Characters are not mine, only the plot. This was posted several months ago at the SGAHC group, and I decided to touch it up and post it here, since I seem to be getting the hang of this. No episode spoilers, this is all in silly fun, merely a reflection on the bloated image of self-impotance.

There were several things Rodney McKay; explorer and astrophysics extraordinare, could count on. One, he was always right, even when he admitted he was wrong. No matter how many times he looked out over the waters surrounding Atlantis, he'd get sea sick. And there would always be a crisis that only he, Rodney McKay, could tackle. Such was life on an alien world.

Of course, there were the other things, like the toilets constantly back flushing. He had no idea how there Ancients managed to relieve themselves, but using this odd system of disposal wasn't suited to the team. And it took forever to convince Teyla it was safe. Weir actually had to go in and encourage her to use the waste disposal unit, as Teyla preferred to call it to McKay's amusement, and her inhibitions exacerbated by the sudden backlash of too much water flowing in the system. That had taken a while to fix, and of course, Rodney McKay, explorer and astrophysics extraordinare, drew the short straw, while Teyla insisted on building an arboretum with a discrete corner so that she might manage her duties in private without an ass-washing. Once that dreadful problem was tended to, McKay returned to his proper duties, only to have his console blink out.

Cursing a tirade worthy of. . .well. . . Rodney McKay, he dove underneath the switchboard and promptly jammed his hand into a circuit, which not only turned his innards inside out, but managed to capture his hand and wouldn't let go. "Come on," he muttered, wrenching his hand from one side to the other. "Dammit! Could this day possibly get worse?" He winced. "Yeah, that was smart, McKay. Tempt fate, why don't you. Jesus, what is in this thing?" He tried to see into the opening, but his arm pretty much filled it. "That does it. No more Mr. Patient guy," he gave his caught limb a hard yank and cried out. "Oh-oh-oh-oh that hurt that hurt that hurt. . . ."

Wonderful. There he was, his hand wedged in the bowels (toilets again) of a system that hated him, with no way to call for help. No, wait, headset! He could. . .DAMMIT! He spotted the slim-lined radio peering at him from the far edge of the counter. He shifted slightly to lay alongside the console and kicked his heel up to the edge, trying to reach the headset, knock it down, but nothing happened. Why the hell did he take it off? Oh yeah, so he wouldn't have to clean toilets again. Rodney gave up after three more attempts and realigned himself to a more comfortable position. Flexing his fingers was impossible, and he realized the reason he couldn't extract his hand was simply because he couldn't feel it. Pulling out was no good, hell, for all he knew he was gripping something and couldn't tell his fingers to let go.

Panic would not set in. This was easy. He could deal with this, just let the numbness ebb.

An hour later he decided panic would be good for an adrenaline rush.

Fifteen minutes after that, he heard the door open.

"Hello?" Oh, peachy keen. Rodney rolled his eyes. Sheppard. Like his day wasn't rotten enough. To hell with it. "Hey! I'm down here, help me!" He heard and felt through the floor the weight of quick footfalls, and sensed someone leaning down behind him. He craned his neck to see dark brows raised over a puzzled expression. "Uh, hi. Look, get me outta here, will you?" Sweat beaded his brow, he hoped he didn't sound as stupid as he felt.

"Rodney? What the hell. . ?" John pushed Rodney flat to the ground and leaned over him, peering into the console.

Rodney grunted and tried to shift. "God, what have you been eating? Get off!"

"What are you talking about?"

"Your breath! The smell of roadkill would be pleasant right now."

"Oh, that." Shep sounded pleased. "Pastrami on rye with extra kraut."

Rodney did his best to stare, which wasn't easy in his position. "Where'd you get pastrami on rye?"

"No ask, no tell." Sheppard winced, jamming his hand into the guts of the console. "Got yourself wedged pretty good, you copping a feel of the machinery now?"

"Oh, ha-ha. Remind me not to get into a battle of wits with you."

Sheppard turned his body slightly to look at McKay. "You're really hurting, aren't you? I mean that was a pretty lame comeback. I expect more from you."

"Sorry to disappoint you, but I can't feel my hand, and I'm a threat to be crushed underneath a mass that smells worse than the crap I had to clean up earlier this afternoon. So if you'll just get me out of here, I'll be sure to return to my regular sarcastic programming."

"You are hurting."

"Actually I can't feel a thing." Rodney tried to shift. "My hand is still in there, isn't it? God, don't tell me this thing has disintegrated my hand."

"Wouldn't you be pulling out a stump if it had?"

"Good point." McKay tried to peer in. "It is there, isn't it?"

"Yes, Rodney, it's there." John gave his hand a sharp pinch. "Feel that?"

