Title: Revenge of the Discs
Rating: Probably edging closer to PG-13 for repeatedly using the alternate word for donkey. Genre: Humor... most definitely humor
Word Count: 5400
Spoilers: Possibly vague general spoilers for Seasons 1-3
Summary: Sometimes, you just really shouldn't ask why.
Author's Notes: You don't want to know the thought process that brought this to life. I tried explaining it to my sister-in-law, she laughed at me, and promptly asked my brother if they could move. Okay, I'm lying, but it's not like she's going to read this. Oh, and she also gave me my title (after backing away slowly). A big shout-out to my beta-reader twit1217, who not only puts up with my insane ramblings, but catches my mistakes (♥ to my beta!) Also many thanks to dr_dredd for telling me how to properly treat... the gluteus maximus.
"Do I want to know?" Carson Beckett asked his two patients.
Rodney McKay opened his mouth first to respond, finger already pointing at who he personally believed to be the culprit, but the hand was smacked away by his partner-in-crime/suffering, and whatever he was going to say was silenced by a deadly glare. The scientist's brow wrinkled, at first in confusion, which soon gave away to embarrassment. The shoulders slumped and he turned back to face Carson, shyly tucking his hands behind his back.
"No," McKay said quietly.
Carson chewed the inside of his lip as he eyed his other patient, whose face was peppered with tiny cuts and welts. A practiced avoidant stare refused to meet the physician's eyes, and instead just idly picked at something embedded in his hand. Carson frowned, trying to figure out what exactly the shiny particles that adorned both men were.
The fact that they had both showed up on their own volition both intrigued and concerned him a little. The silence and embarrassed aura only deepened his curiosity. He motioned for both of them to take a seat. Sheppard gingerly climbed onto a cot, while Rodney meekly waved it away.
"Rodney, please sit. I need to start picking that out."
"I..." He looked away quickly. "I can't."
Sheppard smiled sarcastically at the scientist. "That's what you get for turning tail."
"You said run! I ran!"
"Don't try to go and pin this on me!"
"Who was the one who activated the bomb? Hmm?"
Bomb? Carson's head snapped up at the word and stepped in closer to Rodney to take a more thorough look at his injuries. The scientist scooted back quickly.
"Shut UP, Rodney," Sheppard hissed, motioning his head at Beckett.
"Oh, crap!" Hands imbedded with a multitude of shards of silver flecks flew to cover his mouth.
Carson eyed both men critically, all humor forgotten. "What bomb?"
Rodney swallowed hard, and Sheppard faked a cough that vaguely sounded like "His idea!". The Scot crossed his arms as he leveled a hard stare at both of them.
"Do I need to call Dr. Weir to see what this is about?"
Rodney's eyes widened comically, but it was Sheppard's frantic shout of "No!" that confirmed that whatever caused their current state was definitely not an approved activity.
"Then you both better start at the beginning, and I do mean the beginning. What is this stuff you're coated with?"
Rodney finally found his voice, defeat and embarrassment ringing in his tone. "It's, um, CDs."
Beckett blinked. "CDs?"
"As in compact discs?"
"No, Carson, I'm covered in certificate of deposits, insured by the Bank of Atlantis. Of course we're talking about compact discs!"
"It's," Rodney paused, meeting Sheppard's gaze, and quickly looked away, "it's a really long story."
"And it somehow culminates in a bomb going off that somehow covers you in CD... shrapnel?"
"Yes," the scientist confirmed meekly.
"My life is never boring with you two," the Scot sighed and he walked over to grab some tweezers to start the slow process of cleaning the two up. "You both seem to be walking and talking fine. None of it got into your eyes, did it?"
Sheppard seemed to relax slightly at this manner. He should have known that Beckett was a doctor first, and would be more concerned about their health. "No, Rodney wasn't facing the same direction when it went off. I have enough sense to protect my face."
Eyeing the state of the pilot's cheeks, he wasn't sure he completely believed that last statement. "Do I need to give you a CT scan for internal injuries?"
