Disclaimer: I do not own Stargate Atlantis...blah...blah...blah.
Note: Thank you to all who submitted ideas for this chapter. You guys rock!
Laura Cadman looked glumly out the window of the Boeing 747 that she was currently on. She was flying to California from Washington, D.C. to visit her parents. Visiting her parents was never a thrill for Laura, chiefly because nothing she ever did was good enough for them. They always wanted more or wanted her to be something that she wasn't.
She was especially dreading this visit. It was on this particular visit that Laura had to tell her parents that the man that they were desperately hoping would be come their future son-in-law and future father of their grandchildren was no longer in the picture. Of course, the reason that he was no longer in the picture was she had dumped him. More precisely, she had gotten rid of what little belongings he had kept at her apartment when she had tossed him out on his ass. Thank God they weren't living together! Not that Laura would have agreed to it, but being cheated on no matter what the relationship status was kind of tends to bring people down. So here she was sitting on an airplane looking like she was about ready to face a firing squad, which to be honest, she would take over a visit with her parents any day. At least with the firing squad, you get it over quickly. A visit with her parents is more like torture, slow and painful and the fact that yet another "wonderful' man cheated on her will be brought up by her family for years to come. Laura decided that at this particular moment, she would give anything for a firing squad.
"Hey, blondie! Get up! You're in my seat," a man barked at her shaking her out of her revelry.
"You must be blind," Laura said to the man, her eyes still looking out the window onto the tarmac.
"And why is that?"
"Because I am most definitely not a blonde." It was at that moment that Laura chose to look at the offensive man and her breath caught in her throat. He was quite handsome. He had longish dark brown hair that went down to the middle of his neck and curled at the ends and the most beautiful blue eyes she had ever seen.
"So I might have misjudged the color of your hair. Sue me and once you're finished with that get out of my seat.'
Laura smiled. She lied. She had definitely seen those eyes before…twice to be specific and she was also very familiar with that brand of sarcasm. "What makes you think this seat is yours?" Laura asked sweetly.
"Oh, I don't know, for the simple fact that number of the seat that you're sitting in is on my ticket," he snarked.
"What a coincidence that is because the number of the seat that I'm sitting in is also on my ticket. How 'bout that? I guess we're going to have to share," Laura said with a wink.
"Move!" he ordered her loudly. By this time, all eyes in the cabin were on them.
"No, I don't think I will," she said plainly.
"Oh, you don't think you will," the man mocked. "Let me put it this way so it will be easier for you to understand. Get your ass the hell out of my seat now!"
"Excuse me? Where do you get off talking to me like that? You don't even know me and you think that you have the right to treat me like a piece of shit. Let me tell you something, you've got another thing coming…"
It was at that moment that the flight attendant chose to intervene in the dispute effectively cutting Laura off. "Excuse me, I'm sorry, is there a problem here?"
"Oh, no, we were having a grand old time yelling at each other," he said sarcastically. "In fact, this is actually a form of foreplay. What happens is we fight and scream and argue and yell right before we fuck each others brains out."
"Yeah, which reminds me, we have about twenty minutes until the plane takes off, so do you want to get to it now or wait until we're in the air?" Laura asked the man in response to his earlier comment.
"I'll let you know as soon as we get this seat thing straightened out."
"Oh, right, the seat thing. You see here's the problem. It would appear that he and I were assigned the same seats," Laura told the flight attendant who looked un-amused by their earlier behavior.
"May I see your tickets?" the flight attendant asked.
Laura and the man handed her their tickets. After examining them closely, she shook her head," Well, it would appear that the airline has made a mistake and assigned the two of you to the same seat. Usually, what happens in this case is that we upgrade the person without a seat to first class." Rodney gave a triumphant grin at this. "…however, there are no available seats in first class or anywhere else on the plane except for seat 5D."
"And where exactly is seat 5D?" he asked.
"I believe it would be right in between 5C and 5E," Laura said sarcastically.
