SUMMARY: "He had to admit it to himself. He was stuck."
SEASON/SPOILERS: Season One. Takes place after and mentions "The Storm" and "The Eye," So I guess it could be considered a post-ep, but it's not really. Spoilers for "The Storm" and "The Eye." Mention of "38 Minutes."
AUTHOR'S NOTE: I have no idea what possessed me to write this. Some humor with a touch of introspection (for some reason I can never escape that in story, lol) thrown in for good measure and my first crack at McKay with some Sheppard and Beckett and some dialogue. Hopefully I've done him justice, as I am still getting the hang of the characters. Practice makes perfect. And before you ask, yes, I actually do know someone this happened to, though it happened a tad differently. But I still tell stories about it. :)
DISCLAIMER: I don't own Stargate: Atlantis or anything associated with it. I'm simply borrowing, but I promise to return all in one piece. Eventually.
He had to admit it to himself.
He was stuck.
He gave another tug. It sent a line of pain coursing down his entire arm.
Yep. Stuck all right.
For Rodney McKay, this was definitely working up to be a lousy day.
It started out simple enough. He'd been testing equipment in his lab. Atlantis was recovering from the massive storm. Three days later and it was still raining, although it had become a slight drizzle in the past couple hours as the sun tried to peek its way out from underneath dark clouds. Several parts of the northern city were flooded and Rodney had spent the morning between salvaging pieces of Ancient technology from the water damage and routing power back to parts of the city that had suffered from their damaged generator. He was happy to have an excuse to escape Elizabeth's assignment to explore the damage further then their current assigned living spaces. For now, anyway. Sheppard was on that and it was only a matter of time before he'd be required to pitch in. The prior day he'd spent in the control room testing the undamaged generators. He'd finally gotten his arm stitched and properly dressed after a still headache plagued Carson Beckett berated him for bandaging it himself and not seeing one of the other medical doctors on staff while he was recovering. Truth was as soon as the worst had passed and the halls were finally free of electricity, he and Teyla dragged the half conscious physician to the ransacked infirmary, where Carson threw up, and passed out again. He'd radioed Elizabeth and Sheppard telling them someone better send another doctor back first, wrapped his own wound, and dosed himself with some codeine he found after searching Beckett's medical supplies. He was high as a kite and feeling no pain when Carson's staff filtered back in that he brushed them off and went off in search of food. Food was more important is his mind.
Food. His stomach grumbled at the memory, and snapped him back to the present. He realized he'd worked through lunch and if he didn't free himself soon, he'd miss dinner as well. He peered through the crack in the slightly ajar door. Even his coffee mug, perched on the edge of his workbench, beaconed to him, although he knew by now it was probably long cold. He reached his free hand and patted his pocket, brightening when he felt something he hoped was a Power bar. He pulled it out. Jackpot! Oh no, wait, it was peanut butter. He was hoping for chocolate.
He looked back at his arm and his current uncomfortable position. Oh well, he guessed he shouldn't be picky.
He ate in silence. He could call for help. Should call for help. He had his radio. But he could picture aid rushing in and finding him simply stuck.
In the Ancient's equivalent of a toilet.
He could just hear the laughter echoing throughout the halls.
Nope, no way. He wasn't calling for help. Not that he relished anyone coming in and finding him, either. He could imagine explaining to Zelenka, or even worse, Kavanaugh. That man had it out for him and could just picture the weasel leaving him there and taking this little tidbit back to Elizabeth. He'd be the laughing stock of Atlantis for days.
Not that he wasn't already. He knew he wasn't a pleasant person to be around sometimes. Okay, if he was being honest, the majority of the time. But his arrogance got the job done. It was easier to hide insecurities with an over inflated ego. Not that he'd didn't believe he was smart, but admitting defeat just made things harder to accomplish. He didn't know any other way. He thought he'd put it well to Koyla.
"I don't know if you noticed or not but I'm an extremely arrogant man who tends to think all of his plans will work!"
Of course, recently he had caved. He'd given in so easily to the man and all it took was a lousy knife wound to the arm. Granted a knife wound that hurt like hell, but still. His arrogance hadn't hidden anything and he was truly a lousy liar when someone threatened him with something long and sharp. Complaining, arrogance, intelligence, and a lack of tact were the ways he handled a situation, or he'd give into panic. Like when Sheppard was attacked by that bug and the jumper was stuck in the Stargate. He'd paced, held his initial burst of panic and tried to bit it back with snappy remarks and a complaint about his blood sugar problem as he racked his brain for every piece of information about the jumper he'd learned in the short time he'd been on Atlantis.
