The room that was still used to screen city-wide movie nights doubled on others as a rec room. Over the years they'd been in Atlantis, a pool table and foosball table and even a jukebox and dartboard had somehow made their way over on the Daedalus.
There was even a piano in one corner. On quiet nights – or nights when he had to de-stress – Rodney could be found there, bashing out his whirling emotions.
One of his team was always nearby, so nobody bothered him and his re-discovered love of music.
Also in the rec room, tucked away in a corner, was a bulletin board. On that board were postcards of every image imaginable. Each one held a sentence or two or three – anonymously written.
It was the "Gripe Board", where if a secret grew too big, it could be shared with no repercussions.
But, occasionally, anonymity was not so anonymous and a secret holder was secretly helped.
It was always clear when a new batch went up, because a crowd gathered. As it thinned, John walked up to the "Gripe Board". He stood beside Kenton, a newcomer, and scanned the board.
Immediately, one caught his eye – a close-up piece of crystal with a sentence written across it.
I wonder if they think of me
Like I think of them – family.
John's eyes widened.
There was only one person who could have left that.
John held out his hand. The single pushpin that held the card lifted itself out and embedded itself higher in the board, while the card glided into John's hand.
Kenton gasped, and John heard Lorne's voice, "Yes, Sargent, our CO is a meta-human. Get over it."
Leaving Kenton to Lorne's competent ministrations, John took the card back to his quarters.
He knew the perfect – the only -- reply.
It was late at night when Rodney entered the rec room. He was the only one there -- if you didn't count the soldier curled up on the couch, sound asleep under a blanket that some kind soul had clearly tucked him in with.
Rodney wandered over to the board, where he caught sight of a large postcard.
The crystal image he'd used was in the upper left corner. There was a photograph of a black shape – a wristband? -- hovering in mid-air in the upper right. A pair of Bantos rods rested in the lower left, and a pair of crossed knives sat in the lower right.
And in the centre, linking them all together, was the cross-and-lily square of the Musketeers. Over this, in jet-black ink, were three large words.
YES. WE DO.
The pictoral answer to his card undid him.
His hand flew to his mouth to contain the involountary sob.
It didn't matter which of them had posted it.
Because he knew every one of them meant it.