Title: On Holiday
Author: Rose Wilde-Irish
Fandom: Stargate: Atlantis
Request: angsty is my fav or funny just must have a happy ending.
Summary: "A search for what?" he asked, disgruntled tone telling Rodney he'd only bought a reprieve from the hunt for the perfect projectile.
"For our destination," Rodney said, humming softly. "Haven't you been listening? We're going on vacation."
Notes: Possibly the longest thing I've ever written at 10,765 words. SO couldn't have done this without help, particularly kyrdwyn and spubba's oh-so-helpful ass-kickings (spubba filled in one night), cheerings and crit, and the wonderfully critical eyes of pierson, thekynicist in particular, along with casspeach, justabi and lapislaz. Huge thanks as always to icie for the translations. If you don't like the story, it's my fault; if you like it, a lot of the credit goes to them and helping me polish this.
"Samantha, I know you said if I punch one more hole into your latest wild-ass gue--Radek?" Rodney ground to a halt, giving Radek a dark look. "What are you doing here at this time of night? And where's Sam?"
Radek looked up from where he was hunched over a laptop. "Rodney, good. You can help me shed some light on this. Come here, please."
Rodney moved over to him, shaking his head. "Three glorious weeks left of vacation time and you choose to spend it here? Do you even oh God, why do I ask when you're obviously mentally deficient to suggest that?" He pointed to the offending section of the formula and Radek shifted closer, bumping Rodney's shoulder as his mouth thinned.
"Yes, yes, I pulled formula direct from source material. I thought I had changed that." His fingers flew across the keyboard, correcting and shifting until both men were nodding. Radek leaned backwards, balanced precariously on the stool, and Rodney took a step back, resting against the lab bench.
"So who is this guy, and why, if he knows so much, do we not have him working here with us?" Rodney asked, then got a disgusted look on his face as Radek opened his mouth to speak. "You know what? Forget that. I don't care. This is vacation time, damn it, and you shouldn't be hanging around in someone else's lab, scribbling the answers to screwed up formulas in the dead of night."
Radek shot Rodney a pointed look, then glanced around his surroundings. Rodney rolled his eyes. "Before you start going on about pots and the color black, might I remind you who assigns the routine maintenance back on Atlantis. You know, we've really gotten too dependant on you for Jumper maintenance. And I think you could really use a refresher on Ancient desalinization techniques."
Radek bristled, pushing back off the stool and glaring at Rodney. "You wouldn't dare-" he began.
"I wouldn't dare? Remember who you're talking to, Radek. Or, if you've forgotten, just drop in for a chat with Jorgensen – but remember your filters; I understand the reclamation plant can get rather – ripe."
Radek's face was closed in and tense. He began to mutter in Czech. Rodney held up a placating hand. "Whoa, whoa, it's late and starting a fight with you, fun though it may be-" Rodney recognized that particular look from Radek; it was the look he got whenever he was trying to find something replaceable to throw at Rodney. And while on Atlantis, that meant Rodney was safe, he wasn't so sure the same held true for the SGC. "-we really should be conducting a search."
Radek's eyes shifted from the desk, loaded with small items that were easy to grab and throw, and locked on Rodney. "A search for what?" he asked, disgruntled tone telling Rodney he'd only bought a reprieve from the hunt for the perfect projectile.
"For our destination," Rodney said, humming softly. "Haven't you been listening? We're going on vacation."
"-still don't see why we couldn't have picked Canada," Rodney grumbled as they waited by the luggage carousels. "It's a beautiful place to visit-"
"And last I checked, it is still January, McKay," Radek said. "I have had enough of cold in Colorado."
"True enough," Rodney said. "And, hey, this way we can expense the trip. Have to keep abreast on the emerging technologies, after all, and why not at a conference?"
"And the fact that it is in Las Vegas," Radek began, spotting and grabbing his bag.
"Means we're probably not the only geniuses at the conference," Rodney said, matter-of-factly as he reached for his own bag. "Though I doubt we'll see anything that'll top – hey, why are you smiling?" Radek's full-on grin puzzled Rodney, making him want to match Radek's or back away. Possibly both.
"You just called me a genius," Radek pointed out, still grinning. Rodney cleared his throat and shifted.
"Yes, well, of course you are a genius – you never would have been picked for the program if you weren't," Rodney said. "Not at my level, of course-"
The grin dimmed but didn't disappear. "Come on, Rodney; let's find the limo." Radek had a bounce to his step as he walked away.
Radek gave Rodney a disgusted look. "All the food in all the world," he said, lacing the words with scorn, "and you make the driver stop at a drive-thru for McDonald's."
Rodney half-shrugged. "It's the reconstituted onions on the hamburgers," he said around a mouthful of food. "Can't get enough of them."
"Obviously," Radek sniffed, "since that's one of the things the Daedalus can transport easily." Rodney was too busy eating, making occasional happy noises, to answer. Radek shook his head as the limo pulled up to the Bellagio hotel.
Inside, Rodney watched Radek gape at the surroundings, staring up at the colorful blown glass flowers of the chandelier. "It's just a hotel, Radek," Rodney said as he pushed past. "And not nearly as impressive a structure as – you know, work."
Radek stared at him for a moment before following. "You have no poetry in your soul, Rodney," he said. Rodney only grunted as he made his way to the front desk.
"Reservation for McKay, two rooms," he said.
"And how do you spell that, sir?" asked the bright-faced desk clerk.
Rodney gaped at her for a moment. "You're kidding, right? McKay – M, C, K, A, Y. Two rooms. For the next ten days."
The clerk gave Rodney a bright smile that only seemed a tad forced as she thanked him and tapped the keys of her computer. After a moment, she frowned at the screen and began tapping again. Rodney watched, saying nothing, as her face grew more serious.
"I'm sorry, Dr. McKay-" Rodney kept his expression neutral at the use of his title, but the hotel's efficiency pleased him. "-but the reservation listed two beds, not two rooms. With the conference going on, it might be a few days before something opens up. We're completely booked." Her expression conveyed sympathy, solemnity, and a deep regret.
"Oh no," Rodney said. "That won't do." His mouth dried out at the thought of spending the entire stay with Radek in the same room. Putting up with Radek's snoring in the lab when he fell asleep at his station was one thing. In a shared hotel room, with one bathroom to boot...Rodney shook his head.
"I'm very sorry, Dr. McKay, but the hotel has been completely booked. For our error, we'd like to invite you to stay tonight free of charge, and enjoy a meal at our expense. Additionally," the young woman said, studying the unhappy lines of Rodney's face, "I am authorized to extend these markers for your use in our casinos." She pushed a brochure for the restaurants and two markers towards them. Rodney could hear Radek's muffled reaction to the markers. He ignored it as he picked up the brochure and glanced through it.
