Word Count: 5,833
Rating: PG13.
Category: AU. Angst. Humour.
Story Status: Complete.
Summary: Rodney's in Antarctica and is meddling with his cousin's life - much to the annoyance of said cousin!

Beta: Thank you to Jayne Perry for the beta-reading.

An Annoying Cousin
By Leesa Perrie

When Rodney McKay was asked to go to the Ancient outpost in Antarctica, he didn’t hesitate.  Sure, it would be cold, but he’d done cold before, and this, this was something big, and he wanted to be a part of it.  And if it just so happened that his cousin had been sent to McMurdo, in disgrace, then that was just an added bonus.  They were rarely in the same country these days and this offered him a chance to see him from time to time, as well as a chance to get his cousin’s side of the story, because he knew John Sheppard was not a man who disobeyed orders on a whim.  No, there had to have been some reason, and a damn a good one, for him to do that. 

And if his ‘little cousin’ as Sheppard insisted on calling him could, perhaps, just maybe, find a way to make him a part of the Stargate Programme, then so be it.  Call it nepotism, of sorts, or call it knowing the right people, but he was damned if John was going to be pushed to one side and ignored; made into a glorified taxi driver on the southern most continent for the rest of his career.  There was no way that was going to happen. 

Not if he had anything to do with it.


Unfortunately, he was rushed through the base at McMurdo and out to the Ancient outpost before he had time to find his cousin, or to even let him know he was there.  Still, he managed to get a message through later, but because it had to go through official channels, he had kept it simple.  Just a ‘hi, John, I’m at the scientific research base in Antarctica, maybe I’ll get a chance to catch up with you next time at McMurdo.’  John had replied to say he would be happy to see him when he was able to arrange it.

And that had pretty much been it for the first few weeks.  The work at the outpost kept him too busy to think about much else, and when Jackson found the location of Atlantis, the work just intensified.  Now they had to learn as much as they could before relocating to Cheyenne Mountain in a month’s time and then heading to another galaxy, on a potentially one way trip, in the near future.  

When Beckett, the man who he had shared a cell with a year ago and who seemed determined to befriend him against all odds, had discovered the ATA gene and a way to test for it, the testing had highlighted just how few people already signed onto the expedition had the gene.  So McKay suggested testing the people at McMurdo, as they were near by and already part of the military, and therefore good candidates for joining the expedition. 

He had wanted to go to McMurdo for the testing, so that he could talk to John, but had been unable to find a good reason for him to do so.  He was getting frustrated as he knew time was running out and he had yet to find a way to help John’s career problems.

If he could find a way to get John into the Stargate Programme, it would surely help him.  And maybe he wouldn’t have to leave behind his only relative and friend on Earth when he left for Atlantis.  He decided, reluctantly, to approach Elizabeth and ask if she could, as a personal favour, find a way to bring Major Sheppard into the know.  He at the very least wanted John to know where he was going and why, even if he didn’t come with him.
Of course, the chances that anyone on McMurdo base, let alone John, would have the gene were slim, so he was surprised, not to mention intensely jealous, to discover that not only had his flyboy cousin got the gene, but that it was the strongest they had come across so far, other than General O’Neill’s.  Which was just so, so not fair.

O’Neill and Elizabeth had given John clearance to come to the outpost, and had also given him a lesson in ‘Stargate 101’ and all things alien.  They had even managed to convince him to come to the outpost to help with testing the technology and he was due to arrive tomorrow, but they had failed to convince Sheppard to join the expedition.

Rodney knew it was his turn to step in and convince his cousin.  He knew no one had realised the family connection as yet, though presumably that would be picked up at some point; it wasn’t like it was a big secret or anything. 

He headed for Elizabeth’s office at a brisk pace, already plotting out in his mind what he would say to John.


“Elizabeth,” Rodney found her in the room she was using as her office.  “Have you had any success convincing Major Sheppard to join the expedition?”


“No.  It looks like we’ll have to get by without his gene.”

“Well, it might help if I talk to him.  He’s coming over tomorrow, isn’t he?”

“Yes, he is, but I don’t want you trying to browbeat anyone into this…”

“I won’t.” He paused at her sceptical look. “Really, I won’t.  No browbeating, scout’s honour.  Not that I was ever a scout, but…” he sighed. “Look, you probably don’t know this yet, but John is my cousin…”

“Major Sheppard is your cousin?”

