24 February 2008 @ 12:04 pm
SGA: Explosions (PG-13), McKay/Sheppard.  
"It's like suddenly I'm in a James Bond movie. Only I'm a Bond girl and not 007."



back to part one

Part Two

They were sitting together on the front steps, wrapped up in the dull grey blankets the paramedics had forced on them. They were both rather calm considering the circumstances, but Rodney, for his part, was screaming on the inside. Near-death tended to do that to him.

Two detectives wandered up, appearing even more blasé about the whole situation than the victims. One of them pushed a pair of sunglasses up on his head and flashed them a brilliant smile. The other man was older, with graying hair and a frown--he was looking at them rather like they might have tried to blow themselves up.

Rodney nearly gave into hysteria and laughed. He could see the good cop, bad cop possibilities already.

The older man crossed his arms and rocked back on his heels. "I'm Detective O'Neill," he told them. "That's two L's."

John nodded, looking oddly interested. "That's the best way to do it," he said, giving a firm nod. "The word always looks lop-sided with only one."

Rodney turned to him, opened his mouth, and then shut it without comment; because really, what could he say to that?

"I'm Detective Jackson," the other told them, still smiling. "You can call me Daniel."

O'Neill glared at his partner. "You can call him Detective Jackson," he corrected, before turning back to them. "So, what seems to be the problem here?"

Rodney's eyes sought the carcass of his gift Ferrari, then he looked back to O'Neill, wondering about the detective part. "Well," he said, "I'm not sure, but I think my car just exploded."

Daniel nodded sympathetically. "And does that happen a lot?"

Rodney adopted his 'are you cracked?' look, the one he usually reserved for Zelenka. "No, it doesn't happen a lot."

Daniel nodded again, pulling a notepad. "Uh huh," he said, scribbling something down. "Has it ever happened before?"

"No," Rodney snapped, before turning to look at John, suddenly thoughtful. "Hey, now that I think about it, maybe this is about you and not me. You don't have some big scary jealous boyfriend, do you?"

John sighed and rested his head in his hands. He really should have taken Ford's warning to heart.

-----

It was one thirty by the time he finally finished with Rodney and the detectives and made his way to the bar, and he got stuck in some traffic on the way there. Teyla did not look happy. She crossed her arms and glared at him. “Do you have any idea what time it is?” she snapped.

His eyes slipped towards the wall clock. “Ten to two?” he said cautiously—with Teyla, there was always the possibility it was a trick question.

Her eyes narrowed. “You were supposed to call me last night, to let me know that you got home okay.”

“Oh,” he said. “Yeah. Sorry. I was going to, but I was really tired and—”

Teyla grabbed the remote and turned on one of the TVs above the bar.

“That’s right, Jayne,” a man with a manic smile said into a microphone. “Multi-millionaire Dr. Rodney McKay bought his new boy-toy a cherry red Ferrari, and nearly blew him up with it.”

”What will that crazy CEO do next?” Jayne asked, laughing. "And now we'll turn it over to Davy Storm for the local weath--"

Teyla turned off the TV. John watched the blank screen in disbelief. “You’ve got to be kidding me!” he shouted.

“How did you go from offering him a ride home to being his boy-toy to nearly being dead?” Teyla demanded coolly. “Ford warned you, you know.”

“I’m not a boy toy,” he said, sitting down on a barstool and slamming his head down on the bar. “I’m not. I don’t put out on the first date.”

“That’s not what Chaya said,” Teyla said, grinning maliciously.

“Oh god, must you bring that up now?” he asked, closing his eyes shut tight. “I experiment once with someone kind of kinky and the whole world knows.”

“No, not about that,” Teyla said, before nodding towards the TV, “but they all know you’re sleeping with Rodney McKay.”

“I’m not,” he said, earnestly, and then he paled. “Oh, god. My parents watch that channel. They didn’t say my name, did they?”

Teyla seemed to take pity on him and grabbed his hand. “All they said was that it was a boy toy named John. I came to the conclusion it was you all on my own.”

“I’m not sure how to take that,” John said.

Teyla slid a coffee in front of him. “Here,” she said. “This should help.”

-----

“I think I might make the front page,” Rodney said brightly.

Zelenka stared at him incredulously. “Does this not concern you at all?”

“What?” Rodney said. “You mean the exploding car? Who cares? Did you see the news? They said John was my boy-toy. He’s gorgeous. It’s flattering.”

“And you do not think maybe, perhaps, someone is trying to kill you?” Zelenka snapped.

Rodney dropped down into his desk chair. “Who would want to? Everyone loves me.”

“Do you perhaps not remember yesterday?” Zelenka asked. “The meeting with Wraith Enterprises? The threats?”

Rodney stilled. “You don’t think…” He shook his head. “No,” he said. “No, Mr. Steve isn’t that stupid.”

“If you’re dead he’ll get the deal,” Zelenka said. “It’s despicable, but it isn’t stupid.”

Rodney paled. “Oh my god! You’re right. I thought for sure John had a jealous boyfriend somewhere, or it was a freak accident maybe--I mean, obviously I didn’t come to that conclusion on my own…I’m so invaluable to the world.”

Zelenka concentrated very hard, and just barely managed not to roll his eyes. “Perhaps you should go to police?”

“I already talked to them,” Rodney said. “I don’t think they're very competent. They said they’d call me, and not to call them.”

“Wow,” Zelenka said. “I didn’t know cops could say that. What did you do to them?”

Rodney waved a hand in dismissal. “Never mind that. This is serious.”

“I’ve been saying--” Zelenka said, but Rodney ignored him.

“John could be in trouble,” Rodney said, frowning. He was rather attached to his sexy bartender/bar owner/boy toy. “You don’t think they would hurt John, would they?” Rodney was already reaching for the phone, and whatever response Zelenka gave was ignored.

“Yes, hi, Rodney McKay here, I’ve got a job for you.”

-----

“I’m just saying,” Teyla told him, while she idly stirred her drink and watched the clock get closer to seven, and freedom. “It would probably be a good idea not to see him again.”

“It’s not his fault the car exploded,” John said, defensively. “And I like him, he’s funny.”

