In Sickness And In Hell by LE McMurray
Summary: Someone once said that hell is other people, they were wrong
Categories: Gen - Other Characters: None
Episode Related: 0204 Duet
Genres: Humor, Hurt/Comfort, Smarm
Holiday: None
Season: Season 2
Warnings: None
Crossovers: None
Series: None
Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes Word count: 3670 Read: 2061 Published: 2006.06.21 Updated: 2006.06.21
Story Notes:
Thanks to Stonedtoad for betaing.
This was inspired by the Hopeless Romantics Anonymous Word of the month for April which was 'Unwell.'
Chapter 1 by LE McMurray
Someone once said that hell is other people, they were wrong. Hell is just one person- Dr Rodney McKay and I'm stuck here with him. If I survive this then I intend to punch Lieutenant Colonel John 'it's a nice easy mission' Sheppard in the jaw, court martial or no court martial.

"You know what to do Cadman," he told me as I stood waiting for the rest of my team to arrive, my first time leading a team through the Gate, "Let the new kids find out what it's like out there and keep McKay in line."

I'll admit I wasn't that bothered about having to baby-sit Rodney as he fixed the power generator for the people of P4E 233, Rodney doesn't bother me as much as he does most people. I actually like the man though I would die before admitting it to him. He makes me laugh and I like knowing he's on the case if we're ten seconds from death, not to mention after the body-sharing incident I freak him out.

Power is a wonderful thing.


We walked leisurely from the Gate to the village, Rodney and I trading barbs as usual while I kept an eye on Davies and Matthews, or Tweedledum and Tweedledummer as Rodney had labelled them almost instantly. Neither was happy at having to baby-sit a scientist,- as I said they were newbies here to the Pegasus galaxy and hadn't been part of the SGC either so had no idea they were currently in the presence of the man who would more than likely save their lives ten times over at the very least.

Of course Rodney was making his usual wonderful impression battering on about how useless people were at caring for the technology he spent his life working with.

Finally we reached the village and we were welcomed heartily by the town leader, a fat man by the name of Berras. I hadn't been on the original meeting with these people, it had been Rodney's team but since Teyla was on the mainland while Colonel Sheppard was going over some stuff with Colonel Caldwell, and Ronan was beating the hell out of some of the other new recruits I had been drafted in. Anyway, Rodney stepped forward and spoke with the man actually being mostly polite to my astonishment.

"Dr McKay," Berras smiled, "While you fix the generator your friends are welcome at my home and my table."

At this he gave me a 'look', which Rodney definitely caught because he moved slightly to stand just in front of me.

"I need Lieutenant Cadman's assistance," he said sharply, "However Davies and Matthews will be more than happy to take up your hospitality."


I walked at Rodney's side as we headed to the small hut the generator was located in.

"Going to tell me why I'm being dragged through the mud instead of sitting having tea?" I asked knowing full well the answer but winding up Rodney was a hobby, one I apparently share with my CO.

"You saw the way he looked at you," Rodney replied sharply, "You want to let him have the chance, fine. Go back it's your choice."

I smiled at him smugly.

"What?" Rodney demanded.

I shrugged and walked out ahead of him.

"What?" he demanded again catching up with me.

I stopped and turned to him, "It's nice to know you care Rodney," I patted his cheek and walked away leaving him standing.

He caught up with me again a few seconds later his face like thunder but by then we were in view of the generator hut. Rodney strode forward as he moved into work mode. I've watched Rodney work a few times, hell I've been in Rodney while he worked and there is something amazing about him when he's making connections or while he's going through equations.

The man is brilliant, not that I'd say it to his face I couldn't take the blame for inflating his ego to colossal proportions, its bad enough as it is.

"Okay," he pushed himself to a stand half an hour after he started working and grinned, "Finished."

"Great," I nodded, "Lets pick up the other two and head back to Atlantis, I was hoping to see tonight's movie."

"What are they showing?" Rodney asked absently as he fixed his computer back to his pack.

"The first Lord of the Rings," I replied smiling as he looked interested, "Have you seen it?"

"A few times," he told me motioning me to head out, "Let's go get the two stooges."

I grinned and we started back to the village.


Wandering back through the fields to the village wasn't too bad, Rodney and I talked about what had been missed out of the Lord of the Rings movies which I must admit has to be the longest conversation we've ever had that did not dissolve into name-calling. As we got closer to the village I noticed a man staggering towards it from the other side.

