Title: The Hazards of Drinking Olanian Firewhiskey
Summary: The guys should listen to Teyla more.
They were ignoring her again.
Teyla stifled a sigh and sat back in her seat. Colonel Sheppard was arguing with Dr. McKay, and Ronon was ... well, who knew what he was doing, besides staring off into the distance.
And not listening to her.
Teyla thought, not for the first time, that being a member of Sheppard's team was somewhat like caring for three small boys. They were cute, often funny and occasionally charming. The very next second, however, they could make her want to throw them off the nearest balcony.
And there were many balconies in Atlantis.
She looked across the table at Dr. Weir, the only one who had heard a word she had said. Atlantis' leader rolled her eyes before slamming her hands against the conference room table.
"Gentlemen!" Weir said sharply. John and Rodney stopped arguing, for the moment, and Ronon deigned to turn his eyes on Weir. "I think you might want to hear what Teyla has to say about the Olanians. Teyla, I hate to ask you to repeat yourself, but ..."
"It is fine, Dr. Weir," Teyla said calmly, though she was tempted to refuse. It might serve her teammates right to learn about the dangers of Olan's alcohol on their own. "Once we meet with the Olanian leaders, they will ask us to attend a friendship ceremony that evening."
"Swell," Colonel Sheppard said, sounding bored.
Rodney tapped his fingers on the table.
Ronon's eyes drifted to the side.
Teyla could not hold back a sigh. "At the ceremony, they will offer us a drink of Olanian Firewhiskey. When the bottle is passed to you, you must take a drink; to refuse would offend the Olanians, and they will not trade with us."
"That'd be a shame," Dr. McKay muttered.
The Olanians grew a particular fruit that was similar to something the earthlings called oranges. It seemed Dr. McKay was allergic to the fruit, but Teyla found them delicious. She really wanted this trade to proceed. She wondered if she should request that Major Lorne's team accompany her instead.
"Once you have taken a drink, pass the bottle on," she continued. "It will circle the room ..."
"Oh, that's sanitary," Rodney interrupted. A glare from Dr. Weir shut him up for the moment.
"It will circle the room," Teyla repeated, determined to finish. "Once it returns, do not take another drink. It is not an insult to refuse a second drink, and the whiskey is incredibly strong."
Now she had Ronon's attention. He smirked at her. "You don't think I can handle some whiskey?"
"Ronon, you cannot even handle a little Belkan ale, if I recall correctly," she snapped.
"A little?" Ronon leaned across the table. "I probably drank most of a cask by myself!"
"What's this?" Sheppard was looking very interested now. "What'd I miss? A party?"
Teyla and Ronon exchanged a look.
"It was nothing," Ronon said.
"As he said," Teyla agreed. "But I cannot stress enough how important it is -"
"Yeah, yeah," Sheppard said, sounding annoyed. "Don't drink the whiskey."
"But -" she began.
"Drink it, then don't drink it, yeah, we got it."
"So, we're done, right?" McKay asked, getting up before he got an answer. "I've got two experiments going that need monitoring, and I can't trust Vogel to look after them for much longer. That is, unless you want my entire laboratory to explode -"
"Your lab is in danger of exploding, and I'm just hearing about this now?" Despite her words, Dr. Weir didn't sound very worried. When McKay started to answer, she waved her hand. "Never mind. Go stop your lab from exploding."
Ronon took the opportunity to leave the room after McKay, and Sheppard followed. "So, Ronon, what's the deal with you drinking too much ale ..." Teyla heard him asking.
She sighed again and started to get up.
"This is what I do all day," Dr. Weir said, sighing herself. "I could use some Belkan ale myself. Or maybe even some Olanian Firewhiskey."
"Trust me, Dr. Weir," Teyla said, scanning the area to make sure they were alone before continuing. "Unless you wish to find yourself removing much of your clothing and dancing in front of a group of strange men, Olanian Firewhiskey is not a good idea."
"You ..." Dr. Weir covered her mouth with a hand, but not before a laugh escaped.
"It was long ago," Teyla said, smiling. "But it is not a pleasant memory. I was hoping to prevent an embarrassment for Atlantis, but I am not certain they really heard a word I said."
"Heard, yes," Weir said, shaking her head. "Listened? Not so much. As I said, I do this all day long."
"Perhaps if Major Lorne's team were to go instead ..."
"Hmmmm? No, I think maybe this is perfect for Sheppard's team. But I wonder ..."
Weir grinned. "I wonder if I could dig up a video camera for you?"
