Summary: A mission is cut short when McKay starts behaving oddly. It's up to the team to figure out why and how to fix it.
Disclaimer/Author's Note: I own nothing. I'm not English speaking. This is my first foray into this fandom. No spoilers. I hope you like it.
M7R-383 was not an unpleasant place, Sheppard decided. The sun was shining, birds were twittering and McKay was muttering.
The team was walking through a dense forest area on their way to the only manmade structure detected on the planet, a rather large ruin complex. Another team had found it during an aerial reconnaissance a few weeks ago, but had been stumped by the unidentified energy readings coming from the ruins, which was what had landed the mission in their lap.
McKay, who was already up to his ears in the unidentified energy readings that seemed to flood this galaxy, had been moderately enthusiastic at first. Then he'd found out that all jumpers would be unavailable and the ten minute flight - quick look around - be back in time for an afternoon snack - daytrip he'd envisioned turned into a three-hour walk. Meaning a six hour roundtrip, not including the time they'd be spending at the ruins. After that he'd been outright grumpy.
Neither Sheppard nor anyone else on the team felt the least bit sorry for him. For them a three-hour hike was just a stroll in the park. Besides, the exercise could only be good for him. He spent too much time cooped up in his lab.
They'd been walking for about a half-hour. Ronon had been walking behind McKay for awhile, somewhat fascinated that someone could walk around on a new planet and be completely oblivious to one's surroundings. Security aspects aside, being from a planet where the majority of the population still thought theirs was the only populated planet in the universe, Ronon would've expected a little more curiosity. But McKay wasn't the gadget king for nothing. He was currently mesmerized by a handheld device Ronon couldn't identify. McKay's eyes were glued to it as he moved it around in the air around him.
"Why are you doing that?" Ronon asked. "We're nowhere near the ruins."
"I want to know how strong the signal is, how far it reaches," McKay said without taking his eyes off the still silent gauge.
Shaking his head, Ronon pulled away from McKay and caught up to Teyla and Sheppard, leaving McKay last in line. Suddenly McKay stumbled a bit, without anyone noticing. Counterbalancing he managed to stop himself from falling flat on his face. He slapped at a stinging sensation on his left thigh and then frowned, as if he was trying to keep up with his own thoughts.
"Hey guys, wait up," he called.
The rest of the team stopped and looked back at him.
"What?" Sheppard asked.
"My leg's broken," McKay stated matter-of-factly.
As one the team's eyes traveled down his body and stared disbelievingly at his legs.
'Well,' Sheppard thought. 'This is a new one, even for McKay.'
"It doesn't look broken," Ronon observed.
McKay also looked down at his legs, clearly puzzled. "That's funny, I could've sworn… I've twisted my ankle then," he stated, looking back up at them.
"No, you haven't," Sheppard said.
"Stubbed my toe?"
"Possibly," Sheppard conceded. "Now, can we get going?"
"Oh, sure, sure," McKay said. "Now where did I put my pack?" He looked around.
Teyla took a step towards him. "You are still wearing your pack," she said carefully.
"I am?" McKay spun around on his heels, once, twice, trying to look at his own back.
Sheppard frowned, also taking a few steps back towards McKay. "Rodney?"
McKay looked at him.
"Are you okay?"
"Yeah, sure, I'm fine. Except for my leg of course. It's broken."
Teyla walked up to him and put a hand on his forehead. "There is no fever."
McKay shied back from her touch. "Of course there isn't. There's nothing wrong with me."
"What about you leg then?" she asked.
"Right, right," McKay nodded. "Well, it's clearly broken."
"Okay," Sheppard said resolutely. "That's it. Time to drop those pants. Ronon, give me a hand."
Ronon took a step back, holding his hands up defensively. "Dropping his pants? No."
"Come on," Sheppard said. "If there's something wrong with his leg we've got to know."
"I'm not touching his pants," Ronon shook his head.
Teyla sighed. "I will do it." She reached for McKay's belt, but he stepped away, looking crossly at her.
"What do you think you're doing?" he questioned.
"If your leg is broken we need to see it," she tried to calm him.
