|'Little Bear' by Kellifer_fic
||[Feb. 4th, 2006|12:43 am]
While waiting for my stuff to be beta'd, *superfox* shooed me away by saying "Go write something John/Rodney for me, and make it fluffy"
I took her literally. She's going to hurt me.
Title: Little Bear
Rating: PGish... if even.
Disclaimer: Don't own, don't sue. Yadda.
Summary: “Yes, Rodney?” Elizabeth’s voice chirped brightly and Rodney sighed. They’d been having such a good, incident-free week and he hated to ruin it.
“Doctor Weir, we have a… slight problem.”
Rodney McKay almost always regretted asking as soon as it popped out of his mouth, not because he didn’t want to know, but invariably because someone would try to actually answer him which always led to headaches and more yelling.
Despite this fact, when he entered the science lab and saw a small polar bear cub sitting on one of the lab tables, hind feet jutting out on either side and front paws flat in front and with a strip of fur between the ears that was strangely longer than the rest and therefore stood up spiky and tousled, it popped out of his mouth, just like always.
“What the hell happened, and I’d better get an answer that doesn’t involve that,” he pointed at the bear who just blinked at him impassively, “Actually being Colonel Sheppard!”
He looked about the room at the six other scientists who all suddenly found their shoes absolutely fascinating.
“Don’t all explain at once,” Rodney threw up his hands and glared around until one of the new recruits, a five-foot nothing woman with brown curly hair who he thought was named Haley or Halley, stepped forward. She looked terrified and guilty and had a small device in her hands. Rodney leaned forward and snatched it out of her grasp.
“The Atlantean translation on the symbols was wrong,” she said in a rush. “The first setting was translated to say ‘small bar’ so we thought that was a low setting. As you can see,” she said waving a hand in the tiny animal’s direction, “it most probably says small bear.”
“This,” Rodney said, tapping a finger on the device’s top. “Was in that box over there!” He pointed behind himself to a red box in the corner of the room that had crude skull and crossbones drawn on it. Haley/Halley paled.
“N…no it wasn’t. It was in the green box,” the girl said, her eyes huge. Indicating with a wave the green crate on one of the other lab tables that had a smiley face inscribed in big thick marker.
“No, it was in the red box. One of the linguists came down and got it last night and I toldhim to make sure he put it in the right box when he was finished translating the inscriptions.”
“Oh, it’s not our fault then,” Haley/Halley said brightly, the other scientists all sagging in relief until they noticed that Rodney’s face had flushed red.
“Do you not see that we have a polar bear cub for a military leader! I don’t care whose fault it is, I just want it fixed!”
The polar bear, John, Rodney amended mentally, flopped down on the table and rested his head on his front paws, looking thoroughly unimpressed.
I know how you feel buddy, Rodney thought darkly as he tapped his radio.
“Yes, Rodney?” Elizabeth’s voice chirped brightly and Rodney sighed. They’d been having such a good, incident free week and he hated to ruin it.
“Doctor Weir, we have a… slight problem.”
Rodney was reassured that Zelenka had arrived and was working on the problem as he turned back to face Elizabeth who was standing opposite him, arms crossed and face stern. Rodney was trying to give her his full attention but was a little distracted by a very determined Colonel chewing the bottom of his pants leg with tiny teeth, giving a small growl and a yank every now and again for good measure.
“If this is a slight problem, I hope I never see something you class as a catastrophe,” Elizabeth mused.
“Believe me, I understand the gravity of the situation.”
“So, explain to me why we can’t just use the device to turn him back?” Elizabeth asked, knowing there would be some issue with doing just that. She’d learned from hard experience that nothing was ever easy in the Pegasus Galaxy. She felt something nudge her own leg and looked down to see John had fallen back on his rump and was leaning against her, looking up at her with big, soulful eyes. Elizabeth couldn’t resist, she leant down and rubbed a hand over his fuzzy head and received a pleased-sounding grumph noise in response.
“Oh, for heaven’s sake!” Rodney exclaimed and Elizabeth started guiltily. She knew it was probably bad form to pat the leader of her military, even if he was a small, fuzzy white bear.
“Sorry, go on,” she prompted.
“That device was in the ‘No’ box-“
“No box?” Elizabeth raised an eyebrow.
“It was originally called the no-touching-on-pain-of-death box, but we shortened it.”
“Right, small Ancient technology goes in the ‘No’ box if we think it’s broken or defective in some way. The device that changed John only had one working setting so far as our tests could conclude so we didn’t want to actually turn it on until we knew more. We have a lot of tech to work through so it got thrown in the ‘No’ box.”
“So you think the only setting that is actually working…”
“Is the ‘small bear’ setting. Yes.”
Elizabeth looked mortified but Rodney held up his hands.
