Completely, utterly pointless. Blame it on the weather and 0bake. Many thanks to scribewraith for beta!

Disclaimers: Not mine, no money, please don't sue.

Jan 06

The Four Seasons
by Genie


"I thought you said this place was nice?" Rodney scrambled back into the jumper's forward compartment the moment John opened up the exit hatch. "It must be like, 45 degrees out there!"

"Doesn't feel that cold to me," John replied. "More like 110 really, if that draft is anything to go by."

"Exactly! 45 degree celsius! The unit of temperature measurement every civilised country uses. The point is you said it was nice!"

"It was nice when I was here two days ago!" John protested, double-checking his weapons and equipment. P4M-968 was uninhabited, but one can never be too careful in the Pegasus Galaxy. "80 degrees, fresh breeze, nice hike. How was I to know it'd get this hot in 48 hours? Besides, whose fault was it that you couldn't be here when it was nice?" Rodney had been in the middle of an important experiment that had ran longer than estimated and could not leave for their scheduled visit. Dr Zelenka had to take his place instead.

"Fine. If I die of melanoma, it'll be on your head. God, I should've brought my SPF 100 sunscreen." Rodney moaned, thoughts of dying from second-degree burns from the sun racing through his mind. He stripped off his outer jacket and threw it over the co-pilot's seat before re-donning his utility vest, completely oblivious to the discreet look John was casting in his direction.

"I don't know about SPF 100 sunscreen," There was no mistaking the Australian accent from the rear compartment. "But I do have some SPF 30 if you're interested." A blue bottle flew towards Rodney before he could even reply. It would have hit him square in the face if he hadn't caught it. "Don't have a spare hat to lend you though, but it shouldn't be too bad if you don't stay out in the sun for too long." Dr Melissa Hill zipped up her backpack and stood up, sunglasses and sun hat already in place. "Bring the bottle along with you when you're done. We might need it for the return trip." She smiled at Rodney and started to haul the closest crate of equipment out. Ronon and Teyla were already outside, securing the area.

On their initial mission, they had found the ruins of an abandoned Ancient outpost about half an hour's walk away from their current position. There had been no ZPM, but there was a relatively intact lab in it. After some fiddling, Zelenka had concluded that a biochemist would be in a better position to determine what the lab was used for. Once the news was out that they were looking to take a biochemist off-world, Dr Hill had jumped at the opportunity and volunteered herself for the mission.

"Uh, thanks." Rodney called out to the petite brunette disappearing under the glare of the sun, dragging a crate behind her she would probably fit into herself.

"No worries!" Came the reply.

"You've gotta love the Australians." Rodney didn't even have to look to know John was grinning. "Let me help you with that, Dr Hill." The Colonel picked up the last crate in the jumper when Melissa came back in for it, earning him a smile. Rodney scowled at the colonel's retreating back as he applied the sunscreen.

Rodney had nothing against Melissa, as a matter of fact, he liked her. She was all right for some one with a M.D, and PhD in biochemistry. On the other hand, she also has a Masters degree in astrophysics and would have gotten her PhD in the field if she hadn't been recruited for the Atlantis project. Rodney had asked her once why the change in discipline, "I wanted to see the universe" she had replied with a shrug. There was no way Rodney could've argued with that since he was in complete agreement.

With the two crates of heavy equipment, even if it was Ronon and John who were the one's carrying them, it took longer for them to arrive at the ruins. By the time they were there, Rodney was too exhausted from the heat to even complain, sinking onto the floor on the first cool spot he could find. Even Teyla and John looked a little out of it. Ronon was as impassive as ever, and Melissa looked as though it was all in a day's work to be walking out in the 45-degree heat.

"Well, that was nice." Melissa commented, taking off her sunglasses and sun hat once they reached the shelter of the Ancient ruins.

"Nice?" Rodney was pretty proud that the disbelief in his voice was clear even when he was wheezing out the word.

"Haven't been in that much sun since I came to Atlantis. Kinda reminds me of summer back home." Melissa let out a contented sigh and stuffed her hat and sunglasses back into her backpack. "So, where's the lab you lot found?"

John looked amused as he led Melissa deeper into the ruins. "McKay, you can come find us once you're done catching your breath. Teyla, you might want to keep him company."

