"I have something for you," Jeanie said, grinning widely as she bounced on the heels of her feet.
Rodney eyed her suspiciously. "It's not a stick of dynamite with a ribbon wrapped around it, is it?"
Jeanie rolled her eyes, and then handed him a small velvet ring case. "Here," she said.
Rodney opened it up, and blinked down at the diamond ring. "It's lovely. Thank you. Unfortunately, I'm not actually your sister, and I don't think it's going to fit. I got you a Prius. You could have at least sprung for a watch."
Jeanie laughed, and shook her head. "It was grandma's. I got mom's ring, but I thought you could give this one to Katie, you know, when you propose."
Rodney sighed, and rubbed at his forehead. "Okay. Look. The truth is, Katie and I--we're not really dating."
"I knew it!" Jeanie shouted, triumphantly, snatching the ring back. "You made her up! This is just like that time in junior high."
"I did not--and look, Akemi was a real person, it's just that she was in Japan and we were pen pals, how many times do I have to explain this?" Rodney paused, annoyed that he'd gotten off track, and shook his head. "Katie is real too. She's just...a friend is all. She got sick of all the marines asking her out and I got sick of everyone saying I couldn't get a date, and it was a mutually beneficial situation all around."
Jeanie shook her head. "So you really can't get a date, then. Why won't you let me fix you up with anyone?"
"Firstly, because I live in another galaxy, which would making dating one of you soccer mom pals slightly problematic, secondly, I didn't say I wasn't dating anyone, I said I wasn't dating Katie."
"You have more fake relationships that I don't know about?" Jeanie asked. "Who is it this time? Oh, don't tell me, you and Sam Carter are secretly engaged, she just doesn’t want to tell people yet, am I right?"
"I'm starting to forget why I came all this way to rescue you," Rodney snapped.
"You didn't rescue me, John rescued the both of us, which I have a feeling he probably does a lot." Jeanie smiled dreamily. "I bet John doesn't have any trouble getting a date."
"Does your husband know about your unhealthy crush on John?" Rodney asked.
"It's not unhealthy at all," Jeanie said. "I'd be worried about someone who didn't have a crush on him."
"Well, since you've brought that up," Rodney said, taking a deep breath. "Actually, I--"
"What?" Jeanie said, leaning forward.
Rodney snapped his mouth shut and glared at her. "Well, I was just about to tell you, before I was so rudely interrupted."
"Sorry, please continue," Jeanie said.
"Never mind," Rodney said sullenly. "I'm not supposed to tell anyway."
"What's that supposed to mean?" Jeanie said. "You really are in a 'secret' relationship? Is she another pen pal then? Is she at least in this galaxy?"
"Not presently," Rodney said. "And not exactly a she. I mean, I call him a girl sometimes when he spends an hour on his hair, but I've learned that it's really not a good idea to call guys with guns a girl. Actually, it's not good to call women with a couple of very big sticks a girl either."
"Oh my god," Jeanie said. "You're gay? But you have no sense of fashion."
Rodney glared at her. "It turns out that's not actually a prerequisite."
Jeanie covered her mouth in shock, and then let out a strained laugh. "You're right. I'm sorry. You're right. It's just, this is a bit of a surprise, Mere. But it actually explains a lot. Like that weird crush you used to have on the Mod Squad, and I don't mean Peggy Lipton."
Rodney gave a fond smile. "Oh, it was Peggy Lipton too."
"Well, who is he, then? It's Radek, isn't it? Oh my god. You guys would be so adorable together."
Rodney scrunched up his face. "It's not Radek. Radek's like the brother I never wanted, it's just...that's wrong. It's just wrong."
Jeanie made urgent motions with her hands, rather reminiscent of Rodney when he was he flustered. "Well? Who?"
"John, if you must know," Rodney said primly.
Jeanie blinked at him for a moment, and then burst out laughing at him. "John?" she said. "John who?"
"How many John's do you know?" Rodney snapped.
"Like eight," she said.
"Sheppard, who do you think?" he asked.
"Sheppard, John Sheppard?" Jeanie said.
