NOTES: This is a 'comment fic' that was written for Sue Corkill one evening when we bombarded her journal with comment-spam. It's an SG1/SGA crossover.

Favoured Son

Even as Sheppard ran into the chair room, followed by McKay and Elizabeth, the glow was fading from Atlantis' walls.

"What did you just do?" McKay demanded, looking from Sam to Jack.

Jack was pretty sure they looked innocent - for a given value of 'innocent', perhaps, but neither Daniel nor Teal'c were here to notice - but he didn't have the faintest idea of what to say.

Thank God for a woman who could think on her feet. "I was just testing a hypothesis," Sam said brightly.

"Hypothesis? What hypothesis? What the hell did you do? You couldn't have asked first?"

The questions tumbled out of Rodney's mouth, unceasing.

"Rodney," Elizabeth calmed the other man first before she turned to Jack. "I think if you're going to test anything that gets that kind of reaction from the city, General, you might like to let us know beforehand."

It wasn't quite a suggestion, but she certainly hadn't phrased it as an order. Clever.

"Actually, it might not be related to the chair at all," McKay said. "It did this a couple of weeks ago."

A couple of weeks ago? Jack and Sam had only been in the city for two days.

"Remember the flash we had around midnight the other night?"

"The one followed by the brownout that lasted for an hour?" Elizabeth asked. "Yes. Didn't you say that was related to some testing being done with the ZPM at the time?"

"Well, it was a theory - although subsequent tests didn't show any sign of the same failings. And our testing shouldn't have--"

"There's no brownout this time," Sheppard interrupted, glancing up at the walls and ceilings of the city. "Looks like everything's still working."

"So...no harm, no foul?" Jack tried not to sound hopeful.

"Seems to be working," McKay corrected him. "I want to run some tests - do we still have-- Damn." He tapped his earpiece. "Radek, do we still have the residual power data for the blowout during those couple of seconds...? Well of course I mean the ones from the other night! Does it sound like I have time for-- All right, all right." McKay waved a hand at Sam. "Samantha, you'll want to stay and hear this..."

Jack was pretty sure Sam didn't. Unfortunately, there was no way for her to gracefully bow out. She gave Jack a desperate look that McKay didn't notice, but Elizabeth did.

"Well," said the expedition leader wryly. "I guess that ends my brief break from city reports?"

"No rest for the wicked," Jack quipped, and she rolled her eyes and walked away.

Sheppard made no move to follow her. Instead, his gaze measured Jack in an itchy kind of way, and when Jack crossed the room, to leave, the younger man dogged him out.

"So," Sheppard said, his voice low and conversational as they walked from the chair room into a quiet corridor. "Testing a hypothesis, huh?"

Jack gave the Colonel a sharp look. He recalled who'd lead the other two to the room in the first place, and suspicions began stirring in his mind. "Yes."

"Was it a good hypothesis?"

The suspicion turned into a definite breeze. "As a matter of fact, it was." Jack eyed the other man. "Was yours?"

Sheppard smirked. "Yep."

Given that Elizabeth had presumed a ZPM test, and Sheppard didn't seem inclined towards his own gender, Jack took a gamble.

"Teyla?"

He came up sixes. "Yep."

Sheppard might have been a little pink around the ears - it was hard to tell in the light - but he kept his cool. Jack was tempted to ask if it had been good, but Sheppard had a very smug look about him, and Ms. Emmagen seemed like a thorough kind of woman.

"So," Sheppard said, conversationally. "How long have you been...experimenting with Colonel Carter?"

The lean on Carter's rank made the Colonel's questioning quite clear. "That's none of your business," Jack said, a little snappishly.

"Just as long as you take the same view of my...experiments here in Atlantis, General."

Ah, so that was the crux of it.

Jack thought it was fair enough - although he wasn't worried about Ms. Emmagen's influence on Sheppard. The man was stubborn as a mule and the street of influence ran both ways. Instead, he gave the other man a sour look. "Fine. You're off the hook, Sheppard. Like usual. Now go away."

The hazel eyes gleamed. "Yes, sir."

Jack glared after the man's retreating back. Too damn cocky for his own good.

"Sheppard?"

The other man turned. "General?"

"An hour's brownout?"

This time the smirk that spread across the younger man's face was decidedly smug. "Maybe the city likes me more, sir."

Jack scowled.

Definitely a cocky bastard.

- fin -