Rodney smiled wryly, secretly amused at the incredulous look on Elizabeth’s face.

“Yes, my cousin.  We’re actually quite close.  I’m sure once I point out to him the importance of this expedition, not to mention the fact that I will be going, he’ll change his mind.  Well, maybe.  He can be a stubborn pain in the…neck.”

“Not like anyone else in the family, I’m sure…” Elizabeth gently teased.  “Will the fact you’re part of the expedition convince him?  You’re sure it won’t make him even less likely to come?”

“Oh, please, Elizabeth, I know they are lots of people who’ll no doubt be jumping for joy when they hear I’m heading to another galaxy, but John won’t be one of them.  In fact, I was trying to work out how to get him involved in all of this anyway.  The gene’s just made it easier for me.”

“I see.  You’re not about to change your mind about this expedition, if it means leaving your cousin behind?”

“No, no, I’m committed to this now.” Rodney looked surprised by her suggestion.  “But I’d rather not leave him behind.  Look, I know he has a black mark on his record, but he’s a decent guy.  I’m sure that he had a good reason to disobey orders.  It’s not something he would do lightly.  I know he’d be a good person to have around, especially if we find trouble.  Which, let’s face it, is always a possibility.  Not to mention that his gene would come in handy, as well.”

“A gene that you don’t have.”

“Yes, thank you for reminding me of that, again,” Rodney said snippily. “Typical.  He must have got it from his father’s side, along with his love of flying.  Life is so unfair and does not take into account genius.”

Elizabeth smiled at the familiar whine. 

“Alright, I’ll make sure you get a chance to spend some time with your cousin.  I hope you can convince him to join us, but no browbeating.”

“Trust me, Elizabeth, John is the last person I’d be able to browbeat into doing something he doesn’t want to do.  He’s immune to me.”

“Definitely sounds like a person I want around then.” She grinned.

There was a knock at the door and one of the scientists poked her head round nervously.

“Oh, Dr McKay, there is a problem that needs your attention.  Dr Kavanagh…”

“Agh, that man…alright, I’m coming,” he muttered, turning back to Elizabeth briefly as he exited her office. “Please tell me he isn’t coming…”

“I’m sorry, but he is one of the best in his field...”

“Agh!” he said again and stormed off. 

“And I need someone to keep you on your toes,” Elizabeth said to herself with a small smile.


General O’Neill escorted a rather bemused looking Major Sheppard through the outpost.

“I’m sure the eggheads here will be grateful for any help you can give them with this techno mumbo-jumbo,” O’Neill said, waving vaguely around at the busy scientists.

“Just so long as they don’t expect me to go off to another galaxy, sir.”

O’Neill ignored his comment.

“Dr Weir wants you to meet up with the boss egghead as soon as you arrive,” Jack said, guiding Sheppard towards a back lab that also doubled as McKay’s office.  “Though why she would do that when she’s trying to convince you to join the expedition, I have no idea.”

“Something wrong with the head geek, sir?”

“Just a total lack of interpersonal skills.”

They entered the back lab and John wasn’t all surprised to find his cousin there, busily tapping away on a laptop.

“McKay,” O’Neill called, and when that elicited no response from the engrossed scientist, he said a little more loudly, “Dr McKay.”

“Hmm, busy,” Rodney muttered, not taking his eyes off the laptop screen to see who had interrupted him.  John smirked, and wandered casually over.

“Hey, Rodders, I think the General wants to say hi.”

Rodney stopped and turned to look at Sheppard, before glancing at O’Neill. 

“Well, if it isn’t Johnny-boy,” Rodney replied snidely, clearly annoyed with the ‘Rodders’ from John.

“So, you two know each other?” O’Neill asked.

“Yes, sir.  Rodney’s my cousin,” Sheppard drawled.

“Oh.  You have my sympathy,” Jack deadpanned back at him.

“Oh, har-de-har,” McKay snapped. “Very funny, General.”

“So, you’re the boss egghead and head geek?” John said.

Rodney narrowed his eyes at the General, and then turned his annoyed look on Sheppard.

“Chief of Science,” he corrected.

