"Can't we send him to Siberia?" Sam suggested. "I mean, he's really annoying."
General Hammond stared at the Major who had obviously just turned into a nine year old. "Major, we're trying to stay friends with Russia. Not give them another reason to hate us."
"I agree with Carter," Jack said, pointing at his second in command. "He really is annoying. And what better way for the Russians to prove they're our friends?"
Hammond resisted the urge to close his eyes and shake his head. "I'm beginning to wonder if I should send you both to Siberia, Colonel."
Jack and Sam looked at each other, Jack frowning and Sam holding back a smirk.
Rodney McKay was slumped in the chair, a frown on his face as Hammond reminded himself that he couldn't bark at a civilian to stand to attention and use his spine for what god intended.
"You want me to work here?" Rodney asked, his mouth a blur when he spoke, half of the words never really sounding out.
Hammond nodded. "We're putting together a new SG team and there's a place if you're interested. I think we could use your expertise." And weren't those just the hardest words he'd ever said?
Rodney didn't look surprised. His brow lifted as he gave an acknowledging nod and straightened up a fraction so he was no longer in danger of slipping onto the floor and disappearing behind the desk. "Well, I'm sure you could, considering that Major Carter seems intent on destroying this mountain through the powers of lunacy."
That was it. Hammond was going to get up, grab the little snotty man by his ear and throw him out. Then he remembered he couldn't and just sighed as Rodney mumbled something about crazy people being great in the sack.
"Dr. McKay," Hammond said, a little more forcefully than he'd intended.
Rodney seemed to return to the land of the awake with a small, "Huh? Wha-?"
"I expect to see you here tomorrow morning to meet with the rest of your team."
Rodney rolled his eyes and gave a smug smile. "I'm sorry, but isn't it a little presumptuous of you, General, that I'm oh so utterly desperate to join your band of loony scientists?"
Hammond smiled. Somewhere in his chest, the heart of a malicious fifteen year old sprung to life. "Area 51 has already approached the Pentagon about pushing through your transfer in exchange for helping us to smooth over relations with Russia over the DHD incident."
Rodney sprang forward in the chair. So, there was a spine in there somewhere. "What? Hold on a second, shouldn't the person actually responsible for blowing the damn thing up be getting screwed for this?"
"It's not my decision, Dr. McKay. And a word of advice. If you want to be transferred to Siberia to help build their dialling program, by all means, feel free to decline the offer to work for the SGC."
In the silence of the office, Hammond took a moment to ponder that Rodney McKay looked just like a goldfish at feeding time when he was stunned speechless.
Rodney glared as he stuffed his shirt into the locker. What was with the armed forces and nipple chafing clothes anyway? Even his T-shirt felt like it was made from sandpaper. The locker room was an interesting place. For all the frowning on homosexuality in the military, there seemed to be a lot of guys that seemed happy to be naked around each other. Maybe it was like a game. Like, who could seem more at ease about being in their birthday suit? Well, it wasn't Rodney. In fact, he was going to make a suggestion for perhaps a private changing area for civilians with T-shirts that made comic book references. He was pretty sure that was one of the reasons the apes in the locker room had given him some interesting looks. That or all the latent homosexuality.
Rodney pulled on the blue BDU shirt he'd been provided with. There was little comfort in the fact that it wasn't red. When you had people like Major Carter walking around, the colour of your shirt meant squat. Rodney shut the locker door and sighed, turning to see he had a neighbour. The man was tall and thin, not an extra bit of fat on his lean frame. His BDUs hung dangerously low on his hips, a line of white boxers showing above the waistband. He pulled on his black T-shirt and a crop of dark hair popped out the way a peacock could suddenly stick out its feathers.
His face appeared, an absent minded pout on his mouth as he pulled down the T-shirt, but didn't bother to tuck it in. He picked up the blue shirt from the bench, identical to Rodney's, but stuffed it into his locker instead of putting it on. Rodney looked around discreetly, wondering if he'd been staring, but then he remembered the latent homosexuality of the locker room and turned around and sat down on the bench, pulling on his boots. His neighbour was doing the same, but without sitting down, using the bench to prop his feet as he donned his boots. Rodney closed his eyes and shook his head before he gave in to the impulse to let his eyes slide to the corner and get the glimpse of ass. Either that guy's pants were too loose, or someone had forgotten to give him an ass. So, how come Rodney was still thinking about what it would be like to grab it?
