Title: The Things We Lost
Word Count: 2718
Spoilers: Up through Tabula Rasa
Summary: Rodney’s lost his favorite mug, and John seems to be more upset then the scientist.
“Everyone stop! This is an emergency,” Rodney said walking briskly up to the table.
His fellow Team Sheppard members were sitting in their customary seats enjoying breakfast. “What is it Rodney?” Teyla asked concerned.
Sheppard smirked, his feet coming off the chair he was kicked up on, which also happened to be across from him and was normally occupied by the haggard scientist. His eyebrows raised in the direction of the scientist.
Rodney ran his hand through his hair, agitated. “I can’t find my coffee mug.”
Ronon snorted shoveling another mouthful into his mouth.
A tiny frowned etched its way across the John’s face but no one else seemed to notice the sudden change of mood.
“No, you don’t understand. That’s my lab coffee mug. I need my coffee mug, for coffee!” Rodney repeated annoyed at their inability to comprehend. “No coffee means I can’t work. If I can’t work then this city falls apart.”
Ronon shook his head giving Sheppard a roll of his eyes.
John bit his lip and chuckled stowing his initial reaction to the scientist’s claim. He kicked his feet back up onto the chair. “Don’t you have more then one coffee cup?”
“Well, yes. Of course I do but this was the best one. It was special.”
“Special how?” Teyla asked using the most appropriate tone she could muster.
“I don’t really know,” Rodney replied. He paused a moment trying to remember where he had even gotten the mug. “I can’t even remember where or how I got it. I know I’ve had it for a while. It’s black and has the words Genius at Work on it. It’s just always been there.”
Sheppard at that moment stiffened, but said nothing and picked at his food.
“Genius at work?” Ronon repeated shaking his head. “Sounds like something you bought for yourself.”
Rodney crossed his arms. “No, I’m quite sure it was given to me. I just can’t recall from whom. I wonder if it’s some sort of side effect from the whole Pegasus Galaxy chicken pox.”
“We’ve all been given a clean bill of health, Rodney.” Teyla advised. “It’s been two days and no one else has reported memory loss.”
“Right,” Rodney said. “That could be it. I mean there are some things I’m still cloudy on. I’ve been to Keller about it but she just thinks its stress related.”
“Also, there are many reports of little things missing or misplaced due to the chaos of everything that has happened. I am sure it will turn up, if you do not try to look so hard for it.” Teyla said reassuring him.
John continued eating in silence as Rodney sighed heavily.
“I swear if someone broke it and swept it under the rug there we’ll be hell to pay. That’s for sure.” Rodney said. He pointed a finger into the air. “It’s one thing to mess around with a man’s bed sheets, it’s quite another to take his coffee mug.” He promised. Then turned on his heels and vanished.
The three of them chuckled heartedly. John not as much, but hid his hurt.
“Bed sheets?” Teyla asked. Her question not really to anyone in particular but Ronon grinned sheepishly.
“It wasn’t my idea,” The Runner commented.
The Athosian just shook her head.
Rodney gritted his teeth as he filled the stained mug he had retrieved from his quarters. It was white, and faded and not nearly as satisfying as his favorite one. He sighed and began typing at this keyboard in rapid succession.
He was deep into calculations that he didn’t hear Sheppard enter. The airman stood just inside the door, leaning against the wall as he watched.
Rodney jumped with a yelp, as he looked up to see the tall, lean figure.
“Hello, to you too.” Sheppard said.
“I hate it when you do that.” Rodney chided.
The taller man shrugged. “I didn’t hear you leave this morning. Which is surprising you’re not usually quiet.”
The scientist crooked a grin. “Yes, well. I had work to do. It’s not like I can concentrate on it when I’m still in bed.”
The airman’s eye caught on the white mug sitting next to the laptop. “Mug still missing?”
“Don’t rub it in,” the scientist replied sourly. “It’s been bugging me all morning. I can’t believe someone stole it.”
“Right,” John replied. His voice distant as he mulled what to say. He slid onto the stool across from the scientist and ran a finger along the edge of the worn mug.
“And I really wish I could remember where I got it. Maybe I can get another one.” the scientist sighed. “It’s funny though. I actual thought for a minute that Katie Brown might have given it to me.”
“What?” Sheppard said. He stiffened again. “Why would you think it was her?”
“Well, I mean we did date. Sort of. That one time. I mean before we-” Rodney stuttered a moment. “Anyway, we know how that ended.”
John coughed slightly. “Yes, it wasn’t at all odd that you went to her bedside when we were all hit by the amnesia thing.”
“That was a little awkward.” Rodney replied, his lip pursing. “She gave me that funny little look.”
