|ladyniko (ladyniko) wrote in stargate_fic,|
@ 2008-03-22 15:00:00
|Current location:||on my couch|
|Current music:||The whir of the fans keeping my tower cool|
|Entry tags:||fic:ship, sga|
SGA Fic - Chrysalis Roses of Charasaria Part 1
Hi All -
I'm slowly migrating over here from LJ and was glad to see this asylum on the Asylums' Listing Com. ;) I wrote this crack piece for the Lorne!porn com alien sex pollen Christmas Challenge over on LJ. It's part of a larger AU piece that I will eventually finish one of these days. As soon as I can breathe once more. (damn allergies!) :-p
This is crack, smut fic, so under the cut it goes. Also, don't want to totally spam everyone's f-list w/ uncut text. :)
Thus, it was how he found himself sitting in the briefing room with his team, Dr. Weir, Colonel Sheppard and Teyla Emmagan – who would be leading the mission.
“It is the harvest of the Midnight Chrysalis flower, which only blooms during the moon of Te'ege'essa, their goddess of the west. This flower is one of the base ingredients for many of their perfumes and lotions they trade and sell at the Great Bazaar on M48-518."
The trading planet,” Lieutenant Laura Cadman, second in command of his squad commented, “Neat place, easy to get lost in.”
“Correct,” Teyla answered with a smile. “Ke'elanna has invited us to attend the harvest and blessing ceremony.”
“Nohing like the Geneii harvest festival,” Colonel Sheppard put in with a half smile.
During their first year in Atlantis, Colonel Sheppard and his team had attended a harvest festival on the Geneii homeworld.
“No, definitely not,” Elizabeth Weir said with a meaningful look to Sheppard. The explosives for food plan was not thing the former diplomat who used to negotiate peace and disarmament treaties had approved of. “There are no negotiations this time. It's a meet and greet event. Meet with Ke'elanna the Grand Matriarch, help possibly with the harvest and the blessing ceremony, attend the festival and bring home fresh produce.”
“Sounds easy enough,” Lorne said with a shrug. It was nice to get an easy mission on occasion. Reports on previous interactions with the Charasarians, they had proven to be straightforward and honest. They were also a Matriarchal society where the women held the leadership roles.
“We will be met at the Gate by Ke'elinn, and possibly Tau'amma,” Teyla went on to explain.
“Ke'elinn being the First Mate to the High Priestess in training,” Lorne said, checking his notes for the correct pronunciation.
“Yes, and while others, may find them strange, the Charasarians do tend to have many rituals,” Teyla cautioned. It was an oblique reference to Rodney's impatience for almost everything that wasn't science.
“So, expect a lot of prayers at odd moments?” asked Sergeant Rollins, the fourth member of his squad.
“Exactly,” Teyla acknowledged with a small nod.
“Okay, I can deal with that. It's like serving in the Mideast, except without the imminent threat of being bombed,” Rollins said with a grin. “These folks don't seem all that different.”
Rollins was the sci-fi geek. Evan didn't think he'd have too much of a problem with him when they went. Cadman he figured would enjoy the trip and Martinez would just shrug and go with the flow.
“Major, the harvest festival runs three nights, so you and your team will be there for four days. Ke'elanna, the Grand Matriarch and High Priestess is a very gracious hostess, so you'll be staying in guest housing on the temple grounds. I trust I don't need to remind you to be on your best behavior?”
“No ma'am, you don't,” Lorne grinned. It wasn't like he had anyone as outspoken and sometimes just downright completely lacking of social skills like Dr. McKay on his team.
“Good, I didn't think so,” Weir said with a small smile.
The rest of the briefing was covered in a few minutes time and the next stop of the day was the infirmary for the pre-mission physicals to get cleared to leave the next morning.
Lorne followed his team into the infirmary, still half expecting to see Carson Beckett coming out to meet them. He had to remind himself that the infirmary now was in the hands of a Dr. Jennifer Keller. They were finding seats on empty exam beds while Dr. Keller came walking out of her office.
“Oh, hi, Major Lorne, what's up?” she asked, draping her stethoscope around the back of her neck.
