Category: First time
Summary: Is imitation the sincerest form of flattery?
"What is the nature of your medical emergency?" Carson asked as he entered the laboratory and looked around. He spied a drop of blood on the floor beside Radek's chair and looked up. Radek rose to his feet with a guilty look on his face.
"It's not me," he said sheepishly. "And it's not exactly an emergency."
"What, then?" Carson replied with a sigh of exasperation.
"He would not go to the infirmary," Radek explained with a nod toward the lab's other occupant. "That is important with head injuries, no?" Carson turned to look at Rodney, who was huddled over his computer and typing furiously. Carson noted that there were more drops of blood on the floor leading to his workstation.
"Rodney?" he said worriedly. The astrophysicist lifted a bloodied hand to hold him off.
"Not now, Carson!" he replied. "I need to get this all down while I still can. I may pass out any moment now from loss of blood and I just had this flash of brilliance that could well be lost forever if I--."
"There!" Radek exclaimed. "Proof he is unwell! When have you ever heard Rodney McKay worry about losing his brilliance?" Carson declined to respond to the question, but Rodney objected to the distracting chatter.
"Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!" he spat. "I've got to do this before it's too late!"
"Oh, for Pete's sake," Carson replied, grabbing the back of Rodney's chair. He turned it around and tried unsuccessfully to suppress a smile when he saw the cut over Rodney's left eye. He'd apparently staunched the bleeding with a wad of tissue--secured with a bit of cellophane tape--as a temporary measure. The tissue was soaked through and blood was dribbling out from under the tape.
"Go away, Carson!" he said angrily. "I already told Radek I'd go to the infirmary as soon as I'm finished with this!"
"...Or I could just slap a plaster on it now and save you a trip," Carson said, a smile escaping his lips. "It's probably a minor laceration."
"A minor laceration!. You call this a minor laceration?" Rodney cried, ripping away the makeshift bandage. "Ow! Ow! Shit! That hurts!" Carson sighed and shook his head. He set down his kit and opened it, searching for a few items.
"Let me take a look at it."
"No!" Rodney replied, slapping the doctor's hands away. "No! I'm bleeding profusely here. I can feel myself growing faint and you're wasting valuable time that would be better spent--"
"Don't be stupid, Rodney! Let me clean and dress your wound," Carson insisted. "If you're dizzy it's only because you're ranting like a madman. Now sit down, shut your mouth and just breathe."
"How can I--. All right," Rodney sighed exasperatedly. He slumped in his seat and allowed Carson to attend to his cut. But Carson had only just begun cleaning the wound when he was summoned to the gate room.
"I've got to go," Carson said, hastily closing his kit. "Apparently, there's someone out there who really needs medical attention."
"Are you suggesting that this isn't a legitimate injury?" Rodney replied. Carson paid no attention to him; he grabbed up his kit and took off. "That's it?" Rodney complained. "I'm still bleeding!" He turned to Radek. "He didn't even bother to close the cut! I could bleed to death."
"Perhaps now you will go to the infirmary," Radek said. "And I can work in peace without you spilling blood everywhere," he added under his breath.
"Come with me," Rodney demanded.
"You know the way; go by yourself."
"What if I pass out on the way?"
"I should be so lucky," Radek muttered. But he sighed, rose from his seat and escorted his colleague into the corridor. The two men quickly caught up with Carson and followed him to the gate room.
"I'm still bleeding!" Rodney said accusingly. "It's a small wonder that I managed to get this far without collapsing. Really, Carson, if you can't handle a simple bandage job, how--." They reached the gate room and saw John and Teyla talking with Elizabeth and three members of the science contingent. "These people need medical attention more than I do? They all look fine to me!" Rodney complained as his eyes scanned the gate room for the third member of his team. He spotted Aiden at the far side of the room and smiled slightly, relieved that to see that he was uninjured. But Aiden was engaged in a heated discussion with another Marine and Rodney frowned curiously, just as the object of Aiden's anger turned and looked up at him. "Oh. Well, that's different," he managed to say before his mouth froze into a gape of shock.
“I'll say," Carson replied.
"Two Lieutenant Fords? Are my eyes deceiving me?" Radek asked as he looked from one man to the other. For a few seconds, the three men stared at the spectacle of two Aiden Fords standing before them in the gate room.
"Carson," Elizabeth said, coming over to join the newcomers. "As you can see, we have a bit of a problem."
