A/N: This was supposed to be a flash fiction piece, but it took on a life of its own. A big thanks goes out to Dani for planting this idea in my head. It took a lot longer to get out than expected since it is a lot longer than I originally intended. Please leave a review. Yes, the Ursoks are of my own creation

Love is Not Something to Be Forced

Jennifer could not take it anymore as she watched the dark hair siren fawn over Rodney. She clenched her fists as the twenty year old laughed and squeezed Rodney's bicep with her hand. She saw red when she swore she saw the other hand slip under the table. The angry woman's mind thought the worst possible idea of what the other hand was doing when it was out of view. Since Kara and her father Anders arrived, Jennifer's life had spiralled to a new level of hell never experienced until now. The worst part of it was that Kara kept referring to Rodney as her husband.

"Jennifer, Mister Woolsey and Colonel Sheppard will correct the situation. The Ursoks are a very stubborn people and have very distinctive customs and beliefs," the wise Athosian tried to calm the agitated Jennifer.

The upset physician knew Teyla was trying to comfort her, but her words only made things worse. "Situation? This isn't a situation. This is a disaster. Since when does helping increasing electrical output so they could have heat and could survive the winter equal now you are married to my daughter." Jennifer words were harsh and she did not care. She was not going to give up on the best thing that ever happened to her and with whom she had spent the last two and half years of her life with. She was mad as hell at Rodney for not putting up a fight and allowing that thing to touch him.

Teyla tried to remain neutral. The Ursoks had been old trading partners of the Athosians and Jennifer and Rodney were like family, "Are you saying that we should have let the Ursoks perish during the harsh winter? They are not used to such conditions such as the ones on their new planet."

"I am not saying that. I'm just taking issue with that as a thank you Anders declared his daughter married to Rodney. Just look at him. He's enjoying this and why wouldn't he? Just look at her. She has turned every man's head on the base with her huge breasts, a body anyone would die for. Why would he want me if he can have that?" The attractive woman bought out all of Jennifer's insecurities and she quickly wiped away the tears that started to fall as she thought Rodney had fallen under Kara's spell. "I have nothing," Jennifer pointed to her nearly flat chest and because of the uniform, a shapeless body.

Teyla looked through the window and frowned as she looked at Rodney and saw he did not look happy. It was obvious Jennifer was blinded by her anger to see what was clearly written on the man's face, disgust and horror.

Any hold Jennifer had on her emotions when Kara stroked Rodney's face the way she did every night. The crying woman could not stick around any longer and ran off before she had a chance to see Rodney's reaction.

Rodney had been warned to remain diplomatic during the meeting, but he could only take so much. He pushed himself away from the woman who could not keep her hands off him, "Enough." The harsh tone shocked everyone in the room. Before Jennifer came into his life he would have welcomed the kind of attention Kara was affording him, but now Jennifer was the only one he wanted to touch him like that.

"Rodney, relax," John eyed the man cautiously.

"I am not going relax. I'm not going to sit idly by and be talked about like I am some sort of commodity," the angry Canadian growled. "I know you two warned me to sit back and keep quiet in the interest of keeping friendly relations with these people, but enough is enough." Rodney did not care about the looks he was getting from Sheppard and Woolsey. "Your daughter is not to be given away as some gift because I helped you and your people."

Anders stood up, insulted that he had been talked to in such a matter, "Such a rude and impudent man. How dare you speak to me like that? I give you a gift that is most precious to me and you act like an ungrateful child. You don't wear a commitment ring, so why are you making noise like this is a burden upon you. A man of your age and physical appearance should be counting your blessings that I gave gifted you with my beautiful and virginal daughter." Anders turned to his daughter, "Kara, please give us a few moments. Wait outside while the adults talk."

"Okay, father," Kara curtsied before she left the room.

Rodney's blood pressure was sky-high by this time. He gritted his teeth to stop himself from hurling the insults back at the man.

"Anders...Dr. McKay, please. While we are trying to be respectful of your customs, we ask you do the same for ours," Woolsey did not want this to get any further out of hand than it already had.

"You do not have your mates picked for you?" Anders looked between the other men.

"No," Rodney was the first to answer and the anger in his voice threatened to melt into a temper tantrum. "And just because I don't wear a ring, doesn't mean I am not committed to someone. We have a little ritual where we come from called dating. It's something we do before we decide if we want to marry someone. Usually people who are dating have a mutual attraction to each other."

The Pegasus native was intrigued by this concept, "What does one do during this ritual you call dating?"

John stepped back, leaving Rodney to answer this one, "What? You are the only one going through this ritual now." the Colonel knew this was not the time to be messing with Rodney, but he could not help himself.

"Thanks for nothing," Rodney muttered under his breath. "You spend time with the person getting to know them and do things with each other."

Anders was not buying the explanation, "Things such as what?" The father believed the bumbling man was trying to get out of the marriage to his daughter.

"A lot of things and sometimes nothing," the nervous scientist did not know how much this man wanted.

"And this is why you do not wish to be married to my daughter because you are involved in this ritual?"

Rodney nodded, "Yes."

"But you have not undergone a commitment ceremony yet?" Anders was still not pleased with the responses he received.

