Fandom: Stargate: Atlantis
Genre: Episode Related (Post Duet)
Relationship(s): Pre-John Sheppard/Rodney McKay
Content Rating: PG
Word Count: 1720
Summary: Lt Cadman shares breakfast and wisdom.
“There is no such thing as the perfect man.”
Rodney looked up from his somewhat dubious oatmeal and stared at Laura Cadman as she sat across from him. “Excuse me?”
“I said there is no such thing as the perfect man.” She repeated taking a drink of her steaming cup of not-coffee.
Rodney rolled his eyes. “I heard you the first time. What I didn’t do was understand you.”
Laura tilted her head slightly to her left, indicated the row of tables in that direction.
Rodney turned his head and saw a group of new recruits sitting around the table, trying to surreptitiously look around the somewhat crowded mess hall. He hadn’t had occasion to meet most of the new recruits since he’d been rightfully ensconced in his lab trying to figure out what some of the morons working under him had thought that they were doing while he’d been off-world last week.
The rectangular table was surrounded on all sides by six people; four men, two women, one of whom was staring straight ahead, and when he followed her line of sight, he was met with the familiar sight of Ronon Dex inhaling his food. He snorted to himself. Before meeting Ronon, he didn’t think anyone on Atlantis enjoyed food as much as he did. It was nice not to be the first one in line for dinner on the first night after the Daedalus arrived. He turned back to Cadman. “That depends on what you consider a perfect man,” Rodney commented turning his own gaze towards a table not too far away from where Drs Beckett and Biro were arguing about something involving their voodoo science. “I thought you were trying to wear Carson down.”
Laura smiled slyly. “I was thinking about it, but,” she shrugged. “I’m thinking about someone more…approachable.” Her gaze turned back to the table to her right.
Rodney followed and noticed among the faces he didn’t recognize were two he did. Captain Marcella Viatta and Lieutenant Rick Taylor. Laura was most likely not referring to Captain Viatta if she wanted someone more approachable than Carson. “Taylor?” He was about to say something appropriately biting when he realized he was having a personal conversation with Laura Cadman like they were…friends. “Are we girlfriends now?” He asked abruptly. “Is that what this is about? Spend a few days sharing the same body and now, what I have to listen to your bizarre thoughts on the dating pool?”
Laura smiled at him. “Well if you’d rather I listen to your thoughts on the Colonel…”
Rodney narrowed his eyes. “I don’t know what exactly you’re implying…”
Laura leaned a little closer. “I didn’t realize it at the time, but now it makes sense.”
“What does?” Rodney near hissed.
“Your awkwardness with Katie Brown.” She leaned back again and smiled. “At first I just thought you were nervous…maybe you hadn’t been on a date in a while. Then I thought maybe it was because I was there, like some sort of witness to your spectacular failure.” She smirked at him as Rodney opened his mouth to say something no doubt scalding. “But then I figured out Katie wasn’t exactly your type.”
“So what, just because I didn’t want your help with Dr. Brown, I must be gay? And if I’m gay I must, of course, have the hots for Colonel Sheppard?” Rodney sneered, still keeping his voice low, so no one could overhear.
“Are you trying to tell me you aren’t gay?”
Rodney rolled his eyes. “No, Lieutenant, I’m not. Anyone who knew me before this expedition could have told you that, or for that matter, anyone even moderately capable at hacking could have gotten a look at my file. I don’t recall actually joining the American Military, therefore, my sexual orientation is no one’s business but my own!” He stood up abruptly and left the table, leaving Laura Cadman grinning after him. He hadn’t actually denied being interested in Colonel Sheppard.
“I heard you had a little run-in with Laura Cadman,” Carson said later that afternoon when he stopped by to check on Rodney after the allergic reaction he had to a local bee on a recent off-world mission.
“If by run-in you mean when she cornered me at breakfast, then yes, I suppose I did.” He looked up at his friend. “Where exactly did you hear about it?”
“I was in the commissary at the time, Rodney. I saw you storm out and figured she was pestering you about Dr. Brown again.”
“No, this time it was Sheppard.”
“Sheppard was pestering you about Dr. Brown?” Carson asked in confusion.
Rodney rolled his eyes in irritation. “No, Cadman was pestering me about Colonel Sheppard.”
“Aye, that makes sense.” Carson nodded in understanding.
“It does?” Rodney looked a little confused and more than a little irritated. “In what alternate universe does Lieutenant Cadman, an American marine harassing me about my imaginary relationship with Colonel Sheppard, an American Air Force pilot makes any sense whatsoever?”
