A/N: Response to the WPBA forum 'first sentences challenge'. Enjoy!

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No Respect

by StarSkimmer

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003. People have no respect these days…

People have no respect these days. Or gratitude. Trust me, I know.

How many years have I been on Atlantis? More than three. What have I been doing here? Saving everybody's sorry asses. Repeatedly, I may add.

And what do I get? Nothing but scorn, derision, and indifference.

Every day in the labs, I get these idiots who call themselves scientists asking me stupid questions, pestering me for permission to start deadly experiments that could very well destroy all of Atlantis, and talking back to me when I yell at them. With all of the times I've rescued the city with one brilliant idea or another, you'd think that I'm allowed to yell at my minions. But no, apparently not. And woe to me if one of them gets hurt and goes crying to Elizabeth.

"Rodney, you can't shout at them like that."

"What? Why not?"

"They're adults too. And you don't have to be so cruel. Dr. Kasha ended up running from the labs in tears."

"So she's overly sensitive! I only told her that her calculations were completely wrong, and that she should be sent back to Earth for nearly blowing up lab 15."

"Rodney…"

"I mean, my God, if she bursts into tears every time her precious feelings get hurt, I'd hate to see her go off-world. Say a Wraith comes up to her and tells her 'I'm going to suck the life out of you now.' What will she do? Start crying and say 'That's mean! You hurt my feelings!' Well?"

"Rodney…"

That's just one example. Don't even get me started about some of the other things. Like, when I'm off-world on missions. No respect, I tell you. Sheppard and Ronon don't even let me voice my opinion anymore, when it concerns the backward culture and beliefs of the locals.

"Wait a second, you think that the world is flat? No, no, that's completely wrong – Ow! What was that for?"

"Rodney, shut up."

"What? No!"

"McKay…"

"As I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted, your world, along with every other one, is round. To think that it is flat and that at some point you'll fall of the edge if you walk to far is not only ridiculous, it is downright ignorant."

"McKay…"

"Dr. McKay, my people and I believe very strongly that our world is a flat surface at the center of the universe. It is heresy to our religion to say anything else."

"Oh, and what makes you so special that you're the center of the universe, hmm? Really, though, your people seem somewhat advanced, too much so to actually believe in that nonsense – ouch! What the hell, Sheppard?"

At that point, we were forced to run for our lives from the religious freaks that lived on M8K-112, who obviously did not take kindly to having the truth shoved in their faces. Well, how was I supposed to know that they would try to kill us for debunking their false, (and rather egotistical) beliefs? If they were that ignorant, then better not to have them as allies at all. Annoyingly, no matter what I say, neither Elizabeth nor Sheppard agree with me on this point. They still think it would have been better to have some kind of alliance with them, instead of now having to consider them enemies. Pah.

Even the people I regard as friends have no appreciation of me. Take Teyla, for instance. Oh, she's nice enough, but has this infernal idea that I should be taking stick-fighting lessons. It's damn annoying, especially when she insults me to my face on the mats.

"Rodney, you have not been practicing."

"Well, I've been kind of busy, if you haven't noticed. You know, saving Atlantis and all that?"

"It only takes half an hour of practice every day to continue progressing. Surely even you can manage it."

"What do you mean, 'even me'?"

"Just because you are…disinclined…to physical activity, Rodney, you should still strive to exercise your body every day."

"I'm not – disinclined, I just don't have the time!"

"Are you sure you do not just use that as an excuse?"

"Of course not! Are you saying that I'm lazy?"

"No, Rodney. I am merely saying that while I can commiserate with your lack of enthusiasm for exercising, it does not mean you should let your lethargy prevail."

"What? Lethargy? I'm not lethargic…!"

And so on. Honestly, the way I'm treated here, you think by now I'd be long gone, leaving these ungrateful people to perish the next time they need a genius solution to a problem and don't have one. I myself don't know why I put up with it. Maybe because my skin is tougher than most. Or maybe because as intolerable as it's been, I've always had some degree of my dignity intact.

Until now, that is. This is the last straw. This crosses the line. Nobody does this to me. Nobody.

"Ronon, give me back my blue jello!"

"Come and get it, McKay."

"You half-witted troglodyte! That jello was MINE!"

"And now it's mine."

"That's – that's outrageous! You want some jello, go and get your own! Don't steal mine!"

"There's no more of the blue kind left."

"So? That's not my problem! If you wanted the blue kind, you should have gotten here earlier! Give it back!"

"No."

"Elizabeth! Ronon stole my jello! Argh, no, now he's eating it!"

"Mmmm."

"That's IT! You are dead, you unthankful Neanderthal. Dead!"

Ronon laughed. I nearly tore out my hair in fury.

People really have no respect these days.

--Fin--

A/N: Reviews make me happy. Need I say more?