"Well," McKay said dignified. "I'm perfectly capable of unfastening my own pants, should it prove necessary, thank you."
"Oh, it's necessary, believe me," Sheppard said, moving in on the pair.
"Why?" McKay crossed his arms defiantly in front of his chest.
"Is your leg broken or not?" Sheppard demanded.
"Well, of course it is," McKay said in his usual, disdainful voice, "but I fail to see what that has to do with this discussion."
Sheppard looked at Ronon again, wondering if he could at least get the other man to hold McKay down.
"If your leg's broken we need to see it." Sheppard repeated Teyla's earlier word slowly and articulated, hoping to jog some sense into McKay.
McKay opened his mouth to protest further, but Sheppard forestalled him.
"Ah-ah, either you do it, or I'll have Ronon sit on you while Teyla does it."
McKay's eyes narrowed dangerously. "Fine," he spat out before looking at Teyla who still stood close enough to touch. "Turn around."
"But…," she started to protest
"Uh-uh. Turn around." McKay did a twirling motion with his index finger. Rolling her eyes Teyla turned around and walked off a few steps, with Ronon following suit. He had no desire to look the other man's bare legs. Sheppard, however, walked up to McKay and waited until he'd dropped his pants to pool around his ankles. He then squatted down.
"Right, where does it hurt?" He looked up at McKay.
"Broken legs hurt, McKay."
McKay just blinked incomprehensibly at him.
"Or not," Sheppard said to himself. He looked over the legs in front of him until he came to the left leg. There was a large, red mark on the outer side of the thigh with a drop of blood in the middle of it. "Hmm," he said. "Looks like something bit you."
"Right," McKay said, nodding vigorously. "That's what broke my leg."
"Uh-hu," Sheppard said noncommittally. "All right, let's go back to Atlantis."
The others nodded as McKay fastened his pants back up.
"Can you walk?" Sheppard asked him.
"Of course, why wouldn't I?" McKay answered with a puzzled look.
"Oh, no reason. Ronon, take point."
When the gate in Atlantis whooshed open, Weir stood patiently next to the technician on duty, waiting to hear if the activation was cause for alarm or not.
"It's Colonel Sheppard's IDC, ma'am," the technician told her.
"Already?" she questioned as she nodded permission to lower the shield. "They only left an hour ago. Better get a medical team down there."
The technician nodded and put in the call as Weir made her way down into the gateroom. The team that walked through the gate looked fine to her.
"Welcome back," she said. "Unexpectedly as it is. What brought you back so soon?"
"Well," Sheppard said with a crooked smile, "Apparently McKay broke his leg."
"Rodney?" Weir looked at McKay, who nodded affirmatively. She then looked at his legs, a look of skepticism on her face. "Your legs look fine to me."
At that moment a medical team led by Beckett entered the gateroom.
"Ah, Carson," McKay said, as if greeting a long awaited appointment. "Good. I seem to have broken my leg."
"You leg? It doesn't seem…" Beckett trailed off, looking between McKay and Sheppard, trying to spot the joke, but Sheppard just shrugged at him.
"John, what happened?" Weir asked sternly.
"I have no idea," the Colonel answered. "McKay just started insisting that his leg's broken and we can't get him to stop. There's an ugly bug bite on his leg, so we thought we'd let good ol' doc Beckett look him over."
"Sounds like a good idea," Weir agreed.
"Which leg?" Beckett asked.
"Left," Sheppard and McKay answered in unison. "My left, that is," McKay clarified.
"All right then Rodney, we'll get you a gurney," Beckett said, moving closer to his patient.
"No need," McKay said cooperatively. "I can walk on my own."
"With a broken leg?" Beckett questioned skeptically.
"Sure, why not. Shall we?" McKay started walking towards the infirmary, clearly expecting Beckett to follow him. Beckett turned and looked rather bewildered at the others before jogging a few steps to catch up to McKay.
"Well," Weir remarked. "At least he seems to be in rather good spirits about it."
"Yeah, I know," Sheppard agreed. "Creepy, isn't it."