the usual disclaimers apply. i don't own them, they wouldn't be on the SciFi channel if i did. the title's from the Leona Naess song, if that explains anything. i think this is PG? feel free to argue with me if you think otherwise. oh, and igonore the French. just me being pretentious and sore that i didn't get to include any French in this like i wanted. written for undermistletoe .
Late Night Message
Rodney McKay had always hated text messaging. Half the time, it would take five or six text messages to convey something, and that normally meant a good fifteen minutes wasted. These were normally things that Rodney would have been able to convey in five seconds’ worth of yelling. And that as another thing---you couldn’t yell at someone through text messaging. Sure, you could type in capital letters, but Rodney hasn’t turned off the caps lock on his PDA in a very long time. Besides, how terrorizing could a couple of block letters possibly be?
Some day, he would make Zelenka pay for being the one to figure out how to make the wireless networking frequencies of Atlantis work with their WiFi equipment. Way back when it had happened, Rodney was really only mad because he wasn’t the one who did it, and the boon of not having to be within distance of one of the fifteen routers they managed to bring with them didn’t leave him with much motivation left to complain. However, thanks to the idiot who decided it was a good idea to send over a batch of WiFi-enabled PDAs with QWERTY keyboards and some crummy IM software (which Rodney had to spend a couple of hours re-writing, because it was just so bad) on the Daedalus, he was feeling murderous again.
Right now, though, he just needed to shout at Sheppard, and not just using capital letters.
// go to sleep, rodney. I'm almost done with my night patrol, and you're still tinkering with today's new toys in the lab. //
Rodney stabbed a response into the PDA and turned his attention back to his tablet.
// YOU KNOW I DON'T SLEEP THE NIGHT AFTER A MISSION, SHEPPARD. STOP ANNOYING ME. //
Barely twenty seconds after Rodney'd set the damn thing down, it bleeped again.
// okay, this is officially an intervention. it’s three days to christmas for christ’s sake. i'm done with night patrol and i'm coming to the labs. teyla says she is thinking about coming as well. //
// DO YOUR WORST. YOU AND THE ATHOSIAN AMAZON DO NOT SCARE ME. I'M LOCKING DOWN THE LABS. //
Rodney tossed the PDA to the counter-top and tapped a sequence of buttons on his tablet. The lab began Rodney's lockdown procedure, and he returned to finding the device which matched the strange energy readings from the planet.
The blasted PDA beeped again, and Rodney just picked it up absentmindedly, only barely managing to glance at the // boo. // in the Inbox before he was scared half to death by Sheppard tapping him on the shoulder from behind.
'Whatcha doin', McKay?'
'Having a heart attack! How many times do i have to tell you NOT to do that?!'
'Pretty much as many times as it takes before “that” stops being so fun to do.'
Rodney just glared at Sheppard, and he just glared at Rodney, and a couple of seconds into that asked, again, 'So, whatcha doing?'
'Looking for the device that emitted the odd radiation when you touched it! How the hell did you get past the lockdown, anyway?'
'That would have to by lying when i said that i was coming over, when i was actually already in here, lurking.'
'Ah, yes. Lurking. That which you do so well.' Rodney looked at Sheppard dismissively and turned back to his tablet. 'I don't see why you can't just enter like a normal person, instead of announcing yourself with a asinine prank.'
'That would be because you don't let people in like a normal person, Rodney.' Sheppard started absentmindedly going through the devices Rodney was monitoring, and Rodney just stared indignantly at him for a second before returning to his work.
'Hey. Rodney. You sure all these were from the planet we visited? I don't remember these two.' Sheppard picked the two devices up, ready to hand them over to Rodney, and one of the devices in his hand lit up. Another device on the counter-top which he did remember from the planet was blinking rapidly, and then they both bleeped. The lights in the lab went out, and Rodney's tablet started beeping as well.
'That wasn't me, was it?' Sheppard went over and looked over Rodney's shoulder, trying to see the tablet's display. 'All I did was pick up those two thingys.'
'Like you know what they're called. What's going on?'
'Trying to find out here!'
Rodney tapped at his tablet, then dropped his stylus on the screen.
'We're locked in. And we're possibly going to die.'
'What d'you mean, we're locked in?'
'Atlantis has locked down this entire sector of the city.'
'So you did it!'
