12 May 2008 @ 12:38 am
SGA: Life in Little Canada (R), McKay/Sheppard.  
There are some people who enter a guy's life and screw it up forever. John Sheppard did this to Rodney McKay--not forever, but periodically.

Written for literal_sga and based on the book One for the Money, by Janet Evanovich.

back to part one

When I made it home, Rex wasn't the only one I found on the couch. John was splayed out on it, one leg over the arm, the other resting on the floor. Rex was purring in a satisfied curl on his stomach, and they were watching The Dog Whisperer.

I pushed the door shut behind me with a loud click, and John glanced in my direction.

"Have you come to your senses and decided to turn yourself in?" I asked.

John laughed, picked up Rex, and sat up. "I think your cat has a television addiction," he said. "He almost took my face off when I tried to change the channel."

"John," I said. "Please, just tell me what's going on. I'm not in the mood for your games--"

John set Rex back on the couch and stood up. "I can't," he said. "Jack called me. He told me you were asking about Teyla."

I should have figured Daniel would tell Jack, and that Jack would tell John. That was the problem with Daniel being such a blabbermouth, it went both ways. "So?"

"So you really need to stay out of this, Mere," he said.

"Did she kill Sumner?" I demanded.

"No," he said. "Of course not."

"Are you sleeping with her?" I almost winced. I knew I should not have gone there, but it was too late now.

John snorted. "You're jealous," he said.

"I am not," I said. "I just want to know why you're doing all this for her--"

"You don't know that," John said. "Not that it's any of your business, but Teyla is a friend, a very good friend, but still just a friend, and none of this is her fault. Sumner was following me that night. He thought I was working for Kolya, and he just ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time, and I couldn't explain it yet--I still can't. I've told you too much as it is."

"You haven't told me anything!" I shouted.

John sighed. "I think I liked you better as a teacher," he said.

"Don't kid yourself," I snapped. "I've always been like this."

"Touché," John said with a grin.

"Whatever," I said. "I can't deal with this now. I'm going to take a shower and go to bed. I can't be tracking you down right now."

John's grin turned into more of a smirk. "I'm standing in your living room," he said.

"I still haven't got a Tazer," I told him. "I finally got some handcuffs, but I haven't figured out how to get them on you yet." I pulled the pink furry cuffs out of my jacket pocket, and John burst out laughing.

"Well, you never know," he said. "Maybe after all this over and if you ask nicely . . ."

I ignored him and headed to the bathroom. Most people might be a little unnerved about having a fugitive in their home, but I trusted John enough to know he meant it if he said he didn't kill Sumner.

The only thing I was worried about at all was my virtue, what was left of it from the last time I was alone in a house with John, anyway.

John was the kind of guy that could break your heart on a whim, but in spite of that, he was also the kind of guy that would watch The Dog Whisperer just because your cat wanted to. I found it really hard to resist that.

I made sure to lock the bathroom door and then I shed my clothes and stepped into the shower. It had been a long couple of days and I leaned my face up towards the water, and resisted the urge to melt into a puddle and slide down the drain.

It was probably a good half hour before I came out of the shower. John was in the doorway, despite the locked door, holding a cup of steaming coffee. I scrambled for a towel and wrapped it quickly around my waist.

"I've seen everything before," he said, smug, but then his smile turned almost shy as he held out the mug. "I brought you coffee. You looked like you could use it."

I grabbed it, and drank it greedily. I was almost touched. The way to my heart was through coffee, but I was wary too, because I knew that John had learned that early on. "Thank you," I said.

"I need you to do me a favor," John said. I'd known he was trying to soften me up with the coffee. "I need you to stay home tonight."

I narrowed my eyes suspiciously. I remembered the message from Kolya, and today was the last day John had. "Sure. Let me take you in, and I'll sleep easy."

John sighed. "Rodney, this is serious. I need you to promise."

"I won't," I said. "Look, I started out for the money, but now I've remembered what an idiot you are, and you're just stupid enough to try and take on Kolya by yourself and I--" I glanced up, determined. "And I'm not letting you do that."

John gave me that grin of his, the one I hated with a passion. I was a grown man, and grown men did not swoon over nice smiles like little girls. Especially not men as intelligent and witty and incredible as myself. I hated that grin because despite all of that John always managed to snare me with it anyway.

The first time he grinned at me like that he was seven and I was six, and he thought it would be a lot of fun if we used bath towels as capes and jumped off his two story roof. I pulled every tendon in my foot and spent the next two weeks on crutches, and he landed without a scratch, which is mostly a metaphor for how all of my interactions with him tend to end.

"I'd take that threat a lot more seriously if you weren't handcuffed to your shower rod," he said.

"I'm not handcuffed to my shower rod," I snapped.

"Oh, right. Knew I was forgetting something." John leaned over and kissed me deeply, his hands resting gently on my neck for a moment before dropping away. He tugged gently at my bottom lip and the thought circled vaguely around my head that I should probably be pulling away.

He rested his forehead against mine for a moment before he stepped back out of reach, just as I clued in and realized my left wrist was hanging suspended from my shower rod in the fuzzy pink bracelet of my own damn cuffs.

John was already halfway out the door.

"This is it!" I shouted. "Now you've gone too far. I'm going to get you for doing this to me!"

The usual John-reaction would have been to laugh, but he was serious when he turned around. "So long, Rodney," was all he said, and then he was gone.

