and dear god it had blue eyes that looked almost exactly like Carson's, except for the fact they were on either side of his head and were framed by short black feathers.

They looked sad.

"What's wrong?" John asked.

"Nothing," Rodney said calmly. "Except Carson's a penguin." He looked up at what's her name. "You kicked him!"

She grinned. "If you get him just right, in the tummy, he honks." She pulled back her foot and let loose before Rodney could stop her. He watched, horrified, as her foot landed solidly in the middle of the penguin's stomach.

The penguin let out a loud honk, then it dashed under the desk. Nurse Whatever gave Rodney a nod, then walked out of the office.

"Oh my god," Rodney breathed, then he pushed himself off the desk and landed on the floor behind it. He could see the penguin huddled in the corner, under the desk. "Carson? Is that... really you?"

"What the hell is going on?" John asked, as he came around. He crouched down, and Rodney felt him freeze. "He's a penguin."

"And she kicked him!" Rodney reached out for him, and Carson scrambled backwards, pressing himself against the desk.

"Hey, come on, I'm not going to hurt you," Rodney said quietly. "It's OK." He kept talking quietly, coaxing the bird -- he wanted to insist that it was not Carson, couldn't be, but there was the Ronon doll thing to factor in, as well.

Maybe it was Carson.

"Promise, Carson. I'm not going to hurt you. I don't know what's happening, but I swear to you I'm going to fix it." He held out his hand again, slowly, and this time Carson didn't flinch away. Rodney carefully got his hand on Carson's wing -- god. Wing. Rodney shook his head, then didn't move as Carson very slowly took a step towards Rodney's hand.

Neither of them said a word as Carson crept closer to Rodney. When he thought it was safe, Rodney put his hands around the penguin and pulled it towards him. There was a moment when Carson gave a loud honk, and started wriggling and flapping his wings, but Rodney held on and brought him up to his chest. There he held him close, and rubbed his head -- smoothing down the feathers of his head and speaking quietly, as soothingly as he could.

After a minute, the bird in his arms stopped fighting and it sat still. Rodney thought it looked terrified, but really - who could blame him? This morning everyone had been human, and everyone on Atlantis had liked Carson well enough that when they'd started dating, a dozen people had come to Rodney and warned him not to break Carson's heart or they'd beat him with shovels.

Rodney hadn't been offended, because John, Ronon and Teyla had each given a similar speech to Carson, and besides, he'd given himself the shovel speech before finally getting up the nerve to ask Carson out.

John was staring at the penguin in Rodney's arms. "I think maybe we should find out what's going on," he said, slowly.

"I can't believe..." Rodney sputtered, stopped, and tried to force the words out. He was pissed off, almost too pissed off to speak. "She... did you... god! Morons!"

"Come on, Rodney. Let's go find Weir."

As they walked out of Carson's office, Rodney gave everyone in sight a fierce glare. No one looked the slightest bit guilty, which made him wonder if there wasn't an alien mind-control thing going on. He held Carson closer as Carson began to struggle; Dr. Rosetti walked up as they went past, and poked him before Rodney could pull Carson away.

There was a small 'honk' then Rodney was shielding Carson with his body and John was getting in the woman's face and telling her if she so much as looked at Carson again he was going to open fire. Carson was fighting to get free, but Rodney hung on tightly as he could, without hurting him.

They left the infirmary as quickly as they could, and practically ran for Weir's office.

John burst through the door, and Rodney followed, still holding onto Carson. No less than five people had tried to poke him as they'd gone past, and by the time they'd reached the control room, John had put his hand on the butt of his pistol and left it there.

Weir looked up as they entered, and gave the penguin in Rodney's arms a confused look. "Dr. Beckett, what are you doing here?"

"Could someone PLEASE tell us what the HELL is going on?" Rodney snapped.

Weir only frowned harder. "What's wrong?"

Rodney looked at the penguin he was holding, then looked at John, then looked out the glass window to see Ronon running around in front of the gate, throwing what must have been plastic knives at the guards because they were just bouncing off, and the guards themselves weren't doing anything but standing still and taking it.

