Summary: Drugged scientists, beaten up and tied team members, all after a bit of a mix-up. Ronon, Lorne and Carson to the rescue. Set pre-Sunday to include my favourite Scot.
In response to the challenges under Bizarre American Holidays. Check them out via a search engine and have a go. They're whacky.
Author's Chapter Notes:
Have you ever checked out a website listing Bizarre American holidays? There are some really whacky ones there that just demand that a parody be written. So, come on all you writers of parody or humour – the challenge is hereby thrown down.
This is just my attempt at a daft National Holiday story wherein I don't intend any insult to anyone, least of all Americans or the good citizens of Atlantis.
This combines three October National days which I'll list at the end to avoid spoiling the fun(?!?).
"Never again, Rodney. The next time you wait until one of us has checked for citrus...or intoxication levels."
Sheppard felt that he had restrained himself quite admirably, really. Considering the situation they presently found themselves in, he'd have been perfectly justified in ripping his team mate's head off. However, being team leader he took their predicament personally and would reserve that telling off for a more private moment.
Maybe when they weren't on public display.
Somehow, yet another meet-and-greet milk run had encountered more sour milk than fresh. There they had been, all set to enjoy a sumptuous meal in honour of a new trade agreement with the indigenous people of MX-who-cares-what, and then Dr M. R. McKay, double PhD and right royal pain in the proverbial, had landed them in the soup.
And soup hadn't even been on the menu.
"Sorrysorrysorry. ShouldawaitedforyoutotestitIknow," McKay babbled and John had to concentrate really carefully to decipher the garbled words as an apology.
That in itself was freaky enough because, really, when did McKay apologise for anything? Okay, there had been that incident with blowing up five sixths of a solar system but they were past that, now.
Well, mostly past it. He liked to remind Rodney of it now and then to keep the man grounded.
"Colonel, I believe Ronon may have got away. Hopefully he will return with help and we will be freed without further...embarrassment," Teyla murmured to his left.
John twisted as far as the ropes around his wrists would allow, and looked at his other team mate. Teyla was tied in the same way as he was, with only McKay unfettered. But in the man's current state of inebriation he might as well be on the moon for all the help he was going to be.
Rodney sat collapsed in the corner of the small mud-packed hut they currently occupied, studying his fingers and feeling his lips as if he'd never seen them before. He certainly didn't afford any great attention to his two friends who were trussed up like last year's Thanksgiving turkey.
John had collected a nice array of bruises for his trouble as he'd tried to defend their position but there had simply been too many to fight off. He and Teyla had been overcome quickly and for a fleeting moment he'd wondered at Ronon's absence until he'd remembered the Satedan had offered to escort one of the village's young women to gather more of the fruits they had enjoyed earlier in the day.
Ronon had heard a commotion and had dropped everything – well, thankfully not everything – to speed back to the village. The sight of his team mates, captured and completely outnumbered had initially brought a red mist over his eyes. He soon calmed enough to know that even with his trusty blaster he could in no way subdue an entire village.
What he needed to do was to muster some back-up. He just hoped his friends would be safe until his return.
"Rodney! Get your ass over here and untie us," John whispered, as loud as he dared.
Outside their prison the villagers were sitting around, seemingly getting more and more intoxicated as the day progressed well into evening.
He'd tried rubbing the leather strips against the bark of the rustic pole he was tied to but all he'd managed to do was lose skin and his temper.
"Getyourassoverhere," Rodney babbled some more.
Teyla had watched John's antics and had seen the effect on his wrists. She had wisely refrained from following him. One flayed team member was more than enough.
She turned her attention back to Rodney who was quietly sniggering and looking owlishly at them as if they were the funniest things he'd seen in a long time.
"Rodney," she cajoled. "We need your assistance. Please release the ties around our wrists." Inspiration struck her. "You would like some more of that brandied fruit, would you not? If you release us we can gather some more to take home with us."
Rodney giggled some more and cast a beaming smile her way.
"He's nuttier than a fruit cake!" John sighed in exasperation.
Teyla merely frowned at his lack of sympathy for their friend. Rodney was most definitely not himself. Although, right now she couldn't quite decide who he was.
They'd been stripped down to their undergarments before being stoutly tied to those damned poles and the villagers invited to parade past them, hurling insults at them. Even the kids had joined in and John was sure they were all stoned out of their skulls on the brandied fruit and nuts they'd been gorging on all day.
He was pretty sure there was something in the foodstuff that was affecting the people but knowing it didn't make it any easier to cope with.
His bruises had bruises and taking care not to ogle Teyla too closely – after all, he didn't want more bruises when they got out of this – he saw she was sporting her own collection. He looked carefully again at her and had to admit that whatever the hell that was she was wearing it was fitting all the right places.