"That's an understatement if there ever was one," he replied. "How on Earth--?"
"We aren't on Earth, remember?" John said with a smirk.
"Oh, my," Radek said softly. He walked over and peered at the nearest Lieutenant Ford, who gazed back at him calmly.
"Hey, Dr. Z," he said with a wry smile.
"Let me guess," Rodney said, recovering his powers of speech. "You passed by a sale at 'Clones 'R' Us' on your way back to the gate and couldn't resist the urge to bring home that cute little Ford in the window." Both Aidens smiled at him. Rodney swallowed hard and averted his eyes.
"What happened to your head, Doc?" the Aidens asked in unison, reaching out to touch the wounded area. They immediately withdrew their hands and glared at each other.
"What do you think you're doing?"
"What do you think you're doing?" the other Aiden asked. "You don't even know Dr. McKay!"
"Oh, I know Dr. McKay," his twin answered. "You're the one who--."
A single cough from John silenced the two men.
"Which one of them is the original?" Carson asked as he walked over to one of the Aidens and examined him closely.
"That's the $64,000 question, Doc," John replied. "We have no idea."
"I'm the real Aiden Ford," both men said in unison. They glared at one another and John rolled his eyes.
"How did this happen?" Carson asked, squinting at the back of Aiden's neck.
"What are you looking for, a price tag?" Rodney snapped. He walked over and grabbed the other Aiden by the arm and drew him over to his twin. "The resemblance is uncanny."
"It's more than uncanny, Rodney," Carson said. "They're bloody identical."
"They can't be identical," Rodney reasoned. "One of them is a twenty-something American male born on Earth and the other is a recently minted copy. There have to be discernible differences."
"Well, they aren't discernible to the naked eye," John replied.
"How closely have you looked?" Carson asked. John glanced at Rodney.
"Not as closely as some," he said, resisting the temptation to say something more direct about the way Rodney was staring at the pair of Aidens. "That's why we called you, Doc," he said. "You probably know him better than anyone around here--at least physiologically. You'd know better than any of us what to look for."
"Can you do some sort of analysis to determine which one is the original?" Elizabeth asked.
"Well, I... I suppose I could do an analysis at the DNA level," Carson reasoned. "But a basic physical would be the first thing. That might tell us all we need to know."
"Why don't we take this up to the conference room. We're drawing a crowd here," John suggested, noting that the twin Aidens were drawing stares from both the security detail and the technicians in the gate room. Elizabeth nodded and John led the way up the stairs.
"Do we need additional security?" she asked quietly when she caught up with him. She glanced back and noted that Sergeant Bates was following the two Aidens up the steps.
"I don't think so," John replied. "They seem harmless enough. Everything they say and do is by-the-book Aiden Ford."
"Except that there are two of him," Teyla said.
"Well, there is that," he conceded wryly.
"Our Aiden Ford is potentially a very dangerous man, John," Elizabeth said.
"He is unarmed," Teyla said. Rodney scoffed at her comment.
"Aiden Ford was an expert in unarmed combat tactics before he came to the Pegagus Galaxy and met you," he said, stealing a sidelong glance at one of the men under discussion. "Now he probably knows more ways to kill a man barehanded than Baskin Robbins has flavors."
"And we've got two of him," Radek pointed out.
"I do not understand," Teyla said with a frown.
"We don't need additional security," John insisted, glaring at Rodney. John took his usual seat at the table, as did the others. The two Aidens moved toward the same seat and then paused in confusion.
"Sit down, lieutenant. ...Lieutenants," John commanded. The two men exchanged a glance and took seats beside one another.
"How is this possible?" Radek said, gesturing toward the pair. He'd directed his question at Rodney, who shook his head.
"We are not certain how it happened," Teyla began. "One minute there was one man, then suddenly there were two."
"And you saw him spontaneously appear?" Rodney asked curiously.
"No," John said. "We'd split up into three groups. I was trying to mediate an argument between our two geologists when it happened."
"We weren't arguing," Edward Durst said insistently. "I was merely trying to explain to my colleague--."
"And I was helping Dr. Werner pack her gear," Teyla interrupted with a nod at the botanist across the table. "We got a distress call from Dr. McClaren. By the time Major Sheppard and I arrived at the scene, there were two Lieutenant Fords and they were shouting at one another." Elizabeth looked over at the two Aidens.