"It was a low-yield blast," he answered automatically, "so I don't think so."
"All right, start at the beginning, and don't leave anything out. If for one second I think this is more serious, seeing how it involves bombs, I'm bringing Elizabeth in here." Beckett eyed both of them critically, lips pursing together.
They both looked at the ground, suitably chastised. He muttered to himself as he gently took Sheppard's chin in his hand to see if any shrapnel was embedded in his face. It seemed to be fairly clear, which was a miracle considering the myriad of cuts. "How exactly were you planning on explaining your face?"
"I aimed on hiding for a long, long time."
Carson sighed and brought his tweezers to bear, but John caught the hand, and quietly indicated the pacing scientist with his head. The unspoken sentiment of "take care of him first" hung in the air, and Carson couldn't help but smile at the gesture. He nodded ever-so slightly and approached Rodney, once again signaling for him to take a cot.
"All right, Rodney, up you go. Have to get all of this out."
The prospect seemed to pain him. "Can't we do this standing up?"
McKay grimaced and very slowly turned around to reveal that his backside was covered in shrapnel. Carson rubbed his temples and shot Sheppard a look, who merely shrugged.
"Just lay down on your chest, Rodney."
"Just... just don't stare."
"I'm a doctor."
"You always say that."
The scientist heaved a deep sigh, but complied, awkwardly shifting around on the cot. He fixed Sheppard with a look. "Not one word about this, ever."
"My eyes are staying on the ceiling, McKay, don't worry."
Rodney squeaked as Carson moved his clothing up, and the cold air circulating the infirmary reached his hind regions. He was definitely going to need to distract himself from this. "The beginning, huh?"
"If it helps me understand why I'm picking pieces of CD out of your bum, Rodney, then yes."
McKay sighed again, eyeing the curtain that was thankfully separating them from the rest of the infirmary. "Well, if you must know..."
It all started with a wrong order. Someone in purchasing, who, in Rodney's opinion, had no technical knowledge or expertise whatsoever had not known there was a difference between CD-Rs and CD-RWs. They also had failed to notice the little memo Rodney had sent to the purchasing department stating that CDs were an archaic storage medium, and if someone was insisting they use a physical medium, to please purchase as many flash cards and jump drives as possible. If for some reason, it was absolutely necessary they have something in disc format, then please purchase DVDs, as they contained more space, and all the projects they would be working on would likely take up more than eight hundred megabytes, so something that could be written to more than once would be preferable, with at least a few gigabytes.
Apparently that translated into: blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, please use your obviously inferior brainpower to decide what is necessary, blah, blah, blah, blah.
Obviously, because Rodney McKay would never use the word "please" in real life, much less in a memo to some bimbo in the SGC's ordering department.
He hadn't even noticed the error until after they had settled into Atlantis and he had literally stumbled into the storage space. Well after he was stranded in another galaxy, effectively rendering any angry e-mail undeliverable. Not only that, he had an entire room full of CD-Rs, packaged by the hundred that he could most definitely not "return to sender".
"...what does this have to do with bombs?" Carson asked, dropping another tiny piece of silver plastic into the pan.
"Shut up and let me tell my story! Ow!"
"Your story is rambling."
"Do you know how many damn CDs I still have left?"
Sheppard stoically stared at the ceiling, having no desire to see Rodney's sparkly butt. He also remained rather tight lipped, or perhaps he was slipping into the same coma that Carson was. The physician grabbed another piece of ground up CD with the tweezers. "Continue your rant, Rodney."
However they were stranded in another galaxy and beggars couldn't be choosers, so Rodney and the science department used the CDs in their day to day work, as well as letting anyone grab what they needed for their music burning tastes, those heathens who didn't have the foresight to bring a digital MP3 player that is.
"It was 2004! They were expensive!" Sheppard protested.
"Oh, so you do have a voice," Rodney mocked. "And why would you care about the cost? You were on a one-way trip to another galaxy. Loosen up the purse strings a little, Lieutenant Colonel Scrooge!"
