Chapter 1: Price Worth Paying
McKay watched as Sheppard read the latest results. He really wasn’t in the mood for this. He hit his head against the table when Sheppard did that confused look at him.
Groaning he moved over to his whiteboard and started from the beginning again, explaining it as if Sheppard was 5. McKay knew that he was being unnecessary snappy and rude, but he didn’t care.
He had spent the last three weeks either on an off-world mission or dealing with an issue on Atlantis. And to top it all off, they’d just had an inspection from Earth.
The inspector had just left when Sheppard barged in asking questions for an upcoming mission.
McKay shook his head, realising that he’d stopped talking for some time. He tried to continue with his point but the world around him was to fuzzy.
McKay fell backwards, Sheppard catching him just before he hit the table edge.
Setting him down Sheppard called for Carson. He pulled out the IV he’d nicked from medical and quickly got it into McKay. Removing the empty IV just before Carson entered.
Carson gave him a lecture on overworking people and banned him from going anywhere near McKay for a week. Price worth paying.
Chapter 2: Coffee Soaked Scientist
Sheppard watched as McKay rubbed his eyes again. The scientist had been dragged from on his way to his quarters for this meeting. McKay stifled a yawn and pinched himself. Sheppard would have laughed if McKay wasn’t on the verge of collapsing.
Looking at the time Sheppard sighed and kicked McKay in the leg, shocking the scientist and earning him a confused glare.
Weir was about to call on the scientist when Sheppard nudging his papers against his stupidly full cup of coffee, sent it flying into McKay’s next to him and socking most of the documents on the table, along with a few pieces of tech.
Weir glared at him and called an end to the meeting, telling McKay to fix the coffee socked tech. The scientist nodded and gathered up his tech.
Sheppard followed McKay back to his lab, watched as the scientist put down the broken tech and started to fix it. He stopped this by walking in and talking ten to the dozen at the poor scientist.
Normally McKay would have been able to keep up, but he was to tired. So, Sheppard was able to push McKay to his quarters, seconds before he passed out.
Moving him into his bed Sheppard left some food on the side and then left the sleeping scientist in his rooms. Heading back to the labs to dump the coffeed tech on some other scientist.
Chapter 3: So, He Poked It.
Sheppard ducked as an object came flying at him. Their head scientist was in a bad mood. Sheppard wasn’t sure who the object had been aimed at as McKay was the only scientist around. All other scientist were on holiday, or off-world on missions. Leaving McKay and a few new recruits, who had no doubt been sent to eat by said head scientist. While McKay was useless at remembering to eat and sleep himself, he always made sure that his staff had eaten and slept. Not that anyone outside of the scientists and Sheppard had noticed this fact.
“What are you working on?”
“Something Weir thinks will be useful in off-world missions. And no, I don’t know what it is yet, so go away.” The scientist cursed as he cut his hand.
Sheppard was about to suggest that he take a break, before realising that McKay would just throw something at him. And knowing Weir she wanted this project finished as soon as possible, explaining why Sheppard hadn’t seen the scientist in four days. Sometimes their leader seemed to forget that McKay was human, or that any of them were in fact.
Sheppard was brought back to the present when McKay moved past him into the wider lab. The scientist was shaking, which with McKay was never a good thing.
Looking at the device Sheppard decided to poke it. More specifically poke some of the wires McKay was currently working on. So, he poked them.
Later on, even Sheppard had to admit that maybe poking it wasn’t the best idea he’d ever had.
The device had burst into flames, which Sheppard was rather enjoying before McKay pulled him backwards onto the floor. Just as the device exploded, knocking them both out.
Weir had spent half an hour yelling at them before Carson joined in. After being checked and cleared Sheppard had locked McKay in his room and left a threatening note in the lab for anyone looking for the scientist.
Chapter 4: Just Point
Sheppard peered in McKay's quarters. Where was the scientist?
They had both been placed on medical leave for two weeks and McKay wasn’t meant to go back to work for another two days, at least, although, Sheppard knew that McKay had been called in to sought out at least two issues a day for the past week.
Carson had tried threatening the scientists, but Weir had overruled that if McKay was needed then he was to be called.
Sheppard decided to head down to the labs to drag McKay away, the scientist might grumble a bit, for apperance sakes, but would be grateful that he could have a few hours of uninterrupted peace.
It turned out however that Sheppard didn’t need to go all the way to the labs, as a scientist ran into him halfway there and started talking at him. He held up his hands, made the rewind gesture and the scientist stopped and started again.