“Funny?” Teyla said, raising her eyebrows. “Aiden is terrified of him.”

The door swung open and a large man with dreadlocks and a trench coat walked in, and headed straight to the back booth. John followed his progress for a moment before turning back to Teyla.

“One date,” John said, shrugging. “If something else blows up, I’ll probably have to give the 'it’s not me, its you' speech, but one date can’t hurt.”

“Unless the something that gets blown up is you,” Teyla snapped. “Aiden says Dr. McKay has issued an alert to his security team, that someone may be trying to kill him.”

“Hey, he tried to blame it on me!” John shouted.

Teyla just raised an eyebrow and walked to the back, taking the order of their customer. A limo pulled up a few minutes later, and Rodney came strolling through the doors, grinning widely. “What a day, huh?” he asked John. “Everyone wants to know about you, but I didn’t tell them anything, don’t worry. I said we weren’t really serious yet--you know, not even close to thinking about moving in together.”

The sudden stream of words caught him off guard. He wondered what ever happened to ‘hey, how are you?’ “Moving in together?” John repeated, disbelievingly. “We haven’t even had a first date.”

“I know,” Rodney said, “can you believe them?” He looked down at his watch. “Almost seven. Are you ready? We have reservations. You’re not one of those high maintenance people, right? You don’t have to go spend another hour on your hair?”

“What’s wrong with my hair?” John snapped, self-consciously running a hand through it.

“Nothing,” he said, “it’s just kinda...” Rodney made twirly motions. “You know.”

John sighed and glanced up as Teyla walked back towards him, glaring at Rodney. “Do you mind waiting for that guy to finish his drink and locking up?” he asked.

Teyla’s mouth tightened but she nodded. “You’re the boss,” she said.

John grinned at her brightly. “I owe you one,” he said, and Rodney clapped his hands impatiently, leaning back on his heels and making ‘let’s go’ motions. Rodney darted out the door the moment he came out from behind the bar and John followed him out.

Teyla sighed. “Last call,” she said. “Can I get you anything else before we close?” She turned around to return to the customer, but he was gone, and the door was still swinging shut behind him.

Teyla frowned and slowly walked over to the entrance, bolting it shut.

-----

Rodney took him to the nicest restaurant in the city, and the host forced him into a rent-a-blazer at the door, insisting he needed to be wearing one. Rodney started calling them all idiots, yelling that he could buy the restaurant if he wanted to and that no guest of his needed to wear anything he didn't want to, and then the host quickly grabbed the blazer and pulled it off of him again.

John was a little dazed by the time they actually sat down, but Rodney just smiled and opened the menu, like maybe he was like that all the time. John blinked. "I could have worn the jacket," he said.

Every eye in the place had gone to them when Rodney had started yelling, and John was pretty sure he didn't fit in here himself from the start. He was wearing a blue track jacket with stripes down the arms and worn jeans--in the sea of blacks and navy he stuck out like a sore thumb. Rodney, at least when his mouth was shut, fit right in.

"Nonsense," Rodney snapped. "You look fine like you are."

"Well, thanks," John said, still a little taken aback by the whirlwind that was Rodney McKay. When he said he didn't do subtle, he wasn't kidding. "Have they found anything out about the car yet?"

"Hmm?" Rodney asked, glancing up from the menu. "Oh, the one that exploded?"

John grinned. "That would be the one, yes," he said.

"I haven't heard from them, actually," Rodney said, frowning. "I'm starting to worry it might be professional jealousy. You're sure you don't have a jealous boyfriend?"

John glared at him and snapped up the menu. "I'm sure," he snapped. He glanced at the menu disinterestedly; this really wasn't his type of place. He generally only liked places that had french fries on the menu. He sighed and set it aside, glancing around to see if people were still watching them.

There was only one person still watching them, John noticed with some unease, and he wasn't wearing a jacket and tie, either; he had a trench coat on, and John recognized him as the customer in his bar from earlier.

Rodney noticed he'd lost his attention and frowned. "What's wrong?" he said.

John narrowed his eyes across the room and leaned forward. "I think that guy's been following me," he said, nodding towards him.

Rodney turned around and snorted. "Oh, him?" he said. "Of course he's following you. I hired him too."

John's eyes shot to Rodney's. "You what?"

"Well, I couldn't very well leave you on your own with maniac car bombers running about, could I?" Rodney asked.

"You hired someone to follow me," John said, incredulously. "And then you didn't even tell me about it?"

"Well obviously I hadn't realized he would be so indiscreet about it," Rodney said. "He shouldn't get in your way, though. I told him not to talk to you. The last thing I'd need is for you to run off with your bodyguard and join Katie and her personal trainer in Florida."

"I don't need a bodyguard, Rodney," John said, rolling his eyes. He got up and Rodney grabbed his sleeve.

"What are you doing?" he asked.

"I'm going to fire him," John said, before walking over and sitting across from the man. Rodney quickly jumped up to follow him.

"Look," John said, without preamble. "I'll no longer be in need of your services."

"You didn't hire me," the man said, not bothering to look up. "And I'm not supposed to talk to you."

John looked over at Rodney, who was fidgeting beside the table. "Well?" he said. "Fire him. Or reassign him, or whatever. I don't want someone following me."

"I don't think I should do that," Rodney said. "At least not until the investigation is closed. And Ronon is one of the best."

"That's very nice," John said, wryly, "but I don't want someone following me around."

"Can we go back to our table now, please?" Rodney asked. "People are starting to stare. They're going to think I've been stood up. Tossed aside in favor of the mountain-man."

"Then tell him not to follow me," John said.

"Okay, fine." Rodney turned to Ronon. "You're fired."

Ronon grunted disinterestedly, and Rodney pulled John back to his feet and led him back to the table.

"Now," Rodney said. "Is it better now? Are you happy? Can we eat?"

"Yes," John said. "You're not going to hire anyone else to follow me, are you?"

"I promise," Rodney said. "I won't hire anyone else."

John nodded and looked at the menu, even though Rodney ordered for him anyway and without asking. It turned out to be pretty good, however, so he wasn't going to complain.

"I bet you meet a lot of weirdoes working at the bar," Rodney said.

"You have no idea," John said wryly. "You barely register as a seven on a scale from one to ten."

