ext_6615: (twkiss)
[identity profile] janne-d.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] vintagemilitary
Story Title: A Brief Encounter
Author Name/LJ: [livejournal.com profile] janne_d
Crossover Fandom: Stargate: Atlantis
Rating: PG-13
Pairing: Jack Harkness/Rodney McKay
Summary: Rodney meets Captain Jack while working at Area51.
Notes: prequel to A Holiday Humour. Thank you to my beta [livejournal.com profile] torakowalski who rocks the insightful comments.

Crossposted to my lj and [livejournal.com profile] sga_noticeboard.

"Oh, very amusing" Rodney shot back sarcastically, "with lines like that surely it should be Captain Kirk, not Harkness."



A Brief Encounter

Rodney glared at the results of his latest Stargate simulation, thumped down his mug of coffee in annoyance and threw his pen at the whiteboard for good measure, ignoring the exasperated sigh from the Marine across the room. Rodney should have thrown the pen at him, but the man had a gun and his self-preservation was stronger than that.

This was such a complete waste of his time. He could be in the lab, testing that new device that had come in yesterday, the one that he was sure he could get working if he could only get more time with it. But no, he was shut out in the cold while they waited for some "expert" to come in. Like Rodney wasn't an expert. Bastards wouldn't even tell him where the device had come from.

So here he was, sat in the office outside the now-locked and very firmly guarded lab. His lab. Not that he had any interest in who had been called in to look at the device, of course, but since they would inevitably have to call him in to deal with it when it turned out Mr Know-it-all couldn't cope, he might as well be somewhere close and save himself a walk.

He heard footsteps approaching from the corridor and busied himself at his laptop once more, but he looked up as they came in because he had a perfect right to be curious about the person who'd taken his work away from him.

Rodney wasn't surprised to see that the "expert" had a military escort since Area 51 was all about the security protocols, but he was surprised to see that it was Colonel Singer himself, who tended to avoid the scientists as much as possible. And he was a bit more surprised, and annoyed, by the man the Colonel was accompanying because if he was a scientific expert, Rodney would eat a lemon; at least Rodney had never seen any serious scientist that could be mistaken for Tom Cruise's taller, more attractive sibling and Rodney had met a lot of scientists.

Colonel Singer stopped a few paces in and frowned at Rodney. "McKay, what are you doing here?"

"Might I remind you, Colonel, that this is my office, and that," Rodney said nodding to the other door, "is still my lab? And I still have work to do, lots of work, very important. That doesn't change just because I've been callously kicked out to make way for Dr Hollywood here." The stranger grinned annoyingly at Rodney and Rodney glared back. Serious scientists also didn't have toothpaste advert smiles, and they didn't usually wear military coats and a sidearm either, or if they did they looked really stupid and not like they were about to rescue a starlet from the railway tracks. "Who the hell is he, anyway?"

"Captain Jack Harkness," the man supplied.

He reached forward and Rodney shook his hand automatically, even while snapping at Singer, "Captain? You're replacing my invaluable expertise and knowledge with someone who isn't even a doctor?"

"Oh, I can lay claim to some expertise myself. Of all sorts of things," Captain Harkness replied, raising his eyebrows meaningfully, "And I can even play doctors if you like," he added and Rodney realised that Harkness was still holding his hand and pulled back.

"Oh, very amusing" he shot back sarcastically, "with lines like that surely it should be Captain Kirk, not Harkness," but Harkness just laughed, blue eyes crinkling at the corners with what looked liked genuine amusement.

"McKay, for God's sake, put a sock in it," Colonel Singer said. "I'll leave you to it, Captain," he added, handing Harkness a key and then left, nodding the Marine into following him.

"So," Harkness said, leaning against Rodney's desk, "you're the infamous Dr Rodney McKay."

"You've heard of me? Well, of course you have, more people should have and will, and wait a minute, what do you mean 'infamous'?"

"Apparently you eat baby physicists for breakfast," Harkness murmured confidingly. "Doesn't sound like such a bad fate, to me," he added and Rodney blinked a bit because that could almost be mistaken for flirting, with the leaning in and murmuring thing. Except it couldn't be flirting because gorgeous movie-star type men didn't generally hit on average-looking physics geeks, even if said geek was a genius, as Rodney had sadly realised during college. Which meant Harkness was probably just trying to get on Rodney's non-existent good side by acting like he liked him. It wasn't going to work, especially considering Harkness was the reason Rodney had been thrown out of his lab. He would not like his replacement, even if he was pretty and friendly, and he absolutely refused to believe Harkness could have any ideas that Rodney couldn't have come up with anyway.

