Title: A Merry Meeting Be Wished
Genre: Gen, crossover
Summary: John Sheppard and his team are *definitely* not in Kansas anymore.
Continuity: Some vague time in SGA season three or so, and in the Vorkisganverse, after iDiplomatic Immunity/i.
Notes: Written for Multiverse 2009.
John fought the urge to strangle Rodney. Okay, the SGC generally disapproved of military members of the expedition strangling civilians, but in this case, it was also a matter of Rodney likely being his only chance to get back to Atlantis.
But honest to god, if Rodney didn't shut up soon...somebody was going to kill him.
"...the most ridiculous timing. Why did you drag me out on this mission to god only knows what stupid planet just when I was on the verge of solving that perennial power transfer problem? And now thanks to your incompetence, we're in some kind of alternate universe and I'm probably going to meet myself and oh god, I look terrible with a goatee. What if-"
"Shut. Up." Ronon's growl was barely audible, but Rodney's mouth closed with an audible click.
John sighed in relief as the flow of words cut off, but he winced internally as all three members of his team turned toward him as one, waiting for him to decide what to do.
"Well," he said with a sigh, "I guess we're going to have to go look for-"
"I think you should step away from the ship," a voice said from the trees.
John rolled his eyes. No, really, he'd had just about enough of this. "Do it," he said.
The others stared at him, but followed as he walked away and sat down on a nice, comfortable stump. Out of the treeline stepped...a dwarf?
Rolling his eyes harder, John decided that now the universe (whichever universe it was) was laughing at him.
"I'm really very sorry about this," the dwarf said, running the hand that wasn't holding a small blastery-looking thing through close-cropped dark hair. "But I need your ship. It's a matter of urgency, lives at stake, etc."
"Sure. Take it," John said. He waved at the ship. "We weren't getting anywhere anyway."
The dwarf narrowed his eyes, but sidled up the ramp of the jumper quickly, finding the door closure without too much trouble.
Rodney glared. "What in hell are y-oh. Right."
A moment later, Ronon and Teyla got it too.
"Ronon, if you would..." John pointed at the jumper door.
Ronon pulled out his own blaster and waited, looking grim at someone having gotten the jump on him. John picked at a hangnail. Teyla sighed and rubbed her forehead. Rodney went back to typing fiercely on his laptop and muttering about alternate universes, string theory, and stupid Genii weapons.
It took 20 minutes, which meant that dwarf was either more desperate than most...or stupider. Idly, John wondered which it was.
Finally the door opened and the dwarf stepped out, weapon conspicuously held between his fingertips and hands up in the universal gesture of surrender. "Er...sorry?" he said.
Ronon jerked his chin and the dwarf dropped his gun and kicked it down the ramp.
John stood and stretched. "Come out."
"Um, if I could ask," the dwarf said as he marched resignedly down the ramp, "how did you lock it anyway? I've never *seen* a security system like that and I'd love to buy the technology." His eyes were bright and eager.
Teyla tilted her head. "Buy it or steal it?"
The guy's whole face, with ridiculously mobile features, collapsed. "Yes, I suppose this does look bad, but I really don't generally go around stealing ships. Well, not from people who haven't tried to kill or clone me, at least. But I really need to get back to Barrayar, and soon. It's not entirely hyperbole when I say the fate of my entire planet is at stake."
Rodney waved a hand without looking up from the laptop. "Uh-huh, been there, done that, bought the t-shirt."
Teyla, who had been standing beside John, and obviously doing more thinking than anyone else, leaned closer. "What now, John?"
"I'm hoping you have a suggestion," he said, brought to honesty by exhaustion.
"Perhaps we might introduce ourselves and, ah, consider that we've acquired a source of local information?"
John nodded, turning back. "So who are you, anyway?"
("Not exactly what I had in mind," Teyla murmured.)
The dwarf's lips twitched in amusement and he considered John for a long moment before bowing slightly at the waist. "I have the distinct honor to be Lord Auditor Captain Miles Naismith Vorkosigan of Barrayar. And my name will be mud if I don't get home with what I've learned. I was *supposed* to have half of ImpSec ready to deliver me, but they seem to have been waylaid by some of my enemies. Which, I suppose, doesn't narrow the possibilities down all that much."
Obviously the name and the planet were supposed to mean something to him. John shrugged. "I would say it's nice to meet you, except that you tried to steal our ship."
"I said I was sorry!"
Rodney could be heard muffling a snicker, but John ignored him. "I'm Col. John Sheppard, that's Dr. Rodney McKay, this is Ronon Dex, and that's Teyla Emmagen."
