Chuck had been sitting at the terminal for his entire shift. That wasn't anything new. That was what he did, day in and day out. He would show up a few minutes before his shift, catch up with the guy before him (Dave or Steve or Lev -- the guy was a mumbler) and then take over the chair when DaveSteveLev left for the morning. Whoever he was, his ass was sweaty and the chair was always uncomfortably clammy for the first twenty minutes of Chuck's shift (con).

Every day at exactly 10.13 Atlantis time one light on his console would flash (pro). On for three seconds. Off for five. On for seven seconds. Off again, where it would stay off until approximately 18.27 pm.

(They would eventually find out that it was an indicator light that Atlantis' hot water supply was replenishing. Chuck realized a little sadly that the discovery meant that the romance was gone; it was much less interesting to record the times in the log once he knew what they meant.(con.))

There were days when the job was probably the most boring one in Atlantis. Everyone talked about the days when there was a crisis -- a jumper coming in hot, or an unscheduled off-world activation, or an IDC variant indicating a hostage situation. But truthfully, those instances were few and far between. Sure, it felt like they were happening about once a week, but sometimes there'd be a month or two or even three where the day was just mind-numbingly dull and Chuck would think "I can't believe I'm doing this." Especially when his brother was back on Earth working for a special effects company in Winnipeg.

Sure, space was great and all that, but his brother met Winona Ryder once (con).

Some days he wasn't sure if this was worth the constant threat of death, destruction, and having your life sucked out(way con). Not to mention the constant threat of Dr McKay flailing and shouting at you (and giving Canadians a bad name, although Chuck would never say that out loud). Some days he wondered if he should just ask for a transfer back to Earth, finish out his service, and go to work with his brother.

But then one day Dr Weir called him "Chuck" and he beamed (pro). She not only acknowledged him, she knew his first name. And a few times Major (and later Lieutenant Colonel) Sheppard squeezed his shoulder and told him he'd done a good job, which was more than most COs would have ever done (totally pro). So sometimes it wasn't that bad.

And then, one night, just about the end of his (completely uneventful, dead boring) shift, Dr McKay came over and put a CD down in front of him and tapped the case. "This came on the last supply run. My sister sent it. She said you'd mentioned that you wished you'd brought it." He looked uncomfortable. "So. She sent it."

Chuck picked it up and grinned. A star-shaped note taped to the cover of The Tragically Hip's "Fully Completely" said "Enjoy! Jeannie Miller."

"Awesome! Tell her I really appreciate it."

"Oh, tell her yourself," McKay grumbled.

Chuck put another item in the "pro" column: irritating Dr McKay.

The idea of asking for a transfer back to Earth got a little further away.