"Well, go on then," he said, annoyed at the situation all over again and turning back to his laptop pointedly. "Go play with your new toy. I'm sure you'll dazzle us all with your insight. Well, you won't actually do anything of the sort, since the object doesn't work, but go amuse yourself trying. I'll just be out here, wasting my genius, until you realise you're stuck and I can get back to work on it."

"Okay," Harkness said slowly in an amused tone and then he crossed the room, opened the doors and slipped into the lab, leaving Rodney to glare impotently at the door.

Thirty seconds later, Harkness stuck his head back out and beamed at him. "Need some help already, Captain?" Rodney asked, smirking.

"Call me Jack. And you're right," Harkness, Jack, said cheerfully, "it doesn't work."

"Of course it doesn't. And I always am."

"So do you want to come play?" Jack said, waggling his eyebrows. "I can show you how to fix it."

"What? You can? You can't, that's impossible," Rodney said incredulously. He'd spent two hours just establishing that the stupid thing didn't work, and Jack had discovered how to repair it in thirty seconds? Who the hell was he and why hadn't Rodney heard of him before?

"Sure I can," Jack shrugged. "I've got one at home. Come on," he said, holding the door open and Rodney stared at him for a second then jumped up and walked quickly into the lab before he changed his mind. He wanted to see this.

The device was still standing on the workbench, a shiny black cylinder with a few ports at the back, an arrangement of buttons on the front and an almost unnoticeable seam where it apparently opened, though nothing Rodney had done had persuaded it to do so.

"So what is it?" Rodney asked curiously. "Some kind of weapon? And how do you have one at home, this isn't an Earth-based material that it's made of?"

"Nope, not a weapon. You'll find out the rest when we get it working. And I got mine the same way you guys got this one: by accident. Did you work out which port was for the power?"

"Of course I did," Rodney said indignantly. "I was about to hook it up to an adapted supply when I got booted out to make way for you."

"Yeah, sorry about that," Jack said. "If I'd known it was one of these, I'd have told them to let you go ahead, but at the time all I knew was I needed to take a look. Do it now?"

"Huh," Rodney said, slightly mollified by that. "How did you know we had it?" he asked, bending to pick up his adapted jack and leaning over to fit it into the port at the back.

When Jack didn't answer, Rodney twisted around to find he was staring at him with a funny warm expression, not a smile. Rodney gave him a confused look as Jack's eyes came back to his face. What was he looking at, anyway?

"Yes," Jack said, with a grin, and Rodney frowned at the non-sequitur.

"What?"

"Yes, I was looking at your ass," Jack supplied matter-of-factly.

"You… what? Why?" Rodney sputtered, standing up straight and turning around again. Jack just grinned again, his expression cheerfully libidinous, and Rodney blushed.

"Well, don't!" he said in confusion, and when Jack just tilted his head enquiringly, added, "I mean you can't."

"Can't what?" Jack asked sticking his hands in his pockets and leaning back casually against the other bench. "Can't look? Can't admire the best view I've had all day? Can't tell you?"

"Any of them."

"Why not?"

"Because you're gorgeous," Rodney blurted and blushed even harder.

"Thanks," Jack replied, with a pleased smile, "but I don't see what that has to do with my appreciating your really nice ass."

"I'm not," Rodney said.

"You're not a really nice ass?"

"Not gorgeous," Rodney said, crossing his arms defensively, "or nice at all, and even if I agreed about my ass, which I do actually, it's been explained to me several times that it really doesn’t make up for the fact I come with it. And maybe it's amusing for you to practice your Kirking and lines on me, but I don't think it's funny."

"Okay, first of all," Jack said quietly, standing up straight and not smiling, "if I express interest, it means I'm interested. I don't play games. Second, I like you, not niceness and all; and third, I think you're hot, and since I'm the one looking, I think my vote is the one that counts. If it makes you uncomfortable, I'll back off but that's your choice, so make it an honest one."

Rodney just looked back at him for a moment, with no idea what to say at all. What did Jack mean by his choice? "Oh, um, I don't," he floundered, trying to think of something through the confusion, when the device made a soft beeping noise and they both turned towards it. "Hey, look, it's working," Rodney said quickly, relieved at the distraction.

He heard Jack sigh and walk over to the other side of the device. "It's all charged up," Jack said, tone friendly as ever. "It needs a reset now, and that's it fixed and ready to go."

Rodney blinked at how easily Jack had accepted the change in topic but it was probably better if they just moved on to business so he swallowed a small sense of disappointment and pulled himself together. "Right. Good. So now are you going to tell me what it is? And how you knew it was here?"

"You'll see what it is in a minute," Jack said, keying a sequence of buttons that Rodney memorised quickly. "We knew you had it, or more accurately something of interest to us, because it fell through a space-time anomaly that our scanners picked up. When your higher-ups confirmed it was of an origin they couldn't identify, that put it in our jurisdiction."