Looking up at the clerk, he refused to lighten his expression, though inwardly he was both pleased and impressed by the lengths they would go to keep him here when a fully-booked hotel with a conference could probably book the room with the next person in line. "Prime will be acceptable," he said, ignoring Radek's snicker at the steakhouse's name. "But I must say that I am deeply disappointed in your reservations department. One would expect more from a five star hotel."
"You are absolutely right, Dr. McKay. And it is to our deep regret that the error was made. A notation has been made in the hotel's system, and the first available room will be marked for your use. Again, our apologies, and I hope that you will find your stay at the Bellagio enjoyable nonetheless." She handed over the room keys and paperwork with a bright and professional smile. Rodney nodded and turned to Radek.
"Snore loud enough to keep me up and you will live to regret it," he groused, and stalked towards the elevators, not bothering to see if Radek kept up.
They found their room with very little difficulty, and dropped their bags on the bed, looking around. "Not bad," Rodney offered, plopping to a seat on the bed and bouncing on it. "Hmmm. This will do." The room had an understated poshness about it, unable to disguise that it was a hotel room but covering it with the rich tones of the furnishings. The colors were very trendy, Rodney was sure; he found them a bit bland but passable.
Radek started unpacking his clothes, placing them in the drawers and closet. He paused, turning to look in the bathroom. "Oh," he said, softly.
"What is it? Is it tiny?" Rodney asked, coming up beside him and taking the last step numbly. "Oh," he said, staring.
"It reminds me..." Radek began.
"...of Atlantis," Rodney finished. They exchanged a look, filled with more than a touch of homesickness. Rodney glanced around, feeling an odd sense of disorientation at the distinctively Earth décor in a room as large as those on Atlantis, with both shower and a very large tub. There was room enough, he reflected, that the two of them could share the facilities...if that wasn't its own brand of discomfort. Rodney lifted one corner of his mouth into a wry smile. "Come on," he said, heading for the door.
"Where are we going?" Radek asked.
A few minutes later, they were at the front doors, hailing a cab. Rodney checked his wallet, grinning at the sight of a few months of back pay in cash. "Where to?" the cab driver asked, and Rodney settled back, considering.
Ten casinos later, Radek was making the same small noises and frowning like he did when Rodney was pushing him past limits in the lab. Rodney didn't care; wasn't even sure why he noticed it when the incredibly huge foot-long hot dog arrived; only no hot dog he knew of was that thick, and almost unseen from all the toppings piled on it. There was no way in hell he could see to pick it up by the bun and eat it, so Rodney used the plastic fork and knife and made involuntary noises of happiness, even before the scantily-clad woman arrived with the strawberry shortcake that looked bigger than his head. "I can't believe how cheap this is!" he exclaimed around a mouthful of food, grinning; Radek had an equally huge margarita in his hand and was also, thankfully, smiling once more. For a moment, Rodney forgot his food, warm and happy that he'd done this, managed to drag Radek out of the lab and into something resembling fun. It was something he couldn't quite imagine doing for anyone, pre-Atlantis, and the knowledge alone still terrified him some days.
He was uncomfortably conscious that the two of them had been staring at each other and grinning like loons for far too long. Something was going to have to break; they couldn't just stare at each other all day...and yet he couldn't make himself break eye contact, couldn't make himself figure out what exactly was the next thing to do. The sensations running through him - anticipation, excitement, fear - felt a little too much like the times he was in danger, back on Atlantis...and before he could think to examine that too closely, Radek's eyes flickered sideways and he made that pleased noise, a soft exhale that Rodney had no idea how he heard in the crowded, tiny casino. Then Radek was moving; a blur as he claimed one of the slots for his own, settling in and looking the machine over with a satisfied smirk.
"That one hasn't paid off the entire time we were here," Rodney protested, earning a look of disgust.
"Yes, which means it is due. Now stop talking, please; I am working."
"Working - you're just stuffing your card in the slot!"
"And pressing button. Don't forget that," Radek said, his dimple flashing as he smiled.
Rodney settled into the chair beside him, rolling his eyes. "Oh, no, can't forget that," he said, but his sarcasm lost its usual bite.
"Explain something to me, McKay," Radek said. It wasn't quite a question.
"I'm not going over that theory again-"
"No, not the theory. Tell me, why do we have to stay in conference hotel if we were going to sight-see?"
"Oh, come on, did you really think we were going to Vegas and not see the strip? Besides, when we're done after a busy day of destroying dreams, who wants to catch a cab to our rooms?" He leaned back, not far enough to topple, and tried not to let how much he was looking forward to crushing the hopes of idiots show through. He'd been told it wasn't a good look for him; the number of people who had been scared by it convinced him not to do it very often.
Radek was studying him. "Just promise me there'll be less crying than you make them do at work."
"You know I can't promise that; I don't even know these people. Besides, no one on Atl-at work has actually cried." He folded his arms over his chest, lifting his chin defiantly.
Radek turned back to the machine, punching the button with vigor. Rodney saw his mouth moving, thought he made out a distinctively sarcastic That you know of coming from the Czech. He shook his head, but before he could open his mouth to protest, he felt a tap on his shoulder. He turned to see a blue-haired lady, glaring at him.
"You gonna use that machine or just park your ass in front of it all day, sonny?" she asked. Making a face at her, Rodney stuck his card in the slot.
Spreading his arms, he turned back to her. "Happy?" he asked.
"Delirious," she muttered, and shambled away.
Rodney shook his head and turned back to the machine, punching the button and ignoring the snicker coming from next to him.
Forty minutes later, he'd given up on his machine and was watching Radek, stabbing with determination. "C'mon," he said. "You're not going to win." Radek ignored him, hitting the button, waiting, and hitting the button again. There was a strange hypnotic rhythm to it, and Rodney found himself captivated, watching the flow of Radek's hands, the graceful movement of his fingers. It seemed more acceptable, less taboo to do so here than in the labs of Atlantis. Rodney breathed in, feeling constricted in the little casino, surrounded by smoke and the din of the machines as they ran, Radek's movements never slowing.
When the machine lit up and started blaring, Rodney started, gaping at the display. He glanced down at the payouts, grinning widely. "You just won $800!"
Radek was frowning at the payout. "No, I just lost the Jag." He pointed, to where he was one tick off from the winning payout for the car.
Rodney shook his head. "Is the glass perpetually half-empty in your world? We're on vacation, and for a nominal investment, you just won $800. Why not take your winnings and enjoy? We're even in a state where all kinds of enjoyment is legal." Rodney ignored the heaviness in his stomach at the thought of Radek ditching him to go off to partake of such enjoyment, or worse yet, asking him to come along.
Radek merely rolled his eyes. "Even if I were interested in such a thing, it is not legal in Clark County." He removed the card from the slot and stood. "Come on. Let's collect my winnings and return to hotel."
