People Skills

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 Title: People Skills
Category: Humour
Rating: PG-13
Co-written with Exploded Pen.
Summary: John stared at the two scientists in front of him. Two McKays; one nice and one normal.
Authors' Note: This started out with Ms Pen on MSN asking the deceptively simple question: "What if there was a nice Rodney who met our Rodney?"... What follows is the result of a quick fire "pass the parcel" exchange of dialogue with the narrative added in later on.
Warning: Contains references only to slash and het. Oh, and enough innuendo to sink a battleship ;)

John stared at the two scientists in front of him. Two McKays; one nice and one normal. The nice McKay had just smiled and waved out a confused looking Zelenka, who had tentatively waved back before disappearing around a corner, while the normal McKay was scowling in the corner for all he was worth.

“He’s just the same as me,” Rodney sulked.

John glanced over at him. “With actual social skills and less tendency to destroy peoples’ souls with one word.”

“Your point?” Rodney retorted.

McKay smiled in his counterpart’s direction. “You know, Doctor, I used to be a lot like you.”

Openly scowling now, Rodney stalked over to where John and McKay were standing, and stared his counterpart right in the eye. “So what, pray tell,” he began, his voice dripping ice and sarcasm, “happened to turn you into... into this?” he asked, waving a hand around for emphasis.

The smug look on McKay’s face was unmistakable. “I got laid,” he replied sweetly.

Rodney didn’t even hesitate. “Making best buddies with your hand does not count as getting laid,” he shot back, already looking pleased with himself.

“True,” McKay acquiesced, “but doing it with Carter does.”

John stared. “You screwed Colonel Carter?” he asked incredulously, drawing both McKays’ attention to him.

McKay squirmed a little. “Okay, so I wouldn’t count it as screwing her. She was wearing this device, designed to make her look like someone else -”

“From that foothold situation at the SGC,” Rodney interrupted. “Years ago.”

“Yep,” McKay replied; now he was looking pretty pleased with himself as well.

John frowned. “So, uh, who did she look like?”

Still grinning smugly, McKay said nothing.

“Aw, c’mon,” John said, nudging McKay, “spill.”

Rodney glared at his counterpart suddenly. “You say O’Neill and I am going to kill you.”

McKay grinned broadly. “Why? Got a little crush on our dear old general, do you?”

Rodney sputtered.

John looked from one McKay to the other, and back and forth again for a few times. Just for good measure. Then back to the alternate physicist. “I... it wasn’t O’Neill... was it?” he asked slowly.

McKay grinned back. “Now that would just be telling, wouldn’t it?”

Rodney glared at him. Again. “I thought you were supposed to be nice,” he complained.

McKay snorted. “Being nice doesn’t mean I have to give up the sarcasm,” he replied, still looking smug.

“Uh, McKay,” John began, “just tell... my McKay who the Colonel looked like before he dies from this slowly building pent up aggravation.”

McKay’s face took on an expression of pure and utter sympathy as he eyed his counterpart. “You not getting any then, huh?”

Rodney didn’t say anything, although his glare, if anything, intensified.

McKay held up his hands in front of him. “Okay, okay, I give,” he said. “I’ll tell you... he’s a doctor -”

John had to admit, Rodney’s face was an absolute picture. “You had Carter look like Jackson!” he erupted.

McKay barely even blinked. “And people thought he was oblivious,” he muttered to himself, though John could still hear him.

“You kinky bastard,” John said to McKay. He couldn’t help himself. He rarely could, even though this was an opportunity just too... too damn good to miss.

Rodney paused, staring in shock at John, while McKay smirked openly.

“Are... are you sure this... thing with Carter wasn’t a dream?” Rodney eventually managed to throw at his counterpart, in some attempt at a scathing tone.

“A dream?” McKay repeated. He looked incredulous for a second, then his expression softened. “No way, it was too good to be a dream.”

Rodney stared at him.

John whistled. “Never knew you had it in ya, McKay,” he grinned. He winked at the alternate scientist. “Beckett, right?”

What!” Rodney turned on John now.

The other side of him, McKay paused for a couple of seconds. “And much better in the flesh.”

Rodney spun around on the spot, whimpering softly. “Carter and Carson?... Both of them?”

