Post-Siege, earthside, slight crossover with SG1.
unbeta'd, complete fluff
written January 31, 2007; posted to website April 8, 2007
John gave up on the lurking inconspicuously thing after the tenth person had given him a weird look while walking past. The SGC had a lot more people than Atlantis wandering around, made it tough to just take a few minutes to gather yourself together.
Not that he needed to, of course. There was nothing nerve-wracking about asking a friend to take a break.
John nodded firmly to himself, ignoring the startled glances from the pair of SFs walking past, and sauntered into Rodney's temporary lab.
"Hey," he said, smiling.
Rodney glanced up at him, then narrowed his eyes and frowned. "What's wrong?"
"Nothing's wrong!" John ran a nervous hand across his hair.
Rodney's eyes tracked the motion briefly before meeting John's squarely. "Nothing's wrong," he repeated flatly.
"No!" He huffed out an impatient breath. "Look. I just wanted to know if you wanted to go grab something to eat."
Rodney stared at him. "Then why do you look --"
"The mess has pie today," John blurted, dropping his gaze to the floor. "I thought maybe -- Anyway. There's pie. If you want."
Silence stretched, and John's hands slowly started to curl up into fists as he breathed steadily, still staring at the floor.
"Pie," Rodney said quietly.
"Yeah," John said tightly. "Pie."
"I thought -- no, okay, never mind, pie is good, let's go eat." Rodney saved whatever he was working on and moved over to John. "I like pie."
"I know," John said, as they started walking down the hallway. "You told me."
"No, nothing, just, I thought I hallucinated -- I was extremely drugged and under a great deal of pressure at the time," Rodney said defensively.
John hit the button for the elevator. "I know, Rodney, I was there. And if you were having hallucinations, you should have told someone."
"Well, obviously, I wasn't, since you seem to remember the same conversation," Rodney snapped, righteous indignation pouring off him in waves before uncertainty crept in. "You do remember the conversation, I trust?"
"I remember," John agreed. It had been one of those strange, almost surreal moments -- Wraith on the way, everyone in the city panicked and working their asses off to figure out a way to survive, and somehow John and Rodney had found a few minutes of quiet and started talking about things they missed back home. The shared love of pie wasn't all that surprising, but had been nice to find out, and they'd agreed that sitting down to a big slice was something they should do as soon as possible if they ever made it home.
The mutual attraction, that had been a surprise, and only exhaustion and uppers and Rodney's almost total lack of filters between brain and mouth when it came to personal things had made it possible.
But all of those things had made it equally possible that Rodney was delusional when he confessed all, which John hadn't really thought about until after he'd confessed back.
And then things had gotten crazy, and the next thing he knew he wasn't dead, and Atlantis wasn't destroyed, and he was back home being debriefed, and debriefed some more, and debriefed some more, with no chance to talk to a now-sober Rodney about anything.
Not until he got word of fresh pie in the mess, anyway. John had figured it had to be a sign.
"Good, that's good," Rodney said. "Because the rest of that conversation -- "
"Yeah, I know, and who'd'a thought we'd be continuing it in the middle of Stargate Command, where my future is being decided," John said urgently, hoping the elevators had nothing more damning than cameras in them.
Rodney's eyes widened. 'Sorry', he mouthed, so obviously that anyone manning the cameras would have to be blind not to have understood him.
John rolled his eyes, grateful when the doors chose that moment to open and let them out on the right floor. He gestured Rodney out ahead of him, taking advantage of the narrow space to let his hand brush against Rodney's in a silent promise.
There wasn't even a line at the mess, and John's mouth watered at the thought of actual, real, fresh fruit pie, made with fruit he recognized and cane sugar and real pie crust. He ignored everything else and went straight to the desserts section, Rodney hard on his heels.
"You said there was pie," Rodney said accusingly. "You promised!"
"I didn't promise!" He stared at the desserts in front of him, willing pie to appear to no avail. "Dammit."
A server appeared behind the desserts. "Sorry, sir, pie's gone already. Handed out the last piece just a minute ago."
"Of course you did," John said, resigned. He turned around to glance at the tables scattered around the mess, wondering who'd taken his treat, and blinked at the sight of General O'Neill, reading reports and eating a big slice of pie. "Um."
The server grinned. "Yes, sir."
"Guess I won't be lodging a complaint, then."
"I wouldn't, sir," he agreed.
"What?" Rodney asked crankily, turning to follow John's gaze. "Oh. Oh, well, that figures. Damn. I really wanted that pie. Oh, no."
"Gentlemen!" O'Neill said, clapping a hand on John's shoulder. "You look depressed."
"No, sir," John said. "We're fine."
"Ah! Don't argue with a general, son." O'Neill gestured to the server. "Thompson, these men have been offworld for a year, and are clearly in need of... pie. Pull one of tonight's dinner batch aside for them, okay?"
Thompson grinned. "Yes, sir."
"Ah!" O'Neill raised a finger and glared at John. "Just say 'thank you' and get that pie back to your quarters without anyone seeing you, if you can."
John grinned. "Thank you, sir, and I'll do that."
"Good. Oh, great, now what?" He gave them a distracted wave as he headed off to deal with someone coming at him with a clipboard.
Rodney turned to John. "So -- pie in your quarters tonight?"
John looked at him, heat pooling low and quiet in his belly. "Yeah," he drawled. "That sounds perfect."
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