One of Those Days
Archive: Jumper Bay, FF, SGAHC
Category: Humor, H/C, Friendship
Summary: Sheppard's having a really rough day.
Season/Spoiler: Season One, No spoilers.
Author's Notes: Atlantis isn't mine…blah, blah, blah. Not betaed.
One of Those Days
Did you ever have one of 'those' days? Come on, you know the one. It's where you're absolutely certain that if you hadn't gotten out of bed in the morning, that you wouldn't have found yourself in the mess you were currently in. There would be a completely, statistically impossible probability that hiding from the world for 24 hours and not emerging, totally bypassing this day, my life would have turned out one hell of a lot different. But no, I just had to answer the call of nature, and from there it went downhill so fast I'm not even sure when my life came to the abrupt screeching halt that has brought me …here.
Where, you may ask? Let me tell you. It ain't pretty, so if you're squeamish and don't like the smell of raw sewage, burnt hair, or puke, give it up now and walk away. It's safer. Trust me.
Still here? Fine, then like I said, it all started with answering nature's call.
"This is Major Sheppard, would you send someone from maintenance to my quarters, please. And make sure whoever comes brings a mop… and a bucket."
Fifteen minutes later, a rap to the door announced the arrival of him. No, not him! Him-him. You know; the Australian one. The one the women on board secretly refer to as 'Adonis'. Puh-leez.
"G'day, Mate. Got yourself a problem this morning?"
I stand there staring at him trying to decide which is worse, the gleaming smile filled with perfectly white teeth or the tan and sun bleached blonde hair that is never out of place. And here I stand, my feet are covered in crap, I haven't even had the chance to brush my teeth, and I'm pretty sure that ripe smell is the shirt I'm still wearing from yesterday.
"The toilet overflowed," I grumbled. "It made a gurgling noise and then erupted."
"Aye," he nods, making his way through the mess in my quarters towards the bathroom. "A couple of other mates experienced the same thing. Must be a bug in the system. I'll have it cleaned up for you in no time."
Once he, oh right not all of you know his name, sorry I forgot, Mickey, disappeared within the small room, I hastily stashed my away gear from yesterday's return mission, crinkling my nose at the smell of my uniform jacket. Gads, the odor lets me know I'm a few days past a necessary trip to the laundry. Lost in thought of my dirty clothes, I almost missed him talking to me. "What's that?"
The blonde head poked back out into my quarters with a blinding grin, "I asked you, John, if you were coming to my party tonight?"
Party. Party. Oh yeah, his bachelor party. The first official wedding of Atlantis would be between Adonis here and his lovely lady, April Kensington, Dr. Z's assistant. "Oh, I wouldn't miss it. Dr. McKay and I were just talking about it yesterday and he was saying he really needs a good party. I guess he's feeling a bit tense lately and wants to let it all hang loose."
Mickey's grin widened, if that was even possible, and he nodded. "Good, I was hoping to see him there. Pretty much everyone from the labs are gonna show." He disappeared once more but continued talking, but I must confess, I tuned him out, once again searching for a clean pair of pants.
Okay, so I might have obfuscated a bit on the McKay wanting to go thing. I think Rodney's exact words were, "Why would I want to waste my time at the Greek god's free for all? Wild flying horses couldn't drag me there." Little does he know, if I'm going, so is he.
Scoring a fresh uniform, I hold it up in triumph, "Yes!" A chortle behind me stops my little football goal dance and I turn to find Mickey's amused grin aimed at me.
"All done, John, she's as good as new. Any more problems, give me a ring."
I have to stand and shake my head in wonder, watching him stroll out my door with his mop, bucket, and plunger, as if cleaning a sewage meltdown first thing in the morning was an every day occurrence. I have to ask, "Hey, Mickey?"
He stops and waits for me to catch up. "You're a demolitions expert, why do you fix the toilets?"