“Yea,” John replied. “I almost had to go in to stake my claim.”
The scientist’s eyes widened. “You were jealous!” he exclaimed. “Is that why you’re being so pouty?”
“Maybe I was,” John replied. He stood up. “And I’m not being pouty. I don’t pout, Rodney.”
“Oh?” Rodney said unconvinced. “Well, I must get back to work. See you tonight, yes?” he asked. He kept it casual but he already could feel the need in his gut. Even now he wanted to reach across the table and take the airman’s hand. Pull him close. But doing that in an open area like the lab was begging for an unwanted audience.
“I suppose,” The airman replied. He shrugged. “Do you remember the first Christmas we spent here?” he asked nonchalantly.
“Of course I do.” He replied. “It was the worst and best Christmas ever.” he paused.
“We didn’t really have gifts to give so Elizabeth suggested we just do a Secret Santa and give something we had in our own personal stash.” Rodney smiled to himself. “I got Ford, and ended up giving him one of my mini Daleks,” He scoffed. “And of course, he didn’t appreciate the beauty of it.” He sighed. “I mean, that was such a selfless act on my part.”
John shook his head. “You did get it back you know.”
“I know,” the scientist said still pleased with his gift giving ability.
“And what did you get?” John finally asked leaning into his hands toward the scientist.
“I got,” his eyes strained a moment thinking. Then they were bright, as though the proverbial light bulb had been illuminated. “I got my mug,” he grinned in triumph. “That’s when I got it, and I got it from,” he paused as the words chewed into his lips. “Oh.” was all he managed to say.
The airman nodded, pulling back from the table with a curt wave over his shoulder he was gone.
He frowned, sighing he rested his hands in palms just as Radek entered. “Rodney?” the Czech asked. “Something the matter?”
“I think I’m in the dog house.” he said.
Radek ran his hands through his hair. “You’re telling me. The control crystal for gate is still missing.”
“What?” Rodney asked standing up straight. “I thought they found it where you had hidden it.”
The Czech sighed. “Yes and no. I had put the case containing the crystal in safe place. And I told them where it was when my memory finally returned. But when Lorne and his team went to retrieve it. The case was there, but no crystal.”
“Oh, that’s just great.” Rodney groaned.
Radek nodded. “We don’t know where it has gone. Lorne is organizing teams for search.”
“I’ve got to get back to work,” Rodney said agitated. The news of the missing crystal was bad enough, but the Canadian had more pressing things on his mind. Like the fact John was mad at him.
Rodney paced across the room. It was getting late, and he was beginning to think John wasn’t going to show. Was the airman really that mad about him not remembering?
After another hour of wearing the floor thin, he kicked off his shoes. Removed the button down shirt and slacks he had chosen to wear. Wearing only his boxers he yanked back the covers and slid under them. Cradling himself into the self composed niche he steadied his work tablet in his lap and booted up the project he had started earlier that afternoon.
It was more then an hour later when the door chimed a visitor. “Yes?” He said weary.
The door whooshed open, John standing at the threshold. He stepped inside, eyeing the scientist in the bed. “Starting without me?” he asked.
Rodney sat up straighter moving the tablet to the night table. “I-I didn’t think you were coming.”
John kicked off his own shoes, landing with ease next to Rodney’s. “I got held up, the search for the missing crystal has almost everyone in a craze.”
“Hmm,” The scientist commented. “I had almost forgotten about that,” He squirmed under the covers a moment. “I have something for you.”
“Oh?” The airman said. He pulled his black t-shirt over his head tossing to the floor. “What is it?”
Rodney smiled, sheepish and reached toward the night stand. He retrieved the small trinket no bigger then his palm. And held it out toward the airman.
John laughed as he took the item, neatly tied with a red ribbon. The mini Dalek was none the worse for wear but was still intact. “Rodney,” he said “I can’t take th-”
“No,” The scientist said holding up his hand. “I want to have it,” He swallowed hard. “I was a total idiot.”
“That goes without saying,” The airman replied slipping onto the bed sheet next to him, a hairs breadth away. “But you’re the smartest idiot I know.”
Rodney smiled, his body rising in heat. Not from the warmth of the room, but from the man mere inches away. “So, I’m forgiven?” Rodney asked hopeful.
John laughed. “I don’t think I was mad enough to warrant a gift, and needing to forgive.”
Rodney flushed. “No?”
John moved closer. “No, but I think going through the motions is well worth the make up time.”
The scientist couldn’t agree more, closing the space as he caught the airman’s mouth into his own. The locked eagerly, Rodney bucking under the covers into John as he climbed completely onto the bed, the cover still trapped between them. “Is there anything you want to do? Special?” Rodney asked. “As part of my penance?” he breathed into the words into the airman’s waiting kisses.
