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Title: A Friendly Drive-Around with a Tame Racing Driver
Author: 
[info]luckycricket_1 
Prompt: Doctor Carson Beckett walks into a bar and meets... The Stig!
Fandoms: Stargate Atlantis and Top Gear
Word count: 1708
Rating/Warnings: PG13. Language
Notes: Disclaimer: Don't own, don't sue. Stargate Atlantis is owned by MGM and Top Gear by the BBC.

Notes: Written for “A Ficathon Walks into a Bar” challenge on LiveJournal. When I first read this assignment, my first thought was “????”, then I burst out laughing and wondered how I was going to pull this one off. Well, here we go.

Doctor Carson Beckett meets an silent “tame racing driver” in a pub who shows him technology isn't all bad. Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May make a cameo at the end of this story.


 
A Friendly Drive-Around with a Tame Racing Driver
The storm raged outside, but Happy Hour was in full swing inside the Hogsmeade Pub. Carson Beckett sat at the bar, happily nursing his second whiskey of the night. There were times when he wondered why he ever left Glasgow for Atlantis and this was one of them. He was homesick more times than he cared to admit. Then he thought of Rodney McKay and reminded himself that the man needed someone to drag his arse from his laptop now and then. And who would patch up Sheppard and the others after some misadventure?

“Need me to top off your glass?” Danny the bartender leaned against the polished wood of the counter. “Can't stand to see someone near the dregs of his beer.”

Carson considered it, nodded, then held out his glass. Danny refilled it with the best Glenfiddich of the house, then slid it over to him. “Thanks, lad. I appreciate it.”

“Still doin' your 'Doctors without Borders thing, Doc?”

He nodded. Technically, what he was doing in the Pegasus Galaxy was similar to DwB, but Danny didn't need to know the nature of his patients. “Aye. It's pretty absorbin' work...I don't usually get time away, but I take it when I can get it.”

“Miss home, eh?”

“Oh, yeah, I do, but they need me out there, so...” Carson shrugged and sipped at his whiskey.

“What do you miss the most, bein' out in the middle of nowhere? The whiskey? The company? Modern technology?” Danny's tone was teasing, but his face was serious. “I bet you have to walk everywhere and import sunlight and runnin' water.”

Carson laughed ruefully. “Nah. Got enough sunlight and I'm surrounded by water. As for walkin' everywhere, a little jaunt now and then is good for the soul. Technology's good, but---”

“Makes you nervous? Kinda old-fashioned, aren't you, Doc?”

“I suppose I am.” He shrugged and sipped his whiskey. Of course, he couldn't tell Danny about going through the Stargate. Being torn apart and reassembled on the other side still gave him the creeps. Not to mention all the Ancient technology in his Infirmary he still didn't know how to use.

And those “Puddlejumpers” as Colonel Sheppard called them...Carson shivered at the one flying lesson he had and that was more than enough, thank you. He was a doctor, not a racing driver.

The door to the pub creaked open, letting in the wind and the rain, and the pub denizens yelled, “Close the damn door, why can't ya?” It shut with a heavy thud, and the visitor headed towards the bar without a single word. Carson saw the flash of a white suit and...a racing helmet? What the bloody hell?

“You can take off the helmet,” Danny said judiciously. “We're all friends here.”

The man inclined his head and slipped into the stool next to Carson, but made no move to take off his helmet or gloves. Carson's sharp eyes saw no identifying marks on either. He's taking great pains to hide his identity. Wonder why. Carson saw his reflection in the visor, and he had the feeling the driver was watching and weighing him too. It was disconcerting not being able to see the man's eyes.

Danny tried again to engage the driver in conversation. “So, what'll you have?” The man silently pointed towards the tap and Danny nodded. “'Kay, one Guinness comin' up. You're gonna have to take off the helmet to drink it, though.”

The racing driver shook his head and jerked his head towards the door. Carson understood the implication. “Ah. It's not for you. Someone's waitin' for you outside.” Again, the driver shook his head and Carson tried again. “You're waitin' for someone to come in?” Now that brought a confirming nod.

“Bloody twenty questions,” muttered Danny as he got the man his whiskey.

“You seem to be the quiet, stoic type,” Carson said with a hint of irony, still trying to get the man to say something. Even Ronon Dex spoke more than this fellow, and that was a scary thought. “So, you race cars for a livin'?”

Nod.

“I have a friend who likes fast modes of transportation. He's United States Air Force. Damn good pilot; he tried to teach me a thing or two, but I'm afraid technology and I don't get along too well.”

