Rodney

I cannot believe how tired I still am. I can barely open my eyes, never mind drag myself out of bed. Wait a minute. What's going on? This is most decidedly NOT the bed I fell asleep in. "Where am I?" I look down and realize I have a bigger problem. "Where are my clothes!"

"Can't we sleep just a little longer?" Great. I should have known.

What time is it, anyway? "It's two in the afternoon! Where the hell are we?" And why hasn't anyone come looking for me? Am I that dispensable... oh yeah, that's right. Elizabeth threw us out yesterday.

"We're in my room. Your mattress sucks."

"That is a prescription mattress - I need that for my back." Whoa, whoa, whoa. Focus on the important stuff. "Now, how the hell did we get here?"

"I walked here while you were sleeping."

Oh, is that all? "You did what!"

"Yeah, well, it was a lot easier to use your body when you were asleep." Hello, "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" here! Aren't there laws against this sort of thing?

"Pants! Where are my pants?"

"They're over on the chair." I will not think about how they got there. I just won't! I'm just going to get up very slowly and go get them... Oh, crap! She's going to see me buck naked. Let me just grab that sheet over here.

"Seen it!" Oh, thank you so much for telling me that.

"We have gotta set some boundaries!" You are a guest in my head. An uninvited guest, at that. You will refrain from taking control of my body and stripping it naked!

"Yeah, I'm sorry about that. I'm kinda used to sleeping in the buff." I didn't need to know that either, for God's sake! This is way too much information.

"You have crossed a line here, Cadman."

"I guarantee it was more traumatic for me!"

I will not call her a bitch.

I will not call her a bitch.

I will not call her a bitch.

If I think it often enough, maybe it will actually be true.

Ow, ow, ow! What is that? Why do my legs feel like someone's holding a red-hot poker to them? "Why are my legs burning?"

"Oh, I took us for a run before we went to bed."

Exercise? "Why in the world would you do that?" Don't you get enough exercise running around with toy guns all day?

"Because it helps me unwind."

In case you haven't noticed, you don't have a body to unwind! I, however, do have a body, and you're destroying it! That reminds me... "OK, OK - this is very important. Did you ingest any citrus? I am deathly allergic to citrus."

"Uh-oh." I'm a dead man... again!

"Uh-oh?"

"Rodney, look - I worked out, I came here and I went to bed. Jeez, loosen up!" Oh, so you think that's funny? Let's see how you like anaphylactic shock!

"I would love to, but every muscle in my body is sore from your stupid workout!" Now, how can I put on my boxer shorts while maintaining some semblance of dignity?

"So what's on the board for today?"

"More of the same. Why - do you have any ideas?" This could be truly terrifying.

"Yeah - actually I do." Lovely. Have I mentioned the dead man thing yet?

So much for dignity. "Don't look!"

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Laura

I don't want to wake up yet; I'm way too comfortable. I just want to lie here and relax. Something will come up soon enough to drag me back into the real world.

"Where am I? Where are my clothes!" See, what did I tell you?

McKay can really push my buttons, and he doesn't even have to try very hard. "Can't we sleep just a little longer?" It's worth a try.

"It's two in the afternoon! Where the hell are we?" Interesting. Even I usually don't sleep this late. I guess losing your body and getting stuck in someone else's psyche is especially tiring.

"We're in my room. Your mattress sucks." Come to think of it, no wonder you're such a perpetual grouch! It's worse than the mattress I used during basic training!

"That is a prescription mattress - I need that for my back." Prescription? Then your doctor needs to be sued for malpractice. Or, better yet, shot. Unless it's Beckett. "Now, how the hell did we get here?"

"I walked here while you were sleeping."

"You did what!" I "forgot" to tell him what I was going to try. Oops, my bad.

"Yeah, well, it was a lot easier to use your body when you were asleep." That really didn't sound right. We need to come up with a new vocabulary for this sort of situation.

"Pants! Where are my pants?"

Aww. He's embarrassed. I didn't think he had any dignity left after some of the stories I've heard. "They're over on the chair."

He's trying to hide himself like a teenaged guy in the locker room. "Seen it!" Get over yourself, McKay!

"We have gotta set some boundaries!"

"Yeah, I'm sorry about that. I'm kinda used to sleeping in the buff." I really wish he didn't need to know that. I never wanted to tell any of my boyfriends, never mind this geeky astrophysicist.

"You have crossed a line here, Cadman."

Oh, we won't even count the number of times you've crossed that line. "I guarantee it was more traumatic for me!"

"Why are my legs burning?" Good move to gracefully change the subject.

"Oh, I took us for a run before we went to bed." You're lucky I'm really tired, or I would have taken us on an early morning run, too.

"Why in the world would you do that?"

"Because it helps me unwind." It might be a good habit for you to get into, too. You could definitely stand to unwind a bit.

"OK, OK - this is very important. Did you ingest any citrus? I am deathly allergic to citrus."

Oh, for crying out loud..."Uh-oh."

"Uh-oh?"