I felt a little sick. I didn't know what he was going to do or what was going on, but I knew John, and I could guess--he was going to Kolya, and he was going to get himself killed. And here I was, naked and attached to my shower by novelty cuffs.

At least he'd left the coffee.

I took a sip as I mused about my current situation, and it helped a little. I saw my jeans lying on the floor, and was grateful that I was a slob. If I could reach them, my cell phone was in the pocket. I pulled away from the shower awkwardly, splaying my right leg out as far as it would go, and dragging the jeans back towards me.

I managed to lean down far enough to get the cell phone out of the pocket, but then I had the dilemma of deciding who to call. My mother? The fire department? Jack and Daniel? I sighed. No way to all of the above.

This was why I had Carson on speed-dial, but I knew he was never going to let me live it down.

The phone rung three times before it was answered. "This is Carson's phone--what do you want?"

Perfect. It was the anti-Christ. Of course Cadman would answer, it was Murphy's Law. She had a tendency to hang up when she knew it was me. I thought fast, and decided my best bet was to disguise my voice and pretend to be someone else. "Oh, yee, hi-der," I said, using my best Scottish accent. "Is mee good ole' lad Carson dere, luv?"

There was a pause. "Rodney? Rodney, is that you? Why do you sound like Frances McDormand on helium?"

I glared at the wall, and hoped somehow she could feel it. "Just put Carson on," I said.

"He was called into a work emergency," she said. "Some woman went into early labor. Is there something you'd like me to tell him?"

"You never give him my messages," I snapped.

"This is true," Laura said, wryly. "However, in my defense, your messages usually go along the lines of 'tell Carson to get a new wife.'"

"I just really need to talk to Carson right now," I said.

"Oh, well why didn't you say so?" she asked. "I'll just drive down to the hospital and ask the woman pushing a tiny human out of her if she'd mind holding on a sec, cause Rodney'd like a word with the doctor."

"I hate you," I told her.

"I love you too, Rodney," she said. "Kisses." And she hung up.

I closed my eyes and counted to ten. The thought of calling Laura back and asking her to come unlock these cuffs terrified me beyond the telling, but John needed me, and I couldn't think of anyone else. I was about to hit re-dial when I saw the RononMan business card sticking out of my jeans pocket. I reached out with my foot and tugged it closer again, and then reached down to grasp it with the tips of my fingers.

I wasn't exactly thrilled about asking Ronon to come get me free while I was naked, either--but all things considered, I found Ronon a lot less scary than Cadman. Anyway, he had said to call if I got into trouble.

I dialed the number.

"Speak." Ronon's voice was curt and kind of growly, and I winced.

"Uh, hi," I said. "It's McKay."

"The newbie?" Ronon asked.

"Yep," I said. "I have a situation."

"Are you hurt?" he asked. "Did you shoot yourself with your staple gun?"

"No, I didn't shoot myself with the staple gun," I snapped. "John handcuffed me to my shower rod and then went after Kolya."

Ronon said, "Heh," and then hung up.

My arm was starting to hurt and I was desperate enough to be thinking of calling Laura again when Ronon appeared in my bathroom.

"Heh," he said.

I narrowed my eyes at him. "How did you get in?" I asked.

"Locked doors aren't really a problem for me," he said. "I wanted to see if you were serious."

"I was serious, as you can see," I snapped.

"Yeah, I can see a lot," he said. "You're a lot more built than I thought you'd be."

I clung to my towel and glared. "Can you please just get me out of these cuffs?"

Ronon looked at the cuffs. "Classy," he said. "You got the Princess model."

"They were in the Lost but Found," I said.

"You probably should have let them stay there," Ronon said. He reached up, and the cuffs magically unclasped.

"How did you do that?" I asked.

Ronon grinned. "They've got a safety release," he said. "These weren't exactly made for criminals."

I sighed. Of course they were trick cuffs. "Well, thank you," I said. "I didn't know who else to call that would ever let me live this down."

Ronon grinned in a way that had me thinking he wasn't going to let me live it down either.

I carefully maneuvered past him, holding tightly to my towel.

"Hey," Ronon called after me. "Did you know your cat is watching Animal Planet?"


Ronon stole the rest of my coffee and left me a gun. "Just in case," he said, before disappearing like Batman.

It looked like the kind of gun cops used on TV, and it was making me and Rex nervous, so I hid it in my cookie jar, grabbed my keys, and started towards the Genii Gym to try and find John.

I'd learned my lesson the last time, so I bypassed the front door and snuck into the back ally. I'd pushed the pink furry cuffs half down the back of my jeans, because trick cuffs or not, they were the best I had. I snuck down the ally behind the gym. It was dark and creepy, as expected, but I didn't see anyone around.

The back door had been left unlocked, I was figuring Kolya knew there wasn't anyone stupid enough to rob him. I opened the door gently, and slide inside without making too much noise. The lights were at half power inside, and I could hear voices coming from the main room.

The back door had led me to the hall with the offices, and I crept along it until I finally reached the doorway to the workout room. There was no door, so I leaned out a bit to get a look. The hallway itself was dark, and I was counting on that to keep them from seeing me.

There was a girl with bright curly red hair guarding the front door with some kind of automatic rifle, so I figured the back door had a been a good choice. Kolya was in the middle of the room, two more armed men behind him. Teyla was on the ground in front of him. There was blood running into her right eye, but she didn't look in too bad a shape.