"Wow," Rodney said. "I can't believe I'm only a seven."

"It's a strange world," John said with a shrug. Something caught his eye across the room and he frowned. "Your friend Ronon is still here and he's still watching me," he said.

"Of course he is," Rodney said. "I told him to ignore me if I tried to fire him in front of you. Would you pass the salt?"

-----

This was, by far, one of the strangest days of John Sheppard's life. He shifted uncomfortably, because despite the large interior of the limo he could barely breathe. He glanced to his right, and Rodney smiled at him, slipping a hand up the length of his thigh. John grabbed it, squeezing his fingers until Rodney yelped and pulled his hand away. Then he turned to his left and Ronon was hunched over the mini-bar, pulling out brie and crackers and stuffing them in his mouth.

Rodney had decided since John knew Ronon was following him already Ronon might as well stick close. John was not amused.

"Are you sure I can't fire you?" John asked, again.

Ronon grunted. "You want to double what he's paying me, then sure."

"What's he paying you?" John asked.

"50,000," Ronon said.

"Oh my god," John said. "I'm not paying you a 100,000 dollars to stop following me."

"Then I guess we should become friends," Ronon said, smiling widely, which would have been attractive if not for all the cracker debris.

"I don't know what you're so upset about," Rodney said. "He's there to protect you. I feel really badly about how you were almost blown up this morning."

John placed his head in his hands. This was too much. It really really was. "You're all insane," he said.

"There's no reason to get so touchy," Rodney said. "Look, I'm even going to take you straight home. Well, almost. We have to stop by my office. You don't mind, do you?"

"Whatever," John said with a sigh. He grabbed a cracker out of Ronon's hand and started breaking off pieces of it. Ronon glared at him and reached for another.

"Do you want a glass of wine?" Rodney asked, sweetly.

"Don't even think about it," John snapped.

Rodney blinked innocently, and slid his hand back onto John's thigh.

-----

John spent the better part of the ride to McKay Tech fending off it's amorous CEO's advances and trying to ignore the sound of Ronon munching through crackers like maybe he hadn't eaten in a year. Stackhouse finally pulled in front of the building and John breathed a sigh of relief when Rodney told Ronon to wait in the car.

Rodney grabbed his wrist and pulled him along behind him. "We should be safe in the building," he said. "My security team is the best. They tell me all the time how they would consider it an honor to take a bullet for me."

John found that just a little hard to believe based on Bates, but he nodded anyway. They entered the elevator, and Rodney hit the top floor button. Rodney raised an eyebrow in his direction the moment they started moving up. "So...elevator sex?" he asked.

"I'm not having sex with you in an elevator," John said, trying not to smirk. "You're seriously insane."

"Brilliant men, not to mention the rich, are supposed to be a bit eccentric," Rodney said primly. "It comes with the territory."

"A little bit?" John said. "That still doesn't explain you."

"You're lucky you're hot," Rodney said, looking him up and down, "or I wouldn't take this abuse."

John laughed, relaxing for the first time that night, and Rodney beamed at him. The elevator doors opened and Rodney skipped out. "I'll only be a moment," he said, frowning when he saw the light was still on. Elizabeth was at her desk. "What are you doing here?"

She glanced up. "Still going over the reports," she said. "You told me I was to correct them all before giving them to you because your entire staff was composed of idiots."

Rodney frowned. "Oh, right. Yes, you should. Good...good work." He turned to John. "This is my secretary, Elizabeth Weir. You can watch her work until I get back."

John stuffed his hands into his pockets and nodded, strolling over to the desk as Rodney disappeared into his office. "Hi," he said. "I'm John Sheppard."

She glanced up distractedly. "Yes, I know," she said, grinning, before finally putting the work aside and clasping her hands on the desk. "You must be a very brave man."

John sat on the edge of her desk and laughed. "Why? Because I was almost blown up?"

"No," she said, grinning wryly, "for risking a date with Rodney McKay in the first place."

John laughed, leaning towards her. "He can be charming when he wants to be," he said.

"I turn my back for one second!" Rodney shouted, as he stormed back out of the office.

John didn't even look up. "Tonight hasn't really been one of those times," he confided.

"Are you actually hitting on my secretary?" Rodney snapped, before turning his glare on Elizabeth and then back. "I'd send you back to the car, but god only knows what you would get up to with Ronon."

"I wasn't hitting on anyone," John said, as he slid off the desk.

"Hmm," Rodney grumbled. "You do realize you're allowed to hit on me, right?"

John raised an eyebrow. "Allowed?" he said.

Rodney rolled his eyes before turning to glare again at Elizabeth. "Also? Little hint? Hitting on the boss's boy toy is not good for the security of your job."

"I'm not your boy toy!" John snapped. "I wish people would stop saying that."

"You seem far too intelligent to be a boy toy," Weir said helpfully.

Rodney pointed at her angrily. "Aht!" he shouted. "No hitting on him."

"I wasn't!" she said. "I was merely pointing out--"

Rodney pushed John into his office, glaring at Elizabeth all the while. "They're all out to get me," Rodney told him once they were alone. "All of them."

"Can you blame them?" John asked, looking around Rodney's office with wide eyes. "Wow. Nice view."

"It pays to be filthy rich," Rodney said, "but it's not like I don't deserve it, after all I've done for the world."

"Oh, of course," John said. "What would we do without interactive showers--ones capable of sexual harassment, no less?"

"Exactly," Rodney said distractedly, tossing files into an open briefcase. He frowned when he caught sight of a manila folder sitting in the middle of the chaos. He closed the briefcase and snapped it up, heading back out to Elizabeth's desk. "Where did this come from?" he asked, holding up the folder.

"No return address," Weir said. "It appeared when I went on break."

"And you didn't think that was a bit suspicious?" Rodney shouted. "My god, it could be a bomb!"

"It goes through all kinds of tests at the door, Dr. McKay," she said. "Which you already know, and which you designed. If it was dangerous it wouldn't be here."

Rodney frowned but opened it, just as John wandered back out of the office. He sat on Elizabeth's desk again and whispered something to her that made her laugh. Rodney glared at them both for their traitorous flirtation but returned his attention to the contents of the folder.