Oh god, he was getting introspective. That was never a good thing. His memories of escape from life-threatening situations and his analysis of his own personality were not helping his current embarrassing state. And his arm was asleep. He sighed. At least it had stopped hurting.
Again, he searched his brain for a solution. He had three PhD's, and just had saved Atlantis from a massive tidal wave, surely he could find a way to release himself from a toilet.
He had nothing. He pulled again. And again. The numbness that had settled in his arm gave way to a new burst of pain. Of course he'd gotten his recently injured arm stuck.
Damnit, why did he think it was a good idea to retrieve the burned out circuit he dropped? Why did Ancient toilets have such a large drain that he was able to fit the majority of his arm inside? He felt like one of those people who tried to stick their hand up a vending machine. He'd always felt they were idiots and couldn't imagine how anyone would get themselves stuck in such a moronic situation.
He pulled again.
Great, he was going to need help. That admission was not easy. There had to be a way for him to escape this situation and keep his pride intact.
He could call Carson. Simply ask the man to stroll down to his office and help him activate something or other. Carson would whine about it, but Rodney was fairly certain it wouldn't take too much convincing. And Carson could keep a secret, even if he teased him or laughed when he arrived. Hopefully.
Well, it was better than Major Sheppard. Or Ford. Or Elizabeth. He suspected that Teyla would even laugh and ask countless questions about why Earthlings stuck their hands down toilet bowls.
Yep, Carson was his best shot. He thumbed his radio to contact the infirmary, asking for the doctor.
He was greeted by a tired sigh. "Rodney?"
"Out with it. Where are ya hurt?"
He was slightly insulted. "Why do you always assume I'm injured when I contact you?" Of course, he was, so to speak, but he wasn't about to tell the Scotsman that.
"Because eight times out of ten, you usually are. Or you and Zelenka want me to sit in that bloody chair or make something else light up all blue and glowing. And if that is the case, Rodney, find the Major, because I have a headache and am up to my head counting and recovering our medical supply inventory."
Somebody got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. This was not going the way he had hoped. He may have to change his direction.
"Can't a friend just contact a friend?" Rodney hoped he didn't sound as desperate as he was.
Another sigh. "In your case, no."
"I'm insulted, Carson." He paused. He heard Beckett giving instructions off radio.
"No that goes over-" He heard a crash. "As you can tell, Rodney, now is not a good time. Just spit it out."
This was not getting him anywhere. It was time for the tried and true brashness and lack of tact he was so famous for.
"Someone else from your staff can count tongue depressors, Carson. Sheppard is off scouting water damage and Zelenka is reorienting power sources to the remaining science labs. I would like to be able to salvage a few of the water logged Ancient systems to make his and my job a little easier and while I pride myself on my multitasking abilities, even I can't keep them activated and analyze the data needed to fix them at the same time. So just come down here, damnit." His last sentence came off extremely snappy and he knew it. But that was the point. Badgering Beckett was sometimes the only way to get him to stop talking and concentrate. He could apologize later if he really needed too. As soon as Carson saw him however, he'd figure his brashness would be forgotten.
"Fine." He knew he'd get Carson to cave. "Ten minutes, Rodney. You are not only one who has get his department up and running again, you know." He heard a click. Good. He leaned himself against the rim of the toilet bowl wall and prepared himself to offer Carson a logical and rational explanation of his plight.
Shit. He sincerely hoped that was not who he thought he heard.
"McKay, come on. Zelenka said you were in here. The wires are fried again."
Great. Another set of those to reroute. At least this time he'd have Zelenka's help and no gun focused at him. That would be a major plus.
Major. Fuck. Major Sheppard was three feet away and he had his hand stuck in a toilet. He was never going to hear the end of this. He groaned at the prospect of future missions with this over his head. Provided he ever got free and there were future missions.
Great. Carson had to pick this moment to arrive. Well you did call him, his brain told him. He told it to shut up. He heard voices again, this time closer.
"You said he called you?"
"Aye, Major. No less then five minutes ago. Said he needed my help." A slight pause. "But now that you're here, you can be his guinea pig and I can head back to the medical bay."
No, Carson. Don't go.
"No way, Doc. You are not the only one that doesn't enjoy being part of McKay's science experiments."
The way Sheppard was talking made his work sound like an eighth grade science project. He was mildly insulted.
"I didn't say that it sounded like an eighth-McKay? Where are you?"