"You bastard," she shouted. "I'm going to kill you!"

She also seemed to be keeping in good spirits. I leaned out a little further, but there was no sign of John.

"You're in no position to be making threats," Kolya said. "Get on your feet."

Teyla looked up at him and grinned. I recognized that kind of grin and I winced, because that was the same kind of grin John always gave when he was about to do something stupid.

Teyla braced her hands on the mat, and swung her legs around, knocking Kolya off balance and into one of his men. She sprung up onto her feet, and grabbed the rifle from the other man, before hitting him across the face with it and sending him to the floor.

I thought for a moment she actually had them, but the woman guarding the door moved quick too, and she had her rifle aimed at Teyla's head before she had a chance to aim hers. "Drop it," she said.

Teyla turned the muzzle of the rifle towards the floor and held out her hands in surrender. Kolya got to his feet and grabbed it from her. "Enough," he said. "Sora, bring the car around."

"Yes, sir," said the girl, before disappearing out the door.

Kolya was watching Teyla strangely. "You're going to regret that," he said. "Take her."

Kolya's men grabbed her roughly, and pulled her out of the gym. Kolya followed them out, and I leaned against the wall, feeling sick. I should have brought Ronon's gun. I should have done something.

I pressed my eyes closed for a moment, and then took a deep breath. I sprinted back out the back door and headed to my car. I didn't have time for recriminations. I had to follow them and hope they led me to John.

I hunched down in the front seat when a dark blue Escalade went flying by, and then pushed the key into the ignition. "I know we've never really gotten along," I told the car. "But John's in trouble and I really need you to cooperate."

I turned the key. The Bug started up easily, and I let out a startled laugh. "I can't believe that worked," I said. I glanced back to the road, and caught sight of the Escalade just before it turned left. I took off after them, keeping the headlights off.

The Bug was pretty much the worst car to trail people in ever, but no one ever replaced the streetlights on Stark Street and I didn't think they could see me in this dark.

They weren't following any of the main roads. After about twenty minutes of following them in full stealth mode, they spun off onto a thin gravel road. I waited a few beats before following them onto it, because the gravel made it harder to go unnoticed, and the Bug was huffing and puffing by now.

The Escalade obviously had four-wheel drive, because they zoomed on easily, before disappearing behind a cusp of trees. I hadn't recognized this place at first, but it hit me suddenly where I was. This was Pegasus Park. John had a birthday here once when we were kids. I remember because he climbed the highest tree he could find and almost broke his neck when he dropped out of it still fifteen feet up.

I was certain John had chosen this as a meeting place, which meant he was here, somewhere. I went off the road and parked the Bug behind some bushes. For once, I was happy it was green. With the antennae and the color, it kind of looked like some strange plant.

I climbed out of the car and started towards the main area of the park. I wished I had some cool toys, like night-vision goggles, or a Tazer, but I was pretty much the worst prepared bounty hunter of all time. I picked up a big rock as I snuck along, just in case.

I crept around the trees until I reached the edge of the clearing. There was a U-Haul parked across from the Escalade, and the headlights were still on, providing the only light in this area of the park. Kolya was standing right in the light, holding a gun to a very pissed off looking Teyla.

My heart clenched a little when I saw John standing at the back of the U-Haul. He was wearing a pair of old green cargo pants, and I could just make out the edge of the gun he'd stuck down the back of them. It made me feel a little better that at least one of us was armed, and that it was him, since I didn't actually know how to shoot.

"Do you have it?" Kolya asked.

John smirked, which I thought was probably not a good idea considering his present circumstances. "I do," he said. "But it doesn't look like you're holding up your end of the bargain."

Kolya pushed Teyla a step forward. "She's right here."

"You're supposed to let her go," John said. "You've got a gun aimed at her."

Kolya lowered the gun. "You can have her. She's more trouble than she's worth."

Teyla walked to John. I thought her composure was pretty extraordinary. I would have probably run screaming.

John waited until Teyla was beside him, and he shared a quick look with her before reaching back to open the doors of the U-Haul. I could see bags and bags of something green, and figured that it was Canadian marijuana. I didn't think I wanted to know why John had it to begin with.

"It's all here," John said. "But I think we're going to have to lay a few ground rules."

"Excuse me?" Kolya said. "We had a deal. The girl for the drugs."

John reached behind him and grabbed his gun, casually raising it to aim at Kolya. "I think we're going to make a new deal," he said. "You want to be the big bad marijuana runner? Fine. Whatever. Honestly, there's one in every place and better the devil you know, so we let you slide." John stepped forward, keeping the gun steady. I nervously kept track of Kolya's goons, all of whom had aimed their own guns at him.

"When people start getting hurt," John said. "It's a different story."

Kolya had raised his own gun, and he laughed. "People get hurt all the time. If you and your friend there don't want to be proof of this, I suggest you lower your gun and move the hell away from my drugs."

"I'm placing you all under arrest," John said.

"You can't be serious," Kolya said. "You're out-numbered and out-armed."

I saw a flash of red from the trees and noticed Sora, sneaking up behind Teyla. I leaned forward, about to shout a warning, but Teyla had noticed her too. Teyla dropped to the ground as Sora fired, and then all hell broke loose.

