Taking a Chance

SUMMARY: It was the kiss. Duet Tag.

SEASON/SPOILERS: Season Two. Spoils Duet.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: I already wrote a gen tag, so naturally I needed to write a slash one. :)

DISCLAIMER: I don't own Stargate: Atlantis or anything associated with it. I'm simply borrowing, but I promise to return all in one piece. Eventually.

It had been a long week.

Carson was thankful that both Rodney and Cadman passed out directly after the 'incident.' It gave him a chance to concentrate on medical matters rather than the fact that Rodney had decided to make out with him in public.

Okay, it wasn't Rodney, really, he told himself, but it sure felt like Rodney. And looked like Rodney. And smelled like Rodney...

He could feel a blush start creeping up into his cheeks and he tried to ignore it, ordering his team into action, getting both his patients into the infirmary, running tests and getting monitors in place.

Everything looked okay, which was certainly good news and he shared it with Weir, Zelenka, and Sheppard, who had apparently taken up residence on a couple of beds directly across from Rodney. There was no use shooing them away; they never listened. He looked over the monitors again, pausing perhaps a split second longer than he should have at McKay's beside, then made a beeline for his office.

One inside, he sat down and laid his head down on his desk.

It had been a long week.

He hadn't stopped to think about the fact that it wasn't Rodney who wanted him to tag along on his date. It was Cadman. She was a very lovely lass, no doubt, but he'd never really thought of her in that way. He hadn't thought of anyone in that way since Perna's passing, and they had no true relationship, only a infatuation that never had a chance to develop into anything more. But he and Perna shared an interest in science, medicine, and research. He and Laura had very little in common and while he was extremely flattered and couldn't deny that he was attracted to her, he didn't see much of a future.

Of course, here he was, condemning a relationship before he even gave it a try. He could hear his mother's voice in his head, telling him to stop finding fault with all those attracted to him and to pick one at least and give her a chance.

"Or him," she had also added with a wink and Carson had blushed deeply. She smiled. "A mother knows everything. And loves you no matter who you love. Although I'd wish you'd find someone soon. I want grandchildren while I'm still young enough to enjoy them."

"But Mum-" he had started; ready to tell her that if he brought a him instead of a her to their doorstep, grandchildren were not very likely.

"You can adopt," she had told him. "Or get one of those surrogates."

His mum always thought of everything.

Laura was very pretty, after all. Maybe he could try. Maybe they had more in common than he thought. Maybe she liked genetics. Maybe he could learn to like exercise or something else she seemed to enjoy.

Maybe he could also dye his hair blue.

No, he still didn't think it would work, but he feared it wasn't simply because of the lack of shared interests between the two of them.

It was the kiss.

The kiss was all Laura, he knew, and she was certainly passionate and vocal with it, letting her intentions known, but it was Rodney's lips doing all the talking and Rodney's hands gripping his lab coat and pulling him close.

And it was Rodney's look of disgust when he pulled away.

Carson felt like banging his head on his desk. This wasn't going to end well, he thought. He saw Rodney kiss Katie Brown and even if it was Cadman doing all the moves, Rodney wasn't protesting that action.

Although he did grab for...no, Cadman again. Cadman and her crush. He felt himself blushing again. Whether or not he decided to give it a go with Cadman, he was still shy and didn't often deal with such a compliment.

He pushed his head up, leaning back into his chair. Either way, this was a mess.

Or rather, he was a mess.


He threw himself into his monthly medical report, trying to think about anything else but his two patients in the next room. Unfortunately, time caught up with him and his head nurse poked her head in to let him know Cadman was awake.

"And Dr. McKay?" he asked as he pushed himself up.

"Still unconscious."

That wasn't good. He hoped they'd both regain consciousness around the same time. He frowned, but grabbed Laura's chart and headed for her bed, trying to maintain his professionalism and not think about meeting her eyes. Thankfully, Weir, Sheppard, and Zelenka appeared to have temporarily disappeared, perhaps for dinner. Whichever the case, he wasn't protesting their absence.

Cadman greeted him with a smile.

And an apology.

"I'm sorry," she told him as he scribbled notes across her file. "But I didn't realize..." She trailed off and he looked up at her.

"Didn't realize what?"

She stared at him a moment before laughing. "Oh, come on." He frowned, slightly confused and she shook her head.

"Why are the cute ones always so clueless?" She let out a sigh. "It's really a shame. Katie was right, then."

