It was still a bit of a mystery how they had ended up on Atlantis. All Elizabeth had said was that General O'Neill was sending them some specialist help, was sending them a team he had the utmost faith in. John's first thought had been SEALs, or maybe the SAS.
What he got was sheep. Combat sheep. There were some days it really didn't pay to get out of bed in Pegasus.
"They're sheep, Elizabeth." John was more than proud of the way his voice didn't go up an octave at the end.
Elizabeth looked at him, her fingers tapping against a thick file on her desk. "They are a highly trained, specialist team. One that comes personally recommended by Jack O'Neill, at that. And considering O'Neill has a habit of not sending us the people he personally recommends, I suggest we hold onto these ones and don't let them go." She picked up the file and held it out to him, glaring at him when he hesitated in taking it. "Harris, Moose, Cooper and Peaches; I'm sure they'll be valuable members of the expedition."
John's plaintive retort of, "But, sheep!" was cut off by Rodney's arrival.
"Elizabeth, I've worked out a way to increase the power from the ZPM by 1.5%. It's practically foolproof, and if it fails we'll only lose half the east pier, which doesn't really matter because it's only Botan..." He trailed off mid-word, eyes fixed out of the windows. "Why are there sheep in the gateroom?" he asked, before pausing and squinting at the group of said ovine. "And why is one of them wearing lipstick?"
Tuesdays. John loved Tuesdays. The mystery-meat lasagne on the menu reminded him of the meals he'd eaten at his grandmother's house. If said meals had involved purple pasta and a six-foot Marine cook called Dave, that is.
Dave smiled as he handed over a plate of the lasagne and sent John off with a cheerful, "Enjoy your meal, sir."
John nodded and scanned the mess, looking for Rodney. He was normally easy to find, you usually just had to look for the wildly gesticulating arms, or the one area of the room where none of the other scientists - with the general exception of Zelenka - were sitting. Or, John thought, reaching the table Rodney and Carson were sitting at, you follow the sound of the man smacking his head off the table.
"Oh god, Colonel," Rodney didn't even lift his head as his hand reached out to grasp John's arm as John sat down, "make the badness stop."
"What's wrong?" John asked, not moving his arm from Rodney's grip.
"He keeps talking about it... her... oh god, I'm having pronoun confusion over something that should be in mint sauce." He paused. "Wow, the pattern on this table looks different from down here."
John's eye twitched as he glanced at Carson. Surely Rodney was mistaken.
"Such a lovely lassie," Carson murmured. "Reminds me a little of my first girlfriend. Ah, bonny Morag. She had such lovely wool. I did so love to run my fingers through it. And Peaches. Such a fine name for such a fine figure of a woman."
John just looked at him. "Is he really talking about-?"
"Yes," Rodney whimpered.
"And so healthy," Carson continued. "I've never seen such bone structure."
And that was how John discovered Rodney was right about the pattern on the table.
It wasn't exactly how John preferred the first mission of a new team to go. What they were meant to get was a nice, friendly planet full of people willing to trade and not care that four of the eight Atlanteans were three foot tall and wool-covered. What they got was an abandoned village and the advance party of a culling.
"The Wraith are between us and the Gate," Teyla commented, her hands steady around the P-90 as the Wraith advanced on them.
"Not for long," Ronon replied, checking his gun.
"Wait," Harris said, stepping forward and looking at John, "let us handle this."
"Aye, laddie," Moose agreed, "we'll show ye how real professionals dee it."
Without waiting for John's answer, the sheep raced forward, the soft cry of Harris's "Stop flocking!" ringing out.
SGA-1 looked out to where the sheep had just reached the oncoming Wraith and then at each other.
"Shouldn't we help them?" Teyla questioned.
Ronon shrugged. "Looks like they're doing fine to me."
John had to admit Ronon was right. Four of the dozen Wraith were already on the ground, and the sheep were making short work of the others.
"I'm not quite sure whether to be impressed or horrified," Rodney admitted as Cooper took out another Wraith by running from it then turning around and head butting it.
Ronon smirked. "If you ask him nicely, McKay, he might teach you that move. After all, you've already got the running away bit down." John might have objected to the comment, if he hadn't known that three of the new Marines had had the crap beaten out of them during training after they'd insulted McKay within Ronon's earshot. Bickering among themselves may be allowed but team was team.
"Oh, that's right. Pick on the scientist who keeps saving everyone," Rodney grumbled, no real heat to his words as he continued to watch the sheep take down Wraith after Wraith until only one was left circling Peaches.
John winced as one of her hooves flew back and jabbed the Wraith in the eye, dropping him immediately.
"Christ," Rodney muttered beside him, "that looks like that'll sting in the morning."
Leaving the pile of unconscious Wraith behind them, the sheep sauntered back.
"Right," said Moose, brushing his hooves together, "now we've seen off those buggers, where does a sheep have to go to get a drink around here?"
The thing about Zelenka's still, John thought, was that it was great leveller of the field. Didn't matter who you were, what you were, nothing stood up to the rotgut that came from The Still. One drink and you were drunk as a skunk and talking to the person next to you as if you'd known them for years. Which was why he had a pounding headache and a slight memory of telling everyone about the first time he kissed Rodney, with a possible re-enactment for good measure.
Cracking open an eyelid, he tried not to groan as the light assaulted him. Taking deep breaths and asking Atlantis to darken the windows slightly, John focused on the room. Rodney was asleep next to him, the two of them having somehow managed to snag the bed - probably because no one ever wanted to hear Rodney complain about having to sleep on the floor ever again. Ronon and Teyla were against the wall, Ronon asleep on Teyla's leg as he snored.
Moose and Harris were a tangle of hooves and wool in a corner, and wow, that explained so much.
Cooper had his head in Elizabeth's lap, which mean that the answer to Cooper wondering whether Elizabeth would be 'up for a little woolly action' was apparently 'yes'.
And it looked like she wasn't the only one. Covered in a blanket and wrapped up together on the couch with clothes all around them was Carson and Peaches, proving that John's memory wasn't going, and the last thing he'd heard before unconsciousness had indeed been "Oh, Doctor Beckett, you naughty man..." in Peaches's dulcet tones.
John looked down into Rodney's blurry blue eyes, eyebrow raised in question.
"Too early. Stop being awake. Go back to sleep." And since John had learned the hard way it was usually pointless to argue with Rodney, he snuggled closer and did just that.