Rodney snatched his card out of the machine with something approaching relief and scrambled after him.
"Oh, you cannot be serious," Rodney told the harried looking scientist before him. "The three laws of physics that have to be broken just to make the premise work are – oh, color me surprised – unbreakable. And from that point...look, do you want a breakdown by feasibility, or by the many, many reasons why it won't work?" He glanced down the row of booths, watching Radek chatting amiably with the mousy-haired woman manning the booth. Her premise, presented here to seek funding, was something he recognized as being one of the breakthroughs the SGC had appropriated from backwards-engineering Goa'uld and Asgard technology. It was a wild leap in thinking, and one that, without the proof sitting in front of him, Rodney wasn't sure even he would have come up with. Radek had been fascinated, asking her about her methodology and how she had arrived at the conclusion. He continued asking questions when Rodney, bored and a little put out by her idiosyncrasies, had wandered on, and he looked to be asking them still. Rodney frowned, ignoring the babbling of the scientist in front of him as he considered Radek and the scientist – Nicolas was her name, Terry or Theresa or something like that, he recalled.
There was something too...intimate about their pose. Radek leaned in, and Rodney realized he couldn't even catch a hint of his accent through the crowd. Waving at the hapless scientist before him, he pulled away. "You know what? Never mind. I'm sure the great lack of people trying to beat a path to your doorstep will explain your flaws more eloquently than I could." He stalked away, taking three steps towards Radek before stopping, then taking five in the other direction.
There was an empty seat in the next booth, an office supply place that was currently lacking an attendant. Rodney sat, resting his elbow on the table and resting his chin on his hand, staring at the section of space right beside Radek and Dr. Nicolas, watching them out of the corner of his eye.
He knew what this was, the tightening of his stomach and his accompanying misery. This was the sure sign of interest in someone completely wrong for him. He'd felt it many times in his life, but since signing onto the Air Force's payroll, he'd managed to supplant the bisexual feelings of his early adulthood, relegate them into a small, boxed-off space in his head that he'd labeled 'experimental years'. Any mild twinges of interest in men since then had been ruled out as ill-advised.
His shoulders slumped. This was more than ill-advised; it was deeply and profoundly stupid. Rodney wasn't blind to his own faults, though he preferred to hide them; still, stupidity was something he abhorred completely and tried to avoid at all costs.
Developing feelings for his male coworker, someone he worked closely with on a regular basis, who arguably was Rodney's closest equal in a very competitive environment, was beyond stupid, he decided. The best thing he could do was to ignore them, bury them deep and carry on. Getting pangs of what had to be jealousy over Radek's interest in another scientist's work was just foolish.
He stood up and shifted, catching the flash of someone moving at the end of the corridor that sparked some flash of familiarity, but by the time he'd tried to spot him, the form was gone. Shrugging, he moved over to join Radek.
"You're going to be so sorry you stayed behind," Rodney said as he shuffled through the doorway, maneuvering the large mass of bags through with him. "They're giving away so much stuff – and the buffet is marvelous..." His voice trailed off as he realized the room was empty. Dropping his bags on the bed he'd claimed, he saw the note on the desk. He sat down as he picked up the note, and read.
You were still out when Dr. Nicolas called and we decided to grab something to eat. We're heading for Café Bellagio if you care to join us.
Leaning back in the chair, Rodney considered. If Radek had wanted to get in touch with him, he could've used the cell phones the SGC had insisted they keep with them at all times. He hadn't, and Rodney knew Radek had picked up on his own lack of enthusiasm for the company of Dr. Nicolas. He'd honestly tried to hide it, but Radek knew him too well at this point for it to be completely successful.
Sighing, he stood, glancing at the bags and shaking his head. He might feel like a party crasher by joining them, but it beat sitting in an empty hotel room, waiting for Radek. He couldn't really complain about the situation; he'd dragged Radek out on this vacation to have a good time.
Besides, he consoled himself as he closed the door to the room and headed for the elevators, at least this time he had been given an invite to the party, even if he was convinced Radek didn't expect him to accept.
He caught a glimpse of himself in the reflective surface of the elevator and blinked, trying to relax and loosen up. By the time the doors parted on his floor, he felt he'd shaken off the frowning, tense look he'd been carrying. He'd memorized the layout of the hotel when they first arrived, and traced his steps to the Café without much error, pausing on the way to consider the chocolate fountain in one of the shops, shaking his head at the concept of an entire wall of chocolate. It made his mouth water, but he couldn't help but wonder at the cleanliness of it. He was smiling in anticipation of Radek's reaction to this observation as he closed in on the Café, seeing Radek and Dr. Nicolas exiting the restaurant. He started towards them, pausing as he saw the half-familiar man as he glanced their way before rounding a corner and heading out of sight.
"Who is that?" Rodney asked, pointing towards the departing man. He noticed a stiffening of Dr. Nicolas.
"That...looks like Eric Fitzroy," Dr. Nicolas said. "He's the head of Hammel Technologies." She turned to Radek. "He's the one I was telling you about." Rodney frowned, the names triggering a note of familiarity but no details. Radek's expression was fierce, angry lines clear as he stared in the direction the unnamed man had gone.
"Fitzroy," Rodney murmured. "Hammel Technologies...why is that so familiar to me?" Radek had turned his fierce gaze on Rodney, who held back a shiver as he realized it was now colored with hope and expectation.
"You know this man, Rodney? He has been blocking outside funding into Tessa's work," Radek said, and Rodney ignored the flash of jealousy he felt at the ease Radek showed using Dr. Nicolas's first name.
"I might..." He snapped his fingers. "I remember where I read it. Let me ask for some of the reports sent here, and we'll see." He gave Radek a tight smile as he pulled out the SGC's cell phone, then looked around the corridor. "Uh...maybe I'd better do this in the hotel room. For, ah, privacy."
Radek nodded. "Tessa is not staying here. We will wait by the pool, and continue our discussion." Rodney stifled a flash of irritation that he'd end up doing this alone, but nodded. The conversation with the SGC might contain sensitive material; it would most likely be considered classified, or at least Need To Know. And Rodney knew Tessa wouldn't fit the latter, despite her genius. She fidgeted, nervous; Radek moved to place a hand on her back to calm her. She shrank away from the touch, reminding Rodney of the faint look of disgust she'd given his outstretched hand at the booth.
He cleared his throat. "Going, then. I'll see you back at the room?" Radek nodded. "Dr. Nicolas." Not able to think of anything more to say, Rodney nodded, and left, retracing his steps back up to the hotel room.
Apparently he wasn't invited, after all.
