Elizabeth was pacing again. Sheppard's team worried her more than all the others put together.
It was Christmas Eve, for heaven's sake, and they'd missed three check-ins.
Suddenly Campbell sat straight up as the Gate began to dial. "Unscheduled--"
"I know!" Elizabeth gasped. "Raise the shield!"
A moment after the seventh chevron had locked, Campbell looked up. "It's Colonel Sheppard's IDC!"
"Lower the shield!" Elizabeth sighed. This had better be good...
Two minutes later, John walked through the Gate.
"I need Zelenka now!" he bellowed.
"John, what's the matter?" Elizabeth asked. "Where are the others?"
The man's body language shifted, and he glared at her. "Remember a few weeks ago, that fiasco with the dart and the body-sharing and all the crap Cadman put me through?" A hand raised and the finger pointed at John's temple. "We're in here, Liz. All of us. Get. Zelenka. Now."
"Oh, my G-d," Elizabeth breathed, taking a step back in horror. "Rodney."
The hazel eyes rolled. "And she finally gets it!"
The stance shifted again and a calm voice laced with amusement answered. In a male voice the normally measured tones turned into a seductive purr. "You are rather unforgettable, Rodney."
"Enough!" And this was all John. "Nobody speak! No, Rodney! Nobody! Nobody say a word until Radek gets here and we can get this underway!" He looked apologetically at Elizabeth. "I am so sorry about this."
"I can't wait to hear this one."
The stance shifted again and the voice deepened. "We got ambushed, we got drugged, Sheppard was turned into a living dart."
John's regular stance came back and he pinched the bridge of his nose. "Thank you, Ronon. Never thought I'd hear myself say this, but shut up!"
It took only the work of a single day to replicate the conditions that they had separated Rodney and Cadman in. But in that day, John thought he was going to go mad.
At least Rodney was behaving, only coming out when necessary. He'd been through this before, after all, and knew exactly how John felt.
Teyla, it seemed, was extraordinarily curious about the male body she was inside and how different things felt. John had to draw more than one line.
Ronon was the real surprise. John had never really knew just how witty his teammate was. He always had a smart remark hovering at the edge of consciousness and he usually voiced it – sometimes with a dead-on Rodney impression to get him in trouble.
John never thought he'd ever wish for a silent Satedan again.
Upon learning that the entire thing had been to share DNA and perhaps share the ATA gene, the separation had kicked into full gear. If there too long, who knew what would happen to the three disembodied ones!
At last, it was ready. One by one, the extraneous patterns were beamed out of John. Then John was dissolved as well – accidentally. Radek kept track of the fourth pattern and decided to restore it last.
He chose one of the other three at random and hit the button.
Ronon materialised, falling to his knees and shaking his head. Medics helped him off the pad, and then Radek hit the button again.
Teyla, this time – hair just a shade darker, just a little bit taller – and she spared only a look before she fainted.
Radek materialised John and Rodney together. They fainted at the same time, much as Rodney and Cadman had.
In the Infirmary, tests confirmed there had, indeed, been a tiny sharing of DNA.
Ronon now had the gene, but there were no outward effects.
Teyla had not received the gene, but she had darker hair and had grown an inch.
Rodney was less soft around the middle, and had a little more hair, but other than that, there seemed to be absolutely no change.
Until they were leaving the Infirmary and he turned his head just right and John caught a glimpse of a faintly pointed ear.
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