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“Soooo many colors. All the pretty horses.’

Lorne frowned down at him, glancing up at Beckett as McKay buried his face more firmly into the infirmary bed.

“What´s he talking about,’ Elizabeth asked and Lorne refrained from rolling his eyes. Obviously she´d never been around somebody knocked out on pain killers. Which is pretty damn amazing considering where they lived. And how often they got hurt.

“I gave him some morphine for the pain--’

Ah yes. Morphine. That would explain it then.

Lorne leaned down to look in McKay´s face. “I need to know how many villagers. How far from the gate was the village,’ he asked, speaking slowly, drawing out his enunciation. For all the good it would do him.

“Have you seen a guy around,’ McKay asked, looking up at him, face pinched in confusion. “He looks like you, but he´s got messy hair.’

Yeah, that would be Sheppard all right. How that guy got around regs was still beyond Lorne.

“I think I lost him somewhere.’ Lorne sighed and frowned at him but McKay just grinned up at him like he was a god damned puppy. Any other time and Lorne might have found it sort of endearing. That is, if it weren´t McKay. “And a pretty girl, and a caveman.’

Pretty girl = Teyla, Caveman = Ronon. Check. Well, at least McKay knows that much.

Beckett shifted uncomfortably and looked apologetically at Elizabeth. “I may have given him a wee bit too much--“

Lorne smirked grimly. Hey, Doc? Understatement.

“-- but he was makin´ it impossible for me to treat him.’

Lorne leaned down again, trying to catch an eyeline with McKay, but all he got was McKay´s finger digging at his nasal tube. And honestly Mckay. Could you not pick your nose right now?

“Snap out of it, McKay,’ Lorne said, trying out Sheppard´s ‘if at first you don´t succeed, badger him´ approach. “It´s important. Come on. What kind of weapons did they have?’

“I´d say something that shoots arrows is a good guess,’ Carson piped up, and Lorne closed his eyes and counted to five.

“Thanks Doc, I think I could´ve managed that one on my own,’ Lorne said, glaring up at him. He let out a huff of air and looked down at McKay. “Okay. New tactic.’ Bending down and folding his arms on the table in front of McKay he tried out his most dashing smile. “Hey. Rodney.’

“Mm,’ Rodney said, arching an eyebrow and flicking his eyes up to look at him. “Huh?’

“Hey,’ Lorne said, nodding at him.

“Oh,’ McKay said, grinning. “Hi!’

Lorne lowered his voice conspiratorially and leaned closer. “Wanna do me a favor? I´d be really, really grateful, buddy.’

Rodney frowned. “We´re buddies now?’

Lorne fought the urge to reach out and literally choke the answers out of McKay. “Of course we are, Rodney.’

“I don´t even know your first name,’ Rodney said, sounding confused. “How can we be buddies if I don´t even know your first--’

“I´ll get you coffee,’ Lorne interrupted, raising an eyebrow. “Huh? The really good kind? The kind that always runs out? I´ll get you a whole shipment, all for yourself.’

“Ooooh,’ Rodney said, shifting up to prop his head in his hands and grinning goofily at him. “You can do that?’

“For you,’ Lorne asked, putting on his most affective ‘who me? of course I´ll take care of your daughter´ voice, nodding enthusiastically. “Of course I can.’

“Mmm,’ McKay said, closing his eyes and flopping his head back on the bed. “Coffee.’

“Hey, McKay?’


“About that planet?’

Rodney grunted, frowning. “Nasty people. Mean, nasty, arrow having people.’

“Yes, mean nasty arrow having people,’ Lorne said, glancing up at Elizabeth. “How far away from the gate are the mean nasty arrow having people?’

“Coffee,’ Rodney said, grinning and maybe even giggling just a little bit. “I love coffee. I´d marry coffee if I could. Coffee never lets me down. It´s always there.’

Lorne made a pact with himself then and there: if Rodney started singing about Foldgers being in your cup, he was allowed to throttle him. He didn´t care what Elizabeth said.

“Yes, it´s always there, ever faithful coffee, scientist´s best friend,’ Lorne said, waving a hand. “The people. How far, Rodney?’

“Oh, um…’ Rodney blinked blearily up at Lorne, chewing on his lip. “Um. Fifteen minutes?’

Lorne closed his eyes, smiling. Finally. Getting somewhere. He looked back at McKay and nodded encouragingly. “And how many were there?’

“They were mad at Ronon,’ McKay said, sounding sad. “They ran from him.’

Lorne looked up at Elizabeth. “Did they say why?’

“Wraith,’ Rodney mumbled, closing his eyes. “They said… they said wraith bringer.’

“Wraith bring--’

“Aye, the chip,’ Carson said, and Lorne could practically see the lightbulb go on over his head. “The tracking devise that allowed the wraith to--’

“Find Ronon wherever he went and most likely cull the village in which he was hiding, oh man,’ Lorne said, standing up and taking a deep breath. “Okay so we have our why then.’

Elizabeth stepped forward. “Rodney, how many villagers were there?’

Rodney plucked once again at his nasal tube and snorted in disgust when he couldn´t pull it out. “Um. Lots.’

Lorne rolled his eyes. “Lots as in an army, or lots as in, could easily outnumber the four to your team?’

Rodney blinked up at him. “Huh?’

“Number, Rodney, give me a number,’ Lorne said, once again going back to the ‘yell loudly enough and surely he´ll respond´ tactic.

“Twenty five?’ Rodney shrugged, his eyes falling closed again. “Why can´t I feel my toes?’

Elizabeth smiled faintly at Lorne. “I´m afraid we´ve gotten all the intel we´re going to for now.’

Lorne nodded. “I think we have enough to work with.’

“Excuse me,’ Rodney said, and Rodney annoyed while on morphine was only half as grating as he was without. Something to ponder, Lorne noted to himself. “Why am I lying here?’

“You have an arrow, Rodney,’ Carson said, sounding like this was probably about the tenth time he´d answered this question since having given the morphine. “In your gluteus maximus.’

“Oh,’ Rodney said, flopping back down on the bed. “That sounds painful.’

Lorne laughed, reaching out and patting McKay´s shoulder. He told himself it was because it´s what Sheppard would have done, but mostly it was because doped up Rodney actually was kind of endearing. Even though he was McKay.

“Gluteus max… imus,’ Rodney drawled, the surface slurring his words into a lateral lisp. “Gluuuuteus… maxi--“

Lorne frowned down as McKay´s head shot up suddenly. “Relax McKay. You´ll be fine.’

“Oh my god,’ Rodney said, sounding horrified as he looked up at Lorne. “That´s my ass isn´t it?!’

“Aye,’ Carson said, a smile twitching at his face. “It is.’

Lorne smirked at him. “I think maybe you´ve got your work cut out for you Carson.’

Carson nodded. “Aye,’ he said again.

“All right,’ Elizabeth said, clasping her hands together and looking at Lorne. “Well it sounds like we´ve got a rescue mission to discuss, Major Lorne.’

Lorne nodded and fell in step beside her as they left the infirmary, the sounds of McKay singing about the aroma of coffee making Lorne´s feet go double time.

All feedback much appreciated!
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