Archive: Please ask first
Category: This is my submission for the McKay Ficathon on Live Journals. This was written for morgulnaz or octobersend
McKay Ficathon Master List
Summary: Nothing like a little Wraith for a group to go from individuals to a team.
Sequel/Season: Season One, This is set between "Hide and Seek" and "Suspicions"
Authors Note: I don't own them, Gecko and Scifi does. I'm just borrowing them for while and promise to give them back when I'm done, though I might just keep Rodney for little longer ;-)
Thanks to much to maching_monkey, Wendy and Gaffer for being my wonderful beta!!! Thank to tehshroom for her wonderful feed back keeping me on track with things!
"Incoming!" Ford shouted, he and Teyla ducking into the cover of hollowed out depression that had been made when a huge tree had toppled over. Sheppard shoved McKay back behind a large rock outcropping before diving behind it himself.
McKay flinched and cringed as Wraith blasts slammed into the rocks sending up a shower of dirt and rock fragments. "Oh, we're screwed," he groaned.
Sheppard sighed and peeked out. The area around the Stargate was practically swarming with Wraith Darts. "Crap," he said under his breath and sat down with his back to the outcropping. First mission went fine then second they had spotted the Wraith not long after they gated to the planet, but they had gotten back to the gate without incident and now—
He glanced around at his team and sighed. This was supposed to be a nice quiet, *safe* mission. A training mission. Get his team out and get them experience working as a team. Take Teyla and McKay out and put into practice the instruction he and Ford had been giving them for the last couple weeks, make sure McKay and Teyla were both proficient in the use of both a P90 and a baretta. Teyla was already an impressive hand-to-hand fighter as she proved by putting Ford on his butt their first sparring session. McKay knew a little boxing, but hand-to-hand was something they were really going to have to work on with him. However, he had proved to be a surprisingly good shot. When Sheppard had asked him about it, he mumbled something about not being much to do with free time at Area 51.
A Dart screamed over their head and Sheppard groaned, banging his head lightly against the outcropping. Weir was going to kill; him that was, if the Wraith didn't first.
Another blast slammed into the outcropping and he heard McKay hiss in pain.
"McKay," he retorted, shifting to get a look at the scientist.
McKay kept his back to him. "I'm fine," came back the automatic answer he always gave, his voice tight with pain. "It's nothing."
"What's nothing?" Sheppard demanded.
"Nothing," McKay snapped back.
He grabbed McKay's shoulder and turned him toward him. McKay clutched his left hand in his right, blood seeping between his fingers.
Sheppard grimaced and pulled a handkerchief out of his hip pocket. "Let me see," he told the other man.
Reluctantly, McKay let go of his hand and blood welled up and dripped off the injured appendage staining the dirt red. "Just a scratch," he said, giving Sheppard a crooked smile the came nowhere near the fear in his eyes.
When he first met McKay, he found the man an irritating, whining, self-centered, egotistical jerk. He could still be all that and more, but he was also finding the man was a lot more than he seemed. Not so self-centered as he liked people to think. Like when he had put on the Ancient shielding device and walked down in the middle of that darkness thing that had gotten loose in the base.
Sheppard wrapped the handkerchief tightly around the man's hand. "Just a flesh wound," he teased lightly and they both ducked as another blast slammed into the outcropping. He sighed. "I am really getting tired of that."
"Do you think they can see us up here?" McKay asked, his voice quiet as he peeked over the rocks.
"Well, they saw us run up here," Sheppard remind him.
"Oh, yeah, right." McKay sighed and slumped down behind the rocks again, then shifted again to try to get a look over to where Ford and Teyla had ducked for cover.
Sheppard snagged his arm. "Sit still," he snapped at him. "They know we're up here, just not where up here."
"Sorry," McKay mumbled, pulling himself up against the outcropping and cradling his hand against his chest. He sat still, well, he looked like he was trying to sit still. It wasn't long until his knee started to vibrate, then his foot followed suit, keeping time. Sheppard reached over, resting his hand on the man's knee just long enough to draw his attention to the movement and it quickly stopped.
