Title: The Minutes Are Free After Seven
Author: R. Tom Mato
Warnings: Not really, no.
Summary: AU, Earth-based. John and Rodney meet and start dating. Told through phone calls to their mutual friend, Teyla.
Notes: Written for the Dating Challenge on sga_flashfic, but I messed up on the posting so I'll post it here (sorry for that). Dialogue-only and rather short. I had more but I didn't really think anyone wanted to read twelve pages of dialogue, and the other version was becoming too long to be a quickie.
"Guess who has a date Friday night?"
"Good evening, Rodney. Am I right in guessing that it's you?"
"Correct. I was getting worried, you know, because I hadn't dated anyone since I dated you and that was almost six months ago. I'd hate to think you ended up ruining me."
"That would be a tragedy. Tell me of this date; you are usually very critical of your women."
"And I dated you, so be flattered. And...well, the woman's kind of a...man.....Teyla? Teyla? Oh, come on, you are way too fair-minded to hate me because of this!"
"No, no, I simply hit my shin on the coffee table. Don't take this the wrong way, but you are not gay, Rodney."
"I could be! I can appreciate masculine beauty! We met at that diner I go to after work. He started talking to me--and I'll admit I had no idea he was hitting on me--and when I was getting ready to leave he asked if I wanted to go see a movie this Friday."
"And you agreed."
"Six months, Teyla! No one has expressed any interest in me at all until this guy!"
"That doesn't mean you must desperately take the first opportunity given to you."
"Oh, please, it's not like it'll be a hardship. He's really very attractive, and did I mention the fact that we were talking? He's smart and funny and, while he's certainly not my level on the intellectual scale, he at least rates a you or a Carson."
"I am touched. I must go now, but we will speak of this later."
"Speak of what? It's fine. Hey, are you coming over for supper tomorrow? Carson's got this...thing he wants to try out and I'd rather not suffer alone."
"You are not one to be talking about cooking skills, but yes, he has already asked me to come. I will call you after I'm done here."
"You can't ruin this for me, Teyla. I have a date!"
"Hey, Teyla, guess what?"
"Why not just save time by telling me? It could be anything with you."
"You're no fun. I met someone yesterday and have a date with them this weekend."
"A date? John, that is wonderful. This will be the first since the divorce was finalized, will it not?"
"Yeah. Kind of freaky, huh? It's a guy, isn't that weird? I haven't dated a guy since before I was married."
"You were only married for two years, John; that is not very long."
"It feels like it. Anyway, we met and talked and he seemed interested, so I asked him out. We're going to the movies on Friday. Do you think I should take him out for food or something?"
"Popcorn and Junior Mints aren't the best supper, no. Perhaps you should call him and ask him where he would like to go?"
"Um...yeah, I kind of forgot to get his number. He was in a hurry to leave when I asked him."
"Then choose a late showing and figure something out together before the movie starts."
"That'll work. Okay."
"You sound nervous."
"It's my first date in eight months. Ten if you count the Christmas party at the Community Center with my ex-wife."
"You will do fine, John."
"Oh my God, he kissed me!"
"How many times have I asked you to start with a greeting? And to not shout in my ear?"
"You know it's me, why should I have to greet you? And I'm shouting because he kissed me! I was kissed. By a man. On the lips!"
"I am sorry, were you not the one who was giving me an expounding lecture on human sexuality just a few days ago?"
"Very funny. I wasn't expecting him to kiss me!"
"That usually happens at the end of a date that's gone well, Rodney."
"It went very well, until the end. He insisted on walking me to my door. I thought he was going to jump me or something!"
"He sounds like a gentleman."
"Ha! He's a flirt! He kept making eyes at the waitress during supper. I called him on it and he said he knows her. I'll bet he knows her. Intimately."
"It sounds like they're just friends. You tend to take things out of hand when you're nervous and I'm sure you were nervous last night."
"What! I do not. I just prefer to be cautious and make sure I'm not getting into a relationship with the town bicycle."
"So you are not going to go on another date with him?"
"Actually, he wants to meet up with me on Tuesday. He wont tell me where we're going though. If I don't call you Wednesday night, send a search party, okay?"
"Good evening, John. How was your date last night?"
"It was good. He's a bit more...intense than I'd thought, but we had fun."
"Yeah, he talks a lot. I can barely get a word in edgewise when he starts going. I'm not much of a talker, though, so it's okay."
"I've got another date with him in a few days, too. He's really...complicated."
"Yeah, but it's a good complicated. He can be telling me this story about his coworkers and he'll be ranting and cursing through it, but when I take him home he gets all shy and stammers a lot. I thought he was going to faint when I kissed him good night."
"You're going to take this slow, then?"
"Sure, why not? It's not like my biological clock is ticking or anything. After all of the chaos with the lawyers it'll be nice to take it easy. Which is why I'm taking him to the fair; it'll be great."
"There are no fairs in the city, John."
"Which is why we're going *outside* the city. There's one a couple of hours away; one of the kids at the community center was telling me about it. It's there all this week."
"Would the weekend not be a better time for such a long trip?"
