By Enola Jones

Jeannie Miller stood in the observation room, watching and listening.




She saw John do a respectable double-take. "Canoodle?" he repeated in disbelief. "Where'd you hear that one, buddy?"

Her brother's face fell. "I....I don't know." Then it lit again. "Want to hear the funniest word? Ever? Ever?"

"Sure, buddy, what is it?"

"Flibbertigibbet!" And Rodney burst into giggles.

John's smile was pained as he patted Rodney's shoulder. "Yeah, that's a real silly one!"

Jeannie had to turn away. When she turned back, she saw Ronon and Teyla enter the room with the clothing they were going to wear on the mission. She nodded and zipped up her own jacket, turning to go meet up with them.

And finding Richard Woolsey had walked into the room. "Mister Woolsey."

"What were they doing with those nonsense words?" he asked.

"Keeping Mer--Rodney calm while they were waiting for the others." She smiled a sad smile. "He doesn't understand the meanings anymore, but the sounds of the words make him happy."

"Yes.... Mrs. Miller, I can't authourise this mission. It's just simply too--"

"You're not authourising it. I am. I am legally his next of kin, and so my wishes override yours when it comes to his medical care. We are going."

She watched him move to the window and look down. His expression and body language screamed to her that he didn't understand any of this.

She tilted her head. "You really don't get it, do you?"

"Get what?" he asked, startled into looking at her.

"This. Why they're so eager to do this."

He shook his head. "You're right. I don't. I know they're a gate team, but--"

"They're not a team, Mister Woolsey. Just a team wouldn't do this for each other. Just friends wouldn't do this for each other. Look at them."

He turned to watch them getting Rodney dressed, gently coaxing him into unfamiliar clothing and making him grin most of the time.

He felt a small hand touch between his shoulderblades and heard Jeannie's voice, very soft and close to him. "They're not a team. They haven't been a team for a very long time. That's a family, Mister Woolsey. And family takes care of its own."

The hand vanished and he heard her walk away. He saw her enter the room seconds later and saw how the small group of people expanded to let her in.

And he knew that she was right.


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