Fandom: Stargate: Atlantis
Summary: AU. Framed aeronautical engineer John Sheppard has escaped from prison to prove his innocence. Which was fine. Up until the point he took Rodney McKay hostage.
For a relatively sedate car, Rodney McKay’s Honda could certainly keep up the pace. Which, thought John, was as well, given that he seemed to have an entire police force following him down the freeway.
“They’re pretty persistent,” he said, almost to himself.
“Well…” said Rodney, but John interrupted before he could explain again what a brilliant mind he had.
“Yeah, I got it, twenty-first century genius. The cops are sparing no effort to rescue you from my evil clutches. Blah blah. So, genius, any ideas how I can find those files Kavanagh stole from my office?”
Rodney flapped a hand. “Don’t worry, I’ll think of something.”
“Before we reach Mexico?”
“Ha ha, very fu… Oh my god, are we nearly at Mexico? How long have we been driving anyway?”
“’Bout an hour and a half,” said John, checking the clock on the dash. Rodney moaned.
“I knew it. I told Elizabeth, but she didn’t listen. I haven’t eaten in a while. I mean, with the kidnapping and the horror and the fear for my life, I guess I didn’t… my hands are shaking!” He looked from them to John, eyes wide. “Am I clammy? Do I feel clammy to you?” He presented his forehead. John obligingly laid a hand against it briefly.
“I bet I am. I’m probably going to end up in a coma. Can we stop and get something to eat?”
“Can we what?”
“Just quickly.” He looked at the expression on John’s face. “OK, well, I can see that it’s not completely practical at the moment…”
“Oh, you think?”
“I’m glad to see my impending DEATH is amusing to you.”
“Rodney, we are being followed by about three hundred police cars and four helicopters, all of whom are intent on putting me back in prison for the rest of my life, so excuse me if I’m not totally focused on getting you some lunch. And anyway,” he carried on, “if you’re all hypoglycaemic or whatever, why don’t you keep stuff in the car?”
Rodney went puce with indignation. “I DO! It all ran out! That’s why I was in that stupid gas station in the first place!” He leapt on the glove box and pulled it open, pawing feverishly through the contents in the hope, presumably, of finding an overlooked scrap of chocolate. None was forthcoming, although the search produced a map of Vancouver, three odd gloves, a lot of crumpled post-it notes, some antiseptic wipes, and the giant car manual. He waved it dejectedly. “Well, we can always make a fire out of this. I mean, if it ever came to that.” He sighed. John rolled his eyes.
“Oh for Christ’s sake!” He rummaged in his jeans pocket, and withdrew a slightly smushed-looking Snickers bar. “Here, have this. It’s what got you into this anyway.”
Rodney fell on the Snickers and ate the whole thing in approximately 1.2 seconds, then beamed at John. Then frowned. “What do you mean, that’s what got me into this?”
John shrugged. “It’s not like I actually had a gun.”
“What… you… what…” Rodney scowled, and crossed his arms. “I hate you.”
“I certainly can’t fault the number of cars you’ve managed to get involved,” said Elizabeth Weir wryly, “but I do notice that none of them seem to have actually done anything.”
“In a freeway situation like this,” began Caldwell, only to pause as Jeannie Miller began pacing again.
“Mer is so going to be stroking out over this. Do you think it was Lewenstein behind this?”
“No,” said Elizabeth.
“He really, really doesn’t like Mer, though, which, I mean, obviously I completely understand because most of the time I don’t like him either, but…”
A new voice interrupted their conversation. “I can assure that the last thing John Sheppard is doing, is orchestrating a payback kidnapping.” The man was balding, wearing spectacles, and holding out a hand to Captain Caldwell. “I’m Richard Woolsey, John’s attorney. I came down to the precinct as soon as I heard the news. I might be able to help you.”
“Is there a reason you’re waving a moist towelette at me?” asked John, eyeing the object in question suspiciously.
“Eyes on the road!” snapped back Rodney, very much aware of the speed at which they were travelling. “And it’s an antiseptic wipe. Do you want that burn to get infected? Do you have any idea how fast an infection can travel through your system? Do you know that…”
“Fine! Disinfect me!”
Rodney undid his seatbelt and edged closer. He slid one hand around the back of John’s neck to hold it steady, then dabbed lightly with the wipe. John hissed in a breath, automatically jerking away, and Rodney’s hand tightened. He blew on the reddened mark, and John was suddenly extremely aware of the man sitting next to him, one knee pressed against his thigh, Rodney’s hand against his neck.