Smiling almost paternally, McKay patted Rodney’s shoulder. Still unable to help himself, John chuckled.

And it was at that precise moment that the door to Laboratory Four opened, and Carson wandered in. His arrival had a tripartite effect; McKay grin broadened, though knowing his own scientist, John figured it was for the wrong reasons. He himself tried to stop laughing, and meanwhile, the look on Rodney’s face had turned into the classic ‘deer in the headlights’ expression.

Carson looked at the three men in front of him, taking all three reactions in. “What?” he asked slowly, sounding faintly suspicious.

John was the first to recover enough to actually speak. “Nothing, Doc.” An idea then occurred to him. It was evil, yes, but still... Now to attempt to keep a straight face. “Myself and the two McKays here were just catching up on hobbies and recreational activities.”

Carson’s eyebrows went up. “Is that so?” He turned to McKay. “Doctor McKay, if you could step outside with me for a moment...” he began, motioning back to the door.

McKay smirked briefly in the stricken Rodney’s direction before replying: “Sure thing, Carson.” He was the very picture of innocence. “Is everything alright?”

Moving quickly, Rodney’s recovery time was nothing short of extraordinary. “Oh, don’t you dare!” he shot at his counterpart.

Pausing briefly, McKay turned back around. “Face it Roddy,” he whispered. “Some of us got it, and some of us don’t.” With one final smug grin, he turned back and started to follow Carson from the laboratory.

“But – but... we’re the same person!” Rodney spluttered.

McKay leaned back again. “Ain’t life a bitch?” he grinned.

Rodney’s mouth hung open for just the barest fraction of a second. “You bastard!” he hissed.

McKay cocked his head to one side. “My parents were married when I was conceived, thank you very much.” And with that he finally followed a very confused looking Carson out of the lab.

The instant the door closed behind them, Rodney started pacing. “This is so not fair,” he complained after five seconds. Smirking slightly, John started to reply, but was cut off by Rodney waving his hand. “I mean, why couldn’t we yank your counterpart out of the other reality instead of... him?”

Moving to the side of the room so that he could lean against the wall, John shrugged. “Maybe this is just fate’s way of telling you that you need to lighten up a little -”

“What, and get laid at the same time?” Rodney accused John, turning on him in an instant.

John held up his hands in front of him. “Hey, you said it, McKay, not me...”

Rodney pulled a face. “You’re such a child, Major.”

“Hey,” John drawled back, “I just say it as I see it.”

“Well, you should go invest in glasses,” Rodney retorted, his confidence returning now he was the only McKay left in the room. “My sex life is just fine, thank you very much.”

John eyeballed him, paused for a moment. “So... how long has it been?” he asked innocently.

“That, Major,” Rodney replied, “is none of your business.”

John let his mouth hang open, still trying not to grin. “That long! You know...” he continued thoughtfully, letting himself smirk this time, “you could always talk to Beckett... I’m sure he -”

“Sure I... what, Major?”

John spun around, and sure enough, there was Carson, standing in front of a closing door. Beside him, the alternate McKay had the ultimate smug expression on his face.

And again John was the first to recover. “Prescribe McKay some drugs,” he said smoothly, winking at Rodney.

Carson’s eyes narrowed to slits. “Major? What’s goin’ on?”

“Rodney’s having... revelations,” John managed. He couldn’t look away from Rodney, now doing a remarkable impression of a goldfish.

“Aye... of course he is.” Carson’s skeptical face was on as he eyed first Rodney, then John and then Rodney again. “And what kind of revelations would thosebe?”

John’s excuse later on would be that he couldn’t help himself, pure and simple. “The, uh, hands-on kind, of course,” he smirked.

Carson sighed. “Rodney, you’ve not got plans to rewire the infirmary again, have ye?”

Rodney said nothing – damn but John wished he had a camera with him. A silent Rodney McKay... that really was one for the photo album! “Uh, Doc,” he began, “I’m pretty sure it was something else he was planning on rewiring.” He sent Carson the biggest grin he was capable of, the one he hadn’t used since sixth grade.

And what did you know, it still worked; Carson’s sigh this time was nowhere near as exasperated as before. “Well, that is a relief, Major. Just... um, just stay away from me and my staff Rodney, and you can do what you like,” he smiled.