"My dad was a plumber, taught me everything I know. There's nothing wrong with doing an honest day's work, John." He winked at me, ducked his way around two female techs in the hall, "G'day ladies," he said in that Aussie accent that made them swoon, and then walked out of sight.
The women both whispered to each other, blushing furiously, then spied me standing there in all my glory. One rolled her eyes and the other just nodded in passing. What? I just got back yesterday and my toilet overflowed. I stepped back inside my quarters, grabbed my clean uniform, and went in search of McKay. Hopefully his shower was functional.
"You told him, what!"
Okay, I kind of expected that from him. Thank goodness I didn't tell him he was going with me until after I'd used his shower. "Look, it's only for a couple of hours. We can grab Beckett, have a drink or two, see what Radek's planned, and head out. We're in, we're out."
He gives me the eye. You know the one where he doesn't move, just scowls shooting daggers, arms crossed, trying to look mean. Get real, the guy's a pushover, putty in my hands. All I got to do is pull out the 'team' card and he'll follow me like I'm carrying a picnic basket to Grandma's house. I decide to lay it on thick and sigh, "It's not how I wanted to spend the evening, either. But we've got to think of Radek. He's gone through all the work of setting it up. If we don't show, who knows what he might rig to explode, or implode, or booby trap; that devious Czech mind can be pretty original when it wants to be." I shake my head and sigh again. "We've got to go for the team."
"I hate you."
The reply was a dry, concise, 'I hate you.' He didn't mean it. It was physically, emotionally impossible for him to hate me. I'm his best friend, for crying out loud. The brother he never had. The ying to his yang. No, wait, that sounded kinda slashy. Stick to the brother/friend analogy.
"McKay, it's not going to kill you to be sociable." He shifts on his feet and I know I'm winning.
"So help me, he calls me Roddy one more time, I'm out of there."
I scratch my cheek, remembering Mickey calling me John while fixing my crapper, "Yeah, he does have a thing for the first name basis, doesn't he?" McKay is staring at me with the 'Well?' look and I realize that he wants to get back to work. "So, I'll meet you around six? We can round up Carson, get a bite to eat, and then party until the cows come home."
He's still staring at me and I get kind of spooked. "Uh, I need to, uh," I point over my shoulder towards the door of his lab, "find Weir. Finish my reports. You know…" My little voice warned me not to say it, but it was on the tip of my tongue before I could stop it. "G'day Roddy," I quipped and then ducked, but not fast enough.
Something small and hard nailed me in the back of the head before dropping to the floor. Spinning around, I caught him in the exact same pose, he didn't look as though he'd moved, but the battery on the floor at my feet proved otherwise. The merest hint of a smile glimmered in those beady little blue eyes.
"See ya atsix o'clock."
He nods and turns back to one of his gizmos that looks a lot like a boombox, I beat a hasty retreat up to the command center.
I find Weir pacing back and forth in front of the command console, looking like she's about to smack someone, and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out just who. Apparently, Kavanagh had been up early this morning, also, and for reasons I had yet to discover, had disassembled the main computer station. You know the big screen on the back wall that we all look at for Atlantis's layout? Does the idea of fuzzy static mean anything to you? And judging by the lines of distress on his face, all was not going as well as he'd planned.
"What's going on?" Dr. Doom gives me the eye and I smile as sincere as I can. "Need a hand?" Really, I'm trying to be helpful. I catch Grodin out of the corner of my eye staring at the ceiling, trying his damnedest not to laugh.
"I'm patching the interface program with a reroute network so that the science stations can monitor the gate power flow during high and low times of use. Possibly, we should be able to come up with a plan to conserve energy." Kavanagh attempted to look important as he spoke, but the pony-tail killed any and all respect he could possibly ever garner. And when he shoved his coke bottle glasses up his nose, that was it, call the game. Nerds never win. Geeks win, nerds loose. And everyone knows I respect my lab geeks.
"Doc, we need to get this board back up and running. Tell us what to do and we'll help you put it back together."