Olan had an agrarian society, and the year-round warm temperatures made it the perfect place to grow many crops. Fruit was Olan's specialty, though, and the wide path from the Stargate to the village was lined on both sides with trees full of ripening red bana fruit. Teyla could almost taste it.
She remembered visiting Olan as a small girl, and her father sharing the fruit with her. It was unlike anything the Athosians or their other trading partners could grow, and it was a wonderful discovery for a young girl.
"Whoa. Are we in Florida?" Sheppard asked, slipping his sunglasses on.
"Disney World is just around the corner," McKay said.
Teyla could tell John was going to start in on an explanation of Florida, but she wasn't in the mood to listen to any of her teammates today. She just wanted to get through these negotiations without being humiliated. And then perhaps she would ask Dr. Weir for a few days off. Some time away from all males sounded like heaven.
"The village is this way," she said, setting off before any of them could speak.
It was only a five minute walk to the village, and halfway they were met by the Olanian leader, Tomas, and his wife, Gin. Teyla forced a smile. Tomas was short and round, with a red face to match his wispy red hair. He had a great love for Olanian Firewhiskey, and it tended to make him say and do inappropriate things. Gin was short as well, but about half the size of her husband. While both of them could not be over 50 years, Gin had had gray hair since Teyla had known her. Tomas was not her favorite person - though his wife was delightful - but only by dealing with him could she make a trade. Since his wife was with him, Tomas was likely to be on his best behavior.
"Teyla!" Tomas boomed, rushing forward to grab her shoulders. Because she had been expecting his move, Teyla managed to keep her smile in place while touching her forehead to his in the Athosian greeting. She pulled away as quickly as she could while remaining polite, then repeated the gesture with Gin.
"It has been too long, Teyla," Gin said warmly, squeezing her hands gently before releasing them. "And who have you brought to us?"
"This is Colonel Sheppard, Dr. McKay and Ronon," Teyla said. Each man nodded as he was introduced. "As I explained before, we wish to trade for some bana fruit, and -"
"Ach," Tomas cut her off. "No talk of trade until after the ceremony. The whiskey tests the will of the trader!"
"We can't wait," Sheppard said, managing to sound slightly as though he meant it. "Teyla has told us all about it."
"She's told you all, has she? Teyla has a great love for the whiskey! Maybe she will entertain us with a little dance again, eh?" He winked at her, and Teyla drew on great depths of strength to avoid punching him.
Gin showed no such restraint, smacking her husband on the ear. "Tomas, leave the girl alone! If I hear one more word about that -"
"Gin, Gin, I'm sorry, dear. I won't mention it again." Before she could scold him any more, one of the workers in the grove to their right called to him, and he nodded hastily and made his escape.
Gin glared at her husband's back and sighed. "We've arranged rooms for you just off the great hall." She glanced at the group. "Follow me, then. I'll show you to your rooms so you can freshen up before dinner and the ceremony."
Teyla started to follow but slowed when she realized her teammates weren't behind her.
When she turned, they were all staring at her, freakishly identical smirks on their faces.
"'A little dance'? You neglected to mention there would be dancing, Teyla," Sheppard said.
"It was long ago, and I am sure you do not want to hear-"
"Oh, I think we need to hear this. If we haven't fully been briefed on the situation, how can we handle these negotiations?" McKay asked.
Teyla shook her head. "I told you everything you need to know in the meeting. You simply were not interested in listening."
"That was before there was dancing," Sheppard said, the damn smirk fixed on his face.
"Maybe we could get a demonstration?" Ronon dared to ask. Unfortunately for her, he was the only one of the three she probably could not kill with her bare hands.
Instead of shooting them, she growled and stomped off after Gin. Where was a balcony when you needed one?
Teyla's temper had cooled considerably by the time dinner was over. She had chosen a seat near several of the women, including Gin. Her teammates were at the other end of the table, stuck with Tomas. The meal had been delicious, followed by a wonderful dessert made from several of the Olanians' fruits. The meeting hall was so loud, with nearly fifty people gathered at this long table and the next, that she could only hear the highlights of Rodney's rant about the dangers of citrus fruit.
The day had cooled off a bit, and the windows of the hall were wide open, allowing a refreshing breeze throughout.
All was right with the world.
"Gin," she said, sitting back in her chair with a happy sigh. "I have been admiring your dress all night. That fabric is unlike any I have seen before." It was lightweight and thin, yet no undergarments showed through; the coloring was a riotous mix of red and orange shades.
Gin beamed. "Isn't it beautiful? My sister Rea wove the fabric, and I made the dress. She has made many other wonderful fabrics; perhaps you would like to see after the ceremony?"
"I would love to," Teyla agreed. "I might be interested in trading for some fabric myself."
