Disclaimer: The following story is a work of fan fiction, and as such is for fan enjoyment only. All recognizable characters/settings are the property of their respective owners. No copyright infringement is intended, and no profit is made. I still don't own any of 'em, but one day, my friends, one day…
Summary: Even recreation time can be hazardous in the Pegasus Galaxy…
Central Character(s): Rodney and John, with Teyla and Ronon.
Category (ies): Humour.
Placement: Season Three, sometime after 'Irresistible'.
Rating: 12+ because a certain air force pilot has a potty mouth. Still, you know those military types…
Spoilers: There's one itsy-bitsy reference to 'Irresistible'.
A/N: This is just a little bit of fluff that I wrote a while ago. I tried to work it into a story but failed miserably so I decided that it could be a stand-alone. Of sorts.
Dr Rodney McKay had to duck quickly in order to avoid a book flung in the general direction of his head. Stepping into the brightly lit room, he frowned, trying to find the owner of the world's first flying novel.
"Colonel?" he called. "I know you're in here."
There was a muffled curse from inside one of the open trunks that were clustered on the floor, then Lt Col John Sheppard looked up from behind his bed. "Oh, uh, hey, Rodney," he stuttered, looking more than a bit embarrassed. "What's up?" He treated the scientist to one of his well-practiced puppy dog looks. Usually, it never failed him – hearts would melt, resistances were overcome, defences were dropped and John Sheppard would get what he wanted.
Unless, of course, you were Rodney McKay.
The Canadian wasn't fooled for a second. "Don't start that with me," he growled, ignoring the pilot's feigned look of confusion. "Your innocent little schoolboy routine has never and will never work on me. The female contingent of Atlantis may think it's cute and adorable, but I do not. You're late."
"What?" Sheppard glanced at his watch and cursed silently. He should have been in the rec room nearly half an hour ago. "Well, I'll be there in a minute," he said, obviously flustered.
"That's what you told Teyla over the radio twenty minutes ago. That's why I am currently stood talking to you, in a room that was previously used as personal quarters until a small nuclear explosion hit it." Rodney sighed and looked at the Colonel's quarters. The floor was only just visible under the piles of clothes, books, magazines, baseball paraphernalia, data pads, unfinished reports and other objects. He noted that even his friend's cherished skateboard had been clumsily tossed to one side.
"Sorry, Mother," John shot back. "I'm a bit busy at the moment."
"I can see that," McKay replied. He nudged a pile of comics with his foot. "Is this your new filing system or have you had another tantrum, young man?"
Sheppard rocked back onto his heels and stood up to face the physicist. "McKay, you're such a wit. If you must know, I was looking for something."
"I'd never have guessed."
Rodney rolled his eyes. "Your grasp on the English language astounds me at times. Have I what?"
"No, nothing. Never mind." Sheppard returned his attention to the trunk next to him. Within seconds, clothes were flying everywhere.
"Would you cut that out?!" McKay snapped, wrenching a pair of jeans from his head.
"Can it, Answer Man."
The scientist suddenly realised that the pilot's tone was bordering on panic-stricken and McKay suddenly felt afraid. John Sheppard never panicked. Ever. It was a statistical impossibility. If the soldier was this wound up, then it didn't bode well for anyone. "Sheppard?" he asked.
"Look, if you're not gonna help me, then go and distract Teyla and Ronon for a bit."
Wait a minute. Distraction? Rodney's eyes narrowed as he observed John's frantic rummaging. "I don't believe it," he muttered, as the other shoe suddenly dropped with a loud bang. "You've lost it, haven't you?" He took a few steps closer to his friend. "I told you to put it somewhere safe and easily remembered!" He looked around the room. "Did you check all the trunks?"
"What about the bathroom?"
"Under the bed?"
"No need to get snappy…"
"McKay, I've looked EVERYWHERE!"
"You must have missed it."
"Which part of EVERYWHERE didn't you get?!"
"You've got secret weapons caches stashed all over Atlantis for crying out loud! You're telling me you managed to lose something in your OWN ROOM?!"
Sheppard's head shot back up. "It's gone!" he wailed.
McKay paled. "What? That's impossible. How can it be gone?"
"I don't know! It just is!"
The world seemed to close in on the physicist and he stared at John with a 'deer-caught-in-the-headlights-of-an-oncoming-truck' expression. "We're dead men…"
Sheppard stood up and grabbed the physicist's shoulders roughly. "Don't think like that!" he snapped. "We need to stay positive…"
"Positive?!" McKay shrieked. "He's going to rip us to pieces! You promised him!"
"I know! It's fine, we'll… we'll just go look in the commissary. They're bound to have some. We could go on a raid…"
"THEY RAN OUT LAST WEEK!" Rodney howled.
"What about Z? He's always got some."
"RADEK LOST HIS TO CARSON IN A BET TWO WEEKS AGO!" McKay's voice rose up to a worryingly high octave.
