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Tag to "Be All My Sins Remember'd," and my first McShep.
"You could've made her male, you know," Sheppard says.
Rodney looks up from his jello cup. "What?"
They're almost done dinner, and Sheppard is slouched back in his chair, one leg crossed over the other, elbow hooked on the back of his chair with his long fingers dangling lazily. His other arm is stretched across the table to pick raisins out of the decimated muffin on his tray. "Fran," he says. "Your femmebot."
He smirks and Rodney feels his cheeks go hot. He knew this was coming, expected it a lot sooner, really. "She's not—it was just—we didn't exactly have many alternatives, it wasn't like I wanted—"
It's difficult to put together a compelling argument, though, because honestly, he hasn't figured out any other purpose for that particular bit of Replicator-replication tech. It wasn't actually a prototype, and it certainly wasn't intended for mass production, and considering the nature of the design interface...the Ancients were Ancients, but they were only human, in the end.
"So you say." Sheppard shrugs. "You could've made her a guy-bot, though. It would have gotten less sympathy if it had been a Schwarzenegger-type soldier android going to its destruction, just doing its programmed duty. Weirded people out less."
"Yeah, well," Rodney says. "The way the machine worked, that wasn't really..."
The thing is, the creation wasn't at all difficult. Uncomfortably user-friendly, in fact; he'd had it entirely mastered in an hour or so. And there was the inevitable mental component, as with most Ancient tech, but he'd figured out that part quick enough, too.
So really, it had to be female. Making a female model, all he'd had to do to avoid the embarrassingly revelatory jokes was to concentrate on, no blonde hair, no blonde hair.
If it had been male, though, he would have had that whole list to avoid—no curved-bow lips set in a cool half-smile, no narrow long face scruffed up with perpetual stubble, no slinky lithe torso with a spine like a leopard's, no canted hips with the belt slung too low, no strong quick fingers curling casually around a pistol butt, no freakishly elven ears, no muss of dark hair going in all impossible angles—no rakish—no hazel eyes that could be blue in the infirmary or green in the sunlight or gold when he focused right on you and no one else...
Far simpler to make it female.
Rodney glares across the table at Sheppard, thinking, no. "It wasn't really an option," he says.
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