What McKay referred to as chemistry, Elizabeth thought it more to be like electricity.
She felt it through brief brushes of their hands, their arms. Pressed up together in a particularly over crowded transporter that time, during an emergency when everyone was trying to get the crisis at once and no one considered that maybe, like elevators, the transporters might have a maximum occupancy. Not that Elizabeth was thinking about that once she was pushed into Rodney, their chests pressed together, and both their faces bright red for all of thirty seconds.
She loved the way their shoulders touched when they were bent over a desk or lab bench, scrutinizing a piece of technology or writing or something, in front of them with such concentration they barely noticed the other was there. Except Elizabeth always noticed. How could she not. The little sparks just flew whenever they touched and she figured that either she was going crazy or in love.
He was attractive, broad shoulders, and when he was embarrassed had the cutest smile. When other people found him annoying, Elizabeth found him infuriating, but a challenge she relished, and loved him all the same.
She just needed to tell him, but whenever she felt close to telling him (or kissing him), she would stop, because she wasn't sure he felt that same electricity he did.
She had no idea.
Rodney thought of it as chemistry between them, but had never really expanded on that thought in the book. Or what he really considered to be chemistry. He didn't actually have any magical notions or chemistry from romantic comedies, but more of chemical reactions. He was really referring to the way he felt like his body was going to explode every time she touched him, and they way he felt like his heart was going to explode whenever she smiled, or looked at him, or breathed.
He had it bad. He just couldn't tell her that. So he made jokes, knowing that she had said 'we' hoping that she would finally submit and tell him she loved him first. Just so he wouldn't have to be the one to make the move.
He was never good at making the first move.
Usually because women didn't want him to make a move in the first place and he didn't know if Elizabeth did or didn't want him. Had no idea how she felt, and was absolutely terrified of making any sort of move. Chapter Ten was a big step for him. Hell, the whole book was a hell of a step.
He hadn't really done anything since. He'd gone back to work, the jokes about her loving him had faded away with disappointment and now he didn't know what to do. Except that he couldn't help this fizzy feeling (more chemistry) in his stomach whenever she pushed her hair behind her ear, or stand the crippling heart ache he felt whenever she was hurt much longer.
Of all things it came with a power outage.
Someone, somewhere, deep in the city activated another undiscovered ancient machine, that seemed like all it did was cut power to the city. Like a big switch. It took them three days to find out who and where the machine was, they'd been separating up recently, trying more and more technology deeper and deeper in the city. No one was really sure exactly who had caused the outage.
Three days with no bright light, no weapons, no shields. During the day it wasn't so bad. It was the nights that caused the most tension, as if they would be able to see the Wraith coming just by looking out of the window during the day but not at night. At night a Wraith dart was just another star in the sky and it was unnerving.
Three days of fear and then Rodney found the right piece of technology.
That was only one obstacle, and he needed people holding up large torches, just so he could work, the generators weren't connected to anywhere near the room they were in, or even on the same level. He needed Elizabeth to translate so he could understand exactly what the device was and what it did. He needed other people and it was driving him crazy, but it wasn't so bad when he realised he and Elizabeth were both bent over the device, shoulders touching, lights shining over them and he felt that flip in his stomach again.
"Rodney?" He smiled at her, and the look of surprise on her face confused her.
"You're smiling. You just shouted at three people, and you're grumpier than usual. I was just wondering what you were smiling about."
"Oh." This could be his chance to bite the bullet. He knew that, but he wasn't sure if this was the time or not, and it really wasn't the atmosphere for it.
"Are you going to tell me?"
"I was smiling at you." He said, his voice jumping with the sudden nerves. "I like it when we work closely together, like this." He added, "I mean, not physically like this, but well, maybe I do because to work together we'd have to be in the same room, but I didn't mean the way our shoulders,"
"Are touching?" She asked, rubbing hers against his and smiling.
"Yeah." He smiled again, "where was I?"
"This means power." She said, deciding not to ask him to clarify what he had meant about working closely together. "This means off."
"So it is a big switch?"
"I think so."
"I can't believe the Ancients would have something so, well, a big switch." He said, throwing his hand up in the air.
"Can you turn the power back on?" She asked, trying not to let her amusement show. She was surprised that the Ancients had a big switch too.
"Does anything say on?" At that she laughed, and leaned into to him, like it was the most natural thing in the world.
The Ancients did in fact have a really big switch for the power in the city. Once Rodney had turned the power back on, the lights coming on and almost blinding everyone after they'd spent the last three days in darkness, Elizabeth spent a little time, with Rodney by her side, trying to figure out exactly why they needed a big switch.
Rodney made an excuse to work with her, that maybe she needed someone to explain some of the more scientific writing, but he knew she'd be fine without her. Really he just wanted to be with, work with her, get some time alone with her.
"It was to prevent any power surges causing damage to the city when they were conducting experiments," Elizabeth explained the translation to him, "they were cautious."
"I can understand that," she smiled, "guess you didn't need my help after all."
"No." She sounded disappointed.
"We work really well together." He told her.
"We'd be good together." She raised an eyebrow, "I mean, as a team, if we had to," he paused, unsure how to dig himself out of this hole and unsure if he really wanted to. He almost threw himself at her, taking his head in her hands, his fingers threading through her hand and kissed her hard. She kissed back, couldn't stop herself, didn't want to stop, and pulled him to her.
"That." He said, "That's what's I meant," he took a deep breath, "by chemistry."