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Maria

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There was singing coming through the open hatch of the jumper. "--have given you the fire of my youth and the triumph of my enemies, goodbye fairweather--" The song broke off with a sharp intake of breath and a snapped out, "Ow! Fuck!"

Bob walked across the jumper bay and up the ramp of the jumper. Something under the dashboard was sparking and Dr. Fallon was sprawled on the floor, sucking on his fingers. "So I guess you don't have my jumper fixed yet," Bob said with resignation, wondering if he should go get a fire extinguisher just in case.

"Sorry, Captain, but you really did a number on Maria this time. One of the stabilizers is completely fucked. You'll have to take one of the others." Fallon got to his feet as the sparks died out, and shook his head, giving Bob a stern frown. "I don't think I trust you with her anymore."

"This one wasn't my fault. There were these Menarian traders who already had a bug up their ass about us being from Atlantis, and then Dr. Skiba said something that he probably should have kept to himself and Dr. Grant tried to help with an explanation that just made things worse. Then before you know it, some asshole is trying to take Dr. Urie hostage and there's shooting and shit blowing up because Smith did not take kindly to that. And then we had to make a quick getaway and we took a few hits as we went through the gate." Bob held up his hands and shrugged. "See? Not my fault."

Fallon stared up at Bob with his mouth open like he wanted to say so much that he didn't even know where to start. Finally he shook his head and said, "Yeah, your team is not taking Maria ever again. You can take Bobbie Jean instead."

Bob recognized that he was being punished because Bobbie Jean still smelled funky after that Wraith self-destructed in the back. It had been thoroughly cleaned, but still, just remembering that eye-watering stench made him shudder. "Aw, come on, Brian. Can't I at least have Sally? I'll treat her right, I promise."

"Colonel Sheppard and his team are taking Sally on a mission at 0800. You can fly Bobbie Jean or you can walk through the gate." Fallon lowered himself back down to the floor.

"But--"

"End of story, Captain. Now let me get back to work fixing the damage you did." And with that Fallon crawled back up under the dashboard and started singing again, "Goodbye fairweather home, and your faithless factories
I have given you the blood and the truth from the wounds that they laid on me. And whatever they left I kept it for my own heart
..."

Bob turned around and walked out of the jumper and met Sergeant Horowitz coming across the bay carrying a couple of cups of coffee. He had a toolbelt slung across one shoulder and he smiled when he saw Bob. "Captain Bryar."

"Hey, Benny. Is there any chance you could maybe talk to--" Horowitz was already shaking his head so Bob didn't even finish his question.

"Not a chance, Captain. Spencer already asked. You guys are banned from flying Maria until Brian trusts you again."

That was pretty much what Bob had already figured, but he was too stubborn to give up so easily. "I could go over his head, you know. Who's in charge of the engineering department? Zelenka?"

Horowitz sighed and shook his head again. "That wouldn't work, sir. The scientists...they have their own ways. And those are not like our ways. You try to make it an order and you'll never fly Maria again. Brian's a little touchy about his favorites."

Scientists were seriously a pain in the ass sometimes, and Bob thought that they should come with an instruction manual. Although some of them--okay, mostly just Matt--were kind of fun to figure out. Engineers, however, were not. "So I'm stuck with Bobbie Jean indefinitely."

"Afraid so, sir," said Horowitz, but he didn't look very apologetic as he sipped from one of the cups of coffee. "Maybe you could get one of those little pine tree air fresheners to hang from your rear view mirror."

"Jumpers don't have rear view mirrors, and I don't think there's a convenience store on Atlantis that sells air fresheners."

"Oh. Yeah. Well then, get used to the delightful scent of Wraith guts. Sir."

Horowitz grinned and ambled off toward the jumper where Fallon was crooning, "Come on out, Maria, lose the tragic. Come on out, Maria, I'll show you some magic..."

Bob sighed and wondered if he had time to go by the botany labs and see if they had anything he could use to get rid of the smell of exploded Wraith. Since Fallon had apparently started writing love songs to a jumper, he'd probably be flying Bobbie Jean forever.

The end.