Interlude One

She slips inside the command office. Her head is down, he notices, shoulders shrouded by long, loose reddish-brown hair. It's a small glance that he spares, nothing obtrusive. Working in operations, he watches her slim profile disappear. He inhales. Sometimes a trace of her lingers. No, she was not near enough. Panels of brushed metal separate them. How long can he hang out in operations? He already has what he needs for his evaluations. He's got no reason to hover at the console. He's due on the Orion. He leaves.

Lunch in the dining hall. Ronon comes by. Habit brings Ronon to John's table. Words are difficult, but this is understandable. It will pass.

After lunch he lines up the afternoon's work. He sends team performance evaluations. These can't wait. There's not much time. Rodney has ideas about the Orion's hyperdrive. He takes Jumper One into orbit, gets a briefing. Rodney's full of ire and doom but it looks promising. Every day Rodney gets closer to getting the hyperdrive online. Chances of having the Orion in the game improve. It's something.

Late afternoon. He strolls to command. No, of course she's not here. He inhales. Ah, she was here, she was in this room. He smiles a little, he can't help it. More pleasure in this than pain. Oh, he's got it bad.

Rodney is down from orbit, has a lot to say about the Orion's engines. John listens. Hard to tell if Rodney is excited or frustrated. Maybe both. John nods. Rodney will need a pilot to take him back to the ship. The scientist will likely sleep there. John agrees. He welcomes the distraction.

The command office opens. Elizabeth and Teyla stroll out.

He's staring. Is it really this bad? Yeah, it is. He's watching Teyla on the catwalk leaning with interest in Elizabeth's direction.

She lifts her chin, smiling. Catches his stare.

He should look away. He doesn't.

She should look away. She doesn't.

Sighing ... now to Rodney and the Orion.

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