Disclaimer: I do not own Stargate Atlantis.


Jeannie Miller looked around her kitchen. It was a mess! Plates were everywhere. Crumbs covered the table and countertops. The floor was covered in crusty-looking food splotches. Her kitchen was a wreck! She shuddered to think what the rest of her house looked like.

She wiped some crumbs off the counter and placed her purse on the sole clean spot in her kitchen. Taking her jacket off and placing it over her purse, she took another look around the kitchen. It was going to take her forever to get this mess cleaned up. She was thankful that Madison had fallen asleep in the car and was sleeping peacefully upstairs. The last thing she needed was a bouncy four year old underfoot while she was trying to clean up the mess her husband left.

Jeannie began piling up the dirty dishes next to the sink so she could wash them. She slammed a wooden spoon down on the counter in anger. She couldn't believe her husband was so irresponsible!

Still fuming, Jeannie began washing the dishes her husband left for her, when the doorbell rang. She groaned. What now???

Drying her hands with a dishtowel, she walked to the door and looked out the window. She gasped. It was her brother and his best friend. What on Earth were they doing here?

Jeannie opened the door to greet them and was treated to a better look at the pair. Both look absolutely exhausted. Her brother's bright eyes, which were one of the most expressive parts of his body were dull and the sloppy smirk that was usually plastered on the Colonel's face was nowhere to be seen. They both looked incredibly sad. "Mer? John?"

She was rewarded with a double hug from the two men, one on each side. She wrapped her arms around both of them, trying to comfort each one as best as she could.

The fact that her brother was hugging her didn't surprise her at all…much. After all, he had hugged her when she had visited Atlantis…twice. Things between them had been better. They shared e-mails and pictures. In each and every e-mail, he always asked about Madison. Madison even sent him more of her drawings for his office and was eagerly awaiting a return visit from her favorite uncle. Caleb kept reminding her that Meredith was her only uncle, but the little girl paid no bother. He was still her favorite and it looked like she was going to get an earlier visit from him than expected.

Jeannie's mind drifted to the other man in her arms, who seemingly held on to her for what amounted to dear life. It was so odd being hugged by John Sheppard. Not that it was a bad thing, it's just not something that she would expect. She had spent the majority of her time on Atlantis with the Colonel and while she found him nice and funny and extremely attractive, she also found him to be the oddest contradiction. He was a man that everyone wanted to be around, yet he seemed to prefer solace. He was a man who was handsome and kind and funny, a man that one would assume to be a man with great social skills, yet he was socially lacking. He was a man who wanted to know so much about others, but shared so very little of himself. In fact, the little she knew about him came from her own observations. She knew that he sincerely cared for each and every person on Atlantis…including her brother and Rod. She also knew that the two men before her were close, best friends you could say, but she suspected that they were more like brothers. The one thing that jumped out at her most about John Sheppard was the fact that he was not big on public displays of affection…particularly hugging. Neither was her brother, for that matter. The fact that both men willingly seeked her out and were allowing to comfort them at this time told her that something was most definitely wrong. She just had to figure out what it was. "Is everything alright?"

The only response she had gotten to her question was from John. The silent nod from the Colonel added to her brother's eerie silence told her that whatever it was, it was big. She knew that she shouldn't prod and that they would tell her when they were ready. She just needed to give them time, but first she needed to get them out of the doorway. The last thing she needed were her nosy neighbors adding more stress to her already stress-filled life. "Guys, as much as I love seeing you, I need to get the two of you inside."

"Afraid the neighbors will talk?" Rodney quipped, trying to bring some humor to the dark mood that settled over the house.

"The neighbors always talk," Jeannie informed him, leading the two men into the hallway.

"See, I knew she was ashamed of you," John said playfully slapping his friend.

"Hardy-har-har," Rodney snarked. "If memory serves me right, Jeannie said that she had to get the both of us out of the doorway, so she must be ashamed of you as well. I think it's the hair."

"Hey! Chicks dig the hair."

"So did Lucien," Rodney smirked.

"Must you continue talking about that?" John groaned.

