This Means War

By Flossy

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'm afraid that despite wishing that I did, I don't own these characters. I've just borrowed them for a while. (Although, I may hang onto McKay and Sheppard for a bit longer – they're a lot of fun…)

Summary: Revenge is ugly…

Central Character(s): Rodney and John, with Elizabeth, Lorne, Carson and Jordan.

Category (ies): Humour, friendship.

Placement: In and around Season Three

Rating: +12 because Sheppard and McKay have potty mouths, the naughty boys.

Spoilers: One little reference for 'Critical Mass'.

Author's Note: This little gem was thought up whilst driving on an incredibly boring road whilst stuck behind a tractor carrying horse muck. The human mind is a terrifying thing at times, isn't it…?

Oh, and I don't know the names of Lorne's team members, so I've temporarily assigned Lt Jordan to it. In fact, I'm not even sure if there is a Lt Jordan – there's a MAJOR Jordan in 'This Mortal Coil' in Season 4… Maybe it's him. Before he got promoted. That'll work…

___________________________________________________________________________

"So would any of you like to explain just what the hell is going on?" Elizabeth Weir narrowed her eyes at the men sat in front of her. Lt Col John Sheppard and Dr Rodney McKay were looking daggers at Major Lorne and Lt Jordan, who were in turn scowling right back at the CO and CSO.

Both groups of men smelt terrible – according to her sources, they had been covered from head to toe in muck twenty four hours previously and the potion that Carson had made them use had only muted the stench. Elizabeth was standing as far away from them as was humanly possible.

There was an uncomfortable silence.

"Okay, if that's how you want to play it, gentlemen, suit yourselves. You will all be assigned extra maintenance hours for the waste purification room." She smiled as a ripple of disgust and horror travelled through the group. "From what I've heard, it's an absolute mess in there."

Not one of them said a word. Damn impressive.

"Very well. I will adjust the rota accordingly over the next couple of days. However, if any of you wish to speak about recent events, you might find that rotas can be changed."

Nothing, not even a flicker. Even Rodney, who was usually the first to complain about having to clean the dreaded place, was deathly silent.

"You are all dismissed."

The men tramped out of the briefing room as silently as they'd been sitting. As the doors closed behind her, Elizabeth let out a sigh, still puzzling over the events of the past week.

A Week Earlier…

"McKay!"

Rodney looked up from his workbench at the shout and saw Sheppard stood in the doorway of the lab. The pilot looked around cautiously before stepping inside and shutting the door.

"Colonel? To what do I owe the pleasure of your slightly worrying company?" asked the astrophysicist, silently convinced that his friend had finally gone fruit loops. "And what's with all the skulking?"

"Have you seen the latest off-world assignments?" John asked, aiming and failing for nonchalance.

"Uh, no. What's wrong?"

Sheppard grimaced. "We're uh, we're set to go to… uh, M7G-666."

Rodney frowned slightly as he thought then a look of horror similar to that of the Colonel's crept onto his face. "Oh no," he whimpered. "Oh no, no, no, no, no. That's so not good. That is the planet with the…?"

"Yeah."

"Oh God…" McKay gulped and ran a shaking hand through his hair. "What're we gonna do?"

Sheppard gave him a grin. "I've got an idea…"

"Well, they say there's a first time for everything."

"Very funny, Rodney," John replied, glowering at the smug grin on the scientist's face. "Can you access the assignment roster from in here?"

McKay looked at Sheppard haughtily. "Colonel, I can access the roster from anywhere on the base." As he spoke, he turned back to face his laptop, his fingers scurrying over the keys. "Just give me a second…" He entered a command code and suddenly, the assignment schedule flashed into life on the screen. "HA!" he crowed triumphantly. "So, what are you planning to do now, Mr Mensa-In-A-Parallel-Dimension?"

"Isn't it obvious?" asked the pilot, frowning. "Now you've hacked in, I want you to change the schedule."

McKay grinned. "Consider it done. Where would you like to visit instead?" He pointed to the various gate addresses that were attached to the different teams. "Edison's gang are headed back to M5R-443 – the planet with the rainforests?" he added, seeing the blank look on Sheppard's face. "Or, if tangling with huge man-eating lizards isn't your idea of fun, how about this one?"

Sheppard studied the address that McKay had motioned to. M2R-558. Seemed familiar. "What's that one again?" he asked.

