Disclaimers: I do not own these characters; this is written for fun, I make no money etc.
Spoilers: none I hope
Beta: Thanks to LittleKnux2008 for the beta, much appreciated.
A/N: Apologies if this is not in canon...I have set this in Season 1, I like to think Peter trained the Canadian sergeant himself. Fuel for my brother's ROFLcopter!
Summary: The training of the new guy is discussed….silly fun I hope…
Rodney McKay was not speaking for the reason he was most commonly found not speaking: he was eating. He was sitting in the mess hall with the people he was most commonly found sitting in the mess hall with: Peter Grodin, Radek Zelenka and Carson Beckett.
The silence didn't last long. Through a mouthful of food, McKay addressed Grodin, "Tell me, Peter, how's the training going with the new guy? The sergeant, what's-his-name, you know. Is he shaping up?"
Peter Grodin nodded, "Yes, fine. I think Dr Weir's idea has worked well. I need the back-up, and being military, it will be useful to have him skilled with city systems." He paused, motionless for a moment, "He's coping well."
Carson Beckett sensed Grodin's unspoken words, and set down his mug. "You don't sound totally convinced, Peter."
Grodin poked at his meal with his fork, looking down briefly. Then he shook his head and sighed, catching Beckett's eye. "The training is going well, really. It's just, I don't know. I'm finding it hard to get along with the chap. To be honest, he's not desperately interesting company. I'm beginning to dread another shift with him. It's like the man has no emotions. I mean, yesterday I told him my best elephant joke, and he never even cracked a smile." Grodin sighed again.
Radek Zelenka reached out a hand and squeezed Grodin's shoulder. "Peter, my friend, I do not mean to be insulting, but I have told you before – you need to work on your delivery." He flashed a half-grin at his British colleague.
Grodin scowled a little. "It's not just that, anyway. I don't know if it's because he's military or what, I just don't know…"
Beckett waved his mug, "Is he having trouble grasping the workings of the system?"
"Definitely not." Peter was vehement, "That is certainly not a problem. He has absorbed everything very well, I've been impressed. His understanding has a certain logical element that lends itself well."
McKay interjected, "Sounds good. If the guy can work from first principals, then he's going to be useful."
"I agree," added Grodin, "I think he will be excellent once he's up to speed. I'm looking forward to a more normal shift pattern as soon as possible."
"As long as you make him fit to stand in for you on a regular basis, I don't care who you train." McKay muttered through another mouthful of food.
"You deserve a regular deputy, Peter," said Zelenka, and turning to McKay, added, "This sergeant is Canadian, Rodney. You must be proud he has been chosen. Do you know him at all?"
"Me?" McKay was incredulous. "Why would I?"
Beckett, Grodin and Zelenka exchanged shrugs and smiles, but the astrophysicist was oblivious to the reaction of his friends.
Beckett pushed back his chair and stood, lifting his tray. "Well, Rodney and I need to be in the meeting in a few minutes, we'd better go." He waited as McKay finished shovelling jello into his mouth and rose to join him.
Grodin looked at Zelenka, "Radek, will you come and take a look at the secondary power circuits for me? I ran a diagnostic before lunch, and there seems to be an error in one of the calibration settings."
"Sure, no problem."
Soon, the four men were headed towards the control room. Looking towards the office of Dr Weir, Beckett and McKay could see she was still occupied with some other members of staff. They hovered near the control consoles to wait until she came out for the meeting.
Grodin had sat down next to the Canadian sergeant, who had been waiting for him. They nodded greetings. The Czech and the Brit began examining a display in front of them, Grodin explaining his concerns to Zelenka.
McKay stared intently at his compatriot on the other side of the console, as if considering a course of action. He leaned over, and waved a hand at the sergeant. "So, finding your feet, sergeant?"
The man replied confidently, "Yes sir, Dr McKay, sir. Dr Grodin is an excellent mentor."
"Good, good. So, em, tell me, where in Canada are you from exactly?"
For a split second, a look of utter terror flashed across the face of the sergeant, but his look of composure returned instantly. "Em, Alberta, sir. You?"
"Alberta? Really? I love it there, I mean, I don't ski or anything, obviously, so, anyway, where exactly, Edmonton?"
"No sir, just a small town, near Calgary." The sergeant shifted on his chair, nervously glancing across at Grodin and Zelenka.
"Calgary? How close, Cochrane?"
The sergeant swallowed anxiously. He closed his eyes with a small sigh of resignation. He could tell McKay was not giving up. Looking him directly in the eye, the sergeant stated, "Sir. I am from Vulcan." He blinked.
McKay almost recoiled in horror at what he seemed to have unearthed. Beckett's head flicked up from the notes he had been browsing, and glanced towards Grodin. Peter's mouth had dropped open, and he dared not look at his trainee sitting next to him.
Zelenka was the first to break. He threw his arm around his head to stifle the huge guffaw that he was unable to keep in. He waved an apologetic arm towards his colleagues, as he bent himself double to try to control himself.
Carson Beckett moved his hand towards the mortified sergeant. "I'm sorry, son, " he began, but the grin was overpowering him, and he had to turn away, gripping McKay's arm for support as he began to heave with laughter. He made one more attempt, "It's no' you, son, really, we…" but he couldn't continue as he shook with mirth.
Grodin and McKay were staring at each other, before they simultaneously let out gales of laughter. Peter began to struggle for breath, tears streaming down his face, forcing their way from closed eyes. His chest heaved with the strain, and taking a grab at Zelenka was not enough to stop him from collapsing helpless to the floor.
Major John Sheppard approached the control room, ready for the meeting, watching the oblivious group before him. He eyed the sergeant closely, who had dropped his head into one hand, and was groaning.
"Sergeant?" Sheppard asked slowly, approaching cautiously. "Do we have a situation here?"
Looking up and snapping to mental attention, the Canadian replied, "No sir. I'm sorry, sir. They should be finished soon, sir." His voice began to trail off, "They usually finish soon, sir…I hope they finish soon."
"Told them where you're from, huh?" Sheppard's eyes had a twinkle.
"You'll have to forgive them, sergeant." Sheppard gestured to the four men collapsed around them, still laughing, "They don't get out much."
A/N: Hope you liked! A bit random, I know...