“Now Rodney, you know as well as anyone how your…bantering might look to an outsider.” Carson shrugged ruefully knowing how Sheppard and McKay played off of one another might look to someone who hadn’t been on Atlantis since the beginning.
“So you’re saying that Cadman, and probably the rest of the grunts think Sheppard and I are, what…flirting?” McKay asked, his eyebrows nearly reaching his hairline. “Of all the ridiculous…” Rodney turned back towards his computer screen. “He isn’t even my type.” He muttered.
Carson stood there watching his friend for a moment before deciding to go back to the infirmary. Trying to get Rodney away from his lab would be next to impossible and quite frankly he didn’t want to listen to his friend bemoaning the idiocy of the American military.
The doctor nearly ran into Radek Zelenka as he was leaving one of the lifts. The Czech scientist was concentrating on something on his tablet and muttering to himself. “Be careful. Rodney’s in a mood.” Carson warned before getting into the lift Radek had just vacated.
“Isn’t he always?” Radek commented with a slight smile as he headed towards Rodney’s lab. When he entered the lab Rodney was sitting at one of the workstations and staring at the screen. Radek could tell that his friend wasn’t really working mostly because was entirely too still.
“Do you think the Colonel and I are sleeping together?” Rodney asked suddenly turning around and pinning the Czech with an intense look.
“No, I do not,” Radek answered carefully.
“Because it’s ridiculous.” Rodney nodded as if Radek had just confirmed what Rodney was thinking.
“No, because if you were you wouldn’t be asking me if I thought you were.”
Rodney blinked. “That actually made sense.” He turned back towards his computer. “Did you get the power readout from the latest simulation?”
Radek handed Rodney his scanner and began explaining why he thought some of the readings were fluctuating more than anticipated. The Czech had worked with McKay long enough to be accustomed to the way he sometimes switched topics abruptly.
Rodney was just finishing his last slice of toast when Laura Cadman sat down across from him the next morning. It was still too early for the regular breakfast crowd and Rodney was hoping to escape to his lab before he had to deal with anyone.
“This is becoming a habit.” He commented as she took a bite of her powdered eggs. He was almost resigned to the fact that unlike most of the military she wasn’t deterred in the least by his attitude and the more irritated he became the more cheerful she was.
Cadman ignored him in favor of her breakfast for a few minutes. When her eggs were gone and he had returned to looking over something on his tablet she smirked at him. “So, you worked for the CIA when you were ten? That’s impressive, and a little disturbing.”
McKay took a breath and set his tablet down knowing that he would have to wait until he got back to his lab to get any work done. “I wouldn’t say worked…exactly.”
“What would you say?” Cadman asked as she took a sip of her juice.
Rodney sighed. “It was less work and more enforced cooperation.”
Cadman nodded as if that made perfect sense. “You didn’t admit to being involved with Colonel Sheppard.” She said, changing the subject.
“That would be because we’re not.”
“But, you didn’t deny being gay.” Laura continued as if Rodney hadn’t spoken.
“And what would be the point, Lieutenant. You’re obviously not going to listen to me anyway.” He stared at her, his mouth turned down in a scowl. “Did you find what you were looking for?” He asked. When she raised her eyebrows he continued. “You obviously got a look at my file.”
“You were married at eighteen.” She stated, confirming that she had indeed looked at his file.
“As you no doubt read, I was married for exactly eighty-seven days, to my boyfriend’s sister, and only because otherwise I would have lost my student Visa. You probably also know that it didn’t work, and I had to go back to Canada anyway, hence the annulment.”
Before Cadman could comment, if she had been planning to, a shadow passed over their table. “Well, isn’t this cozy?”
Cadman stood up, grabbing her tray. “I was just leaving sir.” She left the table quickly, trying to stifle the smile that was trying to come out.
“Was it something I said?” John drawled as he took the seat she had vacated.
“She thinks we’re having sex.” Rodney blurted out, not looking at the colonel.
“Right now? I think we’re a little overdressed.” Sheppard said casually as he looked down at his uniform. “Besides, people eat on this table and I don’t think it would be very comfortable.”
Rodney looked up at the most exasperating human being he had ever met. “Can you be serious for two seconds? One of your marines thinks we’re sleeping together. Doesn’t that worry you a little? Where’s your heterosexual freak out?”
John smiled at Rodney as if he was an incredibly dense child. “I think that only works with repressed bisexuals and rigid heterosexuals, and since I’m neither I don’t think I’m allowed to have one.”