Title: The Things That Hate John Sheppard
Author: linda.ljc
Spoilers: Nothing specific.
Category: Humor, Smarm, Drama
Warning: A few bad words since it's a very bad day. Gen. Rated T.
Summary: It started out well, but then he got up.
Beta: Thanks, Annie! You're the best.
(Ignore anything I might have messed up later please.)
A/N: I'm hopeless with computer geeky stuff, so I hope this doesn't sound too stupid. I did (almost literally) drag my brother in to read sections (because heaven forbid he'd have to read the whole story). I did try to smooth things out but any errors are mine. Hopefully I have the timeline right so that everyone alive here is alive in canon.
Disclaimer: The characters and settings of Stargate SG-1 and Stargate: Atlantis belong to Showtime/Viacom, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Film Corporation. All other publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of Stargate: SG-1 and Stargate: Atlantis or any other media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
This story was written by linda.ljc with the love of the show in mind.
 
<<<<<>>>>>
 
The Things That Hate John Sheppard
by linda.ljc

 
Lt. Colonel John Sheppard ... John really liked the sound of that. He wasn't a Major any more. It was a good feeling to know that the past was forgiven if not entirely forgotten, at least until the next big dust up came along. Well, there were some things he just couldn't be bothered to worry about. It was more important to be able to live with himself.
 
He finally decided he'd lazed in bed long enough. It happened so seldom that it was a real luxury when the time did allow. But all good things come to an end, he mused, as he threw the blankets off and headed for a nice hot shower. It should have been the best part of that whole waking-up-thing, but it ended all too abruptly when the damn thing felt like it turned to ice in an instant. John jumped back and shivered as he sluiced the cold water from his body with his hands. He tentatively reached out to judge if the spray had any chance of warming up again but it still felt very cold. Then he directed a strongly worded 'thought' to adjust the control. Still no change. He sighed disgustedly, shivered slightly, and decided he really didn't want to chance it again anyway.
 
When he stepped out and grabbed a towel he was a little disappointed but it was so late by then that he wouldn't have had much more time to enjoy it anyway. At least he was wide awake now. He thought about calling Rodney to complain, because McKay would have called John if the situation had been reversed. He reconsidered when he remembered that McKay had likely been up till the wee hours working on connections for a new naquadah generator. It would increase power efficiency over the old model, which would then become a backup.
 
He was still in a good mood when he arrived at his office even though there were a number of reports waiting to be finished. He was walking briskly when he stepped up to his office door, and when it didn't open, he almost walked right into it. He looked around quickly and caught Chuck before he could completely stifle a laugh.
 
“Sorry, Colonel.”
 
John rubbed the tip of his nose surreptiously and muttered, “Yeah, me, too.” He thought 'open' again but the door seemed frozen. He waved his hand over the sensor and it opened as smoothly as ever. John shook his head and shrugged it off. Maybe he was a little distracted and wasn't concentrating enough or something.
 
He settled in behind his desk and powered up the computer, and then the lights went out … but just in his office, because beyond his door everything looked normal. There were no jarring alarm klaxons or flashing lights, and no frantic Dr. Rodney McKay shouting in his ear. But it was odd that his computer had powered up just fine, and it wasn't running on battery.
 
He tapped his ear mic. “McKay.”
 
“You called, Major?” said McKay, who was suddenly standing in the doorway with his laptop tucked under his arm.
 
John grinned, feeling his good spirits of earlier return. “Wow. That was fast. I thought you'd be sleeping in. And it's Lieutenant Colonel, now, McKay.”
 
McKay grimaced and said, “This is me sleeping in. We're into the testing phase and I can't leave them alone for a minute … Lieutenant Colonel.”
 
John smiled wider at the use of his new title even though McKay was teasing him. “You have good people, McKay. Some of the best. Anywhere.”
 
“Yes, of course you'd say that. You're military not a scientist. You don't have to deal with them every minute of the day.” John grinned and McKay finally looked around.  “Hmn. Why's it dark in here?”
 
“That was very astute of you. Catching on to my problem so quickly.”
 
“I'm an astute kind of person,” said McKay with a smirk.
 
“Right. So, do you think you could, oh, I don't know … fix it?” he asked in a mildly teasing tone of his own.
 
Rodney looked distracted for a minute, “It won't think 'on'.”
 
“I know that,” John replied sardonically. “You really are the astute one today.”
 
“Well, of course you've already tried that. I'll send Radek up to look at it.”
 
“You're going to send your 2IC to turn on the lights?”
 
