John was in the breakfast line, tired after a long night waiting for Rohmer's team to return. Bad weather and a small mudslide had delayed the team's return until the middle of Atlantis' night.
He peered at the sign in front of Senior Airman Matias. "What the heck is tuttle butter?" he asked.
Matias spread a generous dollop on a slice of bread and handed it to Sheppard. "Try it."
John took a nibble and smiled. "Peanut butter!"
Matias grinned. "Close enough! And, even better, it has none of the allergens of peanuts!"
"That will be popular," John said.
"Already is!" Matias replied. "This is the second tub and it's going fast."
John considered for a moment. "See me later?"
"Yes, sir!" Matias answered.
Later turned out to be one lab explosion, a rescue mission for another team, and a week of random sewage back ups, later.
John met with Matias to ask a favor. He didn't use the I'm the Colonel card too often, but Matias seemed happy to help him out.
It was just after breakfast when John leaned in the door way of Rodney's lab. He had seen Rodney notice when he did that, so he used it to his advantage.
"What? We don't have a mission or..." Rodney looked more carefully. "Did I forget something? Why are you dressed like that?"
John glanced down at the fitted jeans and polo shirt he was wearing. He wasn't going to admit he had spent too much time debating about what to wear.
"Thought we could use a day off," John shrugged. "Come to the mainland with me?"
"I have too much to do!" Rodney protested.
"Rodney." Zelenka sighed. "Take pity on the Colonel and go away. There's always too much to do."
Rodney frowned but took a breath as John leaned with intent in the doorway. "Oh, all right! But if anything breaks..."
"Yes, I know," Radek placated him. "It's my fault."
John let Rodney go back to his room and change into more comfortable clothes -- and to pack a backpack with a laptop. Just in case...
They finally got to the Jumper and set off for the mainland.
"Wait!" Rodney said, noticing the course they were on. "Where are we going? You said the mainland and I figured we would visit the Athosians."
"Thought we'd scout out a couple of places where we can set up camp, for folk to get away from Atlantis," John replied.
"That's work!" Rodney protested. "And we don't have enough people for that!"
"The space is already cleared," John countered. "We don't have to do anything but look at it."
"If I have to shoot my way out of anything, you're going to be the first thing I shoot!" Rodney promised.
He set the Jumper down on a clear spot just above a small bay. A sandy beach led into the ocean and small waves lapped the shore. There was a stand of trees a short distance from the waterline, and there were only long grass and low growth bushes to fill the space.
"Okay, this isn't too bad," Rodney admitted. He turned looked around. "Did you bring...."
"Yes, I brought the sun screen." John tossed a jar toward him.
Rodney peered into the Jumper. "What else did you bring?"
"Some food, blankets," John replied.
"Food?" Rodney perked up so fast that John laughed.
"Yes, plenty of food," John said. "In fact, let's start with a fire pit so we can put the tormack in to roast."
"Where'd you get tormack?" Rodney demanded. "They told me we were all out and weren't due for a delivery for weeks!"
John leaned in to Rodney and dropped a kiss on his outraged face. "I have my ways," he murmured.
"Good thing I like you," Rodney muttered, returning the kiss.
They worked on a fire pit, scrounging wood for the fire. They had to look further away from the Jumper than John had thought, a consideration for any future use of the space.
John spread the blanket on the ground, getting out a pillow for Rodney. Rodney had come a long way, but John didn't want to have to listen to complaints about rocks as they sat on the beach.
Placing the tormack on the edge of the fire, John sat.
"Umm.. is there anything to eat now?" Rodney asked, hopeful.
John grinned. He dug into the sack that had held the tormack and handed Rodney a packet.
"I suspect this will keep you for a bit," John said, taking a packet for himself.
Rodney unwrapped the sandwich prying the slices of bread apart. "What..."
"Try it," John said softly. "It's safe, I triple checked."
Rodney took a small bite and chewed for a moment. "Where did you find the makings for a fluffernutter sandwich?" Rodney took a larger bite.
"You know that tuttle butter stuff they developed?" John asked.
Rodney nodded, too busy devouring the sandwich to answer.
"Talked to the cooks and asked if they had anything they could put with the tuttle butter that would be safe for you," John replied.
"I know!" Rodney replied. "Most jellies have lemon in it... to brighten the flavor, and make it deadly. Since I couldn't eat most jellies, I didn't eat any."
"That's what we came up with," John admitted. "But I suspected you'd be the fluffernutter type and they were able to come up with a small batch for you. But don't ask for it too often, evidently it takes a lot of sugar and even with our connection to Earth, it's not something they can afford to make regularly."
"I know!" Rodney agreed. "And even I can't afford to eat that much sugar too often." He leaned toward John for a kiss. "But it's a great treat. Thank you!"
Sandwiches finished, John stowed their trash and moved closer. "Nap time," John said, putting his arms around Rodney. They shifted, Rodney resting his head over John's heart and closed their eyes.