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TITLE: Parliamentary Procedure
FANDOM: Stargate Atlantis - The Citrus Hill Universe (AU)
PAIRING: John/Rodney
CHARACTERS:  John Sheppard, Rodney McKay, Laura Cadman
RATING: PG
WORDS: 777 (Hello, Vegas? Put everything on red!  Damnit, I'll send you a check.)
AUTHOR: squidgiepdx  and elderwitty
NOTES: This takes place in the Citrus Hill 'verse, created by squidgiepdx and elderwitty.  In this Universe, Rodney is Rodney (though not on Atlantis) but he's been banished to a small town in Florida for his attitude.  John is his boyfriend, the town garbage man environmental engineer, Rodney's landlord, and Mayor (amond other things).  And Laura is John's assistant.  If you need/want information about Citrus Hill, or just want to read the first three chapters and other "Citrus Hill Moments", click here for the Citrus Hill Master Index.
NOTES THE SECOND: This is for raphe1 for her birthday (Happy birthday, sweetie!) and also our entry for SGA Saturday week #19 prompt, "rule".

~*~*~

John and Rodney arrive early at Citrus Hill City Hall for the city council meeting where Rodney’s scheduled to present his suggestions for increased efficiency.  "Okay, where should I sit?" Rodney asks.

John guides Rodney over to the desk where Laura is setting up, determined that his boyfriend and his assistant will be friends – even if he has to force them.  "Do you have your information on a flash drive, McKay?" she asks.

"Oh, you know what those are?" Rodney replies sarcastically.  "I was prepared to bring it on floppies, or resort to smoke signals if necessary."

Laura's eyes narrow as she hisses, "You know, speaking of floppy-"

"Okay, kids," John cuts her off and takes Rodney by the shoulders to lead him away.  It doesn't stop them from making faces at each other.  "Rodney, you'll sit over there in the gallery until public input is called."  John spots Harold Neidermeyer, another council member, coming in.  He leans in to give Rodney a kiss on the cheek and follows it up with a whack on that firm butt as he turns back to the council bench, greeting Harold and waiting for the rest of the crowd to show up.

The meeting is well attended by Citrus Hill standards.  There are at least two dozen people in the gallery and every council member managed to make it on time (for once).  John opens with a motion to condemn Bubba's choice of clip-on tie.  It passes unanimously, while Bubba's wife sits in the audience happily throwing I told you so smiles at her husband.

Laura runs the meeting efficiently.  When it's Rodney’s turn, she nearly skips him out of spite, but John introduces him anyway.  "With us tonight is Dr. Rodney McKay.  He's a scientist and no stranger to identifying improvements in his own work process.  He's been kind enough to put together a report on small town efficiencies that might be beneficial to Citrus Hill."  He gestures Rodney up to the podium.  "Dr. McKay," he says, ceding the floor to him.

"I'd like to remind you that anyone wanting to address the council is limited to fifteen minutes, per Citrus Hill City Council rules," Laura says, clicking a stopwatch and dropping it next to her with a smug smile.

"But..." Rodney protests.  "But my presentation is 54 slides.  With intricate detail."

"Fourteen minutes, forty-eight seconds, McKay," Laura says, beaming at him.

"Sorry, buddy," John says.  "You're not gonna win this round."

"Fine," Rodney says, grabbing the clicker that controls the PowerPoint, "Rules are rules."  He desperately wants to say something uncomplimentary to Laura, but refrains in deference to the microphone in front of him, settling for glaring at her.

Rodney launches into his speech, not skipping any of the numerous slides.  He talks so rapidly he sounds like he's had a dozen double espressos, but he’s used to talking fast - spewing ideas at Radek before he can lose his train of thought - so it’s all clearly enunciated despite that.  Laura's smile fades as he clicks through the slideshow at a cheetah’s pace. Rodney stutters only once - nearly losing his place - as a laser pointer dot skitters along his left bicep. He knows it was John even if he didn’t catch him in the act - the fake innocence pasted across his face is evidence enough.

Click.  "And finally we come to the summary that can be boiled down to Work Smarter - Not Harder.  There are many ways that Citrus Hill can do more with less, and I hope that these-"

"Time!" Laura calls triumphantly.

