Title: Julia
Author: Keira Marcos
Big Short Prompt: Rule 63
Fandom: Stargate: Atlantis
Relationship:  McKay/Sheppard
Genre: Hostile Romance, AlwaysAGirl!John, genderbending
Word Count: 1481
Warnings: No beta
Author’s Note: Podfic Available!
Summary: McKay hadn’t known what to expect as far as replacements went for Sumner who had died during the siege—but it hadn’t been the green-eyed Air Force officer they’d gotten.

* * * *

He’d made a fool of himself once over Sam Carter so Rodney went out of his way to be as professional as he could with Colonel Julia Sheppard from the moment she stepped foot on the city. McKay hadn’t known what to expect as far as replacements went for Sumner who had died during the siege—but it hadn’t been the green-eyed Air Force officer they’d gotten. He knew of her, of course, she was the military scientist behind the construction of the X-302. Her engineering work had been crossing his desk for the better part of a decade, so he’d at first been quite excited to hear she was coming to the city.

Then he’d set eyes on her and had immediately regretted every single second of anticipation he’d had. She was beautiful, and Rodney knew himself well enough to know that he was a complete asshole around beautiful women. He’d pushed down the near instant attraction and did his job. It wasn’t her fault she was gorgeous and brilliant and utterly fascinating. He wasn’t going to be one of those assholes who blamed women for their own failings.

He’d made it a whole year on Atlantis without losing his cool, and now they were on Earth stuck in Cheyenne Mountain during a foothold situation. Terrible things always happened to him at the SGC—he should do the math on it.

“McKay, focus!” Sheppard snapped.

Rodney tore his shirt into strips. “I’m so fucking focused, Colonel, I’m surprised I’m not shooting laser beams out of my eyeballs.”

She snorted. “If only.” Julia reloaded her weapon and huffed just a little when Rodney started to bind the bullet wound on her arm. “So, that was a Prior, right?”

“Yeah, creepy ass bastards,” Rodney muttered. He tied off the field dressing then shrugged his tac vest back on over the thin black t-shirt he was wearing. “Carter has a device in her lab that will neutralize their powers briefly, but it’s two floors up from us.”

“Then we’re going two floors up,” Julia said and pressed her back against the wall. She slid upward to her feet and took a deep breath.

“You’ve lost a lot of blood, Colonel.”

“That asshole who shot me lost a lot more,” Julia said grimly. “Let’s get moving. I was promised a steak if I was nice during my debrief and I was really polite about all the stupid crap I’ve spent the last year complaining about.”

Rodney tightened the grip on the p-90 she’d given him the moment she’d dashed into his lab, bleeding and armed. They’d met with a  Prior and two Ori in the hallway just outside of the lab, but they’d managed to get away after she’d shot and killed the two soldiers. The Prior had evaded them.

“Who’s buying you this steak?”

She flashed him a grin. “You are.”

“I didn’t promise you that,” Rodney denied. He never would. He couldn’t sit through a meal with the hottest woman in his life and not be an idiot.

“I did on your behalf,” Julia announced. “You’ve got issues with me, McKay, and I don’t know what they are, but we’re going to figure them out while we’re on Earth.”

Rodney was totally not on board with that all. He scowled at her as she entered the stairwell ahead of him. Despite her injury, she was moving fast, and with the easy grace, he knew her for. It was deeply annoying—the whole situation.

“You can’t force me to take you to dinner, Sheppard,” McKay snapped as he followed her up the stairs.

“I suppose I could ask Cameron Mitchell to buy me dinner,” she declared airly and turned to offer him a smirk before opening the door that would lead them to Sam’s lab. “What do you think?”

Rodney thought that Cameron Mitchell was a douche bag who wanted in Sheppard’s pants which was really very fucking annoying. “Fine, I’ll buy you a damn steak.”

“Thought you might,” Julia said and rocked a little on her feet before turning to check the hall. “Clear. When is SG1 scheduled to return to the base?”

“Three hours,” Rodney said with a huff.

“That’s great because I really didn’t want to be rescued,” Julia said and took a deep breath. “Let’s go kick their asses.”

She was going to get him killed, Rodney decided, but he honestly couldn’t imagine where else he’d rather be at that very moment.

Three and a half hours later, Rodney was sitting in the conference room with Sheppard and SG1 and General Landry. The entire invasion force, including the Prior, were dead. Julia was refusing to go the infirmary, and McKay was pretty close to losing his mind and his temper which he’d kept in check for an entire fucking year.

“She’s lost a lot of blood, General Landry,” Rodney said sharply. “The debrief can wait, right?”

