Pairings: Rodney/Elizabeth, Jack/Elizabeth, Daniel/Elizabeth, Chuck/Elizabeth, Zelenka/Elizabeth, Daniel/Vala
Category: Humour, Romance
Summary: Eliminating the competition, when you may not be the best candidate for the job, takes a genius. Luckily Rodney McKay had a lot of genius lying about in that head of his.
A/N: Prequel to "The library"
The path to gaining Elizabeth’s heart (well not even that, just getting her to say yes to dinner would have been an achievement) was fraught with obstacles. Those obstacles mainly took the form of other men. An outside observer may well think that, by the number of admirers Elizabeth Weir had, that she was the only eligible woman in the city. This, of course, was not true, and Rodney had theorised that her very public job meant that she simply came into contact with more men thus gaining their attention.
So, Rodney was faced with a lot of competition. Luckily, he’d always been competitive. His main disadvantage was that Elizabeth might actually like some of the (many) other men vying for her affections more than him. His main advantage was of course his genius. His father had been severely disappointed in him when he had chosen to become a mere physics teacher, often asking why he was not more like Jeannie. But being a physics teacher now meant that he could take all that genius lying in reserve, and apply it to winning the heart of one Elizabeth Weir.
And so follows a record of how Rodney McKay eliminated the competition.
From the moment he had seen the two talking, when Elizabeth had come in for the careers open day, Rodney McKay had known Daniel Jackson was trouble. Well not in the traditional sense, but he would sure to get in the way of Rodney’s plans. When he looked at the pair of them objectively, he realised that they were really very well suited. Firstly they were both librarians, Daniel here at the school and Elizabeth at the central public library. They also both had an interest in politics, many a time Rodney had surreptitiously made notes in the staff room whilst Daniel ranted away about some injustice in the world, so he would later be able to keep up with Elizabeth when she started up on the same topic. And Daniel wasn’t exactly ugly, so on the whole, things did not look good.
Rodney felt he only really had till the end of the day to figure out a plan. Daniel was a little in awe of Elizabeth, and he just wasn’t the kind who easily asked a woman out. Elizabeth, however, would have no issues what-so-ever with asking Daniel out.
But, being the genius he was, it did not take him long to think of a plan. For he knew he had something in his power, a natural resource, that Daniel Jackson was completely and utterly unable to control: one Vala Mal Doran.
Now, Vala Mal Doran was actual trouble, not just trouble for Rodney. Actually she wasn’t trouble for Rodney at all. Vala was a former student on the school, well known for her practical jokes, insane questions and flirtatious nature. During her time at the school the only teacher who ever seemed to have any control over her was Rodney. He suspected this was because of his willingness to teach her several things that were not on the curriculum, such as hot wiring cars and breaking into safes. He figured she wasn’t actually going to use these things for any real, but he did check with the police that there hadn’t been a series of clever robberies after the lock picking lesson.
After graduation Vala returned to the school as a teaching assistant, most people assumed Colonel O’Neill had been drunk that day but Vala was extremely good with some of the wilder students. She got them to learn the way in the same way Rodney had taught her, by showing students slightly more exciting ways what they learnt could be applied. Rodney suspected Vala was probably just doing this as a stop gap, perhaps to give back a little to the people she had tortured for so many years.
It was well known that Vala Mal Doran greatly coveted Daniel Jackson. She spent many, many hours of her day driving him crazy with her own unique brand of flirting. Many a time over coffee in the lab prep room she had jokingly told McKay about how many of Daniel’s children she intended to bear, or what the bridesmaids would wear at their wedding. Most people didn't take her seriously, but McKay thought she genuinely liked him. Probably because he was the only other member of staff to be truly welcoming, apart from himself, when Vala returned.
Thus all Rodney really had to do was warn Vala that she, like Rodney, had competition.
He had found her helping a student in the chemistry lab. He patiently waited for her to be done, double checked they were alone, and then launched into the story.
Luckily for Rodney, Daniel had to take his lunch after other members of staff because he was needed to man the library which was normally frequented at lunch hour by desperate students trying to finish homework due in for the afternoon sessions. This meant he'd not had the chance to eat lunch with Elizabeth Weir, and she, therefore, could not have asked him out.
Rodney had calculated that the most likely time Elizabeth would next see Daniel would probably be at the end of the school day, when she might pop in to say goodbye, amongst over things.
“Vala, I strongly suggest that you be in the library as soon as possible after the end of school bell rings. I think another woman is trying to get her claws in Jackson, as you would so elegantly put it I’m sure. I’m sure if you're there and you're normal flirtatious self, it would throw a spanner in the works. Just keep talking over her, you're good at that!”
Vala raised her eyebrows at him and gave him a careful look. Rodney regretted the comment about her talking over everyone, but her next question showed she wasn’t actually concerned with that
“And who would this mystery woman be? It’s not that lunch lady is it? Because she so does not have a chance!”