"Rodney," I snapped stopping him talking, "Over there."

As we both looked over the man fell and in unison we started to run towards him. Rodney, to my surprise reached the man first dropping down to his knees.

"Cadman, get out the med kit," he snapped at me, "He's having problems breathing."

I threw my pack to the ground and pulled out the med kit not sure what Rodney was thinking, apparently neither did he.

"On second thoughts," he said, "Get to the Gate and call Carson, it's closer than the village."

I nodded then sprinted to the Gate dialling fast and calling for Carson to get to the planet as fast as possible, answering the questions he rattled off to me. It was barely ten minutes when Carson arrived through the Gate to my surprise in a Haz-mat suit along with who I deduced to be Colonel Sheppard from what I could see within the orange suit.

"Is it Halloween?" I demanded confused.

"From what you described," Carson told me in that wonderful accent, "It sounds as though whatever you've stumbled across could be contagious and we don't want to infect the rest of the city."

"Great," I replied before motioning them to follow me, "Come on."

And that basically is how I ended up in this current situation of being stuck in quarantine with Dr Rodney McKay.


"Rodney, I swear if you don't stop that I'm going to break your arm," I threatened.

He looked up at me from his bed where he was scribbling notes and frowned, "What?"

"You're humming," I snapped, "Again."

"Well it's not like I have anything to keep me occupied," he retorted before turning his back on me and starting to scribble again.

Because of our run in with the infectious man who unfortunately died, the four members of the team were quarantined but because we only have two quarantine rooms and each quarantine room can only take two people, Davies and Matthews somehow managed to get Carson to put them in the same room leaving me stuck with Rodney. When I get my hands on those two they'll wish they'd been stuck with Rodney.

Rodney wasn't allowed anything to work on while we were in here and had taken to writing down notes on some theory he had while on occasion starting to sing to himself. I'd never ever heard him sing before and despite the fact he can actually carry a tune it was slowly driving me insane.

To make matters even worse neither of us was sick. We'd been in here almost two full days and there were no symptoms at all.


"Lunch," Carson cried cheerfully as he entered the room still in the ridiculous orange suit.

"Did you bring anything other than food?" Rodney demanded petulantly.

"Rodney," Carson sighed, "I've told you at least six times that you cannot get anything to work on. If you start feeling ill I need to know it's due to a virus and not overwork."

"Can't you at least bring us something to watch," I chipped in receiving a grateful look from my fellow captive, "We're both dying of boredom in here. Lorne has all three extended Lord of the Rings."

I gave a hopeful look at my sweet, possibly soon to be ex if he didn't do something soon to get me out of here, boyfriend. Thankfully he crumbled.

"Alright," he sighed, "I will get a DVD player and TV set up and speak to Major Lorne about you borrowing his movies."

"Thanks Carson," I smiled at him before winking conspiratorially at Rodney.

Our favourite doctor left us our food and disappeared again. I jumped off my bed and headed to Rodney's sitting on it cross-legged and taking my plate from the table at the end of his bed. He frowned but leaned over me and grabbed his own dinner before we started to eat in silence.


I punched my pillow turning over trying to get comfortable hearing a huff of annoyance from across the room.

"Cadman," Rodney snapped, "Every time you move that thing squeaks."

"Deal with it," I snapped back.

I punched my pillow again trying to get comfortable but I couldn't no matter which way I lay on the bed. Since I had nothing to do I'd decided to try and get some sleep and if I was bugging the jerk across the room then so be it.

"Carson," Rodney's voice broke into my thoughts, "Would you please do something about your girlfriend's bed before I smother her with a pillow."

"You know Rodney," I said not opening my eyes, "I really don't like you referring to me and bed in the same sentence. It creeps me out."

"It creeps you out?" he demanded incredulously, "You weren't the one who woke up in a strange room, naked."

"Like there was anything to see," I retorted with a laugh.

"Children," Carson interrupted us with a long-suffering air to his voice, "You have entertainment."

I bounced up and over to my boyfriend, "I could kiss you, if you weren't hidden under that."

He gave me a small smile below the Haz-mat suit, "You can owe me."

I grinned back at him as I opened the DVD case and slipped the first movie in while he left us so he could continue working; the way Carson had set up the TV it meant we had to sit together so we could both see. I nudged Rodney to move over which he did grudgingly as I grabbed my own pillow sticking it behind my back and settling down to watch the movie.


