Summary: Daniel is, technically speaking, not trained as a linguist.
Fandom: Stargate: Atlantis/Stargate SG-1
Word Count: 658
Rating/Warnings: R, dorky jokes only linguists get, movie!Daniel characterization, spoilers for Enemy at the Gate
A/N: Written for Oxoniensis's Porn Battle VII.
Daniel is, technically speaking, not trained as a linguist. As a philologist and archaeologist, his informants have generally been dead for several thousand years; the greatest advantage to his subfield is that he just doesn't encounter some of the ethical issues faced by researchers who work with living populations. He should know- he just sent off his comments on the new draft of the Linguistic Society of America's Ethics Statement.
Obviously, his position has changed somewhat over the last decade or so.
But this just isn't that. Sitting here, on Earth- even if only because Atlantis has been temporarily relocated here- across from an actual informant, makes him feel like a grad student again, and he's really cognizant of how he could fuck it up really quickly.
“You mentioned a ritual,” he says, flipping back through his notes, “The Rite of Ranshanak. Could you tell me more about it?”
“I am not sure that you will want to hear the details,” she demurs, pouring him another cup of tea.
“No, no, please,” he protests, not wanting to let any opportunity slip away. “Of course I do.”
“It is a planting festival practiced among the people of Ythilia- I believe the designation is MR5-63K,” she tells him, picking up her cup with both hands and taking a long sip of the steaming beverage. “A queen of the festival is selected from among the unmarried women.” He makes a note of it, though so far it sounds like every other crop-related ritual he's ever heard of; maybe it's a universal. He makes a note to check the HRAF later- there might be a paper in that.
“First, she removes her garments,” Teyla says; still, nothing that spectacular. “She is led to a dais in the middle of the village. There she is bound, hand and foot, to a circular platform.”
Daniel is on the point of asking how they sacrifice the poor girl when Teyla speaks again. “All the men in attendance line up, and she chooses from among them based on which has the most desirable qualities.”
“And what qualities are those?” Daniel asks.
“Intelligence,” she tells him, regarding him with a steady gaze. “Kindness. But, above all else, skill with words and oration- in all the languages of the galaxy.” Something about the way she says it is a subtle compliment and blatant come on, all at the same time. He looks up at her, but her demeanor is completely unchanged.
“Please, go on,” he prompts.
“He joins her on the platform, and from that point on, they,” she flushes just a little, “make love until the festival is over. While he pleasures her, she chants- it has been a long time, but it it something like this,” she says. Teyla's voice is melodic and soft as she repeats the words, rising in volume and pitch before falling again, her cadence more like moaning towards the end than speaking. He has the presence of mind to scribble down what he thinks is the text in IPA, knowing that the characters can't possibly to it any justice.
“The more times he can bring her to completion, the more fruitful it is believed the subsequent harvest will be.” She sighs, her breasts rising and falling with it. “It is really quite spectacular.”
Daniel hopes she can't see him very clearly in the dim light of her quarters, wondering whether covering himself with one of her throw pillows would make it more or less obvious. He picks up his teacup, needing something to steady him. “Of course, I have only served as the queen twice,” she adds, and he spills it all over himself.
“Please, let me help you get cleaned up,” she says, reaching over to unbutton his jacket.
Screw the LSA, he thinks as she pulls off his shirt and dips her hands into his pants. They always send his copy of Language late, anyway.