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Dirty Little Secret

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John was working on getting his paperwork finished when Lorne poked his head through the open doorway, a highly amused look on his face.

“Sir, you have to come see this,” the Major said, his grin threatening to split his face in half if it got any bigger. John looked up from the forms he was filling out (Question 32a: In your opinion, how could the running of this FOB {Forward Operating Base} be improved if you had unlimited resources/personnel? Answer in three hundred words or less.) with relief, quirking an eyebrow at Lorne's expression.

“Did the botanists get high from the Rigalian weed again?” he asked, setting down his pen and silently rejoicing in the fortuitous timing of Lorne's interruption.

Lorne shook his head, laughing slightly. “No, though that would've been hilarious. I don't think I'll ever forget Parrish and Sommers singing The Lumberjack Song. Anyways, there's a, well, I suppose you could call it a 'situation' in the physics labs that you should see. I think Radek's taking bets as to how long it lasts.”

John stood up, intrigued. If it was anything actually serious, he was sure that Lorne wouldn't have acted so cavalier. “Well, this should be better than filling out questionnaires in triplicate, at least.”

“Definitely,” Lorne agreed, leading the way to the nearest transporter. John followed after him, interested as to what was making his second-in-command so tickled. The source of the entertainment was apparent when the transporter's door slid open, letting in the instantly recognizable strains of the Killers. John found his head bopping along with the infectious beat, and then stopped dead when he saw what was going on. Rodney was dancing along to the music, not even paying attention to the small crowd that had gathered at the door.

The Canadian physicist was singing as well, though John couldn't exactly hear him above the noise of the music. John shooed the others away, and waited until everyone had left before entering the room. At a glance, it looked like Rodney was waiting for something to finish running on one of his computers, judging by the progress meter that showed a level of 68% of being completely compiled. He sat down on one of the rolling stools that littered the room, leaning back carefully against the workstation behind him. John waited until the song had finished and Rodney had gone to check the progress of his program before speaking.

“Nice dance moves, McKay,” he drawled in amusement, startling his teammate and friend.

Rodney spun around, eyes wide. Wha-

His voice had an odd double-timbre to it, and John realised that it was Syresh, Rodney's Tok'ra symbiote, who was in control. John blinked and then frowned slightly.

“Damn,” he said, shaking his head. “I so wanted to tease Rodney about his dancing skills.”

Syresh grinned, eyes crinkling at the corners. It was interesting to see the differences between Rodney and, in Rodney's own words, 'the annoying older sister I never had, who keeps badgering me incessantly'. Syresh was much more relaxed than Rodney, and it could be seen most in their body language. Rodney was always on the go, barely stopping to eat, even though he complained about being hypoglycemic and whatnot.

John had once asked Carson about that, since as he understood it, having a symbiote meant that Rodney shouldn't actually be allergic to anything. Apparently, Syresh and Rodney had an agreement wherein she wouldn't bother with messing around with Rodney's body unless there was an emergency, which kind of confused John. With all the complaining Rodney did, you'd think that he'd welcome the changes.

Don't worry, Colonel, Syresh said, turning down the music. You can still tease him for singing along. He knows every word, even if he won't admit it. Did you need to talk to him, or...She trailed off, an expectant look in her eyes.

“Hmm? Oh, no,” John replied, waving the question off. “Just came down to escape from some paperwork. I didn't know you liked Earth music, by the way.”

Syresh nodded, shrugging slightly. Rodney's complained about the music that I listen to when he's not paying attention. She grinned briefly and then her gaze suddenly became unfocused and turned inwards. John had seen that look enough times before to know that Rodney was saying something to Syresh. Ah. Rodney wants to talk with you. Hang on a sec.

She dipped her head and paused for a moment. John could tell the exact moment when Rodney took control of his body, and waited patiently for the scientist to readjust.

“Don't listen to a word she says, Sheppard,” Rodney declared after looking up. “I can't stand the music she listens to.”

“Really? Huh. Well, good for you. Anyways, I came down here to see what you were up to,” John replied. “Also, I needed a break from my paperwork.”

“You've already said that. I can still hear you, you know--” He made a vague gesture at his temple. “--when Syresh is in control.” Rodney glanced over at the computer screen, and sighed. “This won't be done for a while. You want to go get something to eat?”

John shrugged. “Sure, why not?” He got up from his chair and stretched slightly. Rodney nodded vaguely, password-locked his computer, and then set off out of the room, John following after him.

“Hey, Rodney, I've been meaning to ask you something.”

“What is it, Sheppard? And if it's something about my sex life-”

“What? God, no. Why would I even want to know about that? No, it's just something that I've been wondering for a while,” John said, giving Rodney a rather nonplussed look.


“Are you really allergic to lemons? 'Cause I was thinking...”