"It's Colonel Sheppard's IDC." Chuck announced, turning towards Mr. Woolsey, who'd come out of his office at the sound of an unscheduled gate activation.
"Lower the shield." Woolsey commanded firmly, wondering why the Colonel was returning a half a day early.
Descending the steps Richard stumbled and staggered to a halt, having to grab the railing to keep from pitching forward.
The group that was returning in no way resembled the neat, crisp team that left through the gate the previous morning. Gone were the clean uniforms. Gone were the bright faces. Gone were the senior level team members who were the top ranking officials in the city.
Instead he was staring at a group of sopping wet, completely filthy, mud dripping… vagrants… who were laughing quite boisterously. And for some reason, the three women appeared to be lacking their… pants. He opened his mouth to ask, but every educational seminar on workplace harassment vaulted into his head and he snapped his jaw closed.
Descending the steps with a slow, wary gait, he reached the floor as the gate dissolved.
"Colonel Sheppard?" He voiced, eyes trained on faces only. He had to clear his throat to be heard over the laughter. "I… we… I didn't expect you back so soon."
"Sorry, Mr. Woolsey." Jen stepped forward, giggles escaping as she tried to force herself not to laugh at the strained horror on the man's face. "I need to get Colonel Sheppard and Lieutenant Cadman to the infirmary for sutures."
"And me!" Rodney spoke up, flinging mud as he pointed at himself. "I could have a relapse."
"Relapse?" Woolsey looked from Rodney to Jen, then down to the mud and water dripping slowly onto his gate room floor.
"And Dr. McKay." Jen added, forcing Woolsey to take another look at Rodney. "Oh, and Major Lorne, too. I want to check your ribs, Major." She said over her shoulder.
"Yes, Ma'am." Evan answered.
Woolsey looked at Evan, who was supporting Lieutenant Cadman, her arm draped around his shoulder. Richard couldn't be sure but the Lieutenant's lower leg appeared to be wrapped in a piece of red plaid. Very muddy, red plaid. Leg. Bare leg. He snapped his eyes up and turned quickly towards the Colonel.
A clump of mud dropped with an audible splat behind him and Richard spun around, watching as Rodney snapped his hand, flinging mud onto the floor, mumbling with disgust.
"Mr. Woolsey?" Jen's hand landed on Richard's upper arm, breaking into Richard's thoughts.
"Hmm?" He asked, turning back towards her, eyeing her mud covered hand that was clutching his crisply pressed uniform jacket.
"The infirmary?" She released his arm, leaving a large smear of dirt behind.
"Right." He nodded absently, eyes locked on the stain that would probably never come out without the aid of some serious detergent. Detergent which made him itch. God he missed his dry cleaners. They were very precise.
"Mr. Woolsey?" Jen asked again.
"I'll ah… expect to see you in the boardroom at… um…" Richard looked to her for confirmation.
"Tomorrow morning." She whispered encouragingly.
"At oh-nine-hundred tomorrow morning." He said firmly.
She patted him on the arm and nodded, leaving two more smears.
"Great." John added, clamping him on the shoulder firmly, leaving a massively muddy palm print behind.
Richard stared at the dirt, wincing as Ronon's large hand landed on his other shoulder, leaving an overly wet clump of mud perched there like a squashed parrot.
Woolsey stared at the muddy footprints, clumps of dirt and water smeared and sloshed across the floor, half listening as the group moved away. He couldn't remember anything about mud in the outline the engineers submitted… He climbed towards his office, ignoring the cluster of people who were leaning over the balcony from the control room whispering and pointing.
He never got a chance to review the report.
In less than two hours he had no less than seventy five requests from various men across the city who wanted to be included on the next team building exercise, especially if it included half-naked co-ed mud-wrestling.
He also had a proportionate number of requests from the female populace, who wanted to participate in any half-naked co-ed mud-wrestling… as long as it included SGA1, SGA2, or SGA9 as a fallback, because apparently a few of the women thought Major Buchannan was "hot".
Giving up, Richard Woolsey decided to call it a night – at four o'clock in the afternoon.
"Hey." Ronon nodded at Jennifer, dropping his feet off the chair he was using as a leg rest.
Jen set her breakfast tray onto the table and nodded at John and Teyla, who were already seated, their breakfast half finished. Teyla rocked Torren, tiny coos gurgling from the small baby.
"How's the shoulder this morning?" Jen slipped into the chair next to Ronon.
John shrugged. "Good."
"No sparring, right?" Jen looked pointedly from John to Teyla to Ronon.
Ronon looked with interest at his food. Teyla smiled down at Torren, and John feigned intense concentration in sipping his orange juice.
Jen sighed. "If I have to suture you up because you're ignoring my orders, I'll do it without painkillers."
"That's not a threat." Ronon swiped a chunk of her scrambled eggs.
"Just because you prefer the stoic approach," John muttered. "Doesn't mean we all do."
"Baby." Ronon snorted.
"Where's McKay?" John asked, changing the subject.
"Still in the infirmary." Jen grinned. "He's convinced that he caught pneumonia. But I figure that since Radek is still running his test on that Wraith storage device today, Rodney will be miraculously cured by noon, latest."
Teyla smiled, and gently pulled her hair out of Torren's small fingers. Then she frowned, running her fingers over the lock of hair before sweeping it over her shoulder. "I washed my hair three times and still feel as though it is covered in mud."
"I used all my shampoo." Jen shook her head, frowning as Ronon grabbed another forkful of her eggs. "Had to break out the expensive stuff for Ronon…" She narrowed her eyes and snatched the piece of her toast he was about to bite into. "You can get your own food you know."
"I know." He grinned. "Not as much fun."
Jen turned back towards Teyla, trying to remember where she'd left off… "I forgot what I was going say." She laughed, then her eyes narrowed as she caught the odd look on John and Teyla's faces. "What?"
"You ah… leant Ronon your shampoo?" John raised his eyebrow, and glanced at Teyla. "He doesn't have his own… in his… own bathroom?"
Teyla was watching Ronon and Jen with her head tilted, a slight smirk on her lips.
"I… what?" Jen flushed, suddenly very interested in her scrambled eggs. "No… I… ah… said… I mean…"
"I ran out." Ronon quickly threw his plates back onto his empty tray.
"I… ah… I just forgot… I need to check on… um…" Jen stood quickly, glancing at her watch.
"McKay?" Ronon suggested, his chair scraping back as he stood, grabbing both their trays.
"Right." Jen nodded, her face and ears flushing brightly.
"Oh come on!" John called after their quickly retreating forms. "You can't just drop that and leave!"
The pair quickly disappeared out the doors of the mess hall.
"Well." John smirked and looked at Teyla. "It's about time."
Teyla smiled, rocking Torren. "I agree."
"Now all we have to do is get Evan and Laura to shut up long enough to-"
"John!" Teyla laughed.
"Eat your breakfast."
"Never call me Ma'am."
Author's Note: And there you have it! :P A little daliance into something that served no purpose other than complete silliness! :) Thanks for all the reviews and comments, and I'm very glad you all enjoyed this so much! I'm batting around another plot bunny and once I get the elements worked out I'll get the next one started! G'nite y'all! - Nika