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Fic: Break-Out (Gen, PG)

Title: Break-Out
Author: elegantpi
Recipient: ceitie
Pairing: Gen
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Author's Notes: For ceitie, who wanted team and a jail-break. I hope this madness will bring you holiday cheer.
Summary: Sheppard is separated from his team, but he has to blackmail them into rescuing him.





The IM program on Rodney's laptop demanded his attention, although he was surely imagining the beeps increasing in length and volume as the little window flashed impatiently. In fact, he was pretty sure he'd turned the sound OFF earlier. But he couldn't be bothered to turn around to check the laptop or turn the stupid IM off again, because he'd just about got the code running for this simulation...


"Oh, all right!" Rodney snarled, and the other scientists in his general vicinity hid their aggravated looks behind laptop screens or reference books or by staring into some bit of equipment or other. Across the small lab, Zelenka raised an eyebrow at him over the top of his computer screen, and Rodney knew that his rival was well on his way to finishing his part of the coding, and Rodney was going to be out half a paycheck, thanks to the jerk who was distracting him by making his laptop beep every time he tried to get some real work done.

His IM screen was flooded with messages.

JSheppard: I'm bored.
JSheppard: Hey, are you there?
JSheppard: Ronon and Teyla aren't around either. Are they with you?
JSheppard: HELLO?
JSheppard: I'm going to make your laptop beep if you don't answer me.
JSheppard: There, see? beep!
JSheppard: Rodney.
JSheppard: Seriously, if you and Teyla and Ronon don't get me out of here, I'm going to put my hand on this wall here and make Atlantis do something really nasty. Like, maybe EXPLODE. Because I am THAT BORED.
JSheppard: You're not going to finish that code before Zelenka, so you might as well talk to me.

Rodney felt his jaw twinge – he was grinding his teeth again, he realized. My teeth are going to be ground down to the nerve if Carson doesn't let that menace out of the infirmary, he thought. He put the proper amount of coldness and disdain into his reply, to let Sheppard know his displeasure.

DrRMcKayPhD: I could have finished my coding before Zelenka finished his if I hadn't had so many interruptions, Colonel. What do you need?
JSheppard: I need to get out of here.
DrRMcKayPhD: Obviously, my question was rhetorical. You're probably still highly contagious and covered in unsightly purple splotches, not to mention that you probably smell like the infirmary. Just do what Carson says and you'll be out in no time.
JSheppard: I'm pretty sure there's a time dilation bubble over this infirmary, because hours last for days in here.
DrRMcKay: I have work to do. At the risk of sounding like a meaningless greeting card, I hope you feel better soon, Colonel, but I have to go now.

He shut down the IM program, but no sooner had he turned back to the other computer but he heard it pop up again. Sheppard had obviously been using his Pegasus plague-induced downtime to improve his hacking skills. Well, he couldn't do anything if the laptop was turned off and its wi-fi switch disabled.


"No way," Rodney muttered. He glared at the pop-up on his coding computer screen.

[I can find you anywhere.], it said.

"Done for the day!" He announced to the room at large, saving his code before Sheppard could mess with it and shutting the computer down.

Zelenka raised another brow at him. "And did you finish your code segment?" he asked. "After all, we intended to run the simulation..."

"No, I didn't finish it," Rodney sneered. "Yes, I owe you half my paycheck. No, it doesn't make you faster or smarter than me – it just means you have less to do with your day." And with that parting insult, he sallied forth out of the lab, wondering what he could do with his evening that didn't involve turning on a computer.


"Rodney? What are you doing?"

Rodney paused in his scribbling, looking up from a table covered in paper to see Ronon and Teyla standing in the doorway of his office. Behind him, one of the Ancient-style whiteboards stood covered from corner to corner with equations. "I'm... playing with an idea I had about the invariant subspace problem... Hilbert spaces, dense sets and such..."

Ronon gave him a blank look.

Teyla said, "Do you mean, a problem with subspace such as what is used in communications and space travel?" Rodney noticed that her hair was damp and disarrayed instead of neatly styled, and her mouth was pursed in a tight line, and her tone indicated that she really didn't care one way or another about subspace at the moment.

