Title: Jurassic Snark
Author: imskysmom
Author's e-mail: April 2005
Feedback: yes please but flames will be fed to the spam gods
Archive: SGAHC, Atlantis GenGate, Fanfiction, anyone else please ask first
Fandom: Stargate Atlantis
Category: Gen
Rating: K+
Pairing: None
Summary: Ford shows off his MacGyver streak, Sheppard sings, and McKay
shuts up…, well, eventually
WIP: New parts posted daily til the end
Betas: Kelly – military beta supreme, Tammy – first and best
cheerleader and Jill – editing goddess, you guys are my heroes!
Season/Episode: Season One
Spoilers: The Brotherhood
Disclaimer: Don't own any of the rights to "Stargate: Atlantis" or the
characters but I can dream

Author's notes: Any mistakes are all mine and are on purpose – so
there! And I have it on good authority Captain Chicken is a REAL MRE
flavor. Thanks to Queen Koschecka for letting me borrow Supergeek.
MandyK – you asked for this – I hope you like it :D

Part One Whatha… ?

Sheppard watched, amusement quirking one corner of his mouth as McKay wandered ahead gabbling about energy signatures. He briefly considered needling the Canadian, but McKay was so excited John doubted he'd hear. There would be plenty of time for that on the way home. He'd promised to let Rodney take the controls. He glanced over at Ford and indicated with one eyebrow for the young Lieutenant to accompany Rodney into the ruins. Ford didn't roll his eyes, but Sheppard knew he wasn't thrilled about babysitting McKay. The scientist usually had fairly good instincts for a civilian, but when he got excited about something, he could be standing on a squad of Genii hit men and he wouldn't notice the guns until they were in his face.

Teyla appeared at his side noiselessly, a woven bag full of odd blue ovoids about the size of Sheppard's fist. She looked delighted.

"These are naros. They are very good eating," she explained, holding one out to him.

"Okaayyyyy," he said inexplicably reluctant and gingerly took one. The surface was very smooth, almost like an egg. Smiling gently at his trepidation, Teyla took one and bit into it eagerly, the juice running down her chin. Laughing a little, she wiped the juice away with the back of one small, strong brown hand and gestured for Sheppard to try his.

Lifting it to his mouth, he nibbled at the skin and bit through into the fruit, the flavor of the fruit exploding onto his tongue, and not in a good way. Any thoughts of good manners were abandoned as the taste of forgotten gym socks, moldy pizza, and basically the smell of an old locker room caromed through his taste buds. Sheppard swore and spit the small piece of fruit out of his mouth, grabbing for his water bottle and rinsing his mouth repeatedly. Teyla was staring at him in dismay.

"You do not care for the flavor, Major?" she said, looking disappointed.

"Sorry Teyla, but that is foul!"

"Major!" It was McKay, striding up confidently, jacket off in the warm sun. He had that imperative tone to his voice that always set Sheppard's teeth on edge. He turned slowly to face McKay.

"I need to get up there," and he punched a finger at the ruins of a tower, its roof half fallen in leaving the room open to the air. Ford approached, looking harried.

"Why?" Sheppard asked easily. McKay's eyes rolled and he sighed heavily.

"I feel like playing Rapunzel," he snapped. "Why do you think? Because the energy signature is coming from there, obviously." Sheppard considered him a moment, one eyebrow raised. This must be good, he thought. The more excited Rodney got, the snarkier he became. This wasn't true "snark" by Rodney's standards, but he was looking smug as well and that usually meant something big. Before he could respond though, Rodney caught sight of the partly eaten fruit in Sheppard's hand.

"I'm out here sweating and searching for an energy source to get our asses home and you're snacking on fresh fruit!" he groused indignantly.

"I do not think…" Teyla began but Sheppard interrupted her.

"No, no, Teyla, there'll still be plenty to take back to Atlantis. Let McKay have one. Low blood sugar and all that."

Teyla looked uncertainly between the two men, Sheppard looking innocent, and McKay, hand outstretched, a satisfied smirk on his face, rocking slightly on the balls of his feet. Teyla shrugged and handed him one of the fruit.

"I'll take one too," said Ford, reaching into Teyla's basket.

"I'll share the rest of mine with you, Ford," Sheppard said hastily. Ford looked at him a little strangely and then fought to repress a grin at McKay's reaction to his first taste. The eyes that had been closed in blissful anticipation popped open and then squeezed shut again in involuntary disgust as he spit and spit again, even scrubbing at his tongue in a vain attempt to rid his mouth of the flavor as Sheppard watched, a slow wicked smile spreading across his face.

"Something wrong, McKay?" he drawled, as the scientist spluttered. Sheppard held the water bottle out by its strap and McKay grabbed it, shooting a murderous glare at him.

"Fine! Kill the geek, maybe you can even find some nice lemons for me!" he snapped when he was finally able to speak, the putrid taste of the fruit still contorting his face. He had taken rather a larger bite than Sheppard's judicious nibble. "Now if you have temporarily satisfied your desire for puerile humor, may I continue with my efforts to save Atlantis?"

"Oh, McKay," Sheppard said thoughtfully. "If I wanted to kill you it would be much more creatively than anaphylactic shock." McKay's eyes widened while he decided whether or not Sheppard was serious, his ego making short work of the deliberation. With a snort of disgust he turned away. Exchanging grins, Ford, Teyla and Sheppard followed.

