Twu Wuv

John wandered down the corridor, thinking about the fact that, two years ago, his life had been just about as ordinary as a life could possibly get. True, not every red-blooded American male got to be a supercool flyboy -- but as Air Force pilots' lives went, John's had been pretty darned ordinary.

Then he'd been asked to fly a general to a spot that was supposed to not exist, i.e., be a big secret even though everybody at McMurdo knew about it. Then he was being nearly shot down and whisked away to an underground lair where he discovered that life was not nearly as ordinary as he'd thought.

It really had been hard to decide whether or not he wanted to go. He'd done his heads or tails flip with the fervent wish that he'd land on his head and get to stay. But fate, or one of the Trickster gods more likely, was watching him and made sure that John had to tell Dr. Weir that he'd do it.

John had always believed in the power of a heads-or-tails flip, and despite his misgivings, he hadn't wanted to stay home after the flip told him to go.

Two years later, John had more or less decided that he'd made the right choice. Even if his life was just about to get a hell of a lot weirder.

He nodded greetings to one of the botanists as he walked by. He couldn't ever tell them apart, and they refused to wear name tags because everyone else could tell them apart and who cared if the head of military had a little trouble? They didn't mind when he just called them all 'doctor', at least, so John had stopped whining about it at staff meetings.

John headed on down towards the secondary math tank, telling himself that he could not, would not, change his mind. He'd been arguing with himself about it for weeks -- after months of ignoring it as steadfastly as he could. But he'd finally given in and asked himself what he really wanted. He'd even made a flip, heads I tell him, tails I don't.

So here he was, about to do something which was going to change everything, forever. He just hoped it wouldn't be in the horrible Wraith-sucking category of change.

John went into the room and looked around. Hanson and Jennings, two of the math geeks, were swimming around the tank. Hanson chirped at him; John waved back. Then he waddled over towards the platform where Rodney was standing and began the slow, annoying process of jumping up a short flight of stairs. Rodney finally looked over his shoulder at him when John was halfway up.

"Oh for," Rodney said. He stabbed at the computer screen and froze his conversation with the mathemadolphins, and came to meet him. "You look ridiculous doing that," Rodney said.

"Usually you don't mind," John retorted.

"I don't, but you're making the platform shake which is interfering with my typing. What do you want?" He pawed the stairs, looking a bit ridiculous himself with his back end several inches higher than his front half.

"I came to tell you I love you," John said quickly, remembering only afterwards that he'd meant to build up to it and possibly also do this in private.

"Oh." Rodney shook his mane. "You came all the way down here for that?"

John blinked. "Er, I thought it was important."

"Are you dying or something?" Rodney was already turning around and heading back up the stairs.

"No. I don't think so, anyway. But... Rodney, I mean... I love you. Like... more than a friend."

There was a huff, and Rodney turned to look back down at him. "And?"

John hopped up one more stair, intending to go after him, but whoever had built these things hadn't taken his species into account. He stopped and wiggled a bit, and frowned. "And... I thought maybe we could... have dinner or something?"

"We have dinner all the time," Rodney said. "And we go to the movies, and we-- oh for god's sake, John, are you just figuring this out now? I thought you just never asked for sex because it wasn't winter yet."

John blinked again, and then blinked a third time. Then he squeaked something that only another gentoo would have been able to interpret correctly.

Rodney sighed. "Look, can we talk about this tonight? I'll email you some stuff I got from Martinez, the penguin down in linguistics. She had a centaur lover once -- she said the important bits are the same."
Rodney narrowed his eyes at him, pointing his horn right at John's forehead.

John fell backwards, tumbling down the stairs, and rolled to a stop against the side of the think tank. Jennings bumped the wall with his nose, and grinned at him. Rodney ignored them, no doubt assuming that if John had broken something he'd have said so.

For a moment he lay there, trying to decide if he wanted to risk pissing off the god of heads-or-tails, or if he would just go wait for Rodney's email.

Or maybe he'd go spend the rest of the morning yelling at his Marines. Those gorillas didn't ever seem to mind being put through their paces, and John thought maybe he was going to need a lot of distracting, until tonight.