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“I wish you would talk to me,” John says, and he can’t believe he’s the one saying that to Rodney. “You know, uh, if you need me - us - we’re - I’m - here.”

Rodney whirls around in sudden fury. “You! Have got! To be kidding me! You gave Colonel Fuckface a lemon. You know I could die, and you gave him a lemon. How can I believe you when you did that?”

John rocks back on his heels. “Rodney-”

“No, Colonel, shut up and listen.” Rodney was getting really, truly angry now, and John felt slightly sick. “Do you know how many times people have threatened me with death by citrus? Do you know how many people have thought I was lying or exaggerating, and sent me to the hospital? No, you don’t, and I never thought you’d be one of them! I guess I should have expected it, that you’d give me up in a heartbeat for someone like him.”

John just stands there and lets Rodney yell at him. Finally, the tirade winds down, and Rodney leans forward. “Well? Aren’t you going to pull the ‘just a joke’ card?”

“Nope,” John says. “You’re right.”

Rodney’s jaw drops. “Wh- what?”

“I said you’re right. It was a shitty thing to do. I shouldn’t have done that.” John consciously uses the I-statement, the way Heightmeyer had told him to try. “I was upset with you, but I shouldn’t have taken it out on you by giving Cam the lemon.”

Rodney’s still shocked, but that pulls him out of it enough to ask, “Why were you upset? I didn’t do anything!”

John takes a deep breath. “I feel… upset when…” 

He pauses so long that Rodney says, “Just spit it out! Forget the I-message.”

He looks at a point just to the left of Rodney’s ear like he’s delivering a report to a superior officer. “I don’t like it when you make sexual comments in public, especially to someone like Colonel Carter. It’s inappropriate at best and sexual harassment at the worst.”

“I’m not- !” Rodney cuts himself off as he notices John’s flinch. “What?”

“It makes me and the colonel uncomfortable, Rodney.”

“I can’t help it! She’s just-”

“No,” John says harshly, more than he intended. “No, you can. You have no problem treating Elizabeth with respect and dignity. You just don’t want to treat Colonel Carter like a person.”

“How dare you,” Rodney starts.

John turns on his heel. “I’m walking away from this conversation before I get angrier,” he tosses over his shoulder. “Email me.”

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