It was weirdly odd to see Temp pick up Rodney’s mannerisms, to have her pull huffy tantrums with her cherubic face screwed up in that you-are-such-an-idiot way John swore Rodney’d patented. And it probably would’ve upset him, too, if she didn’t just as often give Rodney the same exact look. She wasn’t brilliant and she wasn’t blood, but damned if she wasn’t truly Rodney’s daughter by that expression alone.
Which was why it always surprised John when she exhibited innate alien traits, because she was from another planet, and even though she was very nearly genetically matched as human, she really, really wasn’t.
John prided himself on not freaking out – vocally, at least – when Temp started teleporting.
“This should’ve been on the adoption papers!” Rodney exclaimed, hugging Temp to his chest, glaring accusingly at John. “Why didn’t you know about this?”
“Calm down, Rodn—”
“Calm down? Calm down? Our daughter can travel halfway across the city in a nanosecond,” Rodney spluttered, ignoring Temp’s playful giggles as she peeked over his shoulder at Lieutenant Myer, the unlucky marine chosen to escort the toddler back to her parents and explain that she’d somehow appeared out of thin air just outside the mess.
He was edging silently down the corridor, but froze when John caught his eye. There was no way in hell Myer was leaving him alone with Parental Rage Rodney.
“She can’t even run properly yet,” Rodney went on harshly, “has trouble speaking legible full sentences, and, honestly, I blame that entirely on you, but apparently she can bend time and space with her tiny two-year-old mind, and, and,” he flailed, “and you really want me to calm down about that? Are you insane?”
“Well,” John drawled slowly, brain conversely scrambling frantically for something that would appease Rodney or at least stop him from pitching his voice any higher, “short of attaching her to Ernie some—”
“And what sort of fantasy land do you live in where Ernie’s the responsible one?” he demanded, and Myer took a hasty step backwards, tripped over the hovering lell in question, and landed on his ass with a muffled curse which – yes! – seemed to distract Rodney enough that John managed to hightail it out of there in the opposite direction. Thank you, Jesus, for conveniently located transporters.
“Oh yes, run away!” Rodney’s strident voice reached him just as the doors were sliding closed. “If she ever disintegrates in a multiphasic temporal distortion, it’ll be all your fault!”
John slumped against the wall, letting out an absent whistle in relief that he’d gotten away semi-clean, and then yelped like a girl when the transporter opened up on the infirmary hallway, Temp staring at him with her big eyes, arms up and fingers grabby. He pressed a palm to his chest, because that was just the freakiest thing ever and he thought Rodney might’ve had a point in all that ranting.
But then Temp lisped, “Mama?” and John sighed and swung her up into his arms. She may’ve been a deceptively angelic space hopping two-year-old with a furry octopus for a best friend, but she was his deceptively angelic space hopping two-year-old. And now all John had to do was convince Rodney that any sort of anti-teleporting device he was, let's face it, already creating in his brain would most likely stunt her growth – which, in all honesty, wouldn’t be all that hard to do – because when you got right down to it, teleporting was pretty awesome. John was a little jealous.
“Come on, princess,” he said, fitting her comfortably above his hip, “let’s go butter up your dad with coffee and ice cream.”