“Hey Dr. Keller, we're off to M5X-219 tomorrow morning,” Lorne answered, finding a seat himself.
“What planet is that?” she asked, stepping up to his side as he hopped up on to one of the empty exam beds.
Keller's face lit up with comprehension,“Oh right, yeah, the cat nun type people that Dr. McKay was raving on about.”
“Is everyone calling the Charasarians that?” Lorne grimaced. He didn't want that appellation stuck in his head or else he'd call them that at the wrong moment.
“No, not everyone. Just those who've had to listen to Dr. McKay go on about it. It got stuck in my head during his post-mission physical the other week,” Keller explained with a roll of her eyes.
“McKay does have a way of making sure things are unforgettable when he sets his mind to it,” Lorne smirked.
“He does, yeah,” Keller said, wrapping the blood pressure cuff around his arm to start the exam off.
After chcking blood pressure, heart rate, breathing, reflexes, any type of swelling in the lymph nodes and doing a blood draw, Keller cleared him and the rest of his team along with Teyla for the mission to Charasaria in the morning.
Teyla was the first one to clear her pre-mission physical. She was headed out the door and to the mess hall for lunch when Laura Cadman got done with hers and came dashing after her.
“Hey, Teyla, wait up a second would you?” she called out.
Teyla paused and turned to wait for her.
“I wanted to ask you a question,” Laura said.
Teyla tilted her head and raised an eyebrow.
“This wasn't covered in the briefing and I want to make sure I'm dressed appropriately for the occasion. Should I pack my dress blues?” Laura questioned.
Teyla smiled and said, “No, this is not that formal an event. You do not need worry about being under dressed for it, and if anything, Ke'elanna will provide appropriate clothing.”
“Good,” Cadman sighed in relief. “You look at our dress uniforms sideways and I swear they wrinkle. “
Teyla laughed, “Then this is a good thing.”
“Hey, what else should I know about the Charasarians?” she asked next. “I want to make sure I don't make a total fool out of myself tomorrow.” Laura was a good officer and always looked deeper than the surface when presented with a new situation.
“Why don't you join me for lunch and I will tell you all I know,” Teyla answered with a knowing smile. There was much to learn about their new allies and she was in a position to share that knowledge.
The following day, Lorne and his team accompanied Teyla to Charasaria. As per the briefing, they were greeted at the Gate by Ke'elinn and Tau'amma.
“Ke'elinn, it is good to see you again,” Teyla greeted.
“And you, Teyla Emmagan,” Ke'elinn returned, doing the formal bowing and touching of foreheads that was custom for Teyla's people.
“Ke'elinn, please allow me to introduce Major Evan Lorne, Lieutenant Laura Cadman, Sergeant Michael Martinez and Sergeant Tim Rollins.”
“Welcome to Charasaria. I am Ke'elinn and it is my honor to serve as your guide along with Tau'amma. If you have any questions or needs, please do not hesitate to ask. You are our guests and it is our honor to serve you,” Ke'elinn bowed crisply to the team.
Evan stepped up and returned Ke'elinn's bow with a nod of his own. “Thank you for inviting us.”
“You are most welcome, Major. I hope you will find your stay on Charasaria most enjoyable.” Ke'elinn's smile was full of sharp, pointed teeth, showing the predator ancestry his people had come from.
Tau'amma stepped forward with a small bow, her acolyte robs swishing around her ankles. “Major Lorne, it is my honor to provide you and your team a tour of our city.”
“Thank you, I've read about it, but look forward to seeing it for myself.”
Tau'amma proved to be a very knowledgeable and charming guide as she led them through the city. She spoke about how the city was set up originally as she led them through the religious sector of the eastern quadrant of the city through the bazaar to the inner edge of the western quadrant of the city.
Evan couldn't figure out this strange surge of jealousy that tugged at him as Laura had fallen back to walk with Teyla and Ke'elinn at the rear of the group. He wondered where it had come from. He rolled his shoulders and turned his attention back to Tau'amma, keeping an ear tuned back to the three bringing up the rear of their group.
“How is Te'elanna, Ke'elinn?” Teyla asked.