Sheppard glanced out again. The Wraith were still milling around the gate, but seemed a bit confused. Sheppard tapped his radio. "Ford, come in," he said softly and then frowned when only static answered. "Ford, do you read me?" he said again.
"The radios aren't working, Major," McKay butted in, fishing in his pocket for the little scanning device
"I got that, Doctor. Now tell me why?"
McKay sighed in exasperation and then focused on the device in his hands. "Mineral deposits," he said after a moment. "There's something under us that's interfering with the signal. Probably some kind of natural lodestone or something like that."
"And what does that do other than it messes up the radios?"
"It makes it harder to for the Wraith to find us," McKay said with a snort. "That's probably why they just keep shooting in our general direction instead of actually shooting at us."
"Makes sense," Sheppard said. He leaned around and saw Ford peeking up from his hiding spot. He signaled that they were fine. Ford responded that they were all right as well. Sheppard nodded and then motioned that Ford and Teyla should stay put for the moment. Sheppard slipped back and noticed McKay was staring at him. "What?"
"Is there some kind of manual on what all those hand things?" He made a vague motion with his hands, "Is there something they actually mean or do you just make them up as you go?"
Sheppard leveled a look at him. "Yes, there's a manual."
McKay got a thoughtful look on his face a moment. "Really?"
Any other questions interrupted in an explosion of rock shards and dirt. Sheppard shoved McKay down as the blast shaved the top off their hiding place. He glanced at the distance between where they were and the depression Ford and Teyla were in and grabbed a handful of the scientist's jacket shoving him forward. "Go!" he ordered.
McKay scrambled to his feet and took off for the depression. Sheppard scrambled to keep up. Overhead a Wraith Dart screamed toward them. "Run!" Sheppard shouted at McKay and the scientist picked up speed. Trees erupted in fire around them as the Dart strafed them, tearing over them. Sheppard saw the Dart wheeling for another pass and gave a flying leap, tackling the Canadian sending them both tumbling down the edge of the depression and onto Ford and Teyla.
The four of them managed to untangle themselves and McKay gave Sheppard a withering glare, which quickly disappeared when he saw the scorch marks on Sheppard jacket.
"Are you all right?" he asked quickly.
Sheppard shrugged it off. "Just a little singed, nothing serious."
McKay grimaced and just nodded.
The four of them hunkered down under the shadow of the ancient tree's massive roots. McKay picked out some of the stones from around them and set to work trying to analyze them with his scanner, but quick gave up. "This is useless. Whatever is in these rocks is scrambling any kind of basic telemetry reading."
"Which is a good thing, right?" Ford asked. "I mean it hides us from the Wraith, right?"
"Yes," McKay said in a clipped tone. Sheppard expected more explanation and glanced over when he didn't hear it.
McKay sat digging through the pockets of his vest. He pulled out a power bar and then looked up, noticing the others were staring at him. "What?"
Sheppard shook his head. "Always thinking with your stomach, McKay."
The scientist glared back at him. "I happen to be hypoglycemic."
Teyla got a concerned look on her face. "What is hypoglycemic?"
McKay sighed deeply. "It's when you body burns up blood sugar—" He frowned at her confused look and then started again. "When you eat something, your body converts it into blood sugar and blood sugar is what you body uses for energy. If you're hypoglycemic, your body burns it up faster than normal so and you get shaky, confused, and irritable. So you have to eat more often."
Teyla nodded thoughtfully. "I see and this is how you feel now?"
McKay scowled and just took a bite of the power bar. Sheppard noted that the man's hands were shaking, whether from fear and adrenaline from their close call or from the hypoglycemia, he didn’t know.
"Sir, shouldn't we try to get back to the Stargate?" Ford asked breaking the silence.
Sheppard shook his head. "We should wait for dark. It will give us a little more cover to get back to the Stargate."
The younger man nodded and sat back on his haunches. He glanced over at McKay finishing up the power bar and sighed. The scientist looked up from his study of the scanning device at him. "What?" he asked defensively.
Ford held up his hand defensively. "Nothing."
