Below are the 10 most recent journal entries recorded in the "mysticmcknight" journal:
[<< Previous 10 entries]
Okay, I doubt anyone will really read this, but between health issues and writers block I've not really written anything for years. I have moved most of my stories (not all) to my yahoo group mystic madness. I've been into SG-1 and then Stargate Atlantis and with keeping with tradition about getting involved in a show after the face, I'm not into Smallville and adore Lex! I've actually written my first story in ages, but it needs major beta and I don't like the ending. But something is always better than nothing. Oh, and I live in Co now instead of CA that move too place Aug 2010 so two years is coming up next month. Also, if anyone's interested my daughter has FINALLY graduated and starts college this Aug as well, I'm very PROUD of her. That about wraps it up for now.
Current Location: Colorado
Current Mood: content
Current Music: Sounds of total silence...no music
Paying it Forward...|
2of7 had this on her journel and I was number five. As per the conditions here it is:
The first five people to respond to this post will get something made by me! My choice. For you.
This offer does have some restrictions and limitations:
- I make no guarantees that you will like what I make!
- What I create will be just for you.
- It'll be done this year.
- You have no clue what it's going to be. It may be a story. It may be poetry. I may draw or paint something. I may bake you something and mail it to you. Who knows? Not you, that's for sure!
- I reserve the right to do something extremely strange.
The catch? Oh, the catch is that you have to put this in your journal as well. We all can make stuff!
....also, hints to what you might want is okay by me, but still no guarantees.
Current Location: Home
Current Mood: cold
Current Music: none
Some like it Cool Links to all 9 chapters|
Title: Some Like it Cool
Word Count: 43,583
Category: AU, First Time, Humor, Friendship
Summary: John and his friend Ford are a couple of musicians that witness a mob hit on Valentines Day and need to get out of Chicago quick. Sadly the only way out is in a dress with an all girls band. John thinks the gig will not only get him out of hot water, but land him the lead singer, who is looking for a sexy millionaire…he really should know better. Please Read Authors Notes:
A) This is a shameless steal of Billy Wilder’s Some Like it Hot, with a McShep twist. I’m sorry, couldn’t resist. I laughed so hard at the idea of John in a dress, I had to do it: forgive me please. No money is being made from this only a few laughs if I’m lucky. Oh, just in case, the original actors for the film were Tony Curtis (John will be playing that role) Jack Lemmon (Ford will take this one), George Raft, (Kolya will be playing this role) and Marylyn Monroe who will remain as Sugar.
B) Plus, I stick pretty close to the original script as possible, I did however cut some minor scenes or shortened them, while only straying in sections until the beach scene in Florida…then it’s a slightly whole new ballgame.
C) Also, for those that may not recall history, Prohibition was a time where alcohol was illegal to make, purchase or consume…didn’t last very long.
D) One more thing: I’m ditching racism and making the world color blind as it should be and I’m making Canada even more open minded way before it’s time…yeah Canada. Warnings:
No real mobsters or musical instruments were hurt in the making of this story. Also, mild Het. Chapter 1 Chapter 2
Chapter 4 Chapter 5
Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8
Current Mood: blah
Tags: fic, mcshep, sga
Some Like it Cold Chapter 1|
<b>Some Like it Cool</b>
Chicago, Illinois 1929, the time of such men as Eliot Ness and Al Capone, Federal agent and Mobster battling it out over the law and lawlessness and control over the streets and cities nationwide. Prohibition was at its height, providing the organized crime syndicate with its most profitable business to date; the speakeasy where under the guise of coffee or some other ‘legal’ format, the sale and consumption of alcohol was found and frequented by man. Since such places were hidden to prevent Federal Agents from putting them out of business, many businesses became places of suspect. Even Funeral Homes, especially if they were frequented by many mourners that looked like they just left an Iris Wake.
Mozarella’s Funeral Home had such type of visitors, mainly because it was the front for a speakeasy that was believed to be run and owned by the notorious mobster Acastus ‘Spats’ Kolya. Tonight the joint was hopping with people, the room filled with smoke, the music loud and the girls are tap-dancing their hearts out. The captain of the chorus line looks toward the bandstand, grinned and winked at the best looking man present; John Sheppard, the saxophone player. John winked back. His friend and roommate Aiden Ford, who was thumping the bass-fiddle behind him, leaned forward and taped John on the shoulder to get his attention.
“Say, John - tonight's the night, isn't it?” Aiden asked.
“I’ll say,” John said, while keeping his eyes on the tap-dancer, not really paying much attention to Ford. John Sheppard enjoyed the saxophone, but liked drums more, but knew he wouldn’t be able to lug something that big around and the saxophone was easy to keep track of. Of course being a musician wasn’t his first choice in life, but there wasn’t a lot of options for a kid of a single mother who was down and out in New Jersey, so he learned to play; not only instruments, but eventually people, as he was very aware he was good looking. He wasn’t seeking commitment, just for what he needed to get buy, as that was the way of the world, according to his mother and his father, who split when he was just six. That was the way he learned it by watching those around him as he grew and watched over and over again, people using one another and getting ahead, and how honest folks like his mother and he continued to do without, until there was nothing left. It was a lesson he learned well.
Aiden Ford, not an overly handsome man, but fair in the looks department, continues to play his part, but rolled his eyes at the lack of his friend’s attention. He knows John’s a good guy at heart…deep at heart. But ever since John’s mother died, he plastered on this laid back, good time Charlie façade, and Ford was getting tired of it. But at the moment he had other concerns. “I mean, we get paid tonight, don't we?” he asked.
John stopped playing long enough to take out the mouthpiece from his saxophone, and wetted the reed. “Yeah, why?” John replied, his eyes still on the blond dancer who was giving him the eye and possible more if things went well tonight.
Ford pointed to his jaw, “Because I lost a filling in my back tooth.” Ford opened his mouth as if by showing John his tooth, it’ll really matter to his friend. Then he closes it and plays a bit more of the song. “I gotta go to the dentist tomorrow.”
John turned to look at Ford as if he’s nuts. “Dentist? We have been out of work for four months - and you want to blow your first week's pay on your teeth?”
“It's just a little inlay - it doesn't even have to be gold,” Ford whined, almost begged.
John shook his head, “How can you be so selfish? We owe back rent - we're in for eighty-nine bucks to Moe's Delicatessen - we're being sued by three Chinese lawyers because our check bounced at the laundry.” John played a few notes and then looked aback at Ford and pointed to the girls on stage. “We've borrowed money from every girl in the line.”
Ford looked contrite. “You're right, John.”
“Of course I am,” John smirked, feeling satisfied with the outcome of their conversation.
“First thing tomorrow we're going to pay everybody a little something on account,” Ford added, feeling it’s the least they can do.
John shook his head, “No we're not.”
“We're not?” Ford asked, and then waited for John to finish his part of the song so he could explain.
John had gone back to flirting with the blond on stage, even as he replyed to Ford’s question. “No, first thing tomorrow we're going out to the dog track and put the whole bundle on Greased Lightning.”
Ford stopped playing he’s so stunned. John had never been like this before his mother died. John believed in saving and working for an honest buck. Now it seemed John had done a one-eighty and was constantly chasing the fast get rich quick bus. “You're going to bet my money on a dog?”
“He's a shoo-in. I got the word from Max the waiter - his brother-in-law is the electrician who wires the rabbit,” John told Ford, trying to convince him this was the right thing to do, while keeping eye contact with the blond that might be offering up a nice warm bed tonight…hers.
Ford interrupted John’s concentration by slapping John on the back of the head, but managed himself not to lose track of where he was playing in the jazz song that is still going on. “What are you giving me with the rabbit?” he asked with disgust.
Rubbing his hair, wishing he could get it to lay down flat like the other guys, even if some of the women liked it, he turned a glare at Ford, then pulled out sheet of paper from inside his pocket and unfold it so Ford could read it. “Look at those odds – ten to one. If he wins, we can pay everybody.”
Ford shook his own head, for John was taking stupid risks again. “But suppose he loses?”
John gave Ford his charming-friend-smile, “What are you worried about? This job is going to last a long time.”
“But suppose it doesn't?” Ford asked, for jobs were hard to come by and anything could lead to one losing their employment.
John shook his head, wondering when his best friend became such a Sad-Sack. “Ford-buddy - why do you have to paint everything so black? Suppose you get hit by a truck? Suppose the stock market crashes?”
Ford, slapping the bass, is no longer listening. His eyes have strayed to a man sitting at the nearest table, puffing on the cigar. It isn't drawing too well, so the man reaches under his coat, unpins his Department of Justice badge from his vest. Using the pin of the shining badge, he pokes a hole in the wet end of the cigar. Ford has stopped playing, and is watching the man’s operation with morbid fascination. John, completely unaware, continued talking.
“Suppose Mary Pickford divorces Douglas Fairbanks?” John said to Ford, not noticing that Ford isn’t listening anymore.
Ford nudges John, “Hey, John!”
“Suppose Lake Michigan overflows?” John continued while still not paying attention, letting his mouth do what it needed to do, as he goes back to flirting with the blond dancer.
Ford whacked John on the shoulder, finally getting John’s attention. “Don't look now - but the whole town is under water!” Ford nods toward the man with the Federal Agent badge. John looked. Then, without another word, they both start packing their instruments, knowing it was wise to make a break for it while they still could, as even working in joints like this meant jail time and they didn’t have anyone who could pay bail much less would want too.
Meanwhile, the agent pins the badge back on, and checks his wrist-watch. He does a soft countdown to himself then he glances to the door from the funeral parlor and right on cue a pair of police axes smash through the door. Instant pandemonium breaks loose in the speakeasy. The music stops, women scream, customers, chorus girls and waiter scramble toward the side doors. But they too are splintering under the assault of the police axes. The crowd falls back, milling around frantically.
The man stood up, cupped his hands to his mouth, and roared at the top of his lungs. “All right, everybody - this is a raid. I'm a Federal Agent Caldwell, and you're all under arrest.”
The policemen start rounding up the customers and employees, and are herding them toward the exits. On the bandstand, John and Ford have packed their instruments, and start to fight their way through the melee, toward some stairs leading up and hopefully away from the cops. The quickly find an alcove to hide in to wait for things to settle before trying to slip out. From their position they watch the chaos below.
Caldwell, with a couple of policemen in tow, approached a table where there are five men in suites sitting calmly, with glasses of white liquid before them. It wasn’t hard for John or Ford to determine from their alcove that the man with the white spats on his shoes was in charge and probably the owner of the Speak easy and his entourage his henchmen, which meant they were mobsters. “Okay, Spats - the services are over. Lets go,” Caldwell said.
“Go where?” Acastus ‘Spats’ Kolya asked, looking calm and a tad puzzled to why Caldwell is even talking to him.
Caldwell took a puff on his cigar and blew it into Spats’ face. “A little country club we run for retired bootleggers. I'm gonna put your name up for membership.”
Kolya looked annoyed, but played it calm, “I never join nothin'.”
Caldwell puffed heavily on the cigar again, knowing it was offending the man, “You'll like it there. I'll have the prison tailor fit you with a pair of special spats - striped!” Caldwell began chuckling as did some of the officers around him.
Spats turned to his men, “Big joke,” he dead-paned, and then looked back at Caldwell, his eyes showing he’s had enough of the man. “What’s the rap this time?”
Caldwell smirked, “Embalming people with coffee - eighty-six proof.”
“Me? I'm just a customer here,” Spats replied, trying to look innocent, and failing miserably, for he sports the kind of face that shouted MOBSTER from the day he was born.
“Come on, Spats - we know you own this joint. Mozarella is just fronting for you,” Caldwell replied knowingly…too knowingly.
Spats continued to attempt innocents, “Mozarella? Never heard of him.”
Caldwell snorted, “We got different information.”
Spats narrowed his eyes as he glared at the Federal Agent, “From who? Toothpick Charlie, maybe?”
Caldwell snorted again, “Toothpick Charlie? Never heard of him.” He then picked up Spats' glass, and sniffed it suspiciously.
“Buttermilk,” one of the henchmen said.
Caldwell is a bit annoyed that he can’t get Spats and his gang on consumption of alcohol along with the other charges he’s planning on racking up against the mobster. “All right -on your feet.”
Spats was getting up slowly, looking very annoyed. “You're wasting the taxpayers' money.”
“If you want to, you can call your lawyer,” Caldwell told him.
Spats pointed to his four men, “These are my lawyers - all Harvard men.”
Caldwell chuckled as he and the two policemen lead Spats and his Harvard men out of the club to be placed in the paddy wagon with the rest of the people who were going to be spending the night in jail, complements of the Chicago police
Outside, the police have rounded up the patrons as well as the employees of the speakeasy and are now focused on the large crowd they are trying to get loaded into the various police vehicles, that no one goes back to the alleyway where a hearse is parked, nor do they take the time to look up on the fire escape of the second floor where John and Ford, carrying their instruments and overcoats, have just climbed through a window onto the fire escape, and are inspecting the scene below. Stealthily they climb down the ladder and drop to the roof of the hearse. Then they scramble over the hood and steal down the alley away from the main street and the police. They stop in the shadows to put on their coats as it’s freezing outside.
“Well, that solves one problem. We don't have to worry about who to pay first,” Ford grumbled.
“Quiet - I'm thinking,” John said, trying to figure out what they’re going to do next. Ford was a good friend, but sometimes, he wondered why he put up with the man; well that was simple Ford was easy to manipulate. Plus he made John laugh and was loyal, a rare thing in John’s world.
“Of course, the landlady is going to lock us out - Moe said no more knackwurst on credit and we can't borrow any more from the girls, because they're on their way to jail,” Ford pointed out as the wind blew harder.
John sighed with frustration, “Shut up, will you? I wonder how much Sam the Bookie will give us for our overcoats?”
Ford looked abashed, “Sam the Bookie?” Then it hit Ford just what John was thinking. “Nothing doing! You're not putting my overcoat on that dog!” he snaped at the man. “What’s gotten into you, you never use to take dumb risks like this?”
John looked at Ford with a great deal of seriousness, “What got into me is that I buried my mother in an unmarked grave, since I didn’t have enough money to pay for a proper funeral, and she died in debt.” John took a deep breath, knowing this wasn’t going to get him what he wanted so changed demeanors faster than he change notes on his saxophone. “Besides, I told you - it's a sure thing,” he told Ford, while using his puppy dog expression, knowing it was a sure fire way to get Ford to cooperate.
Ford squirmed, knowing he’ll hate himself in the morning, “But we'll freeze - it's below zero - we'll catch pneumonia.”
John growled softly, wondering if someday he’ll actually manage to have a conversation with someone truly smatter than he was, for it wasn’t going to be today. “Look, stupid, he's ten to one. Tomorrow, we'll have twenty overcoats!”
“I’m not going!” A voice shouted from behind a thick dark oak door.
A lovely blond looking woman folded her arms and turns to the slightly scruffy man standing next to her as they both stand out in the hall. “See what I have to put up with?” she asked the man next to her, looking annoyed and ready to bust the door down with her own two hands.
“Aye,” the man replied. He then banged on the door to be sure he’s got the occupants attention. “You are going or else I will not only declare you unfit, I’ll have you bodily dragged out of here kicking and scream, and wouldn’t the press love a picture of that?” he threatened.
The door suddenly opened and a slightly taller, broader man is standing there looking fearful and angry at the same time. “Carson, you wouldn’t? Jeanie, you wouldn’t…”
“Try me, Rodney,” Carson said, looking fierce. “You’re a mess, Rodney and you need this time off. You get any paler and ghosts will look healthy than you, which is why I’m ordering you to get some sun…aye, you can wear a ton of sunscreen, but you need the vitamin D. And to be sure you get out to the beach, I want you to bring me back a bucket of seashells…hand picked.”
Rodney gaped like a fish, looking at Carson as if he was insane, and looking toward his sister for help, but seeing he wasn’t going to be getting any, lifted his chin in defiance and folded his arms over his chest. “Fine, if I die of too much exposure, or get stung by some jelly-fish or eaten by a shark, I hope you both choke! Or better yet, the Prime Minister puts you both before the firing squad!”
“If you get eaten by a shark I’ll volunteer for it,” Jeanie said, knowing how ridiculous her brother was being. “Now hurry up, the plane is waiting and as you’re fond of saying, time is money, and you are wasting it.”
Rodney trudges passed the two and heads down the hall, looking more like he’s going to his own funeral then vacation. “What am I supposed to do? I mean…it’s…Florida!”
Jeannie and Carson share a smile, “I’m sure you’ll find something to keep you occupied. Besides, you’re there to rest,” Carson replied, patting Rodney on the shoulder.
Rodney sighed heavily. “Fine, when I come back worse than when I left, you’ll both be sorry.”
“Well, glad you’re cheering up, now at lest you’re sure of returning, where moments ago, you were shark bate,” Jeannie grinned.
Carson and Jeanie walk Rodney outside where there is a car waiting for him, his bags already in the trunk. They waved as they watched him slouch into the back seat and pout like a five year old as the car pulled away. Jeanie turned to Carson, some concern on her face. “You’re sure he’ll be okay?”
“Perfectly, lass. I’ve arranged his accommodations personally where I’ve been assured little ever happens. There is no way he’ll be able to get into any trouble…unless he goes looking for it,” Carson replied.
Jeannie sighed sounding nervous. “Well…this is Rodney.”
“Aye,” Carson said and left, a smirk on his face, but things were out of his hands and he too could use a vacation from his high-strung friend and patient. Besides, what kind of trouble could Rodney McKay get into in the short time he was going to be there anyway?
****End of Chapter One****
Some Like it Cold Chapter 9|
Spats Kolya enters the lobby, surrounded by his four henchmen and followed by bellhops carrying their luggage. The henchmen are all dolled up for Florida - knickers, Panamas, two-toned shoes - and one of them is carrying a golf bag. Spats is somewhat more conservatively dressed in a light gray business suit. They all stop and look around. Draped across the rear wall is an impressive banner reading: <i>WELCOME DELEGATES 10TH ANNUAL CONVENTION FRIENDS OF ITALIAN OPERA</i>
“Friends of Eye-talian Opera - hey, that's us!” one of the henchmen says, reading the banner out loud.
A convention official, wearing a badge and ribbon identifying him as a committee member, comes up to Spats. “Register over there.”
Spats nods to his boys, and they move toward the registration desk, past other groups of delegates. You would hate to meet any of these mugs in a dark alley, but what makes it heartwarming is that they all have a cauliflower ear for good music or so they seem by the convention they are attending.
Sitting on a settee is a gentleman reading the Police Gazette. As he lowers the paper, we see it's our friend Caldwell, the Federal agent. He looks after Spats and his boys with a wry smile.
At the desk, Spats and his group are identifying themselves to the registrar. Leaning against a column, supervising the proceedings, is a dark, menacing young hoodlum, Johnny Paradise. He is insolently flipping a half dollar in the air.
Spats eases his way up to the table, “Acastus ‘Spats’ Kolya - delegate from Chicago -South Side chapter.
The registrar pins an identification tag on his lapel as Johnny Paradise walks up. “Hi, Spats. We was laying eight to one you wouldn't show.”
Kolya arches a brow, “Why wouldn't I?”
Paradise flips his coin, “We thought you was all broken up about Toothpick Charlie.”
Kolya looks unamused, “Well, we all got to go sometime.”
“Yeah, you never know who's going to be next.” Paradise jerks his thumb toward a screen. “Okay, Spats. Report to the Sergeant-at-Arms.”
