Changeling

~ Written for terrie01 in exchange for lovely icons.

Rodney gave them the most quelling look he had ever seen. Radek waved it aside, long since used to ignoring the way Rodney intended his looks of death to actually kill.

"So how do you know?" Radek asked.

"Ex-CUSE me?" Rodney asked, eyes widening in surprise.

"How do you know? I say 'show me evidence' and you tell me you cannot. You claim that you do not have any proof--"

"I did not say I don't have proof!" Rodney snapped. "What I said was I don't speak the language and I don't have pointed ears and I can't do any of that... hand-waving mystic nonsense. I never said I don't have proof!"

Radek waited. He glanced over at John, who was holding back a laugh, which got him glared at again. It didn't seem to have any more affect on him than it did on Radek. Immunity from exposure, Radek guessed.

"So?" Radek asked, when Rodney didn't immediately offer his proof.

Rodney folded his arms and glared at them both. "I *am*," he said again.

"Ah. Excellent proof," Radek said, nodding. "And I am fairy."

John coughed.

"Oh, yes. Bad example." Radek nodded. They looked over as Carson walked in.

"What's this about?" he asked, sounding tired. Rodney had called him ten minutes ago, demanding he come down right now. After admitting there was no medical emergency, and that Rodney simply wanted him to back Rodney up on something -- something he wouldn't detail over the radio -- he'd promised to come down as soon as he could. Maybe.

"Will you please tell them I am so an elf."

Carson blinked, and Radek could see Carson asking himself if he had really been dragged away from his work for this. But then he nodded, and said to Radek and John, "He's an elf."

"What is your proof?" Radek asked, more interested than derisive.

"I've given him his physicals, before we ever left Earth and here on Atlantis, with the Ancients' equipment. He's not human." Carson paused, then added, "And his dick is--"

"They don't need to know that part," Rodney said quickly.

"Yes, we do," John said. "His dick is what?"

Carson glanced at Rodney, who was giving him the death glare. Radek tried to recall who that glare worked on, anymore. The lab assistants, perhaps?

"Well," Carson began.

"Say it and you will never, ever, see it again."

Carson closed his mouth with an audible snap.

Radek sighed. "Then there is no proof, and I do not believe you. But it was very entertaining for," he glanced at his watch "Fifteen minutes, for you to claim otherwise."

"I'm not claiming anything," Rodney said. "I *am* an elf."

Radek leaned over and looked at Rodney's ears again.

"I *said* they aren't pointed. Don't you think that little bit of obvious anatomy would have been taken care of before they ever left me with a pair of humans? And what a lovely choice they turned out to be -- their real kid should thank me for taking his place."

"His dick is what?" John asked Carson again.

Carson shook his head.

"Oh, come on," John begged. "I'm never going to be able to sleep, wondering what the hell his dick is. And he'll cave in, eventually. He can't not have sex with you for more than a week. I know, I've heard him whine about it when we're off-planet for too many days."

The clipboard that Rodney threw bounced off John without apparently doing too much damage. There was another glare at Carson, but Rodney didn't seem willing to throw anything at him -- perhaps John was correct about Rodney not wanting to cut himself off.

"His dick is--" Carson began, then grinned. "Elven."

"Elvish," Rodney snapped.

"Elven," Carson returned, frowning.

"Elvish. Who's the elf, here? *Elvish*."

"That doesn't really tell me anything," John interrupted what looked like it could be a very long argument.

"Oh for god's sake." Rodney said, and stood up. Radek felt his eyes pop out as he realised Rodney was going to show them. He forced himself not to blink -- it wasn't difficult at all, as Rodney undid his trousers and pulled them down.

"Oh," John said.

"Yes," Radek agreed. "Oh."

Rodney pulled his trousers back up, fastening them and giving them all a glare which said he clearly expected this information to never leave the room, on pain of very nasty things happening to something precious to them, like perhaps their laptops or their own dicks.

"The floral pattern is natural, then? Not a tattoo?" Radek asked.

"Die," Rodney hissed.

"It's natural," Carson said, nodding. "Trust me." He gave Rodney a fond leer. "I've seen it up close many times."

"OK, I vote for less weird," John said. They all looked at him. He waved at the room. "Next week. I vote for nothing weird happening. Five days of no weird."

"Five days?" Radek asked.

"You think that's too much?" John frowned. "Four days, and give it Friday off?"

"I think we should tell you about Kavanagh now, then, if you want to have no weird next week." Radek exchanged a look with Rodney. Technically they weren't supposed to tell anyone -- but neither of them was afraid of what Kavanagh might do if he found out.

John took a deep breath. "OK. Hit me."

"Back on Earth, he volunteers with the humane society," Rodney said.

John blinked at him.

Rodney nodded. "He spends his free time saving kittens and puppies."

John's head fell forward, into his hands, and he moaned. "My world is going to explode."

Radek reached over and patted him on the shoulder. "It probably will, but it will happen before next week. So you will not actually get your four days."

"Someone should warn Elizabeth," John said, voice partially muffled by his hands. "So when my brain detonates, it won't come as a shock. Tell her Bates can be in charge."

"Ah," Radek began, then stopped. Several seconds went by before John lifted his head and stared at him.

"I do *not* want to know, do I?" John asked. Carson and Rodney were looking at him with interest, and Radek realised none of them knew.

Radek cleared his throat. "It's just that... he said he doesn't want to be in charge."

"When did he say that?" John demanded.

"Er, more than once. You know." Radek glanced around, wondering if perhaps they'd been a little too discreet, if none of them had any clue. "Pillow talk."

John stared. Carson looked surprised, and Rodney just looked confused.

"I'm sorry I asked. I'm sorry I ever asked," he added, looking at Rodney. "In fact, I'm sorry I ever agreed to come to Atlantis. Or even joined the Air Force. Or... OK, I'm sorry I ever hit Melvin in the third grade."

"Melvin?" Carson asked.

"Whiney little brat," John said. "I hit him to shut him up about something. Gave him a bloody nose and his twin sister said she hoped I lived an interesting life evermore." He shuddered. "All that time, I thought she was joking. I think she cursed me."

Rodney leaned forward and put a hand on John's forehead. Then he nodded. "She did. Want it removed?"

John's eyes went wide. "I thought you couldn't do that mystical nonsense."

"Oh, please. Curses aren't nonsense, they're scientifically verifiable." Rodney waved a hand. "Do you want it removed, or don't you?"

"That is why your computer never crashes!" Radek exclaimed. "And your files are never corrupted, and your emails never bounce, and--" Radek swallowed. Dear god, it was true. "You *are* an elf."

He stared at Rodney, suddenly realising that it was true. An *elf*.

Rodney rolled his eyes. "No, I am not introducing you to anyone when we get home. And no, Tolkien got most of it wrong." He shifted in his chair, and said, "Except the part about dwarves."

"Which part?" John asked, sounding somewhat stunned.

"The part where they're really rather attractive," Rodney mumbled.

"Short, hairy, live underground?" John asked. "Those guys?"

Carson cleared his throat. "Not short. Really."

And he was blushing.

John just dropped his head into his hands again. Then he asked, "Rodney, would you please remove my curse now?"