It was a series of pictures, all taken from someone right outside his house. There were some of him and John having wine, some of him trying to carry a drunken John to the guest room which all looked a little more untoward then they had actually been, and then a couple of them arguing on the front porch as the Ferrari went up in flames.

There was a note, too. It said, "drop the contract or he's dead."

"What's in the folder?" John asked, frowning at Rodney's uncharacteristic silence.

Rodney stuffed the pictures back into the folder. "Nothing," he said, hand tightening around his briefcase. "We should be going."

John waved goodbye to Elizabeth as they got back in the elevator, in better spirits than he had been all night, but Rodney was a sickly pale the entire way down.

-----

"I thought you were taking me straight home," John said, frowning at the looming mansion with suspicion.

"Change of plans," Rodney said. "You're staying in my guest room again. You know, unless you get lonely, in which case you can sleep with me."

John turned his narrowed eyes in Rodney's direction. "I haven't been home in two days. I've been wearing the same clothes for two days. Look, just call a Taxi or something..."

Rodney grabbed his arm and tugged him to the door, Ronon following them both two steps behind. "No no no," he said. "It isn't safe. Apparently there's someone stalking you, so you're staying with me. Besides, I can buy you new clothes."

John pulled his arm away. "What do you mean there's someone stalking me?" he asked.

Rodney paused. "Oh, right. Um...I received some pictures, of us. And a message that may have threatened your life. Maybe. It's very vague."

"What?" John asked. "You mean in that folder? You said it was nothing."

"I didn't want to alarm you," Rodney said.

John glared at him. "Well you're doing a terrific job."

"Seems to me he's screwing up pretty spectacularly," Ronon said from behind them, his tone indifferent and distracted; his eyes on the horizon.

"I don't see why you're so upset about all of this," Rodney said.

"You've hijacked my life!" John said. "Nothing has gone right since I met you."

"That's hardly fair," Rodney said, insulted. "I bought you a Ferrari."

"It exploded," he shouted.

"Yes, well, that was unfortunate."

John rolled his eyes, and turned around, taking the steps back down to the pavement two at a time. "You know, for a minute there, I was actually starting to think you could be normal."

"Well that was a stupid assumption!" Rodney said. "And where are you going? Did you not hear me about the crazed stalkers?"

"I'm calling a Taxi and I'm going home," John said, pulling out a cell phone.

"Look, there's no reason for that," Rodney said, following him down the steps. "I can be normal if you really want me to. We can even have some really great sex if you think it will cheer you up."

John rolled his eyes and glared at the cell phone, which wasn't getting a signal. He glanced up at Rodney, who was staring at him with something like real concern, and Ronon, behind him, who was adjusting his pants and batting at a bug. He didn't know what had happened to his life, but he didn't have many choices, so he found himself nodding.

Rodney brightened. "Really?" he said. "You want to have sex?"

John brushed past him with a sigh. "No, I'm going to use your guest room," he said.

Rodney glared after him. "You shouldn't walk around looking all easy if you're not!"

Ronon snorted at that and John just shook his head with a smirk, letting Rodney push him all the way up the steps.

-----

When he entered the bar the next day, late again, and wearing the same clothes for the third day in a row, Teyla just shook her head and gave a 'what am I going to do with you?' sigh. "I see you haven't been blown up," she said.

John moved to one of the barstools and collapsed onto the bar, his head smacking against the wood with a dull thud. "I don't know what's happened to my life," he said. "It's like suddenly I'm in a James Bond movie. Only I'm a Bond girl and not 007."

"Poor baby," Teyla said, sounding rather like she thought he deserved what he got for making her worry.

She leaned on the bar from the other side, glancing out the doors. "John, that strange man is here again. He's standing outside and staring at you."

John lifted his head only long enough to glance at the window, before letting it fall against the bar counter again. "That's just my bodyguard," he said, his voice muffled.

He could practically hear Teyla's eyebrow rise. "Since when do you have--"

"Don't ask," John said. "Really, just don't ask."

-----

"Rodney, you must take this to the police," Radek said, frowning at the pictures.

"I'm not an idiot," Rodney said. "I've sent them copies. They said there's nothing they can do, and that so far no harm has been done."

"It's a death threat," Radek said.

"Yes, I know, that's what I said," Rodney snapped. "I've told Ronon to be extra vigilant."

"And what about you?" Radek asked.

"They wouldn't dare," Rodney said smugly, leaning back in his chair.

"Rodney--"

"What? Am I an idiot?" Rodney snapped. "I brought in Teal'c."

Radek nodded. "Good. Also, Elizabeth called in sick today."

Rodney frowned, sitting up. "She did?" he asked, disbelievingly. "She was fine last night, and she doesn't seem the type to play hooky."

"I do not know what to tell you," Radek said, and left the office.

-----

John was closing the bar early so he could go home and sleep, and just as he finished locking the door the limo pulled up to the curb. He sighed, slipping inside when the door opened for him. "Rodney, I'm not in--"

He trailed off as the gun pointed at his forehead came into focus, and a man reached across him to pull the door shot.

"Hello, boy toy," the man said. "I am Mr. Bob, and this is Mr. Steve."

"It's not boy toy," John said petulantly, leaning back against the seat. "It's John Sheppard. What do you want?"

"You are our hostage," Mr. Steve said. "You will not speak."

John decided to ignore this command entirely, and absently tried the door handle. "I'm a hostage? What for?"

"You will not speak," Mr. Bob said.

"Look, Bobby, you can both say that as much as you want, but I'm not shutting up until I get some answers." He crossed his arms and glared them down. He knew from movies that hostages were pretty worthless dead, so he was hoping that meant they weren't planning to kill him until he lived out his usefulness.

Anyway, the Bond girls almost never died. Maybe 50% of the time they were still making out with good ole' James by the time the credits rolled.

"We wish to use you to bend Rodney McKay to our will," Mr. Steve said.

"You are his paramour," Mr. Bob said. "We will threaten to kill you violently until he secedes to our demands."

"Paramour?" John repeated. "I think I liked boy toy better. Look, fellas, I don't know where you're getting your information, but I've known Rodney McKay all of three days. I seriously doubt I'm going to make for good leverage."