“For what?” Spats asks, trying not to be annoyed by this hood.
Johnny grins a bit, “Orders from Little Bonaparte.”
Spats has now been joined by the four henchmen, who have also received their identification tags, and Paradise motions them behind the screen. Behind the screen, a couple of officials are waiting to search the men.
“Put 'em up, Spats,” one of the men orders, and reaches out and raises Kolya’s arms and begins to search, but Spats, slaps him off.
“What’s the idea?” Spats growls.
“Little Bonaparte don't want no hardware around,” the same man states.
Spats reluctantly complies and the official frisks him. “Okay – you’re clean.”
Kolya taps the pocket of the official that just searched him, “you’re not,” he says and then he pulls an automatic out of the official's shoulder holster, tosses it into a wire basket which already holds a large collection of hardware.
The official glares at him, then turns and runs his hands down the First Henchman. He feels something at the bottom of one of his knickers, pulls elastic cuff. A gun drops out.
“It ain't loaded,” the First Henchmen replies.
The official pulls the elastic of the other knickers, and several dozen bullets drop to the floor. The official kicks them away, faces the henchman with the golf bag. “What's in there?”
The Second Henchman looks at ease as he speaks, “My golf clubs. Putter, niblick, number three iron…”
The official pulls a submachine gun out of the bag. “What's this?”
The Second Henchmen doesn’t look contrite as he sees the weapon, “My mashie.”
Spats emerges from behind the screen and sees Johnny Paradise, still flipping his coin and looking cocky. “See you at the banquet, Spats.”
Spats looks at the young punk contemptuously, snatches the coin out of the air. “Where did you pick up that cheap trick?” he asks, but doesn’t wait for an answer, as he drops the coin into Paradise’s breast pocket. “Come on, boys.” He and his henchmen start across the lobby toward the reception counter. As they pass Caldwell, he rises.
“Well, Acastus ‘Spats’ Kolya - if I ever saw one,” Caldwell greets, looking smug as if he’s sure this time he’ll manage to keep the crook in jail.
“Hello, copper. What brings you down to Florida?” Kolya asks, though he does know why this Fed was tailing him, but wasn’t worried, the man didn’t have a thing on him.
“I heard you opera-lovers were having a little rally - so I thought I better be around in case anybody decides to sing,” Caldwell grins.
“Big joke!” Spats replies, not liking this man at all.
“Say, Maestro - where were you at three o'clock on St. Valentine's Day?” Caldwell asks, knowing the answer and doubts he’ll get a straight answer from the man.
“Me? I was at Rigoletto,” Spats replies knowingly.
“What's his first name? And where does he live?” Caldwell demands, more than willing to get some of his team to check the person out.
“That’s an opera, you ignoramus,” Spats, snaps.
Caldwell narrows his eyes, not caring for the insult, “Where did they play it - in a garage on Clark Street?”
Kolya looks amused, “Clark Street? Never heard of it.”
Caldwell now looks amused and knowing, “Ever hear of the DeLuxe French Cleaners on Wabash Avenue?”
“Why?” Spats questions, as it shouldn’t be something this Fed should be asking about.
Caldwell looks smug, “Because the day after the shooting you sent in a pair of spats - they had blood on them.”
Spats Kolya looks unaffected by what Caldwell has said. “I cut myself shaving,” he relies calmly.
“You shave with your spats on?” Caldwell asks, not believing such nonsense.
Kolya grins, “I sleep with my spats on.”
Caldwell is done playing with the mobster. “Quit kidding. You did that vulcanizing job on Toothpick Charlie - and we know it.”
“You and who else?” Spats grins, knowing Caldwell has nothing on him.
“Me and those two witnesses whom your lawyers have been looking for all over Chicago,” Caldwell replies, and sees the twitch in Kolya’s eyes, which lets him know his information about there being witnesses was correct.
“You boys know anything about any garage - or any witnesses?” Kolya asks his men.
“Us? We was with you at Rigoletto's,” the First Henchmen replies, and gets a glare from Kolya.
“Don't worry, Spats. One of these days we'll dig up those two guys,” Caldwell tells Spats.
“That's what you'll have to do - dig 'em up!” Spats tells the Fed and decides he’s had enough. He leads his boys away from Caldwell toward the reception desk.
The elevator door opens, and among the passengers stepping out are John and Ford, in their summer dresses. John is carrying their room key.
Ford is looking upset as he looks at the diamond bracelet on his wrist, “I feel like such a tramp - taking jewelry from a man under false pretenses.”
John isn’t paying much attention to Ford as he’s looking for Rodney, wondering if he’ll be down here or if he’ll have to call him. “Get it while you're young. And you better fix your lips. You want to look nice for Osgood, don't you?”
Ford stops, takes a mirror and lipstick out of his handbag and starts to touch up his lips. “It's just going to break his heart when he finds out I can't marry him.”
“So? I was going to break Sugar’s heart when she found out I wasn’t a millionaire. That’s part of life. You can’t make an omelet without breaking an egg or two,” John tells Ford, hesitating a bit at the end, wondering if he really believes what he’s saying, now that things have changed for him.
“What are you giving me with the omelet? You don’t even have Sugar, which reminds me what exactly happened out there?” Realizing he got put off the track when they were speaking earlier and Sugar mentioned she had hooked up with someone else.
John more than not ready to speak on the matter, quickly interjects, “Nag, nag, nag. Look, we got a yacht, we got a bracelet, you got Osgood, I’ve got…well, never you mind what I got – We’re really cooking.”
Ford, still adjusting his make-up in the mirror sees something he had hoped to never see again. “John…”
“What?” John replies turning, a bit annoyed to not see Rodney anywhere.
Ford sees Acastus ‘Spats’ Kolya and his four henchmen by the reception desk, via his mirror. “Something tells me the omelet is about to hit the fan.” He nods in the direction of the reception desk.
John looks, sees what Ford has seen, then, “Come on, Teyla.” With as much grace as they can muster, they hurry back toward the elevator. The doors are just opening, and our Bellhop comes backing out, trundling an old man in a wheelchair. The old man wears a Panama hat, dark glasses, and is covered up to his chin with a plaid blanket. John and Ford almost fall over the invalid in their haste to get to the elevator.
“Going up,” John tells the operator and just as the doors are about the closed, he’s arrested by an all too familiar voice.
John and Ford freeze as Spats steps into the elevator, followed by the four henchmen. Spats takes an immediate notice of the guys and stares hard at them. “I don't mean to be forward - but ain't I had the pleasure of meeting you two broads before?”
John, trying not to look upset or meet Kolya’s gaze, replies as casually as he can, which isn’t very casual at all, in his female voice, “Oh, no!”
For gives a girlish smile, “You must be thinking of two other broads.” Also not really looking at the mobsters, silently praying this nightmare to be over with and they reach their floor alive.
The Second Henchmen grins at the boys, “You ever been in Chicago?”
Ford gives a nervous chuckle, “Us? We wouldn't be caught dead in Chicago.”
Spats, his interest aroused, is now also studying the two boys even harder. To their relief, the elevator stops and the operator opens the door. “Third floor.”
The First Henchmen has taken a liking to the ‘girls’, “What floor are you on?”
“Never you mind,” John tells him, forgetting he’s waving his room key at them when he waves for the man to back off. The henchman glances at the numbered tag.
“Room 413 - we'll be in touch,” the First Henchmen grins then follows his boss and the others out on the third floor.
“Don’t call us – we’ll call you,” Ford replies coyly.
As the elevator doors start to close, Spats glances over his shoulder toward the boys, frowning thoughtfully. In the elevator, John and Ford look at each other, swallow hard. As soon as they reach their floor, they make a mad dash to their room. John and Ford are frantically dumping their clothes into two open suitcases on the bed.
“I tell you, John, they're on to us. They're going to line us up against the wall and…” Ford imitates a machine gun, “Eh-eh-eh-eh-eh - and then the police are going to find two dead dames, and they're going to take us to the ladies' morgue, and when they undress us - I tell you, John, I'm just going to die of shame.”
John is tossing clothes into one of the bags as quickly as he can, “Shut up and keep packing.”
“Okay, John,” Ford replies and goes back to packing. He picks up an orchid corsage, in a transparent box, from the desk, starts to put it into the suitcase.
John grabs the corsage with disgust, “Not that, you idiot.”
Ford looks upset, “But they're from Osgood. He wanted me to wear them tonight.”
John tosses the corsage box into the waste basket. Ford starts to pack the maracas. “I'll never find another man who's so good to me.”
John fishes out Bienstock's yachting cap from under the bed, turns it over in his hand, lost in thought as Ford’s words mingle in his mind.
Ford continues, not seeing John has stopped packing. “John, if we get out of this hotel alive, you know what we're going to do? We're going to sell the bracelet, and grab a boat to South America and hide out in one of those banana republics…” Ford removes the bracelet and places it back in its jewel case, then in his bag. “The way I figure is, if we eat nothing but bananas, we can live there for fifty years - maybe a hundred years - that is, if we get out of the hotel alive.” Ford looks around, “Did we forget anything?”
John is still studying the cap and recalling the amazing night with Rodney and feels his own heart breaking. “There’s our shaving stuff – and there’s – I have to make a phone call,” John says and moves to the phone.
“What?” Ford asks puzzled.
“Top floor room four, please,” John says to the switchboard operator.
“What do you think you're doing?” Ford demands, not believing John is doing anything other than packing at the moment.
“Making a telephone call,” John said to him.
“Telephone call? Who’s got time for that?”
“Look, Aiden, I just can’t…walk away…” John tries to explain, but he’s never mentioned Rodney or their night together, not sure what Ford would think about ‘discovery’.
“Who are you calling? And since when do you care? Usually you leave ‘em with nothing but a kick in the teeth,” Ford replies, thinking how John’s been over the last year or so.
“That’s when I was a saxophone player. Now I’m a millionaire,” John retorts, wishing Rodney would hurry up and answer the damn phone.
“Drop them a postcard,” Ford grips, heading back into the bathroom. “Any minute now those gorillas may be up here…” he says over his shoulder.
John hears the connection being made, and moves as far away from the bathroom as the cord will allow. He hears Rodney’s voice and he swallows hard, for this is probably the hardest thing he’s done in a very long time. “Rodney,” he says quietly, not wanting Ford to overhear their conversation.
“John…is that you?” Rodney asks, sounding sleepy.
“Yes,” John smiles, the image of Rodney’s face all sleepy like a little boy pops in his head and he finds he rather likes that idea. Then he frowns when he recalls why he’s calling. “I…I’m calling to say goodbye.”
Rodney is no longer half asleep, the shock of what John is telling him more than enough to wake him. “Goodbye…why? I thought you were okay with what happened…”
“Oh, I am…more than you know,” John insists, for he loved last night. “It’s…just…”
“You can tell me, John. Whatever it is, I’ll help you,” Rodney promises.
John smiles, for he believes Rodney would do anything within his power to do so, but he doesn’t want to see the man he….John closes his eyes as he realizes for the first time in his life, he’s fallen in love, just like that! “I know you would, Rodney,” John replies, feeling a deep need to protect his lover. “But I can’t drag you into this…”
“You’re not dragging anyone, I want to help, John. But you have to tell me what’s going on,” Rodney insisted.
“It’s too dangerous,” John replies.
“I’m coming down there,” Rodney says, knowing exactly what room John and his friend are in.
“No!” John shouts, and then lowers his voice. “No, as I said it’s too dangerous and we’ll be gone by then. Please, Rodney, this is far harder than I imagined, please…” John tells him. “I’ve got to go.”
“John…I’ll stay an extra week, please…” Rodney is saying, but John doesn’t hear anymore as he hangs up the phone, feeling the moisture in his eyes.
Ford emerges from the bathroom, carrying their toilet articles and an armful of towels embroidered with the Seminole – Ritz Hotel. “You ready yet?” he asks, seeing John is done with his phone call.
John snaps out of his deep thought and nods, “Yeah – lets shove off,” he tells Ford.
Ford picks up his suitcase, starts toward the door. John grabs him and pulls him back. “Not that way,” he tells him and pulls Ford toward the window. “We don't want to run into Spats and his chums.” John steps through the open French window onto the balcony.
Ford starts to hand out the instruments and luggage to him.
<b>SPATS' SUITE </b>
The four henchmen, in dinner clothes are playing cards in the lavishly appointed living room when Spats emerges from the bedroom. He is just slipping into his tuxedo coat, and his spats are unbuttoned.
“Your hands clean?” he asks the Second Henchman. The man extends his palms up, then turns them over showing they are. “Okay. Button my spats.” He drops into a chair, and the Second Henchman kneels, starts to button the spats over Kolya’s shoes.
“Say, boss - I been talking to some of the other delegates - and the word is that Little Bonaparte is real sore about what happened to Toothpick Charlie. Him and Charlie, they used to be choir boys together,” the First Henchman says while still playing with the cards.
“Stop or I’ll burst out crying,” Spats replies dryly, uncaring about Little Bonaparte’s feelings in the matter.
The First Henchman looks a bit concerned as he continues. “He even got Charlie's last toothpick - the one from the garage - and had it gold-plated.”
Kolya gives a fowl smirk, “Like I was telling you - Little Bonaparte is getting soft.” He tapes his chest, “He doesn't have it here any more. Used to be like a rock.” He shakes his head. “Too bad. I think it's time for him to retire.”
“Second the motion,” The Second Henchman adds.
The First Henchman looks more concerned, “How are we going to retire him?”
Spats gives a wicked smile, “We'll think of something cute. One of these days, Little Bonaparte and Toothpick Charlie will be singing in the same choir again.” He points up.
Outside the window, John appears, climbing down a post from the floor above. He lands on the balcony, reaches up for the instruments and suitcases which Ford is passing down to him.
“And this time, we'll make sure there are no witnesses,” Spats continues.
The First Henchman glances out the window, sees Ford climbing down the post to join John. “Look - it's those two broads from the elevator.”
Spats turns and looks. The Second Henchman, beaming, crosses to the window, calls out. “Hey - join us!”
John and Ford, panic-stricken, peer through the Venetian blinds at Spats and his mob. Then they scramble for their lives over the railing of the balcony and down, their hats and wigs knocked askew.
The Second Henchman looks puzzled, “What's the matter with those dames?”
Spats thinks he’s got it figured out suddenly. “Maybe those dames ain't dames!” He yanks up the Venetian blinds, steps quickly out onto the balcony, looks down over the railing. Then he picks up the bull-fiddle, drags it through the window into the room. “Same faces - same instruments…” opens the bull fiddle case and points to the bullet holes. “ – and here’s your Valentine’s card.”
The First Henchman catches on, “Those two musicians from the garage!”
Spats narrows his eyes recalling his meeting with them in the elevator, “They wouldn't be caught dead in Chicago - so we'll finish the job here. Come on.” Spats leads his gang out the door of his room.
After a moment, John's and Ford's heads appear cautiously over the balcony railing. Seeing that the room is empty, they climb up, rush in through the open windows.
“All right – so what do we do now?” Ford asks John, the fear clear in his face.
“First thing we got to do is get out of these clothes,” John tells Ford. He moves to the door to the corridor and they both peer out. There is no sign of Spats and his boys. The elevator door is just opening, and the Bellhop emerges, pushing the old man in the wheelchair. John and Ford watch as the Bellhop wheels the old man into one of the rooms. They look at each other, as the same idea occurs to them both, nod their heads in agreement. Slipping out of Spats' room, they cross the corridor to the old man's room, and head inside.
<b>HOTEL LOBBY </b>
The elevator doors open, and a Bellhop backs out with a man in a wheel chair. The bellhop is Ford - the uniform fitting him much too snugly and a bit short - and the blanket-covered figure in the wheel chair is John, dressed in the old man's suit, Panama hat, and dark glasses.
As Ford and John proceed with dignity toward the front door, we see Spats and his henchmen deployed in strategic positions around the lobby. Ford wheels John past Spats.
Spats glances at them casually, and then becomes aware of a strange clacking sound. He looks down. There is something decidedly odd about the bellhop - because his trouser-legs terminate in high-heeled shoes.
Spats, grinning smugly, signals the two henchmen who are guarding the front door. They start to close in on John and Ford. Ford abruptly spins the wheel chair around, trundles it toward the rear of the lobby. The other two henchmen take up the chase. Ford and John disappear into a corridor leading toward the rear of the hotel. As the pursuing henchmen start to turn into the corridor, the empty wheel chair comes whizzing toward them. The henchmen stumble over it, becoming momentarily entangled.
John and Ford, sprinting down the corridor, reach an open door, dart inside. The henchmen come racing up, and passing the door, round a bend in the corridor. John and Ford continue their way through the small kitchen, where several ‘delegates’ are decorating a huge cake, under the watchful eye of Johnny Paradise. He is leaning against the wall, tossing his coin in the air. One of the officials, wielding a confectioner’s cone, has almost finished lettering the inscription Happy Birthday, Spats.
John and Ford burst in from the corridor, and the three hoods look up, startled. Before they can recover, the boys have scooted across the room and out another door. They enter breathlessly the dinning room and stop to get their bearings. Dominating the room is a U-shaped table, covered with flowers and about thirty place-settings, with a half grapefruit on each plate. On the wall behind the head of the table is the banner welcoming the Friends of Italian Opera. The boys glance around the empty room, make a beeline for the main entrance. Just as they reach the door, it starts to open, and voices are heard from the corridor. They turn desperately toward a second door, but that too is opening. Trapped, they duck under the banquet table, disappearing behind the long white tablecloth just as the banqueters start to troop in chatting amiably among themselves, they move to their places at the table.
Under the table, John and Ford huddle together as the delegates start to seat themselves. Suddenly a pair of legs slide beneath the tablecloth directly in front of them - and the boys recoil when they see that the owner's shoes are encased in spats.
Acastus ‘Spats’ Kolya is settling himself at the table, while his four henchmen take the seats on either side of him. “What happened?”
The First Henchman has the decency to look sheepish, “Me and Tiny, we had them cornered - but we lost 'em in the shuffle.”
Spats looks at his other two henchmen, “Where were you guys?”
The Second Henchman replies automatically with a bright smile as if he knows the answer to this question. “Us? We was with you at Rigoletto's.”
“Why, you stupid…” Spats picks up the half-grapefruit in front of him, and is about to ram it in the henchman's face.
“It's all right, boss - we'll get 'em after the banquet. They can't be too far away,” the First Henchmen tells his boss.
Under the table, John and Ford exchange a panicky look.
There is a burst of applause from the delegates as through the door strides Little Bonaparte, accompanied by half a dozen convention officials. Little Bonaparte is short, bald, vicious, and wears a hearing aid. As he proceeds toward the head of the table, his pose is Napoleonic -head bowed, hands clasped behind his back. Spats and his henchmen pointedly abstain from applauding. Little Bonaparte remains standing at the place of honor while his associates seat themselves.
Bonaparte raises his hands to settle the applause, which seems to please him, but wants quiet so he can talk. “Thank you, fellow opera-lovers. It's been ten years since I elected myself president of this organization - and if I say so myself, you made the right choice. Let's look at the record. We have fought off the crackpots who want to repeal Prohibition and destroy the American home – by bringing the corner saloon. We have stamped out the fly-by-night operators who endangered public health by brewing gin in their own bathtubs, which is very unsanitary. We have made a real contribution to national prosperity - we are helping the automobile industry by buying all those trucks, the glass industry by using all those bottles, and the steel industry - you know - all those corkscrews. And what's good for the country is good for us. In the last fiscal year, our income was a hundred and twelve million dollars before taxes - only we ain't paying no taxes.”