Rodney stared at the computer screen until the image and the words started to blur. They'd gone to Las Vegas on holiday, intent on nothing other than booze, gambling, and maybe shooting down a few dreams at the conference, and instead stumbled over Ba'al?
Some days, he swore working for the SGC was a curse. Back at Area 51, even in Siberia, life had an order about it. Logic prevailed. But throw in a Stargate, any Stargate, and things went straight to hell. Wild-ass guesses, solving things by the seat of your pants, that was the rule of the day. But while he might've faced down Wraith and lived to tell about it, the Goa'uld were another matter. Particularly Ba'al. He needed help. Preferably blonde, curvy help with a brain almost as big as his, no matter how annoyingly resistant to his charms she could be. But this time...maybe this time he'd gain attention, and favor. He'd look into blue eyes and see them soften, hear words of praise coming from that exotic accent, feel the brush of stubble as he received a well-deserved kiss...
Rodney shook himself. When did his daydream shift from Carter to Radek? He frowned, mentally picturing Carter, soft hair shining, dressed in pink like she was in the hallucination in the submerged jumper, leaning in to kiss him...
It lacked the punch it had always had before. Rodney sighed, crossed his fingers that he could convince the SGC to send someone, and picked up the cell phone again.
When he finished with the call, he set down the cell phone and sighed, running his hand through his hair. There had been questions, many questions, asking him repeatedly if he was sure it was Ba'al. Once he had convinced them, it had gone well; he couldn't have asked for more – they'd told him to carry on as usual, and tomorrow SG-1, with Col. Sam Carter, was going to come in and investigate.
Rodney couldn't muster up much enthusiasm for the prospect.
How serious could a - not a crush, he was too old for crushes - how serious could an infatuation with his teammate and subordinate be, when he'd just realized it for what it was less than twenty-four hours ago?
He stood, brushing at his pants legs, and walked to the door. It was time to go tell Radek what he'd found, and that help was on the way.
Half an hour later, he was standing in front of the famous fountains of the hotel Bellagio, scowling at the artistic display of light, color and music. He'd found neither Radek nor Dr. Nicolas at the pool; had checked every one and also checked the nooks and crannies. Finally he'd come here, thinking maybe he'd misunderstood Radek; no luck at any of the overlooks, and he wasn't about to go running around the entire miniature lake. He picked up his cell phone and sifted through the address book until he found Radek's and punched it.
"Where the hell are you? You said you'd meet me by the pools," he snapped when Radek answered.
"You took so long that Tessa - Dr. Nicolas left. I returned to the room, but you were not there. Now I'm in the casino, playing cards."
"You're – look, I was right about who I thought that was. Some other...'friends from work' are going to stop by and say hi, too, but they're probably not going to get here until tomorrow afternoon. I think we sh-"
"Rodney. I am playing cards. You may come join me if you wish, but I must concentrate now. Goodbye." Before Rodney could say anything else, Radek hung up on him.
Rodney worked his mouth, trying to give voice to his outrage and failing completely. Finally he turned and stalked towards the casino, making a few of the more timid tourists scatter away from him.
He paused as he hit the casino, pondering. Radek had said he was playing cards, but not what game nor where he could be found. He wasn't sure if Radek was playing poker, baccarat, or black jack. He glanced around the room, trying and failing to picture Radek at a poker table. He looked at the baccarat tables; European enough for Radek, but somehow he just couldn't picture him playing. That left black jack to start the search. He walked over, glancing at the tables, looking from one to the other. He jerked his head back to a table he'd already dismissed , realizing that the neat, well-groomed person at the table dressed in a brown suit was Radek.
Brown is a good color for him, Rodney thought fleetingly as he took in the soft curve of Radek's hair, the rich brown of the suit accentuating both it and Radek's own features. Rodney gulped and willed his heart to slow, knowing he was doomed to see this image of Radek flash before his eyes for a long time to come. Frowning, he took a moment to collect himself before standing behind Radek.
"Oh, good, you made it," Radek said, eyes never leaving the table and his cards. "I have good news. I have been winning!"
"Not a bad haul at all," Rodney agreed, eyeing the color of the chips and doing a mental tally of the total. He refrained from whistling as it came to him. "When I said 'let's go to Vegas', I didn't expect this."
"Me neither," Radek said as he turned his cards over, revealing the winning hand. He turned to Rodney, smiling. "This was a very good idea, Rodney." He grinned, and Rodney grinned back, anger forgotten at the sheer delight on Radek's face.
"Mr...oh, I'm sorry, Dr. Zelenka?" A young woman whose mode of dress screamed 'employee of the casino' smiled at the two of them. "I'm Diane with the Bellagio. We'd like to congratulate you on your luck, and offer you an upgrade in your room as well."
Rodney's mouth fell open at the words. "Upgrade? But we were told there were no other rooms available!"
Diane's face froze for a moment before smiling. "I'm sure we just had this room open up. In any case, we'd love to upgrade you to one of our suites. And," she added, watching Rodney's expression, "we'd like to offer you the chance to experience our spa facilities on us." Rodney's mouth worked, but before he could say anything, Radek was stepping forward, hand closing in a strong grip on Rodney's arm.
"We'd love it," he said. "But we'd also like to keep the room."
Diane blinked and smiled, but Rodney could see the wheels turning behind her façade. "Certainly, Dr. Zelenka. If you'll accompany me, I'd be happy to arrange it."
"You know, it's very petty and unbecoming of you to hog the suite all to yourself," Rodney said, fighting mixed emotions at the thought of staying alone in the hotel. "Just for that, I'm going to come and raid the minibar."
Diane, who had the studious look of someone who only heard the parts of a conversation that related to her or her work, smiled back at them. "In the suites, the minibars are comped just like the room." Rodney stifled a groan.
Radek grinned at him. "No, the room will be for Dr. Nicolas. She was...unable to book a room here before coming to the conference; I thought it would be nice for her not to have to commute."
Rodney grunted. He'd seen Dr. Nicolas. She'd been scrupulously clean, but it had that worn-around-the-edges look of someone who had no access to regular sleeping quarters. He was willing to bet she was sleeping in her car. "Oh," was all he said, apparently sounding contrite enough to earn another grin from Radek.
He said it again when they were shown to the suite, noting that their suitcases had made the trip in advance of them. Diane gave them a proud smile and turned to Radek. "What time would you like to visit our spa tomorrow?"
Radek blinked and glanced at Rodney. "How about...ten a.m.?" Rodney shrugged. He had no timetable, other than meeting SG-1. Diane smiled again and exchanged a few more pleasantries before exiting.
"You're supposed to use your powers for good, not evil," Rodney complained as he opened the minibar and selected a beer and peanuts.
"I am certain I have no idea what you are talking about," Radek said, a shade too innocent.
"The slot machine was one thing – random chance. You want me to believe that playing the cards were, too?" He sank down into the couch, trying not to vocalize his appreciation for the plushness of the furnishing.
