French Fries

by Bernice


Zelenka knew that if he ever tried to take a French fry off Rodney's plate, he'd be in for one of Rodney's infamous diatribes, which may or may not include insults against his cultural heritage and in which Rodney would almost certainly get his name wrong through sheer umbrage. Rodney was very protective of his food – abnormally so, in Zelenka's opinion. It wasn't as if Rodney had ever been starved as a child, or as if Rodney's parents hadn't had enough food to go between their two children, and Zelenka was sure that there was always enough food to go around so that Rodney's cries of hypoglycaemia were extremely exaggerated.

Nevertheless, Zelenka knew better than to try to take a French fry from Rodney. Even if he did get away with it, and being as they were almost-friends he knew he'd only be shouted at, he still knew he'd be bullied out of his precious chocolate ration later in retaliation. Not that there wasn't enough chocolate to go around, either, but Rodney was a lot bigger than Zelenka and would make a point to even the score, even if they did end up laughing and sharing the bar after Zelenka was crushed into capitulation.

And Zelenka had once watched one of the marines steal a cookie from Rodney and since the marine hadn't been one of Rodney's friends, he didn't get away with just a barrage of vitriolic abuse; he got threatened with a butter knife! Of course, everyone knew that Rodney wouldn't actually hurt anyone, it was all words and noise and outraged protest and "you'll regret that if I get hypoglycaemia and my giant brain shuts down during an emergency and we all die!" because Rodney was greedy and self-absorbed, but he wouldn't 'really' stab someone over a cookie. Not that the marine, nor anyone else, ever tried to take food from Rodney again.

But now Zelenka watched as Sheppard casually took a Fry from Rodney's plate and munched on it, ignoring his own salad of Atlantean mainland greens. Rodney didn't so much as look up from the papers he was reading and didn't stop talking at Kavanagh with his mouth full. If those two weren't quite fighting over the report, they were close to it, but even so, Zelenka knew that Rodney had to have noticed that someone was stealing his food.

But not a peep, not a protest, not even a twitch, and John went back for a second fry, and a third, working his way through Rodney's lunch without so much as a concern that he might lose a finger or at least get blasted with abuse.

Zelenka couldn't quite contain a small gasp of realisation as Sheppard took a fourth fry, and Rodney still hadn't peevishly moved his plate or complained.

John looked up, apparently feeling the weight of Zelenka's stare and froze with the fry half way to his open mouth. He shot Zelenka look of pleading, and Zelenka dropped his eyes to his own plate and his own fries. They were excellent fries, and he wondered what sort of vegetable had been used to make them. He did not let himself wonder if Rodney realised he was in love yet.

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