“You'd rather I sent Kavanaugh?”
 
“Whatever. I can work on the computer without the lights for a while.”
 
“Wait. You're computer is working okay?”
 
“It is, McKay. It's lit up anyway. But, come to think of it, my office door acted up this morning, too. It took a couple tries to open it.”
 
“Huh. I'll check it out.”
 
“Thanks.” And he thought no more of it. McKay would fix it.
 
Some time later, Ronon leaned his hands at shoulder height on either side of John's doorway and leaned in. He asked, “Hey, why's it dark in here?”
 
John looked up and glanced around, “Gee, it is dark isn't it. I … don't know. McKay's working on it.”
 
“Either McKay's eating breakfast, or his mid-morning snack.”
 
John sighed, “Of course he is.”
 
“You're late.”
 
John checked the time on his computer and frowned. “Are you sure?”
 
“Yup.”
 
John clicked on his mic. “Major Lorne?”
 
“Yes, sir, Lieutenant Colonel, sir!”
 
“Smart ass.”
 
“Yes, sir! What can I do for you, Colonel Sheppard?” Lorne finished with a chuckle.
 
“Uh, this is probably a stupid question but, what time is it?”
 
“It's 1130, sir. What's the problem?” Curiosity was obvious in his tone.
 
John sighed and glanced at Ronon who was waiting with his arms crossed.
 
Ronon grinned. “I said you were late.”
 
“Major, my computer time is 1045.”
 
“That sounds like a problem.”
 
“Well, I'll tell McKay. I lost the lights in my office. I didn't think it affected my computer because I've been working on it. Wait a sec … Damn, the files I saved are gone! What is going on?”
 
Lorne's voice had a humorous tone when he replied, “Sounds like a good reason to take the day off … sir.”
 
John chuckled, “I might as well. Nothing seems to be going right here. I'll check in with McKay and then I'll head out with Ronon.”
 
“Have fun, Colonel ...”
 
John grinned and shook his head as he cut him off. Looking at Ronon, he said, “Okay. It'll just be a minute.”
 
John would be glad to get away from his malfunctioning office. He radioed McKay about his computer losing time and McKay didn't seem too worried at first.
 
Rodney said, “The cmos battery may need replacing unless ...”
 
“Unless what?”
 
“Well, the only other cause would be intentional.”
 
John snapped, “You mean sabotage?”
 
Rodney suggested sarcastically, “That is one interpretation of 'intentional'. Maybe you could have someone check the surveillance tapes just to be sure, or I could change the battery and see if that fixes the problem. After all, it would be unmilitary if the Colonel was late for a meeting.”
 
John relaxed slightly. “Well, I did lose some work that I'd saved too, McKay. Will it take long to get someone to get a battery up here?”
 
“No. I just need a replacement and a couple of tiny little screwdrivers.”
 
“Good. I'll wait to see if that's the problem.”
 
McKay arrived within minutes, and it didn't take long.
 
“You're sure everything's okay now, McKay?”
 
Rodney muttered under his breath, which sounded like, “Sheppard never questions Ancient technology because he only has to think 'on' at it, but when it doesn't work he yells for 'me'.” Louder he said, “Yes, I'm sure. The date and time came up fine after the reboot, but I'm still trying to figure out what went wrong with the lights. That's the next project.” Then he started packing up his tool kit and grabbed his laptop to leave.
 
John didn't inquire further because McKay looked like he was in a hurry and sounded more than a bit testy. It wasn't worth one of his tirades over what would probably turn out to be a simple glitch.
 
Since he and Ronon were late for their sparring match, they cut it short so they could get to the mess before lunch was over. They headed for the showers and John thought briefly about the cold one that had started his day, but the one in the gym was perfect. He needed a pelting hot shower after a workout with Ronon, who was merciless. But then, so was Teyla. It was no surprise to anyone that Rodney tried to dodge his sessions with them.
 
He was drying off and heading to his locker when he walked by an air dryer. It came on suddenly and blew a steady stream into his face. It was so unexpected that he stepped back suddenly as if attacked, and drew his towel up to ward off the flow. Then it stopped as suddenly as it started. He stood there stunned for a moment before he heard raucous laughter from Ronon.
 
“What? Did you see that?” John indignantly snapped, to which Ronon laughed even harder.
 
John felt a little put out. “It wasn't that funny. And what's with that? It never did that before. Hey! Do you think McKay's pulling pranks on me? I bet that's what this is all about. I never thought I'd have to worry about a little razzing from McKay over my promotion.”
 
