TITLE: Trapped in Hell
RATING: T, for language
SPOILERS: None. Takes place in season two.
Copyright Disclaimer: The Stargate Atlantis characters, as presented on the series, belong to MGM, Sci Fi, and other registered copyright holders. No copyright infringement is meant or intended by the writing and posting of this material. I'm just borrowing the characters and the universe for a piece of non-profit 'fan fiction' and will return in one piece (well, usually). However, all original characters and story material are copyright to author. Please do not repost this fiction, in whole or in part, anywhere, without expression written permission of the author.
SUMMARY: Colonel Sheppard is trapped in a puddle jumper - in his pajamas. It goes downhill from there..
Trapped in Hell
Well, life now royally sucked.
Here he was, trapped in a puddle jumper, in his pajamas. Well, not his pajamas. He had no idea whose pajamas they were as he certainly wouldn't be caught dead in the damned things, but now… crap, be careful what you don't wish for as you'll get it.
Okay, this couldn't be too complicated, so he could solve it. He was a pilot. This was a plane, of sorts. He'd learned enough mechanics in his day, but…. Oh hell.
John Sheppard sat down in the pilot's seat as he emitted a heavy sigh of disgust.
The whole week had been one disaster after another, and hey, he hadn't even had to leave home to experience it. He'd been dying to go off-world but all missions were scrubbed until whatever problem Atlantis was experiencing was fixed. First, the water took on a mind of its own, that is, in the cold water-hot water department. After a few near scaldings, all showers and baths were banned. You could fill a bucket and douse yourself but the edict had come down from above – Elizabeth Weir, that is, backed up by Carson Beckett no less – that no one was to stand under a shower or any running water. All it took was one look at Corporal Perkins' red skin to realize, hey, a bucket was just fine.
And then the lighting system screwed up. Walking down a hall, poof, utter blackness. That resulted in two broken wrists, one sprained ankle, and a lot of disgruntled feelings as people would start groping around in the darkness and accidentally grab someone. Oh yeah, and Dr. Peters had a real beaut of a black eye when he'd turned, trying to find the lightswitch in his lab, and instead grabbed his assistant, Grace Jenkins, on the chest. At least those were the words he'd used to explain his injury but she'd shrieked some pretty sharp words about him squeezing her boobs. Oh well, at least there were a few laughs out of this mess.
And that's how he'd ended up in the wrong pajamas.
Now, he hadn't brought any pajamas with him on the first journey through. But after the Daedalus brought them contact with Earth, and he'd had the chance to go back home, he'd actually picked up a nice decent blue flannel pair. What the heck. It got cold occasionally and he couldn't sleep in T-shirts and shorts forever.
So he'd been in the Ancient version of the laundromat, using the contraption he'd been suspicious of ever since it had eaten all his socks. Sure, he eventually got them back but that had been another story in itself.(1)
Everybody did their own laundry, or at least some folks did. So he'd had stuff folded up, ready to go when the room went black. Another blackout. Crap. This is what he got for letting it pile because he'd done mission after mission after mission. Rodney put out a city-wide alert for people to stay put while he and his people worked on the problem, but John Sheppard was tired of having to fix problems all day too. People trapped in the shooting range when the door wouldn't open. Doors trying to shut on people. That had been one nightmare luckily averted by someone's quick thinking about jamming a chair above the door's hapless victim.
He'd spoken to Rodney at length about the problem. The Canadian was really in a pissed-off mood. The words 'dismember' and 'defenestrate' were uttered in deadly tones as the scientist swore revenge on whoever had caused Atlantis' computers to go wonky. Sheppard knew then and there that he was staying out of the science side of this fiasco if McKay's vocabulary was deteriorating to the point he was saying 'wonky.'
So he'd felt around in the dark, grabbed his finished laundry, and made his way back to his quarters with no mishap. Luckily he had a very good knowledge of the layout of the base, even in the dark. And fortunately he didn't bump into Dr. Jenkins or else he'd have a black eye and spurious charges lodged against him for trying to cop a feel.
Lord, these newbies off the Daedalus needed to get a grip.