"Rea has one that would complement your coloring very well," Gin said. "I will find her after ... oh, Tomas is about to start the ceremony."
Teyla joined the rest of the table, standing and turning to face Tomas. He held a large bottle in each hand as he prepared to make his speech. Fortunately, he was always anxious to begin drinking and kept his speeches short.
"Friends, we gather together to welcome these friends of Teyla Emmagen: Colonel Sheppard, Dr. McKay and Ronon. Let her friends become our friends!" With that, Tomas took a big swig out of one bottle, passing it to Sheppard, and one drink out of the other, handing it to someone at the next table.
John glanced down the table at Teyla, smiled and took a drink, passing the bottle to Rodney. Rodney winced but determinedly sipped from the bottle. Ronon grabbed the bottle from Rodney and smirked at Teyla. He chugged down a huge drink, wiping his mouth to the cheers of Tomas and some of the other men and delighted laughter from the brunette sitting next to him.
Teyla shook her head as the bottle continued to be passed. She might have known Ronon would take her warning as a challenge. At least John and Rodney were being sensible.
She took her turn as the bottle was passed and waited for it to make its way around the table.
"And now, we enjoy!" Tomas called. A few of the Olanians started clearing the food, pushing tables away and moving chairs around to the edges of the room. Several new bottles of alcohol were brought in, along with cups this time. A group of musicians began playing as Teyla made her way toward Tomas.
"A wonderful dinner and ceremony," she told him. "Thank you for your hospitality."
He took a drink from the bottle and offered it to her. "Another drink?"
"No, thank you."
"Ah, Teyla, you are not as brave as you once were," he said, his face growing even more red as the alcohol kicked in. "Colonel? Surely you will have another drink."
"Uhhhh," John looked at Teyla, then Ronon, who was across the room, drinking out of the other bottle. "Sure, why not?"
Before Teyla could say a word, Gin came up beside her. "Rea has several fabrics to show you. Unless you wish to stay?"
Teyla watched John gulp down some more whiskey and shook her head. "There is nothing here I wish to see."
She thought she should be angry with them, but she was only sorry she had not brought Dr. Weir's video camera.
Teyla put her teammates out of her mind for the next few hours, passing the evening with Gin and her sister. A few other women joined them, and they brought a number of dresses to show off along with other prints of Rea's fabric. Gin had some hot tea brought in, and the women laughed and talked as Rea demonstrated her weaving loom. Teyla arranged a trade for some blue and green shaded fabric and promised more trades once the Athosian women saw the cloth. She thought Dr. Weir might be interested in some fabric as well.
One by one, the women headed to bed, and Teyla finally decided to follow. Interrupting her hostess with a giant yawn was not very polite, but she couldn't help herself.
"Oh, Teyla, I'm so sorry!" Gin apologized. "I've been running on and on, and you're nearly asleep."
"Do not apologize," Teyla said sheepishly. "I am a bit tired. Let me help you clean up -"
"No, no, leave it. I'll get it in the morning. I ought to get to bed myself."
Teyla thought of arguing but instead took her leave. Rea's workshop was only a few steps from the great hall, and she could be in bed in mere moments.
Before she even opened the door, she heard the singing.
"... you can hang out with all the boys ... It's fun to stay at the Y-M-C-A ... It's fun to stay at the Y-M-C-A ..."
She slipped in the door as quietly as possible and stood in the shadows, watching the show. She covered her laughter with one hand and wished again for a video camera. It was a shame that Dr. Weir would have to miss this.
A line of men stood in the middle of the floor, swaying from side to side with John and Ronon in the middle. Tomas stood next to them, clutching an empty bottle. Ronon, for some reason, was shirtless, and she saw a trio of young women giggling and pointing off to the side. John was belting out most of the song, but when he came to the chorus, all the men joined in with "Y-M-C-A," doing strange movements with their arms. After the second or third time, Teyla figured out that they were trying to form the earth letters with their arms. They were being so loud that Teyla didn't worry too much about laughing, but somehow John heard her, anyway.
"TEYLA!" he shouted, breaking formation and rushing to her. He grabbed her arm and tugged her toward the group. "Check this out! You gotta sing with us!"
"Maybe a lil' dance?" Tomas slurred.
John frowned. "No dancing."
Tomas started to argue, and Teyla broke in. "No singing or dancing. I think you have all had enough."
There was a chorus of "no's" from the crowd, and Teyla finally agreed to watch their song one more time, sinking into a chair and yawning. As the men launched into their performance again, she scanned the room. Most everyone had already turned in, though there were a few people passed out here and there.
