"McKay, how's the leg?"

"…"


"Rodney, how's your leg?"

"…"


"McKay, how're you feeling?"

"Ngh."

"Well, it's a start. Good for you."


"Rodney, how's your leg?"

"Broken."

"Glad to hear it, lad. Glad to hear it."


"McKay, how're you doing?"

"My leg's broken."

"You don't say."


"Rodney, any change?"

"My leg's broken."

"Still, huh?"


"McKay, what's your favorite movie?"

"My leg's broken."

"Really, I haven't seen that one. Your favorite song then?"

"My leg's broken."

"Hmm, 'fraid I don't know that one either. Favorite food?"

"My leg's broken."

"Your mom cook that often? Sounds a little yucky to me. Say, I was thinking of borrowing a book from you. Anything in particular you can recommend?"

"My leg's broken."

"Oh really, because—"

"For heaven's sake, Colonel, stop pestering the poor man."


"Rodney, how're you feeling?"

"I'm fine."

"How about your leg?"

"It's broken."

"Of course it is."


"McKay, is your leg broken?"

"No."

"Well, how is it then?"

"It's broken."


"McKay, how're you?"

"I'm fine."

"And your leg?"

"It's fine."


"Rodney, how's the leg?"

"It's fine, Carson. Really."

"Well, that's good to hear."


"McKay, my man! How's that famous leg of yours? Broken at all?"

"No! For the love of god, will you stop asking me that! There's absolutely nothing wrong with my leg. There never was anything wrong with my leg. I admit, my tap-dancing isn't what it used to be, I never wanted to take those lessons anyway, mom made me, but unless you stop asking me about my leg, I'll be more than happy to demonstrate my feeble skills on your head! Just you wait until the next time you get infected with an alien poison. I am going to hound you with imbecile questions until your head explodes and once it's done that I'm going to ask, 'Hey, John, how come you head exploded?' Now get out of here before I really break my leg kicking you out! Go!"

There was a moment of silence, then, "You tap-dance?"

"Argh!"


"And where do you think you're going?" Beckett asked the next morning as he walked in on McKay tying his shoelaces.

"To my lab. At least I'll find something constructive to do there," McKay said testily.

Beckett shook his head. "As I recall, I haven't discharged you yet, Rodney. Back in bed you go."

McKay looked up at him. "What? Are you serious? There's nothing wrong with me, Carson and you bloody well know it. This is ridiculous!"

"Ridiculous? I think not. Must I remind you that just yesterday you couldn't string together a sentence to save your life?"

"And the day before yesterday I could and today I can again. Funny how things work out, don't you think? Hm? Come on, Carson, my last two blood tests were clean. There's nothing wrong with me."

Beckett studied him for a moment. McKay did look and act his normal self. "Tell you what," he conceded. "One more blood test, and if that comes out clean as well you're free to go."

"Another one?" McKay squeaked undignified as he was pushed back onto the bed. "You're trying to make me anemic, aren't you?" he said accusingly.

"Yes, that's it exactly. You've uncovered my diabolical plan for world domination," Beckett said wryly as he motioned for McKay to hold his arm out and then tied a cord around it. "Blood tests don't make you anemic, Rodney, you've got nothing to worry about."

They both fell silent as the needle pricked the vein in the crook of McKay's arm.

"So how're you doing?" Beckett asked casually.

"A little lightheaded from the blood loss…" McKay said petulantly, watching his blood fill up the vial.

Beckett glared at him.

"I told you, I'm fine," McKay grumbled.

"There you go, all done," Beckett said as he pulled the needle out, pressed a piece of gauze to the drop of blood that welled up and urged McKay to bend his arm to keep pressure on it. "I meant with all that's been happening," he clarified as he marked the vial of blood with instructions. "How much do you remember from yesterday?"

"Disturbingly enough, everything." McKay shuddered. "I remember feeling a biting sensation on my leg and I stumbled, but managed to stay upright. I remember thinking that I was lucky I didn't fall and break my leg. Break my leg… those words just stuck and after that my leg was the only thing that mattered. I was so sure it was broken. I knew there was something wrong with it and I didn't understand why no one else could see it. It was so clear to me, so important. Nothing else mattered. And yet, somewhere in the back of my mind there was a part of me that knew that there were other things I should be focusing on, but that part just couldn't get control. It's like I was trapped. It was incredibly frustrating."

