shepcrew: (John Sheppard -- Default)
[personal profile] shepcrew
They found him slouched in a chair at their table in the mess hall, tray of food untouched. Actually, untouched was the wrong word. The food was being touched, sure. As his fork was pushing it around the plate absently.

"What a waste of perfectly good food," McKay said by way of greeting as the trio sat down around him. "What's with you?"

"You look like you just lost your best friend," Ronon added.

Teyla remained silent. She had seen the look on his face before, and she knew what it meant to a certain extent. She knew cajoling him would not be the answer to coaxing him out of his funk. She smiled softly at the quiet gratitude in his expression as his eyes darted up to meet hers at her continued silence.

"Perhaps," she said, mostly to the other two than to him, "we should mind our own business. You recalled the last time you tried to engage John in conversation when he was not in the mood to talk." This last was said with a pointed look at McKay.

McKay winced. "I ended up on every detestable mission this side of Pegasus," the astrophysicist stated ruefully. "As well as earned a three week vacation at the Caveman and Warrior Princess Resort; Combat training all day every day. See brochure for details and booking information."

Teyla was pleased to see the tiny twitch in the corner of Sheppard's mouth at McKay's words. She turned to Ronon with an uplifted brow. "And you?"

Ronon grinned, ripping into a piece of bread. "He made everyone force me to play golf during our last base-wide day off."

Teyla nodded sagely. "So, I hope you have both learned your lessons. When he is ready to speak to you, he will."

They all tucked into their dinners then, while Sheppard continued to push his food around the plate absently. "And even after all that," he said fifteen minutes later, as everyone was reaching the half-way point of their hitherto silent meal. Well, half0way for Ronon and Teyla. Rodney was already tucking into dessert. "You still suck at golf." He only spoke to see the collective reaction of stunned silence and mid-motion stops, really. It amused him.

McKay peered at him suspiciously, opening his mouth as if to say something in reply, but then thinking better of it and asking instead, "Are you going to eat that anytime soon?"

Sheppard dropped the fork onto the tray with a sigh and pushed it over to McKay. "No." He had half a mind to get up and leave them to the rest of their meal, but he didn't. Instead, he folded his hands across his stomach and got comfortable.

"Oh, good," McKay said, pulling the tray closer. "They were all out of this when we got to the line-up and I was really looking forward to it..."

Sheppard smiled sadly, taking in the team as they resumed eating, this time the usual chatter and conversation starting up. He didn't join in, but he knew they were still including him in the talk. It was as much a collective declaration of support and friendship as it was an effort to ignore his bad mood.

He had his friends, his family. That was all that mattered. He would deal with the rest of it some other time.

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Team Sheppard

October 2008

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