Fandom: Stargate Atlantis
Characters: John Sheppard/Rodney McKay
Warnings: AU, Pre-slash
Word Count: 1893
Summary: John Sheppard likes ferris wheels, football, anything that goes over 200 miles per hour, and apparently hot, vicious scientists.
“Oh God, I’m gonna die.”
John Sheppard looked over at the man sharing his cabin on the Moscow-850. He hadn’t decided if it was amusing or grating, the way the man was talking to himself. John had paid off the attendant to get a private cabin for the Ferris wheel, but the man had been pushed on at the last moment.
“Get it together. Breathe. 16811. 16823.”
Why people who were afraid of heights wanted to test themselves on a ride they will be stuck on, he doesn’t understand. At least he had an interesting way of trying to calm himself down. He leaned back in his seat to get a good look at the man. Crooked mouth, blue eyes to die for, short brown hair, and nice shoulders. Damn, he should have gotten a look at that ass before he sat down.
“Think, think, think. 16829.”
OK, so it sounds like he’s a native English speaker with just a hint of an accent.
“When they catch me, they’re gonna kill me. Why did I run? Well, of course, I had to run. It was my only chance. So, where do I go from here? Nowhere, because they’re everywhere. 16831.”
Well, John willingly admits that got his curiosity up. He should probably stay out of it. He should be at the airport, prepping the jet for the next leg of Dad’s trip. Energy Summit in Moscow, check. Recruitment drive in Japan up next. Figuring out his life, one Ferris wheel at a time.
Right now the Ferris wheels are the only things that make sense in the crazy that’s his life. Well, dear ol’ Dad was being so helpful in getting him back on his feet after his Air Force career tanked. Here he is flying the company jet around while his father reminds him that not every pilot can fly top of the line prototypes. But, it’s not like he can tell his father this doesn’t come close to the space fighters they have. By the way, Dad, did you know we send people to other planets? Oh, Dad, my career was fine until I told an Air Force General that I respectfully declined traveling to another galaxy on a one way suicide mission with a CO who hated me, an expedition leader who was missing a few fruit loops, and a science team that didn’t actually understand how the technology works.
“So, U.S. Embassy is out. They fucking left me here to rot, so the hell with them. Canadian Embassy is being watched, which of course any logical moron would assume I would head there since it’s my country. And, yes it is my country you jackasses. I didn’t ask for Russian citizenship, and I didn’t accept it. I get back home I’m sending Hammond one huge fuck you. Home. I wanna go home. There has to be a way. 16843.”
“Wolstenholme prime.” It slipped out of John’s mouth before he even knew he was speaking.
“What?” The man jumped as if he hadn’t realized there was someone else in the cabin. “Who are you?”
“Sorry, heard the prime numbers. Interesting way to calm down.”
“You knew they were primes? Well, of course, you knew they were primes. It was obvious. Who are you?”
“Seriously? That’s original.”
“It’s my name. John Sheppard.” The man just stared at him. “And, your name would be?”
“Because that’s what people do in polite society. You exchange names as an introduction.”
“How do I know you don’t know who I am already? Is this a trap? Who are you working for?”
“Wow, paranoid much?” John shook his head, “OK, I’m game. My name is John Sheppard, and I work for Sheppard Industries. I think I’m the one who fell for a trap because I’m stuck on this ride with you for the next twenty-two minutes and I’m not completely certain you’re sane. And, I’m pretty sure that whoever you think you are, I have no idea who that is. So, it’s up to you if you want to share.”
“Oh, ha, ha. Very funny.” He lifted his chin up and squared his jaw, “Well if you must know, My name is Dr. M. Rodney McKay. I’m probably the smartest man on this planet, but obviously, I missed something because I let the U.S. Government use me to pay off a debt to Russia and then they just conveniently forgot about me. I’ve been stuck in Siberia for the last two and a half years. They brought me to Moscow to repair something and the first opportunity I escaped. But, now I find out that at some point they reported that I changed citizenship, which I did not, thank you very much. So, the U.S. who stuck me here won’t help. I can’t get within a mile of the Canadian Embassy without them picking me up. And, frankly, I’m pretty sure that if they catch me, I will never leave Siberia again.”
John just stared, frozen for a moment, “Okaaaay. So, maybe a little paranoia is warranted.”
“Thank you, captain of the bleeding obvious.” McKay deflated. “I don’t know why I even told you that. I don’t know you. And, you certainly have no reason to believe me.”
“Hey, it’s gonna be ok, buddy.” John moved over to a seat next to Rodney. “What did you mean the U.S. Government used you for a debt?”
