Title: Pleasantries

Author: Grey Lupous

Notes: Originally written for the SGAHC 5 minute fic challenge: "Good grief... is he NAKED?"

"Good grief... is he NAKED?"

"Yep," Sheppard said, putting an extra emphasis on the 'p' so it made a popping sound.

"This... Teyla, please tell me this is normal," McKay swiveled his head to look at the Athosian, and their resident diplomat. "People don't just strip down in the Pegasus Galaxy right?" He paused and eyed her suspiciously.

"Normal? Ah, no," she quickly replied, not liking the look he was giving her. "This is the, ah—"

"You knew they did this?"

"Well..." she trailed off, "it has been known for the Epidermi clan to get a little enthusiastic in their greetings. However usually they only go without shirts."

"Shirts?" Ford piped in from the back, sounding a little too excited at the prospect. "Do they all do this? Even the women?"

"Yes Lieutenant," she said patiently, trying to hold her annoyance in check. Just because she was from this galaxy didn't mean she knew every strange habit of the people they encountered. "However the women usually stay inside if outsiders are around. They are... shy."

"He's not," Sheppard said simply, nodding to the man still approaching them. "And Rodney, close your mouth. He might take that as a proposal."

McKay quickly shut his mouth and directed a glare at the major. "I was not gawking."

"I know," Sheppard smirked. "Just trying to protect your virtue."

"How gallant of you," McKay crossed his arms.

"And smile, he might take offense."

"I don't want to smile," McKay huffed.

"Then don't frown. Just try to look, I don't know, pleasant."

"You're asking a lot sir," Ford pointed out.

"No one asked you! I can be pleasant!"

"News to us," Sheppard grinned.

"Watch me, the king of pleasantness."

Teyla shot both of them a look to quiet down as she stepped forward to greet their naked welcoming committee. "Arlin, it has been many days."

"Teyla!" Arlin greeted warmly as he wrapped Teyla in a tight embrace, not noticing her stiffen. "You've arrived just in time to celebrate the coming of the new spring."

Sheppard's eyebrows raised, trying not to look too amused at Teyla trying to diplomatically pry herself away from Arlin. He glanced back at McKay, who was apparently trying his best to look pleasant. He was doing a good job too, if pleasant meant a sharecropper's smile to put The Grapes of Wrath to shame.

"And who are these kind sirs?" Arlin turned to them, releasing Teyla and spreading his arms wide.

Sheppard had to resist the urge to take a step back.

"These are my friends, Major Sheppard, Lieutenant Ford, and Dr. McKay," Teyla indicated each with a nod of her head, her brow furrowing at McKay.

"Um, pleased to meet you Arlin," McKay stepped forward offering a hand in what had to be his attempt to continuing the pleasantries charade. Arlin eagerly accepted the hand, pulling McKay in for a hug as well.

The scientist's eyes nearly bulged out of his head, a squeak threatening to rise from his throat. He looked to Teyla in near panic, begging for help. Behind him, the only thing keeping a grin from splitting Sheppard's face was him biting his lip. Ford, far less disciplined, let out a laugh disguised as a cough.

Arlin finally broke the awkward embrace, practically beaming. "You are all such kind people, I must insist that you join the spring festivities!"

McKay discreetly edged away from the native, vigorously shaking his head at Sheppard.

With a shrug, John looked to Teyla. "Well it's hard to refuse an offer like that."

"Yes Major," she said, an edge to her normally agreeable tone. "It would be very hard."

"Arlin, I'd love to see what this spring festival is all about," Sheppard offered the naked man a smile. Behind Arlin he could see McKay making erratic hand gestures, and Teyla frowning hard at him. Would he risk mutiny in the ranks, all for the sake of diplomacy, or in this case, to see how red McKay would turn?

Was he really that cruel?

"It would be nice for us to broaden our horizons," he said, looking straight at McKay.

In short, yes.

Behind Arlin, Rodney started mouthing 'I hate you' and many other things that were distinctly unpleasant. Teyla closed her eyes, a frown marring her pretty face. He even heard Ford shift nervously behind him.

"You will be our guest of honor!" Arlin's smile widened, if that was even humanly possible, rushing towards Sheppard and grabbing his arm, leading him towards the village.

"Guest? As in singular?" John asked nervously.

An evil grin crossed Teyla's face, and suddenly Sheppard didn't feel so confident.

"Oh yes! But, uh, you're a little overdressed."

Oh. Crap.

"You know, I think I remember leaving an oven on in Atlantis," Sheppard tried to pull out of the surprisingly iron-clad grip.

"I'm sure someone has seen to it," Teyla assured him, entirely too sweetly.

He shot her a look as Arlin continued to drag him along. She just raised her eyebrows innocently in response.

"McKay, don't you have some sort of... vital experiment to see to?"

"I actually do," McKay tapped his chin, grinning as he saw Sheppard's eyes light up in hope. "Working on it right now."

Sheppard frowned. "Which one is that?"

"Being pleasant."

Sheppard's frown turned to a glare.

"Ah ah Major! Remember! Pleasant!"