"Dr. McKay does not have many friends," Mr. Steve said. "His sister is currently out of the country, so it was between you and the cat."

"In all honesty, we would have rather kidnapped the cat," Mr. Bob said, "but his mansion is built like a fortress and the cat has an escort of five when it goes on its walks. So you're going to have to do, and you'd better hope that McKay cares for you more than you think."

"What is this even about?" John demanded. "Why are you doing this?"

"Rodney has taken something of mine," Mr. Steve said. "So I have taken something of his."

"Actually, you've taken something of mine," John snapped. "I don't belong to anyone."

"That's not what I heard on the six o'clock news," Mr. Bob said.

"I grow weary of this person speaking," Mr. Steve said. "This is why I wanted the cat. If you please, Mr. Bob."

"Yes sir," Mr. Bob said, and he raised his gun and shot John.

John glanced down, and saw a small red dart sticking out of his chest. It blurred and split into two, and then he was sliding down the seat and everything was dark.

-----

"What do you mean you lost him?" Rodney snapped. "How do you lose him? How much am I paying you again?"

Ronon remained completely unfazed by Rodney's ranting. It was one of the reasons he'd hired him in the first place. "He got into a limo," he said. "Limos all look alike. I thought it was yours."

"Well, it wasn't, obviously," Rodney snapped.

"I'll find him," Ronon said, and he met Rodney's eyes. For the first time Rodney finally saw something deeper in him than the person he let show, and he had no doubts that Ronon would. The question remained whether John would be found in time.

"They're probably going to call me," Rodney said. "I had Carter and Zelenka wire my phone with our best tracing technology. These guys are idiots. I'm sure we'll get a trace."

Ronon nodded. "I'm going to try and retrace the limo's path. Call me if you get a location."

"How are you going to trace the limo's path?" Rodney asked.

"I have my ways," Ronon told him, and was gone.

Rodney sat down at his desk and tried not to hyperventilate. The last few days had been a little insane, he knew, even for him. He had met someone amazing that actually seemed to like him back, only to almost get the poor guy blown up, and then kidnapped. Rodney guessed that Katie had dodged a bullet getting out of town and uninvolved with him when she had.

The door opened, and the two detectives from the car explosion walked in. Detective Jackson was scribbling on his notepad.

Detective O'Neill with the two L's looked a lot like he'd rather be somewhere else. "Dr. McKay," he said. "What kind of car was it this time? Porsche? Lamborghini?"

"It's John," Rodney said, getting to his feet. "They've taken John."

"Who's taken him?" Detective Jackson asked, pen poised and ready to scribble the names down.

"Mr. Bob and Mr. Steve," Rodney said.

Detective O'Neill shook his head. "Aliases aren't going to do us any good, Dr. McKay."

"No, those are really their names," Rodney said. "They work at Wraith Enterprises."

"Mr. Bob, Mr. Steve," Jackson said. "Got it. I'll call it in, see if we have anything on them."

"Look, you've got to find him," Rodney said.

"Calm down, doctor," O'Neill said. "We deal with these situations all the time."

"People almost never die on our watch," Detective Jackson said supportively. "That thing last week was a total anomaly."

"What thing last week?" Rodney asked.

"We accidentally blew up a restaurant," Jackson said. "But don't worry, the hostage is going to live, and eyebrows grow back. Stuff like that happens all the time, and with counseling they can go on to live perfectly normal lives."

"Oh my god," Rodney said.

"Hey," O'Neill said. "You blew up a car."

"I didn't blow up it," Rodney snapped. "And no one lost any eyebrows. Who are you guys, anyway? The Keystone Cops?"

"I wish they would release that on DVD," Jackson said wistfully.

"I have it on VHS," O'Neill told him. "The quality's pretty good."

Rodney snapped his fingers. "Hey, hey, hostage situation? Ringing any bells?"

"Please calm down, sir," Jackson said. "We have everything perfectly under control."

Rodney was about to ask if he'd said that to the guy without eyebrows, but the phone rung before he could open his mouth. He ran to his desk and snapped it up, motioning Zelenka and Sam to start the trace. "Hello?" he said.

"We have something you want." The voice was distorted, with one of those cheap little voice changers you could buy at a toy store.

"I know who you are, you moron," Rodney said. "You might as well skip the Darth Vader act."

"Oh, right," Mr. Bob said. "Well, if you know who we are, then you know what we want. You have three hours to back out of your contract with Atlantica Industries, or the boy toy gets it."

"I want to talk to John," Rodney said.

"John can't talk right now. John's a little unconscious. Three hours." Click.

Rodney glanced over at Sam and Zelenka. "Did you get it?" he asked.

Sam shook her head. "We can give you a 20 mile grid, but that's as close as we could get. The good news is that the docks are in the grid, and Wraith Enterprises have a warehouse there. I'd say that was the safest bet."

"We'll handle it from here," O'Neill said. "Daniel, call it in."

"On it," Jackson said.

O'Neill bounced on his feet. "I want you to make some calls, make it look like you're trying to find a loophole to get out of your contract. Let them know you're trying--we may be able to use that to stall for time."

Rodney nodded. "That actually makes sense."

"You'd be surprised what you learn watching Keystone Cops," O'Neill said.

-----

When John came to, he was tied to a chair. He wished that he could say this was the first time he'd found himself in this situation, but there was that time with Chaya. He pulled at the ropes around his wrists, but they were surprisingly secure.

Mr. Bob and Mr. Steve were sitting at a table a few feet away, drinking tea. John squinted at them. His vision was still blurred from the drugs, and he thought they kind of looked like bipedal catfish.

"What news?" Mr. Steve was asking.

"McKay has been in contact with his lawyer, but nothing is finalized yet."

"How much longer?" Mr. Steve asked.

"It has only been ten minutes," Mr. Bob said.

"Oh," Mr. Steve said. "Can we kill the hostage now?"

"This is my first time, but I'm pretty sure you're not supposed to kill the hostage until you have what you want," Mr. Bob said.

Mr. Steve nodded. "I guess that makes sense, but I really want to kill him."

