Title: The Little Things
Author: Keira Marcos
Fandom: Stargate: Atlantis
Challenge: Fluff Bingo (Coffee)
Genre: Pre-slash, Slice of Life
Word Count: 1049 (complete)
Summary: McKay learns a little thing about love.
* * * *
John prodded the door open without getting up and turned the page in his magazine. McKay made a huffy sound as he entered. Things had been kind of tense around the city since the IOA had approved their return to Pegasus. The civilians were making decisions about leaving or staying. He figured McKay and Keller weren’t going to make it since the entirely too young doctor had been replaced as CMO. John had privately lobbied for it with O’Neill. He really didn’t want Keller on the city at all, but he was satisfied to see her demoted due to her rabid unprofessionalism.
“Jeannie said it’s the little things.”
John looked up. “What?”
McKay waved a hand. “She said it was the little things and that I should pay attention to more than Jennifer’s tits before I made a mistake.”
John winced. “Hmmm.” Honestly, he kind of envied Jeannie Miller suddenly because he wished he could be that blunt with McKay about the whole Keller situation. “What little things?”
Rodney started to pace. “So, I started paying attention, and Jennifer doesn’t even know how I take my coffee.”
“You drink it black,” John interjected.
McKay pointed at him. “Jennifer gave me cream for my coffee yesterday morning!” He huffed. “Like that’s normal? Her morning coffee is 50% milk, John!”
John raised an eyebrow. “Anything else?”
“She acted like watching Star Trek was a burden,” McKay reported. “And rolled her eyes when I complained about the lemon flavored lip balm her aunt sent her in a care package. She said she shouldn’t be inconvenienced by my so-called allergy.”
John frowned. “Your citrus allergy is heavily documented in your medical records, McKay, which she should’ve read when she was your doctor.” He set aside the magazine. “You had three reactions in the last five years and were treated for all of them in the infirmary. That’s not a little thing.”
“Yeah, well, apparently your personal vendetta to ruin her career actually has a foundation after all,” McKay said and raised an eyebrow.
“It’s not a personal vendetta. She’s not qualified to be the CMO,” John said evenly. “And I didn’t make the final decision, but I don’t regret making it an issue of it even if it means you stay on Earth because she quits or whatever.”
Rodney frowned at him. “I’m not staying here. I hate this whole planet, Sheppard! I’d rather go live in an underground bunker with the Genii than live here!”
John snorted. “McKay.”
“Seriously.” He crossed his arms. “I signed a new contract this afternoon. Jennifer pitched a fit because I didn’t discuss it with her and I pointed out to her that she didn’t even know how I take my coffee. She said it wasn’t important that the little things don’t matter and that I was acting stupid.”
“Did you tell her you have at least seventy-five IQ points on her?” John asked.
McKay’s chin hitched up. “Maybe.” He huffed when John laughed. “What do you think?”
He cleared his throat. “I think sometimes the little things matter the most.” John watched Rodney take that information in. “It’s easy to get the big things right most of the time. Don’t cheat, don’t flirt, and be honest but not too honest.”
McKay grimaced. “I’m not actually good at that last part. I mean I don’t cheat or anything, but I can’t really keep my opinions to myself, and it makes her mad. She forgives me, though. Jennifer says I just need to learn empathy.”
“You’ve got plenty of empathy when it matters,” John said. “Don’t fixate on that because that’s not what Jeannie meant. It’s about the care, you know?”
“Care? She told me she loved me and everything,” McKay defended. “We have nice dates and stuff.” He waved a hand. “The sex is good, frequent.”
“It’s not about romance, McKay. Hell, it’s not even about sex.” He barely refrained from frowning at that. He really didn’t, honestly, like to think about McKay and Keller fucking. “It’s about knowing what makes you happy and what makes you sad. It’s about being able to order your steak if you’re not at the table when the waiter arrives.”
He watched McKay frown and wondered if he should say more but then realized he might not ever get another opportunity to bring home the point when it came to the Keller situation. “When you really love someone, Rodney, you notice the little things that make them happy and what makes them sad. You want them to have a good day, and you don’t seek them out to berate them for being themselves on a regular fucking basis.”
McKay’s eyes widened, and his cheeks paled. “John.”
“Love shouldn’t come with conditions,” he continued and waved a hand. “You shouldn’t have a damn list of things you need to change about yourself to make her happy when she can’t even remember the basics about you.”
“So….” McKay took a deep breath. “I…” He huffed. “Thanks.”
He turned on his heel and stalked out. John stared at the door for a moment and wasn’t surprised when it opened back up.
McKay came back in and stared at him for a long moment. “You take your coffee with sugar, and you eat your steak rare.”
“Yeah, buddy, I do.” He smiled then. “Well done for you, as terrible as that is.”
McKay huffed and stalked off toward the door again. “For fuck’s sake.”
John picked up the cell phone the SGC had given him as McKay left his quarters again. He scrolled through the contacts list until he reached to Jeannie’s number and fired off a text.
“You’re diabolical.” -JPS
“She’s a twit!” -JMM
“Did he break up with her?” -JMM
“It’s coming. Expect a phone call.” -JPS
“Awesome. Madison wants to be the flower girl at your big fat gay Canadian wedding.” -JMM
John sent her a shocked face emoticon and tossed his phone on the bed in favor of his magazine. He’d probably get to finish it before McKay came back to angst all over him about the break-up.