A short history of Lorne and his Rubik's Cubes

by Domenika Marzione

The Rubik's Cube currently in Lorne's office is the fifth he's owned.

The first one was in his Christmas stocking in 1980. He tried to solve it, but he wasn't very good at it. So he tried to peel the stickers off to cheat, except one of them didn't come off cleanly and it was obvious what he'd done and his sister wouldn't stop making fun of him for it. He ended up taking that one apart, since Jimmy Brennan said you could do that and put it together again, but he couldn't and then his mother vacuumed up a piece and that was that.

The second one was a gift from his sister when she left for college -- hers. He found it in his room, in his desk, with a note warning him not to break this one, too. He kept it -- safe -- through his own departure to college and first two postings once he'd gotten his commission. He returned it to Vicki -- actually, to his six-week-old nephew -- when he was getting PCSed to Korea, with a note saying that he was teaching the baby to peel the stickers off as soon as he was old enough.

The third one was a V-Cube 7 he found on a trip into Osan city. One of those toy shops with rows and rows of brightly-colored plastic gew-gaws opened up next to the Kyochon they always went to and he went in there every time to pick up things to send to his nephew (and then his niece). He thought the V-Cube was a knock-off, which didn't stop him from buying one for himself and one for Vicki, but it was apparently legit. He never tried to solve his, but he made sure to mix up the one he sent to Vicki real good.

The fourth was a regular original flavor, purchased at a Wal-Mart in Colorado Springs because he saw it piled up next to the register with all of the other impulse items and last-minute discards from shopping carts. He'd lost the V-Cube at some point after Korea, or maybe in the move from Korea. He kept this one in his SGC team locker, since Edwards did not approve of such things in professional office space. Once he got to Atlantis, however, it went on his desk as a paperweight because Sheppard was the kind of CO who would absolutely require such things in professional office space -- if it ever dawned on him that he could, in fact, involve himself so deeply in his subordinates' professional lives. But it hasn't dawned on him, so Sheppard comes into Lorne's office, drops into 'his' chair, picks up the Rubik's Cube, and wonders aloud why none of the marine captains have toys in their office he can play with (and did Lorne undo his progress when he wasn't around to see)?

The fifth and current version is also original flavor and also purchased at a Wal-Mart in Colorado Springs. Lorne doesn't know which one or who was sent to buy it, just that it was a combined effort between Sheppard and whichever lieutenant was in charge of logistics when the request was attached to the databurst and Lieutenant Osgeny, who was the logistics officer when it arrived in the Daedalus's hold. Its predecessor was lost in the chaos that had been Atlantis's attack by the Asurans, hyperspace flight, and resettling on another world. Little Tripoli had fared relatively well as a whole, but Lorne's office windows had been open before it all started and, well. Lorne noticed the absence, but he'd been more concerned with what else was missing and had put his energies not spent dealing with the fallout of Elizabeth Weir's not-quite-death and everything that came from that (including Sam Carter's arrival) to worry about it. Sheppard, meanwhile, had other ideas.

"Here," he says as he walks in to Lorne's office, pulling a Rubik's Cube out of his jacket pocket. He puts the toy on one of the (many) stacks of folders and paperwork and mind-boggling other crap Lorne's seeing in his sleep at this point. Sheppard's working his ass off, too, which is why Lorne doesn't do more than look up and blink, unable to process the jump required to get from what he's reading to what Sheppard is saying. "Now we can say things are back to normal."

It's a lie, of course. Things won't be anything close to normal for a while, won't be as they were ever again. But it's one of those lies they have to tell each other because they're the ones who have to pretend that they will be as they were, better even. From them, all else in Little Tripoli, and to an extent Atlantis as a whole, especially with Weir missing, follows.

Lorne's smile is genuine. "So we can."

feed me on DW?


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2 August, 2010