Radek settled beside him, a different brand of beer in his hand. He snagged a peanut from Rodney's package and grinned. "Tessa needs investors. That man you recognized is scaring them off. I figure, we can be those investors."
"One, 'that man' is Ba'al, a Goa'uld who isn't above scaring me off. Two, what makes you think I want to go along with this harebrained scheme of yours?" He gestured with the bottle.
Radek paled at the mention of Ba'al. "And the work friends?" he asked.
"SG-1. They and Ba'al go way back. They'll know how to handle him." Rodney tried for a confidence he didn't quite have. "That still doesn't explain why you think I'm going to go along with this scheme of yours."
Radek grinned. "One, because we both know she is on correct path, and two, because with two of us, we can make a better haul before anyone suspects us of using the system against them."
Rodney nodded slowly. He hated to admit it, but Radek was right. And Dr. Nicolas, as flaky as she'd struck Rodney as being, was most likely going to become very, very rich if she played her cards right. "And your plan is...?" he asked.
Radek stood up, tossing the empty bottle into a discreet wastebasket. "To hit up other casinos and repeat the pattern until we have the capital she'll need to operate independently. I will also set up a system by which a portion of my paycheck – and yours if you wish to join in – goes to her for research and development."
"You've thought of everything," Rodney called as Radek stepped into the bedroom. "Except for one thing. You did happen to notice there's only one bed?"
"I noticed," Radek said.
"I'm not sleeping on the couch," Rodney said, willing his voice to stay steady.
"That's fine," Radek answered. Rodney caught a brief glimpse of a wicked grin before Radek stepped into the bathroom. "I don't plan to, either," Radek said before the door closed.
Rodney let his head flop back against the couch and wall. It was official – someone out there had a really evil sense of humor, and right now it was centered on one Dr. Rodney McKay.
Rodney came awake with a start, shifting closer to the edge. There wasn't much further he could shift without putting himself in danger of falling off, but every time Radek shifted, he woke up, and Radek shifted a lot in his sleep.
He also kept edging closer to Rodney, which was its own brand of disconcerting. Part of Rodney wanted to lay still, wait and see how close Radek would get. To fake sleep, stay there, maybe edge a little closer himself...
But down that path, Rodney was more than a little certain, lay madness. Or at least a potentially ugly sexual harassment accusation.
He sighed and shifted, trying to get comfortable in the ever-decreasing space, and settled back into an uneasy sleep.
When Radek shifted again, Rodney jerked awake, the movement and his sleep-heavy limbs just enough force to propel him over the edge of the bed.
"Rodney?" Radek's voice was sleep-blurred, and a small thrill went through him at the sound of it.
"Ow," he muttered, sagging back before struggling to rise.
It was possible Radek's hair was neater sleep-mussed than it was normally on Atlantis. He blinked as Rodney struggled back into bed.
"Just...get on your side and go to sleep, all right?" Rodney said.
Shrugging, Radek flopped over. A few seconds later, his light snore sounded. Rodney shifted to his side, punching his pillow. "So not fair," he muttered, trying once more for sleep.
It took far too long to come.
Radek's hand was on his shoulder, shaking him lightly. "Rodney, wake up."
Scrambling in the covers, Rodney sat up. "What's the emergency?" he asked, blinking and looking around the warm, light room. "Oh," he said, remembering Vegas. "Oh," he said again, thinking of Ba'al. He turned anxious eyes on Radek.
Radek smiled at him. "We have an appointment. And if you do not get up soon, we shall be late." Surprised, Rodney took another look at Radek, realized he was fully dressed, in a burgundy polo and jeans.
Rodney hadn't even realized Radek owned a pair of jeans.
"Oh," was all he said, freezing for a moment to allow the day to catch up with him. Springing out of bed, he headed for the shower, pausing in the doorway. "You snore," he accused. "And you...flail around in your sleep. A lot."
Radek leaned back against the headboard of the bed, looking at Rodney with a certain mirth in his eyes. "And you talk in your sleep, which makes us even."
Rodney's mouth worked as he tried to come up with a response. Finally he turned and stalked swiftly into the bathroom, closing the door behind him perhaps more firmly than necessary.
Ten minutes later he felt much more awake and aware. He exited the bathroom, also dressed casually in a green button-down shirt and jeans. "Let's go," he said, earning a grin from Radek.
"You are not concerned with Ba'al?" Radek asked, curious.
"Not particularly. He's not likely to move against us; I doubt he even knows who we are. SG-1 isn't due for a few hours; they're probably going to set up a perimeter or something similarly military-minded. And as long as your Dr. Nicolas is his focus, he'll keep close to her; she should be pretty safe as long as the conference runs. So. We can spend the morning in a perfectly useless attempt to keep an eye on either her or Ba'al, which likely would alert him to our presence, or we can continue as we have been, and stay under the radar."
Radek frowned, forehead creasing. Rodney recognized the look; it was his 'I have spotted a potential flaw' look. "What?" he asked Radek.
"Would he not have been...tipped off by my time with Tessa?" Radek asked, hands twisting in nervousness.
Rodney leaned back, considering. He dismissed for now the thought that Radek had spotted something he didn't, and tried instead to consider what he knew of the Goa'uld, and Ba'al, through the SGC's files.
"No," he said finally. "If Ba'al made you as a potential investor, he'd have ordered your background pulled. He would've found out you work for the SGC, or at least closely tied in with the SGC, and he would've pulled out. Or kidnapped or killed you, in which case, not having this conversation right now." Radek breathed out in obvious relief and Rodney squashed an inappropriate amount of glee over having caused it.
They entered the elevator and Rodney punched the button. "Did you see, when you were walking the floor," he began.
"The booth with the –" Radek gestured.
"Exactly! Can you believe-"
"I would have thought for sure that those in charge would have informed him-"
"...should be criminal!" Rodney finished, grinning at Radek and getting one in return.
It did things to his heart that it really shouldn't have, particularly when the two of them were sharing one bed. Rodney's smile started to waver and he could see Radek picking up on it, looking as if he were going to speak, but just then the elevator started to slow. "Rodney," Radek began as the doors opened and two people stepped on. Rodney gave him a crooked grin and Radek half-smiled back.
They rode the rest of the way in silence.
"...excuse me?" Rodney asked faintly. "Could you repeat that?"
"I certainly can," the overly-perky receptionist said. "Spa Bellagio is a clothing-optional environment. You may leave your clothes in the locker or keep your undergarments on; robes are provided and of course professional draping will be used during the treatment." She gave Rodney a bright and enthusiastic smile. Radek was staring at him, a small crease forming on his brow.
