SEASON: Sometime during the 1st Season, before "The Storm" - because that's as far as I've gotten so far
MAJOR CHARACTERS: McKay and Sheppard
NOTE: Okay, this is my first foray into this fandom. I must confess that I haven't watched too much StarGate:SG1. I've seen most (but not all) of the Atlantis episodes up to The Storm. I'm trying to catch up -- being prodded rather pointedly by another of my ilk -- forced over the precipice, you might say. My regular fandom is rather different than this one -- much more rustic. All the flashing lights and cool doo-dads are a bit beyond my scope, but I'm trying. I'm really trying! Anyway, I want to apologize for any odd inaccuracies, or laughable mistakes. I'm not a scientist. I make up the medical stuff. I'm a mess, really. Ask anyone. I beg your patience with me as I give this a go. I also want to commend all the fine folks who have proceeded me. You write lovely stories and your tales have encouraged me. I'm just happy to be amongst you.
SPOILERS: Some small ones for "Hide and Seek", and probably others too that I can't remember.

A Bee in the Bonnet
By NotTasha... buzzing into this new fandom and hoping for the best


"Well, where is it?" Dr. McKay asked impatiently as he leaned on one of the lab's smooth counters.

"Hang on," Lt. Ford muttered as he pulled gloves, binoculars and ammunition from his pack. "It's in here somewhere." The young soldier furrowed his brow as he sought.

They'd just returned from a mission, finding a world that may have had a thriving community at one time, but the place had since been reduced to ruin. They'd surveyed the area, finding it hospitable and perhaps capable of growing crops, but no current habitation. There was little of use to be found – if worthwhile technology had once existed, it was long ago looted. McKay had made a valiant attempt to track down anything of interest, but it was Ford who had lucked upon the one little device worth recovering - one precious little device that was currently lost again.

McKay released a long-suffering sigh and hunched further. "It has to be in there somewhere, Lieutenant. I clearly remember you taking it. In fact, I can well remember you stating that you wouldn't lose it." And he tapped his foot in irritation.

"Oh, I didn't lose it," Ford assured, hoping he was speaking the truth. Under his breath, he muttered, "Come on, bee. Where are you?" He upended the pack, letting the remaining bits fall onto the counter, gaining a scowl from McKay.

"Oh, this is wonderful," Rodney grumbled, crossing his arms over his chest. "Now, you're leaving my workspace in shambles."

"It isn't any worse than your desk," Aiden told the doctor.

"But at least I know where everything is," McKay responded. "Ask me for anything. I can put my hand to it in a minute. There's a place for everything and everything is in its place." He spoke the line as if it were Gospel. "Go ahead, ask."

Ford shook his head, not biting. "I'm just trying to find that bee."

"The device we're looking for isn't a bee," Rodney chided. "There would be no bees on that planet. No form of insect appears to exist there, thank goodness." He cringed at the thought of insects. "The planet manages quite handily without them. For instance, pollination is performed solely by wind, as evidenced by the shape of the seed pods we encountered. But I'm no botanist, and in any case, I've never been fond of that particular insect. I'm deathly allergic."

Ford said nothing, making his way through his loot.

Rodney continued, oblivious to anything outside his current line of information. "It's fascinating, actually. The seedpods we encountered appear to have some sort of sail or parachute. Rather remarkable when you consider that this haphazard means of pollination seems to satisfy their ecosystem. Of course, I wouldn't want to be anywhere near that place in springtime." And the physicist shuddered visibly at that thought. Already he felt a sneeze coming on in commiseration.

"It looked like a bee," Ford went on. "My grandmother has a brooch like that. She has bees and bugs and lizards. She pins them on her coat for Sundays." He chuckled. "But if a real bug were to land on her, watch out!"

Rodney winced, not caring much for that idea either. His attention returned to the soldier's search and he asked unhappily, "You didn't lose it, did you?"

"No," Ford said firmly. "It's here. I know it is."

"Is it in any of your jacket pockets?" McKay asked, feeling his own pockets in case he'd managed to procure the object unconsciously.

Ford dutifully checked his pockets again, even though he'd gone through them once already. After finishing his own search, McKay exclaimed, "Outside compartments! Have you checked the outside pockets of your pack?" He waggled a finger at the emptied pack.

"No, sir," Ford replied. "I never use them."

"Never use them?" Rodney returned, exasperated. "But, Lieutenant, they're so useful. I'm always using the pockets to organize things. Look," and he picked up his own pack, which had been resting on the opposite counter. "I have the life-sign detector in this pocket, power scanning device over here, instant nourishment here, sample bags on the left. You probably put it in one of those outside sections without even thinking about it. I use mine all the time. I can't see why you don't. Really, Lieutenant, you should."

"I'll check," Ford conceded with a shake of his head. The pockets on his pack were flat, showing no signs of ever holding anything, but he'd humor the doctor. It was easier than listening to him go on about the usefulness of pockets. He unzipped them, one at a time and felt within, giving McKay an expression that told him that he was finding exactly what he expected – nothing. It was only once he opened the last pocket, that his hand touched something.

"See!" McKay exclaimed, seeing the change in Ford's demeanor. "You did find something, didn't you?"

Curiously, Aiden pulled out a piece of paper – an envelope. He turned it over in his hand and smiled. "It's a letter."

