Disclaimer: I do not own Stargate Atlantis and no infringement was intended, just having some fun with the characters
Spoiler Alert: No Spoilers
Summary: John gets in an accident and conflict ensues. John and Rodney both get whumped and its set during the time Elizabeth and Carson still inhabit Atlantis.
Beta: Isobel Kelte
It was a complete accident. Of course, everyone else automatically assumed he had been doing something he shouldn't. John himself was the first to admit the circumstances were suspicious, but still he hadn't been doing something he shouldn't have been doing.
He had been teaching some of the new arrivals from the Daedalus how to fly the puddle jumpers. He had them practice landing the jumpers on one of the piers on the city. Lorne had been helping, and everyone was enjoying themselves, though they made sure that everyone followed proper protocol.
Sheppard decided to have Lorne and himself demonstrate some more complicated maneuvers for the recruits to show them what the puddle jumpers were capable of. So, Sheppard was alone in Jumper One, while Lorne was in Jumper Five. It started out according to plan, but…well…do things ever end according to plan? They had shown their moves over the skies of Atlantis, and a bunch of people were out watching them, besides the recruits they were training.
The event had a sort of air show quality about it, and if Sheppard and Lorne had shown off a little more than necessary, who could blame them? They had just finished their stunts and were coming in for a landing. Both were diving, having every intention of smoothly pulling out of the dive with more than enough time to land on the deck.
However, Sheppard's jumper started speeding up. He tried to slow it down, but it continued to gain in speed. With a monumental effort he managed to pull it out of the dive just before it would have hit the pier, but the jumper was not fully responding to Sheppard's commands, so it hurtled out of control into the side of a building on Atlantis. The crash was not nearly as bad as it could have been, but the resulting horrendous noise bore witness to how bad it still was.
John had been stunned by the crash, and felt bruised all over, but by the time everyone reached his jumper he had pulled himself together and lowered the ramp.
As he stepped out he saw that a great deal of people were approaching him in a hurry, and near the front of the pack was Elizabeth.
She gave him a quick onceover, and seeing that he appeared all right in a voice that was tight with anger, she said, "What where you thinking!"
"…Huh?" he asked, still not firing on all cylinders because of the crash.
"You choose to show off to everyone by racing Lorne down, when you should be setting a good example on the responsibility needed in flying puddle jumpers, and in that showing off you crash the jumper into the city, and then you ask me 'huh'!"
John had not seen Elizabeth that mad in a long time, and realized that a lot of people were watching as she chastised him. He felt a hint of embarrassment, and straightened himself up as if standing at attention.
"I was not trying to race Lorne down. Something happened to the controls and they refused to respond to my commands."
Elizabeth gave him a look of complete incredulity.
She opened her mouth and then shut it clearly holding in some angry retort. Taking a deep breath she said, "Why don't we speak in my office, Colonel?"
"That would be fine, Dr. Weir," responded Sheppard in an equally calm voice that belayed the underling anger.
Not wanting to make a scene…besides, you know, crashing the jumper…he made his way to her office. Everyone could tell that she was as mad as a hornet, and John felt frustrated by it all.
When they reached the office, John stood at attention, waiting for Elizabeth to speak. Though usually they were able to mesh their dual roles of friends and commanders, there were times when those roles just conflicted. Apparently, this was going to be one of those times.
"John, you promised me when I agreed to this that neither you, or Lorne, or any of the other pilots would do anything dangerous or foolish. I even let you and Lorne do the crazy stunts, because I trusted you to know both your own limits and the limits of your jumper. So, how do you explain crashing one of the jumpers, which we can't get more of when they break I might add, into the city?"
In a tightly controlled voice he said, "I told you. The controls weren't responding to my commands to slow down and pull up. I did agree to your terms, and I followed them. It's not my fault the jumper wasn't responding."
"John, do you seriously expect me to believe that after managing all sorts of intricate and complicated moves, all of a sudden they didn't respond, right when you were getting the chance to race against Lorne?"
Tightlipped, John said, "Yes."
"John, I'd like to believe you, but it just doesn't add up. You two have been joking about which is the faster pilot for weeks now, and here was a perfect chance to prove it, yet I had asked you specifically not to do that. I didn't want anyone to get the impression that these jumpers are play toys."
"Which is why I didn't do it. Honestly, Elizabeth, something happened with the controls."
"Fine. If that is what you want me to believe," she said in a way that clearly said she didn't believe him.
"Is that all, Dr. Weir?" Sheppard asked while still standing at attention.
Sighing and rubbing her forehead, Elizabeth nodded.
