A/N: This is my answer to the challenge proposed by ladygris and theicemenace. Comes in at 696 words minus a/n and title. Unbetaed so mistakes are mine. Please drop a review and let me know what you think of it ~DtC

Dark and Stormy

It was a dark and stormy night. Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. That was until a bolt of lightning illuminated the pitch-black house and a crack of thunder slightly shook the house. The sound of claws scratching wood echoed in the empty hallway and was soon followed by a large crash and then glass shattering.

"Newton, is that you?" Rodney crept around the corner, careful not to walk into anything. The storm raging outside had knocked out the power and the scientist was not used to the layout of his new home. "Newton?" he called out again, not knowing what kind of response he would receive. The orange tabby had disappeared three nights ago and countless posters had been put up to help locate the lost feline.

Another round of lightening lit the hallway and Rodney could see muddy paw prints leading towards the stairs. His face scrunched up in confusion and fright, as he could not recognize what created the prints. They were not feline or human or any creature he knew of, Milky Way or Pegasus in origin.

Suddenly something furry brushed against the man's bare leg, he jumped back, and screamed as if being murdered. Rodney looked around for the source of his fright and could not see anything, but a door slammed at the far end of the hall. The frightened man's pulse quickened and the hairs on the back of his neck stood on end. He reached out for the nearest box to find something to protect himself and came up with a curling iron. "Lot of good that is going to do. It's better than nothing," Rodney frowned at the weapon that was going to save him.

The scratching noise was back and it was close, "Come out whatever you are. I'm armed and not afraid to use it." Rodney held his breath as a door creaked and he could feel the adrenaline pumping through his body. His body tensed as tiny footfalls headed his way. When the unknown creature latched onto his leg, Rodney was too panicked to realize what it was, stumbled back, and fell to the ground. His head connected with the hard wood floor and he groaned in pain, feeling the bump form immediately. The small creature then pounced on his chest, robbing him of what little breath he had left. "Please don't hurt me," Rodney's voice cracked, unable to move.

The creature started to giggle, "Daddy, I wouldn't hurt you."

"Ali?" He asked just for clarification.

"Duh," the child sighed with a level of sarcasm only a McKay could pull off.

Rodney slowly sat up as the fear subsided, realizing his seven year old child just shaved off several years of his life. "Shouldn't you be sleeping?" he hugged his offspring close.

"The thunder woke me up and I couldn't go back to sleep."

"Why didn't you come and get me?" He stayed on the floor, as his legs were too shaky to support his weight.

Ali sighed, trying to break free of her father's hug. "You were sleeping so I decided to play with the toy Uncle John gave me for my birthday and then I started the game with you. John said you played games like that all the time," she pouted. The child did not want to be yelled at. "I love you, Daddy."

Rodney wanted to be mad, but his daughter knew how to play him well and any anger was quickly defused. "Love you too, Pumpkin."

Both McKays jumped when a door slammed downstairs. They looked at each other with fear, knowing the source of the noise was scarier than anything that could go bump in the night when it saw the mess in the hall and whatever Ali did downstairs.

"Mommy's home," Ali whispered.

"Let's go," Rodney stood with the child in his arms. "Do you want to explain to her?"

Ali shook her head violently and tightly pressed her lips together. She could already hear the grumbling from below.

"Chicken," he made a face at the child and descended the stairs. "I can explain, Baby. You see it was a dark and stormy night..."