Disclaimers: I do not own these characters; this is written for fun, I make no money etc.

Spoilers: Rising, Home

A/N: I know next to nothing about Fermat's Last Theorem, but I'm sure it would be close to McKay's heart. I know as little about cats.

Summary: Rodney's cat misses him. Neighbour POV. This is probably AU, sadly.

I guess I didn't realise how much Fermat would miss Rodney.

I mean, I'd looked after Fermat before, lots of times. He's quite a big cat, and he eats enormous amounts, but easy enough to catsit. Rodney was often away, and I suppose I must have offered to look after Fermat at some point, because that's what happened all the time.

We've been neighbours for a few years, you see. He saw me moving in, and I think he took it upon himself to instruct me in the ways of the block, you know, garbage and other stuff. He used to shout instructions at me in the street, good grief!

I would have got a cat of my own, but I didn't really need to. Fermat came round to my place all the time. So I had Fermat when he was away. I've no idea why Rodney was with the Air Force; he said he was a physicist, what do they need them for? And he never said where he went. But Fermat and I always knew when he was back. He'd come by my apartment, whatever hour of day or night, usually because he needed coffee, or milk, but mostly chocolate. Why wait until morning when you had a perfectly good neighbour to swipe stuff off? Like he was entitled to it. Got on my nerves.

When he was home, I'd get back from work and find Rodney sitting on the bench in the park across the road. Fermat was always on his knee. I'd sit by them, and he'd launch into tirades about life, the universe, the usual. Fermat would take it all. I would leave fairly quickly.

This time, when Rodney left, it was different. He came to drop off Fermat, and then, as if an afterthought, said he didn't know when, or if, he would be back. He said I would know if the arrangement with Fermat was permanent if some Air Force personnel came and cleared his apartment! I didn't know what to say, I thought he was just being melodramatic. I mean, how much danger can a physicist be in, right? Anyway, I just told him not to worry, Fermat would be fine. Then I think he was trying to be light-hearted - ha! He said he would have stayed with me himself if I was blonde - what a jerk! I told him he was a pig, it was a good job I loved Fermat, and that I hoped he went straight to hell. Do you know, he gave me the strangest look, it was… well, it gave me the chills. Then he just mumbled his thanks, handed Fermat over and slunk off fast. Pig. I never even said goodbye.

But the weird thing is, I think Fermat knew something wasn't right. Even from the first day, he wasn't as settled as he usually was. It's been six months now, and he still looks at me now and again, as if to say, 'Do you think Rodney's OK?'

I suppose he really misses him. I don't know why, he was always fine other times. For example, when I looked after him before, he would sometimes be asleep for what seemed like days. But this time, he barely touched his basket. Just paced about, day and night. Drove me crazy. I had to put the basket in my room, that's helped.

Then I'd find Fermat across in the park, sitting on the bench, alone. Poor thing, he looked really miserable. He'd perk up when I'd give him his dinner early, though. Once or twice I swear he did it on purpose just so I'd do that.

As time's gone on, Fermat's got a little better. I just take him on my knee, and it calms him. Maybe Rodney was right, maybe he won't be back. I won't have to suffer his sarcasm. I won't have to sew on his buttons. I can't believe I did that. I won't need to crawl out of bed to lend him coffee.

Funny… I guess I didn't realise how much I would miss Rodney, too.