"Hey, you shot me! It's my right."

"Yeah and if you don't shut up, I'll do it again. This time without any witnesses," Sheppard warned.

"You hear that, Jeannie. He threatened me. Call the police," Rodney joked. Jeannie rolled her eyes at the two men.

"And within fifteen seconds of meeting you, they'll know why. In fact, they'd probably offer to shoot you for me."

"Gentlemen?" Jeannie said trying to quiet the men down.

"You know why she's so ashamed of you, Rodney. It's because you're so annoying," John said.

"I'm annoying? If anything she's ashamed of you because she can't even touch you because she doesn't know where you've been."

"You're just jealous."

"Boys! I am not ashamed of either of you…yet," Jeannie said seriously grateful that she had gotten the attention of the two arguing men. Honestly, how did Dr. Weir deal with them day in and day out? Then, it occurred to her. Weir sent them to Dr. Beckett. "Now, go in the living room, sit down and shut up!"

"Jeez, if I wanted that sort of treatment, I would have stayed in the doorway," Rodney said.

"She's ashamed of us, remember?" John reminded him.

"Ah, yes. You know, you were much more fun the last time I saw you," Rodney teased.

"For the last time, I am not ashamed of either of you. I just don't want the neighbors to talk."

"Well, if that's not being ashamed I don't know what is," Rodney said.

"It's your fat ass," John told him.

"It's your super-static electrified hair."

Jeannie was starting to get a headache. She couldn't deal with another argument. God, they were worse than four years olds! "Boys! Can we focus here?"

"I thought we were focusing," John said innocently. "I was focused on pissing Rodney off and I did a damn good job of doing it if I do say so myself."

"Yes, you did," Rodney agreed. "And I was focusing on proving just how much of an idiot the Colonel is, which I have to say…"

"Focus on getting to the living room!" Jeannie said with her teeth clenched. She could already feel the migraine coming on and she hadn't even been around the pair for five minutes. How did Elizabeth deal with them??? Again, Beckett came to mind. "Where is Carson?? Didn't he come with you?" Jeannie asked hopefully.

"He had to go to some sheep-shearing festival back in Scotland," Rodney explained.

"No, he had to go get his skirts resized because you know he has put on a little weight since the last time he was on Earth," Sheppard said.

"Don't you mean kilt?" Jeannie asked.

"Tomato. Tomatoe. I think it's all of that rich Athosian food he's been eating or the fact that he shares meals with Rodney."

"I am not fat! I'm just big-boned."

"Whatever."

"Hey, I don't appreciate…"

"The next time you guys come, you should bring Carson," Jeannie interrupted.

"Why?" both men asked at the same time.

"Because he was very nice to me during my visit and he's great to talk to. Plus, he has that accent."

"What accent?"

"The Scottish accent." The boys looked confused so Jeannie had to elaborate. "It's a woman thing. Women like accents."

"Really? No woman's ever said they loved my accent," Rodney said.

"That's because you're Canadian," John told him.

"What's that supposed to mean?" Jeannie and Rodney said at the same time glaring at the Colonel.

"Nothing. It's just that the Canadian accent is really not that different than the American accent, eh?" John said in a mock-Canadian accent.

"That is why she is ashamed of you," Rodney said.

"What'd I say?"

"Eh, Colonel? You didn't even use it right."

"Shut up, Rodney!"

"And you're mean, too."

"Look who's talking, Mr. Scrooge."

"Boys! For the last time, I am not ashamed of you. I just don't want the neighbors to talk."

"Why? They've seen me," Rodney said.

"But they haven't seen John."

"Just tell them that we're related," Rodney said.

"Right," John snorted. "Like they're going to believe that."

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"Well…" John began.

"First of all, I don't even think that the neighbors know that Meredith is my brother. Secondly, two visits from you within a couple of months is a lot."

"They probably think that we're having a threesome," John said with a smirk.

"Eww!" They both said at the same time, their faces scrunched up in horror. There was not question that they were related.

"Okay, no!" Jeannie said. "If anything, the neighbors will think that you and John are lovers."