"Letter?" McKay cocked his head. "Well, it just goes to show that you DO use the pockets. You should just utilize them more often."

"I've never seen it before." The soldier held it up, showing that it was addressed simply to FORD in block letters. "Must've been in here since before we came to Atlantis."

McKay frowned. "It wouldn't have anthrax in it or anything?"

Ford snorted and shook his head. "One way to find out." He opened it, and he pulled out several pages from within the envelope. McKay cautiously stepped back, but no mysterious white powder fell. Instead, Ford smiled broadly. "It's from Dodge."

"Dodge?" McKay still kept his distance.

"Yeah, Dodge. He's a friend of mine. Worked in Antarctica – Lt. Roger Murphy."

"Ah!" McKay brightened. "Lt. Murphy. Yes, I remember him well. Rather intelligent fellow. He assisted me with projects on several occasions." The Canadian smiled, remembering. "Oh, he didn't always get things right the first time – but he persevered. That's what matters. I rather enjoyed working with him, once he figured out what to do. He seemed to appreciate whenever I supplied him with added information on a subject. Always eager to learn more." Inquisitively, Rodney asked, "How did the letter get in your pack?"

"He must've hid it before I left. Funny guy. Ha…" and Aiden paused as he read.

"What? What does it say?"

Gamely, Ford read aloud from his letter. "Hey, Skippy…" and he paused to give McKay a look, wondering if he should have just skipped that part.

"Skippy?" the physicist responded dryly.

"Long story…" Ford muttered unhappily.

"Interestingly enough, you don't strike me as a 'Skippy'."

"It was a joke. Hasn't anyone ever given you a nickname like that?"

Rodney's lips twitched, as he changed the subject. "Well, it could be worse. I suppose he's called Dodge because his first name is Roger? Roger Dodger? Hmm, inventive," he stated sarcastically.

Ignoring the comment, Ford read on, "By the time you get this, you'll either be on the adventure of a lifetime – or dead. Personally, I like the first choice and hope you're having a hell of a time."

McKay snorted and started poking around in the items Ford had left on the counter. He picked up an empty MRE bag to dispose of it when he paused, feeling that something was still inside. Dessert maybe?

"That's it!" Ford declared, pointing at the bag. "It's in there. I remember now, I was just finished with lunch when I found the bee."

McKay sighed loudly. "So you safely stored it in garbage?"

"Cushioning?" Ford tried, and smiled as McKay turned over the bag and out fell the object of their search. "See?" Ford smiled triumphantly.

McKay grunted, as dropped the bag into a garbage receptacle and examined the device in the palm of his hand. It did rather look like a bee, he decided – with transparent disks that might have been wings and odd purple and green stripes, possibly a body and a knob at one end that resembled a head. Curious. But of course, if it were to represent something along the lines of an Apis mellifera, the 'wings' didn't seem to be in quite the right position.

How did it get to that planet? But an insect on that world? Well, the most likely explanation to its existence on that world was that it'd been gated there at some point.

Shaking his head, Ford let himself smile with relief. He hadn't lost it after all! He'd been rather proud of himself for being the only one to find something worthwhile on that planet. Returning to the letter, he went on, "Dodge says that they had a bet about who be chosen to go to Atlantis. I was the odds on favorite. Imagine that."

"Yes, imagine it," McKay repeated as he set up his equipment. The 'bee' has yet to 'light up'. He loved it when things lit up. The ancients were wonderful that way – something lights up and you know it's working. Simple and beautiful. "It couldn't have come from that world since it is rather insect-shaped while the planet is insect-free."

"Dumb ass," Ford griped, and then looked up when McKay gave him a surprised look. "Oh… Dodge. He stole some of the MREs from our supplies before they were sent over."

"He did?" McKay responded, stricken. "We were depending on those food supplies. The nerve of some people! He might have taken some spaghetti and meatball dinners or the macaroni and cheese! Almost as good as Kraft Dinner!" And he salivated in loving memory of the long gone dinners.

"Oh wait... wait…" Ford continued. "He just took out a couple boxes so that there'd be room for more chocolate."

McKay nodded, positioning the bee within the scanner. "He's a good man. I always knew that about him."

A chirp at his headset stopped Ford from going any further. "Ford here," he responded, and listened for a moment before he replied, "I'll be right there." He spoke to the doctor, "I've been called to the Gateroom."

"Something I should know about?" McKay asked, not looking up from his work.

"No, sir. Just another team coming in with some supplies."

"Anything good? Maybe some sort of coffee substitute? Something sweet? We really should start checking out planets based on their confections, you know that, Lieutenant?"

Ford chuckled. "I'll let you know what they bring," he responded and then glanced at the mess he'd left on the counter. "I'll come back to clean this up, okay?"

"Yes, yes you will," was McKay's reply as he fiddled with the controls, hardly paying Ford any attention.

Setting the letter on top of the mound, Ford stated, "If you're interested, you can read the rest of the letter. I mean, since you know the guy and all. Bet he wouldn't mind."

"Sure… sure…" McKay returned distractedly, interested in the readouts that were appearing on his screen.

Ford turned and left, leaving the doctor to his work.

A/N: Starts innocently enough. Nothing can go wrong from here... right?