Title: Barbecue - An Interlude
Author: Iocane
E-mail: iocane@crosswinds.net
Summary: There's a fire on the ship.
Rating: PG
Series/sequel: Part six of "Dreams of Silence"
Disclaimer: Galen, John, the Excalibur, and all related names, places, and people belong to JMS and many
other people.  The story itself is mine.
Archiving: CDC, WWOBM, Selena's Galen Page, Lady May's Slash Archive, DM's Place, and the Crusade
Fic Archive all have ongoing permission. Anyone else, please ask.
Warnings: A minor spoiler for something that never happened. This story also contains a M/M relationship.
Notes: First and foremost, thanks to Antoinette for her expert beta'ing, comments, suggestions, motivations,
and generally beating me over the head until I finished it. :)
Second, the following notations are used throughout the series ...
Single brackets [] around text indicate personal thoughts. Double brackets [[]] around words indicate telepathy.

This story is based on something that *would* have happened had the series continued. It's *my* take on how it could have happened, had it happened, which it didn't because the series was canceled.

Any and all feedback would be greatly appreciated. This is my first planned out story of this scope, so any suggestions you have would be wonderful.

Barbecue - An Interlude

"Why, in God's name," Galen asked, his distaste evident. "Do you have to wear that dreadful thing?" He gestured at the grey uniform John had been wearing since before they became lovers. In fact, Galen disliked the uniform so much, he would often help John take it off at the end of the day.

John sighed, combing his hair and glancing at Galen in the mirror. "Because it 'compliments the decor.' " he turned to face his lover. "I don't like it either. But what can we do?"

"What can we do, indeed." A mischievous spark filled the technomage's vivid blue eyes.

"Whatever it is Galen," He said, stepping forward and laying his hands on Galen's chest. "I don't want to know." Galen's mouth formed into a tiny pout before John continued. "Until after you've done it." he finished, grinning.

"All right ..." Galen said, lowering his mouth to John's for a tender kiss. "I won't tell you until after I've done it." He kissed him again. "Unless you find out sooner." He added teasingly.

----------------

During their lunch, Gideon and Matheson sat in the mess hall, talking about their next target planet. Actually, Gideon was relaying a story he'd heard from someone over a card game. They were interrupted by a call from the bridge.

"Captain, there's a fire on Deck 8."

"Deck 8?" He glanced at John.

"There's nothing there but crew quarters, storage and ..." The lieutenant paused and his eyes widened slightly. "And the laundry room. Sir."

"Where on Deck 8 is the fire?"

There was a pause. "It appears to be confined to the laundry room sir."

"Thank you ensign, Gideon out." The captain turned to John, noticing that the young man was clearly repressing a laugh.  "What's so funny, lieutenant."

Clearing his throat, John said soberly "Nothing, sir." but he couldn't hide the smile on his face or the laughter in his eyes. "Gas."  He smirked.

Gideon tried to scowl, but his eyes were too amused to pull it off.

Ten minutes later, the two men went to inspect the damage.

"Actually sir, it seems that the only thing damaged was the laundry itself. The walls are fine, and the bins weren't even singed.  "Lieutenant Saunders wiped some soot off the inside of the bin, showing the uncharred surface beneath. "We don't know how it happened. It's as though the clothes spontaneously combusted."

John Matheson coughed suddenly, clearing his throat.

"What exactly was the laundry today?" Gideon asked, eyeing his first officer.

"According to our analysis ... It was almost exclusively the new uniforms, sir." Saunders noticed the way John was acting and vaguely suspected that he knew more about what had happened than their Captain did.

"I see. Thank you, Lieutenant."

As they left, Gideon noticed a smile was again on his second's lips. "Okay ... Is there something you want to tell me, John?"

Briefly he told his captain of the conversation he'd had that morning with Galen.

"So you think he ..."

"Well sir, since two thirds of the crew no longer has any of the new uniforms, we're going to have to go back to the old ones, aren't we?" His brown eyes shone with eagerness.

"We are indeed." Gideon laughed. They returned to the bridge, informing a grateful crew of the "unfortunate" accident.