“Oh, please! Are you even listening to yourself?”
Rodney’s voice drifted along the corridor, and John picked up his pace. He knew that tone and didn’t want to miss out on the good stuff.
“I am telling you, Rodney, it is –”
That was Zelenka. He sounded pissed but kind of resigned. John grinned and hurried on.
“You’re telling me fairy tales – that’s what you’re doing. Yes, reducing the flow by point three percent would result in a commensurate increase in fluidity… if this was some magical kingdom of make believe, and there were pixies and unicorns to sprinkle moonbeams and stardust over your outrageously optimistic predictions and make them all come true.”
John strolled into the lab just in time to see Zelenka throwing his hands in the air and spouting a burst of frustrated – and most likely anatomically impossible, or at least implausible – Czech in Rodney’s direction.
“Yes, yes,” Rodney snorted, waving a dismissive hand. He had his back to John, but John knew there’d be an eye roll to go with that particular hand-snort combo. “That doesn’t change the fact that those figures are way off the mark, the truth of which you’ll see when we –”
“Colonel,” Zelenka almost shouted as he noticed John, and he sent a pleading gaze over Rodney’s shoulder. His hair was sticking out at even crazier angles than usual – it looked like the discussion had been going on for a while.
Rodney swung around, surprise smoothing into the open, crooked smile that still made John’s chest feel warm, even after all their years together. “John? I thought we weren’t meeting until dinner?”
John grinned and hitched a hip against Rodney’s desk. “It is dinner time, Rodney. I thought I’d drop by and make sure you hadn’t forgotten.” Zelenka mouthed a silent ‘thank you’ behind Rodney, and John winked.
“Oh, right! Yes.” Rodney glanced around the lab, quickly grabbing his laptop and a couple of stray tablets. He turned and pointed at Zelenka. “We’ll try that simulation tomorrow, Radek. Perhaps you can find a pumpkin and some mice during the evening and entice a passing fairy godmother to cast a spell over your math. It’s the only way it stands any chance of being right.”
Zelenka shook his head. “And perhaps while she is here, she can take your oversized ego and turn into a ZPM. Atlantis would never have to worry about power again.” He shooed Rodney away with a chuckle. “Now go. The Colonel is waiting for you.”
“Very funny,” Rodney huffed, but he was smiling as he turned and walked over to John. “Right, what are we waiting for? I’m starving.”
John laughed, the warmth in his chest growing as Rodney fell easily into step by his side. “Come on then, Cinders. Time to go to the ball.”
John bumped their shoulders together. “Hey, if the shoe fits, buddy…”
Rodney didn’t stop groaning until they reached the mess hall.
The end (and they all lived happily ever after!) ♥