The temperature was also screwed up, dipping down to Arctic levels at times, so dammit it all, he tossed on his PJs in the dark and got under the covers. They were nice and warm and fuzzy, but still, he wondered if anybody thought to bring an electric blanket?
Then the plan – carefully orchestrated by some unknown Pegasus Galaxy deity whom he'd obviously grievously offended – was put into action. Lieutenant Cadman called. Something hinky was going on in the jumper bay. Cripes, didn't anybody speak English anymore? Wonky? Hinky? And what the hell did defenestrate mean anyway?
So he'd trudged down there, in the dark, in his pajamas, with his vest and guns, and boots. No way was he going barefoot down there. Probably step on a tack with his luck.
Luckily Cadman knew the rules. Don't shove P-90 lights in your commander's face, so instead she just kept it toward the jumpers explaining that one of the jumper's had been making odd noises.
Great. Either they had rats or it was a computer thing. He told her to stay put and he went inside Jumper Two. As if it had a mind of its own, the rear hatch closed. He'd been tempted to jump out, but then thought about how Sergeant Tilson had nearly been squashed in a door earlier made him think twice. Cadman had the brains not to try to rescue him, thank god. He'd really prefer not to explain to Beckett why his girlfriend got cut in half. They were still dating, weren't they?
That had been two hours ago and the only good thing was that it was warm inside the jumper. Pitch black and warm. He actually sorta didn't mind the pitch black, especially not after his P-90's beam had accidentally struck his pajama leg and he'd done a double-take and then nearly gasped in horror.
How much worse could this day get?
"We've got the problem located," complained a loud voice in his ear.
"So glad to hear that, Rodney," Sheppard smirked. Yes, lights out was good. He did not want to be seen in these PJs. Luckily the lights out problem had also involved the jumpers.
"It's the same hellish mess as what happened on the Daedalus," continued Rodney. Sheppard heard something break in the background. "Oh for pete's sake, who put that there!" screamed Rodney.
Yeah, stuck in a jumper was okay by him.
"But how the hell did we get a wraith virus here?" asked Sheppard. Now THAT worried him.
"Wraith? Ha!" Rodney snorted in derision. "It was one of those geeks they sent us from the Daedalus! Hasn't anybody ever heard of anti-virus programs, firewalls, security! I can't believe that that virus even still exists!"
Boy, Rodney had to be smoking steam out of his ears at this point. "What virus, Rodney?"
"The happy virus!"
"Uh, never heard of it."
"Well, it's a very lame little computer virus from the last century that should be all rights be extinct, but noooo…" Rodney made some noises of utter disgust that sounded like a cat hacking up a hairball. Sheppard could hear Zelenka saying something a bit more confident in the background. "And although it's a very simple virus, it, well, I'm not going to waste time explaining exactly how it took down Atlantis' system."
"Can we have the moron who unleashed this virus shot?"
"That would be an Elizabeth decision." Sheppard leaned in his chair, flicking off the P-90 light. God, these pajamas were just SOOO not him. But they fit. Who the hell's were they?
"Oh, that's it! Chicken out! It's not like you've been going through a living hell!" sniped McKay hotly.
"Just fix it, Rodney," ordered Sheppard. "Call me if anything important happens. Wait, when you fix it out there, it fixes the jumper, right?"
"Oh, calm down, Roger Rocket," Rodney said in a smug voice. "Of course, the whole computer virus thing will just work its way down all the systems, so yes, you'll be out of the jumper in no time flat." There was a pause. "Wait, you've got air, right?"
Sheppard coughed, rather dramatically. "It is getting sorta stale in here." He added another choking cough for effect.
"Oh god, that's not good," moaned Rodney in worry. "Wait. Oh, I can't believe it!" he yelled. "You're trying to get my sympathy! That is SO low!"
"No, just trying to amuse myself. I didn't bring a deck of cards."
"You idiot," and Rodney cut him off.
"Oh, why thank you," Sheppard said sarcastically. He clicked off and then told Cadman she could continue doing whatever she'd been doing. That was fine with her as she was on security duty in the jumper bay anyway.
It was probably two hours later when the lights flicked on in the jumper bay, but oddly enough, not inside the jumper. Oh great. He wasn't really stuck in here, was he?
"Colonel," came a voice over the radio.
