Title: The Price Is Right


Author: Christi (christim@comcast.net)


Rating: PG


Category: Silliness and a bit of Shep/Weir


Disclaimer: Not mine, sad though it be.


Author’s Note: Written for control_freak80 as part of our fanfic10 challenge. Again, I think it covers multiple demands—but just two, this time. caroly_214 and kate98 beta’d, and they are lovely for doing it.




It was official: Elizabeth Weir was in the middle of a full-blown fit of the giggles.


Really, it was sort of endearing—once John managed to get past the astounding idea that Elizabeth was the sort of woman who giggled. Nevertheless, the fact was that John hadn’t the slightest idea what was so amusing, and so he was beginning to feel more than a little put out at missing what was evidently such a great joke.


“Okay, that’s the second time that someone has stopped us and asked you something that’s sent you into spasms of laughter,” John pointed out. “What’s so funny?”


Elizabeth just shook her head, much like she had the first time he asked. It was one of the first times that John found himself regretful that his knowledge of Ancient technology pretty much ended with the assurance that when he walked into a room, things worked. That lovely genetic quirk didn’t help him at all on a planet like M5R-722, where the residents still actually spoke a dialect of Ancient.


Still, the marketplace on this planet was turning out to be more fruitful than dozens of others they had already visited, so John saw a long history of being kept in the dark while Elizabeth socialized and bartered deals and laughed at…whatever it was.


“Come on,” he said, unable to hide the hint of exasperation in his tone. “Let’s get this over with.”


Still smiling, she followed him through the booths and vendors, occasionally exchanging bright words with a passerby or sampling a piece of fruit. “Having fun?” he asked wryly.


“Mmm, yes, actually. This is an amazing culture, and the fact that they actually speak a derivative of the Ancient language indicates a historically closer relationship than…” she trailed off, studying what he assumed was a slightly vacant expression that had taken over his face. “Plus, the people here are very…welcoming.”


Even John had noticed that last bit—since he had walked through the ‘Gate, he had been hugged more times than he could count. “Tell me something I don’t know,” he muttered, and she just laughed again.


“Cheer up, John! Finding this planet is a good thing, remember?”


Yeah. He knew that. But there was still something….


That was when an extremely large and excessively hairy man stopped them and asked Elizabeth something, a wide smile on his face. And although she managed to answer the question with a straight face, the moment the man was out of earshot, she was doubled over with laughter once again.


That was John’s limit. “Okay, seriously. What are they saying that’s so funny?”


After she had managed to sober a bit, Elizabeth actually started to explain. “Well, you have to understand that money is useless here. Everything a person has to offer is an easily tradable commodity on this planet.”


He was still waiting for the punch line. “Okay….”


She rolled her eyes in an exasperated look he was already much too familiar with. “Everything, John.”


It took time for him to connect the dots, but once he did, things about this planet began making a whole lot more sense. “Wait! You mean that they’ve been asking you….” He stumbled over it, but finally managed a soft, “how much you cost?”

The smile she flashed him was serene and much, much too wide. “Of course not.” He was temporarily filled with relief—until she finished, “They’ve been asking me how much you cost.”


It was hard to be sure, but in that moment, John thought that he could actually hear something in his brain snapping.


WHAT?!” he exclaimed, automatically trying to draw away from the crowd. “But…but…two of them were MEN!”


Seemingly untroubled by his plight, Elizabeth examined a necklace offered to her by a vendor. “So they were.”


“Big men! Burly men! Hairy men!” Although John was admittedly quite fond of his own hair, he had ideological objections to the hair of other men. But suddenly, it occurred to him that there was more to this story. “Wait—you’ve been answering them! What are you telling them?”


Putting the strand of beads back with a regretful sigh, Elizabeth finally looked back at him, a knowing smirk on her face. “Oh. I’ve been telling everyone that your services are already engaged for the day.”


To be honest, he wasn’t sure whether he was relieved or troubled by that new piece of information. But at least he knew that she wasn’t going to sell him off to the highest bidder—not that he had ever thought that she would. Still, John stood frozen, trying to wrap his mind around Butch and his equally hairy buddy wanting a lowest possible price on him, because really, it was a disturbing concept.


By the time he had managed to come to terms with the situation, he found that Elizabeth had already started making her way once again to their vendor, and he had to scramble to catch up. Still, he couldn’t help but grumble about the entire situation a little. “Honestly,” he mumbled, “Is there some quality about me? Something that screams ‘Intergalactic Slut for Hire’?”


Silence was his only response, and he turned to see Elizabeth definitively avoiding his gaze. “I thought you were supposed to be a diplomat,” he commented, his voice rising to an indignant squeak despite himself.


“That was diplomatic,” was her only reply.


“Gee, thanks,” he retorted. “So, what, people are just going to keep attempting to purchase my charms?”


A thoughtful look crossed her face. “Well, there’s one way….”


Now, there was a piece of welcome news. “Good! What is it?”


After one more moment of careful studying, Elizabeth stepped closer. Then, in one smooth motion, she reached out, grasped his face between her hands, and drew him down for a kiss.




He really hadn’t been expecting that.


Still, kissing Elizabeth was…far from unpleasant. So far, in fact, that once the shock faded a bit, John found himself enjoying the situation immensely. And when she pulled away several moments later, he wasn’t at all pleased.


A few blinks later and the fog had mostly cleared. “Uh…how did that help, exactly?”


She shrugged—and, he was pleased to note, seemed a little flustered herself. “Kissing is very personal. Here, it’s sort of seen as staking a claim, so to speak. Or at least, that’s what Teyla told me during our cultural briefing.”


Strangely, the idea that as far as this society was concerned, Elizabeth now owned him didn’t trouble him nearly as much as he’d expect. “Oh. Do you think we should do it again to really get the point across?”


At that, she just rolled her eyes. “Let’s get to the vendor, John.”


Well, he thought ruefully as he followed her through the crowd, it had been worth a shot.




Fanfic10 covered: John/Liz, “How much do you cost?” and I don’t know, I kind of think it covers “Is she really going out with him? Is she really taking him home tonight?” in an abstract sort of way.