Author's Note: Well here we are once again. I really have to thank everyone, as I always do, for their critiques and enthusastic response. This is fun. I realize I don't have to try and be over the top funny. I just have to try and see the humour, no matter how small. At least I hope I am seeing it. It's all up to you guys. Keep on reviewing! Hell, you can even make suggestions! I love input.
John smiled as the kids ran around him, yelling and laughing playfully. It was a beautiful day in Atlantis, and the new Lieutenant Colonel had promised the few Athosian children who resided in the city (and not on the mainland) a trip to the park they had found near the northwestern pier.
Well, calling it a park was probably a bit optimistic. It was really just a rectangular plot between some of the towers, but it had soil and, surprisingly, a grass like clover that grew evenly across it.
The children squealed as they played tag, chasing an ever tiring Carson Beckett around like piranha after a cow carcass. John just shook his head as three of the Athosian girls tackled Carson, who fell melodramatically to the ground, groaning and moaning.
Stifling a laugh, John turned to see Ronan and Teyla step out of a pillbox shaped building at the corner of the field. The pair, crossly mismatched in height, both wore outdoor clothing from Earth. T-shirts and Shorts and sneakers. Ronan had commented earlier how he liked the Converse's he wore and Teyla seemed to enjoy her tennis shoes immensely.
But something was missing. It took John a minute to realize that the Fourth member of their group, Rodney McKay, wasn't there.
"Hey!" he called out. "Where's Rodney?"
Teyla bit her lower lip and Ronan shrugged. "He said something about looking like an idiot in his shorts." The warrior said.
Carson, having detangled himself from the throng of children, walked over to the forming adult group. Like the others he was wearing shorts which showed off surprisingly powerful looking, if hairy, legs. Instead of a t-shirt he wore a jersey of some sort and cleated shoes.
"Rodney dinnae need shorts ta look like idiotic." Carson murmured as he brushed grass from his legs.
"I heard that!" Rodney cried from inside the pillbox.
"I knew ye wooo-oould." Carson sang back.
The Athosian and the Setitian both smirked and shook their heads while John rolled his eyes. "C'mon Rodney!" he yelled. "You promised!"
"I did not!" The Canadian responded his voice short and full of annoyance. "You promised on my behalf which, I may add, would not hold up in any court of law!"
"You can't stay in there forever!"
"Wanna bet, Sheppard? You'd be surprised how long I would stay in here."
John through up his hands. "Rodney! Get out here now! It's a beautiful day and the kids are waiting!"
A string of curses flowed from the pillbox. A rather bountiful amount of them. In several languages, Ancient Included. All the kids stopped what they were doing, staring at the pillbox from which the strange and dirty words flowed like a damn tht had burst.
John blinked. Teyla looked a bit amused. Carson gaped openly.
Ronan placed his hands over the ears of the nearest little girl.
"Uhm, Rodney?" John called out quickly, hoping to stem the flow, "Sensitive ears, here?"
The swearing stopped, and was followed by an audible grumble. "You want to talk about Sensitive?" he asked. "What about my skin. I have a naturally pale complexion, Sheppard. Do you know what the UV index is here?"
"It's not my fault you sit in front of a computer in a darkened room, day in and day out." John said. "Now get your pasty chicken legs moving, McKay."
Sighing loudly, Rodney finally emerged from the pillbox.
Everyone, Ronan included, had to turn away a moment to compose themselves. There stood Atlantis's Premier Scientist, hands balled into fists that were pressed against his hips in a defiant pose. Rodney was wearing pink shorts and a pink t-shirt. The shorts were a bit longer then normal ones, but still showed off his skinny yet surprisingly toned legs to their.. uhm..best. Legs that were whiter then paper. But the funniest part, aside from the day glow clothes and his vampire chicken legs, was the multi-coloured stripes of Zinc Oxide across his face and arms, applied OVER a probably quarter inch of wgat was probably SPF 1000 sunscreen.
"Oh god, look… It's Braveheart Barbie!" John whimpered, trying not to laugh. He succeeded.
No one else did, though. Not even the aliens.