"Just tell your stupid story, McKay," Sheppard grumbled, eyes firmly pointed to the ceiling.
"I would if people would stop interrupting me!"
"Then stop baiting me!"
"I was not baiting you!"
"Do I need to separate you two?" Carson snapped.
"No," Rodney pouted.
"Then why don't you continue, and for God's sake, stop going off in tangents!"
To cut what was perfectly good explanation short for expediency's sake, the CDs started to pile up. Once they had been written to, they were sort of useless, which was why Rodney hadn't wanted them in the first place. So at first, since they were stranded without any way of resupplying, he did what any good conservationist would do and he recycled them. Soon every scientist had more CD-R-turned-coasters than they knew what to do with, and the used, obsolete CDs were starting to get confused with the fresh ones. People began to lose documents, fights broke out, and chaos reigned—
"Oh, for Christ's sake, it wasn't Armageddon, Rodney!"
"Shut up! My story!"
So Rodney turned to the one person who he knew could solve his problem: Aiden Ford.
The lieutenant had mentioned a passing fondness for disc golf on a mission once, and after a little delving into the expedition's version of Wikipedia on the subject, Rodney figured he had found an acceptable solution.
The arrangement was simple, actually. Every Friday, Ford would come by and pick up the unlabeled bag full of used and scratched CDs and Rodney would make sure that 'magically' the lieutenant's scheduled time in the rec room would double. It was actually a win-win situation, because McKay never used the time in the first place. Studying potentially universe-changing technology versus watching pirated copies of The Snorks—
"Oh, shut up! You're five years old, you know that, Major?"
"I've been a Lieutenant Colonel for a year now, Rodney."
"I just demoted you for liking The Snorks."
—and Rodney's workspace remained clutter and CD-free.
Apparently it worked out well for the rest of the military contingent too, as Ford's disc golf games grew in popularity and attendance. The more grunts who played, the more CDs wound up being lost in the ocean, which was bound to happen as the lieutenant really shouldn't have set the course up on one of the piers in the first place.
However, like all good things, it was not to last.
Apparently some rat of a marine biologist had noticed the growing number of CDs bobbing in the waves (later, he would learn that Sergeants Tanner and Wilmington had dumped an entire carton of the things into the sea during an argument on the merits of mid-range versus putter CD-Rs), and immediately tattled to Weir about the subject. The disc golf games were suspended indefinitely, and once again Rodney had a growing pile on his desk.
He'd tried offering them up for skeet shooting. Apparently while CD-Rs made fairly decent Frisbees, they just couldn't obtain the height necessary for any safe target practice.
"It was worth a shot," Sheppard shrugged in regards to the skeet shooting.
"Corny," Carson muttered. "I still don't see what this has to do with bombs."
"We're getting there," Rodney said miserably. "By this time though, I had more important things than CDs overflowing on my desk."
"Really?" Carson asked sarcastically.
"Well, there was that whole wraith attacking the city thing. You know, nothing spectacular."
After all of those minor little incidents (The Siege of Atlantis, installing ZedPMs, a tiny psychotic episode from lack of sleep, and having other consciousnesses trapped in certain genius' brains), Rodney finally was forced to address the CD problem once again. Now that he had regular supply runs, he felt no guilt whatsoever in purchasing a CD shredder. Oh, he could have sent the damn things back, he even wanted to, but apparently everyone LIKED the stupid one-time-use-too-small-to-fit-a-decent-a
"Wait, that's what the lynch mob was about?" Carson asked.
Um, yes," Rodney admitted reluctantly, gaze briefly settling on Sheppard. "And you know, thanks for not letting them tar and feather me."
Eyes still firmly pointed away from the bottom-baring-scientist, Sheppard quirked a half-smile. "I've always got your back, don't I?"
"Yeah, but did you have to tie the rope so tight?"
Carson narrowed his gaze. "Is this another one of those things I probably don't want to know about?"