"Oh, I think you'll like it, Lt Col Kirk. Right up your alley, so to speak."

"It's not the planet with the, uh, really friendly ladies is it?"

"The one and the same," Rodney replied, giving his friend a sly grin. "What d'you reckon? Fancy sorting out their shield emitter?"

"Oh, I think that would do the job," John agreed, beaming. "After all, it'd be downright rude and un-neighbourly if we didn't help."

"D'you think Lorne'll mind the swap?" Rodney asked, tapping the screen once more. "I mean, isn't he gonna be pretty pissed that he's going to the land of unending bogs rather than a paradise with shapely vixens?"

"Nah. I think we ought to go instead. After all, we've had dealings with them in the past and it seems unfair to throw the poor guy in at the deep end. I mean, the locals can get pretty…"

"Excitable?"

"Intense was the word I'd use, but you've got a point." Sheppard motioned toward the screen. "Go on then, Answer Man. Swap us around."

"Already done it," said McKay. "As soon as I saw the address I figured you wouldn't mind going back there."

Sheppard grinned. "McKay, you're brilliant."

"Yeah, I know."

Five Days Later

"Colonel!"

Sheppard turned at the sound and saw McKay sprinting up the corridor towards him. "What's up, Rodney?"

"You've… you've gotta see…"

"Whoa, whoa, whoa! Take a breath!"

Rodney sucked in a lungful of air. "Major Lorne's back."

"Oh boy…"

"That's what I said. You should see him!" McKay grinned. "The locals really went to town this time!"

Sheppard grinned back. The last time his team had been to M7G-666, they'd come back looking like attractions from a carnival show. It made Zelenka's encounter with Keras' lot seem mild in comparison. "Is there surveillance footage?"

McKay gave him an evil smile. "Oh yes. He won't forget this for a long time."

John was about to reply when his earpiece crackled into life. "Colonel?"

"I'm here, Doc."

"Just a wee head's up," Carson told him. "Major Lorne and his boys are a bit upset at present."

"Really?"

"Och, don't you play the innocent with me, lad! I know you and Rodney had a hand in this. If I were you, I should either play nice with them or practice your stealth tactics for a while. And don't say I did nae warn you."

"Gotcha, Doc. Thanks." John clicked his radio off.

"Think he's mad?" asked Rodney.

"Who, Carson?"

"Lorne."

Sheppard shrugged. "He'll get over it. He's got a good sense of humour." He nudged the scientist. "Got a copy of that footage, then?"

Rodney beamed at him. "My lab, twenty minutes. Bring some food."

Twenty Minutes Later

"Hey, Rodney!" Sheppard entered the Canadian's lab and set down a large bowl.

"Colonel, where the hell did you get that?" McKay asked, pointing at the popcorn. A delicious waft of butterscotch drifted through the air. "I thought we'd run out."

"Let's just say that I have my sources and leave it at that." John grinned darkly and pointed to the laptop. "Set up?"

"Ready and waiting." Rodney typed in a couple of commands and the screen started to play back the footage.

Lorne and his team arrived back in the Gateroom covered in mud, feathers and a sticky, orange substance of a dubious nature. They'd all had their faces painted and from the way the men were scowling and wrinkling their noses, it was probably the same disgusting stuff that the natives had used on Team Sheppard.

It had taken the better part of a day to remove the foul smelling muck and it had been at least a week until the odour had gone.

McKay and Sheppard were laughing so loudly that they didn't hear the lab door open.

"I take it you find something funny, sir?"

The boys spun round to see a seriously pissed off Major Lorne hovering in the doorway. Although he had managed to remove most of the feathers, his face was still covered in an indecipherable scrawl and he reeked to high heaven. It took all their self control not to start laughing again – Rodney quickly cleared the screen before slamming the lid of the laptop down.

"Major," said Sheppard. "How went the trade negotiations?"

Lorne responded with a strange vowel-less sound that should have been physically impossible for the human larynx to produce in normal circumstances.

"I take it the locals were happy to see you?" asked McKay, completely straight faced. "That's an interesting doodle on your cheek by the way."

"And orange really suits you," added John with a grin.

"I know you did it, sir," said Lorne quietly. "I can't prove it, but I know it was you."

John gave the Major one of his trademark 'butter-wouldn't-melt' looks. "I have no idea what you're talking about."

Lorne scowled at them and left the lab, muttering something that sounded like, "I'll get my own back."

