Considerably Shiny Turtles by AndromedaMarine

"If it sparkles it's shiny," McKay insisted, determined not to shiver in the not-so-frigid Lantean air that blew over the west pier.

"Nah. Sparkly and shiny are two entirely different concepts," John retorted. "Shiny means 'bright in appearance,' but sparkly just means to 'shine with little gleams of light.' So they're not the same. One's just inside the other."

"You're just confirming what I said! If it sparkles it's shiny. Why are we even out here?" Rodney complained, sniffing arrogantly and peering over the edge of the pier. "There's nothing to do."

John eyed the astrophysicist. "Radek's ocean probe thingy picked up a swarm of something out here and I wanted to check it out." His face remained even and it took all his willpower not to laugh at Rodney's expression.

The scientist's eyes had gone dinner-plate wide, his skin paler than Casper the Ghost, and he was suddenly an iron post in the middle of a very long, very wide stretch of metal. He didn't move. "A swarm of 'something'?" He demanded. "And you volunteered?"

John cracked a grin. "It's not like it's another submerged hive or something..."

Rodney turned livid. "How do you know? Why didn't Liz send a friggin' science team to figure it out? And sparkly and shiny are the same thing," he tacked on the end.

"I thought you were a science team, Rodney. Besides, I already know what it is – I just wanted to get a closer look." He grinned like a devil.

"Ooh you didn't... Why didn't you just tell me right off?"

"It's funner watching you get worked up over nothing."

"'Funner' isn't a word," Rodney said. "You mean it's funnier. But it's not." He scowled.

John peered at his friend. "You're not gonna ask what it is?"

Rodney fell silent for a few moments. "Fine! I give in. What's the something Radek found?"

"Maybe you should just see for yourself..." he trailed off, enjoying the expression on McKay's face. "Okay, okay. Radek told me they're considerably shiny turtles."

Rodney just stared at him. "Considerably...shiny...turtles..." he repeated slowly, his eyes glued on Sheppard. "And this is your reason for the shiny-sparkly debate?"

John nodded. They had reached the end of the pier, and began to descend the steps on the edge to a smaller platform below. "Considerably shiny turtles. I thought it'd be cool to see a shiny turtle, considering we don't have shiny turtles on Earth."

"All right, all right," Rodney said, exasperated and flapping his hands at Sheppard. "I get it. They're shiny. Now where are they?"

The two men fell silent for several minutes, and suddenly the Lantean sea was full of shiny – yes, shiny – sea turtles five times the size of Earth-based sea turtles. The Air Force colonel and the astrophysicist watched the group of ten considerably shiny turtles surface but two feet from the platform and then swim away.

"I think they sparkled," Rodney said, earning himself a slap upside the head.