Genre: Crossover (SGA/Grey's Anatomy/Lost)
Spoilers: Set in the middle of The Return: Part 1 but has almost nothing to do with it.
Summary: And Rodney thought his relatives were embarrassing.
A/N: This is crossover crack!fic - there is no excuse for it. I realize that Derek's last name is actually spelled "Shepherd" and Jack spells his "Shephard" but for the sake of this bunny which gnawed on me, I'm pretending they all spell it the same way.
Takes place during The Return: Part 1 when Rodney flies in to have dinner with John, Carson, and Elizabeth. Oh, and, uh, clearly Jack hasn't crashed on the island yet.
Rodney tapped on the door to John's apartment, butterflies in his stomach. He told himself that it hadn't been that long since they'd seen each other, and John almost certainly hadn't changed. It didn't stop him from feeling nervous, however, and the feeling expanded when John finally opened the door, glaring with a look of malice usually reserved for the Wraith or the Genii. If Rodney hadn't become so astute at reading John, he might have missed the undercurrent of panic.
"McKay," John said through gritted teeth, glancing over his shoulder, "run. Get out while you still can."
For a moment Rodney actually thought there were Wraith in the apartment; then a loud voice filled the hallway.
"Who's at the door, Johnny?"
Bright blue eyes peered at Rodney from around the door frame, followed by a huge grin. The dark hair above it was disheveled, as if he hadn't taken a comb to it in months. Or had just got out of bed. Rodney's stomach plummeted to his shoes.
"'Johnny'?" Rodney said, staring. Why was there a strange man in John's apartment? Why were there nicknames?
John sighed so deeply Rodney felt like he was trying to take all the air out of the space. "It's too late. You might as well come in."
The stranger stepped back so Rodney could enter, and he got another surprise. There was a second strange man sitting on John's couch, drinking a beer. He scrutinized Rodney, but didn't offer a smile like the first one.
"Rodney," said John, glaring at the first man who was still beaming, "these are my cousins. Dr. Rodney McKay, Dr. Derek Sheppard and Dr. Jack Sheppard."
"Another doctor," said Derek, reaching out to shake Rodney's hand. "Guess no matter where Johnny goes he can't get away from them."
"Um, it's a Ph.D," said Rodney. "Two of them, actually. I'm a scientist."
"And you work with our cousin?" said Derek, incredulous. The other one, Jack, didn't say much. He had a brooding way about him; reminded Rodney of someone he couldn't place.
"I'm on loan to the U.S. Air Force," Rodney said, wondering what, if anything, the cousins knew about John's life. "How long are you two in town?"
"We were on our way back from a medical conference," Jack said. "And thought we'd drop in."
"I told them how lucky they were to catch me at home," John said through gritted teeth. "Isn't that right, Rodney?"
"Oh. Oh, yes." Rodney felt he was expected to make conversation; all he really wanted was to get something to eat. The airline had not seen fit to serve lunch on a flight between Roswell and Colorado Springs. "What type of medicine do you practice?"
Derek and Jack exchanged bemused smiles; John's scowl threatened to swallow his face.
"I'm a neurosurgeon," said Derek. "Jack's spinal."
John practically threw himself in between Rodney and his cousins like some sort of human shield.
"Not that this hasn't been loads of fun," he said, "but we're meeting some friends for dinner. Give my best to Addison and Sarah."
"Now wait just a second, Johnny," said Derek, with the expression of someone who knows a joke that no one else is in on. "We want to hear all about your exciting Air Force adventures. Isn't that right, Jack?"
Jack's smile was almost shy, with an undercurrent of unease. "Everyone wants to know about the mysterious John Sheppard."
"Mysterious?" Rodney repeated, feeling as if he'd stumbled into a parallel world. Sure, some of John's actions could be head-scratching at times, but he wouldn't call the Colonel 'mysterious'.
"Tell us, Rodney," Derek said, ignoring John's protests, "what's it like to work with our Johnny?"
"Um," said Rodney, looking at John's agonized face, "he's great. He's a terrific military leader. Best we could ask for."
"Don't suppose you could enlighten us as to what you and he get up to?" asked Jack.
"Sorry, sworn to secrecy."
John relaxed slightly, but Rodney frowned; did John honestly think he'd start blabbing about aliens and other galaxies?
"You know he could have become a doctor?" Derek said, ruffling John's already ruffled hair. If there was any similarity between the cousins, it was in the hair. That was one unfair gene pool. "Medicine's in our blood. But like father, like son."