As soon as he was out of ear-shot, John and Rodney turned to face each other and burst into hysterical laughter.

That Evening in the Infirmary…

Sheppard looked at Beckett and the physician could see the fear in the man's eyes. "Are you sure, Doc?"

Carson sighed. "Aye, lad, I'm afraid so. There's none to be found anywhere. It's just… gone."

"Jesus…" This was going to be unbearable. John pinched the bridge of his nose. "Whatever you do, don't let McKay know."

"Don't let McKay know what?"

John groaned inwardly as the unmistakable tones of a certain astrophysicist bounded across the infirmary. He quickly tried to look innocent as McKay strode up to them.

"Why are you two hiding in here?" Rodney demanded. "Aren't you supposed to be, oh I don't know… working? Like the rest of us?"

"Rodney, we've got some bad news…"

"Doc! I said don't tell him!" Sheppard snapped.

"He'll find out anyway!" Carson replied hotly. "It'd be better if we get it over and done with."

McKay looked at his two friends sternly. "Seriously, you two are scaring me. What's going on?"

John placed a hand on the scientist's shoulder. "Rodney…"

"Oh, no, Colonel! Don't you 'Rodney' me!" McKay snapped, angrily shoving the pilot's hand away. His face blanched. "Oh, God, I'm dying, aren't I?" He spun around to face Beckett, wide eyed and panic stricken. "Carson? Am I dying?"

John rolled his eyes at his team-mate's melodramatic display. "Christ almighty, you're not dying, Rodney! You're not even ill."

"Then what's going on?!" Rodney asked, utterly bewildered.

"You might wanna sit down…" Sheppard indicated to the empty chair.

"Will you stop that?!" McKay shot back, giving the Colonel one of his patented death glares.

John sighed. "Look, we've got a bit of a problem."

"Thank you Lt Col Obvious! I'd kind of gathered that already! What is it?"

The pilot took a deep breath, mentally steeling himself for the oncoming barrage. This was not going to be pretty… "It's… it's the blue jello. It's… gone."

The astrophysicist looked at Sheppard as if the man had just told him that the world was about to end. "WHAT?! Don't even joke about that, Colonel."

"I'm afraid it's true, lad," said Carson softly. "All our supplies of blue jello have mysteriously disappeared."

McKay grabbed hold of Sheppard's jacket, almost hysterical. "WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO??!!"

"Calm down, Rodney! It'll be okay…" John tried hard to pull free, but his friend was holding the cloth in a death grip.

"Okay?" shrieked Rodney. "OKAY??!! THIS IS NOT OKAY!!!"

"Can you no just mix the yellow and green?" asked Carson innocently. He gave an involuntary whimper as McKay's head spun around to face him, piercing the Scotsman a look of sheer contempt.

"NO!!!"

"Why not?"

The scientist scowled at Beckett and snorted disgustedly. "One – the yellow is lemon and unless you've forgotten, I'm deathly allergic to citrus. I don't know about you, but going into anaphylactic shock is not high on my list of 'Things I'd like to Do'. Two – the green ran out two weeks ago and is probably the worst of the bunch." Rodney paused in the middle of his apoplectic rant for a moment to take a deep breath. "And three – IT'S NOT THE SAME!!!"

"Surely the Daedalus will be here soon with more supplies?"

Sheppard shook his head. "Fraid not, Doc. It's not due for another three weeks."

"What am I gonna do?" McKay howled. "I can't go three weeks without blue jello! I'll go INSANE!"

You and me both, thought Sheppard. He grabbed hold of the Canadian's wrists and finally managed to free the man from his jacket. "Rodney, it's just jello," he said, alarmed at how violently his friend had reacted. "Christ, anyone would think the Wraith were storming the city."

"How can you say that?" whimpered Rodney.

"I really think you should sit down, lad," said Beckett, worried by how pale the scientist had gone. He reached out and helped McKay into the chair. "Take some deep breaths."

"Who took it?" asked McKay, shakily. "Which evil minded, petty, malicious, Wraith loving bastard stole it?"

Sheppard scowled. "I've got a pretty good idea," he said. "A certain Major and his team are the first to spring to mind."

"Lorne?" asked Beckett, visibly shocked by the pilot's accusation. "He would nae do that, surely?"

"Revenge is a dirty word, Carson," Rodney growled. He frowned suddenly as a thought struck him. "I thought I smelt something odd in the mess and the stores earlier. Like rotting manure…" He shared a knowing glance with John.

