This is my first Atlantis/McKay fic, so please be nice, it takes me a few fics to get the characters right!
Also, if you're a Sam/Jack shipper, don't read this fic, or at least don't read it and then email me to complain. I hated the way TPTB executed that relationship and nothing you can say will convince me otherwise. If you read this warning and read ahead anyway, it's your own bloody fault if you get offended. Please not flaming.
Set after Duets. And I am in no way affiliated with MGM, the SciFi channel or anyone affiliated with Stargate. If I were, I'd be writing scripts, not fanfiction. I write for my own pleasure and anyway, I'm a poverty-stricken student, it's not worth suing me over.
Doctor Rodney McKay sat on his bed in his quarters, having been OK'd to leave the infirmary. Strangely enough, it was kind of lonely without Laura Cadman in his head. Whoever would have thought? The woman had driven him nuts but he'd kind of gotten used to her – and then she'd grown on him.
And to her credit, if it hadn't been for Laura, he would never have gotten to kiss Katie Brown. Automatically his fingers went to his lips. He could swear he could still taste her, although he knew there was no scientific reason for it.
And, he reminded himself happily, she had kissed him back – or, rather, she had kissed Laura back on account that technically, it had been Laura who had kissed her – but she hadn't known that, not at the time… and she had kissed him back.
She had kissed him back!
Of course, he had no idea what to do now. Women were not exactly McKay's forte. He tried, God knew he tried, but he always came off the wrong way. He didn't know what he was doing wrong but he always did it.
Sighing, he thought of Samantha Carter. Now there had been a disaster. He still felt a twinge of resentment towards the woman whenever he thought about it, which was why he didn't think about it much. Being told by the woman you had a massive crush on that your duties as gigolo were done, now leave were always a blow to the ego.
There was a knock on the door, and Rodney looked up to see Katie in the doorway. "Hey," she said. "I came to see how you're doing."
Although he hadn't done it consciously, she took the way he shifted over slightly on his bed as an invitation to sit down. She liked to think she knew Rodney better then most, and she knew the subtle ways he had let her know he was interested in him. Like sharing his personal space, which he probably wasn't even aware of.
"Fine, fine," he said. It was all he could think to say even though inside he was grinning from ear to ear over it. Katie had come to see him! She must be a little concerned about him, which meant she had to care! "Uh, thanks for coming to ask."
"I had some free time," she said. She took the plunge. "And… I wanted to see you."
"To see if I'm OK," Rodney said, never one to appreciate subtleties.
"Well, that, and… I wanted to see you. I, um, wanted to say… I really liked being with you on our date, even if it was somewhat… unusual circumstances."
"I really liked being with you," he said. He lowered his eyes to his lap, playing with his fingers nervously. "I was really ticked that things worked out the way they did… I was looking forward to… being alone with you." It took some effort to admit his feelings, and he hoped she knew what he meant.
She did. "That's OK," she said. "We can do it again sometime… just the two of us."
He nodded. "I'd like that." Impulsively, he reached out to squeeze her hand slightly, then let go of it.
For a few seconds they sat in silence before Katie said, "There's something I want to know and I don't want to ask Laura, she'd be so embarrassed about it – "
"You want to know who it was who kissed you?" Rodney asked. He'd been afraid this would come up. He'd wanted Katie to keep thinking it was him… but you didn't get to go to Atlantis by being stupid, and the possibility that it could have been Laura would have occurred to anyone with a few IQ points after not too long.
Katie nodded. "Yeah," she said.
Rodney was sorely tempted to lie. It wasn't like Laura would ever admit to it. But he couldn't bring himself to do it. "It was Laura," he admitted, then he added hurriedly, "but I really wanted to. I was so nervous I didn't know what to do and I was making a complete ass of myself and –"
Katie cut him off by kissing him on the cheek. "I just wanted to know if you'd wanted to kiss me, or if it was all Laura," she said. She blushed. "I like you a lot, Rodney. I didn't want to get my hopes up."
The words were magic to Rodney's ears. Closing his eyes, leaned over to kiss her quickly on the mouth. "I like you too, Sam," he said without thinking.
He opened his eyes to see the look of horror on Katie's face and he realised what he'd said. He quickly got off the bed and stormed out of his room.
Rodney followed her. He couldn't believe he'd been so stupid, he didn't know what he'd been thinking. Oh yeah, about Samantha Carter and what a user she was. Heightmeyer would have a field day over that little incident and his general attitude towards women. Thankgod no-one knew about it, although there were times when someone gave him a ribbing about his crush on her and how she would never give him the time of day and he wanted to scream the truth to the rooftops.
