Summary: McKay/Weir and very fluffy. Rodney is determined to beat her at something, though scrabble wasn't the best choice now he thinks about it.
A/N: Betaread by Fanwoman. Inspired by Nebulan's comments on McKayWeir Central.
He was starting to regret agreeing to this. It was bad enough that she'd consistently beaten him at chess, poker and battleship, but now he'd realised the mistake of choosing scrabble to play against a linguist. Of course she'd know about fifty octillion words – she spoke seven languages now! It had hardly been worth the advantage he got from knowing lengthy obscure scientific terms. Elizabeth was a woman of words, and this was a word game, which meant he had been doomed from the minute she'd graciously accepted his suggestion.
Oh, she'd known this would happen; she'd let him think it was a wonderful idea when all the while he'd walked into a trap of his own making.
“Hey! That's not even English.”
Maybe his chances were slim, but he wasn't going to give up, and he certainly wasn't going to let her advance the pace of the game by cheating like that. He didn't want a quick finish to soften the blow. If he was going to lose, he'd lose fair and square after he'd tried his best. At least her victory would mean something then. He'd shake her hand, and they'd part, leaving him slightly less resentful because she'd bested him.
She smiled calmly and went to pick up the letters, only to rearrange them into another, most definitely English word. He looked at the small ivory coloured tiles and then at her serene expression, catching the ever so devious glint in her eyes. She was showing off, playing with him! Playing an entirely different game to the one they both should have been focusing on.
Rodney decided to hell with it, and took his turn, laying down simply two letters onto an existing H in the word catechize – O and T. Elizabeth blinked at that, surprised somehow, and he knew he was truly playing against her now. This wasn't just about scrabble anymore.
Every turn from then on, he deliberately placed a sparse amount of his tiles down, creating words that made her increasingly uneasy, as if she didn't know what he was playing at. When finally the bag was down to a handful of tiles, Rodney rather woefully studied his choices, which were limited quite significantly by having W, X, Y and Z all at once. It was ironic he could only identify one word to form, one very simple word that seemed to go too far. He gulped, swallowing his fear and laid them down any way. It was just a game after all. He'd never been this nervous before, though he had little reason to be, or so he reminded himself. Slowly he attached the tiles L, O and V to the final letter of his best scoring word - bifurcate.
Elizabeth smiled, amused and took her go – poising her letters off the K in hunk. First an I, then an S, before she stopped and turned round her tray to show she had no more tiles left, meaning she was without any; the bag also being empty.
“Looks like I'm all out.”
“Game over then. Who wins?” he asked, knowing quite probably it would still be Elizabeth. There'd only been ten points between them, but one incomplete turn probably wouldn't swing it in his favour enough to beat her. She'd always been one step ahead of him, using his words against him to get the allusive triple word scores and the like.
“It's not quite over yet, Rodney. I haven't finished my word.”
“But you haven't got any tiles left. I don't see how you can finish!”
“Well, this whole thing was your birthday wish, so I thought I could go that extra bit further and, instead of the last letter, give you a practical demonstration.”
His baffled mind had barely finished computing what that added up to when she'd leant over the table and pressed her soft lips to his. He hadn't realised it wasn't actually a competition until that moment – everything had always been about beating someone else for him. He'd never felt so happy to lose. It was probably the nicest way to do so, but thinking it over again, he decided they were both winners of this game. Only Elizabeth would think of something like that, and it was just one more reason to love her.