Note: This is a fusion with SG-1, and SGA, so it's Brendan and Emmett in that universe, instead of John and Rodney.
Dr. Emmett hated working for the government. They were pompous, single-minded, and near-sighted, and also, they'd nearly gotten him killed. He had vowed, after managing to escape with both his life and Betty's from that incident he really doesn't want to talk about, that he would never work for them again.
This resolution, while made in good faith, didn't last quite a year. Emmett, for the sake of convenience, had forgotten that the government had all the best toys.
So when some General named Jack O'Neill and his archeologist associate showed up on his doorstep and offered not only to fund his research, but to provide him with a fully stocked lab in Colorado with the best new equipment to date, he'd caved, and said 'sounds great.' He hadn't even asked what the hell the General needed an archeologist associate for, anyway, because he was getting a free ride, so who cared?
Then, as he was forced to sign stack after stack of non-disclosure agreements, he was starting to think he should have held to his resolution, but these doubts didn't last long. They lasted five minutes, tops, because next thing he knew he was being ushered into the elevator, and Dr. Jackson was hitting the button for sub level 28 and asking him if he'd like to do an autopsy on an alien snake.
That was pretty much when he decided he would have done a hell of a lot more than sign a few pieces of paper and put his life in the hands of the government if it would have gotten him this.
They told him about Stargates and life on other worlds, and snake-like creatures that burrowed right into people and wrapped around their spines, tapped into their brains, and then worked them over like they were marionettes. He got to do his research in labs filled with technology so far ahead of him it might as well have been magic, and in the Goa'uld, he thought he might finally have found the answer to a cure-all for snake bites.
It all happened so suddenly, just like that, bam, he had the perfect life--he even fell in love, and in hindsight, he knew this should have concerned him. After years of barely getting by, he suddenly had everything handed to him all at once. The SGC gave him a beautiful little house on a quiet street, a salary that was nearly twice what he had before in private practice, and for once, for once, he had a relationship that actually seemed to work.
He'd been attracted to Sam Carter at first, of course. She could have been Monica in disguise for all the differences he could spot; and he had a weakness for that type, but he didn't succumb this time around. So when Sam told him she thought he was sweet and asked him out, he lied and said he had plans. He knew how that would end already, and wanted to spare himself the heartache.
Instead, he ended up waking next to an impossibly gorgeous NSA agent with a killer smile and a Y chromosome.
Not his usual type, but maybe that was why it worked. They both worked odd hours and far too much, they liked to watch cheesy action movies and tear them apart, and they would eat take-out Chinese together every night for weeks without getting bored. It was simple, like they were only roommates or best friends, but with really truly spectacular mind-blowing sex.
Which is why, in hindsight, he really should have seen it all coming.
Brendan had been acting strangely all week. He blamed it on some case or another, but he couldn't talk about it. It was classified, and Emmett had no defense for that, considering the top-secret stamps covering every inch of all he'd been working on the last few months, so he didn't ask again.
He just told Brendan not to wait up and then headed out the door for the SGC. He wasn't quite at Cheyenne Mountain when his tire blew out, and three bullets went through his window to tear his seat apart.
He hunched down instinctively, driving off the side of the road and hitting the guardrail with enough force to keep heading on through. The tires were still spinning when his truck finally slammed into a tree and jerked to a stop. Smoke curled up from the hood of the car and he hit the release on his seatbelt and crawled out.
He had escaped mostly unharmed, just a few scratches and a splitting headache, but his truck was almost certainly beyond repair. He did a quick survey of the area around him, but he could see no one around. He'd head back up to the road, but he had a feeling who ever had been shooting at him hadn't meant to miss, and was probably waiting for him.
He heard a twig snapped behind him and winced. Not waiting for him, then, but coming for him instead.
He turned around quickly, and saw Kavanaugh come out through the trees with a sly smile. "Emmett, you okay?" he asked. "That looked like quite a tumble."
Emmett narrowed his eyes. "What are you doing here?"
"I was behind you on the road," he said. "What happened? Did you lose control?"
"Someone was shooting at me," he said, relaxing slightly. He'd met Kavanaugh his first day, and while he was a slimy bastard, he seemed mostly harmless.
Kavanaugh frowned. "Really? We'd better get you out of here, then, and get to the SGC. I can give you a ride."
