It hit Rodney after he received the message back from Peter Tork and after John's ability came on line. "Hey...John?"
"I'm a mutant, right?"
John looked up from his mountain of paperwork. "I thought we'd already established this, Rodney."
Rodney waved a hand at him, barely avoiding knocking the dishes from their working lunch off John's desk. "I know, I know – But John ... If I'm a mutant...."
And John's eyes widened as he caught up with Rodney. "Jeannie."
"Yeah," he sighed.
"Only one way to find out."
Two weeks later.
"Rodney, just write her. You'll worry yourself sick if you don't."
A week later.
"Rodney, c'mon! Stop asking me and just contact her!"
Two weeks later.
"Just write the damn letter, already!"
Frustrated that his procrastination had irritated John -- again-- Rodney retreated to his quarters to sulk.
And to plan the letter.
In the end, he told her like he'd told Peter. In a video letter. In code. Decoded, the message read:
"Jeannie, I've developed a mutation. I can make crystal out of air. Weird question –can you do anything?"
The video message in return was short and to the point. And also in code.
"Mer, I thought I was the only one. Mine manifested while I was dating Caleb. It's another reason I dropped out of academia."
Rodney felt his eyes prick with tears of shame at how he'd treated her.
But she continued, "I have to be away from people for long stretches of time or I feel like I'm going mad. Mer, I'm a low-level empath. Too many people and it hits me physically."
Then she dropped all code and looked squarely into the camera. "I have never stopped loving you, Mer. Never. Good luck. You're never alone."
And the screen went dark.
John found the note on his desk the next day.
Sure enough. Empath. No wonder she isolated herself. Thanks, John. Now I know. --R
And John just grinned. "Lantea?" he whispered. "Be extra-nice to Rodney for awhile."
It will be as you wish, John.
John frowned, suddenly wondering if it had been such a good idea to let the sentient city eavesdrop when they'd watched The Princess Bride.
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