Season: 2 no spoilers
The tangled pile of arms and legs shifted as one individual tried without success to free himself from the other. Somehow between the sticky golden substance that coated both of their jackets, the unceremoniously long tumble down the long grassy hillside, and the fact that their wrists were still tied together but they hadn't broken any bones, it might be considered a good day. If only there wasn't the little problem of the Highdeigh people continuing the chase down the slope after them.
"McKay," Sheppard drawled, shifting his arm and almost pegging the other man with an elbow to the nose, "any chance you might think about moving 'before' they get to us and try for round two?"
"Well, gee, let me think a second...No! The whole human bowling ball experiment off a cliff was so much fun the first time, I thought I'd just lie here and wait to do it all again."
"Then get up because I can see the Lexx Luther bald guy heading our way right now and he doesn't really look all that pleased about us abandoning their little party before the grand finale."
Rodney mumbled something under his breath that the colonel wasn't quite sure he caught all of, and to be honest, he did have other things on his mind at the moment. "McKay, they are getting closer. Get your lazy butt off the ground and let's move!"
More shifting of arms and legs soon disentangled the pair and they somehow managed to get to their feet.
"Fine," Rodney snapped, trying to pull his jacket back down to his waist but Sheppard wouldn't stop moving his arms as he attempted to get free of their bonds. "Hold still," he finally hissed, jerking the colonel's arm hard enough to get the other man's attention.
"McKay, what is your problem? We need to move now?"
"Just one more second," the scientist grunted and then swore. "Can you get that?"
"Get what? It's not like I can exactly see what you are up to."
"I dropped the knife Ronon slipped me earlier."
"You had a knife this whole time? And you didn't tell me?"
"Shut up and just, um, ah, kneel down while I try to pick it back up."
Sheppard slid down to one knee and waited while Rodney retrieved the knife, practically yanking his arm out of the socket in the process. When he heard the grunt of success and felt the scientist sawing at their bonds, he climbed back to his feet and stood still with his back next to McKay's chest, feeling movement behind him. "Hey, watch the hands there mister, I'm not that kind of guy."
"I'm not even going to dignify that..." Rodney mumbled, gritting his teeth as the leather tie binding one pair of their wrists finally fell apart. Shaking his hand free and trying to restore circulation, he glared at the cocky smile that was now free to turn and grin at him.
"Good job, Rodney. I knew you could do it." Not giving the man a chance to free their other wrists, he snagged the knife and made short work of the second binding. A quick shove to the scientist's shoulder and the pair was off and running once more.
The whooping and yelling of the villagers was getting closer as the decorated people ran down the hillside chasing after the escapees. They thrust long polls with colorful banners attached high above their heads while the sound of what some might mistake as singing suddenly filled the air.
"What the heck is that?" Rodney gasped and nearly tripped if Sheppard hadn't caught him by the arm.
"I don't think we want to stick around to find out. Put some hustle into it McKay, the jumper should be at the edge of the meadow. I'd like to get there before they break into the second verse."
Running flat out across the grassy meadow, they both were relieved to see Teyla suddenly appear from out of the cloaked ship and wave them in her direction. Sides heaving, the pair collapsed onto separate seats, giving each other plenty of space.
"I see you made it," Ronon said with a sly smile.
Sheppard looked up and grinned, "Told you we would." Standing up, he unzipped his vest and jacket and tossed them in a pile before making his way to the pilot's seat. He was just about to reach for the controls when Teyla stepped up to his side and held out a wet towel.
"Perhaps you'd like to clean up before you touch anything."
He glanced down at his sticky hands and flexed his fingers. "Yeah, that might be a good idea." Making quick use of the towel, he turned around to toss it at McKay and discovered the man already was using one of his own.
Somehow the scientist knew he was being watched and dropped the cloth from his face to scowl back. "What?"
"Ready to go? Cause if you want to stay a little longer..." he paused and then ducked as the used towel flew through the air towards his head. "I'll take that as a no."
The jumper slid smoothly into the air, leaving the confused natives wandering through the empty field looking for the missing strangers.
Carson stood to the side of the infirmary door watching the ragtag group file silently into the room. As usual, Teyla and Ronon looked no worse for wear, but McKay and Sheppard both appeared slightly out of sorts. And when the pair split up and sat on two beds furthest from each other, the doctor knew something was definitely up. Taking in the disheveled dirty clothing and unknown substance splattered throughout their hair and down their trousers, along with the absence of jackets, he turned to the nurse behind him and ordered clean scrubs and towels.