In fact, Rodney was curled up on a rug in the corner. She'd hoped at least one of them would have the sense not to drink too much, but apparently she was wrong.
Then again, she would have great fun reminding them of this incident as often as possible.
Once John got to the limit of the lyrics he knew and started repeating, she stood up. She could leave them to their own devices, but there was no way she would be able to sleep with all this singing going on.
"Colonel, Ronon -"
Before she could finish, the trio of giggling women surrounded Ronon and dragged him away.
Teyla smiled and shook her head. With the amount of alcohol he had evidently consumed, the women were likely to be very disappointed.
She peered at Sheppard. He was swaying a little, but he didn't seem to be about to pass out. "Colonel, help me get Rodney to bed."
He formed a sloppy salute. "Ma'am."
"Dr. McKay?" she said, leaning down and shaking him slightly. "It is time for bed." The scientist snorted but didn't wake up.
Sighing, she put an arm around him and started to pull him up. "I made a Death Star," Rodney muttered, still not waking up. Sheppard stood beside them, smacking his hands together and grinning stupidly at her.
"Perhaps some help?" she grunted, sighing when she felt him take up part of the dead weight that was Dr. McKay.
The rest of the party broke up behind them, and she got great amusement out of glimpsing Tomas stretched out face-first into the floor. He was going to be unhappy tomorrow.
With occasional help from Sheppard, she managed to drag McKay to his room and shove him on the bed. She considered removing his shoes, but a glance at Sheppard told her she didn't have much time before he was down as well. She settled for yanking the blanket out from under Rodney and covering him up.
"The princess loves me," McKay mumbled.
"I am sure she does, Rodney," Teyla answered. "Come on, John." She pulled him out of the room.
"To bed," he said, throwing his arm around her shoulder as she gently shut Rodney's door.
He pulled away and leaned against the wall. "Why not?"
"You are intoxicated, Colonel, or we would not be having this conversation," she said irritably. She wanted to sleep, not have a conversation with her drunken teammate about something they both knew was off limits. Not to mention dangerous to their friendship.
"So what? So ... I drank the stupid firewhiskey. So what?"
She smiled despite herself. "You already said that. We must get you to bed before -"
"You know you want me."
"Excuse me?" she asked quietly. It was ridiculous to get in a fight with a drunk, but she was tempted to punch him. Only the thought of having to drag him to bed afterward stopped her.
"You. Want. Me." He grabbed one of her hands and put it over his chest, holding it tight when she tried to pull away. "You wanna touch me."
She yanked her hand away and started to take a step back when he continued. "I wanna touch you," he said, soft as a sigh. He lifted a hand and brushed it gently across her cheek. "So beautiful."
The gentleness sapped her anger. He is intoxicated, she told herself. He will not even remember this tomorrow.
She stepped closer and stood on tiptoe, pulling him down to her. She brushed a kiss over each cheek, then his mouth, backing away when he tried to deepen the kiss.
"Bed," she said firmly.
"Yes," he nodded, following her without complaint once he thought he was getting his way.
Once in his room, she pushed him back on the bed. He reached for her, but she stepped out of his way, pressing him down onto the bed with one hand. She unlaced his shoes and removed them, watching out of the corner of her eye as he started to drift off.
As she stood, he seemed to shake himself awake. "I will be right back," she lied.
He was asleep before the door was closed behind her.
Morning came too early for Teyla's taste. She had always been an early riser, and once she was awake it was nearly impossible to get back to sleep, even if she had only slept for a few hours.
Once she had finally gotten to bed, she'd found that she couldn't sleep. She tossed and turned, and when she did fall asleep, she had strange dreams of being a princess and being romanced by John.
With a grumpy sigh, she forced herself out of bed and began to get ready. The thought of breakfast - and her teammates' giant headaches - cheered her enough that she felt she could face the day.
As early as it was, many of the Olanians had already eaten and left to work in the fields. A few people were scattered at the tables, which had been set up again. Gin was seated at the one nearest the kitchen. Much to Teyla's surprise, Rodney was sitting next to her, shoveling down bites of breakfast as though he were starving.
"Gin. Rodney. Good morning," she said slowly, pulling out a chair across from them.
"Good morning," Gin said pleasantly as Rodney grunted. "Your Dr. McKay has quite the appetite. This is his second plate. I'll get one for you as well. And perhaps some tea?"
"Thank you," Teyla answered, still staring at McKay in amazement. "Rodney, how are you feeling this morning?"
He swallowed and took a drink. "Never better. I slept like a rock. Except ... I don't really remember how I got to my room."
"I took you. You were passed out in that corner," Teyla waved at the side of the room. "I am amazed you feel like eating this morning."