"There's your proof, Doc. Only Lorne and his men could smell like that."

"So what are we going to do?"

John smiled darkly. "If Lorne want to play silly buggers, then so be it. I think we need to go for a look-see at the mess."

Rodney shook his head slightly. "Hang on… you mean a raid?"

"Hell yes, a raid! They must have hidden it somewhere. If we scout around in the mess, we might just find some sort of clue as to where they stashed it."

"Oh, so now we're playing Scooby Doo?" asked Rodney incredulously.

"You may be able to sniff out a trail," suggested Carson, ignoring the eye roll from the astrophysicist. "That muck tends to linger…"

Sheppard laughed. "You know, Doc, that sounds like a mighty fine plan." He tugged McKay to his feet. "C'mon, Velma, let's go investigate."

A Corridor, Some Time Later

"Shouldn't we have brought some back-up or something?" Rodney asked as the two men skulked down the corridor leading to the mess hall. "What if Lorne decided to booby trap the kitchens or something? I mean, we could be walking into an ambush as we speak."

Sheppard sighed. "Look, Rodney, you know as well as I do that Teyla and Ronon are off-world at the moment assisting Edison's team with those overgrown geckos. I'm not gonna dial them up and get them back! Besides," he gave McKay a black look, "do you really wanna tell the big guy there's no more blue jello?"

McKay shuddered. Ronon's obsession with the dessert rivalled his own, and Rodney really didn't want to have to tell the Satedan the bad news. The man would probably rip him to pieces, especially if he found out that the scientist was partly to blame for the loss. "Not really," he replied quietly.

"Didn't think so. Picking anything up?"

McKay looked down at the life signs detector and grimaced. "Yes I am, actually," he said, pointing to the twenty or so little dots roaming around the screen. "This will never work! There's far too many people around! You know that this thing doesn't differentiate!"

"Yeah, you keep telling me that." John sighed. "We just need to know if the mess is clear."

The Canadian scowled and looked back at the little Ancient doohickey. "According to this, there are currently no little dots in the vicinity of the mess."

"Good! Now get a move on before someone decides to scrounge a late night snack."

The doors to the mess swished open and the boys cautiously ventured inside. After checking that no one was around, they wandered into the kitchen area.

The smell hit them like a sack of bricks.

"Oh God," Rodney gasped, desperately resisting the urge to gag. "That's nasty!"

"It's worse than the stuff they used on us!" Sheppard agreed, trying to breathe shallowly through his mouth.

"We should have bagged a couple of Hazmat suits," Rodney muttered, swallowing hard.

"Yeah, cos that wouldn't look suspicious at all, would it?" John clenched his jaw and motioned towards the store. "Let's check it out."

They opened the doors to the food store and entered, relieved that the odour was somewhat overpowered by the scents from all of the exotic foodstuffs. Heading straight for the dessert shelf, the boys saw the empty space where until recently, three boxes of blue jello had been living.

"Son of a bitch," muttered Sheppard, shaking his head.

"Hey, I found something!" McKay held up a small piece of paper.

Tugging it from the scientist's hands, John saw the recognisable writing of Major Lorne. "Colonel, Doctor, I assume that by now you've found out that we've taken all the blue jello. You're both smart guys, I knew it wouldn't take you long. But I have hidden the supply somewhere you will never, ever, find it," Sheppard read out loud. Next to him, McKay bristled with anger. "If you want the jello back, you will have to make a public apology for tampering with the assignment schedule and then go and pay a visit to our friends on M7G-666. If you fail to comply within twenty four hours, then I will destroy the cargo. Major Evan Lorne."

"BASTARD!" Rodney wailed. "That's blackmail! Court-marshal him!"

"Let's not be too hasty here, Rodney," John replied, carefully examining the note. He peered at the small stain on the paper and gingerly sniffed it.

"Well, Scooby? Which way did the bad guys go?"

"Shut up, McKay." He gestured to the stain. "Smell it."

"What are…?"

"Just smell the damn paper!"

Rodney glowered at him, leaning forward. Bracing himself, he sniffed and frowned. "Hang about… Isn't that…?"

John nodded. "Gun oil. Lorne must've written this in the armoury."

"To the armoury then?"

"To the armoury."

In the Weapons Store…

"There's no way in hell that I'm apologising in public!" McKay fumed. "And I am not going to that hell hole of a planet either."

