by Grey Lupous
Summary: A good pair of socks is hard to find.
A/N: Not pure refined crack, some of the cheaper grade. Written for jadesfire2808 on Live Journal, who I offered to write "sock fic" for after recently suffering from a tragic sock accident. This in no way can make up for her angst, but hopefully can soothe her soul a little. I also apparently need more to do.
"Oh, god, no!"
"What?" John Sheppard spun around, afraid that perhaps the natives of M59-oh-who-was-counting-anyway had caught up with them. Instead, he saw a perfectly whole scientist sitting on the ground, sans boots, holding a foot to his face. "Uh, what are you doing?"
He didn't think Rodney had ingested any of the planet's variation on peyote, but John did take his eye off of him for all of fifteen seconds to tie his shoe. With Rodney, anything could happen in that span of time.
"No, no, no!" Rodney continued to wail, fingering his big toe as if the appendage had somehow let him down.
He... looked okay. There had been no tell-tale crashing to signify Rodney taking a graceless plunge to the ground. He certainly didn't look like he was in pain--maybe mental anguish.
Definitely the pseudo-peyote.
John decided he'd have to change out his boots for some without laces. He would also have to make a no-shoe-tying edict as soon as he returned to Atlantis. Teyla and Ronon would not be amused.
"Okay, Rodney, I'm sure whatever your toe did, it'll be fine."
The scientist snapped an annoyed look at him. "Did you hit your head?"
Okay, that seemed fairly coherent and sufficiently disgruntled to be considered normal. "Did you trip?"
"No," Rodney spat back, as if everyday he stopped to berate his toes while they were running for their lives. Actually... maybe he did, silently.
--scratch that. Rodney never did anything silently.
"Well, if you're fine, let's go. They're going to catch up if we decide to hang around much longer."
"My socks." The statement was said so forlornly, that John found himself taking a step closer, closely studying the scientist's face, trying to see his eyes were dilated.
"Did you sneak some of the peyote?"
"What? No! It's just--there's a hole in the toes."
Rodney moved his hand to display the worn socks. John fell back with a disgusted cry as he was assaulted by the stench of Rodney's sweaty feet.
"Give a guy some warning!"
"It's not that bad." Rodney took a deep whiff and turned a shade of green. "I mean, I'm sorry."
John tried to casually take the sleeve of his jacket and inhale deeply in order to clear his nose of the awful scent. It would have been more discreet if he didn't try to talk at the same time, causing his words to come out muffled and a little nasally. "Fine, put your shoes back on, and let's go."
"But what about my socks?"
"What about them?"
"They've got holes!"
"You're going to have holes if they catch up with us!"
"I really liked that pair of socks."
He was pouting. He was honest-to-god pouting on the ground like a three-year-old over a pair of ruined socks while the spear-wielding natives were catching up to them. If John wasn't quite sure of McKay's sobriety, he would have throttled the other man. "I'm going to hurt you. Get up now."
"I'm going to have blisters," Rodney complained bitterly as he started to pull his boots on.
"Carson will be thrilled, I'm sure."
"We've been through so much together!" He was still grumbling, retying his laces.
McKay had to be stoned, John decided, because there was no way this was the same person who had accidentally triggered a lockdown because of a spider.
Still -- curiosity compelled him to ask. "So much? Like what?"
To John's credit, he didn't add, "the spin cycle" to the end of that statement, although he had been sorely tempted to.
"For starters we came to this galaxy together!"
"You... you know what pair of socks you were wearing when we came to Atlantis?"
"To be fair, I only had a few."
"Well, how was I supposed to know I'd wind up being drafted into the away team from hell; where every mission has a seventy-five percent chance of an attempt being made on my life whether by drowning, electric shock, carnivorous fish--"
That's why they weren't allowed back in 'Amazon World' as Ford had dubbed it. He really missed that kid and his crazy naming schemes. Like right now. Ford wouldn't care about a couple of holes in his socks. Then again, Ford wouldn't have accidentally proposed marriage to one of the chieftain's daughters, and then insulted his unwitting bride-to-be by making disparaging remarks about her headdress.
Granted, it was a really ugly headdress.
"--bee stings, citrus fruits bearing a remarkable resemblance to turkey legs--"
In John's defense, those had looked really tasty and very meat-like. It also wasn't his fault that the natives thought cooking the turkey-fruit brought out more of the flavor, thus lending to their general non-citrus appearance.
"--bear traps, giant carnivorous space chickens, vicious, pitchfork-wielding mobs--"
"Always a fan favorite."
"Shut up--where was I? Oh, and mud holes about every third planet. It's a miracle I'm not naked--"
John grimaced at the mental image.
"--with how many clothes have gotten ruined, usually by one of your good ideas!"
John sighed heavily. "Can we go now? Impending doom approacheth."
"Fine! We can continue running! When I get an ingrown toenail though, you only have yourself to blame!"
John grabbed the other man by his tac-vest and propelled him forward. "I don't know how I'll survive the guilt."
"I'm going to really miss this pair--we were almost fricasseed on P49-896 together."
Oh, for crying out-- "Just darn your socks, McKay!"
"Hey! What'd they ever do to you?"
As Rodney started to fall behind, John grabbed him and kept moving him forward. They were getting back to the gate even if he had to drag Rodney and his precious threadbare socks the entire way.
"Well, they did just try to kill me."
"That's not their fault!"
"In that case I'm going to have Carson give you a talk about proper podiatric care."
"I'll have you know I have very sensitive skin--" Rodney started, but somehow managed to find the only rock in the entire field and started to go down.
Luckily John caught him, hauling him back to his feet. "Less talking, more running."
"I'm perfectly capable of running for my life and berating you at the same time!"
"Put a sock in it!"