Rodney sat down in a chair, and sighed.

"It's an alternate dimension," Radek said.

"Yes, thank you," Rodney said. "I only figured that one out an hour ago. How are we getting back?"

They were sitting in the physics lab, John and Rodney on one side of a table; Rodney was holding Carson on his lap. He'd let Carson down exactly once, when they'd first got down here and started working with Radek. Carson had hovered near Rodney's leg, but when one of the engineering assistants had brought a laptop over, he'd given Carson a swift kick.

Rodney had punched the guy in the nose and picked Carson up and held him ever since. Even Radek had looked confused by Rodney's behavior, and no amount of "Are you people insane" had made them understand what the problem was.

Finally Dr. Weir had suggested they focus on getting Rodney and John back to the right dimension, and everyone had gone back to work. Rodney was hampered by not being able to type, because he wasn't about to let go of Carson. But he spouted theories and equations to Radek, who simply nodded and typed and drew arrows on the whiteboard.

At one point, John wandered over and looked down at Carson. "You know... he isn't your Carson. What with us being in the wrong dimension."

"I don't care." It had occurred to him, with some relief when he'd realised that his lover wasn't being abused by every member of the expedition. He'd even considered that this version could be an evil, murderous, psychotic penguin who deserved to be kicked.

But despite just how insane it all was, Rodney knew he hadn't imagined the look of fear in Carson's eyes. They way he'd hidden, and tried to run -- no one deserved that, no matter what they'd done.

Besides, Rodney wasn't sure he could wrap his brain around the concept of a murderous penguin.

Carson seemed to be calm, at least; he was sitting in Rodney's lap without trying to make a break for it. Rodney didn't bother trying not to pet him -- Carson had got him used to gestures of affection made in public, what with all his kisses and hugs and pats and shoulder rubbing. Rodney thought it was rather a good thing they hadn't had to keep their relationship a secret, because it was likely Carson would have sprained something, trying to restrain himself.

But Rodney had got used to it, and was even learning to reciprocate, and besides -- Carson's penguin head was soft and feathery, and he was almost snuggling, now, into Rodney's chest.

"I think I have it," Radek suddenly announced. "We were testing something in the lab when you two came through the gate -- it seems it was plugged into the Atlantis mainframe, and... switched you with our two."

"Great! So you can switch us back?" John asked, lightly, though Rodney knew he was waiting for the shoe to drop.

Radek nodded. "Yes."

They waited, and Radek just blinked at them. After a moment, he shrugged. "We can send you back to where you belong," he said, as though wondering what part of 'yes' they hadn't understood.

"And...?" John prompted.

"What he means is, how dangerous is it, how unlikely is it that it'll work, and who will we have to kill to obtain the rare and precious mineral that we need to power the thing?" Rodney clarified.

Radek looked shocked. "I do not want to know what sort of universe you come from," he said. "But, is fairly simple, here." He rummaged through some of the equipment on the table, and pulled out something red.

"These must be warmed up, then you press together these ends."

Rodney stared. He glanced over and saw John staring. Then John shook his head.

"I am not putting those on my feet."

"They match your uniform," Rodney pointed out. He grinned as John reached over and took the glittering red objects out of Radek's hand, and held them up. They weren't shoes, precisely, but they were..somewhat boat-shaped, and really, putting feet in them would warm them well enough, and tapping the rear ends together...

Rodney sighed. "I hope I wake up and this was all a dream." He held out his hand for the slippers.

"As long as I get to be the-- wait. I don't know who I wanna be. Ronon's the lion except he isn't what I'd call "cowardly"." John grinned.

"You're the Tin Man," Rodney announced, as he juggled holding onto Carson-the-penguin, and slipping the shoe-like objects on over his boots. "OK, let's see if this works. Are you coming?" he asked John.

"You better not leave without me," John said, as he grabbed onto Rodney's arm.

"Good luck, gentlemen," Weir said. "It was interesting having you as guests." She paused, then held out her arms. "If you don't mind?"

