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Flagecallus

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Rodney froze, staring hard at the hideous monstrosity of a wall hanging.

"Merry Christmas, Rodney," John crowed, looking between Rodney and the 'gift'.

After a moment of silence - speechlessness on Rodney's part - John's feet crashed to the floor from where he'd been seated casually with his legs up on the table, crossed at the ankles, looking smug only moments earlier.

"You don't like it," he stated in a soft monotone, and Rodney felt the perspiration of fear bead on his forehead.

He gave a nervous laugh. For all his extensive knowledge of the English language, he couldn't seem to find one complimentary word to say about it. He recalled Jeannie once telling him that if you could not say anything nice then say nothing at all, but he had a feeling that wouldn't work here. John was expecting a response from him, and his face was turning stonier by the second as he hid his emotions. Rodney knew that if he told the truth then he risked hurting John's feelings, and possibly putting an end to the best relationship of his life. But if he lied and said he liked it then he would have to hang it in his quarters, probably on the wall opposite his bed where the hideous thing would stare down at him all night long, fueling his nightmares.

"It's a Flagecallus," John stated softly. "Teyla's people made it."

Oh God! Now he risked offending Teyla too, and those bantos sticks hurt.

"It's... unusual."

He would never be able to sleep again... but he'd still have John, and he could always sleep in the lab on those nights when he didn't sleep in John's bed. He saw the beginnings of a tentative smile slowly blossoming, deciding that a few sleepless nights were worth it just to see John happy. Anyway, he was a genius and sooner or later he'd figure out a way to accidentally destroy this monstrosity of Moby Dick.

***

Behind him, John grinned in triumph. He'd been trying to get Rodney to move into his quarters permanently for months now, but Rodney was not so good with change. He figured it would take a major event to make it happen but bombing Rodney's quarters had seemed a little drastic. He'd had his doubts when Teyla offered an alternative solution, however, it looked like Teyla's idea might work after all.

END