Title: Perfect

Author: Illman

Category: het, implied slash, humour (attempted)

Beta: Unbetaed. All mistakes are my own.

Date: 03/23/06

Warnings: possible stupidity?

Disclaimer: It's their universe, not mine.

Summary: Elizabeth is looking forward to a date. She isn't the only one.

Author's Notes: Written for a ficathon on lj, sometime last year. I don't remember which one or what exactly the requirment were, only that it had to include 'sedge'.

Everything was perfect. The Athosian wine was perfectly chilled, the faux-chicken wings were crispy, hot and waiting to be eaten, the tava beans were perfectly soft, simmering in their spicy chilli sauce and the table was set for two. It didn't matter that the tablecloth was a bed linen and that the dishes and silverware were standard military issue, it was still perfect in Elizabeth Weir's eyes. She had even found an Athosian candle and placed it in the middle of the table. All that was missing was her date. So it had not been a date, per se. But John always picked her up at her office in time to eat dinner together. Just today, she had left a note for him in her office, to find her on Level 7, a level that was normally not used. It offered perfect privacy for a nice meal, away from the eyes and ears of the expedition members. Rodney and Carson had gotten her access to the section that was normally sealed off to people without the ATA gene. They had also helped her set all this up. Who knew that Carson could cook? Rodney's food stash had been less of a surprise. She supposed Carson got the cooking practise when trying to satisfy Rodney's tastes. At least his tastes in food. She didn't want to think about some of his other tastes that Carson might be satisfying as well. Tonight he'd be treating Rodney to a little romantic dinner as well while Dr. Biro reigned over the infirmary.

Elizabeth wondered whether her note had been a little too subtle. Perhaps John had not seen it? But she had planed for even that contingency. If Carson or Rodney caught John in the mess hall, they would stir him in the right direction. It would be far less elegant, less perfect, but if subtle didn't work, you had to go for direct.

Dinnertime was nearly over. John never skipped dinner. He should have shown his face there by now. Unless Rodney wasn't there because he was caught up in his lab working on some experiment. If he had forgotten about their deal, she promised her leniency would end. She would start hounding him about his evaluations. Rodney McKay might be a great scientist, but he was a lousy boss. When it came to managing people, he secretly loathed being in charge, even though he would never admit it. Zelenka did a lot of the actual human resource managing and Elizabeth knew it. Rodney was the sharpest mind they had and deserved the post of lead scientist, even if he had no idea how to write personnel evaluations. Although if he messed this one up, Elizabeth thought she might just reconsider and at least let it drop that Zelenka had the better people skills. Yes, that would keep Rodney in line for at least a month.

Another ten minutes passed and John still didn't make an appearance. You never knew where this man ran off to? They had very little time together as it was, with her running the City and him running the military contingent. She had been looking forward to this evening and now John was nowhere to be seen. She hadn't seen him at all yet today. In fact, she hadn't seen John in four days. He and his team had been on a survey mission to P3X-751. Bates' team had been there first and apparently, the planet was unpopulated and offered prospects as an alpha site and off-world farming activities. Elizabeth had been so busy with directing Carson in preparation for the dinner, that she hadn't even noticed the team coming back. They had come back yet, had they? They had been due five hours ago. Carson would have told her if there was a problem, after all Rodney was on the mission too and if something had happened, Carson would have been all over it. They had come back. Suddenly Elizabeth wished she hadn't left her comm. piece back in her quarters. An hour ago, she had discarded it because she thought it wouldn't go well with her dress, the only dress she had brought with her from Earth. It was a classic dark grey dress. Elizabeth didn't think the look favoured her. It looked formal and stiff. But that was why she had bought it and why she had taken it with her on the expedition, it could be worn to any semi-formal occasion where a uniform would not be appropriate. Pegasus Galaxy aliens wouldn't know that the dress was from last season on Earth. She had a new dress in the making. Alyana, Halling's sister was sewing it for her. It was a gift from John. He wouldn't tell her what he had given Alyana as payment for the dress and Alyana only smiled when asked. Elizabeth had travelled twice to the mainland for the dress so far. The first time to look at fabrics and for Alyana to take some measurements and the second time for a first fitting. Alyana was stunningly talented. Elizabeth wouldn't be amazed if Teyla's indestructible top had been made by her hand.

Elizabeth got up and started to pace. She was torn between waiting for John and going up to her quarters to fetch to comm. piece and finding out where he was. Dragging him down here would ruin the mood entirely. She sat back down and eyed the warming Athosian wine. It had been almost an hour. Could you rechill the wine just like that? The bottle had cost her quite a bit of instant coffee to Lieutenant Jung. Where she had gotten the bottle from, Elizabeth didn't want to know. Lieutenant Jung had virtually everything. John had wanted to shut her little trading business down, but Elizabeth had asked him not to. As long as nothing illegal was traded, there was no harm in a little barter economy. It wasn't as if she had never benefited from the system herself. It was the only place to get a gift for your date. And the only place to buy a chocolate bar to eat after a blown date.