Maybe Siberia was a good idea.
Rodney laced up his boots as the assless man walked away and left the locker room. Unfortunately, a man with a naked ass decided to walk by just then, making Rodney spring back and avert his eyes. That tattoo was just so wrong.
As Rodney walked into the briefing room, his first thought was that as wondrous as the universe was with its infinitely expanding treasure trove of mysteries, it also had the tendency to suck a lot sometimes. The briefing room was empty and he wondered if the meeting had been scheduled to be somewhere else without him knowing about it. It wouldn't be the first time. In hindsight, maybe getting away from Area 51 was a good idea.
"Hey." Rodney turned to see the man without the ass slowly approaching. Rodney couldn't remember ever meeting anyone that looked so rumpled. Rodney gave a nod as the man looked him over. "You're a civilian."
Rodney thought about that. No, there wasn't much to work with there. "Yes. And?"
The man shrugged. "Just an observation."
Rodney gave the other man an appraising look. "Right. Dr. Rodney McKay," he said, holding out his hand.
"You're a doctor?" assless man asked, not accepting the outstretched hand.
"Astrophysicist," Rodney said, withdrawing the offer to shake hands.
"Scientist," the man said with a nod.
Rodney rolled his eyes. "No, plumber."
The man's head went back an inch, surprised by the acerbic answer. "You always this cranky, McKay?"
"Only when I feel extremely annoyed," Rodney said flatly.
"Am I annoying you?" The man looked like he really couldn't care less if he was annoying.
Rodney frowned. "You do seem to possess a natural aptitude for it."
The man smiled and his face did strange glowy things. Huh, Rodney thought. He didn't even like brunettes. Especially assless ones. The man held his hand out. "Major John Sheppard."
Rodney accepted the hand cautiously, giving it his manliest shake. John frowned and then nodded.
"Nice strong handshake you've got there, Rodney," John said, his hand still gripping Rodney's.
Rodney frowned. The only time he shook someone's hand that long was if his next move was an attempt at being all over them like a cheap suit. As warm and firm...and enjoyable as the grip around his hand was, Rodney found himself extricating his hand. Something that earned a smirk from John. They could hear voices as people ascended the stairs into the briefing room and John turned around to stand at Rodney's side. Two men were following Hammond in, both dressed in the same kind of BDUs that Rodney and John were wearing. Next to Rodney, John snapped to attention and offered a salute. Rodney held up his hand in a still wave.
"At ease, Major," Hammond said before nodding to Rodney with a greeting of, "Dr. McKay."
"General," Rodney said.
"Major, Doctor, I'd like you to meet your team leader, Colonel Dave Dixon and the other member of your team, Martouf."
Dixon looked like a typically smug, muscle-bound military yahoo. Martouf looked a little blond under the lights. Also, pretty in a could-possibly-swing-both-ways style.
"Why don't I let you all get acquainted?" Hammond said with a smile and headed to his office.
"So, McKay, I hear you pissed off SG-1," Dixon said with a nod.
"That's a possibility," Rodney said flatly.
Dixon nodded again and then gave Rodney a heavy handed pat on the shoulder. "Excellent work, Doctor. Keep it up."
Rodney frowned. "Oh, um, well, thank you."
"And, Major," Dixon said turning to John. "You make sure I know I can count on you and I'll promise never to make any cracks about your hair."
Rodney tried not to smile at the confused look on John's face as he nodded. "Understood, Sir."
"Martouf," Dixon beckoned the man over and then cocked a thumb in his direction. "You fellas up on the history of the Goa'uld and the Tok'ra?"
"Read all the reports, Sir," John said with a nod.
"I'm fully aware, yes," Rodney said.
"Good, you might want to meet Lantesh too then," Dixon said.
Martouf's eyes began to glow. "Greetings," he said in an oddly deep voice. John's eyes widened and he stepped back, Rodney doing the same next to him.
"Holy shit," John said and then looked at Dixon. Dixon was too busy laughing a strange, deep, manic laugh. Rodney just stared at him. Great, some crazy jackass was the leader of his team.
