Notes: Inspired by real life events. Many thanks to scribewraith for the beta!
Of Russian Assassins and Gateships
"Come on, McKay. It's only for one night!"
"Why are you even asking me? Isn't there some adoring minion of yours ready to do your every bidding? You don't even like me!" Rodney was starting to think that Shannon Lachlan was insane.
"That's why it's perfect! No one would ever think he'd be at your place!" Lachlan was barely containing her glee at the ingenious plan she had come up with – stashing her boyfriend at Rodney's. She clearly needed professional help of the psychiatrical variety.
"I'm working on some highly classified projects!" While that may be true, all his classified files were either at his office/lab at the SGC or so highly encrypted on his laptop that it would take years for anyone to be able to crack the codes. But Lachlan didn't know that.
She rolled her eyes, Rodney hated it when she did that. It made her look like she was suffering from epileptic seizures. "Oh please. Like he'd understand them. Besides, you owe me." She poked Rodney in his chest. Rodney hated it when she did that, too. The woman just had no sense of personal boundaries. "How many of your lectures have I covered for you in the last couple of months alone while you're off dealing with whatever top secret emergencies?"
This was the reason why Rodney no longer let himself feel nostalgic. If he hadn't been feeling nostalgic a year ago when the invitation from UCCS turned up, he wouldn't had the pleasure of getting to know Dr Shannon Lachlan, and he wouldn't be in his current predicament. Rodney chose to forget the part the two glasses of red wine had played in it.
"Fine! One night." Rodney also hated owing favours. "Then we're even!"
"Great! Spare keys?" She held out her hands expectantly with a big grin on her face.
Rodney wondered if he could get away with dialling P3X451 and have the entire planet sucked into a black hole.
* * *
Four hours later, Rodney was cursing his landlord for not replacing the foyer light as he struggled to find the keyhole on his door. He was attempting to find his cell phone in the dark to use it as a torch when his apartment door opened.
"Hi." Light spilled into the foyer and Rodney blinked at the sudden brightness. With the light in his face, Rodney could vaguely make out the features of the man – no doubt Lachlan's toy boy – the most obvious was his very distinguishable hair. "You really should get someone to fix that." He pointed at the busted light.
"Great," Rodney muttered, loud enough for everyone in a three block radius to hear. "You're the master of stating the obvious." He pushed his way into his own apartment, only to trip over an overnight bag in the middle of his living room and almost break his neck in the process.
"Sorry," the man snagged the bag up from the floor. "I wasn't sure where I should put it, and all Shannon did was pass me the keys and a scrap of paper with your last name and address on it before rushing off."
The Russians must be still mad at him, and Lachlan was actually a Russian spy and had sent her toy boy to kill him, Rodney was sure of it.
"John Sheppard," the guy, Sheppard, stuck out his hand. "Shannon really didn't have time to tell me your first name."
Rodney took Sheppard's hand, momentarily wondering where he had heard the name before. Lachlan must have mentioned it around the university. "Rodney McKay." Sheppard looked surprised at the mention of his name. "What?" Rodney snapped.
Sheppard smirked. "Rodney." He drawled, managing to turn Rodney's name into three syllables.
Great, Lachlan's toy boy assassin had the sense of humour of a tenth-grader. "Guest room that way, bathroom that way, spare sheets in the room cupboard." Rodney growled and stalked into his own room, resisting the urge to slam his door like a... well, tenth-grader.
When Rodney stepped out of the shower half an hour later, he was greeted by the smell of the best Thai green curry in Colorado Springs.
"I wasn't sure what you like, but I figured going with the ticks on the take away menu on your fridge would be a safe bet." Sheppard smiled at him from the kitchen counter, and now that Rodney had calmed down a little, he could see why Shannon would want to keep him. Sheppard was hot.
Sheppard opened another container; the smell drawing Rodney in. "Is that seafood stir-fry?"
