John nodded in greeting when Rodney sat down. With Rodney everything was a big gesture, as if he were a recent drama school graduate with a lot to prove, so the act of sitting was performed with a bounce and a banged tray, after which Rodney tucked into the special du jour with enthusiasm. Ignorance was bliss in this case; John unfortunately had seen the animals before they were baked in their own gravy, and couldn't forget their pitiful bleating noises and the way they'd butted their friendly heads against his thighs. If only they hadn't named them. He had a feeling he was eating Tinkerbell. A man should never be able to say that.
He eyed Rodney across the table, observing that gender apparently had no effect on appetite. "I hear you've been terrorizing the science department with your breasts."
"I only flashed them once." Rodney slowed his chewing and tipped his temporarily feminine head. "Okay, twice. Kavanaugh literally fled before me, averting his eyes."
"Pure comedy gold," John said, grinning.
"If only I could get them to do that all the time. The longer these yo-yos are here, the more comfortable they get--they know we can't give them the boot into the next galaxy any old time we want. I almost wish they'd given me grad students. They're much easier to intimidate. More malleable."
"Speaking of breasts..." John cleared his throat and made a vague, encompassing gesture while Rodney stopped chewing to stare at him. "How's it...going? The whole shebang." He might have said more, but Elizabeth and Radek had come up and were taking seats. They'd obviously caught his question. Radek gave Rodney a squirrelly once-over and sat as if bracing for more breasts.
"Not as badly as I'd expected," Rodney said, unperturbed. "We've relinked the device to the mainframe--a masterful bit of work from Radek here." He bestowed an approving smile on Radek, who grimaced weakly in return. "Now we merely need to find a way to regulate the field fluctuations between the plates."
"Riiiight." John nodded, projecting his deep knowingness of what the hell that meant.
"For your sakes," Rodney went on breezily, "I just hope that we can reverse the process before PMS hits. Ha!"
Rodney was preening at his own joke, but Radek stood up abruptly enough that his chair clattered to the floor. He looked pale, and his hair had grown wilder in a single moment, as if lifted by a spike of frantic energy. "Excuse me--I must--" He ran from the room.
"Hmm," Rodney said, frowning and sniffing his forkful of diresh. "I hope this meat's not off. I really can't afford to get sick right now."
John exchanged a glance with Elizabeth. "Maybe he had a sudden epiphany." An epiphany of fear, he thought.