The delegates applaud, but Bonaparte simply continues. “Of course, like in every business, we've had our little misunderstandings. Let us now rise and observe one minute of silence in memory of seven of our members from Chicago - North Side chapter - who are unable to be with us tonight on account of being rubbed out.”
All the delegates rise and bow their heads - except Spats and his henchmen, which angers Bonaparte. “You too, Spats. Up!”
Spats and his boys get up reluctantly; join the others in silent tribute. Soon, the minute of silence is over, and the delegates are seating themselves. Little Bonaparte remains on his feet. “Now, fellow delegates, there comes a time in the life of every business executive when he starts to think about retirement.”
There are ad lib cries of "No! No!" from the delegates, but Little Bonaparte holds up his hand for silence and continues. “In looking around for somebody to fill my shoes, I've been considering several candidates. For instance, there is a certain party from Chicago -
South Side Chapter…” He glances in the direction of Spats. Spats' henchmen turn and look at their boss as well. “Now some people say he's gotten a little too big for his spats - but I say he's a man who'll go far. Some people say he's gone too far - but I say you can't keep a good man down. Of course, he still has a lot to learn. That big noise he made on St. Valentine's Day - that wasn't very good for public relations. And letting those two witnesses get away - that sure was careless.”
Under the table, John and Ford try to make themselves as small as possible.
“Don't worry about those two guys - they're as good as dead - I almost caught up with them today,” Spats tells Bonaparte.
The big boss turns on his hearing aid, disbelief in his face, “You mean you let them get away twice?” He clicks his tongue as if in thought and isn’t too happy. “Some people would say that was real sloppy - but I say to err is human, to forgive divine. And you, Spats – the boys told me you was having a birthday - so we baked you a little cake.”
Spats looks concerned, “My birthday? It ain't for another four months.”
Little Bonaparte shrugs, “So we're a little early. So what's a few months between friends?” He turns to the others in the room, “All right, boys - now all together…” they all begin singing. “For he's a jolly good fellow....”
The other delegates, including Spats' henchmen, join in the song. The lights are extinguished, and from the pantry come the two officials, pushing a cart on which stands the cake, with candles blazing. They wheel the cake up directly in front of Spats, who eyes it uneasily. Little Bonaparte, meanwhile, is conducting the song with relish. As the singers reach the climactic line, the top of the cake tears open and out pops Johnny Paradise. Aiming his machine gun at Spats and his henchmen, he starts blazing away.
Under the table, John and Ford cringe, while Little Bonaparte winces, turns down the volume of his hearing aid as he can't stand loud noises. Soon Spats' four henchmen have slumped across the table. Spats is clutching his chest. “Big joke!” His eyes close, and he starts to slip out of his chair.
Under the table, John and Ford react as Spats' body comes sliding toward them, feet first. “Let's get out of here,” John whispers, and grabs Ford, pulling him out from under the table.
The delegates, who are watching Johnny Paradise scramble out of the cake, are momentarily off guard as John and Ford streak across the darkened banquet room toward the pantry door.
“Get those two guys!” Bonaparte orders.
Four of the officials rush into the pantry after John and Ford. At the same time, the main door opens, and Caldwell strides in. Standing in the corridor behind him are several frightened waiters. Caldwell switches on the lights, looks down at the five corpses.
“What happened here?” Caldwell asks, but he seems to have a good idea from what he’s seeing.
Little Bonaparte sounds very unbothered “There was something in that cake that didn't agree with them.”
Caldwell crosses to the cake, glances inside, and then turns to Little Bonaparte. “My compliments to the chef. And nobody's leaving this room till I get the recipe!”
Bonaparte looks annoyed, “You want to make a Federal case out of it?”
Caldwell walks up to him, grabs the mike of his hearing aid and yells into it, “Yeah!”
<b>HOTEL LOBBY –</b> (Few minutes later)
John and Ford have managed to lose their pursuers and headed back to their old room long enough to change into their female counterparts and then head back down in the elevator quickly, as they added overcoats over their male clothing and donned their wigs and make-up. As the boys mince daintily toward the front door, they see the other two officials coming toward them. They change their course abruptly. The first two officials come hurrying down the stairs.
The First Official of the ‘delegation’ looks annoyed, “They slipped right through our hands.”
“Don't worry. We got our guys watching the railroad station, the roads, the airport - they can't get away,” the Second Official tells him.
Ford leans into John and whispers, “Did you hear that?”
John nods, “Yeah, but they're not watching yachts. Come on - you're going to call Osgood.” He steers Ford toward a row of telephone booths near the entrance to the ballroom. There is an easel sign outside announcing that Sweet Sue and her Society Syncopators are appearing nightly in the Peacock Room, and from inside comes the sound of music.
“What'll I tell him?” Ford asks, not sure what to do in this matter.
“Tell him you're going to elope with him,” John says, his mind drifting as the sound of the music makes him think of Sugar and how it turned into Rodney and the best night of his life.
“Elope? But there are laws – conventions…” Ford begins.
John jerks his thumb over his shoulder, “There's a convention, all right. There's also the ladies' morgue. Besides,” he pat’s Ford on the shoulder, “You said yourself, not in Canada.” He then shoves Ford toward a phone booth. Ford reaches under his coat for a coin, revealing the rolled up trousers of the Bellhop uniform underneath.
As Ford steps into the phone booth, John becomes aware of Sugar’s voice drifting in from the ballroom. He moves to go see and notices she looks happy as she’s singing to a slightly older guy than himself, with glasses and in a nice looking tuxedo, who looks at her with adoring eyes.
Feeling more himself than he had in ages, John knows he owes Sugar an apology in more ways than one. He moves to the top of the stairs near the back of the band and watches as Sugar finishes her song and heads back to her seat. John takes this time to move down and pulls her into an embrace and a quick kiss. “I’m really sorry, Sugar. You deserve to be happy and I’m glad you found someone,” he tells her sincerely.
Sweet Sue is shocked, “Bienstock!” she shouts.
The second Official catching the kiss points, “Hey - that's no dame!” He and his companion rush toward the bandstand.
“I’ve got to go, but you remain true to yourself, Sugar Kowalczyk, ‘cause you’re one hell of a lady,” he tells her. John then catches sight of the two officials bearing down on him, leaping from the bandstand, shoulders his way through the couples on the dance floor. With the two officials on his heels, John gallops up the stairs.
On the bandstand, all is confusion, as the girls stop playing and stand up. Sugar is staring after John in complete bewilderment. “Johanna ?”
Suddenly it dawns on her - that kiss! Her eyes widen, her hand flies to her mouth, just as Radek Zelenka joins her, his concern clear in his face. She turns to him and hugs him, and shares her insight to see what he makes of the situation.
Meanwhile, Ford is just stepping out of the phone booth when John bursts out of the ballroom entrance. “It's all fixed! Osgood is meeting us on the pier…”
“We're not on the pier yet…” John tells him and grabs Ford, and they take off across the lobby, as their pursuers appear behind them. The boys head for the front door, but finding their way blocked by the other two officials/mobsters, they reverse their field and hotfoot it toward the rear corridor. The four officials converge on their trail.
John and Ford charge down the rear corridor and go skidding around the corner. As the officials come tooling after them, two ambulance attendants round the turn in the corridor, pushing a wheeled stretcher. On the slab is a guy, covered with a sheet that hangs down the sides, and sticking out from the end of the sheet are a pair of spat-covered shoes. The four officials make way around this grisly cargo, then resume the chase.
As the ambulance attendants wheel the stretcher toward the lobby, the trailing sheet lifts up, and John and Ford, who have been clinging to the under-carriage, hop out. They tear across the lobby and scoot out the front door and run for the pier as fast as they can.
<b>PIER - </b>Night
Osgood is waiting impatiently on the pier. He hears something, looks off toward the beach. He sees Ford and John, still wearing their wigs and girls' coats, as they come scrambling down the steps then race across the planking toward the pier.
On the pier, Osgood's face lights up. Ford comes puffing down the stairs, followed by John. “This is my friend Johanna - she's going to be a bridesmaid.”
“Pleased to meet you,” Osgood greets.
Ford grabs Osgood, “Come on!” He practically drags Osgood down the stairs leading to the motorboat.
Over his shoulder to John, “She's so eager!” Osgood gets settled in the boat, while John is getting into the rear seat just as the sound of a horn honking gets his attention. All three turn to see Rodney leaping off the bike he had ‘borrowed’ and dashes down the stairs and jumps into the motorboat in the back with John.
“What are you doing here?” John asks in his regular voice, but Osgood can’t hear as he’s started the engine.
“Did you really think I was going to let you get away,” Rodney pants, having exerted himself with the bike.
Since Osgood isn’t asking questions about their added ‘guest’, Ford decides not to push his luck. He claps Osgood on the back, “Let’s go!” he says, knowing he’ll have a dozen questions for John, as to who this stranger was.
The motorboat takes off with a roar. In the back seat, John is removing his wig and coat. “Come on, Rodney, you don’t want me. I’m a liar…a fake, a fraud. What could you possibly see in me?”
Rodney grins from ear to ear, “I see a smart, sexy, kind and loving man,” Rodney tells him truthfully. He grabs John and kisses him, then leans back just enough to look John in the eyes, “I told you, you’re mine and I’m not letting you get away John Sheppard, might want to get use to it,” he smiles.
John beams with love and kisses Rodney back with all he has, oblivious to those in front of the boat as his world right now consists of only Rodney.
Up front, Osgood is blithely steering the boat, keeping his eyes straight ahead. Ford is looking over his shoulder at the activities in the back seat and his eyes grow wide with disbelief seeing John being kissed within an inch of his life by a man!
“I called Mama - she was so happy she cried - she wants you to have her wedding gown - it's white lace.”
Ford is feeling a bit pale, but then steels himself, as he can’t keep lying to the man anymore. “Osgood - I can't get married in your mother's dress. She and I - we' not built the same way.”
“We can have it altered,” Osgood says easily.
Ford decides to get firm with Osgood. “Oh, no you don't! Look, Osgood - I'm going to level with you. We can't get married at all.”
“Why not?” Osgood asks, still keeping his eyes straight ahead.
“Well,” Ford tries to think of another reason other than the full truth, “I’m…this isn’t my natural hair color,” he pats his auburn wig.
“It doesn't matter,” Osgood says very tolerantly as if it really doesn’t matter.
“And…I smoke. I smoke all the time,” Ford adds, recalling how his mother hates such things.
“I don’t care,” Osgood tells him easily.
Ford rolls his eyes, and tries again. “And I have a terrible past. For years now, I've been living with a saxophone player.”
“I forgive you,” Osgood replies sweetly and sincerely.
Ford is really becoming desperate, “And I can NEVER have children,” he tells him, thinking that should do the trick.
“We’ll adopt some,” Osgood tells Teyla, again with much ease and sincerity.
Ford has had enough of this, “But you don’t understand!” He rips off his wig and speaks in his regular voice. “I’m a MAN!”
Osgood still looking oblivious smiles, “well – nobody’s perfect. Besides, it works for my cousin Rodney,” he gestures with his thumb to the backseat where Rodney and John are still kissing.
Hearing this, John pushes Rodney back a bit and looks at him, “Cousin?”
Rodney grins, “didn’t you wonder why I knew all the ins and outs of the yacht?”
John is a bit speechless at the moment to reply.
“We’re going to take my yacht to the private air field where Rodney has his private plane waiting to take us to Canada, just like you asked my dear,” Osgood adds.
John’s eyes grow even wider? “Private plan? What are you…rich or something?”
Rodney beams, “Didn’t I mention, I’m a multi-millionaire?” he says, knowing he never mentioned it.
“No…no you didn’t,” John replies, looking a bit annoyed.
“I’ll make it up to you by, buying you, your own plane as a wedding present,” Rodney tells John and kisses him again.
John suddenly pushes Rodney back and gapes at him, “My own plane?”
“Yes,” Rodney grins. He doesn’t get to say more as John grabs him and kisses him senseless.
Ford looks at John and Rodney then at Osgood, who is grinning from ear to ear, and claps his hand to his forehead as he’s got a migraine. How is he going to get himself out of this?
But that's another story .
Some Like it Cold Chapter 8|
<b>ROADHOUSE -</b> Night
The place Osgood spoke about is small, dark, and practically deserted at this late hour of the evening. The Cuban band is playing La Cumparsita. Among the few dancers on the floor are Osgood and Ford, easily the most stylish couple in the joint. Ford has the flower tucked in his cleavage as they Tango.
“Teyla...” Osgood says as they do a slight turn.
Ford is dancing more on automatic then on purpose, snaps out of his self-imposed trance, “Yes, Osgood?”
Osgood gives a easy smile, “You're leading again.”
“Sorry,” Ford replies, and changes his hand positions slightly so Osgood can lead as was ‘expected’ of the guy, then they tango on.
<b>SALON OF CALEDONIA -</b> Night.
John reenters the salon and sees Sugar is walking around admiring all the lavish tid-bits that were laid around the salon, especially the trophies. “Sorry,” he says, remembering his fake Carry Grant accent and sees she’s a bit startled, having not noticed his entrance.
“How is…mother?” Sugar asks with real concern.
“Oh, she’s fine. Just a case of…empty nest syndrome. You’d think by now she’d be over it,” he tells her as he moves in and places the bucket with the fresh champagne on the table. “Would you care for some raspberry champagne?”
“Raspberry?” Sugar asks, having never heard of such a thing, then thinks it might be rather common among the well off, “Oh, yes, it’s my favorite, thank you,” she smiles warmly.
John is still feeling a bit off balance, and has a hard time opening the bottle, and the cork goes flying across the room, hits the marlin, tilting it and lands in Sugar’s cleavage; smart cork. John, without thinking begins to reach for it, but Sugar’s hands grasping her chest out of surprise, prevents him and he then realizes what he almost did. “I’m terribly sorry,” John quickly apologizes.
Sugar is a bit offset herself, but manages a small laugh, “that’s alright,” she replies and removes the naughty cork as John quickly pours the new champagne which has a slight pinkish color to it and hands her a glass. “Thank you,” she says and goes and takes a seat on the couch again, wondering how to get things back on track.
John pours himself a glass and chugs it down while Sugar’s back is to him, then pours another one and takes the glass with him and retakes his seat on the couch as well. “Good,” he says, referring to the drink, wondering how to get things back on track, for he was absolutely NOT going to think about that electrifying, stimulating, sensual…he wasn’t going to think about that kiss moments ago.
“So…” both said which resulted in both of them laughing and it broke some of the tension in the room.
John smiled, “Perhaps we should call it an evening,” he said, remembering his false accent.
“Oh,” Sugar said with a bit of disappointment in her voice.
“I mean, if you want too,” John added, seeing a chance to get things back to where they were before the interruption.
“If you don’t mind,” Sugar said sweetly, “I would like another crack at it.”
John grinned, but not too big for that would defeat the purpose. “If you insist, but I think you’re wasting your time,” he said as he shifted around placing his glass on the coffee table and settled down on the couch like he had earlier. He watched Sugar shift, placing her own glass aside, then lean in and kiss him.
“Well,” Sugar asks as she leans back, hope beaming in her eyes.
“I’m…not quite sure. Try it again,” John replies, determined to make this happen, but he can’t help but think her sweet kisses have gone suddenly sour.
She kisses him again.
<b>ROADHOUSE - </b> Night.
Osgood and Ford have now got the tango by the throat as they dance with flare and passion. Ford has his flower now in his teeth; his eyes are a bit glassy, probably from some drink and the late hour. Osgood whips him around, and then reverses the position again, and then Osgood has the flower between his teeth.
“You know, Osgood you’re really the Cat’s meow,” Ford tells him, and they continue dancing placing the other couples to shame.
<b>SALON OF CALEDONIA -</b> Night.
The radio is still on, and John and Sugar are just coming out of their last kiss. John removes his glasses and wipes his eyes. He’s trying to salvage this, but it seems to have gone the way of the dogs as his mind won’t let him stop comparing kisses. He clears his throat. “Where did you learn to kiss like that?” he asks, gently sitting up, allowing Sugar to also sit up and get resettled on the couch.
Sugar thinks she’s getting somewhere as she sees a slight flush in Shell Oil’s face. “Oh, you know - Junior League – charity bazaars - I used to sell kisses for the Milk Fund.”
John gives a small smile, “I bet you rose quite a bit,” he replied, shifting so his feet are now on the floor, a bit angry his body was not getting with the program.
“So…?” Sugar asks, more than willing to continue.
John can’t keep McKay out of his head and it’s ruining everything. Then it strikes him how much the man knew about what was going on between him and Sugar and like a charge of electricity shoots up his spine, he straightens, and looks around the room and sees a pillow strangely out of place by the wall. He gets up, not thinking of Sugar who is looking at him oddly and goes and tilts the pillow back and sees how McKay knew…he was listening in. “Why that…” he growls under his breath.
“Something wrong?” Sugar asks, seeing Shell Oil is upset by something.
John turns a fake smile to her, “I need to attend something, my darling, I’ll be right back,” John says, his Carry Grant almost slipping as he moves to the door. “Have some more champagne, nothing but the best,” he says then slips out of the salon, and goes in search of McKay. To not only confront him for eavesdropping but having the audacity to kiss him!
John heads to the galley as that was where he last knew the man was and enters only to hear what sounds like a door at the other end closing. He follows the sound through a door of the galley into another room, a small dinning area, the door leading out won’t open, it appears locked from the outside. More furious than before, John turns around and starts making his way back just in time to see the exit to the galley closed. He tries the door and it too is now locked. He bangs on the door, “McKay!” he snarls. “Let me the hell out of here!”
Rodney, on the other side laughs quietly and heads away from the noise toward the salon. He takes a moment and calms himself. He then opens the door and sees Sugar is surprised to see him. “Miss Sugar,” he greets her.
“Rodney,” she grins, for she was beginning to doubt her actions this evening. “The food is wonderful,” she tells him, believing that is why he is here.
“I shall inform the chef when he returns from shore leave,” Rodney smiles, for he finds he actually likes Sugar. “Unfortunately, Miss Sugar…Sir, has become locked into other events and is not able to attend you this evening. He asked that I extend his apologies and see you safely back to shore.”
“Oh,” Sugar replies, her cheeks a bit flushed, probably from embarrassment, as she knows how she had been throwing herself at the man earlier this evening. “Of course,” she adds, determined to keep some dignity.
Rodney feels for her, but he knows he’d in the right, for John was only using her and she doesn’t deserve that, nor does John, but that was another matter for when he got back. “This way, Miss Sugar,” Rodney says, picking up her wrap and holding it up for her.
Rodney guides Sugar to the motorboat and gets her safely seated next to him, and then unleashes the craft and begins their journey back. He glances over at the beautiful woman and knows that if he were inclined that way, sexy blonds like Sugar would be the only way for him.
“Miss Sugar,” he begins, keeping his face turned just enough so she can’t read him, for he’s been told his eyes give him a way a great deal. “If I may be so bold, perhaps this is a good thing,” he tells her.
“Why do you say that, Rodney?” Sugar asks, now puzzled by Shell Oil’s servant.
Not wanting Sugar to feel too bad, Rodney thinks quickly. “Sir…really wanted to spend the evening in your company, Miss Sugar. He genuinely likes you,” he says hoping it’s not a lie; glad he was facing away from her for she’d then see his doubt. “But…” he licks his lips. “Had he realized something…more…would have developed he would not have invited you.”
