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Molasses

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Rodney groaned and clutched his stomach. He reached out and grabbed Carson's arm before Carson could brush past him again.

"You've got to help me."

Carson rolled his eyes. "Rodney, you've just got the stomach flu. There's nothing more I can do for you. You have to let it finish working out of your system."

Rodney slowly lowered himself back on the bed. "Can't you just—put me to sleep or something?" He snapped his fingers. "Medically induced coma!"

Carson checked Rodney's drip, adjusting the dosage. "Rodney. . . ."

Teyla hesitantly approached. "And how is our patient?"

Carson shifted his eyes to Teyla and then back to his patient. "Rodney, maybe I can do something for you." He held out his hands to Teyla. "If you asked nicely, perhaps Teyla would be willing to beat you until you're unconscious."

Carson turned away from the bed. "Teyla, please, keep him out of my hair for awhile."

Carson glanced over his shoulder. Rodney was straining his neck, like he was trying to see what was happening. Having been caught, he sneered.

Carson dropped his voice. "Please."

Teyla smiled gently. "I'll do what I can."

Carson walked away, muttering about poor bedside manners and enemas.

"Still not feeling well?" Teyla asked. She pulled a chair up to Rodney's bedside.

"Hardly." Rodney crossed his arms. "You'd think they could cure a stomach bug in the city of the Ancients!"

A distinctly Scottish accent muttered something from a distance.

"Perhaps they were so advanced that they did not suffer from such illnesses." Teyla inclined her head.

"I highly doubt that," Rodney groused. He suddenly lurched forward, clutching his stomach. "Maybe—" He made a distressed noise before he could speak again. "Maybe you shouldn't be here."

Teyla wrapped her fingers around the hand Rodney pressed against his stomach. "I am convinced that you will be fine as long as I am with you."

Teyla's squeezed his clammy hand. Rodney blinked, surprised when his distress passed. "You do have a certain—calming—effect."

"Can I get you anything?"

Teyla's voice was soothing, like thick molasses—not that Rodney ever ate molasses, he was fairly certain that amount of sugar would cause a hyperglycemic reaction that would kill him.

"Food. I need food. I haven't been able to keep anything down." Rodney pointed to his drip. "They've been keeping me hydrated—"

Teyla smiled. "But it's not the same?"

Carson was making the rounds on the opposite side of the room, checking in on a sprained ankle. Nothing a nurse couldn't do just as well as he could. Naturally he was just avoiding taking care of Rodney, his one patient in actual distress.

Rodney lolled his head to the side, suddenly feeling smooth. "You always understood me."

Teyla squeezed his hand. Rodney squeezed back, lingering on the moment.

"You're . . . molasses." Rodney's eyes dropped closed.

"Molasses?"

Rodney's eyes snapped open. "Don't give me any of that! It's likely to kill me!"

Teyla closed one eye and examined Rodney closely. He looked tired, but mostly like Rodney. A bit more relaxed than normal—actually, more relaxed than Teyla had ever seen him, except for when he'd been—

"Doctor Beckett!" Teyla called over his shoulder.

"Bloody—" Carson approached and rolled his eyes. "Yes, dear?"

Teyla gestured to Rodney. "He seems a little—calm."

Rodney waved at Carson. "Carson. Hello." He batted at the air. "Your eyes are really, really blue."

Carson shifted from one foot to the other. He crossed his arms over his chest, slightly hugging himself. "I may have given him a little something."

Teyla cocked an eyebrow.

Carson gestured sharply, opening up his arms. "You've heard him! He's been driving my staff crazy!"

Teyla smirked. "You mean he's been driving you crazy."

Carson's mouth pulled into a guilty frown.

"You're both very tall." Rodney grabbed Teyla's arm and tugged her down. "When did you get so tall?" He squeezed, moving his hands up and down her arm. His eyes widen and he gasped. "Did I shrink?"

Carson leaned over him, checking his vitals. "Yes, Rodney, you shrank. And if you're not a good patient then I'm going to let you continue to shrink until you are a wee little man."

Rodney's lip curled up. He clutched at Teyla's arm, pulling her towards him. "I don't want to be a wee man!"

Teyla pulled one of Rodney's hands off of her arm, reassuringly patting his shoulder. "You're not shrinking, Rodney."

"I'm not?"

Carson rolled his eyes and muttered. "I didn't give him that much."

Teyla glared at Carson. "No." She pulled Rodney's other hand off her arm. "You're just fine."

"You're sure?" Rodney clutched at his sheets.

"I'm sure." She glared at Carson while she spoke to Rodney. "Perhaps the doctor could get you something to make you feel better."

Carson rolled his eyes again. "Jell-o?"

Teyla nodded. "That sounds good."

Rodney grabbed Teyla's hand again. "Can you—" Rodney took a deep breath and spoke in a rush. "Can you stay here to make sure I don't shrink?"

Teyla smiled that warm molasses smile. "Of course."

Carson sighed heavily, aware he was on Teyla's bad side, and walked away in search of jell-o.

Rodney squeezed her hand again and then smiled boldly, his entire expression changed.

"You could have sent Carson for more than just jell-o. A nice Sauvignon, perhaps?"

Teyla's mouth dropped. "You were faking."

Rodney nodded, a thin smug smile on his lips. "Why would I send you away when I could guilt Carson into doing it?" Rodney squeezed her hand again. "Now, back to that molasses thing . . ."

Teyla leaned over, smiling. It couldn't be denied that Rodney had a certain level of annoying charm.