"What are you doing?" John was pulling his trousers off, the rest of his clothes already in a pile next to his boots. McKay stood, arms crossed, frowned on his face.

"Going for a swim?" John said, as if it were obvious. He dropped his trousers on top of the rest of his clothes and dived into the pool of deep blue water. When he emerged, gasping for breath and slicking his hair back, Rodney had his hands on his hips.

"Colonel Carter is right there!"

"She won't mind," he said, swimming backwards from the bank, "and anyway, she's talking with Ronan right now."

"Oh yes, because he's such the conversationalist!" Rodney exclaimed, "I'm sure she'll be busy for hours!"

"Just come for a swim Rodney." John disappeared under the water, then reappeared by the bank, splashing the annoyed scientist.

"Oh very mature." He looked down at the wet patch on his lap. John swam away laughing, and didn't see Sam walk up behind Rodney.

"What's going on?"

"Nothing!" He squeaked, jumping and turning around to smile at her. She raised an eyebrow and looked past him, and saw John dive deep into the water, his legs and feet kicking in the air, when he resurfaced, he smiled at her

"Colonel." She said, greeting him as if ten minutes ago they weren't just making camp in the forest.

"Ma'am." He swam up to the bank, "Coming in? The water's great." She smiled, and considered it, watching Rodney try and distance himself from his friend and the water, and her.

"Why not?" She said, stripping off her tac vest and dropping it to the floor next to Sheppard's clothes. Rodney stared at her as she dropped to the floor and began to unlace her boots. She imagined Sheppard was just in his boxers, or his briefs, or whatever he wore, and she just knew Rodney was trying to get his brain around the idea that she might just be about to strip down to her underwear.

He was still staring when she undid her belt and pulled her trousers down and she tried not to laugh at the look of sheer disappointment on his face when he sees the shorts she's wearing underneath. She wanted to explain, he looked so terribly heartbroken, and she wanted to laugh and tell him that Sheppard had told her it would cold during the night, even though the sunshine had been gorgeous all day.

She pulled her t-shirt off and he brightened a little when he saw the little tank top she was wearing, and she did laugh then. He was too easy, it was almost boring. She turned away from him and dove into the water to join Sheppard.

Sheppard was the challenge.

She resurfaced next to him, having seen through the water that he was wearing boxer-briefs, and smiled at him.


"Ma'am." She laughed and began to swim around, not straying too far from the bank.

They had been on the same level not too long ago, the three of them all under the command of another man or another woman, and it was easy between them, even though now they were both under her command. It was a lot easier than she had expected it to be, between them, even though everything else was a bloody (literally) struggle.

"Aren't you coming in McKay?" She asked, swimming up to the bank and smiling at him. He was looking down at her breasts, and the way her tank top was plastered to her body and he was too fucking easy.

He frustrated the hell out of her.

"No, no, I'm fine here."

"Come on Rodney," John called out. He swam to Sam's side and shrugged. "Normally he's first in the water." Sam splashed the scientist but he had learnt since John had done the same, had moved since John had done the same and folded his arms with a smug look on his face.

"Very mature."

"He said that to me too." Sam laughed, and disappeared under the water. When John yelped, Rodney jumped, moving closer to the bank to try and see what had just happened. Sam reappeared laughing, she didn't say anything and neither did John and he was left with his own imagination.

They both started to swim away from the bank, away from Rodney, until he was small to them, and they in turn small to him. Then Sam disappeared again under the water, for a very long time and John remain where he was in the middle of the lake and he couldn't tell what was going on, couldn't see Sheppard's face, couldn't see Sam at all. When she resurfaced she was holding something blank in her hand, before letting it float on the water and drift away from them.

It took him an entire second to realise she'd just stripped Sheppard's underwear away.

"What are you two doing out there?"

She laughed out loud as he began to pace, smiling at John, who, as it had turned out, wasn't as much of a challenge as she had thought. At least not in that way. Getting into the man's head was a lifetime occupation she suspected, but getting into his pants, easy.

She looked over to Rodney who was pacing now, his head turned their way, staring at them as they trod the water together. She wanted to kiss John, really badly, but was really debating whether it was a good idea, even though he was now naked inches away from her.

"Colonel." She said.

"Ma'am." He grinned and reached out to put a hand on her lip, and rubbed the wet skin between her shorts and her tank with his thumb.

"Bad idea?" She asked.


"It's fun to mess with Rodney though." She said, glancing back at the man, who had stopped still, still staring at them. She couldn't read his expression though, not at this distance.

"We can do that on the base, when we're dry."


"When Teyla and Ronan aren't likely to join us at any minute." She turned right around to see the rustle in the trees that he did.

"Oh," She frowned, trying to figure out exactly what he meant. He glanced at Rodney too, and then kissed her quickly on the lips, one brief brush of his lips over hers. "Oh."

"Damn, are all scientists so socially inept?"

"To be fair," she started, trying not to laugh as Rodney regained his balance out of the corner of her eye, "I am half naked and soaking wet." He raised his eyebrows at that and she laughed then.

"I didn't mean like that."

"I know what you mean." He smiled back at her and then swam away, after his underwear. She laughed again, these men made her do that far too often, smile and laugh and giggle. It was horrible and wonderful and she couldn't wait to get John out of the water.

After she had gotten Rodney into it though.