?

Log in

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Title: The rules of Thermodynamics the Pegasus remix. Part 3 ¾ the interlude
Author scarlettandblue
Written for sga_saturday Prompt # 23 Trick
Pairing: John and Rodney
Rating: not quite there yet
Summary: Marc Maron once said: For my next trick I will make everyone understand me.






Disclaimer:: I don’t own them, I only wish I did. I’m doing this for fun not profit so please don’t sue me.

Further disclaimer: These stories have been written to balance out the Universe. Since Joe posted a certain picture on his Twitter page I realised that the Universe had become seriously unbalanced by The Flan’s ridiculous gorgeousness. So to restore Cosmic Balance in these stories John Sheppard feels like he’s past his “sell by date.”

The first part of this can be found here link to The Rules of Thermodynamics, The Pegasus Remix Part 1 Zeroth



The City of the Ancients was feeling her age. At least that’s what John thought McKay was trying to say. There was a power-point presentation with nifty animated graphs, cut away sections of the city that spun round and something that looked like a graphic equalizer. The bottom line was this was a ten thousand year old city and some of her parts were getting a little worn down and rickety.

John knew how the city felt, because lately some of his parts felt worn down and past their best too.

The entire science department would be working on a maintenance and renovation programme. John interrupted McKay in mid flow to ask why someone hadn’t thought of doing this while they were still on Earth.

The right corner of McKay’s mouth turned down, John was pretty sure he could hear teeth grinding as McKay replied, “Someone did think of it, but the IOA wouldn’t authorize the additional outlay.”

McKay turned his glare on Woolsey who had the sense to look apologetic and shrug.

As the meeting continued, McKay used his Little Ancient Laser Pointer to take them through the stages of the programme. McKay always wore a little smirk whenever he had a reason to use the pointer, it activated with a flick of the wrist and made a suzzing sound that was pretty similar to a light sabre.

One of the key areas that was causing problems was the residential tower where they were currently housed. Many of the service systems were reaching a critical state. McKay proposed they move into other parts of the city, spread the living accommodation over a wide area to avoid overloading. Then they could shut the old residential tower down for the time being and concentrate repairs on more important areas first.

John liked McKay’s plan. The only reason they had settled in that particular tower was proximity to the gate room when they first arrived in Atlantis. It was the first area of living space they came across, and Sumner had given the order to move into it. Now they had explored the whole city they had found many more attractive and spacious living spaces.

John thought about the fancy apartments he’d explored in the South Tower. Maybe a change of scene would make him feel a little better about his approaching birthday. Maybe if he actually had a normal sized bed to sleep in he wouldn’t wake up every morning feeling like an old man because all his joints had seized up.

He wondered how quickly he could stake a claim on that corner apartment with the wrap-around balcony. He might have to bribe McKay with promises of extra chocolate pudding cups and a free pass on one of his weekly self-defence classes.

He was startled out of his thoughts when McKay turned to him, scoring a direct Laser-pointer-hit to John’s chest like he was the next chart to be highlighted in the presentation and said,
“Of course the Colonel might object, but now his Military has finally dragged itself into the Twenty-first Century I can’t honestly see what those objections might be. And this is the most efficient solution. And while I wouldn’t want to make it compulsory, the senior staff can lead by example. We can cut power consumption on the ZPMs because these areas are on the alternative power grids. The wear and tear on infrastructure will be minimized, by spreading the load more evenly. And we can begin to move away from the garrison mentality that some of us have been unhappy with for some time.”

John stared at McKay. Obviously he’d missed something.

“So no objections then Colonel?. Good. We’ll move on to logistics shall we?”
And Rodney’s laser pointer flickered off John and on to a big chart that he was projecting on to the main view screen.

John figured he’d catch up with what he’d missed as the meeting dragged on, but surprisingly McKay had it all wrapped up less than fifteen minutes. He had his laptop shut and he was up and hurrying out of the meeting room before John had even folded up the piece of paper he’d covered with dog-fighting x-wings and F302s.

He stood up, groaning a little at the way his back had locked up from sitting still too long. He noticed Lorne hovering by the door and he figured he’d be able to find out what he’d missed. When everyone else had left John was about to ask his XO to fill him in when Lorne grabbed his hand and shook it.

