Jennifer didn't want to admit to herself that she'd been looking for Rodney, casually walking through the city, subtly looking into all of the usual places you could find him, but when she found him, a flare of joy flashed through her.
He was leaning over the railings out on a balcony, no gadgets in his hands, staring out at the ocean. She had never considered McKay to be a man for reflection, but here he was, staring out over the sea as if it held the answers to all his problems.
All his equations.
"Rodney?" she said, quietly, not wanting to startle him. He turned and gave her half a smile.
"Jennifer, hi, I was just..." he trailed off and let his gaze drift back over the water. She came to stand next to him, breathing in the air. It was similar to Earth, but so different. If she asked, he'd tell her exactly how it was different, right down to the contents of the sea water, but she didn't ask.
"Is everything okay Rodney?"
"Yeah, fine, fine."
"Are you sure? what are you thinking about?"
"I woke up this morning and realised how different everything was."
"To when we first got here, well not here," he said gesturing out to sea, "but to Atlantis."
"You miss Dr. Weir," she said, resigned.
"No! I mean, of course, but I miss Ford too. He was a good kid."
She knew the history of course, knew about Lt. Ford, what had happened, how he had died. She was very knowledgeable about the medical side of it, but she knew nothing about the man himself, and less about any relationship he and Rodney may have had.
"I mean, we weren't close or anything, but," he paused, "he was a great kid."
She put a hand on his shoulder, squeezing gently, and he turned to smile at her.
"I know Dr. Weir turning up like she did has taken it's toll on you the most Rodney-"
"Not really," he said, the words light but the tone betraying him, "I mean, it wasn't really her, even if it was deep down, but it still wasn't her."
He sounded confused, something she knew he rarely was and she didn't like it. Rodney's ego, his confidence in his own abilities left her feeling a little more confident too. Even when she was terrified, which was becoming less often, she could be confident in anything if Rodney was too.
Though, these were feelings not life or death math problems.
"I miss her, but I'd already accepted she'd gone," he said, "a couple of times actually."
Jennifer reached out and took his hand, giving it a squeeze. He looked down at their hands, eyes widening a little and she smiled at him.
She didn't have Rodney all figured out just yet, but she knew enough that he would need a little time to get over Elizabeth's death all over again, despite what he said. She hadn't known Elizabeth half as well as Rodney, but even she knew, only Weir would've sacrificed herself like that.
"Do you want to get something to eat?" she asked. Food, safe territory.
"Sure," he said. She let go of his hand, with a touch of reluctance and led him from the balcony. "Wait, you're not asking because you think I'll jump or something?"
"No Rodney," she laughed, "I just want to spend some time with you."
"Oh," he frowned, "good."
"Were you going to jump?" she asked, grinning.
"Well, not this time," he said. She cocked an eyebrow at him and he smiled.
"That's not funny Rodney," she said, hitting him on the arm, laughing.
"You're laughing though."
"Yes, I am," she said, she stopped, and leaned into him for a second before pulling away.
"Nothing," she said. It was a bad time to kiss him, so she looped her arm through his and carried on walking towards the mess.
"You were going to kiss me weren't you?" he asked, voice full of glee, and it was annoying but she liked it.
"No I was-. I don't know what you're talking about Rodney," she said, blushing bright red.
"Yes you were, you were going to kiss me!" He was grinning at her, almost bouncing on the balls of his feet and she hit him again.
"Shush," she snapped, "if I was going to kiss you, I'm not now!"
He stopped still, trying to hide his stupid grin, and look forlorn.
"Sorry," he said. She smiled. "It's just, not a lot of people want to kiss me, and especially not people like you, you know, who are pretty and blonde and I want to-"
She put her hand over his mouth and glared at him.
"I get it," she said, before moving her hand away. "I just, yes I was going to kiss you," she paused, glaring again when his grin grew a little too wide for her liking. "But I pulled away because it's too soon."
"Elizabeth? Nooo, no, no, no, we never had a thing."
"That's not what I'm saying Rodney, but now I'm starting to wonder."
"But either way, you were still very close and it's just..." She didn't know what she was trying to say, because she wasn't entirely convinced herself. She looked at him, and he was looking nervous, his whole body shaking ever so slightly, and she'd never seen that before.
So she was completely surprised when he kissed her.
He wrapped an arm around her waist, pulled her close and kissed her on the lips, tentative touches at first, then deeper when he realised she wasn't going to slap him. She kissed back, she wanted to kiss him, had done for a little while, and ran her hand up his chest to hold onto him, fingertips in his hair.
When they pulled apart, she realised they were still in a corridor, and blushed again, pulling away from him to stand a few feet apart.
"Bit public," she explained, seeing his hurt look.
"Oh, yes, right."
"Still want to get something to eat?" she asked, coming to stand closer to him again.
"Good." She was breathless still, McKay kissed well for a man who shook at the prospect.
"It's not bad," he said, waving a hand in the air, "the whole different thing." She waited for him to continue, to make his point. "I mean, yes, I miss Elizabeth and Ford, but I have Carson back, and you're here, so, it's not bad, just..."
"Different," she said. He smiled.
She smiled at him, the looped her arm with his again to walk the rest of the way to the mess hall.
"I hope there's a chocolate pudding," he said, once the nervous tension had faded from his body.
"I thought different was okay?"
"Not that different."
She laughed again and pulled him closer.