"Gentlemen, milady." Vorkosigan bowed again, bowing more deeply to Teyla, who bestowed on him a much nicer smile than John thought the man deserved.
"The question," Teyla said, "is what we do with you now."
"I seem to hear that a lot," Vorkosigan said with a sigh.
"Me too," John said. Vorkosigan grinned at him, and for a moment they were in complete accord.
"So, where did you say you were from?" Vorkosigan asked.
Out of the corner of his eye, John saw Rodney's head finally lift from the laptop. "We didn't say," Rodney said, his voice sharp.
"I noticed that." Vorkosigan seemed to have forgotten that *he* was the prisoner. "You're *really* not from around here, are you?"
"Just because we have a cool lock on our ship?" John tried to keep his expression easygoing.
"Because you have a ship, computer, and uniform, all in a style I've never seen before."
"And you've memorized every ship and uniform in the universe?" Rodney scoffed.
"Yes." The clearing was momentarily silent as John and his team contemplated that flat statement. Finally Vorkosigan shrugged. "Also, you didn't immediately try to shoot me or hold me for ransom after I gave you my name and title. That pretty much eliminates you as residents of most of the planets in this system."
"Lord Auditors of Barrayar acquire that many enemies?" Teyla asked.
"Not most of them, no. I'm just lucky, I suspect." His lips twitched in definite amusement. "So, where *are* you from?"
"That's...complicated," Teyla said.
"You look like you're having some trouble with something," Vorkosigan said. "Perhaps I might propose a trade?"
"A trade?" Rodney stood up. "You can't even get off-planet without trying to steal someone else's ship and you want to *trade*?"
Vorkosigan stood up straight, and even though he was still well over a foot shorter than Rodney, there was something... "On my honor as heir to my father, Lord Vorkosigan, and my honor as an Imperial auditor, I offer you my assistance in any legal endeavors, if you can help me get home."
Rodney just gaped at him, and John found himself fighting a feeling of awe. There really was something about the man. "How are you at interdimensional travel?"
Vorkosigan blinked once, his eyes darted around, and then widened. "Oh. I didn't realize anyone had figured out how to activate that giant ring."
"I don't think anyone here *has*," Rodney said. "The problem was on our end."
"Interesting." Vorkosigan frowned for a moment. "Well, I can certainly get Barrayar's best scientists on the subject, if that would help."
"You can just do that?" Ronon asked, sounding dubious.
That quick grin again, which made John want to grin back. "Right, you're not from around here. Yes, an Imperial auditor can do that. I can do and say pretty much whatever I want. The difficulty most of the time is in figuring out what I *should* do or say. My wife would probably point out I don't often think long enough. My cousin Ivan would say I don't think at all."
Teyla chuckled, giving John a pointed look. He looked away.
"Wait," Rodney said, hands on his hips. "You're just going to blithely take us home and offer your help? How do you know *we're* not escaping criminals?"
"You're acting fairly trusting yourself. Besides, I tried to steal your ship and you haven't shot me yet."
Rodney paused. "Point."
It took over an hour for Vorkosigan and Rodney to get the jumper properly oriented to find Barrayar; the Ancient technology seemed displeased with something, acting sluggishly when asked to chart the entirely new stars.
And John discovered there was something more annoying than Rodney ranting: Rodney and this Vorkosigan guy arguing.
"And just when did you get your degrees in astrophysics, anyway?"
"I don't need a degree to tell you that you don't have the faintest ideas of the hazards in *this* universe!"
"Please. If you haven't got wacky space vampires, then I don't care."
"Space va-you're just making that up."
John rubbed his temples. "Rodney, focus, please. I'd like to get home before Elizabeth needs to report us all missing or dead. Again."
In the end, the universe continued to show its tremendous sense of humor, which John found entirely unamusing. After more wrangling than his nerves could take-especially with Rodney *and* Vorkosigan both vibrating like tuning forks-the jumper finally lifted off, with an estimated arrival on Barrayar of two days.
John finally relaxed as he piloted the jumper up, the familiar sensation reminding him that things weren't hopeless. They had a jumper, food, water, and a plan. What could poss-
Which, of course, is right when he realized they weren't alone. "Teyla," he said as a ship slightly larger than their own hove into view. The ship had a somewhat similar shape with one tiny difference: it was bristling with energy signatures that screamed "weapon" at him.
"Yes, I see it," she said tartly from the copilot seat. "I believe they are trying to hail us, but the jumper does not wish to patch them through."
