"What do you mean, Doctor?" Elizabeth asked as she stared at Carson.

John winced slightly at the tone, feeling bad for the woman. Who wanted to be emotionally connected to McKay? He shook his head and focused a little more on the conversation. McKay had once again transformed into the strange cat, and was gazing up at them all with silvery eyes.

Carson sighed. "Exactly what I told you, Elizabeth," he affirmed, "You and Dr. McKay share some kind of mental bond. It's more of an empathic nature, but a bond it is. In other words, what you feel he feels and vice versa."

The damn bird fluttered her wings and gave everyone a superior look. Of course, she had been the one to figure it out, before everyone else, but did she have to rub it in everyone's faces? Leman reminded him of McKay entirely too much.

"Okay," he said, breaking the silence, "so, we go back to the planet and see if we can find a way to reverse the process?"

Dr. Weir looked up at him, the frown on her face deepening. "Are you certain that's wise, Major? I mean, you did say the natives wanted you to bring him back."

"And obviously they've found a way of making sure we do," John countered, "Look, I don't like it any more than you, but do you really want to go around feeling what McKay feels?"

The large white cat let out a low growl that John chose to ignore as he stared their leader down.

Elizabeth turned away from him, looking down at the sheets before raising her head and nodding once. "All right. I seriously doubt Rodney wants to remain the way he is, and it's rather disconcerting to suddenly feel things that you wouldn't normally."

"Good. I'll get started making preparations right away...what?" John asked when Carson began shaking his head.

"Major, despite what you believe, your arm is still broken," Beckett pointed out, "an' I don' think you should be going off world for any missions that may require more than reconaissance."

John scowled slightly, but knew that he was right. "Fine," he said shortly.

"We'll do a briefing tomorrow morning," Elizabeth put in, "And we'll figure out who should go in the meantime."

"Right, for now we're just going to sit around doing things that we wouldn't normally do and worry about transforming into a cat and then back into a naked human," Rodney said, having suddenly transformed back, "In case any of you were wondering, this totally sucks."

"We weren't," John assured him.

-------------

Elizabeth shivered as Rodney looked at her. He was across the room, a crowded room, but she could feel his gaze as though he were right there, feel the need that exuded from him in waves. She turned away from where she knew he was at, trying desparately to ignore her own need for him that raced through her bloodstream like wild fire. Carson said something to her, but her brain didn't process the comment as it attempted to keep her sane enough to get out of there.

She practically ran from the room, heart beating erratically, breath coming in short gasps that left her winded. She stopped and leaned against the wall, resting her head with closed eyes. Even this far, she could still feel him, the fire that flowed through his veins matching her own, meeting it in a rhythm she didn't want to comprehend, didn't want to acknowledge.

She could blame it on the link that had formed between them, and indeed it was the cause of all this. But if she hadn't been attracted him in the first place, would it have been so...blatant? So hot? So...she shook her head and at a slower pace began walking towards her quarters.

Awareness of him pressed onto her mind, but she resolutely ignored it. As long as she wasn't in the same room with him, she could ignore it, no matter how...heated she began to feel. 'Like a cat in heat,' her mind supplied ruefully, and she shook her head. The phrase was way too close to the truth for comfort.

She slipped into her quarters unnoticed, stripping down as quickly as she could before rushing towards the shower. She'd had an aphrodesiac once, and this...thing...was by far more powerful. The cold jets of water didn't serve to cool her ardor, probably because Rodney's was still just as strong in her mind.