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A passing thought during "The Kindred, pt.1".
"—I just wanted to say—uh, sorry," John interrupted himself, fishing out the box he had inadvertently sat on. The paper was crumpled, ribbons bent.
Teyla took it from him. "It is all right; it was empty."
John noticed the blue and yellow flowers dotting the paper. "You had a shower?"
"A bath? No, it was a gift for the baby. From Rodney, in fact," and Teyla smiled with the particular gentle fondness that only their teammate inspired.
"Let me guess—baby's first calculator?"
"A recording," and Teyla gestured to the mp3 player and headphones on the desk. "To stimulate the child's mind. With Rodney's own...unique understandings."
"Oh, he didn't."
"For almost three hours."
"McKay ranted for three hours? Wow, you should totally upload it." Even after three years, Rodney's pre-siege video letter to home remained one of the top ten most downloaded files on the Atlantis server. Many a new scientist to Pegasus, after their first mistake and the inevitable reprimand from the head of science, had been calmed from hyperventilation or tears by a colleague whispering a well-timed, "A subject that is both near and dear to my heart: leadership..."
Teyla shook her head. "I do not believe this would be considered as entertaining. I have listened to much of it, and he spends it seriously, discussing his work."
"Some of his greater accomplishments, was what he told me. I do not understand most of what I have listened to—the science and mathematics are far beyond anything he has explained to me."
John picked up the mp3 player. "You're telling me this. Has three hours of Rodney talking about physics."
"I admit," Teyla said, "I first thought it...an eccentric gift. But Rodney took time and effort to make this for me—for my son. And even if the baby doesn't understand the words, the sound of a familiar voice can be soothing. It is not the lullabies my father sung to me, but it may suit my child as those songs did me."
"Soothing," John said, staring at the player. "Yeah. Hey, mind if I borrow this? Just for tonight."
"It is all right with me, but why?"
"Oh, nothing." John shrugged. "Just curious about what Rodney thinks is crucial science for a fetus to know. And it'd help me relax. Soothing, like you said." He smirked at Teyla. "You're on to something—what'd put anyone to sleep faster than McKay droning on about string theory?"
"As you say, John." Teyla's own smile was unreadable. "You are welcome to borrow it. Now, what did you come to ask me about?"
That night, John plugged the player into his laptop, copied the audio files to an unobtrusive folder. They came to several hundred megabytes, and he shook his head as he queued them up on the computer's playlist, grinning a little at the two hours and fifty-three minutes. He made sure the door's lock was activated, and tuned the speakers to just loud enough and no louder, like it'd sound if Rodney were sitting in the chair next to the bed, lecturing him on advanced theoretical physics.
Then he undid his belt and shucked off his pants, flopped back on the bed with the lotion and tissues next to the laptop, in easy reach; and hit play. Oh, yeah, relaxing...
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