"Okay now, who wants to go first?" he asked scanning the group. To his surprise, Ronon held up his hand; the Setedian never volunteered for anything. Stepping over to the bedside, Carson didn't miss the mischief behind the dark brown eyes watching him. "Something you might like to tell me about your latest trip?" he enquired quietly.
The large man smiled deviously and shrugged, "Nah, I'll let them tell you."
Carson cast a quick glance towards Sheppard and McKay. The both were steadfastly ignoring the others in the room as they picked pieces of grass and leaves from their hair before dropping the messy particles on to his clean floor. Clearing his throat to get their attention, he gave them both the 'eye' and then nodded to the mess.
Neither bothered to look properly chastised and went back to ignoring him.
Finished with Dex, he patted the man on the back. "You're free to go now," he said but the gentle giant remained seated on the bed.
"I think I'll stay."
"Oh. Well, suit yourself." Carson then went over to Teyla's bed next. She patiently sat through her exam and also decided to stay once the doctor was finished.
His curiosity piqued, he stood between the two remaining beds and folded his arms over his chest. "Are you going to tell me what happened, or are we gonna have to do this the hard way?"
Rodney's scowl grew deeper and if the physician didn't know any better, he'd swear the astrophysicist was blushing. Sheppard on the other hand was now grinning like an idiot. Ronon's chuckle rumbled as he could no longer contain himself. And Teyla, she sat on the edge of her bed, feet swinging like a schoolgirl, her eyes filled with mischievous delight. Carson knew this was going to be good.
Sheppard decided to go first. Dropping his hands to his thighs, he instantly pulled them off when the sticky substance coated his palms. "Doc?" he asked, looking around for a towel.
Carson handed over a damp washcloth and then touched the sticky mess with his gloved hand. "What is that stuff?"
"Honey," Dex volunteered rather quickly, and then burst into another set of rumbling laughter.
"Honey? Why on earth are the two of you a sticky mess and the others aren't?"
"We did not desire to join the wedding party," Teyla added with a smirk from her position.
"Carson, did you lose your hearing while we were gone?" With an air of dread, McKay hopped off the end of the bed and grabbed the scrubs and towel set aside for him. "I'm taking a shower. When you're finished with him, I'll be back." Stalking towards the small room attached to the back of the infirmary, he didn't say another word.
"And then there were three." Carson glanced between the remaining members in the room, his own eyes beginning to sparkle in anticipation of a good story. "Tell me more about this wedding."
Sheppard couldn't hold his own laughter in any longer and began to chuckle. "Well, it's kind of like this, when we got to the village this morning, it turns out that they were in the middle of getting ready for a wedding of the elder's daughter to some young buck that was to take place later in the evening. We offered to come back at another time but they said it would have been inhospitable of them to not invite weary travelers to join the feast today, so they made us quite welcome and set up places for us to join them at other elder's tables.
"Food was good," Ronon tossed in for good measure.
Carson rolled his hand to get the story moving.
"Anyways, they split us up in pairs with two at one table and two at another. Teyla sat with Ronon and Rodney sat with me." Shooting an annoyed look over to Dex, he raised a brow, "Care to add the next part?"
The large man folded his long arms across his chest and shrugged. "They asked if we were together and I said yes. They asked about Colonel Sheppard and Dr. McKay and I said yes again."
Carson felt a smile begin to tug at his face but he kept it hidden. He had a feeling he knew where this story was headed.
"And..." Sheppard prompted.
"They wanted to know if Teyla and I would like to join the wedding that evening. I told them we did not believe in such rituals, but that the others might enjoy the ceremony."
"The others, as in the Colonel and Rodney?" Carson asked.
The physician stared at the ceiling to regain his composure before continuing. Turning back to Sheppard, he smiled. "Tell me about the wedding," he repeated.
Sheppard chewed his lower lip a moment in thought before throwing a towel at Dex. "Well, somehow word got back to the elder marrying off his daughter that Rodney and I wanted to join the wedding, and next thing we knew someone was pouring honey all over us from behind. It seems the stuff is considered good luck for a happy union."
Carson's chest shook with pent up laughter but he remained quiet.
"About this time, the dinner is over and the festivities head outside. The bride and groom looked radiant in their honey covered pelts, and McKay bitched nonstop about being sticky. Next thing we know, the happy couple hold out their wrists and get tied together, effectively tying the knot. And then the elders headed towards Rodney and I with more strips of leather. I guess we were to be next."