"-suggestions will help get you there."  McKay takes what seems to be his first breath in fifteen minutes while looking around the room.  "Thank you," he says, in surprised response to the enthusiastic round of applause.

When it dies down a little, Harold Neidermeyer says, "Dr. McKay, I have a few questions, if I may?"

Everyone looks at Laura for a reaction, knowing that questions don't count against a person's time.  Rodney, realizing this from her crestfallen expression, rocks back on his heels and grins at her before turning to the council member.  "Please," he offers magnanimously.  "I'm here to serve."

When the meeting lets outs, Rodney works on his laptop while waiting for John, who’s working the crowd like a minister handshaking his Sunday flock goodbye.  "You hungry?" John asks.

"Starving," Rodney replies.  He doesn't ask; he knows a late-night stop at Skeeters is in store.  John offers his hand, pulling Rodney out of his chair and claiming a kiss before they start for the door.  "And I could kill for a giant cup of coffee right now."
 

Comments

( 24 comments — Leave a comment )
goddess47
Oct. 4th, 2011 03:49 am (UTC)
Love how Rodney gets to skirt the rules.... and John for the kiss and the tap on the rear (or how to feel your boyfriend up in public!)

Fun!
squidgiepdx
Oct. 4th, 2011 04:58 pm (UTC)
YIS!!! :) John smacking Rodney on the ass is always a good thing. :)
esteefee
Oct. 4th, 2011 04:23 am (UTC)
ha! loophole. I bet Rodney was talking as fast as that auctioneer guy who did those commercials in the 80s. with PPT!
squidgiepdx
Oct. 4th, 2011 04:58 pm (UTC)
Hey, he's got a lot to say! Plus, he totally had to out-do Cadman. Out of principal! :)
rissabby
Oct. 4th, 2011 04:35 am (UTC)
Nice. It's actually not difficult to picture Rodney speed talking. I'm sure he was well prepared in advance since he enjoys showing off in front of John.
squidgiepdx
Oct. 4th, 2011 04:59 pm (UTC)
You just know John was up there going, "That's my boyfriend!". ::grin::
popkin16
Oct. 4th, 2011 09:54 am (UTC)
Haha, I love that Rodney got the loophole, that he managed to speed talk his way through his entire speech. GO RODNEY!

And I approve of John's kiss and tap on the ass :P
squidgiepdx
Oct. 4th, 2011 04:59 pm (UTC)
There should always be good PDAs from John and Rodney. :)
saphirablue
Oct. 4th, 2011 06:20 pm (UTC)
I love speed talking Rodney! :D And you made me curious about the rest of the 'verse! :)

Thank you! :)
squidgiepdx
Oct. 4th, 2011 06:29 pm (UTC)
Yay! Glad you liked it enough to make you curious about the rest of the 'verse. There are currently three larger chapters published, with another one coming out very soon! Also, there are three or four other "Citrus Hill Moments" published as well. They're all in the master sticky post in my LJ.
mckaysmonkey
Oct. 4th, 2011 09:10 pm (UTC)
So many funny moments I don't know where to start. Even your word count made me laugh, for godsakes!!

squidgiepdx
Oct. 5th, 2011 11:33 pm (UTC)
Yay!!! I'm glad you liked it! :) Yeah, we tend to be a bit on the crazy side - especially with John & Rodney! :)
lilyfarfalla
Oct. 7th, 2011 04:30 am (UTC)
Heeeeee, I have not read anything else in this universe, but I might have to because it reads like a SGA/Gilmore Girls AU which....is the most meant to be thing ever. Holy crap, I think I only just realized that Rodney = Lorelei. Whoa, mind blown. WHO IS RORY?! I don't even?!?@?!?
squidgiepdx
Oct. 9th, 2011 12:15 am (UTC)
Eep! I have to confess - I've never even seen The Gilmore Girls</i>! This is just how Rodney and John are in our heads, naturally! Now I have to watch an episode or two. :)
lilyfarfalla
Oct. 10th, 2011 11:57 pm (UTC)
The small town/quirky town hall meeting was a common scene on that show, and one of the main characters was a fast talking know it all who loved coffee. And loved the laconic, laid back guy who owned the diner. So, you can see why I might have thought they were related? Anyways, this was really fun, and I love that it inspired this fusion in my head!
elderwitty
Nov. 18th, 2011 10:54 am (UTC)
SGilmoreGirlsA
That makes Sheppard Luke! AAAAAAAA-HAAAAAAAAAAA!!!