He studies me a moment before resigning to the fact that I was right. Handing me a pair of pliers, he points to a cable that needs to be reconnected on the backside of the panel.
Now it's one of those fat, ominous power cords that doesn't just snap in, but needs to be wiggled a half dozen times, and then tightened into place with tools. I can do this. Hunkering down, I have the pliers in one hand and the cable in the other. Giving it a good shove into the socket, I reached out to tighten it...and got the zap of a lifetime.
I'm not totally certain what happened in the next few moments. All I did know is that I was flat on my back looking at a kaleidoscope of colors worse than any picture taking event I'd ever been to. My mouth tasted funny. All I heard was a loud buzzing noise. And I couldn't move. Or at least I didn't think I could until all of the sudden my arms and legs started without me.
And then Beckett was in my face. I could see his lips moving but couldn't make out what he was saying. The last thing I remember was him putting a mask over my face.
I didn't think I'd ever hurt this much in my entire life. I didn't even want to breathe. Lying perfectly still, I listened to hear the telltale beeping of the heart monitor, and came up silent. And although, I might not have heard the beeping, I could feel my heart begin to do double time in my chest and someone nearby must have figured out that John Sheppard had decided to rejoin the land of the living, for someone touched my shoulder.
It took every iota of energy I had left to peel my eyes open, and even then they only made it half mast. Everything looked blurry and I blinked slowly hoping to clear up the fuzziness. A face swam in front of mine, and after a minute or so, I was finally able to make out Carson. His mouth was moving but I still couldn't tell what he was saying.
He must have figured out that I didn't hear him because next thing I know he's holding a handwritten note up in front of my face. 'Are you in pain?'
I take stock of my faculties and find myself numb, kind of tingly, and I have that drugged cottony feeling. My tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth when I try to speak, so he slips an ice chip into my mouth. It feels like a small piece of heaven and I close my eyes as it melts on my tongue.
Another tap to the shoulder. Another note. 'John, stay awake a little longer.' He flips the page to another note. 'Blink if you can feel my hand on your arms and legs.'
And I do when I feel slight pressure on my extremities. He looks pleased. My eyelids start another downward slide when another tap occurs. Carson's back with yet another note. 'Do you know what happened?'
I blink and try to lift my hands to rub my face but something is holding them in place. Glancing down, I discover two set of hands carefully pinnng each arm to the bed. My hands are wrapped in white gauze mittens and I don't have a shirt on. Realization sinks in and hits me like water to the face...Oh my god, I'm burned!
The monitors must have really been beeping because the next thing I know, Rodney's face appears in front of me. He mouths the word, 'Breathe slowly' and I'm able to understand. Someone, probably Beckett, had spoken to him because he looked away briefly to nod before shifting his gaze back to me. My eyes locked onto his, searching for anything that might tell me what was going on.
'You'll be okay. You were electrocuted,' he mouthed.
I must have frowned because he frowned down at me. A flash of anger flittered across his face before he returned to his calming demeanor. 'Kavanagh didn't shut off the power.'
I stared at him, and then glanced down to my hands, and then back to him. I could feel the painkillers numbing me back into oblivion but I didn't want to go. He must have known that and gave me a brief half smile, patting my hair. 'Go to sleep. I'll be here when you wake up.'
That was good enough for me and I let go.
"John, can you hear me, lad?"
Beckett's quiet lilt was one of the most beautiful sounds I'd ever heard. Cautiously turning my head in the direction of his voice, I licked my lips and nodded. There was still a wicked ringing in the background but not nearly as strong as before. "Water," I was able to scratch out through the desert wasteland of my throat.
"Aye, lad. Rodney hand me the cup," Beckett directed over my head and soon a straw touched my parched lips. "Slowly,"he encouraged.
I sighed as the soothing liquid spilled down my throat. "Thanks."
"How do you feel, Major?"
