Title: The Continuing Adventures of Agent MacGregor
Written For: CFardell
Disclaimer: The characters and various fictional universes are not my property and no infringement is intended.
Fandoms: NCIS/Stargate: Atlantis
Word Count: 2455
Summary: Tim goes to a bar to drown his sorrows and meets a (not gay!) Canadian.
Timeline/Spoilers: Set before "Last Man Standing"/NCIS and in those niggling weeks that sheppard was missing during "The Last Man"/SGA.
Acknowledgement: kimberlyfdr is a goddess! I am in awe of her beta-fu. Seriously, this is so much more readable because of her.
“Beer. Molson’s if you’ve got it.”
Tim, who’d been grimly picking at the label of his third bottle of Coors (slowly but surely inching his way to melancholy inebriation), looked up at the man’s tone. He sounded weary and frustrated, like he’d been dragged backwards through a yard where the owner had planted the thorniest bushes in existence and neglected to pick up after their sick dog.
He sounded like Tim felt: like utter shit; looked like it, too.
His shoulders were slumped--as if he was incapable of shouldering whatever weight was his to bear--thinning hair in disarray, face pinched, miserable and distant, but intense nonetheless. It looked like the poor guy was stuck in his head and going over things incessantly as his hands methodically destroyed a paper napkin. The rumpled and expensive suit only added the right amount of ironic juxtaposition to render the picture complete.
God, McGee. You can’t even contemplate another word of your sequel but, you’re waxing poetic about some miserable stranger at a bar? That’s pathetic, even for you.
Christ, and just how pathetic was it that he was McGee even to the voices in his own head? When the hell had that happened? His name was Timothy.
At least it’s McGee and not Probie. Tim shuddered at the thought.
It was a shock to return his scrutiny to the man only to meet the quick blue eyed gaze of someone who was present. There was wary suspicion plastered all over the guy’s face and posture, tension belied by his white-knuckled grip on his beer bottle. Tim had had enough practice watching Gibbs read people to get a knack for it, but this guy was all but screaming his paranoia for anyone to discern at a glance.
“What?” the man questioned tightly, an irate inquiry and challenge all at once.
“Sorry,” Tim muttered and went back to staring at his ragged beer label, silently cursing the heat that rose to his face, the product of too much alcohol and his mother’s fair skin. In his experience, people rarely confronted others when they were being stared at. Just his luck that he caught one of the belligerent ones instead of the type that practiced feigned ignorance.
Tim withheld a heartfelt sigh as the guy stood and moved closer, taking the empty seat next to him, and hoped that this wouldn’t degenerate into some kind of altercation.
The guy sighed. “I’ve had a pretty shitty year, so if you’re here to kidnap me I’d advise against it because I’m about a step away from turning to the Dark Side. Also, not gay, so I’m not interested if the staring was your oh-so-subtle way of indicating your attraction.”
Tim choked and sputtered on his ill-timed swig of beer.
“That’s a no,” the man observed. “Good.”
Annoyed, Tim wiped his mouth, turning to glare. In response, the man looked distinctly unimpressed. He resisted the urge to sulk. He was a federal agent, shouldn’t he be able to intimidate people with a look?
“Why the hell does everyone think I’m gay? Am I emitting some vibe? Has Tony taken out an ad in the paper or posted a MySpace page dedicated to my fictitious gayness?” Tim questioned mournfully. Obviously, the beer was doing its job. He hadn’t even winced at his teammate’s name and it had been at least five minutes since he‘d thought about being shuffled away to Cyber Crimes and exiled from the field.
“Not that I care, but does this Tony hate you violently?”
“He--we worked together. He spread a rumor that I was gay to better his chances with the available women.”
The guy snickered. “Seriously?”
Tim nodded solemnly.
“Wow. And I thought Sheppard was an asshole. Though, if he ever pulled that crap with me I might set off a few explosions in his room. Then again, he is an incorrigible flirt, I never stand a chance. Bastard,” the guy muttered without any heat as he drained his bottle. “Hey! Another round over here! Give this guy another one, too. He needs it.”
“Thanks,” Tim mumbled a little suspiciously. Who could blame him after the exuberant ramble that included bomb threats? “You’re not hitting on me?”
His benefactor rolled his eyes. “I’m not hitting on you. Didn’t I just say I wasn‘t gay? How drunk are you? I like blonde, genius, generously endowed women. Also, if it happened that I were gay, you still wouldn’t be my type. Not smart enough,” he added smugly.