"Katie, c'mon, come back," he begged. "Please, we need to talk."
Reluctantly, because she liked Rodney a lot and wanted to hear something decent enough to make up for the fact he had just called her Sam, Katie followed Rodney back into his room. "Please don't tell anyone about that," he begged plaintively.
"You think I'm going to tell people that you were kissing me and thinking about Colonel Carter?" Katie asked. She had a little more pride then that. She noticed Rodney looked agitated. She was too nice a person not to be a little concerned. "What's wrong?" she asked.
"You can't tell anyone what I'm about to tell you," he said.
"OK," Katie said easily.
"I'm serious," he insisted. He was looking increasingly agitated.
"I won't tell anyone," Katie said seriously.
Rodney took a shaky breath. "Sam and I slept together once," he admitted. "Well, it was three times, but it was one night so I don't know if that counts," he rambled.
"I thought Colonel Carter and General O'Neill were together," Katie said. That the Colonel and General were secretly dating was one of the worst-kept secrets in the Stargate Command, although it was still technically an unofficial thing.
Rodney rolled his eyes. "I know that now," he said. "She chose not to tell me that until the morning after. Please don't interrupt me again. I've never told anyone this and I'd much rather just forget it."
Obediently, Katie shut up and let Rodney tell his story. The night before he'd gone to Atlantis, he'd screwed up the courage – well, part McKay courage, part Corona courage – to go and tell her how he felt about her. He'd always had a huge crush on her and since he was going to the other side of the known universe she might treat him with a little less contempt then she usually did.
So he had showed up at her doorstep and thankfully, she had been alone. She spent so much time with her SG-1 team members, and if one of them had seen him, they would have kicked his ass all the way to the Pegasus galaxy, Stargate be damned. "Uh, Sam…" he'd mumbled when he saw her, all his brilliant and witty lines evaporating in his head. Suddenly that six pack of Coronas took their effect. "I just wanted to say, um, that I really like you and, um, I'm sorry if you got the wrong impression of me… I really like you and I'm going away tomorrow and…" he trailled off when she continue to look at him. He'd always been fascinated by those pale blue eyes of hers… and her short blond hair… and her brilliant mind that almost matched his. "Sorry," he mumbled when she didn't say anything. "This was a bad idea." He had turned to go.
"Rodney, wait," Samantha called after him. He turned back around to face her. There was a smile playing on her face. She had never seen that side of Rodney before and it turned her on more then a little. That, and he wasn't exactly sore on the eyes, underneath that lab coat was a decently built-up body, and she imagined he would be good in bed – men who's nature it was to reduce sex to a scientific art always were.
She wasn't disappointed. He was a little surprised by how aggressive she was, this was a woman who had frequently called him a chauvinist, a jerk, inhuman, and much worse, but she was all over him, and he wasn't one to complain.
It had been spectacular. As Samantha had suspected, he knew his way around the bedroom because he'd taken to sex as a science – and as the brilliant scientist that he was, he'd perfected the artform. Three times, he had made her scream his name over and over and shake uncontrollably in his arms. It had been euphoric, and not exactly a disappointment for Rodney, either.
After the third time, he'd been foolish enough to tell her he loved her. She hadn't said anything, just purred contentedly and settled into his arms, so he'd taken that to mean she appreciated the sentiment, even if she didn't share it. And that was OK for Rodney. After all, it wasn't like he cared about her enough to stay on Earth. He considered it the best possible way to spend his last night on earth.
Until the morning, at least. He'd been woken up by her prodding. "McKay! Wake up! I need you to get out of here! Jack'll be over in an hour."
Needless to say, being woken up so rudely was not a pleasant experience after such an incredible night. And what was with McKay? Last night it had been 'Rodney' – very loudly. Smiling to himself as he curled under the covers, he wondered if the police had gotten any complaints from the neighbours.
Samantha left for a few moments, and came back to dump a glass of ice-cold water on his face. That got the effect she'd wanted – he was up and spluttering indignantly. "What the hell was that for?" he demanded.
"I need you to leave," Samantha repeated as if she were talking to a child and not a fellow astrophysicist who was even more brilliant then she was. "Jack will be here in an hour."
"And?" Rodney asked irritably. "Embarrassed to admit we slept together?" he jeered.