"At least he's better looking than Carson," Rodney said.

"Always knew you thought I was hot, McKay," Sheppard smirked.

"Well, all the women on Atlantis can't be that stupid, Captain Kirk," Rodney snarked. "Besides his accent annoys me. I can't imagine why she liked him. I mean, he's not even a good kisser."

Jeannie did a double-take. "Do I even want to know?"

"Trust me. You want to know," John said with his patented sloppy smirk.

"Wait! You mean you didn't tell her?"

"We figured that we'd spare you the embarrassment," John explained. Rodney looked at him as though he didn't believe him. "Okay, Teyla figured that we'd spare you the embarrassment."

"So you're scared of a girl?" Rodney teased.

"No. I'm scared of Teyla. Teyla is not a girl."

"What?" Rodney balked. "Teyla is most certainly a girl…most definitely, actually. Have you seen Teyla?"

"Yes, I've seen Teyla."

"Well, she's hot!"

"Dude! This is Teyla we're talking about."

"Yeah, I know and she's hot!" Rodney said. "Come on, you've got to admit it."

"Okay, so maybe she's slightly hot," John admitted.

"Slightly?"

"Do you have a thing for women who can kick your ass, Rodney? First Carter, then Teyla, and now Cadman??"

"Okay, so I will admit the Carter thing. You've seen her. Not explanation is necessary." John nodded his head in agreement. "Secondly, I do not have a thing for Teyla. She's just hot."

"Yeah, right."

"I do not have a thing for Teyla!"

"Whatever you say."

"Okay. Okay. I figured the Carter thing and the Teyla thing is pretty obvious, but who is this Cadman person?" Jeannie asked.

"Atlantis's resident explosives expert," John explained.

"She tap-dances too," Rodney said with a grin.

"A tap-dancing explosives expert? You dog, you," John smirked.

"Is she an ex, Mer?" Jeannie asked.

"She's not my ex."

"Cadman is Carson's ex," John explained. "They dated for a few months last year."

"Was this before or after you kissed Carson, Mer?"

"It was actually Cadman who kissed Carson," Rodney explained.

"How do you figure?" Jeannie asked.

"Well, Cadman hijacked my body and planted one on Carson."

"How could she possibly do that?"

"She was stuck in my head."

"Basically, the bad guys we told you about when you visited us scooped up Cadman and Rodney in a dart and when we tried to get them out, they got stuck…her in his head and then, the "incident" happened."

"Not to mention ruining my date with Katie Brown. I shouldn't have let her talk me into going out on the date and then she invited Carson and…"

"Come one, McKay, it's not like it would've worked anyway."

"I know that, but did she have to invite Carson? Now, I have a witness to my screw-ups. For Christ sakes, I toasted her salad! And do you know what he said when I told him about the date? He was all like 'You have a date? With a woman?'" Rodney said in a mock-Scottish accent. "Can you believe that?"

"Well, actually…" John began.

"And it's not like I haven't dated. All that he's had is that blonde chick and Cadman. I'm not even sure he likes girls."

"Mer-e-dith, he's your friend," Jeannie scolded.

"So?"

"So, be nice!" Jeannie warned. "And he most definetly likes girls."

"How do you know?"

"Because he tried to hit on me when we first met," Jeannie said smiling.

"He what? Look, you know what? Whatever!" Rodney said. "Did he have to like Cadman? I mean he could have liked anyone else on Atlantis and he had to chose Cadman."

"She liked him first," John reminded him.

"Well, did he have to like her back?" Rodney whined. "Then, he dumps her and I get blamed for it."

"How did you get blamed of their break-up?" Jeannie asked.

"I don't know! Something about how their first kiss happened through me and I don't know some other crap!"

"Who dumped who?" Jeannie asked curiously.

"He dumped her…I think. You know, I'm really not sure, actually. I mean, why would she dump him?"

"Maybe she didn't like him anymore," Jeannie suggested.

"Well, if she didn't like him anymore, why did she blame me for their break up?"

"She's female," John said.

"So?"

"She's crazy. Women are crazy."

