Title: Chances Are
Fandom: BtVS/ Stargate Atlantis
Pairing: Rodney McKay/Xander Harris
Spoilers: Not much. Set post-Chosen, probably season 3-ish for Atlantis.
Disclaimer: I make no claims to ownership for these characters or their shows.
The first thing Rodney McKay thought of when he woke up in his hotel room with a hangover and an unfamiliar arm around his waist was probabilities. He'd run them years ago, inputting as many variables as he could think of, and he knew precisely how unlikely it was for him to wind up drunk and in bed with a stranger. Very. He rolled over, careful not to jar his aching head, to see exactly whom he'd picked up at the bar last night.
His bed partner was tangled in the sheets, head buried in the pillows, but Rodney could see enough to tell that it was a man. That made sense. Statistically, women were 73% more likely than men to turn down his advances, And 90% more likely to express their displeasure by tossing their drinks in his face. Rodney tugged a pillow off the man's head and revealed tousled, dark hair, which was a surprise. Rodney's usual type was blond.
Rodney had been as quiet as he could, but staring, pillow moving, and mental calculations weren't especially conducive to a peaceful sleeping environment. The man woke up. He rolled over and smiled sleepily at Rodney, who blinked in surprise. He'd never even considered monocular vision as a possible variable. Was that what made this man special despite being brunette?
"Good morning," the man said. He snuggled deeper into his remaining pillow in a motion that somehow emphasized the fact that they were naked. Rodney shoved away the urge to snuggle down with him. He sat up instead.
"It would be a better morning if this bed had proper support for my back," Rodney snapped. "And if my head wasn't pounding. I'm probably losing brain cells at this very moment, and I can't afford that. Unlike most of the idiot population, I actually *use* mine." Rodney checked for the offended glare his rants usually received, especially from people who didn't know him well, but what he saw was an almost affectionate amusement. He deflated a bit. "What's your name, anyway?"
"You were really drunk, huh?" the man asked. He propped himself up on one elbow and held out a hand. "Xander Harris."
Rodney took it, pointedly ignoring the irony of shaking hands with the man he'd apparently had sex with last night. "Rodney McKay," he replied.
Xander grinned. "I know."
"Oh?" Rodney wondered if that meant Xander hadn't been drinking last night. Had he been taken advantage of? Rodney didn't really feel up to enacting an afterschool special about date rape this early in the morning.
"You're pretty memorable," Xander told him. The look in his eye was admiring, and Rodney wished he could remember what he'd done to earn that.
Xander untangled himself from the sheet and climbed out of bed. Rodney watched him as he crossed the room to the bathroom. He felt a little self conscious about staring, but he told himself he was allowed to ogle anyone who walked around naked in front of him. Xander was worth ogling. His body wasn't as hard and trim as some of the Marines Rodney regularly insulted, but it was firm and well proportioned. His skin was darker than Rodney's, which wasn't that difficult, and was crossed with scars in odd configurations. He had a nice ass.
While he was in the bathroom, Rodney scrambled out of bed and pulled on his shirt and boxers. He also checked that he still had his wallet and cell phone. Xander seemed nice, but it paid to be careful. If there was one thing Rodney had learned in the Pegasus Galaxy, it was that people came in all shades of crazy.
Xander donned his own boxers and a tee shirt when he came out of the bathroom, picking up an eye patch from the pile of clothes on the floor and tugging it on as well. Rodney swallowed his disappointment as Xander got dressed. He couldn't very well insist that the man stay naked while Rodney was clothed, after all. Damn it. Rodney huffed at the unfairness and went to take his turn in the bathroom. In spite of the fact that Xander seemed harmless and had a nice ass - maybe *because* he had a nice ass - Rodney spent at least five minutes examining his body for possible injection sights. Because he's run the calculations, and he knew that drugging was just as likely as a drunken pick-up. He didn't find any needle marks, but he did find a suspicious-looking mole on his lower back that he was going to make Carson check out. Dying unexpectedly of skin cancer would deprive the expedition of its finest mind, and Rodney couldn't be responsible for that kind of tragedy.
When he emerged from the bathroom, fully examined, washed, and shaved, Rodney found Xander just hanging up the telephone. "Who was that?" he demanded.
"Room service. I ordered breakfast," Xander said, sinking down to lounge on the foot of the bed. He grabbed the remote and turned on the television.
Rodney glared. "That was incredibly presumptuous!" he pointed out. "For one thing, this is *my* hotel room you're inconsiderately charging food to. What if I couldn't afford it? What if I'd spent all my money on the vast amounts of alcohol I consumed last night?" Frankly, that kind of spending would have been a prodigious achievement. Rodney was pulling in an impressive salary, and he hadn't been able to spend much of it in years; he could binge drink for years and not go broke.