“I’ll leave you two to it,” Jack said. “Though I’m tempted to stay and watch the show, it certainly looks like it could be entertaining.  Tag Team Geek Teasing…”


“Oh please.  Just go bother someone else, General.  I’m sure Elizabeth has some things she’d like to discuss with you.”

“Be nice, McKay, or I’ll have Sam send Felgar down here to join you.  Hmm, now that’s an idea, maybe we could ship him off to Atlantis too…”

“No way,” McKay said with a shudder, “And Sam wouldn’t be that mean to me.” He paused for a moment before sighing, “Then again, I wouldn’t put it past her.”

“I’ll see you later, Major.”

“Yes, sir.”

Jack left the lab, smiling.  He had a feeling that Major John Sheppard was about to change his mind about joining the expedition.

“So,” John started, “Head of the geeks?”

“Yes,” Rodney sighed, rolling his eyes. “Head of the geeks, as you put it.  And the person to put your ATA gene to the best use.”

“You don’t have the gene?”

“No, and just how unfair is that?  Chief Scientist, and I can’t use most of this technology, and yet you, the flyboy, gets the gene!  So not fair!”

“You’re jealous.” John smiled. “Green doesn’t suit you, Rodney.”

“So?  Let me have my moment of jealous complaining…”

“Okay, moment over,” John said with a grin.

“Fine.  We’ll start with the Control Chair.” Rodney got up.

“Just a thought,” John said, looking serious. “If you’re the Chief Scientist, does that mean you’re going…”

“To another galaxy?  Yes, it does.”

“Crap, McKay, what the hell are you thinking?” John said angrily.

“That the technology will be bigger and better than anything this outpost has to offer.  That I’ll get to make scientific breakthroughs I could only dream of on Earth.  That I’ll be a part of something big, and hopefully something that could save Earth from all those aliens out there that want to destroy or conquer it.”

“It’s dangerous,” John said flatly. “Too damn dangerous, and…damn it, Rodney, you could die out there!  Not to mention this could be a one way trip!  You can’t be serious!”

“Oh, I’m serious,” Rodney said quietly. “Deadly serious.  You think I don’t know it could be dangerous?  Or that I might never be able to return to Earth?  I’m painfully aware of that!  But Earth isn’t exactly the safest place in the universe.  I’ve lost count of the times we’ve been on the verge of destruction or invasion.  This expedition is important.  We’re talking about an Ancient city!  Not just some scattered bits of technology, or a small outpost, but an entire city!  They could even be Ancients there, and maybe they could help us.  Either way, we have to go.  I have to go.  They need me, and I’m not going to let my fears or insecurities stop me,” Rodney paused for a brief moment.  “Look, I’ll admit, I’m scared shitless at times when I think about what I’m about to do, but I have to do this.  It’s important…and I’m needed.  And it’s a long time since I’ve been needed.”

“I don’t want you to go,” John said. “You’re the only family I have left now.”

“I know.” Rodney calmed down. “I know.  You think I want to leave you behind, not knowing if I’ll ever be able to see you again?  Believe me, that would be the suckiest thing of all.” He huffed out a laugh. “I’ve been trying to find a way to get you clearance, so that I could at least tell you the truth about what I was doing, where I was going.  Damn gene sorted that out for me, which is something, I suppose.  But the truth is, I want you to come with us.  Join the expedition.”

“I’m not sure if I’m ready to do that.  And with my record…”

“You should see General O’Neill’s record!  He’s been known to usurp authority, admittedly usually to save Earth, but also to save someone left behind.  I’ve read the reports…”

“You have?” John looked surprised.

“Yes, hacked into the relevant computer system.  You went back to rescue some people, because you don’t believe in leaving people behind.  Something O’Neill believes in.  Something that saved me from…well, I’ll tell you about that some other time.  Anyway, this is a chance for a new start.” McKay shrugged and looked away. “Of course, if you’re too afraid…”


“Tell me that isn’t it, John.  Because I know you; you do what needs to be done, and fear be damned.  You’re one of the bravest people I know, and I know quite a few of them now.  Tell me you’re not afraid to go through the stargate, and I’ll believe you.”

“Damn it…yes, of course, I’m afraid.  Only an idiot wouldn’t be.  But that’s not the reason I don’t want to go.”