“Why not?” Sugar asks, sounding a bit hurt.
Taking a deep breath, Rodney knows again, this is best for her. “He is already involved with someone…pre-arranged by his parents…business,” he adds.
Sugar looks shocked and embarrassed, “He’s engaged?”
Rodney only nods, knowing his voice would crack if he said another word at the moment.
“Sugar Kowalczyk, you really are an idiot,” she berates herself.
“No,” Rodney tells her firmly, this time meeting her gaze. “You are a good woman, and deserve a good man,” he tells her, for he believes it. “The fact that what was to be one thing was regrettably turning into another is NOT your fault.”
Sugar looks grateful at Rodney, “Thank you.”
The distance from the yacht to the pier isn’t that great and soon, they are back where they were. Rodney secures the motorboat and helps Sugar out and walks up the steps with her, his eyes searching around as if looking for something.
“I can see myself back to the hotel,” Sugar tells Rodney, wanting the be alone in her misery.
“Nonsense,” Rodney replies, then his smile widens as he sees what he was looking for.
“Rodney,” a male’s voice calls out.
Sugar turns to see a short man, light brown hair, kind of messy, with round spectacles approaching. He was wearing a casual evening jacket and dark slacks, and she also noticed the strange accent as he spoke.
“Rodney…” the man began, but was quickly cut off.
“Ah, Miss Sugar, may I present Radek Zelenka, a dear friend of mine. “Radek,” Rodney said looking at his friend who’s eyes were growing wide at seeing the beautiful blond. “May I present Miss Sugar, lead singer of the talented Jazz band I told you about.”
“You sing Jazz?” Radek asked Sugar, a grin crossing his face.
“Yes,” Sugar smiles back.
“I have to get back,” Rodney interjects, “Radek, would you do me the favor and escort Miss Sugar back to the hotel it’s rather late.”
“Oh, I would be most honored,” Radek replies, his eyes only for Sugar. “I am fan of Jazz,” he tells her.
“You are?” Sugar asks, sounding a bit excited that someone shares her interest.
Radek extends his arm, “I would enjoy escorting you back, Miss Sugar,” he says.
Sugar gets a genuine smile on her face as she accepts Radek’s arm. “I’m Sugar Cain, though I changed it from, Sugar Kowalczyk,” she tells him, seeing no reason to lie about anything.
“Polish?” Radek asks with some excitement. “I myself am Czech…”
Rodney watches the couple wander away from the pier, a smug grin on his face. “Perhaps I should consider professional matchmaking,” he grins, looking like a little boy for a moment, then turns and hurries down to the boat and back to John, for his own plans are far from over this evening.
<b>ROADHOUSE – </b> Night
The chairs are stacked on the tables, and Osgood and Ford are the only couple on the floor now. Osgood, wearing the flower behind his ear, and massaging his behind with a tablecloth, is tangoing with wild abandon around Ford who is shaking maracas to the beat of the music. Suddenly he grabs Ford, bends him over in a dashing dip. They straighten up, dance a couple of steps, and now Ford returns the compliment - he almost breaks Osgood's spine with an even more dashing dip.
As for the Cuban musicians - Osgood has kept his word. They are all blindfolded.
<b>GALLEY of THE CALEDONIA – </b> (Later that same night.)
John was beyond furious now. He had spent who knows how long, banging and shouting to no avail, before he realized he was being stupid, and one thing he was NOT was stupid. He eyed the door and after a while of searching the kitchen, he took a butter knife and with some hard work, bent it in just the right way and set to work on the door.
It’s frustrating but soon he hears the click and is able to open the hatch, and slide the other part of the door aside and hurries onto the deck. He’s proud of himself and for a moment forgets to be angry. Then he recalls Sugar and drops the bent knife and hurries back to the Salon.
He hurries in about to apologize to Sugar about being away so long and only see Rodney, his jacket is hanging on the back of a chair, and the lights have been dimmed as classical music now plays in the background. “What…where’s Sugar?” John demands, forgoing the Cary Grant impersonation.
Rodney finishes his slice of pheasant and grins at John, “I took her back. Let her know you were…locked into something different and unable to return to her. Then…” Rodney grinned wider as he sipped some of the expensive champagne, “I told her that you liked her as a friend, but would never had thought of inviting her if you know something could possibly happen between you…being your involved with someone else.”
John is almost seeing red, “What? I’m not involved with anyone else, why you…” he moves forward ready to grab Rodney, but the man steps around keeping the table between them.
“Hey, I’m doing you and her a favor,” Rodney protests, but there is a twinkle in his eyes that show he’s not nearly as frighten as he’s making out to be at the moment.
“Favor…FAVOR…I’ll give you favor,” John growls as he begins his chase of Rodney around and around the table, McKay just managing to keep on the other side, his smile, irritating John to no end. “Where do you get off interfering in something that isn’t your business?” he shouts.
“Where do you get off LYING to that poor girl?” Rodney countered. “Where do you off thinking it’s okay to take advantage of the unique insight you’ve gained from being her ‘friend’ and using it to hurt her?”
John slowed down in his chase, but the chase around the table still continued. “It’s not like that,” John tried to protest, but his words sound weak, even to his own ears.
“Really? Rodney stops still across from John. He folds his arms over his chest and lifts his chin in defiance, “Then tell me, John…just HOW is it?”
John stopped too, trying to find an answer; even the ‘be-a-man’ voice was not loud enough to overcome the guilt he was suddenly feeling. “I liked her,” John said, again his voice weak, and he wasn’t looking at Rodney anymore.
Rodney moved around the table and stood next to John, his own anger gone, and reached out and lifted John’s chin so their eyes met. “You liked her as a friend, but something inside told you, you can’t be simply friends with her, because she’s a woman. Men are for friends, women for…sex. But the problem, John, is that you FEEL closer to men then woman in some ways, but have trouble with why?”
John looked into Rodney’s gorgeous blue eyes, stunned that Rodney was saying exactly what he’d been thinking and feeling for such a long time. “Do you know why?” he finally asked.
“Yes,” Rodney whispered and leaned in and kissed John once more.
Once again, John felt the fiery charge spring throughout his body upon the simple touch of Rodney’s lips. They were soft and firm, and they made his lips tingle with need of more. Then a tongue caressed his bottom lip, asking for entrance and without thinking, he opened his mouth and melted upon Rodney devouring him as if he were a delicacy.
John felt strong arms wrap around him, pulling him close to a firm, solid body, and he shivered at the feel, a mix of anticipation and fear, for he had never dared…yet he found he wanted this feeling. He wanted to be held like he was precious and desired; he couldn’t explain it, didn’t even try. He heard a passionate moan and then realized it had come from him. Slowly he pulled back, needing to grasp some air, as his head was spinning. “Um…” was all John could say.
Rodney smiled, pleased by the dazed look on John’s face. He led John to the couch, which was now covered with what could be a blanket or large afghan, and sat John down toward the left of the couch and Rodney on the right, still caressing his face. “Men can be for sex…if it’s with the right man,” Rodney whispers and leans in and kisses John again, and is met with a passionate response from John.
John has never felt anything like this before. It’s wild, passionate, and deep and so many things he can not even begin to name, nor does he want to even try at the moment. His body his burning in a way it’s never felt before and just from a kiss from Rodney McKay. He wraps his arms around Rodney’s neck, his own mouth dueling with Rodney’s in a passionate battle, that John finds he could care less if he wins or loses, though in the end, he relents and let Rodney control the kiss and take over.
The next thing he knows, he’s in the same exact position he was with Sugar, on his back, but with Rodney kneeling between his legs, his mouth moving down his jaw to his neck, like fire caressing his skin. “Oh yes,” he moans, not able to deny how wonderful that feels.
“Let me, John,” Rodney whispers. “Let me show you what you need?” Rodney whispers in John’s ear, licking and nipping the shell.
John is on fire, feeling the heat that is Rodney McKay above him, to the side of him and he wants to be engulfed in it. “Yes,” he moans in delight, his legs instinctively wrapping around Rodney’s legs, pulling the man closer to him. He can’t think, only feel…feel what he’s never felt before…real desire. “Oh, yes, please.”
That was all Rodney needed, then slowly he began to undo John’s shirt, intents on removing all of John’s cloths before he removes his own. He grins in delight to see how hairy John is, for he loves the feel on his own skin. He rubs the palm of his left hand up and down John’s firm muscular chest, paying attention to his left nipple. He’s pleased by the reaction of John arching his back into the sensation. “No one ever done that before?” he whispers in John’s ear. “No one ever play with your nipples, tweak them?” he asked just as he pinched John’s left nipple and grinned even more seeing John gasp in delight.
John was panting heavily already, he was on fire, and his cock was harder than he could recall in a long time. Rodney’s voice stimulated him like no one ever had. No woman he knew would talk the way he did. No woman he knew would touch him with such…force and determination. He had always been the aggressor, but now, he was being taken and he couldn’t help but admit he loved it. “More,” was all he could manage in between pants for air.
“I’ll give you more, John. I’ll give you what woman ever could,” Rodney said, his voice low and husky.
John shivered with delight at hearing Rodney’s voice, and saw his blue eyes were growing dark with arousal and found the thought that it was for him very pleasing indeed. “Show me,” John replied and pulled Rodney down into a deep passionate kiss.
Rodney grinned into the kiss and leaned up to remove his own shirt, then the rest of John’s jacket and shirt, tossing it aside. He knew that by sunrise, John Sheppard would not only be his, but he’d no longer be a virgin, for he had every intentions of deflowering this sexy man and claim him…forever. [Insert NC-17 sex additions here]
<b>YACHT AT ANCHOR -</b> Dawn.
The sun is on the horizon as John and Rodney make their way back to shore via the motorboat. John has his head resting on Rodney’s shoulder, looking very dreamy, as is Rodney, who is just managing to drive the motorboat in a straight line.
Once there, Rodney ties up the boat and wanders up the steps and up the pier, Rodney spotting Osgood stumbling toward them. They both exchange a quick nod, that looks very polite and casual, as Osgood continues to the steps and Rodney and John, holding hands, aware there is no one around that really matters, continue toward the hotel.
Rodney looks over his shoulder and sees Osgood manage his motorboat easily and head back to his yacht, and then Rodney’s full attention is on the man next to him. He walks John to the steps of the hotel, but John pulls him aside, to the banister and column he’ll have to climb to get back to his room. “I have to take the stairs,” John grins, feeling a bit bashful and giddy. He’s never felt so wonderful in his life as he does this moment.
Rodney looks up and chuckles, “be careful,” he says, and with a quick look to be sure they’re alone, leans in and kisses John’s lips tenderly, lovingly. “I’m on the top floor, number four…perhaps I could ask Johanna up or out later today?” he grins playfully.
“Do that,” John says, not wanting the night to end, but he’ll need some rest if he’s gong to have any time tomorrow to be with Rodney much less perform tonight. He steps back moving toward the railing, when an arm gently but firmly lays upon his arm. He looks to see the concern and affection in Rodney’s eyes.
“Take a hot soak, it’ll help,” Rodney says, though his eyes are saying ‘please, be careful.”
“I will,” John replies to both the spoken and unspoken question and then shimmies up the column with grace of a dancer and acrobat, which brings a huge smile to Rodney’s face. Rodney turns and begins to whistle as he makes his way into the hotel, feeling on top of the world and wondering just how he could thank his doctor for such fine medical advice as taking this vacation.
<b>ROOM 413 -</b> Dawn
Ford, still in his evening gown, is stretched out on his bed, gaily singing La Cumparsita and accompanying himself with a pair of maracas. John appears over the railing of the balcony, steps through the window into the room, looking like he just won the Irish Lottery and more.
“Hi, Ford,” John greets his friend exuberantly. “Everything under control?”
Ford is grinning ear to ear, “ Have I got things to tell you!”
John’s curious, and shares his own smile with his friend, “What happened?”
Ford leans up onto his elbows and beams at John, “I'm engaged.”
John is genuinely happy for his friend, “Congratulations. Who's the lucky girl?”
Ford plops back into the bed, though his smile is so bright, he could be floating. “I am.”
John’s eyes go wide, “What?”
Ford is still shaking his maracas, brimming over with joy. “Osgood proposed to me. We're planning a June wedding.”
John is stunned and looks at Aiden if he’s lost it. “What are you talking about? You can’t marry Osgood.”
Ford gets up, looking at John with a bit of concern, “You think he’s too old for me?”
“Ford! You can't be serious!” John replies, not able to fathom what’s going through his friend’s head.
“Why not? He keeps marrying girls all the time!” Ford pouts.
John blinks at his friend a few times, “But you're not a girl. You're a guy! And why would a guy want to marry a guy?” he asks without really thinking about his own feelings not only moments ago.
Ford thinks for half a second, “Security?”
John mentally agrees, then thinks of the hot sexy and wonderful companionship…then shakes it off. “Ford, you'd better lie down. You're not doing well.”
Ford steps away from John looking irritated. “Look, stop treating me like a child. I'm not stupid. I know there's a problem.”
“I'll say there is!”
Ford sticks his tongue out at John, the crosses his arms over his padded chest, still holding the maracas. “His mother - we need her approval. But I'm not worried - because I don't smoke.”
John shakes his head, wondering if everyone has lost their senses, as he was sure of it. Not that long ago, he was thinking crazy thoughts now Ford was and he couldn’t let that happen, the kid was just too naive at times. “Ford - there's another problem.”
“Like what?” Aiden asked, eyes narrowing at John, wondering why his friend isn’t happy for him.
“Like…” John wonders if Aiden really has thought about all this, and decides to see. “…What are you going to do on your honeymoon?” he asked, hoping the question would pose the obvious.
“We've been discussing that. He wants to go to the Riviera - but I sort of lean toward Niagara Falls,” Ford tells John, looking in deep thought and wondering what John might have to say on the matter.
Okay, now John knows Ford has lost it. “You're out of your mind! How can you get away with this?”
Ford sighs as if John is a child, “Oh, I don't expect it to last. I'll tell him the truth when the time comes.”
John folds his arms across his chest, “Like when?”
Ford grins knowingly, “Like right after the ceremony.”
“Oh,” John says as if it makes perfect sense.
“Then we'll get a quick annulment - he'll make a nice settlement on me - I'll have those alimony checks coming in every month…” Ford says, shaking his maracas to the beat of his joy.
John shakes his head, “Ford, listen to me – there are laws – conventions – it’s just not being done!”
Ford beams knowingly, “But John - this may be my last chance to marry a millionaire! Plus, its perfectly viable in Canada…they’re not as backwards as we are…”
John’s eyes go wide again, unbelieving that Ford is talking about marrying a guy, as he’s never seemed the type; then again, no one would have pegged him for wanting to have sex with a man…well, specifically Rodney McKay. “They are?” he gasps, stunned and not sure what to think. Then he decides that Ford isn’t thinking clear, there is no way the kid understands what he’s talking about. “Look, Ford - take my advice – forget the whole thing - just keep telling yourself you're a boy!” It doesn’t take long to see in his friend’s eyes that he wasn’t thinking the situation out after all.
“I'm a boy - I'm a boy - I wish I were dead - I'm a boy - I'm a boy …” Ford removes his wig and slaps it down on the nearby desk. “What am I going to do about my engagement present?”
“What engagement present?” John asks, arching a brow.
Ford picks up a jewel box, opens it, then hands it to John. “He gave me this bracelet.”
John takes Bienstock's glasses out of his pocket, examines the bracelet through one of the lenses. “Hey - these are real diamonds.” John whistles, impressed.
Ford takes his bracelet back in a huff. “Naturally. You think my fiancé is a bum? Now I guess I'll have to give it back.” He looks sad as he seems to rather like the bracelet.
“Wait a minute - lets not be hasty. After all, we don't want to hurt poor Osgood's feelings,” John replies, dollar signs in his eyes.
There is a knock on the door startling both Ford and John. “Just a minute,” John calls out in his girl voice. Then they both grab their wigs and slap them on. John dives into bed, pulling the covers up to his chin since he doesn’t have time to change.
“It’s me – Sugar,” the voice calls out.
John sees that Ford is ready and then calls out, “come in.”
Sugar, in a negligee, comes in - or rather, floats in. “I thought I heard voices - and I just had to talk to somebody. I don't feel like going to sleep.”
“I know what you need - a slug of bourbon,” Ford says and moves to the bureau drawer and takes out the hot-water bottle.
“Oh, no. I’m off that stuff for good,” Sugar tells them, grinning ear to ear.
Did you have a nice time?” John asks, feeling a bit puzzled, because according to Rodney, he sent her home hours ago.
“Nice?” Sugar beams as if she’s floating on a cloud, then sighs. “Well, at first it was absolutely wonderful, but then…”
“Did he get fresh?” Ford asked, hands on his hips, practically glaring at John.
Sugar laughs, “No, Radek is a true gentleman,” Sugar sighs with delight, taking a seat on the empty bed.
“RADEK?” John and Ford ask.
“Who…” John remembers his girl voice, “Who is Radek I thought you were with…Shell Oil?”
“Oh, I was,” Sugar replies, coming back to Earth. “He was very charming, and his yacht was elegant, but…” she sighs, “He’s involved with someone else.”
“That dirty rat,” Ford snaps.
“No, no, it’s not like that,” Sugar protests immediately. “Rodney explained it all to me.”
“Rodney? I thought you said the name was Radek?” Ford asked, seeming confused.
Sugar laughs, “Radek is a true sweetie, and Rodney is Shell Oil’s man’s…man, I think he put it.”
“Man’s man?” Ford asks, looking at John for explanation, and wonders about the flush upon his face and why his friend won’t meet his eyes. “I don’t get it?”
Sugar gives an understanding look to her friend. “It seems that Junior has a problem, and didn’t think I would be able to…affect him. If he had, he wouldn’t have invited me, as he’s already engaged to some one…an arranged marriage.”
John is torn between being angry and glad that Rodney handled the matter with Sugar, but he’s still confused about some things. “So, who is Radek?”
“Yeah, who is this Radek?” Ford asks.
Sugar beams, “He’s this really nice man Rodney introduced me too on my way back to the hotel. He walked me back and we talked…it was so easy. He asked me if I wanted to join him for a cup of coffee…”
“Coffee?” John asked, really feeling out of sorts hearing this.
“Yes, and we sat downstairs and drank coffee and talked and talked…his parents were immigrants from the Czech Republic, still under Russian rule. They were tailors, that worked hard to send him to school…he is so smart…” Sugar grinned.
“Not as smart as Rodney, I bet,” John muttered under his breath, feeling possessive over his lover.
“What?” Sugar asked.
John wanting to cover up his slip, “Teyla got a proposal tonight.”
“Really?” Sugar beamed with true joy for her friend.
“From a rich millionaire,” John added.
“That’s wonderful,” Sugar grinned, then suddenly looking sad as she turns to look at John, “Poor Johanna.”
“Me?” John asks, feeling startled by such a reaction.
“Yes, Teyla has a beau - I have a beau - if we could only find somebody for you,” Sugar tells her.
Before John can say he’s got someone, as Rodney was more than willing to play Johanna’s beau, the door opens, and in strides the fresh Bellhop, gin bottle in one hand and the passkey in the other. “Here I am, doll!”
John decides to let this all go and slinks under the covers, wanting the punk to get lost along with everyone else, for the sun is up and he wants to sleep so he can begin a new day with his lover…Rodney.
