By Goo, of course! livengoo... Yep, archive it if you want. All characters belong to somebody else, but I will put them back in good condition after I get done playing. Warnings: Bad taste, bad jokes, not much more than that. Spoilers? Only for John's rank.
It's not the heat . . . It's the stupidity.
Hot. Hot hot hot hot hot.
John Sheppard was melting. Melllltttinnng.
He groaned and wiped sweat-sticky hair off his forehead. And jumped as Colonel Caldwell's brusque voice rapped out, "Are you done lying around?"
"Whuuhhh?" Sheppard rolled his eyes back in his head, then back down so he could see, and squeaked, "Colonel Caldwell?"
The imposing figure looming over him lashed a long, pointy-tipped tail and poked him with a pitchfork. "Do I LOOK like Air Force to you, Maggot?"
"As a matter of fact . . . And isn't it Colonel Maggot now? Sir?"
"Look. I know you're one of the damned, but try not to be more stupid than you have to."
"Uhh, so that means?"
Cald - er, Not-Caldwell tapped a finger on the tip of one of the horns decorating his bald pate, winced, and stuck the finger in his mouth. Around the digit, he mumbled, "Dodt doo no duh debbil whe' you dee hib?"
"What?" Sheppard shook his head and worked a finger in his ear. "What was that? Pig Latin?"
Not-Caldwell jerked the finger out of his mouth and jabbed Sheppard again. Who jumped and snapped, "Ow! Oh come ON! You know you sounded like -"
"DEVIL! I'm the DEVIL!"
Sheppard snorted. "Get outta here. You can't be!"
"What part of red skin, pointy horns, and pitchfork is not getting through to you?" rapped Colonel Devil, punctuating each word with a poke of his pointy tail.
"Owww," grumbled Shepaprd, rubbing at his chest. And suddenly realizing he was buck naked. "Hey! This is just . . this SUCKS!"
"Which is rather the point, Major," snarked a Canadian voice that could only be described as hellaciously annoyed.
"Oh no," growled the Devil as a pair of red, well-manicured hands grabbed the side of a crevice and one huffing, puffing scientist pulled himself up and crawled awkwardly out. The red face was one thing. The red chest, legs, arms, well . . .way more of Rodney McKay than John Sheppard wanted to see. And all of it red, red, red from the tips of his toes to the tops of pointy little horns.
"Rodney," bleated Sheppard. "When did you grow horns?"
"What horns?" The scarlet physicist was wiggling his hips, adjusting his breech clout - yet another thing that Sheppard wanted to see of Rodney McKay. He finally stopped his adjustments and plunked his hands on his hips, eyeing Sheppard. "Now. Let's see. One soul. Damned."
Sheppard ground the heels of his hands into his eyes. "Look, I can't be in hell."
"Yet here you are," chimed Mckay and the Devil together.
"Okay, first, that's really disturbing. Second, there has to have been a mistake. You know the military paperwork . . .this is just a screw up, right? I mean, what did I ever do that's so bad?"
"Ahem," said the Devil. He was picking his teeth with the tip of his tail. Sheppard shuddered.
McKay stepped boldly into the breach. Devil Rodney produced a scroll from somewhere - Sheppard eyed that breech clout uneasily - and snapped the list open with a flourish. It unrolled. And unrolled. And . . .well. Sheppard glared. "That is NOT all mine!"
The two devils smiled at him. Cheerfully.
Rodney-devil opened his mouth, then looked piteously at Colonel Devil. "Uh, hmm . ." He finally offered the scroll with visible reluctance.
"No, no, go right ahead," offered the crimson colonel magnanimously.
"Ahem." Rodney cleared his throat with an ostentatious gesture.
Rodney-devil ran the scroll up through his hands, then back down, up, then nodded. "Right. That time you tied a can to the neighbor's dog's tail."
"Oh come ON! You can't send me to hell for that! That dog chased his tail for an hour and you know damn . . .er, perfectly well he scored a handful of Milkbones for that!"
Rodney-devil scowled at him a moment, then ran the scroll up a little further, hand over hand. "How about that time you ate a bite out of a peach at the store. And put it back."
"Ewww!" said Caldwell-devil, wrinkling his nose and whipping his tail back and forth.
"It had a worm in it! Doesn't that trump?"
"Two wrongs don't make a right," preached Rodney.
"Worm balances. Everybody knows that," muttered a dry voice and a very red, nearly naked Dr. Zelenka scrambled up out of another hole in the ground to stand there, fluffing the hair over his forehead with a puffed breath and adjusting his glasses.
