Series: Second Childhood Part 3/11
Summary:Adjustments for everyone.
Beta: Thanks to Cheryl but I made some changes so all errors are mine.
Challenge: 12 Days of Christmas: Day 2 - Letter E, Cookies, Jolly, Lost, Cured, and Bored
John didn't leave the infirmary until Rodney was asleep once more; the smell of himself was beginning to make him queasy. Slowly, he slipped out of the room taking the opportunity to head back to his quarters to shower and change, but he planned to return as soon as possible incase Rodney woke up.
"John?" Elizabeth called from down the hallway. "Does Carson have any ideas?"
"No, he couldn't find anything remotely like this in the database or any of the research we've discovered so far. He's—" John stopped, throwing his arms in the air in frustration. "We'll just have to wait and see. Rodney may never be cured; he might just have to grow up all over again."
"I've talked to both Teyla and Ronan and I still don't understand why those people did this."
"Rodney was being Rodney, and there was a misunderstanding. We were unable to resolve it, and Rodney had to face the consequences."
Elizabeth frowned, her hands clenched into fists. "So they turned him into a child? What kind of punishment is that?"
John looked back into the infirmary at the sleeping Rodney. "For a man like Rodney, can you think of a worse one?"
Elizabeth nodded. "Why don't you get changed and meet me and the others in my office. We'll figure out where we go from there. We have to discuss what will happen to Rodney. His sister needs to know about this."
"I'll contact her once we've made some decisions. That way we can tell her everything we know. See you soon."
John turned and headed off down the hall with the weight of the world on his shoulders.
Rodney woke alone in the infirmary. He'd overheard enough to know when he was big he lived here in this place. He closed his eyes, trying to picture himself as a grown-up like John, but nothing came to mind. What kind of man was he? Strong, brave, stupid? No. Rodney shook his head, there was no way he could be stupid. His mind was filled with knowledge and, looking around the room, he could name every piece of equipment and what it was used for, but everything else about who he was had been wiped clean.
Rolling over, he tried to go back to sleep, but he was awake now and his mind was racing in directions he didn't quite understand or comprehend. Turning over, he stared up at the ceiling, feeling the need to get up and do something but having no idea what to do.
Then a thought occurred to him as they fell on a device across the room. What would happen if he rewired the defibrillator? He was sure he could make it more efficient.
Curious to see if it would work, he scooted off the end of his bed and landed onto the floor. Rodney paused only to tug his shirt up from where it slid off one shoulder. He cast a look over at Carson's office; the doctor was still buried in his work. Using a chair, Rodney began studying the device where it lay on the gurney. Using the few tools at hand, he accessed the insides of the defibrillator. Choosing a scalpel he got to work.
"What do you think you are doing?"
Rodney jumped at the sound of Carson's voice letting go of the machine. He tumbled off the chair in one direction and the defibrillator went the other, both hitting the floor. Rodney felt all the breath leave his body as he made contact with the hard tile like surface while the machine shattered with bits flying everywhere. Rodney's eyes got very big as he looked over at the device and then up at Carson from where he lay sprawled on the floor still fighting to breath.
Carson was immediately at his side. His sure hands checked for breaks and other injuries. "Rodney, can you hear me?"
Moving only his mouth, any other movement hurt too much, Rodney answered, "I can hear you. Don't sneak up on me like that. I mean you could kill someone doing that." He rolled onto his side, rubbing his bum. "My butt hurts."
"You can't jolly well just do whatever you want. I don't care if you are bloody Rodney McKay. No one takes apart my machines. I—" Carson stopped. "You're fine, but don't ever do that again."
Rodney nodded, biting his lip. "I'm sorry. I won't do it again."
Carson helped Rodney to his feet and back into bed before disappeared into his office, returning after a moment. "Here… read this until Colonel Sheppard returns to take you to your room." Then he plunked a book and a plateful of cookies on the table. "Enjoy my cookies. Now I have work to do."
The doctor disappeared back into his office and Rodney picked up the book and turned it over in his hands. On the over two knights squared off in a jousting arena. It peaked his interest, he had read this book before and he searched for the title-Ivanhoe. Bits and pieces of the story came back to him, but not all of it.
Excited to read it again, he opened it up, but he found he couldn't understand it. He knew the symbols were letters and numbers, but he couldn't read them.
Squinting harder, he tried to force the letters to form something he could understand, but they continued to mock him from the page. Frustrated, he tossed the book across the room. It made a satisfying thunk as it smacked into the wall.
Rodney needed to get out of here; he grabbed a few cookies and tied them up in the napkin. Unsure where he was going or what he was looking for, Rodney left the infirmary searching for whatever he'd lost.
As always there are more two chapters up on my site you can find it by Googling my pen name. I love to hear from my readers and drop me a line.
Also I have published two original pieces of work on Kindle you can find a link to them on my website as well.