Julia frowned at him as Landry agreed and they were both dismissed from the room. Rodney said nothing as he followed Sheppard out—her shoulders were rigid, so he figured she was furious with him. Her posture was never bad, but she had a languid way of moving that was entirely missing when she was pissed off.

The elevator was empty when the doors opened so he went in first and she followed. The doors slid shut, but neither pushed the button.

He didn’t have to wait long.

Julia exhaled sharply and turned toward him. “I don’t appreciate being undermined and treated like I’m weak in front of a superior officer, McKay!’

“I don’t think you’re weak!” McKay snapped right back. “For fuck’s sake, woman, you stopped an invasion of the mountain pretty much by your damn self! You’re injured and ignoring your own health is just stupid, and that’s the last thing you are.”

She stared at him, her eyes dark and serious. “Why do you dislike me so much?”

“What?” Rodney demanded.

“Everyone says it—they tell me all the time how different you are around me. I’ve done everything I can to support you on the city, Dr. McKay, and still you…” She waved her hand and winced. “Fuck.”

“Be careful, you’ve got some kind of weird alien bullet in your arm!” Rodney snapped and pushed the button for level twenty-one. “Why do you have to be so…” He took a deep breath and rubbed his face.

“What?” Julia demanded. “Female? Would it be easier for you if I was a man?”

Rodney laughed roughly and sighed. “Probably not since I’m bi and you’d certainly be gorgeous if you were a man. Either way, I was going to be screwed the moment you stepped foot on the city.” He rubbed his head. “Shit.”

“You hate me because I’m…attractive?”

The look on her face told him she was clearly questioning his intelligence.

“I don’t hate you,” Rodney muttered and sighed with relief as the door opened.

Sheppard reached out and closed the door then hit the stop button. “Then what? Is it resentment? I try hard not to step on your science-feelings, McKay! I never come into the lab without permission, and I make your engineers clear everything they hand me with you. I’m trying to work with you! Elizabeth says you’re just being you, but everyone else says that I’m the problem. So why am I problem for you?”

He turned to face her and took in the stubborn set her jaw. “You’re incredibly brave. You’re brilliant and not afraid to make sure everyone knows it. You laugh like you mean it and you do a silly little butt wiggle whenever you get to fly a Jumper. You like to shoot weapons and blow up stuff as much as any man I’ve ever met which is saying something considering how long I’ve worked for the military. You are beautiful, and I hate it when you smile at someone else because I want all of your smiles for myself.

“I…I’ve never in my life wanted anyone the way I want you. I don’t know how to deal with it because even if you weren’t entirely out of my league, I’d probably fuck it up and I’m not sure I could get over fucking things up with you.”

Julia stared at him in silence for a few moments and took a deep breath. “You’re so dumb.” She grabbed his tac vest and pulled. “Come here.”

They were about the same height so her mouth slotted right up against his easily and he settled shaking hands on her hips. Her mouth was hot, demanding against his and when he stroked his tongue into her mouth, she groaned. She was going to be the end of him. Rodney lifted his mouth from hers and stared.

“I’m not above kicking your ass, McKay,” Julia warned him and her gaze narrowed. “So you’d better not fuck this up.”

“Whatever you say, Colonel.”


The End

Keira Marcos

In my spare time, I write fanfiction and lead a cult of cock worshippers on the Internet. It's not the usual kind of hobby for a 40ish "domestic engineer" but we live in a modern world and I like fucking with people's expectations.


  1. Ha. Julia does remind me a bit of early Carter, where she felt she had to be extra tough as a woman in the military, but thats ameliorated by Rodney’s description of her not being afraid to be smart and her ‘butt wiggle’ and hints she can be warm and funny and doesn’t have a monster chip on her shoulder. He’s very amusing in the ‘I’m an asshole so I don’t act like an idiot.’ I love the idea that the whole base is pretty much saying ‘oh, no, he has some kind of problem with just you’ rather than all claiming Rodney is just a general ass. That must have been just eating at her….

  2. Oh, this is so shiny! I love all of the shorts you have been posting. This one made a crap night at work a little bit better, so thank you!

  3. Awesome! Now I wanna read more John as a girl! A kick ass one at that!

  4. So good! I loved it all. Especially the butt-wiggle. Because that is an amazing image. Thank you for sharing!

  5. Gotta love a kick-ass Sheppard! Gotta adore an awkward McKay.

  6. Awesome! I don’t think I’ve ever read a Rule 63 for John, and of course she’s totally badass, she a Sheppard. Poor Rodney.

