Author: Keira Marcos
Big Short Prompt: Rule 63
Fandom: Stargate: Atlantis
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.”