I saw Kolya swing his gun around to aim at John, and I took off running. I slammed into him just as the gun went off, and sent us both crashing to the ground. "Rodney?" John shouted. "What the hell--"

I glanced up. Teyla had spun around and knocked Sora to the ground with a roundhouse kick. She grabbed Sora's gun and spun around again, shooting Kolya's other two goons before they could fire off a shot. She continued spinning in place, gun held out, looking for Kolya, but he was gone. I hadn't seen which way he went.

"Rodney," John said. "Rodney, I can't breathe."

I pulled back, and realized sickly that John was bleeding. "You've been hit!" I shouted. "Where--"

John pushed me away. "It's just a graze," he said. "That shot would have killed me if you hadn't just come out of nowhere. I owe you one."

"More than one," I said. "But who's counting?"

Teyla walked over, eyes wide and still searching. "Are you both alright?" she asked.

John pushed himself up on his elbows. "We're fine," he said.

Teyla held out a hand and pulled John easily to his feet. I tried not to glare too much as I pushed myself up on my own. "I overheard Kolya earlier," she said. "He's taking them back to the tunnel tonight. They're already on their way there. They can't--"

"Go," John said. "Go and find them. We'll be fine."

Teyla looked uncertain, and she sent a wary glance at me. "John . . ."

"I'm fine," he said. "I'll get Kolya. Take his car and go."

Teyla nodded. "Be careful," she said, before running back to the Escalade and then taking off. Gravel shot out everywhere as she spun out, and then she was gone.

"What was she talking about?" I asked. "What's going on?"

John glanced at me, before replacing his gun at the small of his back, and moving over to the unconscious Sora. "It's a long story," he said. "Why don't you start us off by telling me how the hell you got here. I thought you were handcuffed to your shower."

"They were trick cuffs," I told him.

John looked over at me, impressed. "I know that, but I'm surprised you did."

"You'd be surprised what I know," I said.

"I just said I was," John said, grinning. "Well, however you got here, I meant it--thank you, Rodney."

"That's the first time you said it," I told him.

"It's probably the last time I'll say it, too," he said. "Here's the plan. I'm going to lock Sora in the U-Haul, and you're going to drive it to the police station and tell Jack what's going on."

"There's a flaw in your plan," I snapped. "I haven't a clue what's going on, because you won't tell me, even now."

John sighed. "Kolya's been using some of Teyla's friends as drug runners by promising them a way into the states, and well, you've seen her in action, so I'm sure you understand when I say she didn't take too kindly to it."

"That doesn't explain how you got involved," I said.

John nodded towards the U-Haul. "This was a delivery for Kolya. Teyla intercepted it, and it hid it here. She called me that night because Kolya grabbed her before she could negotiate some kind of deal to free her friends. I went to negotiate some kind of deal for her. Sumner followed. Sora killed him with my gun. End of story."

"How did she get your gun?" I asked.

John glared at me. "I don't want to talk about that, and I don't have time for this. Kolya's got a head start already."

"You're not going after Kolya!" I said. "You can't possible think---you've been shot."

"It's a graze," John said. He lifted Sora into his arms, and turned back towards the U-Haul. He climbed into the back and laid her on the marijuana. I had about a nanosecond to decide what I was going to do before he turned back around.

Yep. I was actually going to go through with it. I grabbed the doors of the U-Haul and slammed them shut, locking them quickly. John started banging on them almost before the lock snapped into place.

"Rodney!" he shouted.

"You're not going after Kolya alone," I said. "This has all gone far enough."

There was a lot more banging on the doors, so I was thinking John didn't agree. "Rodney, I swear to god, if you don't open these doors right now!"

"This is for your own good," I told him. "I promise to buy you a pizza with my $10,000 dollars when they let you out of prison."

John continued shouting things, but he'd stopped forming coherent sentences. Mostly, it was just a string of obscenities that I thought he'd probably learned in the air force. I felt bad locking him in a U-Haul with a bunch of marijuana and that crazy person Sora, but it really was for his own good.

John had always tried to handle everything on his own for as long as I could remember. Even now that he was a cop, he'd gone to help Teyla on his own without letting his partner know what was going on. If I hadn't stopped him he would have run off on his own again, and this time he might not have come back.

I got into the U-Haul and burned rubber down the gravel road. I was actually pretty proud of myself. I'd stopped John getting killed, and I'd caught a bad guy to boot. Admittedly, Teyla had done most of the bad guy catching, but I was the one heading back to the police station with John and I hadn't even needed to use the cuffs.


I called Daniel on the way to the police station, so he was waiting outside with Jack when I got there. I handed them the U-Haul keys. "John isn't very happy with me," I told them. "I'm not sure I should be here when you let him out. Also, he got shot a little, so make him get it looked at."

Jack took the keys. "Will do."

"Is it okay I fill out the paperwork tomorrow?" I asked.

Jack nodded. "I just can't believe you caught him," he said.

I raised my chin. "I told you. I'm good at everything."

"Right," Jack said wryly. "And weren't you just about to run and hide, before I let John out?"

"I said I'm good, not suicidal," I said.

I quickly crossed the parking lot. There was a lot of screaming when Jack opened the U-Haul. I could see Daniel trying to calm John down as Jack helped Sora out of the truck and had her sit on the pavement with her hands on her head. She was conscious now, and I hoped she hadn't given John too much trouble. He was going to be mad enough at me as it was.