"Relax, would ya? We'll get the jello back and give Lorne hell."

The boys were roaming around the armoury looking for anything that might lead them to the missing pudding supplies. So far, they hadn't discovered anything other than a lingering stench of manure. At least it confirmed that Team Lorne had been there.

John was getting worried. Oh, he could take apologising like a man, no problem. Hell, he'd even admit to being a Grade A jerk to all and sundry in the city.

The problem was with M7G-666. If he had to go there again, he was pretty sure that he'd do something which he would later regret. Possibly involving a P-90 and native skulls.

"Sheppard!"

Rodney's yell snapped the pilot out of his reverie. "What's up?"

McKay stood grinning like a loon, pointing to the air shaft above them – there was a greasy hand print just visible. "Up there!"

Manoeuvring a table underneath the vent, the boys scrambled up and started to tug off the cover. Cautiously sticking their heads inside the shaft, John clicked on a flashlight.

It was relatively empty… apart from the small scrap of paper next to Rodney's elbow. The scientist grabbed it and hopped down from the table.

"Well, I knew you guys were good, but I'm impressed. I'll bet that Dr. McKay found this one. He's pretty good at the whole lateral thinking business," Rodney read out as Sheppard joined him. "Still, my earlier offer is probably your best bet. Sorry, sir, but you'll never find the jello, so I suggest you quit while you're ahead. After all, by the time you do figure it out, the cargo will probably be in pretty bad shape. See you at 09.30 hours in the Gateroom tomorrow. Major Evan Lorne."

"He's pretty sure of himself, isn't he?" Sheppard mused.

"He's a no good, rat of a fink, is what he is!" Rodney snapped. He examined the paper. "There's nothing! No smells, no stains…"

John held out his hand, and McKay passed it across. After several minutes, he growled. "Dammit! Where the hell would he go next?"

"Let's just think about this logically for a moment. We know that he had to have absconded with my favourite pudding sometime between him seeing us in my lab and when it was discovered that the jello had grown legs and gone walkies." Rodney tilted his head at an angle, his fingers tapping his lips in a repetitive rhythm. "So, all we need to do is find out where Team Lorne was during that window of time."

"I've got a theory," said Sheppard, tapping his earpiece. "Hey, Doc?"

Beckett's brogue filled the radio. "You called, Colonel?"

"Did Lorne come back to the infirmary after his post-mission check?"

"Funny you should say that, lad. As a matter of fact he did – he dropped by a couple of hours later. Said he'd forgotten the lotion I'd offered to help him remove the paint."

"Was he alone at any point? Was there any moment when he was out of your line of sight?"

"Aye, lad, I suppose there was."

"Gotcha!" grinned John. "We're coming to you, Doc."

"Okay. Beckett out."

"You don't think it's stashed in the infirmary, do you?" asked Rodney.

Sheppard shook his head. "I doubt it. But I suspect that Lorne may have left us a little note…"

Back in the Infirmary…

"So, how goes the hunt?" asked Carson as McKay and Sheppard ran into through the doors.

"We need to know where Lorne was while you were fetching the lotion," replied Sheppard.

Beckett frowned. "What for?"

"Oh for Heaven's sake, Carson!" Rodney snapped. "Just show us where he was!"

"Snappy, Rodney."

"Carson!"

"Haud yer wheesht!" the physician snapped, grinning to himself at the blank looks in front of him. "Calm yourself before you burst an artery!" He led them over to the beds near the medical supply cabinet. "He was here. I had the lotion in my office."

To his horror, the boys started tearing the sheets from the freshly made beds. "Sweet Mary! Just what the hell d'you think you're doing?!"

Having no luck with any of the cots, they turned their attention to the medical cabinet. Pulling on the doors, Sheppard frowned when he found them locked. "Was this locked while he was in here?"

"Aye, you daft sod! It's a medical cabinet! It's always locked!"

Rodney swore under his breath and started to look around on the small tables near the beds.

Sighing, Carson rolled his eyes, leaning heavily against the cabinet. He frowned as his hand came into contact with what felt like paper. "What's this now?" He pulled his hand down and found a small note. "Well, I might have underestimated you, sir. If you've made it this far then you're doing pretty well. And no, the jello is not hidden in the infirmary. The Doc would skin me alive if I tried something as half-cocked as that," Carson read out. "Aye, I would," he muttered with a small smile.

Rodney and John stepped closer.