"No... a different kind of subspace, linear subspace. It's algebra..." Teyla glared at him. "Never mind. What's up?" He put down his pencil and waved them to move the books and journals off of the chairs taking up space on one side of the room. Neither of them did.

"My shower is cold, and my quarters do not appear to be receiving any hot water at all," Teyla said.

"My toilet has boiling water in it," said Ronon.

"What? That's impossible."

"I assure you," said Teyla, "It is not impossible. It is true."

"OK... I'll have Zelenka run a diagnostic."

"Can you not run one through your laptop, now?" Teyla gestured to the shelf where Rodney had stashed the traitorous thing for the evening.

Sighing, he reached to pull it down. "Have either of you talked to Sheppard today?"

"He was most persistent in emailing me, but I told him I had work to do," Teyla said. "I had Dr. Kavanaugh block his emails for me and keep that messaging program from installing itself."

"What? Kavanaugh did that?" Rodney huffed as the laptop booted.

Teyla nodded. "He was most helpful."

"I don't do email," Ronon said. "But Sheppard did send a nurse along with a message for me this afternoon."

"Oh?" Rodney replied.

"I forgot what it was she said, but we had a nice lunch together." Ronon gave him a feral grin, and Rodney rolled his eyes.

As soon as the operating system loaded: BEEP!

JSheppard: hey, whatcha doin'?

"Are you running the diagnostic?" Teyla asked, crossing her arms.

"Something like that," Rodney muttered.

DrRMcKayPhD: did you mess with the water in Ronon's and Teyla's quarters?
JSheppard: Are they there with you?
DrRMcKayPhD: ...yes. Ronon would like to not scald his ass when he sits down on his toilet, and Teyla would like to finish her shower with some of the hot water you diverted to Ronon's toilet.
JSheppard: That could be arranged... IF...
DrRMcKayPhD: ...if?
JSheppard: You break me out and we have a movie night. I'm not contagious, I SWEAR. They're just keeping me for observation.
DrRMcKay: You may not be contagious, but you are CONTAMINATED, and you'll infect us. And I do not want this "pestaelus puniceus" or whatever that crap it is that you and the others picked up god only knows where. So, no.
JSheppard: I'm pretty sure I can lock the mess hall doors AND the lab where you have your private coffee stash.

"Shit," said Rodney.

JSheppard: Also, I can kill you with my brain.

"What is it?" Teyla asked.

"It's Sheppard," Rodney said, spitting the name out like a dirty word. "He's just messing with you guys – and me – because he needs more attention than a sick two-year-old. He wants us to break him out of the infirmary and have a movie night."

"Oh, that's what he wants? Let's do it, then," said Ronon.

"Ronon." Teyla gave the man one of her Looks. "Colonel Sheppard is ill. He is possibly contagious. We are not going to help him "break out" of the infirmary. Carson assured me this afternoon that the colonel will be out of quarantine in a day or two. I'm sure Rodney can fix our quarters. There is no need to indulge Colonel Sheppard in his... antics."

"Actually," Rodney said, "I may not be able to fix it at all. I mean, I can fix it, but he can just put it right back like he wants it."


JSheppard: Hello? Are you still there?

"This is ridiculous." Teyla's voice was sharp and dangerous. She touched the earwig tucked behind her ear. "Carson? Yes, this is Teyla. Let me speak to Colonel Sheppard, please. Yes, I know Elizabeth ordered his radio taken away yesterday. I just need to speak with him for a moment. Thank you." She had the thing on personal speaker, so Rodney and Ronon couldn't hear the other side of the conversation.

JSheppard: Target... Acquired...

"John, hello," Teyla purred, her voice honey-sweet. "How are you feeling? Yes, Rodney said you were bored and in need of a friendly voice, so I had Carson bring you the radio for a minute." Pause. "No, you cannot keep the radio because you cannot be trusted not to bother people with it. Sorry, Elizabeth's orders. Now, I would like to talk to you about some anomalies in Atlantis' systems that you might inadvertently have caused in your... distress, because I am sure you would never treat your teammates in such a..." Her lips thinned until her mouth was almost a straight, sharp line, and Rodney wondered what Sheppard was saying to her.