Elizabeth got up again, determined to find John and give him a piece of her mind. She left the small room, regretting that one couldn't slam the Atlantian doors and took the nearest transport up the corridor next to the control room. Her staff looked her a little longer than necessary when she made her entrance, but no one, said a word about her unconventional attire. She headed straight for Grodin.

"Peter, is there anything I should know? Anything out of the ordinary?" Elizabeth asked in a tone that tolerated no excuses.

"Everything has been quiet, Dr. Weir. Nothing out of the ordinary. But when Major Sheppard's team came back through the Gate…they had an unusual situation. I believe Major Sheppard and Dr. McKay when to the infirmary to resolve 'the problem'". Grodin said with utter calm.

"Thank you. In future, I wish to be informed of any unusual occurrences involving any returning team."

"Yes, Dr. Weir."

Elizabeth made her way to the infirmary. As the door whooshed open, the sight of all three men greeted her. Carson was the only one to turn to the open door.

"Elizabeth…there you are. I was about to call you."

Elizabeth let the lie slide and moved further into the room. Rodney and John said side to side on an exam table engaged in a lively conversation.

"…I'm telling you, this is your entire fault. I would have solved the riddle easily. But you had to play the leader."

"I didn't play the leader. I am the leader of the team Rodney. And the riddle was stupid. I know nothing about zoology. I'm a pilot."

"Yeah, see where it got us. Zelenka has no idea who to get these cuffs open. Super resistant polymer, he thinks. And it is all your fault. It was so simple. All we had to do was find to the missing crystal from the DHD and we would have passed the test. Now he messed up the riddle, we didn't find the crystal, we got beaten, and Teyla and Ford had to save us. Seriously, a fourth grader could have solved this. 'Where bird and plant of equal name meet, the key you will greet', bad rhyming of course. All we had to do was find the bird's nest and dig for the key in the sedge." Rodney ranted.

"You make it sound so easy. Teyla had to hold the elder at gunpoint before he dug up the crystal because she and Ford couldn't find it on their own."

"Enough!" Elizabeth intervened, date and Athosian wine forgotten. Her gaze was locked on the pair of handcuffs locking the wrists of John and Rodney.

"Carson, what can you tell me?"

"As Rodney said, it's an extremely durable polymer. We tried cutting through it, but so far no luck. We might have luck with a diamond saw though, but the cuffs bind them so closely, it will be very difficult to work." Carson explained. "As for their other injuries, they are all minor, some bruising from a few punches. But the natives weren't really out to do damage. I have looked worse after an unfair soccer match."

"So there is nothing that needs immediate treatment?"

"No, they will be fine. A bit sore probably." Carson looked grim on the thought. A sore and sour mooded Rodney was probably not something he looked forward too.

"Then you won't mind if John and I leave?" Elizabeth asked with a smile.

"No, but you realize that…Of course not." Carson flashed a smile back at her.

John looked confused between the two. He didn't like what he was seeing.

"Elizabeth, Carson. Maybe you haven't noticed, but Rodney is tied to my wrist. I'm not going anywhere until we are separated."

Elizabeth was clearly in date clothing, but she could not possibly propose to have a date with Rodney chained to his wrist. The man talked constantly. Talk about establishing a mood. Besides, they didn't exactly advertise their relationship. Inviting Rodney along to a date would make it clear the even the most socially inept scientist that they were in a relationship.

"Elizabeth, we don't you handle the logistics and I bring along John and Rodney in a minute."

"Fine, I'll see you three."

Three. What did Carson…Did Carson have a date too. Carson was dressed in civilian clothes under his lab coat. He must have been off-duty when they arrived. Right, Dr. Biro had greeted them at the Gate. In all the chaos, he hadn't even noticed Carson arriving later. Carson had plans too. He didn't have them with Elizabeth. John hoped he didn't. Elizabeth couldn't date Carson the nights he was off-world. No, she wouldn't. They were adults after all. Although, his ex-wife…Carson had a dinner date with Rodney? These two. Could anyone date Rodney? Did Rodney even know how to date? Okay, so he did brag he had a date with Sam Carter once. John had seen Sam Carter once, but once was enough to know that she was blonde, leggy and attractive. Oh, and female. All qualities that Carson lacked. So how did Rodney go from Carter to Carson?

John's train of thought was interrupted when Rodney yanked on his wrist.

"Come on. Move it. Carson's cooked. You don't want to miss it." Rodney hopped off the exam table, dragging John with him.

Maybe Carson was just a good cook and dinner was all there was too it, John thought. But the look Rodney exchanged with Carson made him doubt that the evening would end with food for the four of them.

The End