Author: Lilas

Title: Meeting the Cat

Summary: The first time McKay met a cat wasn't as pretty as the last time he saw one on Earth.

Author's notes: This attacked me while I was having a conversation with Krissy Mae about how adorable the cats she catsits are. It's now 3AM, this is unbeated, and all mistakes are my own.

The first time Rodney saw it, he ran down the hall, jumped over his chemistry set, slammed the door to his room open so quickly it smacked against the wall, and then banged it closed so forcefully that it shook the entire house. And if anyone ever brought up the girly screams that came out of his mouth while screeching bloody murder from anaphylaxis shock caused from a severe allergic reaction from the fur of the tiny, damned, little monster, he'll deny it until his vocal chords burst, and then he'll continue denying it through written arguments.

The second time he saw the critter was about a week after the incident with the screeching. He'd been hiding out in his room, paging his mother whenever he wanted food and peaking both ways out the door before making his way to the bathroom. There had been a disaster in his room, and he'd paged his mother and his sister, but both of them just screamed from downstairs that if he wanted his freaking Oreos, he'd just have to get it himself. The nerve of those women. So being the self-sufficient and highly intelligent boy that he was, he covered himself in several layers of clothes, put on rubber gloves, a face mask, and a hard hat before venturing out the door, plastic beaker held at the ready.

Unfortunately, he'd failed to evaluate the enemy's ability of sneaking up behind people and scaring them half to death with their insufferable noises. This regrettable miscalculation caused him to lose his hold on the beaker and accidentally throw it in the general direction of the glass decorations. It really was all Murphy's fault that the beaker just happened to land with the exact force, at the exact place on the glass shelf to break the only thing holding up ten of his mother's glass pieces. He watched with growing horror as the noise level increased with each consecutive crash, his mother's bellowing from a couple of rooms away as well as her pounding footsteps adding in to the decibels.

Meanwhile, the monster simply blinked up at him as if thinking 'Who? Me? What? I don't know what you're—I was dead at the time,' and proceeded to contort itself to lick its back.

The third time Rodney encountered the animal, despite the common belief that third time's a charm, was an experience to never be repeated. He was in the garage tinkering with some metal scraps he'd found in the old dump behind the school that everyone knew about but pretended they didn't. Secretly, he was trying to build a miniature rocket that would be able to fly from his house to Nancy Durman's and possibly spy on her. Of course, at the moment, his spy satellite/rocket was really looking more like a toaster than anything. He was just getting the blowtorch ready when suddenly a mass of gray and white jumped on his project, gave out a ghastly hiss, and began to swipe at his glove covered hands, claws out and ripping his clothes, and teeth showing and threatening to turn his jugular into a bloody mess.

He paused for half a second before running back into the house in a repeat of the first time he had come face to face with Satan's child, but this time he was screaming murderous intent to Jeannie if she didn't do something about Lucifer's offspring that was bound to be plotting a worldwide take over, starting with his sanity. He never did hear Jeannie's reply to his accusations, but he assumed it wasn't anything pleasant since two days later, when he'd calmed down enough to get out of his room without inducing an asthma attack, he saw the tail end of a gray something disappearing around the corner.

The bloody thing was still in the house.

The fourth time Rodney and Satan's child met eye to eye was nearly the death of one Rodney McKay, future PhD and asshole extraordinaire. He'd been stuck up in the tree behind the house due to some uncomfortable, and most inopportune event involving Darryl Forth from school. Through no fault of his own, Darryl and his gang of merry, yet brain-dead friends understood McKay's mumbling about Neanderthals and cousincest as a derogatory comment directed toward their genes. Of course, that was completely wrong, since after all, Neanderthals were probably smarter than them, and thus it would be derogatory to the poor Neanderthals who had no chance of defending themselves from the accusations.

So there he'd been, up on the tree, hiding behind the foliage (thank god it was summer) when suddenly a high pitched and by now unfortunately familiar meow made itself known on his left. As would be expected from a sworn enemy of Satan's child, he jumped, he shriek, and then he realized that he was still up in the tree and that if he didn't regain his balance, not only would Darryl and his merry bunch of amoebas find him, but he probably wouldn't be able to run away due to the leg he would break when crashing into the ground. So instead he gripped the branch he was sitting on, screamed for a few more seconds, and then settled for panting with his hand over his heart and his mind telling his body to calm down.

It was thus that Rodney McKay and Satan's child, officially known as Pepper, began to bond. That is if staring at one another for an extended period of time could be called bonding. But McKay wasn't screaming, Pepper wasn't scratching at him, and both mammals were examining one another as if they'd never seen the other species (which wasn't such an absurd concept since Satan's child probably only saw Jeannie as that thing that fed it when it got hungry). When the sun began to set, both mammals eyed one another and as if they had communicated silently, both began to make their way down the tree and back onto solid earth. Rodney looked around, turning in a circle to make sure none of the primates were hanging around before looking down at the cat and making his way back to the house, Pepper following him silently.

That night, Pepper pushed Rodney's partially closed door open, jumped on his bed and settled down in between his legs.

Rodney McKay had never slept so well.