DrRMcKayPhD: You're making her mad.
JSheppard: :) :) :) :) :)

"Very well, Colonel," Teyla said. "Please give the radio back to Carson."

"What's up?" Ronon leaned against the door frame, looking very amused at the whole situation.

Teyla sighed. "I think it would be beneficial to the colonel to be out of the infirmary for a while. His... confinement appears to be affecting both his mental and moral stability."

"What did he bribe you with?" Rodney asked. "Popcorn? Chocolate? A hunky fireman calendar? Or did he blackmail you? Does he have naked pictures of you?" Teyla narrowed her eyes at him, and he held up his hands. "OK, sorry I asked."

JSheppard: so, what's the plan, guys?


"So, that's the plan," Rodney finished. "Any questions?" They were in Rodney's quarters now. Several bags of coffee lined his shelves and covered the desk. he'd made them go by the lab and help him carry the coffee – just in case. Not that Sheppard couldn't lock him out of his quarters if he wanted...

"So, I put fake blood on my head, let Teyla walk me into the infirmary, and then just fall down?"

"Yes," Rodney said. He glanced sidewise at Teyla, who stood with her arms folded tightly against her chest.

"And then, five minutes later, I get up and leave, after you meet Sheppard with the invisibility cloak in the quarantine-area bathroom?"


"What if they don't want to let me leave?"

Rodney's eyes widened in disbelief. "Who is going to stop you?"

"Good point," said Ronon. "I think it's a stupid plan, though. I think you should be the one to get sick – you're always thinking you have some "condition" or other, and you can do your talk loud and fast thing."

"He does have a point," said Teyla.

"Yeah, but... I have to work the invisibility cloak!" Rodney protested.

"You just have to initialize it," Ronon said. "Teyla can use the invisibility cloak, or I can. We move quicker and quieter than you."

"I think this is a better plan," Teyla said.

"Oh, fine... spoil all my fun," Rodney snapped. "I didn't want to get so close to Colonel Purple Patches anyway."

"His 'purple patches' have all disappeared, Rodney," Teyla said. "I would not agree to do this if I truly thought he was still contagious. Pestaelis puniceus has usually run its course by this time, judging from when Colonel Sheppard first fell ill."

"Do you have the cloak?" Ronon asked.

"Right here," said Rodney, handing over the little cape of some flexible, energy-conducting material. He and Sheppard had discovered it just a few weeks ago, and he couldn't wait to get around to reverse-engineering the thing. That, and modifying the life signs detectors to separately identify each member of the expedition and put names to the dots...

"Rodney?" Teyla settled the cape around her shoulders as Rodney reached over to activate the device. Teyla's silhouette shimmered for a moment, then disappeared entirely.

"Ready?" Ronon said, and then he jumped and clapped a hand to the back of his thigh. "Hey!"

Rodney thought he heard a giggle.

"Well, come on," Teyla's disembodied voice chided them. "Let us get this over with."


"I don't know what's wrong with him," Ronon said in a tone of disinterest. "He just started..."

"Wheezing, I started wheezing," Rodney interrupted. Carson crossed his arms and eyed Rodney with blatant skepticism. "And then my lungs felt like they were collapsing... like now! Aagghh!!" He staggered dramatically across to an empty gurney and stretched out on it, waving his arms around to attract attention all the way over to the quarantine ward. "Nurse! Nurse!"

The quarantine nurse stared out from behind the plastic sheeting, and Carson waved her back to her station and rolled Rodney over roughly. "I feel as though I'm running a bloody nursery," Carson said through clenched teeth. "First the colonel, and now here you are. Maybe I should stick you in the quarantine ward, just to be on the safe side. At least you would be company for Colonel Sheppard."

Rodney saw the plastic curtaining sway gently, as though two people had edged past it. He hopped off the gurney. "Huh! Suddenly I feel fine! It must have just been an asthma attack, or a panic attack or something."

"Or something," Ronon said, clapping him on the back and causing Rodney to stagger.

"Something, indeed," Carson said, looking suspicious.

