Disclaimer: I don't own Stargate, Stargate: Atlantis or any of these characters. This is just for kicks. I'm not participating in the LJ community 20 Loves, I'm simply borrowing a few of their quotes. The lyrics quoted in this chapter are from the song Mr Chevy Celebrity by Less Than Jake.

Note: So this is my first time writing Stargate. No, I don't want you to leave me reviews assuring me it's good, because I'm pretty sure it's just bordering average. But for now, I can absolutely use that as an excuse for why this reads so badly. But I've wanted to try this fandom for a while, as well as work on pairings, so here we go. McShep. Should total ten chapters, all short, and hopefully form some sort of vague, disjointed storyline. This is more for my practice and breaking a writer's block than anything, but please, if you find anything to enjoy in this, knock yourself out.

x

When Anything Goes

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Theme line: One of these days you'll be mine. That will be a sad day.

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Well I thought all my friends were safe
Then I met this kid in fourth grade

-

McKay flexes his fingers against his palm. He knows he's sweating more than the temperature down here can justify. He really should do something about the claustrophobia. After all, there's so many other, more creative ways he could die out here than from a panic attack after being cooped up in a little box for too long –

"Caves. I hate caves. Why is it I always end up in caves?"

He can feel Sheppard roll his eyes.

"I'm sorry, Mr Military," he snipes. "Some of us just aren't built for this kind of thing."

"McKay, if you chuck down three lunches a day, you gotta learn to expect it." The colonel is moving along one of the walls of the cave, shining his torch up into the dark recesses.

"Hey, I've already told you – I have a very fast metabolism. And don't bother looking, you won't find a way out. I've already checked. We're going to have to wait until Teyla and Ronon come back to check on us. They'll see we're missing, won't be able to get in contact with us, and find a way to help us out. That is, of course, if we don't accidentally bring the ceiling down on us first."

"Yeah? And what's the likelihood of that, you think?" Sheppard sounds like he's interested in the answer, but McKay knows better. This is the other man's way of goading him, getting him to launch into some longwinded explanation only to be shot down mid flow.

" Not falling for it this time, Sheppard."

"Not falling for what?" he says, all innocence and unconcerned smoothness.

"Hmm." McKay gives him a final scowl, and resumes his pacing.

"So your plan is to wait for Ronon and Teyla to check in on us? In, uh, about five hours or so?"

McKay grimaces. "Yes, well, I don't see any other way out of here, do you?"

Sheppard looks at him then, straight in the eye, practiced innocence still written all over his face. "As a matter of fact..."

McKay gapes as Sheppard looks up to where his torch beam is shining. There, where the wall meets the ceiling, was a shaft slanting upwards. He can't see light, but he knows it's not far off.

"What the – how come I didn't see that before?!" McKay moves forwards, still staring up, as if not expecting it to be real.

Sheppard shrugs in a sympathetic way. "Well, you are kinda short," he says, and he actually sounds apologetic.

McKay bites back a retort, for once. Freedom now, checking the colonel's insults later.

-

The shaft takes them up to the surface alright, but isn't in any hurry to do it. They shuffle along on hands and knees for what seems like hours, and McKay, bringing up the rear, is getting fed up by not being able to see the way ahead.

"Are we nearly out?" he asks again.

"Well," Sheppard pauses, deliberating. "I'll say we're about thirty seconds closer than we were the last time you asked. Thirty second ago."

"Oh come on, it was at least a minute," McKay complains. "We've been going uphill for a while now, there can't possibly be that much ground left."

"Yeah, well, Ill be sure to lodge a complaint with the townsfolk about how their underground shafts should get us out quicker."

"As if we're anywhere near the town anymore. We must be miles away..."

And so it continues until, finally, McKay sees beams of light peering around Sheppard's sleeves. They haul themselves up onto the grass, both of them squinting in the sudden – but not unwelcome – sunlight. McKay gasps what intended to be "thank goodness", but comes out more of a mumble, and flops himself backwards, his face to the sky.

For a moment, neither of them moves. They're catching their breath, enjoying the feel of fresh air and the novelty of getting out a bad situation without it becoming a life-or-death race against the clock. McKay glances across at Sheppard. The colonel has his arms folded behind his head, one knee raised, and he's frowning.

"Something wrong?"

Sheppard doesn't answer. McKay makes a 'hunh' noise in the back of his throat, shrugs it off, and fumbles for his last power bar.

"One of these days," Sheppard says suddenly, "you'll be mine. That'll be a pretty sad day, McKay."

A mouthful of masticated fruit and oats hits the grass as McKay gawps at him. When he regains himself, he splutters out, "I'm sorry, what?"

Sheppard turns to look at him, and the oblivious innocence is back in place. "What?"

"What you just said! What was that about?!"

Sheppard frowns. "...'What'?" he offers, after a moment. He holds position a second, letting McKay's look of incredulity go from confusion and back again, before hauling himself to his feet. "Well, when you're ready, we should probably find out what's around here."

And then McKay's following him, utterly baffled and half-convinced he's started to imagine things.

-

He'd been right, though, when he said they wouldn't come out anywhere near the village. They're miles away by now, he estimates, and what a place it is they've come out in. A huge cliff face sweeps down into a gorge that's nothing short of an oasis. He's pretty sure he can make out a waterfall, and lots of greenery, enough to make the biologists wet themselves in excitement. He can't believe the towns people didn't know about this, or didn't tell them. He opens his mouth to vocalise this to Sheppard, but the words are pushed back when he finds, to his shock, the other man's hand tightening around his shoulder, and his lips crushed against his own.

Sheppard pulls back after a moment. He doesn't look at him. He doesn't act as if anything's happened. He shifts his P90 against his hip, squints at the sun.

"Should probably start heading back to the village. We can radio Teyla and Ronon now we're outta the cave, get them to meet us half way in the jumper. Should cut down the journey time."

And then he's turned, and he's heading off into the dwindling sun. And McKay is still shocked, motionless, and convinced that he didn't imagine that.