All he had heard of the matter was in a short memo from Elizabeth regarding the proper channels and procedures for filing complaints.
"Do you really want another story?"
He didn't even have to take time to consider that one. "No."
So they had shredded the CDs, which greatly reduced the clutter, and kept people from mixing up the used ones with the new ones, avoiding another disaster like the Riot of Christmas 2004. However as a physicist, he really should have anticipated that shredding the CDs was only a temporary solution. He was not actually destroying the matter, just converting it to a different shape. Soon, he had a closet full of sharp pieces of unusable plastic. Which basically brought him full circle.
Hindsight really was twenty-twenty.
"Next time, you tell the story, Colonel."
"I was an innocent bystander," Sheppard protested.
With a plink, the final piece of CD fragments had been removed from McKay's hindquarters. He quickly applied disinfectant, and briefly mulled over his options on bandaging the cuts.
"No band-aids!" McKay protested quickly.
"Rodney, they'll get infected." Not that he was considering band-aids in this case.
"Nurse Henry," Carson corrected.
"—stuck me with 'Hello Kitty' band-aids last time. I will not have cutesy animated feminine felines covering my... my..."
"Ass," Sheppard supplied.
"Yes," Rodney finished lamely.
"Now where did I put the radio that contacts Elizabeth?"
Rodney squeaked, and flattened himself against the cot. "I mean you're the doctor, and please ignore that Sheppard is silently mouthing that you cover my gluteus maximus with the Ninja Turtles."
"Cowabunga, dude!" John managed to aim a hang-ten sign in their general direction without breaking his ceiling gaze.
"I'm putting in for a transfer—"
"Rodney, is this story ever going to get to the point?"
"I was just getting there!"
At first he had tried to send the CD refuse back on the Daedelus. However Caldwell had firmly stated that he was not an intergalactic garbage man and kindly requested that the subject never come up again. The fact that the toilets on Atlantis backfired every time Colonel Baldwell—
—had to use the facilities since that conversation didn't have anything to do with it.
Rodney had briefly considered trying to fling the pile of refuse into the sun, but Elizabeth had immediately nixed the idea of risking the jumpers "just to free up some closet space". He honestly had tried to explain to her what a safety hazard it was, and that for his general sanity it had to go.
"Wait, wait," Carson interrupted, "doesn't the city have an incinerator for trash?"
"Yes," Rodney said tersely. He was still lying on his chest and Carson had moved to working on his hands. His posterior had remained free of cartoon characters, and was now sporting a lot of gauze taped into place. Sheppard had finally broken his staring contest with the ceiling now that McKay's pants were up.
"Well then why didn't you use the bloody thing and save yourself all this trouble?"
"You don't think I tried?" Rodney waved the CD-embedded hand that Carson was now working on to punctuate his annoyance.
"What stopped you?"
A snicker from behind them caught his attention, and Carson peeked over his shoulder to see Sheppard barely containing his mirth.
"It won't let him."
"Damn safety protocols!"
"And he can't override them."
"Atlantis is like an overprotective mother hen," the pure bitterness in Rodney's tone made Sheppard's snicker turn to a chuckle, "even more than YOU!"
Carson couldn't help but chuckle a little at the sour expression that settled on John's face.
"You too, Scotty!"
"So Atlantis won't let you burn your CDs?" Carson prompted, trying to school his own annoyance from his face.
"Something about toxic fumes." Rodney pitched his voice higher on the last two words, as if he was mocking the city.
"Yes, how dare it protect the air we breathe," Sheppard snickered.
"I was only going to do it once!"
Sheppard raised an eyebrow.
"Okay, I was going to do it a thousand times until there was nothing left but ash, which is pretty damn hot seeing as how the melting point of polycarbonate plastic is 267 degrees Celsius!"
"What's that in Fahrenheit?" Sheppard asked.
"You can do the conversion yourself. Don't play dumb, Mr. Almost-Mensa!"
Sheppard shrugged innocently.