John grew up as an Air Force brat. His father taught him how to tie knots when he was seven, and he taught him to get out of them when he was seventeen. John learned a lot from his father that he'd just as soon forget, but this particular talent had been useful more than once.

The ropes came loose in his hands. He carefully let it slip soundlessly to the floor. Mr. Bob and Mr. Steve were still comparing notes on the proper handling of a hostage, so John used the opportunity to sneak right out the back door.

They were at the docks, and there didn't appear to be anyone near by. John knew it wouldn't be long before they noticed that he was gone, so he started walking. The drugs made him shaky on his feet, but he kept going, running one hand along the walls of the warehouses for balance.

He felt his pocket but his cell phone was gone. He guessed that meant that Bobby and Steve weren't entirely incompetent as kidnappers. Or possibly he'd just forgotten to take it with him when he left the bar.

-----

Rodney had insisted going along when O'Neill and Jackson left for the warehouse. They had called a SWAT team for backup, but they had all arrived silent and in unmarked cars. O'Neill was standing in the middle of the street with narrowed eyes and Jackson was sitting on the sidewalk looking bored.

"Well?" Rodney said. "Go in and rescue him."

"I'm thinking," O'Neill said. "We don't want this to end up like the Denny's incident."

"I said I was sorry," Jackson said. "It's always the red wire in the movies."

"It's always the blue wire," O'Neill said. "Blue, Daniel, blue. How many times do we have to have this argument?"

"Red! It's red!" Jackson glared at him, and then got out his notebook, and started writing furiously.

"He's a good kid," O'Neill said. "But don't trust him within fifty feet of an explosive. He can't help himself. He's got to touch the damn things."

"My faith in you is reaching an all time low," Rodney said. "Congratulations. I hadn't thought it could get any lower."

"Don't worry, I've got a plan," O'Neill said. "Daniel, get your vest on. We're going in."

Jackson jumped to his feet and went to the SWAT van. He threw a vest on and grabbed a pistol from one of the guys with an exuberance that was kind of frightening. "Point me at 'em," he said. "I'm ready to go."

O'Neill nodded. "I want you to stay here with McKay."

"Jack!" Jackson said, petulantly.

"You have to guard the exit," O'Neill explained.

"I always have to guard the exit," Jackson said.

"Well you're really good at it," O'Neill told him. "And things hardly ever explode when you're guarding the exit."

"Are you sure I'm going to be safe with him?" Rodney asked.

"I trust Daniel with my life," O'Neill said. "I certainly trust him with yours."

"Gee, thanks," Rodney asked. "You'd better get my boy toy back in one piece, or I'm going to report you both for being complete incompetents."

"That threat would be a lot more frightening if you hadn't already filed about eighty complaints against our department," Jackson told him. "We all stopped taking you seriously ages ago."

Rodney glared at him, but said nothing as O'Neill motioned to the SWAT team and started into the building. There were a few warning shots and some inhuman screams of terror, and then O'Neill was striding back out again, un-ruffling his shirt.

"What happened? Where's John?" Rodney demanded, looking past him.

"We got the bad guys," O'Neill said. "They both screamed and surrendered after one of my guys shot their teacups. But John wasn't there."

"What do you mean he wasn't there?" Rodney demanded. "He's their hostage."

"There was a chair, there was rope, there was no hostage," O'Neill said. "I sent a few guys to sweep the area. It's possible he escaped."

"He's a bartender," Rodney said, frantic. "Bartenders don't know how to escape from crazed corporate blood suckers."

"These guys are idiots," O'Neill said. "I'm pretty sure Granny O'Neill could have escaped from these guys, and she's ninety-two."

Rodney clamed somewhat, but he was still anxious. Two of the SWAT guys led Mr. Bob and Mr. Steve out, and Rodney took Jackson's gun and charged at them. He raised it right at Mr. Bob. "Where's John?" he yelled. "What have you done with him? Do you know how hard it is to find a nice guy in this town? Do you?"

O'Neill reached over and pulled the gun from his hand. "I didn't just see that. Did you see that?"

"I saw nothing," Jackson said. "My glasses are all fogged up. I can't see a thing."

"He threatened me!" Mr. Bob. "Abuse! Abuse!"

"Why don't you answer the man's question?" O'Neill asked. "Or maybe I'll give him back the gun."

"He's dead!" Mr. Steve said. "I killed him and threw him in the water."

Rodney lunged at him but Jackson held him back. "I'll kill you," he shouted. "I swear I'll kill you both!"

"I'm going to have to ask you not to do that." Rodney froze, turning towards the voice. His secretary was standing beside him, two men in black behind her. She was wearing a pantsuit and she was holding up an ID, it said Elizabeth Weir, NID. "I'm taking these men with me."

Rodney gaped at her. "But you're my secretary!"

Weir smiled at him. "Actually, I'm part of a task force assigned to locate some stolen technology. I was working undercover. And just so you know, working for you was a hell of a lot harder than my day job, and that's saying something."

"But, wait--what? You were undercover? In my building? Why?" Rodney snapped.

"Your technology is extremely advanced," Weir said. "To be honest, you were our prime suspect. Last night I was going through your notes, and I realized you really had created all of your technologies on your own. Knowing that, and knowing what was happening with Wraith Enterprises, we knew who we should really be after."

"You've been spying on me?" Rodney asked, hurt. "You were like a sister to me. You've been working for us for years, and it was all a lie?"

Weir grinned wryly. "Rodney, I've been there less than two months."

"Yeah, but still," Rodney said.

Weir motioned to her men to take Mr. Bob and Mr. Steve into custody. "Let's get them out of here, gentlemen."

"You can't take them," Rodney said. "They . . . they killed John. I want them to pay."

"John's fine," Ronon said. He joined the group, pulling a dazed John by the sleeve.

Rodney broke out into a wide grin. "You found him!"

"That's why I get the big bucks," Ronon said. "He was wandering in the middle street cussing out imaginary catfish. I think he's stoned."

John grinned over at Rodney dopily. "It was a tranq gun. I always wanted a tranq gun. I think they put a little something extra in this one, though." And then he passed out on Rodney, again. Rodney struggled to keep them both on their feet, and Ronon grabbed the back of John's jacket to keep him upright.

