John has never been to India. He's been plenty of other places, but Earth is large for all that it seems smaller with every step through the 'gate, and that was one spot he never managed to land in.
John has never been to India, but whenever his family would move to a new spot as a kid--and it was always, always in bumfuck Georgia, or North Dakota, or Wyoming, wherever there was enough space to fit a base--the first thing his mom would do was hunt down an Indian restaurant. Sometimes there was nothing to be done for it, but if his mom could find one within two hours of them, she would, and they would go out to it once a month, every month.
By all rights, John should have gotten sick of it, but he was evidently his mother's son.
On Atlantis, where John doesn't really miss anything, not when he's got his puddlejumpers and his team and Ronon, John misses Indian food. (Okay, so maybe he misses his mother, he thinks he will always miss his mother, because what kind of a son doesn't miss his mother once she's well and truly gone, but he'll settle for the taste of curry and cinnamon, garlic and yoghurt.)
When John ends up having to 'gate his team to Earth for reasons of national security--at least, John thinks that's what it's about; there were a lot of acronyms used, and he didn't really care to ask--he tells Rodney, "I'd like to, uh-"
"Take your boyfriend out on a real date?"
"Could you not inform the base? Because I sort of like my job."
Rodney gives him a pithy look, containing multiple emotions of disdain and tolerance. "You are a sad and emotionally stunted man."
"I'm not the one trailing the SGC's head scientist like a demented puppy dog."
Rodney opens his mouth. John holds up a hand. "I'll take it back if you cover for me."
"I'll have you know, I'm not that easy."
"And I'll bring you Indian food."
Sometimes, Rodney really is a pretty deserving best friend. John is proud of himself for finding him, even if it was mostly an accident.
Ronon steps out of the mountain and says, "What in the nine galaxies have you people done to the air on this planet?"
John asks, "There are nine galaxies?"
Ronon shrugs. "Who knows? Nine's an important number on Sateda."
John thinks that explains a lot. He says, "We can order nine dishes."
Ronon looks happy at the idea.
They don't order nine dishes, but they come close at six, and Ronon manages dessert, which John would kiss him for if they weren't in the middle of Colorado Springs and he weren't a ranking military officer. Somewhere between the palak paneer and chicken tikka, Ronon says, "This is good," without pausing in his eating efforts. John watches him dip and swipe and bring the food up to his mouth and he remembers when Ronon first came to Atlantis, his aversion of silverware. He looks like he's having fun, like he fits in this place just a little bit, even with his braids and his build and his literally alien past.
John says, "My mom loved this stuff."
Ronon stops for a minute at that, his gaze narrowing in on John's face. "Yeah?"
John looks down at his empty plate. It's been a while since Indian has tasted anything but bittersweet to him. He hasn't minded, it's a sweet and sour experience half the time anyway, but it's nice having it go down as heat and spice and savor.
Ronon grins and returns to eating. "She had good taste."
John looks at the broad lines of Ronon's hands and thinks that's probably something John inherited from his mom.