Seeing her look in his direction he swiftly averted his gaze.
Being stoned out of their tiny skulls had meant the villagers had no inhibitions when it came to subduing outsiders and stripping them of their outer clothing had seemed a hilarious idea, to everyone but John and Teyla.
It had all started so simply, too.
Rodney, being Rodney, had gone "Oh, good. Food, I'm starving!" and then launched into a healthy attempt to clear every last morsel set before them. The village elders had been more than a little taken aback at his lack of manners and social graces and had muttered darkly about repercussions.
It turned out that the brandied fruit and nut combination was toxic to those not accustomed to it. Not only that; in diving in as he'd done, Rodney had insulted their hosts to the point where all good will and trade had been wiped from their agenda. Now, all the villagers wanted was restitution in the form of public degradation and humiliation.
And so they found themselves being kicked, spat at and poked like zoo animals as the villagers paraded past them.
Rodney, having been the chief culprit, had been force-fed more of the foodstuffs as his punishment and now was lost to reason...and to offering any help.
John argued with himself that if he could have got hold of some of the hallucinogenic foodstuffs he'd gorge himself on them, too. Anything would be better than their current plight.
The cloaked jumper landed silently in the clearing and Evan Lorne killed the ignition.
"Okay, people. We don't want to engage the villagers if we can avoid it. The Doc," he indicated Carson sitting quietly in the front seat, "thinks they're not fully aware of their actions so if we can rescue our people without bloodshed, let's do that. Doc, stay in the middle and don't wander off."
Carson bristled slightly at the words. It wasn't like he would intentionally wander off, but things did tend to go pear-shaped when he found himself in off-world woods.
He hurried to keep up with the soldiers and set his mind to worrying about the missing people.
Ronon had told them what he could and was now hurrying them through the trees and back to the village, his face thunderous and his blaster gripped firmly in his hand.
Carson just hoped the man would restrain himself from wholesale carnage if his team mates had come to grief.
Lorne held his fist aloft and the soldiers dropped into a crouch, Carson joining them. Ronon and Evan held a muted discussion before indicating that they would go forward and for the rest of them to remain here. Carson was all for remaining here, permanently.
The two men inched forward through the dense foliage, ears peeled for any indication of activity. Laughter was the first human sound they detected, followed rapidly by jeering and catcalling.
They carefully broke cover of the trees and stopped in their tracks.
In front of them, bloodied and bruised but very much alive if their red faces were any indication, were Teyla and the colonel. They'd been removed from the hut and tied to a couple of trees. They were still scantily clad, John in his boxers and Teyla wearing...well, the two men weren't quite sure what that was she was wearing but she wore it very nicely.
The natives of the planet seemed determined to cover their nakedness because they were taking turns in plastering their captives with a mucky mess of crushed berries and leaves, flinging them at the prisoners with something akin to a catapult.
The as it connected with skin seemed loud, even above the raucous noise of the merry villagers.
The watching men pondered the situation. They couldn't see McKay and fretted over that for a few moments but as the colonel and Teyla appeared relatively unharmed, apart from a terminal case of embarrassment, they had to assume he was in a similar condition.
"How're we playing this?" Ronon grumbled, more than a little fed up with this planet and its loopy citizens.
"Set your blaster to stun. I think the colonel's had enough, judging by his face. It's time we got our people back."
Lorne whispered to his men and Carson to come forward.
"Doc, you find a nice fat tree to hide behind and keep your head down. Once this is all over we'll give you a shout. You stay here until then, okay?"
"Aye, lad. Just try not tae hurt them."
Ronon's feral grin made no such promises.
Much later, Rodney slept the sleep of the deeply drunk and Carson clucked over him as he checked his IV and drew more blood to measure toxicity levels.
John sat fingering his bandaged wrists and tried to find a position that didn't aggravate his bruises, until Carson smacked his hand away, eliciting a pained "Ow!" from the colonel as he studied their sleeping friend.
"He'll be okay, won't he? I mean, much as I'd like to kick him from here to the Milky Way and back, I suppose he didn't mean anything by it."
"Aye, he'll be fine, though I dinnae fancy being his heid tomorrow when he wakens. He's going tae have the worst hangover ye can imagine."
"Serves him right," Ronon rumbled as he arrived behind them, Teyla in tow.
"Ronon," she scolded. "Rodney meant no-one any harm by his actions. It was unfortunate that he was so susceptible to the food he ate but it could have happened to any one of us."
John shook his head.
"No, Ronon has a point. After all, of any of us, who's most likely to be affected by fruits and nuts?"
Chapter End Notes:
A/N: the October National days incorporated are: 20th – Brandied Fruit Day; 21st – Babbling Day, and 22nd – National Nut(s) Day. I hope you enjoyed this wee bit of nonsense.