Emmett considered his options quickly, before realizing he had none. Reluctantly, he said, "okay, yeah, thanks."
Kavanaugh grinned, opened his mouth to say something, and then froze for a moment before he began to convulse, caught in blue lights like livewires or lightening. He fell after just seconds, nearly foaming at the mouth, and Brendan was behind him, holding a Zat.
Emmett felt a little dizzy for reasons that had nothing to do with the crash. "Brendan?"
Brendan holstered the Zat, before running over to him and grabbing him by the wrist. "We've got to get out of here, now," he said.
"You shot Kavanaugh!" Emmett shouted. "With a Zat! Where the hell did you even--"
"No time," Brendan hissed, dragging him through the trees. There was a sleek black Honda on a dirt road not far away, and Brendan opened the passenger seat and shoved him in before jogging around and jumping into the driver's seat.
"You shot Kavanaugh," Emmett said again, feeling numb.
Brendan turned the key and slammed his foot on the gas. Dirt and leaves flew up on either side before they took off, sliding across the mud and gravel like Brendan was practicing for the Indy 500. "He'll be fine in a minute," Brendan said lazily, flashing him a brilliant grin. "And hey, you hate that guy anyway, right?"
"But you shot him!" Emmett shouted. "What the hell is going on?"
"The less you know, the better," Brendan said. "You trust me, right?"
Brendan pushed the car up over a small slope, and they were airborne for a moment, before they hit the ground again and just kept going. Emmett swallowed. "Jesus," he said.
"Would that be a yes or a no?" Brendan asked wryly.
"It's a what the hell?" Emmett hissed. "You shot Kavanaugh."
"You seem a little stuck on that," Brendan said, as he spun the steering wheel and sent them spinning out onto the main road. "Besides, I only stunned him, it's not a big deal."
"With a Zat," Emmett said, numbly. "The NSA knows about the SGC?"
"Uh, sure," Brendan said, and then flashed him another grin.
Brendan always did that to distract him so he could steal the remote, or stop a shouting match in it's tracks, but under the circumstances, Emmett barely stopped thinking long enough to notice it at all. "Where are you taking me?"
Brendan sighed. "You act like I've kidnapped you or something," he said. "Calm down, would you? I just saved your life."
"How do you figure?" Emmett snapped.
"Because Kavanaugh was there to kill you," Brendan said easily. "They're not happy about your research. They're afraid if you figure out a way to suppress the symbiotes, the SGC will become even more reckless. They're very backwards thinkers, I don't understand the logic myself."
"What do you know about my research?" Emmett demanded. "Oh my god! Are you a spy? Were you sent to spy on me?"
"You should really calm down," Brendan said easily. "You want to grab some breakfast or something?"
"Are you serious?" Emmett shouted. "When I woke up this morning, my life was normal, it was good. I had a nice dorky boyfriend that was drop dead gorgeous and sane, I had a job with lots of benefits and cool toys and no one was trying to kill me."
"Don't be so melodramatic," Brendan said. "You've still got that. Mostly. Insane is a legal term, you know, and I've passed all my official psych tests. But I'll concede to that whole someone's trying to kill you thing."
"Oh, god," Emmett said.
"Don't worry," Brendan said. "It's not as bad as it sounds. It happens to me all the time."
Emmett placed his head in his hands and groaned, because this always happened. He knew this always happened. The government was trouble. Beautiful people were trouble. Together, for him at least, they were deadly, and he'd just never learn.
"I'm going to keep you safe," Brendan said, glancing over at him with concern. "I promise."
"Just tell me what's going on," Emmett said.
"You know what's going on," Brendan told him. "Someone's trying to kill you."
"Brendan," Emmett snapped. "If that is, in fact, your real name."
Brendan flashed him a grin. "Oh, please," he said. "If I was going to come up with a fake name it would have been something cooler than Brendan Dean. It would have been...John Sheppard, or something."
"What's so cool about that?" Emmett asked scathingly, before reaching into Brendan's pocket and pulling out his wallet.
"Hey," Brendan protested, but he was too busy focusing on reaching speeds no Honda had ever reached before, and didn't grab it back.
Everything was in order. Special Agent Brendan Dean, NSA, badge and all. "The SGC doesn't know the NSA is involved in this," Emmett said. "Why didn't you tell me?"
"Why didn't you tell me?" Brendan asked, but he wasn't meeting Emmett's eyes.