"Is the jumper active?"
"Dead as the proverbial doornail."
"Okay, I'm coming down. We may need to do some tweaking," Rodney added.
Down here? "Um, can't you fix it from there?"
"Do you want to spend the rest of your life in there?"
"Fine, fine," agreed Sheppard. Okay, he was NOT going to have Rodney see him in these ridiculous PJs. Of course, they didn't stow extras uniforms in the jumpers. Was there anything else he could use to cover himself? Ah ha, an emergency blanket! Easy! Simple! No one would question that because Atlantis was a bit on the chilly side. Okay, he could rest easy.
Two hours later and he was still in the jumper, feet up on the passenger seat, waiting. This was getting boring. Rodney and Zelenka were busy chattering left and right in his ear, having him press this, flick that, do this, do that. Then…. the lights came on and the jumper came alive. Finally!
And the rear hatch began to descend.
Shit! He immediately grabbed the emergency blanket and cocooned himself in it. Okay, he'd look weird – like a giant candy bar in the silver blanket - but damned if he was going to look utterly ridiculous. He had his pride to consider, after all. Sheppard stepped out of the jumper.
"Oh, it's not that cold," Rodney's voice grumbled. The scientist was standing in the jumper bay at a nearby panel, peering at a laptop he had on a table that was connected to the panel. Zelenka just arched an eyebrow, but said nothing.
Great, the blanket trailed. Don't trip, don't trip, Sheppard thought. He could fight off wraith. He could pull this off, too.
"I'm just here to make sure he's all right." A Scottish brogue, a very tired one, came around the corner. Beckett was carrying his little Ancient doohickey thing that made Sheppard think of Star Trek's tricorders. "Colonel, are ye all right?"
"I'm fine, don't need a doctor. Just a got little chilly in there cuz I was roused out of a sound sleep by Dudley Do-right over there and wasn't in uniform," he said very fast as he made a bee-line for the exit.
Cadman, who came up right beside Beckett, arched an eyebrow and was doing her best to keep a mirthful grin off her face.
"Lieutenant, you're not supposed to think of your commanding officer like that," said Sheppard flatly.
"Of course not, sir," she nodded seriously.
"Fine, fine, we've rescued the colonel from the depths of the big bad jumper," McKay said very loudly. "He was in imminent threat of dying of sheer boredom and NOT from lack of oxygen, despite his very poor attempts at acting."
"Sue me," shot back Sheppard.
Rodney began unplugging all his wires, which meant this was Sheppard's cue to escape. It worked perfectly, until the blanket snagged on something and pulled off, leaving him more vulnerable than being as stark naked as the day he was born.
Rodney let out a massive bout of raucous laughter.
And there Sheppard stood, clad in his black tactical vest, P-90, weapon belt and boots – and a pair of flannel pink pajamas adorned with extremely, overly cute black and white kittens plastered over every square inch of cloth.
"I had no idea!" continued Rodney, ignoring the fact that Sheppard's temper was fraying and he had a gun. "They're not mine!" Sheppard protested in a roar.
"They most certainly are not!" Beckett sounded ticked off. "What the hell are you doing in Lieutenant Cadman's pajamas!"
"Huh?" Cadman sounded confused.
"She doesn't wear pajamas," said Rodney, catching his breath after laughing. "She sleeps nude."
Beckett's stare was priceless. If looks could kill. "And you would know this how, Dr. McKay?"
"Hey, wait just a minute here," protested McKay quickly. "When I woke up in her bed—"
"You were sleeping with Lieutenant Cadman?" asked Zelenka curiously. "Katie will be very upset."
"NO!" McKay was starting to sound worried. "When she was in my head, she took over my body and we ended up in her bed."
"This sounds sordid," Zelenka muttered loud enough for everybody to hear. "Please continue. I could use some entertainment after today."
"Excuse me, but nothing happened," interjected Cadman. "As if anything could," she snorted as though entertaining some secret.
"And what does that mean?" McKay was definitely insulted.
Okay, that was his cue. Those four were arguing out a lover's spat that didn't even exist so he was going to hightail it out there. Oh, he knew that by tomorrow morning, it would be all over base what he'd been wearing, but at least then he'd be awake and if he had to get on the base's system and explain that he'd grabbed the wrong pair of PJs while in the laundry, he'd do it.