“Huh, maybe.” Ronon seemed to finally get control of himself but whenever he looked at Sheppard it almost set him off again. He threw John's pile of clothes to him and said, “Just get dressed. Lunch is going to be over if we don't hurry up, and I'm starved.” Ronon turned to his own clothes and pulled them on with a minimum of fuss. John hurried to finish, too. Ronon could almost be as dangerous as McKay if John got between him and food.
 
When they walked into the mess hall Ronon headed for the counter, and John followed. He wondered briefly about the odd glances they got as they went through the line, but shrugged them off as other things were more important at the moment … like eating. He was starving, too.
 
He finally took his tray to the corner table the team favored and sat. Ronon sat beside him just as Teyla and Rodney came into the mess. When Teyla reached the table she didn't stare but John would swear she did a double-take when she put her tray down.
 
“What?” John quietly demanded.
 
Teyla bit her lip and looked at her tray and didn't look up again until Rodney came to join them.
 
“Sheppard. There you are. Radek's looking into your office lighting while I have lunch. It keeps going on and off and … Oh. My. God! … What did you do to your hair this time?” Rodney dropped his tray and simply stared, while the rest of the room roared with laughter. Ronon was hunched over his tray and laughing so hard he could hardly catch his breath, while Teyla had her hand over her mouth, as if that would hold it in. When she audibly snorted, the laughter actually increased.
 
John reached up with both hands and ran his fingers through the mess the air dryer had made of his hair. He slowly turned red. He knew there was no fixing it without a complete do-over. He glared at Ronon, and jabbed him in the side, hard. “You could have told me,” he hissed. If possible, Ronon just laughed harder.
 
John looked really irritated as he lit into Rodney. “McKay. Seriously, I need to talk to you about a maintenance schedule for the Ancient tech around here.”
 
“Maintenance would have kept your hair from doing … that?”
 
John was a little indignant that McKay didn't even bother to contain his laughter. “For some reason, the air blower came on as I walked by, and … did … this!”
 
“Oh.” Rodney sputtered happily as he sat down. “I'll add it to the list.”
 
“List?”
 
“Yeah, the things-that-hate-John-Sheppard today.”
 
John was about to say something, then stopped. He asked thoughtfully, with just a touch of whining to his tone, “Just me?”
 
Rodney stopped in mid-chuckle. “The lights. The door. The computer. The air dryer. Just you,” and he grinned.
 
John sat back in his chair and added, “And first thing this morning, an ice cold shower.” He bit his lip thoughtfully and asked, “You're sure about the computer time? And losing my files?”
 
Rodney said, “The individual events are mostly unrelated. Some were in different areas of the City, and all different systems. But no one else has reported any complaints. At least, none that I've heard. I'll check on that, too.” And he took another look at Sheppard as if to commit something to memory, and grinned widely before digging into his lunch.
 
“How about now?” said John.
 
Rodney rolled his eyes and glanced at his watch. “It will take me like ten minutes to eat. So, later.”
 
“Rodney. You need to eat again?”
 
Rodney seemed to think seriously about that for a moment and then said, “Yes.”
 
John sighed, took another swipe at his hair, and gave up. At least lunch was good.
 
Since his office was unreliable he returned to his quarters after lunch but the door wouldn't open to his thought. He waved his hand over the sensor a half dozen times and nothing happened. “What now?” he sighed disgustedly. He keyed his mic. “McKay?”
 
“What? Working here. On 'the things that hate John Sheppard' list. You know, you've been seriously interrupting my 'real' work. That generator's never going to get through the testing so I can get it on line.”
 
“Well, I have another one for the list.”
 
Rodney sighed a great put-upon breath and asked, “Where are you?”
 
“OUTSIDE my quarters.” He heard Rodney start to laugh.
 
He was still laughing when he reached the hallway outside John’s room. “You know, this really is funny. It's too bad you can't laugh about it, too.”
 
“I'll laugh later. Fix it, McKay.”
 
Rodney gave one more chuckle, a slightly embarrassed cough, then wouldn't look him in the eye. “Sorry. I, ah, don't know what's wrong yet. We're working on it though.”
 
“You said that earlier. Wait. Who's 'we'?”
 
Rodney suddenly looked a little nervous. “It seems to be a much more complex problem than I first thought. It's not a simple wiring problem, or energy distribution problem … exactly. Well, it might be partly. We don't really know. But we're working on it. So far you're the only one that's been affected and I didn't realize that until we talked at lunch. Since that's a part of the problem that just came to my attention, I haven't had much time to work on it. I haven't figured out what you, personally, have to do with the energy/wiring, maybe programming problem. And it could just be coincidence.”
 