His face scrunched into that grimace he affected so well, and crossed his glowing, multibanded arms across his chest as everyone but Sheppard guffawed.. "Hah hah!" he crooed, "Yes yes, laugh to your heart's content but when You're all dying of horribly scarring skin cancer and I'm all nice and melanoma free we'll see whowill be laughing."
Carson was wiping the tears from the corners of his eyes. "Aye aye lass.. I mean lad." He croaked. Which caused the group to start laughing again.
Sighing with indignity, McKay walked up to the group. "Fine, keep laughing. See if I care if you scar my delicate psyche. It's not my fault someone dropped a red something or other into the wash." He looked at the children, all smiling at the Pink and Striped scientist. "I can't believe I agreed to this."
"Well, as you said, you didn't." John pointed out as he pulled up a box filled balls from various sports. "Besides, it wasn't my idea so much as it was Carson's."
Rodney gave Beckett the eye of death, which prompted the doctor to quickly raise his hands. "Hold on a second, Rodney." The scot said defensively. "I though ye could use tha excersise."
"What, you mean running for my life from the Wraith wasn't enough?"
Carson shook his head. "Ye need fun exercise." He pointed out. "Something relaxing."
Rodney grumped. "The fact that you used those two terms in a single sentence just further proves to me you're a quack!"
Carson sputtered. "Rodney! Shut up! I needed ye cause I need ye ta 'elp me teach tha kids ta play football!"
Rodney groaned even more, much to Sheppard's amusement. "Oh god, you're trying to kill me." The scientist whined. "You KNOW I hate football."
John was clearly enjoying this. "Yes, we know. But I thought it would be fin to show you which of the games, Hockey or Football, was better."
Carson nodded. "Aye, Colonel. Whatever ye say." He said as he reached into the box and withdrew…
The roundest football John had ever seen. And it was white… with black checkermarks on it. Wait a sec.
"Wait a sec!" he cried. "You didn't say we were going to teach the kids how to play Soccer."
The doctor raised his brow in that way that asked if John was daft. "What? I definitely did so!" he said with a huff. "I said we were teaching the kids Football."
"Yes, football! The game where you throw an oblong pigskin ball down a field."
Carson raised that brow even higher. "Noooo. Yuir talking about that wussy American rip off of rugby." The scot told him. "Football is where ye kick a ball down a field and try ta score points by getting it past a goalie and inta a net."
John groaned and slapped his forehead. He had been looking foreword to a game of American football. Damned stupid British English! Oh well. How hard could it be? He'd still be able to trounce Rodney into the..
Why was Rodney smiling?
And why were his eyes gleaming in a wickedly evil way.
No. It couldn't…
"Soccer?" Rodney finally exclaimed, gleefully. Any anger or resentment he ha shown was replaced with almost inhuman speed by a sheer look of contentment and, maybe, a bit of superiority.
John looked between the Scot and the Canadian suspiciously. "You set this up on purpose." He accused Beckett.
"Oh aye, lad. Definitely." The doctor said happily as he set the ball down and started doing tricks… like bouncing it on one knee and then passing it to Rodney who, to the astonishment of all who knew him, echoed the moves perfectly. The Scotsman grinned cheekily at the American. "That's what ye get when ye replace me coffee with decaffeinated, lad."
Rodney was still doing the soccer tricks, bouncing the ball over his head.. off his head.. off his heel.. the ball never once touching the ground. Ronan looks very impressed at how, almost instantly, Rodney had went from scholar to a fluid-moving sports machine. Teyla though looked as if she was seeing something that just didn't fit right in her personal universe.
As did John.
"You play soccer?" Sheppard cried, watching as McKay continued the ballplay with almost no effort.
Rodney nodded as he finally caught the ball behind his head, between the neck and his back, and let it roll down to the ground where he trapped it with his foot. "Oh yeah." He said, happily. The children wowed and clapped and the Scientist did a bow before continuing. "Played it since I was four. All through school. Was even on the University team until I blew my knee. Was this close to going professional." He held his fingers less then an inch apart..
John cursed. He was going to lose money on this and he knew it. He had spread the word, silently, among the marines that he was going to be playing football and that he was going to be playing against Rodney and Beckett.
