Rodney did not wake with slow, comforting oblivion gradually turning into regretful remembrance. This morning—or early afternoon, if the sun in the western window could be trusted—he snapped into full awareness of his situation even before he opened his eyes.
“Oh no, oh no, oh no,” he gasped as he scrambled on the nightstand for his glasses. His groping hand found them easily, but he also found a terribly official-looking document. He didn't want to read it. But he was curious. And anything that kept his eyes away from the body curled up next to him was . . . not necessarily good, but better.
Faith Lehane. His date had a last name. A last name to go with a “destiny” about Atlantis. Atlantis, where he worked and lived most of the time. Which he had told her, at least he thought he did. Maybe. What exactly had he told her about Atlantis?
It wasn't the drink blurring that portion of the evening. It was Faith deciding, hand on hip, that “Important information can't just be handed out. It has to be extracted.” Strange that he remembered the tip of her tongue slowly running over her lips very, very clearly.
The human mind was so useless when caught in the grip of hormones, remembering the oddest things instead of the more important ones like what constituted classified information. But maybe his distraction was the plan from the beginning this time. Maybe Faith was some Bond-esque spy who'd wake only to crack his neck between her thighs. He whimpered and edged slowly off the bed. Sheppard would never let him live this down.
Faith stretched luxuriously against the sheets. The warm glow of the sun caressed her skin. She slowly opened her eyes to find the source of the quiet sounds that had awakened her. Near the door, last night's conquest sneakily fumbled with one shoe, pants and shirt already on but unbuttoned. She glanced in amusement at the other sneaker half-hidden under a long curtain across the room.
“I haven't had many dates try to sneak away on me,” she said, voice naturally husky with sleep. He jumped and looked up at her, wide-eyed. Hm, in looks and age, not up to her usual standards. “You're gonna hurt my self-esteem.”
“I, uh, I,” he stuttered for a moment.
Why had she chosen this one again?
He straightened his shoulders. “I wasn't sneaking off,” he declared confidently and completely unconvincingly. “I was . . . going to get breakfast.”
She raised an eyebrow. “Little late for breakfast.”
“Breakfast comes after sleeping. The time is irrelevant,” he argued.
She sighed, suddenly tired of playing with him. “You shouldn't lie. You suck at it.” She grinned without humor. “And my self-esteem isn't so delicate that a one-night stand's opinion would dent it.”
“I wasn't lying,” he protested with just enough indignation to make her reconsider. “I was, I was, this--” he flapped a hand helplessly towards one corner of the room. Then he paused. “One-night stand?”
“Yeah, sex with someone you don't know, don't care to know, and probably will never see again?” she asked sarcastically. “And even if you do meet again, you probably won't realize it because you won't remember?”
He cringed. “Ah, well, about that--”
“Look,” she cut him off. “You're not my type. If that damages your delicate male ego, that's your problem.”
He glowered for a moment, looking about as threatening as a ruffled pigeon to the Slayer. Then he marched over to the nightstand in the corner, snatched a piece of paper from it, and brandished it under her nose. “It would most definitely be my problem—and not much of a problem, as you had no complaints last night—except that someone had the brilliant idea to try something just once, and it wasn't me!”
Faith slowly took the document as her mind tried to insert some half-recalled images. The colorful brochure, the softly-lit chapel, signing her name. A string of imaginative expletives fell from her mouth. “I married you?”
“You don't have to act as if the thought's completely abhorrent,” he huffed. “I recall a long conversation before we were thoroughly inebriated.”
She nodded. “Yeah.” Her eyes narrowed as she struggled to remember. “I told you about Atlantis,” she said suddenly. “You said you work there. That it's in another galaxy.” Her gaze riveted him, analyzing his reactions.
His hands flapped frantically as if he could physically stuff the classified information back into a box. “I don't know what you're talking about! That was all, that was all just--”
“A pick-up line?” She sprawled lazily on the bed, not missing the way his eyes jerked down her body then away. “Sorry,” she glanced at the marriage certificate, “Rodney, not buying.” She grinned cunningly. Flipping over quickly, she reached for the phone. “I can't wait to tell B and the rest that I'm going to another planet!”