“Coincidence. But you just mentioned programming.”
 
“Well, it's pretty unlikely that it's an energy transfer problem. There would have to be damaged power connections and the physical damage would have to be widespread since you've been affected in several sections of the city. It's very strange that it seems to be focused on you. That leads me to believe that it's probably a glitch in the data connections. I think.”
 
John was getting frustrated. “Get me in my room. And think faster.”
 
“Right.” Rodney gestured abortively at the wall. “Uh, you're standing in front of the control panel.”
 
Sheppard glanced behind him at the panel, and Rodney managed to keep from laughing as John stepped stiffly to the side.
 
John snapped, “McKay, if this is some convoluted prank ….”
 
Rodney snorted. “If it was, I'd break something I didn't have to fix.”
 
Rodney opened the door for him finally, and John reluctantly stepped through the doorway. He looked around half expecting something to jump out at him. He still wasn't convinced that McKay wasn't behind this string of glitches, although Rodney wasn't that good a liar. When nothing happened right away he relaxed a little.
 
McKay had been watching his little 'look around'. “Satisfied?” he asked with his arms crossed and a smirk in evidence.
 
John held back a sigh, turned to McKay and said, “No. I'm not.”
 
Rodney looked miffed as he said, “Well then, if you need my services in the future … call Radek!”
 
John scowled, “If?”
 
Rodney backtracked, “Well, if you do, it won't be because of something I did. I'm going to check on the progress on the generator installation tests.”
 
“Of course you are,” John said softly to the closing door. “Well, alright then...” He rubbed his hands together and then went to grab a duffle bag. He said softly, to himself, “Just in case it is you, Rodney, I'm going to change things up. Make you come after me on my own terms.” With that thought he began to fill the bag with essentials for the next day. He was fully intent on moving to different quarters when the lights went out.
 
“No, no, no,” he whined softly. He tried to think the lights 'on' but nothing happened. He went to the controls and tapped in the command manually. It didn't help. If anything, it seemed to make it worse, because the solar shields, for when the city was in flight, came down over the windows which very effectively blocked all light. Pitch black didn't really do as a description. He froze stock-still. It was so dark that Sheppard felt an immediate claustrophobia. He forced himself to action and reached blindly for the wall panel again, fingering controls by memory, but the lights stayed off, the shields remained in place, and the door once again would not open.
 
He took a steadying breath and tapped his mic. He was terse but at least he managed to keep his voice under control as he reported, “Lorne. It's Sheppard. I've got another little problem. I haven't heard any alarms so I assume it isn't city-wide.”
 
“What can I do for you, Lieutenant Colonel Sheppard?” Lorne asked in a slightly teasing tone.
 
Besides the 'new Colonel' teasing, Lorne obviously knew about the glitches that had plagued his day, and Sheppard wasn't in the mood to be teased about this. “I'm not in the mood for a laugh, Major. I'm in my quarters. I don't have lights. The door won't open, and the solar shields have deployed on my windows. Tell McKay this had better not be a joke, and to get back to my quarters and get the damn door open … again.”
 
That call for help brought Rodney at a run, with Ronon and Teyla as backup. At least no one was laughing this time. McKay actually looked worried about the situation, and John was willing to finally believe he had nothing to do with the glitches. But that left an even bigger mystery. What was going on?
 
A conference was called for the command staff. Elizabeth seemed momentarily at a loss for words at the sight of Sheppard's hair, but managed to quell the expected laughter. John was grateful for that.
 
McKay looked tense and unhappy, which was usually reserved for bigger catastrophes. Ronon looked tensed for a battle, if only he knew who to fight. Lorne looked repentant for his ill-timed humor, and for that, John felt a little sheepish for being curt with his 2IC.
 
Teyla was a breath of reason, which was very welcome indeed. “Colonel Sheppard, if your quarters are unreliable, and your office, too, why not spend some time in one of the Jumpers?”
 
John was quick to disagree though. “I think the Control Room would be safe enough. I can stay in contact with everything that's going on more easily from there. I certainly can't leave Atlantis until this is fixed. We just need to figure out what the problem is.”
 
But Lorne looked thoughtful as he sided with Teyla. “Sir, it seems like a good place to 'hide out' for at least a few hours. Maybe by then McKay and Radek can figure out what caused the glitches. A Jumper's like a self-contained fortress, and you'll still be in contact with us at all times.”
 