"Oh! You said draping" Rodney said, as if that explained everything, earning odd looks from both the receptionist and Radek. He gave a nervous laugh. "Of course. Optional. Robe. Lockers?" He kept from closing his eyes through force of will learned during the pursuit of his second doctorate.
Radek still stared at him with suspicion, but the receptionist, happy to assist, pointed towards the locker room. Rodney turned quickly, just wanting to be away, then paused, not wanting to go there. "This way, Rodney," Radek said, hand clasping his shoulder, and the two of them entered the locker room.
It looked like every other posh locker room Rodney had been in, which was to say, just like any locker room, but cleaner, better smelling, and with more room. He studied the instructions for the fingerprint locking system while Radek efficiently stripped beside him, folding and laying his clothes neatly in the locker. Rodney didn't look, so hard he thought beads of sweat would break out, but he saw the neat fold of Radek's underwear on the top of the pile out of the corner of his eye. Radek shrugged into the robe as Rodney, caught between haste and hesitation, began pulling off his own clothes. The closer he got to skin, the faster he pulled off his clothes, shoving them hastily into the locker and belting the robe tight about him. When he finally turned to Radek, sure his face was flaming with embarrassment, Radek was studying the lock.
"Is ingenious," Radek said. "I didn't know the technology was this widespread yet."
"It's not," Rodney told him. "Just a few places, but it makes so much better sense, security-wise, doesn't it?"
Radek tilted his head from one side to the other. "Could be broken," he said. "Many systems can. But there is no key to lose, and faking the print is harder."
"True, very true. But if you had-"
"Rodney. Can we continue this where trained personnel are able to do amazing things to my body?"
As fast as his eyes flickered down Radek's body, Rodney yanked them back up. "Uh...sure." Snapping his mouth shut, he beckoned Radek to take the lead, and wondered when facing Ba'al became the more desirable of the two options this morning.
He managed to stay mostly silent as they were directed towards their room and placed on the table, but his eyes kept drifting towards Radek, glancing as he was positioned on his table, getting a glimpse of wiry curls and pink flesh and wrenching his eyes away. He'd seen Radek naked before; there was the time the entire lab had been forced to go through a decontamination shower and yes, that memory was helping; as unstimulating as the memories were, reliving them helped put his world back into order a bit more.
Until his therapist started with the oil and the working of his hands, and that was before the placement of the first heated stone. He moaned before he could stop himself, but he wasn't alone; mixed in, quieter than his own, were the sounds of Radek's moans.
Decontamination, he thought grimly. Scrubbing off the top layer of skin.
It was going to be a long fifty minutes.
Radek sat up, praising his therapist profusely and shaking his hand. Rodney blinked as the draping shifted, revealing the curve of Radek's hip and the dip of his lower back, the light dusting of hair there... Rodney sighed, struggling upright himself as Radek tugged on his robe and stood. He reached for his own robe and pulled it around himself, turning to his therapist. "Thank you," he said. "It was fantastic."
The therapist looked at him critically. "You're welcome. Sir, I don't know what it is that you do for a living, but I would suggest trying to see someone regularly. You...carry a significant amount of tension within." He smiled in a way that was both sympathetic and warmly professional. Rodney gave him a weak smile in return.
"You don't know the half of it," he said, turning to Radek, who headed out the door.
"We have people to meet," Radek reminded him, earning a disapproving look from the therapist. Radek thanked them both once more and walked out, leaving Rodney to follow.
Rodney resolutely kept his eyes on the back of Radek's neck, not checking out Radek's ass as he moved. He ripped his gaze away from Radek altogether when he realized he kept looking for a hint of skin peeking through the junction of hair and robe collar.
Somehow, he had to get over this. And quickly.
He kept his eyes on the locker in front of him as they dressed, not trusting himself to speak. Part of gaining and keeping his security clearance had come from knowing exactly how much leeway to give himself when speaking; right now he knew he was in danger of saying something he'd regret. Radek glanced at him with a look Rodney decided was curiosity as they stepped into the elevator. He pressed the button for their floor and stood back, lifting his chin. He stared straight into the reflective surface of the elevator doors, watching Radek's reflection out of the corner of his eye. He watched Radek fight the urge to speak, and he held back a sigh of relief.
It had to be Earth. Or Vegas. He'd never been this attracted to Radek on Atlantis; once they returned, he could surely go back to the way he'd been before? Oh, sure, he'd sought out Radek's company; the man was the one person who could not only keep up with him but tolerate his personal idiosyncrasies to boot. And Radek seemed to enjoy working with him, took his insults and gave some, too; it was everything he could wish for in a working relationship.
It was probably just the fact that he'd been so long without a personal relationship that made what he felt towards Radek seem like something more. He just needed to go back to familiar ground and everything would sort itself out.
The elevator doors opened and they both tried for the door at the same time. Rodney stopped, trying to glare at Radek while avoiding meeting his eyes. Radek just shook his head and stalked down the hallway towards their room.
Rodney scrambled to keep up. "That was...nice, wasn't it?" he said and then winced at the weak comment.
Radek hadn't turned around to see it. "Yes...very nice, something I could quite get used to. It's too bad we do not use our powers that way." He pushed his keycard into the lock.
"Yes, well...it would be wrong. And I'm pretty sure some really large, hairy men would want to have a conversation with us if we - Sam?" Rodney ground to a halt, jaw dropping open at the sight of SG-1, draped in the living room of the suite. Teal'c and someone Rodney didn't recognize were on the couch, flipping through the channels and eating some of the snacks from the mini-bar. Jackson had Rodney's laptop open and was surfing something on the net. And Samantha, resplendent in a loose red tank top and black pants, leaned on the arm of the couch, looking up from flipping through a magazine Rodney didn't recognize.
"Hey," she said, and smiled. It lit her entire face, and once upon a time, Rodney would have moved mountains for that smile. He let it wash over him, trying to rekindle the same reaction as he walked over. He stopped beside her, standing as straight as he could, puffing out his chest and sucking in his stomach.
"Samantha. So good to see you again. Can I get you anything? Oh, do you need to see our intel? Wait, when did you get here? How long have you been waiting?" He placed his hands on her arms and leaned in, giving her a quick peck on the cheek, ignoring the slight grimace on her face.
"Thanks, Rodney, but we'll just ask a few questions," she said. Rodney stepped back, noting the amused look on Jackson's face, the perturbed one on the new guy's, and, surprisingly, a small frown on Radek's.
"Ba'al," said the new guy. "You're sure."
Rodney shot him a dark look. "Oh, yes, because I'm so prone to hysterics and mistaken identity."
"Rodney may be annoying, Cam," Samantha said with a wry smile, "but he's also usually not that far from being right." Rodney lifted his head, knowing he should either feel annoyance at the insult or happiness that she was defending him, but instead he just shook his head.
