A/N: You've been waiting for it. Here is the end.
CHAPTER THIRTY ONE: WORKING AT THE…!
Six weeks after the near-sinking of Atlantis, Jumper 14 was raised from the seafloor. The grappling system devised for another jumper rescue was finally put into use and proved to be adequate enough for the job.
The ship, dripping with slime, and crawling with sea life, was hoisted to the surface. Once afloat, Sheppard donned scuba gear and swam into the swamped craft. The jumper was pressurized, and then driven into the underwater jumper bay – and from there, into the jumperwash.
The room was in working order, and could have easy been 'turned on' to clean the sea-fouled ship, but the controls were not activated after the floor closed and the ship was brought to a squishy rest.
Once the room was safe to enter, the door opened, and one man walked in.
Dr. Larry Nguyen, Head of Computer engineering and integration, sighed as he stood in the room. His arms were loaded with buckets, sponges, a couple of hoses, long handled brushes and a bottle of dishwashing soap. He stood there, staring at the size of the ship, realizing exactly what was in store for him.
The puddlejumper might appear small when next to the city, but standing beside it, armed as he was, the ship was big.
Very big… and very dirty.
The rear hatch lowered, and he was given a further view. The inside was coated with muck and unlucky fish.
"This," Nguyen said, as a soaking-wet Sheppard strode toward him, "Is totally unfair."
Sheppard nodded to the comment. "Yeah, probably, but you're the one that lost the ship, and it took a lot of man-hours to get it back." He settled his scuba gear against the wall. "I think you're the one who should clean it out."
"We have the system right here to do the job!" Larry sniped.
Sheppard shrugged. "Yeah," he said, "But this is more fun."
The door to the room opened again and Larry's shoulders fell a little as a small crowd entered the room. Dr. Weir was in the lead, with McKay, Ronon, Teyla and Beckett close behind. Nguyen groaned.
"Hey, has the show started yet?" McKay asked as he moved gingerly into the room.
"Better not have," Ronon added, keeping near the physicist. "I want to see this."
"What?" Larry cried as he turned to take in the group. "Do I really need an audience?"
"Yeah," Sheppard replied. "I think so."
"Definitely," Weir said with a devious smile.
"This isn't right!" Dr. Nguyen whined.
"Sounds right to me," Rodney went on. "We haven't been able to totally check every system in this room and I can't trust the cleaning routine to go off without a hitch." He grimaced and said, "You do remember what happened last time?"
Larry harrumphed. "I have gone through the protocols personally," he declared. "It'll work like a dream." He let go of the stack of buckets and the armload of brushes. They clattered to the ground. "There's no reason why we can't try it out. Don't you want to see it working?" he tried, leaning toward McKay. "I mean, to see it working as it was meant to operate would be impressive, wouldn't it?"
The physicist wavered, glancing around at the silent jets. "Well…" he drew out.
Ronon snorted, "Sheppard doesn't like it when people mistreat his ships."
Teyla smiled at Nguyen sweetly, and Larry looked hopeful for a moment, until the Athosian pronounced, "It is your punishment for losing the jumper."
"It wasn't my fault!" Larry whined. "I was trying to stop Dr. Weir and save Dr. McKay and let Lt. Cadman in. I can only do so much!" He looked from one to the other, and finally focused on the Canadian. "I saved his life! And other things, too!"
"He's got a point," McKay mumbled.
"He tried to use the Jumper as a stopper, then flooded it, essentially popping it out of the hole he'd tried to wedge it in," Sheppard said sharply. "It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that is a very bad idea. And, really, a physicist, of all people…" He arched his eyebrow.
"I was under a lot of pressure at the time!" Larry spluttered. "And…and…and there were sharks! Big ones! With sharp teeth!"
"Did you not play that game with the blocks as a child?" Sheppard asked. "You know, the one where, if you put the too small cube in the big cube hole, it just slides right through?"
The scientist's eyes narrowed. "Fine, fine, so it's my fault," Larry groused. "Still, I think my heroic actions made up for that one mistake." He sniffed.
"That is true," Teyla spoke up. "He did perform … heroically."
And Larry lit up a little at her statement.
"Aye," Beckett added, leaning against one wall of the room. "He did manage to slow down Dr. Weir and save Rodney from a horrible, fiery death."
"Thank you for reminding me," McKay mumbled.
Sheppard sighed, seeing a tide turn against him. "Great, fine, what the hell. Let's just fire up the jumper wash then, see if it works correctly. Or maybe it will just dump the jumper and all of us into the sea again. I don't care."
"He's brought several buckets, lad," Beckett stated, nodding to the wealth of materials on the floor.
Weir smiled. "The swim team had a charity carwash every summer," she stated. "We had people coming in from all over. The father of one of the girls was a trucker. He had all his pals bring their rigs around to support the team. I've had plenty of practice."
McKay groaned. "You don't honestly mean…"
Rubbing her hands together, Elizabeth declared, "Come on, boys, let's have an old fashioned car wash."
Sheppard chuckled lightly, and lifted his arms. "I'm already wet from swimming into the jumper. I guess I wouldn't get any worse."
"I'm in," Beckett added. "It'll be a delight. I used to wash me mum's car every Sunday in the front yard."
"Every Sunday?" McKay asked.
Beckett shrugged, "It was an old Bentley. It deserved to gleam." He smiled wistfully, "Oh, it was a pretty car."
McKay rolled his eyes as Sheppard attached a hose to one of the room's water jets. With a little effort, he was able to make it work.
Ronon, looking perplexed, turned to McKay and asked, "So, they're volunteering to wash down this thing?"
"Yes," Rodney groaned, sounding unimpressed.
Teyla frowned. "They find this task enjoyable?"
"Apparently so," McKay added. "They're idiots."
Ronon shrugged and stepped forward, and picked up one of Nguyen's discarded brushes. "I'm in," he stated.
Teyla shrugged, and joined him.
Looking annoyed with the lot of them, McKay back-stepped. "I'm out!" he declared. "Why would I want to participate in something so … wet and filthy? I swear, every time I had to wash a car with… other people… I was the one who ended up hosed down and doused with dirty soapy water. No! I'm so out!"
Sheppard was heading back toward him, attaching a nozzle to the end of the hose. "Come on, Rodney," he encouraged. "I'll letcha control the hose."
Rodney looked unsure, but slowly extended his hand. A devious look took over his face.
Sheppard grinned and let him have the hose. There was more than one after all, and if McKay planned to soak anyone, a certain scientist would receive the same in return. As long as everyone ended up wet, it'd all be for fun.
"It's about time we finished the clean up," Weir added. "This one last thing, and everything will be back to normal."
"Well," Sheppard added. "As close to normal as things come here."
"Come on then," Beckett called. "Let's get this started."
And soon the room was filled with suds and water, and maybe for the first time since the trouble began, everyone had a good time.
A/N: There. It is done. I hope you're happy! Me, I'm back in the bunker. It wasn't easy getting down here with two broken legs, let me tell ya! Julie is happily back in the barn. My ass is tired. The mongoose-cobra hybrid has decided that he wants to now be known as a cobra-mongoose hybrid and he wants to shack up with Sydney the lizard. I'm not asking.
Leave me many, many reviews! To those of you who have held out until the end -- it is now time to flood me with your comments. To those of you faithful minions who have sprinkled me with sugar, do so again. To those of you who have read and have not reviewed -- I loathe you, but am willing to forgive if you start your penance now and review. That is all