"No. We haven't gotten married yet," the physicist tone remained even, but after this he was considering heading back to Earth and marry Jennifer.

"Why not?" the curious man asked.

Rodney shrugged as he tried to figure what do say without coming off like a total sap. He knew John would tease him for his words, but he felt he needed to have Anders see where he was coming from, "A wedding or commitment ceremony is only a formality. I maybe not be officially married or committed..." the scientist paused and glared at John. "I don't expect you to understand where I am coming from. You were probably just presented with your wife, am I right? Did you even know her before you were married? Your expression says you didn't know her," there was a satisfied smirk on his face. "As I said before I might not be officially married, but that doesn't mean I'm not married in my heart. I don't need some silly piece of paper to tell me that I'm with the person I want to spend the rest of my life with. We act as if we are married and finish each other sentences. She's the one I look forward to going home to after a hard day at work and the face enjoy waking up to every morning. She's my best friend and my other half. She's the one I want to grow old with and have children with. Being forced to fall in love with someone does not compare to finding someone and having that love grow naturally. Sometimes you get it wrong, as these two can attest to," he pointed to the two divorced men. "But in my case when you get it right you just know. I can't imagine life with anyone else. I would give my life for her," Rodney hoped his impassioned plea worked.

Anders nodded, moved by Rodney's words, "I think I understand. The woman you speak of is very lucky to have you as a life partner. I was not aware that love could be such a powerful emotion." He had been taught that love was an emotion that made you weak and should be kept hidden, but Rodney showed him that it was the exact opposite.

"I'm the lucky one," Rodney was not used to baring his raw emotions for all to see. "Let Kara find someone to fall in love with. There is no better feeling than looking into the eyes of the one you love and to see that love returned."

"Wow, Rodney!" John was stunned to see this side of his friend. It showed him that even after years of knowing someone there were still sides of them to be discovered.

"What?" he asked nervously.

"Go find your girlfriend and tell her what you told us," Sheppard smiled. It was a welcome change to hear how far Rodney had come since he had known him. The Rodney he first met was socially awkward and was a pig when it came to women and now even though the Canadian still had some of those awkward tendencies, his relationship with Jennifer was one he wished he could find.

Rodney made a face, "Why? She already knows how I feel."

John shook his head at the man's clueless moment, "After all this she probably needs a little reminder."

That is when the light bulb went off for Rodney, "Ah, yes. You're right." Sometimes he took it for granted that Jennifer always knew exactly how he felt.

"You are right, Dr. McKay. I'm sorry for imposing my ideals on you. I think there could be something to this love thing," Anders had a new appreciation for the group that saved his people in more than one way.

Jennifer found herself in the room that she and Rodney had shared for that last year and a half. It was their home. The tears started to fall again as she looked around their home and recalled the last night they had spent together, both had been too tired to do anything else beside fall asleep in each other's arms. Even after two and half years it was still an exhilarating feeling to wake up with their bodies molded together as if made for each other.

"What does she know about him? Does she know about his citrus allergy? Does she know how to stop him from snoring loudly? What about the spot where he is ticklish just under his ribcage? Would she remind him to eat when he gets lost in his work? That hussy knows nothing about him. I'm the one who held his hand every night when he recovered from being shot in the side. I took care of him when he was in bed for a week from the flu. She would never do that for him."

Her eyes fell upon the picture sitting on her dresser and more tears fell as she remembered the night it had been taken; their first anniversary. "Could it all be over? I didn't think it would end like this."

"What's over?" a voice came from behind her.

Jennifer refused to let the man see her crying and how broken her heart was, "Shouldn't you be with your wife?" She let the bitterness show as she barely got the last word off her tongue.

Rodney winced when he realized how angry she was. John was right, she does need to be reminded. "I am," he slid his arms around her shoulders and held her tight.

"Don't," the physician shook her head, trying to free herself from his grasp.

"Jennifer, I'm sorry about this crazy Anders and Kara mess. I had no idea any of this would happen," he tightened his grasp on the love of his life.

"Are you here to say goodbye?" Jennifer asked, trying to keep herself from crying again.

Rodney sighed and shook his head, "I'm not going anywhere. I told Anders that even though I may not officially be married that in I am already married in my heart and there was only one person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. There was a bunch of other sappy sentiments that would make any diabetic go into sugar shock. If you have any doubt, yes, I am talking about you. I don't need a piece of paper to tell me what my heart and soul already knows."

Jennifer did not respond because she did not know how to. She felt like an idiot for doubting what she had Rodney have. After a few moments of just letting his embrace convince her that he was not leaving, the woman finally broke the silence. "You really think of us as already being married?" she turned around to see what was in his eyes. Jennifer knew they could never lie to her and she liked what she saw.

The physicist knew that words could not properly convey what he truly felt and pulled her into a kiss that was sweet as sugar, but as hot as lava. A kiss that made time slow down to a trickle. A kiss that leaves you wanting more even as your lungs screamed for air. "Convince you enough?" Rodney wiped away the stray tear that had fallen.

The relieved woman nodded as her head rested on his chest. The beating of his heart soothed the last of Jennifer's worries as each beat seemed to say, "I love you."

The End

A/N: Thanks again, Dani. Any complaints about a jealous Jen should go to her. It runs the full course of emotion here.