Atlantis - Rodney's POV
by Nel

Rating: PG-13
Category: Angst
Pairing: Sheppard/McKay
Series: Companion piece to Danvers' Atlantis
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Spoilers: Nope
Summary: Things were made to be solved, and if they weren’t solvable, they were boring. He's a long way from bored.
Author's Notes: This is, as it says above, a companion piece to Danvers' lovely piece of prose, Atlantis. It's nowhere near as poetic and beautiful, but then Rodney didn't really have Shep's special perspective.

This is all Danvers' fault. It went something like this:
D: You should write Rodney's POV in "Atlantis".
Me: No, I shouldn't.
D: Yes, you should.
Me: No I shouldn't.
D: Yes you should.
Me: Okay.

As always, so many many thanks to Suz, who fills me with happiness and my pages with red marks.


Rodney has almost given up hope of finding him when he turns left for what feels like the umpteenth time and sees the Major leaning heavily against the wall. Any other time Rodney would berate himself for not bringing the life sign detector to begin with, or even for having been so surprised by John tearing the device off his head and shoving Rodney into a wall that he hadn’t moved after him fast enough. He’d dazedly watched the Major running out the door before shaking off the dizziness and going after him. Not his brightest moment, considering how he prided himself in adapting quickly to new situations. Right now, though, he’s too freaked out by the possibilities running though his mind at light speed, the possibilities of what the device has done to the Major’s mind.

He clicks his headset. “Carson, we’re somewhere in the East sector, I don’t know exactly where.”

“We see you, Rodney. Hang tight, we’re coming.”

At least he’d had enough presence of mind to call Carson right away, even if that had been all he’d managed before starting to run. He has no idea how the Major has managed to elude him for so long, how he could have run so fast when now he seems to have trouble standing. But he has and Rodney tries not to think of what consequences the extra time without medical attention could cause.

He calms his breathing and walks slowly towards the Major, as quietly as he can. “Major?”

There’s no reply; only John’s quiet panting can be heard.

He carefully walks around the Major until he’s facing him, steeled for the possibility of John bolting. He isn’t sure how the hell he’s supposed to stop the Major if he really wants to go, but he’d try. Rodney has gotten him into this mess, he’ll get him out.

The Major’s eyes are squeezed shut, his mouth open and he seems totally unaware of Rodney’s presence. He carefully lays a hand on the Major’s shoulder. “Major? Major, can you hear me?”

The Major’s eyes open and Rodney almost takes a step back as he sees that they’re completely black, not a hint of the iris. “Don’t let me die.”

Rodney swallows. “What?”

John tilts his head, his eyes locked with Rodney’s, but somehow Rodney gets the feeling that John is looking straight through him. It almost looks as though he’s listening for something, and Rodney resists the urge to look over his shoulder. He knows that they’re alone.

He should have been more cautious, should have run more tests, should have known better than to assume that John would be able to control everything made by the Ancients. But he’d gotten complacent. The Major had handled everything Rodney thrown at him before so easily that Rodney had forgotten that even though the Major seemed naturally talented in using his gene, he wasn’t an Ancient, the technology wasn’t built to work with his physiology.

He’d trusted Rodney to know what he was doing, trusted that he wouldn’t be in any danger. Rodney really hadn’t thought there would be; the device had seemed so harmless, especially compared with some other things the Major had manipulated with ease before.

He was so fucking arrogant, why hadn’t John seen that? Why the hell had he trusted Rodney?

“Okay, you win, very funny,” Rodney tries, wondering what the hell is taking Carson so long.

Instead of answering him, John moans and closes his eyes, shoving Rodney’s hands away. “So cold. Burning...” He staggers a few steps before Rodney grips his shoulders, tighter this time.

“You’re not going anywhere, Major,” he says, trying to keep his voice steady, but it cracks. He presses his hand against John’s chest and feels John’s heart beating too hard, too fast.

John’s eyes snap open and he snarls at Rodney, grabbing his collar. “Don’t! I…” he falters, his grip loosening, “I can’t…” He swallows hard. “I can’t breathe.”

Rodney curses as John’s legs give out and he lowers them both to the floor, less than gracefully. He clicks his earpiece in panic. “Carson, for Gods sake, get your ass over here!”

“We’re almost there, Rodney,” Carson’s voice is breathless. “With no transporters close by, it’s taking a while. How’s the Major?”

“Not good,” Rodney says tersely as John starts to choke.

John’s face is flushed and he tries to push away from Rodney. “Can’t…”


“Please,” John gasps as Rodney pushes him down against the floor, “Please.”

Rodney grips John’s hand tightly. “What? Tell me what you need. Let me help.”

John closes his eyes.

Panic makes breathing harder, but he finally hears running footsteps behind them. About *fucking* time.

Carson’s able hands take John’s pulse and Rodney squeezes John’s hand.

“Alright, Major,” Carson says gently, “you’re going to be okay. Just hang on.”

“No,” John hisses, eyes snapping open as he rips his hand away from Rodney’s, struggling.

