Title: Knit One, Purl Two
Fandom: SGA, NCIS
“I can knit,” Beryl snapped as she purled her stitch and started a new row of her blanket.
“It’s hard to miss that you can,” Eugene said as he sat down on the couch across from her. “But you’ve never done it before.”
“Well, I have, but not here,” Beryl. She concentrated for several seconds and as soon as she finished a piece of her pattern she looked up at her boyfriend. “I managed to trade for some yarn and the knitting needles were in my pack from the first year, so…”
“You decided to knit what looks like a cable blanket instead of the more traditional sweater?” Eugene asked as he picked up the completed end of her project.
“It’s the stitch I know the best and can do with little attention being paid to it. But I’m not really needing a cable sweater and the blanket will be useful. I figure I can make one that’s a bit bigger than king-sized for our use,” Beryl waved a hand at their bed.
“Beryl, honey, we’re in the tropics, we don’t actually get cold,” Eugene reminded her.
“We have a really good AC and you’re the asshole who likes the room to be sixty degrees when we sleep. I get cold, Gene. And since I get cold, I’m knitting me a comforter,” she declared. “You can learn to live with it, or I can stick my cold feet under your ass again.”
From the way her boyfriend twitched, he wasn’t thrilled at the idea of her using him as a space heater. Beryl didn’t care. She got cold at night.
“Fine,” Eugene capitulated with a small shudder. “Is that wool?”
“Closer to alpaca than sheep, I think,” Beryl admitted. She started knitting again. The blanket wasn’t going to make itself. “Should be nice and warm.”
“Chief? What is that?”
Beryl looked up from her computer to see Colonel Sheppard staring at the needles moving in her hands. She glanced down and confirmed that she was still following the pattern she had set and her current yarn ball was smoothly feeding from its bowl. “Knitting, sir.”
“We’re in the tropics?” Sheppard sounded so baffled that she had to smother a smile. He wasn’t the first person to make the same observation that day, but he was one of the more entertaining ones in his manner.
“Yes, sir, we sure are,” Beryl agreed.
“Is there anything you can’t do?” Sheppard asked as he sat down at the table with her.
“I’m a crap baker, sir,” Beryl admitted. “I do okay on cookies, but bread is a wash unless it’s biscuits and even they can be hit or miss. Scones are okay and my shortbread is lovely, but cakes are beyond me unless I’m using a commercial mix.”
“And yet, we’ve had fresh bread every day since you got the ovens up on day three,” Sheppard reminded her. Beryl shrugged and smiled as Jones dropped off a coffee pot and cup for the colonel. When Sheppard poured a cup for himself, she just nodded once. Subtle training of officers for the win. Next, she needed to get him eating when she had food delivered. “I do know what you lot are doing, you know.”
“As you say, sir,” Jones called over his shoulder as he walked back to the kitchen.
“Jones is the baker,” Beryl admitted. “I just make sure I facilitate things.”
“Right. Still doesn’t explain the knitting,” Sheppard said before taking a sip of his coffee. He hummed once at the taste and eyed the pot. “That’s new.”
“We traded a bean that has a very nice mocha flavor with caffeine profile about equal to a good cup of coffee. That’s a mix of about 75% coffee beans and 25% of the new thing,” Beryl let her knitting drop into her lap as she took a sip of her own cup. “I’m looking into finding out what else we can do with it.”
“Do you ever not think about food?” Sheppard asked. He sounded genuinely curious.
“Uhm,” she tried to think about the question and then shrugged. “Only rarely. My job is to make sure that everyone attached to Atlantis has enough to eat, clothes to wear and safe public places to live in. I can’t do it without thinking about my job all the time.”
“And MWR, organizing trading missions that allow us to stockpile food, have supplies for craftwork and arrange for everyone to have something to brighten their day,” Sheppard added. “We all know that you do more than your stated mission, Chief. But the knitting is a bit weird.”
“I like to knit,” Beryl defended herself. “And there’s only so much prep work I can do before Jones and the rest of my people kick me out of the kitchen. I have to do something with my hands while I read reports.”
“Why a blanket and not a sweater?” Tony asked as he took a seat at the table as well. “Hey, John.”
She could feel the blush trying to crawl up her neck and stain her cheeks. “Because. How can I help you, Agent DiNozzo?”
“You’re blushing. How amazing,” Tony observed with a smile. “I need you to be ready to head back to Earth in about three weeks.”
“Why?” Beryl stared at the NCIS agent and tried to figure out why he would want her to return to Earth. As far as she knew, she wasn’t under investigation for anything and her one brush with any trouble had been dealt with by General O’Neill right after she reported to Earth for leave. Losing a week of leave to the geek squad had been punishment enough.
“You’re going to be a witness, Chief. You aren’t in trouble,” Tony soothed.
“Oh,” Beryl thought about that for a moment and then nodded. It had to be about Ensign Thatch and the mess he had almost caused. “Okay, so I take it I’m going to need the full kit of uniforms?”
“I’m afraid so,” Tony confirmed. “And all the medals that go with it.”
“Wonderful,” Beryl sighed. She picked up her knitting and checked to see where she was on the pattern. Spot confirmed, she restarted her blanket. She had three weeks to get the thing finished and she was barely halfway done.
“Seriously, Chief, why knitting?”