Beckett looked at him sympathetically. "I can imagine," he said, breaking McKay out of his somber contemplations.

McKay cleared his throat. "Yeah, well, it's over now. How long's that going to take?" he asked, nodding to the test tube.

"Don't worry," Beckett said. "I'll put a rush on it. In the mean time you sit tight."

"But this place is so boring," McKay whined. "There's nothing to do here."

"Well, I'm sorry for the inconvenience, but it's the hospital clown's day off," Beckett said sarcastically.

"You could always call Sheppard," McKay suggested morosely. "I'm sure he'd be perfect for the job."


Epilogue:

Two days later the team was back on M7R-383, this time in a jumper. Sheppard was disappointed. They'd flown around for over an hour now, but there was no sign of Mela's people anywhere and their campsite was abandoned. The jumper had now left the forest areas and was flying over a grassy plain on the way to the ruins.

"I'm telling you McKay," Sheppard said. "It's a shame you didn't get to meet them. They're really nice people. And the kid seemed really sorry that he'd hit you."

"Yeah, well, that's all well and good then," McKay said distractedly, hunched over his monitor as he were. "But I hope you'll forgive me for not putting them on my Christmas card list just yet."

"Wow… Would you look at that," Sheppard said amazed as he lowered the jumper further towards the plain they were flying over and slowed it down.

"What?" McKay asked, looking up.

"It's those mollusks," Sheppard told him. "I'm telling you, all they need is a trunk and big, floppy ears, and they'll be first cousins with the mammoth."

"They are called moluks," Teyla patiently reminded him again.

McKay and Ronon moved up the jumper to look over Sheppard and Teyla's shoulders at the two beautiful animals that were slowly lumbering across the plains.

"Hmm," McKay said. "They're kind of big… could feed a lot of people. Say, how did they taste?"

"What?" Sheppard looked back at him.

"I'm just saying, a little variation in our food supply could be a good thing. Isn't that why that woman gave you all that poison?"

"And how are you planning to get it through the Stargate?" Sheppard asked. "I don't think it'll fit in the jumper. Or do you want to kill it here? And cut it up?"

McKay looked grossed out by the thought. "Don't we have people that can do that?"

"Sorry, McKay, but I don't think our mess staff is trained in the hunting and slaughtering of mollusks."

"They are moluks," Teyla said yet again.

"I know that," Sheppard said as he pulled the jumper up in the air again. "We should be seeing the ruins soon."

"Oh." McKay hurried back to his instruments.

The ruins stood on top of a hill and Sheppard put the jumper down on a flat surface near them. As they exited Sheppard asked McKay, "Okay, where do you want to go?"

McKay was frowning as he consulted his scanner. "Huh," he said. "Seems like the energy reading is coming from inside the hill."

"Alright," Sheppard said. "Spread out and look for a way down. McKay, you're with me."

"So…" Sheppard said slowly as they weaved through the crumbling walls of the long abandoned structure, "You feeling alright now?"

"What? Huh? Oh, yeah, sure," McKay answered without paying much attention.

"Cause I've gotta tell you, it was a bit creepy seeing you all quiet like that." Sheppard stopped and pointed, "Look, that looks like a stairwell."

"Well, I suppose this was a lesson in humility for all of us," McKay said loftily as they changed direction.

"All of us?" Sheppard questioned, one eyebrow in the air.

"Yes, next time, let's not take my intelligence for granted. Hm?" He smiled smugly.

"I'll try to think of that," Sheppard promised without much sincerity as they neared the sought for stairwell that would take them down into the basement of the ruins.

"Yes," McKay agreed. "I think that is something we should all take the time to reflect on—aah!" McKay hadn't been paying attention to where he was walking and had missed the first step. Now he was tumbling down the stairs.

"McKay! Rodney! Are you okay?" Sheppard ran down the stairs and knelt on the floor next to the groaning McKay.

"No, no, no, no, no, no, no. This can't be happening. This can not be happening!" McKay moaned.

"Rodney? Talk to me. Are you okay?"

"You're not gonna believe this. I think my leg's broken."

The End


A/N: I would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to read this story. I hope you liked it. And a special thank you to those who have been kind enough to send reviews. I really appreciate it. Thank you!