John lifted himself up to rip away the covers. Then he shimmied out of his slacks and boxers. They flew over his shoulder to join his t-shirt on the floor below.
John pushed rubbed against the half naked scientist who in turn, jumped in surprised then moaned, his already growing erection straining at his boxers. “Quiet, please.” John said. “Your punishment is the silent game.”
Rodney’s jaw clamped shut as the airman leaned down to kiss at his neck, a squeal of excitement escaping his lips before he could snuff it. “No, sounds.” John chided.
Rodney nodded, reinforcing his demeanor. John pushed his way down Rodney’s body. Kissing, nibbling at will. His hands gripping Rodney’s boxers, sliding them down carefully, he tossed them aside.
Rodney bit his lips as the airman wrapped his fingers around his cock, working it between slicked digits.
Rodney bucked again, biting his lip. Wanting to beg for more, but he knew better. Knew not to speak. John released him covering the scientist with his own body once more he pushed into him, his cock pushing against the scientist as he thrusted.
Rodney bucked once more, his body wanting to come but he could still feel the need for touch. And John understood wrapping his arms around the scientist pulling him up to a sitting position. They rocked, their bodies colliding. And Rodney came finally, hopelessly as John complied in turn.
Rodney came, he cried out into John’s neck as he did breathing in deep the airman’s scent. “Sorry,” he whispered.
“You’re forgiven,” he replied covering the scientist lips with his own as they fell back.
Rodney woke with a start, cold in the empty bed. He rolled over to see John had gone. The time was half past eight and he cursed. He should have been up and in the lab by now. He kicked off what little covers protected him from the room and he swung around to stand up. He padded to the bathroom to shower.
Rodney sat at the edge of the bed, he slipped his feet into his shoes and stood reaching for his watch. He almost didn’t notice the mini dalek on the night stand but he brushed against the trinket, the paper underneath biting at him.
He smiled, reading the words on the note.
Save it for Christmas
Rodney smiled, and slipped it into his pocket before heading out.
It was closer to lunch when he finally surfaced from the lab, he made his way to the control room in search of John hoping they could catch lunch. Lorne passed him in the hall, greeting him with a nod. “Have you heard?” The airman asked.
“No, heard what?” Rodney replied. “We found the crystal this morning so the gate is active again.”
“Hmm,” he said. “That’s good to hear. Where was it?”
Lorne merely smiled. “I’ll leave that to the Colonel. He’s waiting for you with Col. Carter in her office.”
Rodney cocked his head, but waved the airman on his way. John and Col. Carter were sitting in the office. They seemed to be laughing at something, and it was then that he spotted Radek in the corner. The Czech as shaking his head, and was a bright red shade.
“I see we’re celebrating?” Rodney asked entering the office with a huff. “I hear the crystal was located.
“Indeed, it was.” Sam replied. “As well as one other missing item. She pulled an object from out of sight and held it up. I believe this is yours?” she said.
“My mug!” Rodney exclaimed. “Where? Who?”
Radek shifted in his chair in the corner. “It seems,” Carter started leaning forward to hand Rodney the mug. “Radek believed, in his paranoid state, that the crystal wasn’t safe in its case, and decided to relocate it.”
“Oh?” Rodney said turning to the Czech who was unusually silent.
“He hid it, in your mug, and put it behind a plant in some random hallway. It was found early this morning.” Sheppard said. He grinned from ear to ear.
“You what?” Rodney exclaimed turning to the other scientist.
Radek half shrugged. “I did encase it in bubble wrap, and in my defense, I wasn’t exactly thinking straight.”
John chuckled. “Tell him why the mug.”
“Yes, do tell.” Rodney said. “I’m all aflutter with excitement.”
Radek stood hastily. “Well, it was my thinking at the time that the soldiers wouldn’t be looking for it in a mug, cause they were all hyped on those pills. They would have no need for coffee.”
Rodney groaned as John and Sam renewed their laughter. Rodney gruffed. “I hardly find it humorous. Now, I must thoroughly decon it before I can use it again.”
This earned another chorus of laughter, and moments later the group departed, each returning to their duties.
Rodney hummed as he gripped his mug tightly making his way back to the lab. He heard the clicking of hurried feet behind him as John sidled up to pace him They turned a corner and John pushed him into a wall. “Keep an eye out for mug snatchers now.” he advised whispering.
Rodney mockingly laughed, then smiled. “If you’re lucky you might get it for Christmas this year.”
John smiled and stole a kiss taking note that it was the same hall he had snuck his first kiss from Rodney. But this time mistletoe wasn’t the catalyst.