“Hey! I’m an MIT graduate!” Tim argued, offended. Not that he wanted to be considered any guy’s type, even if it were hypothetically, but his intellect was one of the few things he prized.
Again, the guy looked unimpressed. “Multiple doctorates,” he announced with relish. “I’m the smartest person you’ll ever meet. I know almost everything about almost everything.”
Frankly, the immature pissing match was doing nothing for Tim’s mood. “Right,” he agreed sarcastically. “Despite the fact that I’ve never even heard of you, which I would have if you’re half as smart as you think you are.”
“It’s classified,” the guy spat with disgust. “I put my blood, sweat and various other messy fluids into keeping everyone alive with my considerable genius, I’m continually in danger and in fear for my life and they classify all of my best work.”
“Is that why you’re here?” Tim questioned idly, wondering whether the fleeting opportunity to forget was worth the hassle of dealing with a delusional drunk.
The man froze. “No,” he said shortly.
Tim sighed, not really wanting to deal with the guy’s mood swings. He wrinkled his nose. Were his lips numb? He’d only had four bottles!
Gibbs is gonna be so pissed, Tim thought disjointedly.
The last thing Tim registered was the heavy thump of an unconscious body before the dizziness he’d attributed to alcohol became too much and he passed out.
“This is why I don’t drink. Second time in less than a year--I’ll never hear the end of this,” a wry, resigned voice muttered.
Tim kept his eyes closed, he was nauseous enough without adding any new variables into the mix, and grunted when he was poked.
“Well, at least you’re alive. Though, it begs the question as to why that is. You’re not one of them, unless you’re stupid enough to drug yourself, and you‘re definitely not one of my minders. Why’d they keep you alive, I wonder? They could have just dumped you somewhere and it would have all been forgotten in the haze of your hangover,” the words were delivered quickly and without pause for breathing.
“Where are we?” Tim groaned as he tried to sit up from the cold, cement floor.
“Not a clue,” the guy said with displeasure.
“What happened?” Tim asked, gingerly opening his eyes to the sight of his glowering drinking partner.
“We were drugged, abducted, and stuffed into a room decorated in accordance to this year’s prison chic,” came the sardonically delivered answer.
This made very little sense to Tim; mostly because he was fuzzy headed from drugs and booze. However, he wasn’t so far gone that he missed the fact that he was missing a few things. His wallet, cell, and that niftily concealed knife (he followed Rule 9, like everyone else on the team) were missing. “Why, exactly?”
The sarcastic guy sneered. “They have yet to grace us with their presence and their demands and threats, but presumably they want me to build something for them or give away government secrets.”
“Just who the hell are you?” Tim questioned hotly. He was frustrated, confused and just plain pissed off at the universe and everything in it.
“We are in the presence of the illustrious Dr. Rodney McKay, Agent McGee,” said the man who was staring at them through the thick, iron bars. He was tall, tanned, and tailored to the nines. He wore a congenial expression so compelling that Tim would have fallen for it if he hadn’t been kidnapped by the man.
“You’re an agent? Of what? The NID?” Rodney McKay looked as if he’d smelled something particularly bad.
“NCIS,” Tim corrected.
McKay arched an eyebrow and turned to their jailor. “Why would you kidnap an NCIS agent? And who are you, anyway? Not that it matters, but I suppose I can lower myself to be polite to a dead man walking.”
“Is that so?” their captor inquired with polite amusement.
“Isn’t there someone marginally more intelligent I can be threatened by?” McKay taunted. “Preferably someone without brain damage?”
“You won’t goad me, Doctor McKay,” the man warned.
“That’s what they all say.” McKay smirked.
“Very well, I’ll return later with my business proposition. When you’re in a more receptive frame of mind.”
McKay slumped and sat down with a sigh as soon as their kidnapper was out of sight.
Tim stood and started to look for possible avenues of escape.
“You’re not going to find anything,” McKay said bleakly. “I doubt he’s that stupid if he was able to snatch me from under government surveillance. Though, doing it in such a public place was spectacularly stupid.”
Tim paid him no heed. “What’s going to happen?” he asked, mostly because McKay actually seemed like he knew what was going on.
McKay shrugged, idly tapping his fingers against his thigh. “He’ll come back, make a demand, I’ll say no, and he’ll probably threaten you. In fact, that‘s probably why they grabbed you, either to use you against me or as an example of what they‘ll do to me if I don‘t comply.”
Tim blanched at McKay‘s matter-of-fact tone. “So, when you complained about being kidnapped…not kidding?”
McKay gave him a dirty glare.
“Guess not,” Tim muttered to himself. He gave up casing their small cell and joined McKay on the floor. “Why are you so calm?” he couldn’t help but ask.