Weir watched as Rodney and Ronon carefully lowered John to the ground, and O'Neill got on his radio and called for a paramedic.

"Okay," Weir said. "I'm glad to see John's alright. Relatively. Now I've really got to take these men with me."

Rodney glanced up at her. "What are you going to do with them, really?" he asked.

Weir smiled. It was not the adorable 'aw shucks' smile she gave during her interview, it was confident and kind of scary. "Somewhere very dark, very small, and very deep. They won't be bothering you anymore, you can be sure of that."

And then they were gone.

Rodney grabbed John's hand, trying to wake him, and Jackson knelt down beside him. "See? Nothing exploded. I told you that you could count on us."

"I think it was mostly John and my guy that saved the day," Rodney said. "And Elizabeth is taking care of the bad guys."

"Yeah, but Jack caught them, and he shot up their tea," Jackson said.

O'Neill reached down and pulled Jackson to his feet. "Paramedics are here," he said. "I'm guessing you want to go with John, so we'll get your statement later."

"I don't think you're going to want to hear my statement," Rodney said, as they loaded John on a stretcher.

"I think we can both be certain of that," O'Neill said. "Have a nice day."

Rodney climbed into the ambulance after John and Ronon. "Thank god," he said. "Thank god he's okay."

Ronon grunted what Rodney thought was probably agreement. He glanced over at Ronon. "Do you think he's still going to want to date me?"

"Not if he's sane," Ronon said.

Rodney grinned. "That's okay then," he said, resting his forehead against John's hand. "Considering he went out with me in the first place, I don’t' think he is."

-----

John woke up in a strange place for the third time in almost as many days. Teyla was standing beside his bed glaring down at him and Rodney was on the other side, smoothing out the sheets on his bed and staring at him with wide caffeinated eyes.

"What happened?" John asked.

"You got kidnapped," Teyla said. "I don't know what's wrong with you. None of my other friends ever get kidnapped."

"Don't upset him," Rodney said. "It's okay now, John."

John pressed a hand to his head. "What happened to Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum?" he asked.

"I'm not sure," Rodney said. "But nothing good. They're being locked away somewhere, and I'm suspecting the key will be thrown away."

John smiled. "That's good," he said. "There was something off about those two."

Rodney nodded. "I guess they were stealing secret government technology. I always wondered how they could have stuff almost as good as mine when they were such total morons, so this has all explained a lot."

Teyla reached out and squeezed John's hand. "I'm glad that you are alright," she said, softening considerably. "I'm going to go call Aiden and tell him that you've woken up. Try not to get blown up or kidnapped while I'm gone."

"I'd promise," John said, "but I've kind of been trying not to get blown up or kidnapped all along."

Teyla rolled her eyes and left the room.

"She's kind of scary," Rodney said. "She screamed at me for like an hour, and I think she threatened to castrate me if I let you get hurt again."

"She must really like you," John said. "Usually goes straight to the murder threats."

Rodney bit his lip, and shifted his feet. "Are you really okay?" he asked.

John nodded. "I'm fine. They didn't do anything but drug me."

"I don't know what I would have done--and it would have been my fault--"

John grabbed Rodney's hand. "Hey, none of this was your fault," he said.

"It never would have happened if you hadn't met me," Rodney said. "You said so yourself."

"It still doesn't make it your fault, and maybe its been worth it," John said. He smiled over at Rodney.

Rodney sat back down in the chair by John's bed. "Does that mean I get second date?" he asked.

"How could I say no?" John asked. "I haven't had this much excitement in years."

"You seem like the type that attracts excitement," Rodney said. "Because actually, things like this never happen to me either, so it might as easily be blamed all on you. It didn't happen until I met you, either."

"I'm a boring guy," John said. "I run a little bar and my dream job is to open up a flight school in the Bahamas."

"You fly?" Rodney asked. "I didn't know you flew. And actually, I have a friend that could--"

"And just so you know, my telling you that is in no way meant to be misconstrued as 'I want you to buy it for me'--especially not if the one you intend to give me is going to explode."

"You're just not going to let that go, are you?" Rodney snapped.

"Not anytime soon, no," he said, and then he leaned forward and kissed Rodney's frown away.

Rodney grinned into the kiss. "Okay," said. "We'll compromise. For now, I'll just buy you a non-exploding plane. We'll work up to the Bahamas."

"You're crazy," John told him.

Rodney leaned forward to kiss him again. "Maybe," he said. "But what's wrong with that?"

John laughed, and pulled Rodney closer. "Not a thing," he said. "I might be a little crazy myself."
 
 
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Gaffsie: Head-pinchgaffsie on February 24th, 2008 - 08:47 pm
My joy cannot be textually rendered. ♥ This was a delightfully zany read.

“How did you go from offering him a ride home to being his boy-toy to nearly being dead?” Teyla demanded coolly. “Ford warned you, you know.”

That's so John it's almost not even funny. Almost. :D
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Layton Colt: shep barslaytoncolt on February 26th, 2008 - 07:05 am
Thank you! :-)
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Ellielli on February 24th, 2008 - 08:48 pm
omg, this was a lot of fun!!!!
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Layton Colt: rodneylaytoncolt on February 26th, 2008 - 07:06 am
Thanks, hun! :-)
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Eon: SGA Rodney happytharaist on February 24th, 2008 - 09:21 pm
Yay! That was so much fun!
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Layton Colt: pretty mckaylaytoncolt on February 26th, 2008 - 07:07 am
Thank you! :-)
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the chicken is your superior: sheppard: torso boy by unamagalavvyan on February 24th, 2008 - 09:21 pm
This is so completely insane I can't even tell you how much I love it. :D

Jack and Daniel the competently incompetent cops were pure genius!
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Layton Colt: sheplaytoncolt on February 26th, 2008 - 07:07 am
Hee. Thanks, hun! :-)
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intellectual peppery: Better do what he says. He's a whaleeleveninches on February 24th, 2008 - 09:55 pm
Ahaha, this is hilarious. I love Daniel and Jack as the two slapstick cops.
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Layton Colt: remiellaytoncolt on February 26th, 2008 - 07:09 am
Thank you! :-)
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there's nobody here but us chickensincidental_fire on February 24th, 2008 - 10:00 pm
That was delightfully fun. I'm not sure which part was the best, but the shower coming on to John was definitely in the top 3. :)
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Layton Colt: rayk and dieflaytoncolt on February 26th, 2008 - 07:10 am
Thank you! :-)
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goddess47goddess47 on February 24th, 2008 - 10:01 pm
“Do you have any idea what time it is?” she snapped.