Something pinched the back of Rodney's thigh. Startled, he yelped and jumped, causing Carson and Ronon both to step hastily away from him. "Cramp," he said, rubbing the sore spot. "just a cramp. Ronon, maybe you could walk with me to my quarters, just in case I have another... episode."

"Sure," Ronon said. "Thanks, Doc."

"Not a problem," Carson said, looking nonplussed. "I'll just be getting back to my work, now."

Rodney limped out into the hallway, with Ronon close behind. "We'd better hurry," Rodney said. "I'm pretty sure Carson suspects something."

"Suspects that you're an idiot," said Ronon.

"Shut up, caveman."


"Oh, now where did you learn that word?"


"Ronon, that is just low."


"I don't see why he gets to choose the movie," Rodney pouted, as John grinned around at all of them, holding up the box set of the Terminator movies. "We rescued him - so we should choose!"

They were in Teyla's quarters – the place least likely for Elizabeth or Carson to come looking for Sheppard, because Teyla was sweet and innocent and responsible and would never do something like break a man out of an official quarantine, regardless of the fact that the disease was non-lethal in nature and really just a week of annoyance and interruption of work. Teyla was in the kitchenette making popcorn, and Sheppard was hopping about like a Labrador retriever just let out of its kennel after a week.

"By 'we' you mean 'you'?" Ronon asked.

"Because I'm your boss, that's why," Sheppard said.

"No," Teyla corrected him, walking to the sofa area, popcorn bowl in hand, "It is because these are my quarters, and I happen to wish to see these movies."

"Sit down, McKay," Ronon said.

"Oh, fine." He grabbed a handful of popcorn and bounced a piece off of Sheppard's hair.

Just then, Teyla's door chimed. "Invisibility cloak," Rodney snapped, throwing the cape over Sheppard. It activated immediately, and Sheppard shimmered out of the visible light spectrum. "Get off the sofa – you're making a huge colonel-shaped dent in the cushion. Go stand in the corner," Rodney hissed at him.

Teyla glanced over to assure herself of Sheppard's invisibleness, then answered the door. "Elizabeth! Carson! We were just about to watch a movie. Would you care to join us?"

Elizabeth stepped through the door and peered around her, followed by Carson. "Uh... no, Teyla, thank you," she said. "Rodney, Ronon." She gave them each a nod, along with a searching look.

Carson fixed Rodney with an evil, knowing eye, and Rodney reddened and stuffed a large handful of popcorn into his mouth. "We're looking for Colonel Sheppard," he said. "He seems to have... disappeared from the quarantine ward."

"Ohf, gof," Rodney mumbled around his mouthful. "Heef gong do if-fec uff aw."


"Don't talk with your mouth full, Rodney," Teyla said, smiling at Elizabeth. "We have not seen Colonel Sheppard lately. I wonder what could possess him to leave the quarantine?"

"Heef bun drifing me craffy," Rodney pointed out. "Wiff fee comfufer."

"You're going to choke," Ronon said. "If we see him, should we take any quarantine precautions when we deliver him back to you?"

Carson sighed. "I really don't think it's necessary," he said. "It's likely he's not contagious at all. I just can't for the life of me figure out how he got out without me seeing him."

"Well," said Elizabeth. "I don't have to remind all of you that this little plague has cost us several hundred work hours and has left us understaffed and under-defended. Colonel Sheppard should know that the health of our teams is the most important priority. If you see him, tell him I'm looking for him." Her voice held the promise of pain, and Rodney thought he saw the air in the corner shudder just a little bit.

"If we see him, we will return him immediately," Teyla assured her.

"Thank you. Enjoy your movie."

After the door slid closed behind the two Sheppard-hunters, the source of the trouble did not immediately reappear. Teyla seemed to levitate in the air for a moment, and then she did some acrobatic twisty thing that caused the air to yowl in pain as she landed on her feet. Then Sheppard reappeared, rubbing his shoulder. "Ow," he said, and Teyla grinned at him.

"I think we should try sparring with this invisibility cloak," she said. "It would be a most interesting experiment."

"No," Rodney said, "you'll break it."

"Yeah, what he said," said Sheppard, cradling his arm. "OK, are we ready?"