"Rest assured, if you do work out where the jello is, I can guarantee you that it's the one place you'll never ever want to look. Tick-tock, guys. Major Evan Lorne."

"What the hell?" asked Carson.

"You've got me, Doc," admitted Sheppard, who was well and truly stumped. He turned to look at Rodney, expecting his friend to be just as clueless – and was surprised when he saw the expression on the scientist's face.

McKay was snapping his fingers rapidly and grinning like a Cheshire cat. "I know where it is!" he beamed.

"What? How?" asked John, frowning.

"Just think about it. What's the one place that none of us would ever want to go?" He gave his friends a smug smile.

"You don't mean…?"

"Oh yes."

"Rodney, you can nae be serious!"

"It's the only logical solution!"

John swallowed heavily. This was turning out to be more trouble than it was worth. All this just for some crappy sweet? "Look, maybe we should just suck it up and apologise?" he suggested.

"I will NOT give in to terrorist demands!" Rodney snapped. "Come on, Sheppard! Do you really want to go to M7G-666?"

John grimaced. The man had a point, but… "Not if I can help it," he replied.

"You're not going?" asked Carson incredulously.

"We're going," they answered in unison.

"You're both insane!" shrieked the physician.

"Coming, Carson?" asked McKay.

"No I'm bloody well not!" He held up a shaking finger at the boys. "You two are out of your sodding minds!"

"Desperate times call for desperate measures," McKay retorted.

The boys left the infirmary as Carson stood open mouthed.

Much, MUCH Later…

"You've lost it, Rodney," growled John as the boys jogged down a corridor. "I mean, for the love of God, it's just jello!"

"You keep telling yourself that when we're stuck on that shit hole with those lunatics, up to our eyeballs in God only knows what!" McKay shot back. "I'm sure it'll make you feel a hell of a lot better!"

Dammit, once again, the man had a point. John groaned. All this fuss over a simple assignment change! Never again, he vowed to himself. Never ever again. Oh, and he was going to have Rodney mark M7G-666 as 'DO NOT GO THERE!'…

Slowing to a walk, the boys took a couple of minutes to catch their breath as they approached the doors. Rodney looked across at John. "Ready?" he asked nervously.

"Let's get this over with."

Swiping a hand across the control panel, the doors swished open with a soft hiss. Both men staggered backwards at the smell that emanated from the room.

"Lorne's a dead man when I catch him," John muttered.

"Not unless I get him first."

They headed inside the waste purification room…

…And saw Major Lorne and Lt Jordan smiling at them.

"Well, sir, I'm impressed," Lorne said, a wicked smile playing on his now clean face.

"Look, Major, I think this has gone far enough," said Sheppard. "Hand over the jello and we'll forget this entire fiasco ever happened."

"Sorry, sir, but I can't do that."

There was an angry growl from McKay. "Give us the jello or else."

Lorne laughed. "C'mon, Doc," he said. "I don't think you're in a position to be demanding anything. After all, what will Dr. Weir say when she finds out that it was you who hacked into the system?"

"Blackmail is an ugly pastime, Lorne," Sheppard replied. He placed a hand on Rodney's shoulder to prevent the man from lunging on the soldier. "Just give us the jello and we'll be on our way."

The situation was starting to resemble a really bad Mexican standoff. John was convinced that things couldn't possibly get any worse when Lorne dropped the bombshell.

"It's not here."

"WHAT?!" shrieked McKay. "We've been all over the God damn city looking for it!"

"Oh, we decided to put it back," replied Lt Jordan. "No damage."

"You've got to be kidding me…" muttered Sheppard, trying hard not to laugh hysterically.

"The notes," said McKay, "they were decoys!"

Lorne nodded. "Worked too." He stared at the boys. "Come on, sir, did you really think I'd be that stupid? Ronon would tear me to pieces!"

"So why are we here?!"

Lorne gave them a dark grin. "Just thought you should have a taste of your own medicine." He nodded past them. "Okay, boys, let her rip!"

Before either of them could react, Sheppard and McKay found themselves on the business end of a pressure hose. Within seconds, both men were caked in foul smelling gunk.

"THAT'S GROSS!" Rodney screamed.

"LORNE!" bellowed John.

The Major and his men were doubled up with laughter. Sheppard moved quickly and grabbed the hose, turning it on Lorne and Jordan, whose chuckles immediately turned to surprised yelps. Unable to dodge the spray, they were soon just as messy as McKay and Sheppard.