"Haha, very funny. You know you're a regular riot. Where on the plane is seat 5D?" he asked loudly.
The flight attendant pointed to the seat next to the one Laura. "Oh, you have got to be kidding me?"
"Hey, look at it now, we can fuck each other's brains out so much easier sitting next to each other than with you in first class," Laura smirked.
Rodney rolled his eyes and turned to the flight attendant. "Look Candy, that's a lovely name by the way, I know that there has to be another empty seat on this plane," Rodney said sweetly.
"No, I'm sorry sir, seat 5D is the only empty seat on today's flight. If you'd like, you could always take a later flight."
"Unfortunately, a later flight is not an option. Do you think I could switch seats with somebody?'
"I'm sorry sir, it's against policy. Besides, most of our passengers are seated comfortably in their seats and I doubt that they would want to be disturbed."
"You know, you're very good at this flight attendant thing," he said flirtatiously "I'm sure that you could convince someone to switch seats with me."
Candy rolled her eyes. "Sir, the only available seat on this plane is seat 5D, so either take that seat or get off the plane and just so you know, she is more my type," Candy said pointing to Laura.
The man was confused for a moment and then it dawned on him. Oh!
"Have a good flight, sir," the flight attendant said, the amusement evident in her voice.
"Yeah, thanks," he waved dismissively at the woman.
Laura gave him a smug grin.
"I didn't say anything."
"You didn't have to. It's written all over your face." He stowed his carry-on in the overhead compartment and slammed it shut.
"Oh, so now you're a mind reader?"
"Among other things," he said taking his seat next to her.
"Really? Then, you must have heard that dirty little thought I had involving you, me, the airplane restroom and handcuffs. Can you say mile-high club?"
"What?" he choked.
"You didn't think the flirting thing was actually gonna work, did you?"
"Flirting is my specialty."
"Well, you need a new specialty.'
"How about you keep your mouth shut for the rest of the flight. Do you think you can do that?"
"We haven't taken off yet."
"Well, how about until takeoff, then?"
"Oh, come on! Bugging you is so much more fun," Laura whined.
"I hate you!"
Laura smiled. He hadn't changed much since the last time she saw him. His hair was a little longer and he put on a little weight, but it suited him. The eyes, though, they were the same. She always loved his eyes. She loved how the color changed along with his emotions. Whoever said that the eyes were the windows to the soul, must have had him in mind. Laura looked over to see if she could get a peek at the eyes she loved so much and grinned at what she saw. It looked like he was pouting!
"You're sulking!" Laura laughed.
"I'm not sulking," he said with his arms folded across his chest.
"You are? It's so cute," she teased.
"I'm not…wait! It is?"
"Yes," she giggled. "Well, a little. I wouldn't want your head to get too big, what with you being a flirtation specialist and all."
"Funny. Make jokes. Go ahead."
"It's not my fault that I'm prettier than you are," Laura said innocently.
He mumbled something which she wasn't able to catch and she looked out the window. It was just like the day they first met all those years ago in the park in Canada. She smiled at the memory and wondered if he remembered her.
"Can I ask you something?"
"Can I stop you?"
Laura took a deep breath, "You ever build a volcano when you were younger? You know, you get all the clay and mold it around the soda bottle into this perfect cone like blob and then you paint it trying to get the color just the perfect shade brown.. Then, you mix just enough vinegar and baking soda together and wait for the mixture to rise up and over the rim of the bottle and flow down the side of your volcano covering all of the people and trees you placed on the surrounding landscape."
"You keep doing it over and over again trying to get a bigger and better explosion until all of the paint that was carefully placed on the volcano washes off and you are unable to get the people and trees to stick, but then, you realize, no explosion is going to be as good or as fulfilling as the first one. The first one is full of anticipation and exploration. You don't know how the 'lava' is going to flow out of the volcano. You don't know whether it's just going to explode outright or whether it's going to bubble and then flow down, but after that first time…you know. You know that no matter how much you change the mixture or how big you make the explosion it's always going to flow the same way. It's kind of like a first kiss. Nothing is ever as satisfying as that first kiss…that first spark."