Carson applied a liberal dose of alcohol to the hand he had just freed of CD debris, causing Rodney to hiss and glare at him. He smiled wanly in return. "So, Elizabeth wouldn't let you fling it into the sun, and Atlantis wouldn't let you burn it in the incinerator?"
So Rodney had an ever-growing mountain of sharp, plastic shreds. To make it worse, some idiot at the SGC had found the original order and figured it was time to resupply the Atlantis expedition, meaning all of the careful work Rodney had done to get rid of the hated things go up in flames. He was almost to the point where he would need to acquire another wing of Atlantis just to house his growing garbage program.
Really, at that point, there were only two options. The first was to give up, let the madness overtake him to the point where he started mumbling to himself and naming the dust bunnies under his bed. He briefly considered taking up with the monks on P49-284 who shunned all technology. Of course he would be excommunicated upon joining because he would have snuck his Ancient Scanner with him; because last time they visited there were some interesting readings—
"Oh for the love of God I'll finish!" Sheppard snapped.
Rodney blinked. "What?"
"You suck at story telling!"
"Well you weren't volunteering!"
"It wasn't my idea that got us into this mess!"
"I didn't see you putting up much of a fight!"
John Sheppard was a small man, a lonely man. Every morning he rolled out of bed, and was so depressed with his life, he couldn't be bothered to look for a comb—
"Damn it, I said I was taking over!"
"Well go ahead, Gestapo!"
In the beginning there was darkness. Then God said "Let there be light", and there was. If Dr. Rodney McKay was around at that point in time, he would have taken credit for that too.
"Oh, really funny!"
"I've got more—"
Once upon a time there was a little boy-girl named MEREDITH—
"I'm going to sew both of your mouths shut if you don't stop this nonsense right now!"
"Jerk," Rodney mumbled under his breath.
"Loudmouth," Sheppard muttered in return.
A sharp look from Carson silenced both of them. He finished wrapping Rodney's hands and took his tools over to John. He eyed the pilot like a father staring down a recalcitrant child. "However, if you can refrain from picking on Rodney—"
"—why don't you pick up this long, overly self-indulgent narrative and get to the point where bombs explode and I'm picking glitter out of Rodney's bum?"
"CD shrapnel," the scientist sniffed indignantly, as if the proper terminology made the injury more manly and acceptable.
"No, it's definitely glitter," Sheppard said.
"McKay, your ass had more shimmer than a disco ball."
"Liar!" Rodney gasped. "You said you wouldn't look!"
"I couldn't help it! It was like a lighthouse trying to guide ships through fog."
"Oh, god," Rodney moaned, pillowing his face in his bandaged hands.
"At least you can now say that you have a shiny ass."
"...why would I ever want to say that?"
Carson cleared his throat. "You know, I would like to hear the actual explanation at some point today."
"Oh, right," John tried not to flinch as Carson dabbed an alcohol soaked cotton swab on the cuts on his face. "Did we leave off at the point where Rodney was considering monkhood?"
John Sheppard strode into McKay's lab, hawk-like eyes searching for the scientist. Instead of his usual spot behind his laptop, he found him in the back of the lab, hunched over a pile of wires and plastic casings. He didn't even look up on John's approach.
"What's the big emergency, Rodney?"
"I've finally got it!"
"Colonel," Carson's voice was warning.
"A solution to all of our problems," McKay replied.
"You've found something that will drive back the Wraith and the Asurans?"
John bounded up to the work station to see the latest miracle that McKay had whipped up. He frowned as he peeked over the scientist's shoulder, recognizing the basic design of what he was putting together.
"I've found a way to get rid of all of these damn CDs!"
"That's bigger than defeating our enemies?"
"You bet your ass it is!"
"Colonel, I thought I told you to stop embellishing."
"No," Rodney said meekly, "I actually said that."
"Rodney, please tell me that's not what I think it is," John said eyeing what looked entirely too much like an incendiary device.
"Oh," McKay nodded, a manic grin spreading across his face, "it is."
"I think it's time for some sleep, Rodney."
