Title: Fists of Fury
Pairing: McShep, if you really squint.
Season/Episode: Season 1
Beta: MomBeta'd, or at least run by her first, like everything gen that I write. I haven't listed her before, but this time I asked and she said I must credit her. Thanks muchly, Mom!
Feedback: Yah sure you betcha!
Disclaimer: Stargate:Atlantis and it's characters do not belong to me and I make no material profit from this story.
Warnings: Mild violence
Summary: Kavanagh's making trouble, but that isn't McKay's only problem.
The door opened as McKay and Sheppard approached it.
"I didn't know you even had an office, McKay."
"Yes, I have an office, Major. I just never have time to actually use it. I'm too busy saving the city all the – Miko?"
The diminutive Japanese girl in McKay's office flung herself into his arms, babbling tearfully. Rodney stood there with his hands in the air, not sure what to do with the weeping young woman who was currently snuffling wetly into his shirt.
Sheppard tried to hide a smile at Rodney's obvious discomfort. McKay caught his expression and scowled horrendously, awkwardly patting the girl on the back.
"Help me out here!" his hissed at the major.
John shook his head vehemently. "You're her boss, McKay."
"You're better with women than I am."
"Not when they're crying, I'm not!"
The scientist rolled his eyes, then turned his attention back to the tiny figure who had wrapped her arms around his waist.
"Doctor Kusanagi?" he said with remarkable gentleness. It seemed to be the right approach, because she pulled herself together and let him guide her to a chair, where she sat sniffling and gazing trustingly up at him through smeared glasses. "Tell me what the problem is."
"He – he said – "her breath hitched and both men blanched as the tears threatened to return, but she continued to speak through the sobs. "He said terrible things – about you, about me – he said I must have – with you – to get this job. He called me – but I would never – it is a privilege, an honor, to work for you, Doctor McKay. I tell my parents, you are an honorable man, a brilliant man, they do not need to worry about me. But he said – he said he would tell Doctor Weir, she will believe him, but it is not true! You tell her, please – you tell her it is not true. You are a great man, she will believe you. Not him. He is a bad man. A bad, bad man."
She shrank in on herself, whispering the last few words as tears streamed down her cheeks. From somewhere in the mess on his desk, Rodney found a tissue for her.
"Who said these things to you, Miko? What exactly did he accuse you of doing?" Rodney's voice was quiet and gentle in a way Sheppard had never heard before.
"He said I – I slept with many men to get this position." She blushed and lowered her eyes. "With you. He said I should sleep with him, too."
"Miko, who said this?" It was a good thing she wasn't looking at McKay, John thought, because although his voice was still kind, his face was hard.
"Doctor Kavanagh." She said it so softly John almost missed it.
McKay straightened up and turned to Sheppard. "Would you stay with her, Major? I need to have a serious talk with Kavanagh."
"Rodney, I think you should take this to Weir. It's more up her alley than yours."
"I'm head of the science division. I'll deal with it. If you don't want to help, I'll take Miko to Doctor Campanelli." He referred to the older Italian woman who had become a kind of unofficial den mother to the younger residents of Atlantis.
Kusanagi looked up and nodded vigorously. "Yes, please, I want to go to Zia Lydia. Please?"
For answer, Rodney keyed his radio. "Doctor Campanelli? It's McKay, where are you? What are you doing in Lab Three? Never mind, just get over to my office. Kusanagi is here, she's – ah – kind of upset, I want you to sit with her while I deal with a problem. Yes, I mean now, Campanelli." He keyed off the radio and turned back to Miko.
"She'll be here in a minute. Will you, um, be okay?"
Miko nodded shyly. As Rodney turned away, she said in her small, polite voice, "You are a very good man, Doctor McKay. Very good – very kind."
His face turned bright red, to Sheppard's amusement. "No, I'm not," he said irritably, "but Kavanagh has no right to spout such vicious nonsense. Besides, the only one around here who's allowed to yell at you is me." He patted her head with clumsy, embarrassed affection.
Doctor Campanelli showed up a moment later and Rodney snatched his hand away.
"Yes, well…excuse me…" he muttered.
Sheppard made sure he kept up with McKay as the scientist stalked down the halls towards Kavanagh's lab. He was so upset, muttering to himself and gesticulating wildly, that he didn't even notice John's presence. The people they passed took one look at his furious expression and gave him a wide berth.
When they reached the lab, Rodney stomped in without knocking and made straight for the obnoxious man with the ponytail. John saw Doctor Dencke, who was unfortunate enough to share the lab, appraise the situation with one glance and wisely duck down behind a desk.
