Spoilers: Remnants (5.15)
Wordcount: < 500
Posted at: sga_episodefic, mckay_sheppard
Summary: The new psychologist meets with John to talk about his hallucination.
Dr. Ziegler stared calmly at John over the top of his frameless glasses. John gave him his best blank smile and waited.
Ziegler broke first. "So, John. We're here to discuss your recent experience with the alien entity."
John nodded easily. "Mr. Woolsey informed me that he'd set up the meeting, yep." He smiled again.
Dr. Ziegler tapped his pen a little against his desk. "Tell me about what happened."
"Did you read the report?" John asked smoothly.
"Of course I did, yes." Ziegler gave him an equally bland look. "However, Dr. Heightmeyer indicated in her notes that it was usually worthwhile to discuss the specifics with you separately. She seemed to find your meetings quite enlightening." John's eyes narrowed, but the smile never wavered. "Given the nature of this latest event, I feel it would be helpful for both of us to discuss what happened in your own words."
"The report was my own words," John's lips twisted into a brief smirk. "I haven't let Rodney write my reports for me in ages."
"John," Ziegler's voice was soft with reproof. John sighed.
"Fine, fine. The entity recognized me as a potential threat, and so elected to distract me for a time by appearing in a hallucination. That hallucination was chosen from my mind as one I would see as a threat to Atlantis and would therefore keep me busy." He tapped a finger against his leg restlessly. "My mind elected a scenario where I was captured and tortured and ultimately lost my hand, before the entity revealed itself and released me from the hallucination."
"Do you view your mind as somehow separate?"
John frowned at him. "No."
"So, *you* chose the nature of your hallucination."
"Sure." John grinned at him brightly. "Held out for quite a while, too."
"Does that make you feel proud?" Ziegler's eyes glittered. It suddenly struck John that Ziegler reminded him of Regis Philbin. Since Regis Philbin reminded him of a demonically possessed Santa Claus, the realisation was in no way soothing.
"That you withstood the torture."
"Not really, no."
"Why do you think that is?"
John tilted his head and gave Dr. Ziegler a long, considering look. He could feel his lips twitching, wanting to grin, but he resisted. "I... I'm not entirely sure. What do you think, Doctor?"
Dr. Ziegler rubbed his chin thoughtfully. "It is possible that you were acting out a subconscious need."
*Aha*. "A subconscious need?"
Ziegler's eyes sharpened and he leaned forward. "Do you need to be punished, John?"
John's eyes widened. "You know, Doctor, I'll bet that's exactly it." He stood held out his hand. Reflexively Dr. Ziegler stood as well and took it, even as he spluttered at the sudden end to the interview. "Thank you for all your help. It's much clearer to me now." He left the office, Ziegler open-mouthed behind him. The door to the doctor's office closed firmly. John grinned and clicked his radio. "Doctor McKay," he said formally. "Please meet me at my quarters in fifteen minutes. Doctor's orders," he added at Rodney's indignant mutter in reply. "Oh, and Rodney?" His voice dropped into a low growl. "Bring your belt."