Foe Fum, or the Other Other White Meat

"What are you doing?" Rodney's voice was twisted up until it was only a squeak.

"Well, McKay," Sheppard said calmly. "I think I'm about to engage in some violence." He held the spent Wraith stunner in both hands like a baseball bat and waited.

"Oh, like that is going to make a difference. Did you see that thing? What are you going to do, tap it on the forehead to make sure it's really angry?"

The hinges creaked ominously as something very heavy leaned on the other side of the door. Sheppard adjusted his grip on the stunner. They could hear the heavy thing breathing heavily. It sounded like a steam train leaving the station. Only it wasn't leaving.

"Maybe if we're just really, really quiet it will go away," Rodney said hopefully.

Sheppard arched an eyebrow at him.

"What? I can be quiet!"

The breathing beyond the door stopped. Rodney and Sheppard stopped breathing and listened to the heavy thing listening to them.

After a long time listening and not-breathing, Rodney said, "I'm hungry."

There was an answering growl from the other side of the door.

"You're not the only one, apparently," Sheppard said. His arms were getting tired holding up the stunner. He thought of beer. That didn't help. Now he had to pee. "This sucks," he observed.

"Yes," Rodney agreed, "According to any system of measurement, I think that could be said to be true. Also," he added a little lamely, "I have to pee."

"What kind of grown man says he has to pee?"

"One who had three cups of coffee at lunch."

"Well, that was short-sighted."

"Well, I didn't expect to get chased into an underground bunker by a hideous monster today."

"Hey," an affronted voice said from beyond the door. "Who's hideous?"

Sheppard cast Rodney a withering look. "Nice going."

"What?" Rodney pointed at the heavy thing out in the passage, the thing that was now insulted and was separated from them by one flimsy, solid oak door. "Did you see it? The bulging red eyes and the scales and the, the--" Rodney made some undecipherable gestures around his head. "--the things growing out of its face and the claws. Did you see the claws? By what definition is that not hideous?"

"I'm not hideous," the hideous thing said petulantly.

Sheppard gave Rodney the "you are dead after school" face, and then his "follow my orders because I am the boss of you" face and jerked his head toward the door.

"Fine!" With a roll of his eyes, Rodney stepped a little closer to the door. "You're not at all hideous," he said to the door. "You're actually very attractive, for a... a... bulgy-eyed, scaly, things-growing-out-of-your-face kind of creature."

There was a pause and then the not-hideous creature said, "Thank you."

"You're welcome. Can we go now?"

Another long pause was filled up with the sound of thoughtful breathing, if thoughtful breathing sounded like bellows in a forge. "No."

"No?"

"No, I think I'll eat you instead."

Rodney's face fell, slackjawed with fear. "Oh." He closed his mouth, then opened it, then closed it. "Oh," he said again.

He didn't protest when Sheppard shoved him out of the way and went close to the door. "You try it, pal. Just you try it."

"I will," the growling voice said. The hinges shrieked as metal gave in to the pressure of the heavy, hideous monster who was leaning all its heavy hideousness on the door.

"Okay! Fine! You eat McKay and there's going to be violence. You got that?" Sheppard backed up a pace, keeping Rodney behind him. "Really violent violence."

There was another shriek and the hinges shot off the door, and the door itself split in two and crashed to the floor at their feet. Sheppard braced himself, ready to swing the stunner at the hideous head.

Out in the passageway, the hideous creature stood, hunched low so that its spine plates wouldn't rake the ceiling as it leaned in to get a better look. It cocked its hideous head to the left and then to the right, red eyes gleaming balefully. "Oh," it said with some disappointment. "I thought you were bigger."

Sheppard straightened up a bit. "What?"

The hideous monster aimed a three-foot-long claw at him. "Well," it grumbled. "You're kind of scrawny, aren't you." It angled its head again to peer at Rodney, who was cowering in the shadows behind Sheppard. "And that one." A low, rumbling chuckle sent dust drifting down on them from the roof. "Hardly worth chewing, really."

To his credit, Rodney recovered faster than Sheppard did, letting out a nervous laugh. "Right! He's scrawny and I'm... I'm not scrawny, exactly, but stringy. I bet I'm very stringy."

"Hmmmm," the hideous monster said, its pupils closed to slits in its blood-red eyes.

"I'm not--"

Rodney put both hands over Sheppard's mouth. "He is."

Sheppard said, "I'm not!" against Rodney's hand.

"Yessss," the hideous monster agreed. Its breath smelled like thousand-year-old blue cheese and rotten olives. "Scrawny and stringy." With a sigh that blew Rodney's hair back and made both his and Sheppard's eyes water at the stench, the hideous monster raised one heavily-plated scaly shoulder in a shrug and lurched away down the passage.

Rodney and Sheppard stood very still for a long time. Then, first Sheppard and then Rodney poked their heads around the edge of the door. The hideous monster was gone, but they could see which way it went by the slime trail it left behind it. Rodney took off at a run in the opposite direction. Sheppard followed him, caught him, and passed him.

As soon as they hit daylight, though, Sheppard slowed to a nonchalant stroll, one thumb hooked in his empty gunbelt, and slid his sunglasses on nonchalantly with his other hand.

When Rodney caught up to him and took a moment to hang off his shoulder panting and gasping, Sheppard lifted his chin and said, "I could've taken him."

"Right," Rodney said between gulps of air. "How, exactly?"

Sheppard shrugged nonchalantly and headed toward the jumper. "You know," he said. "Probably violently. With a lot of manly violence."

Because Rodney didn't want to walk the several thousand light years home, he didn't laugh out loud.

THE END


Notes:  This is for [info]trobadora who wanted a spot of violence with her Sheppard. Erm... I'm not sure this went at all where the prompt suggested. Once again I blame the cold meds. Cold medae culpa? My apologies.

Feedback welcomed at troyswann@yahoo.ca.

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