Rodney looked at her, then tightened his grip. "If you think I'm leaving Carson here for you to kick, you are sadly mistaken."

Weir looked like she'd just been slapped. "He's a penguin," Weir said. "Don't you have penguins in your universe?"

"We have penguins, but we don't hurt them!"

"We don't give them medical degrees either," John said, quietly. Rodney gave him the glare that told him he wasn't helping, and John subsided.

"Well, in this universe, that's what penguins are for," Weir stated. "Besides, he's our Chief Medical Officer and he's in charge of some rather important genetics research. We can't afford to lose him."

"Then why the hell do you kick him?" John demanded."Or are you going to tell us it doesn't really hurt him?"

Weir shrugged. "He's a penguin. I don't know if it hurts him or not; he makes the silliest honk when you get him just right--"

"No." Rodney pulled Carson away from her, holding him protectively between himself and John. "We are taking him with us."

Then before anyone could argue, he clicked his heels together and -- just to be sure -- said out loud, "There's no place like home."

Carson frowned. "Let me get this straight. This... penguin has a doctorate in genetics?"

The penguin honked and they all heard, "Yes. From the University of Edinburgh."

Rodney stared. "He has a Scottish accent."

"Of course I have a Scottish accent!" Carson said. "I grew up in Paisley."

Rodney looked at the human Carson, who had just spoken. "I meant the penguin."

"I grew up in Paisley, too," the penguin honked. He was sitting on an infirmary bed, the scanners and display panels for various Ancient medical devices had been pushed aside. As far as anyone could determine, he was a penguin.

"And you... rescued him... me... because...?" Carson looked like he didn't know whether to faint, or take this all in stride.

"They didn't deserve you," Rodney said. He'd reached out and started rubbing penguin-Carson's head; he stopped, then made himself continue. He didn't have anything to apologise for, not for being nice to Carson. The penguin was slowly inching its way towards him again, and Rodney wondered if he was scared, or if this was just the first time anyone had ever been nice to him.

"That alternate version of us... let's just say they were racist," John said.

"Speciesist," Rodney corrected. John gave him a scowl, and Rodney added, "And apparently their version of John and myself are insane, because they're married."

There was a snicker from Weir, then she said, "We know. They showed up here and when Ronon came down to greet them, Rodney fainted. Sorry, passed out. John was... let's just say he makes a very attentive boyfriend."

"He tried to break my arm," Ronon said. "The Marines wouldn't let me break his, though. No one knew why they were upset to see me, not until the other McKay started screaming about Carson being human. Sheppard tried to kick him."

Carson gave a small honk, and pushed himself closer to Rodney. Rodney wrapped his arms around him and gave John a glare.

"Hey! I didn't do it. It was the other, evil me."

"What I don't understand," Carson said, "Is... all right, there are a lot of things I don't understand. Most important, I suppose, is whether the entropic effect is going to require we send him home."

"Radek says not," Rodney said. Radek had grabbed the shoes as soon as they'd arrived and give a cursory explanation of what had happened. He'd called Rodney once, so far, and said the technology was not the same as the quantum mirror.

"You said yourself there didn't seem to be any symptoms," Weir put in.

"It might be because you aren't human," Carson said, giving the penguin a nod.

"I don't want to go back," Carson honked, quietly.

"We won't make you go back there," Rodney said. "I promise." He found Carson -- the human version -- smiling at him, fondly. "What?"

Carson stepped over to him and said, "I love you, too." And he kissed Rodney, right on the lips, in front of everyone. Rodney heard a distinct 'aw' sound from Weir, and from Ronon.

When Carson leaned back, Rodney said, "I'm still not entirely used to that."

Carson winked. "You will."

"Lots of practise?" John asked, blithely. Carson grinned and nodded.

"Herpes," Rodney hissed, under his breath, and didn't bother explaining when both Carsons looked at him oddly.

"So... since you're staying," Weir began, "We need to find you a place to live. Do you need... anything in particular?"

"Nothing more than the quarters on our Atlantis provided," Carson said, sounding somewhat subdued. "Penguins have always had to adapt to human environments. I don't really need anything."