I took out my cell phone and hit the Carson speed dial again. "Oi, Rodney, is dat you der? Hi der." It was the anti-Christ again, moonlighting as a comedian. As if my night had not been complete.

"I want to talk to Carson," I said.

"Still in surgery," she said. "Maybe you should try the accent again, and I won't know it's you, and I'll tell you that he's really just taking a shower."

"I hate you," I told her.

"I get a tingly feeling every time I hear you say those words," she said, and laughed her evil laugh, and then hung up.

I sighed. Ronon had already un-cuffed me when I was half-naked, so I figured I would probably be pushing my luck if I called him again and asked for a ride back to Pegasus. I could go back to the station and ask Daniel to drop me off there, but I was afraid I might run into John, and it was probably best to let him cool off for awhile.

I dialed the bonds office in the hopes that Radek was still there, and that he wouldn't just hang up on me.

"Kavanaugh's House of Bondage," Radek said.

"That's disturbing on so many levels," I said.

Radek gave a very un-Radek-like snicker. "I've been thinking that one up all night," he said. "I decided to use it when I want to scare off customers. What is it you want, Rodney?"

"I need a ride," I said.

"I'm sorry," Radek said. "You dialed wrong number. This is not the Taxi service."

"Look, I just dropped Sheppard off at the police station and got us that $100,000 bond, and I've had a horrible day, so get your ass down here and give me a ride," I said.

"You got Sheppard?" Radek said, astounded. "Please tell me you did not kill him with your staple gun."

"Sheppard smashed my staple gun," I said. "Are you coming, or what?"

"I will be there," Radek said. "I will be there because I do not believe you."

Radek arrived within ten minutes, breaking new speed records in his Mini Cooper, and he insisted on going in to the police station to see if I really had brought Sheppard in. He came back out looking shell-shocked and wide-eyed. "He is not happy with you," he said. "I think next time he faces murder charges it will be for killing you."

"Thanks," I said. "That's what I love about our friendship. All that support and reassurance."

Somehow, I managed to fit into the Mini Cooper, and then we were screeching out of the driveway. All and all, driving with Radek was a pretty terrifying experience. He had Celine Dion playing full blast and was singing along, and he didn't seem to know the difference between the red and green lights.

"Red means stop," I said, hanging onto the door. "It means stop."

"Those are just for suggestions," Radek told me.

On the bright side, it only took us five minutes to get there, and I survived. I stumbled out of the car, and decided I would never criticize John's driving again.

Radek leaned over before I shut the door. "You did well," he said. "I did not think you would catch anyone, let alone Sheppard. I have good one for you tomorrow, Vala Mal Doran, first cat burglar in Little Canada."

"I'll try and contain my excitement," I said.

Radek sped off in a crazy mini blur. I guess you didn't actually need to pass the driver's test if you weren't officially a citizen. God bless Little Canada.

The Bug was where I'd left it, and I quickly got inside. The park was a little spooky at night, and I really just wanted to get home and sleep until tomorrow. The Bug had apparently sensed that the danger for John was over, because it took three times to get it to start.

I managed to coax it onto the main road somehow, and once we got off the gravel it was driving pretty smooth. I was just starting to relax and congratulate myself on a job well done when I caught sight of a pair of crazy eyes staring back at me in the rearview mirror.

"Ah!" I spun nearly off the road, before getting the car back under control.

"Keep driving," Kolya said.

I took a shaky breath, and glanced back towards the rearview mirror. He had a gun in his hands, aimed at the back of my seat, and from the way he was bleeding, I was guessing that Teyla had managed to get a shot at him before he'd disappeared.

"I tried to hotwire it, and it wouldn't start," he said, gun wavering in his grip. "It wouldn't start. I swear, it was mocking me."

I gripped the steering wheel. "Is there somewhere I can drop you off?" I asked, steadily as I could. "Like a hospital, maybe? That looks pretty bad."

He laughed. "We're going to your place, or I'm going to shoot you in the head and take my chances with this crazy-ass car."

He was going to kill me. I knew he was. I felt dizzy as I headed past the Minneapolis welcome sign and got closer to my apartment. It was a horrible thing, but my only hope was that the gunshot was even worse than it looked, and he would die first.

"Who the hell are you, anyway?" Kolya asked. "You keep appearing just when I have John where I want him. Everything would have been fine, the way it always is, if you hadn't kept showing up."

"I'm a bounty hunter," I said.

Kolya let out a laugh, that quickly turned into a coughing fit, and jammed his gun into the back of my seat hard enough that I could feel it on the other side. "Keep driving, bounty hunter."

I pulled into my apartment building's parking lot. "This is it," I said. I could hear my heart pounding in my ears. I knew there would be no hope coming from my fellow tenants, not one of them was under eighty years old. The building was a de facto retirement home, and I'd only been lucky enough to get a place here because my Grandma Mazur had left it to me when she moved to Las Vegas to become a showgirl.

My Grandma Mazur probably would have kicked Kolya's ass.

"Out of the car," Kolya said. "Try anything and you're dead. I have very little left to lose."

I carefully got out of the car, and Kolya was right behind me, pressing his gun into my back. "If you have nothing to lose," I said. "Why not cut and run? I'm sure you have connections that could help you with that gunshot wound and--"

"Shut up," he said. "Shut up. They're gone. She got to them all."