"If you blew your knee, how will you play?" John asked, grinning now as he found his out.
"Oh, I kept playing after. Just as a goalie. Went undefeated until graduation."
Carson stepped up and pulled some cones from the box. After instructing the kids how to place them to represent goal nets he gathered everyone around. "Okay, children… and Teyla and Ronan.." The kids giggled and John and Rodney scowled at being lumped in with them. "This is how it works. Half of ya will be on My and Doctor Rodney's team while tha other half will be on Colonel John, Teyla and Ronan's team. Tha rules are easy. Ya pass tha ball, usin yuir feet, ta yuir team mates. Ye cannae touch tha ball with your hands…" And from there he continued to give an abbreviated list of the rules.
Five minutes later the teams were chosen and set up on the field. Rodney was in one goal while Ronan was in the other. The rest of the adults took up less important positions, determined to let the younglings have the most fun.
The game commenced and chaos ensued. But it couldn't be said that no fun was being had. The children squealed as they wrested the ball from their opponents, running back and forth across the field while only marginally obeying the rules, not that anyone really cared.
Sometimes, though, the adults would take over for a few passes and the match went from simple fun to something more competitive. John and Teyla, both extremely physically fit, would rush and try to get passed Becket to score but it seemed that the Scottish doctor would always get in their way, stealing the ball at the children's enthusiastic yells. Carson was a madman on cleats. The way he moved nothing short of almost poetic. Even though he wasn't as fit as the soldiers, his skill was just short of breathtaking.
John had a sneaking suspicion that the good doctor had set up a few bets of his own on the side.
Sometimes John or Teyla would actually get passed Beckett but, to their dismay, Rodney was just as proficient if not more so then Carson. It was like watching a soccer ninja. He would jump, or slide, or cartwheel and stop almost everyball. Hell, the only points that were scored were the ones he let the kids get passed him.
And at the same time, while Becket could easily get passed Teyla and John he would then pass to the kids on his team who would run up on score on Ronan. And Ronan was trying his damndest. For a warrior who could take down three or more fully trained marines or Wraith's he couldn't for the life of him stop a ball kicked by a ten year old Athosian child.
After almost forty minutes, the scores were even. Becket and Rodney hadn't even broken a sweat, which pissed John off even more. He was going to lose so much face here and he knew it.
So in a final rush Teyla passed him the ball. Somehow, maybe by the grace of god, the ball passed Beckett and the children. John got hold of it and ran like his life depended on it.
He was not going to lose to two scientists.
He was not going to be the laughing stock of the entire military regiment.
He was not going to lose that bet. Hey, he had bet he was going to win at football. He just hadn't said which kind of football it would be.
Bound and determined, he weaved in and out of the defense, getting closer and closer. Rodney stood in the goal, crouched and looking determined.
This was the tie breaker.
If he scored the game was his.
If he didn't he knew that Beckett would get the ball and they would lose.
Closer. There was the opening.
And with all his might John took aim and kicked the ball as hared as it could.
The soccer ball arced through the air, gracefully, like a missle on a locked target.
Oh, look! Rodney wouldn't be fast enough! He could see the hesitation in the Canadian's eyes.
He KNEW he would score! There was no WAY Rodney would save this time.
Skidding to a stop, John raised both hands in the air and gave a victory WOOT! He Twirled around, screaming ecstatically.
He had done it!
He was the Champion!
He was the Man! The Numero Uno. The Big Cheese.
He was…. Being looked at strangely? He quickly finished his twirl to see Rodney flying through the air, leg out in a kicking arc..
There was a resounding SMACK!
The ball bounced back, it's momentum easily doubled, shooting away from the goal…
And nailed John directly in the groin.
The world went still. Every child stared at the stricken Colonel who could not move a muscle as holy fire spread throughout his body.
"Oh nuts!" John groaned as he fell to his knees, then his side whilst clutching his groin.
Ronan winced, hell EVERY male within sight winced. It was the kind of soul hurting pain that every species that had a male sex could feel. A universal sympathy.
But Teyla wasn't sympathetic. She was female and had other things on her mind.
"I guess I owe Elizabeth twenty 'bucks'."