“I really didn’t think it was.  So what is the reason?”

“I don’t want the responsibility.  Sure, I won’t be the guy in charge, but I’ll still be responsible for a lot of people, most of whom will be civilians at that.  I’m not ready for that, I don’t want it.  Here, I have few responsibilities.”

“Yes, here you’re a glorified taxi driver and little else.  Such a waste.”


“No, don’t ‘Rodney’ me.  You’re capable of so much more.  And you know what the thing I hate most in this life is, well, other than incompetence and stupidity?  It’s someone wasting their talents.  I never figured you’d be one to do that.”

“You have no idea…”

“Of what it’s like to lose people under my command?  No, I don’t.  I can imagine it sucks, big time.  But how many people have you saved?  And how many more might you save, if you don’t give up.  And that’s what you have done, John.  You’ve given up.”

“Damn it…”

“You wouldn’t let me give up,” Rodney said quietly.  “When you first met me, you found a way to reach through my fears, my loneliness, my despair.  You pulled me through it.  Sure, your parents helped too, but it was you who first reached me.  You wouldn’t give up on me and wouldn’t let me give up on people, on life, and I’m not about to let you give up on yourself.  Even if you don’t come on this expedition, you’re not staying here.”

“That McKay determination has set in, hasn’t it?” John said ruefully.

“It has,” McKay confirmed with a grin.

“Alright, I’ll…think about it.  No promises, though.”

“That’s all I ask right now.”

“Yeah, right now.  Later, though…”

“Oh, well, later…”

They grinned at each other, the tension easing.

“Now, let me show you the Control Chair.  We have a lot of work to do…”


Two days had passed with Sheppard activating the Ancient technology.  The other scientists had noticed the banter between them, amazed that someone could get away with teasing and arguing with McKay, but had soon found out that they were cousins.

It was now just after lunch, and Elizabeth, Carson and Rodney were in the mess hall finishing their meal when John stomped into the room, slapping a piece of paper down on the table in front of McKay.  Rodney merely glanced calmly at it and then looked into the face of his irritated cousin.

“You…you have got to be the most annoying, irritating and downright manipulative person I have ever had the misfortune to meet,” John shouted.

“Major Sheppard…” Elizabeth started, but Rodney shook his head at her, with a small grin.  The Major ignored her anyway, focusing his attention solely on his cousin.

“I told you I was happy here and you go and pull a stunt like this!” John pointed to the papers on the table.

“Like what?” Rodney asked, with a failed innocent look.

“You know damn well what!  I’m being sent to Colorado Springs, to join the SGC!”

“Oh, that,” Rodney said, as if just realising what John was going on about.

“Yes, McKay, that.  And don’t try to tell me you had nothing to do with this.  You’ve always been a lousy liar.”

Rodney just shrugged his shoulders and took another bite of his dessert.

“Damn it, you’re…argh!” John turned away, and started pacing.  “What the hell are you doing, messing with my life?”

“Like I told you, Major, you’re wasting your talents here, and I do so hate that.”

“Damn you, Rodney.” Sheppard pushed his hand though his hair, still pacing. “That still doesn’t give you the right to manipulate my life.  What did I do to deserve as frustrating a cousin as you?”

“So,” McKay said quietly. “Are you coming on the expedition or going to the SGC?”

Sheppard turned to look at him, with narrowed eyes.

“Oh no you don’t…You’re not manipulating me into anything.”  He turned to leave the mess hall. “I’ll just have to explain things to the General.”

“Good luck,” Rodney called after him. “But I think the General’s on my side in this, for once.”

John made an obscene gesture and stomped back out.

“Rodney,” Elizabeth said, tilting her head slightly. “I thought you’d agreed not to browbeat him into this?”

“I’m not doing any browbeating,” he defended himself, before giving a sly grin. “Just giving him a few more options than staying here.” He looked at her less than pleased expression and sighed. “Look, he’s given up on himself and that’s the one thing I never thought he’d do.  He never gave up on me, never let me give up on me, and there’s no way I’m letting him give up on himself now.  I’m just repaying the favour, that’s all.  He’ll thank me one day.”

“I hope you know what you’re doing,” she said with an exasperated sigh. 

“I do.  Besides, he’ll get his own back at some point.”

