By Taylor Dancinghands
Disclaimer: According Intellectual Proprty Laws, someone owns these ideas, characters, scenarios, etc. and whoever that is it's not me. I'm playing with 'em anyway. So sue me. (Actually, no, please don't.)
Radek Zelenka woke slowly, as he did most mornings, basking in the comfort of the warm, solid body sleeping beside him, arm flung unselfconsciously around his waist. Radek generally woke some hours before Rodney did (he slept much less these days) and enjoying the close comfort of his long time partner and lover during those early morning waking moments was among the greatest simple pleasures of his life.
Radek knew himself to be an immensely fortunate man, and even after over a decade of this home, this leisurely schedule, this particularly rewarding phase of their career, his feelings of gratitude never lessened. He felt it again for every breath he heard Rodney draw as he lay quiescently beside him, snoring softly. Radek never once felt undeserving. They'd worked for this life and worked hard, not just during the decade or more they'd spent, risking their lives on Atlantis, but in the eight grueling years afterwards that they'd spent yoked by contractual obligation to the SGC, and in their striving against the vast bureaucracy they'd had to defeat in order to gain their freedom.
They'd labored further, over the last ten years, to get that same bureaucracy to release even the tiniest portion of the research they'd done during their time on Atlantis and they'd won some small but significant victories. Six years ago they'd released their first (joint) paper based on work they'd first done on Atlantis and recreated in the small, private research facility they'd set up here in Victoria. A number of critically acclaimed papers had followed, appearing on a semi regular basis.
Grants were large and easy to acquire these days, and high quality grad students were now lining up and eager to endure all the abuse Rodney wished to hand out. Working with Rodney was as wonderful as it ever had been for Radek, and in Victoria they were seldom if ever in fear for their lives, or asked to save the whole city from imminent doom. Life was very good these days, and it was in those early waking moments that Radek liked to reflect upon this, knowing gratitude, contentment, and an infinite affection for one Meredith Rodney McKay.
Radek was just preparing to ease his way out from under Rodney's arm to rise and face the day when the shrilling of the phone intruded unexpectedly on the quiet of the morning. He reached over to gather his glasses from the bed stand, knowing that their housekeeper, a seemingly tireless and ageless Filipino woman named Mrs. Hernandez (who Rodney referred to as 'Frau Blücher' behind her back), would answer the phone, and let them know if it was anything important.
Radek had gotten his glasses on, disentangled himself from his still soundly sleeping lover, and was sitting upright on the edge of the bed when he heard the footsteps running up the stairs. Something important then. Radek knew a little moment of dread, for the two of them were still on a fairly short list of people to call whenever some kind of intergalactic shit is about to hit some kind of interplanetary fan and no one else has any ideas on how to save everybody's asses. He held his breath for a moment, steeling himself for bad news.
"Dr. Zelenka! Dr. McKay!" It didn't sound like bad news, but Radek wasn't certain because he'd never heard Mrs. Hernandez quite so excited before. Now she was knocking on their bedroom door, which was quite presumptuous for their ordinarily restrained housekeeper.
"Doctors, forgive me, but you must wake up!" she called through the door, "It is Stockholm on the phone!"
Stockholm. Radek felt a moment of dizzy astonishment, turning to wake Rodney only to find him sitting up in the bed already, eyes wide with amazement and a smile... a smile that Radek Zelenka would remember for the rest of his life.
"Well alright!" said Rodney, pulling his lover and long time partner in for a brief, celebratory embrace, "It's about time, isn't it?"