"Ready," Ronon said, settling the disc into the dvd player.

"This is the life," Sheppard said, jumping over the back of the sofa, settling into his spot and snagging the popcorn bowl from Rodney. Teyla joined them on the sofa, and Ronon stretched out on the rug at their feet.

Rodney nudged Sheppard with his elbow. "It's good to have you back."

"Thanks for the rescue, buddy. Thanks to all of you."

"Like you gave us any choice," Rodney muttered, grabbing back the popcorn bowl.

"C'mon, it was fun," Sheppard protested.

"It was fun," Ronon agreed.

"OK, maybe a little," Rodney said.

"Shhhh!" said Teyla.


Two weeks later...

"Rodney, stop scratching," Teyla snapped.

"It itches," Rodney whined, wrapping his purple-splotched arm up in the sheet. To his left, Teyla's purple-splotched face held a murderous expression as she settled back on her pillow.

"If I had known," Teyla said through clenched teeth, "that the contagion period for pestaelis puniceus lasted twice as long in humans as in Athosians, I would never have agreed to come into contact with the colonel, even if I had had to take cold showers for a week."

"My head hurts, I'm trying to sleep, and your voice is really shrill," Ronon moaned from the bed to Rodney's right.

"It serves you all right," said Carson through his mask, poking his head through the plastic strips. "You have a visitor," he added, and they all groaned.

Colonel Sheppard pushed aside the plastic with a foot and edged into the quarantine area. He was carrying a tray with various platters and bowls. "I come bearing gifts," he said.

Teyla rolled onto her side. "We are not speaking to you," she said, her voice muffled by her pillow.

"I'll speak to you if you brought me blue jello," Rodney said, and Sheppard produced a cup of blue jello and a spoon with a magician's flourish.

"Ronon, you want anything?" Sheppard asked, his tone entirely too cheerful, in Rodney's opinion. "I've got a tava bean curry, some kind of stew, jello, apple pie..."

"Go away," Ronon said. "I want to sleep."

"I'm really, really sorry," Sheppard said. "I had no idea."

Teyla rolled over. "I will accept your apology if you give me the apple pie," she said, and Sheppard did, with a grin.

"I'll accept your apology if everyone will shut up and let me sleep," Ronon snarled.

"Sorry, buddy," Sheppard said. He distributed the food between Rodney and Teyla, taking a plate for himself, then hopped up on a bed beside hers, settling himself cross-legged and balancing his plate on one knee.

"What are you doing?" Teyla asked.

"Since you guys are all here, I might as well be here, too," Sheppard replied. "Apparently, once you've had pestaelis pucineus, you're immune. So I'll just keep you company."

"I thought you hated this place," Rodney said. "You blackmailed us into breaking you out."

"Yeah, but that was when you guys weren't here," Sheppard pointed out. Teyla smiled at him. The apple pie must have cheered her up a lot.

"Sheppard," Ronon growled, "if you don't shut up, I will throw you out."

"OK, sorry." Sheppard settled back on the bed, folded his hands over his stomach, and closed his eyes. After a moment, Teyla and Rodney did the same.


( 35 comments — Leave a comment )
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<<[1] [2] >>
Dec. 16th, 2010 07:57 pm (UTC)

Love it! Cute team. I needed a pick-me-up this morning, and this was a delightful burst of laughter.
Jan. 11th, 2011 07:47 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm glad it made you laugh.
Dec. 16th, 2010 08:26 pm (UTC)
Cute and fun!
Jan. 11th, 2011 07:47 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
Dec. 16th, 2010 09:13 pm (UTC)
Very cute. :)
Jan. 11th, 2011 07:47 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much. :)
Dec. 16th, 2010 10:41 pm (UTC)
Looove this! Team rock! Lol
Jan. 11th, 2011 07:48 pm (UTC)
Team 4EVAR! :D Thanks for reading!
Dec. 17th, 2010 03:00 am (UTC)
Thank you, Santa, this is wonderful! I love John tormenting his team through technology until they give in and agree to break him out, and I want to know as much as Rodney what he blackmailed Teyla with to get her to help! :D And then of course he gets them all sick, but jello and apple pie do make things better.

