Characters: Rodney McKay/John Sheppard
Prompt: #092 Christmas
Word Count: ~1300
Summary: Rodney's a forensic anthropologist and John's a fed. You know, the Bones!AU, inspired by this beautiful art by steammmpunk.
I also managed to sneak in some references to Rodney's fleece ;).
A/N: Happy Holidays, SGA fans! Wrote it quick, so it's unbetaed. Oh, also, La Ronde probably isn't open in the dead of winter like this, but, hey, it's fiction!
It wasn't that Dr. Meredith Rodney McKay hated Christmas, it was just that with angry divorced parents and a sister who refused to talk to him, it wasn't the happiest of holidays.
So instead of gathering around the Christmas tree with a cup of eggnog watching his niece open presents - not that he'd ever admit to enjoying that - he was doing what he did best. He was burying himself (no pun intended) in his work.
"You have been here for over twelve hours, Rodney," said Teyla Emmagen, their forensic artist. "And before that you were in the field. When did you last sleep?"
Rodney shrugged and continued examining the clavicle of a ten year old boy who'd been found in a ditch outside one of Montreal's busiest shopping centers. It still gave him chills that a person could be ignored when there were so many people around.
"He has not slept," said Radek Zelenka, approaching Rodney's workstation with a glass jar of what Rodney referred to as 'goop'. "Ever, I think. He is like a shark."
"Sharks sleep, you moron," Rodney said, pushing his glasses up onto his forehead to rub his eyes. "They just keep moving while they do."
Zelenka nodded. "See? Like a shark."
"Who's like a shark?"
That was the voice of Elizabeth Weir, director of the Laboratoire des Sciences Judiciaires et de Médecine Légale. She was born in Canada, though raised in the United States. Rodney tried not to hold it against her.
"McKay," said Zelenka. "We believe he sleeps with his eyes open."
"Would you just shut up and go back to your bugs?" Rodney snapped. "I'm trying to work here."
"Cause of death?" Elizabeth asked, picking up the small femur.
"Blunt force trauma to the spine," Rodney said, putting his glasses back on. "He bled internally."
Elizabeth nodded like she always did when she agreed with Rodney's analysis, put the bone back down, and then turned to go back to her office.
"Oh, that reminds me, Rodney, Agent Sheppard called for you. He wants you to meet him at La Ronde."
"Another stupid kid die by rollercoaster?" Rodney muttered, and tried not to take his frustration out on the small skeleton. He didn't like being the smirking American's go-to forensic anthropologist, or being dragged out of his nice warm lab into the freezing slush, but he could never resist a challenge - and Sheppard knew it.
Elizabeth glared. "You should do us both a favor and get yourself a cell phone, and then you can put in your complaints personally."
Rodney waved this suggestion away. "You know how I feel about those things - they give you brain cancer."
Elizabeth just rolled her eyes and marched off muttering, "Merde. Je ne sais pas..."
"Hey," Rodney shouted after her, "I thought I imposed a ban on French in the lab while I'm around!"
"It's Montreal, Rodney!" she shouted back, without any real heat. "Everyone speaks French!"
It was actually very painful to listen to John Sheppard attempt to speak the language. Rodney wasn't exactly fluent (having grown up in Vancouver), but at least he didn't sound like a cheese grater in a garbage disposal, which was how he put it to Sheppard.
"Bonjour!" said Sheppard, standing, freezing, outside the gates of the amusement park in an eye-wateringly bright red parka. He had orange earmuffs, which clashed annoyingly with Rodney's own orange fleece.
"It's nighttime, you idiot," said Rodney through chattering teeth. "So it would be 'bon soir' and please stop torturing the language. I speak English."
John Sheppard grinned. He was so annoyingly cheerful about everything, particularly his terrible French. Sheppard was a CIA liaison to CSIS, and he seemed to delight in making Rodney miserable. Despite the fact that there were other, vaguely competent, anthropologists at the Laboratoire, Sheppard only ever called him.
"So where are the bones?" Rodney asked. The park was lit up for the season, and Rodney realized suddenly that it was actually Christmas Eve.
Sheppard countered with a question of his own. "How come you're not home with your family?"
Rodney glared. "Because you called the lab and demanded my presence in below freezing temperatures on the night before Christmas?"
"You could have said no," said Sheppard with that insouciant shrug.
"I never say no," Rodney snapped, then blushed, and shoved his hands deeper into the pockets of his polar fleece.
Sheppard just grinned again, and Rodney felt the familiar lurch in his stomach. It only frustrated him more that he felt that way around Sheppard. The man was American for crying out loud.
And even if he didn't want to admit it - he was probably Rodney's best friend.
"Come on," he said, pulling Rodney by the mittened hand into the park.
"Where are we going?" Rodney asked, taken aback. Sheppard didn't usually drag him places - at least not physically.
"Teyla mentioned that you didn't have any holiday plans," said Sheppard, in that mock-casual way of his.
"And?" Teyla was dead. He'd start looking for her replacement in the morning.
Rodney didn't want to, but it was hard not to. They'd saved each other's lives a few times, but it was more than that. Sheppard was just like an eager puppy, and not even Rodney wanted to kick him.
Sheppard flashed his badge to get them inside, and it wasn't until they were waiting in line for candy apples that Rodney caught on.
"There are no bones, are there," he said, looking around at the people enjoying themselves, not screaming as if they'd just stumbled over a corpse while looking for somewhere to puke.
"Nope," said Sheppard, handing Rodney a bucket of popcorn while he licked a snow cone, the sadistic bastard. It was freezing!
"So you dragged me out here for what?"
"A little holiday spirit," said Sheppard. His tongue was blue. "Geez, McKay, lighten up."
"I'm going to kill you," Rodney said calmly, though his teeth were chattering. "And it's unlikely that I'll get caught, considering the ways I know to dispose of a body."
Sheppard didn't seem very worried. "Come on. This is only the beginning."
The only reason, Rodney insisted to himself, that he went along with Sheppard's childish game was because he hadn't bought the man a Christmas present. It hadn't even occurred to him, actually, so the least he could do, he argued, was ride a few roller coasters.
He enjoyed himself more than he wanted to admit. Sheppard tended to have that effect on him.
Rodney almost had a heart attack on the Boomerang, got seasick on the German-built Bateau Pirate, and screamed until he was hoarse on the Monster. Sheppard laughed through it all.
The night ended, at Sheppard's insistence, on la Grande Roue, despite Rodney's fears that the ferris wheel, built in 1984, was due to fall apart.
"Okay," said Rodney when they'd reached the top and their gondola was swaying, "why'd you really do this?"
Sheppard was clutching the purple stuffed teddy bear Rodney had won at the ring toss booth.
"I know what it's like to be alone at Christmas," Sheppard said, his voice completely calm. He was staring out at the beautiful night sky, and the city was lit up beneath them. It was kind of like a giant Christmas tree. Rodney knew that the sugar was getting to him when he came up with that simile. "I just thought you could use a bit of fun, that's all."
"Oh," said Rodney, hoping his blush would be mistaken for frostbite. "Thanks."
"Plus," Sheppard added, "your friends at the lab told me that if I didn't get you out of there, I'd have another homicide to investigate."
Before Rodney could work up a proper outrage over their betrayal, Sheppard leaned over and kissed him gently on the lips. He tasted like artificial blue raspberry and peppermint.
"Merry Christmas, McKay."
"Joyeux Noël, Sheppard."