"Yep." Sheppard replied and flash him another smile.
And Rodney figured maybe having Sheppard around for the night wasn't going to be so bad after all.
* * *
Sheppard had called a buddy of his after dinner and gone out. Rodney had given up after fifteen minutes of trying to figure out why Sheppard was staying with him when he had friends living in town. He was still out when Rodney went to bed at 12:38AM.
A bang followed by some muffled cursing woke Rodney. It was still dark outside. Rodney blinked at his bedside clock until the red blur turned into numbers his brain could comprehend: 3:33AM. Someone was going to pay.
Another bang, followed by more muffled cursing.
Hot Russian assassins or not, someone was going to pay dearly.
"Do you have any idea what time it is?" Rodney flipped the light switch, squinting at the sudden brightness as his eyes adjusted. Rodney could smell the alcohol from where he stood.
"Sorry," Sheppard replied, words a little slurred. Rodney wasn't sure if it was from the alcohol or from the fact that Sheppard was bent over rubbing his shin. "I think your coffee table attacked me." He glanced at the coffee table mournfully. It would've been a funny sight if Rodney had been in the mood. "I meant to be quiet, honestly." Then Sheppard turned to look at him. Rodney hadn't realised anyone above the age of 10 could carry off the wounded puppy look so well, and still look hot while doing it.
Puppy dog look or not, Sheppard wasn't getting away that easily. "Are you drunk? What am I saying, of course you are! Turning up drunk at 3:30 in the morning and making enough racket to wake the dead is not civilised behaviour, especially when you're a guest! Even someone as simple minded as you clearly should know that!"
"Sorry." Sheppard apologised again, looking so pathetic that Rodney was almost able to forgive him. Almost.
"Don't puke on the couch, or the carpet, or anywhere else for that matter." Rodney snapped. "As a matter of fact, if any puking were to be done, do it in the toilet. And try to be quiet about it."
"Ok. Sorry for waking you up." Sheppard apologised for the third time, leaning back on the couch and closing his eyes, revealing the bottle in his right hand that was previously blocked from view.
"Is that more booze? I don't believe it! You're planning on getting even more drunk?"
Sheppard opened his eyes and blinked at him. "That was the plan, yeah."
"You're not a hot toy boy Russian assassin, you're an alcoholic!" Rodney blurted. "You are aren't you? That's why Lachlan stashed you here! She's embarrassed that her family and friends would find out you're an alcoholic!"
Sheppard laughed, but it wasn't a happy sound. It shocked Rodney into silence. "She's embarrassed with me alright. Should've broken off with her months ago."
That was unexpected.
"Lowly bartender like me isn't good enough for Dr. Shannon Lachlan, Physicists Extraordinaire." Sheppard took a drink from the bottle. "As if her theories on wormhole physics aren't barely held together by duct-tape and some flimsy maths, and she thinks she's brilliant! Ha!"
Rodney knew that of course, but he was surprised that Sheppard even had any idea what a wormhole was, so instead his brain decided to ask, "You're a bartender?" Apparently his brain lost its ability to prioritise when it had been rudely awaken in the middle of the night.
"Bartender, surfer, pilot, mathematician," Sheppard gestured with his bottle. Rodney prayed that it wasn't full enough to spill onto his couch. "Take your pick, I'm a regular Jack-of-all-trades."
"Mathematician?" Something finally clicked in Rodney's mind. "You're that John Sheppard?"
Sheppard blinked at him blankly from the couch.
"Catastrophe theory in aerodynamics; math genius Dr. Charles Eppes' latest star pupil; that John Sheppard. And Lachlan thought you were a bartender?" Hot and smart, life just isn't fair. Calling that woman an idiot was an insult to the idiots.
"Well, I was bartending when I met her."
Was Sheppard actually defending Lachlan? The alcohol must have killed more brain cells than he thought. Rodney stalked over to the couch and snatched the bottle from Sheppard, putting it on the other side of the coffee table.
