By Enola Jones

CHALLENGE: Four sets of four words plus bonuses. Easy Words: Teddy Bear, Saturday, Platinum, Undercover, Bonus: Sneeze. Medium Words: Diminish, Carnival, Shock, Approach, Bonus: Bleat. Hard Words: Fork, Microphone, Neanderthal, Lipstick, Bonus: Leather. Evil Words: Precipitation, Palpitation, Percolation, Anticipation, Bonus: Prestidigitation. I used all twenty words in this story.

John came out of the bathroom, yawning. It was rare he got to sleep in until almost noon, and he was taking advantage of it. In the other hotel room bed, Rodney was just coming awake, stirring slowly. His blue eyes squinted against the light and his ears picked up the telltale sounds of the room's coffee pot's percolation.

"Good morning," John grinned, pulling on his jeans.

Rodney made a noncommittal grunt as he sat up. "Tell me that's coffee."

"Fully loaded," John replied.

"Good." Rodney pivoted, sitting on the side of the bed, his fingers carding through hair that tried to imitate John's in the morning. "What day--"

"Saturday," John replied. "The day we take Torren to the carnival."

Rodney rolled his eyes. "Just what the kid needs -- exposure to a bunch of Neanderthal barkers in old, smelly leather using their bleating voices to lull the crowd into anticipation of things that turn out to be nothing but a bunch of undercover crap. Fun times."

John laughed. "Drink your coffee, Rodney. We don't want to be late."

Rodney just glared at him.


Rodney's misgivings managed to diminish -- to his shock -- once they actually arrived at the County Faire that the "carnival" turned out to be. He even managed to win Torren a teddy bear at a darts game, which sent the toddler squealing so loud that it took all of their hearts a minute to stop the wild palpitation that resulted from the startle.

The adults all howled with laughter as a platinum blonde with way too much lipstick followed them, trying to lure Ronon away. The subtle hints didn't penetrate, so they tried a more direct approach.

While John and Rodney kept Torren occupied, Teyla and Ronon lured their annoyance over to a barn where animals were on display. While the woman flirted shamelessly with Ronon, Teyla turned the hose on her.

Passers-by howled with laughter as the woman was so drenched by the precipitation that her final leaving was to the accompaniment of an explosive sneeze.


Of course, nobody could go to a Faire without trying a funnel cake. Ronon, naturally, had three. Teyla and Torren shared one, and so did Rodney and John.

As Ronon headed for a fourth funnel cake, Rodney waved his plastic fork at the Satedan's back. "I know about high metabolisms, but his is ridiculous!"

As the others chuckled, the sound of a microphone being switched on hit their ears, and the sound of a barker rolled out.

"Come one! Come all! Come and see magnificent marvels of prestidigitation!"

Rodney rolled his eyes. "What did I tell you about barkers?" he growled at John.

Then their attention was caught by a laughing, clapping Torren. "He talk like you, Unca Wodnee!"

And John and Teyla grinned as Rodney sputtered to a blushing halt.


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