Title: We Meant to Call
Title: We Meant to Call
Summary: "Took you long enough," he said, swinging his bare feet against the desk.
Somewhere, sometime, in a slightly different alternate universe:
Doctor Rodney McKay checked his first aid kit for the sixteenth time, patted his pockets down for the stash of coffee, chocolate, and Powerbars he had managed to squirrel away in a compartment on his jacket (because really, three bars per person a day was insanely low and clearly they were not thinking of people with hypoglycemia here), and browbeat that guy who called out the Chevrons into double-checking there were no lemon chicken MREs.
Major Sheppard scratched behind his ears and ran a hand through his hair, vaguely wondering what all the fuss was about. No one had properly explained it to him, just given him sideways glances and asked what hair gel he used. He mentally shrugged. Probably overrated.
Aiden Ford stared at the stargate. He had gone through it several times before on miscellaneous missions, read the reports from other teams, and honestly, it had become almost prosaic. Being pioneers in space exploration, fighting alien bad guys and intergalactic wars… well, it just got boring after a while. This was a promise of something new, something even more exciting—maybe a chance to finally meet a Furling. The Asgards had turned out to be pretty lame, really, after you got past the fact that they totally did look like aliens from X-Files and he had heard rumors that Chris Carter was being investigated after that, but then they were constantly condescending. He hoped the Ancients were going to be cooler.
Chevron Guy glared at McKay from his loft on high, then grinned when he remembered the lemon chicken MRE he had slipped into his pack.
"Who are you?" a belligerent voice asked Major Sheppard apropos nothing. He turned to see a stocky man with thinning hair glaring at him. "Why aren't you with the other military people?"
Major Sheppard glanced over to where Colonel Sumner was glowering at every person around him, then turned back to the stocky guy to answer. "I'm—"
"Never mind, never mind, I need you to carry this," the man shoved a pack into his hands.
His eyebrows shot up. "Why do I get this honor?"
The man rolled his eyes impatiently. "Because clearly you are not here for your intelligence, which must mean that you have something going for you. I can only assume it's because you decided to make your living out of heavy lifting."
Sheppard adjusted the pack so it fit more comfortably against him. "Clearly. You are?"
Shooting him a suspicious look, the man grudgingly answered, "McKay. I'm the guy you should protect at all costs because I'm going to be the ones saving all of us should we somehow find ourselves in moments of extreme peril."
"Are we expecting that?"
"You haven't worked here long, have you?" McKay said, narrowing his eyes at Sheppard.
They were interrupted by a peppy Japanese woman rushing past, chattering excitedly to another woman repacking her gear. Another man swore loudly in Czech nearby, tugging on the straps and attempting to wedge what looked like an external hard drive into one of the pockets.
"Looks like the whole gang's here," Sheppard mentioned off-handedly. Flags were sewn onto the arms of everyone's uniforms: reds, greens, whites, blues, and a few totally unfamiliar to Sheppard proudly proclaiming their country of origin. It was like watching the geek Olympics.
"Except the Australians," McKay said, munching on a Snickers bar.
"They weren't invited?"
McKay shook his head. "No, they just didn't answer. No one really knows why. Probably at the pub or something."
Laughing lightly, Sheppard took a step forward towards the event horizon as it opened. "I see you're familiar with them."
From the first step, everyone gasped in wonder. The city's architecture depended on curves and the natural outgrowth of panels and windows, soaring arches and awash with soothing colors that reminded Sheppard of the ocean. They expected the mass of aesthetic technology, the stargate artfully incorporated into the control room.
They did not expect the men and women milling around, who looked up in vague surprise when they entered.
"Who are you?" Elizabeth Weir asked in wonder, taking one step forward and trying to look her regal best for who had to be the Ancients.
The men and women traded guilty looks before a man stepped forward and shuffled his bare feet.
"G'day," he said brightly. "Something something something something."
"You're Australian?" Sheppard burst out with some surprise. He ignored the dark looks sent his way by Colonel Sumner.
Everyone quietly spoke amongst themselves, then someone whispered in somebody's ear, and somehow a young man who moved to Australia from Texas when he was a boy found himself serving as default translator.
"Uh," he stammered, listening to the man speak again. "I think he said that he's Joey and these here are his mates."
Joey nodded approvingly, then said something else, pausing and looking at the lieutenant expectantly.
"He said: Righto. They found a little ship, he calls it a puddlejumper, and they fixed it up and somehow ended up here."
"Why didn't you—" McKay looked apocalyptic, even more so than usual. "You didn't think to TELL anybody?"
"Well, we meant to, see, but then we had a bit of a celebration and the next thing you know, Joey chundered all over the note and we kind of forgot about it," a girl named Bianca piped up, shrugging apologetically. Her accent bordered nearly on intelligible. "You know how it goes."
The questions piled on from there, a mess of angry demands from the military portion and eager inquiries from the scientists.
"What have you found?"
"Did you meet the Ancients?"
"What's it like?"
The last was thought about contemplatively before Joey burst into a shark-like grin and said something understandable in any language. "Great waves."