“Don’t worry, we’ll fix it. We’ll fix him.”
“Do polar bears eat paper?” Zelenka asked from behind Rodney.
“Not that I know of,” Rodney responded. He was bent over the results of the initial tests on the device but hadn’t found anything as yet.
“Ah, you might be wanting to tell him that, yes?”
“What?” Rodney turned to see John had tipped over the rubbish bin and was pawing his way through the piles of paper he had liberated, worrying the bigger pieces into smaller strips whenever he found them. “Stop that!” Rodney ordered but John merely blinked at him and then went back to his destructive game.
“You’ve been working on this twelve hours and I think small bear needs food.”
“Are you throwing me out?” Rodney demanded and Zelenka smiled tiredly.
“I’m throwing little fuzzy Colonel out. You’re bonus.”
Rodney looked back at the schematics but had to admit that he hadn’t devoted the kind of time to the smaller devices they’d found that he would have in order to be more effective in the work they were undertaking. He looked over at Hayley, he’d finally checked the correct name, and sighed in defeat. She did nothing but work on this kind of thing and with Zelenka he knew it would be in good hands.
Not that he would ever admit to that.
“Fine,” Rodney sighed. He crossed the room and leaned down, scooping arms around John’s belly and heaving him upward. John let out a plaintive wail and waved his too-big paws at the paper still left unmolested but Rodney just tucked him under one arm and headed out.
The cafeteria was relatively deserted when Rodney arrived which he was grateful for. He carried John up to the food service section and the server raised an eyebrow and then jerked in surprise when the big fuzzy white ball of fur he’d taken for a toy let out a low growl and shook its head.
“It’s just the Colonel,’ Rodney offered by way of explanation and Arthur, a man who had been nuking the life out of all their meals since the beginning of the Atlantean expedition simply nodded and shrugged.
“I’ve got some fish the Athosians just sent over I was going to fix for tomorrow night. You can try him on those if you like.”
Rodney nodded gratefully and only a few minutes later he was sitting down to a chicken pot pie and John was devouring with gusto a large mixing bowl full of roughly chopped up Atlantean fish, making little contented growling noises all the while that Rodney couldn’t help but grin at.
“What the hell is that?” A gruff voice demanded behind him and Rodney turned to see Ronon standing about a foot away, looking at John in horror.
“It’s just John. There was… an accident.”
“We have creatures that look like that on Sateda. They eat feet.”
Rodney blinked. “Only feet?”
“Isn’t that bad enough?”
Rodney McKay, who was pretty sure his brilliance could not be measured by normal means and thought the word genius too general for someone with such a once in a generation mind, still found himself occasionally stumped and more alarmingly, by Ronon.
“Um, I guess it is. Look, it’s John. He’s harmless.” Rodney leaned forward to rub John’s head, who snapped playfully at his fingers before resuming his meal.
“Oh sure, this one just eats hands,” Ronon said, looking unconvinced.
“Look, I need sleep. Can you take him for a while?” Rodney asked but Ronon took a step backwards with his hands out in a warding off gesture. He noticed what he was doing, raised eyebrows and then tucked his hands behind his back out of harms way.
Rodney looked down and noticed that John had fallen fast asleep, head in the bowl of fish and front paws curled on either side.
“Oh for God’s sake!” Rodney huffed.
As soon as Teyla’s door had opened she had a small, fuzzy and white wriggling form thrust at her. “What is this?” she asked, her stern expression melting as soon as John tucked his fuzzy face into the crook of her elbow and snuffled happily.
“It’s John. Need sleep. Explain later,” Rodney said, waving his hands and backing out of the doorway. He heard Teyla calling after him but knew it would be folly to turn around.
When Rodney needed to, he moved like the wind.
When Rodney awoke, it was pitch black in his room. He was having trouble breathing and there was a very fishy smell assailing his nostrils. Rodney thought lights and Atlantis obliged him, bringing them up slowly so as not to blind him.
He looked down at his chest and saw John, sprawled belly to belly with his short legs dangling over Rodney’s sides. He had his head tucked under Rodney’s chin and every now and again would lift it to yawn widely. At that exact moment there would be a blast of very potent fish breath.
“My god, you need a breath mint,” Rodney complained sourly, but couldn’t help reaching up a hand and resting it on John’s head, idly scratching through the rakish patch of fur between his ears. John stretched into the scratching and managed to upend himself off Rodney, rolling sideways with an undignified yip.
He looked sideways as John righted himself and saw that his earpiece was blinking. He put it on after it narrowly avoided death by polar bear when John lunged at the piece of small technology he had yet to chew. Teyla’s voice snapped into his ear.
