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Title: Clap Your Hands
Author: outsideth3box
Recipient: shaddyr
Pairing: McShep (implied)
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: Not mine, sadly.
Author's Notes: This story is completely without any redemptive qualities whatsoever, like plot. Hope you find it amusing at least.
Beta Reader: darkhavens

Summary: Scene from an offworld mission... that doesn't go wrong at all.


Seven year old Meredith McKay was stomping mad. His parents had insisted that they couldn't afford to send him away to the math camp he so desperately wanted to attend, and had refused to discuss it any further. He slammed the back door behind him and clomped and banged his way out into the garden, grumbling under his breath the whole time.

Dusk was sliding into dark as Meredith stalked around the garden path, slapping angrily at the occasional night-blooming flower. He reached out and smacked a bright yellow evening primrose and jumped back, startled, as a huge lightning bug popped out from behind it. Wait. Meredith frowned. Lightning bug? Yes, it was glowing, but it had wings like a butterfly, and a head and body like a tiny, tiny human, and the expression on its little face was very angry, and were those fangs?

He jumped back as another little glowing creature suddenly appeared from behind a different flower. Then another and another, and before he knew it he was surrounded by a swarm of things that looked exactly like winged people. Except for the fangs. The fangs were - ow! Sharp!

One of them had swooped near and bitten him on the hand. Meredith held his injured hand up to the bright moonlight. He could see a the beginnings of a red rash spreading from the bite. Hives were popping up on his arm and he was beginning to feel light-headed. Recognizing the symptoms of an allergic reaction, he began to stumble back to the house, swatting at the flying creatures. They seemed to chase him to the back steps and even up them to the door.

Throat swelling, he was breathing harshly while he struggled with the doorknob. Finally managing to open it, he fell through the doorway onto the kitchen floor. "Help me!" he called, with what little breath he had left. Meredith only hoped someone had heard him. The darkness hovering around the edges of his vision crept in and closed over him.


"You're on my team, McKay. That's why I need to know," insisted Major John Sheppard. He'd gone over Rodney's medical file with him, and when they got to the allergy section, McKay had started behaving strangely, not meeting John's eyes and so on. That had aroused John's suspicions.

McKay's eyes shifted around the room. "You know everything already. It's all in my medical file, which you just pored over as if the were the latest Spiderman edition."

"You're a really bad liar, McKay. Tell me everything you are allergic to. I want to know what's not in your file."

"It's all in there! Citrus! Bees! The pterodactyls from that dinosaur planet!" McKay stopped waving his arms and rubbed furiously at his right hand.

"Well, that last one was quite a surprise. I don't like surprises that put my teammates' lives in danger," Sheppard growled.

"So now you're saying that I should have psychically known about that before it even happened? Like I have some superpower that tells me what new things I'm going to react to on an alien planet? I should have known that I'd be allergic to pterodactyls? That's just moronic!" McKay crossed his arms over his chest and glared mulishly at Sheppard.

"No, I'm saying that there's something that goes on the list that you aren't telling me. And I want to know what it is." He glared back at McKay, who immediately dropped his eyes. He softened his voice. "McKay, I can't protect you when I don't even know what to protect you from."

"You're delusional! Do you think I'm keeping secrets out of spite? We're talking about my life here. I like my life. Why would I do that? Enough, Sheppard, you know everything you need to know." McKay turned on his heel and stomped off.


The team stepped through the gate to M36-744 and Rodney said, "Eep!"

John turned to him and stared. "Did you just-"

"Greetings, visitors! Welcome to Ralin," the most brightly dressed woman of the gathered group smiled brilliantly. "I am Sofria, Prima of the village of Tamar. Please meet my Lanayal, Metris." And she waved a hand at her shoulder, where stood a tiny person about four inches tall, with fluttering wings and a delighted smile. It looked like every person in the village square had a winged creature on their shoulder or flitting around them.

While she spoke, Rodney had been inching his way back slowly, to tuck himself behind Ronon, who simply grabbed an arm and pushed him back to the front.

"Hey!" Rodney squeaked. "Maybe I don't want to be the center of attention this time, you great lummox!"

The whole team just stared at him, eyes wide with disbelief. Sheppard snorted and shook his head.

Teyla stepped forward. "Thank you for a warm welcome, Prima Sofria. I am Teyla Emmagen of New Athos. This is Colonel John Sheppard and Doctor Rodney McKay of Atlantis, and Specialist Ronon Dex of Sateda. We come hoping to establish trade and alliance between our peoples."

"How excellent!" The Prima clapped her hands brightly. "We shall arrange the Ritual of Lanayal and then we can discuss trade."

Rodney squeaked again, looking pale. He hung back, wringing his hands nervously as the team followed the Prima toward a festively-painted building. "Sheppard!" he hissed. "I- I think I should return to Atlantis. I have work, important, vital work... simulations running and-"

"Not gonna happen, McKay. What is your problem, anyway? For once everyone seems friendly and no one has pale skin and white hair."