"This guy just appeared out of nowhere and started--!" the first Aiden said.
"The major sent me to fetch Dr. McClaren," the second Aiden insisted. "I was checking up on him when this guy--."
"You mean he sent me," the other one spat back, with a glare at his twin.
"Which of them is--?" Elizabeth said, turning to John.
"Go ahead, ask again," he said, sitting back. "Which of you is Lieutenant Aiden Ford?"
"I am," the two men said in unison.
"Which one of you is the original Aiden Ford?" Elizabeth asked with a worried look.
"I'm the original," the two lieutenants replied immediately. They began to argue again. John sighed and shook his head.
"Stand down," he commanded. The two Aidens immediately quieted, though they continued to glare at one another. "Now you know why I brought them both back."
"Wait a minute." All heads turned as Bates spoke for the first time. He stared at the two Aidens, who sighed and rolled their eyes; Elizabeth observed the pair with morbid fascination. "There's got to be a way to know who is who."
"Agreed," John said. "But lacking that ability in the field and having an unexpected seismic event thrown in as an added distraction--."
"Seismic event?" Radek and Rodney exclaimed.
"We heard a low rumble and the ground shook for a few seconds," John explained. "I don't know what it was--it certainly wasn't anything that should have happened, according to our experts on scene. We got everything together and got the hell out of there."
"Wait a minute, wait a minute," Rodney cried. "You had two geologists on that planet and neither of them read any signs of an impending seismic event? No seismicity patterns, no unusual concentration of radon or hydrogen in the soil, no tremors, no--?"
"Nothing," Durst said.
"I know that neither you nor Forrester is Nobel Prize material," Rodney said, "but even a chimpanzee with a seismograph can predict an earthquake."
"I resent that, McKay!" Robert Forrester shouted back. "You know perfectly well that we haven't had time to amass a proper data set that would make such projections feasible. We only installed the seismograph a week ago. There wasn't enough information to have predicted an earthquake or any other seismic event."
"It was completely spontaneous," Durst agreed.
"Look, I want to know all about your scientific findings," Elizabeth said. "Every detail; but first I'd like to know how we came to have two Lieutenant Fords." She turned to McClaren. "You were with him. What did you see?"
"Not much," the environmental scientist said. "I'd found a natural cave and was exploring it when the ground began to shake. I heard people calling my name and came out. The two of them were standing there. I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me, but they were real enough. They started arguing with one another; when they drew their weapons I contacted Sheppard and he came running."
"And I figured that whatever had happened, we were better off dealing with it here rather than there," John concluded. "We disarmed them, let them get cleaned up, and headed back to Atlantis."
"Cleaned up?" Radek, Carson, Rodney and Elizabeth all spoke at once. John shrugged.
"They were covered in dust," he explained, gesturing at the pair of Marines. "Probably picked it up while they were rolling around on the ground." Elizabeth frowned and John shrugged. "There was a scuffle or two."
"Actually, it was some sort of fallout from the seismic event," the Aidens said. Elizabeth shut her eyes for a moment and then opened them again. Seeing and hearing two Aiden Fords was extremely unnerving.
"Ash?" Rodney asked curiously. "I don't recall any indication of volcanic activity on that planet." The twin Marines shrugged and Rodney blinked at them, mesmerized by their nearly synchronous movement.
"Ford--. The Fords--. They dusted themselves off and washed their faces in the lake. Then we all headed back," John repeated. Elizabeth turned to the two Aidens and sighed, not sure how to even begin interrogating them. An idea occurred to her and she turned back to John.
"Major, would you escort one of these gentlemen to the infirmary so Dr. Beckett can perform a complete physical?" she asked. "I'd like to speak with the other one." John nodded crisply and rose. Both Aidens also rose to their feet. John heaved an exasperated sigh and pointed at the one nearer to the door.
"You. With me."
"Yes, sir," Aiden replied. He followed John out of the room with Carson close behind. Bates nodded at a security guard standing near the door and he went after them.
"Now then," Elizabeth said to the remaining Aiden as he resumed his seat. "I'd like to hear your story."
"Yes, ma'am," he replied as Elizabeth felt the first throbs of what promised to be a major headache. "We stepped through the gate and headed for the site we'd set up on our previous visit. We split up into groups and the science teams began to do their thing. The rest of us helped out and provided security. Dr. McClaren and Dr. Werner wanted to collect samples from different areas and the major okayed it. Teyla went with Werner and I followed McClaren. After a couple of hours we were called back to our base of operations to check in and to eat."
