"You are Dr McKay."
"Yes, and you would be?"
It was a long time since Teal'c had needed to introduce himself at the SGC but he permitted no surprise to show on his face. "I am Teal'c."
"Of course you are." McKay smiled, looking, not nervous, no, but poised for flight. "Glad you made it."
The dryness of his tone registered and McKay blinked. "Look, it wasn't personal. I thought you were gone and the Stargate's too important to tie up --"
"You were more interested in the problem than my survival."
McKay's eyes glinted wistfully. "It was an <i>interesting</i> problem…"
"You wished to be correct and to be applauded upon your insight."
"Well, I often am. Right, I mean. The applause…" McKay seesawed his hand. "Not so much."
"You wished Major Carter's approval," Teal'c continued, inexorable, certain, watching his prey carefully.
"God, yes. Have you seen her?" McKay huffed out an appreciative breath. "Well, of course you have, in fact you've probably seen a lot more of her than I have -- hey!" McKay backed off a step holding up his hands in a gesture intended to placate as Teal'c stiffened. "I just meant you work with her, that's all."
"Indeed." Teal'c studied him. "Did it never occur to you that she would have been better disposed to you had you thrown your efforts into saving me?"
McKay frowned. "I never thought of it like that. Gratitude; yes, that can work. There was this one time I rescued a cat from a tree for Sarah Dillard but that didn't -- I mean she expected me to climb it and my way was -- But she was wrong, you know. Major Carter, I mean. God, she's got this system so screwed up, I'm surprised it doesn't -- but brilliant, definitely brilliant…"
In spite of himself, Teal'c smiled. "She is. I am most fortunate in my friends."
McKay grimaced, staring at anywhere that wasn't Teal'c. "Yes, I suppose you are. Must be nice. People who care enough to risk their lives. Their careers. A priceless, irreplaceable artifact…"
Ah. That would do. Teal'c was not by nature vindictive. He just liked… balance.
McKay shook himself out of his reverie and met Teal'c's eyes. "So, was there something you wanted? Because they're shipping me out, you know."
"I heard." Teal'c shook his head. "I merely wished to thank you for your efforts on my behalf."
"Well, I didn't really do much." McKay looked briefly astonished at the admission and then smiled. "Oh, what am I saying? I get these weird attacks of modesty from time to time. Ignore me."
"Gladly," Teal'c said and walked on.
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