Aug. 24th, 2007 04:25 pm
[identity profile] neierathima.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] atlantisbasics
Recipient: neevebrody
Title: Tuesday
Author: neierthima
Rating: G-PG
Category: Gen
Spoilers: Let's be cautious and say all of season 2
Summary: Lunchtime on Atlantis is good for getting to know people.

neevebrody asked for:
a) Rodney grappling with the duty of notifying next of kin - Sheppard
helps, somewhat. Anything from G to R.
b) Ronon lacking any table manners whatsoever - Maybe Elizabeth helps. G - PG
c) Some connection between Carson and Teyla possibly in re: "Sunday". G

This has a little bit of all three, I think.

A few quick notes:

I, of course, do not own Stargate: Atlantis,and make no money off of this.

Apologies to all, this has not been beta-read. I make no excuses for it, and all grammar/spelling errors are totally my fault.

To neevebrody in particular, I rather hope you like it.


Elizabeth walked in the direction of the mess, planning on getting a tray to take back to her office. She wanted to review some last minute proposals before the afternoon staff meeting. Rounding a corner, she saw Rodney coming from the other direction, clearly agitated.
Halfway down the hall he seemed to notice her among the other staff coming to and from the mess, and sped up to intercept her.
"Oh, Elizabeth, you're going to lunch, good, that's good." He nodded, more to himself than her.
Elizabeth pasted on her best diplomatic face, "Did you need something Rodney?"
One of the passing scientists gave her a sympathetic glance and a wide berth
"No, well, yes, sort of. You see, Ronon and I usually eat lunch together on Tuesdays, our schedules sort of work out, and later today we both have appointments with, well, anyway, the point is, something came up and I can't make it today."
Elizabeth eyebrows first crinkled in thought, then rose in understanding.
"And you want me to eat with him instead."
Rodney was smiling and nodding.
"Yes. Precisely. Don't worry, I've already radioed him so he knows I can't make it, and since you're getting lunch anyway, it will work out perfectly."
Elizabeth frowned, "Rodney, I really don't know..."
"But Elizabeth, Dr. Heightmeyer says it's important to interact with people in a social setting, it fosters a sense of community," Rodney's face indicated he did not totally subscribe to this theory, but he was bravely trying to convince Elizabeth to do the right thing, " Teyla, the Colonel and I try to make sure he has someone to eat a meal with every day."
Elizabeth didn't seem completely convinced, but she allowed Rodney to lead her in the direction of the mess. Several yards from the door, Rodney seemed to remember he had other places to be, muttered an "oh!" and turned and walked off, leaving Elizabeth to enter the mess alone.

