Disclaimer: I do not own Stargate: Atlantis or anything/anyone in it.
A/N: This story was inspired by the Gateworld forum thread "If Teyla/Ronon had been a baked potato, would the team treat them any different?" If you have been on that thread, I'm afraid I didn't get to incorporate many of those great ideas, but I hope you still like it. Er, this isn't supposed to be taken seriously. Not really shippy, though I do have a tendancy towards McKay/Teyla. It's not enough to bug anyone though.
Dr. Rodney McKay, Ph.D., thought on yet another Ancient device as he sat in the main science lab. This one was small and egg-shaped, with one white, circular screen surrounded by 10 red lights, though those didn't light up when it was activated. In fact, the only indication that it was active was the slight humming noise that sounded strangely like the Jeopardy theme-song.
"What is it?" asked Dr. Zelenka as he peered over McKay's shoulder.
McKay rolled his eyes and growled. "I don't know, I just turned it on."
"Maybe it's a toaster?" suggested Dr. Esposita who was working nearby.
"Or is it some sort of power source?" thought Zelenka aloud. A few other nearby scientists gave their suggestions before McKay yelled at them to return to their own work. Frustrated by the lack of quiet, McKay returned to his own lab with the device. He fiddled with it only a little bit more, muttering his own suggestions beneath his breath, before his stomach insisted he go to lunch. Leaving the device on the lab bench, he left.
No one was in the lab to notice nine of the ten lights on the device start blinking and a soft voice saying, "Next question please. One question left. Next question please."
It was a few hours later that Teyla Emmagen came looking for McKay. The team was going to be watching a movie together and she wanted to make sure Rodney knew to be there. Entering his lab, she was surprised to see no one was there. What did catch her eye was the device on the table, its red lights blinking. "Is that what Rodney is working on?" she mused aloud. The last red light blinked on and the device beeped loudly. Startled, Teyla jumped backwards, but was not able to escape the white beam that the device emitted.
At just that moment, McKay walked through the door, having heard the beep as he walked through the hall. "Alright, what's going on…here?" He stood in the lab, amazed at the bright light. He saw a small shadow, as if something was being held in its midst. Suddenly the light shut off and the object fell. Using reflexes he didn't know he had, McKay caught the object with one hand. He stared at it in amazement. It was a potato.
Rodney sat on the couch in the entertainment room staring glumly at the potato in his hand. He did not even look up as Ronon Dex and Colonel John Sheppard walked in the room together. "So, what's with the potato, McKay?" asked Sheppard with a grin on his face. Ronon grunted.
"I've been craving a baked potato all day."
"Then why don't you eat it?"
Rodney sighed. "It came from an alien device. I don't know if anything is wrong with it. I've run some scans and it seems to be emitting some kind of electrical pulse. I can't eat a potato that's emitting an electrical pulse."
Ronon grunted and John shrugged his shoulders as he popped in the DVD. "Why don't you throw it away then?"
Rodney looked at the colonel as if he had grown another head. "Are you kidding? It's a potato that emits an electrical pulse! I have to figure out what it does. Unfortunately, I can't cut it open."
John fiddled with the DVD controller. "Why?"
"Because if it turns out to be harmless I want to eat it and I don't want to ruin it!" Rodney frowned as the movie began playing. "Shouldn't we wait for Teyla?"
Ronon grunted. John looked around as if he had not noticed that a team member was missing. He shrugged and turned back to the movie. "I'm sure she won't mind. She's probably doing some mystical Athosian meditation thing."
Rodney looked at him incredulously, but was distracted from pursuing the line of questioning by a grunt and glare from Ronon.
Teyla glared at her teammates as they settled down to the movie. I have been looking forward to seeing this movie for months since I have heard of it! Mystical Athosian meditation 'thing' indeed. If she had lungs, Teyla would have sighed. As it was, she consisted of little other than a body and eyes. She felt herself turning around again, and she mentally grimaced. Rodney! Please quit that!
As the movie continued, Teyla tried shouting at her team, but without a mouth nothing happened. It seems she would be stuck until someone figured out that she was the potato in question. Hopefully they would do this before Rodney ate her.
Sheppard stared at Rodney as the scientist arrived in the disembarkation room for the mission. "Please tell me you're not taking the potato with you on the mission. You've been carrying that thing around for days now, talking to it like it's a pet or something."
Rodney glared, encompassing the grinning Ronon in his gaze. "It's an ongoing experiment. It's been five days since I found it and it hasn't seemed to age at all. I'm certainly not leaving it on Atlantis, someone might eat it. And for your information, I have not been talking to the potato. It just happens to be there as I explain my genius to those around me." He continued beneath his breath. "Sometimes I think the potato is the only thing that actually listens to me."
