Pink Hippos by AndromedaMarine

Rodney McKay opened his eyes and the light burned. A headache raged inside him and the overwhelming urge to vomit nearly got the better of the good scientist. Hangover. What had he drunk? He remembered the visit to new Athos and John made sure Rodney didn't eat or drink anything funny. Then what caused the intense, familiar pain of a hangover?

Rodney realized that he was drooling and slowly sat up in his bed. He squinted his eyes – the room was his – definitely his. He couldn't mistake the wall of degrees and awards he'd earned and won. He glanced at his bedside table and yelped when he saw the time. It was almost two in the afternoon. He paused for a moment, making sure Lieutenant Cadman wasn't in his head again.

Once he confirmed the absence of Laura he threw off his blankets and stood – too quickly. Rodney reeled forward and caught himself on the table. Definitely a hangover. But from what? He opened his eyes and stood, staring confusedly.

A distinctly pink hippopotamus was ambling around his room. "Uh..." Rodney said as he blinked and rubbed his eyes to make sure. Yep, there was a pink hippo in his room. Cautiously he reached out and was expecting to swipe at air. Nope. Flesh, solid flesh met Rodney's hand. "Oh my God," he yelped and leapt backwards, hitting the table and tumbling onto the floor. He scrambled backwards and clambered back onto the bed as the pink hippo became interested in Rodney and slowly began walking towards the nearly naked scientist.

Hangover or not Rodney didn't and couldn't understand how the hippo could be real. It...looked?...real, if that was even possible, for this was the first hippo – let alone pink hippo – he'd ever seen in person. Rodney made sure not to tell John that last part – John would simply make fun of him.

"Easy..." he muttered and held his hands up unthreateningly. "Easy..." The hippo nosed Rodney, who cringed and screwed his eyes up (as if it would deter the pink hippo).

Rodney didn't bother to think of any other construable reason a pink hippo was in his room. He vaguely remembered drinking beer with Radek and Evan – a secret stash, but still. At the moment nothing registered with him.

At that moment John, Evan and Radek were laughing hysterically and pointing at a computer monitor. Oddly there were minute surveillance cameras in every room and John had learned how to activate them. Radek had found the planet with the pink hippos. John and Evan had herded the beast into Rodney's room during the early hours of the day, and Elizabeth Sheppard couldn't help but laugh when she walked in and saw the three men plus the computer.

It took Rodney two weeks to figure out it was John, Evan, and Radek.

After that incident, Rodney loathed pink hippos.