His eyes slipped towards the wall clock. “Ten to two?” he said cautiously—with Teyla, there was always the possibility it was a trick question.


Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha..... so funny and smart and.... just them..... Nice!
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Layton Colt: recordinglaytoncolt on February 26th, 2008 - 07:10 am
Thank you! :-)
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Tia: atlantisclear_as_blood on February 24th, 2008 - 10:29 pm
This is too great.
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Layton Colt: fallenlaytoncolt on February 26th, 2008 - 07:11 am
Thank you! :-)
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(no subject) - not_sally on February 24th, 2008 - 10:32 pm
Layton Colt: au mcsheplaytoncolt on February 26th, 2008 - 07:12 am
Thank you! :-)
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Shelleyargosy on February 24th, 2008 - 11:10 pm
Aww, cute! Just what I needed today. :DD
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Layton Colt: au mcsheplaytoncolt on February 26th, 2008 - 07:11 am
Thank you! :-)
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choisir_fatechoisir_fate on February 25th, 2008 - 12:01 am
"You shouldn't walk around looking all easy if you're not!"

"Your friend Ronon is still here and he's still watching me," he said.
"Of course he is," Rodney said. "I told him to ignore me if I tried to fire him in front of you.


LMAO... This is spot on Rodney. Thanks for sharing a very funny story.
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Layton Colt: ronon and johnlaytoncolt on February 26th, 2008 - 07:13 am
Thank you! :-)
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epiphanyx7 on February 25th, 2008 - 01:30 am
So very much love, from me to you. This was like the best kind of crack, mixed with DETECTIVE DANIEL JACKSON.

Gosh, Seriously. Detective Jackson. My favourite character in the world. <3
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Layton Colt: cluttered thoughtslaytoncolt on February 26th, 2008 - 07:14 am
Thank you! I had way too much fun with poor Daniel in this fic. ;-)
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rellanrellan on February 25th, 2008 - 01:36 am
Such crack. I love this nuttiness.
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Layton Colt: good timeslaytoncolt on February 26th, 2008 - 07:15 am
Thank you! :-)
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Susan: catastrophist since 1982: gifted and talenteddaydreamer on February 25th, 2008 - 01:44 am
So much fun from beginning to end! I love determinedpursuer!Rodney and resignedtothecraziness!John, Daniel and Jack were perfect as the bumbling detectives, and Mr. Steve and Mr. Bob just cracked me up every time.
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Layton Colt: jd standlaytoncolt on February 26th, 2008 - 07:16 am
Thank you! :-)
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Cyanne: SGA- McShep Completely Manipsilver_cyanne on February 25th, 2008 - 02:21 am
Oh, this is wonderful. I love all the cameos, and I really love what you did with Elizabeth. And Rodney, there are no words, but it really works. Thanks for the treat.
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Layton Colt: au mcsheplaytoncolt on February 26th, 2008 - 07:17 am
Thanks, hun! :-)
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KB: Jantopsyko_kittie on February 25th, 2008 - 03:10 am
Adorable! Great fic. Mr. Bob and Mr. Steve! Oh, sadness, no Mr. Todd! (Oh, wait he's the smart one... nevermind)!
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Layton Colt: captain jack/ianto celllaytoncolt on February 26th, 2008 - 07:17 am
Thank you! :-)
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adafrogadafrog on February 25th, 2008 - 03:14 am
awww...loved it!
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Layton Colt: david hewlettlaytoncolt on February 26th, 2008 - 07:18 am
Thanks, hun! :-)
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gateruner: More McShep Lovegateruner on February 25th, 2008 - 04:01 am
I'm not usually one to read AU's that take place outside the fandom universe, but I was drawn to this one. And I'm so glad I read! It was a fun read and I liked how you had the characters woven throughout, even Jack and Daniel!
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Layton Colt: au mcsheplaytoncolt on February 26th, 2008 - 07:19 am
Thank you! :-)
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winter_elf: McShep Valentine Heartwinter_elf on February 25th, 2008 - 04:32 am
Hee! Cracked up fun! A very enjoyable read.
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Layton Colt: john and rodneylaytoncolt on February 26th, 2008 - 07:19 am
Thank you! :-)
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wanted_a_pony on February 25th, 2008 - 07:17 am
John smiled. "That's good," he said. "There was something off about those two."

< snrk > Oh, reeeeeeaalllllly? This was good fun, thanks for sharing!
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Layton Colt: atlantislaytoncolt on February 26th, 2008 - 07:20 am
Thank you! :-)
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pionie: john8dork_by_danverspionie on February 25th, 2008 - 09:51 am
This made me smile the whole way through! Great fun :)
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Layton Colt: shep gorgeouslaytoncolt on February 26th, 2008 - 07:20 am
Thank you! :-)
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mangstmangst on February 25th, 2008 - 03:40 pm
This made my day! Crazy, nutty, fun! :)
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Layton Colt: silly fangirllaytoncolt on February 26th, 2008 - 07:21 am
Thank you! :-)
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Melmellyna on February 25th, 2008 - 06:18 pm
Hilarious, and I so loved Rodney in this. Thanks for sharing.
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Layton Colt: shep orange and bluelaytoncolt on February 26th, 2008 - 07:22 am
Thank you! :-)
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Connieriani1 on February 25th, 2008 - 08:22 pm
Oh, that was wonderful.
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Layton Colt: house/wilson workinglaytoncolt on February 26th, 2008 - 07:23 am
Thank you! :-)
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Gunbunny: brain pinkyburntcopper on February 26th, 2008 - 12:25 am
hee! Keystone cops! Bond Girls! flaily flaily flaily giggle!
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Layton Colt: ronon and johnlaytoncolt on February 26th, 2008 - 07:23 am
Thank you! :-)
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