Disclaimer: I own neither Stargate SG-1 nor Stargate Atlantis.

"You see the structure of the creature. Tall and messy. What I find most interesting about it is that it never moves. Nothing brings it down, wind, rain, snow, gunpowder. Always the same shape and what appears to be the same texture."

Vala Mal Doran and Rodney McKay bent down to look eye level at the creature in question. Vala noted that the creature has not changed since the last time she saw it, nor had it changed from the time before that.

She leaned in close to smell the creature. It smelled like spice. "Does it always have the same smell?"

"I don't know, I've never gotten close enough to smell it, nor would I want to," Rodney snarked.

"So what is it some sort of a parasite that has attached itself to a host?" Vala asked.

"You can think of it that way."

"And has it harmed the host in anyway?"

"Well, the host is still mildly sentient, so I would say not. It would be my guess that this creature has been attached to the host for a long time."

"I wonder how much a creature like this would go for on the black market?" Vala wondered out loud.

"I thought you were supposed to be the expert on all things unlawful and criminal?" Rodney smirked.

"I am."

"And you don't know how much something like this is worth?"

"I've never run into a creature like this before," Vala explained. "Besides, I'm not sure if it would be worth anything."

"What do you mean not worth anything?" Rodney scoffed. "I've told you all it could do!"

"Yes, but a parasite that attaches itself to a host and continues to hold its shape, size, and texture would not be worth much of anything on the black market. Does it do anything else?"

"Other than take up space…not really. However, there was that one incident when…" Rodney was cut off by a knock on the conference room window.

"Dr. McKay, may I speak with you for a moment?" a very angry-looking Laura Cadman asked Atlantis's chief science officer.

"Not now, Cadman. I'm busy."

"I can see that," Laura said narrowing her eyes at Vala and Rodney. "Come find me when you've finished the kirking."

McKay's face turned red with anger and his nostrils began to flare. Vala leaned back against the conference room table and prepared for what she thought would be an interesting show.

"First of all, Lieutenant, I do not kirk. That's Sheppard's job. Secondly, if I were to kirk, which I'm not saying I would, it would not be with her," Rodney emphasized this point by gesturing towards Vala.

Vala pretended to be put out by McKay's utterance, but she was secretly pleased. Whatever this kirking-thing was, it certainly was a sore spot between both Lieutenant Cadman and Dr. McKay, which made the show even more entertaining. Vala fought the urge to rub her hands together with glee. She must find out what this kirking-thing was. Maybe it was something she could use to tease Daniel.

"...and thirdly, when I tell you that I'm busy, it means that I am busy and do not want to be bothered. Can't you understand that or is your pea-sized military grunt brain unable to comprehend and retain that fact?"

"You son-of-a-bitch! Let me tell you something McKay, if you think for one minute that you can…" It was unfortunate that at moment, Lieutenant Cadman's tirade against Dr. McKay had been cut off by the closing of the conference room door. Vala frowned. At least she could watch. It was like one of those silent pictures that Daniel always went on about.

Vala could see them both gesturing wildly. All of Atlantis's gateroom was watching the pair's argument. She tried to read their lips, but unfortunately they spoke so fast that it was very difficult to pick out any one word. She was, however, able to hear a few words hear and there, but not enough to help her figure out what the argument was about. The words she was able to pick out were, 'bitch,' 'asshole,' 'dickhead,' and 'bastard.' All of which, after spending some time with both of them, she was sure they used towards each other on a daily basis. It was all very romantic, actually.

Dr. McKay walked back in to the conference room, his face red with anger and his nostrils still flaring. He slammed his fist on the table and muttered something about stupid tap-dancing explosives experts and how they were ruining the expedition and his life. Vala wasn't sure was that was all about. She'd have to ask Daniel.

"Is everything alright?"

"Yeah, just a little spat. She'll get over it," Rodney said casually.

"I'm sure she will. The question is, will you?"


Vala rolled her eyes. What is it with brilliant men and their inability to understand simple concepts of socialization?

"Why don't you just ask her out on a date? That is what human males do, is it not? At least normal human males anyway," Vala said.

"What are you talking about?"

"Oh, come off it, Dr. McKay," Vala said laughing. "It is obvious that you are attracted to Lieutenant. Cadman."

"I am not attracted to Lieutenant Cadman!"

"You're pupils dilated three quarters of a centimeter when she walked into the room. Isn't pupil dilation a sign of attraction among humans? Arousal maybe?"

"Okay, so I'm attracted to Lieutenant Cadman. Who wouldn't be? I'm also attracted to you. You don't see me asking you out do you?"

"That is because you do not have feelings for me," Vala said matter-of-factly. "You should act on them."

"So now I have feelings for Lieutenant Cadman?" Rodney laughed. "You're here for what two minutes and you're already given me advice on my love life?"

"Or lack there of," Vala said under her breath.

"Hey, wait a minute!" Rodney started up. Vala cut him off.

"All I'm saying is you have feelings for her and she obviously has feelings for you. If you were to act on your feelings, the both of you would be a lot happier."

"Even if I had feelings for her which I'm not saying that I do, I wouldn't act on them."


"What do you mean why?"

"You do speak English don't you Rodney. Because in the English language 'why' is a question word generally used when someone wants an explanation as to the reason that things are. For example, in this case it is used for questioning the reason that you will not act on your feelings for your resident explosives expert and instead deny them, when they are so blatant."

"I do not have…"

"Are you happy?"


"Are you happy?" Vala repeated.

"I'm content."

"Well, maybe if you were to act on your feelings the both of you would be happy??"

Rodney was about to make a sarcastic comment when the host moved. He grabbed Vala's arm.

Vala was surprised, "What's happening?"

"We've got to go."


"He's waking up."

'What? Why's he waking up? That's no fun."

"You're big mouth woke him up!" Rodney said.

"My big mouth??" Vala said loudly.

Rodney covered her mouth with his free hand. "Move!"

They walked out of the conference room. Vala was rubbing her arm. "You didn't have to squeeze my arm so hard. That hurt!"

"Quit your whining!"

"I will not," Vala said. She stood in front of Rodney and got in his face. "And just to get you back, I am going to tell Lieutenant Cadman that you have a crush on her," she said childishly poking him in the chest.

"Hey Vala, Carson has some mice in his lab that you could go see. He uses them for all of his evil experiments."

Vala jumped up and down forgetting about her threat to Rodney. "I love furry creatures," she said rubbing her hands together in glee. "Lead the way."

"Anything you say, yenta," Rodney said.

"What's a yenta?"

"How'd you know it was three quarters of a centimeter?"

"It's a skill."

"You're a good liar."

"Also a skill, but even you have to admit that it's kind of a turn on," she winking.

Rodney grunted and muttered something about 'stupid wannabe girlfriends of descended archeologist who have a yenta complex' as they walked off to the infirmary.

Back in the conference room, a dozing John Sheppard awoke from his nap. He looked around and saw that the room was empty. "Where'd everybody go?"