"Hey!" Sheppard protested, reaching over to grab the bottle. He over balanced and would have crashed face first into the table if Rodney hadn't grabbed him in time.
"Enough. You're going to bed to sleep this off, so I can go to bed and not have to worry that you'll puke your guts out in my living room." Rodney tried to get Sheppard to stand, only for the other man to fall backwards onto the couch, pulling Rodney along with him. They landed in a tangled heap with Rodney on top of Sheppard.
"Is that your elbow or are you happy to see me?" Sheppard giggled. Giggled!
"It's my elbow," Rodney snapped, trying to untangle himself and only managing to get a knee in his side.
"Oh," Sheppard looked sad, then he grinned once more, grabbing Rodney by the front of his t-shirt, pulling him in and kissing him.
Rodney let out an embarrassing squeak of surprise, Sheppard's tongue darted into his mouth, and Rodney lost his ability to speak.
Just when things were getting interesting, Sheppard's hold on him loosened and his mouth went slack. Rodney opened his eyes and found himself staring at a sleeping John Sheppard.
"Serves you right if you wake up with a stiff neck," Rodney grumbled, prying himself off Sheppard. Rodney went to the guest room and grabbed the spare blanket, throwing it over the unconscious figure on his couch, Rodney didn't move from his spot as he watched Sheppard sleep. "What the hell am I doing? Fuck it." He bent over and placed a gentle kiss on Sheppard's temple, before heading back to his room.
* * *
Rodney was on his third cup of coffee before the lump on his couch showed any signs of life. First there was a moan, followed shortly after by what sounded suspiciously like "Kill me now."
"And spare you the suffering? You wish." Rodney replied cheerfully, not thinking about the kiss last night. Considering how drunk he was, Sheppard probably didn't even remember it.
"I hate you."
Rodney grabbed the largest mug he had, filled it with water and set it down on the coffee table along with a bottle of aspirin. "Care to reconsider that statement?" Rodney sat down on the coffee table.
Sheppard washed down three tablets with half a mug of water before plopping back down on the couch again. "I don't hate you as much as I did before." He closed his eyes for a moment, before snapping them open, alert and almost alarmed. "Uh... last night, did I..."
"Did you what?"
"It wasn't an alcohol induced hallucination was it? The kissing." Sheppard managed to stammer out.
"I'm afraid not."
"Oh God, I'm sorry. I don't usually... wait a minute," Sheppard frowned, as though remembering something. "Did you call me a 'hot toy boy Russian assassin'?"
"No!" Damn it, the man was drunk last night! He shouldn't be able to remember embarrassing details like that.
"You did, didn't you?"
"No! That was an alcohol induced hallucination. I never said such a thing!" The denial sounded weak even to Rodney, who had stood up and was retreating.
Sheppard grinned and sat up on the couch. "You think I'm hot."
"Um..." Even though he couldn't form the words, Rodney's brain was screaming 'God, yes!' Because even hung over and sleep rumpled, Sheppard was hot. Okay, maybe not hot, but definitely adorable; cute even, and for the first time in his life, Rodney didn't mind cute.
Sheppard was looking more amused than anyone with a hang over had the right to. Rodney narrowed his eyes at him. "Fine, I think you're hot. There, satisfied?"
Sheppard's grin grew brighter and Rodney had to stop himself from smiling back. It'd only encourage him. "Very much so, thank you." Sheppard replied and flopped back down onto the couch. "Ow, what the– " Sheppard squirmed and dug around the cushions, finally producing an off-white oval shaped paperweight from underneath.
"Hey, I've been looking for that!"
The paperweight started glowing blue in Sheppard's hand, and a holographic image of a gateship was projected into the middle of Rodney's living room.
"Holy mother of – "
"Oh my God."
"Rodney," Sheppard finally managed after a minute of staring at the rotating hologram.
"Did I do that?"