Spoilers: Kyle XY, AU after Season 2, with some non-spoiler references to "powers" from Season 3. Stargate SG-1 through 7x03 – Fragile Balance, with some slight spoiler-y references to some events in later seasons.

Pairing: Mac (MiniJack – SG1) & Jessi (Kyle XY)

Author Notes: For more background on who Mac is, look at my story "Preserving the Fragile Balance," though this is unrelated to any other stories using that as a base. This story takes place about 2 years after Fragile Balance. Thanks to my betas, Elizabeth and Curuchamion.

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Jessi was bored. High school math was way too easy for her. Compared to advanced cryptography, calculus seemed like child's play. Nevertheless, here she was. Mountain Springs High School in Colorado Springs, Colorado was a nice enough place, she supposed. Jessi wasn't really much of the social type, so she hadn't actually made any friends, but everyone seemed to at least treat her kindly. As a new girl in town, she was still adjusting to the move. There was no personality download this time to help her acclimate. She was excited to get to know her mother better, so for that reason she was willing to make the effort..

While she was mulling things over in her head, Jessi was making idle notes in her binder. It wasn't until she heard a small gasp from behind her that she looked at what she'd been doing. Scrawled across the top sheet of paper were a series of formulas. She didn't immediately know what they were for, or why they were in her head, but she was pretty sure it didn't have anything to do with finding an area under a curve using an integral. Or whatever else it was the teacher was prattling on about today.

A note was quickly shoved onto the back corner of her desk from the student behind her. Jessi had seen him before but never really noticed him. He was a little taller than she was, with shaggy, sandy brown hair and chocolate brown eyes. His name was escaping her at the moment, though she wasn't sure that they'd ever actually been introduced. She grabbed the note and took a quick look. All it said was, '#1 - Heisenberg uncertainty principle?'

Jessi was quite surprised. As she looked at her scribbles, she did vaguely remember something in quantum physics that looked like the first equation. As a realization came to her about the second equation as well, she quickly made another note and passed it back.

The boy sitting behind Jessi was shocked when he read the return note '2 = Schrödinger's Equation for a single particle in 3 dimensions.' Before he could stop himself, he scratched out another quick note and handed it back. As he handed it off, his brain went into overdrive.

Jessi didn't react to his note at first. It took her a moment to realize what he meant when he said 'The guy with the cat?' When it finally clicked, she had to stifle a giggle.

A moment later, another note came forward. 'What's the third one?' it asked. Jessi thought about it for a moment before writing her reply.

'Not sure,' it said. 'It looks like it's based on spacetime theory. I think it's a formula for wormhole based faster than light travel."

Before the boy could finish reading the note and respond, the bell rang to end the school day. As the class rose to leave, the teacher called out "Jessi, Mac, I'd like to speak with you."

As Jessi slowly picked up her books, she noticed the boy behind her was being just as deliberate. As she approached the teacher's desk, she saw that the young man behind her was doing the same.

"What were you two discussing?" the man asked as they both stood in front of his desk.

"Nothing, sir," Mac quickly responded, earning him a frown.

"I saw you two passing notes at the end of the class. I also didn't fail to notice the far away looks I was getting during the rest of the period. Now, let me see your notes," he persisted.

"Mr. Riemann, with all due respect, it wasn't that important. I promise it won't happen again, sir," Mac placated him.

"Yeah, sorry," Jessi added.

"All right. Since you two are doing so well with the homework and quizzes, I'll let it go for now. But if I catch you again, I won't be so lenient," the teacher stated.

"Yes, sir," Mac responded in an almost military manner.

"Thanks, Mr. Riemann," Jessi echoed.

Jessi left the room quickly but had only gone a few steps before she felt a presence next to her as the other student rapidly caught up.

"I thought we were in trouble there for a minute," Mac said. "If he took those notes, there's no way we'd have been able to explain it. How do you know all of that stuff?"

"I don't know," she lied. "I just do."

"Bull. I don't buy that," Mac rebutted.

Jessi turned to face him, her eyes instantly radiating anger. "I don't care what you think. You don't know me. You don't know anything about me."

"Whoa," Mac exclaimed, throwing his hands up and channeling his inner Daniel. "I think we got off on the wrong foot. Let's try this again. Hi. My name's Mac," he offered, giving his best grin and his hand to shake, hoping to appease some of her anger.

It didn't work. "What makes you think I want to know you?" Jessi snarled, still seething.

"Alright, let me tell you what I do know about you," Mac responded. "I know you're new here. You obviously know more about math and science than just about anyone I've ever met. You're a loner, though whether by choice or due to circumstances beyond your control, I can't tell yet. And you're bored stiff here, always thinking about something else you should be doing."

Jessi was astounded by how well this stranger could read her. She stopped walking and took a moment to look him over again. "You were describing yourself, too, weren't you?" she blurted out. With the brief flicker of pain in his eyes that was gone almost before she could register it, Jessi knew she was right, even though he didn't answer.

After a minute of weighing her options, Jessi knew what to do. She didn't have Kyle or the Tragers to confide in anymore. He seemed to be intelligent, honest, and well-intentioned. Jessi gave him a shy smile, stuck her hand out, and said, "I'm Jessi.. Nice to meet you, Mac."

His face again broke into a big grin as he grabbed her hand to shake. As he did, he felt her press hard, trying to show she was stronger. He decided two could play at that game and increased the pressure of his grip.

Jessi wasn't expecting him to engage her in a contest of strength. Never one to back down from a challenge, though, she continued to squeeze tighter. He did the same. After a few moments, both of their eyes were blazing with the challenge. Neither one wanted to concede that the other was hurting them.

After almost a minute, Mac came to his senses. He was in the middle of a crowded hallway engaged in a pointless battle of strength. And he was running late.

"Alright, I give," he finally conceded. By her look of elation at winning their little contest, Mac knew he'd just found a kindred spirit. Someone who never backed down and didn't want to lose at anything.

"Hey," he said, "I've got to run to Cross Country practice. I still want to talk to you about that math stuff, though."

"How far are you running?" Jessi queried.

"Um, about 6 miles, I guess," Mac responded.

"Can I join you?" she continued.

"Uh, sure," he responded.

"OK. I'll just run the rest when I get home," she informed him.

"The rest?" he asked, dumbfounded.

"Yeah, I'll do another 7 or 8 this evening before I start working out," she informed him.

"And I thought Basic was hard," he mumbled.

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Published 12-07-08

Updated 12-27-10