"If you want something, you just need to ask," Weir said, firmly. "No matter how strange you think we might consider it."

"After all, we got used to Ronon," John said. Ronon scowled back, and Rodney bit his tongue against pointing out, yet again, that they needed to stop flirting and have sex, already. John kept insisting that he wasn't gay, though.

"Really, I'll be fine," Carson said. He didn't seem fine, and Rodney noticed how tense he was getting.

"He's staying with us," Rodney announced.

"What?" Carson -- penguin Carson -- was looking at him in surprise. Human-Carson was just nodding.

"I'm not letting you out of my sight," Rodney said. It wasn't precisely because he was worried that anyone would hurt him. But he knew that this Carson couldn't know that. He'd obviously grown to feel safe with Rodney, so as far as Rodney was concerned, Carson could stay with him forever.

He glanced at the human version, to double check. Carson smiled, and reached over and carefully brushed his fingers through Carson's feathers.

Rodney shook his head. "OK, I'm going to have to call one of you 'Angus'."

The Carsons both looked at him in amusement. John asked, "Why Angus?"

"It's my middle name," both Carsons said.

"You don't think you can tell them apart?" John asked, grinning evilly.

Rodney opened his mouth to say something snarky, then he looked down at the Carson in his arms. The penguin looked up at him, eyes wide and unblinking. Rodney looked over at the human Carson, and realised -- their eyes were the exact same shade of blue.

He said, "Well, Carson does make interesting noises when you tickle him."

It was late when they finally got back to their quarters. He and Carson had had to spend the entire evening, off and on, assuring Angus -- penguin Carson -- that yes, he was welcome to stay with them. Angus had tried to insist he would be fine alone, but Rodney had seen the way he shied whenever anyone got too close.

He wanted to hold him and reassure him that no one was ever going to hurt him again, and Rodney figured it would be easier to do that if Angus was close by. Carson didn't have any objections, either, and Rodney hadn't quite figured out why Carson hadn't taken him aside to remind him that this wasn't him, but another version of him.

As though Rodney couldn't tell by looking. But there was something about this version that Rodney needed to help, needed to hold. So he insisted that Angus stay with them, and mentally geared himself up for the talk Carson didn't seem inclined to have, and he carried Angus whenever possible to make it perfectly clear that no one would be kicking him, ever again.

In their quarters, Carson had cut right to the chase and asked Angus what sort of things he needed to be comfortable. Angus had tried to say he would be fine simply sleeping on the couch, but Carson apparently had experience arguing with himself and soon Rodney was helping gather blankets to build a small nest in the corner.

Rodney sat beside him as he settled in, making sure he was ok, that if he wanted anything, anything at all, he only had to ask -- or just get it for himself as though this were his own home. Angus had finally rubbed Rodney's hand with his beak, and whispered "Thank you."

When Rodney went to bed, he found Carson already under the sheets, waiting for him. Rodney left his clothes on the floor in an untidy heap, and crawled in. Carson pulled him in for a cuddle, then kissed him.

"You're marvelous, love," he said.

"What'd I do?" Rodney asked, then he pretended to preen and said, "I mean, yes of course. I know. Just... what in particular this time did I do that you think is brilliant?"

Carson laughed. "I'm a penguin, and yet all you see is me."

"Well, not you, because you're right here. But... god, Carson! You didn't see how they were treating him. How they acted! Like it was perfectly natural, like... like... he wasn't even alive. Just an object to abuse and hurt and... I couldn't leave him there." Rodney wrapped his arms around Carson, and tried not to think of it. Tried not to think of Carson, the man he loved, being treated that way. "I know he isn't you. Even if he were human, he wouldn't be exactly you. But... he still is," Rodney whispered.

"I know," Carson said. "And that's why I think you're marvelous. My hero." He gave Rodney a soft kiss, his gentle words not at all sounding teasing or sarcastic. Rodney felt himself blush, and he ducked his head down into the crook of Carson's neck.