"Feel what?"

Not good. "Okay. . ." John shuffled closer to the opening and reached in as far as he could. There was a crackle and a curse.

"Major? What is it, what did you do?"

"Uh. . ."

"Look, this is uncomfortable enough, just push over and maybe I can. . ."

"I can't."

"Excuse me?"

"I can't move."

"Wh-what do you mean you can't move? How can you possibly not move?"

"The same way you can't move, McKay! I'm stuck."

"Oh god, this isn't happening." Rodney let his head fall back, only to snap it up again. "Could you breathe somewhere else please? You're fouling my air."

"Maybe I should just stop breathing!"

"Hey, don't get all snippy with me, this is the only surrounding air I've got!"

"Well, maybe we should get you a gas mask!"

"It'd help!"

Sheppard turned his head as best he could. "You ungrateful bastard! I just got myself shocked and stuck trying to help you!"

Oh, no he didn't. "I was better off alone, fish breath!"


"That's it!" Rodney started shifting backwards, frantically tugging his arm. "Of all the people to get stuck with."

"Stop, OW, stop it!"

"What now?"

Sheppard tried to shift backwards. "I don't know, but it hurts like hell. You were moving something in there, it stuck my hand."

"I was? I mean I did?" Rodney tried to peer into the panel. "Oh thank god."

"Thank god? That I almost lost two fingers?"

"Sorry, must be an open circuit. I meant thank god my hand apparently still works."

"Oh, for the love of. . ." Sheppard keyed his headset. "Dr. Weir? It's Sheppard. Yeah, yeah, I found him, but we have a bit of a situation. . .I know, I know, can you get someone down here? Well. . .it's hard to explain. . ."

Hell with this. "WE'RE STUCK!" McKay bellowed into John's ear.

John jerked back and swiped the earpiece from his head. "JESUS CHRIST! What'd ya do that for?"

"Cause I gotta pee! You want to lay in a puddle?"

"Can't you hold it. . .hey!" John pulled back and wriggled his fingers. "I'm free!"

"Well aren't you the lucky one," McKay groused.

Sheppard sighed and gave Rodney a slightly sympathetic look. "Okay, look, let me shut this console down and I'll see what I can do." He glanced back as the door slid open.

"Oh great, the calvary's here." Rodney sighed and turned as far on his back as he could, looking over his shoulder. "Beckett?" He rolled back. "Oh god, just electrocute me now."

"Elizabeth said there was a medical emergency." His thick accent disguised his shock at seeing Rodney on the floor with his arm in a console. "Did I come at a bad time?"

"Uh, let me see if I can say this without sounding too abrupt," McKay said. "GET ME THE HELL OUT OF THIS THING!"

"Aye, right, okay then." Beckett tossed Sheppard a look which was caught with a shrug as he powered down the system. The room dimmed slightly.

Beckett lay on the floor beside Rodney. "Excuse me," he said politely, and tried to look into the console. "You're right caught up in those wires, what did you think you were doing?"

"I thought I was repairing the grid. Apparently the grid had other ideas."

"Your hand looks to be pretty swollen. Did you feel a shock of any kind?"

"Yes, a shock. A big, cataclysmic shock."

"Nothing, huh?"

"Look, all I know is, no, I can't feel anything and yes, I'm tired of laying here."

"And he has to pee," John added helpfully, still sitting at the console with his arms crossed.

"That bit of information I can do without, but it does increase the severity of the situation," Beckett muttered.


"You have exposed wires hanging out the console, Rodney. Do I really need to explain further?"

"Kill me now."

"Hold on." Beckett reached in carefully and managed to shift a wire. Sparks flew and he pulled back sharply, then went in again. "Almost. . .there." The odd blue light within the console flashed on his face, highlighting his teeth as his lips pulled back in a grimace. "There!" He carefully extracted Rodney's hand.

McKay stood, cradling his injury. Thank god. Oh thank. . .his head snapped up and urgency filled his eyes.

"You have only five minutes, Rodney, then I expect you in my infirmary." Beckett said, and McKay gave a grateful nod, hardly waiting for the door to open before bursting through.

Sheppard sighed and turned to the console. "Guess I should get the techs up here. I don't want to go through that again." Good thing he went looking for Rodney. Seemed he always had to pull him out of a mess, but then, that was his job. Lord only knew what trouble McKay would get in without him around. Why was he always the one cleaning up after everyone? What would the station do if without him if he decided to check out one of those beaches for a week?

"Aye." Beckett nodded and left the room. His own day was packed, but he'd clear time to see Rodney. . .again. He shook his head and sighed, walking towards his own familiar area, back to his work, where he played the role of Carson Beckett, medical practitioner and life saver extraordinare. . .