Clichés are Not Part of the Job Description by AndromedaMarine
Author's Note: Sequel to "Not My Parallel Universe."
John Sheppard lifted his P90 and aimed it at the guy who looked exactly like him. "Rodney, what's going on?" he asked, but when he took a glance at his friend he saw wide eyes. He followed Rodney's gaze and saw a man who looked exactly like Rodney, and a woman who looked exactly like Teyla and a big man that looked exactly like Ronon – dreadlocks and all. He was getting freaked out – either he was in a dream or something had gone wrong with the Stargate. "Rodney!"
But Rodney didn't answer. "Who're you?" he asked his double suspiciously, eyeing the table-full of food behind him.
David gaped. "Name's David Hewlett. You?" But he probably didn't have to ask – he had a pretty good idea, considering the four people were wearing their costumes – uniforms.
"Dr. Rodney McKay," he replied, and watched with curiosity as everyone's eyes widened. He gestured to the rest of his team. "John Sheppard, Teyla Emmagan, and Ronon Dex. You?" he asked the rest of the doubles that stood next to Mr. Hewlett.
"Joe Flanigan," Joe said.
"Rachel Luttrell," Rachel said.
Jason grunted. "Jason Momoa. This is creepy..."
"You can say that again," Ronon said, glaring at his counterpart while he held his gun at him. "McKay, what the hell's going on? I thought you said we were going to a trading settlement."
Rodney coughed, but Willie Garson pushed to the front of those who were gaping at the four new arrivals. "What the hell...? Joe, put that thing down! We're not shooting yet..." He didn't complete the sentence as he followed John's aim and his eyes landed on Joe, who wasn't wearing his uniform or holding a fake P90.
"Martin? Martin Lloyd?" Rodney practically yelled. "What are you doing here?"
Willie stopped. "Oh, shit." Suddenly everything fell into place. He sighed. "Lower the guns, gents. My name is Willie Garson – I played the part of Martin Lloyd on SG-1 about five years ago." But he still couldn't get past seeing two of Joe, Rachel, Jason and David.
"This is so cliché," Joe muttered under his breath. The gears in his mind started whirring. "We need Amanda down here, and Bill Dow, now."
Willie turned to him. "What're they going to do? We thought that big honking ring was inert!"
"Do you even know where it came from?" Joe asked, sort of squinting at Garson.
"H-Hollywood, stage thirteen?"
Rodney rolled his eyes. "Giza, Egypt, 1928. Does the name Catharine Langford ring any bells? And who the hell are Amanda and Bill Dow?"
David scoffed, ignoring his counterpart's last question. "Yes, but she doesn't exist. Elizabeth Hoffman, the woman who played her, does."
Another half hour of banter was exchanged before Amanda Tapping and Bill Dow were airlifted to the set in Canada, where the current episode was being filmed, "fake" Stargate and all.
"Dr. Lee? Sam?" Rodney said, staring at Amanda and Bill as they walked up to the table. The two glanced at each other, confusion on their faces. "Shouldn't you be on Atlantis?" Rodney asked Amanda. "Bill, you should be on the Midway," he added, surprised when Bill actually looked at him.
Amanda stared at the two sets of SGA-1. "Okay, which one of you is Joe?"
Joe raised his hand and stood up, still eyeing John.
"What's going on?"
Joe coughed. "Um...I don't really know how to explain it... We were eating lunch when they came through the gate."
"Hey!" Rodney protested. "Just because you don't know what happened doesn't mean I don't either." He smiled triumphantly, something that David would have done if they were filming. He pushed forward through the small group and shoved a data tablet into Amanda's hands. Although she'd seen a gazillion of the tablet props, she'd never seen one that actually worked. "While you lesser minds have been bickering about who's real, I've figured out what went wrong. You see, we accidentally went through a black hole on the way to the trading settlement, and instead we were brought here – a parallel universe."
At those words both David and Joe groaned, and began whacking their heads. "Stupid, stupid, stupid!" David muttered, and began hitting Joe as well.
"You know, if Rodney did that to me I'd hit him back," John pointed out, and Joe began whacking David in return.
"Hold it!" Amanda yelled, lifting her hands to shush the yells. "...Rodney...is right. Even though this shouldn't be real, it sure as hell looks real. And on SG-1 we had the same problem with alternate SG-1s. Bill, you remember that episode?"
Dow rubbed his chin. "Unfortunately, yeah, I do. How'd the writers fix that one?"
Amanda smiled, still remembering every little calculation that'd been put into her head over the ten years of acting on SG-1. "Send them back through the same black hole."
At this Rodney's smile was wiped from existence and John looked like he was about to explode.
"Do you even know what goes on inside a black hole?" he practically hissed at Amanda and David. "Don't answer that – I know you don't."
"Rodney..." Amanda started, and realized how strange that sounded when she wasn't acting it as a scene with David. "I acted on Stargate: SG-1 for ten years. I know what a black hole is."
Rodney stopped rambling. He really didn't like seeing Colonel Carter not be Colonel Carter. He meant – Amanda Tapping as Colonel Carter – oh, god – Colonel Carter as Amanda Tapping – "Aargh! I can't take this stupid parallel universe crap anymore!! Where's the DHD? I'm dialing Atlantis, now!"
John grabbed Rodney's TAC vest and held him firm. "Don't you need to do some brilliant calculating to get us through that black hole first? The way I see it, if we don't we could end up on an Atlantis that's still underwater – or worse, already destroyed."
It took a couple moments, but Rodney's breathing resumed its normal pattern. "Right." He snatched the data tablet away from Amanda and glared at David as he stormed past him to sit down next to the DHD. He dug around in his backpack for the wires that interfaced with the DHD crystals. Finding them, he carefully took the panel off the apparently "fake" DHD and stuck the crystals inside, hooking it up to his data tablet. He became engrossed in the calculations, and only vaguely noticed it when Joe and David peered over his shoulder at the stuff they'd only seen in film after-editing. It was real. "Do you mind?" Rodney yelped when his counterpart accidentally fell over onto him. Something told him it was Joe who pushed his rather unfortunate double as the actor had a smug smile on his face.
David got up and brushed off his clothes.
"If John did that to me I'd push him back," Rodney advised, remembering what John had said earlier about hitting.
It took him six hours, but Rodney managed to figure out when they could go back. Unfortunately, it would be two weeks. They would have to be on an alternate Earth in an alternate universe, with alternate them, for two agonizing weeks. Much to Rodney's surprise and even more so, relief, entropic cascade failure refused to set in.
Amanda smiled when the vortex exploded into the room, the first time she'd actually seen it done without special effects. As SGA-1 walked through, waving to their counterparts, she muttered something David caught. "Plausible deniability." Two days later pictures of the actors of Stargate: Atlantis with their doubles surfaced in the tabloids.
'Yeah,' Joe thought as he watched his counterpart disappear through the shimmering event horizon, 'clichés are definitely not part of the job description.'