"Jack and I are together," Samantha retorted. "We have, uh, an arrangement. Because we're apart so much. And he's coming over in an hour. And he will kill you if he finds you here."
She certainly knew how to kill the moment. There he had been, making an absolute ass of himself telling her how he felt about her, and she'd just wanted to get laid. "You could have told me that last night," he said, a little sullen.
"I'm telling you now," she said coldly. Damnit, was he going to make a scene? Why couldn't he just leave it be. "Look," she said, trying a different tack. "We had a great night last night. Why don't we leave it at that?"
She was trying that let's-be-friends crap, and Rodney wasn't having any of it. "I get it," he muttered angrily, getting dress as quickly as he could. The less time he had to spend in this house the better. It occurred to him that if Jack and Samantha really were together then they had had sex in this bed and that was something that made Rodney's stomach churn in disgust. "I was a convenient lay."
"Don't be like that," she said.
"What? Don't remind you that you cheated on your boyfriend?" he sniped. Samantha looked like she'd been slapped to hear the truth put so bluntly. Clearly, she'd never had this trouble with her other one-night stands. Or maybe she warned them first. Either way, Rodney wanted to get out of here as quickly as possible. In a matter of minutes, his one-night stand had become sleazy and tarnished. He was sure there were plenty of men out there who considered it a great thing to be Jack O'Neill's fill-in for the night – sex with Samantha Carter and none of the relationship hassles.
Rodney McKay was no such man. He got plenty of crap because he had no respect for women, but it was more like he didn't know how to act around them. And while he wasn't above a one-night stand before he left for the other side of the known universe, he was above a one-night stand with a woman who had 'an arrangement' with her boyfriend. He should have stayed at home.
"Make sure you have a shower and change your clothes before you show up to the base," Samantha called after him as he left. "Jack will be able to smell me on you."
"Go to hell," he called back to her. That was the last he had spoken to her ; at the embarkment, he'd sullenly ignored her in what everyone assumed was an infatuated man moping about losing his Great Love. Hardly. He'd be happy if he never saw her again.
Unfortunately, that had proven harder then he'd anticipated. Hey, he'd always had a weakness for blonds. It had taken him the better part of a year to forget about Samantha. It had helped when Katie had arrived. They had immediately hit it off, even if he was awkward about it. But she had always managed to see what he was getting at. And she'd never treated him like something she'd scraped off her shoe… or someone who was good enough to sleep with when her boyfriend was away…
"… So that's what happened," he finished stiffly. For the whole time he'd refused to meet Katie's eyes, instead staring at some arbitrary point on the wall.
She looked at him closely. "Rodney, are you crying?" she asked.
He sniffled. "No. My eyes are just… irritated."
"That's almost as good as 'I passed out from manly hunger'," she said with a playful smirk that wasn't making fun of him in the slightest.
"You heard about that one, huh?"
Katie nodded. "Yeah. I thought it was cute."
Rodney sniffled again. "Women don't like cute, except as friends," he pointed out. Women liked rugged, daring, adventurous. Women liked Jack O'Neill.
Katie reached out to touch his cheek gently. Clearly, he had taken Carter's rejection of him hard. He'd had a crush on her for two years and must have thought all his dreams had come true when she'd come onto him, only to be informed in the morning that he was merely a stand-in and could he please shut the door behind him. Katie got the feeling Rodney was a lot more sensitive then he was given credit for, especially when it came to women. "I like cute," she said softly.
He looked at her uncertainly, and she knew she was going to have to make the first move. She leaned over to kiss him.
Somewhere at the back of her mind it occurred to her that it had definitely been Laura kissing her the other day. It took him a moment to react and when he kissed her back he was very tentative, very unsure of himself.
"What?" he asked suspiciously when he caught Katie smiling. "Did I do something wrong?"
"No," Katie said. "I was just thinking that… it was definitely Laura who kissed me." She noticed that wounded look in his eyes when he'd spoken about Carter was coming back and she quickly clarified, "you weren't as aggressive." No need to tell him that by the same token, he could have been a little less apprehensive, too. She figured she could work on that.
"Aggressive is bad?" Rodney asked.
Katie nodded, smiling. This was going to take some time, but she had a feeling it would be worth it. "Aggressive is bad," she confirmed.
