Another day, another (thankfully minor) disaster. Dr. Elizabeth Weir was more than happy to adjourn the debriefing once the away team had completed their report and the requisite John/Rodney bickering that always seemed to accompany any meeting involving the two men. Elizabeth knew it was just Rodney's nature to be arrogant and argumentative, but some days it was harder to keep herself from tearing his head off than it was on others. Today had been one of the hardest of all.
Which was why she really didn't want to see Dr. Zelenka in the hall outside the briefing room, apparently waiting to ambush her. But, she forced herself to put on a pleasant smile. "What can I do for you, Dr. Zelenka?"
"For me? Nothing," he assured her with a smile that really was sincere in its pleasantness. "But for you, I think you should drink this."
Surprised, Elizabeth held out her hands, and he placed the object he was holding carefully in them. It was a coffee mug (one of Rodney's, judging by the words 'I'm Probably a Lot Smarter Than You Think You Are' on the side), resting on a desert plate. "What is it?"
Dr. Zelenka shoved his glasses farther up his nose. "It's tea."
"Tea?" The configuration of dishes did sort of resemble a cup and saucer if she squinted.
"Yes, made from plants grown by the Athosians on the main land. Now, come."
Dr. Weir allowed herself to be herded down the hall by the Czech scientist. "Dr. Zelenka…"
"Please, Dr. Weir, call me Radek."
"All right but only if you call me Elizabeth. Now, Radek, just where are you taking me?"
"To your office, where, I am assuming, you can get a reasonable amount of privacy if you lock the door."
True to his word, they stopped outside her office, and Zelenka opened the door for her. "Yes, that's right," Elizabeth admitted, still unsure of where this was headed. "Of course, anyone with the ATA gene and the proper codes can override the lock, so it's hard to keep Major Sheppard and Rodney out… Really, doctor, what's this all about?"
"Please, sit, Elizabeth," he said, ignoring her question completely as he ushered her to a seat in her own desk chair. "Sit and drink your tea. And, here, rest your feet on this." He pushed a crate out of the corner to where she was sitting to be used as a footstool.
Dr. Weir had to admit as she propped her feet up on it that it did feel good to get her legs up. And the tea, she concluded, was delicious. She leaned back into the chair and took a moment to just breathe in the sweet, herbal vapor rising from her mug.
Zelenka finished his flurry of activity by muting the sound on her laptop. Then, he perched on the end of the desk and watched her from behind his silver-rimmed glasses as she drank.
"Why do I get the feeling I'm being buttered up for something?" she said after a moment.
"Because you are feeling over-tired and pulled in too many directions. We here on Atlantis are a very needy group and are without our wives, our mothers, so you become mother to all of us, for which we are very thankful. But you do not take time for yourself, and then you grow weary. So," he said, tapping the side of his nose conspiratorially, "For one half hour, you drink tea and take no demands." Zelenka straightened. "Now, I will go and leave you in peace."
Elizabeth reached out and caught his wrist. "Actually, Radek, I'd like it more if you stayed." She gave him a quiet smile as he settled back down on the edge of her desk. "Tell me a bit about your life, back on Earth."