"Uh, do ALL you guys have to wear those . . .thongs?" Sheppard screwed his face up.
"It IS hell, Colonel," noted Zelenka.
"Oh. Point taken."
"Can we get back to the business at hand," sniffed Rodney-devil. Not-Caldwell rolled his eyes. Rodney adjusted his scroll. "Okay, worm cancels. How about this one? That joy ride in your dad's car."
"It was a Dodge Dart."
"Ow," winced Colonel Devil. "Just buying one of those is a sin."
"See? See?" Sheppard nodded his head emphatically.
"Sorry. Is not good enough to cancel joyride," sighed Zelenka mournfully. "Now if car was Trabant . . ."
"Oh come on!" Sheppard threw his hands in the air. "Our driveway was down a hill. You couldn't get a Trabant up that without pushing it. A Dart's got to cancel. You wouldn't call it a sin if it was a Yugo."
"Would still be sin. Must be Trabant. Virtue of pushing cancels sin."
"A YUGO actually counts?" Sheppard boggled.
"Colonel Sheppard, say nothing more," came a sharp voice from behind them. The Caldwell-Devil groaned and tugged woefully at his tail. Sheppard spun around, "Liz?"
"Did you read my client his rights?" She ignored him and spoke to the devils. . "He's in HELL!" snapped Rodney. "What rights?"
"Indeed," sighed Zelenka. "There is no right in hell. Here I think I come to heaven where I can bedevil decadent Western bank managers and corrupt grant reviewers, yet what is my fate? I am minion of Kavanaugh."
Weir plunked a briefcase to the ground and planted her size 8 high heels next to Sheppard. Her shoes were a glossy, perfect white that matched her suit and the gleaming, silvery briefcase. Behind her, Carson Beckett paged frantically through a sheaf of papers and pulled one out to hand to her. He nodded to the three red devils. "McKay, Colonel, Radek."
"Carson," the three of them nodded to the man in white.
"Are we stipulating the formalities?" rapped Weir.
"Yes, yes, yes," moaned Caldwell-devil. "Stipulated, Counselor, can we get ON with this?"
"You'll strike all responses before this as having been made without adequate notice of rights or presence of counsel?"
"Yes, Counselor," grumbled McKay. "Besides, we barely got started."
"Don't plan to get any further, McKay," she sniffed.
"Kavanaugh," sighed Zelenka. "I have lawyer but what happens? My lawyer stuck me with Kavanaugh."
"And exactly WHY does Kavanaugh get minions and I don't?" snapped McKay, leaning out to glare at Zelenka.
"Because even in hell he can't do anything right," grumbled Caldwell-devil.
"Is true. If Kavanaugh did his own work, who knows what would happen?"
"We might get the dress code changed," grumbled Weir, lifting one foot to massage the ball of her foot then slipping it back into the high heel.
"It IS hell," said Zelenka again.
"Point," she sighed. "Now, can we get down to business?"
"What business?" Asked Caldwell-devil. "While I certainly appreciate your expertise and enthusiasm, Counselor, I think it's pretty obvious that this man is damned and therefore under my command."
"Not yet," she growled. "There are some questions of fact at issue, I believe. For example, the defendant is technically not damnable because he is still alive."
"What?" Sheppard sat up fast. "I am?"
"Aye lad, but just let Dr. Weir do the talking for now, all right?" said Beckett, sinking to his haunches beside him.
"But I'm so hot."
"Yes, yes, yes, you always think that, Major," grumbled devil-McKay.
"Colonel! McKay, get it straight!"
"I hate the way you keep changing your name."
"It's not my name! It's my RANK!"
"Yes, rank, man who sweats like that is rank," noted Zelenka.
"That is NOT relevant!" snapped Weir.
"I think man who stinks is always relevant when I have to smell him," responded Zelenka.
Weir sighed and held out a hand, into which her assistant pushed another paper. "The facts stand. First, he's alive therefore not a candidate for enlistment in the ranks of the damned."
"That's splitting hairs," growled Caldwell-devil. "Inevitably he WILL be dead."
"That is a given but the timing remains relevant. The facts stand. Second," she held out the hand and Beckett dropped several more sheets into it. She glanced it them. "Most of the sins here are venial."
"What about the joyriding?" smirked McKay.
"In a Dodge Dart? That's practically a virtue and you know it. His father must have hoped that car was stolen for a time. My client was behaving with real, albeit negligent, virtue when he potentially freed his loved one from a tasteless vehicle like that."
