Thanks to sgamadison for the sniglet... had to write this to go with it. And there's a 'pic' of the sign on the lab on sga_saturday.
Head's up on anyone following along. The plan is to finish the fic in time for this year's Squee Weekend, which is next week... so I'll keep poking at this to get it where I want it to be.
They settled into a routine where John would jog with Rodney one day and they'd work out with Teyla on the opposite day. Teyla and Rodney worked out an acceptable time of day for their sessions with her, just before dinner time. That let Rodney work in the lab all day and John knew it gave Rodney a good reason to actually stop working at the end of the day.
Five days into their new schedule, John was at loose ends before their session with Teyla -- too much time to just sit in his office but not enough time to start anything new -- and decided he would swing by the labs to get Rodney. The last time he volunteered to test Ancient tech still fresh in his mind, John hadn't allowed enough time to do anything but give Rodney a chance to close down his work. He hadn't seen Rodney since breakfast and wanted to check in with him.
He was startled to see a handwritten sign hanging askew on the door to the lab.
Enter at your own risk!!!!!
Hangry? John was confused. He went into the labs cautiously.
It was dead silent. There were people working, but there was none of the bustle or chatter that he normally encountered.
Radek looked up as John entered and silently pointed at Rodney's office. Rodney rarely worked in his office and it had to be bad for him to retreat there.
John tapped on the door frame. "Almost ready?" he asked cheerfully.
"No!" Rodney snapped. "Go away!"
John stepped into the room and closed the door behind him.
"What's wrong?" he asked gently.
Rodney slumped in his chair and rubbed his eyes. "It's just been a bad day," he admitted. "Boardman accidentally deleted the database for the power simulations we've been running for months. We have the backup but we're pretty sure we've lost like three days of the data."
"How bad is that?" John asked.
Rodney sighed. "It's not a disaster, just a pain in the ass," he admitted. "And I've had a headache all day, on top of it."
John looked closely and saw that Rodney looked tired. "Did you eat lunch?" John asked.
"No, been busy trying to fix everything," he replied.
John touched his communicator. "Teyla?" he called.
"Yes, John?" Teyla replied.
"Rodney and I are going to take a day off," he said. "We'll see you next time."
"Is everything all right?" she asked.
"It's fine," John assured her. "We just need a day off."
"Certainly," she agreed. "I will see you at dinner."
"Thanks!" John said. He turned to Rodney. "Come on, let's get out of here."
"I don't..." Rodney hesitated.
"What are you really getting done?" John persisted.
"Nothing," Rodney admitted.
"Okay, then. Close it up and let's get out of here," John said.
John realized how much Rodney had to be hurting to give in without further debate. He ushered Rodney out of the labs, grateful that someone had taken the sign down before Rodney saw it.
In the transporter, Rodney asked, "Where are we going?"
"My place," John said firmly. "You need a break where no one's going to find you."
"Thanks," Rodney said softly.
Once in his apartment, John dimmed the lights and steered Rodney to the bathroom. "Take a shower, that will help," he directed. "I'll get you some clothes." He reached into the medicine cabinet and put a bottle on the ledge above the sink. "Here's some Tylenol."
Rodney rolled his head, obviously trying to work out some kinks. "Okay," he said.
As Rodney went into the bathroom, John went down the hall to Rodney's place, grabbing boxers, a t-shirt and sweatpants. Rodney was just peeling off his uniform when John returned.
"Perfect!" Rodney said.
As Rodney showered, John carefully did not think about the wet, naked man on the other side of the wall. He dug into his food stash and set snacks out on the table.
When Rodney came out, John said, "Join me." He handed Rodney a beer.
"Not sure I should..." Rodney started to protest.
"One won't hurt," John encouraged him. "And eat something."
John had some fruit on the table, but also some...
"Snickers!" Rodney moaned. "John!"
"You're tired and hungry," John pointed out. He had finally figured out where hangry came from. "It's a couple of small bars and you've been good long enough that you're entitled to a break."
Rodney smiled, one that lit up his eyes. "I knew you were holding out on me!" Rodney said, taking a bite of the candy bar. He ate it in small bites, savoring the taste.
"Everyone's entitled to a bad day," John said, taking a candy bar for himself.
Rodney ate another candy bar, a piece of fruit and drank his beer. He started to yawn.
"Okay," John directed. "Nap time."
"I won't sleep tonight if I sleep now," Rodney protested.
"And you probably didn't sleep too well last night," John countered. Rodney nodded agreement. "Just until dinner time," he promised. "I won't let you sleep too long."
"I won't go anywhere," John promised. "There are always reports to read and this will give me a chance to do it."
"Okay, okay," Rodney gave in. He looked around.
Interpreting the glance, John pointed, "Use the bed. It'll be quieter in there."
"You'll wake me for dinner?" Rodney asked.
"Promise," John said gravely.
When John went to wake Rodney, he had to take a deep breath and stop himself from just giving in and joining Rodney on the bed.
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