“Yes! What?” he demanded. John had rolled to the end of the bed and was looking curiously over the end, presenting Rodney with a fuzzy rump. “Oh that’s just charming,” he sighed.
“-ppard.” Teyla had said something else and he’d missed it.
“Come again?” Rodney prompted as John bear tumbled back up the bed and landed with his head resting on Rodney’s side. He propped his chin on Rodney’s stomach and let loose another fishy yawn.
“I said, I lost Colonel Sheppard! It seems Atlantis responds to him just as quickly in this form and-“
“He’s here,” Rodney said, cutting off Teyla’s worried tone.
“Oh, good! I am with Doctor Zelenka who says he should have an answer in approximately six hours. He suggested you keep John occupied till then and out of the science lab.”
“Fine,” Rodney sighed, knowing he wasn’t going to get out of John-sitting duty that day unless he could corral some marines. He looked down at John. “So, breakfast?” he suggested. John just looked up at him and casually scratched his ear with his hind paw and Rodney had a momentary lapse where he wondered if the human John Sheppard were that flexible and then slapped his hands over his eyes.
“I’m a very bad man,” he sighed as John very attentively and with great concentration, began to chew his knee.
“They swim, don’t they?” Laura Cadman had heard the rumours that there was a polar bear cub for a military commander and had managed to track Rodney down with ruthless efficiency. She always seemed to be able to find him and Rodney wondered worriedly if that were a side affect of their small time together.
“What?” he said, distracted because John was devouring his body weight in diced fish and was making the cutest little growling…
Oh crap, Rodney thought, I’m done for.
Laura reached out and tapped John’s wet nose, who looked up at her and snuffled before diving back head first into the bowl. “Polar bears, they swim. Take him out to the east pier and let him tire himself out.”
Which is why, half an hour later, Rodney was stepping out on the East balcony. John was squirming so much that Rodney finally relented and put him down and John was off with a kind of diagonal shuffling gait that had Rodney giggling like a small child.
The giggles dried up when Rodney noticed John was headed right for the edge.
“No!” Rodney yelled but it was too late. John had dived off the edge of the pier in a form of bear belly-flop and Rodney heard a splash and then more furious splashing. He skidded to a halt at the edge and looked over, relieved to see John bobbing around contently on the surface before diving down and resurfacing.
Rodney sighed heavily and sat down on the edge of the pier, feet dangling over the edge. One of his shoelaces hit the water and John was on it in a second, trying to kill it for all that he was worth.
Rodney pulled it out of his grasp and John followed it relentlessly until Rodney had given in and made a game of it, trailing his foot in a lazy figure eight so John could duck and pursue. His radio clicked and he allowed John to win and capture the shoelace as he answered.
“You can bring small bear to lab now. We think we have something,” Zelenka sounded chipper and Rodney smiled and then noticed that the only way back onto dry land was a ladder which he was pretty sure John would not be able to navigate.
With a put-upon sigh, Rodney lay down flat on his stomach and leaned over the side to retrieve a sodden John.
Definitely worked Zelenka had said. Just might take a few days for the effects to wear off
Three weeks later, Rodney’s room was a bear playground, everything not above bear level in one of three states.
Zelenka kept assuring give it just one more day and Rodney wondered if he would be giving it one more day for years to come. He had to admit though, he’d gotten used to having the little guy around, especially since he’d coaxed John off sleeping on his chest and now John curled up in a neat little ball, tucked between Rodney’s side and his arm.
Rodney leaving tubes of toothpaste to be chewed on before bedtime assisted with the fish breath as well.
Rodney awoke at four in the morning on the first day of the fourth week with weight on his chest once more. He reached up a hand blindly with the familiar John, no admonishment on his lips when his hand encountered warm skin, a length of arm that, on further exploration, joined a nicely defined shoulder and a broad expanse of back.
“Holy crap!” Rodney squawked, launching himself out of bed.
John rose onto one elbow looking blearily at Rodney, then down at his current state of undress then back at Rodney. A lazy smirk crept over his features like the sun over the horizon and he flopped back down on the bed.
“Okay, I’m sorry to say I don’t actually remember it, but I gotta say, well, finally.”
Rodney was looking down at a thoroughly un-freaked out John Sheppard, naked in his bed and thought huh, not just me then.
He wasn’t about to look a gift horse in the mouth, or bear, so to speak.
“Listen,” Rodney began as he sank back onto the bed and one of John’s hands traveled up his arm and curled around his neck. “You’re going to hear some pretty strange stories about the last three weeks.” He shivered when John’s fingers lightly carded through the hair at the nape of his neck.
“Just remember, you being naked in my bed? Big yay for me.”
John’s smile was warm but then a frown creased his brow. “I have the strangest craving for fish and mint toothpaste,” he said.
Made by crazybitchqueen