Title: "Industry Standard"

Author: Little Red

Rating: PG

Category: Sheppard/Weir UST, Ford/Teyla.

Summary: He does not gaze at Doctor Weir.

Author's Note: Icon challenge ficlet! This icon was from truthlostmsr. Yay X-Files. (About the title? Mulder and Scully are the industry standard of science fiction UST. Nobody does it better, baby.)

It is, of course, Teyla who calls him on it.

"I was not!"

The Athosian leader lowers her head to give him a disbelieving look through long eyelashes, and it occurs to John -- not for the first time -- that she would be quite pretty if she wasn't pure evil.

"I believe you spent nearly the entire meeting..." She pauses, the way she does when she's unsure if Athosian-English and Earth-English use the same word for something. "Staring?"

"Nope," Ford pipes up, hiding a grin behind a sandwich. "More like... gazing."

John glares at both of them. Ford never has the guts to make fun of him on his own -- for all John's issues with the chain of command, it does have a few advantages -- but Teyla is a bad influence on him.

"I do not 'gaze' at Doctor Weir," he states categorically.

Ford and Teyla exchange looks.

John fumes into his sandwich. "What, like you two should talk?"

"I don't gaze at Teyla in briefings," Ford insists.

Teyla all but chirps, "Neither do I. Major."

They're right -- they don't. They sleep together two nights out of every three, or so the rumor from the thin, thin walls on B-level goes, but the only time they make prolonged eye contact is when they're silently making fun of him.

Like now.

"Don't you have someplace more important to be?"

"I'm eating my lunch," Ford replies cheekily.

John glares at him, and then at Teyla for good measure. Very bad influence. Who knew evil was sexually transmitted?

"Fine." John sighs, and goes back to his own lunch. "But you're both imagining things."

Teyla takes a delicate sip of soup -- her manners with Earth utensils are always exaggerated -- and continues her campaign of terror. "You are not the only one, you know."

John ignores her and begins counting the something-like-sesame-seeds on the crust of his sandwich.

"Doctor Weir is a very attractive woman," she continues.

Counting is insufficient distraction, so John mentally divides up his seed-laden crust into sections and estimates with multiplication. One hundred and twenty seeds, give or take.

He knows that she's attractive. Half the men in the city have thinly-veiled crushes on their expedition leader. He's certainly not alone in this, but that makes it no less embarrassing.

"Your point, Teyla?"

"I believe you should take Doctor Weir on a picnic."

Seeds forgotten, his head jerks up to study her face. She doesn't look like she's teasing him anymore, but she probably still is. "A what?"

"A... picnic." Again, she's making the face that suggests she doesn't quite speak English, even though, by some insane cosmic miracle of Ancient genetic programming, she does. "Is that not an integral part of an Earth courtship ritual?"

It's rare that John Sheppard is rendered lost for words, but this is certainly one of those moments. He opens his mouth, closes it, and then, to give himself a chance to come up with a response, he glares at Ford for apparently having stolen his picnic routine. "I am not courting her."

He doesn't mention the birthday present, or the way he brings dinner to her desk if she's been working too long, or the time he offered to escort her to other parts of the city to give her a change of scenery. Taken separately, there are perfectly reasonable explanations for all those things.

Taken together...

Crap. He is courting her. And he stares at her in briefings.

"Besides," John continues, picking up a fork and stabbing at the half-sandwich still on the plate. It won't make it easier to eat, but it's a good release of aggression that won't start a diplomatic incident with Teyla's people. "Just because I invite her -- if I do, not saying I'm going to -- that doesn't mean she'll be... receptive."

Teyla smiles serenely. "I believe you have, as you say, a fighting chance."

Done with his sandwich, and apparently done with the daily round of mockery as well, Ford stands up. There's a moment of silent communication -- sadly, still not enough to be called gazing -- and Teyla stands as well. John deliberately doesn't think about what they're probably headed off to do, because if he does think about it, he just might feel lonely enough to decide that chasing after Elizabeth Weir with the thin belief that he has a 'fighting chance' would be a really good idea.

Instead of a really, really bad one.

"Have fun," he wishes them with a wry grimace.

Teyla looks almost innocent. Almost. "You as well, Major."

Ford claps him on the shoulder and leans over to whisper, "Don't worry, sir. She gazes at you, too."


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