Everybody thought it, but nobody had it right.
It was bound to happen, she mused. In their practically hermetically sealed community, not much was left unasked. Here, for them, it was Col. John Sheppard. The so called "ladies' man" of Atlantis, the women gossiped and raved about him; the men envied and respected him. Offworld, on the mainland, inside the Lantean base, the consensus seemed to be the same: the grand Casanova of their fledging society would have to be none other than their military commander.
They, however, had it wrong.
She, in her position on the base, had the advantage of knowing both the person and their file, and they were never the same thing. In his case, he tended to get too much emotion involved; she'd seen this tendency repeatedly throughout their time in the Pegasus Galaxy. It was this tendency towards attachment that did, in fact, remove him from the unofficial running in the Lantean Lothario competition. No, there was only one man, in her opinion, that met the criteria of a suitably unattached and (in his words) invulnerable Don Juan.
Doctor Rodney McKay.
Though the mere mention of his name while discussing this honorary title elicited laughter from most of the men on the base and some of the women, the rest knew not to be fooled. While the man seemed to be nothing more than an acerbic and acid-tongued know-it-all, those shrewd enough to ignore the false pretenses knew better. Behind the sarcastic comments and his apparent lack of social skills was a clever scientist who knew exactly what to do to get what he wanted.
Even she had been skeptical at first. Rodney? He could barely speak to a woman, let alone get one to invite him into their quarters. She'd sooner have nominated Kavanaugh before him, the self-proclaimed genius of two galaxies.
One evening six months ago had changed all of that.
She'd been meandering (which was already uncharacteristic of her to begin her) through the base, enjoying the quiet that only came deep into Atlantis' night, when she found herself before the entrance to the main science lab. Glancing quickly into the room, she noticed that the lights were still on and that several of the computers were still running. A noise attracted her attention from the other side of the lab, and she heard someone grumble incoherently. Recognizing Rodney's voice immediately, she smiled to herself and entered the lab, opening her mouth to greet her chief scientist.
Nothing, however, came out.
This was perhaps due to the immense feeling of shock that had erupted all over her body, as she quickly turned tail and fled the lab noiselessly, heading back down the corridor from where she had come. After several seconds her heart stopped racing and she was able to breathe. Her mind, however, was stuck in a state of complete and utter disbelief. Had she imagined the whole thing? Was her job causing her so much stress that she had simply imagined Rodney McKay... experimenting with Doctor Houston in the science lab?
The part of her brain still capable of rational thought informed her that no, she hadn't been hallucinating, and yes, that was quite the analysis being conducted in the science facility. Well, if he was anything, Rodney McKay was thorough.
She laughed to herself, half of her still in shock and half of her strangely proud of her socially inept chief of science.
Two months later, it happened again.
Well, as far as she knew, it did. She didn't exactly keep constant tabs on the sex lives of her people, but when the chance arose to catch a little gossip, even she was unable to resist. Sitting in the mess, slowly sipping her water while catching up on mission reports, she unexpectedly found herself overhearing two young (female) Marines whispering excitedly behind her.
"You're kidding me," one of them whispered in disbelief.
The other responded immediately. "It was quite the explosive situation!"
"I thought she was still dating Dr. Beckett?" the first woman asked, confusion evident in her voice.
"No, they broke up three weeks ago... apparently she has a thing for doctors," and the smirk that she could not see was apparent in woman's tone of voice.
There was a moment of silence as the Marine absorbed this new and shocking information. "Well, didn't her consciousness get stuck in his mind at some point last year? I remember Col. Sheppard's report about it, but it didn't-" her voice broke off abruptly, and Elizabeth almost found herself turning around to find out why.
"Elizabeth," someone called out, and she almost knocked her own chair backwards from the shock.
"Rodney!" she exclaimed, and she couldn't help the blush that crept up her cheeks as her eyes met his.
He looked at her quizzically. "Are you feeling okay? You're all… flushed."
"Me? Oh, I'm fine," she answered, quickly looking back down at the reports in front of her and grabbing her water bottle. Her heart beat at a furious rhythm in her chest, and she couldn't believe how embarrassed she felt about the whole situation.
After her heartbeat slowed to a more acceptable pace, and the heat on her cheeks had cooled, she felt confident enough again to look up and meet her chief scientist's gaze. "How is the intergalactic bridge project coming along?" she asked in what she hoped was a casual enough tone of voice.
The wary suspicion in his eyes faded then, and he launched into a long-winded explanation of the work that had already gone into the project, and how far along the construction of Midway Station was. And although she tried her best to listen to her friend speak, she found herself wondering to herself how many other women had succumbed to the charms of one Rodney McKay.
She'd heard of others, too, after those two incidents. After she'd re-injured her knee attempting to jog with John, she'd overheard Dr. Cole discussing various techniques with one of the nurses, and Elizabeth was dead certain that they weren't discussing rehabilitative therapies. Why, she'd even heard about one incident involving two of the-
"Dr. Weir?" called out a voice, and she could sense the annoyance behind the voice.
She quickly broke herself out of her reverie, and turned her attention back to the people gathered around her. "I'm so sorry, Radek- I haven't been sleeping well lately."
He lifted one eyebrow in mild concern, but quickly continued on with his briefing. Elizabeth took this opportunity to steal a glance at the man seated across from her, who was in fact tapping his fingers along the table mock playing, if she wasn't mistaken, Beethoven.
She couldn't help her staring, at those tapping fingers. And oh, how she knew those fingers well. For it wasn't fatigue that kept her awake late at night and caused her exhaustion in the morning. She could still feel those fingers gently stroking her hair; she could still sense his strong hands pulling her hips up against his. And she could still taste his mouth on hers whenever she let her guard down. She blushed a little then, and quickly averted her eyes elsewhere.
However, in the split second when she changed her focus, she noticed the corners of his mouth creep upward, as he smirked proudly to himself. He didn't miss a thing, did he?