“Glowing, wonderful,” Ke'elinn's voice was reverent. “A'ansea'a laid her blessing truly on us and Te'elanna is with child.”
“That is wonderful news, Te'elinn!” Teyla exclaimed happily.
“Congratulations,” Laura seconded.
“Tank you both. I knew we would be blessed when A'ansea'a spoke through your Me'ersann,” Ke'elinn was vibrating with his excitement and happiness.
An odd shiver ran up Evan's spine and he turned his attention back to the imposing building they were approaching.
Tau'amma had to declare who they were to the heavily muscled guards at the entrance of the building.
Evan looked closely at them – both guards looked like Bengal tigers on two legs. They openly carried tall spears with wicked looking barbed tips and two sword hilts apiece could be seen over their shoulders. Each had another short sword carried at the waist and knife hilts protruded from each boot. Lorne wondered how many they had that he couldn't see.
“Man, no wonder Ronon was impressed with these people,” Rollins aid quietly, echoing what Evan had been thinking. “These guards probably carry as many knives as he does.”
Martinez nodded his agreement. He had been through one of Ronon's specialized training courses out on the main land.
Then, the ritual complete, they were led by Tau'amma into the building and up a curving staircase to Ke'elanna's office. Her First Mate, Be'elinn stood at her right shoulder in his role as her bodyguard.
The Grand Matriarch looked like a cheetah, complete with the black fur tear tracks from the inner corner of her eyes, down the sides of her nose. She was very warm and gracious as her First Mate served everyone tea. Once everyone had been served, she gave a general outline of how the events of the next few days would go.
“Tonight is the primary harvest . Acting as High Priestess, Te'elanna will offer a small blessing at moon rise before the harvest of the Chrysalis Rose begins. Tomorrow you will have free to wander wherever you choose during the day. Tau'amma and Ke'elinn will gladly act as your guides for this.
“Tomorrow night, Te'elanna will do the full blessing when Te'ege'essa's moon ascends over the Great Temple. After that, the festival truly begins and will run the rest of the night, through the following day and night until the moon sets.
“So, please, feel free to relax, visit the bazaar, the temples, the city and enjoy yourselves.”
“Thank you, ma'am,” Evan said with a nod of acceptance. He wasn't much of a tea drinker, but had come to at least appreciate it since coming to the Pegasus Galaxy. It seemed that no formal business was conducted without it.
Ke'elanna smiled at him, like she knew something he didn't and it was enough to make him feel a bit uneasy. He wanted to ask her if there was something he should be made aware of, but before he could find the words, the tea was done and the audience was over.
Tau'amma and Ke'elinn reappeared to guide them to the pair of guest houses where they would be staying in that were behind the Grand Temple building itself. Tau'amma took Evan, Teyla and Laura to the larger of the two guest houses, since it had two bedrooms. Martinez and Rollins followed Ke'elinn to the other one that had only one bedroom.
Again, Evan couldn't quite shake the feeling that something was off, something that he wasn't privy to, when Teyla suggested he take the main bedroom with the massively over sized poster bed that sat on a raised platform. But, her logic was valid as she pointed out, that the other bedroom had two beds that would be perfectly fine for Lieutenant Cadman and herself.
The rest of the afternoon flew by swiftly, leaving Lorne to 'hold the fort' as it were, while the rest of the team went out to wander the city. As sunset approached, Teyla and Laura returned laughing with hands full of purchases.
Evan shook his head. He would never have figured his explosives expert/computer wizard marine to enjoy shopping. He just shook his head, raised an eyebrow and wisely decided not to say anything.
Ke'elinn returned just as it was getting dark, escorting Te'elanna who was a snow leopard to his cheetah. His face was filled with open adoration for his mate, making Evan once again feel oddly jealous.
Their escorts with guided them out of the city to a large field on the western edge that was filled with flowers set to burst open with full blooms.
Te'elanna, with some last minute words of quiet encouragement from Ke'elanna, offered up the request for a safe and bountiful harvest to the goddess Te'ege'essa.
