Author note: We've been watching Stargate Atlantis and everyone just seemed so familiar. That observation inspired this little oneshot. You should probably be aware of both series to understand it. I apologize in advance for what you are about to read.
NCIS: The Alternate Reality
Abby turned the stone over in her hands gently as if caressing it, examining the unusual characters engraved on its surface. "I bet it's really old," she breathed, her voice hardly discernable over the blaring music. "It's so beautiful…"
"And classified," a loud voice interrupted.
Abby looked up to see an impatient balding man striding briskly through her door. He stopped abruptly and planted his hands over his ears.
"What is that noise?!"
"Music," she replied, turning her back on him and returning to her admirations.
"No it's not," he yelled. "Turn it off before I fry your circuitry the way it's currently frying mine."
Abby spun and squinted at him angrily. She judged that he could do exactly what he threatened. Pursing her lips together in her most annoyed fashion, she killed the music.
"Thank God for that," he grumbled removing his hands from his ears with a flourish. "I have very sensitive hearing since whale song perforated my eardrums."
"A whale?" said Abby incredulously. "You are sensitive."
The stranger stopped walking and verbally back peddled. "A-A-A-Actually it was a lot of whales and I was very close." He paused and she felt his eyes scanning her. "Oh that's original," he said finally, "a perky girl with dark hair in pigtails. I've been in one alternate reality too many"
Abby stared at the intruder wondering when the men in the white coats were going to get here. At the sound of hurried footsteps, she heaved a sigh of relief: they were going to remove the madman. Instead, McGee appeared.
"Oh Abby," he panted. "I see you've met Dr McKay, he sort of got away from me."
Abby frowned at McGee, boring home the message that their visitor was a certifiable lunatic. "We haven't been formally introduced."
McKay waved his hands dramatically as he strode towards her again. "Yes, yes, I'm Dr McKay, resident genius, and you are inconsequential." He clicked his fingers in her direction, "the artifact."
Abby pulled the stone closer to her body, "I'm still investigating it."
"What!" McKay squealed. "You have no idea what sort of damaged you could do with your mediaeval probing."
Abby turned her back on him again and held the stone up to the light.
"It's OK, Abs," McGee assured him. "Gibbs said to give it to him."
"McGee!" Abby growled, holding it closer.
"Gibbs, Gibbs, Gibbs," McKay clicked his fingers sharply and closed his eyes, trying to bring something to memory. "Is that the guy who looks like O'Neill?"
"O'Neill – you know techo-phobe, grey hair, history of Black Ops, lost his child in tragic circumstances and blames himself, keeps his front door unlocked says, 'ya think' a lot."
"That sounds like Gibbs," McGee agreed.
"Yeah, well it's also O'Neill. They are everywhere in alternate realities, take my word for it," said McKay. "Does yours have an ex-wife?"
"Oh, kudos. Any of them named Sara or Sarah? Let me rephrase that: she was first named Sarah spelt with an 'h' then, for no explicable reason, the 'h' magically disappeared."
"No ..." said Abby.
"But my sister did that," McGee piped up, "only the other way around and don't get us started on the number of Sarahs that we meet, they are everywhere."
"We don't get so many Sarahs," McKay admitted, "but if I had a nickel for every O'Neill type I've met… OK so let me get this straight, here O'Neill equals Gibbs and Vala equals Abby: got it." McKay turned on McGee. "So where do you fit in?"
"Well I suppose you could be me because, from what I saw in the squad room, you're clearly the computer geek, we have the same surname prefix and we both have a sister. Younger sister?"
McGee grimaced. "Ah, yes."
"Just like mine," McKay confirmed. He eyed McGee up and down disapprovingly." I can't say that I'm impressed: you don't seem nearly smart enough."
"Hey!" said Abby, "McGee has a Masters from MIT."
"Yes, well I hope you enjoyed the Corn Flakes in the packet," McKay said. "You need a couple of PhDs before you get even close to my definition of genius." He turned to Abby and pondered. "I suppose you have the talking speed to be me so maybe it takes two of you to make one of me. Or maybe you two could be a combination of me and Sam Carter. That makes sense." He sidled up close to McGee. "Have you ever, you know: you and her…"
"Well, yes…" McGee admitted sheepishly. "It was a long time…"
"I knew it!" said McKay triumphantly. "Sam's mouth said 'no' but her eyes said 'yes'."