"You end up getting bored with the first one and make a bigger and better volcano so you can have bigger and better explosions and before you know it, you end up having to make another volcano because you've gotten bored with the one you have and it goes on and on. You're never happy with what you have. Why is that?"
The man regarded her thoughtfully trying to come up with the right words. "I'm not sure," he said honestly. "But I do know one thing. Just because you're not happy with the first one or the second one or the third one does not mean that you're not going be happy with the next because you will eventually make the perfect volcano and it's not going to matter that the paint is gone or the people won't stay in place because that is part of the its charm. The paint and the people and the trees are all cosmetic. In the grand scheme of volcanoes, they don't matter. What matters is the texture of the volcano and the shape. That's what shapes the explosion, not the cosmetic things and when you finally make that perfect volcano that gives you the perfect explosion, you're not going to want to make any others."
"It's good to see you again Rodney," she said.
"Yeah, you too. Laura."
Laura gave him a shy smile. "I didn't think you remembered."
"Are you kidding me? You were my first volcano."
Laura laughed. "Well, if it's any consolation, you were my first volcano too."
"I know, you said that the night at the bar right after you kissed me senseless."
An awkward silence descended upon them. Both unsure of what to say or how to act because it had been such a long time since the last time they had seen each other. It was Rodney, who decided to break that silence.
"So where are you headed?" Rodney asked.
"California. I'm going to tell my parents that the man they hoped would become their future son-in-law is a lying, cheating, stealing bastard. You?"
"Japan. For work."
"I'm going to Hawaii," the guy next to Rodney said.
"No one asked you," Rodney snarked.
"Sorry. I didn't realize it was a private conversation. My mistake," the guy smirked.
"The fact that I was looking at her when I asked her where she was headed didn't give you a clue?"
"I wasn't looking at you," John admitted. "I was looking at her." John held up the magazine that he was looking at. "Check her out!"
Rodney looked at the picture of the woman. She was hot! "Hey, do you think those are real?"
"Does it really matter?" 5C asked.
Laura rolled her eyes and snatched the magazine from the guy's hands. "Yes it does matter! And those are not real!" Laura turned to Rodney, "Now are you actually going to talk to me or are you going to spend your time looking at some big breasted Barbie doll?"
"Well, if you're going to yell at me like that…"
Laura glared at him. Rodney took the magazine from her hands and handed it back to 5C. He turned back to Laura. Not only was she still glaring, but now she had her arms folded across her chest. Definitely, not a good sign for Rodney.
"I'd much rather talk to you," Rodney said.
"Yeah, I can always pick one up while I'm on layover."
"Ooh!" Laura smacked him.
"What the hell was that for?"
"You're a pig. I should have known. Only a man whore would stick his tongue down a strange girl's throat."
"Hey, first of all, you started it! You kissed me first. So don't go pointing fingers at the man whore because that definitely isn't me."
"Hey, don't look at me," 5C said. "I enjoy my man whore status."
"What part of private conversation do you not understand? The private or the if you say one more word I'm going to pick you up by your hair and throw you our the nearest side exit.?"
"Yeah, I don't think that's what private conversation means," 5C smirked.
"Well, it's what it's gonna mean in about five seconds if you don't shut your mouth," Laura warned.
"What are you gonna do…hit me?"
"No, I've got something better in mind," Laura said smugly.
"How would you like to have sex?"
"With you?" 5C's eyes went wide.
"I would and before you say it, I could. I'm a Marine. They teach us these things."
5C looked at the serious look on her face and then down and back up. "I'll just read quietly over here," he said turned so that his feet were in the aisle and his back was to the couple.
Rodney looked at her in appreciation. "That was hot!"