Sheppard took his arm and tried to pull him to join the team, but McKay dug in his heels.

"No, John, seriously. I can't do this ritual." Calling Sheppard by his first name during a mission was taking advantage of their personal relationship, but Rodney was desperate. "She called it the Ritual of Lanayal, and she called that horrible little winged thing a Lanayal and I just... I just..." Rodney stuttered to a halt and looked pleadingly at Sheppard, silently begging him to fill in the blanks so he didn't have to say it out loud.

"You can't possibly think those tiny things look dangerous?" Sheppard set his hands on his hips. "They are four inches tall, for crying out loud!" He raised a skeptical eyebrow.

"Yes!" McKay half-shouted, and began to play unconsciously with the flap of the pocket where he kept his epi-pen. "That's just it! They are dangerous! To me, I mean. I'm sorry, Sheppard, I lied before, I..."

Sheppard's eye's widened as he noticed McKay's unconscious fidgeting and the penny dropped.

"No. You're not telling me that you're- no." Sheppard shook his head.


Sheppard groaned.

"I'm sorry! You were right. It's not in my medical file. I got bit by one when I was seven, and if Jeannie hadn't come downstairs for a glass of water, I would have died! Then no one believed me when I told them what bit me. They put it down as a bee-sting. I don't even know if I'm allergic to bees, I've never been stung by one." McKay held up his hand to show the scar. "I mean, if I had told you when you asked, would you even have believed me?"

"I - I don't know, Rodney." Sheppard glanced up ahead and saw that Teyla, Ronon and Prima Sofria were waiting on the steps of the building. "Let's go find out more about the Ritual and see where we go from there."

Sheppard led the way while McKay trudged reluctantly after him. He leaned in to whisper into Teyla's ear. "We have a problem. McKay is allergic to Lanayal bites. We need to know more about this Ritual." He briefly explained Rodney's previous experience.

Teyla raised an eyebrow but nodded and turned to the Prima. "Prima Sofria, might I beg your indulgence to explain the details of this Ritual? You see, Doctor McKay was bitten by a Lanayal-type creature on his home planet as a child, and nearly died. We have some concern for him, as well you can imagine."

The Prima's eyes flew to Doctor McKay and she looked distressed. "Oh my! You must take great care, then, Doctor McKay, and never go into the forest where the wild Lanayal live, as they do indeed bite, unlike our precious companions." She smiled softly and stroked a finger over the wings of the small being settled comfortably on her shoulder. Metris seemed to shudder with pleasure.

"The Ritual," she continued, redirecting her attention to the Atlanteans, "merely involves pricking one's finger, spilling a drop or two into a tiny cup and sharing it with the Lanayal who chooses to be yours for the duration of your stay."

"Oh my god!" Rodney cried. "They drink blood? They're tiny, tiny vampires?" He shrank back.

"Only a drop, I promise, Doctor McKay. And again I assure you, they do not bite." The Prima hastened to calm him.

"Do I have to have one? I mean, can't Sheppard have two? Or- or Teyla, she's good like that. But I don't think I really feel, uh, comfortable, exactly, with one riding around on my shoulder." McKay blushed furiously and darted worried glances around at his team.

Prima Sofria began to look unhappy. Metris was frowning deeply. "I swear to you, Doctor McKay, on my honor, our companion Lanayal do not bite."

Teyla reached out a hand and placed it soothingly on Rodney's shoulder. "I believe her, Doctor McKay," she said.

Rodney shuffled from foot to foot for a moment, then let out a great gusty sigh. "Alright, alright. You all have your epi-pens?" He looked around his team and they each nodded firmly. "Okay then. I'll do it."

Teyla laid a gentle hand on his arm and smiled. "You are very brave, Doctor McKay."

Rodney blinked, blushing. "I- I am?" he asked incredulously. Teyla nodded. And to his great surprise everyone else nodded as well, even Prima Sofria. His blush deepened. "Well, okay then, let's get this over with," he growled.

Metris leapt from the Prima's shoulder and zipped over to Rodney, fluttering just in front of his face, while he struggled not to instinctively swat her away. She reached out, grasped Rodney with one diminutive hand on each side of his nose, leaned in closely as Rodney closed his eyes tightly and whimpered, and smacked a tiny, tiny kiss to the very tip of his nose. Rodney's eyes flew open and he blinked at her tinkly peal of laughter. She grinned widely at him and flew back to sit upon Prima Sofria's shoulder, smiling happily.

"Well. Well then, uh," stammered Rodney, touching his nose in wonder. "Well. Let's get this show on the road, shall we?"

John clapped Rodney on the back. "Only you, McKay, only you. Allergic to fairies."


Dec. 25th, 2013 03:41 am (UTC)
Ha! This is adorable.


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