John knew that Elizabeth was not going to be happy about this latest accident with Ancient tech. Hell, no one was going to be happy about this. Shaking his head, he tried to clear it, but the noise was just too piercing, “Rodney, please calm down. I’m moving as fast as I can and we are almost at the infirmary. Shhh.”
Everyone he passed in the halls was looking at him and Rodney as if they had grown a second head, but, well… Who could blame them? Not him, that was for sure, he decided. Murmuring what he hoped were soothing sounds into Rodney’s ear he turned into medical and waved his free hand at one of the nurses to get her attention. When she looked up, more because of the noise that Rodney was making than his gesture, she seemed to be very shocked to see the two of them. Well he didn’t have time to deal with hand-holding her through that right now, “Could you go get Dr. Beckett, please? Dr. McKay and I need him. Also after that, I need you to call Dr. Zelenka in here as well.”
“Uhm, sure. Right. I’ll just go do that,” the nurse stuttered. John stared after her briefly to make sure she was actually going, but Rodney was not happy to have his attention move to anyone else and started wailing even louder. Which was not something he needed right by his ear, thank you!
“What the hell is tha’ racket? What is a baby doing on Atlantis? And what is wrong with him?” called Carson as he walked out of his office. Taking in the scene before him, he looked startled and slightly confused, “What the hell happened? Why is that babe so upset and who the hell are ye?”
Crap. John sighed at that. It seemed as if he really hadn’t gotten off scot free from the whole event, and Carson wasn’t making the connections, despite his uniform not changing. Drawing in a deep breath, John tried to make things a bit clearer, “Hi Carson! I’m John, this is Rodney and he touched something that he shouldn’t have and we now have a problem. Help!” John jiggled Rodney again, desperately trying to distract him from screaming.
“Bloody hell. What happed to the two of ye? And have ye talked to Radek about this?” And moving towards them quickly, Carson gently took Rodney out of John’s arms. “Here lad, quite ye’re yelling. We’ll get this figured out and fix ye up right as rain,” gagging slightly as he caught a whiff of Rodney’s nether regions, he turned a bit green. “But first it seems that ye need to be cleaned up. Both of ye. Michelson, please get the Colonel a set of clean scrubs.”
“Oh, thank goodness.” John slumped in relief as Carson took over. Trying not to smell his shirt, he gratefully took the set of scrubs and went off to change and get a quick scrub. Rodney was in good hands. Safe hands. Hands that knew how to hold him without causing problems or causing panic. Ten minutes later after a very quick shower and a short goggle at the mirror, John stepped out of the locker room just off the infirmary to a much quieter room and a very puzzled group gathered around a hospital bed. And all of them turned to look at him.
“So I am guessing you all want some answers?” John asked, rubbing at the back of his neck.
“Well yes, that would be nice for a change. So start talking, Colonel.” Elizabeth was being every inch the leader of Atlantis now, not his friend. But that was okay, he could deal with that.
“There was a new set of rooms discovered in section B, sublevel 2 and Rodney and I got together a squad and went to investigate. We took one room and everyone else was detailed to look at the others. They’re all fine, by the way. Anyway, we entered into our designated room, and started investigating. Rodney picked up this thing that looked like a coffee carafe, and wham, bam, here we are. Rodney is a baby and I’ve lost around 20 years. So can we please fix this?”
Pushing up his glasses, Radek looked intrigued, “Fascinating. You will show me this coffee carafe and point to where Rodney touched. We will go now,” and grabbing John’s arm, he started steering him out of room.
“Uhm Radek, I don’t think that Carson is going to let me go that easily,” John tried to dig his heels in, but it seemed that he was currently lighter than Radek and that meant the Czech could easily drag him along.
“Eh, I don’t think so lad. The Colonel needs to get some tests done before I let him loose, you know that. Anyone who gets exposed to an operating, unknown Ancient device has to get cleared by my department before they can return to duty. So Colonel, hop up here and let’s get started,” and patting the hospital bed next to baby Rodney, Carson smiled, certain that he would be obeyed.
Sighing slightly in agreement, John moved over to the bed and gazed down at his best friend. Said best friend didn’t look like he was in the best of moods, but at least he looked less miserable than he had when the two of them had entered the infirmary. While he had been taking care of himself, someone had taken the time to clean up Rodney and put a diaper on him, which must have been a lot of fun for everyone. Not. Climbing up onto the bed, John tried to keep it from shaking and disturbing the baby. It didn’t work and Rodney started to cry again, but not at the same decibel level as he had before, thank goodness.
“Hey Carson, has anyone bothered to get Rodney something to eat? It’s been a long time since breakfast and I know that I’m hungry, so I’m betting that Rodney is too.”
Nodding in agreement, Carson waved at one of his nurses, obviously passing along the request. His expression concerned, he took a hard look at them, “How many hours has it been since he last ate?”
“Like I said, breakfast. There may have been a power bar or two in there, but that’s been it.” John confirmed as he gathered up his friend and cuddled him close. For his pains, he got smacked in the chest, hard. “Ow. That hurt, Rodney. Carson is working on getting you something to eat so hold your horses.”
Gazing down at the crumpled red face of the baby in his arms, John could tell that he wasn’t all that thrilled with the idea, so he was taking it out on the closest person he could. In this case, that person was John. When the nurse arrived at his side with a warm bottle, John took it gratefully and tried to see if Rodney was interested. Apparently hunger won out over pride and as soon as this nipple touched his tongue, he latched on and started sucking down the food for all he was worth.
Elizabeth cleared her throat and John looked up guiltily. “I’ll be checking in with Carson on your condition and will coordinate with Radek on figuring out what happened. Try to keep Rodney calm, okay John?”
“Yes, ma’am.” So occasionally he actually bothered to obey orders, and well, this one he actually agreed with. “Radek, the coffee carafe thing is on a table in the middle of the room and it is bright pink. You really can’t miss it.”
Nodding in thanks for the information, Radek started towards the nearest exit and then paused, “Perhaps Carson can get you a laptop so you can look in database to see if there is a match to carafe, yes?”
“Sounds like a plan. But I am willing to bet that will be after I am finished with my tests.” Radek nodded at that and continued out the door. John looked down at Rodney again and saw that he had finished his bottle. Grabbing the pillow at the head of the bed, he shook it out of its case and flipped the impromptu shield over his shoulder, he had gotten dirty once today thanks to Rodney’s new lack of bodily control, and he wasn’t going to do it again. Carefully maneuvering him up to his shoulder, John started rubbing and patting his back, hoping that any burp Rodney produced would be without spit-up. When he finally did manage to burp, it was very loud in his ear, but thankfully without vomit.
Carefully placing Rodney back in his lap, John looked up at Carson, “So, Doc. How many tests are you going to run on us?”
Grinning at the faintly martyred tone of voice, Carson gazed back at the two of them, “Oh, loads lad. But they shouldn’t take too long. Let’s get started, shall we?”
Exchanging a look of unhappy trepidation with his currently babified best friend, John took a deep breath and agreed.