Carson came running in at Rodney's bellow. He hollered for a nurse as Ronon Dex dropped Sheppard from over his shoulders onto the gurney none too gently.
"What's happened now?" he asked the assembled team.
John lay blinking up at him from the gurney, clearly conscious and seemingly in no pain. Carson wondered why Ronon had carried him in, but before he could ask, John gave him a bright smile and a sharp, "Hi!"
Rodney rolled his eyes. "You certainly are," he deadpanned.
Carson's eyes went from John to Rodney and back to John and then back to Rodney again. "What's that mean, Rodney?" he asked as he wrapped a blood pressure cuff around John's arm and slid his hand down to take his pulse.
"He's high," Rodney repeated. "Wasted. Stoned. Not in possession of his faculties. Three sheets to the wind -"
"Thank you, Rodney," Carson cut him off, "I understand what 'high' means. I want to know how this happened."
Teyla stepped forward, but before she could give a diplomatic response, Rodney was off again. "Geronimo here was asked to smoke the peace pipe with the village elders to seal the deal for those herbs you wanted."
John doubled over laughing silently, tears running down his face. "I got stoned by the villagers!"
Carson couldn't help but laugh at that one as he tried to take John's pulse, but John kept turning his hand over and trying to hold Carson's hand in return. Carson finally resorted to lightly slapping the back of his hand and scolding, "Behave," in order to get John to quit flirting with him. "What was in the pipe? I don't suppose anyone had the sense to bring back a sample?"
Ronon held up his backpack. Several paper wrapped packages were poking out of the top of the over-filled sack of paper packages. "It's the herb you were negotiating for."
Carson ripped the edge of one of the packages back and sniffed cautiously. "Oh for the love of God," he cried. "It's marijuana. Their curative herb is pot?!"
"Hi Carson," John slurred from the bed. "I got your medicine from the nice people." He tried to sit up, his face wrinkling in confusion. As Carson pushed him back down, he rolled his head back and forth. "I mean, I had it…" He continued looking around for it, patting his pants pockets and vest as if several kilograms of weed could be hiding in with his MREs.
"Ronon's got it. Lie back," Carson said feeling quite exasperated.
Teyla stood by John's feet looking quite abashed. She had been the one to suggest that they trade with the people of MX3-010 for some of the herbs they used as medicine. She wasn't sure what the commotion was about, but apparently there had been some kind of cultural taboo she had tread on in suggesting this.
Rodney was unsuccessfully trying to stifle a laugh as John repeatedly tried to sit up and Carson repeatedly tapped his chest causing him to flop back on the gurney like a rag doll.
Carson shook his head. "Wonderful."
Just as Ronon began imitating Carson by sniffing the package, Elizabeth came in. "Ronon, Carson… what's going on? Is Colonel Sheppard alright?"
"He will be," Rodney told her. "Once he eats about six boxes of Twinkies and stops seeing tango-dancing beavers.
"They weren't beavers. They were ferrets. Beavers' tails would get in the way. And their teeth would make them sing funny. Besides they're gone now. I think they're afraid of the Stargate." Frighteningly enough, he sounded completely lucid when he said that.
Suddenly he sat bolt up right. "Rodney?" he asked urgently.
Everyone turned to him to see what was wrong. Rodney unconsciously took half a step back. "Uh… yes?"
"Did you say Twinkies? We have Twinkies?"
There was a collective sigh and Rodney smacked his hand over his face. "Carson, you need to fix him."
Ronon's deep laugh could be heard from the back of the crowd. "You're just jealous, McKay, because they didn't ask you to join them."
"Oh, yes, because I haven't had enough run-in's with mind-altering substances this year!" Rodney bit back.
Ronon just shrugged.
Teyla cleared her throat. "I believe that this could be my fault. I encouraged Colonel Sheppard to participate in the ceremony. I knew the plant had consciousness-altering properties, but I have not seen anyone this profoundly affected by them before. I did not think he would be harmed."
Carson smiled softly at her. "He's not harmed, love. He should come down in a few hours. In the mean time, he's just going to be a little loopy."
Teyla nodded, hoping that Carson was right.
Carson squeezed John's hand to get his attention. "Have you ever tried marijuana before, Colonel?" he asked.
John started to answer and then took a quick look around the room. "Uh… I…" He looked at Carson and then tried to be subtle in indicating Elizabeth with his head, but really he looked like he was starting to have a seizure. "Can I plead the Fifth?"
"Fifth what?" Carson asked, missing the American idiom.
"Oh for crying out loud!" McKay cut in, "He doesn't want to say 'yes he's been high' in front of his boss!"
John giggled into his hands and then whispered to Carson, "What he said."
Carson rolled his eyes. "Okay, then hypothetically, would you have any reason to believe that exposure to THC or other compounds typically found in marijuana would cause you an allergic reaction or any other complications?"
John's eyes crossed a little further with every word over two syllables that Carson used. "You want to know if getting stoned is gonna make me sick?"
"That's another way to put it," Carson agreed.
"No," John said succinctly.
Elizabeth canted her head at the tableau in front of her. "This is obviously a ridiculous question now, but… they have pot in the Pegasus Galaxy? How did we not know that before?"
John began giggling again. "Pegasus Pot. I got plotzed on Pegasus pot!"
Rolling his eyes at the very self-amused man on the bed, Rodney began listing all the things that could be made with hemp fibers and went on to list all the products on Earth that were made from or enhanced with marijuana plant materials.
"Rodney? Did you ever stop to think that you know way too much about that? I mean, really, what are you covering up for?" John looked completely intent now.