"Someone has to have some!" Sheppard snapped. He scrubbed at his tangled hair furiously. "Chuck!" he said, grinning. "Chuck had a stash!"
Judging from the small whimpers coming from the physicist's direction, Sheppard knew that even the Canadian technician was all out. John felt his stomach flip-flop. "Oh, God," he murmured.
McKay began to tremble. "What are we gonna do?" he asked in a hoarse whisper.
John shook his head mutely. They were stuck up the proverbial creek without as much as a canoe, let alone a paddle.
"Elizabeth," Rodney croaked, a manic gleam of hope in his eyes. "She'll be able to do something."
Trust McKay to clutch at non-existent straws. "Somehow, I don't think so," he said quietly, thinking back to an earlier conversation. The two of them had been in a 'discussion' over the use of the East pier as a skateboard park and things had got heated. Dr Weir wasn't that quick to forgive. "She wasn't in a good mood earlier, and I really don't wanna have to go and grovel."
The tiny glimmer hope that Rodney was desperately clinging to was cruelly shattered. "WE'RE SCREWED!!!"
Sheppard ran a hand through his unruly locks. "Uh, we'll have to stall them or… Uh… Maybe…"
There was a rapid clicking of fingers. "I've got it! We'll tell him that Lucius found it!"
Sheppard raised an eyebrow. "He's never gonna buy that."
Rodney looked deflated. "Guess not."
"Rodney? Have you found the Colonel yet?"
The soft, female voice issuing through their headsets made both men jump. Looking panicky, McKay held a hand over his mic. "What are we gonna do?" he hissed.
"Stall 'em," Sheppard relied. "I'll think of something."
"Stall them? How am I meant to do that? As you insist on reminding me regularly, I'm a terrible liar!"
"Only when you have to do it to someone's face," John replied. "You'll be fine."
"Wh-What should I say?"
"Tell 'em… Tell 'em that you're trying to help me fix my door lock," John said, grinning. "Tell 'em I'm locked in and you're trying to get me out. It'll take you half an hour tops."
Growling slightly, McKay released his mic and tapped his earpiece. "Teyla…" He went on to recount the Colonel's fake version of events, desperately hoping that his voice wasn't shaking as much as his hands were.
"You know, your poker face is getting better," Sheppard said as the scientist finished talking. "Your eye only twitched once."
McKay seemed to brighten up at that. "Really?" he asked, looking hopeful.
"Do you require any assistance?" Teyla asked over the radio.
"What? Oh, uh, no. I'm perfectly capable of jimmying a door control without anyone giving me a pep talk!" Rodney snapped. "Now if you'll stop harassing me, I might be able to finish this sooner rather than later."
"McKay, you'd better hurry it up, or I'm gonna put the whale movie on," came the recognisable growl of Ronon.
"I'm working as fast as I can!" McKay yelled, shooting an evil look at Sheppard, who had to stuff a fist into his mouth to prevent himself from laughing out loud. "It will be done when it is done! Now go away and stop bothering me!"
"Fine. Just hurry up. I'm hungry."
The radio clicked off.
"I repeat, we're dead men…"
The pilot scooted out from under his bed – he'd already checked that particular hidey-hole, but figured that it wouldn't hurt to look again. "Would you stop that?"
Rodney looked bewildered. "Stop what?" he asked. "In case you forgot, Ronon threatened you with all manner of unspeakable injuries if you couldn't deliver." His stomach lolloped nervously. "And I'm pretty sure that he'll find me responsible in some way. I don't know about you, but I happen to like having both my arms attached to the rest of my body!"
"He wouldn't really…"
"Hello? Atlantis calling Colonel Sheppard! Were you not paying attention when he said it? Didn't you see the look on his face? Even Teyla was nervous! It was his 'I'm deadly serious and you're both dead if you don't deliver' face!" Rodney tugged at his hair distractedly, breathing heavily. "And he was smiling at the time!"
"That's one way of putting it." McKay pinched the bridge of his nose. "Okay, this is getting us nowhere." He began pacing in a circle, muttering under his breath.
"Rodney!" snapped John, frustrated and more than a little afraid both for his arms and the arms that were currently folded across the Canadian's chest. "What the hell are you doing? This isn't helping!"
"Shut up for a minute. I'm trying to think like you."
"Yeah? How's that working out for you?"
"I'll admit that it's more than a little embarrassing to have to sink to your mental level."
"Oh, touché," said John, rolling his eyes.
Rodney suddenly halted his spinning and snapped his fingers. "Outside the box!" he exclaimed.
Sheppard frowned at him, deciding that his friend had finally snapped under the pressure of premature amputation and gone bananas. "What?!"
McKay ignored him, dragging the Colonel's chair over to the doorway and cleared a space. Once he was confident that it was balanced and not about to fall over, he carefully climbed up and began running his hands over the little ledge above the door frame.
"Rodney, why are you…?"
The scientist let out a triumphant squawk and hopped down off the chair. "FOUND IT!" he crowed, grinning like an idiot.