Rodney led the way through scattered stone blocks, half-buried foundations and crumbling fallen walls. Pushing away long tangles of some overgrown vegetation, he shone the bright beam into the interior. Debris from the floors above had fallen through the stairwell and littered the floor. Light also traveled down, partially revealing the outlines of the room, dust motes dancing in the scattered rays of sun. Sheppard peered over Ford's shoulder, evaluating the battered remnants of the stairwell McKay was already heading for.

"Lieutenant, stay with the doctor. Teyla and I will keep watch and do some sweeps." Ever since the Genii had taken them by surprise that day, no one ever watched alone. Ford nodded and turned to follow McKay into the shadowy depths.

Teyla and Sheppard took up position outside the tower, scanning the forest edge for anything that might be a threat.

"Did your people ever visit this world, Teyla?"

"No, Major," she answered in her calm, level voice. "This is the first time I have seen this place. It is most pleasant here."

Looking around, Sheppard had to agree. It was warm but not uncomfortably so, unlike M85-393; the air was fragrant, and flowers bloomed from the vines twining around the ruins.

"There is plentiful fruit as well," she continued, an almost impish smile playing around her lips.

Sheppard snorted. "Maybe we better worry then."

#Major.# It was Ford on the radio.

#Go ahead.#

#Dr. McKay says the energy source is coming from the top of the tower.# Ford reported.

#And the problem is…?# responded Sheppard.

#The floor on the top level is unstable.# As Ford answered, Sheppard could hear McKay's witheringly sarcastic tone in the background, rather like a mosquito whining, Sheppard mused. There was a loud klunk, an outraged grunt from Ford and then the radio clicked off and on again before Sheppard could ask another question. McKay's voice came loud and obnoxious, blaring in his ear.

#Major, the floor is stable enough for one person to go up and investigate. Now unless Lieutenant Ford here has a degree in engineering, which would come as a life threatening shock to me, I'm pretty sure I have a better grasp on basic architectural mechanics!#

Sheppard sighed before thumbing the radio button. #McKay, give the Lieutenant's radio back to him, please.#

After a pause, Ford spoke again sounding highly affronted. #All I'm saying, Major, is that you can see daylight, a lot of it, but if the doctor thinks it's safe, he's welcome to try it.# His mouth twitching, Sheppard tried to ignore the unstated but obvious hope Ford had that McKay go ahead and try and break his stupid civilian skull. Raising a brow questioningly, he glanced at Teyla. She nodded acceptance.

#What about sending Teyla up? She's the lightest.# Sheppard could hear McKay's snort without the benefit of radio transmission. This time though he responded on his own radio.

#Believe me, I would like nothing better than for Teyla to risk her neck rather than me risk mine!# There was a rather lengthy pause while Sheppard imagined the look on Rodney's face as he reviewed his last statement. The major glanced at Teyla who just rolled her eyes. He held up fingers, one, two, and on three the radio came to life. #What I mean is, if someone else could do this, I'd let them. Unfortunately Teyla wouldn't know what she was looking at even if she found it. The scan shows the power source is in standby mode. I won't know it until I touch it; without the ATA gene, Teyla wouldn't have a chance.#

Sheppard paused just long enough to make Rodney antsy before responding.

#Go ahead, McKay, but try not to get hurt. I'm just getting you broken in and I'd hate to have to start all over with a new geek.#

#Oh please, I may hurt myself laughing# McKay retorted.

#Just make sure you've got your flak vest on; it'll be some protection if you do fall. Ford, make sure he has it on before you let him go up.#

#And to be safe should I put on some sunscreen?#

#I'll take care of it, Major.# Ford cut in sounding grimly pleased.

Sheppard smirked at the image of Ford shoehorning an unwilling McKay into the vest and then backed up for a better view, watching as Rodney's head slowly came into view. He was being careful, testing each step before he placed weight on it, the Ancient scanning device in one hand, the other tightly grasping the stones of the tower. Pulling out his field glasses, he focused in on Rodney. Sweat beaded the Canadian's face. Sheppard knew for all his bluster, McKay was trying in his own, oh-so-obnoxious way to actually protect the others in his team.

Slowly he worked his way across the floor, pausing several times to re-orient himself on the position of the power source. He had traveled almost the full width of the tower and was steps away from the parapet, strong stubby fingers working to move some debris, when Sheppard heard Teyla cry out in warning. He dropped the field glasses and grabbed his P90, swinging around to where she was looking. But she wasn't facing the forest edge as he'd expected; instead the wide, bright brown eyes were fixed on something in the air.

It was, quite impossibly, a helluva big pterodactyl, or this world's version of it anyway, with impressively clawed legs Sheppard was sure hadn't been on the earth version, and a nasty serrated beak. And, it was heading straight for the most intelligent meal it would ever have. Sheppard grabbed his radio and roared, #McKay, get the hell out of there!#

Early on Rodney might have snarked back, or even ignored him completely, but he'd learned fast when snark could get you more than dirty looks. Without bothering to respond, he began making his way back as swiftly as he could move over the shifting rubble. Not fast enough, though, Sheppard could tell, and he began running to the other side of the tower trying to get a clear shot. The oversized chicken hawk seemed to be moving unbelievably fast, much faster than Rodney.

Without bothering with the radio, Sheppard bellowed, "MOVE YOUR GEEKY ASS, MCKAY!" The Canadian's head came up at the undisguised fear in Sheppard's voice and he scuttled recklessly over the debris, his head bobbing as he slipped, recovered and scrambled on. When the giant carnivore sank its claws into him, he wasn't even close to the stairwell.