Author Notes: A special thanks to KateCater for beta reading my story and giving me tons of helpful tips. Thanks, you're the best!I don't have much else to say, but I hope you enjoy this story and would love to hear what peoples first impressions are.
By The Dream Guardian
Scanning the horizon, all John saw was more rugged wasteland, bare of almost anything. All there seemed to be was sand and rugged rock outcroppings and that awful foul smell. The planet was covered with mud pots, geysers, and sulfur springs. The geologists on Atlantis had run extensive tests to make sure the planet was stable before concluding it was safe for the team.
Teyla stood behind Sheppard. The two had left their teammates at some ruins they had found so McKay could continue the tests he was running.
"It appears we may be in for some rain," Teyla commented. Her caramel eyes were looking into the unfamiliar yellow sky, partially filled with angry-looking green-tinted clouds
"That's just great," Sheppard muttered as a low rumble was heard to the east and the wind began to pick up.
"John, get under cover now." McKay's voice burst through the radio, laced with recognizable fear.
"What is it?" John asked. Beside him, Teyla frowned, worried.
"The rain, it's acidic," McKay said.
"You don't want to be caught in the open," Ronon's voice came through, sounding gruffer than usual. A crash of thunder caused both John and Teyla's eyes to dart skyward before they took off in the direction of the jumper.
"We're heading for the jumper," Sheppard snapped into the radio. They'd parked the jumper about a half-mile west of his and Teyla's present location.
"John!" Teyla's cry stopped him, and he turned towards his teammate. "What?" he asked, impatient to get back to the jumper.
"There's a cave over there," Teyla said, pointing. Sheppard didn't want a cave; in his experience, they tended to be unpleasantly full of things like bugs, and he hated bugs. However, a sharp burning feeling on his hand caused him to reconsider. Looking at it, he saw a red burn, and realized it was beginning to rain
"Go," John ordered, sprinting after Teyla as more sharp stings could be felt. He dived inside the entrance just as the rain began to fall heavily. "You OK?" John asked Teyla, noticing the small red marks on her face and arms.
"Only minor burns, it could have been worse." John nodded; it could have been a lot worse. Being caught in the acidic downpour for even a few seconds would have meant burns over their entire heads and necks. He was thankful that the cave was slightly uphill; the last thing he wanted was acidic rain running into the cave with them. He pulled out the first aid kit and tended to Teyla's burns before treating his own.
"Sheppard, Teyla." McKay's worried voice came over the radio. "You OK?"
"We're fine, Rodney. We're holed up in a cave about a half-mile from the jumper. What about you guys?" John said as he continued to treat the acid burns.
"We're all right. Ronan got a few burns because he was outside, but he'll be fine. At least I'm able to continue studying this."
"Lucky you." John smiled; he could almost see Ronan's face at the prospect of being stuck with McKay for who knew how long. "Just sit tight, treat the burns with your first-aid kit. Check back in an hour." He glanced at Teyla. "Anywhere else?"
She shook her head. "My burns have all been treated. How long will it be before Atlantis checks in?"
John grimaced slightly. "Another five hours. If this hasn't stopped by then, we'll have them bring another jumper through and pick us up." That was why he'd hoped they could make it to the jumper in time to beat the rain. A quick stop and an extension of the shields to rescue Rodney and Ronan, and they'd have been back in Atlantis in time for dinner.
Teyla glanced out to the cave entrance. "It appears to be coming down quite hard still. It will probably last for some time." She sat her pack down on the floor of the cave and sat back against it.
John watched the rain continue to fall before he sat down as well. "At least I have the good company," he said, grinning at Teyla. She laughed. "You are just thankful you're not the one stuck with Rodney," she said, smiling at him.
John glanced outside. "Yeah, I just hope Ronan doesn't kill him. If this keeps up, Rodney may be in danger of his life." John laid back, using his pack as a pillow. "Just like camping," he sighed, closing his eyes.
Teyla raised an eyebrow at him. "Do you often camp in caves, Colonel?" she asked.
"No, but I've been camping more than once and ended up stuck inside a cave because of the rain. It's really not too bad, if you've got something to do. Got any cards?"
"I'm afraid I do not."
"Me neither." Sheppard sighed. "I keep meaning to put some in my vest for times like this." Silence fell over the cave, broken only by John's fingers tapping against his vest. "We could play-" He was cut off by a noise that seemed to be thunder, but much louder. The ground began to tremble. Teyla and John were on their feet in an instant. It only took a moment for them to realize what was happening.
"Landslide!" Teyla said. "Get back!" John shouted, shoving her onto the ground towards the rear of the cave as the entrance collapsed. John grunted as a large stone bounced onto his shoulder. Slowly the noise stopped, and the two found themselves in darkness. Sheppard bit back a groan as he rolled off of Teyla, careful to not put any pressure on his shoulder. Clutching his arm to his chest, he crawled on his knees and left arm to where he thought his pack was. After a bit of a fumbling search, he knocked into it and managed to pull the flashlight out of it. He turned it on and shone it in the direction of the entrance, finding, as he feared, that it was completely sealed.
"Just like camping," he groaned.