The Missing Book

Disclaimer: Belongs to Gekko Productions, MGM, and Sci-fi. I only own Anna.

Author's Note: Written for Angelsgracie during SG1flashfic2.

Where was it? He had put it in the box; he knew he did. Rodney McKay tore through stacks and stacks of books searching for a particular one. It was his favorite, a physics textbook he had kept since his undergraduate days.

When Dr. Weir had told them they were only allowed to bring one personal item, Rodney nearly panicked. There were so many things that were near and dear to him; how could he choose just one? After careful consideration, he chose the physics textbook.

While most people curled up with Shakespeare or Stephen King or even those cheesy romance novels for fun, it was Newton and Einstein for him. Whenever he read it, he felt like he was in good company. In his opinion, those two were the only people who could possibly be smarter than he was. Well, with the exception of one of his professors in college.

Frustrated, he stood up and turned a full circle, glancing in each box as he went. Cursing himself, he stormed out of the makeshift library. He knew he should have kept those boxes sealed, but he just couldn't wait. At night, he loved to go back through that textbook and read bits and pieces, even though he knew it by heart.

Rodney marched down the hallway towards the main control room. Maybe if he asked over the intercom system, someone would find it and return it.

As he rounded the corner, he slowed down just a little. A light was on in the room ahead of him, and the door was slid open. Soft music drifted from it, and Rodney briefly wondered how someone sneaked in a CD player. As he moved closer, he realized whose room it was. Pausing beside the door, he took a deep breath.

She was one of the many scientists that worked on his energy team. With her long blonde hair and blue eyes, she certainly was one of the prettier ones. He had seen her in the lab several times before, but hadn't had a chance to speak to her yet.

'Perhaps the search for the book could wait,' he thought. Pushing up his shirtsleeves and smoothing back his hair, Rodney as he sauntered into the room.

However, his carefully rehearsed demeanor crashed to the floor the minute he saw her. The pretty scientist sat on her bed, one hand stuffed into a bag of potato chips and the other turning the page of a rather large textbook. A rather familiar large textbook. In fact, it was HIS rather familiar large textbook.

She looked up, surprised to see him. "Good day, can I help you?" she asked in her thick Australian accent.

"Excuse me, but that's mine," Rodney answered without hesitation.

"What's yours?" she asked, honestly confused.

"The book in your lap."

She glanced down at it. "It is?" Her blue eyes focused back on him. "I'm sorry. I found it in the library and thought it belonged to all of us."

"You know, you should ask before you take things," he replied, lunging for the book.

The pretty blonde moved it out of his reach. "Well, you shouldn't leave it where someone could just pick it up. Besides, I don't think your name is on it."

"Check behind the front cover."

She did as he asked. When she found the name, she blushed. "Oh, yes, there it is." She glanced up at him. "Dr. Rodney McKay?"

He rocked back and forth on his heels, smiling. "That would be me, and that would be my book." He held out his hand.

She kept the book behind her. "Now, wait a minute. Just because it's yours doesn't mean you can't share."

"Share?"

"Yes, share." She crossed her arms over her chest. "You're not the only one who enjoys physics around here."

"Do you even know what that book is about?" he asked, frustrated.

"Yes, I do. Why do you think I picked it up?"

Rodney threw his hands up in the air. "Fine! Fine. You can look at it, but keep those chips away from it," he said, snatching the bag of chips away from her.

She sat there for a few minutes just watching him. Slowly, a small smile crept across her lips as she held out her hand. "I'm Anna Wylie."

Caught off-guard, Rodney blinked a couple of times. "What?" The bag of chips nearly fell out of his hands.

"Anna. It's my name."

"I know that; I just wasn't expecting you to say that," he stated, his defensiveness crumbling. He set the bag of chips down on the nightstand beside the bed.

Still grinning, Anna retrieved the book and handed it to him. "I didn't mean to upset you," she apologized. "I just got excited when I saw it. It was my favorite textbook back in college."

"Well, thank you for giving it back to me. I guess I'll go now," Rodney replied awkwardly as he took the offered book. He quickly inspected its dark blue cover and the edges of its pages. Everything seemed to be in tact. Satisfied, he turned and headed for the door.

He was halfway there when Anna's voice stopped him. "You know, you're kind of cute when you're upset."

Just then, the book slipped from his hands and landed right on top of his toes. He immediately grabbed his foot while hopping in a circle. That's when he crashed into the dresser beside the door and landed flat on his back in the floor. The next thing he knew he was staring up at the ceiling. Anna's blue eyes and blonde hair moved into his line of vision.

"Are you all right?" she asked as she helped him sit up.

Realizing that she was staring at him, he tried to keep his cool. "Oh, yeah. Little thing like that? No big deal." He winced.

"I'm sure," Anna said wryly.

Leaning back on his elbows, he met her eyes. "So, you like physics, huh? Tell me more about it."

She laughed and sat down beside him, ready to talk about her favorite subject.