John did the equivalent of yelling mentally at the jumper, essentially informing it if it didn't behave, he was going to break it down into its component parts, by god, and let Ronon use them for target practice. The jumper sulked, but cooperated.
"Unknown vessel," a voice said, "you have a dangerous fugitive aboard. Give him up and we will allow you to continue unharmed."
Vorkosigan said something that was probably an obscenity on his planet, if tone was anything to go by.
John looked at Teyla, who nodded her assent as she spoke in her dipomat's tones. "I'm afraid I don't know anything about a fugitive. We are a peaceful ship and we mean no harm."
"Give us Vorkosigan. He is carrying classified weapons data stolen from our research laboratories. He is a criminal, a thief."
John glanced over his shoulder at Vorkosigan, who didn't look especially surprised.
"Is that true?" Teyla asked, after muting the comm.
"It depends on your definitions of several terms. I *am* carrying classified weapons data, because they're planning to use those weapons to kill a significant number of people on Barrayar. I did steal it, but I would say rather that I'm a spy, not a thief." He shrugged.
The jumper alerted John. "It looks like they're arming their weapons."
Teyla turned the comm on again. "I repeat, we are a peaceful ship."
"Give us Vorkosigan or we will destroy your ship."
Vorkosigan cursed again. "What kind of weapons have you got?"
Rodney was bent over studying the readings. "Nothing like that. What the hell are they doing on this planet? Nuking cities for fun and profit?"
A snort. "Very much like that. Hand me over. I can't get innocent bystanders killed."
"What?" all of them said, more or less in unison.
Holding out his hand, he dropped a small object into Teyla's hand. "Take this to Barrayar. Insist on speaking to General Allegre. ImpSec will argue a lot, but once they get a good look at your ship, they'll know something's going on. Tell them I sent you, and that I said I spoke with the Emperor's Voice."
"What?" John was used to things moving fast, but honestly, he'd had a really bad day.
"I spoke with the Emperor's Voice. They're to assist you in any way necessary and damn it, they need to read the chip I'm sending. And tell...when you get a chance, tell Ekaterin I'm sorry." He clenched a fist. "Now hand me over to them and get the hell out of here before they realize I'm not carrying the chip."
"No," Teyla said.
"Make that hell, no," Rodney added. "I get enough of that crap from the colonel here. I hate self-sacrificing idiots."
Vorkosigan's mouth opened and closed. Ronon smacked him on the back. "Get used to it," he said. "That's him being nice."
"I assume you have a plan?" Vorkosigan said. "Since we have about two minutes before they blow us out of the sky?"
"That gives us at least an entire minute to come up with a plan," Teyla said.
"I'm just glad Ivan isn't here to hear that," Vorkosigan muttered to himself.
"You said nobody knows here how to work the Stargate...the ring?" John said, brain working furiously.
"As far as I know."
Teyla's eyebrows rose and Ronon nodded in satisfaction.
"Are you thinking what I-"
"Yes, Rodney. Get ready to synch dialing the gate."
"Oh crap." Rodney dove for the controls.
"What are you g-"
"Thank the Ancients for inertial dampeners," Teyla said as the jumper made a sudden dive for the vicinity of the Stargate.
John ignored it as their pursuers yelled at him. "You ready, Rodney?"
"In 5, 4, 3, 2...now!"
The Gate dialing sequence completed and a wash of energy came out in what John privately always described as a "fwoosh." And a large slice was taken out of the ship pursuing them, which promptly plummeted to the ground as John headed out into space.
Vorkosigan was staring at the monitor, which showed the destruction behind them. "Wow," he said finally.
"Cool, huh?" Rodney said with characteristic smugness.
"Mmm. I think I'm very glad you've decided you're on my side." He paused. "Not to sound ungrateful, but why exactly *did* you decide that?"
John shrugged. Rodney was back at his laptop muttering to himself. Ronon just grinned.
Teyla looked around at them, then at the little man. "I believe Colonel Sheppard would say that you seem like our kind of crazy."
John looked over at her. "I would?"
"Yes, you would," she said with a firm nod.
"Well, if the lady says so, who am I to argue?"
Vorkosigan leaned back in his chair and started to laugh. "I can't *wait* for all of you to meet Gregor."
My prompt was: Stargate/Vorkosigan Saga: Miles's ride off-planet has vanished and he has important intelligence that must be delivered to Barrayar. That's when he runs into a somewhat confused-looking group of people and their small, but apparently space-worthy, jumper.