Disclaimer: I don't own Stargate: Atlantis. It is the property of many entities, none of which include me.

Tag for the Hive

Doctors Orders

Lieutenant Colonel John Sheppard nursed a cup of coffee in one hand and a data pad in the other. It never ceased to amaze him how much trouble Atlantis could get in while his team was off world. Every time they returned from a mission, there were not only the reports to write and file, but also the reports to read and catch up on from everyone else. He had considered breaking every data pad and tearing every piece of paper on Atlantis in an effort to cease reports all together, but the better part of his sanity always stopped him.

Continuing down the corridor, he breathed in the comforting aroma of java. His eyes glossed over line after line as he narrowly avoided collisions with passerbys.

"I would not go that way," a Russian voice warned. Looking up from his work, Sheppard noticed that many scientists were traveling at a high pace in the opposite direction.

"What's happening? McKay terrorizing the masses again?"

"That man is a foul... I... Unbearable." There were a few added foreign words that Sheppard didn't get, but the physicist's point had still gotten across.

"I'll go see what I can do."

It had been less than three days since his return from the hive ship. That was three grueling days since he had returned to find McKay had not only freed himself from the clutches of Ford's men, but that the scientist had taken loads of the enzyme. He wasn't sure how he should take the second part and had made a conscious decision to play it by ear. As more and more scientists threatened to leave the project for good, Sheppard knew he would have to talk with his friend.

Taking a deep breath, Sheppard pushed past a few fleeing men and into the hangar deck. There was the sound of shattering glass, followed by the booming voice of Dr. Rodney McKay. "Alright, people, listen up! The next person to make a mistake is on the next trip out of here."

One look at his teammate told Sheppard everything he needed to know. The sweat that ran down the pudgy face, the accentuated scowl affixed to his countenance, and the blue eyes filled with fury added up to the one thing Sheppard had feared the most.

"A word," he commanded, motioning for McKay to follow.

"If you can't tell, I'm a bit busy with these imbeciles at the moment, if you could..."

"Now."

Their gazes met for a moment, but McKay had lost the stare down before it had even began. They found there way to a small room.

"Is there any particular reason you have to make everyone's lives miserable?"

"Is there any particular reason you're pulling me away from my work?"

"Answer the question. What's wrong with you, Rodney?"

There was a brief pause. McKay stuffed his fidgeting hand into his pockets, pacing quickly back and forth. "I should think it was fairly obvious, Colonel."

"Withdrawal?"

McKay nodded.

"Damn it, I was worried this might happen."

"Yes, well, had I known... I would have thought twice... I mean, Carson is such a..."

"You can't even form a coherent sentence, can you?"

"Right now? I couldn't... I mean... Look, Carson has people watching me. He doesn't trust me to turn down the stuff so he's guarding it. But you... You... You could help me get it?"

Sheppard thought back to the report that had just come in. One of the teams had come back with a small amount of the enzyme. Damn.

"Help you get some? Are you mad?"

"Yes, yes, I'm going quite insane. Do you know what it is like to need something, Colonel? To think about it longingly and to have some near you but you can't get it because some bastard physician doesn't think it is good for you?"

Sheppard slouched down into a seat, hoping his ears were deceiving him. He had never been through withdrawal himself, but he had known a friend or two that had. The stories of McKay's recovery had quickly spread around the city and Sheppard wasn't happy about most of what he had heard. It was bad enough knowing that Ford had been out there, was out there, with that crap running through his system.

"Carson has your best interests in mind. We all do."

"I see. So that would be your way of saying that you won't help me."

"I'll help you. I'll escort you to Heightmeyer's office; I'll even bear a few angsty talks with you; but no way in hell am I going to help you get that chemical back in your system."

"I would help you."

"Really?"

"Of course. We all know that Beckett is a bit overzealous with his recovery plans. Nothing wrong with bypassing them here and there."

"This isn't something we can just brush aside, McKay. I can't have you on the field addicted to that crap."

"Why not? Elizabeth loves the stuff and she gets to command."

"That's not a... Wait... What?"

"I said Elizabeth enjoys the stuff as much as I do. The difference is that Carson doesn't stop her from drinking it. And here you are sloshing it right in front of me!"

Sheppard's mouth gaped open for a just a moment. He quickly stood back up, not knowing to feel relieved or humiliated. "Wait, coffee? You're in withdrawal from coffee?"

"Yeah, what were you... Oh." Understanding dawned on his friends face.

His stomach turned with embarrassment. "For a genius you sure are slow today. It did sound like..."

"You don't think I'd actually want... Surely you know me better than that, Colonel!"

"Um... Yeah." There was silence for a few moments. He needed an out of this conversation and he needed one fast. Taking in its aroma one last time he pushed the cup into his friend's quivering hands. "Here. Just don't tell Carson where you got it. Oh yeah, and don't kill any of your colleagues."

END

So if you're reading this off of my LJ link I left today, yeah, um, no reason I posted the link today except to say:

APRIL FOOLS!

grin I know, I know, I wrote it a while ago, but that doesn't mean you saw it a while ago so it still works as a April Fools gag, right?