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Title: A Visit From the Home Office
Author: esteefee
Pairing: John/Rodney (implied)
Rating: G
Words: 1,518
Chars: John, Rodney, Teyla, Ronon
Categories: AU, Series, Serious Crack
Summary: See title.
A/N: This won't make sense w/o reading Critical Mass, and it's in honor of sga_flashfic and cesperanza, et alia's comm there. This also marks my 100th story in SGA fandom! So of course, it's total crack.

A Visit From the Home Office

by esteefee

John came in from the back office, his hair looking unusually agitated, and Rodney went on high alert and immediately checked the pressure gauge on the CO2 canister for the soda machine. It was always the first to blow.

"What is it?" Rodney asked nervously. "What's wrong now?"

Scrubbing at his chin with his palm, John mumbled, "We're getting a visit from the home office."

"Oh." Rodney's stomach sank. "To what do we owe this honor?"

"You think they told me? I'm just a lowly night manager," John said bitterly.

Rodney winced in false sympathy, because as much as he felt sorry for John, it wasn't as if he really regretted that John hadn't been transferred to another location. And yeah, Rodney was vaguely, partially responsible for the reprimand in John's file, but it had been really important to save that shipment of coffee! Much more so than those stupid—if more valuable in a traditional, monetary sense—imported bobble-head dolls.

It was pleasing to contemplate, anyway, that in the heat of the moment John hadn't questioned Rodney's snap judgment and had rescued the coffee first without double-checking the carton labels.

"When are they coming?" Rodney asked, looking around. Everything was spic-and-span, of course, as John had been ready to hand off to Rodney for day shift and was a stickler about maintenance in order to try to prevent another incident. Plus, John was kind of a neat freak.

"Right now. As in, you'd better change into a fresh uniform—"

But it was already too late, because a shiny black limousine pulled up outside the storefront, and out of it stepped a giant of a man in a sharp Armani-ish suit, dark sunglasses and neatly arranged dreadlocks completing his oddly compelling look.

John and Rodney exchanged glances, then watched as the tall man held out his hand and assisted a woman out of the car, her tanned legs so flawlessly smooth Rodney couldn't tell if she was wearing pantyhose or not.

John whimpered beside him, and Rodney elbowed him hard in the ribs.

"You're strictly gay, remember?"

"Whatever helps you sleep at night."

The woman slid elegantly upright and brushed down her off-white, classically tailored suit, then pulled off her sunglasses and tucked them in her pocket before striding on through the sliding doors.

"Showtime," John muttered under his breath, and walked ahead to meet her.

"Hi, I'm John Sheppard, Night Manager here. They said they were sending the Vice President and Director of Internal Development?" he said.

"Yes, you can call me Ms. Emmagan. And this is the V.P. and Director of Operations, Mr. Ronon Dex."

Rodney stomach shrunk into a tiny ball and tried to exit out his anus. They'd sent two VPs. Two. He and John were so in the shit it wasn't funny. All of this over damaged inventory? It didn't make sense.

Ms. Emmagan looked around the store, her eyes sharp and assessing. They paused as they passed over the Slurpee machine, then trailed over to the coffee maker, where a fresh pot stood steaming.

"Would you like some coffee, er, Ms. Emmagan? I'm Rodney McKay, by the way, Day Manager."

"Why, yes, Mr. McKay. That would be most welcome." She smiled, her teeth gleaming.

Rodney rushed over to the carafe, eager to score some points. His coffee was epic, unrivaled by any other 7-11 in the chain. It wasn't just about the inventory hoops he made John jump through, or Rodney's exacting storage methods and standards (humidity and temperature kept at precise engineering tolerances.) No, it was about the brewing protocols he'd developed, and that certain, magical touch John had with the machines Rodney hadn't been able to quantify or, he was embarrassed to admit, replicate.

"Here you go," he said proudly, handing her the paper cup. "Oh," he said. "Would you like cream or sugar?" It would adulterate the taste, of course—hardly necessary—but he supposed if she insisted—

"Not at all," she said, and took a sip. Her eyes widened, and he preened.

"Good, isn't it?"

"Yes, it's extraordinary."

John said, "Yeah, he's pretty proud of it."

"How about Mr. Ronon, would he like—?" Except the big fellow seemed to have disappeared. John jerked his head toward the back room, and Rodney suppressed a gasp of horror. The back office was hardly up for inspection.

