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Title: Remedial Basic
Author name: Icarus
Author email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sub Category: Drama
Summary: Written after The Storm. John decides Rodney needs a little remedial training.
DISCLAIMER: The characters and universe contained in this story are Copyright MGM, Showtime, Gekko, Double Secret. No infringement on their copyright is implied. Copyright © 2005 All rights reserved. This story may not be reproduced in whole or part without the author's explicit permission. Ask, guys. I'm easy to reach and usually quite generous.
Author notes: No beta, just fooling around with a new fetish.
Atlantis slept. Her lighted steps were dimmed, the arched ceilings silent except for the warm somnambulant hum that seemed to hover just outside the edge of human hearing, for those who had the gene. No one else felt it. In a darkened hallway he crouched, two floors down from the inhabited areas, hidden just beyond the sweep of the stairs which he could see painted with moonlight in a curve just above and to his left. His breath was low and careful, adrenaline high.
He heard a soft, confident tread of footsteps: The two a.m. trek to the cafeteria to forage leftovers.
Target acquired. As predictable as the rain in Spain.
Doctor Rodney McKay pattered down the staircase, absent-mindedly flipping a pen between his fingers, muttering happily to himself. He didn't even look right or left as he passed the darkened entryway. John Sheppard shook his head and wondered if sheep were this easy.
As McKay reached the bottom step and passed him, his soft rounded shoulders came into view streaked with moonlight. Sheppard sprang. There was a whoosh of breath as he slammed Rodney into the wall, hand clapped over his mouth, gripped tight.
"Not a word, McKay," he said in his ear.
He felt Rodney relax. Big mistake. He twisted Rodney's arm behind his back and pressed his face into a window. There was a little huff, but Rodney didn't try to yell.
"Major. What are you doing?" McKay asked, annoyed, but just a little too calm still.
"You put people's lives at risk," Sheppard growled, and Rodney stiffened. Irritated or hurt it was hard to say. "You have no military training, and yet you've got all the information an invading force could possibly ever want."
"Yes, well, I'm sure Radek knows something, although he hasn't nearly the insight that's required to--"
"He's served in the military."
"Oh." Rodney's mouth opened in surprise. "He has?"
"Yes. You haven't."
Rodney took a breath. "Look, I'm going to ask this nicely, just once and largely because you are clearly armed and out of your gourd, to please let me go now."
Sheppard ignored him. "I could do whatever I wanted to you right now," he said ominously into the back of Rodney's neck.
"That's very nice, I'm sure you probably could, but you could also get into big trouble for that. Major." Rodney said it with more than a little scorn.
"I could do things you wouldn't want to report."
"Such as…?" John used a knee to shift Rodney's knees apart. Rodney's eyes blanked as he got the picture. He raised his chin, jaw jutting out. "I don't believe you."
Sheppard smiled. Real nice and casual. "All I need is a little information and you don't have to find out what I'm capable of."
His words visibly sank in. John Sheppard had recently killed sixty of Kolya's men, unflinchingly. There was likely to be a lot no one knew about what he could-or would-do.
"What do you want to know?" Rodney said softly. His arm trembled. A muscle tremor. John kept Rodney's arm high.
"Tell me the password to Elizabeth's office computer."
"But everyone in the science team knows that-"
John slapped the wall next to Rodney's head and Rodney ducked away, curling in on himself. "Wrong answer, Rodney!" John said. "You don't tell your captors what they want to know!"
"What do you want me to do?!"
"They'll kill you, Rodney! They'll check your information, find out it works, and then they'll kill you!"
"But what do you want? I can't hold out against armed guards and torture!"
"Lie, Rodney--lie!" He pressed his hip into the small of Rodney's back, twisting his arm to nearly his hairline. "You're a smart guy. Lie to me!"
"Ungh… this is demented… let me go…" Rodney panted.
John gave him another shove. "What's the password?"
Rodney's lashes fluttered, face flattened where it was pressed to the glass. "Um… 322… 97xw5…."
"It'll take them ten seconds to figure out that's not true. Then they'll beat the hell out of you."
Panicked, Rodney whimpered. "Then… um… I don't know it--?"
"They won't believe you. You just got the shit kicked out of you again. Maybe you lost a tooth."
Rodney winced. "Ow. Um… I have the password, but it automatically resets, and, ah, there are two operators required to-"
"Too complicated. You're obviously lying--"
"You told<.I> me to!"
"--they'll beat the hell out of you 'cause they're pissed, and now they'll kill you because you're useless to them."
Rodney gasped out, "I'm not useless. Okay, I have the password but it won't do you any good because, you idiots, when you turned off the iris--"
"Good, the attitude's good," John said, "they'll believe you."
"--I'm not done! You idiots turned off the iris shield without the proper authorization and that triggers a self-destruct sequence that will set off charges to sink Atlantis."
"This is good, a wild goose chase is good… until they come back," John said.
"Which can only be reached by taking a puddlejumper under the city."
"Great. Completely unprovable and totally convincing."
"That's because it's true!" Rodney said. "Do you believe we learned nothing from the Genii attack?"
"It is?" John drew back, surprised.
"No!" Rodney twisted towards him. "You honestly think that we'd rig ourselves to blow up? We have nowhere to go."
"But they'll believe it because they're just crazy enough to do it." John relaxed, with a trace of a smile.
"Yes," Rodney said.
John let out a deep breath and released Rodney, who let his arm fall slowly and stretched his neck. He immediately squirmed and shrugged his shoulders, shaking out his hand, probably trying to get the feeling back.
"You realize that I'm going to send you my medical bills for the rest of my life?" he complained. "You dislocated my shoulder."
"You would have heard it pop," John said, leaning against the wall. He studied Rodney for a moment. "You wanna get something to eat?
"I'm not hungry now--well, no, actually yes. I do." Rodney rolled his head again. "Homicidal maniacs and death threats make me hungry strangely enough."
John grinned and clapped him on the shoulder. Or tried to. His hand swept through empty air--Rodney had skittered out of reach, giving him a doe-eyed vulnerable stare. Well, at least he'd learned something. But he thought he'd better make Rodney a sandwich or he'll be jumpy forever.
John froze for a moment, remembering something Rodney had let drop. He kept walking alongside Rodney. "Does the entire science team really have Elizabeth's password?"
"Yes, of course. We need it." Rodney looked at him uncomprehendingly.
John gave an exasperated sigh and let his head fall back. He chuckled at the ceiling. "Oh man… we're just asking for trouble."