"Thank you," Laura smiled. "I'm sorry for hitting you before, even though, you did deserve it."
"Well, I'm sorry about the whole man whore thing, but I mean, she was really hot!"
"Damn straight!" 5C added.
"Snip. Snip, flyboy," Laura said so that 5C would hear..5C again shut up.
"Remind me never to get on your bad side," Rodney laughed.
"Don't get on my bad side," Laura smirked.
"HaHa very funny."
"So you wanna tell me about the guy?"
"Not really," Laura said. She leaned her head back against the seat. "God, what am I gonna tell my parents?"
"What you told me. That he was a liar, and a cheat, and a thief. That statement alone should make your father and all your brothers want hunt him down, beat the shit out of him, and then, kill him slowly and painfully."
"I don't have brothers and my father really liked him. So did my mom and all of my sisters are married with kids and I'm the only one who isn't. They're gonna think it's my fault."
"Did you cheat on him?"
"Did you lie to him?"
"Did you steal from him?"
"Then, it's not your fault. It's his. He was the moron, not you and you know what? Your father should be happy that you're no longer with that jackass because any guy who cheats on you is a complete idiot and why would you want to dip into that gene pool."
"I'm not that great of a catch."
"Are you kidding me? The way that you handled the guy next to me was totally hot! Plus, you are a fantastic kisser and if memory serves me right, which it definitely does in this case, you are also fantastic at other things as well and since I am a gentleman, I won't elaborate on what exactly those things are…unless of course you want me to." Rodney winked.
"Rod-ney!" she said swatting him playfully, the blush evident on her cheeks.
"What? It's the truth."
Laura smiled. "You're not so bad yourself."
"Well, I pride my self on being not so bad."
"Come on, you know you were better than not so bad."
"Yeah, I know," he grinned.
Laura smiled. "How long is your layover?"
"A couple of hours."
"Oh. Is there any chance that you can delay the flight?" she asked hopefully.
Rodney shook his head. "I wish I could. I really wish I could, but I have to go to a meeting as soon as I arrive."
"Well, that's okay. We still have six hours to catch up," Laura said looking at her watch.
"More like seven. We're flying against the wind," 5C told them.
"Again with the unsolicited comments. Much you get a word in everything?"
5C thought about it. "Yes."
Rodney rolled his eyes, "Anyway…six hours."
"Seven hours is better," Laura told him laying her head on his shoulder.
"Seven hours is definitely better." Rodney wrapped his arm around her and smiled.
Laura leaned up and kissed Rodney very softly on the lips. The kiss was about to get interesting, when 5C interrupted them…again.
"Are you guys gonna be making out the whole flight?"
"Shut up and read your porn!" Laura told him.
"It's not porn, it's Maxim. There's a difference."
5C nudged Rodney. "Come on, tell her."
Rodney threw his hands up in defense. "Hey, leave me out of this. I'm not going to say anything that could possibly stop her from doing what she was just doing because she's really good at it, so shut up and read your porn."
"Whipped!" 5C coughed.
"For the next seven hours, yeah," Rodney smirked. "Think about it, I get to cuddle up with a beautiful Marine and you get to cuddle up with this month's issue of Maxim. Which of us do you think has it better?"
"I don't know man, these girls are pretty hot."
"A nice warm body versus a bunch of paper? It's really a no brainier, unless of course, you don't have a brain, which would explain your haircut." Rodney turned back to Laura and wrapped his arm around her. "Now, where were we?"
"Right about here," Laura said leaning in for another kiss. The guy next to them rolled his eyes so loudly that they actually heard them.
"Hey, I was thinking," Rodney said. "How about the next time we meet and we do that thing we just did, we try that whole relationship thing? I mean, I'm not saying I'm good at it, but I'm willing to give it a shot. Whaddya say?"
"You're not very good at that relationship thing?"
"But the important thing is that I am willing to try…for you?" Rodney gave her is best puppy dog face.
