Pairing: Mckay/Sheppard pre-slash
Sequel/Series: Looks like it; unknown length. I'll be done when you're tired of reading 'em
Thanks: So, Laura just had to ask "I wonder what Bates' reaction will be to his new job and colleague?" Thanks. I think! :-) This one's for you!
Summary: Rodney's delegated part of running Atlantis to an unlikely pair.
Remedial Leadership – Extra Credit Assignment 1
The soldier and the scientist eyed each other warily.
Bates sighed. This wasn't going to go well if someone didn't make an effort. He offered, "At least they gave us a decent office." He looked around. Two desks, space for storage and an outside view. In most places it didn't get any better than that. In places other than Atlantis.
"It is close to everything," Miko agreed, reluctantly. "Which desk would you prefer?"
Bates looked around and automatically chose the desk where his back would be to the wall and he could see who was coming in the door. Security procedures like that were second-nature. "This one, if you don't mind," he said politely.
"I suspected as much," she replied. "But, no, I don't mind," she told him. They had all learned hard lessons in making themselves safe.
"Sit?" he asked. "Easier to talk that way." Bates moved to his new desk.
Miko moved less confidently to her new desk. She sat and ran her hands across the surface. She laughed when they came up dusty. "I suspect we will be our own first clients," she said ruefully.
Bates drew a line in the dust on his own desk and sighed. How the fuck did he end up in charge of fucking *housekeeping*? He thought back to his session with Major Sheppard the previous day.
"Sergeant Bates? I have a special job I need you to take on," Sheppard had said.
"Sir? What do you need?" He should have been warned by the glint in Sheppard's eye. But he had been hoping to be put in charge of base security and maybe Sheppard was finally giving that to him.
Sheppard had given him a lazy grin. "Dr. McKay and I have been doing some talking and turns out he needs someone from my team to help with running the city." Sheppard – the bastard – had let that one hang for a moment. "I've assigned you to work with Dr. Kusangi to run some of the critical city operations."
"Kusangi? What does she know about security?" Bates had asked without thinking.
"Security?" Sheppard had said, surprised. There was a tinge of regret in the shake of the head. "Sorry. You and the good doctor are now responsible for truly day-to-day living. Food service, laundry, housekeeping, and anything else domestic that fits into that category."
Bates felt like he had been sucker-punched. "Housekeeping?" he had rasped.
"Sorry, someone has to do it and, frankly, I think you'll be good at it," Sheppard had added insult to injury.
Bates had to breathe a couple of times to control himself. Really deep breath. "Permission to speak freely?" he asked.
Sheppard had waved a hand at that and nodded.
"Fucking laundry?" Bates demanded. "I don't know anything about laundry or… cooking."
Sheppard sighed. "That's the problem. No one does. The good news is that McKay wants out of that business so badly that you are *in charge.* Well, you and Dr. Kusangi. So, whatever you two decide – it sticks. I'd appreciate a heads up if there's going to be trouble of course, but I'll promise you no end-arounds."
Bates bit back another complaint. That was as good as it ever got, when the CO promised to back you up. Not like he had any options…
"So. Where do we start?" Bates asked Kusanagi.
Miko grinned. "Inventory, of course. What do we have to work with in terms of people and supplies."
Bates groaned and slumped in his chair. This only got worse. "We have to do inventory?" he – Marines don't whimper – moaned.
"Ah. You have not done this before," Miko said serenely. "We do not do inventory. We are in charge. Someone else does the inventory and reports to us."
Bates sat up. That was better. He eyed the scientist closely. She was definitely pleased with herself. He had to ask, "You *want* to do this job?"
Her smile was blinding. "Yes, indeed. You do not understand what has been handed to us. Dr. McKay is brilliant and I could not hope to do the work he does in the lab. I was only going to follow up on his results and maybe, on a good day, be allowed to check his math." She waved he hand. "Here, we are responsible for this city. For it is truly known that an army marches on its stomach?" Bates nodded at her, not sure where she was going with this. "We are now responsible for the happiness of those who are here. When we do our job properly, no one but you and I will know what a good job we have done. We will be invisible. Although, perhaps, your Major Sheppard – I think maybe he will notice. When things go wrong, and they inevitably will, your Major Sheppard and my Dr. McKay will, I am sure, protect us from blame."
Bates sat back to think. Sheppard had promised they were in charge and while he didn't know the Major all that well, he seemed like someone he could trust. He started to process what that really meant. He drew patterns in the dust on the desk. "I … ummm… well, I wasn't too happy about this," he started. "Nothing about you," he hastened to add for Kusanagi's benefit. "But I had been hoping to be put in charge of base security. Housekeeping wasn't what I had been looking forward to."
"But this is security," Miko said softly. "Security of the soul. We will keep our people fed, and clothed and comfortable so they can do their job without worrying about where the next meal comes from or if they have clean uniforms."
*Security of the soul.* He liked the sound of that. He looked up at Miko, "Maybe this won't be so bad after all." He smiled at her.