Some Days Are Longer Than Others
by Brat Farrar
When the balloon animal first appears on Rodney’s desk-counter-table-thing, he thinks nothing of it. He’s in the middle of trying to keep something Very Important from turning into a pile of liquid metal and crystal shards, there are four marines and a botanist trapped in a rapidly-shrinking room, and Zelenka and Sheppard are in the infirmary being treated for electrical burns. So his only reaction to the pink thing is to shove it out of the way and continue working.
Later, though, once the Very Important piece of equipment has been stabilized, the marines and slightly-squashed botanist have been rescued, and Zelenka and Sheppard have been kicked out of the infirmary for arguing over whether some ridiculously large number is prime or not, he finds himself staring at the thing, unable to decide what sort of animal it’s supposed to be, and if he should be insulted that it’s pink.
He hasn’t decided ten minutes later, when Ronon shows up, eating a cookie.
“Sheppard says I’m supposed to make sure you go to bed,” he rumbles.
“Right,” Rodney says, still staring at the balloon animal. If the neck (or what he thinks is the neck—it’s a little hard to tell) were a couple inches longer, he’d say it was a giraffe, but it’s not, and the ears are really too big anyway.
Ronon finishes his cookie, and pokes the balloon animal with one finger. It rolls over onto what’s either its back or deformed tail. “Didn’t come out very well.” Rodney’s too tired to decide if he sounds disapproving or disappointed.
“I can’t even figure out what it’s supposed to be,” he confesses, and picks it up, turning it over in his hands.
“It’s a hruknor.” Ronon gives him a push in the direction of the doorway to the lab.
“Oh,” Rodney says, and lets himself be steered. Maybe it will make more sense in the morning.