A Sure Bet

Carson was working in the lab when Dr. Santiago walked in. She was frowning, and Carson worried that this meant that Dr. Stiller, her lab partner, once again needed a stern talking to about writing legibly.
"Dr. Beckett?" she began, and the hesitant tone told him this was a bit more serious than research notes.

Yes?" He put on his best fatherly-doctor-confidant tone, gesturing towards the chair opposite him. She didn't sit down.

"Would you tell Jason he's *wrong* and shouldn't be betting on this sort of thing anyway? I *told* him you and Dr. McKay have been sleeping together since Antarctica, but he's entered this betting pool that says you two still haven't... Dr. Beckett?"

"Sleeping together?" He wasn't sure if he should be gaping quite so widely at the idea. That he'd be sleeping with Rodney? That people would be betting on it?

That people thought they already *were*?

"Er... yes..." She frowned. "Um. Oops?" She stepped backwards, and said quickly, "I'm gonna get back to work and please don't tell Jason because Dr. Kavanagh has this week in the pool and Jason was trying to get me to help make sure it didn't happen until next week and bye!"

Carson stared at her retreating back for several seconds before he was able to put his brain back into gear. Then he switched his laptop to standby, stood up, and walked out of the lab -- without looking at anybody.

He made his way down to Rodney's lab. He found Rodney with his head stuck inside something large and Ancient looking. He frowned at Radek, who was standing nearby looking confused. "Should I worry?" Carson asked.

Radek shook his head, though there was a thump and an 'Ow!' from inside the machine. Rodney pulled his head out, rubbing at his forehead and glaring at Carson. "A little warning would be nice."

Carson cleared his throat. "Rodney, I'm going to be walking up behind you and talking to Radek, now. Do you mind? Oh, and apparently there's a betting pool on when you and I are going to start sleeping together. Kavanagh has this week."

Rodney blinked. "Kavanagh? What the hell does he care when I start sleeping with... wait, did you say sleeping with *you*?"

"Thank you for sounding so incredulous," Carson said. He turned his frown on Radek, who was not doing a very good job of hiding his laughter. "Who has next week?"

Radek fought down his grin and said, "I believe Dr. Stiller and Dr. Grodin have split the week."

"Hmm." Carson thought. He didn't actually owe Stiller any favors, and whenever Grodin got a bit of extra cash, he blew it all at the weekly poker game and complained about it the entire next week. "The week after?"

Radek thought. "I believe the week after is Dr. Weir, again. She had one two months ago as well."

"Is that why she was so cross at the staff meeting last month?"

Radek nodded. They both ignored Rodney who was still standing there, jaw moving up and down. There was no sound coming out, so Carson didn't bother with him just yet.

"And the week after that? Not that I have any problem with Dr. Weir winning, mind."

"Let me get chart," Radek said, and he pushed past Rodney to the laptop sitting on the counter. "You do realise that if anyone finds out you know, all bets will be disqualified."

"Excuse me!" Rodney finally said.

Carson looked at him. "Yes, Rodney?"

"We... you... they're betting on us *sleeping* together!"

"Yes, love," Carson said, patting him on the hand. "And I'm trying to figure out who I'd like to win. You don't want it to be Kavanagh, do you?"

Rodney frowned. "Of course not-- wait. What? WHAT?"

Carson just raised an eyebrow.

"Ah, here," Radek said.

Carson went over and looked at the color-coded chart Radek had pulled up. The old bets were marked out, though he could still read the names. It looked like nearly everyone had placed at least one bet, if not two or three. Major Sheppard had apparently placed one bet for each month from the time they'd arrived, until the end of the calendar.

"Well, there's no point in letting *him* win, cocky bastard," Carson muttered.

"If you wish, there is a lovely week coming up here," Radek said, pointing at his own name.

"That's nearly a month and a half away, though." Carson looked at Rodney. "Did you want to wait that long?"

Rodney shook his head. "I must have hit my head harder than I thought. Do I have a concussion?"

"I didn't think so," Carson said, responding to the head-shake and ignoring Rodney's mutterings. "I suppose we'll have to let Peter win, and just try telling him not to play poker with Marines."

"Won't work -- about Grodin. You and Rodney will work okay. But if you keep it a secret until later?" Radek pointed at the calendar again where his name was.

Carson nodded, and looked at Rodney. "How does that sound to you?"

"Just so I'm clear," Rodney said. "We're talking about you and me having sex, and deciding on when to do so based on who we want to win a bet?"