Immediately there are nurses there, holding his arms down, and Rodney presses his hand to John’s chest, feeling it rising rapidly, struggling to get air, his heart beating irregularly. “Easy, Major.” He looks at Carson. “*Do* something.”

“I am,” Carson says tightly, pulling up John’s sleeve and pushing the needle of the sedative into his arm.

John’s back is arching as he struggles to breathe and Rodney looks at Carson in desperation.

Then John gulps in a deep breath and slumps to the floor, body limp. Rodney feels like joining him, his limbs suddenly heavy in relief. He’s okay, he’s breathing. He’s not dead. Rodney didn’t kill John.

“Let’s get him to the infirmary,” Carson says and squeezes Rodney’s arm.

Rodney just swallows and staggers to his feet.


John wakes again as they’re laying him down on the bed, and this time he doesn’t speak. He does manage to kick one of the nurses (a male one, and not a light-weight, thank god) in the stomach as well as sending a tray of god only knows what flying before they manage to strap him down.

Before Carson has a chance to give him another sedative he goes limp.

Rodney has never been so afraid in his life.


He hasn’t spent a lot of time sitting by the Major’s bedside and he’s already sick of it. He’s not used to not being able to solve things. Things were made to be solved, and if they weren’t solvable, they were boring.

He’s a long way from bored.

Ford comes to sit with him for a while, telling Rodney that Teyla was flying back from the mainland. He talks about other things, insignificant things, but mostly he just keeps Rodney company.

Rodney will never tell him how grateful he is for that. He does, however, make a mental note to install a CD-player in the Lieutenant’s room and tells himself it’s only because he’s sick of Ford’s constant sighs about losing his rechargeable batteries on some planet.

Teyla looks ruffled when she finally arrives, but she’s calm as they fill her in on the details. Yes, he’s stable. No, they don’t know when (if) he’ll wake up. Yes, they’ve locked away the device, just to be safe.

Rodney knows that Radek is picking it apart right now, trying to figure it out. Rodney will make sure that Radek has all the notes he needs before Rodney destroys it. He hasn’t gotten Elizabeth’s approval; he knows her policy about destroying Ancient technology. He also knows that Radek will claim that the device was destroyed as it overheated.

Ford leaves after about an hour, not looking pleased. Rodney realizes that he has to go, as he probably has more things to do now that Bates is in command. Temporarily in command, he corrects himself.

It’s all just temporary.


Strangely enough, Carson doesn’t chase him away. Rodney leaves of his own accord. He grabs something to eat in the mess hall before taking a shower and going to bed.

He lies staring at the ceiling for hours, his bed seeming too big.

He hears the words echo in his head.

don’t let me die…


He’s back early the morning, staring at John. He looks strange. The stubble isn’t that uncommon (“I like it.”

“It itches.”

“I still like it.”

“I’m not growing a beard.”

“You better not.”), but it’s strange to see his hair almost covering his eyes as it hangs down over his forehead.

As he’s studying the Major’s pale skin, John’s eyes suddenly open. Rodney doesn’t notice getting out of the chair until he’s hovering over John. “Oh thank god.”

John smiles a little and Rodney doesn’t care that it’s a mile away from his normal smile, he’s ecstatic to see it. “Hi.”

His eyes, they’re their normal color again, not black. Rodney really likes John’s eyes. “How do you feel?”

John seems to consider the question, looking Rodney over. “The way you look, actually.”

“Okay,” Rodney nods, considers the fact that despite actually going to bed, he didn’t actually sleep at all, “so, I should probably get Beckett.”

John makes a face. “No, you should get me some food. I’m starving.”

Rodney stares at him. John stares back before looking down. They both look at his restrained hands and John smirks slightly as he looks back up at Rodney. “Kinky,” he drawls.

Rodney swallows, trying not to think of John fighting to breathe, fighting them. "Okay. New rule. From now on, John Sheppard doesn't get to turn anything on."

John quirks an eyebrow. "Not even you?"

“Yes, very funny.”

"Planning on keeping me in these all day?" He moves his hands experimentally, not really trying to get loose.

Rodney makes sure they’re alone before laying his hand on top of John’s restrained one, squeezing tightly. "I can't, not yet. You were pretty out of it before," and damn it, he can’t even keep his voice steady now.

John doesn’t seem to notice; he simply nods. "What happened?"

"Carson thinks your brain couldn't handle the interface.” The guilt is like an enormous pressure inside his chest; he can feel it every time he breathes. “I should never have asked you to..."

John interrupts him by pulling his hand away from Rodney’s now he’s the one squeezing Rodney’s hand.

Rodney looks down at John's hand and feels like laughing hysterically. Yes, he’s definitely the one in need of comfort; he’s the one whose brain was fried. He looks back up at John. "You said some scary things back there."

"Nightmare on Elm Street scary or Wraith scary?" John mumbles.

"A bit of both," Rodney says, looking closely at John. There’s something in his eyes. "Remember anything?"

"No," John says quietly before shutting his eyes.

Rodney doesn’t call him on his lie. He just lets John hold his hand tightly until it goes limp and he knows that John’s asleep.


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