I frowned. "What are you--"

"Don't talk, walk," he said.

I glanced behind me and noticed he was standing upright. There was a bloodstain fanning out from his left side, but it wasn't bleeding enough that it had gone through to his jacket. He wasn't as bad off as I'd thought. I guess the crazy eyes had more to do with him being crazy than the blood loss.

The elevator didn't work in my apartment building, so I led him straight to the stairs. He didn't comment about it. It was nearly twelve, so the lights were all off, and everyone here had been asleep since seven. No one stopped us.

"Open it," Kolya snapped, when we reached my door.

I opened the door. Rex was still on the couch, watching TV. Kolya ignored him, and Rex ignored us, which I figured was for the best. Kolya locked the door behind us. He was surveying every inch of my room, for insane reasons all his own, like maybe escape plans, or convenient places to stash bodies.

"Where's John?" Kolya demanded.

"John?" I said. "I turned him into the police."

Kolya glared at me. "You think I'm an idiot? I know you're working with him. Where is he? I want you to get him here, now."

"Okay," I said. "Let me just give the police a ring, see if they can let him out for a while."

"I will kill you," Kolya said. "You are insignificant. I want John here, now."

"Okay," I said. "I'll just call him then."

"No," Kolya said, keeping his gun aimed at me as he reached for the phone. "You tell me the number. I'll dial it. I'll talk to him first."

I backed up against the kitchen counter, as far from Kolya as I could get. My arm was pushed up against my Tardis cookie jar. "Okay. I guess I'm going to have to explain this again. John's at the police station. I'm a bounty hunter. I took him in. The reason I kept showing up is because I was trying to catch him."

Kolya was staring at me like I was speaking another language. "In that case, I guess you've outlived your usefulness, haven't you?"

Oh, god. I should have seen that coming. It was time to take action. I wasn't going to stand here like some moron and let him shoot me. I was a bounty hunter. I'd single-handedly caught John Sheppard. I could handle the Canadian mob.

I spun around and ducked behind the counter, grabbing the cookie jar as I went. I grabbed the gun out of it as three bullets tore through the counter just to the left of me. I prayed that Ronon had filled this thing with bullets, and then I stood up and fired.


The rain was beating against the windowpane in a way that was almost comforting.

I was sitting on the couch with Rex, wrapped in my throw blanket. I hadn't left the apartment much in the last two days, not since they'd come in and taken Kolya out. I'm still not sure exactly what happened that night.

I glanced up as the doorbell rung, and reluctantly dragged myself to the door. I leaned against the peephole, and there was John staring back, wearing a dark blue suit with the edge of his shoulder holster and badge just visible, and he was holding a pizza.

I narrowed my eyes at the door. "I'm not letting you in," I said.

"I'm calling a truce," John said. "For tonight, at least. Open the door, Mere. I got Pino's."

"That's not fair," I said. I felt a little like a fish that's just seen something shiny, but I undid the deadbolt and then opened the door. "You know I can't resist Pino's."

John looked up at me and gave a tired grin. "Thanks, Rodney," he said, and moved past me to the kitchen.

"I thought you were in jail," I said.

"Released this morning," John said. "I explained what happened and Teyla backed me up." John took a step towards me and I automatically backed up. He grinned. "Are you scared of me?" he asked.

"No," I said, defiant.

John laughed, and opened the pizza box. "Well, you should be. You locked me in that truck with a bunch of marijuana and Sora. Admittedly, under different circumstances, that might have been a good time."

"Ha," I said. "Are you ready to tell me what was really going on? I think I deserve it, now, after everything."

John looked away. "I'm sorry about what happened. It was lucky you had a gun." John leaned against the counter, but still didn't meet my eyes. "Jack says you should get the Robin Hood Sharpshooter award. You shot him five times in the heart."

I took a deep breath. "My eyes were closed."

John moved to the cupboard, and started taking out plates. "Well, you did good."

"You still haven't told me what's going on," I said.

"You know about Kolya's drug smuggling," John said. "He's been using aliens from Athos to do it."

I stared at him blankly. "What?"

"Illegal aliens from Athos," John explained. "It's a little island east of Central America. It's where Teyla's from."

"How is Teyla?" I asked. I suddenly realized that I hadn't seen her since that night, and no one had mentioned her.

"Teyla's fine," John said. "Her friends are going to get to stay, too. They've been given amnesty. Athos has been overrun with a group of terrorists calling themselves the Wraith. They'd all be killed if they went back. Of course, Teyla's going back anyway."

I frowned. "Why would she do that?"

John gave a fond smile. "Teyla works for the SGA. It's the Athos version of the CIA. Kolya's mistake was forcing her boyfriend to take drugs across the border for him. He was just trying to get here to see her. She went home and he wasn't there."

I tried not to smile too giddily to learn that she had a boyfriend. "What's SGA stand for?" I asked.

"No one ever knows what any of those acronyms stand for," John said, and then grabbed a piece of pizza. "I think you can figure out the rest of the story from there."

"Most of it," I said. "But how did you meet her?"

John gave a sly grin. "I've done a little work for the SGA, here and there."

Of course he has. John handed me a plate with a pizza slice, and then slid by grinning, heading to the couch with his own. The niceness was starting to freak me out. "Didn't you vow revenge?" I asked.