“And that doesn’t worry you?” Carson asked. 

“It’s just the way we are.  He pushes me, I push him.  Could make life interesting for you, Elizabeth, but I think you’re up to handling it,” McKay said. “We’ll try not to give you any grey hairs.”

“Thank you.  I think.”

“If you’ll excuse me, I have work to do, and a cousin to calm down…”

McKay left the mess hall.

“You sure you still want both of them?” Carson asked.

“Somehow, I think it’s even more important to persuade the Major to join us.  I could use all the help I can get with McKay.”

“Och, he’s not so bad, and you know it.”

“And just how long have you been trying to befriend him?” she asked pointedly.

“About a year now, much to his annoyance.” He grinned. “Good job I have a thick hide.”

“I’m surprised you haven’t given up.”

“Aye, but I saw something in him when we were prisoners.  He’s a good man, underneath the ego.  The sort of person that would make a good friend if you can get past his barriers.  And I’ve always relished a challenge.”

“Like going to another galaxy?”

“Ach, I must be mad, lass.”

They shared a smile.


Rodney was waiting for his cousin after he had finished talking to O’Neill.  Judging from the scowl on John’s face, the General wasn’t taking no for an answer and the Major would be shipping out to the SGC soon.  The glare he threw Rodney’s way when he spotted him didn’t phase him at all.  He’d been on the receiving end of worst glares than that from his cousin in the past. 


“I’m not talking to you,” John growled, turning to walk away.

“You just did,” Rodney pointed out with a smirk, hoping to break through his cousin’s anger.  John merely turned to glare at him, before continuing to walk away from him.  Great, John was really pissed at him.

“I’m sorry,” he started, following after his cousin.  John gave him a look that clearly showed he didn’t believe him.  “Okay, I’m not sorry.  I just…” He threw his hands up in frustration. “Will you just stand still for a minute and listen to me!”

But John just ignored him and carried on walking away.

“Fine!  Be like that.  Go and sulk, lick your wounds and curse me, if it’ll make you feel better.  But just do me one thing, please.”  McKay moved in front of John, blocking his path and thrusting out the laptop he was holding.  “Read the reports I’ve left up on the laptop for you.”

John just looked at the laptop, not moving to take it.  He narrowed his eyes at Rodney, shook his head and moved to one side, ready to carry on walking.  McKay moved to the same side and stopped him again.

“Please,” he said quietly. “Please, John.”

Maybe it was the fact he was pleading or the look of desperation he guessed was on his face, he didn’t know, but John took the laptop.  Rodney stepped out of his way.

“Thank you,” he said as John walked off, clearly still not talking to him.


Rodney was busy typing away on another laptop in his office when John walked in just over an hour later.  McKay looked up, uncertainty in his eyes when he saw who had just entered.

John slapped the laptop Rodney had given him earlier down on McKay’s desk and slumped into a chair with a heavy sigh.

“You never told me.”  It was part accusation.


“I couldn’t, it was classified,” Rodney said, glad that his cousin was talking to him again.

“You should have said something, Rodney.  Even if you couldn’t tell me all the details, I should have known.  Damn it, you were tortured!”

Rodney winced at the words.  John suddenly stood back up and reached over to grab Rodney’s left arm.  McKay pulled back at first, but then relented and allowed John to pull his sleeve up and look at the scars left by the bracelet device Newman had used on him, all those years ago.

“Oh crap,” John whispered, as there was no doubt to the truth of the reports left.  Rodney pulled his arm away, pushing the sleeve back down.

“Yeah,” he muttered. “That about sums it up.”

“And the other kidnapping, the alternate universe people, that was all true as well, wasn’t it?”

“Yes.  At least I didn’t get hurt that time.”

“Why now?  Why did you want me to know now?  If you think I’m going to let you off interfering in my life…”

“No, no, it wasn’t that, as such.  More like an explanation.”


Rodney sighed, looking at his hands.

“I’m alone, John, and that makes me vulnerable.  I thought that pushing people away would keep me safe.  No one could betray me or hurt me if I didn’t let them close.  But I left myself open to other attacks, and I know that.  If something happened to me, other than you, no one would really care too much.  Well, maybe Carter and Jackson would feel some remorse, Elizabeth and Carson as well maybe, but no one would really mourn me, except you.  My intellect would be missed, not much else.   And I can’t seem to change.” He huffed a short laugh. “Beckett, for some reason, seems determined to befriend me.  I think Elizabeth would like to be a friend as well, but I don’t know how to…how to let them in.  I’m not sure I want to.”