'I most certainly did not! Apparently we're infected with some sort of virus that was triggered by whatever it is you picked up and played up. Atlantis has already deactivated the virus, but we have to be isolated for seventy-two hours to ensure that we don't spread it around.'
'What, like mono?'
'Just because you were relatively overactive in high school does not make every communicable disease mono. But, yes. "Like mono".'
Sheppard merely shot a glare at Rodney for that and radioed Beckett and Elizabeth, but all he got from that was a confirmation of everything Rodney explained, and instructions from Elizabeth to stay put. Rodney was back at furiously tapping away at his tablet.
'What're you trying to do, now? Are you trying to get us out? Elizabeth said to wait it out.'
'I'm making sure we have access to food and hygiene. I don't want to die starving and smelling like the planet we just came back from.'
Sheppard admitted that he had a point there, but said that he had other priorities, like trying to figure out what the hell he was going to in do in his three days here.
Spending three days confined with Rodney was not the experience John thought it would be. Not that he'd spent much time thinking about it, but John's general opinion was that it couldn't be that bad---sure, Rodney could be a little abrasive at times, but he could also be very oblivious and dismissive, which made things a lot easier and meant that John would be able to do his own thing.
Also, so far the multitude of times that they've spent confined together in various off-world holding cells have proven that more or less right. Rodney in an unfamiliar environment equaled slightly quieter Rodney, and besides the occasional (repeated) queries regarding when they would get out of there, or when the cavalry would arrive, or when John would come up with a brilliant plan to get them out of there, John thought Rodney was, at the very least, a not unpleasant cellmate.
However, being confined with Rodney in an environment he was entirely comfortable with was an entirely different matter. For one, he snored. Loudly. And he shifted a lot in his sleep. The first night in the labs, John was wide-awake until about three in the morning. He got used to the snoring after about a hour, but each time he was just about to fall asleep, Rodney would shift in his sleeping bag and the rustling would wake him back up.
Also, he babbled even in his sleep. John couldn’t make head or tail of it, but it happened twice on the second night, and both times John woke reflexively woke right up, and then had to spend another hour trying to fall back asleep. He had no idea how he was supposed to make it through another night, but there weren’t any more rooms they had access to.
Plus, both the small pantry in the labs didn’t have enough floor space to properly sleep on and the restrooms attached to it had an even more annoying dripping tap, so he had no choice besides enduring Rodney’s ridiculous sleeping habits for another night.
If Rodney had any idea that Sheppard’s routine was to wake before eight every morning and work out before showering and getting something to eat, he would have spent the first night finding some way to override Atlantis’ lockdown and finding a set of proper living quarters nearby that he could hack his way into.
The man was like clockwork---at seven forty-five each morning Rodney would be woken up by the sound of John doing his workout. It was annoying enough that anyone could possibly be awake that early and be productive, but it was exceedingly annoying that Sheppard had to wake that early and exercise.
When he complained about the racket the second morning, John shot back that he’d already cut him some slack by skipping the running---there wasn’t enough space for it, anyway, he’d said---and all Rodney could do was stare at John, perplexed at the idea that anyone in their right mind would wake at seven every morning to run. John just shot him another mildly irritated look back, and then headed off to the restroom for his shower.
Which was another thing---couldn’t he put on some goddamned clothes before getting out of the bathroom? The first morning in the labs, Rodney woke up properly and got out of his sleeping bag to find Sheppard standing in front of him dripping wet and naked, failing horribly to properly cover himself with a large hand towel---the only linen they had in the labs.
Rodney tried as hard as he could to avert his eyes, but it was like trying to avoid an obvious pink elephant in the room---there wasn’t anywhere else to look, and Sheppard was in no way self-conscious about it at all, so he would more or less stand naked at the washer/dryer they kept in the labs for cleaning up accidents while waiting for the machine to finish its cycle.
The first morning Sheppard sort of caught Rodney staring, but said nothing and turned back to the machine. However Rodney was so embarrassed and felt so awkward that he stayed in the bathroom after he was done showering until he heard the machine ding that it was done, at which point he would dash out, two hand towels covering as much of himself as he could get, grab his clothes and then dash back into the bathroom to dress.
He hated dressing in bathrooms, especially if it had recently been showered in, but however cramped and muggy it was, it was still leagues better than having to dress in front of Sheppard. After having seen him naked he was no longer self-conscious---it was something more along the lines of feeling like he had a set of fun-house mirrors following him around and magnifying every unflattering part of his body.