John dropped his plate on the coffee table and then grabbed me by the front of my shirt. I pressed my eyes shut and waited for him to strike, but all he did was tug me up against him and then kiss me almost gently, before laughing and resting his forehead against mine.

"What was that for?" I asked, breathless.

"For saving my life," he said. "I'll get you for locking me in the U-Haul later. Just not tonight."

I grinned, and shoved him back on the couch, before dropping down to straddle him. Rex was shoved to the floor and he let out a horrible shriek, before lunging at us with his claws outstretched. John rolled us both off the couch to keep us from being torn to shreds, and we ended up on the floor. John ended up beneath me again, and he placed his hands at my hips to steady us both.

Rex had reclaimed his rightful place in the middle of the couch, and had returned his attention to the television.

"Your cat needs therapy," John said. "You should both take an anger management course."

I laughed, mostly because it was true. "Maybe I can make it up to you."

"Well, that depends," John said with a grin. "Do you still have those cuffs?"

The End.
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cobweb_diamondcobweb_diamond on May 12th, 2008 - 11:05 am
Yay! Little Canada! I am loving Rodney's faux-noir voiceover.
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Layton Colt: on my mindlaytoncolt on May 14th, 2008 - 07:14 am
Thank you! :-)
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Gaffsiegaffsie on May 12th, 2008 - 12:29 pm
I love your AUs. They're always so quirky and funny. Rodney as a bounty hunter... Really, that's just genius. :D

John was the kind of guy that could break your heart on a whim, but in spite of that, he was also the kind of guy that would watch The Dog Whisperer just because your cat wanted to. *nods* That rings very true.
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Layton Colt: wilsonlaytoncolt on May 14th, 2008 - 07:14 am
Thanks, hun! :-)
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equusentric: 1 :D by equusentricequusentric on May 12th, 2008 - 02:06 pm
This is a hoot! :D
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Layton Colt: dandylion carlaytoncolt on May 14th, 2008 - 07:15 am
Thank you! :-)
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ForCryinOutLoud: John-Gun Guhforcryinoutloud on May 12th, 2008 - 03:49 pm
There are no words for how much I love this!! \o/ You're starting on Two for the Dough now right? ;) *snerk*
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Layton Colt: john in atlantislaytoncolt on May 14th, 2008 - 07:16 am
Hee! Thanks, hun! But no, I think this is probably the end for this AU. Except maybe a snippet or two. ;-)
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(no subject) - forcryinoutloud on May 14th, 2008 - 11:52 am
the chicken is your superiorlavvyan on May 12th, 2008 - 07:06 pm
Hee! This is so cute! ♥
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Layton Colt: rodneylaytoncolt on May 14th, 2008 - 07:16 am
Thanks, hun! :-)
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Gloria Mundi: SGA 1viva_gloria on May 13th, 2008 - 10:45 am
Absolutely love this -- noir Rodney with his staple gun (I laughed out loud when he stapled John to the door, because that is a wonderful image and not at all wish fulfilment). John does make a wonderful bad boy, doesn't he? And I like the way you've worked everyone else in (Genii Gym! RononMan! Cadman!!) And Rodney's helplessness when confronted with John's underhand tactics (handcuffs!) just makes me melt.
Apologies for all the exclamations! But: guh. And thank you!
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Layton Colt: on my mindlaytoncolt on May 14th, 2008 - 07:18 am
Hee, thanks, hun! :-)
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hooker 13: chasing alternative sheppardsamberlynne on May 13th, 2008 - 08:33 pm
EEEEEEEEEEE! This is so adorable! Your Rodney voice is a wonderful mix of canon and Plum. John is so Morelli it's not even funny and I love Ronon as Ranger. I don't suppose you have 13 more of these up your sleeve? ;)

Amazing all around!

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Layton Colt: mcshep off-worldlaytoncolt on May 14th, 2008 - 07:19 am
Hee! Thanks, hun! :-)
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anyway above all #teampoe: rodney is always right! by drops_of_inkdogeared on May 13th, 2008 - 09:52 pm
Awww, this is totally charming!! Really, really fun—yes, I would happily read a whole series of these! :D
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Layton Colt: cluttered thoughtslaytoncolt on May 14th, 2008 - 07:20 am
Thank you! :-)
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Hungrie Fore Draygons: a ray of adorable sunshineunamaga on May 13th, 2008 - 10:37 pm
Oh my god that was a good time. Woo! I love your Rodney's sense of the absurd, and John being so sly and

"I'd take that threat a lot more seriously if you weren't handcuffed to your shower rod," he said.

"I'm not handcuffed to my shower rod," I snapped.

"Oh, right. Knew I was forgetting something."

Aaahahaha, yay! *rolls around in all the awesome*
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Layton Colt: ronon and johnlaytoncolt on May 14th, 2008 - 07:21 am
Thank you! :-)
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KimberlyFDR: Canada Mankimberlyfdr on May 14th, 2008 - 02:18 am
This is HILARIOUS! Oh my gosh, the humor and quirkiness and just plain fun is amazing. Great job!
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Layton Colt: fargo (in a bubble)laytoncolt on May 15th, 2008 - 11:43 pm
Thank you! :-)
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Mr. Darcy in a robot suitunaccompanied_g on May 14th, 2008 - 03:07 am
Oh, I love Rodney's staple gun and handcuffs. This was fantastic. ♥
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Layton Colt: silly fangirllaytoncolt on May 15th, 2008 - 11:44 pm
Thank you! :-)
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Shelley: SGA popcorn kissargosy on May 14th, 2008 - 03:43 am
I don't know Janet Evanovich at all, but that was just adorable from start to finish! Staple gun! Handcuffs! Rodney's voice was very charming too. ♥
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Layton Colt: connor 2laytoncolt on May 15th, 2008 - 11:48 pm
Thank you!