“You’re afraid,” John stated calmly.

“Yes, I’m afraid.  And with good reason.  I’ve been burned too many times in the past.  People who approached as friends and then either discarded me or betrayed me.  You, and your parents, were the only people who never turned on me or turned me away.  And now…I don’t know how to change, and I’m afraid to.”

He stood, pacing now, arms gesturing as he tried to explain.

“But I want what Sam has, what SG-1 have, what other SG teams have.  I want to know that someone would be looking for me if I got into trouble.  That someone would come after me.  The SGC doesn’t believe in leaving people behind, like you don’t.  You’ll fit in there just fine, once you get over your annoyance with me.  Of course, you know I want you to come on the expedition.  I want you to come to Atlantis.  It’s selfish, I’ll admit it, but I want someone who I know would never leave me behind, and also, I don’t want to leave the only person I trust and truly…like… behind.”

“Rodney,” John stood, placing his hands on his cousin’s shoulders to stop his pacing, and looking him in the eyes. “You…” he sighed. “You’re a mess, you know that, don’t you?”

Rodney laughed, a short, broken laugh.

“You shouldn’t be going to Atlantis,” John said.

“But they need me.  And, right now, I need to be needed.  It would be nice to be wanted as well, but I’ll take being needed.” 

There was a desperation in Rodney’s eyes that truly worried John.

“I…want you to stay on Earth.  You’re wanted here, by me.”

“I wish it was enough.” Rodney closed his eyes for a moment, then pulled away from John and sat back down. 

“But it isn’t, is it?”

“No,” he said, putting his head in his hands. “I’m glad, that you want me here, you have no idea what that means to me, but…they do need me.  Earth needs me to go with this expedition, to find a way for us to return to Earth with new technology, that will hopefully help us win the war against our enemies, out there.” He waved a hand upwards distractedly. “I have to do this.  I need to do this.  I just wish I didn’t need to be alone out there.”

“You won’t be alone.”

“Yes, yes, I will.  Because I can’t let people close, can’t let them in.  Because I may be needed, but I’m not sure I’m wanted.  Because if something was to happen to me, if I needed someone to rescue me, I’m not sure anyone would come.  Because I don’t have anyone I can trust, truly trust, except myself.  And that makes me alone.”

“Damn it, this…I can’t be what you want, Rodney.  I don’t need the responsibility, I don’t want it, not anymore.  And you’ll be fine, I’m sure of it.  I think you’re underestimating yourself and the people around you.  You’ll do fine without me, probably be better off without me.”

“I’m sorry.  I know I’m being unfair, selfish.  I’m sorry.” Rodney let out a heavy breath, and then smiled. “And you’re right.  I’ll be fine.”  But he looked far from convinced.  “But I’m not sorry for getting you transferred to the SGC.”

“Rodney,” John said in warning.

“Well, I’m not.  I just hope you can forgive me, some day.”

John rolled his eyes, and then sighed.

“Forgiven you already, you stubborn pain in the…but that doesn’t mean I’m happy about it, or that I’m not going to make you pay.”

Rodney looked at the wicked grin on John’s face and knew his cousin was plotting something, and probably something embarrassing at that, but he wasn’t going to worry about it…too much.


The next day Sheppard knocked on Elizabeth’s office door, and entered.

“How can I help you, Major?”

“Well, you could hogtie McKay until he agrees to leave me alone,” he muttered.

Elizabeth tried hard to stifle a grin, but failed when the Major grinned too.

“Of course, that would only make him even more determined,” he said with a sigh, shaking his head. “He’s one of the most stubborn people I’ve ever met.  He also happens to be right.”

“Right about what?” Elizabeth asked.

“About me wasting my talents,” he said with a grimace. “And I’ve made a decision.  I’ll join the expedition to Atlantis, but on one condition; that you don’t tell McKay.  I want that particular pleasure for myself.”

Elizabeth saw an evil glint to his eyes and almost felt sorry for Rodney for a moment.  Almost.  But her resident genius had brought whatever the Major was planning down on himself, so she wasn’t going to waste her sympathy on him.