"I signed non-disclosure agreements," he said.
Brendan gave him another wry smile, a little regretful. "You weren't the only one."
Brendan pulled off at a small gas station and shut off the car near a pump. "You're alright, aren't you?" he asked. "You weren't hurt in the crash?"
Emmett took a deep breath. "No, I wasn't. Not in the crash."
"Emmett," Brendan said.
"I thought--" Emmett cut himself off and shook his head. "Never mind. Just never mind. This is the story of my life."
"Well, at least you're not boring," Brendan said, flashing him a half-hearted grin. "I need to get some gas, are you going to be okay to stay here for a minute?"
Emmett nodded tiredly, resting his head back against the seat. "Yeah, I guess."
"I'll only be a minute," Brendan said.
Emmett waited until he shut the door before pulling out his cell phone and turning it on. He had twenty missed calls, fifteen were from Sam, and four were from Kavanaugh. One was from Brendan. He saw Brendan swipe his card before lifting the nozzle from the pump, and noticed the glint of the Zat at his waistband, and the shoulder holster holding his Berretta.
He dialed Sam's number.
"Emmett? Thank god, are you alright? Where have you been?" Sam demanded.
"Someone's trying to kill me," Emmett told her, despite that from the sound of things, she probably knew.
"I know," she said. "It's the NID, and that's not the worst part."
It just figured there would be a worse part. "And what's that?"
"Brendan..." Sam said it reluctantly, but it was all it took for him to know. "He doesn't work for the NSA, Emmett. He used to, but he was recruited by the NID six months ago. If he shows up, you can't...just don't trust him, okay?"
Emmett mechanically clicked the phone closed without answering, and listened to Brendan a moment, singing Scobby Doo Where Are You? as he waited for the tank to fill.
When Brendan was done, and he got back in the car, Emmett got out. He started running without looking back.
Emmett wasn't out of shape by any means. He usually ran four or five times a week, sometimes with Brendan, sometimes without, and he could always keep up. Usually, though, Brendan didn't have a car, and as the black Honda swerved ahead of him and came to a stop right in his path, he realized he hadn't really thought the whole running away thing through.
Brendan got out of the car and glared at him across the roof. "What the hell are you doing?" he snapped. "Giving them a moving target to make it more interesting? They're going to find you."
"Who is?" Emmett snapped. "The NID?"
Brendan paled a little, before marching around the car so they were face to face. "As a matter of fact," he said, "yes. Now get in the damn car before a sniper takes another shot at you."
Emmett crossed his arms. "I know that you--"
"I figured," Brendan said. "What with the running and all, but it doesn't change anything."
"You're working for the NID," Emmett yelled.
"And if I hadn't been," Brendan said tightly. "You'd be dead, because I wouldn't have known what they were planning. So all things considered, I'm not regretting it."
"Are you saying you don't have anything to do with this?" Emmett asked.
"I can't believe you have to ask," Brendan said. "I started working for the NSA to help people, Emmett, you know that, and when the NID showed up for testing, or whatever, and they said I passed, I thought, hey, great, I'm moving up. I had no idea what the hell I was getting myself into."
Emmett pursed his lip. "But--"
"But most of them are corrupt," Brendan said. "Yeah, I figured that out fairly quickly, too, mostly when they assigned me to you."
"I knew it!" Emmett shouted. "All of this...it meant nothing, and you are a spy! You're a no-good seducing spy seducer!"
A gunshot took out the back window of the Honda and Brendan pushed Emmett to the ground, he landed on top of him. "We're lucky these idiots couldn't hit the Great Wall of China from three feet away," he said, as he un-holstered his Berretta.
"What are you doing?" Emmett asked, staring up at him dazedly.
"Well, you're a total moron," Brendan said, "but in your case it's usually a temporary condition, so I figure I'd better save your life now anyway, and you can make it up to me later."
"You mean you're not trying to kill me?" Emmett asked hopefully.
Brendan pulled him up and shoved him onto the floor of the passenger seat, before shooting off some cover fire. "You'd already be dead if I were," he said simply, and then slammed the door shut.
"So, I'm sorry I thought you were trying to kill me," Emmett said.
Brendan rolled his eyes. "Don't worry about it," he said. "I guess I should have told you the truth."
"Yes, you should have," Emmett said primly.
Brendan glanced over at him, just long enough to flash him a narrow-eyed glare. "Don't push it," he said.