"Tell me, Mr. McKay, how is it you brew such superior coffee with the same base materials as the other stores in the chain?" Ms. Emmagan's eyes narrowed suspiciously.

"Oh, ah. Well, it's no secret—"

John snorted.

"Um, except the details, of course, we wouldn't necessarily want to share with our rivals, but yes, we are using the same materials, it's just that John and I have worked hard to develop a process, and there are very strict rules for the brewing procedure—"

"Ah, yes. The rules," Emmagan said crisply, putting down her coffee to open her briefcase.

Rodney had the terrible feeling he'd stepped in it.

"Would these be the rules that..." she shuffled open a file folder, "...Mr. Aaron Whitcomb violated on the twelfth of September?"

John let out an an almost inaudible groan.

Rodney jutted his jaw. "Actually, yes. He very clearly neglected to wet the filter before placing the dry grounds—"

Emmagan continued, "—a rule which led you to call him, and I quote, 'a pin-headed twit with sludge for brains, and whose ineptitude in coffee-making ranked slightly lower than that of a fat-tailed lemur,' end-quote?" She arched one perfectly formed eyebrow at Rodney.

"At least it's a primate," Rodney said.

"Mr. McKay—"

"Don't you understand? This was after he'd also failed to pre-warm the carafe with hot water!"

Emmagan frowned. "You do realize that, in your endeavors to achieve the perfect cup of coffee, you have to pay attention to such little things as not possibly exposing our company to law suits for creating a hostile work environment?"

Rodney swallowed heavily.

"Now," she said calmly, "we did manage to soothe Mr. Whitcomb's ruffled feathers by offering him a prestigious position as chief cashier in one of our kiosks in Yankee Stadium—"

Rodney could hear John's teeth grinding from several feet away.

"—but in future, you will please refrain from verbally abusing your co-workers."

"Yes, ma'am," Rodney said meekly.

"That said...ah, Mr. Dex. What do you have?"

Mr. Dex loped back in with a wide smirk on his face that boded ill. Rodney saw John shift into an aggressive stance, placing his body between Rodney and the sharply dressed V.P.

"Books look good. Numbers pan out—no monkey business. However they're doing it, it's not a front for anything."

"What the hell?" John said, taking a step forward, his arms crossing defensively. "Where do you get off with accusing us of—"

"Hey," Dex said, raising both hands, "we had to check. Your net proceeds were coming back a little too high to be believable."

"Oh." John rocked back on his heels. He was the one who kept the books. "Well," he said, scratching the back of his neck, "things have been going good, yeah. Rodney's coffee brings 'em in, and I've been doing a little redesigning—"

"He gets these ideas," Rodney said, poking at him.

"Nothing big, just, I think people prefer wide open spaces, and I imagine how they look for stuff, where they expect to find things. Also, I've been ordering a little inventively. And I keep things really damned clean—nobody likes bugs."

"Well, whatever you've been doing has been working," Dex said. "That's why the inspection. Didn't expecting to find these, though," he said, reaching into his pocket and pulling out a pair of fuzzy handcuffs. "Found 'em clipped to the inventory shelves."

"Ah. Um, those are Sheppard's. He's, uh, he's in a biker club."

John kicked him.

Ronon made a huffing sound.

"Hmm." Emmagan tapped her fingers against the file folder. "Why hot pink?"

Rodney bit his lip. "Uh. The gang's called the Pink Flamingos." He heard John choke beside him. "Very exclusive."

"I see," Emmagan said, a smile playing at her lips. "Well, please keep your extra-curricular uniform at home, John. The home office has taken great interest in the work you two have been doing. And we wish to expand your operation."

"Really?" Rodney looked at John, who was looking completely flummoxed.

"Indeed. We want to triple the size of the franchise, put you both on as day managers, and hire additional support staff."

"Wow. Cool," John said.

Rodney elbowed him. "Is that all you have to say? This is huge!"

"Uh, and thank you, Ms. Emmagan, Mr. Dex. We won't let you down."

Emmagan smiled, suddenly looking young and mischievous. "Please be sure you don't. And try to keep the..." she consulted her file, "'mysterious noises coming from the back office,' down to an absolute minimum."

Rodney felt himself flushing. "Will do, ma'am. Would you like some fresh coffee while we discuss the details?"

"Yes, thank you, I would."

"I'd rather have a Slurpee," Dex said.

