Evan was carefully sneaking down the halls, a box hugged close to his body, trying to avoid running into Radek, who in a stroke of bad luck had been in the gate-room when Evan's team had gated in. At least they'd happened to have taken a jumper to P5H-466, because now he still had a chance to get from the jumper bay to the zoology lab without running into Radek, who was both too curious and far too stealthy for his own good.
Outside the physics department, he almost ran into McKay, who was walking in the opposite direction, completely occupied with his PDA.
“Whoa there, doc!” Evan shouted, and McKay raised his head enough to glare at him.
“Can'ttalkrightnowhavetogo,” Evan said and hurried past him before McKay had the chance to fall into another lengthy diatribe about stupid grunts disturbing his vitally important work the way he had the last time he'd almost mowed Evan down in a hallway.
It would have been simpler to take the box and its winged inhabitants straight to his quarters, but even though Dr Gonzales had cleared the two birds on location, saying that they were identical to a species that could be found on the mainland and was common on many Pegasus planets, Evan wanted to make certain that he wasn't about to horribly damage the Atlantean Eco system. He'd read about what happened when some idiots introduced starlings to the US, and he didn't want to make the same mistake. And while he was at it, it wouldn't hurt to make sure that he wasn't about to give his boyfriend bird plague.
The door to the zoology lab was always kept locked, but Evan just had to press the Ancient door buzzer once before Dr Morozova opened it for him. She was a statuesque woman in her mid-forties, and Parrish had once confessed to him that he had a bit of a crush on her. More importantly, Evan knew that she had a keen interest in birds and wouldn't mind looking over the two Pegasus carrier pidgeons he'd bought for Radek.
“Major Lorne!” She greeted him, and yeah, Evan could kind of see where Parrish was coming from, what with the accent and the looking like a Russian Xena warrior princess.
“Hey, doc,” he said. “Sorry for disturbing you like this, but I was wondering if you could look over these birds for me.” He showed her the box, and she raised a well-shaped eyebrow at him.
“I see. This is for Zelenka, yes?”
“How did you know?”
She smiled warmly at him, showing off even white teeth in the process. “It is a hobby of his, I believe, and I know you two are close.”
She took the box from Evans hands and put it on the lab table. “You want me to determine if they carry any diseases, correct?”
“Yeah, and to double-check that they're the same as the birds on the mainland. I don't want to screw with mother nature.”
“Very wise of you.” She opened the box and peered down into it. “They appear to be identical, but I will make certain. You can come down again this afternoon, and I'll have your birds ready for you.”
“Wow, that's great, doc, thanks.”
“Not a problem. Now run along and leave me to my work. “ She waved him off, her focus already switched away from Evan to the two birds.
Since all the incriminating evidence was off his hands - literally; Evan decided to go find Radek. Lunch was already over, but even though there was a couple of hours left before the mess started to serve dinner, Evan was feeling a bit hungry, and he knew that Radek was always up for coffee.
He found Radek exactly where he'd expected him to be, in the physics lab, arguing with Rodney over whatever equation was currently scribbled on one of the whiteboards.
"Evan!" Radek exclaimed when he noticed him. "I missed you when you gated in."
"Yeah," Evan lied smoothly, "decon, you know how it is."
"Yes, I do indeed," Radek said, frowning, and Evan knew he had to be thinking of the last time someone managed to talk him into going offworld. The swamp he'd fallen into hadn't been poisonous, but its mud had stained him orange for a week.
"I was wondering if you wanted to go grab a coffee with me," Evan said.
Radek glanced at Rodney, who'd crossed his arms and was tapping his foot theatrically. "I'm afraid I'm in the middle of something here. But if you want to, I'll come by your quarters tonight. We could play chess." They really did play chess sometimes, but judging by Radek's smirk, tonight they'd "play chess."
"Sounds good. See you then." With a nod to McKay, Evan left the labs. He might as well grab a coffee and a sandwich and go to his office and write his report right away.
In the evening, he collected the birds from Dr Morozova. As he'd hoped, they were healthy and an exact genetic match for the mainland pigeons, so he wouldn't have to rethink his gift.
He didn't bother cleaning up his quarters. He was a naturally neat person, and what few bad habits he'd had as a young man had long since been beaten out of him by the Air Force. Besides, considering how long they'd been together, Radek wouldn't be chocked by the sight of Evan's dress blues that were sloppily thrown over his desk chair and awaiting ironing.
He actually didn't have to do much of anything except wait for Radek to arrive. He checked up on the birds, who were calm in the cage Dr Morozova had kindly provided Evan with, and then he settled down to watch some Monthy Python on his laptop.
Radek arrived in the middle of the Architects sketch, and he must have possessed some freaky kind of pigeon radar, because he zeroed in on the birds right away.
"What is this?" He'd walked over to the cage where it stood on Evan's desk, and was inspecting the birds.
Evan closed the laptop and got up from his slouch on the bed. "They're for you," he said, smiling at the sight of his boyfriend cooing to attract the attention of the two birds. "I know how much you miss your pigeons."
Radek looked up from the birdcage with a soft smile on his face. "Thank you, Evan, that is very thoughtful of you."
Evan shrugged. "I'm glad you like them."
"I do, miláček," Radek said seriously. Evan believed him; Radek only brought out the Czech endearments when he was really overcome with emotion. He'd told Evan once that he found it much easier to tell people he loved them in English; in Czech, the word carried so much more meaning for him. Evan was monolingual, but it made sense to him.
"Now come here," he said brusquely, holding out his arm, "so I can thank you properly."
Evan took the few steps necessary to cross the room, and then he was in Radek's arms, being kissed the way he never got tired of. Radek was a fantastic kisser, knowing all of Evan's hotspots and how to use them in the most devastating way possible. It was the sort of thing that would have given Evan a complex if he hadn't ferreted out all of Radek's hotspots in turn. In this, like in so many things, they were equals.