"Tell me something," Rodney finally managed to stand up after a couple of minutes. "Did you find that walk nice?"

Teyla shook her head. "The walk itself was pleasant, but the heat made it very uncomfortable."

"Good, good. It's not just me then," brushing the dirt off his pants. "We better get going, I think it's cooler in there."

Twenty minutes later, Rodney was too busy with discovering new Ancient technology to even remember the heat.

Eight hours after that, John, Ronon and Teyla had finished exploring the ruins and had sent two update reports back to Atlantis, but the two scientists were still busy in the lab.

"Colonel, we're not even close to done here. As much as I would miss my mattress, I think we need another day here. Melissa and I can work through the night and we can leave first thing in the morning when it's hopefully not so hot outside."

"Dr Hill?" John asked.

"What he said." Melissa replied, eyes still on her laptop screen and chewing on an energy bar.

Seeing no problem in the plan, John sent Ronon back to the jumper to get a message back to Atlantis before taking off his vest and leaning his back against the cool stonewall.

"Still that hot outside? Shouldn't the sun be setting? That's why you sent Ronon out." Rodney smirked.

"Perks of being in command." John replied with a grin of his own.

Rodney and Melissa were back at work after taking a break for dinner. The lab may be a biochemist's dream come through, but the technology behind it was also more than enough to keep Rodney fascinated. The outpost was not powered by a ZPM, but instead it was drawing power from something else that Rodney has still yet to figure out. The power output was clearly not as vast as those from a ZPM, but if he could figure out what it was, they might be able to duplicate it on Atlantis and cut down on the strain they were putting the ZPM under, even with the additional Mark-2 naquadah generators. There was no telling when the Wraith might discover Atlantis again and launch another attack. When that day comes, and Rodney was sure it would, they would need every single volt of energy the ZPM could provide.

"He likes you."

Melissa's completely out of the blue comment jolted Rodney out of his thoughts. "What?"

"The colonel. He likes you."

"Everyone likes me."

Melissa snorted. "Right. After more than one and a half years, Major Lorne would've killed you by now, or maybe himself. Colonel Sheppard? He just smiles and says, 'that's just Rodney'. He likes you."

"Likes me?" Rodney frowned, turning around to face Melissa, who had taken up residence on the workbench behind his. "Are we still in high school?"

"You do find him intriguing, right?"

"Who said I find him intriguing?! Infuriating would be a better word."

"Oh please!" Melissa finally looked up from her computer. "Everyone on Atlantis knows."

"Knows what?"

"That you like him. And, he likes you, so I don't see a problem there. Plus, you have to admit, he's a good looking bloke."

"What does - " Rodney's computer chose this moment to beep at him. "Huh. Interesting."

"What?"

"It seems the Ancients used something like a... mini-ZPM to power their smaller, non-essential outposts. Technically, they're not really mini-ZPMs, I'll need to study this further to determine what they are, but heir energy signature is pretty similar."

And the conversation of who liking who was forgotten.

It was closer to mid-day the next day before Melissa had managed to download all the data on the Ancient computers and Rodney had found himself a half depleted mini-ZPM to bring back to Atlantis to study. The entire team was prepared to brave the heat once more, but when they stepped out of the shelter of the ruin, the sky was overcast and drizzling.

"Can't be more than 60 degrees out here." John commented, looking up at the sky.

Melissa started rummaging through her backpack and produced a light sweater and an umbrella.

Rodney stared at her, then back at the sky. "What sort of sick planet is this?! 45 degrees one day and 16 degrees the next?! This is completely nuts! How is it even possible?"

"It really is just like back home." Melissa commented.

"This reminds you of home?" It was John's turn to stare at the biochemist.

"I'm from Melbourne, four seasons in 24 hours is nothing new. God, now I really miss home." Melissa let out a sigh and started walking back to the jumper, shielded from the rain by her small, black umbrella. She paused a moment, turning back to look at the rest of the team, "Can we name this planet New Melbourne?"

Rodney stood beside John, both of them staring at Melissa. "Still loving the Australians now that you've found out they're completely insane?"

"They have great chocolate," was Ronon's reply.

The End.