fic: A Good Cup of Coffee (is hard to find) [sga]

At kensieg's suggestion: Rodney offers to trade the team for coffee. Came out a lot longer than I was expecting.


A Good Cup of Coffee (is hard to find)
by Brat Farrar

Really, no one could blame him for losing his head a little. It’d been months since they’d been cut off from Earth, and supplies were beginning to run a little low, and whoever’d been in charge of requisitions clearly hadn’t spent much time in the labs, because they’d severely underestimated how much coffee an expedition of (mostly) scientists would drink. Or overestimated the speed with which they (read: Rodney) could rig up a way to dial home. Either way, the end result was the same: a whole lot of people obsessing over their caffeine intake and how long it could be maintained.

So really, it was to be expected that Rodney’d do something (arguably) stupid when handed a cup of what smelled and tasted like the best coffee he’d ever had. All things taken into account, he deserved a pat on the back for not promising away Atlantis itself in return for a steady supply of the stuff.

Actually—not that he’d ever admit it—he’d been half-considering doing just that when Sheppard hissed “McKay” in a tone that suggested Rodney would wake up the next morning with fewer body parts if he didn’t shut up.

“But, ah, maybe we’d better let Teyla handle the details.” They were some of the hardest words Rodney’d ever forced himself to say, but at least Sheppard didn’t look like he wanted to smack Rodney in the head anymore. Well, not quite so much.

“Yes,” Teyla agreed, gracefully stepping in front of Rodney, though not without a look that said they would be having words later. “We have many other things to offer that you might be interested in. Medicines, perhaps?”

Once Teyla and the village’s leader (who was tall, missing one eye, and looked like an extra out of a low-budget pirate movie) were engrossed in the delicate art of driving a hard bargain, Sheppard hooked a finger into the collar of Rodney’s tac vest and jerked his head in the direction of the exit. “C’mon McKay. Let’s go have a chat somewhere where we won’t get in the way. Ford, you stay with Teyla. Give a shout if you need me.”

“Yes sir,” Ford said, eying Rodney dubiously.

Sheppard pulled Rodney out the door and around the corner of the building, not letting go until they were back in an alley that smelled like a garbage heap. A coffee-scented garbage heap. Rodney tried not to inhale too obviously.

“What was that all about?”

“What was what all about?” Rodney countered, although he knew the answer. If he stalled long enough, maybe Sheppard would lose his currently visible urge to resort to violence.

“You know what I mean. The whole ‘oh, yeah, sure—take my teammates, please’ thing you had going on in there.” Sheppard folded his arms and cocked his head, and any other time the pose would bring to mind a wire-haired terrier, but right then he had more the air of an irritated border collie. And Rodney should have felt guilty about almost trading away Teyla and Sheppard and Ford. He knew that, he really did, it was just—

“But they have coffee,” he said, though it was actually somewhere partway between a wail and a whine. “What if they don’t have a large enough crop? What if they don’t want to share? It won’t matter to them if Atlantis blows up because all the engineers have shaky hands from going through caffeine withdrawal.”

“I’m sure there’s plenty enough to go around,” Sheppard said, irritation subsiding into amusement. “Teyla knows how important it is to keeping you geeks going. And Ramone in there seemed pretty happy about the prospect of trading the stuff.”

“Oh.” Rodney hadn’t noticed that. Although, to be honest, he’d been so focused on the prospect of coffee that he probably wouldn’t have noticed anything else short of a ZPM being waved under his nose.

“Yes, ‘oh’.” Sheppard grinned at him. “But if it makes you feel any better, I promise to make sure you get the last cup of coffee if this doesn’t work out.” Oddly enough, it did make Rodney feel a little better.

“Thanks,” he said, and meant it. “I, ah, might have missed you if I’d traded you away. A teeny bit.” Sheppard grinned wider, skin crinkling around his eyes in the way that meant he was genuinely happy.

“C’mon. Let’s go see what they’ve got besides coffee.”
like this! it's withdrawal. Why don't you call it Coffee or A Good Cup of Coffee?
Glad you like it! The prompt was a lot of fun to work off of.

Wound up calling it "A Good Cup of Coffee (is hard to find)".

Thanks for catching the typo.
Hehehehehe! That's was fantastic! I can just imagine Rodney doing something like that in the heat of the moment.
the end is sooooo McSheppy! I can see John defending Rodney's coffee. Y'know knocking people out and growling at people who want Rodney's coffee. Feral!John. No one messes with my mate or what he wants.

John in a tiger skin loincloth. Rodney in an explorer's outfit complete to Pith helmet. A little roleplaying. nothing really kinky. just playing dress up. Rodney in the jungle to make astronomical observations or discover an Ancient observatory with Stargate. John is a sort of Mowgli who can operate the place because of his gene.

Rodney has a geekgasm and then a real one. He gets to found his own Stargate program. Takes place in the 19th century.

Oops I've drabbled in your thread.

I might actually write one of these stories.

Drabble away. The second(ish) one---Mowgli, that is---sounds like it's got a fair bit of potential. With Teyla as Baloo, perhaps, and Ronon as Bagheera (or visa versa).

Atlantis was parked in the heart of a jungle, instead of underwater, and becomes utterly overgrown, so that it looks more like mountain than city. Perhaps there is a wraith (a la "Defiant One") in place of Shere Kahn.
*grins* You and your John/Rodney.

All Rodney's porters would fear/hate/respect him. Because yes, he's demanding and irritating and unbelievably rude, but he treats everyone exactly the same, and doesn't try to cheat them. So they're willing to go a little farther for him than they would for some of his companions. And when he asks about Atlantis, they admit (as they wouldn't for most others) that there are stories and rough coordinates.

But somehow he gets separated from his safari/caravan/whatever the proper term is, and winds up deep in the jungle, lost and without a compass or map or anyway to find his way out. And he almost gets eaten by the wraith/Shere Kahn, which is when John jumps in. Originally he shows up because he was trailing the wraith, hoping to mess up its hunt, but he rescues Rodney because he's curious---here's somebody like him.

(There is the question of a language barrier, of course, but I don't feel like trying to sort that out.)

And then he sticks around because Rodney's interesting and amusing, and seems reluctantly impressed by John instead of amused (unlike Teyla and Ronon).
Ha! Cute! I can totally see that happening ... John just can't take his eyes off them for one minute, can he? And the ending made me grin. I love the seeds of the nascent friendship there.
I love the seeds of the nascent friendship there.

Oh, good. That's exactly what I was shooting for--more of a colleagues/friends vibe than friends/family.
This put a huge smile on my face - McKay offering his teammates for serfage to secure his coffee supply.
ROFL!! Oh, this was priceless! Really...and as a fellow caffeine addict, I so could relate. *pats Rodders on the head* LOL :) Loved it.
Thank you! I don't drink coffee (or tea or anything caffeinated) so I was writing this sort of blind. I'm glad you don't think it's (too) over-the-top.
Absolutely wonderful. So Rodney to lose himself in the need for coffee, and so John to be angry then amused. And the end...

“Thanks,” he said, and meant it. “I, ah, might have missed you if I’d traded you away. A teeny bit.”

Utterly adorable.
I, ah, might have missed you if I'd traded you away. A teeny bit

Yep, I can hear the abashed, "I didn't mean it quite that way," tone of Rodney's voice saying this (but, you know, coffee - important stuff!). Thanks!
Yup. It's more or less what was going through his mind when he started trading his teammates away. Well, that and COFFEE COFFEE REALLY GOOD COFFEE.