"Major, I need one of your Marines," demanded Dr. Rodney McKay.
Major John Sheppard looked at him for a moment and leaned back in his chair. "Why, McKay, I didn’t think any of my Marines, as you call them, were your type," John replied with a grin.
"My type?" spluttered Rodney. "What are you…" Rodney stopped and John watched him actually blush. "Oh. Har. Har. Very funny," Rodney said rolling his eyes. "No, I mean I would like to have one of your Marines work with one of the scientists to take care of some of this administrative crap that needs to be done."
"Well, that’s an interesting proposition," John temporized. "What did you have in mind?" He didn’t want to commit any of the Marines until he knew what McKay was thinking.
"This is your fault, you know," Rodney answered. "It was your idea to delegate some of this work, and now I need someone to delegate it to. And it’s not fair to make the civilians do all the work since your Marines live here too."
Well, that was actually reasonable, John thought. But he wasn’t going to give in to Rodney easily. "Well, we could work out a trade, as a thought," he offered.
Rodney sighed. "What kind of a trade?" he asked suspiciously.
John grinned. "I’ll give you… hmmm…. Sergeant Bates… if you’ll do weapons training," John suggested airily. But he wanted to see how Rodney would react.
Rodney choked on the coffee he was drinking. "Weapons training? Why in the world would I need weapons training?" Rodney demanded. "And why would I ever agree to that?"
Sheppard drawled, "Well, for one thing, it’s the only way I’m going to give you Bates. Even though I’ll grant you it’s a good idea." He had to give Rodney credit for that. "But there will come a time you will want to go off Atlantis for some damn fool reason or another, and I’m not taking you until you’ve had weapons training."
Rodney looked up at that. He narrowed his eyes, considering the implications of the offer. The thought of going off world was tempting. Sheppard had told him that he had wanted Rodney for his team before Elizabeth had died. He’d like to think this was one way Sheppard was making it up to him.
"But I don’t have enough time to do the lab work I already need to do," Rodney protested. "I don’t have time for weapons training."
"But you have enough time to do the work you want Bates for," John pointed out. "Think of it as a trade off. You should come out ahead in the long run." John shrugged. "Your loss, then." He let that hang.
Rodney sighed. He needed the help and Sheppard played dirty. "Okay, okay. Once a week.." he started.
"Three times," John immediately countered. "Shorter sessions are better than longer ones for this."
"I get Bates full time," Rodney counter-offered.
"Unless there’s an emergency," John had to concede.
"Yes. Yes. Yes," Rodney waved his hands.
"Which of the scientists were you thinking of?" John asked, curious.
Rodney grinned, "Miko Kusanagi."
John thought about that for a minute. He didn’t know her well, but was interested in anyone that Rodney would assign to this. "Bates will like that, I suspect." John offered.
"Miko can hold her own," Rodney conceded. "She almost knows how to pay attention to details." Coming from Rodney, that was high praise. "I thought the two of them could handle most of the day-to-day living things that need taking care of. Laundry, food, housekeeping, that sort of thing. If they can organize those, that’ll take a load out of here."
Bates wouldn’t be thrilled about the work, John realized, but he’d do a decent job of it. And until they found a way to get in contact with Earth, they all needed to pitch in.
"Okay, then, come on," John said, standing.
"Wha… go where?" Rodney asked suspiciously.
"For that weapons training," John said patiently. "We might was well start now. Come on." John moved toward the door of the office.
Rodney sighed. "Okay, okay," he agreed, reluctance obvious in his voice. Suddenly the idea of getting out of this office and doing something was powerful. Not that he’d admit it.
At the range, Rodney found he wasn’t completely inept with a gun. Almost completely inept, maybe, but not totally. But John was patient and made him go through basic target shooting with a pistol for the better part of an hour.
At one point, John had to stand next to Rodney and physically to get him into a proper shooting position. John put one hand on Rodney’s back and the other under Rodney’s elbow and twisted him slightly. He held Rodney in position and said, "Now try it." That shot almost hit where Rodney was aiming.
"For someone with the manual dexterity you have in the lab, you have lousy muscle control shooting a gun," John observed. "We’ll have to keep working on this is all," he shrugged. John reached down and picked up a small box. "Here," he said, handing the box to Rodney.
"What’s that?" Rodney asked, not taking the box.
"Gun cleaning kit," John said. "You get a gun dirty, you have to clean it."
"I don’t…" Rodney started to protest. The look John gave him left him no choice but to take the box.
"It’ll make you more familiar with how the gun works, if nothing else," John told him. "Taking it apart to clean it will help you get familiar with the feel of the gun." He grinned. "And it can’t make you any worse."
"Oh, sure, mock the poor scientist," Rodney moaned. His arm ached from the shooting, not badly, but enough to know that he had done something new. Maybe that was enough. Looking for new experiences was why he had come to Atlantis in the first place. He turned to John, "When can we do this again?"