****End of Chapter Eight****
Some Like it Cold Chapter 7|
John is pedaling desperately to get to the pier with time to spare in order to find the right motor boat before Sugar arrives, oblivious of the earrings dangling incongruously from his ear lobes. He practically leaps from the bike, letting it settle off to the side somewhere and climbs down the wooden ladder, to the landing where there are about a dozen motorboats are tied up to the pier. John is trying to remain calm as he looks them all over, wondering which one is Mr. Fielding’s III.
“You know…those earrings clash with that suit.”
John spins around at the unexpected voice and is stunned to see Rodney McKay standing there, having probably been standing the shadows, as reason he didn’t notice him. “McKay?” he gasped in a mix of horror and to some small degree glee, as something inside him liked the man. “What are you doing here and what did you say?” John demanded, not needing this complication at this stage of the game.
Rodney found he loved knowing things other people didn’t know. It made him feel superior, and he also knew it was one of his many flaws, but at the moment, he couldn’t help the smug smile on his face. “Why, I’m here to help you,” he grinned, feeling no guilt what so ever as both of the players started it with their own lies, dragging him in by default; besides, Rodney loved games and challenges and this ‘Junior’ was proving to be an excellent one. “And I said, those EARRINGS clash with that suit,” he told ‘Junior’ again.
John reached up and silently gasped at feeling the long dangling earrings and pulled them off immediacy, glad they were merely clip-on. “Thank you,” he said quickly, “but I can handle this,” he said evenly.
“Oh, looks to me like you’re a bit lost, and do you even know which boat to drive…better still, do you know HOW to drive one of these boats?” Rodney asked, his eyes drifting upward at the sound of heels hitting the wood of the pier. “Seems we’ve run out of time to discuss this, your date is here,” he grinned moving over to the motorboat that is marked Caledonia. “You better let her know you’re here…unless you plan to cancel?” he asked, not sure if he wants the man to do so or not.
John is torn between canceling and telling McKay what for, and going along, especially it’s not every night you get a chance to play millionaire on a real yacht. “Fine, but you better behave or else,” he threatened.
Rodney grinned, “I always behave,” he replies, then under his breath, “just not always well with others.”
John looks up and sees Sugar looking disheartened, probably thinking she got stood up. “Ahoy there!” he calls up.
Sugar turns, her face lighting up. “Ahoy!”
She hurries down the steps toward him.
John suddenly remembers his glasses. He takes them out of his pocket, puts them on not a second too soon, for Sugar has just about reached him. He sees McKay move over and offer Sugar a hand.
“Madam,” Rodney says in a very proper tone.
Sugar looks a bit bewildered seeing Shell Oil and another man. “Oh, um…thank you,” she replies, appreciating the hand down the steps.
“My name is Rodney, Madam, I am Sir’s…man’s man,” Rodney tells Sugar, and being a bit more bold than a real man’s man, places a slight kiss on the back of her hand. Sugar giggles a bit as she watches Rodney give a slight bow and moves over to the motorboat, and waits for them.
“Wow,” Sugar says, then turns her attention back to Shell Oil. “Oh, have you been waiting long?” she asked, knowing their last number went over a bit.
John, now back to using his false Carry Grant accent, “It's not how long you wait - it's who you're waiting for,” he tells her.
Rodney groans softly, but it’s loud enough John hears it. “Something wrong, Rodney?” he asks his ‘man’s man’.
“No…Sir, just a little something caught in my throat,” Rodney replies properly, struggling to keep a straight face; this was so much more fun than poker, which he was lousy at.
“Then perhaps you should keep your mouth closed,” John tells him, trying to sound casual about it. He then leads Sugar over to the motorboat, where both Rodney and himself help her into the back seat, then Rodney helps John in, and for a long few seconds, John is taken by the contact of Rodney’s hand on his own.
“Thank you. And thank you for the flowers,” Sugar says, snapping John out of his moment.
John takes a seat next to her as Rodney unties the boat. “I wanted them to fly down some orchids from our greenhouse but all of Long Island is fogged in,” he tells her, but part of his attention is on the other man, trying to figure out his game and how it applies to what was happening tonight…or so he was telling himself.
“It's the thought that counts,” Sugar tells him.
Rodney has taken a seat in the front and turns to look behind him, “Are you ready…Sir?” he asks, a small knowing grin on his face.
“Yes…yes,” John says, not sure what else to say. He’s also wondering how Rodney would know where they were going in the first place, but those are questions for later.
“Very good…Sir,” Rodney replies, turning and facing forward, unable to keep the smug smile off his face as he starts the motorboat and starts heading to the New Caledonia.
The trip to the yacht is full of small talk between Sugar and John aka Shell Oil, as Rodney drives at an easy pace. It’s not long before he pulls along side the landing ladder and secures the motorboat before stepping off the boat to help Sugar out, then helps John out of the boat as well.
“Well, it was nice meeting you,” Sugar says, believing Rodney will now be departing, hoping to be alone with her rich heir.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you as well, Madam,” Rodney replies, knowingly misconceives Sugar’s words. “If you follow me…” he begins
“I thought we were going to be alone?” Sugar whispers to John, but the night is quiet and her words carry and Rodney hears them and responds before John can.
“Madam, I am a man’s man, I am like a shadow, I see nothing, hear nothing, yet always here to serve,” Rodney tells her, almost convinced himself he’s of such an occupation, he momentarily reconsiders that offer to do theater many years ago.
“Yeah, Rodney, you’re such a hard worker, why don’t you take the night off,” John offers in his fake accent, hoping to pressure McKay into leaving.
“With the rest of the crew ashore, I wouldn’t dream of it…Sir,” Rodney replies, a little curl of his crooked mouth as he turned. “This way if you please,” he adds and walks up the landing ladder to the deck.
John is steamed as well as impressed, but refrained from further thought in the matter and escorted Sugar aboard, where he saw her gazing around starry-eyed and knew he had this in the gag.
“This way,” Rodney said and started leading them down the side of the yacht, keeping his ears peeled to the conversation behind him.
“It looked so small from the beach - but when you're on it, it's more like a cruiser - or a destroyer,” Sugar gasps, stopping to take in the view.
“Just regulation size. We have three like this,” John tells her.
“Three?” Sugar replies, sounding impressed.
“Mother keeps hers in Southampton – and Dad took his to Venezuela - the company is laying a new pipe line,” he tells Sugar, to impress her more. He sees Rodney roll his eyes and refrains from sticking his tongue out at the man, who must be jealous…though helping him like this was a weird way of showing it.
Sugar not wanting to let on to her humble beginnings this quick, “My dad is more interested in railroads. Baltimore and Ohio. Which is the port and which is the starboard?”
John has never been on a boat before and knows little about them. He looks over at Rodney who seems to signal something, but he’s not getting it, so flies with his gut, sure that Sugar won’t know he’s lying. “Well, that depends - on whether you're coming or going - I mean, normally the aft is on the other side of the stern – and that's the bridge - so you can get from one side of the boat to the other - how about a glass of champagne?” John is sure he hears another groan from his unexpected ‘help’.
“Love it,” Sugar beams.
“Here we are…Sir,” Rodney says, opening a door for both Sugar and ‘Junior’.
John wants to smack Rodney for he’s finally picked up on the sarcasm in Rodney’s tone every time he says Sir, but settles for glaring at him as Sugar walks into the salon.
“Remind me to never let you navigate,” Rodney whispers to John as he goes passed.
It's a very elegant layout - mahogany paneling, shelves of trophies, a stuffed marlin on the wall, a luxurious couch with a table for two set up beside it. On the table are lit candles, cold pheasant under glass, and champagne in a silver ice bucket.
John and Sugar come in, and as John takes his cap off, Sugar looks around, dazzled. Rodney has moved to begin setting things up, casually moving to the intercom and switching it on, then shifting a pillow so it won’t be seen by the cabin’s occupants.
“It's exquisite - like a floating mansion,” Sugar says in awe.
John shrugs, trying hard not to show how impressed he, himself is. “It's all right for a bachelor.”
Sugar is turning slowly, eyeing the place and stops when she sees a large stuffed marlin hanging on the wall. “What a beautiful fish.”
John looks and is surprised to see the fish, but quickly recaptures his composure, “Caught him off CapeHatteras.”
“What is it?” Sugar asks, having never seen such a fish before.
“Oh - a member of the herring family,” John replies and turns when he hears Rodney choking on his laughter. He give the man a glare over Sugar’s shoulder, for she is too busy staring at the ‘herring’ on the wall.
“A herring? Isn't it amazing how they get those big fish into those little glass jars?” She asks, really surprised at the large fish on the wall being a herring.
“They shrink when they're marinated,” John tells her, and Rodney seems to lose it, and hides his laugh with a coughing fit. “You REALLY should take care of that, Rodney,” John glares.
“Of course…Sir…Once I finish serving the champagne,” Rodney replies and presents a glass to both ‘Junior’ and Sugar. Sugar takes a sip as he pulls out a chair at the table for her to sit.
“Thank you,” she smiles, “this is delicious.”
“You’re welcome, Madam, nothing but the best for, Sir,” Rodney replies with a bit of cheekiness in his voice, which Sugar misses completely. He then pulls out a chair for ‘Junior’ “Real winner you have here,” he whispers to him as ‘Junior’ seats himself. Before ‘Junior’ can reply, he stands up. “I’ll be in the kitchen if you need anything…Sir, just…ring,” he announces, then gives a slight bow to Sugar and departs.
John is glad McKay has left, but can’t help but wonder what he’s up too at the same time, but with Sugar here, he has to put his thoughts about the man off until later. “How about a toast?” he says, still holding his own glass of champagne from moments ago and raises it to her. “Down the hatch - as we say at sea.”
“Bon voyage,” Sugar replies, and sips her drink. Then she glances at the shelves behind Shell Oil and sees the many trophies. “Look at all that silverware.”
John looks and sees the many trophies too and wonders how an old geezer like Osgood got them, but gives a casual smile to Sugar to cover his own thoughts. “Trophies. You know - skeet-shooing, dog-breeding, water polo...”
“Water polo - isn't that terribly dangerous?”
“I'll say. I had two ponies drowned under me,” John says straight-faced, not having a clue to what he’s really saying. Then he thinks he hears something dropping, but Sugar seems oblivious and he wonders momentarily if he’s just hearing things.
“Where's your shell collection?” Sugar asks, hoping to keep the conversation going.
“Yea, of course. Now where could they have put it?” John replies and gets up and starts looking around, even going so far as to look under the couch. “On Thursdays, I'm sort of lost around here.”
“What's on Thursdays?”
John thinks fast, “Oh, as I mentioned before, it's the crews' night off,” he smiles.
Sugar seems to have finally grasp that concept and her eyes widen a little, “You mean we're alone on the boat? Except for Rodney?”
“Completely….except for Rodney. But as he said, he’s a shadow, a big…annoying…shadow,” John tells her with a phony smile.
Sugar decides to play a bit coy, as she doesn’t want to come off too un-lady-like. “You know, I've never been completely alone with a man before - in the middle of the night - in the middle of the ocean.”
John gives her words a wave as if brushing them aside, “Oh, it's perfectly safe. We're well anchored - the ship is in shipshape - and the Coast Guard promised to call me if there are any icebergs around.” He casually takes a seat on the couch, hoping she’ll come join him.
“It's not the icebergs. But there are certain men who would try to take advantage of a situation like this,” she tells him, flittering her eyelashes, while trying to look innocent.
John chuckles, “You're flattering me.”
“Well, of course, I'm sure you're a gentleman,” Sugar says quickly.
“Oh, it's not that. It's just that I'm – harmless,” John tells her, having thought up this little bit last night.
Sugar looks puzzled and gets up and walks over to him, “Harmless - how?”
“Well, I don't know how to put it – but I have this thing about girls,” he says, taking a quick look to see how Sugar is reacting and is pleased, as she looks curious.
John just shrugs, “They just sort of leave me cold,” he tells her, hoping she’s the type that likes a challenge.
“You mean - like frigid?” Sugar asked, wondering if she’s barking up the wrong tree, for she’d heard about men like that; never met one, but had heard.
John shakes his head, “It's more like a mental block. When I'm with girls, it does nothing to me,” which sadly was partially the truth. He had to work at it to get aroused and didn’t really see all the fuss most other men made over them. But they liked him and they were easy to work, as he was discovering, so went for it…he chose not to think too much beyond that point, for that little voice inside told him to be a man and shut up it, so he was.
Sugar plopped down next to him, shocked. “Have you tried?”
John chuckles, “Have I? I'm trying all the time.” He casually puts his arms around her, kisses her on the lips, let’s go of her again. Her lips were softer than most of the other women and he believed he could enjoy this once it got going, but kept his focus as he sighed as if disappointed. “See? Nothing.”
Sugar is disappointed, “Nothing at all?”
John just looks at her with a to be expected look, “Complete washout.”
“That makes me feel just awful,” Sugar tells him.
“Oh, it’s not your fault,” he pats her on the shoulder just before getting up and going back across to the dinning table. “It's just that every now and then Mother Nature throws somebody a dirty curve. Something goes wrong inside.”
Sugar looks aghast. “You mean you can't fall in love?”
John picks up a plate from the table, “ Not anymore. I was in love once – but I'd rather not talk about it.” He then takes off the glass cover off the meat. “How about a little cold pheasant?”
“What happened?” Sugar asks, getting up and moving to the table, really concerned for Shell Oil.
“I don't want to bore you,” John tells her as he begins to place some pheasant on the plate.
“Oh, you couldn't possibly,” she tells him sincerely.
“Well…” John says, his mind racing a mile a minute, recalling the details he’d settled on last night. “it was my freshman year at Princeton - there was this girl – her name was Nellie - her father was vice-president of Hupmobile - she wore glasses, too. That summer we spent our vacation at the Grand Canyon - we were standing on the highest ledge, watching the sunset - suddenly we had an impulse to kiss - I took off my glasses – she took off her glasses - I took a step toward her - she took a step toward me…”
Sugar covered her mouth as she gasped. “Oh, no!”
John shook his head as he placed some side dishes on his own plate. “Yes. Eight hours later they brought her up by mule - I gave her three transfusions - we had the same blood type - Type O - it was too late.”
Sugar moves over next to him, “Talk about sad.”
“Ever since then…” he takes his free hand and gently pounds his chest over his heart, “numb - no feelings. Like my heart was shot full of Novocain.”
Sugar is eating this up and blinks back a slight tear, “You poor, poor boy.”
John is into his spiel, he’s not really paying attention to Sugar as he gathers more food for their plates. “Yes - all the money in the world – but what good is it?” He then looks up holding out the serving plate, “Mint sauce or cranberries?” he asks, awfully casually.
Sugar looks a bit offended on his behalf, “How can you think about food at a time like this?”
John shrugs, “What else is there for me?” he says, then tears off some of the pheasant and begins to eat.
“Is it that hopeless?” Sugar asks, really feeling bad for Shell Oil.
John has moved with pheasant in mouth back to the couch, plate on the coffee table near by, and continues to eat. “My family did everything they could - hired the most beautiful French upstairs maids - got a special tutor to read me all the books that were banned in Boston - imported a whole troupe of Balinese dancers with bells on their ankles and those long fingernails - what a waste of money!” he says, waving his hand in disgust, then takes a napkin and cleans his hands and takes a sip of champagne.
Sugar takes a seat next to him again, looking concerned, “Have you ever tried American girls?”
“Why?” John asks, knowing full well why she asked and soon she is kissing him, pretty good, but nothing spectacular, he’s really had better, but he’s not going to tell her that.
“Is that anything?” She asks hopefully.
John shakes his head, “Thanks just the same.” He resumes nibbling on the pheasant leg.
Sugar frowns, “Maybe if you saw a good doctor...”
“I have. Spent six months in Vienna with Professor Freud - flat on my back…” he shifts so he can stretch out a bit, still eating, as Sugar as gotten to her feet, seeming truly concerned for him. “- then there were the Mayo Brothers - and injections and hypnosis and mineral baths - if I weren't such a coward, I'd kill myself.”
“Don't talk like that. I'm sure there must be some girl some place that could…” Sugar replies, not having noticed how casual John delivered that last line about harming himself.
“If I ever found a girl that could - I'd marry her like that,” he said and snapped is fingers. He also saw the word marriage snapped something inside Sugar too as she came to stand very close to the couch once again.
“Would you do me a favor?” Sugar asked sweetly.
“What is it?” John asked, hoping he knew just what it was she was going to ask, and placed the rest of his food down and wiped his hands and mouth off with a napkin.
“I may not be Dr. Freud or a Mayo Brother or one of those French upstairs girls - but could I take another crack at it?”
“All right – if you insist,” John replied as blasé as possible.
She bends over him, gives him a kiss of slightly higher voltage. “Anything this time?”
John liked her enthusiasm, but it wasn’t that difficult to keep his libido at bay, though he was convinced it was just self-discipline. “I'm afraid not. Terribly sorry.”
Sugar is undaunted in her quest, “Would you like a little more champagne?” she asks him, thinking he just needs to loosen up, and pours him a glass. “And maybe if we had some music…” she said as she got up, “how do you dim these light?” she asked, wanting to set the right mood.
Setting the mood was good for John, he could relax, get into the rhythm he’d need to enjoy his conquest, but he couldn’t make it look that easy, for Sugar was going for the bait like a gambler after an empty chair at a high stakes table. “Look, it's terribly sweet of you to want to help out - but it's no use.” He points near the door, “I think the light switch is over there…” Sugar dims the lights, “And that’s the radio,” he tells her, and watches as Sugar switches it on. “It's like taking somebody to a concert when he's tone deaf.” He then watches as Sugar slinks over to him and sits on the edge of the couch, and leans in, fully intent of giving it all she’s got, and John finds he’s hopeful that she’s got more to deliver than what he’s sampled so far. It wasn’t that Sugar wasn’t sweet or hot, but something just wasn’t clicking.
Sugar’s lips are once again on his, pressing for all she’s worth and he’s just about to wrap his arms around her, willing to take things to the next level, when the lights spring back on, and both him and Sugar leap up like a couple of teenagers being caught by their parents.
“Rodney!” John whines, forgetting his Carry Grant accent, but thankfully Sugar is too startled to notice.
“My apologies…Sir,” Rodney states, but looks anything but apologetic. “You know I wouldn’t dream of disturbing you at this hour, but…Mother is on line,” he tells ‘Junior’. Knowing what the man’s reply would be, he looks quickly at Sugar, “No one puts Mother on hold, Madam, it’s simply not done,” he tells her, knowing she’d support this, as she’s been trying to ‘fit in’ all evening.
“Oh, of course I understand,” Sugar replies, trying to gather her composure.
John looks could have killed Rodney, but he couldn’t blow it off now, could he? “Perhaps MOTHER will understand…” he begins.
“Oh, no,” Sugar replies, as if John’s words are scandalous. “One never puts off Mother, it would be unheard of,” she adds, sounding just like Rodney moments ago; especially if this woman might be her mother-in-law, she didn’t want this to be cause for getting on the wrong foot with her. “It’s okay,” she smiles, giving John a warm grin.
“This way…Sir…” Rodney states and steps aside waiting for ‘Junior’ to exit before him, then closes the door.
Once outside, John glares at Rodney, “What’s the big idea?” he growls in a hushed normal voice.
