My World and Shouldn't You Be Paying Attention?

~ So terrie01's fault.

"Rodney?" Carson walked into the room he'd been pointed towards by the young woman whose name he didn't know. She'd been wearing science blue and hadn't shown any confusion when he'd inquired after Dr McKay so Carson thought she probably knew. There were no other doors in this section of the hallway so he was fairly sure Rodney had to be in here.

Unless he'd already wandered off and there would be no telling if Carson could track him down before morning, if he had. Carson walked further into the room, seeing long tables stacked with equipment, lit panels on the walls, and stools the like of which might have been brought from Earth or might have been Atlantean. It was impossible to tell.

"Rodney?"

He got an answer this time. "Here!"

Carson headed towards the sound of Rodney's voice, and as he came around the edge of a well-stacked table, he found Rodney sitting on a stool peering into the depths of an Atlantean machine.

"What are you doing?"

Rodney didn't glance up, but Carson could see the smile appear on his face. "I don't know. It's fascinating!"

Carson sighed. He knew that tone, that expression. Rodney would be here for weeks if no one shifted him. "I was wondering if you could help me with something?" he asked casually.

"Hmm?" Rodney still hadn't looked up.

"I've brought something with me from Earth. I need to see if it survived the wormhole."

He saw the flash of a frown, though Rodney still didn't look up. "So? Can't you test it on your own equipment?"

He opened his mouth to argue, when inspiration struck. "I suppose...." Carson wandered, as though aimlessly, around behind the table. He could just see Rodney's head and shoulders and knew, if Rodney looked back, he'd only see the same of him.

He sat down on a stool and leaned his head back, resting it against an equipment crate from Earth. He put his hands together, interlacing his fingers. Then he began rubbing them together.

It made a lovely flesh-on-flesh noise. He varied the speed and volume, and closed his eyes just enough he could see Rodney.

It took nearly two full minutes. Suddenly Rodney's head whipped up and he spun around, eyes wide. "What are you DOING?"

"I'm testing it on my equipment," Carson said, breathless from holding back laughter.

Rodney seemed to fall off his stool; he hurried around the table and stopped -- and glared. "Very funny."

Carson put his hands down. "I couldn't figure out how to lock the door."

Rodney's frown slowly vanished as he considered the apparent non sequitor then he looked intent. "Oh? And what would have happened if the door was locked?" He sounded like he already had an idea.

"I'd have done the experiment for real, rather than run a simulation."

Rodney was staring at him now, and Carson felt fairly sure Rodney wouldn't be getting any more work done that night. "What was it you needed my help testing?"

"It's a propylene glycol and glycerin compound." Water-based, because oil-based lubricants tasted nasty and the silicone-based ones made Rodney lecture him about the way they interacted with certain toys Rodney was fond of.

"Is it?" Rodney asked, matching Carson's casualness equally. Except Carson could see how Rodney's eyes were starting to lose a bit of focus. "You know, those compounds don't always travel well, especially through a wormhole traveling the distance we've gone. We should give it a thorough test."

"I did figure out how to lock the door to my quarters," Carson pointed out, helpfully.

Rodney nodded. "A good experiment should be run in privacy. And repeatedly, for verification. Excellent. I approve your proposal, Dr. Beckett."

"Then why are we still standing here?" Carson asked him, when Rodney didn't make any move towards the door.

Rodney reached down and tugged at his trousers. "I may need some ice first."

Carson looked. Yes, indeed. The entire expedition didn't need to see that. "Just think about Dr. Kavanagh, naked and singing in the
shower."

"Oh, god. That did it. Come on." Rodney headed for the door, and Carson followed, after.

Carson could only hope by the time they reached his room, he had stopped thinking of the time he'd walked into the communal shower back in the Antarctica station to find Kavanagh already there.


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