At least nobody else had seen him and he knew enough ways back to his quarters that nobody would.
He turned the corner and ran smack into Ronon. The larger Setedan looked down at him, blocking his escape. "Heard you were trapped." He cocked his head, staring at him with an amused grin. "Funny."
"They're not mine," Sheppard ground out between his teeth. "They're Cadman's."
"I didn't know you two were seeing each other. Does Beckett know?" asked Ronon far too innocently.
"I'm going to sleep." Sheppard pushed past Ronon, ignoring the deep laughter he heard behind him. God, how much worse would this get?
He ran into both Elizabeth and Teyla ten seconds later.
This was his worst nightmare. This was far worse than Rodney's insulting laughter, or Beckett's ire, or Ronon's… smugness. They were staring at him, or rather, his legs and arms: his cute pink, kitten-covered limbs.
"John…" drawled Elizabeth in a humorous tone. The smile was spreading on her face rapidly.
"Don't even say it."
"They're so… cute," she continued.
Damn the chain of command. She could say whatever she wanted.
"They look like like…" trailed off Teyla.
"They're cute little fuzzy-wuzzy kitties," said Weir with a laugh.
Oh, he was so going to get her for that remark.
"They're Cadman's," echoed a deep voice behind him. Dammit. Now Dex was ganging up on him?
"What you doing in Lieutenant Cadman's pajamas?" Elizabeth folded her arms against her chest in mock consternation, but he could tell she was enjoying this so much it was making her ache not to burst out laughing.
"You know, your skin is beginning to match the cloth," Ronon added so not helpfully.
Great, yes, he was probably flushing a case of righteous embarrassment. What next? Would someone take a picture of him in this disreputable state? Send it through a chain e-mail around Atlantis?
"These are not my pajamas," he protested, although he knew it was useless. "I grabbed them in the dark in the laundry room. This was an accident. This is all Rodney's fault because he couldn't get the lights fixed!"
"Of course, John," Elizabeth said in a very placating voice.
"They're not mine!" Sheppard almost howled. God, he was sounding like a wuss now.
Somebody coughed behind him. Oh great, now Cadman has joined the lynch mob. "You know, it was really nice of Carson to get me these pajamas, but well, you know…"
"Uh huh." Sheppard didn't care about her sleeping preferences although Rodney should have been more careful in what he said. He could still hear Beckett and McKay squawking at each other vociferously while Zelenka egged them on in the jumper bay.
"If you'd like them," Cadman suggested in a very controlled voice. Oh, nothing he could have her court-martialed for. Damn. Damn. Damn.
"No, I do not want them," Shepaprd repeated for the hundredth time.
"They're really quite nice," Elizabeth spoke up.
Oh. God. No.
"Dr. Weir, if you'd like them, you can have them," Cadman grinned.
"You don't mind?" asked Elizabeth. "I mean, Carson did…"
"Oh, I think he'll understand, down the road…" she said with a knowing look.
Sheppard really was hearing a lot more than he wanted to know about what Cadman and Beckett might be doing down the road that involved a lack of pajamas.
"Thank you, Lieutenant," said Elizabeth politely. She turned toward Sheppard, mischief gleaming in her eyes. "Can I have the pajamas, John?"
"What?" he squeaked.
"I could make it an order." Elizabeth frowned very slightly. "I mean, I am the commander of Atlantis and those pajamas aren't your property. In fact, they're now mine. If you'd like to quote the legal ramifications of—"
"I'm not stripping down to my shorts in the middle of a corridor," Sheppard blurted, and for a split second, he thought he saw a gleam in all the women's eyes. Ronon merely rolled his eyes, enjoying his commander's intense discomfort.
"No," he almost swore. "Martial law overrides civilian authority. Elizabeth, you can get 'em tomorrow and that's it!" He stalked off down the corridor, leaving the quartet behind him, laughing away.
At least it was over, until Elizabeth's voice echoed down the corridor after him. "I'm sure the security camera caught it."
Oh god. He was burning these damned pajamas!
(1) See the story THE QUEST, also at this archive