Whatever was going to happen, it would be all over Atlantis before dinner. He just hoped he wouldn't have to get physical with Kavanagh, who was taller and slightly heavier than McKay. His friend was angrier than John had ever seen him, and although he was unquestionably in better shape than Kavanagh, Rodney had a tendency to completely overlook the concept of physical violence directed at himself.
Kavanagh smirked and snidely remarked, "So she went crying to her sugar daddy, did she?"
Rodney's fist was moving almost before Kavanagh had finished speaking, and connected with his jaw with an audible crack, sending the American crashing to the floor.
His hand was shaking as McKay pointed a finger at the man sprawled in front of him. "You," he ground out. "will never again speak to, or about, Doctor Kusanagi. You will write her a formal letter of apology for your disgusting and unfounded accusations, which you will put up in the mess hall for everyone to see. Then you will go to Doctor Weir and tell her about it. Whatever happens after that is up to her. I'm too angry to deal with you." He turned on his heel and strode out of the room.
Sheppard stared after him in amazement. It was only a muttered "Wow!" from the wide-eyed and grinning Dencke that brought him back to his surroundings.
McKay was moving briskly down the hall, and John had to jog to catch up.
"Rodney, that was incredible. I had no idea you had that in you! It was perfect, you planted that punch in just the right place. I wouldn't be surprised if he's eating through a straw for a few weeks."
Rodney ignored John's enthusiastic outburst, staring at the floor.
"What? You popped him one, McKay. You did exactly what everyone's been aching to do for weeks, and he completely deserved it. What's wrong?"
Rodney's lips were compressed in a tight line and the flush of anger was gone from his face. "As good as it felt to finally hit Kavanagh, I know I'm going to regret it. Elizabeth will give me her 'I expected better of you' speech. That woman lays one of the best guilt trips I've ever seen. Kavanagh will be even more unbearable now. And my hand really hurts. Is that normal? Maybe it's broken. I'll have to learn to do everything left-handed."
"Can you move your fingers?"
McKay held up his hand and wiggled the long digits.
"Then it's not broken. You know," Sheppard added, grinning, "you're her hero now. That crush Kusanagi has on you will be twice as bad. You'll need a crowbar to pry her off you."
Rodney stopped in his tracks. "Oh my god, you're right. What am I going to do?"
"She doesn't interest you?"
He eyed the major warily. "Playing matchmaker now, are we? Quite apart from the fact that I'm her boss, and it would be completely inappropriate of me to take advantage of that, she's almost ten years younger than I am. And really, not my type. How often have I expressed a preference for blondes with short hair?" He didn't give Sheppard a chance to answer, but plowed on ahead. "No, I'm just going to have to be blunt with her, no matter how difficult or awkward it might be."
John's eyebrows shot up. "Bluntness isn't usually something you have any trouble with."
Rodney ignored him and set off again for his office. John shrugged and followed.
A few minutes later, he was hiding a smile behind his hand as he listened to Rodney trying to gently disabuse Miko of her infatuation. McKay was dancing self-consciously around the subject, and the shining adoration on Miko's face made it clear that she had no idea what he was trying to say.
Finally Rodney, growing desperate, said, "Look, I'm – I'm flattered by your interest, really, but I'm already involved with someone." He shot a warning look over his shoulder at Sheppard, perched on the edge of the desk. He turned back to Miko to find her looking from wide-eyed from Sheppard to Rodney and back. A deep flush crept up her cheeks.
Belatedly Rodney realized what she was thinking. "No! No, that's not – I – we aren't – "
Miko placed a reassuring hand on his arm. "Don't ask, don't tell," she earnestly. "Thank you for being so kind to me, Doctor McKay. Your secret is safe with me."
Behind her, Lydia Campanelli was shaking with silent laughter. Rodney glared at her, and she got herself under control with difficulty.
"Come, Miko," the older woman said in her thick accent, "I make you cup of tea, we have the girl-talk. You remember that nice Signor Riordan, works in the GateRoom? I think he likes you. I let him know you might be interested now, yes?" She guided the Japanese girl out the door.
As soon as it closed, Sheppard fell back onto Rodney's desk, overcome by gales of laughter. Rodney stood there, arms crossed, tapping his foot irritably and scowling ferociously, his face redder than Miko's. But as John's hilarity wound down, he gave in to a grin.
"Well, I can't blame her for fixating on me, but at least I cured her of her crush."
"Oh, yeah, " John said breathlessly. "I think you did that, alright. Now, what are we going to do about your crush on me?"
Rodney just stood there for a moment, mouth opening and shutting like a fish out of water. Then John had to duck out into the hallway to avoid the random projectiles snatched off McKay's desk and flung in his direction, Rodney's curses and his own laughter ringing in his ears.