"Our favorite genius figured out pretty quick what was about to take place and tried to make a run for it, only to get caught and dragged back to my side." Sheppard laughed at the memory. "I tried to tell him it wasn't real and that he needed to pipe down before they got upset with us, but 'noooooo'. Then these two big goons grab each of us and try to tie our wrists together but McKay wouldn't hold still and I'm starting to agree with him. It wasn't funny anymore when they practically squeezed the stuffing out of me and attempted to hogtie me to Rodney."
"The elder starts talking about how we must not fight one another and learn to cherish what we have. He told us to watch the bride and groom as they grabbed hold of each other and then were pushed down the hillside, hanging on to one another for protection. It was the strangest damn thing I ever saw! These people actually shoved the newlyweds over the edge! I'm having sudden visions of The Princess Bride and ready to let out a loud 'As you wish' but McKay had other plans. He wants to make a run for it."
"Well, of course, Mr. Obvious's intentions were clear to pretty much everyone. And before he could bolt like he was heading for a fresh donut at Krispy Kreme, the bride's father began scolding him, saying that he was bringing disfavor on the newlyweds and that if we wanted happiness, we needed to finish the ceremony. Let me tell you, the man did not look very pleased and there were quite a few others starting to poke at us with these long poles."
"Does any of this stop McKay from shooting off his mouth? Next thing I know, someone gave him a good hard shove, knocking him into me and we both take a header down the hillside. If this is a new way for marriage therapy, it left a lot to be desired!"
Carson's smile slipped to a frown as he studied the dirty colonel. "Did you get hurt in the fall?"
"Uh, no, actually. McKay took the brunt of it from the way we were tied up," Sheppard said, waiting patiently through doctor's pokes and prods to his chest and back. When Carson lifted one hand that still had the leather tether tied to his wrist, he just shrugged, "It didn't hurt."
"Easy for you to say," Rodney huffed from the doorway. "Showers free," he grumbled before carefully returning to his position seated on the empty bed from earlier.
"Well thanks, Honey. Did you save me some hot water?" the colonel teased as he picked up his towel and scrubs.
Rodney's jaw dropped at being called Honey. "You are so not funny. I could have been killed, or worse falling down that hillside."
"Oh, come on McKay. These people have apparently been doing this for a long time. I didn't notice any rocks on the way down, only lots of grass."
"You didn't..." The scientist began to wind up for a long winded rant, only to deflate instantly when Carson pressed on a sore muscle on his lower back. "Ouch! Didn't I just finish saying I was pushed down a mountain? Be careful!"
Sheppard stepped back over from the entrance to the showers to get a better view of Rodney's torso. There didn't appear to be any bruising or visible marks. "He gonna be okay, doc?"
Carson nodded. "I think he might have strained a muscle or two but nothing serious. You'll need to take it easy for a few days. No heavy lifting," he said as he tugged Rodney's shirt down over his exposed back.
The doctor and officer stepped around the bed to stand in front of Rodney.
"You know, this is our wedding night..." Sheppard drawled with a devious twinkle to his eye.
Rodney looked totally mortified and was momentarily speechless.
"Aye." Carson nodded thoughtfully a moment before smiling broadly. Waving a finger in the air, he headed over to a cabinet on the wall, "I've got some liniment you could use to massage any aches or pains away."
That was the final straw. Slipping slowly off the bed to land on the floor with his bare feet, Rodney pointed at each of them. "You are not funny, any of you. I could have been seriously injured and all you can do is make stupid jokes." His finger pointed at Sheppard last, "Next time, I think it would be more amusing if they threw you at me over a cliff."
"You know what I mean," the scientist huffed.
Sheppard grinned. "For a minute there, Rodney, I thought you might want to go back and finish the ceremony."
"Are you...? Didn't you...? Am I talking to a wall?" McKay grabbed the tube Carson was holding out to him before making his way irritably towards the doorway.
Sheppard was quickly at his side. "Need help back to your quarters?"
The pair stepped out into the hall with Carson, Teyla, and Ronon following close behind.
"But, Rodney, it's our 'Honey'moon," Sheppard whined and then batted his eyes at the scientist.
"I hate you."
The colonel's smile grew larger. "You're just saying that to be nice to me."
At that moment Elizabeth came around the corner to find the group standing in the hallway. Noticing Rodney's red face and the rest all on the verge of tears from laughing so hard, she knew that once again the infallible McKay was the source of entertainment. "Am I interrupting?"
Rodney's eyes snapped in her direction. "I want a divorce!" he snarled and then stomped away, ignoring the peals of laughter from behind him.
Certain that she was missing whatever was going on, she quickly stepped to the side when Sheppard bolted past her.
"Honey," he called out as he chased after McKay. "Give me one more chance."
Summary: Sheppard and McKay get in trouble with the natives.