"No, no, this is the perfect idea! I'm not polluting the environment, not risking jumpers, nobody can try and lynch me for getting rid of the stupid things, because we'll only use the shredded ones, AND we get a brand new weapon out of it!"
"You can't be serious about this."
"Oh, but I am. I've done all the calculations. I mean, sure, it's not going to knock down a Wraith dart or anything, but hey, have you got an annoying scientist-slash-Sheppard kidnapping ex-Genii militant bugging you? BAM! Eat CD shrapnel, you fiend!"
"No, no, I've done all the calculations, this one here is a test subject," Rodney finished attaching the casing and held it out proudly. "It's low yield, but we can try it out on one of the piers, no one has to know. If it works, my problems will be solved!"
"It's just a little junk, Rodney. We really don't need to build our arsenal up with recycled geek buckshot."
"Now you sound like Elizabeth." McKay's eye twitched dangerously. "Do you really want to see me snap? See this great mind wither away to insanity? Do you want to see me brought down by pieces of plastic?"
John eyed his friend who was breathing heavily, and had the manic gleam of someone very close to toppling over the edge shining in his beady eyes. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. "Fine."
A happy sound escaped the scientist.
"But let me see those designs before we start detonating things."
Carson was silent for a long moment. John paused in his narrative as he watched the normally expressive face go blank. Nervously he watched as the doctor finished pulling a piece of shrapnel out of his hand and then very carefully set down his set of tweezers.
"I thought you said you were an innocent party in all of this."
"You helped him design the damn bomb!"
"I just made a few suggestions—"
"Worthless ones!" Rodney put in.
Carson whirled on the scientist. "And you! Designing bombs out of shredded CDs?"
"I had to get rid of them!"
"You're both bloody insane!"
"Well," John cleared his throat nervously, "I'm not quite done."
"Oh, god," Carson covered his face with his hands. "I'm not sure I can listen to much more of this."
The sun twinkled off of the waves lapping at the East Pier. It was ironic, as this was the same place where so many of the hated pieces of plastic had met their watery grave all those years ago—
"May I say that waxing poetic is sad?"
"At least I'm telling a story."
—and the sun's reflection off the water was almost as blinding as Rodney's ass.
"I hate you," the scientist seethed, but Sheppard ignored him and forged on with his story.
John shaded his eyes with a hand as he eyed the target that had been set up at the pier's edge. It was crudely constructed out of sticks, pieces of plastic, and held together by twist ties. It was the most pitiful scarecrow he had ever seen. A plastic bucket was placed on top of the structure (and he used that term loosely), a scowl hastily Sharpied in with a jagged line making up the mouth. On its "chest" a paper sign identifying the figure as "Koyla" was taped on.
"Good job on the target," he said blandly.
"Why thank you," Rodney rubbed his hands together as he eyed his creation with appreciation. "I think it takes a certain talent to throw together a target-scarecrow out of items found in your desk."
"Where'd you find the sticks then?"
"Rejects from the botany lab."
"You misspelled Kolya."
"What? I did not."
"You did, unless you meant for that to be his ugly unibrowed twin sister."
Rodney peered at the sign fluttering in the wind and flushed. "So spelling isn't my strong point!"
"Neither is artwork."
"I thought you liked it." He had the grace to sound almost hurt by the comment.
"I think your niece could have drawn a scarier face."
"You want to try?" McKay dug the Sharpie out of his jacket's pocket. "Go on!"
"Honestly? I'd rather we just try out this thing to see if it works."
Rodney grunted noncommittally. "No appreciation for the finer things in life."
"I appreciate explosions."
"Oh, good, then you won't be disappointed, unlike every night you go to bed."
John eyed him warily. "Was that supposed to be trash talk?"
"What? Is that not how it works?"
John shook his head, refusing to deign that with a comment. Instead he gingerly fished the prototype out of the case he had procured for the trip from McKay's lab to the pier. It just wouldn't do for someone to see Atlantis's chief military and science officers ambling through the halls carrying untested weapons that might explode at any moment. That, and it felt cool and official.
