Dangling Participles

~ Written for the sga_flashfic dangling challenge.

Rodney frowned at the three empty chairs, and forced himself to not look at his watch again.

"They'll be here," John said.

"The meeting was supposed to start five minutes ago," Rodney snapped. Normally he wasn't quite so up-tight about meetings starting on time -- unless he had other, more important things to do. Which was most of the time, admittedly. But today he had vastly more important things to do than sit through yet another organizational meeting.

It didn't help that John was slouching in his chair, looking for all the world like he was enjoying the fact they were doing nothing but wait. Rodney glared at him, but John was staring down at his laptop, doing god knew what. Probably playing minesweeper.

Rodney looked at the door as it opened, and didn't relax when Elizabeth came in. "Sorry I'm late. Looks like we're still missing a few people." She smiled and looked relieved at not being the last one to arrive.

"We're missing Carson and David," Rodney said. He saw the surprised look Elizabeth gave him. It wasn't like he *cared* that he was cranky. If they didn't start the meeting soon, he was going to go back to work and they could reschedule when *he* felt like it.

"Are they on their way?" Elizabeth asked, looking at John for an answer.

"Dr. Schoen called a few minutes ago, and said he and Dr. Beckett were on their way up. Nothing serious," he added, at Elizabeth's look of concern.

"Yes, apparently they just had something better to do than show up on time," Rodney said. He knew, of course, that the fact he felt insanely jealous was just making him crankier. Rodney knew there was no reason to be insanely jealous, but what the hell could they be doing that was making them late?

"Rodney, I'm sure--" Elizabeth stopped as the door opened again, and David Schoen came in.

"Sorry, sorry," he said, his heavily-accented English nearly drowning the vowels.

"Why don't we get started, and Dr. Beckett can catch up once he's arrived?" Elizabeth suggested.

Dr. Schoen said, "He's--" and the rest of his sentence was lost to Rodney. It might not even have been in English, but Elizabeth was nodding like she understood.

"He's *what*?" Rodney snapped.

"You know, you almost sound like a guy who...." John trailed off, waggling his eyebrows meaningfully. Meaningfully to anyone who had a clue what he was trying to say, of course. Which didn't include Rodney.

"Fine. I'm going. Call me when the meeting is over and tell me how you've decided to reorganise my department, so I can ignore it and get on with my work." He stood up, closing his laptop and ignoring the way John was laughing at him behind his hand. Rodney stepped away from the table, turning to shove his chair back in place and heard behind him,

"Sorry I'm late."

He looked over, ready to ream Carson for making them wait -- and he stopped.

He tried really, really hard to get his brain working again.

"Carson?" he heard Elizabeth say.

"There was a small accident in the lab -- just a stain, nothing serious. But... well, I haven't got my other laundry back yet and this was the only thing I had to wear."

Rodney stared as Carson stood there, wearing his uniform shirt and a kilt. Rodney moved past John to get a look. He was wearing his boots, with the socks scrunched up at the top edge. His legs were bare from just above the ankle, to knee.

"Rodney?" Carson was looking at him. Or so Rodney guessed from the way he was turned, facing him. Rodney was having trouble getting his eyes up past Carson's waist. "Rodney?" His tone was amused, now.

"I--" Rodney shook his head. He had no idea. He couldn't make his brain give him anything to say. Nothing intelligent, nor even anything stupid and foolish. It was just a big blank in his skull, filled only with the image of Carson in a kilt.

"Rodney, do you mind if we start the meeting now?" Elizabeth was asking. Rodney shook his head, but didn't return to his seat.

"Are you going to sit down?" Carson asked, still sounding amused. There might have been some concern there, but mostly Carson was standing there, looking at him, wearing a kilt.

Rodney breathed out, "Fuck me."

Carson blinked. "I think we should wait until after the meeting."

"Meeting?" Rodney looked around. Right. Meeting. Conference room.

Carson in a kilt.

What were they meeting about?

Carson gave him a Look, and went to sit down. As soon as he did, Rodney could no longer see anything other than the usual uniform shirt he usually wore. It should have made it possible to sit down and focus on the meeting.

Rodney turned to Elizabeth, opened his mouth and nothing came out. He gestured towards the door.

"I think he's trying to say he'd like us to adjourn, so he can get the blood flowing to his brain again," John said.

Rodney nodded, and watched as Carson blushed a deep red. "Sorry," he said to Elizabeth.

"It's all right. We can do this after lunch. But hasn't he ever seen you in that before?" She grinned at Carson.

Carson just blushed harder. "Aye. He has." Then he stood up and walked over to Rodney -- wearing a kilt. Bare legs and kilt and boots and Rodney let Carson take him by the arm and lead him towards the door.

"Are you wearing underwear?" Rodney finally managed to ask. Most of the time he didn't -- when they were in their quarters without any intention of leaving. But in public, he might have left them on. Or he might not...

Rodney felt his brain crash to a halt again. He looked down, and stared at Carson's ass. Kilt. Bare legs.

"Mibble?" he asked.

"Yes, love. Come on, there's a storeroom just down the hall." And Carson dragged him down the hall, and there indeed was a storeroom with a door that locked, and Rodney went down on his knees and discovered that yes, indeed, Carson was wearing no underwear.