Rodney continued down the corridor to the nearest transporter, hitting the panel for one of the residential areas.
John was sitting on his bed, reading, when he heard the door chime. He hadn't even closed his book when the door slid open and Rodney burst in.
"I can't remember their names!" he exclaimed from just inside the door.
"Hi Rodney, how you this afternoon, " John said deliberately. He put his book on the table.
Rodney paused his pacing to glare at John, then waived his hand dismissively.
"Yes, yes, good afternoon to you too, Colonel."
"What's up, Rodney" he asked before Rodney digressed completely into a rant on common courtesy and its complete uselessness.
Rodney looked Sheppard in the eye, “I can't remember their names," he said slowly. His tone made it clear that John would have known this if he'd been paying attention.
John rolled his eyes. "Whose names?"
"Two of the scientists. The skinny Asian engineer who liked anime too much and the chubby chemist he was always hanging out with. You know who I'm talking about, Frick and Frack!"
John clearly didn't.
"I don't think you get to talk about scientists being chubby," he added.
John's jibe didn't even get a glare past the serious expression on Rodney's face.
John sat up a little straighter. "Hey, hey, Rodney, what's the problem?"
Rodney stopped pacing to turn the full weight of his gaze on John.
"They died. After the storm, and, uh, other things, there were some problems with the waste reclamation systems. Due mostly to flooding, which is, ironic really, given everything...but, uh, I sent them down to look at the problem, in a damaged section of the city. There was an accident, and they, um, died."
"I'm still not entirely sure I'm getting it."
"I was writing letters, to their families, to put in the data burst, and I couldn't remember their names. I have to tell their families they died and bravely and heroically on a secret base while they were fixing the plumbing, and I can't even remember their names!" Rodney was speaking faster, slurring his word, growing slightly hysterical.
John got up, walked over to Rodney and laid a hand on his shoulder.
"Hey, buddy, relax, take a deep breath. You have their names on file, right?"
Rodney glared at John, "Are you kidding, I have everything about them that was worth writing down since they were born."
"Yeah, the Stargate program keeps pretty complete records." John rubbed a hand through his hair and smiled wryly.
"The point," Rodney emphasized,” is that...how do I tell their families I'm sorry for their loss when I sent these people to do something that got them killed, and I can't even remember their names?"
"Well, why did you send them?"
"What?" Rodney seemed perplexed by the sudden change in the conversation.
"Why did you send those particular guys to do that job?"
"Because, because," Rodney spluttered, "they worked well together, they had experience with those systems, they were slightly less likely to get themselves killed wandering around the dangerous parts of the city than most of the idiots who work for me."
"Ok, so you know what you need to. Besides, “he grinned, "Everyone knows you're not great at remembering people's names."
"Ha ha, yes Colonel, very clever."
John pushed Rodney in the direction of the door, and then settled himself back on the bed.
Rodney stopped in the doorway, and turned to look at John.
"Oh, and Colonel? Thank you."
John did not look up from his book, merely waved his hand in a classic shooing motion, but his voice was serious.
"Anytime, Rodney."

Elizabeth walked into the mess, heading towards the food, trying not to notice Ronon sitting alone at a table in the corner. She spotted Carson holding two trays, picking fruit from a large serving bowl. He didn't notice her until she spoke up from right beside him.
"Oh, hello Elizabeth, what are you up to this afternoon?"
"Just getting some lunch. Who’s the tray for?" She nodded towards one of the trays which seemed to hold a little bit of everything available in the mess.
"It's for Teyla," Elizabeth raised an eyebrow, and gestured for Carson to continue. "She's sitting with one of the Athosian children who’s going to be staying in the med lab for a few days."
"What happened?"
"The poor lad burst his appendix."
Elizabeth picked up a tray and started selecting things for her own lunch.
"Is he going to be okay?"
He should be fine, but were keeping him in the ICU a few more days to make sure there aren't any secondary reactions."
"Well, that's good news. You said Teyla was sitting with him."
"Aye. She was with him when he was brought in from the mainland, and she's been there ever since. Keeping him company, reassuring his parents. She seems to be a great comfort to them."
Elizabeth nodded, "I can imagine. She is more familiar with Atlantis, and our medical facilities in particular, than many of the Athosians, so she can probably alleviate any concerns they have."
"There is that."
Elizabeth seemed as if she was considering an interesting possibility that hadn't previously occurred to her. Then she returned her focus to Carson, and giggled a little.
"I remember how scary it was for me when I had my appendix removed, and I could figure out what everything was."
Carson chuckled, "Oh, I can well imagine what kind of patient you'd make, hounding the doctors to know how each little thing worked."
Carson and Elizabeth reached the end of the lines, and Carson turned towards the door. He held up the second tray a little.
"The lad should be asleep a little while longer, and I think I'll have better luck getting Teyla to step away for a bit, to get some proper food in her. "
Elizabeth smiled knowingly. "Plan on luring her in by asking for company while you eat?"
Carson grinned, "Something like that."
"That's sweet of you, Carson."
Carson blushed, then nodded good day and headed towards the exit. Elizabeth took a deep breath, turned round, and resolutely headed for Ronon's table.