“General George Hammond arranged it. I insulted his golden girl so they hung me out to dry when Russia’s DH….um…device blew up like I predicted it would. So do they send their blond princess since she’s the one who destroyed it? No, they send me, because she can’t stand anyone correcting her.” His hands were flying while he spoke and John wondered what he was like when he wasn’t in fear of his life.
“I’ve heard of a Hammond in passing. Air Force General? He’s in charge of something in Homeland Security now.” John noted.
“Of course he is. I wonder who’s in charge of the program now.” McKay mused, rubbing a hand over his face.
“Hmm. Oh…uh…deep space radar telemetry.” Rodney answered rolling his eyes.
“Deep…seriously?” John’s mouth fell open. What were the odds that he would run into someone in Russia read into the Program?
“I know. I know. Stupid cover.”
“Well, I agree there,” John muttered. “Last I heard General O’Neill was in charge.”
“Oh, hell no! Who the hell thought that was a good idea? Wait…how do you know this?”
John shifted in his seat uncomfortably, “Well, back when I was Air Force, O’Neill tried to recruit me for his Program. When I found out the mission, I said no for a variety of reasons, someone on the program tried to pull strings to force the issue, and next thing I knew my career was over.”
“Screw them all. I get my life back, and I’m going to deliver one giant fuck you to the entire group of them.” Rodney’s eyes flashed in an unholy fire. “I’ll start with their credit. Then I think audits. And, while that’s going on, I’m going to patent my Ground State Energy Module and make them beg and pay through the nose to even touch the technology.”
John smirked, “You’re kinda hot when you’re all worked up like that.”
“What? You think I’m hot?”
“Of course you’re hot. But that…plotting mayhem and profits at the same time, that’s hot.” John cocked his head to the side, “Have you really figured out Ground State Energy? Is that what you were doing for the Russians?”
“No. Please don’t tell me you’re stupid now when you were being all sexy with the math and the hair. Do I look like I’m an idiot? I’m not giving away GSE. I haven’t tested it yet, of course, but the science and the design are in my head. I have to find someone to check my math. And a team I can trust to not be stupid with it. Well, and financial backing who won’t screw me over. But, yeah. I can probably get a working model inside six months.” Rodney shrugged. “Of course it won’t matter when I’m hauled back to Siberia. I am so screwed.”
John’s sat phone started ringing. He checked the number and answered, “Hi Dad.”
“Hi, Dad? Is that all you have to say for yourself? I realize you’re not happy with things right now, John. But, when you’re given a job, I expect you do at least try to do it. I’m at the airport, but it seems my pilot is not.”
“Just catching a Ferris Wheel ride, Dad.” John leaned back his head as he heard the sigh.
“Great view and it gives you time to think,” John whispered as memories of his mother saying those words ghost over.
“It’s ok, Dad. Just making some decisions about my life.”
“Oh, I’m ready to listen if you’ve made decisions.” John listened to a moment of silence, “I’m ready to accept your choices too, John.”
“I was thinking about that new energy research division of Sheppard R&D. I have some ideas.”
There was a hesitation, “I was certain you would want Sheppard Aeronautics. Why energy?”
“Maybe because I have a thing for hot, vicious scientists.” John smiled at Rodney who was just staring at him with his mouth open.
“Tell me, Dad. Have you ever heard of Rodney McKay?”
“Astrophysicist. One of the top tickets in R&D, but he dropped off the grid about three years ago. Why?”
“Because he’s hot, and vicious, and stuck in the Ferris Wheel with me. Seems the government might have sold him to Russia to pay off a debt without his consent. He has been informed that his citizenship changed without his knowledge.” John crossed his fingers and then smirked at Rodney when he heard his father take that third calming breath.
“They did what? Never-mind. Don’t let him off that ride. I’m sending Phelps with our security. You and your ‘date’ are expected for dinner on the plane. Tell the esteemed Dr. McKay that Sheppard Industries would like to invite him to discuss a new employment opportunity during our flight. And, I will get our lawyers working on his legal difficulties. I’ll move R&D to the island if I have to until this is straightened out.”
John pulled the phone down against his chest as his father continued to rant about the intelligence of government agencies. “I think my father wants to adopt you.”
“You can really get me out of here? Are you sure you can take the risk?” Rodney’s eyes widened, and his breathing quickened.
“Trust me. Flying people out of trouble spots is what I’m known for.” John smiled. “So, the ride has about fifteen more minutes, we should get to know one another. Well, you know I like Ferris wheels. I also like football and anything that goes over 200 miles per hour.”
“Oh, me. I’m a genius, deathly allergic to citrus, hypoglycemic, and you should know I haven’t had sex in like three years. So if this is just to get into my pants, I’m willing to work with that.”
“I think we are going to have a great time, Rodney.” John grinned and then broadened the smile at Rodney’s raised eyebrow.