We were about half-way through the first half of the first disc when I started to shiver. It was just a slight chill I could feel and I couldn't help but smile as Rodney threw a blanket over me. Despite trying to hide it he really is a sweetheart, though telling anyone and ruining his reputation would mean I'd lose all ability to tease him not to mention he can think up and enact some evil things to do in retribution. Just ask the marines who went without hot water for a week after making a few derogatory comments in Rodney's earshot about one of his geeks. I was getting tired so without thinking I let my head drop to the side onto Rodney's shoulder.

"What are you doing?" he snapped at me his hand pushing at my head.

I whimpered a little at the forced movement before frowning slightly as I felt him rest his hand on my forehead and swear.

"Cadman," Rodney said as he moved away from me, "Cadman, open your eyes."

That confused me, I was sure they were open but I forced them open to find him leaning over me worry in his light blue eyes.

"What you doing Rodney?" I breathed at him as he slipped his arm around my waist and slid me to lie down.

"Just relax Cadman," he told me in what I could only guess was a comforting voice which sounded pretty creepy coming from the arrogant ass.

"Rodney," I muttered but he didn't hear me.

"Carson," he was yelling, "Get your ass in here. Cadman's sick."

That was odd, I was sick?

"Laura?" Carson was suddenly at my side, "Laura, I need you to open your eyes."

And that was when the really bizarre things started to happen.


The thing you have to understand is I don't get sick. Seriously I never get sick. I hated the fact when I was a kid that I was not only as healthy as a horse but I could be around people who were coughing, spluttering and generally spilling germs all around the place and yet not catch a thing. My sister, brother, three cousins and best friend all had the mumps at the same time but did I get it? No. In fact my only consolation for that one is that it was just before the summer vacation so when they came I was free while they were all confined. I had to break my leg jumping from a tree to get time off school like the other kids which made the fact I was suddenly burning with fever in a quarantine room all the more terrifying.

I prised open my eyes and to my surprise Rodney was sitting beside me with a cloth and cold water resting the cold compress on my forehead while still managing to watch the rest of The Lord of the Rings.

"Rodney?" I gasped breathing heavily.

"Just relax Laura," he told me, terrifying me by using my first name, "Carson's working on a cure so you just have to hold on. Got it?"

"I didn't...believe in Voodoo," I managed to say, my breathing was harsh and every word came out in a gasp.

He frowned at me as he took the cloth dipping it in water again and gently pressing it to my face, "I don't but Carson likes having you around for some reason and he's in charge of the needles," Rodney told me, "I like my ass unpunctured."

I couldn't help but smile before I glanced up at him, "Why...aren't you sick?"

"I don't know," he admitted, "But Carson tells me I'll either end up like you by the end of the day or I'll be fine."

"Comforting," I moaned before giving in to my fear and grabbing his hand, "Don't leave."

"It's not like I'm able to walk out the door Cadman," he rolled his eyes at me; "We're in quarantine remember?" I gripped his hand tighter digging my nails into his flesh to make him take me seriously, "I promise," he whispered, "I won't leave."


There are several people I would choose to be trapped alone in a room with, Carson being at the top of the list. However continuing the streak of bad luck I'd had since setting foot in this galaxy I was once again trapped with a man who could drive the calmest person to homicidal rage in less than an hour.

Except for the fact he was being nice to me and had been for the past few days which quite frankly unnerved me more than anything.

Carson had come in not long ago and pushed something into my IV, "This should make you feel better Laura."

He rested his hand on my forehead for a few minutes giving my cheek a gentle stroke before turning to my cell-mate, "Rodney, how are you feeling?"

"Fine," my nursemaid said.

"No headache, no shivers," Carson listed.

"Nothing," Rodney replied sharply, "Are you finished? Or are you going to annoy me with more stupid questions while Cadman's face could be used to cook breakfast?"

I heard Carson mutter a few choice words before he squeezed my hand abandoning me to Rodney's tender care. Forcing open my eyes I glanced up at Rodney who looked worried but other than that he seemed to be fine, healthy.

"Put a movie on," I ordered relieved that I no longer sounded like I needed an oxygen tank, in fact I felt better than I had in days even if I still had a high fever.

"What one?" he asked, helping me to sit up so I could see.

I waved my hand, "Take your pick."