Rodney just turns and heads farther forward, knowing ‘Junior’ is following. Rodney takes a right and then goes down a few steps into the galley, where there is some food laid out, someone having been eating not that long ago. “You are a real piece of work, you know that right?” Rodney says, looking with great disapproval at the man that just entered behind him. Rodney turns and folds his arms across his chest. “I’ve been wondering why a good looking guy such as yourself has to go to such extremes to get laid, and I think I finally figured it out…you’re a JERK!”
“And believe me, when I say, coming from me, that’s not saying a great deal from you,” McKay growls, for he knows what a jerk he can be. “I mean, really, she was already yours the moment you got her on board, why the elaborate lies, and some not even very good ones…I mean, I’m a terrible liar and I can do better than…dead girlfriend can’t get it up…”
John’s totally ticked off now, “Well, perhaps you should use it and get laid more, then you can butt OUT of other peoples affairs!”
“Affairs...if this WAS an affair and not a pack of lousy lies, I’d be glad to but OUT, but it’s …it’s despicable. Yes, I know, she’s lying to you too, but she’s putting herself on the line for you and what are you going to do once you get the ‘gold’? Hmm?”
John folds his arms over his chest defensively, “I don’t need to explain myself to you, McKay. What the hell are you doing here anyway? This isn’t any of your damn business.”
Rodney takes a step toward ‘Junior’ and glares, “I’m making it my business…JUNIOR! Speaking of which, what IS your real name anyway. I know Sugar’s and you know mine…?”
“I don’t have to tell you anything?” John replies, feeling a bit childish at the moment, for McKay was getting to close to things John would rather leave well enough alone.
“Fine, I’ll just call the REAL owner of this yacht home, and let the two of you hash it out in front of Sugar, and of course, I WON’T be backing YOU! And if that’s not enough, I wonder how Sweet Sue, will feel about having two MEN in her group, dressed as woman?” He smirks.
John looks aghast, “How did…? I…” he closes his mouth, knowing Rodney has one, two over him and if not for Aiden, he was tempted to call Rodney’s bluff. But he wasn’t ready to leave just yet or leave Ford hanging, for though he had been a jerk to the man a few times…a lot over the last year, the man was still his best friend. “Fine. It’s John Sheppard, nice to meet you. Now what?”
“Now you tell me why you are doing this?” Rodney demands, folding his own arms over his broad chest, having removed his black jacket awhile ago.
“I told you, McKay, it’s none of your business,” John shot back.
Rodney glared at John, “You hate her that much?” he asked.
John’s eyes shot open wide, “Hate? I don’t HATE Sugar, she’s a nice girl,” he snapped back.
“Then WHY are you hurting this way?” Rodney demanded. He watched John’s face as it reflected a tirade of emotions, then closing down once settled upon an answer.
“That’s just how it’s done,” John finally replies.
Rodney had watched, listened and now believed he knew what the real problem was with one John Sheppard. He gave an appraising gaze over John’s long lean body and felt it was his duty to help the man out. “I know what your problem is,” he said knowingly.
“Oh yeah, what?” John challenged, for he’d really like to know himself.
Rodney took a step forward, grabbed John’s arm and pulled him toward him so fast, John was caught off balance, and before John knew what was happening he has hot soft lips pressing against his own, then he was being dipped as the kiss deepened.
John was torn between pushing Rodney away and wrapping his arms around the strong broad shoulders, for as kisses went, this one was like lighting sparking through his body, sending shockwaves to places he’d only ever felt slight tremors before. Then suddenly he was back on his feet and his head was spinning and his heart was thumping like never before.
“The problem is, John, is that you need a man,” Rodney told him knowingly, then turned to get something, leaving John to gather his senses.
John swallowed hard, for that had been the most amazing kiss, but upon hearing Rodney’s words, grew angry, for he was a man, and men liked women, that’s just the way it was. “This is…nonsense,” he told Rodney, wiping his lips with the back of his hand, noticing how his lips still tingled.
Rodney had grabbed a bottle, then placed it into a bucket of ice and then handed it over to a still dazed John Sheppard. “If you say so, John,” he practically purred at him.
“Ah…what’s this?” John asked, really feeling confused and he most definitely did NOT like that feeling at all.
“Raspberry champagne, she’ll love it, trust me,” Rodney grinned, and then turned John around and gently shoved him out of the galley with a slight push toward Sugar, a mischievous grin on his face, which Sheppard never saw as he made his way back to the salon. “I’ve got your number now, John Sheppard,” Rodney said to himself, as he mentally began planning his next strike.
****End of Chapter Seven****
Some Like it Cold Chapter 6|
Ford, holding Sugar by the hand, comes running down the corridor from the elevator. He flings open the door of 413, pulls Sugar inside, and then stops breathlessly, as they look around what appears to be an empty room. “Johanna …”
Sugar gasps for breath, still grinning ear to ear, “I guess she's not in here.”
“That's funny. Johanna …” he looks around with a slight mocking smile, as he knows John isn’t here. He sees Johanna’s dress on a hanger and gets a smug look on his face. “can't imagine where she can be.”
“Well, I'll come back later,” Sugar replies, a bit disappointed that Johanna isn’t there for her to share her good news.
Ford is too excited of seeing John get his comeuppance that he won’t let this chance fly by without a fight. “No, no, Sugar - wait. I have a feeling she's going to show up any minute.” He gently pulls Sugar so they’re both sitting on the bed with a front view of both the window and the door.
Sugar is relieved to be sitting and chuckles as she’s happy. “Believe it or not - Johanna predicted the whole thing.”
Ford places on a fake smile, wondering how long he has to wait for John to make his appearance and get caught out. “Yeah. This is one for Ripley.”
Sugar stretches, and is anxious to share her good fortune, and wonders where her other new best friend is, “Do you suppose she went out shopping?”
Ford can’t hide his smug smile as he gets up from the bed and goes to the front door, “That's it. Something tells me she's going to walk through that door in a whole new outfit,” he tells her and opens the door to peer out, expecting John to show up in the yachting outfit. At the same time through the partly open door of the bathroom, comes Johanna’s voice, singing Running Wild, that they practiced on the train in from Chicago.
Ford does a double-take. Sugar starts toward the bathroom door and opens it. Ford follows her, incredulously. In the bathroom, John with his wig on, is lying languidly in the tub taking a bubble-bath, up to his neck in white foam, and Ford is flabbergasted at how he got there.
“Johanna !” Sugar grins.
John plays startled, “Oh, I didn't hear you come in.”
Ford looks back toward the windows, trying to figure out how John got in, much less beat them to the hotel. He looks back, puzzled as all get out.
Sugar is practically bouncing on her feet. “The most wonderful thing happened…”
“What?” Johanna asks, playing clueless very well.
“Guess,” Sugar tells her, the excitement radiating off her.
John thinks about it a moment, “They repealed Prohibition?” he asks, playing alone and finding enjoyment in Ford’s expressions that is happening behind Sugar’s back.
“Oh, come on - you can do better than that,” Ford tells him, more than ready to smack John, but not willing to blow their cover himself.
Sugar, oblivious to the exchange between Ford and Sheppard kneels down next to Johanna, and beams. “I met one of them.”
“One of whom?” John asks, still playing clueless in his female voice.
“Shell Oil, Junior. He's got millions - he's got glasses - and he's got a yacht,” Sugar tells her, she’s so excited, she’s practically floating on air as she gets up to her feet.
John beams in happiness, for that’s what’s expected of Johanna, “You don't say!”
Ford is far from happy, as his plans to get John to pay for his trickery has failed miserably. He’s also figured out how John could possibly beat them back to the hotel. “He's not only got a yacht, he's got a bicycle.”
John glares at his best friend, “Teyla,” he says warningly, then looks at Sugar with encouragement, “Go on, tell me all about him.”
Sugar settles herself again on the side of the tub, “Well, he's young and handsome and a bachelor - and he's a real gentleman - not one of these grabbers.”
John sees this at a good time to offer some advice to advance his cause. “Maybe you'd better go after him - if you don't want to lose him.”
Sugar looks determined, “Oh, I'm not going to let this one get away. He's so cute - collects shells.”
John arches a brow, finding this amusing, “Shells? Whatever for?”
Ford is fuming that John is getting away with this and is barely managing to keep from losing his temper, “You know - the old shell game.”
John has had enough of Aiden. The man lost, he should accept it and move on, and that was how the game was played after all. “Teyla, you're bothering us.”
Sugar, still oblivious to the tension between her new friends, continues. “Anyway, you're going to meet him tonight.”
John looks a bit puzzled for he was sure he didn’t promise anything of the sort…did he? “I am?”
“Because he said he's coming to hear us play – maybe,” Sugar says, some hope falling in her eyes with a light sigh upon her lips.
Ford jumps for joy inside, seeing John squirm at the predicament he’s in. “What do you mean, maybe? I saw the way he looked at you. He'll be there for sure.”
“I hope so,” Sugar tells Teyla, her eyes lighting up with glee.
Ford is no longer angry, but very amused as he knows John can’t be in two places at once, no matter how good a manipulator the SOB has turned out to be over the last year or so. “What do you think, Johanna? What does it say in your crystal ball?”
John glares at him. Meanwhile, Dolores, one of the girls from the band has come into the room in her wet bathing suit and carrying a dripping rubber horse. She sticks her head into the bathroom. “Hey, Sugar, you got the key? I'm locked out and I'm making a puddle in the hall.”
Sugar gives an apologetic smile to her roommate, then turns to John and Ford, “See you on the bandstand, girls.” She follows Dolores out, closing the door.
John and Ford are alone now. The atmosphere is tense. They look at each other steely-eyed. After a long moment of staring each other down, John breaks the silence, his anger clear. “Wise guy, huh? Trying to louse me up…”
Ford is also furious, “And what are you trying to do to poor Sugar? Putting on that millionaire act - and that phony accent …” he says in a poor Cary Grant accent before continuing, “Nobody talks like that! I've seen you pull some low tricks on dames over the last year - but this is the trickiest and the lowest and the meanest…” His words trail off as he sees John rise slowly out of the tub.
The mystery of John’s quick change is now solved - he didn't change at all. John is fully dressed in Bienstock's outfit, and is clutching the yachting cap, as he emerges from the bathtub, covered with suds; he looks like some monster, half man half woman. John slowly begins to advance on Ford menacingly.
“I'm not scared of you,” Ford tells John, then takes a couple of steps back as John is still advancing on him. “I may be small, but I'm wiry,” Ford tells him as he takes a few more steps back. “When I'm aroused, I'm a tiger!” By this time he is up against the wall.
John still closing in on him, Ford decides to change tactics. “Don't look at me like that, John - I didn't mean any harm - it was just a little joke - don't worry - I'll press the suit myself,” he says, as he wipes some of the suds off, in pretense of smoothing out the wrinkles in the damp suite.
John takes another menacing step closer as Ford is literally saved by the bell; that of the phone ringing. “Telephone…” Ford says, hoping to distract John and his temper from colliding on his body.
John ignores the first ring and is practically in Ford’s face when it rings again. “You better answer the phone…” Ford advices, his voice sounding close to a prayer.
John slams the sopping cap on Ford's head, wishing it was more like his fist in his face. As Ford coughs and splutters, John picks up the ringing phone. “Hello…” John says then remembers he is a girl or in a girls room and pitches his voice higher. “Hello - yes, this is 413 - ship-to-shore? - all right, I'll take it.”
“Hello, Teyla? It's that naughty boy again - you know, Osgood - in the elevator - you slapped my face? Who is this?”
John is on the phone. Through the open door of the bathroom he can see Ford wiping his face from the suds he delivered moments before. Not really in the mood, John frowns, “This is her roommate. Teyla can't talk right now. Is it anything urgent?”
Osgood is a bit disappointed not to have his exotic bird on the phone, but carries on like a trooper. “Well, it is to me. Will you give her a message? I'd like her to have a little supper with me on my yacht after the show tonight.”
John nods as if he’s actually going to deliver the message, knowing he wasn’t going to say a word about it since it was a ridiculous idea; Ford going out with some guy. “Got it. Supper - yacht - after the show - I'll tell her,” he says, then it strikes him like lighting. “Your yacht?”
Osgood is smiling ear to ear, feeling his date tonight is a shoe-in. “The New Caledonia. That's the name of it. The Old Caledonia went down during a wild party off CapeHatteras. But tell her not to worry - this is going to be a quiet little midnight snack - just the two of us.”
John’s brain starts sparking with a devious idea, but needs more information, “Just the two of you? What about the crew?”
Osgood, oblivious to what is going on in the head of the person he’s speaking with, volunteers the information with ease. “Oh, that's all taken care of. I'm giving them shore leave. We'll have a little cold pheasant - and champagne - and I checked with the Coast Guard - there'll be a full moon tonight - oh, and tell her I got a new batch of Rudy Vallee records…”
John is beaming as his idea of what to do for tonight crystallizes in his head. “That's good thinking. Teyla's a push-over for him,” wanting to encourage the man further in his pursuit of his roommate.
Ford comes up behind John, wiping his regular hair still, wondering what is going on. “I'm a push-over for whom? What is it? Who's on the phone?” he asks in his regular voice, not thinking anyone can hear him.
John shushes him before continuing his conversation with Osgood. “Yes, Mr. Fielding - you'll pick her up after the show in your motorboat - goodbye - what's that you said? Oh - zowie! I'll give her the message.” John hangs up and he looks like he won the Irish Sweepstakes.
Ford is now really puzzled. “What message? What motorboat?”
John turns his charming smile on his best friend, “You got it made, kid. Fielding wants you to have a little cold pheasant with him on his yacht …”
Ford look offended. “Oh, he does!”
John looks very happy and a bit dreamy as he speaks, “Just the three of you on that great big boat - you and him and Rudy Vallee.” It takes all he’s got not to bust out laughing.
Ford looks furious at such an idea, “Fat chance! You call him right back and tell him I'm not going.”
John chuckles and gives Ford a back handed pat on the chest, “Of course, you're not. I'm going.”
Ford’s eyes grow wide with disbelief, “You're going to be on the boat with that dirty old man?”
John shakes his head at Adien, wondering if he’ll ever catch a clue, “No. I'm going to be on that boat with Sugar.”
Ford looks skeptical, “And where's he going to be?
John grins mischievously at Ford, “He's going to be ashore with you.”
John nods, “That’s right.”
Finally the other shoe drops and Adien Ford gets the full picture. “Oh, no! Not tonight, Johanna!”
But the look on John’s face shows, that Ford really doesn’t stand a chance of getting out of this and they both know it.
<b>HOTEL BALLROOM -</b> Night.
Rodney is looking very dashing in his white slacks and dark jacket as he wanders in late, the performance already started. He sees someone waving to him and he takes a seat next to Osgood Fielding III. “I’m surprised to see you here tonight,” Osgood grins, not at all taken back by Rodney’s regular scowl.
“I wanted to see if something was…” Rodney began, but his eyes having drifted up to the bandstand, takes in the sight of not only Sugar singing, but all the other woman performing behind her. It’s the two woman that are NOT blond that stand out, more than they realize. “Oh my,” he grins, for he recognizes Teyla and with some careful study, realizes that the sax player is ‘Shell Junior’ in drag.
“Aren’t they splendid,” Osgood says, his eyes twinkling, then looks over at Rodney, “I thought you went into more…exotic tastes,” he asked.
Rodney grins slightly, “I do, but you have to admit, that is…quiet a sight,” he says, his eyes taking in the dark haired woman, who he knows makes a much more sexy man.
“Well, in case you’ve changed your tastes, stay away from the bull fiddle, she’s ALL mine,” Osgood gleams with lust and joy.
Rodney arches a brow at Osgood, for he knows the man’s taste and this didn’t fall under his usual style, then the word ‘she’ rings in his mind and he grins. “Oh…don’t worry, you know I have a weakness for…Saxophone players,” he chuckles. “But, don’t you think, she’s a…bit…big, for a…girl?” Rodney asks, wondering if he should let Osgood in on the truth or not.
“She’s big and sassy, just the way I like them,” Osgood vibrates with passion, his eyes locked on Teyla as she plays. “Look at how she handles that fiddle, zowie!”
Rodney decides to let it go, besides, this too could be amusing. “Sounds like your smitten…again.”
“Yes, and after the show, I plan to be a whole lot more…” he looks at Rodney knowingly. “We’re going to be having a midnight ‘snack’ on my yacht,” Osgood tells him in a knowing whisper and gives Rodney a wink.
Rodney isn’t one prone to smiling a lot, but this evening was proving more and more entertaining than he imagined. “Oh, she…agree to this?” he asked.
“Well, her roommate said Teyla, that’s the sexy bull fiddle,” he pointed out, “Is a sucker for Rudy Vallee records…” Osgood’s eyes grow wide as he sees Teyla/Ford smack the bull fiddle around. “Zowie!”
Rodney stops smiling as his brain goes into overtime. He eyes the bandstand and sees the sax player is eyeing Sugar, the main singer like a starving man faced with a feast. Rodney still didn’t understand why someone as good looking as him would need to play such games. Then he recalled the game and suddenly insight sparked his brain. “I have a feeling you’re going to be spending your evening ashore,” Rodney said knowingly.
“Oh no, I’ve got it all planned,” Osgood said, not going to let Rodney’s pessimistic nature get the best of him tonight.
“I’d even go so far as to wager on it,” Rodney grinned knowingly.
Osgood, turned his eyes from the band stand and met Rodney’s knowing look with one of his own. “You’re on. Same as always?” he asked.
“Done,” Rodney agreed. “But…you need to talk with during the intermission, agreed?”
“Agreed,” Osgood said, feeling this bet was in the bag.
<b>HOTEL BALLROOM - </b> (Later that night.)
It's a good sized nightclub of the period, with about 200 guests in formal dress - evening gowns, white dinner jackets - at the tables and on the dance floor. A revolving globe, with a mirrored surface, throws patterns of light and shadow on the dancers. On the bandstand, Sugar, backed by the rest of the orchestra, is singing. The girls in the band, John and Ford among them, wear uniform evening gowns and long earrings. Sugar and Sue wear distinctive gowns, Sugar’s is a bit more revealing then any of them.
Sugar's song is "I Want To Be Loved By You" - which she belts across in the style of the Twenties, complete with boop-boop-pa-doo trimmings. As she sings, she scans the room for her bespectacled Prince Charming, but there is no sign of him - naturally, since he is playing the saxophone behind her.
In back of John is Ford, thumping the bass grimly. He looks off, sees Osgood Fielding the Third, in a white mess jacket, sitting at a table with another man that sort of looks familiar, wearing a black suit jacket and white slacks. Catching Ford's eye, he waves exuberantly, his face beaming with amorous anticipation, though still probably a bit put out having been told during the break they wouldn’t be using his yacht as she gets sea sick easily.
On the bandstand, Ford looks away haughtily. “I can’t believe you talked me into this,” he grumbles under his breath.
“Teyla - your boy friend is waving at you,” John teases, then notices the man sitting with Osgood and finds it hard to breath for a moment, but is snapped out of it, when he hears Aiden’s reply.
“You can both go take a flying jump.”
John shakes his head and refocuses on his goal for this evening, and men with electric blue eyes was not apart of it. “Remember - he's your date for tonight. So smile.”
Ford smiles feebly, since he promised John he’d go through this in order not to have his teeth handed to him on a platter for the stunt he played earlier, plus John made him feel guilty. It was an unwritten rule between them, that one didn’t interfere with the play of the girl, by telling the girl, so he was bound, lock stock and barrel.
John sees the feeble attempt, “Come on, you can do better than that. Give him teeth - the whole personality.”