"He's not James Bond."
"He could have been," Jeanie said. "And he's so way out of your league, Meredith. Did you drug him?"
Rodney bristled. "Who told you about that? Cause it was one time, and all I had him do was pick up my quarters a little and play chess with me."
"Rodney," Jeanie snapped.
"It was an experiment!" Rodney said. "And it's totally worn off now. John just likes me. He's smarter than he looks, you know, and he has deceptively good taste."
"I don't believe you," Jeanie said. "I'd have sooner believed the Sam Carter story."
Rodney angrily pulled out his wallet and shoved a picture at her. It was him and John at one of the parties on Atlantis, taken by Teyla when she'd first discovered cameras. Rodney was checking his plate of food for any trace of lemon and John was leaning in close, whispering in his ear, laughing. Rodney still remembered every word he'd said that night.
Jeanie stared at the picture for a moment, her own lesser version of Rodney's genius mind obviously trying to review past events to come to some kind of explanation for what she saw. Rodney grinned at her smugly. "So you can keep the ring," Rodney said. "I got John a silver bracelet with 'PORM' carved on it instead."
"You gave him a bracelet that says porn?" Jeanie asked bemusedly, still staring at the picture in disbelief.
"No, P.O.R.M. It means Property of Rodney McKay," he snapped. "Don't you even know an acronym when you hear one?"
"PORM?" Jeanie repeated. "And John actually wears this?"
Rodney leaned over into Jeanie's kitchen drawer and pulled out a magnifying glass. He placed it over the picture to show the thin sliver of silver around John's wrist. "He says it's his good luck charm. Of course he thinks it stands for Patrem Omnipotentem Regnum Mariae, which I told him was an ancient blessing."
"That's Latin for what, almighty father kingdom of Mary?" Jeanie asked. "That's gibberish."
"I was working spur of the moment," Rodney said. "Don't ask me why he bought it."
"You have issues," Jeanie said, and then carefully handed the picture back. "I just...I can't believe this."
Rodney turned away and crossed his arms. "I get it. He's out of my league. You're shocked and awed. Can we be done with this part of it now?"
"No, it's not that," Jeanie said, and then laughed a little disbelievingly, "well, it's partly that. It's just, I can't believe he never told me."
"I know, I'm sorry--wait, what do you mean you can't believe he didn't tell you?"
"We email each other," Jeanie said. "Sometimes two or three times a week, when he doesn't go missing for entire weeks, which always makes me nervous, let me tell you."
"Hey," Rodney snapped. "I'm your brother, you know."
"What? I know. And if it makes you feel better, I'm so nervous because I know where ever he is you're with him too," Jeanie said.
Rodney was slightly placated, for almost thirty seconds. "What the hell do you and John even have to talk about?" he asked.
Jeanie rolled her eyes. "What do you think we do? We bitch about you, Rodney." She stopped, frowning. "Oh my god, you're right, you are dating him! I can't believe I missed all the signs. He even complains about your snoring, but I thought that was just because you guys were camping on some other world or something."
"John said he thought my snoring was cute!" Rodney snapped.
"He was lying to you," Jeanie said. "You sound like a lawnmower being driven over rocks."
Rodney glared at her, and opened his mouth to provide a cutting retort, but Jeanie had already moved on. She clapped her hands excitedly. "This is so great. He really is perfect for you. I mean, way too good for you, obviously, but you're my brother and I want the best for you, so I promise not to tell him he can do way better."
"You're so thoughtful," Rodney snapped.
"You have to come to dinner, the both of you, next time you're on Earth," Jeanie said. "I want to get to know John better."
"I don't trust you enough to leave you alone with him," Rodney said. "I've seen the way you look at him."
"Rodney, I'm married, stop being jealous," she said. Then she grinned, and turned around to start going through her recipes. "This is going to be so much fun."
Rodney backed up towards the door. "You know, I actually don't think we're going to make it back to Earth for a year or two at least, so, you know--"
"Mere--" Jeanie said, following him to the door. "Meredith! Rodney McKay! You get back here! I'm throwing you a party! No one is going to believe this!"