Same Old Song and Dance



"Would you care to explain this?"

A sheaf of paper was dropped unceremoniously on Anar's desk. He sighed. "What is it now? You want it in red? Striped?"

"The shape, Anar, the shape!"

Anar shrugged, not looking at the careful designs, the culmination of an endeavour he'd laboured over for years. He'd done it; it was perfect; he was moving on. So much to discover...

"It's a doorway, Anar."

"Of sorts," Anar granted.

Garis turned and gestured wildly at the doorway he'd just used. "Doors are rectangular!"

"This one isn't. And I prefer to think of it as a gate."

"Gates are rectangular, too, Anar."

Garis had flushed an unbecoming shade of purple. Amusing.

"This one isn't."

"We've named it! It's going to sound ridiculous if it's not a door shape."

"Named it?" For the first time Anar gave Garis his full attention. "Named it what?"

Garis fidgeted with his belt, picking at a loose thread, his flush fading as he took in Anar's ominous expression. "They, well, they went with my suggestion, actually. A great honour, to be sure..."

"Garis..." Anar's voice held a warning.

"It's going to be called the Daw."

"What?"

Garis giggled nervously. "It's rather clever, don't you think? 'Doorway Accessed by Wormhole': D.A.W, and it sounds like..."

"I know what it sounds like." Anar sighed and rubbed at his eyes. Aching, stinging; how long had he been working this time? "It's a circle, it's staying purple because it's my favourite colour, and it's called the Stargate. It's not up for discussion."

***

"Purple? He wanted it to be purple?"

Sheppard stared at McKay. "Rodney?"

"I saw this office," Rodney told him, waving his hand around and narrowly missing Sheppard's nose. On the desk before him a cube stopped glowing. "Only it was messier."

"Really? Messier?"

"I bonded with him at once. Fellow spirits."

"Bonding? Really? Bonding?"

"Mmm. And stop that; it's not funny and never has been. Maybe he's an ancestor of mine... or would that be creepy, with the bonding thing?"

"Whoever kept this... diary, was an Ancient, Rodney. You don't have the gene, therefore –"

"Maybe I'm adopted..."

"Now, see, that makes no sense at all."

"I wonder why they're not purple? He seemed like the sort of man who got his own way... unless..."

"Why what aren't purple?"

"The Daws. Keep up, will you? I'll need an extra ten years on my life if I have to keep explaining myself to you at the end of every sentence."

"Rodney, you're making less sense than normal and if you want to see how good I am at keeping up with you, join Ronon and me the next time we go jogging. I don't know about you, but I find all this disturbing and I think you should stop poking into other people's private... stuff. No more hooking up with your adopted uncle a thousand times removed and no more bonding with people who like purple."

"You don't like purple?"

"Clashes with my eyes. Plus, there's the whole traumatised by Barney incident I left Earth to forget. Can we get you to Carson? Please?"

Rodney stood, staggered, and collapsed into Sheppard's unready arms. "Okay, I'm fine, I'm just a little... giddy."

He wasn't, and Anar hadn't really wanted the Stargates to be purple. You got what you wanted in life by compromising.

Or pretending to.

Or just pretending.

Sheppard's eyes darkened with concern and his arms tightened, just a little. Nice. Rodney felt as much guilt as Anar had; close to zero.

Really close.

Like Sheppard, all the way to the infirmary.



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