The last night they had to spend in the labs, Rodney couldn’t fall asleep. Beckett and Elizabeth had finished their check-ins, and Sheppard was in the sleeping bag next to the counter across from him, trying to fall asleep as well. Rodney looked over and stared at him, eyes closed and looking vaguely like he was thinking about something. Sheppard opened his eyes and Rodney immediately looked away, but a second too late. Sheppard turned away and picked up his PDA.
Rodney stared blankly at the ceiling of the labs, thinking about what a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad two days it’d been, and how he could not wait to get out of here, but then realized that he’d still have to spend the day working here. His PDA interrupted his thoughts, whirring away with an incoming message. Hadn’t everyone gone to bed?
// hey. //
It was Sheppard. What on earth was he texting him for? He looked over at Sheppard, but his back was still facing him, the backlighting of his PDA’s screen creating a rough outline of the side of his face.
// HAVE YOU LOST YOUR MIND? WE ARE ALL OF SIX FEET AWAY FROM EACH OTHER. //
// can’t sleep. you can’t, either, can you. //
// NO. I CAN’T BELIEVE I’M SAYING THIS, BUT JUST THE SHEER ANTICIPATION OF GETTING OUT OF THE LABS IS KEEPING ME WIDE AWAKE. //
// this is news. i mean, the only reason we have sleeping bags to sleep in is because you either normally can’t bear to part with your beloved lab or are simply too lazy to leave the labs and get all the way back in the morning. //
// IT’S CALLED EFFICENCY. I THOUGHT YOU MILITARY TYPES SHOULD KNOW SOMETHING ABOUT THAT? THEN AGAIN, MAYBE IT’S TOO MUCH TO ASK FROM LT. COLONEL STONER. //
// i resent that. //
// TOUGH SHIT. WHEN YOU LOOK THE WAY YOU, PEOPLE SAY THINGS LIKE THAT. NORMALLY IT’S BEHIND YOUR BACK, THOUGH. //
// really. that reminds me. why were you staring at my ass yesterday morning? //
Rodney, panicked, looked over at Sheppard, but he was still in the same position, back facing him, making no effort to look back over at Rodney.
// I WAS NOT. JUST BECAUSE YOU’RE SHAMELESSLY PARADING YOURSELF DOESN’T MEAN ANYONE LOOKS. //
// it’s okay, mckay. i like your ass, too. //
At that, Rodney turned back to look at Sheppard in his sleeping bag, but the bag was empty. Rodney looked frantically around in every direction around up but up, which was how he was taken completely surprise when Sheppard crept up behind from above and kissed him stupid.
‘John? Rodney? It’s Christmas Eve, and roughly fifteen minutes before you’re free as birds. Are the two of you feeling any different?’
Beckett waiting for an answer, but got none. He looked over at Elizabeth, seated next to him at the console in the control room. Elizabeth raised her eyebrows.
‘Try again. Maybe they’re still asleep or something.’
‘John? Rodney? Are y’there? Are the pair of your alright?’ Still no response. Beckett moved over to a different console. ‘I’m checking the life-signs detector.’
Elizabeth got up and walked over. She spotted John on the display and pointed him out. ‘There he is. But where’s Rodney?’
A second later, the dot representing John was replaced by a dot representing Rodney. The display kept intermittently showing either John or Rodney in the lab, but never both at the same time.
Beckett instructed the detector to zoom in to a larger scale of the area John and Rodney were, but it remained the same until it zoomed in close enough to reveal that the dot representing John was nearly exactly on top of the dot representing Rodney.
Assuming that something had happened to Rodney, Beckett started the physiological analysis using the life-signs detector.
‘John? Rodney? Are you both alright? It looks like you’re both a temperature, and your heart rates are a little high.’
Elizabeth moved for the console to try calling them herself, but her PDA bleeped before she got to the communications panel.
// we’re both fine, but occupied at the moment… give us a couple of minutes and we’ll check in. tell beckett that our temperatures and heart rate are perfectly in line. //
Elizabeth blushed slightly, and Beckett looked quizzically at her. She just smiled back. ‘They’re, um, busy at the moment. They’ll check in soon.’
‘Busy?! What with?! They’re infected with alien viruses!’
Elizabeth gestured at the life-signs detector, and Beckett, realizing after a brief moment of continued incomprehension, dropped his jaw in shock and surprise.