A/N: Techno-babble is not one of my forte's, so please be understanding. This story was not Betaed, all mistakes are my own.
Possible Ending Number 3 of: When It Rains It Pours
On his third such day of mandatory rest he was surprised to see Elizabeth coming through his door with his lunch. Carson had refused to allow his team mates to visit. Dr. Beckett knew they wouldn't be able to keep their mouths shut about the daily goings on and he wanted the Colonel to rest.
"You're a sight for sore eyes." He stated the old saying.
"Well…" She started saying putting the tray of food down on his desk. "It took me all morning to convince Carson to let me see you. He says you're doing fine by the way."
"Yeah I know. He told me the same thing this morning but he still won't let me out. Or even let me have my laptop or comm back. I don't know what's going on out there. He won't let Rodney, Teyla, Ronon or Lorne visit. I don't suppose you could smuggle my laptop or even a comm link in for me. I'm going crazy in here. I actually read more of 'War and Peach' that's how desperate I am. If I only had my laptop..."
"Carson wanted you to rest. You were exhausted, run down and nearly on the brink of getting pneumonia." Elizabeth stated factually.
John sat down at his desk and played with his food as he thought about it. Elizabeth was right, so was Carson. He just hated to not be in 'the loop'.
Elizabeth had settled on the end of his bed quietly watching. "Can I ask you a question?" Elizabeth asked breaking the silence of the room.
"How much do you remember from the day of the mudslide?" She asked.
"All of it, why?"
"Do you remember yelling at Dr. Beckett?"
"Yeah…I apologized to him when I woke up later that same day I think. I really hadn't been lucid much before that. Why did he say something to you?"
"No. It's just…" Elizabeth paused to get her thoughts in order. "…just you ended up broadcasting your little tirade on the command channel."
"Oh God…please tell me not everyone heard it." John dropped his fork on his tray and stared at Elizabeth he could tell by the look on her face that indeed all command staff heard his little outburst with the good doctor. John sank back into his office chair. "Is McKay upset at me?" He whispered.
"No he's not upset. How long have you…"
"About the same time as you. Only you figured it out way early."
"John that's been four years now." John nodded in affirmation. "What about all that other stuff that happened. Are your days on base filled with escorting blind doctors to their quarters? Inventorying armories and God only knows what else." Elizabeth wanted to know.
"Other than the mudslide that day was mild compared to most." John deadpanned with his most serious look.
John was making his nightly rounds. Carson had finally allowed him back on duty this morning. He had spent most of the day catching up on reports about the mudslide as well has writing a more detailed AAR for Col. Caldwell on said incident. A majority of the Marines had reported back to duty and they were almost at full compliment status. As he walked the halls checking on his Marine patrols and staff in general he worked his way to the command center. He came to an abrupt stop when he saw Elizabeth's office was dark. He turned and asked the technician on duty where Dr. Weir was.
"Dr. Weir left about forty minutes ago Sir." The technician reported.
"Did she say where she was going?"
"She just said she was 'calling it a night' Sir."
"Thanks." With that John turned around and headed for Rodney's lab. He'd just be earlier than usual and maybe get the chance to apologize to Rodney for anything he might have heard during his recent rant on the command channel.
Walking down the hall towards McKay's lab John noticed that the lights were dim. He wondered if there was a power problem he hadn't been made aware of but as he got closer he found the lab dark and empty. Checking his watch it was only 22:37. Rodney never stopped this early.
Over the next couple of days each evening when he made his rounds he found Dr. Weir and Dr. McKay had seemingly turned in early.
So tonight he tried a different tactic. Instead of Dr. Weir's office, he went to her quarters. As he stood waiting to be let in after activating the chime he wondered if she could actually be in bed and that he would be disturbing her. But as the door slid open he got his answer. She was still dressed in her uniform and the laptop was open. It was obvious that she was working.
"May I come in?" John asked.
"Yes of course. Please." Elizabeth looked like she had been caught red handed in the cookie jar. "Here…sit down." She motioned toward the lounge like chair she had in her room while she resumed her spot in her desk chair.
"Elizabeth you don't have to do this. I'm sorry I made you feel self conscious." John blurted out. "That was not my intent."
"Hide in your quarters. That's what you've been doing these past few days haven't you?" John stated what he knew to be fact.
"No." But John could see that she was lying.
"Rodney's doing the same isn't he? I've gone to his lab every night and it's always the same. I'm really sorry. I had no idea that I was broadcasting my little rant. Carson had said some things…well he made me a little upset and I was…Look I didn't mean for you and Rodney to feel bad. I like walking you to your quarters each night the same as I like trying to get Rodney to quit working on whatever he's doing for the night. It's a challenge. So can we please go back to the way things were before my little outburst?" John finally asked.
Elizabeth had the decency to look a little embarrassed at being caught. It had taken John less than a week to figure it out. When it had taken her several months to realize what he was doing all these many years ago. The smile on her face told John everything he needed to know.
"So…where's McKay hiding?" John inquired.
"Level 3, Lab Six."
John could hear Rodney talking to himself halfway down the hall as he approached Lab Six. "Whatcha working on McKay?" John asked stepping into the lab.
"Oh…just trying to get…" Rodney looked up in surprise as he realized Sheppard was the one who asked.
"Trying to get 'what' Rodney?" John asked for clarification moving further into the room.
"Trying to get the ratio of the sensor frequencies to sync up with the algorithms needed for distance transference so we can get better use out of our long range and short range sensor sweeps."
By the time Rodney finished telling the Colonel what he was working on, Sheppard was looking over his shoulder at the lines of data scrolling across the screen.
"Here…" John pointed to a section on the screen. "…you need to change that equation to consider the x and y variables. Then it should sync up."
Rodney studied the section that the Colonel just pointed out and realized he was correct. He began typing in the corrections and within minutes he had his sensor frequencies in sync with the sensor sweeps.
"You're welcome. Anything else I can help you with before we turn in for the night?"
"No…no that was all I was working on. Now that it's running properly I can call it a night." McKay exclaimed.
John walked Rodney to his quarters and said "goodnight".
"Night Colonel." Rodney replied back in kind. He was taking a step into his room when he realized what just happened. "Hey…you did it to me again!" He shouted down the hall at the retreating Colonel.
"I have no idea what you're talking about McKay. Goodnight." John smiled and continued walking down the corridor without turning around.