Title: Absolute Angels
Author: Dr. Dredd
Spoilers: Very minor for Trinity
Rating: G or K
Disclaimer: Stargate Atlantis, characters, concept, etc, aren't mine.
Summary: Rodney. Babysitting. 'Nuff said.
Written for the SGAHC pink challenge. (Fiction must include the sentence, "Oh my, did they have to paint it pink?")
John and Elizabeth walked into the high-ceilinged room they were using as a recreation area and stared in disbelief. Rodney McKay lay sleeping on the floor surrounded by four young Athosian children, also sound asleep. John thought it was the first time he'd ever seen Rodney so quiet, other than when he was lying near death in the infirmary. The man wasn't even snoring. "Well... this is something new," John said.
Elizabeth couldn't believe it. Somehow, Rodney McKay, the man who seemed to hate little kids, had managed to fall asleep in the same room with them. Even more astonishing, they had tolerated him enough to nap, too. She quickly ruled out alien possession or android substitution as possible causes, and was at a loss to explain the phenomenon.
But the most amazing thing about the whole scene was not the fact that Rodney and the kids were in peaceful coexistence. It was what the kids had obviously done to get Rodney into that state. John smirked, "Someone should get Carson and Radek. Neither of them will believe this, and it's got such good blackmail potential."
Several hours earlier, Elizabeth had entered the conference room to hear the incessant sound of Rodney's whining. Teyla was also there, and she was looking at the scientist with ill-disguised disgust. "I cannot believe you even suggested that, Dr. McKay," she said coldly.
Elizabeth raised an eyebrow. "Rodney, Teyla. Am I interrupting anything?"
"Ah, Elizabeth," said Rodney loudly. "Perhaps you could explain to Teyla that my valuable time is not well-spent babysitting."
Elizabeth's brow climbed even higher. "Do I even want to know what you're talking about?"
Teyla interrupted. "I was telling Dr. McKay that Halling's friend entrusted me with the care of his four young children. I can't just simply leave them here while you, Major Sheppard, and I accompany Ronon to his meeting."
"And all I was saying was that I think they would find working in the labs to be educational!"
"No, what you actually said was, 'put the little monsters to work'. I understood that to be an offer to watch them while they "helped" you."
Elizabeth intervened before the argument could deteriorate any further. It would be good for Rodney to develop some humility, and what better way than by supervising children? "Thank you, Rodney," she said quickly. "That's a very generous offer, and we definitely appreciate it. Can we drop them off in about half an hour?"
Rodney's expression just then could be best described by the words "deer in the headlights." He swallowed hard. "Um, Elizabeth, I'm not really that good with kids."
Elizabeth firmly clamped down on her desire to laugh at his understatement. "Nonsense. Just give them something to do, keep an eye on them, and try not to irreversibly damage anyone's psyche."
"Funny," said Rodney. But instead of sounding sarcastic, he just sounded ill.
John, Elizabeth, and Teyla walked into Rodney's lab bringing two young boys and two girls with them. They all looked positively adorable, like absolute angels. "The two girls are Zaira and Mara, and the boys are Zak and Jef," beamed Teyla
"Maira and Zara, Jak and Zef," said Rodney. "Got it."
Teyla almost managed to keep from rolling her eyes, but didn't quite make it. "I've told them to be on their best behavior. And they will be. Right, children?"
"Right!" chorused the four.
"That's it, then!" said John brightly. "We'll leave you guys to get acquainted." He walked out of the lab with Elizabeth and Teyla. The last thing they heard was, "So, any of you know anything about differential equations?"
"Oh my... did they have to paint it pink!" screeched Rodney as he saw the havoc the kids had wreaked during his brief absence. Zaira and Mara gave him smiles of pure innocence. A few hours ago, he'd given them some watercolor paints someone had brought over on the Daedalus and left in the recreation room. He was desperate, and would gladly pay the owner back later, with interest.
Needless to say, the four children had not been the least interested in watching Rodney mumble and poke at some of his tech toys. So they proceeded to amuse themselves by: 1.) playing catch with Kavanaugh's glass beakers; 2.) playing hide and seek in the engineering lab and almost sending Radek to the infirmary in heart failure, and; 3.) ruining one of Rodney's computer simulations by pounding on the keyboard. As a last ditch effort to save his sanity, Rodney gave them the paints to keep them quiet. If he'd known what they would do with them, he would have tried to render himself unconscious as a better alternative.
What they had done was to decorate Rodney's lab coat by covering it in paint. Pink paint. It was his last clean lab coat, and now he would look like a walking cone of cotton candy if he wore it. "Just great," he muttered to himself.
"Wear it, Uncle Rodney!" yelled Mara. The other three chimed in with "Yeah!" "Do it!" and "Pleeeeassse?"
Rodney tried some of the relaxation techniques Kate was attempting to teach him. He took several slow, deep breaths and made himself unclench his fists and jaw. "Okay," he said in as calm a tone as he could manage. "If I wear this, will you promise to sit down over there and not move until Teyla and the others get back?" They nodded vigorously. "Fine," Rodney snapped as he put on the coat.
Zak proceeded to punch him on the arm and yell, "Tag, you're it!" He ran out the door, followed by his partners in crime.
"Ow!" yelped Rodney as he rubbed his arm. If he ever learned who had taught Earth games to the Athosians, that person was a walking corpse. Then he dashed into the hall after them. They eventually ended up in the recreation room, but not before tearing through the infirmary and then knocking over Colonel Caldwell. Rodney knew he could add two more people to the list of those who were pissed off at him and dozens more to the list of those who thought that he had lost his mind, but just then he didn't really care. He finally caught up with the four and decided to sit down and catch his breath for just a minute.
That's how John, Elizabeth, and Teyla found them. Rodney had dozed off, and the kids had taken up positions near him and draped over him. The scientist was still wearing his pastel pink lab coat. Carson ran into the room a few minutes later. "Is anyone hurt?" he asked. Then, "Oh, my." The physician snickered. "Serves him bloody right."
John whistled appreciatively. "I had no idea Rodney's wardrobe was so varied."
"Aye, lad, it's quite the fashion statement."
Radek pounded into the room. He looked at Rodney and the four kids as if he saw things like that every day, then pulled out his camera and began snapping photos. "They should be ready in a few hours," he said to John. "I'm sure we can trust you to do something appropriate with them."