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Title: At Home in the Dirt
Author: Mandy
Fandom: Stargate Atlantis
Character/s: David Parrish
Rating: G
Word Count: ~750
Notes: 1. Written for sga_saturday prompt 'Earth'

Summary: Dirt smells good. It feels good. It's normal for botanists to grub around in the dirt in any way, shape or form.

These days he was thankful his animal form was small. When he was young, he railed against the fact his father hadn't been a lion or a wolf or an eagle, but those forms were difficult to conceal when one lived in populated areas. As he matured, he grew to appreciate the ease with which he was able to hide his Shifter heritage. He didn't automatically change with the phases of the moon, nor did he require space in which to run fast or fly high. More importantly, those who sought to capture Shifters for experimental purposes never seemed interested in his breed. All he required was a mound of earth and at least one week every year, when nature dictated he assume his Shifter shape and build a burrow. At fifteen, he moved away to live with his regular human maternal grandparents. Nobody living there needed to know David Parrish was a Shifter unless he chose to tell them.

Botany proved a perfect career for David. The plants he chose to study grew in earth; no hydroponics or soil-poor species for him. Good, rich soil that smelt amazing and felt even better on his skin. Not to mention the fact that plants never sniffed him. He kept clear of dogs, fearing they would detect something that gave him away as not quite human. His friends assumed he suffered from cynophobia; he didn't bother to correct them.

He'd wondered how he'd manage on Atlantis, being a floating city, but the botany labs were now well established and there was plenty of dirt, both from Earth and various planets in the Pegasus in which to grow native crops and conduct intergalactic cross-pollination experiments.

Not sure as to how being in a different galaxy would affect his Shifter abilities, once he was safely in his new quarters, David locked the door, stripped off, and shifted. He was pleased to find nothing in the air of this world or the radiation from its sun impeded his ability to Shift. Mostly he didn't want to spend time in his animal form, but neither did he want to lose something that was part of him. He hopped around his rooms a few times, and then fearing someone may come looking for him to show him around or something, he changed back and scrambled back into his uniform

Naturally gregarious, a trait supposedly common in his Shifter species that his animal didn't share, David soon made friends with many people. Scientists, soldiers or support staff, Athosians, first wavers or newcomers like himself; he didn't see the point in limiting himself to the people in his department. The marines who'd been exploring the city unwittingly pointed him in the direction of safe, unused rooms. The Athosians showed him their land. Sgt Sabato was only too pleased to discuss the ongoing problem food production and waste disposal.

David spent some time considering whether to spend his Shifted time on the mainland, or on Atlantis. He'd eventually concluded he had a greater chance of being hunted and possibly eaten on the mainland, not to mention his form not being native to the Pegasus galaxy, thereby creating problems that made his head hurt when he simply thought about being spotted. Therefor, Atlantis it was. Within six weeks, he'd found a suitable suite of rooms in a rarely visited section of the residential tower. Unless there was an influx of several hundred more people, it was likely to remain that way.

He had six months to prepare the room before he would need to take the necessary leave. It was plenty of time to bring in the bags of earth necessary to establish a small vegetable garden to provide him with the greens he'd need to eat, and to make some digging pits; he did so love to burrow into the soil. Water bowls he kept filled just in case, bedding and things to chew were all laid ready.

In the mean time, he worked hard in the botany labs and went on away missions. Even finding a dead Wraith on P3M-736 did nothing to deter his enthusiasm for his new home. And then it was time. Leave approved, which he was supposedly spending on the mainland, he packed a bag, and snuck away to his other room. He made sure everything was in order, then stripped off his clothes and shifted.

A large lop eared bunny stared around the room, wriggled its nose, and without further ado, hopped over to the large pile of dirt and began to dig.



Jan. 11th, 2017 03:44 pm (UTC)
I really liked this; though I'm not much into shape-shifting fics, I'll read yours. And I can totally see Parrish as a rabbit, taking over a few rooms on Atlantis and making himself a second home.

Very nice!
Jan. 13th, 2017 04:18 am (UTC)
Thanks so much, you just made me very happy.
I think Parrish-as-bunny works somehow.

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