Carson nodded. He was glad to see Rodney finally catching up.

"And we're *not* having sex this week, because Kavanagh's a prick?"

"Exactly." Carson frowned. "Sorry."

"And... when did you and I decide we wanted to have sex with each other?"

Carson just looked surprised. "Excuse me?" he asked, sounding very offended.

"I don't mean that! I mean... wait. What do I mean? Yes! That's what I mean!"

Radek choked back another laugh.

Rodney frowned in displeasure. "Carson. If you want to have sex with me, this is *not* the best way to ask me. Invite me to dinner, a movie, or just an email saying 'meet me after work'."

"Rodney, there *is* no 'after work' for you," Carson pointed out.

"Well, after a meeting, then. Pass me a note *during* the meeting, for god's sake. Or just... ask. You don't have to create this elaborate..." He frowned. He turned and looked at the chart Radek had pulled up.

Carson watched as he grew slightly more pale.

"They're really betting on this, aren't they?"

"You are going to make me lose a great deal of money," Radek said, sternly.

"Excuse me?" Rodney turned on him. "You want me to wait *six* weeks?"

"You have waited two years, apparently," Radek retorted. "What is few weeks more?"

"For the last two years I didn't know I could!" Rodney nearly-shouted back. "I'm not waiting six more weeks just because you want to win some money."

"I would use some to buy you a lovely wedding present," Radek said.

"I--" Rodney stopped. "Like what?"

Radek shrugged. "What is there for sale on Atlantis? I would buy you a nice pair of crystal champagne glasses. When we return to Earth."

Rodney narrowed his eyes. "Champagne glasses?"

Carson cleared his throat. When Rodney and Radek looked at him, he asked, "So, next week? Sunday?"

Rodney started to nod. Then he looked thoughtful and began visibly counting to himself.

Carson sighed. "Today's Wednesday."

"I know that! OK, I can wait. Sunday." He frowned. "We can't practise until then?"

"If anyone finds out, Kavanagh wins," Carson reminds him.

Rodney rolled his eyes. "Who's going to know except Radek, here? And he sure isn't going to tell."

"Only if no one finds out until my week. Otherwise, I will tell. If it isn't obvious to everyone that you are finally doing it."

"'Doing it'?" Rodney repeated. "God, can you be any more twelve? If you're betting on it, you can at least say it."

"Fine. That you are finally fucking. Everyone will know."

"I bet they won't," Rodney said, smugly.

Carson sighed. "Rodney -- they've known since they met us, that we've *wanted* to. You really think they won't notice when we do?"

"I could fake it," Rodney said, but he sounded doubtful.

But Carson just said, firmly, "Sunday."

Rodney sighed. "Fine. Sunday -- hey! I'm leaving tomorrow for an offworld mission."

Carson nodded. "Yes, Rodney. I know."

"So I won't be back until Sunday anyway."

"Yes, Rodney."

Rodney narrowed his eyes at Carson. "Which you knew, before you came in here."

"Yes." Carson grinned.

"So you couldn't wait until Sunday to spring this little bombshell on me? I have to go offworld and *think* about it for four days with Sheppard and Ford giggling at me behind my back?"

"Ford doesn't giggle. Teyla, though, does," Carson reminded him.

"Oh, perfect," Rodney said. "Just what I need."

Carson looked at Radek. "Am I right in assuming *anything* sexual counts?"

Radek nodded, quickly. "It is very specific. Any contact with the intention of having sex -- then, or later. The bet is about how clueless you are, not when you find time. Sorry," he shrugged at Rodney.

Rodney was gaping at Radek. "Clueless? I'm *not*--" He stopped.

Carson started to laugh, and Rodney glared at him.

"How long have *you* known? Mr. Smarty Kilt?"

"No kiss, then," Carson told him, ignoring the question. He headed for the door.

There was a sort of choking sound, behind him, then he heard Rodney say, "Radek, give me one good reason why I shouldn't assign you to work with Kavanagh for the next two months."

"How is this my fault?"

"You're *here*."

"Oh, look, it is time for my break. Goodbye." And a moment later Radek was hurrying out, catching up with Carson.

Carson looked at Radek. Radek was looking very innocent, and Carson frowned. "Radek?"

"Hmm?"

"Who *started* the bet?"

The innocent look grew vastly more innocent. "I do not know."

"And why shouldn't I tell Rodney it was you?"

Radek winked at him. "Because if you do, I will tell him about the betting pool with him and Major Sheppard."