Carson stroked his back for awhile, and Rodney found himself relaxing at the familiar touch. He closed his eyes and at some point, he fell asleep.

Rodney woke up when he felt a tug at the sheet. He opened his eyes, and realised that he'd been asleep for at least an hour. He peered over the edge of the bed and found Angus, standing there. Angus wasn't quite looking at him, shuffling a bit and swaying from side to side.

"Are you OK?" Rodney asked, quietly. "Did you need something?" It occurred to him that maybe the bathrooms in this Atlantis weren't the same as those in Angus' universe.

But Angus said, "Can I..." He gestured with his wing, then pulled back as though realising he was asking too much.

Rodney was about to say it was fine, when Carson said from behind him, "There's plenty of room."

Rodney grinned and reached down; Angus jumped up, and Rodney pulled him onto the bed. He rolled onto his back, intending to scoot closer to Carson to make room. But Carson pulled the sheets aside and Angus dove into the warm space between them.

Rodney rolled back onto his side and saw Carson looking at him, smiling. Rodney draped his arm over Angus, resting his hand on Carson's side. Then he closed his eyes again and fell asleep.

In the morning, none of it turned out to be a dream. Rodney had spent several minutes staring at the penguin who had stolen his pillow -- a trait common among Carson Becketts, apparently. Why Angus hadn't stolen Carson's pillow, he wasn't quite sure.

But when there remained a penguin in his bed, Rodney decided that the best thing to do was make coffee, have a shower, and go see if Radek had got any sleep or if he'd spent the entire night playing with the red slippers.

Rodney got out of bed without waking anyone, and headed for the kitchen. The coffee pot had done its thing as programmed, and there was a pot of hot, fresh coffee waiting. Rodney poured a cup, carrying it with him to the bathroom. he found Carson just exiting the bathroom, pulling a robe on as though anyone in the room hadn't seen him naked a thousand times already.

But he let Carson steal one sip of his coffee -- one sip was all it ever took, because Carson was incapable of remembering, first thing in the morning, that Rodney drank his coffee black. Then Rodney recovered his cup and went in to start the shower.

Normally Carson would be joining him, but with Angus there, Rodney didn't know if he'd be getting his morning shower sex.

He tested the water with one hand, then put his coffee safely on the bathroom counter and stepped inside the huge stall.

The water was gloriously hot, just hot enough to almost scald but not quite. Rodney stood under the spray, letting it soak his entire body. He heard the door open, and he called out, "Get in here already."

There was a startled honk, and Rodney poked his head out of the shower. "Oh. Angus. Hey." Rodney felt remarkably unself-conscious about being naked in front of a penguin. Behind Angus, Carson walked up, holding a cup of coffee that had been ruined with milk and sugar.

"Morning Angus," he said. "There's coffee if you want some; I'll be happy to pour you a cup."

"Just please don't tell me you take it with milk," Rodney said. "Or that you drink one of those weird fruit-flavoured coffees."

"Er, no," Angus said. He looked uncomfortable, and Rodney thought maybe he'd wanted to pee, and didn't want an audience. But he said, "I think... I should tell you something. Or show you, rather. Since you've been so kind, and everything."

"What's that?" Rodney asked, trying to stay calm. Maybe penguins were murderous?

"I need to be in the hot water."

Rodney held the door open, and stepped back. He wasn't about to get out of the shower, not until his skin was hot enough he wouldn't freeze when he got out of the water. Besides, the shower stall was large enough for four grown men -- there was more than enough room for Angus, unless hot water turned him into a whale.

Angus hesitated, then hopped up to the edge of the shower. Carson followed him, then Angus gave a sort of sigh and stepped forward. As soon as the hot water hit him, he changed.

Into Carson. Rodney blinked. Two human Carsons were standing in front of him.

And they were both naked.

Rodney said, "Please tell me I get to have sex, now."

Angus looked startled, and blushed; glancing back at Carson, who was staring rather openly. "It's only when I'm in hot water," Angus said, and Rodney realised that Angus had a penguin accent. He hadn't known he knew what a penguin accent was, but Angus was definitely speaking with one.

