Title: "Carpool"
By: Robin
Rating: PG-13
Category: AU, Humor, Crack!fic
Spoilers: General Season 2
Pairings: John/Elizabeth, Other
Notes: Atlantis AU crack!fic written for Rose Wilde Irish.

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As usual, Rodney was grumbling as he climbed into the backseat. "You do know that carpooling is so 1990s, right?"

"Shut up, Rodney," John said amiably from the driver's seat.

"I'm just saying, it's not like Atlantis Corp. pays us poorly. We all own very nice cars."

"Which we all get a chance to drive once every four weeks," Elizabeth said. She was sitting in the front passenger seat. "And as Vice President of Science and Technology, you of all people should know how important it is to be environmentally-conscious."

Rodney looked like he was about to argue that assertion, but one glare from John in the rear-view mirror made him change the subject. "Why do you always get to ride shotgun, anyway?" he demanded.

There was a long silence. John wondered just how dense Rodney was. Elizabeth wondered whether Rodney knew that she and John had been practically living together for the past year and a half. Everyone else at Atlantis knew - even the janitors and the delivery people. Rodney was one of their closest friends, so it was a little disturbing to realize how oblivious he was about them.

Occasionally, Elizabeth questioned how the three of them had managed to remain friends for so long. They'd met while working at Atlantis Corp.'s entry-level training program, and they were three of five who'd been selected to stay in the company after their three-year program ended. All of them had since moved quickly up the corporate ladder.

John, on the other hand, did not occasionally question this strange friendship - he questioned it often. Elizabeth, of course, was smart and hot and funny, and he loved her, but Rodney... Rodney was Rodney.

"Your backseat driving drives me crazy," John answered finally. "If you sat right next to me while pulling that crap, it would get ugly." Which was true enough.

Rodney, unable to think of a good comeback (he'd overslept and had to skip his coffee that morning), sulked. "Let's just go pick up Carson already."

"Actually," Elizabeth said, "he's riding with Ronon and Teyla now." She'd managed to get them to carpool, too. It was little wonder that she was the VP of Sales and Marketing (and, it was widely believed, being groomed for a much higher position), what with her gift for persuasion and negotiation. Also, guilt-tripping. That last one wasn't in her résumé, though.

Rodney was startled out of his caffeine-deprivation. "What? Why? When?"

"Since this past weekend," John said, "when he and Laura Cadman finally became an item."

"CADMAN?" Rodney almost shrieked. "I knew Carson had bad taste, but-"

"Rodney!" John and Elizabeth both said sharply. Carson was also a good friend and a great deal nicer and friendlier than Rodney.

"Laura's part of Ronon and Teyla's carpool," Elizabeth said. "So..."

"There's no way in hell I'm splitting gas expenses between just three people," Rodney said, forgetting his earlier comment about being well-paid and able to afford nice cars.

"Don't worry," John said. "We have a fourth."

"It better not be Kavanagh," Rodney threatened. "Or Ford. Oh, God. Don't tell me - Caldwell?"

While Rodney was working himself into a rage over this potential fourth - John thought he could see him foaming at the mouth - they arrived at their destination. As they pulled up to the very nice condo complex, Rodney got a glimpse of a familiar spectacled man in a business suit, who was standing on the sidewalk.

Rodney quickly shut up, almost turning white. When he finally found his voice ten seconds later, he said, "Sheppard, you didn't."

"Sorry, Rodney," John said, not sounding sorry at all.

"But Radek?"

"Radek's nice," Elizabeth defended. "I don't know why you dislike him. He's always so polite."

"And he puts up with your shit better than most people," John added.

"You... you..." Of course, Rodney could not say he had a horrible man-crush on Radek, one that he had been suppressing for almost a year. That would be anti-Rodney. So he had to be content stewing in outraged silence.

The car stopped in front of the building. Radek was about to get in when John rolled down the window. "Wait," John said. "You heard the rules about entering the PJ, right?"

"What?" Radek looked confused.

"The Puddle Jumper," John said.

"His car's name," Elizabeth clarified, leaning over John to smile at Radek.

"Um... yes, I believe Carson said one or two things..." Radek said. It had been a rather long list, not that he remembered half of what Carson had said...

"No smoking, no gum-chewing, no drinking from anything without a lid, you can eat only if you don't drop anything, umbrellas go on the floor, not the seat, clean off your shoes and golashes before entering, make sure that you have no pet hair on you, Rodney, and requests to change the station are considered when requested politely, Rodney."

"He loves his car," Elizabeth said mildly.

Radek nodded his assent to the rules and warily got in next to Rodney. "Good morning, Rodney," he greeted.

Rodney gave him a quick glance, mumbled something that could have been "goo morbiding", then looked away.

In the front seat, Elizabeth suppressed a sigh. It seemed that her and Teyla's plan of getting Rodney and Radek together would be harder than she had anticipated. Who knew that Rodney reacted to attraction like a nine-year-old boy with his first crush?

On the bright side, maybe Radek would distract Rodney enough to keep the car rides to and from work relatively pleasant... Maybe. Possibly. That or they'd end up killing each other. At least there wasn't a rule about bleeding in the car. Yet.

And so a new morning began as the four drove to Atlantis Corp. It would remain to be seen what adventures they would have in their work lives and personal lives. And by that, I mean use your imagination since this ficlet is done for now. The End.