I think Teyla would be Rory. She's really the only one level-headed enough. Now, who's Sookie? (Wait - Carson.) Oh, my God - that means there's a Kirk on Atlantis!!! Run for your lives!

(Unlike Walter, I've seen every episode. I tend to talk [even] faster after a viewing.)

lilyfarfalla
Nov. 18th, 2011 05:15 pm (UTC)
Re: SGilmoreGirlsA
YES EXACTLY. I mean, HE JUST TOTALLY IS. There are totally a million AUs where John is some laconic cafe owner. ITS PRACTICALLY CANON.

Ahem. Ahhaha, Kirk. Who has all of the jobs on Atlantis? Chuck?
hoktauri
Oct. 8th, 2011 10:39 pm (UTC)
:-))) Loved this! Never read any of this 'verse before, but I've added it to my "to be read" list. I love when John and Rodney are comfortable in their relationship like they are here.
squidgiepdx
Oct. 9th, 2011 12:14 am (UTC)
Eeeee!!!! Welcome to Citrus Hill! John and Rodney weren't always that in synch in the 'verse; it took them a little while (that's why one of the chapters is called "Crossed Connections"!). But they got there. I truly love the 'verse - and chapter 4 is almost ready to post! We had a big delay because of losing my pup (which caused me to stop writing romantic comedy for nearly 6 months), but we're back on the bandwagon. I dearly love chapter 4, and we're still not sure how we're going to flesh out the big cliffhanger at the end - much less the whole series! :)
hoktauri
Oct. 9th, 2011 12:59 am (UTC)
Aw, I'm sorry to hear about your pup! Losing a pet must be hard. But I'm glad you're writing the romantic comedies again! :-)
squidgiepdx
Oct. 10th, 2011 08:45 pm (UTC)
Losing him was more like losing a child, at least to me and my partner. We treated him like he was a kid, not a dog. And man, did he have us wrapped around his fingers! :)
scarlettandblue
Oct. 9th, 2011 02:05 pm (UTC)
Oh this is my new favourite place to imagine John and Rodney. but what happened to part 4 you say it's done but where is it? I may not be able to wait until it gets here (throws rattle out of pram squeeling I want it noooooooowwwwww)

Oh I just read your last commment. I'm so sorry sweetheart (sneaks out of pram and scoops up rattle and puts it back) I'll wait patiently and just be thankful you are getting back to a happier place where there can be Rom com (big kiss for you)

Edited at 2011-10-09 02:07 pm (UTC)
squidgiepdx
Oct. 10th, 2011 08:44 pm (UTC)
Thank you... ::hugs:: It was tough losing him, because he wasn't just our pet. We raised him as a little boy - and he knew he was. He knew he was something special. It was the hardest thing I've ever been through in my life, though some good did come out of it. I'm totally convinced he came to stay with us that night after he left; I can't explain it (though I tried here). And though it's been almost a year, the pain is still real, still there.

So elderwitty and I are back to our usual hijinx. Not much longer, and chapter 4 will be out!!!! :)

Edited at 2011-10-10 08:45 pm (UTC)
scarlettandblue
Oct. 10th, 2011 10:18 pm (UTC)
It's so strange, earlier this month I went on holiday with my mum (she's 87 and likes coach holidays!!) So we were on our way to out seaside destination and one of the people on the coach was an older, farmer type of man, and he was talking to his wife about animals,and pets. He had this mindset that you shouldn't become fond of "livestock" because it leads to heardache (I guess he meant the difference in life span and the inevitibility of losing them.)

But it was so strange because as soon as I heard him talking it reminded me of what I believe. Made it crystal clear in my head.

I absolutely believe that this is the very reason we have to love them. That this is the reason we have to let them in to our hearts. Yes it sets us up for heartache and pain because of the inevitibility of loss, but it makes us more human too. We love them knowing that love isn't for ever. We love them all the more beause we know we are going to lose them. And even as it breaks our hearts that is what makes us human beings instead of mere machines.

I wish I had told that old farmer man how much of a a coward I thought he was.
( 24 comments — Leave a comment )

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