John opened his mouth to ask, when Lorne blushed and said quickly, “Thank you, Sir. I mean…. Not that I thought you would be… or anything, not after the other week…. The thing….with…..uh…with the Marines….. I just…. It’s just one thing to say it’s okay, I mean I know you don’t have a problem. But this is….”

John watched with a kind of bewildered horror as it looked like Lorne’s eyes were filling up. Then John stiffened and sort of half gestured with the hand Lorne was still enthusiastically shaking because for one awful second he was certain that Lorne was about to..… Fuck

Lorne pulled John into a brief hard hug him then let him go, stepped back, saluted crisply and said. “It’s an honour to serve under you Colonel Sheppard.”
And he left.

John stood there for a full minute. He had absolutely no idea what had just happened.

It was harder than John could possibly imagine to actually find out what he’d missed at the meeting, which was pretty amazing considering what he’d apparently agreed to.

The huge plan that Rodney had created moved forward with precise, unstoppable momentum. Areas of the city were opened up. People received an e-mail confirming their the accommodation they had been allocated and the date scheduled for their move. Some were couples moving in together for the first time. And at least one penny finally dropped when John saw the paperwork on his desk listing the changes to Medical Proxy and Pension Beneficiary for Evan Lorne and David Parrish.

When John got his e-mail he couldn’t help gloating a little, because he'd scored the South Tower apartment.

When John arrived at his South Tower pent-house, he was pleasantly surprised to find it was better than he remembered, the balcony was really fantastic and much larger than he recalled. He also hadn’t realised there were two bedrooms.

As he watched the efficient way his men were unloading the boxes and crates that contained the surprising amount of stuff he seemed to have, John felt a tiny doubt flicker across his mind. As more and more boxes appeared, piled along both sides of the main living room, being stacked in both of the bedrooms the flicker of doubt solidified into actual worry.

“Sergeant Stackhouse?” John spoke to the Marine in charge of the team of movers. “Not all of this stuff is mine.“

“Don’t worry, Sir.” Stackhouse replied tapping some figures into his data pad, “We have everything cross-referenced. Personal stuff is in your bedroom. Books, movies and music here in the main living room.”

My Bedroom?” The worry was starting to feel like it was tunnelling it’s way into the lining of John’s gut.

Stackhouse glanced up and gave him a slightly concerned smile and asked, “You wanted the south facing room with the double doors onto the balcony and the shower attached didn’t you?”

And John nodded because he had to admit that was the bedroom he remembered wishing he could move into when he had been nosing around and discovered the penthouse several weeks ago.

“Plan hasn’t been wrong yet. Some of the guys think McKay is an asshole, even if he is on your team, Sir.”

John nodded and said , “I bet they do.” Because it was true, McKay was an asshole at times.

“But I’ve worked supply chains before, in the field, even on the front line. And I’ve never seen a plan work as smooth as this. He must be some kind of genius.”

And John nodded again and said, “Yeah.”

But he was suddenly distracted by the idea of why McKay had set this whole thing in motion.

John had already noticed the way McKay was less than cut up over his split from Keller. And how McKay was suddenly looking healthier and happier and how people seemed to be noticing that, noticing McKay. And John had to wonder if this whole plan was some massive scheme to get McKay laid. Everyone was moving and it was all going perfectly and he figured that at the last moment there would be one tiny snafu and McKay would end up having to share with his newest bimbo crush.

And the more John thought about it the more pissed he became, because it was just the kind of typically crass thing McKay would do. When it came to pretty blondes with big blue eyes and other big attributes and stuff McKay turned into a simpleton.

And worse still John figured McKay had made him the fall guy in this scheme. The trick was on him because no doubt everyone thought McKay was going to be his roomie. But when the boxes got unpacked Oh no, what a surprise! somehow McKay’s stuff was muddled up and shipped over to that cosy apartment that he was just going to have to share with the latest Carter/Keller I may be pretty but I have a kick-ass brain too clone he was drooling over, and John would be stuck rooming with Carson, or Woolsey. And while he had nothing against Carson, as such, and Woolsey was generous on occasion with his Cuban cigars and his Single malt there was no way in Hell John was going to share with either of them.

