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A Day at the Zoo

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"She's got my damn pants!" yelled Cam.

"How'd you know it's a 'she'?" snorted Sheppard, laughing his fool ass off. Cam considered punching him, but he needed the back-up.

They'd regained consciousness in this enclosure, filled with sand and rocks and a few stunted trees. There were bars fencing them in, and a force-field. It hurt like a bastard and they'd both been knocked flat, clutching their singed-feeling hands, after trying to grab hold of the outer fence.

The aliens had made frantic chittering noises, clustered outside the bars, waving their antennae. Cam knew they were aliens because they were purple and shaped like big eggplants. With tentacles. He was observant like that.

"Reckon they're hostile?" asked Sheppard, staring at the large bulbous aliens peering in at them through the bars.

"They don't seem to be doing anything," said Cam. He looked over at the rocks, where the baboon-things were grouped together. The largest female was wearing his pants on her head, apparently having divested him of them before he'd woken up after the aliens had stunned them and left them here. "I'm more worried about the damn baboon-things."

"Yeah," said Sheppard, rubbing his chin thoughtfully. "That big one does seem to have taken a fancy to you."

"I'm relying on you to keep her off me, Sheppard," said Cam nervously. He felt way too exposed in just his boxers, shirt tails flapping.

"Sure buddy, I got your six," smirked Sheppard, the bastard, and then he started up again with that damned annoying laugh of his. "Sorry, sorry, I just…" He pulled himself together. "You do have kind of a reputation for this shit, you know."

Cam rolled his eyes. You lost your pants one damn time...

The purple aliens were chittering again. They pushed a paper through the bars and it fell onto the sand. The eggplants waved their tentacles encouragingly. "I think they want us to go get the paper," said Sheppard.

"Don't you leave me over here," said Cam anxiously. He didn't like the look in the eye of the alpha female baboon-thing, or the way she was sniffing his pants where they hung down across her face. Oh man, now she was sitting on them and rubbing her multicolored ass all over the crotch area. He was never gonna be able to wear them again, and they were his favorite BDUs, nice and soft with all the stiffness laundered out. Crap. "Oh, man, she's taking a dump in my pants!" he moaned, horrified.

"Nah, she's just scent-marking them," said Sheppard.

"Like that's supposed to reassure me?" muttered Cam.

"Okay, okay, c'mon, let's go check out the aliens' message together," said Sheppard, and he grabbed Cam's arm, hauling him up and then heading over to the fence. He picked up the paper and studied it. "Huh."

"What?" Cam peered over his shoulder. Not that they were likely to be able to read it, what with the aliens being pretty fucking alien, as aliens went, either here in the Milky Way or out in Pegasus. These guys were weirder than the Asgard.

"Oh, man," said Sheppard, a slightly panicked tone to his voice, staring at the paper.

"What?" Cam grabbed it off him and studied the drawings covering the single sheet. They were pretty graphic, with lots of helpful arrows. Apparently the concept of vectors translated across from eggplant into primate. Cam's voice was kind of high-pitched. "They want us to mate? Oh sweet Jesus, we're in a zoo!"

Sheppard glared over at the baboon-things. "Yeah. Reckon this is the primate cage, and our purple friends there can't tell the difference between us and the baboons." He took a deep breath, visibly pulling himself together, and then grinned. "'Course, I'm not sure your girl friend over there with your pants is all that picky, either."

Cam dope-slapped him, causing the aliens to wave their tentacles excitedly again and pull out what looked like PDAs to make notes on. Fucking anthropologists. If Daniel was here he'd probably have set up a collaborative study already. The others had gotten away through the gate, though; he remembered that much before he and John had been stunned just shy of the DHD.

"Look, it's okay," said Sheppard soothingly. "The rest of the team'll be here before long with some back-up, and they'll get this straightened out. Jackson'll sweet-talk them or something."

A hovering anti-grav platform pulled up outside the bars, just beside the cluster of tentacled eggplants. Two slightly different aliens looking more like courgettes with green tendrils began throwing things into the compound, over the fence. The baboon-things descended, hooting excitedly, and grabbed the food – Cam assumed it was food, anyway – carrying it back to their territory.

The aliens threw a few more objects over the bars to land by their feet. Sheppard bent and retrieved one. "Right, bananas. Figures." He peeled one and sniffed at it. "Seems okay. Want one?"

"I've kinda lost my appetite," said Cam, frowning at him. "They might have drugged that, for all you know."

Sheppard took another bite. "Nah, it tastes pretty good. I reckon it's okay." He offered Cam the banana again. "C'mon, got to keep your strength up." He ruffled Cam's hair. "I'm not gonna let the baboon-things mate with you, Cam, no matter what our keepers want."

"You promise?" Cam took the fruit and began peeling it. It looked like a banana.

"Yeah, best to keep the mating intra-species," said Sheppard, winking. "I'll fight her for you – survival of the fittest and all that."

Cam blushed crimson. "I am not gonna be some 'Aliens Made Them Do It' cliché here, Sheppard. I'm not that easy. Plus, there's no privacy and Jackson's bound to turn up waving a camcorder."

"Okay, deal," grinned Sheppard. "No mating until we're back home with a bed and no crazy anthropologists taking notes."

"I should think so," muttered Cam, but he let Sheppard pull him in for a kiss, to the chittering delight of the eggplants.

And because the galaxy hated him, that was the moment that Daniel and Teal'c turned up, with Cam flushed and pantsless, clutching a banana and monkeying around with Sheppard.

He was never gonna hear the end of it.

- the end -