With that, Rodney quickly – almost impulsively, before his Corona-less courage deserted him – planted a kiss on Katie's mouth. She opened her mouth to encourage him a little, meeting his tongue with hers. She pulled his right arm, which was dangling awkwardly by his side, over around her waist. Given that explicit permission, he wrapped his arm around her securely, drawing her into him. He could feel his heart start to race as he explored her mouth, using his free hand to tentatively work his fingers up her arm, her neck, to her hair. He inhaled slightly, and breathed in her scent – soap, shampoo, perfume, he wasn't sure exactly what it was but he knew she liked it. She was intoxicating.
When he was breathless he pull away slightly. He liked the way she settled into his arms of her own volition, pressing her head against his chest. He would never have had the courage to put her head there himself but God it felt nice.
"I take it your heart is racing from manly excitement," Katie teased. It was quite a soothing sensation, even if it was twice what it should be. She was kind of flattered that she should have that affect on him. Who needed Don Juan when she could listen to McKay's heart racing?
"That's exactly it," he answered gruffly, patting her head casually, leaving his hand to tangle his fingers through her hair. She didn't seem to mind that he wasn't exactly John Shepherd, who Rodney was sure didn't get this excited over a few kisses. When it became apparent she was quite happy to stay in his arms – which meant she had to have forgiven him for his 'Sam' comment before – he said, "I really like you…Katie."
She rubbed her face against his shirt, like a cat. As far as he was concerned, she could do anything she liked so long as she stayed in his arms. "I really like you, too."
They said nothing more for a few minutes, enjoying each other's company before Elizabeth knocked on the door. "Rodney?" she called. "Can I come in?"
The moment was broken, with Katie reluctantly pulling away from him, so he called back, "Yeah."
Elizabeth poked her head in the door and wasn't entirely surprised to see Rodney with Katie. "I just wanted to see that you were OK," she said. She couldn't help adding a little suggestively, "but I see you're fine. Dinner's in half an hour." And then she was gone.
Katie pulled her knees up to her chest and wrapped her arms around them. "How long do you think until this gets out?" she asked.
"A day or so. It could be worse, it could have been Teyla. Are you – OK with that?"
"It's not what I would have liked but I suppose that's what you get in a situation like this. It's like working in a restaurant with all the revolving-door relationships, only much, much worse."
"Then… will you come down to dinner…with me?" he asked, his voice catching in his throat.
"I'd love to," she said, reaching for his hand. He eagerly took it, holding her hand tightly. He was nervous, she saw, nervous about their relationship and outing themselves. He was absolutely adorable when he was nervous, she hoped he didn't lose it too much when he became more comfortable with her. She kissed him quickly.
He looked surprised. "What was that for?" he asked.
"You looked like you needed it." She squeezed his hand reassuringly. "C'mon, let's go and out ourselves." She got up off the bed and headed for the door, pulling Rodney with her.
"Hey – you won't say anything about me and Sam, will you?" he asked, half following her and half being pulled along by her.
"Who would believe me?" she asked with a teasing, good-natured smile, seeing the good sense in breaking off from him and keeping her distance.
"You are so going to pay for that," Rodney said, his eyes dancing playfully when he thought about just how he could make her pay…
"You'll have to catch me first," Katie said, smiling playfully. She made a mental note that when she was playful he wasn't as nervous.
Of course, there was no way he couldn't give chase and still retain some semblance of masculine pride. Silly girl thinks she knows Atlantis better then me, he thought. It was a pursuit that lasted a grand total of two minutes and ended up with Katie being cornered on account that she didn't known Atlantis nearly as well as Rodney did.
He wrapped his arms around her securely. "You take it back," he instructed her.
"How 'bout I say I believe Colonel Carter would hook up with you… because that shows excellent taste on her part… and I want you to kiss me again."
"Good enough," Rodney whispered and he kissed Katie. Already he was feeling more sure of himself around her and his kiss showed it.
They were both too lost in the kiss to hear footsteps coming up behind them, until they heard John clearing his throat to let the distracted couple know that he and Teyla were there. Rodney and Katie jumped apart. "Uh…hi," Rodney said lamely when he saw they were both smirking.
"Hi," Teyla said.
"We were just…heading to dinner," Katie piped up.
It was clear neither John or Teyla believed them but they left the new couple to their own business. "So much for Teyla not knowing," Rodney mused. He bet the woman had broken into a run as soon as she'd turned to corner to tell everyone she could find. Their 'few days' had just become a few minutes.
"It doesn't matter," Katie said magnanimously. She threaded her finger's through Rodney's hand. Gratefully, he squeezed her hand. "Let's go out ourselves," she said wryly.
Rodney was only too happy to oblige.