Pairing: Jennifer Keller, Carson Beckett, Rodney McKay
Warnings: after part 2 of "Medici" in the Ancient!John 'Verse
Summary: Jennifer's first day
Notes: You know the drill. I liked it, but couldn't make it work. So here it goes. (Also, most of this was written on the back of about a foot of receipt paper at work on Sunday, which was particularly slow).
An Ancient!John Drabble
* * *
“I used to dream about escaping my ordinary life, but my life was never ordinary. I had simply failed to notice how extraordinary it was. Likewise, I never imagined that home might be something I would miss."
Ransom Riggs, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
* * *
"Carson," Doctor McKay calls out piqued, the moment the transporter doors open onto what's she's told is the second level of Tower Forty, which will eventually be the surgical suites of The Elizabeth Weir Imperial Healthcare Centre but which, for the moment, resemble nothing so much as the set of some sort of horror movie. Which is to say, lined by plastic sheeting behind which white lights and strange noises emanate. Jennifer half-expects someone wearing a hockey mask and wielding a chainsaw to jump out from any direction any moment now. "Where are you? You'd better be able to hear me. If I have to go hunting through all of the construction again to find you, I will not be held responsible for my actions."
"Alright!" a voice bellows back from behind some of the plastic sheeting. "Alright! Hold your horses. I just need a moment to-"
"Stop messing with the carpenters and get out here. We can't afford to have our Chief of Medicine out of commission when you end up sawing your hand off in some kind of stupid and completely avoidable construction accident."
"I'm nae going to saw off my hand, Rodney," the voice says tiredly. It's much closer than before and, after a moment, is accompanied by a shadowy figure stepping out from between two pieces of sheeting.
The shadow resolves into a dark-haired man quite literally covered from head to toe in stone dust. The man – Carson, Jennifer presumes – makes a valiant effort to shake out his clothing, but it's a pointless effort. It succeeds just enough for Jennifer's mind to try to process the strange combination that is his clothing – jeans and an old-fashioned tunic made of un-dyed homespun – before he abandons the effort and continues instead-
"Who's the young lady?"
Jennifer fights the flush that she knows wants to form at this. She hates it when people point out how young she is – a carryover from going through college at the age most people were still in high school, she knows. She still doesn't have to like it, though, and with warm cheeks she answers, "I'm Jennifer Keller, the Expedition – the new Expedition's – Chief of Medicine."
Carson begins to say something – a comment on how, "They get younger every year, don't they?" she's sure, because that's what people always say when Jennifer introduces herself as a doctor. Either that or some less than subtle comment about her looks, which apparently exceed the attractiveness barrier men expect from female doctors.
But McKay interrupts, loudly. "Guess who they got to be the new me?"
"I donae know, Rodney," he sighs, apparently well used to this kind of thing. "Who?"
"You're pulling my leg."
"Honestly, who thought that was a good idea?" Carson asks, running a hand through his hair with a puff of stone dust. He frowns at his hands after he finishes and tries to clean them off on his tunic, which only makes the problem worse. Frown deepening, he crosses the room and begins to dig through an open packing case propped in front of something Jennifer thinks is meant to be a reception desk, though she cannot read any of the unlit lettering upon it. "He hated it the first two times he was here, even going back with the Daedalus rather than finish out his second tour. What makes anyone think three is his lucky number?"
"I don't know. Maybe because he thought he'd be in charge this time?"
"That'll just make it worse," Carson insists, pulling out box of wet-naps.
"I know," Rodney snorts. "You should've seen his face when I told him that he'd still be reporting to me. Or Telford's when he was told John's placed Lorne in charge of the military. It was like kicking a puppy, only without all those annoying moral issues people go on about." Almost wistfully he adds, "I wish I'd had a camera."
Carson just shakes his head and continues working with the wet-wipes – which, to be honestly aren't making that much of a difference, but do at least assure her that the Émigré's Chief of Medicine, if she's remembering names and titles correctly, does at least ascribe to the germ theory of disease. "What about the Head of the Expedition?'
"That's the worst part: there isn't one. Telford is in charge of the military, Kavanagh is in charge of the civilians, and never shall the two meet. It's almost like having two different Expeditions entirely."