And then things got worse.

Jordan scooped off a handful of muck and lobbed it at Rodney. The scientist yelled out as the gunk came into contact and quickly retaliated, sending a fist-sized ball back at the Lt. Sheppard grinned as the projectile landed smack in the middle of the man's face – Rodney was a damn good shot. Eager to get revenge, Jordan grabbed another handful and fired, but was knocked off balance by Lorne, who was temporarily blinded. The missile hit Sheppard's shoulder and the pilot fired off a shot of his own, nailing Jordan in the chest.

Rodney, meanwhile, had managed to get hold of the hose and was in the process of showering Lorne with its contents. The two other members of Team Lorne were trying to wrestle it back, but were stopped in their tracks by some well aimed shots from John. Seeing that they were losing, they beat a hasty retreat, leaving Lorne and Jordan to fend for themselves.

It seemed as if McKay and Sheppard were gaining the upper hand. Their opponents were almost begging for mercy.

It was at that moment McKay slipped.

His feet skidded in the muck that was now coating the floor and both he and the hose went

flying. He managed to crawl towards the door, nursing his head, which had received a hefty

blow from the pipe.

'Rodney!' John yelled as he stumbled and slipped through the gunk. Reaching his friend, he

saw that the metal of the pipe had managed to cut the scientist's head open. "LORNE!" he

shouted. "Enough is enough! TURN OFF THAT DAMN HOSE!!!"

Realising that things had gone too far, the Major dashed over to the pump and quickly shut off

the spray. He staggered over to the two men on the floor. "Sir?" he croaked. "Is Dr McKay

alright?"

"No, he's not!" snapped Sheppard. "We need to get him to the infirmary." In his arms, McKay

was only just conscious – he was looking around blearily and blood was gushing from his head.

"Sir, maybe we should rinse off?" suggested Jordan, motioning to the water tanks. "Don't want

the wound to get infected."

Sheppard nodded curtly and was rewarded with a blast of cool water. "Truce?" he suggested once the water was directed towards the astrophysicist.

Lorne nodded sheepishly. "Yes, sir."

After they were no longer covered in grime, John hauled Rodney to his feet. "C'mon, Answer

Man. Let's take a walk."

Later Again…

"Carson! Would you stop flashing that damn light in my eyes?"

Beckett grinned and turned back to Sheppard. "He'll be fine," he stated. "There's a mild concussion but he does nae need any stitches."

"Thanks, Doc. Say, uh, I don't suppose you've got any of that lotion left by any chance?" John asked. "We kinda stink."

"Aye, you do. I take it that the jello is safe?"

Rodney nodded gingerly. "Yeah," he said. "And I'm gonna go get some." He rose from his seat and swayed.

"Oh, no you don't, son. You're to stay put for observation."

McKay muttered something about sheep under his breath, making Carson chuckle.

"How about I bring you some?" offered John.

"You're not going anywhere either!" snapped Carson. "You were covered in filth! Do you have any idea of what that can do to your systems?"

"But, Doc, I feel fine!" Sheppard's protests died away as the physician spun around angrily. "Or maybe I should stay for a while."

"So why were you covered from head to toe in…?"

"In shit?" asked John. "Payback, courtesy of Lorne."

Carson bit his lip, trying hard not to laugh. "Well, maybe that'll teach you not to mess around with the rotas again," he said. "Now stay put while I get that lotion." He wandered off towards his office. "God knows you both need it!"

John grabbed McKay's elbow and eased him back into his seat before perching on the cot opposite. "You okay?"

"Yeah. Head hurts, but at least we got the jello."

"Here we go," said Carson, holding out a couple of bottles. "I want the both of you to have a shower and use this. We'll have to do a course of antibiotics to make sure that no nasty little buggers have decided to infect you."

"Wanna go first?" asked John with a smirk.

"Actually, it sounds pretty good," came the reply.

"I hope you've both learned your lesson," said Beckett giving them a mock glower. "You shouldn't sling mud."

As he headed for the shower, Rodney scowled at the doctor. "Like I told you, Carson. Revenge is a dirty word."

-FIN-

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A/N: Naughty, naughty John and Rodney! Bad! Maybe they've learnt their lesson this time. Wait, what am I saying?! This is the terrible two I'm talking about here! I couldn't resist beating McKay up at the end – methinks I need to go to Whumpers Anonymous or something.