"Most people have jobs that require their presence during the week."
"It'll be fine. He'll love it, just wait."
"Oh my God!"
"Rodney, I am going to stop answering your phone calls if you keep this up."
"You are not! He took me to the middle of *nowhere!* We didn't get back until nearly two in the morning because he wanted to stay for the fireworks!"
"Yes, apparently it's absolutely *amazing* to watch them from the top of the ferris wheel. I was freezing! Which he used as an excuse to *cuddle,* I swear. I'm probably going to get a cold now. And he ate my cotton candy. *My* cotton candy. I bought it! He didn't even *ask* and--what? What are doing? Stevens, get away from that; that is not your project! Radek! Teyla, I have to go."
"Wait, where did he take you? Rodney? Rodney!"
"All right, apparently some people have really, really important jobs that require their presence in the middle of the week. It was still fun."
"Is that so?"
"Yeah, I won him a stuffed cat at the shooting game, too. Granted, it was a weird green color, but it was sort of cute."
"What time did you both return home?"
"I think it was almost one thirty, maybe two. I don't remember. He was falling asleep on the way home, though. Still wouldn't stop talking. I think he was threatening my life or something; it was sweet."
"Well, his head was on my shoulder at the time. It was kind of hard to take him seriously."
"John, if I may be so forward? You've never told me this man's name. I am curious."
"Rodney. He's a doctor, but don't think he's a medical doctor. I made that mistake the first time he told me. I thought he was going to explode."
"He sounds absolutely wonderful."
"I just realized that I have no idea what he does."
"Rodney, it is...one in the morning."
"If you don't want to be called, don't leave your phone on. I mean, he could be some spy intent on stealing my work. I'll bet Radek hired him, he's always sore when I wont let him look at my projects. Oh, what if he's one of those pretty, gold-digging layabouts that only want brilliant geniuses for their money? That wouldn't be so bad except that I'm not rich yet. Oh, God, what if he's just getting his claws in now? No one would suspect him of it."
"I don't know *anything!* If this were one of those things where we just didn't talk I could understand it, but it isn't! I tell him all about me!"
"Have you asked him about himself?"
"Well...no, but he's had plenty of opportunities."
"If he wanted to tell me, he would have by now!"
"Okay. Hey, Teyla, thanks."
"Good night, Rodney."
"Good evening, John."
"You sound tired."
"I was sleeping."
"I was up half the night. This guy is a nutjob, Teyla. He called me in the middle of the night. To talk."
"Oh...was something wrong?"
"No, no, everything was just fine. He just wanted to *talk.*"
"About anything in particular?"
"Just me. What I did, where I went to school, what hobbies I was interested in--we had a forty-five minute argument over the validity of football as a real sport. Football! I was so tired he almost convinced me it wasn't."
"Well, if you did not wish to be called at such an hour, you should not have left your cell phone on."
"But it's my alarm. It has to be on. People don't usually call me that late unless they're dying or drunk and need a ride home."
"This just means he is interested in you, John. Would you prefer that he only like you for your looks?"
"Hey, hey, I am perfectly fine with bonding time, but not at one in the morning!"
"When is your next date with him? I trust that you haven't let such a little thing as this ruin your relationship?"
"Of course not, though if he thinks he's ever having sex with me anytime soon, he is going to be very disappointed."
"I'm sure he will be."
"Teyla! Teyla, you are not going to believe this."
"My name is not a sufficient greeting, Rodney."
"Fine. Good evening, Teyla."
"Good evening, Rodney."
"Happy? Okay, so I got a call from him at lunch yesterday--"
"John, who else?"
"Ah, is that his name?"
"What? Yes, I could have sworn I told you."
"I do not believe so, no."
"Well, now you know. Anyway, he called, asking if I wanted to come by his apartment after I was done with work. I was going to stay late that night to work on some simulations, but I wasn't pressured for time or anything so I agreed. I get there and he's practically jumping out of his skin."
"What? Was he all right?"
"That's what I asked him. He said he was fine, but he's such a bad liar. We sat down and watched some television, all very casual. I asked him where the bathroom was and he nearly fell off the couch! He still wouldn't say what was wrong, so I just went to the bathroom. In his bathtub was this spider--"
"Don't get ahead of me, you'll ruin it. It was a daddy long legs, too. It was huge. I told him it was there and asked if he'd call me a murderer of small lives or something if I killed it and he said I could kill it, you know, 'if it was bothering me.' It *wasn't,* but I flushed it anyway. When I went back to the living room and sat down he was as relaxed as can be, all smiles and jokes, and he went to the bathroom next. I'm ashamed to admit that it took me nearly ten minutes to realize it was the spider that freaked him out."
"You did not tease him, did you?"
"What? Of course I did."
"Not a lot! And he tried to play it off, saying he just 'didn't like bugs' which led to me explaining that a spider wasn't even a bug in the first place. That's when he started getting mad."
"No, no, no, it's okay. We, ah, made up. There was a lot of, um, kissing and a small amount of groping. I actually felt very manly; you never needed me to do things like that."
"Well, that is good."
"Yeah, actually, it was."