"You'll probably find him lurking around a scientist here at the conference by the name of Tessa Nicolas. She's got a breakthrough theorized that we've only been able to get by backwards engineering some Asgard and Goa'uld technology. I'm guessing Ba'al wants her for the things the Goa'uld couldn't come up with or steal from the Asgard."
"Interesting," the new guy said. "And why hasn't he just snatched her up? This is Ba'al we're talking about."
"Because she may be incredibly flaky but she's still pretty smart, too? I mean, she did come up with breakthroughs tha-"
"She is not as flaky as you make her out to be, Rodney," Radek interrupted, folding his arms across his chest.
"Oh, I'm sorry if I insulted your girlfriend, Radek, but even you couldn't fail to notice that she's got some issues. She won't even shake hands!" He glared at Radek, failing to see how he could be taken with such a basket case. Radek was bright and funny and amazingly tolerant of Rodney's own nature; Rodney had a horrifying picture of returning to Atlantis without Radek and having to break in a new right-hand man.
"Be that as it may, guys," the new guy cut in, "my question still stands: why didn't he just snatch her up? It's not like he's shy."
For a heartbeat Rodney ignored him, still staring angrily at Radek. Then Radek frowned in that way that meant he was thinking things over, and Rodney turned and snapped, "She's paranoid enough that she wouldn't let him near enough to do it without intervention from something like a transporter or ring device, and Ba'al knows that even here, that leaves a power trace signal that you are now looking for, even in a power-glut like Las Vegas. Happy now?" He turned defiantly towards Radek, daring him to disagree.
Radek's lower lip was starting to twitch. It hadn't actively curled into a snarl yet, but Rodney knew the signs.
"Uh...Rodney, we'll just take off and go Ba'al-hunting, okay?" Sam gave him a brief smile and edged closer to the door, joined by the rest of the team.
"You can't go – Ba'al will recognize you. All of you. Well," he said, absently turning to the new guy, "probably not you. Didn't sound like any of the surviving clones got back to the original with news of you, so he might not recognize-"
"We realize that," New Guy said. "Using me was the plan all along."
"Yeah, because that always goes so well," Jackson muttered, and Rodney could've sworn he heard a snigger from Teal'c. When he turned to look, the Jaffa's face was placid as always.
"We'll catch up with you later, all right, Rodney?" Sam said more than asked.
"Yeah, sure – Samantha, be careful out there." His mouth thinned to a tight line as he thought of the four of them going up against Ba'al.
"For the love of God, Rodney, they can handle it," Radek said, and Rodney barely registered the sound of a hasty retreat as he turned back to Radek.
"What is your problem?" he began.
"My problem? What is your problem, Mr. 'Let's drag Radek to Vegas and then pout the whole ti-"
"I do not pout!"
"Whatever. Is most unbecoming look for you, no matter how you describe it."
"Did you just say 'whatever' to me? What are you, a twelve year old girl?"
"Oh, first insult company that I keep and now insult my masculinity! On second thought, go chase after them, get in the way, get hurt or captured or worse!" Radek's face was bright red, a vein starting to throb in his temple. Rodney had only ever gotten him into this state once or twice, and then he'd known on some level that he was in the wrong. But this time he knew he didn't deserve the anger. He'd dragged Radek to Vegas, yes, to have fun. And they had – Radek found a friend, made some money, had a good time drinking and relaxing, and now Rodney was putting up with a show of temper that he'd done nothing to deserve.
Hell, he'd done everything he could think of to avoid it. He'd buried his feelings and practically thrown himself at Sam – not that that was a complete hardship, admittedly – and now Radek was acting...
"You're jealous," he said, punctuating his discovery by sitting down on the couch.
He didn't think it was possible, but Radek reddened further. "I am not jealous!" he thundered, and the volume alone convinced Rodney.
He leaned back, secure that he was right. "Sure," he said, shrugging and folding his arms. Radek stalked forward and leaned in, invading his space.
"You... ubožáku! Arogantní kretén! Když řekneš skoč, já skončím. Když řekneš, 'Radku, přepočítej to', já to udělám. Nutíš mě vedle tebe pracovat a snášet tvoje nálady a já to dělám, protože jsi skvělý a práce, Bože, práce za to stojí, ale někdy, McKayi, někdy bych chtěl..."
Rodney blinked and met Radek's fierce gaze, not understanding the words but reading something in the look Radek gave him. "What?" he asked softly.
Radek blinked, looking poleaxed. The anger drained away but the tension between them remained. Rodney struggled to find something to say and came up blank.
Radek bent in, closer to Rodney. "You bastard," he said, but there was no heat in the words, and before Rodney could even think to form a response, Radek leaned in and kissed him.
Radek's lips were hot against Rodney's own and he could feel his body respond instantly, his cock filling as Radek's tongue invaded his mouth. He struggled to untangle his arms and wrap them around Radek, pulling him closer. Radek groaned into his mouth, shoving against him, and Rodney could feel Radek's own erection pressing against his hip. "God," Rodney gasped, lifting the edge of Radek's shirt, craving the feel of his skin.
"Miserable bastard," Radek said again, kissing him hard and pushing him further back onto the couch, grinding his body against Rodney's. Rodney matched the fierceness of the kiss, thrusting up against Radek and pulling him closer. They were both panting and hard, and Rodney wanted more, knew from the way his blood pounded that he couldn't hold back for long. He pulled at Radek's shirt, breaking the kiss long enough to tug it off as Radek shifted against him, and he was caught between pleasure and near pain as Radek twisted against him.
"Ow," he complained, and Radek smiled as his head came free of the shirt.
"Shoes," he explained, and Rodney gave him a smile. Radek's fingers worked his shirt open button by button, fingers ghosting over Rodney's torso as he went. Rodney couldn't hold back the whimper at the far too light contact. They squirmed against each other as Radek pulled the shirt free and then leaned in, mouthing Rodney's collarbone in a way that left him gasping. He reached for the waistband of Radek's jeans and fumbled them open, hand working its way into Radek's boxers and earning a gasp as he wrapped his hand around Radek's length. There still wasn't a lot of room between them, so he didn't try to stroke Radek's cock but gave it a squeeze, hearing Radek choke out his name and closing his eyes against the rush of heat at the sound of it. As soon as the lust subsided, he opened his eyes, wanting to see Radek, loving the dazed look in his eyes, the entirely different flush to his face and the way he tilted his head back, caught up in the feel of Rodney squeezing his cock.