"Can we skip to the important part?"
"She asked for every detail, sergeant," Rodney explained to Bates. "Besides, you never know; some seemingly minor thing just might prove to be relevant." He sat back and nodded for Aiden to resume his tale.
"It was very hot and we were pretty tired from hiking around all morning so we took our time with our meal. McClaren finished first and--."
"He inhaled his food, as usual," Durst said.
"We had a mission to accomplish," McClaren replied. "While the rest of you were sitting around making sophomoric jokes I decided to finish my lunch and get on with it."
"Had you waited for the rest of us, Lieutenant Ford might not have suffered this fate," Forrester said accusingly, gesturing in Aiden's direction. Rodney rolled his eyes.
"Would you two focus?" he shouted. "Can't you see we've got a crisis here?" Elizabeth quickly interjected to forestall any additional outbursts.
"Why don't you continue, lieutenant?"
"As I was saying, McClaren wanted to get back to work. He had words with the others and took off. The major told me to keep an eye on him, so I went after him," Aiden said. "He has a tendency to find trouble on his own."
"And this time you found it," Bates said, mostly to himself. Elizabeth glared at him for a second before turning back to Aiden.
"What happened then?" she asked. Aiden sat up straighter in his seat and folded his hands, very much the picture of the Aiden Ford Elizabeth knew. For a brief moment, she imagined that she was in a routine post-mission briefing.
"It's like the doctor said--I saw him enter that cave and called him."
"And when did you realize that you were calling in stereo?"
"Please, Rodney," Elizabeth said, rubbing her temple as the reality of the situation reasserted itself. "Lieutenant?" Aiden shrugged.
"I was calling McClaren and the ground began to shake. I fell to my knees and rode it out. When it was over, I dusted myself off and got up. I didn't see the other guy until McClaren started shouting."
"So what do you think, Doc? Can we figure out which is which?" John asked while he and Carson waited for Aiden to change into an examination gown.
"I certainly hope so. If not, we might find ourself with--. Ah, come on out, lad, and hop up on the table," Carson said when Aiden appeared from behind the curtain. "That's it. Now if you'll excuse us, major," he said quietly.
"Are you sure you--."
"The lieutenant and I will manage nicely on our own," Carson assured him. "We'll call if you're needed." John reluctantly left the two men and went to wait near the entrance. "Now then, Aiden, let me get a good look at you." Carson drew the curtain and checked all of Aiden's vital signs before ordering him to strip. He carefully examined every inch of Aiden's skin and drew blood and tissue samples for study. Aiden endured the examination patiently. When he was done, Aiden changed and he and John returned to the conference room.
"And are you absolutely sure you didn't you see or touch anything in the area?" Elizabeth asked McClaren as John and Aiden returned to the conference room. "Back at the SGC, I read numerous accounts of people accidentally triggering mechanisms simply by breaking an electronic field or--."
"Why does everyone always assume that anything that goes wrong is my fault? Perhaps the lieutenant touched something," McClaren protested. "After all, he's the one who got zapped by whatever it was that did that to him."
"Which one?" the two Aidens asked in perfect sarcastic unison. John rolled his eyes.
"Your turn," he said to the one who was seated.
"Yes, sir," the lieutenant replied. He rose and, pausing only to glare at his twin, followed John from the room.
"Why don't you give us your account of what happened back there?" Elizabeth suggested when the remaining Aiden resumed his seat.
"Yes, ma'am," he replied. "We stepped through the gate and headed for the site we'd set up on our previous visit. We split up into groups and the science teams began to do their thing. The rest of us helped out and provided security. Dr. McClaren and Dr. Werner wanted to collect samples from a different area and the major okayed it. Teyla went with Werner and I followed McClaren. After a couple of hours we were called back to our base of operations to check in and to eat."
Everyone's mouth fell open as Aiden continued to give his account. Rodney rose from his seat and went over to him. He bent and stared at his face as he spoke. Aiden returned a confused expression.
"It's not possible," Rodney concluded. "There's no possible way he could--." He straightened up and headed for the door.
"Where are you going?" Elizabeth cried as he returned and grabbed Aiden by the arm.