He cleared his throat. “So, uh…” Conversational gambits evaporated, and he nodded a bit. “Yeah.” Rodney finished dabbing, and squirmed back to his seat. John looked determinedly, only glancing once – OK, maybe twice – at where Rodney was stowing away his antiseptic wipes, only to get distracted by a bunch of equations written on something that might be toilet paper (though John dismisses it because seriously? No-one is that stereotypically a scientist, even Rodney McKay). He reached for his cell again, and it was a mark of how far John was distracted that he only registered the fact after Rodney had got into a conversation.
“Hey! Speakerphone!” Rodney shot John the look of someone who is insulted at having their integrity questioned, and put it on speaker. There followed an incomprehensible conversation, which seemed chiefly to consist of Rodney Being Utterly And Completely Right and the other guy – who might have been called Zelenka, unless that was actually some kind of foreign swear word, which was possible the way Rodney was saying it – Being Laughably And Yet Tragically Wrong, and John thought about how freakishly attractive Rodney was.
“So, I thought you had been abducted. It says it on the CNN,” came the voice over the phone.
“What? Oh, it’s nothing. So, if the output of that array is inversely proportional to…”
The conversation carried on. John drove.
“Go away, Zelenka, I’ve got another call coming,” said Rodney eventually, and John glanced across.
“Who is it?”
Rodney checked the display. “Elizabeth again.” He pressed accept. “Well, Elizabeth, you’ll be glad to hear I managed to narrowly avert going into a coma.”
There was a pause. Then a man spoke. “May I speak with John Sheppard. This is Richard Woolsey.” John’s eyebrows leapt upwards.
“Woolsey? My attorney,” he added in an undertone for Rodney’s benefit.
“How’s it going, John?”
“Fine. Except I’ve just broken out of jail and I have a fleet of cops on my ass. Apart from that, everything’s peachy.”
“And Dr McKay?”
“Well, I’ve got him trussed up and I’m planning to shoot him later… he’s fine too! Jeez, what were you expecting?”
“I’m not sure, John. This wasn’t the best idea you ever had.”
“You’re telling me!”
“We can still appeal the judgement, John. There’s still time to…”
“Oh, for God’s sake, what kind of lawyer are you?” demanded Rodney, clearly impatient. “How is it that you managed to let that little rat Kavanagh get away with this? He’s got the intellect of a… what’s one of those little things? Road kill?”
“I dunno – possum?”
“He’s got the intellect of a possum! He should have been locked up years ago!”
“Oh my God, he’s got Stockholm syndrome!”
Rodney gaped at the phone. “Jeannie? Is that you? What are you doing there?”
“Gee, I don’t know. I heard you got kidnapped and all I really wanted to do was get a manicure, but I guess I…”
“Yes, yes, very funny.”
“OK, look, Mer, it’s perfectly normal for you to start feeling sympathetic with your abductor. It’s how the human psyche deals with this kind of stress. Now, are you having any unexpected sexual feelings toward him?”
Rodney gave a strangled yelp. “Shut up! Shut up now! I don’t even know you!”
They could hear Jeannie sighing. “Oh, don’t be so…”
John leaned over and pressed the button to hang up. They both sat, staring straight ahead. Rodney was blushing. John was driving. A couple dozen police cars were in pursuit. Overhead, the helicopters circled.
“So,” said John.
“Wanna make out?” said Rodney nonchalantly.
“Speeding car,” said John.
Rodney crossed his arms, and looked away pointedly. “You only had to say no. Unless… his head whipped round, his expression panicked. “Oh God! You were assaulted in prison, weren’t you? Look at you! Of course you were. Did they give you any kind of therapy? Did they—” John started laughing, which only made Rodney panic more. “OH MY GOD, YOU’RE HYSTERICAL! What did they DO to you?!”
John took one hand off the wheel, and caught Rodney’s where it was flailing around.
“Nobody assaulted me. I can look after myself. So calm down before you have a coronary.”
Rodney pressed his other hand to his heart. “You’re so right,” he moaned.
“Well, you don’t have to be so smug about it.”
“What? I’m right a lot of the time.”
“OK, who’s the genius here?”
John shrugged. “Coulda been in Mensa,” he said casually. Rodney held his hand tighter, and made a little noise.
“Oh God, that’s so hot!”
John smiled and rubbed his thumb across the back of Rodney’s hand.
“I swear, John isn’t going to do anything to hurt Dr McKay,” said Woolsey reassuringly. Jeannie didn’t look convinced.
“Did you even hear him? He’s just accepting that your criminal friend is innocent! He… wait, Peter Kavanagh? Ugh. He’s such a toad. What did he do?”
“Watch the road! WATCH THE ROAD!”
“How am I supposed to watch the road when you’re… oh. Oh God. Oh.”