"That's remarkable," Carson said, eying Angus. Angus looked back, somewhat more shyly.

"It's amazing, and we'd love to hear all about it, but really -- I'm serious about wanting sex, first." Rodney kept staring, didn't even have to think about what he wanted. He was getting hard, in part because his body was conditioned to think 'Carson, shower, sex.'

"I... I think... you and Carson..." Angus looked from Carson to Rodney, clearly trying to back out on the basis that Rodney and Carson were in a relationship.

"Carson is in favor of anything that renders Rodney speechless," Carson said. "Especially when he's naked and screaming." Carson stepped into the shower, making it clear what his vote was.

Angus looked startled. Rodney and Carson looked back, waiting -- though Rodney was fairly sure he couldn't wait for long. If Angus said no, they'd have to chase him out and Rodney could close his eyes and pretend.

"This isn't... is this normal for this universe?" Angus asked.

"What, you mean threeway sex? Penguins turning into humans in hot water? Showers big enough for an orgy? Or the fact Carson insists in using skim milk for his coffee?" Rodney wanted to reach out and kiss him. He looked exactly like Carson, sounded like... well, the accent was working for him, just the same way the Scottish brogue did. Rodney whimpered. "Please, sex now?"

Carson chuckled, and gave him a kiss. Entirely too brief, but then Carson was reaching out for Angus, and taking him by the arm, and when Angus didn't seem to resist, Carson pulled him close.

Rodney thought Carson was going to pull Angus over to him, but then Carson pulled him in and kissed Angus, himself, and dear god but Rodney's brain couldn't handle that much hot.

Carson was still kissing Angus, and Angus had apparently relaxed and decided no one was going to get mad at him. He was kissing Carson back, and hands were beginning to wander, a little, and Rodney whimpered again and hoped they didn't care if he lost his brain. Atlantis could save itself from Wraith without him, right? Because he was never, ever going to recover, and he'd be a dribbling idiot who could only say "More."

He watched as Carson and Angus began running their hands up and down each other's backs, and one leg pressed between the others, and they were still kissing, trailing the occasional kiss down along a neck. Rodney wanted to reach out, but he couldn't move, and his cock was so hard it nearly hurt.

Carson turned his head and looked at him, grinning cheekily. "Would you like something?" he asked.

Rodney nodded, hoping he wasn't being asked to describe what he wanted, because English was beyond him. Carson and Angus were now looking at him, still pressed close together and still stroking, and Angus gave Carson a tiny nibble, right in the spot on his neck that made him gasp.

Carson gasped, and Rodney moved forward in a rush, and Angus and Carson let go with one arm each and pulled him in. Carson kissed him, then pushed his head aside towards Angus. After a moment, angus leaned in and kissed him as well, and it was almost, but not quite, like kissing Carson.

There was a hand on his back, moving down towards his buttocks. Rodney pressed his cock against Angus' hip, trying to rub without losing his balance. Carson shifted his hold, and Rodney found himself braced between them. Two hands grasped his cock, and Rodney groaned. Mouths began kissing him, Angus, then Carson, then both of them moving down his chest. Both hands moved slowly, up and down his cock.

A single finger pressed against the entrance to his asshole, Rodney gasped and thrust back, then jerked his hips forward again to shove his cock back into the hands jerking him off. He felt Carson laugh, once, and Rodney just held onto them, one arm around each man's neck.

A second finger joined the first, and after a second Rodney realised that each of them had a finger inside. He whimpered, his body starting to move back and forth out of his control. He wanted to be fucked, he wanted not to move away from the hands on his cock, and he wanted those mouths. he turned his head and got a kiss; hot and wet and sweet. Carson, then Rodney turned the other way and got a kiss that was hot and wet and slightly salty. Angus pushed his tongue into Rodney's mouth even as a third finger slid into Rodney's ass.

With a shout, Rodney came. Carson and Angus held him, and continued kissing him, kept fucking him. Hands rubbed his cock, and his stomach, and he kept getting kissed, one then the other.