John started dragging boxes out of the second bedroom and he was in the middle of trying to figure out if he could get away with just throwing them off the balcony when the door to the apartment opened and McKay walked in. He was trailed by a conga-line of sweaty Marines carrying a huge comfy looking sofa, a large mattress, what looked like a recliner and a big flat rectangular box that might just have a plasma screen TV in it.

McKay looked at John crouched over the pile of boxes, then he glanced down at his tablet poking the screen and muttering as he turned to the nearest two marines who had put down the comfy sofa and were trying to sidle out of the door and said. “Daisy and Maypole if you’ve finished with the sofa can you get these boxes moved into the bedroom over there.”

The Marines grabbed the boxes away from John, one of them sullenly muttering under his breath, “It’s Bailey and Claypool, asshole!
But a hard look from John had them ducking for cover as the dragged all the boxes back into the bedroom again.

Rodney meanwhile was directing the other Marines to bring the rest of the furniture, some book cases, a fancy partners desk and a crazy looking office chair that John was betting had been ergonomically moulded to the shape of McKay’s ass.

John was still trying to process what had just happened when McKay and his entourage of marines breezed back out of the apartment.

Then McKay popped his head back around the open door and said, “I’ll be back later to sort out the book shelves unless you have time, but I have to get the rest of Woolsey’s stuff moved before lunch.”

John stared at the empty doorway for some time after McKay had left. He had the strangest feeling that the world had just shifted subtly on its axis. He still had a little residual swell of righteous anger that he had built up over what he thought McKay was up to, but it had nowhere to go, because clearly this whole move was not some Byzantium plan to get Rodney McKay laid after all.

John looked around the room. Took in the inexplicable furniture, wondering where it had come from. He glanced at the empty shelves and the boxes piled up at the edges of the room and figured, with a kind of malicious glee, that if McKay wanted his books and DVDs sorted he could do it himself, or maybe he could ask Daisy or Maypole.

By the time John mostly had his own room sorted out he was pretty tired. He hadn’t heard McKay come back but he guessed that there was still important work to be done to keep “McKay’s amazing plan” on schedule and on time, so he didn’t bother himself too much. After all McKay was always claiming to pull all-nighters.

John discovered new bedding in a box at the foot of his new adult sized bed. It didn’t take long before he was snuggled down under the puffy new quilt. John figured he was owed at least one good night’s sleep.

It was cold when John woke up. The air had a real bite to it that on earth would have meant snow and mountains and days spent skiing or perhaps snow-boarding. But Atlantis was sited in the equatorial region of New Lantea, so while it was cooler now they were well into Autumn, that meant cool breezes and rainstorms and a little chill after sundown, it didn’t mean air so fridged you could see your breath.

John groaned as he reluctantly got out of bed and then hobbled towards his new shower thinking On! On! Hot Hotter! It was a full ten minutes of hot pounding water hitting his shoulder and hip and his knee before the muscles loosened up and he was able to finish washing.

Once he was dry and dressed, and wasn't John was thankful he’d invested in some good quality thermal gear when he was back on earth, not that’s he’d imagined he’d have to use in on Atlantis, but his room felt like an icebox.

He stepped out into the freezing living room and tapped his earpiece and said, “What have you done to my city, McKay?”

“We’re having a some power issues.”

“Did you forget to pay the utilities again, McKay?”

“Hhhmm…Yes… What?”

“What’s wrong with the power? Don’t we have two fully charged ZPMs?”

“Yes we do, that’s why I’m crawling through the conduits around the ZPM room trying to find out which plug one of my moronic minions accidentally unplugged.”

“Can I…”

“No I don’t think there’s really enough room for me in this conduit, it certainly won’t hold two.”

“But someone’s in the power room with you, right? Watching your back?”

“Zelenka is watching the power grids so he is watching my progress.”

“But that’s the other side of the city, who’s down there with you?”

“I’m perfectly capable of… Ow …Shit… Oh!”

John was already outside their apartment and running for the nearest transporter, shouting orders on the emergency channel to dispatch the medical rescue team, then clicking back to McKay and asking, “Are you okay? What happened, McKay? Rodney?”


The next part of the story can be found here: link to The Rules of Thermodynamics, The Pegasus Remix Part 4