"I'm taking him back to the infirmary," Rodney said. "This one is the doppleganger." He didn't wait for a reply; he led Aiden down the corridor with Bates and Zelenka on his heels. Aiden insisted that he was the real Aiden Ford, but his protest fell on deaf ears. He offered no resistance to McKay, in spite of his protests, docilely allowing himself be towed through the city like a small child."I don't need protection, sergeant," Rodney said exasperatedly when he realized the others were behind him. "I can assure you that Lieutenant Ford isn't going to do me any harm."
"You just said this wasn't Lieutenant Ford," Bates replied.
"I am Aiden Ford!" Aiden insisted.
"He's not the original, no," Rodney said with a patient smile for him. "But he is an amazing facsimile and no more a danger to me than the Aiden Ford I met back at the SGC," Rodney said confidently.
"How can you be so sure?" Radek asked, peering at Aiden's face.
"Hello? Genius here!" Rodney said as he stepped into the transporter. Bates and Radek followed the pair, eyes fixed on the silent lieutenant.
"He's not even trying to deny it, is he?" Bates observed. Aiden glared back at him but remained silent as the doors opened and Rodney took him by the hand.
"How are you feeling, Aiden?" Carson asked, wondering whether the man before him was the one he knew. Aiden smiled impishly.
"Same way I felt the last time you asked me."
"And when was that?"
"About 0800 this morning during our pre-mission physical," he replied. Carson smiled and told him to get dressed.
"What do you think?” John asked, as soon as Aiden was out of earshot. Carson shrugged.
"It's too soon to draw any conclusions," he said. "There are no obvious differences between them, at least none discernible to the naked eye." He was about to elaborate when there was a commotion at the door.
"McKay?" John said warily when he saw Rodney enter the infirmary with Aiden. His eyes instantly fell to their joined hands and Rodney self-consciously released him.
"This is the fake," he announced smugly. Carson turned and regarded the two men. Aiden came out of the dressing room still clad in his examination gown.
"Great!" he shouted. "I'm out of here."
"Wait, lieutenant," Carson said. "How can you be so sure, Rodney? I haven't even begun an analysis of the data I collected!"
"Your analysis will confirm my conclusions," Rodney assured him.
"What makes you so certain that he's not our Ford?" John asked, nodding his chin at the man standing near the door.
"This one is aping the original," Rodney said. "I've been closely observing them both since they arrived and this one is just a hair behind the other one."
"And you noticed this--?" Carson began doubtfully.
"How can you be so sure?" John asked. He squinted at Rodney suspiciously.
"Just now, up in the conference room, he gave an almost word for word account--a practically verbatim rendition of what that one--." He turned and pointed at the Aiden in the hospital gown. "...Said a short time ago. You both saw it, didn't you?"
Bates and Radek nodded vigorously.
"That doesn't necessarily mean--." Carson's comment was abruptly cut off.
"Look, we can try it the other way around and see if this one can do it, too, but I'm telling you, that is the Aiden Ford we brought with us through the gate a year ago," Rodney said firmly. "I'd stake my life on it."
"Don't be so cocky, McKay! It could be the loss of blood talking," Radek said warily.
"Nonsense! I feel perfectly fine!" Rodney declared. "I know Aiden Ford and I know exactly which one is he."
"Thank you, Doc!" Aiden said emphatically. He crossed the room and approached his twin. "Now all we have to do is find out who you are and where you came from."
"I'm Aiden Ford," the other man insisted, but it was clear that he seemed less confident in the face of the new evidence. He shook his head in confusion. "I'm Aiden Ford. I--."
"You're a liar!" the other Aiden spat. Carson grabbed his arm and he fell silent.
"Let's wait until we have a definitive answer before we start making accusations," he said gently.
"But you heard Dr. McKay! He's--!"
"Lieutenant, get dressed," John commanded.
"Sir," Aiden said with a sigh before retreating to the dressing area.
"Should I take this one into custody?" Bates asked, taking hold of the remaining Aiden's arm.
"You're going to have to take them both into custody until we have conclusive evidence," John replied with an apologetic look at the man he'd previously thought was his second in command. Until Rodney had entered the room he'd been betting on the man who had just been declared a fraud. Now he wasn't sure what to believe.
"Lieutenant?" Rodney said, walking over to the curtained-off area. "I'd like to examine your clothes." Aiden poked his head out.
"Humor him, Ford," John commanded.