McKay sighed and went back to his work, ignoring them all again. The group sat in silence for while, listening to the Wraith darts flying just out of sight overhead. Sheppard saw McKay look periodically, his face an impassive mask, but his eyes bright with fear.
Sheppard nudged Ford. "We might as well try to grab some shut eye. Telemetry on the planet said there are three moons that rise just after sunset. We'll have to wait until they go down before we make a break for the gate."
Ford nodded. "Set up watches, sir?"
"I'll take the first one, then you, McKay and Teyla," the young man nodded as did Teyla. McKay just kept working one what ever he was working on only glancing up a moment to acknowledge he heard.
The hours passed and Ford took over the watch. The Wraith darts were still patrolling, but they sounded like they were moving farther away and they hadn't see any sight of ground troupes.
Sheppard settled back in the shade of the tree and closed his eyes. A soft tap-tap sound dimly on his perceptions and he cracked an eye open. McKay sat on the ground comparing various rock samples together with the help of the scanner.
"Don’t you ever sleep?" Sheppard asked him.
"Not really," McKay said off handedly.
Sheppard raised an eyebrow. "Really. When was the last time you slept?"
"Last night," McKay answered, jotting something down in his notebook.
"For how long?"
McKay sighed and looked up him. "Why does it matter?"
Sheppard sat up. "For how long?"
"Three, maybe four hours."
That had his attention. "You knew we had a mission, this morning. I told you that you needed to be rested."
McKay shrugged. "That is rested." He looked Sheppard squarely in the eye. "That's what I normally sleep."
"That's not healthy," Sheppard shot back.
"Now you sound like Beckett," McKay said, rolling his eyes.
Sheppard studied him. The worried frown that the scientist usually wore was back in place. "McKay, when's the last time you slept the whole way through the night?"
He saw McKay's shoulders bunch defensively. "The night before we shipped out, alright? I'm the head of the science teams. They report to me. A lot of them work really weird hours when they're working on projects and come to me when they find something important or something breaks that might get us all killed," he shot back hotly. "I don't get the luxury of sleeping most nights because of that. I think it was something you were lecturing me about the other day called responsibility."
Sheppard smarted at that. McKay has show up late for their hand-to-hand session with Ford and it had rankled him when the younger officer had told him about it. Sheppard knew the scientist really wasn't taking the sessions as seriously as he should and so he had gone off a bit on him about it.
"I didn't know," Sheppard said a bit lamely, but McKay was actively ignoring him again, writing in his notebook.
The Major sighed and let his head slump back again. He was going to have to talk to Weir about that. It explained a lot of McKay's crankiness with everyone lately. He needed a break. That kind of pressure was enough to make anybody crack and that kind of pressure would get a person killed.
The crinkled of a plastic wrapper woke him up a short time later and he cracked open and eye to see McKay working his way through another power bar, still scratching away at his notebook.
"What are you working on?" he asked, trying to hid his exasperation.
"Something took out the temperature regulation on the heating and cooling system before we left. Grodin had a team working on it when we left, but I had an idea a while ago of what going on."
"The temperature regulation—" he gave up. "I didn't know there were something wrong. Thermostat busted?"
McKay gave him a longsuffering look. "If it were just that simple, Major." He sighed. "Something happen that suddenly it's so cold in the infirmary that you could ice skate and Doctor Weir's office is like sauna. I think it has something to do with Murphy's team's exploration of the ductwork. They're studying how the different sections of the city are connected. If they disconnected the relay stations between the main control room and the various other parts, it could be playing havoc with any number of systems."
Sheppard nodded. He wasn't entirely sure what McKay was talking about, but it sounded bad. He looked around and Ford was sacked out against the other side of the depression and Teyla had taken his place on guard. Sheppard frowned. McKay was to go after Ford. Unless he had sleep through that. He looked over at Teyla and she nodded to him.
He sat up and looked at his watch. He had been asleep for four hours. Right through Ford and McKay's turns and on to Teyla's. The sun was in the middle of setting and the moons would rise soon.
Sheppard stretched. "Hey, McKay,"
The scientist looked over at him.
"Try to get some sleep," he said, getting up and heading over to Teyla.
McKay ignored him and continued to work.