Now he was completely perplexed. "Right about what?"

"She said you were already hung up on someone. Didn't know who, though. I thought for sure she was wrong, but after that kiss...I just didn't expect it to be him."

Carson laid down the chart and crossed his arms. "What do you mean exactly?" He couldn't be that transparent, could he?

She laughed again and then reached out to touch his arm. "Carson, it's okay. Your secret is safe with me. I will say again that's a damn shame, since you and I could have had a lot of fun, but no law says we can't be friends. And being your friend..." She motioned him in closer with the index finger on her right hand. "The feeling's mutual," she whispered.

He jumped back and said nothing. He wasn't sure what to say. Instead, he grabbed for her chart.

Her smile along grew. "Trust me on this one. Katie hasn't got a prayer. Poor gal, but somehow a few poker nights and I think she'll be okay. Of course, that is if Rodney can master the artful break-up." She paused. "We're going to need some wine, I think."

He didn't get a chance to respond. The trio was back to Rodney-watch.

And a few minutes later, Rodney woke up, they all exchanged a few words, and he squeezed Cadman's hand, letting his patients have some time to themselves.


Carson had a few days to sit on Laura's revelation, and he was still unsure of how to handle it, if he could even believe it, and if he actually *wanted* to do anything about it.

In the end, it didn't matter. Apparently, Cadman wanted him to do something about it and the military girl wasn't about to take no for an answer.

Once he had discharged both Laura and Rodney, he'd been avoiding the physicist and it seemed Rodney was happy doing the same. Work piled up. There was talk of adding Ronan Dex to Sheppard's team and Carson began creating a medical file for the mysterious warrior.

Then Laura invited him to lunch. She wanted to be friends, and Carson had been unsure at first, a little afraid she may try and jump him from across the table.

"I won't, I promise," she told him with a smile and wink and he'd finally agreed. He had a big problem saying no; it was that weakness that most likely he gotten him trapped into Rodney's "date" with Dr. Brown in the first place.

He walked into the dining room and he saw Laura, standing up and waving at him. He made a beeline for her, but stopped in his tracks when he saw she wasn't alone.

"I thought you wouldn't mind if Rodney joined us," she told him and told his tray, placing it directly across from Rodney's chair. "Sit."

"Carson, hi," Rodney managed, seemingly suddenly interested in the food on his plate.

"Rodney," Carson returned with a tight smile and sat. It was awkward, which was a first for them. He and Rodney were never awkward, and many people found it strange, but their friendship worked. Carson overlooked Rodney's whining, and Rodney could forget the fact Carson wasn't as brave as he hoped. They both liked science, despite Rodney's constant insistence that medicine did not count as science, but more importantly, they trusted each other. It just worked.

Cadman sat down and Carson feared this could be one of the longest lunches he had ever had.

"So, Rodney, how was your date with Katie last night?" she started and Carson found his own eyes glued to his plate. He didn't need to hear about this.

"Um, we broke up," Rodney muttered.

"You did?" Cadman sounded surprised, yet she managed to jab Carson with her elbow another the table. "That's too bad." Then, her watch started beeping and she turned to it. "Would you look at that? Meeting." She gave an apologetic smile. "I'm sorry, guys, but I have to go. Rain check on the rest of lunch, okay?"

She lifted her tray before either man could protest and she was gone.

Rodney snorted.

"She could be at least a little less obvious, don'tcha think?"

Carson looked up at him. "Obvious?"

"Yeah," Rodney said. "Look, Carson, I'm sorry."

"For what?"

"The whole..." He gestured with his hand. "You know."

Carson smiled. "It wasn't you."

"I know," Rodney agreed. The two fell back into silence a moment, concentrating on their respective meals.

"But it should have been."

Carson raised an eyebrow. Did he just hear what he thought he heard? "What?"

"Don't make me repeat it." Rodney held the fork in his hand, twisting mashed potatoes around on his plate. "That kiss was..."




Carson's mouth turned into a smile. "Wonderful."

Rodney smiled back. "Wonderful," he agreed. "For a first kiss, anyway. We could do better."

"Aye. Much better."

"Willing to give it a shot?" Rodney asked.

Cadman was all wrong, and yet all right at the same time. It was Rodney who worth the chance.

He nodded and met Rodney's eyes.

He knew his mother would be surprised when he brought Rodney to her door.

The End.