"I want to examine every possible piece of evidence," Rodney explained. He turned to the other Aiden. "I want your clothes, too. Could you change into some scrubs or something?" Carson dug up two sets of scrubs, in different colors so that the twins could be distinguished. Rodney took them and handed the blue set to the man behind the curtain. "True blue," he said, smiling inwardly as he handed them over. He gave the red set to the other Aiden.
While the two Aidens changed, John and Bates discussed arrangements for securing them under house arrest. They left the infirmary, leaving Rodney, Carson and Radek discussing various methods of analysis. When the twins emerged from their respective cubicles, Rodney held out bags for each of them to place their uniforms in. The Aiden clad in red scrubs pouted as he dropped the garments into the bag. The one in blue gazed at him serenely.
"Now what?" he asked as a security escort entered the infirmary with Sergeant Bates. He sighed resignedly and nodded at Rodney before walking to the door. His twin did the same and Rodney felt a twinge of guilt as he watched the two men being led away.
"Are you sure of your conclusion, Rodney?" Carson asked when they were gone.
"What part of 'I'd stake my life on it' don't you understand?" he snapped. He picked up the bags and strode out of the room, leaving Radek and Carson staring a him in confusion.
Rodney went to his lab and placed the bags on the bench. He made and affixed labels to each one and went over to his desk. He clucked at what he found there, and after taking a moment to clean up the mess left by his now-forgotten wound, he sat down and opened a spreadsheet. He labeled it "Comparative Analysis of Aiden Ford." Frowning, he added an "s" to "Ford," deleted it and then added it again. After a moment of indecision, he sighed and moved on.
Working from memory, he began recording his initial observations of what he now referred to in his mind as "True Blue Aiden" and the "Red Herring." He also recorded everything he'd learned from the others back in the conference room. After about forty minutes, he looked up and noticed that John was standing over him.
"This is a wet dream come to life for you, isn't it?" John said wryly. Rodney went pale and, after blinking several times, he decided to feign ignorance. He rose and went to the counter. He dug around in a drawer for latex gloves, slipped them on and began to open one of the plastic bags. John watched him in silence, knowing that eventually Rodney would crack. It took about thirty seconds.
"Is there something you want?" he said tersely, his back to John.
"Not me," John replied. "He wants you."
"Who?" Rodney replied, turning to look at John in spite of himself.
"Oh." Rodney swallowed hard and after carefully resealing the bag, he removed his gloves and set them aside. "Where is he?" he asked hoarsely. John gestured with his head and led the way.
The two Aidens had been sequestered in rooms not far from the infirmary. It was a quiet area on the fringes of the occupied area of the city. John thought that putting them in a less conspicuous area would minimize the number of curiosity seekers, not that he intended to allow either man much in the way of contact with the other residents of Atlantis. In fact, John wasn't sure why he complied with Aiden's request to see Rodney in the first place, other than that it might help to answer a few questions. That and the fact that John knew Rodney would demand to see both of them sooner or later, anyway. The prime opportunity to tease Rodney about his obvious infatuation with Aiden was just a bonus.
The two Aidens were given a suite with two bedrooms, a common area for lounging, and a small balcony. There was a security detail outside the suite and one guard inside. The two Aidens were ostensibly free to move about the suite, or so Rodney assumed as he and John entered and saw one of them engaged in conversation with the guard.
"I'd like to have some of my stuff."
"No can do, sir," the Marine said apologetically.
"I'm not allowed to leave the suite, for one thing."
"Well, send someone for it!" Aiden replied exasperatedly.
"I can't, sir. I'm sorry."
"Look!" Aiden cried. "It's bad enough that I've been-."
"Stand down," John said as he approached. "Vasquez is just following orders."
"I understand that, sir," the Aiden in blue replied. "But why can't someone just get me a few things from my quarters?"
"Well, for one thing, we don't exactly know for certain that they are your things," John said. Aiden glared at him and then looked at Rodney pointedly. Rodney could only manage to return a sheepish expression. Aiden rolled his eyes and walked back into his room. Rodney made to follow him, but John grabbed his arm.
"He didn't ask for you," he said. "He did." John gestured to the bedroom opposite. Rodney saw the Aiden in red sitting on the bed staring dejectedly at the wall. Rodney turned back and looked at his twin. The Aiden in blue glared back at him for a moment, before rolling his eyes and climbing onto his own bed. By the time Rodney entered the other bedroom the Aiden in blue had adopted the identical pose.