Title: Five times Rush had had enough
Author: Shenandoah Risu
Content Flags: none
Spoilers: Season 2 "Blockade"
Characters: Nicholas Rush, Chloe Armstrong, Eli Wallace, Everett Young, Lisa Park, Vanessa James
Prompt: 03- SGU, Rush, There were only so many times that...
Word Count: 1,003
Summary: In his situation, every once in a while, easy was good.
Author's Notes: Written for Theme Week Day 6 at the LJ Comm Stargateland.
Disclaimer: I don't own SGU. I wouldn't know what to do with it. Now, Young... Young I'd know what to do with. ;-)
Thanks for reading! Feedback = Love. ;-)
"Dr. Rush, here are the calculations you requested."
"Dr. Rush, we have a meeting in the mess hall, remember?"
"Dr. Rush, I found one of your chess pieces on the observation deck."
"Dr. Rush, I'm going to the mess – can I get you anything?"
"Dr. Rush, I brought you some tea."
There were only so many times Rush could bear Chloe calling him with his formal title in the span of an hour. He whirled around and yelled at her at the top of his lungs.
"Oh for goodness' sake, will you please stop calling me that?"
"Call you what," Chloe frowned, not the least bit intimidated by his fury.
Rush ran his hands through his hair, pulling at the strands with a pained expression.
"Call you what? What did I say?" Chloe repeated.
Rush shook his head.
"I'm sorry, I shouldn't have yelled like that. Please don't call me Dr. Rush anymore, okay? You work on the Bridge now, you're one of the crew."
"Oooookaaaay…" Chloe tilted her head to the side. So – then what?"
"Nicholas. Call me Nicholas. Or Nick."
Chloe nodded, "All right – Dr. Nick."
He rolled his eyes. "Miss Armstrong?"
Her lips quirked into a smile. "Chloe. For the last time, it's Chloe."
He actually laughed at that.
She sighed. "Finally."
"I told you it was right."
"Hey, Rush, you forgot to carry the seven here."
"Hello? I'm Math Boy, remember?"
"I got it, I got it, I got it…"
"Already way ahead of you – here are the simulations you need."
Working with Eli was walking a fine line between pure annoyance and utter amazement all the time. Rush had never met anyone like him, and he had no frame of reference for Eli's way of thinking. Rush was used to weird leaps of logic – it got him to the top of his peer group, always ahead of the others. Eli didn't fit any way of thinking he had ever encountered. There seemed to be no work involved, no sweat, no clawing at a problem until it finally bled a drop of the answer. In the rare quiet moments he had he knew he hated Eli more than anyone else in the world – and then he immediately felt bad about it, because Eli was a good kid and he'd saved his ass on many occasions, and really, deep down he was just jealous. Jealous, because everything was a game to Eli, whereas he had had to fight for everything in his life.
"Next time," he muttered to himself, "Next time I'm coming back as Eli Wallace."
There were only so many times he could stand being bested by another genius.
"You're a lotta work."
"You missed the meeting this morning."
"What the hell does that mean?"
"Get some rest, for god's sake."
"Why can't you just say so?"
There were only so many snippy replies he had to Young's queries and requests. Worse yet, the others all noticed. Not that he ever gave a rat's ass about what anyone else thought of him, but every once in a while he had to admit that Young had his merits. Ever since he had volunteered to remain aboard the Destiny with him – in two separate timelines, no less – he had to wrestle with the notion that they had more in common than they would ever care to admit to each other. Having been at the top of his little corner of the world for so long Rush found it difficult to submit to any kind of chain of command, and while intellectually he understood Young was just trying to do a job he never wanted in the first place but was still expected to do, it was just plain difficult for him. But little by little he discovered that instead of providing a snippy response he could simply nod, and it would earn him an honest smile. It meant little to him, but it certainly was the easier route to go. And in his situation, every once in a while, easy was good.
After Lisa Park beat him for the fifth time at chess, Rush decided he was not going to play with her anymore. Losing her sight had apparently given her superpowers in computing and strategizing, and once Chloe and Greer had made a Braille notation board for her Lisa was the unstoppable chess fiend on board the Destiny. Truthfully, though, he didn't even want to win a game with her, but even so, he didn't do her any favors and played his best games ever, only to watch her fingers dance over the notations and then announce her next move, invariably followed by the dreaded "Checkmate". He finally referred her to Destiny.
Lisa beat her, too.
"To Brody, for another version of his rotgut."
"To Volker, for being a he-knows-what."
"To Becker, and his Purple Sweet Potato patties."
"To TJ, for the stitches on my chest."
"To Telford – may he please stay on Earth this time."
He should have known better. Tried and true, he managed to down four fingers of Brody's liquor and still be somewhat coherent afterwards, to either find his quarters, or stumble to the Bridge, or watch the color show of FTL travel. Rush had been drinking since he was a kid – it was pretty much a requirement in the society he grew up in, so there weren't many people who could drink him under the table.
Until he discovered that Chloe and Vanessa – not surprisingly Brody's first-ever test subjects – had livers and spleens of steel. After his fifth toast and tossing back the vile concoction, his eyes rolled back up into his head. The ensuing hangover was the worst he'd ever had, and he knew he'd had enough for a lifetime.
Nicholas Rush didn't like to have limits of any kind imposed upon him. But the four drink rule at Brody's was a survival skill, and he never went over his quota again.