Author's Note: This is a missing scene from my SGA story 3 Lovers that features, er, some guest star type people. A giant THANK YOU to Punk for her Month of McSheppity March Madness, and thanks to Terri and Limilicious for beta.
It snowed really hard in Edmonton, and a metallic voice over the loudspeaker announced that nothing could take off or land. Suddenly a lot of people were moving fast in one direction, and Kit sidled up to Rodney to ask where everyone was going.
"To book hotel rooms," Rodney said distractedly, and then he took Teyla's arm and said, "Come on. Four kids, I'll make them give us something--" and then they were moving toward the help desks. Kit thought about tagging along with them, knowing that Rodney was probably going to get in a pretty good argument with somebody. That could be fun to watch, except there were a lot of really angry people over there, and besides, Teyla didn't like it when they egged Rodney on.
Ronon had gone to the large window and was staring out at the airplanes and the rapidly falling snow, which left them with John, who had Giula slumped on his shoulder like a sack of Karnolian coffee beans, legs around his waist, white tights bagging at the knees.
John hefted her up a bit, and said, "Okay, uh. I think there's a playroom somewhere."
The playroom wasn't that big, but it had a giant pen full of multicolored balls at the center. Jace and Drew hesitated only for a moment before John jerked his head toward it and said, "Go ahead, dive in." Giula began to wriggle to be let down, and Kit saw John glance at the pen--there were a bunch of kids in there already, whooping and swimming--and make a face.
"Yeah, okay, maybe not you," John said to her, and before Giula could start yelling, he'd taken her to a white mechanical horse and plopped her in the saddle. "Whoo!" Giula said, and smacked the horse's head hard. "Giddy-up! Make it go fast!" Giula knew what a horse was; she had Pegasus, the horse that Rodney had built for him when he was a baby. Pegasus was still pretty cool, Kit thought, even though it was kind of worn out and the shocks weren't as good as they had been and the hydraulics needed to be replaced. Probably. He was too big for it anyway.
John sighed and shook his head at Giula. "You're going to be disappointed," he told her. "Rodney didn't make this one," and Kit drifted off to explore the rest of the playroom.
There were a pair of girls throwing balls up a ramp into small, numbered holes, and Kit watched this for a moment or two before getting bored. His attention had been distracted by a row of large black machines, many of which were flashing and bleeping and playing high-pitched and tinny electronic music. There was a girl standing at one of them, working its controls--above her, lights flashed and an orange digital readout showed an ever-increasing number: 355,000! 435,500! BONUS! 698,295! Kit drifted close, intrigued by the strobing lights and the way the girl seemed to be almost fighting the machine, sort of slamming her body forward and muttering things under her breath.
She surprised Kit by suddenly yelling, "Dammit!" and slamming her palm against the top of the machine. Kit took a nervous step back, which must have caught the girl's attention. She frowned and said, "It's okay. You can watch," before reaching down and pulling a long silver knob--the on button, Kit decided. Having been given permission to approach, Kit came to the machine's side and tried to figure out what was happening inside. A silver ball was bouncing around inside the casing, causing lights to flash and bells to ring. Another set of lights was flashing on the top of the machine, but he wasn't sure what the connection was. The girl--dark haired and really pretty--maybe a year older than him, maybe even fourteen--had her hands pressed to buttons on either side of the box, and these buttons seemed to control a pair of plastic flippers. He watched as the flippers hit the metal ball and sent it careening, watched the lights flash, watched the readout change: 711,840! 798,994! 870,238! BONUS: 100,000! 970,201!! ONE MILLION! ONE MILLION!
Kit looked at the dark machine next to hers, and pressed his hand to it. It didn't light up. Nothing in this galaxy did, apparently. Gingerly, he tugged on the silver knob, but nothing happened.
The girl cursed again and turned to look at him curiously. "No, wait, here," she said, and wormed something out of her jeans pocket with a little shimmy that made Kit's face feel hot. "It's an old machine, there's no card swipe or anything," and she handed him a little silver disc. Kit took it, looked at it: it had a moose head on it, and it was warm from her body heat. He clutched it tight, wanting to keep it, but the girl looked at him impatiently and said, "You put it in the machine. There," and so he had to. He carefully slid the silver disc into a slot glowing a faint, Ancient pink, and the machine lit up and started playing music. He grinned and watched the lights.
"Good," the girl said. "Okay. Now, the way it works is that you pull that knob there to launch the ball, and then just use these buttons to stop it from falling out the bottom. Got it?" and no, Kit didn't have it at all, but he nodded and launched the ball and put his hands on the buttons.
He lost the first two balls before he understood what she was talking about, but then he got it: it was just the stupidest of elementary physics, really, and--huh, if you hit the ball at the right angle, you hit stuff and got extra points. He started really concentrating, aware that the girl was standing close to him and watching. He could feel her heat down his entire left side, and when he tried to lean toward it a little, the silver ball shot between his flippers and was gone. Kit slammed his hand down and said, tentatively, "Dammit!"
"No, actually that was pretty good," the girl said, tucking a strand of dark hair behind her ear. "For your first time. That was your first time playing pinball, right?" and Kit said, "Uh, yeah. First time at pinball." The girl smiled and pulled another silver disc out of her pocket. "Here, try again," she said.
Kit took the disc, his sweaty hand brushing hers. "Thanks," he said. "My name's Kit."
"I'm Sarah," Sarah said. "I'm stuck here because of the storm."
"Yeah, me too," Kit said.
"I'm trying to avoid my stupid parents," Sarah said, and rolled her eyes.
"Yeah, me too," Kit said, though he wasn't.
Sarah cocked her hip and gave him a smile that made Kit feel like maybe he was going to pass out or something. He'd heard whispers about girls, about kissing them and stuff, but he'd never wanted to before. Maybe Earth girls were different.
She nodded her head toward the pinball machine. "Go on," she said. "Try again. I think you're getting it now. You just need to--"
The look on her face sharpened suddenly, and then she was grabbing his arm and dragging him down the row of pinball machines, yanking him down to his knees on the scratchy industrial carpet. Her eyes went wide, one finger pressed to her lips, just as a man's voice called out, "Sarah? Sarah, are you in here?" Sarah kept her eyes fixed on his, slowly shaking her head from side to side. Kit licked his lips and nodded quickly. He wouldn't rat her out. He wondered if maybe he could kiss her, if she would let him. He felt like his heart was about to explode; he'd never been alone with a girl like this, with a girl like this. "Sarah?" the male voice called again. "Sarah, get the hell out here!" and then Kit heard another, more worried-sounding, man say, "Pardon me, but if you see a young lady of about fifteen..." and John replied, "Sure, no problem."
Sarah rolled her eyes again. "That's my dad. And my other--" She blew out an exasperated breath. "Look, my life is pretty--I have a stupid life, okay? I have two dads and four brothers and a sister, and we live in a shack in the frozen asshole of Canada."
Kit considered this for a moment, and then tilted his head to the side and looked at her.
"I can top that," he said.