Rodney whimpered, his eyes darting all over the place.

“Ooh, that reminds me, Carson,” John added, an evil idea of McKay proportions entering his head, “McKay here wanted me to go to the main lab a little later on to go through some Ancient artefacts, but I can’t make it, so do you think you could do the deed and light up his toy?”

Carson looked doubtful. “Are you sure you’re too busy, Major? You know I don’t like going near his bits and pieces if I can help it.”

“Aw, heck, Doc, you’ll be fine!” John reassured – tried to reassure, waving his hand. “Just... let McKay guide you and you’ll be a natural before you know it.”

The alternate McKay caught everyone’s attention then, holding tightly onto his sides and making wheezing noises that sounded way too much like repressed laughter. “Oh... this is just great!” he managed after a few seconds’ further wheezing.

Carson looked puzzled; Rodney was still silent, and John blinked. “Oh, really?” he asked. He wasn’t completely sure he wanted an answer.

“Sure,” McKay replied, straightening up again. “Doctor Sheppard never lets me near you without a written notice three days ahead of time any more. Says I’m more likely to kill you than any Wraith!”

Over the other side of John, Rodney perked up, all previous distress apparently gone. “Doctor Sheppard?” he repeated.

McKay nodded, looking a little confused. “Yeah. Elizabeth.” He looked around at John, Rodney and Carson. “What? What’d I say?”

Rodney squeaked and started clapping. “Oh, this is just fabulous,” he said, shooting dagger looks in John’s direction. “The material!”

“Stow it, McKay,” John warned Rodney. He scowled at the scientist’s counterpart. “I thought you were supposed to be the nice version!”

McKay looked affronted. “Well, how was I supposed to know you’ve not played diplomats and delegates with Elizabeth yet? What am I, a mind-reader?”

John stared at him. “Do I look like I’ve got a wedding ring on my finger?” he asked hotly, brandishing his left hand in front of him.

“Do I look as though I’ve managed to pull a ZPM out of my ass?” he retorted, completely ignoring Rodney’s anguished look in Carson’s direction. “Teyla married the two of you a few months back.”


McKay groaned. “Is your mind permanently in the gutter, Sheppard? She conducted the ceremony. On the mainland. Very nice it was, as well.”

“And I’ll bet the food was very nice as well,” Rodney shot back, still glancing at John every few seconds with that look in his eyes.

“Well, now that you mention it...” McKay eyeballed Carson, who took a step backwards. “The meat and two veg was excellent.”

Carson raised his eyebrows. “Who did you have cooking?” he asked interestedly, apparently oblivious to Rodney’s changing facial expressions.

McKay grinned smugly. “I did. I’m excellent with my hands. Ah, my speciality is sausage rolls.”

“I love sausage rolls!” Carson responded enthusiastically.

“So do I!” McKay replied with equal aplomb.

John glanced over just in time to see Rodney’s eyes widen comically before he squeaked. Loudly.

“Rodney?” Carson whipped around to the other physicist. “Are you okay?”

Glancing first at his counterpart, then to Carson and back and forth again a few times, it didn’t take long for Rodney’s breaths to get more and more rapid, until he was practically hyperventilating.

Carson reacted immediately. “Come on,” he told Rodney firmly, taking one of his arms. “You’re not lookin’ too good. I’d best get you to the infirmary.” Already halfway to the laboratory door, he glanced back at John and McKay. “Gentlemen,” he nodded.

As the door started to close behind them, McKay cupped his hands around his mouth. “You might need to inject him with something!” he shouted.

The door hissed shut, and John turned to face their alternate reality gatecrasher head on. “You really are something else, you know that?” he asked, but it was mostly good-natured.

Mostly – he still hadn’t forgotten the mention of Doctor Elizabeth Sheppard.

McKay grinned, and for a second he looked absolutely identical to the McKay Carson was escorting to the infirmary. “Well, I try,” he replied with fake modesty.

John grinned sheepishly, scratching the back of his neck and looking around the room, before turning back and facing McKay again. “What a difference a lay makes, huh?”

McKay’s grin widened. “Couldn’t have put it better myself, Major.”

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