"There I am," right by his side, as we walk quietly down the deserted corridor. He's not a man prone to silence, and so it's quite strange to not have him rambling about something, usually science, often food, sometimes another thing altogether. But now he says nothing; I can feel he's nervous. He's never been nervous before, not that I've seen, not like this. I hear him swallow and feel his look upon me. It's brief, just a glance, but it's there.
Everything will be done once Sheppard has finished his tasks. One thing that bugs me is, it would have made sense for Rodney to tackle one of the more distant stations, leaving Sheppard with one near and one far away. But maybe that's it. That glance was like a stolen moment, like our time alone. This is just us for once, no interruptions, with extra time to kill - together. He set this up, and yet now he doesn't have anything to say.
I watch him, taking my own chance to see him as he directs Sheppard on how to disengage the grounding station. Rodney's eyes dart as he thinks, his brain put to use again, with a problem to solve that he knows he can. So why is it that after he's done he still has nothing to say to me? Just those short instances when he thinks I'm not looking, and he watches me in turn. What's he searching for there? Proof, something to use to work out whatever that is? I'm hoping he'll find what it is he's seeking to know about me, about us. It's then, as the radio chimes in, that I realise something. It might not be important - I'd like to think not - but I recall again that I've never seen him this nervous. He's never been this quiet either, and we've never been completely alone before. Except I'm sure it doesn't mean a thing. Preferring not to jump to conclusions, I break into a run instead, pushing the possibility far back into my mind, far back where such thoughts belong.
"There you are," striding up to me, with a smile that could dazzle any man. And I try vainly to forget that fact, that I'm a man and you're a...
Well you get the point, and I can't bring myself to finish that thought. Because you're Elizabeth, no, Dr. Weir.
She's my boss, my friend and – right beside me, happy to be with me. She's not complaining, she's not lecturing; she's just there as we walk to the control room. She isn't trying to escape my company, she's taking her time; and I swear she keeps looking at me as I instruct the Major.
Why? Why does she care? I'm not sure what those looks mean. Is she watching me because she's being politely attentive to what I'm saying or because she wants to know how I am?
Why is she here? Why am I here? An opportunity too good to refuse, that's the official reason we're in Atlantis. But wasn't it just another chance to discover new technology and prove myself? And here I am with more than I bargained for, uncovering things I didn't expect to find in this galaxy. Like, why am I left caring if she hurt her knee?
I'd surprised myself with that one. It seemed perfectly reasonable, dare I say 'logical', to give her the closest station, but the Major reminded me. He didn't say a thing, however, his look said it all. McKay, nice to someone? Rodney McKay, thought of as the most insensitive man in the city bar Kavanagh, not commenting snidely on someone else's misfortune and actually being considerate?
Or was it that he could see my ulterior motive – that I wanted him occupied for the longest amount of time, just so I could relax and enjoy some time before the action. More specifically, to enjoy some time with Elizabeth and without the Major. It was something uncalled for because I see her all the time, and if I really wanted, she'd probably spend time with me off duty. Yet I've never asked for her company, however much I'm starting to wish for it. This was the perfect opportunity, and I took it, at his expense. There's some guilt lingering there as I sign off and leave him to do his job, but I push it back and focus on the conversation.
Small talk isn't my thing, but surely there must be something to say to her, more than my rather pathetic 'there you are'. I'm determined to voice the only thing I can think of. It's almost an admittance of my selfishness, but I want her to know that she really is something and that she's someone who means a lot to me, mainly because as far as I can see she believes in me . Only there's a communication coming in. She turns to face me, her concern evident, and I know it's back to the usual - leader and her resident geek to the rescue - and we jog off together to sort out the next crisis, figuring that some things are better left unsaid for now.