“No, wait, you can't!” The man rushed to her side, grabbing at her hand to try and keep her from picking up the phone. “It's classified!”
She relaxed. “Classified?” She tilted her head with an even wider grin. “I thought it was just . . . a pick-up line.”
He groaned and slumped on the edge of the bed, covering his face with his hands.
“Hey,” she poked him with a slight stirring of sympathy. “This is cool, yeah? It's fate. I'm supposed to be in Atlantis.”
“Because of a prophecy,” he scoffed.
“My life has been ruled by prophecies,” Faith hissed. “And this one says you need me—not just any Slayer, but me—to deal with your little soul-sucking vampire problem.”
Slowly, Rodney turned to look at her.
“Soul-sucking vampire? I know I didn't say anything close to that.” His eyes narrowed in suspicion.
She rolled her eyes. “Prophecy. I think the original translation was something closer to life force-absorbs-with-a-touch-big-wrinkly-toad-in-bad-bondage but who cares?”
He bridled. “Maybe I care! And what's this about a translation?”
She shrugged. “Original prophecy was in some ancient language.”
“Which ancient language?”
“I don't know; I don't read it. Do you know a load of languages?”
“No,” he admitted, “But I have colleagues--”
“I happen to like geeks. They're marginally more intelligent than the rest of the population.”
She flicked her gaze cuttingly over his half-dressed figure. “I should have known. A SuperGeek.”
He flushed indignantly. “I am a doctor of--”
“Ahhh,” she cut him off once more. Addressing the almighty ceiling tile, she asked, “Why did I have to marry a geek? Weren't there any hot, manly studs to get me in?”
Uncharacteristically, Rodney bit down on his temper. His mind was racing to solve the little problem of this security breach in the figure of his new—he fought the urge to gag—wife. The most complete and practical situation was not going to be popular with the narrow, legalistic military responsible for most of the decisions regarding Atlantis. “Can you get the original copy of that prophecy?”
Faith frowned. “Maybe. Why the original?”
“Because it'll be easier to convince the Atlantis oversight committee that you already knew about Atlantis and should be allowed to return with me if I have an ancient document in hand with a prophecy recently translated instead of simply saying classified information has been leaked because we overindulged.”
She fought to keep her face blank. This was shockingly easy. He must be harder up than she thought.
“But you absolutely cannot tell your friends where you're going or with whom. If there's another breach, they'll probably throw you in a little prison in a tropical climate somewhere for the rest of your life,” he warned. He hoped he was exaggerating the consequences, but better to be conservative with hope. And a deserted island wasn't half as secure as Atlantis. If she were a plant, they'd find out soon enough—far, far away from her “friends.”
“Fine by me,” she shrugged. “I'm not really close to them anyway.” Then she grinned. A destiny light years away from B, the Scoobies, and all the memories she'd like everyone to forget. She might have hit the jackpot with this one. She eyed the man in front of her. One last test to see if this would be good or just bearable. Rodney shifted uncomfortably under her assessing stare, and her grin turned feral. Time for a little fun. “So how much time do we have before the next trip to Atlantis?”
“Why do you ask?” He didn't try to hide his suspicion.
She wriggled against the bed. “Time for a honeymoon?”
He swallowed. Then he shook his head firmly, reminding himself that she'd just been insulting him, and turned away. He pulled out his cellphone. “I need to call my colleagues.”
Faith pouted. Then she pounced.
“Hey!” exclaimed Rodney as his cell went flying. “Wait a second—I really need to call—if I don't check in, they might think something's--”
On cue, the cellphone began to ring. The Slayer froze, crouched over her prey. With a slight snarl, she leaped off the bed and grabbed the phone. She tossed it to the self-proclaimed “doctor,” who fumbled slightly as he caught the unusually fast pitch.
“Vegas is fine. Wonderful. You know they have all-night wedding chapels?”
“I'm not thinking about it. I've done it.”
Faith grinned at the volume on the other end of the conversation. This could be fun in ways she hadn't considered.
My muse is satisfied and silent, so I don't plan to continue this. However, if a hoard of angry bunnies with picket signs congregated in front of your home after you finished, please feel free to use it to satisfy them.