"Rodney, look - I worked out, I came here and I went to bed. Jeez, loosen up!" Case in point. You're going to worry yourself into an early grave if you don't learn to relax. Now, far be it from me to tell you how to live your life, but now I've got a stake in your survival, too!

"I would love to, but every muscle in my body is sore from your stupid workout!" Aww, pooor baby.

"So what's on the board for today?"

"More of the same. Why - do you have any ideas?"

Funny you should ask. "Yeah - actually I do." Who knows, you might even learn something.

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Rodney

Oh, you have GOT to be kidding me! "No, it is completely out of the question."

"Why? You'd rather go it alone?" Actually, at this point I'd rather not do it at all. The thought of a disembodied voyeur sure as hell leaches away any romantic feelings I might have had! Oh, God. I can't believe I'm actually thinking about romantic feelings. Cadman's rotting my brain!

"Oh yes, imagine that, I'd rather go it alone!" Come on. You can't tell me that if our positions were reversed you'd be any happier about me tagging along.

"Well, consider the opportunity, right? To have a woman there with you, helping you out, feeding you lines." Who, you? Hate to break it to you, Cadman, but what makes you think you're any better at this than I am? I haven't exactly seen your social calendar being all that full."I really think you could learn something."

"Thank you for the offer, Cyrano, but I think I'll pass." Do you military types even read literature like that?

"I was there when you bumped into her, OK? I felt how nervous and awkward you were."

"Well, I'm sure that has nothing to do with my current situation." Oh, no. Walking around with two personalities in my body couldn't possibly make me feel out of sorts!

"Come on, Rodney, let me do this for you! Maybe this is why this happened."

" 'This is why this happened'?" She didn't really just say that, did she?

"Yeah."

"Are you insane?" Next are you going to tell me this is fate, or some such crap? You've been reading the tabloids, haven't you.

"Considering our situation here, I think I've been extremely reasonable. I can make this a living hell for you, Rodney." You already are! "This is something I wanna do, and we're doing it." For the record, this is a terrible plan.

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Laura

"No, it is completely out of the question." Typical close-minded guy. Doesn't even bother to consider any plans other than the crazy ones he comes up with.

"Why? You'd rather go it alone?" I could let you, but I don't want to be that cruel... to Katie, that is. I'd rather not have her be traumatized and in need of Dr. Heightmeyer's services.

"Oh yes, imagine that, I'd rather go it alone!"

"Well, consider the opportunity, right? To have a woman there with you, helping you out, feeding you lines. I really think you could learn something." This has to be the first time in history that a guy has a built-in dating coach! I'm sure we'd set all kinds of new records. Maybe we'll even get that Nobel Prize that you apparently crave. In what, I don't know, but I'll think of something.

"Thank you for the offer, Cyrano, but I think I'll pass." Oooh, nice literary snobbery there, Einstein. Did you read the book or see the movie version with Steve Martin?

"I was there when you bumped into her, OK? I felt how nervous and awkward you were." Ordinarily that would make me want to cringe and run for the hills at the mere thought of observing your date. But like I said, Katie's my friend.

"Well, I'm sure that has nothing to do with my current situation."

"Come on, Rodney, let me do this for you! Maybe this is why this happened." Maybe I'm supposed to make you see the error of your ways. You know, like Scrooge. I'm the ghost of girlfriends past, present, and future.

" 'This is why this happened'?"

"Yeah." Okay, fine. I don't really believe it, either. But you gotta admit it sounds good!

"Are you insane?" Not yet, but I'm getting there.

"Considering our situation here, I think I've been extremely reasonable. I can make this a living hell for you, Rodney." Believe me, I've got plenty of ideas. "This is something I wanna do, and we're doing it."

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Rodney

"I'm late - sorry. Hi." I don't suppose you'd believe the excuse that I was stuck getting rid of another woman -- who happens to be trapped in my head!

"Carson kept me company. Sit down - the first course is all set to go." She really does look beautiful... Wait a minute. Did she say Carson!

"Carson?" I realize that your dating life isn't that great, either, but what the fuck? Why are you here during mine?

"Rodney."

"What are you doing here?"

"You invited me!" Oh, don't give me that clueless look, Dr. Kildare. Surely you can come up with a better answer than that! Why would I invite you to a private date? Especially since I can't even remember doing it... oh. This must have happened during Cadman's little joyride in my stolen body!

"Oh, I did, did I? Yes?" Cadman, not only have you crossed the line, but you have also trampled it into dust. Have I told you recently that I'm SO going to kick your ass when this is all over!

"Please, sit." Katie doesn't seem to think anything weird's going on. (Either that, or she's hiding it pretty well.) At least this salad looks good, though...

"Don't start eating, you idiot! Make a toast first!"

"Yes, yes, yes!" Oh, shit. What am I going to say? Come on, Cadman. Now that I want you to talk, you clam up. Make yourself useful! "A toast - to you. We've been working together for ... some time now, a short time, but, um, in that time I've ... often found our interchanges very, um ... um ..." Isn't it about time for a Wraith attack? CADMAN, THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT!