"Then may I be dismissed?" he asked in the same calm, detached voice.
"John…I…" Seeing his expression she cut herself off and said, "Yes."
John did a perfect about turn, and stopped just short of marching out of the office.
After he left, Elizabeth felt like throwing something at the now closed door in frustration. She knew that she shouldn't have dealt with John the way she just had, but she had been so terrified when the jumper had careened to the deck, and then crashed into the city. For a moment, she had been sure that he was dead. Then when she saw he wasn't she had let her anger engulf her to hide her fear. How could he have risked his life just to beat Lorne in a race? She needed him here; everyone in the city needed him. The idea that he had almost died due to a stupid, childish competition with Lorne had her seeing fire.
She had been too angry to listen to his explanation of the jumper controls. Besides, it really didn't make sense that they had failed at that particular point. Though, she now acknowledged that it also didn't make complete sense that John, who had always had no difficulties in controlling the jumper before, had problems now.
It was just a big fumbled mess and Elizabeth just wanted it all to be over. Sighing she turned on her radio. "Rodney, I'm sure that you already are figuring out what damage was done to the jumper, but can you also figure out if there was anything done to the controls?"
John made his way to his quarters. He had no intention of talking with anyone right then. He was angry, frustrated, and he admitted to himself silently to himself, in a bit of pain. Yet he was way too mad to visit the infirmary. He knew presently everyone was probably gossiping about what had happened, and he really didn't want to give anything else for them to say.
Besides, he still couldn't get over the fact that Elizabeth didn't believe him. True, the circumstances were suspicious, but still. Reaching his quarters, he mentally locked his door and told Atlantis that under no circumstances was anyone to get in.
Once that was done, he slowly unbuttoned his uniform shirt and slipped it off. He had banged his left arm pretty hard against the consol of the jumper, and now it didn't want to help him unbutton the shirt, but he preserved despite an occasional hiss of pain and carefully began removing his undershirt. It hurt incredibly, and as he finally completely slipped the shirt off and saw his chest he realized why.
Even in the short time since the crash it was already covered in dark bruises. He knew that he had banged himself up pretty bad, but he hadn't even considered that it was this bad…maybe he should see a doctor and just get it checked over to be on the safe side…?
No. He was definitely taking a shower before he did anything else. John was almost positive that there would be no reason for him to need to stay in the infirmary, but there was no way he was going to risk a doctor getting their hands on him before he got the shower his body craved even more then Tylenol.
John felt much better after the shower and realized that all it now craved was sleep. It was only about seven at night, but the idea of getting rest was unbelievably appealing.
If he went to the infirmary, he would be poked and prodded, and John knew that he was only badly bruised. There was nothing that a doctor could do, really, besides giving him painkillers, and he still had some left from his last injury. So, he just decided to rest for a bit. He'd get it checked out tomorrow when he wasn't as tired. A little extra time before facing the pain an examination would entail wouldn't hurt anything.
Thankfully, Carson was not on Atlantis right now as he was with Ronon and Teyla, visiting the Anthosians. John knew that if Carson had been on Atlantis, he would have already hauled John down to the infirmary for a thorough exam. However, as luck would have it, Carson wasn't supposed to arrive until tomorrow, and now John had every intention of resting peacefully in his own quarters.
Content with his decision, John climbed into bed and dimmed the lights.
Rodney glared defiantly at the readout in front of him and wished that one of his lowly minions were still there so he could yell at them to help relieve his frustration. Yet all of them had left him hours ago to sleep, and it was just a bit too early for the early-rising scientists to arrive. This left Rodney alone, with the wreck of a jumper, no sleep, and surviving on artificial stimulant alone.
Not to mention the fact he had a horrible headache from the awful sound of the jumper slamming into Atlantis. As he told himself firmly, the headache would have nothing to do with staring at a computer screen for hours trying to figure out just how broken John's favorite jumper was while forcing himself not to think about the way his heart had stopped, certain that John's luck had run out when said sound occurred.
Rodney knew he should probably go to bed and get a fresh start later, but with the strain between Elizabeth and John over the crash, he couldn't stop. Each of them had been there for him in the past, and he felt it was his duty to try and relieve the stress between them. Thus, if he could just find a viable reason for why the controls malfunctioned there could be peace once again in Rodney's world—well at least a little more peace.
So, Rodney turned his mind firmly away from thoughts of his bed, took another large swallow of coffee, and clicked on another screen hoping that this time he would find the glitch that would prove John correct in his assessment of what had happened to the jumper.
To Be Continued
A/N: Thanks for reading! PLEASE review and let me know what you think! I should be updating at least once a week. Again, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE review!