A/N: Thanks to my beta The Wishyles! All remaining mistakes are mine.

Could have been worse

Dr Weir looked at the incoming wormhole. Colonel Sheppard's team had been on a trading mission and were returning.

Sheppard was the first to come through the Stargate. His face was bright red and he dripped as he walked across the gateroom. His team members, following him through the gate, looked the same. Gloomily they stopped in front of Dr Weir. She sighed. "Nothing again?"

Sheppard cleared his throat repeatedly before answer. "Nah. We closed the deal successfully."

"Then why…" Weir pointed vaguely at the team.

The Colonel cleared his throat again, but didn't respond.

"They rubbed snow in our faces," Ronon muttered. He sounded like his nose was blocked and Weir noticed snow in his nostrils. And his beard. And his dreadlocks.

"A goodbye ritual?" Weir asked, while more and more curious expedition members gathered round the frozen-to-the-bone team, to find out, why they looked so wet and despondent.

"A purification ritual." Teyla answered, while she brushed snow out of her hair, "We obviously insulted their goddess of purity."

The leader of the expedition – and everyone else – looked at McKay. "Rodney?"

"What? They put snow in my collar!" Rodney was frantically contorting his body trying to reach his neck. Then he raised his head and noticed everyone was looking at him. "Oh nonononono. It wasn't me. Why on earth would you think it was me?" Indignantly he raised his hands gesturing furiously. "Hey, I'm not the one who had to pee his name in the snow."