Exchanging a glance with Ronon, Sheppard shrugged. "Fine, just try not to talk to it in front of the natives. They might think you're possessed or something."
The Gate activated and the three started forward. At the event horizon McKay halted with a frown. "Hey, where's Teyla, aren't we going to wait…" He was cut off as Sheppard rolled his eyes and pushed the scientist through and then followed. Ronon grunted and followed the other two.
If Teyla had had arms she probably would have strangled her teammates by now, and was spending her time planning their slow and painful deaths. How had they not noticed that she had been missing for five days? Well, Rodney noticed. He would be spared, though she might just give him a black eye if he kept tossing her. Teyla was not quite sure how a potato could get dizzy, but she was.
Luckily the mission was easy and the team was soon safely back in Atlantis. Rodney was now in Weir's office, complaining about how no one seemed to be worried that no one could find Teyla. Said Athosian-turned-potato could have grinned as he stormed out of the office after Weir had shrugged and suggested that Teyla had just gone to the mainland. Rodney grumbled as he carried Teyla/Potato to his lab where he continued to fiddle with the device that, unbeknownst to the scientist, had started this whole debacle.
"Honestly, you'd think they would be a little more worried about Teyla. I mean, it's perfectly reasonable that she would visit the mainland, but without telling someone and then not going on a scheduled mission?" Teyla/Potato of course, did not respond to his ongoing monologue. "Let's see, Sheppard said he last saw her when she left to tell me about movie night…which she never came to." Teyla wished she could cheer as Rodney's hands stilled. He was getting so close to the answer, she could practically see the wheels turning in his head. "She would have come to my lab around the time I came back and found…."
Rodney turned his head and stared in horror at the potato beside him. "Oh crap!" He activated his radio. "Sheppard, Ronon, get down to my lab. I think I know where Teyla went!"
There was a pause before the radio crackled back with Sheppard's voice. "Teyla's missing?"
Growling, Rodney hurriedly worked on the device. "Just get down here!"
By the time Sheppard and Ronon arrived, Rodney had just about figured everything out. "So, McKay, what's this about Teyla being gone?" asked the colonel.
Rodney rolled his eyes. "I figured out what happened. This device is actually a game."
"Basically like Twenty Questions, though since the Ancients were so smart they only did ten questions. Anyway, one person thinks an answer at the machine and the others have to guess what it is. If they don't get the answer they get turned into whatever the answer was until the person who thought it up turns them back."
Sheppard smiled. "Hey that sounds like fun…what does that have to do with Teyla?"
Rodney tried not to roll his eyes again, but failed. "I didn't know what it did before, but I must have started the game. Teyla came into the lab to find me and must have asked the last questions. Obviously, since she didn't know better, she got the answer wrong and…got turned into a potato." He held up the potato in question.
Sheppard gave Rodney a 'look'. "You turned Teyla into a potato?"
"Well, I was hungry at the time and thought a baked potato with bacon and cheese would taste good." Rodney turned back to the device and started pressing buttons. "Anyway, I think it's time to change her back, don't you?"
A bright light shot out from the device and hit the potato. When their eyes cleared, the three men were happy to see that in place of the potato was their fourth teammate. "Hey Teyla, how's it going?" Sheppard asked with a grin as Ronon grunted.Teyla just stared unemotionally, walked up to Sheppard and Ronon, and proceeded to knock them both flat on the floor. As the two groaned in pain, Teyla's lips curved in a smile. "That is for not noticing I was gone for nearly a week."
She then turned to Rodney who looked like he would have run away as fast as possible if Teyla hadn't been blocking the doorway. He cringed and held his hands out in a placating gesture. "Please don't hurt me!"
Teyla stepped close and slapped him across his face. "That is for continually tossing me around." She then placed her hands on either side of his face and, to the amazement and somewhat horror of Sheppard and Ronon who were watching, pulled Rodney into a long kiss. After stepping away, Teyla grinned. "That is for caring enough to think I might be in trouble. And for turning me back."
With that, Teyla turned and left the lab to return to her own room. Rodney just stood there, gob smacked. Sheppard struggled to his feet, helped by Ronon. The three men stood there, staring at each other. Finally, Sheppard pounded Rodney on the back with a smile. "You're a lucky man, McKay."
McKay nodded and a small smile graced his face. He had been disappointed that he didn't get to eat a baked potato, but perhaps what he got was better than a potato. Rodney touched his lips. Oh yes, much better.
I was going to have Teyla/Potato jump into a glass of lemonade to save herself from Rodney and his appetite, but alas the story went its own way. Hope you liked it.