“McKay is on his way to a training session, I know Carson said he wasn’t allowed to and we told the soldier that, quite a few times you know, but he wouldn’t listen. Dragged McKay by his arm right out of the labs. And yes, I know we’ve been overusing McKay, but its been four scientists mostly and there being yelled at by Carson right now. We’ll make sure McKay isn’t needed for another day, day and a half at most, we really can’t give you more, wish we could but Atlantis would fall with McKay…”
Sheppard threw his hand over the scientist’s mouth. What was it with scientists and their need to talk at ninety miles an hour. From what he understood McKay had been dragged of to a training session, by a new arrival most likely, and the scientists had promised to give McKay the next day, day and a half off.
“Which training room?” The scientist tries to speak. “Just point.” The scientist points to a room a few doors away.
Sheppard turned and headed to the room.
He slammed the door, took one look at McKay, currently lying on the floor, and headed straight for the solider. Pulling the solider off of McKay.
“What the hell do you think your doing!”
The soldier straightened up and looked him in the eye. Not a good idea.
“I was placed in charge of Doctor McKay’s training, sir.”
“On whose orders?”
“I was assigned to him when I arrive her…”
The solider was trying very hard not to temble. Sheppard noticed he was failing.
"It was on my timetable, sir."
“McKay’s training is done by me and me alone. Do you understand?”
“Get out.” The soldier practically ran out of the room.
Sheppard locked the door and helped McKay up.
“Why’d you lock the door?”
“That way no one can disturb us.”
“Better than you locking me in a room, I guess.”
“I’ve never done that.” Sheppard tried to look innocent. McKay just rolled his eyes and poked him.
“Tired. Not stupid.”
Sheppard sat down and with a thought had a film playing against the opposite wall. It took McKay less than ten minutes before he was asleep. Sheppard just smiled and settled in to watch the film.
Chapter 5: Lights, Sound, BOOM
McKay checked his monitor again. If he hadn’t hated Christmas before, he sure hated it now. It wasn’t helping that he’d let all the other scientists have a few days off, leaving him the only on-shift scientist in the whole of Atlantis.
If he could get through the next two days then it would be fine. At least it got him out of the Christmas party that was currently going on. McKay went back to re-routing the power cables for the speakers. He tried to work as quickly as possible, but he hadn’t been able to sleep for more than three hours at a time for the past two weeks. Just as long as they listened to him and kept the speakers at a certain level everything would be fine, and he could get a few hours’ sleep. Or some food, his stomach rumbling. McKay sighed, rubbed his eyes and tired not to fall asleep.
Sheppard peered into another room. Where was McKay? He knew the chances of the scientist showing up to the party where slim, but he also knew that McKay had given all the other scientists the week off and was dealing with the Christmas pranks and their consequences himself. Sheppard’s plan was to throw some food at the scientist and then lock him in his room. Checking another room Sheppard groaned. This shouldn’t be this hard.
He turned at the sound of something falling to the floor and a string of curses. McKay, he thought.
Heading towards the sound, Sheppard realised that the music from the party seemed to be getting louder. Even though he was headed away from the party.
He started running but was thrown back by an explosion.
McKay struggled to sit up. He felt someone grab his arm and yank him up and away. It sounded like someone was talking to him, but he couldn’t hear anything over the ringing in his ears. He shut his eyes against a sudden bright light. Opening them he saw Sheppard shinning a torch in his eyes. The power must have gone out after the explosion.
McKay nodded in response and held up his hand to have a coughing fit. Sheppard moved to get the bag of food he dropped, fishing out a drink. He handed it over and McKay downed half before taking a breath.
Sheppard was just about to ask McKay if he’d been hurt when Weir started yelling at the both of them. She had a mixture of scientists, soldiers and party-goers behind her. The scientists moved to McKay when they saw him. Which was lucky as McKay collapsed seconds later.
Ignoring Weir, Sheppard started to yell at the soldiers to fetch Carson. The scientists were checking the head scientist over and fixing the cables. It always surprised him how much McKay’s ‘underlings’ cared for their boss.
By the time Carson arrived, the ‘underlings’ had fixed the power and were now guarding McKay, muttering about revenge. The ideas were making Sheppard feel somewhat uncomfortable, especially since he’d been on the bad side of their revenge. Zelenka had also arrived, with the names of those who had been messing around with the power. Both Sheppard and Carson froze at the smiles from the scientists.
Sheppard found out a week later that the unlucky culprits were struggling with everything technological on Atlantis. They were also unable to access hot water and hot food. Sheppard hadn’t thought about punishing them himself. He didn’t see the point.