Ford gave the huge smile and kept it there as he spoke, “Why do I let you talk me into these things? Why?”
John can feel Ford’s resolve wavering, “Because we're pals - buddies - the two musketeers.”
Ford loses the smile and glares at John, “Don't give me the musketeers! How'm I going to keep the guy ashore? He didn’t seem to buy the seasick routine during intermission.”
“I don’t know, tell him you rather play miniature golf with him,” John suggests.
Ford throws Osgood another smile and a little wave, before sneering at John, “Oh, no. I'm not getting caught in a miniature sand trap with that guy.”
The fresh young Bellhop we saw earlier comes up beside the bandstand, carrying a large wicker basket full of flowers, and leers at John. “Which of you dolls is Teyla?”
“Bull fiddle,” John replies and goes back to playing his part so Sweet Sue doesn’t notice their conversation, during Sugar’s performance. The Bellhop hands the basket to Ford, nods off toward Osgood's table.
“It's from Satchel Mouth at Table Seven,” the Bellhop tells her, then breaks off one of the flowers and hands it to John, “This is from me to you, doll,” he leers.
“Beat it Buster,” John growls, though keeps his voice feminine.
Bellhop doesn’t look put off, “Never mind leaving your door open - I got a passkey.” He winks and moves off.
John looks after him contemptuously, then turns to Ford, picks up the basket of flowers. “What are you doing with my flowers?”
“I'm just borrowing them. You'll get them back tomorrow,” he lies easily. He hands Ford the single flower, then looks around, fishes a small envelope out of his undergarment, and slips it into the basket just in time for Sugar to finish her number and return to her seat, while Sweet Sue leads the orchestra into the signature music of her band.
Sugar looks disappointed as she sits. “I guess he's not going to show up - it's give minutes to one - you suppose he forgot?”
John as Johanna gives a little shrug, “Well, you know how those millionaires are.” Then he points at the basket of flowers. “These came for you.”
Sugar looks surprised to see the beautiful basket full of yellow flowers, “For me?” she gasps quietly, so not to attract Sweet Sue’s attention. She sees the envelope and opens it, “It’s Shell Oil,” she gasps, holding the envelope to her chest.
“No!” Ford replies sarcastically, not really liking how John is playing sugar. Only their long time friendship keeping him from spilling the beans to her.
Sugar doesn’t catch the sarcasm and beams back at Teyla, “Yes. He wants me to have supper with him - on his yacht - he's going to pick me up at the pier.
“No!” Ford says again in the same tone.
“Yes,” Sugar replies, still not hearing the undertone of Teyla’s voice, but John does.
“You heard her – yes,” he says, glaring at Ford to shut his yap.
Sugar is bubbling over with excitement. “Oh, Johanna - just imagine - me, Sugar Kowalczyk, from Sandusky, Ohio, on a millionaire's yacht. If my mother could only see me now…”
Ford looks over at Osgood who is now sitting alone, the other man having departed and is feeling ill. “I hope my grandmother never finds out,” he says, hoping his mother in heaven is busy with the bowling league or something and isn’t seeing this either.
At his table, Osgood, catching Ford's look, blows kisses to him.
Ford just bows his head, “Oh boy,” he mutters to himself.
On the bandstand, Sue turns to the audience for her signature spiel. “That's it for tonight, folks. This is Sweet Sue, saying good night, and reminding all you daddies out there - every girl in my band is a virtuoso - and I intend to keep it that way!”
Behind her, Sugar picks up her ukulele and the basket of flowers, tiptoes off the stand. John waves after her, wishing her luck. Sugar hurries toward the staircase, passing
Bienstock, who is planted near the reservation desk. As Sue cuts off the music John frantically packs up his saxophone, and then he leaps off the bandstand, and dashes past the bewildered Bienstock, starting up the stairs two at a time, since he’s got a lot to do and little time to do it in. John barges into his room, drops the saxophone case, and locks the door. Then he darts into the bathroom, wriggling out of his dress. In the flash of speed due to desperation, John, is quickly stripped of his female garb and has on the shirt and slacks. He slips into Bienstock's coat, and puts on the yachting cap, then his shoes. Even to a captain he would be a captain now, except for one thing - in his haste, he has neglected to take off his earrings. He opens a window, steps out onto the balcony. Soon,
John moves along the balcony, climbs over the railing, and starts to shimmy down a post where there is a bicycle waiting for him, as he arranged earlier. This gives him a good lead on Sugar who is barely at the door of the hotel as John speeds off to the pier.
Standing under a tree in front of the hotel are Osgood and Ford. Ford is in his evening gown and is holding a flower in his hand, trying to sway Osgood once more from the dinner on the yacht idea.
“But it's such a waste - a full moon - an empty yacht …” Osgood tries again, not caring to lose a bet to Rodney McKay, but also, to lose such an opportunity with such an exotic woman.
“I'll throw up!” Ford tells him again, hoping this will end this part of this discussion.
Osgood pouts for a second, then gets a good idea and smiles brightly at Teyla, “Well, then, why don't we go dancing? I know a little road-house, down the coast…”
Just then, John comes whizzing past them on his bicycle. Ford looks after him, open-mouthed. “Well, I'll be - ! He does have a bicycle.”
“Who?” Osgood asks, wondering if he’s missed something important.
Catching himself, Ford returns his full attention to his ‘date’ for tonight. “About that roadhouse…?”
Osgood practically vibrates under Teyla’s smile, “They got a Cuban band that's the berries. Why don't we go there - blindfold the orchestra - and tango till dawn?”
Ford was told to stay out all night, and he did enjoy dancing, so saw no reason why not enjoy it. “You know something, Mr. Fielding? You're dynamite!” he grinned at Osgood.
Osgood chuckled, “You're a pretty hot little firecracker yourself.” He links his arm through Ford's, leads him down the path, determined to make this a night Teyla will never forget.
****End of Chapter six****
Some Like it Cold Chapter 5|
John has cleaned up and changed into the resort clothes that were the latest rage with those how owned or pretended to own yachts. He comes up to a basket chair, that provides some shade and doesn’t take notice of the note that’s precariously stuck to it, as his eyes are on Sugar and Ford, playing catch with a beach ball and the other girls from the band. Sitting near the chair to the side is a small boy around five, who is sorting through the sea shells he’s collected. A few feet away his mother is calling him, letting him know it’s time to go.
“Let's go, Junior. Time for your nap.” The mother calls out again.
“Nah, I wanna play…earn some more,” Junior tells his mother.
John wants the kid gone as it’ll cramp his style, plus the kid does look tired and about to be sunburned. “You heard your mudder, Junior. Scram,” he tells the kids.
They boy looks up at him, fearfully and John regrets his actions and tries to joke with the kid, “This beach ain't big enough for both of us,” he teases, but the boy doesn’t get it and scrambles to his feet, screaming "Mommy," and runs off, leaving the pail-full of shells behind. John settles himself in the chair, peers over his shoulder toward the girls still playing ball.
The girls, Sugar and Ford among them, are standing in a wide circle, tossing the beach ball around and chanting rhythmically: "I love coffee, I love tea, how many boys are
stuck on me? One, two, three, four, five …”
There is a wild throw over Sugar's head, in the direction of John's chair. Sugar turns and runs after the ball to retrieve it. This is exactly what John has been waiting for. As the ball comes rolling past, he unfolds the Wall Street Journal that was tucked in the side of the seat pad, pretends to be reading it. Just as Sugar runs by, John extends his foot a couple of inches - enough to trip her and send her sprawling to the sand., totally unaware that he’s gained an audience just behind him to the far left.
John lowers the paper he had been pretending to read and feeling like going all out, decides to have some fun with this, and does his best Cary Grant imitation as he speaks, as he thinks it makes him sound ‘upper class’, at least enough to fool Sugar. “Oh, I'm terribly sorry.”
Sugar is stunned a bit, by the fall and the handsome, almost familiar looking man who is standing before her now. “My fault,” she replies.
“You're not hurt, are you?” John asked, still using the fake voice, as he’s helping Sugar up.
“I don't think so.” Sugar replies honestly.
“I wish you'd make sure,” John states, knowing he’s peaking her interest.
“Why?” Sugar asks on cue.
“Because usually, when people find out who I am, they get themselves a wheel chair and a shyster lawyer, and sue me for a quarter of a million dollars,” John replies, knowing he’s said all the magic words.
Sugar smiles easily, “Well, don't worry. I won't sue you - no matter who you are,” she promises.
John returns to sitting in the chair, still oblivious to the note he’s now sitting one. “Thank you.”
Sugar is now curious, “Who are you?”
“Now, really…” John states, still using Cary Grant as his cover.
Ford and the other girls are looking off toward Sugar, waiting for the ball. “Hey, Sugar - come on,” Ford calls out.
Sugar picks up the ball as if ready to leave and John realizes he may have been too offensive, so flips the paper down a second and states as blasé as possible, “So long.” He then buries himself behind the Wall Street Journal again. He hears a scoff or snort from somewhere, but ignores it, and waits, very aware of Sugar’s actions and is planning his next move should she decide to go back to the game.
Sugar hesitates for a second, and then throws the ball back to the girls. She steps closer to John, peers around the paper, studying him, not realizing she’s the one being hooked. “Haven't I seen you somewhere before?”
Without looking up, John replies, “Not very likely.”
Now Sugar is very curious, “Are you staying at the hotel?”
“Not at all,” John replies, only giving Sugar a little bit of attention.
“Your face is familiar,” Sugar comments, for she has no way of knowing it’s her new best friend as he really is…a heel.
John lowers the paper, “Possible you saw it in a newspaper -or magazine - Vanity Fair …” there was that snort again, like someone in disgust. He was about to look around when Sugar bounced up in front of him excited.
“That must be it,” she beams, believing she’s got this figured out.
John waves her aside, playing snobbish to the hilt. “Would you mind moving just a little? You're blocking my view.”
Sugar turns around to look out into the bay, “Your view of what?”
“They run up a red-and-white flag on the yacht when it's time for cocktails,” he tells her. In the background he’s sure he heard someone say, “Oh, please,” as if annoyed. John would have looked around but Sugar snapped at the rest of the bait; this was like taking candy from a baby…almost.
“You have a yacht?” she asks, then again turns and looks seaward at a half-a-dozen yachts of different sizes bobbing in the distance. “Which one is yours - the big one?”
“Certainly not. With all that unrest in the world, I don't think anybody should have a yacht that sleeps more than twelve.” He turned his head a bit when he thought he heard someone laughing and it wasn’t the girls down the beach, but from his position in the basket chair he couldn’t see anyone.
Sugar, totally thrilled at the idea and not wanting to sound uneducated, nods. “I quite agree. Tell me, who runs up that flat - your wife?”
John knows this litany and fought not to smirk. “No, my flag steward.”
“And who mixes the cocktails - your wife?” Sugar asked, trying to sound unobvious, but was extremely obvious as to what she was doing.
“No, my cocktail steward. Look, if you're interested in whether I'm married or not…” feeling he’ll cut this line of questioning now before it got out of hand, plus it was hot in this outfit.
Sugar not wanting to seem obvious again, replies quickly, “I'm not interested at all.”
“Well, I'm not,” John tells her.
Sugar beams, “That's very interesting.”
John resumes reading the paper to cover the grin on his face. Sugar sits on the sand beside his chair.
“So, how's the stock market?”
“Up, up, up,” John replies as if it’s no big deal to him.
Sugar thinks hard trying to think of what to say to keep the conversation going. “I'll bet just while we were talking, you made like a hundred thousand dollars.”
John decides to play along and lowers the paper to face her. “Could be. Do you play the market?”
Sugar smiles, “No - the ukulele. And I sing.”
“For your own amusement?” John asks, knowing better.
“Well - a group of us are appearing at the hotel. Sweet Sue and Her Society Syncopators,” she tells him, hoping he’ll be interested.
John decides to make her work for this after all, as it had been too easy and he needs a bit of a challenge. “You're society girls?” he asks, purposefully pretending to misunderstand what she said and meant. He then heard a groan from somewhere behind him. If Sugar wasn’t sitting right next to him, he’d go investigate it, as he was sure something was not right.
“Oh, yes. Quite. You know - Vassar, Bryn Mawr - we're only doing this for a lark,” she chuckles, hoping to cover for why she’s really playing at the hotel, sensing he wouldn’t approve.
John decides to push this a bit more, “ Syncopators - does that mean you play that fast music - jazz?”
“Yeah. Real hot,” Sugar says, looking excited about what she played.
John looks put-out, “Oh. Well, I guess some like it hot. But personally, I prefer classical music.”
Sugar does a quick mental back step, “Oh, so do I. As a matter of fact, I spent three years at the Sheboygan Conservatory of Music.”
John struggles to keep a straight face hearing his own lie filtering back into his face. “GoodSchool!” he says to give some more credibility to his and Ford’s cover with the band. “And your family doesn't object to your career?”
Sugar feeling that she’s onto this man’s number shifts her comments to match what he believes is expected of her. “They do indeed. Daddy threatened to cut me off without a cent, but I don't care. It was such a bore - coming-out parties, cotillions…”
“Inauguration balls…” John adds.
“Opening of the Opera,” Sugar tosses in.
Not to be out done, John adds another, “Riding to hounds…”
Sugar is with this program and sighs if board, “- and always the same Four Hundred.”
John has had enough and chuckles a little. “You know, it's amazing we never ran into each other before. I'm sure I would have remembered anybody as attractive as you.”
Sugar smiles from ear to ear, “You're very kind. I'll bet you're also very gentle - and helpless…”
“I beg your pardon?” John protests, for no guy wants to hear that they’ll helpless, even if they might be.
Sugar realizes her mistake and speaks up quickly to fix it, “You see, I have this theory about men with glasses.”
“What theory?” John asks, turning slightly as he was sure he heard someone say, “Of course she does, but Sugar was continuing talking, and so John just refocused back on her.
“Maybe I'll tell you when I know you a little better. What are you doing tonight?” Sugar asks, being a bit bold.
“Tonight?” John hadn’t considered her moving this quickly, which surprised him a little bit, which wasn’t bad, it kept him on his toes.
“I thought you might like to come to the hotel and hear us play,” Sugar said with some hope in her eyes and voice.
“I'd like to - but it may be rather difficult,” John told her, for it was the truth.
“Why?” Sugar asked and John was sure there was another voice that echoed the same question, but John didn’t have time to think on that, for he couldn’t exactly tell Sugar he was playing with her tonight.
John’s eyes searched the ground and saw the pail of sea shells and grabbed them up, “I only come ashore twice a day - when the tide goes out.”
“Oh?” Sugar asked, not understanding why.
John needed to think fast, “Ah, It's on the account of the shells. That's my hobby.”
Sugar looks amazed and uncertain as it doesn’t sound like something a rich man would do, “You collect shells?”
Taking a hand full of shells from the pail, John speaks fast, “Yes. So did my father and my grandfather - we've all had this passion for shells - that's why we named the oil company after it.”
Sugar’s eyes grow wide, “Shell Oil?”
“Oh brother,” is heard echoed in the wind, but John is too focused on his lie to pay attention and Sugar is too focused on John to care where or who said it.
“Please - no names. Just call me Junior,” just on some small chance that someone might know who really owned Shell Oil.
By this time, the ball game is breaking up, and Ford approaches Sugar and John, noticing another man just off to the left of the basket chair, covered in sun tan lotion, sunglass and holding a perspiring drink, looking very annoyed and amused at the same time. Ford just dismisses it, as he focuses on Sugar, more than ready to get back to the hotel.
“Come on, Sugar - time to change for dinner,” Ford/Teyla calls out as he approaches closer.
Sugar is sensing she’s getting somewhere with this rich ‘heir’ and isn’t ready to go back yet. “Run along, Teyla - I'll catch up with you.”
Ford just gives a casual glance at John, “Okay,” he says then takes a couple of steps, seeing he’s being eyes by the strange man with too much suntan lotion, but then couldn’t care less as it hits him who is in the chair. He steps back and stares at John opened –mouthed.
“What is it, young lady? What are you staring at?” concerned that Ford is going to blow everything.
Ford points and is speechless, “You – you…”
John turns to Sugar hoping to still save this disaster in the making. “This happens to me all the time in public.”
Sugar nods in understand and turns to Ford, “I recognized him too - his picture was in Vanity Fair.”
Ford snorts, and is slightly taken off guard as the man still out of view of John and going unnoticed by Sugar snorts too. “Vanity Fair?” he says, looking back at John, ready to expose the imposter for who he is.
Okay, this was not going well, John thinks, knowing he played this out too far. He waves Ford aside, “Would you mind moving along, please?”
Sugar understands what ‘Junior’ is asking and waves Teyla aside too, “Yes, you're in the way. He's waiting for a signal from his yacht,” she beams.
Ford is aghast at John’s nerve, “His yacht?”
Sugar looks suddenly proud, “It sleeps twelve.” She then turns to ‘Junior’ “This is my friend Teyla. She's a Vassar girl.”
“I’m a what?” Ford questions, not sure what Sugar is going on about. By now, Ford sees the man with the drink is looking amused and annoyed at the same time, which is quite a feat, not that he really cared at the moment, and was going to ask who he was, when Sugar spoke up again.
“Or was it Bryn Mawr?” Sugar said, trying to hint for Teyla to go along with it.
John looks up at Ford and glares at him, “I heard a very sad story about a girl who went to Bryn Mawr. She squealed on her roommate, and they found her strangled with her own brassiere.”
Ford feeling properly threatened swallows hard, “Yes - you have to be very careful about picking a roommate.”
Sugar realizing it’s getting late, decides its time to end this and hope for the best for another time. “Well, I guess I'd better go,” she says.
“It's been delightful meeting you both,” John lies charmingly in his Carry Grant accent.
“And you will come to hear us tonight?” Sugar asks hopefully.
“If it's at all possible,” John replies, more than ready to end this conversation as its gone way out of hand.
“Oh, please do come. Don't disappoint us. It'll be such fun. And bring your YACHT.”
Sugar sensing animosity between Teyla and her potential new RICH boyfriend, gently grabs Teyla by the arm, “Come on, Teyla.” She leads Ford away.
John stands up and gives them a casual salute and its then that he notices his audience for the first time. The man is just a bit shorter than him, but about the same age. He can’t see much of the man’s face, as he’s got a sun hat on, and sunglasses and a large amount of sun block on. “Can I help you?” he asks, still using his Carry Grant accent.
Rodney can’t believe he stood here the entire time and listened to this BS drama play out, but was the most entertaining thing that’s occurred during his time here. He also is smart enough to figure out some of what is going on that wasn’t said, and was amused, but also annoyed to have been dragged into it, even if indirectly. “Yeah, you can first stop with the phony and LOUSY accent,” Rodney tells the man. “And you can try and explain where you get off using MY chair, MY paper and MY shells, which I paid that kids mother five whole dollars to collect for me,” Rodney snaps, feeling insulted this man, which now that he can get a proper look at him, is rather good looking, thinks him a rube like the girl he was conning moments ago. “And for the record, for YOU to be a Junior in the Shell Oil Company, you’d have to be Marcus Samuel…Oh, and you’d have to be DEAD, as the man DIED two years ago at the age of 74!” Rodney snapped, removing his sunglasses, so the man could get the full effect of his glare.
John didn’t need this, though he was glad for the little tid-bit about Shell Oil. He was about to say something very scathing, when he caught sight of a pair of the most electric and luminous blue eyes he’d ever seen in his life. His first thought was it was a pity they were on a man, and then he notices the glare and found it amusing. “Look, Mister, the chair is public property, it’s not like your name is on it or anything…” John began.