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry," Dixon said, calming down. "But, man, should've seen your faces."
"My apologies," Martouf said, soft-spoken this time. "The Colonel failed to tell me that you have not actually met a Tok'ra before."
John was nodding. "No big deal. We just weren't expecting the glowy eyes thing, right?"
John said turning to Rodney. Rodney nodded, trying to quell the panic in his chest. "Right, right. What he said."
Martouf smiled. "Perhaps, I can introduce you to Lantesh later."
"Sure, that would be great," John said. "But I have to ask, doesn't it get crowded in there?" Martouf frowned and John just shook his head with a, "Never mind."
Dixon was grinning as he clapped a hand on Martouf's shoulder. "Look at that, bonding already. Talk about people skills, huh?"
Rodney narrowed his eyes. "Yes, you're a regular Dr. Phil, Colonel."
Dixon laughed and pointed at Rodney. "You're going to be real annoying in the long run, aren't you?"
Rodney raised his eyebrow and smiled. "Not as much as you."
Dixon just grinned and nodded towards the stairs. "Commissary in half an hour. We should talk. Hammond's putting us on rotation from next week. I gotta go do a thing then we get down to business."
Everyone nodded as Dixon walked away and bounded down the stairs. Martouf smiled at the remaining men. "Well, Lantesh and I look forward to working with you."
"Likewise," John said. Martouf gave a polite nod and turned to head towards Hammond's office. Rodney and John stared as the door shut. "That's just weird. Aliens with glowing eyes and snakes in the head."
"Have you met Teal'c?" Rodney asked.
John shook his head at Rodney apprehensively. "I just transferred here days ago."
Rodney leaned in conspiratorially. "He has a snake in his gut."
John looked a little queasy as he nodded. "Right. The Jaffa guy. Built like a tank."
"Yes. A tank with a snake in his gut," Rodney said.
"I don't think I'll ever get used to this place," John said, turning and heading to the window, looking at the Stargate. Rodney followed and stood at the Major's side as they watched the gate dialling. A wormhole shot out and filled the room with sparkling blue light. "Cool."
They watched as a team walked through. Rodney recognized a blonde mop of hair first. "That's Major Carte. She, uh, has a thing for me. Absolutely hopeless, really."
John's head slowly turned and he gave Rodney a strange narrow-eyed look, his mouth a smirk.
"Oh and that's Teal'c," Rodney said as the Jaffa walked down the ramp, looking grumpy. Rodney pointed at the man who was taking off his cap and ruffling his hair. "That, is Colonel O'Neill."
The fourth man got to the end of the ramp and then tripped and fell off, landing flat on his face, his team members rallying around to help him up.
"That's Dr. Jackson. He dies a lot."
John frowned. "What?"
"I thought you read all the reports," Rodney said with annoyance.
John gave him an odd little smile and moved away from the window, heading towards the stairs, and Rodney turned and watched him leaving. For a man without an ass, he didn't seem a total loss. There were a lot of things that seemed to compensate for the lack. Rodney tilted his head and wondered if a new angle would provide more of a curvature. He nodded. Maybe it was just bad pants. John suddenly turned around, hands loose on hips. He looked around with an amused expression and then smiled at Rodney, who felt guilty and caught out.
"You know, you really have to be less obvious if you're going to work here."
Rodney frowned. "What?"
"You, staring at my ass," John drawled. "I noticed, in the lockers."
Rodney shook his head and laughed. "Yes, very funny, Major. You have an ass."
Okay, totally the wrong answer. Rodney wondered if he should fling himself out of the briefing window and into the gate room. John was frowning. "Didn't anyone ever tell you to play nice with the other kids?"
Rodney shrugged. "Yes, but what my parents didn't know could fill a black hole."
"I saw you staring," John said firmly.
Rodney sighed. "And?"
John smirked. "Nothing. I just thought you should know that I know."
"Why?" Rodney asked suspiciously.
John seemed to think about it and then smiled, turning around and leaving. He was still smiling as he ran down the stairs and out of sight. Rodney stood in the middle of the room, a little dumbfounded.
Thank god he hadn't gone to Siberia.
- the end -