Day in the Life of a Working Wolf

~ This is not the full sequel. There's more to come, still. This is just a short bit to tide you over. Many many thanks, as always, to Miss Smooth for the beta.

Radek was growing very frustrated. He leaned away from the laptop and looked at the printouts he had scattered on the desk, but, just as the last four times, they were of no help. The math was right, and he had properly applied every law of physics known to man or wolf.

The trouble was that there were laws they did not know about, which the Ancients regularly employed in creating their devices. He sighed and rubbed his head, wondering if a short break would be of help. He doubted it, unfortunately, because he was not yet at the point where stopping would do more good than harm.

He would lose his momentum if he stopped now, and would have to spend too much time recreating the train of thoughts that had got him to this point. Another hour or two, perhaps, and he would be so nicely frustrated that the only way to advance was to stop and take a walk somewhere.

Besides which, Carson would still be in his meeting now, with Dr. Weir, and he was fairly sure she would not appreciate Radek's walking in just to sit with Carson.

Radek sat up a bit straighter. Although he could take a tablet and sit with Carson and continue to work. He would bother nobody and he might be able to get *some* progress accomplished.

He frowned and looked across the desk, wondering where he had put the tablet. Had someone borrowed it? Or, more precisely, had someone discovered he had borrowed it and come to take it back? If he went to look for it he was as good as interrupting himself, though.

Turning back to his laptop, he propped his chin in his hand, elbow on the desk in exactly the way ergonomics dictated would do the maximum damage to his back, neck, and joints. The math hadn't changed in his brief moment of distraction.

He heard Rodney walking up behind him, and a second later, Rodney peered over Radek's shoulder. He didn't say anything, and Radek gave him twenty seconds to read through what Radek had done. Then he said, "This is why I prefer engineering. Things you can hit with hammer."

"You could hit the laptop with a hammer," Rodney said, absently. He was obviously rereading the math a third time, which perhaps meant he would have a useful suggestion.

"Really?" Radek perked up.

"Yes, but I wouldn't advise it. Weir would just make you buy a new one. And go without until we get home where they make laptops."

Radek snorted. "As if I could not build my own."

Rodney gave him a Look. "Yes, well, if we had any component parts left, I'd say go for it. But I happen to know we only have six motherboards left and the computer geeks will shoot us if we raid their supply again."

"Did no one bring soldering iron and blank circuit boards?"

Rodney gave a guilty start, and Radek waited, intrigued. Rodney said, "I asked them that already. I don't recommend asking them again."

Radek nodded, then waited. Rodney was still staring at the screen.

Finally Rodney shook his head. "I got nothing. Good luck." He smiled and clapped Radek on the shoulder. Radek just bared his teeth.

As Rodney walked away, Radek called after him, "Bring me tablet PC." He gathered the printouts, glancing over them and deciding that he did not need any of them. He saved his files to a new folder, and when Rodney set the tablet on the desk beside him, he transferred everything over.

He hurried out of the lab, head down over the tablet. Two flights of stairs up and halfway down a hallway, he had got no further with the equations. He stepped around someone again, and headed towards the conference room. Carson was still in there; Radek could hear the sound of his lover's voice echoing softly through the doorway.

He wandered in, and waved away Dr. Weir's startled question. He glanced over, found no empty chairs, so he sat down on the floor at Carson's feet. He scooted around a bit, and leaned against Carson's leg, and frowned at the tablet. He was very sure that the third formula was the correct one, but if he changed it, he might get a better answer.

He made the change and began recalculating the math. It would require dispensing with a physical law which no one had ever disputed was fact -- which meant, no doubt, that he was going to have to disprove it in order to get anywhere.

Tapping the screen, he opened up the stickies and made a note, then emailed it off to Rodney. Oddly enough, he heard Rodney's voice for a moment -- listening in just long enough to hear "No, I doubt it. He's probably--" then Radek decided that there was nothing important to pay attention to, and returned to his work.

Carson's hand rested on his shoulder and he leaned his head against Carson's arm. It looked like the math was going to work -- up to a point. Frowning, he kept working, eager to see where he would end up.

~~~

"Radek?"

He looked up and found Carson smiling at him. "Mm?"

"My meeting's over. Did you want to come down to the infirmary with me, or should I have someone bring me my work, here?"

Radek looked around. He was still sitting on the floor, Drs. Weir, Palis, and Korel were heading towards the door. "Oh. I have almost... I can save this, now. I will be able to continue it later." He stood up, stretching as he discovered that his rear had grown numb and his legs stiff.

Carson was still smiling at him, and he seemed distinctly amused. "Well, that's good then," he said. He stood up as well, gathering up some things from the table -- Radek wondered just what their meeting had been about. It felt like it had lasted for some time; he must have been sitting there on the floor for at least an hour.

"Everything all right?" Dr. Weir asked, looking concerned but smelling just as amused as Carson was.

"Yes, fine." Radek nodded. He saw the others watching, and he frowned. "Am I interrupting?" Surely he had not disturbed their meeting?

Carson laughed. "Come on. I'll buy dinner."

"They're charging now? Oh, this is joke. After what Rodney said about motherboards I thought perhaps..."

"What about the motherboards?" Weir asked, this time genuinely concerned.

Radek didn't know whether to get Rodney into trouble by telling Weir they needed more -- or not, since technically he hadn't hit the laptop with a hammer, yet. "Hm. I believe it would be best explained by Dr. McKay. I was not there and only heard second-hand."

Yes, because Rodney deserved to have Weir bothering him with silly things, after what Rodney had done to *him* last week. The first two times his equipment went mysteriously missing was coincidence, but the subsequent twelve times was definitely not. Rodney had pretended innocence but of course Radek had smelled Rodney's scent on each of the items.

Weir gave him a thoughtful nod, and headed out, past them. Carson took a hold of Radek's arm, and tugged him along.

"We are having dinner first?" he asked, and Carson stuttered to a halt, blushing. "Or going back to lab to leave this," he said quickly, although the lovely scent of spiked arousal made him think there was a much better option. Palis and Korel were snickering. Carson gave them each a glare, and the two men hurried out of the conference room. Still snickering, Radek noted.

"Dinner," Carson said.

"We are having dinner at my place?" he suggested, keeping his voice low enough that no one would overhear.

Carson started to shake his head, then stopped. "You drop those off at your lab. I'll go by the mess hall and get dinner. We'll meet back at your quarters."

Radek smiled, and nodded. He hurried away, knowing that the lab was farther than the mess hall, and he would have to be quick to get there not much later than Carson.

Behind him, he heard Carson call Rodney on the radio.

"Rodney, Radek's swinging by to leave some things -- and if you keep him in the lab for more than ten seconds, I'm personally going to make you regret it."

Radek grinned. Although it had been his fault, last time. Rodney had asked a simple question which had needed much more explanation than either had anticipated. Carson had shown up at the lab, looking irritated and smelling like he would have happily thrown Radek down on the table, right there.

Perhaps if he did encounter Rodney, they might simply send *him* out of the lab this time.


Previous Story: Stay the Course of Night