"Feel cool and official. You get off on stupid little thrills like that."
"Rodney, get out of my retelling!"
"You insulted my scarecrow!"
The canister's shiny plastic casing caught the sun's rays and glinted dangerously.
"Seriously, what is with you and this obsession with making everything all glittery and shiny?"
John eyed the device with trepidation. There was only a small amount of explosive in it, just enough really to shatter the casing and disperse the shrapnel inside. There was no need to do any real damage since it was just a test, and a strong wind could probably knock over McKay's poor excuse for a target. Make that a weak wind. Definitely a weak wind kind of target. Poorly constructed, badly misspelled scarecrows aside, he still felt a small amount of trepidation. If Weir found out about this he wouldn't hear the end of it for weeks. However, if it gave them a cool new toy to lob off at aforementioned, often misspelled Genii mercenaries, then it was worth the risk.
Because filling Kolya's scientist-torturing, Sheppard-kidnapping ass with tiny bits of Earth's "antiquated storage medium" would fill him with no small amount of childish and professional glee.
"I think we're ready."
"Now remember, I've set a delay timer so we have enough time to trigger the bomb, and get to safety behind our blast shield—"
"You mean those crates someone left out from the Daedelus's last run? So glad you thought this through."
"—before it explodes, filling our fiend with shrapnel."
"Please stop using that word."
"No, fiend. It sounds... fruity."
"Whatever. Just remember, press the red button on top, and we should have two minutes to get to safety. When all of those three status lights turn green, it'll trigger."
"Sounds real difficult."
"Sarcasm does not become you, Colonel."
He quirked an eyebrow and studied the device. His face fell. "Question."
"What does two green lights mean?"
"Lights? There shouldn't be any lights yet!"
"What do you mean run?"
"I mean RUN!"
Without hesitation he lobbed the bomb as far as he could. He barely had time to cover his eyes with his arms before a loud explosion tore through the air. He grunted as something that felt like a million sharp needles burrowed into his hands and face. Thankfully there was no concussive force that followed the blast. Slowly he let his arms drop, blinking blearily. Somehow, despite everything, the damn scarecrow was still standing. Tendrils of smoke wafted up from the blackened spot on the deck where the device had impacted. A soft whimper drew his attention and he turned around to see his friend almost doubled over, hands trying to protect his posterior.
"Rodney? You okay?"
"No," the voice was a squeak. "I think it got me a little."
"Beckett's gonna be pissed."
"And then we came straight here." John leaned back, careful not to put any pressure on his bandaged hands.
"Clearly you're not," Rodney snarked, "otherwise you wouldn't have just said that."
He was silenced by the patented Beckett glare.
"First, you even considered this daft idea as anything but the disaster that it obviously was."
Sheppard opened his mouth to defend himself, but was cut off.
"Second, you constructed an explosive device within Atlantis—"
Rodney held up a hand as if he was about to cut in but never got a chance to speak.
"Third, you carried said dangerous explosive device through the halls, endangering who knows how many people."
"I made sure the path was clear," John said quietly, insulted that Carson even thought that he wouldn't consider the safety of others. Well, aside from himself and his sidekick in homegrown, self-inflicted terrorism.
"Fourth, you were too busy arguing with each other as usual to notice a malfunction on said untested, dangerous explosive until it was almost too late."
"There's a fifth?" Sheppard asked wearily.
"Rodney, you need therapy. They're just CDs! Pieces of bloody plastic!"
"Oh, Doc, you haven't heard his rant about the spindles."
"Spindles?" Carson asked blankly.
Sheppard nodded gravely. "The things the CDs were shipped on. He has another room, full of those."
All of the sudden, Carson had a headache. A very big, McKay-Sheppard induced migraine. Rubbing his temples he turned away from his two batshit insane friends to try and calm himself. "I think..."
"Yeah?" Rodney asked nervously.
"I think I really didn't want to know."