And I cannot recommend Janet Evanovich enough--her Stephanie Plum series is both amazing and hilarious. The premise is pretty much the same as the story, only she used to work as a lingerie girl before going bounty hunter. I changed it to teacher for the fic because I couldn't picture Rodney as a lingerie girl. ;-)
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bitter_crimson on May 14th, 2008 - 04:22 am
I don't know the book this was based on, but I still loved this to pieces. So many amusing parts! I laughed a ton. The way you fit all the characters in was great, and I was feeling the suspense the entire time. :D
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Layton Colt: gene and samlaytoncolt on May 15th, 2008 - 11:51 pm
Thanks, hun! And like I was telling argosy, Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series is action packed and hilarious, and I highly recommend checking them out! :-)
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xanderfanmoonjean2009 on May 14th, 2008 - 04:39 am
I was laughing so hard throughout this whole story. It's hilarious. The cat, Rex, is eerily like my cat, mean sort of surly and with a complete obsession with TV which I am positive he cannot even watch. I think he does it just to spite me, but i love him anyways.
The stapple gun part, total fanfic gold. This was ridiculously funny.
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Layton Colt: au mcsheplaytoncolt on May 15th, 2008 - 11:52 pm
Thank you so much, hun! I'm glad you enjoyed it. :-)
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(no subject) - belladonnaf66 on May 14th, 2008 - 06:59 am
Layton Colt: believelaytoncolt on May 15th, 2008 - 11:53 pm
Re: Oh, you and Janet Evanovich
Thank you! :-)
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(no subject) - fiordeligi on May 14th, 2008 - 07:02 am
Layton Colt: don't jumplaytoncolt on May 15th, 2008 - 11:55 pm
Thanks, hun! :-)
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neek_love: Rodney & Johnneek_love on May 14th, 2008 - 09:16 am
Lol, big trouble in Little Canada!
*iz nerd*

Adorable, I love Rodney's voice and John's hard-ass yet protectiveness. Also, you win big points for having Rodney straddle John ^_^
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Layton Colt: au mcsheplaytoncolt on May 15th, 2008 - 11:56 pm
Hee, thanks, hun! :-)
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the amazing bouncing fangirl: Atlantis [a thousand tales]gblvr on May 14th, 2008 - 01:29 pm
Heheheee...this is awesome! I was giggling out loud over parts of this!
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Layton Colt: home sheplaytoncolt on May 15th, 2008 - 11:57 pm
Thank you! :-)
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Baroness Wilhelmina von Wondertits: lmaodramawench on May 14th, 2008 - 03:18 pm
Oh lord, I am laughing so hard right now. I LOVE the Stephanie Plum books and you cast this AU perfectly. You also managed to capture both Rodney's voice and make it work just like Stephanie's extremely quirky dialogue beautifully. Janet Evanovich would be so proud :D
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Layton Colt: aerynlaytoncolt on May 15th, 2008 - 11:59 pm
Thank you so much! :-)
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pixiequeen10thk: rodneycutepixiequeen10thk on May 14th, 2008 - 03:24 pm
Hilarious! Utterly wonderful! I just about pissed myself laughing over the staple gun ;)
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Layton Colt: rodneylaytoncolt on May 16th, 2008 - 12:01 am
Thanks, hun! :-)
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aneasaneas on May 14th, 2008 - 04:17 pm
I laughed so hard that I think I broke some of my stomach muscles. Thank you!
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Layton Colt: believelaytoncolt on May 16th, 2008 - 12:02 am
Thank you! :-)
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Ria: Stephen C.ainaria on May 14th, 2008 - 04:56 pm
Awesome! I love Janet Evanovich's books and I loved this! I really have to read One for the money again. I'd forgotten how hilarious it is. :)
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Layton Colt: david hewlettlaytoncolt on May 16th, 2008 - 12:03 am
Thanks, hun! :-)
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WPAdmirerwpadmirer on May 14th, 2008 - 05:10 pm
This was a really wonderfully funny story. Thank you!

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Layton Colt: au mcsheplaytoncolt on May 16th, 2008 - 12:03 am
Thanks, hun! :-)
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ldyanne: McKay - Happy Rodney is Loveldyanne on May 14th, 2008 - 06:22 pm
Loved this! It's so fun. Rodney and the staple gun just made me howl and is just perfect for Rodney. Thanks!
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Layton Colt: think twicelaytoncolt on May 16th, 2008 - 12:04 am
Thank you! :-)
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seadragon_reduxseadragon_redux on May 14th, 2008 - 07:54 pm
ok - this was just great! The fake noir tone and Rodney's rather unique way of expressing it all. And the tv addicted cat *snort*

I can't decided if the staple gun or the fuzzy pink handcuffs are the funniest of Rodney's 'tools of the trade'
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Layton Colt: think twicelaytoncolt on May 16th, 2008 - 12:05 am
Thank you! :-)
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