John wondered, idly, if he’d missed a memo or something, because when he walked into the commissary on Monday morning, everyone was quiet. Not sneaky-quiet, like the time that Rodney had run speakers into Kavanagh’s quarters to blast “Dancing Queen” when he got out of bed; or even anxious quiet, like…. too many times and missions and near-disastors to name.
No, everyone was just quietly sitting at their tables and smiling. At him.
“Uh,” he managed, intelligently, as he finally got his tray of food and joined Teyla and Ronon. “Morning?”
“A very good morning to you to, John,” said Teyla, nearly glowing, fortunately in a human, non-alien technology sort of way. “How are you?”
Teyla was usually pretty cheerful, Zen but cheeful, but this was bizarre.
“Pretty good,” John said, cautiously, sticking a forkful of food in his mouth and almost spitting it back out again. “Are these real eggs?”
“They came on the Daedalus last night,” Ronon said, and shoved toast in his mouth, what looked like actual from-Earth sourdough. And then? Ronon grinned, something he never did.
Everyone was happy, really happy, which would have made John happy too, if they weren’t so, well, manic about it. It was kind of creepy.
“John, are you well?” Teyla asked, both she and Ronon staring like he’d lost his mind. John practically vaulted out of his chair.
“Fine. Peachy. I gotta…” and then the words failed him, because a handful of Marines had all given him a thumbs up, Miko had giggled, so John did the responsible, in charge thing to do.
Usually, in this type of situation, the first response was to go to Rodney, but after making his way through every lab he could think of as well as trying Rodney’s radio, there was still no sign of him. Though, when he made his way past the infirmary, two nurses had all but thrown chocolate bars at him. He could hear Beckett in the back, promising that he had something for him, just give him a minute to find it, but it was all too weird, too nice, so he ran, through the twists and turns of the corridors until he reached his room. Maybe, if he just went back to bed, the day would start over again. Hey, maybe he was dreaming, that was a comforting thought, and all he had to do was pull the covers back over his head and there would be no more gleeful waving from the kitchen staff, practically a friendly laugh from Zelenka and…
“oof,” said Rodney, as John barreled into him.
John backed up a step, until he could see Rodney’s eyes, and he was smiling too, and it was all too much and John flailed a little, noticing he was still clenching the chocolate bars as he finally snapped.
“What is it? WHY IS EVERYONE SO HAPPY? Did we defeat someone? Did we blow up all of the Wraith while I was asleep? There were eggs for breakfast, Rodney, real eggs and I think one of the biologists winked at me and, wait, am I dying? Is that it? Did Beckett discover some deadly disease that will kill me by dinner so everyone’s being super nice to me? Because if so, I’d really rather get the bad news over with and-“
“Happy birthday,” interrupted Rodney.
“I knew if you kept using that hair gel your brains would finally die from lack of oxygen. It’s September 3rd, Colonel. Monday, September 3rd. Which, as you might remember, it being on your files and all, is your birthday.”
John blinked, again, and thought.
“Oh,” he said, finally. Then he narrowed his eyes. “You told everyone?”
Rodney backed up a step, raised his hands (well, really one hand, because John noticed he was holding a poorly wrapped box in the other) in defense. “Blame Elizabeth,” he said.
“She got the real eggs and the toast too?” John asked, the edge of a smile starting.
“Well…” Rodney said. “Those were my idea. I remembered how you said you like sourdough.”
“I do,” said John and stepped forward, catching Rodney by the back of the neck, the palm of his hand aligned with the curve of muscle, and placing his smile against Rodney’s mouth, tracing his amused happiness against Rodney’s tongue, smoothing it against his jaw with his thumb.
“You forgot,” Rodney accused, most of the energy in his voice sapped by the way he rested against John’s chest, traced a hand down his shoulder, along the ridge of his spine.
“I did,” John admitted, ghosting a breath against Rodney’s cheekbone. “Thanks for reminding me.”
“Happy birthday,” Rodney said again, part answer and part laugh as he walked backwards towards John’s bed, letting the present fall to the floor.
“Hope that’s not breakable,” John managed, even as he followed, knowing that it would keep, and that the kitchen staff would make sure that there was eggs (real eggs) and stacks of sourdough toast when he and Rodney ate, the day starting over again.