Sheppard moved over to where Teyla sat near the edge of the depression, looking out over it. "Hey," he said softly, hunkering down beside her. "Sense anything?"
Teyla's unique ability to sense the Wraith had saved their hides on more than one occasion already. He didn't understand it, but he was very quickly finding out that understand and things working really didn't mean a whole lot. Like the way he could make the things the Ancients made work. He hadn't a clue how he did it, but he could.
"They are moving farther away from this area," she said softly. "We should be able to move soon."
He nodded. "Good." He glanced back over a McKay and the man had leaned his head back against a tree root, his eyes closed for moment. Blood stained his pant leg brown where he had rested his injured hand on it.
"He is doing well," Teyla said. "This is much different than anything he has ever done. I have to admit, I questioned your wisdom of including Doctor McKay. He is what you call a scientist. He is not warrior." She smiled a little at him. "I am glad I was wrong."
Sheppard nodded. "Me too."
A howling sound droned overhead and they ducked instinctively. A Dart broke through the tree cover over them and strafed the edge of the depression.
"Crap," Sheppard snarled, bolting up and sliding down back into the depression feet first. "McKay! Ford!" He grabbed the scientist arm, hauling him to his feet as Ford scrambled over from where he had been resting. "They've made us. We got to move out now."
McKay blinked at him a moment and nodded. Ford grabbed his weapon, taking point, and they scrambled up out of their hiding place. McKay pulled loose his sidearm, undoing the safety as they ran.
It became a quick game of cat and mouse as they darted through the cover of tree and land formations, trying to keep out of sight of the Wraith Darts. There were four chasing them now--three more had shown up to help the stray one that had found them.
"We must hurry. More are coming," Teyla told them, as they crouched behind a small hill to catch their breath.
"Wonderful," McKay said caustically. "Just wonderful." He glared at Sheppard. "'Just a quick trip through the gate to go over protocol and do some target practice.'"
"It's not my fault!" Sheppard shot back.
A fixed glare from Teyla caught them both and they stopped bickering.
They started moving again, keeping low. The Stargate quickly came into sight. They ran into the clearing.
"McKay, dial it," Sheppard ordered. He scanned the sky for the Darts they could hear, but didn't see at the moment, holding his P90 at the ready.
The scientist stood panting over the DHD, chewing on his lower lip as he pressed down the symbols. He glanced across the clearing and jerked up his sidearm. "Ford! Down!" he shouted at the Lieutenant.
Instinctually, Ford dropped like a rock and McKay fired. A Wraith none of the rest of them has seen jerked as the bullets tore into it. Several more Wraith appeared behind it.
"McKay, dial!" Sheppard yelled as he and Teyla brought their P90s around to fire on the Wraith.
The Stargate blossomed to life and settled into the rippling blue of the event horizon. Ford punched in his IDC and Sheppard taped his earpiece.
"Atlantis base, this is Sheppard. We're coming hot, be ready with that shield."
"Get moving!" Sheppard ordered his team. McKay didn't need to be told twice as he sprinted for the gate, Teyla on his heels. Sheppard glanced over at Ford.
The younger man was smiling. "You wanted a mission to make sure we could work together as a team, sir. I think you got it," he said before turning back to run for the gate.
Sheppard allowed himself a smile as he left off a burst from the weapon and then quickly followed him. Yeah, they were a team, he thought as he dove through the event horizon and rolled out on the floor of the gate room.
The shield flared up behind him. Several thumps were heard before the wormhole disengaged as he got to his feet. He looked around. A medic checked out McKay's hand as the scientist glanced over in his direction to make sure he had made it and then gave him a tight smile.
"Major, what happened?" Weir asked, coming down the stairs toward them.
Sheppard sighed. "Wraith again."
The woman frowned deeply. "This is the third time in a row, Major."
"Yeah," he said, taking a deep breath. "I know."
"This is getting to be a trend with you and your team."
He grimaced and ran a hand through his hair. "Yeah."
Her expression softened a little. "At least you brought everyone back in one piece."
"Yes, ma'am," he responded. He smiled, glancing around at his team. They were becoming a team.
A good team.