Title: In cahoots
Author: Shenandoah Risu
Rating
: G
Content Flags: conspiracy
Spoilers: Season 1 "Faith", but this takes place in late Season 2
Characters: Tamara Johansen, Everett Young, Nicholas Rush
Word Count: 522
Summary: "That's your emergency?"
Author's Notes
: Written for challenge "Off the clock" at the LJ Comm stargateland.
Disclaimer: I don't own SGU. I wouldn't know what to do with it. Now, Young... Young I'd know what to do with. ;-)
Thanks for reading! Feedback = Love. ;-)

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In cahoots

"You need to take some time off."

"TJ, I'm fine."

"No, you're not. Look: your blood pressure is elevated, your white blood cell count is way down and you're anemic. You've lost 13 pounds since last month. You look like death warmed over – three times – and you got dark rings under your eyes. When was the last time you took some time for yourself?"

"TJ, I got it. I'm good."

TJ sat down next to her CO, smiling worriedly at him.

"Listen, I know you're 'all guy', and you take your command seriously, and you think you don't deserve a break, but you're running ragged and when you fall, which is inevitable at the rate you're going, you're gonna fall hard."

She looked away. "And I don't know if I can pick you up again then."

He sighed. "I'm sorry, TJ. There's just always something, one thing after –"

"So let Matt deal with it," she interrupted him. "He's your 2IC – he'll come to you if it's really that important."

The radio at his belt crackled to life.

"Colonel Young? This is Rush. Please meet me on the Observation Deck as soon as possible. Rush out."

Young got up and pulled on his jacket. "There, see? I don't even know what this is about. But it's Rush, so it's probably important."

TJ got up. "All right. But after that you're going to your quarters for some shut-eye. Medic's orders." She gestured at him. "Sir."

He chuckled and left, and the moment he was out the door TJ picked up her own radio.

"Thank you," she said, "He's on his way."

When Young arrived on the Observation Deck he saw Rush leaning casually against the railing, a steaming cup of tea in his hand.

"Colonel," he said by way of greeting, and held out the mug to him.

Young blinked in confusion. "What's the big emergency?"

Rush gently pushed the mug against his chest and Young took it, mumbling a word of gratitude. Rush gestured at a low table between two couches.

"I found myself inexplicably lacking a chess partner."

"That's your emergency?"

Rush nodded gravely and motioned him to sit down. "Believe me, Colonel, you don't want to be around me if my blood chess level gets too low."

He rolled his eyes at Young's quizzical expression. "Oh, very well, you don't want to be around me anyway, but that's beside the point, because right now I want to kick your ass at chess."

"Do you, now?"

Rush nodded. "Purple or green?"

Young pondered the crude and odd-colored chess set for a moment.

"Hey, this turned out pretty good! Have you done much whittling before?"

"Nope, first time," Rush admitted.

"Wow." Young sat down and picked up a rook. "How much blood did you lose carving these?"

Rush smiled. "Quite a bit, actually. But never enough to trouble Lieutenant Johansen with it. Drink your tea, it's getting cold."

Young startled.

"You're in on this with her, aren't you?"

"In cahoots. Guilty as charged," Rush confessed. "So – purple or green?"

"Purple, then."

And as Young sipped his tea Rush made his first move.

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