"I thought you said it didn't cancel!" snarled McKay to Zelenka.
"That ruling was overturned." Weir smiled evilly. "I have the ruling from the appellate board right here."
Caldwell-devil took the paper she proferred and scowled. His tail lashed back and forth but he finally nodded and shrugged in resignation. "Right. Well, I knew that one was too good to be true. It was a Dodge Dart after all."
"What about that time you saluted and then made that rude gesture behind the General's back? Huh? Huh?" McKay was rattling his scroll now.
"He was an asshole!" snorted Sheppard.
"Venial," said Weir, waving a hand. "He worked that one off that time he dropped a twenty in the children's fund."
"Children," grunted Caldwell. "Damn 'em."
"Their parents often agree," muttered Weir absently as she riffled through several pages. "Gentlemen, as defense counsel I have reviewed your evidence in support of damnation and I believe I can safely say that there will be no outstanding sins meriting eternal damnation. Do we need to do the whole song and dance?"
"I happen to dance quite well!" snapped Caldwell.
"Yes, yes, but none of us is known for our singing." Zelenka shook his head sadly.
"Speak for yourself! I can sing quite respectably!" said Rodney-devil, puffing out his chest and sucking his gut.
The Caldwell devil cringed. Weir raised one brow. "As you say. It is hell."
"Counsel, can I speak to you a moment?" Caldwell-devil crooked a finger and the tip of his tail.
"Sidebar?" Weir wore a skeptical look.
She rolled her eyes. "My impression of your hell is that EVERYTHING is some shade of rosa."
Caldwell-demon winced again. "Puns. I suppose I should be used to them by now, considering where I work."
She took a step forward and crossed her arms. "So. What do you want to say?"
"Uhh, in my office?" He gestured towards a cave. She eyed it, wrinkled her nose. " here."
"You're a very suspicious person, you know that?"
"Thank you," She gave him a shark grin.
"So. I was thinking." He inspected the tip of his tail with great intensity. "I happen to have a corner office that's empty."
She slowly tilted her head to one side. "And your point would be?"
"Teak desk. Original art on the walls." He looked innocently up into the murky skies of hell, twirling his tail in circles. "Nice leather chair."
She hesitated. Then, "Carpeting?"
"Oriental. Hand knotted."
"Size?" She tapped a toe.
"Twenty by thirty."
She snorted. "That inches or centimeters?"
He smiled back and sharks would have run to hide. "Feet."
She narrowed her eyes. "Of what species?"
"International standard measure."
She licked her lips. Carson Beckett had been standing by, an expression of horror slowly growing on his face. "Dr. Weir! Ye canna be considering this?"
She flinched then shot him a look of rueful greed. "Carson, it's a CORNER OFFICE!"
"But . . .but . . ."
"Uh, what about me?" Sheppard tapped her arm and tried to interpose her between himself and the sharp stares of McKay, Caldwell and Zelenka.
"What about you?" She huffed, then turned back. "What's wrong with it? Alley view?"
"Panorama. You can check it out yourself."
". . . there's got to be something wrong with it."
"Well," sighed Caldwell. "Occasionally the air conditioning isn't up to snuff."
"So. What. Is it . . ."
He smiled. "Hot."
Hot hot hot hot hot. Sheppard wanted to yell. Then a cool hand and a soft, Scottish brogue said, "I bet you are, son. But it'll be better before long."
"Carson?" Sheppard squeaked and blinked, in the sudden light. The red faded to white and Atlantis's elegant bronze. "But I'm so HOT!"
"You always think that," grouched Rodney, then doubled over in coughs. "Dying here."
Beckett rolled his eyes and shook his head. "I know you feel like hell, lad, but it's just the flu."
"Oh," Sheppard slumped back. Then eyed Rodney narrowly and craned to get a look at the top of his head. "What? What? Oh god, is my hair falling out?" Rodney patted the top of his head. "I'm going bald, I know it."
"It's the flu, not . . .Pegasus Follicular Dysentery , Rodney." Beckett sighed.
"Foll . .. dys . . .CARSON! This is NOT funny!"
Beckett snickered. Sheppard reached out and flipped back Rodney's covers, then smiled happily and slumped back on his pillows. "No horns. And you're wearing scrubs."
Rodney and Beckett stared at him. "Uh, Colonel? Exactly how ARE you feeling?"
Sheppard smiled widely and wiped the sweat-sticky hair back off his forehead. "Heavenly, guys. Just heavenly."