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Take Atlantis

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Sam knows it's going to be one of those days when Rodney McKay runs into her office and hides behind her desk.

She finishes doing what she was in the middle of--dictating a memo to Biology that, she suspects, will have to be rewritten to be about thirty percent less bitchy--and then says conversationally, "If you need to build a blanket fort, go ahead. But they're still going to be here for a week."

"As long as I do not have to deal with them," Rodney says, settled with his back against the wall and a computer tablet held in front of him like a shield. "I have had it up to here with--"

He breaks off as three scientists appear in Sam's doorway. The first is Radek Zelenka, who flings a gesture at the other two, says, "Zatracenej teplomet!" and stalks off.

The second scientist, bespectacled, is wringing his hands; the third--the red-haired one--is singed around the edges and still smoking ever so slightly.

"Again?" Sam says. It's the second time in two days.

"Oh, dear," the hand-wringer says, worry on his round face. "I simply don't understand how this keeps happening!"

"!" says Beaker, unhappily.

**

"You just have to host them for a week," Landry said.

"They're our allies, and if we want them to stay that way, we either attach one permanently to the expedition or we play nice for a week," Landry said.

"No, really, you have to," Landry said, and so they all put on their friendly faces and welcomed the group.

**

There are a dozen or so bipedal rats working with the marines; every so often Lorne sees them go down the hallway or something, hup-hup-hup, bobbing up and down in that weird way they have of moving.

He spends a day or two wondering where you even get cammies that small, and then stops worrying about that in favor of worrying about what happens when they try to fire one of the rail guns.

**

"HI-YAH!"

Teyla ducks and twists and rolls; a split second later she's on her feet and moving toward her opponent, sticks flying.

It is an excellent workout; Miss Piggy's fighting style is unlike any she has ever encountered, and it takes all of Teyla's skill to counter it.

She twists and comes up again; the two women circle one another and lunge and strike, and when they stop it is because Teyla has pinned Miss Piggy under her sticks.

"It is of course polite to allow your host to win," Miss Piggy says, haughty but with an undercurrent of humor that makes Teyla smile.

"Of course," Teyla says. "I thank you for allowing me to maintain my honor in my home." She reaches out to touch foreheads with Miss Piggy: it is the first time she has touched one of their guests. Her skin is soft and slightly fuzzy against Teyla's, and she has the sudden urge to embrace her guest.

They are a good people, Teyla thinks.

**

Although Rodney took one look at Animal and then looked at Ronon and groaned because hello, disaster waiting to happen, Ronon's spent most of the last few days with two other of their guests, a . . . being with an incredibly unfortunate nose, and a hen.

Rodney hears them across the mess hall sometimes, the higher-pitched tones of Gonzo and the hen along with Ronon's deep laughter. Rodney has no idea what they're talking about.

He's not sure he wants to find out.

**

"Oh, sorry," John says, and turns around to leave.

"No, no, Colonel," the . . . frog says. "Please, join me."

So John does, to be polite: sits down on the edge of the platform where Pier 4 joins the main body of the city. It's faintly breezy and just sunny enough here; John likes coming out here to think sometimes.

Apparently Kermit sees the appeal, too.

They sit in silence for a minute, staring out at the water, and then John says, "So, what do you think of Atlantis?"

"It's beautiful," Kermit says. "Especially this spot. It's quiet."

John nods. "It's a nice place to dangle your toes in the water on a hot day."

Kermit nods back and smiles ruefully. "Can't. Saltwater."

"Oh," John says awkwardly. "Sorry."

Kermit shrugs. "It's okay," he says, and they lapse back into silence, gazing out over the waves, until Kermit says, "I kind of wish I'd been able to bring my guitar."

And John thinks, yeah, and says, "You can borrow mine."