Let Me Get You a Glass of Water


“Let me get you a glass of water.” Rodney sniffles and rubs the back of his wrist at his nose. It just won’t stop running. Or itching. Or tickling. “eh-AHTChoo! Hahhhtchoo!” Rodney coughs, his throat absolutely on fire. “Or let me get you some medicine. Oh, poor Rodney. All sick and still working for the good of humanity. You amaze me.”


He glances around the lab. It’s just him and the equipment still. He sighs. No one cares that he’s sick. They just want results. They expect him to save their collective asses time and time again without stopping to even consider how hard it is. They’re stuck so far from home, dealing with alien technology they barely understand and that only a few of them can even operate, and they’re constantly attacked by things that want to eat them. How is that remotely conducive to useful scientific breakthroughs?


Not to mention this head cold that just will not quit. Normal, Earth head colds are never this bad. Sometimes they’ll hit hard or linger for a few more days than expected. But this one seems malicious. It’s literally out to kill him. Rodney is sure of it. He should bring in Sheppard about this, though the guy’s probably fast asleep right now. Must be nice to be asleep and not so sneezy. “hahh-EhhhChoo!


He rubs at his nose again, trying to buy himself some more time, because he’s gone through his options over and over again and they are limited. He can admit defeat and let everyone down by going back to his quarters. Or he can duck out to a bathroom and blow his nose. Or he can sit here and work and sniff and sniff and sniff. It's not like there's anyone around to get annoyed by the sound anyway.


hahh-Ahchooo!” Rodney sniffs and talks to himself again to fill the silence that is the lab at three in the morning. No one else is there because no one cares about their work the way he does. And no one cares about him, either. “Bless you, Rodney. You're so brave to work like this when your poor nose sounds so terrible. Can I get you some tissues?”


“You mean like these?”


Rodney whirls around. John Sheppard stands in the doorway of the lab, a jumbo box of Kleenex in his hand.


Rodney doesn't know where he got it or how he knew to bring it. But he reaches out with a needy whimper. John laughs and carries it over to him, where Rodney immediately helps himself to one and blows his runny nose into it repeatedly.


He wants to ask what John is doing here or why he's even awake at this time of night. But before he can say anything, John asks, “Can I get you anything? A glass of water? Some medicine?” And Rodney has to hurriedly take a few more tissues to blow his nose again so that he doesn't accidentally propose marriage.