So it started with 'Wonder Woman UnderRoos' and it continued with 'Batman Boxers' and with the dreaded Valentine's Day looming in the next week or so, I felt the need to be slightly sentimental.
Disclaimer: the only thing that's mine is Zoe Kent...please don't take her away!
Bad things come in threes, his Grandma Lorne was fond of saying, and sitting in the infirmary with Dr. Keller stitching up his eyebrow and his left elbow and a spot on his right thigh the length of a golf pencil, Evan Lorne is inclined to agree with her. In retrospect, he suspects she meant events in ones life, but technicalities are for pussies and he's counting the three stitch-worthy gashes as separate incidents.
The needle tugs at a somewhat not-so-numb part of his eyebrow and he grimaces in pain, which only makes it hurt worse. Keller frowns and apologizes.
'Remember when you asked me how tough I was and I told you I was tough as nails?' he asks and she nods, her mouth set in a straight line and her concentration focused on his forehead. 'Well, I might have lied slightly.'
The smile she gives him is pleasant and he smiles back, at least until she hits another not-so-numb spot and he yelps in pain.
'Done with that one,' she says as she pulls the knot together and cuts the remaining string. 'I'll be sure to hit up your elbow and thigh with extra shots of Novocain.'
'Gee,' he says, still seeing stars, 'thanks.'
He hadn't really meant to get himself banged up and it definitely wasn't his intention to be in need of stitches, unlike Colonel Sheppard who set the record for the most amount of stitches needed in one sitting. He wonders if John was going for the record or if he fell off that cliff by accident. Whatever the real story, the record still stands.
'You never did tell me how you did all this,' Jennifer says as she prepares his elbow for another round of stitching. He feels the needle go in and feels the stinging warmth as it spreads out along his forearm and upper arm. Then, thankfully, the dull ache of the cut goes away.
'Would you believe I walked into a rose bush?'
She pauses, the newly strung needle almost to his arm. He's seen needles like that before, in his uncle's upholstery shop, curved and vicious. He tries not to look at it.
'A rose bush?' He nods. 'Off world?' Another nod. 'What the hell were you doing in a rose bush off world?'
He feels the numb tug of the needle as it enters the skin above his elbow, but unlike his forehead, he doesn't feel pain. If anything, it feels itchy.
'Cutting roses, or whatever the Pegasus Galaxy equivalent of roses is.'
She smiles at this, the smile of a woman who knows what he's up to. It's a smile of female approval.
'For Zoë?' she questions.
He grins. For the last few months, he's been blissfully involved with Atlantis' resident psychologist, Zoë Kent. She has the ability to make him forget he's a military Major, something that's difficult when one lives in, for all intents and purposes, a war zone of epic proportions.
'For Zoë,' he concedes, still grinning. 'It's her birthday tomorrow. I thought roses might be nice and remembered seeing these huge clusters of bushes on one of the friendlier planets we visited.'
His elbow doesn't take as long as his forehead and she's done and moving onto his thigh before he has a chance to register that his pant leg is being ripped. She has the good grace not to comment on his choice of boxer shorts for the day, though he's fairly certain Zoë will be sad to see the polar bears go. She liked them.
'You walked into an alien rose bush to cut flowers for your girlfriend and you walked out with three gashes needing stitches.'
'That about sums it up, yep.'
She laughs, then, and he laughs with her. When they've both calmed down enough that she can hold a syringe steady, she finishes up his thigh and wraps all of his wounds with gauze. She helps him down off the gurney and instructs him not to put too much pressure on his leg and to not rest his elbow on anything hard, at least for a few days.
'Being a woman who is usually grateful for the presence of flowers from the one I love, and knowing Zoë, I have the distinct feeling you're going to pull those stitches tonight, and if you do, just come back in and I'll fix you up. No charge.'
He grins. 'I haven't ever told you this, doc, but you're a pretty wonderful woman.'
'I get that a lot,' she says with a smile and helps him out of the infirmary.
The flowers are sitting in her quarters in a vase he found in her storage cabinet. He went there before going to the infirmary, much to Colonel Carter's chagrin, because he wanted Zoë to come home from work and find the flowers waiting for her. It meant more to him that she see them first off than getting himself patched up did.
If the rumors about the good Doctor Keller and Ronon are true, then he has a feeling he won't be living this story down for a long while – at least in the locker room.
He opens the doors to his quarters and is more than a little surprised to find her waiting for him. She's in his bed, wearing his Batman t-shirt and her black cat's eye glasses, and she's reading a copy of The Hobbit someone left in her office a week earlier. She smiles at him and pushes her glasses up onto the crown of her head, her somewhat unruly hair fighting against the containment. Even after a long day, even in his t-shirt and wearing her nerdy glasses, even with a book in her hand, she's the sexiest woman he's seen…possibly ever.
'Hi,' she says, taking in the state of his clothes and the bandage on his forehead. 'I was going to tell you I had a bad day, but I'm thinking it might be insensitive.'
He laughs at this and comes further into the room. She puts the book down and gets out of the bed. It takes him a minute or two to focus when bare legs appear, but he pulls it together just in time to say something witty.
'Usually, I don't have a problem getting out of my clothes when you're standing in front me in little more than your underwear, but I'm kind of incapacitated at the moment.'
She grins. 'Want some help?'
'That would be nice.'
She helps him out of his torn BDUs and finds him another pair of boxers to change into while lamenting the loss – just as he knew she would – of the polar bears. He leaves her for a minute to wash up in the bathroom and when he comes back, she's back in bed, though the book is still on the nightstand.
'I'm going to make the logical conclusion that the flowers in my room are from you.' He nods and very gently lowers himself onto the mattress beside her. 'I take it the rose bushes kicked your ass.'
'Just slightly. How'd you know?'
She grins at this and kisses his cheek. 'Because a couple of them bloomed and they're the size of softballs. Any rose that big had to have big thorns.'
He pulls his hands apart. 'They were at least this long and they were scary.' She kisses his other cheek. He takes it as an incentive. 'And there were huge spiders everywhere.' She kisses his forehead. 'And did I mention the man eating villagers.'
She kisses him amongst laughter and wraps her arms around him, careful of the bandage on his left arm and the bandage on his thigh.
'Thank you for my flowers.'
'Happy birthday, Zoë,' he says and kisses her.
'When you're healed, I promise to repay you.'
'I'm breathless with anticipation.'
She turns out the lights with a laugh.
'You've got to stop reading those period romances,' she says in the dark.