Disclaimer: I do not own Stargate Atlantis and no infringement was intended, just having some fun with the characters.

Spoiler Alert: No Spoilers

Summary: A new scientist gets his first view of Dr. McKay after a difficult mission were McKay and Sheppard had gotten captured.

Beta: Isobel Kelte

A Scientist of Contradictions

Camden had just arrived on Atlantis from the Daedalus a week ago, but he had yet to come in personal contact with the famous Doctor Rodney McKay that he would be working for. Apparently Dr. McKay had been off world, but he and the rest of his team had returned yesterday, so Camden expected to meet him today.

The entire time he had been on Atlantis and even the time he was on the Daedalus had been filled with stories of Dr. McKay. Whenever someone discovered that he was going to be assisting Dr. McKay, they started sharing all the stories, rumors, and suspicions they had revolving around the prickly scientist.

Still, none of these stories came close to the sight Camden saw as he entered the laboratory that morning. Dr. McKay's left arm was in a cast and there were cuts and bruises on any skin that wasn't hidden by his clothes. His eyes appeared shadowed, and if it was anyone else you would assume they were exhausted and couldn't move. Yet, Dr. McKay quickly made you forget all that as in a whirlwind haze he ordered everyone about, demanded things, berated people, and complained about every little detail of…well…anything.

However, as Camden drew closer and started working on the project he had been assigned by Zelenka while waiting for the return of Dr. McKay (he had chosen it over introducing himself to the astrophysicist, who was clearly having a bad day), he realized that not all of the complaints the scientist muttered had anything to do with the experiments going on in the lab. In fact, they had nothing to do with any branch of science at all.

Talking mostly to himself, Dr. McKay grumbled, "…Then he pushes me behind himself as if he's a human shield…where is that control crystal I asked for!...and then he has to open his mouth and make them pissed at him more so then they already were…Kinsley…Kenneth…whatever…why aren't you configuring the device yet…so of course they beat him up and when it comes to trying to get information who do they choose? Why Colonel invincible of course…Chutney! What are you doing!? Maybe if you didn't get your diploma off the back of a cereal box you might have realized that those wires were NOT to be crossed…Then they keep bringing him back looking half dead…well three quarters dead if your honest, but he says, 'I'm good' as if it was normal to have blood covering your entire body…Where is that control crystal!...Then of course that's not good enough…they have to see how long he can breathe underwater without brain damage…I SAID WHERE IS THAT CONTROL CRYSTAL!"

Suddenly, Camden saw a massive man in odd clothing walk over to Dr. McKay. The man was intimidating, but McKay didn't even blink an eye at him. "I'm not going."

Camden was confused by that seemingly unrelated statement, but as Camden glanced around the lab everyone else seemed to expect this.

"Rodney," said the large man, "Keller already said he's going to be fine, so calm down."

"Calm down? CALM DOWN?!" shouted the aggravated scientist. "I spend three days watching people find as many ways as possible to hurt my team leader and then I'm suppose to stay calm?! For crying out loud, Ronon, I stayed calm for him enough when it was actually happening; I am definitely going to lose it now!"

Not reacting at all to the smaller man's shouts, the man named Ronon responded in a quiet voice. "You've been here all night even though Keller specifically told you to rest in your quarters. Enough is enough. Either you go to rest in your quarters this moment or I'm going to take you to the infirmary were Keller will sedate you. It's your choice."

For a moment it looked to Camden like McKay would argue, but he seemed to deflate before everyone. "I…I…I'll go to my quarters, but first I need to just check on him again. You know…make sure all the voodoo is working still…"

Camden watched as Ronon led McKay out of the lab with a gently push now and then. Camden was amazed to see Ronon, who he now remembered was a member of Dr. McKay's team, had concern not only for whoever was still in the infirmary, but also for the irritating scientist.

After they left, Camden turned to Dr. Zelenka, who had been in charge of his training on Atlantis since McKay had been gone.

Seeing the question in his gaze, Zelenka explained, "McKay and the rest of his team were on a mission as you know, but a few days before they were suppose to report back in, Colonel Sheppard and McKay were taken captive. Ronon and Teyla the other members of the team escaped capture, but were unable to get to the gate to get backup and were forced to pull off a rescue on their own. However, it wasn't until after Colonel Sheppard and Rodney were captured for three days and had experienced different forms of torture that they were able to rescue them."

Zelenka sighed. "As always, Colonel Sheppard took the worst of it protecting Rodney, for which Rodney feels guilty. Not that Sheppard would have had it any other way, but try explaining that to McKay while Sheppard is still asleep in the infirmary. Anyways, he'll be fine in a day or two once he can see that Sheppard is on the mend and he gets the rest he desperately needs. You have to understand, every member of that team is extremely close and whenever anyone of them is injured the rest always take it hard."

Camden nodded as he contemplated a side of McKay that hadn't really appeared in any of the stories he had been told about him. Camden couldn't help but wonder what it was going to be like working for a man that was such a contradiction as Dr. McKay, who managed to come across as both extremely caring and a total jerk in the same moment. Camden figured he would just have to wait and see…

The End

A/N: This is a different style from what I'm used to doing, so please review and let me know what you think! After all reviews are what makes me keep writing… :D