The rest of the command staff had little to say. When Rodney still couldn't come up with a theory, much less an answer, it was painfully obvious now to everyone that something was seriously amiss. Elizabeth took one quick sidelong look at John's hair and quickly gave her approval for Teyla's suggestion.
 
John agreed grudgingly to the self-exile, but he'd rather be trying to find the reason for the problems that had been plaguing him. It bothered him that he was 'hiding out' while others tried to solve the problem but even McKay was still in the dark about it. He hadn't brought his laptop, of course, since it was one of the sources of his headache. He didn't feel like working on reports anyway after the upsetting day he'd had, and there was no way he was going to leave Atlantis with these problems still unresolved.
 
In boredom he began fiddling with the HUD. Maybe he could play around with the Jumpers’ programs and see if anything interesting came up. He was pleasantly surprised when he found a program for simulated training flights. That was very cool! The Jumper wouldn't actually have to move, or even require a real pilot to be present. This could be a big help with new arrivals that had the ATA gene. They could run through these sims before they were ever allowed to fly a Jumper for real. Maybe even McKay could learn a few things about flying in a straight line!
 
He decided to check it out, so he set it up to run through a flight simulation to pass the time. He set it for a beginner level training flight: up through the Jumper Bay, circle Atlantis, and back again.
 
The simulated flight began with the basic powering up procedures, then the lift up through the Jumper Bay. The training simulator worked like a dream, and John directed the Jumper to rise toward the exit slowly, just like he'd always cautioned new recruits and Rodney. He was barely a few minutes into the simulation when the Jumper's alert klaxon rang out a warning of failure of the inertial dampeners and, without further warning, dropped the ship to the floor of the Jumper Bay. When it reached the simulated floor of the simulated Bay there was a simulated crash that threw John from his chair.
 
He lay there gasping for air, because … damn it! … simulated gravity and inertia hurt! He just might have to think twice about putting trainees through that.
 
When he got his breathing under control, he rolled to his side. He wondered for at least the hundredth time what could be causing the glitches. This one was even less funny than being locked in his room in the dark, and he was running out of places to hide.
 
After taking stock of himself and the situation, he decided nothing was broken. He also decided that he needed to get the heads of the departments together once again to find a solution to this problem. He had just reached for his mic when McKay broke in and asked for Sheppard to come to the Chair Room. He sighed and decided the meeting could wait. Hopefully McKay finally had an idea what was wrong.
 
<>
 
John was still hugging his ribs when he reached the Chair Room. “This better be good—” John started to say when he saw Rodney.
 
“What happened to you? Don't tell me the bad hair day from hell got worse. Never mind! I think I figured it out. Atlantis is in distress. You have to talk to her.”
 
John snapped, “Talk to her? I've been trying to talk to her all day. She won't open a door, or turn on the lights, or—”
 
Rodney gestured quickly to the Chair. “Yes, yes. I know. I've been working on this for hours. Come on. You wanted this fixed. You have to tell Atlantis we're aware of the problem and we're working on correcting it.”
 
“Just talking to her will fix it?”
 
“Well, I already fixed the problem. It was that new generator. We've hooked it up a half dozen times today. Small, limited tests to make sure everything works the way it's supposed to, which of course it isn't. As you know, there seem to be some problems. Anyway, I had it taken offline an hour ago.”
 
John snapped, “Do you know there was a Jumper glitch just a few minutes ago?”
 
“There was a Jumper glitch?”
 
“Yes, McKay. You asked me what happened. Well, it picked me up and dropped me.” Rodney winced.
 
“Yeah. It hurt.”
 
Rodney pressed his lips together, then pulled John with him over to the Chair. “Then you have to tell her that we're not going to hook it up again unless we figure out how to do it right. Go on. She'll listen to you.”
 
“Ow. Bruises everywhere, McKay!”
 
Rodney let go in a hurry. “Sorry, sorry.” Then he made an awkward pushing gesture with upraised palms, shooing John to the Chair.
 
“I'm going.” John sighed and finally settled in. The Chair didn't look too comfortable but it actually was, so once he accounted for the bruises, and twisted around a bit, he was pretty comfortable. He laid his hands palm-down on the armrests and directed his thoughts to Atlantis.
 
He was in the Chair for several hours. Not that Atlantis was the talker that McKay was, it was just that … well … John was hurting and tired and he fell asleep. When he woke up only McKay was there, tapping on his laptop. Rodney glanced up and saw John's eyes open.
 
