Title: The Lady in the Tutti Frutti Hat
Fandom: Stargate Atlantis
Concrit: darkhavens @ slashverse.com. If you spot a typo, please feel free to tell me in comments. I want you to!
Disclaimer: Not mine, never will be. No harm, no foul, no money made.
Warnings/Squicks: Rodney in drag.
Summary: Rodney loses a bet. The forfeit is spectacular.
Notes: The title refers to Carmen Miranda, a Brazilian lady who wore some amazing hats. Written for saldemonium, who requested John/Rodney, curves, and Rodney in drag.
When John first heard about the bet from Lorne, he figured someone in the science department was playing a joke on his 2IC. Two hours later he heard the same thing in the mess hall, and an hour later he heard it once more from Chuck in the 'gate room.
Then, for two days, there was total radio silence on the subject while everyone waited with bated breath to hear the outcome.
No matter how many times John heard it, thought it, said it out loud, it didn't compute. Rodney McKay has lost the bet. Rodney 'My brain is the only thing standing between this city and the bottom of the ocean' McKay had lost the bet.
From the look of the mess hall, Radek had sent the details of when and where to every email address on the server - John had received three copies himself. Nobody was making any attempt to look casual; every eye was trained eagerly on the door. Each time it opened, backs straightened and necks stretched to make sure nothing of the spectacle to come would be missed.
John found himself a few bare inches of floor space by the recycling bins and settled in to wait. It didn't take long.
The doors slid open at 1900 hours precisely to reveal a decidedly different Rodney. John started at the bottom and moved slowly upward.
Painted pink toenails were framed by absurdly dainty, high-heeled sandals that couldn't possibly belong to any of the women in the city, marine or scientist. John didn't even want to think about what that might mean.
Suspiciously smooth and equally suspiciously tanned muscular calves drew his gaze up to the shadowed split of a wrap-around skirt, very similar to the ones Teyla habitually wore. He knew it couldn't be hers, but he'd lay odds she'd helped Rodney put this all together.
The skirt was a patchwork of blues and greys with tiny hints and smears of pink and yellow that somehow worked on Rodney, and John wished he hadn't thought that. It would have been perfectly decent if Rodney was standing to attention, but of course he wasn't.
His weight was centered over his left hip, his right leg extended to the side, and that stance pulled half of the skirt over, flashing a strip of inner thigh that John tried hard not to stare at.
Exposed above the waistband of the skirt were several reassuringly Rodney-pale inches of skin - no perfect sixpack, no real definition, just a milky white expanse neatly bisected by a narrow line of hair. John had to fight the urge to drop to his knees and lick it.
The halter top was also Athosian, and while John couldn't tell what Rodney had filled it with, he was stacked. There was even a dusting of glittery powder at the top of his 'cleavage', which looked absurdly cute highlighting the little tuft of chest hair that peeked out of the café au lait leather.
Rodney's lips were slick and palest pink, painted to match his toenails and - John quickly checked - his fingernails. His eyes stood out within their frames of thick kohl and a liberal application of what was surely lash-lengthening mascara. A delicate blend of shadow, tan and rose, intensified their hue.
John's eyes moved up to the splash of color atop Rodney's head, and he had to bite his tongue stop hold the laughter back.
Obviously Rodney hadn't been able to find a wig, or at least not one that satisfied his diva-esque tastes. Instead of hair, he was wearing a brightly coloured twist of cloth as a turban - cloth he was sure was actually a garish shirt that Radek sometimes wore.
Piled on top of the makeshift turban was a bunch of fruit that John would have assumed was plastic were it not so obviously sourced from the Pegasus galaxy. So. Real fruit. Huh.
John had no idea how long his careful scrutiny had taken, but by the time he'd finished, the crowd had begun to giggle, hoot and whistle. Fully half of the marines were applauding.
Rodney's hands flew to his hips as his chin lifted and his pink lips pouted prettily.
"What on earth is the matter with you all? Have you never seen a lady in a tutti frutti hat before?" His laser-like glare picked John out of the crowd without the slightest hesitation. "Colonel, would you please escort me to my room? A lady just can't feel safe around here with a rabble like this on the loose!"
John jumped to do the lady's bidding, offering his arm as he drew near. Rodney accepted the offer with grace and swept gloriously out of the mess hall and several feet down the corridor before staggering to a halt.
"Christ on a crutch, these shoes are killing me. Can you get them off? I can't bend over with this thing on my head without losing a couple of pounds of fresh fruit; it's not exactly attached."
Still too stunned - and disturbingly aroused - John dropped to one knee and quickly unbuckled the skinny ankle straps, automatically easing Rodney's size elevens out and giving each one a quick rub before setting it down in the cool Atlantis floor.
When he straightened up he realised Rodney was staring at him, his mouth quirked into a tiny stunned smile. John winked and offered Rodney his arm again, and, wordlessly, Rodney took it.
The moment the door slid shut behind them, John had Rodney pinned to the wall and his hands were everywhere.
"Hey! Hey! Basket of fruit on my head here, remember? Let me get rid of that first and then we can tussle."
John was beyond caring about fruit so one flick of the wrist and a yank of lurid cloth was all it took to bare Rodney's head and get his attention focussed back where it ought to be: on John.
"I can't believe you lost the bet," admitted John, just as Rodney muttered irritably, "Dammit, I'm going to have to ask Teyla how to clean this skirt. I can't believe you got come on it!" And then, "What? Oh. Yes, John, I lost the bet. I lost the bet and Radek is now in charge of cleaning up pier three and getting the engineering labs down there up and running without any unnecessary interference from me."
John thought sadly of the mountain of paperwork he'd agreed to take back off Lorne if Rodney actually lost. It was going to take weeks to-
"Wait. Pier three? Engineering? So he's going to be stuck out there with Kavanagh, Delbertson and Wrzst with no transporters? And he really thinks he won?"
Rodney shrugged and dropped the pantyhose onto the clothes already piled on the chair beside the bed.
"He'll figure it out once he stops crowing and actually thinks about it for a moment. Honestly, John, do you think I'd lose a bet like that by accident? I know Jenkins has the alcoholic tolerance of a five year old - he got drunk with SG-6 once on a bowl of fermented fruit, swore the whole team to secrecy."
It didn't even occur to John to wonder how he'd found that out, because Rodney was sliding into bed beside him, face and chest scrubbed clean of makeup, hair still damp around the edges.
"Set the alarm, would you? I don't expect we'll need it once Radek figures things out, but I suppose it's best to be prepared." Rodney yawned and snuggled his face into the curve of John's neck. "That was… exhausting," - he 'hmm'ed - "and yet strangely exhilarating. G'night."
Rodney was asleep almost before he'd finished speaking, leaving John alone to stare at the ceiling and ponder the meaning of 'exhilarating' in that context.