Rodney'd always wanted a cat, but with spending so much time in the lab, he barely had time to go to his sisters for dinner once a week. But when Weir had announced in a status meeting that Rodney had six weeks of vacation saved up, and would not be allowed in the building until his vacation was over, he found he not only had time on his hands, but the desire for a pet as well.
That's how he showed up at the local Vancouver Humane Society on a Tuesday afternoon, just a few days into his forced vacation. He'd gone through and checked out several of the cats, and was just about to ask someone who worked there if he could hold one, when a large, gangly puppy ran up to him, jumped in his lap, and started licking his face.
"Off. Off, you heathen!" he practically yelled, trying to get the puppy away from him. How was it dogs could tell he was a cat person and taunted him so?
"Aquinas! Down. Down. Off!" a dark haired bohemian looking man called as he ran up. He leaned down and grabbed the pup by the collar and held him long enough for Rodney to stand.
Rodney dusted himself off, then glared at the dog's owner who was far too attractive. "You know you should train that beast so he doesn't jump on every human being around him." he scolded.
"Actually," bohemian dude said, "I'm just fostering him long enough to train him." And though the puppy was wiggling enough to get down, he was being held firm. "Apologize to the nice man, Aquinas," he added, then set him on the floor but held his collar so he couldn't jump again.
"Even if dogs could talk," Rodney said, "he'd probably tell you that cats are a far superior species of pet."
That got him a curious look.
"Well there's lots of cats around, if that's your fancy." He held out his hand. "John Sheppard. One of the animal wranglers here."
Rodney resisted for a second, then finally shook his hand. "Doctor Rodney McKay," he said, then added, "Engineering and Physics," when John looked like he might want to take Rodney out back to look at rashes and other skin ailments the animals had.
They made small talk for a moment, even flirting a little (if Rodney was reading it correctly) as John tells him about the facility. Rodney sees his opening when John mentions adoption specials on some of the older animals. "Ahh," Rodney said. "So do I get a discount for practically being mauled by this beast here?" then pointed at Aquinas, who was asleep at their feet.
"What, and make all the other little puppies and kittens starve? You know adoption fees go for recovery, healthcare, food, shelter..."
"Okay, enough! Enough with the guilt," Rodney said with a smile, then quietly added, "Regular adoption price, then."
"Tell you what. Full adoption price and I'll take you out for a cup of coffee?" John said, then added in a wink to help seal the deal.
"And what do I get if I make a generous donation with the adoption fees?" Rodney asked as he reached for his checkbook.
John grinned at him. "My number."