Title: Overheard on Atlantis
Fandom: Stargate: Atlantis
Pairing: None (McKay/Sheppard implied)
Disclaimer: Not mine, which fills me with infinite sorrow today. But hey, at least I can borrow them for a while.
John had made it to the self-service dessert rack and had one hand full of mango pudding (for himself), with the other hand poised between blue jello and apple pie (for Rodney), when he heard it.
"Oh my God!" Rodney said, in a voice that could probably burst eardrums all the way back on Earth. "You think I'm having sex with Colonel Sheppard! Are you insane?"
Assorted pudding cups went flying as John's hand jerked at the shock of it. A chocolate mousse sailed out the back of the dessert rack like a heat seeking missile, and exploded with total devastation across Corporal Dean's apron-covered chest.
"I don't believe this!" Rodney rampaged. "What kind of morons are you people? And I don't care if it was a private conversation. If you'd wanted it to be private you should have, oh, I don't know, not said it where I could hear you."
John gave an embarrassed shrug of apology across the counter to Dean, who stared back at him, boggle-eyed. He wasn't the only one staring: the entire foodline had ground to a halt, gazes flickering back and forth between Rodney and John.
Sighing heavily, John turned and looked over at Rodney, who was waving both arms wildly and practically foaming at the mouth. He was clearly in full Rant Mode, and someone was going to have to do something before the scene turned ugly, and as neither Elizabeth nor Teyla were in the mess, that pretty much narrowed it down to John.
"Fuck," John muttered, as he picked up his tray and reluctantly walked over to Rodney.
"Yes, yes, Don't Ask, Don't Tell is all very amusing to giggle over, I'm sure," Rodney was saying, "but did it occur to you that it means that, as the military commander of this base, Sheppard can't actually deny stupid insinuations from imbeciles like--"
Clapping a hand on Rodney's shoulder, John said, "Hey buddy. I'm starving. Let's eat lunch," and attempted to tug Rodney towards their usual table.
Rodney gaped at him for a moment, then pointedly pulled away from John's hand and narrowed his eyes. "Oh, right! Of course you're suddenly Mister Politically Correct. Not! Don't even try to tell me this doesn't bother you!"
John shrugged as casually as he could while balancing a tray on one hand. "What can I say? Last month I was supposedly shagging Teyla, and the month before that it was Elizabeth." He smirked and raised a suggestive eyebrow, knowing it was a foolproof way of redirecting Rodney's irritation. "Next month I might get really lucky and score Ronon."
"Oh, that's nice!" Rodney huffed. "Here I am sticking up for you, and you're being all..." he waved a hand in an offended circle, "...slutty."
The group of women Rodney had been berating snickered a little, but before Rodney could do more than turn and glare at them, John said, "Well, then. You won't want the pudding I got for you, as it's passed through my slutty hands."
That did the trick: Rodney's gaze zeroed in on John's tray, taking in the mango pudding, blue jello and chocolate mousse. When he looked up again, meeting John's gaze, the martial glint had faded from his eyes. "Oh, all right," he said, grumpily, and stomped off towards their table.
As soon as Rodney's back was turned, John smiled at the gossipers with well-practiced ease and said, "Thanks for the entertainment, ladies." Then he winked at them and turned to follow Rodney, jamming his free hand in his pocket so that no one would see that it was clenched into a fist.
See? That's the kind of thing I mean. I just adore gossip fic; the whole vicarious thrill of it, and how the characters react to it and deal with it.
I wonder what John and/or Rodney overhears next?
On to Overheard in a Meeting