It was time to be honest and I knew they weren't going to like the answer, "Hurts."
"Where?" I could hear the shifting of bodies around me and someone walked back to my bed.
"Head, chest, hands, throat."
Carson sighed loudly and I felt a line of cold slip up my arm. He must have dosed me with more happy meds. "Your hands are burned from entry and exit wounds, the headache is from being electrocuted, and your heart stopped…" He paused to clear his throat; I could only imagine what it must be like from his side of the bed. "Your heart stopped and we had to perform CPR and insert an airway, but being you, you began breathing on your own again pretty quick."
Hands from the other side of the bed touched my arm lightly and I turned in that direction to find Rodney staring at me. His eyes looked red and tired, his face appeared aged, but he still could pull out a smile when it came time. "I knew you didn't want to go to the party either, but don't you think this is a bit extreme?"
I don't say anything, just continue staring at him. He'd been crying. The only reason McKay might ever cry is if someone stole his stash of goodies or if a friend had died. "I'm sorry," I whisper.
He shakes his head and looks away. I watch his throat bob back and forth as he tries to get his emotions under control. "Don't…" he started, looking at the wall, and then down at me, "don't ever do that to me again. Do you have any idea what Carson and I went through?"
Rolling my head back over, I look at the Scot standing silently at my side. His eyes hold the same haunted look as Rodney's. "I'm sorry," I whisper again.
"You gave us a bit of a scare," Carson finally admitted softly.
I'm beginning to drift again and am so close to sleep until someone, I think it was McKay, patted me on the head again. "Stop that," I slurred.
"Can't help it," the Canadian teased lightly. "I'm still checking to make sure all the fires are out."
Now that got my attention and my eyes popped back open, "Fires?"
"Rodney," Beckett scolded, "I told you to wait until later."
Too late, the relief was too much for my friend and he couldn't wait any longer. "Maybe they caught it on surveillance?"
"What?" I could see the wheels turning between the two of them and if I wasn't so darn tired, I'd reach out and whack them each on the arm.
The smug smile made its famed appearance as McKay reached out and patted me again on the head! "Stop that!" I croaked.
"Let's just say, you'll need to make an appointment with Radek for a trim."
I glance back and forth, trying to decide if they're messing with me. How did they know Radek cut my hair? "You're lying."
Carson grinned to McKay before pulling out a mirror. Sure enough, it looks as though I'm going to be blending in with the jarheads for awhile. Great.
Something loud banged on the infirmary floor, startling me awake. I had to blink several times to get my bearings before remembering why I was there. A rustle at my side and the curtain around my bed shifting shut caught my attention.
"Be quiet," I heard McKay hiss. "The major is sleeping."
"Sorry, doctor," Radek replied softly. "We tried to make him quiet. At least he stopped singing about Waltzing Matilda."
"Put him over there," Carson directed. More shuffling and then the Scot's no-nonsense voice questioned, "All right, what happened?"
"He was dancing on table, drunk as a skunk, when he fell off. Cracked his head a good one and from the looks of it, a few front teeth also."
"Aye. Radek, go call Dr. Caster. Once we sober up Mickey, he's gonna have to have those worked on and I'm leaving that to a certified dentist."
"G'day, doc," the Aussie slurred happily, before a strange heaving noise emanated from beyond the curtain that I recognized instantly. A smile crossed my face as I sank deeper into my pillow. Adonis was going to have a lot of explaining to do in the morning to his fiancé.
The curtain shifted again and Rodney took up his seat once more at my side. He snickered and shrugged, "At least your hair will grow back."
We both smirked, trying not to let the others hear us, especially Beckett. From out of nowhere he appeared though, and shook his head in disgust before making his way back to his new patient. The off tune singing of Waltzing Matilda filled the silence as I slipped back to sleep.
A/N: Originally, this was The End, but a plot bunny hunted me down and now there is a second chapter from Rodney's POV. Enjoy!