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Chapter Data

Posted June 11, 2006

Fan Fiction: Uncle John

5: Friend Points

"Dear Uncle John," he read aloud, slouching back against one of the counters in Rodney's lab.

Rodney groaned and looked up from his laptop, a long-suffering expression on his face. "You told her, didn't you?" he complained. "That's what this is, isn't it? It isn't enough for you to mock me in person, you have to get your newfound niece to do it long-distance, too."

John grinned at him. "Oh come on, Rodney. Did you really expect me not to tell her, after you made me add that bit in the last letter about you not being jealous about her friend's robot dating experience?"

Rodney's face reddened a little. "I think you're forgetting who has administrative access to the entire Atlantis network," he said, then turned back to his laptop, jabbing away irritably at the keys. "One of these days I'm going to harvest her email for myself and start filling her in on all of your embarrassing moments over the last couple of years. Even with the classified parts stripped out, I'm sure she'd find the tale of Chaya to be more than a little entertaining, don't you think?"

John rolled his eyes at the comment and cleared his throat. "I'm glad to hear your new friend Ronon is settling in," he said pointedly, reading from the email he'd printed out for his correspondence file. "I remember when my friend Anya first came to Sunnydale; she was from a very different culture, and the whole California teenager thing was pretty much outside her experience. It wasn't easy for her, and there were lots of things we disagreed about, but in the end, she turned out to be one of the best people I ever knew."

He glanced up at Rodney again, suppressing a chuckle as he noticed the tension going out of the scientist's shoulders. No, John hadn't forgotten to tell Buffy about the dating thing after all; he just hadn't got to that part of the letter yet.

"Actually," he continued, grinning more widely, "she's the one that actually got my friend Xander to settle down for awhile, move beyond the land of closet-groping and one night stands that tried to strangle him afterwards. He could probably share dating stories with your friend Rodney that would make his toes curl. An embarrassing dinner date and kissing the wrong person while under outside influence? Shudderworthy, but not really of the big."

Rodney made a strangled sound and shot a glare at John that promised future vengeance. Behind him, John could see Zelenka stifling laughter; the rest of the scientists had left hours ago, doing sensible things like eating dinner or going to the rec room, or there probably would have been additional comments from the peanut gallery. Not that John would have read the letter if they'd all still been there; he wasn't completely suicidal.

"But if he ever starts dating a girl whose last boyfriend disappeared under mysterious circumstances, followed by her dog getting eaten by a giant worm, I'd suggest a twenty-four hour guard. Some days, if it weren't for bad luck... well, you know what they say."

"Ha, ha, very funny," Rodney interjected, over Zelenka's amused mutterings in Czech. "If you're quite finished, I'm actually in the middle of a project here, so if you'd like to continue to have hot water in your quarters...?"

John gave him a mock hurt expression. "Don't you want to hear the rest of the letter, Rodney?"

The glare he received in return more than answered that question, but he persevered anyway. "By the way, tell him thanks for all that physics stuff you asked him for me. I got major best friend points for that; Willow was under a real time-crunch on that project, and she was having trouble finding anyone who knew enough about wormholes and time dilation to answer her questions."

"Well, at least someone appreciates my genius," Rodney grumbled, but the pinched lines around his eyes had faded a little.

There were only a few paragraphs left, so John finished them in a rush. "I'll be in Rome for the next few months, taking classes in person with my sister, so I should be able to answer my email more often. And maybe I'll actually be able to finish up my psychology degree. I'll still be working with the same security company after hours and on the weekends, but I'm tired of being away from Dawn all the time. Speaking of. Do you think you could send me some pictures next time you get a chance? I miss my uncle, too. Love, Buffy."

Rodney snorted. "On second thought," he said, "maybe you should give her email address to Heightmeyer. She could probably use another psychologist in her department, and then I could get all my second-hand mocking done in person instead of long-distance."

John folded up his letter with a smile. "Aw, Rodney," he said, "I didn't know you cared."

"Limited time offer," Rodney replied with a sniff. "I'm sure it's just the hypoglycemia talking, anyway. I don't suppose you have any chocolate power bars tucked away in your pockets?"

"Why don't you just come to dinner?" John shook his head. "The equations will still be here when you get back, and I hear they're serving that near-deer casserole you like."

"Really?" Rodney perked up.

"Really," John said, and gestured toward the lab door. "After you."


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