"Once," Rodney said. "I toked pot once in college." Carson wasn't sure if anyone else could hear him mumble, "And with most things in my life that are supposed to be fun, it was an unmitigated disaster."
Carson shook his head. "I think he just needs to sleep it off," he told the room. He took Ronon's backpack. "Elizabeth, we might want to turn this over to you for disposal."
Elizabeth took the bag and looked in the one open package. "This is what he's on?"
"Aye. Apparently our Colonel Sheppard was invited to get high with the chief on that planet Teyla brought them too."
"So they have recreational drugs in the Pegasus Galaxy," she mumbled.
"Duh!" John put in from the bed then he wagged a finger at Elizabeth, "You said that even when it's not something we'd normally do, we're supposed to do like the natives."
Elizabeth raised an eyebrow. "I wasn't thinking of a hash party when I said that," she clarified with a fond shake of her head. "Carson, let me know when he can return to duty."
She peered into the bag again. "I don't suppose there's any medical use for this stuff? I'd hate to just dump it in the ocean."
"We'd have high fish," John informed her. "Stoned sturgeons. High halibut. Plotzed perch. Wasted… uh-oh, I can't think of a fish that starts with 'w'."
"Whales, you alliterative wonder," Rodney put in.
"Geez Rodney, even I know whales aren't fish; they're mammals. And do you know how much pot it would take to get a whale high? I mean, seriously, you'd need like, a forest of the stuff!"
Carson raised an eyebrow and tried to ignore the nonsense about stoned ocean life going on around him. "Well, there are all those Genii on chemotherapy…"
She handed the bag back. "Put it in the drug lock up," she said as she turned to leave. She really didn't want to think too hard about how to write up the report on this one.
Just as Carson got an armful of pot-packages, John's finger found it's way through Carson's belt loop and he tugged Carson in.
"Wha' do ya' think yer doin'?" Carson scolded, alarm making his accent thicken.
"I want my iPod," John whispered.
Stunned by the nonsequitor Carson didn't even think to remove John's hand from his pants. "Why?" he asked, handing the bag to a nurse, with instructions to get it locked up.
John shifted onto his side so that he was pressed against Carson in ways they really shouldn't have been doing in public. "Because without music it can't be 'sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll," John said as if his thought process was entirely obvious.
Carson cleared his throat loudly and quickly disengaged John's hand, stepping back, but careful that John didn't roll right off the bed. "Yes. Well. It's not 'sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll' without sex either, so I think you'll not be needing that iPod for a long while, if you take my meaning."
John raspberried Rodney for laughing at him.
"So, even the great Colonel Sheppard gets shot down on occasion, huh?"
Carson turned a stern look at Rodney. "I'd not be starting discussions you don't want me finishing, Rodney. I've seen you try to get laid," Carson said bluntly.
Rodney started spluttering. "That wasn't me. That was Cadman. You of all people know… I mean - you know it wasn't me!"
"If you say so, Rodney," Carson said with a slight shrug before turning back to John. "So besides 'high' and 'randy', how are you feeling, John?"
Sheppard shrugged. "A little sleepy. But mostly high and randy. You're gonna kill my buzz, aren't you?"
"'Fraid so," Carson said gently, patting John's arm. "Shirley, let's hang a banana bag and monitor his vitals," he told the nurse. "Everyone else, you can chose a bed of your liking and as soon as Maria comes in from locking up that rucksack, she'll start on your physicals."
Rodney glared at Carson even as Ronon and Teyla backed off, knowing that to just capitulate and have it over was so much easier.
"Carson, really, none of the rest of us touched that stuff. Seriously, we're fine," Rodney tried.
"Good," Carson said. "Then your physicals won't take long and you'll be out of my hair shortly." He pointed firmly to another bed on the far side of the infirmary.
Rodney grumbled under his breath as he trudged over to the bed and pulled off his vest and jacket.
"So, Mr. Blood, Sugar, Sex, Magic," Carson said, turning back to John, "What are we going to do with you?"
With a look of utter concentration, John repeated back, "Hanging bags of bananas and vitals mortis."
"You don't know any Latin at all, do you?" Carson asked as he helped John out of his vest and jacket, wincing at the strong odor of marijuana coming off it. When Shirley came back with John's I.V. he ordered her to put his clothes in a biohazard bag and mark them to be laundered repeatedly before they were returned to him.
"Latin," John considered as they got him out of his uniform and into some scrubs, "Veni, Vidi, Vomit!"
"Ah, the Air Force Academy motto, eh?" Carson said as he pulled the blankets up to John's chin.
"Only after the really good parties or a really bad training flight," John explained, wincing in the middle of the sentence as the nurse set his drip.
Carson told Shirley that he'd sit with John for a while, if she could take care of his odiferous uniform. He pulled the curtain around the bed and then switched off the light over John's bed. "I think perhaps it best that we limit your contact with other people until you have better control over your mouth."
John reached up and grabbed the lapel of Carson's lab coat, tugging him down and kissing him senseless before Carson could object. "Seems like my control of my mouth is pretty good."
A little breathless and dazed from the kiss, Carson whispered, "Aye, I suppose it is. And when you're back home tomorrow you can show me exactly how good that mouth of yours is. But for now, you need to sleep."
John pouted. "Fine. But tomorrow…"
Carson brushed a hand over John's head. "Tomorrow, love. I promise."
John smiled and curled up, tugging the blankets around his chin. "'Kay."
Carson kissed his forehead before slipping past the curtain. He hadn't gotten more than six steps when he heard, "Carson? I'm hungry. Are there any more brownies in the mess?"