“That’s fine,” she said. “I don’t know what you’re planning, but I need my Chief of Science in one piece.”

“Don’t worry, he’ll still be in one piece.”

“Good.  I’m glad that you’ve decided to join us.  What made you change your mind, if you don’t mind me asking?”

“Rodney let me see the reports; about how he ended up working at Area 51 and how he first met Dr Beckett.”

“I see.”

“Well, I’ve been thinking, why should he have all the fun living on another planet?” John said lightly, before adding, “But seriously, he needs someone out there to watch his back, someone he can trust.” 

“And that someone would be you?” Elizabeth asked, already knowing the answer.

“Yeah.  He has trust issues, I’m sure you’re aware of that by now, but he trusts me.  And right now, I think he needs me around again.  In fact, I’m probably doing you a favour by coming, actually.  I’m one person that Rodney will listen to, and believe me there aren’t many of those in this world,” he paused, before amending, “Huh, universe, in fact.”

“I’m well aware that Rodney has problems dealing with people.”


“Poor people skills,” John agreed. “But believe me, it’s a wonder he interacts with the world at all, considering his childhood.  Things could easily have gotten worse if my parents hadn’t have stepped in and adopted him as a teenager.”

“There is no information on his childhood in any of the reports I have on him,” Elizabeth said with a frown. “But then, that isn’t all that unusual.”

“No.  Look, I’m not about to go into details.  Just believe me when I say he had a tough time of things and leave it at that.”

“Alright.  It will be good to have someone along who understands him as much as you obviously do.  Though I have a feeling the two of you are going to make my job more… interesting,” she said wryly.

“And I have a feeling you’ll be able to handle us just fine.  Look, it’s clear Rodney already respects you, which is quite a big thing to have achieved in the short time you’ve known him.  So if he respects you, then you’re deserving of my respect as well.”

“Thank you.”

“Now, if you don’t mind, I’d like to find my cousin,” John said with a grin. “You might want to watch the entertainment.”

Elizabeth felt a smile cross her face.

“Well, how could I resist an offer like that?”


McKay was busy berating one of his minions for an error in her calculations when Elizabeth and John entered the main work area.  There were about ten scientists in the area, including Grodin and Zelenka.  She also noticed Carson entering the area just after them.

“Hey, Rodney,” John said, sauntering up to his cousin.

“Oh, now that you’re here, I have something I want you to turn on…”

“That can wait a moment.  I have an announcement to make,” John smiled.

“What?” Rodney looked confused, the other scientists, sensing something interesting going on, listened in.

“You’ve won.  I’m coming to Atlantis with you, Dr Meredith Rodney McKay.”

Rodney looked mortified, even more so when there were a few suppressed titters from the onlookers.

“Oh, very good,” he said sarcastically, recovering his composure quickly. “Is that it?  Your revenge is telling people my first name?  I expected better from you than that.  Really, I’m disappointed.”

“Oh, I haven’t finished yet.” John smirked, turning his attention to the onlookers.  “Hey, you want to hear about how The Great McKay was foiled by a lowly household appliance, the toaster from hell?”

“No, no, no, shut up!” Rodney looked around quickly. “Don’t listen to him, he’s obviously deranged.”

“Or how about that time…” John trailed off as McKay slapped a hand over his mouth.

“What will it take to shut you up?” he asked, removing his hand at John’s glare, to which John grinned wickedly.

“How about an apology for being such a pain in the neck to your wonderful cousin?”

“Okay, okay, I apologise.”

“Sorry, folks, guess that story will have to wait for another day…” John smiled as everyone returned to their work.  “So, what is it you want me to <i>turn on</i>.  And you do know how suggestive that sounds, don’t you?”

“Only to someone with a dirty mind like you.”

“Uh, oh, I feel a story coming on again…”

“Oh, great.  Just what was I thinking, trying to get you to join the expedition?  Like I need this hassle…” He pushed a small object into John’s hands.  “See if you can make this work.”


“Okay dokey.”

Elizabeth smiled as she left them to it.  She had a feeling things weren’t going to be boring with those two along.  Which suited her just fine.

The End

Remix of This Story by Grey Lupous
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