This is the third in a loose series, along with Gift (rated PG-13) and All Dolled Up (rated NC-17)
Word Count: 1,400
Warning: This, like the series in general, includes themes of crossdressing. Though in this case it’s hardly noticeable at all.
A/N: For momma_66 ! Happy Birthday! Sorry it’s late, I worked for three weeks over my Christmas break on a manip only to realize the day before your birthday that when my computer crashed I didn’t have a backup of it! I lost the final product and all the pictures I used! I tried to do another but it wasn’t working so I whipped this up. There will likely be more to the story but I thought it was late enough so I'm posting what I have, it works as a one-shot. I feel awful, I’m so sorry this is all I’ve got for you. Anyway, I hope you enjoy.
“Honey, I’m home!” John called out, laughing at his own good humor, as he entered Radek’s room. When he didn’t receive an answer he opened the door to the patio and then ducked his head into the bathroom, though he was sure he’d been loud enough to garner a response had Radek been in either place. They had plans today, though he wasn’t actually expected for another couple of hours. He’d had a late lunch out on the pier with Teyla, Kanaan, and Torren and was supposed to meet Rodney after for a movie but Rodney hadn’t been in his quarters, either. He’d hastily begged off over the radio once John had called him. So John was here early and Radek wasn’t.
He could hang around and wait for Radek to show, of course. He was tempted to change now. He had promised to dress up, a treat for both of them. He could put on music while he waited and when Radek got home they could do dinner and dancing. It was a nice thought but he’d already shaved in the shower this morning so there really wasn’t much he could do by way of prep and he didn’t like the idea of not being able to leave while there was still the chance he’d have to go find and drag Radek back here for their date. It didn’t happen often, he wasn’t nearly as bad as Rodney, but it did happen.
John checked his watch and walked back out of Radek’s quarters.
As he neared Rodney’s favorite auxiliary lab there was a brief flash that illuminated the hallway John was walking down, it was accompanied by the sizzle of electricity and a pair of yelps. John dropped and moved quickly toward the door but the voices coming from inside the room told him it was a false alarm before he’d even peered around the doorframe.
“What did you do that for?! I-“
“Me?! I am not the one who thought five thousand volts was a good place to start!”
“I think my hair got singed! Does this look-“
There was a loud clank and John watched from the door as Radek pulled out a series of wires from the thing they had set up in the middle of a counter. It was about the size of a microwave.
“We must lower-“
“Obviously.” Rodney barked, finally removing his hands from his perfectly un-singed hair to join Radek looking inside the machine. “Turn that- No! The other way.”
“I know, Rodney.” Radek grumbled, followed by a string of Czech that John didn’t catch.
“Don’t think I didn’t catch that!” Rodney hissed.
“There!” Radek said triumphantly, then he started putting all the wires back in place.
“Oh.” Rodney tilted his head, “Yes, yes, now-“
“The pliers.” Radek reached a hand out.
“What? Oh, yes,here.” Rodeny handed Radek a pair of needle nosed pliers then crowded in close to watch as Radek did something John couldn’t see.
As Radek snapped the panel back in place John stepped inside.
“I hope you haven’t spent your whole Sunday working,” John teased.
Both Radek and Rodney’s heads snapped up to look at him.
Rodney frowned, “Work? Do you have any-“
Radek had smiled and looked at his watch and now cut across Rodney “Am I late?”
“No, not yet.” John smiled back, “What’cha doing?”
Rodney opened his mouth to keep going, hands already moving, but Radek gave him a sly look that stopped him, “Oh, uh, nothing. It’s just- um.”
“You wouldn’t be interested, I’m sure.” Radek said, but his eyes gave him away. John narrowed his eyes and crossed his arms. “Really?”
“Oh, yes. Is only simple, small magnetic inversion.” Radek waved his hands vaguely.
Rodney puffed his chest out but kept his objections under his breath. John was mentally working his way through the list of cool things in this city that relied on magnetic inversion. He knew the big one, of course, but this machine was significantly smaller than that one, though once he looked he could see the similarities.
His jaw dropped and eyes clenched shut for a moment. When he opened them he tried to keep his voice calm, “please tell me you did not steal this from a puddlejumper.”
Radek rolled his eyes but Rodney spoke first, “What do we look like, Sheppard? Of course we didn’t sabotage one of your precious jumpers.”
Radek cleared his throat and John’s eyes widened in horror.
Rodney stumbled and backpedaled, “Well, I suppose I should have said ‘your precious working puddlejumpers’. But really, we just-“
“You took this from jumper three?” John had his hands out. If he were Rodney they’d be waving angrily right now.
“It was broken anyway!”
“She was just having some problems with her inertial dampeners, you didn’t have to scrap her!”
“They are not called inertial dampeners!” Rodney said indignantly.
“Why not? That’s what they do!”
Radek stepped between them, “Please,” he had a hand in front of each of them now. Rodney and John looked at each other, startled.
“We weren’t-“ John said.
“I d-didn’t-“ Rodney stuttered, but Radek shook his head to stop both of them. He patted John’s chest, just over his heart.
“While your puddlejumper was-“ He stumbled, obviously looking for the correct phrase, “-already in the shop, we just thought to test a theory. She is fine. No harm done, yes?”
John pouted but nodded.
Rodney crossed his arms over his chest defensively, “If anything you should be thanking us, we’re trying to give you shields with the cloak. Obviously useful. And if it happens to save my hide as well-“
John stepped around Rodney to look at the metal machine again, “Really? The last time you tried that it didn’t-“
“Yes, well, we’re trying it a different way this time,” Rodney huffed, sticking his chin out, “I’ll have you know this looks very promising.”
“Yeah, that blast earlier looked real promising.”
“Well-“ Radek hedged, shrugging and moving forward and sliding his hand into a crevice, “right now there is not enough power.”
John watched as static electricity made Radek’s hair stand out wildly. Radek grinned at him before removing his hand.
“Well, not now, obviously. But the theory is solid.” Rodney argued.
John let out a laugh and reached out to touch Radek’s deflating hair. The strands moved toward his hand on their own.
“Ow!” He drew his hand back fast as he felt a light shock. “I suppose it doesn’t look too bad-“ he bounded on his toes, “and if it works-“
“It’s one less way for me to die, yes.” Rodney said.
Radek’s hand landed lightly on his forearm, “Do you mind?”
John shook his head, “We’ve got plenty of time, besides, looks like you were having fun.”
“Well,” Radek drew out, glancing at Rodney.
John laughed, “You were.”
“A bit, perhaps.” Radek looked sheepish, “but I also do not wish to miss our plans tonight.”
Rodney made a small noise before John could respond and raised his voice, “I don’t need to hear any more.”
John grinned at where Rodney was doing a horrible job of pretending to ignore them.
“Naw, go on,” John said to Radek, “I like watching you guys work, I’ll be fine.” And to prove his point he hopped up onto a clear counter and crossed his legs contentedly. Radek moved closer, resting his hands on John’s bent knees, and leaned forward. John met him in a quick kiss. As long as Rodney was ignoring them he could ignore that, too. It wasn’t as if he didn’t already know, anyway. John watched as Radek moved back into Rodney’s space, leaning over to tap a few keys. Rodney tried to bat his fingers away and soon enough they were right back where they were when John first arrived.