John gave Rodney a panicked look, but Rodney just nodded encouragingly at him.

It was just one Slurpee.

What could possibly go wrong?

ronon in a suit with pink slurpee painting him and a row of slurpee machines behind him


A/N: And in case you're curious: pink fuzzy handcuffs


( 23 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 8th, 2011 06:14 am (UTC)
Oh. My. God!!!!!

That was so awesome!!! Rodney and John coming up with the PERFECT cup of coffee. And John being a neat freak. And "at least it was a mammal!" ::snark:: But especially the funny noises coming from the back, and the cursed Slurpee machine!!!!!
Oct. 8th, 2011 06:20 am (UTC)
dude, it's totally POSSESSED! :O

Oct. 8th, 2011 10:58 am (UTC)
Oh, very good fun as I enjoy my first coffee of the day! Fat-tailed lemurs and hasty stomach exits (eeks!) and extra-curricular uniforms, oh my. Wonderful!
Oct. 8th, 2011 08:38 pm (UTC)
hee. hee.
Oct. 8th, 2011 01:35 pm (UTC)
I am very glad that I am not drinking any liquids while reading this! Go John and his magic touch with the slurpee machine! Nothing will go wrong if it's just one slurpee, right? ;)

I was a little worried when Ronon got into the backroom, and then I died from laughter at the pink fuzzy handcuffs. :D :D :D
Oct. 8th, 2011 08:40 pm (UTC)
pink! fuzzy! :)))

thanks, my friend :D
Oct. 8th, 2011 07:04 pm (UTC)
:D :D This...this made me grin for real!

Thank you! :D
Oct. 8th, 2011 08:41 pm (UTC)
thank you! had so much fun writing it. :D
Oct. 8th, 2011 09:15 pm (UTC)
"fat tailed lemur" *gigglesnort*. Loved Rodney's epic quest to create the perfect cup of coffee, and John's devotion to customer service. Oh and the pink handcuffs. (and the mysterious noises comming from the office.........)
Oct. 8th, 2011 09:54 pm (UTC)
eee, yes, they had to keep in character, don'tcha know. :D Thank you for commenting!
Oct. 9th, 2011 01:00 am (UTC)
Fun. (And it was so worthwhile to go back and read Critical Mass, too.)
Oct. 9th, 2011 03:39 am (UTC)
:) hopeless boys!
Oct. 11th, 2011 02:28 am (UTC)
Redoubled :)
Oct. 9th, 2011 01:45 am (UTC)
Now I know why my 7/11 offers such lousy coffee with no John and Rodney to take care of us coffee drinkers.

This is just one fun romp...went back and reread Critcal Mass, it's a romp also.

Like your stuff...coffee and Slurpees all.
Oct. 9th, 2011 03:40 am (UTC)
there isn't enough of them to go around! it's true. <3
Oct. 9th, 2011 01:54 am (UTC)
Very, very funny. I love how Teyla and Ronon were the brass, and how very, very together John and Rodney were, despite the completely different world. :D
Oct. 9th, 2011 03:42 am (UTC)
I love how Teyla and Ronon were the brass

Sharks! They would kick all sorts of corporate ass. And I bet Ronon smelled great. Well, until the Slurpee.

And yis, Rodney and John are always a great team. :)))
Oct. 9th, 2011 02:35 am (UTC)
At least it was a primate!

*dies laughing*

How could one story so full of crack be so full of awesome?
Oct. 9th, 2011 03:44 am (UTC)
:))))) You should have seen me picking through the list of lemurs.

Hmmm, this one's kind of cute. Oh! This one's funnier.
Oct. 9th, 2011 04:05 am (UTC)
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Pink fuzzy handcuffs and Ronon gets attacked by the Slurpee machine. Awesome!
Oct. 9th, 2011 04:21 am (UTC)
Heeeee! Lemur! Attack slurpie machine! Fuzzy pink handcuffs! Heeeeee!
Oct. 9th, 2011 08:42 am (UTC)
Hahaha, the Pink Flamingos, possessed Slurpee machine, fat tailed lemurs, primates and mysterious backroom noises. Your crack is addictive.
Oct. 10th, 2011 08:38 am (UTC)
It's official, two new universes a week is as much as I can cope with, what with "Citrus Hill" and now this so funny! And that slurpee machine needs watching.

What a lovely way to start my week,laughing.
Thank you.
( 23 comments — Leave a comment )

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