As the rest of his team helped in cutting the freshly bloomed flowers that opened up as soon as the moon touched them, Evan found himself emptying the baskets of flowers brought to him into the larger bins that would be taken to the Grand Temple once all the blossoms had been pruned.
All was going well until he found himself with a face full of the flowers and Cadman's “Oops.”
He looked up to see Cadman with a practiced innocent expression and Teyla nearby with a hand over her mouth covering a smile.
“Sorry, Major. It was an accident, really. I thought you had a handle on the basket, sir.”
“Uh huh, sure, Lieutenant,” he said with a raised eyebrow. He looked down at his shirt and BDUs now liberally sprinkled with the pollen from the flowers.
“Do not worry, Major Lorne, it will wash out,” one of the Charasarians paired with Cadman assured him with a laugh.
“That's good to know,” he replied, brushing off the pollen from his uniform.
They finished up soon after that, then followed Te'elanna and Ke'elinn back to the Grand Temple before returning to their guest quarters.
There was a light snack waiting for them on the kitchen table when they returned. After partaking of the snacks, Evan bid Teyla and Cadman goodnight. Shaking his head at the bad jokes that his lieutenant was telling, headed for the bathing chamber where he washed his face and throat off.
In his bedroom, he shucked his shirt and pants off over a pile by the chair he sat in to take his boots off. As he closed the drapes, he noticed the flowers blooming in the vase on the table in front of the window. He stared at them, momentarily mesmerized and then climbed up into the bed.
Evan slipped into dreams quickly. Having artistic talent meant he usually had vivid, full color dreams that he could see and feel the textures and environment of his dreams. This time, he found himself at an easel in a field full of the chrysalis roses painting Te'elanna and Ke'elinn in their flowing robes as they called for the blessing of the harvest. He could smell the flowers all around him over the oil paints he had on his pallet. The scent of the flowers was not something he could describe easily; it was ever changing, mysterious and full of secrets.
The painting changed and now he was painting a woman in a royal blue robe with long, draping sleeves that came to a point. She had long fingers that ended in sharp, elegant claws and she cradled in her outstretched hands the white flowers with their golden hearts. He could see little of the woman's waist from the positioning of her hands, but knew it was trim and curved in the right places. The bodice didn't hide much, the sheer white under robes revealing more than they concealed of her breasts pushed high and almost overflowing in the low cut décolletage. Her chest was covered in golden red fur, but the woman's throat was still creamy, pale skin. He frowned at the canvas and tried to change what he painted. The woman was obviously a Charasarian, so her throat should be covered in fur. For some reason though, the hand holding the paint brush wouldn't move towards his pallet of paints.
“The painting is right,” a sultry female voice spoke from behind him. “This is her true self.”
Evan looked back over his shoulder, trying to see who was talking to him. Even though they were standing in full moonlight, he couldn't see her clearly. She seemed to be wrapped in veils.
She shook her head at him and chided, “My face is not important Evan. Look back at the painting. Do you see what she is offering you?”
“Offering me? The flowers?”
“The flowers are just a symbol,” she explained as her voice flowed over him, a gentle stroke down his back.
“A symbol for what?”
“For change, for life, for everything,” the voice caressed, teased him.
Evan glared at her over his right shoulder as she had shifted to stand over that shoulder now. “You're not very helpful, you know that, right?”
“This is a dream, Major Evan Lorne. I don't have to be helpful,” she replied with laugh. “The painting. Finish it. Then you will see.”
He faced the painting again, his brush changing, going to a finer point, allowing him to paint the outlines of the woman's face. He knew the face, but it was his dream and he was allowed to control it, to deny the knowledge, right?
“Who said it was your dream?” her laughter filled the air, making him shiver. “This could be my dream, it could be your dream, or it could even be her dream.”
She drifted around him, studying the painting. “She is very lovely.”
Evan finished the outline of the face, his brush switched from a fine point to one with a wider tip, allowing fuller brush strokes. The woman had red gold hair that spilled carefree around her shoulders and down her back.
“How would you know? I haven't even finished her face yet,” Lorne challenged her.
“I chose her,” was the enigmatic answer.
