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

Bought services

It had been a long, hard day at McKay's old working place, Area 51. Artefacts from Pegasus were registered, Wraith weapons were analysed and scientists asked questions about everything. In the evening McKay invited the team to a bar near the military area. It was shabby and run-down but the only local bar without the inevitable Roswell souvenirs.

They had just sat down when someone called, "Hello, Rod!"

The team stared at a woman, in her mid-fifties, whose flashy, black-red dress revealed more than it covered. Her stilettos were a blazing red and the heels gave meaning to the name stiletto. The stranger's face was caked with makeup and her lipstick matched her shoes. Uninvited and surrounded by a cloud of heavy perfume they could almost touch, the woman approached the table and took a seat. "My God, how long has it been?"

McKay started to answer but she interrupted. "You didn't even say goodbye after we spent so much time together." She looked at the team. "Are these friends of yours? I'm Amber." She told them as she reached out her hand with its bright red fingernails. Sheppard, Ronon and Teyla shook the offered hand.

"Rod, sweetheart, get me a glass of sparkling wine. This is just like the old times." Unquestioningly, McKay stood up and went to the counter. The Colonel turned to Amber, "Rod? He once mentioned he was never able to make anyone call him that."

The woman had a good laugh, "Oh, love, those who pay I call them what they want."

Embarrassed Sheppard stared at the tabletop while Ronon chuckled. Teyla on the other hand asked with no inhibitions, "You have an unusual name. Isn't Amber old tree resin?"

"Amber is fire, my dear. And anyway it's just a stage name. Oh, thank you, Rod, that's very nice." McKay put the glass on the table and sat down again.

Amber sipped at the sparkling wine. "A delicious drink, isn't it? Rod always brought along some sparkling wine, because he was so nervous. But it was of no use to him. His movements stayed wooden. You would think someone who has such a musical talent would be able to move more rhythmically."

Ronon laughed out loud while Sheppard tried to look anywhere but McKay or Amber. Teyla was confused by Sheppard's behaviour. Then she shrugged her shoulders. The Earthlings were strange about interpersonal interactions.

Amber looked at her watch, then quickly finished her wine. "It was a pleasure meeting you all, but unfortunately I have to meet a client. Rod, just call if you're nearby."

McKay nodded to her as she left the bar.

"How did you get to know each other?" Teyla asked.

"A fellow scientist recommended her to me. He said she would do me good." McKay sighed when he said that. Sheppard almost choked on his beer.

"She definitely has verve, I like her," Ronon replied.

"Yeah, she has verve. When I was at her place it was always, 'Do this, do that, show me more passion, forget about your formulae, focus on what you're doing'. It was hard."

"And then?" Teyla asked interestedly.

"Then I realized the tango just isn't my dance." McKay grinned.

It wasn't the first time his tango teacher had caused some confusion.