  7. Love it!

  8. I loved this! Made my morning brighter after such a crappy day yesterday! I love how you didn’t lose what made Sheppard, Sheppard when writing Julia! So gonna read this again!

  9. Love it

  10. Awesome!!

  11. Oh, god, Jaimie Alexander is perfect! I avoid genderbending fic, but since it was you I had to read it. I’m happy I did. Well done and thanks much for sharing!

    • See that’s how I feel about genderbending fic, because I think so often it’s written because someone can’t bring themselves to write slash so they change gender and hey it’s het and that’s okay to write. But in Keira’s case we know she has no issues with slash and is trying something new and boy is she doing it right. I loved Meredith for the same reason, she’s still an asshole, just a female one, Julia is still a bad ass while being a strong female.

  12. I looooove how you write John and Rodeny, whatever incarnation. I just love it.

  13. Gorgeous and witty and so perfectly them. You’ve incepted me (not complaining!) of Jaimie being fem!John, because -yesssss-. Thank you for posting.

  14. Ahahahaha…dear Thor, there are no words for how much I love Rodney. Bless his heart, he never really stood a chance. I’m sure that they – with Julia’s guidance – will be able to work things out. Also, I love your casting. 🙂

    Thanks so much!

  15. I usually stick with just girl!Rodney, but it’s you and how can I say no! This was amazing! I love how Rodney didnt want to repeat the Carter situation, so instead he goes too far the OTHER way and is hyper-professional. Oh, Rodney! Of course Julia would notice and wonder why it’s just her Rodney is like that with, and of course she would choose to confront him about it while injured post-invasion. I’m glad she kept pushing for answers until Rodney was honest. I love her calling Rodney dumb, too XD

  16. I love Julia. She is very recognizable as John but still completely believable as a woman. You did gret Job. I hope some day I can write a genderbended character this well.

  17. OH!!!!!!! This is great. It is the first time I’ve seen a rule 63 for John. Now I want to see if anyone else does it to. (Not as good)

  18. perfectly perfect:)

  19. awesome as always. brilliant.
    we dub thee Keira Silvertongue Mistress Wordsmith 😀

    male or female your Shepard/McKay shine

  20. Woo Hoo, I fucking loved this. I’m surprised with Rodney trying to be nice they didn’t try to check him for being a pod person LOL (and the attempt probably nearly killed him chewing holes in his tongue).

    i loved The chemistry between the two

  21. i love how you’ve taken the essence of who John is and then put a female face on the character. And I love Jamie Alexander as Julia. Perfect!

  22. This was a lovely surprise that I found while re-reading another of your posted stories. Rodney ignoring her for an entire year because he was too attracted to her and knew he was going to fuck it up was hilarious. And the genderbend was a great surprise and really well written without completely changing their characters. I don’t think there are that many genderbend SGA stories around so it’s always interesting to see how writers somehow maintain the essence of the characters with the change-up. As always this story was wonderful. Thanks for sharing it.

  23. Brilliant!

    This is genderbending done right!

    As usual, thank you for another dose of genius.

  24. Just out of curiosity, who did you cast as Julia? She’s gorgeous!

  25. Also made of WIN!

  26. I just made a noise like a very happy dolphin!!!!! Since I can’t swim, no dolphin for me, but still, very, VERY HAPPY WITH THIS!!!!!

  27. First off–Your casting for Julia is AMAZEBALLS. I don’t think I’ve ever read a genderswap for John, but I really like what you’ve done here. I think the ways the change affected Rodney’s behavior are super believable and interesting, but I also think its interesting that Julia embraced her intelligence and STEM capabilities more than John and thinking about how that decision could tie in to growing up female vs. male is really cool! Thanks so much for posting! <3

  28. Thanks for another FUN gender bender story. Your writing is amazing.

  29. I really like this. The interactions between the two, and how Rodney made a point of trying to stay professional because he thought he’d mess it all up. Also, her reaction in the elevator. Thank you!

  30. Beautiful story, Rodney trying to do the right thing and still getting it wrong !!!! Thank you.

  31. lovely, thank you

  32. Wow. This was awesome, and also really hot!

  33. I don’t know why I overlooked this one at the time you posted it but I just have to say it packs quite a wallop for such a short (for you) story.

    Julia is brilliant and I really like this Rodney.

  34. It’s so endearing that Rodney doesn’t want to “be one of those assholes who blamed women for their own failings” but it wouldn’t be such a notable line if it didn’t follow “It wasn’t her fault she was gorgeous and brilliant and utterly fascinating.” I love the way you sometimes manage to pack so much information about a character into so few words.

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