“No,” Said Rodney, nervously glancing over his shoulder every 10 seconds – he was paranoid Elizabeth was going to walk in or something. “It’s one of the people here for the careers open day.”
Rodney saw the cogs turning in Vala’s head as she came to a realisation.
“Well, Rodney, I really appreciate you giving me this warning. I have to say though it isn’t very, well, you, to look out for somebody else’s love life – even if you are friends with them. Which leads me to conclude that you have more invested in this little tip than just my feelings,” She looked at him smugly. He tried not to squirm, he really did.
She just leant across the desk, and stared him down. Many a man had broken under that gaze and confessed all sorts of things – which is why Vala was the person to go to in order to find out anything about anybody. McKay was no stronger than the countless men before him, and after thirty seconds finally blurted out the truth in the form of a name.
Vala sat back, that smug look still plastered across her face, and began to coolly examine her nails, “One assumes this is the name of the woman who you think is after Daniel?”
Rodney simply nodded, though Vala didn’t look up she seemed to know that he had responded, “And it would be a logical assumption that you do not want Daniel and Elizabeth together as much as, in fact maybe more, than I do?”
She looked up this time when Rodney nodded, and the smug look turned into a great big trademark Vala smile, “Rodney, you old dog!”
Rodney was a bit confused.
“So you’re after this Weir woman eh? Isn’t she the head librarian at the public library? You should have told me sooner I could have imparted some advice. Well don’t you worry Darling, I’ll be there when that bell rings to make sure your Elizabeth doesn't ask my Daniel out!”
Before McKay could speak further, Vala had swept out of the room leaving him to wonder what exactly she had planned.
* * *
Rodney met Elizabeth as she came out of giving a talk to some very bored looking seniors. Honestly young people today couldn’t appreciate talent when they saw it.
“How did it go?” He asked, falling into step beside her. He noted with both satisfaction and trepidation that she was heading down the corridor towards the library, rather than the exit.
“I don’t think they were exactly enthralled with the life of a librarian,” she replied, giving him a lopsided smile that had odd effects on his stomach.
“They all watch too much television,” Rodney said, mostly to distract himself from the butterflies he must have swallowed at some point without noticing that were trying to fight their way out of his alimentary canal. “They all wanted to be CSIs or surgeons.”
That statement earnt him a quiet chuckle, even though it was actually the truth and not intended as a joke.
“Where you off to?” He asked casually, like he was just being polite in enquiring, not actually interested because he had an elaborate plan in place to ensure she never looked twice at Daniel Jackson again.
“I was just going to pop to see that lovely school librarian of yours before I leave,” she replied brightly, “he has some very interesting opinions on the war in Iraq and I was hoping that he would agree to coffee to discuss them further.”
Rodney tried to keep what Sam Carter had nicknamed the 'you’ve ripped my heart out’ look off his face. Of course with her most of the time it was faked...
“Well,” said Rodney, slightly stiffly, “please allow me to escort you up there.”
Elizabeth shot him a slightly suspicious look but nodded her head in agreement anyway. They climbed the stairs discussing inane things like the weather and eventually found themselves outside the double doors that led to the library.
“Well, Rodney, I’ll probably see you at the library tomorrow. You do have two books due,” she reminded him in a teasing tone. Darn, she was going to leave him outside the door. Luckily he remembered that gentlemen open doors for ladies.
“You will Elizabeth, here let me just get this door for you,” he said, rather loudly in the hope Vala could hear him.
When Elizabeth stepped through he saw her expression immediately change to shocked, he really hoped Vala hadn’t killed Daniel in a jealous rage – she didn’t seem the type. Nudging the door open a little more, the scene he beheld could only be described as priceless. Vala must have literally jumped into Jackson’s arms and was kissing him senseless. It didn’t even matter that Daniel was making a concerted effort to push Vala off, McKay was sure Elizabeth wasn’t about to wade into that embrace to ask Daniel out now. It wasn’t exactly what he had planned when he’d asked Vala to be up here, but it certainly did the trick.
Beside him, Elizabeth gracefully took a step backwards shutting the door and proceeded to burst into laughter. In fact Rodney had never seen her in hysterics like this before. Hee couldn’t blame her though, and soon joined her, the look of a terrified animal that could be seen on Jackson’s face (when Vala’s wasn’t obscuring it) was hilarious.
“Oh my goodness,” said Elizabeth, wiping a tear from her eye. “I hope he doesn’t have that kind of effect on the students!”
McKay grinned, “Oh he’s definitely the school heart throb.”
Elizabeth composed herself, and as they walked away she said, “Well I think Mr. Jackson’s mouth was a little to busy to discuss the War in Iraq, don’t you?”
Rodney felt his mission had been accomplished. He so owed Vala.