Thanks again for the story!
Jan. 11th, 2011 07:51 pm (UTC)
I have NO idea what John has on Teyla, but Rodney's next mission will be to hack John's computer and email account to find out, which will result in a hacking competition between the two of them. This will end up affecting Atlantis's systems, Elizabeth will be annoyed, Teyla and Ronon will be amused, and Zelenka will grumble about cleaning up the mess.

Teyla is becoming quite addicted to Earth foods. The Athosians have adapted and coaxed apple trees to life on New Athos so that there can be apple pie in abundance.

I'm so glad you enjoyed it! I hope your new year is off to an awesome start!
Dec. 17th, 2010 06:00 am (UTC)
Very sweet...and very John-like.
Jan. 11th, 2011 07:52 pm (UTC)
John is a little shit - but he's an adorable little shit, so they let him live. XD Thank you for reading!
Dec. 17th, 2010 03:00 pm (UTC)
LOL!! Priceless! Nothing worse than a bored John...!!
Jan. 11th, 2011 07:54 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it! No, nothing worse or more dangerous, unless it's him and Rodney being bored together and coming up with crazy ideas on how to not be bored... :D
(no subject) - leesa_perrie - Jan. 11th, 2011 08:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 17th, 2010 08:18 pm (UTC)
Awwww. Team!
Jan. 11th, 2011 07:54 pm (UTC)
Team forever! :D Thank you for reading!
Dec. 18th, 2010 03:58 am (UTC)
Oh for cute! And I can totally buy it. Every word. Sheppard would channel his inner 6-year-old if stuck alone in quarantine for a week...

Very fun story!

Jan. 11th, 2011 07:55 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! He's perfectly content to stay in there once he ropes the rest of the team in. :D
Dec. 18th, 2010 06:30 am (UTC)
Adorable! I love bored, but sinisterly smart, Sheppard.
Jan. 11th, 2011 07:57 pm (UTC)
I don't think I've ever made myself laugh while writing a fic before - I don't do humor very well, usually - but it was the Most Fun Ever trying to think of the million ways John could annoy Rodney and the rest of the team into doing his bidding. Rodney was going to have Carson take away John's laptop, but he feared what might happen when John didn't have even that to occupy him... :D
Dec. 18th, 2010 06:23 pm (UTC)
Hilarious and adorable! I cracked up at the last part! Shep is such a baby. ;)
Jan. 11th, 2011 07:57 pm (UTC)
He really is! I'm glad this made you laugh! Thank you for reading. :D
Dec. 18th, 2010 09:46 pm (UTC)
A bored Sheppard is a pest to his team... he just likes to keep them company.
Jan. 11th, 2011 07:58 pm (UTC)
All he wanted was to hang out and watch movies and eat jello with them. :D Thank you for reading!
Dec. 23rd, 2010 08:14 pm (UTC)
An invisibility cloak! Cool! :D
And I totally knew how it would end. Team &hearts
Jan. 11th, 2011 08:00 pm (UTC)
It's better than Harry Potter's invisibility cloak, 'cause it's like a cape instead of a blanket! :D Oh, yes... you knew they were headed to the infirmary in the end. I don't envy Sheppard when Ronon and Teyla are well enough to spar with him again. Thank you for reading! :)
Dec. 27th, 2010 08:30 pm (UTC)
"Heef bun drifing me craffy," Rodney pointed out. "Wiff fee comfufer."

Hee! The comfufer!

This was fun and teamy. And it's nice to see John being playful and smart, even if it is in a totally annoying way. He sent Teyla's hot water to Ronon's toilet! That's very creative.
Jan. 11th, 2011 08:02 pm (UTC)
Using popcorn to distract everyone from his Guilty Face - Rodney, Rodney, Rodney. I hate to think of what other shenanigans John might have gotten up to if they hadn't decided to break him out when they did. :D Thank you for reading!
Dec. 30th, 2010 04:27 pm (UTC)
Really good...funny and cheerful. Thanks.
Jan. 11th, 2011 08:03 pm (UTC)
Thank you for reading! I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)
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( 35 comments — Leave a comment )


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