He refused to let himself be distracted from his fully justified rant by logic. He waved his hands. "And for another thing, you didn't even ask what I wanted to eat. I'll have you know I have serious food allergies. A carelessly ordered meal could kill me." He would have kept going, but the sight of Xander's smile took the wind out of his sails.
As soon as Rodney stopped, Xander helped up a hand. "Don't worry," he said reassuringly. "I specifically told them no citrus."
"How did you know I'm allergic to citrus? Are you stalking me? Oh, God! You're stalking me, aren't you? I knew it. Well, I didn't know it, but I suspected. There was a 16% probability."
"I'm not stalking you. Geez!" Xander threw down the remote and ran a hand through his hair. Rodney felt a surge of triumph at having finally gotten to the man. It wasn't natural for a person to not be irritated by Rodney after this much time in his company. "I used my brilliant deductive powers to figure it out after you accused Willow of attempted murder for offering you a margarita," Xander explained.
"Who's Willow?" Rodney asked.
"My friend. The one who was at the bar last night, with the red hair and the 'most absurd theories on the existence of alternative realities you've ever heard from someone not on hallucinogens.'" He used his fingers to show where the quote began and ended, but he really didn't need to. Rodney recognized his own pithy turn of phrase.
"And she didn't talk you out of coming home with me?" Maybe she wasn't a very good friend.
"She knows me better than that." The look of annoyance was already fading from Xander's eye, and Rodney wondered when exactly he'd lost control of the situation here. He felt a niggling suspicion he'd never had control to begin with. Xander stood up and stalked toward Rodney, his lips quirking into a crooked grin. "You're funny and smart, and you have absolutely no sense of tact. You're *so* my type." He closed the distance between them, showing blatant disregard for Rodney's personal space. "Plus, you have amazing eyes," he added, his voice low.
Xander kissed well. Rodney wasn't surprised; if he wound up in bed with a person, they usually had to show some kind of aptitude ahead of time. But since he didn't remember testing that aptitude last night, he was unprepared for it. Xander kissed like a comparison shopper, tasting and testing with careful consideration until he made up his mind to own Rodney. Then he moved right it, lips and tongue and nibbling teeth taking possession like it was his right. Rodney found he liked being owned. He moaned into Xander's mouth and slid his hands around his waist, drawing him closer. Personal space was highly overrated, anyway.
A loud banging on the door caused Xander to pull away, which Rodney was prepared to classify as a bad thing. He let go of the other man and stomped to the door. Jerking it open, he snarled, "What?!"
The room service waiter didn't even blink. He just wheeled the cart into the room and made tip extorting gestures. Rodney glowered at him and made murdering gestures. It didn't take long for the waiter to go away. Rodney watched his retreat smugly. Then he looked down at the cart.
"Well, if something had to spoil the mood, at least it's food," Rodney conceded, examining the contents. Xander had ordered pancakes, sausage, eggs, and *two* pots of coffee. It was a good thing Rodney remembered he was returning to Atlantis in three more days, or he might have asked the man to marry him.
They got all the food transferred to the small round table that seemed to be present in every hotel room in North America. The plates covered the entire surface. Rodney and Xander sat on opposite sides and ate. Rodney watched Xander through a haze of pancake-induced euphoria, appreciating the purposeful way he ate, not concerned with coy looks or small talk over the syrup.
They were down to crumbs of pancakes and smears of egg yolks when Xander looked up and said, "Oh yeah. Some guy called while you were in the bathroom. Um ... Colonel Sheppard?"
Rodney nearly choked on his coffee. "You answered the phone? What did you tell him?"
"I said I was a friend of yours." Xander looked vaguely disgruntled. "I'm not sure he believed me. He kept being like, 'A friend of Rodney's? Rodney *McKay*?' It was a total Cassandra phone call."
"Cassandra?" Rodney asked absently, wondering how much interrogation and mockery he could expect from Sheppard about this.
"You know, when you're telling the truth and no one believes you." Xander started stacking plates. "So you work with the military? What do you do?"
"I doubt you have the mental capacity to understand the physics involved in doing my job, but I can't tell you anyway. It's classified," Rodney told him smugly.
Xander rolled his eye. "Oooh, classified. You're a physicist. What do you do, build bombs?" Rodney snorted derisively. "Fight aliens?" He tried to snort derisively, he really did. Unfortunately, it came out more as a gasp. Xander stopped gathering up the dishes and grew pale. "Oh my God, you do."
