Disclaimer: Don’t own em. Dammit.
Notes: Little Earth AU I thought of. Probably won't spend any more time with it. Just a brief glimpse into the Earthy world of McShep.
Word Count: 968 (It's a little long. I know. But it feels really short! I promise!
Challenge: #47 Home Improvement
“Where’d you say you wanted this?” Ronon stood in the door, his big body nearly overshadowed by one of the bookcases from Rodney’s ever growing library.
Rodney rose from his squat over a box of books and sighed. Waving his arm, he indicated the far wall, his face pinched in pain. “Over in that corner is fine,” he said and leaned to stretch the crimp in his lower back.
Ronon grunted and stepped over the detritus moving in always leaves. “I think that’s the last of the furniture, McKay,” he said, voice low and gravelly.
“Yes, yes, thank you for all your help. Remind me again of our agreement?”
Ronon chuckled. “There wasn’t one. Wait. I get one favor, and like you said, I’d better make it a huge one.”
“Right, right.” Rodney nodded and surveyed the piles of boxes and haphazardly placed furniture and said, “Oh hell. Grab a bite?”
Ronon just cocked an eyebrow.
“Okay, then. Let me just wash up, and we’ll grab some…I don’t know. I’m so tired, I can’t even think straight.”
“Chinese sounds good.”
“Ohhh, yes. Some General Tso’s chicken! And…and…fried dumplings.” Rodney clapped his hands together. “Oh! And be thinking of that favor you want!” Rodney shouted as he headed for the bathroom to clean up.
“Already know, McKay,” Ronon grinned evilly.
Meal finished, Rodney and Ronon were discussing Ronon’s favor over peppermint ice cream and coffee.
“You’re not serious?” Rodney spluttered. “But, I just…I just moved here! I mean, sure you’ve been begging me to come down here since you were discharged, but this is your favor? Not, I don’t know, working in a backdoor access to the base’s mainframe? Or rigging up a nitrous pack so that you’ll never lose another street race as long as you own your vehicle?”
“Nope. None of those, McKay. You could do those in your sleep. This? This requires effort.” Ronon settled back into the booth, his eyes focused somewhere over Rodney’s shoulder. “He’s a buddy of mine from the service. Recently discharged, looking to meet new people Trust me, McKay. You’ll get along.” His smile of greeting went unnoticed by Rodney, whose mouth had turned down in irritation.
“I don’t get along with anybody.” His eyes widened. “Oh god. He’s an idiot, isn’t he?”
“McKay-” Ronon started to respond.
“I just know it. He’s some backwards ass English major with delusions of Shakespearean grandeur.”
Rodney nearly jumped out of his skin. “Holy hell! What are you trying to do? Kill me before we’ve even met!” he hollered. “And did you just say Dostoyevsky?” He turned accusatory eyes on Ronon. “Russian lit? Seriously?” He asked before turning back to squint up at the stranger.
“So. Hi. I’m John Sheppard. My good buddy Ronon, here, has told me so much about you, Mr. McKay.” John held his hand out to be shaken, but Rodney didn’t bother. He was caught up in the eyes that glittered in amused exasperation. Eyes that were bright under a shock of completely unpredictable dark hair. Eyes that crinkled at the corners under the pressure of the grin curving one side of John’s mouth up into his cheek.
Rodney blinked, breaking the spell those eyes cast. “Yes,” he said incoherently.
“Okay, Ronon. Looks like you’ve picked a winner here,” John drawled, before shoving Ronon over in the booth and taking a seat.
Rodney pulled himself together with a shake of his head. “What? Oh! Well, yes of course he’s mentioned me. One of, if not the greatest minds on the face of the planet here.”
“Really?” John asked, eyebrows up, mouth fighting a grin. “All evidence to the contrary, I guess. And see, I thought that was just me.”
“Oh, please? Russian Literature? And while I’m sure you’re very good at the whole literary criticism thing, you have nothing on the empirical and theoretical work I do. It’s very probably over your verbally stimulated head.”
Ronon eased back into the booth, eyes flickering back and forth over John and Rodney. Rodney ignored the knowing grin on his face. Traitor, he thought. Then heard what John was saying.
“Actually, Mr. McKay-”
John waved a hand. “Whatever,” he said, “I hold two Master’s degrees, one in Applied Mathematics, the other in Aeronautical Engineering.”
Rondey’s eyes bugged out. “And yet you waste your time with literature?”
John shrugged. “I like to read,” he countered. “I also like Ferris wheels, college football, and anything that goes over two hundred miles per hour,” he said, grinning.
“Hmm. Yes, of course you do.” Rodney eyed him speculatively. “Do you like decorating?”
“Not particularly,” John said with a frown. “Why?”
“Because I just moved in, and I need help getting my place in order, and Ronon here has called in his favor, which means he’s not going to help me anymore. And at least you have half a brain – your penchant for Russian literature notwithstanding – and I’d much rather have you as company than the Neanderthals that any moving company or decorating expert may bring into my home.”
John chuckled. “Not the most ringing endorsement I’ve ever heard, but yeah. I’m intrigued. Dr. McKay.”
He said the last in a voice Rodney was sure John used to seduce innocent shy virgins and make old ladies blush. As it was, Rodney felt a heady heat and desire swamp his body. He swallowed and looked down into his melted peppermint ice cream, for lack of a better place to look.
“I think,” John said, sliding out of the booth, “this might be fun.”
Rodney nodded, and slid out of the booth, uncharacteristically quiet. He glanced back at the melted dessert and realized his cold little heart was in danger of ending up in the same condition as his dessert. Truth be told, he didn’t care.