Rodney rolled his eyes and said, “Only John Sheppard could sit in Atlantis' Chair and fall asleep.”
 
“I wasn't asleep,” John denied too quickly.
 
“You snore, too,” Rodney said disgustedly. “I sent everyone away when that started.”
 
John grimaced. “Sorry.”
 
“Well?”
 
“What?”
 
“What did she say?”
 
“Oh, well, from what I understood, the ZPM control connections are like the neural network of the City. When she didn't have enough power it was okay, because she could decide what to transfer power to, what systems to keep working, and what to shut down to prevent damage to the City. Somehow the generator overrode the City's controls.”
 
McKay broke in excitedly, “That actually makes sense. It must have increased the interference in what you call the neural net, jamming Atlantis' programming. The ZedPM and its self-correcting power distribution system must conflict with the new generator's configuration.”
 
John interrupted Rodney, “It was like she was partly paralyzed. She could still flex a muscle but couldn't feel it. She was having trouble gauging her effect on circuits.”
 
McKay nodded knowingly as he said, “Of course, we were directing the power to the most necessary systems during the tests. She must have been getting desperate as those functions faded away.”
 
John could only agree. “Yeah. It could have gotten very dangerous. Especially if the confusion affected life-support and the drones.”
 
“So, did you find out if the new generator is totally incompatible?” Rodney asked worriedly.
 
“I think it can be worked out. The older version of the generator worked okay, and Atlantis obviously needs more energy, but the City knows best how to use that power for essential systems.”
 
“Hmm. For now, the ZedPM would be best used to supply core systems. Maybe we'll have to run separate lines for the new generator. Or maybe I can work on Atlantis' programming and make it more flexible.” Rodney sighed deeply.
 
John looked at Rodney. “Not an easy project, I take it.”
 
“No. But … I'll fix it.”
 
John grinned slowly. “Never thought otherwise.”
 
“And what about you?”
 
“Me?”
 
“You know. The things that hate John Sheppard … that was her, wasn't it? Was she trying to get you to speak to her directly?”
 
“Oh, yeah. That was Atlantis' way of getting my attention. She was pretty desperate toward the end. She needed me in the Chair.” John sighed as he admitted, “That was a good call, McKay.”
 
Rodney threw up his hands in disgust. “Do you mean to tell me that was the only way she could talk to you?”
 
“Well, it's not exactly a telepathic connection, McKay.”
 
At Rodney's scornful look, John admitted, “Well, okay. Kind of. She doesn't talk so much as just let me know she's here, and … awake.”
 
“And she'll do your bidding,” Rodney smirked. He waggled his fingers near his head and asked questioningly, “Didn't you feel the need to talk to her?”
 
“No. I think I was too distracted. And frustrated. Besides, I don't call Atlantis to fix what's wrong with the doors and lights. I call you, McKay. I was waiting for you to fix things. You're the one that was doing the testing. You didn't know what was going on either, as I remember,” he replied sardonically.
 
Rodney looked upset as he admitted, “And I should have. I should have looked further especially considering the error in your computer time. I should have insisted on an investigation. It was intentional. It just wasn't the kind of saboteur we would have expected.”
 
“McKay, you had no way of knowing. When you replaced the battery, it worked fine. You can't blame yourself for not realizing Atlantis was the saboteur. And it isn't like Atlantis is going to show up on any surveillance tapes even if we'd looked.”
 
“Hm, true. But maybe if I'd looked at it differently. I just feel like I should have spotted something sooner. There were too many glitches centered on you. It was too much to be coincidental.”
 
“Don't worry about that. No one else on your team spotted it either.”
 
“Well, I did finally figure it out in the end, and I did push you to use the Chair. It's a good thing I did, too. If she'd gotten any more desperate she could have started playing with the environmental controls or something equally as deadly.”
 
Sheppard shuddered a bit. “Yeah. Good thing. Dropping me in the Jumper was bad enough. I would gladly have missed that, McKay.”
 
“Yeah, I'm glad I missed that little excursion myself.”
 
“Be glad you did … although I did find some flight training simulations that I think you'd find interesting.”
 
“I don't do enough around here? You want me to do simulations, too?
 
John's grin suggested he had evil plans for those flight simulations, and Rodney had no wish to be the object of pranks in a virtual Jumper. Instead, he decided to change the subject. “Well, I'm glad you finally woke up from your nap.”
 
“Worried about me?” John smirked.
 
Rodney looked surprised. “No. I'm hungry.”
 
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The End