Best In Show

Traditionally, the dog who wins Best In Show at Westminster has steak for breakfast the next day at Sardi's Restaurant in New York.

Rodney finished yelling at Radek and then snapped his phone shut. John looked up from where he was sliding the last of his equipment into his neatly segmented padded case.

"Ready?" John said.

"Whatever," Rodney said. "You know André at Sardi's is never going to let us in again after this."

John nodded sagely. "Well, it's not like they've got the only cannelloni in town."

Rodney swatted him on the shoulder. "Blasphemer."

John stood from his crouch and pulled Rodney to him with a hand on the back of his neck, kissing him softly.

Rodney kissed him back. "This may well be the strangest job we've ever done."

"'S okay," John said, stealing one more kiss. "It's an exclusive and I'm getting paid a fucking fortune for it."

"Good," Rodney grumbled. "Maybe you can bribe someone for the cannelloni recipe."

"Oh. My. God." John couldn't stop staring. The dog was one thing, but the handler was completely another.

When Rodney came out of the kitchen, he nearly bobbled the tray, almost sending the impeccably-trimmed, two-inch-thick filet mignon on it sliding to the floor.

John knew that they shouldn't have been surprised. They'd had the best of intentions, planning to watch at least the Best In Show round of Westminster, but then Rodney had made some sort of amazing salad with pears and walnuts and cheese, and that had led to spiced shrimp in a sweet olive oil dressing. It was the dressing that did it. Rodney licked a little of the dressing off his finger. John licked a little of the dressing off Rodney's fingers. Rodney made that little sound that never failed to make John hard, and they barely made it into the bedroom.

They forgot to set the TiVo, too.

"He's um..." John said.

"Yes," Rodney agreed. "We should probably..."

"Go say hi?" John took the plate from Rodney and set it down on a side table. He turned toward the tall, golden-skinned, dred-locked, burning hot dog handler and took a deep breath, trying to gather his cool.

Rodney, of course, had no cool, so he walked over to the dog and the handler, snapped his fingers and said, "Sliced or cubed?"

"Uh...what?" the handler rumbled.

"How does your sheepdog like its steak?"

The dog, a cream-colored mop of cord-like fur-things, growled. The handler made a similar noise. "He's not a sheepdog, he's a Puli and sliced will be fine." The dog jumped up against Rodney's leg and he gingerly patted it - him - on the head.

John strolled up. He held out a hand. "John Sheppard, I'm the photographer."

John felt his hand engulfed by a much larger one. "Ronon Dex," the handler said. "I've seen your work. Liked it."

"Didn't peg you for a fashion fan," John said, pulling back his hand.

"I'm not," Dex said. He gestured at the dog, still nudging at Rodney's hand and scratching at his knee. "This is Colonel. You must be McKay."

Rodney shook Dex's hand and gave him a quizzical look.

Dex grinned. "Can't have one without the other, they say."

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