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Blue Too

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John lived in another galaxy, on an ancient (and Ancient) city that he could control with his mind. He went to work everyday by calling up a wormhole and stepping through it from the alien planet that he lived on to another alien planet. Sometimes he flew his spaceship - that he also controlled with his mind - and sometimes he stepped through the stone circle and traveled to back to the Milky Way with that single step.

On a bad day he might battle alien vampires who drained years from your life with a touch, but for variety he could return to his home galaxy and battle alien snakes who wanted to crawl inside of him and take over his body.

Yeah, Lt. Colonel John Sheppard lived in a science fiction movie. But this - this had to be the most surreal moment of his in all his forty plus years of life - shopping for new curtains with a General - the head of Homeworld Security, no less - with their best friends in tow.

Apparently, General O'Neill agreed. "Remind me, Colonel, how exactly did we get roped into this again?"

John shrugged helplessly and cocked a thumb over his shoulder to the bickering pair behind him. "I blame them."

O'Neill nodded at that. "Good plan. When in doubt, blame Daniel."

"Or Rodney."

Neither of the men in question objected to being blamed for this little shopping excursion, but that was probably just because they hadn't heard the accusations over their own bickering.

"Brown is only going to make the rooms look smaller! You really think it's a good idea to make an underground room look more enclosed?" Rodney looked about two seconds from calling Dr. Jackson a moron, but something - possibly the General's presence (although John would be shocked if Rodney had actually learned restraint or respect for rank) - held him back.

"It's a neutral color," Daniel retorted, arms crossed tightly over his chest as if he was physically restraining himself from decking Rodney. "Green would limit the decorating options when other people are furnishing the rooms. Besides, you live on Atlantis, you're not the one who's going to be stuck seeing them everyday."

Rodney waved that away as unimportant. "When I am back on Earth I'm forced to stay in the VIP rooms, and I want them to be relaxing. The last thing I need is to be reminded that I'm stuck underground by the hideous brown curtains covering non-existent windows."

"And how are green curtains hiding non-existent windows any more relaxing?" Daniel asked reasonably.

Unaccountably, Rodney blushed. "They... They remind me of home," he answered. He looked quickly at John before raising his chin defiantly. "They're the color of the ocean."

They weren't, not really. The ocean around the city was more grey-blue than anything else, but John thought maybe Rodney had the right idea. Before he could speak up though, the General cleared his throat meaningfully.

"I like the blue ones," O'Neill announced waving down a sales associate.

When the smiling man arrived with a cheerful, "Have we decided?" O'Neill pulled out a length of blue sample curtain and nodded to John.

"Do you like this one?"

John eyed it critically, pretending to examine it thoroughly while angling himself so he could see both the fabric and Rodney's eyes at the same time. He nodded. "Yep, that'll work." The curtains weren't quite the same shade, but they were close enough if O'Neill really liked them that much.

The General glanced from the material to Daniel's face, and if John didn't know better he'd swear that O'Neill was doing the same thing with Daniel as John had just done to Rodney, before approving the selection. "We'll take two hundred," O'Neill said in a tone that brooked no argument.

O'Neill and Daniel were making delivery arrangements when Rodney slid in close beside him.

"Blue? Really?" Rodney asked quietly, sounding more exasperated than mad.

With a casual glance to be sure no one was watching them, John quickly squeezed Rodney's hand, flashing him a knowing smile. "I like blue."

Rodney squeezed back, flashing his lopsided smile back at John. "So does the General apparently."

John looked over at the man in question, standing too close to Daniel, and was only mildly surprised to find O'Neill staring into Daniel's eyes. John was no lip reader but he'd bet his favorite jumper that the words coming out of the General's mouth were, "I like blue."