The Nassian scientist was obviously not happy at having an outsider looking over his work but, dutifully, he brought over one of the ancient artifacts his people had found in the ruins deep within the tropical area of the planet. According to the Nassi, the jungle had swallowed up the old cities after the Wraith forced them to abandon them but they made small explorations to see if they could uncover anything of value. Like the Athosians, they had stories handed down from one generation to the next warning them to stay away from the old cities for fear of bringing back the Wraith but the Nassi had long ago decided it was worth the risk occasionally.
"I am certain this will be of great value against the Wraith," the scientist stated.
Rodney stared at the small object, recognizing it from several similar objects they had found on Atlantis while exploring the city. "Not unless you plan to force feed them Kumbaya on a continuous loop," he replied airily.
He sighed in exasperation, wishing he wasn't dealing with idiots. "It's a music box. It stores and reproduces music either silently to an individual or aloud depending on-."
"You know nothing," the scientist sneered back in disgust. "It is a potential weapon. Not that it is of relevance as none of these artifacts work."
Rodney reach for the artifact but the scientist pulled it away, handing it over to his assistant. In mute annoyance, Rodney looked to the Nassian's chief scientist, raising both eyebrows in silent demand for him to do something. Anything.
"Please hand it to Doctor McKay," Chief Scientist Herosa stated in a tone that bordered on complete and utter boredom rather than the fascination that Rodney expected to see on the man's face.
Herosa's expression changed when the object lit up like a neon Christmas Tree decoration the moment it touched Rodney's skin, vibrating gently in the palm of his hand. Rodney smiled as his thoughts interfaced with the massive database within it, seeking out something loud and discordant deliberately just to annoy the Nassi. Music bounced off the walls of the laboratory, the deep bass throbbing beneath his feet to vibrate through his body. The Nassi were stunned but Rodney simply closed his eyes and changed the music to something more complex, filled with passion and vibrance, and let the sound travel through him, internalizing the music when the Nassi scientists began to argue between themselves.
Rodney slipped away into the sound, allowing his passion for music to carry him away from the dank, dark laboratory that was deep underground to the blue skies above the soaring towers of Atlantis. The music followed his mood, turning melancholy as he thought of the place he now called home. He missed John, wishing John was not holed up in the infirmary recovering from surgery following an accident off-world. The music became more romantic, with a surge of a different kind of passion as he recalled the similar device to this one that he and John shared occasionally when the mood took them. He recalled the first time, how it had interacted with both of them unexpectedly, merging their emotions and thoughts to produce something that started off discordant but quickly harmonized, revealing the true depth of their feelings for each other.
Love. Passion. Need and desire.
For two people with very different tastes they made beautiful music together - and he meant that in the physical sense too, feeling the music lift and turn a little raunchy with his own smile of remembrance.
Herosa touched his shoulder and Rodney sent a command to the device to switch off, missing the beauty of the music and the way it entwined with his thoughts of John.
"You have the touch of the Ancestors," Herosa stated in awe, and Rodney rolled his eyes because this was the only reason why he had agreed to come to the Nassi home world, accompanied by Lorne's team.
Obviously, the Nassi hadn't believed him capable of fulfilling his end of the trade agreement by helping them with some of the Ancient technology they had collected over the centuries and hidden underground from the Wraith. The first Nassian scientists was still peeved but for a different reason but at least Rodney had the full attention of Herosa now as more artifacts were pulled out for him to examine and switch on if he felt it was safe to do so. John was a far better light switch than him, able to interpret the mental component from each device more easily.
So long as none of the Nassi got it into their head to 'kidnap' him then it looked like the agreement would yield sufficient of the mineral they needed to make important repairs to the city.
Hours later he breathed a sigh of relief as he stepped back through the Stargate to the Alpha site before heading to Atlantis. He'd promised another person 'touched by the Ancestors' would assist them in a few week's time and already he had a couple of names in mind - neither of which was his name.
When he reached the quarters he shared with John he was surprised to find John propped up on the bed playing games on his laptop.
"Are you supposed to be out of the Infirmary?"
"Hello to you too, Rodney," John replied, raising one eyebrow sardonically but Rodney had no intention of bearing the wrath of Carson if this was an escape attempt. "I'm fine," he insisted. "Carson let me go a few hours back as long as I don't do anything too strenuous... for the next day or so."
Rodney nodded, but as John was one of the worst patients Carson had ever dealt with - his words, not Rodney's - it was within the realms of possibility that Carson had simply given up trying to keep John in an infirmary bed and had sent him 'home' to rest. Still, Rodney detected a slight untruth and decided it was the time limit Carson must have imposed for bed rest. No doubt he'd find a message from Carson in his inbox giving him full instructions but, for now, Rodney smiled, pleased to have John home.
"Nothing too strenuous," he murmured, and smiled as he recalled the music device.
Perhaps it was time to make beautiful music together... again.