(use of a certain song with regards to ye olde citye of Atlantisse comes from an old wish for songvidding from helenish, and many thanks to quettaser for advising me that jshep should be forced to squirm more.)
Rodney had picked up this habit of absentmindedly stroking his hand along the casing of panels he was repairing. He didn't seem to be aware that he was doing it, but Sheppard couldn't help but notice that the repairs always seemed to go just a little bit faster-- and smoother-- when Rodney's blunt fingers curled possessively around the city's Ancient designs.
"Like a genie in a bottle, huh Rodney?" John murmured with a smirk. He heard Walsh cough behind them, but ignored it.
"What are you talking about?" Rodney asked distractedly.
"Just gotta rub it the right way, you know," he shrugged. Walsh was frantically whispering something into his radio.
Rodney paused, blinking up at him. "That sounds familiar. Why does that sound familiar?"
Walsh stepped forward suddenly, looking over his shoulder for something. "Colonel Sheppard? It seems that we have an issue cropping up in Sector Seven--"
"Oh my god," Rodney huffed in amusement. "Oh my god. That's from that terrible song! Jeannie sent it to me as a joke once. You know it well enough to quote?"
John felt himself go pale, and Walsh hissed.
"Lieutenant Colonel Christina Aguilera," Rodney snorted. "What's next-- a little Cher?"
"Really funny, McKay," John spat, before turning on his heel and striding away. Walsh was still muttering something into his radio, but John couldn't hear anything over the roaring in his ears.
"Shit, shit, shit--" Henderson was muttering as he flipped through an unlabeled file folder. "Where is he now?"
Walsh shook his head. "Man, Atlantis might like me, but even I can't find him when he wants to disappear. I was right behind him, but this door appeared in the corridor, and-- well, you know how it is.
"Yeah, I know," Henderson sighed. "Okay, here's your dossier. I'll get these to the other guys."
"Flores isn't going to like this. He has a subscription to Ms."
"Yeah, well, we all have to make sacrifices to keep from dying in another galaxy."
Sheppard burst into the barracks with an armful of luridly colored DVDs (still conspicuously wrapped). "Hey guys!" he said with suspicious enthusiasm. "You up for a Girls Gone Wild marathon??"
"Oh!" Morin managed. "...huh."
"That Joe Francis," Sheppard grimly continued. "He's a real American hero."
Flores started choking and ran out of the room.
"Um," Henderson managed. "Actually, sir, we were just talking. About...chicks."
"Oh. Chicks! Yeah, great. The ladies!"
"You like those breasts, huh sir?" Morin said.
Sheppard nodded uncertainly. "...yes? Uh. Definitely."
"What else do you love about women, sir?"
He blinked. "Oh. Well." After an audible gulp, he went for it. "Vaginas. Those are just...great. The best. Men love those! About the...women."
Walsh carefully peeked at a notecard in his hand. "Yes, women! Hey, you know what women talk about a lot? MENSTRUATION."
"I know, right?" Henderson said. "Man. They're always talking about all those cramps, right? WEIRD."
There was a commotion in the hallway. "--won't say it, I refuse to perpetuate damaging and untrue stereotypes about masculine refusal to accept perfectly normal aspects of biological activity--"
"And how about all those TAMPONS!" Walsh shouted.
"--get eaten by the fucking wraith??" someone growled outside, just before Flores stumbled into the room, a mulish expression on his face.
"Time of the month," Morin hissed.
Flores steeled himself. "Never trust anything that-- um. Anything that--"
"That what?" Walsh prompted.
Flores glared. "Never trust anything that bleeds for seven days and doesn't die," he spat out. Without another word, he stormed back out of the room.
"ANYWAY," Henderson chirped, "you wanted to talk about women, Colonel Sheppard? And how much you love everything about them?"
"I think we're doing this the wrong way." Thompson said quietly, speaking up for the first time.
"Sgt?" Sheppard said, obviously confused.
Thompson shrugged. "The thing is-- if a guy really cares about someone, he isn't grossed out or embarrassed by anthing like that. If you really like a person, you don't mind if that person does all sorts of things that might seem annoying or weird in the abstract. Right?"
Sheppard looked at the floor. "Like--"
"Like, say, bitter sarcasm, or hypochrondria. Scary food allergies. Sunburning easily. Using a lot of technical jargon. Making fun of perfectly legitimate if slightly kitschy music preferences."
"Speaking of which," Walsh drawled thoughtfully, "did you guys know McKay put Beyonce on his 'punishing the imbeciles' mix that he plays in the labs when he's pissed off? He might say it's for revenge, but he got the song somewhere.
Sheppard's mouth twitched. "Maybe I should--"
"We'll take those off your hands," Morin said gently, taking the DVDs with a disgusted grimace.
Half an hour later, Lorne popped his head into the room. "Hey guys-- just got an email from Zelenka. Apparently, when he and McKay got back from lunch, McKay's screensaver had been changed to I DON'T THINK YOU'RE READY FOR THIS JELLY, and his wallpaper was a picture of Jay-Z."
"As happy as that makes me," Flores said mournfully, "I don't know if I can stand to high five to my total degradation as a thinking, feeling human being."
"Yeah, I think we all learned our own important lesson today-- about what sort of messages we should be sending his way. That said, though, we'd be remiss if we didn't give credit to the guy behind today's Hail Mary. Thompson, here's five big ones for you!"
Thompson grinned. His hand would be sore after this impending gauntlet of congratulatory high fives, but it was all worth it.