Rodney arched a brow and moved around the chair and pointed to the note that John had been sitting on, which said: Chair in use by DR R. McKay. Do not sit in!
Okay, this was different. “Well, sorry about the chair, but what just went on isn’t any of your business,” John drawls.
Rodney chuckles, for he feels that since it took place in his chair and on HIS time, it was his business. “Well, I differ on that thought, because you MADE it my business. And Please, what is with this get up? I mean, you’re a very handsome man, why all this?” Rodney asks, moving forward and flicks the collar to the navy blue jacket and then grabs the hat from John’s head and sees the hair. “On second thought, you might want to keep the hat,” Rodney grins and places it back on John’s head.
“Hey,” John protests, but isn’t feeling insulted as he notices the man has an infectious smile, and then sobers. “Look ah…” he looks at the note again, “McKay, here’s your paper, it’s still in good condition and your…shells, are perfectly fine, so why don’t we just call it a day? Shall we?” John asked, hoping to drop the subject for he didn’t really want to look at his motives and actions too hard.
“Fine, I guess you both deserve each other, you lying to get her in bed, her lying to get you in bed…though I think she’s getting the short end of the stick here, but hey, as you said, none of my business. But you might…”
John held up a hand, “Look, I don’t need advice, I’ve got this covered.”
Rodney laughs, “I bet you do, though I was just going to point out that your ‘roommate’ and Miss Sugar are currently running to the hotel…I have a feeling TEYLA is expecting to find her…roommate there…” he laughs for the idea is so outrageous, but had he not spotted Ford’s Adam’s apple he wouldn’t have thought it possible. Seeing John’s reaction, he knows he’s right on the money on this one. “Since you’re in the habit of taking things that aren’t yours…” he points to a bike near by
John knows he’s got to hurry, “Thank McKay,” he says and starts for the bike and stops and smiles at Rodney, “You’re okay,” he grins and then grabs the bike, the owner oblivious to its theft and races back to the hotel so he can beat Ford and Sugar, for he knows they’re heading to his room.
Rodney watches ‘Junior’ race off, still not knowing the man’s real name, but decides he’s going to find out…and attend the band’s performance this evening. He has a feeling it’s going to prove very entertaining indeed.
****End of Chapter Five****
Some Like it Cold Chapter 4|
<b>SEMINOLE-RITZ HOTEL -</b>Florida
“I hope you’ve found everything satisfaction,” the man behind the front desk asks, as he’s processing a transaction for the man before him.
“That’s a matter of opinion,” the man replies. “Where ever you look there’s ocean and sand,” the man grips as he takes the change back.
The front desk clerk looks puzzled by this statement, “Ah…yes, sir. It is a beach resort hotel, sir.”
“Yeah, I know,” the man grumbles. “You wouldn’t have any shells in the gift stores would you?” the man asks with some hope.
“We have a few that are sold, if you like, sir…” the clerk begins only to be waived off by a large hand.
“No, no, no, with my luck, he’ll inspect them,” the man grumbles to himself. Seeing the odd expression on the clerk’s face, he feels impelled to explain. “My doctor has ordered me to get some sun. To be sure of it, he’s ordered I…collect sea shell…as if I don’t have better things to do with my time and not to mention sun burn?”
“Ah,” the Clerk says as if he really understood that, “well, the sunscreen you just purchased should help, Mr.….” he checks the registry quickly and straightens when he sees who is standing before him. “Mr. McKay. If there is anything I can do for you, please ask.”
“You could tell me what folks do around here for entertainment,” Rodney asked, for he wasn’t too thrilled to be here, but since he was, he might as well give it a try.
“Well, there are a lot of dance clubs in the area, and we’re having a live band come in for the week,” the Clerk mentions.
Rodney’s interest perks up as he has a thing for musicians. “Really?”
“Yes, sir, and all GIRL band,” the Clear smiles, a bit of leer at the thought of all those women coming to play at the hotel.
“Nice,” Rodney replies, but inside he’s disappointed. He knows what he likes and has for many years now, and though he liked women in general, he didn’t want one in his bed. Plus, it didn’t help that most Americans were still so backwards, so he was resigned to sand and sea shells. “Thank you,” he said, and grabbed his bag and headed outside, where there were a line of rocking chairs to his left and right, filled with older men, the youngest, still more than ten years older then him, was to his left.
“Heading to the beach?” the man next to him asked.
Rodney sighed, “Yeah,” he admitted in defeat and places on his sunglasses and sun hat. He then turned to the man, and then snatched the paper from his hands. “Get the bellhop to get you another one,” he said, and headed to the beach.
The older man just chuckled and signaled for another paper to be delivered to him, and sat back and rocked as the sun continued to brighten the early morning.
Time passes and soon the hotel bus chugs up the curved driveway toward the main entrance, hauling the Society Syncopators from the station. The rear of the bus is loaded with luggage and instruments
On the hotel verandas, just as before, there creaking in their rocking chairs, are a dozen elderly gentlemen. They are all in resort clothes - white flannels, striped flannels, knickers, Panama hats, white linen caps - and they are all reading the Wall Street Journal. Their combined age must be about a thousand years, and their combined bank balance just about as many millions. As they hear the bus drawing up, they stop rocking, and slowly lower their Wall Street Journals. They are all wearing sunglasses, and leaning forward, they peer through them at the new arrivals.
In the driveway, the girls are climbing out of the bus; luggage and instruments are being unloaded. Ford helps Sugar down, while John gets their instruments out of the pile. He hands the bull-fiddle case to Ford, the ukulele case to Sugar.
Ford seeing a chance to make an impression on Sugar reaches out taking her ukulele, “I’ll carry the instruments,” he smiles.
“Thank you, Teyla,” Sugar grins.
John, having decided that Sugar was HIS conquest, has no problem pushing Ford aside, and starts by handing him his saxophone, leaving him free to walk with Sugar. “Thank you, Teyla.” He turns to Sugar, “Isn't she a sweetheart?” He leads her toward the entrance. Ford, loaded down with bass fiddle, ukulele and sax, glares after them - angrily, then follows them, balancing precariously on his high heels.
On the veranda, the twelve rich dodos remove their sunglasses to get a better look at the girls. The one nearest to the steps is Osgood Fielding III. He is a bit younger than the others, but that still puts him in his late fifties. He wears white plus-fours, argyle socks,
two-toned shoes, and a gleam in his eye. He tips his Panama hat rakishly as the girl musicians mount the steps.
John and Sugar come up the steps. John nudges her, directing
her attention to the old crooks. “Well, there they are - more millionaires than you can shake a stick at,” he says and it takes a lot to keep the smirk off his face.
Sugar almost cringes as she takes another look at the older men on the veranda. “I'll bet there isn't one of them under seventy-five.”
“Seventy-five. That's three-quarters of a century. Makes a girl think,” he teases Sugar.
Sugar laughs, “Yeah, I hope they brought their grandsons along.”
As they pass Osgood Fielding III and start into the lobby, he tips his Panama jauntily. Then he turns to inspect the next girl. The next girl is Ford, struggling up the steps, loaded with bass fiddle, saxophone and ukulele. He trips on the top steps, loses one of his shoes. Osgood jumps up gallantly.
“Just a moment miss,” Osgood says as he picks up the shoe. “May I?” he asks Ford, referring to placing the shoe back on.
Ford, hands full, extends his foot almost regally, “Help yourself,” he says, tickled at seeing a guy fuss over him like this.
Osgood slips the shoe on, “I’m Osgood Fielding the Third,” he introduces himself.
“I am Cinderella the Second,” Ford replies, and starts to pull away, but Osgood holds on to his ankle.
“If there is one thing I admire, it's a girl with a shapely ankle,” Osgood practically purrs.
“Me too. Bye now,” Ford says and pulls away, ready to depart as fast as possible, plus the instruments were heavy.
Osgood jumps to his feet, “Let me carry one of the instruments?”
Ford, more than willing smiles, “Thank you,” and begins to load the man with ALL the instruments. “Are you a sweetheart?” Then Ford starts into the lobby, Osgood struggling after him with the instruments. The lobby is very resort-y - potted palms, overhead fans, and a heavy undergrowth of wicker furniture. Osgood, balancing the instruments, follows Ford in.
“It certainly is delightful to have some young blood around here,” Osgood says as he continues to follow Ford.
“Personally, I'm Type O,” Ford tosses over his shoulder.
“You know, I've always been fascinated by show business,” Osgood continues.
“You don’t say,” Ford replies, not really interested in the conversation, but is being polite.
Osgood nods and grins, “Yes, indeed. It's cost my family quite a bit of money.”
Ford arches a brow, his interest a bit peaked. “You invest in shows?”
“No - it's showgirls. I've been married seven or eight times,” Osgood replies.
“You’re not sure?” Ford asks, amazed that someone wouldn’t know something like that.
“Mama is keeping score. Frankly, she's getting rather annoyed with me,” Osgood explains, looking a bit sheepish.
Ford snorts softly, “I'm not surprised.”
“So this year, when George White's Scandals opened, she packed me off to Florida. Right now she thinks I'm out there on my yacht - deep-sea fishing,” he says with a leer toward Ford/Teyla.
Ford gives him a stern look, though his tone is a bit playful, “Well, pull in your reel, Mr. Fielding. You're barking up the wrong fish.”
They come up to the elevator. The doors are just closing on a load of girl musicians going up and have to wait for the next one. Osgood sees this as his chance. “If I promise not to be a naughty boy - how about dinner tonight?”
“Sorry. I'll be on the bandstand,” Ford replies, wondering if accepting the help from this guy was worth this as he waits for the elevator to return.
Osgood lights up, “Oh, of course, which of these instruments do you play?”
Ford turns what he may or may not know is a flirtatious look at Osgood and drops his voice a bit, “Bull fiddle,” making it sound almost naughty.
Osgood almost vibrates at the reply, “Fascinating. Do you use a bow or do you just pluck it?”
Ford gets a wicked almost naughty look on his face as he leans in close to Osgood, “Most of the time I slap it,” getting a kick out of seeing the old man react.
Osgood chuckles, believing that Ford/Teyla is flirting with him. “You must be quite a girl.”
“Wanna bet?” Ford smirks.
“My last wife was an acrobatic dancer - you know, sort of a contortionist - she could smoke a cigarette while holding it between her toes - Zowie! - but Mama broke it up.”
Osgood sighed, “She doesn't approve of girls who smoke.”
The elevator has come down again, and the doors open. Ford reaches for the instruments, done with Mr. Fielding. “Goodbye, Mr. Fielding.”
“Goodbye?” Osgood asks, for he was sure they were getting along so well.
“This is where I get off,” referring to the wild ride talking to Osgood was.
Osgood chuckles, “Oh, you don't get off that easy.” He eases Ford/Teyla into the elevator, follows with the instruments. Once inside, he looks to the elevator operator, “All right, driver. Once around the park. Slowly. And keep your eyes on the road.
The door closes. The floor indicator arrow moves smoothly past the second floor, then stops abruptly, jiggles violently, starts down again then the elevator door open again. Ford is the poster girl for an outraged woman. “What kind of girl do you think I am, Mr. Fielding?” he growls, managing to maintain his female voice. Then he slaps Osgood's face, then takes the instruments from him.
Feeling contrite, Osgood pouts, “Please. It won't happen again.”
“No, thank you. I'll walk,” Ford tells him and then he stalks out of the elevator with the instruments, starts indignantly up the stairs. Osgood stands holding his cheek, looking after him enraptured.
<b>ROOM 413 </b>
It's a small room, twin-beds, more wicker, and adjoining bathroom. Outside the French windows is a balcony, giving on the ocean. John is pleased with himself and his plan to have Sugar meet up with a young ‘millionaire’. That voice inside is still conflicted, but he’s sure that even though his methods underhanded, he could actually manage to care for Sugar, and if not, it would be quiet a tryst.
As John comes in, a Bellhop is just setting down some suitcases - two of them are John's and Ford's, the third is a somewhat more elegant model in brown cloth with a white stripe down the middle and the initials B.B. The Bellhop, a fresh punk of seventeen, turns to John.
“Are these your bags?” the Bellhop asks.
“Yes,” John replies, seeing his and then sees Bienstock's and is pleased he won’t have to go hunt down the suitcase as opportunity was knocking. “And that one too,” he points to the other bag.
“Okay, doll,” the young man grins and places the bags down on the bed.
John sighs, “I suppose you want a tip?”
The young man leers at John, “Forget it, doll. After all, you work here - I work here - and believe you me, it's nice to have you with the organization.”
John rolls his eyes, “Bye.”
The Bellhop stops at the door, struck with inspiration, “Listen, doll - what time do you get off tonight?”
John’s almost afraid to ask. “Why?”
“Because I'm working the night shift – and I got a bottle of gin stashed away – and as soon as there's a lull…”
John can’t believe this is happening to him. He’s seen himself in the mirror, he is NOT an attractive woman and this KID was too bold for his age. Speaking of age, “Aren't you a little too young for that, sonny?”
The Bellhop grins, “Wanna see my driver's license?”
“Get lost, will you?” John practically growls.
The young Bellhop just smiles more, “That's the way I like 'em - big and sassy.” He opens the door, “And get rid of your roommate.” He pulls out his bow tie, which is on elastic, lets in snap back like an exclamation point. John looks after him grimly, then his eyes fall on the suitcase with the stripe, and he shoves it quickly under the bed. The door opens again, and John whirls around. Ford comes staggering in breathlessly with the instruments, kicks the door shut with his foot.
“Why, that dirty old man!” Ford fumes. He throws the instruments disgustedly on one of the beds.
“What happened?” John asks, actually concerned.
“I got pinched in the elevator,” Ford tells him and sits on the bed, exhausted.
“Well, now you know how the other half lives,” John replies casually, since it’s not really something serious.
Ford gets up and looks in the mirror, “And I’m not even pretty.”
John shrugs, “They don't care - just as long as you wear skirts. It's like waving a red flat in front of a bull.” He should know, for that’s how he saw it most times.
Ford is far from happy. “I'm tired of being a flag. I want to be a bull again. Lets get out of here, John. Let's blow.”
“Blow where?” John asks, for it’s a legitimate question. Now that they were here, they didn’t have any money or place to go.
“You promised - the minute we hit Florida, we were going to beat it,” Ford whined.
John looks at him seriously, “How can we? We're broke.”
Ford is more than ready to end this gig, “We can get a job with another band. A male band.”
John places a hand on Ford’s shoulder, making sure he’s paying attention, “ Listen, stupid - right now Spats Kolya and his chums are looking for us in every male band in the country.”
Ford can’t help the whine in his voice, “But this is so humiliating.”
“So you got pinched in the elevator. So what? Would you rather be picking lead out of your navel?” John asks him, for it’s a good point, plus he’s not ready to leave just yet.
“All right, all right!” Ford growls, and rips off the hat and wig and tosses them on the bed. “But how long can we keep this up?”
John sees he’s got some damage control to do, as Ford is freaking out. John was actually finding this experience rather liberating in a way he’d never tell his friend. “ What's the beef? We're sitting pretty. We get room and board - we get paid every week - there are the palm trees and the flying fish…”
Ford has been around John’s BS long enough that from time to time, he can smell it a mile away and right now; it wasn’t the ocean he was scenting around him. “What are you giving me with the flying fish? I know why you want to stick around - you're after Sugar.” He had seen John’s interest this morning and had seen it before and was ticked, for he had decided he wanted to be with Sugar long before John even had interest in the woman; it wasn’t fair!
John looks offended, “Me? After Sugar?” sounding just as offended and such things were far from his mind.
Ford narrowed his eyes at John, I watched you two on the bus - lovey-dovey - whispering and giggling and borrowing each other's lipstick…”
Sometimes Ford would surprise him like now, and John couldn’t help but find that it made the game all that more appealing. Of course, if Ford were ever truly interested as in LOVE, he’d never mess with her. But this was the game; this was about taking, conquering, getting the prize, and at the moment, that voice inside said it was Sugar. If Ford wanted her, he’d have to play; he’d lose, but he’d still have to play. “What are you talking about? Sugar and me, we're just like sisters,” he tells Ford. He also thinks it was rather fun swapping lipstick, but he’d never admit that…ever!
Ford knows he’s being lied too. It’s like all the years of BS had finally built an immunity in him suddenly. “Yeah? Well, I'm your fairy godmother - and I'm keeping an eye on you,” he tells John and pokes him in the chest.
Suddenly there is a knock on the door, and Bienstock's voice filters through. “Are you decent?”
John pulls Ford's wig out of the hat, jams it down his head. “Come in,” John says in his female voice.
Bienstock enters the room looking perplexed and upset. “You girls have seen a brown bag with a white stripe and my initials?”
“A what?” Ford asked, not following what the man was asking.
“My suitcase - with all my resort clothes,” Bienstock replies.
John automatically glances down to be sure the bag is out of sight, before looking back up. “No, we haven't.”
Bienstock is now more upset. “Can't understand it. First my glasses disappear - then one of my suitcases…” Just then Sugar appears in the doorway behind him.
“Where's my ukulele?” Sugar asks, totally unaware of a problem.
“- ukulele? There must be a sneak thief around here,” Bienstock states, now sure that it’s not just an accident his stuff is missing. He goes out, shaking his head in puzzlement.
Ford moves to the instruments and hands Sugar her ukulele, “Here you are, Sugar.”
Sugar beams at Teyla and Johanna, “A bunch of us girls are going for a swim. Want to come along?”
“You betcha,” Ford replies quickly, thinking of seeing all those girls, especially Sugar in a bathing suite.
“Wait a minute, Teyla. You haven't got a bathing suit,” he points out, for they didn’t have that much money and they stole a few things along the way as well, so they could have enough stuff to keep them for a day or three as women.
“She doesn't need one. I don't have one either.” Sugar replies as if that’s no big deal
“See? She doesn't have one either…” Ford tells John, ready to stick his tongue out at him. Then he turns back to Sugar, realizing what she said. “You don’t?”
Sugar laughs, “We'll rent some at the bathhouse. How about you, Johanna?” she asks, with some hope of having both girls with her as she likes them both very much.
John shakes his head, “No, thanks. I'd rather stay in and soak in a hot tub.” He steps into the bathroom, turns on the faucet.
Ford is more than pleased to have some time with Sugar without John around and his stupid head games he plays. The man could have anyone he wanted, yet he continued to play games and manipulate, he didn’t get it. “Yeah - let her soak. Come on.”
John worked hard to keep the Cheshire cat smile off his face as the tub began to fill. “Don't get burned, Teyla,” he teased.
“Oh, I have some suntan lotion,” Sugar said innocently as she head to the door.
“She’ll rub it on me - and I'll rub it on her - and we'll rub it on each other – bye,” he told John as he ushers Sugar out in high spirits, waiting for Sugar to not look and gives in and sticks his tongue out at John.
John looks after them, then quickly locks the hall door, and stepping into the bathroom, turns off the water. He hurries over to the bed, slides out Bienstock's suitcase, and opens it. It's crammed full of resort clothes he’d seen earlier on the train - and John takes out a blazer, flannel pants, and a yachting cap, which he perches on his head, not caring if he looks stupid with the earrings and make-up on. Then he lifts his skirt above his knee, pulls out Bienstock's glasses from under his garter. He puts them on, peers around myopically. His enlarged eyes are grotesque - but then again, so is his scheme.
****End of Chapter Four****
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