He was obviously a spy. A very clever, subtle spy, sent to find out all of Rodney's secrets. It was the only explanation for the way he'd ferreted out Rodney's top-secret job so quickly. Rodney should have expected that from the moment he'd seen Xander naked. There was a 3 in 5 chance that a man that hot would have an ulterior motive in sleeping with him.
Xander hurried over to his pants, which were lying in a crumpled pile near the bed. He rummaged around and pulled out a cell phone. Rodney was still considering the implications of sleeping with a spy when he heard Xander speaking.
"Riley? Hey, it's Xander. No, no, it's not the end of the world." Rodney disagreed. "Um, you're the soldier-y expert. How bad would it be if I accidentally had sex with one of the scientists involved in all the world saving." Xander sighed and hunched his shoulders.
"No, I didn't *slip.* It wasn't that kind of accident," he said acidly. "I just didn't know who he was. Yes, I said 'he.'" He gave Rodney a helpless look, which was charming even if he was a spy. He covered the phone with his hand. "You're not actually in the military, right?"
Rodney shook his head, aghast. "I'm not even American," he said. "But you're not going to get any secrets out of me," he insisted valiantly. Xander flapped a hand at him to be quiet.
"No, not in the military, with your stupid Don't Ask, Don't Tell crap. Um, Rodney McKay. Yes, *really.* What is it with people not believing that?" Xander pouted, slouching even more. "He what?" Xander rounded on Rodney with an accusing glare that he surely didn't deserve. "Atlantis?" Xander asked. Rodney tried out an innocent I-don't-know-what-you're-talking-about look and failed miserably. Before Xander could do more than glare, though, the person on the other end of the call distracted him.
"Tell me you did not just ask me that!" Xander yelped. Xander turned to Rodney, blushing bright red. "Riley wants to know if the sex was bad, because that apparently makes working together a problem," he told Rodney. He turned his attention back to the phone. "I don't even want to know the story behind that comment, either. But no, for your information, we did not have bad sex."
It was nice to hear that the sex hadn't been bad. It would be nicer to remember. Rodney reminded himself that, as a spy, Xander could have pretended to like the sex, just to weasel intergalactic secrets out of him. That was a depressing thought.
"Okay," Xander said. "Yeah, I'll see you at the meeting." He hung up and stared at the phone for a minute.
He turned around slowly. Rodney waited, his arms crossed and his mouth set in a tense, crooked line. "You don't remember last night at all?" Xander asked in a plaintive voice.
Xander sighed. "Then by Riley's logic, we shouldn't have problems working together." He stooped to pick up his pants and started pulling them on.
"Wait, wait. What?" Rodney felt justified in his confusion. He wouldn't be working with a spy. The very thought was preposterous.
"When I get to Atlantis, we'll be able to work together. I'll be okay with it because the sex wasn't bad, and you'll be okay with it because you don't remember," Xander explained patiently.
"You're going to Atlantis?" Rodney felt like he was behind in the conversation. It wasn't a sensation he had often, and he hated it.
"Yup. That's kind of why I was in town." He put on his shirt and fumbled with the buttons. "My team has been meeting with people at the Mountain, being screened and evaluated, signing papers." He looked Rodney in the eye, his face sincere. "I didn't know who you were last night. When I realized you had to work with the SGC, I was worried about regulations, but Riley said it's okay since you're not military. We just have to be sure it doesn't cause problems. And since you don't remember, it won't." Xander shrugged.
Rodney processed this. Since he was a genius, he processed quickly. Once he was finished processing, the decision was remarkably easy to come to. "You know what?" he asked. "I'm willing to take the chance."
"What chance?" Xander asked, looking up from his belt.
Rodney stepped closer and swatted his hands away. "Stop that. It's counterproductive. I'm willing to take the chance that the sex might be bad enough to affect our working relationship."
"You are, are you?" A smile tugged at Xander's lips.
"I am," Rodney confirmed. "It's a risk, but I'm quite the risk taker." He began unbuttoning Xander's shirt. "I wasn't always, but running for my life on alien worlds has done wonders for my sense of adventure." It didn't take long to get both of them naked again, and this time Rodney gave in to his desire to wind his body tightly around Xander's.
Later, as Rodney lay on the bed with Xander's arm heavy across his chest, he thought about probabilities. He put in as many variables as he could think of and calculated the possible outcomes of this scenario. It was far more likely that they wouldn't last the week than that they would fall madly in love. Xander murmured against his collar bone and wriggled against him, and Rodney held him closer. He would take what he could get.
There is a sequel: The Cosmo Boy's Guide to Dating