Some of Dani's story begins to emerge as her memory begins to open up...
John left Dani to rest for most of the day, wanting her mind to do it's own sorting of the fragments that were spinning through it. He spent a part of the day with the General, Elizabeth and the two IOA men, going over in careful detail, all the information they had to date.
Rodney joined them partway through their meeting, his hand held computer jiggling in front of him, looking as though he had overloaded on caffeine that day. “General, I've been thinking. You need to know the location for a second stargate on earth, and while you're assuming it's like looking for a needle in a haystack, actually – it's a little easier than that.”
His excitement, as usual was either infectious or downright annoying, and fortunately for him, today it was the former. The General's eyes gleamed and he gave Rodney a smile. “Missed you back at the SGC old buddy... place was quiet without you for the past two years... Sam was actually pining away without you...”
“Really?” Rodney's voice held pathetic hope.
“Not a chance Rodney... you know that she and I...?” delicately leaving the sentence unfinished, he waited for Rodney to comprehend what he was saying.
“Are you serious General? You and Sam, I mean... you're a little older... than her.” Voice trailing off as he realised he may just have insulted a General, he caught John's attempt to hide a grin.
“Ah yes Rodney, but she likes her men, to be men...” and he left Rodney with that thought and turned the conversation back to the stargate. “So, explain about finding the stargate...”
Rodney shook his head to clear the visions of his beloved Sam and the General, and pointed to his hand held. “You know that each time the stargate is activated on earth, the amount of energy it draws from the ZPM is enormous, and causes an energy spike that can be registerd from any place on the planet, if you know how to look for it, and what to look for.”
“Ah Rodney, very good – I see where you are going with this. We set up a monitoring device, so to speak and track whether another gate on earth is activated. Very clever Rodney – I guess that's why you get paid the big bucks...”
“Big bucks? You must have the wrong person General, last time I looked at my bank account... well let's just say that all those years of school and two masters degrees... does not make Rodney a rich man!”
“Figuratively speaking Rodney...” General O'Neill pushed himself away from the table and indicated that they would be leaving. “We'll get back to earth and get the gate energy monitoring system set up – and as soon as we have something I'll let you know. You'll be going on a little offworld mission as soon as we have a location – I'm assuming that it's Pegasus based, given that the girl ended up here. We'll be in touch – Colonel.”
John stood briefly out of respect, then collapsed back down on his seat once they had left, leaving him alone with Rodney. “Well... that was interesting.” Rodney began. “Sam and the General... no way...”
“Rodney, for god's sake. They've been an item for years.. you were the only one that refused to see it. They couldn't act on it until she was out from under his command. Now that she's stationed at Area 51, all bets are off!”
“Oh...” was all Rodney had to say. “Why is the jilted boyfriend always the last to know?”
John laughed and shook his head. Rodney was indeed an arrogant son of a bitch and totally clueless about many social human interactions. Given all that though, he did have a soft spot for the scientist and felt a little remorse that he had to find out this way. “Plenty more fish out there...etc etc..” John clapped him on the back as he rose and went to leave the room.
“I hate platitudes Sheppard...”
“Yeah, I know Rodney. That's why I give them to you...”
John chose to visit Dani in the infirmary as soon as he had finished his own dinner, and found her sitting there quietly, talking with Carson while she nibbled on her own dinner. He noticed that she had eaten very little, and could see that Carson was attempting to encourage her to eat a little more.
“Hey Dani, sampling our base delights I see...?” smiling at her he took the seat that Carson had vacated upon hearing his voice. “Colonel, maybe you'll have a little more success that I at getting her to eat a little. I'm thinking that her stomach has rejected foot a little longer than is healthy these past few weeks, and we need to work especially hard to try and get that appetite back.”
John picked up the somewhat dried bread roll that sat on her tray and grimaced. “Not exactly the sort of food that makes you want to get your appetite back... Give me a moment... I have the perfect solution.” He jumped out of his seat and raced out of the room, and was back within minutes with a bag of popcorn in his hand. “Fresh off the last shipment from earth... who can't resist popcorn – eh?”
Opening the bag, the aroma of the buttered popcorn wafted into the infirmary and he waved it enticingly under her nose. She smiled and reached in to take a small handful, popping a piece into her mouth. “I do remember liking popcorn...”
“See?” John looked up at Carson and raised his eyebrows, but Carson did not look particularly amused. “Not exactly the nourishing meal I would have liked her to eat Colonel.”
“Small steps doc, small steps... this may just get the appetite back.”
They sat more or less companionably, chatting about inconsequential things, hoping something simple as innane conversation would help to bring back some of the memories. John told her a little about their life in Atlantis and in the Pegasus Galaxy and he noted that some of the colour had returned to her cheeks, especially after sampling a little of the pudding that was on the dinner tray. It seemed the lady had a weakness for junkfood, and John gave an inward grin, knowing that Carson would not be amused. When he noticed that she was beginning to tire, he stood up to go, brushing a hand across her cheek as he watched her long lashes flutter downwards and find the journey back up, just a little too much.
“Nite sweetheart. Sleep well.” and left the infirmary feeling just a little disconcerted at the feelings he had whenever he held those gray eyes. A complication he certainly didn't need.