Carson set the trays down in his office, and then walked a few doors down to the room Teyla was in. He knocked lightly on the open door.
She turned in her seat beside the bed.
"Dr. Beckett. Hello."
"I've brought you some lunch, if you'd like to join me for a bit."
Teyla glanced back at the boy.
"He'll be asleep awhile longer. You've got time to look after yourself a bit. I can tell the nurse on duty to come get you if he wakes up," He added,” and we'll just be a few doors down. You must be hungry; you've been here for hours.”
She nodded slowly, "I believe the expression is ‘I could eat’."
Carson smiled. "That's the spirit."
He went next door to let the nurse know where they'd be, then came back to find Teyla waiting in the doorway. They walked together to his office.
Carson pulled out a chair and gestured for Teyla to sit, indicating the tray he'd brought.
"I wasn't quite sure what you'd like, so I tried to guess. Mostly I think I just brought a little of everything."
"Thank you, Dr. Beckett, it looks very good. You are very thoughtful to have done this."
“It was no problem. I just want to be sure you’re taking care of yourself. It wouldn’t do to have you visiting the med lab only to end up a patient,” Carson grinned.
Teyla seemed amused as well. “I do not believe that will happen, but I see your point.”
They sat in awkward silence for a few minutes, Teyla picking at the food on her tray, and Carson trying to think of something to say.
“I thought you were off duty right now?” Teyla enquired.
“I have some paperwork I ought to be catching up on, but it can wait. I like to hang around a bit, when I’ve operated on children, just to make sure they’re alright.”
“You do not believe the doctor on duty and the nurses will be sufficient should your patient’s condition worsen?” Teyla was puzzled.
“Oh no, I have full confidence in my staff.” Carson looked briefly abashed. “It’s really more superstition than anything else.”
Teyla was nodding in agreement. “I understand. The Athosians have many beliefs that are not supported by fact or evidence. That is why I am here. It is traditional among the Athosians for someone who is not a family member to help watch over a sick child. The belief is that they would be more...”
“Impartial?” Carson offered.
“Yes, that is it exactly. Parents might sometimes react too strongly over small problems, or ignore things in their desire to have their child well.”
“Your people seem to have very strong traditions,” Carson observed.
“We do. It sometimes seems odd to me how easily the people from Earth discount their own traditions, and the traditions of others.” Teyla frowned into her food.
Carson raised his open hands. “Now don’t you go lumping all of us Earthlings together. What you’re talking about are more the Americans. I’ll have you know that the Scottish people have many ancient traditions, and we’re quite proud of them.”
Teyla raised an eyebrow at Carson.
“Indeed?” she enquired, “then why have you not shared them.”
Carson rolled his eyes. “Because those daft Americans are just as happy to dismiss my traditions as they are yours. More so, maybe, since they don’t have to worry if I get offended.”
“I have always been taught is unwise to offend a healer, whatever the reason.” She grinned into her glass.
Carson laughed. “Oh, I see how it is.”
Teyla looked thoughtful. “I have often worried over how difficult it is for my people to keep their traditions alive, living so near the city of the ancestors, yet I had not thought that it might be a similar difficulty for those of you from Earth. Maybe it is even more of one, since you have so few of your kinsmen with you.”
“Don’t you worry, it’s not so bad as all that. Besides, as long as there’s one person keeping the traditions alive, that’s more than enough.”
“My people have a similar belief.”
They were interrupted by a knock, followed by a nurse leaning her head in the door.
“Dr. Beckett, “she acknowledged.
“Did you need something?” he asked.
“Teyla, actually. The patients parents are here and they want to talk to her.”
“Of course, I will be there directly.” She stood, and then looked at the mostly empty tray.
“Go on ahead; I’ll take care of it.” Carson made little shooing motions towards the door.
“Thank you, Dr. Beckett. For the meal, and for speaking with me. I would like to discuss our shared traditions with you further, if that pleases you.”
“Of course I would. You know where you can find me, and my door is always open,”
Teyla nodded. “Then I will speak to you later.”
She walked out the door, leaving Carson to finish his paperwork.