"Who is this gentleman Abby?"
McGee, McKay and Abby looked up to see Tony and Ziva standing in the door, Ziva gently tossing a knife rhythmically and meaningfully.
McKay threw his hands up. "Oh, another first: a warrior princess who has never heard of a contraction. At least you have the common sense to dress appropriately for the weather. Do you have an exotic name ending in … say an 'a'?"
"Ziva," Ziva confirmed.
"Or in my universe: Teyla," said McKay smugly. "You are all so completely replaceable."
"Hey," Tony objected.
"Don't even start fly boy," McKay cut him off.
"Fly boy?" Tony bristled. "I'm an NCIS Special Agent."
McKay stared at him incredulously then heaved an enormous sigh. Placing his fingers to his temples he recited: "Rich family, estranged from your father, was a cop in another life: stop me if I'm getting cold."
The NCIS staff exchanged uneasy glances.
"Except," said McKay, frowning, "your hair doesn't seem to have any gel in it."
"No gel," Tony confirmed.
"What never?" McKay said, disbelievingly.
"Well, maybe when I was younger."
"There's a cure?"
McKay sidled up closer to Tony. "After this is over," he confided, "we have got to talk." Then he turned to Abby and relieved her of the stone before she realized what was happening. "Any food in this lab, I'm starving."
"No, it's …"
"Doesn't matter," he cut in, tucking the stone in his backpack and extracting a power bar almost in the same movement. "Hypoglycemic," he explained as he took a bite.
Abby took the opportunity to sip at her Caf Pow.
"What's that?" he asked.
Abby hid it from him in the same way she had hidden the stone. "Caf Pow," she said.
"Is there citrus in it?"
"No …," then she considered the ramification of her admission, "… maybe."
McKay wrinkled his nose at her. "I'm deathly allergic. This is all just so typical. You are all just alternate, yet astonishingly lesser, versions of the people I work with."
"What?" Abby cried.
"Let me say this slowly so that you can comprehend it," said McKay patronizingly.
"You can say things slowly?" asked Abby.
"Yes Ms Pot, I can. Gibbs is O'Neill, McGee, for the want of a better candidate is me, Ziva is Teyla, Abby is Vala and what's his face here..."
"Like it matters, is Sheppard."
"Shepard? We had a Shepard."
"Well what did you do with him?
"Ahh she was our Director and she was killed in the line of duty."
"Of course she was, the female Directors always are only we call ours Commanders. We go through a Commander, on average, every 18 months: you? "
"About the same," said Tony.
"Goes with the reality."
"Abby, are you there?" called Ducky's voice from the video link.
"We're all here, Ducky," answered Abby.
"Wow," said McKay sarcastically, "technology … and he is…"
"Dr Mallard…" McGee supplied.
"Of course: the Scottish doctor who loves his mother."
Tony shrugged, defeated. "Does yours talk to the dead?"
"Probably: he joined them. Then he came back."
Abby pushed past them to the video screen. "Yes, we're all here. What is it Ducky?"
"I've been told to hand over our John Doe to a Dr Meredith McKay".
The agents and Abby turned to stare.
"It's Rodney - don't ask," McKay warned.
"He's right here collecting evidence from me, Ducky."
"Well, I'll get Palmer to come up and bring him down."
"Palmer?" said McKay, suddenly alert. "Who exactly is Palmer? We're seriously running out of people here."
"AKA the autopsy gremlin," Tony tried.
"No, no," McKay fretted, "still not ringing any bells."
"Palmer," called Abby, "could you show Meredith here your face."
McKay shot her a sour look then turned his attention towards the screen as Jimmy's face came into view.
"Why that's brilliant!" McKay cried: "sticking Zelenka in the morgue! Wish I'd thought of that! All you're missing now is the silent, dark skinned guy who excels in unarmed combat."
"What are you doing here McKay?" said Vance from the doorway.
"Experience the worst déjà vu of my life," said McKay.