Did he say that out loud? He hadn't meant to. More movement. Okay, it was time to own up. He needed help and his arm was beginning to cramp.
He held footsteps, but they paused at the door.
"McKay?" The voice was hesitant . "You, ah-"
Rodney sighed. "For Christ's sake, I'm fully clothed if that's what you are worried about."
The door opened, revealing Sheppard and Beckett to the full spectacle of Rodney's current predicament. The two exchanged looks before erupting into laughter. Each one tried to say something, but didn't get more then one word out before another fit of laughter began. Rodney wasn't amused.
"Are you both done? I could use a little help here. I'm stuck and my arm is really starting to hurt."
At word "hurt" Carson immediately sobered up. He realized which arm Rodney had stuck. "How does it hurt?"
"What do you mean how does it hurt? It just hurts!"
"I'm going to need more then that, Rodney." Carson had picked up his hand and was taking his pulse.
He tried again. "Like a sharp pain up to my shoulder every time I try to pull it out."
"You most likely pulled, maybe even tore, the stitches. I can't tell from here. At least there's no blood in the water." He looked up at Sheppard. "He's okay for now, but we need to get him out of there. The sooner, the better."
"I don't know anything about toilets, Doc. Maybe we should go get-"
"No one! You're not getting anyone! It's bad enough that both of you are here. I don't need anyone else to come and see-ow!"
"Stop pulling it," Carson ordered.
"I would if you two would just try and help!"
"Could we pull him out?"
"I'm worried that if he's torn his stitches that pulling may cause more damage."
Sheppard moved to Rodney's left side, thinking.
"Have you tried flushing?" Sheppard suggested.
"Flushing? No, Major, I've been sitting here the whole time giving my arm a nice toilet water massage and didn't think to try that." The sarcasm oozed from his pores.
"Well, someone's a bit touchy."
Carson, meanwhile, had lifted up what amounted to the Ancients toilet lid and revealed a bit of the plumbing.
"I don't see any major problems."
"Doc, do you even know what you are looking for?" Sheppard was now peering inside as well.
"Major, my knowledge does extend beyond medicine. One of my uncles is a plumber."
Rodney's arm had settled into a numbing pain. He clenched his teeth. "Guys, while I love learning little tidbits about your family tree, I would really appreciate if you could put that knowledge to good use and get me out of here."
"I'm trying, Rodney." Rodney heard a clank. "Everyone appears to be fine."
Sheppard leaned down to look Rodney in the eye. "McKay, just how did you get your arm stuck in a toilet in the first place?"
Ah yes, the explanation. He had planned for this.
"If you must know, I accidentally dropped one of the dead circuits into the toilet and simply reached in to get it."
"A circuit? What were you doing with a circuit in the bathroom?" Carson asked.
"You could have just brought a magazine like the rest of us."
"Why I had it in here isn't important. What is important is getting me out of here. Anyone else have any brilliant revelations on that topic?" There was a moment of silence before Sheppard ducked out of the bathroom.
"Hey, McKay, is that circuit just like the one on your desk?" he called back. Carson, who was taking Rodney's pulse again, turned to look through the doorway.
"And are you still holding on to that circuit?"
"Yes. I'm not going to let go of the very thing I'm trying to save."
"Is long and thin like this one?" Sheppard reappeared and held up the other circuit he'd been working on.
"Yes. I fail to see where this is going, Major."
Sheppard smirked and exchanged a glance with Carson. Carson's mouth turned up in a grin.
"Rotate your hand," he instructed.
"Rotate my-fine, but I don't think that-" As he spoke he shifted his hand, shifting the object with it. He tugged thinking nothing would happen. Suddenly, he felt his arm give and pop out with more force then he intended. He sent himself flying back a few feet, his arm dripped toilet water on the floor and the circuit laying drenched at his feet. His bandaged arm seeped a bit of blood. He suddenly felt the vending machine analogy of before come back to haunt him. Some people got stuck simple because they refused to let go of the object. Rodney felt like an idiot. He was so concerned about that damn circuit that he'd managed to wedge it in so that he...
Sheppard was having a field day. The laughter from before returned with a vengence.
Carson knelt down to examine the arm.
"Tore a couple stitches and the bandage needs replacing, but it actually doesn't look any worse off then before." He offered Rodney a hand up. Rodney sighed and took it. Sheppard stopped laughing and composed himself. He looked the astrophysicist in the eye.
"Hey, McKay you okay? You're looking a little flushed."
Rodney groaned. He was never going to hear the end of this.