Over the past few days we'd had several donations when I'd been conscious several different voices had filtered through the most prominent being Sheppard. I was always amused by those two; they were like two ten year old kids when they started arguing and could make you want to laugh at first before wanting to kill them when they hadn't stopped half an hour later.

Rodney stuck on some random sci-fi flick while I closed my eyes again relaxing as he gently pressed the cold cloth against my flushed skin.


"Carson," Rodney snapped as I sighed.

"Look Rodney," Carson said calmly from beneath his face mask, the Haz-mat suits a thing of the past, making the insane monster I'd been stuck with for the past few days even more annoyed, "I am not letting you out until I'm sure there is no sign of the virus in either of you."

"I have actual work to be doing," Rodney yelled his hands waving wildly, "You do remember how often one of those idiots tries to destroy the city?"

"Rodney, that's your team ye're talking about," Carson reminded him with the expression of a man who was thinking of how best to kill and hide the body, "And they've managed so far not to kill us. Another day or two won't make much of a difference."

I managed to turn my laugh into a cough thankful that Carson didn't come rushing to my side in case of a relapse. Instead he just gave me a conspiratorial wink before leaving the genius standing staring after him seething.

"What?" Rodney demanded when he turned to find me looking in his general direction.

"What?" I looked innocent I'm almost sure of it which made him glare at me even more.

Muttering under his breath Rodney flung himself onto his bed and grabbed the remote control to the DVD hitting play. For some unknown reason he had 'Back to the Future' on and proceeded to argue with it.

After a while I started to cough and he turned to me, his mouth open to tell me to stop but when he realised how bad it was he jumped up and poured me some water. I gratefully accepted the glass sighing as it soothed my throat.

"Thanks Rodney," I smiled as he took the glass from me.

I was suddenly dazzled as he gave me a genuine smile back, "Are you sure you're okay?"

"I'm fine," I murmured sleepily feeling him pull the covers up around my shoulders as I slid down the bed, "Just keep it down arguing with the movie would you."

I was surprised to feel him gently touch my forehead checking for fever but I felt comforted that he did and slipped into a comforting sleep.


"Alright," Carson arrived two mornings later, "You are free to go. And Rodney please go."

"Finally," Rodney huffed grabbing the notes he'd scribbled during our incarceration before he marched out without so much as a goodbye.

"Hey," I smiled at my boyfriend as I sauntered to him, "I believe I owe you something."

Carson folded his arms and looked at me with a mock interested smile, "Really Lieutenant?"

I stretched up and pressed a gentle kiss to his lips, "For getting us the DVD's before I needed you to help hide the body."

Carson laughed and slipped his arm around my shoulders leading me out of the quarantine room.

"You are the awe of many on Atlantis," he told me as we walked, "Having spent all that time in Rodney's company and not only is he still alive but you're not huddled in a corner rocking back and forth. Aye, ye're a hero."

"Recognition at last," I pretended to preen bursting out laughing as he did.


It was a few days later I saw Rodney next, apparently he'd spent them in the labs going over everything and belittling everyone who even tried to point out they'd managed fine in his absence. I was sitting on the balcony eating some fresh fruit enjoying the sun and silence when it was interrupted by a cough.

"Hi?" I said confused glancing up to where he stood hovering in the doorway.

"Can I..."

I shrugged, "Sure," was the only reply I could give considering I'd never known Rodney to ask permission to do anything.

He took a seat beside me looking nervously at what I was eating.

"No citrus," I assured him before placing it to my side away from him.

He nodded thankful before sitting silently as I waited.

"Okay," I finally snapped, "Is there a reason you're here? Because we just spent over a week in quarantine together. I thought you'd not want to be anywhere near me for at least a year."

He swallowed looking uncomfortable, " I just wanted to say sorry, for some of the things I said to you when we were quarantined."

I was almost struck speechless, Rodney McKay, the great (in his mind anyway) Rodney McKay was actually apologising to me.

"Just some of the things?" I asked, as I said almost struck speechless.

He frowned at me.

"I'm sorry too," I cut him off before he could start ranting; "We were both a little nasty at times. I'll forget it if you will."

A grin appeared on his face, "Deal."

Without another word he pulled himself to his feet and left me alone with my breakfast once more.

I smiled to myself as I started to eat, as I said hell is being stuck with him 24/7 but all in all Rodney McKay isn't that bad.
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