Rodney was sleepy but the tightness around his eyes had gone away. He ate dinner eagerly and joined the group for movie night. Because Torren was getting old enough to understand -- and be scared by -- the action on the screen, the movies tended to be more 'kid friendlly' than in earlier years. They watched more 'adult' movies when Teyla got someone to watch Torren.
They broke up at a reasonable hour and when John tapped on Rodney's door the next morning for their jog, Rodney was bright eyed and eager.
"Day off did you some good, I see," John observed.
"Yeah," Rodney agreed. "That was a good idea. Thanks."
"You're welcome," John answered.
Even within the first week, Rodney's endurance had improved. John had upped them to a gentle jog and while Rodney had to work at it, he wasn't struggling. He wasn't yet up to talking and jogging, but anything was an improvement.
Late the next afternoon they met with Teyla, who had them both pushing hard at their flexibility. Even though the session was originally for Rodney's sake, she didn't let John slack off at all, making him work even harder. They both were sore -- in a good way -- at the end of their sessions with her.
After almost four weeks of working out, Rodney was up to a reasonable jogging pace and doing well with his diet. John made sure there was the occasional 'bad' day, to keep Rodney's mood relatively cheerful -- no more 'hangry' scientist. He figured if the overall experience was positive, it would be easier for Rodney to keep it up after his... thing on Earth.
Frustratingly enough, John still had no idea why Rodney was going back to Earth. He might have whined at Ronon one morning when they were out running.
Ronon had just looked back at him and said, "You trust him?"
John's "Yes" was automatic.
"Then he'll tell you when he can," Ronon said calmly.
John sighed but gave up at that point.
John was doing -- relatively -- okay on that front when an email came from O'Neill.
I hear McKay's coming this way. How about you come, too, and we can save on the mileage if you travel together. And there's stuff we can get out of the way while you're here.
John wasn't sure if he was pleased or annoyed by the idea of coming along with Rodney. He decided that O'Neill figured he'd keep Rodney away from both Carter and Jackson and they'd get his personnel review done at the same time. Although if things got sticky, John figured he'd ask O'Neill if the rumor that he, Carter and Jackson were living together was true. But he figured he'd have to be pretty desperate to bring that up in any conversation.
"O'Neill wants me back on Earth when you go," John told Rodney that evening at dinner.
Rodney's face lit up. "Really? That'll be cool."
"Will you have some free time at any point?" John asked, trying to be casual but probably failing. "I have leave time coming and we could... do something."
"Umm... we could visit Jeannie," Rodney offered. "If you want, that is."
"Jeannie's good," John replied with a shrug. "Maybe we can catch a game or something."
"Let me ask Jeannie if there'll be anyone in town when we'd be there," Rodney offered. "I'll have her get us all some tickets."
"That would be good," John agreed.
"If we go a day early, would you go shopping with me?" Rodney asked with a small grimace. "I desperately need a new suit and now that I've lost some weight, nothing fits all that well. I promise it won't be too painful."
"Sure,"John agreed. "Least I can do."
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