Professional Ethics

Rating: G

Rodney McKay, with Girl Scout cookies, for Minxy.

"I told you," Rodney said, not even coming close to knocking on Elizabeth's door, "that we should have kept the rule about not taking people with children. Have you seen this?" He waved a thumb drive at her.

Elizabeth smiled. Smiling was often the best way to deal with Rodney, she found. It knocked him off balance. "Rodney, I'm failing to see the connection between your thumb drive and parenthood. If there's a specific problem—"

"Yes, there's a specific problem! Do you know what Dr. Hmieleski wants me to include in tomorrow's databurst?"

He waited for a reply, as if Elizabeth might possibly pick the answer out of thin air. Sometimes, she was charmed by Rodney's assumption that everyone else ought to be able to read his mind. On the other hand, she wasn't inclined to coddle it. "No, Rodney, actually I don't."

With a digusted expression, he closed the thumb drive in his fist. "The Atlantis Girl Scout cookie order."

"Really?" Elizabeth perked up, then drooped a little internally, though she didn't think it showed on her face. "I knew she had a daughter, but I didn't know she was taking cookie orders. That's marvelous."

"Marvelous?" Rodney scoffed. "It's emotional blackmail, it's inappropriate behavior in the workplace, and I'm not going to support it by attaching the order sheet to our highly expensive databurst. Besides, she's doing her daughter's work for her. It's bad parenting."

Elizabeth perched on the edge of her desk and brought out the smile again. "How many boxes did you order?"

"Oh," he said, distracted by the question. "Three, actually. Two of the Samoas and one of the Trefoils. I don't like Thin Mints, they melt all over your fingers, it's a mess, the laptops get disgusting..."

"Rodney," Elizabeth said. "Include the order. The ZPM will take it, and I think the Daedalus has enough room for a few boxes of cookies."

He opened his mouth, paused, turned to go, turned back, said, "Right," and left. Elizabeth caught the door just in time to shout "Have her bring the order form through Administration!" after him. Some of the Gateroom staff turned to look, but she didn't care. She hadn't had a Tagalong in years.

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