The man turned towards him and shrugged. Why?

“Eh, I dunno. Guess it's 'cause it makes me nervous as hell. It's like steppin' through one of those Star Trek transporter things and hopin' you get to the other side in one piece.”

The racing driver seemed to consider that for a long moment, then nodded again. He got up from his stool, then beckoned Carson to follow him. Danny frowned from where he stood behind the bar.

“Hey, what 'bout your Guinness?”

The man raised a hand as if to say, “I'll be back.” Then he turned and headed for the door. Carson shrugged and scrambled to follow. The storm had slackened a little, but the wind bit into Carson's skin despite the heavy coat. The white-clad driver opened the door to (what Carson assumed was) his car and Carson hurriedly got inside. Belatedly, he realized that he'd gotten into the driver's side, and his friend went around to the passenger's side.

“What, you want me to drive? In this weather?” Carson looked over the instrument panel at the unfamiliar controls. One of Atlantis's puddlejumpers looked less complicated than this. “Lord, I don't even see where you put in the key...”

The driver reached over, pushed a button, and the engine purred to life. Then he proceeded to show Carson where the windscreen wipers were, the lights, the radio, and the gearshift. All without saying a single word. Carson felt the friendly concern though the man's touch, his gestures, and his body language.

He might not say anything and I can't see his eyes through the visor, but it's obvious he won't let anyone drive his vehicle without a proper introduction. A smile pulled on Carson's lips. “Don't tell me...you're a drivin' instructor as well?”

He nodded, then made a gesture as if to say, “All right, now it's up to you.” Carson nodded and they smoothly pulled out of the carpark and drove down the street. The engine purred like a kitten and the wheel responded like a dream.

After the first white-knuckled minute, Carson relaxed and shifted to a higher gear. They got onto Argyle Street and drove deeper into the dark gloom. The driver pointed at the various landmarks and galleries and inclined his head in a curious manner. Carson was more than happy to tell him about the sights of his home town. The more they drove around, the more he appreciated this particular vehicle.

I suppose some technology is good, he admitted, but it's not like this car needs my Ancient gene to work. And the race driver seemed to hear his inner thoughts; the contemplative look seemed to say “Are you sure?”

Carson blinked and asked, “Who are you, lad?”

He shook his head and pointed at the window. They were approaching the same carpark near the pub. The rain had stopped and Carson was able to find a space close by. Before he knew it, they were back in the Hogsmeade, sitting on the same stools.

“Back already?” Danny seemed surprised. “Guess it was just a quick chat, then?”

Before Carson could answer, the door burst open and a tall, curly-haired man came in. “Ha! I'm first!” he shouted in a heavy Yorkshire accent. Then he stopped short at the sight of the racing driver. “No. No, I don't believe this! There's no way you could've driven all the way from Brighton to Glasgow faster than me!”

A shorter, dark haired man pushed his way past his taller companion. “Stig! Have you seen Captain Slow?” The racing driver shook his head and the smaller man muttered, “Figures. He probably got lost in the Scottish moors somewhere...”

“Considering we took a detour through the bog, Hammond---”

“And whose fault was that, Clarkson? 'The GPS in this car is rubbish; I know where we're going'?”

“It is rubbish! I could have done better by sticking my finger in the wind to tell the direction---”

The pub denizens hollered at the pair, “Shut the damn door!”

Clarkson huffed, “All right, all right...” He shoved the door closed, nearly catching the third man in the face. “Well, get in here out of the rain, May! About damn time you showed up!”

“The GPS was rubbish,” the wild-haired fellow muttered. “I need a drink.”

Danny cleared his throat and shouted, “Gentlemen! If you don't mind...”

The racing driver (“Stig”, Carson corrected himself) would have rolled his eyes if he could; Carson certainly did. The trio moved to the bar, still arguing, and the smallest chap (“Hammond”, Carson thought), squeezed past to claim the first beer.

“Hello,” Hammond said. “Sorry.”

“No problem. So you fellows were coming up from Brighton and got turned around?”

“Yeah, but at least we didn't get too lost. At least we got here in one piece,” and Hammond glared at Clarkson, who made a 'don't blame me' gesture. “I supposed the Stig's been here a while?”

“He's been good company,” Carson said with a wide grin. The Stig nodded in agreement, his hand around his still-full glass of Guinness, but he still made no move to remove his helmet to drink it.

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May 2012

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