"How did you know it was up there?" asked Sheppard, totally mystified.
"I'll take that as a 'thank you for saving our arms, Rodney'."
"Hell yeah!" Sheppard snatched the small box out of McKay's hands and tapped his earpiece. "Teyla, Ronon?"
"Our resident genius has finally cracked my door. We'll be with you in a minute."
"That is excellent news, John. Ronon will be most pleased."
McKay tugged their precious cargo out of Sheppard's arms.
"Now what?" asked the pilot, sighing.
"You're not getting this until you promise that we won't have to watch the whale DVD again."
Sheppard stared at McKay incredulously. "Are you kidding?"
"No I am not! Have you forgotten the last time?!"
John grimaced guiltily as the memory surfaced. To get back at McKay for a jibe involving the substitution of liquid jello for his shampoo, Sheppard had decided to undertake a little psychological warfare of his own. At the last team movie night, he had subjected the scientist to a documentary on whales followed by a viewing of Alien Vs Predator.
According to his various sources (mainly Carson and Radek), McKay had suffered from nightmares for weeks, all involving mutant, face-hugging, homicidal aquatic mammals. John figured that he'd probably deserved being covered in the contents of a bucket of offal which seemed to miraculously appear from thin air and fall from a height.
It had taken him nearly a week to get rid of the smell and he wasn't prepared to incur the wrath of the physicist again. McKay was truly terrifying when provoked into revenge. No point in poking the sleeping dragon and all that.
"Okay, Rodney, I promise. No whale movies. Now give."
McKay held onto the box, clutching it to his chest as if it were a ZPM. "I don't believe you," he snarled.
"McKay, I'll burn the bloody DVD myself if it'll make you happy! Now give me the damn box!"
A brief struggle and tug-of-war later, John was wandering down the corridor towards the rec room, happily tossing the box between his hands. McKay followed behind him, limping slightly and muttering darkly under his breath about 'dirty tactics'.
"C'mon, Rodney, I won fair and square."
"If you count almost ripping a chunk from my chest 'fair', then yes, I suppose you did." He rubbed at the area distractedly. "You know, this is ridiculous."
"What, you losing in a wrestling match?"
"No, us running around like headless chickens while trying to avoid death by Conan the Barbarian."
Sheppard chuckled. "I don't think he'd make good on his threats."
"Oh, really? The next time you can't find it, I'll be sure to let him know."
"That was below the belt, McKay."
"So was your left boot."
As the boys entered the rec room, they saw their team-mates sat on the sofa, idly flicking through a cluster of movie cases. Ronon raised an eyebrow at the sight of the box stashed under the pilot's arm and grinned ferally. The Athosian smiled warmly, standing as they entered. "John, Rodney! We were beginning to wonder if we should come and find you."
"Nah, no need." John waved a hand dismissively. "Rodney managed to sort it."
Rodney, ignoring the soldier, quickly spotted the whale documentary and grabbed it. "Ha!" he cried in triumph. "We are NOT watching this ever again!" He stashed the offending case inside his jacket. The look on his face dared his team-mates to try and take it off him.
"Rodney, I said I wouldn't put it on!"
"Yeah, well, better safe than sorry."
"You got it?" asked Ronon, looking meaningfully at the small box.
John tossed it to him and the Satedan's face lit up.
"Unbelievable," muttered McKay, shaking his head as the huge man ripped the box open and shoved it in the microwave.
"Now, now, Rodney, he's a growing boy. He needs to keep his strength up," John said, chuckling as Ronon hunted around for a bowl.
"Now that we are all here, what shall we watch?" asked Teyla, obviously amused. "Dr Beckett informed me that there is a copy of Anger Management somewhere."
McKay snorted indignantly, still watching Ronon. "No thanks."
Sheppard grimaced. "Not exactly what I had in mind."
McKay waved a finger threateningly. "We're not watching Alien Vs Predator again!"
"I liked that one," said the Satedan.
"Yeah, well, once was more than enough, thanks!" Rodney shot back hotly.
"Spoil sport," muttered John. He started looking through the DVDs, jerking his head up as he heard the familiar beeping of the microwave and a smell of butterscotch hit his nose.
Ronon tugged the contents of the microwave out and quickly transferred it to the bowl. He wandered back over and sank into the couch, munching away happily.
Behind him, Sheppard and McKay just shook their heads in disbelief as the Satedan continued to devour the popcorn.
Managing to grab a handful of the snack before it left for good, John glanced at the DVD cases that were scattered around. Seeing a familiar case, he held it up and grinned. "Who wants to watch The Texas Chainsaw Massacre?"
The whole 'whale' movie idea was inspired by 'Grace Under Pressure', 'Echoes' and 'Doppelganger'. As for Ronon's obsession with popcorn… I'm not really all that sure where I got that wee gem from, but it seemed to work quite well. Any ideas or requests are welcomed with open arms – the bunnies seem to have gone on holiday with my militant badgers. Damn turncoats…