Jeannie quirked an eyebrow at John.

"Well, some women are crazy…not you, however."

"Thank you."

"What about Teyla? Is she crazy?" Rodney asked innocently.

"No. No. No," John said.

"So you are scared of a girl," Rodney smirked.

"Shut up!"

"You shut up!"

"Boys!" Jeannie said breaking up the argument.

"Yes?" They said at the same time with innocent looks on their faces.

"Behave," she warned.

"God, she sounds just like Elizabeth," Rodney said.

"I know! If we wanted to be yelled at, we would hang around her."

"Can you just finish the rest of the story?"

"Oh, yeah, well, that's about it."

"Well, that's no fun," Jeannie said.

"Rodney isn't very much fun."

"Not all of us can be," Rodney said.

"I'm gonna get something to drink. Do you guys want anything?"

"Yeah, coffee would be great," John said.

"Coffee sounds fine."

Jeannie nodded and went into the kitchen to get the beverages.

Rodney thumped Sheppard on the arm. "You could have told me that Jeannie didn't know about the "incident."

"Well, why did you have to tell her?"

"I just assumed…"

"You know what happens when you assume."

"Real clever, Sheppard."

"I thought so," Sheppard said proudly.

"You would."

"You have to admit that it was kind of dumb to say something to your sister," John said.

"Well, you're scared of a girl."

"I'm scared of a Teyla."

"Uh…hello? Teyla…girl…incredibly hot girl."

"My brother is right, John. Teyla is hot," Jeannie said in agreement.

"Fine! Teyla is hot. Okay? She's hot. So is Carter, Vala, and Cadman. Hell, so is your sister."

"Leave my sister out of this!"

"What's wrong with John thinking I'm hot, Meredith?"

"Nothing. It's just that…"

"That what?"

"Where's the coffee?"

"We're out." Jeannie told him. She picked up the two cans she had set down on the end table and handed them to the two men. "But we have these."

Rodney looked at the can in disgust. "Diet Pepsi?"

"I think she's trying to tell you something, Rodney."

"What's she trying to tell you? You've got the same thing."

"Well, she probably doesn't have anything else."

"I don't know. You've put on a little around the middle."

"Boys! How would you like soy milk?"

Rodney and John looked at each other and scrunched up their noses and promptly shut their mouths.

Jeannie sat down and looked at them expectantly. "So tell me, to what do I the pleasure of this visit?"

"Where's Madison?" Rodney asked.

"She's upstairs napping. Don't avoid the question, Meredith!"

"They kicked us out," John told her.

"What?"

"The people who built the city, they came back and made us leave," John explained.

"Oh, guys, I'm so sorry. What are you gonna do?"

"Well, I'm gonna go work at the SGC and Rodney here is going to work at Area 51," John said gesturing to his friend.

"They're splitting you guys up?"

"They're splitting everyone up," Rodney said.

"Yeah, apparently, the SGC doesn't need more than one genius astrophysicist on the the payroll," Sheppard said.

"I still think we should have fought," Rodney said.

"Come on Rodney, it's their home. They were their first."

"And it's our home too."

"I don't know what to tell you, man."

"I don't get it." Aren't you angry? They took our home away and you're acting like we're on vaction."

"Of course I'm angry. I'm pissed, but getting pissed isn't going to solve anything. This sucks all the way around, Rondey and there's nothing we can do about it."

"I don't accept that. There's got to be something we can do."

"When did you turn into me?"

"When you turned into me!"

"Let me just offer this up here," Jeannie interrupted the men. "Why don't you look at it this as an opportunity to reconnect with those you left behind?"

"Aside from you and Madison, we left everyone when we were sent here."

Jeannie looked at John for confirmation. He nodded.

"Oh, guys." She reached over and hugged the men. "You can stay with us for a little while if you want." She pulled back, "What do you boys say?"

"You're gonna cook, right?" Rodney asked hopefully.

"Of course."

"No tofu chicken?"

"No tofu chicken."

"Thank God."

There was the something that sounded like a herd of elephants above them. "Uh oh," Jeannie said.