McKay frowned. “Alcohol and habit. Honestly, getting snatched by these idiots is nothing. I think I’m becoming desensitized. Wow. It’s about time. And really, this isn’t particularly frightening. At least no one’s trying to eat me,” he murmured.
“Eat you?!” Tim squawked.
McKay looked surprised then sheepish before finally settling on belligerent. “What? Haven’t you ever heard of cannibals?”
Tim knew he must look like a puffer fish. McKay looked away, clearly deciding that he didn’t want to pursue any further conversation.
Just when Tim was on the verge of asking an inane question to break up the silence, McKay beat him to it. “So, tell me about yourself, Agent McGee.”
Surprised, Tim couldn’t help but ask, “What do you want to know?”
“It’s not about wanting, it’s about being so far beyond bored that listening to anyone drone on actually sounds appealing. And, if you are an MIT graduate, then you must have some modicum of intelligence. Though, perhaps becoming an NCIS agent invalidates that supposition.” McKay looked as if he were contemplating this.
“There’s nothing wrong with my job,” Tim argued.
“Is that why you were drinking alone in a run down bar? Because your job is so fulfilling?” McKay scoffed.
Tim was so surprised by the jab that he wasn’t ready to suppress the hurt he knew would be plastered all over his face. What was unexpected was how McKay’s expression softened with apology.
“I was reassigned,” Tim admitted in a low voice. He could feel the weight of McKay’s stare, but instead of meeting his eyes he continued to stare at the gray floor of their cell.
“I suppose--if I was ever--that sucks,” McKay expressed himself awkwardly but sincerely.
“Yeah,” Tim agreed in a hushed voice that echoed in the bare room.
McKay didn’t tolerate the uncomfortable silence for long. “Have you seen the new Doctor Who episode?”
“Is that gunfire?” Tim asked in the middle of their perfectly civilized discussion on the merits of science fiction versus fantasy. “And explosions?”
“It’s about time!” McKay grumbled as he lumbered to his feet and stretched. “It’s been hours.”
“We were enjoying the quiet,” someone drawled from out of their line of sight. “Frankly, McKay, I’m disappointed. I expected this place to be rubble and the kidnappers to be blubberin’ messes by the time we got here.”
A group of heavily armed men stopped in front of them. “Reyes, get that door open,” the same teasing drawl came from the obnoxiously grinning leader. One of the men began fiddling with the cell’s door while the others took up defensive positions.
“Mitchell,” McKay hissed angrily. “Get me the hell out of here.”
Mitchell smirked and held out his arms grandiosely. “Open Sesame!”
With a click, the cell door unlocked.
McKay flung open the door and stalked through. Reyes scrambled back while the rest of the men looked sympathetic, viciously amused, or just apprehensive. “I do need tools to work miracles, Colonel. Also, my mood is such that if I had resorted to explosives there wouldn’t be rubble, there’d be nothing but sand to mark the end of that man’s idiocy,” McKay ranted loudly with vicious hand gestures.
Mitchell held up his hands in a gesture of surrender. “Whoa! Sorry, McKay. Thanks for not vaporizing the place. Gonna introduce me to your buddy?”
“Do it yourself. And offer him a job while you’re at it!” With that, McKay snapped his fingers at a few of the black clad men as he began another rant and they surrounded him as he strode down the corridor. “Hours! Wasted! What the hell were you people doing? Having a barbeque? I wouldn’t put it past you--” his strident voice cut off long after he was out of sight.
Tim could only stare, flabbergasted.
“Colonel Cameron Mitchell, USAF,” Mitchell introduced himself with a friendly nod. “Did you just spend hours stuck in a cell with a conscious Rodney McKay?” He looked somewhat impressed.
“Err…I’m Special Agent Timothy McGee, NCIS. Yes?” Tim answered tentatively.
“And he offered you a job. Well I’ll be damned. If you can survive McKay I reckon you can handle anything,” Mitchell said with no little admiration.
“I have a job,” Tim countered as he started to follow Mitchell down the same route McKay had taken.
Mitchell looked dubious and shrugged. “We’ll debrief you and have you checked over by our medic and I’ll see who I can get to give you the company spiel. McKay is an ornery cuss, but he has high standards. If he’s trying to recruit you it’s a compliment of the highest caliber.”
For the nth time Tim cursed his fair skin and his predisposition to violent blushing. “You’ll have to be persuasive,” he challenged with unusual bravado while still reeling from the unexpected turn of events.
Mitchell chuckled. “We can do that.”