"Who's we?" Rodney had never heard of any other groups with knowledge of extraterrestrials the whole time he'd been working at Area 51. He'd figured Jack was someone else involved with the SGC but it didn't sound that way.

"Torchwood," Jack replied. "We're based in the UK. Well, I'm based in Wales to be totally accurate."

"But there's nothing in Wales but sheep," Rodney protested. Why would anyone base themselves there? "And how come I've never heard of you?"

"Because we're a secret," Jack said, giving Rodney an amused grin and a wink, apparently not feeling awkward at all, unlike Rodney. "What, did you think you guys were the only people who knew about aliens?"

"Well. Yes," Rodney admitted and Jack just laughed.

"Here you go," he said as the device made a longer beep and a door opened in the front. He reached in, pulled out a cylinder and handed it to Rodney, who stared down at it in disbelief as steam and a familiar scent rose to his face.

"What the…"

"It's coffee," Jack said with a smug smirk. "It was obviously still stocked up inside, you'll need to put in a water line to the other port and add the beans in the top when it runs out. Oh, and if you put in milk and other flavours, and use the other setting, you can get ice-cream instead."

"It's an alien coffee-maker?" Rodney said, his voice rising in shock. The smell was driving him nuts, but he wasn't going to drink something that was alien in origin.

"Strictly speaking, it's a human coffee-maker," Jack said slightly apologetically, taking a second cup out of it and drinking some. "It's just not from now."

"What?"

"I did say space-time anomaly. Go on, try it. It's safe."

Rodney looked at his cup dubiously for a moment, but Jack had drunk some and was fine and it did smell amazingly good. He took a tiny sip and then moaned in appreciation and gulped in some more, closing his eyes to concentrate because that was possibly, definitely, the best coffee he had ever tasted in his entire life. "Oh my God," he said, finishing the cup and tipping it up to get the last drop. "That was fabulous."

"I'll say," Jack said, and Rodney opened his eyes to see he was watching Rodney with a rapt expression. "That was very nearly pornographic," and Rodney blushed again. "Sorry," Jack said sheepishly, looking back at his own cup. "I'm backsliding already, just ignore me."

But Rodney was starting to think he actually meant the flirting, and that was seriously flattering in a slightly terrifying way because it looked like Jack had taken Rodney's confusion before as a 'no'. So now Rodney would have to make the move if he wanted anything to happen and he had always been rubbish at that.

"Thanks," Rodney said, figuring he'd start with trying to be a bit nicer. "I mean, for the help with this," he clarified. "Not that I needed any help, I would have figured it out as soon as they let me back in, but you speeded it up, and the coffee is really very good."

"Glad to be of service. And you'd probably have got it just as fast without me."

"Well, of course," Rodney said with a smug nod. "I've got other projects on the go though; maybe you'd like to take a look at those? And the mess has some cake that's okay," he offered, smiling tentatively and Jack smiled back.

"I wish I could. But I'm afraid I have to get back."

"Oh," Rodney said, feeling idiotic.

"I'm sorry. Maybe next time," Jack said, making it sound like a promise, and Rodney shrugged, trying to look casual. "But till then, I guess I'll settle for this," Jack added and before Rodney could blink, Jack had stepped forward and was kissing him. He made a shocked noise and then Rodney's brain caught up with how good it felt and he wrapped his arms around Jack and kissed back.

It was all he could do to keep up because Jack kissed like it was the only thing in the world that mattered and for that point in time, Rodney was tempted to agree. Lips sliding together, tongues teasing and tasting, and the heat of Jack pressed all down his body, kissing somehow wild and sweet at the same time.

When they finally separated, Rodney was breathing hard with arousal and Jack was flushed and dark-eyed.

"Mmm. So," Jack said, huskily enough to make Rodney shiver, "think I could tempt you to a change of scene?"

"What?"

"I could always use another scientist," Jack said with a shrug, "and we've got plenty of alien tech to keep you busy."

Rodney considered for a minute because Torchwood and space-time anomalies did sound intriguing, and when Jack was added to the equation it was seriously tempting. But the Stargate had been the focus of his ambition for so long. He wasn't ready to give up working on it, and he needed the SGC for that. And besides – Wales? He didn't think so. He shook his head and Jack sighed.

"Okay. I'll see you around, Rodney," Jack promised, stroking a thumb along Rodney's cheek. "But until then, enjoy your coffee, and think of me," he said with a wink and then he was gone, coat swinging behind him as he strode out the lab door.

Rodney looked after him stupidly for a moment before he shook himself out of it and turned back to his shiny new coffee-maker. After that, he could certainly use another cup.

He had a sneaking suspicion he would enjoy it even more now.



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