All right. What would I want a woman to say to me in this situation? "What I mean to say is that, um, you're very funny, and smart..." Good, good. What else? "...and, uh ... from what I can tell, you ... make a delicious salad." Not so good. Let's just end it. "So, to you." Whew!

"Yes, cheers!" Carson looks like he's going to have a nervous breakdown. Join the club, my friend.

"Very good! That wasn't so bad. She's obviously into you, so at least we have that working for us. Now, I was thinking that we m... Wait, McKay. McKay. Stop drinking the wine.

You're gonna get drunk." And this is a bad thing why? "Actually, wait, yes! You need that to loosen up a bit. Finish it off!" Never mind. If it's your idea, then it is a bad thing. But since I've already had 5/6 of it, I might as well finish it off. "Good boy! Yeah!"

Oh, I may be your bitch right now, but I'm NOT a dog, dammit!

"Say something, McKay! C'mon, say something that'll start a conversation."

Yeah? Such as, 'Isn't it fascinating to watch a colleague slowly go insane?' Or, 'How about that Athosian football team?' "So, um, do you, uh ... um ..."

"Yes?" You're probably regretting this date now, aren't you?

"Forgot what I was gonna say... What was it? Um ..." Hey, what are you doing? Stop that!

"OK, this is ridiculous. Katie, I really like you. In fact, the past few months here have been made more liveable thanks to you. I wanted tonight to be special, but for reasons I can't go into now, I gotta leave."

"I'm sorry to hear that." Me, too! This isn't my idea! Give me back my body!

"But I don't want you to be insulted or to wonder whether or not I am interested in you. Because I am ... I am very, very interested."

OH MY GOD! WHAT DID YOU JUST DO, CADMAN! I KNOW YOU'RE OUT OF YOUR BODY, BUT ARE YOU COMPLETELY OUT OF YOUR MIND, TOO? How could you kiss her like that? (Not that I'll ever admit it, but that was a pretty good kiss. I wonder if I can replicate it...)

"See you soon." Did you just make us caress Carson? Forget it, I don't want to know.

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Laura

I hate to say this, but I'm starting to have second thoughts. I'll probably wind up scarred for life after watching McKay's fumbling attempts to date Katie. On the other hand, since my life may not be that long, perhaps being scarred won't be so bad. Anyway, it's too late to turn back now. We're about to enter Katie's quarters.

"I'm late - sorry. Hi."

"Carson kept me company. Sit down - the first course is all set to go." Oh, yes. That's the other reason for me not to have second thoughts. Forget the first course, I've already got my eye candy.

"Carson?" McKay sounds flabbergasted. Is this another thing I forgot to tell him? Oops, I did it again.

"Rodney."

"What are you doing here?" Good, at least he's staying calm about it.

"You invited me!"

"Oh, I did, did I? Yes?" Now you're catching on, dear. You owe me for hogging the body in Heightmeyer's office.

"Please, sit."

Wait, wait, wait. What are you doing? "Don't start eating, you idiot! Make a toast first!" Didn't anyone teach you anything about social occasions?

"Yes, yes, yes! A toast - to you. We've been working together for ... some time now, a short time, but, um, in that time I've ... often found our interchanges very, um ... um ..." Come on, hot shot. You're the one who wanted to go it alone. "What I mean to say is that, um, you're very funny, and smart..." Hey, not bad. Maybe your mother managed to teach you some manners after all. "...and, uh ... from what I can tell, you ... make a delicious salad. So, to you."

I'll drink to that. "Very good! That wasn't so bad. She's obviously into you, so at least we have that working for us. Now, I was thinking that we m..."You'll drink to that, too, apparently. "Wait, McKay. McKay. Stop drinking the wine. You're gonna get drunk."

Hmmm. A drunk Rodney McKay has interesting possibilities. "Actually, wait, yes! You need that to loosen up a bit. Finish it off! Good boy! Yeah!" Whoa. I think I'm getting carried away here.

Jeez, look at him. Everyone else is eating, and he's sitting there like a lump. "Say something, McKay! C'mon, say something that'll start a conversation." You know, something like. 'My, how hot you look, Carson.' Wait a minute -- that's me. You say something like 'You look lovely tonight, Katie.'

"So, um, do you, uh ... um ..."

"Yes?"

"Forgot what I was gonna say. What was it?"

All right, enough's enough. I've obviously vastly overestimated your meager conversational abilities. Time for a pro to take over. Watch and learn. "OK, this is ridiculous. Katie, I really like you. In fact, the past few months here have been made more liveable thanks to you. I wanted tonight to be special, but for reasons I can't go into now, I gotta leave." There.

"I'm sorry to hear that."

"But I don't want you to be insulted or to wonder whether or not I am interested in you. Because I am ... I am very, very interested." Whew! This is only the second time I've kissed a girl like that -- and there's no way in hell anyone's finding out about the first time. "See you soon."

On that note, I think we'd better go. Oh, and by the way. I hope you're taking notes, Carson. Because I want you to say and do something like that to me!

TBC