As she walked up to Ronon, tray held in both hands, Elizabeth suddenly felt like she was back in high school, trying to make friends with the Russian transfer student who spoke very poor English. She reminded herself that her friends weren't going to ditch her after the staff meeting for hanging out with Ronon.
"Hi, do you mind if I join you?" she tried to smile, but suspected she wasn't quite succeeding.
Ronon raised an eyebrow, but nodded.
She sat down.
Ronon didn't say anything, but Elizabeth noticed he, seemingly casually, began dipping his fingers into his casserole-like dish as he ate.
Elizabeth didn't say anything, merely folded her napkin in her lap and started eating.
They continued for a few moments like this, until Ronon finally broke the silence.
"You aren't going to tell me that you have forks on Atlantis?"
Elizabeth looked at him consideringly.
"I'm sure one of your teammates has already informed you about all that's available in the mess."
Ronon seemed genuinely puzzled by this reaction.
"It doesn't bother you?"
"What, your table manners?"
Elizabeth laughed. Ronon's surprise briefly showed on his face.
"No, they really don't. Actually, “Elizabeth offered, "in some of the places I've visited, your manners would be considered good."
"What, on Earth?"
Ronon digested this information for a minute.
"You've been to a lot of places on Earth?" he asked.
"Oh yes. There are all sorts of cities..." Elizabeth looked ready to expound on the many wonders of Earth, but Ronon interrupted.
"Dangerous places."
Elizabeth pulled back in her seat and regarded Ronon carefully.
"What makes you says that?" Her tone was light.
He titled his head a fraction and observed her in return.
Finally, he nodded to himself.
"You always act like," he looked for the right words," you say things, in a way that makes people like you. You act differently so people feel comfortable. Also, you never show nervousness. "
He sat back, as if he'd said more than he expected to.
Elizabeth's eyebrows were raised almost to her hairline.
"I hadn't realized anyone viewed my behavior quite that way. But it's essentially correct. I've been called a number of times to negotiate in dangerous places; it's easier to get people to agree with what you want if they feel comfortable in their surroundings."
Ronon expression indicated he understood.
They ate in silence for a few more minutes.
"Takes guts to try to talk down people holding guns."
Elizabeth merely smiled in reply.
Another minute passed.
"They are really people who consider these good manners?" his tone held equal parts awe and disgust.
Elizabeth laughed.
"Yes. I remember one time, when I was traveling as a student; I sent a letter to my mother telling her all about how I'd eaten with my classmates and these villagers from a community bowl, with my fingers. She didn't say anything, but when I got back to my dorm, she'd sent my old Emily Post book to me!"
"Emily Post?"
"Oh, ah, an Earth writer, she was all about etiquette, which fork to use and how to write thank you notes, things like that. My mother got it for me when I was a girl."
Ronon grinned. "My mother always said, if it was worth nothing else, at least the army would finally teach me some decent manners."
They laughed together for a moment, then Elizabeth's radio beeped. Someone was looking for her in her office, Chuck said, and they wanted to know when she could look at some report.
"I'll be up in a few minutes," she replied into her radio.
She turned and apologetic grin on Ronon.
"Guess its back to work then."
He nodded.
Elizabeth got up to leave, and then turned back to Ronon.
"You know, if you're ever interested in learning more about Earth culture, I think I could scrounge up an electronic copy of some of Miss Post's best. It would be a good...learning experience."
She didn't stay to wait to see his reaction, but his laughter followed her out of the mess.

Date: 2007-08-25 01:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thepouncer.livejournal.com
A day in the life of Atlantis! I really liked that Elizabeth was accepting of Ronon, because she's right - people on Earth have all different kinds of table manners.

Date: 2007-08-25 03:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ozsaur.livejournal.com
I like this slice-of-life view of Atlantis. Some very nice interactions between characters who rarely shared screen time together. I especially liked the Teyla+Carson friendship.

Date: 2007-08-25 09:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] neevebrody.livejournal.com
Thank you , thank you, thank you! This is exactly what I was looking for! This was like just any day in Atlantis - minus the crisis du jour. I loved the Ronon and Elizabeth interaction. Your Rodney was perfect, but I especially liked the Teyla/Carson moment. Carson being so sweet - and slightly smitten I think. You brought that out beautifully. I also loved how the dialogue moved the story - Great! ::is delighted::

Date: 2007-08-27 06:21 pm (UTC)
ext_1204: (goa)
From: [identity profile] kylielee1000.livejournal.com
What great character vignettes, all through Elizabeth's POV. She really is the consummate diplomat, isn't she? This really is a nice slice of life.


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