It was a heady sight. Rodney leaned in and nuzzled Radek's neck, nipping as he heard Radek gasp, squeezing once more and sliding his thumb over the head of Radek's cock. He tongued the skin of Radek's neck, reveling in the taste, feeling the brush of Radek's stubble against his temple. Everything felt so good and so right, even the burn of the stubble. He bit down hard against the junction of Radek's neck and shoulder, making him cry out. The sound went straight to Rodney's cock and he thrust up against the friction of his jeans and Radek, the two of them rutting like teenagers. Radek's breath rasped against him, hot and intoxicating and Rodney squeezed and pulled, reveling in the feel of Radek's heavy cock in his hand, the sounds of his pleasure and the heat radiating off him. Radek pushed against his hand, and Rodney looked down, getting glimpses of Radek fucking his hand. Radek's expression was fierce and unguarded and Rodney bit back a moan as he felt his balls tighten, the sight and feel of Radek pushing him closer to orgasm, and then Radek was coming, his release hitting Rodney's stomach in hot stripes. He groaned and Radek leaned in, biting his nipple hard and sending him crashing over the edge, not even caring that he was still in his jeans.
He gasped as the rush from his orgasm faded, sprawled bonelessly against the couch. Radek licked and sucked at his neck, sending aftershocks roiling through him. "God," Rodney managed, still panting.
"Let's take this to the bed," Radek murmured against his throat, and Rodney bit back a laugh.
"You want a repeat performance? You killed me," he accused.
"Let's see what you say in half an hour," Radek said, standing up and shucking pants and underwear and socks, then reaching for Rodney's hand. He resisted, staring openly at Radek's body, the hair covering arms and chest and thickening as it went, his cock glistening. "Rodney," Radek said, but there was a smile teasing the corners of his mouth.
Rodney grumbled, but stood up, kicking off his shoes and peeling off his pants and underwear. "Messy," he said, earning a laugh.
"But worth it," Radek offered. Rodney grinned.
"Definitely." Radek was the one staring now, making Rodney shake his head. "You're the one who wanted to be in bed," he reminded Radek, who smiled.
"Yes, but it always helps to have a plan of attack," Radek said, then turned and walked into the next room.
Rodney forgot what he was going to say to that when presented with the sight of Radek walking away, the movement doing nice things to Radek's ass.
He inhaled deeply and followed.
Rodney stroked Radek's back lightly, enjoying the feel of the Czech curled up against him. He knew he should be thinking about SG-1 and Ba'al, or Dr. Nicolas, or any one of a myriad of Important Things, but all he could think to do was tease Radek's skin lightly, running his hand up to cup the back of Radek's neck and twine in his hair. It was softer than Rodney expected.
"Why didn't we do this sooner?" Rodney asked, voice low.
Radek shifted against him, and when he spoke, Rodney could feel the rumble against his chest. "Because you are very stubborn, unobservant man when it comes to someone expressing an interest in you," he said. "Besides, I wasn't sure if I wanted the headache."
Rodney pinched him, then leaned in and kissed Radek's forehead. "I'm worth it," he said, making it a simple statement, but something of his own doubts must have crept in.
Radek lifted his head up and met Rodney's eyes critically. "You are," he said softly, and leaned in to give Rodney an achingly tender kiss, then nipped Rodney's lower lip hard. "And if you tell anyone I said that, I'll make your life a living hell."
Rodney smiled crookedly. "And if I don't?"
Radek stroked Rodney's soft cock, fondling it possessively. "We continue with the afternoon's activities."
Rodney grinned and pulled Radek's hand away. "Sounds good, but I'm not up for anything more today. You're exhausting." He closed his eyes and resumed stroking Radek's back, hearing his noises of approval, reminding Rodney of his cat's purr.
He also felt it when Radek sighed and knew what he was thinking. "Yes, of course," he muttered. "In just a minute."
Radek lifted up and gave Rodney a curious look. "Hmm?" he asked.
Rodney smiled at him. "We'll get dressed and find your Tessa and SG-1 and see if they've managed to capture Ba'al. In just a minute. I'm basking here."
Radek's eyes crinkled in a mix of indignation and amusement, but he didn't pull away. Eventually Rodney sighed and nodded, and the two of them got up and dressed silently. Rodney glanced at Radek. "Check Dr. Nicolas's booth first?" he asked, and Radek nodded.
"Makes sense," he said, flashing a smile. Rodney knew he probably had a goofy grin on his face but he didn't care. He opened the door and stepped into the hallway, stopping at the sight of SG-1 heading toward them with Ba'al in tow. "That was fast," he said, turning to push the keycard in the slot once more.
Sam gave him a quizzical look. "Not really," she said as they entered the room, glance flickering from the clothes piled on the floor to his neck and understanding filling her eyes. Rodney resisted the urge to yank his collar higher and instead lifted his chin.
"Yes, well, it was still less than a day. Just a few hours. Pretty impressive if you ask me."
"Nobody did," New Guy said. Rodney glared at him.
"So what is next for Ba'al?" Radek asked, stepping forward.
"We're taking him back to the SGC and trying to determine if this is the real Ba'al or one of his clones," Jackson said. "Though honestly, it's probably a clone. Ba'al – the original one – seems very reluctant to risk his own hide."
The Ba'al in front of them gave a small smile and shifted his bound hands, managing to trigger something and disappearing in a flash of light and noise.
"Dammit!" the New Guy said.
"I hate it when he does that," Jackson complained.
Sam grinned. "Look at the bright side," she said.
"And what would that be, Sam?" New Guy asked.
"It leaves us with some time to kill in Vegas. After we report, maybe we can catch a show. I think our latest run-in with the Orii has earned us some down time, don't you?" She smiled at her team.
"I recommend the Buffet here if you have time. Or there's this little place next to Circus Circus, remember the shortcake, Radek?" He grinned, mouth watering.
"I was thinking more of the margaritas," Radek said, returning the grin.
"You two want to join us?" Sam asked, then blinked back a look of consternation.
Rodney ignored it, turning to Radek. "No, I think we're looking at room service and then hitting the strip. We've got plans."
He smiled at Radek, pointedly ignoring New Guy's muttered "I'll just bet you do."
"Well, we really should be going," Sam said. "Reports, and all that. Thanks for the call, Rodney," and she leaned in and gave him a quick peck on the cheek.
"No problem. Any time I run into former Goa'uld system lords, you'll be the first I call," he said, earning an elbow from Radek as SG-1 headed for the door. They said their goodbyes and closed the door.
"Room service, huh," Radek commented.
Rodney nodded. "And casino-trolling. We have a partnership to finance." Radek grinned at him, pulling him in close.
They could work on the finances and solidifying the deal with Dr. Nicolas tomorrow, Rodney decided, running his hands along Radek's body. After all, they were on vacation.
*miserable bastard. You smug, self-righteous arrogant prick of an asshole. You say jump, I jump. You say Radek, do the calculations again, I do them again. You make me work beside you and put up with your crap and cater to your whims and I do it because you're brilliant and the work, God, the work is worth it, but some days, McKay, you make me want to...