"I didn't pass out," he said, annoyed. "I'm a heavy sleeper. You told us not to drink the whiskey; I didn't drink the whiskey!"
His voice echoed in the hall, and the few people around looked up. Gin was just coming out of the kitchen. "Um, except the first time," Rodney said quickly. "I had, you know, a drink the first time. Like we agreed. Yeah, that was great whiskey."
Teyla exchanged a glance with Gin, who laughed. "It is well, Dr. McKay," Gin said, dropping her voice. "I don't much care for the whiskey myself."
Rodney apparently decided it was safer to eat than talk, and he applied himself to his plate again.
Teyla dug into her own breakfast, almost moaning in delight. The Olanians could definitely cook. In addition to a bowl of something that looked like earth's oatmeal but tasted much better, Gin had brought her eggs, a cooked meat and a fruit salad.
"This is wonderful," she told Gin. "Thank you."
"You're welcome. Dr. McKay, can I get you some more?" He shook his head, and Gin glanced at the light coming through the windows. "Do you suppose I should save some for your teammates?"
Rodney laughed. "I highly doubt it, with as much alcohol as they consumed. Are we sure they're still alive? Last time I saw them, they were doing an impression of the Village People."
Before Gin could ask him what he meant, Sheppard's door opened. He stepped out and swayed slightly. His clothes were wrinkled, and his hair was even more unruly than usual. He shoved his sunglasses on and shuffled across the hall toward them, stumbling into a chair that he apparently didn't see although it was right in front of him. "Ow!"
"Perhaps, Colonel," Teyla said, holding back a grin, "if you removed your sunglasses you might be able to see."
He grunted and pulled the offending chair closer to the table before collapsing in it.
Rodney smirked. "Morning, Sheppard. Feeling like a 'macho, macho man' today?" When he got no answer, he reached over the table and scooped up some of Teyla's hot cereal with her spoon and waved it around. "Want some breakfast?"
John looked a little green. "McKay, I have a gun," he said simply.
Teyla and Gin grinned at each other before Teyla took pity on him. "Perhaps some hot tea, Colonel?"
"That'd be great."
They sat in silence for a few minutes, John sipping his tea and looking away as Teyla ate. Even Rodney was nice enough to be quiet. Or afraid of being shot.
As Teyla finished her meal, she saw Rodney's eyes widen. "What the hell happened to you?"
She turned to see Ronon standing next her. She hadn't even heard him come in. Though she tried to stop it, she couldn't help but laugh. He was shirtless and shoeless, with what looked like bite marks on his chest and a black eye. He was also missing some of his hair, as though someone had clipped off a few dreadlocks.
"Lost my shirt," he muttered.
"That's not all you lost," Rodney cracked. "What happened to your hair?"
Ronon frowned and reached up to feel the stubs of his missing dreadlocks.
Gin was clearly trying not to laugh. "He was with Tai last night," she whispered. "She becomes very angry if a man does not ... satisfy her."
At that, Teyla and Rodney cracked up, and even Sheppard laughed, though he looked for a moment as though he might be sick.
Ronon did not look so amused.
After breakfast, Teyla said her farewells to Gin, confirming the time when they were to return for the negotiations. Despite her teammates' actions, it seemed Teyla would be eating red bana fruit in no time.
She was in a chipper mood, waving at Olanians as they made their way back to the Stargate. Ronon was ahead of them, waiting at the Gate. He had been giving them all the silent treatment since breakfast. Rodney was in his own world, muttering something about an experiment, and Sheppard was trudging along behind them at a snail's pace.
They were nearly at the Gate when she heard him speak behind her. "Uh, Teyla?"
She turned to see he had stopped in the middle of the path. Rodney marched on, oblivious.
"I don't remember a lot about last night ... but I just have this feeling ... did I ...?"
She was not going to make it easy on him. "Did you ...?"
He sighed. "Did I do anything ... inappropriate?"
"Besides singing 'Y-M-C-A'?"
He winced. "I mean, anything inappropriate ... to you. Did I say or, you know, do anything?"
She started toward the Gate again. Rodney was at the DHD, dialing Atlantis. She stopped behind him before answering John. "Well, I did not have to give you a black eye or cut your hair."
He nodded, relieved. "Good. That's good. I don't want to ... wait. What does that mean?"
Ronon and Rodney slipped through the Gate, and Teyla started to follow.
"Teyla!" He grabbed her arm. "Wait. Did we ... we didn't do anything, did we? I mean, I don't remember, but I'd hate to forget ... I mean -"
She shrugged away from him and shot him a smirk, jumping through the Stargate.
Let him wonder.