"Murmuh," Rodney said, as he felt the last of his energy drain away.

"Want you," Carson whispered in his ear. Rodney nodded, and shifted around. He leaned up against Angus, holding onto him as Carson stepped up behind him. There was a bottle of waterproof lube -- a rather large one -- that Carson used to get Rodney ready. Angus held him, stroking his arms and still kissing him as Carson thrust his cock into Rodney.

Rodney got one hand down to Angus' erection, and tried to muster the coordination needed to jerk him off. After a few missed strokes that Angus didn't seem to mind, if his moans were anything to go by, Rodney found a rhythm that matched the fucking Carson was giving him.

Angus and Carson's moans mixed with each other until Rodney couldn't tell which of them was about to come. It didn't matter, he decided, and he gave the cock in his hand a slight squeeze, and Carson was pounding his ass and gripping his hips like he was about to come. Angus bit down on Rodney's shoulder, and one second later they were both right there -- smothering their shouts with identical gasps and it was Rodney who had to hold them up as they each collapsed against him.

He stood still, feet braced on the wet tile, as Angus and Carson leaned on him. The hot water cascaded down, cleaning them off without any effort.

"Urg," Rodney finally said. "Heavy."

Angus stirred, and with an effort, pushed himself away. he stared at Rodney and Rodney could see the apologies and what the hell forming in his brain. He moved forward and kissed him, hard.

"Oh, that was... that's lovely," Carson said.

Rodney smirked. "Narcissist."

"What, seeing such a handsome face, kissing you?" Carson winked at Angus, who still seemed a bit like he was having second thoughts. But he wasn't moving out of the shower, so Rodney figured he would be fine.

"That was utterly fantastic," Rodney said, and gave each of them another kiss. "We should do this again. Often. Daily."

Carson chuckled, but Angus said, "When I dry off, I'll be a penguin again."

Rodney frowned, and saw Carson giving him an equally concerned expression. "You can only do this once?" Rodney asked.

Angus shook his head. "No, I change in hot water every time. Just...when I dry off, or if the water's cold... I'm a penguin."

Rodney reached over a put his fingers on Angus' cheek. "That's all right."

"It doesn't... you don't think it's weird?" Angus asked, relieved. "I haven't told anyone since I was a kid. People... humans, in my universe, they... don't understand. They think it makes me a freak. Not every penguin can change, only some of us. We... don't tell people, generally. But I thought... you deserved to know. You were nice to me."

"I'll keep being nice to you," Rodney said. "And I'd like to point out that Carson and I have a hot shower *every* morning."

Angus blinked at him in surprise, and beside him, Carson nodded. Angus still looked a bit frightened, so Rodney said, "We won't tell anyone, if you want. About this." He gestured at Angus' human body. His naked, Carson body. Rodney had to force his brain away from sex -- for a minute, so he could finish his sentence. "But as long as you want to, you can stay here. And turn into a human in the shower and we can have really fantastic sex, because believe me I'd have to be a moron to pass this up."

He looked from Angus to Carson. Oh, yes. Who could possibly be stupid enough to say no?

"You... don't even know me," Angus protested, then he looked embarrassed. "I mean... not... exactly."

"I know you well enough to invite you into my bed, my shower, and to tell you where the good coffee is." Rodney folded his arms and shifted slightly so the water spray would stop hitting him in the face. "Anything else, we can figure out later. Besides, if we decide we don't like each other, we can still have meaningless sex."

Angus gave a startled laugh, and Carson rolled his eyes and patted Rodney on the cheek.

"Oh, well. As long as we're clear," Angus said, his penguin-accent sharpening his words. He was smiling, though, and he looked happy.

Rodney smiled.

"Should we get out of the shower before we shrivel?" Carson asked.

Rodney nodded, and moved forward to give Angus one more kiss. Angus returned it, then hesitated before moving resolutely forward and giving Carson a kiss, as well. Rodney noted how eagerly Carson welcomed him, then his cock realised what he was looking at and he said, "No one is leaving this shower until I have more sex."