Emmett gave a reluctant smile, before leaning towards him. "You said the NID gave you a test," Emmett said curiously.
"Yeah," Brendan said. "For some kind of special gene, or something. I guess it's rare, but I've got it."
Emmett's eyes went a little glassy. "You have the ATA gene?"
"I think that's what they called it," Brendan said disinterestedly, before fiddling with the air conditioner.
"Wow," Emmett said. "That's just...that just figures. You would have it."
"What does that mean?" Brendan asked.
"The word charmed comes to mind," Emmett said, but it was with more fondness than annoyance.
"Oh yeah, my life is charmed," Brendan said disbelievingly. "Driving in a shot-up Honda with people trying to kill us, it just doesn't get any better."
"Well, that's all my fault," Emmett said reasonable. "I'm not charmed at all, so it was just bad judgment on your part getting involved with me." Emmett slouched down sulkily. "Oh no, wait, you were assigned me."
Brendan heaved a sigh. "Look, that's only how it started. People have fallen in love in weirder ways. I just...can't think of any of them right now."
"Are you saying you love me?" Emmett asked.
"I'm saying..." Brendan stopped himself, and then pushed harder on the gas petal. "The point is, it doesn't matter how we met, we did, and I'd do just about anything for you, okay?"
"Okay," Emmett said eventually. "Where are we going anyway? And I want the truth this time."
"I'm taking you to a safe house," Brendan said. "Elizabeth Weir, one of the heads of NID, is there waiting for us."
"What?" Emmett snapped. "You know I trust you, but--"
"You can trust her, too," Brendan said. "I couldn't have saved you without her help. She's been fighting against the corruption in NID from the inside for years."
"Maybe we should go to the SGC," Emmett said. "General O'Neill would protect us if I just explained..."
"The SGC is crawling with corrupt NID agents," Brendan said. "We'd both be dead within an hour."
"That's a little pessimistic," Emmett said.
Brendan grinned slightly. "I promise I'm taking you somewhere safe," he said.
Emmett sighed, but nodded. "Okay," he said, because if he couldn't trust Brendan, then he was screwed; he didn't know how to stop.
Elizabeth Weir was wearing a sleek blue blazer, looking like a consummate woman professional but for the outline of a pistol he could see above the pocket on her left side. She had a kind of quiet confidence about her that set Emmett at ease almost immediately.
And then she said, "We've got a problem," and the tension all came right back.
Brendan never stopped walking as he caught pace beside her, and Emmett followed them warily. "What happened?"
"Jack knows," she said simply.
"General O'Neill?" Emmett asked, walking up between them.
Weir glanced at him like she'd forgotten he was there. "Yes," she said, before turning back to Brendan. "We're leaving ahead of schedule. We're gone in five minutes, no more than that."
"He wants to stop us?" Brendan asked, frowning. "I thought you said he would help?"
"He doesn't want us to have a foothold there anymore than the NID do," she said, "but if he has to choose between us and them, he's going to choose us. And if we don't do this now, they're going to find us and go themselves."
"What's going on?" Emmett asked. "What are you even talking about?"
Weir nodded across the room and Emmett followed her line of sight. A gate stood in the center of the room, majestic and out of place, and over a hundred people were standing or sitting on crates, crossing off checklists or smiling like loons.
"You've got to be kidding me," Emmett breathed. He recognized most of the people from the SGC, the best and brightest--Simpson, Miko, and Vogler waved at him excitedly from beside the gate.
"Daniel Jackson figured out the address months ago," Brendan told him. "The SGC just doesn't have the power to go there."
Someone was kneeling beside a makeshift DHD with a ZPM, hooking it up and fiddling with settings on a laptop. Emmett didn't know much about it, but it was giving off a glow, and looked like it was working to him.
"I told you I was taking you somewhere safe," Brendan said softly. "They're never going to find you."
"Where?" Emmett asked, a little breathless, because he knew.
Brendan leaned closer, while Weir motioned them to dial up the gate. "Atlantis," he whispered.
In retrospect, he should have known it would all fall apart, because things almost always did. Life as he knew it was over, his research was left behind for someone else and he'd have to start over from scratch. Take-out and action films were a thing of the past, and there was really no getting them back.
But he wasn't dwelling on it, because Brendan was smiling beside him, and the view where he was going was spectacular.