A/N: This story used to be a part of Snarktastic, which was a series of one-shots. I am posting this on its own for two reasons. One, while it was originally intended to be a drabble, it ballooned into something so large it can stand on its own; and two, posting it separately will make it easier for someone on the look out for certain characters or genres to find it. Snarktastic was originally written during the lull between seasons two and three; therefore all the stories are set somewhere in there.
Prompt: None. This just sprung from my weird brain with a 'Fourth wall? What fourth wall?' and refused to be denied.
Word count: Don't particularly care at this point.
McKay was exhausted. He'd been working nonstop for three days and the bed in his quarters looked to him like an oasis in the desert does to a man dying of thirst. With absolutely no thought other than the desire for sleep, he stripped off his jacket and fell into bed, passing out almost the second his head hit the pillow.
Now ordinarily, Rodney McKay was a heavy sleeper, but for some reason, despite the fact that he should have slept right through the night (if not half of the next day) just because of how tired he was, that was not the case.
He awoke a little over an hour after he collapsed.
He knew it was a little over an hour because that's what his watch told him when he glanced at it.
Now whatever it was that pulled him from what should have been a sound sleep could have been any one of a dozen things. Some sort of emergency, perhaps an invasion of some kind, someone needing his scientific brilliance at their disposal to keep something important from blowing up...
However, one of the things he didn't expect was an unfamiliar woman sitting at his desk, fiddling with the newest piece of ancient technology he'd spent the past few days puzzling over.
Before he even had a chance to squeak, the intruder cut him off.
"Calm down, kiddo...I'm not here to mess you over. Just lendin' a hand."
Without answering, Rodney reached for his headset, intent on calling for security--
"Won't do you any good," the woman said, "Transmissions from this room are muffled now, thank you very much. Just go back to sleep..."
That shook him out of his stupor and into full rant mode, "SLEEP? You expect me to sleep? Who are you? What are you doing here?"
"I'm not even going to bother trying to explain. Your inferior brain wouldn't be able to handle the information without exploding...so just be a good boy, roll over and go back to sleep."
"Excuse me?" He squawked indignantly.
"You're excused," she answered indifferently, still not looking up from the piece of technology.
"Just who exactly do you think you are to come in here and tell me that I don't have the capacity to understand you?"
"I'm Q, you imbecile...now just..go back to sleep and let me finish, would you?"
Every ounce of anxiety that had been present in Rodney McKay drained away to be replaced by annoyance.
"Seriously, who are you? Some new military grunt that Sheppard roped into a prank? Whatever he promised you, I swear it's not going to be worth it..."
She scoffed, "I told you what I am. Not my problem if you don't believe it."
"You honestly expect me to believe that you're a member of a fictional race of omnipitant aliens?"
For the first time since Rodney woke to find her there, the woman at his desk looked up at him, "First of all, we're not fictional. A rather loose lipped member of the continuum decided he'd become mortal...the fact that he used everything he knew about the future--everything about us and every other race out there that you don't know about yet--as the basis for...what do you humans call them? Television shows? Yes, that's it...Star something or other. Just because he used his knowledge as the basis for fiction doesn't make us fictional."
"You're telling me that Gene Roddenberry was a...Q." Rodney burst out laughing at the very notion, "That's absurd!"
She just looked at him, "Any more absurd than your Ancients?"
"But the Ancients were once like us...you know..humans...they ascended." Rodney moved his hands to demonstrate as though he was speaking to a child.
"And who do you think taught them to ascend?" She shook her head at him and returned to her work with the Ancient device, "Honestly...you're so arrogant. To think your ancestors are the only beings on a higher plane of existence. We were there first."
"Prove it," Rodney stated petulantly, crossing his arms over his chest, "Do something...Q-ish."
She rolled her eyes, "What do you want from me, a box of puppies?"
"That'd be a start."
There was a flare of light and then inexplicably, Rodney's nose began to itch.
But not just any itch...
The 'Dog itch'.
He promptly sneezed as a sickeningly cute puppy sauntered into his line of vision.
When he recovered from a rather violent sneezing fit, he prompty decided--
"I've got a fever...I'm over tired...something like that. I'm just...ha ha ha...this is brought on by sleep deprivation, that's all there is to it. I'm fine. I'm dreaming! That's it! I'm dreaming!"
"Yup. If that's what'll get you through the night, Rodney. Dreaming you are. Too many hours of Star whatever it is and too much coffee before bed."
"Right. Uh huh. Well...you've been a lovely hallucination, but I have to wake up now."
"Then by all means..."
Rodney awoke to empty quarters and sunlight streaming in on him.
It had been a dream. There hadn't been a Q in his quarters messing with his tech. It was all dismissable as part of a bad dream brought on by far too little sleep and far too much caffeine.
Oh thank G--
The fact that the puppy was still there was also easily dismissable.
Rodney just hadn't figured out how to dismiss it yet...that's all.
A/N: Admit it...you know Gene Roddenberry was a Q...