John froze while Jack laughed. Rodney just looked blank. He didn't know anything about John's parents, except that his father had also been a military man, and he only found that out because he'd snooped through the personnel files.
Derek was watching him. "Johnny never told you? Yeah, he's pretty tight-lipped about family things. Guess that runs in the family, too. See, in addition to spectacular good looks, gross intelligence also happens to be in our genes. Uncle Frank was in his second year of med school when he dropped out to join the military. Gram and Gramps were pretty upset, to say the least. It was a blemish on our doctoral family tree."
John rolled his eyes, but to Rodney's trained eye he looked pretty upset. "Are you done yet?"
"Not yet," Derek said, grinning. He turned to Rodney. "So what do you know about John?"
"Um..." Not much, Rodney was forced to admit. He knew silly little things, like his love of Johnny Cash, ferris wheels, roller coasters, and football, or the way he had a habit of scratching behind his ear when he was really deep in thought, or could turn Rodney to Jello with just a glare. He didn't feel comfortable mentioning any of that to the cousins, however, so he settled for, "I know he could have been in MENSA."
Derek and Jack both burst out laughing, and somehow it was Rodney on the receiving end of John's glare.
"That's nothing," Derek said, once he got a hold of himself. "He got a perfect score on his SATs, and was accepted to study math at MIT."
"What?" said Rodney, turning to John who was actually blushing. "Why didn't you ever tell me that?"
"It's not a big deal," John said, completely red around the ears.
"Oh, I know a great story to tell Rodney," Jack said, a wicked grin spreading over his face.
"Please don't," John moaned, but it was too late.
"We were practically inseparable as kids," Jack explained to Rodney. "Derek and I were born the same year, and John came along a year after. This one summer, when we were, like, eight, our dads decided to take us camping. Derek and I had gone the year before, but it was John's first time out."
The thirty-nine year old John looked like he wanted to crawl under a rock and die.
"So John gets the brilliant idea to go fishing - by himself, without telling anyone."
Both Derek and Jack start shaking with repressed laughter.
"He had the whole camp in an uproar - he's gone for hours. When we finally find him, he's covered head-to-toe in mud, poison ivy up and down his arms, proudly clutching the smallest fish you've ever seen. It was, like, an inch long."
John smiles reluctantly. "First time Dad ever threatened to whip me. He decided the poison ivy was punishment enough."
"Then there was the time," Derek said, beaming, "when John blew up the garage."
Rodney couldn't believe his ears. "What?"
"Three-fourths of it!" John protested, scowl returning. "And my eyebrows grew back!"
"He was working on a science project," Derek told Rodney. "Hope you're better at the science-y stuff than he is."
"Normally I handle the science and he handles the saving of my ass," Rodney replied. John blinked, and started to flush again. Derek and Jack exchanged a knowing look, and Rodney sought for a way to change the subject.
"So, you're both married?" he said.
"We've tried to convince John to follow our example," Jack said, nodding, though the brooding was back. "But, as usual, he's had his own ideas."
"We don't have a lot of time for romance," Rodney said, feeling John's incredulous stare on the back of his neck.
"And maybe he was right," Derek sighed.
It was John and Rodney's turn to exchange a look.
"Has something happened between you and Addison?" John asked.
"She slept with my best friend," Derek replied so casually that Rodney wasn't sure he heard correctly at first. "I moved to Seattle. We're getting divorced."
"Sarah left me," Jack added, something dark flashing over his face. "She thought I was too involved in my work."
"Same with Addie," Derek said, and both men looked so gloomy that Rodney felt very uncomfortable. John must have felt the same because he tried to lighten the mood.
"Maybe now you know why I never married."
"Oh?" said Derek, looking rather pointedly at Rodney. "And here I thought it was for another reason entirely."
John went scarlet; it was the most interesting thing Rodney had ever seen. No one spoke. Then Jack looked at his watch.
"I guess we should get going if we're going to make that late flight, Derek."
"Yeah, we should get going too, Rodney," John said, sounding strangled.
They all stood and John's cousins started out the door.
"Have fun on your date," Derek said, snickering with Jack as he waved and disappeared down the hall.
Rodney and John stared at each other for a minute.
"Wow," Rodney said eventually, still trying to process all the information he'd just had thrown at him.
They left the apartment, and were halfway to the elevator when John grabbed Rodney's arm and bit his lip. "If you promise not to say anything about any of this to Elizabeth or Carson, I swear I will never call you Meredith again."
Rodney just nodded.
Suddenly he was very glad he only had a sister.