"I'm gonna hold you to that promise," Laura warned.
"That's fine with me. Just be warned that I may not let you go."
"Well, just so you know, I don't share, so you're gonna have to tell all of your other girlfriends that there's a new woman in your life. A woman who could blow up anything and everything she wanted to and have none of it traced to her."
"Only, if you tell all of your boyfriends that your new boyfriend knows people that can do some pretty amazing things with technology. In other words, they won't find the body."
"Are you guys gonna keep one-upping each other the whole flight because it's starting to get sickening," 5C whined.
"No, it's not. It's romantic," said the guy in 4B who was eagerly listening to the conversation in row 5.
"Shut up!" the three said in unison.
4B looked like he was about ready to cry.
5C looked over and started to laugh. "I think we made him cry," he said leaning over to tell Rodney.
"Really? Let me see." Rodney looked out the aisle and saw little tears on 4B's cheeks. "Oh, shit!" he said laughing.
"What'd I tell you?" 5C smiled.
"That was good," Rodney and 5C bumped fists.
Laura cleared her throat and looked expectantly at Rodney.
"Oh, right. Porn!" Rodney said pointing to the magazine.
"Righto? What the hell is that? You could have thought of something better than…" Rodney was cut off my Laura's lips, not that he was complaining.
"Righto's fine," Rodney said when they parted.
"Excuse me, sir?" Candy, the flight attendant said to Rodney. "A seat has become available in first class. We can move you now."
"Well, I guess I've got to go," Rodney said. He gave Laura's cheek a gentle caress, "Look, that guy, the one who cheated on you, he's not worth your tears. There's someone out there for you who's better and it may not be me or the guy sitting next to me or the guy in seat 4B, but there is someone out there. You may not meet him today or next week or next month or next year, but you will meet him and when you do you'll know and you won't have to worry about him trading you in for a better volcano because you'll be the 'official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle' of volcanoes. Okay?"
Laura smiled at him. "You forgot "with a compass in the stock and 'this thing', which tells time," but yeah.
There was a sniffle from the guy in seat 4B. "Are you crying?" the guy in 5C asked him.
"No…well, yes. It's just so romantic…just like a movie," the man said in a Scottish accent.
5C rolled his eyes. "Try and keep it together."
4B nodded blowing his nose with his handkerchief.
"We will be taking off shortly," the flight attendant told Rodney. "If you are going to change your seat, you have to do it now."
Rodney gave Laura's hand one final squeeze and stepped over the guy in 5C to get into the aisle. "Remember what I said."
"Rodney?" Laura said.
He looked back at her.
"You're welcome," he said with a smile.
He followed the flight attendant towards first class, then stopped short. He turned around and headed back to row five.
"You, with the hair," he told the guy in 5C.
"You wanna go sit in first class?"
"Yeah," the guy said.
"Your name please?" the flight attendant asked.
"Well, sir, if you'll just follow me, I will escort you to first class."
He grabbed his things and was about to head towards first class when he turned around. "You know, you really shouldn't let this one get away," 5C said so that only Rodney could here. "You only get so many chances."
"So don't screw up."
"This coming from a man who looks like he slept with his finger stuck in a light socket," Rodney snarked.
"Hey, chicks dig the hair," he said. "Right?" John looked at the flight attendant and winked.
The flight attendant rolled her eyes.
"I think you're losing your touch Captain Spiky hair," Rodney teased.
"Hey, it Major Spikey-hair," John said. "Although, I do prefer Major Hotpants."
"Yeah, still not gonna happen."
"Well, good luck Rodney," the Major said giving him a sloppy salute.
"Same to you, Major," Rodney saluted back and went to go sit next to Laura.
"Who was that?" she asked.
"Just a friend. We met in a bar."
"You kiss him too?"
"No, he offered, but I told him he wasn't my type."
"Really? What exactly is your type?"
"Wouldn't you like to know?"