He Saw a Dancing Sheep by AndromedaMarine
A/N: In celebration of my diminished sanity, I freely give this work that came as a result of sleep-deprivation and a long day at school, also from being under the influence of severely insane yet strangely awesome friends.
Voices drifted, words melted together, darkness ebbed and flowed, but yet he hovered on the brink of consciousness and sweet blackness. The voices and sounds abruptly changed. Tone? Feeling? Silence? He couldn't tell. But he thought he could hear the tap-tap of dance shoes. Suddenly he felt the tingling of life in his fingertips and calves; it spread up and inward until it reached his eyes. He blinked. And blinked a few more times before what had been blurry before became focused and still made no sense.
The owners of the three indistinguishable voices crowded around Rodney McKay's hospital bed but the unexplainable image did not disappear. He kept his eyes on it. "Why..." he began unsurely, "is there a dancing sheep above my bed?"
John broke into unrestrained laughter, but Jennifer and Carson simultaneously and silently admonished him. "He doesn't know what's going on!" she whispered violently at the colonel. Then all three, obligingly, tilted their heads to look at the distant, empty, ceiling.
"There's nothing there," Jennifer rebuked calmly.
Rodney frowned. The sheep, who had been deep in the middle of an Irish jig, switched flawlessly into a one-man tango complete with a clover between its teeth. "I beg to differ."
Keller turned to Carson. "Hallucinations," she said just loud enough that only the Scot heard her. "Like the others. But I don't know how his mind manifested a dancing sheep...all the others were at least slightly relevant..." She found the situation bizarrely funny but had no trouble not laughing. She faced the scientist and banished John from the infirmary with a single glance. "How do you feel?"
"A bit disconcerted considering the dancing sheep up there," he replied, pointing at the now-waltzing farm animal that existed only in his mind. "It keeps going through dances I used to know how to play the piano for."
This revelation surprised the American but also cleared her confusion. "Just the dances you could play for? Nothing else?"
Rodney scowled at her. "If there was anything else I wouldn't have said 'just the dances I knew the songs for,' now would I?" He closed his eyes and shook his head. "I'm hallucinating, aren't I?"
Jennifer gripped one of his hands and threaded their fingers together. "Yeah. But I'd like to know how your mind came up with a dancing sheep."
He sighed. "Join the club." After a pause he said, "Did I get another weird head wound in a jumper or is this the result of one of Teyla's illegally-strong Athosian teas?" Before she could attempt an answer he continued, "And why does this always happen to me? I've had more than my share of hallucination-inducing injuries – it's about time John or Ronon saw dancing sheep floating through the air."
Jennifer snorted. "Offworld, at a celebration ceremony, you had one-too-many drinks, like most of us, but you walked into a tree and hit your head. We brought you back unconscious – and trust me, that took skill when all of us were as drunk or drunker than you – but apparently those drinks have a long after-effect, since it's been three days and all personnel who had the drink have been hallucinating too. Still are. Atlantis is on stand down until the effect wears off."
"So I got a dancing sheep. What did you get?" There was a twinkle in his eye.
Jennifer chuckled. "A yodeling purple elephant dressed in a medical department uniform."
"My distant relatives...well, I'd rather not go into the purple elephant part..." She began ticking off senior personnel. "John got a guitar that grew legs, sang off-key, and threw Johnny Cash figurines at him, Mr. Woolsey had the classic angel and devil in the form of Jack O'Neill and the director of the IOA, Ronon's gun grew wings and shot at miniature Wraiths, Teyla wouldn't disclose hers but I'm sure it had something to do with her Wraith DNA, and Carson said that if I tell you his I'll be on night shift for the next year."
Rodney tried desperately to keep from bursting into laughter, but failed. "Okay," he said between much-needed breaths, "now I feel better about seeing a sheep dancing the tango. Oh - what did Radek get?"
Jennifer smiled at him. "You know the tango?"
Rodney didn't answer her but flashed a wide grin. "Radek?"
She shook off the mental image of doing the tango with Rodney. "Oh – don't you remember? Radek prefers not going off world, so until you stop seeing dancing sheep, he's in charge of the science department."
At this, Rodney gave a defeated sigh and slumped back onto the pillows. "Figures."
Jennifer touched her earwig and said, "Dr. Keller to city-wide PA," – she smiled as Rodney's eyes widened and she quickly moved out of reach – "– he saw a dancing sheep!"