McKay had spent the entire week in the medical wing, sleeping. Sheppard had spent the week in medical, filling out paperwork for the science teams budget to be increased and writing detailed responses to the culprit’s complaints.
The team came through the gate and crashed onto the floor. All McKay wanted was a shower and some food. He didn’t really care what it was. He just needed food. He would have to get through de-brief first.
McKay had righted himself when a scientist came running into the gate-room. He dumped his bag and walked towards the scientist.
“Somethings wrong in with the pipes in section 29. I wouldn’t ask but everyone is busy and Zelenka said to get you.”
McKay nodded and grabbed the equipment bag from the scientist and set off running, ignoring Sheppard and Weir shouting at him.
Sheppard watched as McKay raced off into Atlantis. The lucky bugger had managed to get out of de-brief. He’d get hell for it later.
McKay wiped a layer of sweat from his head and checked the read-outs. He’d been at this for over seven hours now and by his estimations he would be done in another hour, minimum. Moving further up the ladder he tried to focus on the pipe system in front of him. He managed for half an hour before he fainted. Having fixed the problem.
Nine hours later and Sheppard was yelling at another scientist. The team was about to head out on a mission and McKay was nowhere to be seen. It wasn’t unusual for McKay to be running late or ignoring Sheppard, but to go completely missing was. He didn’t have time for this. This mission was urgent, and they needed to leave so he grabbed the nearest scientist, which happened to be Kavanaugh, and left.
He returned tired, muddy and angry. He hadn’t thought he could hate someone as much as he hated Kavanaugh. When he found McKay.
Entering the labs, he noticed that the scientists had abandoned all their projects. He grabbed the nearest scientist. Who gulped, paled and spat out.
“McKay’s been missing for over twenty-four hours.”
“Where was he last?”
“Section 29. But there’s no life signs coming from there. We also don’t know exactly where he was working, it’s so large that it would take at least a day to check it all and getting to section 29 isn’t easy, in fact…”
Sheppard covered the scientists mouth.
“Where’s section 29?”
The scientist pointed at a map. Sheppard nodded and turned to leave when a bag was shoved into his arms. He just took it and set off at a run.
Reaching section 29 he opened the bag and examined the equipment. Rocking climbing gear. Opening the door to the section he saw the massive drop. He set up the gear and decided that it would take to long to climb down. So, he just jumped.
He was down in five minutes and realised that the scientist was correct when he’d said section 29 was large. McKay’s climbing gear was hanging next to his and Sheppard figured that his best bet was to check the perimeter and then work his way in. Unclipping himself he a life-sign monitor attached to the rope. Sheppard grabbed it and noticed a faint dot near him. He set off running. Just remembering to grab his radio.
It took him close to an hour to reach McKay. He checked for a pulse, it was weak but there.
“McKay! McKay!” Nothing would stir the scientist. Sheppard lift McKay over his shoulder and jogged to the entrance. He yelled into his radio. “I’ve got McKay. I need a stretcher and Carson. NOW!”
“Carson here. What happened?”
“It looks like he fainted and fell from his ladder. There’s a pulse, but…” Sheppard didn’t want to say it.
“I’m on my way.”
By the time Sheppard reached the entrance, a medical staff member was waiting with the stretcher. They managed to get McKay strapped in, up and into medical quickly. The scientist looked even worse with all the tubes and bandages. Carson had said that McKay seemed to have been suffering from exhaustion and dehydration before he fainted. It also looked like all that McKay had eaten since before the mission was two power bars. Saved his life those power bars according the Carson. But McKay was still in a coma.
It took him three days to awaken and when he did it was by being violently sick. Sheppard hadn’t left McKay’s side since he found him, but he had been talking to Weir when McKay awoke.
Sheppard didn’t know what to do when he saw McKay. He was being held up by a nurse and Carson was inserting more medicine into him. The vomiting subsided, and Carson left Sheppard with the to keep McKay awake for at least four hours. Sheppard did this by poking and prodding McKay whenever he got close to falling asleep.
The next few weeks were spent with Sheppard acting as McKay’s personal guard dog. The scientists found it so funny that they brought him dog bowls and hung a lead up in the lab. Sheppard took it in his stride, even eating meals out of the food bowl. McKay had just shaken his head and ignored the man. Everyone found it strange that McKay didn’t complain about it, but McKay would reply that Sheppard was a good tool rack. In fact, McKay rather liked the company and Sheppard was willing to test out any and all inventions.
Thank you for reading. I really enjoyed writing this so let me know if you want more. Let me know what you think and thank you.