“What do you mean?” Evan asked, even as he found himself pulled to work on the eyes looking back at him from the canvas. They were very catlike in shape, moss green irises with vertical diamond slit pupils. The black eyeliner only served to emphasize the feline tilt to her eyes. The red-gold eyebrows were arched, giving her an amused look. The nose was straight and thin, just right over generous lips that were curved up in a knowing smile. The smile was a tease, full of suggestion and showing just a hint of sharpened teeth.
“So, you're right – she is pretty, but I still say the painting is wrong. This isn't how she looks.”
“I told you, this is her true form. I chose her, just as I chose you,” the woman wrapped in veils scolded him, a teacher talking to a recalcitrant student.
“You chose me? What does that mean? And, don't I have any say in this?” Lorne faced the painting again, this time his hand drawn to her neck. He wasn't done yet with the painting, there was something missing from it.
“Evan, there is always a choice. I chose you for your knowledge, just as I chose your lieutenant here.”
“There you said it. You had to go and name her, didn't you?” Evan was exasperated with the mysterious woman and her enigmatic comments. He began painting a golden necklace on the woman in the portrait with blue jewels that circled her neck and then, fell to a large matching pendant making sure the eye was drawn to her low neckline.
“I didn't have to name her, Evan; you already knew it was your Lieutenant Laura Cadman.” She shook her head at him. “Make the choice and accept what she's offering you.”
Lorne's eyes narrowed. “That sounds like an order, not an offer.”
“You can argue with me all night and get nowhere, but in the end you will still have a choice to make.”
“I don't understand.” His gaze shifted back and forth between the painting of a very different and changed Laura Cadman and the woman cloaked in veils.
“She is offering you a choice, Evan. A choice and a change. Take it and your life will be immeasurably changed.”
Evan looked at her askance, “Do you have to be so cryptic?”
The woman began to fade from view. “It's a dream. Dreams are always cryptic.”
He rolled his eyes. “Oh, like that's a lot of help,” he snapped back. “Hey, wait a minute. Where are you going?”
“It's time to make your choice, Evan. Choose wisely.” The woman was almost completely invisible now.
“Oh, come on, talk about corny! That's like the oldest and most line in the book!” Evan groaned
Her laughter filled the air as she faded away, “I'm a goddess. I'm allowed to use 'corny' phrases.”
Movement out of the corner of his eye caught his attention. He spun around, thinking it was the mysterious veiled woman – he refused to believe she was a goddess – and saw the landscape around him had changed. He was no longer in the field full of flowers, yet their scent remained heavy in the air. Instead, he was back in the bedroom of the guest quarters he had been assigned to. The curtains were billowing in the warm, scented breeze, but that wasn't what had caught his attention. Cadman was there, just like he had seen her in the painting, her hands full of the flowers and the knowing, teasing smile playing on her lips. He forced himself to think of her at Lieutenant Cadman, a US marine, an explosives expert. Anything to deny how tempting he found the woman. Especially in her current outfit.
Oh man, he was in so much trouble now.
“You're not supposed to be here. This is my room, my dream,” Evan tried for control, but the scent of the flowers was making him feel dizzy, disconnected from his body in the worst way.
Laura moved closer and said, “Smell the flowers, Evan.”
He knew he shouldn't, but he felt his willpower slipping away. He had to make a choice, but how could he when he didn't understand the choices being offered? He took a small step forward, the fragrance drawing him in. At least, that's what he told himself. He didn't, couldn't acknowledge that it was Cadman herself drawing him in, or so he told himself. If he kept to calling her Cadman, then he could deny how attracted he was to her.
“They're nice, but what are you doing here?” Evan inhaled deeply, breathing in the powerful scent of the flowers.
“Offering you a choice,” Cadman answered, her smile full of promises and seduction.
He was lost. The powerful scent left him feeling intoxicated, yet full of energy. He blinked a few times trying to clear his head, but it was no use.
“Don't argue, don't think. Just close your eyes and breathe,” Laura's voice was a siren's pull he couldn't resist, and he followed her softly spoken command as his willpower deserted him. The scent of the flowers, the scent of Laura filled him. It was intoxicating – she was intoxicating.